Me and Julio

8 Jul

Last week I gave notice at my bank job and next week I’ll be a government employee at the Commissary. At the bank I sit most of the day and eat snacks because I am bored, so hopefully standing around the store all day instead will be a little healthier. :)

We recently got Ida a minion, a little black boy cat to keep her busy as my work week grows from 20 hours to 32. After two very rocky days of hissing and spitting and attacking, she got used to him and started acting big sisterly, wrestling with him, bathing him, eating his kitten food and generally pushing him around. He loves her of course. He also loves Josh, and I suspect he is more Josh’s cat than mine.

Fourth of July was fun, and rather than allow it to pass unnoticed like Easter, I bought a charcoal grill and asked my husband to do the honors. We had some friends over for hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and baked beans, and I made a red and blue cake that Josh said was pink and turquoise. The baked beans were probably everyone’s favorite, although the cake was certainly good. I used this recipe:

3lbs VanCamp’s pork & beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 small can crushed pineapple, slightly drained
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons steak sauce
1 Tablespoon mustard
1/3 package kielbasa, cut very small
1/2 package bacon
3/4 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 350. Drain some of the liquid off the top of the can of beans then mix with onion, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, steak sauce, mustard, and kielbasa in a large bowl. Pour mixture into a non-stick sprayed 9×13 baking dish then lay bacon strips across the top. Spread ketchup on top of the bacon and bake for 2 hours, or until the top is deeply caramelized. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

It was so caramelized that you couldn’t tell there was ketchup on top (relief) and the kielbasa and pineapple blended nicely into the beans for some excellent flavor. I used less kielbasa than called for (the recipe wanted a whole pound) because I did not want it to upstage the beans.

Later that night we made use of our new grill again (actually Josh did while I was napping) and cooked a steak that I had marinated the night before. Here is the best marinade ever:

1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. Worcestershire
1 t. dry mustard
1 clove garlic
1/4 t. pepper

The steak was so juicy and flavorful after grilling, and Josh had not even added the excess marinade to it while it cooked. I thought he did, because it was soooo good. Try it, all of you. You’re welcome.

We did not go see fireworks although I had intended to. My impromptu evening nap was something of a game changer. I am just glad Josh had the prerogative to grill the steak anyway, and wake me up to have some of it. Not that he usually lacks prerogative, but imagine how grumpy I would have been to wake up at 10 p.m. to hear him say “I thought you didn’t want steak anymore because you were sleeping.” But he knows me better!

I hope all of you had a happy Fourth too. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures!


4 Responses to “Me and Julio”

  1. stephaniegerow July 10, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    I like the new look. The beans sound good, but a little meaty for my taste. I like sweet beans, and it sounds like they were probably sweet. Is a stupid comment better than nothing?
    Have you settled on “Tom”?

    • littleapartment July 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      Today he is Albert. Josh is sure being finicky.
      The beans were sweet and served hot, and really not too meaty. I didn’t have any Bacon on my serving. My phone capitalizes Bacon, no doubt for Sir Francis. Kitten name?

      • stephaniegerow July 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

        Albert! Isn’t that what Robert named everything as a kid? I think calling cats Sir Anything is risking a false step toward crazy cat lady. Or a sure step, I mean, in a bad direction.

        • littleapartment July 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

          I just meant Francis, lol. I’ll have to ask Robert about that. I could only remember Axel and Mordecai. There was an Alberta.

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