First of all

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Baby

So Bryce says to me:
I love Santa, he's my favorite. But he never gives me his autograph.

I was planning on making this last night, but didn't get around to it. We got a great bunch of organic veggies from Timber Creek Farms yesterday so I made my 'mama's soup' which was really good w/the extra flavor from the organic celery, carrots and parsnips and today I'm going to make a frittata...


Emeril?s Vegetable Frittata
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
Show:
The Essence of Emeril
Episode:
Eggs for Dinner

8 large eggs
3 tablespoons heavy cream (Im going to use milk--we don't have heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated fontina or Gouda (Im probably skipping the cheese)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small or 1/2 medium zucchini,
about 5 ounces1 1/2 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup thinly sliced yellow bell pepper (Im just going to use one red bell pepper)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green onions (green tops only) (Im skipping this)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (I'll be doing garlic garlic of course)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves ( don't have any parsley--I'll use a little spinach and herb instead)
1 tablespoon chopped green onions, for garnish
Preheat the broiler and place the top rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until the eggs are frothy. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and whisk. Set aside.

In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, and mushrooms, and and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peppers and green onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pinch of the pepper and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon of parsley and with the pan over medium heat, pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Cook, lifting with a rubber spatula to let the eggs flow underneath, until the edges are set but the middle still is loose, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top.

Place under the broiler until the eggs are slightly puffed and the cheese is bubbly and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, watching carefully to prevent from overcooking. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the frittata out onto a large serving platter. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the chopped green onions. Slice, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07

So only about 5 weeks left of 2007. I haven't thought about goals for 2008, I like to save that for the week after Christmas. Because Thanksgiving was early this year, I keep thinking that it is already the first week of December...I am almost done w/my Christmas shopping. I am really not looking forward to the wrapping--I don't like to wrap.

Tom really wanted to have Chicken Cacciatore so this is the recipe I used.

Chicken Cacciatore
Copyright, 2005, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved
Show:
Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger
Episode:
The Big Freeze

4 skinless chicken breast halves on the bone, about 2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper ( I used Seasoned Salt)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion,
thinly sliced 1 red bell pepper,
thinly sliced 1/2 pound white mushrooms,
thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, (I used Garlic Garlic)
minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, chopped and juice reserved
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a saute pan over moderately-high heat. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the chicken.
Reduce the heat to moderate. Add the onion and pepper, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and juice, oregano, red pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and simmer the mixture covered for 10 minutes.
Return the chicken breasts to the pan and simmer, covered, until the chicken is just done, about 20 minutes longer.

Then I made these and put them in the freezer:


Butter and Jam Thumbprints
From Food Network Kitchens


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from pod, or 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry, cherry or strawberry jam ( I used Rhubarb Strawberry Fruit Spread)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls with a cookie or ice cream scoop and roll in sugar. Place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. Fill each indentation with about 3/4 teaspoon jam.

Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 15 minutes. (For even color, rotate the pans from top to bottom about halfway through baking.) Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve.
Store cookies in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Harvest Blessing Mix

It was a very busy weekend. I had a TS party w/a great host on Friday night and all her friends loved everything and 1/2 of the guests are going to have their own parties in 2008. Then Saturday afternoon another party, another great host and a great group of guests. Some of those ladies are interested in taking a look at my businesss.

Then Saturday night Tom and I and our friends went to see Steve Dahl and the Nadas at Durty Nellies. When we were looking for parking in the parking garage next to Durty Nellies, tom got lost. he thought we were going up level by level when we were going in a circle. LOL , it was very fun..for the record Tom had not been drinking...

Then Sunday I was at St. Patricia's craft fair until 2, came home and got ready for Bryce's little B-day party at 5:00PM. Yesterday and Today I've been trying to catch up and get ready for our Thanksgiving trip.

Patrick brought this home today so here is a recipe to share!

Harvest Blessing Mix
Each ingredient in this snack mix symbolizes something associated w/the Harvest Season (Thanksgiving)

Bugles Brand Corn Snacks
Represents a cornucopia, a horn of plenty

Pretzels
Represents arms folded in thanks and prayer

Candy Corn
During the first winter, the pilgrims were each allotted only 5 kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce.

Dried or Candy Fruits
Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest

Peanuts or Sunflower Seeds
Seeds represent the potential of a bountiful harvest for the next season if they are planted and well tended.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Peanut Butter Cookies

I am in a cooking making mood. I got a new mixer yesterday from Target ($14.99) and so today I am making:

Double Peanut Butter Cookies
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Peter Pan Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Blue Bonnet-stick (1/2 cup = 1 stick)
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1 pkg (10 oz each) peanut butter morsels
Directions
Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine flour and baking soda in small bowl; set aside.
Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, Blue Bonnet and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Add vanilla. Stir in cereal and peanut butter morsels. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. Store in air-tight container.
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I don't have any shortening, so I am using all butter. Also I have baking powder not soda, so I'll be using that instead. This is the first time I am trying this recipe we'll see how it goes.

Today I made a recipe out of the Chicago Tribune for Butternut Squash...tomorrow I am going to be looking for an acorn squash recipe!

Roasted butternut Squash w/thyme (this recipe is vegan)
1 butternut squash, peeled, cubed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp salt
Heat the oven to 350, Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, tossing to coat; spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet or wide, shallow casserole dish. Roast until the squash is cooked through and lightly caramelized, 40-50 minutes.
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Tomorrow is Bryce's birthday, but I think they might have it marked down in his class at school as today he came home wearing a crown? Seeing the crown inspired Anna to wear a Barbie Princess outfit all day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Atlantis Squarepantis

Lots of excitement here tonight...only 7 more minutes until the world premiere of Atlantis Squarepantis. Patrick and Bryce have been looking forward to the new spongebob movie for at least a month. Hopefully they'll go right to bed when it is over at 8pm.

I found a new recipe to try...only thing is I think I am the only one in this house that will eat it!

Sauvignon Chicken Pesto
1 oz Olive Oil
8 oz Chicken Breast
2 sliced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto pls 1 tsp
4 oz. Fresh Moz
4 oz Sauvinon Blanc Wine
4 oz Chicken Stock
2 tbs Fresh Diced Tomatoes
2 oz butter
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Sear chick breast w/the olive oil for 4-5 minutes on each side.
2. Rub chicken w/pesto--make sure chicken is done b/4 doing that.
3. Place fresh diced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on top of the chicken
4. place chicken in the oven to melt the cheese (2 minutes)
5. Remove pan from oven and place pan back on the flame. Add wine, chicken stock and a tsp of the DT and Garlic Pesto.
6. Let the wine reduce and add butter after , add salt and peper to taste. Serve w/pasta or potatoes and if desired garnish w/parmesan cheese or asiago cheese and fresh chopped basil.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The boredom sets in.

Oh for pete's sake, the boys are so 'bored' today all they are doing is bickering and fighting. Too bad, I can't say go outside and play and come back at dinner time. I should probably take them out to a park or the local high school to run around the track...but yesterday I wound up getting to have a suprise root canal--lucky me!--and I don't feel much like going to the park.

Last night I made a turkey breast so today I took the leftovers and tried out this recipe:

Turkey Pot Pie

1 Box of Creamy Wild Rice Soup
1 pkg of frozen mixed veggies (thaw)
3-6 tblsp butter
2 cups chopped turkey
1 can of beer
1 Bountiful Beer Bread Mix

Follow directions on the box to make the Creamy Wild Rice Soup. Simmer for 45 minutes and then add the package of veggies and the chopped chicken and mix together. Then spread the mixure into a 9x13 pan. Then mix the can of beer w/the Bountiful Beer Bread Mix and spread the bread batter on top, drizzle w/butter if desired and bake at 375 for just about 40 minutes.

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Yesterday was the Parent/Teacher conference for me and Patrick's teacher. She said he is doing very well and that he is up to the reading level of 1.5 (which is 1/2 way thru first grade). He is almost ready to move up to the next reading group---so I have high hopes that he'll be up to grade level by the end of the year. (fingers crossed) Beyond that he is doing well in school because his classroom is 9 kids which means each child gets all the attention they need and problems are found quickly. It is too bad that througout the school system kids and teachers don't enjoy the benefits of smaller classrooms. I know 9 kids in a room isn't feasible --but it should definitely be less than 20. So that was wonderful right there to hear Patrick is doing well and that everyone in his class gets along, since last year Patrick suffered due to a rotten bully.
Bryce didn't have a conference because he is doing so fabulous at school.
Anna's conference is on the 15, I am not sure exactly what they'll have to say about Anna--I am guessing it will be all good--she loves school and what's not to like...they play, sing songs, read books and have a snack!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6th

Now did anyone ask me if the kids could have a 4 day wknd this week...and 5 days off in a couple of weeks?

Alright the 5 days off is great because that is Thanksgiving and we'll be heading to West Virginia...but a 4 day wknd this week? And it's cold outside, so hmm what to do w/the kids. Maybe I can put them to work scrubbing the floors and the baseboards? Hahaha!

I hope the weather is not unseasonably cold, I would like to see if I can take the kids out to run around Lake Katherine a few times--or to the park...I would be fun to make cookies or cupcakes--but I'll end up eating the majority of them!

And Speaking of Food, let me be th first to wish you a Happy National Fondue Month!

Whoa, who knew there are 2 websites devoted to fondue!
http://fonduerecipes.org and http://gofondue.com

Cheese Fondue

ingredients list:
8 oz of shredded chedder cheese.
8 oz shredded emmental chesse.
1 garlic clove.--one teaspoon Garlic Garlic
1 can of beer.
2 tablespoons of flour.
1 teaspoon of Salt.
Pinch of pepper.
French bread, diced into cubes.
Instructions for Cheese Fondue:
Mix together all of the ingredients (except bread).Melt the mixture and place into a fondue pot.Dip the cubes of bread into the melted mixture and eat.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Halloween Pics!


time to trick or treat!




Classic Spiderman Bryce!










Patrick the Power Ranger!







I was able to attend both Patrick and Bryce's Halloween parties. Bryce was so excited to see me that he was smiling from ear to ear and jumping out of his seat. Patrick gave me a big hug as soon as I walked into his classroom. I wish I could have gone to Anna's as well but her party was the same time as Bryce's and I was hoping that she wouldn't notice since it was her first school party.