Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monterey Jack Turkey Burgers

We love these burgers! Cook them out on the grill or indoors on the George Foreman, serve with some baked fries and you will never know you are sacraficing a thing.

Source: WW New Complete Cookbook
Servings: 4
Points: 6

3/4 pound ground skinless turkey breast
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 Tbl reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbl ketchup
1 tsp minced fresh garlic (feel free to add more if you're Italian)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (I used the 2% reduced fat)
4 strips turkey bacon
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted (I like the whole wheat)
1 tomato, cut into slices (I always add lettuce also)

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, shallots, soy cause, ketchup, garlic, and pepper. Blend in the cheese, then form into 4 burgers.

Heat an indoor ridged grills prayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook the burgers until cooked through, 6-8 minutes on each side. When you turn the burgers, add the bacon to the grill; cook until crisp, 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve the burgers in the buns, with the bacon and tomato slices.

3 Doors Down

Last Saturday night, Jay and I had a great date night. Kendall stayed with her old TA from Patterson Road School and we drove to Bakersfield to see 3 Doors Down. We dropped Kendall off at about 1:30 and she was so excited to be with Mrs. Flores and to see some friends. Mrs. Flores arranged for two of Kendall's good friends to come and spend the night and the next day they had a pool party with some of the teachers and staff from Patterson. It was so comforting for us to know that not only was Kendall safe, but she was going to have a great time while we were gone.

We stopped at Blenders in the Grass for a smoothie and started on the road. The drive to Bakersfield was about 2.5 hours long and the first part was beautiful. We were surrounded by rolling hills and I was just so excited about the concert that I could hardly stand it! We listened to 3 Doors Down pretty much the whole way there and got down there at about 4:00 and checked into our hotel. We were going to just drive back that night, but the concert didn't start until 8:00 and we knew it would be a really late night if we tried to drive home, so we got a room at the Holiday Inn, which was right next to the Rabobank Arena where the concert was. We went up and got settled into our room and went down to the restaurant in the hotel and had dinner. We had to be at the Will Call window by 6:30 to pick up our tickets, so we didn't want to take a chance of being late if we went out and went exploring. We had a really nice dinner in the hotel. Their portions were outrageous, but the food was very good.

After dinner, we headed over to the theater. When we were walking over there, we noticed a lot of young kids and found that odd, considering we were going to a rock concert. We started to question ourselves, because Kendall really wanted to go and we didn't bring her because we didn't know what the crowd would be like and when we saw all of these young kids, we thought maybe we were way off base. When we got to the will call window, we understood what all the kids were doing there. The Rabobank Theater has two arenas, and one was having a hockey game that night. We were at the wrong window, we had to go to the other side and the crowd over there was much more what you would expect for a rock concert. There were no young children and we were behind a girl with long spiked hair that went up at least 12 inches and she had 5 spikes on her head, along with buzzed sides and rainbow bangs. We had to wait about 30 minutes for the doors to open after we got our tickets and we were very entertained the entire time. I love to people watch and there were plenty of people to watch there! Everyone was pretty polite, but there were some people that were a little obnoxious. The security folks came out and told us that if we had a camera, take it back to the car because there were no cameras allowed. I have been to plenty of concerts with that same rule, so I hid my camera at the bottom of my purse and told Jay if there were people all over the place taking pictures, I would take it out, but if not I would leave it in my purse.

We got in and explored the place and found that our "seats" were not seats at all, we had pit passes. I have never been in the pit, other than at the Ventura County Fair, so I was very excited. We went up and grabbed our spots in the front and saw a 12 Stones banner and were perplexed. There was nothing on the website or tickets about an opening band and we didn't realize that 12 Stones would be touring with 3 Doors Down. I turned to Jay and said, "Kendall is going to kill me!" She's a huge 12 Stones fan and I was already questioning whether or not it would have been ok to bring her. After we got settled into our spots, I went to the restroom and to get a t-shirt and saw that not only was 12 Stones selling shirts, but Red (another band that Kendall loves) was also playing. Both 12 Stones and Red are Christian bands and we had no idea either of them would be playing. I got back to our spot in the pit and told Jay, "You're not going to believe who the other opening band is, Kendall is really going to kill me now!"

At promptly 8:00, 12 Stones started their set. It was our second time seeing them and they are very entertaining. We had a security guard directly in front of us and directly behind him was the stage, we could not have been any closer. Unfortunately, there was no way we were getting any pictures and I was pretty disappointed to be that close and not get any pictures, but it was still a great experience to be able to watch the show from that spot. After 12 Stones, there was about a 15 minute break and then Red started. I was a little nervous about Red because Kendall always tells me, "Trust me Shannon, you would not like Red, they would scare you." But you know what? They didn't scare me. I don't know that I am going to run out this second and buy their album, but they were not half-bad. The sound in that theater was really good and even the screaming wasn't too bad ;). After Red there was another 15 minute break and 3 Doors Down came on at about 10:00. They only played for an hour, which was really disappointing, but they sounded great! They played 4 songs off of their upcoming album and they were so gracious and just kept thanking their audience and they had a very simple setup on stage. I have a feeling this was a special performance and was not part of their normal tour. I know I won't have seats like that again, but I can't wait to see them live again! It was a great way to celebrate the end of my first tax season. I'm thinking next year we'll take a cruise.....

1st Tax Season is over!

Well, I officially made it through my first tax season! Not without incident, of course. As many of you know, two weeks before the end of tax season I got very sick. That Sunday (March 30th), Jay was working a shift and Kendall and I were watching a movie and my lower abdomen starting hurting. It felt similar to the way menstrual cramps feel, but since it wasn't that time. I knew that wasn't what I was experiencing. I made it through the day, but could not sleep that night. I was literally bent over in pain and was trying not to wake up Jay, because he had another shift that Monday and had to be up at 4:30 am. I almost woke him up to take me to the ER, but I figured the pain would cease and I would be fine. I woke up to my alarm at 5:30 and could not function. I had been up about every hour that night and knew there was no way I was up for a full day of work, so I called and left a message for my boss and let her know that I that I was up all night and was going to sleep for a couple of hours and hopefully be in at around 10:00. I slept until 8:00 and got up and was extremely nauseous and started vomiting. I knew then that work that day was out of the question, no matter how busy it was. I felt terrible, leaving my coworkers hanging like that, but I just couldn't do a thing about it. I was in a lot of pain all day and when Kendall came home at 3:35 and hugged me, she told me I felt really warm. I took my temperature and it was 100 degrees (my normal is 97.4) and I knew something was wrong. I was up again all night and had major night sweats and in the morning I told Jay I needed to go to the doctor. So, I called into work (again) and let my boss know I was going to the doctor to find out what was going on. Jay was working from home that day so he called the base and they told me they wouldn't be able to get me in until Thursday so we should go to Urgent Care. They took my temp and blood pressure and asked me some questions and gave me a cup for a urine test. Jay and I both found this odd, since we figured it was something going on with my stomach since that's where the pain was, but as it turns out, I had a bladder infection that had gone into my kidneys. I never had any bladder infection symptoms, so I was shocked! They gave me an antibiotic shot (ouch!) and a prescription for Cipro and told me they wanted me back the next day to check on me. We had to wait about 20 minutes to make sure my body didn't have an adverse affects to the shot and then went home and I rested and Jay went and picked up my prescription for me. I had another rough night but felt significantly better the next morning. We called the base again and they wanted to see me there instead of at Urgent Care so we went to the base and they said that unless I my symptoms got worse, they didn't need to see me again. I thought for sure I'd be back at work on Thursday, but Thursday morning I got up and took my antibiotics and didn't realize I could not take them on an empty stomach and I was nauseous and vomiting again, so I had to call work and tell them it would be one more day without me. Fortunately, they were extremely understanding and so gracious with me. It really showed me what a great team of people I am working with.

I am much, much better now and just want to mention that if your body is telling you something is wrong, you need to listen. I am not one to run to the doctor every time I get the sniffles, but this time I knew something was wrong and had I not gone when I did, I would have ended up in the hospital and been out of work even longer.

I'm happy to say I made it back to work that Friday and although I was tired at the end of the day, I survived! I made it through the next week with flying colors and although it was INSANELY busy, everyone worked together really well and I was so impressed at how people chip in and help each other out. It's so nice to be on a team with people that are willing to do what it takes and no one has that "that's not my job" mentality.

We closed early on April 15th and had a party at the home of one of the Partners. She has a beautiful home in Ballard with a lap pool and huge patio and a bridge with a wonderful sitting area and a garden shed that looks like a cottage! We had trip-tip, chicken, beans, salad, bread, chips and guacamole and chocolate covered strawberries. I had such a great time and even though I got a terrible sunburn (leave it to me) it was the perfect way to end tax season.

The office was closed on the 16th so I got some maintenance done on my car, got my hair colored, and went shoe shopping :).

Since I've been back, the atmosphere is completely different. All of the per diem staff is gone, the phone is much quieter, and we're all working at a much different pace and although the excitement of tax season is invigorating, I must say it is nice to be able to breath when I'm at work. We're starting to interview for the front desk position now, so I will be able to move on and learn some new things and I am very excited! The front desk was a great place for me to start out, but I am ready to move on now. I can't wait to see what the next chapter brings!

Beach Day

Two weeks ago (yes, I am very behind in my blogging), Jay and Kendall and I got to church at 8:45 am to work in the coffee shop only to discover that the large refrigerater was broken and all of the smoothie mix, milk, half and half, cream cheese, butter, everything had spoiled. We don't know exactly when it stopped working, but it was obvious that it had at least been a few days. I had never seen milk separated like that! Fortunately, everything was closed up so it didn't smell bad. We helped the crew clean out the fridge and decided to go to the early service, since our assistance in the coffee shop would not be needed (the fridge is fixed now and everything is back up and running, yea!) Kendall was really disappointed that she wasn't going to make it to youth group, since youth group is only during 2nd service and we were going to 1st service, so we decided to let her stay after church to go to youth group and Jay and I went to Starbucks (we had to have our coffee, after all) and then went to Walmart to pick up a few things we needed while we waited for Kendall. We were leaving Walmart and ran into our favorite employee there. He's a gentleman that is probably in his mid-fifties and he has a build similar to Santa and I think he must be related because he's got a huge heart. Everytime we see him, he's wearing a long ring necklace made of dollar bills. He's constanly raising money for the American Cancer Society and doesn't hesitate to tell everyone about his cause. We may even join him for the big walk in July. Everyone knows someone who has been affected by this horrible disease and I just love this man who has such a heart to help out in any way possible. We're always digging for dollar bills when we see him so that we can add to his necklace. This particular day it was absolutely gorgeous outside and our friend practically demanded that Jay take me to the beach. We thought it was a fabulous idea, so we went and picked up Kendall and came home and grabbed a few things and decided to have lunch at Avila beach. We didn't grab our suits and sunscreen and the whole bit, we just wanted to play a little catch and have lunch and watch the ocean. We stopped at Trader Joe's on the way there and picked up some lunch and then drove to Avila. There were so many people there that we had to park way up the highway, but it was worth it. What a beautiful day! There was a slight breeze, it was warm out, and we were so content there sitting on the steps having our lunch and walking down the beach that we had not a care in the world. I love days like that. We didn't really have a plan, but it ended up being such a wonderful day.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin