Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Best EGGROLLS ever...oh my gosh, I could eat these everyday!

There was one thing my sister, brother and I always looked forward to when my mom was cooking dinner...that was Chinese Food!!
Can I just say YUM!!!
Two reasons we looked forward to this was was so dang good!! Best Chinese food every!!  No joke!!  Second reason was LEFT OVERS!!  Yes left overs!  You see mom would take left over eggrolls (cuz mom made a tone of them) and put them in our lunch for school!!  Left over eggrolls were better than cookies, Twinkies, cup cakes, chips and what ever treat mom would put in our lunch!! I'm serious!   I'll let you in on a little eggrolls never made it to school!! WHY because I ate them on the bus!  Good thing mom sent a sandwich and fruit because I couldn't help myself, as soon as I was out of site of my mom, I would eat my eggrolls!!
And now my kid and hubby LOVE them just as much as my sister, brother and I did!  I think if my kids could eat eggrolls every day! Pretty sure I could too! 

I've met people who don't really like Eggrolls but really like these!!

Of course you can't forget the sweet and sour sauce with your eggrolls
Start by making the filling and chill for a bit
Place filling diagonally on wrap 
Fold bottom corner over filling; roll snugly half-way to cover filling 
Fold in both sides snugly against filling like an envelope; if you need to moisten edges of the flap with water to make them stick.  Most times it will stick on its own 
Roll wrap up and seal top corner 
Lay flap-side down until ready to cook 
Fry in either a wok or a deep fryer; making sure oil is hot but not too hot to burn.  Heat to 375
Time to eat...eggrolls will be hot in the center  
What to do with left over wraps...slice them up  
Fry them in oil  
Cover with either cinnamon and sugar or just sugar...what a great treat
Sweet and Sour Sauce...easy!!
(I have to be honest...I very rarely measure these ingredients...after so many years of making them I just know how much to add)
1/2 to 1 cup of bean sprouts (I use fresh but you can use can just drain)
1/2 to a cup of finely chopped cooked pork
1/4 cup finely chopped cooked shrimp
 (I buy the 5 oz cans and use the whole can, make sure you drain the can and chop)
1/4 cup water chestnuts finely chopped
(again I buy the 5 oz can and use the whole can, just drain)
1 tlb finely chopped green onion
1 slightly beaten egg
1 tlb cooking oil
1 tea soy sauce
1/2 tea sugar
1/4 tea salt
1 pkg of store bought eggroll wraps
Combine the first 11 ingredients; chill.  To assemble egg rolls, place 1 tlb filling near edge of eggroll wrap.  Fold edge over filling; fold in both sides.  Roll up, pressing gently to seal.  In wok that is at least 3 inches deep, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 375.  Fry, a few at a time, about 6 minutes, turning once.  Drain on paper towel.  Repeat till all are cooked.  Serve with sweet and sour sauce if desired. 
Also good in lunches cold.  They reheat very well.  You can also use chicken or beef in place of pork. 
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 cup cold water
2 tlb cornstarch
1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
3 tlb sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tlb ketchup
1 tlb soy sauce
Combine water and cornstarch; set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients.  Stir over low heat, 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in cornstarch mixture until sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
If you use sweetened pineapple juice, omit the sugar.
If you don't want to make the sauce, you can either by sweet and sour sauce at the store or by plum jam and then melt it in a pan...taste good this way also.
Fried Rice
(This is such an easy recipe and so much better than buying a package at the store)
6 to 8 cups of cold cooked rice
2 tlb oil
1/2 to 1 cup chopped cooked meat (chicken, beef, pork, turkey...I personal prefer pork in my fried rice)
2 or 3 scrambled eggs
2 or 3 green onions chopped
opt: about 1 cup chopped cabbage
Soy Sauce
Turn on heat on the wok to about med-hi.  Add oil to hot pan; add onion and cabbage and stir-fry about 1 1/2 minutes.  Add cold rice and stir-fry about 3 minutes.  Add rice and soy sauce to taste (this could be a few tea depending on how much you like).  Add meat if you wish, but heat through about 2 minutes.  If rice seems a little dry add any kind of broth, water or more soy sauce.
A lot of times I make the eggrolls as a meal themselves or with the fried rice but if I have company coming, I will also make a beef and broccoli stir-fry to go along with them.  I'll post that recipe another time.

Whats for dinner tonight...SWISS STEAK...

Growing up my mom was an amazing cook!  We ate very well, especially when it came to those foods we call comfort foods. 
It's funny because I find myself making a lot of these same foods for my family...and of course when I do it brings back so many childhood memories.
One dish my mom made a lot was "SWISS STEAK".
Can I just say YUM!!! 
This really is a very easy recipe...seriously if I can make it...anyone can!!
1 lb boneless beef round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick
2 tb flour
1/4 tea salt
1/4 tea pepper
1 tb cooking oil
1 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic (undrained)
1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced carrots
2 cups hot cooked noodles or mashed potatoes
Trim fat from meat.  Cut into 4 serving size pieces. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper.  With the notched side of a meat mallet, pound flour mixture into meat.
In a large skillet brown meat on both sides in hot oil.  Drain off fat.  Add undrained tomatoes, onion, celery, and carrots.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Simmer, adding water as needed, cover, about 1 1/4 hours or until meat is tender.  Skim off fat.  Serve with noodles or mashed potatoes.
It really was great to always come home from activities to a yummy meal!  So glad my mom taught me how to cook! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How do you handle adversity...

A few weeks ago in Sunday School our teacher shared the following with us...I kinda found it interesting so I thought I'd share...

How do you Handle Adversity...

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life.  She did not know how she was going to make it, and wanted to give up.  She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved a new one arose. 

                Her mother took her to the kitchen.  She filled three pots with water.  In the first pot, she placed a carrot, in the second she placed an egg and the last she placed an herbal tea bag.  She let them sit and boil without saying a word.

                In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrot out and placed it in a bowl.  She pulled the egg out and placed it in a bowl.  Then she ladled the herbal tea out and placed it in a bowl. 

                On the counter sat three identical bowls.  Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see?”  “Carrot, egg and herbal tea,” she replied

                Mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She noted that the carrots got soft. 

                She than asked her to take the egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg.

                Finally, she observed what had become of the herbal tea bag as it had steeped in the boiling water.  “What’s the point, mother?”

                Her mother explained that each of those objects had faced the same adversity – boiling water – but each reacted differently.

                The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. 

                The egg had been fragile.  Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

                The herbal tea bag was unique, however.  After it was in the boiling water it had changed the water. 

                “Which are you?”  she asked her daughter.  “When trials and adversity knock on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or an herbal tea bag?”

                Think of this: Which am I?

                Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my straight?

                Am I the egg that starts with a passive heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a financial hardship or some other trial and tribulation, have I become hardened and stiff?  Does my shell look the same, but on the inside, am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

                Or, am I like the herbal tea?  The tea bag actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain.  When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.  If you are like the herbal tea bag, when things are at their worst, you become better and change the situation around you.  When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate to another level?

                How do you handle adversity?

                Like a CARROT,

                Like an EGG,

                Like an HERBAL TEA BAG?
I know which one I about you?!?  Reading this made me stop and think perhaps there are some changes I need to make in my life!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What to do when you need a last minute dessert...

A few weeks ago we got asked to feed the sister missionaries at the last moment and of course we jumped at the chance to feed them!  We love having company over for dinner especially the missionaries!! 
Of course after talking to everyone in the family we came up with a plan for dinner (it was gonna be an stir fry and egg roll night...yum!  I'll put the recipes on the blog soon)!
But than Friday came along and I totally forgot about, forget about dessert!  What the heck was wrong with me!  Everyone knows that dessert is the most important meal!  Well especially in our family! 
So it was time to go through all my cabinets and the fridge.  What did I have cuz I wasn't going to the store again!  Hummm, brownie mix, pudding cups, pudding mix, cool whip...could I come up with something simple, fast and good!  Well according to the family I did!
Chocolate Trifle
Bake brownies, let them cool and cut them up into cubes and place a layer in your bowl
I next layered chocolate pudding over the brownies
I took the cool whip and half the chocolate pudding mix and I mixed the two together (My kids love this on their waffles as a treat)
Layer the cream mixture on tope of the pudding, then top with brownies and repeat each layer until you reach the top.

You can make your layers as thick or thin as you like 

Top off with cream and chocolate chips and place in the fridge for a few hours.  I will say it was really good but even better the next day, so if you have time let it set over night. 
Happy eating!!

World Card

Everyone knows that I LOVE my stamping!  I enjoy doing it for my self...its what relaxes me!  I was even one of those people for years who didn't scrapbook cuz I really didn't want to get away from stamping...until I realized I can use my stamps with scrapbooking and I love to do that too!! 
So a few weeks back I got a new stamp set from Stampin Up (I would say 90% of my stamping stuff comes from them)...The Open Sea set...can I say LOVE THIS SET!  Can't wait to make more cards with it!   
Gather all your supplies (I've listed all the supplies I used)
Really its a very easy and simple card...I've got an old book I tare pages out of and I used my square punch to make the edge.  You'd be surprised what you can do with old book pages! 
Supplies Used:
~Basic Black ink (Stampin Up)
~Chocolate Chip card stock (Stampin Up)
~Very Vanilla card stock (Stampin Up)
~ Basic Black card stock (Stampin Up)
~American crafts premium Ribbon
~Sincere Salutations stamp set (Stampin Up)
~The Open Sea stamp set (Stampin Up)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweet Apple Muffins...

This morning we had a house full...

Well a house full of BOY SCOUTS that is! 

And everyone knows that boys are always hungry!  So I thought I would not only feed them but I would feed my own family!  This is one of our family favorite muffins...its been in the family for years!  I remember making these as a little girl (so yes, that is a long, long time long...I'm NOT telling!!)
(I have to laugh at this I was taking it, getting ready to give it to my hubby for breakfast...Josh yells "NO wait don't take it yet!"  He starts going through my cabinets looking for something, messing everything up and then brings out my cinnamon and places it on the apples and says "Now its ready for its picture and to be served!"  He is such a nerd!  But ya gotta love the kid!!
Really this recipe is truly a NO BRAINER recipe!!  PROMISE!! 
Hardest part...grating the apples!
So easy to mix, you really don't need to use a mixer!
Fill your muffin tins 3/4
Top with topping and bake
Eat and enjoy!!
1 Egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup grated apple
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup broken nuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 400'.  Grease a 12 muffin tin.   Beat egg, stir in milk and oil, add grated apple.  Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened.  Batter will be lumpy.  Top with topping.  Bake 25-30 min.  Remove immediately. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blue and Gold Banquet...

I was looking at some old pictures and came across these pictures from Seths last Blue and Gold Banquet!  Its crazy how fast time fly's!  Every year while the boys were in Cub Scouts for the Blue and Gold Banquet my boys always had to make a cake.  Every year it was something different and fun!! They has such creative ideas.  Seth loved going through my cook books looking for ideas and sometimes would pick very hard things to make but this year he did good! 
Seth for some strange reason didn't want to do a cake...he wanted to be different and wanted to do CUPCAKES, so that's what I let him do.
This burger is the BEST and BIGGEST you'll ever have and the SWEETEST TOO!!!  YUM!!!

 This Hamburger had the works...lettuce, tomato, catsup, mustard, cheese you name it!! 

And who could forget the SLIDDERS!!! 
Seth had so much fun making these for his last Blue and was truly and night to remember!! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keep your fingers CROSSED...

There are lots of changes happening to our family the next few months! 

Now these changes aren't necessary life changing...some are GOOD, some are just SO-SO, and some are just plan BAD! I guess it all depends on how you look at it really and who you ask!
The first change happened Sunday! I was released from primary! Now this can go either way, depending on how you look at it and really how I make it!  This could be a GOOD thing or just a SO-SO thing. Now that I'm not in primary I really need to get to know the sisters in my ward better.  When I was younger I really was an out going person.  Over the years I've became a not so out going person, strange!  I've become a little sky, crazy! Strange I know!  So this can be a GOOD thing, be getting out of my comfort zone, which is primary...BUT SO-SO or BAD even cuz if I don't put myself out there it could be a very lonely time at church...KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!
Now the next change happened at the beginning of the month!  Since moving into the ward I've had the same VT partner and route (2 1/2 years now) but this month I got a new route and partner!  It should be fun!  Its a start for me to get to know others...Again KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED!!!
Another major change...DJ has been with his unit VCU (Vehiclear Crimes Unit) for years, like 15 years now!  That's a long time to be in the same unit!  I'm not trying to brag BUT HE IS THE BEST AT WHAT HE DOES!!! In fact his unit has stopped him from trying to leave in the past cuz he knows his stuff...but that's all about to change!!  In two weeks he is finally getting his transfer to GIU (General Investigations Unit).  Now this is a GOOD thing cuz it gives him a chance to try something new, to leave VCU after so long, to add to his resume, to get away from certain people and lots of other things...A SO-SO thing cuz he knows what hes doing in his current unit and now he will have to learn new stuff, which could go either way GOOD or BAD.
This could also turn out really BAD cuz right now he can set his own time with work, if theres an emergency at home, he can come home...if he needs to take a day off, he can...We have NO idea if he can with his new unit...guess we will have to wait and KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED FOR HIM!!
The next BIG change happens in a few weeks to the boys and DJ...SCHOOL BEGINS!!!  For me this is a GOOD thing!!!  I get my peace and quiet back...WHOOWHO!!!For the rest it could go either way!!
For DJ, he starts teaching at the college again.  It usually is a good thing for him.  The hard part is it means getting home later on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Plus the added stress of balancing his church calling with it.  Hes the Scoutmaster.  So that means Scouts on Tuesdays and once a month Scout round tables.  Sometimes balancing that is crazy.  Plus if he gets crazy students it makes for a very crazy and stressful semester...KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED THAT IT ALL GOES GOOD.
As for the boys...Josh is starting his 10th year in High School and 2nd year of Seminary and Seth is starting 6th grade this year!  Now things could be GREAT for them or it could just be SO-SO or even BAD...depending on what they decide to make of the year!!
If Josh can keep his schedule balanced, stay up on his homework and keep his grades up - I'm pretty sure he'll have a great year!!  As for Seth if he can pay attention, stay calm, not talk too much, keep up on his work and most important - think before he talks - then he will have a great year...SO KEEP YOUR FINGERS CROSSED FOR THEM!!!
There is a lot more changes coming our way and I guess its up to us to make it GOOD and not SO-SO or BAD...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Great Oatmeal Cookies...

Like I said a few weeks ago there are a few things our family takes very of those things was Chocolate Cookies...
...Well, I guess I should of said we take homemade cookies seriously! 
We really love cookies in this family! (if you don't believe me - look at my waistline)  Not just my hubby and kids, but my parents, my brother and sisters families...MY WHOLE FAMILY!  We love our cookies! 
This last week Cayla, my parents, brother and his family went to MX.  Now when we go to MX we take all our food (with the exception of bread and tortillas).  My mom asked Cay to make Oatmeal cookies and she would make the Chocolate cookies. 
 One problem with making cookies for this trip...Cayla was barely getting back from UT the night before they were all leaving.  So I offered to make the cookies for her. 
Now to let you know how much my family loves cookies...according to Cayla and Josh the batch I made was gone the first day...THATS A LOT OF COOKIES! 
Enjoy...our family loves them! 

They are so soft! 
Depending on the size you make them you can fit more on your cookie sheet.  
As long as you don't over bake these they will stay soft and moist!
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt  (be careful not to add too much, you could even add a little less if you'd like)
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp cloves
3 cups quick cooking oats
OPT:  1 cup raisins and/or 1 cup chop nuts
Mix thoroughly shortening, sugars, egg, water and vanilla.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Drop dough by teaspoonful's on greased baking sheet. Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Bake 12 to 15 minutes. 
YUMMY!!! Enjoy a batch of nice warm cookies!

Comfort Food...Hamburger Quick Casserole

Who doesn't love COMFORT FOOD...

Well my family truly loves it!  Comfort food can be anything!  We have lots of family favorites that are simple, delicious and just plan yummy!
Casseroles are always a easy and good meal.  And my family LOVES this recipe!  My mom use to make it all the time for us as kids and we thought it was the BEST thing around.  Then when I started cooking I realized that it was one of the easiest things to really can't go wrong with noodles, lots of cheese, sour cream and meat!  Those are three of the staples in my opinion for comfort food!! 
The other great thing about this recipe...double it and freeze on for another time! 

Bring water to boil and add noodles, cook till just al-dente. Drain and set aside. While noodles are cooking chop onion. Then brown meat and onion together, season to taste. Drain and put back into pan.  Next add tomato sauce and set aside.  
Cream together cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese...mix well.  
Take a large casserole dish and spray with pam.  Take half of noodles and spread on the bottom. 
Next spread cheese mixture over noodles. 
Top with remaining noodles.  
Then top with Hamburger mixture.  Bake about 45 minutes at 350'.
1 1/2 lb ground beef (turkey works really good too) - cooked
Half of a medium onion chopped fine.
Salt and Pepper
1 - 15oz can tomato sauce
1 - 22 oz wide egg noodels - cooked
(I usually double the following because we love the thick layer of cheese.  I don't use all of it because the left over mixture is WONDERFUL in omelets)
8oz cottage cheese (double to 16oz)
8oz sour cream (double to 16oz)
8oz cream cheese (double to 16oz)
If you are going to freeze make sure you cover it well, then when your ready to eat, defrost and reheat. 

Broccoli and Cheese Calzones with Chef Seth

Meet Chef Seth...

While Josh has been gone this summer Seth wanted to help pick what we were having for dinner.  He sat for hours going through a bunch of my cookbooks and some of our family favorite recipes! 
The kid loves to cook!
For his first recipe he picked Broccoli Cheese Calzones...(my kid loves his veggies).
It was fun watching him separate his egg and to work with the dough!  I really tried not to laugh but it was fun!! 
Preheat oven to 450'
Steam your broccoli until tender. Let cool slightly, coarsely chop and place in a medium bowl.   
Stir in garlic, ricotta, mozzarella and egg yolk; season generously with salt and pepper. 
Divide the pizza dough into 4 portions and roll into an 8 inch circle.  Place a quarter of broccoli mixture in center of a round and fold dough in half. 
Then seal by rolling edges together toward the center and crimping. 
Using a knife, cute 2 small slits in top of calzone to let steam escape.  Repeat with remaining dough and broccoli mixture.  
Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place calzones on the baking sheet. Brush calzones with olive oil.   
Bake until golden and risen, 13 to 15 minutes.  Serve immediately with your favorite sauce for dipping.
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 large clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup ricotta  (you can add more if you want more cheese)
6 oz mozzarella, coarsely grated  (you can add more if you want-Seth did)
1 large egg yolk
Salt and pepper
Your favorite pizza dough recipe, plus we added lots of Italian herbs to ours
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
Dinner was great that night.  Plus DJ (dad) and I helped with dinner and made it a little family event.  Lots of fun when working with pizza dough! 
Best part of the meal...Seth cleaned up his mess!