My new toy

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My new Siruba serger, threaded and ready to go!!! Too bad I have no more time today for sewing…. But next weekend, it’s ON!!!!!!

Household Planner

I have a great find I wanted to share…. The 2012 Household Planner at theconfidentmom.com. It was $9, but well worth it. I am the type of person who needs a list and this has everything…. Daily and weekly tasks, a daily Bible reading, a meal planner, and even time to pamper yourself! This is going to be great for me…. I’m so glad I found it! :)

Rustic Broccoli Tarts

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I made “rustic” broccoli tarts tonight for a baby shower at work tomorrow…. I love the word “rustic”…. whenever something turns out less than perfect, you can just say it’s rustic. Needless to say, I make a lot of rustic food.

Rustic Broccoli Tarts

Ingredients
4 eggs
1 pouch dry vegetable soup
1 – 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped broccoli
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 sheets frozen puffed pastry

Directions
Preheat oven to 400
Beat eggs, soup, broccoli and ricotta cheese until blended
Refrigerate 20 minutes
Cut pastry sheets into small squares
Spoon mixture into squares (about 1 tbsp. per shell)
Pinch pastry dough up around filling
Bake 20 minutes or until set
Cool 15 minutes

I made pants!

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Yes you read that right. I made a pair of pants for my son, courtesy of the basic kid pants tutorial at Dana Made It, found here: http://www.danamadeit.com/2011/02/kid-pants-series-the-basic-pant-tutorial-and-pattern.html

They are so easy!!! This is the first garment I’ve ever sewn, so if I can do this ANYONE can! Thank you Dana, you rock!!!

Crockpot Beef StrogaNOT

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June Cleaver (my crockpot) worked all day on this dish and let me tell ya, it’s so good it will make you slap your husband…. The reason I call it Beef StrogaNOT is because there are no mushrooms. I even strained the cream of mushroom soup…. We like the taste but not the chunks of fungi. But if you’re a fan of the fungus, by all means, throw some of those boogers in there.

Crock Pot Beef StrogaNOT

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds cubed stew meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I strained the mushrooms out of ours)
1 tbsp minced onion
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
4 oz of cream cheese, cubed
1/2 bag of egg noodles

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except the meat, cream cheese, and egg noodles; stir together.
Once combined, add the meat and stir.
Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Just before serving, add cream cheese.
Mix until combined and heated through.
Serve over prepared egg noodles.

Hello June Cleaver…

My crockpot has been getting a workout lately.  I’ve decided to name her June Cleaver since she cooks all day long and has dinner ready for me when I get home from work, which makes me feel a little like Ward Cleaver.   If only she would do my laundry and vacuum the living room….

June and I made Beef Stew yesterday, recipe and photo forthcoming.  It is my tweaked version of a recipe I found in a magazine…. the original called for bay leaves and thyme and my husband didn’t really care for it when I made it the first time going strictly by the recipe.  So I’ve been leaving those out the last couple of times I’ve made it and we both like it much better.  This got me to thinking about what kind of foods I like to cook and what I want to share on this blog.  My style is simple, homestyle, southern comfort food.  My mother never cooked with anything like a bay leaf or thyme… the most exotic spices she probably ever used were paprika and oregano once in awhile.  And the food tasted GOOD.  The flavors of the meat and vegetables were not disguised or changed by a bunch of spices.  A little salt and pepper and the occasional addition of a simple spice or two (more on what I call “simple spices” later), that’s really all I need.  You would have never found my mom cooking with most of the stuff you see on the Food Network today.  And I want to cook like she did… simple and real.  So there is my “culinary viewpoint”.

And yes, I’ve watched way too many episodes of “The Next Food Network Star”.  :)

Creamy Italian Chicken Recipe

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I got this recipe from a friend at work and it is YUMMY! I’ve been using my crockpot a lot lately…. It’s nice to come home and have dinner already done!

Creamy Italian Chicken

ingredients:

4 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (let sit out to soften)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 pkg. italian dressing seasoning (the dried kind in the packet)

rice

crockpot

Stir the cream cheese, cream of chicken, and seasoning together in the crockpot. Put the frozen chicken in and cover with the mix. Cook on high 4-6 hours or until the chicken is cooked and fall-apart-tender. After the first two hours when the chicken is softer you can cut it up into strips for easier eating.

Cook the rice in a pot and smother with chicken mixture…. Mmmm mmmm good!!!!!

The Sweater

Making some progress…. It’s 24 month in size and that’s what my son currently wears. I’m thinking it’s going to take me approximately 32 more years to finish so maybe he will have a 24 month old son by then who can wear it…..

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Eggs 101

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I was about to make a strawberry cake (Duncan Hines, don’t get excited people) when I realized my eggs went out on February 14th… Since it’s my cheat day on my diet, I really wanted to make this cake and I didn’t want to trek all the way to the store to get more eggs (even though the store is only about two miles away, that’s beside the point). So I googled and found this nifty tip I thought I’d share…. How to tell if an egg is bad: put it in water – if it stays at the bottom of the bowl or cup, it’s good. If it stays at the bottom and tilts a little, it’s still good but should only be used for baking. And if it floats, throw it out! I’ve attached a nice shot of my egg behaving itself and lying on the bottom of the measuring cup, like a good little egg. So I threw that sucker and two of it’s brothers in my cake mix and now I’m patiently waiting for it to finish baking….. Mmmmmm, eggs.

Drowning in a sea of laundry

Since my hubby rejected my initial great idea of calling Merry Maids, I’ve decided to make a cleaning and laundry schedule so that one day he won’t find me dead beneath a mountain of towels and work pants. First I made a list of all the tasks I would like to have completed in my home each week (in a perfect world). Then I figured out what had to be done everyday, such as dishes, and divided the rest up evenly over the week. Laundry is the biggie… I swear, I don’t know how two adults and one toddler can go through so many clothes. You’d think we change clothes every 10 minutes. But anyway, I figured with a written schedule I’m more likely to actually follow through. It’s gonna cut into my tv time though. Cleaning sucks….

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