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Monday, August 30, 2010

Simply, Sirloin Stroganoff

I grew up in a Swedish community - and my comfort foods usually include cream, butter, or some other splendidly fattening ingredient. As I am consciously focusing on preparing healthy meals for my family, I am learning to substitute these ingredients for other (flavor FULL) options. Here is a new family favorite. We served it over a platter of brown rice; however, you could easily use egg noodles or any other type of pasta.

Sirloin Stroganoff
1 # Sirloin steak, sliced thinly
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
2 T. wheat flour
1 T. olive oil
1 head of broccoli florets, broken into approximately 1" pieces
10 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup beef broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup fat free sour cream

Place sliced steak in a bowl and season with paprika, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Toss to combine well. Add the flour and toss to combine.

Heat oil until it is hot. Add the seasoned steak and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until they start to soften. Add the beef broth, water and broccoli florets and cover to cook until the broccoli is tender. Remove 1 cup of the broth and add the sour cream to it. After combining well, add back to the main pot. Let heat through.

Serve over your favorite starch: brown rice, pasta, potatoes, etc.

It was simply delicious! The boys ate it well - and I am looking forward to enjoying the leftovers.


Tasty & Hot, Hot, Hot!

I love Mexican food. I love tasting the vibrant flavors that you really don't taste in any other type of cuisine. It is my favorite kind of "party food" to make ... as you just kind of kick back and enjoy it. It is simple, yet delicious.

Sunday night, as a reward for my husband finishing a pretty big "honey do" item ... I made him a Mexican feast. It was delicious (and the leftovers today were just as good!)

Chicken Enchiladas 252 calories per enchilada
2 chicken breast halves, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp chili powder and cut into 1" pieces
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp thyme (fresh)
1 tsp rosemary (fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
10 oz can of enchilada sauce
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
8 whole wheat flour tortillas

Saute pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, and salt in olive oil until tender. Remove from pan to a bowl and keep warm. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and cook 5-6 minutes until cooked through. Add the veggies and stir in the ricotta cheese. Remove from heat.

Coat both sides of a warmed tortilla with the enchilada sauce. Fill with the meat/ veggie mixture and top with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Roll and place into a greased casserole dish. Repeat until all 8 tortillas are filled. Top with any remaining enchilada sauce and any remaining cheese.

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is bubbly.

Serve with pico de gallo and guacamole. Followed promptly by either a fiesta or siesta.

A Tribute to my Husband

As I write about my husband ... I find my attempt of characterizing him somewhat challenging; yet, as this is his birthday month - I will attempt to do so.
After 11+ years of marriage, my husband is still very much a mystery ... an enigma to me. He is father to our children, provider for our family, friend and lover of my heart. My husband can be a leader one minute and a little boy (playing with his radio controlled planes) another moment. His enthusiasm and vigor for life is unsurpassed. He is my protector. He challenges me and helps me to see the me that I want to become.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man of the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly ... who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat."

My husband is definitely the guy that is unafraid of a challenge, who is brave, who is supportive and who enthusiastically devotes himself to the causes in which he believes in. I am lucky to have such a man as my husband. To my one and only ... my darlingest, my sweetheart, my knight ... King of our home and my heart. I love you!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My First-Born

My thoughtful one, my forever song, my light, my laughter ... with the kindest heart, the most inquisitive mind, generous spirit, and adventurous soul. My oldest son has brightened our lives for 8 years and I am forever thankful. I am privileged to have been given the gift of being his Mommy and I look forward to seeing his character and personality more fully develop in the years to come.

It never gets any easier ... watching my child growing up and becoming more independent. This last week was his first week of school for the 2010-2011 year. I have a second grader. My heart is filled with joy and excitement as I see him developing and growing more secure in who he is. However, while I can say that, I am also a little sad as I watch my first-born son flying just a little bit farther away from our nest... I am lucky that he still enjoys cuddling on the sofa and watching a movie or reading a book with me. I am fortunate that he loves discussing his days with me (at great length) and relaying his latest adventures with me. I love watching him interact with his brother; he exudes patience and generosity as he plays with my second-born. My oldest demonstrates his love for his brother with every action (although, these boys still enjoy a good fight now and again ... and they love wrestling). We are raising our boys to be "best friends" and most days, I am happy to report that they are.

As August closes, I celebrate my first-born in his birthday month. I am so thankful for his life. I love my little fisherman who loves to go camping with his Daddy and Grandpa (though, I am still waiting to be invited to go on these guy-activities), who will illustrate a comic book just for his Mommy, who will joyfully help me make pancakes on a Saturday morning, who loves to run and ride his bike, who collects bugs and frogs (and usually sets them free), who enjoys helping our 93 year old neighbor (who he calls his friend), and who always has a song to sing. He is one of my treasures ... and I am forever blessed.

What's for Supper: Fresh Flavors Menu #1

So ... I took most of the Summer off of posting my blog. While I did not necessarily post our weekly menus, my family did not miss out on meals that were packed with our favorite flavors of the season.

As the air grows crisp, the leaves start to embrace the vibrant hues of the season, and the days grow shorter - I still like to prepare simple, flavorful meals for my family. This is my favorite time of year. We are starting to plan our annual Autumn events: our Autumn party (complete with Cajun-infused turkey), a trip to our favorite apple orchard in Wisconsin, hiking in Palisades for our family pictures, and trips to the pumpkin patch are a few of our favorite activities that we are looking forward to the most. What is your favorite part of this season?

Before I drift any further away from the topic at hand ... this is what is on our plate for this week.

Meal #1:
Tasty Chicken Enchiladas (with an Italian Twist)
Spanish Rice
Pico de Gallo & Guacamole

Meal #2:
Funky Chicken (Faux-Fried)
Retro-Rotini Pasta Salad
Fresh fruit (peaches, blueberries, and strawberries)

Meal #3:
Summer Shrimp and Corn Chowder
French loaf
Garden salad with herbed vinaigrette

Meal #4:
Meatball Sub Sandwiches
Fruit Salad

Meal #5:
Tender Beef Stroganoff
Garden Salad
Garlicky Green Beans

We are looking forward to re-introducing some of our favorite foods back into our menu. I hope your family enjoys the flavors of fall as much as our family does.