Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Since my birthday was celebrated last weekend with all the other March birthdays I went about business as usual today. However, the celebration was really great, mom and Edmond had a pizza party. Yea!  No cooking and cleaning for me. I got one of those nifty little creative momories paper/picture cutters, a huge box of mixed Dove chocolates (HANDS OFF GUYS!!), some money, and 7 new vegetarian/vegan cookbooks from hubby (we have a Borders that is closing up and books are 50-60% off). Tonight I spent the evening with my free birthday drink from Starbucks - a Soy White Chocolate Mocha Latte Decaf with no whip and on the computer blogging a little and reading Appetite for Reduction. It was a great day!

Meatballs with Pineapple

Fresh pineapples were on sale for 99 cents so I bought three. Now what to do with them - of course the boys will gobble one up for a snack, one will work for breakfast smoothies and the other I made The Pioneer Woman's Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple.

Meatballs with Pineapple
Serves  8-10

40 cooked gluten free homemade meatballs
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 fresh pineapple, cleaned and cut into chunks
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup cane sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
red crushed pepper to taste

1. Defrost the meatballs if you have them pre-made and frozen. Warm the meatballs through and set aside.

2. Mix together the vegetable stock, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch, set aside.

3. Heat  2 Tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet. Add the red and green bell peppers along with the onion and cook until soft. Add the pineapple to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce mixture into the pan and stir until the sauce is thickened. Add the meat balls and gently stir until well blended.  Sprinkle on what ever amount of the crushed red peppers you desire or you can leave them out. I simply let each person put on their own. Serve over brown rice.

Parsnip Cakes

1 pound parsnips
1-4 Tablespoons margarine
salt & pepper to taste
sorghum flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Gluten free bread crumbs, crushed gluten free rice krispies or chex
olive oil for frying

Peel the parsnips thinly. Cut them into small chunks and cook in a little salted water until soft. Mash with the margarine, season witht he salt and pepper. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into six cakes. Dip each cake into the flour, then egg, then coat with the bread crumbs. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Fry the parsnip cakes until golden brown on both sides. 

These make a wonderful breakfast served with gluten free toast, bacon or sausage, and orange juice.

Wasabi Ranch Dip

1/2 cup bottled ranch dressing or homemade vegan ranch
1 Tablespoon milk or soy milk
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend with fork until well mixed.  Easy, Easy, Easy and super Yummy with fresh veggies. The boys whip this up a lot for a snack tray with baby carrots, cucumber and zucchini slices, grape tomatoes and celery sticks.

Spicy Asian Stir Fry

8 ounces gluten free linguine noodles
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
1 small head baby bok choy, chopped into 2 inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/3 cup snow peas, halved
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly liced (1/2 cup)
1 Tablespons gluten free hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon gluten free garlic-chili sauce
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1. Cook the pasta according to the packag directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water, and set pasta aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add  onion, and garlic, and saute 5-7 minutes, or until onion is golden.

3. Add the baby bok choy, broccoli, snow peas, and bell pepper. Stir-fry 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the hoisin and garlic-chili sauces. Stir in noodles, adding 1/2 reserved cooking water. Add more water if texture seems too dry. Garnish each serving with 1 Tablespoon chopped peanuts. Serves 4

This recipe came from Vegetarian Times, March 2009, page 34

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Prayer In Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orcahrd white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends he will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

~Robert Frost~

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hope this day finds everybody doing fine and dandy and ready to tackle the week. Last week the boys and I gave the living room/dining room/school room a going over. Took down the Irish lace panels & valances and washed them, moved all the furniture and vacuumed under it. Dusted and oiled all the wood surfaces. Vacuumed the carpet, then mopped the tiles. Hubby took out the old carpet in the hallway and put in stone looking tile. He painted the bathroom white and plans on putting the same tile in there also. The boys cleaned up mom's back yard -she had an old pear tree that we cut down last fall. Kody is buzzing away with his Sonlight curriculum, Collin is studying American life in the 1940's and Joseph is into China and ducks but mostly China and lovin' it. That's all the good news, now the bad. Hubby finally caught that crazy bug we hand last month and was feeling poorly through the week but he is feeling great now. Last night I had a sore throat and I'm coughing again. I don't want this again!!!  Here's what were eating this week.

cranberry granola, hot cocoa
multi grain waffle, banana
toad in a hole, orange slices
multi grain toast with cream cheese & sliced strawberries, peppermint tea
oatmeal with pecan and apples, orange juice (x2)
gingerbread, applesauce, hot tea

Black bean quesadillas, pineapple
baked sweet potato, ants on a log
veggie fried rice
pineapple-strawberry protein smoothie
peanut butter & jelly, apple sliced (x2)
egg salad, crackers, carrot sticks

sour cream enchiladas, Spanish rice, mixed greens salad
roasted chicken, steamed asparagus, scalloped potatoes
General Tao's tofu, stir fried veggies, rice
broccoli, potato casserole, Harvard beets, rolls
corned beef, colcannon, glazed baby carrots, fresh apple cake
chicken tortilla soup, corn muffins
salmon sliders, fried okra, corn on the cob (didn't get to this last week)

Besure to check out all the other wonderful menu ideas at I'm An Organizing Junkie and have a brilliantly blessed day!

Granny's Mock Pies

Granny's Mock Pecan Pie

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup melted non dairy margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup cooked pinto beans, mashed
1 unbaked gluten free pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl add the sugar, margarine, eggs and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes at medium speed. stir in the beans. Pour into a pie crust. Bake for 45 minutes.

Granny's Mock Apple Pie (non-gluten free)

1 ½ Cups Sugar
2 Cups Cold Water
2 teaspoons Cream of Tarter
20 Ritz Crackers
½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
non dairy margarine
1 unbaked pie crust.

Put sugar, water, cream of tarter in small sauce pan. Do NOT stir. Bring to boil then add crackers.
Boil for 2 minutes add lemon juice, then pour in  a 9-inch pie crust. Add margarine and cinnamon on top of crust. Bake at 425degrees

Both of these pies will surprise you in their taste and appearance - they look and taste like the real thing! These recipes were handed down to my great grandmother from her grandmother.

Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

1 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and blend. Add the mayonnaise, water and vanilla; beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.

This is a very moist cake that is yummy. You must use real mayonnaise. It doesn't turn out well with light or fat free.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grandma's Easter Eggs

Grandma's Easter Eggs

1 bag flake coconut
1 ½ pounds powered sugar
2 Tablespoons vanilla
¼ pound butter plus 1/8 cube
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup chopped pecan
6 Hershey milk chocolate bars

Mix all the ingredients together except the chocolate bars. Blend well. Chill over night in the refrigerator. The next day mold the mixture into egg shapes. Chill about 1 hour, then dip into melted chocolate bars. Place back into the refigerator until chocolate is solid. Then serve.

Grandma got this Recipe from Her Friend, Clare Stremlau In 1946. Every Easter she made them for my mother and her brother.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Late week has been our first full week that no one in the house was sick. Yea! This week it is back to business as usual. School, baking, cooking, cleaning, and all that jazz, and everyone is ready for it. Things have been so off key with everyone sick and a lot has been left undone so this week we will try to get back our rhythm of living.

The boys are beginning our new school year. Kody will begin working through Eastern Hemispheres from Sonlight, Exploring Creation with Physical Science, and Teaching Textbooks. Collin will be working through Beyond Five in a Row 1 & 2 and lap booking, Key to percents, decimals, & percents, Learning Language Arts through Literature. Joseph will be working through Five in a Row 1 & 2 and lap booking, the Complete Book of Math & Developing Number Concepts with Unifix cubes, Learning Language Arts through Literature. All of them will be working on daily & seasonal activities that I will get from Little Acorn Learning.

I will be trying to get back to the bathroom curtains that I am making and getting my list for spring cleaning  and home repair together. We are also going back to our three days vegetarian, one day soup, one day fish, and two days meat for dinner each week and vegetarian breakfasts & lunches. This was the pattern that we ate for years and everyone was healthier and felt better. It give us an more even variety of nutrients in our diet. This is what's on the menu this week.

This week the boys and I are going to make~

12 Morning Glory Muffins
12 Pumpkin Muffins
2 loaves of whole wheat honey bread
1 loaf of Whoo bread
pumpkin muffins, hot tea
multi grain pancakes, bananas
biscuits & gravy
fruit & yogurt parfait
boiled eggs, multi grain toast
oatmeal with cranberries, apples & walnuts (x2)

veggie burgers, orange slices
grilled cheese, tomato basil soup
peanut butter & jelly, apple slices (x2)
pineapple strawberry smoothie, trail mix
veggie pesto pizza
spaghetti with spicy peanut sauce

vegetable korma over rice, fried okra
spinach & cheese enchiladas, grilled asparagus & green onions
salmon sliders, oven fries
banana & black bean empanadas, corn on cob, mixed greens salad
venison strips, mashed potatoes & gravy, steamed green beans
fried rice, Laolao's dumplings
shepherd's pie, steamed broccoli, baked apples

Have a brilliantly blessed week!