I Am a Terrible Mother But I Did Cook #SundaySupper

I am a terrible Mother. I actually encouraged my daughter, a freshman in College, to cut class.  Yes, you heard it right.

It wasn’t just that I couldn’t wait to see her. Her two little Brothers were heading to the Super Bowl with their Football Teams this weekend.  I couldn’t imagine her missing this Special Day in their lives.  How often will her Brothers make it all the way to Super Bowl. This was truly a Special Occasion in our lives and I just couldn’t imagine that Alexandra wouldn’t be here to enjoy it with us.  So I said, “skip the classes,” this is a lesson that can’t be learned in the classroom.

It was the best decision I could have made.  What a weekend!  Truly a weekend we will remember for the rest of our lives!

It’s hard to believe but both teams Won!  I am so glad that our entire family, including my Mom and Dad, were there for this memorable day.  You just can’t put a price on this type of emotion.

Our Sunday Supper was so special this week.  Not because it was the most amazing meal we have ever had, but because of the memories that were made Around the Family Table.   Both boys played so well in their games.  We talked touchdowns, blocks and extra points to be proud of.

The most memorable moment for me was when one of Reis’s team mates who hadn’t started all season made a huge tackle.  Reis jumped up and down and shouted “I knew you could do it! I’m so proud of you.”  This day was about so much more than a Win!

Sunday Supper Around the Family Table was very simple this week but it was absolutely delicious. I love to shop for whatever is fresh and the Tuna Steaks were on sale and were such a deep red, they almost looked purple.   I know, you are thinking, everyone else is featuring Recipes revolving around Thanksgiving this time of year…why is she grilling Tuna Steaks….Because to me it is about  simple, fresh and delicious Meals made with love.

I had made Homemade Macaroni and Cheese (recipe to follow in next post) to take to the team party the night before and they loved it so much that my kids requested it again the next night.  A simple Green Salad with Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette completed our easy meal.

I realized this weekend that listening to our heart is more important than doing the “norm.”  Whether letting your child skip school for a special occasion or grilling Tuna in November, listen to your Heart.

EASY TUNA STEAKS

6 Tuna Steaks (the freshest you can get)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 small lemon

Sea Salt & Pepper to Taste

 

 

Brush the Tuna Steak with Olive Oil, Worcestershire Sauce and Salt and Pepper.  Let marinate for approximately 15 minutes.

Heat grill to high and add Tuna Steak.  Grill for approximately 2 minutes on each side. Middle will remain bright pink. 

Kids Ratings: Alexandra 10, Ronnie 9.5, Reis 10, Riley 10 

  

Chicken Peppers and Onions #SundaySupper was a Victory

Riley is our youngest Son.  He was born in July and went to his first Football Game before he was even a month old.  Needless to say, he has literally grown up on the Football Field.  It’s not hard to believe that his passion is Football.

When he was only in Kindergarten, he told me, “Mommy, I am going to be just like Tim Tebow and play football for the University of Florida.”  While most kids played with cars or legos, Riley would spend hours making up plays for his imaginary team. After writing down all the  X’s and O’s, he would run the plays up and down our hallway.

This is Riley’s 5th year playing Football and year after year, he watched his brother’s teams go to the playoffs and his team  never made it.  Well, his time finally came….Riley’s first playoff game was yesterday and what a game it was!

The celebration started when we scored with just over a minute left in the game. That quickly turned into heartache as the other team ran back the kickoff. Off to OT. It was 4th down and 3 yards to go and they gave the ball to Riley. He was stopped and then out of nowhere, we saw the ball come out of the pile as he stretched the ball across the goal line for the winning TD just like you would see on TV on Sundays.

It was one of those moments that a Mother will never forget.   What is better than watching 9 and 10 year olds work so hard to achieve Victory?

I have always said that my kids have learned the greatest life lessons from playing sports. Riley learned today to never give up, if you work at something hard enough, your day will come.

Playoffs were on Sunday and you all know how Important Sunday Supper is in our home.  I had planned on making Bifes a Portuguesa (Portuguese Beef) when we got home.  We were having such a great day at the Football Field, everyone was hungry.  We did something that we rarely do. We hit the concession stand!

Did I lose my mind? Here it is a Sunday, I can’t stand the processed and fried food that is sold at most Concession Stands…Did I get so caught up in this win that I actually agreed to have Sunday Supper at the Football Field?  Yep, I did!

And guess what?  This ” foodie” was shocked.  This concession stand had a Chicken Sandwich that was to die for.  Not your chicken patty kind of sandwich but a real chicken breast that was grilled in front of my own eyes, then cubed and topped with peppers and onion, served on a fresh bun.

America’s food culture is changing.  As a Mom that has spent the last 13 years at  sports fields, my heart swelled.  Finally there are options for our children that include real chicken and fresh vegetables.  This is a true Victory for our Nation.

The Family Table can be anywhere as long as it full of love and good food.  Although my heart  remains Around the Family Table in our home, every once in a while, there are exceptions for Sunday Supper. Especially when they involve Memories that will last a lifetime.

We were all exhausted when we got home, but being the Football Family that we are, continued to watch the games.  What a day to be just like Tebow….Riley and Tim Rocked this Sunday!

Pepperoni Pizza Dip and Football

Have I told you we are a Football Family?  I may have mentioned it once or twice. You would think that 4 games per week would be enough. Oh no! We love to watch College Football, Professional Football…We just can’t get enough!

The kids love to have friends over to watch the games and enjoy Pepperoni Pizza Dip.  Not only is it a fan favorite, it is so easy to make. Gather Around the Family Table and enjoy this great Appetizer.  Your family will love it too!


PEPPERONI PIZZA DIP

2 8 oz packages of Cream Cheese

6 oz of Pepperoni

2 8 oz cans of Tomato Sauce

8 oz Shredded 2% milk Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese

2 Green Onions*

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

  • Let Cream Cheese soften at room temperature or in microwave
  • Spread the Cream Cheese to cover the bottom of a large baking dish
  • Layer the Tomato Sauce over the Cream Cheese
  • Chop the Pepperoni into small pieces. I like to use kitchen sheers and cut the Pepperoni
  • Chop the 2 Green Onions and sprinkle over the Pepperoni. I also just use kitchen sheers to cut the Onions
  • Sprinkle the Cheese over the the entire dish
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour or until top is bubbling
Serve with Tortilla Chips or Crackers.
Kid Ratings: Ronnie 10, Reis 10, Riley 10                      
Truly their favorite Football Day Munchie!

*Green Onions are so easy to grow.  You can grow them inside or outside.  Just buy the bunch and plant the rest.  All you have to do is cover the white part at the bottom and make sure they have lots of water.  You will have plenty of green onions for all your recipes without having to buy them!

It’s Homecoming Week

I am an only child.  For as long as I can remember I have been  fascinated by sibling relationships.  My Mom will tell you that since I was 9 years old, I would tell her that I was going to have 4 children so that they would have someone to play with.

What is most amazing to me is how different all four of my children are.  How is it possible that four children raised by the same parents, with the same values can be such extremes in personalities?

This week is Homecoming week for Ronnie a Junior in High School.  The difference between Ronnie and his older sister in their take on Homecoming week says it all.

Last year at this time, I was running around dress shopping, buying t-shirts to tie-dye, scouring thrift stores looking for furniture  to decorate the halls.  It was truly a major event in my daughter’s life.

Homecoming Week for Ronnie:

  • Day 1 Inanimate Object: Ronnie comes out of his room dressed in basketball shorts and a t-shirt… “What object are you supposed to be?” Ronnie, “I have my Snuggie in my backpack… I’m a Snuggie.”
  • Day 2 Career Day: Ronnie comes out of his room dressed in basketball shorts and a t-shirt….” What is your career?” Ronnie, “I’m a stay at home Dad.”
  • Day 3 History Day: Ronnie comes out of his room dressed in basketball shorts and a University of Florida t-shirt …”What historical character are you?” Ronnie, “I’m an ancient UF student.  They’ve been around for a long time.”
  • Day 4 Spirit Day: Ronnie comes out of his room dressed in basketball shorts and a t-shirt with his school name… “You’re really feeling the school spirit today.” Ronnie, “Maybe, I’ll wear my Football Jersey instead.”

Ronnie truly has the ability to make something out of nothing.  This is a child that never complains, rarely asks for anything…. easy cheesy!

As his Mom, what I love most about Ronnie is his laid back and easy personality!  Wherever we go Everyone Loves Ronnie!  He truly is the best!

As his Mom, what drives me crazy about Ronnie, his laid back and easy personality! We still don’t know what he is wearing to the dance on Saturday….. if I’m lucky, he may let me know by 4:00 the day of!

I used to think that the difference was a boy/girl thing but I have complete opposite personalities again with my 3rd and 4th children.  They are both boys and one is a take charge kind of guy and the other is as laid back as can be… Here we go again!

Although we have such different personalities in our home, the values and traditions bring us all together.

That love is apparent when we gather Around the Family Table and joke about how Alexandra can get a bee in her bonnet like nobody’s business and nothing can phase Ronnie.

It keeps us laughing and we realize the main thing is…Never lose your sense of humor as a parent!

Ronnie’s favorite kind of meal is anything over pasta.  Here is one of his favorites:

Pork in a Lemon Wine Sauce over Pasta

8 thin slices of pork tenderloin*

1/2 cup all purpose flour w/ salt & pepper to paste

2 eggs well beaten

1/2 cup olive oil

2 TBS minced garlic

1 cup of white wine

2 cups of chicken broth

1 large lemon

2 springs of parsley

1 lb angel hair pasta cooked

parmesan cheese to taste

Dip the Pork in the well beaten egg and coat with the flour, salt and pepper mixture.

Saute in the well heated frying pan.  I like to use a large electric frying pan because I can cook all the pork at once.

Remove pork from frying pan when crispy on both sides. 

Drain the majority of the Olive Oil.

Saute the garlic until soft and add the lemon, wine and chicken broth.  Sprinkle with the parsley and reduce in 1/2.

Add the cooked Angel Hair Pasta to the sauce.

Plate the Pork over the Angel Hair Pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese.

Serve with Caesar Salad

Kid Ratings: Ronnie 10, Reis 9.5, Riley 9

*I like to use thin cuts of meats because they truly are a time saver

This is one of those recipes that will be reinvented into a masterpiece!

Reinventing Leftovers into a new Masterpiece

I love to Reinvent Leftovers.  I make it a habit to cook extra the first time around with the intention of that something new will be reinvented the second time around.

We cooked way too many steaks this past weekend.  I was left with the dilemma of what masterpiece to create the second time around.

I tweeted out “What to reinvent with my leftover Steak?” and got some great suggestions from my Tweets:

@specialforksndy suggested steak sliced on top of green salad or rolled in tortillas with salsa… What a great suggestion! … except I didn’t have greens or salsa in the house and did not have time to run out.

@4everfoodie and @jackknightcooks suggested Fajitas!  My kids would love fajitas but I did not have the veggies & condiments required.

How about a Stir Fry over rice @burdladi suggested.. Another great idea but I did not have all the ingredients without running out.

Then @msmary1962 suggested some type of Beef & Pasta, perhaps soup…. Aha! I love creating new recipes and this was just the inspiration that I needed!

I’ve got steak, I’ve got seashell pasta….just need to come up with a great sauce…

I will save the Fajitas & stir fries for another night for sure…

Nothing Fancy Schmancy but a great Pre-Football Practice Easy Meal…

Reinvented Steak in a Creamy Red Wine Sauce

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Green Onions (I love to grow mine, so I always have some on hand)

3 Cooked Steaks sliced thinly

1 Cup of Red Wine

2 Cups of water

2 Tablespoons of Wondra Flour

1 lb pasta cooked (shells work great because they hold the sauce inside)

Saute green onions in the olive oil.

Add the steak and brown slightly.

Add red wine and reduce in half.

Mix water and wondra flour and add to steak mixture.

Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add cooked pasta and simmer.

I made this pasta dish with a side of  Broccoli  sauted in garlic.

Awesome, easy weeknight meal!  It may be even better than the first time around!

Kid Ratings: Ronnie 8.5, Reis 8, Riley 7.5

What is it about reinventing leftovers that warms my heart?  Maybe because I’ve had to reinvent myself …. and know that I have become a better person due to the reinvention…. the second time around can be an even better choice!

Faith, Family, Food and Football

The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor. -Vince Lombardi

Today is the first day of High School Football and it is my Oldest Son’s First Day on Varsity…I find myself reflecting…where did this all begin… How did we become such a Football Family?

If I had to describe my family in 4 words…. it may well be Faith, Family, Food and Football.  We seem to gravitate to words that start with F!

I can remember how it all started… When my daughter was 5, she decided she wanted to be a cheerleader.  Off we went to sign her up and on opening day, I can still remember the look on my husbands face…. it was an intense look that I had never seen before. By half-time, he was out of his seat and inquiring how he could help Coach… Little did I know this was just the start of the football family that we are now!

At that time, I had 2 young children and our football schedule was very manageable… Now with 4 children and 4 football schedules things are a little crazy… We have a game on Thursday Night, one on Friday Night, another on Saturday morning and the last one on Saturday evening!  And did I mention practice every night of the week?

Needless to say, organization is key to a fantastic, well fed, functioning Football Family!  See what I mean about us gravitating towards F’s!

As crazy as it can get, I wouldn’t want it any other way… We have had so many victories that we will never forget, so many disappointing calls that didn’t go our way, years that we had the starting quarterback and years that we sat on the bench….

When I look back, I can compare our Football Memories to life… sometimes you are on top of the mountain and others times you are down in the valley wondering how you will ever climb back up again… But in the end if you are committed to your family, you can make it through anything!

Food is love and there is no better time spent than Around the Family Table.  I can’t wait to get back and sit around discussing the results of this weeks games!

One of our favorite easy meals is Sesame Ginger Roasted Chicken, Roasted Carrots and Portuguese Rice.

What Do you Perceive to be the Greatest Threat to Families today?

I believe the greatest threat to our Families is how busy we keep our Homes ….

It is so difficult to find the balance between having our kids involved in activities and having time to sit down each night for quality time with the family!

I have learned this the hard way.  I admit that I raised my younger two children very different than I raised my older two children.

Why… because, as  Mom, I  matured and  learned that it’s not about being the best cheerleader and tumbler and dancer.  I learned that it’s not about being the hockey, football and baseball superstar…. those things have very little to do with our childrens success in life.  What is important is the values that they learn by spending time with the family. My job is to devote enough time with them to  help them become the best person that they can possibly  be.

Football Season is upon us and I would be lying if I told you this is the calmest and most relaxing time of year in our home.  With 4 football schedules to juggle every week, you can imagine the craziness…

I try very hard to have time Around the Family Table every night during this busy season….

This is the time of year that I dust off my Crock Pot and it comes to the rescue!

One of our families favorite Crock Pot Meals is a good old fashioned Roast Beef…. It is a true comfort food and perfect for Football Season.

Now remember, we are a family of 6 and I always make extra because I love to reinvent leftovers into a new meal for the following night. (more recipes to follow)

Family Foodie Roast Beef

3 lbs of Eye Round Beef

1 Large Onion Sliced

1 Tsp Bacon Fat*

3 C Beef Broth

1 lb Carrots preferably whole carrots peeled**

1 Bay Leaf

2 tbs butter

2 Tbs flour

In large frying pan, over medium heat, melt the bacon fat add the Beef to the pan.Brown on all sides. Add onions and if the onions burn slightly, this is good and will add lots of flavor. The best time to season meat with sea salt and pepper is when it is right after it comes off the heat.

Layer the carrots, Roast Beef and Onions in the Crock Pot.  Add the Beef Broth and Bay leaf and just forget about it… let it cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

When the beef is falling-apart tender, remove it from the Crock-Pot and let sit for 15 minutes.  Remove the onions and carrots and drain the broth into a medium saucepan. Discard the bay leaf.

Knead the flour and butter together and add to the broth.  Bring to a boil while stirring quickly and then simmer for 10 minutes.  You will have the best gravy ever!

Slice the Roast Beef thin and serve over Smashed Potatoes with carrots and delicious gravy!

Ratings from my boys:

Ronnie 8.5 Reis 9 Riley 8

*Bacon fat.. a little bit goes such a long way and guess what?  It doesn’t cost anything if you just get in the habit of saving the drippings when you make bacon.  It will keep in the Fridge for 6 mos. Best part is you are actually saving on the fat content because you would use much more olive or canola oil to get the same results…So….KEEP YOUR BACON DRIPPINGS!

**Carrots, what can I say…. if you can and have time, buy the whole carrots and peel them… they taste sooo much better.  But if you are in a rush, the baby carrots will also do nicely.

If you use the whole carrots, always save the top…. you can plant them and have carrots year round….yes you can!  I DO NOT HAVE A GREEN THUMB … and I do! (more to come on that!)

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