Words To Live By:

"The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you finish the work."

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Reality

Eavesdropping on my boys this morning...

(After another petty argument)

Justin:  Well, you're not real!

Kaleb:  If I'm not real, then no one would tell Mommy that you fell off the deck.  You'd still be lying there and couldn't get up. You'd just be lying there crying.  No one would know where you are.

(It's funny and mean all at the same time...not to mention it happened more than a year ago....boys! )

Friday, April 12, 2013

Orange Almond Strips

Just a quick post.  Busy weekend ahead!

Today started way too early with a kid having nightmares, snowplough lights flashing on the highway, and all the fun electrical sounds related to the power flashing on and off multiple times through the night.  Kevin had fun manually emptying our close-to-overflowing sump hole beneath the stairs - it doesn't work so well when the power goes out and the power tends to go out when it's stormy.  We got hit with a (pretty) ice storm that wasn't nearly as bad as they claimed it would be!  The boys got a snow day (in April?) out of it and among the regular Friday house cleaning blitz and endless laundry, we tackled the dungeon (aka the basement.)   Do you know how annoying it is to do laundry when the power keeps flickering?  We cleaned and tidied and even found a long electric slot car race track thingy - that took waaaay too long to put together - but resulted in lots of giggling.   

We ran off to church to set up for a gardening workshop for our women's group tomorrow.  Had to hit Timmies for a treat... and then figured I should bake some cookies for previously mentioned workshop and cross my fingers hoping the power stayed on.   I decided to try a new recipe and my only complaint is that the yield was not what they indicated it would be - I doubled the recipe and ended up with about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.   

These Orange Almond Strips (with a 4 star rating from the Robin Hood baking website) were pretty easy and they're pretty yummy, and apparently they freeze well.  I think they tasted okay even without the glaze (I'm not a glaze person.) and I couldn't find my almonds.  If I had almonds to top them, I think I would leave them without the glaze, but without the almonds and the glaze they just looked too boring.


Ingredients:

Cookie:1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1 (1) egg
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) orange rind, grated
1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract
1 3/4 cups (425 mL)  All Purpose Flour
milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) almonds, coarsely chopped


Icing:
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp (1 mL) almond extract
2 tbsp (30 mL) orange juice


Directions:

1. BEAT butter, sugar and egg on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add baking powder, rind, extract and half the flour. Mix well. Beat in remaining flour. Work dough with hands to form a smooth dough. Divide dough into 4. Shape each portion on lightly floured board into a 9" (23 cm) long roll. Place 2 rolls 4" (10 cm)apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten with hands to 2" (5 cm) wide. Brush top of rolls lightly with milk. Sprinkle with almonds, pressing in lightly.


2. BAKE at 325ºF (160ºC) for 15-20 minutes or until edges are light brown. While warm, cut strips crosswise on a diagonal in 1" (2.5 cm) wide strips. Cool.

3. COMBINE icing ingredients using enough juice to make a drizzling consistency. Drizzle icing over cooled cookies.


These will be a go-to in my bring-with recipe collection.  Great for a cookie exchange or just an afternoon of baking.  They'd be perfect with a cup of tea.  They have a subtle citrus flavour and a melt-in-your-mouth texture.   Super yum!      

Friday, April 5, 2013

Winner, winner...

Chicken dinner.

When Kevin & I went to Atlantic City for our anniversary a few years ago (hello cheap ocean front time share!), you couldn't walk through any of the hotels, restaurants, or lounges without hearing that cry from the casinos.  I can always hear the dealers' exclamations in my head, their sing-song chant, everytime I think about chicken.  I know it's strange, but that's just a free little peek into the wonder known as my mind as I present yet another recipe related post.

 
A few weeks ago WalMart had whole chicken 2 packs on sale.  I had no real use for them in my meal plan at the time but the price was right so I tossed them in the freezer.

I will often use the crock pot to skow cook boneless, skinless chicken into a fall apart mess of yumminess - just toss it in frozen with some herbs, spices, and water, and have juicy shredded chicken to toss into soups, salads, wraps, and more without any fuss.

I am hoping that the process will work similarly with one of these frozen babies.  I'll toss it in tonight and pull the meat off in the morning.  I'll whip up a batch of Mexican Turkey Soup (from my last post - subbing my poultry - I never did buy that turkey breast!)  If there is still left over chicken, I'll throw it into a chicken alfredo dish or serve it with a peanut sauce and coconut rice on Sunday.  Easy weekend cooking at it's best!  (I attempt a cooking strike on weekends but it just doesn't fly anymore what with budgeting and all.  And apparently my kids get hungry if they don't get fed regularly... who knew?)

And lastly, I have beautiful plans for that carcass! It's gonna be stripped down and tossed back into the slow cooker in a bath of seasoned simmering water for a (hopefully) successful attempt at tasty, healthy chicken broth using this Recipe: Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot - 100 Days of Real Food.

Sometimes I'm a great little Holly Homemaker.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Avoiding Turkey Deja Vu

Every holiday seems to be be an excuse to feast.   With the various family celebrations, a bird is likely to turn up at least once... for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.  So here I would like to set the record straight and state unequivocally... birds get boring, and eating the same meal as leftovers is just uninspired!  Don't get me wrong, I've had some fabulous turkey... my brother-in-law-in-law (sister-in-law's husband) brought one amazing bird to a family celebration last year and it had a delicious pimento gravy.  So good!  I throw turkey into our meal rotation regularly but all-in-all, a big carved turkey can be just kind of blah - but the left-overs, ah, the left-overs - that's where things get fun!

Thinking of all the yummy things you can whip up, I'm a little disappointed I didn't raid my mom's fridge before we left last night.   There's the usual but comforting hot turkey sandwich.  We've baked up some tasty turkey enchiladas.  We've used the left-over turkey in nachos, quesadillas, stir-frys, stew, and turkey pot pie.  This might be a given, but pretty much anywhere you'd use some chicken, you can substitute your turkey (and depending on how big your bird was, you could substitute for days!)

One of my favourite post-feast turkey fixes is a turkey soup.  Here is a recipe for Mexican Turkey Soup found in the Winter 2012 issue of Glow Magazine.  I haven't tried it... but it sounds delicious, and obviously can be tweaked to suit your tastes - I'd add more veggies and opt for a lower-sodium broth.

Mexican Turkey Soup
Glow |  Winter 2012
Makes approx. (8) 1-cup servings
Nutrients/serving:  216 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated fat), 441mg sodium (yikes!),
24g carbohydrates (5g firbre), 14g protein

Ingredients:
Simply Food Tortilla Multigrain Chips with Flax Seeds (to garnish)
4 cups (1 l) Cambell's Chicken Broth
2 tbsp (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stock, chopped
3 1/4 cups (796 ml can) diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried cumin
1/4 tsp (1 ml) dried coriander
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) chili powder
1 1/2 cups frozen peaches & cream corn
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded turkey
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
1 avocado, pitted, skin removed, and chopped

Hat oil in a large pan and saute garlic, onion, carrot, and celery until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add diced tomatoes, spices, and chicken broth, while stirring.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Add corn and turkey.  Continue to simmer for 4 minutes.  Divide among bowls and top with cilantro, lime juice, and avocado.  Serve with tortilla chips (about 5 per serving) on the side.

I can just imagine the aroma and the flavour - I might have to grab some turkey breast just to add this to our meal plan this week!  So that's my take on avoiding turkey deja vu and making the most of your big bird.  How do you fight leftover boredom?