Category Archives: Recipes

Funny bones…

The funny part about funny bones is nothing. I mean really, who came up with that?

Instead of harping on all that has happened in the last two weeks (earthquake, hurricanes, flooding), I am going to share a few funnies.

Remember Rusty? Our old faithful one eyed Golden Retriever who wouldn’t walk over grates. I love how dogs have quirks. Sammy, our 8 month old pup is not afraid of much. He sat with us on the Fourth of July to watch fireworks – unfazed. He walks over grates or other obstructions without hesitating. Thunder is his friend. However, Sammy will not go up or downstairs at our house. It is not that he dislikes stairs, he has gone up and down plenty of them that are outside… but it is something about the carpet (texture?) that he doesn’t like. He has made it upstairs a few times (when he was little enough to still squeeze himself on the hardwood part of the stairs) and then proceeded to either chew up kids toys or pee… so, I’m fine with the fact that he has a carpet aversion.

another Sammy quirk...

My kids think they are comedians. So much so that both of them can recite entire sets of Brian Regan. In fact, if you were a fly on the wall at our house, you would frequently hear conversations where each person replies with a line or two from a set. Just this morning as husband was leaving for work, the following conversation took place:

Husband: “Bye guys, have a good day.”
Kids: “You too!”
Husband: “Take Luck”
Kids: “Take care of the luck you might have…”

Okay – so it is only funny if you have listened to BR…

What I think is funny is when my little comedians come up with their own material. Whether it is funny or not – it is pretty cute when they think what they said was a winner.

In other news… did I mention that the youngest finally learned how to ride her bike sans training wheels? Hooo Weee, what a day.

husband running with 7 year old…

… and we finally bought a tree to place Rusty under…

goodbye friend...

oh yeah, and the first day of school…

do I really have a 4th and 2nd grader?

and for the fun of it… an easy, yummy recipe that I made up:

White bean and Black bean (or half and half) Soup:

2 cans Cannelli beans
1 clove garlic
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 and 1/2 (about a 1/2 of a cup)

blend, heat

1 can black beans
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 and 1/2 (about 1/2 a cup)

blend, add some sweet corn, heat

Ladle white bean on one side of the bowl and black bean on the other side of the bowl to create the half and half look… eat.


Cracker Jacks

What’s in the box?

Every day this summer my kids and I are trying to do or try something new, whether it be a new skill learned or a new place to visit locally. Or go on some kind of cheap outing.
School ended on a Tuesday, so Wednesday morning we had a girls day out shopping. We mostly bought birthday presents for friends, but we enjoyed some slow walking around the mall with no real agenda. Thursday we found ourselves at a park with a pond. We fed the ducks and geese, played on the jungle gym and took Sammy for a walk. (He mostly tried to eat goose poop, ew!)

Friday we went over to my sister’s house so that the cousins could play.

baking cookies with cousins!

On Monday, we had  a play date with a new friend and went to the open gym for the kids to jump around.

Yesterday was a day to learn a new skill. I taught the girls how to answer the phone properly. Dun, dun, dun. Up until now, they have only talked to grandparents on the phone. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I call my kids friend’s houses and the child answers with uncertainty… or they call us and I can’t understand who they are and what they want.  Speak in full sentences child, I cannot understand you! We practiced using manners, talking in complete sentences and getting your point across immediately. We also discussed information that should not be given away while on the phone, especially if you don’t know who is on the other end! For example, “She can’t come to the phone right now, can I take a message please?” Instead of, “um, she is not here… or she is on the potty.”  The rest of the day was spent working on the kids scrapbooks.

The other thing that the girls are doing everyday is school work. During breakfast we are doing 4th grade level flash cards for warm ups. The girls are sitting with a notepad while I read the questions. There is one for math and on the other side is a thinking problem for reading. Here is the link (click here!) for the cards. After breakfast, we go downstairs to the white board and table for a math lesson. We are doing Multiplication facts, learning groupings and memorizing by writing… a new fact everyday. The fourth grader is being very patient while we are learning/writing the 2’s facts since she already knows them. Then we do a Language arts/Spelling work sheet and finally the girls read for 15-20 mins. We try to be done by 9:00 AM. So far, so good! I would like to incorporate one or two book reports, science experiments and other subjects… but we will see.

I’m not sure what we are going to do today… maybe bake some cupcakes! Grammy and Grampy should arrive around 3:00 PM, since they are on their way home from their RV vacation.

Cracker Jacks. You never know what the prize in the box will be… (I couldn’t use “life is like a box of chocolates”!)

what's in that big box?

Homemade Cracker Jacks

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004

Prep Time:
20 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 min
Level:
Difficult
Serves:
about 3 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups salted Spanish redskin peanuts
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 9 cups popped corn
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, pecan halves, cayenne, Essence, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and melted butter, tossing to coat well. Spread mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet and cool on parchment paper or paper towels. Combine the cooled spiced nuts and popcorn and divide evenly between 2 lightly greased baking sheets with 1/2-inch edges. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining unsalted butter, sugar, and cane syrup over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour hot mixture evenly over both baking sheets of popcorn and nuts. Using a lightly greased spatula, stir the mixture well so that everything is evenly coated.

Bake for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove caramel corn from the baking sheets and cool completely on waxed paper. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.

Emeril’s ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William and Morrow, 1993.


Little helpers

My kids are awesome. They love to help in the kitchen, especially when licking spoons is involved.

I’ve always been a bit hesitant about letting them help with any other cooking because most of my recipes are pretty involved. Lot’s of sautéing (that word looks weird, but spell check picked it), chopping and taking hot things out of the oven. Yesterday I made simple beef enchiladas. When I told the girls that I needed to assemble them, they both replied with, what does assemble mean? and can we help?

After realizing that my kids are in fact tall enough to stand at the counter and (b) old enough to comprehend directions, I put together an assembly line and put them to work. It was great… I got to supervise (read a book and have a glass of wine!).

Looks like I will be researching other easy kitchen suppers today…

This is easy mom!

Look at us!

Easy Beef Enchiladas Verde

1 lb (ish) of ground beef
1 28oz can of green enchilada sauce
4 cups of shredded cheese
12 small tortillas

Brown beef, add roughly 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce, let simmer for a few minutes. Transfer to bowl so that little hands can help assemble. Take one tortilla, add beef mixture, cheese and roll up. Place in 13×9 pan (which is prepped with a layer of sauce), repeat. Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly on top, top with cheese. Bake covered 375* for 20 mins, uncovered for 10 mins for cheese to bubble. Serve with salsa and sour cream.