Saturday, February 28, 2009

Angel Biscuits

This is a recipe my mother used to make when I was growing up. It makes some tasty biscuits, and it's good for once-a-month/bulk cooking, as they can be rolled out and cut and then frozen unbaked.

5 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons sugar
1 cup shortening
2 cups buttermilk
1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water

Dissolve yeast in water and set aside. Sift all dry ingredients and cut in shortening. Add buttermilk and yeast and mix well. Pour onto floured board and knead. Then roll out to 1/4 or 1/2 inch thickness and cut. Put into greased baking pan and let rise to double size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

This dough will keep in a refrigerator for a week if covered tightly. Also, after cutting the biscuits out, they can be frozen on the pan and then placed in a plastic bag. They will not stick together. Take out as many as necessary and let them rise from one to two hours. Then bake.

Oregano-Lemon Chicken

Another for the menu plan.

4 chicken leg quarters (3 1/2 pounds)
3 T. lemon juice
2 T. honey
1 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-4 tsp. dried oregano

With a sharp knife, cut leg quarters at the joints if desired. Place chicken in a greased 13" x 9" baking dish. Combine the lemon juice, honey, oil, garlic, and oregano; spoon over chicken.

Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and chicken juices run clear, basting occasionally with pan juices.

Cabbage with Meat Sauce

I guess this is sort of like an unrolled cabbage roll. We'll be trying it as part of our menu plan for the upcoming week.

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 green pepper, chopped
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. tomato juice
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 C. butter
1 medium head cabbage, thinly sliced

In a skillet, cook sausage, green pepper and onion until the sausage is browned; drain. Stir in the tomato juice, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper; simmer for 1 hour. Melt butter in a Dutch oven; saute cabbage over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the meat sauce.

NOTE: I always make big batches of homemade meat sauce and I plan to use that for this recipe. If the one that's posted doesn't sound good, feel free to improvise!

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This recipe comes from the Better Homes & Gardens Fast Fix Family Food cookbook.

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks
3/4 C. maple syrup or maple-flavor syrup
1/2 C. cider vinegar
1 12- to 16-oz. package frozen cooked meatballs
2 medium sweet red peppers
1/4 C. cold water
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. hot cooked Asian noodles or rice

Drain pineapple; reserve liquid. In a large saucepan, stir together pineapple liquid, syrup, and vinegar. Add meatballs. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Remove seeds from sweet peppers and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Add to meatballs. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

In a bowl, stir together water, cornstarch and salt until smooth. Stir into meatball mixture. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Stir in pineapple chunks; heat through.

Serve over hot cooked noodles or rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Well, good grief.

Nearly a month since I've blogged. That just won't do. The problem that needed money thrown at it got resolved, and hopefully will be fine going forward. J's sleep issues have gotten a bit better, but now I'm to the point in my pregnancy where I wake up a zillion times a night to go to the bathroom or change positions or just for the heck of it, so I'm still not getting any decent sleep most nights.

And the baby has a name and a birthdate! His name will be Rhys Daniel, and his birthday will be April 16 - my c-section is scheduled for 7:30 AM, so barring some emergency that morning, I'll be first up for the day. I like that. Of course, I had a co-worker tell me this week that she doesn't think I'll make it to April 16. Not sure why she thinks that - I'm not that big (other co-workers have only recently started to comment on me having a belly, to which I think, well, gee, I'm only 32 weeks and change, I should look pregnant by now!), and Julian certainly didn't come out until the doctor made him come out, so I've got zero reason to think Rhys will come early. We'll see, I guess.

Brian's mom came this week - the two of them painted the nursery on Thursday (and it looks amazing! I'm now wanting to paint every room in my house! LOL), and she and I cleaned (REALLY cleaned) the kitchen and guest bathroom yesterday. I was wiped right out. Good thing I took the day off work yesterday, as just the act of getting to and from work and making it through the day (even with a desk job) seems to suck all of the energy right out of me. I want my pregnancy to be as healthy as possible, but right now, if my doc were to tell me I had to be home for a few weeks before Rhys gets here, I wouldn't be averse to that at all. I just feel better when I'm at home, even if I'm more physically active.

And it could happen that he'll tell me to stay home. A few days before my last appointment, I checked my blood pressure using a co-worker's monitor that she keeps at the office. It was 156/95. Yikes. With Julian, my blood pressure jumped up at about 36 1/2 weeks to the point where my doc did tell me to stop working and rest at home (not full-out bedrest, but he made it clear I wasn't to do much of anything strenuous). So I saw that reading and thought, well, crap, here we go again. Only it was a good bit earlier than 36 1/2 weeks. I called the doc's office, and the nurse said I'd be OK monitoring it as long as I wasn't having headaches or vision changes (which I wasn't). So I got my own monitor and went in for my appointment the following Tuesday. Every time I checked before that appointment, and every time I've checked since then, it's been fine - the highest has been something like 132/83, and it's been as low as 116/74. My doc told me to just keep an eye on it and make notes of my readings for my chart, and we'll see what happens. So far, so good. But like I said, some days I'd welcome two or three or four weeks at home before the baby gets here (assuming it wasn't a serious issue that kept me from working)! LOL

Brian's job is going well. Such an answer to prayer! He won't technically start earning paid time off until May, but they've already said they've got no problem with him taking a day or two off when the baby is born.

Julian is doing pretty well, too. He just finished up the fourth six weeks of the school year with an S in conduct. Woo hoo! What a change from the early part of the year, when he got notes sent home more often than not. He's doing a lot better academically, too, which just makes my heart happy. He's up to the last first-grade reading level, and right about where he should be in math.

Not having access to my bloggy resources at work, and then having issues trying to get my wireless internet set up at home, has thrown me off with my menu planning. We've still managed to be pretty frugal and not buy a whole lot of groceries and cook using what we have on hand, but it bugs me trying to think of something that day when I know I can do better planning ahead. So I'm trying now to do meal plans for two weeks at a time. I'll be working on that today and tomorrow, and hopefully getting all my coupons in order, too.

My next appointment is this Tuesday - I'm in the every-two-weeks category now. We'll see how things are going then!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Boy, do I have a lot to write.

Not right now, though. I can't get to my blog at work anymore, and time at home is often hard to come by, but I will update at some point.

And dang it, I was going to do another menu plan this week. I like menu planning. Alas, Monday has come and gone and I didn't get it posted. Maybe next week I'll get it posted on Sunday night.

Things are tiring. Julian is having sleep issues these days, not sure why. My ex is a hot mess and I'm not sure what to think of some things. We've had a little drama of our own that I won't go into right now - it can be resolved, it just needs money thrown at it, and I'm trying to come up with said money now. And I'm nearly 29 weeks pregnant, and we still have so much to do to get ready for the baby's arrival.

Can I just go back to bed?