Tuesday, October 30, 2012
4-6 Boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon - juiced
2 stalks of oregano or 1 tsp dried
4 basil leaves or 1 tsp dried
Sprinkle of salt
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock or white wine
1-2 cups of your preferred vegetable; we've used broccoli or green beans
Preheat oven to 375 F. I used a 5 Quart dutch oven for this recipe so that I could use one pan on stovetop and move it immediately into oven. If you don't have a dutch oven, you can still cook this stove top at a simmer until the water is absorbed into the rice and it's fluffy.
Heat pan with olive oil. Cook chicken in olive oil for a couple minutes, enough to get each side slightly browned. Reduce heat. Add garlic to the chicken. Add lemon and sprinkle salt oregano and basil into pan too. Add rice and chicken stock, make sure all rice is covered, bring to a boil. Add your preferred vegetable and then move the pan into oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.
When I got pregnant with my son in 2008 (Due 2009), I was a bundle of nerves and was thankful for some cysts on my ovaries that meant that I'd get frequent ultrasounds. I watched him grow and wiggle on the screen. I even got to carry him to full term plus one week and now I have a healthy 3 year old boy who I am grateful for, enjoy and love, even when he drives me crazy.
In September 2012, I found out I was pregnant again. This was after 2 years of trying and I was just starting to think that it wasn't going to happen. My first clue was how nauseated I was, which was something I didn't experience with either pregnancy before. Everything seemed to be progressing with no problem. I had an ultrasound at what the Doctor calculated to be 9 weeks 5 days and it showed the baby was only 7 weeks 5 days but it had a heartbeat. I thought nothing of it, with my son my due date was adjusted by 10 days. Plus I knew my own cycle and figured I was somewhere in between the two dates. I went to the doctor for what should have been my 12 week appointment, and was now my 10 week appointment due to the ultrasound adjustment. She offered to listen for a heartbeat but told me that it may be difficult to find because my due date was now changed. I told her that due to my previous miscarriage I would probably get a little freaked out if she couldn't find a heartbeat and we decided I would come back in a couple weeks.
That night, I started cramping. I figured it was my uterus stretching or maybe even gas. The next morning I had some spotting but it was really light. I knew I had overexerted myself the day before and just kept an eye on things. We went about our business for Saturday, I watched my husband's cyclocross race and then we came home that afternoon. I sat down with my feet up for a while and seemed to feel better. But a few hours later the spotting became a little darker. I went to the ER and they checked me out, did an ultrasound and the doctor came back to deliver the news; the baby no longer has a heartbeat and stopped growing around 8 weeks. He sent me home with instructions to follow up with my doctor on Monday. He told me what to watch for, and that if my bleeding became heavier to come back.
On Monday I called my doctors office, it was my doctors surgery day and so I scheduled an appointment to see her on Tuesday morning. As the day progressed, I started having labor pains, contractions that were 3 minutes apart and getting closer together. I was trying to get through them without my 3 yr old noticing, and my husband was out on his bike and would be back within the hour. At 6:30 pm I started passing clots and the pain was constant. I tried to breath my way through the pain and cope. By 8 pm I was gushing blood and decided it was time to go to the hospital.
After talking to my husband, we decided he would stay home with our 3 year old - to try and keep things as "normal" for him at home as we could. My aunt drove me to the ER and stayed with me. The ER doctor examined me and relieved me of a couple large clots that were blocking me. She then called the OB on call, who happened to be my doctor, thank you God! My doctor came down and discussed my options for me. This time the D&C seemed to be the best option and they got me in quickly. I was anxious because I had never been put under anesthesia before, I'd only had a spinal during my c-section delivery in 2009. My doctor is so good with handling me and my worries and put my mind at ease. By 1 am, I was awake and recovering and sent home. Now to rest for the next couple days.
This miscarriage is so different from my miscarriage in 2003. That first miscarriage I was so attached to the pregnancy and despondent after the procedure. This time around, it's more medical and I'm just trying to recover. I'm still emotional but perhaps this time I won't be as devastated. Although at this point I'm not sure on how I feel about trying again. I want more kids but I don't want to spend my time worrying about another miscarriage or to experience any of this again.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I found this recipe online years ago and it has been our go-to since then.
1 cup butter, softened *
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
*For a really awesome cookie, replace 1/2 cup of butter with 1/2 cup of Peanut Butter - YUM!!!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
Splash of worcestershire sauce
1/2 to 1 cup of water, depending on size of roast
Place roast in your crockpot, add a splash of worcestershire sauce. Pour the packet of dry onion soup mix over roast. Pour water over roast
Layer the potatoes and carrots around the roast.
Cook in crockpot 10-12 hours low, 6-8 hours high.
Or do the same as above but preheat the oven to 350 F, arrange pot roast and such in a baking dish and bake for about 2 hours. Use a meat thermometer to check that the roast is to temperature. Sometimes I cover the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first hour and a half and then remove for the last half hour, just depends on if I have the time to mess with it.
2 Large Spoonfuls of Yogurt
1/2 tsp ground flax
1/3 cup Blueberries
1/3 cup Raspberry
1/2 cup Strawberry
1/2 cup V8 Raspberry Goji (or whatever fruit juice you have on hand) - I always add the juice last and the amount always depends on if the smoothie needs to be juiced. So I honestly don't know if this measurement is accurate.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Grandpa's Cheese Pie
1 ready to use graham cracker pie crust
8 oz cream cheese
1/3 -1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 - 8 oz tub of Cool Whip*
Set cream cheese out to soften (30 mins). Whip with sugar, add sour cream and Cool Whip. Pour into graham cracker crust. Enjoy!
Dairy free notes
You could substitute the cream cheese and sour cream with dairy free brands. Cool Whip used to be a product that was safe for me but a few years ago they changed the formula to compete with another brand who claimed to be "real dairy". I know a few generic brands still use the old formula, it's been a while since I've looked though. And I'm sure natural food stores have an alternative, again I just haven't had the need to look. Guess now I do! * I was not paid by Cool Whip to post this recipe
Prep time 15 min
Cooking time 1 hour (longer if dairy free)
Serves 24 small/12 large pieces
Preheat oven to 300 F
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cup Graham Crackers crumbs
3 T butter or margarine
Combine and press into a 9 x 13 pan.
3 - 8 oz packages of Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
Set the cream cheese out at room temperature until softened (30 min, maybe). Beat cream cheese in mixer until smooth. Add sugar. In a separate bowl beat eggs until yokes are separated, add to cream cheese and sugar.
Bake at 300 F for 50 minutes. The center should not be soupy. I usually test this by shaking the pan a little to see if the center wiggles.
Let the filling cool for 10 minutes.
2 cups sour cream
6 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix well, pour over filling. You may need to spread it to cover the filling. Bake 300 F for 10 minutes. Again watch, if it's still soupy add a few more minutes.
Below are the pictures of my dairy free, scaled to half the recipe cheesecake. To make the dairy free recipe I followed the posted recipe using dairy free cream cheese and dairy free sour cream. Happy Easter!
A few notes regarding my experience when using dairy free products in this recipe:
1) It took much longer to cook both the first and second layer. The first layer took almost 25 extra minutes. I don't know if it was due to my oven or if it was because I was using dairy free. Just keep any eye on the texture, it shouldn't be soupy.
2) There is a taste difference between dairy free and regular dairy cheesecake. Dairy free tends to be sweeter and you don't get that classic cream cheese flavor.
3) I used Trader Joe's cream cheese and Tofutti's sour cream. I was not paid by either of these companies to post this recipe, these products are what I had on hand.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
In a sauce pan, combine:
1 can of beans, drained and rinsed (we usually use pinto beans but I've also done white kidney beans)
Enough water or broth to cover the beans
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or so: just enough time for the beans to soften up.
Then mash them!
1 pound browned hamburger meat
1 can black beans (drained)
1 pound grated cheddar cheese
one batch homemade enchilada sauce (super easy)
1 small can green chiles
12 corn tortillas
Brown hamburger meat and drain grease. Set aside.
Prepare enchilada sauce, then place just enough sauce into 9×13 pan to cover bottom.
Place four tortillas into pan.
Begin layering ingredients, alternating as you go. A bit of meat, some beans, some cheese.
Place four more tortillas, then more sauce.
Continue layering with meat, green chiles, beans, then cheese.
Add remaining four tortillas, cover in sauce, then place remainder of cheese on top.
At this point, you can either cover tightly with foil and freeze OR
Bake at 375 to 400 til cheese is melted and edges are nice and bubbly.
*Heather's varation, we skipped the green chiles - I didn't want this to be too spicy for our 2 year old. I also made my not-so-refried beans (we didn't have black beans) and layerd it in.
1/4 cup oil
2 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup chili powder
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In saucepan, combine oil, flour, and chili powder.
Over low heat, stir constantly until bubbly and thickened. (About five minutes or so.)
Whisk in water.
Add tomato sauce and whisk til well blended.
Add spices and stir.
Cook until thickened, ten minutes or less.
Credits: The Marathon Mom, http://themarathonmom.com/
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 - 1 cup water, depending size of chicken.
Rinse chicken, remove giblets and neck (if included inside chicken cavity), pat dry.
Place 2 stalks of celery in the bottom of your crockpot and position the chicken on top of them. Stuff cavity with onion quarters and celery chunks.
Add water. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto chicken according to taste.
Cook in crockpot, low 10-12 hours, high 6-8 hours.
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
1-2 stalks of celery cut into pieces
1 onion cut into thick slices
2-3 small carrots, peeled and slices into rounds
3 packages of Herb-Ox chicken bouillon
Noodles of you choice (I prefer Reames noodles, found in the freezer section)
Wash and pat dry the chicken.
Put in large pot, cover with water. Add salt, bay leaves, celery and onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and let cool, just enough to keep from scaulding your fingers. Cut chicken into small pieces, discard the bones and skin. Strain broth then return chicken to broth. Add carrots (I also add more celery, cut into thin slices), noodles and Herb-ox chicken bouillon. Cook until noodles are done and carrots are soft.
Heather's Crockpot Quick Cooking variation
I find that chicken noodle soup is a good meal to make the day after I've made a whole chicken in the crockpot.
Make your chicken in the crockpot, follow the recipe here: http://meetthemercers.blogspot.com/2012/02/whole-chicken-in-crockpot.html
Strain and save the juices for the next day's soup. Place leftover chicken in the fridge overnight. The next day, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the chicken bouillon. Finish de-boning the chicken. Once the water is boiling, add in chicken, carrots, celery, bay leaves and noodles. Cook until carrots and celery are tender and the noodles are cooked.
Boil salted water in a large pot
3 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups of milk
Mix together until an oatmeal consistency. Scoop a small portion on a plate. Dip your spoon in the water and scrape mixture into the water by 1/2 spoonfuls. The dumplings will begin to float when they are done.
To add additional flavor to the dumplings, add bouillon to the water before bringing it to a boil.
1 cup water
2 tsp bouillon
- Bring to a boil and add flour by the tbsp over heat until thickened.
1 small red onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, cut in half (save to squeeze for juice). Cut the other half into thin slices
garlic salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Cut the avocados in half, remove pits. Slice lengthwise and then cross cut, scoop flesh from the skin. Mash with a potato masher or fork. Mix in onion, garlic, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Cover guacamole with the thin slices of lemon until you are ready to serve, and to cover any leftovers (if there are any) to help prevent the avocados from browning.
1 package of boneless skinless chicken (we use boneless skinless thighs for variation and their lower price)
1 jar of salsa
A can of corn or 1 cup of frozen corn
And depending on if you like additional heat, you could also add a 4 oz can of chopped jalapenos or chilis.
Throw it all in the crockpot and walk away. Low 6-8 hours, High 4-6
Serve over rice, with cornbread, scoop it into soft taco shells.
Add cheese, sour cream, sliced/diced avacado, fresh salsa etc to taste before serving.