Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thankfu Thursday- Two Random Things

1. I am grateful for this free country that we live in. I am thankful that even if I do not agree with the current administration, as of now I can still write a letter to express my distaste. I just sent off 16 letters to select politicians hoping perhaps one of them will read my letter just because. Even if the letters are not read, or nothing changes, at least I can feel good knowing I said something.

2. I am thankful for CHOCOLATE! I try to include a morsel in my every day. Today I put it in some Chocolate Phip pretzel Bars. Delicious! Here they are cooling. I am waiting patiently. I think I will serve them with vanilla ice cream drizzled in caramel. I am also thankful to Dana for providing this amazing recipe. Go here for the genius behind the recipe.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ruth's Diner Macaroni and Cheese

It is so good you don't need a picture! (Plus I ate it up and forgot to take one)

3 cups uncooked macaroni noodles
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 cups milk
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs paprika
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar
2 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack
1 cup cottage cheese

For the topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs


Cook macaroni, drain do not rinse.
In a large saute pan, saute the onions in butter. Add the flour to make a roux and cook for one minute. Add the milk, bay leaves, paprika, salt and pepper. Brink to a simmer, stirring often. Mix the 2 cheeses together in a small bowl. Once the mixture is at a simmer, add 3 cups of cheese mixture and the cottage cheese. Stir well, remove from heat, and remove bay leaves from mixture. Add macaroni noodles to milk mixture, mix well.

Pour 1/2 of macaroni mixture into a 2 quart baking dish, cover with 1/2 of the remaining grated cheese, add remaining macaroni mixture and cover with the remaining grated cheese mixture.

In small bowl mix together the topping ingredients and top the macaroni. Place into the oven and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.

As always, serve and enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thankful Thursday - Firefighter Stir Fry

I am thankful for Firefighters. I bet you are too!:) I am not only grateful for the obvious reasons, but also because now that my husband is a firefighter he is learning to cook! He went from burning mac and cheese from the box to learning how to cook pure deliciousness. This recipe is one of my new favorites straight from the fire station kitchen to your plate!

Firefighter Stir- Fry

Marinade Sauce (Double this mixture)
5 dried Arbol Chile's (located in the Hispanic food section of your grocery store with the other bagged dried chile's)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic minced

Blend the ingredients in the blender and pour 1/2 of mixture over 1 pound of chicken breasts. Marinade in the fridge for 3-5 hours. Set aside the remaining sauce for completed dish.

For the Rice
2 cups long grain enriched regular rice
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups water

Pour olive oil in deep, large frying pan. Add rice and heat on high until rice turns to just barely golden brown. Add water, cover, and simmer for approx. 25 minutes. Try to avoid removing lid. This should make the perfect white rice.

While rice is cooking, cook chicken in pan until just brown. Remove chicken from pan and place your favorite stir-fry veggies(broccoli,carrots,peas,water chestnuts) in the pan and steam with a little bit of water until just tender. Add Chicken into vegetables for 2 minutes with remaining sauce. Pour stir fry over serving of rice and add extra sauce if desired. Serve and Enjoy!

Stay tuned for more recipes from the Fire Station kitchen!

What are you thankful for today?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How to Handle a Monday

When faced with a terrible Monday please see instructions below:

-Take baby (preferably the cute cuddly kind)
-If baby is difficult to locate ask neighbor or extended family to borrow one ( It will count as service for them too!)
-Apply to favorite shoulder and sit until pain subsides (usually starts to work after a minute)
-Leave application on for as long as possible
-It may be a good idea to sniff and squeeze alternately
-Repeat throughout your Monday as needed
-If pain is not gone by Tuesday, apply twice a day or as many times as necessary until swelling of frustration goes down
-Unlimited Refills allowed

Prescribed by Kasha and Grandmother's of lil one

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday

It's too bad I made these cakes look ugly because they sure tasted delicious!
Even if I had a decent camera these cakes would still appear as ugly as they turned out.

I am thankful for my amazing neighbors. I have neighbors next to me and neighbors in front of me who are the absolute best. We for sure have the ugliest house on the block, live next to a loud road, and can't afford landscaping, but it is all worth it for neighbors like this. While we were on vacation our one neighbor was kind enough to mow our lawn so we wouldn't have a jungle to come home to. Let me remind you it is 115 degrees outside.

The other neighbors came over the day we moved in with goodies and a helping hand. We have loved them from the start. Unfortunately one of their dog's died while THEY were on vacation so a cake was in order.

I made Creme De Menthe cakes- super easy, very refreshing, always delicious!

1 box of white cake mix
Creme De Menthe (Liqueur)
1 container of cool whip (thawed)
1 jar of Hershey's hot fudge ice cream topping

Directions: Make Cake mix according to instructions and add 2 Tablespoons of Creme De Menthe. Bake according to pan preference and directions. Allow to cool. Next spread cooled cake with fudge topping. Put in fridge to cool. While cake is in the fridge add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Creme De Menthe to cool whip and fold in. Spread over cake and put back in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve and Enjoy!

I forgot to purchase something cute to decorate it with so I attempted to paint on it with food coloring. I wish I could say my 5 year old did the decorating, but alas I don't have a 5 year old. I confess it looked better in my mind than it did on the cake.I wrote on the other cake "Im sorry" which looked so pathetic I then attempted to smear the writing into a pretty mint green. The end result was worse than the first mistake. Someday I will be writing below a gorgeous picture of a cake decorated by me. For now I will say I still have my training wheels on.It's the thought that counts right? What are you thankful for today?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Olive Garden Pasta e Fagioli

1 20 oz can of crushed tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 can Kidney beans
1 can Great northern beans
1 can Diced tomatoes
1 small Onion
3 stalks Celery
1 cup matchstick carrots or shred your own carrots
1 lb ground beef
1 1/2 cups Ditallini (or salad roni)
1 tsp Italian Herbs
1/2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic salt
1-2 tsp crushed red peppers

In a large pot combine beans, tomatoes, and 1 can of water. In another pot brown ground beef, celery, onions and carrots, with Italian herbs until vegetables are just soft and hamburger is browned. Add mixture to tomato/bean pot. Continue to simmer and add spices to taste. I like to add a little extra with all of the spices and add salt as well. Finally add boiled pasta (al dente) to pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Top with your favorite cheese, serve, and enjoy!

You can also revive your dish the next day by stuffing it into some peppers!

Simply cut the tops off your green peppers and clean the insides out. Boil in salted water for 3 minutes. Stuff the peppers with the above mixture and place in an oven safe dish. Top mixture with cheese and oregano. Add 1/4 cup of water to bottom of pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes covered with tinfoil. Remove tinfoil and broil until cheese is bubbly and crisp. Serve and Enjoy!

Raw Spice Bar

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