Sunday, September 8, 2013

Busy Sunday

My intentions for Sunday are never to be busy with busy work.  I take very seriously what God's Word says about taking a day of rest.  We desperately need that downtime, whether we realize it,  admit it or not.

I looked forward to going to church today.  As I said last Sunday, I have a new group of students, third graders.  I'm already learning many of their names and it's a good, large group.  We had 30 total students today.  What a huge blessing.

Anyway, we are studying Samuel.  Not only did my little third graders remember that, but they could remember that the lesson was about his birth, what his mother's name was (Hannah) and what his name means (God hears).  That is so exciting for a teacher.

Next week I've been asked to come up with a craft that will help them learn the books of the Bible.  They are so eager to learn.  This is an on-going project for us.  And since we have them for two years, one of our focuses is to have them memorized by the time they leave us.  That's a challenge because we only have them once a week.  But we are giving it our best effort and God will bless that.

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So once I got home, I was starving of course and started preparing.  I thought I was making our mid-day meal.  Well, it turns out that's going to be dinner and I came up with a fun alternative.  But I started by preparing dinner and snacks for lunches tomorrow.

Tomorrow's snacks are fresh veggies (peppers, celery and carrots) and ranch dressing.

I trimmed the veggies.  What didn't go into lunches and back in the fridge went into compost or my freezer bag.  I save the bits and pieces to use later in chicken stock or veggie stock.  Then I freeze the stocks in two cup containers to use in soups, stews and gravies.  Martha would be proud :)

I try my best to use reusable containers.  I have to do dishes everyday anyway and my guys are really good about bringing them back home.  I don't waste money on disposable containers and one or two more dishes don't make that big of a difference.

It's football season for us - that means fun foods for Sunday lunches and afternoon snacks.  It also gives me an excuse to search out fun, new recipes.  I almost always look for appetizers.  I try to make one or two new ones each week just for something different.

This week I did an old stand-by.  I've made these for several years.  They are easy, fun and don't require a lot of ingredients

Smoky Rolls

1-2 rolls of refrigerator crescent rolls (for each package of sausages)
1-2 packages of cocktail sausages

That's it ! ! !

I unroll to whole roll of crescents, laying them out on a plastic cutting mat and cut them into three pieces:

in half (the point) and then the top half in half again.

Each piece gets a sausage and you just roll them up like you would the crescents.

I do an assembly line

then transfer them to a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees (F) for about 12 minutes.

Today we enjoyed them with cheese sauce.  Honey Do and Newton added some extra hot sauce to theirs.  Don't rule out the basic catsup and mustard, they hit the spot too, or any of your other condiments or dipping sauces.  Leftover rolls are good cold, for lunch the next day.

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So on to dinner . . . . .

Here's today's recipe:

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, unpeeled
1/2 c. mild salsa
1 lb. ground turkey 
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. chili powder
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 small onion, minced
2 T. bell pepper, minced
4 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. Mexican blend cheese
1/4 c. chopped scallions or cilantro for garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Preheat oven to 400 degree (F).
In 9x13 inch baking dish put 1/4 c. salsa.

Zucchini - scrape out the seeds, discard.
Remove zucchini, leaving 1/4 inch thickness.
Chop the zucchini.  You need 3/4 cup.  Save the rest for another dish or discard it.  
Drop the "boats" in the hot water and cook for about one minute.  Take them out and let them dry.

Filling:  brown the turkey, breaking it up as you go.
Combine all the seasonings and blend well, then stir into the turkey and mix well.
Add onion, bell pepper and zucchini.  
Stir in tomato sauce and water.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes on low.

Use a spoon to fill the boats, about 1/3 cup for each.  Place in baking dish.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes.  
Uncover, top with about a tablespoon of cheese and return to the oven for about 5 minutes more, until cheese is melted.
Garnish with scallions or cilantro.  And serve with remaining salsa.

Creative license:  I added a jalapeno pepper.  I took the seeds and vein out of one half and minced it.
I also used ground beef instead of turkey, just because I like it better.  But it will increase the calories if you are counting.

Also, I didn't have any salsa.  But we have fresh tomatoes.  So I chopped a large tomato, sliced the other half of my onion and put a generous squirt of taco sauce on top.  Then I put the boats in to bake.

My zucchini is larger than the medium suggested because I didn't buy any.  I used what was in my garden.  What's better than fresh from the garden?

For the cheese, I make my own "blend".  We like white cheddar.  These two blocks will make a pound of cheese at $3.60 for the entire pound.  I priced shredded cheese.  It was $3.99 for 8 ounces ! If I don't use the rest up by the end of the week, I'll mark the contents and put it in the freezer.

And here's what the end result looks like:

I decided to serve it with rice to round out the meal.  And absorb that lovely sauce on the bottom.

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Now, my package of ground beef was two pounds.  I only needed one for the zucchini . . . 

Might as well start tomorrow's dinner :)

You'll have that recipe tomorrow.

All this effort only took me a couple of hours and that included cleaning up the dishes and taking the pictures :)

As for now, I'm off to work on my stitchery.

Thanks so much for stopping by


Wishing you a creative Sunday.

** Free pattern from Craft 'N' Things.

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