Thursday, August 26, 2010

Make your own fairy wings!

Halloween is just around the corner.  I have this in my favorites on you tube for a few years now. You tube has so many neat "how to" videos. I just love this Emilie Autumn chick!

This video shows you how easy it is to make your own Fairy Wings....much cheaper than buying a pair, very easy, and so much prettier than the commercial ones!

If you have a daughter, or want to dress up as a fairy have to try this!  Fun to make, and to wear! 

This would be fun for a girl scout troop or a child's birthday party!

Polish Lasagna

I found this recipe in a Pennsylvania State Grange cookbook...let me tell ya, if you visit a fair in PA, the grange is the place to eat!  I never pass up on buying a Grange Cookbook either, I have many, cooked many recipes from them, never a bad recipe!

I make a potato lasanga that is out of this world (mashed potatoes, cheese, etc almost like a perogi) so yummo, so this struck my fancy.  (I am pretty sure my potato lasagna is on my blog here in the archives, don't forget to look at my archives if you are new to my blog, lots of goodies)

I am making this, this weekend with a pork loin...cannot wait to have it!  Simple ingredients and all yummy ones.  This may be part of my New Years Dinner from now on....we PA Dutchies always have pork and kraut for dinner on New Years Day for good luck.

Polish Lasanga

16 oz uncooked lasagna noodles
7 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, grated
8 oz longhorn cheese, shredded
2 lbs sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 cup melted (margarine? no way) BUTTER

(its says margarine, but this book may have been written when people thought that was better for ya than butter.  Margarine never touches my pallet)

Cook noodles using package directions, drain.  Cook potatoes in boiling water in large saucepan until tender, drain.  Add salt and pepper; beat until smooth.  Add ½ of the onion and cheese; mix well.  

Combine sauerkraut, and remaining onion in large saucepan.  Cook until tender;stirring constantly.  

Line greased 9x13-inch baking pan with noodles.  Alternate layers of potatoes, noodles and sauerkraut mixture until all ingredients are used, ending with noodles.  Drizzle with melted BUTTER. 

Bake tightly covered with foil @ 350° for 45  minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Yield: 12 servings

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hamburger Helper, are you kidding me?

Okay, the kids love that crap, but the box does not go very far and what are those ingredients?  You can make your own Hamburger/Chicken/Tuna helper in one pot in no time.  

I start with a stir fry pan, but any large saucepan will do.

Start off with browning your meat, chicken, beef, sausage, whatever, tuna..any fish or meat you like...If your vegan, use beans..
  in about 3-4 T of your favorite cooking oil (grapeseed is my go to)
add some spices, garlic, green peppers, whatever you like...
I love cinnamon in my sauce, (grandma always did this, she must have known its a great antioxidant).  I also use garlic, oregano, crushed red peppers, and whatever else I grab.
Cook it up a few mins

Pour in a jar of spaghetti sauce or, if you are out, canned tomatoes, crushed, works great.
Cook up a few mins, until it starts to bubble.

Pour in a jar of water (24 ounces should do it, but you may need to adjust this if it starts to dry out, add more)  Bring to a boil...
Pour in a box of pasta (penne is usually my go to for this) Stir it around, make sure its all pretty much under the liquid
 Put a lid on it and periodically open the lid, check on it, give it a stir.
You will cook this about as long as the pasta directions say to cook it.  Go ahead and pull out a piece to taste when ya think its done.
Turn off the heat...
Open the lid when its done, pour some cheese on it (parmesan cheese, mozzerella, whatever ya like)
Replace lid for a few mins to melt cheese and its done

You can change up the spices to taco seasoning and mexican cheese if you want it to be mexicany.  
Use your imagination.  

You can also use cream sauces but you have to put the water in first, and when the pasta is all but done, add the cream or milk.  and let it reduce a bit. 

You can even start with a pesto instead of tomato sauce.  This is also great with sun dried tomatoes....Just remember to add enough water, the pasta will soak it up.

Another note:  You can add veggies when adding the pasta.  Broccoli and Asparagus are our favs. Chop it up first into bite size pieces.

You don't need recipes to cook.  You can totally wing this any day of the week.  Rachel Ray's 30 min meals take longer than this. Sorry Rach!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BREAKFAST: Homemade Fast Food

Pin It

I was talking to a friend the other day on facebook who is going to be going back to work soon, as summer is almost over and she is a teacher.  We were talking about quick breakfasts.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  It should also be the biggest meal of your day.  Eat Breakfast like a Queen, Lunch like a Princess and Dinner like a Pauper.  But really, who has time.  Breakfast is usually on the run, whether you are off to work, or the kids are off to school, its usually the meal that gets, for lack of a better word, the shaft.

Planning ahead, you can have your lunch packed for school/work, and your breakfast ready to slap together first thing in the am.


Some of you have read my blog on Mini Frittatas.   They are easy to make a day ahead of time and have ready to grab on the way out the door.  These are even great for on the go if you have to take them chilled to work and heat them up there, or eat them cold!  They are good.

Another easy fix, make some scrambled eggs, chop some bacon pieces (or use real, precooked bacon pieces) and fry them up, toss in some frozen green peppers, hot peppers, whatever ya like..scramble up some eggs, add a bit of milk, sour cream, whatever you like in your scramble, hot sauce etc...pour it over the peppers, onions, bacon sausage whatever ya want, you get the idea.  When its done, add some cheese, any kind you have on hand and like.

Put it in a glass refrigerator dish and stash it in the frige.  This is good for about two days. In the morning, give it a quick nuke in the microwave, put it on a flour tortilla shell, a hot dog bun or whatever and you have an egg "sammich", breakfast burrito in no time.  

You can also poach some eggs, keep them in water and heat them up the next day.  I like my dippy so this works great for me, as I don't always have time to fry up some dippy eggs.  You can put it over some bread and spinach or baby lettuce, or stick it on a toasted english muffin.

You can also make some pancakes and freeze them, individually on a pan, then put into a bag together after they are frozen. From frozen, they reheat in the microwave super fast.  You can do this with waffles also.

Then there is always, yogurt, granola and fruit. Heck, add some chocolate chips to it too and satisfy your sweet craving. It's another thing you can put together the night before and grab it to go on the way out the door.  Don't forget to set the coffee maker to start up so when you wake up, you can smell that fresh coffee.  In my opinion, a house that smells like coffee, is as good of a smell as any fudge shop at the beach.

If you plan ahead and make breakfast easy, you won't be as tempted to run out the door and mid-morning, be hitting that vending machine full of junk food at work, filling up on empty calories.

Again, there is always the Oven Pancake or Breakfast Casserole.  If you make it Sunday its ready for Monday morning. 

Think about ways you can make your favorite breakfast meal faster.  Sausage gravy and biscuits can be can corned beef, cream chipped beef, etc.  Just keep the wet or egg type  ingredients separated from the breads until you are ready to eat it so they don't get soggy.


Just For Fun (adult language)

A friend posted this on facebook today and I have seen it many times over the past year or two and love it.

The Landlord

This one started to play right after and I never saw this one.
Good Cop, Baby Cop

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Packing Lunches in Bento Boxes....So much better than lunchables ♥

School is almost back in session (for thos who send their kids that is). You cannot depend on the school to serve your child a healthy lunch.  Chicken nuggets and sodium rich salsibury steak are not what I would consider a healthy meal.  Schools are changing their ways, but not many, and not fast enough.  Besides, that stuff tastes awful! 

Bento Boxes are all the rage right now.  Cute lunches, and not only for kids.  You can prepare all types of things to take along in these boxes. Put some healthy finger foods in these for the kids, and they won't ask for lunchables again! 

If you seach online, they have so many cute bento boxes, and even have non-plastic ones, made from stainless steel, wood, bamboo,  etc.

You can make things like chicken wrapped in lettuce or use cookie cutters to cut up sandwiches.  Take along some cut up veggies, rice, pasta salads, the sky is the limit.  What do you crave at work?

Don't forget to add a little candy bar to your box.  You know you want one and it you just put a snack size bar in there, you won't be so tempted to hit the snack machine.

Depriving yourself of the things you love never helps, so don't make your meal too healthy and boring.  Variety....some sweet, salty, sour, hot.  You never know what you are going to be in the mood for.   You know what happens, you come in to work, its someone's birthday and you ditch your lunch box meal for whatever junk they are serving. Everything in moderation and bento boxes make packing your lunch in moderation simple!

Be creative.  Go to the library and order up some bento box "cookbooks".  Using cookie cutters and colored fancy skewers (not for small children) can make it more fun too.  Use cupcake wrappers to separate foods in larger compartments. Also great for holding your already peeled hard boiled egg.

Pack a smaller tier for your first 15 min break.  It's better to eat many small meals throughout the day, than all at once...Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a princess and dinner like a pauper!  So eat  more throughout your morning, less throughout lunch and at dinner, small small portions.

Love Sushi? But worried about taking fish to work? Make some veggie sushi, take the tamari sauce and some wasabi paste along and enjoy, or go for the fish, freeze your sushi and let it thaw until lunch. Don't forget the pickled ginger..helps deter that fishy breath too.

I just pre-ordered my book The Just Bento Cookbook: Everyday Lunches To Go.  I take food along to work often, so I can't wait to receive it.