Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baking Pancakes and Bacon

This morning I am cooking breakfast for the kids. We're having bacon and pancakes. Sounds like a normal breakfast, but I'm preparing this one a little different. I'm using 1 pan for everything.

I hosted a Pampered Chef cooking show a few weeks ago and purchased a Large Bar Pan. During the show, my consultant told us how we could cook bacon and pancakes on the bar pan. Well, I decided to take a shot and blog about my results.

The first thing I cooked was the bacon. I am amazed at how easy this was. Literally, put the bacon on the pan, put in a 425 oven for 15-20 minutes and you're done. The bacon does have to be put onto some paper towels to drain the grease, but I don't think I have ever made such straight bacon! It was delicious too.

Once the pan slightly cooled and I removed the grease, I cleaned the pan quickly and made the pancakes. I already had the pancake mix prepared while I was baking the bacon, so now it was time to cook. I poured the entire batch of pancake mix into the pan and put it in the oven at 350 for 15-20 minutes. When finished, I got one big pancake. I used a pizza cutter to cut squares out and served everyone breakfast at the same time.

A little thinner than I expected and they stuck a little to the bottom, but they did taste good. Actually, once I got the edge pieces out and used my little spatula, the pancakes came off the pan rather easily. They are a little light in color, but had I left them in the oven a little longer, I'm sure they would have browned more. But hey, they aren't black, and that's how my pancakes usually turn out.

The Real Test:
The kids liked the pancakes and the bacon and we enjoyed sitting down to breakfast together.

Ever heard the line, "Mom hasn't had a hot meal in 9 years?" Well, I can't seem to find the exact number from the movie A Christmas Story, but you get the idea. With this meal, I was able to bring out the pancakes and the bacon that had been left in my bottom oven warming, sit down and eat with my kids. By the time the meal was over, we still had some left that we can eat for breakfast on another day. Yum!

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Good, the Nervous and the Confused

On May 14th, kid #1 celebrated her 17th birthday. She lives in CA with her mom so we mailed her a gift and cards and called her to wish her a happy birthday. She loves the laptop that we gave her and I'm very glad we were able to chat for a while. Seth was even able to call her and talk to her that day. On May 20th, kid #3 celebrated her 6th birthday. We celebrated with a birthday party to Build-a-Bear complete with a bear cake. She had a lot of fun and she even got a special call from Seth as well.

With all the fun stuff out of the way (save a trip to Hershey Park this Friday), my mind is starting to worry. On June 3rd I'm having some surgery. It's going to be an outpatient surgery and supposed to be fairly easy, but with some pain and a moderate amount of recovery time. I'm not one for pain. In fact, I have a very low tolerance for pain. So when someone says they bounced back in 3 days, the same situation could mean a week or more for me. Yuck!

However, after weighing the pain issue, the post surgical side effects, being house bound for a few days and not being able to lift anything for weeks, I'm still convinced that this is the best course of action for me. Temporary inconvenience will give way to a long-term solution to some problems.

Going through this alone is making me a little nervous. Of course my husband won't be here to help me out, but not only that, I've made arrangements for my kids to be gone from June 3rd to the 6th. I'm already preparing to make myself as comfortable as possible. I live in a 3 story + basement house, with my bedroom on the 3rd floor and kitchen on the 1st. I'm not going to be up for walking steps, so I purchased a mini-fridge and have it hooked up in the kitchenette I have on the 3rd floor. I already have a microwave up there, so now I just need to get some microwave meals and drinks and I won't have to leave that area at all.

I've started cleaning like crazy. I know I'll be house bound and want to mentally be comfortable as well. I also know some people will be coming by to check on me, and I want the house to be clean when they come over. The best I can relate my insane desire to clean to is nesting before having a baby. You just want it all to be great. Why? I have no idea. I'm sure that anyone coming over will look at my not perfect house and go, yeah, she's recovering from surgery, it shouldn't be perfect. However, people coming over does present a problem of me staying on the 3rd floor and not taking steps... hmmm, will need to think that one through.

I now also have to take other things into consideration. I'm supposed to be walking in the Relay for Life on June 11th and 12th, but I am not sure where I will be in my recovery progress. For some reason, no one will donate to me this year. The team (in which I am captain of) has only raised $25 and there is only 1 other person who is walking this year, down from the usual 5+ that our team has. Is this a sign that our team needs to just take the year off? I don't know. I'm putting those ideas before the club members to get their opinions.

So many things rolling around in my brain. None of this even covered things going on with my hubby right now. It's been a very active week for him, that's all I can say. But active and fun to him equal fear and prayer to me. Please keep lifting him up in prayer with me, and please lift me up and I go through this surgery and have decisions to make.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Being Busy

It's been 2 months since my last post. I thought I would be able to journal on here 2-3 times a week, but that doesn't seem to happen. Not that I'm overly busy, which at times I feel I am, just that some things I feel are more personal and have been staying in my private journal. I'm sure you understand.

Over the last two months a lot has happened around here. I went on a fun ladies retreat, my daughter and I had chicken pox, (that makes #6 for those counting how many times I've had it), my son won 2nd place in the Awana Grand Prix for speed in the T&T division, my daughter is excelling at reading, writing and math, and we're all looking forward to school ending in 1 more month.

May is going to be busy for us. I am having a Pampered Chef party on Thursday, kid #1 is turning 17 this month, kid #3 is turning 6 this month and having a birthday party at Build-a-Bear Workshop. Kid #2 is bridging from a Bear to a Webelo in Cub Scouts, Cubbies/Awana will be ending and at the end of the month the kids, my mother-in-law and I will be going to Hershey Park for our end of the year school picnic. #3 will even have a kindergarten graduation ceremony while she is there.

I'm glad to be so busy. Being busy helps me keep my mind off things that would just worry me to death. Seth is doing well in Afghanistan, he's got his own room and internet access which means we get to email daily. We also get to skype with each other 2-3 times a week. The kids love being able to see Daddy, as do I.

But still, seeing him a couple of times a week and getting a short email from him doesn't assuage the fear that I continually feel. He'd tell me I'm ridiculous but that won't stop how I feel. He is now going on patrols occasionally, which makes him happy, but not so much for me. I just pray that he is safe and makes wise decisions in all that he does.

So bear with me as I try to journal on here and continue to keep myself busy. Keep praying as we can always use your prayers. Hug your loved ones today, I'll be sure to give my kids lots of hugs.