Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

I really like green salsa. Not sure why. I think because it's not as acidy as red salsa. Anyway this recipe is super easy and super tasty. And it freezes well. So it's a great dish to stash away for a rainy day, or give away to someone who needs a meal.

Chicken Enchiladas
adapted from Everyday Food

3-4 large frozen chicken breasts
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 T cumin
2 jars (16oz) green salsa
1 cup sour cream
12 corn tortillas
2 c shredded mozzarella or monterey jack cheese
fresh cilantro, green onion for garnish

In a large pot, boil chicken until cooked through. Drain and shred meat. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Set aside.
In a bowl large enough to dip tortillas, combine salsa and sour cream. Mix well.
Add 1/2 c salsa mixture to shredded chicken.
Assemble by dipping one tortilla at a time into salsa mixture, then place in a 9x13 pan and fill with 1/3 c of chicken mixture, sprinkle with some cheese, then roll up and arrange, seam side down. 8 enchiladas lengthwise and 4 crosswise.
After all are assembled, pour remaining salsa mixture over top, then remaining cheese.
Cover and freeze at this point or bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 min. Until cheese is browned and salsa is bubbling. Sprinkle with garnish.

Note: This is GF as long as your salsa and sour cream are GF.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Paralytic Parable

We've been going through the book of Matthew for our family devotion time. After supper Tony was reading from chapter 9 to the kids. It was about Jesus healing the paralytic. Here's the story....

Matthew 9

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

1Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."

3At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, "This fellow is blaspheming!"

4Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7And the man got up and went home. 8When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.

So we were asking the kids questions to make sure they understood what was being read.

Tony: First of all, what is a paralytic?

Addie: rhymes with licorice (yeah, she's random that way)

Evan: A sinner!

Tony: Well, he was a sinner, but that's not what a paralytic is.

Heidi: What did we learn about him from the story? He was laying on a mat...people had to carry him....Jesus told him to get up and walk...

Evan: a LAZY sinner!

They did eventually get it. But aren't you glad Jesus has authority to heal paralytics and forgive sinners, even lazy sinners ;)

Menu Monday

Not sure what happened last week, but I didn't follow my menu so now we'll try it again this week.

honey mustard chicken/rice pilaf/salad
swedish meatballs/noodles/corn
chipotle-style burritos
honey-lemon-rosemary chicken/potatoes/veggie

Let us know what you're planning. We don't care how simple or how grand. We just want ideas, and it's fun to know what other people do.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who's the Boss?

It has been a DREARY week. Rainy. Damp. Windy. Cloudy. Depressing! It's affecting me. I don't want to do anything. My house is a mess. Not that I'm not doing any chores. It's just I do them and then three little people (who shall remain unnamed) come running through and undo in 5 seconds what it took me all day to do! Have you been there? Why am I doing it? What's the point? Why should I pick up the living room AGAIN when it's going to be messy as soon as I turn around?........Because I'm not doing it for them, or me, or I shouldn't be. I am doing it for the Lord. I need to clean my house, and do my laundry, and cook my meals with all of my heart as if the Lord Himself asked me to do these things. I like the New Living Translation of this verse. It says, "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people." If we are doing our work in hopes that our children will take notice and rise up and call us blessed:).....we will be let down every time. The Lord sees our heart and knows the motive behind our actions.

Lord, I'm sorry I've had the wrong attitude towards my everyday tasks. Please help me to do my best for You every time and be grateful for the many "blessings" You have given to me to be in charge of.

Apple Pancakes

Similar to a pannekoeken, this is an apple-cinnamon baked pancake. Very easy, common ingredients, great for an easy Sunday night supper. (or I guess you could make it for breakfast :) ) This makes 2- 9" pie plates.

Apple Pancakes
adapted from Penzey's Spices

1/4 c butter, divided
4 eggs
1/4 t vanilla
3/4 c flour
3/4 c milk
1/2 t salt
1 apple, peeled and thinly sliced
3 T cinnamon and sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide butter between 2 - 9" pie plates and place in oven to melt.
Once melted remove from oven and rotate plates until butter coats bottom and sides evenly.
In a 4-cup measuring cup, mix eggs, vanilla, flour, milk, and salt until no lumps remain.
Toss sliced apples with 2 T of the cinnamon/sugar mixture and arrange on the bottom of the pie plates in a single layer.
Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture into each plate.
Sprinkle remaining cinnamon/sugar on top.
Bake until golden and puffed, 20-25 min.
Serve right away.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Broiled Buttered Cod

I'm not a big sea food lover, but I know it's good for me so I'll try fish every once and a while. I found this recipe online for frozen cod fillets and I really liked it. It had many good reviews and they all said it tasted like lobster. I've never had lobster so I don't know if they were telling the truth, but it was really good.

Broiled Buttered Cod

6 - 6oz frozen cod fillets
6 cups water
1 c sugar
2 T salt
1 stick butter, melted

Place frozen fish in large pot.
Mix together water, sugar, and salt.
Pour water over the fish. Should fully cover the fish. If not, add more water.
Bring to a boil. Boil for 3-5 min.
Remove from water.
Blot dry with paper towels.
Transfer to greased baking sheet.
Brush with 3 T melted butter, and sprinkle with paprika.
Broil for 8-10 min. until golden.
Serve with remaining butter and wedge of lemon.

Menu Monday

Happy rainy, cold, windy, dark, March Monday everybody!
Here's what's cookin' this week at the Cooper's.

honey mustard chicken/rice pilaf/green beans
cheeseburgers/american fries/strawberries
chipotle-style burritos
lemon rosemary chicken/ potatoes/ salad
swedish meatballs/noodles/veggie

What do you have planned for the week?
What did you do last week?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diggin' For Treasure

Isaiah just discovered the lint between his toes. Personally, I think his toes produce it. It's ALWAYS there. And it's ALWAYS blue. Why? He doesn't wear blue socks. He hardly wears socks. We don't have blue carpet. Why blue? Anyway, I caught him prying his chubby little toes apart. He took a closer look and then said, "WHOA!" It's now his new favorite past-time.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slow to Anger

This is the next verse I'm working on memorizing.

James 1:19-20
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

The part that really struck me was "for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." Sometimes when I get angry at someone, I feel like it's justified if what they did was truly wrong. But when did two wrongs make a right? The other person's sin does not make my sin of anger justifiable. My anger usually doesn't accomplish the righteousness of God. It usually accomplishes my own selfish agenda.

So, how do you not sin in anger?
be quick to hear- truly listen to what they are saying.
be slow to speak- usually the first words to the tongue aren't the wisest.
practice love- love that overlooks an offense doesn't just happen. It's something that needs to be pursued with the help of God.
understanding the sovereignty of God- God often provides situations to help us grow in Christlikeness. What others may intend for evil, God uses for good. (Gen 50:20)

There is a place for anger. We will become angry. The Bible says "Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Eph 4:26). I think being slow to respond to anger is a good test of whether it is a righteous anger or not. And if you continue reading in James 1:21 it explains how, by looking to the Bible and humbly accepting what it says, it will guide your actions.

Lord, please help me to be quick to hear, quick to love, slow to speak, slow to anger, and forgiving of others as You are to me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baked Tacos

I love the colors of this meal. And it's so easy, there isn't even a recipe. I'll come up with some instructions for you. This is one that I go to when I'm thinking, "what else can I possibly do with hamburger tonight?"

Baked Tacos

1 lb hamburger
1 small onion, diced
1 t garlic, chopped
1 T cumin
salt and pepper
1 small can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c shredded cheese
8 flour tortillas

Brown hamburger with onions and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, cumin.
Assemble by filling tortilla with hamburger, then some tomato sauce, then some cheese.
Roll up and place seam side down in a 9x13 baking dish.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 min.
Remove from oven and spoon remaining tomato sauce on top of tortillas and top with more shredded cheese.
Bake another 10 min.
Top with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, guacamole.
Serve with rice and beans.

Menu Monday

Here's what's on the menu for this week.

Perch/carrot risotto/veggie
green chicken curry
chicken enchiladas/chips/salsa/fruit
asian beef skewers
apple pancake/eggs/oranges

How about you?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chicken Fajita Tostadas

Here's a fresh way to serve up chicken any night of the week. With lots of roasted veggies this meal is filling with out feeling heavy.

Chicken Fajita Toastadas
adapted from Everyday Food Magazine

1 medium onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, sliced
10 oz corn
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 t cumin
10 corn tortillas
1 1/2 c shredded cheeseOn baking sheet combine first 5 ingredients and roast in a 450 degree oven, tossing occasionally until tender and light browned about 20 min.
Meanwhile, bring some water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add chicken. Continue boiling until fully cooked. Shred with two forks and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.
Toss with roasted veggies and continue roasting another 5-10 min.

Arrange tortillas on another baking sheet. Top with shredded cheese and bake until cheese is melted and golden.

Top tortillas with chicken and veggies and add your own toppings. (sour cream, salsa, guacamole)

Ceasar-like Dressing

This is my latest favorite salad dressing. It's got just the right bite to it and its super easy to make with ingredients I usually have on hand.

Ceasar-like Dressing
adapted from Everyday Food magazine

3 T olive oil
1 T white-wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 t coarse salt
1/4 t pepper

Mix well.

*I've substituted other vinegars and other mustards and it still tastes great. A little goes a long way.

Caught Red-Handed

Exhibit A

So it looks like I can't leave Isaiah alone for a second. He discovered the pantry this week. According to Exhibit A, it looks like he went first for the baking soda and then wisely moved on to the box of cookies. Maybe he'll try the basket of onions next and realize it's not worth getting into.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Favorite Verse

I need to do better at memorizing scripture, so I thought I'd start with some of my favorites.
Here's this week's.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." How often am I not seeking with all my heart? When you are seeking after something with all of your heart, that's all you think about. You crave it. You can't wait to get more of it. Spend as much time as you can with it. Do we do that with God? We should if we are truly Christians. John Piper says "The Spirit is not deadening, He is addicting. The evidence that you have him is that you want more of him. Continued indifference to growth in grace is a sign of no grace."

Lord, may You continue to cause me to seek You with all of my heart.

Pumpernickel Pastrami Panini

Saw this recipe on a Food Network show and thought it looked good enough to try.
It combines apples and onions and sharp cheese and pastrami and pumpernickle. Interesting combo, but we all really liked it. Even Isaiah ate it up.

I got the recipe from here.

Next time, the only thing I would change is to omit the rosemary from the dipping sauce.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fudgy Brownies

If you like fudgy brownies (and I do!) this is the best recipe I've found. It is tried and true. I've used it for going on 10 years now and I haven't found anything better. The brownie itself is fudgy, moist (sorry Lauren -she doesn't like that word :), chocolaty, cakey. And the frosting on top is smooth and more chocolate! How can you go wrong with that!

Fudgy Brownies

1 c butter
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1 c flour
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt

In a medium saucepan on low heat, melt butter and chocolate.

Remove from heat and add in sugar.
Add eggs one at a time. Mixing well.

Add the flour, salt, and vanilla.
Pour into a greased 9x13 and bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Let cool then top with frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
3 T cream or milk
3 T butter
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, bring milk, butter, and sugar to a boil for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips.

Menu Monday

Welcome to another week. Let's share with each other so we can make this task easier. If you don't know yet what you are doing yet, then tell us what you did last week. We don't care, we just want your ideas!

Carmel chicken/rice/salad
meatloaf/twice baked potatoes/veggie
stuffed shells/garlic bread knots/salad
roasted corn tostadas/chips/guac

I know you closet readers are out there. Here's your chance to comment. It won't hurt a bit. I promise!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Orange Scones

Does just hearing the word 'scones' make your mouth instantly dry up and feel like a cotton ball? Not with this recipe. These scones are moist and tender and delicious!

Orange Scones
adapted from exploringwomanhood.com

1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c butter milk
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1/3 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
6 T butter, cut into small pieces
2 oranges

In small bowl whisk together cream, buttermilk, egg, vanilla, zest and juice of one orange. Set aside
In large bowl combine dry ingredients.

Cut in butter cubes until mixture looks crumby.
Add liquids and combine just until moist. Don't overmix.
Dump out onto work surface and form into a large circle.
Divide dough into 12 large egg-shaped balls.

Place on lined baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-18 min.
Let cool a few minutes then add glaze.

1 c powdered sugar
zest of one orange
juice of half of orange

Mix well. You want the glaze to be thick. Spoon over warm scones. Enjoy!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You know when some cheese falls into your pan and gets all crispy and yummy? Well that's what this recipe is...crunchy crusty parmesan on chicken with an amazing tomato topping that is actually for bruscetta but pairs really well with this dish too.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
1/2 c shredded parmesan (don't go using the green can stuff now, it won't work the same)

Pat dry the chicken and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
Press as much shredded parmesan as you can into the chicken. The more the better because some will fall off.

Carefully transfer to a med-high non-stick skillet* drizzled with a little olive oil. And don't touch it! It has to stay in one place while the cheese is cooking into the chicken.
Cook 8-10 min per side, until cheese has turned golden and crispy and chicken is cooked through.

*a non-stick skillet is key. I have not had good results with stainless. Cast iron may work, but I haven't tried it.

Tomato toppin

1 tomato diced
1/4 c sundried tomatoes diced
1 T garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients and let mingle. Top over chicken.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sleepin' on the job

This is where I found Isaiah one day sleeping. He's at the top of our stairs by the baby gate. I was downstairs doing laundry and realized I hadn't heard him in a while (never a good sign). I guess he got tired of waiting for me to come up the stairs and thought he'd pass the time by taking a little rest :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stewed Indian Chicken

Here's another great crock-pot recipe that's not your usual chicken-&-potatoes. Tony and I together have concocted this. Here's our latest version.

Stewed Indian Chicken
1 1/2 lbs of some kind of boneless/skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
3-4 medium potatoes, 2 inch chunks
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 T grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 can (15 oz) coconut milk
cilantro for garnish

In crock-pot, combine tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
Add chicken and potatoes making sure they are all coated.
Cook on high 4 hours or low for 8.
Before serving, shred chicken into large pieces, stir in coconut milk, and top with cilantro.
Serve with rice and naan (flat bread).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Menu Monday

This week's menu is going to look a lot like last week's menu because the flu hit hard at the Cooper's and wiped out the head cook and then everyone else followed suit. So in case you missed it last week, here it is again this week with a little bit of tweaking.

parmesan crusted chicken/baked potato/veggie
chicken fajitas
beef stroganoff/noodles/ carrots
baked tacos/ rice/ beans

How was your week? And what's for this week?

Addie Oakley

Evan: Addie, let's play 'rock, paper, scissors'

: OK

: 1, 2, 3, go- hitting fist on hand
Addie! What is that?... a scissors?...paper?...what? What is that?

: A gun!

She's no dummy :)

Spring Salad

I've got Spring Fever! I've been using my indoor grill pan a lot lately because I miss grilling. I miss 75 degrees. I miss flip-flops. I miss kids playing in the water. Anyway, to trick me into thinking it actually was Spring I made hot dogs on the indoor grill and this Spring Salad. The dressing on this is really good! It would be great on a lettuce salad as well.

Spring Salad
1 box pasta (bowties, shells, anything fun)
3/4 c chopped carrots
3/4 c chopped radishes
1 cucumber, chopped
1/4 c green pepper, chopped
3/4 c red pepper, chopped
1/2 c celery, chopped
1/4 c yellow onion, chopped

Cook noodles, drain, and rinse in cold water.
Add chopped veggies.
Add dressing.

3/4 c sugar
1 c oil
1/2 c vinegar
1 t salt
1/2 t celery seed
1 t dry mustard

Mix in blender. Add to salad. Chill.