Saturday, May 31, 2008

Homemade Artisan Bread

Have you ever wanted to make your own bread? Well, that's been on my to do list for a long time now. I finally decided to give it a try. I think the reason why I put this off was because I always thought this would be too difficult. I wish I had put my fears to rest a while ago because this recipe out of the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book by Jeff Hertzberg was so easy!!! I first try was a wopping success! I was so happy with the results, and I can't wait to try other types of bread from this book. My blog's going to be full of bread photos! What I love about this book is that you can save the dough in your frig up to 14 days. Just cut a piece of dough off everyday, and bake fresh bread as needed. How great is that! I also wanted to share with you is that I didn't use all the "bread tools" that was required in the book. Mainly because I didn't want to go out and purchase anything really expensive unless I knew I would be a successful bread maker. I didn't use a bread peel, or a oven stone. I just use a regular cookie sheet with parchment paper. I really hope you check this book out at your local library, or buy a copy. I really thought making your own bread was really rewarding. The monkeys loved it, and I like the idea there are no preservatives.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brown Bag Popcorn

I want to share with you my way of making popcorn. If your like me, I love to eat popcorn during family video nights. I think the store bag popcorn is great, but a little expensive. I can do without the preservatives also. It's easy, inexpensive, and the kids will enjoy helping you make this.

Ingredients: 1/2 c. popcorn kernels, 1 tsp. vegetable oil( I use olive), 1 tsp. salt(I use popcorn salt), and a brown lunch bag.

Mix kernels and oil together. Add to brown bag. Add salt, and toss. Fold top of bag over once, and staple. Place in microwave on high for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. It's done! In the grocery store you can find all kinds of different popcorn toppers like cheddar cheese. My kids usually make their own special favored bag to enjoy during the movie. Next time I hope to share with you brown bag caramel popcorn! Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Homemade Dish Towels

I've been on the look out for cute dish towel to match my new ceramic bowls, but I haven't come across anything I really like. I'm still a beginner at sewing, so even this was a little intimidating. In the end, I was glad with how the dish towels came out, and I feel better about getting more familiar with my sewing machine. I feel this was a simple project, but it did take me alongtime to complete. Only because I was obsessing about the proper shape, and my stitching. So next time you can't find what your looking for head to the nearest fabric store!

Supplies: Fabric, scissors, thread, straight pins, and iron.

Prewash fabric. Iron fabric. Cut fabric to 24 1/2" x 16 1/2". Fold 1/2" then iron. Fold another 1/2" then iron, and pin. After all edges are pinned. Sew along all straight edges. Back stitching at corners.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Fabric Corkboard

My neighbor Amber did this beautiful fabric corkboards. I loved them! I decided to give it a try, and I was so thrilled at the results. I was even more amazed I found Hockey fabric! So this one is going in Remy's room. I can't wait to make more.

Supplies: 1 yard fabric, corkboard, ribbon, decorative tacks, and staple gun.

Iron fabric. Staple fabric to cork board. Start on one side then staple opposite side (Make sure fabric is taut). Cut off extra fabric. Cut ribbon set in place with decorative tacks ( I found mine at Joann's). That's it. It looks great!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flower Costume

Remy's 1st grade class is having a end of year play. My group are the flowers. We have been practicing our lines, and I've decided to make the costumes as well. I was a little unsure how this would turn out. Up until now I've only made felt capes for Halloween. This costume fits Kaya who is 5 years old perfectly, so I thing I've cut the pattern to small. Just in case I put Remy in this costume (that was a good laugh), and it was a little snug on his skinny little butt. Oh well, at least I feel I can get the other 7 costumes done right. After this project, I think I will attempt a sun dress for Kaya.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Decorative Magnets

I felt the itch for crafting, but it's late. I decided to make a few magnets to curb my itch. I'm planning on making a magnet board in the near future for the craft room. Oops! I mean my future craft room... That project hasn't quite begun yet (maybe next week). In the meantime, here's the easy steps for this easy projects.

Supplies: Fabric, clear stones (Michael's, or Target), tack glue, heavy duty magnet strips (Michaels, or Walmart).

Trace outline of stone on to fabric. Cut out and glue to stone. Let dry then add magnet strip. That's it. I told you it was easy.

Food Saver Frenzy

Don't you hate it when you waste lunch meat, cheese, chicken, or bread. It literally feeling like throwing money down the drain. With the cost of living sky rocketing. I refuse to waste prefectly good food. Now I food save everything. Anything lefted over I food save. It's a little time consuming, but I've also noticed it's helps me out with food preparation. If I want to make a batch of cupcakes, Posole, salsa, french fries, soups, or, banana bread. I just pull it out of the frig, or freezer. Easy!!! No more throwing out the bacon!!! I highly recommend investing in one for your kitchen.

Time to lay down the Law!!!

I don't know what it is, but my monkeys' are running amok! Usually getting ready for school is pretty routine, chores are getting done, homework is being finished, kids are all a counted for, but in the last week that lovely scenario has been throw out the window! It's turning me into Mommy Dearest! So now, it's time to lay down the law, and put some order back into our family. I created chore, rule, and routine charts for the kids. We sat down and had a family meeting. The kids were excited that order has been restored! Yeah right... I think they were just excited about their future rewards. Whatever works...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

My friend the Runner Bloom

I recently starting walking, and now running again. Those of you who know me well know that I love to run. I enjoy running in all kinds of terrain. Just as long as I feel at peace, and I can be around nature I'm good. That's where Bloom our family dog comes in. She has a sweet disposition, and kind eyes. I've learned to appreciate her presents because there was a time I could not stand that salamander dog. I know... I'm a bad mother. I've just never been a dog person, but now since all the kids are in school full time. Well, I have learned that she is my steady rock. She is now my friend, and we enjoy spending time running, or walking together. I like that Bloom is always ready for anything I'm up for. Now that's my kind of training partner. On the days, running can't be fit into the schedule due to weather, or errands. We enjoy walking on the trendmill together. When I'm not available to participate. I always make sure she get her walking time in. That's what friends are for. So Bloom and I just want to say "get outside, and enjoy a walk or run with a friend".

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

After the birth of my 2nd son Remy my sister in law Tracy came to help us out. She offered to make Spaghetti and Meatballs. I thought it would be a chore making it from scratch, but as I watched her I realized it was pretty simple. Over the years, I've changed this recipe a bit. I don't use ground beef anymore. I've served this dish to many a family, and friend. Not once had anyone notice that it's a turkey and sausage meatball. In my version of this recipe, I make my meatballs huge!!! The first time we eat dinner at the Macaroni Grill. The kids ordered Spaghetti and Meatballs. I couldn't believe how big the meatballs on their plates were. It looked so delicious!!! Like a real treat. It reminded me of the spaghetti plate in Lady in the Tramp. Remember how yummy that looked. So now, I always make gigantic, monster meatballs!!! Usually one per person. I hope the ingredients list isn't too overwhelming. Try it. Your family will really enjoy this one. Bon Appetite!!!

Ingredients for sauce: Extra Virgin Olive oil, 1 Onion, Lg. can of Tomatoe Sauce 6 lbs.(Sam's Club), 1/2 c. Basil, 1/4 c. Sugar, 1 tbsp Garlic Salt, 1/4 c. Italian seasoning, 3 Cloves of Garlic, and 2 tbsp. Olive oil.
Ingredients for meatballs: Package of Mild Italian sausage (ground or links), Package of ground Turkey, 1 egg, 1/4 bread crumb(Italian style optional),1/2 tbsp garlic salt, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning

In large stockpot drizzle olive oil. Add onions. Cook until translucent. Add tomatoe sauce, 1/2 c. basil, 1/4 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. garlic salt, 1/4 c. Italian seasoning, and 3 whole garlic cloves(pound w/knife once before placing in pot). Stir together and turn down heat to low.
In mixing bowl add Italian sausage with casing removed, ground turkey, 1 egg, 1/4 c.bread crumbs, 1/2 tbsp garlic salt, 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tbsp parmesan cheese. Blend together with hands. Wet hands with water before forming balls.
Add raw meatballs to stockpot. Do not stir. Cover for 1 hour on low heat. Once 1st hour is done you can stir. I usually let this cook for 3-4 hours. Stirring occasionally. Taste sauce to verify it's to your liking. Something I added more Italian seasoning.
In another stockpot boil water with salt and olive oil. Add your pasta. I only use Angel Hair pasta.
Before serving remove whole garlic cloves. To serve I plate pasta, add a huge meatball with sauce, and garnish with parley and graded parmesan cheese. Perfecto!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Romero Family Salsa

I can't wait for summer!!! The kids will be home, and we can enjoy the outdoors together. We eat a lot of salsa, so here is the salsa recipe out of Grandma "Mero's" cookbook Flora's Kitchen. I something add advoados to this recipe. Try it. It will be a big hit I promise.

Ingredients: 24 oz. whole tomatoes, 5 green onions, 6 guentos(small yellow chili),2 garlic cloves, salt, and cilantro optional

In a small sauce pan grill guentos. Coarsely chop guentos, then add to blender along with garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp. salt, chopped green onions, and drained whole tomatoes. Blend and serve with cilantro if desired. Enjoy!