Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekly Menu for Holy Week

This is a very busy week coming up for us.  Between Choir, Masses, Services, Food Pantry and Easter Basket Distributions most of my time will be spent at one church or another.

Today we are celebrating Mom Klik's 91st birthday with a party hosted by Roz and Ron at their house.  We will be going over there right after the 4 pm Mass at which we are singing.

Tomorrow we are going to be hanging out with Jen and Randy all day.  If the weather is nice we are going downtown to the Farmer's Market and to Belle Isle which has recently been made a State Park. We will be having meals out except for breakfast, and perhaps we'll go to a movie in the evening.

Monday is the only day that I won't be running around like a chicken with my head cut off....they really do that by the way...I will be using this day to plan my Easter Menu.

Tuesday I will be shopping for the Easter Basket Food Distribution on Thursday and we have choir practice in the evening so I am making a crock pot meal that can be used for the rest of the week.

Wednesday will be spent at the Food Pantry to prepare for regular distributions and to make sure there are no last minute additions to the client list for Easter Baskets.  Wednesday night I will go shopping for our Easter Feast.

Thursday we will be distributing the Easter Baskets and then will be singing for Holy Thursday Mass. We will probably order up pizzas while doing distributions.

Friday we have church service at 1 pm and then are singing the Tenebrae at 8 pm.  It is also a day of fast and abstainance for us with no meat and only 2 small meals and one full meal with no food at all between 12-3 pm.  We will be eating out in between services.

Dinner at Roz and Ron's

Dinner out

Meatless Monday
Pasta, Pesto and Peas

Beef Roast
Root Vegetables

BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Holy Thursday
Ordering in Pizza

Good Friday
Dinner out

Spring Vegetable and Shrimp Stir Fry

The original plan was to go out for dinner last night but Jen and Randy both had to work yesterday so weren't able to get here until 7:30. Instead I deciede to throw together a Spring Vegetable and Shrimp Stir Fry and make some Vegetable Egg Rolls, using this recipe and just deleting the shrimp.  I had everything prepped and ready to go as they walked in the door.  Dinner was served within 15 minutes.

Spring Vegetable and Shrimp Stir Fry

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
2 t. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t. ginger paste
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off, cut in half crosswise
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
7 scallions, white and light green parts sliced
1 T. peanut oil
1 T. cornstarch

Combine soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger in large bowl.  Add shrimp and toss to coat.  Let stand in marinade, refrigerated for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in the bottom of a wok.  Add the asparagus and scallions to the wok, reserving some scallion for garnish.  Stir fry for a moment before adding the shrimp reserving the marinade.  Continue to stir and fry until shrimp turns pink.  Add the tomatoes and stir and cook briefly.  Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved marinade and pour into wok, cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and contents are coated.  Print Recipe

Friday, March 27, 2015

Goodbye Odd Thomas....I will miss spending time with you.

Image result for saint odd

I just finished the last book in the Odd Thomas series.  I am going to miss my good friend Odd Thomas.  I always looked forward to sitting down and spending time with him.  

Dean Koontz has a way of bringing his characters alive even when we know that there are things about them that are unrealistic.  Koontz has a gift of making you believe that the incredible is credible and the outlandish just might have a hint of truth to it. 

If you have never read any of the Odd Thomas books and are looking for a way to spend a pleasurable, lazy afternoon, pick up Odd Thomas, the first in the series and introduce yourself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

If you need some heat get into the kitchen....

I wrote earlier today about making some muffins to help heat up the house this morning when we awoke to a broken furnace.  Our friend and heating and cooling guy extraordinaire, Kurt, came over and discovered that the gas valve needed to be replaced.  We were going into the city anyway so we told Kurt we would pick up the part and call him when we got home.

Actually, while we were out running errands, the sun was shining and it was comfortable outside. When we walked in the house, it felt colder inside than out, so on again went the fireplaces, space heaters and oven while we waited for Kurt to finish up another job and get back over.

My Weekly Menu had already gotten turned around this week (boy, that's unusual....NOT) when we went out for a going away dinner on Monday night.  So, tonight we were supposed to have pork chops but I hadn't made my chicken yet so I decided to use that.  However, I changed from the original recipe I had planned for the chicken because (a) our errands took longer than I had anticipated (b) I wanted to use the oven and (c) I was feeling lazy.  So I decided to make Easy Baked Chicken and Roasted Red Skin Potatoes for dinner along with some Glazed Carrots.

I was really surprised when I saw that I had never shared this recipe for chicken with you.  It is easy, peasy and you know I make it quite often.  Today I baked it, but it can be broiled or grilled as well.  It's not even really a recipe so maybe that is why I didn't share it before now.

Easy Italian Marinated Chicken

Chicken pieces of your choice, can be bone in or boneless, skin on or skinless
Bottled Italian Salad Dressing

Place chicken pieces in a resealable plastic bag.  Pour in enough Italian dressing to coat well. Marinade the chicken at least 3 hrs and up to overnight.  Remove chicken from marinade and place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 400* oven for 40-50 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165*.
** can alternately broil or grill the chicken to an internal temperature of 165*
Print Recipe

I hope things start heating up around here....

The dogs awoke us at 5:45 this morning and the first thing we noticed is that it was cooooooold in this house.  Our furnace had quit sometime during the night.  This happened a couple of weeks ago and Frank went down, reset the furnace and life was good.  This such luck!

What is lucky is that our furnace guy is also our dear friend Kurt who should be here shortly.  In the meanwhile what do you do when the furnace is out?  We turned on all of the fireplaces, grabbed the electric heater from the basement and brought it up to the bedroom, turned on the heat vent in the master bath so we could shower without turning to ice and snuggled in bed until things warmed up a bit.  It is now 67* in the house.  Not too bad but still chilly.  So I turned on the oven and made some muffins.....warmed up the kitchen and warmed up our bellies so we are ready to face the day!

Raisin Bran Muffins.
Quick, Easy and Delicious.

Irish Cream Cheesecake for #FifteenCheesecakes

My friend, Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is celebrating her 15th Wedding Anniversary and has invited all of us to join in the party.  Camilla served Cheesecakes at their wedding and thought it would be appropriate to have all of her food blogger friends make a cheesecake of their choice in acknowledgement of her their big day.  Cam originally asked for 15 friends who would be willing to help her out but within a very short time she had that many volunteers and several more that wanted in on the action.  Cam graciously opened it up to any that wanted to participate.  At last count there were 26 of us.....that is a lot of great cheesecake recipes for you to enjoy.  You will find links to all of them at the bottom of this post.

I was having a dinner party in celebration of St. Patrick's Day last Tuesday and, knowing this event was right around the corner, decided to serve cheesecake as one of the desserts.  I had originally planned on doing a Creme de Menthe cheesecake in keeping with the green theme but then I was thumbing through the March/April 2014 Issue of Cuisine at Home and came across this recipe for Irish Cream Cheesecake.  

Happy Anniversary Camilla!!

Irish Cream Cheesecake
as found in Cuisine at Home, Issue #104

1 1/2 c. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 (8 oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. Irish Cream Liqueur
1/2 c. heavy cream
3 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 375*.  Toast the oats in the oven on a baking sheet until they smell nutty, about 10 minutes.  Place the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until blended and mixture clumps.  Press the oats mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan.  Bake crust until firm, 10-12 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 325*, Let crust cool to room temperature, then wrap the base of the pan in aluminum foil and place into a roasting pan.

Beat the cream cheese with both sugars on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in liqueur and cream. Before adding eggs, beat slightly with a fork, then add to the batter, one egg at a time and mix to incorporate before adding the next.  Pour filling into crust.  Pour boiling water into the roasting pan, 1" up the side of the springform pan. Bake for 1 hr. until edges are set and center still jiggles.  Turn off oven and leave the cheesecake for 1 hour more without opening the oven door.  Let cheesecake cool to room temperature before covering with plastic wrap and chilling for 3-24 hrs before serving.

This is the group helping Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary with waaaayy more than #fifteencheesecakes.

And here is what we all brought to the cheesecake table, listed in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

Berry Cheesecake Bars by Baking and Creating with Avril
Cherry Cheesecake Bites by Cookaholic Wife
Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake by Dancing Veggies
Chocolate Cheesecake by My Hobbie Lobbie
Chocolate Topped Peppermint Cheesecake by Amy's Cooking Adventures
Creme Brulee Cheesecake Bars by Tara's Multicultural Table
Easter Basket Mini Cheesecakes by Little Bit of Everything
Everyday Cheesecake by Things I Make (for Dinner)
Irish Cream Cheesecake by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Layered Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake Cake by Famished Fish, Finicky Shark
Lowfat Blackberry Cheesecake by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
Matcha-YuzuCheesecake with a Meyer Lemon GelĂ©e by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Mini Churro Caramel Cheesecake by Cheese Curd In Paradise
Mini Maple Pecan Cheesecakes by Join Us, Pull up a Chair
Mom's New York Cheesecake by Taste Cook Sip
Mudslide Cheesecake by Sew You Think You Can Cook
{No Bake} Marshmallow Cheesecake by An Affair from the Heart
No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake by Angels Homestead
Samoa's cheesecake by Goodie Godmother
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars by The Savvy Kitchen
Sopapilla Puff Pastry Cheesecake by Pink Cake Plate
Skinny Vanilla Bean Cheesecake by Renee's Kitchen Adventures
Twix Cheesecake Brownie Torte by Making Memories With Your Kids

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Look who's sitting and reading too!!

Melody Elizabeth
6 mos. old, 2 teeth and now sitting on her own while she reads her story.
She is amazing!!