Jalapeno Popper Ring

Jalapeno Popper Ring
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Today, instead of a dinner dish, Jade and I decided to do a snack . 🙂 I think that the next time that we make it, I will use more bacon… or maybe tuna. I bet tuna would be really good!

 

Ingredients 
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  • 2 packages Pillsbury Grands Crescent Rolls
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, deseeded and diced (You may use more if you like hot)
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • 12 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup mild cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a pizza pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the jalapeno, onion, cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Separate 1 can of crescent roll dough into 4 rectangles. On a large greased pizza pan, arrange the rectangles perpendicular to each other to form a cross. Corners of one side 0614161816should touch while leaving a square space in the center.
  4. Separate dough from the second can of crescent roll dough into 4 more rectangles. Arrange the rectangles into an “X” that overlaps the cross, leaving an open circle in the center.
  5. Spoon the jalapeno popper mixture around the center of dough. Shape the mixture into a ring leaving about ½ inch of
    dough in the center.
  6. Pull the overhanging dough from the outer edge towards the center and over the filling. Tuck and pinch the dough under the middle close the ring.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly heated. Remove the crescent ring from the pizza pan to serving platter or cutting board. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.06141618210614161823

Cheesy Rotini

Cheesy Rotini

cheesy.rotiniTonight’s concoction is a cheesy rotini. I started with sauteed onions, mushrooms, and garlic in bacon grease. Then, I added flour, Dijon mustard, and milk to make a gravy. Next came the seasonings and sharp cheddar cheese to turn the gravy into a thick cheese sauce. Finally, I blended in crumbled up bacon, green peas and cooked whole wheat rotini noodles and cooked it all together on medium heat until I was satisfied. LOL. Jade is missing out on the good stuff tonight!

 

Ingredients
5 bacon slices
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups hot cooked rotini (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
12 oz package frozen green peas, prepared

Directions
1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble.
2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter and oil to drippings in pan; swirl to coat.
3. Add onion; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
5. Add flour, and sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently.
6. Stir in mustard.
7. Gradually add 1 cup milk, stirring constantly with a whisk, and bring to a boil.
8. Cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
9. Add cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
10. Place pan over low-medium heat. Stir in bacon, pasta, and peas; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

I added celery salt and Italian seasoning when I put in the salt and pepper. I also increased the amount of cheese. Because of that, I had to use an extra splash of milk to keep everything smooth. Also, I included mushrooms with the onions.

 

Frittata

Frittata

crustless. quicheAnyone like Frittata? I don’t like eggs but I can eat a pan of this stuff by myself. LOL.

Basically, a frittata is a crustless quiche. You can add meat if you like but this one is only veggies 🙂

Add a dozen eggs, a splash of milk, some oregano, thyme, a dash of celery salt, and lots of cheese. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. I may have gotten a little pepper happy. Bake and then ta-da – dinner… and breakfast 😉

The basic recipe is below. I added milk to the egg mixture and extra cheese to the top.

Ingredients
onions.mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs of seasonal veggies, such as broccoli, turnips, carrots, or bell peppers.
2 medium onions
4 oz grated or shredded cheddar cheese.
I always add more 🙂
12 medium eggs
1 teaspoon dried dill, thyme, or oregano
Non-stick cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional ingredients: 
8 oz mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh parsley, thyme, or basil leaves

brocciliandcarrotsDirections
 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse and cut seasonal veggies evenly into small pieces.
Peel, rinse, and dice onions. If using, slice mushrooms
and rinse and chop fresh herbs.
3. Grate cheese if not using shredded
4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add seasonal veggie to
boiling water. Briefly boil, about 30 seconds. Using a
colander, drain the veggies.
5. In a large bowl, whip eggs with a fork until well blended.
Whisk in dried herbs. Set aside.
6. Coat medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft,
about 5 minutes. If using mushrooms, add now. Add boiled seasonal veggies. Continue cooking until soft and some
of their juices have evaporated, about five minutes more.
7. Coat 9 by 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
8. Layer ingredients in the baking dish in the following order: veggie mixture, egg mixture, cheese, salt, and pepper.
9. Bake until eggs are firm and cheese is melted, about 35 minutes. A thermometer inserted in the middle should read
160 degrees F.
10. If using, garnish with chopped fresh herbs
11. Cut into 8 equal size portions

completedChef’s Notes
* Use any of your favorite fresh or frozen veggies in this recipe. Cook harder veggies first.
* Fresh veggies can be steamed until crisp-tender instead of boiled. Frozen veggies should be boiled as in step 4.
* Cut frittata into portions and freeze for future meals, up to a month.
* To make quick, individual portions, layer eggs, cheese, and veggies in a well oiled muffin pan. Bake 30 minutes, testing to see that the mini frittatas spring back when lightly touched.
* If you don’t have an oven, cook on the stove top over medium heat. Stir eggs into onions and mushrooms after step 6, along with other veggies. Keep stirring to set the eggs. Cover skillet and cook on low until completely cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

jade.chopping.onionsStep 1 of our newest experiment is complete. LOL. This is cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, onion, minced garlic, and a carrot. We are roasting this in the oven and then going to put it with whole grain pasta. Below, you will find our base recipe. We always add and increase ingredients 🙂

Ingredients
1 medium onion
1 small summer squash, or 1/2 medium winter squash
1 handful of mushrooms
1 small head cauliflower
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Non-stick cooking spray
1 (16 oz) package whole wheat pasta

Optional: 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 cup torn fresh basil or parsley leaves

Directions
tossing.veggies.in.canola.oil.with.lemon.juice.salt.and.pepper.
1. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
2. Rinse, and peel onion. Rinse squash, mushrooms, and
cauliflower. Chop vegetables into bite-size pieces, all
equal size.
3. In a medium bowl, add oil, salt, pepper, and cut veggie.
Stir until veggies are well coated.
4. Spray a baking sheet with/ non-stick cooking spray.
Spread veggies on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake until veggies are browned at the edges, about 30-35
minutes.
5. During the last ten minutes of baking time, cook pasta
package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain pasta.
6. In a large skillet, add veggies and drained pasta. Heat over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Stir frequently. Add some
of the reserved pasta water to moisten and make a sauce.
7. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl. If using grated cheese and fresh herbs, add now. Serve hot.

ready.for.the.oven.Chef’s Notes
* To cut costs, use whatever veggies that are in season or on sale. Try different combinations like halved plum tomatoes and broccoli, or red onion and chunks of butternut squash. Or used thawed, frozen  veggies. Be sure to pat dry before using.
* Try serving this dish with marinara sauce.
* Use any whole wheat pasta that you like, such as penne, rigatoni, shells, bow ties, or even spaghetti noodles.
* For more heat, add 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper  to the veggies in step 3.

Black Bean Quesadilla

Black Bean Quesadilla

Jade and I are eating an “everything plus the dishtowel” quesadilla. It started out as a black bean quesadilla but morphed into something so much better! We stir-fried very thinly sliced zucchini, yellow squash, onion, corn off the cob, fresh spinach, a carrot, and black beans with salt, pepper and cayenne. Then we spread that mess on a tortilla with cheese, tossed it in a skillet to melt the cheese, and topped it with taco meat and sour cream. It’s incredible without the meat too if you are looking for the vegetarian option 🙂jade.em.quesadilla

This is the base recipe that we started with when we made these.

Ingredients
1/2 (15 oz) can of no salt added black beans
2 medium zucchini
1 bunch of fresh spinach (about four cups)
1 ear of fresh corn or 1 cup of canned corn
4 oz grated or shredded cheddar cheese. We used more 🙂
1 tablespoon canola oil
1-2 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
Non-stick cooking spray
Optional: 3 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro

Directions
 1. In a colander, drain and rinse black beans.
2. Rinse zucchini. Cut into thin slices or shred with a grater.
3. Rinse and chop fresh spinach. If using fresh parsley or cilantro, rinse and chop now.
4. If using fresh corn, peel. Use a knife to cut corn kernels off of the cob. If using canned corn, drain.
5. Grate cheese if not using shredded.
6. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add zucchini and cayenne pepper. Cook until zucchini is semi-
soft, about 5 minutes.
7. Add corn and spinach. Cover and cook until tender, stirring a few times, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat.
8. Add black beans to the veggie mixture. Stir to combine. Smash beans lightly with a fork. Add 1-2 teaspoons water to
make a bean and veggie paste.
9. Season mixture with black pepper. If using parsley or cilantro, add now. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Reserve
skillet.
10. Spread vegetable mixture evenly on half of each tortilla. Top with cheese. Fold tortillas over. Press lightly with a
spatula to flatten.
11. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add one folded tortilla. Cook about four
minutes per side, or until both sides of tortilla are golden brown. Repeat until all quesadillas are cooked.
12. Cut each quesadilla into 2 wedges. Serve while hot.

Chef’s Notes
Add your favorite veggies to the filling. In place of zucchini and spinach, use leftover cooked veggies like collards, squash, or bell peppers.
Top with low-fat yogurt, sour cream, or salsa
Use the remaining beans in a soup or to top a salad.
* You may use frozen spinach. Defrost, drain, and squeeze completely dry before adding it.

Hello world!

Hello world!

underreconstruction2Here we are again. I have lost the database for this site, again. Sigh. I have some of the older posts but the last two years and the oldest posts are AWOL. Many of these were articles about my Johnston family genealogy.  I will continue trying to find another backup. If I can’t, there will just be a gap. 🙂

Jesus Would Wear Cartoon Themed Shirts

Jesus Would Wear Cartoon Themed Shirts

What would happen if Jesus tried to feed the 5000 today?10365800_10152332112046832_2449419449034335546_n-300x300

Matt Taylor, one of the scientists responsible for the European Space Agency’s successful landing of the lander Philae on a comet 300 million miles away has been being bashed by his choice of shirt. It was made for his birthday by a female friend and had semi-nude CARTOON females on it. Instead of giving Taylor and his team the accolades that they deserve, their success is being detracted from by feminists who were offended by his shirt. REALLY? So, yeah, I have no doubt that Jesus would be subjected to the same ridiculous behaviors from modern society. Never mind the good work that Matt and Jesus would be doing. Don’t consider the potential improvements to the lives of everyone. Let’s pick a stupid little point and harp on it until Jesus (and Matt) throw up their hands in frustration and quit. Why should he feed the hungry or heal the sick when people are just going to gripe, complain, and look for things to be offended by. Grr. I will stop ranting now but, really, people. Get your priorities straight!

I will not deny that I have feminist tendencies. I believe in equal pay for equal work, equality in hiring, etc. Women have always been sexualized. Some of them allow it and encourage it but it ‘s their choice. I don’t have to like that Heffner and Flynn have made a boatload of money by printing photos of naked women. You do have to recognize their business sense. They knew what men wanted to see and successfully marketed it. The girls on the scientist’s shirt were cartoons. If the pictures had been some sort of pervasive or rape hentai, ok, be offended. But semi-nude cartoons are not the thing to be wasting their energy on. They should save it for a worthy cause. *getting off the soap box now* Someone needs to get this box out of here…

 

May Your God-the Divine-Holy-Jehovah-Allah-Buddha-Fluffy Bunny “bless you” and your day.

May Your God-the Divine-Holy-Jehovah-Allah-Buddha-Fluffy Bunny “bless you” and your day.

26320134_BG1-300x168The teacher allegedly has a list of words that students may not use in the classroom. (Photo Source: WMC Viewer submitted)

A Dyer County, Tennessee high school senior has supposedly been suspended from school for saying “Bless you” to a classmate who sneezed. The teacher purportedly has a list of words and phrases written on her white board that the students are not allowed to say in her classroom. This list includes the idiom ‘bless you’. Looking at the other phrases such as “hang out, stupid, and my bad”, I can see what the teacher is trying to accomplish. Teens tend to overuse many of the words that are included on her taboo list. By not allowing the kids to use these common expressions, she is encouraging them to expand their vocabulary and express themselves in a more affective and intellectual way. Regardless of her logic for putting “Bless you” on her list, it’s my opinion, that as an educator, she made a poor decision that opened the school and the school system up for just exactly the type of scrutiny that they are currently under. Religion, both freedom from and freedom of, is one of society’s hot buttons. Someone will always be salivating to push it.

However, IF this situation is as it is reported, it is one of the more ridiculous things that I have seen in a long time. Saying “Bless you” after a sneeze, which is reflex for many people (myself included) or “Have a blessed day”, are two of the most GENERIC, least offensive religious-toned things that you can say. May God “bless you”. May the Goddess “bless you”. May Your God/the Divine/Holy/Jehovah/Allah/Buddha/Zeus/Hecate/Fluffy Bunny “bless you” and your day. Take that understood subject and put in the deity of your faith. Personally, I need all the blessings that I can get! I know steadfast atheists who take a “bless you” with a smile and thank you. Admittedly, you will never please everyone. Someone will claim to be offended (even if they really aren’t) just for the attention.

Now, in support of the teacher… yes… I said that. If Kendra Turner yelled out across the classroom, that WAS a disruption. Students who were closer most likely also said it more quietly to the sneezer. If she has a history of interrupting class and/or other behavioral issues, then she was deserving of an afternoon of ISS. NOT for saying “bless you” after a classmate’s sneeze but for yelling out and repeatedly disrupting the classes educational time. The class was supposed to be quiet. Someone sneezed. Turner said “something” in response (it doesn’t matter what; it could have been ‘Oh, yuck. You need a tissue) and the teacher asked her to be quiet. The student took it as an attack on her faith and felt the need to defend against it. The teacher only saw this as a further disruption and the situation escalated. The student, clearly frustrated, ran out of the classroom and, not long after that, posted something on Facebook and called her parents.

Did the teacher handle this wrong. Potentially. Is this a set up for attention and to push a religious agenda. Potentially. But from what the other kids are saying, at face value, I would have to say that this teacher is making the other educators look bad.

**off the soap box that I didn’t mean to get on**

Duck You!

Duck You!

I have read and listened to a lot of news stories and opinions on the whole Phil Robertson from Duck Commander and the A&E Network conflict. I am finally going to weigh in on this. This my opinion only and all that I am going to say about it 🙂 I don’t agree with his opinions but he is entitled to them. Even though I don’t agree him, I do stand behind him because I support free speech. Whether or not I agree with him doesn’t matter. Whether or not A&E agrees with him doesn’t matter. He had every right to express his opinion without losing his “job”. Phil and many Christians around the world share the same opinion. However, it’s not only Christians that are standing up to support him. It’s also those people like me, who believe that all Americans have the right to freedom of speech. If you don’t like what Phil Robertson has to say, you don’t have to watch his show or buy his duck calls. That’s the beauty of freedom. You have choices and the right to make them.

Wayne Allyn Root, an author and contributing writer for TheBlaze.com ended one of his articles with the following thought: “A duck hunter may have just lit the spark that started a revolution. Phil Robertson just went from TV phenomenon to American hero. Americans are now unchained. We are free to speak our minds. Here’s what we have to say to control freak tyrants like Obama and the Hollywood elite thought police – ‘DUCK YOU!’.”

That’s a much nicer way of saying what I think Phil Robertson should have said to A&E. It’s not about money and fame. It’s about principles, beliefs, and personal freedoms. So, yeah. I stand behind Phil Robertson and his right to speak his mind. I don’t agree with what he had to say in his interview with GQ magazine but our Constitution protects his right to believe it and say it. When we allow television, government, and other vocal opponents within our society to dictate our morals, opinions, and beliefs then we will soon find ourselves in a position where the freedoms that our founding fathers thought important enough to include in the Constitution of the United States of America as the Bill of Rights to be irrelevant. I do not want to live in that place. I will fight (both literally and figuratively) for those rights and our freedom to exercise our choices as they relate to those rights and freedoms.

Fight Like a Girl!

Fight Like a Girl!

Halloween is coming up fast and there has been a lot going on since I last posted to this blog. My husband and I purchased Cartwright Grocery from my aunt and uncle in April. I have become good friends the the mammo and ultrasound techs at Chattanooga Imaging on Hamill Road. About this time last year, I found the first lumps. Scary thoughts filled my head especially with the knowledge of everything that Aunt Maxine went through before her passing. I was terrified at times. I cried. I raged. I saw my doctor. The tests all showed that my lumps were fibroadenomas. Fibroadenomas are benign tumors made up of both glandular breast tissue and connective tissue. No cancer at that time. Whew. Six months later, no changes. Then two more make an appearance. Another mammogram, two more ultrasounds. Still no sign of cancerous cells. Women with fibroadenomas have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer (about 1½ to 2 times the risk of women with no breast changes) so I am not in the clear nor am I likely to ever be. Every six months, I have a mammogram and ultrasound. I just finished the latest ones. I am thrilled to be cancer free. My very soul hurts for my friends and family members who are not. I look at these strong, courageous women and I admire them for smiling, surviving, and living. Even those like Aunt Maxine who fought as long as she could until the cancer that started in her breasts ravaged her body and brain, smile until the end. I know that underneath the smile they have to be afraid of what lies ahead. I was. I am. I smile. I’m living. I’m lucky. In April, I will go back to Chattanooga Imaging. They know me there. Thankfully, I am more than just a patient to them. Come what may… no changes or cancer… I will survive because all of those who fought the fight before me educated their doctors, trained the techs, developed the medicines and surgical techniques that will allow me to do so. So fight like a girl. Don’t just survive – live!