Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Camping Mac n' Cheese

We took these to the mine this year and this worked really well.  My main "fix" for next year is that I need to actually find the right pans.

Camping Mac n' Cheese
Modified from Lauren's Latest

3 cups dry pasta (they said elbow, I used rotini)
1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 to 1 cup milk (they said half and half or whole milk, I actually just used 2%)
salt and pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse in cold water.

Stir in Alfredo sauce with three cheeses and enough milk to keep things a little loose (you are just trying to keep it from drying out).  Stir in salt and pepper.  Divide between mini alumni pie tins, sprayed with cooking spray (so I couldn't find these and used mini loaf pans....don't do it....you want the thinner spread that you will get with a pie tin as it will cook better on your campfire).  Spray one side of aluminum foil with more cooking spray and cover each portion. Seal well and place into cooler until ready to cook.

Place on a cooking rack over hot coals (2-3 inches or so above....anyone whose cooked over a campfire will know what to do here).  Cook about 8-10 minutes or until hot.  This heated up fine, but because we used the loaf pans, the edges were boiling and the middle was still cold.  So definitely use the pie tins!! We actually cooked hot dogs at the same time and then mixed them into the mac n' cheese. 
Serves 8. 

Maple-Stout Bread

I made this last week and it turned out excellently.  I really liked it even thought I don't like stout beer (and I tried some while I was making this to just see again).

Maple-Stout Bread
Modified from Cooking Light
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp. butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar [Don't have this?  See how to make it out of brown!]
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup stout beer (so like Guinness)
1/2 cup sour cream (fat free)
1/4 cup maple syrup
baking spray

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Place butter and brown sugar in large mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Combine beer, sour cream and syrup, stirring well with a whisk.  Beating on low speed, add flour mixture and beer mixture alternatively to butter mixture until just combined. 

Put into a loaf pan (9 by 5) coated with baking spray.  Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.  Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack.  Remove from pan, cool completely on wire rack.

They had instructions for a glazy which I completely ignored. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mexican Shepard's Pie

Another recent success. I was very happy with this - yummy and simple. 

Mexican Shepard's Pie
Modified from Reminisce

1 medium onion
1 lb hamburger meat (I used moose burger)
1 pkg taco seasoning (or you can make your own)
1 can sweet corn (or about 2 cups frozen)
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies (they used olives....yuck)
1 box corn bread mix
Shredded cheddar cheese (I added this to mine and really liked it so I'm putting that out there as an option)

Dice up onion and brown with burger.  Drain (well, not if you are using moose, but for those you with regular burger), then add taco seasoning with just enough water to mix up with browned burger and onions (I used about 1/2 cup).  Add corn to warm (this is mostly important if you are using frozen...which I did because that's what I had).  Mix in diced tomatoes and chilies.  Place into bottom of greased 8 by 8 baking dish.  Mix corn bread according to package instructions and spread over top.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese. 

Serves 4-6.

Calzone Pinwheels

I made these recently for a game night. I'm always looking for good game night appetizers. These were a hit and really not that hard to make.  I could easily do up a few batches beforehand in the future and then cook as needed.

Calzone Pinwheels
Modified from Taste of Home

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup diced filling (so they had pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions listed individually here... you can use whatever you have on hand and like on your pizza...I combined all their stuff into one entry)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1 pkg (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 jar (14 oz) pizza sauce (I didn't actually use this and no one seemed to miss it)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix first six ingredients (everything but rolls and pizza sauce).  Unroll crescent dough and separate into four rectangles; press perforations to seal.  Spread each rectangle with cheese mixture to within 1/4 in. Roll up jelly roll style, starting with short end.  Pinch seam to seal.

Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into four slices.  Place on greased baking sheet, cut side down. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauces.
Makes 16 appetizers. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Parmesan Fish Sticks

We made this twice over Lent and it was great.  I punched it up the second time (that's what you see here) and it really worked out nicely.  We have a lot of halibut so this is a great way for us to use in a little different way.

Parmesan Fish Sticks
Modified Taste of Home

1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp garlic-herb seasoning blend
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 lb tilapia or halibut fillets
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450.  In a shallow bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper.  In another bowl, whisk eggs.  In a third bowl, toss bread crumbs with cheese and spices. 

Cut fillets into 1 inch wide strips.  Dip fish in flour mixture to coat both sides, shake off excess. Dip in eggs, then in crumb mixture, patting to help coating adhere.

Place on foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Spritz tops with cooking spray until crumbs appear moistened.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. and fish begins to flake easily with a fork.

Makes 4 servings. 

Sesame Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This was a great recipe and I love that it is a crock pot recipe!

Sesame Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Modified from Taste of Home
Pulled Pork
pork tenderloin (3 lb)
1 3/4 cups reduced fat sesame ginger salad dressing, divided (they used Newman's which is what I found at my grocery story as well)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg (14 oz) coleslaw mix
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro (they used fresh, I used dry)
2 tbsp reduced face sesame ginger salad dressing
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce

hamburger buns to serve on

Place pork in 5 quart slow cooker; add 3/4 cup salad dressing, turning to coat.  Cook, covered, on low 4-5 hours or until meat is tender.

Remove pork and shred. Put back in slow cooker.  Stir in brown sugar and remaining salad dressing.  Cook 30-45 minutes longer or until heated through. 

Combine all slaw ingredients. Serve pork on buns with slaw and, if desired, with wasabi mayonnaise (we didn't).

Serves 12.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Baby Shower Punch

This is the punch I made for Ellie's baby shower awhile back. It was a "sip and see" so they were serving real alcohol, but I wanted a non-alcoholic version for those who didn't want that.

"Champagne" Punch
Modified from Frugal Fanatic

2 liter ginger ale
1 gallon white grape juice
1 large bunch of frozen grapes (cleaned and stemmed)

Mix two liquids then add grapes to keep cool.

Kids' Sports

I love this article.  I get so frustrated with the obsession with kids being super good at sports. Sure a few are...but most aren't. And that's okay. They should have FUN.  Parents who obsess ruin that!

Some Projects

Hat for Ellie

Blanket started by my great-grandmother that I finished for Ellie (so it was started by her great-great grandmother)


Another finished blanket of Great's...for another great-great grandchild

Baby blanket for a friend


Birthday cards

We took a class for this one

Learning a cool new technique with these paint thingies

Page spread in Boys


Saturday, July 02, 2016

Summer Things

We enrolled the boys in UAA's summer reading again as Adam really enjoyed it last year. This year we signed up Andrew as well. 

We also did some swimming lessons, but they are bear to find here at a reasonable time. We made it through one session, that's probably all we will get done this summer.

We are also doing soccer with the boys and the library summer reading program. 

Dr. Weber

Ray finally got his Ph.D this spring!

Painting with Daddy

The boys painting with Ray - miniatures! He's corrupting them already....

Lost Phone

So like 6 months ago I lost a phone. Couldn't find it anywhere. I scoured the house.  We gave up, got a new phone and figured we'd find it...nope, never did.  Well, spring cleaning I found it in the GARAGE!!!  I never looked there as I never imagined that was where it was!!  I must have been looking for hockey gear when I lost it!

Last day of School

Hockey Homework

You know you spend too much time at the hockey rink when you start having to do your homework there....not just the boys, but me too!

Summer Hiking

We've been trying to go hiking once a week with the boys. Most weeks my SIL and baby niece come along as well! This is Hatcher's Pass, Goldmint Trial

Orange Hazelnut Biscotti

So I found this recipe for orange hazelnut biscotti. Sounds good right?  It actually tasted pretty good, but the recipe was a pain to work with.  My first batch literally crumbled. I had to just dump it on the tray and then press it and hope for the best:
To fix it, I had to use the entire egg, not just the egg yolk like the recipe required. Then I got normal looking dough that I could work with:
I did cook the crumbled dough and it came out okay, but you can see the difference.   
Also the ground hazelnuts are super expensive (as I had to buy hazelnuts and grind them), so I probably won't try this again. Not even putting it on my recipe page.  I like the idea, but I want a new recipe. 


Filling garden boxes - Ray is making me garden boxes for the side of the yard.

Greenhouse start

Greenhouse raising

Fairbanks Trip

We went up to Fairbanks for a recent family trip.  My parents took their motorhome with the kids and then Ray and I drove up when we got off work. 
Playing in the mud

Fun playground at Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park

Harding Lake

Harding Lake
Harding Lake

Pioneer Park

Pioneer Park

Baby Shower Idea

I was looking for baby shower games recently and I found this cute idea.  You buy a package of diapers and have people decorate them...then give them to the new parents. So when I put on a diaper, they get a fun message from a friend.  The boys did these for Ellie.  It is something the new parents can use and enjoy! 
Oh and we made all our invites!  Pretty cute huh?
For the dessert, I did my strawberry and cream trifle, but in canning jars.  I did both chocolate and vanilla this time instead of just vanilla. I needed to use jelly jars though not pint jars.  But still, cute and fun!

Maybe time to pass it on?

When I saw Andrew doing this, I think that we may be ready to pass this on to Ellie next summer!

Friday, July 01, 2016


These are totally Andrew!
I wanted to get down a Lego....

I'm stuck....Andrew understands go....brake not so much!

Adam's Lego

Adam is quite the Lego master. One of his most ambitious to date!