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Archive for January, 2014

I have always tried to have my kids take vitamins and once in awhile, I make an attempt to take them myself but with everything else that goes on in the evening, I have never managed to have myself or my kids take them consistently.  I decided to try a new tactic at organizing the vitamins that might make it easier each night and this has been working really well for about 3 weeks now.

I ran to the store and got 4 different pill organizers from the pharmacy department.  Next, I organized all my vitamin bottles and decided how often I thought each one should be taken and I wrote that on the side of the bottle (well, actually, I used a label machine).  Then, every Sunday, I sit down for 5 minutes and fill the entire week up with vitamins for each person in the family.  I always include a multi-vitamin and then add certain vitamins and supplements as they seem needed.  For example, in the winter with all the colds and things, I include Vitamin C.  Right now, I have also included a supplement to help my teeth because I had a cavity last year and feel they need to be strengthened.

The kids look like this:

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And my husband’s and mine look like this:

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I am loving how easy this makes things.  It has been incorporated into our nightly routine and it is super easy and quick because I don’t have to open 10 bottles.

Erin, The Burbs

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Today I have a super simple side dish for you that takes about 30 seconds to prepare and takes about 20 minutes to bake.  If your kids are a little picky on their greenery, give this a try.  The fact that it is topped in Parmesan makes it an easy sell to my kids who normally pick zucchini out of the rest of their dishes.

Parmesan Zucchini

Preheat your oven to 400*F.

Cut the ends off both ends of 2 zucchinis and then cut them in half length wise.  Place them on a cookie sheet or some sort of oven safe dish.  Next, sprinkle each one with pepper and season salt.  I would sprinkle a little more than you would normally do if you were salting your food.

20130516_183441Now, take your Parmesan cheese and generously cover the top of the zucchini in it.  I personally use the Kraft pre-shredded Parmesan that we use for our spaghetti dishes.  It is easier and that is what this dish is all about  🙂

20130516_183543Finally, bake in the over for 15 to 20 minutes until the zucchini is done to your liking and the cheese is a bit browned.

20130516_192107(Sorry, this is not a great picture.  I just got a kit to help with that so hopefully from this point on, the food will look as desirable as it actually is 🙂

Serve immediately.  It is yummy!

This makes about 4 servings.

Erin, The Burbs

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I LOVE Chinese food!  I don’t however like going out for it often and it is difficult to make at home for a few reasons.  A lot of the recipes are complicated but more importantly, the list of ingredients on the recipes are LONG!  I don’t want to keep that kind of supply around the house all the time for the occasional recipe, its just not worth it! This little menu makes a good, at home substitute that fulfills the Chinese food craving.

Okay, so this is not a full menu, I admit it.  BUT, it is a soup and main dish that use less ingredients than most Chinese food recipes and is pretty easy to make.

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First on the menu, Egg Drop Soup.

Egg Drop Soup (From Joy of Cooking)

In a large pot, combine 4 cups chicken broth, 2 large slices of fresh ginger (it is not a waste to buy a root of ginger for just this, you can freeze it for a long time), and 2 large cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed a bit).  Allow that to simmer for about 15 minutes and then discard the ginger and garlic.  In a small bowl, combine 1 T cornstarch and 3 T water.  While the soup is at a low simmer, slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the soup and stir until just slightly thickened (it will be slight, you may barely notice).  Stir in 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  In another small bowl, whisk 1 large egg and 1 tsp vegetable oil together.  Now for the only tricky part of the recipe (its not that tricky though).  Make sure the soup is on a low simmer and slowly pour the egg mixture into the soup while VERY slowly stirring.  If you stir too quickly, the egg will break up before it sets and it will have no texture.  You want reasonable size pieces of eggs without having one large string of egg either.  Don’t be intimidated, just try it.  It will still taste the same and even if you mess up, it seriously only takes one trial before you understand what you are trying to accomplish and how to get it.  Serve hot with some sliced scallions on top.

Next, for our main dish, we have Garlic Chicken With Broccoli.

Garlic Chicken

Cut 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite size pieces and place in a ziplock bag.  Add 1 cup water, 3 T soy sauce and 2 T chicken broth to bag.  Seal and mix around thoroughly.  Allow this to marinade for 3o minutes to 1 hour.  This meal is great served over rice so if you want to do that, make sure to have the rice cooking while you cook the rest.  Also, get 1 cup broccoli florets ready (either steam them until done or thaw some frozen ones).  Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Stir 1 T cornstarch into marinade and set aside.  Heat 2 T grapseed oil in a large pan or wok over medium high heat and grab 10 bias sliced green onions,  1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms, and 12 cloves of peeled and thinly sliced garlic (I know, it seems like a lot).  Add those to the pan and cook until tender (about 1 to 2 minutes).  Remove them and set them aside in a bowl.  Add chicken to the pan and cook until no longer pink, stirring so it does not burn (about 3 minutes depending on your bite size pieces).  Push the chicken to one side of the pan.  Stir the leftover marinade/cornstarch mixture and pour into the middle of the pan.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Return vegetables to pan and add the cooked broccoli.  Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, until it is thoroughly mixed and heated through.  Serve over rice.

Obviously you need to like garlic to enjoy the main dish here but if you like garlic, it is good and simple!

Erin, The Burbs

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