Torts & Tots

Motherhood. Lawyer-dom. And maybe a few nice recipes.

Archive for December 2011

Here’s to You, T.

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My friend, T, recently asked a bunch of her mom friends to send her our favorite recipes that met the following criteria: (1) meals that adults and kids both like, and (2) meals that can either be prepared ahead of time and heated/cooked before dinner time or that can  be prepared in 30-45 minutes.  She’s planning on compiling two-weeks worth of dinners and rotating through them.  What a great idea T.  I decided that if I’m compiling them for her, I might as well give them to you, too. 

As a side note, I think that pinterest is a great menu-planning resource.  I read a lot of food blogs, and I can just pin what I’m interested in and then review over the weekend as I am planning my weekly menu.  So helpful.

Here are a few of my winter favorites.

Mega Meatball Pizza

I haven’t made this recipe yet this winter, but this has been a staple in our household for years, even pre-dating children.  I think I originally pulled it because Jerrod loves pizza and this is an easy make at home pizza using store bought dough.  I’ve also manipulated this recipe over the years, adding more veggies, different cheese, etc.  I just noticed this is a Rachel Ray recipe.  I don’t generally gravitate towards her recipes, but we love this one.

Hearty Chicken Stew

Here’s Dave Lieberman’s recipe for chicken stew.  When I worked full time, Jerrod tookover a lot of the cooking at dinnertime.  Poor guy, he was probably starving.  He found this chicken stew recipe, and it’s been in the file ever since.  To cut back on the prep time, you can make the broth ahead of time and just add the veggies right before dinner.

Chicken Chili with Hominy

Oh how I wish I had a link for this one, but no such luck.  Although I pulled this recipe from food network’s webpage many years ago, I can’t find it.  So here you go.  I’ve made this many, many times.  Because I am lazy , I omit the tortillas from this recipe which makes a less thick chili.  But I make cornbread and serve it with that, which in my mind makes up for it. 

Place a tortilla directly on stovetop burner set on medium-low and toast, turning with tongs, until light golden and fragrants, 30-60 seconds.  Repeat with 3 more tortillas.  Cut tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips and set aside.

Season 12 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks, with salt and pepper.  Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook, stirring often until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to pan.  Add 2 small, red bell peppers, seeded and diced, and one large, chopped, white onion.  Season with salt and pepper and cooking, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add 1, 4 ounce can chopped green chiles, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.  Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add 14 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth and 2 cups low fat milk and brink to a simmer, stirring.  Stir in reserved chicken, tortilla strips, and 2, 15-ounce cans of white hominy.  Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and chili has thickened, about 20 minutes.  Sitr in 1/4 cup cilantro.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Serve with cilantro and lime wedges.

Kaitlyn’s Easy Chicken and Rice Stir Fry

So, as a preliminary note, I have no idea who Kaitlyn is.  My mom sent this recipe to me when I was first learning how to cook, and I’ve kept it all these years.  It’s just your basic stiry fry recipe, but therein lies the beauty.  You can alter it to accomodate whatever veggies, meat, rice you have on hand.  Thank you Kaitlyn, whoever you are.

Heat one tablespoon sesame oil in a large, heavy duty pan or wok.  Add 4 cups fresh veggies (1 cup each of 4 different veggies) and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes on high.  Lots of moisture will come out – let it boil off and the veggies will start to brown.  Push veggies to side, add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil.  Add 2 cups bonless, skinless chicken breast pieces (half a pound or so), cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, mixing the veggies back in as the chicken cooks.  Push the veggies and chicken to the side of the pan, leaving a space in the middle.  Break an egg into a small bowl, whisk until smooth, then pour into the center of the pan, making sure it doesn’t touch the veggies.  Scramble the egg, stirring until cooked and in small pieces.  Add  2 cups cold, cooked rice, cook, stirring, just until rice is heated through, about 2-3 minutes.  Season with 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce to taste, stir and serve.  (I sometimes season with teriyaki instead of soy or a soy-teriyaki mix.  Kids (my kid) like teriyaki better.)

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December 31, 2011 at 2:27 pm

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Snow Place Like Home.

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We hope you had a happy Christmas.  I haven’t had time to load all of our photos on to our computer yet, so Christmas pics still to come.  But here are a few shots of our white Christmas in Amarillo.

 Avery did her best to get the full snow experience.

Eating the snow.

Snow angel-ing.

And, of course sharing the snow with loved ones.

Claire had to settle for admiring the snow from inside.  Too cold for babies!

 

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December 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

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Wishing You A Very Snorty Christmas.

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Here is little CCS with her latest.  She has started wrinkling up her nose and snorting, not unlike a piggy, when she smiles.  She – and we – think it is hilarious.  Drawn from our infinite pool of parent cleverness, we have dubbed it her “snorty smile.”  Yes, being a parent makes you hilarious and very original.  It also makes you add an -ie to the end of everything, i.e., tosies, sockies, handies.  No clue why.

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December 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

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What’s Been Cooking.

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If only my kitchen was closed this week for Christmas.  If only.  Unfortunately, my kids, husband and dogs require feeding daily.  So here is what’s been cooking this week.

I made these cheesy, chicken pot pie cups this week, mostly with Avery in mind.  They really are kid food.  Fine for adults, but they were not my personal favorite.  Jerrod claims he liked them, but he’s my husband, the kitchen runs on praise and good cheer, and he wants the kitchen to keep running.  Hence, he seems to always like what I cook.  With Jerrod (and myself) in mind, I made this recipe for Porktastic Cabbage & Kielbasa .  I was a big fan of this, as was the husband.  The kid?  I didn’t even try – she had mac and cheese.  I also made my mom’s recipe for spinach & cheese enchiladas last night – messy but good.  I will share the recipe soon. 

We also made these Snow White cupcakes over the weekend.  Jerrod gave AJS an early Christmas present of this Snow White cupcake set from WS.  I keep a cake mix in the pantry for just such an “emergency” situation – strawberry cake mix + homemade vanilla buttercream.

And, now the kitchen is closed.  Leftovers until Christmas.  Claire doesn’t care – she’s very easy to please in the food department.

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December 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

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Guess That Baby.

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Tonight we were looking at some pics of Avery when she was a baby.  When Claire was first born, I thought she was the spitting image of Avery.  But, recently, I felt like she was moving away from that.  However, after looking at Avery’s baby pics, I may have been wrong.  In case you’re confused, what I’m trying to say is that my current position is that Claire and Avery do look alike as babies.  Can you guess that baby?  Challenge.  And no looking at the pictures on my facebook page to cheat.

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December 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm

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Last Fall Hurrah

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One thing I love about having children is watching the joy that they experience from simple pleasures.  For example, Avery loves jumping in leaves.  Correction, she likes to sit in the leaves while someone else buries her.  There’s really not a lot of jumping involved.  Here she is earlier this fall testing out the leaves at her grandparent’s house. 

Although fall is passing us by, she got one more opportunity to jump in the leaves over the weekend at our sweet neighbors’ house.  And, even better, she talked them into joining her.  I don’t think it took too much convincing. 

 

So, here is what I have learned from Avery today: if you see a pile of leaves, jump on in!

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December 19, 2011 at 2:31 pm

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We Had A Hair-Raising Weekend . . .

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How about you?  Here’s Claire getting a closer look at Jerrod’s hair.  It’s important to examine the gene pool.  More weekend snippets to come . . .

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December 18, 2011 at 11:05 pm

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