Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sweet Loving Crockpot

Alright, I'm gonna do a little bragging about my wife's cooking. Like most guys, I enjoy taking several items on my plate and mashing them together to create a hearty pile of goodness that I can essentially shovel into my mouth. I think that is why I love when Lisa uses the crockpot to cook. Just throw a bunch of stuff in there in the morning, add seasonings and spices, and in the words of the RonCo guy, "Set it and...Forget it." By early evening, there is an amazing aroma filling the house, and a wonderful dinner just sitting patiently in the pot ready to be served. Whether it's Sausage and Cabbage (trust me it's great), White Chili, or Beef Curry, it's pure satisfaction.
Lisa found an awesome blog a while back called, "A Year of Slow Cooking." A cool lady named Stephanie O'Dea decided to challenge herself, as her new year's resolution for 2008, to go the entire year using only her crockpot to cook. She dedicated herself to coming up with a new recipe every day for all of 2008. There are so many solid and simple recipes on there. She even got to be on the Rachel Ray show about it. Check it out; you will love what she has come up with.

Friday, August 28, 2009

How About A Pizza?

When we had our third child, some friends of ours had signed up to bring us a meal. Well, they ended up being super busy on the day that they'd signed up for. So she called and asked if we would mind if she had a pizza delivered to us. She was sad that she couldn't come and see the new baby, but still really wanted us to get the meal that night. I said that would be great! So she called it in, paid for it over the phone, and it was delivered to us that evening. I thought that was a great idea for times when we're super busy, but we still want to help out. Call in a pizza from their favorite place, and have it delivered!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yummy Mint Brownies

I brought dinner to my little sister and her husband last night. She just had her first little baby 5 days ago, and he's just precious! I tried all new recipes for the dinner and dessert (crazy! I was in the kitchen way too long, but it was fun!). I made them Crispy Skinned Chicken a l'orange, Perfect Crispy Potatoes, and these amazing Mint Brownies. I wanted to share the recipe for the mint brownies. They really do taste just like jr. mints- and watch out- they're dangerous! Dangerous for me because, I made a batch for us to keep here at our house, and they've been calling my name all day long!!! A sliver here, a sliver there, that doesn't count for calories, right?! :)
Mint Brownies:

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 can Hershey Syrup (I couldn't find the can, so I used it from a bottle of Hershey's syrup and I guessed about 8 oz, but I think it should've been more like 10 or 12 oz)
1 stick butter
4 eggs
Bake at 350 for 30 min (or until done) in 9x13 pan (or I made 2 batches in smaller pans). Let cool completely and refeigerate for 10 minutes.

1 stick butter softened
4 tbsp milk or enough to make desired consistency (like the mint in jr. mints- I used about 7 or 8 tbsp)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
green food coloring, add one drop at a time (I don't do this)
Spread on top of cooled and chilled brownies and refrigerate 20 minutes

1 stick butter
6 oz chocolate chips (Tollhouse are best)
Spread on top and refrigerate until hard

These taste the BEST if they're kept in the freezer. It's a mix between an ice cream cake and brownies, and candy. SO YUMMY!

If any of you out there have any recipes you'd like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section! I'd love to try them out!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The "Perfect Meal"

I was thinking this afternoon about a meal that I brought to my good friend who is pregnant with triplets. (She's doing great by the way, but she can't do too much of anything so that she doesn't go into labor too early.) Anyways, when I signed up to bring them dinner, I immediately started trying to think of the "perfect" meal to bring to them. I was thinking today about how I do this every time I sign up to bring anyone a meal. I want it to be just the right meal, that tastes just perfect; something they will remember... why do I do that? I look at what everyone else is bringing, and I want people to see that I'm bringing "that" meal, you know what I mean? Silly, really.

Well, you know what I ended up bringing my friend? Plain old chicken and rice from the crock pot. I made a little extra, and that's what my family had that night for dinner as well. And as we were eating it, I told my husband, "I don't think I can bring this to them tonight..." He asked me why not? It's great, he said. Yes, but it's just so plain. I don't know why I feel the need to bring a meal to a family that I wouldn't make for my own family- you know, like this gourmet feast, complete with side dishes and all. I'm not sure if anyone else does this, but I just thought I'd post this to encourage anyone who ever struggles with feeling like what they may bring isn't good enough, that's just crazy talk! And I'm talking to myself as well when I type this. Anything that we end up bringing, if it is made (or bought) with love and care- that is the perfect meal. We are bringing so much more than food to people when we bring them meals during a time when it's needed... we're bringing them love, care, hope, help, rest, encouragement, a smile, and friendship. And those are things that are so awesome for the healing process- either of someone's physical body, or even of their spirit.

So the next time you're thinking of what to bring, don't over analyze. Whether you make it or buy it, just think about who you're making it for. Something I try and remember to do while I'm making it, is to pray for that person or family while I'm making it. And know that this small gesture of bringing a meal, is more helpful to them than you know!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Foodtidings Featured In Ladies Home Journal Magazine!

We just found out that foodtidings was featured in an article in the Ladies Home Journal Magazine! It's from the May 2009 issue. We really had no idea that this site was going to be such a huge help to so many people- it started as my husband trying to help solve a problem I was having with trying to create meal schedules using email. And I was getting SO frustrated with it!I would say, hit "reply all" when you sign up for a day, so everyone knows what day you signed up for. And inevitably, someone wouldn't do it- and I would have to send out a mass email, letting those people know. It was such a mess! Anyways, he called up a couple that we're great friends with (and he's an amazing computer web designer), and together, they created Foodtidings. And I was just so excited that now I wouldn't have to deal with all the headaches that come with creating a schedule using email. Little did we know that word would spread so quickly, just how easy to use and helpful this site is!
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Foodtidings Featured- Ladies Home Journal May 2009!