Sunday, February 12, 2012

Banger's and Mash...weird name...great taste!!!

   Banger's & Mash, fun stay good to eat!! What is Banger's and Mash you ask? It's an English dish consisting of Sausage and Mashed potatoes...that's it!! There's an endless variety of ways to cook them...well maybe not cook them, but definitely an endless variety of things you can add to them!! Tonight we're keeping it simple! Why? Because we have a 2 year old who hasn't quite developed the gourmet food taste buds that his father and I have :D...don't worry though, he'll come around!! So here's how we made it...


They put onion and gravy on
these, we didn't  because
we wouldn't be able get our
2 year old to eat them :D
  We managed to find "Banger's Sausage" at our local Market of Choice. If you don't have a Market of Choice or can't find "Banger's Sausage" that's OK! I'm sure any type of Sausage link would work...Not the hot dog type though...I imagine that would just be gross. Sausage links are usually in the Meat Deli/Counter...Johnsonville and the New York Style Sausage Company also sells Sausage links...Johnsonville has MSG and the New York Style Sausage Company doesn't, whatever one you like better, or can find works. We broil them about 5 minutes on each side. As for the potatoes...yes you can buy potatoes, peel them, boil them, and mash them...however...if you're like my family, you're busy keeping little ones out of trouble and dinner's generally done around 8. It's not that we don't try to eat earlier, it just doesn't usually work out that way. So what do we use for the Mash in our Banger's and Mash? Betty Crocker instant potatoes...yes that's right, we use instant potatoes. They taste great and are done in about 2 minutes! When both the sausage and potatoes are done place a sausage (or 2) on top of the potatoes and enjoy!! 

You can add gravy, sauerkraut, mustard and according to my husband some kind of weird noodle...I guess they do it in Germany and he says it's ridiculously good! ( Yes he's lived in Germany...yes I'm jealous :D ). Do whatever sounds good. That's the good thing about simple meals, you can dress them up!!


   If you've never had Salmon lox, you don't know what you're missing!!! It's amazingly's also amazingly expensive. This is definitely not a meal we make often. The other night though we found some Lox on Sale at Trader Joe's (love this place!!), so we grabbed one and enjoyed a rare treat :D!!. Now as I say, Salmon Lox are spendy! it's not a meal you want to make every week, unless you enjoy being broke!! I'll put down how we make them into a meal though, in case you'd like to try them one of these days!


BAGELS (We use everything bagels)


I never put Capers on mine, because I think they're gross. My husband loves them though so he would suggest to at least try them. In case you're wondering what Lox's just smoked salmon. They're actually a better idea for breakfast, but breakfast or dinner it's still yummy!!


   Here at University Land there's a place called The Pita Pit, it's really good, but being married to a college student we don't have the money to eat out all the time. However we both really like Pita's. There filling and as we learned really easy to make! Now neither my husband or I are of Greek decent. I'm German and my Husband's Finn/Scottish/ and French, but we both like good food and trust me when I say that Gyro's are good!!! So this is what we had for dinner the other night! 




This is not our Pita's from the other night,
but this is basically what they look like
Now, we use the pockets because they're easier to eat. They keep all the ingredients neatly tucked inside. You can also use chicken strips instead of the gyro meat. Gyro meat does have MSG in it, which we try to stay away from, but believe me when I say that it's still really good. Anyway, try them see if you like them. You can put any veggie in them and I imagine they'd taste pretty good. The Pita Pit has a whole array of veggies they use, we just like the ones listed above because they give it a nice crisp/fresh taste. Make it your own!!! 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Little Boys and Dogs

Our Nahla girl
   My husband and I have always wanted our boys to grow up with a puppy. There's something about the bond between little boys and their puppies that I've always loved. Up to this time we haven't been able to get a dog. Our 2 year old loves dogs, but we just couldn't afford to buy one and it's hard to find a puppy for free that's not  a pit bull...let me say here that I don't have a problem with Pits, I've known several and they've always been great dogs...At one point in time I did want one, but husband never has. So we've been waiting for a time when we could either find a free puppy that wasn't a pit or buy one...enter opportunity here:
   Last Saturday as we were lounging around the house...OK I was lounging, of course I've also had the flu so I feel that I'm entitled to lounge time when I'm sick. Anyway, boys were watching a movie, I was attempting to sleep and my loving husband was cleaning the kitchen...yes they still come in the perfect man model :D...when we heard a knock on our door. Now considering that I was in Sweatpants I really wasn't looking forward to company, especially unexpected company. It was my new neighbors...they have 3 puppies and are getting rid of one, would we like her...YES!! They brought her over so my husband could meet her and needless to say he melted. She's Lab/Rottweiler/German Shepherd/Shar Pei Mix...I know she's going to be big, the size of her paws alone told us she wasn't going to be a small dog.
   We weren't sure if she was going to work out at first. Kind of like buyers remorse, only we didn't actually buy her. We hoped she'd work because she's really cute, but we've never had a dog of our own so we weren't sure. Well, I'm happy to report that so far so good! She's housebroken which is awesome because with 2 sons I don't have time to housebreak a puppy! She doesn't chew on the furniture, but my oldest is having to protect his wooden blocks :D. She sleeps all night, in her own space...I already have a 2 year old who wiggles into our bed I did not want to add a puppy to the equation. She doesn't bark unless she has to potty, and she loves our boys. She gets a little rough when playing with my 2 year old, but she hasn't bitten in an aggressive way so that's good.
   My son Jeremiah LOVES her!! He is so excited to finally have a puppy! Her name is Nahla and all day long I hear him calling "Nawa!" It's really cute! She thinks she's a lap dog and she loves to cuddle so Jeremiah has a nap buddy when he's laying on the couch. I'm so thankful she's working out because she really does add a lot to our family. She's sweet and fun and her name (Nahla) means Honey Bee which fits because she's busy like a bee and sweet like honey (sappy I know, but it's true). We are looking forward to seeing her grow with our boys!
Jeremiah and Nahla napping on the couch

Friday, February 3, 2012

Even Wonder Woman Needs A Break Sometimes

   I'm sure you noticed that a post for yesterdays dinner is MIA...OK so maybe you didn't...To bring you up to speed though I'll point out that I didn't, in fact write a blog for yesterday...I'll tell you why! Yesterday was just one of those days that us mom's can have. I didn't sleep well, I was exhausted ALL day long, My 2 year old had a diaper bomb (I wont elaborate because, trust me you don't want to know), and I ran out of diaper wipes before my husband got home. (he's a student at Oregon State University) My oldest son was doing what 2 year olds do best, the baby wasn't feeling well and I could hardly keep my eyes open.
   Enter Erik (my husband). He comes home after a long day of classes and is not greeted with the usual smiles and hugs that my 2 year old showers on him as soon as he walks through the door. I'm sure a foreboding shadow loomed over our doorstep. What is the scene he happens upon? My 2 year old sleeping on the couch...bad sign 1...My 2 year old does NOT take naps! Baby boy is wide awake, big smiles on his face...this is not a bad sign because the baby is ALWAYS happy!! Last but not least he looks upon his wife...I can only imagine what I must've looked like. He approaches cautiously and asks how my day was...the shoe I threw at him was probably a good sign that it was a bad one...Thankfully I can't throw to save my life!! OK so I didn't really throw a shoe at him, but I'm sure he would've preferred it to the look I gave him. 
   I'll insert here that I have an incredibly understanding husband. He takes the good and the bad and only complains on odd numbered days...kidding! He takes my bad moods in stride, because to be honest I don't have them that often. When a bad mood lasts a week, its usually because I'm sick. I am in fact sick this week. I have an ear infection and haven't been sleeping happens. There's this ridiculous belief that Stay at Home mom's are supposed to be Wonder Woman. We can cook dinner, Vacuum the living room, and do the dishes all while holding the baby on our hips and wearing heels and pearls...I have yet to meet a mom who's capable of doing this! A real mom does what she can while still maintaining her sanity. 
   I was so frazzled yesterday that I forgot to get dinner out, let alone started. I was trying to be Wonder Woman. I managed to do the laundry and dishes...I had both of my boys dressed, fed and napped by the time Erik got home. I was fried by this time also. Thankfully I'm married to Superman. (OK so his favorite superhero is Iron Man, but you get the picture) My loving husband seeing his wife looking more like a victim of a stampede rather then Wonder Woman said 3 little words that made my day "Let's get Thai"...There's a very good Thai restaurant in my town that delivers...Needless to say this brightened my dreary day by quite a bit! Any man who sees his wife stressed and wore out take heed because this act of kindness will usually get you rewarded! 
   So that is the story behind why there is not a recipe for a dinner. Because my Wonder Woman persona wore off and revealed the real woman underneath...tired, sick and frustrated, yet still trying to do the best I could...I love my Superman for being OK...not just OK, but in love with the real me. I couldn't do it without him...yes I realize that he's just as human as me, but last night I wouldn't have doubted if he could fly!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I'm feeling very Vegetarian today...OK maybe not!

   Dinner...Yes it's that time of night again when my family comes to me with their mouth's open and their eyes hopeful...OK so that's only my husband (kidding!!!)...Thankfully I planned ahead last night and started some of the ingredients for tonight's dinner last night...So what am I feeding my ever hungry brood? Veggie Burritos...I feel a wave of disappointment waft over my carnivorous family...OK I'm being dramatic, my boys don't mind veggies, my husband might even like a few. Anyway, burritos are pretty self explanatory...not very many people need a recipe to make them, but you know what I'm going to write it down anyway :D...Why? Because I made homemade tortillas and they are GREAT...that's why!!
   I found the recipe for the tortillas on it's easy, quick, and cheap...which when your on a budget is ALWAYS good!!!

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
Combine all the flour, salt, vegetable oil, and water until it forms a dough.
Roll the dough into a big ball and take about an 1 to 2 inch pieces off. Pat the dough flat with your hands or take a rolling pin and roll into circles.
Put the dough on a flat pan on the stove and let the sides cook until there are little brown specks on both sides like you would see on other tortillas. 

(I will add here that we cooked ours in a cast iron skillet and fried them...a non stick pan would probably work good too)

The ingredients for our burritos were cheap! That and I got them on know what...shhh!

1. Avocado
2. Roma Tomatoes
1. Red Onion
1. Bunch of Cilantro (don't use the whole bunch or it can overpower the rest)
Pinto Beans 
Brown Rice

I cooked the Beans the night before, just followed the directions on the back.
I also cooked the brown rice using the directions on the back for 4's amazing what using and following directions can do!! :D

We would've gotten lime, but we couldn't find any...would've looked harder, but any mom will tell you that trying to look for something at the grocery store when you have two unhappy babes is an impossibility because toddlers and babies are able to hit a pitch that turns their mom's brain to's a fact!! Anyway, As I stated before my family is made up of carnivores! We love meat, so as I turn around and look at the stove where my hubby is standing I see that he has cooked steak to put on his burrito...Oh well I can't say I didn't try :D As I usually say make it your own...add the veggies you like...homemade/store bought tortillas doesn't really matter....And yes even meat is OK because lets be honest meat does tend to add something to a meal :D Hope Everyone has a good night! I'm going to go enjoy my meal!!