hmp: lunchtime burgers

The Homemade Meal Project is back!  After having no time to cook anything for what seems like weeks, we finally made a full homemade meal.  Granted it was just burgers but we still cooked it from start to finish.

After a very sweaty and intense yoga session, I called Todd and said “I want meat.”.  He obliged and ran to the store to pick up some lean ground beef and by the time I got home, the burgers were on the grill and he had a potato and veggie mixture cooking on the stove.

The potato and veggie mix was actually a frozen mix that I picked up yesterday, one of Alexia‘s new products – or at least new to me.  I’m confused as to whether Alexia product are organic or not, I thought they were but it may be that only some of their products are organic.  Either way, they’re all “natural”, whatever that means, and that’s always a good start.

I had also bought a few ears of corn so I popped those on the grill and about 15 minutes later, we were sitting down to a grilled lunchtime feast.

I always douse my burgers in ketchup because I’ve never liked any other toppings on my burgers.  This time, I attempted to make a smiley face with my ketchup but it came out looking a bit demonic, sorry about that.

For dessert I had a mini cupcake leftover from last night’s half-birthday surprise.

I allowed myself a post-lunch nap and now we’re just sitting around waiting for paint to dry.  Literally.  We’re working on our one and only try DIY project for the wedding and so far, it’s not so promising.  Hopefully it turns out wonderful and beautiful though.  Keep your fingers crossed!

What do you top your burgers with?

happy half birthday to me!

My dad wrote me an email wishing me a happy half-birthday this afternoon.  I quickly wrote Todd a text reminding him that I’m now 25 – and a half!

Todd brought home a half-birthday surprise to celebrate.

Mini cupcakes seem very fitting for a half-birthday.

Thanks Dad and Todd for helping me celebrate the little things!

peanut butter mini cupcake

We had our weekly marriage mentoring meeting at Starbucks again tonight.  I picked a peanut butter mini cupcake as my treat.  Oh man, was it ever good.

The chocolate cake was moist and dark and that frosting – so peanut buttery but not too rich.  It had a real peanut butter flavor instead of your normal too sweet peanut buttery frosting taste.  And I love the mini size, I can eat it without feeling guilty!  I’m going to have to figure out how to make these at home.  Delish!

What’s you favorite cupcake flavor?

Have you ever made peanut butter frosting?  (If so, recipe please!)


celebrating saint patty’s

I had a wonderful meeting with Jill from Events by iCandy this evening.  Their showroom is such a wonderland!  Not to mention that Jill did an awesome job of helping me choose the pieces I wanted to rent for the wedding.  I can’t show you everything I picked but here’s a peek at one of the showrooms:



Of course it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and while I’m not a big green beer drinker, when the man who delivers mail to our office called me out for not wearing green I knew I had to do something to celebrate.  Naturally, my mind when right to food.  For dinner, Todd and I made a shepherd’s pie, one of my favorite dinners.


These beauties were prepared using an adapted version of a Food Network recipe.  Here’s how we did it:


1 box instant mashed potatoes (prepare one envelope)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 carrot, peeled and chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup beef stock or broth

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup frozen peas, a couple of handfuls

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon parsley (fresh or dried)

Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions.

While potatoes cook, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with beef or lamb. Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Fill baking ramekins with meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top ramekins with parsley and serve.

I love the texture of the mashed potatoes on top of that meaty goodness, so delish!

For dessert we munched on Irish-inspired cupcakes (vanilla w. Irish buttercream frosting and dark chocolate with mint frosting) from Nantucket Bakery and one of their special Guinness Wafers.  I don’t really know what the Guinness Wafers were but they were good kind of like really dark molasses cookies.  I love visiting Nantucket, everyone there is so helpful and their bread (and treats!) is always the perfect complement to whatever is cooking.



Now we’re just unwinding with our favorite Thursday night shows, Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock.


Happy St.Patrick’s Day, I hope it was lucky!


P.S.  Can anyone explain to me exactly what corned beef is?


How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?