Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ode to Mo--He's sick again

Poor Mo. Sick from just about day 1 of life! Meningitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, ear infections. Did I mention the loud screaming from day 1 as well? Ironically his name is Jeffrey Satchel. Do you know the meaning of Jeffrey? Divine peace, a peace from God. HMMMM. . . .

Mo's Favorite Chops

Desired number of pork chops-(I used 1/2 inch, bone in.)
3 parts soy sauce, 2 parts honey, 1 part oil, black pepper as desired.
Mix ingredients well. Marinate chops in mixture overnight. Bring chops to room temp. Grill 5-6 minutes a side on a medium-high heat grill.
So good, so tender.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weary. . .

Do you ever get that way? If you told me you were, I would tell you to look up (at him).
Hey, somebody forgot to tell me that juggling work, kids, spouse, house, church, life in general was tuff. . . at times.
But then I remember my children are well, my belly is full and my pjs are warm. I think it is called perspective right?

Eye of the Round Roast---by Paula Dean with my tweaks of course

1 eye of round roast(be sure you know exact weight)
1/2 cup red Burgundy wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
fresh cracked pepper.

Make marinade or wine, soy sauce and pepper. I used a large freezer bag. Add meat. Marinate overnight. Next day, place meat in shallow pan with a little of marinade. I foil lined my pan. Preheat oven to 500*. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes per pound of meat. Turn off oven and cover roast with foil. Leave in oven for 40 minutes for medium-rare roast.

This was pretty good. I sliced that medium rare roast up pretty thin and then returned it to the warm au juice which cooked the beef a bit more. We made sandwiches on whole wheat buns with the beef and mozarella cheese/parmesan cheese.

This next recipe was WAY TOO COOL! It is another Paula Dean with a huge variation. Don't knock it before you try it. My kiddos loved them! Lets just say, don't let the baby eat too many!

Green Muffins

1 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 cup self-rising flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup-3/4 cup canned turnip greens drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Stir together cornmeal and flour in mixing bowl. Add the eggs, greens and juice, oil and sour cream. Don't overmix. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

This was WAY too cool. Paula uses home cooked turnip greens in her recipe which I'm sure is delicious as well! She also warms the muffin tins before filling with the batter.

What I liked about the canned turnip greens versus home-cooked was of course the ease, and the kids ate their muffins with butter and honey. If using home-cooked I think the muffin could only be eaten savory. We also sampled the muffins with sour cream.

My favorite pork chops
4-6 pork boneless pork loin chops about 1/2 inch thick
Italian bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
Italian seasoning
oil for browning

Dredge chops in crumbs. I use a large storage bag for ease. Brown 2 minutes on each side in oil. (You don't need much oil here--only about 1/4-1/3 cup in large nonstick skillet). Place in greased 9x13. Mix can of soup with 1 soup can full of hot water. Add about 2-3 tsp. of Italian seasoning and 1 tsp. pepper to this mixture. Pour gravy over chops. Cover pan with foil and bake at 350* for 1 hour.

Last night was the first night I used water instead of milk in the recipe. Guess what--it worked great, possibly better than milk!

Well, I'm recipeeed out now, so I'm off to pack bags and finish the dishes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My dream. . .

well, one of them, is to own a small scale catering business. This weekend I sort-a-maybe launched a little. I made birthday cakes(and decorated) for my cousins and a peach/pecan cobbler for a tail-gate party in Fayetteville. Granted it was mostly family at the party but still a possible launch.
Second, tomorrow is a shower at church and I made and decorated the cake (cupcakes). I think they turned out great! I had SO much fun making everything. I have been cooking lots and lots lately. I guess I'm stressed. I cannot wait to share. The list includes the above menitioned and homemade applesauce, no-bake cookies, "green" muffins, peanut butter bread, biscuits, pork chops and gravy, and eye-of-the-round roast.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Soccer mom?

Well, I don't know about that. But, I had to share. I'm coaching Brooks' team and I love it! We have a great time. Kate is my assistant coach. Satch crawls around and eats grass. Last night was our first game. We won! WOOHOO!
Next week I think we will work on spreading the field a little better and not crowding the ball! (The age division is for 4-6yos).
This weekend. . . cakes, cakes and more cakes! Have you ever tried to make bright red buttercream icing?

Monday, September 20, 2010

"MOM. . . . .

(true story--hey wait, ALL my stories are true.)

there is a ring."
I reply,"There is a what?."

"A ring,come see, there is a ring in this toilet." says my soccer star son.

Thats right. Thats my toilet cleanin' boy. Please don't have him over unless you've cleaned!

Fancy Pork Loin Roast

You know us, we're pretty fancy right? Well, this sure looks fancy and tastes pretty yummy!

1 3# or so pork roast
fresh mushrooms and onion--about 1/2 cup of each--more or less fine. Sprinkle these veggies with seasoned salt and pepper.
turkey bacon
brown sugar

Slice pork roast open length wise. Fill with mushrooms and onions. Place roast back together. Tie with twine. Wrap roast (widthwise) with bacon strips real pretty like. Use toothpicks if you like to hold bacon in place. Sprinkle with good amount of brown sugar. Bake at 425* for 25 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and continue baking for another 60-70 minutes or so.(use your meat thermometer!)So pretty and yummy. I baked mine on a roasting rack.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wounds and Steps

Gimini-Christmas! Is that even how you spell it? Brooks had pre-K today. I had a break at work, so I rushed over to pick him up. We have a fold-down desk in the hall at work. I put it up so God- love- him he wouldn't run into it yet again. (It's eye level).
Well, someone unfolded it and BAMMO he nailed it just under his left eye. Thank you God he didn't nail the eye! I could have cried with him. He cried and cried. It drew blood. I thought he might need a stitch, but he didn't. SHOO!

I thought I had this day whipped. Then. . .
enter Sis-limping! Limping? Kids DON'T limp. She had a small abrasion on the bottom of her foot from stepping on one of Brooks' toys a few days ago. I took a fresh look this evening. 3 WORDS--green, streaks and red. You get it? Yeah that's right. It's 6 p.m., she's infected and streaking!! So, nothing else to do--load her up and take care of it. Right? What a tuff gal she is! I returned to clinic with her, cultured, cleaned and injected!

Mother kept the boys while we dealt with Kate. She just called and informed me that while we were gone--Mo stepped X 2!

Oh yes and I'm going to see Mercy Me. WOOHOO!

Live in His Love tomorrow. . . Let Him love you. . .E

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New recipes and a new baby

He's a new baby. The tubes have made ALL the difference. Very limited screaming and LOTs of playing. I'm so happy for him!
Did I mention I'm a soccer coach? Yes, that's right and no, I've never played a day in my life.

I love cooking w/o recipes. Herein is the joy of cooking. I hope you cook w/o recipes too. There is no need-well--except for with desserts! Follow recipes to a T with desserts!

Eggplant Parmesan--easy style and SO good for you.

Slice desired amount of eggplant--I did 4 medium sized eggplants--about 1/3 inch thick. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400* for 6 minutes a side. Add salt and pepper before roasting.

Layer roasted eggplant with jarred marinara sauce in greased 9X13, alternating layers, starting and beginning with sauce. (I used about 1/2 jar of sauce). Sprinkle top with Italian seasoning and black pepper. Top with shredded mozarella---however much you like. ( I do believe in shredding my own cheese--don't buy the pre-shredded if you can help it. The blocks are SO much better and you can use less). Seal with foil and bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove foil. Top with desired amount of grated Parmesan cheese. DON'T replace foil. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. So DELICIOUS and SO GOOD for ya!

Mo (a.k.a. Satch)meter--He gave this one a 10 before he started breaking out!

Friday, September 10, 2010

TUBES and what-not

WELL, well, well. What a week is all I have to say. Oh, don't worry, I've been in the kitchen and EVERYWHERE ELSE it seems. I took Satch this a.m. (at 5:30) to have bilateral tubes placed in his ears. I was very concerned about this, but it went so well. Thank you God. I also got 30 minutes after the procedure to rock him, nurse him, thank God for him in the stillness and darkness of the recovery area. It was so nice. In honor of Satchel:

Smothered Steak--Satchel Style

cube steak-desired amount--I did about 5-6 large steaks
3/4 cups Panko crumbs, 3/4 cups Italian Bread crumbs mixed together
canola oil for frying
2 packets brown gravy mix--the "make on the stove" kind--you know REAL easy--you just add water--go ahead and make it and use a little extra water

Dredge both sides of steaks in crumbs. Set aside. Heat about 1/2 cup canola oil in large nonstick pan. (medium-high heat). Brown steaks for about 2 minutes a side. Place browned steaks in Crock-Pot. Feel free to pile em' in on top of one another. Pour brown gravy over top and cook away--for like 6 hours on low. YUMMO! Super tender and flavorful.

NOTE--I have an oval crock pot. This meat does best when cooked in lots of gravy, so if you need 3 packets, feel free. Just try to make sure meat is mostly covered with gravy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sweet Dumpling Squash

No, not a new nickname for Airl. An awesome new addition to my dinner arsenal. It looks like a pumpkin and tastes kind of like a sweet potato. The kids LOVED it. Here is the scoop:

Sweet Dumpling Squash--oven roasted

Preheat oven to 350*. Remove excessive stem from squash. Slice squash lengthwise in half. Scoop out the few seeds. Place desired number (skin side up) in greased 9x13 with bit of water in bottom of pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes--depending on number of squash and their size. Remove from oven. Turn squash over(skin side down now). Fill with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon (if desired). Some of mine were so sweet they didn't need any sugar, just a pinch of salt. Return to oven for another 10 minutes or until fork tender. Delicious. I prefered these over the Butternut variety.

Tomorrow I am going to fry them. Did I mention I purchased 30 lbs. of the squash? Yes, I know. And so does my poor husband.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Krystal" Burgers

1.5 lbs. ground beef lean
1 packet onion soup mix
lots of fresh ground black pepper

Mix together(hands here). Flatten out to about 1/4-1/2 inch on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375* for 20ish minutes. Cut in small squares. Serve on "brown and serve" rolls or buns if desired. I froze a bunch of these and have been putting them in Airl and Brooks' lunch. Can add mustard/pickle if desired.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

He's 5. . .

and I'm not coping well. It really doesn't seem possible that 5 years ago today I told those nurses, "I'm sorry ya'll. . . this baby's coming. . . ". I really tried to not deliver him in the wheelchair.

I cannot believe he is 5. He started Pre-K. It has been like him starting school for me. It is so tough to let them go. . .

And then today, I was distracted---the baby was sick.

This is when you pray hard and look up. . . and pray that they always look up. . .

the perfect Buttercream frosting (for any little boy's birthday cake)

2 sticks butter softened for about 1 hour at room temp.
whip it I say whip it.
Gradually work in about 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Add 1-2 tsp. of vanilla extract now.
whip it.
Add 4-5 tsp. milk.
whip it.
Add another 1/2 cup or so of powdered sugar until desired consistency.

So delicious and so easy. Extra easy if you own a stand mixer.

Note--You can easily add cocoa to this or a different variety of extract. If you add cocoa you may need to add more milk. I also added food coloring to some of mine and piped it on the cake using a plastic storage baggie with the corner snipped off of it.