Monday, February 23, 2009

Mexican Stuffed Shells

12-18 large pasta shells, cooked
1 lb lean ground beef
3 tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup salsa, divided
1 cup grated cheese, divided
750 ml tomato sauce
chili powder
green onion (garnish)

1. brown ground beef. drain.
2. add seasoning, water, onion, 1/2 cup salsa, 1/4 cup cheese.
3. mix together remaining salsa, tomato sauce, cheese.
4. spread thin layer of sauce in bottom of 9x12 baking pan.
5. fill each shell with ground beef mixture and place in pan.
6. pour remaining sauce on top. sprinkle on the rest of the cheese on top and garnish with green onion.
7. bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 mins (or in my kitchen, "until it's done.")
8. if desired, sprinkle additional cheese on top after baking and return to oven for 5 mins longer or until cheese melts.

YUMMU!!! this was really, really good. my mom can't handle spice, so i didn't use much chili powder, and instead of tomato sauce, i used crushed tomatoes and 2 big garlic cloves. and it was lovely!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

breathe deeply. smell that? it's simplicity.

this afternoon was beautiful. the sun was shining, the air was cool and crisp, and the snow was all gone.

ok, so the snow wasn't all gone, but the sidewalks were clear.

and really, as much as i love my tek, the day was far too perfect to drive. no, today was the perfect day for walking.

after a short nap, the boys and i put on our coats and shoes (no boots today!), and i put asher in the stroller. and then.......

we walked to pick up blithe from school.

yup, you read that right. we walked.

and it was the perfect day for it.

and we all loved it. :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ok, seriously, someone i know needs to make this..... and then give it to staci and me! teehee

Inside-Out Turkey Bacon Cheeseburgers with Oven O-Rings


6 slices turkey bacon, chopped

1 tbsp EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)

1 cup cornmeal

1 tsp smoked chipotle powder or 2 tsp chilli powder

All-purpose flour, for dredging, about 1 cup

1 ½ cups buttermilk

1 large sweet onion, sliced ½ inch thick and divided into rings

2 lbs ground turkey breast

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup spicy brown mustard

¾ cup shredded or crumbled sharp Cheddar cheese

½ head of redleaf or other lettuce, chopped

1 beefsteak tomato, sliced

4 kosher dill pickles, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Arrange the bacon in a large non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat. Slowly crisp up the bacon, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the bacon from the skillet and, when cool, chop. Add the EVOO to the remaining drippings and set aside.
  3. While the bacon is crisping, combine he cornmeal and chipotle powder in a shallow bowl. Set up two more shallow bowls, filling one with the flour and the other with the buttermilk. Dip the onion rings in the buttermilk, then dredge the rings in the flour, tossing them lightly in your hands to remove the excess. Dip them once again in the buttermilk, and finally coat them fully with the cornmeal mixture. Place the dredged rings on a cookie sheet and bake until crispy, 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. While the onion rings are baking, place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix in the mustard. Divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Shape each portion into a burger, making a well in the center. Fill the well of each with one quarter of the crisp bacon pieces and 2 tbsp of the cheese. Carefully form the burger around the cheese and bacon filling, making sure the filling is completely covered. Return the skillet you cooked the bacon in to medium-high heat. Add the burger patties to the hot skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes longer, turning occasionally. Do not press down on the burgers as they cook.
  5. Serve each burger on a bed of lettuce topped with sliced tomato, chopped pickles, and a few oven o-rings.

Serves 4

Monday, February 9, 2009

so, we're setting the table for dinner tonight, and as i'm wiping the table, Bram is playing with his plate, tapping it on the table and making a lot of noise of it. i say, "bram, please stop that. thank-you."

bram says, "but don't you like it, mommy? it's my song that i wrote. it's called the plate song."

what do you say to that?! lol i kissed him on the forehead, and blogged it. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Incredibly Cheesy Turkey Meatloaf

Prep time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hr 15 mins

Makes 8 servings

2 lbs ground turkey

I cup milk

I cup rolled oats

2 eggs

1 pkg ranch dressing mix

¾ lb cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl, mix the turkey, milk, oats, eggs, and ranch mix by hand. Fold the cheese cubes into the mixture. Transfer to a loaf pan.
  3. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).

This is in the oven right now, and mm-mmmm, does it ever smell good! J i'll update after we try it. My mom made it the other week, minus the ranch dressing mix. That's my little improv. But it works in the turkey burgers, so hey, why not in meatloaf, i figure. We shall see. Like i said, i'll update later tonight. Bon app├ętit!

UPDATE: this was AWESOME!!!!!!!! highly recommend it, give it a whirl. love it love it love it love it love it

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i like this blog. this is where i write about homelife. my kids, my pets, recipes, natural cleaning products, gardening, cool finds... that's what i write about here. this is the hands-on part of my personal journey. i'm reclaiming myself, a self i lost in a hospital somewhere, among all the meds, plastic, waste and complexity that comes with Special Needs parenting. i crave simplicity, and this is my journey to create it for my family and me.

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