Friday, July 31, 2009

Food Friday - Sauteed Apple-Onion Chicken

It is still too hot to turn on the oven, turn on the stove instead. (And if you have one of those outdoor grills with a burner, use that and keep the heat outside!)

  • 2 T flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 3 C sliced onion (not chopped, you want long slices of onion)
  • 2 1/2 C peeled and sliced apples (Granny Smith work well)
  • 1 t Rosemary (dried)
  • 1 C Apple Cider
  1. Place flour, salt, and pepper in a gallon Ziploc and shake (after you've closed it of course!).
  2. Add chicken, seal, shake until it is coated.
  3. heat 1 t oil in a large nonstick skillet (medium heat).
  4. Add chicken and saute until browned on each side.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm.
  6. Heat another t of oil in the skillet.
  7. Add onion and saute 5 minutes.
  8. Add apple and rosemary and saute another 5 minutes.
  9. Add the chicken back in and then put the cider in and bring to a boil.
  10. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So Long, Fairwell ...

Announcing a change to Tutorial Tuesdays...

They are no more.

Instead, I will be posting pictures of various projects. These will just pop up on a regular but random basis. You can look at these and let your own creativity go crazy. If people leave comments requesting a tutorial on any given project, I will try to oblige.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Easy Lasagna

Have you been asked to take dinner to someone? Here is a really easy (and yummy) lasagna that you can take without having to time it so it is hot when they want it. It can even be frozen before or after cooking.
1. In a medium sized bowl (or in my case, in this cottage cheese container), combine 1 lb of cooked and drained hamburger, 1 can of Hunts Tomato Sauce (reserve about 1/3 C for later), and 8 oz of cottage cheese (you can also use ricotta - or a combination of the two). Stir it up until it looks disgusting.
2. Add your flavor (garlic, Italian spices - which are really just oregano, basil, and thyme).

3. In your casserole dish (this one is 11x7), spread the 1/3C Hunt's Tomato Sauce to barely cover the bottom of the dish. Then layer uncooked lasagna noodles (they don't have to be the kind that claim to be ok for uncooked assembly - every kind of lasagna I've tried has worked).
4. Pour your disgusting-looking meat/cheese/sauce over the top of the dry noodles.
5. Spread Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese (shredded) across the top.
6. More uncooked noodles.
7. More meat sauce, then more cheese. Keep layering until you are at the top of your pan or out of ingredients. End with cheese. You can sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top layer if you want.

8. Cover tightly with tin foil (shiny side down) and write the following instructions on it (with a permanent marker).

It says:
Preheat to 350 degrees
Cook covered for 45 minutes
Uncover and bake 15 more minutes
Let stand for 15 minutes

If you want, you can make one of these and just keep it in your freezer (either cooked or uncooked) for those times you need a meal to deliver to someone or even for yourself. You will need to thaw for 2-4 hours if it has been frozen. Once it is cooked, it can be warmed in the microwave.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food Friday - Basic Granola

Happy Pioneer Day!

One of my favorite things to do on Pioneer Day is to go hiking. When you hike, you need granola (and trail mix). I thought it would be fun to share this recipe from the home storage recipes found here.


  • 2 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 6 T oil
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 10 C uncooked rolled oats
  1. In a pan, combine the sugar; water; oil; and salt.
  2. Heat until the sugar is dissolved, but do not boil. This will make a syrup.
  3. Put your oats in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the syrup mixture over the oats and stir until well coated (add a little more rolled oats if you want it more dry).
  5. Spread the oat mixture on cookie sheets about 1/2 inch deep.
  6. Bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes (stir occasionally).
  7. Bake up to 15 minutes longer for crunchier granola.
  8. Makes 11 cups.
  9. Store in airtight containers.
Bonus: How to assemble the most wonderful trail mix!

In a large bowl with a tight lid, combine:
  • 2 C of the above granola
  • 1 C of your favorite nut (almonds and walnuts are the best for you)
  • 1 C of mixed nuts (you want to still get the surprise of a Brazil nut or the yumminess of a cashew).
  • 1 1/2 C of raisins
  • 1 1/2 C of yogurt covered dried cranberries
  • 1 bag of dark chocolate peanut M&Ms
(You can also add pretzels if you want.)

Put the lid on tight and shake, shake, shake.
Store in Ziploc bags. You can freeze this for up to a year (probably more).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Personalized Artwork

I had just painted our master bedroom and bath and wanted some art for the bathroom wall. I decided to make some original art and give it to Phil for Father's Day. Here is what we came up with:
1. I bought three Artist Canvases (one for me, one for my daughter and one for Phil):
2. I also bought some basic craft paint in colors that would work well in my bathroom. I bought a combo pack of craft paint brushes.

3. I put the canvas out for my two-year old daughter and then gave her one paint color and all the brushes and watched her go to town. I let it dry.

4. I put the canvas (with one dry color of paint already done) out another day and let her have fun again. I let it dry.

5. Repeat, for the third color. By allowing it to dry I prevented the colors from becoming one yucky mess of gray. You can see the distinct colors. You can do this as many times as you'd like - layering the colors on top of each other until your child has the look they want.
6. For my "artwork" I wanted something geometric. I used a straight edge to get the basic shapes and used round stenciling brushes for the circles. I then printed out my letter "K" from the computer and cut it out then traced around it right on the canvas. I filled it in with the paint. It certainly isn't perfect but I like it.

7. Don't forget to "sign" your artwork.
8. I bought some ribbon to decorate the edges. You can use hot glue or whatever to adhere the ribbon to the canvas edge (I just used double stick tape).
Voila! (Phil hasn't done his yet so we haven't hung them - but he really liked this Father's day gift from his two artistic proteges).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food Friday: Grilled Asian Chicken and Pineapple

Don't heat up your house tonight! Cook out on the grill instead.

  • 3 T honey
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 3 T pineapple juice
  • 2 t fresh lime juice (lemon juice can be substituted)
  • 2 t peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 t vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (or 2 t of the bottled kind)
  • 1 lb skinned, boneless chicken breast (cubed)
  • 1 C red bell pepper (cut into chunks about 1 inch squared)
  • 1 1/2 C fresh pineapple (canned can be substituted) cut into cubes
  • 4 C cooked rice
  1. Heat up your grill.
  2. In a large Ziploc, combine the honey, soy sauce, juices, ginger, oil, curry, salt, and garlic.
  3. Knead to mix the ingredients well.
  4. Add chicken and bell pepper pieces.
  5. Knead bag again to make sure the chicken and bell pepper are well coated (don't forget to seal your bag!).
  6. Thread the chicken, bell pepper, and pineapple pieces alternately onto skewers (bamboo or metal will work fine).
  7. Discard the marinade.
  8. Place the skewers on the grill rack and cook 10 minutes (or until chicken is done). Turn occasionally.
  9. Serve with hot rice.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Learning Road

It is fairly simple to create a game board like this:
Draw your road:
Cut it out:
Glue it to a piece of construction paper in a contrasting color:
Draw the broken line down the center of the road (you can also draw grass or flowers or something along the side of the road):
Decide what you want your child to practice (in this case it is vowels) and make little signs and then glue along the road:
You can laminate to extend the life of your game board or you can slip in a sheet protector. (Hint: to save on laminate and paper you can do another game on the backside.)

When it is finished you can find some small cars and have your toddler drive and tell you what the signs say or you can say, "drive to the letter E" or whatever you come up with.

We've done this with shapes and numbers and colors. You could also do it with stickers of different animals or pictures of grandparents (if they live far away and you want your child to learn their names) or whatever your mind comes up with. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Friday - Baked Pears (no sugar added)

  • 2 Cans of Pear Halves in light syrup
  • 1/2 C Pear syrup (drained from the pear halves - discard the rest)
  • 1 C Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 t Corn Starch
  • 1/4 t Cinnamon
  • 2/3 C Your favorite crunchy cereal (Grape Nuts, Honey Bunches of Oats, Corn Flakes, etc.)
  1. Spray a square baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Arrange the pear halves along the bottom of the dish.
  3. In a bowl, mix the pear syrup, yogurt, corn starch, and approximately1/4 t cinnamon.
  4. Pour yogurt mixture over the pear halves.
  5. Sprinkle the crunchy cereal over the top of the yogurt/pears.
  6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  7. Let sit for 15 minutes and serve. (Can be served with ice cream or alone.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Strap Covers

Does your child get tired of having the carseat or seatbelt strap rubbing against her soft skin? Mine did so I decided to make a faux fur strap cover.

Eden LOVES these and thanked me every day for a week. She kept saying, "mommy made it for Eden, thank you mommy." Now if that isn't reason enough to do a VERY LITTLE bit of sewing, I don't know what is.

Do you want to make one?
Here we go:

  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Faux Fur (1/8 to 1/4 yard)
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Velcro Strip
1. Measure the width of your strap to be covered multiplied by two then add the width of your velcro plus .25 inch. (So, if your strap is 2.5 inches and your velcro is .75 inch you would have 5.75 inch plus .25 inch brings your total to 6 inches).

2. Measure the length you want your covers to be (I recommend at least 3 inches)

3. Cut 2 pieces of your fake fur to your measurements. (For the examples above you would cut them 6" x 3".)

4. Measure and cut two pieces of velcro to fit the length of your strap cover (in our example: 3 inches)
5. Pin the velcro on to the fur. Make sure one of the velcro strips is on the "right" side and the other strip on the "wrong" side of the fur. Like this:
6. Sew the velcro into place using a straight stitch on each side of the velcro or a large zig zag down the middle of the velcro.
7. Remove the pins, put it on the strap and enjoy your child's gratitude.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Food Friday - America's Favorite Pork Chops

Okay, I got this recipe from Cooking Light and I just love how presumptuous the name is. I thought it would be a fitting recipe for this weekend.

4 top loin pork chops
3/4 C Italian dressing
1 t Worcestershire sauce

  • Place all ingredients in Ziploc bag; seal; and palce in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight.
  • Remove chops from bag; discard marinade.
  • Grill over a medium-hot fire, turning once, until just done (about 8-15 mintues)
Calories 210