Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All About Food

I have always loved to cook. Even as a young girl, I remember wanting to help in the kitchen--- probably to sample all of it more than anything. But sampling the food and cooking what I know tastes good is part of why I am so passionate about food and what I prepare for my family. Not only do I love to cook for my husband and children, but I also love to entertain and cook for friends and family whenever I get the chance. I guess you can say that a huge way that I show my love is by cooking delicious foods for those that I care about.

So what does Christine cook? I try to balance my meals out with inexpensive foods most days like pasta, casseroles, and potato or nacho bars and then I am able to splurge on better cuts of meat a few days a week. I also buy what is on sale and as all of you know that ranges from week to week, store to store, so often times I surprise even myself with what I pick out and decide to delight my family with.

One day last week I made fried Polska-Kielbasa and red potatoes with green beans on the side.

I love to buy stew meat and make different recipes with it.

Last week I made Beef Burgundy that was very yummy. I always try to take the time to braise the meat first so that it will sear in the flavor and come out more tender.

I served the tender meat with onions and mushrooms in a red wine sauce over rice pilaf. It was a hit as long as those who didn't like the vegetables were allowed to pick them out and have John and I eat them. I was okay with that because they still had their veggies from the side salad I served with it. Crusty French Bread sopped up the rich flavorful sauce. Mmm-mmmm-mmm-mmm-mmm.

Just had to throw this picture of Dennis in because he is afterall eating food and that's what this post is all about.

Taco Soup is another big hit in my family. It is so versatile that I have no set recipe. Each pot is never the same.

The main ingredients are ground beef, taco seasoning, tomato sauce, canned beans, canned corn, and water. Sometimes I add Ranch dressing seasoning or green chiles.

We pour the soup over crushed tortilla chips and top with cheese, chopped olives, green onions, and sour cream.

For snack, I give the kids anything from handfuls of cereal, to apples with peanut butter and a few M&M's on top, to toast with jam, cookies, cheese and crackers, or bowls of Top Ramen.

Dennis can eat just about anything now, and now that he has exercised his mouth so much from all his eating, he can almost touch his lips together. Here he is reaching for his sippy cup. That is a huge achievement for him since he used to just let his drink spill all over him. He is learning to control the amount of liquid that goes into his mouth.

Tonight was more of a splurge night because dinner came out to about $3.00 a person. On the menu---- tri-tip, rice pilaf, fruit cocktail, and butter-baked bread.

I season my tri-tip with worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, and ground mustard.

I cover the bottom of the roasting pan with seasoning before I lay the meat down so that the juice will be extra flavorful.

Then I season the top of the meat before I cover it and slow roast it for three hours.

I love this part because I get to sample what I have made.

We go through about a gallon of milk a day.

With the leftover tri-tip I will be able to make John a sandwich in the morning and still have some meat leftover to make myself a yummy quesadilla.


  1. Hi Christine thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. This may sound odd but what is Tri-tip? Is your butter baked bread the same as bread and butter pudding? my kids love that and peach cobbler too and they seem to go further in alarge family dont they.

  2. I know you shop bulk a lot, but seeing that lovely hunk of meat made me think of something my mom used to do that saved her a lot of money, even with a small family. She went directly to a farm or butcher. There were a couple of places where she could get the meat directly from the processor - before it got to the stores and marked way up. There was also a place in Georgia that I was tempted to use - when we lived there - but I didn't have a stand-alone freezer at the time and you had to buy in bulk there... what could 2 people do with half a cow?! The places my mom used, didn't have a minimum purchase. She could still get the same cuts of meat, as well as ground beef, but for less. Is this a resource that is available where you are? Is it still as good of a deal??

    I'm going to be marinating and slow cooking a beef brisket this weekend.. mmm!

  3. All the food looks (& sounds) delicious - but I do have a question - what is tri-tip? Also what is a quesadilla?
    It's great Dennis is eating everything now! I also enjoy cooking for my family!

  4. I assume tri tip is beef from seeing it but never saw a cut of meat like that. Is it like a roast beef?

    I'm going to try the taco soup.

  5. Funny, I just posted about food today!!! I Started posting recipes a while ago but ran out of steam on that one....

  6. Yummy, can we come over and eat? lol I like your divided plates... I use the pyrex ones.

  7. I gained 4 lbs just reading this post!

  8. I hadn't heard of "tri-tip" either - or seen anything that looked like that! The taco soup is a grand idea!!! My kids love anything Mexican. It took Zhen awhile, but he came around. I'll never forget once I turned into a Mexican restaurant parking lot to turn around and from the back seat I hear a horrified cry, "No! Not Mexican food!!!" I'm glad he finally got used to it.

    I am still grateful to your John for sharing the ONE - yes! ONE - meal that every child in my family LOVES - no complaints! Only raves! The "pofloti" that he had in Ukraine. The kids just call it "Ukra-ine" using the Russian pronunciation, and they beg for it all the time. (Wouldn't you know, though? Craig doesn't like it.)

  9. I should have ate at your house--I had a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats--I also posted about it last night!!

  10. So funny - I was planning on posting about food as well! Like most other folks leaving comments, I have never heard of tri-tip....
    I have an enchilada recipe on my blog from August
    This is an easy and cheap recipe as long as you can buy the chicken in bulk. One recipe makes about 12 enchiladas.

  11. Yum, yum, yum - may we come eat with you??? We love kielbasa and silly me - I never thought to put it in with potatoes - I'm going to try that!

  12. love that he can eat anything now...and the taco soup...delish!!!

  13. it all sounds yummr. We go through a gal of milk a day and theres only 5 of us in our family. BTW, I purchase beef by the half (half a cow) yesterday I bought it and it was 2.40 per pound. Now some of that is bones and waist but its alot cheeper than grocery stores and better quality. You can have it packaged how ever you want. Even the hamburger is wonderful and not like store bought. just a though.

  14. The food looks delicious! Good thing you like to cook! ;-)

  15. Wow, I have never seen that big of a tri-tip before! I hope you have friends that are butchers...The taco soup sounds wonderful! Do your Russian/Ukrainian children (or others!) ever ask for their ethnic food? If so, what do you prepare?

  16. Thanks for sharing about all of this yummy food! It is making me hungry! lol

    It is so nice that Dennis is eating everything. I love hearing about his progress. It still amazes me how far he has come in such a short amount of time.

  17. I just made beef burgundy last night, but I don't know what tri-tip is. Your food looks and sounds delicious! Your family is very blessed.

  18. I got that taco soup receipe from my sister in Kentucky and then spread througout Reedley!
    I use ground beef with taco seasoning, pinto and kidney beans, corn, hominy (I find in the mexican food section. very inexpensive), stewed tomatoes, green chiles, dry ranch dressing mix. I top with tortillas and pepper jack cheese to make it spicy. I never thought of sour cream!
    Thanks for sharing some of your tips. I am always looking for after school snacks.
    Funny...I do know what tri tip is and I have never made it!

  19. Two coworkers knew nothing about blogging and asked how I find them, etc. I opened my daughter's and then through her blog, clicked on yours. They LOVED the picture of the kids in the cirle in your heading. I gave them the 2 minute version of your family and your latest child. They both thought Dennis was just so adorable and a cutie.

    Now that I saw your delicious dinners, my grilled cheese tonight is not going to be too tasty.

  20. Christine, can you post your recipe for Polska-Kielbasa please. It looks yummy.I googled it but there are so many different versions I think I will stick with yours.thanks

  21. Darn it - you are making me hungry!

    Everything looks super yummy!

  22. blog hopping.... and your making me hungry!!!

  23. We love Taco Soup around here ... quick, easy and everyone loves it!

  24. You are a great inspiration! Last night I made a great roast complete with REAL potatoes & carrots AND a yummy loaf of homemade bread. Plus layered Jell-o for desert. I do cook dinner for my family of four every week night and usually one of the weekend nights, too. (On the other weekend night we typically go out to eat.) Most of my meals consist of prepared frozen things, such as Chicken Kiev, lasagne, etc., although I do tend to cook chicken or fish quite a bit, too. Anyway, as a stay-at-home mom with both my girls in school all day, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON I can't continue to make awesome meals every day. So, again, thanks for the inspiration -- not only in the kitchen but in your parenting ways as well! :)

  25. Taco soup? What about taco salad! Mmmm...I love it! One of the only times you can get my brother

    Adopting is my dream for when I'm older...that's how I get through my medical problems is looking to the future. I'm hoping to adopt up to 20 (not all in any short period of course!) children, at least 1/2 of which with "special needs". How I plan on doing it? Well, I have some very creative ideas, and of course God! Although the older I get, the number keeps going down...when I was ten I said "no less than 30!" haha, yeah, I don't think that one's gonna happen! When people try to tell me that my dreams will never come true (hah! why would I believe them? I've been told I'm going to die before, but has that stopped me?), my motto is, "If there's a WiLl there's a wAy, if you BeLiEvE and you pRaY!"

    But anyways, so far I've really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to reading even more! God bless you and your incredible family!


    {13 & a WaRrIoR against dermatomyositis & fighter for all kids!}


I find your comments so inspiring! Thanks for visiting our family blog, and sharing your thoughts.