Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Marvelous Invention!

I love being organized. Its something I do just about every day. I hate clutter! I don't like having drawers or closets filled with things I don't even know are there. I label anything that can be labeled and the rest is in a box, basket or whatever else I can find to make things look neater and easier to find. On that note I want to recommend a charging station. I'll explain and show pictures in case your wondering,"What in the world is that!?" Between my husband's phones (and I emphasize the plural form of this word) and mine, not to mention i pods and ham radios there are an abundance of things that need charging around this house. It would drive me absolutely insane to see cords all over my counter everyday. It was like a labyrinth of chargers! So...drum-roll please....Thank you Pottery Barn for fixing this dilemma! Below are some pics of the charging station I'm talking about. It conveniently holds up to four chargers (all hidden of course) in a rather fine looking leather box. It also has a built in power strip where all the chargers plug in and then the part that attaches to the phone goes up through a little hole where it is ready at all times for the phone to be attached. NO MORE MESS! It also has a small built in drawer!

This is what it looks like sitting on my counter.

Here is the handy little drawer!

This is where the phones etc...sit while they are charging
(the holes are for the cords).

I have more recently seen these at Target and a few other stores, but I really like the quality of the one from Pottery Barn. It seems very sturdy and made well.

So that's my organizing tip for the with it what you will and in the meantime I'll just keep enjoying my counter space free from "cord clutter!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Top 10 Reasons I Love Being a Mom and Wife

10) There are few things I like more than cleaning my house and then lighting a new candle.

9) I love the smell of clean laundry. Every time I fold a piece of laundry I think about the person who fills it and I am reminded of how much I love them.

8) I love fancy dishes, proper place settings and cloth napkins. I love making things special for the most special people in my life.

7) There is nothing more satisfying than making a good meal for my family. I love to watch them fill their belly's with food knowing all the while that I am filling their memories with so much more.

6) There is nothing sweeter than hearing "I Love You, Mommy" or "I love you, Vic."

5) I love the smell of my husbands neck after not seeing him all day.

4) I love seeing my kids "love on each other."

3) I love hearing my kids pray and talk about the Lord. Of all the things I do there is nothing greater than instilling a love for the Lord in my kids hearts.

2) I love knowing that I make my home a little bit of heaven on earth for my kids and husband. While the world outside is raging, home is a sweet retreat from it all.

And the number one reason I love being a Mom and wife? I feel the Lord spared me from going down a really bad path in my life. He used my husband to get me back on track and I am so thankful everyday for the mercy He's shown me. I am totally convinced that there is nothing better on this earth than the life I am living right now, with the precious people I have the privilege of calling my family!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beef Noodle Bowl

Here's another quick meal idea for your family. I suggest serving it with egg rolls. For extra fun you can even put it in Chinese takeout boxes (available at Michael's or AC Moore) and have a movie night. It's a lot cheaper than ordering out!

8 0z. linguine, uncooked ( I use whole wheat)
3 cups broccoli florets
3 medium carrots, peeled, sliced
2 tsp of veg. oil (I use olive)
1 lb. beef sirloin steak, cut into strips
1/4 cup Kraft Zesty Italian Dressing (I also have used Asian Sesame)
1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
1 tsp. of ground ginger (optional)

Cook pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli and carrots to the cooking water for last 2-4 minutes of the pasta cooking time. Drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet. Add meat; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, teriyaki sauce and ginger; cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Toss Pasta and meat mixtures in large serving bowl.

Makes 4 servings, 2 cups each

Blueberry Cream Muffins

Some of you asked for this recipe so here it is!

2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of veg. oil
1/2 t. of vanilla
2 cups of flour
1/2 t of salt
1/2 t of baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Beat eggs, gradually add sugar. Slowly pour in oil and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add sour cream and egg mixture alternately. Fold in blueberries, thoroughly defrost if frozen, and spoon into sprayed muffin cups or paper liners. Sprinkle with topping.

2 T. sugar
1 t. of cinnamon

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 18-20 muffins.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greek Chicken and Pasta

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onions, sliced in rounds
1 plum tomato, chopped (I like to use more)
feta cheese (to your liking)
1 cup of Greek salad dressing
1 box of spaghetti, cooked

Cut chicken into chunks and stir fry in olive oil until cooked.
Add olives, red onion and green pepper; fry until softened.

Add spaghetti, dressing, feta cheese and tomato. Stir fry until thoroughly heated and combined (I usually just use a big pot for this).

Serve hot. Serves 4 generously.

Philly Cheese Steak Stombolis

Yes...these are every bit as good as they sound! This recipe calls for store bought dough but if you prefer to use your own go will work just fine!

2 lbs. frozen pizza dough, thawed
2/3 cup of chunky pasta sauce
1/2 to 2/3 cup pickled jalapeno slices
1/2 lb. of deli roast beef
2 cups of cheddar cheese

1. Heat oven to 450. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. On a well floured work surface, roll out 1 1b. of pizza dough into a
14X10 rectangle.

3. Spread 1/3 cup of pasta sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edges. Scatter half of the jalapenos over the sauce. Cover with 1/4 pound of the roast beef and 1 cup of the cheese.

4. Starting at a long side, roll up jelly roll style. Pinch the ends and tuck underneath. Place on the prepared sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make a second Stromboli

5. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Some "Faboulous" recipes

Sorry it has been so long! We have all been battling sickness here in our house since just before Christmas. Praise be to God we all seem to be better! I have some catching up to do with my study on Proverbs but I thought I would post some new recipes first. Anyone who knows me, knows I love to cook. I get requests for recipes a lot so I have been trying to slowly get up some of my favorites or "standbys." If there is something in particular that you are looking for let me know. If I don't know something off the top of my head, I'll create it or find it in my cookbook collection. Sorry there are no pictures with these. Hopefully it doesn't discourage anyone from trying them. Trust me...they all are wonderful!

Creamsicle Cake

1 Package orange supreme cake mix (or white will do fine)
1 Package of orange jello
1/2 Cup of boiling water
1/2 Cup of cold water
1 Small carton of whipped cream
1 1/2 Cups of milk
1 small packet of instant vanilla pudding
Orange flavoring (If you don't have this you can omit it)

Mix cake as directed on box and bake in 13X9 pan as directed. Cool. Punch holes with meat fork. Mix jello with boiling water until dissolved then add cold water. Pour over cake. Refrigerate cake for 1 hour to set.

Topping: Mix pudding with milk. Add a few drops of orange flavoring (if using) to taste. Fold in whip cream. Frost as thick as you like. I recommend letting sit overnight for best flavor.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Turkey Chili

This is a great, versatile recipe. It is not "chili" in the usual sense of the word but it is so good! You can eat it in a bowl, on a tortilla or over tortilla chips. Top it with some yummy Mexican blend cheese some sour cream and you have a one pan meal!

1 Tab. olive oil
1 1b lean ground turkey or beef, if you desire
1 Tab. minced garlic
2 1/2 tea. ground cumin
1/2 tea. each of salt and pepper
1 Can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (19 oz.) of black beans (or kidney or pinto)
2 cups of frozen corn kernals
1/2 cup white rice ( I use brown rice for added health benenfits) uncooked
1 cup of chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro or a sprikling of dry cilantro

Heat oil in a deep, large skillet over high heat. Add turkey and garlic and cook, stirring to break up meat, 3-4 minutes until browned. Add cumin, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, beans, corn and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes until rice is tender. *If you are using brown rice you may have to cook a little longer. The key to good rice is once most of the water has dissolved from simmering turn stove to lowest setting and keep covered. The steam cooks the rice keeping it light and fluffy.

Remove from heat; stir in onion and cilantro. Serve however you desire.

Creamy Spinach Sausage Pasta

Here is a super yummy recipe for all of you pasta lovers out there. It has been a hit everytime I make it...even the kids LOVE it!

3 Cups of uncooked rigatoni or large tube pasta
1 1b of bulk italian sausage ( I usually use ground beef)
1 Cup of finely chopped onion
1 Can of 14 1/2 oz. italian diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Package (10 oz) frozen creamed spinach, thawed
1 Package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Cups of mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook Pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook sausage/beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, cream cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella. Transfer to a greased, 11x7 baking dish.

Cover and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
Yields about 5 servings (doubles easily).