So, yes, I have been MIA for awhile because when my house is a disaster, I am a disaster.
A joyous 30 seconds ensued when our house addition was finally declared done. Then, I went on a list-making rampage. Once the workers left, I spelled everything out to be done to restore my sanity. The long, chaotic process of construction made me yearn for my clean, organized house back that wasn’t buried under a layer of dust. I amazingly wasn’t institutionalized during the five months of renovations, so I feel like I handled everything pretty swimmingly.
A lot of help from Ryan and I’s families made my gargantuan “to do” list go down freakishly fast. They helped out a ton with the kids, pitched in one entire, labor-full Labor Day weekend, and never even audibly complained I was being slightly unreasonable or crazy.
So, voilá! We are finally back to normal and we all made it out alive. I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out, and after a lot of stress and anxiety, we finally get to enjoy it. Here are a few of my favorite new spaces:
We had an eat-in kitchen before, but we added the built-in benches and had this table and bench made from reclaimed barn wood. Love. It. I had him shellac the bejeezus out of the table top because kids will ruin any piece of furniture you will ever own. Just a fact.
We have an often-used bar in our finished basement we call “The Rusty Boot.” Pretty soon “The Rusty Boot” will be laid to rest to make way for a kid’s craft area. So, a main floor bar between the kitchen and formal dining area was added. It’s new coined name is “The Re-Boot,” and it has a slightly more distinguished dress code, but still just as fun.
This is across from “The Re-Boot,” right off the kitchen. The counter holds our absurd number of coffee-making devices, and above is my equally absurd cache of kitchen appliances. I love how they all just stand at attention now, ready to be called in at a moment’s notice. There will be no more cursing my way through an overloaded basement storage area.
The deck backs up to the kitchen, but you have to walk through the bar and formal dining area to get to it. We decided to forgo a lot of window knocking and pantomiming grilling instructions, and instead just add a pass-through window. Since I don’t think Ryan can physically turn on the grill without opening a beer first, we added the bar too.
Some things had to take a back seat while I was completely consumed with reclaiming my house, though, which was mainly eating, laundry, and generally caring what my kids were up to as long as they were not asking me to do something for them. We fortunately didn’t starve to death because of two magical words. Ground. Beef.
If you have some premonition or forewarning your life is going to spiral out-of-control, stop what you are doing and immediately stock pile an ample supply of ground beef. Tacos, hamburgers, sloppy joes, and these Quick and Easy Taco Dogs will be your lifeline. Yes, you will still be annoyed you have to stop what you are doing and make dinner, but at least it’s uncomplicated. Throw it in a pan, cook it, and move on. You’re in, you’re out, and no one gets hurt.
I’ll have to admit, I didn’t think this recipe would be that good. As a rule of thumb, I don’t pile meat on top of different meat. Generally, I just don’t roll like that. But these were so good, and insanely easy to make, I have revisited this recipe often. The kids love them, I love them, and you can throw them together no matter how disastrous your house is. Who doesn’t need a meal like that in their arsenal?
- 1 lb. ground sirloin or chuck
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1/2 cup salsa
- 8 hot dogs
- 8 hot dog buns regular or gluten free buns
- toppings: cheddar cheese avocado, sour cream, lettuce, green onions, Fritos or crushed tortilla chips
In a large non-stick skillet cook ground beef with chili powder until cooked through. Drain fat if using ground chuck. Add salsa to meat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Set aside to grill or cook hot dogs.
Spoon meat over hot dogs and top with desired toppings.
adapted from Good Housekeeping