Category Archives: food

Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

We had this for dinner Wednesday night. I wish I could say that this was my own personal recipe, but it’s not. It’s from the November issue of Good Housekeeping and it’s from The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten. But it’s yummy and fits with with squash theme.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Makes 12 appetizer servings (or 6 meal servings)

2T. unsalted butter
2T olive oil
4c. chopped onions
2T. curry powder
5 lbs. butternut squash
1.5 lbs sweet apples (McIntosh, Gala, etc)
Water
Kosher Salt and Pepper
2c. apple juice or cider
1 loaf french bread (baguette)
Goat Cheese, room temp

Directions:
1. IN a 7-8 Qt. Saucepot, heat butter and oil on medium-low until butter melts and is foamy. Add onions and curry powder; cook 15 minutes or so until onions are tender, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot as needed.

2. While onions cook, peel squash (to aid in peeling, microwave squash for 30 sec or so. Then peel), cut in half, discard seeds. Cut squash into 1 inch chunks. Peel and core apples, cut into 1 inch chunks.

3. To pot, add squash, apples, 2 c water, 2t salt and 1/2t pepper. Heat to boiling on high, reduce to med-low. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until squash and apples are very soft.

Now at this point you need to puree your mixture. I used a hand immersion blender to do the job. If you don’t have one you can use a food pro or blender and puree in batches and return puree to pot.

4. Add 1c. apple juice or cider and 1t. salt.

5. Serve with crusty bread and goat cheese (optional)

Here are some pics of the girls enjoying the yumminess. I may have to start calling the Dragonfly Cinderella though.
                                             Brigid and soup

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Thursday’s Tasty Treats: Homemade Pedialyte

I had grand plans to share with you a great recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple soup (combining three of my absolute favorite things: Squash, Apples and Soup) plus it would stay with my heretofore established squash theme of the last few weeks, but we all know what happens when we make plans and test the sovereignty of God, right? Yeah, He laughs. Hard.

After her bath last night, The Dragonfly started vomiting. Joy of joys. After 2am, she seemed to settle a bit but this morning, she started again after having a few sips of water. So, hit the internet and google “Vomiting Toddler, No fever, Dr. Sears.” (We don’t get much vomit in our house, obviously.) One of the tips that Dr. Sears’ had was to give Pedialyte, which I knew but I didn’t have any here at home, and DH had already left for the office. So, back to google I went and I found a great recipe on Our Little Monkeys.

I made mine with 1 part Orange Juice and 3 parts water, along with the salt, sugar and baking soda. The resulting mixture is very salty and seems to be not half bad, as I am trying to keep the toddler from chugging the entire cup (because we all know what will happen next, right?) Plus, she seems to be in a state of comfort right now and doesn’t understand why I won’t let her eat everything in sight!

It’s only 830a here and I am already at my limit for annoyance, which is terrible to say, but I feel like I am singlehandedly fighting a battle with a nauseous toddler and a bored preschooler (and then couple that with the guilt of letting them watch *too* much TV and the fact that my house needs a bit of cleaning… especially the floors and bathrooms.) I think I’ll head up for a shower and I am sure after that and I great cup of coffee, I will be my awesome self again! And The Bear and I can tackle the cleaning bit, which could bust her boredom. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers!

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P.S. Please keep Chase and the entire Pottorff family in your prayers today as he is laid to rest this evening.
 

 


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Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

Remember last week, I wrote about how much we love our squash? Well… here’s more proof. I threw this together this week, only to find out that it’s actually a pretty popular recipe on-line. Great minds, right? OK here you go:

Butternut Squash and Beef Chili

1 small to medium butternut squash, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound stew meat or steak (I used a small New York Strip)
1 can mexican style diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jalepeno, seeded and diced
1 pack of chili seasoning (or you can add your own concoction of cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper.)

Toppings:
shredded cheddar
hot sauce
sliced jalepenos
diced onion

1. Cut your beef into smaller, bite-sized pieces
2. Heat a small bit of oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot, over med-high heat
3. Add meat and onions and cook until meat has lost most of its pink (about 5-7 minutes)
4. Add squash, undrained tomatoes, drained beans, diced jalepeno, seasoning, and one can-ful of water. Cover.
5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is soft, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve with desired toppings.

(You can also make this in the crock pot, just put everything in at once and cook on low 6-8 hours.)

What’s great about this chili is that is a nice spin on a traditional tomato based chili. The squash adds a nice , sweet earthiness and a different texture to the slight spice of the dish. Enjoy!!

And, of course, if you try this out, make sure to stop by and let us know how it turned out!


(since I didn’t take a picture, this is a pic courtesy of Laura Pants on Flickr.)

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Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Baked Acorn Squash

We are huge squash eaters here in the CCM household… butternut, spaghetti, yellow, pumpkin… you name it, we eat it! This recipe is one that my mom made when we were younger. It is such an easy recipe and it is a definitely a kid pleaser.

Baked Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup butter, divided
pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. With a sharp knife, cut off the bottom of the acorn squash, creating a base.
3. With the same knife, cut the squash in half, length-wise.
4. Scoop out the seeds and fibery strings from each half. (optional: keep the seeds and roast them. yum.)
5. to each half add: 1/8 cup butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and sprinkle pepper over the top
6. Place on a baking sheet at bake until squash pierces easily with a fork… 35-40 minutes.

To serve:

Scrape the flesh of the squash into the butter/ sugar/ pepper mixture in the cavity and eat!

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Thursday’s Tasty Treat: Easy-Peasy PB and C cake

I’ve been waiting to post this recipe until a friend tried making it in another vessel. This recipe is originally from a direct sales company, known for kitchen goods, and the original recipe used all of their equipment. A friend made this, using conventional kitchen materials and it turned out great, in her opinion!! (Thanks for testing, Heather!)

Easy-Peasy PB and C Cake

Ingredients:

A box of devil’s food cake mix and ingredients to make cake
A small tub of chocolate frosting, not the whipped kind
A small tub of creamy peanut butter
Casserole dish that can fit in your microwave
Spray oil
Toothpicks

Directions:

1. Mix cake mix according to directions.
2. Pour into a casserole dish, sprayed with the oil.
3. Add the entire tub of frosting to the cake batter, dollop wise, all over. (Make your dollops as large or as small as you want.)
4. Add dollops of peanut butter between the dollops of chocolate. (You may not use the entire tub of peanut butter.)
5. Microwave, with turntable on and casserole cover off, for 10 minutes on HIGH. If you don’t have a turntable in your microwave, rotate the dish halfway through.
6. Check doneness by inserting a toothpick in the cake after cooking. If the pick comes out clean, it’s done. If not, microwave in 2 minute increments until done.
7. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream

This cake results in a fluffy chocolate cake with pools of ooey-gooey chocolate and peanut butter woven within. If you make this, come back and let us know how it turned out!!
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Thursday’s Tasty Treats: CrockPot Pork Posole

This recipe was given to me by a friend and it has become a staple in the CCM household. It is so easy to bring together and usually leaves delicious left-overs for lunch the next day!

CrockPot Pork Posole

Need:

6 Qt or larger CrockPot

3-4# boneless pork roast

1 can hominy (white or yellow)

1 can tomatoes with chiles

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 t salt,  1/2 t pepper, 1 t cumin and Sazon de Goya (if you have it. It’s usually found in the Latin Foods aisle. They are little  orange spice packets.)

 

To make:

1. Place roast in crockpot.

2. Add hominy, tomatoes, onion, spices and one can of water (I use the tomato can)

3. Cook on low for 6 hours or so, or until Pork shreds easily with a fork.

4. Shred pork and serve on Corn Tortillas with Salsa and Guac!

 

So easy. So delicious!!

 

<img src="Pork Posole” alt=”” />

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If you try this, be sure to come back and let us know what you think!!


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Family Food Fridays- The July Meal Plan

I’m taking a bit of a break from Seven Quick Takes this week and thought that I’d hop on to the Family Food fun that TFB is running over at her place. Back in May, I decided that I would challenge myself to plan meals for the entire month and then plan shopping trips accordingly… all in an effort to save some cash. Before doing this, we were easily spending $600/ month to feed our family of four. Mostly because I didn’t have a plan and would wander around the market shopping willy-nilly. Since beginning the intense planning, I’ve cut that food expenditure to about $350/ month. (Part of the reason is that I am actually using the items in my pantry and freezer. Not just storing them.) Not  bad, and I am hoping to make it better!

While it would be nice to have this all in calendar format to import, it’s 9:40p on Thursday night as I am writing this and I’d like to go to bed as my little darlings will be up very early. So I hope you don’t mind a more linear look:

July Meal Plan

Week 1

Friday July 1: Vegetable Barley Soup with Garlic Bread

Saturday July 2: Grilled Salmon with Zuchinni and Salad

Sunday July 3: Subdivision party! No cooking for us!!

Monday July 4: Spending day at Festival! Picnic!

Tuesday July 5: Chicken Enchiladas with Refried Beans

Wednesday July 6: Spaghetti with Salad

Thursday July 7: Smoky three Bean Bake

Friday July 8: “Frey”-day Night Hotdish (family recipe) with Corn

Saturday July 9: Tuna Casserole with Brussels Sprouts

Week 2

Sunday July 10: Smoked Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Potatoes

Monday July 11: The Bear’s 4th Birthday!! Her dinner choice: Pancakes with Sausage

Tuesday July 12: leftovers

Wednesday July 13: Salmon Patties with Salad

Thursday July 14: Garden Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips

Friday July 15: Tacos with Beans and Guac

Saturday July 16: The Bear’s Birthday Party!! Picnic leftovers from party or takeout Pizza

Week 3

Sunday July 17: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Corn

Monday July 18: Leftovers

Tuesday July 19: Beef Ragu over Pasta

Wednesday July 20: Soup and Sandwiches

Thursday July 21: Knackwurst with Spaetzle

Friday July 22: Chicken and Zucchini Curry over Rice

Saturday July 23: Moroccan Chicken

Week 4

Sunday July 24: Meatball Stroganoff over Noodles

Monday July 25: Bean, Corn and Onion Quesadillas

Tuesday July 26: Tuna alla Puttansesca with Garlic Breadsticks

Wednesday July 27: leftovers

Thursday July 28: Thai Peanut Chicken Salad

Friday July 29: Pigs in a Blanket (Hot Dogs rolled into a Croissant and baked) with Sweet Potato Fries

Saturday July 30: Homemade Pizza

Sunday July 31: Homemade Mac and Cheese with Collard Greens

So there you have it. Our plan for the month. I really try not to deviate from it much but will alter if something comes up, husband travel, etc. If you are interested in any of the recipes, send me an email at caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll be glad to share it, or just comment below! And don’t forget to pop over to The Feminist Breeder for more Family Food Friday Fun or to link up your own! And I’ll work on getting that in calendar format for August!!

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Congratulations to STEPHANIE!! She won the copy of “The Invisible World” by Anthony DeStefano!! I’ll be getting that in the mail to you soon!!

Pax Christi!

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How Formula Marketing Came to Be: A Bit of Satire

Scene: The year is 1939. War is raging in Europe We are in a high-rise office over looking the big city. It’s late. There are two men sitting inside, wearing suits and ties and smoking. Because, after all, smoking is cool. 

Man 1: So, so, so! (Slapping Man 2 on shoulder) How’s fatherhood treating you?

Man 2: The boy is great! He’s quite the little man, I’ll tell you. Strong, happy but you know what? He takes up all of my wife’s time.

Man 1: (Guffawing) And that’s a bad thing? Take my wife, please!

Man 2: No, I am serious. Every time I look at her, she’s holding him or playing with him or cooing at him or feeding him. He’s only three weeks old, but it’s as if he’s more important than me! The feeding is the worst part… those used to be my toys. (He looks wistfully out the window.)

Man 1: But she’s still fulfilling her wifely duties, right. After all, that’s her job too.

Man 2: (makes a rude noise) NO. Because whenever I start in on her, that baby starts crying or smacking his lips and she’ll push me off to “comfort” him. And when he finally does go to sleep, she tells me that she’s (takes on a whining tone) “tired” and “doesn’t want to be touched anymore right now.” Fine. I won’t touch her, but I have needs too, dammit! (hits the table with fist.)

Man 1: Wow. That baby’s taking over everything. You can’t even touch your wife anymore. (starts laughing)

Man 2: You know it would be just better if there was a way for her not to feel so worn out. I think it’s all the milk the baby takes from her. He’s sucking on her every two hours.

Man 1: You know, that sounds familiar… hold on there, sport. (takes a drag of his cigarette and walks over to a paper-strewn desk. Begins to rifle through the papers.) Here it is! This was submitted a few weeks ago and I didn’t know where to go with it. It’s for an artificial infant feeding mix.

Man 2: How’s that?

Man 1: According to this, it’s based in evaporated milk and has a bunch of other stuff thrown in. I don’t know the science, I am just supposed to sell the stuff.

Man 1: Who’s it for?

Man 2: It’s supposed to be for mothers who can’t make their own milk, but it’s just not selling.

Man 1: If I could get some of that to my wife, I might get her in bed once in a while. I mean if that evaporated milk stuff is as good as her milk and it can buy me some time with her, I am all about it. When is the ad campaign due?

Man 2: (Takes another drag.) It’ll be tight. I have to make the pitch in 2 weeks.

Man 1: OK, let’s work on this. Because you know that  am not the only man out there cast out like a dog because of the baby. We need to figure out a way to make the regular way of feeding seem inconvenient and lower-class. We need to make this stuff sound futuristic and better because it’s made in a factory. How about this, we spin it so that we “Dads” can get more involved (snorts) because we can “help feed the baby” giving our wives more time for themselves! Do you think they’ll buy it?

Man 2: We’re smoking aren’t we? People will buy anything if you sell it right.

(Scene)

OK, yes, this was a little satire…  but for a little history: From Wikipedia:

In parallel with the enormous shift (in industrialized nations) away from breastfeeding to home-made formulas, nutrition scientists continued to analyze human milk and attempted to make infant formulas that more closely matched its composition.[4] Maltose and dextrins were believed nutritionally important, and in 1912, the Mead Johnson Company released a milk additive called Dextri-Maltose. This formula was made available to mothers only by physicians. In 1919, milkfats were replaced with a blend of animal and vegetable fats as part of the continued drive to closer simulate human milk. This formula was called SMA for “simulated milk adapted.”[10]

In the late 1920s, Alfred Bosworth released Similac (for “similar to lactation”), and Mead Johnson released Sobee.[10] Several other formulas were released over the next few decades, but commercial formulas did not begin to seriously compete with evaporated milk formulas until the 1950s. The reformulation and concentration of Similac in 1951, and the introduction (by Mead Johnson) of Enfamil in 1959 were accompanied by marketing campaigns that provided inexpensive formula to hospitals and pediatricians.[10] By the early 1960s, commercial formulas were more commonly used than evaporated milk formulas, which all but vanished in the 1970s. By the early 1970s, over 75% of babies in the United States were fed on formulas, almost entirely commercially produced.[4]

When birth rates in industrial nations tapered off during the 1960s, infant formula companies heightened marketing campaigns in non-industrialized countries. Unfortunately, poor sanitation led to steeply increased mortality rates among infants fed formula prepared with contaminated (drinking) water.[19] Organized protests, the most famous of which was theNestlé boycott of 1977, called for an end to unethical marketing. This boycott is ongoing, as the current coordinators maintain that Nestlé engages in marketing practices which violate the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.

I read something somewhere and it much more succinctly sums up the whole breastfeeding/ formula feeding debate. While breastmilk is superior, Formula is not bad. Formula has helped countless babies over the years who otherwise might have fared worse. Formula Marketing is the problem.

Now, people could say that breastfeeding doesn’t need to be marketed, because it’s always there, but what does need to be marketed is how breastfeeding is a normal activity and not sexual and not deviant. We need to market that if you want to breastfeed your child, and you need help, find help and we need to market where that help can be found.

When I was pregnant with The Bear in 2006/7, I remember on my first office visit walking out with a book about fetal development and formula samples. No information about La Leche League or other breastfeeding support groups, nothing. On one of the later visits, when I made my breastfeeding intentions known, I walked about with the “Just in Case” sample bag with the cute little “Breastfeeding Kit” tag. It was a shoulder bag filled with formula samples… just in case I needed it. Again, nothing on breastfeeding support.

Why do moms fail with breastfeeding? Because they don’t have help and they don’t know where to find help. I chatted with a young mom at the park last week. She had a four month old with her and she nursed baby for one month. When I told her I was a volunteer working with nursing moms, she told me that she stopped nursing because baby would choke, cough and pull off whenever she tried to nurse, so she thought that something was wrong with her milk! (Any thoughts as to what was going on? Sounds a bit like oversupply to me.) Had this mom been with a group of  other breastfeeding moms she might have been able to nurse her baby a little bit longer, maybe even to her goal of six months.

I know that it sounds like a radical departure for a self-professed lactivist, but again… formula in and of itself if not bad. But the marketing sure is. And I am sure that sexually-deprived ad men are not to blame for formula marketing, but it does make for an interesting plot device, no?
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Tomorrow is the last day to enter to win “The Invisible World!” Click here to find out how to enter. I’m drawing the winner tomorrow!!

Pax Christi!

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Filed under breastfeeding, fathers, feminism, food, funnies, wednesday

Lenten Meals: Nina’s Black Bean Patties

OK. I know it’s not Friday and technically I owe you two Lenten recipes because I didn’t post one last week but cut me some slack, hey?

This recipe was inspired by my friend, Nina. She made black bean patties for her family one night from a blogger recipe. Her family wasn’t too keen on them, so she brought them to my house to make sure that they tasted OK and that it was just her family and not the actually patties. We loved them. I kept asking her for the recipe and so one Friday, decided to Frankenstein up some black bean patties of my own, based on what she told me was in the ones she made. I did eventally ask Nina for the recipe which you can find here.

Nina’s Black Bean Patties

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet potato, shredded

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small onion, chopped

1 handful cilantro

1/4 cup walnuts

1 egg

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 T cumin

1 T coriander

2 t cinnamon

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1 t salt

1 t pepper

breadcrumbs (amount will vary, use enough for your patties to hold shape.)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

2. Add all ingredients, except breadcrumbs, to a food processor with blade attachment. Pulse until a uniform paste develops.

3. Remove bowl from your food pro and transfer paste to another bowl if you’d like (remove the blade.)

4. Slowly add in breadcrumbs until the mixture comes together and can hold a shape.

5. Take a palmful of mixture and pat into a patty shape, about 1/2 inch thick. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. (mine made about 6 patties)

6. Bake at 350 deg until the tops look dried and a little cracked, about 15 minutes.

7. Top with Mango Salsa or Salsa Verde and serve with a  delicious side of your choice. (I served with a Quinoa Pilaf.)

 

Quinoa Pilaf

1 T EVOO

1/2 c chopped onion

2 carrots, chopped

1 c quinoa, rinsed

2 c veg broth

2/3 c walnuts

1/4 c parsley (or cilantro)

Heat oil in saucepan over med-high heat. Cook onion in oil for until translucent. Add carrot and cook 3 minutes. Add quinoa and veg broth, bring to boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and fluffy. In a bowl toss together with walnuts and parsley (or cilantro.) Serve hot or at room temp.

 

Mango Salsa

1 mango, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 jalepeno, seeded and diced

1 T lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Add all ingredients to a bowl. Mix well. Cover and chill until use.

 
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It is the season of Lent. I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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Lenten Meals: White Bean Pita Pockets

Today is the Feast of The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. Since this is a day of celebration, the Bishop has given the OK for us here in STL to partake in meat if we want as a day of celebration is not one for fasting and abstinance. (I am sure other Archdioceses have done the same but you might want to check.)

Today’s recipe is meatless and comes from the April 2011 issue of Cooking Light. I made this last night and it was muy delicioso!! If you have a well-stocked pantry, you may not have to shop for much.

Southwestern White Bean Pita Pockets

1.5 T lime juice, divided
4 t EVOO, divided
0.5 t ground cumin
0.25 t salt, divided
0.25 t ground red pepper (I used cayenne)
2 15 ounce cans of white beans, rinsed, drained and divided
0.5 c diced plum tomato (I used roma)
0.25 cup diced red bell pepper
0.25 cup diced, seeded, peeled cucumber
3 T diced red onion
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 pitas, cut in half
4 boston lettuce leaves
0.25 cup crumbled queso fresco (I omitted this totally)
4 lime wedges

1. Combine 1 T lime juice, 2 t oil, cumin, 1/8 t salt, red pepper, and 1 cup beans in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

2. Place remaining 1.5 t lime juice, remaining 2 t olive oil, remaining 1/8 t salt, remaining beans, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a bowl; toss to combine.

3. Spread about 3.5 T processed bean mixture inside each pita half. Place 1 lettuce leaf, about 3/4 cup tomato mixture, and 2 T cheese inside each pita half. Serve with lime wedges. Makes 4 servings.

(I actually found it to be tastier to omit the pita totally, and spread the processed beans on the lettuce and top with the tomato mix and roll it all up to munch.)

I paired this with couscous last night and it was quite the hit here. Hope you enjoy!!

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It is the season of Lent. I’ll be including the meat-free recipes for your enjoyment and don’t forget, if you have one to share, email it to caffeinatedcatholicmama (at) gmail (dot) com. Include your first name for the props!

Pax Christi!

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