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Friday, February 28, 2014

Beef Teriyaki

I make this probably a few times a month.  I buy the meat in bulk, spend a half hour cutting it up and freeze the meat so all I have to do is un-thaw the bag and basically dinner is done in 5 minutes.  I also stopped adding the butter simply because I don't need the extra calories or fat.  This is a re-post so the photos are from when I used butter.

Make a bag of 90 second brown microwave rice and bam, dinner is ON the table.

2 lbs Top Round Steak
Tops of two scallions sliced in thin strips
2 T Butter
1 t Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 bottle Teriyaki Sauce

Cut steak into thin, bite size strips. Throw in a pan with scallions, butter and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain any excess liquid from steak. When steak is cooked to your liking, add Teriyaki sauce, stir around to heat through and serve.

Sometimes I sprinkled meat tenderizer on both sides before cutting. If you use meat tenderizer you will most likely NOT need any salt and it's fine to freeze it still. Cook the same as above and it was melt in your mouth tender.
Basic Top Round steak.
See, just a nice piece of beef.
Cut into bite size pieces across the grain.
This is the tops of the scallions, sliced lengthwise. If you're using the beef from the freezer, add the scallions after you take out of the freezer.  You can skip this step all together if you want.
Mix the scallion tops with the beef.
This is wrapped up and prepped so all I have to do is open it and throw it in the pan with the butter and seasoning when it's time to make dinner.
Throw it in the pan with butter and seasoning. Cook until it's the way you like to eat steak. Drain excess liquid off and add Teriyaki Sauce. Serve.
This is the brand I used. Found it in the grocery aisle with the Asian items.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Suzy Q Cake

Trying to decide what cake to make for my friend's birthday.  This is one of my absolute favorites but I'm not sure this will be the one.  But it's so easy, maybe....

What you'll need
Devil's Food cake prepared according to package except use milk instead of water and add about 3/4 C Sour Cream and cooked in a 13x9 cake pan

Jar of Hot Fudge~I like Mrs. Richardson's but any thick hot fudge will work

Whipped Cream

To make the whipped cream

Large container of Whipping Cream
2 t Vanilla extract

Whip it until it's firming up. Add 1 1/2-2 C Powdered Sugar and whip until stiff. Chill the whipped cream a bit if you can.

Cut cake in half, making two layers. Gently lift the top off.  Warm hot fudge in microwave and spread a thin layer on bottom layer.  Spoon the whipped cream in the middle. Put cake back together.  Spread hot fudge over the top of the cake. Chill cake for at least an hour before serving. YUMMY!!!

Cut the cake in half.

Spread the whipped cream

Top with hot fudge
Honestly, I only used a small container of Whipped Cream this time and it was a mistake. The whipped cream should be about double this amount. Still tasted good but I like more whipped cream

Monday, February 24, 2014

She's famous!

Well maybe not famous BUT...

We heard a rumor a month ago that Claire's face was on the side of a Just For Kix van.  It was a picture that made it into a few dancing catalogs and the director's materials.  We were pretty excited for both of those things but to receive this photo from a friend who saw it, REALLY brought out her smile.  This was her final pose two years ago when she was done dancing to Captain Jack at a competition.  Smiling at the judges and making her Daddy proud with her proper military salute.  Competition season starts in March and we're hoping to run into this van so we can take her photo next to it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Crustless Ginger Pear Custard Pie

I was intrigued by the sounds of this.  It was good, kind of refreshing with the ginger, I used a tsp of dried that you find in the spice aisle.  I liked it best chilled and a touch of whipped cream would have been a nice addition. 

I didn't change anything else and if you want to see the original, I found it here...

2 large ripe Bartlett pears
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.
Peel the pears and cut them in half. Remove their cores and cut them lengthwise into roughly 1/4-inch thick slices. Fan the slices out inside of the pie plate.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, ginger, vanilla, salt and milk. Sift in the flour and whisk until batter is well combined and very smooth, with no lumps of flour.
Pour batter over the top of the pears.
Bake for 10 minutes at 400F, then turn the oven temperature down to 350F. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until custard is set and the top is a light golden brown.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Serves 6-8.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

Claire had a party in one of her classes and wanted to give Cookie Monster Cupcakes a try.  She colored regular white cake mix blue.  Made some matching blue buttercream.  Used a star tip, white chocolate chips, bite size oreos and a little bit of canned chocolate frosting and TA DA!  I am SO proud of her!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

20 years

20 years ago I was newly engaged, no kids, spending the weekends with my friends and soon to be husband and excited that a baby (Dylan) was on the way.  I was also starting a new job.  A job at the Minneapolis Technical College as an assistant to the Dean of Students.

It was an interesting start to the day because the temp that I was replacing wasn't too jazzed on being replaced.  He was "supposed" to train me in but not only did he refuse to do that, he refused to surrender my desk or even speak to me.  Because it was a union job, he was allowed to stay for the week until his contract was up so I shared a desk with Johan, the assistant to the Dean of Academics.  She was SUPER nice and showed me the ropes and graciously shared not only her desk and supplies but her knowledge.

In those 20 years, I had a fabulous wedding, a not so fabulous divorce, gave birth to two fantastic children who completely changed my life.  Watched ten other children come into this world, a few literally.  Sadly said good-bye to several of the most loved people in my life who are now watching over me from above.  Ended relationships that drained me mentally but continued to nurture friendships with my best friends because I realized that those that I can be quiet with are the people I love the most.

I left the Technical College when the state took over and moved to Roosevelt High School August of 1996 and have been there since.  Yes, I have been working at the same school for 18 school years!!  I have been working for the Minneapolis school district for 20 years TODAY!

When I first started working at Roosevelt, it was kind of tough to walk through the doors because I had graduated from there nine years earlier.  The school had changed, it was a little rough around the edges, gang activity was visible to the naked eye, our sports teams were no longer contenders in state playoffs, the danceline that once had girls fighting for one of the 30 spots, now had 8 girls who could careless if they showed up.  Truth be told, I was a little scared to be in the hallways during passing time.

Since that time, I have worked under four Principals, showed up on days that I didn't want to and did jobs and worked with people I didn't like but I kept coming back.  I have watched the school evolve into a place that I am now proud to say I graduated from.  I have made some wonderful friendships, became a member of the foundation that raises money to make the school a better place and put students through school with scholarships.  This year I am proud to say that I am bringing back traditions that were lost, I'm working with students and really getting to know them.  I just accepted a new job at the school and I am now the CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) coordinator for our IB program.  Which means that students have to do 150 of those hours during their junior and senior year.  I will be helping them create opportunities within the community and guiding them on how to get their hours accomplished.  I am beyond excited for this new opportunity.

So I start my 20th year with the school district with a renewed energy and looking forward to more of life's little detours.  Cheers!

P.S., I'm also sharing cream filled cupcakes with a few of my friends:)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cream filled Cupcakes

I'm making these tonight for something kinda special tomorrow.  Stop back to find out why.'ll need
Devil's Food Cake Mix prepared according to directions
1 brick of Cream Cheese~softened
1 C Sugar
1 Beaten Egg
Pinch of salt
1/2 bag mini Chocolate Chips

Mix cake mix in bowl.

Mix beaten egg, cream cheese, sugar and salt in another bowl. When mixed, add chocolate chips. To make cupcakes, pour batter half full into cupcake liners. Drop a spoonful of cream cheese mixture into center and bake according to cupcake directions on box. Makes about 28 cupcakes. Frost with your favorite chocolate
canned frosting. YES, you know my secret..I use canned frosting on these babies;)

Ready for oven
Ready for frosting

Frost with favorite canned frosting or yummy chocolate buttercream and eat!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Outback Bowl

Claire got to be part of something pretty amazing on New Year's Day.  She danced in the Outback Bowl in Tampa with 369 other girls representing 13 states.  They danced both pre-game in the POURING rain and half-time for a total of 12 minutes and they were AWESOME!

It was a looong 8 months of fundraising to help get her there.  She sold flowers, pizzas, Tastefully Simple and pies.  Worked at Culver's.  Made cupcakes for a bake sale and craft sale as well as other random ones, I've honestly blocked all the details from my memory.

She had to learn the Grease themed dances from youtube videos and a couple of practices her director threw in to help them out.  They had to know the dances when they got there because they only had 15 hours to coordinate 370 dancers into formations once they got to Tampa.  Nerves were on edge for a bit, but she practiced her butt off and was ready when we got there.

I was more than a little nervous about the whole thing because it was 6 days of being completely scheduled.  Scheduled without any input and that worried me since I don't have a prescription for Xanax;)  But, BUT, we had fun at Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens, a cruise for New Year's Eve, the game and DisneyWorld all turned out great even though we had our moments of monsoon type rain storms.

I watched the entire thing unfold with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes at times because I was SO proud of what she accomplished.  My baby girl has grown up.  She had her moment to be part of something spectacular!  I wish the networks that televise the football games would realize that the half-time performers DESERVE to be seen.  That the 2000+ performers work their butts off and just because they aren't wearing a football jersey doesn't mean that stats and commercials are more important to televise!  But we have the DVD coming and we'll have the memory to savor with a viewing party for our friends and family.

The added bonus?  Iowa played LSU.  LSU is a team my Dad and family hold near and dear to their heart because my Dad was born in Louisiana!  It was my little tap on the shoulder that Papa was watching and cheering loudly and I'm sure he had a little bit to do with the rain letting up for the big performance since it started raining again as soon as it was done:)

Here's a few of the photos of the trip.
 Clearwater Beach.  It was POURING but the girls made the best of it.

Last night