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