Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brunch In The Boondocks

Brunch In The Boondocks
Originally uploaded by boondockma
Thanks to DJ, at The Flour Alchemist, we had Stuffed French Toast for brunch today. I only made a couple changes to his recipe. We lightened it up just a wee bit by substituting whole milk for the cream he called for. We also used Neufchatel cheese, rather than cream cheese (an option he mentioned), and we warmed up some canned cherry pie filling I had picked up awhile back and never got around to using. and used that in place of syrup. We also ended up making it "sandwich" style as we couldn't find whole loaves of french bread at the store we ended up at this last week.

It was delicious! Nathan had 3 1/2 servings! Lindsay had 1 1/2, as did I. Pa only had one serving. He complained that it didn't taste like french toast. I explained that was understandable considering he dumped close to half a pie worth of filling on top of it! LOL

Thank you DJ for a great recipe!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fun In The Kitchen With Lindsay

Now that Christmas is put away, the memories are all stowed safely away in our hearts, it's time to get back to the more normal day to day memory making activities. For us that includes homeschool.

We just finished our latest Social Studies lesson which we all found quite interesting. We learned a lot about Israel this last couple weeks. I think everyone's favorite part though, was the ending, which took place yesterday.

Although this last project was mostly Lindsay's doing, we all benefitted from her presentation , and I enjoyed spending time with her as I helped out just a wee bit.

One of Lindsay's favorite pasttimes these days is spending time in the kitchen, so it was with great enthusiasm that she tackled her chosen project. She washed her hands with warm water and soap, and began collecting her ingredients.

We started with the stewed tomatoes. Since she's a bit leary of dealing with sharp knives I diced 2-3 Tbsp. worth of green bell peppers and about 1/3 cup of onion. Lindsay then opened a 15-1/2 oz. can of diced tomatoes. She popped the tomatoes, along with the diced vegetables into a sauce pan and added 1/2 tsp salt, 1 rounded Tbsp. sugar and about 16 turns of pepper from the pepper mill. She stirred it up real good and placed it on the burner on medium high heat. I cut up about 1-1/2 cups worth of bread into cubes and set it aside for her.

Next she got started on the main dish. Chicken Schnitzel, we learned, is a popular dish in Israel, especially with the children. To begin, she whipped up 2 eggs in a bowl.
Ya Gotta Beat Some Eggs
Next she measured about a cup of Panko (unseasoned) into another bowl, to which she added 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, salt and paprika, and about 24 turns from the pepper mill. She mixed that up real good and spread it out on a plate. She then measured about 1/2 cup of flour into the now empty bowl. Yes! One less dish to wash later!

Then the fun began! She lined her ingredients up in a row, first the flour, then the eggs and finally, the now seasoned Panko. She gave her tomatoes a stir, added some oil (we used Olive oil) to a large skillet and set it to heating up, grabbed the 4 slightly flattened chicken breast halves and got to work. First she placed the chicken pieces in flour, turning them to coat both sides. Then she gave them a dip in the egg mixture before popping them on the plate of Panko. She coated them real good with that and placed them on another plate while she repeated the process until all 4 pieces were ready.
The Egg Wash
About this time she just couldn't stand it any more! She had to go wash all that sticky mess from her hands! She got the green beans started, turned the tomatoes down to low, gave them another stir, and we determined the oil was hot enough so she placed the chicken in the pan. It took maybe 4 minutes on the first side then, using tongs she turned them over to cook the other side, while Nathan and I were busy setting the table. When everything else was about ready Lindsay stirred the bread cubes into the tomatoes before serving everything up.
Dinner Is Served
By then end of the meal we could all understand why this chicken dish is so popular with the younger set, and I'm guessing the young at heart as well, in Israel. It was delicious! This is one meal we'll be repeating!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just Readin' Ma!

Reading In The Sun
Originally uploaded by boondockma
One of the kids' favorite pastimes is reading. With the exception of Saturday mornings, it's usually the first thing they do after getting up. It's also one of their favorite things to do in the afternoon when they're finished with school. There have been times, when it's really nice outside that we've practically had to force them to put their books down and go outside for some fresh air. More than once we've glanced outside and been surprised to find that, although they have gone outside as requested, they managed to sneak their books out as well. There we see them, sprawled out on the ground, taking advantage of the suns rays as they continue their reading. Ah well. At least they're getting some fresh air!
Lost In A Book

Other than Saturday movie nights, and Sunday Family Game night, reading is usually their activity of choice in the evenings before getting ready for bed. You'd think that would be enough reading time for two really quite active youngsters, but no, once they've changed into their PJs, and brushed their teeth, they each grab at least one book to take in with them to bed. There's been more than one time I've gone in to check on them before retiring to bed myself and found it necessary to inform them they needed to wrap it up and go to sleep.
Reading In Bed
This is what I found when stopping in to check on Nathan at 10 o'clock last night.
Caught Ya!
I suppose there are worse things for ones children to be so enamored with.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Fun With Ice Cream!...And A Recipe!

Yesterday, one of our cats was just curious enough to brave helping the kids make dessert.

This year we found ourselves in the rare situation of actually having leftover egg nog! In contemplating this dilemna, I came up with the idea of using one of the kids' Christmas gifts to use the egg nog up in a way that did not require the use of a drinking vessel.

Nick and Kimmi were the inspiration for this Christmas gift, the Ice Cream Ball! A few years ago they visited and brought along their Ice Cream ball. The kids had so much fun with it that we were just sure they'd enjoy having one of their own. We opted for the Mega version which makes a quart.

After washing the new ball inside and out, we filled the one end up with ice cubes and 1 cup of Ice Cream salt. We closed that end up and turned the ball over. Then we mixed 3 cups of egg nog (we used Lucerne) and 1 cup of heavy cream. To this we added 1/4 tsp. each nutmeg and vanilla. We poured this mixture into the other end of the ball and closed it up. Then I grabbed the camera as the kids headed outside with the ball.

The Relay
Even though it is pink (not the most masculine color I'm told), Nathan joined in and the kids, as well as the cat had a great time shaking, rolling and chasing the ball around the yard.
Are You Sure It's Not Ready Yet ??
After about 30 minutes we brought the ball inside and opened it up to discover a creamy soft serve eggnog ice cream that we all enjoyed for dessert.
Sweet Success
As this was a family dessert we did not include any spirits in the recipe. If it were for adults only, I may have added a bit of good rum to the mixture (maybe 1/4 cup?) I also think it would've turned out fine using 4 cups eggnog, omitting the cream, although we rather liked the fresh taste the cream added.

Hope you all are enjoying your last weekend of Winter vacation!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Dinner

New Years Dinner
Originally uploaded by boondockma
Lindsay was itching to put her new cookbook, Taste Of Home's Simple & Delicious Cookbook to use so I suggested perhaps she'd like to fix our New Years Day dinner this year. She thought that was a great idea and had a fine time in the kitchen! Once she was done we all enjoyed the fruits of her labor.

She prepared Ginger-Apple Pork Chops along with Sesame Green Beans. She rounded out the meal with cornbread muffins. What a Yummy way to begin the new Year!