Sunday, January 22, 2012

Psycho Sunday

Any of you who know me well know that I HATE being late for the movies, work, appointments, and most of all church. It sends me into a weird anxiety where I feel like the world is ending because I am late (and by late I mean I am not 10 minutes early). This is a genetic disease I inherited from my mother that I hope to pass onto my children, as punctuality is a good thing. But, it does make me psycho when we are late for church. Let me give you a run down of our Sunday morning.

I didn't set the alarm and woke up an hour late, but still had time for a quick shower and got ready. Kids got up, and we started the breakfast routine. Mike left for his meeting and I got my youngest two dressed with no problem. It was down hill from there. I got the "good job getting ready on time" treat (Yes, there is always a reason for a treat) - my personal favorite the mint flavored M&Ms that you can only get at Christmas. I put them into little bowls for everyone. Well, David (5) refused to brush his teeth, so I started to eat his treat (after I had already eaten 1/3 or, well let's be honest, 1/2 of the bag). I started the van so that the snow on the windshield would melt. (I had no idea where my ice scraper had gone. I know it had been used as a weapon a few times in a ninja fight, but couldn't remember where it was banished to.) 3 minutes before I wanted to leave Joe (11) said, I don't feel well and I just filled the toilet (we have had a stomach bug). So, I told him to go lay down upstairs, but we are all still going to church. Dani (13) helped load kids into the car. David said, "Where's my treat?" I told him he didn't brush his teeth, so he doesn't get one. He ran and brushed his teeth and asked for his treat, so I gave him his bowl with some M&M's in it. He yelled, "I HAVE LESS!!!!!!!!!!!!" and threw it on the ground and started crying really loudly. ( I have to confess that I ate a few of them off the ground, gross, but 5 second rule applies in our house, right?) At that point I prayed in my heart not to hurt him and just kept saying "Jesus loves you" in my mind. I still had not cleaned off the van and went in search of the ice scraper in the garage. It was no where to be found, so I used a sand ho, yes that stupid plastic toy for the sand box. Hey, whatever works. I lovingly carried the screaming 5 year old to the van and told him to get in his seat and get buckled or he was going to sit in the baby car seat. He didn't want that, so finally listened. We were late for church, UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While I am speeding through Lebanon, Sam (7) reads every street sign and then says, "Mom, the speed limit is 35, and you are WAY over that." (She has been playing cops and robbers lately and loves being the police and giving tickets to "bad cars".) So, I slowed down, realizing that no matter how fast I went, unless our van turned into the bat mobile, we were going to be late. We got there at the same time as a few other families, so I didn't feel too badly. Then during church I called Joe to make sure he was okay. The phone picked up, but no one was there. I called several other times and it went straight to voice mail. I have watched too many episodes of Law and Order and CSI, imagining several crimes that could occur while I was gone. After I went back inside the church, Abby (3) was dancing around and had to go potty. Well, we didn't get there in time, she leaked a little bit, and of course, I didn't bring a change of clothes today. Because of my paranoia and this accident we headed home. Joe was fine, our phone just wasn't working. Okay, sigh of relief, my son was okay, I can get Abby dry clothes. Hopefully the rest of our Sunday will got well. It snowed yesterday, so I am sending them all outside to make a snow man. On a good note, ALL of the talks were awesome at church and what I needed to hear that day. Thank you to those who wrote those talks, very thoughtful of you. Thankfully dinner is in the crock pot - Cafe Rio pork, I will post the recipe soon.
Hope you all had a good Sunday!!! (and a good laugh.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

REALLY good chili

So, I have kind of fallen off the planet when it comes to this blog. I trained for and ran the 15 K hot chocolate run in DC, and then Christmas came, and I get tunnel vision when that happens. But, I wanted to share this recipe with you. It is something you can double or triple and freeze. I found a recipe called "The BEST Chili You Will Ever Taste" at I tweaked it a bit because I don't have coffee, or beer, and I didn't have any cubed sirloin. My changes worked and it turned out really well, and it was EASY. I have veggies that I have already cut up and roasted in the freezer, so that I can just add them to the recipes. Having a prep day is key to sneaking all kinds of veggies into my kids food. This recipe is FULL of food that is SOOOOOOOO good for you and your kids, just try it - they will NEVER guess that there are 4 different veggies, plus beans in it. I LOVE making stuff in the crock pot, and this was an easy one. I served it with baked potatoes. Enjoy!!!

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 onions, cut in chunks
1 red pepper cut in chunks
3 pounds lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken (I used chicken because that is what was in the freezer.)
1 cup pureed butternut squash (Optional, but it is really good, it has a mild, sweet taste and is VERY good for you. To prep squash, peel, scoop out seeds, cut in chunks, drizzle with EVOO, roast with other veggies.)
You could also roast some carrots and add them if you want.
4 garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic in a jar.)
1 28 oz. diced tomatoes (I puree these because my kids are not chunky veggie fans.)
2 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
1 can of coke
1 Tablespoon chili powder (the recipe called for 3 1/2 T of chili sauce, I didn't have that.)
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (Had I not been making this for my kids I would have used more.)
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 can refried beans (you can use kidney beans, but my kids don't like beans, if they know they are in there.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon EVOO over onion and red peppers. Toss and put in 9 by 13 pan and roast in the oven for 40 min, stirring at least once. Remove from oven, cool for a few minutes and puree, adding a little water so it has enough liquid to puree. Heat large pan on stove, add the rest of EVOO, saute garlic for a few minutes. Add meat. Cook until no longer pink. Drain meat and rinse. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer to let flavors mix. Or, cook in crock pot. Add water or beef broth if it gets too thick.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

German Apple Pancake

Not sure what to have for Sunday dinner? Make this.

Usually I have all of the ingredients, (sugar, flour, milk, eggs, butter, apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and it is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO easy. I use a pie pan, or 9 by9 pan, and I used a little less sugar. It will make your kitchen smell AMAZING. I have it in the oven right now and my mouth is watering. I found it at, click here to view the recipe. I had to cook mine about 10 min longer than the recipe states, probably because my pans were smaller.
Have a nice Sunday!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Asian Noodles - LOTS OF VEGGIES HIDDEN IN THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is an easy dish that is so good. My kids LOVE it. We eat it with chopsticks if I remember to get them. And... it is full of veggies (this time I had 4 different ones in there, plus the garlic and herbs) but they have no idea. This time I even snuck in some cabbage too - no complaints. Next time I am going to try to add some butternut squash. You can add some chicken, pork, or beef too (I usually add it if I have some left over). This makes just enough for our family, so cut it in half if you don't have a "herd" of people to feed. It also makes your kitchen smell REALLY good. Enjoy!

1 onion, cut in chunks
1 red pepper, cut in chunks (you could use yellow or orange too.)
1/2 bag of baby carrots, cut in half
1 hot pepper, cut in chunks (optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 to 1/2 a cabbage, chopped as small as you want.

Preheat oven to 400 to 425. Spray 9 by 13 pan with non stick spray. Add veggies to pan. Drizzle with EVOO (1 to 2 Tablespoons). Stir to coat veggies, add more EVOO if you want. Roast in oven for 40 minute, stirring halfway. Drizzle a large stir fry pan with EVOO (about 1 to 2 Tablespoons) and cook chopped cabbage for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

1/2 cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
6 garlic cloves (I press mine, but you can use the canned kind too.)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
4 Tablespoons sesame oil (you can use more or less if you want, I like about 4 T.)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Tablespoons sugar (I like to use half white sugar, half brown sugar.)
3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 to 4 Tablespoons cilantro (I use 2 small handfuls and just have the blender chop it up for me.)

Add all ingredients to blender or magic bullet and blend. Dump contents into a bowl.

Puree veggies in blender or magic bullet, adding a little bit of water, or some of the sauce to make it easier to puree. I usually use 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water and then some dressing.
Mix pureed veggies and sauce together. Add to cabbage and heat until heated through.

16 oz. Linguine (You could also use angel hair or thin spaghetti)
Green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
You could also add snow peas, broccoli, fresh or frozen green beans, there are several possibilities.

Cook pasta according to directions once veggies are pureed and sauce is made. Add pasta to sauce in large stir fry pan and stir to make sure all of it is coated. Top with green onions, or meat and enjoy. I have made this twice this week and it has been a hit each time.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I guess it's time to shave

So, my 6 year old let me know that it is time for me to shave. (One of my secrets is that I hate shaving, I could fit right in in Europe.)

There was a bad thunderstorm last night and Sam (my 6 year old) snuggled with me while I read a book to her. I had some capris on and her leg rubbed against mine and she said, "Uh, Mom, your legs feel like dad's face. That's weird." (She doesn't hold back, she is the one who kept telling me how big I was when I was pregnant (click here for those thoughts).

The sad thing is that I can probably grow more hair on my leg than Mike can grow on his face.

I am sure it was worse than his face. Oh well, when Saturday night comes I will shave, I guess I should give a warning next time to wear long pants


I can't believe I haven't posted this before. I have made this for years, got the recipe from a friend in Madison, WI. I haven't made it a lot this year because I haven't had chocolate since Dec 9th of last year (it is a weird bet, long story). But, I am making it today for my daughter's birthday party. I made molten lava chocolate cakes, birthday cake ice cream, home made caramel, and hot fudge. So, my mouth is watering. Can't believe I made the cakes without eating half of the batter, but I did it. Here is the fudge recipe, it is divine. My mouth is watering - 7 more weeks and I will enjoy it again.

4 oz. chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup butter
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
I usually add a little bit of vanilla, because I can.

Melt butter and chocolate chips together. Stir in condensed milk (make sure you don't cut your finger getting every last bit of it out of the can. This stuff is so good.) Mix well and enjoy over ice cream, or as spoonfuls by yourself when you feel stressed because the house is a mess, the kids are screaming, or you have company coming.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Favorite Tomato and Basil Pasta

This is one of my absolute favorite things to make when fresh tomatoes are ready to pick in the garden. It is easy tastes REALLY good. Hope you enjoy!!
6 cups Chopped tomatoes (if I don't have fresh tomatoes you I use petite canned tomatoes, just drain them)
1/2 cup chopped Fresh Basil (chop it first then measure it)
3 Tablespoons EVOO
3 Cloves Garlic, minced or chopped (I just use the kind in a jar, lazy, I know)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Sprinkle of Salt
Sprinkle of Pepper
3/4 Cups Chicken Broth
3/4 Cups White Grape Juice (or apple juice, or cooking wine)
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, or Grated Parm Cheese
Grilled Chicken, optional

Combine chopped tomatoes, basil, EVOO, Garlic, Sugar, Salt, and Pepper in a non metal bowl and let it sit for at least an hour. Combine Chicken Broth and juice and bring to a boil. Let it reduce by half (I think it usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes - I don't measure it, just estimate). Cook pasta. Add tomatoes to chicken broth mixture until they are heated through. Toss sauce and veggies, add cheese, and enjoy!!!