Sunday, February 9, 2014

Cheeseburger Pie and Drunken Weather.

artwork by Natalie Jaworski

So, mother nature seems a bit drunk these days. Is it global warming? Is it the natural course of the earth and normal weather patterns? Is it aliens?

I don't know and I don't really care. All I know is that I want it to be one season for the next 3 months. Can we do that? Can we have an actual "winter" followed by "spring"? I'm kinda tired of this crazy weather shit. Can I give mother nature my medication? PLEASE?! Anyway, on to the good stuff!

OMG this stuff is GOOD! The kids love it, it's really easy to make, and you can hide healthy stuff in it! Great dish for moms. And I gift it to you.

1 pound ground beef
3 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sugar free ketchup
1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
1/4-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4-1/2 cup (REAL) bacon bits
1/2 cup pureed veggies of some sort. I usually use zucchini or roasted red bell pepper. (optional)

You will need a frying pan and a deep-dish pie plate or other dish that can go from microwave to oven to table. Ready? Here we go!

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Brown the beef in a skillet. Add ketchup, water, mustard and dehydrated onions, and pureed veggie. Stir until a sauce forms and remove from heat. In a separate bowl whisk together mayo, cream, and eggs until creamy, set aside. Pour meat mixture into pie plate and pack down lightly. Cover with an even layer of bacon, then cheese. Pour egg mixture over the top (some will seep in, that's okay). Microwave on medium (60%) power for 13-15 minutes or until egg is just set. Move dish to oven and make an addition 5-10 minutes or until top is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Then slice and serve! Delish. :)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tomato Basil Soup

I was staring at a blank screen with a blinking cursor trying to come up with a topic for another blog post. Nothing was coming to mind except the large pile of laundry I still don't want to do and having to go back to work tomorrow (something else I really don't want to do). I finally gave in and queried the house:
Me: I don't know what I should post in my blog. Any ideas, guys?
Hubby: I dunno.
The Bug: LOOK! A CAR!!!
We all paused for a moment and looked at the Bug to try to figure out what he was referring to. He was watching Thomas the Train and apparently saw a talking car. Good to know he was paying attention.
The Imp: Mommy, I love your soup. You should right about your soup. It's so yummy and tasty and it makes me happy!

Okay, baby girl, I'll write about my soup.

Tomato Basil Soup (gluten free, kinda low carb)

1 Can plain tomato sauce
2 Cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBLS butter (real stuff!)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 TBLS dried basil (it really does taste better and come out better if you use dried, I promise.)
1/2-1 TBLS honey

In a 4 quart sauce pan simmer chicken broth, tomato sauce and butter until butter is melted completely. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder, stir. Stir in cream and honey (start small, work your way up! Remember: you can always add more, but you can't take it out). Finally, add basil and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to set on stove for 5 minutes. Stir and taste before serving.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ice and Beef Stew

Winter in Texas is honestly a crapshoot. It's either 80 and sunny or colder than the arctic tundra. This year we got early winter temperatures and, my personal favorite (sarcasm)

I lost about 8 large tree limbs during the storm. I can only thank God that none of the huge ones fell on my house. We were also lucky in that we never lost power. Unlike thousands of folks who, 2 days later, are still in the dark. Yes, we are blessed with good fortune on this front.

But in between the screaming to put up the Christmas (Yule) tree and forcing the dog outside I found some time to make a nice, home cooked, comfort-filled meal: Beef Stew.

This stuff is what winter was made for. If you're the type of person who just opens a can of Dinty Moore you honestly have no idea what you're missing. Home-cooked is the way to go! This recipe is NOT low carb nor is it gluten free. But it's full of delicious!

Kate's Beef Stew

1/2 cup +1 TBLSPN butter
1/2 cup flour
1 pound stew meat
4 cups beef broth
1-2 cups raw baby carrots
1-2 medium russet potatoes, washed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1/4 of a chopped onion, whichever you prefer)
And, finally...
About 1/2 cup dark brew beer

In a large skillet sear the stew meat with 1 TBLSPN butter, onion and garlic powder (if you are opting to use the chopped onion, just sear the meat without it) on high heat. Put meat into a HUGE pot with carrots and potatoes, pay leaf, and 3 cups broth (if using the chopped onion, include in this step) and set aside, off heat. Return to skillet and melt remaining butter on high heat until it begins to foam. Add flour and whisk constantly as mixture forms a smooth past and becomes a dark brown (think mud). CAREFULLY pour remaining 1 cup beef broth into the roux and whisk constantly until a very thick gravy is formed. Remove from heat, add to broth in huge pot and stir. Add 1/2 cup beer and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes while stirring frequently, then reduce to a slight simmer. Simmer on very low heat for 2 hours or until potatoes and carrots are soft and broth has thickened to desired consistency. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  


Saturday, November 30, 2013


Okay, it's probably NOT that serious. But it gets the point across, right? So, Thanksgiving comes and goes and only the Bug is sick with what we think it's an ear infection. The Hubby has been battling a sinus infection for the past week, but he's holding his own. No problem, right? wrong we all were.

Friday morning I wake up with a freight train running through my skull and evil gnomes doing a tap dance in my stomach. The Hubby has spiked a lovely fever and can't breathe. The Bug was going to the doctor anyway because of the ear infection but now he's coughing and hacking and running a fever as well. So we all take a family trip to the doctor. Diagnoses? 

Hubby has a "raging sinus infection" with a secondary otitis media. Prescribed codeine cough syrup (woohoo!) and antibiotic. 

The Bug has a "raging ear infection". Prescribed an antibiotic suspension, grape flavored (read: icky medicine flavored).

I have a "systemic bacterial infection". AKA: dunno what's going on, but your lymph nodes are swollen and you feel like crap. Prescribed an antibiotic that kills everything. 

The Imp states, as we are walking out of the office, "Mom, I don't feel so good." I think it's just her wanting attention and brush it off. 

Fill prescriptions. 
Attempt to medicate the Bug. 

It did not go well.

All night I was up with sick kids. The Imp spikes a 103 fever in the middle of the night. The Bug is up all night coughing. And the Hubby is just a man who doesn't like being sick. I've heard the phrase "Honey, I'm dying" more times than I can count. So, what do you do when you're a mom who doesn't feel all that great yourself, but you're the least sick out of the lot? YOU SUCK IT UP, THAT'S WHAT! 

And you put on your Dr. Mom outfit and go to work. Like a boss.
I'm under there somewhere.
And now for my bountiful wisdom I have learned as a mom dealing with sick people. I have learned that forcing a child to take medication is not only impossible, but messy. So I have devised the best methods for medicating children without their knowledge. 'Cause I'm a devious bitch. 

  • Overly sweet medications can be masked in apple juice, just make sure they drink all of it.
  • Bitter or "chemical" tasting medications are hard to mask but chocolate cures most ills. Get a piece of good chocolate and have them take a bite and down the medication in one, then finish the chocolate. Chocolate covers up most bad tastes.
  • Salty or chalky medicines can be covered up with some good cheese. 

And if you have a whiny husband who needs to sleep give him a hot toddy. It'll knock his ass out AND gives a good kick of vitamin C, the healing benefits of honey, and whiskey. Here's my recipe:

1 shot (1.5 fl oz) good whiskey (I like Bushmills, but that's just me)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1-2 TBS honey, raw is best
6-8 fl oz hot water

Mix it all together and serve it in a mug to your sick husband. They'll feel better really quick. Or they'll pass out. Either way, it's quiet again! That's all for now. It's time for me to do my rounds and bed checks. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Wait, what? What's a wassail? Wassel? Wassssss...ale? Anyway. It's a mulled ale or wine drink served hot and OMG IT'S SO AMAZING! For you history buffs:

Not too hard to make, either. I made this for Thanksgiving and will probably make it again for Yule. It's delicious. It's SO not for children. And here's the recipe:

6 12oz bottles of light ale (I used Redd's Apple Ale)

6 cinnamon sticks

8 cloves

Zest from 1 lemon

6-8 apples (mixture of granny smith and galas worked well)

3 cups brown sugar

2 cup port, or 1 cup brandy and 1 cup dry red wine

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350°

In a large pan or dutch oven bring the ale, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks and cloves to a simmer. Reduce heat and remove 1/2 cup ale. Set aside.

Next, score the circumference of the apples with a knife and place in an oven safe baking dish. Mix in a separate bowl the sugar and spices and pour over apples. Pour port and 1/2 cup of ale over apples and bake in oven, covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove cinnamon sticks from ale. Remove apples from dish and set into the ale. Whisk together sugar and port mixture before pouring into ale. Cover and simmer another 30-40 minutes over low heat. Serve warm.

Happy Wassailing, folks!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Low Carb, Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

No, mine didn't look like this. But I also didn't take a picture of it because I was too busy eating it!
My kids are frickin' picky. Trying to find a meal that all of us will eat is almost impossible. Then when you add in the dietary restrictions we all face it gets even worse. But this recipe was an instant winner. And because I am so benevolent I will share it with you.

Chicken Parmesan

For the chicken: 

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4-1/2 cup arrowroot flour*
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • butter or coconut oil
  • Finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese

How to do it:
Set your oven to broil or about 400 F. Slice chicken breasts thinly and pound flat, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. in a large bowl, blend together almond meal, arrow root, basil, salt and pepper, and garlic powder; set aside.  Melt butter or oil as needed in a pan set to medium-high heat, careful not to let the butter burn. Dip chicken breasts in eggs, then dredge in the almond meal mixture. Repeat as needed to get an even coating. Place dredged breasts in pan and cook for 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken breasts, and turning half-way through. Place cooked breasts on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, then mozzarella cheese. Bake/broil until the cheese has melted and browned slightly on the edges. 

For the sauce:
  • 1 can plain tomato sauce
  • 1-2 Tablespoons dried basil
  • 2-3 tsps dried oregano
  • 2 tsps dehydrated minced onion (or, if you want to go fresh, about 1/4 small onion, minced)
  • 1-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp maple sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
How to do it:
The best marinara sauce recipes are disgustingly simple. To make this one extra fancy you could add 1/4 cup dry red wine and simmer it for an additional 5 minutes. Mmm...tasty. Anyway, here's how you do it...
Throw it all in a pot, mix it up, and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes. 
Boom. Marinara sauce.
Other options you have for this tasty sauce is to add some fire roasted tomatoes and roasted bell peppers. I don't add that because my ridiculously picky children would refuse to eat it. But, I digress. Try not to go over-board with the marinara sauce ingredients...the simpler it is, the better and more authentic it will taste.

Serve the chicken with the sauce on top or on the side. If you feel like being naughty, serve it with some angel hair pasta (gluten free or you can try Carbanada pasta which is a lower-carb pasta). Add some roasted broccoli with butter or a really nice mixed-greens salad and voila! Instant dinner that even MY kids will adore. 

You're welcome.

*You may be asking yourself, "What the hell is arrowroot flour?!"Arrowroot, or arrowroot starch, is a powdery product made from the arrowroot plant, a starchy tropical root. It can be harder to find if you're looking for it at Walmart or Target. Whole Foods, HEBs, and Central Market usually carry it. You can also purchase it online. This stuff is a great gluten alternative. It helps make things stick together and thickens sauces and puddings without adding flavor. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Doin' The Happy Dance

So, in case you live under a rock, some big stuff happened in the last 24 hours. The proposition SB 5 was brought before the Texas senate last night and a woman rose up for the rights of us all and refused to sit down until she was heard. Wendy Davis filibustered on the senate floor for 13 hours and finally defeated the bill. Wendy Davis, I am so proud that I voted for you. I am so proud you represent me and my rights. I am so proud to call you a fellow Texan. You are a hero.

So when I heard the bill was defeated...I was pretty happy.

Okay, I was REALLY happy.

Maybe ecstatic would be a better word...

But then something else happened. Something that so many people have been hoping and praying for. The Defense Of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court. That's right, folks, it is unconstitutional to limit marriage rights to same sex couples. In Justice Kennedy's own words:
 “[t]he federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity. By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”
FINALLY a step in the right direction. Another step towards equality! Right on, America. Good for you.