Thursday, December 30, 2010


Well, I got a new 4-waffle-iron for Christmas from my mom because it was taking way too long to make waffles for our family with the small 1-waffle-iron Jen and I got for our wedding. So as soon as we got home from our travels over the holiday week, I busted it out to make breakfast for dinner. Our family loves breakfast and I know that we will love having the updated waffle iron. I did not just use the "just add water" mix from a box. Instead I made the waffles from scratch and the combination of the new iron and amazing mix made these one of the best waffles I have ever eaten. I am not kidding! I also made scrambled eggs and sausage, but the waffles were the hit of dinner tonight for all of us.
Grade: A+


1 3/4 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 c milk
1/2 c cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.

2. In another medium bowl beat eggs slightly; stir in milk, oil, and vanilla. Add egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy).

3. Pour 1 to 1 1/4 cups of batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker. Close lid quickly; do not open until done. Bake according to manufacturer's directions. When done, use a fork to lift waffle off grid. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.

Lucy eating some eggs.

Sarah (we are potty training and that is why she doesn't have pants)

Emily is happy to be home!
Anna actually eating dinner without a fight!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kids Are Gross

I know that I have not been posting lately, but this is how a lot of our meals have been. On the girls plates there was a hot dog in a bun, some yogurt, and grapes, and all of the girls combined the yogurt with grapes and hot dogs. They are nasty little girls!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This dinner looked like a cute idea, but the girls did eat the macaroni because it stuck together, but they did eat the hotdogs. In the end I thought it looked like "male-parts" sticking up out of the macaroni rather than ghouls. Also, you need to put the hotdogs close together or you don't stand a chance to transport the section with the hotdog still sticking up. I don't have any pictures, but trust me, they didn't eat any of the mac&cheese and couldn't get up fast enough. And the picture above is the picture that came with the recipe on Kraft.

Idea: B+
taste: C
Kid's like it: D-

What You Need2 pkg. (7-1/4 oz. each) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner 1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 2 eggs, beaten 1 pkg. (16 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Wieners, cut crosswise in half 1 tsp. yellow mustard Make ItHEAT oven to 350ºF.

PREPARE Dinners in large saucepan as directed on package. Stir in mozzarella and eggs.

SPOON into foil-lined 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Stand wieners, in 4 rows of 5 wieners each, in Dinner mixture for the ghouls.

BAKE 20 min.; cool 5 min. Add small dabs of mustard to wieners for the ghouls' eyes.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Does McDonalds Tea Come in Non-Recylable Styrofoam Cups?

Why Does McDonalds Tea Come in Non-Recylable Styrofoam Cups?

This was an article that I found when I was searching about McDonalds styrofoam cups. The cups have a recycling symbol, but will they actually recycle it. Interesting read.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beer Can Chicken and Corn on the Cob

Our little chicken fresh out of the grill. Adorable

I have scene/heard of beer can chicken and everything that I have heard about it was how good it was. I was a little sceptical, but thought it was worth a try. Let me tell you one thing about the chicken, besides how cute it looked sitting up, it was not hard and very good. The meat was juicy and it had nice flavor to it. The recipe that I used was from Guy Fieri (Food Network), but I made a few changes to the recipe. First, I cooked it on the grill instead of the oven. I had the grill on medium heat (375ish) and cooked it until it was 165 (about 1.5 hours). The other thing that I did not do was the bacon and the chicken was pretty good without it.
The girls loved it! We had a friend over, so a total of 7 people for dinner, and out of a 4.5 lb chicken, there is only a small handful left. Sarah kept on shoveling it in. All of the pictures have the girls eating corn on the cob, but trust me, the chicken was a hit too.

Grade: A+ (And for those of you that notice the grades, I am a tough grader!)

1 (2 to 3-pound) whole chicken
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 (12-ounce) can beer
1/2 pound bacon
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. Rub 1/2 of the ingredients on inside cavity of chicken. Gently peel skin away from chicken and rub mixture into meat of chicken. Open beer can pour out about 1/2 cup. Drop the garlic cloves into the beer can. Place chicken, open end down, over the beer can to insert the beer into the cavity. Place chicken, standing up, in large saute pan. Place 1/3 of the bacon in the top cavity of the chicken and drape the remaining 2/3 of the bacon down the outside of the chicken. Pierce the bacon to the chicken with toothpicks.

Place chicken in the oven for 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 325 degrees F and cook for another 1 hour, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.

My "School-Wife" was over for dinner.

Anna looks like she drank the other half of the beer!

Emily clapping for herself between bites.

Lucy digging into the corn like a harmonica.

Sarah before she discovered the chicken.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Creamy Pork Sauté

This dinner was so good. It was great the first night and just as good the second night. This dish did not dry the pork out at all and had some great flavor. Other than the pork recipe (which is below) we had mashed sweet potatoes. For the sweet potatoes I just boiled them, mashed them with my potato masher, and mixed in pumpkin pie spice. I have found that using pumpkin pie spice makes it so good.
All of the girls ate, and liked, at least two of the items. Anna ate the pork if that tells you how good it was.


Grade: B+

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 boneless pork loin (about 1 pound), cut into thin strips
2 stalks celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Celery Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/4 cup water
Hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until well browned, stirring often. Remove the pork from the skillet.

2. Heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and thyme and cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring often.

3. Stir the soup and water in the skillet and heat to a boil. Return the pork to the skillet and cook until the pork is cooked through. Serve the pork mixture over the rice.

Anna had to make sure she was taking a bite for the camera.

Sarah loves not using her utensils.

Emily giving you the stink eye.

Lucy loved the rice!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

English Muffin Bread

This summer I am trying to make it all the way through the “Bread” section of the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and I have enjoyed baking the different kinds of breads. We have not bought a loaf of bread in the store since the beginning of the summer because we are using the bread that I make to make sandwiches. Jen and the girls are out of town so I could paint the downstairs and I decided to make this easy bread. It is a no-knead bread so you do not have to knead the dough at all. When I was typing out the recipe I noticed that I only used one package of active dry yeast. I cannot say exactly how it changed the final product. It did taste a lot like an English Muffin.

Grade: B

6 c all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
¼ tsp baking soda
2 c milk
½ c water
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt

1. Grease two 8x4x2 inch loaf pans. Lightly sprinkle pans with enough cornmeal to coat bottom and sides; set pans aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine 3 c of the flour, the yeast, and baking soda; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, water, sugar, and salt just until warm (120 to 130 degrees). Using a wooden spoon, stir milk mixture into flour mixture. Stir in remaining flour.
3. Divide dough in half. Place dough in prepared pans. Sprinkle tops with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 45 minutes)
4. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pans. Cool on wire racks.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mock Chipotle Rice and Beans

This meal came together on accident (kind of). The recipe for the rice was from one of my friends that loved the cilantro lime rice at Chipotle. I mentioned this to my wife and she also loves the cilantro lime rice at Chipotle so she wanted to try it. I went to the store and bought everything for this along with all of the other meals for the week. When I got home I started cooking and forgot that Jen talked about doing the rice with a Mexican dish she was going to make later on in the week. Well, she was out with the girls in the backyard and I was cooking and she came in and wondered what was smelling so good because French Fries usually don't smell like that. Well, we looked at what we could cook with that would go with the rice and she remembered that Chipotle has a burrito bowl and we designed the dinner around that. So along with the rice, we put pinto beans and chopped onion into a frying pan and sauteed them to heat them up and put a little more flavor into the onions. Also we chopped tomatoes and placed all of the above items on the girls' plate. All of the girls loved everything. Once we convinced Anna to try the rice, she ate it all up. Below is the recipe that was taken off of my friends blog. The pictures are not that good because I left my camera out of town and had to take it with my phone. Also, I used fresh spinach for the sauce. Enjoy.

Grade: A

Alicia's Green Rice
(serves 4)
1 cup basmati rice
2 Tbsp butter
juice of 1 lime
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For Sauce:
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 cup green chile enchilada sauce (or enough to make your desired consistency)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add rice and the juice of half a lime, and stir over the heat for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken stock, and bring to a boil stirring often. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes (or until the rice has absorbed all of the chicken stock). Add the rest of the lime juice and the chopped cilantro, then stir in the green sauce (directions below).
Green sauce: Process spinach, cilantro, and enchilada sauce in a food processor until smooth. (Note: I always use Pict Sweet frozen chopped spinach. It's very handy because you can keep it in the freezer and measure out as much as you need to thaw since it's not in a big block like boxed sauteed spinach.)

Emily was the first to try the rice

Lucy did not like it at first, but ended up

loving it as a dip for her chips.

Sarah scooping it up.

Anna being stubborn

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Overnight Stuffed French Toast

This was pretty good and if I could go back I would have added a couple of more eggs. I used bread that I made myself and I think it absorbed more of the egg mixture than store bought bread. It was good with the cream cheese mixture inside the bread. It didn't taste that much like french toast, but I think that was due to the lack of egg mixture. My camera ran out of batteries so I could not take pictures. Too bad because Anna even ate it and liked it. We didn't tell her there was egg in it. Enjoy

Grade: B

2 3-oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs apple jelly
1 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used ¼ tsp ground ginger)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
¼ c chopped almonds, toasted (I skipped this)
6 1.5-in slices bread (I used white bread that I made myself)
4 eggs
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Generously grease a 3-qt rectangular baking dish; set aside. In a small bowl beat together cream cheese, jelly, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in the almonds. Cut a pocket in the top crust of each bread slice. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among pockets. Place bread slices in prepared baking dish.
2. In a small bowl beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla; slowly pour the egg mixture over bread slices, covering all the tops. Cover and chill overnight.
3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven 30 to 35 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Scrambled Egg Pizza

I loved this pizza. I am always up for breakfast for dinner and this brought it to a whole new level. The girls love scrambled eggs for breakfast and the triplets will eat 6 eggs scrambled by themselves, so obviously they were going to love this dinner and they did! Jen and Anna do not like eggs so I made a section of the pizza without the eggs for them. Jen tried a little of the pizza with the eggs on it and she said that it wasn’t too bad. If you like eggs, I highly recommend this dinner.

Grade: A

1 16-oz loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
1 c chopped zucchini
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbs cooking oil
8 eggs
½ c milk
1 Tbs butter
¾ c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled (I did not use bacon in my recipe)

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll bread dough into a 14-in circle. Transfer dough to a greased 13-in pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Prick dough generously with a fork. Bake in a 375 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook zucchini, mushrooms, and crushed red pepper in hot oil about 5 min. or until vegetables are almost tender. Remove zucchini mixture and drain.
3. In a medium bowl beat together eggs and milk. In the same skillet melt butter over medium heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge. Using a large spatula, lift and fold partially cooked egg mixture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but still glossy and moist. (Just make scrambled eggs!) Remove from heat.
4. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the hot crust. Top with scrambled eggs, zucchini mixture, bacon, and remaining cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes more or until cheese melts.

Lucy loving every bite.
Anna loves pizza!
Sarah eating or covering her mouth for a sneeze?
Emily politely reaching for her food.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Banana Muffins

I made these muffins with the help of the triplets. It didn’t go too bad and they did a pretty good job of sharing who got to pour the ingredients into the bowl. There wasn’t too big of a mess from the flour or sugar not making it into the bowl the first time. I had to take the flour bowl away because they kept taking spoonfuls and putting in their mouths. Yum!

Grade: B

1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 beaten egg
½ c milk
¼ c cooking oil
¾ c mashed banana
½ c chopped nuts

1. Grease twelve 2 ½ inch muffin cups
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
3. In another bowl combine egg, milk, banana, nuts, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups.

Emily getting a mouthful

Sarah chewing it up.

Lucy picking at it before she digs in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Meal

Here is what I cooked on Father's Day for myself and a couple of our friends. The meal was not intended for the kids, and they did have a couple of bites of potato and beans, but that was about it. There are not any pictures of the couple of bites that the girls did eat, but again, this meal was not intended to be a kid meal.

I know that it sounds weird that I cooked for my Father's Day meal, but like Jen told our friends that came over, it is what I wanted for my Father's Day. We rarely by steak because the girls do not eat it and for the price, it is not worth the trouble to make steak with the dinner that the girls will eat. The meal turned out pretty good. I didn't cut the stems off of the mushrooms, so we had to do it while we were eating, but other than that, I do not have any complaints. After typing out the recipes for the blog, I noticed that I forgot the lemon juice in the green beans and I didn't reset the temperature to medium once I added the steaks, but they tasted good even with the mistakes. I noted it down with the recipe for the steaks, but I used chuckeye steak. I had never heard of it before, but my mom told me about it a couple of weeks ago and I saw it at the D & R Market when I was shopping for the beef, so I decided to try it. It was a very good cut and it was only 5.00 per pound, so if you see the Chuckeye at your local grocery store it is worth trying. It was hectic to get all of the dishes finished in time because I am used to cooking two or three easy meals that I do not have to look over the recipe more than once, but it was tricky flipping to the different pages to read all three recipes at once! I made the snack mix the night before with Sarah and that is who is pictured above. Also, I made the Apple Cake the night before as well. I have made it so many times and it always taste the same (amazing). I have given each dish a grade next to the title. Enjoy.

Crunchy Party Mix - Grade: B+

5 c pretzel sticks
4 c round toasted oat cereal
4 c bite-size wheat square cereal
4 c bite-size rice square cereal
3 c mixed nuts
1 c butter
3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic powder

1. In a large roasting pan combine pretzels, oat, wheat, and rice cereal, and mixed nuts; set aside
2. In a small saucepan heat and stir butter, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder until butter melts. Drizzle butter mixture over cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.
3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on a large piece of foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Green Beans Amandine - Grade: A-
8 oz fresh green beans
2 Tbs slivered almonds
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Cut fresh beans into 1 inch pieces. Cook fresh green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp and tender. Drain. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook and stir almonds in melted butter over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Stir almond mixture into beans.

Baked Potato Fans - Grade: B
4 medium baking potatoes
3 Tbs butter
¼ tsp garlic salt
¼ c shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbs snipped fresh chives
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a brush; pat dry. Cut potatoes crosswise into thin slices, but do not cut all the way through. Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish or pan. Gently press potatoes down to fan slightly.
2. Combine melted butter and garlic salt; drizzle over potatoes. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more or until tender. Transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, chives, and Parmesan cheese. Let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Bistro Beef and Mushrooms - Grade: A-
4 beef tenderloin steaks (I used Chuckeye steaks)
1 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
2Tbs olive oil
8 oz mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1/3 c dry red wine
1 Tbs white wine Worcestershire sauce (I used regular Worchestershire)
2 tsp snipped fresh thyme

1. Trim fat from steaks. Spread mustard evenly over both sides of steaks. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat. Add steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook to desired doneness, turning once. Allow 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare to medium. Transfer steaks to a serving platter; keep warm.
2. Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to drippings in skillet. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for 4 minutes . Stir in wine, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Spoon over steaks.

Apple Cake -Grade: A+
2 beaten eggs
3 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped, peeled apples
1 c chopped pecans, toasted

1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 10-in tube pan; set pan aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, lemon peel, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt; set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil eggs, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in apples and pecans. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool thoroughly on wire rack. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Cover; store in refrigerator.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nun's Puffs

I made this because I was in the mood to cook but it was 8:30 and I didn’t feel like staying up too late. It was a miniature workout with as much beating and mixing by hand, but if you like the smell of melting butter as much as I do, it is all worth it. The taste is a lot like a popover, so if you like popovers, it is a recipe that you might like to try. Enjoy.

Grade: B+

½ cup butter
1 cup milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 Tbs sugar
Honey Optional
1. Generously grease twelve 2.5 in muffin cups, including the edge and around the top of each cup; set aside. In a medium saucepan melt butter; add milk. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that does not separate. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute with a wooden spoon after each addition or until smooth. Divide dough evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling cups about two-thirds full; sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from pan. Serve immediately. If desired, serve with honey.

No pictures of the girls

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tortilla Crisps, Guacamole, Spanish Rice, and Cheese Quesadilla

Just realized that I did not take a picture of the food, sorry.

The homemade part of this dinner was small and wasn't the major aspect of the dish, but it was by far the best. I made the tortilla chips from a recipe I got in my cooking bible, Better Homes and Gardens. I was looking the recipe for guacamole that Jen wanted and this was on the same page. We initially intended to make this a few days earlier when one of my friends from work was coming over and our power went out during a storm. She ended up picking up pizza and this was postponed until tonight's dinner. The chips tasted good and they were perfect for dipping because they were strong. Jen commented that they were better than the baked tortilla chips that they sell. I thought they were good, but I am trying to figure out the best way to add salt and make it stick on the chip. Jen made the guacamole and we, not Anna, all ate and liked it. The quesadilla's were cooked on a regular pan and the Spanish rice was microwaved. Nothing special. Enjoy.

Grade B +

Tortilla Crisps
1. Cut each of twelve 7 or 8 inch flour tortillas into 8 wedges. Spread on-third of the wedges in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven 5 to 10 minutes or until dry and crisp; cool. Repeat with remaining wedges. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 weeks.


2 rip avocados
1/2 small onion, cut up
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup chopped tomato
Use a fork to mash up the avocado and mix in the additional ingredients.

Lucy before she started eating

Emily carefully scooping the guacamole

Sarah before the sour cream got all over her face.

You probably can tell from Anna's expression, but we almost banned her to the backyard during dinner.

Cheeseburgers for Dessert?

My wife saw this idea from some cooking blog and it wasn't too hard to make. The bun is a vanilla cupcake cut in half and the burger part is a brownie. Jen made cream cheese frosting and dyed it for the other parts of the burger. Needless to say, it was a hit.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Memorial Day Fun

This post is not really about the recipe that I made because on the menu was corn on the cob, hotdogs, baked beans (from a can) and shish kabobs. Jen made the dessert which is a separate post under Hamburgers for Dessert. Our neighbors came over with their two girls and we had a good time.

Anna taking the hotdog out of her bun because she didn't feel like the hotdog?

The neighbor girls