Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Lovin: Pear Gorgonzola Salad With a Balsamic Vinegarette.

Let me tell you a story. This morning, I woke up (after only 3 hours of sleep that I sacrificed in the name of Edward Cullen...Eclipse premiere at midnight...which was amazing, in case you wanted to know) I was exhausted, but, as you know, your kids never care for this detail. And when you choose to watch a movie such as Twilight at the crazy fan midnight showing, neither does your husband. I digress.

So I woke up. I put a cartoon on for Bryce and let Triston and Jackson play a PBSKids game on the computer. Curious George, their favorite. I started to do my normal mom-routine - picking up from the night before, opening all the blinds, making beds, holding my skin up on my face in their mirror trying to conceal the bags under my eyes, ect. I made breakfast for the boys and called for them to come eat it at the table. At this point, 45 minutes had passed since the time we woke up, maybe 20 since I had checked on the kids. Triston  and Jackson came running to the table when I called, but Bryce was not trailing them, like usual.

"Bryce"? I called. No answer. I went into the living room, no Bryce. I checked in my room, the bathrooms - no Bryce. I immediately checked all the doors, they were all locked. I ran down to the basement,  no Bryce. I started calling for him more urgently, looking under beds and in closets. Triston and Jackson started to worry and joined me. I ran outside, even though there was absolutely no way he could have gotten out, and I ran to the pond. It was still. I ran back inside around the house screaming his name at this point. NO BRYCE.

This kid was no where to be found. He wasn't anywhere.Triston stopped me in my tracks and told me we needed to pray, so we did. In my panicked state, I grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1. I told the operator that my 2-year-old was missing, that I couldn't find him anywhere. She took my name and address as I walked back into the living room, my eyes darting in every corner.

I scanned across the room and stopped. I looked back to a recliner that sits caddy corner agaist a wall. There is thismuch space between the side of the chair and the wall. And I saw a tuft of hair sticking up over the left arm. I ripped the chair away from the wall and there he was. WITH A WHOLE TRAY OF ICE CUBES THAT HE SNAGGED OUT OF THE FREEZER, happily sucking and munching on them, away.

"I found him!" I shouted at the operator. I gave my apologies and appreciation and got off the phone. I kneeled down and asked Bryce, "Did you know we were looking for you?"

"MMM-Hmmm," he sang out. "Me eating ice cubes!" What could I do? I was so relieved, I just let him finish off the tray. And then I promptly said a prayer of thanks.
 The End.

Now, if that didn't give you heartburn....try this salad. I liked it when I made it. I did, but I didn't think I loved it. However, I have thought about this salad every single day, since. That sounds like love to me, don't you think? It's really very good.

Pear Gongorzola Salad.

2 Hearts of Romaine, washed and chopped
Handful of fresh Spinach, washed and torn
4 ripe pears, skinned, cored, and chopped
almond slices or slivers
Gorgonzola Cheese (I think Bleu or Feta would work just fine)

Toast the almonds in butter over medium heat until browned. Set aside. Place romaine, spinach, and pears in large bowl, tossing until combined. Sprinkle toasted almonds and Gorgonzola over top and combine. Make this Balsamic Vinegarette from Emeril. It's simple and sassy. I decreased the oil to 1/2 cup and I didn't add the sugar. Just pour over salad and toss to coat.
 And don't loose your kids in the house and call 9-1-1, like me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Day the Storm Came In.

On the day that our last storm came swooping into sight, I was making this.
It is really very simple. Something I make when a) I've forgotten all about dinner because I've been chasing crazy little boys around all day and b) if we've eaten too much junk. I.E. Constipation.
We are lucky enough to have freshly canned green beans from my in-law's impressive garden. So I use a jar or two of the green beans, undrained. I cube several small potatoes with the skin left ON. That is where all the vitamins and minerals are, you know. I throw it in a pot and because we are lovers of all things bacon, I put in two slices of Hickory Smoked bacon in to add some smokey flavor. I let that pot boil for a good 20 minutes and wah-la! You have dinner. If I think about this dinner early enough, I'll make a loaf of homemade whole wheat bread to go with it. Or corn bread.

I just love thunderstorms. It makes Travis mad, I think, because while he is rallying the kids to get in the basement, I'm on the front porch with my camera, ignoring his advice, for lack of better words, to "get off the damn porch and get inside"!  : )

Here's what it looked like on the east side of the house.

And here is what was coming from the west. Scary.

It passed quickly, even though I was certain a tree was going to fall on the house. They were practically sideways with the wind.

I love thunderstorms. And I love green-beans with bacon and potatoes.
And you will, too, if you try it. So go make it tonight!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Morning.

I woke up this morning at 6:37 a.m. to the sound of heavy panting. It sounded exactly like an exhausted dog. Except it wasn't, it was my Bryce staring at me and then when I finally opened my eyes, he laughed, LOUD, and then hit me in the head with his Crocs.

"Put my shoes on, mom," he sang. "Put my hat on, mom," he bellowed.

And I, as his mother, just rolled over and pulled the covers up over my head.

(and if you know my children, you would know this only entices even more. He came to the other side, got on the bed, and jumped all over me and yelled out, "G-ET U-PP, MOOOOMMMMMM" until I was up. Mothering is hard. )

This is kind of  what he looked like at my bedside.

So, I got up. And this is what I made them for breakfast:

This may just look like scrambled eggs. But this is actually cheesy scrambled eggs and there is a trick to it that I learned just last week. Usually Travis makes these eggs because cleaning that cast-iron pan is on my 'least favorites list'. But, since they are my kid's favorite, I decided to get over the pan and just make the dang eggs.

Everyone knows how to make scrambled eggs. And cheesy eggs, too, I would imagine. I would just add the cheese as soon as  I put the eggs in the pan and it would cook together and become this big gooey jumble. It  warranted lots of whining from my kids that "there was no cheese on the eggs" AND  "Dad did it better". Not cool.

So I watched the next time Travis made the eggs and 'lo and behold' he put the cheese on AFTER the eggs were cooked, but BEFORE they were on individual plates and what he had was a beautiful combination of eggs and cheese. And they did taste better and you could see the cheese! Hooray! (He also uses butter, which always helps taste, no?)

And that is the trick to these lovely Cheesy Scrambles, my friends.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Break Out the Chocolate Banana Bread: We're Celebrating!

You can read this to find out why.

And make this. It's really yummy.

Summer Lovin': Creamy Coleslaw

Head of Cabbage
Shredded Carrots
Celery Seed

This recipe is really very simple. I hardly ever use measured ingredients, although the original recipe probably did have them. But who needs "original recipes"? Unless I'm baking, I seldom follow the recipes exactly...that is what makes it yours! And by that, I think it becomes "original". Anyway, shred your cabbage and carrots in a large bowl, set aside. In a jar or another bowl, put in about a 1/2 c. of mayo followed by a smidgen of vinegar. I would imagine about 1-2 T. spoons, but you want the mayo to just be a creamy "pourable" substance. Add the sugar and celery seed and whip it with a fork or whisk until sugar has dissolved.  Pour over cabbage and carrots and toss until evenly coated.

Wahh-Laa! You have creamy yummy best-in-the-summer-cole-slaw!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Summer is just awesome. And summer food is more awesome. Friday I took the kids to Burdette Park in Evansville, which is even more awesome. I forgot how amazing the kid's pool is there, since the last time I went was when Triston was a baby. But seriously, go if you can. So Friday evening as I was battling through storms to make it home from Burdette and then waiting on Travis to get home because I locked myself out of the house, I knew I had to come up with something quick and easy for dinner. I knew this for three reasons: Triston, Jackson, and Bryce. They were headed in full-out whine mode and I knew they would be standing under my feet until dinner was on a fork headed into their little mouths.

Silly me didn't prepare anything before I left so I was just winging-it. Luckily, earlier that week Travis had picked up some seafood batter that he thought would be good and I had a bag of frozen Tiliapia AND hamburger buns in the freezer! The stars had aligned.

So I un-thawed those babies, dipped 'em in batter and fried them up in my cast iron dutch oven. Slapped them on a bun with sliced onion, pickle and mustard or ketchup depending on which kid and then ate them up.

I use a canola/vegetable blend oil and if you don't have a fryer like me, you can always fill a stock pot or any deep pot with enough oil to cover and let it get hot on the stove. I've fried chicken this way also and it is awesome. As for the fish, you could use any kind of fish. I like Tilipia because it is a light tasting fish that soaks up just about any seasoning. And the batter was some no-name brand that Travis paid like $.97 for, so you know, anything will work.

Fried Fish Sandwich = Love.

Creamy coleslaw on the side coming tomorrow!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Suggestion.

Two months ago I went on a girls only trip to Indy for the weekend. One of the highlights of the trip was the Godiva Chocolate Store at Circle Center Mall. All of us bought various chocolates that were amazing, but the best 9.00 I ever spent (EVER) was on 
3 giant dark covered strawberries. So worth it. While the ones pictured above aren't Godiva (although you can buy a block of Godiva melting chocolate at Sam's), they were still awesome and I made them with the boys so they were even more fun to eat. I keep chocolate Almond Bark in my pantry, so when the fancy hits, all I have to do is grab some strawberries, which are in season right now, so there are sales on them at every grocery store. Even better is supporting the local farmers and going to the nearest U-Pick place. We make chocolate covered blueberries and apples, too, which are just awesome. You just can't beat something that is covered in chocolate, right? Make them today!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mustard Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

This is my favorite salad dressing.

3/4 T. Poppy Seed
1/3 C. White Vinegar
3/4 C. Canola Oil
1/3 C. Sugar
3/4 t. Salt
2 t. prepared Mustard

Pour ingredients together and mix well. I put all ingredients in a salad dressing mixer, but a jar with a lid would work just fine. Just shake well until the sugar dissolves.
I love this dressing just over plain spinach leaves, but it is especially good on this salad:

Head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
 1/2 lb. cooked Bacon

bunch of Spinach, chopped 
1 can Mandarin Oranges
Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C. Slivered Almonds
grated Swiss Cheese
Red Onion, chopped

Toast the almonds in a little butter over medium heat until golden, set aside. Combine the other ingredients in large bowl and toss. I keep the dressing separate from the salad until serving time, and then I just pour it  in individual bowls. Also, these ingredients are approximately measured. I add more or less based on what size of salad I am making. This salad will keep for a day or two, but the mushrooms can get funky kind of quick, so keep that in mind!

Did you know that supposedly poppy seeds can alter drug tests? It's least in our household. Travis won't touch this salad dressing, or anything else I make with poppy seeds, for fear that he would have a surprise drug test from his work. Every time I make this I think about that, because you would think that in 2010 there would be a drug test that would be able to tell the difference between poppy seeds that were consumed as food and poppy seeds that were used to make opium, right? That's just crazy to me!

Anyway, if you don't have to worry about that nonsense, Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Swiss Chicken and What We're Doing...

Well, well. I had to stop writing on my other blog, In My Window. It became somewhat of a liability for Travis. He is, unofficially until next week, running for office and I didn't want anything that I ramble on about to be taken out of context. So we moved to a new town and set up shop to campaign! Wowza. Call us spontaneous, I guess, because we made the decision and moved out of our apartment in one week's time. Lucky for us, Travis parents are kind enough to let us rent their other house here in Mt. Vernon.

So this is where we are going to call home for at least the next 6 months. And we are lucky enough to be just down the road from Clarence and Cheryl, so we get to visit more often!

I've considered my recipe blog as a little pet project for some time, but now that I have no where else to write, I hope I can post more on here. So maybe this blog is taking on a new dynamic--cuisine mixed with a little Clowers day-to-day!

Swiss Chicken
6 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
6 slices swiss cheese (you can use extra)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. chicken broth or water
1/3 c. melted butter
1-2c. soft bread crumbs (I cubed white bread into pieces)

Place shredded chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish and cover with slices of swiss. Mix the soup and broth together and pour evenly over chicken and cheese. Distribute bread crumbs evenly over the top and pour melted butter on top of bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered for 45 minutes 350. MMMMmmmmmmm. You will love this, even if you don't like swiss cheese. Believe me, my kids hate swiss, but couldn't get enough of this casserole!

iPhone Dump 2019

In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...