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New Recipe Weekend

Half the battle is going to the store, buying the food, and carrying it inside once you get home. The other half…cleaning up. Baking and cooking, however, I have no problem with. As long as I’m in the mood. And I’m pretty sure I was in the mood this weekend. If I had planned to do a lot of cooking, I’d have dreaded it like a trip to the “lady” doctor, but I woke up wanting to experiment with something new. Not everything went as planned.

Saturday I did the deed and went to the store. Actually it gets hairy before the store. I actually have to have a plan, look for recipes, and commit. So I did all that, came home and began. I didn’t sit down until Sunday night, about now! At least that’s how it seemed. I digress…Saturday morning I made chocolate chip muffins. Nothing big, nothing new. It was there before I went to the store, so I popped them in the oven. For lunch I made tacos. But not like that. Not like the box kit. Nope, I was adventurous. I did up the spices, added some chili beans, and viola..it was a keeper. Of course my daughter does not eat these, so a hamburger is what she ate. Also the tacos had 1/2 beef, 1/2 turkey. I kept this to myself…my kids don’t do well with too many changes. The beans alone were enough to traumatize them.

For dinner came Penne pasta with creamy vodka sauce. Luckily I had a trial sized bottle of Absolute in my fridge. I used sweet Italian sausage for this, with sides of cheddar biscuits, salad, and fresh roasted asparagus. Beware of stinky pee! My youngest and I are the only one who will eat this. He stands at the oven and pulls them out by the handfuls and stuffs his face!

Sunday morning was pumpkin spice pancakes and oven-made bacon. Can I just stop the presses for a moment and proclaim that if you’ve never had bacon made in the oven, do it. Just do it. Trust me when I say, my eyes, along with my family’s eyes, rolled back in their heads. YUMMMMMMMY. And the pancakes were pretty spectacular, too. (I only take credit for following the recipe…meaning the recipe was a keeper). Very filling, and my 2nd son put a dollop of whipped cream on his. I didn’t see his eyes come back around after this trick was performed. 🙂 Lunch was Italian subs, stacked high with all the fixings.

For dinner…and this was the not-so-great moment of the weekend. Italian pot roast. It missed. Not that I did anything to destroy it. It baked for 9 hours, had fresh rosemary spread on top, and slits of fresh garlic wedged on both sides. It melted in your mouth, but the taste? Meh. Not a keeper. Luckily I served it with buttery mashed potatoes and the taste was masked if you mixed the both together. And of course, I forgot to mention, I made a fresh blueberry pound cake on Saturday. So this was a munched on treat for the weekend.

I’m stuffed just writing about this weekend’s plan of attack on our bellies. It’s over, and they’ll be doing good if they get frozen pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner this week. Just kidding, I’ll try my best. It’s not that easy to think of new things.

Peace out, and have a great week! 😉

 

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Trying New Things

s.livingI love trying new things. In fact I try so many foods that it’s difficult to keep them all organized. Which only proves to disappoint my family when I can’t make the sausage dish with the Penne pasta again. You see I have a teeny tiny memory and sometimes I’ll cook something that makes everyone smile and say “it’s a keeper.” And then the kitchen gets cleaned and the recipe gets lost. Or rather closed up in the magazine where I found it or folded and put in a drawer … not to be seen for months. It’s sad that I know this, yet still do it.

Alas, today I tried these banana nut muffins out of my new Southern Living magazine. I had the butter out getting all room temperature-like, the three eggs sweating on the counter, and the other items all waiting around for their turn in the mixer … when … I discovered the flour canister quite low. Fortunately I had just the right amount, 3 1/4 cups. Unbelievable:)

Anyway, I followed it to the letter and viola! They tasted rather good if I say so myself. In fact everyone else liked them, too. The icing consisted of a bar of cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Yummy! I had to make shift a Ziplock bag for the sleeve to pipe it on and slightly inside the top hole, but it worked.

Two thumbs up for ease and tastiness. It made me feel like decorating for fall:)

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Quick Dinner

BraisedNoPeakSteakTips2So, I came home from a very busy work day yesterday, which began at 5 a.m. and I wanted something good to eat, but which required very little effort. I was tired, but not stop-by-McDonalds-to-eat-junk tired! Thinking back to some super easy meals, I remembered this No-Peek Beef dish. It takes minimal effort and the flavor is tasty. I thought I’d share it, in case, you’d forgotten about it or never heard of it. There are variations, I’m sure, but this is the one I was told about.

Quite simple:

I buy a large, 2 1/2 pound piece of chuck roast and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Place it in a Dutch oven. Then you mix together in a small bowl:

  • 1 1/4 cup of ginger ale
  • 1 envelope of Lipton onion soup (in a blue box)
  • 1 can of mushroom soup

Pour over meat, give it a quick stir, then cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. I place a sheet of foil between my lid and the pot for extra coverage. Do NOT check it. The whole no-peek thing is for a reason. One I’m not too sure what it is, but I’m guessing there is one! At the end of the time, take it out and serve it with buttered noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes. It’s a super easy dish for a comfort taste. And, did I mention how effortless it was?

Today, I didn’t have to wake up so early. I’m at my other job, but of course, my internal body alarm woke me up anyway:(  Sweet and sour chicken is on the menu for this evening. Who else out there gets a little drug out trying to think of menus for the week? I think when there’s no more children in the house, I’ll just grab a bowl of cereal for dinner and eat it in bed while watching a movie. A romance flick, for sure:)