Mar 24, 2009

The weekend

It was a busy, busy weekend! My brother came down from Fargo and he and my Mom and I drove down to southern Mn to visit the Grandparents. It was such a great time! We stayed in Waseca on Saturday with my Grandpa, and were able to visit my Grandma who is in the Waterville nursing home. She looked so good! She is very, very frail, and sleeps a lot. But she was fairly talkative and seemed to really enjoy seeing us. Patrick and I took turns filling Grandma in on the funny stuff our kids do, lol! Sunday we drove down to Blue Earth to have lunch with my Aunt and Uncle. She is the "queen" of entertaining (Mom says that's where I get my love of entertaining from!!). She made fettuccine alfredo, green beans with slivered almonds, a DELISH spinach salad with strawberries and mandarin oranges with a poppy seed dressing and for dessert she made a chocolate cake with a cream cheese filling. YUM! It was divine! I love the fact that when we go there, Jim is ready within seconds with a glass of wine for me!

After lunch we went to Winnebago to see our other Grandma who is in an assisted living there. She is doing fantastic and looks so awesome for being 92!!!! She just recently moved there, as she had been on her own. I think she was ready to have someone take care of her now, as she loves being there. Patrick and I are really blessed with having such fantastic Grandparents. We have sooo many wonderful memories with all of them:)

We headed out about 3:00, and what a long drive for Patrick, I think he drove a total of 6.5 hours that day. Yuck. He had brought the oldest two with him, and they stayed with Brad and the girls. They had a great weekend of bonding time!

It was a great weekend, you always feel good when you are able to visit a bunch of relatives in one weekend, lol! Hopefully the flooding won't be too horrible in the Fargo area, where Pat and his family is from. They are pretty safe where they live, but what a mess it is there:(

This week will be fairly quiet, which is nice. Especially with the weather being so dreary you don't much feel like going anywhere. Just sitting in front of the fireplace and reading or playing games sounds good to me!

Polenta with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms

I get the Rachael Ray magazine and love it, although for the longest time I wasn't making a lot of her recipes simply because the ingredients were not something I thought my family would enjoy, lol!!! So, a few months back I decided to at least try two of the "weird" recipes just for something new. This month is the Polenta with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms. I made this last night and it was really good! And, believe it or not, Emma (who is a very picky little eater) loved it! Rachel really liked it too, Alayna wouldn't touch it, and it wasn't one of Brad's most favorite meals:) I made Dilly Chicken Sandwiches to go alone with it, yummy supper!!

Polenta with Kale and Portobello Mushrooms
salt and pepper
3/4 C. instant polenta (I actually bought a tube of it ready made, in the natural foods section of the grocery store. I used half of the tube, put it in a saucepan and added some milk to thin it out a bit)
3 1/2 Tbl. butter
4 ounces portobello mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
1 bunch kale (about 12 ounces) stems trimmed and leaves chopped
1 1/2 Tbl flour
1 C milk
3 ounces shredded provolone cheese (I used the deli sliced kind, worked just as good)

Grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Use the directions on the box of polenta, as to how to make it. Like I said, it was way easier to buy the premade-in-a-tube kind of stuff:)

In a large skillet, heat 2Tbl of butter, add mushrooms stirring frequently until golden, about 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbl water, then add the kale in batches, allowing each batch to wilt slightly before adding next batch. Cook, stirring until tender, about 10 minutes.

In small saucepan, melt the remaining 1 1/2 Tbl butter, whisk in the flour and cook stirring constantly until golden, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking, and cook, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400, spread polenta mixture over the bottom of your 8 inch pan, top with the kale mixture. Spoon the cream sauce evenly over the kale mixture and top with the slices of provolone. Bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes. Increase oven temp to 450 and bake until golden, about 5 minutes.

It was a little bit more "loose" than I would have liked, and I let it set for about 10 minutes before we ate. I think next time I will decrease the milk while making the cream sauce. Not by much, but I would like it to be more of a firm dish.

It really was an excellent recipe!

Dilly Chicken Sandwiches

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
6 Tbl butter, divided
1 garlic clove
3/4 tsp dill weed, divided
8 slices thick french bread (about 1/2 inch thick)
4 Tbl cream cheese, softened
2 tsp lemon juice
4 lettuce leaves
8 slices tomato

Pound chicken to flatten evenly; set aside. In skillet, melt 3 Tbl butter, add garlic and 1/2 tsp dill. Add chicken, and cook until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm. Spread both side of bread with butter, in a skillet or griddle, grill bread on both sides until golden brown. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, and remaining dill. Spread on one side of grilled bread, place lettuce, chicken and tomato on four slices of bread; top with remaining bread.

Mar 21, 2009

Rachel's 8!!!

Ahh, how fast does time go by? I know we say this on a regular basis, but truly, it does. I can't believe that my little spitfire is now eight. It's so fun to see what type of person she is becoming, (although it's not so fun to hear the sass that comes from her, but oh well) and to see what her interests are. She loves, loves, loves animals. Especially the stuffed variety. I think she received 4 Webkinz animals for her birthday. She is soooo like I was! She has a queen size bed, but only sleep on one half because the other half is filled with animals! She loves to be outside, even in the winter, she'll be out for a couple hours playing in the snow, sledding and what not. And she LOVES science, the other night we were watching a show called, "Journey to Planet Earth" and she was our little documenter telling us which planets are first, and any exciting fact about them. Seriously, I didn't even know some of the stuff she was saying! She loves school, in fact she told me the other day how she wasn't looking forward to school being over with, lol! Her grades are awesome, and we are so proud of her!
For her party, we went ice skating. It was a BLAST! I'm not sure who had more fun, Brad and I or the girls! We skated for about an hour, which was long enough. Later that day we had Brad's family over to celebrate. She loved her cake! And I love making it:) When Spring rolls around, I become an obsessed woman, planning the girls' birthdays. I LOVE birthdays!

Mar 12, 2009

It's Friday! (sort of)

Ahhh, today is my Friday (as far as work goes)! Brad and I took tomorrow off, as the kids have been on Spring break all week. We are going to a water park in Otsego tomorrow night which should be a lot of fun! it is going to be an incredibly busy weekend, however. We come back Saturday, and then Sunday I teach Sunday School, then we'll head over the MAC (Municipal Arena Center) for Rachel's skating birthday party, then out to eat, then come home and get ready for her birthday party with Brad's family. Whew! it will be a busy one!

For Rachel's birthday, she invited 5 friends to go ice skating which should be interesting. I haven't ice skated since I was in middle school. I hope I don't make a complete fool out of myself! We made her gift bags yesterday. I had white paper bags on hand, which Rachel decorated with snowflakes, then I punched two holes at the top and tied them with ribbon. Rachel made some homemade cocoa to put in the bags, and I had bought some lipglosses, pads of paper, and pens to fill the bags with. Turned out super cute. I will make her cake on Saturday, she wants a light blue circle cake with ice skates drawn on the top. Now, I may be crafty, but that does NOT mean I can draw. Good grief, we'll see how that goes, lol.

Brad is finally home after a work trip to Vegas. He left Sunday and got home yesterday afternoon. So nice to have him back. He conveniently was gone while we got the snowstorm, so his older brother Mike came over to plow the driveway. I was already out shoveling the sidewalk. We ended up having to shovel some of the five foot snow drift before he could plow! Good golly!
I included a pic of Rachel and Emma in their scarves and hats that Brad's aunt Linda made, aren't they adorable!!!

Mar 5, 2009

Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff

1 3/4 lbs. boneless beef round steak, cubed
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 c. red wine or beef broth
2 Tbl. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried basil
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
i pkg dry onion soup mix
8 oz. pkg fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 c sour cream
8 oz pkg wide egg noodles OR mashed potatoes

Brown meat in 1 Tbl oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add wine or broth, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of pan. Combine flour and seasonings in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place meat and mixture in slow cooker, toss to coat. Add mushroom soup and soup mix. Stir in mushrooms. Cover and cook on high setting 3- 3.5 hours, or on low setting 6-7 hours. Stir in sour cream, and serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.

I made this last night, and it was FANTASTIC!!! The kids devoured it. I made mashed potatoes instead of noodles, which I think was better. Enjoy!!!

Mar 2, 2009


I didn't realize it had been so long since I did an entry. Oops. Life has been a bit crazy the last few weeks, but hopefully things are calming down now! I am praying sooooo hard for Spring to come early. I am so sick of this weather. The kids all have snotty noses, bad coughs, and are crabby. I keep looking at my pics from last summer, and thinking of how soon summer will come. *sigh*

I am including a picture of Alayna today, I love this picture of her, it's with her scarf that her Grandma Donna made for her for Christmas, and a lovely pair of slippers. *chuckle* If you can't tell, they are slippers made out of sanitary pads. They were made for me by my wonderful step mother! Alayna is pretty much always in a leotard of some sort, and the kids does an amazing front flip and cartwheels! (She actually does a cartwheel better than her sisters who are both in gymnastics, but don't tell anyone)
I promise to post more often. Unfortunately the humor isn't hitting me this week, instead it's the bitchiness. Ack! I blame it on the weather. Brad blames it on the fact that I'm a woman. Seriously, whatever dude, like you know anyway. See what I mean? I told you it wasn't good, lol...