Friday, April 30, 2010

Garlic Breadsticks

These breadsticks are always a hit with my family. I made them to go with the leftover chicken noodle soup from the day before. My "something old with something new" theory. Use leftovers and add a new side. That means less cooking time for me and everyone is still excited about dinner. :)

Garlic Breadsticks
1 T. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
3 to 4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. warm water

Mix sugar, salt, 2 cups flour and yeast together in a bowl. Add warm water and blend well, adding enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead 3 minutes. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Spray a sheet cake type cookie sheet with Pam. Put dough in the middle of pan and roll out. Spread topping (see Breadstick Spread below) over dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut the breadsticks once down the middle, long-wise, and then across into sticks. Let rise until almost double. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Breadstick Spread
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

Blend all ingredients together and spread over dough.

Don't be scared by the use of yeast in these breadsticks. They are SO EASY to make and only took me about 20 minutes to put together. Just make sure the water you put in is actually warm so that they will raise better. I like to melt the butter for the spread a little bit before I add the other ingredients. It makes it easier to spread on the dough.

My family absolutely loves these breadsticks and they start speaking for which ones they want on the sheet before I even cut into them. It also was a good incentive to get some of them to finish their leftover soup. "Finish your soup and you can have another breadstick." Seriously, the soup was gone in just a few minutes!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I decided I needed to make this yesterday because . . .

the day looked like this!

It's almost May and the weather is unbelievably cold. However, it will warm up soon and that means we only have a few good soup days left! Time to pull out the crock pot!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
celery salt
poultry seasoning
wide egg noodles
chicken bouillon
salt and pepper to taste

I don't follow a recipe for my homemade chicken soup, I just throw everything in the crock pot and test it until it tastes right. So, yesterday morning I put a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot and turned it to high. Then I added 1 chopped onion, 4 carrots (peeled and sliced), put in just enough water to cover it all and let it cook until afternoon.

In the afternoon I took 2 forks and broke up the cooked chicken breasts into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Then I added canned chicken broth and chicken bouillon. I had to add the bouillon to make up for the water I already had in there with the chicken and vegetables. I also added the celery salt, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Then, about an hour before we ate I put in as many noodles as I wanted and let them cook.

The soup turned out really good. One thing I would have done differently is put the noodles in a little later. They ended up softer than I wanted and broke apart before I served it. I ended up making a double amount of soup so that we can have leftovers today and I can have a little break from cooking dinner. Maybe I'll make some rolls tonight to go with the leftover soup. Those are always a hit.

Oh, I can't forget our "side" with the soup from last night! This is certainly a kid favorite and I had them when I was a kid. What is it? CRACKER SANDWICHES!!! I still like them.
Actually, these little cracker sandwiches go a long way as an incentive to get kids to finish their soup. I put them together with a little bit of butter in the middle. So tasty! I ate them with my soup and it added a real buttery taste to my soup.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Breakfast Burritos for Dinner

I love having breakfast foods for dinner. They are so good and I rarely have time in the mornings to make them. Last night was crazy for us because Athena and Samantha had dance and choir in the afternoon and we got home right at dinner time. This was a very easy to make, one-skillet meal. I didn't follow a specific recipe, I just threw it all together. So, for this recipe, feel free to add or take away whatever your family may or may not like. The whole thing took me about 25 minutes to make. It would take longer if you don't use precooked bacon. It was my first time trying it because it was on sale. :) Sometimes I throw in ham, or just omit the meat.

Breakfast Burritos
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
10 strips of bacon (precooked)
2 mushrooms, chopped small
3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
12 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese

Prepare the onion, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic, and bacon. Put it all into the skillet and cook on medium heat until it the onions and green peppers are soft. While those are cooking, mix the eggs together, pour abt 1/4 c. milk into the egg mixture and salt and pepper. When the veggies in the skillet are mostly cooked, pour in the egg mixture and cook it like scrambled eggs. Cook this all together until the eggs are done. Then top with cheese and cover until the cheese is melted. Serve with tortillas, sour cream, and ketchup or salsa.

This is the finished product. It smelled so good!

To put it together on my plate, I used a whole wheat tortilla.

Then I put the sour cream and ketchup on my tortilla. A lot of people prefer salsa, but I like ketchup.

Add the egg mixture to the tortilla.

Wrap it up and eat.

For our drink we had homemade grape juice.

I enjoyed making this dinner because 1) everyone in the family likes it and 2) Athena stayed with me in the kitchen and helped me cook. I've noticed that when I allow the kids to help me cook, they eat their dinner better and appreciate more the work that goes into it. She got to see every step of the dinner-making process and had some one-on-one time with mom. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Barbecued Pork Chops & Baked Potatoes

Last night I was undecided about what to make for dinner until about 3:30. It turns out I had some leftover pork chops from a recipe I used on Sunday. I have just recently started using pork and am not really familiar with all its uses yet, so this was kind of an experiment.

We had 4 big chops and we covered them with honey barbecue sauce and a smokey mesquite grilling spice. Then Jeremy threw them out on the grill. I think we probably should have pounded them out a little because they were kind of tough, but it actually turned out to be really good!
A quick side that works great with a barbecue is baked potatoes. I like to make baked potatoes because the preparation is so quick and easy. I rubbed them with butter, then seasoned them with onion powder, garlic powder, season all, salt, and pepper. Then I covered the dish with foil let them bake for an hour at 350 degrees. The kids surprisingly gobbled up this meal and ate every bite of meat we gave them. Since I had just started my new food blog we had to laugh because the dinner itself was a little disastrous. Jeremy went to pass me the bbq sauce during dinner and slid it across the table, knocking over Alexandra's water into her plate and covering her baked potato with water. I hurried to clean the plate while Jeremy cleaned up the table. Then Nathan thought he was big enough to cut his meat on his own and refused to let Jeremy help. He was pushing too hard on the meat and his plate went flying into his lap - getting bbq sauce all over his shirt.

Maybe I set my expectations too high for our "first wonderful post". By the end we were all laughing about it! I guess at least we all got full and it tasted great, right?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Why This Blog?

Every blog needs a first post, so this is it. :)

I've been thinking of creating a dinner blog for a couple of months. I think it would be quite helpful for me to be able to blog about what we eat and enjoy as a family. A lot of people I know get really burned out when it comes to fixing food for their family and it never hurts to have a few new ideas. I love to cook and spend time in the kitchen. I also love to see my family benefit from what I'm able to put together.

One of my pet peeves when I go looking at new cookbooks, or when I get recipes in my magazines, is that they aren't practical for me. They always contain ingredients I've never heard of and stuff I don't have on hand. Although I DO like to try new things, most of my cooking is done every day for my family and is specific to things I know my family will eat. It also has to be proportioned for my family of 6 and not a little 2 serving recipe.

I want to be able to log my meals so I can go back when I run out of ideas and refresh my mind on what works for me. I also want to be able to share our experiences of eating as a family and how this strengthens my family. If anyone else can benefit from what I share, then that is a great added bonus!
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