Friday, March 29, 2013

Curry chicken salad


My mom already posted this recipe last year...  but it's too good not to share again and again.

This is one of those recipes that is a little bit different every time I make it, but it's ALWAYS fantastic.  This time, I had some chicken that I had already sauteed and cooled, so I didn't want to dirty another pan just to cook some onions.  So I ended up mincing a shallot (I didn't want huge chunks of it...  I don't think that'd be as tasty) and just stirring it in with all of the other ingredients.  I also used crumbled pecans instead of walnuts and I served it in a bowl instead of on a sandwich.

So, so yummy...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Soda Bread Breakfast Rolls and Honey Peanut Butter

Well, I'm about halfway through spring break with the kiddos...  Rye comes home from her dad's tonight, so it's been a little easier than usual with only two kids home so far.  We'll see how tomorrow goes...  haha.

I guess I've gotten a lot done this week so far.  I spent Monday canning and got a total of 6 quarts of chicken stock and 5 quarts, plus 1 1/2 pints of turkey stock (only 'cause I ran out of quart jars).  Yesterday I made a loaf of bread, a batch of soda bread breakfast rolls and some honey peanut butter to spread on the rolls...

which we ate for breakfast this morning

Sunday, March 24, 2013

This week's menu... and happy Easter!!!

Ugh.  ::yawn::  ...It's been a long, crazy week...  but tomorrow brings a new one...  and spring break.  I get a week with my kids, which is going to be awesome, right?  (Hey, I'm trying to have a good attitude  here)

I've tried to prepare myself the best I can for spring break by making lots of plans....  play dates, a birthday party, a sleepover with Kitty Gramma, maybe a few activities that I've pinnedEaster stuff and a big, long spring cleaning list that I've put together thanks to my new favorite app, Google Keep.  Hopefully this keeps us all nice and busy so the kids are too exhausted to give me much attitude over break.  ::fingers crossed::


this week's menu:
Monday- buffalo chicken pasta

Tuesday- tofu mushroom stroganoff over whole wheat penne

Wednesday- chicken fingers and oven fries

Thursday- leftovers

Friday- pizza night

Saturday- penne with rose sauce

Easter Sunday- lamb and stuff...  we'll be trying rabbit (that my friend's husband hunted) for the first time as well.  The kids find it both horrifying and entertaining that we'll be eating Easter rabbit.

...other things I'd like to make...

More coconut quinoa granola...  yes, I finally got around to making some and it's flipping fantastic.  So good that we're almost out and the kids are panicking.  So I guess I'll have to make more.

Bread, which has become at least a weekly thing here.  It's so much better than that soft store-bought crap.

Soda bread...  well, sort of.  It was sooooo good when I made it for St. Paddy's day, especially when I had some for breakfast with some peanut butter on it.  O. M. G.  So, my plan is to make the recipe how I did before, subbing poppy seeds for caraway seeds, but I want to add in some sunflower seeds and maybe some walnuts.  Then, I'll portion it into breakfast rolls!  Yummy!  I can't wait to have these made!!!

Chicken stock, which is already made....  and will be canned tomorrow ::knocks on wood::

I'd still like to make the horchata and creme caramel, but I've already got so much planned that....  well, we'll see.

Happy Easter if I don't "see" you again before then!!!

What's on your menu this week?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A family "to do" list...

Just a quick note tonight...

I want to tell you guys about my latest attempt to organize my family and our home: a "to do" list for the whole family!!!  Mind you, this in in addition to the allowance jars and the family contribution flip-charts.  (I know I've shared at least one of these photos here before, but I thought it'd be nice to see them all together)

"to do" list

allowance jars

family contribution flip-charts

Wish me luck!!!

What works in your home?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What my family will be putting in our face-holes this week...

Sorry I'm a little late this week...  it's not as though it matters, though...  we had leftovers last night (wooooo, exciting...)

So, this week's menu:

Monday- Leftovers!  ....last week involved a lot of cooking and a lot of going out...  we had some catching up to do.

Tuesday- Leftovers!  ...correction, we *have* some catching up to do...  But I'm okay with more corned beef and cabbage tonight.

Wednesday- Ratatouille.  I flipping love this stuff.  (you can find my recipe for it here)

Thursday- Soup and salad. I'm being generic here because we have a whole bunch of soup that I've made and frozen taking up space in the freezer...  which reminds me, I should probably can some stock sometime soon...  anyway...

Friday- Pizza night, of course.

Saturday- Oven roasted chicken, roasted brussles sprouts and sriracha aioli (I'll be tossing some broccoli in there, too) and pineapple bread pudding for dessert (Gramma's recipe, known as scalloped pineapple in our family)

Sunday- leftovers....  I'm just assuming that we'll have a bunch of leftovers again, if not, there's always the soup in the freezer.

...other things I'd like to make this week...

Yeah, it's all carried over from last week...  I didn't make a darn thing from last week's list, but that's okay...

...'cause I made soda bread

This is one of those things that I've been wanting to make for something-like-nine-years... I'm so happy that I finally thought of it at an appropriate time (like, not at 1 a.m. when I can't fall asleep).  I subbed poppy seeds for caraway seeds and I used a bag of multi-colored raisins instead of regular ones (yuck, I can't stand "normal" raisins) or currants.  This stuff was awesome.  I *will* be making it again.

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, March 15, 2013

...for a job well done...

...Er, well, for one that's *done*, at least...

A few months back, I took some inspiration from Pinterest and had the kids make their own flip-up chore charts...  six chores each, nothing they can't handle.  I honestly don't remember if I posted about them or not...  and I can't find the pin that inspired it.  I just don't have time, as I'm writing this, doing dishes, making dinner and yelling at encouraging the kids to do their chores....

Anyhoo, the charts worked really well for awhile, and they still kind of do occasionally, but the girls have started asking for an allowance.  My husband jokingly said that we should pay them in pennies...  So this is what I decided to do:

Everybody has an assigned color, marked with a ribbon.  For each job they complete, they earn a penny.  Simple as that. 

....We're expecting a worker's strike once they realize how low their wages are, at which point we'll increase their pay to a nickle per job.  That's a pretty awesome raise.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This week's menu... plus, a little somethin' for you!

So, I think I'm going to make this a weekly thing...  I mean, I plan our menus weekly anyway and this made it really easy to find my recipes when I was actually ready to cook.  Hopefully you find this helpful as well.

I followed through on most of last week's menu...  with a little rearranging, but that's okay.  Life ne'er  works out as planned, right?  I didn't get around to the cottage pie, so that'll be tonight's dinner.  I also wasn't able to make the quinoa granola 'cause the store was out of unsweetened flaked coconut.  Total bummer.  I contemplated just using the standard sweetened stuff but I think that would make it too sticky-sweet.  So I'll check the store for coconut again when I go next.  No biggie.  And the horchata?  well, I spaced it out...  so that'll have to be added to my list again, too...

This week's menu:

Monday- cottage pie (inspired by these recipes from: New Paradigm Health Cookery, and

Tuesday- Lentils that my mom made for us (recipe from...  I'm not sure where.  Go ask my mom if you want to know, haha) and some baby spinach with a little Marzetti roasted garlic Italian vinaigrette (my current FAVORITE dressing...  so yummy and a little goes a long way!)

Wednesday- summer spaghetti, minus the chicken (from

Thursday- Honey mustard pork chops with whatever veggie we have on hand (from  this is one of our family favorites- it's sooo goood!)

Friday- Pizza night!

Saturday- Leftovers....  or maybe going out...  

Sunday- CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE!!!!  Yeeeeah, boyeeee!!!!

...Other things I'd like to make this week:

coconut quinoa granola...  provided I can find the right coconut.

horchata...  provided I don't space it out again.

more bread...  'cause it's delicious.

creme caramel (from foodwishes)...  it just looks awesome.


Cottage pie, yo!

3 shallots or 1 medium onion, plus one clove of garlic
4 stalks of celery, rinsed
5 medium carrots, scrubbed
2 small turnips, washed and peeled
2 medium parsnips, washed and peeled

1 package baby bella or button mushrooms, wiped clean
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprinkle of summer savory
sea salt or kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

1 cup stout beer, such as Guinness
2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)

about 2 Tbsp olive oil for cooking

4 red or russet potatoes, washed and peeled

Preheat oven to 400°

Roughly dice the first five ingredients.  Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add vegetables and toss to coat in oil.  While those veggies are cooking, very roughly chop the mushrooms (seriously, put 'em on the cutting board and whack 'em a few times with your knife...  carefully). 

When the shallots (or onions) are translucent and the other veggies are starting to look toasty and smell delicious, add the mushrooms to the mix and let them sit just until they start to sweat.  Dump in the beer and stir in the tomato paste (if you're using it...  I didn't this time) and season to taste with fresh thyme, summer savory, salt and pepper.  Let it simmer and cook off the alcohol; the sauce will thicken a bit.

While all of this is going on, slice your potatoes super thin - think potato chips.

When the sauce has thickened a little bit, turn off the heat (transfer to a casserole dish at this point if your skillet isn't oven safe) and flatten out the veggie mixture.  Top with a single layer of potatoes, drizzle (or spray) with a little olive oil (or butter if you want, but I'm watching calories) and season with a little more salt and pepper.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Broil for a couple of minutes to add a little color if needed (but watch it closely).


.....You could easily add ground beef or lamb (YUM) to this recipe.  Try changing up the veggies, too! I'm going to try it with some peas next time, they would add the perfect pop of sweetness to this dish!

What's on your menu this week?  Please let me know how you like this recipe if you try it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Stuff I'm planning to feed my family this week...

This week's menu:

Monday- roasted cauliflower/zucchini/white cheddar soup (from BS' in the kitchen) and spring pea salad with goat cheese (from

Tuesday- red curry beef pot roast (from

Wednesday- penne with tomato cream sauce, without the shrimp (from Back to Her Roots)

Thursday- mushroom toast (I think this idea came from Angry Chicken, but I searched and searched and couldn't find anything close....  so, yeah, I don't know)

Friday- pizza night! (I like to leave this pretty open; could be homemade, frozen or from a restaurant)

Saturday- leftovers (self-explanitory...  if we don't have leftovers, we'll probably go out or pick up something quick)

Sunday- cottage pie (inspired by these recipes from: New Paradigm Health and

.....Other things I'd like to make this week:

crusty french bread...  I had this at my cousin's house not too long ago, tried making it myself and failed...  kind of horribly.  Apparently, the bread just needed to bake a little longer.  When I tried to take it out of the loaf pan, it came out in two halves- top and bottom.  This wouldn't have been such a problem if I hadn't been planning to make sandwiches with it.  Bummer.  Take two.

horchata...  I love this stuff and have always wanted to try making it.  Why not now?  Especially since we'll likely be stuck inside much of the week because of the snow storm that is supposedly headed our direction.

coconut quinoa granola...  I freaking love granola.  I also freaking love quinoa.  Oh, and I freeeaking love coconut.  The whole idea of this just sounds genius to me.  Freaking genius.

I really want to make more granola at home 'cause lots of it has crap that I'm not really interested in eating or feeding to my kids.....  and because my kids like to eat my "special" cereal, so if we keep granola in the house maybe the good chocolate kind that I get for myself will be left alone by them...  maybe.

What's on your menu this week?

Do you have any good granola (or other) recipes you'd like to share?