Friday, December 19, 2014

Look At how they have grown....chili dip

My family loves dip. I make a pot and let them have at it usually. We don't have a Chili's up here anymore, but when we did, they loved the Queso dip. Only prob was it had something like 800 calories per serving. So I made this much healthier version. I wouldn't call it healthy, just healthier.

1 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 can chili beans (I like Bush's brand chili beans in sauce, but any will do)

Put melted butter and flour in a pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 min. Whisk in the milk a bit at a time until you get a paste, almost gravy like. Melt in and stir the cheese. Turn off the heat. Stir in the can of chili beans, sauce and all (not plain beans). Serve with chips.

 I'd have to say this is the second most requested lunch by my kids. Serves 4.
Before the stroke....


Pantry Raid dinner

So, I need to go grocery shopping.
It takes a certain level of "chutzpah" to take four children on a big grocery run.
I barely have enough energy to shower lately.
However, the children get cranky when you don't feed them ;)

This is a process, not a recipe.

Scrounge around for a starch. We didn't have noodles, but I had fries frozen. I dumped them in a dish.

I had two cups beef broth and two cups milk. So I used 3 tbs butter and flour to make a gravy base.

I had about 6 slices cheddar cheese and 2/3 block cream cheese, so I melted that in.

I tossed in spices (salt, pepper, dried parsley, onion powder)

In a different skillet I browned up some chopped thinly sliced steaks I found with a bit of salt and pepper . I used grape seed oil.

I mixed the meat into the sauce.

I poured the sauce all over the fries.

It cooked at 400 for 30 min.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mailbox Smiles!

My friend Jenni has to be just about the most thoughtful, sweetest person in the world. She is always making me smile when I find random packages in my mailbox. I think I'm gonna make it a goal to send random packaged smile to people. It brings me such utter joy to get random smiles via my mailbox!

This time, she sent me a special shirt and mug. I don't know how she finds these things...but she found wheelchair advocate stuff. Maybe because I tend to be quite vociferous (loud and stubborn and persistent....but polite) about the needs and rights of the handicapped, but I'm stoked at the gifts she sent. I needed a cause to smile as we face these long dark days. This definitely did it! I already have the shirt on.

....sorry, I'm not sure why it won't flip...

Easiest Cheesecake Ever

See the pics below. I make endless variations, but here is the base. Let me know if you want to make a variation. 

2 cups  ricotta cheese ( I prefer whole milk, but either work)
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
4 ounces (1/2 of a package) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Prepare whatever crust you like in your 9 inch spring form pan. Lightly spritz the outer edge of the pan. 

You can even use one of those store bought crusts in a pie tin. They work just as well. 

Or, prepare 12-15 cupcake papers with a vanilla wafer in the bottom and a light spritz of cooking spray. 

Preheat you oven to 325 F. 

Dump ricotta into a food processor and pulse until completely smooth. This takes a minute or so. 

Pour the remaining ingredients into the food processor, and pulse until completely combined. 

Pour into your chosen vessel.

For a 9" pan, bake at 325 F for about 45-50 minutes, just until the middle is "set" (not watery). Remove, and cool on a rack until room temp. Cool in a refrigerator uncovered, at least 3 hours before serving. We found out that it tastes even better about 24 hours after you have made it...but we never seem to be able to wait that long for the first piece. The cupcake versions take about 30-35 minutes, but watch them carefully. They go from not done to over done in a blink.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

For Grammy and Grampy

Prince Charming and his Bday present

Flowers to Brighten the Dark

My sweet and thoughtful man dropped a wad of cash to buy flowers to try to brighten my house and
fight the depression brought on by all this dark. I'm a Fl girl at heart, and these dark days are wearing on my soul. I need Mr. Sunshine sometimes!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fun 1st grade review sheets

Prince Charming has completed 4 first grade reading or writing workbooks already. He still stumbles a bit on sight words. I really want him to get a firm and solid grip on reading. I found these free printables on

They have been fun.
...he glued on the "w" but it fell off...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Kids in the Kitchen 2

Kids in the Kitchen 2...egg muffins

This is a process, not a recipe per say.

Open your fridge and pull out your leftovers and a carton of eggs. 

Decide which leftovers taste good with eggs.

I used spinach and cheddar cheese today. Ham, potato, stewed tomatoes, sautéed onions, mushrooms. lunch meat, sausage, bacon, broccoli....all things I've used before. 

I highly suggest shredded cheese as I'm of the opinion that everything tastes better with dairy fat ;)

Take out your cupcake pan.

Spray it with baking spray, or grease it up with butter.

Preheat the oven to 375 F (no idea the C ).

Let each kid pick a pinch of their fav leftovers to put into the muffin tin that is greased.

Crack an egg (I let my daughter do this as well) into each muffin cup holder.

Gently mix the egg with whatever additions you chose.

I have a really cool square pan, but have done it with round as well.

Bake at 375 for 20-30 min

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Silly....and a bit dorky

I'll let you know that there has been quite the heated discussion on if we should make the equation area intstead of distance and if the d should be squared...

First, yes, I know there is a bit of goofy dork in this, but I laughed so hard I got tears in my eyes:

I don't know about your family, but mine has a severe case of "not me-itis". If something naughty is done, nobody ever takes the blame. Ever. Every one of them will point fingers at each other.

So, my hubby decided there must be a mathematical equation to figure this out.

The distance of the person in question in proximity to the parent asking the question is directly proportional to the innocence proclaimed by said child....  i = d/c x d/p. i being innocence, c being child, p being parent.

His theorem currently has a 100% accuracy rate. I think it should be made into Mathematical Law!