Sunday, August 31, 2008

Picky Eaters Part 2

Let's turn picky eaters around.
One day a week, if the child is small, bargain with the child.
Say something like... "Little Suzy, if you promise Mommy to try one new food and not say Ewwwww! or NO! or Gross! and act like a big girl at the table, you can choose a new hair goodie from the store this week (or whatever will motivate the child).
Yes, it is bribery, but bribery can be weaned.
If the person is older, just make a deal with him/her. "All I ask is that you act like an adult for one night and try the food. If you don't like it... practice your skills at not letting me know, and politely disregard the food."
You see. It's not the "Not liking the food" that bugs me. It's everything that goes with it that bugs me. Kids that are allowed to say EWWWWW, and Yuck! and Gross! at the table grow into adults that tend to say and do the same things at dinner parties and business meetings. Ask me how I know!
Case in point. I abhor mayonaisse. I mean... even the sight of it makes me gag.
BUT! If it is in a food when I am at someones house, or they used it in huge amounts in a food, I will just politely way 'No, thank you'. If I am asked why, I will just say I don't care for Mayo.
I avoid like the plague buffet tables full of mayo based salads.
I have a friend that absolutely hates shrimp. I didn't know this, and when she came over for dinner, what was I serving? Shrimp Scampi. Of course. I said I didn't know!
Anyway... she made a HUGE deal over it. I mean... tons of guffaws, tsks, literally stamping her foot, and telling me she is starving and can't eat that.
I. Was. Dumbfounded.
I was so embarrassed for her. I wanted to slap her mother!
No one taught her how to refuse food or how to eat around the unsavory food!
I quickly asked her if she was allergic, and she nearly shouted and sounded like a 5 yr old and said..."Noooo, I just can't staaaannnd Shrimp! and I'm so hungry!"
I almost dropped my drink.
I made her a nice sandwich, we all ate our Scampi happily, while she kept making faces and squishing her nose.
Thank God I wasn't married or had kids then, although it would have been a great lesson for my kids after she left.
Needless to say, I never cooked for her again, and my boyfriend at the time just about kicked her out the door.
So being a picky eater can actually be curbed just by curbing the attention the whining gets.
Teach them to refuse food gracefully, from a very early age.
Their future employers, in laws, family and everyone else they eat with in the future will thank you. The food is secondary to the manners.
Thank you and Good Night.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Soup Recipes Request

I know it hasn't cooled down yet... but I am so excited that Autumn is near.
Because I LOVE to make soup.
All kinds of soups.
Hearty soups, thin soups, quick soups and soups that take forever and a day to make.
I could eat soup every single day and be happy.
I am always happy to add to my soup making repetoire.
I would like you to e mail me your favorite soup recipes, and I will post them!
Sharing is Caring! lol!
I'm going to try and post each Saturday or Sunday under the heading Saturday (or Sunday) Soup.
I think soups are a great way to start a meal.
Don't you?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yummy Cucumber Spread

I over purchased on the Cucumbers this week.
I didn't realized I already had 3 in my backyard fridge, and just bought three more.
I really hate it when they get all soggy and slimy if I can't use them fast enough, and I really hate throwing money into the trash.
I decided to make a Cucumber Dip with one of them.
I looked up a bunch of recipes online, and I didn't have one ingredient or another, and most of them had Mayo as an ingredient, and we all know how much I ADORE (yuck) Mayo, so I came up with my own little recipe...
Saundra's Cucumber Spread
1 whole hot house cucumber,
grated and pressed between layers of towel to rid excess water.
1 cup low fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Dill Mix
1/2 tsp celery seed
Fresh cracked Black Pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, pressed or grated finely
Mix all ingredients until well blended, and place in an airtight container.
Refrigerate 1 hour or more before serving.
Can be molded into pretty designs or in cupcake molds for individual servings.
Serve with whole grain crackers, veggie spears, or spread on toast points for appetizers.
Bon Appetito!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Picky Eaters... Part 1

I am a firm believer that picky eaters are made...not born.
Oh sure... there are always things that each of us inherently hates to eat... my particular choice of food to despise is Mayo, Will will eat raw Cauliflower, but won't eat it cooked, Alex loves raw spinach and not cooked, and Johnny likes raw carrots, not cooked.
I'm sure there are a host of other things they would choose not to eat, but if I am serving it in a dish, they wouldn't dare complain. Why? Because I am a mean Mama, and don't take any crap from my kids.
I know... I know... I should be sweeter, kinder, more tolerant....more willing to go with the flow...
Not gonna happen!
I just don't have that kinda time!
I'm the Mama, I'm the one cookin', it's my way or the highway.
Now... don't get me wrong... I don't just make food I know they will dislike,
but I do reintroduce
foods into our meals that they may have disliked last year,
that their palettes may enjoy this year. I refuse to make Pasta every night
just because I know Johnny will eat it and he asks for it every night.
When William gets all bent outta shape because he sees me buy a huge head of cauliflower, what he wants to do is say he won't eat it... then he sees my eyes and chooses his words wisely and says instead "Are you going to try a new way of cooking it for us?" To which my reply is
a resounding "Yes, I'm going to roast it this time, not steam it and make a salad" (OOOHHH! you should try Cauliflower Salad with fresh Lemon Juice!!! So yummy)
So, I cut the Cauliflower into thick breadlike slices, slather a little olive oil on them, sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper and my favorite steak rub or other seasoning, cut up a huge onion into rings, throw on some baby carrots and roast them at 400 for 20 minutes or so.
Voila! Cauliflower William now fights over for the last piece!
Why? It's taste profile completely changed when it was roasted. It took on a sweet
flavor and was mixed with the sweet onion and carrots.
Do the same with Broccoli, except instead of a rub, sprinkle grated Italian hard cheese over the top the last 5 minutes of roasting.
(Broccoli Salad with Lemon Juice is awesome too!)
So... todays lessons were as follows...
You are the Mama/Daddy.
You decide what and how your family eats.
You don't have time to be a short order cook.
Don't beg your kids to eat a food they don't like.
Be in control... just expect them to eat it... with a smile.
Refuse to let them make you think you are doing it to egg them on...
Realize it is your responsibility as a provider to give their palettes chances to bloom as they grow.
Introducing foods that aren't the norm is OKAY!
More another time!
Go Mom! Rah! Rah!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sandwich on a stick.

" Mamala! Can I eat the blog lunch?"
"Hmmm, which do I eat first?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Time for Fun Food for School!

Okay... so Back To School is either here, or just around the corner... depending on the school and district. Either way... kids are goin' back some time.
Time to dust off the lunch pails, skewers sticks, pretzels, cheese cubes and 2 oz cups for dips!
Make lunch fun and nutritious!
Those Lunchables are the Devil.
Have you ever read the labels?
62 grams of fat!
No kid needs that!
I have NEVER purchased them, but I did read the labels and it was scary.
One Mom, last year at my kids school, gave 2 to her son every day.
He was about 60 lbs overweight and only in 4th grade.
Make your own!
Press N Seal is the best stuff ever invented!
Cut a large plastic ice cube tray into 6 compartments or buy a smallish tray, fill with fruit, veggies, small meats, cheese etc... and cover with Glad Press n Seal and voila!
Wholesome, nutritious, homemade lunchable!
(I haven't seen this anywhere else... but I thought of this when I saw a bunch of metal trays with lunches on them for home use, and was thinking of a way to make it lightweight and easy for lunchpails.
6 inch wooden skewers are the best!
You can make an entire "sandwich" on a skewer! See Above!
Use your imagination!
assorted cheeses
fruit and cheese
the list goes on and on and on!
Kids love these!
You can even string them on thread or unflavored dental floss.
They will have kids BEGGING them to trade... and all the other Mama's will hate you!
Fun Fun Fun!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cherry tomatoe Pasta Sauce

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoe Sauce & Mozzarella Chunks
2 cups halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 small onion chopped
3 garlic cloves pressed
Olive Oil
Saute all of the above in a skillet until tomatoes are soft and onions are translucent.
Set Aside
Cook 1 lb pasta al dente
When done... add to tomatoe sauce
Cut up Fresh Mozzarella (It won't work with the hard stuff from the grocery store.)
or eliminate it all together.
(I would actually prefer the recipe without the cheese, but my men ADORE cheese... so...)
Serve hot with bread and salad...
Sooooooo good and soooo simple!

I made Monday's dinner on Saturday... Sue me.

Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella Cheese and Onion Sauce with Spaghetti.

Yeah... I inadvertantly made a bollo tie with a few strands. Of course... Johnny notices and says... 'Hey Mom, get a picture of this!!!"

This is called... "Hey Mom, take a picture of me stuffing my face!!!"

Yes, he really did say that... this IS Alex we are talkin about!

Not to be outdone, or out eaten... Will HAD to join the fray. I am so proud all my manners training is working so well with my men. My daughters in law will be so thrilled with me!

My oldest (LOL)... enjoying his meal like a good boy. Elbows off the table and everything!

Isn't he cute? And so mannered!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Meatball Sandwiches for Friday Night Olympics

The fresh, homemade Rosemary Bread. My Mama's meatballs, cut up ready for the bread.

Ready to go into the oven to melt in broiler. Topped with freshly grated Pecorino Romano Cheese, and Fresh Buffalo Milk Mozzarella.

My salad maker extraordinaire!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Roasted Veggie and Haddock Dinner.... in a flash!

My boules rising this morning... 2 for the dentist office and one for us at dinner.
I slashed them just before I put them in the oven... they turned out lovely...
The specks on them are the Flax Seed Meal I add to the dough each time.

I forgot to take the picture with the Haddock fillets on top of the veggies, after the veggies were cooked for 20 minutes.... but still....

Yummy! I roasted the veggies in my outdoor oven at 400 for 20 minutes, then added the marinated fillets for another 10 minutes in the oven... on top of the veggies.

Our salad.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


OOOOH! School is just around the corner in our house...
so it must be close, if not already happening in yours!
I am already starting to stock up on lunch staples, a little at a time, every time
I shop.
So is what I have so far...
Granola Bars
Pretzel sticks
Dry Ranch Dressing Packets
Bags of Granola clusters
Beef Jerky
3 oz clear plastic containers with lids
Plastic Forks
Mini Packets of treats such as 100 calorie M&M's, & other chocolates
100% juice boxes (when they are on sale only)
So, I have lots more to get... but I find that buying a little at a time helps the weekly
budget better, because this stuff can get expensive.
Now that Will is a big bad High Schooler, I thought he was going to want to buy lunch everyday
and go out with his friends that drive and such... but... he knows how much we
pay for tuition, and he already told me he knows he needs to take his lunch.
He said he calculated what $5 a day for lunch came out to in a month, and even he felt it was a waste. He said he could think of other ways for us to spend that money.
He HATES that we are the only family left on the planet that doesn't have a big
screen TV and is mortified that our TV is so small (27") that we can't even see all the scores
for the Olympics, and he informed me that he would love to forego buying lunch to save up for a Big Screen TV.
I tell him all the time we can get one anytime we want... cash... but I just don't see the need.
His reply was ... "Oh, it's a CHOICE? AWWW MAN!" I just smiled and laughed.
So, Will will be taking his lunch to school everyday, whether he likes it or not. Whether we get a TV one of these days or not. I refuse to allow him to use any of his Ref money on
food. He is only allowed to buy things with lasting value.
Closer to the beginning of school, I will be stocking up on
Baby Carrots
Peanut Butter
Cheddar Cheese blocks
string cheese
or whatever fruit is on sale that week.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I love Prep!

I was so very excited to hear one of my dear friends is
using this method of madness... prep.
Kathy, in a sweet email, mentioned to me, that while she may not be cutting and chopping,
and mincing and slicing one day a week, SHE IS setting aside time to get her shopping
and other kitchen duties done. She noticed a difference when she didn't do her
particular prep routine, and it hit her that planning ahead makes for a much
more relaxed and enjoyable experience in the kitchen.
It is such a treat to have something work out!
Prep can be anything you deem important.
I read a comment that Dee Dee posted on another blog recently, and she quoted
the Flylady. I LOVE THE FLYLADY! She says we should "Shine our sinks" "Put on our shoes and be ready for the day, everyday" "27 fling boogies" and all sorts of cool things.
Way back when... a few years ago, when I would visit her website and get email alerts, it really helped me with getting a routine down, a much needed thing in my house when I had 3 under 5.
Prep is meant to be a helper to you. To help you "just get it done" so you don't have to worry about it during your busy week. Whether your prep is paying your bills up, ravaging the freezer for items that will expire soon, shopping for staples and food needs for the week,
or cutting and chopping all my dinner and lunch items for the week, so all I have to do is dump and cook it, as long as it creates peace for you...IT'S PREP!
Since my job is about food prep, and my kids are human garbage disposals these days,
my food prep has become my "peaceful place". When it's done... I feel like all I have to do for dinner is put it together... all the brain work is done on Sundays.
I just don't fret anymore. I rarely ask myself... "What am I going to make for dinner tonight?"
And now... I frequently have an answer for my men when they ask "What's for dinner?"
I have taken the whole prep thing to other parts of my life too.
If I know I am going to do lots of laundry the next day... I will sort EVERYTHING the night before, and just eliminating that one little step ahead of time, so all I have to do is
place the clothes in the washer and press start.
Sometimes... I'll even pre measure 10 loads worth of detergent and put it in an egg crates I cut up into individual little cups on the top of the washer, again, eliminating a step, so all I have to do
is dump the cup into the appropriate area of my washer and press start.
Okay, that's a rarity, but it works great when you are gone and you want the person watching your house to use the specified amount of detergent for your new fangled washer and make it easy as pie for them.
Onward and upward with prep... IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIVES!
Have stress free day!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday things

Staters had Chuck Roast on sale yesterday... so I bought a couple of them and promptly
deposited them into my Crock Pot with 4 sliced onions
a bag of preshredded cabbage, a tablespoon of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and splash
of Worcestershire Sauce.
I nuked some red potatoes in my Rice Cooker Plus and made a killer green salad
with, of course, some freshly made bread.
Angela came over with Cole to deliver a uniform, and she left with a warm slice with butter
on top.
Today I am baking up the Pumpernickel I stirred together yesterday, for sandwiches
this weekend.
We'll see.
Tonights dinner will be Mockfredo sauce.
What are you having for dinner?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tonights impromptu dinner

Thank GOD I had my prep done!
I have been sooo lazy to go grocery shopping this week!
Tonight was the first Soccer practice for 2 of the kids and I had to get William from
football practice at 6:45... and still, I had no idea what I was making for dinner.
I hate when that happens!
It was my own fault for not going shopping!
I improvised and perused my fridge and pantry.
I found a box of cornbread mix from Trader Joes...
I already had peppers and onions chopped up,
I found 2 Hebrew National Hotdogs, a small box of cheddar cheese,
and some fresh lunchmeat.
I know... it doesn't sound too appetizing.
So here's what I did...
I made the cornbread just like the box said...
but added a tablespoon of Flax seed meal to the combined mixture.
I saute'd up the onions and peppers I had already chopped and added 1 cup of frozen corn to it.
I seasoned it up with a little salt, pepper and some PC Southwestern Seasoning Mix.
I chopped up the hotdogs and lunchmeat and heated them up in the onion/pepper mixture.
I had Will grate some Cheddar... about 2 cups.
I put half the cornbread mixture on the bottom of a 12x9 baking stone (with sides)
layered on the onion/hotdog/pepper/corn mixure.
Put about half the cheese over that,
put the rest of the cornbread mixture in dollops over the filling and sprinkled with left over cheese.
Baked it at 350 for 25 minutes.
My family LOVED IT!
I'm gonna call it
"Mom is too lazy to go shopping, use whatever you have in the pantry"

New Bread Blog

Okay... so today was my very last Bread Blog.
At least on this blog.
I have opened up a new blog...
Dedicated to baking bread
It's at
I have invited other authors to post on this blog too.
So far I have invited Andi and DD, and if they take me up on it... they can post all they want on it and it will show up on the front page...not the comment section!
Adrian... I would love to invite you too, but I don't have your personal e mail address to invite you with. If you would like to be included, just e mail me at
and I will invite ya!
I want all my bread buddies to be involved with this particular blog!
Post pictures, successes, failures etc...
I want this to be interactive!
I am not the only one with enthusiasm for holes in bread... giddiness about crumb and just
being a bread baking cheerleader!
There are others like me... and it feels great!
Bread Nerds Unite!
Love ya!

Weekend Food Pictures!

Bill was putting up rain gutters yesterday... so I made quick Pizza with Boule dough, Sun dried tomatoes whizzed in my mini food processor, and saute'd onions, outside in my backyard kitchen oven. It kept the house cool, and they could eat it as soon as they smelled it was done!
The black thing it's on is a Stoneware Bar Pan.

What my containers look like, and what 2 hours rising on the counter does! Yum!

I decided to try quick cinnamon rolls with the left over dough from the huge pizza. So I slathered rolled out dough with butter, generously sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon over it, added raisins, and rolled it up. This picture is before I cooked it.. while they were rising. I baked them outside too, so when they were done, I didn't get a chance to take a picture... I frosted them, and then they were GONE! I just used boule dough again. They said they were fantastic.

Ooey... Gooey... 2 hour dough. I like using it more after a refrigeration.

I add Flax Seed meal from Bob's Red Mill, in every batch now. 2 Tablespoons.

I got these containers from Smart n Final. 2 for 8 bucks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Saturday Food

So today... I'm going to attempt to make Panetonne.
I can't wait.
I love that fruit studded bread. Especially as french toast.
I want to perfect it now, so by Christmas, when it is typically given,
I can have it down to a science.
Dinner last night was Chinese, and my ankles are paying the price this morning.
Too much salt!
Dinner tonight will be Roasted Veggies on the Grill,
and Brown Rice patties made to be 'burgers'.
I'll be making them myself... and no I don't have a recipe yet, because I haven't made it up yet.
I'll let you know how they turn out.
Trying to limit meat.
It's hot outside...
Make some Sangria or Lemonade and enjoy the day!
Freeze some of your favorite beverage as ice cubes so your drink doesn't get diluted!
I love adding Iced tea cubes to my Lemonade, or frozen Grenadine cupes to
Sprite for a fizzy Shirley Temple!