Jul 22, 2006

Blog Me Meme

My buddy Shannon over at I Need To Vent (her VERY funny blog) tagged me for the Blog Me meme hosted by BlogHer. I always love a good meme, so here we go...

1. What can I learn about you in under 5 minutes?

I can't sit still at home for 5 minutes without getting up to throw in a load of laundry, I snack all day long, I'm great at multi-tasking.

2. How do you use blogging to build friendships?

I haven't spent much time on Blogher lately but love the concept and hopefully will find time to visit more in the future.

3. Who do you read every day, rain or shine?

My Bible... and I have all my favorite blog feeds sent to my Google Reader and try to read them daily.

4. How would you describe your writing style?

It depends on my mood. Usually a bit too formal and too short.

5. If you could spend time with one person who would it be?

Jesus. There's never been anyone I wanted to meet more.

6. What don't you write about? Anything considered a no-no in your book?

Anything too intimate or personal.

7. What is your favorite thing that you wrote?

No particular favorite.

8. Are you and your blogging persona the same person?

Yep! I'm a what you see is what you get kind of person. No fake blogger here :)

9. Have you ever anonymously posted on a site to flame them?

No. If I don't like something I will either be honest or just keep my opinion to myself.

10. If you had a super power, what would it be?

To be able to read people's minds. It always bugs me when I wonder what someone is thinking then ask them and can just tell they aren't being quite honest with me.

11. Why did you choose to share that piece of yourself in a photograph?

My camera is packed away so no pics today.

12. Where do you live?

Arizona. And let me tell you, it's HOT here.

13. What do you do for a living?

Homeschool my girls and take great care of them, my husband and our home.

14. What are some things you can't live without?

God, my family, a computer, my crock pot, lots of pillows, cheese.

Who do I tag next....

1. Biker Momma
2. My Mother's Fault
3. Cookin' With Cyndi
4. Messy Cucina
5. Nika's Culinaria


Jul 18, 2006


I apologize for the lack of posts last week but it was for a good reason! :) We are going to be moving! I'm very excited and haven't been cooking much since we have been busy sorting and starting to pack. Our moving date will be on August 7th. This is a huge blessing for us because we have been wanting to have more space for the kids and a yard for them to play and now that is exactly what we will have. I probably won't be posting very much until after the move but I promise it will be as soon as possible. Here's a pic of our new dwelling place. :)

Jul 6, 2006

Sourdough Bread

Well my starter was finally ready for use a couple days ago so I decided to make a simple sourdough bread recipe I found in The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I have made this bread in the past and was always happy with the results. This recipe is very easy although it does take quite a long time. It's well worth the wait though.

A note: Homemade sourdough bread does not taste quite as sour as store bought. If you want that extremely tangy taste you can add 1 Tb of vinegar or 1 tsp. of citric acid (sour salt) to the water for added "tang".

Sourdough Bread
(from The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

5 1/2 c. bread flour
2 c. sourdough starter
1 Tbsp. salt
1 c. water

Dissolve the salt in the water. Add the starter then stir in the flour. Knead until the dough is smooth and form into a ball. Put in an oiled bowl and cover and let rise overnight (it should be doubled in bulk when done). (Note: I let mine rise 4 hours and it was way past doubled in bulk so it will depend on the temp. in your house as to how long it will need to rise. I started my dough in the morning). Punch dough down and divide into two pieces. Form into balls and cut an "X" shape on top if desired. Place on a greased baking sheet and allow to rise about 4 hours or until double in bulk. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven and heat to 400 degrees. Bake loaves for 35 minutes. If they begin to brown too quickly then cover with a sheet of foil . If you like a soft crust, open the oven a couple times during cooking and spritz the oven walls with water, then cover the loaves when they cool. Allow them to cool completely on a rack before cutting.

Jul 3, 2006

Vegetable Beef Lasanga

I've been wanting to make lasanga for a while now but just hadn't gotten around to it. The recipe I normally use, Lasanga Maria, is not the most health conscious so I kept putting it off. I'm REALLY trying to stick to my diet. I finally figured that I should develop a new recipe so that we can enjoy lasanga more often without all the guilt. This is a recipe I created today pretty much off the top of my head to use up what we have on hand and to get some much needed veggies into my kids diet. They helped me make it so I know they will enjoy eating it as well. ;)

Vegetable Beef Lasanga

1 10 oz. package lasanga noodles (9 noodles)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used a large can of Hunt's Onion and Garlic that we had on hand)
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
8 oz. low fat ricotta cheese (1/2 of the average size container)
1/2 c. fat free cottage cheese
1 egg (you can use 2 egg whites instead for a healthier version)
1/4 c. plain yogurt (fat free sour cream would work as well)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 onion, sliced thin
2 zucchini, peeled and sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled, sliced then and blanched for 5 minutes
1/2 bag frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. fresh grated parmesan cheese (ziploc type package, not the stuff in the green can)
a few slices of pepperoni

Cook lasanga noodles for 10 minutes, drain and lay on an baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside. Brown ground beef in a skillet with the Italian seasoning and a little salt and pepper. Drain and set aside. Combine the ricotta, egg, cottage cheese, yogurt, garlic powder, parsley, red pepper flakes and a little salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a 9 x 13 in pan spread about 3 Tbsp. of the sauce. On top of the sauce, layer the ingredients as follows: 3 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture (spread over noodles with a spoon), 1/3 of the onions, 1/3 of the zucchini, 1/3 of the broccoli, 1/3 of the carrots, 1/3 of the ground beef, 1/3 of the mozzarella, 1/3 of the parmesan, 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. For the last round, after adding the ground beef, layer the sauce before the cheese and place the pepperoni and red bell peppers on top. (You might need to press the entire thing with the back of a spatula to get it to fit into the dish so that the cheese won't stick to the foil when you cover it.)

Bake, covered with foil, for 45 minutes then uncover and bake another 20 minutes. Allow to set about 15 minutes before cutting.... if you can wait that long ;)

Jul 1, 2006

The Six O'Clock Scramble

I receive a lot of emails about new food related websites and resources on-line. There are many out there but it is not often that you find one that is not only new and fresh but also totally useful and makes your life easier! That was my first impression when I visited The Six O'Clock Scramble. This website is dedicated to helping families get dinner on the table on weeknights in a quick, hassle free manner. The originator of this website, Aviva Goldfarb, is a busy mom of two that obviously realizes the importance of healthy meals that don't take all day to prepare. Here's how the website works...

You purchase a subscription to The Six O'clock Scramble newsletter and once a week you receive 5 quick and easy dinner menus (main dishes with suggestions for simple side dishes) as well as a grocery list. Once you shop for all the items on your list, you have everything you need to prepare a week's worth of healthy and tasty dishes for your family. Most recipes take about 30 minutes or less to prepare. I love this concept! The subscription to the newsletter is $4.95/month, $26.50 for months or $47.50 for one year. You can view a sample newsletter on the site or purchase back issues for $1.50 each.

There is also a Six O'Clock Scramble cookbook available for purchase. I received my copy a couple of days ago and it's already made it to my stack of favorite cookbooks. The first recipe I tried from the book is called Three Cheese, Spinach Orzo Bake. It was simple to put together and delicious. I really like this cookbook because it includes lots of option for meals. There are meat dishes, seafood dishes and meatless meals. Most of the meat dishes offer vegetarian options as well. This is a great book for out family because the recipes include plenty of vegetables and grains and things that are healthy while still maintaining a kid friendly approach too preparing them. There are also lots of great tips throughout the book such as how to choose safer produce for our children and ideas for feeding babies and toddlers.

If you want to save money eating out when you are in a hurry, give this site and cookbook a try! I think you'll be glad you did. :)