Catching up.

The last month has been insane here, as it has been for everyone. We have had something every weekend, plus work is insane in December as I grade final papers and exams, and give out grades. That is always followed with a flood of complaints. This is a new phenomenon to me. Can any of you remember a time you complained to a professor about a grade? If I got a grade I was upset about, I assumed I was stupid and just cried in my dorm room. I certainly never would have emailed my professor and asked why I didn’t get an A. I feel like I should tattoo on my forehead the following: “Everyone cannot be the top 10%.”

I digress. Despite all this holiday chaos, we have eaten pretty well. Here is a quick summary of a couple good recipes.

Slow Cooker Roast Beef: I have relied heavily on the slow cooker recently. This recipe is literally the easiest thing you will ever make. I got it from Crock Pot Guys on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/crockpotguys. It is called To Die For Roast. I am not sure it is to die for, but it is unbelievably easy and tasted good. You throw in a roast with three packets: gravy mix, ranch dressing mix, Italian dressing mix. And water. Let it cook all day. I served it with mashed potatoes.

My children loved the beef. It was easy to chew (Garrett’s only question when I serve beef: Is it tender?) and flavorful. But they don’t like mashed potatoes. Let me type that again: My children do not like mashed potatoes. If I hadn’t pushed them into the world myself, I would think they were adopted.

BLT Salad: This I read about somewhere, and just copied. My children will eat anything with bacon. I suspect that if I wrapped dog poop up in bacon, they would eat it with a smile. I haven’t tested that theory yet so you don’t have to call Child Services. Anyway, here is the salad: bacon, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, homemade croutons. I threw in some carrots for some extra nutritional value. And some blue cheese for some extra yum. Toss with dressing of your choice, but I used oil and vinegar. Everyone ate it happily. I don’t really understand why so many children will eat raw veggies by the pound but refuse to eat salad. Here is a strategy I have used with my kids: start out salads that are 100% vegetables, no lettuce. After a couple weeks, add a little lettuce. Serve it a lot. Over time they will adjust to lettuce and you can increase it. Now Garrett’s favorite part is the lettuce.

I hope those ideas give everyone some easy options for the next few weeks of constant cooking and baking. I have asked Santa for some new cooking tools, so maybe I will have some inspiration.

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