Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook: April Edition


Outside my window...Today was gorgeous! Warmer, but still a bit chilly. Sunny and definitely feeling alot more like Spring! :O)

I am thinking...that 2 months from tonight, Nathan will graduate! This year has just flown by!

I am thankful...for my two boys. I love them so much!!

In the kitchen...I tried yet another new recipe today:

Bacon Burgers with Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam

{source: smells like home blog}


Here's the recipe:

For the Bacon Onion Balsamic Jam:

  • 4 thick slices bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch wide pieces
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup water
For the Burgers:
  • 2 thick slices bacon, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • buns (I ended up making small burgers, so I used slider buns instead of kaiser rolls)
  • Sliced sharp cheddar cheese
Instructions:
  1. To make the jam:  Heat a large saute pan (that has a cover) over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until browned but not crispy, about 8 minutes.  Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon grease and then stir in the onions, about 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper.  Cover the pan to cook the onions for 2 minutes.  Uncover the pan and in a splash of water, scraping the bits off of the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Recover the pan and cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly browned.
  2. After the onions have cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and water then return the bacon to the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens and is almost completely absorbed, about 2-4 minutes (mine definitely took upwards of 4 minutes).  At this point, the jam can be covered and refrigerated (you can make it up to 2 days in advance).  If using immediately, set it aside in a bowl until ready to use.
  3. To make the burgers: Using a fork, lightly mix the finely diced bacon with the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and ground pepper in a medium bowl until the ingredients form a uniform mixture.  Shape the burger mixture into four equal-sized patties, about 1-inch thick.  Cook the burgers on a grill pre-heated to medium-high, about 4-5 minutes per side.  Once you flip the burgers, add the cheese (if the cheese is thinly sliced, give it a minute or two on the second side before adding it).  Once cooked to desired doneness, remove the burgers from the grill and set them aside to rest for 5 minutes before adding the topping, placing on the buns, and serving. 
These were really good, but we all thought that the Mushroom Swiss Sliders I made were much better. I also made Asparagus Bundles (again!) :O) and Marinated Cherry Tomato/Red Onion/ Cucumber Salad.

I am creating...I redid our house sign and I love it! I didn't get a picture yet, but will post one soon. I painted it with the same brown paint as the shutters (Bittersweet), then added the vinyl numbers (white) that I bought on etsy, and added a vine stencil (pear green).

I am going...shopping next week. Nathan needs to pick out a tux for prom (May 3). I also want to spend my birthday money. I'm hoping to do a little work outside the house now, new pots/plants for front step, and a little yardscaping in the back. More on that later!

I am looking forward to...spending a few hours in Lowes!! :O)

Around the house...I am just about finished with the 30 Spaces/ 30 Days Spring Cleaning list! Between the month of organizing and now a month of cleaning, I feel more on top of things going back to work this year. It's also nice getting some of those bigger projects done, especially since I've put them off so long.

A favorite quote for the day...
:O) :O)

One of my favorite things...

Riding my bike (even better when Mom joins!!)

A few plans for next week: a shopping day, a haircut, and just normal daily stuff!

A peek into my day...






After many months of no scrapbooking, I have finally started working on a few pages for our 2011 Disney trip album!!! :O)

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