Sunday, November 30, 2008


I went to the Unitarian Fellowship this morning. I very much enjoyed it too. Nothing too exciting, we were unable to make the actual spiritual service but made it for the later service. There were candles to light to express joys or sorrows, and a beautiful concert of harp and flute music. It made me realize how much a part of my life music used to be for me. Sure I listen to the radio and kids songs now, but that is about it. I have let the people in my life navigate that they don't like music that much, so I can't listen to it.. NOT ANYMORE! I will listen to music as much as I want, and whatever I want. It is a good happy place for me.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Well we got Thanksgiving over and done with, now we just have to get through X-mas and New Years. Here is a menu to help with foody stuff. enjoy. E


Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 large onion, diced
1 (8 ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ cup tomato paste
¼ teaspoons each salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon corstarch(or more as needed)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (3 lb) beef chuck roast or steak, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes until tender. Add mushrooms and stir. Add tomato paste, salt, black pepper and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix broth, soy sauce and some cornstarch. Add the broth mixture in the bowl to the onion and mushroom mixture in the skillet and stir to combine. Cook and stir until both mixtures are combined and thickened. Transfer this skillet mixture into a slow cooker.
Using the same skillet, heat the pan on medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. When oil is hot, add beef. Brown beef on all sides. Beef will brown if you let it “stick” a little, rather than constantly stirring. If you double this recipe, it will help to brown only ½ of the meat at a time.
Transfer beef to slow cooker, scraping pan well. Cover and cook on low for 9-11 hours or on high for 5-7 hours. Meat is done when it is fork tender (usually the longer it cooks the better). Use a large spoon and remove any visible fat that is on top (the fat will be a clear color, rather than a beef color).
Place the sour cream into a small bowl and add 1 cup of liquid from the slow cooker, stirring well. Return the beefy /sour cream mixture into the slow cooker and stir well. Serve over egg noodles.


Oven baked Hot Ham and Cheese
oven fries
steamed green beans

Ham and Cheese:
8 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons finely minced onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds(omit if you don't like or don't have)
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8 hamburger buns
8 slices of cheese(I prefer Muenster)
1 1/2 lbs of shaved or shredded ham

Mix onion, butter, seeds, mustard powder, and sauce together. Spread onto hamburger buns. Put ham on bottom of buns, topped with one slice of cheese. Wrap each bun in foil. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Cheesy Baked chicken with tomatoes
Rice and peas

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
¼ cup flour
2 Tablespoon dried oregano or basil, divided
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
2 Tablespoons, olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 ounces, softened cream cheese
1/3 cup skim milk
1 Tablespoon, softened butter
½ cup, parmesan cheese

Combine flour, 1 Tablespoon of dried oregano, salt and paprika in a shallow dish. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Dredge each piece of chicken in flour mixture and place in heated skillet. Brown both sides of chicken and transfer chicken to a 9x13x2glass baking dish.
In the same skillet, sauté the onions, add the un-drained tomatoes and 1 Tablespoon of dried oregano. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine cream cheese, milk and butter. Spread the cream cheese mixture over each piece of chicken. Pour the tomato mixture over the cream cheese coated chicken and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Bake uncovered at 350° for at least 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve with cooked basmati rice and peas.

Baked potato bar:
Make baked potatoes in oven, microwave or crockpot.
Serve with varied toppings:
Sour cream
steamed broccoli
grilled onions
taco meat
Whatever things your family likes. :)


Spinach Linguine and Bay Scallops
(If you don't like scallops or can't afford them use boneless skinless chicken breasts cut up)
1 lb bay scallops
1 box spinach linguine
Heat water and cook linguine as you make sauce
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup whipping cream
1 7.25-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, cream, red peppers and crushed red pepper; simmer over medium heat 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup basil and simmer 1 minute longer.
Saute defrosted or fresh bay scallops for 2-3 minutes in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Add sauce and scallops to pasta, toss and serve.

Spinach and Goat cheese quesadillas
refried beans with cheese
salsa and sour cream

8 flour tortillas
1 small package of goat cheese
1 bunch of baby spinach(fresh) washed and dried
cayenne pepper
olive oil

Heat skillet to medium high. Place one tortilla in pan, top with 1/2- 1 tablespoon of cheese on tortilla top with a small handful of spinach top with a little more cheese and a very small spinkle of cayenne(more if you like it hot)top with tortilla, brown on both side remove and cut into wedges, serve with refreid beans and cheese and sour cream and salsa if desired.

With all this great food you would be lucky to have leftovers, if you do heat them up and serve them tonight. If not, either make a quick homemade pizza or get some takeout!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ACKKK..its Tuesday already

Well Zach's party was a blast..slow going, but then it was crazy. I lost my camera somewhere in the party mix and my friend M took pics with her if she would send me some pics I will post some..hint..hint..if you are reading this.
We had 24 kids come even though we invited like 35. We ran out of pizza, everyone had a great time in the moon bounce. Many kids tye dyed thier washcloths and the swingset gots lots of love, we threw our waterballoons at the fake fire, even though many of the balloons did not want to We sang Happy Birthday and ate cake and ice cream..we opened some presents..but not all of them..24 was sooo many!
Most ppl went home..a few stayed for drinks. My camera woman stayed latest, even sweeping the rock woman. The fireman party was a success!
Now we are packing to leave for a few days, off to my mom's house for Turkey/Zach day. My baby is almost 5!
Before I go here is great recipe I made with some grilled shrimp the other night:
Green Coconut Rice
1 can coconut milk...the regular stuff not the fat free junk
1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
1 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch fresh spinach washed, dried and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary

Place milk, water, butter and rice into pan. Bring to boil, add spinach and rosemary. Cook until rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Eat..

Friday, November 21, 2008

Party Day tomorrow!

Well Sat is Zach's big party day! We have wash cloths to tye dye and a pinate to hit, a fire to put"out" with water ballons, and fire truck to pin the wheel on! That should be enought to keep them we still have the bouncy house. We will be serving pizza and juice, with a veggie platter , and bowls of crackers and chips. I am making wings for the after party.. for the folks who are staying to thier drink on and people are bringing thier own alcohol. We will burn the brush pile to keep warm and if people don't have agood time its thier own darn
I am sure I will colapse in a pile at the end of the day. Today I must clean the house..arg..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Birthday stuff..

Well I am frantically getting ready for Zach's party. Making up games and stuff is fun! I finally got the goodie bags done.
And if you are wondering that is what 35 homemade goodie bags look like.
Today's chore..curtains!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I was finding much joy tonight..with my coffee. Let me explain further. I bought four pounds of Organic Free Trade whole bean coffee. (the most we have ever had)
I used my little coffee grinder to well...grind it up. I really enjoyed using my hands to scoop up the beans. The smell and feel of them was a nice sensory experience. The almost oily touch, and shiny beans. I was trying to think abut what it took to get them to me. How can it be better, even if they are fair trade, and organic. What about the fossil fuels it took for me to get them? How about the living conditions of the workers? What does organic mean in the country that they came from? I guess I will just be happy being the lucky American to have my shiny fancy beans to play with.

Week in review plus a menu

Wow how the times blows by..
We had a fairly low key week, I am getting ready for Zach's party next sat. So that has been keeping me busy. I have sort of lost track of how many ppl are coming...who cares it will be fun no matter what. I am trying to spruce up the house a bit too..this is a never ending process.
Gene got me this great bench/church pew thing which we be great in the living room. It will provide excellent seating.


Scalloped potatoes and Ham
sweet peas

Scalloped potatoes and ham:
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cubed ham (cooked)
1/2 cup grated cheese, to sprinkle on top

Serve with steamed peas

This is a highly requested repeat. With a few quick changes.
Sausage and Bean stoup
1lb smoked sausage cut into slices
1 15oz can black beans
1 15oz can red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons minced dried onion(used because I had no fresh)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 bunch of fresh greens diced
1 ½ cups dried pasta
2 cups chicken broth.

Add a tablespoon of water to frying pan, add dried onions and sausage. Cook until sausage is slightly browned. Add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients except pasta. Cook on high one hour, low until ready to add pasta. Add pasta cook on low for another ½ hour. Serve with warm bread.

BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches
Baked Beans

Cut up and marinate Tempeh in BBQ sauce for one hour. Bake in oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve on buns with canned baked beans and prepared colesalw.

Veggie lasagne
green salad
garlic bread

1 pkg. lasagna
3 med. zucchini
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
1 lg. pkg. Mozzarella cheese
1 16 oz. Ricotta cheese
1 lg. can tomato sauce
1 white onion
1 Pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 green pepper
Olive oil

Empty sauce into pan (low heat). Saute chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil. Add to sauce. Saute chopped green pepper and sliced mushrooms in olive oil and add to sauce. Let simmer. Slice zucchini, boil, saute lightly and set aside.
Mix Ricotta cheese and defrosted spinach in bowl. You can add 1 egg and some milk to make creamy. Cook lasagna noodles as directed. Add 1 tsp. olive oil to the water. Layer sauce in bottom of pan, then noodles, more sauce, zucchini, Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella, noodles, sauce, etc. Top layer should be: noodles, sauce, Ricotta, Mozzarella. Bake at 350 F for 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Cover with aluminum foil, place foil on cookie sheet under pan to catch boil over. Let set 1/2 hour before cutting.
Serve with a green salad and some fresh garlic bread.

Leftover night
Take out leftovers let everyone choose what they want and re-heat as needed.

Zach's party
order out pizza
have things to make wings on hand

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall Festival

Zach's school had a fall festival today. I hosted a jam booth. OMG! I made around $250 in about 3 hours. It was great to unload some jam and make some MOOLAH. I did have to give the school 10% and had to pay for the booth, but I still think I did alright. I pre-sold jars of jam for X-mas, and someone wants to buy a large order of cheesecakes and cookies for thier company..WOOT! Raking in the dough. I am wiped outta jam though.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Next Week's Menu

Steak (broiled)
Baked potatoes
(We are having steaks because I got 3 T-bone steaks on sale for $7, a super bargain!)

Tuna Noodle casserole
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked medium egg noodles
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 chicken bouillon cube
salt and pepper to taste
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons mashed up french fried onions
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a medium baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add egg noodles, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, celery, and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, until tender. Increase heat to medium-high, and mix in mushrooms. Continue to cook and stir 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan, and whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk and chicken bouillon cube, continue cooking 5 minutes, until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tuna, peas, mushroom mixture, and cooked noodles. Transfer to the baking dish. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl, mix with french fried onions, and sprinkle over the casserole. Top with cheese.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Chili Dogs
raw veggies
(I bought some organic turkey hot dogs from our co-op, at a great price, and split the case with a few other families)
I have some homemade chili in the freezer but canned is just fine.
We will be having some of our carrots from the garden and some organic celery sticks.

(Remember that pesto you bought a few weeks ago? Now you get to use it up.)
Baked Pesto Salmon
steamed green beans
mac and cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil. Place one tablespoon of pesto onto each piece of salmon. Bake about 12 to 16 minutes until done.
Serve with mac and cheese (we like any Annie's variety)

Crock-pot Vegetarian Minestrone soup
Grilled cheese sandwiches

6 cups vegetable broth
2 large carrots chopped
2 onions chopped
3 ribs of celery chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 small zucchini diced
1 handful fresh greens chopped (kale, spinach, or the like) may sub. frozen
1/2 cup dry barley
1 can chick peas
1 can red kidney beans
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
28 oz can of plum/Italian tomatoes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup of penne pasta
Toss everything into crock pot, cook on low 6-8 hours, putting pasta in last 1/2 hour of cooking. Serve with yummy grilled cheese sandwiches. Freeze leftover soup for lunches. :)

Stir-fried Cashew chicken and rice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 frozen sugar snap peas
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
2 medium green onions, sliced (2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup salted roasted cashew halves and pieces

Saute chicken in oil for about 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
Steam broccoli in microwave for 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Place in frying pan with peas, 1/2 cup broth, red pepper flakes, ginger, and chicken. Cook for 2 minutes.
In small bowl, mix remaining broth, the soy sauce, vinegar, cornstarch and sugar; stir into chicken mixture. Add onions; cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Serve over rice; sprinkle with cashews.

Tortilla Pie with black beans and corn

4-5 large flour tortillas
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cans black beans
1 can or 1 package frozen corn
1 small bunch green onions diced
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a pan, saute onion, garlic and cumin. Mix with the corn and black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Layer tortillas into deep round casserole dish or a springform pan. Layer with bean mixture topped with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions, serve with sour cream and salsa.
Things are tight around here, but I think I can still make food that tstes good and is fairly cost efficient.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We made some amazing muffins for breakfast.. They are by no means healthy..but delish anyways.
Cheddar Bacon Muffins
4 bacon strips crumbled
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1 large egg well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
4 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons reserved bacon grease
Parmesan for sprinkling on muffins

Heat oven to 400, heavily grease a 12 cup muffin pan. Cook bacon, cool then crumble and reserve 3 tablespoons of grease. Mix ingredients, making sure to pour in cold milk before the grease if its still warmed. Fill muffin cups 2/3rds full or evenly to make 12 muffins, sprinkle a little parmesan onto each muffin. Bake for about 20 minutes watching closely until done.
Mine looked like this:

Here are some wonderful turnips from our garden. They taste sooo good, and fresh. Gene says they are the best he has ever had..
To cook them:
Slice and boil like potatoes(fresh ones need not be peeled), drain and mash adding butter, salt and pepper and a wee bit of brown sugar to taste and take away the bitter taste.

Here is a shy guy..guess he does not want his picture taken this week:
See what I mean...haha. Evie

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weeked review

Well we had a pretty busy weekend, it being Halloween and all. Took Zach downtown trick or treating. There was an awesomely cute 2 yr old dressed as a white leather Elvis...sooo funny, wish I had a pic to share.
Gene worked all day Sat, and hunted half of Sunday. He did not get anything, so no deer meat for us..oh well.
I made some pretty amazing cinnamon sugar bagles and some apricot bars...yummy.
Zach's room got mega cleaned on Sat. and I think I found a bunkbed for us to buy. It's a blue metal one with a full on the bottom and twin on the top.. I hope Gene lets me buy it.
Zach and I have been talking about when you turn 5 you sleep in your own bed in your own would be awesome to take back our room..and I would improve our relationship in many ways..I think...
We skipped a costume party on Sat. so I may never see Gene in his Hulk costume again..maybe next year. toodles