Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dinner was yummy...

Beef Enchilada Rice
printable version of this recipe (with photo)
printable version of this recipe (without photo)
  • one package beef (stew meat, steaks or a roast will work)
  • 28 oz. can of mild red enchilada sauce
  • 24 oz. jar of mild salsa
  • one packet of taco seasoning mix
  • cooked wild rice blend
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
Combine first four ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.  When meat is cooked through, remove from sauce and shred with two forks.  Return meat to sauce and stir.  Serve over prepared wild rice blend, sprinkled with cheddar cheese and topped with a dollop of sour cream.

I used stew meat tonight...  in hindsight, I should probably have used a roast instead only because it would make for easier shredding.  It was pretty tasty though.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It's getting hot in here...

...yeah, that's right.  I just referenced Nelly (I think), what of it?  No really, it *is* getting hot - as in spicy!  ( my nerd showing again?)

Buffalo Sauce
printable version of this recipe (with photo)
printable version of this recipe (without photo)

1 stick of unsalted butter
1 c Frank's hot sauce
1-2 Tbs white vinegar

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, being careful not to brown it.  Add hot sauce and vinegar.  Whisk until it looks smooth and creamy.  Yum.

We made buffalo chicken pizza since I had some leftover chicken that we had roasted the night before.  As much as I looove the buffalo chicken pizza from our local pizza place, I think I loved my homemade version even more.  Plus, I know *exactly* what's in it when it comes from my kitchen, which puts my mind at ease (especially if the kids are eating it too).

If you like amazing pizza crust (really, who doesn't?), I very highly suggest that you try this recipe for whole wheat pizza crust (my only change was adding honey instead of sugar).  It's our family's favorite.  I searched for the longest time for a good pizza dough recipe and when I found this one, I quit.  It's seriously delicious.  Seriously.

This buffalo sauce is also great for buffalo chicken pasta!  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!!!

How are you celebrating?  Today, it's just my fiance, Moo and me, so we'll be doing some more planting, finishing up and hanging a pop bottle bird feeder that Rye and I started the other day and I'm sure we'll squeeze in a few other things.

A few posts back, I said that my cousin gave me a whole bunch of plants Easter weekend.  I feel so loved!  Check out what he gave me!

Wild black raspberries!
He gave us *eight* plants...
Six have made it, but that's not bad.


Walking onions!

Chocolate mint!
Heck yeah.

Lemon Balm!
....which I found a sorbet recipe
to use it in that I *have* to try!

Well, I'm not quite as excited about this as Fluffy is.

Thanks to my cousin!!!  And check out his YouTube channel, you can see his greenhouse and a neat rocket stove that he built.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Making laundry more, err, fun...?

So a few posts back (when I shared my plant markers with you), I mentioned that I'd been doing some painting...  here it is:

(inspired by this)

I still have to hang it up, but I'm hoping that this will make me smile occasionally while doing laundry...  I also have an old school wooden and glass washboard that I'd like to hang up in the laundry room.  Hopefully I'll remember to get pictures of it all when it's done.

Friday, April 20, 2012

....I've got some catching up to do...

Yikes, have I been slacking!  I still haven't posted about Easter weekend!  Well, I'm not going to get into what kind of candy the kids got and whatnot, but I *will* share a bit about how we spent the Saturday before Easter because it was just too much fun to *not* tell you about it!

We started off the day meeting up with my cousin and his family at a GIGANTIC Easter egg hunt.  It was pure craziness.

O and Moo
(unfortunately, Rye was at her dad's house
and didn't get to join in our fun...
I'm sure they did their own thing there)

Look at all of those eggs!!!

Look at all of those people!!!  
...and that was just the people
on the other side of the football field,
there were just as many on our side!

And off they go!

O's got some loot!

More candy!

They even had a petting zoo there....
I'll let you guess what my favorite animal was
(keep in mind I'm a knitter and crocheter)!


...and a cute little goat.

The bunnies were sweet.
O really liked them.

Afterward, we headed over to my cousin's house and hung out for a bit...  Most of the day was spent feeding and chasing their chickens.  I was amazed at how well behaved *all* the kids and the chickens were!  

O and Moo feeding the chickens some leftovers.

Look at her pretty coloring.

O says he thought they would try to eat him!

They have an old willow tree they like to eat the bugs from.

My cousin's daughter and Moo with the chickens.

My cousin showing the kids how to feed the chickens.
The little bag on top of the coop is a calcium supplement-
Chickens need their vitamins, too!

My cousin made the coop...
I informed him that he'll be doing
some building for us when we have
our own piece of land someday.

Fresh eggs!

Moo showing off the eggs that were laid that morning.

These were by far the best eggs I've *ever* eaten.

More calcium for the chickens...
who knew they like to eat their eggshells?

My cousin's daughter and O playing.

My cousin's son- 
I told him to smile and say cheese...
This is what he gave me, haha.

Last year, they had a phenomenal garden, which they're getting going again this year...




Ducks visiting their koi pond.

We had such a good time hanging out there!  Plus, my cousin gave me a whole bunch a plants to bring home!  (I'll have to show those off in a future post)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

...Oh, what a beautiful day...

...Just a few quick pictures to share...

One of our backyard visitors.

Rye lookin' pretty under our lilac bush.

Stop and smell the flowers

Pointing out our new blooms.

They're so pretty!

I love how they look like they're painted!

I know that they're weeds, but I think they're pretty.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another yummy veggie dish...

Cheesy Zucchini and Summer Squash

  • 2 zucchini
  • 3 summer squash
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cut into about 1/2" cubes
  • 1 c. dubliner or white cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 c. parmesan, shredded
  • about 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme or other herb of your choice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350*

Slice zucchini and squash to about 1/4" thick.  spread out on a deep cookie sheet, trying not to let them overlap too much (a little bit is fine, but the goal is to get some cheese on each bite).  Evenly distribute butter over veggies, then sprinkle with both cheeses.  Pull the herbs off of their stems and sprinkle them even over everything.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Bake at 350* for about 30 mins. or until veggies are tender and cheese is golden and bubbly.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My April inspiration...

And the winner is (drum roll, please)...


Yay!  I can't wait to try this one!

Last month's goal was "make moussaka" ...which I later learned that I had misspelled.  I mean to write musaka, which is the version that my fiance grew up on.  Moussaka is the Greek variety, which is pretty different.  Since my fiance's birthday was April 1st, I ended up completing my March goal a day late.  Oh, well.  If you want to know how I made it, you can find my recipe here.

Even though I was late with that specific goal, I did an extra one last month that should make up for my tardiness, right?  ::wink, wink::


I poached an egg!  Well, about 7 of them actually.  For some strange reason, the idea of poached eggs always weirded me out.  Making them and eating them.  This is part of why I set that goal for myself.  and the result?  Ah-friggin-mazing!  I *love* them!  Check out this video if you want to learn how to do something that's so insanely easy and delicious that I have no idea why I had such an odd aversion:

Monday, April 2, 2012

Musaka, musaka, musaka!...

...For some reason, I've been stuck on "The Lion King" since about dinner-time last night...


Anyway, I made some for my fiance's birthday dinner as I mentioned in my earlier post...  it was delicious.  I got a (very basic) recipe from my mother-in-law and I looked up a few others online and came up with this:

Sorry about the not-so appetizing picture...
it's the best I could do with only a phone 
and a plate of leftovers.
Shame on me for not planning ahead.


  • 5 or 6 medium-large potatoes (I used red, but I'm sure any kind will do), peeled and sliced about 1/4" thick
  • one large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • season salt (I used Lawry's, but again any kind will do)
  • 2 eggs
  • about 1/8 cup of heavy cream or milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Preheat oven to 450*

Heat a drizzle of olive oil (about 2 Tbsp.) in a large frying pan and add onion.  Sweat onion until it's almost translucent.  Add ground beef and cook until there is no more pink, but it's not quite browned (baking it in the oven later will help it to finish).  Season to taste with season salt, salt and pepper (I just used the season salt and added salt and pepper to my plate when I ate it).  Set aside.

I peeled and sliced my potatoes at his point, which allowed my meat mixture to cool enough to handle.

Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil in the bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish.  Lay down a layer of potatoes, slightly layering them on top of each other.  Now spread 1/2 of the meat mixture over the potatoes.  Lay down another layer of potatoes and top with the rest of the meat mixture.  Now add one more layer of potatoes to the top.  

So, it goes like this:

  1. potatoes
  2. meat
  3. potatoes
  4. meat
  5. potatoes

(Apparently, we're a real "meat and potatoes" kind of family....  haha.  Yeah, that was lame)

Cover your baking dish loosely with some foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and cream (or milk).

Now (when the 30 mins. are up) drizzle the egg mixture evenly over the meat and potatoes and bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and everything is starting to look nice and golden.  You'll know it's done when you can hear it...  just trust me on this.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think of it!  From what I've been told, it's a pretty traditional Bosnian/Herzegovinian dish...  and what counts is that my fiance was pleased with it.

Time to do some catching up...

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear and loving soon-to-be husband!  I made him a birthday dinner that he was very happy with- musaka (a dish he grew up on), custard and scalloped pineapple (a.k.a pineapple bread pudding)....  recipes will be coming shortly.

Well, about a week ago or so we were having absolutely gorgeous weather...  now it feels more like it's supposed to this time of year (which I'm okay with, I suppose).  I took advantage of our lovely weather and got my hands dirty!  My fiance and I hit the garden department at a nearby grocery store and picked up a raspberry plant and a blueberry plant, which I managed to get in the ground (almost) right away...  they're currently covered with empty storage bins to stop them from getting too cold, though we haven't had a freeze in quite awhile ::fingers crossed:: that we don't have any more!

Our blueberry plant

Our raspberry plant

The single packet of swiss chard seeds that I planted are showing some progress, too!

My fiance has been super sweet and put in a new raised planting bed off of our porch that I can't wait to use when the warmer weather gets here!

Look at it, just asking to be planted in...

This rose used to live where the planting bed is now,
ans it's a good thing that I noticed it there
because my fiance had no idea what it was
and was ready to whack it down!
I saved it's life.

While the weather was sunny I made a point of taking out my paint and getting some stuff done.  It was then that I realized that the fact that I haven't *really* picked up a paintbrush since high school shows itself...  please disregard the blobby-looking "lettuce" stone.

I got this idea from this pin on Pinterest.
...mine aren't nearly as adorable as the originals,
but I like 'em enough and they get
the point across.

I *did* get a little more painting done, but I'll have to show you that in a future post 'cause it's just too darn late for this momma....  I have to make breakfast for the kids in the morning, after all.