Thursday, November 29, 2007

And We Need To Legislate This....Why?

A new bill that was approved Wednesday will require that all government buildings buy flags that have been made in the US.

And, why do we need to waste time legislating this? I agree, it makes sense to buy our American flags made by an American company, but why are we spending taxpayer time and money on something that should be a given in the first place?

Tasty Thursday: Leftover Turkey

I had to do this one. We had so much turkey left over because I can never quite judge how much turkey to get. So, this recipe was a great way to use up the remainder of the bird. I even managed to make this in the toaster oven, in a little 8 1/2 inch cake pan, and it turned out great. You can even do this with leftover chicken.

Turkey potpie


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter, cubed
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water


  • 1 cup diced peeled potatoes*
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a food processor, combine flour and salt; cover and pulse to blend. Add cheese; pulse until fine crumbs form. Add shortening and butter; pulse until coarse crumbs form. While processing, gradually add water until dough forms a ball.

Divide dough in half with one ball slightly larger than the other; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For filling, in a large saucepan, sauté the potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and garlic in butter for 5-6 minutes. Add broth; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. Gradually add to vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients; simmer 5 minutes longer.

Roll out larger pastry ball to fit a 9-inch pie plate; transfer to pie plate. Trim pastry even with edge. Pour hot turkey filling into a crust. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top or make decorative cutouts in pastry.

Bake at 350° F. for 35-45 minutes or until crust is light golden brown. Serve immediately.

*I have used the little new red potatoes, and just cut them without peeling them. That worked out fine, and tasted really good.

Don't forget to visit the Pumkin Patch for more Tasty Thursday recipes!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!! catch breath! Alderman Michael McGee Jr., the one that's in jail, has filed for re-election. Read the story here. What's really scary, is after following this guy's antics for several years now, I could easily see him being reelected.

MILWAUKEE - Alderman Michael McGee Jr. has filed initial papers from jail to run for re-election.

McGee is charged in state court with conspiring to have a man beaten and running a $5-per-person vote-buying operation. He also faces federal charges accusing him of shaking down business owners in his district.

He is scheduled for trial early next year. If convicted of a felony before the April election, he would not be able to serve on the city council.

It is unclear what would happen if his name remained on the ballot and he won.

McGee has filed a declaration of candidacy form. He also will have to submit a campaign registration statement to be eligible to circulate nomination papers beginning Dec. 1, said Neil Albrecht, deputy director of the city Election Commission.

It could be difficult for McGee to campaign. He remains behind bars after federal prosecutors successfully argued he was attempting to intimidate witnesses. His federal public defender has moved to have him released, but that matter is still pending.

I'm Just Here For The Chocolate

Christmas Giveaway 2007 Sweepstakes

I am definitely in for this giveaway over at 5 Minutes For Mom. They are hosting a giveaway for some Ferrero Rondnoir , and it looks absolutely divine. Mmmmmm.....chocolate!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tasty Thursday: One Day Ahead

I'm posting this ahead, because tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this is a recipe you need to start the night before. I'm sharing a recipe for Buckwheat Pancakes, which are really good. They're a little heavier on the flavor, but not quite overpowering. They really are good, and they're old-fashioned to boot. Don't forget to visit the Pumkin Patch for more Tasty Thursday recipes!

Buckwheat Pancakes

  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 oz. fresh yeast
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour OR unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon drippings OR lard
  • ½ cup brown sugar

The night (or 8 hours) before serving, put ½ cup of bloodwarm water in the bowl or pitcher, stir in molasses, and crumble yeast on top. When yeast has softened, stir in another 2 cups of tap water and both the flours. Cover with a cloth and let stand at room temperature (under 70° F.; refrigerate if room is hotter) to make the sponge.

Next morning remove 1 cup of the sponge to a jar as a starter for the next batch. Store in refrigerator. Dissolve baking soda and salt in ½ cup of hot water, and add drippings. Beat this into the sponge until well mixed.

Heat griddle until it makes water drops dance; grease it with salt pork or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Pour one large test cake to start; use this to cover remaining cakes. Pour each cake 3 to 4 inches wide. Cook until bubbles form and burst, then turn and cook equally long on the other side. As you stack finished cakes on a warm plate, sprinkle each with a little brown sugar.

The starter will keep for a number of days in the refrigerator. For your next batch of cakes, make the sponge by mixing starter with 2 Tablespoons molasses, 2 cups bloodwarm water, 1 ½ cups buckwheat flour, and 1 cup whole wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour. Let stand overnight, then proceed as before, setting aside a new cup before adding final ingredients.

COOKS NOTE: This is a really thin batter, so pour carefully. I used a 1/3 cup measure, and was able to get three small cakes out of it.


You're Kidding, Right?

So last night, I went to cook some dinner. I turned on the oven, and started unloading groceries, since it takes a while for our oven to heat up to temperature. I get everything in the house, start getting the food ready to put in, open the oven door, and...... Guess what. NOTHING! There is nothing happening in the oven. No flame (we have a gas oven), not even a gassy smell.

Alright, at least it's Tuesday, I can still maybe get something done. I wait for my husband to arrive home, he looks at it, follows the instructions for relighting it, and..... NOTHING! Again, nothing is happening.

Alright, it's still early, I can call the property manager. I call, he says he'll call me back. An hour goes by, I'm feeling antsy, so I call him. He says the owner's nephew is looking for our lease to check the terms. Apparently, most of the people who rent from him have to repair their own appliances (even though we don't own said appliances). I'm thinking, is this guy nuts? I have never heard of an instance where a tenant had to repair their own appliances that they didn't own. This isn't anything we did to the oven, we can't even figure out what's wrong, or why the burners work when the oven doesn't. So now, we're waiting for a call to determine the fate of our oven, which may or may not (I'm thinking not) be fixed before tomorrow.

So, now we're at Wednesday morning, with no oven, and close to 20 people wanting to be fed at noon tomorrow. I had so much baking I was going to do today, but that's not happening. I was going to go to church tonight, but now it looks like that's not happening either, because I don't do well driving in snow. And now tomorrow, who knows!?

Thankfully, my husband works at a restaurant where I just might be able to use their oven tomorrow. At least I can get the turkey cooked, even if it's not in my own oven.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tasty Thursday: Thanksgiving Post 2

I have another great little recipe for y'all. These are a few of the sweeter recipes that we like to make around here.

Chow Mein Cookies

1 bag semi-sweet OR milk chocolate (my personal favorite) chips
1 bag butterscotch chips
1 bag chow mein noodles (the brown crunchy kind)

Melt the chips over very low heat or a double boiler until everything is smooth and melted, stirring occasionally.

Pop a hole in the bag of noodles and crunch them up a bit. This just helps keep the pieces a little smaller and easier to eat.

Combine the melted chips and noodles in a very large bowl until everything is covered in chocolately goodness.

Using a cookie scoop (or a spoon, but the cookie scoop is easier and more fun), scoop little mounds out onto waxed paper. You will have a lot of little cookies. Allow these to set at room temp (or in the fridge or covered outside if it's cool enough and you're in a hurry).

I love a good apple pie, and this is really one of the best recipes I've ever found. I make it one of two ways, and it's always hard to choose. The difference I go between is which spices I use. I'll either go for straight cinnamon (Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cinnamon), or Apple Pie Spice, both available at Penzey's. Occasionally, I'll even mix the two.

This is a precooked filling recipe. I usually cheat and use a store bought crust, only because I don't usually have the time to make a crust of my own. Because it's precooked, you can use any kind of top crust you want without any issues with the apples shrinking. A lattice crust looks great on this one, and if you use a disposable pie tin, people will think it's a store bought pie!

Apple Pie

3 pounds apples (6-8 medium-large) (Golden Delicious is what I usually use, though Jonagolds are also very good)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon OR apple pie spice
1/8 tsp. salt

Peel and core the apples. Slice them to a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Measure 7 cups. In a very large, wide skillet over high heat, melt the butter until sizzling and fragrant. Add the apples and toss until glazed with butter. Reduce heat to medium, cover tightly and cook, stirring frequently until the apples are soft on the outside but still slightly crunchy on the inside, about 5-7 minutes.

Stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Increase heat to high and cook the apples at a rapid boil until the juices become thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. (**I have had some trouble getting this to thicken up in only three minutes, so I will often let this cook a little longer). Immediately spread the apples on a baking sheet and cool to room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pour the apples into the bottom crust. Brush the hanging edge of the crust with cold water. Cover with the top crust or lattice, and seal the edge, trim, and crimp or flute. If using a closed top crust, cut steam vents. If desired, you can sprinkle the crust with a little bit of cinnamon sugar.

Bake until the crust is richly browned, and the filling has begun to bubble, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, 3 to 4 hours.

Tasty Thursday: Thanksgiving Post 1

I know I'm a bit late today (loooong day), but here it is!

This week's Tasty Thursday is the Thanksgiving edition, and I've got a few goodies for you!

A few years ago, I tried a version of this recipe that required a whole turkey. The turkey was great, and the leftovers were amazing, but as usual, we didn't eat all of the bird (no one likes dark meat here), and it just seemed that there was a lot of waste. More recently however, we realized that we could order just a turkey breast, getting a whole bunch of white meat, no dark meat, and satisfying everyone at the same time. I was able to adapt the recipe that we've grown to favor, and use it on the breast. This recipe can easily be used on chicken as well, if you're not a big turkey fan.

Garlic Rosemary Turkey Breast

1 or 2 whole, deboned turkey breasts (you have to ask for this at a butcher shop by the way, don't bother with the turkey breasts from the store, if you can even find one)
2-4 garlic cloves, cut in half
Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Fresh sage, finely chopped
1 lemon, halved
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking dish with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Place the breasts, skin side up in the baking dish. Make tiny slits in the skin and insert small pieces of garlic between the skin and the meat. You can use as much or as little as you like. (Too much can be pretty overpowering though, so be careful) Squeeze the lemons over the turkey, and sprinkle with sage, rosemary, salt and pepper (sea salt is great for this, as is a peppermill on a coarse setting). Bake until golden brown, and a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees F. (I strongly recommend getting a good thermometer, because I've never actually timed this, I've always gone by temperature. Though if you asked me, I'd say around an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the thickness, freshness and beginning temperature of the breasts).
Serve with all sorts of goodies, and save some for sandwiches.

**Here is the whole turkey recipe, for those of you that want the whole bird**

Garlic Rosemary Turkey

1 whole turkey (10 to 12 lbs)
6 -8 garlic cloves
2 large lemons, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and pepper

Cut 6-8 small slits in the turkey skin and insert the garlic between the skin and the meat. Squeeze two lemon halves inside the turkey and leave them inside. Squeeze remaining lemon over outside of turkey. Sprinkle turkey with rosemary, sage, salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan (not something I've ever done, since I've never gotten around to getting a rack, but the bird will still cook just fine). Bake uncovered at 325 degrees F. for 1 hour. Cover and bake 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours longer or until a meat thermometer reads 185 degrees F. under the thigh.

Don't forget to visit The Pumkin Patch for more great Tasty Thursday Thanksgiving recipes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Few Updates

I have really been neglecting this lately, haven't I? There has been so much to do lately, with my mom visiting from out of state, getting in contact with my best friend that I hadn't spoken to in about 10 years, finding out that we're having ANOTHER BOY!, you know, little things like that. Not to mention the minor injuries, weird bugs, school, laundry, cleaning, winterizing, and so on.

Thankfully, in the midst of all of that, hubby and I managed to get a nice, relaxing weekend together, where we didn't have to deal with any of the children. Now, for us, this took the help of four different people to get all of our kids taken care of for the weekend. That was a feat in itself, just finding that many people available at the same time, when we only had one weekend to choose from. And I don't even know very many people. Ah well, it was fun. We went to the Wilderness in the Dells. We actually stayed at the Glacier Canyon Lodge, which is some sort of timeshare sort of thing, but you can rent it out like a hotel room I guess. I'm not sure how it works, but we had to sign paperwork saying we weren't going to have any non-family themed parties. I'm wondering exactly what they meant by non-family themed, but I was too tired to ask by the time we got there.

We had fun hanging out though. We were able to do a lot of things around town that we'd never even attempted with the kids. If you still have an inner child, I suggest checking out Wizard Quest. It's a bit cheesy to start off with, but finding the clues was fun. We go so caught up looking for clues that we ran out of time. We would have done it again, but I was getting a bit tired. Plus my belly made it difficult to get into certain places. I was limited in the waterpark area as well, since pretty much the only thing I could do was go on the lazy river. Ah well. I'm not big on water anyway, hubby is. But we had fun anyway. We were able to go out to dinner without having to figure out what everyone wanted or would even be willing to eat, and I managed to make it through a whole day without being snotted on.

Other than that, we've just been busy with the usual day to day. The kids are enjoying the bit of nice weather we're having, which I'm hoping lasts a few more days, and we've been working on getting everything together for Thanksgiving too. My brother-in-law and his girlfriend are coming for sure, and hopefully a few other friends as well. We like to take in strays whenever possible, so it always makes for interesting holidays.

Well, I've got a few things lined up for this week, but hopefully semi-normal posting will resume again. Soon.

Friday, November 2, 2007

And The Winner Is..........

Comment number 27!!!! Phyllis Sommer!! Go visit her blog and wish her a big congratulations!

And as a reminder, here is what she won:

And for anyone else interested in one of my little purses, don't forget to visit my Etsy shop, and check out the other one-of-a-kind creations!

It's Almost Pickin' Time And A Shameless Plug

That's right ladies (and gents, if there are any), it's almost time to pick the winner. Using this great little invention, the Random Number Generator, I will magically pick one awesome winner from the loooong list of entries. 145 to be exact, at the moment anyway.

I will be ending this contest today at 4 p.m. Central Time. So get your entries in quick!!!

As for the shameless plug, here it is. For those of you that just loved my little purse, I have plenty more where that came from. Visit my Etsy shop, and you can choose from several different colors. At the moment, no two are alike. I've been rummaging the remnant bin finding all sorts of cute little oddities, and it has been extremely fun, and addictive. I have two more that I'm making this afternoon, and I'll post pics of the fabrics in just a little while. For now, you'll just have to drool on these:

FINALLY!! I have managed to take pictures that might actually look almost like the real item!!!

The pictures of fabric are the ones that I am going to be making over the next day or so. If you are interested, let me know via email, and I can set it aside for you. The others are just a little eye candy of what is now available in my Etsy shop.