seven months!

I am a few days late, but Lincoln is seven months old!

He is crawling everywhere, climbing the stairs and pulling himself up to stand on every chair, couch, etc. within his reach.  I don’t have any growth stats on him just yet (no doctor appointment this month, so I’ll just have to take my own approximate measurements later), but I wanted to share some new pictures of him now.

7 months!

7 months!

my big boy...

my big boy…

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happy 7 months!

happy 7 months!

oh Christmas tree…

I just love Christmas… decorating the tree, wrapping presents, baking… I’ll even tolerate a little snow on Christmas morning 🙂

Well, we have our tree up and I wanted to share a few pictures of some of my favorite ornaments.  It used to be mainly a ‘woodland animals’ kind of theme, but now I seem to have all sorts of creatures…

new this year... and maybe my favorite

new this year… and maybe my favorite

a little pine cone penguin...

a little pine cone penguin…

a little polar bear

polar bear

you can't tell from the photo, but this is a 'baby's first Christmas' ornament...

you can’t tell from the photo, but this is a ‘baby’s first Christmas’ ornament…

and our star tree topper

and our star tree topper

Lincoln is obviously still too young to really be excited for Christmas, but he does love to stare at the tree… and he has been playing with some animated Snoopy Christmas toys we have…

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and now he's coming to get my camera...

and now he’s coming to get my camera…

silly boy

silly boy

another week, another dinner

I got a bit off track with these weekly posts.  Thanksgiving and our trip out of town threw me off…

Anyway, here’s my latest kitchen creation.  It’s from a cookbook I have that is a compilation of recipes from Real Simple magazine called “Meals Made Easy”… The recipe is for ‘Not-So-Sloppy Joes’ and here are the ingredients…

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 hamburger buns, toasted
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef and, sadly, had to opt out of the Cheddar and sour cream…  This dish was super easy to put together and took less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Instead of using just one regular bell pepper, I used a bunch of these mini peppers that I had.

Also, instead of using just one regular bell pepper, I used a bunch of these mini peppers that I had.

1.  Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.

2.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

I have to admit I usually cheat and use this garlic already chopped!

I have to admit I usually cheat and use this garlic already chopped!

3.  Add the beef (or turkey) and cook, crumbling with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains, about 7 minutes.  Spoon off and discard any excess fat.

4.  Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon and salt.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes.

almost done!

almost done!

5.  Spoon the mixture onto the bottom half of each bun and top with the Cheddar and dollop of sour cream (if using).  Sandwich with the top half of each bun.

And that’s it!

Yes, I topped my sloppy joe with avocado.  Strange combination?  Perhaps.  Delicious?  Definitely.

Yes, I topped my sloppy joe with avocado. Strange combination? Perhaps. Delicious? Definitely.

Oh, and a good tip from the cookbook, don’t forget to toast the buns!  It’s a quick step that makes sure the bread doesn’t turn to mush.

And a quick Lincoln update… he is crawling all over the place and is now OBSESSED with pulling himself up to stand.  It is literally the first thing he wants to do as soon as he wakes up, and is pretty much all he wants to do throughout the day.  My crazy boy…

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