Monday, February 22, 2010

Making Monday More Bearable ;-)

This Monday I slept in a little too late (because Madelyn slept until almost 10:00 a.m.!) and I thought my day would be so lazy and great! And after I made my poor sweet angel who has a terrible ear infection - so bad that there is horrible drainage pouring out of her left ear- some lunch, I realized that I actually had things to do that I had forgotten. Oops. So, I raced around and got my mother-in-law to pick up Abby and meet me at the Dr where she had an appointment at 3:30, got Madelyn ready and got
through the appointment just fine. I came home at a little after 4 and had Abby do her homework, change her clothes and get ready to meet grandmother so they could go see Callie (Abby's cousin) dance at practice. In the midst of the chaos, I managed to throw together a fantastic dinner, which was SUPER easy, required very few ingredients and was excellent and easy to double if you wanna freeze one or give one to a neighbor! So, I gotta share it with you guys in case I could help make your Monday more bearable.

Easy, Cheesy

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
about 30 oz of spaghetti sauce - give or take
1 tablespoon of sugar
8 oz of egg
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp garlic salt or powder
1/4 tsp onion salt or powder
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
at least 6 oz of mozzarella (I used a lil more then that)

1. Preheat oven to 350, brown meat, drain fat and add spaghetti sauce and sugar to meat

2. Cook noodles while meat simmers and when they're ready and drained, toss in parmesan, butter, garlic salt and onion salt.

3. Spray 9x13 pan with non stick spray - then layer half the sauce, all the noodles, rest of sauce and top with mozzarella. COVER with foil and bake about 45 minutes or until bubbly.

I promise, no one will dislike this one - and you could add things like green peppers if you like to the spaghetti sauce for an extra kick.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Lent!

It's been a crazy two weeks and so I haven't been keeping up as well with this. The day after Abby's birthday, we all came down with the swine flu. NO FUN! It was so horrible. I laid in bed for almost two straight days after that and thankfully my sister in law and mother in law were able to pick up my slack with the children, because once Jamie got it, both of us were just pitiful and helpless! So glad that is behind me! After we recovered from that, we had to attend the funeral of my niece. :( My sister, Hilary, went into preterm labor and delivered Konan at 25 weeks. She fought hard for two days and then God took her back home with him, to be an angel - I know. I won't go into detail of her two days on this earth, because that wound is still fresh and raw, and it is a sad story.
My dad came to live with us this past Sunday, he has been planning to for a while - he's going to stay a while and work at the Liquor store because we've had sooo many problems up there since the late firing of our last manager who we realized too late was doing an AWFUL job, and being dishonest. Sooo, now my dad is there and it's nice to have someone there we know we can trust.

Now, here it is Lent already! It seems the year is already just flying by! Abby asked me on Wednesday what I planned to give up, as she struggled herself to figure out what she should sacrifice until Easter....which to a 7 year old might as well be a lifetime! Abby decided to give up all potato chips for Lent, and I thought that was a good choice. I have a hard time with things to give up, because I'm super forgetful and absentminded a lot of the time. So, I decided that I will make up every bed in the house every single day until Lent. Many of you may already do that, and I think that's great - I'm ashamed that I do not, but I've never been in the practice of doing it! It just gets messed right back up again, and no one ever sees it. But, as I make the beds up in the rooms, I consciously think about the sacrifice that was made and the reason that we observe Lent. It seems to work better for me then giving something up, because I tend to view it with resentment (chocolate! caffeine! fast food! - think about it!).

And since this is the first Friday of Lent - I am making Crawfish Bisque! I got this recipe from my friend Leslie Rigby and it is a favorite amongst my family. Everyone always loves it and it's a dish that I usually cook for company so they feel super welcomed! It is ridiculously easy to make, but ssshhhhh, don't tell anyone! Especially my brother-in-law Wesley. As he thinks it's super gourmet...

Crawfish Bisque

1 tbsp butter
green onions
1 pt half and half
2 to 3 cans of cream of potato
1 can cream of mushroom
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 to 2 cans whole kernel sweet corn
1/2 to 1 pound of frozen crawfish tails (cooked, deveined)
(I use Beaudreaux's and I do not thaw it before I throw it in the pot)
capful (1/2 tbsp or so) of crab boil seasoning

1. Saute 2 to 3 "stalks" of green onions. You can use more or less if you like, but you gotta use them.

2. Turn pot on low and put in cream cheese, half and half, and potato and mushroom soups (undiluted). Stir this all up and let the cream cheese melt but don't let it boil.

3. Last, throw in the crawfish tails and the corn. After the
crawfish tails have warmed and mixed in with the soup, add about a capful of crab boil seasoning (less if you don't want it spicy, more if you like spice - and you can use cayenne pepper to taste if you don't have crab boil).

Bon Appetite!!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Abby!!!

For Abby's 7th Birthday we rented out the skating rink and had a blast!! She had plenty of friends there to help her celebrate and they were all busting their behinds trying to skate! I even laced up some skates and gave skating a shot myself!! I did slightly regret that decision the next day though, when my thighs were more sore then they've been in a long while!

I made Abby a special Ooey Gooey Ice Cream Cake for her birthday - it was made with crushed heath bars and I made another one with snickers. They turned out to be a hit and I was so proud!

This was actually a Paula Deen Recipe that I got from a friend of mine. It really wasn't hard but it looked like it was!

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

1 cup butter
8 (1 oz) squares semi sweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream softened
6 bars of Snickers or Heath
3/4 cup chocolate sauce
Garnish : Chocolate sauce and caramel sauce (ice cream toppings)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In large bowl, combine butter and chocolate and melt it in microwave at 30 second intervals stirring until it's all melted and smooth.
  3. Whisk in sugar, add eggs one at at ime whisking well after each addition.
  4. Whisk in flour until smooth and then pour batter into a 10 inch springform pan.
  5. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl combine half of chopped candy bar with ice cream. Cover and spread the 3/4 cup chocolate sauce on top of the cooked and cooled cake in springform pan. Then add the ice cream you mixed on top of that.
  7. Put that in the freezer and let it freeze for at least four hours - then when you're ready to serve it, squeeze some of the ice cream toppings (caramel and chocolate) all over the top (looks really pretty and tastes so good!) and then adorn the top with chopped candy bars if desired. Voila.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Madelyn was sick and we needed cake...

Yesterday Madelyn woke up with a 102 fever, a horrible cough and a snotty nose. Motrin perked her up a little, but she still was kind of pitiful. So, I thought a little cake might cheer her up! In the end she didn't really eat much, which was probably best since cake is not really top on the list of things kids should eat while sick....but the thought of it made her happy and she enjoyed helping me put the ingredients together.

I made a chocolate butterscotch cake that was really good, and really not hard although I didn't think I could make a cake from scratch without really messing it up, I managed just fine and was really proud of the outcome!

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Butterscotch Cake

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I didn't have any so I substituted for 4 oz of unsweetened baker's chocolate bars melted and it turned out great)

1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 12.5 oz jar butterscotch ice cream topping
1 12 oz container non dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip) thawed
1 t.5 oz box cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix (uncooked, you just need that powder to
mix w the cool whip for the icing!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease and lightly flour a 9x13 inch baking pa

2. Beat melted butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Then add your vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt) IF you substitute cocoa for the bakers chocolate then don't add it in there, rather melt it and add it alternately while beating in the dry ingredients and the milk.

4. Beginning and endin
g with the flour mixture, alternate beating in the flour, milk (and melted chocolate if you go that route). Bake for 25 minutes or until you can stick a wooden toothpick in and it come out clean.

5. for the icing you will mix the cool whip and the butterscotch pudding mix. After the cake is ready, take a wooden spoon and poke some holes into the top of the cake. Take the butterscotch Ice Cream Topping and cover the top of the cake (I filled it in some of the holes too).

6. Let cake cool completely and then cover it with the icing. Refrigerate at while and then cut into squares and serve! Delicious!

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas!!!

These were great! My family ate them up and they were fairly easy to make. It was a little time consuming to prepare the corn tortillas for folding, but some of you may have a better way to do it then the way that I did!

Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

1 dozen yellow or white corn tortillas
1 8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese
1 can mild red enchilada sauce
1 can 14 oz wolf brand chili with no beans
1 cup chicken broth
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon oil

1. make the sau
ce for the enchiladas buy combining oil and flour and mixing over medium heat. It'll make a roux and it sounds hard but it isn't. You don't want it to be dark, just let it cook on medium about a minute.

2. Add the chicken broth and mix using a wire whisk. Make sure there are no lumps then add the enchilada sauce and then the chili sauce.

3. Turn off the heat and set sauce aside.

4. get your ingredients for the filling of the enchiladas. I used ground turkey (and I ground it further in a food processor after it was cooked) added some taco seasoning and 2/3 cup of water. I used a big spoon full of that and a handful of cheese for the center of the enchilada.

5. so that the corn tortillas don't crack when you roll them, you can either heat them in the microwave for a couple of minutes (that's not what I did) or you can take a little oil in a skillet and lightly coat each side and warm it enough to make it pliable.
6. Grease the inside of a 9x13 pan and put a little of your sauce on the bottom. Roll up your enchiladas and set on top of the sauce. When you're done pour the rest of the sauce onto the enchiladas along with a little cheese. Cook on 375 for about 30 minutes or until it's bubbly.

7. Voila! Enjoy!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

At first

I got a few emails from some friends who had started a blog and I thought, that's cute but I bet I would never keep up with it. And who knows if I will or not. But, as I was figuring out what I was going to cook for supper tonight (the kids aren't going to eat the left over home made chicken noodle soup I made last night) I thought about sharing a new recipe I found with my friends and family. And then I thought about how many times I randomly forward recipes, song titles or pictures to my friends and family whether they want them or not! So, I decided to send one last email with a link to my "blog page" where I'll post my recipes (everybody needs a little inspiration sometimes) and my friends and family can chose to look at it in their own time without it filling up their inbox. ;-)
Maybe even one day, I'll learn how to put samples of songs onto my page so that those of you I'm constantly telling to download a song can listen to it before you decide if you want it or not!
So, here goes!!!

First, I want to start with the chicken noodle soup I threw together yesterday that was very healthy and also very good! In the future, I plan to take pictures of all my ingredients so you'll get a better idea, and I may even take a picture of each process as I do it depending on how tricky the step is. ;-)

Crock pot chicken noodle soup

2 cans cream of mushroom
celery salt (to taste)
onion (I use that McCormick bag of frozen diced onions, I just threw a/b a half a cup in there)
carrots sliced (a little over half a bag)
a bag of frozen peas (frozen is best - but I'd use half a bag next time I cook it)
3 to 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless for me, but you do what you like)
2 cups chicken broth (I make it using the granules or cubes b/c it's better but you can use the canned kind if you want)
Egg noodles (8 oz's)
tsp minced garlic

I just put the onions, minced garlic, carrots, peas and salts in the bottom of the crock pot, I put my uncooked chicken breasts on top. Turn your crockpot on about 6 hours (you can do 4 if that's all the time you have, but you'll need to cut your breasts into smaller pieces so that they are done quicker - or better yet, use those small tender cut filets). After about five hours, I took out my chicken and shred it, then returned it. After I returned the chicken I put in my two cans of potato soup and stirred it all together.

I cooked my noodles separately and added them about the last thirty minutes.

See there! Pretty easy and healthy and very tasty. It's good with saltines all crushed in there!
Also, you can add whatever veggies you like in your chicken noodle soup. I'd have added celery if I had any.

Tonight I will cook easy, cheesy enchiladas! And I'll post that recipe (if it goes well) on here tomorrow. Along with some more pictures and ramblings. Oh boy!! ;-)