Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthday Boy!

Today is Our little Man's Birthday!

We are so proud to watch you grow and blossom each Year. You are such a gentle soul. Inquisitive, inventive, crafty, loving and so very kind.

We Love you Little Man!!!

Mom and Dad.

post signature

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Sunday Yummies...Sunday baking

If you are on Pinterest you have seen This recipe for Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake. I don't think there are too many out there that have not pinned it!
We had a ton of berries in the Fridge and 2 cartons of buttermilk that weren't going to last past the weekend so I decided to give it a try.
Oh My Word! It was delicious! I had a small piece last night, and the kids devoured the rest this morning.

We made the Blueberry Version, just as the recipe shows. I also had Raspberries and Blackberries to use up so I made a Raspberry version but in place of the lemon zest I used orange.

I'm thinking next week we may make a nuttella version with out berries.

Click on the link at the top for the full recipe, then schedule an extra hour at the gym, it'll be worth it, I promise!

post signature

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest Post Recipe

Tomorrow is the First Official day of Fall. I LOVE fall. Out here in Southern California we don't get the Glorious display of foliage that so many other parts of the country get to enjoy. But we still get to pick apples, harvest pumpkins, cuddle up under blankies and sip Caramel Apple Cider. Dig out the warmer sweaters, and pull on a comfy pair of boots!

I also Adore making soups. They are the perfect fall meal. I experiment each season with new and old recipes. On Monday I made "Baked potato soup" It's rich and hearty. Not a diet soup for sure, but so flavorful and yummy. I made a full 6 quart pot thinking I would serve one half and freeze the second half. The kids ate it ALL!
Guess it's a make again recipe for sure!

I did a guest post for my sweet Friend Tracy of Creme De La Gems who is moving today from Central California back down towards San Diego. Head on over and check out her blog for the recipe. Plus ooh and ahhh over her Amazing Polymer creations. She's set up a presale for her adorable Polymer Nativity set. She sells out early every year so don't wait too long!!!

What do you like best about Fall?

post signature

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Summer Adventure part 2

This was by far one of my favorite stops on the trip. I'm a big geology buff. I love rock formations and geological history. I'm just nerdy like that. :)

The Craters of the Moon National Monument is an expansive area of old lava flow and cinder cones. Speckled through out the black and reddish landscape are the most beautiful and delicate wildflowers.

We hiked to the top of one of the larger cinder cones and took in the view of the whole valley.

The kids liked the trip down the cinder cone much better than the climb up!

All of our National Parks have a Junior Ranger program. The kids loved each program. Once they completed their workbooks they were sworn in as official Junior Rangers and received badges.

Next I'll share about the Grand Tetons.

Happy Saturday!

post signature

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Sunday Yummies

Sauce sauce and more sauce!

Since I have so many meals still ready to go in my freezer I decided to stock up on more Tomato Sauce.
This is my basic easy recipe That I came up with after combining tips from several sources and years of experimenting.

What you'll need

One whole medium to large brown onion
One whole head of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
red pepper flake ( I use about a tsp)
1/2 to 1 cup red wine. (I don't know a whole lot about wine, I use Chianti because I like the flavor in this sauce)
~4 cans Roma tomatoes liquid and all
~salt to taste (it's a large pot of sauce so add some taste and see how much more you need. I didn't measure sorry!
~1/8 cup sugar to cut the acidity a bit.

In a large stock pot (I use my 6 quart dutch oven)

~Heat your oil
~add your chopped onions and saute until soft and starting to gently brown
~mince or crush the garlic and add in once onion is soft.
~sprinkle in your pepper flake
~Add your red wine (you can leave the wine out if you don't consume alcohol, the alcohol does cook out fully)
~Puree your tomatoes and add them in.
~add salt to taste
~add sugar
~bring to a boil
~once boiling reduce to simmer, partially cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.
~The longer you simmer the sauce the richer the flavor. I cook mine a full 4 hours.

Once it's cooked divide it out into servings per meal cool completely and freeze!

Easy Peasy and so yummy!

You can also change things up a bit by adding veggies, or leaving out the red pepper, or add in Ricotta or heavy cream for a richer sauce.

Happy Friday!


post signature

Thursday, September 15, 2011

when momma turns her back...

It suddenly got very quiet in the house today. I tiptoed down the hall to see what my younger 2 were doing.
I found this...

I didn't even have to say a thing, the moment he saw me he burst into tears.
I didn't have the heart to scold him.

post signature

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Give away time!

It's been forever since I've had a giveaway. I think it's time for a new one :)
This one is over on Facebook.
Super simple to enter head on over to the Cinnamonsticks face book fan page and leave a comment on the giveaway post. Every comment is a chance to win so tell a friend to head over to our fan page and "like" us then leave another comment to let me know.

The winner will get to chose their choice of gem stone for a custom ring like the ones above :)
(coming to the shops later tonight!)

Good Luck!

post signature

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sale Code and fun summer photos

Just Because it's Friday, Just because it's going to be 20 degrees cooler this weekend! Just because it's date night. Just because I love and appreciate you all! Let's have a sale! Use code "JUSTBECAUSE" in either shop for 10% off your entire order.

I am finally getting to uploading an going through our summer pictures from our camping adventures. We went to several National parks so I'll share them all park by park in different posts
Here are some of my favorites from Zion.

Nathaniel LOVED this little Bronze Lizard.

Meggie wanted to take this one home.

My official Junior rangers with Daddy.

Fun in the River

Hiking up to the Narrows

Enjoy your weekend!


post signature

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Sunday Yummies....I know it's Thursday!

This was a huge week in the cinnamon*stick's house hold.
All my babies are in school 5 days a week.
I agonized all summer over putting Mr. N. in PreSchool. He told me, daily, he wanted to go to school like his bothers and sisters. I kept thinking, he's sooo young, is he really ready?
We decided to put him in for 2 days a week, and see how he did. I was sure as thrilled as he was when we told him he was going to go to school, that the second the door closed and he realized, "I'm going to school, with out mom?!" I was sure he would break down be nervous, maybe even cry.
Turns out it was just me. Me, walking away from the class room, ready to cry, because my baby went off to preschool and is just fine, with out his mommy.
In fact he has done so well, and he is so very happy being able to play, with other kiddies his age, that I gave in and we enrolled him for the 5 day program.
He's loving it!

With everyone in school, and Rob back to work and getting ready to start a full load of night classes again I got a bit over ambitious with my meal planning.

Instead of cooking for the week, I cooked for most of the month.

It was 2 solid days of cooking but has paid off big time so far and I know it will continue to through out the month.

It was quite a bit so I'm only going to post a couple of recipes but if you see something you want to try just let me know and I'll share the recipe.

So here is what I made....

Pork Verde
Pork chops smothered in Mushroom bacon Sherry Gravy
red Chicken enchiladas
Sour cream and green chili enchiladas
Apple meat loaf
Mexican meat loaf
Pizza dough 3 enough for 3 meals
A huge batch of Tomato Sauce
Chicken Chili
Corkscrew Pasta with Chicken and Fire roasted tomato cream sauce
Ground Beef
Oven Roasted carnitas (enough for 4 meals)
4 whole chickens ready for more recipes
Peach cobbler
Blue berry scones

All of these were prepped and frozen ready for the month!

Pork Verde Trying to figure out how my mom use to make it. My own recipe

~Any cut of slow cooking pork will work I used about 4-5 pound of country style pork ribs Cut into chunks
~Veggie Olil
~1-2 pounds fresh tomatillos ( depending on how much pork you are using) Husks removed washed and dried
~2 good size mild green chilies, I used Anaheim, Pablano would work well to ~1 jalapeno (skip if you don't like spicy food)
~1 medium spanish onion chopped
~6 cloves garlic minced (I use a garlic press)
~chicken stock

Turn your broiler on to high.

Line a cookie sheet with foil lay out tomatillos and chillies in a single layer and place under the broiler. Broil them until the skins begin to blacken in spots and they soften. (turn them half way through)

Once they are done remove the tops of the chilies and place all of them in blender or foodprcessor. Add a bit of salt to taste and blend till they are just slightly chunky. Taste test for salt and to be sure it's not too spicy for your family. Set this aside.

Next in a large dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot add a bit of veggie oil. Just enough to coat the bottom.

Salt your pork and add it to the pan. Brown your pork over Med-high heat on all sides then remove from the pan and set aside.

You should have some fat mixed in with the oil left in the pan but if you need more add a bit more veggie oil. Add your onion and saute till tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the pork back to the pan.

Add the green chili tomatillo mixture, then enough Chicken stock to just cover the meat.

Simmer until fork tender. (cooking time will vary depending on the cut and size of the meat) Simply poke a larger piece with the fork and turn the fork, it should pull right apart.

My batch took 2 hours.

To freeze cool completely, place in a freezer safe dish and freeze. To reheat, thaw in your fridge and re-heat in a pot.

Pork chops with Mushroom-Bacon-Sherry gravy

another spin on something my mom use to make. my own recipe

~8oz Bacon (about 6 strips)
~1 small to medium spanish onion (brown onion)
~sliced button mushrooms I used 16oz for 8 chops.
~8 bone in loin chops
~Flour 2-4TBSp
~chicken stock 2-4cups
~salt pepper to taste.
~Sherry (not cooking sherry the real stuff) you can skip the Sherry if you don't like the taste or don't feel like investing in a bottle. But it really is so yummy with the mushrooms.

Cut your bacon into little pieces. I use my kitchen scissors to do this, makes it so fast.

In a large skillet cook your bacon till crisp
Remove the bacon but leave all the fat in the pan.
Add your pork chops and brown on both sides.
Remove your pork chops and place in a bowl.
Add your onions and caramelize. (cook till soft and turning brown but no burned)
Remove your onions.
Add your mushrooms and saute (if you need more fat in the pan add a bit of butter)
Remove your mushrooms.

Add the flour to the fat left in the pan (if you need more add a bit more butter...Hey I never said this was a diet recipe!)
Make a rue,
Add in about a 1/4cup of sherry and scrape up the browned bits in your pan, add in the chicken stock and any liquid that is in the bowl with your pork chops, , and bring to a boil, cook till bubbly and thickened.
Lay your pork chops in a baking dish, cover with onion and mushrooms, cover in the "gravy"

If you plan to eat for dinner then cover with foil and place in the oven at 375 for about 20-30 minutes (until your pork chops are cooked through)

If you plan to freeze, cover in foil, cool completely, when you are ready to eat place in your oven
at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot through and pork registers at the proper temperature.

Chicken Enchiladas with Red sauce My moms recipe (mom my is an awesome cook!)
~cooked chicken shredded I used a whole chicken that I steamed
~sour cream
~green onions chopped
~sweet red pepper chopped
~sweet yellow pepper chopped
~corn tortillas
~Red Enchilada sauce
~veggie oil

in a bowl, combine chicken with sour cream enough to coat all your chicken
Add in your green onions and peppers
salt to taste
set aside.

In large frying pan add enough oil just to coat the bottom.
on med-high heat cook your tortillas so they are softened but not crispy. This keeps them from falling apart when you roll them.

In a large baking dish pout a little of the red sauce in the bottom to coat it.
Dip each tortilla in the red sauce so they are coated (lots of coating in this one ;)
Fill with the chicken mixture and roll.
Place in baking dish seam side down.
Repeat until you have ans many enchiladas as you need. I made 2 pans of 24. Enough for 2 meals of 3 enchiladas each. My kiddies eat alot.

Cover the tops of your rolled enchiladas with more red sauce and cheese. I use Cheddar and Jack.

If freezing cover in foil and store To reheat take from freezer place in oven @ 350 35-40
If cooking right away cook at 350 until hot through and cheese is melted.

Hope you enjoy :)
If you would like any of the other recipes from the list above just ask!

post signature

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sunday Yummies... Farmers Market Trip

I've been a busy busy girl, working on getting listing up in the shop, getting orders out in the mail each day, and well just being mommy! The listing are going up slower than planned because the boys have needed some extra cuddle time, but the rest should be up by the end of the weekend.

I'm still experimenting with my weekly menu . The last 2 weeks went over very well with the kids so I'll share their favorite recipes here tomorrow with some pictures of the meals.

I took a trip to our local Farmer's Market tonight.

I picked up so much yummy fresh produce that I plan to use up on Sunday when I cook again for the week. I haven't decided what I'm going to cook for next week yet. Guess I had better get working on that!

This is what came home with me! Yummy Artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, figs, oh yummy yummy figs! Blueberries, black berries, raspberries, I think I'll make a pie. Strawberries, avocados, nectarines, eggplant, and fresh baked bread. I couldn't resist the sunflower either :)

Pretty flowers at the market

yummy tomatoes

beautiful pink lemons

What is your favorite thing to bring home from the Market?


post signature