Cherish the Good Things

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Definitely need to remember that!

And some links for you this weekend:

50 Ways to Love Your Child Every Day Using Love Languages | Bow of Bronze

Fill the Freezer with Easy Recipes for Summer | Life As Mom

Put the Phone Down and be a Mother | Growing Home

Be Like The Sun: Move Slowly, Radiate Warmth, Shine | Simple Mom

40 Preserving Links (and canning with honey!) | Simple Bites

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The Muffin Tin Lunch

Or supper. Have any of you tried this? I got the idea from Pinterest recently and tried it a few times for my son… he loved it! The last time I used sliced summer sausage, cheddar cheese, pickles, carrot sticks, some cheesy crackers, and mandarin orange segments – all in a mini muffin tin:P1110945

There’s just something about being able to choose what’s in your next bite and play around a little. For a 3-year-old, that’s pretty cool!P1110949

And I like that it’s quick, easy and you can use whatever you have in the house!

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Easy Weeknight Dinner | Taco Lasagna

Valerie is hosting a blog party this week! The theme is Easy Weeknight Dinners. The idea is to post an easy recipe that your family loves to have for dinner and then link up oveat her blog to share it with others. The collection of recipe links will be on Valerie’s main page from Jan. 21-25… check it out if you’re looking for some dinner inspiration!

Here’ s my recipe:

Taco Lasagna

Taco Lasagna

Taco Casserole

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tortillas
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brown beef in skillet; add taco seasoning. Divide beef into four parts. In a round 2.5 quart casserole dish, evenly spread 1/4 of beef in bottom, 1/4 cup of cheese on top, a tortilla, 1/3 cup sour cream, and a scoop of salsa. Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with remaining beef, green onion, and cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until heated through.

Makes 6 servings. Enjoy with a Caesar salad!

(Also delicious using oven-ready lasagna noodles instead of tortillas, in a 2.5 quart rectangular casserole.)

Hop on over to Valerie’s blog to see more delicious easy dinner recipes!

French Bread Recipe

I’m loving fall… are you? The weather is just beautiful and I’m receiving LOTS of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini (mostly tomatoes) lately from a few very generous people. This means me cooking up a storm of tomato sauce and salsa for the freezer… love it!

Anyway, today I want to share a French Bread recipe I tried earlier this week. It’s the best one I’ve found yet and I have to say it is almost perfect. It goes great with practically any meal, especially Italian. Bonus: it’s fairly simple to make too! Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I found it, so it’s a little hard to give credit where it’s due, but thanks to whoever created this recipe!

Here it is:

FRENCH BREAD

1 1/4 cups water (105 degrees F)

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 cups bread flour

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional)

GLAZE:

1 egg

1 tablespoon water

2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 150 degrees then turn the heat OFF (this is where your bread will rise, leave the oven light on). Mix sugar & yeast in water, let proof for 5 min. Stir (by hand) the flour & salt together in mixer bowl. Then, using the dough hook on the lowest speed, pour oil and water mixture into flour & let it knead for 8 minutes. If the dough is dry & flaky after 1 minute of mixing, add a scant tbsp of water. Dough should be smooth & elastic after 8 min. Put in greased bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel & put in the slightly warm oven that is OFF. Let rise until doubled, 30-60 min.

 When completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.

 Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal if desired; place loaves seam side down on prepared pan. Cover and let rise in oven (OFF) until doubled, about 20 minutes.

 Whisk egg and water; brush over loaves. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Toss some ice cubes into the oven to make a crispier crust if desired.

 ***If desired, add garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the dough, or sprinkle loaves with garlic salt and parsley before baking.***

Try it and let me know if it’s as good in your books as it is in mine.