Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bath Paint

A few weeks ago I stumbled on a great blog, The Idea Room. I had so much fun reading her great ideas of things to do with the girls, especially my oldest daughter whom we affectionately nicknamed Peanut. One night for a bath time surprise I made her bath paint. Her favorite color is green so we only made green to use. She had a ball painting the bath tub walls and herself. I didn't put the baby in with her as the paint is made with dish soap and would thus result in some burning eyes. Peanut thought it was the best thing ever. The paint washed right off like it says it will do. I highly recommend this activity. It would especially help those kids who don't enjoy bath time, although that is not a problem here. Her recipe is as follows...

2 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. liquid dish soap
4-5 drops liquid food coloring
Stir and mix together until the color is fully incorporated and it has a smooth consistency. Add a small amount of water (2-3 T.) and stir.

Her post is here if you would like to see it.

I will be trying this homemade finger paint soon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

This was sublime! Yum!!!! I have never made this recipe although it was sitting in my recipe box along with all of these other recipes I have never made. I am finding new joy in my recipe box! :) This is a keeper too. Hubby really liked this tonight for supper.

Beef Stroganoff
1 lb. sliced beef, steak, ground beef or meatballs
6 T. butter
2 t. worchestershire sauce
1 c. chopped onions
1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
2 c. beef broth
6 T. flour

Combine all in the slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Add an 8 oz. cream cheese or 2 c. sour cream in last hour of cooking, and salt and pepper. Serve over noodles.

I used beef stew meat and Reemes noodles. Those are the ones in the frozen food section. I will never go back to cheap noodles. These taste like homemade. They are more expensive but WORTH every penny! They can be tricky to find, but look high and low. You will find them and they will be worth it. ;)

Golden Glow Pork Chops

I have had this recipe in my box for probably over a year but never tried it because...well because I haven't really cooked in forever. I made the same things over and over for my family when I did cook. So I finally pulled this recipe out and decided to make it. Boy was Hubby glad I did. He loved it and ate 3 of them. He even used it in his Facebook status. Ha. I will certainly be making this one again.

Golden Glow Pork Chops
5-6 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
29 oz. can peaches (reserve 1/4 c. juice)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground cloves
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 c. vinegar

Lightly brown pork chops in pan on both sides, using salt and pepper to taste. Place in slow cooker. Place drained peaches on top of pork chops. Combine remaining ingredients plus 1/4 c. peach juice. Pour over pork chops and peaches. Cover. Cook on low 3-4 hours.

YUM! So easy!!!! I used sliced pork loin because it was on sale and it worked fine. I also used 1 t. pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and cloves. I am NOT a fan of cloves so this was more subtle and it tasted fine.

I highly recommend this for a great fall or winter meal. I made mashed sweet potatoes and homemade whole wheat bread to serve alongside.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wet Burritos

We love Hispanic food! Our favorite places to eat are usually the Hispanic restaurants in town, although I really have enjoyed eating at the Indian places too! Our new town is blessed by many ethnic restaurants which has been fun to explore.

Tonight I tried a recipe that a friend had given me a few years ago. I had tucked it in my recipe box and forgotten about it. This week when I sat down to make our menu and my grocery list I found it and decided to try it. It was an easy recipe and turned out really yummy. Please see below recipe for a clarification on recipe!

Wet Burritos
1 1/2 lb. ground chuck - cook with 1/2 chopped onion and drain
1 1/2 pkgs taco seasoning - mix in recommended amount of water from pkg.
16 oz. can of refried beans - mix into meat mixture

16 large flour tortillas
8 slices of American cheddar cheese (cut each one in 1/2)

Fill each tortilla with 3 T. filling and top with 1/2 slice of cheese. Roll up tightly, making sure edges are sealed. Put in lightly greased 9x13" pan. (Each pan will hold 5.) Cover with sauce.

1 jar Homestyle brown gravy
16 oz. can diced tomatoes
10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
Mix above ingredients together and pour over top of burritos in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, covered. Add sliced green onions, sliced black olives, and shredded cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

I used 12 small wheat tortillas and only used one pan. It worked fine. I have been buying bakery made tortillas and my grocery store and really like them. On this last grocery trip I picked up a package for this recipe without really looking at the label. I made the recipe tonight and after we dug in I thought to myself, "Why do these have a sweet cinnamon taste? How did cinnamon get in here?" Then it hit me, I pulled the tortilla bag out of the trash and read the label. Sure enough, they were cinnamon and sugar wheat tortillas. Oops! Honestly it is just a hint of cinnamon so they won't be thrown out. Taught me to really read the labels!

Slow Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

This is turning into a recipe blog! Since our move I am certainly cooking much more and trying to expand outside of my usual recipes and things that I always make. I have enjoyed testing the new recipes as has my family enjoyed tasting them. I know I have mentioned it before but my absolute favorite recipe magazine is Everyday Food. Oh, I love it! I check it all of the time from the library and devour it from cover to cover. It always has great hints and tips. Typically the recipes are easy and use things that you have on hand. Sometimes there are some things that I have never heard of but that is fun too!

I do have to say one thing that I have enjoyed about living in our new area is going to the grocery and seeing all of those things that I could never find at my old grocery. The grocery that I typically go to here has a sushi bar, Mediterranean olive and hummus bar, every kind of mushroom you could imagine, Polenta and so on! It is pretty neat!

So back to my recipe that I found in Everyday Food. It is for chili and was a hit with my hubby. He really liked this one and again it was so easy!

Slow Cooker Beef and Black Bean Chili

1 lb. beef chuck cut into 3/4" cubes
1 can (15 oz.) tomato puree
1 c. dried black beans, rinsed
1 med. red onion, chopped (I used a regular yellow onion.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. chili powder

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Add 2 c. water, 2 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper. Cover, cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8 hours.

We topped it with some sour cream and shredded cheese. I also made the cornbread using brown sugar in the recipe. Yummy fall meal!

Peanut Butter Cookies

The other night after Hubby left for a meeting regarding his new blog Sound in Bloom, my oldest daughter asked, "Mom, can we make cookies?" We settled on my favorite Peanut Butter ones as we didn't have enough oatmeal for Oatmeal Cookies. I got this recipe out of a section of my dad's newspaper called The Amish Cook. It is a column that an actual Amish mother writes once a week. It is very interesting to read as it follows their lives and what they are up to. She always includes a recipe. Her recipes have never failed me! She recently published a cookbook which I would love to get my hands on, The Amish Cook's Baking Book.

Peanut Butter Cookies
1 c. shortening
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. peanut butter
2-3 c. flour (I usually add 2 1/2c.)
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 pkg. chocolate chips or M&M's

Thoroughly cream shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in peanut butter, then all dry ingredients. Drop by large tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Press with back of fork dipped in sugar for criss-cross pattern. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are brown but cookie is undone in center. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet a few minutes before removing. Makes 5 dozen.

I have never added the chocolate chips or M&M's but this time we added chocolate chips and they were super yummy!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crock Pot Chili

My best friend emailed this recipe to me a few weeks ago. I finally got around to making it today and it definitely a keeper in my recipe box. It was so easy and even more tasty. Peanut ate two bowls of it.

Crock Pot Chili
2 cans great Northern Beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can Rotel, mild
1 can Chicken Broth
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1 packet of Taco Seasoning

Add all of the above ingredients to the crock pot. Cook on low 8-9 hours. Halfway through cooking, add 1 package of cream cheese. Just before serving stir in shredded, cooked chicken. Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream.


I made homemade corn bread also. My aunt gave me a secret tip for delicious corn bread and I tried it out. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar to the corn bread mixture. It is delectable!

This was a great meal for a chilly evening.