Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade Chipotle

Who doesn't LOVE Chipotle? I think I love their water as much as the buritos. I always get water with lemon and lime in it. And their sour cream.......did you know they whip it to get it to that wonderful drinkable texture? We've been trying to perfect Chipotle's at home now for several years. I had a pretty good chicken recipe that I found on a Chipotle Tabasco Sauce bottle, and then this Christmas my brother found a really good chicken recipe that tasted excellent. But today's recipe is for carnitas. When I go to Chipotle this is what I order: carnitas burrito, rice, black beans, corn salsa, lots of sour cream and cheese. I get the carnitas because it's less spicy than the chicken or barbacoa. So any way, after years of tweaking here's what we have so far.

4-5 lb pork shoulder
1 onion
1 T corriander seed
1 T cumin
1 T oregano
1 T thyme
1 T juniper berries
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
8 oz can of tomato sauce

Salt and pepper the roast. Sear on all sides. Put in crock pot.
In same skillet, cook onion until soft (5 min) Add garlic and spices. Cook for 1 min more.
Add chipotles and tomato sauce to deglaze pan.
Pour on top of roast. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred roast and return to sauce.

Corn Salsa
1 pkg frozen corn
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
1/4c cilantro, chopped

Thaw corn. Combine and enjoy.

Cilantro Lime Rice

1 T oil or butter
2 c basmatti rice
3 1/2 c water
1/2 c lime juice
1/2 t salt
4 T cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in saucepan. Add rice and cook over med-high heat until rice turns opaque white. Don't brown.
Add lime juice, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 min.
Fluff with fork and add cilantro.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Basic Muffin Recipe

This is a good blueberry muffin recipe that works well with any fruit. Tonight it was raspberries, and they tasted really good! If you squinted, the batter looked like frozen custard with raspberries. Now I'm hungry for Culvers!


1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter, softened
1 egg
2 1/3 c flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 c milk
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c berries or fruit (fresh or frozen)

Cream butter and sugar.
Add egg.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add to creamed mixture, alternating with milk and vanilla.
Fold in fruit.

Fill 12 muffin cups and top with raw sugar.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 min.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Honey-Lemon-Rosemary Chicken

Here is a great crock pot recipe that tastes amazing! It makes this great sauce that has a savory sweetness about it. And the potatoes soak up all the good flavor.

1 whole chicken cut-up (or equivalent)
1 T olive oil
5-6 medium potatoes, cut up
1 small onion, cut up
4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4c honey
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 T cornstarch
1 T rosemary
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Put oil in skillet and brown chicken on both sides.
In bottom of crock pot combine potatoes, onions, and garlic.

Place browned chicken on top.
Whisk sauce ingredients together and pour over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Ayuda Me!

Everyday Addie asks me if she can put makeup on me....and pretty much everyday I say "no".

This is why....

I must say she did a pretty good job with the eyeliner around the eye, but I'm not quite sure what happened on the forehead or around the mouth.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Monday

Can it be Monday again? ...already?
Well, here's what I have planned for the week, but my van won't start so we'll see if I can make it to the store. If not, I guess you can fill in each day with PB&J sandwiches!

honey-lemon-rosemary chicken/potatoes/carrots
julie's potato soup/bread & cheese
carnitas burritos

BBQ Sauce

Several months ago we wanted some BBQ sauce, but didn't want to make a special trip to the store for it, so we decided to make our own. We found a recipe off of the website and tweaked it a bit here and there and came up with this. Since then, I haven't bought another bottle of sauce. Nothing else seems to be as good! It has a lot of ingredients, but don't let that scare you. It's really easy to make.

BBQ Sauce

2 c ketchup
2 c tomato sauce
1 1/4 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c molasses
4 t liquid smoke
2 T butter
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/4 t chili powder
1 t paprika
1/2 t celery seed
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1 t black pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix first 7 ingredients. Season with last 8 ingredients.
Reduce to low heat and simmer for 20 min.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Green Chicken Curry

I love anything with coconut milk, basil, and lime juice paired together. This dish is no exception. The heat of the green curry and the tender crunch of the green beans are great compliments to the dish.
Green Chicken Curry
adapted from Everyday Food

1 T cornstarch
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
3-4 cups green beans
1 med onion, 1/2" slices
1 t Thai green curry paste
4 chicken breasts
1 can (14.5 oz)coconut milk
1 cup torn basil leaves
juice from 1/2 a lime
sea salt
Mix cornstarch and 2 T chicken broth in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cut chicken into thin slices. Cook in oiled skillet until opaque. Set aside, leaving juices in skillet.
Add green beans and onion to skillet. Cook, tossing frequently, until they begin to soften, 5-7 min.
Add curry paste, scraping bottom of skillet, until paste is slightly darkened, 3-4 min.
Add chicken, coconut milk, cornstarch mixture, and reserved chicken broth.
Simmer until vegetables are tender and sauce is slightly thickened, 5-8 min.
Add basil and lime juice. Season with salt.
Serve over rice.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Porterhouse Steak

We don't have steak very often, but when we do have it-this is how we have it!
The steak is seared with rosemary, thyme, and pepper and the aroma is amazing! But when you add the mushrooms and onions to it, it's a whole nother level!
Porterhouse Steak
2 T olive oil
1/4 t ground pepper
1/2 t rosemary
1/2 t thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
Marinade steak on both sides for at least a 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 325.
Sear steak in med-high heat skillet on both sides.
Transfer steak and skillet to oven, cook for 20 min. or until internal temp reaches at least 160.
Let rest 5 min. before slicing.
Top with sauted mushrooms and onions.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Roly Poly Pasta

We call this dish Roly Poly Pasta because everything in it is ball shaped. The recipe is adapted from Everyday Food magazine.
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
8 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 pint bocconcini ( *I use mozzerella cheese sticks cut into 1/2 chunks)

Set a large pot of salted water to boil. In a large bowl, combine turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix to combine. Using a level 1-tablespoon measure for each, form mixture into meatballs (you should have about 24).
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add meatballs, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water; simmer, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through and liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until they begin to soften, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, return to pot, and place on the still-warm burner. Add meatballs and sauce, remaining 1/4 cup parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and remaining tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper, and toss until combined. Right before serving add mozzerella.

Menu Monday

Another week is upon us begging us to fill it with meals that will satisfy. What will it be this week?

walleye/green beans/ baked potato
green cury chicken/rice
steak/mushroom & onions/french bagette/salad
BBQ chicken legs/cheesy hasbrowns/salad
pizza @ church

I'm off to the grocery store!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

All I want for MLKjr Day is my two front teeth

Evan missed it by a few weeks so now he'll have to sing the lesser known version, but still popular song, All I want for MLKjr Day is My Two Front Teeth.
What?'ve never heard of that one?
Hit it Evan!

All I want for MLKjr Day ith my two front teeth,
my two front teeth, thee, my two front teeth.
Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth,
then I could with you a merry MLKjr Day!

It theems tho long thince I could thay,
"thithter thuthie thitin' on a thithle".
Goth, oh gee! How happy I'd be if I could only whithle!

All I want for MLKjr Day ith my two front teeth,
my two front teeth, thee, my two front teeth.
Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth,
then I could with you a merry MLKjr Day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Egg Rolls

Adapted from Everyday Food magazine

Egg Rolls
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1 napa cabbage, thinly sliced*
4 medium carrots, coarsely grated*
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T grated fresh ginger
salt and pepper
1 lb pork or beef
6 scallions, thinly sliced

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over med-high heat. Add cabbage, carrots, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Cook, tossing until cabbage and carrots are tender (3-5 minutes).
Raise heat to high; add pork and soy sauce mixture.
Cook, tossing until pork is no longer pink and liquid has evaporated (5-7 minutes).
Transfer to a plate to cool.
Assemble egg rolls keeping covered with a damp towel.

1. Place 1/3 c filling in center of wrapper. Wet edges with water.

2. Fold bottom point of wrapper up over the filling and tuck it under.

3. Fold both side corners in, like an envelope.

4. Tightly roll up to top corner. Make sure all edges remained sealed.

Fill a sauce pan with oil so that it is 1 1/2" deep. Heat oil until it reads 350 degrees on a thermometer. Work in batches and fry egg rolls until golden, turning once.
Drain on paper towel.
Serve with sweet and sour sauce.

* You can substitute 1 bag of Dole coleslaw mix for the cabbage and carrots. Use the whole bag. It will wilt down once it cooks.

Menu Monday

Hello everybody! Hope you all had a great weekend! And now we have the start of another week before us. So what are you all making this week?
Here's my menu for the week. You'll see I took some helpful suggestions from you guys. Thanks!

Rolly Polly Pasta/salad
Eggrolls/cream cheese wantons
Chicken Piccata/veggie/potatoes
????? /??????/????? (still trying to think of something)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Deep Dish Pizza

Get ready for the best deep dish pizza you've ever had. Take the best Pizza Hut pepperoni deep dish pizza and combine it with Davanni's and you get this............

This recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen and it is perfect! We like the sauce on top of the cheese, but feel free to mix it up.

The Dough
2 T olive oil
3/4 c milk plus 2 T, warmed to 110 degrees
2 t sugar
2 1/3 c flour
1 pkg yeast
1/2 t salt

Mix milk, sugar, and oil. Set aside.
In mixer combine flour, yeast, and salt. Slowly add the milk mixture and knead until shiny and smooth, about 5 min.
Place in lightly greased bowl and let rise in a warm place for 20 min until puffy and slightly risen.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat two 9" cake pans with 3 T of oil each. (No this is not too much oil, you have to do this!)

The Sauce
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Cook oil and garlic in medium suacepan over low heat until fragrant, about 2 min. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until slightly thickened, 10-15 min. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide dough in half, and roll each half into a ball shaping into a 9 1/2" round and press into oiled cake pan. Set in a warm place and let rise about 20 min.
While dough rises, put half of pepperoni in single layer on microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels. Cover with 2 more paper towels and microwave on high for 3o seconds. Set aside.

When dough is ready, press 1 1/2 c cheese gently onto dough, ladle 2/3c sauce on top of the cheese, leaving 1/2" border. Top with pepperoni. Sprinkle with parmesan and italian seasoning. Bake for 20 min on the bottom rack. Let rest for 1 min. then transfer to cutting board and serve.

Get ready for golden, crunchy, cheesy, saucy goodness!


This is a great breadstick recipe that doesn't take a lot of prep time. It only needs to rise once for 15-20 min. Perfect for last minute supper plans.


1 pkg yeast
1 1/2 c warm water
1 T honey
3-4 c flour
1 t salt

Dissolve yeast into warm water in mixer bowl.
On medium speed, beat in honey, 3 c of flour, and salt.
Add as much of the rest of the flour as needed to form a soft dough that is slightly sticky.
Knead until smooth. At least 5 min.
Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 16 sections for large breadsticks.
Roll each piece into a rope and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet 1 " apart.
Let rise in a warm place for 15-20 min.
Brush each breadstick with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder.
Bake at 400 for 15 min or until golden.

Chicken Pesto Pasta

We had this for supper last night with our small group from church.

Chicken Pesto Pasta

1/2c chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2c water
2 t garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2 t cornstarch
3/4 c pesto
1/4 c toasted pinenuts
1/4 c chopped basil
1/4 c feta cheese
16 oz pasta
2 T parmesan cheese
3-4 frozen chicken breasts

Cook noodles.
Soak sun-dried tomatoes in water.
Cook chicken in oil and garlic until browned. Cut into bite size pieces.
Remove a couple tablespoons of the tomato soaked water and add it to the cornstarch and set aside.
Stir remaining tomato water, tomatoes, and pesto into the chicken. Heat through.
Mix in cornstarch water and cook until thickened.
Add drained noodles and toasted pinenuts.
Top with feta, parmesan, and basil.

Sins of the Tongue

I recently finished the book Respectible Sins by Jerry Bridges. I learned so much and have a lot to work on. Before I forget all the God showed me through this book, I wanted to get some thoughts together to help reinforce what I learned. Maybe you'll find it helpful too.

The first chapter I want to summarize is on sins of the tongue.
Watch this video first.

James 3:8-10
8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

Ephesians 4:29
29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

In his book, Bridges says that "any speech that tends to tear down another person-either someone we are talking about or someone we are talking to - is sinful speech." He includes lying, slander, critical speech, harsh words, insults, sarcasm, and ridicule as sins of the tongue.

gossip- the spreading of unfavorable information about someone else, even if that information is true.
Indulging in gossip seems to feed our sinful ego, especially when the information we're passing along is negative. It makes us feel self-righteous by comparison....Ephesians 4:29 not only tells us what kinds of speech to put off, it also tells us what to put on. It is only such speech that builds up and gives grace to those who hear it. Therefore, when we are tempted to gossip, we should ask ourselves, Will what I'm about to say tend to tear down or build up the person I'm about to talk about?

slander- making a false statement or misrepresentation about another person.
Bridges says that we slander when we ascribe wrong motives to people, even though we can't see their hearts or know their particular circumstances.

critical speech- negative comments about someone that may be actually true but doesn't need to be said.
The ?'s we should ask ourselves about these kinds of comments are Is it kind? and Is it needful? By this he mean's does it need to be said?
With this sinful speech he includes, harsh words, sarcasm, insults, and ridicule. All of which tend to put down, humiliate, or hurt the other person. He points out that this type of speech most often comes from an attitude of impatience or anger.

For me, this is an area God has shown me that I need to work on. Mainly in regards to disciplining my kids. It's easy for me to use critical speech when the kids are disobeying or have done something wrong. Like after asking them to brush their teeth and they slowly putz around and I become impatient and say something like "How many times do I have to tell you to brush your teeth!" or "When are you going to learn to obey right away!" Bridges correctly points out that these kind of responses only serve to vent our impatience and humiliate the child. Yes, kids need to learn to obey their parents, but we are not to provoke them to anger.

Ephesians 6:1-4
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

He sums up by pointing us to Matthew 12:34- "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
Behind all of our sinful speech is our sinful heart. The tongue is only the instrument that reveals what is in our heart. So may I be mindful of my words and pray like David when he said-
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. -Psalm 19:14

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Applesauce Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

For dessert tonight we had this cake. It is from a Gold-Medal flour recipe magazine that you find in the checkout lane at the grocery store. It tastes good warm or cold. And tastes even better with a cup of french press coffee!

Applesauce Oatmeal Cake with Broiled Coconut Topping

1 1/4c applesauce
1 c oats
1/2 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2c flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t cinnamon

3/4 c coconut
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c pecans or walnuts
1/4 c butter, melted
3 T milk

Heat applesauce to boiling in saucepan over med-high heat. Stir in oats. Let stand 20 min.
Beat butter and sugar on med speed until light and fluffy.
Beat in vanilla and eggs until fluffy.
Beat in applesauce mixture just until mixed.
Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, just until blended.
Pour into greased 9x9 pan.
Bake 40-50 min in a 350 degree oven.
Meanwhile, mix together topping ingredients.
When cake is done, spread over top of cake.
Set oven to broil.
Broil cake with top 6 inches from heat for about 2 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly being careful not to let it burn.

Musical Shares

It's time to shake-up my play list. I need some new tunes to listen to. What are you guys enjoying listening to these days? Please give me some suggestions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Spiritual Exercise

I'm jumping right in with my first post on what God has been showing me while reading the Bible. Maybe you are not this way, but in most everything I do I'm really excited about it at the start and do pretty well at it and then something happens and I usually end up totally forgetting about it. I don't want to be that way when it come to reading the Bible and learning about God and knowing Him rightly. In order to grow in godliness I need to exercise and stick with it and fight for it.

I Timothy 4:7b-10
Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Why do I end up giving up and not sticking with it? Because I give in to my self (flesh) and I don't persevere.

Galations 5:16-17
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

So how do I walk by the Spirit? By spending time in the Bible.

James 4:8
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.

Jeremiah 29:12-13
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart". I haven't been seeking with all my heart. This is where God has been giving me a desire. To seek Him with all my heart. It's changing from being a duty to being a delight, by God's grace!

Fresh Start

The start of a new year. A chance to do things different, or better, or not at all. This year I've decided to:
-drink more water each day
-put things away right after using it
-set a specific time/place to read my Bible and pray

I think this is a manageable list. It's not overwhelming like when you get that first look at a course syllabus and think "how will I ever get through this!"

I've already got my "place" set up where I will read and pray. I'm hoping that by making a special spot in my bedroom it will remind me to sit and visit for a while. Tony and I totally re-did our bedroom. If anyone saw it before (which we never let anyone in except for maybe grandparents who were helping with laundry) you would know that our bedroom was anything but inviting. There was just enough room to walk from the door, around the bed, to the bathroom. But now........there is nothing but floor space, and I love being in there. The kids love being in there too. It's like we added on another room. All this to say, I hope I can establish a routine of reading and praying in there before the newness wears off. Accountability helps, so feel free to ask how I've been doing. I hope to post what I'm reading/learning about too.

Monday, January 5, 2009

This Week's Specials

So I have a really hard time planning meals for the week. I get stuck on the same meals and can't figure out another way to make chicken look/taste different. Let's share with each other either what you have planned for this week or what you made last week.

I'll start....
This week I plan to make:

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches/potatoes/applesauce
French Toast/fruit/maple sausage
Chicken Pesto/breadsticks/salad
Meatloaf/mashed potatoes/green beans
Deep dish pizza

They're Baaaack!

Our two deer friends came back for a visit on Sunday morning. They were gone by the time we got back from church.

Panera Tomato Soup

Have you tried Panera's creamy tomato soup with asiago croutons? 
If you have, then you know how each bite makes you moan with satisfaction. 
It's creamy and spicy and cheesy and expensive! 
I can't afford to take my family to Panera every time I crave this winter-time soup! 
So that's why I've come up with my own knock-off version of it. 
And it tastes pretty darn similar if I do say so myself. 
Here it is.

Heidi's Panera's creamy tomato soup

Coat bottom of large sauce pan with olive oil over med-high heat.
Add small chopped onion and cook for 5 min.
Add spices: 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 T chopped garlic.
Remove from heat and stir.
Add 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and put back on the heat.
Add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.
Add 2 cups of water.
Bring to a boil and let simmer about 15 min.
Add 4 oz cream

(note: if it tastes too acidic, you can try adding a 1/4 tsp of baking soda)

The above by itself is pretty good. But if you ask me, this soup is all about the croutons.

What I did was buy a good foccacia bread that is topped with as much asiago cheese as you can find. (Or I suppose you could buy a loaf of Panera's Asiago bread, but then you might as well go ahead and buy yourself some soup while you are there.) Cut the bread into one inch chunks and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, toss, and bake in a 200 degree oven until they are dried out and crunchy.
Top them on your soup and you could garnish with asiago or parmesian cheese.

If you try this and you've had Panera's version, let me know what you think. What would make it better?

Anonymous Appetizer

We had a New Year's party at church where we played games and spent some time in prayer for the new year. Everyone was asked to bring a game and a snack. I brought these appetizers that I've been wanting to try since I first tasted them at a Sysco Food show a few years ago. I don't know what they are called, so maybe you can help me name them.

Here's what they look like.

And here's how I made them.

Brush 4 sheets of phyllo dough with melted butter and stack them. Cut into 3" squares and press into mini muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 8-10 min until golden.
Let cool then add a tsp of cream cheese and top with a little pepper jelly.

You can serve as is, or warm them back up in the oven for another 3-5 min.

The phyllo dough gets so flaky and buttery. And the cream cheese paired with the pepper jelly is perfect!
We all decided they taste like cream cheese wontons that have been dipped in sweet and sour sauce. Yummy!

So what do you think they should be called?