Recipes for kids abroad. Homeschool and Afterschooling for kids at home.

FOOD!!! Yes, I need pictures! My recipes need pictures around them to identify instead of just a title. They are tweaked to work for us in terms of ease, ingredients frequently on hand, real or pure ingredients(for the most part), our family taste, and usually SOY-FREE or easily adapted to be SOY-FREE. SOY-FREE tagged recipes still mean you have to know what ingredients you are putting in are truly SOY-FREE and even if is was SOY-FREE in the past, you have to check it each time you buy it. Ingredients change frequently and can even be different from store to store or expiration date to expiration date for the same product. Homeschool and Afterschooling notes and ideas are here too. I'll probably separater the blog later, but for now, this is the place for family and friends to look. Time Impaired Living has many definitions that I may update as time goes on or doesn't. To begin with, I'll say that Time Impaired includes time lost because of the schedule of a wonderfully dynamic family. It also includes the nonexistent sense of time when disability kicks in.
To see or print the recipes, Mouse over the image and you can enlarge the recipe. You can also enlarge it a second time.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

6th Day of Christmas, Peppermint Candy Balls

"Bob's Sweet Stripes" Peppermint Balls are always our favorite but with Sam's Club closed here, they are hard to find this year so we had to try a different brand.  On the soy-free front, Bob's was always safe for us.  Watch out for all labels during Christmas, sometimes one bag of something may differ from another just because one is made on the west coast and another in the midwest and somehow both suppliers with the same packaging will be on the same shelf in a store.  One bag will have lecithin(soy product) or natural flavor(often soy based) and another won't.

5th Day of Christmas, Pumpkin Ginger Bread

This is one of our favorites!  Basically Pumkin Bread with crystalized ginger throughout it.  Besides baking in long loaf pans, it works great as muffins and is great to make a batch and pull out of the freezer when you need it.

4th Day of Christmas, Clementine Tangerines

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fresh Fertilizer and the Green Garden? Memories of the Circus in town.

 I hope to find and post a more elaborate update I remember getting after this email sent from Mormor on January 25, 2010.  It took more than the few weeks estimated for the smell to blow over.
Hi...Dad just had 9 yards of Bovine Assisted Compost (Buffalo Droppings) dumped on our front driveway...a member of our stake presidency raises buffalo and gives piles of this stuff away free...Dad is spreading it on front and backyard about 2 inches thick...he is out to have a better looking yard in the spring than the whole street...You really can't smell it if you stay inside the house and shut all the windows and doors...When standing on the front porch and the wind blows...well that's another story...He has two teenagers from the ward helping him this afternoon...He says that when he has used enough of it, he is going to invite the neighbors to spread some on their lawns too...It will probably take 2 or 3 weeks for the perfumed smell to go entirely away...Well, it won't be hard to find our house...just follow you nose...Dad came in a while ago and sat down...I didn't tell him but he did have a strong smell about him...All for now,  Love, Mom
How does your garden grow? When I was little, I remember hearing stories of the circus coming to town from both Mormor and Papa.  Mormor's stories included ones about the Gypsies that cooked up her grandfather's pet pig for breakfast without them knowing when in town at the family's campgrounds and motel.  The story of the ciricus in town from Papa's dad, My Papa, is one I've never forgotten whenever fertilizing with manure is spoken of.  The circus came to town and Papa Louis was planting a tree at the time.  He got some elephant poop to use as fertilizer from the circus and carefully mixed it with the dirt to plant the new tree hoping it would work well.  It did something quite strange though.  The tree died and the stake used to hold the tree up and give it support sprouted and grew instead.  So the moral of the story with elephant poop is to make sure you plant a tree you want to die and a stake you want to grow. 
That also reminds me of the story of how Aunt Gayes took got showered on at the circus.  Not sure if this was the same circus and for that matter not sure if this was at the zoo.  It doesn't really matter I guess when remembering pee and poop.  There was a loud commotion at the lions den and Aunt Gaye and her friend raced to see what was happening and why there was such a crowd around the cage.  The two girls wiggled in and made it to the front of the crowd to see the lion roar, lift a leg and spray her with something not quite lemonaide.

Creative Idea for Canned Wheat Home Food Storage

After growing up moving what seemed like 10 tons of cans of wheat and rice and beans and honey and TVP from house to house to house to house... through the years, and remembering the metal on the bottoms of those early metal square cans digging into my fingers almost to bleeding,  I thought it would be fun to post an email from Mormor a couple years ago.  I remember the years of wheat bread, hot after school with butter and honey we had to melt on the stove before microwaves because it was all crystalized from the metal containers.  Sometimes we would strain the honey because a batch or two still had bees in them.  I remember trying to make sandwiches with the wheat bread but having to cut thick pieces so it wouldn't fall apart and then chewing for half of lunch to finish half the sandwich.  I remember dad loving cracked wheat cereal that was like swallowing gravel and having to force myself to keep swallowing and not gagging as I was forcing it to stay down and go down my throat.  Lumpy Cream of Wheat was almost as much a treat as the birthday box of cold sugar cereal we could choose once a year and as Mormor said, when the box is gone, it is gone.  9 kids and one box of cereal went pretty quickly.  Mormor just said it didn't fill us, and she was right.  When we would later save and buy our own cold cereal, we would still be "starved" after completing a whole box on our own, which was pretty hard to hide and do because the guilt of not sharing with sibbling watching was too much to not share at least a little.
I remember Dad loving to make homemade granola with grains and nuts and what seemed like every unsalted, unroasted, raw stick and weed mixed and lightly, very lightly mixed with some honey, then baked and then split up.  Yes, I groaned and said, why can't we just buy real granola cereal or even Grapenuts cereal?  I was old enough to add up the cost of the ingredients and it seemed they were about the same price.  At least the youngest ones didn't catch on to how the oldest two or three of us knew to quietly serve ourselves the parts with the cashews and nuts we liked first.  We tried making homemade Grapenuts, basically really hard whole wheats flat bread that we would hammer up with a hammer or try to grind in the blender until Mormor would catch us and say we were going to break the Osterizer. (the blender was always called an Osterizer no matter what brand it was, kind of like all scrub cleaning powder was called Ajax, and like all margarine was called Oleo)  Well, I remember from elementary school that wheat had been found in some piramid and was still able to be grown so it lasts forever.  That makes it no surprise that the wheat we kept moving around as part of 2 years worth of storage for up to 11 people sprouted and grows in Mormor and Papa's yard today.  The following email is true and about a month after it was sent, went to visit and the "visitors" were still there.
2/4/08  Welcome to Birdland!  Dad went through the 17 old cans of wheat (33 pound tin ones) which we have been storing for over 40 years and only lost 2 cans of wheat, 1 can of rice, 1 can of cornmeal and 1 can of beans...He dumped the contents of the bad cans on our front and back lawn...This was about 2 weeks ago...Each day more and more birds started coming into our yard...There were about 15 birds the first day....I went outside just a little bit ago to see how the bird population was coming along....for the past 3 days we have been hearing constant bird chatter from inside our house going on in the front and back yards...and a lot of bird poop on the porches....Get this - it is raining a lot today but it doesn't seem to bother the birds any...I just went outside in the front yard...perched on our roof were 49  the next door neighbor's tree covered with probably 75 more birds chirping away...across the  street on two roofs I counted between 40 and 50 birds....on our front lawn there were 35 birds that didn't fly away when I came out... they were too busy eating...Next I went to the kitchen door...about 15 birds were perched on the back of the outside chairs sleeping and about 45 birds on the ground eating....and more birds perched on the fences...I feel like our home is in the middle of a bird pavilion like they have at the zoo.  I keep thinking about that old movie that was called "The Birds"....Thank goodness the birds in our yards are kind.  They like to peck the roof...sounds like someone is knocking at the door all the time.  When a car drives by our house most of the birds fly in the air in a flock and the flock swerves into trees...I have seen flocks of birds swoop in the sky before...but never saw them come back to their departure spot.
Oh well, thought you all might like to know that life is never dull...even after you children left the nest...One good thing about all of you being out in your own homes is that there is always room in the garage for Dad now to park our car so the birds cannot decorate it.....I think the loud chirping is their way of signaling all their aunts, cousins and uncles and grandparents...I came back inside and started typing this email and just now looked out the den window...I see more birds than I can see the grass underneath them...There must be 150 or more on the front lawn and front sidewalk. The beaugenvilla bush outside my den window has no flowers  but it is full of birds too...every branch has 2 or 3 birds sitting on them....Thank goodness they all go to sleep at night...our quiet time. 
Maybe we shouldn't put out that much bird food again....Bye for now, XO,XO, XO from Mormor, Alias Mom

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3rd Day of Christmas, Texas Sheet Cake Recipe

Why Texas Sheet Cake on the 3rd day you may ask?  Because Wednesday, December 8, 2010 is National Brownie Day.  That's why.

This is the recipe Emily made in 4th or 5th grade and typed up for a "How To" presentation she gave and then served it to the class.

There are so many versions of Texas Sheet Cake so whichever you use, here are some tips. 
1.  Read the recipe first, then follow all the instructions.
2.  Shortcuts make it turn out wrong.
3.  If your powdered sugar is lumpy, sift it first so the fudge frosting won't be lumpy, but do this when you are getting ingredients out before cooking so you don't mess up the timing when the cake comes out of the oven.
4.  Don't leave the heat on after the butter, coco, and milk are boiling for the frosting.  It will overcook and not work.
5.  Pour the frosting on hot and while the cake is barely out of the oven.  Waiting too long just makes a mess.
6.  Pour on the frosting and spread quickly but try to only pass over it once or twice.  If you keep trying to smooth it out, it will look terrible and start tearing the top of the cake up.  This is because it cools to the fudge state quickly.
7.  If you don't have buttermilk, it is OK to add about a teaspoon of vinegar to the 1/3 cup milk and let is sit for a minute before adding to the cake batter.

SORRY, THIS RECIPE WAS FROM BEFORE WE KNEW OF SOY ALLERGIES SO TO MAKE IT SOY-FREE, REPLACE THE MARGARINE WITH BUTTER, AND THE SHORTENING WITH COCONUT SHORTENING OR WITH MORE BUTTER.  Pretty easy to make soy-free and we actually did today for the batch being taken in tomorrow for the 3rd day of Christmas.

2nd Day of Christmas, Rice Krispies Treats Recipe

Why do so many people make Rice Krispies Treats that just don't work out any more?  They still do the recipe from the box.  Have the Rice Krispies changed or have marshmallows changed?  What's up?  Well, thanks to Suzanne cutting out the side of a box years ago before all the nutrition label "healthy for you" comparisons, she still uses the recipe from the box, BUT the recipe from the box from years ago.  YES, it has more fat but that's what makes them work!

Another secret to making them just right is to use miniature marshmallows and not the generic brands.  Some brands have different amounts of gelatin and other ingredients that just don't work.  Saving 25 cents on a bag isn't worth it for these.  Why miniature marshmallows?  Well, it must be something to do with the time it takes to melt them that changes the heating temperature or cooks them too long.  Suzanne just found this out a month or so ago when trying to figure out why one or two batches didn't work out as perfectly.  Sure enough, the ones that didn't work were the ones with large marshmallows.  Maybe cutting up large ones to miniature size might work but I'm not going to go through that effort.

Anyway, Here's the recipe!  Please remember to only use butter and not margarine or cooking spray if you want to have them Soy-free.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1st Day of Christmas, Harry & David's Sweet Pepper & Onion Cream Cheese Kicker

No recipe needed for this one.  Mom's card she puts with the treat tray says it all.

Split Pea Soup Recipe

Yes, this is the green yucky soup to some and the great soup from leftover ham for others.  Grandma and Grandpa gave us some ham last night and since Grandma is still sick, I thought making some Split Pea Soup for them would be a good idea.  I couldn't find the normal recipe Mom and Grandma use so I started with one recipe and then adjusted just a little with seasoning from the one Mom and Grandma use. So, here is the triple batch recipe I did that worked well. 

Below the triple batch adapted recipe, here's the recipe Mom and Grandma use that Uncle Ryan emailed Grandpa while they were in Boston on their mission.

Spinach Ham Cream Sauce Recipe for Pasta

Ok, if you are making gnocchi and my kids are going to be around, this is THE SAUCE they want.  While it is Il Fornaio Restaurant inspired, it is nowhere close to theirs if you were to eat them side by side.  I am a work with what you have and not cooking with wine kind of cook.  The Il Fornaio version is awesome or at least was.  I'm not sure if they still serve it but probably 10 years ago, I ordered it almost every time I went there. 

If you make this with prosciutto instead of ham, it is even better.  I have made it with spam in a pinch because the family was craving it and that was all I had in the house.  Spam is not my favorite at all and you really have to make sure you juliene it carefully so it doesn't shred and then make sure to saute it til crisp.  Leftover ham from a holiday meal or even lunch ham finely sliced work well.

This is really good with any kind of pasta, but WITH GNOCCHI IT IS THE BEST.

Gnocchi Recipe

We love gnocchi!!!  I try to make it at least once a month.  While I like it many ways, my family seems to prefer with a Spinach Ham Cream Sauce the best, and with Pesto second best.  I like it Bolognese but since that is basically like Spaghetti Sauce, its best to save that for Spaghetti.  Here is the Gnocchi recipe that I basically start from but depending on the potatoes available and amount of people eating, I really add or subtract eggs and flour as I go.  After you make it multiple times, you just know how it should feel when you knead it. 

Oh, a side note. DON'T USE RED POTATOES if you don't have to.  They just don't seem to work right for gnocchi or taste right with it.

Here is a video from an Il Fornaio chef that shows how to make the dough.  I'm not going to do a video myself, but this one is a good example of how its done.  I usually combine everything and knead it in a large mixing bowl to make less mess. I also usually don't add the cheese to my dough.  Its too expensive and since I use it in the sauce, it always seems fine with us without.

Next,watch this video on how to shape the gnocchi.  I don't do the rolling on the cheese grater like demonstrated or on fork tines or a wooden mold that others do.  It's too much work for me and takes too much longer.  The sauce seems to work and stick to the gnocchi for me without the extra work, but do remember to dust with flour like he says or they will stick.

If the youtube links die, then search for how to make gnocchi videos and you will find some.  I just like these two because they are about how I was taught to do it.