Monday, September 29, 2008

Family Menu Sept 29-Oct 4

This week we are getting back to normal so I am actually starting to cook some. Now to get rid of all the leftovers.

Tues-Tomato & Green Pepper Chow Mein
Wed- Pizza Pockets - This is a recipe I kind of made up based on 2 different recipes and my family loves it!
Thurs-Date night -- hopefully. Kids will get leftovers
Fri- Hamburgers
Sat-Out of town, so I don't have to cook.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pear Pie

I made Pear Pie yesterday. The world's Greatest Pie ever. I made 2 "regular" pies and 2 GF pies.

Pear Pie

1 8- or 9-inch single pie crust, uncooked
6-7 medium pears, peeled, cored, & quartered
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1/2 C sugar
2 -3 Tbsp flour (for GF use 2 T cornstarch)
1 tsp lemon peel (optional)

Combine pears and lemon juice in a medium bowl. In a small bowl combine sugar, flour and peel. Pour into pears and combine. Stir carefully. Pour into prepared pie crust

Crumb Topping
2/3 C flour (rice or wheat)
2/3 C white or brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t mace (optional)
(For GF add 1/4 - 1/5 tsp xanthan gum)
1/3 C butter/margarine

Combine all ingredients but the butter. Cut butter into the mixture. Sprinkle on top of Filling.

Bake at 425-degrees for 10 minutes then on 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes.


Pear-Raspberry Jam

I made my favorite jam yesterday -- Pear-Raspberry. I also ended up making Pear-Raspberry-Strawberry since I ran out of raspberries. Basically, I use frozen raspberries and thaw them then follow the instructions in the Pectin box and use about 3/5 a recipe of cooked raspberry jam and 2/5 a recipe of pear jam. If you need more details here they are, for the example I will use 3/5 & 2/5.

Thaw frozen raspberries. If you are on the ball you would have frozen them in season. If not (like me this year) just buy frozen raspberries and thaw. Mash with a potato masher, food processor, or blender if you so desire so you have 3/5 the raspberries your pectin box calls for in a cooked raspberry recipe. Then peal and core pears and mash them so they are equal to 2/5 the pears called for in a cooked pear recipe.

When they are combined they will look like this

Then cook the jam according to the instructions on the fruit. This is what it looks like at a "rolling boil"
I thought this looked pretty cool!

Pour it in your bottles and process according to the instructions in the box.

Doesn't the jam look pretty. FYI: If you use the "inversion" method. Be sure to turn the jam over after 5 minutes or it sets up and leave the air gap on the bottom as you can see. OOPS!

Family Menu Sept 23-28

While a little late nonetheless here it is. My husband is out of town for the next three days so it will be pretty low key.

T - Sandwiches and Beans & Pears
W - Going out to eat
Th - Tacos
F - I'm not sure I have a Daddy-Daughter Date for church to run and my husband & oldest daughter are going, so it will probably be mac & cheese or something like that for the younger 2.
Sat - Frito Pie -- I really need to get some photos of this on here. When I do I will link to it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

About half done

I must admit that, as a general rule, I do not like to can. However, I do love canning fruit. If only it could be in any month but September. Just too many things to do. But this week my mom brought me almost 4 bushels of pears. In one afternoon & evening we canned 3 of them and 1 bushel of peaches. Thanks MOM!
Don't they look pretty.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cream of Broccoli Soup

The other dish I made tonight was Cream of Broccoli Soup. It tasted delicious.

Doesn't it look yummy!

Cream of Broccoli Soup
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 onion, minced
4 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 heaping Tbsp cornstarch
1-1/2 lbs fresh or frozen broccoli (I used fresh this time)
1/2 C heavy cream

1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 3-1/2 C broth and bring to a boil. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch to the remaining broth. Whisk into the boiling broth and continue to whisk for about a minute. Simmer for 5 minutes, whisking frequently.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop the broccoli. Add the vegetables to the soup and simmer until tender, 7-10 minutes.
3. If you want you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender. I don't since I like my soup a little chunky. Return the pureed soup to the pot.
4. Stir in the cream. Bring to a brief simmer (do not boil), then remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage Lasagne

Today I had to clean the garden produce out of the fridge to make room for more. Not really complaining, just always amazed how quick it comes ready. So tonight, I made two dinners to use this week. The first is Cabbage Lasagne. Basically, I took a recipe for stuffed cabbage and made lasagne instead.

Doesn't it look pretty.

Here is the Recipe:

Cabbage Lasagne
4-6 Cups cooked Cabbage, cut into bite size pieces*
3/4 lb ground beef (or 1/3 lb ground beef & 1/2 can 14-oz black or kidney beans or just 1 can beans)
1/3 C chopped onion
1 7-1/2 oz can tomatoes, cut up (I use the petite diced tomatoes)
1/2 C water
1/3 C long grain rice
1/2 tsp dried dillweed or thyme, crushed (or 1/2 Tbsp fresh)
1/4 tsp pepper
1 15-oz can tomato sauce (this is the LARGE can= to 2 small cans)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried dillweed or thyme, crushed (or 1/2 Tbsp fresh)
3/4 C shredded swiss cheese or mozzarella, divided

1. In a large skillet cook meat and onion til meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in Beans (if using), undrained tomatoes, water, uncooked rice, 1/2 tsp dillweed or thyme, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer covered, for 15-18 minutes or till the rice is tender.
2. While the rice & meat mixture is cooking, in a small bowl stir together tomato sauce, sugar, and 1/2 tsp dillweed or thyme.
3. Once the meat mixture is cooked. Pour 1/3 of sauce into a 2-qt baking dish. Layer 1/2 the meat mixture and 1/4 C cheese on top followed by 1/2 the cooked cabbage. Repeat with 1/3 of the sauce, remaining meat mixture, and 1/4 C cheese, then remaining cabbage. Top with remaining sauce & cheese.
4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 mintues. Enjoy!

*Remove vein in the center if you want.

This is what the inside looks like

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Family Menu Sept 14-20

This week is a little harried -- Birthdays & canning so we are doing it super easy! all meals come ready made gluten-free

Sun: Leftovers
Mon: Hamburgers (with garden produce), Beans
Tues: Crockpot Chicken, Potatoes, & Carrots with peach pie
Wed: Taco Soup, Salad
Thurs: Whatever my son chooses, it is his birthday -- probably pizza -- again, my daughter chose it last week for her birthday
Fri: Gunge (cook rice, hamburger or chicken, and peas, broccoli or your favorite veggie, mix them altogether and top with soy sauce.)
Sat: Leftovers

Friday, September 5, 2008

Birthday #1 Prep

For my daughter's 8th birthday she is having a Candyland party. While a younger child game we are adapting. She couldn't decide what she wanted to do for her party so I told her to look at the cut-up cake designs I have and see if she finds and idea she likes. She liked the flower cart, but we did a theme similar to flowers last year, so we changed it to a candy cart. I am trying to come up with ideas for activities and the like based on the characters from candyland. So far we have gingersnaps (molassas swamp), ice cream (Queen Frostine), candy cart for King Kandy (if real adventurous I will make the cart look like a candy cart castle -- we'll see) making a candyland girl out of foamy and suckers (Princess Lolly), Pin the doornut (doorknob) on Grandma Nut's home, I am probably going to do a photo treasure hunt or obstacle course to get something back from Lord Licorice, I am still thinking on what to do for Mr. Mint and for Plumpy and the gingerbread tree with plum forest. For Jolly the Gumdrop guy I am making Tic-Tac-Toe bags with small pebbles in them.

I started with a 9-patch square, added 1/4" borders on top & sides. Then added the back and front border to bottom. Then I added a lining and sewed them together.

Then I sewed a thin line of velcro to top of each side of the lining. then serged them together to make a bag to hold the pieces.

Now they can play with their "gumdrops".
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I have been making headbands lately.  My daughters are growing their bangs out and we need something to keep them back and barretts are not doing the job.   We had a rubber headband we had bought at the store has been doing a great job, so we used it for a template.

Here are some the the headbands we have made.  If you want to see how I made them you can go here, on the photo with the pattern, if you view full size you can just copy the pattern off the computer screen.  Thanks Meg for the hint!

This is the one I made on the link.

I think this one is my favorite

I used a little more decrative stitch on this one.  I really like it.

This one matches a dress I made for my oldest when she was 4 that fits my younger daughter now that is 2 1/2.


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