Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thinking and Telling

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The husband and I have spent many a mile on the road this week. Which I love. Is that weird? I mean we get to spend hours holding hands and listening to podcasts while the kiddos are strapped into seats. Lucy makes up songs for us and let’s us get a glimpse of the logic of her crazy rational four-year-old brain. Landon sends me lots of sweet smiles and does some great car seat dancing. Cohen had a few minutes of “get me out of this seat” screaming but he was a trooper for the most part, too.

But I think the best part of traveling, especially through the endless fields in the Land of Lincoln, is the time for thinking and telling. When Chuck gets home from 10 or 12 hours of being away at work, he’s mostly thinking about how he can help me with the feeding, bathing, pajama dressing of the kids. But roadtrips? Roadtrips were made for roaming thoughts.

One of the things that came up this trip was Chuck telling me how he felt really supported by me this past year. That I was transitioning to a bigger helpmate I guess you could say. My first thought was, “Well of course I’m supporting you, I think you’re the coolest guy I know.” But then, it occurred to me to ask what I was doing that made him feel supported. And I was a little surprised to find that one of the examples he had was when I prayed aloud for him last summer. I was surprised because it didn’t seem that extraordinary to me. I mean, I pray for him in my mind everyday! But I could be doing a much better job of telling him my specific prayers for him. Isn’t that better than when someone says, “Oh, I’ll pray for you.” Instead saying, “I’m going to pray for you right now.” Or if we’re not together, sending him a little message saying a few specific prayers.

And then I started thinking about the rest of the relationships in my life. Am I telling my friends when they’re on my heart? Am I telling them how much they mean to me? Am I making time to have them in my life? Thinking and telling. Not just thinking. Being intentional. Treating friends like family and treating family like blessings.

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Oh God that you chose this life for me. That your mission would not be lost on me.

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Trader Joe’s Turkey Burgers

So this isn’t totally a recipe as much as a dinner suggestion. Continuing on with our low prep dinners, I bring you another of our favorites from my BFF TJ. The way we make this meal, it’s an hour and a half from start to finish, but actual time in the kitchen is less than that.

It takes me longer because I’m kind of a bun snob. If I’m going to use up calories on carbs, I want them to be amazing. Because of that, I end up making our bread most days. I was using a recipe for a 40 minute hamburger bun when my [amazing] mom mentioned to me that she was using my Mountain Bread recipe to make her rolls. I’m fairly certain she makes that bread more than I do! It sounded like a genius idea [Mimi for the win!]. After the first rise, I split the dough into rolls [it made 7] and let them rise their second rise on the stove I was heating up for roasted veggies.

dinner rolls | hey, beth baker!

[This picture is actually making me super sad because I took it at 5 o’clock but you can tell how dark (and dreary) and shadowy the kitchen already was. Sigh. Bring on the Spring.]

I found these Turkey Burgers in the frozen food section of Trader Joe’s and couldn’t pass them up at around $3.50 for 4 patties. I normally don’t like frozen, pre-formed patties because I think they end up dry – especially turkey burgers. But these are amazing! In order to give them a little more flavor I made up a simple marinade.

Turkey Burger Marinade
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
juice from 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt & pepper

So to give you an idea of how this dinner comes together pretty easily, let me break it down for you.

4:00 – Take burgers out of freezer and set on a cookie sheet. Make dough, set to rise in the bowl I mixed it in. Whisk marinade and brush onto burgers. Turn oven onto 450F. Chop sweet potatoes for sweet potato fries.
4:35 – Form dough into 7 rolls. Put sweet potatoes in oven to roast.
5:00 – Turn oven down to 375F. Put rolls into oven on bottom shelf, move sweet potatoes to top. Timer for 12 minutes. Heat a little oil in skillet and begin cooking turkey burgers, 4 or so minutes per side.
5:12 – Take out sweet potatoes. Turn broiler on high and set timer for 3 minutes.
5:15 – Assemble burgers and enjoy!

turkey burger | hey, beth baker!

We enjoy our burgers with spinach, avocado, and just a dash of ketchup.

If you really want a quick dinner pick up a bag of sweet potato fries at TJ’s and pick up your favorite bun, then your only dinner prep will be the marinade and cooking the burgers!

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[Quick] Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad

Asain Chicken Cabbage Salad

We’re in a season of life right now where there are a lot of activities happening from 3:30 to 5:30 a few days a week, which really cuts into my dinner prep time. So I thought I’d take a few days and share with you some of the quicker recipes I’ve found to save us from the “we’ll just pick something up” trap. I picked up most of the ingredients for this meal at Trader Joe’s because they have a lot of the stuff all ready to go. From start to finish, I’d say this took a little less than 10 minutes to throw together. I might double it next time because everyone [even the kids!] enjoyed it so much.

The recipe is inspired by this one from Bon Appetit so you get to feel a little fancy.

Asian Chicken Cabbage Salad
Serves 4

2 tablespoons canola oil
juice from 2 small limes
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon roasted red chili paste
salt & pepper

1 bag shredded cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/8 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 rotisserie chicken breast, shredded
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

In a large bowl, whisk together the oils, limes, soy sauce, and paste. Add the cabbage, carrots, onions, spinach, cilantro, chicken, and sunflower seeds on top and mix together to make sure all the greens are coated. Serve and enjoy.

If you want to pump up the vegetable volume, some steamed broccoli would be nice in this too. Or if you double it, try one bag of shredded cabbage and one bag of shredded brussels sprouts. I highly recommend you don’t skip the toasted sesame oil [so, so good].

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