Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oh Goodness Gracious is there a Break? -- Royal Round Steak Recipe

So I'm stealing a bit of time this morning to actually sit down to my blog! I know shocking right? Well I have a cup of coffee and I'm ready to tackle this thing.

Okay maybe not ready because I'm not sure where to start. First I guess I will tackle the schedule. I signed the kids back up for swim lessons so things have been crazy again with them going every Tuesday and Thursday.
Gross Out Alert
This past Thursday at swimming Katherine ate a banana before going and then swallowed a big mouth full of pool water and threw up in the pool! Everyone had to leave the pool for the class and instead they had 'safety' day.

With this new crazy schedule it means Tuesdays and Thursdays I have to use my crockpot or rely on meals in boxes. This past Thursday was Royal Round Steak. This is a recipe I've struggled with though I did better this time.


Royal Round Steak (as it reads on the recipe)
1 to 2 lbs beef round steak or stew meat
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 envelope (1 ounce) dry onion soup mix
2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Hot cooked egg noodles

1. Trim round steak and cut into cubes. (Partially freeze meat for easier cutting.)
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides.
3. Combine dry soup mix and canned soup in mixing bowl. Pour mixture into Crock-Pot slow cooker. Add browned meat. Cover and cook on High for 6 to 7 hours.
4. To serve, spoon over egg noodles.

My experience. Well first let me tell you what I used that might be different. I used 1 1/2 lbs stew meat and 10 1/2 ounce cans of soup aka store brand Campbell's is 10 3/4 oz. (Did you realize there was a difference?). The first time I tried this recipe I did it with 1 Tbsp of oil and added only the oil  and I kind of mixed the meat in with the soup removing the oil from the meat before putting it in my crockpot and set it for 6 hrs on High and then it would switch itself to warming. When I arrived home much of the meat was burnt to the bottom and there was a thick layer of burnt soup mixture along the edge. I used a lot of milk and was able to salvage it. The second time I tried to make it the same way but left the oil and juices in the pan when I dumped it in. Much of the same result though not quite as bad.
This was my third attempt because no matter how badly I mess this recipe up the kids keep asking for it and after nearly 6 months of saying, 'no' I finally gave in. This time I used 1 can of Campbell's because I happened to have it around, 1 can of store bought, 1 1/2 lbs stew meat cooked in 2 Tbsp of oil. I put the soup mixture on the bottom of the crock-pot and added the meat WITH the oil and juices on TOP of the soup and made sure the meat wasn't directly touching the edges to start with. I set my crockpot to 8 hours on low but around 6 hours when I got home I switched it over to the warm function of my crockpot for the next few hours until dinner. There was still signs it wanted to do what previous patches did and the top edge was still burnt and the whole thing seemed thick so I added some milk to thin it out. It came out better this time and took less time to fix. I have enough stew meat to do this once more so what I might try is adding some beef broth to it from the beginning to thin it out a little. Maybe half a cup? What do you think?

I've been playing with my dehydrator again. I had 3 discounted apples that were getting to be iffy just because of my time restraint this week and I had 3 banana's that something NEEDED to be done with. I tried the banana's in a 1/2 c Honey mixed with 1/4 c Water. Sadly no matter what I do the bananas come out sticky. They taste okay the girls commented on how much milder the flavor is with the honey because before just dipped in lemon juice your mouth puckered because they were so sweet. I did find something out though the reason my banana chips won't get 'crisp' is because I'm using older bananas also no duh I'm used to grocery store banana chips that have been fried but these homemade ones you need to keep in airtight containers otherwise especially in humid places like Kentucky they will start to rehydrate rather quickly.

Speaking of cooking I had this discounted bark chocolate I picked up a few months back and I picked up strawberries (I still do plan to dehydrate some at some point). And I thought to myself what would be better than chocolate dipped strawberries. Now I've never played with chocolate other than like chocolate chips and it was one of those experiences where I really wish I had a double boiler but this time with the bark chocolate I'm not sure what is different about it but I had no problem with it on the stove top with constant stirring and a low temp.

It has been declared that I must make these more often (and do you see the banana chips we dipped too... yum! Those were first batch of just lemon dipped banana chips). As Katherine put it, "You need to make those more often because they are healthier than just plain chocolate." LOL! I like how my girl thinks!

Brielle got her award for being in Jr. Beta and also got her medals for her solo and trio performances and earning the rank of proficient from the judges! We are very proud of her.

And by this point if you are wondering how I have so much time it is because my husband is working every weekend now and will be for a few months while the new hospital gears up to open and during the first part of it opening.

Well that's pretty much it. I got part of my garden in last weekend and if I ever get enough energy I'll get out there to start the rest of it. For now though I better try and take care of a few things around the house because tomorrow is Mother's Day which should be changed to, "Deny mom from working on the house so she has to work harder on Monday" Day.

Monday, May 6, 2013

April Wrap Up, Current Events and Busy Monday

Well it's Monday and I realize I didn't hold true enough to getting back onto my blogging kick! Eep!
Our door to the underside of the house. It's to help the fairies keep our A/C running this year.
Things have kept pretty busy at the Sims household and I really am looking forward to some down time. 
Spring has sprung though so that doesn't allow for a lot of down time.
A plant I put in last year that never bloomed for me has decided to just be the prettiest thing this year!

Bulbs blooming... wait I thought those were suppose to be pink...

Momma bird the babies are so cute!

With spring has come gardening but the weather has been all over the place! I feel like our central unit needs a toggle switch on it! Some days we are hitting 80's and other days like today we'll be lucky to see mid-60's. I'm getting tired of the weather not making up its mind.

Spring also means spring dance. This year's theme was like a night in the tropics or something so I glued a bunch of dollar store flowers to clips and did Brielle's hair up like she asked. I thought it was silly as heck but she loved it.

I got the parts in for my pressure cooker but in attempts to figure the blasted thing out I realized that my jigglier doesn't jiggle it's fixed in place. I looked this up and apparently it's common for Mirro but I have no clue how to read the darn blasted thing! Still doing research and getting a hold of the lady at the extension service has been heck! I've about given up after 3 weeks of calling and leaving messages.

I also got myself an early Mother's Day present.

 And what is the first thing I do with it?
Mind you they turned out like banana chewies I couldn't get them to 100% dehydrate *sighs* And they were too sweet! I heard they need to be just starting to spot and I had some that were and I wasn't going to touch them. I like mine darn near green.

You may recall I mentioned a friend of mine had a mild heart attack and was going in for surgery around her heart? Well the surgery went well though lots of horror stories and the poor dear is still having problems getting around because of how they did the surgery but she is okay and that is what matters!
For the day of the surgery I took off work to watch her youngest.

And mommy was always worried her little one wouldn't be able to sleep anywhere but at home but see I'm an old pro at this. Awww almost makes you want to have another one. Almost....

That's just the activities hasn't really spoken to home life.

The girls had a wonderful time in swim lessons every Tuesday and Thursday. They really wanted to go back to swim lessons and since some drama has happened (trust me you are better off not knowing how my in-laws are) we've decided to go ahead and sign them back up for swim lessons so I will go down to the Y today and see if I can do that.

Brielle's glasses broke.... again... they broke last month too and I had to use the warranty.

Peter has been working a lot of weekends and a lot of sudden later nights so it's made things a little hard. Things are about to get harder though. They will be working every weekend until sometime in June (for the most part weekend off here or there if lucky) and starting at the end of the month he starts going on to 12 hr shifts as they try to get the hospital ready for the go live date.
Because of all of this we ate out more than we should have and that dramatically hurt the food budget.
April grocery and household spending came to a grand total of $690.26. Nearly half of that was just in eating out. Mind you we made more money this month too because on top of all this extra time Peter has been working side jobs too so there were several times he said, "Don't worry about it I just got paid" but instead of paying with cash it was just instinctive to pull out his credit card.

Counting today there are 12 school days left! That's it!
Then the girls will start summer camp and then in June we are going to South Dakota for my cousin's wedding and then staying a week up there with my grandfather and my parents who are driving in from Oregon and then the girls will be going to Oregon with my parents! My parents are so excited! My dad hasn't been able to seen the grandchildren in around 5 or 6 years. My mom has seen them more recently than that but not by much. There are all sorts of plans to take the girls camping and fishing and to see the sights so  I'm excited for my girls and the great chance they get this summer.

It's a very strange year though. Because of the new hospital Peter and I don't get to celebrate our anniversary together, we may not get our family trip to Holiday World this year (still trying to work that out) and we aren't going to have our family trip to the beach instead I'm spending my vacation for this trip to South Dakota which I haven't decided if I can drive it or not. I'm having to work this out with my work schedule so that makes things difficult. Sounds so petty but it really has me bummed. It's hard when you work and you work and you work and the little bit of family down time you normally have is gone. It can be disheartening.

Well I think that's about it. Time to get ready for a month of groceries.... did I mention I was so out of it last week that I didn't go grocery shopping other than for milk? Yup so I've got my work cut out for me, plus going to the Y and getting Brie's glasses taken care of. I hope that short list doesn't take too long I'd like to get onto the house!