SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks

Starting back in April, I demanded politely requested a weekly date night with my husband.  Although I think he hated was hesitant at first, it’s a routine we both count on now.  We’ve tried a few “new to us” restaurants, a few favorites, and revisited some we’ve not been to in years.  We’ve had a picnic by the river and experienced the fine cuisine at TK’s Tavern when he’s running late for Friday pool league.

This week has been crazy with a capital C.  Back to School Night, karate, etc.  He’s got several jobs he’s trying to finish, which adds several hours to every day.  I really expected this week he’d go to pool while the monkeys and I chowed down on leftover fried rice (yum!!!). But he called after work with “What are your thoughts on dinner?”

While I’m tearing the house apart, desperately searching for Monkey #2’s karate pants is not the best time to ask me this. 

And still, we were running behind.

“How about Arby’s? Its on the way.”

I love that place.  Their little ham and cheddar sandwich is cheap. The jamocha shake is amazing. And we spent less than $20. On a dinner on date night! The kitchen was a little on the slow side, but the food was worth it.

I have figured out through the experiences over the past few months that it’s not really about the food.  It’s the time together, without the monkeys, to talk and catch up and laugh and flirt. Do I love going to the pool hall practically every Friday? Not every week, for sure. But do I love the alone time before? Yes.

So, while it’s a routine, and you can set your watch by it, our date night dinners aren’t about the food. I think we’d do just as well with Little Caesar’s and Red box.  As long as we get that it’s quality time, that’s what is important.

How do you make sure to squeeze honey time into your schedule?

~ Katie

Posted from WordPress for Android


{September 1, 2014}   Recipe: Broccoli Burger Braid

First of all, my CDO isn’t as severe as Jeepnmom’s. Let me make that crystal clear right now.  I don’t lose my poo over nearly as many things as my precious bff. I’m all about some routines, though, and my Monday dinners are a big deal to me.

They started while Pioneer Woman was deployed, so her husband had a home cooked meal at least once a week, and have continued for over a year.  Usually l chunk something in the crockpot on my way out the door, due to faculty meetings and schedules. The one Monday I actually attempted to cancel, they showed up with pizza and beer. They know me and my “stuff.”

Today is Labor Day. Most of America is grilling with family and friends. Not the House of Cheaptitude. 1. Grizzly is working. 2. Pioneer Woman is traveling. 3. Pioneer Woman’s hubby hasn’t been to Monday dinner since June. 4. I don’t grill.

I didn’t feel like a freezer meal though.  And I had an idea that sounded divine to me.  Have you ever been to a Pampered Chef party and had the yummy Chicken and Broccoli Braid? One of my favorites.  I rarely make it because I’m always crunched for time, but it sounds good today.

I don’t have some of the ingredients. I don’t like some of the ingredients.  So here is my take on the braid.

Cheeseburger Broccoli Braid
1 cup browned ground meat (deer, at my house)
1 cup shredded cheese
2 tablespoons mayo – I actually add more so it’ll be more moist. You can also use ranch dressing – yum!
1 cup finely chopped broccoli (tonight I’m using green beans because I’m out of broccoli!)
Garlic powder, salt, pepper, dill to taste
1 package refrigerated crescent rolls – almost bought just the sheet dough!

Combine everything but the dough in a bowl. Mix well  – everything should be moist.  On a cookie sheet – I use a large bar stone – roll out the dough and press the seams together.  Using a knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough 1/4 of the way in, matching each side, about 6-8 times.  Scoop the filling into the middle strip of the dough. Bring the cut sides together and twist. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
So there it is. It may be just the monkeys and me, but it’s a yummy, easy dinner!

What’s your go-to when you have some extra time?

~ Katie

Posted from WordPress for Android


Monday is usually a crockpot day for me, since I never know what time I’ll be home from my meetings at school.  Today, that just didn’t happen.    It was leftover night in SoBo Mama’s kitchen.

I honestly do not recall what we had Friday for dinner.  Because that is our typical “Go Out to Eat Night,” I think we went to Taco Bell (Monkey 2’s current “restaurant” of choice.)  Saturday, the in-laws wanted to get together, as Mountain Man was heading to Alaska for work, but it really hurts my feelings to spend so much money going out to eat.  I volunteered Grizzly’s grilling expertise, so we were able to stay home.  By the time it was said and done, we probably spent almost as much money as we would have in a fancy pants restaurant, but with an added bonus – leftovers.

So tonight, after picking the Monkeys up from PaPaw, I explored to fridge.  We had ribs, chicken breasts, mystery beans, potato salad, and half of the grown-up grilled cheese I’d had the night before.  Monkey 1, full on spaghetti and hot cocoa (thanks, PaPaw!), complained he wasn’t hungry at all.  I made him a no-thank you helping of beans.  Monkey 2 has a hollow leg these days and wanted beans and a rib.  Of course, she tried to eat the rib with a knife and fork (she is her mommy’s daughter!!) before I explained the special techniques involved in rib-eating.  And Grizzly wasn’t hungry at all (bet he has some of those amazing green beans at the pool hall, big donkey.)

Nobody wanted the chicken but I have some ideas for it!

  • Idea #1 – slice the chicken into strips and wrap in crescent rolls.  I could serve with ranch dressing or wing sauce and some kind of veggies.  Yum!
  • Idea #2 – chop the chicken with my Pampered Chef Chopper (my favorite gadget these days!), boil some pasta, toss with breadcrumbs, garlic, and butter, maybe serving with broccoli.

I’m also thinking about a picnic night later this week to finish off the potato salad and beans.  Maybe Grizzly can grill some hot dogs…..

See, my family is not crazy about leftovers so I have to get creative.  And any time the big guy grills, there are lots of leftovers, as he grills for a small army.  If I’m not creative, my dog is going to get fat!

I’m not sure about the leftover ribs.  I don’t eat meat on the bone and it’s harder for me to get creative.  Any ideas?

Does your family eat leftovers?  What creative ideas do you have?

~ Katie



et cetera
%d bloggers like this: