Thursday, October 25, 2012

Spaghetti with Browned Butter a'la Spaghetti Factory

This is my take of the famous Spaghetti Factory dish! I loved it so much I just had to figure out how to do it at home. So I did! And tastes fabulous! It is worth a try! Serves 6.

16 oz spaghetti, prepared according to box directions
1 stick butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 cans mushrooms, drained
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt, more or less to taste
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used mozzarella and parmesan)

Prepare spaghetti according to box directions and drain. Set aside.

In a small saucepan on high heat, melt butter. When it bubbles, use a wire whisk to stir and turn heat to medium low. Butter should bubble just a little and turn a darker amber color. Stir with whisk occasionally.

Spray a pan with nonstick spray and saute the bacon for about 3-4 minutes, till a little bit crisp. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms and saute for a couple minutes.

Bacon, garlic and mushrooms frying in the bacon's grease!

Add the browned butter and garlic salt, and mix together well. Lastly, add the spaghetti and toss everything
together, making sure to coat all the noodles with the butter sauce. Top with the shredded cheese.

Very tasty and filling. I love love love it! About 11 points per serving. Hope you enjoy it!

Served here with some home made garlic bread!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mama's Childhood Chili Mac

My kids love this! Actually, Coolio gave me an idea, but this is my spin on a childhood favorite. Nice and filling, kids (and adults!) will love it. Serves 6.

1 pound lean ground beef
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
8 oz elbow macaroni
1 can tomato paste
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 cup shredded cheese, your choice (I used mozzarella)

Prepare elbow macaroni according to package. Drain and set aside.

Spray a pot with nonstick spray and brown the ground beef over high heat. Add the onion, minced garlic, chili powder and sugar. Saute and mix together well. Sugar will carmelize a bit. Add the kidney beans and stir. Add tomato paste and mushroom soup, and make sure to incorporate everything together well. Let simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the prepared elbow macaroni and coat everything with the sauce.

Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the chili mac in. Bake in a preheaed 350F oven for about 15 minutes. Take it out and cover the top with the shredded cheese and put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, to melt the cheese.

Fresh out of the oven!

About 12 points per serving! We like to serve this with some garlic bread! Try it for your family at dinnertime!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Pecan!

Couple months late, but Happy Birthday Pecan! You are such a big girl now and I can't believe you are 3! Such a loving, gentle soul you are, and we couldn't be more proud! We love you, Pecan kid!

Pecan at 2 days old
Pecan at her 3rd Birthday Party

Family Update

We are all doing pretty good. My husband has had a change in career - from working as a Dish Network satellite installer into plumbing. So far he likes it and is doing really well. He has done that before, up in Seattle, before the economy crashed and now he is working towards his Journeyman license. He gets the weekends off, which is great, and we go to the local Unitarian Universalist Church in Oklahoma City. We love it there. Kids get to play with other kids and attend Sunday School, and there is a nice feeling of community. We have got to seek out other like-minded people after all! And it is no secret we are a very science-based, tolerant, secular (i.e. humanist - gasp! - ATHEIST) family.

In other news (Hah!), I have kept the weight off for a full year! Which is great. I do love that I can wear anything I want (still a size 6!) and am thinking of joining a gym opening soon nearby. So that is my other accomplishment.

The kids are doing fantastic. Getting so big! It is so awesome to see their personalities developing and so fun to watch them interact with each other and other people in general. It is a learning experience for us as parents too! It's amazing how your entire view on life changes once you have children. It is true - a baby changes everything. We are thinking of adding baby #4 around next year. In reality we have no set number really. We will decide when the time is right when we are done - but now is not that time. Whether you have 1 child or 12 children, it is a personal decision. You have to be able to keep up with them though! Not easy. I will have to admit my 3 girls can be quite a handful. But we wouldn't change a thing. Still cannot imagine life without them and our life prior to having them pales in comparison.

Meanwhile, here are some recent pics!

Myself sitting down with a napping Acorn at the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion
Peanut thrilled to meet Charlie the Dog

Acorn with her patented Camera Smile at the Oklahoma State Fair
Mommy with her three little girls
Dada having a man-lunch
Waiting for the kids at our church playground
Bouncing around!
Pecan and Peanut - they are always mistaken for twins!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crockpot Soy-Lemon Salmon

A great easy way to cook salmon! And of course, salmon is my favorite fish. Cooking in the crockpot makes the salmon so tender and flakey. Melts in your mouth! And it slow cooking really makes the flavors meld together really well.  Serves 8.

2 pounds salmon
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/8 tsp paprika

Mix the soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, dill weed and paprika.

Place the salmon in a square of tin foil, and spoon mixed sauce over it, spreading it over the flesh. Make a "packet" by folding on two sides and crimping the 2 ends.

 Place the foiled salmon in the dry crockpot. Stack them up neatly.

Cook for about 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low.

Very easy and delicious! About 3 points per serving! Yummy and guilt-free! Serve with the sides of your choice.

Served here with Garlic Fried Rice and Butter Fried Corn