Easter, baby

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What a gorgeous Easter Sunday! We skipped the honey baked ham and cheesy potatoes in favor of a salad with grilled chicken, chopped bacon, cherry tomatoes and avocado — a sort of Chicken BLT salad. I made a fab herby buttermilk ranch dressing to go with it. It’s Pioneer Woman’s recipe but I subbed tarragon for oregano because I love tarragon, and omitted the Worcestershire because sometimes it can be overpowering.

Greta is guinea pig-sitting (see Carmel above). She desperately wants one.

And, it was 14 years today. RIP dad. Miss you.

Happy Easter everybody.

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Tamale pie

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I saw Pioneer Woman make this tamale pie on a stark winter day in Oklahoma a week or so ago. I’ve never made one before but it turned out to be pretty easy and very good. And let’s face it: anything you can pile cheese, sour cream and guacamole on typically goes over well in this house.

Here’s the recipe on Food Network.

I changed a few things: one, after reading some other tamale pie recipes online, I added about half a teaspoon of cinnamon to the ground beef when I added the traditional Mexican spices. I also used a traditional cornbread mix instead of masa. Lastly, I didn’t have beef broth, so I just used water (it was only a cup and I mixed it with the tomato paste).

I made it the night before and stuck it in the fridge overnight. Then it goes in the oven right in the cast-iron skillet. I use Barrak’s mom’s cast-iron skillet. It’s one of my most-used kitchen tools.

 

Before and After: TV move

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Today we moved the TV above the fireplace to make room for some furniture coming later this spring. I didn’t think I’d like it — too much neck-craning and potential for forehead wrinkles. But I really like it. It was too big for the media cabinet it had been sitting on, in retrospect. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the big open wall left behind. And I might buy some retinol, just in case.

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Hi Giada! Don’t worry, Pioneer Woman: I’ll still watch you too.

 

Before and After: Kitchen pendants 

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We’ve had these kitchen pendants since the day we moved in 7+ years ago. Definitely something the builder picked out. For some reason I always assumed it would be expensive and a big pain in the ass to change them out.

Today, we finally upgraded to these rustic pendants from Pottery Barn. Dan of All Trades installed them for a small fee. To me, they make a huge diff.

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Now if only we could change out the countertops, cabinets, sink and flattop stove.

As my Uncle Jerry would say with no small trace of sadness in his voice: Another time…