Friday, April 28, 2017

Learning to Drive?

So I still can't walk because of this dratted broken leg so I got to learn to drive the grocery store carts!  I didn't even hit anything!! 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chicken Tacos

I've actually made chicken tacos in the crock pot before but the meat was just ok.  Pretty dry and not great in my opinion.  It was good meat...for putting in something else, not necessarily just as taco meat.  This totally IS. SO YUMMY. And so few ingredients!!!

Modified from Buns in My Oven
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
taco shells
cheese and any other toppings you want
Place chicken, taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix, and tomatoes in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 5-8 hours or until chicken easily shreds.
Top with your favorite toppings in your favorite shells.
Makes about a dozen tacos.

Cauliflower Cheese Soup

So I was out of frozen broccoli, but had a ton of cauliflower....so I went recipe hunting. This is SO good. It tastes like baked potato soup but there are no carbs!  And add in the bacon...seriously, it is like candy in there!  Everyone at game night loved it as well!

I also did this with vegetable broth (and no bacon...sad face...) during Lent and it was still good!

Cauliflower Cheese Soup
Modified from Real Housemoms
1 (32 oz) box chicken broth
1 head of cauliflower (so I used two bags of frozen as I freeze my own each year)
1 cup onions
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Put cauliflower, chicken broth, onions, garlic and S&P.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. 
Use immersion blender (you can always use the regular blender, but seriously that immersion blender....LOVE LOVE LOVE it!) to puree.  Add shredded cheese and cream, stir. 
Top with bacon and possibly more cheese.
Serves 6.

Stir Fry Sauce

I had leftover meat that I wanted to stir fry awhile back and so I found this.  I like that it makes it easy to use up leftovers!

Stir Fry Sauce
Modified from Tastes Lovely
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. ginger
2 garlic cloves
Whisk ingredients together.  Makes 1 1/4 cups of sauce.  Will keep for a week in fridge. 

Sausage and Potatoes

I don't normally buy link sausage but I had some that I needed to use up. This is nice and simple yet everyone likes it. 
 
 
***Needs a crock pot***
1.5 lbs pork sausage, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
2.5 lbs medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 (10 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup
3/4 tsp. creole seasoning
Spray crockpot with cooking spray.  Place all ingredients in crock pot.  Stir.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours. 
Serves 6-8.

Caramel Apple Ice Cream

I made this for my mom's birthday and honestly it was really good!  Plus more apples...which I have enough of!  My mom loves caramel but doesn't eat chocolate so this was a great choice for her. 

Caramel Apple Ice Cream
Modified from All Recipes
2 cups finely chopped, peeled apples (I used frozen, from my grandma's tree)
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup apple cider
3/4 tsp. apple pie spice (or cinnamon)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/3 cup caramel flavored topping
ice
Cook apples in melted butter over medium heat until tender.  Stir in apple cider and apple pie spice. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 
Whisk sweetened condense milk with cream until blended.  Stir in apples mixture.  Fill  large bowl with ice and cold water.  What you are doing is cooling the mixture - you can also just stick in refrigerator for awhile! 
Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer instructions.  Freeze until firm.  Drizzle with caramel topping and mix up. Freeze until ready to serve.   
 

Apple Cinnamon Bread

I have tons of apples in my freezer....so I've been looking for places to use them!

Cinnamon Apple Bread
Modified from Happier Homemaker
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped (mine was frozen)
Preheat to 350.  Grease and flour a 9 by 5 loaf pan.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
In stand mixer, combine sugar and butter.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add flour and baking powder, then milk.  Pour half o batter into prepared pan.  Cover with half of the apples.  Pat apples into batter with spoon.  Sprinkle with half of sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Pour rest of matter over apple layer, top with remaining apples and rest of brown sugar mixture.  Pat topping with spoon.
Bake for 50 minutes or until passes toothpick test.  Cook for 10 minutes in pan before putting on cooling rack. 

Recipes Fails....

So just in case you think my recipes always turn out....

So this spinach and green chile enchiladas (I even added chicken to some) wasn't bad, but wasn't great. Too much spinach for Ray (who doesn't like enchiladas to start with) and not cheesy enough for me.  I've yet to find a recipe for enchiladas at home that taste like the Mexican recipes....

Then I saw this idea of salad in a Mason jar. This seemed like a GREAT idea.  Ray LOVES salad and this would make it easy to take to work.....it LOOKS so pretty in the jar, too.  But it would NOT come out at work for him....like at all....I don't think we'll be trying again. 

Apple Doughnuts

I actually tried this as Christmas (yes, yes, I'm behind in posting recipes!) as I always do doughnuts and I wanted a new recipe.  I'm in charge of Christmas morning brunch.

Plus Grandma has frozen tons of her apples...so I wanted to use them!

Apple Doughnuts
Modified from Food.com
1 1/2 cup bread flour (I've found it does matter)
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated apple (mine was frozen)
1/2 cup butter, melted
cinnamon sugar
Preheat oven to 350.  In a mixing bowl, combining flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar.  Cut in shortening.  Mix in egg, milk and apples.  Fill doughnut pan (you can also use muffin pans I guess, but I do have a doughnut pan) 2/3 full. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Roll in melted butter and cinnamon sugar while warm (1 tsp. cinnamon with 1/3 cup sugar).
Makes 12 doughnuts.

Cheeseburger Soup

We also have a ton of moose burger and while I like hamburger soup I wanted a variation and this one nicely hits the spot!

Cheeseburger Soup
Modified from Sidetracked Sarah
2 lbs ground beef, cooked (we used moose)
1 onion, diced
t tbsp. garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
6-7 small to medium potatoes, cubed
1 cup shredded or chopped carrots
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
8 cups chicken broth
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Place cooked beef, garlic, diced tomatoes, 1/2 of cooked bacon, onion, potatoes, carrots, cream cheese, chicken broth and S&P in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 7 hours.  One hour before it is done, whisk milk and flour and pour into slow cooker.  Add 3 cups of cheddar at this time as well.  Let cook for another hour or so.  Top with bacon (and more cheese if you want). 
Serves 10-12.
[The recipe does have freezer instructions as well....for prepping and putting in freezer...I can see doing that if you knew you wouldn't have time, but to me I'd rather just dump in crock pot at the time.]

Crock Pot Lasagna

I'm always looking for good crock pot recipes and while I make a good lasagna, I like that this cooks while I'm gone and is relatively quick to pop in the crock pot yet I get the same taste of lasagna,
 
 
Modified from Betty Crocker
 
1 lb Italian sausage (we used moose)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
4-5 mushrooms, chopped
3 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce (they say Italian style, but I use whatever I have, you can always add some extra spices)
2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan, grated
15 uncooked lasagna noodles.
Cook sausage and vegetables over medium heat until no longer pink.  Drain.  Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt. 
Mix 1 cup of mozzarella cheese with ricotta and Parmesan cheese. 
Spoon 1/4 of sausage mixture into 6 quart slow cooker, top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit.  Spread with half of the cheese mixture and another 1/4 of assuage mixture.  Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and another 1/4 of sausage mixture.  Top with remaining five noodles and remaining sausage mixture. 
Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or until noodles are tender. 
Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella.  Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Serves 8.

Pepperoni Bread

I've made this several times already.  I like that it is quick and easy in my break machine plus honestly I was looking for pepperoni recipes as we made caribou pepperoni this year and I have a TON....so I need places to put it!
 
Ray likes this as is, I like it warmed up with cheese melted on it. 
 
Modified from Taste of Home
 
***Needs a bread maker***
 
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. warm water
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
3 1/4 cup bread flour (I actually typically just use all purpose although I do have usually have bread flour in the house...just depends if I think about it)
1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2/3 cup finely chopped pepperoni
In bread machine put first 7 ingredients (as suggested by manufacturer).  Select basic bread setting.  Bake according to bread maker instructions (check your dough after 5 minutes to see if you need extra water, I never have).  Before final kneading (my machine beeps and for me this was 2:25 left - out of 3 hours for my basic bread setting), add the pepperoni.
Makes 1 (1.5 lb) loaf.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Broken Leg....

I managed to break TWO (not just one, that's for wimps!) bones in my leg the last day of Spring Break.  So I've been in a cast since mid-March....this is SO LONG!!!! I might just go crazy.....

I ended up having surgery (fun, right?) and got pins inserted in ankle.  I am hoping that they'll move to me a boot (even if I don't get to walk on it yet) in the first week of May. 

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This is a quick and easy recipe for a crowd! 
 
Modified from Taste of Home
 
2 cans (14 oz each) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped [this says water packed, but I can never find that so I just rinse them.]
2 pkg (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 jar (15 oz) Alfredo sauce
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Italian cheese blend
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
2 garlic cloves, inced
crackers or chips, for dipping

In greased 4 quart crock pot, combine all but the dipping stuff.  Cook, covered on low 2-3 hours or until heated through.  Serve with crackers or chips (or whatever you want).

Serves 32.

Also try Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Order of Operations

Adam is doing Order of Operations now!  Pretty cool!  The math teacher in me giggled!

My Great-Grandparents

These are my great-grandparents who homesteaded in the Valley in 1935.

Christmas morning

The hit of their stockings - Pokémon packs!



Shovelling

Gotta make them do some manual labor!

Thieves!

There are roll thieves in my house....three of them!  Ray is as bad as the boys!

Ellie

Cutest little girl! The boys both adore her!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Adam's Science Fair

Adam's Science Fair Project on Casein Project






Hockey

Some hockey pictures!
Adam

Adam's first goal puck
Andrew

Doing homework at the rink....

Bookmarks

Adam had "market day" at his school, so we made bookmarks out of paint samples.  I liked it so much, that we did them as thank yous for Christmas.  I actually ended up using paper for some of them as you can see here.