Tuesday, February 24, 2009


We can't manage to kick this (these?) bug(s). I've had little energy for cooking meals, but the biggest thing hindering my meal preps has been the fact that I lack a third and a fourth arm. Gail has always demanded to be held between many the hours of whenever she awakes from her nap to whenever she goes to sleep at night, but since Jack has been sick, he has also, quite pathetically, requested for me to "Hold youuu. Mama hooold youuuuuuu." So, both of my arms are occupied at the time when I normally make dinner. So we've had simple fare the past few nights, weeks.

Sunday's dinner-- ham and swiss sandwiches, baked sweet potatoes, salad and grapes.

Monday's dinner-- chicken and veggies stir fry, brown rice, cantaloupe and strawberries.

Tonight's dinner-- Chicken and Spinach (with potatoes, onion and thyme) (from Saving Dinner), carrots and slawbuddies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daily supplement

A couple of months ago, I started taking SuperMom Vitamins. Actually, mine are NOW Special Two Vitamins, but if you compare the nutrient labels, they're exactly the same-- only much cheaper. Prior to these, I was taking a basic prenatal vitamin daily, but I won't be going back.

As a mom of two under two, it's easy to slack and lack in the nutrient department. Though thes daily supplements won't make you grow a third arm, they contain spirulina and green superfoods, which are great for restoring the energy that you lost waking several times and keeping your the immune system in prime condition (Mine's been down these past couple of days... should have remembered to take my vitamins). The days I am remiss in taking them, I do feel more sluggish. Whether that's just happenstance, I don't know, but I have had a lot more energy since beginning to take them.

Do yourself a favor and take a daily supplement if you don't already. Make sure it's a whole foods one that your body can ingest naturally.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


While we were in Maryland for a couple of days, I got a Champion juicer from one of my sister's friends. My brother brought us back tonight, and did we had a little too much fun with it, juicing anything we thought would make a tasty concoction.

I'll let you know if we come up with any recipes worth letting you know about. The one we tried tonight was an experiment, at best-- nothing I would really recommend trying. The blackberry juice got backed up, so when we made another juice consisting of tangerines, apples, carrots and a banana (don't juice a banana), we were bitter in the mouth. Next time I go shopping, I'll have to pick up some ingredients that will go well together.

For dinner, we had some enchiladas with some things I wanted to get rid of from the fridge-- a bag of flour tortillas, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese, green pepper, onion, some Chicken-less Strips and some refried beans (with some on the side), some salad and tortilla chips.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Sweets

A modified recipie from "Simple and Delicious" magazine:

3 cups of a combination chocolate/butterscotch chips
3/4 c. mini marshmallows
3/4 c. peanuts
3/4 c. crushed potato chips (I used Crispix cereal)
2 Tbsp coconut
1/4 cups M & M's

On waked papers, draw a 10-in heart and place on cookie sheet. Melt chips and stir until smooth. Stir in marshmallows, peanuts, and potato chips. Immediatealy spread on prepared pan into heart shape. SPrinke with coconut and top with M & M's.

Refrigerate unto firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperate before cutting.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Betty Crocker Weekend

We used two classic Betty Crocker recipes yesterday. I'm always in search of the best homemade mac-and-cheese recipe and convinced my husband to try the one in the classic red cookbook after church yesterday. He used whole wheat pasta, as usual, and added frozen peas to Brinnly's dismay. An overall good dish.

I also have a Betty Crocker Crock-Pot cookbook which I use often. I varied her Beef Stew recipe to fit the status of my pantry and threw in 1 lb. stew meat, carrots, celery, onion, beef broth, diced tomatoes in juice, thyme, salt/pepper, and bay leaves. (No real measurements for any of that) I skipped the dumpling step and instead made a pot of rice to serve with it, especially since my girls have been messier than usual with soup lately. Delish. We're all looking forward to the leftovers tonight.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shepherd's Skillet

We had a fun afternoon/evening with our friends, the Wilsons today. They're another one of our couple friends who are leaving us for something better (besides my co-crowded kitchener). We will miss them. Until then, though, we had fun just talking and playing Five Crowns whilst trying to entertain two babies.
For dinner, we had Shepherds Skillet (from Saving Dinner), and while it wasn't that attractive, it turned out pretty good (with cornbread, fruit and salad). Chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Easy peasy

Dinner the last two nights has come from Ziploc bags--flavorful the easy way.

Tonight-- Garlic lime salmon, baked potatoes (mine was sweet, Mike's was Idaho) & pineapple

Garlic Lime Salmon

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 TBSP lime juice
4 salmon fillets

Add first 4 ingredients to bag, squish around to mix. Add salmon, turning several times to coat evenly. Let sit in fridge for an hour.

Place salmon on broiler pan and broil 5 min. or more, then turn over and cook other side a few mins- done when flakes off easily with fork.

Thursday night- Rosemary chicken, brown rice, spinach salad with tomatoes and cucs, gala apples

Rosemary Chicken

5 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine 4 TBSP olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary. Place chicken in bag and refrigerate (Do in morning so it will be ready by dinner- turn bag a few times throughout day).
In skillet over med. high heat, heat remaining olive oil and cook chicken for approx., 5 min. on each side, depending on thickness. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cleaning out the fridge and pantry

Tuesday dinner-- Peppercorn and Garlic Tenderloin, Basmati medley rice, spinach salads with tomatoes and cucs and nectarines.

Wednesday dinner-- Tuna casserole, leftover pumpkin walnut bread, grapes.

For the tuna casserole, I just tossed all of the ingredients (just whatever sounded good) in a large casserole dish and heated it at 350 for 15 minutes. It turned out really good.

1 pkg 12 oz. Healthy Harvest whole wheat egg noodle shaped pasta, cooked
half a bag of frozen peas
1 can low sodium, low fat cream of mushroom soup
2 6 oz cans tuna, drained

Top with low fat mozzarella cheese.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Steelers Victory Dip (aka Chicken Ranch Dip)

I had this dip for the first time at a Steeler party over three years ago. My friend Susan (always good for hosting with yummy food) served it and was gracious enough to send the leftovers home with me. I was newly pregnant with Mali then and I devoured every last bite. Since then, this has been my go-to appetizer and won rave reviews for our Superbowl Party.

Chicken Ranch Dip
1) Mix together 16 oz. light cream cheese, 8 oz sour cream, 1 package dry ranch dressing and 4 oz. shredded taco cheese.

2) Spread into dish.

3) Sprinkle with 1-2 cooked chopped chicken breasts and drizzle with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

4) Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

5) Sprinkle with 4 oz shredded taco cheese, bake for 3-5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or carrots if you are attempting to "healthify".

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Game day food

Breakfast-- pumpkin waffles, mixed fruit and Morningstar Farm bacon-- not mine or Mike's favorite, but it was on sale, so I thought we'd try it out. Jack and Gail loved it.

Lunch-- Humus pitas with field greens, carrots and cucumber
Papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberry and banana smoothies w/ lowfat vanilla yogurt

Dinner-- Turkey chili, pumpkin walnut bread (I had a partly-used can of pumpkin in the fridge-- hence, all of the pumpkin) and tortilla chips with some homemade lowfat salsa con queso dip.

Turkey Chili

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 lb (we used 1/2 a lb) lean ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 TBSP ground cumin
a few shakes of Tabasco sauce
2 cans low-fat low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 can northern/white kidney beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
coarse salt, to taste

Heat oil in pot over med. high heat. Add turkey- brown. Add onion, garlic, seasonings, Reduce heat to medium and cook together to soften onion. Add broth, beans and tomatoes. Add salt to taste. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve.

Top with tortilla chips or cheese.

Pumpkin Pecan Bread (we used walnuts)

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 TBSP margarine or butter (we always use Smart Balance, which is a great, healthy substitute)
3 cups bread flour
3 TBSP brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp groun nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup coarsely shopped nuts

basic cycle (1 1/2 lb loaf)