Sunday, September 28, 2008

Corn Chowda

This week is soup week. I don't care if it is still 100 degrees outside.
It's Autumn! It is supposed to be a little cooler! But NO!
Johnny went swimming today!
My favorite "go to" soup is my Corn Chowder.
I make a HUGE vat of it. It is great the next day cold, or hot off the stove.
Sometimes I keep it simple and sometimes I add Chicken N Apple sausage, or baby shrimp, or asparagus to the soup.
Here it is...
Corn Chowda
8 red potatoes or 5 russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cups frozen corn
1 Large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
Cook potatoes and corn with stock until onions are translucent and potatoes are tender.
add 1 tsp salt.
Add 8 cups Chicken stock to the pot and heat through.
Then mix 1 cup milk and 2 Tbs flour to a cup and stir until it is a slurry.
Add to the pot.
Add another cup of milk or cream.
Continue cooking until it starts to thicken a little.
Get a hand held blender and start pulverizing the soup into a thick creamy yellow soup.
You can keep some chunky, or all of it chunky and not blend it at all.
Add a pat of butter to it at the very end, and sprinkle some Dill Mix over the top
Stir and serve hot or cold the next day.
So yummy.
You can add hot dogs, sausage, shrimp, veggies, lobster, crab, clams.... whatever you like!
I love it sprinkled with fresh green scallions or chives.
Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

William's Favorite Salad~~ Carrot Raisin

Start with crunchy, bright, beautiful orange carrots.
Peel them and...

Cut them into manageable pieces so they fit into the barrel of a food processor


Shred like nobody's business...

Add raisins and touch of mayo and store.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shiny happy chef!~

I realized something the other day, after reading a comment on this blog.
First I had to stop laughing!
I, apparently, gave the impression that every night in my kitchen is filled with
blissful inspiration, laughing and dancing around to the delightful smells and sounds of gourmet food cooking in a timely, orderly fashion, with smiles and witty quips galore!
Thanks Adrian!
That was really, really funny!
Then I read some past posts and... OMG... SHE WAS RIGHT!
It did kinda sound like that!
I would like to officially dispel the rumor.
I don't actually enjoy cooking all that much.
Don't get me wrong... I like it okay, but my passion lies in the teaching of cooking, and not so much with the having to come up with a dinner every night.
My passion lies in the needing to give my family the very best I can in their meals, without breaking our budget, and while making sure the meals are healthy and preservative free.
Having to figure it all out ahead of time is a real drag, which is precisely why I had to come up with a way for me to continue my quest. I had to come up with the Prep Day, or I would be in a looney bin by now!
All the chopping, mincing, slicing, dicing, shopping and such gets me down... so doing it all at once free's up my mind for the week.
It was so funny thinking about Adrians comment. It made me literally imagine us all laughing, floating from task to task blissfully, smiling all the while.
It would be so nice if it were that way!
I'm just a Mama, trying to save a lot of money, feeding my hungry brood, trying to teach them manners, help their palates become international, and teach them to cook for themselves, and do it well. There's nothing sexier than a man that can cook!
So there you have it.
I cook because if I don't someone else will, and I just won't have that.
I am a control freak...hear me roar!
Love ya Adrian!
I so appreciate the eye opener!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eat in

I heard, on a talk show today... someone said...
"Cooking for your family is a tough job. Mom's are responsible for what the family eats, and it's tough to make it all matter."
Or something to that effect.
I take it as a an important aspect as my job as Mother.
My families health and well being begins and ends with me.
If I were a lazy woman, my kids would be eating take out every night.
I don't always enjoy cooking. Sometimes it is a downright drudgery.
Sometimes I hate it.
But I do it.
Because if I don't, someone else will, and I know what goes into the food I prepare.
How do we know if the guy making the burgers at the burger joint just picked his nose, or sneezed? I know... gross, but oh so true!
When I was taking a food handling course, we were shown a film of actual workers in a busy restaurant setting being filmed by hidden camera.
Cured me from eating out for a lllooonnnnng time. Don't be fooled by an "A" grade on restaurant window.
It's time we sat around a table together and ate as families again.
It's time we see the value of breaking bread together.
I had a friend once who invited me over for dinner, just a few years ago.
She ordered in, which was fine, but I was so surprised to see that she made her three childrens plates, and they got them, and carried them into their rooms or family room and ate the meal on their laps.
I assured her they didn't have to leave the table just because I was there, and she said
"No, are you kidding? We eat dinner like this every single night! We can't do the Leave it to Beaver way like you do at your house. My kids like eating while playing video games."
I wanted to cry. Not because she offended me, nope, I'm proud of the way we eat around our table every night, together, TV off, and nothing but our conversation as noise.
I wanted to cry because she was missing a huge opportunity to get to know her family, to connect with them, to learn about their days.
Their memories of mealtime would be reduced to which video game they remember playing while they ate pot roast.
Mom's job is hard.
Let's face it. Most Dad's just aren't going to cook every night, so it is our cross to bear.
Learn to delight in it.
Get excited about the amount of money you can save, get glad that your family still lives at home and wants to be there!
Get excited about finding some produce at a great price and make the most of it for that nights meal!
Try a new recipe and give the naming rights to the first one to try it without whining, so if little Edgar tries it and names it
Edgar's gross, squishy, Barbie Cake, then that's it's name in the recipe file!
Even if the recipe has fish and it's not cake!
Eat with your family this week!
The stock market sucks,
Everyone wants us to be scrambling for our lives and yelling doomsday...
but as long as we have our families...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fillable cake pans

I own these pans. They are such fun!
I haven't done many desserts in them, but I have done chili in cornbread, and Corn chowder.
They also make wonderful ice molds. You can hang shrimp over the edge, make a mold out of Jello...
I bought them online.
They are a hassle to clean, but a small brush does the trick.
Something different!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Easy Sausage Dinner

Yummy quick meal.
Cut up any and all veggies you have,
slice up some Aidells sausage
sprinkle with Olive Oil, salt, your fave seasoning and toss it all together.
Roast veggies in oven at 400 for 20 minutes, then add sausage on top for last 10-15 minutes.
Make a side salad and cut some bread and you are in business!
I used 2 HUGE onions, baby carrots, broccoli florets and baby red, yellow and green peppers.
I do veggies like this about twice a week in the fall and winter.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Lock n Lock

I've had a lot of hits recently on my blog about Lock n Lock containers.
They are excellent value, and so darn sturdy!
I own so many pieces, I am starting to give them away as gifts with food in them.
I order them exclusively from QVC because they sell them in sets that you can't get anywhere else. I just recently bought a set that will not be sold mass market for 1 full year, and my delivered today. I got the new Stack n Go containers for my lunch making extravaganza's every night. It will make it much more streamlined for myself.
Soo, if you are thinking about food storage containers... think Lock N Lock. Those imitations are not the same. I've tried them. Lock N Lock's do not come apart unless you open them, and I am hard on them.
They are perfect for camping, storing, everything.
Ants and other weebles can't penetrate them, and neither can rodents.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Saundra's Risorta!

Okay, so yeah, I'm sorta starting a trend in my house where all the food is Mock this, or Mock that. I have only one reason why...
So...I use what I have in my house to make what I want for dinner, no matter if I have the right ingredients or not.
So... I really wanted to make Risotto one night. We hadn't had it in a really long time... and it sounded good.
I didn't have have Orzo. Ya kinda need Orzo Pasta to make Risotto... or so I thought!
I ALWAYS have brown rice around, either cooked or dry... so I decided to try it, and give it an American twist.
It was sooo yummy!
The kids LOVED IT!
Now, I can't truly call it a Risotto, so I will call it a Risorta. Get it? Risotto sorta? Risorta?
Oh whatever!
So here's the recipe for Risorta Saundra Style.
1 recipe of Bechamel Sauce (that's fancy words for white sauce)
{{{5 tbs butter, 1/2 cup flour, 4 cups milk = melt butter, add flour and cook it down for 2 minutes stirring constantly, add milk slowly while whisking, stir until thickened and bubbly... that's Bechamel!}}}
To the thickened Bechamel Sauce add
3 cups cooked Brown Rice
1&1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shrimp (or not if you don't like 'em)
1 cup chopped broccoli
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Stir until all thickened a bubbly and hot.
That's it! Serve with green salad!
You can add anything you like... mushrooms, peas, chicken, Parmigiano cheese, gruyere cheese,
Salmon, the sky is the limit!

Monday, September 01, 2008

School? I'm READY!

I went ahead and did Prep yesterday, even though tonight is technically my "Sunday Night".
I have to say, I feel almost prepared for the onslaught of lunches I have to make again.
My main goal with school lunches is to make them UNTRADEABLE.
SO awesome, they wouldn't THINK of trading their lunch!
Mine swear they have never done that, and so do the lunch attendants at the school, but I don't know. Once in a while I'll spot a wrapper of some forbidden snack in their lunches.
When will they learn you have to trash the evidence?
This weeks bevy of menu items are as follows:
Macaroni Salad
Salmon spread w/ crackers of choice
Cuke spread/ w/ crackers of choice
Nutella Sandwich
Sandwich skewer
Fruit skewer
Stuffed breadstick
Granola bars
carrots n dip
ants on a log (Johnny)
Lunchmeat sandwich
Green Salad
Carrot/Raisin Salad
So, I feel prepared for the week.
New lunch pails at the ready, new clothes, new backpacks, pens, pencils, folders, coloring pencils, 3 ring binders and copious amounts of paper.
The lunch pails I got them this year are awesome.
I got them from QVC, and the entire thing is lined with pillows of water, so the entire lunch pail gets frozen, no messy gel packs to take out, just stick the entire thing in my back freezer everynight, and lunch stays cold and healthy all day.
Now Bill wants one.
I'm going to go enjoy our last day of doing laundry...
Yeah, I know... I'm one wild and crazy girl!