Monday, December 22, 2008

menu plan monday

chicken noodle soup with homemade biscuits. For the soup, I sauteed celery and an onion and added it to the soup. I think I also added oregano and basil, but found I didn't need to.

sauteed mushroom cream soup and a baguette. Her recipe for sauteed mushrooms is fabulous as well.

Wednesday: Christmas Eve
Chinese food- kung pao chicken, lettuce wraps, rice, fortune cookies. Later that night after our festivities, we will have hot chocolate with peppermint whip cream magic and scones. I LOVED when my mom made scones. We did them just like this except my mom always made her own dough. This is much easier with the rhodes rolls!

Thursday: Christmas Day

breakfast: My dad always made amazing omelettes with everything in them. I was thinking about fly off the plate pancakes, but now I'm liking this Breakfast casserole idea found at Simply Recipes and also featured on Make and Takes. I like that I can prepare this the night before. Of course, breakfast will be served with our Christmas oranges that are in the bottom of our stockings.

Dinner: Ham, funeral potatoes, 3-layer jello, rolls, punch, this is what my family usually had on Christmas Day.


leftovers I'm sure

pioneer woman's tostadas

treats we have made or are making this week:

Oreo Truffles
Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip cookies
Mom's Fudge
Caramel Pecan Logs
Sugar cookies
Muddy Buddies

Monday, October 27, 2008


This baby could be here any day or any minute for that matter, so I'm not sure how this week will actually turn out menu planning-wise. Boring, boring, boring except for Friday, Halloween.

b: cold cereal, bananas, and milk
l: ham or pb and j sandwiches, yogurt, and carrot sticks
d: green chili chicken enchiladas, rice, and black beans

b: cold cereal, milk, and oj
l: cup o noodles, fruit, chocolate milk
d: leftover enchiladas, rice, and beans

b: oatmeal with milk and bananas
l: quesadillas, salsa, and milk
d: kung pao chicken with rice, and steamed brocoli

b: cold cereal and milk
l: pb and j sandwiches, bananas, and yogurt
d: BLTs

Friday (Halloween)
b: oatmeal with milk, oj
L: hot dog mummies, monster eyeballs, apple bites, and cheese fingers
d: pizza night- Papa Murphy's jack o'lantern pizza, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

b: french toast, fruit, and sausage
L; leftovers
d: potato and carrot soup in pumpkin-shaped bread bowls

b: waffles and juice
l: more leftovers
d: crockpot chicken curry, rice, and naan

More great Halloween food ideas here

Sunday, October 19, 2008

menu monday

This week for MPM I am going to try and use up what we already have and eat all our leftovers. Go see what everyone else is doing this week.

B: french toast and apricot jam (i use a loaf of french bread cut diagonally into 16 1-inch slices)
L: crackers and cheese, apple slices, chocolate milk, and marshmallows
D: Italian pasta and garlic bread

B: cracked wheat cereal and orange juice
L: leftover Italian pasta and apple slices
D: brown sugar chicken, rice, and broccoli

B: cold cereal and milk
L: peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and orange julius's
D: leftover brown sugar chicken and rice, vegies

B: cold cereal and milk
L: turkey and cheese sandwiches, apple slices, and milk
D: White Chili with tortilla chips, guacamole, and pico de gallo

B: cold cereal and milk
L: leftover white chili
D: pizza night

B: Fly off the Plate pancakes with maple syrup and orange juice
L: leftover pizza, vegies and fruit
D: leftovers, vegies, and fruit in the fridge

B: waffles, jam, and orange juice
L: leftovers, fruit, and chocolate milk
D: Chipotle Grilled Chicken with Avocado Sandwich and elote (except we use parmesan cheese and sprinkle on cayenne pepper)

Monday, October 13, 2008

menu plan monday

I'm a little late for this week, but I'm joining the organizing junkie along with over 200+ other women who post their menu for the week. I have been awful this entire pregnancy with planning food and now I'm obsessed with being prepared for when the baby is here. I found some great menu ideas while browsing through the other posts on here. Hopefully this will keep me organized and within my budget. For my menu, the breakfasts and lunches are geared towards the kids and the dinners are for everyone. Join me in menu planning if you'd like and help give each other idears.

b: cereal and milk
l: quesadillas, apple juice, and carrots
d: rotisserie chicken and pasta. homemade samoas for dessert

b: cereal and milk
l: ham or pb sandwiches, yogurt, and grapes
d: eggplant parmesan, and salad

b: cereal and milk
l: egg burritos and juice
d: homemade hamburgers with all the trimmings

b: cereal and milk
l: mixed fresh fruit, tortilla wheels (you can do cucumbers, olives, etc.)
d: brinner (breakfast for dinner) o.j., pancakes, eggs, sausage or bacon

b: cereal and milk
l: smorgasbord of assorted fruits and vegies, crackers, and chocolate milk
d: pizza night

b: cereal and milk
l: pb sandwiches, juice, and popcorn

b: the usual cereal and milk
l: tortilla wheels, yogurt, and apples
d: leftovers!

Monday, October 6, 2008

menu monday

Another attempt to stick to a weekly dinner menu. This is soup week. Here's the plan. I will be making soup everyday, and freezing half of each recipe for after the baby is here Just 4 more weeks! And I feel like a lightbulb has turned on above my head because I just figured out that you can freeze the ziploc bags flat so you can stack them on top of each other. DUH. I always just stuffed whatever in the bag and shoved in the freezer so it ends up being like a bulky blob. Anyway, I'm probably the only person that didn't think to store them flat. Tell me what you've had success in freezing. I'm addicted to freezing dinner now. For the last few months the only things we've had in our freezer has been frozen juice, waffles, peas, broccoli, and the ocassional ice cream. That's it! It's been a barren wasteland.

M- Chicken Noodle Soup

Potato Soup

Zuppa Toscana from the Olive Garden

Th- Tomato Soup

F- We always do pizza and a movie

Corn Chowder from Mimi's Cafe

Su- Slow-cooked BBQ pork ribs, salad, crusty bread (2 ingredients. 1-2 bottles of favorite BBQ sauce and ribs. Cook in the crockpot for a few hours. I might even freeze half of this)

I have to say that I love making soup. The kids are pretty good about eating it because they get to make up their own names for it and put things in it like baby goldfish to swim. They call the Zuppa Toscana, "dinosaur soup" because the Kale reminded Daisy of something a plant-eating dinosaur would eat. I love it. The last time we made tomato soup, Daisy was coming up with all kinds of cool names for it, but then ended up getting upset and not wanting to call it anything because I gave it a scary Halloween name like, "bat gut stew" or something like that. She's so sensitive sometimes. Geez.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

thursday's menu

The purpose of posting my menu for the day is more of my attempt to stick to a menu plan by "writing" it down.

B: Waffles with homemade raspberry jam and orange juice
L: Leftover pizza, milk, and sliced cucumbers and baby carrots
D: Grilled Lime Chicken with Black Bean Sauce, rice, and red grapes

Daily dessert desire: Concord Grape Sorbet at The Kitchen Sink. Doesn't that look so good?!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A couple of months ago, I saw that Marie at Make & Takes had read the book How To Eat Fried Worms with her 5 year old and then they watched the movie and ate gummy worms. Some of the comments left on her post were ideas of other worm-related activities or treats. This gave me an idea. There are quite a few children's books that have been turned into movies and knew this would be something that Daisy would really enjoy doing. We started with "How To Eat Fried Worms" and Daisy liked it a lot and surprisingly didn't eat very many gummy worms during the movie. I wonder if it's because it grossed her out. . .

The next movie/book combo we did was Matilda by Roald Dahl. We read this book together, and even though a lot of it might've gone over her head, she really enjoyed it and was blown away by the awful things that Miss Trunchbull did to little children. We borrowed the movie version with Danny Devito from the library, and decided to make the Chocolate Cake from Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. Incase you haven't read the book, there's a part where a young boy, Bruce Bogtrotter, is forced to eat an entire giant chocolate cake. This recipe is much healthier than regular chocolate cake recipes. It uses pureed beets for added nutrition. It's still not perfectly healthy, but it makes me feel a little better about myself and what I'm feeding my kid, okay?

Anyway, Daisy and I enjoyed reading, watching, and eating "Bruce Bogtrotter's" chocolate cake. We're having computer/camera issues, but perhaps I'll post some photos later.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

food links

Inside-out S'mores at Clumbsy Cookie

Toasted Coconut Shortbread at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

Wonton Soup at Rasa Malaysia

Kate's Indian Grilled Chicken at Pioneer Woman Cooks

I love making the kids bento meals and I love collecting bento boxes. Here is a great American style bento blog with preschool age meal ideas. Wendolonia.

2 cool new links you will love and/or find interesting:

Cake Wrecks. "When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong." That should explain it all right there.

Food Timeline-- a very interesting history of the beginnings of food from the "beginning" of time until today. You can click on many of the foods listed and it will tell you the history of that specific food. Very, very cool. At least I think so. Just check it out and you'll see what I mean. There are some cool links on this website as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

take 5

Hershey's TAKE 5 is my favorite candybar right now. It's got everything. Pretzels, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter, and milk chocolate. YUM. Sweet and salty, nothing overpowering any of the other ingredients.

Candy Blog gave it a 5 out of 10 rating. She said it was one of her favorite candy bars at first, but she thought that they quickly stale and that they would be much better and get a much higher rating if it were made out of real chocolate once again instead of Hershey's new mockolate.

I still enjoy it, but then again I don't taste candy for a living and haven't a distinguished or refined taste for fancy cacoa, or whatever all those new chocolate products are.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

eat your vegetables

I'm usually willing to try something different. I had brussel sprouts for the first time. YUCK. I tried to like them. I ate a bunch. But YUCK. But of course being the good mother I am, I said, "MMmmmm" with every bite. Just for my kids. I don't think it worked anyway. They look like little cabbages, but they taste like pungent, nutty, rottenness. Maybe they would taste good if they were prepared in another way. What is it with my family and their Belgian cooking?! I feel healthy as a horse since being here though.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

strawberry project I

I LOVE smores. But chocolate right now gives me major heartburn. Even though chocolate usually makes the heartburn worth it, I've been experimenting with what else to put in a smore. My sister does pineapple slices with marshmallow. Today we did yummy strawberry slices and "roasted" marshmallows squished in between 2 graham cracker squares. It was so tasty!
First we placed the desired amount of marshmallows on a broiler pan and placed in the broiler for a few seconds until nice and toasty brown. There's no picture of what they looked like when they came out, because I don't like to take my time when something's ready, I like to eat.
We sliced up fresh strawberries and placed a few slices on a graham cracker half and then topped with a toasted marshmallow and squished it down nice and firm with the remaining graham cracker half. Doesn't that look good?

Then I ate it. And then I ate a few more. We were thinking about other healthier alternatives to chocolate. You can do banana, pineapple, mixed berries. Marie at Make and Takes suggests substitiuting fudge stripe cookies or kit kats in place of the usual chocolate bar. She also has other fun roasting ideas for the outdoors that I would like to try sometime. Now I really want to try a smore with a kit kat. I even thought about doing chocolate covered cinnamon bears, but decided I rather liked them the way they are by themselves and ate them all. I waited until the kids were in bed. What would you put in a smore?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

a few of baby #3's favorite things

This pregnancy has been pretty bad as far as cravings go. Here are a few of Cletus the Fetus's favorite things:

homemade smoothies, trail mix, Goodwood BBQ restaurant, Simply Lemonade (it's worth it even if I get acid reflux), nectarines, dairy products, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe, grapes, bagels and cream cheese, watermelon (any fruit for that matter), haagen dazs ice cream (especially chocolate and peanut butter even though it gives me heartburn), honey roasted cashews, gyros (any greek, mediterranean, or Indian food actually), Breyers ice cream, chocolate covered cinnamon bears (heartburn city), pf chang's lettuce wraps, raspberry and cream cheese-filled croissants (any fine pastry will do actually), Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Cheese Puffs, and See's Candies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

matzo ball soup

We like to get in touch with our Jewish (not really) roots and make Matzo Ball Soup every now and then. It's so simple, yet hearty, and the kids totally gobble it up. You should be able to find Matzo meal at your grocery store. You might have to go to a specialty or international store. The scans above are from a recent-ish Martha Stewart magazine, but I don't know which one. I just tore the pages out. These are great recipes. The first is how to make your own stock from scratch, and then there's a recipe for chicken noodle soup, chicken and rice soup, and lastly, chicken soup with matzo balls. You can add chicken, carrots, etc., to the recipe, but we just do broth and the matzo balls. We don't follow the above recipe exactly, like we use vegetable oil in place of the chicken fat. Here's the general recipe with my changes added in parentheses:

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls (serves 10)
4 large eggs, separated (we don't separate)
1/4 cup chicken fat, melted (we use 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil)
12 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth (we do 12 cups)
1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt (we use the kosher brand in all our food. It works in baking too)
freshly ground pepper
1 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (you can use the dried to taste)
Coarsely chopped fresh dill, for garnish (also can use dried to taste)

1. Whisk yolks, fat, 1/2 cup stock, and the salt in a medium bowl; season with pepper. Stir in matzo meal and parsley. (we mix: 4 Tbsp. veg. oil, 4 whole eggs, 4 Tbsp. water, salt, matzo meal, and parsley)

2. Put egg whited into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Add to matzo mixture; whisk until smooth. Refreigerate until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. (when you skip the egg white process, you only need to refrigerate for 15 minutes or so).

3. Bring remaining stock to a boil in a large pot. Scoop out 1 1/2-inch balls of the matzo mixture, and add to stock. Reduce heat. Cover, and simmer until matzo balls are slightly firm and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Garnish with dill. (We cover and simmer for 40 minutes)

Of course, our version is less time consuming than Martha's, but whose wouldn't be? Here's how our's turned out. Delicious!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies

I saw this post on Ali's blog about Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies and I remembered that I had the recipe for Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies. So we made them. It was Luke's first time helping to cook something and he really enjoyed himself. We only had one major spill and that was the oats. Do you think that these first ladies really came up with the recipes on their own? I don't buy it. I think they had some help, like from their White House chefs, but it's kind of fun to have cookies like these anyway. I don't remember where I got the recipe. Maybe it was her biography or something.

Laura Bush Cowboy Cookies
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla (I use pure vanilla extract because I'm a snob like that)
3 cups chocolate chips
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut
2 cups chopped pecans (I like the subtle taste of the pecans, not the chunks, so I chop them very fine)

Heat oven to 350. Mix flour, soda, powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar, eggs (1 at a time), vanilla, and then flour. Mix slowly. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

These are pretty yummy and they make, like, a million.

rice krispie treats

(Reece's Peanut Butter Baking Chips)=
my favorite Rice Krispie treats

Thursday, May 8, 2008

cream cheese is a staple in our house

We love cream cheese in this here house. One of our favorite things to do is to make this Sweet 'n Spicy Cream Cheese Spread. Sometimes we just take cream cheese and plain old apricot preserves and mix them together (to taste) until it's mixed thoroughly into a smooth spread. Then we spread a thin layer onto a piece of bread and top it with some thin sliced ham and there you have it. A pretty tasty and simple ham sandwich. We made these at Daisy's 3rd birthday party. We cut them into little tea sandwich squares, and served it with fresh mixed fruit inside ice cream cones. That's all I remember. With the leftover spread we just use it to dip assorted crackers in. It's so good! It's kind of heavy too- sticks to your ribs, so you can't eat too much, but still SO GOOD.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I've been reading this Betty Crocker cookbook from 1957. I've noticed in these old cookbooks that people used to make some strange things. In the breakfast section, it has something called Toast Toppers. Have you ever tried any of these?

Orange Sugar: Blend 1 tablespoon soft butter and 3 tablespoons sifted confectioners' sugar. Stir in 1 teaspoon grated orange rind and 1 teaspoon orange juice. Spread on unbuttered toast.

Raisin Peanut Butter: Mix 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons chopped seedless raisins, 2 tablespoons orange juice. Spread on hot toast.

Cranberry: Spread hot toast with cranberry jelly. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Cinnamon mix: Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle on hot buttered toast.

Caramel Coconut: Blend 1 tablespoon soft butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flaked coconut. Spread on unbuttered toast and toast under broiler until it bubbles.

Toppers that I've had on toast:
Cinnamon Mix
Peanut Butter
avocado mashed with salt and pepper

Probably the avocado one is the most "unusual" I've had. What do you people put on your toast?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

things that look good to me right now

Pioneer Woman's Onion Straws. I've always disliked onions pretty much. But I want these so bad right now. I've been wanting them for at least a week now. Don't they look good?!

Ice Cream Sandwich Milkshake at Chow. This doesn't necessarily look good to me right now, but I saw it and knew that HF would love to try this. I read the comments underneath and they made me laugh. The first guy said that this was "perfect wife away from home, gonna eat crap food". That's totally HF. He does bad food combinations whenever I go out of town. He's totally going to try this tonight I bet.

I thought this was interesting to learn about green potatoes at Simply Recipes. I had no idea. I've lived this long without being poisoned, but probably something good to know. Now I'm thinking of all those times I've had fries at restaurants and they had a green tinge on some parts. Ew.

Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seed Cookies at Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. But where am I going to find chocolate covered sunflower seeds? She's been making some other rather tasty looking desserts over there as well like this Blackberry and Lime Tart.

Now I'm hungry. I think I'll go eat breakfast.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

IT'S STILL WINTER comfort foods

image taken from

Peabody did a cool food blog event titled Time to Make the Doughnuts and got over 100 responses. I wouldn't mind trying Orange Drop Doughnuts, Italian Zeppole, Spudnuts (made with potatoes), or baked donuts. There were some recipes from South Africa, Estonia, etc. Pretty cool to see that there are "doughnuts" to be found all over the world.

Soule Mama has a bread recipe that her kids call WHO Bread because of the main ingredients, Wheat, Honey, and Oats.

Pioneer Woman has a few recipes we've tried or want to try. Here are some good ones.

Simply Recipes Salsa Verde Carnitas. Super YUM.

I want to learn how to make good Refried Black Beans. I found a basic recipe on Food Network, but I wonder if there's a better recipe out there.

Can you tell that Mexican food is my favorite comfort food?! What are your comfort foods?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

you are what you eat

My friend Stephanie sent me this email. I think it's pretty cool.

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and YES science now shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows that grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don't have enough sodium in your diet the body pulls it from the bones, making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Eggplant, Avocadoes and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female - they look just like these organs. Today's research shows that when a woman eats 1 avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? .. It takes exactly 9 months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemica l cons tituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the motility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Grapefruits, Oranges , and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like body cells. Today's research shows that onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes