Rent A Mom

This week I my youngest daughter had a school project due that involved food. For her 5th grade Social Studies class she had to find a dessert to make from a country that her ancestors came from.

We have basically become mutts over the years in my family. I am 25% Irish, 25% Danish, and 50% French and my husband is Polish, German and French as far as he knows. My daughter chose France as her country. We decided to make Eclairs for her project. They were actually very easy to make! 

Chocolate Eclairs

5th Grade Social Studies Project

Chocolate Éclairs

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant chocolate
pudding mix prepared to directions on box
 
Pastries:
1/2 cup butter (1 Stick)
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
 
Chocolate Icing:
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare pudding according to instructions on box. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
3. In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, water and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Pour in flour all at once and stir vigorously until fully incorporated and mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
4. Drop dough into twelve equal mounds on baking sheets. Spread each mound into a 4×1/2 inch rectangle.
5. Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and with a paring knife make a hole at one end of each éclair. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Return éclairs to oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Prepare icing while éclairs are cooling. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Set aside.
7. To assemble: Using a pastry bag with a small tip, pipe the filling into each éclair. Frost with chocolate icing. Chill until serving.

 

Yesterday afternoon I went to pick my daughter up at school. As usual there are a few of us moms who buck the Car Line Rule and stand at the school’s front doors to pick up the kids. I know, we are such rebels! This way we can gossip talk about what is going on at school and such.

Well yesterday I asked one of the other moms what her daughter was making for the Social Studies project. I got a blank look from her at first and then the look of fear started to show! She had no idea that there was a project due the next day! She asked me what we were doing and I told her what we had picked. She offered me $30 to make her a batch of Eclairs for her daughter! I asked her if they were part French and she said “We will be for tomorrow if you can make them for us!” I took her up on her deal and we made an extra dozen Eclairs. I filled her Eclairs with vanilla pudding and used white chocolate for the frosting.

This little incident has got me to thinking… maybe I should start a new business. Rent A Mom! I could hire myself out to make desperately needed cookies and cupcakes. What, you can’t make little Timmy’s school play?! Have no fear Super Mom is here! For $50 an hour I will attend the play for you! Just e-mail me a recent photo of little Timmy and I will videotape and take pictures for you. But wait, there’s more! Act now and for just an extra $20 I will stand up a give your child the old “Way to go Timmy!” shoutout!

Hey, I’m just thinking out loud here!

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Artichoke Tomato Salad

Artichoke Tomato Salad

8 large tomatoes (about 2 pounds) cut into wedges
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Arrange tomatoe wedges on a large serving platter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over tomatoes. Refrigerate the leftovers.

Nutritional Facts
Per serving: 3/4 cup
Calories: 74
Fat: 5 g (1 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 241 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 1 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetables, 1 fat
Serving Size: 8

Potato Salad

3 to 4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and cubed
3 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped dill pickles or dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I use Miracle Whip)
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover; refrigerate until serving time. (I like to make mine a day ahead of time.)

Shrimp Veggie Pasta Salad

Shrimp Veggie Pasta Salad

Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe

8 ounces cooked tricolor spiral pasta, rinsed
1 pound small shrimp, boiled, peeled and deveined
3 small tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped 
1 cup carrots, chopped 
1 small can of black olives, rinsed
1 small bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
  
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. (I like to make this a day ahead of time)

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: Low 8 hours

Yield: 6 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil          

1 medium onion, chopped                                   

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning     

2 cans (14.5 ounces) Italian flavored tomatoes      

1 cup finely diced carrots           

1 cup finely diced celery 

1 cup finely diced zucchini         

1 can cut green beans

1 cup peeled and finely diced potatoes

1 tablespoon salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 cups water

1 can (19 ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed under cold water

1 1/2 cups uncooked ditalini (small, tube-shaped pasta)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese            

                          

1Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with vegetable oil cooking spray.

2Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.

3 Place the cooked vegetable mixture in the slow cooker. Add the string beans, cabbage, potatoes, salt, pepper, and water. Stir to combine.

4 Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Add the kidney beans and pasta 20 minutes before serving. Cook until the pasta is tender.

5 Stir in the cheese and serve immediately.

 

Per serving: Calories 297 (From Fat 27); Fat 10g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 4mg; Sodium 1770mg; Carbohydrate 42g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 12g.

*I add cooked pork chunk and kielbasa sausage to this and it came out great. Next time I make it I plan on adding some canned minced clams to it instead.

Beef Barley Mushroom Soup

This is what we are having for dinner tonight. Due to the fact that my husband acquired some hog meat I am using cubed pork instead of the beef.

Beef Barley Mushroom Soup
1 large onion, minced
1/2 lb very lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1/2 lb small white mushrooms, stems trimmed, quarted
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, quarted
1 bay leaf
3 tbs minced Italian flat-leafed parsley
1 cup pearl barley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 can (48 ounces) chicken broth
2 cups water
  1. Lightly spray a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  2. Place the meat, onion, carrots, celery, white & shiitake mushrooms, bay leaf, parsley, barley, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker. Pour the broth and water over all and stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until the meat, vegetables, and barley are tender. Add salt to taste.
Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
Calories: 281 (from fat 70)
Fat: 8g (Saturated 2.5g)
Cholesterol: 24mg
Sodium: 969mg
Carbohydrate: 38g (Dietary Fiber 8g)
Protein: 17g

Cajun Baked Catfish

This recipe should work with any type of white fish and it’s healthier than frying!

Cajun Baked Catfish

   

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 (8 ounce) fillets catfish
  1. In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; brush over both sides of fish.
  2. Place fish in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-13 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Baked Chicken & Mushrooms

I am going to try this recipe next week. I will be omitting the cheese from this recipe to reduce the fat and cholesterol.  

Baked Chicken and Mushrooms
From Light & Tasty
INGREDIENTS
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup sherry or chicken broth
3 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
DIRECTIONS    
     Arrange chicken in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, saute mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Add the sherry or broth, green onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour over chicken. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until chicken juices run clear. Top with cheese. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts
One serving: (1 chicken breast half)
Calories: 198
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 79 mg
Sodium: 361 mg
Carbohydrate: 3 g
Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 31 g
Diabetic Exch: 4 lean meat.  

Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes

I love this recipe, it’s a family favorite! If you have any leftover chicken it is great on a salad the next day.

Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes Recipe

 

8 plum tomatoes, divided
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)

Cut four tomatoes into quarters and place in a food processor. Add the vinegar, basil, oil, garlic and salt; cover and process until blended. Pour 1/2 cup dressing into a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until serving. Pour remaining dressing into a large resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Coat grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Cut remaining tomatoes in half; grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until tender. Serve with chicken and reserved dressing.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts

  • One serving: 1 chicken breast half with 1 tomato and 2 tablespoons dressing
  • Calories: 174
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 63 mg
  • Sodium: 179 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 7 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 24 g
  • Diabetic Exchange: 3 very lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.

Welcome To Mom’s Diner

For some strange reason I love to be in the kitchen. I grew up bugging my mom in the kitchen and now my kids are taking their turn at bugging me in the kitchen. But hopefully while they are bugging me they are learning a few life lessons at the same time! I know I did.

I like looking at and trying new recipes, not that anyone likes trying them a whole lot!! I am going to try and add one new recipe a week to my blog. I hope you all enjoy and don’t choke on any chicken bones!! 🙂 
Update 8/26/08: OK, I failed at adding a recipe a week! Oops, sorry! I will add recipes as I come across them. 🙂