Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wow, it's been a while

Hi Folks!

I actually haven't forgot about the blog.  We said we were going to take a break, put the electronics away and focus on having a family.  Which.. we have been doing for the last two years.  This last November we experienced a devastating loss, we lost twins.

We gave it a few more months, but slowly my health is declining, so we have decided to take some time off, how long?  We haven't actually decided.  We felt like we had contacted close friends and family.. so it was okay to put this out there in a public forum.

However, I've been taking pictures of food.  I have some amazing recipes to share and Cory is having gastric bypass done in the next few months, so I will have the joy of sharing our transition through that time. 

I look forward to sharing some of our culinary joy.. and... I know we "said" we were going to work on remodeling last year, but!  We actually bought the supplies this year.  With a little help from Pinterest I feel that I have a style and flow I would like the house to have, and I can't wait to start and share my ideas with you.  So the next few months should be busy.  Right now, we are under a ton of snow, so... I can say nothing exciting is going to happen outside, so.. we will get some fun things underway in the kitchen to start :) I can't wait honestly.

So, I'm going to wrap up this post, so I can look at preparing the next month.. I'm thinking orange chicken and fried rice... Philly beef crescent roll ups.. and dutch oven roast- the ultimate comfort food w/green bean casserole :) and I'm going to tackle my first home improvement project- I'm going to paint a laminate book shelf to see if it's the color we want for the kitchen cabinets.  Suspense I know!

Thanks for hanging in there with us!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Helper

 As we work to cut processed foods and anything with MSG out of our diets for the sake of my migraines, I'm trying to turn some of our favorites into something we will enjoy! :)

Here is one of my homemade spices, it cuts down on sodium, it will soon be included as a recipe.

 The finished product, was delicious!

I paired it with a salad, it was a great meal.

Want to make your own hamburger helper?  Here's what you'll need:

Homemade Hamburger Taco Helper:
1# gr beef/turkey
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 C uncooked pasta
8 oz cheese (I used half velveeta & half shredded, you can use cream cheese too!)
2 C frozen corn
1 C onion.

Cook pasta in a separate pan, do not drain.  Brown meat w/onion, sop up any grease or drain off.  Using a slotted spoon scoop noodles from pasta water into beef mixture, you want some of the liquid to come with it.  Add 1/2 - 1 C of water from the pasta to the beef mixture, add taco seasoning, cheese & corn, bring to a boil and cook until cheese is melted and it is thick and creamy.  Enjoy!

You could even make a double of this dish & freeze it if so desired!

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to utilize your grill in the Summer months

In the winter, we keep our house set at 65, most of the time it's below 30 outside and it can be cool in the house, so using the oven, a lot of baking and months of meals are made to keep the house warm.  In the summer, without central air, our house can get pretty warm.  So I utilize the tool we have outside for everything to avoid the oven.

I love fresh in the summer, Squash was on sale, my husband isn't a fan, but me?  Huge fan.  I had made bacon on the grill in our pan the day before.  Once it was done I poured the majority of the bacon grease off and left about a tablespoon on, put the tray in the refrigerator, spread it all over & tossed these on top with some diced onion and garlic salt.

Again, I have a propane grill, nothing fancy, I leave both sides on, both on low of course.

They turned out delicious!

This night was mini meatloafs- from out month of meals, done in disposable mini bread pans, green beans in a bit of that leftover bacon grease and potatoes wrapped in bacon, which is a recipe from my dad.  Delish!  All again done on the grill. 

Another tool that comes in handy on the grill?  My cast iron!  I bake on the grill using this, rosemary salted rolls with chicken. 

Cory and I don't always agree on vegetables, however, these packets, allow me to be creative and give us both what we like.

The carrots were carrot sticks I had left over from lunches, and this allows you to use up whatever might be left in the fridge. 

Potatoes for my potato man, lightly drizzled with olive oil and my dump mix.

What is a dump mix you might ask?  If it doesn't make a complete tablespoon it goes into my "jar" of misc spices... and becomes my dump mix.

What do you make on your grill?  Or do you have an outdoor tool that you utilize during these hot months?

Friday, July 20, 2012

I refuse.

To use my oven when in Michigan, ya know, that place that's supposed to be Alaska 1/2 the year?  Is over 100 degrees outside.  100.  I'm just not built for this, and I'm sure it will come back sturdily to bite me in the bottom this winter.

So what do we do when I refuse to stand in front of a hot oven and over a hot stove?

We utilize tin-foil, aluminum and the gift of gas.  Ehm, propane.

As you can see, I tried something new! Cory is such a meat and potatoes man I was shocked when he asked about grilling pineapple.  I thought he lost his marbles, but it was soooooo good.  It carmelized.  It was heavenly.

The chicken breasts had a little sweet rub that I made of brown sugar, salt, paprika, and rosemary I grilled 10 min on each side and then covered them with Sweet Baby Rays honey barbeque.

Our fantastic potatoes which is a recipe of Cory's:

4 Large Potatoes Cubed up
1 Onion- cut up
2 Cups broccoli- frozen- not thawed or fresh
2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1t each Salt, Pepper & garlic salt
3/4 Shredded Cheese (we've used everything from parmesan to colby)

Mix everything but cheese & place on grill for 40 min (we turn 1/2 way through).  When done, open the packet & sprinkle the cheese over top.  Serve.

This meal left us with plenty of left overs!  We loved it!  The pineapple was still good cooled again, with a bit of carmelly-ness to the outside.  The grammar police just cringed.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm back...

I bet you've all been wondering what happened to our happy little blog and tips on cooking!

We haven't been doing much of that lately.  We have a joke in our household, I eat a can of hominy if Cory is gone.  Sometimes, I have been known to eat toast, left overs, even mac & cheese, but I usually don't cook.  Which is why our month of meals go so far.

A while ago I mentioned that we were in the effort of trying to conceive.  The last year has been very trying on our marriage, and we decided we needed to take a step back and some time off.  I used to laugh when I heard couples express this, even the whole "you are trying too hard".  What a joke, right?  Wrong, this has been the hardest thing we have tried to accomplish, individually and together, but we learned a lot together, shed some tears together.. and grown.

So the "baby" word was not allowed in our house, for a month.   Our month is drawing to a close in a couple of days... we've spent the weekends.. on the Harley, out with friends (which was a treat, because I didn't drink for.. 10 months- it effects your fertility), and with family.. in the pool and on the beach.  We've take a lot of time for just us.  At the same time, I had surgery, had some follow up doctor appointments and found out my brain is swollen.  I've had a lot of follow up on that, some new meds and a lot of abnormal headaches.  Cory has been doing a lot of cooking, even if it's just bacon & eggs for dinner.  He's been amazing.

I started seeing a behaviorist to help cope with the pain, the stress of all the listed above, and she suggested to get a family animal, that will give me something to focus on other than my pain, give Cory and I something more in common, and help be a bond.

So I haven't posted, but I'm back in the kitchen.. I've been doing some baking, some cooking, experimenting with new recipes, and I've taken a lot of pictures and notes, oh!  Meet.. Bella, the newest member of the Radel Family:

She's the little one, she's playing with our existing dog Spud, who goes on the road with Daddy.  Bella will stay home and keep me company!

So what do you have to look forward to:

Coming up next... Grilled pineapple, chicken and potato packets with broccoli.
(we grill so much in the summer, we have already gone through 2 tanks of propane.)
Later: How we use the grill as an oven.
Even later: Homemade hamburger helper
More homemade recipes to come: Homemade rice-a-roni
Taco Seasoning
Quick Biscuits

This month should be interesting.. :) hop along for the ride!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jalepeno Poppers

 My family, with the exception of my father & I love hot stuff.  My husband, mom, and brother are huge fans.  Which is great, unless you are the cook in the family.  :)

We put them together & finished them on the grill at my parents.  So yet again.. I just have a picture of the begining.  From what I heard they were amazing.  We had left over ham & pickles from the subs and the cheese made way too much so we made ham & pickle wraps, that were divine too!

Jalepeno Poppers
8 oz softened cream cheese
10 large jalepenos - for as much cheese as this made though- I'd say 20, unless you want to do the ham & pickle thing too :)
1 C cheddar cheese
salt & pepper
1 T garlic miniced
2 T water
2 T minced dried onions
10 slices of bacon (if you do 20 poppers you'll need 20 pieces of bacon)

Mix everything together- but jalapenos.  Let sit for 1/2 hour while cutting & cleaning peppers out.
Slice the sides, leaving the tops on.  Using a freezer bag or a frosting piper or even a small spoon fill the peppers.  Wrap the bacon around the peppers- if you aren't going to cook them right away, we soaked toothpicks in water for a few minutes and put it through the peppers to hold the bacon.

They go on a grill or in the oven for 15 to 20 min.  Once the bacon is done, we did them to a crisp.

Monday, June 18, 2012


 I've always had some creativeness in my cooking.  I'm not a fan of "plain" anything, unless it comes to something like a BLT.   Then I'll do plain.  This weekend we went to my mom's for a poolside lunch and I was in charge of making lunch.

One of my favorite breads ever is french bread, it's that chewy crust and the soft center.  It's everything bread should be.

 I make a mayo the night before, mayo, onion, worcestershire sauce, minced garlic.  It's all by feeling, but... it's apx 1/2 C mayo, 2 TB onion, 1 T garlic, and 6 dashes of worcestershire.

I pull the breading for the most part out of the french loaf, otherwise- my mouth doesn't open that big.  I always cut it up in to chunks to use later in the year for stuffing :)

I slather both sides of the sub with the special mayo, put the cheese, roast beef, salami, ham, and fresh pickles.  I wrap them & let them set at least 2 hours so everything melds together.

I wish after I wrapped them, I had not wrapped them & taken a picture of the finished product.  Whoops.  Then we were so famished that I didn't take a picture once they were unwrapped.  Ha.    You blog & learn right?  Next time.  These are my go-to on the go sandwiches, for picnics, the pool, or even feeding a crowd, they are so easy and seem so gourmet!