St. Patrick’s Day Theme

st_patricks_day_8I’m sorry the theme for this week hasn’t been posted yet! (My goal for this is tomorrow.) However, I did want to share with you Sam’s plan for St. Patrick’s Day before the day had passed.

For a snack we’re going to make sugar cookies with green sprinkles on top. For crafts we will be doing this and this. We also have a project for our felt board that we’ll play with tomorrow. It was found here and Sam LOVES it. I have him finish the rhyme with each number as he puts the new shamrock on the board.

And that’s about it. I had planned on picking up some roast beef for a traditional meal tonight after work, but the grocery store was out. Instead I’ll be making this – I bet it’s even more authentic, anyway! 🙂

Cheers!

Fruit Ice Recipe

MMMmmmm. Ice cream. My weakness. The other day Sam and I experimented and found THIS!!!
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Yum!

Here’s what we did:
One ice cube and 5 frozen blueberries (or other frozen fruit) ground in our (extra) coffee grinder. I felt like the actors on the “Magic Bullet” commercial! 🙂 After it was all shredded I stirred in some honey and wow! We actually made three and I didn’t feel guilty at all!

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What to do with green tomatoes?

I have the answer!!! A fellow freecycler gave me this recipe this week. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Anyone want to bake it and let me know if it’s tasty?

4 cups chopped green tomatoes
1 Tbs salt
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Put tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tbs salt. Let stand then rinse with cold water and drain.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and beat until creamy.Sift together dry ingredients and add raisins
to dry ingredients, add to creamed mixture. It will be very stiff. Add tomaotes and mix well.
9X13 pan 40-45 mins at 350.


The woman who reccommended this recipe sent me two additional comments: 1. Add vanilla, just because, and 2. Warning: you’ll want ice cream when you’re done.
HAPPY FALL!!!

Recipe Wednesdays: If you don’t have, then use…

AHA!!! I have been looking for this since I was 16! Taken from Nesting: It’s a Chick Thing, written by Ame Mahler Beanland and Emily Miles Terry.  In this section we are given (insert Heavenly choir here) a list of useful substitutions for baking and cooking. The most useful and (no duh) ones that I found are listed:

If you don’t have: I egg (for cake batter), Then use:  2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

If you don’t have: 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, Then use: 2 Tbsp.  flour

If you don’t have: 1 cup powed sugar, Then use: 1 cup sugar plus 1 Tbsp. cnstarch processed in food processor.

And one from my awesome aunt that I probably talk about way too much:

If you don’t have: brown sugar, Then use: 1/2 part white sugar and 1/2 part honey OR all parts maple syrup.

GENIUS!!!

Can I also just say that while I was a vegan I cooked quite a bit with egg substitute powder and even now, years later, that 5 dollar box of powdery stuff still saves me about once a week – that’s right, the same box!

Maple Syrup Recipe

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Yes, folks, that’s right. There is an actual recipe for syrup. I know, I couldn’t beleieve it either. Sometimes I just don’t stop to look beyond the grocery aisle in considering HOW my food got to me. Nevertheless, here I am. I just got the More-with-Less cookbook written by Doris Janzen Longacre. It was all together $8 at half.com and let me tell you, this book is INCREDIBLE!!! There are recipes for whole food everything. Recipes for syrup, baking soda, lentil stew (so, so yummy!), cookies, and even play-dough. It is full of recipes from Mennonite families – people who know how to live on a budget and use it all up. Get this book!

On page 77 there is a recipe for all kinds of syrup, I chose the plain jane pancake syrup recipe. It was fast, easy, delicious. My toddler, husband, and I all loved it. My only tip – um, hello, don’t pour the steaming hot liquid into the used pancake syrup container you bought at the store until it’s cooled down. Duh…

Here it is:

1 3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brn. sugar

1 cup water.

Heat, boil, cover for a minute, and cool slightly.

Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup flavoring (found in beloved Target spices aisle)

Cover saucepan for a few minutes as syrup cooks to melt down crystals; helps prevent syrup from crystalizing later on in storage.

I serve it hot – so much better that way!

Chicken Stew Recipe

Sorry, folks. I got sick, too, and our sweet neighbor brought over chicken noodle soup so we were set. Today, however, chicken stew is in the crockpot simmering. It smells fantastic. Please keep in mind that this is just a crappy homemade soup recipe that I made up one day when we had close to nothing left for dinners and threw in what I could find. It was so cheap, healthy, and great that we pretty much have it once a week now. It’s more like a stew, I must say, and the recipe changes with what we have on hand. For instance today we didn’t have kidney beans, so I threw in some lima beans. We were also down to the bare bones when it came to potatoes, so usually there’s more. I’ll post a pic of the finished (and not nearly as beautiful) product tonight. Also, if you’re not a fan of spinach don’t add it. It’s extremely mushy, but I don’t care because it’s good for my family and they don’t seem to mind. P.S. You’ll soon see my devotion and commitment to Target brand foods. 🙂  Happy Eating!

*3 C. water/1 cube chicken broth (or three C. broth homemade or from a can)

*3 frozen chicken breasts (thawed would be better, I imagine, but we freeze our meat and I never plan ahead in enough time to thaw)

*1/2 bag frozen carrots

*1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

*1/2 onion chopped

*3 medium potatoes chopped

*1/2 cup spinach

*Basil to taste. I usually use the stuff in the tube, again because it can be frozen, but a few fresh leaves will be good, too.

*Salt and pepper to taste

*1 tsp. garlic minced – omitted today because I’m saving the last bit for another recipe this week.

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1. Microwave broth for 3 minutes, stir, add to pot

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2. Add chicken to crock pot. Leave at the bottom of pan until it’s fully cooked. You can never be too careful when it comes to meat.

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3. Add all other ingredients

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4. Cook on High for about 3 1/2 -4 hours or until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through.

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*** Please remember that this feeds my family of three for a dinner and my husband for lunch the next day. If you want more chicken, etc. I would add another cup of broth or so. It is a VERY flexible recipe, just perfect for experimenting with. Celery and rosemary would be good, too. I tried broccoli a few times, but it got really mushy. Maybe if I were to add it in  the last 20 minutes? Let me know how it turns out.

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step-9.jpg I know. It looks gross, right? I added corn after writing because I found it in the fridge. 🙂

But here’s the proof that it’s good eats: A picky eater 2 year-old ->

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Homemade Potato Chip Recipe

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My husband is (still!) sick this week, so I’m geeting creative trying to feed him – he doesn’t seem to want much, unlike me when I’m sick – I eat EVERYTHING! But I came across an old favorite that I’ve forgotten about – homemade potato chips. This way he gets the salt his body needs in order to keep all that fluid IN rather than OUT in order to heal. It’s easy and almost non-fattening. Plus I get to have what he doesn’t eat. 🙂

Take 3 large potatoes, wash, slice thinly – about twice the size that you’d get a normal potato chip.

Spray the bottom of a cookie sheet or cake pan with Pam or another cooking spray.

Lay the potato slices closer together – even touching is fine – and salt generously.

Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes then flip. It’s hot so use tongs.

Bake for another 5-10 and let cool.

Make sure to keep a close eye on them as soon enough they get quite charred, but if you take them out too early they’re yucky and squishy. Lucky for us, men aren’t too picky when it comes to potatoes!

So, so great. And completely free of saturated fat.

Tomorrow I’m making him chicken soup in my crock pot. I’ll post that recipe if I get the time. Is it really quite horrible that I cherish the moments when my family HAS to be together because we’re sick and I get to be the doting wife? Yesterday Rick thanked me for being “so perfect”. I swear I could run on that compliment for a week…

P.S. Potatoes are cheap and have almost every single vitamin and mineral in them. Enjoy!