Sunday, December 31, 2006

My Prayer Intentions


Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, by in thy clemency hear and answer them. Amen.


When I read or type these intentions, I will be praying in my heart for those mentioned here.

For my husband, who works really hard, who has stress at work, and whom I love very much. Saint Joseph, pray for him.
For my children, that they may grow up healthy and strong in their faith. Saint Joseph, Saint John Bosco, and Saint Anthony, pray for them.
For my mom, whose doctor had some concerns after her routine mammogram. Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for her. Saint Anthony, pray for her.
For Miss Barbara who is being treated for leukemia. Saint Anthony, pray for her.
For Father Dan, for healing and strength for him. Saint John Vianney, and Saint Francis, pray for him.
For Christina, who is beginning her hunt for a teaching job as she prepares to graduate from college. Saints Luke and Catherine of Bologna, patrons of artists, and Saint Gregory the Great, patron of teachers, pray for her.
For my great-aunt Anna, recovering from knee surgery. Saint Luke, pray for her. Saint Roch, patron of knee problems, pray for her. Saint Anthony, pray for her.
For Sue, SFO, who is recovering from elbow surgery. Saint Luke, patron of surgeons, pray for her and her medical team.
In thanksgiving for Natalie's kidney transplant, with prayers for the family of the donor, and for her continued good health. Saint Luke, pray for her. Saint Anthony, pray for her.
For my uncle, who is pastor of a church he is trying to revitalize, but which may be closed down in the future--and for all in churches that may become victims of diocesan "consolidations." Saint John Vianney, pray for him.
For all the members of my SFO fraternity and the intentions they hold in their hearts. Saints Francis, Clare and Anthony, pray for them.
For J, whom I know only through her blog, and her very special intention. May God give her strength, courage, perseverance and faith in her time of difficulty. Saint Anne, pray for her. Saint Edward the Confessor, pray for her.
For my friends at Family Corner and their intentions.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, December 18

MONDAY: Pork Teriyaki, Brown Rice, Broccoli

TUESDAY: Chicken Parmesan, Pasta, Garlic Bread

WEDNESDAY: Tandoori Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Green Beans

THURSDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs

FRIDAY: It's our cookie baking day, so we'll have pizza for dinner!

SATURDAY: Chicken Piccata (never got to it last week and the kids are pestering me for it....)

SUNDAY: Christmas Eve Polish Wigilia dinner with my husband's family. All the homemade pierogi you can eat, plus baked ham, mushrooms, bread, and enough desserts to send the whole family into a diabetic coma. I can't wait.

MONDAY: Christmas Dinner. We're hosting my husband's parents. We're serving filet mignon. I haven't figured out the rest of the menu yet.

Visit the home of Menu Plan Monday to see what everyone else is having for dinner this week!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, December 11



MONDAY: Hungarian Pork Paprikas with noodles

TUESDAY: Spaghetti & meatballs (time to make the big batch!)

WEDNESDAY: Sports banquet at Big Brother's school

THURSDAY: Chicken Chili Blanco

FRIDAY: Pizza

SATURDAY: Chicken Piccata

SUNDAY: Sausage, Pepper & Onion sandwiches

Visit the Home of Menu Plan Monday for lots of links to more great ideas!

Hungarian Pork Paprikas


This is my adaptation of a Rachael Ray recipe in her book Comfort Foods.

HUNGARIAN PORK PAPRIKAS

1 lb boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 TBL flour
1 1/2 TBL Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 cup olive oil
14-oz can plain diced tomatoes
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream

Combine flour, paprika and marjoram. Coat pork cubes in mixture.
Preheat deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, then add coated meat cubes and cook 3 minutes per side, shaking pan occasionally.
Add tomatoes, mushrooms and onions to pan. Stir pan with wooden spoon to loosen any drippings. Add sour cream and stir until combined. Season with salt & pepper.
Serve over hot cooked noodles.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Family Favorite Rocky Road

A few years ago I came across this recipe for Rocky Road fudge on a home organization website.

It's a great recipe because even small children can help (by dumping the marshmallows and peanuts into the Very Big Bowl and mixing them up while the rest of the ingredients melt.)

I've modified the recipe a bit to use the microwave instead of stovetop. It makes for easier cleanup too. I am ALL ABOUT easy cleanup, folks. If there's any way to make less of a mess, it's for me.

So here's my version of CEO's Rocky Road:

1 bag mini marshmallows
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (12 oz) chocolate chips (semisweet or milk chocolate)
2 tbl butter

1. Get a Very Big Bowl and mix up the marshmallows and peanuts. Let the little ones help with this! If they eat a few, no big deal. The peanuts will always sink to the bottom, but little kids will be happy to stir and stir anyway.

2. Line a 9X13 pan with waxed paper. Do this before the next step because there's no time later!

3. Melt the milk, chips and butter in a microwavable bowl. I put it on for 45 seconds, take it out to stir, and put it back for increments of 30 until it's smooth.

4. As soon as the chocolate mixture is smooth, pour it into the mix of peanuts and marshmallows and stir until everything is coated. Press into the lined pan. Chill until set. Remove from pan and cut into cubes.

This is a must-give to Little Brother's Godfather and Big Brother's Bus Driver. They've received it in the past, and really, really like it.

One time I made it with M&Ms instead of peanuts. Little Brother's Godmother really, really likes that variation!

The original recipe says you can keep this at room temp but I find that it gets pretty messy that way. I prefer to refrigerate the Rocky Road.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, December 4



Organizing junkie, who usually hosts Menu Plan Monday, is on vacation this week.

I am not. People are demanding meals on a regular basis here. And I like cooking, though if by some miracle someone else did the cleaning up, I wouldn't complain!

Here's what's on the menu this week:

MONDAY: Roast Pork with Caramelized Onions, Roasted Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes, Portuguese Easter Bread

TUESDAY: Grandpa's Dark Meat Chicken over pasta

WEDNESDAY: Beef Stroganoff

THURSDAY: Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple, Brown Rice, Broccoli (this one got skipped last week)

FRIDAY: Baked whiting (side dishes to be named later)

SATURDAY: Turkey Dinner from the Freezer (turkey and stuffing frozen after Thanksgiving) with mashed potatoes and green beans

SUNDAY: Beef and Cheese Enchiladas

Roast Pork with Caramelized Onions

2-lb boneless pork roast
1 Vidalia onion (the hugest you can get)
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl sugar

Put pork into your roaster and start cooking at 325.
Use a heavy skillet to caramelize the onions. Add olive oil, onion and sugar. Stir to coat. Let cook about 1/2 hour, stirring OCCASIONALLY. Yes, it takes a while, but it is SO worth it.
When the onions are done, top the pork with the onions and continue cooking the pork until it's done.

Saucy Baked Chicken with Mushrooms

The kids call this "Grandpa's Dark Meat Chicken." The original recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I've modified Grandpa's recipe so I can use cooked chicken or turkey.

2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
8 oz fresh mushrooms, halved
1 large onion cut in thin wedges
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
OPTIONAL: chunks of bell peppers

Cook mushrooms & onions (and peppers, if using) in skillet in a little olive oil.
Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, water & spices.
Spoon vegetable sauce over chicken.
Bake uncovered 40 min. at 375.
Serve over pasta, with crusty bread.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hawaiian Chicken

Get this recipe with nutrition facts at Cook and Count.



Pot Roast

1 3-lb bottom round roast
1 packet French onion soup mix
2 onions, peeled and halved
10 baby carrots
10 ounces mushrooms, whole
1/4 cup water
1 tbl olive oil

1. In a heavy skillet, brown the meat in the oil until brown on all sides.

2. Do not use the rack in the Nesco for this recipe! Preheat the Nesco to 300 while you brown the roast.

3. Place the meat in the cookwell, fat side down. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top. Add vegetables along the sides. Pour the water over top. Cover.

4. Roast for about 2 hours. The meat should be falling apart!

Chicken Paprikas

Get the recipe, nutrition facts and photo at Cook and Count!

Menu Plan Monday, November 27


Sunday: Teriyaki Pork, Jasmine Rice, Green Beans

Monday: Chicken Paprikas, Spaetzle

Tuesday: Pot Roast, Noodles, Brown Gravy, Carrots & Mushrooms

Wednesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Thursday: Hawaiian Chicken with Pineapple, Brown Rice, Broccoli

Friday: Baked Whiting with Lemon & Butter, Roasted Potatoes & Vegetables

Saturday: Hot dogs, Sauerkraut, Mac & Cheese

Visit all the other Menu Plan Monday participants and get some great ideas for YOUR family menu. As soon as Middle Sister's basketball schedule comes in this week, I'll be planning out next month, so I intend to peek in on what everyone else will be cooking.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nanny's Stuffing

(It's just not Thanksgiving without this dish. Hand me some stuffing and a bowl of mashed turnips and I'm all set.)

Get the recipe with nutrition facts at Cook and Count.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, November 20




Sunday:
>Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce
, baked sweet potato for me, mac & cheese for the kids

Monday: Meatball Sandwiches

Tuesday: It's "Try a New Recipe Tuesday" and we're having Heather's Tandoori Chicken since just reading the recipe made me drool! I think Jasmine Rice will be a good side with this, and a Green Vegetable to be Named Later.

Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Thursday: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Turkey for everyone! Pass the mashed potatoes. Also on the menu: Nanny's Stuffing (see post above), Granma's Rolls, Mashed Turnips (or rutabagas, whichever you call the orange ones), cranberry sauce out of the can, a miscellaneous green vegetable, homemade apple pie, and coconut-custard pie.

Friday: Leftover Day

Saturday is unplanned at this time. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Visit the other Menu Plan Monday participants and find out what's for dinner at everyone else's house!

Salmon with Sweet Teriyaki Sauce

Get the recipe, photo and nutrition info at Cook and Count!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, November 13



MONDAY: Goulash with noodles or spaetzle

TUESDAY: Chicken Piccata, rice, and broccoli (This is a family favorite--my kids beg me to make it!)

WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti and Meatballs

THURSDAY: Chili

FRIDAY: Shrimp Fried Rice

Saturday we'll be visiting family so I won't be cooking.

Sunday is "Anybody's Guess!"

Visit the headquarters of Menu Plan Monday to see what everyone else is making this week! There are some great ideas and recipes out there.

Shrimp Fried Rice

This makes plenty! It's a one-pot meal, is great to use up leftovers, and it tastes like you fussed.

4 cups cooled, cooked rice
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tbl minced garlic
1 to 2 cups frozen vegetables (anything works as long as it's in small pieces)
2 cups cooked "salad" shrimp (any cooked meat can be used)
Soy sauce to taste
Olive oil for the pan
A little sesame oil to finish

Saute the onion in olive oil in a large skillet. Add rice, garlic and vegetables. Cook until everything is hot. Stir in soy sauce. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, until heated through. Drizzle a little sesame oil over the top, stir in, and serve.

For a treat, serve with fortune cookies.

Copycat Wendy's Chili

2 pounds ground beef, browned and drained*
1 can tomato sauce, 29 ounces
2 cans kidney beans, 15 ounces
2 cans pinto beans, 15 ounces
1 onion, diced
1 can green chiles, diced (small can)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 can stewed tomatoes, 15 ounces
2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 cups water

Drain and rinse beans. Combine all ingredients in stockpot or roaster oven. Simmer at least 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

*I had a lot of leftover cooked pot roast defrosted, so I'll cube it and use it in the chili in place of the ground beef.

Chicken Piccata

6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 lemons - cut into wedges, for garnish

1. Flatten chicken to 1/4 inch thickness between plastic wrap or waxed paper. Mix egg and water. Mix bread crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Coat chicken with flour, dip into egg mixture and coat with bread crumb mixture.

2. Heat butter or margarine and oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until juice is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from skillet using tongs; keep warm. 3. Stir lemon juice and wine into drippings in skillet. Heat to boiling; pour over chicken. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, and serve with lemon wedges for garnish.

Goulash

I make this in my roaster oven. You could also use a crock-pot on HIGH. As the meat's already cooked, basically you just need to let the flavors blend.

2 cups cubed cooked roast beef
2 medium onions, chopped
2 small bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp marjoram
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Cook in 4 or 6-qt roaster oven at 200 to 225 for one hour.
Serve over noodles or spaetzle.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, November 6



MONDAY: Chicken Manicotti, Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread

TUESDAY: Beef Stew with Corn Muffins

WEDNESDAY: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad and Bread

THURSDAY: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Macaroni and Cheese, Broccoli

FRIDAY: Spanish Garlic Shrimp (this one got bumped from the menu a couple of weeks ago!) over Jasmine Rice

SATURDAY: Chicken on the Grill, side dishes to be named later

SUNDAY: We so rarely eat what I had planned on Sunday, that I've given it up! Sometimes my husband wants to go out, or we invite friends in on a whim.

Join the other menu planners at Menu Plan Monday each week! Great ideas, great recipes!

Chicken Manicotti

It doesn't get simpler than this. Assemble the dish the night before, pop in the oven and in an hour dinner is done! Just add a salad and some garlic bread.

Make-Ahead Chicken Manicotti

1 box manicotti noodles, UNCOOKED
14 chicken tenders
1 cup Italian salad dressing
3 cups your favorite spaghetti sauce (I use my own homemade sauce)
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Ladle a little sauce into the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Coat chicken tenders in the salad dressing. (This will season them AND help out a little with the next step.) Slide chicken into the raw manicotti. Place in pan. Smother the noodles with the rest of the sauce. More is better--be generous with the sauce. Cover the pan and refrigerate OVERNIGHT. The noodles will soak up the moisture from the sauce, and will become soft as they cook.

Bake at 350, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove, top with the mozzarella, and return to oven, uncovered, for 15 more minutes.

Chicken on the Grill

My kids like to call this "Meat--Skin" after the good-natured argument they always have over which part of this chicken tastes better--the meat or the skin.

Get the recipe, photo and nutrition facts at Cook and Count.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Menu Plan Monday, October 30



Monday: Chicken Crescent Casserole (we never had it last week)
Tuesday: Sausage, Pepper and Onion sandwiches
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Thursday: Chicken Chili Blanco
Friday: Sauteed Whiting, Oven Fried Potatoes, and a vegetable to be named later
Saturday: Visit family, eat there!
Sunday: Teriyaki Pork

Visit the Menu Plan Monday headquarters to find all the other participants' plans for the week!

Teriyaki Pork

Teriyaki Pork for Nesco

4 boneless pork chops, cubed
1 tbl cornstarch
1 tbl cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup Dark Soy SAUCE (reg. works too)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbl Orange Juice (optional)

Put all of the above into a saucepan over LOW heat until it bubbles...it will thicken up more later. Pour some of the sauce into bottom of cookwell of roaster oven. Add pork cubes and then the rest of the sauce. Bake at 325 degrees; stir 1/2 way through cooking. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.

This can also be made in a regular oven, in a Pyrex pan.

I serve it with brown rice...it has a rich, not too sweet sauce.

SOURCE: Bensmom526 at Family Corner

CARBS in the sauce:  70

Chicken Chili Blanco

Get the recipe and photo at Cook and Count.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicken Crescent Casserole

Get the recipe, photos and nutrition facts at Cook and Count!

Spanish Garlic Shrimp

Get the recipe with photo and nutrition facts at Cook and Count.

Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

Makes about 4 dozen meatballs and plenty of sauce!! I like to make this in a big batch. I freeze it in "meal size" containers (enough meatballs for one meal plus about 2 cups of sauce in each container).

Get the recipe with photos and nutrition facts at Cook and Count.

Skillet Lasagna

Another "haven't tried it yet!" recipe:

28 oz. can diced tomatoes
water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 lb. meatloaf mix (beef, pork and veal) or ground beef
10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Pour the tomatoes with their juices into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 1 quart.

2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking apart the meat, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

3. Scatter the pasta over the meat but do not stir. Pour the diced tomatoes with their juices and tomato sauce over the pasta. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes (mine needed considerably more time).

4. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup Parmesan. Season with pepper. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover and let stand off the heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Variation: can substitute 1 lb. Italian sausage for the meatloaf mix. Add 1 chopped red bell pepper to the skillet with the onion in step 2.
Source: Cooking at Home with America's Test Kitchen, 2005.

My friend recommended using a smaller pasta as the lasagna noodles took a long time to cook. I'm going to try it with rotelle or mafalda.

Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions

1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, sliced
2 tbl olive oil
2 tbl sugar
2-lb boneless pork loin, seasoned with black pepper and garlic

I cook this in my Nesco oven.
Preheat the oven to 400. When it's hot, place the pork loin into the roaster and turn it down to 300.

Heat a heavy skillet and add oil. Add onions and sugar. Stir to coat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized. Use tongs to place the onions on top of the pork roast and continue cooking until the roast is done (usually about 1 1/2 hours). Use a meat thermometer to verify doneness.

To make in a regular oven, use a foil "tent" over the pork roast after adding the onions.

Swiss Chicken Bake

This is a family favorite and is soooo easy!

Get the recipe with nutrition facts at Cook and Count.

Menu Plan Monday, October 23



MONDAY: Swiss Chicken Bake, rice, broccoli and honey-wheat bread
TUESDAY: Pork Roast with Caramelized Onions, roasted potatoes, green beans
WEDNESDAY: Greek Chicken with Potatoes since we never ate it last week!
THURSDAY: Spaghetti and meatballs
FRIDAY: Spanish Garlic Shrimp with rice
SATURDAY: Chicken Crescent Casserole
SUNDAY: Skillet Lasagna

Visit all the other blogs participating in Menu Plan Monday!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Greek Chicken Recipe (by request)

I'm happy to share the recipe, though we have not yet tried it! That was a new recipe for us, and as it turned out, my husband got called away on a business trip and wasn't going to be home for dinner. The kids and I played "Clean Out The Fridge" and they thought it was fun!

I'll save this recipe for another night, since I think it sounds delicious!

Greek Chicken


1 chicken quartered or chicken pieces, about 4 lbs, skin and extra fat removed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 Tblsp oil
2 unpeeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1 in chunks
1 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1 Tblsp each oregano and chopped garlic
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup pitted, halved kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Lemon wedges

Mix flour, salt and pepper in a gallon size plastic zipper bag, add chicken a few pieces at a time, close bag
and shake to coat chicken evenly. Heat oil in a deep skillet over med. heat. Add chicken and cook, 10 minutes
or until golden, turning once. Remove chicken to a platter. Add potatoes, onion and salt and pepper to the pan
and cook 5 minutes, or until potatoes are golden, stirring occasionally. Add the oregano and garlic, and cook
1 minute. Stir in chicken broth and return chicken to pan. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes or until
chicken is done, and potatoes are tender turn, chicken at least once.
Stir in the olives. Remove to a clean platter, sprinkle with the feta cheese, and garnish with lemon wedges.

Source: Debbie's Country Cookin' newsletter

Monday, October 16, 2006

Menu Plan Monday



I found a fun new meme when I visited a blog whose owner had posted in my combox at my other blog! (Yes, I really do visit my visitors! I find too many great blogs that way.)

It's Menu Plan Monday!

Here's my menu (recipes to be posted during the week as I cook them):
MONDAY: Drunken Roasted Chicken
TUESDAY: Pork Cubes Smothered in Onions
WEDNESDAY: Greek Chicken & Potatoes
THURSDAY: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage
FRIDAY: Breakfast for Dinner--homemade waffles and fruit
SATURDAY: Swiss Chicken Bake
SUNDAY: Beef, Swiss and Onion Sandwiches

All menus, of course, are subject to change at the whim of the Husband of the Chef! Yesterday that whim worked out great, as we ended up inviting friends over for a spontaneous "Chili and Chicken Wing Dinner."

Visit the other blogs participating in Menu Plan Monday!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Portuguese Easter Bread

Not just for Easter anymore! I made this one today. I am here at the computer to keep myself out of the kitchen, or there won't be any left of it for our dinner. It is a soft, slightly sweet, rich bread. It smells and tastes amazing. This recipe yields a 1-lb loaf but it rose REALLY high.

In your machine, place in recommended order:
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 tbl butter
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Use BASIC DOUGH cycle. This will make a very soft, smooth, wet dough that looks like it didn't rise enough--don't worry! Turn onto floured surface and shape for a loaf pan. Place in prepared loaf pan. Let rise 1 hour (it won't rise too much) and then bake at 375 for about 35 minutes. It will rise VERY high in the oven so leave enough room between oven racks.

Source: Donna German, The Bread Machine Cookbook II, page 100.

Whoever said "Man cannot live by bread alone" never tasted this stuff.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hawaiian Chicken

Serves 4, cooks quickly!



3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup flour

SAUCE:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tbl minced garlic
1/4 cup pineapple juice

Flour chicken and saute in a little olive oil until brown on all sides. Add sauce. Stir to coat chicken. Cook until sauce thickens, stirring often. Serve over rice, with pineapple chunks on the side.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs

3 pounds ground round
3 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
crushed red pepper
garlic powder
oregano
basil
parsley
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cans tomato puree, 29 ounces
1 can crushed tomatoes, 29 ounces
3 cans tomato paste, 6 oz
6 cups water

MEATBALLS: Mix meat, egg, bread crumbs, onion and spices. Form into meatballs. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until brown. Drain with slotted spoon.

SAUCE: Mix tomatoes, puree, paste, water, more of the same spices. (I prefer to use about a tablespoon of jarred minced garlic, instead of garlic powder, in the sauce). Add meatballs. Boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 hours over lowest possible heat. Stir frequently.

Keep cover on pot for thinner sauce, uncovered pot for thicker sauce.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Great Big Gingerbread Cake

Great Big Gingerbread Cake: a recipe for parents and kids to make together
1 cup sugar
1 stick margarine, softened
½ cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 tbl cinnamon
½ tbl ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
2 eggs
  1. Grease a 9X13 pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment or waxed paper. Turn the oven on to 350.
  2. Mix together the sugar and margarine in a big bowl.
  3. Ask a grownup to pour the boiling water in the big bowl. Mix it in.
  4. Add the molasses to the big bowl and mix.
  5. Mix together the baking soda, baking powder, flour, and spices in a smaller bowl. You can use a chopstick to mix it up!
  6. Slowly pour the flour mix into the bigger bowl. Stir it in until all the lumps are gone.
  7. Crack 2 eggs into the big bowl and mix it up.
  8. Pour the batter into your baking pan.
  9. The batter will be very bubbly!
  10. Ask a grownup to put it into the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
  11. You can eat this cake warm or cold.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Simple Sandwich Sunday

I just wasn't in the mood to cook a big meal tonight. I often find that this is the case on Sundays. While I love to cook, a day of rest is nice--but I don't necessarily need a meal out to get that rest.

One thing I've been mulling over today is the attempts I have been making for the past few months to let Sunday be a day of rest. And when my husband asked why I didn't want to go to the store with him to find a replacement for our Dead-As-A-Doornail Printer, my answer was:

"I can do the same things 7 days a week if I'm not careful. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, errands. I am trying, on Sundays, not to do the things that can't be done another day." I didn't stop him from his errand, because his schedule is different from mine. But he did understand my reasoning. I need to simplify on Sundays, to make it a different day--in a good way.

It has meant that I put in a little extra on Saturday and Monday, in the cleaning and laundry departments. And shopping will get done if it's a necessary item for a meal not well planned (like today's dinner). But I've been getting better at it.

Tonight we had hot sandwiches for dinner. They weren't too hard to put together and they tasted great. Served with a salad, you've got a whole meal.

For 4 sandwiches:
8 slices cooked roast beef or pot roast (or more if the slices are thin)
1 cup au jus gravy or beef broth
4 crusty rolls, sliced
1 large onion, caramelized
4 slices Swiss cheese

Heat the roast beef in the gravy. Place onto sliced rolls. Top with onions and cheese. Broil for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Honey Wheat Bread

This started out as the Outback Steakhouse bread from the Top Secret Recipes website. I've had this recipe for at least 10 years and have been tweaking it ever since. It's not "Outback bread" anymore, but we love it.

In the bread machine, place these ingredients in the order recommended by the manufacturer:

3/4 cup warm water
1 tbl butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp caramel color (find it in Asian grocery stores)--this is optional
1 cup bread flour
About 1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tbl cocoa powder
1/2 tbl sugar
1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast

Use dough cycle.
Shape dough into a loaf, and place in prepared pan or on baking sheet if you like your bread "free form."
Let rise 1 hour.
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Serve WARM!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"The Law of Life"

Found in some old email:

THE LAW OF LIFE
Whatever you give away today
or think or say or do
will multiply about tenfold
and then return to you.
It may not come immediately,
nor from the obvious source,
but the LAW applies unfailingly
through some invisible force.
Whatever you feel about another,
be it love or hate or passion,
will surely bounce right back to you
in some clear or secret fashion.
If you speak about some person,
a word of praise of two,
soon tons of other people
will speak kind words to you.
Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul, not the secrets of the brain.
Kind ones bring us happiness,
petty ones, untold pain.
Giving works as surely as
reflections in a mirror.
If hate you send, hate you'll get back,
but loving brings love nearer.
Remember, as you start this day,
and duty crowds you mind
that kindness comes so quickly back,
to those who first are kind!
Let that thought and this one
Direct you through each day....
The only things we ever keep
are the things we give away!

A Fridge Door for My Blog

Every mom I know has a refrigerator door. Usually they're covered in alphabet magnets, a message center of some kind, school or team calendars, recipes, lists, and kids' art. If something is hanging on the fridge door, someone probably considered it pretty important!

Mine at home is no exception, and probably my cyber-fridge door will prove to look just like it. Basically, it's a place to put my recipes, my ideas in progress, and "whatever" else strikes me as worthy of hanging on the fridge.

Unlike the fridge at home, my children's chore lists will NOT be hanging here!

What I'll probably include here, and I'm thinking of doing at home, is putting up a daily prayer intention. I've got that white board sitting there, with nothing but chores and shopping lists on it. Surely this is more important than chores. Plus, I'll be reminded of that intention each and every time I open the freezer to get Little Brother some more "ice cube water."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

About

I'm Barb, a married mom of 3 kids:  one college student, one in high school and one in grade school.  I'm a homemaker, freelance writer, and incurable collector of cookbooks--though I almost never make a recipe exactly as it's written.

I'm grateful to my family for indulging me in my love of trying new recipes.  (I'm not always entirely grateful for the feedback, because I always want every new recipe to be a huge hit!)

I started this blog back in 2006 as a way to keep track of all my family's favorite recipes.  This way, when someone wanted a recipe of mine, I could just give them a link.

Thanks for visiting!

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