Friday, July 30, 2010

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Great recipe for Stroganoff - TOH Magazine August/September 2010

2 lbs beef top serloin steak, cut into strips
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup water
1 envelope beef stroganoff seasoning for the slow cooker (1.5 oz)
1 lb sliced baby portobello mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tb butter
1/4 cup port wine or beef broth (I used a cab that I had on hand)
2 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp sugar
1.5 cups sour cream (12 oz)
hot cooked egg noodles

Brown meat in oil and then add water and seasoning mix, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Transfer meat and drippings to a slow cooker

In the same skillet saute mushrooms and onion in butter til tender. Combine wine, mustard and sugar and stir into mushroom mixture. Add to slow cooker; stir to combine

Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. Stir in sour cream and serve with noodles

Friday, July 23, 2010


According to O Magazine August 2010 the best tweezer to get is the Tweezerman Slant from

Kid Fondue

1 cup fresh raspberries
A couple of bananas chopped up
1 container fresh strawberries chopped into chunks
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Put chocolate chips each into their own bowl or custard cup and microwave until melted. Dip fruit into chocolates to eat. Very fun with kids!

Rrozen Fruit Bites

12 Vanilla Wafer Cookies
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup Nuefchatel cream cheese, softened
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
sliced kiwi, strawberries, or whole blueberries

place liners in mini cupcake pan. Put a wafer cookie, flat side up, in the bottom of each well.

Wisk together yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, and honey until smooth. Spoon heaping tablespoon on top of each cookie, then top the mixture with fruit.

Cover pan with plastic wrap, then placein freezer until the fruit bites are firm, about 1 - 1.5 hours. Remove tray from freezer 15 - 25 minutes before serving

Got idea from Family Fun, August 2010

Would need to find mini cupcake pan liners as well as neufchatel cream cheese - not sure what that cream cheese is

Creamsicle Slushy

Pour 1 1/3 cups orange juce into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid, about 3 hours.

empty tray into blender and combine with 1 Tb honey, 1 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt, and 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate and blend until smooth. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Got from Family Fun August 2010

Outdoor Art

Put craft paper canvases (or opened up grocery bags) on the outside of the house and then let the kids paint away!

Got idea from Family Fun, August 2010


Put sandbox sand in plastic storage containers - easy storage!

Got idea from Family Fun, August 2010

Paper Puppets

Fold a letter size sheet of paper in third lengthwise. Tape the seam closed. Fold the paper in half. Fold the ends in half the opposite direction so that the paper ends up accordion-folded into four equal section.

Create a face with markers and colored paper pieces attached with tacky glue. Slip your thumb and fingers into the two ends of the folded paper to bring your puppet to life!

Got from family fun August 2010

Painted Turtles

Go exploring in your backyard to find the perfect stone for a turtle shell. The stone should be about 2 inches wide and then for the legs use scissors to cut two wooden craft spoons in half. With tacky glue, attach those four peieces to a third craft spoon and then glue the rock on top of the craft spoons. Let the glue set and then decorate the turtle with acrylic paint and add a pair of googly eyes

Got idea from August 2010 family fun magazine

Light Snacks

Good light snack ideas from Hungry Girl:

Turkey lunch meat wrapped around a pickle
Fiber One Cereal and Vanila Almond Breeze Soy Milk
Smoked Salmon on Wasa Crackers
Chocolate Vita Muffins
Shirataki Noodles and Laughing Cow

Gardening Book

Great Container Gardening Book is: The Bountiful Container by McGee, Rose Marie Nichols

Chicken Pasta Salad

Great Chicken Pasta Salad!!

5 - 7 cooked chicken breasts chopped (I used 5)
One 16 oz box of medium shell pasta
1 - 1.5 cups frozen peas, thawed
2 - 3 celery stalks, chopped
1.5 - 2 cups grapes, sliced in half
1 bunch green onion chopped
1.5 - 2 cups mayo
1 cup sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 tsp dry mustard (I used 1/4 tsp but I think it could've used a little more zip)
1 cup sliced almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and chill. I mixed in 1 - 1.5 cups mayo at first but then mixed in more mayo after it had chilled. I mixed the mayo and sour cream and dry mustard together before mixing it with everything else


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Apple Bacon Burger

Mix 1/2 lb italian sausage with 1/2 lb ground beef and 1 cored and finely chopped green apple. Shape into burgers and grill until no pink remains.

Make a tangy sweet spread by stirring together 2 Tb of mayonnaise, 1 Tb dijon style mustard and honey to taste.

Put spread on bun, top with burger, core and slice 1 additional green apple. Pile on top of the burger with crisp cooked bacon.

Better Homes and Gardens July 2010


3M Command Hooks are great for organizing:

Operation Gratitude

Write a letter of support to the troops through Operation Gratitude, which sends letters and packages to the troops. Bundle notes and send them to operation gratitude, 17330 Victory Boulevard, Van Nuys, CA91406

Got info from Better Homes and Gardens July 2010

Basil Recipes

Basil Lemonade: in a small sauce pan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add 1 cup basil leaves, remove from heat, and let cool. Add a splash of the basil syrup to lemonade; garnish with basil sprigs

Basil Aioli: Mix chopped basil leaves and fresh lemon juice into mayonnaise. Serve with grilled shrimp, roasted potato wedges, or cut up raw veggies

Watermelon, Basil, and Feta Salad: Drizzle cut up watermelon with olive oil and sprinkle with crumbled Feta and torn basil leaves; season with salt and pepper

Pasta with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Basil: Toss cherry tomatoes and diced eggplant with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400 degrees F. Toss with cooked penne and torn basil leaves; dollop with ricotta and drizzle with olive oil

Prosciutto Sandwich with basil and avocado: Drizzle split ciabatta with olive oil and fill with prosciutto, sliced avocado, and whole basil leaves

Real Simple: July 2010

What to do with strawberries?!

Strawberry Gelatin: Has a kid friendly texture that's a cross between jam and pudding. Mix 3 cups strawberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 Tb lemon juice in a blender. Strain the mixture and pour the liquid into a small saucepan (discard the solids). In a bowl, pour 2 packets unflavored gelatin over 1 cup cold water and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Heat the strained liquid until it's just starting to boil, then stir it into the geletin mixture. Pour the gelatin into an 8 X 8 inch glass pan and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Strawberry frozen yogurt: Freeze 2 cups fresh strawberries. Combine the berries with 6 oz nonfat french vanilla yogurt in a food processor, then blend until smooth.

Got from Family Fun June/July 2010

Travel Websites

Websites travelers should bookmark: lists fare sales and ovvers fare alerts so you know when airlines drop prices. Also has an airline fee chart Highlights the lowest fares from cities around the country scans numerous booking sites, from online travel agents to airlines, and lists the results for air, car and hotel. The site can compile an airfare search that includes fees such as those for checked bags Searches for flights and predicts whether the prices will go up or down sells discounted rooms at more than 70,000 properties bargain site that lists vacation deals bargain site that lists vacation deals bargain site that lists vacation deals provide savings for anyone who is willing to book a room without knowing which hotel it's in provide savings for anyone who is willing to book a room without knowing which hotel it's in

Got from Star Tribune, Summer 2010

Chicken Burger

1 Tb light olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 small clove garlic chipped
8 oz ground chicken
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/3 cup grated apple
bread crumbs
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a small pan and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. Then in a large bowl mix together chicken, sage, apple, bread crumbs, and sauteed onion mixture. Season to taste and form into four burgers.

Grill burgers OR you can bake them in an oven by searing the burgers in a frying pan for 2 minutes on each side and then baking them in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes.

Got from Scholastic Parent & Child June/July 2010

Chicken Satay


1/8 tsp grated ginger
1 garlic clove crushed
1 Tb lime juice
1 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb honey
1 Tb peanut butter (creamy or chunky)


1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup water
1 Tb sweet chili sauce (or to taste)
1 Tsp soy sauce
1 Tsp lime juice


2 chicken breasts (about 1/4 lb each) cut into long strips
10 wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

In large bowl wisk together marinade ingredients

Put chicken in bowl and pour marinade over it. Let stand 10 minutes

Put sauce ingredients (except for lime juice) in a small pan and warm gently stirring constantly until everything has melted together. Bring to a simmer and cook 1 - 2 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Set aside.

Thread chicken strips onto skewers and grill for about 5 minutes each side - or until chicken is cooked through.

Warm sauce and add an extra Tb of water if it has become too thick.

Got from Scholastic Parent & Child June/July 2010

Science With Kids

Super Bubbles: in a large bucket, gently mix together 8 liters of warm water with 1/2 cup liquid dishwashing detergent (dawn works best, avoid using a soap with antibacterial properties). Use a bubble wand to create your floaters. Put on clean gloves and bounce the bubbles off your hands! Then try to bounce them off your clothes, they will pop. If the clothes are dirty the oil and dirt particles will break down the soap's film and the bubbles will pop

Bursting Bags: Add 1 TB baking soda to a quart size zipper lock plastic bag. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a snack-size zipper lock plastic bag and seal it. Place the small bag in the large one, seal the large bag, and put on your safty glasses (or sun glasses). Punch the vinegar bag inside the baking soda bag to break it open and shake the bags to mix the substances. Watch the bag puff up and then pop! When you mix vinegar and baking soda a gas is produced (carbon dioxide)

Fireworks Milk: Cover the bottom of a dinner plate with 2% milk. Allow the milk to settle. Add 1 drop each of red, blue, yellow, and green food coloring to the milk. Place a drop of liquid dish soap on the end of a cotton swab. Touch the milk with the soapy end of the swab and hold it there for 10 - 15 seconds. It will look like fireworks! Milk is made up mostly of water but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fat. When you add soap, the weak chemical bonds are altered and the molecules of protein and fat bend, twist, roll and contort in all directions

Got from Scholastic Parent & Child June/July 2010

Entertaining Muffins

Would like to try this recipe:

1 15 oz box raisin bran cereal
3 cups sugar
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 quart buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400

Mix try ingredients in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Fill mini-muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 15 minutes

Got recipe from Scholastic Parent & Child June/July 2010

Seems like it makes A LOT of muffins though....and quite a bit of sugar and oil....

Blue Hawaiian Rum Drink

For one drink:

2 oz spiced rum
1 oz blue curacao
3 Tb cream of coconut
3 oz pineapple juice
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Fill a tall glass with ice. Add all ingredients and stir

Garnish with pineapple wedge and a cherry on a little red pic spear

Got from people magazine

Kyle MacLachlan's Guacamole

2 Avocados peeled
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lime
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
3 Tbsp minced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 Tb chopped cilantro

mash avocado, salt and half lime juice until mixture is chunky

Mix in tomato, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro

Taste for seasoning and add lime juice or salt as needed

Got from People Magazine

Chicken Skewers

1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
5 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb light brown sugar
2 tsp hot sauce
3 lbs boneless chicken breast or thigh meat, cut length wise into 1 inch wide strips
36 - 40 wooden skewers (6 inches in length)

Combine everything except chicken and skewers in large glass or stainless steel bowl. Wisk to combine. Add chicken and toss to cote. Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 45 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Heat oven to 425. Remove chicken from marinade (reserving marinade) and thread 1 piece onto each skewer. Arrange skewers on a foil lined baking sheet in a single layer. Heat reserved marinade and boil for 3 minutes. Let cool.

Back in middle of oven for 10 minutes. Flip dkewers and baste with remaining marinade (you don't have to use it all). Bake for about 5 more minutes until golden brown on both sides.

Got from People, June 21, 2010

Melon Swizzlers

1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 honeydew
1/4 seedless watermelon

Make about 20 melon balls from each fruit. Thread five on a plastic straw, alternating colors. Repeat with remaining melon. Serve to kids 4 and over. Makes 12

Got recipe from Parents, July 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hot Kielbasa Dip

Want to try this!

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 Tb mayonnaise
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
8 oz fully cooked kielbasa, finely chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Assorted crackers or raw veggies

In a microwave safe bowl, heat cream cheese uncovered on high for 1 minute. Stir in sour cream, milk, mayonnaise, and worcestershire sauce. Add kielbasa, 1/4 cup of onios and parmesan cheese; mix well

Microwave, uncovered, on high for 3 - 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring once. Sprinkle with remaining onions. Serve with crackers or veggies. Store in refrigerator

Got from Taste of Home family collection cookbook

Cheddar-Bacon Dip

Want to try this!

8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup sour cream
5 green onions, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 jar (16 oz) taco sauce
2 cups shreddee cheddar cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled

Tortilla or taco chips

Beat cream cheese and sour cream together. Spread in an ungreased 13 X 9 X 2 inch pan or on a 12 inch pie plate. Combine onions, tomatoes and green pepper, sprinkle over cream cheese layer. Pour taco sauce over the veggies. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Refrigerate. Just before serving, sprinkle with bacon. Serve with tortilla or taco chips.

Got recipe from family collection cookbook from taste of home

Hot Pizza Dip

Super Good!

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped pepperoni
tortilla chips or breadsticks

combine cream cheese, italian seasoning and garlic powder. Spread on the bottom of a greased 9 inch pie plate

combine cheese, sprinkle half over the cream cheese layter. Top with pizza sauce, peppers, and pepperoni.

Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve warm. Yield 3 1/2 cups.

Great one to make ahead and bake when needed.

got recipe from Taste of Home Family Collection Cookbook