Archive for September, 2010

h1

Strawberry Explosion

September 15, 2010

Meeshie loves Strawberry Quick.

She sometimes has it with her breakfast. 

This morning I cam into the kitchen about 5 minutes before we needed to leave to discover Strawberry Quick had exploded all over the floor.  Literally all over my kitchen floor.  In some spots it was in 1/4 inch mounds.  My feet were more than sticking to the floor.  They were shellacked there.

Meeshie had tried to clean up what had spilt on the floor by using up all the paper towels in the kitchen and wetting everyone of them.  Instead of vacuuming up the mess,  she was able to make a pink gluelike substance and spread it all over the kitchen.

I almost started to cry.  Any mom that has to get out the door to be somewhere by a certain time every morning knows that you’ve got your departure timed down to a science and any deviation from that is a catastrophe.

I have a nice size kitchen.  It’s one of the reasons why I love this house so much.  The floor in the kitchen is hardwood.

I don’t own a mop.  I feel the only efficient way to clean a floor is on hands and knees. 

Vader wasn’t interested in licking the floor.  It was probably too much work for him.

I couldn’t leave the mess the way it was all day.  I could get ants.  Plus I just couldn’t leave that mess.

I cleaned the floor as best as I could.

Mom, where are your pants?

We left the house and the floor was still sticky.  But at least it had been downsized to sticky.

I just finished cleaning the floor again when I got home.

I miss the toddler stage.

h1

Chicken and Dumplings

September 14, 2010

I saw a Triple D show a few weeks ago where they made chicken and dumplings.  It looked so good, but it was still so hot here.

I told my husband that as soon as the weather was cooler, I would make some.  I had some leftover chicken in the freezer from when we made beer can chicken.  I had planned to make chicken pot pie with it.  We love chicken pot pie.

But I had chicken and dumplings on my mind and I couldn’t shake it.  You know what I mean.  You see something and then you have a taste for it and nothing will appease that craving until you’ve had it.  That’s how I was with the chicken and dumplings.  There’s a reason why they call it comfort food.

I was a little nervous though, Meeshie doesn’t do soup.  And although I don’t think that chicken and dumplings is soup, I’m not eight. 

She ate it and enjoyed it.  That made me happy.  It wouldn’t stop me from making it but I hate the stress of forcing her to eat something. 

I may make a lot of things for dinner, but I’m not a restaurant.  I make it and she has to eat it.  So if I make something that my husband and I love and she just tolerates we can have some tension. 

Chicken and Dumplings

  • 2 C Flour
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Kosher Salt
  • 4 T Butter, divided
  • 1 C Half and Half (or milk)
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 3 Celery stalks, diced
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 3 Quarts Chicken Broth
  • 3 C Cooked Chicken
  • 1/2 C Peas (optional)

In a large pot, melt 2 T butter and add diced onion, celery and carrots.  While the vegetables are sauteing prepare the dumplings.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.  Cut in 2 T butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter.  Slowly stir in the half and half (or milk).  Mix by hand until the dough forms a sticky ball.  You may not use all of the half and half (or milk).  Heavily flour your work surface and rolling-pin.  Roll out the dough to about 1/8- 1/4 inch thick.  I like mine thinner, but you don’t have to go too thin.  The thinner they are the harder it is to get them off your work surface.  Using a sharp knife, cut the dumplings into squares, about 2×2 inches.  They don’t have to be exact.  Place them on a floured plate and continue to flour them between layers.

Add the broth to the pot with the vegetables.  Bring the pot to a boil.  Drop the dumplings into the pot one at a time.  Make sure to stir as you add them.  Once all the dumplings are in the pot you can add the flour from the plate.  The flour thickens the broth, so if you don’t want the broth too thick you don’t have to add the remaining flour.  We like our broth thick, so we add it.  Cook the dumplings for about 15-20 minutes or until they no longer taste doughy.  Add the cooked chicken and the peas and simmer for another 10 minutes. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy an awesome comfort food. 

This makes about 8-10 servings.

h1

Salted Caramel Chocolate Squares

September 12, 2010

These should actually be called salted caramel chocolate heaven.

These are so heavenly.

Salty and sweet.  Right up my alley.  Remember this post?

And so easy.  I had almost all the ingredients on hand except for the caramel.  This time of year I do like to have caramel on hand to make various treats.

I really love caramel.  If given a choice between caramel and chocolate, I would hands down pick caramel.  No question. 

Look at how this looks.  Really, the salt on top of the caramel and the top are a great touch.

So so good.

Seriously.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Squares

  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1 1/4 C Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 t Cinnamon
  • 1 t Baking Soda
  • 19 oz (1 jar) Caramel topping
  • 6 T Flour
  • 1 1/4 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Coarse Kosher Salt or Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray. 

Combine the flour, oats, sugar, butter, cinnamon and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.  Press half of the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.

Pour the caramel topping into a medium-sized bowl and stir in the flour.

Pull the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the warm crust.  Pour the caramel topping mixture on top of the chocolate chips, spreading as necessary.  Sprinkle the coarse salt over the caramel mixture.  Crumble the rest of the crust mixture over the caramel topping and sprinkle with additional salt.  Bake for another 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle an additional pinch of salt on top of the crust. 

Cool completely and cut into squares.

Here’s the original recipe.  Aren’t her helpers beautiful?  I too mixed this by hand.  Another reason to love this recipe.  Less clean up!

h1

Mushroom Soup

September 9, 2010

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s fairly cool here. 

Fall like.

Usually when the temperature dips I make chili and then we are back to more seasonal weather.  I always make chili in September on day that is 85 or warmer.  It’s a standing joke between my husband and I.

This year I didn’t make chili, I made this wonderful soup instead.

It’s filled with tons of mushrooms and flavor.

Sometimes my husband eats it with croutons on it.  I usually serve it with some crusty bread. 

That’s it, nothing else.  We really like soup, my husband and I, and eat it as a meal.

Mushroom Soup

  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Small carrot, Finely Minced
  • 2 whole Celery Stalk, Finely Minced
  • 2 clove Garlic, Crushed And Minced
  • 2 pound White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
  • 1 C Chablis White Wine (or any white wine you have on hand)
  • 1 C Tomato Juice
  • 1 C Chicken Broth
  • 2 pint Half and Half
  • 2 C Parmesan Cheese, Freshly Grated
  • 2 t Cornstarch
  • ¼ C Water
  • pinch Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Heat oil, over medium heat, in a large deep pot.

    Mince the carrot and celery nice and fine. Toss into the pot and allow them to soften while you slice the mushrooms.  Next, add your garlic, right as the carrots and celery start to cook down.

    Add the mushrooms to the pot and allow them to reduce and soften. Pour in the Chablis, and let it cook with the mushrooms for a few minutes.

    Add the tomato juice, and the chicken broth. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes before adding the half and half, and bring to a soft boil.

    Grate Parmesan and add it to the pot. Let this cook for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and blended with the soup. Add the cornstarch to 1/4 cup of water, then pour into the soup.

    Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes or so, until thickened. Salt and pepper the soup to your own tastes.

    This recipe makes 8 servings.

    Here’s the original recipe.

    h1

    Fashionista

    September 7, 2010

    I learned several years ago not to argue with a strong-willed child.

    Especially a child as strong-willed as me.

    About somethings that is.

    This is what Meeshie wore to school one day last week.

    No need to adjust your screen.  That’s a purple hat, red Christmas dress, white puffy vest and she even has blue shoes on.  She’s like a walking rainbow.  She even has a necklace on.  Very hip.

    She is always calling herself a fashionista.

    She loves to tell me that I don’t know fashion.

    She really thinks this outfit rocks. 

    As long as she’s under the dress code, I don’t stress out over it.

    It becomes a big argument and I just don’t have time for that in the morning.

    I do have a job to get to after all.

    She’s worn this dress to mass.  In October.  We go to the first mass on Sunday and the smiles this dress brings to so many people makes me happy.

    h1

    Pretzel Crusted Brownies

    September 6, 2010

    I came across this recipe and was intrigued.

    Pretzels and brownies?

    Salty and Sweet?

    I love salty and sweet.  Raisins in popcorn.  Chocolate covered pretzels.  Heck even salt on an apple.

    This recipe hits all those notes and more.

    I love how versatile this recipe is too.  You don’t have to put the cherries in there.  You could add a layer of caramel.  You could add bacon.  You could add dried apricots.  I think you get my drift.

    Gewey chocolatey awesomeness.

    Pretzel-Crusted Brownies

    FOR THE CRUST:

    • 3 C Pretzels, Crushed
    • 5 T Granulated Sugar
    • 3/4 C Butter, Melted
    • 1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

    FOR THE BROWNIE BATTER:

  • 1-⅔ C Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ C Butter, Melted
  • ¼ C Half and Half
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 1-½ C Flour
  • ¾ C Cocoa Powder
  • 3/4 C Dried Cherries
  • For the crust, combine the pretzels, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Press into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 400F for 6-7 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let cool slightly while you make the brownie batter.

    For the batter, first thoroughly combine the sugar and melted butter. Add the half and half, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well. Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then add this to the wet ingredients. Once everything is evenly mixed, fold in the dried cherries and spread the mixture across the pretzel crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

    This makes about 32 yummy brownies. 

    Another reason to love this recipe.  This makes a large pan of brownies. 

     To eat. 

     To share. 

    But mostly to eat.

    Here is the original recipe.  Another awesome blog!  Heather’s Dish has some really great recipes!

    h1

    Sloppy Joes

    September 5, 2010

    We’ve had fall like weather this weekend.  I love it. 

    Summer is great and I love that season, but fall.  Well fall is so beautiful.  The trees.  The cooler weather. 

    I decided to make sloppy joes yesterday because of the cooler weather.  I now I can make them anytime, but like chili, I associate sloppy joes with fall.

    My husband’s family calls them crumble burgers and he calls them that to annoy me.  He loves to annoy me.

    When I was a girl, we used Manwich to make our sloppy joes.  That’s probably why I never really liked them.

    This recipe will change your mind if you find that you’re not a fan.

    You can add more spice to it if you like it spicy.

    You can serve it with additional barbecue sauce if you like sauce.

    We like it with some good old Wisconsin sharp cheddar.

    Except Meeshie, she likes hers plain.

    This recipe makes about 8-10 sandwiches. 

    It’s really great for those days of the week when everyone has to be somewhere at a different times but needs a good meal.

    Sloppy Joes

    • 1 T Olive Oil
    • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
    • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
    • 3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
    • 2 lbs Ground Sirloin
    • 1-8 oz can Tomato Sauce
    • 1-6 oz can Tomato Paste
    • 1 C Barbecue Sauce
    • 1 T Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1 t Tabasco
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    Heat oil in a large deep skillet.  Add the peppers and garlic.  Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the sirloin to the vegetables.  Stir and cook for about 8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.  Drain the meat.  Add the tomato sauce, paste, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, and hot sauce into the skillet.  Stir and simmer until thickened.  Serve on hamburger buns.

    We like cheese on our sloppy joe, but you can serve it however you like.

    %d bloggers like this: