Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Braised Round Rump Roast!

I found this one online in the WV Gazette news and being the proud Mountaineer Alum that I am, I just had to try it! WV did not disappoint - it was SO SO SO SO GOOD! LET'S GOOO MOUNTAINEERS!

1 boneless 2 pound round rump roast
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large onion, diced
3/4 beef broth
1 tbs cornstarch mixed with 1/4 beef broth

CUT small slits in roast using the tip of a sharp knife. Insert garlic slices.
MARINATE roast in soy sauce in a large plastic bag for 2 to 4 hours.
PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees.
HEAT oil over medium heat in a heavy Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid (I used my Le Creuset cast iron French Oven)
REMOVE roast from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Sprinkle roast with black pepper.
BROWN meat slowly on all sides, taking care to get a nice brown crust. Remove roast to a dinner plate or platter.
ADD onions to drippings remaining in pot and stir well to coat. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
POUR broth over onions and scrape the bottom of the pot with a plastic or wooden spoon as the broth simmers. After the broth has simmered for about 30 seconds, return the roast to the pot, including any juices that may have accumulated on the plate.
COVER pot and put it in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. Keep an eye on the liquid level in the pot as the roast cooks. If it's drying up, add some water. If the lid doesn't fit all that well on your Dutch oven, cover the top of the pot with parchment paper before putting on the lid.
REMOVE meat and onions from pot and keep warm. Skim fat from liquid remaining in the pot and add corn starch mixture.
SERVE slices of roast drizzled with the gravy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lime Chicken, Rice & Bean Burritos

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup fresh salsa (not the kind in a jar)
4 whole wheat tortillas
2 chicken breast
2 tbs lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
sea salt and ground pepper
1 can fat free refried beans
low fat shredded cheddar & monetary jack cheese
homemade guacamole
light sour cream

Cook chicken breasts in a 350 degree preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, remove and let cool. Once the brown rice is almost cooked add the corn and salsa to it, mix and let cook for a few minutes. Once the chicken is cooled, remove the skin and discard then remove meat from the bone and shred up. Add lime juice, cumin, garlic, sea salt & pepper to the chicken and mix. Arrange the burritos by spreading a layer of refried beans, then the rice mix, the chicken and then top with some cheese. Fold down the center, then fold in the sides and roll over. Wrap each separately in foil and cook in the oven on 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Serve with sour creme and guacamole!

I like really simple guacamole - I just mash up 1 avocado, add some lemon juice, some red onion, salt and ground red pepper flakes and pop in the fridge for about a 1/2 hour so the flavors can mix!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Great Little Eater!

AJ really is such a excellent eater - she is willing to try anything! She is so good at eating vegetables and she loves fruit. We try to feed her mostly whole wheat breads and pastas and she drinks mostly water or her yogurt drinks (we really try our best to steer clear of any juice because of all the sugar). Here is a pic of her from tonight chowing down on some whole wheat penne with meatballs and peas!

Meatball Parm Sub & A Salad!

1 lb ground beef
2 cloves crushed/diced garlic
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
3 tbs grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbs dried onion
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
sea salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix together with your hands. Shape into balls and lay on a baking tray. Bake in the oven on 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (turn halfway through). You could fry them up in some olive oil but I thought baking them would be healthier and they were still just as tasty! While they are cooking, heat up some gravy in a large saucepan and once they are done add them to the gravy and let them cook on low heat for about an hour. When you are ready, slice open some whole wheat sub rolls and add the meatballs with some gravy and top with slices of light mozzarella cheese - bake in the oven on a baking pan till the cheese is melted and serve!!!!

New Sandbox!

For an Easter present, my mother got AJ her very first sandbox!!! Now that the weather is getting nicer, AJ has really been loving it outside - once you take her out, it's hard to get her back in! I just knew she would love a sandbox and boy was I right! She had SO MUCH FUN playing in it and as I say, anything at all that helps exhume some of her endless energy is a amazing gift for me too!!!

So Simple Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts
Mayo (we use the Hellman's made with Canola Oil)
Sea salt & ground pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove skin and discard. Remove all the good white meat and cut up finely in a bowl. Add some mayo, some finely chopped celery, a little ground pepper and mix. So simple, yet so delicious! Not to mention a ton cheaper then buying the ready made from behind the deli counter!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Uncle Don's 75th!

We all went to celebrate the "Chief's" 75th birthday last Wednesday at my moms house - a great time was had by all - everyone really enjoyed the pizza, pasta, salad & cake! It was great to see all the kids running around and playing and nice for the adults to sit around and each others company, eat some yummy food & watch the kids!

Happy 75th Uncle Don!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Bregmans!!

My cousin Stephen, his wife Christen and their kids Tarn & Sorrell stopped in Jersey for a few days on their way to Boston. Since they are west coasters, we don't get to see them often as we'd like! It had been a while and the kids have gotten so big - they are both really great kids and it was nice having them all around for a few days! Now that I am a mom I really appreciate family SO much and it is really special to get to see AJ play and get to know her cousins from far away! Hopefully soon we can actually plan a trip out there to visit them for a change - I know Alex & I would LOVE to see Oregon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We had a fun play date with Shane & Fiona at Juna's house, complete with really yummy breakfast burritos complements of Juna! The play date was the usual - the kids had a fun time playing and the moms had a fun time talking and eating. Nothing out of the ordinary except for the shots I got of the three of them looking out the window that we so cute I just had to post!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Chinese Pepper Steak

1 ½ pounds rib eye steak sliced into strips
olive oil
2 clove garlic crushed
1/4 tsp grated ginger
1 green pepper sliced
1 onion sliced
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbs cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup water
3 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 cups cooked brown rice

Cut steak into slices (easier if slightly frozen). Heat oil in skillet and add onion, pepper and mushrooms and sautee for a minute or two, then add garlic and ginger and cook about another minute. Add steak slices and brown lightly for 2 minutes. Add water/cornstarch mixture, soy sauce sugar to the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Crock Pot Pot Roast!

Crock Pot Pot Roast

3 to 4 pound boneless chuck roast

16 ounces beef broth or stock

1 packet brown gravey mixed with ¼ cup of water
10.5 ounces crème of mushroom soup
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs flour
1 tbs
garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 large onion, sliced thinly

1. Place sliced onion on the bottom of the crock pot. 2. Mix flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and rub all over the meat. Brown meat on all sides in frying pan in olive oil on med-high heat and place on top of the onion. 3. Mix the beef stock, brown gravey mix, tomato paste, mushroom soup, wine, and honey and pour over the meat and onions. 4. Set the crock pot on low and cover. Let it cook for 8-10 hours on low. 5. In the last hour of cooking add some baby carrots. 6. Serve over whole wheat egg noodles.

SO GOOD - Just like Grandma Vera used to make!!!! She used to call me the "noodles with gravey kid" I loved this dish SO much growing up!!!


Last night we went to Benihana to celebrate Maria's 30th! We all had a great time and the food was oh so yummy! Even though dinner was kinda late for AJ, she was a perfect angel! She ate like a champ and played great with Aunt Aida & Grammy who she WAS calling "Mammy" and now has changed it to "Mimi" (I guess you can say my mother is having a bit of an identity crisis)! My mom & Alex both had the lobster tail and fillet combo and I had just the fillet. AJ really enjoyed the hibachi show and LOVED eating the fried rice, the shrimp appetizer and the zucchini - she really is such a great eater! We all had a really fun night!

Quiche Lauren!

1 frozen pie shell
4 slices of cooked bacon
1/4 small onion diced up very fine
1 tbs diced fresh parsley
1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a combo of mozz and cheddar)
4 eggs
1 tbs sour creme
1 cup of whole milk

Crumble 3 pieces of bacon into little bits and spread evenly in the pie shell. Top with the onions and the cheese. Beat together the eggs, milk and sour creme, sea salt & pepper and dump that over the top. Top with the last piece of bacon crumbled up and the parsley. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baked Raviolis in Vodka Sauce!

13 cooked raviolis (happened to be the # I had)
vodka sauce (I used Rao's but you can make your own too!)
tbs chopped fresh basil
13 slices fresh mozz cheese cut up
parmesan reggiano cheese
fresh ground pepper

Line the bottom of a baking dish with some vodka sauce. In a single layer place down the raviolis and top with more sauce. Sprinkle some fresh basil over the dish and then add a piece of fresh mozz to the top of each ravioli. Top the dish with grated parmesan reggiano cheese and pepper and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. We had ours with cheesy garlic bread and a salad!

Happy meatless (because it's Lent) Friday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patty's Day Play Date!

Colleen hosted a wonderful St. Patty's Day Play Date - all the kids had so much fun! There was tons of yummy food to eat - quiches, muffins (or as Fiona calls them - cupcakes!), all kinds of cookies, fruit, cheese & crackers and juice! All the kids played so nice together and after 3 hours of playing, AJ was exhausted! This made for a VERY happy mommy - can you say 2 1/2 hour nap that I got to partake in!!!!