Saturday, July 30, 2005

I feel like I gotta post something

It is a happy day on the internet for me. Finally the CLBB is back up and running. I had a bit of a time getting to log in again, but I had some wonderful help, and the world is back to normal. It's funny. Even though I knew the boards were down for updating, and no one else was getting on either, I felt like I was going to miss out on something if I didn't try logging in as much as I could. I know, sad isn't it. It did work out for the best, because I got a lot done over the last two days as far as cleaning and packing things up goes. So I guess that's good.

I have to say that I have really been enjoying reading many different foodie blogs over the last few days. I can only apologize for mine not being quite so entertaining. Maybe someday I will get that camera I want, and then there will be glorious pictures upon pictures. In the meantime though, maybe I can inspire you to try something different. I inspire myself sometimes, but most often I am inspired by other people who will try anything once.

This recipe is indeed different for me. Tuna Burgers. That's right- burgers. Now in my little world, tuna comes in a can and gets mixed with Miracle Whip and veggies to create tuna salad. That's it. I don't care for hot tuna- unless it's a tuna melt. But then the tuna has to stay slightly on the cool side while the American cheese slice on top gets melty and browned. There's a fine line there that can only be met with a careful eye and a toaster oven. But I digress. I saw an episode of Food 911 a long time ago. On that episode Tyler went to the home of a Day Care Mom who couldn't get her kids to eat her tuna salad. Yuck. She didn't drain the can enough. Anyway, he made these tuna burgers, and by golly, every single one of the kids gobbled them up. I just had to try them. Now the recipe calls for fresh tuna steaks. Yes, fresh is probably best, but we're not making sushi here, so go ahead and purchase frozen tuna steaks- they'll work just as well. Just make certain that you thaw them properly.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Tuna Burgers
Recipe By :Tyler FlorenceServing Size : 6
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method--
1 1/2 pounds tuna steaks -- cleaned and trimmed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 green onion -- chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley -- chopped
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs

Cut tuna into tiny pieces. Combine all ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Brush with vegetable oil.
Pan fry over medium heat, five minutes per side.
Description: "Sandwich"Source: "Food 911" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 216 Calories; 7g Fat (31.7% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 105mg Cholesterol; 137mg Sodium.

Now when I made them, I did fry them as he said, but I found the burgers to be slightly on the dry side when done. The burgers are a little softer in nature than say a ground beef burger. More like a turkey burger in texture actually. But the flavor was quite good. We topped them with a dab of mayo, lettuce and tomato. And they were quite good. Abigail ate hers, Zander ate his, and we deemed them repeater. I do think though that if you used a grill basket and some oil, you could certainly cook the burgers on a grill. They would probably be even better that way. We'll do that one soon, I think.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sorry, no new jam today

Ah, I actually accomplished something housewise today. So I am sorry to say that I did not jam today. However, I did manage to get my bathroom torn apart and painted. It actually looks really nice. Tonight after the kids go to bed I will also be painting the hallway. It's all prepped- just needs the paint. I also managed to pack away some kids clothes, all of our sweaters, and pull out some new clothes for Zander. I had been planning to do a major laundry day, but with threatening weather headed this way, I thought it would be best to do laundry tomorrow so I can hang it up. But I feel good that I accomplished something. Who knows what will get done tomorrow. Tonight I will sit down with some posterboard and make a large calendar for the next few weeks, detailing each day with some packing and a cleaning task. Ugh. I hate moving.

We Be Jammin'

Well, I've been a busy little beaver! Making the blueberry lime jam the other day really got me going! I always forget how much I love to make jam. I know, I know, we have a move coming up and I should be working on getting my house clean. But homemade jam!!! Yesterday the cherries at the grocery store called to me. So I picked up 4 pounds of cherries to make jam with. I've never made cherry jam. And to be honest, except for my spiced blueberry jam (which i LOVE) I have never made jam except from the directions on a box of pectin. I found a cherry jam recipe in a Better Homes and Garden's book- and proceded. I hade intended to make 2 batches, but I used more than half the cherries to make one batch. So I made and processed the first batch and assessed my fridge.

I found a few more pints of blueberries- no what could be better than cherries AND blueberries? So I used the cherry jam recipe again, using about 3 cups cherries and 1 cup of blueberries. Oh..My..God. That is the single best jam I've ever made. It has this fabulous sweet and tart flavor all its own. A single mouthful produces a punch of the sweetest gooey goodness. You can literally taste the cherry followed by the sweetness that can only come from a blueberry. And you are left going- "wow, that tasted wonderful!"

The cherry jam by itself I was a little disappointed with. I think my problem was that I used fresh squeezed lemon juice for the 1/4 cup juice called for. I think it added too much of a fresh lemon tang- and while good, it almost is more of a lemony cherry jam. I can taste the lemon. Still good, but not the sweet goodness I was shooting for. So with the Cherry-Berry (nice name huh?) I used bottled lemon juice. And the fruity flavors just shine. Lesson learned on the bottled lemon juice, I think. I will save the fresh juice for marmalade, or a lemon- something jam. I am proud of the Cherry-Berry though.

Next up (I think) is a batch of Nectarine Plum Apple I got from Beth on the Cooking Light bulletin board. Beth seems to be some kind of canning genius, she has recipes and tips for everything. I just love reading her advice and experience. Anyway, she shared this recipe with me,and I hope to give it a whirl today. We'll see though. I feel like I've been neglecting my house, (not to mention kids) and I have a rule that I can't start a canning project until my kitchen is clean to start with. And well, my kitchen is a little bit trashy looking from yesterday's jamming.

And if that CL bulletin board is not working soon- I think I'm going to scream! Supposedly there is a big update going on. I can only hope that whatever they are updating does not ruin the boards. Surely there wil be something for everyone to complain about. One can only hope that maybe they are adding more smilies- and that will make everything okay. ;-)

On the Zander front, I have a bit of proud Mommy progress to report. Last night he spent the whole night in his big boy bed in his own room. Yippee! The night we got home from camping, he slept all night there too. Then on Sunday he spent the night in Mommy's bed because he wasn't feeling well. Monday night I had a fight on my hands. He did not want to go to bed. He kept crawling out of his bed (not an easy feat, mind you) so I decided to put him where he couldn't get out- his crib. Yeah, he was out of the crib before I was even out of the room!!! Seriously. So I put him back in, thinking it a fluke. Nope. He crawled out. So he spent the night in Mommy's bed again- only this time Abigail joined him. (I'm running out of room!) Two nights ago he fell asleep in my arms- so I put him in his big boy bed. He spent most of the night there- but woke up and ended up in bed with me again. But last night- he spent the whole night there! And woke up a sparkley little boy! Tonight after he's asleep I am going to put some toys at the end of his bed to find in the morning. I really want him to like his bed- and he seems to so far. This weekend Andy has to take down the crib. The way he crawls out of the crib is scary. He kind of half falls- so it's going away. Probably to the curb, it's pretty beat up.

Anyway, if anyone's interested in the Cherry-Berry recipe, here it is. It uses not quite 2 pounds of cherries, and basically a pint of blueberries that have been picked over. Pick over the cherries, pit, and coarsley chop them. Pick through the blueberries, and coarsely chop those. Measure 4 cups chopped fruit and juice. (admittedly though, I was over the 4 cup measure on the cup- but not by too much).

4 cups cherries blueberries
1 box powdered pectin (not low sugar)
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon zest
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
5 cups sugar

Combine fruit, pectin, zest, and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugar, and return to a full boil over high heat, stirring the entire time. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat, skim with a metal spoon, if necessary. Ladle into hot jars and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Start timing after the water has returned to a boil.
Makes 7 half pints.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

It's zucchini time!

Well, the garden has started to run over. Mom shared with me the first bunch of "bread zucchini" as we call it. One zucchini made four loaves of zucchini bread. I popped two into the freezer- but I am happily munching away at the other two. I still use my mom's bread recipe with a minor adjustment. I did my searching, and the bread with the flavor I liked best was Mom's. The only thing I don't like about it is the cup of oil. So instead I use 1/2 cup oil, and 1/2 cup applesauce. Works perfectly. It's enough oil to mantain the integrity of the bread. Yesterday's breads were Mom's version- with chocolate chips, because I had a bag of mini chips to use up. Today I am using the second large bread zucchini, and I plan to make chocolate zucchini bread. (After I go and get some cocoa, of course). I thought I would share that recipe. It's just enough different. And I think the recipe originally came from Mom Waz. I'm not totally sure of that- but it is one of the few recipes Andy had when we got together, and it's a keeper. I don't usually reduce the oil in this one.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 1/2 cups zucchini -- shredded
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup nuts

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine ingredients, and pour into 2 loaf pans.
Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean.
- -

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It's time to hit the canner!

So despite the fact that I should be concentrating on purging my house of trash and start getting a packing order planned, I just had to can something. I saw an ad in our local paper that pickling cucumbers were available- and that got me excited about making my Kosher Dill Pickles. So I whipped out the recipe and made my shopping list. Surpirsingly I only needed mustard seeds and dill heads- and of course the cucumbers. Then I tagged a recipe for Curry Dills which sounded unique, so I headed off to my local grocer to pick up the mustard seeds before heading to the farmstand.

Well, they were out of mustard seeds. Apparantly someone beat me to them. I was not about to drive 20 minutes one way for seeds, so I put my plan on hold. I was sooo disappointed. Well. When I got to the produce department I found that they had blueberries on sale for 99 cents a pint!!! So I changed plans and picked up some pectin for blueberry jam. I also had a bunch of limes that needed to be used, so I made some blueberry lime jam. It's setting up as we speak- and tastes pretty good. Next time I will up the lime zest a bit- but it's a nicely sweet jam with a bit of tang from the lime.

Anyway here's the recipe if anyone's intersted. It's from the Ball Blue Book

Blueberry Lime Jam

Yield: about 6 half-pints

4 1/2 cups blueberries
1 package powdered pectin
5 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon grated lime peel
1/3 cup lime juice

Crush blueberries one layer at a time. Combine crushed blueberries and powdered pectin in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in grated lime peel and lime juice. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Maybe tomorrow I'll do some driving so that I can make some pickles. I will share those recipes too when I get a chance.

Ahhhhh! Withdrawal!!!!

Not a good morning!!! The Cooking Light Bulletin Boards that I frequent every day are malfunctioning!!! This is a travesty! Everytime I try to check in, I get javascript. How terrible. It has been like that since about 8:00 last night- I hope they fix it soon!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Okay I lied

I said I probably wouldn't be cooking much. Here it is- extremely hot outside, and I 'm dying to turn on the oven. Dumb, dumb me. It is quite toasty in my house right now.

However, the recults of said oven turning on are quite tasty. In fact, pretty darn good if I may say so. I received a new issue of Cooking Light today, and I had to make this, given the fact that Mom gave me a zucchini from her garden and said- use quickly. So I did. This recipe reminds me so much of fried zucchini- without the frying. Obviously it is not a substitute (what can possibly compare to fried zucchini) but these are delicious, and a wonderfully different way to use the zucchini. Here's the recipe:

* Exported from MasterCook *
Zucchini Oven Chips
Serving Size : 4
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method-------- ------------ -------------------------------- 1/4 c dry breadcrumbs
1/4 c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps skim milk
2 1/2 c zucchini slices -- 1/4" thick
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp
Source: ""Cooking Light Aug 2005 p. 150""Yield: "3/4 c" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 74 Calories; 2g Fat (23.8% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 10g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 4mg Cholesterol; 245mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Okay, now for my slight changes. I used Italian Style dry bread crumbs (I like Progresso brand, 99 cents for a can that lasts for a long time) instead of plain bread crumbs. I also baked mine on a stone instead of the oven rack procedure given. That just seemed silly to me. I baked them for 20 minutes, then flipped them over for the remaining 10 minutes. Perfectly crispy and delightful. The only thing I might change is to slice them a little thicker next time so they are juicy in the middle. In my opinion, these are screaming for a bit of marinara for dunking, but they really are good as is. Oh- and I think I would reduce the seasoning salt by half next time. The parmesan contributes salt, and they seem a tiny bit salty to me. But enjoy! So easy and so yummy! Great for a snack or part of a meal I think.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Back from camping!

Well, we're back. We had a good time camping. Abigail and Zander had a good time being outdoors- and I have to say, they slept REALLY well at night. So well, in fact, that Zander spent the entire night without Mommy. I'm debating putting him into his big boy bed tonight. I have a few more hours to decide for sure. First I have to find his bed under the mound of toys. =)

Back to the camping bit...I was a little disappointed with the water conditions. We were on the Green Bay and I didn't think the water could green up there- but it did. There was one day that we were in the water, but otherwise there was this thick pea-soup like muck all along the shore. If you went in a little bit, it was fine, but I could not, for the life of me, get Zander in the water. I had hoped that I would be able to take him to the beach, and just let him play how he wanted- whether that be in the sand or the water or both. But with green water...anyway. It was a good thing there was a nice breeze blowing off the bay. The last few nights Abigail was wishing for home, so we decided to come home early. Silly girl. Once Grandma and Grandpa left (and cousin Kara) she got real sad and said that she missed home. So we packed it up. Of course, as we pulled away from the campground it started to pour- and I imagine that it rained for a good aprt of the day- so thankfully we missed that! And then we got home, unpacked, and as soon as we were done, it started raining here. So timing was perfect for not planning it!

And for a house update- we are taking it! And of course, now that we've decided we are taking it, we want to get the moving process over with. We told our current landlord that we will be out by September 1st. But we're hoping our new landlords give us the month of August for free so that we can move over the course of a few weeks. With Andy working out of town, that is the best plan for us. That way I can pack up the van every day and move a little bit over there. Plus there's cleaning and painting to do. We will be adding some color to the new place- and I'm really looking forward to that. We are also going to paint this house for Lisa. The kitchen/bath/hallway here need a coat of paint- and we want to do that before we leave here. We are also ISO a new washer and dryer (If you don't know what ISO means- see previous posts!) so if anyone hears of a pair going for a reasonable price...

Well, I think that's it for now. I am sorry to say that with a move coming up, I may not get much done in terms of cooking and trying new recipes. I am sorry about that...but hopefully I will get a little something done in the mean time. =)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Goin Campin...

I will be away from my computer for the next week. I'm taking my kids camping. I must be insane. Andy will be there in the evenings, and Mom and Dad will be there- but for the most part, I am taking my beauties camping by myself. Yikes! Wish me luck! Hoefully I'll remember to take pictures so I can post them later.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

An Update

Well, we've gone and done it, I think. We received a call this week on our ad. It was someone with a 3 BR duplex- and were we really set on a house? Um, yeah. I thought. The woman on the phone was so nice- I thought a peek at the duplex couldn't hurt. I took along Lizzie for another perspective. It ended up I rather liked the place. The living room is small. And the basement is smaller than the one we have- but since we have a HUGE basement, it wouldn't be hard to be smaller. The three bedrooms though are very large. The two kids rooms have very large closets, and they are the size of our large bedroom now. The master bedroom has a huge walk-in closet and a private full bathroom! There is an additional full bathroom on the second floor, so there's no worries about kids in the night with the steps. The kitchen is much bigger than the one we have and has a distinct dining area. Although, in fairness, any kitchen is bigger than our kitchen. I have to say, Lizzie was no help at all in pointing out the bad. =)

So this morning Andy went to look at it. The things he didn't care for, were really trivial factors. Neither of us like the living room. So hopefully we can do something to it to jazz it up and make it more homey. Anyway. Our ad is supposed to run in the paper for 2 more weeks. I would hate to take the duplex, only to have someone with a decent house call. So we are sending our application plus some earnest money to the homeowners. That way it's on hold for us, and we can let the ad play out. We also don't want to hold out for 2 more weeks waiting, and then someone else comes along to rent the duplex. So I guess we're moving! We are planning to be in the last weekend in August. The kicker here is that we were hoping for someplace that could either be a rent to own, or something we would purchase eventually- and these people would also potentially be interested in selling. So we could very well be moving into our first "house". It's amazing how things work out.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

My cup runneth over...

Last night my 17 month old son wrapped his arms tightly around my neck, gave me a humungous hug (his first "real" hug) and said to me "I yuh you." Nuff said. I love my little boy too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Just a quick post

I have decided that I am entirely too busy right now. On Monday I was trying to figure out how I was going to fit everything in for the week that I needed to. We have a wedding this weekend, and I am decorating both the church and the hall for them. I am also trying to get organized and ready to go camping for a week. We are really not ready for a week long camping experience. We need too many things to make it comfortable. Then on top of that I wanted to clean the house, just in case they needed to show it next week while we were gone. Well guess what? The reality fairy paid a visit, and I have to have the house spotless by 5:30 pm today for a showing. Grr.

It gets worse.

Last night, the garbage disposal decides it's had enough. I'm not talking about a simple fix, like something is stuck in it. Nope. I think it has passed on to appliance doom. Yeah, and there's stuff in there. To top it all off, the absolute worst thing right now is that our TV has decided to throw in the towel. We have no picture at all. I can hear stuff, but the picture never comes on. Financially, we are really not in a position to buy a new TV and the TV stand we'll need to go with it. I can certainly manage without the TV, but there really are times when I would just like to turn on Backyardigans for Zander and Abigail to chill out with while I get supper on the table.

So today I will look at Hobby Lobby at their markdown furniture and see if I can find something inexpensive to temporarily set a TV on, and I will bring up the smaller TV from the basement for now. The drawback there is that I can't plug anything into the TV, so I won't be able to access cable channels over 88, and not VCR or DVD. But at least it will be something.

And on the looking for a house front, the ad is running in the paper. Imagine my surprise when I get a phone call by 2:00 on Monday- right away! Unfortunately, it is a 3 BR, but it has no basement, no bathtub, a 1 car tiny garage, and it's right on HWY 54. I mean, right on the highway. I think we might at least look at it and see what we could do with it, but it is not set very far back from the highway, and I cannot imagine allowing the kids to play outside there. So strike one. Hopefully we'll get another call. The ad repeats in today's paper, and then it also runs for 2 more weeks. So wish us luck there!

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Happy Spaghetti

Last night I made Giada's Lemon Spaghetti. It was such a bright, happy summery dish. It was definitely very lemony. I probably would not serve this as a main course- it features much better as a side dish. I served it alongside Greek marinated chicken thighs and a panzanella salad. It was great, a very simple and quick dinner. The lemon spaghetti literally takes seconds to throw together. In fact, you could get everything prepped in the amount of time it takes the spaghetti to cook. Great dish. It will be repeated here.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Lemon Spaghett
Recipe By :Giada De Laurentiis Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00Categories :
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound spaghetti
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 494 Calories; 25g Fat (46.1% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 57g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 0 Fruit; 5 Fat.
NOTES : I used half the amount of olive oil with no problems. I also reduced the lemon juice, just a tad. I used the juice of two lemons, which was less than half a cup, in addition, I used a scant tablespoon of lemon zest. This was happy spaghetti.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

What does ISO mean?

So I have placed an ad in the local Buyer's Guide. The gist of the ad is that we are looking for a 3 BR house to rent in the area. I submitted my ad online, and a sales rep. called to confirm text and arrange payment. The ad started like this: Seymour family ISO house to rent long term in Seymour area. I kid you not, the sales lady asked me "what does ISO stand for?" You're kidding right? In the age of computers, how is it possible she didn't know what ISO meant? And she is a newspaper ad salesperson- I would think they would have tons of different abreviations that they come across on a day to day basis. When I told her it was "in search of" she said, "oh, that makes sense, I have room here, so we'll just print it out." Whatever lady, as long as you're not charging me per word.

My ad will run for 3 weeks, and I'm hoping someone bites. i think. We really don't want to move, but we literally do not have room where we are now. If we can't find a house to rent now, we will suck it up and stay here until we do find one. We obviously will not move to an apartment, and it would be hard to move into another duplex. Ideally we are looking for a long term rental that we can eventually purchase when we can secure the financing. That would mean a decent enough yard for the kids to play in and for me to have my herb garden. Of course, a minumum of 3 BR's, a basement, PAINTABLE walls, and either a larger kitchen, or the potential for a larger kitchen with a little remodelling. It's probably asking for a lot- but I might as well hold out for something good. I do have my eye on a couple of houses in particular that have been on the market for awhile. I'm hoping that the sellers of these homes are having a tough tme selling, and will be willing to rent. So we'll see. If we are meant to move, an opportunity will present itself shortly, otherwise we are staying put.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Recipe # 2: Basic Polenta

Well, I gave it a whirl. I don't know what I expected from polenta. After all, it is basically corn meal and salt. Back in the day it may even have been known as gruel. What I made was essentially a variation of Cream of Wheat. On a normal day, for breakfast, I love cream of wheat. I am not a fan of breakfast foods for other meals. I couldn't see myself sitting down to a scoop of polenta with bolognese on it, so I did stray from the recipe a tad.

I pressed it into an 11x7 pan and refrigerated it until it was firm. Then I was able to cut the polenta into squares and saute them with a little butter- vastly improving the taste and texture. I heated up my leftover bolognese and had myself a very satisfying supper. Really satisfying actually. I had a fairly small bowl, and it filled me up before I could finish what I had put together, so I had leftovers for lunch. Howevwer, the jury is still out on the polenta. It was a very good foil for the bolognese, I admit that, but I am just not sure I like it. There are 2 other polenta recipes in Giada's, and I will try them both to accomplish the challenge. I'm just not sure. I am pretty certain that Andy would not like polenta. But I am wondering if it is something Zander would eat- maybe with a little grape jelly on it? I will think about it. Anyway, here is the recipe for inquiring minds.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Basic Polenta
Recipe By : Giada De Laurentiis Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:05
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method-------- ------------ -------------------------------- 6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the butter, and stir until melted.
Start to Finish Time: "0:25" - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 198 Calories; 6g Fat (29.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 31g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 16mg Cholesterol; 720mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain(Starch); 1 Fat.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

Happy 4th of July all! Last night we shared our little fireworks display with some close friends, and had a good time visiting. To me 4th of July is about connecting with friends and celebrating the good things in life and the wonders of living in a country where we are free to celebrate as we please. This year it seems to have a little special meaning as a dear friend is traveling this weekend visiting with family and friends before heading to Iraq. While he is there he will be helping a people gain the same freedoms that we take for granted every day. Not only will he be serving his country, he will be serving his God as he shares his testimony with anyone who will listen. Whether that be fellow soldiers or the Iraqi people, he will share. Have you been thinking of a friend that you have lost touch with? This is the perfect holiday to catch up and share a story. Even a quick note of "Been thinking of you" can cheer the lowliest spirit. Most importantly, have a safe and happy holiday, and remember to give a prayer and a thought to those overseas fighting for freedom who are unable to celebrate with us.