29 June 2012

Sweet Chili Meatballs


Sweet Chili Meatballs

1 - 32 oz. pkg. meatballs (homestyle, not Italian)
12 oz. grape jelly
12 oz. chili sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Combine ingredients in crock pot. Heat on high until heated through (about 3 hours). Serve on rice or hoagie buns.
This is one of my favorite go-to meals for a crowd. It also makes a great appetizer. Just keep them in the crock pot to keep them hot.
 

27 June 2012

To-Do List Tuesday

 My daughter, showing her great-grandma how she weaves potholders

I mentioned last week that I wanted to make a schedule for the kids. We have things we have to do, and then we have things we want to do. It's hard to make it all happen if we don't have a schedule. I have also learned this about myself - I am much, much happier when I have a schedule. 

I dread summer vacation, not because my kids will be around, I rather like them. I dread it because MY schedule is gone. Why does it take so long to realize these things? Anyway, I made this schedule for my kids. This is a schedule to guide our play time. So far, it's working great. They are excited to get up and their jobs done so they can do the fun things they have planned.


MONDAY – LEARN SOMETHING NEW DAY

GO TO THE LIBRARY
GO TO A MUSEUM
GO SEE SOMETHING MADE (MINT, FACTORY, ETC.)

TUESDAY – COOKING DAY

CHOOSE A RECIPE AND MAKE IT WITH MOM

WEDNESDAY – PROJECT DAY

KID’S CHOICE – JUST PLAN AHEAD SO WE HAVE THE SUPPLIES

THURSDAY – HANDWORK DAY

SEWING, KNITTING, BUILDING, GARDENING, ANY WORK THAT USES JUST OUR HANDS AND SOME TOOLS

FRIDAY – FUN DAY

Not to be that mom who says "let's have fun" and then makes a bunch of rules, but we did need a few guidelines for this to work. We can't decide Tuesday morning to make boeuf bourguignon if we haven't planned for it in the menu. We can't decide to make paper Wednesday morning without discussing the supply list. We need to be considerate of the needs of other family members and finances in our project planning. Those are the guidelines. 

We have studied Oregon and sea turtles, we have made candy and learned to use the rice cooker. We have worked in our yard and planted flowers. We have pinned fun things on Pinterest and planned a craft camp for girls. We have also kept our rooms clean!

I can't wait to see what we do this week!

What have you been up to? Link up below!

26 June 2012

Menu Plan Monday

My daughter -white cap, center- preparing to start her first ever swim meet event.

We are spending a lot of time at the pool these days. We have two kids on swim team and it's really hot. 98-101 degree temps forecast through Thursday. Then it cools right off to 93 degrees. A week to hang around the air conditioning vent and move slowly. At the end of the week, though, we have a bunch of family coming to town. How to feed 12 extra people and keep the house cool? Crock pots and outdoor grilling, and lots and lots of Popsicles.


Monday

Pasta Salad
Chilled Cucumber Soup (kid request)

Tuesday

Panini
Melon

Wednesday

BBQ Sandwiches
Salad

Thursday

Personal Pizzas (cousins are coming to town today and we need a fun and easy dinner)
Fruit
Salad

Friday

Sweet Chili Meatballs
rice
veggie

Saturday

(Family Party - brought to us by Chef Costco)
Chinese Chicken Salad
Potato Salad
Green Salad
Fruit
Sandwiches

Sunday

BBQ
Watermelon

How do you plan meals that don't heat up your house?

I am linking up to Menu Plan Monday!

22 June 2012

Butterscotch Pecan Patties


Nobody freak out on this recipe, OK? I know it's not in any of the food groups. That said, these are delicious, they are totally something my Grandma would make at Christmas, and a super easy way to learn candy making. Try it, feel the warm fuzzy feeling of success, and share them with your neighbors.

Butterscotch Pecan Patties

2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla or maple flavoring (I am partial to the maple)
1 1/2 cups broken pecans

Combine sugar, corn syrup, milk and salt in saucepan. Boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and boil to 236 degrees or until a little spoonful dropped into cold water will just form a soft ball. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla, stir in and let stand for 10 minutes. Add nuts. Beat until thick and creamy (this takes awhile and is a good activity for a lurking teenage boy) Drop by teaspoonfuls on waxed paper.
* Be aware that as this boils vigorously, it may spit hot candy at you. I use a long handled wooden spoon and adjust the heat slightly. Be cautious adjusting the heat because you don't want the mixture to stop boiling.

20 June 2012

To-do List Tuesday


Raspberries were on sale at the grocery store this week. Please know "sale" is relative. For those of us who live far from where things are grown, $4 a pound is a good price. Usually it's closer to $12 a pound for fresh raspberries. I decided to mix the raspberries with some strawberries and marionberries I had in the freezer and make some bumbleberry jam.

Jam is really easy. All you need is some pectin, jars, lids and sugar, and the fruit, of course. I use the low sugar cooked jam recipe because I think less sugar is good and I like the way the fruit flavor shines through. Here at 6000 feet, I process my jam in the water bath just to be sure the lids seal well.Growing up in California, basically at sea level, we usually just flipped the jars over and got the lids nice and hot, then flipped them back to cool. That doesn't work here.

I made this batch up in less than an hour this morning. A good start to my day.

Even better is getting to have some of the extra on toast for breakfast!




Now I'm fortified and ready to get to the rest of that list, starting with cleaning up the basement to make it comfy for my sister and her kids. They are coming next week and I can't wait!


What's on your list?

19 June 2012

Menu Plan Monday


I couldn't resist showing you the kids jumping on their new trampoline. They earned it (see this post) and I think it may be the best thing we've ever bought. They love it, and I really love it.

Food is going to be quick and simple this week. It is HOT all of a sudden and the eaters in the family (Dad and teenage boy) won't be eating dinner with us later in the week. I'm going to be doing more salads, pasta, watermelon, that kind of thing. I don't know how interested you are in that type of thing, but here it is:

Monday

Coconut Fried Chicken (getting to be a staple around here)
Asian veggies

Tuesday

Swedish Meatballs - Kids eat free night at IKEA - just for fun

Wednesday

Salad with Bouchons au Thon (Orangette)

Thursday

Chef Salad
Watermelon

Friday

Pasta - TBD - maybe I'll use that amazing new Philadelphia cooking creme and veggies
Watermelon

Saturday

Pizza for the kids - teenager will be back from scout camp and probably starving 
Salad


Sunday

Crock pot sweet and sour meatballs (I'll share the recipe next week)
Fruit salad


I'm linking up to Menu Plan Monday.


What do you eat when it's hot and you don't want to cook?

15 June 2012

Raspberry Muffins


Sugar-Crusted Raspberry Muffins
from Real Simple Magazine


2  cups  all-purpose flour
3/4  cup  sugar
2  teaspoons  baking powder
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1/2  cup  (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4  cup  whole milk
1  large egg
1/4  teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2  cups  fresh raspberries
 
Heat oven to 400° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and combine. In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined; the batter will be lumpy. Toss the berries with the remaining flour in a bowl. Gently fold the berry mixture into the batter.
Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm. 

Enjoy!

 

14 June 2012

Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

If you read yesterday's post, you will know that I have a few extra cookbooks. What you don't know is that some of them are pretty cool cookbooks that I have never ever used. Not even once. They were given to me by someone who traveled to the particular place (Greece, China, the Philippines) and thought I would love a cookbook. 

#1 
Chinese Snacks (Wei quan shi pu)
 
 The recipes are in English and Chinese and there are great pictures.

#2
Philippine food & life 
  More than just a recipe book - describes culture and life.

#3
Roy's Feasts from Hawaii 
 Delicious recipes from a world famous chef (hard cover)

#4
 
I hope you're also interested in recipes from Dalmatia, because I'm throwing in Delicacies From Dalmatia in too. Geographically speaking, Dalmatia and Greece are relatively close...

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To enter, please become a follower of this blog (if you haven't already) and leave a comment letting me know which cookbook you want. This giveaway is open to all my readers - as long as you outside the U.S. don't mind it taking a little longer to get your book. Don't forget to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you.

Good luck!