Foodie Friday: Bacon Pancakes

Kurt saw it online once. So we did it. Or rather, he did it. I documented it.

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First, he cooked the bacon in the smart oven…

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…while making pancake batter.

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Once the bacon was all lovely, he laid it down in the pan and poured pancake batter over it.

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I started the hot water pitcher so I could have peppermint chocolate tea and he could have hot chocolate.

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The pancakes cooked perfectly. Okay, he burned them a little.

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And that is what they looked like done. The bacon is lovingly embedded in the pancake. Nothing has been over or undercooked, but man, do you need a tall glass of water to wash this down. I couldn’t finish mine in one sitting. Luckily, when we made these, I had the day off, so I had the time to eat the rest of my pancake later.

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Oh and there’s our chocolate and tea. On nom nom.

Would you try bacon pancakes?

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Thrifting Thursday: Thanksgiving Post!

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This is what I wore to Thanksgiving dinner today. Kurt said I looked like a well-dressed Jedi, so I’m posing like I’m using the Force or something. The belt ended up being too tight, so I left it in the car and just wore the scarf like a normal person would wear a scarf. I probably got the scarf at a Goodwill for $4, and the dress underneath it for $10. It’s a sweater dress with short sleeves and a big floppy collar. But this post isn’t about the clothes.

This year, Kurt and I had planned to fly to Missouri for Thanksgiving. His parents bought the tickets before Kurt knew for certain whether he’d have to work or not. He had just started a new job at Fred Meyer, and by the time he asked for the time off, it was already too late. He was scheduled to work all week. And having only Thanksgiving day off, we decided it would cost too much to go down to Cowiche to see my family if we were going to go down there for Christmas anyway, so we ended up having dinner with Kurt’s great-uncle Charles and great-aunt Bobbie in Shoreline, a 25-minute drive north-west of Kirkland. Charles has eight kids. Only three of them were there, but it was still a full house. All three are married, and there are five kids between two of the couples. One family had also brought two exchange students with them. We had already met about half of the party at previous visits to Charles and Bobbie’s house.

Dinner was delicious. Typical turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. After everyone had finished, we discovered that this family was Jewish, for they all recited a short prayer in Hebrew while Charles lit the menorah for the first night of Hanukkah. Apparently, the last time Hanukkah started on Thanksgiving was in the year 1888, and the next time will be in the year 81056. Special indeed! And Bobbie had planned gifts for everyone who came! She took such care finding the right book for each person, as she buys books for Hanukkah every year, with each recipient in mind specifically. Kurt got “Beloved” by Toni Morrison and I got “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. How did she know that my favorite genre of literature (besides murder mysteries) is futuristic dystopia? When all the books were distributed, we dug into the pumpkin and apple pie and chocolate chip cookies.

When we were all full, most of the adults sat down to a game of Taboo. My team won. Charles’ son Dans (?) told me afterward that I was really good at the game, to which I replied, “I grew up playing a lot of Catchphrase with my family, just to pass the time. You get really good at clues. When my brother and I first played it with our college friends, they thought we were telepathic.” Which is true. We had a good time laughing at the little girls running around and being generally silly, sharing about our jobs and how we met, and just listening to a big happy family interact. It was a good Thanksgiving. I’m glad we had somewhere to go even though our original plan fell through. It all worked out. It really is a blessing that Kurt has some family here, with his parents and cousins being off in Missouri or Colorado and all of his friends being all over the country. He misses them all the time. I’m thankful this year that we still had someone to break bread with when we couldn’t see either of our immediate families. It was a good night.

Webster’s Wednesday: Defiant

(adjective)

: refusing to obey something or someone : full of defiance

 Full Definition
:  full of or showing defiance :  boldimpudent <defiantrebels> <a defiant refusal>
— de·fi·ant·ly adverb

Origin

Middle French, from Old French, present participle of defier, to defy.

First Known Use
1583

Example:

Addison is extremely defiant. So am I, though less so than when I was a child. I feel for my mother, because today, I cannot fathom why children are so defiant sometimes. What is the thought process? What is the point? Why is it so hard just to do what I say? It’s not like I’m asking her to do things she doesn’t normally want to do or that are difficult or unpleasant. She’s taking the more difficult path by defying me and I cannot figure out why she can’t understand that. I now understand my parents’ frustrations with me. Though I can’t remember being this ridiculous. There seems to be absolutely no reason for her defiance. Today, I asked her to put away her toys before her nap, which is never a problem, and she actually said, “No,” which she knows is not OK. When asking clearly didn’t work, I firmly told her to do it, which resulted in vacant stares, shuffling around, and very slowly putting things where they go. As a result, I didn’t read the book I usually read to her before her nap, one that she loves. Her mom got home before she woke up, so I didn’t have to deal with her anymore, and I made sure to tell her mom how she’d been acting. It was rather out of character and I don’t understand it. I’m trying a reward system, in which she gets stars for doing certain things on the “chore chart” and doesn’t get a star if she resists at all. For every 20 stars, she gets a special treat of her choosing. It’s really helped for a while, but today’s attitude was just strange. What do I even do when she’s being blatantly disobedient and time outs and a firm tone do nothing? I’m not about to spank someone else’s kid… I guess it’s good that I’m learning these things before I have my own kids.

Misconceptions of a Godly Woman

Urban Hallelujah

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I realize that this post may offend certain people: Good people, who I would probably really get along with otherwise…

But for the record, I am not sorry.

Last week’s post Worthy of Rubies was me, buttoned up in my ‘Sunday’s best’ and smiling pretty. But over the last couple of days a fire has come over me and I can’t keep silent.

You see, I hate when women stand before other women and use their platform to hide behind facades of ideal marriages, perfect specimens of children and strong opinions on the likes of breastfeeding, vaccines and church politics…

I cringe when the Kim Kardashian’s of the world pose half-naked in an attempt to prove that they are still sexy, when any ‘real mom’ feels like anything but!

When friends on Facebook post statuses like “ …Made 6 loaves of banana bread, ran 12.8 miles, fed the homeless…

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Newsday Tuesday: 10,000-year-old House Uncovered

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Road workers were only trying to widen a highway running through the city of Beit Semesh, Israel, when they stumbled upon the anthropological find of a lifetime. That’s where the archaeologists jumped in. After much digging, they discovered the ruins of a 10,000-year-old house and possible evidence of a “cultic” temple. Amir Golani of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) says, “The large excavation affords us a broad picture of the progression and development of the society in the settlement throughout the ages”. Naturally, buildings thousands of years old have been unearthed before in this area, but the house dug up this week is the very oldest found Judean Shephelah, the west plains of Jerusalem. Near the house were found flint and limestone axes, a sign that it was one of the first forms of permanent housing humanity has developed. The ruins mark the transition from a nomadic hunter/gatherer society  to a farming society.

Nearby, a structure is thought to be a cultic temple, more than 6,000 years old. The clue that pointed toward it being such a temple and not just any building was a standing stone, 4 feet tall with 6 smoothed-down sides and pointing, like an arrow, due east. Officials of IAA are very excited about these findings because the artifacts and fossils they have dug up (and will continue to dig up) will illustrate just at which point in history humans began to start forming modern civilization as we know it, growing from simple wandering hunters to traders, farmers, and merchants who can advance society and ideas much more than anyone could before. I wish I could have been there. It’s crazy to think that in America, our cities are only a couple of hundred years old, if that, but in other parts of the world, you can unearth pieces of history that completely change your perspective on not just your town, but all of humanity. It’s a beautiful thing. One day, when I can afford it, I’ll visit the middle east and see places like this, but for now, I guess I can settle for reading stories in the news.

Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/10-000-year-old-house-among-amazing-finds-unearthed-israel-2D11650799

Marriage Monday: The Secret To A Long Marriage

Ann Betar, 98, and her husband John, 102, laugh in their Fairfield, Connecticut home just days before their anniversary.

John and Ann Betar of Bridgeport, Connecticut celebrated their wedding anniversary today. At 81 years together, they currently have the longest-lasting marriage in America. They married on this day in 1932, after running away together to New York. Ann’s father wanted her to marry a man who was 20 years older than her, presumably for the money and social status, but Ann, 17, had other ideas. She was already in love with John, 21, the boy across the street. Today, they are 98 and 102, respectively, and they say their marriage has remained strong because of the family they have built together. They have 5 children, 14 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. 

Their secrets to their long-lasting and successful marriage seem like no-brainers, but are so easily forgotten by so many couples today. John says, “Don’t hold a grudge. Forgive each other. Live accordingly.” Ann says, “We are very fortunate. It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing.”The young bride and groom actually had to flee their tight-knit Connecticut neighborhood because her father wanted her to wed another man.

 

Who is the longest-married couple you know? What do you think is the secret to a successful marriage?

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/longest-married-couple-celebrates-81st-wedding-article-1.1528689

Foodie Friday: Rain City Burgers

There’s this little burger joint across the street from where I catch my first bus home after nannying 4 days a week. It’s on NE 65th St and Roosevelt Way in the Ravenna neighborhood in Seattle. On Tuesday, Addison’s dad, Scott, came home from work a little early, so I got to leave while Addison was still napping. Of course, this was before dinner. I had only eaten some cereal in the last, oh, 20 hours or so, and I had been thinking about checking out one of the many sources of awesome smells surrounding me at that stop for weeks. I figured, why not?

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That’s what it looks like from the outside. I didn’t take the picture; I found it here. It’s a very small, but is arranged so that plenty of people can still eat together and separately without feeling cramped. The menu had a lot of interesting-sounding burgers, but I stayed on the safe side and ordered a bacon cheeseburger and a root beer. I didn’t even notice until the cashier, who was very friendly, handed it to me, but the root beer was Thomas Kemper! Score!

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The burger dripped a little, but not too much. The meat was perfectly done, and the bacon was crispy and juicy. The cheese was the perfect balance of a little melted yet still solid, the lettuce was fresh, and the bun was thick, soft, and delicious. There were even 3 pickle chips, instead of the usual 2 you’d find at McDonalds. I had forgotten to ask for no tomatoes or onions, so I took those off, and they didn’t leave residue, so I knew it was made to order, fast and fresh. Their menu and website boasts the greenest methods around, which is very Seattle. In the About Us page, they say they serve “only fresh and natural beef patties with no added hormones, no antibiotics and 100% vegetarian fed diet.” I can never detect by taste if my food is any of those things, but I do love burgers that don’t fall apart in your hands or make you feel like you’re about to break out in a face full of pimples within 5 minutes. This one was perfect.

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The walls were covered in Seattle sports paraphernalia, printed news stories and blog posts praising the restaurant, and framed awards from the city for being so green.

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All in all, a good place to grab a quick, delicious, and environmental-conscious bite to eat. 🙂

Where do you get your favorite burger?

Thrifting Thursday: Vintage Gold

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I found this lovely dress in a Value Village while on a scavenger hunt in Yakima, WA about two years ago. I’ve only danced in it a few times, and it is made (hand-made!) in such a way that I can twirl in it and I don’t have to wear leggings underneath, despite being pretty short. It’s twirly without being revealing! Score!

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I love the beading, sequins, and printing details!Image

I got these Bally shoes at Goodwill in Ellensburg for only $3. They were originally about $150 at Nordstrom, and then marked down to $108, and then donated to Goodwill at some point. The Nordstrom sale tag was still stuck on the sole and it looked very old. I can’t dance in them, but I love wearing them to parties because they always get compliments. Image

What’s the oldest thing in your wardrobe?

Webster’s Wednesday: Budget

Budget (noun):

1. chiefly dialect :  a usually leather pouch, wallet, or pack; also:  its contents
3. a quantity (as of energy or water) involved in, available for, or assignable to a particular situation; also :  an account of gains and losses of such a quantity <the global carbon budget>
4 .a.  a statement of the financial position of an administration for a definite period of time based on estimates of expenditures during the period and proposals for financing them
 b.  a plan for the coordination of resources and expenditures
 c.  the amount of money that is available for, required for, or assigned to a particular purpose
 
Budget (verb):
1. a.  to put or allow for in a budget

 b. to require to adhere to a budget
2. a.  to allocate funds for in a budget <budget a new hospital>
b.  to plan or provide for the use of in detail <budgeting man power>
 
Budgeting is not something I used to do, but now that Kurt and I are completely on our own and just starting to not struggle anymore, budgeting has become a neurotic habit of mine. Whenever I’m stressed about money, I de-stress by going through my day planner and calculating each paycheck as they get closer, marking on each payday exactly how much I will tentatively be getting. I like knowing if I can survive or not. And right now, we can. In fact, things are getting better! Kurt got a job at Fred Meyer after quitting at Teavana and is getting tons of hours, and I have quit at Gymboree and extended my hours at Victoria’s Secret and am in turn getting more hours as well! Add that to my nannying job and you’ve got a sweet deal. With student loans, however, we still have to watch our spending everyday. We don’t go out to eat very often, and we haven’t gone to see a movie in ages. I rarely go dancing. We make sure we are aware of how much money we have at any given time and that we have enough to last us until the next bill can be paid. I guess what we do is less budgeting and more planning. We write our work schedules (and Kelle writes hers) on the same calendar, so we have a visual idea of how tight (or not) money will be in the next month.
 
A few months ago, we planned out an estimate of how much each paycheck would be, listed the dates for each paycheck, along with the dates of each bill, for the next two months. We added and subtracted everything until we came to the conclusion that we would survive as long as we didn’t spend money that we didn’t need to. And now we’re over budget because back, we hadn’t anticipated Kurt’s Fred Meyer job! He’s also started tutoring on Tutor.com! If things keep improving like this, soon we’ll be able to pay off my student loans in less than 10 years and eliminate our credit card debt in only a few months! 
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I realize that I did forget to carry a 1 in this picture. Ignore it. It was pointed out to me and I fixed my math, so don’t worry.
 
How neurotic are you about your budget?