Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Because Thursday was Veteran's Day. Because Thanksgiving is in a few weeks. Because I felt like it I decided to put together a small care package for my friend Dennis. He's in Afghanistan and has been there or Iraq or other scary place I don't like think about for a long time now. Thanks to him and others like him my girls are growing up in a country where they can be who they want to be, live how they want to live and believe what they want to believe. Baking cookies is a small way to say "thanks".

I wanted to make white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies and good 'ole regular chocolate chip cookies. Only when I started baking I realized I had neither white chocolate chips nor cranberries. So I improves and the result was scrumptious! I made pomegranate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, recipe at the bottom.

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Some good 'ole fashion chocolate chip cookies

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Freezing the cookies before sending is supposed to keep them fresh. As is the individual wrapping.
My mom and I also stopped by the Asian market and bought some Thai goodies. At one point the questions of "How Thai is he?" came up. There are a LOT of Thai snacks and candies that I wont go near but they're as common as potato chips to truly Thai kids (and some farangs who grew up there). I played it safe and went with stuff I like.
Tomorrow the girls are going to draw "Mr. Dennis" some pictures and then on Monday we'll ship it off. Unfortunately the box Naughty 1 picked out to send the goodies to him in was not big enough
I hope everyone took the time to thank a veteran they know this past week. And I hope that those thanks don't fade away because it's no longer the designated holiday.

Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies:
(Adapted from an Ocean Spray recipe)

2/3 C Butter
2/3 C Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C Oats
1 1/2 C Flour
1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
The seeds of half of a pomegranate**
2/3 C chocolate chips

1. Beat butter and Sugar
2. Add eggs
3. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients
4. Combine. Mix in pomegranate seeds and chocolate chips
5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes (I recommend less time for a softer cookie)

**Here are directions for the best way to de-seed the pomegranate:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I don't care that this is supposed to be a family friendly blog. It's not even Halloween and just look:

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Of course the naughties love it - but that's because they don't have to walk two blocks from the trax station to the office every morning.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cooking and "Crapts" Sunday

This weekend was not relaxing - fun and filling with family and friends - but in no way, shape or form relaxing. Check back later for a post on "Witch Fest 2010" which was part of my adventure Saturday.

But this post is dedicated to a near perfect Sunday. Near perfect because breakfast was cereal and left over pizza. Perfect would have included bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls. After the measly breakfast the naughties and I hopped in the car and went to "Church School" i.e. Sunday School. This is always an exercise in stealth parenting. It requires the quick hand off and then hiding in the crowd or behind a pillar so Naughty 2 doesn't see me and freak out. After Church school comes the regular service. Which the girls were mainly good for.

After that we went over to my sister's house to cook and do "crapts". What you don't know what "crapts" are. Obviously it's the proper way to say crafts. Duh.

Lunch was "cow crook nuey" [if you have a better way of spelling this please let me know] - which is probably one of the best ever Lelanuja recipes. It involves 4 of my favorite foods - white rice, butter, bacon and eggs. MMMMMMMMMMM. It's seriously heaven in the form of a heart attack.

I've been promising to do "crapts" with the lovies for a while now so I picked out some easy Halloween "crapts" and the girls and I got to work. We made spooky ghosts and awesome jack-o-lanterns. We made the ghosts using a paper plate, some construction paper, streamers and glue. By the jack-o-lanterns mommy had wised up and replace the glue with double-sided tape.

After "crapting" I made a huge pot of my world famous (yes I can say this, thank you facebook) chili. Seriously it's so amazing it's almost wrong. It's a no-bean, texas style chili. It's hot and spicy and meaty and mmmmm. Recipe all the way at the bottom.

Then it was time for a little sitting so we watched How to Train Your Dragon... again. And it was just as funny as the first time. Probably one of my favorite cartoons of all times. It had a great plot, hysterical characters and dialog, and cute animation. You haven't seen it? Go watching.

Finally we got down to the serious cooking. Fresh pasta with my sister's new pasta attachment for her Kitchen Aide. We made Ricotta and Sausage Ravioli and some spaghetti  Well she did the majority of the work. She also made a pumpkin and blue cheese cream sauce which I loved and she hated. Check us out!

That's all for now. I must get to bed so I have time to read! Go make my chili... Now!

Texas Chili ala Tanya

This is a NO BEAN chili recipe. Supposedly texas chili is also a no tomato chili but that just sounded wrong to me so I ignored that part. I found two different recipes and melded them - the result was superb!!!!
1 lb ground beef
.5 lb sirloin steak - cut into cubes
1/2 a large or 1 small onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic - chopped
dump these ingredients in a pot until the meat is lightly browned and the onions are translucent
1.5 cups beef broth
1.5 -2 cups crushed tomatoes
1.5 T light chili powder
.5 T dark (extra spicy) chili powder
.5 T cumin
1 t paprika
.5 T cayene pepper (so I read this wrong it should have been half a TEAspoon - so mine is quite spicy)
1 t chicken granules
dash of oregeno
add this and let simmer.
after it had simmered for like 45 minutes I tasted it and started adjusting, i added some garlic powder, onion powder, more salt and a dash of sugar.
it simmer for almost 2 hours. Add some corn bread and you've got a super good dinner on a cold day!!!!!!
I forgot flour - I put in a couple tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Food!! Nomnomnom!!

I'm calling these Tanya's Ultimate in honor of Tyler Florence's show on the Food Network. Here are some of our FAVORITE food and recipes so you can make them too!

The most amazing blueberry muffins (try them with some lemon too!). The recipe is from and is aptly name To-Die-For-Blueberry Muffins.

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Restaurant style salsa. I HEART going out to eat at sit down Mexican restaurants just for the chips and salsa they give you! I can't get enough of it. Typically I get full from snarfing down the chips and salsa before my food is ever brought to the table. But that's ok because salsa is just glorified veggies right? And you can NEVER find the same type of salsa in the store to bring home, so you need to make the most of it while at the restaurant. NOT ANY MORE. This salsa recipe, courtesy of the amazing Pioneer Woman, Ree, rivals ANY Mexican restaurant's table salsa, no problem. Just FYI I doubled everything except the tomatoes (on accident the first time and on purpose every time after that) and it's super delicious!

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Notice the lack of jalapeƱos? Yeah that's because I didn't remember that we need any until we're driving out of the Win-Co parking lot. It was still yummy just not as HAWT.

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No-name Egg/Bacon/Cheesey Goodness Breakfast Muffins. I think the name says it all. I made this for the first time this morning. I'm pretty sure I'll make it again for breakfast tomorrow if I can get my lazy butt to the store tonight to get some english muffins. This recipe is ADAPTED from Mrs. Ree (again) over at the Pioneer Woman. She has a whole farm to feed, and while it seems like the girls are going to eat me out of house and home sometimes, I didn't think I need to use a whole dozen eggs for their breakfast. 

4 eggs - had boiled, peeled and chopped
6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheese (maybe more I didn't measure this)
1 HEAPING tablespoon of mayo
garlic powder
4 whole english muffins, split

Combine everything in a bowl, spoon on to english muffins, then broil until hot and golden!! Eat quickly before anyone in the house realizes the goodness you've made.
Before going under the broiler

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More soon to come! Ohh yeah and maybe some posts about the lovies ;-)