The bacon was meant to make it appealing to my sons. It seemed to work!

The bacon was meant to make it appealing to my sons. It seemed to work!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It was just another day here: the boys had school, and Dave and I went to work as usual. Last weekend I made a corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner (complete with homemade sourdough bread, for another post) because today I needed the Crock Pot for a potluck luncheon.

We decided to have our traditional corned beef on Sunday, and tonight I made bangers and mash. Which actually works out pretty well for a weeknight dinner.

Today I want to share with you the delicious roasted cabbage recipe. This was something I “threw together”, using the 1/2 head of cabbage left from Sunday’s dinner, along with some saved bacon fat, Himalayan salt, fresh ground pepper, and strips of bacon.

I had a basic idea of how to roast cabbage. Hot oven, wedges of cabbage, drizzled with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 30 minutes and you’re done. You can do something similar with cauliflower and broccoli (or other cole crops). Let me walk you through it.

But I had this jar of bacon fat…which I keep on hand for sautéing greens or stir frying. There’s usually salt in the fat that keeps me from having to add extra salt.

So here’s what I did. First heated my oven to 450F.

Then I sliced my cabbage into wedges. The half-head of cabbage — leftover from Sunday’s boiled dinner — yielded six somewhat-thin wedges. Let’s call them 30 degree wedges. I broke out my jar of bacon fat and started “buttering” the cabbage with it. Actually, I had to let the jar of fat sit out for about an hour, this gave it a peanut-butter-like consistency.

No formal measurements with the application, but I wanted to be generous so it would trickle down through the wedges while it baked.

Looks like I'm buttering the slices of cabbage, doesn't it? But that's bacon fat I'm smearing across it...

Looks like I’m buttering the slices of cabbage, doesn’t it? But that’s bacon fat I’m smearing across it…

Next, I salted and peppered the cabbage. I didn’t need a lot of salt, but I was quite generous with the pepper.

Oops, I didn’t take any pictures of the salting/peppering operation.

I then broke out a package of bacon and simply cut off 2-3″ of the package:

Just take some kitchen shears and lob off some bacon!

Just take some kitchen shears and lob off some bacon!

I lay that bacon on top of the cabbage wedges.

Bacon-ey...I mean...cabbage-y goodness!

Bacon-ey…I mean…cabbage-y goodness!

And into the oven it goes! 450F for 30 minutes.

And it comes out looking like this:


Okay, maybe this turned more into a bacon dish?

Nonetheless, when served up with the bangers and mash, it was a big hit! Even with both sons, which is a miracle in our house! I think I could have used a little more salt, believe it or not. The bacon fat apparently wasn’t quite as salty as I had assumed it would be.

It looks like the cabbage dish stole the dinner show!

It looks like the cabbage dish stole the dinner show! Do you like my Shamrock-colored Fiestaware plate? I have two each of several colors, and this is one of the colors. Perfect for today.

Here’s the recipe for you:

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon (Roasted Bacon with Cabbage?)

– Head of green cabbage
– Bacon grease, preferably at room temperature
– Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
– 4 strips of bacon, cut into 3″ strips

Preheat oven to 450F. Slice cabbage into wedges. For a full head of cabbage, try cutting it into 12 wedges. Lay wedges on a greased baking sheet.

Using a butter knife, spread a generous layer of bacon fat across each wedge. I used about 1 tablespoon of fat per wedge.

Salt and pepper the wedges, then lay 2-3 strips of bacon across each wedge.

Bake at 450F for 30 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!


Not the prettiest dinner, but my boys devour it! This is two-way Cincinnati chili.

Not the prettiest dinner, but my boys devour it! This is three-way Cincinnati chili.

(The recipe is in a link below, I did not re-print the recipe, since it isn’t mine).

Do you have a bunch of family members visiting for the holidays? If so, may I present an easy way to feed the masses before you have to ratchet things up for the big Christmas dinner?

Dave and I have accumulated favorite recipes from all of the great places we’ve been stationed. We make chicken etouffee from our time in Louisiana, kalbi ribs from our time in Korea, and Carolina-style pork BBQ sandwiches from our time in North Carolina. This is our “souvenir” recipe from our short tour in western Ohio.

Unlike southwestern chili that’s spicier and chunkier, Cincinnati chili is more basic on the ingredients, very smooth-consistency, and has a distinctive cinnamon-ey flavor. The cool thing about this recipe is that you can buy the spices for the first time you make this, and you’ll have enough on hand to make this dish over and over again. Everything else is easily obtained: the meat, onions, garlic, and tomato sauce.

Another unique thing about Cincinnati chili is the way it’s served. You have the following options:

  • Bowl: just the chili in a bowl
  • Two-way: chili served on a bed of spaghetti
  • Three-way: like two-way, but topped with cheese
  • Four-way: like three-way, but also topped with diced onions
  • Five-way, like four-way, but also topped with beans

Oyster crackers, garlic, and hot sauce are also popular toppings. There are “chili parlors” located throughout southwestern Ohio, and Dave and I had the chance to try out two popular ones: Skyline and Gold Star**. Like a Philadelphian who will have allegiances to Geno’s or Pat’s cheesesteaks, most Cincinnati natives will declare an allegiance to their favorite chili parlor.

**Funny story about Gold Star chili. I was on a flight layover in Cincinnati in summer 2009. I saw a Gold Star restaurant in the airport and bought three cans of their chili for the family. Then my flight was canceled, I had to exit the airport to a hotel for the night with just my carry-on bag. The following morning, I couldn’t get those cans of chili back across security; they were confiscated.

My parents shared with me their favorite Cincinnati chili recipe, from the pages of Gourmet magazine, and it’s been a favorite in our house for years. It’s supposed to be a replica of Empress Chili, which is allegedly the oldest Cincinnati chili parlor. Most of the time we substitute 3 lbs. of ground turkey for the 4 lbs. of beef, although you’ll have a more authentic flavor with the beef.

Jacob enjoys helping me make this, often taking on the daunting task of sauteeing 4-5 c. of chopped onions and 3-4 lbs. of ground meat.

Try setting up a “chili bar’ for the family, letting everyone serve their own pasta and chili, as well as choosing what toppings to add.

A full recipe of this chili will serve six, and can be easily doubled or tripled for your holiday guests! If you choose to serve it two-, three-, or four-way, you will have even more servings per recipe, since you’re ladling less than a serving onto the bed of pasta.

20. December 2013 · Comments Off on Oh Baby It’s Cold Outside: Christmas Preparations and a Flooded Basement · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
I'll bet you want to put on a coat just looking at this, don't you?

I’ll bet you want to put on a coat just looking at this, don’t you?

The picture above is what we awakened to this morning, with 19F temperature. This came on the heels of several pleasant days: the kids could walk to/from school and I enjoyed an outside run.

A far departure from the Florida temperate conditions we had every Christmas.

You won’t be seeing as many “Colorado Discoveries” posts this time of year, mainly because it’s been colder here. We aren’t spending as much time outside. More »

29. October 2013 · Comments Off on Pumpkin Carving Time! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,


Better late than never, right?

Timmy and I enjoyed carving our four pumpkins this afternoon. I’m so proud of Timmy, this year he offered to do everything but got really nervous about gutting the pumpkins. So I did it for him…because I’m a sucker for that stuff.

More »

14. February 2013 · Comments Off on Happy Valentine’s Day · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

We had a fun day today. I got to spend time with each of the boys at their schools. Then we went out to dinner at one of the very few restaurants that the four of us can agree on. Unfortunately, when you order sushi while everyone else ordered off the Chinese food menu, I had to get my dinner to go. That’s okay…it was all yummy!

Dave got me a charm for the Pandora bracelet I got for Christmas.

I hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day too.

Enjoy some pictures from today. More »

Happy Holidays from Major Mom and Family!

Happy Holidays from Major Mom and Family!

Okay, okay, so I’m a bit behind here.

“But at least you’re kept your head above water with all the holiday obligations, right? You seemed to have had a billion Christmas parties for Dave’s unit, scouts, the spouses’ club, and the boys’ piano lessons.”

I guess so — the house was decorated, trees trimmed, gifts were purchased and wrapped, cards made and sent out, and we made it to everywhere we were expected to be this season — with White Elephant gift exchange gifts as needed.

I was pretty tired by the time the kids started their holiday break on the 18th. It was non-stop from the week after Thanksgiving.

More »

13. November 2012 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Like a heel, I forgot to bring our good camera, but I was able to get a bunch of nice iPhone pictures of Pack 105’s participation in the Pensacola Veteran’s Day Parade.

First I have to show off these two pictures because they melted my heart!

The Scouts took turns carrying the flags…Timmy briefly carried the Pack 105 flag during the parade. The flags are very top heavy, so mainly older Scouts did this task, Timmy didn’t last very long at all.

This reminded me of the time Jacob carried the Pack 464 flag when we were in Bellevue, NE. He was a cute little Tiger scout at the time.

Now for this year’s event. I was the coordinator for our Pack this year, taking care of registering the Pack with the Gulf Coast Veteran’s Advocacy Council, and then setting up a meeting space for the Scouts and their families.

We don’t live super-close to Pensacola, so we only have a smaller group take part, but it’s so rewarding seeing the Scouts waving at the spectators. The older Scouts were noticing all the Veterans who were standing at attention saluting our group’s American flag.

These poor Scouts had to wait…and wait…and wait…for our position in the parade to start walking. There were over 100 entries and we were #83, phew!

Jacob and his friend Seth.

When we finally started marching, the kids were definitely ready to go! They were so busy looking at the spectators, we had a couple of crashes when the group in front of us stopped and we were completely paying attention.

After the parade, one of the den leaders held a class on proper use and display of the U.S. flag.

An awesome picture of the boys who stuck around for the flag class.


12. November 2012 · Comments Off on Halloween 2012 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

It was the saddest thing, not being home for my boys’ Halloween. I did my best to decorate the house — complete with a fresh batch of tree ghosts — but was away by the time my sons had their school Halloween parties, and other Halloween events (such as Jacob’s first boy-girl birthday party with dancing, which was Halloween-themed; he dressed as an Incredibles kid for it).

Enjoy some of the pictures from Halloween. Dave took all of them, most of them were texted to me over the course of the night. Sorry I’m so late with these….

We’re now in a place where the kids have many costume choices. I love how easily Jacob could don this for a birthday party.

The boys could dress up for Halloween at school. Timmy’s costume had to be a book character, so Harry Potter was our no-brainer option. Jacob had more liberties with his costumes, but couldn’t wear a mask, nor could his costume impede with school activities. That ruled out his Incredibles outfit, and also his Pikkachu costume, since it had a stuffed midsection and he couldn’t sit at his desk with it. So he put together this baseball player’s outfit easily. Completely last minute, good job!

On Halloween night, Jacob donned a Pikachu costume that a friend had made for her son years ago.  That particular son is now in college, and she had held on to the costumes.  It fit Jacob really well. I picked up the yellow-lycra bodysuit through Amazon, but I’m afraid it made him look more like a chicken from a distance…

Jacob didn’t mind.

Jacob even had yellow shoes, ha ha!

Timmy has a headlamp on his head.

The boys were quite happy with their take this year, they covered two streets, which may not sound like much, but it’s at least one mile worth of walking.

*Yes, you read that right. Every time I watched that Jamie Oliver show on ABC a couple seasons ago, or think of his subsequent dietary education campaign, I would think of the video game Dance, Dance Revolution. Sorry…it’s still what goes through my head when I think of it now….

First, allow me to say that to anyone who is dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, best of luck to you! The surreal, post-apocalyptic feeling you and your community is experiencing will hopefully only be temporary. Keep your chins up, America is behind you and know that the country has mobilized to help out in so many ways!

This makes total sense to me…in theory. In reality, I’m running for the hills…I need my pasta and cereal!

I need some inspiration and motivation, friends!

I don’t need the education, I’ve read it all!  I don’t need the resources, I plan to just get what I need at the grocery store!

(Yes, I’m YELLING this!)

I’m seeing so many of my friends and colleagues simply make the choice to stop eating carbs, stop overdoing it on dairy, and happily eat more fruits and vegetables. And the results are so impressive. Weight loss, sure, but also improved overall health, energy and focus.

I was behaving pretty well preparing for my Air Force Fitness Test last week. That test is behind me, I got a high enough score to not have to test again for another year (yay!), and I rewarded myself with a Five Guys burger with fries.

I know…I know…not good.

I always want starches: potatoes, breads, pasta. It’s like a drug.

I’m sort of venting here, sorry. I just want to know what I need to do to my brain to convince it to back off on the breads, crackers, cookies and such.  I love it all!

Speaking of cookies — well, I’m doomed.

I had to skip my cookie extravaganza altogether in 2011 due to Dave’s surgery, but this year, as soon as I get back from our Thanksgiving travels, I plan to fire up the oven, get the Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes ready, and get baking!

I’ll be writing more about our favorite family cookie recipes later this month, but for now you can browse through my November 2008 posts for 3 of our favorites.

Now to refrain from eating all the cookie factory seconds…

How do you keep inspired for more than just a couple weeks to change your eating habits for good?  Please comment here and help me!  Thanks!


If I could do this, so can you!

This was an idea that was making the rounds on Pinterest just before Easter. Dave had a couple of VERY old ties in the closet so I thought it’d be fun. In this case, you want to start with RAW eggs, they will boil with the silk for 20 minutes and will cook then.

Since I didn’t know about the need for RAW eggs, I only had 6 raw eggs left in the house by the time I thought to do this. And one of the eggs had too many cracks so I didn’t use it.

I did this project immediately after our Kool Aid eggs on the Saturday afternoon before Easter, so the kids were done dealing with eggs and I was left to try this out on my own.  This is a more labor intensive project, although I could think of much much fancier Easter egg art that would take even more work!

These are the three ties Dave said I could sacrifice for this project. Thanks Dave!

Make sure the ties you choose are 100% silk. This doesn't work otherwise...

Break out the scissors! You want to cut the tie up the back seam to separate the silk from the backing.

The steps I had for this project suggested cutting up a white pillowcase to cover each of the eggs, but I read another blog that suggested just saving that pillowcase and use the muslin backing instead.

Open up the tie, cut off a chunk and make sure it's big enough to wrap around the a pouch.

I used dental floss to tie off the top, and used rubber bands to help keep the silk in contact with the egg as much as possible.

I loosely wrapped each pouch in a piece of the muslin, then set them carefully in a large pot.

Cover with water at least an inch higher then the eggs, bring to a boil -- not simmer -- BOIL for 20 minutes. When finished, move the eggs to an ice bath to stop the cooking and cool them enough to unwrap.

This is the ice bath, but by the time I took this picture, most of the ice had melted.

My finished eggs. This isn't as great as they could have been...I learned a lot from this experience. For starters, deeply-colored ties work best. Recommend you raid the neckties at your local thrift shop for the best choices and cheapest options. Secondly, I need to work harder at getting the silk to touch the egg surface better.