Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?

4.26.2016

Soft Food Diet Meal Ideas for Anyone Wearing Braces


If you have to feed anyone in braces then you know how bland and boring a "soft food diet" can feel to them. They want crunch, they want chewy, but most of all what they want, is to eat like they ate before braces came along. And as their parent our job is to provide them with healthy(ish) choices to get them through the painful parts of braces, especially after kids first get braces or after an adjustment. This list won't get you through all the painful parts of raising a teenager but it may help you get through the braces years.


Middle boy get his braces adjusted tomorrow and I've been jotting down soft meal ideas to make for the next week or so. He was in a lot of pain for about a week last time, so I kept a little list in the pantry and wrote down all the foods I thought of making or keeping handy for the next "soft food diet" days. The ultimate soft food meal request is Macaroni and Cheese, so that's the plan for the first night along with baked salmon, smoothies and apple sauce. The next day I'll reheat leftovers for his lunch and I'll try to do that for the next week or so. If I don't have leftovers I came up with a few great lunch ideas to send instead, like a bowl of cottage cheese and a PB&J on soft bread, cut in pieces, or hummus and flour tortillas. 


Breakfast Ideas:
Scrambled Eggs
Plain Yogurt with Jam or Jelly
French Toast 
Pancakes 
Cereal soaked in milk
Milk Toast
Fried Polenta
Soft Boiled Eggs
Poached Eggs with very lightly toasted bread


Lunch:
Soups leftover homemade or I really like Pacific Foods Soups
Quesadillas
Refried Beans
Baked Beans
PB&Js (on soft bread cut in small pieces)
Pasta plain or with sauce
Cottage Cheese
Potato Salad
Pasta Salad
Stewed Fruit
Soft Dried Fruit like plums or raisins-make sure they're very soft
Egg Salad


Dinner:
Macaroni and Cheese
Chicken and Rice--long cooked, super soft
Pasta plain or with sauce
Baked Salmon
Soups--homemade or I really like Pacific Foods Soups
Sloppy Joes (use forks and knives)
Meatloaf
Chicken and Dumplings
Pasta Salad
Potato Salad 
Milk Toast
Cheese and Broccoli Soup
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Baked Squash 

Snacks and Sides:
Plain Yogurt with Jam or Jelly
Gogurts
Smoothies
Apple Sauce
Bananas
Cottage Cheese
Pudding
Custards 
String Cheese
Soft Cheese (like the wedges or circles)
Canned Fruit
Rice with soy or salt and pepper
Spanish Rice



And of course mix these up as needed or desired. I only tried to separate into categories to make finding ideas easier. You'll find a couple of the ideas in several places because sometimes leftovers make the best lunches and snacks. I know this list isn't complete, what am I missing?







4.23.2016

Spicy Salmon for Tacos #SundaySupper

This week the theme for #SundaySupper is Regional Specialties and I can't think of anything that means Alaska MORE than salmon, can you? Maybe pilot bread? Or if you're thinking general region being the Matanuska Susitna Valley and then that's potatoes. Yes I could have gone the all carb route but I chose SALMON, because we love it. And we caught a lot last year so I need to use it up. It's a 2 for 1 over here, a post AND eating down the freezer. 




You might think you would love to have the "too much salmon" problem and you might actually enjoy for a year. Maybe two at the most. And then the ones you love, they turn on you, they refuse to eat another salmon patty, salmon loaf, grilled salmon steak, salmon fish stick. In fact they might just refuse to even set foot in the house if you're cooking salmon. 





Don't get me wrong. These people are same exact people who catch all the salmon, who excitedly pack everything they own in the car and go sleep in not-their-bed to catch salmon. Yes, those people who gleefully bring it home, will turn on you. So you have to go about the whole "eat 45 salmon a year" thing very, very carefully, dole it out in just the right amount, about every ten days in various forms will get you through your freezer of salmon without revolt. 





I, of course, never did this to my mom. Nope not me, I shut up and ate that salmon loaf with a dman smile on my face. Ask her--never mind DO NOT ENGAGE MY MOTHER IN THIS! But she would totally agree with what I'm saying. I would never have worn nose plugs as a child when she was cooking salmon...


Anyway this week our host for Sunday Supper is the lovely Sue from Palatable Pastimes--go say hi! And get ready to eat some Spicy Salmon Tacos. 


This SPICY variation of my regular Mild Salmon Tacos, if you don't like heat check those out instead. To get the heat for these tacos I lean heavily on fiery chipotle chili powder and jalapeño powder both of which can be found on Amazon or in spice shops. Be careful with the jalapeño powder, it's very light and airy, when you open the bag it floats up into your face, it will make you sneeze or choke so be aware and open carefully! And of course feel free to tone down any of the peppers in the spice mix to suit your heat limit. 






Spicy Salmon Tacos
makes one dozen full tacos

1 1/4 pound salmon fillet or pieces to make 1 1/4 pounds*partially frozen makes easier cutting!
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2  teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno powder
1 teaspoon garlic granules
2 teaspoons cooking oil, I used olive oil, use what you prefer
couple pinches of salt
tortillas and fillings: we really like this salmon with corn tortillas, mangoes (or mango salsa), shredded cabbage

use a sharp fillet knife to remove the salmon from the skin-- To do this slice down through the salmon, then before you hit the skin turn the knife sideways and slide it away from you along skin, repeat until the skin is completely removed
while you're skinning the salmon make sure to feel for bones and remove any that you feel, you don't want a surprise pin bone showing up
cut the salmon in about one inch cubes, smaller or bigger are fine
place in a plastic bag or a shallow bowl

mix dry spices cumin through garlic in a small bowl, toss with the salmon to coat
let rest for at least 20 minutes
prep your tortillas and fillings during this time

when you're ready to get cooking heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a 10 skillet over medium heat
swirl to coat the bottom
add half the salmon, let it sear for a 1-2 minutes, then carefully turn it over and cook for 1-2 minutes turning carefully as needed to cook through--do not cook for longer than 5 minutes or it will begin to flake and fall apart, you're going for cubes here
remove to a serving dish, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and repeat with the remaining salmon
serve with your desired toppings and tortillas







Appetizers:
Beverages:
Breakfast:
Salads:
Sauces:
Side Dishes:
Soups:
Main Dish:
Desserts:
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement



4.22.2016

Let's PARTY Friday Frenzy




Close to Home, Mostly Food and Crafts, Hey, What's For Dinner Mom? and Trampling rose. welcome you to FRIDAY FRENZY where we come to share your Recipes, Craft projects, and whatever else you've been working on. When you link up to the Frenzy your posts will be featured on all four of our blogs for quadruple the exposure. Each week we'll showcase a few of our favorites from the week before, and pin them on our Friday Frenzy Pinterest Board as well. Please follow your hosts
 

We're checking out some of the freshest ideas for Spring this week--hope you enjoy them!

Here is a fun idea and great way to use fresh herbs.  Simply Stacie shows us how to make Lime Cilantro Soap.

Lime Cilantro Soap - Don't let those fresh herbs go to waste! Make soap! This Lime Cilantro Soap is made with melt and pour shea butter soap base, lime essential oil and fresh cilantro.

Paper Crafting Ideas shared a fun Graduation Party Hat Favor project.

Filled with chocolate candies and made with lots of love, these graduation hat party favors are sure to be a hit at any grad party. Learn how to make them here.

I love my crockpot!  I cant wait to try these Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas from Meeshie's World.


We can't wait to see what you made this week!

   

   

4.20.2016

Easy Post-Volcano Car Care #SummerCarCare

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerCarCare #CollectiveBias


Living in Alaska means we get all kinds of freaky, weird weather. Most snow we've had all winter? in March, you betcha! Balmy and 45˚ in January, sure! 70 mph wind that knocks out the power for a couple days? Yep. 20 hours of daylight every day for a couple months and vise versa in the winter--definitely! Jarring 7.1 earthquake in the middle of the night-no problem. Volcano erupts and all flights get cancelled-happens regularly enough that no one is surprised by it. Most of these weird weather-y things are best just waited out as long as you're prepared for it by having food and water on hand, and you can keep your wits about you.

Volcanoes though can be a bit different, the ash is most problematic. You don't want to be OUT in the vacanic dust falling. You don't want to breath it in, that dust isn't regular dust, it's microscopic in size but the particles are sharp and they can hurt your lungs. When you see ash from a volcano you should definitely wear an air mask or you could risk hurting your lungs.

But what about your car? If there is a lot of ash falling actively falling from the sky you're not going to want to be out in it and many places will close while ash fall is heavy. If you do have to drive your car or the ash fall was minimal,
here are a few tips to keep your car in top shape after an ash fall:

  1. if there is ash on your car don't want to brush it off, that will ruin your paint job, you're going to need to run it through the car wash or wash it by hand with lots of water to rinse the ash off
  2. while your car is parked you'll want to cover all exterior vents that might let ash into the engine compartment which can gum things up
  3. try to cover your windshield with an old blanket or sheet to keep as off of it and you should change your windshield wipers after the ash is done falling to avoid scratching the windshield with the ash
  4. likewise if you can cover the headlights and tail lights,  the plastic coverings could become scratched and cloudy if brushed off--wash them a the very least
  5. get your vehicle in to the shop for a check up soon after an ash fall--have the brakes looked at and see if they can use an air compressor to clean the engine compartment as well
  6. this last one is easy enough to do at home and takes 5 minutes--you're going to want to change your air filter after any ash falls in the area, this is very important because if the filter gets clogged with ash it can cause engine damage, lack of horse power and even engine misfires--in fact if you're in a heavy ash fall area you'll want to change your air filter more often than the normal 12,000 miles-you might just want to throw one in your emergency preparedness kit, depending on how close you live to active volcanoes 



I recently decided it was time to put a new Fram Extra Guard Air Filter in our Pathfinder because of the eruption of Pavlov volcano last month. I didn't change it then, but to be honest we didn't actually get any visible volcanic dust from that volcano. But seeing as how we live at the confluence of two large glacier valleys and the wind blows here about 400 days out of the year it's probably ALWAYS a good time to change the air filter. A clean air filter is the first line of defense for your engine and can improve acceleration, horsepower and performance. In fact I've never changed the air filter in our Pathfinder.

So we're changing it now, late is better than never right?



Easy as pie to find it using the handy computer in Walmart.




Walked directly to it on the shelves.




Opened the hood and located where the filter belonged, not hard yet!



Popped two clips using a screwdriver, opened the cover and pulled out the old air filter. Well it doesn't look too bad does it? Ok you're right it does look pretty bad.



Dropped the new filter in and replaced the two clips. The entire process took less than five minutes.



The we disposed of the old air filter, feeling pretty good about ourselves.





It's funny because just the other day when I was at Walmart grabbing a Fram Extra Guard Air Filter I was mulling over volcanoes and now while I'm writing this I hear yet another volcano has erupted in the Aleutian Islands, yep pretty much a standard here, wonder if we'll get any ash? Will I need to change my filter again? When was the last time you changed your car's air filter?? 

4.18.2016

Tidy Cats Litter Now Available at Select Costco Stores #TidyCatAtCostco

This post is sponsored by Tidy Cats® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Community Network™. I am being compensated by to help create awareness in Costco stores located in the Pacific Northwest but I only share information I am confident I feel is relevant to my readers. Nestle and Tidy Cats are not responsible for the content of this article. #TidyCatAtCostco






As a mom to three boys, wife to a great husband, owner of 2 cats, a dog and about 23 chickens, I have got to stay on schedule if I want to have time to get any work done. I know that time is money.  One way I stretch my time and my money is a bi-monthly trip to Costco, you might say I am a tried and true Costco shopper. I stock up often to keep my pantry full, so I'm never caught without key ingredients or lunch items or laundry soap or well  just about everything I guess. You name it, I stock up on it. I find that in the long run I save money by buying in bulk. And I save time by never getting put in the situation where I am forced to run to the store for one item. We all know that "one thing" costs, what about 50 bucks and an hour of your time, right? Why bother when you can have a nice fully stocked pantry or as one friend put it, a Costco pantry.





I have three boys, 23, 12 and 10 years old, the two youngest still live at home, the other visits us occasionally. One of my main reasons for shopping at Costco are these three boys, they. can. eat. And when their friends come over, it's like nothing you've ever seen, a whirlwind of food inhalation. I love to have lots of food on hand so I'm not cranky about how much they eat, nothing will drive kids away from your house faster than a cranky mom. Well except lack of food that is, and we WANT kids to hang out here. 



This week while stocking up at Costco on the basics (ok and some shoes!)I came around the corner and found something I wasn't expecting to see there, Tidy Cats® Litter




I was so excited to see it there, it's the litter we like to use in our cat's litter boxes. We have two rescue cats and we do go through a lot of litter, so I was very happy to see giant boxes of litter on the shelves, that's one thing I don't want to run out of. It's a great price too. Come to find out it's only available in the Pacific Northwest stores, so I got lucky people and if you live in the PNW area you can get lucky too!





I popped a case in my cart to build up my base layer. Which is how I like shop, put the big boxes of non food items in first, then stack the delicate stuff like fruit, vegetables, bread on top. As I made my way up the aisle a fellow shopper looked in my cart and said " oh, they have Tidy Cats??" and went speeding down the aisle towards the pallet of Tidy Cats. I just smilled and rolled on towards the veggie cooler.

A couple more photos--this didn't fit in the back of our Pathfinder so it's all strapped in and ready for the long ride home!

And once home our very timid cat, Thunder, was very interested in it.





Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.




4.16.2016

Hot Milk Sponge Cake #SundaySupper

If you're looking for that cake to serve with fresh spring berries, here it is, Hot Milk Sponge Cake. Simple ingredients make for a perfect subtle cake that will set off all the glorious berries you care to indulge in this spring. And Spring is our theme this week for Sunday Supper, our host this week is the lovely Renee from Renee's Kitchen Adventures, drop in and say hi!



Once again I was inspired by the Great British Bake Off, this time beyond bread though! I moved on to a cake you see the hosts call for again and again, a sponge cake. I found many recipes for sponge cake but finally settled on making a Hot Milk Sponge Cake because I'd read about it before and had never had. When I found in my James Beard American Cookery Book I knew it was the sponge cake I wanted to make. I changed the prep method a tad by beating the egg whites first, then setting them aside to prepare the rest of the cake. This works well because you don't have to wash out the bowl and try to beat egg whites to soft peaks in it, you can just go straight to beating egg yolks, which don't care if they have a bit of white in them.








Notes: you will need a tube pan
you read it right, you don't grease the pan
a stand mixer makes this easy to prepare


Hot Milk Sponge Cake
oven 325˚

4 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup hot milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups cake flour, you can substitute part or all of this with cake flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pre-heat oven to 325˚
beat the 4 egg whites on medium high until the get foamy
slowly add one cup of the sugar then beat on high until soft peaks form
scrape the egg whites into a bowl while you prepare the rest of the cake
add the egg yolks to the mixing bowl the whites were, beat until thickened
add the rest of the sugar and beat until light
mix in the hot milk and vanilla
combine the flour, salt and baking soda together and fold them gently into the cake
fold in the egg whites by hand just until combined
scrape into an uncreased tube pan
bake for 50-55 minutes in a 325˚ oven
upon removal from the oven invert immediately
once cooled loosen it with a fork and gently ease it out of the pan
at this point you can slice it and serve it, frost it, ice it, drizzle it with berries or top it with whipped cream

















  Breakfast:
Appetizers:
Beverages:
Main Dish:
Side Dish:
Dessert:





Plus Spring Vegetable Minestrone and more Spring Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

4.15.2016

Friday Frenzy Link Up

Friday-Frenzy
Close to Home, Mostly Food and Crafts, Hey, What's For Dinner Mom? and Trampling rose. welcome you to FRIDAY FRENZY where we come to share your Recipes, Craft projects, and whatever else you've been working on. When you link up to the Frenzy your posts will be featured on all four of our blogs for quadruple the exposure. Each week we'll showcase a few of our favorites from the week before, and pin them on our Friday Frenzy Pinterest Board as well. Please follow your hosts

Rachel from Trampling Rose  Pinterest
We're checking out some of the freshest ideas for Spring this week--hope you enjoy them!


Spruce up your home with these adorable metallic quote pots.  They would make a great mini herb garden idea too.  Thinking Teacher appreciation gifts too...  The ideas are endless. 





Speaking of teacher appreciation gift ideas, check out these adorable Hero Teacher gift in a jar.   These would be fun for any kid to help make.







Strawberries just scream spring time.  Put them in a glass of sangria for this Strawberry Sangria recipe and you have yourself a springtime party. 

 Can't wait to see what recipes and crafts everyone is sharing this week!