Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Perfectly Shaped Burgers - Easy as Pie

Living on the lake, we get lots of visitors in the spring, summer and fall.  When people come to visit, they don't want to spend time inside preparing and eating meals if the weather is nice.  They would much rather be outside.  That is why we grill more often than not when the temperatures start to rise.

We grill everything that we can.  Hot dogs, hamburgers, brats, chicken, steak, potatoes, corn, pizza . . .  (If you have a good recipe for something grilled, then please share.  We'd love to try it!)  I do have to admit that my least favorite thing to grill is a hamburger.  The reason that I don't like to grill them is that they are too hard to form.  Too often my burgers are too fat in the middle.  That means that either the edges will be burnt or the middle won't be done enough for my liking.

So, I promised the girls that we could grill tonight for dinner before softball practice.  Pumpkin wants a hot dog and Peanut wants a hamburger.  I've spent part of this afternoon preparing for dinner.  I chopped the lettuce for the salad, made some potato salad (thanks for the instructions Mom!), made iced tea for myself, and decided to form the burgers.

While I was procrastinating, I decided to search how to make a hamburger.  I thought I'd run across some new combination of seasonings that would make an amazing burger that I'd have to try.  Instead, I came across another blogger who posted that she forms her burgers using lids.  LIDS!!!  Why didn't I think of that?  So, I grabbed my meat, plastic wrap, and lids of two different sizes and I formed burgers -  perfectly shaped, even in thickness, gorgeous burgers.   Now I can't wait for the kids to get home so we can grill them!  I'll let you know how they turn out. . .

Question:  Did everyone already know about this?  If so, why didn't anyone tell me???

Wordless Wednesday - Ready for Spring!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What I Won in the Mega Millions . . .

People are always telling me how lucky I am.  I can't even count the number of times that I have been told that I should buy a lottery ticket.  However, I am not a gambler.  I refuse to pay money to win something.

It isn't because I think that there is anything wrong with gambling.  I have lots of family and friends that play the lottery quite often.  My mother enjoys spending the occasional day at the local casino.  We used to live near the horse track and would go to the races for a day of family fun once or twice a year.  The reason that I don't gamble is that I think I have an addictive personality.   I can see myself buying a ticket, winning a small amount, then spending more and more trying to get that "high" that comes from a small (or large) windfall.

For my birthday last week, one of my best friends bought me a lottery ticket for the much talked about Mega Millions lottery drawing.  She knows that I don't gamble, but was hoping that my luck combined with her purchase would  result in a rapid cash influx.  We spent the day joking about whether or not I'd share with her if I won as well as what we would do with all that money.

Would I buy a new house?
Nope.  I love my house.  I couldn't ask for a better location or better neighbors.  I would do a little remodeling, but nothing hugely different than what we're hoping to do in the next few years anyway.  I would just have it done now rather than having to wait.

Would I buy a new car?
Yes.  Again, this isn't too different than what we're planning for anyway.  One of our cars has 230,000 miles on it and the other has around 150,000.   They certainly aren't spring chickens anymore.  However, even if we won, I think we'd only replace the older one right now.  Our newer car doesn't really give us any problems and we like it it.  It is comfortable, reliable, and what I'm used to.

What else would I spend my money on?
Nothing that I can think of.  I am not a huge spender.  I like the security of having money in the bank more than I like most things I can buy with it.  I don't have any dream items I've been coveting.  While I love the look of the rooms in a furniture store catalog, I also love the comfort of my mismatched, lived-in rooms.   I like the little stains and the memories of where they've come from.  Don't get me wrong . . . there are days when I get frustrated with the lack of perfection . . . but more often than not, I'm happy with what I have.

Would I share?
Of course!  However, I wouldn't share with anyone that expected it or claimed that they deserved it.  I would share with my family and friends that  know how to appreciate all the little things in life.  

So, what did I win with my ticket?
$3 :o)
The entertainment that came with the discussion of what I'd do with the winnings.
The realization that I really am as lucky as everyone says, just in a different way.  I have an AMAZING family, IRREPLACEABLE friends, and everything I need to make me HAPPY.

What more could a girl ask for!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

So, I'm a little late . . .

That shouldn't surprise anyone that knows me.

I guess I was having so much fun celebrating St. Patrick's Day that I just didn't get a chance to post about it until now.

There actually isn't that much to share . . . EXCEPT these:

Last year I saw the recipe on Smitten Kitchen after St. Patrick's Day and thought, "I need to remember this for next year!"  Surprisingly, this year I remembered.  When I searched a bit more I found almost the same recipe on Lemon-Sugar, but it made more frosting . . . and I LOVE frosting!  So, I used Erin's recipe and have to say that these may have been the best cupcakes I have ever made . . . maybe even eaten!   If you have a little extra time, Guiness, Jameson, and Bailey's, they are definitely worth the effort.