I made biscuits and sausage gravy Saturday morning. This was the first time I'd ever made gravy from scratch, but it turned out well, although I think the next time I make it I'll use less sausage and more milk.
In preparation for our company at 6 o' clock, we cleaned the house after breakfast. The kids worked on cleaning their rooms and putting away their clothes, Jaden scrubbed the guest bathroom (it's really amazing what that kid will do to earn PlayStation/computer time), and Jeff did the laundry, cleaned the back yard and porch, and washed the outside of the windows around the house.
My job was to clean the dining, living, and kitchen areas.
This included the bar that separates our kitchen from the living room. Since we don't eat at the bar, I normally keep the bar covered with a couple dozen photo frames to prevent the build-up of random clutter. Unfortunately, that also means it's really easy to let the dust accumulate among the picture frames.
As you can see here.
The bar was so dusty, I decided to write this in the dust—just for fun.
I left the room, and when I came back, Jaden had added this.
After I washed both the counter and the photo frames, I put the frames back on the bar—arranged a little differently of course.
I love having pictures out around the house—I just counted, and there are 75 free-standing photo frames in my living room alone—but it's so hard to keep up with the dust that accompanies them. But we can't just leave the bar empty, because empty counters in our house attract clutter. So for now, I'll just deal with the dust and the frames.
After we cleaned the house, I started preparing for our 6 o' clock dinner. I first made up some taco seasoning (recipe below) and added it to the skillet as I warmed up the beef from the freezer. Then I made another batch of enchilada sauce since the 12 ounces I had leftover from Friday was not going to be enough. I was then able to make up a large batch of the wet burritos using the enchilada sauce, leftover tortillas from Friday, another can of refried beans, salsa, seasoned ground beef, and the Colby/Jack cheese I purchased Friday.
I also made some Spanish rice from scratch (recipe below).
Since this was the first time I'd made this recipe, and I wanted to make sure it tasted okay (in other words, if it was awful, I'd have time to run to the store and buy a box of Spanish rice before dinner) I started making it fairly early. Early enough that it was completely done by 4:30.
Thankfully, it tasted just fine. But then I had to figure out what to do with the rice since it was done so early.
Since dinner was only an hour and a half away, instead of putting the rice in the fridge and then heating it back up again for dinner, I turned the oven on warm and left it in there to stay warm for dinner.
At 5 o' clock, an hour before our guest was to arrive, I still hadn't showered or gotten ready yet. And suddenly I realized I hadn't thought of anything for dessert. Slightly frantic—but not overly so—I searched through my pantry and found a package of gingerbread mix. I quickly mixed it together and set it aside so I could slip it in the oven once the burritos were finished.
I was in the shower by 5:20 and was completely dressed—makeup and all—by 5:45. I put the dish of wet burritos in the oven and the corn in the microwave. The doorbell rang at 6 o' clock promptly, and we were at the table eating by 6:15 (after the kids kidnapped showed our guest their rooms, of course). I made sure I put the gingerbread in the oven before we sat down to eat, so the dessert was hot and ready to eat as soon as dinner was over.
We spent the rest of the evening playing board games—the kids' choice of games, of course. This meant we played Taboo, Apples to Apples, and Bug-opoly. The winners of each game were Jeff and me, our guest, and Jerah respectively.
After the games, we introduced our guest to "Lost" (our newest addiction). We watched the premier episode together, and by the time it was over it was 10 o' clock and time for our guest to leave for home. The kids stayed up for one more episode before they went to bed, and then Jeff and I watched two more episodes after that.
Jeff and I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. And I sure am tired this morning.
Make sure you check out Kate's and Toni's blogs to see how their "3 Moms, 3 Kitchens, 31 Days" weekend has gone. Toni's weekend I'm sure was a little different since she left for vacation today (Sunday). It should be interesting to see how she manages to feed her family while sitting by the pool all week (just kidding, Toni!).
6 tsp of chili powder
5 tsp paprika
4 1?2 tsp cumin
2 1?2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Use within 6 months.
- When adding this seasoning to ground beef, add 1/2 to 3/4 cups of water to the beef and simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
- Makes about 7 tablespoons. Two generous tablespoons (7 teaspoons) is about equivalent to one package of taco seasoning mix.
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups white rice
~4 cups chicken broth NOTE: Use the amount of water that your package of rice recommends.
1 can diced tomatoes with chilis
1/8 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
- In a large skillet brown the rice in olive oil over medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for about 4 more minutes or until the onions are softened.
- In a separate sauce pan bring chicken broth to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and rice/onion/garlic mixture.
- Bring to a simmer, then cover and do lift the lid or stir it while it cooks. Lower heat and cook for 15-25 minutes (it depends on the type of rice you're using. Refer to the instructions on the rice package).
- Remove from heat and let the rice sit for 5 minutes.