Saturday, November 27, 2010

Catch Up and Thankful !!

So much to be thankful for this year...health, happiness, family, and friends.

We had a great weekend in Richmond with Rachel, Jack, Morgan, Olivia, and Aunt Blanche... Steven and Kayla even came up from Atlanta to join in the fun.  We stopped on the way home to see Ellie, Dean, Jeana, and Ethan in Arlington.  It was a complete cousin-filled weekend and we had a great time.

We came home to a few busy days here with late arrivals, early dismissals and a field trip to the Constitution Center in the middle.  On Wednesday the kids and I had lunch with Ellie and family and Gigi.  It was fun to see them again so soon.  On Thursday we enjoyed the parade with them. Later that day we went to Saba and Savta's for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was really yummy and we all were really full.

Now we are enjoying a quiet weekend of sleeping in and relaxing.  Today we saw Harry Potter in the movie theater and then I made chicken parm, salad, spaghetti, and breadsticks for dinner.   No plans for tomorrow but we will make some yummy food to enjoy during the Eagles game and there is steel cut oats going in the crock pot for a yummy breakfast tomorrow.

So much to be thankful for this year and always !!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Yum !!

Tried a new recipe today and Rick and I loved it...the kids seemed to like it also.  It is from Rachael Ray... http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/pretzel-crusted-chicken-zucchini-strips-cheddar-spicy-mustard-dipping-sauce/

It was fairly easy.  There was actually way too much sauce so I may halve that next time.  It was a good dinner to make in advance and keep warm in the oven for all the different dinner times that sometimes happen around here on weeknights.


Pretzel-Crusted Chicken and Zucchini Strips with Cheddar-Spicy Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of salted pretzels, any shape
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 medium to large zucchini, cut in quarters lengthwise then into strips 3 to 4 inches long
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 heaping tablespoons spicy brown mustard, such as Gulden’s
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 to 4-inch sticks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 3 to 4-inch sticks
  • 2 large sour dill pickles
Yields: 5-6 servings

Preparation

Preheat oven to 200°F.
Place the pretzels in a food processor or blender and grind until fine. Transfer the ground pretzels to a shallow dish, add the thyme and some pepper, and mix to combine. Crack and beat 2 eggs in a second shallow dish with a splash of water.
Step
Coat the chicken breast and zucchini strips in the ground pretzels, then in egg, then in the pretzels again.
Step
Preheat a large skillet with the EVOO, enough to go 1/4 inch up the sides of the skillet. Add the pretzel-coated chicken breast to the hot oil. Cook in a single layer, in two batches if necessary, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until cutlets' juices run clear and the breading is evenly browned. Transfer the finished chicken strips to the oven to keep warm. Repeat the same process with the zucchini.
Step
While the zucchini is frying, heat a medium saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and add the flour. Cook flour and butter for 1 minute then whisk in the milk. When the milk comes to a bubble, stir in cheese and mustard with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and remove from heat.
Transfer the fried pretzel-crusted chicken and zucchini pieces to a serving plate. Serve the mustard-cheddar sauce, carrot and celery sticks, and pickle spears alongside.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The weekend and the week so far !!

The weekend just continued to be great.  Saturday the kids had a diving meet and both were really happy with how they did.  Then we all went to a geocaching event.  After the event Matthew and I cached for a few hours with Ben, Rachel, Dave and his son, Jesse.  We had a great time.  Ben and Rachel came back to our house for pizza and hanging out.  We hadn't done that in a long time and it was just nice.  Sunday night I took Shoshi to the Justin Bieber concert with friends...she LOVED every minute.  It was really nice to see her so happy.

This week we have had some good meals....tacos, baked ravioli and I am not sure what else.  I need to come up with something good for dinner tomorrow (Rick's dad is coming) and then we are away for the weekend.  It will be a much needed weekend away hanging with the cousins.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

pumpkin pie cooking
Dunkin Donuts Iced Tea
Bonus checks in the bank
sunshine
beautiful fall leaves
warm weather
Friendly's for dinner
new Jeep in the garage

These are a few of my favorite things !!  It was a good day !!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quiet !!

I am having a quiet week which is nice for a change.  A full week of school for the kids, regular activity schedule,  nice weather....all make for a nice week.  Last night I did the worldwide cooking demo with Rachael Ray and we had honey mustard chicken with corn muffins for dinner.  It was reallly good !!  Everyone liked it so I will definitely be making it again.  Tonight we are having meatball sandwiches and french fries which is always a favorite.  The meatballs are in the crock pot and my other main goal of the day (finding the laundry floor) is also getting accomplished.  I am loving looking out the window at the sunshine and the beautiful fall leaves.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A good food weekend !!

When Rick and I were dating, engaged, and newly married (before kids) some weekends were good food weekends and some were not.  Some weekends we went out to eat and/or had good home cooked meals and some weekends we just ate whatever we could find/grab.

This weekend was a good food weekend for us.  On Friday night we had a nice dinner at West Avenue Grill with Matthew and Gigi.  Then we went to see Shoshi in "Really Rosie" the musical...we had dropped her off early for rehearsal so she couldn't join us for dinner.  She did great and LOVED every minute of it.

On Thursday I had mentioned something to Missy about making a falafel dinner.  She loved the idea and made us a falafel dinner with all the fixings and couscous on Saturday night.  Everything was delicious.

On Sunday night I made potato skins and homemade pizza.  Everything turned out great and Matthew definitely wants to have the cheddar, turkey bacon skins again.  They were really good.  Both kids love my homemade pizza.  Rick enjoyed it all also.

It was just a good food weekend !!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cooking and Cleaning !!

For a dark, dreary, and rainy day I got a lot done.  We are hoping to redo our living room/family room soon which means we need to start cleaning out and getting rid of stuff.  We will have much less storage place when the room is redone.  There will be much more room for sitting and hanging out and still plenty of room for storage and display (just not as much as we have now).  So I had scheduled a pick-up for today for household items, etc to donate to a worthy cause.  Yesterday we filled about 5 boxes of things to donate so the room is in much better shape at the moment and hopefully the redo begins soon. 

I also cooked a dinner that is always a big hit around here so there were a lot of empty plates and happy people.  http://www.easycrockpotrecipies.com/ChickenAndNoodles.aspx

Chicken And Noodles


Ingredients
4 carrots, sliced
4-5 pieces chicken
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp garlic salt
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb egg noodles

Preparation
Place carrots in CP, followed by all ingredients except noodles. Cook on LOW for 8 hours. At the end of cooking time, cook egg noodles on stovetop. While noodles cook, remove chicken from CP & cut into bitesize pieces. Return chicken & noodles to CP. If desired, thicken broth with cornstarch & water. Just be sure to add some of the broth to your cornstarch mixture first. This will prevent any lumps from forming.

I don't usually need to thicken the broth...everyone likes it more soupy (or soupier). 

We had a nice evening with everyone staying home from activities to catch up on homework, projects, and just have time to relax.  It was also nice to just stay in on a rainy evening. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Family and Food !!

Last week was uneventful and the weekend was really nice.  Saturday was Shoshi's piano recital.  She did a great job.  Then Gigi and my inlaws came back here for dinner.  We ordered Chinese and Gigi was thrilled.  She never gets to eat Chinese much and she really likes it so this was a special treat.  On Sunday Ellie, Dean, Jeana and Ethan came over.  They were joined by my parents, Gigi, Aunt Bobbie, Uncle Marc, and Billy.  We had a full house for most of the afternoon.  We had lots of yummy food...7 layer dip, bruschetta and bread, hummus and pita and veggies, plenty of chips and dip.  The Eagles didn't cooperate with a win but we all had a nice visit anyway.  We have been eating the leftovers from the weekend for the past two nights.  I guess tomorrow I will have to cook something : ).  Today I went shopping with my mom and now I am set for the Bar Mitzvah we have this weekend and Shoshi should be set for Halloween which is rapidly approaching. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

IKEA !!

Today we were looking for something to do and Aunt Blanche wanted to go to IKEA.  My mom and Gigi had never been so we all set out with Shoshi for a "girl's" day out at IKEA.  Gigi loved it....we were there for 2 hours and she walked through the entire store twice.  She couldn't believe how many things they had and how clean everything was.  She walked and walked and the rest of us were getting exhausted and she just wanted to keep going.  She wanted to make sure she saw everything since she didn't know if she would ever go back again.  She is amazing...we should all be so good at 96. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jeep !!

Friday night we went to Iron Hill Brewery for dinner and then hit the Life is Good store and the tent sale at Buckman's.  Today we spent our afternoon at the Jeep dealer.  After 9 years Rick has decided to trade in his Mini Cooper and go back in time to the Jeep Wrangler.  We owned a Jeep Wrangler before Matthew was born at at time when you couldn't put car seats in the Jeep so we did that responsible parent thing and traded it in for a Jeep Grand Cherokee...a couple cars later the Mini Cooper was the car that Rick always wanted.  He loves it and has driven it for 9 years...I thought he would never get rid of it.  The other day he came home and said he made a decision...I had no idea what he was going to say...he said he has decided to trade in the Mini Cooper for a Jeep Wrangler.  So...today we spent the afternoon at the dealer and ordered one.  It will probably be 8-10 weeks before we get it but the deposit has been made and we are all excited.  It will give us a little more room and will be fun to have a convertible again. 

Aunt Blanche is visiting so after we got home my parents, her, and Gigi came for a visit.  We went to Roman Delight for dinner (Matthew is at a Bar Mitzvah so he didn't join us). 

I think I am going to like posting and keeping track of things..may not always be exciting but will be nice to have a journal of what we have done and where we have been.  Some days will be more exciting than others. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

Rick loves Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes !! He brought home a recipe to make a Peanut Butter Kandy Kake cake. It was amazing and tasted just like them. I ended up halving the recipe and putting it in a round cake pan so it looked more like a Kandy Kake...here is the recipe as it was given to me:
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
2-8oz Hershey Bars

Beat eggs until fluffy. Add sugar, milk, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt. Blend together and mix well. Pour into 13x15 inch greased pan. Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Spread peanut butter over hot cake. Cool. Melt Hershey bars. Cover peanut butter with chocolate. Refrigerate.

A Year Has Gone By !!

A year has gone by since I last blogged. I am hoping to get back into this and be much more regular about posting. My plan is to post recipes, pictures, fun activities, etc.

We had a busy, crazy year....an amazing Bar Mitzvah in a blizzard, a fabulous trip to Israel and then just busy, busy, busy.

Now to figure out all these new blogger settings...recipes coming soon.