How Time Flies By…

Lake Harriet: CJ’s 7 month Photos

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It’s days like these where I remember why I live in this crazy place called Minnesota. Minnesota is known as the coldest state in the country. Little do people realize, viagra buy decease it is also usually one of the hottest states in the country as well. Last Summer, purchase at the same time we had a week of 90 degree days. Now, if you live in AZ or CA you might think we are just a bunch of complaining midwesterners, but add in 95% humidity and the temperature rises well above the 100 degrees mark. We even joke that our state fair is called The Great Minnesota Sweat together. ;) Minnesota is hot and sticky in the summer. It’s like we invented humidity. Seriously. But there are three weeks in the Spring and three weeks in the Fall that are pure magic. These days are full of sunny skies, no humidity, Spring buds or beautiful Fall leaves and everyone who lives here, finds any and every excuse to stay outside just a little longer. It’s close to Fall here, but we are still a good couple of weeks away from true fall weather, but today is perfect. 76 degrees and NO humidity. The sky is the most beautiful shade of sky blue with just a few wisps of puffy clouds lazing about. The Sun is hot and strong on your back, and there is the slightest of breezes that just manages to cool you off without rippling the lake water. CJ and I decided that it would be a great day to do a little impromptu photo shoot. So we headed out to Lake Harriet armed with his trusty Winnie the Pooh quilt and a few toys and mama’s fancy black box that makes funny noises (my camera) After all he is seven months old now… and we need to savor each and every moment of Summer.  I guess time flies when you are having fun.

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Sunday Funday

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Sundays are ALWAYS fun days in our family! This gloomy and rainy Sunday we decided to spend at the Como Zoo and Conservatory with my dear friend Emily and her beautiful family. It was like the rain held out just for us so that we could have our day of fun. Henry wanted to see the Giraffes and the Lions especially so we started our journey there.

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Besides looking at Lions and Tigers and Bears, generic cialis clinic OH MY, we also spent a few hot and humid minutes in the Conservatory. If you ever find yourself in Saint Paul and you are looking for something fun to do, go to the Conservatory. It’s quite simply, natural beauty contained within the most intricate and fanciful glass dome you’ve ever seen. Plants and flowers that you know must have inspired Dr. Suess himself grown with wild abandon, amongst a backdrop of 1920’s art deco glass and sculpture work.

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IMG_3084cWe finished off our trip to the Zoo with a ride on the Carousel that was built in 1914 that remains on the grounds of the Conservatory and Zoo. This was CJ’s first time on a ride, and I love that he rode a Carousel for the first one. I will never forget holding on for dear life to him and the horse he rode on, watching the wonder in his eyes with each turn the Carousel took. Round and round, the bright lights shining through the gloom, the loud overly boisterous band music playing a cheerful tune. The up and down glide of the ornately hand carved and hand painted horse. The laugh shining in my son’s eyes as he experienced it all for the very first time. These are memories that I will never forget, they are etched on my heart forever.

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What is it about looking through the eyes of a child that makes you see the wonder and magic of the world all over again? I can’t help but smile when I see these moments of wonder and happiness on our kids faces.

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What did y’all do for fun this Sunday?

 

Down the Rabbit Hole: 4 Cheeseburger Recipes That Don’t Require Buns part 3

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My sister is back with part three of her four part series of the delicious things you can do when you find yourself without buns in your kitchen. I think she likes to get crazier and crazier with the names with each passing part. This recipe is called: Bacasta Burgballs. WHERE DOES SHE COME UP WITH THESE NAMES?! I’ll leave it to her to explain…

As usual, cialis canada case I had remembered to thaw ground beef. I thought I would make meatballs with pasta sauce or a meat sauce to go on the pasta if I was feeling less ambitious when the time came to make dinner. Upon opening the pantry I saw no pasta sauce (nor anything to make a pasta sauce with) and I did not have the pasta I thought I had leftover, viagra canada hospital instead I had plain elbow macaroni.

Inspired by the elbow macaroni, I began melting butter and shredded cheese in a sauce pan, thinking I could make some version of macaroni and cheese with meatballs. Suddenly it dawned on me that this was basically another form of Hamburger Helper and I knew I needed to change my course quickly.
Remembering my former success with cheeseburger materials, Bacasta Burgballs (Bacon Pasta Burger Meat Balls) was formed.
 Here it is:
Bacon – optional, as much or as little as you would like to use.
Pasta - I used spaghetti this time around and prefer it. One package.
Ground Beef – at least one third of a pound, more if you want bigger and more meatballs.
Pickle juice – Yep. Just the juice. 6-8oz.
Seasonings (optional/substitute for your preference – onion powder, A-1, garlic, salt and pepper. Use a little, use a lot, to taste or based on what you have in your pantry.
Shredded Cheese – 3 cups for really cheesy, 2 cups for just cheesy. You could probably also melt down cubed cheese, or slices if you needed to, I’ve just never tried it.
Butter, salted – 4 tbls
Olive Oil - for putting in the pasta water (optional – I think starch helps the cheese sauce to stick, but without thinking I made it with olive oil in the water and it worked well anyway)
0. Before you do anything, put water in a pot with olive oil (optional) on the range to boil.
1. Cook the bacon – pan fry to done, but not too crispy (because you want to be able to pick it up with a fork in this dish, and if it’s too crispy it will crumble when a tine impales it)
2. While the bacon is cooking, mix hamburger meat with seasonings by hand, blending everything so it’s even. I used onion powder, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 tbls. A-1 sauce.
3. Put the cooked bacon on a paper towel, aside. 

4. Form the ground beef into meatballs. Smaller meatballs if you have less meat (so it feels like there are more of them for each bite–mini meatballs are fine and maybe even so cute they’re fun). I try to keep my meatballs 1inch in diameter or less. As you form each meatball, place it in the pan that you just cooked the bacon in (heat should be off for right now), so that it can cook in the bacon grease.
5. Once all the meatballs are in the pan, turn the range on to medium-low. Simmer meatballs, turning to another side once they brown. They should look like burgers when you flip them over.

6. Cut up or tear up the bacon into bits. I like big bits so you can taste it more–that way one bacon bit in a bite is really noticeable. Helps especially when you don’t have a lot of burger meat.
 
7. Add the pasta to the boiling water. Check the package based on the type of pasta you use for how long to boil it for. Reminder: if your pasta will boil quickly, start it after your meatballs are mostly cooked. If it will take awhile, start it before your meatballs.
8. Melt shredded cheese and butter in a sauce pan on med-low heat (do not let it boil and do not let the butter burn!) and stir regularly to make as smooth as possible (will never be completely smooth). Once you feel it’s sufficiently melted, add the pickle juice and turn heat to low.
9. Remove cooked meatballs from dish and set on a paper towel (to soak up grease)
10. Strain pasta, do not rinse.
11. Put pasta, cheese sauce, meatballs and bacon in a large bowl and stir thoroughly.
Serve!
Tip: If your meatballs and bacon get done before everything else, put them in a bowl and nuke em in the microwave for 30 seconds right before you add the cheese sauce (this can stay on the stove on low, so no worries about that getting cold) and pasta.
Ta da! Bacasta Burgball deliciousness.