Simple food is the best!

Faithful Readers, I wish the internet supported smell-o-vision. I’m cooking supper, and my kitchen smells amazing.

Simple food is my favorite thing. What I’m cooking here is one yellow onion, one kielbasa, both chopped up however you like, with a little bit of olive oil, and Montreal Steak seasoning to taste.

This is going to be served with buttered egg noodles, and it will taste fantastic.

<sniiiiiffffff> Ahhhhh! So good!

The nice thing about cooking in my cast iron pan is that I can cook anything in it. This weekend, I was able to harvest plums from the tree I have been babying along all summer, and I made a plum cake.

Please forgive my crooked cutting. I wasn’t

I’ve never cooked with plums before, and I lucked into finding this really easy recipe. The cake turned out great, and I was able to share it with my parents. The recipe is so basic, you could use any fruit, and it would be awesome. Sometimes you find recipes that are awful, and sometime you find that amazing keeper that turns into a family recipe.

I have Older Son to thank for the kielbasa and onion supper recipe, and You Tube to thank for the cake recipe. Sometimes I find good recipes on packaging, and sometimes in magazines. I’m always on the lookout for a new thing to try, especially since I’m cooking for just me now.

Well, supper’s ready. As we say in my family, “Soup’s on!” Here’s hoping this post finds you smelling something good, whether you are cooking or not. Bon appetite!!

Getting my way on Mother’s Day

Greetings all,

First, let me wish all of you Mothers in the blogosphere a very happy Mother’s Day!

I’m being selfish with my time today, because I can get away with it. Mother’s Day, much like a birthday, is a good excuse to gather with family and friends, eat good food and enjoy each others company. It’s not necessarily my favorite holiday, as that slot has been occupied for a very long time by Thanksgiving, but it does have it’s good points. Top on the list of Mother’s Day’s good points is that I get to say what goes.

Here’s my list of things I want today… and by golly, I’m going to get all of it.

1. I want to spend time on my blog (check…mission accomplished!). I get precious little time to come out here anymore, to write or to read my favorite blogs. Today, I get to spend time here. Yes!

2. I want to cook lasagna from scratch today. I love to cook, and don’t get a chance to very often. I have invited my parents over for supper tonight, and when I told Mom what was on the menu, she tried to tell me I should buy a frozen lasagna instead of making it from scratch. I was surprised at how I almost came completely unhinged. I know her heart was in the right place – she didn’t want me to put too much effort into cooking dinner on Mother’s Day. She just doesn’t understand how much like to cook, and how deprived I am in that department. That’s ok… I’ll get my way in the end.

3. I want asparagus. (Demanding wench, aren’t I?) I haven’t had asparagus in years because my picky children won’t eat it, and it really doesn’t pay me to buy it if I am the only one that likes it. Today, it’s just too bad for everyone else that doesn’t like it. I. Will. Have. My. Asparagus! In fact, I have a lovely new recipe that I found on Pinterest for roasted asparagus with olive oil and thyme. I can’t wait!

4. I want to clean my house. The boys are generally pretty good about helping out around the house, but their idea of clean and my idea of clean are galaxies apart. I’ve spent such precious little time at home lately that what little I am able to do gets undone pretty quickly. Today, that gets corrected, even to the point of scrubbing out the fridge. I think something died in there, and is crying out for a decent burial. Argh!

5. I want to spend time in my yard. Spring finally did make it to North Dakota, and there hasn’t been a snowflake in sight for a good three weeks. I think Winter is finally gone for good this year, but I’ll leave my collection of snow shovels out until June 1, because I am just that superstitious about that sort of thing. My yard needs a good raking, and my strawberry/kitchen garden needs to be weeded. There are lots of plants returning from last year, but the grass is trying to overtake them. Time to get out the gloves and open a can of whoop-ass on that nasty invader.

There it is…my top five demands for today, in all of their glorious depravity. Like I said, today I get what I want, and no one best get in my way…or else! 😉

Lilacs half bloomed on May 23rd 2010

Here’s hoping all of you Moms in the blogosphere get exactly what you want, how you want it, and when. More importantly, I hope you have a lovely day with your families and friends.

The joys of your kids cooking supper!

I called the boys from work and asked them what they wanted to eat for the rest of the week, as I would be going grocery shopping after work. Younger Son is a grilled food junkie, and has been dying to try out some new spices we got for hamburgers, so I bought hamburger and he grilled us some good burgers tonight.

What a treat to not have to cook for a change. All I had to do was sit here, give advice about kitchen stuff when asked, and then eat it when it was done. On top of that, the burgers were pretty good for a first try. This kid’s going to make some young lady a nice husband some day.

Quiet morning thwarted by my own mind

Given all the excitement that’s been going on around our little house, I’ve been jonesing  for a little peace and quiet. This morning there is nothing I have to do, nobody to see and the sun is out. Finally! All I can hear is the traffic out front and the fish tank bubbling.

The boys don’t have to get up today for anything, and that means that I can just sit here listening to nothing, reading and posting to my heart’s content. Then why is it that I am drawn to think about all the things that need doing? There is always housework, and yard work, and organizing…I could go on ad nauseum about all the little things that constantly need keeping up with.  There should be some metaphysical door one can shut on thoughts of those kinds of activities so one can fully enjoy a peaceful, sunny morning like I have now. But, noooo…it seems that the way is open for intruding thoughts of work. Bugger.

Well, if it’s thoughts of work that I have, I guess I should think about what exactly it is I feel like I need to accomplish today. So, here’s a to do list:

  • Laundry (When isn’t there any? At least that can be going while I’m doing other stuff!)
  • Dusting (It’s a never-ending battle in North Dakota)
  • Cooking (I have another 8 lbs of meat that needs cooking up or it will go bad soon. Hm…sounds like meat loaf for supper!)
  • Finish cleaning out the entryway closet.
  • Clean out the hall closet
  • Organize the basement (that’s really two weeks worth of work right there, but I should get a start)
  • Crack the whip on those boys to clean their rooms this afternoon (ugh…what is it with teenage boys and stinky rooms?!)
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Mop and oil all the wood floors…boy are they DRY…

Ugh…I could go on and on and on. I think this list is long enough, though. First thing I think I want to do after I put a load of laundry in, is go for a walk. At least that way I can feel like I am getting something done while I’m doing something for myself!

Well, It’s 9am, and I hear Older Son stirring. It’s been a nice quiet morning while it lasted!

Good chicken recipe for a rainy day

Holy, cow…looks like we’re going to get spanked, weather-wise.  There’s wicked line of thunderstorms working its way up through the middle of my fair state of North Dakota.

What's for supper?

So, what do North Dakotans do when the weather gets bad? We hunker down, find something to keep ourselves entertained and we eat…and not necessarily in that order!

Tonight, we are having a nice hot chicken dish, just right for a cold rainy day. This is one of my favorite recipes from childhood, and it comes from a community cook book called S’more Good Cooking!, created by the Centurian Homemakers of Pembina, ND in 1975. My Mom used to make this dish all the time, and it definitely fits in the comfort food category. It makes me very happy that my kids love it as much as I do.

Here’s the recipe:

Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c ketchup
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c white vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 parsley flakes
  • minced garlic – as much as you want. (really, is there ever enough garlic?!)
  • 1  3-pound chicken, cut into parts

“Mix all ingredients through garlic, and heat through to get flavors mixed. Put chicken pieces in cake pan and pour sauce over it. Bake at 325° for 1  1/2 hours. Turn chicken once during baking and spoon sauce over it. Serve small dishes of sauce to dip chicken bites in.”

Personally, I like to skip the dipping bowls and just serve the chicken with the sauce drizzled on white rice. Hmmmm…Hm! It’s great as leftovers too.


Yet another list of things to get done today

Ah…I survived yesterday! The house got cleaned (Younger Son’s room was successfully fumigated), and I managed to make some time to get some stuff together for the rummage sale. Now, what kind of trouble can I get in today? Quite a lot, I’m sure, if I don’t get on the stick and get another list made up for today. (Note to Hel’wyse…I loved your additions to yesterday’s list!)

So, without further ado, here is today’s damage:

1. Finish pricing items for the garage sale.

2. Take out garbage (I found lots of crap that’s just not even worth selling, and it’s got to go).

3. Take a shower (All the better to entice more people to buy my junk)

4. Get food ready to go (I’m cooking for all of us today: Pork roast with potatoes and carrots in a slow cooker. Can you say comfort food?!)

5. Load up the van and haul all my junk (hopefully other people’s treasure!) to Connie’s house, where the sale is located.

6. Don’t forget the crock pot!

7. Go to Mom and Dad’s to pick up some stuff to add to the sale; try to talk Mom into coming with me.

8. Take the camera! (I say I’m going to do that every year, and then forget…doofus!)

Well, it looks like it’s time for me to skip ahead to #3 and go get cleaned up. I’ll post pictures later…

Bread from scratch

So here I sit, waiting for my pizza dough to rise. I’ve been trying to learn how to bake bread, and my first attempt was pizza dough..and what do ya know? The kids actually liked my homemade pizza. Whew! So, this is homemade pizza night#3 and I added some whole wheat flour to this batch, just to see how it goes over. My first loaf of bread didn’t turn out so well, but I’ll keep trying.

I want very much to be an expert bread maker, but the obstacle I run up against is time. I know that good food shouldn’t necessarily be fast…sometimes the good stuff is worth the wait. So, the next item on the agenda is brown buns that my mom used to make, and I’m making those this weekend.  I hope I can make it well enough that what I bake matches the memory I have…They were soooo good!

If anyone who reads this is interested, here is the pizza dough recipe I used. I should give credit to Mrs. Judy Fankhannel for this recipe. She was our Pastor’s wife when I was growing up. I haven’t seen her since I was 18, or so, but I remember that she was a nice lady, and this is a nice recipe.  Thanks, Judy!

Judy’s Pizza Crust

2 Tb granulated yeast

2 cups warm water

-Combine the above two ingredients until dissolved. Then add:

3 Tb sugar

3 tsp salt

4 Tb vegetable oil

2 cups white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

– mix together the flours then add the yeast mixture, mixing well. Add 1-2 cups more flour, or until desired consistency. Knead until smooth as a baby’s bottom (no joking, the recipe I have really says that). Let rise for 45 minutes.

I usually pat this out into a pizza shape on my Pampered Chef round baking stone, and it should make at least two 12 inch pizza rounds, though if I was patient I could maybe stretch it out a little farther. It also makes good pizza pockets. (I have a sneaking suspicion that it would make a good recipe for buns too.) Add your favorite pizza sauce and toppings, then bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.


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