Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tater Tots with a Creole Twist

When Mensa Boy's away, I sometimes don't spend as much time on supper as I should. (Oh, c'mon! We all do that!) Although we did have a nice roast chicken, potatoes, carrots, and even gravy last night. But most of the time when he's out of town I tend to not think much about supper until right before it's supposed to happen.

Monday night I asked the guys what they wanted to have and Taylor immediately piped up with Tater Tot Hotdish. I know I've mentioned that here before, but for those of you who do not know what it is, Tater Tot Hotdish is the quintessential Midwest potluck entree. And a fantastic comfort food as well. It's quick to pull together, bakes for an hour or so and then there you have it...meat, veggies and starch all rolled into one.

And so I ran to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients:

1.5# ground sirloin (90% fat free)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag frozen veggies
1 bag Tots

I lined the bottom of my 9x13 pan with foil to make clean-up a cinch, and layered the raw meat on the bottom, spread the frozen veggies on top, spread on the soup from the can and then the tots. Baked 350 for 90 minutes.

But of course I couldn't just leave it all bland like that. So I gave the dish a bit of a creole twist:
I used frozen gumbo vegetables...which had okra in it, and then before I spread on the soup, I sprinkled liberally with creole seasoning and then my all-time favorite spice: Black & Red pepper blend from Penzeys. I also used onion-seasoned Tots.

It was a big hit! We had a hard time keeping ourselves from eating the entire pan!

I bet those little ole Scandinavian Lutheran ladies that developed this dish were rolling over in their graves at the seasonings.

Sorry I didn't take photos. No time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

So Much to Complain About. So Little Time

Suffice it to say, yesterday was one of those days where you find yourself taking one step forward and then two back. Computer issues, festival issues. I really didn't get started on my day until 2:30 p.m.

And so this morning I'm knocking out CD after CD for The Cleveland Company. Not much time to write.

But I do have to say that the little dog is doing quite well. Only two accidents in the house since we put the barriers up Saturday afternoon. Both on the kids' watch, of course. One last night during the ONE HOUR I was gone, and another this morning when the neighbor showed up for his ride to school. They know they are supposed to rush him out when a new person comes but...well...they are kids.

I've posted a new photo of him on The Daily Bear. He's showing off his Vera Bradley collar, a gift from Aunt Tambri. It turns out he's also a Gator fan. Aunt Nannette came by yesterday with a white, stuffed squeaky gator. I'll try to capture him playing with that at some point. For now? TO WORK!

Monday, September 24, 2007

An Outline of my Brain Activity this Morning

Here are some random thoughts for you:

1. It's a miracle anyone ever lets their kids join Boy Scouts anymore. Every year, it seems, there are Boy Scouts out lost somewhere. Or maybe I should say "turning up missing." That phrase always cracks me up.

2. It's amazing everyone doesn't have one of these gizmos. If I had trouble with a neighbor's barking dog, I'd definitely think it was worth the investment.

3. Do they make wood-flavored nyla-bones? We could sure use one. I'm pretty sure my old bookcase would appreciate it. If my bookcase had opinions, anyway.

4. My horoscope today says: "You're doing the job well. Now it's time for you to start giving the job away." hmmm...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Not My Daughters

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Chris' daughter Sammy and her little friend Kendall were having a very deep conversation the other day while waiting for ballet class to start. I believe Sammy was telling Kendall where she lives.