• 101 List

    <1. create a list of 101 things to complete in 1001 days[comp. 11.03.07
    2. Make Abby’s thank you cards, by Nov 7th [comp. 11.08.07]
    3. Send Abby’s b-day thank you cards, by Nov 10th
    4. Make x-mas cards by Dec. 7th[finished 12.11]
    5. Send x-mas cards by Dec. 12th [sent 12.14]
    6. Start a “the best thing today” journal[started 11.5.07]
    7. Meditate every day for one month
    8. Find a job I LOVE and that uses my skills and education to its fullest (hopefully teaching, but I will not discount something else that would be in education and made me happy)
    9. Keep up with list on blog
    10. Send out a b-day card to friends and family every year
    [1/?] 11. Complete Abby’s 1st year scrapbook[in progress]
    12. Make a wedding scrapbook
    13. Join teacher organization
    14. Participate in a teacher’s continuing education workshop spring/summer ‘08
    15. Have diploma framed and hang it
    16. Go to a play, musical or symphony at least once a year starting in 2008
    17. Get at least 3 pedicure a year(starting in 2008)[1/9]
    18. Make a list of 20 books to read (ones that I might not typically read), at least 5 being “classics” and at least 5 non-fiction [comp 11.5.07]
    19. Read 35 books (20 being from my must read list, others being book club books and whatever else)[12/35]
    20. Find a good dentist and go regularly
    21. Take up yoga
    22. Replace all bras and panties
    23. Replace all of my makeup and find a great line that works best for me
    24. Learn to use SLR digital camera better[in progress]
    25. Vote in 2008 election
    26. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy
    27. Start meal planning again[started 11.15.07]
    28. Start an ongoing grocery list on fridge [comp 11.5.2007]
    29. Start back up on Abby’s blog and post to it at least once a month[started 11.11.07] [17/32]
    30. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day for one month(try really hard to keep it up)[started 6/27]
    31. Eat at least one piece of fresh fruit a day for 3 weeks[11/30] [started 11.12.07]
    32. Take at least one cooking class a year (starting in 2008)
    33. Donate blood
    34. Make a list of 20 “must see” classic movie that I have not seen
    35. Watch the 20 movies
    36. Buy a bike and start going on bike rides with Abby
    37. Take a child CPR class
    38. Make a budget for Christmas presents and stick to it
    39. Make a quilt of Abby’s clothes (with mom’s help)
    40. Get lasik
    41. Print and hang more photos of Abby
    42. Take multi vitamins every day for one month, and hopefully keep it up[14/30]
    43. No eating out, deliver, or bringing home food for 3 weeks
    44. Plan something awesome for Mom & Dad’s 40th anniversary next year
    45. Organize recipes
    46. Try one 3 new recipe every month
    [17/96]
    47. Do something with wedding dress
    48. Go out with Tara once every few months
    49. Call Tara once every 2 weeks
    50. Call or email Michelle once a month
    51. Give up caffine by January,
    52. Make an Indian meal complete with naan[comp. 11.03.07]
    53. Personal #2
    54. Call Mom & Dad once a week
    55. Clean out/organize mine and DH’s closet
    56. Clean out/organize Abby’s closet
    57. Donate all the things from closets
    58. Paint/decorate master bathroom
    59. Buy new range
    60. Completely redo front yard landscape
    61. Tile kitchen
    62. Clean out/organize laundry room
    63. Clean out/organize kitchen pantry
    64. Put handles/knobs on kitchen cabinets
    65. Buy new entertainment tower for electronics in family room
    66. Finish or redo master bedroom decor
    67. Buy at least 2 new nice sets of sheets for all beds in the house
    68. Care for and get grass to grow in backyard
    69. Make a work/cleaning schedule a stick with it for one month
    70. Figure out what to do with the fireplace
    71. Do whatever it is to the fireplace
    72. Paint or replace front door
    73. Enroll Abby in swimming lessons
    74. Potty train Abby
    75. Move Abby to big girl bed
    76. Buy big girl bed for Abby
    77. Redecorate Abby’s room
    78. Teach Abby how to read, or at least start
    79. Buy a playscape for backyard
    80. Take Abby to Sea World once a year
    81. Take Abby to the Ft Worth Zoo
    82. Go to the pool at least 3 times a week during the summer
    83. Find a great preschool
    84. Start family game night once a week with NO TV once Abby is old enough, (next year?)
    85. Enroll Abby in karate (next year)
    86. Enroll Abby in sport of her choice (at 3 or 4 years old)
    87. Take Abby horseback riding
    88. Introduce Abby to one new experience at least once a month[9/32](I have not blogged baout all of these though :(
    89. Take Abby camping
    90. Take Abby to the trail of lights
    91. Go on at least one vacation just the 2 of us
    92. Have a monthly date night[9/32] (I have not blogged about these though)
    93. [personal #1]
    94. Make a significant dent(reduce it by at least half) in debt
    95. Write a will
    96. Spend one night playing DH’s computer games with him
    97. Watch an anime movie with DH
    98. Pay off DH’s car
    99. Have family and friends over for Christmas dinner
    100. Have friends over for dinner at least once a month(8/32)
    101. Do something really cool and that we have never done before for 5 year anniversary in ‘09
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My new stove!!!! #59 done

This is by far the most exciting goal that I have yet to cross off. our new range was delivered yesterday. WooHoo! I am so excited to cook my first meal on it tonight. Now I have to find something new stove worthy to cook.

It is a Frigidaire Professional Series. It has a convection oven, with a warming drawer (now where am I going to put all my cookie sheets), and a 5 burner stove top. Two of the burners are “power plus” burners (woo hoo!, no more waiting 20 minutes for water to boil), and the middle burner has a griddle plate that can with the range. Now I have to learn to use the convection oven. I did test it out last night (not cooking anything though) and it took about 3 minutes to pre-heat. Our old one took about 20minutes. Oh yeah and the best part no more loud boom noise 5 minutes after turning on the oven. Yes, our old stove apparently took about 5 minutes between turning it on to actually ignite. So once it did ignite it was already filled with gas, hence the loud boom. Sounds safe, right?!

My new love!

Back in the Kitchen!!!

I have not been doing much cooking, or anything else, due to my back the past few months. Well, last week I finally felt up to cooking again and tried two new recipes.

The first one I found off of allrecipes.com. I was looking for easy chicken recipes that did not have to be baked. It is too hot to turn on the stove! This one caught my attention because DH looooves olives, and so does Abby for that matter. I decided to give it a try. I did change things up a little bit. (the best thing about my changes is that it reduced the cooking time to almost half)

Here is the link to the original recipe called Olive Chicken II. This was really good, DH and Abby loved it and I really thought it was very good. I served it with cous cous (the sauce from the chicken was wonderful over the cous cous as well, yum!), and steamed broccoli, our go to veggie. 🙂 Next time I make this I plan on using Greek olives and sprinkling a little feta on top when serving, or as DH calls it “Greeking it up!”

Here is my adaptation. Sorry no pics. We are always in such a hurry to get the food on the table, I always forget about taking a picture. I will try to do better next time.

Olive Chicken

Ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

salt to taste

pepper to taste

½ cup flour

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 tomatoes, peeled and diced (or you can use 1 can diced tomatoes)

20 pimento-stuffed green olives

1 cup dry white wine

¾ cup chicken broth (I use low sodium)

Directions:

Pound the chicken to about ½ inch thickness. (you do not need to getting really thin, but just thinned out)

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Lightly dredge the chicken in flour/salt/pepper mixture.

Brown chicken in oil, about 5 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

Add garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper and mix well, then stir in tomatoes, olives, wine and broth. (deglaze any browned flour bits when stock and wine)

Bring to a slight boil then reduce heat to low and simmer. Add chicken back to the pan and cook uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove bay leaf and serve.

I have made one other recipe this month, but it did not fair so well. My friend Polly brought a wonderful chicken salad and cookies to us while I was on bed rest due to my surgery. DH looooved the Hippy cookies so Polly reluctantly (lol, just kidding) gave me the recipe. DH has a huge presentation that he is giving this week and has been working on all weekend. Yesterday I thought I would cheer him up by making these cookies. Well, I forgot to buy the craisins that the recipe called for. 😦 So they were not so great. I only cooked one batch and saved the dough. Hopefully I will be able to go out and buy some craisins tomorrow. These were seriously delish cookies. Oh, sorry I am not allowed to post the recipe though. Not because of Polly, she is obviously great at sharing her wonderful recipes over on her food blog. But, unfortunately the person she got the recipe from is not as generous. I will update with how they turned out with the right ingredients.

O.M.G! #46 (and other updates)

In my quest to try new recipes I stumbled across this little gem, Pioneer Woman’s Apple Dumplings. Well, the title of the post says it all. These were so good, and best of all very easy to make. We had dinner guest over last night and I made this for dessert. Everyone raved about them, there was not a single one left over. Well, ok there was 1 left once everyone had gone home and I was cleaning up the kitchen, so of course I had to eat it.

Apple Dumplings

*from Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 Granny Smith apples
2 cans crescent rolls
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
cinnamon
*1 small can Mountain Dew

Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan. Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

*note- I forgot to add Mountain Dew to DH’s shopping list. So, I added ginger ale (it was that or diet DP), not sure what it tastes like with the M.D., but they were still delish with the ginger ale.

other updates

#100- friends over for dinner

We had our friends, and their kids, over for dinner last night. Wow, was it a houseful, we had 6 adults and 4 kids (from 15month-4yrs). Thankfully the adults still out number the kids. We all had dinner and the kids played, then we put all the kids to bed and the adults played. We had a night of fun filled Wii playing. Although I have not blogged about this goal we have managed to keep this up. We have either had friends over or hosted something at our house (one month it was me hosting a scrapbook GTG) every month.

#32- cooking classes

Well, I have not taken a cooking class yet, but I am well on my way. DH and Abby gave me a GC to Central Market to use for cooking classes for Mother’s Day. Yay, I am really excited I have been looking over their schedule and there is just so much I am interested in taking. I should be able to take 3 classes with my GC, now it is just decided on what to take. There are just so many classes that sound great.

Here is what *I think* I have it narrowed down to:

CRAZY ABOUT CURRIES

SHOP THE SEASON

ITALIAN: ROASTED
MEATS & VEGETABLES

CHEESY NIGHT

anyone want to join me 🙂

#68 Grass!- in progress and a few other updates

After we moved into this house we pretty much let the dogs take over the back yard and really did not use it much except for DH grilling on occasion. After having Abby I knew I wanted to get the backyard back in shape so that she has a great place to play. Last summer we fenced off an area and it became her play yard. Well, she outgrew it pretty fast. It is now where I am keep all of our tomato plants and herbs. So, one of my goals was to get the back yard back in shape. Number one in this en devour is to get the grass back. Currently we have patches of grass but mostly just dirt. Two weeks ago I planted grass seed and have been watering and caring for it daily. Sodding was out of the questions because our back yard is so large it would have been thousands of dollars to sod. I am so excited because some of the grass has just started sprouting over the past few days. WooHoo! Who knew I would get so excited over grass.

Two of my arch nemeses to getting grass to grow in the back yard are our dogs

don’t let their cuteness fool you

and our monstrous tree. I love having trees in the back yard but boy does it cause a problem when trying to grow grass.

I am determined to overcome these obstacles though.

see the new grass sprouts, yea!

other updates

#46- try 3 new recipes a month

I have kept this up, but unfortunatley not kept up with blogging about them. I am not going to go back and blog about all of them, but here are the note-worthy ones.

Fly’s Creamy Green Chile Enchiladas

I loved these, DH liked them. The only changes I made was I added a little chicken stock (saved from cooking the chicken) into the pan when mixing the chicken and cream cheese together. (I was worried that my chicken had gotten too dried out so this helped) I also had medium green chile sauce and was worried it would be too spicy for Abby so I mixed it with sour cream to try to bring the spiciness down. They were still a little too spicy for Abby but extra creamy, yum!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles, drained
8 oz cream cheese, cut up and softened*
3-1/2 C cooked, chopped chicken
8-10 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups green chile enchilada sauce
1-2 cups Cheddar & Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (as desired)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat: add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in green chiles, chicken & cream cheese. Stir constantly until cream cheese melts. Remove from heat.

Spoon approx 3-4 Tbsp chicken mixture down center of tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in lightly greased 13X9 baking dish. Repeat.

Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas & top with as much cheese as desired. Bake in 350 oven for 35-45 minutes, until bubbly & cheese is lightly browned.

* I always use low fat cream cheese

Spiced Mini Burgers with Cous Cous Salad

This recipe was posted by a fellow Nesite. I had some ground beef thawing that day that I was not sure what to do with it so I tried this out. The mini burgers were ok, not great though. But the Cous Cous salad was terrific. I actually made it even simpler than it is here. The local neighborhood grocery down the street from me (BTW- everyone should have one of these in their neighborhood, I love being able to go a block when I realize I am out of something) has a great deli counter. They also have fresh made things like greek salad and hummus. So I ran up there bought some of their greek salad (less chopping for me) and asked them to pour on LOTS of extra greek dressing. I made some cous cous and mixed it in with the salad forgoing the dressing that the recipe calls for. Next time, there will definitely be a next time, I will use ground lamb instead of ground beef.

Spiced Mini Burgers with Couscous Salad

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1 10-ounce box couscous
1 pound ground beef
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
4 Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
1 seedless cucumber, sliced into half-moons
3 tablespoons tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 8-ounce container hummus (optional)


Place the couscous in a medium bowl and pour 1 1/2 cups hot tap water over the top. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Form the beef into 12 small 1/2-inch-thick patties. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the cumin, and oregano.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook to desired doneness, 4 minutes per side for medium.

Combine the couscous, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, lemon juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the remaining oil in a large bowl.

Divide among individual plates. Serve with the burgers and hummus, if desired.

Upgrade: Turn this dinner into a Mediterranean feast by using ground lamb instead of ground beef and stirring 1/4 cup crumbled Feta into the salad.

Fly’s Scalloped Potatoes

OMG! These were so good. I ate 2 helpings and I swear DH must have had 4-5 helpings. they were SO creamy and good. I often have trouble getting potatoes to cook evenly and all the way through, so cooking them on the stove-top first was IMO genius.

Scalloped Potatoes

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried*
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (5 medium), peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, broth, cream and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves. Transfer mixture to 8-in square baking dish or other baking dish(es) as desired. Gently press the potatoes into an even layer and sprinkle cheddar over the top. Bake until cream is bubbling around the edges and the top is golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen, 2006.

Pioneer Woman’s Asian Noodle Salad inspired by Jamie Oliver

Another Nestie brought this salad to a book club meeting. It was so good I decide to bring it to the next scrapbook gtg. It was a pretty big hit. While it is very easy to make it is somewhat labor intense with all the chopping that is required, but so worth it. I pretty much follow the recipe. I did make the dressing part to 1.5 times because I love dressing, but it was good with the amounts called for in the dressing as well. I also only used 1 chile pepper. Oh, I also did not have any cumcumber (thought I did) or cashews so I omitted them.

Asian Noodle Salad
adapted from Jamie Oliver

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 packages linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, and cooled

1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa cabbage
1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage
1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin (if available)
1 small bag bean sprouts (also called “mung bean sprouts”)
3 sliced scallions
3 peeled, sliced cucumbers (I didn’t have a cucumber for the photos above, but they’re yummy in the salad)
LOTS of chopped cilantro—up to one bunch
1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted in skillet (again, I didn’t have them for the photos, but have used them before and they’re…sublime.)

DRESSING:

Juice of 1 lime
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 hot peppers or jalapenos, chopped
More chopped cilantro—LOTS

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on platter.
*Dressing keeps up to three days before serving, WITHOUT cilantro.

Enjoy!

YUM!- #46

I normally post all of my new recipes for the month in one post together at the end of the month.  While I did hit my goal of 3 new recipes (I think I actually made 4) this month I decide this recipe deserved a post of its own.  I love reading food blogs, and lately have gotten most of my new recipes from them (sorry Allrecipes).  I wish I had time to read more because I know there are a lot of good ones out there.  Anyways, I caught on to Elly Says Opa!  a while back and love her blog and recipes.  While some have been better than others, I have not made a single bad thing of hers yet.  The latest recipe of hers that I made was Pork Milanese.  She made it with Pecorino Orzo, I thought I had orzo but realized I didn’t so in a last ditch effort we ended up having it with cous cous because that is what I had.  Hey it worked.

Pork Tenderloin Milanese 

courtesy of Elly from elly says opa!

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb.
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

This works best if the tenderloin is very cold. Sticking it in the freezer for 10 minutes will help.

Combine the breadcrumbs and the grated cheese in a shallow bowl.

Slice the pork tenderloin into medallions that are approximately 1/2″ thick. Pound the medallions until they are about half as thick with a mallet or heavy-bottomed pan or object. Season with salt and pepper.

Dip the thin slices first into the beaten eggs and then into the breadcrumbs/cheese, coating all pieces.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until hot.

Add breaded pork tenderloin to the hot oil and pan-fry until pork is done. This should only take about a minute or two per side since the pork is so thin. Set aside and keep warm.

Tomato Topping
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small onion,  diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Balsamic vinegar (about 3 Tbsp maybe?)
Basil (fresh is best but dried works)
Salt and pepper

In the same pan you cooked the tenderloin, add the onions to saute until translucent (add more oil if necessary). Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar.

Stir in tomatoes and basil, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer (for as long as you want, really). Spoon over the pork tenderloin milanese

It was SOOOO good!  Seriously!  DH and I both could not get enough of this.  Even better it was fairly simple to make! I know it will definitely become a regular for us, I think DH might start asking for it weekly.  🙂 If you try it I promise you will not be disappointed (unless you are crazy and do not like pork or something).

 I wish I had taken pictures.  I have tried taking pictures of my food a few times before but they have all sucked though. 

Updates

Wow, it has been awhile. Even though I have not blogged on my 101 in a while, I have been doing fairly well with keeping up with it. So here are some updates.

#10- sending b-day cards

Ok, I am so not good at this. I had high aspirations and really wanted to do it but I think I am going to have to come to terms with reality and change it. I am going to make it a little more realistic, but still a challenge, for me. I will send b-day cards to family and OOT friends. I have already had 3 friends b-days pass since starting the 101 and I did not get a card in the mail to any of them. I did see them all in person near their b-day though and wish them a happy b-day. Oh, I know I will send e-cards to in town friends, I think I can manage that. 🙂 Sorry for the rambling, I just thought of that.

Anyway, I did get one b-day card in the mail and actually on time. My nieces b-day was Friday and I actually got a card in the mail to her on Tuesday, yay me.

#11 Abby 1st year scrapbook

I made a start on this. I attended the Nesties’ Scrapbook GTG a few weeks ago. Wow did I feel out of my league, those girls can scrapbook and were working on some incredible looking things. I doubt mine will be as nice, but I am doing it. I am actually hosting the next one this month and I am hoping to get a lot more done on Abby’s book.

#29 Abby’s Blog

My goal was to post at least once a month on Abby’s blog. So far I have posted 10 times in 4 months. YAY! If I keep doing so well I might up it to twice a month just to keep me on my toes.

#46 new recipes

I have been doing really well with trying new recipes. I have tried at least 3 every month since starting my 101 list. I did not post about my recipes for December and now I can not remember which ones I tried and to be honest I am too lazy to go back and figure it out. Here are the new ones for January. I really want to start taking pics and actually blog about the recipes, but I am too tired tonight so I am lucky to just get them posted.

French Onion Chicken

This one is now definitely in our rotation. Both DH and I loved it and it was fairly simple to make.

Gordon Ramsey’s Shepherd’s Pie

We did enjoy this. It was much more work and a lot more time consuming than my normal shepherd’s pie. I have not decided if it is worth it, but I did love the flavors of the meat in this one. Next time I make shepherd’s pie I think I will attempt a combination of the two ecipes (his and mine). *note, I did not have ground lamb so I substituted for ground beef.

Italian Wedding Soup

This has quickly become one of our favorites. I have pretty much made it weekly since I first tried it in early January. I do not remember where (somewhere online) I got the original recipe so I can not give credit. (sorry!, I used to not be very good at keeping track of thise things because I never blogged about them)

Italian Wedding Soup

For the meatballs:

  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Pepper to your taste
  • 2 Tbs water

Soup:

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 2 large celery stalks chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (I actually only had fresh rosemary so I used that and I used dried thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (you can use only olive oil if you prefer instead of butter and olive oil, just use 3 Tbs)
  • tsp. of each: oregano, basil, parsley flakes
  • 1 cup of fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 cup white mushroom chopped
  • Salt
  • Fresh gound pepper
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup small pasta

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add all meat ball ingredients and mix with hands until just combined. Do not over mix! Roll into little meatballs and put on cooling rack set over a baking sheet so the fat can drip away from the meat. Cook for 10-12 minutes.While meatballs are cooking heat oil and butter in a large pot over med. heat. Saute onions, celery, mushrooms, carrots, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook until onions are soft and add garlic. Saute a few minutes and then add broth, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add spinach and pasta. Take meatballs out of oven add them to the pot and let simmer about 10 minutes.(or until pasta is cooked) Serve with a little grated parmesan and crusty bread.

Does Pumpkin Pie Count?

It has been a while since I posted so I thought I should update my on going goals that I have already started.

#31- Eating Fresh Fruit

I have actually been pretty good about this. Up until the last 2 days that is. I have had pumpkin pie those days though, does that count? (I looked it up on wikipedia and it is actually classified as a fruit.) 🙂

That brings us to #46- Make one new recipe a month
I made pumpkin pie for the first time for Thanksgiving this year. My brother and I are the only ones that like it, so my mom stopped making it years ago and had store bought or no at all for many years. This year I decided to make it. It was pretty easy, especially withmy wonderful sous chef Abby, and very yummy. I made Martha Stewart’s pumpkin pie recipe.

Here is a pic of Abby helping make the pie.
Abby making pie

Here is a piece of the pie.
pumpkin pie

I have also made 4 other new recipes this month. Which leads me to the conclusion I need to change that goal. I realized making one new recipe a month is not a challenge for me, it is something I usually do. So, I am changing it to 3 recipes a month.
Other new recipes I have made this month.
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken and Dumplings
Beef Stroganoff

Brussel Sprout Gratin (for Thanksgiving, it did not turn out so great. ) 😦
Plus, I still have one more new recipe on my meal planning list that I have not made yet.

#27- meal planning
I have done pretty well at sticking to my meal plan. I have strayed from it twice. I just was not in the mood for anything on the list. Like tonight with it so cold and dreary I really wanted something warm and hearty so I made chicken and dumplings instead of the rosemary chicken. I did NOT have to go to the store for the things I subbed in though, which was the point of meal planning.

#29 Abby’s Blog

I have done really good at keeping up with Abby’s Blog so far. My goal was a minimum of once a month and I have already made 2 more posts since starting earlier this month. Yay me!