Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roti de Boeuf Arlesien (AKA Swiss Steak)

 Now.....don't let the frenchi-ness of this title scare you. I've mentioned before, one of my grandmothers was indeed of French/Spanish nativity. But I've always referred to this one as simply Swiss Steak. Not to be confused with some "American-ized" versions of so-called Swiss Steak I've seen on some recipe websites. While they may be good, they certainly don't seem close to resembling ours. (By "ours", I suppose I mean, my Mémé, my mother and myself, collectively. We've all served this one as a staple in our individual families.)

Speaking of the Mom Who LOVES to Cook, (as my mother will from here on out be referred to, since I've coined myself, the Mom Who DOESN'T love to Cook), I hope she won't mind that I'm pretty much going to copy and paste from her own recipe post on her Facebook notes. It saves me from more typing than is necessary. :) Thanks Mom.

This recipe for thick steak smothered in onions and tomatoes can be cooked in a Dutch oven on top of a range or in a heavy duty roasting pan in the oven – or my preferred method is to let it simmer all day in a crock pot.  If you are planning to use a crock pot, you’ll want to do the preparation in a roasting pan, large pot or Dutch oven on top of the stove. I use a large stockpot or even a skillet.
My mother’s original recipe specifies a slice of top or bottom round steak 2 inches thick.  Over the years, I think I’ve more generally used a nice thick boneless chuck roast.
What you need:
2-3 lbs. round steak or boneless chuck roast
2 large onions, sliced
one or two 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, or use fresh tomatoes, 6-10 cut/sliced (today I used four 14.5 oz. cans. Yep that's a lot of tomatoes. Mr. Wonderful looooooves how these tomatoes take on all the yumminess of the flavors after they've been simmering all day, so the more the merrier here.)
1 T. chopped parsley
1 crushed garlic clove
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. basil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
How you make it:
1. Salt and pepper both sides of meat. Sear in hot oil both sides. When outside of meat is crisp, remove into crockpot.
2. In meat drippings, saute onion. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, thyme, basil, bay leaves, parsley, garlic, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add mixture to meat in crockpot, and work together. Simmer for 5 hours or until meat is very tender when pricked with a fork.
We serve this over wide egg noodles or for gluten-free, brown rice fusilli noodles. With salad and some crusty bread, (thanks to my fellow-gluten-free-mother-in-law for bringing over some Laurel's GF homemade bread to go with dinner tonight! YUM!) this meal is super-scrumptious and we always have lots for lunch leftovers the next day or days....
So, I guess that means if you want to sample before you make, come stop by for lunch one day this week and see for yourself. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chickety-Chicken Fried Rice

This is some killer chicken fried rice. You will die of eating too much, as I often find myself doing. So, don't do that. Eat a normal portion, if you have the will-power. I dare you. (OK, maybe that was a little over the top, but I didn't have any clever anecdotes for this particular recipe post)

Chicken Fried Rice
What you need:
1 C. diced cooked chicken (This is great made with any leftover cooked chicken or turkey as well. Otherwise, I go the canned route.)
1 T. soy sauce (La Choy is gluten-free)
1 C. uncooked rice
3 T. oil
2 to 2.5 C. chicken broth (for gluten-free, here I'm using Organic Better Than Bouillon)
1/2 C. onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. green pepper, finely chopped (sometimes I use more like 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. celery, sliced thinly or finely chopped (sometimes I use more like 1/2 C.)
1/4 C. peas (sometimes I use more like 1/2 C.)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C. Chinese (napa) cabbage, shredded

How you make it:

Combine chicken and soy sauce and let stand 15 minutes. Cook rice in hot oil in skillet over medium heat till golden brown; stir frequently. Reduce heat; add chicken with soy sauce and broth. Simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove cover last few minutes. Stir in onion, green pepper, celery and peas. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Push rice mixture to sides of skillet. Add eggs; cook until almost set; blend into rice. Stir in cabbage; serve at once with soy sauce.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tender-ist Pork Chops

This is just going to be a super-simple post about making super-tender pork chops. Nothing gourmet or wild here.
Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper on both sides.
Sear in hot oil in skillet on both sides of meat.
Turn down heat to low and add 1/3 C. water and cover with lid.
Simmer anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. (The longer the better.)
Finally, turn up the heat to almost high and move the chops around in the pan as the water evaporates, flipping occasionally. (the meat, that is; not yourself. But if you're gymnastically inclined and that aids in your culinary experience, I don't want to be the one to stop you....)
Keep that going until you get that nice carmelized crust on the pork chop.

We scarfed this down with some roasted potatoes before heading out to the big Blazers/Celtics game---GO BOSTON!! (Yes, sorry, P-towners, we are Celtics fans...)
In case you are interested, potato-wise, they were diced, tossed with olive oil and Johnny's Seasoning Salt, and roasted in the oven on 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, tossing around halfway through.
And in case you were interested, game-wise, GREEN WON! 88-78. And a certain 8-year-old at his first full NBA game in person, learned the hard way about eating stadium hot dogs, cotton candy and soda at 10:00 at night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Signature Salad #1

Ok, yep, it's a salad. For dinner. Kids eat salad for dinner, right?! Well, they should. And I'm tricking you into thinking mine do by including one of their beaming faces in this picture....but in reality, they ate grilled cheese and toasted banana peanut butter sandwiches. But us adults had the good stuff pictured. It's one of my 3 "meal" salads I tend to use over and over. This one's got more of the tex-mex flavor, I suppose. I forgot to include canned or fresh corn and chili powder in the picture. The chili powder is for sprinkling on the chicken.
Signature Salad #1 (#2 and #3 are sure to follow at some point in future blog posts)
What you need:
Romaine lettuce
grape tomatoes, halved or whole
sliced mushrooms
diced peppers, yellow, green or red will do
sliced avocado
canned or frozen/fresh corn
black beans
canned or grilled chicken breast (for canned, the Costco brand is the only one priced reasonably)
shredded mexican blend cheese
crunched up tortilla chips
Lighthouse Organic Caesar dressing (Can be very expensive, normally $5 a bottle. But I stock up when Freddy's regularly puts them on sale for $2.50. I can't go back to any other kind. I am abnormally obsessed.)
How you make it:
Do I really need to explain how to make a salad? Just throw everything in the picture together, MINUS the small child's head, of course. I can't be responsible for any cannibalism. Ew, that's gross and weird. But this salad's da bomb, yo. And if you have kids, maybe you'll be better than me at insisting they eat more salad.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Crockpot Salmon Fillets

This is totally taken/adapted from my favorite blog, (besides this one of course!) the "crockpot lady": These are my pictures, though, and just changed a couple of things, but really not much. I used a lemon instead of a lime (even though I'd much rather have preferred lime, just didn't have any) and added thyme to the mix as well. Otherwise, same recipe. We had it with carrot and broccoli quinoa with garlic salt and pepper, and some clementine slices. Kinda all the same color, now that I look at it, but so it goes. Kids gobbled it up, so that's all that matters. I ended up liking the quinoa and salmon together in one bite, actually. Nice mix of flavors. Oh, and squeezed more lemon slices over the whole plate, both fish and quinoa. So, that's it. Anyway, give it a whirl! You don't really get your crockpot dirty either, 'cause you're just steaming it in a homemade tin foil package, no water in the pot or anything.

Crockpot Lemon or Lime Butter Salmon

What you need:
aluminum foil
2 salmon fillets
1 T. butter, melted
1/2 T. lemon or lime juice, or both
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried minced parsley
2 cloves minced garlic

How you make it:

Spread foil onto the countertop, and put salmon directly in the middle. Melt butter then stir in lemon/lime juice, thyme, pepper, garlic and parsley. Brush mixture all over fish. Fold foil over and crimp sides to make a packet. Put the packet into the bottom of an empty crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hours. It is finished when it flakes easily with a fork.

Regarding the quinoa, if you have questions about making it or what the heck it is, leave a comment and I can clarify anything. For this one, I just put in the raw diced veggies into the pot when the quinoa was cooking and seasoned it with garlic salt and pepper.

Week's Menu and Shopping List

Now, I'm making it SUPER easy for you!! Here's your shopping list for the last 5 recipes. Just copy it and off you go...and you'll have everything you need for dinners and not have to think another thing about it!

I think this will be the best way to do the menu planning on here. I'll post the shopping list for the previous weeks' recipes and there you'll have it. Done and done. Also, I put links to each recipe at the bottom in the side dish suggestion section. "Bon Appetit!" (I just watched Julie and Julia for the first time last night. Had to put that in...)

The Shopping List

eggs, 5-8
cheddar cheese, 1/3 C. grated
sour cream (optional for fajitas)
Parmesan cheese

cooked ham, boneless ham steak or deli slices about 1 C.
Ground beef or turkey, 1 lb.
boneless skinless chicken breast, 3 lbs.
Italian sausage, 1-1.5 pounds

tomato paste, one 8 oz can
tomato sauce, two 15 oz. cans
diced tomatoes, 2 cans

noodles, spaghetti (or brown rice spaghetti for gluten-free)
noodles, bow tie (or brown rice fusilli for gluten-free)
tortillas (corn for gluten-free)

whole garlic cloves, 1 full bulb will do and be enough extra for future use.
green pepper
potatoes, 2
onions, 5
zucchini, 3
tomato, 1
(optional for fajitas)
fresh or frozen green beans
lemon juice, 1/2 C. or lemons, 2-3

bay leaves
poultry seasoning
chili powder
garlic salt
bacon bits
Dijon mustard
red wine vinegar

taco sauce (optional for serving with fajitas)
bouillon, 5 cubes or 5 tsp, or 5 C. stock (check ingredients for gluten-free, I used "Better Than Bouillon" from Costco)

Because I'm going the extra mile for you, list for suggested side dishes:
salad fixings to go with
spaghetti and also sausage soup
corn or rice to go with fajitas and also yummy chicken
fresh fruit to go with

All this is taking into consideration you have the following basics on hand already, (if not, add them to your list):

Olive Oil
Canola Oil

Friday, January 21, 2011

Flippin' Omelets

Kid-free Friday night here! {{Holla!!}} Yeah, we're having dinner at 11:00PM, because at dinnertime we had a super-healthy meal of white cheddar popcorn and Dairy Queen Blizzards. Because apparently, we are "Parents Gone Wild" when the kids go to grandma and grandpa's house.
So, now at this time of night, it seems omelets is what's cookin'! So, you most likely don't need an omelet "recipe", since you might be familiar with beating a few eggs, pouring them in a hot skillet and adding your veggies, meats, cheese, whatever your fancy and then folding to finish. But if you're making one to serve many and therefore aren't folding it, you have to flip it. And flip it, you will, without getting slimy raw egg all over you from the uncooked side falling all over the place. Read on to discover how.
What I used this time:
5 eggs; beaten
2 potatoes; peeled, diced
shredded sharp cheddar
cooked ham; diced
5 eggs is a good amount for 2 people, I'd estimate. When the kids are here, I'd use 8 or so. And I love to add spinach too; I was just too lazy to go out into the garage refrigerator for some. Yep, that's pretty darn lazy. :) But really, you can be super-basic with this and just do eggs and potatoes. We dip that version in ketchup.
How you make it:
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet, add potatoes and season with pepper. Fry those up for a few minutes and cover with a lid on lower heat till they're fully cooked and not crunchy raw. Pour in the eggs, then add your other stuff, in this case, ham and cheese. Cover with lid and continue to let cook on medium to medium low heat. Once it's firmed up a bit and golden brown on the bottom, you get to flip it now! Make sure the omelet is loose around the edges so that it's ready to flip. You can add some more oil to the sides and work it around to loosen if it feels stuck. So, grab a platter or what I like to use: a pie plate since it's got higher edges than a platter or plate, and with the help of a large spatula, slide it onto the pie plate, uncooked side still up. Keep the pie plate in your hand, don't put it down, it makes the next part difficult, if you do. Now take your skillet and turn it upside down to cover the pie plate like a lid. Turn it back over and remove the pie plate. Done. Huge, honkin' omelet is magically flipped. Cover and continue to cook on low/med heat till done.
Serve with fresh fruit.
Voila! I hope you like it! Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or midnight dinner, in our case.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Spaghetti, UNjarred

Not to say there aren't some recipes in a pinch, which I do use an occasional jar of store-bought basic marinara, THIS is the real deal and a must have if it's to serve as a sauce over noodles. Homemade spaghetti sauce de ma grand-mère, a.k.a Mémé. You'll be hooked and hopefully not go back. (C'mon...with all those accents over the e's I just used, you gotta know this is good. Ha!)

Now, don't be thinkin' this is too time-consuming or anything, just because it's from scratch, 'cause I'm gonna tell you my little tricks/tips that I use, to aim for 10 minute prep, so it can start it's happy little 45 minute simmer. So, yes, you need about an hour from when you plan to serve it if you want the best flavor. But it's mostly just an occasional stir while overseeing some 2nd grader homework time. Ahh, the life of the multi-tasking mommy...

Spaghetti Sauce
What you need:
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1 small onion, diced small
2 cans of tomato sauce, 15 oz each or four 8oz cans.
1 can of tomato paste, 6 oz.
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed (I don't know the proper cooking term, but you peel, and give it a little whack with one of the cans of tomato sauce or the flat edge of a knife, so that it's barely, slightly crushed, but still in tact. Obviously, don't eat them if they get into your serving, unless you're like Mr. Wonderful and love eating them whole. He's crazy, but I love him.
3 or 4 bay leaves
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 T. sugar
How you make it:
Here's the time-efficient instructions. Heat up some canola or other veggie oil in saucepan over med-high heat. While it's heating, dice the onion. Sauté the onion till very soft. The longer you let it sauté, the less bitter it will be and more sweet, which really makes a difference in the flavor of the sauce. So, about 5 minutes. Just don't do a quick 60 second sauté, that's all I'm sayin'. Now, to save time, I always use the onion cooking time to measure out all the spices into a little dish, so that when it's time for them, you just dump it all in. You don't have to stir the onion continuously, so it works out for inbetween stirs to put together the garlic, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, and sugar and leave in a little bowl to the side.

Add ground beef and break up and cook till browned. (Open tomato sauce and tomato paste cans in between stirs of browning the meat to save time too.) Drain the fat. Turn down heat to med/low, and add sauce and paste and dump in the spices that were set aside. Give it all a good stir and cover for a 30-45 minute simmer, stirring occasionally and turn down heat to low as to not burn the bottom.

Serve over spaghetti noodles topped with some parm. (of course, we used Trader Joe's brown rice version, but whatever you prefer is great, as well.)

We had it with a nice green salad and also some green beans for the youngins who don't usually eat enough salad for my liking.

This may seem long and wordy, but it's just to explain my little time-saving tidbits. It's really pretty basic and I'm sure those out there who have made spaghetti sauce before will probably have a pretty similar, if not identical recipe. There's nothing too surprising here. Except how super-scrumptious it is. :)

Give it a whirl and let me know whatcha think! My Mémé would be so proud.
*Note: You can freeze any extra, (I think it makes quite a bit of sauce for our little fam of three small boys + parents) and do a "leftover spaghetti casserole" by mixing it with some cooked penne pasta and grated parmesean, topped with mozzerella and a little more parm. Bake in the oven on 375 for about 20 min or till heated through. It's basic, but it does the job in a pinch.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fajita Night!!

Who doesn't love fajitas??! Well, my Mr. Wonderful, that's who. But, the SANE people in the house, i.e., the kiddos and me, LOVE LOVE LOVE them. And so we end up making a point to have them when the hubby's gone for work or for some reason won't be able to eat dinner with us. And it's turned into a fun way to distract the kids from being bummed that Daddy is gone. I just proclaim, "Fajita Night!!" And all is well. So, here's what we do. And PAH-LEASE, do not waste money on those fajitas seasoning packets, I've seen in the store. Ya don't need 'em. Trust me. So here ya go:

Chicken Fajitas
What you need:2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
1 small lime, juiced
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 medium onion, cut into strips
1/4 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 small tomato, cut into wedges (optional)
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
garlic salt
tortillas, corn or flour. (corn of course, for gluten-free)
taco sauce and/or sour cream, optional for those who like it served with these.

*please note the comments section, as I was reminded of the need to add an ingredient*
How you make it:
Pour lime juice over chicken strips; add green pepper, onion and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.

Heat 2-3 T. of oil in skillet over low heat. Add chicken mix; increase temp to medium high and quickly stir fry until chicken is no longer pink.

Reduce heat, cover with lid and simmer until veggies are tender. (10 min or so.)

Warm tortillas in microwave or oven. Serve with taco sauce and sour cream.
There. Done. Easy. Enjoy. (Unless you're one of the insane ones in your house, in which case, you won't.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Yummy" Chicken and "The Best Ever" Green Beans

**This one needs about 3 hours marinating time, so plan ahead if you are looking to make this one. But it's still SUPER DUPER easy and NOT time-consuming, PROMISE!**

Yummy Chicken (A.K.A. Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast) was coined when I was little by my dad who was labeling the leftovers in the frig and didn't know the name of it, but that it was simply yummy. So, it has remained that name ever since. That's what my whole family knew it by and now my own kiddos as well. And the green beans come from the mother-in-law of my sister-in-law, Jenae, who I mentioned in my first blog post--follow that?? These beans are so addicting, I often eat the whole bowl practically by myself. Yes, green beans. You will love them. You must make them. Like tonight. Do it. You will thank me.

Yummy Chicken

What you need:

1/2 C. lemon juice

1.5 T. dijon mustard

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1/4 C minced onion

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. thyme

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

How you make it:

Whisk together the lemon juice and mustard. Follow with oil, onion, salt and thyme.

With a sharp knife, score both sides of each piece of chicken in a cross-hatch pattern about 1/8 inch deep. Place chicken in a large ziplock bag and add the marinade. Lay flat and refrigerate for 3 hours, flipping the bag halfway through to make sure it gets evenly distributed. (HINT: It's nice to have this on hand in the freezer for days when prep time doesn't exist. So, make extra marinade and freeze extra chicken in it for another night, You will thank yourself and have skipped the drive-thru.)
Arrange chicken on a broiler pan (don't have one, you say?? That's crazy. Get one. I use it ALL the time. They're like 10 bucks at Target if your oven didn't handily come with one. Most do, I think.) and grill on a high broil heat for 5-7 minutes each side, turning once. It is done when inside is no longer pink. Be sure not to overcook or it will be too dry.

Jenae's MIL's Best Ever Green Beans

I'm doing this one from memory, so if I've got it wrong, Jenae, you can tell me. :)
What you need:
Onion, some sliced, and some minced. (I like the combo of the two, in the finished product)
Olive oil
Fresh or frozen green beans
Bacon bits
How you make it:

Sauté about 1/4 of an onion, sliced; and a couple cloves of minced garlic in olive oil in hot skillet until onion is tender. Add a bunch of fresh green beans (sprinkle with pepper and salt, if you like) and continue to sauté for another few minutes. Turn down heat and cover for 15-20 min, stirring occasionally. Finally, throw in some bacon bits, as many as to your taste, and cover and continue to let cook for another 15-20 min., stirring occasionally. With these, we like them really really really soft. With the crunchy bacon, garlic and onion, it's a delish combo.
No go forth and conquer!! And if you have a better name you'd like to call the chicken, like Lemon/Mustard Marinated or something like that, be my guest. But you can't blame my dad for aptly naming it simply "Yummy".

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Italian Sausage Soup and The Mom Who Doesn't Love to Cook But Does it Anyway

Wow, here I am again. As promised, let's get some RECIPES going, shall we?!

First, I must explain the title of this post.
I want to answer the complaint that I hear from so many women my age that they don't know how to put together basic home cooked meals that aren't from a box or can. And aren't tacos, spaghetti or grilled cheese. While I do, in fact, make those things, and actually have amazing and easy recipes for them, in my opinion, there are other ways to feed your family good stuff that's not boring, not junk, and not difficult. But it is a matter of priority. Some people just don't make it a priority. I didn't know that. The funny thing is, and I've said this before; I don't love to cook! I don't really like to cook. But I like to eat good food and I learned some stuff growing up, and was able to carry it through to my family now and they appreciate eating real food, made by me, I think. I hope, if women saw that it doesn't have to be intimidating, they will enjoy doing it, at least for the sake of their family and finances. Because that's really where I fall. I see that it benefits my family and finances and also....I like to eat.
So, here goes nothin'. I'd like to eventually have a menu posted for the week with an ingredient/shopping list. That way, you REALLY don't have to think about it and it's done for you. For the first little bit, I think I'm just going to post one recipe at a time and will hopefully have posted the basic "recipe pool" after a while, that I tend to rotate. And from there, I can start doing a more in-depth weekly menu planner. That's the plan for now anyway. Baby steps for me since I've never done this whole blogging thing before.
Oh! And speaking of that...I know I'm totally not a great photographer AT ALL. So, here's my apologies in advance for not magazine quality food photos. But I will do my best to make them not look totally gross. :)

So, here we go: We'll start with kind of a fan favorite that I've gotten the most feedback from in the past. Mr. Wonderful's favorite. Italian Sausage Soup.
(By the way, all the recipes will be gluten-free, for the most part, I think. They are the same ones I've been making for years before going gluten-free. Now I just substitute the right kind of noodles or flour or bouillon or soy sauce, or whatever it may be. No biggie. So, I will be noting those differences along the way.)

What you need:
1-1.5 pounds mild italian sausage (casing removed) (Safeway's store brand is specifically labeled gluten-free, as are many)

2 cloves garlic (pressed) (If you have a question about pressing garlic, PLEASE don't hesitate to comment below your question or email me.)

2 chopped onions

1-2 cans diced tomatoes

1/2 C. red wine vinegar
(Dade, a.k.a. Mr. Wonderful, likes it stronger, so I use more)
5 C. beef stock (pictured here is Organic Better Than Bouillon, from Costco. Based on the ingredient list, appears gluten-free. And low-sodium, which I love. Try it! Super yummy!)

1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

3 T. parsley

3 zucchini chopped

2 C. bow tie (farfalle) noodles (For gluten-free, I used Trader Joe's brown rice fusilli noodles. My original picture at the top, is from making this before going gluten-free. It has the bowtie noodles, which I think are prettier in the soup, but haven't found any bowties that are gluten-free yet, not that the shape matters at all, really!)

How you make it:
Brown sausage in saucepan or whatever pot you are using to make the soup. Sauté garlic and onion in fat. Add tomatoes, vinegar, beef stock, basil, oregano and parsley. Simmer for 30 min. Add noodles and cook 10 min. Finally, add zucchini, and cook another 5 min. Serve with grated parmesean on top.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First Post--yep, that's what I'm naming the first post. (I am super creative at 12:30 in the morning)

Yup. First Blog Post here. This may become addicting. Here goes nothin'....

This blog was started when peer pressure collided with my own desire.

Driving down the road this very morning, I had the distinct thought, "I really should actually and truly start a cooking/recipe blog." So, the thoughts started churning more seriously as I drove; while a beat-boxy rendition of "Wheels on the Bus" bopped around mes enfants in the back of my super-fly swagger wagon.

Minutes later, upon arriving at home and somewhat habitually opening up the all-important email, I see a Facebook post from my sis-in-law with nearly the same words, "I think you should start a food blog." and her reasons why, most of them self-serving (love ya, Jenae!), followed by an array of supporter comments by other of my FB peeps who apparently read and actually MAKE some of my recipes I'm frequently posting.
(Yikes! Was that seriously one long sentence, just now?! My brain is out of breath...)

So, as you can see, I could not ignore the cyber-gods, who were obviously conspiring.

More next time, second post to be titled, "The Mom Who Doesn't Love to Cook But Does it Anyway", on my recipes and menus and what you will hopefully find here; and other motivations that have been making me want to do this in the first place.

I've gotta go rest up for more swagger-wagon-toddler-tune-beat-boxin' awaiting me in the morning.