Monday, January 23, 2012

Ten Dollar Turkey Roasting Pan

So around thanksgiving we were in need of a turkey roasting pan. Nathan wanted to invest in a multi-hundred dollar pan that would last us the rest of our lives and also would be not non-stick so that crispy bits from the turkey form and make a better gravy, while I distinctly felt like something in a lower price range would probably do the trick since we only roast a turkey once a year... and I was ok with non-stick (horror of horrors). Anyways, when we saw a turkey pan for 10 bucks at QFC, we decided that the price and the delay of making a roasting pan decision (especially with thanksgiving so close at hand) made it worth it, although normally I am not in favor of basically disposable items. Well, it turned out for the best that we had a cheap pan that was non-stick all the way around because this last week it snowed, and there's nothing like Teflon to get you going.

Here are some folks sledding down Mercer right by our house. There were people going down in garbage can lids, on shovels, plastic siding, and on those land-use notification signs.

This is a video of us, although we are on the far side of the hill and then end up behind some people for a bit. It's a little hard to see. Nathan is in back with the roasting pan and I am in front of him on 1/3 of a broken saucer sled. It was quite the arrangement. A couple of times we made it past Summit and halfway to Bellevue. 

This is a video I took while we were sledding. Unfortunately our steering is compromised and we run into a street sign.

Me in the roasting pan. Also, nathan and I both have distinct line-shaped bruises across the back of our thighs. We were pretty sore the next day, and our turkey roaster may have hit one too many curbs to be useful next year, but we still got our $10 worth for sure!

our apartment

our snowy street. No one even moved their cars all week.

The snow is totally gone now, but we were glad to have it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Holiday Review!

Somehow it's already mid-January and I have yet to post pictures from the holidays.
All set for christmas eve dinner

Grandma Margaret's recipe for Swedish meatballs- an absolute christmas eve must.
And lucky you! I'm sharing her recipe! (hope that's ok grandma). Actually, I believe the recipe was originally developed by my grandma McCarthy's stepmother/aunt, but the recipe is in my grandmother's words. In any case, they will beat the pants off the Ikea version ANY day of the week.

For each 4-6 people served, make one recipe of meatballs, double for 10, etc. Also depends upon whether meatballs are the main corse or part of a "smorgasbord".

Mix together thoroughly:
1 lb. finely ground lean beef
1/2 cup find dry bread crumbs (can be purchased-- get PLAIN)
1 egg
2/3 cups milk
2 tbsp. grated onion (GRATED not chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Flour to thicken gravy
1 can beef broth
Dill weed (NOT DILL SEED)
Sour cream

Gently form into small balls (1" or so), using the palms of the hands. If hands get sticky, rinse off with water and don't dry (mixture won't stick to wet palms). Arrange on platter or pan of some kind, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or several hours. Brown in small amount of vegetable oil, with a little butter added. Turn them carefully so the don't break apart. Drain on paper towels and remove to casserole with cover. Add flour to fat and bits in the pan, stirring constantly. Add (for each recipe) one can of beef broth. Use whisk to get all the lumps out. Stir until cooked and the consistency you want. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add dill weed to taste. Pour over meatballs, cover and cook in a 325-350 degree oven for 45 min. to an hour. When ready to serve, carefully mix sour cream into the gravy (be careful not to add too much at the start-- perhaps 1/4 cup per recipe-- until you taste it to see what you like).
You can also  cook them 1/2 hour or so an then cool and refrigerate. Then you can skim off any fat that comes to the top of the dish. Put back in the oven and cook at 325 degrees until hot, add sour cream, and serve. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice. 

nathan made some delicious mashed potatoes (thanksgiving redemption) and it pretending to take a huge mouthful. (Side story: we bought a 5 lb pound bag of potatoes and without thinking about it just made them all into mash, which is a lot for two people. We ate almost all of them within a few days, but you don't want to take chances with mashed potatoes, so there were maybe a few cups left when we left the pot on the counter to clean. Somehow we didn't get to cleaning that pot for a day or two, and trust me, we will never make that mistake again...)


Loungin' on christmas day. Kitty decided to move at the last second of course.

Our "hearth"

The stocking I made for Nathan

New Years Eve I had to work, but I got off in time to see the fireworks from our corner and then drink the bottle of champagne Reid and Lindsay sent to us while watching West Wing.

On new years day we went to the international district to get Dim Sum, which is a kind of traditional chinese brunch. We went last year too, but this year it was swamped. We had to wait for 30 min for our reservation in a huge crowd. This year we went with Brian and Kate.

The way Dim Sum works is that ladies come around with carts of little dumplings and other small dishes. And you get a whole bunch of stuff and try them. A lot of it is weird, but that is part of the fun.

It was also beautiful on new years, so we walked over to Volunteer Park where there is an old water tower you can climb up into and you can see 365 degrees around the city.

Then, thanks to some christmas money and some zip car money we upgraded our dining table to one that can actually fit 4 diners, as well as (most importantly) puzzles and games! It even comes with a leaf. We got a couple other home-improvement things too, but I need to take pictures still.

Hope everyone had a happy new year!