Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Apple-feta tossed salad

Was very good - made it for x-mas 2011

candied walnuts (1 cup)
10 cups torn lettuce (i got a lettuce mix that wasn't quite 10 cups)
1 medium red apple, chopped
1 medium green apple, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta cheese


6 Tb white wine vinegar
2 Tb chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

in a blender combine the dressing ingredients. Toss 3/4 to all of the dressing (depending on how much lettuce there is) with the remainder of the ingredients. Sprinkle with walnuts.

TOH: Great American Cookout July 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Banana Soft Serve

Cut a large overripe banana into 1/2 inch slices, seal them in a ziplock bag, and freeze until hard, about an hour. Puree the frozen slices in a blender or food processor until smooth, then serve. Add peanutbutter if you desire.

Family Fun, September 2011

Banana Soft Serve

Banana Soft Serve

Birthday Party Games

Wacky Waiter

What you need: A large plastic dinner plate and a ping-pong ball for each team

To Play: the first runner on each team places the ping pong ball on top of the plastic dinner plate. HOlding the plate waiter style (one hand underneath the try; younger racers can use two hands), the player carries it to the turnaround point and back to tag the next teammate, who does the same. If a player drops the ball, she picks it up, puts it back on the plate, and resumes. The first team to finish wins.

Sneaker Scramble

What you need: a box or laundry basket for each team and a playing area safe fro shoeless running

To Play: The first player on each team runs to his team's box, takes off his shoes, puts them in the box and runs back to tag the next teammage who does the same. When the entire team is shoeless, the players take turns running back to the box, putting their own shoes back on and running back. The first team to finish with all footwear on wins.

Bubble Brigade

What you need: bubble solution and a wand for each player

To Play: Each team lines up shoulder to shoulder. The first person on each team blows a bubble and catches it on her wand. She then passes it to the next player, who passes it to the next and so on. If the bubble pops, the person passing it must blow another bubble and then pass it on. The first team to get a bubble to the end of it's line wins.

Grab Bag:

What you need: two brown paper bags, slips of paper, and a pencil

The Setup: On the slips, write instructions: "Hop to teh tree and back", "Run to teh slide, go down, and run back" "Do 25 jumping jacks" Make two of each instruction so each team has identical sets. Put one in each bag. Each bag should have one slip per player.

To Play: The first player on each team pulls a slip from the bag, performs the action, and tags the next player, who does the same. The first team to finish all the actions wins.

Matchbox indy 500

What you need: A flat service for a small toy car for each team, and a party blower for each player.

To Play: Set each team's car at the starting line. The first player on each team repeatedly blows into his party blower to push the art to a turnaround point and back. He then tags the next player who does the same. The first team to finish wins.

Family Fun September 2011

Nutty Acorn

For each use chocolat frosting to attach a mini vanilla wafer to a chocolate kiss. Snap a 1/4 inch section from a pretzel stick for a stem and use more frosting to atttach it to the wafer. Let the frosting set for 20 minutes before serving.

Family Fun September 2011

Spinach Salad Wraps

5 Tb red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tb sugar
2 tsp snipped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp olive oil
1 5 oz pkg fresh baby spinach
6 10 inch flour tortillas
6 slices mozzarella cheese, torn in half
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
12 slices bacon, crisp cooked and drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 hard cooked eggs sliced

For dressing wisk together vinegar, sour cream, sugar, parsley, salt, garlic, and dry mustard until combined. Wisk in the olive oil; set dressing aside.

Divide spinach among flour tortillas. Top with cheese, mushrooms, bacon, red onion, and sliced eggs. Drizzle with dressing.

Roll up tortillas. If necessary, secure with toothpicks. If desired, wrap in waxed paper and cut in half to serve. Makes 6 servings.

BHAG August 2011

Face Masks

Vanilla Bean Exfoliating Paste: Wakes up sleepy skin

2 Tb white rice
2 Tb coffee beans (optional)
1 fresh vanilla bean cut in small pieces
1/2 cup natural plain yogurt

mix rice, coffee beans and vanilla bean into a powder in a coffee grinder. Pour into a mixing bowl an dadd a splash of warm water to make a paste. Apply to body and rub vigorously to exfoliate dead skin. Rinse in the bathtub or shower. Follow by smoothing yogurt over exfoliated areas to sooth and moisturize. Rinse off in warm water

Pedicure in a minute nourishing scrub

1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tb sea salt
1 tsp baking soda

mix apple sauce, honey, and vinegar in a bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir well. Blend in salt and baking soda.

Apply to clean feed and rub well. Wat for 3 - 4 minutes, then rinse.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 month

Summer Enzyme mask: banishes dry patches

2/3 cup pineapple chunks drained (canned is fine, but choose organic fruit in its own juices)
1/4 cup soy oil (can substitute avocado, almond, or olive oil)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
a few sprigs of mint, chopped

mix pineapple and oil in a blender until almost smooth. Add parsley and mint; pulse making sure not to liquefy the ingredients.

Apply to face using fingers or a small paint or makeup brush. Leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse to remove

Store in airtight jar refrigerated up to 4 days.

BHAG August 2011

Frozen Citrus Slilces

Keep drinks cold while adding flavor with frozen lemon and lime slices. Line a sheet pan with waxed paper, placing citrus slices in single layers between waxed paper. Freeze the slices, then drop frozen citrus into water, tea, lemonade or cocktails

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake

2 (48 oz) containers strawberry ice cream
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tb butter, melted
1/4 cup plus 2 Tb sugar
1 (6 in) store bought cheesecake, room temperature
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into pieces

Set icecream out to soften for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1/4 cup sugar. Press mixture over the bottom and partly up sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.

When ice cream has softened, cream it with a wooden spoon until soft but not melted. Break cheesecake into pieces an dbeat or fold into ice cream. Pour mixture into pan and smooth the top. Put in freezer to set.

Combine strawberries with remaining 2 Tb sugar and lemon juice in a nonreactive saucepan. Warm over medium heat, 3 - 5 minutes. Chill.

To serve remove sides of springform pan and place cheesecake on plate. Top with strawberries.

People Magazine, August 29, 2011

Maxine's Meatloaf

The meatloaf I grew up on :-)

2 lbs hamburger
3/4 sleve saltene crackers
dried onion/regular onion
about 3 eggs (beat eggs first)
little tomato sauce

Mush all this up

Form into two loaves - don't grease pans

Mix 1 can condesced tomato soup and some tomato sauce. Put part of this on top of loaves.

Bake with cover for 30 minutes, take cover off, put rest of sauce on top of loaves and bake additional 30 minutes


4 parts absolut citron
2 parts triple sec
1 part lime juice
2 parts cranberry juice

Got from Star Tribune sometime in the 90's

Texas Caviar

1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 can black eyed peas
1 can (11 oz) shoepeg corn
1 large jar chopped pimentos
1 can black beans

Drain above, mix

1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix well, leave in juices until ready to serve. Drain and serve with tortilla scoops

REcipe from Amber Asmus

Shut the Box


To start, a player writes the numbers 1 - 9 on a sheet of paper and rolls the dice. He then crosses out one or more numbers that add up to the roll. For example, if he rolls and 8 he can cross out the 8, or the 6 and 2, the 7 and 1, or the 5 and 3. After the numbers 6 and up are crossed off, the player can choose to roll just one die. If the player manages to cross off all of the numbers, he's "shut the box" If he can't match a roll to the remaining numbers, his turn ends, and any uncrossed numbers are added to his score (the lower the score, the better). The next player then plays with a fresh set of numbers. Players alternate rounds until one player's score reaches 50. The other player is the winner.

Family Fun, November 2011

Pie Cupcakes

Bake a dozen of your favorite cupcakes. Tint a 16 oz can of white frosting with 3 drips of yellow food coloring and 1 tsp cocoa powder or chocolate syrup. Then frost the cupcakes. Transfer the remaining frosting to a ziplock bag, snip off a corner and set the bag aside. Press red M & M's onto the top of each copcake and then use the bagged frosting to pipe a lattice pattern over them and a zigzag crust around the edge.

Red M & M's can be found at craft and party stores

Family Fun, November 2011

There's a Book For That

Kid Books For Hard to deal with situations:

My Pal Victor by Diane Bonzales - why is that girl in a wheelchair?
Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader - how come she doesn't have any hair?
Grandma's Gloves by Cecil Castellucci - what will i do without grandma?
Who Has What by Robie E. Harris - Why doesn't Mommy have a penis?

Parents Magazine, November 2011

Hot Lemonade To Feel Better

Mix hot water, fresh lemon juice and honey and it is soothing for sore throats. Parents Magazine, November 2011


Rosemary, Grape, and Gin Cocktail

In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 4 rosemary sprigs; bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let cool. Strain the sugar syrup into a large pitcher and combine with 1 cup concord grape juice, 3/4 cup gin, 1/2 cup club soda, and 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice. Serve over ice; garnish with rosemary sprig and grapes

Lemony gin punch:

In small saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar; bring to a simmer, then remove from heat, stir in 1/4 cup honey, and let cool. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with 1 cup club soda, 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, and 3/4 cup gin. Serve over ice and garnish with a lemon wedge.

Real Simple, December 2011

Pork Loin with Butternut Squash

1 small butternut squash
1/4 tsp each salt, pepper, pumpkin pie spice, and onion or garlic powder
1 to 1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin roast
1 Tb olive oil
1 18.8 oz can carmelized french onion soup
1/2 cup chunky style applesauce

half and peel squash, discard seeds, then cut squash in large chunks. Place squash in a 3 - 3 1/2 quart slow cooker.

In a small bowl combine spices; rub seasoning on all sides of pork. Heat oil in a large skillet; brown pork on all sides in the hot oil. Place pork on the squash in the slow cooker. Pour soup and applesauce over all. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.

Slice pork - to serve drizzle sauce over pork and squash. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving = 322 calories, 14 g fat, 3 g fiber

Better Homes and Gardens, December 2011

Drinks for Kids and Adults

Cranberry Sparkler:

  • For Kids: In a shaker mix 4 oz cranberry juice, 1 oz orange juice, and 1 tsp honey; shake and then pour over ice. Top with a splash or two of chilled club soda and a cherry.

  • For Adults: Sub champagne for club soda

Peppermint Shake

  • For Kids: Combine 3 oz low fat milk, 2 oz french vanilla half and half, a drop each of peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and green food coloring. Shake and strain into a glass rimmed with crushed candy cane.

  • For Adults: Sub in 1/2 oz vodka and 1 1/2 oz bailey's original for the half and half

Apple-Pie Punch

  • For Kids; Stire together 4 oz apple juice, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp grenadine syrup. Pour over crushed ice and garnish with an apple slic

  • For Adults: Sub 1 oz of apple juice with light rum

Parents December 2011

Fried Rice

With Red and Yellow Peppers:

2 Tb peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into strips
1 medium yellow gell pepper, cut into strips, seeded
salt and pepper
3 - 4 cups cooked rice (white or brown) that has been chilled. (start with about 1 1/2 cups raw)
2 Tb lite soy sauce, or to taste
1 Tb dark sesame oil

put peanut oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. When it's hot, add the peppers, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and raise the ehat to high. Cook, stirring occassionally, until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Add the rice, crumbling it with your hands as you place it in the skillet. Cook, stirring and breaking up the rice lumps until rice is hot and begins to brown - about 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, taste and adjust the seasoning. Makes 4 servings.

Each serving = 314 calories, 10 g fat, 5 g fiber.

**Can add Chicken or any type of protein if desired - change nutrition info based on what is added

** Chicken and Peas: omit the peppers and add the rice to the peanut oil as soon as it's hot. Once it's beginning to brown, stir in 1 cup chopped cooked chicken and 1 cup frozen peas. Cook until the chicken and peas are heated through. Continue with recipe

** Shrimp: swap one bunch chopped scallions for the peppers and cook them until they soften (5 - 7 minutes). Once rice is hot and beginning to brown, add 1/2 lbs chopped shrimp to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, 3 - 4 minutes. Continue with the recipe.

Parents Magazine, December 2011

Pomegranite Martini

In a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar; bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let cool. In a large pitcher combine the sugar syrup with 3/4 cup vodka, 1/2 cup pomegranite juice, 1/3 cup fresh lime juice, and 1/4 cup cointreau. Add 2 cups ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into chilled martini glasses; garnish with a lime slice. Serves 4

5 ingredient popovers

3 Tb unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour,
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Heat over to 400. Brush cups of a 12 cup nonstick muffin tin with butter

Wisk together flour, milk, eggs, butter and salt until only a few lumps remain (do not overmix)

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups and bake until puffed and a deep golden brown (30 - 35 minutes). Do not open the oven door before 30 minutes or the popovers will collapse. Remove 1 popover to check that the underside is browned. Serve immediately.

Real Simple December 2011

music cd's for kids

A few cds that I would like to check out of the library to try with the kids. Found in parent's magazine january 2012 and they weren't in the library yet

Bugs by Mister G
What a Zoo by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights
Radio Wayne by Wayne Brady

Veggie and Cheese Christmas Tree

Arrange cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes, and parsley sprigs in an evergreen design for fun and candy free munching.

Family Fun January 2012

Hot Cocoa Bar

Fun Idea For a Kid Gathering! Found in Family Fun December 2011/January 2012

Offer a Chocolate Bar:

Prepare plenty of hot cocoa from your favorite recipe or mix, and keep it toasty in a thermos jug. Set out dishes of mini marshmallows, white chocolate chips, and crushed peppermints so guests can customize their drinks to their own sweet specifications.

A kid friendly breakfast bar

Found in Family Fun, December 2011/January 2012

To serve a hot, fast breakfast on busy mornings I set up an oatmeal station for my five children. I place resealable containers of quick oats and such fixings as cinnamon and dried fruit on the counter, along with appropriately sized measuring cups. Grown up pours the hot water and then everyone adds what they like to their bowls. The kids really enjoy making their own breakfast.

Would like to try this - sounds like fun to do for a week!

Spice Rub Gift Mix

Montreal Steak Rub

2 Tb paprika
2 Tb granulated or minced onion
2 Tb granulatted or minced garlic
2 Tb coarse salt
1 1/2 tb coarse ground black pepper
1 1/2 tb dill weed
1 Tb ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl, then place the rub in an airtight container. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Wording for Card:

Brush 3/4 to 1 lb of steak or 1/3 lb hamburger patties with oil. Coat the steak with 1 Tb of rub, the patties with 1 tsp each or mix 1 Tb of the seasoning into 3/4 - 1 lb of ground beef before forming the burgers. For maximum flavor, let the meat rest several hours before cooking.

**would like to try this myself this summer for grilling season!

Parents magazine January 2012

Pork and Potatoes

2 Tb olive oil divided
1 lb pork tenderloin
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup raisins
salt and pepper
1 lb new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 Tb unsalted butter
1/3 - 1/2 cup no-salt-added chicken stock
chopped fresh parsley

preheat oven to 375. Line cookie sheet with foil and brush with 1 Tb of the oil. Slice the pork in half lengthwise, cutting to but not through the other side. Spread open and flatten with your hands. Spread applesauce evenly over pork. Top with raisins. Close the roast back up and secure with toothpicks or 100% cotton kitchen string.

Place pork, seam side down, in prepared pan. Drizzle with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the pork uncovered about 35 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 145 degrees. Remove from over; cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes

Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large suacepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 - 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pan. Add butter and mach with potato masher, adding broth to desired consistency. season with additional salt and pepper. Remove toothpicks or string from pork and slice into 12 pieces.

3 slices pork and 1 cup potatoes = 367 calories, 15 g fat, 3 g fiber

Parents Magazine January 2012

Nutty Tofu & Veggies

1 14 oz pkg firm tofu, drained
3 Tb soy sauce, divided
1 Tb canola oil
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
6 oz snow pea pods, trimmed
1 cup smooth all natural peanutbutter
2 Tb hot water
1 Tb rice vinegar
1 tsp lime juice
4 cups hot cooked brown rice

preheat broiler. Pat tofu dry and slice. Mix 1 Tb soy sauce and oil - add tofu to mixture

Arrange tofu on foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until browned, turning once

Meanwhile, in a saucepan boil carrots in lightly salted water for 3 minutes. Add peas; cook 1 minute. Drain, return to pan

Wisk together peanutbutter, water, vinegar, lime juice and remaining soy sauce until smooth. Drizzle sauce over tofu. Place tofu on top of rice and veggies. Makes 8 cups.

Parents January 2012

2 cups = 288 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g fiber

Veggie Bean Tacos

2 Tb olive oil
1 16 oz pkg frozen stir-fry peppers and onion blend
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 15 oz can no salt added black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp lemon juice
8 6" corn tortillas
4 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese shredded (1 cup)

heat oil over med-high heat, add veggies and garlic. Cook 10 min until peppers are tender and most of liquid has evaporated. Stire in salt and beans; heat through. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.

Lay warmed tortillas flat and divide pepper mixture among tortillas. Top each with cheddar cheese; fold over and serve

8 tacos; 185 cals each, 5 g fiber, 7 g fat, 9 g protein

Parents Magazine, January 2012

Shrimp Lo Mein

8 oz lomein noodles
2 Tb canola oil
1 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed
4 scallions thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup oyster sauce (asian aisle of supermarket)
2 Tb rice vinegar
1 Tb soy sauce
crushed red pepper for serving

cook noodles according to package directions

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp, peas, scallion whites, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are cooked through, 2 -3 min.

Add oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1/4 cup water. cook tossing until thickened, 1 - 2 minutes. Add noodles an dtoss to combine.

Serve sprinkled with red pepper and scallion greens

Real Simple, January 2012

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sage Pork Chops

From All Recipes and I would like to try it:

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 center cut bone-in pork chops
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup water
2 cubes beef bouillon
Combine the salt, sage and black pepper in a small bowl and rub on both sides of the chops. Melt the butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute the chops for 5 minutes per side, or until well browned.
Meanwhile, in a separate small saucepan over high heat, combine the water and the bouillon and stir until bouillon dissolves. Add this to the chops, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer chops for 45 minutes.

Twiced Baked Potatoes Freezer Tip

Make them and freeze them - cook them frozen at 400 for 30 - 40 minutes until they are heated through

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Awesome Cranberries for Thanksgiving

Recipe from Rodger Hagen/Gina Hagen

2 bags fresh cranberries
1 peeled and cored apple
1 peeled orange
1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar

Chop and blend all fruit in an electric chopper and add in sugar to taste. Let sit overnight and drain off excess liquid. Needs to sit for 24 hours before serving.

Had it for Thanksgiving and it was delicious!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crafts for Halloween

Marshmallow Mummies & Spider Pops

Monday, October 17, 2011

Healthy Green Juice

1 cucumber unpeeled cut into spears
3 stalks celery, cut into 2 inch lengths
3 leaves kale, cut into 2 inch wide strips
1 apple unpeeled, cored and cut into chunks
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley sprigs
1/2 lemon, peel removed with a knife

Feed everything into a juicer and discard the solids

From "Real Simple Magazine"

Parmesan-roased acorn squash

1 - 2 lb acorn or delicata squash - halved, seeded, and sliced 3/4 inch thick (little half moons with the skin still on)
2 Tb olive oil
8 sprigs fresh thyme (may leave out)
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400 - toss squash with oil, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle with the parmesan

Roast the squash until golden brown and tender, 25 - 30 minutes

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chicken and Bows

Freezer meal - great to give to family with new baby. TOH Most Requested Recipes

16 oz bow tie pasta
2 lbs chicken breast, cut into strips
1 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups frozen peas
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2/3 cup grated parm cheese

Cook pasta. Meanwhile in dutch oven cook chicken and red pepper in butter until chicken is no longer pink.

Stir in soup, peas, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for 1 -2 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cheese. Drain pasta; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat.

Serve half immediately. Cool remaining mixture; transfer to freezer container. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months (yield 3 casseroles 6 servings each)

To use frozen casserole: thaw in fridge overnight. Transfer to ungreased shallow 3 - qt microwave safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 8 - 10 minutes or unti heated through, stirring once.

French Toast Casserole

From TOH Most Requested Recipes - was very good and a fun change for a breakfast casserole

1 loaf (10 oz) french bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (10 cups)
8 eggs
3 cups milk
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt


2 Tb butter
3 Tb Sugar
2 Tsp ground cinnamon

Serve with maple syrup

place bread cubes in a greased 13 X 9 inch pan. In a large bowl, wisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking. Dot with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. 12 servings

Fruit Smoothies

Healthy Fruit Smoothies that the girls like - from TOH Most Requested Recipes Book

1 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, thawed
1/2 cup canned unsweetened pineapple chunks
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
4 ice cubes
2 Tb sugar

In blender combine all ingredients, process for 30 - 45 seconds or until smoothed. Serve immediately - 4 servings

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kindergarden Book

Supposed to be a good book to read before and during kindergarden: My Kindergarden

Beer Boiled Brats

Buy the brats that aren't cooked

Put brats in dutch oven, pour beer over the top until they are pretty covered. Sprinkle in some peppercorns and add a chopped up onion (1/2 to a whole one depending on how big it is)

Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes

Grill for 5 - 10 minutes

To Scan into the Computer

Start - HP - HP Director

Scan Document

To Restart Modum - Instructions

unplug the silver box first
Unplug the black box second

Wait 30 seconds
Plug the black box in until the first four lights light up
Plug the silver box back in

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Easy Stir Fry

1 lb meat (steak, chicken, pork shoulder)
1 lb veggie (broccoli, beans, mix, spinach, etc.)
2 Tb peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 1/2 Tb minced garlic
2 Tb low sodium soy sauce, plus more to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup minced scallions for garnish

Cut meat very thin

Heat wok over high heat until it begins to smoke. Immediately add half the oil and all the meat. Cook stirring occassionally, until the meat browns and loses all traces of pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and lower heat to med.

Add remaining oil, add the garlic and stir. As the garlic begins to color, return heat to high and add veggies. Stir until veggies are tender.

Return meat to pan and stir for 1 minute. Add soy sauce and lime juice, stir, turn off heat and taste; add more soy sauce if necessary. If mixture is dry, add a bit of water and heat through. Garnish with scallions. Serve iwth rice.


Easy recipe from BHAG June 2011

Parm, basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil. Puree until smooth. To stretch it out and boost nutrition add a few handfuls of spinach.

Build Your Own Burger

Let guests play iwth their food with a flavor your own burger station. Place portions of beef in disposable zip-top bags. Have bowls of cheese, bacon, fresh herbs, onions, pickles, bbq sauce, and hot sauce out for seasoning the meat. Guests can add seasonings to the meat in the bags and mix and shape burgers without getting their hands messy.

Sweet POtato Salad

BHAB June 2011

4 sweet potatoes
1/4 cup mayo
2 Tb dijon style mustard
4 ribs celery, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 small red pepper, seeded and diced
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (2 oz)
chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 400. Wrap individual potatoes in foil. Bake for 1 hour or until tender. Cool until easy to handle. Peel, then cut into 3/4 inch chunks.

Mix mayo and mustard. Add sweet potatoes, celery, red pepper, pineapple, and scallions; toss gently and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate about 1 hour til chilled. Just before serving fold in pecans and sprinkle with chives. 8 servings. 174 cal per serving

Watermelon Martinis

5 cups watermelon cubes (seed and rind removed)
3/4 cup lemon vodka
6 Tb lime juice
3 Tb cointreau or triple sec
3 Tb sugar

Blend watermelon until smooth. Pour puree into a pitcher and keep very cold, even a little frozen to make it icy.
For two martinis, add one cup of watermelon puree, 1/4 cup of lemon vodka, 2 Tb of lime juice, and 1 Tb each of cointreau and sugar to the blender with 3 - 6 ice cubes. Cover; blend until slushy.

Each serving 150 calories

Electric Lemonaid

BHAG June 2011

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 cup sparkling mineral water
dash ginger ale
2 - 3 cups ice
1 cup vodka or sparkling mineral water

Combineeverything but vodka or sparkling mineral water in a blender and slowly blend until thick.

Pour 1/4 cup vodka each into 4 serving glasses. Top with frozen lemonade mixture.

Fresh Corn Salad

BHAG June 2011

8 ears corn shucked
6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 green onions chopped
1 green sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 Tb white balsamic vinegar
3 Tb extra virgin olive oil

Preheat grill to med-high. Brush corn with a little olive oil. Grill corn until lightly browned, turning often to cook evenly; cool.

When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs.

Toss corn with veggies, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss and marinate for at least 2 hours b4 serving. Bring to room temp to serve. Makes 8 servings.

Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil

Got from people June 6, 2011

Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb spaghetti
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tb chopped frsh parsley

Boil spaghetti. Reserve 1 cup pasta water

Heat olive oil over med heat and add garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes and continue sauteing until the edges of the garlic just begin to brown (about 2 min more)

Add reserved cup of pasta water and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Turn heat down to med-low and then add drained pasta and parsley. Toss until pasta has absorbed most of the liquid, about 3 minutes. Serve.


Got from People, July 4th

Strawberry shortcake: 4 oz filtered water, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup fat free vanilla frozen yogurt, 2 Tb honey, 1 graham cracker square, dash of cinnamon and 1 cup ice

Body Fuel: 4 oz filtered water, 8 oz natural pineapple juice, 1/2 banana, 1 cup fat free vanilla frozen yogurt, 2 Tb honey, and 1 cup ice

Blueberry cobbler: 8 oz filtered water, 4 oz natural pomegranate juice, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 cup fat free vanilla frozen yogurt, 2 Tb honey, 1 graham cracker square, dash of cinnamon and 1 cup ice

Hummus Varieties

Got from O Magazine July 2011

Classic: combine 1 clove chopped garlic, a 15 oz can drained and rinsed chickpeas, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 Tb each lemon juice, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, and water in a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Season to taste with salt, olive oil, or paprika, if desired. Refrigerate up to 7 days.

2 Tb = 48 calories, 3 g fat

Simple Blueberry Jam

(Real Simple July 2011) Simple Blueberry Jam
5 cups blueberries
½ cup sugar
1 Tb fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp kosher salt
In a med saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon until berries have released their juices.
Cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened, 18 – 25 minutes. Transfer to containers and refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 1 year.
This recipe can also be made with two 10 oz bags of frozen blueberries instead of fresh. Cook the frozen berries for 2 – 3 minutes before mashing, then reduce the total cooking time to 15 – 17 minutes.

Brown Rice pilaf with pecans

(Real Simple July 2011) Brown Rice pilaf with pecans
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 1 cup brown rice according to directions. Meanwhile, spread ½ cup pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Fold into rice along with 3 Tb fresh dill, 2 Tb cut up unsalted butter, ½ tsp kosher salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.

Corn and avocado salad

Corn and avocado salad (Real Simple July 2011)
Cut kernels off 3 ears corn. Toss with 1 cut up avocado, 2 thinly sliced scallions, 1 Tb olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper

** I tried this and really liked it - just used half a bag of frozen corn and a little less olive oil, salt, and pepper with an avocado and it was good :-)

Grilled Flank Steak

Grilled Flank Steak: (got recipe from Parents July 2011)
1 – ½ lbs beef flank steak
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a grill till hot or use a grill pan or medium size pan over medium-high heat
Bring steak to room temp, pat it dry with paper towel, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Grill steak until nicely browned, 3 – 4 minutes per side. Move meat to a cooler part of the gril and cook for another 5 – 7 minutes turning once. Test for doneness by slitting with a knife. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting across the grain into thin slices.

Use in fajitas by serving with corn tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, and sour cream

Serve with oven fries by heating oven to 400 degrees. Wash three large sweet potatoes and slilce them into rounds. Toss with 2 Tb olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheets and cook for 25 – 30 minutes undisturbed or until they start to brown. Flip potatoes and continue cooking for another 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Paella Style chicken and Rice

Paella Style chicken and Rice (got from People June 20, 2011)
1 Tb olive oil
2 oz andouille chicken sausage or 1 oz andouille pork sausage
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
½ tsp salt
1 cup brown rice
1 tsp saffron or 1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 C chicken broth
1 Lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 cup frozen peas thawed
1 red bell pepper sliced
Scallions and parsley to taste
Heat oil and add sausage and cook for 3 minutes.
Add onion, celery and salt. Saute for 3 minutes. Stir in brown rice. Stir saffron into chicken broth and add to pan. Bring to a boil and add chicken.
Cover and cook for 30 – 35 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed and the ride is tender. Stir in peas and sliced bell peppers. Serve in bowls, topped with parsley and scallions.

Lemon Chicken Penne

Got from the back of a pasta box
12 oz package penne
3 chicken breasts sliced
1 ½ tsp lemon pepper seasoning
1 whole lemon
1 Tb olilve oil
16 oz package broccoli florets thawed and drained
1 cup red pepper, cut into strips
1 Tb chopped garlic
¼ cup white wine
Prepare pasta and train.
Meanwhile sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper seasoning, set aside. Cut lemon in half; cut one half into 6 wedges, set aside
Heat oil over high heat. Add chicken and lemon wedges; reserving other half of lemon. Saute until chicken is browned (3 – 5 minutes)
Add broccoli, peppers, and garlic. Saute until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through (3 Р5 minutes). Add wine; saut̩ until reduced by half.
Toss in pasta; salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beef Strogenoff

Great crock pot recipe - easier than my other one but has a thinner sauce. I added mushrooms and onion.

2-3 pounds beef stew meat (my meat was fresh)
1 (10-ounce) container PHILADELPHIA Cooking Creme -- savory garlic flavor

optional: 2 sliced yellow onions, 1 pound mushrooms (sliced, or whole button) sliced bell pepper, etc.
hot cooked pasta for serving (I used brown rice fusilli)

The Directions.
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Place the meat into the bottom of your pot. Add the Cooking Creme.

If you'd like to throw in onion and mushroom, go for it.

That's it!
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. Stir well and serve over hot cooked pasta.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Nutty Chicken Stir-Fry

Got recipe from Feb/March Taste of Home Magazine - was really good!

1 lb chicken breasts, chopped
1 Tb canola oil
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen stir-fry blend
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb brown sugar
4 tsp corn starch
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
5 - 6 drops hot sauce (i left this out)
3 cups shredded cabbage
3/4 cup salted peanuts
Hot cooked rice

stir fry chicken in oil for 2 minutes. Add veggies, cook 4 minutes longer. Add garlic; stir fry until chicken is no longer pink and veggies are crisp tender

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Stir in broth, soy sauce and peanut butter and pepper sauce until blended. Pour over chicken mixture

Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cabbage; cook 2 minutes longer or until crisp tender. Sprinkle with peanuts. serve with rice.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup egg substitute
3 Tb dried onion
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tb dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 Tb ketchup
Cooking Spray

Mix all together reserving 2 Tb. Form into loaf

Coat loaf pan with spray. Place meatloaf into pan. Spoon remaining ketsup on top and spread.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

4 servings - 5 pts per serving

Black Bean Soup

Is a weight watchers recipe - really good

sprays cooking spray
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
three 15 oz cans black beans undrained, divided
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp ground cumin
14 1/2 oz fat free chicken or veggie broth
10 oz canned tomatoes w/green chilies, such as Rotel
11 oz canned yellow corn, drained.

Coat bottom of pot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are soft but not brown.

Blend one can of beans in blend. Add onion mixture, pepper flakes and cumin. Blend on high til smooth, 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot

Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth. Add to stockpot

Stir a third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes.

3 pts per 1.5 cup of soup

Steel Cut Oats

Apple-Spice Oats
(printer-friendly version)

I like to make enough for two breakfasts and save half for another day.

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large organic apple, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Put all ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to very low. Cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, or until oats are tender and water is mostly absorbed. Serve with sweetener of your choice with a little freshly grated nutmeg on top.

Serves 2. Per serving: 204 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (14% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 541mg Sodium; 10g Fiber. Weight Watchers Core/3 Flex Points.

Cherry Pie Oats
(printer-friendly version)

These are so good that I have to be careful not to eat the whole batch at once!

1/2 cup oats, steel-cut
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup frozen cherries, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the oats, water, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to very low. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.

While oats are cooking, remove cherries from freezer and cut each in half while frozen. Allow them to thaw a little on the counter until oats have cooked for 25 minutes. Stir in the cherries and vanilla extract. Cover and cook until oats are tender and thick, about 10-15 minutes. Serve with your favorite sweetener.

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 200 Calories (kcal); 3g Total Fat; (14% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 36g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 541mg Sodium; 9g Fiber. Weight Watchers Core /3-5 Flex Points (depending on how calculated).

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Got from all recipes

2 cups water 1 cup quinoa 1 pinch salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 tomatoes, diced 1 cucumber, diced 2 bunches green onions, diced 2 carrots, grated 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil, sea salt, lemon juice, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, carrots and parsley. Stir in cooled quinoa

Some people use cilantro instead of quinoa
Serve with pita bread

Butter Bean Burgers

Got from All REcipes - great reviews

1 (15 ounce) can butter beans, drained 1 small onion, chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper 6 saltine crackers, crushed 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, mash butter beans. Mix in onion, jalapeno pepper, crushed crackers, egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide into 4 equal parts, and shape into patties.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; use more or less oil to reach 1/4 inch in depth. Fry patties until golden, about 5 minutes on each side.

Some reviewer's feedback

Something different. Changes (of course): 1) Used black beans. 2) 1/4 cup bread crumbs instead of saltines 3) italian cheese blend instead of chedder (just because I didn't have cheddar) 4) 1 minced clove of garlic instead of powder 5) Baked for 8 minutes each side at 350°.

Wow, this was amazing!!! I did change quite a bit of things though... I cannot have gluten, so I omitted the saltine crackers and used crushed GF cornflakes instead. Also, we didn't have any butter beans so I used an equivalent amount of cooked, mashed lentils instead. After trying it both ways (lentils vs. butter beans) everyone liked the lentils much better! I also added a little diced green pepper and that REALLY enhanced the flavor, and I omitted the jalapeno pepper (don't like spice). I make this recipe ALL THE TIME, and we never get tired of it!!!!!!!!!!!

These were really good. I didn't have butter or lima beans in the house, so I used black beans instead. I added cayenne to the mixture for a little kick and topped the burger with taco sauce. Nice healthy lunch!

Chickpea Sandwich Filling

1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 1 stalk celery, chopped 1/2 onion, chopped 1 tablespoon mayonnaise 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon dried dill weed salt and pepper to taste
Drain and rinse chickpeas. Pour chickpeas into a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Mix in celery, onion, mayonnaise (to taste), lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

Got from All Recipes - got a ton of great reviews!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken with white beans and tomatoes

Real Simple, January 2011

2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 pt grape tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh oregano, plus leaves for garnish
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tb olive oil
slat and pepper
8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (About 3 lbs total)

Heat oven to 425. IN 9 X 13 pan combine all ingredients (only use 1 Tb of the oil).

Pat chicken dry and place on top of bean mixture, skin-side up. Rub with the remaining tb of oil, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, 35 - 45 minutes. Sprinkle w/oregano leaves.


For 1 tsp chili powder use: 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried cumin, and a dash of bottled hot sauce

Instead of nutmeg use cinnamon, ginger, or all spice (for sweet recipes)

Slow Cooked Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tb chili powder
1 Tb ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinamon
salt and pepper
28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
15.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato (8 oz) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Sour cream, scallions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips for serving.

In 4 - 6 quart slow cooker, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the tomatoes (and liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender and chili has thickened, on low for 7 - 8 hrs or high for 4 - 5 hours.

serve the chili with the sour cream, sacallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

Writers Blocks

Family Fun December 2010

When kids are learning to read/write write basic vocabulary on blank adhesive labels (file folder size) and adhere them to lego duplo blocks. Project inspires kids to put together sentences.

Lemony Maple Sweet Potatoes

People December 20, 2010

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" X 2" chunks
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tb maple syrup
2 Tb lemon juice

Preheat to 375.

Toss sweet potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper in large glass baking dish.

Cook until almost tender, 25 - 30 minutes.

Whisk syrup and lemon juice ina small bowl.

Remove potatoes from oven and drizzle 1/2 maple-lemon mixture over potatos

Stir gently, return ot oven and bake additional 10 - 15 minutes - or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

Remove from oven, drizzel with remaining maple-lemon mixture and serve.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

nonstick cooking spray
1 14 oz box gingerbread or spice cake mix
1 8 oz bar cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced candied ginger

Heat oven to 350 and coat 36 mini muffin tins withcooking spray.

Prepare cake mix according to package. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins and bake until toothpick comes out clean, 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and top with the ginger.

Real Simple December 2010

Signature Alcohol Drinks for a Party

Pineapple Mint Punch

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves, 1 - 2 minutes; let cool. In a large bowl, combine the sugar syrup, 3 quarts pineapple juice, 1 liter gin, and 1 cup fresh lime juice. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Justbefore serving add 1 liter club soda and 1 cup fresh mint leaves. Serve over ice (serves 20)

Tequila grapefruit splash

In a large bowl, combine 2 quarts fresh pink grapefruit juice, 1 liter tequila, 3/4 cup capari, and 1/4 cup triple sec. Fefrigerat eup to 6 hours. Just before serving, add 2 liters ginger ale. Serve over ice

Winter Sangria

In large bowl combine 3 bottles fruity red wine (pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon), 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, 3/4 cup brandy, 1/2 cup triple sec, 4 pears (cored and thinly sliced), and 2 oranges (thinly sliced). Refrigerat 6 hours. Just before serving add 2 liters black cherry soda. Serve over ice

Vodka Cranberry cooler

In lg saucepan combine four 12-oz bags cranberries (fresh or frozen), 4 cups sugar, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer 3 cups of the cranberries to a large bowl, then strain the remaining syrup into the bowl. let cool

Add 1 liter vodka and 1 cup fresh lime juice. Refrigerate up to 6 hours. Just before serving, add 3 liters tonic water. Serve over ice and top off with a spash of cream soda if desired

Spiked sparkling cider

In a large bowl, combine 4 bottles cold Prosecco (or some other dry sparkline wine), 6 cups cold apple juice, and 3/4 cup cinnamon schnapps (such as Goldschlager).

Bourbon Ginger Snap

In a large saucepan, combine 2 quarts water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 cup honey, and a 3 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a large bowl and let cool. Add 6 cups fresh orange juice, 4 cups pear nectar, 1 liter bourbon, and 2 lemons (thinly sliced). Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serve over ice.

Real Simple, December 2010


Thinner and crispier than what is used for bruchetta.

Got from real simple December 2010

24 thin slices baguette (from one small loaf)
2 Tb olive oil

Heat oven to 400. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides of bread with oil.

Bake until golden brown, 4 - 5 minutes per side. Top as desired.

Freezing Dough

Mix up drop batter ahead of time and then bake when you need it.

Scoop balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until just firm, 15 - 20 minutes.

Transfer the frozen balls to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake place frozen balls on baking sheets (no need to thaw) and bake according to the instructions adding 1 - 2 minutes to the total time.


People Magazine

1 loaf french bread, sliced in 1 inch pieces
2 - 3 Tb butter, softened
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
6 large basil leaves, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 - 3 tb olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly butter one side of each piece of bread and bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top each piece of bread with about a tb ov the tomato mixture. Serve.

Shrimp with Peppers and Corn

1 8.8 oz pouch cooked long grain rice (I think I would just make rice)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chili seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tb olive oil
1 cup sliced baby or diced sweet peppers
1 cup frozen whole kernal corn, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb peeled and deveined med raw shrip
Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Combine rice, undrained tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp cumin. Heat through.

In a 12 inch skillet heat oil over med-high. Add pepper and corn. Cook 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in garlic. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp cumin. Add shrimp to skillet. Cook 2 - 5 minutes until shrimp are opaque and peppers are crisp tender.

Serve shrimp mixture over rice; sprinkle with parsley.

Better Homes and Gardens December 2010

Gingerbread Martini

1 1/2 oz vanilla flavored vodka
1 1/2 oz frangelico
1 Tb butterscotch schnapps.

Strain into an 8 oz glass filled with ice; add 4 oz ginger beer and a splash of dark rum. Makes 1 drink.

Betterhomes and gardens, December 2010

Star Ornaments

Crush hard candies like Jolly Rancers to create shimmery ornaments that resemble stained glass. Just line a cookie cutter with foil. Spritz it with cooking oil and fill it half way with candy pieces. Bake for approx 7 minutes at 350 to melt the candy, then cool for 10 minutes. Use a hot glue gun to add a hanger.

Cauliflower and Chickpea stew with couscous

Got from Real Simple, December 2010

2 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
1/2 cup raisins
1 5 oz pkg baby spinach, chopped
1 cup couscous

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the cumin, ginger, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, and cook stirring until fragrant 1 minute more.

Add the tomatoes and their liquid (crush the tomatoes with your hands as you add them), chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 - 20 minutes. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 -2 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.

Chicken Drumsticks and Whole Roasted Chicken

Easy ways to cook these:

Drumsticks. Preheat oven to 400. Roast 35 - 40 minutes, if wanted rub w/bbq sauce during last 10 min of cooking

Whole roasted chicken (in pieces)

1 lb sweet potatoes cut into wedges
1 red onion cut into wedges
olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper

Toss potatoes, onion, oil, thyme and salt and pepper in roasting pan.

Season chicken with salt and pepper

Nestle skin side up among potatoes and onions. Cook at 400 for 50 minutes.

Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

1 lg sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (2 cups)
1/2 tsp each sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon
8 oz dried rigatoni
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 3 oz pkg cream cheese cut up
2 tsp asian chili sauce (such as Sriracha sauce)
1 Tb soy sauce
6 green onions thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450. Oil a rimmed baking pan, set aside. Place sweet potato in bowl. Toss with 1 Tb olive oil, sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon. Spread in prepared Pan (Can be used as a side dish as well)

Meanwhile cook posta. Drain reserving 1 cup pasta water.

In saucepan, combine peanut butter, cream cheese, chili sauce, and soy sauce. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir over med heat until heated through. If too thick, stir in additional water. Stir in most of the green onions. Serve sauce over pasta w/sweet potatoes and remaining onion.

Pumpkin Smoothie

In a blender whirl together 1/4 cup canned pumpkin with low-fat vanilla yogurt, a banana, a spoonful of peanutbutter, a handful of ice cubes, and milk to thin as desired. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

From Better Homes and Gardens November 2010

TUrkey Placemat

To make cut out two circles from construction paper for body and head and then use paper scraps to design the eyes, beak, and feet. Decorate the feathers and then decorate with whatever crafts you have.

One-on-One Fun

Ideas from Family Fun

Split up one night a week where one parent does something with one kid and the other parent does something with the other kid. Switch ne next week.

Once/week one kid gets to stay up 15 min past bedtime to spend extra time with mom or dad.

Frozen Blueberry Lemonaid

IN a blender combine 3 cups ice, 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1 cup lemonaid, 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and puree until smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Make it a cocktail and add 1/2 cup vodka to the blender before pureeing.

Serves 4.

Real Simple, July 2010

Chicken Wrap

Preheat oven to 325. Wrap 6 8 - 10 inch tortillas in foil and heat for 15 minutes. Turn off oven but leave tortillas inside until you are ready to use them.

Spread quacamole over whole tortilla, and 1/4 cup chicken to bottom third of tortilla, top with 2 - 3 Tb black bean salsa and 6 - 10 arugula leaves. Roll tortilla over once, and fold the sides in tightly to form a burrito shape. Sith seam side down, cut wrap on the diagnal. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

Easter Bunny Cake

Bake two round cakes.

To form ears cut out 2 curved pieces from each side of one of the cake rounds. Place on eather side of the head. Use the remaining piece for the bow.

Frost the whole bunny, including sides. Place marchmallows on head to form cheeks.

Pat coconut evenly over top of sides of cake. Use jelly beans for eyes and nose and bowtie knot, and chicklets for teeth. Dust bow tie with colored sugar. Use decorating gel to outline eyes, ears, and bow tie to make whiskers.

Paper Bag Nest

Got from FAmily Fun April 2011

Squish down the sides of a paper lunch bag. gather twigs from the yard and break into pieces. Pour a small puddle of tacky glue onto a paper plate, then dip each twig in the glue and stick to the bag. Let the blue dry completely before filling the nest.

Homemade Croutons

1 loaf sliced white sandwich bread (20 - 24 oz), cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt

heat oven to 350. Dividing evenly between 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the bread with the oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Arrange in a single layer and bake, tossing the bread and rotating the pans halfway through, until golden and crisp, 25 - 30 min. Let cool completely on the pans. Croutons can be kept at room temp in airtight container for 1 month.

Real Simple, March 2011

Zucchini Rice

Got from Real Simple, March 2011

1 cup long grain white rice
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated.

Cook rice, remove from heat, sprinkle the zucchini over the rice, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice and fold in the zucchini.

Green Beans and Corn

Got from Real simple march 2011

Put 1 tb olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add 3/4 lb green beans cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths, 4 scallion whites, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the green beans begin to soften, 5 - 7 minutes. Add 1 cup frozen corn and cook, tossing frequently, until the veggies are tender, 3 - 4 minutes. Fold in 4 scallion greens.

Couscous and parsley

Cook couscous and toss with sun dried tomatoes and parsley

Mediterranean campanelle with roasted red peppers and almonds

Got from real simple, March 2011

12 oz campanelle, penne, or some other short pasta
4 red or orange bell peppers cut into quarters and seeds removed
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tb fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper

Cook pasta, reserve 1/4 cup cooking water

Meanshile, heat broiler. Place the peppers on a baking sheet skin-side up and broil until blackened, 8 - 10 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, scrape away the blackened skins with a knife and discard. Cut the flesh into 1 inch pieces.

Add the peppers, olives, almonds, oil, thyme, 2 Tb of reserved cooking water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, add to pasta and toss to combine.

Add more cooking water if it seems dry.

Pesto Orecchiette with chicken sausage

Got from real simple March 2011

12 oz orechiette
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tb olive oil
8 oz fully cooked italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated parm

cook pasta, add green beans and peas during last 3 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, drain pasta and veggies, return them to the pot

Meanwhile, heat oil over med-high, add the sausage and cook until browned - 6 - 8 minutes

Add sausage, pesto, parm, and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry.

Stop Light Cookies

Got from P{arents Magazine, April 2011

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (or use 1/4 cup extra butter if child is allergic)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple jelly
green and yellow food coloring
1/4 cup strawberry jelly

Put parchment paper on cookie sheets

combine flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter, pb, and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in egg. Beat in vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Gradually add flour mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle

Preheat to 350. Shap dough into 3-inch logs. Place logs 2 inches apart on cookie shets. Flatten to a 1-inch wide rectangle. Use handle of a wooden spoon to make three indentations in dough to look like a traffic light. Bake for 3 - 4 minutes, remove, and re-press indentations. Bake 6 - 8 more minutes, until edges are golden and just firm. Let cool on a wire rack.

Dive apple jelly btwn two bowls; tint one with green food coloring, one with yellow.

Fill top indentation with strawberry jelly and bottom two with colored apple jelly.

For the neatest look, pipe them in using resealable plastic bage. Makes about 3 doze cookies.

109 cals each

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dying Easter Eggs

Combine 20 drops of color with 1 Tb vinegar and 1/2 cup water.

Dip eggs - longer egg is left in the deeper the color

Experiment with different colors by mixing (such as 10 drops red and 10 drops blue)

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Recipe from All Recipes:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup mashed ripe bananas 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

**Some people said they used 1% milk instead of yogurt, some used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar

If doing mini muffins makes 36 muffins and bake at 350 for 15 - 17 minutes

If recipe is doubled makes 24 big muffins and 24 mini muffins

Used 3 little containers of applesauce instead of oil - turned out well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries

2 Tb roasted pistachios, chopped
2 Tb dried cranberries, chopped
1 8 - 10 oz log fresh goat cheese
Crackers or bread for serving

On a large plate, combine pistachios and cranberries

Roll the goat cheese in the mixture. Serve with crackers or bread

Real Simple November 2010

Carmelized Onion Dip

Real Simple November 2010

2 Tb unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 8 oz bar cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sour cream
2 Tb chopped fresh chives
Thick cut potato and vegetable chips for serving

Melt butter over med low heat, add onions and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring occassionally, until deep golden brown, 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool

In medium bowl, mix together onions, cream cheese, sour cream, chives and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Serve with chips

Acorn Squash and Tomatoes

Real Simple November 2010

1 small acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lbs) - halved, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (leave skin on)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425. Toss the squash, tomatoes, and garlic with 2 Tb of oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast until the squash is tender (20 - 25 minutes).

Garlic Oven Fries

Toss 2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium cut into 1/2 inch thick sticks) with 4 smashed garlic cloves, 2 Tb olive oil, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Roast at 425, turning once, until golden brown and crisp (35 - 40 min)

Real Simple August 2010

Homemade Pickles

Real Simple August 2010

Makes 16 spears

4 kirby cucumbers (about 1 lb) quartered lengthwise
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 small sweet onion (such as vidalia or walla walla) thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp dill seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
kosher salt

place cucumbers in a 1 qt jar or some other container with a tight fitting lid.

In a bowl combine vinegar, onion, garlic, sugar, dill seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, 2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup hot tap water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The picles will last up to 1 week.

Spaghetti with Zucchini, Walnuts, and Raisins

12 oz spaghetti (3/4 box)
3 Tb olive oil
1/2 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs small zucchini (4 - 5), cut into thin half moons
3/4 cup raisins
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Cook pasta, drain, and return to pot

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown (3 - 4 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until beginning to brown (1 minute)

Add zucchini and raisins, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, cook tossing occassionally until zucchini is just tender (4 - 5 minutes)

Add zucchini mixture to pasta, toss to combine. Sprinkle with parm before serving

Real Simple July 2010

Curried Rice and Cherries

Real Simple July 2010

1 cup long grain white rice
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup torn basil leaves

Cook rice, adding the curry powder to water before cooking.

Gently fold the cherries and basil into the cooked rice.

Cabbage and Corn Slaw

Real Simple July 2010

2 Tsp honey
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper.
1/2 lb green cabbage cored and shredded (1/4 small head)
1 red pepper thinly sliced
1 cup corn kernals (1 - 2 ears or thawed if frozen)

Toss all to combine

Sandal Cookies

Family Fun July 2010

Oval Shaped Cookies


For straps use rope licorice or sour gummy worm. For the gummy worm, cut it in half, and then slice each half lengthwise, leaving one end in tact.

Use graham cracker crumbs for sand

Grilled Cheese on a Stick

Parents August 2010

Make a grilled cheese, cut into a circle, carefully insert a pretzel rod

Kid Birdfeeders

Spread a pinecone with peanutbutter and cover with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Add a string.

Spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and herbs

Real Simple September 2010

12 oz spaghetti (3/4 box)
2 lbs cherry tomatoes (6 cups)
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tb olive oil, plus more for serving
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)
Shaved parm for serving

heat oven to 400, cook pasta according to package, drain, and return to pot

Meanwhile on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, garlic, 2 Tb of the oil 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the tomatoes begin to burst, 20 - 25 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and remaining tb of oil. Serve with parm and additional oil if desired.

Pita Chips

Real Simple September 2010

4 pitas
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400. Split pitas orizontally to make 8 rounds. Brush the insides of the pitas with the oil. Cut the rounds into wedges and divide between 2 baking sheets.

Sprinkle with the parmesan, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 10 - 12 minutes. The chips can be stored at room temp in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Walk Across the Mississippi

Itasca State Park holds the headwaters of the mississipppi. Might be fun to go and camp here.

Rice Tip

To remove excess starch that can cause stickiness and clumping, rinse uncooked rice in a sieve or a mesh colander until the water runs clear.

Twix Cheesecake Pie

Got from Real Simple October 2010

Beat 2 8 oz bars cream cheese (room temp) with 1/2 cup sigar and 2 large eggs. Mix in 16 chopped twix fun size bars (2 cups total).

Pour into an 8 inch chocolate cookie pie crust. Bake at 325 until set (40 - 45 minutes). Cool

Sprinkle with 6 chopped Twix bars; chill until firm.

Smoothie Recipes

From Real Simple February 2011

Mango Smoothie:

1 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 Tb honey

Spinach, Grape, and Coconut:

1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup coconut

Strawberry Flax:

1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tb honey
1 Tb flaxseed meal

Gingery Berry and Oat Smoothie

Mix 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats in blender for about 15 minutes
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup ice
2 Tb brown sugar
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger

Kale Apple:

3/4 cup shopped kale (ribs and thick stems removed)
1 small stalk celery chopped
1/2 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ice
1 Tb fresh lemon juice

Spiced Pumpkin:

1 cup ice
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 Tb honey
pinch of ground nutmeg

Raspberry and Nut

3/4 cup low fat milk
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 banana
1 Tb natural almond or peanut butter
1 Tb agave nectar or honey

Sweet Heart Pops

Got from Family Fun Feb 2011

12 mini candy canes
6 (6 inch) paper lollipop sticks
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Red, White and Pink sprinkles

Heat oven to 235. On parchment paper arrange the candy canes as hearts and bake for 10 minutes

Slide the hearts, still on parchment, onto a work surface. Quickly pinch each heart into a lollipop stick (adults job)

In microwave, melt together chocolate chips and oil in 10 second intervals - stirring in between heatings.

Spoon chocolate mixture into center of each heart, then top with sprinkles. cool before serving or wrapping.

Best Way To Make A Baked Potato

Got from Real Simple Feb 2011

Heat oven to 400

Rub 4 medium russet potatos (8 - 10 oz each) w a total of 1 tsp olive oil.

Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake, turning occassionally, until tender and easily pierced w/paring knife, 65 - 75 minutes.

Mexican Mac & Cheese

Got from Better Homes and Gardens March 2011

12 oz dried rigatoni or mostaccioli
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 cup shopped onion
1 16 oz jar green medium-hot salsa
2 8 0z pkg. shredded monterey jack cheese (4 cups)

Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno pepper, and chopped fresh cilantro. Salsa (optional)

Cook Pasta

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease 3 qt baking dish.

Cook sausage and onion, drain. Stir in green salsa.

Layer half of the pasta, half of the meat, and half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake uncovered for 35 min. Let stand 10 minutes. Add toppings.

Fruit Dipped Snacks

Got Recipe from Pillsbury Frosting Container

10 pieces bite size assorted fruit
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup pillsbury chocolat frosting
1 tsp multicolored candy sprinkles

Line cookie sheet w/waxed paper. Place chocolite chips in microwave on high for 60 - 90 seconds until melted; stir. Add frosting, mix well. Microwave on high fro 15 - 20 seconds or until dipping consistency.

Dip each piece of fruit in chocolate mixture, spooning chocolate onto sides of fruit. Sprinkle w/candy sprinkles. Place on paper-lined cookie sheet. If mixture becomes too stiff to dip, microwave on high for 5 - 10 seconds until softened.

Asian Pork w Snow peas, red peppers, and soba noodles

Got from Real Simple March 2011 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 2 Tb rice wine vinegar 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 12 oz soba noodles 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced 1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed chopped roasted peanuts for serving

In a 4 - 6 qt slow cooker, stir together soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, and red pepper. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and cook until pork is tender on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours 15 minutes before serving cook the soba noodles according to directions, adding peppers and peas to water during last minute of cooking. Meanwhile transfer pork to a medium bowl; set aside. Pour cooking water into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the pork and toss to combine. Serve the pork over the noodles and veggies; sprinkle w/peanuts.

Gingery Peanut Noodles w/Chicken

In a blender combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 Tb rice vinegar, 3 Tb soy sauce, 1 Tb brown sugar, and 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Toss w/ 8 oz spaghetti (cooked), 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 1 sliced red bell pepper, 1/2 cucumber cut into strips, and 2 sliced scallions. Sprinkle w/chopped peanuts Got from Real Simple March 2011

Roasted Turkey with Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

1 boneless, skinless turkey breast half (about 2 1/2 lbs) 2 Tb olive oil 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, Salt and pepper 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 lb) 1/4 cup whole milk 4 Tb (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 cup grated cheddar (4 oz) 1 lb green beans Heat oven to 450. Please turkey breast on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 Tb oil, season with thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast until cooked through, 50 - 55 minutes Meanshile, microwave the potatoes on high until tender, 10 - 12 minutes. Halve lengthwise and preserving the skins, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash the flesh w/milk, butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix in half the cheddar. Spoon into the potato skins, place on a baking sheet, and sprinkle w/remaining cheddar. After turkey has been roasting for 30 minutes, place stuffed potatoes in oven and bake until golden, 20 - 25 min Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the green beans, cook until tender, 5 - 7 minutes. Drain and toss with remaining tbs of oil. Slice turkey and serve w/green beans an dpotatoes Got from Real Simple March 2011

Pasta Carbonara with Spicy Sausage

Got from Real Simple March 2011 8 oz papperdelle or fettuccine 1 1/2 cups frozen peas 1 Tb olive oil 4 italian sausage links (about 1 lb) 2 lg egg yolks 1/2 cup half and half 1/2 cup grated parmesan salt and black pepper Cook pasta, adding peas during last minute of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain pasta and peas and return them to the pot Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausages, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 8 - 10 minutes In a med bowl wisk yolks, half and half, parm cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the egg mixture and reserved cooking water to the pasta and peas in the pot. Cook over low heat, tossing gently until the sauce is slightly thickened and coats the pasta. serve with sausage and additional cheese.

The Land of Nod

Cake Mix Cookies

Got receipt from Parents April 2011 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix 1 large egg 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup buttermilk colored sprinkles 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frostering Yellow, Red, Blue food coloring Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Combine mix, egg, oil, and buttermilk. Beat w/ electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Shape 1-inch mounds of better into balls and flatten slightly. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Top with sprinkles Bake 8 - 10 minutes until cookies are golden and firm. Cool on wire rack. Tint frosting to desired shades. Sandwich the cookies together with frosting

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Children's Book Ideas

Super good website: Has great chapter book and picture book suggestions

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hamburger Baked Beans

I made this recipe for Summer b-day party and they were great! 1 lb thick cut bacon 1 lb ground beef 1/2 lb sage pork sausage 1 clove garlic - crushed 1 lg onion - cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 cup dark brown sugar 1 cup real maple syrup 1 cup ketsup 1/2 cup mustard couple tablespoons chipotle sauce 16 oz baked beans 16 oz black beans 16 oz pinto beans 16 oz great northern beans 16 oz cannellini beans 1 Tb chili powder salt to taste 1. Cook bacon and crumble 2. Brown beef and sausage w garlic and onion. Drain 3. Mix in sugar, syrup, ketsup, mustard and chipotle - bring to boil, cook 20 minutes 4. Mix in bacon and beans - continue cooking 20 minutes 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - let stand 20 min b4 serving **After step 4 I put in the fridge and then put them in the crock pot a couple hours before the party to heat them up. YUM!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Car Games

  • I Spay with my Little Eye

  • What Animal am I describing?

  • On the way to or from your house count how many stop signs or lights you can count

  • Pick a color - count how many cars, trucks, or houses do you see that are that color

  • Hold up one hand: hold up various fingers, have your preschoolers count your fingers

  • Play rough or smooth: how does your hair feel? Rough or smooth? The bottom of your shoe? Rough or smooth?

  • Sound Recognition: Say a word to your children. Ask them to tell you what the word begins with.

  • Make up your own story in the car: you start out, then your chaldren add to it, and then back to you, etc.

  • Rhyme games: what rhymes with cat?

  • Make up your own game!

Family Activities

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Minnehaha Falls Baker Park Reserve, Lake Independence Minnesota Transportation Museum Eden Prairie Center's Soft Play Area (lower level near kohl's) Mionneapolis Institute of Arts (closed Mondays. Select Sundays they host family days) Imagination Saturdays - Michael's Craft Stores Story time at library Movies in the Park (Osseo and Maple Grove Movie Nights) Elm Creek Park Reserve The Landing - Minnesota River Heritage Park Science Museum of Minnesota Minnesota Children's Museum Foshay Tower Bell Museum St. Paul Saints Baseball Minnesota History Center American Swedish Institute Bakken Museum

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Berry Delightful Spinach Salad

1/2 cup sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 1 pkg (6 oz) fresh baby spinach 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries 1 cup fresh blueberries Dressing: 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 2/3 cup fresh strawberries 1 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp onion powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 2/3 cup olive oil 1. Melt sugar over med/low heat until melted. Stir often to make sure it melts evenly. When all melted (will turn dark color) mix in pecans and spread on foil lined cookie sheet. Cool. Break apart 2. Mix spinach and berries 3. Combine first six ingredients of dresing in blender. Cover and process until pureed. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Got from TOH March/April Magazine - was SUPER good!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beer Mojito, Beer Punch and Shoot the Root

Beer Mojito:

In a tall glass muttle together 5 mint leaves, juice of 1/4 lime and 1 tsp sugar. Pour in 3 oz white rum and one 12 oz bottle of a pale ale beer and stir. Add ice.

Beer Punch

Combine 4 chopped strawberries, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 Tb grenadine, and 2 Tb fresh lime juice in a bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour, stirring occassionally. When ready to serve, divid the fruit mixture among 4 lowball or rocks glasses. Pour half of a 12 oz bottle of beer into each glass and stir.

Shoot the Root:

Pour one 12 oz bottle of cold beer into a pint glass. Drop 1 shot glass of root beer into beer.

People magazine February 7, 2011

Pink Shake (Biebertini)

1/3 cup coconut cream
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup light cream
1 banana
20 strawberries

Blend ingredients with ice and pour into 4 martini glasses (to make it alcoholic add 1.5 oz vodka to each glass). Top with whipped cream.

Great valentines drink for the kids!

People Magazine February 7, 2011

Mixed Citrus Margaritas

2 cups tequila
1 1/2 cups fresh-squeesed lime and/or orange juice
1/2 cup orange flavored liqueur such as triple sec
powdered sugar
1 - 2 limes cut in wedges.

In large pitcher combine tequila, juice, liqueur, and sugar to taste. Serve over ice with lime wedges. Makes 8 - 10 servings.

Sparkling Pomegranate Splash

Better Homes and Gardens January 2011

2 1-liter bottles ginger ale or two 750 ml bottles sparkling wine, chilled
2 16 oz bottles pomegranate juice, chilled
1 to 2 lemons, sliced

In a large pitcher or jug combine the sparkling wine or giner ale, pomegranate juice, ice and lemon slices. Makes about 10 servings

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pizza Poppers

Better Homes and Gardens January 2011

1 recipe roasted cherry tomatoes
Two 1 lb loaves frozen pizza dough, thawed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
12 to 14 oz deli sliced mozzarella or provolone cut into 2 inch pieces
Small fresh basil leaves (optional)

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

2 pints red and/or yellow cherry or grape tomatoes halved
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried or 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano

1. In a 9 X 13 X 2 inch pan combine all ingredients. Cook in 450 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes stirring occassionally

1. Prepare roasted cherry tomatoes
2. Meanwhile on a lightly floured surface, roll pizza dough, one loaf at a time, into a 15 X 12 inch rectangle. Cover dough loosely and let rest 10 minutes. Cut out circles using 2 - 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Discard trimmings. Place dough rounds on lightly greased baking sheets. Combine olive oil, oregano and basil in a bowl and brush over both sides of dough rounds. Prick rounds all over with a fork.
3. Preheat oven to 450 and bake sheets for 7 minutes. Flip and top rounds with cheese and bake 2 minutes more. Top with tomatoes and basil mixture. Makes about 40 poppers.

Baked Butternut Squash and Apples

Family Fun, Feb 2011

Might be a good side dish to try

1 Tb vegetable oil
1 Butternut squash (about 2 lbs) peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 medium apples peeled, cored and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tb flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tb butter

1. Heat oven to 350. LIghtly oil a large baking pan, then combine the butternut squash and apples in the pan.

2. In a small bowl stir together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the squash and apples and then pour the melted butter on top and cover the dish.

3. Bake until fork tender (about 45 minutes)

Crispy Roasted Wings

3 lbs Chicken wings, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
2 Tbs. neutral oil like grapeseed or corn.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 375. Put the chicken wings in a large roasting pan, drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread the wings out in a single layer.

2. Roast undisturbed until the bottom of the pan is coated with fat and the wings are beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Use a spoon to baste the wings with the drippings, then carefully pour the extra fat out of the pan and flip them over (if they're sticking give them an extra 5 minutes).

3. Return wings to the oven until both sides are nicely browned, another 10 minutes or so (they'll release easily from the pan when ready).

4. Raise the oven temperature to 450 and continue to cook until wings are crisp all over, about 10 more minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature with carrot and celery sticks on the side.

February 2011, Parents Magazine. Might be a fun and easy dinner idea. Serve with dipping sauce

Yellow Rice

4 Cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 T tumeric
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 cups long-grain or basmati rice

1. In a 4 quart pot combine chicken broth, water, tumeric, and olive oil. Bring to a rapid boil

2. Lower heat and add rice, stirring well. Cover and cook for 18 - 20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

3. Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste.

Got recipe from Lunds Spring 2011 magazine. Worked out very well!

Blue Sangria

1 large orange
1 large lemon
1 large lime
3 large strawberries
3 large springs fresh mint
1 cinnamon stick
1/3 cup sugar
1 bottle (125 ml) dry white wine
2/3 cup blue curacao
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups seltzer
ice cubes

1. Wash fruit. Thinkly slice orange, lemon and lime and remove any seeds. Thinly slice strawberries. Place fruit in large pitcher

2. Add mint, cinnamon stick, sugar and white wine. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour in blue curacao and orange juice and stir until combined.

3. Cover and refrigerate 6 - 8 hours

4. Add seltzer. Pour sangria into large wine glasses. Add ice and marinated fruit.

Got recipe from Lunds Real Food, Spring 2011. Would like to give it a try

Friday, January 14, 2011

Easy Oreo Truffles

Want to try this! Got like 1,000 reviews on All Recipes and a 5/5 score

1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Roasted New Potatoes

This recipe is AWESOME! I put tin foil down on the pan and did it at 425 because I was cooking chicken at the same time. Moved the rack to the lowest I could in the oven. Didn't measure the olive oil salt and pepper, but it still worked great! Cut side was down.

3 pounds small red new potatoes, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on a large lipped cookie sheet or jellyroll pan.
Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes). Transfer to a serving dish.

Easy Chocolate Clusters

Crockpot recipe from Taste of Home Crockpot book I want to try:

2 lbs white candy coating, broken into small pieces
12 oz (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkg (4 oz) german sweet chocolate
1 jar (24 oz) dry roasted peanuts

In slow cooker combine candy coating, chocolate chips and german chocolate. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 1 hour longer or until melted, stirring every 15 minutes. Add peanuts, mix well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store at room temp. 3 1/2 dozen

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Homemade Ornaments

Homemade Ornaments
1 c. salt2 c. flour1 c. water
Blend salt and flour. Add water slowly, a little at a time. Knead dough 7-10 minutes until firm.
Roll dough to about 1/4″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out Christmas ornaments. Using a nail, make a hole in the top of each ornament for thread. Bake on a cookie sheet at 325° for 30 minutes. (Test for hardness.)
When cool, varnish to protect from moisture. Draw a design with white glue and sprinkle with glitter or decorate as desired. But, please, do not eat.


I would like to try this recipe at Christmas next year instead of the other recipe:

Foolproof Holiday Fudge (recipe courtesy
Makes 24 two-inch pieces
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
3 cups semisweet or white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy (optional – I don’t sully fudge with peppermint, personally)
Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with two sheets of waxed or parchment paper in a crisscross manner (one lengthwise, one crosswise) so ends overhang sides of pan; coat evenly with cooking spray.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook sugar, salt, butter, cream, and marshmallows, stirring, until butter and marshmallows are almost melted, 5 to 6 minutes.
Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chips and vanilla; stir until chips are melted. Pour mixture into lined pan.
Let fudge cool in the pan at room temperature, 3 hours. Use edges of paper to lift out fudge; place on cutting board, and remove paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, or cut fudge into bars. Sprinkle evenly with crushed candy. Fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.