Friday, January 30, 2009

2 Week Menu starting on Sunday!

Well SInce we are poor I am doing a 2 week menu this week in order to avoid buying more than we need. I am only making one small trip to the store, since we have a well stocked pantry and freezer I should be able to do this.

We are going to party and I only have to bring hot wings.
1 quart vegetable oil for deep frying
24 chicken wings, tips removed and wings cut in half at joint
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Heat the oil In a large skillet or deep fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry chicken wings in oil until done, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet or deep fryer and drain on paper towels.
Melt the butter in a large skillet. Stir in the, vinegar and hot pepper sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garlic powder. Add cooked chicken to sauce and stir over low heat to coat. The longer the wings simmer in the sauce, the hotter they will be. Serve warm.

Lamb Stew:
1 pound cubed lamb meat
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 large stalk celery, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste ( I made lamb stock)
2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Layer the lamb meat, onion, potatoes, carrot and celery in an oven proof pot or casserole dish. Season each layer with parsley, salt and pepper as you go. Pour in the beef stock and cover tightly.
Bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the preheated oven, until vegetables and meat are very tender. Divide into bowls and garnish with additional parsley.

1 (3 ounce) package ramen noodles
1 1/2 cups hot water
8 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch strips
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 large green pepper, cubed
1 bunch of asparagus cut up
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend

In a bowl, place noodles in hot water for 2 minutes; drain and set aside. Discard seasoning package or save for another use. In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry chicken in 1 teaspoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Stir-fry the green pepper, aspararagus, onion and garlic in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, seasoning blend and noodles; toss gently.

Spaghetti Carbonara:
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti pasta until al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook chopped bacon until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons of bacon fat; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and heat in reused large skillet. Add chopped onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
Return cooked bacon to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and toss again. Add salt and pepper to
taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top, and extra Parmesan cheese at table.

Basic Taco Salad

Chicken potpie:
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (9 inch) pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
1 egg, lightly beaten

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the chicken meat, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.
Remove the chicken and let cool. Pour the remaining chicken broth mixture into a measuring cup. Let stand; spoon off fat. Add enough milk to the broth mixture to equal 2 1/2 cups. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces.
In the same pan, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Saute, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in flour until well blended. Gradually stir in broth mixture. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and boils. Add the chicken, vegetables, parsley and thyme. Pour mixture into a 1 1/2 quart deep casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 400. Roll out pastry 1 inch larger than the diameter of the casserole dish on a lightly floured surface. Cut slits in the pastry for venting air. Place pastry on top of casserole. Roll edges and cut away extra pastry; flute edges by pinching together. Reroll scraps to cut into decorative designs. Place on top of pastry. Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.


Canned soup
Roasted red pepper and ham sandwiches
2 teaspoons mayonnaise, or condiment of your choice (optional)
2 slices sourdough bread
2 slices provolone cheese
2 thin slices ham
1/2 roasted red pepper packed in oil, drained and sliced
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Spread mayonnaise onto one side of each slice of bread. On one slice of bread, place one slice of provolone cheese, then ham, red peppers, and the other slice of cheese. Top with the other slice of bread with the mayonnaise facing the filling. Butter the outsides of the sandwich, and sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan cheese onto the butter.
Heat a skillet over medium heat until warm. Fry the sandwich on both sides until golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut the sandwich in half, and serve.

Venison Roast
Mashed Potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds boneless venison roast
1 large apple, cored and quartered
2 small onions, sliced
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 cup boiling water
1 cube beef bouillon

Spread the olive oil on the inside of a slow cooker. Place the venison roast inside, and cover with apple, onions, and garlic. Turn to Low, and cook until the roast is tender, about 6 to 8 hours.
When the roast has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker, and place onto a serving platter. Discard the apple. Stir the water and bouillon into the slow cooker until the bouillon has dissolved. Serve this as a sauce with the roast.

Spaghetti and meatballs
green salad

Out to eat! We have a BOGO free adult coupon, at a local pizza chain. Also it kids night so our son eats for $1! It will be less than $8 for the whole all you can eat meal!

Chicken Enchiladas
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - boiled and shredded
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce

To Make Meat Mixture: Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned, then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package directions.
To Make Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat tortillas until soft. In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Leftover chili from the week before, I froze the remainder of it.
corn muffins

Florentine stuffed chicken
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, Parmesan cheese and onion and mix thoroughly. Stuff the cavity of each chicken breast with 1/4 of the mixture. (NOTE: Bone-in split breasts usually have a little cavity; if one is not naturally present, use a sharp knife to make a slit in the side of the breast.)
Lay stuffed breasts in a baking dish, and cover with the sauce.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and tender; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Hamburgers and oven baked fries
Seriously you guys can figure this one out!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jam its been awhile!

No..not damn. I really mean jam. I made some peach almond jam last night because I need the money, and someone was requesting it. I had some on toast today, and as usual its divine.
So excited about my bulk order last night. Ordered some laundry liquid, dish soap, and dishwasher soap. Also some organic tomato paste and another 5lbs of organic peanut butter! My total is less than $40!! And its all evironmentally friendly!
Guess we will be eating a lot of PBJ sandwiches around these parts, with the recession and layoffs an all.
Not much going on here today, I have a bundle of housework since i am having playgroup here tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Doggie training

Ahh the fun times..the messes on the floor..the scolding. Well I am putting little Miss Freeda on a schedule, hopefully this will help with her elimination issues!
In other news I wanted to post a pic of the bread I have been making with the new recipe.
Not perfect but I am getting there. We are really enjoying the wonderful taste of the artisan bread with our meals..YUM-O!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Artisan Free Form Bread

Baking bread at home saves hundreds of dollars on groceries every year. With this easy method, each deliciously crusty-on-the-outside, moist-and-chewy-on-the-inside loaf will only cost you about 50 cents and 5 minutes a day.
Great breads really only require four basic ingredients: flour, water, yeast and salt. The rest is detail.

Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel

Mixing and Storing the Dough
1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded container (not airtight — use container with gasket or lift a corner). Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook, until uniformly moist. If hand-mixing becomes too difficult, use very wet hands to press it together. Don’t knead! This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough loose enough to conform to the container.

4. Cover loosely. Do not use screw-topped jars, which could explode from trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), approximately two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than room-temperature dough. We recommend refrigerating the dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf. And relax! You don’t need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as in traditional recipes.

5. Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece with a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it doesn’t need to be incorporated. The bottom of the loaf will flatten out during resting and baking.

6. Place the ball on the pizza peel. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes. Depending on the dough’s age, you may see little rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf.

8. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.)

9. With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch. With wet dough, there’s little risk of drying out the interior, despite the dark crust. When you remove the loaf from the oven, it will audibly crackle, or “sing,” when initially exposed to room temperature air. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire rack, for best flavor, texture and slicing. The perfect crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.

10. Refrigerate the remaining dough in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next two weeks: You’ll find that even one day’s storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. This maturation continues over the two-week period. Cut off and shape loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

Enjoy! And thanks to Mother Earth News for the wonderful article where this information came from.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Call me cheap...

Yeah call me cheap but those doggie accessories are kind of expensive! So I made a little doggie bed for her, and am working on her sweater.
Here is her little bed:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Menu for the week

Roasted Lamb shoulder
Mashed potatoes
steamed carrots

Roasted Lamb:
2lb shoulder with bone
2 tablespoons fresh minced rosemary
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic

Cover shoulder with olive oil, then spinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic.
Bake at 350 for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until done.

Black bean and cheese enchiladas
1 can black beans
1 8oz package mexican blend shredded cheese
1 small diced onion
1 package frozen spinach(cooked, drained and squeeze dried)
1 package meduim sized tortillas
oil(for frying)

Mix beans, onion and spinach. Heat oil in pan on meduim high heat. Place one tortilla in pan, sprinkle with cheese, and top with bean mixture. Sprinkle another layer of cheese on top of bean mixture, and top with another tortilla. Use spatula to flatten it. Cook for a few minutes, or until cheese on bottom tortilla begins to melt and cements the layesr together. Flip and cook on other side ofr an additional few minutes. Remove to cutting board and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Balsamic chicken breasts
seasoned rice
steamed frozen asaparagus

Balsamic chicken:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary

Salt and pepper chicken. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl. Place chicken in non-stick baking dish. Pour over balsamic mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.

Cook 1 cup basmati rice with 1 and 3/4 cup chicken broth and 1 tsp each dried rosemary, parsley and oregano. Bring chicken broth and rice and seasonings to a boil. Rduce heat to low and cook for 15-20 minutes with lid on until rice is cooked and liquid has been absorbed.

Spaghetti and sauce
with prepared Turkey meatballs
Green Salad

Yay leftover night!

Crockpot Thai chicken
8 chicken thighs, skin removed (2 pounds)
3/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except peanuts and cilantro; pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from cooker, using slotted spoon; place on serving platter. Remove sauce from slow cooker; skim fat from sauce. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. (Adapated from a betty crocker recipe)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Woman Shoots crabby husband..

No not really...but watch the headlines. Gene has been a real dick since he got laid off. He is freaked out, but I wish he would not take it out on us. He has a few side jobs lined up but nothing that pays the mortgage..well all of it anyways.
There are not many prospects on the horizon...I am so greatful that I have these daycare kids. They drive me crazy but I love them. And it helps to know that I can at least contribute to our finances in some way. I almost have all of the papers in order to become a registered daycare..I should be able to send them out by next then takes about up to 2 months to get your certificate. Once I do that I get on the food program where all the lunches are paid for and that will be helpful!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My new baby!

So we went to a party and someone gave us a baby! Well a baby puppy anyways.
She is a cute and sweet. Her name is Freeda..because some one rescued her and gave her Freedom...Long story, but Gene love this breed and well, I guess there is a softie in him somewhere.
Isn't she freaking adorable?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inauguration Day!

I made these super easy Homemade Granola Bars today.
In the pan before baking.
Cut and cooled.
2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Bake this for about 30 minutes on spread out on a baking sheet at 300 degrees.
When almost done baking, cook wet ingredients in sauce pan:
4 T butter or margarine
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Whisk together until bubbly, remove from heat and add 1/4 cup honey. Whisk together.
Put oat mixture into bowl, pour sauce over, and mix together until all is well coated, let cool slightly. Add 1/4 cup chocolate or carob chips.
Place onto greased pan, about 1 inch high. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into bars as soon as it comes out of the oven. Let remain in pan until completely cool, about an hour or so. Remove bars and place into air tight container. These will last about a week, but they will be eaten up by tonight at our house! Enjoy Evie

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK

Despite this holiday..haha..Gene says it a non-holiday holiday. I have daycare kids today. No school makes for an awfully long day..thank god for open gym..for the bargin price of a buck a kid, they get to run around an open gym, play with toys, ride bikes and see other children. For an hour and a half..saves me some time and sanity, and the kids don't irritate each other!
Another day home with more person to cook for and clean up after..ugh!
We looked at mini-vans yesterday(hooray!). I got finances onto paper so I can prove that we can do it!
We had an awesome couple over for dinner last night and the lamb was amazing. I ended up cooking it for 2 hours at 350 degrees, it was tender and flavorful.
Aloha..thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menu for the week

Despite our hardship we still must eat! We were lucky enough to get half a lamb for $25, and the half a free deer we got last week we are fine for meat for awhile. I stocked up on the bagged boneless skinless chicken breasts..they were $6 for 2.5lbs, and I got 2 of those.

Roast Lamb
Rice and Steamed Broccoli

Roast Lamb:
I mixed one small cup of plain low-fat yogurt, with a few tablespoons of fresh minced rosemary, some cumin, garam masala, parsley, garlic, and a few tablespoons of lemon juice. I slathered that over the whole roast and let sit in the fridge overnight. I read it needs to be cooked at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per lb. So and hour and 20 minutes for my 2lb roast.

BBQ chicken legs
Baked beans

Spray crock pot with oil, cut up 1 large onion into ring and place in bottom of crock. Heat frying pan with a few tablespoons oil, and brown chicken on all sides. Place in crock and cover with one bottle your choice BBQ sauce, cook on low 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked.

Vegetarian Chili
Homemade cornbread

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
14 oz. can tomatoes
1 c. dried red kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained or 2 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans
1/2 c. dried whole green lentils, simmered in plenty of water for 40-45 minutes until tender
1 tsp. mild paprika
1-2 tbsp. chili powder
Salt and freshly green pepper
A little salt

Heat oil in large saucepan and saute the onion and pepper for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes. Drain the beans and lentils, reserving liquid. Add broth to the tomato mixture, along with the paprika and chili powder. Simmer for 15 minutes, adding the bean water for consistency. Season, add sugar, garnish and serve.

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
1/4 cup melted butter or shortening
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Combine the half and half, eggs, fat, honey and sugar.
Thoroughly grease and flour a baking pan
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until the flour is moistened, no more than ten seconds. The batter should be visibly lumpy -- leave it that way!
Once the liquid and dry ingredients have been combined, pan and bake the cornbread immediately.

Cheesy 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
salt and pepper to taste
2 (6 ounce) cans tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 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 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 bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the casserole. Top with cheese.
Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Chicken and peppers with coconut rice
1 cup basmati rice
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chciken breast cut into 2 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 large red pepper diced
1 clove of garlic minced
1 can of black beans
1/4 tsp cumin

Cook rice, replacing 1 cup of water with coconut milk. Salt and pepper chicken, then dice. Saute in about 1 tablespoon of oil on medium high for 3 minutes. Add pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, cook for 2 more minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat beans, adding cumin. Serve chicken on top of cooked rice with beans on the side.

All the good leftovers!

Lemon chicken piccata(a repeat here)
2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
fresh parsley, chopped
hot cooked pasta like, linguine

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Melt 2 more tablespoons butter and add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.
Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley. Serve it all over hot pasta.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Laid off

Well it happened..Gene got laid off. A bad time for this to happen..of course when could it ever be a good time? I am in full money panic. Gene is being a jerk..surprise. I am trying to plead my case for a mini-van..I feel like we need one now more than ever..I have the potential to make more money this year by babysitting. I have turned down four families already! I am going to continue to plead my case with him until he gives in. I don't know what else to do. My meal planning is going to streched to the limit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I rolled over and looked at the clock this morning.. 7:43. I slept in. I usually get up via my own alarm clock at around 6:30am. I got up and stumbled to the couch to watch what I have deemed the "fake news". The soft cushioned, spoon feeding kinds news that comes from watching the early news..I won't say which channel..but it has a white woman and a black woman anchors. Of course its just fluff that's on. Nothing concerning the real state of things. I get my helping and wonder into the kitchen to get my coffee. A cup of joe later, I get in a few quick streches and poses..before running to take my 2 minute shower and dress for the day. I dig thru the clean piles of laundry looking for something to wear. Dressed just in time to hear the knock on the door. The daycare is open for business.
I plan on dusting off my quilt project soon..remember the one I started a year ago?? That's the one.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Well its sad but we were denied our request for an Environmental Charter school. I was really hoping that the school board was a little more interested. I did not attend the meeting, but instead provided childcare for those who wanted to attend. I am worried about the future education of my child and for many children who could greatly benefit from this type of schooling. Our only other options include privatizing our school or applying to the state for our charter.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Well our house was stricken with the flu...Zach and I are better, but Gene is now down. I scrubbed everything I could think of with bleach...I want those pukies to go away!

I have the menu for this week ready to roll:

Crockpot pork
with rice
and steamed green beans.

Place 2lbs meat into crockpot. Top with one can cream of mushroom soup. Some minced dried onion, black pepper and two cloves mince garlic. cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve this over rice.

BLT sandwiches
chicken and wild rice soup

Prepare sandwiches, but make sure to use good french bread and real mayo!

Shredded pork quesadillas
seasoned veggie rice
(Use leftover pork and rice to prepare this)
To make rice: Saute veggies in pan until softened(I will be using carrots, onions, garlic, and celery). Add 1/2 cup of spicy tomato or V8 type juice, add rice and cook until liquid has been absorbed.
Serve with salsa and sour cream.

Ravioli with pasta sauce
green salad
garlic bread(use leftover bread from BLTs)

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and coat with heated pasta sauce.
Serve with bread and salad.

BBQ meatball sandwiches
baked beans and coleslaw

Heat prepared meatballs with BBQ sauce. Serve on buns with pickles.
Use canned baked beans and deli prepared coleslaw.

Make your own pizza night. Let everyone prepare thier own part of the pizza. Serve with leftover green salad, or raw veggies and dip.

Shrimp and pasta
with snow peas

Prepare pasta, cook shrimp in non-stick pan with butter and minced garlic..cook until shrimp is opaque. Add shrimp and steamed snow peas to pasta, toss to coat.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just a quickie.

Just stopping in to say hello.. Zach has the flu and I am busy nursing him back to health.
Tonight's dinner:
Taco salad
1 lb ground beef prepared with one packet of taco seasoning.
(if you are veg. just use beans instead of meat or TVP works well too.)
Shredded lettuce
diced toms
diced onion
shredded carrot(nobody complains and added benefit of extra veggies)
sour cream
shredded cheese(I buy the mexican blend)
tortilla chips

Sprinkle hot meat onto plate of tortilla chips, sprinkle cheese onto that, followed by the rest of the toppings. Serve..don't eat too might get heartburn.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Burp Cloths!

I can't believe I forgot to post these burp cloths..made to match the blanket I made.
Hopefully by tomorrow I will have made the changing pad. To complete the set.

Dinner recipe

I know I have been pretty slack about posting my dinner menu..I plan on getting back on track next week:
Here is a great recipe for dinner.
Easy Jambalaya
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, medium, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 teaspoons thyme, leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano, leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces smoked sausages, chopped
8 ounces chicken breasts, chopped
2 cups beef broth or bouillon
1/2 pound shrimp, cooked, shelled
1 cup white rice cooked
This recipe makes 6 servings.

Shell shrimp and halve lengthwise.

Combine all ingredients except shrimp & rice in slow cooker. Cover & cook on LOW 9-10 hours. Turn slow cooker on high, add cooked shrimp & cooked rice. Cover; cook on HIGH 20-30 minutes

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Feeling Neglected?

I bet you are! Miss Evie has been crazy busy. I sewed..hard to believe I know..
A baby blanket and work in progress a few burp cloths..
And a close up of up..
Zach's current favorite pastime is riding his new John Deere bike in the basement..
A suprise visit from our friend Liam:
He is soo cute isn't he!

And a bonus pirate.. I am sure you have seen him before:
That's it for now folks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Greek Feast

We rang in the New Years with a wonderful Greek Feast prepared by moi, and sides brought by friends. I prepared Baklava, Spanakopita(spinach pie), and Dolmades filling.(Instead of rolling the stuffed grape leaves for 20+ people). By popular demand I was asked to post my recipes so here goes!

1 lb. Fresh spinach OR
10 oz. Frozen spinach (I prefer the frozen)
1/2 bunch fresh parsley chopped
2 T Olive Oil or butter (for saute)
1 Large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 lb. Feta cheese
2 T Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 package phyllo dough
2 sticks melted butter(for brushing the dough)
4 Eggs
FRESH SPINACH: Rinse and stem the spinach, chop into small pieces or tear into shreds. Drain well to thoroughly dry.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil or melt the butter. Add the spinach, parsley,onions and saute until the spinach wilts and cooks down, approximately 5-minutes. Transfer to a sieve and drain well; set aside in large mixing bowl.
FROZEN SPINACH: Thaw thoroughly, drain real well. I also squeeze/press the water from it. Place in large mixing bowl.
In medium pan, saute the onions until translucent;with the parsley and garlic,
add to bowl containing thawed spinach. Let cool, then mix with eggs and Feta.
Lay 6 phyllo sheets in the pan, lightly brushing each with oil or melted butter before adding the next layer. Brush all the edges first since that is where drying will begin.
Spoon half of the spinach mixture over the top of the phyllo and carefully spread evenly to within about 1/2 inch of the edges.
Lay 6 more phyllo sheets on top, brushing each one with oil or melted butter before adding the next layer.
Spread the remaining spinach mixture over the top.
Finish off with the remaining sheets of phyllo, brushing each as previously done.
Cover and chill for about 30 minutes to set.
Bake at 350 degrees.
Bake until golden, about 30-minutes. Test by inserting a table knife to the center. If it comes out relatively clean, your spanakopita is done. Don't let this go beyond golden brown.
Let cool for 5 to10-minutes to set, then cut into squares.

1 pound (4 cups) walnuts, finely ground (be careful to not over-grind or you'll end up with a nut paste). This can be done ahead of time, put into an air-tight container or zip-lock bag and stored in refrigerator. (You may use any combination of nuts, I used almonds and cashews for this last round of baklava).
3/4 Cups sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie seasoning
1 pound package of phyllo pastry
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, melted (for brushing phyllo)

2 Cups water
3/4 Cup sugar (or less, depending on your sweet-tooth)
2 Teaspoons lemon zest
3/4 Cup orange blossom honey (I use less sugar, more honey)

Combine ground walnuts, sugar and cinnamon in large bowl.
Brush bottom of baking pan liberally with melted butter; place 1 sheet of phyllo in bottom of pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat until you have 6-8 sheets. EVERY sheet will be brushed with butter.
Sprinkle top sheet of phyllo evenly, with approximately 1/4 cup nut mixture.
Cover with 2 buttered phyllo sheets.
Repeat the layering/buttering process until the nut mixture is used up.
Place 8 more sheets of phyllo on top, buttering each sheet.
TIP: The phyllo sheets may not exactly fit your pan; if the overage begins to build along the sides of the pan, just fold them down onto the layers. The last 2 sheets on top should be folded UNDER for better presentation.
With SHARP knife, cut Baklava into small diamond-shaped pieces (about 1-1/2 inches). Try to make your cut deep to the bottom of the pan. When you begin making the diagonal cut, which will form the diamond shape and individual pieces, you may need to hold the top layers of phyllo in place with your fingers. They tend to slide around.
While Baklava is in the oven, prepare the SYRUP:
Combine in a 2 quart saucepan: water with all ingredients EXCEPT the honey. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the honey and simmer about 5 minutes more. Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
When Baklava is done, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup evenly over the hot pastry, a little at a time until used up. It may appear that the Baklava is swimming in the syrup, but this will be absorbed in a couple of hours
Let the Baklava stand in the pan overnight in a cool place, or in your refrigerator if it's necessary.

Dolmade Filling:
1 lb ground beef or ground lamb
2 cups uncooked white Basmati rice
4 cups water
1 package frozen french style green beans
1 4oz package of crumbled Feta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 packages brand Simply Organic World Of Taste Dolmades Seasoning.

In skillet brown most the meat, place in pot with water, rice, beans, oil, garlic, and seasoning packets. (Feta will be added at the end of cooking.) Bring to a boil and simmer 20-25 minutes or until rice is soft and fluffy. When done add Feta and fluff rice to stir.

I served store bought Tzaziki sauce for putting on the spanikopita and rice mixture.
Also served was some wonderful homemade bread, that had feta and bitter greens in it, a greek style salad, and some wonderfully seasoned oven baked potatoes.

The food was great, and the company was wonderful. This is the second New Years that we had Greek food at, and although we are not really Greek, we pln on doing this for many New Years to come. No real reason other than we love the food!