October 30, 2009

pumpKIN Seeds

I am pooped. This fall/Halloween things wipes me out man........we finally got around to carving pumpkins, that we didn't even get at a pumpkin patch this year. I am an embarrassment to myself. I bought them at the corner gas station! They are actually very nice gourds, but they were not picked from the patch. I thought I was gonna get away with this laziness. BUT no, my oldest announced that it just cant be Fall until he goes to an orchard picks and apple and has a donut! (Whew, thank goodness he did not say AND pick out a pumpkin, cause ol'Maw did that at the corner

Ok, what is my point in all this blathering about pumpkin buying??? We make traditions for our kids and it ends up being alot of pressure and work. But it is good memories for them, things they will talk about with their kids, and hopefully do with their kids. And in the end sometimes we have a year that we have to compromise our selves and buy the dog gone pumpkin at the station cause between all the sports and so on, pumpkin buying got forgot and now its Halloween tomorrow so........we are hoping to try and make it to Robinettes on Sunday and get ourselves a donut and cider. I have heard that Post Family Farm has the BEST donuts on the planet, I have yet to have one, maybe next year.....

And adding to the nostalgia and memories is of course roasting the seeds, cause they are so very yummy! The smell of nearly burning seeds is a memory in itself. I did not burn them this year but I have. And thats such a bummer when that happens. Cause you know you just ain't gonna do that all over again just to have some roasted seeds. So your going to have to wait till next year. Ken says he almost has a cardiac arrest from the amount of salt I put on them, but I think a man could have a cardiac arrest from eating so many so fast...... but thats just my opinion.

Pumpkin Seeds
seeds from 5 pumpkins :D
1 stick of butter melted
a few shakes of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 onion powder
black pepper
kosher salt
rinse seeds well pick out all orange stuff, mix with everything except salt
spread out on cookie sheets then sprinkle generously with kosher salt, bake at 400 till browning then take a spatula and move around sprinkle more salt and bake for another 10 min or so. Store any that dont get eaten that 1st night in an airtight container.
Love them LOVE U!

October 27, 2009

Thankful for Soup!

Have you ever lost anything?  Have you ever thought you lost your kid?  How about someone elses kid, or the whole soccer team for that matter.  Ever have one of those days where your kinda busy, not too bad though.  Just gettin stuff done, actually had time to fold laundry and watch "What not to Wear".  But then all of  a sudden things get crazy and you have to be 10 places at once, okay just three places, but it feels like 10!  And it  raining again, so that makes my head a little funny anyway. 
So I had to pick up Noah from basketball try outs, in the mean time Luke got picked up for soccer, I got home fed the people who were in my house to eat then I had to get Ainslie to her game to cheer (its still raining mind you and harder now), then I have to get over to the soccer fields to pick up Luke and two other boys.  With the rain and the traffic around the metropolis of Grandville, I got a little behind and wasn' late picking up the boys, but I was not early.  Then when I got to the fields I saw some lady friends and we chatted for a minute about rain boots.... then I went looking for the boys.  AND they were not there! Not just my kids but NO coaches or any other kids from their team.  So my ears start ringing and my mouth goes dry.  I call Di, trying to sound casz "hey the boys arent here, could Elizabeth have taken them home?"  She says she will try and reach her and get back with me.  In the meantime, I am straining my eyes and pacing back and forth between soccer fields.  "am I looking right at them? did Luke go to soccer? do I have this whole night messed up? am I at the right place?"  CRaZy, feel like I am going craaazy.  Can anyone relate?????
Di calls back "no Elizabeth is home, she doesnt have the boys". WAWAWAWaaahhh.  oh my, hmmmm well where could they be? in my calm voice.  Then my dear friend and fellow mother of four remembers her conversation with her husband earlier in the day.  "So I'll get the boys? " says the husband, "yeh sure, k luv ya" says the wife (5million chachillion other things going on in her mind) OH my I bet Brock got the kids....apology, apology.  But really no apology is needed, cause I can relate, it happens, our lives keep spinnin.  And sometimes things get mixed up, miscommunicated.  I am just thankful that I know the boys are safe, and I did not loose my mind.  Not today anyway. 
I love my kids.  I love watching them do things that interest them.  I am so thankful that I get to chase my kids around, that I have a dependable vehicle.  (like that word? motorized vehicle, I sound like my grandpa)  I am just thankful......Also thankful that I am hungry for soup and guess what I have 2 legless Costco rotisserie chickens in my frig.  Legless, yes they are legless because my kids always fight over the legs.  "I call leg".  I know its kinda weird.  And of course no one can ever remember who got the legs last time.  So this time I bought two chickens so there would be no fighting over who gets a leg AND rotisserie chicken is so easy to turn over into another dinner the next day.
 So today its Chicken Noodle Soup!
4 stalks celery, plus chop up that leafy stuff in the middle of the celery it gives soup good flavor
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
diced carrots as many as you want
-saute in 2Tbl butter and olive oil till onions are tender
throw in diced left over chicken
1 large container of chicken stock, or 2 cans
2 cups of water
season with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning
-simmer all that for an hour or so then I cook my noodles seperately, don't get them too done, and then I add
them to the pot.  You can really put what ever you like in there corn, peppers, green beans.  Its all good in chicken noodle soup.  Then I serve it with biscuits.  If I feel like making them or good ol Panera bread. Heh! another thing to be thankful for,  a Panera bread a half mile down the road.  Cause this family LOVES  bread!

My Moms Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
4tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1Tbl sugar
-using a pastry cutter or a fork with work toss the above together then cut in 1/2cup Crisco or butter  (sometimes if I make a double batch I will put a stick of butter and 1/2cup shortening.)  Cut it until it is mixed well and crumbly, no big chunks of shortening should be hanging out in there.  Then with a fork add 1cup of buttermilk, mix just until its holding together.  Then turn the gooey mess out onto a very well floured surface, put more flour on top and pat down into a workable oval about 3/4 inch thick.  Then I just use a juice glass to cut out my biscuits lay them in a greased cake pan and bake at 375 20-30min until they are golden brown.
serve warm with butter and if you want dessert  put honey on them!

October 26, 2009

Bread PUddin

Oh my I am so stuffed.  Why do I do this to myself.  One reason I think it's better for me to eat out is because I eat then I walk away. I leave the building.  Now I am telling myself  "walk away , walk away, walk away from the bread pudding."  I finally put it in the frig. 
Grandpa was coming over so I got caught up cooking this afternoon.....I am not complaining.  Its my favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon.  We had pulled pork tacos, guac, fresh salsa AND chocolate chip bread pudding.  Luke says he wants it instead of birthday cake this year.  UH huh me too!
So next time you dont use all your french bread or if ya just want to buy french bread and let it sit around for a day or two.  Make bread pudding! 
1loaf french bread
4 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
cut the bread in cubes and then soak in milk
2cups sugar
2Tbl vanilla (yes lotso vanilla)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice (or maybe a smidge less)
-mix this all together well and then add to the bread and milk mixture
-melt 1/2 stick butter, pour into bottom of 9x13 pan spread around and up the sides
-add 1cup or so chocolate chips to bread mixture
then pour into pan
bake at 350 for 1hour
let sit for 1/2 hour

You can make whip cream and dop it on there or put hershey syrup on it.  I have to confess that I am a whip cream snob.  I have been known to buy Cool Whip, but not usually.  The REAL thing is the ONLY way to go.  Please, I beg of you take the time to whip your cream add a few tablespoons of sugar and a dash o' vanilla and voilla! Yumminess, to top your bread pudding with.

October 24, 2009

This IS the Day.....

"This is the day the Lord has made so let us be glad and rejoice in it"  I wish I was a scripture memorizing guru, but I am not. I have tried to be.  Some of it does stick, I just cant always remember where to go back and find it.  I did find the above verse for you its in Psalm 118.  I had a big reminder this week about life, and how I so often waste today by dwelling on yesterday or thinking about what I need to get done tomorrow or next week.  I waste toDAY by making lists for tomorrow or even for Christmas.  (which is only 62 days away!!!!!) Sorry hope I don't freak anybody out over that revelation!  But what I am trying to say is each day could be our last.  God has our days numbered he knew before I was born the day I would be born and the day I would die.  So am I making the most of today?  Am I rejoicing in this day that I have given or am I mentally spinning over whether I ordered the right boots from Zappos.... will they last me a couple years? will they stay in style long enough to justify the price?  Aaargh!  My prayer today is that I live and love like there is no tomorrow. 

My reminder regretfully came from the sudden death of a mother I knew... not well but I knew her.  She was always smiling and she seemed to be enjoying life, each day the Lord gave her. She always took to the time to say hi! and ask how my family was doing when ever I ran into her. 

This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and make the most of it!

In memory of Mary Lee.

October 22, 2009

THE recipe

What makes a good recipe? It should be simple, not too fancy, something you go back to again and again. Food holds so many memories for me. Most of the time when a really good time was had it was always had with food and laughter and loved ones
Strawberry Cake, is a family favorite. Its one of those recipes, though that you just don't whip up for an after school snack unless maybe its the last day of school. Its always my sisters birthday cake, and it was even her wedding cake! I bring it to those I love and so desperately want to impress with something yummy!

Strawberry Cake is how you really enjoy life. So get out a white cake mix, crack 4 eggs, 3/4cup of oil, 1cup of smashed fresh strawberries, 1-3oz box of strawberry jello, mix well pour into a 9x13 or 2round pans or cup cake tins.... bake at 350 for 30miniutes or till you poke it with a toothpick and it comes out clean. The frosting is the killer, literally the icing on the cake! 1stick of softened butter, aprox 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1tsp (or a cap full if you are like me and your in too much of a hurry to get our the teaspoon) vanilla, then add crushed strawberries until its a good consistency. Frost cooled cake. Best if you refrigerate then serve..........good things come to those who wait.....

Thanks mom, you always make it the best, with lots of love. And she sometimes will cut strawberries pretty and fan them around the edge. Ahhhhh.... I need a glass of milk just thinking about it.