At long last, I’m back. Did you miss me?

After reading an article on Mark’s Daily Apple about the importance of scheduling a Deload Week in your fitness regimen, I figured this concept applies equally well to blogging. Everyone needs a break to recharge and come back stronger, faster, and better. Plus, it’s been fun being a couch potato cheering on the Giants in the World Series. Okay, to be honest, I don’t really care about the Series – Henry’s the baseball fanatic in the family – but I love cheering on Paleo athlete Hunter Pence. Go, caveman, go!

After sleeping a restorative nine hours on Wednesday night, I was back in full-on mommy mode when the sun came up. Once the kids had breakfasted on eggs and Big-O scampered off to school, it was my turn for some sunny-side-up protein…

…and a chaser of bone broth. Note to self: don’t make bone broth with lamb bones, even meaty ones. The odor is…unpleasant.

Lil-O’s assessment: “Your breath smells like insects, mommy.”

Some vigorous teeth-brushing ensued, and then Lil-O and I spent the morning and afternoon playing Legos and Hide-and-Hug.

Never heard of Hide-and-Hug? (Not surprising, since we just kind of made it up.) The game’s just like Hide-and-Seek, but you hug each other when you’re found. I’m not ashamed to admit that I totally cheat at this game to score extra cuddles.

Between sessions of hiding under furniture, I managed to sneak in some cooking in the afternoon – I baked a tray of sweet potatoes in the toaster oven…

…and boiled a half dozen eggs.

For lunch, Lil-O had his usual plate of scrambled eggs and sliced strawberries. Me? I reheated leftover Slow Cooker Asian Short Ribs (recipe coming soon!), sautéed a handful of baby kale, and grabbed a small baked yam for myself.

In the afternoon, we picked up Big-O from school and the two boys spent the rest of the day reenacting a Weird Al Yankovic concert in our family room. Hands down, one of the best purchases I made this month was a set of inflatable rock band instruments from Amazon. The kids entertained themselves (and me) for hours by playing air keytars and dancing like their favorite rockstar. Best of all: The balloon instruments emit no sounds.

Just like every other night, I neglected to plan for dinner. Rummaging through the fridge, I found a bag of Portobello mushrooms that needed attention…

…and a pound of ground beef in my defrost bowl.

Burger time!

I decided to make Portobello mushroom “buns” and I prepared them per my usual method

…in my convection toaster oven. I purposely cooked them on convection mode so that the circulating hot air would take out even more of the moisture from the ‘shrooms.

No one likes handling wet, slippery buns, right? 

I seasoned the grind with a healthy pinch of kosher salt and Penzeys Turkish seasoning

…formed four burgers…

…and fried up the quarter-pounders in some melted ghee.

I tucked the burgers in between the mushrooms…

…and garnished them with leftover Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

…and butter lettuce.

Now this is what I call an umami burger.

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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