Monday, July 13, 2009

Beautiful Day at Spring Mill

Every once in a while my husband does something that surprises me.  This weekend, he planned a family outing to Spring Mill State Park.  Here are some of the pics from that trip:

Cut Up a Watermelon Fast!

A few summers ago, I was very pregnant, very hot, and had a very urgent craving for watermelon.  Seriously, I bought and ate 2-3 watermelons per week.  It didn't take too long for me to figure out the fastest and easiest way to cut up a watermelon.  Here is what I do:

1. I gather everything I need.  Notice the serrated bread knife.

2. I cut the watermelon into quarters and then make slices.

3.  Then I slice it the other way.

4.  Next sweep your knife along the rind.

5. Dump the watermelon in the bowl.  Repeat for the other quarters.
This watermelon was not very sweet.  I added a spoonful of Splenda, and it became perfect.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kids in the Kitchen

I want my boys to be great husbands someday.  Part of this training takes place in the kitchen as they are already learning how to prepare some simple meals.  This Chicken Pot Pie recipe is perfect for preschoolers.  It is also a meal that I can keep on hand without worrying about spoilage.  Since I did not make it to the store today, pot pie is on the menu.  

The Ingredients
Prepared diced chicken
1 can mixed vegetables
1 box rolled dough
1 can cream of chicken soup

1.  Dump chicken, vegetables, and soup in bowl.

2.  Mix it.
3. Taste it.  (Optional)

4.  Place pie crust in pie and pour in the mixture.


5. Put on the top crust.  Fold and pinch the two crusts together.
6.  Fork it in the center and around the sides.
7.  Bake 375 for approx 35 min.

I love my pie shield!  If you don't have one, use aluminum foil.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Plan B

It's raining on my Fourth of July plans.  Nix Plan A to eat at our local festival.  Enter Plan B.  Make a meal that's quick and easy.  Grilling is out because my father informed me that our grill, which we've had for nine years and was a wedding present, might endanger our lives and/or property.  I think his exact words were "I wouldn't use the grill." (BEAT) Dad reconsiders the forcefulness of his statement and revises, "Don't use use the grill."  
In-laws are coming.  So, I must think of something fast and easy.  I decide to make Cheesy Cheddar 'n Ham Loaf.  The recipe comes from Kraft Food and Family, and is a great meal to have on hand for weekends or for the end of the week when the fresh grocery items are gone.  I revised this recipe to use Pillsbury French Loaf, which is found near the refrigerated biscuit tubes at the store and replaced the Miracle Whip with Olive Oil Mayo.  I usually serve this with cottage cheese and fruit.  For dessert, I made Sugar Cookie Bars.  They are the easiest and fastest sugar cookies I've ever made.

Cheddar 'n Ham Loaf Recipe

1 pkg thinly sliced ham
1 tube Pillsbury French Loaf
1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
1/4 cup Miracle Whip (Olive Oil Mayo)
1 egg (slightly beaten)
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Unroll dough on floured wax paper.
2. Layer on ham, leaving some room around the edges.
3. Mix cheese and mayo.  (I use the ham container).  
4. Spread cheese mix on top of ham.

5.  Moisten edges of dough with brush dipped in water. 
6. Fold dough over 1/3.  Then overlap with other side.  Fold in corners and pinch seams tightly.

7.  Flip seam side down on lightly greased baking sheet or just plop on your EXOPAT mat.  
8.  Cut four slits and brush with egg.
9.  Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.
10. Bake 26-30 min.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mini Banana Splits

My five-year old son, Bryce, is persistent at times.  I admit I say things just to appease him, not knowing at the time if I'll actually follow through with it.  "We'll see" was my mom's favorite answer, and I have now retained it as my own.  It works.
  After seeing a picture of a banana split at the 
local ice cream shop, he became obsessed with trying one.  We couldn't get ice cream without the banana split mom and kid dance.
Picture big round blue eyes with long black batting eyelashes and a slight pouting of the lips.  Employing that voice children universally use when they are trying to get something from you, he'd plead, "They look soooo delicious!"  
"Mmhmm," I'd reply. 
"Can I have one?" 
"Not today." 
"I really want one. They look sooo yummy!"  He rubs his tummy for effect.
"I don't have money for that today." (This is another good one.)
"Aaaaww," he moans in bitter disappointment.  
Banana splits are too large and too expensive for a five-year old, but I could understand why he wanted one, so I say in my noncommittal mom voice, "Maybe I'll make some sometime."
Right answer!  We can now all be happy with our one dip and sprinkles.

 Well, I finally did make them.  Isn't it cute? 

Bryce even got to help.  The ingredients are basic. Just use a cookie scoop to make your dips mini.