Not so fast!

Ah well, nevermind about the hiatus thing for now. We aren't moving quite that quickly, but it will hopefully be in the next 2 weeks or so. You are stuck with me for a little longer!

While I have a minute, let me fascinate you with a Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things in My (Quite Small) Bedroom

1. Two dressers
2. One computer (a desktop)
3. One bookcase
4. One TV
5. A baby swing
6. A giant box of diapers
7. A small aqua Christmas tree
8. An armchair
9. The biggest, ugliest crib ever. Seriously its like 7 feet long.
10. A little vibrating chair (for baby. obviously.)
11. An ugly, 80s (or is it 90s?) bed frame, complete with tacky mirror on headboard.
12. A dining room chair and a folding chair
13. Me + husband + baby

Wow. It is full in here.

Thursday Thirteen

Daily Recipe - Cinnamon Bread Custard with Fresh Berries

Cinnamon Bread Custard with Fresh Berries
Serves 6-8

8 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
4 eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
3 c. milk
1 c. whipping cream
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. hot water
Powdered sugar
1 c. fresh blueberries or blackberries
1 c. fresh raspberries
1 c. fresh strawberries, sliced

1. Brush both sides of bread slices with melted butter. Line 11x15 inch baking pan with buttered bread slices. In large bowl, beat eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla. Strain and pour over bread slices. Chill 2 hours or up to overnight. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Place baking pan on large baking sheet with sides. Pour hot water into baking sheet to provide steam for custard as it bakes. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool slightly; cut into squares and top with powdered sugar and fresh berries.

Wordless Wednesday - Sunshiney Girl

Daily Recipe - Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken
4 servings

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted, divided
1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. apricot preserves
2 Tbsp. orange juice

1. Flatten chicken to 1/4" thickness; set aside. Pour 5 Tbsp. butter into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, combine biscuit mix and parsley. Dip chicken in butter, then coat with biscuit mixture.

2. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil and remaining butter over medium heat for 9-10 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

3. Meanwhile, in a small microwave-safe bowl, combine preserves and orange juice. Cover and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds or until preserves are melted; stir until combined. Drizzle over chicken; cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through.

Desserts using girl scout cookies - Part II

I know I am going to jinx this big time, but baby girl has been napping for over 2 hours (CRAZY!) and I have been blissfully cruising the internet, working on creating a family cookbook (www.tastebook.com) and watching the office (all 3 seasons) via Netflix. SO MUCH FUN! Before she wakes up I wanted to give you the rest of the girl scout cookie desserts. Enjoy! (Side note, she just woke up as I was tying that last sentence. Har)

Scavenger Delight (Sort of a gross sounding name, in my opinion) . How about instead,

Do-si-Do Delight
12 servings


1 (6 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
1 pkg. Do-si-dos cookies
2 lbs butter, melted (that can't be right. Use whatever looks good)
6 oz. whipped topping
1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese

1. In a bowl, crunch up cookies for your crust. Add melted butter then spread neatly in a 9"x13" pan.

2. Mix pudding with 1 cup milk until thickened. Spread pudding over crust.

3. Mix whipped topping with cream cheese and spread over pudding. Chill until set.

-----------------------------

Thin Mint Brownies
16-20 servings

1 c. evaporated milk
2 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. butter
3 c. Thin Mint cookies, crushed into crumbs
1/2 c. nuts (chopped), optional

1. Mix together milk, marshmallows, chocolate chips, sugar and salt in a microwaveable bowl. Bring to a boil in the microwave. Stir well and cook in microwave an additional 2 minutes at medium high heat. Remove from microwave.

2. Add butter, vanilla, and chopped nuts. Break Thin Mint cookies into crumbs and add to mixture. Press into a 9" square baking pan. Refrigerate to harden. Cut into 2" squares.

-----------------------------

Caramel Apples Do-si-dos
12 servings

12 do-si-dos, finely chopped
12 small apples
1 package (16 oz.) caramels
12 wooden sticks

1. Insert sticks into top of apples. Melt caramel in double broiler. Dip apples in caramel. Immediately dip bottoms of apples into cookie crumbs. Place cookie side down on waxed paper and let stand about 30 minutes or until firm.

Daily Recipe - Ginger Peach Upside-Down Cake

Ginger Peach Upside-Down Cake
12 servings

1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 can (15.25 oz.) sliced peaches, drained and patted dry
1/4 c. red candied cherries, halved
1 pkg. (14.5 oz.) gingerbread cake/cookie mix

1. In a small bowl, combine butter and brown sugar. Spoon into an ungreased 10-inch fluted tube pan. Alternately arrange peaches and cherries in pan. Prepare gingerbread batter according to package directions for cake; carefully pour over fruit.

2. Bake at 350-f degrees for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Cool completely before cutting.

I'm in heaven - Desserts using girl scout cookies! - Part 1

Were you a girl scout? I sure was. Although to be honest, I think I was in it just for the cookies.

Samoas were my favorite. Followed by shortbread, thin mints, do-si-dos and tagalongs. I guess I pretty much loved them all.

For some reason I can't really fathom, my husband has been holding onto a calendar from 1999 from Johnson, Kansas. He will NOT let me throw it out. Johnson is a very small town. In fact, so small that every birthday and wedding anniversary are listed within the calendar. It is endearing and a little creepy.

More importantly are the recipes found within. Recipes that use girl scout cookies. I'm salivating already. I hope you enjoy!

Thin Mint Delight
10-12 servings

1 pkg. Thin Mint cookies (crushed)
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 oz. size) instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
4 cups whipped topping

1. Combine cookies with melted butter, reserving 1/4 c. of cookies for topping. Press cookie mixture on bottom of 9"x13" pan. Chill.

2. Combine cream cheese with 1 cup of whipped topping. Spread over cookie mixture. Chill for 15-20 minutes.

3. Prepare pudding with 3 cups of milk and pour over cream cheese mixture. Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve. Top with remaining whipped topping and Thin Mint cookie crumbs.

---------------------------------

Southern Peanut Butter Pie
8-10 servings

1 pkg. Tagalongs
1 pkg. (3.5 oz.) vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 container whipped topping
crushed peanuts, for garnish

1. Grind cookies in blended or food processor and press into a 9" pie plate.

2. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions using only 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir in peanut butter. Pour into pie shell. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with whipped topping and crushed peanuts.

---------------------------------

This recipe doesn't specify what size baking dish to use. Proceed with caution. :)

Levitating Layers or 3 Layer Samoas Dessert

1st layer:
1/2 c. plain flour
1 stick margarine, melted
1 box Samoa cookies (cut into pieces)

1. Mix together. Pat in bottom of casserole dish. Bake 25 minutes or 325-f degrees. Cool.

2nd layer:
1 c. powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. whipped topping

1. Mix and spread over cooled crust.

3rd layer:
1 (6 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. whipped topping, for garnish

1. Mix chocolate pudding mix and milk according to directions and spread over 2nd layer. Spread 1/2 cup whipped topping over 3rd layer and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Menu Planning Monday - January 28, 2008

  • Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Salads
  • Saturday: (Breakfast for Dinner Night) Biscuit, Egg & Sausage Sandwiches, OJ
  • Sunday: Leftovers
Menu Planning Monday

Daily Recipe - Strawberry Sparklers

Strawberry Sparklers
6-8 servings

2 1/2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice, chilled
10 oz. frozen strawberries, partially thawed
1 bottle dry champagne, chilled
Whole strawberries for garnish

1. Process orange juice and strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into pitcher and refrigerate. Just before servings, add champagne and stir gently. Garnish each glass with a whole strawberry.

Recipe Recap - The good, the bad and the ugly.

This past week was so-so as far as my menu plan was concerned. We had a few duds, namely the peking pork chops and the slow cooker spaghetti with pork. The big winner of the week was the Amish Meatloaf. SO GOOD! The Italian Wedding Soup was great, as usual.

------------------
Note: The glaze is optional. I use to use the meatloaf glaze on a different meatloaf recipes, one that was not quite as sweet as Amish Meatloaf. It is a sweet glaze, so use your judgement if you think you would like both a sweet glaze and a sweet tasting meatloaf. 


Amish Meatloaf
6-8 servings

2 pounds ground beef
2 1/2 cups crushed butter-flavored crackers
1 small onion, chopped
2 eggs
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

Meatloaf Glaze:
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. corn syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium bowl, mix together ground beef, crushed crackers, onion, eggs, 3/4 cup ketchup, and 1/4 cup brown sugar until blended. Using a buttered baking dish, mound meat mixture into a loaf shape.

3. Bake for 1 hour in the pre-heated oven, or until cooked through. Add the ketchup glaze half way through cooking.

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

by Divine Domesticity on January 27th, 2008

I'm pulling this one from the archives for the Crockpot Challenge. I wasn't able to make a new recipe in my slow cooker so hopefully this will do. Enjoy! Last week I made Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes. You can join the group via Flickr here.


Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
Makes about 4 servings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed (I misread this part of the original recipe and cooked my chicken whole, then shredded it. I'd prefer it in cubes next time.)

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1/2 (4 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 to 2/3 cup of beef broth
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter & 1 Tbsp. olive oil to saute the mushrooms
1 pkg. egg noodles
2 Tbsp. cornstarch added to 1/4 cup cold water for thickening
Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

1. Put chicken, butter and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Drain off liquids. Transfer liquids to a saucepan.

2. To the saucepan of liquids, add cream cheese, sour cream and beef broth. Add half of the thickening mixture and bring to a boil. If it is still too thin, add the remaining cornstarch and bring to a boil again. Add sauce back to the chicken cubes.

3. Saute the mushrooms with the butter and olive oil until browned. Add to the chicken and sauce mixture. Turn Crockpot to high and let cook for 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Cook egg noodles according to instructions. Serve chicken and sauce over the egg noodles. Sprinkle with parsley.

Daily Recipe - Butterscotch Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Recipe from Cooking with Paula Deen

1 1/4 c. butterscotch morsels
1 (18.25 oz.) package white cake mix
4 large eggs
3/4 c. sour cream
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. dark rum
1/4 c. butter, softened (half a stick)
Butterscotch Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: crushed butterscotch hard candies

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Line 30 cups of 3 muffin pans with paper liners.

2. Place butterscotch morsels in a small bowl; microwave on High in 30 second intervals, stirring after each, until morsels are melted and smooth (about 1 1/2 minutes total); let cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream, milk, rum, and butter. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in melted butterscotch morsels. Pour batter into prepared pans, filling cups three-fourths full. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread evenly with Butterscotch Frosting. Garnish with butterscotch candies, if desired.


Butterscotch Frosting
Makes about 3 cups

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
1/4 c. butterscotch-flavored ice cream topping
3 c. confectioners' sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine butter and marshmallow creme. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in ice cream topping. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth.

I couldn't help myself!

Look what I just bought for Violet and myself:

Eeeek! Aren't these the cutest? They are shopper bags, one adult sized and one mini. I can just picture Violet and I going to the library or grocery store and her filling up her little pink shopper. If there is one thing I know how to do (which I learned from my mom), it is SHOP!

You can check out many more adorable items here from Home on Third Street (additional link to see their store here) as well as Kids on Third Street (Which I am going to go check out now).

Daily Recipe - Bacon-Cheese Ring

This one sounds just disturbing enough to be good. :)

Bacon-Cheese Ring
12 servings
View printer friendly recipe

 

12 oz. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb. shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
2 c. mayo
2 tsp. cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 c. toasted slivered almonds
Strawberry preserves

1. In bowl, combine all ingredients except strawberry preserves. Mix well. Press mixture into a 7-cup ring mold that has been lined with plastic wrap extending over the edges. Refrigerate overnight. Unmold and place cheese ring on a serving platter. Place glass custard bowl filled with strawberry preserves in center. Spread cheese mixture on wheat thins and top with strawberry preserves.

Monthly Newsletters: Month Four


Baby girl,

Happy four months!! You have grown SO MUCH in the last month. I've decided to start counting your 'months' like normal people insted of by weeks, so this month's letter comes a little later than usual.

I am busily trying to get pictures of you in all your fancy outfits while they still fit. All of your dresses that were sized for 6 months just barely fit, so it's a quite change in and a quick change out of them before you get uncomfortable.

We are finally out of the colic stage.

Hallelujah!

You are able to sit in your Svan highchair that your blog-auntie Gen gave you. Say "Thank You!" cause that was a really nice gift from her. She thought she might adopt a baby but instead she adopted a teenager who might not appreciate having to sit in a toddler chair. Thanks again Aunti Gen!!!

Your fencing pose reflex is just about gone. Another sign that the newborn phase is wearing off. ::Sniff::



You still dislike "Tummy time," but with the aid of a pillow you will tolerate it for a good 30 seconds before having a meltdown.

You just get prettier and prettier each passing day.

I go back and forth between wondering if you look more like me or your dad. 99% of the time you look like him, and every once in a while you remind me of me.

There are so many cooler clothes beyond the newborn stage. You love chillin' in your purple Adidas outfits.

How could I resist a cupcake t-shirt? With matching cupcake hair clips, bows, sparkle pants, hat and sweater? THAT will make a cute picture once you can fit into all of them.


The baby books said that the fourth month would be fun. You'd most likely be happier, sleep longer, smile and laugh. You did all of those things and more. I cannot begin to tell you how much I cherish being able to spend each day with you.

A funny thing happens towards the end of each day. Just when I feel like I'm too exhausted, too cranky, too sore, and I hand you off to your Pops and take a bath, I come back a half hour later with a very distinct feeling that I missed you while I was gone.

You are my best friend little girl. When you are happy, I'm happy. When you cry, my heart breaks. I absolutely love you no matter what, for ever and ever.

Love,

Mommy

Daily Recipe - Creamy Broccoli Raisin Salad

I love this one. A lot of broccoli raisin salads lean towards the sweet end of things. I love the addition of garlic and peanuts, lending a more savory/sweet balance to this salad. So tasty!

Creamy Broccoli Raisin Salad

8 servings

1 lb fresh broccoli
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp chopped onion
2 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 (3 oz.) pkg cream cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
1 clove minced garlic

1. Remove broccoli leaves, cut off tough ends of stalks and discard. Wash broccoli thoroughly and cut into 1/2" pieces.

2. Combine broccoli, raisins, peanuts, onion and 1/2 of bacon, toss gently, set aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour over broccoli mixture, stir well. Chill 3 hours. Sprinkle with remaining bacon.

Daily Recipe - Cranberry Jello Salad

All righty. So I've decided to start a daily post (or as often as I can) where I feature new recipes. I can't guarantee that I've made these in advance, but they come from trustworthy sources. If you make these, please let me know how they turn out. Enjoy!

Cranberry Jello Salad

Makes one 9" x 13" pan

2 large packages cranberry jello
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cans whole cranberry sauce
1/2 c. pecan pieces
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 8oz pkg cool whip

1. Combine dry jello with cinnamon and cloves. Mix jello per package instruction,s less 1 cup of cold water. Add orange slices, pineapple, cranberry sauce, and pecan pieces. Pour 1/2 of jello mixture in 9" x 13" glass pan. Let set.

2. Mix softened cream cheese and cool whip. Spread over layer of jello and let set in fridge for 15 minutes. Pour remaining jello over cream cheese layer and let set.

I'm insane.

I decided yesterday afternoon that V and I would walk to Target. It is very close, and the day was warm enough that all the snow was gone from the roads. So, we packed up, got dressed in some warm clothes, and ventured out.

She looks like a porcelain doll, doesn't she?

These are her bunny slips. I don't know how she does it, but approximately 4 seconds after I took this picture, she had kicked them both off.

Teddy bear gloves. She was so not a fan of these.

Only half awake as I changed her, dressed her, and loaded everything up.

So off we went. There is a sidewalk that runs from our house to Target, so I assumed it wouldn't be too bad. I was wrong.

It started off okay. Just a little snow pack, a little ice. We (bouncily) soldiered on. Then the last block or so. Oh, the horror. The snow was at least 5 inches thick. It was dense, uneven. We temporarily got stuck numerous times. I saw the horrified expressions of women driving by us on the road. We had already come this far, I wasn't about to turn around when I could see Targets glorious, snow free parking lot just feet away.

And we made it. What did I just have to buy, you wonder?

Ketchup.

Ketchup for the worst dinner I've made in ages. The Peking Pork Chops. Oh, they were horrendous.

At least I got some exercise.

A million and one things about Violet.


Not really. But she has been growing up so much, just in the last week.

For instance, she can now hold her head in line with her body when pulled from a laying position. She laughed, big time, the other night. I was blowing raspberries on her chunky thighs and she giggled. Then I laughed, then she laughed. Then her dad laughed, and I laughed, and she laughed so hard. It was precious.

She can grab both of her feets at the same time.

She sampled a few little bites of rice cereal for the first time.

She has been on a regular nap schedule (hooray!) for the first time.

Her feet now reach the ground in her rain forest bouncer. (Video later)

She has discovered that she can splash in her baby tub, making bath time a lot more fun.

She is making noises all the time. We have deep, meaningful conversations several times a day.

And most importantly, her hair is long enough to be styled as a mini-mohawk, as seen above.

Menu Planning Monday - January 21, 2008

Here is what is hitting the kitchen table this week. I'm halving most of these recipes since it is just the two of us.
  • Monday: Slow Cooker Spaghetti with Pork Chops (I happen to have boneless pork chops to use up. Brown chops in a saute pan. Add to crockpot. Add 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (Maybe a little extra water too since some will evaporate??). Cook over low heat 6 or so hours. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Serve sauce over spaghetti. Add Parmesan if you'd like. I haven't made this before and I'm winging it, so hopefully it turns out okay.)
  • Tuesday - Peking Pork Chops
  • Wednesday - Amish Meatloaf
  • Thursday - Italian Wedding Soup
  • Friday - Leftovers
  • Saturday - Homemade pizza with pepperoni and bacon
  • Sunday - Breakfast for dinner night
Menu Planning Monday

Recipe Recap - The good, the bad, and the ugly

by Divine Domesticity on January 21st, 2008

Well last week I managed to make a few things off my menu plan, but not any of them were made on the day I had planned for. I tried for several nights in a row to go to the grocery store, but for various reasons was not able to. The only dish I didn't make were the pecan pork chops, which I'll save for a different week. Here is what I did end up making that was a success.

Commenter Latebo1979 requested that I take a picture of the Chicken Poppyseed Casserole. Your wish is my command!


This is a comforting, easy little casserole. The filling is similar to one that I use for chicken pot pie. Very quick, buttery, delicious.

Chicken Poppyseed Casserole
Serves 4

1 roaster chicken, chicken pieces removed and bones discarded
8 oz sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
Ritz Crackers, about 1 sleeve, crushed
Poppy Seeds
1/2 stick of butter, melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.Preheat oven to 325-f degrees.

2. In a 8" x 8" baking dish, place the chicken pieces along the bottom. In a separate small bowl, mix together the sour cream and the cream of chicken. Spread the mixture over the chicken in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the crushed Ritz crackers. Sprinkle poppy seeds over the casserole, lightly. Pour the melted butter over the top of the casserole.

3. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the casserole starts to bubble.


What can I say? This is a classic. I used 6 chicken thighs and only one cup of crushed flakes. I used the full amount of olive oil (on accident). Perfection!

Cornflake-Crusted Baked Chicken
Serves 6-8

4 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
4 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 large egg
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse chicken, and pat dry. Season generously with salt and pepper.

2. In a small bowl, whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water. In a large bowl, mix cornflakes with oil, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt.

3. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing flakes to help them adhere. Transfer coated pieces to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.

Violet wanted me to let you know...

that she can grab her feets.


Also, her tummy looks like a face when she crunches it.

That is all.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes PLUS The Crockpot Challenge!

by Divine Domesticity on January 20th, 2008

Many thanks to Amy, creator of MomAdvice.com for this great slow cooker recipe! I love it. The red bell pepper gives it a great flavor and as a plus, using a crockpot instead of your range or stove will keep your kitchen cool in the summer months.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
Serves 8

2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
½ cups ketchup
6 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and green pepper; drain off fat. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, & brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Pour into crock pot and simmer for (at least) two hours. Season with salt & pepper.

Amy’s Tips:

Leftover meat can be popped in the freezer for another night’s worth of meals.

For a creative alternative to the regular old Sloppy Joe, why not make Sloppy Joe Turnovers out of the leftover meat. Buy a tube of biscuits and roll each biscuit out into a 4” round. Place ¼ cup of the meat mixture in the center of each round and fold over the top. Seal edges firmly with a fork and bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees. It is a great way to get children to eat their meat because it is discreetly pocketed and is a fun Friday night meal in our own home.

Before I forget again...

I wanted to mention two things.


First, thanks to My Vintage Kitchen for some lovely retro hand towels! They were running a contest over at their site, which they do every so often, and I answered their question correctly. The towels are so pretty and very retro, which I love. Thanks ladies!

Second, my JOYS (Just Organize Your Stuff) organizational system. I feel horrible about this, because I received a JOYS binder module and a filing module at least a year ago, if not longer, and life just got crazy and I forgot to blog about it. The fact that all of my stuff has been in storage since last summer has contributed to the 'out of sight, out of mind' factor, but still, shameful!
My apologies to JOYS.


My thoughts on this beautiful product were that if ever there were an opportunity to get organized and cherish the end result, this is it. It is the perfect pairing of function and beauty. Did I mention that already? Oh, so beautiful! It took me a little bit of time to figure out what exactly I was supposed to be writing on some of the pages, but overall it was simple to use. Two thumbs up from this mama!

Arg. I am so annoyed with incompetant doctors!

Before I start ranting, here are her stats:

4 months old - 15lbs 13 ounces, 26 1/4" tall. Just over 97th percentile for weight, and 97th percentile for height.

As you can see Violet was all ready to go to the doctor for her 4 month check up this morning. It was a week early, but she was running out of her Zantac and we needed to see this new doctor so it could be refilled. I had asked that she have her 4 month check up then, and they had said that would be fine.

We waited an hour to be seen and the doctor is in there for, oh, literally about 2 minutes tops, before she says "So you can come back next week for her 4 month check up because we can't do it a week early."

WHAT?!

I was so flipping pissed. My husband had to take time off work to go with us and it was completely wasted waiting for this ditzy doctor.

We also find out that her previous doctor (or whomever worked in the office) only sent medical records for her first two weeks. WHAT GOOD are her medical records from her birth to two weeks old?! How about the records from birth to now?! DUMB PEOPLE!

So after my new doctor can see how visibly pissed off we are, she tries to make it our fault that they scheduled us to come in a week early. She said that the receptionist wouldn't have known that the baby couldn't be seen a week early. Excuse me? I disagree. How about training your employees properly instead of blaming me.

Then, what REALLY made me angry was this. I found out just recently that other mom's with babies on Zantac had their dosages increased according to their weight. My old doctor NEVER upped her dosage. She was prescribed Zantac at 6 weeks old, and it NEVER was increased!

DUMB DOCTOR!

So this new doctor reconfigured her prescription based on weight, and her dosage QUADRUPLED. It makes me so angry that my baby girl wasn't getting anywhere near the amount of medicine she needed. GAH!

I am going to be raising some hell on the phone today. UGH. Needless to say we are never going back to this new doctor. She has some nerve to try to blame me for a mistake that was made by her receptionist. And come on -- can't you just do her 4 month check up a few days early? Would it really kill ya? No, instead she tells us that she'll see us next week. Yah right!

I got Violet's new prescription and I am going to get it filled today and then never go back. DUMB DOCTORS.

Menu Planning Monday - January 14, 2008

Here is what is hitting the kitchen table this week.
Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu plans.

Recipe Recap - The Good, the bad, and the ugly.

Last Monday I blogged my menu plan for the week. Here is how everything turned out.
  • Monday: Crescent Lasagna - Blarg. Too wet. The crescent rolls get soggy. If I were to make this again, I'd add a package of Sweet Italian Sausage, skip the cottage cheese, add a little sour cream in place of the cottage cheese, add a few sauteed veggies and bake the crescents on the side.
  • Tuesday: Burger King. GIVE ME A WHOPPER!
  • Wednesday:Grilled Teriyaki Burgers - These were VERY delicious. I seem to have issues with over cooking meat. This time around I cooked them perfectly and they were delish.
  • Thursday:Corn and Kielbasa Chowder - Pretty good. Next time I'd use 14 oz. of Kielbasa instead of 8 oz. I overcooked the potatoes which made it not quite as good.
  • Friday: Burgers - Very similar to the Terriyaki Burgers. This time I used "Stir Fry Sauce" in the meat instead of honey and soy sauce. Very good.
  • Saturday: Calico Beans and Cornbread Supreme - DELISH!
  • Sunday: Stuffed pork chops from the deli, Cornbread Supreme and mashed potatoes.
Wow. I ate a lot of burgers this week. Heh. I ended up not making the Chicken Satay with Peanut-Chutney Sauce. That is going to be dinner tonight. I don't have a blender to make the sauce so I'll have to improvise. Keep reading for the recipes for the week!

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Grilled Teriyaki Burgers
6 servings

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 lbs ground chuck
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 hamburger buns
butter for buns

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients.

2. Stir 2 teaspoons soy sauce mixture into mayonnaise, and set aside.

3. Combine 2/3 of the soy sauce mixture with the beef, salt, and pepper; shape into 6 patties.

4. Brush with remaining soy sauce mixture.

5. Grill over medium-high heat (350°-400°) 4 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink.

6. Coat cut sides of buns with butter. Grill, cut side down, 2 minutes.

7. Spread buns evenly with mayonnaise mixture, and fill with the patties.

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Corn and Kielbasa Chowder
4 servings

14 ounces kielbasa, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
One 14.5-ounce can chicken broth
1 large baking potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup half-and-half
One 1-pound bag frozen corn, thawed
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish

1. Heat a deep skillet or a wide 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the onions and butter to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and potato and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer until the potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the half-and-half and corn and cook, stirring, until heated through.

3. Using a blender or food processor, puree 1 cup chowder until smooth. Stir the puree back into the chowder along with the browned kielbasa and season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the dill.

Blueberry Jell-O Salad

I'm off to clean but I'm leaving you with a very retro dessert recipe. I had this a few weeks back and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Enjoy!

Blueberry Jell-O Salad
Makes one 8"x8" pan, about 12 servings

2 (3 oz.) packages grape jello
3 cans of blueberries, drained, reserving liquid
15.5oz can crushed pineapple, drained, reserving liquid
1 small container cool whip
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Prepare jello according to package directions, add blueberries and pineapple, using blueberry and pineapple juice as cold liquid (add water as necessary to get as much liquid as is called for in jello directions). Chill until set. Spread with cool whip and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Things I try to get done while the baby is sleeping.

  1. Eat something. Although these days I don't eat more than a few crackers until dinner time. I get sidetracked and lose track of time.
  2. Use the restroom. Well. Yes. Ahem.
  3. Check my email. I check it about a thousand times a day. What can I say...I like emails.
  4. Watch the FoodNetwork. I usually have it on through out the day for some background noise. I should probably start using Pandora again.
  5. Check my bloglines.
  6. Clean.
  7. Let the dogs out to pee.
  8. Blog!
  9. Catch up on the shows recorded on the DVR. Although I usually only do this once or twice a week. I hate this writers strike! UGH. If I have to wait much longer for Pushing Daisies to come back I'm going to throw a huge fit.
  10. Read. I just finished Dear John. The first book I've ever read by that author. He sure knows how to pull at your heart strings.
  11. Change my clothes. This is so gross but most days I'm lucky if I change out of what I wore the day before. On the one hand it saves me from doing as much laundry. On the other -- ew.
  12. Play world of warcraft. Hey nerdlets, if you play you need to create a character on the Gorefiend server and come play with me. I just started a mage named Jaffie. I also just joined a mommy guild called "Knocked Up." Fun fun fun.
  13. Try to find new, worthwhile blogs to read. Easier said than done!

More Thursday Thirteens here!

*Deep breath* -- Brace Yourselves!

Tomorrow is Delurking Day and I am giving you ample time to prepare.

I am too lazy to do a separate post tomorrow, so starting today I want a comment from each and every one of you. Even you people that read me through blog readers.

Do it an I will love you forever. If you don't, I can promise you that I won't bake you cookies.

Well, I might. But I won't be happy about it.

So introduce yourself. Tell me your favorite food. Or your favorite breed of dog. And if the answer isn't either a pug or a boston terrier, I might just slap you. Just kidding. Or am I?

As a side note, I have this song stuck in my head. I hate to admit that I just love it. Oh Lord. I just watched this and about had a heart attack. Apparently I am on crack today.

The Retro Household Manual is back!

Hopefully this is somewhat self explanatory for the most part. Basically you just need to pick a cover (there are 4), click on the image so it is full sized, save it, then print it. Now, it should print on well on a 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper. If it comes out wonkey at all, and you think it is my fault (heh), let me know!

I would suggest getting at least a 3" sturdy binder (one that has a plastic sleeve on the front to slip in your cover) and a box of laminated sleeves to slip these into. For sections such as "Household Tips & Tricks," you would probably file in some magazine clippings or recipes for homemade cleaning products. Same goes for the "Wish List," section. This is a section where you can tear out magazine pages or print out products from the internet that you'd like to buy later on.

Amy at Momadvice (which you should check out!) has a great section of downloads that would be perfect to go in a household planner.