Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Blueberry Day

     Yesterday morning, I made a quick pot of morning oatmeal. As it sat covered on the stove top to keep warm for everyone while they got ready for school, the phone rang. It was our son, Brandon calling from the fire station where he had his first day of work. This was a beautiful answer to prayer and a HUGE display of God’ s wonder.

     Anyway, he was heading over to catch seeing his little brother before school. He (along with every one of my kids) is no longer an oatmeal eater (as you can see, I still fix it!) because they all say I made it too much when they were growing up.

     I started a batch of pancakes from a mix we have been buying from Sam’s for years. Brandon and his teenage sister asked for blueberries so I tumbled a generous amount from a freezer bag of them and they cooked beautifully in without being thawed. I heated the syrup, added pats of butter and we had a wonderful breakfast. The oatmeal got left on the sidelines for a baking venture later.

     Later in the day, I was in the kitchen when I heard a small series of knocks and taps. I opened the door to see my twin niece & nephew standing there with Nana & Papa! We were so happy to see them and I started a fresh pot of coffee. I wanted to make something very quick and comforting to serve and I knew Papa just loved blueberry muffins I made in the past so I looked for a recipe. Everything called for eggs and we were out and I didn’t have ingredients for the vegan versions I found online. I pulled out a Bisquick cookbook my sister gave me right after her 23 year old daughter, my niece was killed in a car accident. The book had been ordered for Nikki because she was trying to learn how to cook and she needed something not complicated. She had a tendency to burn bacon, eggs, and just about anything else she put on the stove top… smiles and heart pains as I remember this precious girl.

     Right inside the cookbook cover was a recipe for blueberry muffins but it called for an egg. My mom said I could use mayonnaise instead because it had eggs in it. I was skeptical but it worked! The muffins were baked in our Pampered Chef stoneware pan and they came out beautiful and delicious.

     I did a quick online search to see if I could find the recipe to save time hand typing it and I did! This one from RecipeZaar is the same one in the book! I’ve added my little notes as well.

Bisquick Blueberry Muffins


• 2 cups Bisquick (reduced fat is fine, too)

• 1/3 cup sugar (I used sucanat and it could use a few tablespoons more next time)

• 2/3 cup milk

• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 egg (I used two tablespoons of mayonnaise)

• 3/4 cup organic frozen blueberries (smaller, juicier) ---I used over a cup!

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Grease muffin pan well.

3. Stir all ingredients except blueberries in medium bowl, just until moistened.

4. Fold in berries.

5. Divide batter evenly in 9 muffin cups.

6. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Cool slightly and remove from pan to wire rack.

8. Yield: 9 muffins.

© 2009 Recipezaar. All Rights Reserved. http://www.recipezaar.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

“Our Wednesday” / September 23rd, 2009

Finally keeping track of these days so we can fill up a scrapbook and have a record of recipes, memories, and more.

Brandy (DIL) got a gift card for Christmas from “the aunts” (my husband’s aMazing sisters) and she couldn’t wait to use it. She went through the site and finally narrowed her choices to a couple of things for herself (something she so rarely does it is a wonder she has clothes to wear!) and waited for months just to make sure.

What she ended up doing with that certificate touched me to tears and will always be held in my heart. She wanted to thank me for throwing her a baby shower so she searched and searched the site until she found me the neatest journal I have ever had. It is literally hand crafted with bamboo leaves and has a cinnamon stick enclosure. I’m going to try to scan it and see if the picture shows up well enough to share it. The pages are all handmade paper and I have decided to use it for our Wednesdays. We’ll each write something in it and maybe let the kids make a mark or two.

Pictures do not do these justice!

If that wasn’t enough, she also ordered me a dream-come-true scrapbook from the same place! It is also hand -made and has hand-stamped leaves covering it and I love it so much I’ll have to force myself to use it! These are pretty enough to place on a display shelf!

ANYway, we are using those to hold the journal of these shared times and I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Yesterday, we had Laura, my other sweet DIL here with us and my son/her husband for a bit! He was down for an appointment on his way to being a fire fighter (he got hired so we are celebrating with him!) and they were in town. We women were talking in the kitchen while cooking and taking care of the littles and it was so nice.

Our menu was: broccoli & cheddar “stew” along with freshly baked rolls and chocolate cupcakes with cheesecake centers. It took awhile to prepare but was worth it!

For the Broccoli & Cheddar “Stew”, I sautéed a chopped red onion (preferred regular onions for this but had none) in butter and olive oil until softened a bit. I cook my vegetables less and less now to get more nutritional benefits from them and for the added texture. Brandy chopped several cloves of garlic and they were tossed in with the onions, olive oil and butter.

I simply made chicken broth out of the left over steamed water from the broccoli (steamed it, of course) and add that and some half-n-half (we are out of milk) until the desired consistency. I added shredded sharp cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and let a sprinkle of basil dance in.

After this, I snuck a “shot” of oyster sauce for flavor! The last part was just keeping it stirred, adding about 1/4th of the broccoli and using a hand immersion blender to blend everything up and then stirred in the rest of the broccoli.


I was late for the first time ever to get Braxton from school and was s haking when I frantically called to tell them I was on the way. I looked down and realized I could not go INTO the school with my apron all askew and things wiped all over it! Brandy left her soup, handed me the baby and picked him up for me. Praise God that is over and I hope I don’t do it again!

The rolls… food’s version of “Gone in 60 Seconds” ;)

Perfect Dinner Rolls
Adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cup, then leveled off

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour - on low speed with the paddle attachment incorporate the flour to create a wet, sticky mixture. Still on low speed, add 1 cup of the remaining flour and incorporate. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 cup flour. On low speed, mix the dough to incorporate the final addition of flour until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the speed to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl - turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 -30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate into a rectangle. Cut it in half vertically, then each half vertically again into thirds so you have 6 equal strips of dough. Cut each strip of dough into fourths by cutting horizontally to make 24 little squares of dough. Take each piece of dough and cup it lightly under the palm of your hand on a clean surface. Press lightly and start rotating and rolling the dough ball quickly so that it forms a nice little ball of dough. Once you get some practice, you can do this with both hands at the same time and really speed up the process.

Place each rolled piece of dough into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan in rows of 4 about 1/2-inch apart. Cover the rolls in the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise to double while your oven is preheating to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) - about 20 minutes. If you want an even more golden color to the rolls, brush them with a little melted butter before baking. Bake for 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vinegar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,
1 egg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 2 cups sugar, cocoa, 1 teaspoon salt and baking soda. Stir in oil, water, vinegar and vanilla until blended. Pour mixture into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.
3. To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop a heaping teaspoonful of the cream cheese mixture into each cupcake. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/24/2009

Wednesday Night Wonder

Yesterday was a FULL day, dear ones!
It was Wednesday, the day my DIL and I get together with the grandbabies and eat a lunch and visit with a movie, scrapbooking session or something equally casual. :)
I’ll write that up in a separate post because they get lengthy with my “talkative” (or “write-a-tive? Ha, Ha!) self.

Last night, it was last minute dinner for ten plus a baby. I used the search feature of my computer (falling a bit in love with it, I must say) to find a pizza dough recipe I had in an email folder to try. Found the sauce recipe on my used so often it is ridiculous recipe website: www.allrecipes.com and pulled mozzarella from the freezer. We buy this in big bags at Sam’s and seal up in small Food Saver bags once we get home.

My DIL made sweet tea while taking care of Miss Hailey Hope and even washed my sheets and blanket and re-made my bed! Long story (aren’t so many of them this way around here?) but I put clean ones on the previous night AND the morning of. The reason for all this bed changing?! A wayward beagle who is a run- away rebel and FINDS a way to get my bedding dirty. He was washed by my 15 year old daughter who was pre-occupied at the time and he could have used a spray down at a car wash but whatever. The deal is … my darling dear did the task for me and I appreciated it immensely.

The girls (ours here and a precious friend who “lives” here off and on … smiles) cleaned counters, kept dishes up, peeled and sliced cucumbers, cut up lettuce and threw together dressing for a salad. It all ended up being delicious and fed everyone with left overs!

Quick & Easy Pizza Dough
1 - 1/4 oz packet of yeast
1 - cup warm water
1 - tsp sugar
1 - tsp salt
2 - tablespoons oil (vegt or olive)
2 1/2 - cup all purpose flour
2 - tablespoons cornmeal - optional for sprinkling on cookie sheet

Dissolve yeast in warm water and add sugar. Let yeast sit about 10 minutes (you want it good and foamy). Stir in remaining ingredients until blended. Beat vigorously 20 strokes. I removed the dough from the bowl and kneaded it until it was no longer sticky. I placed the dough in a greased bowl, turning dough to coat all sides. Allow dough to rest 5 minutes ( I let mine sit 20-30 min) in a bowl with saran wrap or a towel over it. Preheat oven to 425, spread dough onto a lightly greased baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal (optional). Top with desired toppings and bake for 20 minutes This makes 1 - 14 inch pizza.

When resting the dough: I covered the dough with saran wrap and a towel. Then I turned on the oven light and put a bowl of hot water underneath the covered pizza dough bowl on the bottom rack of the oven to help it rise faster.(notes from the same one I got the recipe from)
From my files saved off a blog post from: www.mommyskitchen.blogspot.com

Easy Pizza Sauce III

"Quick and easy pizza sauce. No cooking and quick to make."

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground oregano 1 1/2 teaspoons dried minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1. In a medium bowl, Mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth. Stir in oregano, garlic and paprika.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Allrecipes.com
Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/23/2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Birthday Celebrations

We had such a wonderful time celebrating our son’s 22nd birthday over the weekend. It was a double blessing because Grandpa turned 70 on September 14th and two of Blake’s sisters picked him up and brought him home to celebrate there. We basically held one party here, took it next door for awhile and came back down.
A large group of us shared chicken fingers and mashed potatoes (a ten pound bag and several sticks of butter later!) and I made a cake. Brandon had been asking since he got home from Italy for the cake I finally re-found the recipe for.
Granna and Grandpa used to come over anywhere from one to several times a week for a full meal, coffee and dessert and a movie. This cake was Granna’s favorite (well, it was tied with another one) and something so good our son thought of it while away.
I’ve shared the recipe before but I’ll do so again because I still don’t know how to link to previous posts!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Wacky Cake
Servings: 18

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
10 tablespoons butter, melted 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and white sugar.
2. To the sifted ingredients, add the 10 tablespoons butter or margarine, vinegar, and warm water. Mix thoroughly, but do not beat. Pour batter into ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove cake from oven, but keep it in the pan.
4. Cream together peanut butter, brown sugar, milk, and 1/4 cup butter or margarine. Spread icing onto cake. Place under broiler until brown and bubbly.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2009 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/21/2009

We were supposed to play a bunch of games but it didn’t work out. A whole crew of the guys went camping the night before and were all very, very tired. There were also dogs at home needing to be walked, kids running along the floors and sides of the walls… smile.
All in all . . . it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d been hoping and dreaming it up to be but we were together. We were together and he was home after spending the past few birthdays far away from us!

*For any family reading this* Please let me know if I can get pictures of the birthday?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lunch in the midst of activities!

I made this for our lunch on Saturday. Enjoyed immensely by two families! I was BUSY from morning until after midnight with shopping, having company with babies visiting with my DIL and I and our grandtweets:) Later, I had to shower and get dressed for my husband's 25th high school reunion!

The sauce for this was blended and set to simmer while the pasta cooked and I set about getting laundry done and preparing to leave. Very nice plan on a day full of activity.

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

1 (28 ounce) jar tomato pasta sauce
1 cup half-and-half
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. In a large saucepan combine pasta sauce, half and half, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and basil. Simmer over low heat for 45 to 50 minutes; do not boil.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Toss pasta with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED C 2009 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com

I added organic fresh spinach cut in thin strips and pressure cooked chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces.

Friday, September 11, 2009

In everything give thanks . . .

Rejoice always;
Pray without ceasing;
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

It has been a rough day but the Lord prevailed as He has a grand way of doing.
The world hits so hard sometimes and it can be hard to not throw our hands up in despair. Thankfully, the Word of God carries us through and gives us what we need to continue on.
My parents, sister, and two year old nephew stopped by when they were in town and I was in a bad mood. My clothes got ruined when washed in hot water (long and aggravating story) and there are so many people hurting and in need of our Savior’s touch --- I ended up in angry tears.
Jesus is truly all we need.
When we let HIM take over us, the results can be astonishing.
Today was one of those cases. I ended up cooking a big package of chicken breasts with bone in the pressure cooker (two batches) and this has been a favorite around here for some time. The chicken was served with pesto linguini and iced tea. After they left and the kitchen was cleaned, I drove to my oldest son’s house and visited for a few minutes with my DIL and grandbabies. My husband picked up our son and I met them back at our house and a friend came home with our daughter to spend the night. My DIL and grandbabies met over here (my husband and our two oldest sons went to an audio convention) and we women decided to gather here We made stacked tortillas served with organic, fresh spinach leaves and iced tea and finished the meal off with chocolate cobbler covered in cream and coffee. The Lord blessed us all with such wonderful conversation, visiting time, and watching the children play.
Chicken Breasts with Bone and Skin in Pressure Cooker I followed instructions from Vicki’s pressure cooking site. I have gone to her site for years and used her outstanding charts for pressure cooking beans, rice, chicken and more.
I would love to get her cookbook one day!

Back to the chicken:
I washed it, put three big pieces in my pressure cooker and added 1 cup of water. The site said a minimum of ½ cup so I went with one and it worked well.
I secured the lid and got it locked on and kept the eye on high until two red lines were visible on my pressure thing. (Gauge? Valve?) Each pressure cooker is different so please follow the instructions you got with yours to the letter. My first pressure cooker (used it for years) was monitored by the top whistling and “dancing” and it was right when it rocked steadily. Too crazy and wild meant there was too much heat and not enough dancing meant not enough. Some cookers have electronic settings to just dial.
When the right pressure was achieved, I turned the heat to low but it went down to one red line so I upped it until it quietly stayed at two red lines. Sounds so much harder than it is! Ten minutes and the eye was turned off after that and I waited until the pressure dropped and the top was safe to open.
Delicious! I used a funnel to pour the chicken broth into a glass jar and have it in the fridge for when I need it for recipes. If I don’t use it soon, I’ll freeze it.
The linguini was cooked and drained and then added to a pan where I sautéed some onion and added a few tablespoons of pesto. I topped it with freshly grated parmesan.
For dinner tonight:
We just sautéed portabella mushrooms (sliced) with onions in butter and olive oil and then added cubed chicken breasts (from the pressure cooker) and freshly chopped garlic.
We heated tortillas on the cast iron stove top grill and spread each with sour cream, seasonings, and shredded cheddar before topping them with the chicken/mushroom/onion mixture.
The kids were so cute taking care of our spinach leaves! I washed them and spun them in the salad spinner and after the kids washed and dried their hands, they broke the stems off of each and stacked them up.
At one point, Emily, our three year old grandgirl (our oldest grandchild) looked up and said:
“I need more weeds, Nandy!” Our precious darlings!
The chocolate cobbler recipe is the one I’ve shared on this blog quite a few times!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

GREAT *quick* Dinner

Chicken A La Queen

2 c uncooked macaroni
1 5oz can chicken or 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
1/2 c chopped onion (or 1 small or 1/2 large)
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/3 c cooking oil
1/2 c water or chicken broth
1/2 c Grated cheese (I used sharp cheddar

Saute uncooked macaroni and onion in oil over med/med high heat. When the macaroni starts to become a little yellow, add the tomato sauce, water/broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add chicken and simmer another 5 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender. Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Garnish with bell pepper rings, if desired.
* I have NO idea how ½ cup of water would be enough. I added a lot more water/chicken broth as needed. *

I made two Dutch ovens of this (first time trying it) and between after school teens (girls had two friends over) and dinner --- the only leftovers fit in a small container for a school lunch tomorrow!
Big, big hit.

It was great to have something filling to serve these teenagers. They sat on stools in my kitchen talking about this and that and just visiting. Maybe I need to find more quick recipes to have on hand ;)

Sandy :)

Microwave Mug Cheesecake

My little afternoon dessert! The blog I got this from is listed below the recipe. I didn’t add chocolate chips or jelly but I did drizzle some local honey over the top!

Microwave Mug Cheesecake

2 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons egg white, slightly beaten (egg whites in a carton work fine)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch (prevents liquid from forming)

For "mix ins", add 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, or swirl in (not stir) 1 tablespoon jam of choice.

In a 1 cup or larger microwave proof mug, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with a small whisk. Mix in the sour cream, sugar, egg, lemon juice and cornstarch. Whisk about 2 minutes until light. Alternatively, the mixture may be mixed in a small bowl with a hand held electric mixer and then poured into the mug. Add any "mix-ins", or swirl in jam at this time. Microwave on medium for 2 1/2 minutes* (in a 650 watt microwave). Since microwave powers are different, you may need to experiment. You want the center to just start to bubble, and then stop cooking. If it is allowed to bubble and cook further, the mixture will "break" and you'll need to start over. Make a note of the successful cooking time for your microwave. Take out of the microwave and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 1 1/2-2 hours. If any liquid has formed, carefully pour out. Sprinkle with graham cracker mixture and top with any topping of your choice.

*I also had success with 1 minute 50 seconds on high.

Serves 1.

Graham Cracker Topping

1 tablespoon crushed graham crackers
1/2 teaspoon melted unsalted butter

Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of mug

Birthday Brownies

Mom’s Birthday Brownies

I don’t recall if I did or didn’t write about these already so I’m going forth. If I am repeating myself, just send me a note to get more sleep.

We went to my mom’s for her birthday at the end of August and my sister made a chicken dish (very good) and I made a so-so pasta salad to eat with it.
I also made up one box and one bag of brownie mix but I added something scrumptious to each.

For one pan, I set the mixed and ready to bake brownie mixture aside and made a bowl of cream cheese goodness to add a cheesecake like taste. I just used a Kitchen Aid mixer to get the cream cheese softened and added powdered sugar and a bit of milk --- all to taste. Sometimes I add vanilla. I poured a layer of brownie in a greased baking dish and spread this cream cheese mixture and then topped with what I had left of the brownie mixture.

The second bowl was set aside and I mixed peanut butter, powdered sugar and some milk to mix in a separate bowl. The brownie batter was already poured into the baking pan so I swirled the peanut butter mixture with a butter knife. So beautiful!
These were devoured by all the ages there (from baby to grandparents) with raving reviews. Definitely need to make again!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lunch and After School Snack

Fettuccini & Pesto Pasta

Olive oil
Chicken breast
Portabella mushrooms
Heavy cream
Fresh garlic
Organic fresh spinach (cut in strips or chopped)
Fettuccini (cooked)
Parmesan cheese

This isn’t exactly in order but I need to take care of one last load of laundry, get my little one in the shower past his bedtime routine time and check on the girls’ routines.
It was just too good and loved all over to now share and have a record of!
Cook chicken breast in a WOK drizzled with oil (I used olive oil) and butter along with portabella mushrooms (chopped or sliced).

When done, add fresh garlic (chopped) and let sizzle a bit before adding heavy cream. Stir the mixture thoroughly and add spinach and cook until bubbly. When spinach is done to your taste preference, add the cooked, drained fettuccini and toss until well coated. Add two tablespoons of pesto and mix well.

Add a generous mound of freshly shaved parmesan once on the plate (this differs from many fettuccini recipes because they usually call for stirring it in way earlier but I don’t like the mess in the pan!) and serve.
We ate a whole box of this between lunch and after school snacks!

Dinners with Family

Things have been so full and fabulous around here at dinner time that I haven’t been near the computer enough to write about it!

The entire time I was making dinner plans, tidying up the house to have it and throughout the entire preparation --- I was content within. Joy swirled around like the cream in our coffee drinks and I was silently (and maybe with some humming) praising God for the miracle and blessing of it all. My family. Here with me laughing, talking, joking, eating, smiling, living, loving, relating, revealing, and being together in this humble little home.
Even thinking on it now, I offer up a thankful praise.

Spaghetti made with a healthy venison meat sauce was topped with diced, sautéed zucchini and served with garlic toast. I was supposed to serve fresh mango and pineapple for dessert but I forgot. I did make many pots of coffee (smile) and a lot of those were our now very popular iced coffees.

My DIL, Brandy craved McDonald’s new iced coffees throughout her last pregnancy so I tried making them here. Pretty popular results, I must say.

Spaghetti Sauce

Ground venison (free range, hormone free and more --- ha ha)
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper & Seasonings
Green Pepper
Spaghetti Sauce
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Tomato Paste

Brown ground beef/venison with some organic olive oil and chopped Vidalia onions and green peppers. Add everything else and let simmer on low while the rest of the dinner is made or as long as you like.

Garlic Toaster Oven Toast

My DIL, Laura made this by mixing garlic powder with softened butter and spreading that on one side of the bread. Toast at a high heat until desired crispiness. We made four “batches” at varying times to accommodate all the tastes at the table.

The next day, we had barbeque chicken legs and “gourmet” macaroni and cheese.
For the BBQ chicken? Get your apron on and get ready for a lot of work. Kidding, wink.
Drizzle any barbecue sauce over the chicken legs (do spray the pan to keep everything from sticking) and bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes. I baked mine around an hour to give it a crispy coating.

“Gourmet” Macaroni & Cheese
Elbow macaroni, cooked (I used a bowl of left over out of my fridge)
Garlic, finely chopped
Portabella mushrooms, chopped
Green Peppers, chopped
Heavy Cream
Sour cream
Sharp Cheddar cheese (sliced and then cut in squares or strips … or you can grate it)

Sautee onions, garlic, mushrooms and green peppers in butter and a drizzle of olive oil until flavorful. Add heavy cream and stir before adding macaroni. Turn off heat for a few minutes. Add spoons of sour cream, seasonings, and make sure all are thoroughly mixed. Add cheese and turn heat to low until all the cheese is mixed in well. It doesn’t have to be completely melted if everything is hot --- it will melt here and there all through and make for some delicious forks full!

One meal was the two above meals in one! I had the grandlittles and wanted to spend time with them (plus, this Nandy was doing well to keep up without trying to cook as it was!) so I pulled the glass bowl of spaghetti sauce and pasta out of the fridge and simmered the sauce on the stove. I heated the pasta and put the left over chicken legs and macaroni and cheese straight from the fridge shelf into the oven. I did give it a few minutes to adjust to the change in temps to keep from shattering the glass!
For dessert, we had Oreo Cake and Boston Cream Pie with coffee. I didn’t make either dessert! Our church sent both home for us since they had extras after a recent event there.

Nandy’s Iced Coffee

Brewed Coffee, Strong or Expresso (I used strong coffee using our vacuum coffee maker … another post on that is coming up!)
Sugar or other Sweetener

Prepare 8 cups of coffee (the most our little glass pot makes at once so you could make 10-12 if you have more to make) on the stove top and have everything ready on the counter for when it is done.
Pour hot coffee in Pyrex 2-cup measure or any container available safe for hot liquids.
Add sugar/sweetener to desired tastes (my family likes way too much so I use 4-8 teaspoons or tablespoons of sucanat, sugar, honey, or agave sweetener) and fill about half way full. Add enough milk to make coffee look creamy and stir or whisk well.
Pour in tumblers pre-filled with ice and top with a swirl or two of half-n-half before adding a straw. When we have whipped cream, it gets scooped high on the top and sometimes a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg is added.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Easy Burritoes & Dinner Notes

School nights are in full swing now and there are tests to study for, homework assignments to complete and art projects to plan.
Papers have to be signed, bookbags and lunch boxes emptied and re-filled and the beat goes on.

My pre-planned menu had to wait for groceries to be purchased and we finally got our farmer's market list and a good deal of our regular list. Praise God for providing... always, always providing!

Tonight, I didn't have time for one of the recipes I had lined up so I looked through my "main meals" email folder and scooped this one right up.

What a success!
It was easy, quick and delicious. My husband loved it, two teenage girls devoured it and our six year old son had two big servings. There were none left on his plate!
Me? I had to force myself to not overeat but that is another post. Maybe a future posts on diets or self-control or something . . . .

For dessert, I grabbed banana cream pudding from the fridge that I whisked up from a box while the food was cooking. I filled some ramekins half full of pudding, dolloped cool whip on top and grated fresh nutmeg over that. Very TASTY meal :)

Easy Burritos
Added by Beth on July 21, 2009 in Beef, Main Courses

Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 30 Minutes Servings 4 Difficulty Easy

•1 pound Ground Beef
•1 package Flour Tortillas (10")
•1 envelope Taco Seasoning (any Kind)
•1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup
•1 can Chopped Chillies (small)
•1 container Sour Cream (8 Oz)
•2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Preparation Instructions
Pre heat oven to 350

Prepare ground beef according to taco seasoning packet. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Heat tortillas for a few minutes in microwave (just enough to soften them and make them easier to work with). Place a scoop of the taco meat in a flour tortilla and fold over so the meat is all inside. Place seam side down in 9×13 baking dish. Repeat until you have them all filled (I usually end up over filling and only using 8).

Mix soup, chillies and sour cream together in a mixing bowl and pour over burritos. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake at 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

From: Pionner's Woman's site: www.tastykitchen.com

Quick Recipe from the Cabinets!

Peanut Butter Bars
1 ½ cups unsalted natural peanut butter
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup brown rice syrup (didn’t have any so I used agave sweetener)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup soy flour (don’t use soy so I used unbleached flour)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chip (we used dark chocolate)
1) Preheat oven to 350F (177C). Hand mix peanut butter, syrups and salt in a large bowl for one minute with a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

2) 2) Spread mixture on a lightly oiled 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and cut into bars.

I used a smaller baking pan (the one that came with the toaster oven) and just put ½ the mixture in it. Baked at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes. Kids and I loved them with a glass of cold milk!