Monday, February 28, 2011

Zesty Greek Salad, Crakers and Pineapple

No I don't mean canned pineapple!  Buy a real pineapple and slice it yourself!  I posted a video in the previous post on how to cut a pineapple.  It is worth it, the vitamins are so fresh and your body can readily use them.  Don't forget the past few recipes have been from The Two Sisters cookbook. 

Zesty Greek Salad
3c dry brown rice, cooked
4c fresh baby spinach
2c frozen peas, thawed
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1c pitted, chopped black olives
3/4c olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp Bragg's or other soy sauce
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

1.  Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.  The rice should still be hot.
2.  Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Add this to the rice mixture; toss well.

**It is not in the book but I add feta cheese because how can you have a Greek salad with no feta?

How to Cut Fruit : How to Cut Pineapple

Catch-A-Cashew Salad

I make our hamburgers without buns now, sorta like a hamburger steak.  I use a bit more meat too.  Make 5 patties from 2lb ground beef.  Salt & pepper the tops good and bake in an oven until done. 

Catch-A-Cashew Salad
1 1/2 c raw cashew pieces
1 1/2c frozen peas, thawed
5 small tomatoes, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 raw sweet potato, peeled
1/3c mayonnaise
1/3c olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Bragg's, tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp basil
salt & pepper

1.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
2.  After peeling the sweet potato, use a peeler to peel off large strips of potato.  Add strips to the salad.
3.  Combine the dressing ingredients using a wire whisk and add to the salad, toss well.

                                                                    New York

Friday, February 25, 2011

All-Gong Oriental Salad

**I made this salad and shredded all the vegetables in a processor but the peas. Love this salad, so fresh and all raw!

All- Gong Oriental Salad
Serves 6
3 c dry brown rice, cooked
1/2 green cabbage, chopped
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
2 c broccoli florets
1 c frozen peas, thawed
4 carrots, diced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1c black olives, chopped
1 c olive oil
1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c Bragg's soy sauce
1/3 c honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh gingerroot-peeled then grated

1.  Combine cabbage, broccoli, peas, carrots, red and green peppers, olives and onion.
2.  Add the hot rice on top of the vegetables.  This will cause the vegetables to soften slightly.
3.  Combine the dressing ingredients using a wire whisk; add to the salad; toss well.
Chopping vegetables with a food processor greatly reduces preparation time.

Chicago on a sunny day!


Do you get in a rut as to what to make for breakfast?  Bagel, doughnut, cold cereal, sausage mcmuffin... or are your normals oatmeal, over easy eggs with sauteed veggies, smoothies.  Before you roll your eyes and think if only let me tell you that it is an effort.  It took the boys slight allergy to gluten and dairy to force us to make a change.  Figure out a few breakfasts that you or your kids are good at and rotate them.  Since Tom goes to work at the crack of dawn and I am not a morning person I make a huge batch of sauteed veggies and put it in a covered bowl.  I saute onions, peppers, carrots, mushrooms and add leftover rice.  Then the night before he scoops out his serving in his dish and I soft fry a couple eggs.  You can also fry up some potatoes instead of rice.  Oatmeal is simple enough.  Smoothies...there are so many ways!  Here are a few from The Two Sisters.

Sunrise Shake
1 large or 2 small bananas
2 slices frozen peaches
3 frozen strawberries/blueberries
1 c rice milk
2 tbsp honey
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 large glass.

Lime Sublime
3 limes, peeled and quartered
6 large golden delicious apples, quartered
3 pear, quartered
Put limes in juicer first then apples and pears.  Serves 6.

Cook Book Recommendations ~ The Two Sisters

Do you have a favorite cookbook?  What is it?  I have several and I plan to showcase a few over the next few weeks.  This week it is one I borrowed from a friend and loved it so much I kept her's and ordered her a new one to arrive at her house while I was "borrowing" it!

I love it because they use everyday vegetables and a lot of them.  Most everyone knows how to cook a hamburger or a chicken breast.  But not everyone knows how to cook main dishes with vegetables.  They make it very easy to cook meatless several days in the week but it is also easy to add a chicken breast if you need the extra protein.

B- *Sunrise Shake
D- *All-Gong Oriental Salad and Roast Chicken

B- Oatmeal with Bananas
D- *Catch a Cashew and a Hamburger Patty

B- *Lime Sublime
D- *Zesty Greek Salad and Pineapple

B- Fried Egg & Vegetables
D- *Crunchy Japanese Salad and Baked Sweet Potato

B- Oatmeal with Bananas
D- Rice Pasta/Ground Beef/Veggie Bowl

B- *Sunrise Shake
D- *Oriental Lemon-Honey Pasta

* will be a recipe featured from The Two Sisters.  I am also getting away from eating lunch every day but the boys will eat beans & rice, chicken salad, egg salad or leftovers.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Warning to parents

Black Ops carves out its niche in the Cold War era. And what that often translates to is a surprising amount of undercover … torture. You primarily wear the dog tags of elite covert operative Alex Mason who, at the game beginning, swims up out of a blurry haze to find himself in the middle of an excruciating third degree.

Faceless interrogators—communicating through a set of voice-distorting speakers—have Mason strapped into a metal chair as they probe him for memories and jolt him with electricity. Mason soon starts spilling his guts and you play out his remembrances through 15 missions. From a Cuban Bay of Pigs attack to a brutal Russian gulag escape to a gruesome game of Russian roulette in a sweating Vietnamese river delta, Mason's dark memories traverse the globe and jump around throughout the 1960s. Each bloodletting escapade slowly pieces together a twisted tale of espionage, weapons of mass destruction, Manchurian Candidate-like brainwashing and deadly assassination attempts.

As stealthy and shadow-crawling as that story may sound, however, the real Call of Duty heart has always been the franchise's ability to deliver high-action firefights. And Black Ops is no exception. Whether you're crashing through a window, guns blazing, or grinding your way through a hundred defenders in pursuit of Fidel Castro, each fiery battle scene plays out with the frenzied intensity of a climactic summer blockbuster.

BYOM: Bring Your Own Mop
That kind of frantic running and gunning is a big part of the game's appeal. But it also means lots of high-def mess. Gamers work their trigger fingers into spasms with a wide array of firearms including pistols, machine guns, RPGs and flamethrowers—all of which are used to realistically rip, bloody, sizzle and dismember scores and scores of enemies. And when you want to change tack you can quickly shift to obliterating grenades or up-close-and-gory knife slashes to a victim's throat.

There are quite a few other ways to get down and bloody too. Slo-mo bullet-time shots focus closely behind a flying slug as it skims across a field of battle and plunges into an opponent's forehead, blowing his brains out the back of his head. In a thumbscrew interrogation scene a guy has glass stuffed in his mouth and we watch the bloody results as he's repeatedly punched in the face.

Note: The gore can be tamped down a bit with a filter in the options menu. But even when a gush is stemmed to a spray, the force of it all remains essentially the same. And that also applies to the foul language spit out by the principals. With the filter on, the otherwise rampant f-words are replaced with grunts or an occasional "screw you," but other crudities ("a‑‑," "b‑‑ch," "d‑‑n," "h‑‑‑") and misuses of God's name remain.

BYOG: Bring Your Own Gang
A Nazi Zombies mode (first introduced in 2008's Call of Duty: World at War) piles on more dribbling mush as you invite up to three friends—online or with a multicontroller split screen setup—to puree wave after wave of shambling monsters. And while we're talking about multiple players, I should make mention of Black Ops' online action. This, without question, accounts for the biggest chunk of Call of Duty play. And it's where this latest title's eight-hour campaign can stretch into nearly endless matches against up to 17 other Internet-connected players from around the globe. It's also where the language filters and gore squelchers are rendered even more useless than they already are.

What did you picture as you read the above description?  Would you imagine this as a retelling of a horrifying day in a "real" soldier's life?  Is it glamorous?  Oh wait, is it just a game?  Well it is a game.  But it's not just a game.  Black Op's is a video game that is rated M for mature and so many children are playing it, so many parents are buying it for them.
My father served in the Army and was in the Vietnam war.  My son wants to be a mechanic in the Army.  We have listened to real life stories from soldiers that have served during war.  My father has Agent Orange.  Soldiers take depressants to mask some of the memories.  Soldiers tremble as they retell days they lived through.  They cry.  It is real.  It is not anything to make light of. 

My children, my boys will never be allowed to "play war" through video games.  It desensitizes them and that is not good.  If my boys grow up to be men of war I trust God to go with them, to teach them what they will need each day. 

Do you even realize the danger of desensitizing?  Do you even know what games your children are playing?  Do you know the rating?  You better, God entrusts them to you!

The game description is from Plugged In on Focus on the Family website.  They also review movies, music, and TV programs. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lavender Castile Soap

These are the clove bars!  After holding them in my hands I think they are to big.  May have to rethink my mold.  The small bars are cut in half but they are to small.

Today I made Lavender Castile.  I used mostly olive oil but added a bit of beeswax, coconut and palm oil to help it be a harder soap so it lasts longer. 

Tomorrow or Thursday I plan on making a face soap with clay and tea tree oil.  This is to fun!

One Fat Turkey

Five Fat Turkeys
Five fat turkeys are we.
We spent all night in a tree.
When the cook came around,
We were no where to be found
And that's why we're here you see!
(Author Unknown)

So here is what can come of one fat turkey!

Roasted and set out overnight to chill (in the cold garage, in the van because cooked turkeys attract possums) so the juices stay in the bird.

A huge platter of mixed dark and white meat.

Two moist and butter herb roasted breasts.

A nice pile of bones thrown in a crockpot to slow cook with some onion, carrot, garlic & celery make...


Monday, February 14, 2011


Guess what I have been "cooking" up around here?! 


I am so excited, I have been getting supplies ordered to make soap for a few weeks now.  I have watched countless videos on how to use lye safely.  I have made my notes to insure that I know each step to take. 

I even made the boys watch a video on lye usage so they understand why not to bother me while I am making soap.  Also to inform them of the reason I said, "No you can not help me."

Today I made a 2lb bar of clove soap.  It smells so good.  I veered on the light side for this first batch.  If tomorrow when I cut it, it doesn't smell strong I will add a bit more clove oil the next time I make it.
I am using essential oils for my soaps as they are made from nature.  I plan to make a batch each day for a week or so and then wait until they cure to see how they lather up. 

I started by stirring the batch but ended up breaking out my immersion blender.  I was going to try and wait until I found one at a yard sale but after stirring for 40 minutes I had to.  After starting it up it traced in 2 minutes.  I used coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and clove essential oil.

This is the homemade soap mold we came up with.  It will end up making perfect 3 1/2 square blocks of soap.  It is also adjustable!  So this one box can make a 2 lb batch, 4 lb batch or a 6 lb batch.  Here it is filled with my very first batch.

Tomorrow I am making a lavender castile soap.  I will post pictures of the clove cut too!  You know this is exactly what I need until the spring gets here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Seven Rules for Dating My Son

No they are not ready to date! 

But here are the rules, which will drive most girls these days away fast.  Seriously though my view is this.  If your relationship with God and your parents and your siblings isn't good then at some time in your dating you will have the same problems you had with God, parents or siblings.  Work on that first. Enough said.

This is an article by Phil Callaway and it appeared in the Focus on the Family magazine.

Seven Rules for Dating My Son
Have you noticed girls are chasing boys now?  Just the other day, one called looking for my son.  I asked, Is it Christy, Britney or Sarah?  There are so many of you, I get you all mixed up."  Believe me this works.  Go ahead and try it.  Since my son is receiving calls from lovely girls who will make fine wives for someone in 20-30 years, I have decided to issue a short edict to help them out.  Later today I will be posting it on the front door with an electric staple gun.
Rule One:
If you would like to talk with my son, please do so in the church foyer.  Bring your Bible.
Rule Two:
If you call my house to talk to my son, your conversation may be monitored by a customer service representative.
Rule Three:
The following locations and activities are acceptable for your date:
Rule Four:
My son cannot use my minivan to drive you to the mall.  He has a bicycle.  You may ride on the handlebars.
Rule Five:
Please do not touch my son!  Do not lean against him unless you are falling over and are in danger of plunging from a cliff.  Do not even pull lint from his clothes.  He can do this himself.
Rule Six:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for girls to wear Fergie-style "shirts" that do not reach their low-slung pants.  My wife and I want to be fair and open-minded about this, so you are free to show up in such attire.  My wife will affix it properly to your body with a  glue gun.
Rule Seven: 
Above all else, remember that we've been praying for this boy since God gave him breath, and we will continue to.  When he chooses a godly girl, we will be overwhelmed with joy.  Until then, we'll pray that you'll chase Jesus first and watch everything else fall into place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blanco Chili

Blanco Chili
olive oil

2 pounds ground sausage
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 small cans chicken broth
2 small cans white beans, rinsed and drained  (or those bags you have ready to go in the freezer)
2 cups frozen white sweet corn
2 cans (4-1/2 oz. each) chopped green chilies
3/4 cup seeded, chopped poblano chile
2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno chile
1/4 cup ground cumin
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper or black if that's what you have
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and salt. Cook, breaking up meat with spoon, until cooked through, 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions; cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add cooked meat, broth, beans, corn, chiles, cumin, lime juice and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes. Stir in cilantro.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rice Bowl

Each time I make this it's different and the boys love it each time.  This is what I did this time:

In a saucepan empty 1 can of coconut milk and enough water to make 6 cups.  Add 3 cups brown rice, 1 cup unsweetened coconut, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes and nutmeg.  Simmer covered until done about 45 minutes.

In a skillet melt 1/4c butter and about 1/2c coconut oil, dice up into bite size pieces 1lb. beef stew meat.  Brown and then add 1 red onion sliced, 16oz chopped mushrooms, 1/4c soy sauce, salt & pepper.  Cook about 15 minutes.

In a sauce pot with 1/4c butter steam corn, peas and green beans, salt & pepper until tender.

Dump everything into a huge bowl stir and top with a few handfuls of cashews.  So good, comforting yet healthy. 

Stay warm!