2/13/18

A small group this last week, 8 adults, 1 tweenager and three toddlers.  In celebration of Valentines Day, we had an apple cider pork roast, heart-shaped roasted butternut squash, roasted potatoes and of course delicious homemade bread. And the pièce de résistance individual Neopolitan Napoleons.

It was determined early on in the conversation that we are not big individual celebrators of Valentines Day.

(But the girls all got their Valentines socks and the oldest got a how to draw horses book.)

Because if they do it because they have to get you something does it even count?

My littles actually ate their way through their dinner… and a few other peoples plates, they weren’t picky whos lap they were sitting on.

So can you tell what I did differently with the roast?  I’m looking for feedback.

Well, it would make terrible stew, but probably amazing BBQ sandwiches.

We talked about job interviews, hockey games, puppy classes and farm animals.

Hey, do you want to take the sled and go off the roof?

Umm, no…

Don’t ask the other one,

She’ll do it.

Dessert was presented, my oldest passing out the confections Mom was creating, and everyone waiting quietly in awe for theirs.

What do you call these?

Neopolitans.

Well technically they are Napoleons

Because they are small?

I guess they are actually Neopolitan Napoleons, they are strawberry, chocolate, and the vanilla pudding.

Which is the most amazing pastry cream.

About this time my husband showed up… as the baby was helping herself to his potatoes.

Better fluff that up so it looks like there is more food there.

Hey, I tried!

What happened?

Dad got stranded on the side of the road, had to go rescue him.

Meanwhile, over in the living room, my middle girl is literally standing on a pedestal declaring herself THE BEST QUEEN EVER! While her little sister was doing her best to dethrone the self-proclaimed queen.

Which of course inspired conversation of the Royal family’s pending wedding, the succession of royalty, Mary Queen of Scots and various other royal considerations.

It also resulted in my little Queen knighting the neighbor in order to fight dragons.  He wisely declared fidelity to her and was spared being slain with the lincoln log.

And yes Mom, we all loved the strawberry roses!!!

 

 

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Egg Noodles

I am not really sure why it has taken me so long to post this recipe.  We seriously eat it every opportunity I get.  Beef Stroganoff has been my favorite, forever.  Not until recently, however, have I started making my own noodles.  The noodles are easy, taste great and the kids can help me because it’s pretty hard to screw up!  If you don’t want to make your own noodles, store bought noodles are just fine.  I have used everything from NoYolks to tri-colored whatever I had in the pantry…

 

Beef Stroganoff

1 steak (about 1 pound) very thinly sliced*

1 medium onion thinly sliced (any variety is fine)

1/2 cup mushrooms thinly sliced (optional)

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup flour

2 cups warm beef stock**

1 Tbsp mustard

1/3 cup sour cream

Salt and pepper

In a large skillet (I like my 9 inch cast iron) melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Add the steak, onions and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Brown over medium heat until all the juice is gone and the veggies are tender.  This takes about 15 minutes, depending on how thinly sliced the meat is.

Remove meat from pan and keep warm.  Reduce heat to low, add remaining butter and flour to make a rue.  Using a whisk cook the rue for 3-5 minutes.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Gradually add the warm beef stock, whisking constantly to create a smooth mixture.  Blend in the mustard and sour cream.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.  If the sauce is too thick a 1 Tbsp water or stock at a time until the desired consistency is reached (it’s easy to make it thin, hard to thicken it again).

Add the meat back into the sauce and stir to coat.  Serve warm over noodles.

*If your steak is slightly frozen when you go to slice it, it will be easier to make thin cuts.

**I use beef bullion base, following the directions to make stock, this allows you to adjust the “beefiness” if so desired.

 

Egg Noodles

2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

about 1/2 cup warm water

Mix first three ingredients together with a fork.  Gradually add water until a dough ball is formed.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  Allow the dough to rest covered for 15-30 minutes.  Roll to desired thickness (about 1/8 inch) and cut into strips.  For best results allow the noodles to dry 30-60 minutes before cooking.

To cook:  Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil, add a pinch of salt if desired.  Add noodles and bring back to a boil, cook for 3-5 minutes until tender.  Drain.  (To prevent sticking after draining add 1/2 tbsp butter or olive oil and stir).

 

 

Peach Pie Cinnamon Rolls

I am so excited to share this recipe!  While perusing Pinterest, this little charmer of an idea came into my crosshairs.   Having quite a few cans of peaches left from this summer, I figured it was worth the shot.  Well, it was!  I can’t claim this to be an original idea, but this recipe I am sharing is my own!  You will have extra filling, which is delicious over ice cream or pancakes (my husband refers to them as “crack peaches”)

 

Peach Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Filling:

Prepare a little ahead of time and allow to cool.

1-quart canned peaches, reserve the juice (I use a heavy syrup)

1 TBSP butter

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

tiny pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch*

In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the butter and add the peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch.  Stir to combine, and then stir frequently until mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Allow to cool.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

*If your peaches are extra juicy and not thickening, mix another 1/2 tsp of cornstarch with 1 TBSP reserved juice and add to mixture until thick.

IMG_7934

Rolls:

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp dry yeast

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup butter

In a large bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and un-dissolved yeast and egg.  Combine milk, water and butter and heat until very warm (about 120’F), the butter doesn’t need to melt completely.  Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and beat about 2 minutes on a medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add 1/2 cup flour and beat again on high speed for 2 minutes.  Add enough flour to form a soft, almost sticky dough.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Making the rolls:

Divide dough in half.  Prepare 2 round cake pans with grease and flour.  Pre-heat oven to 375’F.

On a well-floured surface roll out the first half of dough into approximately a 16 X 12-inch rectangle.  Move dough frequently to prevent sticking!

Leaving about 1-2 inches of edge spread 3/4 cup of filling across the length of the rectangle, do not spread over entire rectangle.  Starting with the filling side, roll the dough into a tube shape and cut into 8 equal pieces. Place into prepared pan.

Repeat with second half of dough.  Cover and allow to rise for 15 minutes.  Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and set.

Allow to cool slightly and enjoy as they are, with the extra filling, or caramel or vanilla ice cream!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2/6/18

Deep Dish Pizza!!!???!!!  Yes, folks, it happened, my parents made pizza for dinner, something they said would never happen.  Being a little busy trying to get my kids in some sort of order to eat I did not get an exact count of the pizzas but I believe there were at least 6 on the table.  My favorite was the Spinach and Meatball, followed closely by a mild Italian sausage with green peppers and onions.  Rumor had it there were also pizzas laden with spicy Italian sausages, spinach, olives and other such delicious toppings.  Oh, and there were breadsticks and salad to decorate the plate around the pizza.

The littles also feasted on noodles and tiny meatballs, but  I know mine at least ate a few bites of a slice of pizza too!

There were 14 adults, 2 tweenagers, and 5 toddlers feasting on pizza.

Book any craft shows for the year yet?

Not yet, since my milk source is gone, not sure what direction I am going with the soap yet.  How about you?

Got a few in the books so far.

Dinner started with a bit of a baby brawl when my youngest climbed into her cousins’ high chair and declared her self Yurtle the Turtle, Queen of All She Sees.  My niece was not impressed and gave a fantastic performance of injustice, nearly turning purple.  After a few (like 10-15) minutes of playing musical chairs, all the children were situated in a semi-agreeable arrangement.  Including the one toddler playing contently on the floor with the quacking ducks on a string

Say prayers, please!
Bless this house, Lord we pray, keep us safe by night and day Amen!

Hey, even the ducks were quiet for prayers! Good job buddy!

Mommmmmmmaaaaaaaa!!!!

Yes?

I HAVE TO GO POTTY!!!!

Ok, well go! Run!

I’m going to sit with my friends and eat dinner.

Good idea baby.

Inquires were made over the varieties of pizza, and plates and dishes were passed around until everyone was settled with a variety of their choosing.

Adorable little Valentines envelopes decorated the place settings, handmade by one of our Tuesday Dinner family members.

We talked about scrapbooking, personality quizzes and kids.   How the young man was doing on his mission trip (he joined the local soccer team already!)  We talked about possible promotions and haircuts and hiding food that had spilled onto clothing…

As we started to clear the table, maybe like 3 pieces of pizza were left.  The kids all ran off to play, and happily, there were very few outbreaks of tears.  I think the two big sisters helped keep the peace amongst all those toddlers.

We talked about taking the little kids grocery shopping versus using home shopping services (in case you are wondering, this mama takes her show on the road some days I know we are a sight to be seen!!!).  We talked about scrapbooking or rather the lack thereof, and the pictures my mom had been unearthing recently.

Dessert started making its way to the table, a Lemon Pudding cake that was light and airy and oh so lemony tart! Paired with fresh blueberries it was very tasty!

My little-assumed niece was happily having it spooned into her mouth, which made my heart happy to see a little girl love lemons as much as my oldest did and still does!

Because we are related right?

Absolutely.

As everyone was finishing up and getting ready to head out my mom showed me this picture that she had recently found.  This is the day my first horse Mysteri cam to live with us.  I was about 10 and a half, just about the same age my oldest is now.  Needless to say, I was crying while reminicing.27540894_1997518297179612_8096353031125264778_n

 

 

Happy Birthday Lily and Moira!

It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since these little girls joined us!  I don’t think I can correctly refer to them as babies anymore since they are now both toddling around with great enthusiasm.

To celebrate their birthdays, their mom’s collaborated with my parents to create dinner.  My sister made a Chicken Alfredo casserole with cherry tomatoes, and dinner sister made a lovely salad.  My parents filled in the blanks with Oatmeal Wheat bread and sauteed asparagus with bacon.

Their celebratory cake was my mom’s famous carrot cake, which she decorated.  I don’t think I have mentioned my mom is an outstanding cake decorator and I will have to find her book of some of the amazing cakes she has made over the years.  This was a sheet cake featuring two adorable little owls, also made of cake.

The headcount was a little all over the place until we actually sat down, in the end, we had 13 adults, 2 tweenagers, 3 toddlers, and the two birthday girls.

Can you say prayers, please?

Oh! Do you mind if I do?

Aww, go right ahead!

Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful family, this beautiful day, these beautiful little girls we are celebrating that bring us so much joy.  Thank you for this beautiful meal.  And the wine.  Amen!

Amen!

Did someone write that down?

(I didn’t and I don’t know if it is exactly right but it was beautiful :))

We talked about the tennis tournament competitors that were staying at one of the couples home for the next few days and the tournament itself.

We talked about how much all the littles have grown.

We talked about the new skywalk at Whiting Forest and how the glass broke when bumped by a rock, leading to the contemplation of the PSI of a rock.

My aunt was busy keeping all the littles in line (there was plenty of tears and roughhousing to go around).  We talked about incubators and what types of chickens to raise.

Reminiscing about old jobs and why they are not missed.

My middle child was offended to no end that the birthday party was not for her, and consoled herself by eating one of the owl heads…

A best cake in town competition and why mom would win hands down…