Archive | April, 2009

Saturday & Tomato Pie

29 Apr

Saturday.  These are the types of Saturdays that I try to avoid.  You know, the over-booked type of Saturday.  The Saturday that when you are finished you are feeling 100% wiped out. 

Well, I am a week out of a minor surgery.  And you know what they say about minor surgery — it is the surgery that is performed on someone else!  ha!  My minor surgery was performed on me.  I have had plenty of abdominal surgeries to know which one is major (Gastric Bypass, C-section and Panniculectomy — OUCH!) and which ones aren’t as major (scar adhesion removal, hernia repair).  I have felt rotten for about a month and half now….I had a pretty good day yesterday (a week after surgery) with only two really bad “episodes” of not feeling great.  So, today I thought I would be up and ready to go. 

We started the day at the soccer fields, Girly Girl had a game at 8:15.  That is 8:15 in the morning….and it is Saturday, the day we are *supposed* to sleep in.  She played a great game, for those of you wondering.  She “danced” after the ball at the forward position (her favorite) and followed through on her kicks better than she has in other game.  Button Boy’s game was at 10:15, a more palatable time, but not enough time to do anything or go anywhere.  Button Boy had expended much of his energy and was not as energetic in his game as he has been…., but he still had a good game. 

After the game, we had just enough time to run home and allow the children to get out of their sweaty clothes…then off to pick-up Angel Food Ministries.  Angel Food Ministries, if you are unfamiliar with it, is a wonderful ministry that allows families of any income level to purchase food at a discounted price.  A box that will feed a family of 4 for $30.  Look it up in your area!  Try it out…everyone can use some help now and then!

From picking up the food, we had to hurry to the Montgomery Zoo for a birthday party.  I thought the party began at 1pm, so we there at 12:45 to make sure we were there in plenty of time….of course, due to my poor little brain, once we got there and waited until 1:15 and no one was there, we realized the party didn’t begin until 2pm.  Oh, well.  It gave us time to run to the new River Otter exhibit that Mojo hadn’t visited yet.

The party was wonderful, the kids loved it…but I began feeling bad…and we still another party to go to at Mellow Mushroom at 6pm.  By the time we got home from birthday party #1, I felt bad enough to take a nap.  I **never** take naps…when I do, you know I am not feeling well.  When I awoke, I didn’t feel any better and absolutely couldn’t go to birthday party #2.

Mojo took the kiddos to Mellow Mushroom and birthday party #2.  THANKS MOJO!!!

While Mojo took the kids, I got hungry.  I decided to give a recipe I have been eyeing for a while a try.  I had to make a substitution, though.  I thought I had bacon in the freezer, when I discovered I didn’t, I remembered I had purchased some proscuitto at the store this week hoping to try something with it….so, I am trying this recipe with it!

Here’s the recipe from one of my favorite Foodie Blogs….Vanilla Sugar.

Vanilla Sugar's Tomato Pie

Vanilla Sugar's Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie
By dawn

1 (9″) deep dish pie shell, kept frozen
4-5 lg. tomatoes, thickly cut
Freshly cracked black pepper
a gentle sprinkling of fine sugar
1 c. good quality mayonnaise (Hellmans)  — I actually used Duke’s…the only mayo Mojo allows!
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup cooked real bacon, chopped fairly small (not the fake stuff please)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, 350 for convection. Slice up the tomatoes in rather thick slices and place them on paper towels to absorb some of the excess moisture.
Get out pie crust from freezer, place sliced tomatoes over crust; do a double layer of sliced tomatoes. Then sprinkle with an ever-so-light sprinkling of white sugar, then some freshly cracker black pepper.
In a bowl combine mayonnaise with shredded cheddar cheese, and the chopped up bacon. Spoon over tomatoes; try to get it spread evenly over the tomatoes, but don’t push down.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Mine was done at the 25 minute mark, so best to keep an eye on it at the 20 minute mark.

Tomato Pie with slice missing!

Tomato Pie with slice missing!

**After cooking, my tomato pie came out a little greasy.  I don’t think that I will use any type of prociutto or bacon without getting off as much of the natural grease as possilble**



Monday Menu Planning

27 Apr
Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday


Once again…. 


It gives me the assurance that I have something planned each night for us to eat…and the flexibility to make changes.  Here’s what this week looks like:

Friday — “Grill Night Out”  I grilled chicken breasts marinated in a Balsamic Vinegar marinate by Ken’s…yum-o!  I also made a tri-colored Orzo with some fresh lemons and roasted  carrots with a little bit of brown sugar during the last 5 – 10 minutes for some added sweetness.  It was very good!

Saturday — oh, we had an over-booked Saturday…the kind I try to avoid!  By the time it was time for our dinner birthday party at Mellow Mushroom for one of Girly Girl’s friends, I was sooooo sick feeling that I didn’t go.  I **did** make a Tomato Pie that I will blog about later in the week…so stay tuned!

Sunday — I had planned a new crockpot dish for after church…Swiss Chicken….but Button Boy woke up with swollen eyes that were matted shut and very very red!   PINK-EYE!  UGH!  So, he and I stayed home while Mojo and Girly Girl went to lunch and *our* favorite restaurant Satsuki!

Button Boy's Pink Eye

Button Boy's Pink Eye

Monday — Sonshine Soccer games….again.

Tuesday — Sonshine Soccer practice….again.

Wednesday — picnic before church

Thursday — Cheddar Garlic Oven-Fried Chicken & Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Friday — Tonkatsu with rice

Saturday — Parmesan Crusted Pork (hold over from previous weeks!)

**For more Menu Planning ideas and tools visit Laura, the Organizing Junkie!**


Vet Girly Girl??

24 Apr
Vet Girlie Girl

Vet Girlie Girl

How many dogs do you know that would allow a girl to lay them on their back and pretend to do surgery??  I only know of one…Peanut Butter!  I really think that Girly Girl wants to be a vet!


Barefoot Bloggers: Croque Monsieur, Oiu, Oiu!

23 Apr

I must say THANKS!! to Kathy at All Food Considered.  She picked a wonderful recipe…and one that my family (especially my kiddos) LOVED!  Before I discuss actually making this recipe, though…I must share a story.  I was talking to my mother about making Croque Monsieur for the first time, and how I would compare it to my Aunt Natalie’s version of Welsh Rarebit (or as my family says “Welch Rabbit”).  My mother reminded me very gently about our trip to Paris when I was in Jr. High School, and ordering this dish at a cafe outside of Versailles….and our shock when it was served with a raw egg on top!  Now, a raw egg in France is not uncommon…but it just kind of shocked our Southern Alabama selves to actually be served one!  Okay, maybe it isn’t as funny a story to tell as it was to have been there….or maybe it is the pain meds.  Who knows!

Onto my review.  How can you go wrong with ham and cheese….and type of cheese?  You can’t.  My children thought it wass a great dish…especially Girly Girl who loves to watch Barefoot Contessa as much as I do!



The Barefoot In Paris recipe (I actually used the copy on Food calls for white sandwich bread, but my dh is a bread snob and doesn’t eat white bread…so I used a whole grain wheatberry bread…full of nuts and seeds and stuff…I did cut the crust off of three sides, but had to leave the top, there are just too many great flavors in the top of this crust!

I was not intimidated at all with this recipe…you make a base for your cheese sauce and then pretty much just toast everything and plate it.  Instead of making full sandwiches, I just made ours “open face”….and they were great!  YUMMY!

Cheese Sauce, Tavern Ham, Grated Cheese

Cheese Sauce, Tavern Ham, Grated Cheese


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned. Serve hot.

Girly Girl's plate

Girly Girl's plate

The only difference between the kiddos plate and our plate was that I left the Dijon Mustard off the kids….Girly Girl did try a piece with the Dijon Mustard, but I don’t think she liked it that much.

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur

 **Note:  I ordered my first Barefoot Cookbook…Back to Basics!  I can’t wait to get it and sit down to read it and cook out of it!  Yip-ee!

Cookie Carnival — April

22 Apr
Cookie Carnival

Cookie Carnival

This is my first month participating in the Cookie Carnival hosted by The CleanPlate Club.  April is being hosted by Holly of Phe-MOM-enon, and she chose Toasted Almond Lemon Bars from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.

I **love** lemon!  I love its tartness…I love its aroma…I love its look!  I do not like almonds.  I am okay when they are roasted and salted and with other nuts.  I do not like almond extract.  I do not like them Sam I am.

So,  I *did* use my veto power on one ingredient, and used an alternatives on another.  I used almonds in the crust, and almond extract in the filling, but did not put any almonds on top.  Since Button Boy is allergic to eggs, I used Ener-G egg replacer in place of eggs in the filling.  It is the first time I have used this replacer. 

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but had problems with the crust.  While using my Food Processor to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients, the butter just clumped into a ball with the dry ingredients.  I had to spend quite a bit of time getting the butter incorporated into the dry ingredients…but when I did get it done and was pressing the crust into my Pampered Chef Medium Bar Pan, there were two places that were just a solid pat of butter.  What did I do wrong???  If you know the answer, please post a comment and let me know!

I also had a problem with the crust sticking to the aluminum foil covered in dry bean weights (see picture)…, but I figured it didn’t really matter since it was going to be covered in the filling.

Lemon Bar Crust with dry bean weights

Lemon Bar Crust with dry bean weights

Like I said above, the only thing I changed in the filling was to use the egg replacer.  I noticed that the color of the lemon bar is not as yellow as the packaged lemon bars I have seen (I’ve never made a packaged one, actually I’ve never made a Lemon Bar until today) and then when I tried it, the almond extract sometimes stands out too much…and there is not enough lemon flavor to me….remember I ♥ lemon!

hot out of the oven!

hot out of the oven!


Isn't It Pretty?!

Isn't It Pretty?!


I can not wait to find out what the cookie for May is going to be!  Can’t wait to try a new recipe!!!!


Menu Plan

20 Apr

I haven’t had the greatest week.  Actually the greatest month or so.  I have been struggling with some health issues — exhaustion, nausea, abdominal pain and so on.  I went to see my surgeon Thursday afternoon, was admitted and had surgery on Friday.  I sat in the bed at Princeton Baptist Hospital on Thursday evening trying to get my mind wrapped around what the upcoming week holds for our family.  My surgery went well, I hate coming out of anethesia, it seems to get more difficult everytime I have to go through it.  Saturday morning before being released, I had some stomach issues, but the result seems to be some tenderness and a sore back, which on top of everything else, I can tolerate.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday

So, our Menu Plan for the week has some holes in it, just in case I”m not feeling well or I don’t have the strength in the evening.  I also plan on using Girly Girl’s enthusiam for cooking this week!  We’ll see how it goes.

Friday — Surgery day….In Birmingham

Saturday — released from hospital…kiddos at Grandparent’s for the evening….thinking we’ll fend for ourselves!

Sunday — Kiddos still at Grandparent’s, they will bring them home with dinner after their trip to Disney on Ice.  Mojo will be at church most of the day…I will be at home, sleeping.

Monday — Hoping to get back into the groove of things.  The kiddos have soccer games in the evening…So, picnic dinner will be taken to the fields

Tuesday — Barefoot Blogger Croque Monsieur with sauteed green beans w/ bacon

Wednesday — open, hopefully going on a picnic before church, just not sure yet

Thursday — Garlic Chicken with Orzo Noodles

Friday — Grill Out Night….no menu yet, will come Wednesday after the sale papers come out

Saturday — Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals — Zesty Chicken Parm (Page 128)

**Sorry there were no pictures from this week.  Hopefully, I’ll feel up to photographing my food this week!


March of Dimes

17 Apr

There are many sponsored “walks” this time of year.  The weather is beautiful and the causes are great.  I have family and friends who walk in the Relay For Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society.  One of my college roommate’s, Chrissy, father died from lung cancer while we were at TSU.  My other college roommate’s, Ch-narla, father died from ALS before she got married.  I would walk and raise money in honor of these families without any hesitation.

Today, though, I would like for you to consider sponsoring the Lois-Mae Laird Team walking for the March of Dimes walk on April 25th.  Raising money for the March of Dimes is one of the causes I feel strongly about.  Having Button Boy in a precarious position at such a young age…never having experienced a miscarriage…and knowing quite a few women who have had miscarriages, and two who have actually had to deliver still born babies….March of Dimes is an organization worth supporting.

Please support my friend Cherry, as she walks in memory of her daughter, Lois-Mae, through their March of Dimes Lois-Mae Laird Team.


River Region Walk, April 25th, 2009

River Region Walk, April 25th, 2009