Yummy, Shepard Pie

I would like to share a recipe that I got from The Americas Test Kitchen show. Dinner at our house is a struggle to find something that my family will eat. This dish had 5 out of 6 trying to beat the other to the stove for seconds. Why not the 6th, He is vegetarian!

Ingredients list:

2 pounds lean ground beef or chuck
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 TBSP water
Salt
Pepper
2-3 pounds of Russet potatoes
4 TBSP melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 egg yolk
Diced scallions
2 tsp vegetable oil
Diced red onion
2 TBSP All Purpose flour
1 1/4 cup beef broth
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Finely chopped carrots
2 tsp of corn starch
2 tsp water
2TBSP tomato paste

Dissolve baking soda into 2 TBSP of water and then pour over raw ground beef. Salt and pepper to taste and then stir together. Sit this to the side.

Clean, peel and chop your raw russets. Place them in a pot and cover them with 1 inch of water. Add salt(optional) cook over high to boil and then reduce to simmer. They are done when you can insert a knife and there is no resistance.

While taters cook: melt butter, mix milk and 1 egg yolk, and sit aside.

Now that taters are done. Drain the water off taters and put back on the stove on low heat. You will cook the potatoes for 1 minute to take off the extra water. Remove from heat and add butter and milk mixtures. You are now ready to mash. After you mash the taters just sit them aside.

In a skillet add vegetable oil, chopped onions, salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown. Now add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Now add flour, worcestershire and broth. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add carrots and now pinch pieces of ground beef and place on top of stew. Cover with lid and cook on medium low heat for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes turn the pieces of ground beef over, re-cover and cook for another 25 minutes.

Take a zip lock type bag and spoon the mashed potatoes into it. Twist it like a pastry bag and sit aside.

Now that your stew is done. In a cup mix corn starch and 2tsp water in a small bowl. Pour mixture into stew and stir together. This will help the stew to reabsorb the fats. Now transfer the stew into an oven safe dish.

Grab that zip lock of taters and snip a corner off. Now squeeze the mixture onto the stew in a circular pattern. Smooth mixture all over like you are icing a cake. Using a fork make waves on the top.

You’re almost there! Place the dish in the oven and turn it on broil. Keep on broil for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

This dish takes a long time to prepare and cook….but it is well worth the effort! I can’t take any credit for this recipe…I found it on Americas Test Kitchen.

Visit http://www.americastestkitchen.com for more yummy meals.

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Have you tried the NutriBullet

I am one of those people who are skeptical about EVERYTHING. 8 year old Little Red loves to watch informercials on TV. He memorizes every detail of the mentioned product. In fact right now he is obsessed with the DR Power commercials. I think the DR company should hire him as a sales man! He may be the only one in our house that likes those, as seen on TV shows. In fact 9 year old Twin A has a major skepticism when it comes to TV commercials. In other words we don’t buy into the “gotta have blues”.

I kept seeing that commercial for the NurtiBullet blender. Little Red tried to sale me on its qualities. Twin A told me how much the commercial lied and that the product simply could not be that great. Myself I was intrigued by it. I shopped for one over the Holidays, but was skeptical and did not follow through with the purchase. A couple nights ago I was sick in bed when the NutriBullet commercial came on the screen. I watched the commercial and then sent my DH to Walart to buy one.

My Review of the NutriBullet.

I used it 3 times yesterday and I love it! It is a little anal about how you place the plastic notches into the actual unit. However, it is somewhat quiet and “blends” well. The commercial is pretty much right on the money regarding how the machine works. It liquified everything I threw into it. The first time I used it there was one chunk of apple that didn’t liquidfy. It’s a breeze to clean up. I just used my sink hose and sprayed the blades with hot water and placed the container/cup into the dishwasher.

I purchased mine at Walmart for $99 plus tax. For that price you get the unit, 1 big container and 2 small containers. You also receive 2 cup rings and 2 storage lids.

I highly recommend this product.

So, what about the recipes and the health benefits?

Here is the recipes that I made up.

Breakfast bullet:

1/2 apple (small chunks)
Frozen blueberries
Milk

Outcome: I offered it to everyone in my family. Little reds reaction was an eye roll. Twin B gagged. Bubba wouldn’t take the cup. Twin A drank hers. I loved mine and it satisfied my hunger for a while.

Mid day bullet:

1/2 pear
Flax seed
Red grapes
Water

Outcome: I only offered this to me and Twin A. Twin A said it was yummy but we should have used milk instead of water. I thought it was yummy.

Dinner Bullet:

Banana
Nutella
Sliced almonds
Soy milk

Outcome: I offered this to everyone. Little Red sipped it but ran away. Bubba wouldn’t take the cup. Twin B said she didn’t like the banana taste. Twin B drank hers. I enjoyed mine but agree that maybe it only needs 1/2 of a banana. The wonderful thing about this dinner bullet was that it fills you up. We drank it while I was cooking dinner and it was hard to finish the dinner plate.

Did I see any health benefits? Yes, my skin was glowing and not as dry. I had a better mood….if that’s even possible during menopause. LOL!

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Cake Pop Crayons

At my house my kids use crayons like crazy. They are very creative and create many masterpieces. The question is what do you do with all those broken pieces?

Here are 2 ideas to use up your broken crayons.

Melted crayon art:

Materials needed:
Electric candle warmer
Wax paper
Broken crayons

Cut squares of wax paper, lay wax paper on top of a candle warmer, once the candle warmer heats up you can draw a picture with your broken crayons. The heat melts the crayon onto the wax paper. This is easy enough for a preschooler to do.

Cake Pop Crayons

Materials needed:
Half of a cake pop pan
Broken, naked crayons of any colors
Oven

Place numerous broken crayon pieces of different colors in each circle of a cake pop pan. There is no need to grease the pan. Place the pan into the oven on 250 for about 25 minutes or until melted. Carefully remove pan from the oven and place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. When you put the pan into the freezer the melted wax will look nasty. After the wax cools each half circle will pop loose on its own. My kids love doing this!

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The S Word

It is almost spring! Soon the sky will turn blue,the air will be fresh, the birds will sing, the flowers will bloom. Around this time every year I begin to think about the S word…Spring cleaning! Everyone has a different idea of what spring cleaning is. Normally to me it simply means clean all the mess that I was to lazy to clean over the winter.

2013 spring cleaning is something entirely different. This year my family has to move. I’m in the de-junk, clean it up, clear it out and organize the rest. But it isn’t just my home that is on the list, my entire life has made the planning sheet this year.

We left our church family about a week ago. I have mixed emotions about it, sadness for the disappointment, but relief for release from a toxic relationship. This is not the only release that will be made. Over the next few months I will be leaving a lot of toxic relationships. Relationships that have always been toxic and hurtful. Personal relationships to business relationships.

My family has gotten back on the health wagon. The wagon is creaking, and the road is bumpy. We are doing the “Gods Rainbow” way of life. I’m greatly looking forward to the warm weather outdoor fun!

There is not one area of my life that will not be cleaned.

Spring is coming, are you ready!

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Garbage juice

The Government says we should eat our veggies and fruits. We hear all kinds of advise. For optimum health, Eat the rainbow, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Most people eat very very few veggies or fruits. We know that the God made foods are better for our bodies, but those darn taters deep fried in trans fats are so Tasty! Plus, most of us live in the fast lane of life. Fast food drive thru is the way of life. Lastly some people just don’t want to eat that many servings of veggies.

I’m no exception to this standard. I would rather eat a ribeye steak and a yummy baked tater dripping in butter and sour cream. Yup, a heart attack on a plate!
I do not eat veggies, I do however drink my veggies everyday.

My favorite daily juice is lovingly called Garbage Juice. It looks and smells nasty, but it tastes yummy and it packs a load of vitamins. When I drink this I feel amazing, my skin is radiant, my nails are clear, my mood is better.

Garbage juice

Spinach
Red Cabbage
Carrots
Radishes
Squash
Tomatoes
Broccoli
Cucumbers
Apples
Grapes
Oranges
Berries

My kids will even drink this if I leave out the radishes.

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These are a few of my favorite things

I was thinking of my all time favorite movie, The Sound of Music. So, this morning I’m going to post some of my favorite things.

Delsym Children’s Night Time Cough & Cold: I do not like to medicate my children, but there are times when it is needed. When they are suffering from a nasty cold I always reach for the Delsym. My kids claim it taste good and I know it works quick.

SoBe Life Water: pomegranate tangerine with coconut water. It sounds gross but it is super yummy! This water doesn’t offer much in the way of vitamins, but I like to offer this to my family instead of soda pop. Regardless of water I’m sure it is healthier then a can of soda.

Kineret Challah Bread: shhh! Don’t tell anyone but this is my little secret. When I’m too busy to bake homemade bread, I buy a box of Kineret. I let it sit on the counter over night and I pop it in the oven the next day. Yummy, hot, close to homemade, bread.

Natural Citrus Spray: when bubba gets ahold of the crayons or markers the walls pay the price. I use to use Mr Clean Magic Erasers to scrub the marks off the wall. Then I found Natural Citrus Spray at CVS. I spray some onto the mark and like magic it wipes right off!

20 Mule Team Borox: I use this for everything! It cleans toilets, tubs, stinky trash cans. I even dissolve a cup of it in hot water and pour the solution into dish washer. My glasses come out super clear. Of course I use in the washing machine.

Yes, these are a few of my favorite things!

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Yummy Maple Syrup from Indiana

It’s that time of the year again! Fresh, yummy, wholesome goodness that we call maple syrup. There is a sugarbush about 50 miles from my house and every year they have a free festival. My family and I can’t wait to go and we go every year. We each have a one track mind. My husband can’t wait to walk out to the fields and see the workers harvest. My girls can’t wait to get to the craft building. Little red and bubba can’t wait to climb the hay towers. I can’t wait to walk along the vendors, smelling the beautiful soaps and sampling the local honeys. Yes, we each have our own agenda, but we come together in the end for a yummy family tradition, the Maple Sugar Cotton Candy. I don’t know how far away that you may be, but I have pasted some information regarding this wonderful festival.

22nd Annual

MAPLE SYRUP FESTIVAL

February 23 & 24 and March 2 & 3, 2013,
9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Leane and Michael’s Sugarbush
321 N. Garrison Hollow Road, Salem, IN 47167
Telephone: (812) 967-4491 Toll Free: 1-877-841-8851
e-mail: sugrbush@wcrtc.net web site: http://www.LMSugarbush.com

THE SUGAR HOUSE MENU
PANCAKES SUPREME or WAFFLE BOAT SUPREME (topped with strawberries or blueberries, ice cream, whipped cream and PURE MAPLE SYRUP)

With sausage . . . . . . . $8.00 Without Sausage. . . . . $7.00
Child’s plate (12 and under) . . . $3.50 5 years old and under . . . FREE
Served all day
CHICKEN, PORK CHOP OR PULLED PORK DINNER: ½ maple BBQ chicken, 2 pork chops or pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw, maple baked beans, roll, drink & dessert…
Chicken Dinner – $10.00, Pork Chop Dinner – $9.00,
Pulled Pork Dinner – $8.00
Served Noon to 5:00 P.M. Carry-out available.

At the SUGAR STORE: FRESH PURE MAPLE SYRUP, maple candy,
maple cream, maple cotton candy

In the OLD LOG CABIN: Delicious maple home-baked goods and
craft vendors

ACTIVITIES
**Sugarbush tours every hour from 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
**Self-guided tour of sugarhouse with operating evaporator
**Indian & Pioneer syrup making demonstrations, 11:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
**Tractor drawn wagon rides
**Crosscut sawing
**Mini museum of maple related antiques
**Tomahawk throwing
**Candle making
**Outdoor Craft Vendor area
**Children’s game area and activity center
**Pet the llamas
**Music – traditional fiddle, gospel, dulcimer, 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.
(Schedule posted on 2013 MUSIC SCHEDULE page)
**Christian worship service – Sundays 8:00 A.M. – everyone welcome

Come visit one of Indiana’s largest producer of PURE MAPLE SYRUP
and have a great time!!

Stock up on fresh PURE MAPLE SYRUP made on our farm!!
NO PARKING OR ADMISSION CHARGE!!

DIRECTIONS:
We are located north of SR 160, 7.6 miles west of I-65 at Henryville, and 10 miles east of Salem.
From I-65 take exit 19, SR 160 West
Go 7.6miles and turn right (north) on New Salem Road
Go 1.6 miles and turn left onto Thomas Lane
Go 0.8 mile and turn right onto Garrison Hollow Road
Go 0.8 mile, and SUGARBUSH is on the right
From Salem, SR 160 east 10 miles to New Salem Road, turn left onto New Salem Road and follow same directions.
SIGNS POSTED ALONG THE WAY

To fully enjoy the festival, dress warmly and wear sturdy boots!!!
ACTIVITIES MAY CHANGE DUE TO WEATHER OR CIRCUMSTANCES
BEYOND OUR CONTROL

DIRECTIONS TO THE FESTIVAL
***From I-65 take exit 19 at Henryville***
Go west on SR 160 for 7.6 miles
Turn right onto New Salem Road, go 1.7 miles
Turn left onto Thomas Lane, go 0.8 miles
Turn right onto Garrison Hollow Rd, go 0.8 miles
Sugarbush is on the right with parking on the left

***From Salem get on 160 at John Jones Chevrolet at SR60***
Go 10.5 miles and turn left onto New Salem Road
Follow the above directions
We DO NOT recommend MAPQUEST for directions to our farm

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