Category Archives: Entree

Horseradish Egg Salad

Horseradish Egg Salad

You know what stinks?  When The Great Husband is traveling for work and I go downstairs to get in the car with the kids and discover that one of the little rascals have played with the overhead car lights again.  

And the car is dead.

The car being a massive mini-van.

And and that said massive mini-van is parked on diagonal in a small 1960’s garage.  Just because it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Don’t ask me why.

And because I am parked on a diagonal there is no way another car can get next to it.

Not even a Smart Car.

So I call a friend over to help me push the car into a good place to jump the battery.  My tiny friend  and I need to get the massive mini-van into vertical position because my garage is at the bottom of a steep hill.

There was no way in hell we can push up this hill.

So using the 3-point turn system, (or 20-point in our case,) we push the van.

And we push it.

And pushed it. (My friend is tiny, but she is strong.)






And we positioned it right smack dab in the middle of the garage.

Then the shift locks up in the park position.  So it is impossible for us to push anymore.

And as we are standing there panting, my tiny, yet strong friend says,

“Hey!  I have AAA.  Why don’t we call them?”

Then my tiny friend becomes my smartest and most beloved friend at that very moment.

Minor disasters seem to happen mostly when the Great Husband is away.

Twice there has been a snowstorm.  The only snowstorms of the winter.

This left me to shovel the driveway .

By myself.

Up hill.

Both ways.

Once we had a mouse.

I HATE MICE.  With a passion.

I considered camping out on the kitchen island with my kids until The Great Husband got home.

Both kids had a puke-fest.

All night long.

And into the day.

I praise all single parents.  All military parents. All parents doing it on their own.  You play the role of two parents every day.  That deserves more credit than I can give you.  You are strong.  You are amazing.  And someday if and when your children become parents, they will thank you.  They will respect you more.

And will probably come crying to you for help like I still do to my mom.

My mom loves egg salad.  And so do I.

Here is my flavor-punched egg salad recipe.

Let’s Cook!

Horseradish Egg Salad

6 Hard Boiled Eggs

2 Tb Dijon Mustard

2 Tb Mayonnaise

1 Tb Prepared Horseradish

1/4 tsp salt

In a medium bowl, mash up eggs into small pieces.  (I sometimes remove a couple of yolks before this to save on cholesterol.)

Add remaining ingredients to bowl.

Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Serve on toasted bread or a rice cake.

Mexican Rice Bowl with Chicken

Mexican Chicken Rice Bowl
Before I had kids, I truly thought that I would be that mom.
You know the one I am talking about; The most creative, fun, active, involved, loved-by-children-and-adults-alike mom.
Then I had kids became a mom.
And now I know that I am not, and never will be that mom.
I am more of the, “Sorry kids, can you wear your underwear inside out today?  I’m behind on laundry,” mom.
Or the “Just brush  your teeth in the morning,” mom.
Or the “Mommy can’t sit down and play cars with you right now because I have to clean the bathroom before the mold starts to crawl on to you.” mom.
I am not crafty.
I am not good at playing.
I can’t braid hair.
I put my kids to bed at 7 pm when my husband is traveling.  Sometimes it is still light out.
I am not a room mom.
I don’t know all the kids names in my children’s classes.
I forget appointments.
I break promises.
I always call my kids by the wrong name.
I cannot bake anything sweet.
So, it was no surprise when I showed up at my daughter’s class with horror movie-style cupcakes to celebrate her birthday.
Yes, if you look closely, I successfully, with the help of my friend, made one that has a uni-brow and one with a lazy eye.
There is a Michelin Man.  A Fat Albert. One reminiscent of Jigsaw from the movie SAW.
I could tell you I wanted it to be diverse.
The truth is I just suck at cupcakes.
The good thing is that most first graders don’t care that they are ugly.
They just want to eat something sweet.
(Except for the little shit that told me he didn’t like his and I should have brought a different treat.)
You know what I am good at?
Fiercely loving my family.
Let’s cook!

Mexican Chicken Rice Bowl

Serves 4
1 lb chicken breast, cut into cubes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tb Vegetable Oil
1 large onion, diced
1-2 jalapeno, diced and seeded
2 can Rotel or diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked rice
1 avocado, diced
Sour Cream
1. In a large Ziplock bag, toss Chicken Breast with cumin, chili powder, and salt.
2.  Heat a large skillet over high and add oil.
3.  Turn heat to medium and add chicken.
4.  Cook until nicely browned on all sides.
5.  Remove chicken and set aside.
6.  Add more oil to pan if needed, then add onions and sauté until translucent.
7. Add jalapeno and continue to sauté for another minute.
8.  Add chicken and tomatoes.
9.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
10.  Separate rice into 4 bowls.
11.  Pour chicken mixture over rice and top with avocado and sour cream.

Going Coo Coo for Coconut Oil

My friend Kate is really into her essential oils.  Peppermint, Lavander, Tea Tree; The list goes on and on.
Each oil is supposed to be a remedy for anything from bloatedness to a nasty hangover.
One oil that she talked about the most was the Coconut Oil.  She traveled with a vat of it.  She told me it was good for wrinkles, sunburn, ecxema, and hair strength.  That’s just on the outside of your body.
If you actually injest it, either with cooking or eating a bit straight, it is said to naturally aid in weightloss, immunity, and digestion.
People, I couldn’t just listen.  I slathered up.  I chomped down.  And now, I love me some Coconut Oil!
Just a tip though, if you rub it on and get in the car without washing your hands first,  your steering wheel WILL get oily.  Driving WILL become dangerous.  And if it is summer, your oily steering wheel will get Hotter than Hell and you can burn off all of your newly soft and beautiful skin.

Let’s Cook!

Curried Pumpkin Chicken
serves 4

2 1/2 lbs Chicken Thighs
2 Tb Coconut Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 c Water
2 tsp Tomato Bullion*
2 Cans Pure Pumpkin Puree
1 Can Coconut Milk
2-3 Tb Chili Garlic Sauce**
2 Tb Powdered Curry
1 tsp Powdered Ginger
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.
In an oven-safe frying pan, heat 1 Tb Coconut Oil.  
Salt and Pepper both sides of chicken thighs.  
Over medium heat, brown thighs by setting them in frying pan and not moving them for about 4 minutes.  
Flip and repeat.
Place entire frying pan in oven and cook for 20 minutes.
While chicken is cooking, heat 1 Tb coconut oil to a large saute pan.
Over medium heat, saute onion until translucent.
Add garlic and continue to saute 1 additional minute.
Add water and bullion, stirring until bullion has dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients, stirring after each one.
Season with salt to taste.
Let simmer for 15 minutes.  Nestle the chicken in the sauce and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Serve over rice.

*Found in Latin section of International foods.  Chicken Bullion can be used instead.
**Generally found next to Siriacha in gorcery stores.

The Great Italian Bidding War

It was a dark night in November. We headed to the silent auction for my daughter’s school. Armed with a credit card and a readiness to buy a good gift card or piece of children’s artwork we walked in. Three hours later I walked out with no voice, a really good strong buzz, a trip to Italy, and most likely a bad reputation of being a little bit crazy. 
You see, I didn’t know they had a live auction at the end of the night. I didn’t know there would be a trip to Italy. I actually didn’t really care all that much. However, four glasses of wine later I HAD to be the winner of that silent auction. Or I should say my hand did. Because my brain was saying “STOP”, (and apparently so was The Great Husband,) but the hand connected to my arm did not hear them because it just kept raising. Every single time a number was called out. Then, all of the sudden they stopped calling numbers. And when I say numbers, I mean prices.  Prices that are WAY out of our budget.
I snapped out of the zone I was in.  I looked around to see who won.  All of the sudden the emcee comes walking toward me with the microphone.  I backed up like she was holding a gun.  She stuck the mic in my face and said, “Thank you SO much!  What is your name?”  I opened my mouth and released a squeak.  I had lost my voice.  I had literally scared the voice out of myself.  What had I just done?

I turned around to look at the great husband.  At that moment he seemed to loom 6 feet over me.  He was staring down at me with laser beam eyes and smoke coming out of his ears.  I gave him a weak smile and tried to bat my eyelashes.
As I made the very long walk from the live auction to the table to pay people stared at me, or patted me on the back and said “Congratulations!”  I would reply in my squeaky, whispered voice to not congratulate me because I am pretty sure my husband was going to divorce me over this.  All the while I am thinking, Can I just tell them I will gladly step down as the winner of this prize and let the guy who was also wildly raising his hand as well have it.
I actually must have said it out loud, because immediately I hear The Great Husband’s voice from behind me say, “It doesn’t work that way.  Just go pay for it and lets go home.”
We walked home.  Maybe we screamed at each other the whole way home.  I am sure the neighborhood all said, “Did ya hear that poor couple fighting last night about how they HAD to go to Italy for vacation.  Poor things.”
Now, as I sit here 10 months later, with an amazing experience in Italy under our belt, we can all laugh about it.  Well, almost all of us.
One of the best things we ate while there was an AMAZING sandwich in Florence from a place called  All’Antico Vinaio.  It wasn’t fancy, but it tasted completely and utterly delectable.   We ate it sitting on the curb of the street moaning about how delicious it was with our olive-oily hands and faces.  I tried to recreate this piece of amazingness at home.  I highly suggest you try it as well!

Italian Foccacia Sandwich

Italian Foccacia

1 Tb Granulated Sugar
1 Tb Active dry Yeast
12 ounces Water, lukewarm
1 lb 2 oz All-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 Tb Olive Oil
6 Roma Tomatoes, sliced thin
1/4 c chopped basil
Combine sugar, yeast, and water in a bowl and stir to dissolve the yeast
Combine yeast mixture, flour and salt in a mixing bowl.
Using a KitchenAid, mix on first speed with the dough hook until it is pulling away from the sides.
In a separate bowl, pour 1 tb olive oil around the sides and place dough in bowl.
Cover and let sit in a dry warm place until it doubles in size.
Press dough  with fingers into a 12 x 18 sheet pan, reaching all corners.
Spread a bit more oil on top of the dough.
Sprinkle with some kosher salt and pepper. 
Evenly place tomato and basil on the dough.
Cover with towel and let sit in dry warm place until double in size.
Bake at 400F about 25-30 mins.

I will share with you the foccacia recipe today.  The recipe for the spread will appear later in the week.

Have Your Heard Your Anthem Today?

Mornings are hopping at our home. No really. They start at the 6 o’clock hour and rock from the get-go. It begins with The Great Husband’s alarm going off, then a snooze, then going off, then a snooze, then going off, and if we are lucky, another snooze.
Quinn and I get up and trudge downstairs and start breakfast. Times like these I started to understand the Folgers commercials. As a child, I never got how the smell of coffee could bring someone up out of bed and onto their feet. But now, the smell of coffee is my first kick-start to the day.
I make breakfast for the family (which by the way, consists of a hot breakfast of eggs and toast every morning from his great wife.) Declan hears the commotion and demands to be removed from his cage crib.
Jeremiah rolls down, clean shaven, dressed for work, with his son in his arms.
His first job when he gets downstairs is playing the day’s anthem.
That’s right an anthem.  Each day is different song, because as we know, each day is a different day.
If Quinn is in a sensitive mood, The Great Husband has played Jewel’s “I’m Sensitive”.
If Declan is crabby and crying, he may play to classic, “Don’t Cry Outloud”.
The only standing song is on Fridays.  We get the great pleasure of starting every morning with this:

Our anthem defines our day, so it usually is an upbeat, motivational song.  One of his favorites:

My favorite:

We all have our styles.  I  just know that I love starting the day that way.
What’s your anthem today???

If you make this recipe, it may be this…

Balsamic Glazed Steak
2 lb skirt steak
salt and pepper
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tb brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tb Canola Oil
Season steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
Place steak in zip lock bag.  Add vinegar, sugar, red pepper, and garlic.  Massage marinade into steak while in bag.  Place in the refridgerator for at least one hour.
Remove from fridge 20 minutes before cooking.
Heat skillet until just smoking (this works best with an iron skillet.)  Add oil.
Place steak in pan and let it cook without moving it for 4 minutes, until a nice brown crust develops.  Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and let steak rest for 10 minutes.
Cut into thin slices against the grain.
Serve it up!!

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Mini Me Making Mini Muffins

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Easy Bake Oven is BACK!
If you had one, you remember how your tiny cake was baked with only the heat from the light bulb inside. What a novelty!
Today’s Easy Bake Oven does not cook with a light bulb. To be honest, I have no idea how the thing works, but you plug it in and it gets damn hot. Slide the tiny tray of dough in for 12 minutes, then Bon Appetite!
Quinn was chomping at the bit to bake pretzles in her new oven. Let me tell you that the box of mix can be quite deceiving. It looks like you will get big, lucious, Aunt Annie-esque pretzles. They are more like tiny blocks of dough.
This however did not slow down Quinn. She baked two batches and ate them all in record speed.
Thanks, Grandma! Quinn will be baking you some muffins as big as your pinkie to show you her gratitute.

You know what else is making a comeback these days? The Crock Pot!!! Oh how I am loving mine this winter.
Last night I replicated my husband’s favorite dish from our local Mexican restaurant.

Chili Verde
2 lbs pork shoulder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 lb tomatillas, husked and rinsed (You can substitute 1 16 oz jar tomatilla sauce if you cannot find fresh tomatillas.)
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 small can green chopped green chilies
1 c chicken stock
Cooked Rice
Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Place in slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients.
Cook on high for 3.5-4 hours, until pork is super tender.
Shred pork in crock pot with two forks.
Serve over rice. Garnish with Cilantro

Stealing My Sanity II

My son had his first bout with breaking the law yesterday.
As he drove up to the checkout lane in the grocery store in the little car connected to the cart (which, by the way, make the cart about as long as a yacht, making it quite difficult to navigate through narrow isles) he saw the amazing assortment of goodies to purchase as a last-minute reminder.
The plethora of candy.
The colors of chap stick.
The shiny packs of gum.
My son decides to pocket a small bottle of Five Hour Energy and a pack of lighters.
Seriously?  Not the candy?
What on earth would he do with lighters and Five Hour Energy?  Was he planning on sneaking out to a baby rave that night?
Because he is 18 months, I cannot truly reason with him that stealing is bad and raves will kill him if his parents don’t first for even thinking of going to one.
So much to look forward to in the coming years.

Here is an easy meal to look forward to making to impress your family:

Apple Sage Roasted Chicken

Update:  It was brought to my attention I was missing a step in the directions.  This has been fixed.  Thanks for actually reading the recipe and letting me know!!
1 Whole Roaster Chicken (5-7 lbs)

2 tsp Salt
1 Tb Pepper
6 oz Fat Free Greek Yogurt

2 Tb Fresh Sage, Chopped

1 Granny Smith Apple, Shredded

1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat Oven to 350F.
Remove any giblets from inside of chicken. 

Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel.
Set chicken in a well seasoned Iron Skillet or a roasting pan, breast side up. 

Spread 1 Tb olive oil over skin of chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.
In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, sage, apple,1 tsp salt, and 2 tsp pepper.
Spread yogurt mixture over skin of chicken and under the skin on the breast.
Place in oven and cook for 90 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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