Something to Teach – Cooking

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Buy a child a meal and she will eat for a day. Teach a child to cook and she will never go hungry. Ok, so I’m paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.

From the time my children were young, I had them help out in the kitchen. They would fetch ingredients or utensils, etc. As they grew, I started sharing what I was doing to make a certain dish or treat. I showed them how to make simple dinners before they were allowed to turn on the oven! This has served us all well.

Child #1 likes to experiment with Asian and Asian-fusion recipes. She made a delicious pork lo mein just last Wednesday. It was a fantastic Asian-American fusion dish that had us all heading back for seconds! Yummy! She learned to cook at a young age, and pretty quickly after she learned how to read, started making her own experiments with food. She has an innate sense of what pairs well together and her meals reflect that.

Child #2 also cooks well, but specializes more in American and Tex-Mex dishes. Her chili is wonderful and flavorful, without being too spicy. She is my jalapeno child, so that is a stretch for her!

Child #3 is my special needs kiddo and he struggles with making meals. If it’s something he’s made before that is not too complicated, he can really excel. However, if it’s more difficult or a new recipe watch out for sharp flying utensils!

Child #4 also has some learning disabilities and needs to make things with which she is familiar or are written down in an orderly fashion. There are no variations for children #’s 3 and 4! They can do simple cooking, for which I am grateful, but I would like them to stretch a little. They will, however, never starve and isn’t that the point?

So, though it can be frustrating to have a little one or an inexperienced one under foot, the eventual results are worth it! They will never starve and neither will you!

Prayers for My Neighbors

Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

Last night there was a flash of light in my living room window. We looked out to see the police chief and a deputy standing there. I went to greet them on the front porch. They wanted to know if I had called them. I said “No” and then they proceeded to tell me that the address next door to me (they thought it was me!) had called in about hearing children crying out for help. I told them that children #’s 3 and 4 we’re in bed, children #’s 1 and 2 we’re watching TV with me, and no one had been screaming for help.

They went next door to check it out. Then there were a few police cars and an ambulance which left with it’s lights out. In other words, the occupant was either not badly hurt or dead.

Whatever the case, I would appreciate if you would pray for my neighbors. I know that we haven’t had a good relationship, but I really do believe that they need God desperately.

Thanks everyone,

Rita

Chicken Ceasar Cutlets

Just getting started – before the bake.

Good evening, everyone! We tried something new for dinner tonight and it was a resounding success. O.k. It was a success. Keep in mind my home is mostly teens, so yeah, but it really was good! Here is what you will need:

5 large boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces (about 4 – 5 lbs. total)

3/4 cup of your favorite ceasar dressing

3 cups toasted bread crumbs (We toasted and cut up four large pieces of multi-grain GF bread!)

1 cup of finely shredded parmesan cheese (the good stuff, not the powdery plastic-bottle stuff!)

Your favorite GF non-stick cooking spray

9″ x 13″ pan

Aluminum foil to line said pan

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line your 9″ x 13″ pan with foil and spray with your non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken breasts in your prepared pan. Evenly distribute the ceasar dressing over the tops of the chicken. Add breadcrumbs (or in our case, bread cubes!) Top with parmesan cheese. Bake for about 1 hour (mine took 55 minutes!) or until a thermometer inserted reads 165° F. Serves 10, or 5 with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

Tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s lunch – at least the chicken!

Asking for Input

Yeah, I have no idea how to make these, but they looked like the season!
Photo by Daisy Anderson on Pexels.com

Hi, everyone!

I thought I would ask my faithful readers if there are any recipes that they would like me to try my hand at making gluten free! A favorite cookie? Bring it on! An incredible, rich cake? All right!

Let’s see if I’m up for the challenge! Leave your suggestions in the comments below! Happy suggesting!

Adding New Life with Paint

Yikes!

Have you ever seen one of these beauties at your local resale shop and just could not stop yourself from putting it in your cart for rescue?

Oh no! Wallpaper too?

I do love birdhouses. When I see one that has been thoroughly abused by a paintbrush, I find it hard to pass it up. I mean, I could make it beautiful again!

Who is painting these things, after all – toddlers? Argh! I have an inherent need to make it right, if only with a paintbrush.

Here’s my version of the fisherman’s cottage after much sanding, paint, and time. Is it perfect? Nope! Is it 200% better? Absolutely! And more than nice enough to hang in my home!

Do we all feel better now?

Things to Teach: Kindness

Photo by sergio souza on Pexels.com

Today Children #’s 1, 2, & 4 visited a Halloween-based theme park. We got there about 45 minutes after the park opened and it was crowded! Apparently, many people had the same idea to visit!

We knew it would be crowded, so we tried to go with the flow. At the first open space, I tried to pull in, a very rude group of people told me that their friends were going to park there, thus leaving me to back up into horn-honking traffic. Grrr! Then I saw a spot where I could pull through. Unfortunately, an entitled young woman had her large truck door open and her foot hanging out. I patiently waited until she pulled her foot in. Then she proceeded to call me a bitch for deigning to park next to her and her husband/boyfriend/I don’t know what. Wow! Well, last time I checked, America was still a free country and I can park in any open parking spot I choose.

Okaaay! So, they moved their truck and we ate our lunch and went into the park. Unfortunately, it was so crowded that we weren’t able to get on many rides. The lines and wait times were prohibitive.

We decided to leave and possibly come back later, but when we arrived at the car, there was a problem. My back passenger tire looked flat. Now, granted, there was a dip in the pavement and when I moved forward we saw that the tire wasn’t completely flat, but close. What the heck?

How does a tire that was perfectly full when I left home become so low a few hours later? I can tell you where my mind went! Mmmhmm…that lovely woman with the bad attitude! Grrr!

So we zipped to a close by gas station and four quarters later, had filled three of my tires. Strange that they were all three at least a bit low when they were fine when I left home!

This was not kindness! This was nastiness of the highest regard! Shame on her! I had to convince my kiddos not to retaliate. There was talk of what they would like to do to her. I put a stop to that! All I say is that “God saw.” That’s right. I don’t have to take action when someone is awful. God sees everything. He will take care of it and I can rely on Him!

So please, when you are teaching your children, grandchildren, or whoever, teach them to be kind. No one wants more nastiness in this world. Kindness truly makes a difference! Be the one to pass it on!

Cheeseburger Soup

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Well, hello there! Today I want to share a recipe that was the brainchild of Child #2. I helped her to perfect the recipe, but it was all her idea. It is a yummy, creamy, satisfying treat and a wonderful soup for a cold day! You will need:

2 lbs. ground beef

2 Tbsp. dried, minced onion (onion flakes)

6 cups water

1/2 lb. butter

1 cup white rice flour

1 Tbsp. turmeric powder

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. black pepper

12 cups whole milk

3, 15 oz. cans of sliced potatoes

8 oz. (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Break up ground beef into small pieces and put into a large stockpot. Add dried, minced onions and water. Boil until beef is cooked through. Drain water from beef and return to heat, immediately adding butter until melted. Add rice flour, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Immediately add milk, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened slightly. Add canned potatoes. You can use fresh potatoes, but make sure to cook them first so they’re not hard. Add cheese and stir until melted and blended in. Let sit and meld flavors for 15 to 30 minutes, if you can resist eating it immediately! Enjoy!

Totally tasty with a gluten-free dinner roll with butter!

NOTE: This is a very rich soup, especially in the dairy department. You might want to consider using some lactose pills if you suffer from milk intolerance!

Things to Pass the Time

What do you like to do if you ever find yourself with free time? For me, I like to read, to sing, or to clean. Clean? You say. Really? Yes. Clean.

Now, I’m not saying that my house is immaculate. Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s actually really funny! I feel like I am always chasing after people cleaning up their messes, and yet it never really gets clean. Maybe that’s because there are five of us and only one of me! Oh, yes! I can make messes too! Not that I specialize in messes, but I have been known to make one or two!

So, if I am feeling overwhelmed (which is a lot these days what with the mortgage issue!) I tend to do something to distract myself like reading, singing, or cleaning. Sometimes I have been known to multitask by singing and cleaning; rarely by singing and reading or reading and cleaning! What a disaster that would be!!!

What do you like to do if you have a spare moment? Leave your favorite free time activity in the comments below. Let’s keep it clean, people!!!! (Ha! Ha! The Pun Princess is back!)