Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Night Dinner

Wednesday Night Dinner

It has been raining here for two days and it is gloriously windy outside. I’ve been thrilling over the display outside my writing windows. My heirloom roses are all greenery right now but they seem to dance in the wind and continually tap the wide window in front of me as if to get my attention. “Look out here,” they seem to say… and I do. Cardinals are everywhere!

Nestled in the branches of this ever growing rose bush… a gift from my FIL so many years ago… are males and females. They sing to each other and are happier than I’ve seen them all year. They fly right through the thorns without grazing their feathers and flit from one plant to another.

Tonight, they were decorating my now all brown and branches Confederate Rose, like ornaments on a Christmas tree. The heavy rains had turned into a soft piddle paddle and water was pooling up from here to our vehicles. These startling red birds (males) and those with a watercolor red (females) were pecking all over the ground and playing in the water. It was the nicest gift from my faithful Father. He knew how dearly I could appreciate such a special sight this day.

Venison is browning slowly on the stove top for our venison chili tonight. We’ll top our steaming bowls with chopped onions and shredded cheddar and maybe even add a wee scoop of sour cream. Smiles.

A dear friend once told me (and for those of you who read the other time I shared this, forgive the repeat) to always keep the supplies on hand for making chocolate chip cookies. She said that no matter how tight the finances got… it offered a bit of comfort. I’ve found her to be very wise. I haven’t always managed to keep the supplies up with grocery prices rising but I try. I find if I have enough flour, sugar, butter, and other basics to make up something to bake…it serves us well. Just a note for those who must keep a watchful eye on the grocery budget!

My daughter adores brownies. I would say she loves them but adore sounds more emphatic somehow and this girl is very fond of chocolate-y rich brownies. With all the rain and wind going on and since we missed going to church as planned, I knew we needed something warm from the oven.

These brownies were easy, made the entire kitchen fill with a bakery like fragrance, they were very pretty and delicious! We ate our squares hot from the oven with a cold glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Brownies
2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup butter
½ cup peanut butter
4 eggs
¼ cup sweet milk
Mix all ingredients together and pour in 11 X 17-inch pan. Cook until toothpick comes clean.

Recipe used from:
“Sharing Our Best”
A Second Helping
A Collection of Recipes by: Trinity United Methodist Church

The cookbook was a gift from my mom since I always picked it up when visiting her to flip through the recipes. I found out it was very special to her because my oldest sister gave it to her in 1999 so it meant even more to me when I realized she parted with something close to her heart. I tried to not take it but she insisted I did so I think of her goodness and beautiful spirit every time I open it. I also think of my sister because she shares our mother’s giving heart.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Lauren Cooks...

Tired but still attempting to record our meals and/or recipes.
Tonight, Lauren made her first chicken and it was DELICIOUS.

One, she called her Asian Chicken and the other was Ranch Chicken. Her dad cut the chicken breasts into bite or a bit bigger size squares. She used disposable gloves my mom gave us a box of because she has the same aversion to the handling of raw meat her mother does.

Anyway, for the first recipe, she just mixed soy sauce and honey together and heated in the microwave to mix well. She added butter to the skillet and let it melt, added the chicken to the butter and let it cook just a little bit --- until it was turning white. She added the soy sauce honey mixture and finished cooking all the way through.
The second was cooked exactly the same way but she put Ranch powder over the chicken instead of soy sauce and honey. She also drizzled some olive oil over this.

The small, two batches worth of chicken provided dinner last night as well as breakfast and lunch today.
The dinner menu was: Asian and Ranch Chicken Breast Bites, Oven Roasted Potatoes, and Buttermilk Biscuits made from Gold Medal Buttermilk Biscuit Mix.

Oven Roasted Potatoes: Cut in bite sized pieces (hers are bite sized wedges) and drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle Ranch powder over them and then toss them to coat. Bake at 425 degrees until as cooked and crispy as you like.

Blake’s Breakfast Biscuits

My husband served me these in bed today! It blesses me still even typing about it!
Anyway, he split open the biscuits from last night and spread a bit of homemade apple jelly on the bottom. He topped them with the potatoes and chicken from last night and added cheese to that. He heated them in the microwave for a few seconds and they were delicious!

For lunch, I made Open biscuit sandwiches. I halved the biscuits (still from previous night) and topped with already heated up potatoes and chicken topped with melted cheese. We drizzled our last bit of balsamic vinegar over them and ate with forks!

Lauren is trying Parmesan Chicken Bites today so I’ll let you know how they turn out!

"For me, a plain baked potato is the most delicious one....It is soothing and enough." M.F.K. Fisher

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Quick Catch Up

Forgive my hurry!
If this isn’t worded precisely enough, I can blame my exhaustion. Long story.

Anyway, in my effort to keep up with my goal of recording as much as I can of what we prepare and eat around here, I’m adding as time allows. This means there will be times like now when I just share a “mixed bag” of recipes or food descriptions of what I can remember making lately.

Okay. Tonight, we had cheddar pizza and one part of it had sautéed julienned carrots. We also threw a pan of chicken breasts into the oven so they will be baked for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.

For the pizza sauce, I just mixed some oregano, garlic powder, smoky paprika, and onion salt into tomato sauce. For the crust, I used a recipe from :

Quick and Easy Pizza Crust
Yields: 8 servings

1 (.25 ounce) package active
dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal. Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 Printed from 12/2/2008

This crust was very easy and one of the softest and loveliest I’ve ever made. There wasn’t the texture I prefer but it was a great choice for a busy night.

We’ve made a few more batches of the Oatmeal Cookies using the recipe from the Quaker Oatmeal lid and adding chopped chocolate.

Things have been so busy around here and we were in FLORIDA (left on Wednesday and got back early Monday morning) so I don’t recall the rest. I was working on Nano Wrimo three weeks in November so I didn’t have time for much other typing!