Monday, January 18, 2010

Mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, and veggie hot dogs

Meal 2 of the vegetarian week
The second vegetarian meal was interesting to say the least. I bought Brussel sprouts and told Anna that they were little cute lettuces. She bought it for the most part and when I mixed it with her mashed potatoes, she ate enough of it. The worst part of the meal was the vegetarian hot dogs. They were disgusting to say the extreme least! The smell was horrendous and the texture was even worse. When I made Anna take a bite, she almost vomited all over the table. Emily, on the other hand, could not get enough of it. She didn’t touch her mashed potatoes and Brussel sprouts, but ate at least one hotdog.
Grade: C-

Anna, looking oh so happy that I made her eat that discusting "dog"

Emily, couldn't get enough!!!!

Sarah has learned to cheese for the camera

Lucy wearing her war paint

Look at this horrendous looking excuse for a hot dog! NEVER AGAIN.

Vegetarian Week (Spinach Lasagna

This was the first night of “vegetarian week.” I was trying to have only vegetarian meals for every meal . This was going to be a hard week for me to stomach I had thought, and for me anyways, I didn’t think it was that difficult. The only hard part was eating a lot of ice cream at the end of the night because I was hungry because of the lack of meat! Enjoy the two veggie meals.
Spinach Lasagna
This meal required a lot of work, but it was worth it. It is the first time that I have ever made any type of lasagna, so it was fun for me. The girls liked it for the most part, and best of all, the adults enjoyed it.
Grade: B
9 dried lasagna noodles
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs margarine/butter
1 7-oz jar roasted red sweet peppers drained and chopped
1 10-oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated parmesan or romano cheese
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1 30 ½ oz meatless spaghetti sauce
¼ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Cook lasagna noodles for 10 to 12 minutes or till tender but still firm. Drain noodles; rinse with cold water. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onion, mushrooms, and garlic in hot margarine till tender but not brown; stir in sweet peppers. Set aside.
3. Pat spinach dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl stir together spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, the ½ cup parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, oregano, and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir sweet pepper mixture into spinach mixture.
4. Spread ½ cup of the spaghetti sauce evenly in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Bake, covered in a 375 degree on remaining spaghetti sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
5. Bake, covered, in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more or till heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 main-dish servings
The pictures are all about Sarah, from the start of her meal to the end. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baked Chicken, peas, mashed potatoes, and salad

This was a great meal and believe it or not, fun to make. The baked chicken, wasn't really baked I would call it "butter-fried" chicken. The chicken was first dipped in an egg wash and then put in flour before putting it in some melted butter. I cooked half of the chicken in an 8x10 pan in the oven and the other half I did on the stove top in a new skillet that I got for Christmas. The skillet is a grilling skillet and it was good. The mashed potatoes and peas were prepared as usual with nothing special. Anna never liked mashed potatoes, but the girls could not get enough of them. I am going to try to sneak some brussel sprouts pass them by slipping it mixed in with the mashed potatoes.

Grade: A-

Lucy wondering what the mashed potato stuff is.

Anna trying not to pose for the camera

Sarah sucking it all off of her hand

Emily looking a little clueless

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pizza, Garlic Bread, and a Salad

This is all of the items before being served.

This dinner was definately a favorite with the girls. There was not any complaining or food dumping on the kitchen floor! Granted it was pizza, but still, for all to agree is simply amazing. I had made the pizza earlier this year before the blog, I think, so I knew how easy it was. The pizza dough is puff pastry from the freezer, but the sauce was homade with the help from Anna stirring the "pizza soup" as she put it. The salad is a simple chopped salad, but I made the vinegarette from scratch. And the bread is a simple garlic bread. The recipes are down below. I would stongly recommend using the puff pastry as the crust for an easily made pizza. Enjoy.

Grade: A-

Pizza Sauce:
In a medium saucepan combine one-8 oz can tomato sauce; one 7 1/2 oz can undrained tomatoes, cut up; 1/2 cup chopped onion; 1 Tbs dried basil, crushed; 1 tsp sugar; 1 tspdried regano, crused; 2 cloves garlic, minced; and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or till the onion is tender.

For puff pastry:
Thaw the pastry shells at room temperature for 40 minutes or until they’re easy to handle. Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry shells into 7-inch circles. Put the pastry circles on the baking sheets. Using a fork, prick the pastry circles thoroughly. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Leave the pastry circles on the baking sheets, and place the sheets on wire racks. Set aside.
Spread the pizza sauce over the pastry shells, cheese, and whatever toppings you would like, and return it to the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Italian Herb dressing:
Combined 2/3 cup olive or vegetable oil, 1/3 cup Heinz Wine Vinegar, 1 clove garlic, split, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp each salt, dried basil leaves, dried oregano leaves, 1/4 tsp crused red pepper; cover and shake vigorously. Chill to blend flavors. Shake again before using.

Emily trying to stuff her mouth completely full.

Anna loving the cheese garlic bread that she helped make.

Sarah picking up her piece of pizza.

Lucy loving the garlic bread.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sandies (snowballs)

This is the first "dessert" that is in the blog. I am going to try to post two desserts a week that I have made for the week. I had broken my mixer and got another one for Christmas, so I am into making desserts again. The pecan sandies were made because of lack of ingredients. I was originally going to make a different cookie that required semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I ran out the previous week when I made 5 batches of toffee. I flipped through the cookbook and decided to try the sandies. After I made them I realized that I had made the "snowballs" that my Mom makes as a part of her Christmas cookie collection. The girls liked the cookies, well at least the powder sugar :).

Grade B +

1 cup butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
powder sugar

1. Beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat till combined, scraping bowl. Beat in 1 Tbs water and vanilla till combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour and pecans.

2. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven 20 minutes or till bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a rack; cool. Gently shake cooled cookies in a plastic bag with powdered sugar. Makes about 36 cookies.

Sarah putting her feet up and enjoying.
Emily loving the powder sugar.
Lucy cheesing it up.

Anna is Oh so happy.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Day Dinner

Taste better than it looks.

Mashed Potato Casserole and Ham and Noodle Casserole

I merged a past favorite (mashed potato casserole) with a new favorite. I first made the mashed potato casserole earlier this summer when we had a friend over for dinner and we loved it, so I knew it would be good. The ham and noodle casserole was a new one that I found on Campbell’s website and I thought the girls would like it because they love macaroni and cheese and this was similar. Both of these meals were fun to make and tasted amazing. All of the girls ate their entire bowlfuls except for Lucy. She saw a banana before she started to eat, so she was a little preoccupied to eat!

Grade: A+

Mashed Potato Casserole

6 medium baking potatoes
Small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs butter
1 8-oz carton dairy sour cream
4-5 Tbs milk

1. Grease a 1 ½ quart casserole, set aside. If desired, peel potatoes. Quarter potatoes. Cook, covered, in boiling salted water for 20-25 minutes or till tender, drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet cook the onion and garlic in butter till tender. Mash the drained potatoes with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Add the onion mixture, sour cream, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Gradually beat in enough milk to make smooth and fluffy. Transfer to prepared casserole. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.
3. To serve, bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or till heated through.

Ham and Potato Casserole


1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups cubed cooked ham
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
2 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
5 cups extra-wide egg noodles, cooked and drained

Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the ham and onion and cook until the onion is tender.
Stir the soup in the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the noodles and cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Sarah couldn't get enough.

Emily too!!!!