Search This Blog

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Artichoke Dip

I almost did it, a post every day of September to make up for not posting much in August.

This is one of my FAVORITE dips. It doesn't photograph well and it's easy to make so that's why I picked this one to finish out September. I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 C grated Fresh Parmesan..sorry no green can here (you can also use 3/4 C Mozzarella and 3/4 C Parmesan
2 T minced Garlic
1/2 med Red Pepper finely chopped
1 C Mayo
1/4 t dried Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 can chopped Green Chilis
14 oz Artichoke hears packed in WATER, drained and chopped

Mix everything together and put in oven safe dish and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350. Serve with crusty French bread.

This post was bugging me because it didn't have a photo. I went to Simple Recipes and found a photo:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Three Things

I just read the saddest email. It stated that September 27, 2010 is “Family Day—A day to eat dinner with your family,” sponsored by Columbia University. Really? You have to be reminded to eat dinner with your family?

I'm a busy Mom with two busy kids and we still manage to sit at the dinner table together at least a few times per week because I think it's important. Maybe it's fast food, maybe a full dinner or just grilled cheese, but we sit down together and we share at least three things.

One person starts and tells you something from their day. It can be what they had for lunch or the touchdown they made at recess or whatever they want to share but it has to have happened, not what you are planning on doing.

From the "thing", we sometimes ask more information. The next person goes and we continue around the table until everyone has shared "three things".

Dinner guests are also invited to join in. The adults sometimes look like a deer in headlights but they quickly recover and always tell me they think it's a cool idea.

We also sometimes do, "Say one nice thing about each person at the table". That one was my daughter's favorite when she was little.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hockey Skates

I was at the local hockey store this weekend getting my son's skates sharpened and I was watching and listening to this Dad and son who I am guessing was about 8, discuss and try on skates. My first clue should have been that they were not being helped by anyone from the store. But, in my defense, the store was busy and they were trying on sale skates which are self serve so they could have been missed.

They were on their 3rd pair and the boy said, "but these are a size bigger why do they feel tighter" and the Dad was getting frustrated and said, "well that doesn't make any sense".

I decided to share my knowledge. "Bauer skates run more narrow. The CCMs that he just had on have a wider toe box, might be why the Bauers feel tight". If looks could kill, I wouldn't be here to type this post. Wow?! Sorry that I'm a hockey Mom who pays attention to what the sales people tell me and am trying to help another parent out because I've been there, done that.

My son kind of brand jumped over the years depending on which ones he thought were "cool" or Mom liked the price. I didn't realize that there were real differences.

I have learned that the blade has to be stronger if they are going to skate inside and out if you want to keep a decent edge.

I have learned he needs his skates sharpened after skating outside.

I have learned that if his edge isn't sharpened correctly, he'll be on his butt on the ice.

I have learned that wax laces are the easiest for them to learn to tie their own skates and they stay tighter while skating.

I have learned that skates typically run 1 to 1 1/2 size smaller than their shoe size.

I have learned that you should listen to the sales guys and I also recommend shopping in a store for hockey when buying your skates.

I have learned that my son needs his skates to be heated up and molded on his foot or he'll get blisters for a month so that is another price break because not all skates can be heated up.

I have learned that I am paying at least $150 for skates when his foot grows and he is on at least his 12th pair of skates.

I have learned that he typically needs skates in October.

And, we learned with the last pair and the help of a salesman who was a hockey player with a foot like my son that Bauer skates would fit his foot best because he has a narrow foot and heel.

His stride was better on the ice, his balance better. It was truly amazing to see the difference on the ice. But, I guess I'll keep that knowledge to myself from now on.

Oh and the skates at the top of this post...those are not the ones my son got this time around although he would have LOVED to have them. Those skates are $799 ON SALE!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cherry Cheese Danish

Danish is one of my favorite things to eat. My daughter LOVES danish too. When I found this recipe, I couldn't wait to make them. That was a mistake because now I know how easy it is to have danish in your hands in 20 minutes.

And, I'm sorry about not having step by step instructions but my camera has a "lens error", whatever that means. And, typically when I make these, the above is what they look like.

However, the other night I had the softened cream cheese ready but I was tired, REALLY tired so I sprayed a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with an edge with a bit of cooking spray and spread the crescent roll dough across the pan. Make sure you seal all the little holes. I spread the cream cheese mixture on top and then the cherries and baked it for 15 minutes. Cool it off and cut into squares.

I will admit that it wasn't as pretty but sometimes tired wins over pretty. Claire tried it and I asked what she thought, she shoved the rest in her mouth and said, "can I have another piece"?

1 package (8 ounces) Cream Cheese~I use light, softened
1/4 C Sugar
2 T Flour
2 t grated Lemon Zest
1 T Lemon juice
1 t Vanilla
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent-roll dough
3/4 of 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. In medium-size bowl, stir cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla with a wooden spoon until well blended and smooth.

2. Heat oven to 375°F. Unroll one package of the crescent-roll dough and separate dough into four rectangles. On a lightly floured work surface, cut each rectangle in half crosswise, making two squares. Pinch together any perforations or holes in dough, then stretch two opposite corners of each square slightly to lengthen the dough and form the flaps that will enclose the filling. Transfer to ungreased baking sheet.

3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture diagonally onto center of each square, at a right angle to stretched corners. Top with about 1 tablespoon pie filling. Fold one of the flaps across mixture. Fold other flap across, overlapping first flap.

This step is optional, I typically skip it...Brush each Danish with egg-water mixture. Sprinkle with some of the almonds.

Continue making Danishes with remaining dough, cheese mixture and pie filling, including the second package of dough.

4. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


There are times that I can't be home when my kids get off of the bus. It doesn't happen very often but it happens. I tried giving keys out but the kid who needed to have it, wasn't the kid who was locked out.

Being that I'm a Realtor, I came up with a logical solution and I now have one of these on my porch.

You don't have to hang it on your door knob if you don't want to. You can hang it anywhere you want or you can simply have it sitting next to the door like I do (I have an enclosed front porch). You decide what the code will be and can make it something easy your kids will remember. The bonus is that you don't have to push the numbers in order, just push the code in.

I also like it when I go for a walk or out for the evening when I'm not driving, I don't have to carry my keys.

These little beauties cost about $25 and you can get them at Menards or Home Depot. They are completely secure as long as your code doesn't get shared and if it does, easy enough to change.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Baked Chicken Nuggets

My kids love chicken nuggets and I've tried a few ways of making them at home and they always tasted fine but then I found Panko bread crumbs, my kids were happy. BEST chicken nuggets I've made they said. Hope you like them too.

3 Chicken Breasts washed and cut into nuggets
1 Egg beaten
1 C Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C Fresh Parmesan cheese

Wash and cut your chicken. Pat dry and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder..just sprinkle over the top, flip and repeat.

Dip chicken in egg wash.

Mix bread crumbs, cheese and 1/2 t salt. Roll chicken pieces and put on sprayed cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. I flip at about the 12 minute mark. Be gentle, you don't want to lose any of the coating.

You could make your life easier and buy the chicken already cut into nuggets or strips but since I didn't, just use your kitchen shears to cut into nuggets
Get your ingredients lined up
Dip in egg first
Make sure they have plenty of coating
Put on sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, gently flip and cook another 8-10

Dinner is served

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stop, Look and Listen

To make parenting easier for me, I have basic rules that I use and enforce without fail. One of them is Stop, Look and Listen.

I used to say this when we went for a walk. They were so little, just really getting to walk and run for the first time and I would gently grab their hand when we came to an alley or a street and say, "STOP, LOOK both ways for cars and bikes and LISTEN for sounds that tell you a car or bike is coming" because no one is looking for you.

As they got older, they would run ahead and I would yell, "Stop, Look and Listen" and they would come to a screeching halt and do just that.

Now they are old enough to say it to their little cousins or laugh when I say it to them. But for me, today...Stop, Look and Listen means something entirely different.

My kids are very good at giving indicators that they need more hugs or attention and I always step up the hugs and try to get to the bottom of a problem with gentle conversation. I thought I was catching all their clues, but I found out today, I wasn't. Today I had to admit that I'm human and I missed something.

Allow me to explain. Fall is a busy time for us, school, sports, dance, Sunday school all get going. The lazy days of August are behind us. We go from 0-60 in a weeks time. We still sit down for dinner together, I still give them hugs and kisses good night and before they run for the bus in the morning, we still talk in the car about anything and everything, I thought I was covering all the bases.

And, then my daughter stayed home from school "sick". I figured for the most part she needed a mental health day and I'm ok with my kids doing that once in awhile. I snuggled up next to her and let her sleep in and then I brought her to her Nana's house so I could go to work. She admitted to Nana that she needed more hugs and snuggles and that's why she stayed home.

I thought back over the past two weeks when it seemed both of my kids could use a hug. I gave them one but I didn't sit down and snuggle, I didn't sit down and read a book with them. I didn't "stop" what I was doing and really Look and Listen to what their body language was telling me.

Yes, life gets busy but laundry can wait, cookies can be bought..ok, I don't buy them but they can be made in large quantities and frozen after they are in bed.

I guess my point of this post is everyone is so busy being busy that I know I'm not the only one who needs to Stop, Look and Listen to my kids. You'll never be sorry that you did because the truth of it all, is that they are only yours for a short time before you have to share them. I want my kids to remember their time with me and feel the hugs when I'm not there to give them. To feel safe and to Stop, Look and Listen to what's going on around them and always know that their Mom has their back. I love you Max and Claire!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I was excited to make the sour cream pancakes for breakfast when Claire said, "Mom, could you not make those "new" pancakes and make the old ones".

Never really loving pancakes, I always tweak my recipe a bit and this time I added more sugar and vanilla and I let the batter sit for a bit to rest and rise. And, we all loved the end result. Hope you do too.

1 1/2 C Milk
3 T Butter
1 Egg
3 t Vanilla

1 1/2 C Flour
1/4 C Sugar
4 t Baking Powder
1 t Salt

Melt butter with milk in microwave for about 1 minute until butter is melted. Add Vanilla and Egg. Whisk to combine.

Add dry ingredients and whisk until combined. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Heat your griddle to 325 or on the stove a med-high heat. Drop batter by 1/4 C onto griddle. Cook a minute or two until batter starts to bubble. Flip and cook another minute. Serve with butter and syrup.

People flip too soon. See the bubbles that are starting to pop? That's how you know it's time to flip.

I also make bite size ones for the kids. Started doing it when they were little so I wouldn't have to cut them and now Claire requests them this way.

Nice and golden brown, just flip and let the other side cook.

Breakfast is served

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hockey 3 on 3

As you know my son is a hockey player. He likes to have parties where we "do" something so he came up with a 3 on 3 hockey tournament 2 years ago. He requested we do it again this year because it was so much fun.

We use street sticks and a tennis ball. Both can be purchased at any sporting good store.

The age range was from 3-50 and I was surprised at how competitive everyone could be. We play first to 3 points or if it's taking a long time, first goal wins the game and the winners advance. If it's a really TIGHT game, the team has to win by 2 and they have to win by 2 for the championship. First face off of the day

We have 8 teams of 3 and a couple of the teams have 4 because they get one of the little kids. We have a bracket system set up and it's single elimination. Looks something like this:

Team 8 vs Team 1
Team 7 vs Team 2
Team 6 vs Team 3
Team 5 vs Team 4

Winner game 1 vs Winner game 5
Winner game 2 vs Winner game 6

Championship game is the winners of Game 5 and 6

I ordered 3 trophies from the local trophy place (bowling alley in our case). And, had cups of candy for 2nd place.

I served only concession food: Nachos with cheese, Pretzels with Cheese, Pizza, Hot Dogs, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip cookies.

I made a cake out of Ding Dongs because they look closest to hockey pucks.

Did you know that in MN I could NOT find hockey decorations?! Nope, not one decoration and I don't order decorations because I like to see the quality. Luckily, we plan ahead so when we went to Wild Games, my son and nephew went around and collected the hard plastic beer cups and I ran them through the dish washer and TaDa, we had "hockey" decorations to go with the plain red plates and napkins. Red and Green balloons and streamers finished the outside. And, I made these simple print outs from Microsoft Word and a color printer for the inside.

I also made the invitations on Microsoft word. Nothing fancy. They have hockey clip art, put some clip art on the page and the basic information and you're ready to go.

The kids had fun decorating our driveway to look like an ice rink and they even put up partical boards (they leaned them on my bushes to keep the puck in play) with sponsors spray painted on them.

I was told by many that this was the best party I've ever thrown!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nacho Cheese Dip

Super easy nacho cheese dip that I could eat every day.

You'll need three things and a crock pot...

Cube up a large brick of this and throw in the crock pot.

Add 1 can

And a jar of your favorite Salsa If you use thick and chunky Salsa, you are also going to want to add about 3/4 of a soup can of milk so it's not thick.

Turn on med-low, should be ready in a little over an hour. Serve with chips.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baseball Party

Baseball Tournament...Almost everyone played, ages ranged from 2-50. You have to kind of have an idea of who is coming so you can make the teams so you know what size shirts to buy.

I bought Hane's t-shirts at Walmart 5 for $5 and tie dyed them either RED or BLUE.

We walked to the local park and played 3 innings with a wiffle ball and bat. Everyone had a blast.

I served Popcorn (made microwave popcorn that morning and bought small popcorn bags..I used a laundry basket to hold the bags), Peanuts (bought a large bag and put them into snack size baggies) and Cracker Jacks at the game along with Gatorade and Water.

When we got home we had hot dogs, brats and chips. I made baseball sugar cookies and baseball decorated cupcakes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Baked Ribs

Finally, the infamous ribs that made my children eat cereal for a week for dinner because they wouldn't eat them. Both said they tasted good, they just weren't in the "mood" for ribs. I thought of making them on day 8 after their week of cold cereal to see if they were in the "mood" yet but I decided not to go there.

The good news is, I like them and so do the people at work that I feed my leftovers to.

What you'll need
Package of ribs ~ sorry folks, I have no idea how many pounds this was, I want to say 3?!
Spike Seasoning
Season Salt
Black Pepper
8 Garlic Cloves minced
wanna get crazy, add a few minced jalapenos to the garlic, seeds removed.

Spray a cake pan with cooking spray and then line with aluminum foil. Enough foil to fold up and over these ribs. We're trying to make an airtight seal but if we don't accomplish that, it's all good. Just do your best.

Take your ribs out of the packaging. Meaty side down, sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of each season and rub 1/2 of the garlic mix on...use rubber gloves if you are working with jalapenos.

Flip them over and repeat the process. Wrap tightly with foil and put back in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Turn oven to 250 and put the ribs in. Cook for 4 hours at this low heat. Take the ribs out and put them on a cookie sheet, brush with your favorite BBQ sauce and throw under the broiler for a couple of minutes and serve.

Here are your ribs ready to start

Put them on your foil and start the seasoning...don't forget to spray your pan or use a throw away one

Fold in the sides

Seal them up as tight as you can and put in the fridge for at least 24 hours Bake them at 250 for 4 hours or until they are so tender they are almost falling off the bone.

You can be done now if you want or

Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce, put under the broiler for a few minutes and serve. Notice I left a chunk plain for my son...who ate bread;)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bleeding, Hurt or Dangerous?

I was lucky enough to have a practice son for the years before I was ready to be a full-time Mom. My nephew Dylan stayed with me most Friday nights starting when he was very little. I got to spend lots of time with him, playing, making cookies, snuggling and then I'd get to send him home to his Mom and collapse on the couch.

Dylan is a wonderful kid, always was. Very easy going, gentle, very smart and just plain lovable. Dylan was 2 1/2 when I got pregnant with Max. He watched all those baby birthing shows on TLC with me. He went with to the ultra sound. He helped me decorate the nursery. One of my favorite memories of that time was him laying in Max's crib when the nursery was done and saying, "This baby is going to LOVE this room". He loved Max before he met him.

They were good buddies and then Max turned 2.

I've told you what a beast Max was. How naughty he was. Well Max would get into it with Dylan. Dylan would run to me and say, "Max did this" or "Max did that". It was typically something like Max took a toy away and I'd say, "You're bigger, take it back" and then Max would come running in to tell on Dylan. Finally one day I snapped and I came up with Bleeding, Hurt or Dangerous.

Dylan came running in to tell me something Max had done or was doing and I held up my hand, stopped him from speaking and asked, "Are either of you bleeding"?

Dylan looked bewildered..."no", he said.

"Are either one of you hurt"? I asked.

"No", repeated Dylan.

"Anyone doing anything dangerous"?

He shook his head no.

I said, "Well unless one of you are bleeding, hurt or in danger or doing something dangerous, I don't want to hear about it. You two need to figure it out".

That became my new rule. If you aren't Bleeding, Hurt or Dangerous..figure it out.

All my nieces and nephews know my rule so tattling at my house doesn't happen much. Or if it does, it starts with, "Someone is going to get hurt...."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Witches Brew

Swiped this photo off of the internet because I didn't take one and I like photos with each post:)

The beauty of living in Minnesota is our change of seasons. Start out in the morning, needing heat in your car, switch to AC for the ride home and back to heat again in the evening. Add the start of school, fall sports and all the running around we do and I am getting a fall cold.

I have been fighting the good fight with Zicam, Zinc, Vitamin C and threw in a few allergy pills in case that's what is going on and still I felt like crap.

So, I dug out a recipe I got from a friend's Mom. Loads of Vitamin C, tastes decent and "I" think makes me feel better.

You can add a shot of your favorite liquor and call it a Hot Toddy as my Grandma used to do.

Or a tea bag to cut the sweetness, like I like to do.

Or just drink it straight. It's good for what ails you that much I promise.

3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Lemon Juice
7 C Water
1 Orange sliced

Simmer until hot, don't boil. Serve with a squirt of honey. Stores fine in the refrigerator and reheats great in the microwave.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Red Potatoes

My Grandpa Arnie used to eat boiled Baby Red potatoes EVERY single night with his dinner. Boiled in water, smashed with a bit of butter and he was good to go. I don't think he even seasoned them. Good old Scandinavian dinner...meat, boiled potatoes and bread. My poor Grandma was a great cook and that is what the man wanted, EVERY night.

I was never much of a potato girl and definitely not a boiled potato girl until I tried this. A quick and easy boiled potato that you can prep ahead of time but doesn't taste like a boiled potato.

What you'll need..

Baby Red Potatoes
Olive Oil
Favorite Seasoning

Wash the potatoes and boil them in a pot of well salted water until fork tender. Cool or put in the fridge over night.

Slice the cooled potatoes into 1/4 or 1/6, you are going to want to use a knife with a serrated edge (bread knife) so the potato doesn't smush.

Put side down in a frying pan.

Turn the heat to a medium high.

Sprinkle potatoes with your favorite seasoning (I used salt, pepper and Thyme), drizzle with a couple tablespoons of Olive Oil and a few pats of butter. Cook for few minutes until they start to get golden and crispy. Flip with a pancake turner OR I call it a spatula and cook the other side for the same amount of time. Serve.

Here they are ready in the pan

And, the finished potato

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Party Ideas

A couple of friends suggested that I share some of the parties that I have done for my kids. In my opinion I don't go crazy, it's just some extra effort and sometimes a bit of planning ahead. My kids look forward to their birthday party every year.

I have a large family and network of friends and they are always up for some fun.

So, be on the look out for party fun ideas:)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Quick Curry

I have made curry only once before and it was a LONG process. It tasted good but I'm not big on LONG processes so I never made it again. I did however, recently buy some curry at the grocery store because a friend asked me to try to make something. Please note that I have LOTS of spices that I've bought and not used for exactly that reason, I wanted "to try" something but I always go back to my tried and true and forget they are in my spice cabinet.

Flash forward a few weeks and another friend posted on Facebook that she made Chicken Curry for dinner. Suddenly my tummy was needing curry. I looked around on the internet for an easy recipe. Found one that I changed up a bit because I didn't have everything it called for so I had to improvise but I was eating curry about 20 minutes later.

I had made a turkey breast in the crock pot the day before and had leftovers that I didn't know what to do with because it was a little dry for some reason. It needed a sauce, a curry sauce;)

I don't have play by play photos of this recipe because quite frankly, I didn't think it would work since it was going to be quick. It was easy enough that you don't need photos though.

First, start your water boiling for your instant Brown Rice. I didn't get fancy with the rice, brown rice is good for you and it works for this dish. By the time the rice is finished cooking, your curry will be ready too.

1 small Onion Chopped
3 cloves Garlic minced
1 small Red Pepper sliced into strips (you won't see this in the photo because I added it after the fact. I thought it needed something more)
3 T Olive Oil

On low heat saute your onions and garlic in Olive Oil. When the onions are softened a bit. Add

1 T Olive Oil
3 T Curry Powder
1/2 t Cinnamon
3/4 t Ginger ~ I would have preferred to use fresh but didn't have any
1 t Chili Paste or 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper or both

Stir this around a little bit so the flavors can mix together.

Carefully whisk in
1/4 C Sour Cream
1 can Coconut Milk
1 T Tomato Paste
Pinch or two of salt to your taste

Let the sauce simmer on low for a couple of minutes. Add some black, white or cayenne pepper to taste. The trick about pepper is they all offer something a little bit different. I try to layer different peppers as I cook. If you think it's spicy enough, stop and don't add more.

Toss in 2-3 C diced cooked Chicken or Turkey. Simmer another minute. Your rice should be done by now. Spoon the sauce and chicken over rice and serve.


Add the chicken or Turkey...

Serve over rice

OH and guess what, Max tried a bite and liked it although he said it was too spicy..can't win them all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Alanna!

Alanna is one of my best friends. We met when we were on the danceline in High School. I was sitting on the ground completely frustrated and she sat down next to me in the same frame of mind. We both wanted to quit because we couldn't get the tap steps. We walked home from practice together, decided NOT to quit and danced side by side for 3 years. And, we have been friends ever since.

We've shared a lot over the years. Good times and bad, we've had each others backs. We both have a son and a daughter. Both sets of our children are 15 days apart, with our girls being the oldest. And, she was born today and my birthday is tomorrow so we always celebrate together. This is our 26th birthday we've celebrated together and I look forward to many more.

Happy Birthday Alanna! Hope your day is as fabulous as you!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Juicy Lucy

I have this weird thing that I do. I can taste a dish and figure out what's in it. I can't always re-create it, but I can usually come close to telling you what's in it.

My son knows this about me and he gave me the true test...the Juicy Lucy. I'm only kidding, the Juicy Lucy isn't hard to figure out the flavors of what's in it because it's a hamburger with cheese in the middle. HOT, molten cheese that will run down your face or your hands if you bite into it too soon.

The Juicy Lucy is pretty famous around these parts. We have a couple of restaurants that claim they make the best one. The Food Network even came out for a cook off. Mine didn't compare to those but it was a lot cheaper than the $5.95 they charge.

The trick is keeping the cheese inside while it cooks. Max requested and I gave it a try. We had decent success so I thought I would share.

We're going to make 4 burgers

1 lb Ground Sirloin or lean hamburger
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper
1 t Garlic Powder
1 t Onion Powder
4 slices American Cheese folded into fourths

Mix everything together except the cheese. Grab some beef and pat eight patties about the size of your palm and about 1/4 inch thick. Take one patty and put the slice of cheese you have folded in the center. Put another patty on top and seal it together. You want to make sure you have all the edges sealed, kind of pressing around the cheese square and the edges to make one burger. Put in a frying pan on low heat and cover. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, flip and repeat. Put on your bun, let it cool for a minute or two and take a gentle first bite so the cheese doesn't come squirting out.
Mix your beef with seasoning
Fold your cheese into fourths
Pat out your patty and put the cheese in the middle
Put another patty on top and seal the edges well
Put into the frying pan on low heat and cover
Put on your bun, notice we had a bit of leaking of the cheese on one burger, seal them up well
YUM, notice the cheese on the plate..Max took too big of a bite too soon and some of the cheese came out

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I love a good Sangria. It's such a pretty color and the fruit floating around is a bonus. My friends and I had the BEST Sangria at this little Tapas Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. It was a little party in your mouth, just the right amount of flavors going on, YUM! Although we did have a harder time maneuvering the steep stairs that led to and from the restaurant but that's not what we're talking about today.

Today it's about the perfect Sangria. I have searched for that recipe and tried making a few. I can't say I've ever made or had a "bad" Sangria but it is typically EXPENSIVE to make.

That leads me to my find of the summer. I had left the local swimming pool on a really HOT day and stopped off at the liquor store. I was looking around for a bottle of Sangria and finally asked the store manager what he recommended.

He showed me a few bottles in the $15 range and then said, "Do you want to know a secret"? "okkkkkkkkkk", I said

"I did a blind taste test with my family who are all wine drinkers and do you want to see what they picked"? "Absolutely", I said.

He held up this bottle...

"You have GOT to be kidding"? I said. Sidebar...Boones Farm is the liquor of teenage parties and even as a teenager a bit of a giggle.

He shook his head and promised that this $3.50 bottle of Sangria won over all the others in the store. So, I bought a bottle. I immediately tried it out on a friend. Of course disguised with some pretty fruit. I borrowed this photo from my friend Carmen because I love the container and will be finding one just like it for my house.

Anyway, she liked it. As have the 20 or so people I have tested it on who have all asked for the recipe or the brand. It's not the best Sangria you'll ever drink but for the price, it is better than decent. Give it a try. Hide it in a pretty container so you look like you worked really hard on it;)

Friday, September 10, 2010

6 minute Meatloaf

Yes, you read that right. Six minutes is all it takes to make this meatloaf. Add the mixing up part and we're at about ten minutes total.

So, obviously, I make a pretty simple meatloaf. It's the one I grew up with. My Mom is not a fan of Ketchup so her meatloaf is like a big meatball without sauce and this is her recipe. I prefer to make a brown gravy with mine but you can throw some Ketchup on top if that's what makes you happy.

Here's what you'll need..

1 lb Ground Beef
1 Egg
3/4 package of crushed Saltines or about 1/2 C bread crumbs
1/2 small Onion minced
1/2 medium Green Pepper minced
2 cloves minced Garlic
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/2 t Garlic Powder

Mix everything together and pat into a microwave safe dish. Divide the meatloaf down the middle so you have two rectangles. I used a 9x7 rectangle. I also have lost the top to my dish or maybe I never had one so I used Saran wrap over the top. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. Let it cool a couple of minutes, remove wrap, slice and serve with garlic mashed potatoes (I totally spaced taking photos on how to make the potatoes so I'll catch ya next time) and brown gravy. Or my favorite way, let it cool and make a sandwich!

Throw everything in the bowl
Pat into microwave dish
Cut to make sure it's cooked through
Dinner is served