Monday, September 12, 2011

Copycat recipe~Jason's Deli Portabello Wrapini

I LOVE Jason's Deli, love love love it.  They have delicious whole foods with organic and whole ingredients and are lower on sodium than most other restaurants and kids meals I can approve of. Sadly they are a far drive for me so I don't get to go often.   This is something I had there once and fell in love with so I have created my own version to have at home when I can't get there. 

You will need:
Flat Outs whole grain wraps
Bell peppers
Portabello Mushroom
Mozzarella cheese shreds
Red onions
Lite Ranch dressing

Chop, dice and/or slice the veggies to your desired size.  I slice mine thin for easier consumption.

Saute the portabello mushrooms in a light spray of olive oil to tenderize them or broil them under the oven broiler for a few minutes.  Heat a nonstick skillet on low and put in one wrap to warm on one side so it is easily flexible and a little toasty but not darkening.  Flip the wrap over and then quickly lay in 3-6 portabello slices depending on their size, then spread the veggies over the mushrooms, sprinkle on cheese, add lettuce, light drizzle of Ranch and a smear of guac (I do the guac to the side of the mushrooms just for easier spreading)  then wrap and flip.  You have to be careful not to over stuff or the wrap won't wrap and you have a mess on your hands...errr.... skillet.  Once toasted remove, plate and cut in half.  Enjoy! 

This is a delicious light meal that is easy on the waistline and the heart.  Low in fat and sodium and high in whole grains and fiber while being SUPER high in taste!! 

Skillet Fried Meatloaf~Not your mother's Meatloaf (well it is my moms)

Growing up we had a different kind of meatloaf.  My mother made this most delicious version of fried or skillet meatloaf that just the thought of can make my mouth water. It's not an ooey gooey blob of I'm-not-sure-this-is-cooked meat like substance.  This one is melt in your mouth deliciousness.  I have no idea the origin of it, I've never thought to ask.  Probably something she came up with to use what was in the cabinets and on hand.  A lot of good family recipes were born that way.  I make it now for my own family and it is a huge favorite so I thought I would share it with you.  As always is the case with me I've fiddled with it until I've made it my own somewhat.  Here is my version.  I can easily feed 6 with leftovers for my husband to take to work the next day.  I usually make small patties.  The measurements are guesstimates to an extent.  I am one of those toss and shake it in til I think that looks good :)

Skillet Fried Meatloaf

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup of bread crumbs
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp worstishire sauce
1 tbsp Mrs Dash garlic and herb or onion and herb

Mix together and form into patties of desired size and then fry in a skillet as you would hamburgers til medium well. 

Add to the top of the patties 1-2 cans of italian flavor diced tomatoes (depending on your love of tomatoes and how much sauce you want on your meatloaf, I use 2 cans) and half an onion that has been sliced into rings or strips  stir slightly to get the tomatoes one and over the patties and simmer on medium low until onions are tender (flip and stir as neccesary to keep them from burning, if tomatoes seem to be drying out add a little water.  You want the tomatoes to be the consistency of marinara when done) 

This is an easy and delicious meal.  While the meat is frying I put on carrots (simmered in a little butter and agave syrup) and some Mac N Cheese and mashed potatoes.  Wonderful comfort food for cold winter nights and so melt in your mouth tender!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Flying by the seat of my pants recipe night.....

Some of my best recipes have come when I was walking through the store and so lost at what to make that wasn't one of our major food groups.  See our food groups consist of Mexican which is the base of the pyramid and then italian and then everything else.  I get sick of the same old stuff and today was no exception.  I saw something that caught my eye in the meat department and picked up a couple of packages.  It was Oscar Meyer Southwest chicken strips.  Here is what came of it....

Here's the recipe:
2 packages of Oscar Meyer sliced ready cooked chicken breast in Southwest flavor chopped or hand shredded to smaller pieces (I found these in the meat dept at Walmart)
2 bags of boil in the bag brown rice
1 can of fat free low sodium cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups of milk
1/8 cup of heavy cream (sub with milk and an tbls of butter if desired)
5 slices American cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 bag of frozen broccoli
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
Heat soup, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cheese on stove until cheese is melted, mix in rice, chicken and broccoli  transfer to baking dish and bake at 400 until rice is tender and it is browning on top, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

Turned out to be the easiest most delicious dinner I've made in a long time!  And all by tossing some stuff together that worked in my head hoping it would work in the pan :)  Try being adventurous yourself sometime.  Take out is always a phone call away if it doesn't work out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Am I?

Beautiful that is....  I have a hard time believing it.  I find parts of myself pretty and likeable but I have the hardest time accepting all of me.  Really I have the hardest time accepting my middle section.  It's carried 4 children to term and has the scars and extra tires to prove it.  Because the outside of me makes me uncomfortable I don't let the inside show much eitheir.  I'm shy and quiet most of the time.  I remember fondly parts of my life, especially one year in particular,  when I was everything I wanted to be.  I was thin and pretty, outgoing and in charge so I know it is in there somewhere.  Somehow though in the chaos of life and marriage and being a mom I lost her again.  I like the me in my head, I wish she'd come out more often.  It's like a wrestling match everyday and it shocks a few people in the process but I am finally starting to realize that God and my Husband are both right.  I am beautiful and it's OK to let it show.  (But I am still going to work on getting rid of the middle section) 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Adventure in Raising Alexander

So my 2 yr old is a constant ball of energy.  We learn new things about what to do and not to do when it comes to raising him every day.  Things such as he can’t have red food dyes, he has to have a strict wake up, nap and bed time schedule, things of that nature (I have a suspicion he has his dad’s ADHD) .  He is curious about everything and tonight was no different.  He put a button cell battery in his mouth; one of those evil little tiny batteries in watches, flashlights and toys.  My oldest son pulled a baggie I had of them out a while back and dropped them, we have hard floors so they went rolling everywhere, I don’t know how many were in it so I didn’t know how many to find.  One turns up still on occasion.  Not sure if they are part of the original pack or if they just keep multiplying.  Anyway, back to tonight’s adventure.  Alexander coughs and spits out one of them.  We proceed to question him if he had swallowed one because my 10 yr old swears there was more than one (he’s known for saying anything to just have something to say so I’m not sure if I should believe him, he is also terrible at paying attention to details right now so he’s not really believable all of the time)  So we call Nana (my mom) and ask her what to do.  I get responses from my silly siblings like tie a string to a magnet, have him swallow a bulb and shake it at around see if it lights up, the neighbor has a metal detector, etc.  Goof balls!  Okay so truth be told I was thinking the same LOL  We hesitate to make too many calls to poison control too close together  for fear they get the wrong idea.  They don’t know Alex and what he is capable even with hawk eye supervision but luckily they were with my mom’s boyfriend who is a firefighter and he made a phone call for me.  I was advised to just make things move and so here we are at 11pm eating strawberries and Chex and drinking juice and I get the raw end of the deal tomorrow.  Ahhh, the joys of motherhood and another adventure in raising Alex! 

Friday, April 22, 2011

No expectations

I am a giver and a doer, it's just who I am.  I never expect in return and if I get a "Thank You" then it's nice but I never expect it.  My dad was too and I inherited it from him.  He taught me to just do my responsibilities and what's expected of me (and usually then some) with no expectations of my own for what I can get out of it. It's the "Jesus Spirit" I think.  It's how He manifests himself in me and through me.  I guess you could say it's the part of Jesus I identify with.   He gave and did himself right into a grave, fighting on my behalf, with no regards as to whether or not I would ever accept it or say Thank You, simply just to make sure it got done.  This Easter remember what we are celebrating and why and take a moment to check yourself and make sure you have told Jesus "Thank you!!"  If you haven't accepted Him as your saviour it is a simple easy thing to do. 

Pray right there where you are "Lord, I am a sinner, I know I can never be worthy on my own but thanks to your sacrifice I can be.  I ask you to change my heart and make me new and to fill me with your spirit and your love.  Amen." 

If you need someone to talk to I am always here, feel free to email me.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Putting it off

It is just one of those days where I'm feeling like why should I even bother if nothing is going to actually get done.  Things didn't go as planned this morning when I went out to get my deals at CVS and Walgreens (Wags was out of most of what I went there to get, left one coupon at home and it took 2 trips out cause I left my CVS card at home and the cashier couldn't figure out how to look it up) and due to a crazy weekend with little sleep the house is a mess and I can't even find or pick a starting point to dig out from under it.  Laundry is overflowing and my 2 yr old has been at it again.  I am one of those persons who if I feel frustrated and overwhelmed then I will inevitably do something wrong in my haste to just get it over with and get it done just to get whatever it is off my back making me even more frustrated so I've learned it is sometimes best to just not rather than loose my salvation trying plus my Daughter has a school program tonight so that means early dinner.  It is one of those days where I am just going to ignore the little things that can wait til tomorrow after I get some sleep and tackle a few big things that are really pressing.  Sometimes for everyone's sake it is just better that way. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Let me be me

I know we all have our soap boxes we like to stand on, those topics we are just so passionate about. I'm sure I am guilty to of an occasional rambling about something.  What I don't understand is why people feel the need to bash others ideas because they are different.  Everyone is entitled to make their own decision, it's the free will God bestowed upon us and we all have the right to exercise it.  The only non-negotiable ones are the ones in the Bible.  God's words are as is.  So feel free to make your case as long as you present it in a factual, kind manner.  Then take or leave it if I do or don't go along with it.  I merely expect you to bestow the same courtesy to me as I do to you. 

Some facts about me:
  1. I am a non/delay-vaccinating mom.
  2. We are public and homeschooling our kids (HS from 6th and up)
  3. We chose circumcision for our sons after much investigation.
  4. We let our kids self-wean from breast, bottle, and pacifier.
  5. We co-Sleep from birth if our baby wants to and for as long as they want to.
  6. I do baby wearing part time.
  7. I do a mix of disposable and cloth diapering.
  8. I only recycle aluminum cans and newspapers and I do use paper towels.
  9. I always question my Dr and do my homework before following their advice.
  10. We do part organic and part whole foods and part Gluten free diets. 

I present these not to start a debate, throw them in your face or say I am better than anyone, I present them to say I am a mom who has made my choices.  I gladly listen to others because I never know when I might learn something and if the subject arises I present my side and how I see it with facts to back it up and how I came to it but I never go around trying to make someone feel bad for their choice to use disposables, vaccinate or bottle feed or follow to a T what a Dr says just because I have a difference of opinion; or any of those other topics that seem to be such nightmare hot button issues.  I just leave it at that.  It's their job to mother their kids with what they see fit and what works for them and my job to do the same.  You wouldn't want someone making you feel like a second rate mom, why do think it is OK to do that to me??

Monday, March 28, 2011

Good time to start....

....Potty training that is!  It's spring so kiddos can go without pants and to make it even eaiser Pampers Kandoo line of products is offering up a high dollar coupon in next weeks paper.  This coming Sunday (4/3/2011) you can find a $1 Kandoo coupon in the P&G brandsaver available in most Sunday papers next to the Pampers coupons.  This make them as low as 65 cents a pack at Target.  These come in very handy, we use them a lot in this house, even the older kids still do.  Pick up multiple papers to save more or ask friends and family who may not have kids in the house for theirs.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Working through it....

Oh I am SOOOOO exhausted!  I have 4 kids, am a pastor's wife which means I run the church behind the scenes, have a large family (I am oldest of 9 kids) and also do my best to run my own little business to help make ends meet around here.  There is always something going on, never a dull moment.  My husband and I have been talking about how things have been chaotic and feeling out of control lately and how things keep getting neglected.  Such as lately I have been mopping when you start sticking to the floor because time passes and next thing I know it's been 2 or 3 weeks since I last mopped, things like that. Another thing that was getting neglected was quiet time reading and praying cause I would eek out every second of sleep I could when I could.   So we talked about putting our household on a schedule in hopes of things running smoother.  We started yesterday and it is so hard getting up earlier especially with my husbands erratic and late work schedule and the kids school schedules.  Trying to work in a few workouts a week so I can loose 60 pounds this year, making sure I get my work done and not forget important bills or errands for house and church (it's like running 2 households and then some)  So now we are getting up earlier, eating meals on a schedule and working out a chore list in hopes of things getting more manageable.  It feels at this moment as though it may be the death of me but I know in the end it will be worth it in more ways than one.  And if you see fit please pray for my sanity and strength!  I am learning perserverance the hard way.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Noah Bear....

I have a silly little 5 year old who is so much fun to talk to.  He entertains his aunts and uncles all the time.  I have 8 siblings from 31-14 and they love hanging with him even though he is only 5 because of whatever may come out of his mouth next. Well I thought I would share a few with you and will update it often as neccesary (which with him may be more than once an hour LOL) 

Some Noah-isms....
“I practiced my yawning and it made me tired so I can sleep now”
“Put 1 eye on my cup, no put both eyes on it” (So Alex won’t get it)
“I Have a Night headache”(as opposed to a day headache)
“Can you BOO my hiccups?”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Alexander the Great

I have a two yr old. Have I ever told you that?  He is a firey little thing who demands a lot of attention and he will get it one way or another.  Right now he is straddling my lap with his face in mine pulling my hair across my face.  Yes this does make it hard to type but I much prefer this method of attention to his usual ways.  He is a very curious little boy.  More than any of my others ever were, put together!  I have 3 kids older than him, 2 boys 1 girl, so you'd think I'd be prepared but nothing prepared me for him.  You know the story "Where the Wild Things Are"?  Well Alex is Max if I ever met one in real life. 

The stories go on and on of things he has broken and messes he has made.  Like the time he squeezed an entire bottle of massage oil on the couches.  Or the time he filled the toilet with his cloth diapers.  He has also dumped a whole bag of powdered sugar out and played in it like a sand box on the kitchen floor, poured soap and shampoo in the bottom of the bathtub so he could slip and slide and loves to stick dog food pellets along the top crack of the oven door so I get a shower on my feet when I open it just to name a few and he runs outside anytime the door is left unlocked and hits up great grandma next door for cookies. 

He is also very rough.  He had to take a trip to the ER because he pulled a screwed in hanging wall lamp out of the wall onto his face and ended up with three stitches, one of which he pulled out on the trip home.  He has always got a new bump or bruise or scratch from one of his latest antics and to him shoes are for sissys, he goes barefoot whereever, whenever no matter what.  I guess to experience things fully (and to get better toe grip! LOL) He really keeps me moving and reeling from whatever his latest stunt was. He has no fear (unless it is a half deflated ballon floating in mid air suspension) and goes whereever he wants to go with no regards to risk.  He is very passionate whether he is loving you or mad at you. 

His saving grace is that he is just so darn CUTE!  He looks at you with this side ways grin and big eyes and you just melt!  He looks just like my dad and acts like him too.  This scares me and gives me hope at the same time.  I've been told that my dad was a little terror as a child and teenager but despite his too short years on this earth he grew up to be one of the greatest men I ever had the privledge to know because he did everything with passion and he accomplished a lot and touched a lot of people.  I can only hope that if I survive raising Alex he will do as much and more than my dad ever dreamed of.