Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thanksgiving and Family

Hello there.  We have been super busy here in the Silva house.  Girl scout cookies and Cub Scout popcorn had us out and about.  Delivering most of our cookies today and then we should be done.  What a relief. 
I have been getting the holiday spirit lately, have you?  I listened to Christmas music and already want to decorate!  We are having some wonderful company for Thanksgiving and are getting really excited.  What a great time of the year!  I am trying to come up with a plan for the time they will be here.  As always my thoughts are on what everyone is going to eat and how to have it easily prepared.  My thoughts are turning of course to normal family favorite dinners.  I love to cook new things, but now is really not the time to try something new.  You should usually test on your immediate family!  So I think we are going to have:

Stir Fry with rice
Chili on Black Friday
Black Bean Enchiladas

I am still trying to add some more.  We are having company for around 10 days.  I know that we will have quite a bit of leftovers from Thanksgiving.  That makes the end of the week easier for us.  I did end up buying a 24+ lb turkey and a nice ham.  So I might make my Potato Soup with some of the leftover ham.  I did something a little different this yr with my company.  Normally we all cook together and to be honest it gets a little frazzled.  So this yr I asked my sister-in-law Maile to make the desserts.  I also asked my mother-in-law to make appetizers.  I am in charge of the main meal.  This is what I am going to make:

Broccoli Salad
Green Bean Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes

Maile is also going to make sweet potato casserole.  She has a great recipe and her husband loves it and it is like a dessert ;)!  So that sounded good to me.  What are you guys making for the holidays?  What is your favorite dish to eat?   As I said before we are really excited to spend time with them.  It is so fun and relaxed.  We also have a tradition to go out Black Friday shopping.  We normally leave extremely early.  The grandparents watch all of the little ones, which total 7 this yr.  We shop and have fun and go to breakfast.  I just love it!  So many memories we create every year.  And do you know what? Even if you aren't spending the holidays with your extended family this year, make it SPECIAL.  Make memories that will last a lifetime!  And throughout the holidays, don't forget to smile and breathe. It isn't the perfect that makes good memories it is the fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Monday and Warehouse Clubs???

I know it is nasty out, rainy and just plain yuk.  So instead of putting up the fall Menu Plan Monday I wanted to pretend it is still summer. That is OK right?  Just a little bit of tricking the mind.  After all tricks are what this week is about.  Trick or Treat! 
Are you guys all ready for the little scary people to come and want your candy? I am.  I did not wait until the last minute, I bought all of our candy Fri night.  Now lets just honestly hope that we don't eat it all before Halloween.  Don't laugh, I know you have done it before too! 
Anyway.  We are trying to eat a little more healthy and a little more budget friendly of course.  So I went to BJ's Warehouse Club on Sat with my little fam.  I told myself: "Self" if we are going to do this we must only buy our meat and salad there today.  "self" listened.  We did good.  We got a great price on chicken breast,  fresh salmon and sweet potatoes.   Do you guys shop at big warehouse stores?  Do you find it helps with your budget?  Which one do you frequent most? Let me know as we consider buying a membership.  We have been members before at diff clubs, but we always were a little scared of the scenario: you just can't get out of there without spending $250.  And then of course you just have to go the grocery store to get some stuff.  Anyway here is my menu for the week.  Pretty basic, but hopefully pretty yum.  Take care.  And stay tuned as I have a new name for my blog coming soon.

Monday: Salmon with brown rice and a salad
Tuesday: Hubby is gone: Crescent roll somethings.......;)
Wednesday: Friends coming over: Pizza for the kids and Salads for the adults
Thursday: Chicken with sweet potatoes and salad
Friday: Enchilada Casserole
Sat: Chicken with corn and salad
Sunday: Salmon with sweet potatoes and of course salad!

If you have any great recipes for healthy salmon or chicken please let me know. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Dumplings

Here it is.... Apple season.  As many of you know we went and picked a bushel of apples a couple weeks ago.  We really have done nothing super special with them other than snack on them.  We have about a 1/3 left.  Well this past weekend my church, Crossbridge, had an apple carry in.  So needless to say I had to use some of these babies up.  So began my search.  I must confess I don't really care for apples.  I like a few varieties of them to snack on, but apple desserts aren't my cup of tea.  So I scanned some of my cookbooks and came upon this super simple apple dumpling recipe.  It takes probably 10 minutes to prep and then it is baking and you are done.  It also takes some quick convenient foods from the grocery.  I did get alot of great reviews at church.  I think you will really enjoy it. 
(Also this can be done in the crock pot.  I have never liked baking in mine, but go ahead and try it.  Just load everything up and turn it on high for 4-5 hrs with the lid cracked open.)

Apple Dumplings:

2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
2-3 apples, I used 3 diff apples to mix up the texture and taste
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 cup of Mountain Dew, yep that is right.

Peel and thinly slice apples.  Unroll crescent rolls and roll inside 3 pieces of thin apples, using the diff kinds.  Place in a greased 9x13 pan, can crowd if needed.  Melt butter and add sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour over each crescent.  Now pour over your Mountain Dew.  Put in the oven at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.  I served these at room temp and they were great.  I also for my church made them smaller sized by cutting the crescent rolls in 1/2 and then rolling up the apples.  Seemed to be the perfect size when you are feeding a large crowd.  Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan

Here is my menu plan.  Starting tomorrow I am reviewing recipes, I have some yummy ones, plus getting my house together after a busy weekend!

LoMein + Taking an extra dish to a friends.
Kale, Pink Beans and Ham
Grilled Chicken and Veggies
Curry and Rice

I will post again on Friday for my upcoming week.  Take care guys.
Recipe review this week for Apple Dumplings.  So quick, easy and delicious so check back!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Menu Plan

Here I am again.  Don't worry about the look of the blog, I am just fiddling around.  I am trying to make it suit me better.  I also am trying to come up with a catchy name for the blog. Any ideas?  If so please let me know.  This week is going to be all about family favorites.  Here goes:

Grandma's Sloppy Joe's! Yummy!
Pork Chops with Gnocchi
Chicken and Rice
Jeannie's Chicken and Rice Casserole

Very easy meals and some comfort foods make a good week for me.  Roman has started selling cub scout popcorn and Caitlin starts selling girl scout cookies tonight .  Yikes!  Tomorrow starts a ladies bible study so I am making a treat to bring there.  Plus, I am trying to add in canning this week.  Really hoping that I can get that done and over with so I won't worry about it anymore.  Easy and yummy foods that I know my family will eat is sometimes the best way to go when you are crunched on time.  Hoping you all have a blessed week. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe Reviews!

I have been really behind on writing about all of the recipes that we have been making.  I always like to let people know when it failed or when it was a success.  Here they are:

1.Blender Fudge Pie:  Now the name is really ridiculous. It must have a better name.  It is really good.  The recipe does make 2 pies.  I made one fresh the first night and then I made one cooked it and then froze it wrapped in tinfoil.  That was the best one!!!  It seemed to thicken up a little and have a more refined taste.  Kind of like my jar of last yrs canned apple butter.  Tastes better later.........  If you want something really and I mean really east then by all means make this.  Don't scrimp on the crust though.  I bought Wegmans rolled pie crust and that was yuck, must buy a good one or make a good one.  Here is the link:

2.Homemade Chili Seasoning:  Normally I buy the little packets of seasoning. I realized the other day that I was out and was making turkey chili. Oops, so while searching I came across this recipe and it is wonderful.  I am sure that you have everything in your cupboard to make this.  If you don't have every little spice mix it up. Just don't leave out the main seasonings: like chili powder.  Also you might want to cut the red pepper flakes in 1/2 if you have little tots in the house, it was a tad bit spicy. Here is the recipe and I will add underneath it my recipe for chili that was so easy and delicious.
Sorry I didn't save the link so if this is yours please take credit and thanks for a great keeper.

Chili Seasoning
1/4 cup of flour
4 t chili powder
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T garlic powder
2 t white sugar
2 t cumin
2 t parsley
2 t salt
1 t basil
1/4 t pepper

Mix all together.  I added in my recipe of turkey chili about 3-4 T of this mix.  Just do it to your taste. Save the rest in a baggie or Tupperware.

Turkey Chili:
1 T oil
1/2 diced small onion
1 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans of chili beans
2 cans of diced tomatoes
3-4 T of chili seasoning
water if you like it thinner

Heat oil in skillet and then add onion and celery.  Cook for 3 minutes on med and then add turkey, breaking up with back of wooden spoon.  When cooked through add your chili beans undrained and your tomatoes undrained.  Add 3-4 T of chili seasoning from above and cook on med for 1/2 hour.  If you like your chili thinner then add a little water.  Your choice.  We like our chili on rice so it is nice when it is thick.

That is all for today. Hope your week has been wonderful and will see you back here Fri for my menu plan.  Take care!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Menu Plan + Apple butter link with additional link to applesauce recipe! ENJOY!

I can't believe it is Friday already, but I am prepared!  It does feel so good to have a menu, grocery list and to come home after the grocery store with exactly what I need for the week.  This week I have decided to do easy and yummy family favorites.  No muss no fuss here. 
Tomorrow we are going apple picking!  We are so excited.  We started this last year with the kids.  Hayride and then picking.  It is lots of fun.  Last year I canned apple butter and it is delicious.  We just opened our last jar and it tastes even better!  I also made applesauce and froze some too.  I really do enjoy making it.  It is not that hard and the kids really enjoy it.  The plan is I am going to do the same things this yr.   I am going to pick a bushel this yr maybe 2.  They really do last a while in the garage when it is chilly. 
So on to my menu plan:

Chicken taco salad with oven crisped corn tortillas
Chili with rice
Apple pork chops
Baked chicken with a salad
C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night
Chicken and dumplings
Pork fried rice
Saurkraut and sausage in the crockpot

*Sometimes I don't put my side dishes down.  I will choose that day what I want.  I always have some frozen and fresh veggies and rice and potatoes.  I just do what I feel like.

Here is the recipe that I had great success with for apple butter.  It also has a link for the applesauce.  I did peel my apples for the applesauce and I did NOT use a special gadget like a sieve to make mine smooth.  It just gradually cooked down and we do like our applesauce just a little chunky.  If I would use something to make smooth I would use an immersion blender.  So easy.  Give it a try.  I think you will love both recipes!