Friday, February 25, 2011

Project 52 - Week 6

Week 6 we were getting ready for Valentine's Day. William is making Valentine's for his class with a little help from Ben. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Meals - Lasagna Soup

This recipe comes from my good friend Virginia!

Lasagna Soup Makes 8-10 serving

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 ounce) box of chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups broken lasagna noodles
1 (5 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese
1 (5.5 ounce) box Italian seasoned croutons (I've always left these out and it is still really good )
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large stock pot, combine ground beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook over medium high heat 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well. Stir in broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.

To serve: Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top. Serve as soon as the cheese melts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday Meals - Tuesday Edition

We were very busy yesterday with Valentine's activities, so I forgot to post a recipe.

Today's recipe is the very first completely foreign-to-me meal I ever made for our family. It wasn't something that I ate as a child or tried at a friend's house and asked for the recipe. I first made this meal in our little house at Laughin AFB. We liked it so much that I even made them for one of the single guys in James' class that we envited over for dinner!

This recipe came from the Kraft Foods website. I saw it in a email they sent me. I used to get lots of emails from Kraft Foods. But for some reason I don't get them anymore. *insert shoulder shrugging smiley* When I log into my account on their site, it shows that I am signed up to get emails but none come. Anyone still get emails from them?

Anyway, without further ado. Chicken and Corn Quesadillas

1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
2 tsp. chili powder
2 cups frozen corn, thawed, drained
1/2 cup Salsa
8 flour tortillas (7 to 8 inch)
1 cup Mexican Style Shredded Cheese, divided

PREHEAT broiler. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat on medium heat. Add chicken and chili powder; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add corn and 2 Tbsp. of the salsa; cook and stir 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened.

SPRAY tops of 4 of the tortillas with cooking spray. Place, sprayed sides down, on large foil-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with half of the cheese; top with chicken mixture, remaining cheese and remaining tortillas. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

BROIL, 4 to 5 inches from heat, 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn quesadillas over with large spatula; continue broiling an additional 3 minutes or until second side is golden brown and cheese is melted. Cut each into 4 wedges. Serve with the remaining salsa.

At our first two homes the broiler was crazy hot and burned everything I put under it in about 1 minute (It was in the drawer under the stove, so I couldn't move stuff farther away. This house is different). So when I make this, I turn the oven up as high as it will go and cook them until the tops start getting crunchy and a start browning. Then I flip them over. We also use 10 tortillas and 2 cups of cheese (the entire bag if you get the smaller size). I didn't realize that isn't what the original recipe says until I got this post ready! Like the Manicotti it was a lot of work the first time I made it, but after I make it pretty quickly now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 on the 10th - February

1. The lights in the parking lot of the elementary school were off this morning! I predict that in another week, my automatic headlights won’t come on during the morning drive either. Yay for more sun!

2. On that note, the sun rose at 8:56 am and set at 5:32 pm today. That is 8 hours and 35 minutes of sun for today. 2 hours and 30 more minutes than on the 10th of last month!

3. My new favorite activity is dropping James and the big boys off at a movie and taking Baby Bear over to Target to browse during the movie. We sit at Starbucks for a while and then wander the isles of Target for an hour or two. Hours of quiet Target browsing with a baby snuggled up to you. Heaven!

4. Speaking of Baby Bear, since the last Ten on the Tenth, Eli has finally started sitting up. He was doing the “If I move a muscle, I will fall over, I can only sit up for about 10 seconds” kind of sitting up or just flat out refusing to try by straightening out his whole body, for a long time.

5. Monday was the 100th day of school for Will. I can’t believe he is almost out of Kindergarten! He is getting so big! I measured him up to myself yesterday and he comes up to my armpits already! James says that is because I am so short. Hmph!

6. The boys have started putting on shows. They charge anywhere from $.25 to $1 for admission. It is quite cute!

7. I am in love with Bear Naked cookies! They are so good! Pretty healthy for a cookie too. The first ingredient in them is whole grain oats. If you can’t find them at your store, order them here and here. They are worth it!

8. We saw a Moose in the neighborhood yesterday. First one we have seen inside the neighborhood. She was across the street from our mailbox (which is nowhere near our house). I didn’t get the mail on our way home from school because of it. I didn’t have my camera with me and I wasn’t going to risk my life by getting out of the car unless I at least had pictures to show for it! My Moose sighting count is now up to 3.

9. I think James liked our trip to Disneyworld last spring break more than anyone in the house. He mentions planning a trip back at least once a week.

10. Our good friends, the Tonks, are moving to Alaska this summer! I couldn’t be more excited! James also tells me that another set of friends may also be getting an assignment up here this summer, but he doesn’t know if they know it yet. ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Meals - Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins are super healthy and yummy! They come from Super Healthy Kids. They are a bit more like a scone and not a super sugary type of muffin.

Orange Cranberry Muffins Recipe

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 TBL grated orange peel
2 egg whites

Mix wet ingredients. In separate bowl mix:

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 TBL baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Scoop into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle top of muffin with sugar. Bake at 400 for 15-25 minutes or until cooked through. Makes 12 muffins.

We used Ocean's Spray dried cranberries because fresh are hard to find up here and they turned out just fine. I made them a second time and added ground flax seed. Still yummy and even more healthy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project 52 - Week 4

Here is week four! These pictures were taken at the Eagle River Nature Center. So far we have only tried the 3/4 mile trail. It has several much longer trails and we are looking forward to trying those too!

This little guy was hanging out at the bird feeder by the nature center's lodge. He is either a "Hairy Woodpecker" or a "Downy Woodpecker". Apparently, Alaska has two different species of woodpeckers that look exactly alike except for size. I suspect this one is the Hairy Woodpecker, which is the larger of the two.

William took this one of Eli and I starting off on the trail.

Not sure what has been gnawing on this.

Views of just a few of the mountains!

This is what most of the trail looks like. It was really pretty the week before when it had just snowed and there was still snow clinging to the tree branches.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Project 52 - Week 3

I need to catch up on posting my Project 52 pictures! Here is week three. I took the younger two to the "House of Bounce" in Eagle River while Will was at school. I was really surprised that we were the only ones there. I'm not sure what else people do to let the kids run around when it is so cold and snowy outside, but this week it was not House of Bounce. Ben had a great time anyway. The lighting in this place was horrible, but I caught a few cute pictures.

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