Ground Beef Lo Mein

If you don’t have steak, this is a great option for some tasty lo mein. First, I used spaghetti for this dish instead of lo mein noodles. You can use either, but I usually keep lots of spaghetti on hand, so I used that. I used mushrooms and green beans for my veggies, but you can use many other veggies such as bok choy, carrots, peas, or radishes. Sesame oil is one of the biggest elements to this dish. The flavor and richness it brings to the sauce is important. I also used part worcestershire sauce and part soy sauce, because the worcestershire sauce has extra flavoring like added ginger, garlic and onion. You can, however, use just soy sauce to get the same great flavor. Finally, this recipe serves a lot! We had six generous sized portions with this recipe. The recipe also holds it’s heat well, but it also doesn’t need any time to cool before serving.

  1. Begin by boiling 16 oz of spaghetti until al dente. Strain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven or wok, begin browning 1 pound of ground beef and crumbling it. Add 1/2 cup diced onion and cook until translucent.
  3. Once browned, add 1 can strained sliced mushrooms. Add 1 Tbsp ground ginger and 1 Tbsp garlic powder. Add 2 tsp sesame oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce. Stir until mushrooms where heated through.
  4. Strain a can of green beans, add to beef mixture. Then add strained spaghetti. Carefully stir and keep over heat until everything is heated through. Remove from heat and immediately serve.

Extraordinary Turkey Sandwich

This turkey sandwich is topped with fresh veggies from the garden, and a special sauce to knock your socks off. Apply the special sauce liberally to your sandwich to enjoy it’s flavor with everything else. I used dark turkey meat, but you can feel free to use white meat. I also added lots of lettuce and radishes. This added more flavors and textures, but it also made the sandwich very filling, making two sandwiches more than enough for a single person. I now believe that I am in fact mildly allergic to radishes, however, an allergy pill is more than enough to relieve all effects.

  1. In a small ramekin, add 1/2 cup mayo, 2 Tbsp ketchup, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp dried minced onion, and 1 tsp garlic powder. Stir together.
  2. Toast your bread. Add a smear of dressing on both inside pieces of bread. Layer on top of one piece, add a layer of turkey.
  3. Layer on top of that a slice of cheese, a layer of lettuce, and finally, a layer of sliced radishes. This is a large sandwich, if you prepare 2, you don’t need to serve it with sides.

Green Room Flooring

Our first room to add new flooring to was a room we call the green room, but really, we were using it as a guest room, storage room, and office. We didn’t have much in the green room, a name it was given due to it’s very green carpet, so we cleared the room of all things on the floor and got to work. The first step was removing baseboards and removing the very long and twisted brad nails they used. Because the house has metal walls under the plaster, the nails would go into the plaster and bend in all sorts of ways when it hit the metal underneath.

Once the baseboards were off we began removing the flooring. We cut the green rug in half and rolled it up in two parts for our garbage men. We then had to pull up the underlayment the was partly glued to the floor, cut it in half and roll it up with the carpet. Josh then went through and pulled out all the furring strips around the edges of the room. We ended up unrolling an underlayment roll, and rerolling it with the furring strips in the middle.

Along the edge of the room, we had a 1 inch lip that came out into the room about 3 inches. To lay a floating floor, the flooring underneath has to be level. So, we chipped out the cement around the room and placed it in a garbage bag. We then mixed Quikrete sand with water and cemented the area we chipped out, making sure it was packed and level. Once it was dry, I washed the floor, twice, and I added 2 coats of Drylok Concrete Protector, a paint that makes the floor waterproof and works as a partial vapor barrier. Once the painting was done, we spray foamed and trimmed it along the edges to make it flush with the wall. We also cut any touching the floor were we were going to add the flooring.

Then, we rolled out the vapor barrier and underlayment combined. We placed it vapor barrier side do. The pieces tape together under the edges, and otherwise the vapor barrier floats like the floor, meaning it doesn’t attach directly to our painted cement.

I then did the math of how to lay out the flooring without extensive repetition and without wasting an extensive amount of material. We decided to do full boards, 3/4 boards, 1/2 boards, and 1/4 boards. We had to trim off an extra 2 inches off each row, but it fit and was able to get finished. We started with the jagged pieces under the door. they needed the most cuts. Once that was done, we put it in place and made sure they were equidistant from the opposite wall, meaning they were parallel to the room. We then used a floor tapping kit to help us assemble the floor. It was not recommended to use this kind of kit with this flooring, but we just made sure to be very careful and not hit it too hard when just trying to tighten up the seams. Finally, we laid our last row under the window. We had to trim off a bit of the board length-wise to get it to sit against the floor.

To remove the furring strips, Josh used a hammer and chisel to get under then pliers to pull it out. To chip out the cement we used a hammer and a metal chisel. To mix the cement we used a mixer attachment for the drill. We used a cement pedal and our hands to place and smooth the cement. I taped a broom handle to a paint roller to pain the flooring, and to do all the board cutting, we used a tables saw with a table sled. Laying the floor only took about 3 hours and we placed 22 rows. The prep work took about 45 hours (most of it waiting for things to dry) spread over about 2 weeks.

Turkey Tacos

I really like tacos, but I especially like salsa. Foods with salsa are always a fun treat, so I like to make different varieties of tacos. I have extra turkey from Thanksgiving still. So, I thawed a container of dark meat and decided to make tacos. I made more homemade tortillas (recipe here), and I just decided to wing it. I’ve begun freezing diced onion, since I don’t want my onions going bad, So that is why my diced onion was in an ice chunk. I also would recommend adding the onion, frozen or not, with the spices to give them enough time to cook. You could even add them before the turkey if you’d like. I served my tacos with mozzarella, jarred salsa, and some romaine lettuce from the garden.

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 cup of torn turkey. Heat for 3 minutes before adding 1 Tbsp oil. Continue to cook and stir until turkey is browned.
  2. Once your turkey is browned, add 1/2 diced onion. Add 1 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, and 2 tsp garlic powder. Stir and cook for 1 minute before adding 1/4 cup water.
  3. Stir mixture and let cook until all liquid boils off. Once liquid is boiled off, add 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Stir until melted, then serve on homemade tortillas with lettuce and salsa.

Butter Ramen Noodles

This was one of my favorite college foods. Ramens are delicious dry, and are tasty as a soup, but if it’s hot out or you need a quick meal, this is a great choice. I made this as a side for me and my husband, and it’s a great option as a side dish if you also have a family. The salty flavor of the ramen is complimented by the oil, and the oil helps distribute the flavoring evenly through the noodles. If you want, you can add an additional 2 Tbsp of water, if you’d prefer a thinner sauce. But this is a meal ready in minutes!

  1. Boil 2 packets of chicken ramen noodles in water for 5 minutes. Strain your noodles.
  2. Add 1/4 cup coconut oil to the pot, 1 Tbsp butter, and both packets of chicken flavoring from your ramen. Stir the mixture until the butter and oil melt. Return the noodles to the pot and toss until fully and evenly covered. Place in a bowl and enjoy!

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