Monday, February 24, 2014

Whirlwind Day

It's been one of those days. You start out headed one direction and soon find yourself going the opposite way. After a long spell of spinning around right in the middle. It happens.

Amidst the craziness of the day, I did make dinner and took it to a new mama who lives right down the road from us. My favorite kind of meal to take is one that she can put into the oven whenever it suits her. Heat and eat! And one of the easiest is the Baked Bowties w/Tomatoes and Mozzarella. I've posted it before (sometimes made with penne,) but in case you missed it, here is it again:


BAKED BOWTIES with TOMATOES AND MOZZERALLA

3 cups (9 oz.)  uncooked bowtie pasta (or penne pasta)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (this time I used diced w/oregano, basil & garlic)
2 cups Alfredo pasta sauce (I used refrigerated Buitoni sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
2 handfuls baby spinach

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with PAM. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat tomatoes to boiling. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for  to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid is nearly evaporated. Stir in spinach just to wilt it.

Put Alfredo sauce into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 90-seconds to heat. Stir in shredded cheese. Heat another 30-seconds and stir until cheese melts. Mix in tomato-spinach mixture. 

Put pasta in the baking dish and poured sauce over it. Stir gently to mix it all. 

Bake uncovered, about 30 minutes, or until hot in center.

(I cheated and used a photo of this dish from months ago. Didn't get make a photo today Sorry.)


I watched Mommy make these enchiladas for supper one night the last time I was out there stuck in the snow. While I was putting together the pasta this afternoon, I had chicken breasts cooking, too, so I would be one step ahead tonight.  


It was delicious. It was quick. It was easy. It was NOT low-calorie. But I didn't change a thing from how she made it! (You could opt to use reduced-fat products if you want.) I promised a few weeks ago, I'd share the recipe. It took a little longer than I planned to make it for Daddy-O, but here it is—tonight's supper.



CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine had 3 large breasts in it)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Ranch salad dressing
10 flour tortillas, burrito-style (that's the larger one)
jar of salsa
shredded Mexican cheese, about 2 cups

Cover chicken breasts with water in a large pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer until tender. Let cool a bit and then remove chicken to a large bowl and shred, using two forks.

Mix sour cream and salad dressing in a small bowl. Pour half of sauce mix over shredded chicken and stir to mix well. (The other half of sauce is use to spread over tortillas.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch pan. Take a tortilla and top with sauce (about 1 tbsp.) and spread almost to edges. Spoon some of the chicken mixture down center of tortilla. Top with a little salsa and sprinkle with cheese. (Both of these amounts are to your taste.) Roll up tortilla, folding in ends as you go. Place in pan, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas. 

My dish held 9 of these enchiladas. I put #10 in a small dish and stuck it in the oven on the rack under the big dish. I did have to re-roll the first one when I discovered you should be rolling them up kind of tight.

We had ours tonight with extra salsa and sour cream. I put the remaining enchiladas in a freezer bag and popped them into the freezer for an easy meal later. Because there is no sauce over the top, these are easy to pull out individually. You can freeze them before or after baking.

Thank you, Mommy, for a great new recipe to add to my collection. 



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Strange Weather


I talked to a friend who lives in New England last week. He laughed at the Southern way we deal with snow---we wait for it to melt. We don't own snow shovels or snow blowers. Where we live, you usually wait a couple of days and the sun comes out and it's gone. 


This snow hung around for a while. We actually saw snow fall for three days in a row. That just doesn't happen. But then—neither do earthquakes. And we had one of those (4.1-magnitude) just days after the snow. And today? One week later? The high temp was 72 degrees. Got out the flip-flops this morning. Strange times.


The snow kept Daddy-O from making it to the store for a Valentine. So I got this one that he made. And I love it even more than a bought one!


I spent part of my time inside while snow was on the ground making these fun mitts. Just takes a little bit of leftover yarn. The pattern came from a class I took a few days before the storm. Perfect timing.


But the sun did come out and I hit the road. I had not been to Atlanta in many months. The storm had cancelled my weekend beach trip, so I headed South, stopping only for a road trip treat.


When I get to this spot on the highway, I know I'm almost there. I had a good visit with second-born daughter, enjoyed a change of scenery, and a nice brunch. Who knows when I'll get back? 

And who knows when I'll post a blog again? I just haven't been in the mood, haven't had much to say. I did realize that I need to do this blog, even if no one reads it but me. 

I pulled a quart of soup from the freezer on one of our snow days. It was delicious! So I went to check the recipe, thinking I'd make it again soon. The recipe wasn't here on my blog. I couldn't find it on my Pinterest boards. Or, Evernote. Not on the blogs I read often. Not anywhere. I found photos of the soup I'd made, so I'm sure I meant to post the recipe. But I didn't. It's gone forever. Lesson learned.

Now, I just need to cook something.






Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Snow Is Following Me


I must have brought the midwestern snow back home with me. I slipped and slid last week in the snow out there as I drove around. Even took a car service to the airport so that Mommy didn't have to get out on the slick roads to get me there. When I got home to the balmy temperature of 32 (it was 7 degrees that day where Mommy lives,) I thought I was done with the real winter stuff. But NOOOooo....Mother Nature had other plans.


We are in the midst of an "historic" and "catastrophic" snow/ice event, says the weatherman. Yes, it has been snowing since yesterday (sleeting now) and it isn't supposed to stop until tomorrow. But we have not had a catastrophe. Let's hope it stays that way. 

We are as well prepared as anyone. I made the mandatory "bread and milk" run on Monday, so the kitchen is stocked. When you live on a farm, preparation is necessary. The cows still have to be fed, regardless of the weather, so Daddy-O has to be able to travel, at least to the other side of the farm. 


But after the chores were done today, we had a little snow fun—in the form of snow ice cream! I make it the same way my mother did. I didn't measure anything but I'll tell you pretty much what I did. If you taste as you go, it will be good.

SNOW ICE CREAM

1 can evaporated milk
about 1/3-1/2 cup sugar (or to taste)
about 1 tablespoon vanilla
my largest mixing bowl full of CLEAN snow

Stir the sugar into the milk until the sugar dissolves completely. Stir in vanilla. Taste and adjust to suit you. Then spoon the snow into the milk mixture and stir. Keep adding snow until it "looks like ice cream." It will be soft, so eat it immediately.

(We set the bowl of leftover snow cream out on the cold porch until we were ready for second helpings.)


Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, (leftover from these socks)
Needles:  Size 6

In between the Midwestern snow and the Southern snow, I squeezed in a couple of days over the weekend at Knit Inn 2014. I taught one class on how to fix knitting mistakes and I took two classes on knitting lace. The last class--the Sunday morning class--was learning lace by knitting these fingerless mitts. Such a fun way to teach a technique! Perfect for the last class of the weekend when everyone is so tired. I finished the first one this afternoon while watching it snow. I'm ready to start the other one tonight and hope to be done before the storm is over.

I was thinking about driving to the beach this weekend to meet up with friends who left yesterday to miss the snow. But at the rate I'm going, it would snow there!




Monday, February 3, 2014

Snow Day



Well, we had a surprise yesterday when we came out of church. The roads were completely snow covered.


Tricky drive home but the kids had fun playing in it later in the day.


Thankfully, we had made our doughnut run earlier in the week!


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Saturday, February 1, 2014

More Mimi Time

Midweek in the Deep South was a frozen mess.


Of course that was the day I had a flight back to see Little Sister. For us the only problem part was the slippery ride to the airport. Took twice as long as normal.


But the plane took off on time. Even if it was an antique. I was happy that the next leg of the flight was did not involve propellers.


There were a good many empty seats on the second flight--maybe folks missed connections because of the bad weather? With an empty seat beside me I didn't worry about pulling out my knitting.

I had cast on a new sock right before I left home in case I had time to knit on the plane. I cannot think about the bumps and the noises that happen while flying while concentrating on my stitches. That's a good thing.


I've been happy to do the cooking while out here (chicken and dumplings last night) but Mommy and her trusty helper cooked "Benchiladas" one night.


I'll share the recipe when I am not posting from my phone. It's too easy to make a mistake this way.



For those who have wondered about Jessica in Atlanta...thankfull, she was not among the thousands stranded on the highways in the "snow jam." But it took her fours hours to drive home from her office-- usually about a 40 minute trip.





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