I am currently blogging about everything. Jump in where you are and thanks for coming by!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

I am supposed to be moving house in a few weeks, but I am doing my level best to ignore that. By doing things like make cinnamon rolls, because yeah, that's helpful. I think what makes it harder is that I will be moving from my own home into someone else's home for a few months while my husband and I try to figure out where it is we want to live for a long time. My family has moved 5 times in the last 5 years, and when our landlord called at Christmas to tell us she wanted to sell the home we rent from her it just seemed like a sign for us to make a major change.

So, we are getting rid of many of our possessions, moving to my husband's home town and in with my in-laws and starting our own business. I KNOW< RIGHT!?!?! Some of you might remember that I was going to start a new project at the new year. My original idea was to do a year about home organization and housekeeping which historically has been a challenge for me. I'd much rather make dinner than do dishes and I'd even more rather read and write than do anything else. My husband and I decided back in January that we couldn't justify buying a house and settling permanently 6 hours away from my grandparents, my parents, his parents and the majority of our friends so we kept the news that we were leaving to ourselves until my husband could put in his one month notice.

Anyway, I will continue to cook, and write and read and raise my kids but I am nervous about the change, even though I know it will be a good change in the long run. I also need to think about a new topic for the blog. I am throwing it open to suggestions? Any ideas? Is living 3 generations in a single home something I could write about every day? How to ease children's transitions when we move? Book reviews? Movie reviews? Television recaps? All of the above? I am throwing it open to you guys. What do you want to hear about?

Also, I have been very busy collecting ideas for my new "someday" home on Pinterest, please feel free to follow me (Suzanne Costner) there! I have found some COOL stuff.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pastina and Turkey with "Ratatouille"

So I had some yellow squash and zucchini that I needed to use. I took some inspiration from an unlikely source, Disney Pixar's children's film Ratatouille. In the climatic scene Remy the chef rat prepares a colorful mandolin sliced ratatouille topped with a pretty tomato sauce. I lacked the bell pepper and eggplant that makes a REAl ratatouille, but I decided to go ahead and use my mandolin to make thin, even slices of my squashes and also some sweet Vidalia onion. I made my tomato sauce from a can of petite diced tomatoes and the last of my carrot soup mixed together with the immersion blender. I also added a teaspoon of Italian spices to that. In the bottom of an 8 x 11 pan I spooned about a quarter of a cup of my "sauce" and spread it thinly over the bottom. I took the veggie slices and arranged them in long rows of alternating colors, yellow and green. I salt and peppered the veggies and then spooned some more of my "sauce" over the top and grated over all some fresh parmesan cheese. I cooked it in a 350 degree oven, covered with foil, for about 40 minutes, then I removed the cover and turned off the heat and let it stay in there for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared a quarter of a box of pastina (pasta stars). When they were cooked I strained them with a strainer, since they pasta is so small it would fall through the holes in my colander. I mixed the pastina with turkey from a turkey breast I roasted and spooned my "not for real ratatouille" over top. Yum! The leftover sauce was refrigerated and I am going to use it as pizza sauce for tonight's dinner of whole wheat pizza and eggplant pizza. To make eggplant "pizzas" slice an eggplant into rounds, place it on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Heavily salt the rounds on both sides and allow to sit until the eggplant has released most of it's water. Rinse and dry the eggplant rounds, top with sauce, cheese and toppings and broil until cheese is bubbly and eggplant is cooked. A low carb pizza pie! Both pizzas will be served with salad and we will have ice cream for dessert. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quick and Easy Lower Carb Dinners

My husband's reached the point in hie diet where he can start adding in some whole grain carbs so I'm trying to introduce them slowly. I made two dinners in that vein and I'd like to share them with you. Tuesday, I made a veggie-packed tomato sauce with all meat meatballs. Sautee up some chopped bell pepper, half an onion diced, 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped and a can of diced tomatoes (with or without Italian seasoning.) I added a half cup of pureed pumpkin I had made over the weekend, plus half a cup of leftover vegetarian spaghetti sauce from the freezer. I added some frozen meatballs to the sauce and let that all simmer while the water boiled for the whole grain pasta. When the pasta was cooked I drained it quickly and served the kids pasta and sauce, hubby got the meatballs and sauce over wilted spinach and I ate mine with pasta, wilted spinach and sauce over all. I also steamed a large bunch of asparagus to serve as a side dish. The next day I still had pasta leftover and asparagus, so I decided to make a "Hamburger Helper" type recipe using them. I chopped up one whole orange bell pepper, half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic and cooked them in olive oil. I added 1 pound of ground turkey meat when the veggies had gotten soft and seasoned the meat with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. I let the meat cook while I whipped up a quick cheese sauce. In a separate pan I made a quick roux and thinned it with milk. I added about 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a 5 cheese blend) to the pan and stirred and melted it in. I added 1/3 C of my leftover carrot soup to the cheese sauce, just to add some orange color and nutrition. I chopped the asparagus into bite sized pieces and added it to the meat and veggies in the pan. When that was heated through I added the leftover pasta and the cheese sauce overall and stirred it together. Dinner was ready to serve in big bowls, some lovely orange and green veggies, whole wheat pasta, lean protein and calcium all on one dish.