Sausage Florentine Potpie

This recipe (modified from tasteofhome/simple) was delicious.

The best thing about it was that the big kids ate the leftovers the next day too. (Seriously!! Like they heated it up in the microwave and ate it after school!!)

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  • 1 lb sausage 
  • 1-2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 3 tsp minced garlic from the jar
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 4 tsp butter, melted

Cook the sausage with onion and garlic until browned over medium heat. Mix in soup, spinach, milk and cheeses, stir until cheeses is melted.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Place a sheet of phyllo on top; brush with some melted butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and butter.

Bake at 350 (uncovered) 25-30 minutes. Let it stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe came out well, especially considering I’ve never worked with phyllo before. The only thing is, the package of phyllo contained way more than 5 sheets, and once you’ve thawed the things you can’t refreeze them or even leave them out in the air too long.

Phyllo is a delicate dough, apparently.

Still though, the phyllo crust on top was super good and I wished it had more on it. Maybe in the future I can try layering it or something.

In this case, I made dessert cups with the remaining phyllo.

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The recipe I used involved spraying each sheet of phyllo with cooking spray and then sprinkling with sugar. Then you cut each stack of sheets into rectangles and press them into muffin cups. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

I put cream filling in them after they were cooled.

These were okay, but I think butter would have been better.

Click on the better picture below for a butter recipe:

Phyllo Cups

(recipe at yumly.com)

Guilt Assuaged

The twins went on their first kindergarten field trip this week. I didn’t want to go.

I know, I know. BAD mommy.

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Little Boy has already been giving me the guilt trip about how the neighbor kids’ mom works at the school and is there ALL DAY. “Why can’t you be at the school all day, Mommy? PLEASE?!”

Listen kid, you don’t want me at the school all day. And neither does the state’s liability insurer.

Anyways, the night before the field trip, Little Boy started giving me the heavy guilt trip. “You can come on the field trip Mommy. The teacher says so. The other mommies will be there. PLEASE?!”

So I gave in and showed up the next morning. But, not having signed up to chaperon, I didn’t know what I should do. I sat around outside the classroom like a stalker for a hour and a half while the teacher got the kids ready. Little Boy saw me out there and barely contained his glee when he waved on the way to the bathroom.

I started to feel like Good Mommy after all. Then…

As they were lining up for the bus, I approached the teacher.

(She was trying to supervise about twenty-five hyped-up 5-year-olds and their sack lunches, so it probably wasn’t the best time to make a good impression.)

I said, “Um, I didn’t sign up to chaperon, but my son really wants me to go on the field trip. Can I go?”

She nicely refrained from rolling her eyes at me, or calling me CRAZY MOM to my face. “I’m sorry, but you had to sign up in advance,” she said diplomatically. “I’ll keep you in mind for next time.”

So I went and held Little Boy’s hand as he walked to the bus, telling him that  I was sorry, but the teacher wasn’t going to let me go along. He was perfectly happy with this explanation.

So I gave him a kiss goodbye and went to my car, trying not to to skip in jubilation.

I managed to get Good Mommy points for coming to the school and making the attempt; PLUS I didn’t have to go on the boring field trip!

Talk about a win-win situation!

This ain’t no “Thinwich”

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I bought some sandwich pita bread at the store. “Only 100 calories!” the package exclaimed happily.

So I made a delicious sandwich with it at home.

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Using diet bread and lean turkey ought to make up for slathering on the cheese, butter and bacon, right?

Right?

By the way, it was delicious! I recommend the pita bread.

And the butter and bacon….

The best chocolate cake ever

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I made chocolate cake for my book club meeting.

My friend Renita gave me the recipe. She said it was called “Better-Than-Sex Chocolate Cake.”

I’ll call it Renita’s Cake. We have to keep our “G” ratings around here.

When I first tried the cake, I was suspicious, because it doesn’t have any icing. I don’t really hold with no-icing-cakes.

But this one is AWESOME.

RENITA”S CHOCOLATE CAKE

  • Devil’s Food cake mix
  • instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients, saving the chocolate chips for last. Pour it in a greased Bundt pan and bake 35-40 minutes.

Dust with powdered sugar for looks if you want. It doesn’t matter; it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

And what’s on the inside is DELICIOUS. Trust me.

As if I weren’t already crazy

image from tacobell.com

Little Girl, my five-year-old, was eating a soft taco from Taco Bell in front of the TV.

(No one can say I don’t feed my kids the best around here!)

While I wasn’t looking, she started picking off the shredded lettuce and tossing it, piece by piece, on the living room floor.

It’s like she read a book called “How To Drive Your Mommy Insane in One Easy Step.”

I took one look at the pile of lettuce detritus and my head exploded.

Well, not literally.

But the reaction was severe enough that Little Girl actually cleaned up the mess without complaint.

Now I’ve got to find and confiscate that book….

Decor in the Twins’ Room

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We took off the twins’ closet door, and I hung up a curtain over the opening instead.

The curtain is made of both Princess AND Transformers fabric, in order to accommodate both twins’ tastes.

This makes things easier for the arrangement of furniture, and also makes the room safer. After all, Little Girl cut her finger off in that door last year.

You probably don’t believe that really happened. To read that story click here.

Still, now that it’s done, I recommend the curtain over the door concept for a kids’ room. It makes the closet into sort of a cool playroom.

If you’re interested in the rest of the story of my daughter’s finger, by the way, read these posts: (3/28/12) (4/6/12)

It grew back, by the way. Mostly.

(photo dated 5/19/12)

 

Homemade Pizza

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It’s a zillion times cheaper than ordering out!

(Okay, maybe not literally a ZILLION. Math has never been my strong suit.)

But seriously, I buy the crust mix (Just add water!) and a can of pizza sauce for less than a dollar each at the grocery store.

You must buy the canned pizza sauce, not the jar, in order to maximize savings.

(It is interesting that the same product is cheaper packaged in a can than in a jar. This is true in pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, fruit, etc. But I digress.)

On the pizza you can add whatever toppings you want. Just follow the directions on the package of pizza crust mix.

My kids love pizza but ordering delivery can get expensive. Homemade is a good alternative.

Extra-Easy Pizza
Betty’s Extra Easy Pizza

Betty Crocker also has a great recipe for easy pizza. Click on the picture to the right and view that one if you want to print it out.

And kudos to Betty for such a lovely pizza photo! My food pics are sadly lacking, I know.

Still, Betty didn’t tell you the cans-are-cheaper-than-jars trick. You heard it here first, folks!!

The Story of the Yellow String

Little Girl had a friend from the neighborhood (R) come to play at the house after school.

They ran ahead of me from the playground to the house, and when I arrived they showed me the treasure they’d found on the way.

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Oh hurray. A giant tangled ball of yellow string.

Both girls were yelling excitedly, “We’re going to untangle it!”

R added, “And then I’m gonna KEEP it!”

Little Girl nodded judiciously. “She found it first. It’s hers.”

This seemed okay by me, as that meant the string was only in my house temporarily, so I told them to have at it.

Of course, soon they had roped me into helping them –pun intended– and then soon after that they lost interest.

Somehow I ended up left alone for like an hour meticulously untangling yards and yards of string a couple of kindergartners found outside, possibly in the trash.

I know. I have no life.

This is what I was doing when R’s mom came to get her.

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She looked at me and said, “Um….”

I said, “The girls are upstairs. I’m just untangling this string they found.”

She said, “Why?”

This was a hard question. “I don’t actually know,” I admitted. “But I’ve been working on it for an hour and I’m not stopping til it’s done.” 

She said, “Oh…kay,” and went to find her child. I kept untangling; I was almost finished!

By the time R’s mom had located her kid, found her shoes and gotten her ready to go, I had the string wound into a nice neat ball.

R came up to politely say thank-you-for-having-me-over, and I handed her the ball of string.

R’s mom’s eyes almost popped out of her head at that.

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R said, “Yay! Thanks!”

R’s mom said, “Why are you giving that string to my daughter?”

“It’s hers,” I said.

“It IS!” Little Girl backed me up.

“I found it!” R said, hugging the ball.

“She DID!” Little Girl backed her up.

While the girls exulted over the string ball, R’s mom locked eyes with me over their heads. “You realize,” she said, “that the string you just spent all that time untangling, will be a tangled mess all over MY house in about ten minutes?”

“Yep!” I said cheerfully. “Sorry!”

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 As they left, R’s mom gritted her teeth at me. “I’ll get you back, you know.”

Oh yeah. I know.

Apricot and Mustard Chicken

Photo_9975EF65-D9F6-5A9B-C7DB-B56A19496C45 This is another recipe (slightly modified) from “Simple and Delicious” magazine.

It was super-quick, especially served with canned green beans and boxed pasta. (Pasta Roni Angel Hair with Herbs flavor, if you’re interested.)

My favorite kind of meals start with “canned” and “boxed.” But I digress.

RECIPE

6 chicken tenderloins
1/3 cup honey mustard
3Tbsp apricot preserves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Dash of salt and pepper

Set the tenderloins out on a foil-lined pan.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and spoon half the mixture over the chicken.

Broil on high four minutes, the turn the chicken and put on the rest of the sauce.

Broil it four more minutes.

That’s it.

This was super easy and I thought it was good. Unfortunately, my husband and kids gave it a rating of “Meh.”

Which is an official rating, characterized by the fact that no one hated it, but no one said it was all that good either.

Sigh. Back to the kitchen for longer and more complicated recipes….