Feb 29, 2012

RECIPES AND LEAVING ON A JET PLANE.

none of my bags are packed, but henny and i are jet-setting for the east coast in a few days. i broke the news to hallie yesterday and and she bawled. hey - not my fault she grew up and now has to go to school!!

i wish i could take her. so bad. i never feel complete without that little girl.

anyway, we are off to visit dear-friend sarah. i haven't seen her in a million years so i figure we're due. so now i get to figure out how to deal with bottles/formula on an airplane - suck - and how much crap to pack overall. i've gotten some great advice, so i think i have a grip. i'm just worried about warming up the bottle on the airplane. that's it. nothing else. just the bottle being warm on the airplane.

such 1st world problems right there.

let's see...i've been smokin' my goals for february (see the original post here) and will do an official report tomorrow. i know you (mom, barb) can't wait.

here's a few recipes i pinned and actually made from pinterest!


Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes
Pinned Image
recipe and photo via here

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 softball-sized onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 cup beef stock
Salt and ground black pepper
4 dinner rolls
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 cup provolone, shredded

In large skillet over medium-high heat add the oil and then brown the ground beef, about 5-6 minutes. Add the onion and green pepper and cook another 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables start to get tender. Stir in the steak sauce and beef stock, season with salt and pepper, bring up to a bubble and cook about 2 minutes.

Split open rolls and remove most of the soft insides, leaving a bed to hold the meat mixture. Toast the rolls and set aside.

While the meat is cooking, melt the butter in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook about 1 minute. Whisk in milk, bring up to a bubble and let thicken, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in the cheese.

To serve, place a scoopful of the meat mixture onto the bottom of the rolls, then top with the cheese sauce and replace the top of the roll.

Keri's Notes:
these were...good. nothing spectacular, but good. i didn't do the cheese sauce and that might have taken it up a level. I just melted provolone over a bun. I actually didn't even eat that - just ate the mean mixture over lettuce. I liked it, it just wasn't that exciting for me!

***

Skinny Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcakes

i will make these again and again. you just can't beat how easy and low-fat they are. they are suuuuper moist. i made full-size muffins and drizzled some frosting i had leftover in the fridge (just melted it in the microwave and drizzled away). i also made some mini muffins and dipped the tops in melted butter and rolled in a cinnamon/sugar mix. they were perfect for brunch the next day.

recipe and photo from here

Ingredients:
  • 18.25 oz cake mix - super moist (I used Aldi's brand yellow cake mix)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup water
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.

Combine cake mix and pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Add pumpkin puree and water, mix about 2 minutes.

Keri's Notes:
make them.

***

Cashew Chicken - holy crap these were so good.
Pinned Image
recipe and photo via here

Ingredients
    For stir fry sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar  (i just used cider vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  •  
  • For Cashew Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb. total), diced
  • 8 leaves of greenleaf or iceburg lettuce
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
    For stir fry sauce:
  1. Mix all ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.
  2. For Cashew Chicken:
  3. Heat canola oil in pan over medium to medium high heat. Add diced chicken and brown (about 4-5 minutes). Remove chicken from oil. Add onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon soy sauce to pan; brown. When onions and garlic are brown and tender, add stir fry sauce, browned chicken, and cashews. Saute mixture for a few minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Spoon chicken mixture into individual lettuce leaves. Add your favorite hot sauce, more cashews or basil.
Keri's Notes:
seriously, so good. a little bit of heat, but the flavors are delicious. i ate mine over lettuce instead of doing the lettuce wraps and it was delicious, even cold for lunch the next day.

***

Crispix Mix
  • 7 cups Crispix, or whatever cereal
  • 1 cup nuts (I used peanuts)
  • 1 cup pretzels
  • 3 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Arrange the Crispix cereal, nuts and pretzels on the baking pan/tray. Mix together to evenly distribute the contents.

Pour the melted butter into a bowl. Stir in the garlic salt, onion salt, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce until thoroughly combined.

Pour the melted butter mixture of the cereal mix on the pan. Coat the cereal, nuts and pretzels evenly, using a pastry brush to help if needed.

Place in the oven and bake at 250ºF for approximately 45 minutes. Keep checking the mixture and stir it every 15 minutes to prevent sticking.

During the cooking, spread out paper towels on the kitchen bench to allow the mix to cool off.

Remove from the oven and spread out on the paper towels to cool.

Eat

Keri's Notes:
this was good - very basic. i had crispix in my pantry that needed to be used up or thrown out, so i made this recipe. it was fine - nice and salty. i didn't have any prezels so i just used peanuts and it was great.

Feb 28, 2012

RAWR. AND GULP.

i finally tried my first Green Monster, except in this here hiz-ouse we call it the Super Hero Smoothie.

because hallie thinks she has "powers" and to get her to drink this i called it a super hero smoothie and well, that is pretty smart of me. i know.

because it's green.

bright, magically green.

oh and delicious. it tastes like a banana-y, peanut butter-y milkshake. you don't taste even one bit of the spinach. not a single, tiny BIT of spinach, i swear.

i deviated from the original recipe, because i didn't have yogurt and it was still awesome.

Super Hero Smoothie

1 cup skim milk
1 TBSP peanut butter (i used skippy natural creamy)
2 cups spinach
1 small, sliced up frozen banana

BLEND and watch the magic.


you can add whatever fruit you want to. or yogurt. or skip the milk and just do water/ice. or leave our the pb. i think the banana is key. i've heard great things about pineapple too.

don't be a skeptic. do it. also - go to http://www.greenmonstermovement.com/ for a gazillion more recipes.

Feb 27, 2012

MORE TEEF.

yowzers, three on top.

he handled the pain like a champ.

love that kid.




Feb 25, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME IN A FEW WEEKS.

i am a simple girl. i don't ask for much (hahaha), but here's what i want for my birthday.

(dave, are you paying attention?)


a basic trench: i've been searching for a cute, inexpensive trench for a while. i want basic, light khaki...okay, i really want a super cute green one from old navy, but i know that i would get more wear out of a normal khaki-colored trench.

anyway, found one!

Merona® Belted Long Trench Coat - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window


(that yellow one! the red! so cute.)

i am also in need of a salad spinner

here you go!

Progressive International Mini Ratchet Salad Spinner


and...that's it!

Feb 24, 2012

THIS MORNING'S BEDHEAD BROUGHT TO YOU BY...

the most creep-tastic picture of henry EVER



and silly sally hallie
even hen can't get over her bedhead. (sorry 'bout the flash!)
TGIF!!!!!!!!!

RECIPES, RECIPES, RECIPES. YUM.

i hope you said that title like: duck, duck, duck, GOOSE. no?

i've made a few new recipes, thank you pinterest. i love to cook, it's just hard to fit it all in. i get home at five with hen, start supper, change my clothes (sometimes), hen gets fed at five-thirty, we eat sometime between five-thirty and six and then hen starts his bath/bottle/bed routine at six-thirty and in bed by seven. yowzers.

so my week-day meals have to be quick or have to be prepped the night/morning before.

i am pretty proud of us though. we haven't eaten out in a million years. except on valentine's day. kfc. blech.

****

so, last night (tuesday night), i made Bubble Up Enchiladas. these were so easy and dave and hallie loved them.

hallie cut up the biscuits for me while i browned the turkey and made up the sauce. it was seriously the easiest thing ever and ready in 30 minutes or less.

also -  it's a weight watchers recipe!

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picture and recipe here!

Bubble Up Enchiladas
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can reduced fat refrigerator biscuits
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded low fat Mexican Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F
Brown Turkey and drain juices if needed
Pour and mix enchilada and tomato sauce over browned turkey.
Cut refrigerated biscuits into fourths and stir into meat mixture.
Dump into a greased 9X13 casserole pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Take out of oven and sprinkle cheese on top.  Bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

****

let's see...i also made up some bbq beef quesadillas from this recipe. i ate the bbq over lettuce for my salad for a few days too. VERY YUMMY.

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches
from the Cooking For Your Family board at www.babycenter.com
Ingredients
·         3-4lb chuck roast
·         prepared yellow mustard - enough to spread all over the meat
·         1/4 cup paprika
·         1/4 cup white or brown sugar (I just grab whatever is closest)
·         3 tablespoons garlic powder
·         3 tablespoons salt
·         2 tablespoons onion powder
·         2 tablespoons ground black pepper
·         1 tablespoon dried parsley
·         1 tablespoon chipotle powder (optional)
·         1/2 cup ketchup
·         1/4 - 1/2 cup prepared barbecue sauce, depending on how saucy you like it
Instructions
1.      Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
2.      In a small bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients.
3.      Get out your roast and slather it in prepared yellow mustard. You just want enough to cover the outside of the meat in a thin layer, probably a 1/4 cup-ish. Rub the dry ingredients into the mustard coated roast and place in a roasting pan or, if you have one, a deep oven proof skillet.
4.      Bake covered for 3 to 4 hours depending on the size of your roast. The beef should be very tender and just fall apart. Remove from the oven and place on the stove. Shred the beef, add the ketchup and barbecue sauce and cook for just a few minutes to allow the sauce to soak into the beef and thicken a tiny bit.
5.      This can also be done in a crockpot. Start out the same with the mustard and dry rub, add to the crockpot and let it cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or until tender and falling apart. Remove to a skillet and finish it off the same as you would for the oven method.
6.      Serve on sandwich rolls.

****

oh! and last night i made up some health-ified Oatmeal Raisin Cookies for dave.


Beth's Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

Beth's Spice Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

via allrecipes.com here

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, butter flavored shortening, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not overbake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don't last long!

Keri's Changes (big ones):

i subbed land-o-lakes baking margarine for the butter and the lard (gross). i subbed brown-sugar splenda for the brown sugar, regular splenda for the white sugar and then cut the recipe in half because, well, what if they were gross?

and they were good! they weren't the BEST ever, because how on earth COULD they be without real butter, real sugar, etc.

the redeeming things about these cookies is that they are "spicy," so they have nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and something else. so that compensates for the lack of flavor elsewhere.

 the texture was good.
hallie rolled them into balls and we stuck them into the fridge so they wouldn't spread as much. and they stayed as perfect balls until i "smooshed" them in the last three minutes. and then they were perfect. crispy-ish on the ouside and soft on the inside.

i will make these again and again.

that's it!



Feb 23, 2012

FREE LABOR. EXCELLENT.

hallie was miss helpful two nights ago. she played with henry, made him crack up laughing and then wanted to feed him too. my chest almost BURST with love, watching the two siblings. now, i'm not going to lie - a little part of me was doing the evil hand carassing thing. you know - bwahahaha, my evil plan is working. as in - now my five-year-old can do some of our work. bwahahaha.

what's next, dishes?
laundry?
weed-eating?
YES.

it didn't last very long.

but it was great while it lasted. and they were both covered in baby food.


Feb 22, 2012

BARB CLOSE YOUR EYES!

video

Feb 21, 2012

HONEST ABE.

hallie had yesterday off for president's day and dave had work to do at the abraham lincoln presidential museum. so hallie got to go...and she loved it.

she told me all about the funeral. and the little boy that died and his mom was so sad. and the log cabin. and, and, and. she loved it.

i can't wait to go back with her.







Feb 20, 2012

A VERY GOOD WEEKEND WITH A LOT OF PINTEREST.

we had a great weekend. it's so nice when dave is home and we can be...normal. we didn't do much, but had a lot of fun doing it.


took a walk to lucille's with hen in the moby. and me in my apron.



baby-sitting molly, who is apparently trying to shoot laser-beams at me.




last week i took supper over to lucille's house and cooked what was supposed to be our valentine's day supper, but wasn't.

we cooked balsalmic-garlic crusted pork tenderloin. it wasn't really crusted, but it was good. not exciting, but good. we didn't eat the leftovers, which means i won't make it again.

 link to recipe and picture here.

it took a lot longer than 20 minutes, so then my Parmesean-Crusted Asparagus was over-done. but it was good. would have been better if not over-done, but that was my bad. still good.

link to recipe and picture here.

for a treat, i made home-made oreos this weekend. recipe and picture here, but i got all fancy and rolled the edges in sprinkles. i should have taken a picture. they were cute. and delicious.
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oh! and i made Taco Pasta and it rocked dave's socks off. he looooved it. which was good, since it made a buttload. we ate half over just two days i'm freezing the rest.
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link to recipe and picture here.

what else, what else??? oh! Roasted Broccoli, which was so so so good. dave loved it too. we ate it like candy.
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recipe and photo here.

and let's see....is that it?

that's it! happy monday!

Feb 17, 2012

THE REAL VALENTINE'S DAY.

remember when i said it was going to be the best valentine's day ever?

 yeah, well. not exactly.

things were going great in the morning and even part of the afternoon. then i took henry to get his ear checked from his ear infection and guess what...still infected. now we are on to our third antibiotic. bummer.

which meant i go to wait at cvs for approximately 1 million years.

so my marninating balsalmic-and-garlic-crusted pork tenderloin with parmesean-crusted asparagus (lots of crusts, i guess) had to wait a day and we had grilled kfc instead. grilled. probably not THAT much better than fried, but i'm all about marketing.

today mr. henry is finally feeling back up to his normal chipper self and things are improving.

ALSO!!!!

 have i mentioned his crazy gag reflex?

he can barely tolerate baby food. if it has any sort of texture it is gag, gag, gag, PUKE. so much fun. last saturday i made the mistake of giving him a puff. he gagged, of course, and barfed, of course.

but we're working on it.

last night i gave him baby yogurt (as recommended with his antibiotic) and he tolerated the thicker texture. so i put a puff or two on his tray AND HE ATE A FEW WITHOUT PUKING!!!!!

and that is awesome.


Feb 16, 2012

EXCITED ABOUT...NOTHING?

every night i lay henry down on a yellow foam mat on the bathroom floor while I run his bath water. i strip his clothes and diaper off and turn around to fill the tub. and every. single. time i turn around and he is stiff as a board, trembling with excitement, staring up at the ceiling and cracking up.

i don't get it.

i have no clue what is up there that is so darned exciting. i thought maybe the anticipation of the bathtub (oh boy!) was enough to get him all worked up, but nope. he did it again on his bedroom floor sunday and i managed to record it.

strange kid.
video

Feb 14, 2012

BONUS POST: HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.

this has been my favorite valentine's day so far.

we started the morning with fresh-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls (HUGE cinnamon rolls - and hallie ate an entire one by herself) and heart-shaped snausage. yum.



hallie was thrilled with her valentine's goodies - including some fake glasses. she is obsessed with my glasses and would love to have her own. so i found some. and she looks adorable.


we finished her valentine's last night and they turned out super cute.



and this guy is adorable.


and then we rented a cotton candy machine for our students at work. because i am stupid. and it's messy and loud and praise the lord we have a student worker to do it. yes.


and dave comes home today - huzzah! and we have a special valentine's dinner planned (garlic-balsalmic crusted pork tenderloin, parmesean asparagus and home-made oreos - yum).

and yes, i let hallie wear the glasses to school.



WEEKEND RECAP. IN PICTURES.

one day late.



See those chompers coming in up top? Yowzers.



I turned this into....


This. Thank you, Pinterest!