Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Something to Laugh About

There is nothing better than a sister. Truly. I love my sister so much and I 'm glad I'm living closer to her. It's funny how you never appreciate them when they live in the same house though!

So last Thursday afternoon, my dear sister made the 3 1/2 hour journey from her home in Minnesota to my sweet suburb in Des Moines because we were finally closing on our house. She arrived during the closing and Ollie went running to his Auntie Jade. After closing, we did some work at the house and then went to rest as the next day she and I were on the huge task of super cleaning it! That evening when ordered the most fabulous Chinese food and carefully stored our delicious left overs in the fridge.

Friday morning we were off. At breakfast, we sat and discussed just how we were going to heat up our gourmet leftover since we have no microwave. We decided we may just have to drive back to my father-in-law's house to warm. Off we went. A few blocks from his home, we spotted a garage sale. I suggested we pull over and see if they have a microwave. After a few minutes of looking around, I finally asked if she had one. The woman told me she did and it was such a monstrosity that she planned to give it away. So my dear sister and this woman carried the microwave to my van. At this point it really hadn't occurred to me that we wouldn't be able to get the dang thing back out of my van but before we got to the house, Jade asked, "So do you have an extension cord?"

Pause. "Why?"

"Well you know we will never get this into your house right? Do you think there is an outlet in the garage? Oh and by the way, I'm pretty sure this thing has a 3-prong outlet since it is so old."

Haha. Let the games begin!

At lunch time, we discovered there were outlets in the garage and I did have a three prong one. We came up with the brilliant plan of backing into the garage and plugging it into the wall. We laughed and laughed as I tried to maneuver into this space and then laughed again and we tried to move the giantotron over to get the cord to reach and laughed even more as it was just an inch too short. Finally, I moved a bit and it was able to be plugged in.

Now for those of you who have never used the first microwave ever invented, they can be kind of tricky. Our first thought was, "Great all that work and it isn't even a working microwave." A few words-- NOT USER FRIENDLY. MUST BE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO USE. No wonder most of our parents are technologically inept. Anyway, after I squeeze myself out of the driver's seat (I couldn't open the door all the way and I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time). We sat and pushed buttons and stared at this complicated piece of equipment. Now at first, it seemed that none of the buttons worked until we discovered the magic blue button which made all of our dreams come true. Well not really but it did allow us to pick the temp and time (Yes it it that old. No one button starting here.) We just couldn't find the start button. Finally, I slammed my hand on it and it started. The humongous sliver button that we had mistaken for the door opening button was the start button! Hooray!
So then, just how long does it take to heat up Chinese food in a microwave made in 1953? Well, for both of our food, it was a total of 8 minutes. That is once you find the start button. Our total time getting the microwave plugged in and figuring out how to work it? 30 minutes. Should have just drove to Jim and Mel's house. Oh well. We had a good laugh anyway.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Carrixico Salad

Okay so I'm not very creative with names but if you'd like to make a meal as yummilicious as this....

You've come to the right place! Here's the recipe:

1 Head romaine lettuce
1 Tomato
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1/2 medium onion
1 C Chunk Fresh Pineapple
1/4 C loosely chopped Cilantro
1/4 C black beans
8-12 oz Grilled Beef
Shredded cheese
Tortilla Chips

1/8 cup Pineapple Juice
1/8 Cup Lime juice
1/8 cup Olive Oil
2 T Finely Chopped Cilantro
1 Pressed Garlic Clove
1-2 t Honey
1 t brown sugar
1 t allspice
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper

Ok. Easy day. Put together your salad. Mix your dressing up in a liquid measuring cup. Add more of different ingredients to adjust it to your taste and toss it together. Add the beef to the top. I grilled the beef on a wood burning grill. It was amazing! I also took tortilla chips and stuck them in the oven with a mexican blend cheese to use around the salad. Yummy!

What did Ollie think?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prepping for the New Baby

Yesterday, my mother-in-law, Betsy, took Ollie all day. My one assignment--rest. Well, resting is hard at this stage in the game. My nesting instincts have hit an all time high and since I'm not in my own house, I can't do much preparing so I decided it was a good day to prepare freezer meals, 1- to be exact. I love to cook and I rarely (I don't think at all since Ollie came to be) get to spend the whole day cooking. I made Chicken Kiev, Shepherd's Pie, Stuffed Shells and Chili, all of which are now sitting in my father-in-law's freezer just waiting to be moved to my new house. I also made S'mores bar. For all you soon-to-be mamas, I thought I might include some of my freezer recipes here for you!

Shepherd's Pie
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1T Worchester sauce
1-2T flour
2t thyme
1 can beef broth salt and pepper
1 bag frozen veggies
approximately 2 1/2 cups of mashed potatoes
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the turkey. While cooking add the worchester sauce, salt and pepper and the thyme. Once browned add the flour and stir in the broth. Layer in the bottom of a narrow cake pan (I use a smaller than regular one). Layer the frozen veggies on next and then top with mashed potatoes (I make real mashed potatoes). Top the tators with cheese and freeze. (when time to cook, place in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.)

Stuffed Shells
about 12 cooked large pasta shells
1 16 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 8oz bag/container of shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2cup of milk (whole or evaporated)
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 egg
2 garlic clove minced- separate
1 medium yellow onion chopped- reserve about 1/4 of it
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 T Olive Oil
1/4 cup of butter
2 T of Flour

Heat the Olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion. Sauté until translucent. Add garlic until fragrant. Add spinach and sauté until wilted. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix the ricotta, 1 egg and about 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese together. Add the spinach mix. Stir well. Stuff the cooled shells and place into a baking dish. Pour the spaghetti sauce over them. in a small sauce pan, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic. You may also add salt and pepper to taste. Add the flour and stir well. It should be like a thick paste. Now slowly stir in the milk until it is creamy. Add the about 1/2 of the remaining cheese and stir until it is melted. Pour over the shells. Sprinkle with cheese and freeze. When you bake, cover with tin foil, bake for 45min (or until bubbly) at 350.

1 green pepper
1 med onion- chopped
1 T or more chili powder (try Penzy Med-hot!)
1 T cumin
1 lb of ground turkey (or beef if you prefer)
1 can chili beans
1 can Rotel
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of whole tomatoes

Brown the turkey with the medium onion. Add pepper, chili powder and cumin. Mix in your cans and add your green peppers. Allow to simmer for a couple hours. Cool and freeze. Thaw and reheat later!

Rockin' S'More Bars