Lemon-Mustard Chicken and Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

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Lemon-Mustard Chicken

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

2 1/2 to 3 lbs meaty chicken pieces (I used breasts)

2 tbl cooking oil

1 tbl Dijon-style mustard

1 tbl lemon juice

1 1/2tsp lemon-pepper seasoning

1 tsp dried oregano or basil, crushed

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 as I am a rebel)

1- Preheat broiler.  Skin chicken (if you used thighs or drumsticks).  Place chicken bones sides up, on the unheated rack of a broiler pan.  Broil 4-5″ from the heat for 15-20 min, or until light brown.

2-Meanwhile, in a bowl stir together oil, mustard, lemon juice, lemon-pepper seasoning, oregano, and cayenne pepper.  Brush mustard mixture on chicken.  Turn chicken; brush with remaining mixture.  Broil for 5 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink.

3 oz= 207 cal 11g fat 1g carb

Butternut Squash Gratin with Blue Cheese and Sage

Cooking Light Dec 2008

5 c cubed peeled butternut squash

1 slice white bread (I used a hamburger bun that was about to be pitched)

4 tsp olive oil

2 c thinly sliced onion (I chopped mine)

1 tbl chopped fresh sage (mine was dried)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground pepper

Cooking spray

1/2c crumbled blue cheese

1-pre-heat oven to 400

2-steam squash, covered, 10min or until tender

3-place bread in a food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 c.  Transfer to small bowl; add 2 tsp oil, use fork to combine.

4-heat remaining oil in a lg non-stick skillet over med-high heat.  Add onion to pan; saute 5 min or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl.  Add butternut squash, chopped sage, salt, and black pepper to bowl, toss to combine.  Spoon into 11x 7 baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle blue cheese evenly over squash mixture, sprinkle evenly with a breadcrumb mixture.  Bake 10 min or until cheese is melted and crumbs are golded brown.

1 cup  186 cal  6.4g fat  30.9 carb

This was an excellent meal.  The chicken was good, but the squash was better.  It tasted like potatos!  Even Ben liked this and he hates blue cheese.

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Next day Turkey Soup Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

So Ben and I were wandering Target on Saturday and came across young turkeys for $.70 a pound.  So we bought it.  And stayed up until 3 am cooking it.  And the next day a soup was born.

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That Food Network ….they never disappoint.

My veggies were butternut squash and green beans. The squash was really good in this. You could add egg noodles and it would be good. I thought it was good in it’s own.

Oh what a year! Sunday, Dec 28 2008 

 

So 2008 began with a sleepover on the floor of our family room.  I fell asleep before Corbin.  On February 9th Ben and I got married at the church I spend the vast majority of my childhood in.  I wish my Grandma Corbin had been alive to see it. 

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Feburary was also the official change of A.G. Edwards to Wachovia Securities.  So my business cards and e-mail address changed 3 times! 

On March 2 my baby, Corbin Dalton Glaser, turned three.

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On March 9th, his 65th wedding anniversary, my Grandpa Kelley died.  Corbin did well understanding the death of his “pappy”.  Although he does not understand why we put his body in the ground if Jesus lives up in the sky.  But the music played my the American Legion men distracted him. 

 

Also in March, Ben and I went on our honeymoon.  We went on a Caribbean cruise.  I was 26 weeks pregnant, but still had a good time.  I learned that there are waaay too many places to buy diamonds and tacky jewelry.  I also learned that the beach is fun, but not my thing.  It is a good thing I come from Kansas.

 

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(Us at a bar in St. Thomas)

Our only other trip was a weekend in Iowa.  Long drive for a very pregnant woman.  Long weekend of nothing but football.  Ben likes to drive up there is visit a good friend of his from his Army days. 

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(Corbin with Cody and Tanner.  Their mom, Mandi, took this photo and some other neat ones of Corbin!)

In June 30,2008 brought Eleanor Jeanette Roberts.  This is the same day my grandma, Lois Jeanette Wilson Corbin, was born back in 1925.  Since me and Eleanor share her middle name, I found it fitting. 

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So I spent the summer home with my kids.  Corbin took a couple weeks of from Canterbury Academy to spend time with his new sister.  He also filled his summer with soccer camp, swim lesson, and dance camp. 

The summer also brought on my desire to learn to cook.  Since then we have done extremely well in the banishment of processed foods from our home.  I have learned to make pretty much anything from scratch (as displayed here in my blog). 

October brought a turbulant stock market, which is news to no one. It made for interesting times in my career.  Wachovia was caught in a tug of war with Citi (who did not want the securities division) and Wells Fargo.  Wells Fargo won out and in the next couple of months my company will have a new name.  It has not yet been decided what that name will be.  Do not fret, they have hired a consulting company to help with that decision. <insert eye roll here>  So our clients were  losing 50% of their portfolios and had no clue if our doors were going to stay open.  Not for the faint of heart 🙂

November brought the discovery that my Grandma Kelley (Corbin’s omie) has Stage 4 lymphoma.  She is going through Chemotherapy and we were unable to see her over Christmas due to our colds.

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On December 9th Eleanor had her baby blessing.  My mom made her and amazing dress!  I was sad that we were unable to have her blessing at Countryside like we did with Corbin (the same church we were married in).  Mom now works at a very tiny church about an hour a way in St. Joseph, MO. 

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Next week Eleanor will turn 6 months old.  Ben will decide if he wants to remain at the University of Kansas to finish his undergraduate degree or go in another direction.  I have a feeling next year will be just as busy as this one…  God Bless and Happy New Year!

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Snowmen Cupcakes! Tuesday, Dec 16 2008 

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So it’s not the best picture. 

These were quite and undertaking for me.  Chocolate cupcakes, buttercream icing, homeade marshmallows…

First thing is first-

Chocolate Cake (from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)

3/4c butter

3 eggs

2 c all-purpose flour

3/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c milk

1-allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for 30 min.  Pre-heat oven to 350. In med bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2- In lg mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on med to high speed for 30 seconds.  Gradually add sugar, 1/4 c at a time, beating on medium speed until well combined. Scrape sides of bowl; beat 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time,beating after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.  Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture. beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.  Beat on medium to high speed for 20 seconds or more.

3- I put Christmas liners into my cupcake pan.  Filled with the batter and baked for 15 minutes.

Then….

Buttercream icing (also from Better Homes and Gardens)

3/4 c butter, softened

8 c powdered sugar

1/3 c milk (I used buttermilk)

2 tsp vanilla

1- In an extra large mixing bowl beat butter with an electic mixer on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add 2 c of the powdered sugar, beating well. 

2-Beat in 1/3c milk and vanilla.  Gradually beat in remaining sugar.  Beat in additional milk to reach spreading consistancy.

Some of this was seperated and dyed black, orange, and blue for the decoration on the marshmallows.  I used evil icing bags for that.  Nightmare.

On to the homeade marshmallows-

Marshmallows

Ingredients:
4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
water
3 c. granulated sugar
1 1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

 

powdered sugar for slicing

Directions:
-In large saucepan over medium high heat, combine 3/4 c. water, sugar and corn syrup.
-Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer place 3/4 c. water and sprinkle gelatin on top, let plump.
-Bringing sugar mixture to boil, place candy thermometer in middle of mixture, making sure not to touch the side or bottom of the pan and let keep a rolling boil until mixture passes 235 degrees, about 3-5 minutes.(I did not have a candy therm so I just let is boil for 5 min)
-With mixer on low, carefully pour sugar mixture into mixer bowl and slowly raise beater to high speed.
-Beat sugar mixture on high for five minutes and then add vanilla. (If you’d like to add other flavors here like peppermint, color, or cocoa powder for chocolate, add now).
-Continue beating mixture for an additional 5 minutes.
-Meanwhile, oil a 9×13 pan for large marshmallows or two 10×10 pans for small marshmallows. (I used a 9×13 pan.  I think I should have used a smaller pan, they were a little too shallow.  I also should have used a glass pan)
-When done beating, pour sugar mixture into pan(s), smooth top and tap to release extra air.
-Leave on counter overnight to form.
-Generously sprinkle working surface with powdered sugar, turn out marshmallow mixture, generously sprinkle with powdered sugar, and cut as desired, lightly coating marshmallow shapes with powdered sugar to avoid sticking.

Mine would not come out of the pan.  I cut around the edges of the pan and found I was able to easily pull the entire sheet out at once.  I covered the knife in powdered sugar and they sliced easily.  They were so easy I don’t think I will ever eat them from a bag again!

9×13 pan makes about 96 large marshmallows that can be stored in a container for about a week.

 

I hope Corbin’s class likes these!  It was a lot of work for a bunch of pre-schoolers!

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies Tuesday, Dec 16 2008 

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I saw these somewhere in the blog world and remembered making them as a kid!

I altered a peanuit butter blossom recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens.  I find these recipe to be easy to make and work with.

1/2 c shortening (I use butter flavor)

1/2 c peanut butter

1/2 granulated sugar

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1 egg

2 tbl milk (I used buttermilk)

1 tsp vanilla

1 3/4 c all-purpose flour

red m&ms, pretzels, and chocolate chips

1-pre-heat oven to 350

2-In a lg mixing bowl beat shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on med to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1/2 c sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.  Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl.  Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour.

3- Shape dough into circles and add the pretzels, m&ms, and chocolate chips.

Swedish Almond Cardamom Stars Tuesday, Dec 16 2008 

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I got these from December’s issue of Cooking Light as well.  I choose not to ice them, but let Corbin decorate them with Christmas sprinkles instead.

2 c all-purpose flour

1 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I could not get this at Hy-vee, Target had it)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4c almond paste, crumbled

1 tbl butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/3 c fresh orange juice

3 tbl canola oil

1- combine flour, 1 c sugar, baking soda, cardamom, and salt into food processor; process until blended.  Add almond paste and butter; process until blended.  Combine juice and oil.  With processor on, slowly pour juice mixture through food chute; process until dough forms into a ball.

2- divide dough in half.  Working with 1 portion at a time, gently press dough into a 4 inch square on a heavy-duty plastic wrap.  Cover with additional plastic wrap.  Roll each half of dough, still covered, to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Chill for 1 hr.

3-pre-heat oven to 375

4- working with one portion of dough at a time, remoce top sheet of plastic wrap; turn dough over.  Remove remaining wrap.  The recipie calls for the cookies to be cut into stars.   We went a different route-

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Place 2″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.  Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on pan for 5 min and then move to wire rack.

Calories 124 Fat 2.9 g Protein 1.3g Carb 23.5 g

These are very good and out small cutters made them a perfect kid sized cookie.  Corbin is saving some for Santa!

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies Sunday, Dec 14 2008 

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From December’s Issue of Cooking Light-

Cheesecake batter:

8oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese

1/3 c granulated sugar

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1 lg egg

1 lg egg white

1 tbl all-purpose flour

Brownie Batter:

1 c all-purpose flour

1/2 unsweetened cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/4 c canola oil

1/4 c buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 lg egg whites

1 lg egg

1-preheat oven to 350

2-prepare cheesecake batter.  Place cheese in med bowl; beat with mixer at med speed until smooth.   Add sugar and peppermint; beat well.  A 1 egg white and 1 egg; beat well.  Add 1 tbl flour; beat mixture just until blended.  I added a bit of red icing color.  This was my first attempt with that.  They look a bit too pink! 

3-Prepare brownie batter- combine 1 c flour, cocoa, and salt in med bowl, stirring with whisk.  Combine brown suger, oil, butter-milk, vanilla, 2 egg whites, and 1 egg in a large bowl.  Beat with mixer at med speed until well blended.  Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; beat at low speed until blended.

4-Reserve 1/2c brownie batter.  Pour remaining batter into a 9″ square baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Pour cheesecake batter over top.  Spread evenly.  Dot leftover brownie batter on the top.  Swirl with a knife.  Bake at 350 degrees for 26 minutes or until top is set.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. 

Makes 16 servings.

213 calories  7.5 g fat 4.4g protien 32.3 carbs

These are very good!  Perfect for the holidays and very easy to make!

The best things in life…. Monday, Dec 1 2008 

A conversation with the nesties tonight triggered a thought in my mind.  Perhaps it was watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with both my kids that has me feeling slightly sappy.  But it is my blog and I an be as sappy as I want :-).  So here it is.  A list of all the reasons I would not trade having kids for anything.  I really am lucky to have two pretty babies.  I can’t imagine life without kids.

Baby toes

The way babies position their arms when they sleep

When your 13 month old learns to put together a puzzle.  He clapped and laughed for 10 minutes.

The way Corbin says “my mommy pitty” (he meant pretty….I think)

The first cry….bar none

When you son informs you that he is going to grow up to have a baby in his tummy

The way a four month old puckers her lip to cry

The way the same four month old’s face lights up every time she sees you….even out of the corner of her eye

Four words “I love you mommy”

Realizing you are responsible for the upbringing of a really, really intelligent boy

Buying Christmas presents and letting Santa get the credit

The ticked off look babies get on their face the first time they try cereal

That lavender baby shampoo….I wish I could wash my hair in it

When you son dances around in Thomas the Tank Engine underwear….like a Chippendale dancer

When you have a bad day and your son accidently sees a tear on your face and says “You mad at me mommy. I was on green at school today.  So you would smile”

Oh and let’s not forget….being able to drop them off at Grandma and Grandpa’s at the drop of a hat when I am needing to feel like an grown adult!

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So the best things in life certainly aren’t free!  But worth the stretch marks…