Monday, March 30, 2009

Recipeasy Monday: Coconut Custard Pie

I've been posting a lot of recipes lately and thought that I would make this a permanent feature on my blog. So now Mondays will be known as Recipeasy Monday!

My mother, Sue Homemaker, shared this recipe with me last week and I ran right out to get the ingredients so I could try it myself. This pie makes its own crust and is prepared by combining all ingredients in a blender.

2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate (preferably deep dish)**
3. Combine all ingredients in a blender, cover and beat on high for 15 seconds.
4. Pour into pie pan and bake approximately 50-55 minutes.
5. Refrigerate after cooling.
**If using a regular 9 inch pie plate, place the plate on a cookie sheet prior to adding the filling.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enter to win personalized market tote from Suzi Homemaker, Mom Made That

It's time for a GIVEAWAY! I am so excited about these shallow market totes that I had to give one away! Just visit my retail site and select which color market tote you want to win then head on over to Mom Made That, leave a comment and you will be entered to win. Additional entries are given for blogging or tweeting about the giveaway and subscribing to Mom Made That. Contest ends at 6 p.m. CST on March 31! Now git!

Suzi Homemaker's Pan Seared Tuna and Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad

This is one of my favorite dinners! The vegetable dish can be made using practically any vegetable and is suitable for meals year-round, just use seasonal veggies(cooking times may need to be altered if using root vegetables). Look how pretty these veggies look! They're just waiting to be cut up and devoured!

Warm Roasted Vegetable Salad
4 cups broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
6 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 bell peppers, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small package white button mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine vegetables, garlic and oil in large casserole dish; toss to coat.
2. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
3. Bake vegetables 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. (May take longer if using root vegetables or potatoes)
4. Meanwhile, whisk together mustard, vinegar and hot pepper sauce in small bowl until smooth. Stir mixture into hot vegetables; toss to coat. Sprinkle salad with basil; garnish if desired. Serve warm alone or over rice.

Pan Seared Tuna Steaks
2 1-inch thick tuna steaks, either fresh or thawed
1 T olive oil (or use cooking spray)
Lime or lemon juice
McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning

1. Heat oil in skillet until hot.
2. Rinse tuna steaks in water and pat dry.
3. Sprinkle both sides with lime juice.
4. Generously sprinkle both sides with Montreal Steak Seasoning
5. Place steaks in hot skillet and pan sear until desired doneness.
Serve with lemon juice, tartar sauce or Asian Sesame Soy Salad dressing and warm roasted vegetable salad on the side.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Having a good cry

My hubby is out of town for a few days so I thought I would take this opportunity to have a good cry--a good, guffawing, snot-slinging cry that comes from the bottom of my feet and works it way all the way up to my head and out my eyes, nose and every other escape route. Every once in a while, I need this to cleanse my system and my soul. And it's not often that I am afforded the opportunity of performing this ritual without worrying the kids or freaking out my husband.

Times are tough everywhere. I am trying to put on a brave face and have been doing an okay job, at least I think, but every once in a while I succumb to the need of having a good pity party with myself as the Guest of Honor. I have so many good things in my life to be thankful for--a wonderful husband, three great kids, my loving parents, a beautiful sister and her family, terrific friends--I am so appreciative, but sometimes I am overcome by great sadness.

Our country is in dire straits--good people have lost their jobs, their homes, their belongings, their faith, their lives--what is going to become of us? I am hopeful that our new President and his administration can turn our economy around, but it seems things are so far gone that that might not happen for a very long time. Unemployment is at an all-time high, the stock market and all-time low, morale is abysmal at best. I, like, countless other moms and dads, worry, worry, worry what the future holds for our country, our families, our children.

I am not an economist, nor a politician, nor a theologian, but I am somewhat intelligent and can read the writing on the wall and it is not a good story. I don't know if we need more government intervention or Divine intervention, but what I do know is that things have got to get better. What can I do to make a change, a difference?

I know some people are perpetual optimists and would argue that it is not all so bleak--that there are shiny moments in an otherwise gray existence--but that is not what tonight is all about for me.

I am so grateful to have found a church where I can go and pray and spend peaceful moments with my husband and kids--an escape, much like the tears I have shed this evening.

Tonight, I will cry. Tomorrow, I will hope.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cherry-Pineapple Crap (Cobbler) Recipe

A friend of mine made me this after I had Carly. She is due to deliver her second child next week, so I was reminded of this special time in my life and this delicious recipe. She made hers with just the cherry pie filling, but I added the pineapple chunks (reminiscent of a dump cake). You may use any pie filling you like--it's super easy to make and super yummy!

1 can cherry pie filling
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks, drained
1 C flour
1 C sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted in microwave

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together pie filling and pineapple chunks and pour into 11 x 7 x 1.5 inch casserole dish. Or you can use individual casseroles.
3. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients.
4. Add beaten egg and mix together until crumbly.
5. Spoon mixture over pie filling.
6. Pour melted butter over top of crumb mixture.
7. Bake at 350 degrees until top is brown and bubbly.
Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. When I had just had Carly and was nursing 24/7, I ate this yummy concoction for breakfast.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Darn Leprechauns!

Well, those wee men caused quite a raucous at our home this evening. It seems Max and Sophie have been learning quite a bit about St. Patrick's Day and Leprechauns at The Country Day School this week. This morning, Max announced he was going to catch a Leprechaun at school today, but, in retrospect, it seems the Leprechaun caught him.

Now, I check the kids' backpacks every night and pull their daily folders, remove papers, go over agendas, etc., but this evening, I was thrown for a loop.

At one point, and I don't know why, Sophie went into Max's backpack and found that there was ranch dip smeared all over the inside of his backpack and on his folders. I swear it was not there this afternoon. Max was just squealing, "It was the Leprechauns! We tried to catch them at school! They peed green glitter in our potty!"

Okay. The kids get a hot lunch on Mondays that includes carrots and ranch dip, but I emptied his backpack yesterday and there were not any carrots nor ranch dip to be found. Also, my routine is to empty the kids' backpacks when they get home from school, and I adhered to that routine today and found nothing amiss--I swear there were no carrots nor ranch dip to be found!

Sophie and Max were so excited and very pleased with the assessment that Leprechauns had caused some commotion that could not be directly attributed to them. I thought they would have been afraid (I am more than a little freaked out!), but yet they were very pragmatic about the somewhat strange occurrence.

I, for one, am glad this day is over. As much as I love St. Patrick's Day and a little mischief every now and then, I can do without the extra shenanigans and mess!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Suzi Homemaker's Cashew-crusted Mahi Mahi

I have been trying to eat more fish, but it's some times hard to find a good, simple recipe that's quick to prepare. Here's one for mahi mahi.

2 mahi mahi fillets (fresh or thawed)
lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 C corn starch
1/8 C coconut milk (I use light coconut milk)
1/4 C crushed cashews

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a glass baking dish.
2. Rinse mahi mahi fillets and pat dry. Sprinkle with lime juice.
3. In a shallow dish, combine corn starch and cayenne pepper. Dredge fillets in corn starch mixture on one side. Shake off excess.
4. In another shallow dish, pour coconut milk. Dip the floured side of the fillets into the milk.
5. In another shallow dish, place the crushed cashews. Dip the floured/coated sides of the fillets in the nuts and place fillets cashew side up in baking dish.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until fish is white and flaky. (I also put the fish under the broiler for a few minutes to toast the nuts.)
Serve with pesto noodles or herb seasoned rice and a salad.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 10: Love is unconditional, unless...

It's been hard to get back on track here after dealing with the kids being sick, but I swore I was going to stick with this, so here's to making a concerted effort to stay on task!

I have been dealing with PMDD for the past couple of days and have really noticed a drastic change in my behavior, especially my irritability. My fuse has been pretty short and I have been pretty rough on the kids and I even have snapped at Steve a couple times. I think he is especially disappointed--he's been enjoying having the kinder, gentler Suzi around.

An example of my stellar behavior happened this morning when I was packing lunch for the kids. I made the mistake of asking them what they wanted. Well, Max was saying "cheesy puffs," so I thought he meant cheese puffs. I grabbed the bag of organic Cheetos and he just screamed, "No!" So, then I got Cheetos crunchy and he screamed, "No!" again. I just kept yelling at him, "What do you want? What do you want?" and he was crying and saying, "Cheesy puffs." I took the bag of Cheetos and threw them on the counter and they bounced right off and hit Sophie on the head. I finally got it out of him that he wanted that nasty Puff 'n Corn, but not without a lot of tears and screaming. What a jerk I was. I think I need to revisit some of the earlier challenges.

This isn't even what I set out to write when I sat down at the computer, but there it is. I guess I view this as my Confessional where I'm truly held accountable for my, back to the topic at hand. If love is unconditional, then I guess I should not place conditions on my behavior just because I may not be feeling 100 percent. For example, I will be kind and loving unless I am premenstrual, in which event, anything goes.

Pretty crappy logic.

I am lucky that the kids are too young to place conditions on their love for me or I fear I would have lost them by now. If I continue down this path, they are going to learn these behaviors and I don't want that for them. I want theirs to be a happy, loving, innocent existence for as long as possible. I've got to step it up here and get back on track for the sake of my kids, as well as my husband.

So as my friend, Angie, did recently, I am declaring a do over. Tomorrow I will do something special for everyone in the family--something that shows them I love them just because and not unless...

Monday, March 2, 2009

New market totes, other goodies being added to retail site

While attending the Atlanta Gift Market back in January, I was able to track down a couple of different vendors for the collapsible market totes that were so popular over the holidays. These are so roomy and great for hauling stuff to parties or for packing snacks for long road trips. A friend of mine uses one of hers in her guest bath and has it stocked with plenty of clean towels. There are so many uses for these versatile bags. With Mother's Day coming up, I'm sure you will find many welcoming recipients. I have plenty of these in stock in black, brown, red, bright green and royal. There are a few prints left over from Christmas, but they are going fast.

Additionally, I found a vendor for some shallow, double-handled market totes. These have two mesh pockets on the inside to stash keys, coins or other small objects. They come in some really cute patterns, too, such as the brown floral pictured here. I'm putting together a nice gift basket for a friend's housewarming party (shhh--don't tell!), which I'm going to fill with some applique/embroidered tea towels, a bottle of wine and some other goodies.

Prior to attending the Market, Sophie had asked if I could make her a tote bag in which to carry all of her Webkinz. Well, wouldn't you know, I stumbled upon this very thing, created by Meredith of Jackpopz. I snatched up a bunch of them to sell on my site and stitched one up special for Sophie. The Jacecase, pictured here, is large enough to hold six large-sized Webkinz (wouldn't you know that Sophie got a few more Webkinz for her birthday, so now her Webkinz will have to take turns in the carrier). Coming in April is an adorable camo backpack from Jackpopz that will hold large-sized Webkinz and it also has little holders on the straps for Matchbox cars. I can't wait to get my hands on those.