March 31, 2011 § 4 Comments
Here’s my Salisbury Steak recipe, as promised. I created this on the fly one night when I needed to use up some ground meat. This recipe is a great one for using up any ground meat you have sitting in the freezer. This can be made with either ground turkey, beef or chicken. I used ground turkey in mine, but feel free to use whichever you like. My 6-year-old does not like to try new foods. I actually was able to convinced him to try this recipe and he gobbled it up. Figured this recipe was a keeper after that.
- 1 and 1/4 lb. ground turkey, beef or chicken
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups of stock
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix the ground meat with Worcestershire, ketchup, onion powder, egg, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Form them into round or oblong patties about 1 inch thick. Should make 4 – 6 patties, depending on how big you make them. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil has gotten hot, place in the patties. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. You want a nice crust to form on each side of the patty. Remove them from pan and place them on a plate. Set aside. Add sliced onions to pan with the remaining oil and tablespoon of butter. Cook onions for about 15 minutes (until tender with a slight caramelization). Once they’ve softened and browned up, add a tablespoon of flour to the pan. Mix and cook for a minute or so. Add in the stock, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Once sauce thickens up, add the patties back into the pan. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Flip the patties over in the gravy at least once during this process. Note: If the gravy thickens up more than you like, add in more stock until you reach the consistency you like. Serve over mashed potatoes. Yummy!
March 30, 2011 § 1 Comment
For some of us, every penny matters. So when I see a sale on a good family food like ground meat, I buy it in bulk (and you should too). This meat can be ground turkey, chicken, pork or beef. If it is on sale, then buy it up.
Once through the checkout, I head home, set it on the counter and begin to ponder about what to do with all this ground meat. Then I look at the expiration/best by date, it says today. Oh great…now I really have to do something with it and fast. No wonder it was “on-sale”!
I’ve come up with some tips on what to do with all that meat and here’s my answer:
First and foremost, divide the meat into 4 equal parts. This gives you a pound per division.
- Put first pound into a quart size freezer bag and freeze. This will come in handy for a future unknown dinner (TBD). Note: Mark everything you freeze with date, so you know when you put it into the freezer. Try to use frozen meat within a month or so of freezing. If you wait too long, the meat will get freezer burn and not taste very good.
- Divide the meat into (4) four 4oz balls. Flatten them out into patties. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Put the sheet into the freezer until the patties are frozen. Once frozen, remove patties from sheet and put all of them into a freezer bag together. Freezing them this way first, ensures they won’t be stuck together when you go to use them later. The great thing about these patties: they can go straight from the freezer to the grill. No defrosting required.
- Cook 1 pound of ground meat in pan. Once cooked, remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Let cool. Once cooled, place into quart size freezer bag, date it and freeze it. This pre-cooked meat can be used in many ways. It is a great addition to a jar of pasta sauce or use as a pizza topping. I like to make quick cook tacos with it. Place some of the meat into a pan with a bit of taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 5 minutes and it’s done.
- With the final pound of meat, make dinner for that evening. Options could include but definitely aren’t limited to the following: meatloaf, chili, sloppy joes, shepherds pie or meatballs. I made the best Salisbury steak the other night with ground turkey. I will share the recipe with you tomorrow. Sorry for the wait! It will be worth it. In the mean time, doesn’t it look good? It really is!!!
March 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
Do you remember a moment when someone had an impact on you? It could have been someone giving you a compliment or a person’s good gesture. It could have been a present, a look or just a hug. For whatever reason, that moment with that person ment something to you. Do you think that moment was just as memorable for the other person? Does the other person know the impact he/she had on you?
More often than not, people don’t realize that what happens in one small moment, can last in someones mind or heart forever. It just goes to show, you never know which moments will matter to someone.
We should all remember to make the most of every moment. With each encounter, we should always try to remember to be kind, supportive, encouraging, thoughtful, generous and mindful. You never know. It may just be a moment that will never be forgotten.
March 25, 2011 § 3 Comments
I am a complete sucker for a good biscuit. I could be stuffed to the brim with food, but still have room for just one more biscuit. I love all kinds of biscuits. I certainly do not discriminate.
My love of biscuits came at an early age. I remember being a kid (10 or so) and deciding that I was going to “help mom” by making biscuits for dinner. I didn’t want any help, knowing that I could make them completely on my own. I went by the book. Followed the recipe to a T (or so I thought). I cut them out and baked them, but noticed something oddly different when taking them out of the oven. They didn’t look the same as the one’s my mom had previously made. They weren’t light. They weren’t fluffy. What was going on? With a bit of detective work, we discovered I had forgotten one key ingredient…baking powder. So instead of having light, fluffy, flaky biscuits, they baked up like hockey pucks. They were hard as rocks. My first baking experience on my own was an utter flop. I was so disappointed. You could even say devastated at the outcome, but the most wonderful thing happened. At dinner, my dad ate at least 2 of them and told me they were just as good as any biscuit he had ever eaten. 🙂
I have never made that mistake again and even think that I’ve gotten biscuit making down to a science. My latest and greatest biscuit version is the cheddar biscuit. Here’s the recipe. Oh, and remember not to forget the baking powder or you’ll have to call my dad over to eat them! Love you, Dad!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon BAKING POWDER
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick of butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 2 oz. grated cheddar cheese
- 2/3 cup milk
- ground pepper, optional
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use a fork or your hands. Work the combination until it resembles course crumbs. At this point, add in the cheddar cheese. Mix to distribute. Now add the milk. Mix only until you see the flour moisten and come together. You don’t want to over mix, otherwise your biscuits will come out tough instead of light and fluffy. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Form dough together (without kneading too much) into a ball. Roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. At this point you can brush the top of each biscuit with milk and add a sprinkle of ground pepper to each. This is optional. Do this step only it if it sounds tasty and appealing to you. I like it, but it isn’t for everyone. Now, bake in oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Should make around 10 biscuits. ALWAYS serve hot or at least warm.
March 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
Now that you’ve discovered some new outfits in your own closet (see post – What’s old is new again), I thought posting some of my top accessory picks for spring 2011 would be another inspiration for you to either look at what you currently have to wear or to buy something new. The best thing about my picks? They are all UNDER $40. It is true! You really can add cute, fun, trendy new items to your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
1. A hat is an essential in any wardrobe. If you don’t own one, you should get one. This one from Nordstrom comes in a variety of colors. You’ll be able to wear it clear through summer. (Collection XII crochet floppy straw hat, $28 – www.nordstrom.com)
2. Bangles are big. These bangles from Alex and Ani are truly my favorite. I own them and love them all piled up on my arm. The more the better. Remember that old fashion rule about not mixing your metals? That no longer applies. Mix away. It even looks better that way. (Alex and Ani expandable wire bracelets, Set of 3, $38 – www.zeeberry.com)
3. I’ve had my eye on these platform wedges for a while. They can go with almost everything and they have a price that is right up my alley. (Cognac Filigree Wicker Platform Wedges $34 – www.lulus.com)
4. Layering necklaces is the craze. If you don’t know how to layer different necklaces then this necklace is for you. It is already layered for you. Throw on with it a pendant necklace from your jewelry box and you’re all set to go. (Fancy drape necklace, $6.80 – www.forever21.com)
5. Spring is the time to look for some new sunglasses and these don’t disappoint. These tortoise-shell frames have a slight cat eye shape, which is hot this season. They have a trendy, yet classic, appeal. (Tortoise-shell small cat eye glasses, $32 – www.topshop.com)
6. Get your floral on this season with a scarf. A scarf is a great accessory, even during warmer months. This one is a must on those cool evenings. (Foulard scarf, $35.92 – www.jcpenney.com)
7. Nothing says spring quite like turquoise. These are a nice size earring which will garner attention and many compliments. (Sky drop earrings, $32 – www.anthropologie.com)
8. Loving the envelope clutch. The envelope clutch is the latest style in clutch bags. I love this one from ebags because of the look and the price. I would also consider one in a great color like coral or blue. (B. Collective Laurello envelope clutch, $33.60 – www.ebags.com)
March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
Okay…so honestly, how many times have you heard, ‘why’ from your child? Seriously. How many times? I’m sure if your child is anything like most children, you’ve heard this more than you can probably count or really care to remember. This question can (in some circumstances) becoming irritating, especially when heard way too often. Some parents even say that they get sucked into the ‘why’ vortex when engaged with a child who continually asks ‘why’. I can see this happening. Too many ‘whys’ could send anyones head spinning. On the other hand, I love that children are so inquisitive and eager to learn. Most of the time, it is wonderful when everything around them is a question needing to be answered. This being said, I received a ‘why’ question from my son today. This time his question was, “Why do fingers wrinkle when in the bath tub?” Hmmm, since I’m not a master scientist nor ever googled this question before, I had no idea. So I thought, instead of responding with a standard answer like…”because they just do”, I decided to really find out why. Little did I know that his scientific question about water and wrinkled fingers would send me into a vortex of my own…
…the epidermis has cells called keratinocytes which form intracellular skeleton proteins called keratin…
If that is how it begins, you can only imagine where it goes from there. I was just looking for the Reader’s Digest version, not the version from The American Journal of Science. So I kept looking and stumbled upon this great little site called – Whyzz. What is Whyzz.com you ask? Whyzz.com describes themselves as a site that provides parents with kid-ready information about how the world works so they can satisfy their kids’ thirst for knowledge with read-aloud answers on endless topics. EUREKA! I hit the mother lode. I found my answer and so much more.
So now that I’ve peaked your curiosity about water and wrinkled fingers, here’s what Whyzz has to say:
“Sometimes after getting out of the bath, your fingers and toes are all shriveled up, like prunes! Scientists have a few different ideas about why this happens. One likely reason is that when you spend a long time in water, like the bath or a pool, the outermost layer of skin on your fingers and toes soaks up some of the water around you! By soaking up some water, your fingers and toes become a little bit bigger in size—so, the best way for the extra, water-swelled skin to still fit at the tips of your hands and feet is for them to squish up and wrinkle! According to this idea, the reason your whole body doesn’t shrivel up is because the outside layer of skin on your hands and feet is different (thicker) than the skin on the rest of your body. It’s the thickest outside layer that soaks up most of the water, so the thinner skin, like on your tummy, doesn’t act the same way in the water.”
What a great explanation for a child (or adult). Whyzz answers so many questions like this one. So the next time you are bombarded with “Why?”, know that there is a resource out there to help you and your child get through it. You may even learn something interesting along the way. Oh, and the phrase, “Just because”, will no longer be in your vocabulary. How do I know? Just because…
March 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
6 oz semi-sweet OR
6 oz milk OR
6 oz white chocolate, your choice
Wash berries and dry completely. In microwave safe bowl, melt 6 oz. of chocolate for 60 seconds in microwave. Stir until smooth. If it doesn’t smooth out, then microwave for an additional 20 seconds. Once completely melted, dip strawberries into the chocolate. Make sure to cover the entire berry with chocolate. On each berry, sprinkle mini M&M’s, nuts, sprinkles or mini chocolate chips. Place on wax paper or silpat. Let dry for 1 hour or until chocolate hardens. EAT!