Think Beyond The Specialty Aisle

It never ceases to amaze me how much food that teenagers go through. I say “go through” rather than “eat” because I feel like they waste a lot of it. Not sure if it’s because they always leave the dang chip bag open or if they just get sick of eating so much of the same thing all of the time. I don’t know one person that enjoys stale chips, potato, corn, or otherwise. I also think that normal average appetites could not eat an entire half gallon of ice cream and want to eat the second half gallon before it becomes freezer burnt! There could be another reason too… bagels aren’t as appealing without cream cheese, turkey sandwiches need bread, and cereal generally needs some sort of liquid, milk or otherwise so that the roof of your mouth isn’t in sheer pain the following day. If either one of those things runs out before the other… well, you get where I am going with that. Which brings me to my next point. Not sure if you noticed, but teenagers generally and conveniently do not “like” leftovers. I think it was a couple years ago, after realizing that our weekly household budget takes a $400.00 ding… EVERY SINGLE week, I decided I would need to become an expert in “new dinner”. It’s  not leftovers, just “new dinner” made from leftovers. I have a small disclosure here before I go any further. I admit that I am not a very good cook. I actually used to have a food blog, but I only created it because I was always so annoyed when I would receive so many texts from kids all afternoon (while I was trying to wing it in the kitchen) and they were always wanting to know what was for supper… hence the blog title, Supper Is Ready.  I have never been good at following a recipe and having it turn out perfectly the same every time. Besides, who ever has everything they need in their pantry all of the time, especially having grazing teens around? No disrespect to The Pioneer Woman as I am one of her biggest fans. She posted a lovely pic of her fully stocked pantry on her blog yesterday and I couldn’t help but think how super unrealistic it was, at least for me! Needless to say, I have gotten really good at taking what I have on hand, using up things that are otherwise going to go to waste, and calling it dinner! It’s always different, it’s always delicious, and has ultimately shaved about $150.00 off my weekly food budget!

My oldest daughter, Allison made a fancy, authentic, Mexican dish on Monday, which was delish by the way! She went to the grocery store and spent about $30 on its “special ingredients”, you know the kind of “special ingredients” that The Pioneer Woman keeps as “basics”. To be honest, I don’t even know where you would look for these things at the grocery store. Needless to say, there was about 1 1/2 Cups of some “red sauce” left that she spent most of the day simmering after she spent forever chopping and blending different things for. There was 3/4 bag of tostada shells which were ironically stale… hmm, go figure, and a partial bag of frozen chicken. The cilantro was wilting, and one out of the three limes was hard as a rock, so you know they were well on their way to the compost pile. Here’s what I did, I made lasagne! Well, lasagne with a twist that is! I added jarred mild salsa to Allison’s “red sauce” to stretch it farther. I used the stale tostada shells as the “noodles” and created layers with all that, the cooked chicken and grated cheddar cheese. I even topped it  with the zest of lime and lovely cilantro. Baked it at 350 for 1/2 hour.

Next time you think of throwing food in the trash, think beyond the specialty aisle of your local grocery store. It will really pay off and maybe your hungry teens won’t realize they actually just ate leftovers!

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Actually, my pantry is kind of a disaster compared to the #pioneerwoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Updates & Cupcakes

It all came apparent to me yesterday that regarding Kylie’s health and her pregnancy, that she and baby are going to be just fine. Yesterday marked 16 weeks! They have an appointment next week to learn the gender, but will keep it a secret between themselves. From what I understand, they plan to have a very special Christmas gift in store! I can’t wait, but I think it’s a girl… no, maybe a boy! 

Morning sickness has lightened up remarkably. The home health nurse still comes out once a week. Kylie hasn’t needed zofran as often in her PICC line, but the fluids and vitamins once a day have been a life saver! She is already talking about getting her PICC line removed, which sounds ridiculous after how much she needed it just a few short weeks ago! She still takes all of her formula through her feeding tube. Her Phenylalanine levels were a little too low, so we have decreased the amount of formula. She has also increased the protein in her diet. We are anticipating perfect results!

Lopez has been an amazing husband. He has been by Kylie’s side the whole time. I can’t imagine there are a whole lot of 18 year olds out there that would be willing to stick around through all of Kylie’s kind of crazy pregnancy. Kylie has been good to Lopez too. She always has his supper set aside for him every night on the warmer when he has a late class. She continues to support his mission to get his son from a previous relationship back, which has definitely not been a walk in the park. The day before yesterday, they were both feeling under the weather and made 3 trips to the courthouse regarding his case to get his son back. I am confident that they will soon find out that their hard work will pay off and baby Lopez will be back in their arms again!
As for me, I have slowly started to allow the kids to take back a few responsibilities as I explained before, I was doing too much for them. I am still looking for the balance, but I feel good about it! I have more time for things like making after school cupcakes again and that makes my sunshine smile!! (when her mouth isn’t full)
Recipe Tip:   ORANGE SUNSHINE 
                    CUPCAKES
We have all been a bit under the weather and in attempt to get a little more vitamin C on board, I take any vanilla cake mix and replace the water that the recipe calls for with fresh squeezed oranges. Pulp and zest too! I have done this in the past with limes, lemons, and/or mango also. They are always tasty, moist, & full of vitamin C! 

❤️Give My Readers What They Want

Since reposting “Crazy Cake Saved My Broken Perfect”, I have received many requests from my readers for the recipe & it brings me great happiness to share it with you all! *RECIPE BELOW* If you decide to give it a go, I would love to see your pics & emails!

It’s true this recipe is completely Vegan (a  Vegan diet usually excludes anything that comes from an animal including dairy products). I have replaced the oil with applesauce on occasion in order to improve the nutritional value and it still turns out crazy perfect every time.

My kids, Kylie and Isaac were born with a metabolic disorder called Phenylketonuria (PKU) which causes them to lack an enzyme that digests one of the amino acids (Phenylalanine) that make up a protein. This cake only contains approximately 1.5 grams of protein per serving.

From what I understood about the history of this recipe, (which was also referred to as “Wacky Cake”or “Depression Cake”) this cake came about during The Great Depression when resources such as dairy products were either hard to come by or people just couldn’t afford to purchase them.
I would like to wish my youngest son, Junior a happy 8th birthday today! We have been so blessed to have been given the opportunity to adopt him in 2013 and make him a permanent part of our family. Enjoy your crazy cake today, son!! 
RECIPE:
Great Grandma Renken’s Crazy Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together in a 13×9 inch unprepared pan:
3 Cups sifted all purpose flour 
2 Cups sugar
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/2 Cup cocoa
1 Teaspoon salt
Make 3 wells with a spoon in the dry ingredients.
In the first well, put: 3/4 Cup vegetable oil. In the second well, put: 2 Teaspoons white vinegar. In the third well, put: 1 Teaspoon vanilla.
Pour 2 Cups of water all and mix well, but do not beat. 
*optional (but will add protein depending on what kind & how many you add) Dot with chocolate chips!
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, leave in pan. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then serve!