Monday, March 30, 2009

Cookin' Mama

Yes, the Wii game Cookin' Mama is fun, but I am referring to me. I cooked alot this weeekend!
The snow inspired me I think :)
Here are the lovely spinach leaves and onion...waiting to be chopped.....

this was filling my kitchen up with wonderful aromas....

boil, pasta, boil!!

ahhhhhh...the secret is in the sauce....

Too time I will add more cheese to the sauce and some minced garlic to the spinach/onion saute....and a bit more salt
Try it! It is a wonderful comfort food! Let me know what you think about it!

I found this on Barilla's website
Baked Elbows with Fontina Cheese and Spinach
Ease of preparation: average
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-6
Regions: Valle D'Aosta
4 cups milk
1 stick (4 ounces) butter
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup Fontina cheese, shredded
to taste salt
to taste white pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup small onion, chopped
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, chopped
1 box (16 ounces) BARILLA Elbows

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.Bechamel Sauce:HEAT milk until hot in a small saucepan. In a separate ssmall saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour with a wire whip and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.ADD hot milk gradually to butter and flour mixture, mixing with a wire whip until smooth and thickened. ADD beaten egg, two-thirds of the cheese salt and pepper. Mix until cheese is melted; set aside.HEAT olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. ADD onions and spinach. Saute 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Add spinach to bechemel sauce and set aside.COOK pasta for 4 minutes. Drain and add to bechemel sauce; mix well. POUR into a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving
Tomorrow I will post about the chicken I made....yummy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The fun continues!

Here are the kids, proud of their snowman...errr snowkid, actually Yes...those are mega blocks for the eyes and mouth...he does have an actual carrot nose ;)
The scene after they have come in for cocoa!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snowbound...and loving it :)

Fantastic snow day!! We have had the best day! Cal was like a kid this morning and it didn't take long for his excitement to spill over on the kids :)
They were dressed and out in the big falling flakes before breakfast! While they played, I made blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, malt o'meal (for Cal) and sliced up some cantaloupe.
I had cocoa and coffee ready to warm their freezing bodies back up.

After breakfast I made some lemon scones. They turned out great! They need more lemon. Dylan helped out, and he really enjoyed the kneading part of the recipe...for obvious reasons I was not able to get a pic of that!

These were easy to make and very good! You can definitely omit the lemon and add your own favorite flavors....chocolate chips, blueberries, cinnamon..the possibilities are endless :)

Lemon Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
Additional sugar
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add buttermilk and lemon peel, stirring just until mixed. Turn onto a floured surface; knead gently six times. Shape into a ball. On a greased baking sheet, pat dough into a circle about 1/2 in thick and 8-1/2 in. in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut wedges in the dough, being careful not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kids and Animals....Make for great memories

That's why we enjoy a membership at our zoo! Although we have been many times, the kids always have fun and they seem to see something new each trip. (or maybe they just look at it differently) Whatever the case may be, it is always a good time with the family :)

Here is Grace-She likes to pack her own small back pack with a notebook, pencil, sunglasses and a few other treasures. She is writing down facts about the elephants in this picture. Writing down the facts and drawing the animals is something she started about a year ago. Each trip she will pick 2 or 3 different animals.
Here are my men watching the elephants!
It is "High Noon" moment for the funny bird and Dylan....Who will back off quicker? (Dylan ran off when the bird stood tall and fluffed his feathers at him...hehehe)

the bird seems more at ease with Grace being close :)

"It's FISH, Mommy!!!"

Here we are getting front row viewing of the sloth's meal time. They are so cute! This is a rare moment! There have been many, many trips that the sloths are hiding. This is only the second or third time I have seen them so close up!

Grace and the peacock!

Cal's favorite animal...the sea lion!

The Zebras were out and looked beautiful!

My Silly Photo for the day! Aren't they cute?!

And of course the carousel shot :)

What did you do for Spring Break? Do you have family outings that you take regularly?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recipe Swap!

Having discovered my love for cooking, I am always looking for something new to try. This is something my husband adores about me :) I have always heard that the way to a man's heart is through his
This is the meal I prepared last Thursday. Slow cookers are a busy mom's best friend and I am loyal to that friend! I love putting something together in the morning and then not worrying about dinner the rest of the day.
This particular dish is from The Rival CrockPot Cookbook
Try it and tell me how you like it!! And then perhaps pass on one of your favorite recipes...

I love the way the fresh fruit looks!!

Very nice presentation!

Must put the sauce on your is soooooooo good!

Heavenly Harvest Pork Roast
makes 6-8 servings
1/4 cup pomegranate juice *
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pork roast, any type (4 to 5 pounds)
2 pears, cores, peeled and sliced thick
1/2 orange with peel, sliced thick
combine pomegranate juice and sugar in small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Pour into slow cooker.
Blend seasonings in small bowl and rub over mixture over roast. Place roast in slowcooker, turning to coat in juice mixture.
Top roast with pear and orange slices. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 to 8 hours or until tender. Serve with juice and fruit slices.
* I used the juice I had on hand...cran/pomegranate
Also, I left the peel on the pears, they seem to hold up better. I cooked mine on high for the first 5 hours and and then low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.