Monday, February 27, 2012

Japanese Curry

I have been looking for a recipe to make Japanese curry from scratch--i.e. without the store bought roux that has a bunch of stuff that is not so nice.  I found this video today and it seems simple enough.  I think I'll give it a try.

Friday, February 24, 2012

What I did with a bunch of limes

I got a bunch of limes with my Bountiful Basket last Saturday.  I didn't think I would be able to use them all before they went bad so I zested them up and sqeezed them good.  I put 1 Tablespoon of zest in individual bags in the freezer and put the juice in an ice cube tray.  Now I can throw lime zest or juice in small amounts in different recipes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Homemade Play Dough from the Pantry

Homemade play dough is so easy.  And after the volcano it was time to make some more.  Here's how.

1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
2 t. cream of tartar
1 c. water
2 T. oil
food coloring

Put all the ingredients in a pot.


Cook on medium heat (nothing hotter) while stirring.

After a few minutes it will start to get lumpy.

Keep cooking until it forms a ball.

Knead it a bit on an orange table.  Well, the orange table is optional.  It will be a bit too warm for a toddler to handle but I was able to straight out of the pan.  It cools fairly quickly.  Pull out your cookie cutters and expect an hour's worth of entertainment.  Well, you should at least be able to check your email in peace, maybe go to the bathroom if you're lucky.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Erupting Volcanos

I'm always amazed at the things that a toddler can get fixated on.  And the enthusiasm of his fixation.  Yesterday Little Man spent the morning pretending to erupt like a volcano.  It was pretty impressive.  To help feed his hungry little mind we made the proverbial science fair volcano.  Considering he is almost three and a half and I didn't get to do this until about 7th grade, I told myself that my little guy is advanced.

I'm not sure I actually need to give instructions for this, but here is what I used:
  1. pie plate
  2. empty spice jar
  3. homemade play dough
  4. baking soda 
  5. vinegar

I let him do it as many times as he wanted, which was about fifteen.  My favorite part was hearing him say, "That't amazing, hun?"  and "That's spec-tack-ler!"

Monday, February 20, 2012

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

When I make these I always eat them until I'm sick because it's like I've died an gone to elementary school lunch heaven.  Yummy is all I have to say.

1 1/4 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. powdered sugar
3 c. graham cracker crumbs (or 8oz. which is half a box)
2 c. chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet) (I used some Belgian chocolate because that's what I had)
1/2 c. peanut butter

Cream the 1 1/4 c. of peanut butter and the butter.  Add the powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs.  Mix well.  Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.  Melt chocolate chips in microwave 30 seconds at a time until smooth.  Add 1/2 c. peanut butter.  Spread on top of crumbs.  Eat until your get sick.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekly Meal Think

I'm still trying to get organized enough to put together a meal plan.  But I got a Bountiful Basket this week so I already have a few things in mind.

  • Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
  • Summer Squash Bread (because summer squash is not my favorite and I still have some frozen from last summer so sticking it in a sugary bread sounds nice.)  Although this squash dressing sounds good too.
  • Stuffed pork chops with cream cheese and spinach--something like this only in pork.  Maybe rolled in bread crumbs and baked.  I'll wing it.  
  • Since my hubby doesn't like cukes, I am thinking Asian Refrigerator Pickles for myself to snack on.  Maybe it will help me put down the chocolate and peanut butter.  Probably not.
  • Zesty Taco Casserole.  I had some cottage cheese I needed to use up so I made this and froze it.  I think we'll probably eat it this week.  I am curious how it will turn out.
Well, there you have it.  My musings about food.  It's looking a little bit vegetarian over all but that never hurt anyone.  Anyone else have plans for meals this week?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dis-Pinterested Fridge

I was pretty excited when I saw the following pin on Pinterest.  It recommends using Glad Press'n Seal to cover refrigerator surfaces for easy cleaning.  

I finally cleaned out the bottom of my fridge today, but bad news.  The Press'n Seal didn't stick.  I am thinking that the surface must be different.  In any event, I was really bummed.  Oh well, at least I finally wiped my fridge out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ever made your own chorizo?

I realize I am a bit nutty because I make so many things from scratch.  I may be a fanatic but the truth is I just love being in the kitchen.  Sometimes cooking meals doesn't satisfy my need to create.  I also like to find new ideas for cooking projects.  I checked this book out of the library this week: Simple Food, Big Flavor by Aaron Sanchez.  It's a cool book because Mr. Sanchez gives 15 recipes for ingredients like salsas, pastes, rubs that can be used to make meals.  It's an awesome format for a cookbook.

I think I'm up for one of the projects (maybe more).  I am considering making my own chorizo.  I have already tried to make this elk sausage and thought it was delicious.  Do you think it's wrong to put elk in chorizo? I'm going to guess that while not authentic, Mr. Sanchez would prefer I have a crack at his recipe in any form.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekly Meal Think

Here are the things I am thinking about making for dinner this week.

Mongolian Beef (only with elk) and broccoli (left over from last week since I never made it).
Pumpkin Pasta with garlic bread.
S&B Golden Curry with carrots and potatoes.  If you haven't tried this, it's super yummy and so easy.
Roast Chicken and Potatoes with homemade pear chutney.

And I still have a head of cabbage from the Bountiful Basket last week.  Anyone have a good cabbage recipe?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner

I saw this recipe for sausage and pancake meatballs on the Once A Month Mom site and thought that I would give it a go.  With hash browns and eggs it made a great breakfast for dinner.  It's what we ate Saturday night.  See I can't keep to a meal plan if I tried..

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don't Come to Our House For Dinner

Seriously.  Unless you want to see me lose it in an very undignified manner, you don't want to be anywhere my house at mealtime.

Last night was the second night of my attempt at meal planning.  On the menu: lettuce wraps with Asian crunchies.  First, let me say that I have been sick for three days, so I don't have my usual energy or patience.  Anyway, I made the crunchies about 10am.  They were delicious so I ate a quarter of them for lunch.  I mean anything toasted in butter can't taste bad.  I was also pretty excited to let the hubby taste them too since he loves a bit of crunch on  . . . well, on anything.

Since I wasn't up to a meal that required much prep, I scrapped the idea of replicating PF Changs lettuce wraps and washed the crock pot instead.  I threw in a couple cans of white beans and some home canned peach pepper BBQ sauce (perhaps a post for another day?).  I figured with a little white rice some sweet and spicy beans would be just right.  The less effort the better.

When it was time to eat I found out the hubby was going to be late.  Bummer.  So the kids and I sat down for what was supposed to be an uneventful meal.  My toddlers, however, have the attention span of . . . toddlers.  So once the three year old discovered the rice was sticky he created a new game called "Intentionally cover my hands in the sticky rice so I can go play in the sink."

The 17-month-old wanted to play in the sink too.  In spite of his diminutive stature he can still manage to drag a chair three times his size across the kitchen.  Due to the fact that I was sick and napless I let the two of them play in the sink and enjoyed my lettuce wraps by myself.  I figured what harm can they do to a sink full of dirty dishes?  They can't make them any dirtier.  And the lettuce wraps were delicious!  Soft white rice, sweet and sour beans and the crunch of the Asian crunchies.  Perfect.

At this point I made the mistake that was to be my downfall.  I left the kitchen to talk to the hubby again on the phone.  Upon my return I discovered that all the lovely Asian crunchies, the pinnacle of the meal, were in the sink covered in three inches of water.

So the kids were locked in their room until my urge to scream and cry had subsided, the hubby didn't get any crunch on his lettuce wraps as a reward for working so hard and I had a big mess to clean up in the sink.  So you see, it really is best if you don't come to dinner at our house.


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