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Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Monday & Musings

It's February.  It's unseasonably warm in our neck of the woods.  What in the world do I cook???  It looks like this week will be a repeat of several days from last week because some of my days were just growing baby days, AND we made a last-minute whirlwind trip to Arkansas.  Is it really Monday already again?

Just to give you a look ahead to an upcoming post -- my wonderful Daddy, who was the first person I ever saw make yogurt, can't leave well enough alone, either!  Hee hee!  (Goes to show, I come by it honestly!)  Anyway...he took the yogurt recipe that I've been using and tweaked it.  He tweaked it good, and the kids and I LOVE it.  Over the weekend, he had to make more because we just about cleaned him out -- it was super duper thick, practically sliceable, just like I like it.  AND, he sweetened & flavored it as he was making it.  All that to say, be on the lookout for a post about the tweaking needed of the original recipe to make your own vanilla yogurt...vanilla Greek yogurt.  You heard me right, folks.  Your own Greek yogurt at a fraction of the cost.  Woohoo!

Back to Menu Monday.  *sigh*  I've discovered that if something doesn't get done during the day, it's NOT going to happen in the evening.  I'm down to five weeks-ish to go til this munchkin makes her debut.  Time's a wastin', and I just seem to be hanging out here growing a baby.  I know there are days when Hubby must think to himself  (yes, think, he's MUCH to wise to say it out loud!), "What did she do today???"  If he ever had the audacity to verbally pose that question in my hearing, the response would pretty much be, "I grew a lung.  How about you?"  And really, what could he ever say to come back at that? 

Ok. Now, back to Menu Monday.  Really.

  • oatmeal
  • cheese & apple/orange slices
  • quesadilla & nachos 
  • oatmeal
  • burritos & mandarin oranges
  • spaghetti & homemade breadsticks
  • breakfast cookie (regular or chocolate...haven't decided yet)
  • PB&J and apple slices
  • grilled burgers & veggies
  • breakfast cookie
  • homemade calzone and apple/orange slices
  • homemade calzone
  • breakfast cookie
  • leftovers
  • tortilla pizzas
  • breakfast cookies
  • pancakes
  • hmmm....we'll just have to see what sounds yummy this evening
  • breakfast cookies
  • leftovers
  • stroganoff
Y'all have a fabulous week!  Looking forward to making the Greek yogurt and sharing the whole process with y'all!  Woohoo!  :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu Monday -- for real! :-)

Sorry for missing the last couple of weeks with Menu Mondays.  It's been tough!  Can I blame it on prego hormones?  I can't seem to make a decision about food!  Nothing sounds good, so making decisions about what to cook has been like pulling teeth...as a result, I've just waited and avoided making those decisions til the last minute.  Not good!  There's a lot of stress there that I just don't need.  So, I'm making this list up as I go, but at least it will be ready this week!

May y'all have a lovely week, and a Happy Valentine's Day to each of you!

  • Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits
  • Burritos
  • Take Out with my Honey!  :-)
  • Oatmeal
  • Burritos
  • Twice Baked Potatoes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
  • Leftovers
  • Grilled Hamburgers & Roasted Potatoes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
  • Out with my sisters!  :-)
  • Spaghetti & Artisan Breadsticks
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
  • Leftovers
  • Homemade Calzones
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies
  • Pancakes
  • BBQ Grilled Chicken & Grilled Veggies
  • Oatmeal
  • Leftovers
  • Hmmm....
Well, looking back at the menu for the week, I realize a couple of things --
  • I need to make bread dough
  • I need to make yogurt.  (I'll be doing another post for yogurt.  My Daddy tweaked the recipe that I've been using, and I like it even better!  He rocks!!!)
  • I need EGGS!  As I've told you before, when they go on sale for $1 a dozen, I buy about a half dozen dozen eggs.  We finished all our eggs yesterday.  Unbelievable!  I'm hoping to find eggs close to $1 a dozen...it's a bit of a challenge when everything is going up.  I want my own laying chickens!!!!!
  • I need grillable veggies.
  • I need to figure out what the heck to have for dinner Sunday evening!  :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Biscuits and More Biscuits...What Else Can I Say?

Today, a friend of mine posted a biscuit recipe on her blog -- Little Wife on the Prairie.  Biscuits.  Yum.  It's "colder than kraut," to quote my Mima, and warm biscuits with butter and strawberry jam were so very appealing.  So...for dinner, I made her Baking Powder Biscuit recipe.  They were so very easy!  I remember my mom making biscuits and it seemed to take forever.  Maybe I was little and so it just seemed like forever.  Who can say?  These, however, went together FAST!  (I know -- my grammar is incorrect, but it works best here!)  Dump it together, stir it up, knead 10 times, roll it out, cut 'em up, bake them, & devour!  Wahoo!

Rachelle's biscuits turned out great, but as I was making them, I got a hankerin' (yes, hankerin', I am from the South after all!) for Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits.  The town I grew up in had a Hardee's, and they have the best Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits.  No, really!  When I was in college, we would go to Hardee's at 2:00 in the morning because that's when the first batch of Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits came out.  They were warm and cinnamon-y and tender.  Such wonderful memories of great times with great friends!  The town I live in now does not have a Hardee's, and I haven't had a Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit in more years than I can remember.  Tonight, after getting Rachelle's biscuits in the oven and experiencing how quickly they went together, I could not wait any longer.

I wasn't exactly sure how to adapt her recipe to make Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits.  So...I hit up Google.  The first recipe that came up looked like a winner -- Classic Homemade Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits.  Of course, you know that I "can't leave well enough alone."  :-)  So to get the original recipe, check out the link above...OR you can keep reading, and see how I did it.

2 cups unbleached white flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp granulated honey
3/4 cup butter (That would be 1 1/2 sticks.  Wow!)
1 cup milk
1 cup raisins

2 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
splash of vanilla
Mix the above ingredients, then add enough water for desired consistency

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  Cut butter into flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3.  Add milk and raisins and "drop" biscuits onto a baking stone.
4.  Bake for 10-13 minutes.
5.  Place biscuits on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.  Drizzle with glaze. 
6.  Allow biscuits to dry for a bit and indulge with a glass of milk, or coffee, or hot chocolate!

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Breakfast Cookie Recipe - Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies, Yum!!!

Breakfast cookies are my saving grace in the mornings...when I make them!  The last couple of weeks I have wanted to make them, but it just hasn't happened.  This definitely makes the mornings a little crazier and forces me to spend more time in the mornings focusing on breakfast -- a challenge when we have to take Hubby to work.

The last time I made Breakfast Cookies, I used a new recipe -- Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies.  Oh.  my. goodness.  Wow.  These are so very yummy and tend to satisfy my need for chocolate.  Oh happy day!

As we all know, I can't leave well enough alone.  :-)  If you want the original recipe, follow the link above.  OR, if you'd rather, keep reading, and see how I did mine!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated honey
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup craisins
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the first nine ingredients (through the chocolate chips) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla, applesauce, mashed banana, and peanut butter together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
I used my Pampered Chef wet/dry measuring cup to measure out 1/4 cup cookies and then press them out with a wet spatula onto my baking stones.  It ended up making 15 1/2 cookies.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Seriously, you need to let these sit for at LEAST 10 minutes.  They fell apart when I took them off after 5 minutes, BUT day two, they were perfect!

So...for those of you who love chocolate and want an in-hand, healthy breakfast, this is a wonderful way to go.  If you try it out, let me know!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Remembering Mama through Food

Hi Y'all,

It's been crazy around here...I'm sure no crazier than around your house, but crazy enough to keep me from writing/typing/composing/you get the idea.  :-) 

This past weekend was my mother's second birthday that she celebrated in heaven.  My family all got together to celebrate her life here, and, because my other sister with a house was busier than I, we ate our meals at my house.  It all worked out well -- my kids go to bed a LOT earlier than hers, so we could eat, and I could put W and AB down as they needed to go down and still enjoy being with the fam.

We did something "fun" for dinner on Mom's birthday, suggested by my bro-in-law.  Way to go, JR!  We had a meal of memories.  For our appetizer (we never have appetizers, so this was special in and of itself!) we had Cinnamon Toast.  Yes, it's a rather unusual appetizer, but Mama always made us cinnamon toast soldiers and hot chocolate when we were sick and sat beside us and held our hand or put a cool washcloth on our forehead or rubbed our feet.  She was an amazing, compassionate nurse.  How I miss her now when I'm sick!  Nobody does it quite like Mama did....  Anyway, it was too warm for hot chocolate (70s!), but we kept with the cinnamon toast. 

My sister, M, brought Samosas that we also ate for appetizers.  Growing up, Mama took Proverbs 31 to heart to "bring her food from afar."  She had a Betty Crocker Int'l Cookbook that she used quite often.  Samosas and Wantons were great group efforts.  I think she did wantons with me and samosas with M.  It's a great memory.

For our main course, I made Strogranoff.  Come to find out, it's NOT one of my Dad's favorites!  You could have knocked my sisters and me down with a feather when that one came to light.  We had no idea!  In JR's words, Strogranoff is a testament to Daddy's unconditional love for Mama...and for us girls as well.  The ladies in our family LOVE it, and Daddy knew that Mama wouldn't make it if she knew he wasn't that fond of it.  We don't make it for him now, but he did eat it once more with us for the memories.  We have a great Daddy!

For dessert, we had plenty.  When Mama was pregnant with me, so the story goes, she baked a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and had a piece...all while Daddy was at work.  Unfortunately, she made it early enough in the day that as the day progressed, she ate the WHOLE cake!  To cover up for this travesty, she made another chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and ate the original sized piece out of it.  She didn't come clean on this one for many, many years!  It still brings a smile to my face.  My sister, R, made a scrumptious chocolate cake for us all to enjoy.  No, she didn't eat a whole cake before hand...or if she did, she has yet to fess up to it!  Love you, R!

Another dessert story goes back to a church fellowship.  (I don't know if any of our compadres from church read this blog, but this may be a revelation because we kept it hush-hush and just giggled to ourselves.)  So...we had a homemade ice cream fellowship at church, but we didn't have the time to make any homemade ice cream.  It wouldn't have been so bad, except for the fact that we were signed up to bring homemade ice cream.  My mother was the queen of innovation.  It's amazing how super duper yummy it is to mix up a gallon of homestyle vanilla ice cream, milk, fresh peaches, and a little vanilla in an ice cream maker!  We got quite a few comments as to how that was "the best homemade ice cream" people had ever eaten!  Hee hee!  In the spirit of Mom, M mixed a couple of different batches with a base of homestyle vanilla ice cream and sweetened condensed milk.  To one she added chopped up snickers, to the other she added pineapple and coconut.  Super yummy, and they went great with our other desserts!  (M -- please feel free to correct me in the comments as to what you did.  That's just what I remember.  Sorry if I goofed a bit!)  Love ya, Darlin'!

For our final dessert, (yes, we had three!) Hubby made a pineapple upside down cake with rum flavored frosting.  My parents are not drinkers.  Dad is a teetotaler.  Mama, however, enjoyed the flavor of rum...and on special occasions, she enjoyed rum balls or rum cake.  Due to the fact that only two people would have been able to enjoy a real rum cake, Hubby made this imitation one as a nod to Mama.  It was divine!  And, it went great with M's tropical ice cream.  Thanks, Babe!

We had a great time together remembering Mama through food.  That was one thing she was insistent about -- feeding people well because she loved them.  The motto stands, "If you go away hungry, it's your own fault."  :-)  May I carry on your tradition of caring for others in this way. 

I love you, Mama.