Monday, November 29, 2010

A little less stress...........

Well,I was chatting about food issues and cakes with a good friend yesterday and was telling her I had NO idea how I was going to have something for everyone coming to the birthday party to eat-we all have different dietary concerns-ranging from food allergies (gluten,nut allergies) to just trying to stay away from preservitives and food dyes/colorings. She told me another one of our friends might make a cake for me that would be appropriate for everyone.REALlY!? That would help me out so much not having to do more than one cake.Not that I'm complaining about accomidating everyone,believe me,I have my own food issues to deal with. I'm allergic to tomatoes,carrots,blueberries and am diabetic to boot. But with so many issues it's just hard to feed everyone! So I chatted with the other girlfriend and she is going to make cupcakes for me.I swear next time I see her I'm going to give her a giant bear hug! She just doesn't know how much this will help me out!!! Thanks,Krista and Jessica!!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Dinner

I think this year for Christmas dinner we will do something sort of different for us.We usually do another roast turkey--can't get enough roast turkey for my taste,I love it! But it can be alot of work (and stress). So this year we are going to do a baked ham and a roast chicken. I'm not really big on ham,but the hubby wants it,so I don't mind. He wants mashed potatoes and green beans as sides. I will probably do another brussel sprouts dish or another veggie for me. And I definately want to do something different for desserts this year. I'm thinking about making a cheesecake for him that is a staple in my family. It's basicly a lemony cheesecake with a sweet cherry topping. If I can find a way to make it less sugary for us diabetics, that will be awesome. Maybe I can just do the lemony cheesecake without the topping. I'll have to do some thinking and browse some recipe magazines and see what I can come up with. I wanted to make homemade rolls for thanksgiving but it didn't happen.I caved in and bought rolls. Maybe I will take a little time and make them for Christmas. I wish I could find a way to eleviate all this stress that comes on starting Dec 1st. I'm a stresser LOL-no matter how many times I say I won't let it get to me and I won't worry about it all,it does. I need to learn to LET IT GO! Any other stressers out there? Raise your hands!

Birthday Party coming soon.....

Made it through one holiday-now it's a mad rush till New Year's. My son will be 8 on December 12. We usually have his birthday party at our house and I feel so rushed and stressed and want everything to be perfect,so this year I've decided to try to take some of the stress out of it all and have the party at the bowling alley. So now the only thing I have to stress about is having a cake that everyone can enjoy! I know the kids will enjoy bowling and I will enjoy not having to have the house "picture perfect" for company. I haven't decided what to give him for his birthday yet. He wants the new "princess peach" video game so I might get that. With his birthday being so close to Christmas it's always hard to make the two feel like separate "holidays".

Sammy Kershaw - Christmas Time's A Comin'

Thursday, November 25, 2010

an extra recipe

This is another recipe I found in one of the many food magazines that come to my house. I just love magazines!! We had this as a side on Wednesday. I want to find a replacement to the canned soup but I haven't had time to experiment. It was good and the canned soup will do in a pinch--always get the one with the lowest amount of sodium!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole
1 bag country style hashbrowns
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups light sour cream
salt/pepper to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese
panko bread crumbs
few pats of butter

mix soup,sour cream,salt/pepper and cheese in a large mixing bowl---add the hasbrowns and stir well to mix---pour into a greased casserole dish---top with the breadcrumbs and a few small pats of butter to help the breadcrumbs brown---bake 350*F for about 45 mins-or until it's bubbly and the top is browned.

**original recipe called for onions but I left it out-add in if you like--and cornflakes but I used panko instead--this was delicious!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my family,friends, and blog readers. I hope everyone had a great day. Well,my plans of having my dinner menu with pretty pics of each dish didn't happen LOL-it got eaten before any thought of taking pictures happened. But I will share what we had.

Roast Turkey
Roast baby yukon gold potatoes
roasted brussel sprouts
homemade cranberry sauce
delicious pies mentioned in previous post

I found the recipes for the potatoes and brussel sprouts in food magazines and I just had to try them. If I can find a link to them online I will post.

Roast Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes with onions and cream

2packs of yukon gold baby potatoes
1/2 white onion sliced
salt/pepper to taste
1/2-3/4 cup cream
1/2-3/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

slice the potatoes in half and layer in a baking dish--add as much salt/pepper as you like--pour the cream over and top with parmesan cheese--bake 400*F until bubbly and the potatoes are browned and cheese is melted (about 30+mins)
**the original recipe didn't call for the cheese but I had some left from the brussel sprouts so I added it--delish!

Roasted Brussel sprouts with cream and cheese
2 packs of steam brussel sprouts
1/2-3/4 cup cream
shredded mozzarella
shredded parmesan
salt/pepper to taste
panko breadcrumbs
few pats of butter

in pan melt a few tbs of butter--add in uncooked brussel sprouts and cook for a few mins-salt and pepper to taste--pour into a casserole dish---add in the cream--top with the cheeses (I used a few handfuls of each)---top with a light layer of the panko--place a few dots of butter around the top of the dish to help the crumbs to brown---bake 400*F until the top is brown and bubbly

**this was delicious!!!!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
2 bags of cranberries
1/2-3/4 cup of cranberry juice concentrate
splenda to taste
1/2 cup water

In sauce pan place the cranberries and water--add cinnamon---let cook until the cranberries start to pop---add splenda and stir to mix--reduce heat and add the juice to make it as thin/thick as you like--let cook on very low uncovered until it is as thick as you like.

**homemade cranberry sauce is sooo much better than the can--and sooo easy! I love it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

experiment---Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

4cups all purpose baking mix
1cup chocolate chips
1 cup splenda
dash cinnamon
30 oz pumpkin pie mix
2 large eggs

mix together until it is all just combined and the flour isn't visible---pour into greased bundt pan and bake 400*F for about 30 mins or until done in center

I have a giant can of sweet potato pie mix that I am going to try this with also--I will update and share the results.


There are 3 diabetics in our household,so in most of my "sweet" recipes I will use Splenda--if that doesn't work for you use your sweetener of choice.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

8oz weight watcher's cream cheese-softened (or neufchatel)
1 1/3 cup pumpkin pie (I used canned pie mix)
1 1/3 cup splenda
dash of pumpkin pie spice
dash of cinnamon
8oz cool whip (or homemade cream topping)
1 large graham cracker crust (or shortbread cookie crust)

beat cream cheese,pumpkin,sugar, and spices until well blended--add in cool whip and mix until well blended--pour into cookie pie shell and chill until pie is set 3hrs+ (overnight is better)

SweetPotato Cheesecake

8 oz weight watcher's cream cheese-softened (or neufchatel)
1 1/3 cup of mashed sweet potato (I used canned pie mix)
1 1/3 cup splenda
dash pumpkin pie spice
dash of cinnamon
8 oz cool whip (or homemade cream topping)
1 graham cracker crust (or shortbread cookie crust)

beat cream cheese,sweet potato,sugar and spices until well blended---add in cool whip and mix well--pour into cookie pie shell and chill until pie is set 3+hrs (overnight is better)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I hope this is a sign of good things to come.......

Ever since he was big enough to make his "own decisions" about what to eat,feeding my son has been a struggle. If it wasn't a french fry,potato chip,or chocolate candy bar most of the time it was a struggle to get him to eat it--SERIOUSLY. And if it was meat in any form it was out of the question. The most "meat" I could get him to eat might be a itty bitty bite of a chicken nugget-but most of the time he'd just eat the "crust" off the nugget and leave the meat part. Tonight,for laughs I made him a ham/cheese sandwich and cut it out with a ghost cookie cutter. It was the first cutter that I pulled out of my drawer,so GHOST sandwich it was. I have been frequenting some online sites about making bento lunches for kids (and adults) and this one uses alot of cookie cutters to make fun kid-shaped foods. It looked so fun I have been saying I was going to try it with Zachary. And tonight I just did it. My son didn't ask what it was-ask if he had to eat it--he just gobbled it right up. And about an hour later came and asked me to make him another GHOST SANDWICH. I was flabbergasted!!!! You just don't know how long I've been waiting for my son to eat a sandwich that wasn't made of peanut butter and a tortilla (what we call a peanut butter burrito).......I hope this is the start of a change in my son's eating habits. Don't worry,I'll keep you guys updated!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Season of Thanksgiving.....

I plan on posting my Thanksgiving menu-and pics of special dishes--PLAN on it LOL whether it happens or not I don't know yet. I haven't even really started my holiday grocery shopping yet. I do have a turkey! YAY! lol But other than that,I don't have much. So sometime tomorrow,going to hit the store. I don't care if the hubby goes with me (except for the fact that I can get more when he's with me cause I can put him to work pushing another buggy)---but it's MANDATORY for him to be home when I get done to help unload the car. Otherwise,I turn into a very GRUMPY WIFE! Especially if I have alot to unload.

OK,I think we should share some things we are thankful for--I mean since it is the season and all. As one of the kids at our harvest party said today "I am thankful that the pilgrims came here". I agree-that's a pretty good one. I'm thankful for the usual healthy family, friends that I can be myself with and don't have to be fake and can be as goofy as I want and they will still like me. I'm thankful for my son,although he can push ALL my "WRONG" buttons,he is my joy. I'm thankful for my MUTT Min-Pin Tinkie, she has changed my life-never knew I was a dog person. I'm thankful for all the plentiful things in my life. I'm thankful that I can be a stay home mom and housewife and homeschool my son. I could go on...It's good to take time to remember the things in our lives that we are thankful for-not just on the last Thursday in November,but everyday. We should live each day with a little bit of Thanksgiving in it.

I hope all of my readers (**waves at readers**) have a very safe,happy,joy filled holiday filled with bountiful blessings and time with friends and family. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A few faves.............

I have to be careful about strong scents in my house-whether it be in candles,air freshener sprays,potpourri,cologne or perfume--I have horrible allergies and can't wear most perfumes or colognes because they give me horrible headaches/migraines. The same thing with other scents too. But I found a few I can tolerate-being some of those glade seasonal candles. I love the ANGEL WHISPERS's scent--and just found a new one called Chocolate Cherry Sparkle-smells just like chocolate covered cherries! I also love the glade relaxing moments sprays and candles-especially ISLAND ESCAPE. There's another one from that collection but I can't remember the name. The ones I can't handle are cinnamon,vanilla, and evergreen scents--those will give me a headache quick!

I love cooking/recipe magazines--and magazines in general. I love the kraft FOOD AND FAMILY magazine. It has great recipes and info on new kraft products. It's a really fun magazine and a real bargain too.

I won a free subscription to EVERYDAY FOOD (a Martha Stewart Magazine) earlier this year and I don't think I will be purchasing a subscription when my free one runs out. Although I'm not big on Martha's recipes,I have found a few that I want to try out. Martha Stewart just isn't my style LOL.

I love Weight Watcher's Magazine --not only does it have great dieting/lifestyle tips for getting healthy and of course losing weight,it has wonderful recipes and inspiring articles from people who have had success using the weight watcher's systems.They also have yearly recipe books with all the recipes from each year-I have the most recent 3 books and love them. I've gotten great recipes from them.

I also like the FOOD NETWORK magazine --and the FOOD NETWORK TV channel as well. I did get the EVERYDAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine for a while and did enjoy it but found that it was getting repetitive so I didn't renew when my subscription was up-but I'm thinking about renewing.

I also really enjoy the TASTE OF HOME magazines-and boy,they have alot to choose from-I think I've subscribed to just about all of them at one time or another. They have wonderful ones to choose from whether you are looking for light and healthy recipes-to family favorites-to special holiday editions. You can find just about everything in TASTE OF HOME. This is another one I need to renew.

And for a little family fun,I have just recently subscribed to FAMILY FUN MAGAZINE. They have lots of great ideas for spending quality time with the little ones in your family-and most of the ideas are either FREE or CHEAP. That's always good in my book.

And how could I have forgotten about WOMAN'S DAY? I've subscribed to Woman's Day magazine for about 15yrs now.What can I say? It's iconic.

Another magazine I really enjoy and need to renew the subscription to is ALL YOU . They have great tips about just about everything-some recipes and ALOT of coupons--GOOD coupons. It's a great magazine with alot of great info-you should check it out!

And while enjoying my monthly pedicures,I've found two new magazines (at least they were new to me) that I've subscribed to: SOUTHERN LADY and Tea Time.

I think when the hubby or anyone asks me what's on my wish list this year I'm going to include a few of the magazines that are up for renewal! ;) The husband says I need to find some more MANLY magazines so he can have something to read LOL-anyone have any suggestions? LOL What are some of your fave cooking or other magazines for us girls?

Thanksgiving is just around the corner......

I'm making out my list of recipes that I'm going to make this year--and trying to make a shopping list to go along with it LOL so hubby won't have to run out to the grocery store the night before thanksgiving like last year and grab me a bag of brown sugar and butter like he had to do last year. Poor hubby! lol What's on your menu for this year??? What are some dishes that you have to have every year for your celebration? Please share-I'll post my full menu in a few days........

Calling all readers!!!!

what are some of your fave crockpot/slow cooker recipes? I just bought a great book called FIX IT AND FORGET IT-600 holiday slow cooker recipes....I have found alot that I want to try. It has everything from main dishes--to hot cider/toddy recipes.

another slow cooker delight

Tuesday evenings we have music class and afterwards,I'm USUALLY NOT in a mood to be standing over the stove and cooking. So this week,I planned on using the crockpot. Tonight's fare was RED BEANS and RICE. It turned out very good.

1 package of red beans (soaked overnight if possible)
2 packages of turkey kelbasa (or your fave sausage)
1-2 cups of brown minute rice (or your fave rice)

After soaking the beans overnight,I drained and rinsed them well this morning.I then added them into the crockpot along with the turkey kelbasa chopped into small bite sized chunks and 1/2 of a white onion diced. I added a little salt and water and let it cook all day. When I got home from music class,I added about 2 cups of minute rice and a little more water and let it cook about 15-20 minutes longer to make sure the rice was fully cooked (even though it was minute rice).

This is definately a hit. I think I'm even going to have enough leftovers to stash some in the freezer for another cold evening.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Lentils and the crockpot

I've been using the crockpot more and more this week. It's nice to be able to throw something in it,turn the button and have dinner ready in a few hours. Today's fare was brown lentils with chicken/apple sausage. I'm not really big on beans,but this turned out delicious!

Lentils and sausage

1 package of dry lentils (soaked for a few hours)
chicken apple sausage cut into bite size pieces

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

slow cooking on a rainy evening.....

The weather's getting cooler--at least cooler than what it was here in the deep south. And it's raining---FINALLY! So that makes me want to prepare something warm and hearty for the family. Last night, I put some beef stew fixings in the crock pot and it cooked all evening. Today,I baked a couple of the HUGE russett baking potatoes and a loaf of french garlic bread. I served the stew over the potato and served the bread on the side. It's nice and thick and delicious!!!

Slow Cooking Beef Stew

1 large packet of beef stew cubes
salt/pepper to taste
1 package of dried slit peas
3/4 of a package of frozen carrot slices
1-2 cups of frozen corn kernels
1 large white onion diced

**soak the dry peas for as long as you can (I think I soaked mine for 1/2 a day)

Basicly,you add everything into the crock pot,add enough water according to your size crockpot and let it cook on high for about 4+ hours (or low for 6-8hours).Whenever I wandered into the kitchen,I would check on it and give it a good stir!