Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Easy Dinner Idea :: BBQ Burger Rolls

My brother and I were suuuuuuper picky as kids. We did not enjoy most of the dinners our poor mom served. But this dish I'm going to share with you was always a winner. My mom called it "the Crescent Roll Thing." She was not especially creative when it came to naming her dinners. She has another recipe called Chicken Blah, I kid you not.

Obviously my mom did not love to cook, but regardless, we ate at the table as a family every weeknight. My mom had a homemade dinner ready when my dad got home from work, and we all sat together; held hands while my dad prayed, and had dinner as a family. Its one of those things you take for granted as a kid, but when you grow up and have your own family you're like whoa, that was really awesome. Especially now that my dad is gone, I'm so grateful for the countless nights I sat at his left and held his hand while he prayed for us. I'm determined that my little family will experience such wonderful routines too.

OK, the recipe for goodness sake! While in my mind, I call this dish 'Crescent Roll Thing,' I think "BBQ Burger Roll" is more descriptive as regards the flavor and contents. This is an easy - four ingredient! - fairly inexpensive dinner that I guarantee your family will love, since even my pickiest eater not only enjoys it but goes back for seconds.

Here's what you need:

2 lb. ground beef
2 things of Pillsbury crescent roll dough (what are those even called? Tubes? Cans?)
BBQ sauce, to taste
shredded cheese, to taste

Note: 1 lb. of meat and 1 can of dough is plenty for a family of four if your kids are young, but we like to overeat and also have leftovers for lunches, so I double it. Just FYI.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or whatever your dough directions say).

Brown & drain the ground beef. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat to low. Add enough BBQ sauce to the browned meat to make it nice & saucy - not TOO saucy, but just right, like this:

Someday I will learn how to take nice photos of food at night without a flash.
But as Aragorn so aptly said, "it is not this day!"
You can be flexible and add as much or as little sauce as your peeps like. We keep ours on the less saucy side to appease pickier palates. For reference, the bottle of BBQ sauce I had was 3/4 full; I used all of it and that was just right for two pounds of meat.

Now add the shredded cheese. Again, just enough to make it nice & cheesy, but not an overload, I'd say about 1/4 of a cup, but do what you like!

Yum. Now stir it in and let it sit for a minute while you get the dough ready. First, lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Open one can of dough and unroll it onto a cutting board. Separate it into two long rectangles; pinch the seams together and push the dough around with your fingers so its spread out a bit:

Next, move your dough to the cookie sheet; re-pinch any holes, and spoon on the meat mixture:

There is usually a little bit leftover which is perfect for tossing into a salad or tortilla for somebody's lunch the next day.

Sprinkle some cheese on top ...

And then pop open your second canister of dough. I always laugh at the warning to point it away from your face while opening. There must be a housewife out there somewhere, sporting an eyepatch due to an unfortunate crescent roll dough incident.

Follow the same directions for the first can (spreading out on cutting board, pinching etc), then lay the rectangles on top of the cheesy meat mixture. Pull and stretch the dough so the top layer comes down to mostly cover the meat.

This is obviously not the prettiest or most gourmet dinner out there. It goes without saying, right? We're using canned dough, for heaven's sake. This is America, people.

Fold up the bottom layer of dough and pinch it with the top layer to seal off all the edges.

Now for the fun part - egg wash! I am a firm believer that "egg wash" takes a meal from ghetto to presentable. "The dough has an egg wash, you see. Very gourmet." Mix an egg with a teaspoon or two of water, and brush it over the top layer. Ooooh, shiny!

If you don't have a brush, fingers work just fine; that's what I used. Dribble & smear, dribble & smear.

Now pop your adorable doughy bundles into the oven for the time recommended on the dough canisters (I recommend the longest suggested time). Use that time to whip up a nice green salad and heat up a can of corn or steam some broccoli or something. Canned dough = you need vegetable sides.

Take your bundles out of the oven and marvel at the gorgeousness the egg wash created.

Slice and serve!

Make sure to be a really amateur blogger and get a big glob of Ranch dressing in your corn and not bother to fix it before photographing your dinner. This is definitely not the most photogenic meal, that's for sure. And my kitchen is NOT good for shooting flash-less food photos in the evening. But hey, what's better than a cheap, everyone's-happy meal? And remember ....

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Apparently I'm Obese! Does it Matter?

Yesterday I went to the doctor for the first time in who knows how long. We switched our health insurance recently, so I guess you would call this appointment a "meet and greet." I shared some of my concerns (horrific Ganglion cyst on my wrist, and please check my thyroid because if its not my thyroid making me crazy then I'm pretty sure I'm peri-menopausal, etc.). The new doctor was great. We talked about my concerns; she handed me some papers and directed me downstairs for a blood draw, which I accomplished without fainting, score!

I got in my car and thumbed through the paperwork the doctor had given me. On the first page were all the random stats and boring stuff. A few pages in, however, was a recommendation for a diet and exercise plan.

Why would they put that in there? I mean, yeah, I'm pleasantly plump, but whatevs. I went back to the front page with the boring stuff and noticed my BMI. Hmm. Let's Google what a healthy BMI is.

Dudes. I won't share my BMI, but apparently I fall into the Obese catagory. I spent the next couple minutes alternating between laughing hysterically at my Obese self, and feeling pretty ashamed.

I had been planning to treat myself to McDonald's for lunch after my appointment, but instead I went home and didn't eat anything until dinner.

Let's backtrack to the start of my doctor visit. Of course the worst part about seeing the doctor is being weighed, right? And of course their scale adds pounds (the scales made for home use are worthless pieces of crap, did you know that?). I grimaced as I saw my weight, but I was not surprised. I am very aware that I am at my all-time heaviest. My glorious collection of pencil skirts are currently out of the question without Spanx - I probably shouldn't be wearing them even with Spanx. I have created a rubber-band buttonhole contraption for my favorite leopard-print skirt so that I can squeeze into it with Spanx. I have many skirts in my closet that I cannot wear no matter what Spanx/contraption I try. #funtimes.

I weigh more now than I did both times I was pregnant.

Let's emphasize this point:  I weigh more now than I did the times I had another human living inside my body.

Ever since my dad died, I have been at my worst physical (and emotional) state in my entire life. Even worse than post-partum & hormonal & leaking from all sorts of personal areas. Mostly it's because I started experiencing anxiety & panic attacks during my dad's illness, and it hasn't gone away. So every day of my life now includes a weird underlying nervousness; never feeling quite right and/or relaxed. It means dizzy spells and heart palpitations and random blurry vision. The paramedics said the anxiety makes me not breathe right, so I hyperventilate. Yeah, I called 911 one time when I was home alone; I thought I was having a stroke. I also do not sleep well, so I wake up every morning exhausted, which means I start my day with coffee and switch to Diet Coke at lunch, and then at night move on to a cocktail or two so I can sleep just a little .. and then it starts all over again the next morning. Clearly I am not in top physical shape.

But still, I do not feel obese. I am 5'5" and wear a size 14. Is that obese?! I guess according to the BMI charts, it must be! I definitely realize that I need to lose weight and that I should be exercising. But I would never call myself obese. Am I in denial?

After my Obese Diagnosis, I sent a text message to a good friend (who also struggles with her weight) to tell her my exciting news. We laughed together and sent each other photos of the garbage-y foods we were both consuming at that moment. At one point I commented that hey, we must be OK because our hubbies still seem to find us attractive.

Her reply was: "what choice do they have?"

I have been thinking about that ever since she said it.

Seriously. What choice do our husbands have? They can either a) go find a skinny girl to have an affair with, and ruin everyone's life, or b) climb into bed each night with their overweight, squishy wife who birthed their children and washes their dirty underwear and cooks dinner for them.

Don't our husbands deserve clean homes and yummy dinners AND thin wives?

Why are you hesitating? Of course they do. But, should women really need to be skinny/fit to be attractive to their husbands? Absolutely not.

I am a person who struggles to be fit. My body wants to be plump. I am not fun when I am freaking out about my gym routine and my meal plan. Nobody likes a person who has to weigh their food. I don't want to model that kind of behavior for my children.

I want to serve my family a delicious meal each night that we can all enjoy together at the table. I make our dinners from scratch, down to the lettuce for our nightly salads - I don't buy the pre-washed, bagged stuff. We get takeout or pizza maybe a couple times a month. I want to teach my boys that eating yummy food is a gift we should enjoy. We don't pig out on crap all day long and we don't starve ourselves (I've done both those things and I don't want my boys to assume that is normal behavior in females and therefore choose wives who are extreme in either area).

But I'm still obese!

And I don't like having to fancy up button-hole contraptions for my favorite skirts! What's the alternative? Diet and exercise! Ugh!

Update: I did not tell Poodie about my obese news. Until he went to the doctor the following week and got the same diagnosis. He later learned the heartburn he's suffered from for years is officially GERD. We laughed and laughed at our fat selves and said yes, its time to make some changes around here. I am not looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Annnnd we're back.

Obviously, its been a while. I won't go into the whole Tirade Of Why. Its just life! You understand. I am happy to announce that some things have changed around here and I am super motivated to blog!!

Things you will see on Momthentic in the future:
  • More oversharing of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I love my kids more than life itself but wow, they are a LOT of work sometimes. Its a good thing they're so cute & funny. My mom always said "God made babies so cute because if they're weren't, you'd throw them right in the garbage." I am a firm believer that humor & sarcasm go a LONG way towards keeping one's sanity. Sane mama = happy mama.
  • Decor and home projects, mostly involving #projectbbg (Brown Be Gone). We bought & updated this house in 2005. I was working full time and 7 months pregnant with our first child. I was tired and nesting and just wanted the Pottery Barn catalog to tell me what to do. But Pottery Barn is not our style anymore. Our home needs to better reflect our personalities; even my hubby agrees! I have a looooot of work ahead of me. Some brown things, like expensive bathroom vanities & tile & laminate flooring, will have to stay, due to the budget (which is zero since my hubby hasn't had a paycheck in five months, woohoo!).
  • Family tested recipes. My kids aren't super picky, but they're regular picky. If they like something then its pretty safe to say most kids will like it too.
  • A smidge of homeschooling. We just started with our youngest (big brother starts next year) so as a newbie I will be trying things on for size and figuring out what works and what doesn't.
My dad passed away 19 months ago. I inherited his iPad. He had a few sites bookmarked and one of them was this blog. My sweet dad ......  I always made him laugh, and he liked to chat with me about the few random posts I'd put up before he died. If anything, I've got to keep on blogging in his memory.