The other day kidinbox decided to help make breakfast.  We had left over biscuits and a little sausage from a roll, so I put together a sausage gravy, warmed the biscuits in the toaster oven to get them as close to fresh as possible, scrambled eggs and cooked them with cheese and a smattering of spices.  Lastly, bacon occupied another pan quietly sizzling its presence.  Kidinbox helped in some area with most of these items.  That included breaking the eggs, whipping them, adding the cheese and just before the breakfast was finished I observed some eyes light up and a cheerful kidinbox exclaim, “poptart!”  Kidinbox ran to the end of the counter and picked up the remaining item of the two-pack that was saved in a sandwich wrapper.  The desire to eat that poptart blew away any preference for all the things which had been so carefully prepared on the stove.  (head shake)


in the do it again category:

We had a bit of potato and green bean in the fridge, meatballs in the freezer, and needed supper of some sort.

I took 6 beef bullion cubes and added them to 6 cups water.  The I added:





I used the most parsley and lowered the amounts of each spice until the cumin was the least amount added.  This was stirred and brought to a boil.  I took out a couple cups of this mixture into a bowl, added ice cubes and then stirred in 3 large spoons of corn starch using a whisk.  This was stirred back into the rest of the mixture and brought to a boil again.  Once thickened, I poured this over the meatballs in a crock pot.  The crock pot was set to warm as we learned the hard way that low could burn ham.  At supper time, even our picky kidinbox ate it.  The thickened broth was excellent over mashed potatoes.  This will be made again.  🙂

Spouseinbox got inspired this evening and we all received benefit therefrom.  The object of a bit of preparation was a chicken dish consisting of green beans, chicken, and potatoes with a topping of ranch dressing mix.  The result is shown below:

supper 90417

From spouseinbox: I found a simple recipe on Facebook, and decided to try it for supper tonight. I used about a pound of chicken tenderloins,  and cut them in about 4 pieces per tenderloin. I cut up about 6 small potatoes, and put in 2 cans undrained green beans. I then used ranch dressing mix packet rather than Italian dressing mix packet.
Overall it was good, and everybody got seconds. However, I will do a few things differently next time. I will use canned green bean and potatoes drained, and mix in the chicken rather than lay it on top. It had a lot of juice this time, and I feel the seasoning seemed to be “washed off” the food into the juice.
I will look forward to next time.

Well, we used the enchiladas the other day and I have to note that the corn tortillas turned to mush.  It was like ground beef mixed with light mashed potatoes.  I’m thinking the issue was putting the sauce on them prior to placing in the freezer.  Next time, we’re going to bake them first, then freeze, then place sauce once being used.  Maybe that will provide a better outcome.

Spouseinbox came up with a good one the other day.  We had some pretzels which were crushed while I cut up some chicken breasts into strips.  The strips were placed in a mix of egg and milk, coated with flour (which had appropriate spices mixed), placed in the egg / milk mixture again and then coated with the crushed pretzel.  I manned the fryer at 350 degrees and fried them for 2 minutes.  I would stack the result against any chicken place in town.  We paired it with the classic mashed potatoes and gravy, all made from scratch.  This can definitely be done again.


I know my blogging tends to be in the lower end of the volume scale.  The basic reason is that I blog for fun when the rest of life is caught up to such a degree that I can, or I just have sore feet like tonight and am giving them a rest.  We have three felines and that means a lot of litter, food and water supply.  Two automatic feeders now have positions in the house, so all I need to do is fill the hoppers once a week or so.  The water was an issue as it was on the bathroom floor where we walked and keeping it filled required a bit of attention.  The dogs had an automated bowl outside and I thought that might be a good idea for inside as well.  As ideas go, this one had babies and we are now sporting a set of “L” shaped shelves in the corner above the toilet with the lower shelf being the cat access area.  On the short shelf towards the window, there is a second shelf with a square hole cut and a downspout mounted.  This means that the hopper is removed from the serving bowl.  The cats can no longer steal from the machine before the next feeding.  The water bowl was a good idea, but as good ideas go, there were unplanned problems.  Being water, and plumbing, we had leaks.  I tried to tighten the fittings, I changed fittings, I reset fittings, I cut off the tubing and reset it twice and there was still a leak.  This evening, I tried to reset the tubing again.  This involved cutting off the end, putting plumbers seal on the plastic barb and reassembling the unit.  I put some toilet paper under it to detect leaks and after about an hour, there was water there.  I haven’t determined the offending location yet.  Oh well.  Plumbing.  I prefer electric – done by myself.  There usually are fewer problems that way.

Anyways, while going back and forth with the plumbing issue, spouseinbox started on the food for supper.  We had a spaghetti squash which I cut and put in the microwave one half at a time for 10 minutes each section.  This was done in a microwave pan with an inch of water and covered with plastic wrap.  Spouseinbox used some of our tomato sauce canned last year and mixed up a spaghetti sauce for the squash.  Once done in the microwave, I took a fork to each half and made noodles for each plate.  One squash fed three of us until our meters pegged.  The remainder of the sauce was mixed with more ground beef and onion and some cauliflower which was buzzed in a food processor to make it a substitute for rice.  This was mixed in the meat and sauce mixture and then stuffed into green peppers which had been boiled for about 3 minutes, then cooled.  That only used about half of the mixture, so I took the remainder of a box of large pasta shells and cooked and stuffed them as well.

We had more meat available, so spouseinbox took a can of salsa canned last year, and mixed that into another pound of meat.  After the mixture cooled, I took some and rolled it into corn tortillas to make enchiladas.  These three dishes were placed in the freezer for later use.

While I am sitting here typing, spouseinbox went into the bathroom to examine the piece of toilet paper placed under the plumbing job.  It’s wet.  We’re not done yet.  Yuk.  I so prefer electric.

There are lies, d*!^ lies, and statistics.  That stated, looking at numbers can be enlightening.  I found the link interesting though, but because of the first statement, don’t try to put too much into that hat.  Just saying.

This evening, spouseinbox had a great presentation.  A marinade was noted into which some pork chops were placed.  They stayed there for a couple of hours.  Next, some carrots were treated with oil, salt, pepper, and garlic and placed in the oven for about 20 minutes.  The end result can be repeated again.  We put the pork chops on the grill for 10 minutes each side while the carrots were in the oven.  I’m thinking maybe try 8 minutes next time and the carrots were a bit crunchy, so could have baked a bit longer.  Since I don’t mind raw carrots, the crunch was fine.  The flavors were well utilized and the supper appreciated.

I got inspired this morning.  That is, I wanted a cinnamon roll.  It’s entire impractical to make just one, so I made a batch and took them to work.  I guess my reputation has started to grow since I was walking towards the building and noted the work van heading towards a satellite clinic.  The driver stopped in the middle of the road and asked for a contribution.  I gave away two rolls before even getting to the facility parking lot.  The recipe is simple:

just shy of 4 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup margarine, though I just use a knife and put in whatever looks like enough

2 tsp yeast

couple shakes of cinnamon

small shake of nutmeg.

1 tsp of salt – measured by pouring in the hand, of course

Place in machine and run dough cycle until into the last rise.  My machine takes a bit under an hour to get there.

Roll out on a floured board and make a rectangle about 8″ x 14 inches that’s about 1/2″ thick.  Next drizzle melted margarine over all but one edge of the upper surface to just coat.  Cover completely with cinnamon, except that dry strip along the long edge.  Add a little Nutmeg.  Roll from the coated long side towards the bare long side.  Wet the long side and secure to the roll.  Obtain about 3 feet of button thread.  Slide the thread under the roll and pass the ends across each other about 1″ from the end.  Pull.  This will neatly cut a 1″ thick circle.  Repeat this process until the entire roll is cut.  Place the circles on a greased pan and let rise.  Spray with water occasionally and putting on the stove above the heated oven helps in the rising time.  An actual proofing oven runs at 105 degrees and 100% humidity.  I don’t have that, so improvise.  It works.  For bread, I use an upside down cooler over the edge of the oven to catch the exhaust of the oven and help the bread to rise.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until just starting to brown.  Remove from the pan and let cool.  Frost with a mixture of powdered sugar and small amount of water which has been run in the microwave for a few seconds.  Enjoy.

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