Friday, September 2, 2011

Wild Rice and Ground Beef Casserole


1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
½ lb. fresh mushrooms 
1/2 to 1 bag of fresh spinach 1 ½ c. wild rice, (one package if prepackaged) uncooked
3 c. chicken broth

garlic powder to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste

  • Saute onion 3-5min med. Add ground beef and mushrooms until all meat is cooked. Drain if necessary. Transfer the meat to a 3 quart shallow, oblong casserole. 
  • Put wild rice, chicken broth, spinach, and seasonings in casserole dish. Mix. Stir in meat and veg. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 1.5 hours, stirring once or twice during baking. During one of your stirring times taste test to make sure you have enough seasonings. Uncover and bake 10 minutes to evaporate any excess liquid and brown the top of the casserole. 
  • Feeds 4
I forgot to take a picture before we ate it all! LOL I would have thought it would have fed 6 adults but 3 adults and 2 toddlers = no leftovers! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nacho Pie


  • tortilla chips (corn/gluten/dairy free?
  • 1.5 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/8-1/4 cup taco seasoning
  • 1 can (16 oz) chili beans, undrained (see recipe below)
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans 
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes)
  • shredded mozzarella cheese (or peperjack/cheddar) (dairy/soy/gluten free?
  • Sour cream for the nondairy free people


  • Place chips in a pie plate and set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain if needed. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Add tomatoes and mix. Add chili beans and mix. Spoon over chips. Top with refried beans, and cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 15-17 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Chili beans! 
  • Make sure kidney beans have soaked overnight (or pop out the can)
  • Place beans in pot and cover with water just above beans. Add chili power, cumin powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper. 
  • Simmer on low until water is almost gone and beans are cooked but not mushed. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The pressure to homeschool early

There is this constant pressure from other parents to start homeschooling at an early age. Why? Why do kids need to go to school this early? Why should a child age 2, 3, or 4yrs be sitting at a table learning out of a book? Even though these are not things I agree with I still feel the pressure. I hear comments like I want to keep (s)he with their peers, or they are advanced for their age, or they love to learn so we are starting kindergarten at age 3yrs or 4yrs. I know to each their own and we all feel we do what is best for our family but why do we need to pressure others to push their kids as well?

I know that my kids are happy and intelligent. I look at what these other parents are doing and it seems like exactly what I have been teaching all along just not from a book or at the table. So why do I still feel pressured? I don't know.

Well at our house all we have done so far is learn from play. We color, make crafts, bake, cook, count, add things together, workbook activities, read, games, etc. Somehow without a structured learning environment they have learned many skills like reading, writing, coloring inside the lines, fine motor movements, bible stories, to love God, how the body works (eating to birthing babies), adding and subtracting, baking, cooking, science, etc. It is really amazing all the things kids can learn throughout a day. Really they are sponges.

Yes we will start using some homeschool ideas like using a calender and telling time as Rowan has asked to learn these skills. We will continue to foster what they desire to learn with focus on their strengths. This week we have been blessed with dramatic plays every night before bed. From puppets to ballet dancing, it has been amazing to watch them every night as they entertain us. So for now we will continue along the path we are currently headed and hope that the pressures will slow. The girls can continue to be 2 and 4yr olds enjoying life to its fullest.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Kneadlessly Delicious GLUTEN FREE pizza crust review!

Now I have made some gluten free pizza crust and it is better than I have bought out at a restaurant. I was lucky enough to be able to test Kneadlessly Delicious's new gluten free pizza dough. I was sent home from our wonderful co-op with this 2lb bag of dough. Very similar to the dough you can order at your local pizza store or local bakery grocer except this one was gluten free. Now for those of us who either have wheat allergies or sensitivities this is a blessing! 

I was emailed the directions on how to roll out dough and prepare pizza for the perfect crust. 

1. Thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack.
2. Prepare and measure all the toppings in advance.
3. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with rice flour and cut off a 1/2-pound (orange-size) piece.  Dust the piece with more rice flour and quickly shape it into a ball; this dough isn’t stretched because there is no gluten in it – just press it into the shape of a ball.  You will need to use lots of rice flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, but avoid working lumps of flour into the dough.
4. Sprinkle rice flour onto a 14-inch square piece of parchment paper.  Flatten the dough with your hands into an even circle, sprinkle generously with more rice flour, cover with a 14-inch piece of plastic wrap, then roll the dough between the parchment and plastic wrap to produce a 1/16- to 1/8-inch-thick round.  Peel away the plastic wrap, leaving the crust on the parchment paper
5. Distribute a thin layer of tomatoes over the surface of the dough.
6. Scatter the mozzarella over the surface of the dough, then the basil, olives, pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired.  Drizzle the pizza with about a teaspoon of olive oil.  No further resting is needed prior to baking.
7. Slide the pizza and parchment directly onto the stone.  Check for doneness in 10-12 minutes.  Take a peek at the bottom of the crust – if you’d like it to be browner, slide the pizza and parchment off the stone and directly onto the oven rack for a couple of minutes.  (Parchment paper will turn black, which is fine.)
8. Allow the pizza to cool slightly on a rack before serving, to allow the cheese to set.

The only changes I will make when repeating these instructions is to add some oil/nonstick spray to the parchment paper. Just the rice flour was not enough for easy removal. I did have to work at getting the pizza off the paper but was successful. So just a minor challenge with an easy fix. 

I sprinkled with the rice flour and rolled out the dough. Personal family favorite is some italian seasonings on the crust. It is bubbly on the hot pizza stone. 

Roasted peppers, mushroom, goat cheese, and bacon placed on raw dough.
Then into the oven. 

Cooked gluten free pizza with a thin crispy crust. 

Thin crispy crust with mile high toppings. 

First taste tester the perfect judge of flavor Kiernan (2yrs and wheat free)
Take note that the pizza slice is standing on its own and not flopping. 

She devoured the entire slice and then ate some more! 

The pizza crust was thin and crispy. It was full of flavor which is hard to accomplish without gluten. The best part about it was that the pizza could stand up on its own and did not end up being crispy like a cracker but like a normal thin crust pizza. There was absolutely no after taste like some GF breads have and my wonderful gluten loving husband liked it! Obviously he would prefer a gluten loaded pizza but this was a good alternative. The pizza dough was easy to roll out and load with my toppings. I can't wait to try it again and this time freeze the dough and see how it comes out. Our 2lb roll made 2 large thin crust pizzas. Thank you Kneadlessly Delicious for letting us try your new gluten free pizza dough.