Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Deal of the Day!

We were out of town last weekend, so my normal Sunday grocery shopping didn't happen until Monday after work.  As Mr. Non-Stop (who needed a nap, but didn't get one), quickly walked the aisles of Aldi's, we found strawberries, 99 cents a container!!!  I couldn't stand it, I bought 8, yes 8.

And WHAT am I going to do with all of those.  Well, I've washed and cleaned 7 of the 8 containers.  6 were sliced and frozen to be used for smoothies, my BodybyVi shakes and oatmeal.  1 container was eaten while cleaning and for a smoothie last night.  That leave 1 container in the fridge that will get eaten over the next day or 2.  And at that, 8 containers of strawberries are used up. 

More importantly, these were really good strawberries.  I think I only threw away about 5 total because they were bruised and already really mushy. 

In case you are wondering how I freeze all those strawberries, I clean and then quarter them.  This is 2 containers done and ready to go.

I then line a cooked sheet with wax paper and spread out the quartered strawberries.  Once they are frozen (or almost frozen), I place them in a freezer ziploc bag, way cheaper than buying frozen strawberries (and really easy!)

Now I just have to wait until blueberries are ripe!

The Chop Haus

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fun Foods and Snacks

While Mr. Non-Stop has been in pre-school providing snacks has become second nature.  Last year, he had snack once a month and I usually coordinated the snack with the theme of the week.  This year, I just tried to come up with something fun, that wasn't 100% sugar.  But even in my attempts to avoid the sugar, it still made it into the snacks.

Bears with chocolate chip eyes, and mini-oreo ears (I opened the oreos and scraped out the cream).  I know your first question, what did you do with the cream?  I ate it off the knife at the end!

 Buses, made from graham crackers, cinnamon life cereal (for the windows) and mini-oreos for the tires. I used peanut butter to attach the items (PB is a safe item at our school!)

Blueberry muffin reindeer.  Chocolate chip eyes, m&m nose and pretzels for antlers.  Again, used peanut butter to attach the items.

 Butterfly baggie snacks.  I used a snack size baggie and filled each side, grapes on one side, gold fish and teddy grahams on the others.  I let Mr. Non-Stop paint the clothes pins, and then I glued the eyes and pipe cleaners to each one.  I was worried that if I made them the night before the moisture from the grapes would soften the fish and teddys.  I made one "test" baggie and NO problems with moisture.  I could have made them all the night before, oh well, lesson learned.  These were taken to school for the insect unit.

 Mini-buses.  These are pretty much the same as the buses, but I must have had a different brand of graham crackers, because when I broke these in half, they weren't square.  Again, I used mini-oreos and cinnamon life cereal.  I happened to have a fruit roll-up, so I cut it into strips and made a stripe for the bus. These were for the transportation unit when Mr. Non-Stop was 3.
 Marshmallow Reindeer dipped in chocolate.  These were from Christmas time when Mr. Non-Stop was 3.  I used a knife to slit the marshmallows and then pushed the pretzel rod into the a marshmallow, dipped it in chocolate and then carefully placed the head onto the antlers that were already on a cookie sheet (covered in wax paper).  I found I had to prop up the other end of the pretzel rod so the reindeer head would stay attached to the antlers.  While the chocolate was drying I placed the eyes and nose.  A little time consuming but I didn't have to make that many and the kids loved them!!

And yet another blueberry muffin!  (Mr. Non-Stop loves blueberry muffins!)  This time I used frosting to attach the chocolate chips and mini-vanilla wafers.  This was from the bear unit when Mr. Non-Stop was 3.  Also before I took good pictures for Pinterest!  But hopefully you get the idea!

You don't have to be super creative to have fun cooking with your kids.  Most of these my littler helper was in the kitchen, stirring, placing chocolate chips or munching on the left overs!  Truly the only time consuming snack was the reindeer pretzel rods, the other ones were pretty quick! 

The Chop Haus

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's all Greek to me!

Another tried and true Pinterest recipe.  I love gyros.  We have a fabulous Greek restaurant here in town and they make the best gyros.  They also always have a booth at our county fair (and every other local summer festival) and I always get a gyro.  However, I know I couldn't possibly reproduce the gyro I love.  But a chicken gyro? Well that is the perfect twist!  I CAN make that at home. 

I found a recipe that was super easy and my family loves them!  Thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything for the fabulous recipe!  I followed the recipe as is, no modifications.  I've made these more than 1 time and they have turned out great each time!  I also LOVE the Tzatziki sauce, I could did eat it right out of the bowl.  I can't wait until it is warm enough for me to grill the chicken.  I used my George Forman the other night, it worked great!

    Tzatziki sauce:
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • To assemble:
  • Pita bread
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • Red onion, sliced thin
  1. Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  4. Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.
Notes: slightly adapted from Annie's Eats 

Don't be afraid, try new stuff!!


The Chop Haus