Monday, December 29, 2008

Swedish Meatballs

Mom, grab your 25lb bag of panko! I've found another recipe you can use it in. And it's yummy!
This is Swedish meatballs and I got this recipe from Everyday Food magazine.

Serves 8

  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups canned reduced-sodium beef broth
  • grape or current jelly, cooked egg noodles, chopped parsley, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, panko, 1/2 cup milk, eggs, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and allspice. Mix just until combined.
  2. Using a rounded 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 48). Place meatballs onto two rimmed baking sheets; bake until golden brown and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high. Add flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute (do not let darken). Gradually whisk in remaining cup milk and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until sauce has slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, add meatballs to bowl with sauce; gently toss to combine. Serve as an appetizer, on toothpicks, with jelly on the side; or as a main, over noodles, garnished with parsley, with jelly on the side.
(I did all beef and omitted the allspice and the jelly.)

Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Get ready for the best homemade ice cream EVER!!!!!
It's buttery. It's nutty. It's creamy. It's sweet and then it's salty. It is soooo good! You'll need to make a double batch.

We first had this at my oldest brother Jason's house. His wife Rebecca found a Ben & Jerry's ice cream recipe book. And this is the recipe we tried. It has become my favorite homemade ice cream. Enjoy!

Ben & Jerry's Butter Pecan Ice Cream
1/2 c butter
1 c pecans
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
2 c whipping cream
1 c milk

Melt butter in a heavy skillet. Add pecans and salt. Saute, stirring constantly until pecans turn brown. Don't burn!
Drain butter into small bowl and transfer pecans to another bowl to cool.

Whisk eggs until light and fluffy. Whisk the sugar a ltlle at a time until completely blended. Add shipping cream and milk. Add the melted butter.

Transfer mixture to ice ceram maker and freeze following your maker's instructions.

Add the pecans about 2 minutes before the ice cream is done.

Makes 1 quart.

(We substituted some half-n-half and milk because we didn't have enough cream and it was still really good!)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chocolate Tart

My father-in-law had my name this year for Christmas and one of the gifts he gave to me was a tart pan. I had to try it out right away and decided on making a chocolate tart. It was rich, and chocolaty, and velvety, and creamy, almost fudgy, brownie-like batter. You'll just have to try it!

(This is what it looks like unbaked)

Recipe to come........

Blueberry Cobbler

We first made this recipe this summer right after picking blueberries at the local blueberry patch. It was sooooo yummy! I've been craving it ever since and decided to make it with frozen blueberries. It still tastes just as good, but I did need to increase the baking time.

Dump 3 cups blueberries into 8x8 baking dish

Mix together:
1 T cornstarch
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c cold water
1 T lemon juice
and pour over blueberries
dot with 1 T butter

For cobbler, mix together:
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c milk
1/4 c softened butter
dollop on top of blueberries
sprinkle with raw sugar

Bake at 350 for 30 min (more if using frozen berries)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

I made Chicken and Dumplings recently from a recipe I found over at Simply Recipes. The dumplings turn out nice and fluffy. We like to cut them open and put butter on them. I made a few changes from their recipe, but theirs is pasted below.

Chicken and Vegetables:

  • 1 large roasting chicken (5 to 6 lbs), cut into 2 legs, 2 thighs, and 2 breast pieces, each with skin removed; back, neck, and wings hacked with a cleaver into 1 to 2 inch pieces to make stock
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 boiling onions (smaller than regular onions, larger than pearl onions), peeled and halved
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, or chicken fat from the cooked chicken
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp dry sherry or vermouth (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Ground black or white pepper


  • 2 cups cake flour (can sub all-purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives, and tarragon (optional)


1 Make the stock.
Heat olive oil in a deep (at least 4-inch high) large skillet or 6-qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add hacked up chicken pieces - the back, neck, and wings - and onion chunks (not the boiling onions). Sauté until onions soften and chicken pieces lose their raw color, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and continue to cook for about 20 minutes. (While chicken stock pieces are cooking, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a kettle.) Increase heat to to medium-high, add the 6 cups of hot water to the chicken pieces.

2 Poach the chicken in the stock.
Add skinless chicken parts (legs, thighs, breasts), 2 bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; continue to simmer, partially covered, until broth is flavorful and chicken parts are just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken parts from the pan and set aside. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones in 2-inch chunks or strips. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the broth through it, straining out the solids from the broth. Discard the solids. Skim and reserve the chicken fat from broth (a fat separator works great for this task) and set aside 5 cups of broth, reserving extra for another use.

3 Make the dumpling batter.
While chicken is cooking, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add (optional) chopped fresh herbs. Add melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a spoon until mixture just comes together. (Note: do not overmix! or your dumplings will turn out too dense.) Set aside.

4 Make the stew base, assemble the stew.
Heat reserved chicken fat (or butter) in the pan you had used to make the stock over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour and thyme; cook, whisking constantly, until flour turns golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add sherry or vermouth, then slowly add the reserved 5 cups of chicken stock; simmer until mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetables, simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in chicken and optional cream; return to a strong simmer. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

5 Add the dumplings.
Drop dumpling batter into the simmering stew by heaping teaspoonfuls, over the surface of the stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! In order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil. Uncovering the pan releases the steam. If after 15 minutes they are still not cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to test) cover pan again, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Gently stir in peas and parsley. Ladle portions of meat, sauce, vegetables, and dumplings into soup plates and serve immediately.

Serves 6 to 8.

(my changes.....bought chicken stock and used frozen chicken breasts. No sherry or vermouth)

Do you see what I see?

This was in our backyard the other day. There is another one sitting in the tree line right behind this one. They stayed there all day. It made our day because they were fun to watch.

Merry Christmas!

This weekend we made our Christmas treats to pass out friends and neighbors.

They were soft gingerbread snowflake cookies with royal icing and cake glitter.

1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. molasses
1 egg
4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

-In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
-Stir in molasses and egg.
-Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the molasses mixture until smooth.
-Cover, and chill for at least one hour.
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line with parchment.
-On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.
-Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
-Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
-Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm.
-Let cool for 10 minutes on pan.
-Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
-Frost or decorate when cool.

Merry Christmas!

Here kitty, kitty, kitty!

Dressing a 10 month old is like trying to dress a cat.

Only difference is, cat's don't need to wear clothes.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cranberry Coffeecake

Tonight we made this.........

I found it here...............

It was yummy!

God? Is that You?

I was talking with Addie during lunch the other day. We were talking about how God helps us make good choices. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: You need to listen to what God tells you to do.

Addie: Yeah, ...I don't hear Him.

Me: Well, it's not like you hear an actual voice like you hear me talking to you. You hear Him talk to you in your heart.

Addie twists her head slowly and tries to get her ear down to touch her heart to listen.

I don't think she's quite ready yet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Homemade Wipes

I first saw this idea at a baby shower. The supplies were given as a gift to the new mom. I decided to try out the idea because I was getting tired of buying wipes every time I went to Walmart or Target. Here's what you do.

1. Cut a roll of paper towels in half. A serrated knife works well. I used the Bounty Select-a-Size towels, because then you get more sheets.
2. Find a container with a lid that your half a roll of paper towels will fit into.
3. Mix 2 1/4 cups water with 2 T baby shampoo and 1 T baby oil.
4. Pour over the half paper towel roll in it's container.
After it has soaked in the solution for a few minutes you can easily pull out the cardboard center. Start using your wipes from the center of the roll.

I've used these for a week now and I really like them. I'm only about half done with the first half of a roll. So I think they'll last longer than regular wipes. I don't use any more per diaper than regular wipes and they smell nice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Land of the Fear of Men

Last night we enjoyed my brothers' CD release concert. Their album is The Land of the Fear of Men. Every song causes you to search where the affections of your heart are. Do your actions, words, deeds flow from a desire to please man because you fear what they think of you? Or do your actions, words, deeds flow from a desire to please the Lord because you fear Him? I encourage you to download this music and take heed to its message. The artwork too is amazing! Enjoy the talents the Lord has blessed these men with in lyric, song, and art.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Date Night at Home

9:20 pm on a monday +

chocolate cake and coffee +

me and my hubby = Date Night (we'll take what we can get!)

Workin' on my Cake Skills

Here's a cake I made to celebrate some family birthday's this Thanksgiving.
Things I learned:
-use thinner icing when using the leaf tip
-writing also works better with thinner icing
-try not to write like you have palsy
-actually did a crumb coat with this one and it's worth the extra time

Life Behind Bars

Isaiah loathes his crib. He's a typical 3rd child and wants to always be a part of the action, not alone in his crib.

Jail bird

This is how Isaiah fell asleep one night. I guess he gave up hope that I would come rescue him and just fell over to sleep.

Poor little guy!

Baked Ziti

Here's an easy recipe with simple ingredients but tastes great!

8 oz ziti pasta
1 c ricotta
1 large egg
3/4 c parmesan
1 c shredded mozzarella
1 jar (26 oz) good spaghetti sauce

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, 1/4c of parmesan, 1/2c mozzarella, season with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the jar of sauce into a 9x9 pan or a 2 qt casserole dish. Top with cooked pasta, then ricotta mixture and remaining sauce. Sprinkle top with remaining parmesan and mozzarella. Bake uncovered at 450 for 20-25 min.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He's on the move!

Well, it has happened. Isaiah is crawling. He figured it out this past week. Actually, he figured it out last Wednesday night. Wednesday we were at the library. I got the two older kids situated at a computer, Tony and I had our books out, and I sat Isaiah on the ground near me and his bottle about 5 feet away from him on the ground. Next thing I knew, he crawled over to it and attacked it! He drug himself the last foot or so, but since then his technique has been good. How do babies do that? Isn't God amazing!? I mean, nobody shows a baby how to crawl, they just do it! So cool!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I can't bring home the bacon

Tony works hard and provides well for our family. I don't make money being a mom, but I can save his hard earned money. I like being thrifty and finding ways to make the $ stretch.

Here's some of the things I do:

~ wait to wash until there is a full load (laundry or dishes)
~ use coldest water possible
~ don't use as much soap as suggested on laundry detergent bottle. Test to see how much you can really use and still get your clothes clean.
~ tear fabric softening sheets in half. Half a sheet still works just as well and you get twice as much out of a box.
~Cut napkins in half. The generic brand Homelife has really hefty napkins and 1/2 a napkin works fine. Plus the kids enjoy the task of cutting up the napkins.

What do you do to save money?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Tonight for supper we had potstickers (or gyoza as we learned from our missionary friends to China). This is a really good recipe from America's Test Kitchen.


3 c napa cabbage
3/4 t salt
3/4 lb ground pork
6 T minced green onion
1/8 t black pepper
4 t soy sauce
1 1/2 t grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
24 gyoza wrappers

Toss chopped cabbage and salt in colander and set over bowl. Let stand until cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 min. Press to squeeze out extra moisture. Combine cabbage and all other filling ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill at least 20 min and up to 24 hrs.

Place one rounded teaspoon of filling in middle of wrapper. Moisten edge of wrapper with water. Fold each wrapper in half, starting in center and working toward outside edges, pinch edges together firmly to seal, pressing out any air pockets. Add a few pleats to make pretty. Place on a tray in a single layer and keep covered with a moist towel to keep from drying out.

Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a skillet. Arrange 1/2 of dumplings in skillet lying flat on one side. All seams facing same direction. Place skillet over med-high heat and cook without moving, until dumplings are golden brown on bottoms, about 5 min. Turn each dumpling over and brown 2nd side, about 5 min. Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup of water and cover immediately. Cook, covered, until most of water is absorbed and wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 min. Uncover and increase heat to med-high; cook without stirring until dumplings are crisp again, about 3-4 min. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T water
1/2 t sesame oil
1 minced green onion

This recipe made enough for 4 skillet-fulls (is that a word?) And the wrappers and the filling freeze well.

Mini Coopers

In our hallway are 3 pictures of Evan that i took about 4 years ago. Before the other 2 kids start to wonder why mom and dad don't put up pictures of them, I thought I'd better give them all some face time. So yesterday I took pictures of each of them. They turned out fine on the computer, but Addie's is the only one that will print right. So now Addie is the only picture in the hallway. Maybe we'll just change which mini cooper we spotlight in the hallway every 3 years or so.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Vietnamese Carmel Chicken

I haven't made this dish in quite a while, probably almost a year now. That's because it is so easy to mess up the sauce. I always had trouble keeping the sugar from crystallizing, but I heard a tip on Good Eats (i think) that by adding corn syrup to the sugar that you are caramelizing it will keep it from forming crystals. And it worked! So here it is...

Vietnamese Caramel Chicken

3/4 c sugar
2 T corn syrup
1/4 c water
2 T soy sauce
10 dashes sesame oil

4-6 frozen chicken breasts
salt and pepper
4 T fresh ginger chopped (if you can't find fresh, I've used crystallized ginger too)
2 T garlic, chopped
4 green onions (white part)
pinch of red pepper flakes
fresh basil
fresh cilantro
green onion (green part)

Over med-high heat, pour sugar in the middle of a high-sided sauce pan. Pour 1/4c water around edge.

This is where you will be tempted to stir the sugar into the water, but you can't! I know you're thinking, "I bet nothing would happen if I stirred the sugar," but you'd be wrong! This is where the sugar could crystallize. You don't want the sugar to touch the sides of the pan. Once the middle mound of sugar has soaked up water, you can add the corn syrup and wait for it all to boil.

After about 5-10 min it should look like this.

Now you need to get your 1/3 c water ready. You can't walk away from this sauce because once it starts to turn caramel color it gets dark fast and if it gets too dark it tastes burnt. You just want a nice mahogany color. As soon as it's the color above, turn off the heat and add the 1/3c water. Be careful! It will spatter! So turn your head away while you add the water. Once it has quit spitting at you you can add the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Set aside.

Now for the chicken.....
Heat 1 T of oil in a skillet and brown the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Once it has browned on one side you can add the garlic, white onion, ginger, and red pepper. Once the chicken is cooked through you can pour the sauce over the chicken and simmer for 10-15 min turning the chicken every couple minutes to soak up the sauce color.
Garnish with green onion, cilantro, and basil.
Serve with rice.

Not a sky in the cloud!

Yesterday was a cloudy day. On the way to church I heard Addie say to Evan, "Evan, look how cloudy it is. There's not a sky in the cloud". That made the cloudy day seem brighter.


Come on in! Welcome to my humble ablog. Housewifery refers to the function or work of a housewife. My work includes taking care of my husband, kids and our home. I'm hoping this blog will be a good place for me to keep track of the funny things my kids say that I always think, "I should write that down", but never do. And it will also be a place for me to keep track of recipes so I can add variety to my meals. I seem to get stuck on the same 7 recipes and can never remember what I used to cook. I'm also hoping it will be a fun way for family members to keep in touch. So feel free to stop by anytime and see what's going on in our house. And please leave a comment!