Archive | October, 2009

Any Given Sunday: Football Munchies!

26 Oct

Last week, the 9ers had a buy week (by week?  bye week? buh-bye week?) and we were camping so there were no munchies.  In fact, there were no posts all week.  It was a week.

This week, we had a game.  The 9ers may have lost to Houston but they made it a game.

Greg makes an amazing dip.  I’d share the recipe but he holds it a sacred secret.  I don’t know it.  He has shared it with a friend of ours which surprises me greatly. I try not to take things like that personally.  Clearly, I try but may not always succeed.  😀


Greg’s dip is amazing.  I’ve said that.  Greg’s dip is requested at most parties we go to.  We have been told that if we can’t come to the party, perhaps we could send the dip on by itself.  We’ve been told not to come if we don’t bring dip.  Again, I try (and fail) not to take these things personally.

To go along with the dip, I delved into one of my favorite blogs.  The Pioneer Woman blogs about life on her family’s ranch in Oklahoma, homeschooling her children, photography, food, and her own inner psyche.  She’s an amazing cook.  I love her recipes.  Our Thanksgiving last year was basically all Pioneer Woman — and it was delish.

So, I thought about a recipe I’d wanted to try of hers.  Steak Bites.

And, uhm, they were a hit.  Went nicely with Greg’s Dip.  Adding a necessary touch of protein to the carb fest that is dip and chips.

The recipe is easy.  Take a sirloin steak.  Trim off the fat.  Cut it into bite sized pieces.  Season with salt and pepper.  I added garlic because, puhlease, can you really cook meat without garlic.  I think not.


Let it rest with the seasoning while you prepare the pan.


Take a good pan.  Heat it hot.  Add butter.  Melt and then brown the butter.  Turn the fan on over your stovetop.  Trust me.


Put in a layer of meat.  Cook it about 40 sec.  Turn it and cook it another 30 sec.


Remove to a plate.  Add more butter.  Add more meat.  Repeat until you’ve cooked it all.

Drizzle butter from pan over the meat.


Enjoy!  I recommend serving it with Greg’s dip . . . only you can’t!  😀


But, if you come by, I can pretty much assure you that we’ll serve the dip.  Heck, I might even make steak bites, too!


Football Munchies – Snausages!

11 Oct

Today's Football Munchies - Snausages

Snausages.  Snausages.  Snausages.

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The ingredients are simple — lil’ smokies and bread mix.  A bread maker helps, too!

  • Mix the bread dough on the dough setting — don’t bake!
  • Wrap the dough around the smokies – one at a time.
  • Put on greased cookie sheet (or on silpat or baking parchment)
  • Bake for 15 min at 350F.
  • Serve with dipping sauces like Mendocino Mustard


Playing with bread dough is FUN!  I didn’t get flour out first which certainly would have helped with the stickiness.  I made Greg come and take pictures!


Arrange them on the cookie sheet (obviously, I went with the silpat sheet).


Did I mention it was sticky?  Sticky is fun!

Sharp-eyed observers will notice that those are NOT Lil’ Smokies in the background.  When I originally planned to make these a few weeks ago, I made the bread dough and then realized that I was late for a memorial service.  Oops.  I bolted out the door, changing into appropriate attire as I went.  I ended up using the smokies for another favorite way to use them – add them to ramen soup.  Yummy!  I toss baby carrots in, too.  Easy!  Anyway, when Greg went to the store for me today, our local market let us down — no Lil’ Smokies.  Guys, let this be a lesson to you . . . keep some bread dough in the cupboard and some Lil’Smokies in the freezer.  And, you’ll be ready for some football!

Today's Football Munchies - Snausages

The end result is yummy!  My children love these.  Even my daughter who is notoriously picky.  She is even taking the leftovers for lunch tomorrow . . . well, what Gage didn’t take to share with the boys playing soccer across the street!  A neighborhood hit!

Oh, and we call them Snausages because they vaguely resemble the dog treat and the word makes my sister laugh.

Snausages.  Snausages.  Snausages.

Skywatching in a forest . . .

9 Oct


Sometimes you can’t see the sky for the trees . . . or something like that! you can see glimmers of blue and all that dazzle is the sun shining through the trees!

For clearer views of the sky, check out SkyWatch Friday!

There is a light

8 Oct


Wordless Wednesday – Web Bokeh

7 Oct


Portrait of a 9 year old boy

6 Oct

In 2nd grade, my son started enjoying reading but still struggled to find books he could read that captured his imagination.  In 3rd, things got better but the books he wanted to read were still a bit beyond his comfort zone reading level.  Now, he’s in 4th grade and BOOM!  Part of it is his reading skills have matched up with his reading interests now.  Part of it is the Independent Reading Program we are doing at school.  We get kids to read books at the comfort reading zone and we ask them to respond after they read.  A one to two sentence response.  “I noticed that the character is . . . ”  “I liked the way the author did . . . ”  or “This part of the story made me think about when . . . ”  It’s not easy but it’s working well for Gage.  It’s also working well for many of my students.  I wonder how many parents are seeing this kind of portrait of their 9 year old sons and daughters this year because of a simple program that we are implementing in our school . . .


Danger? What danger?

5 Oct


What is so dangerous about a sweet little Black Phoebe?

For more dangerous birds (or not!), visit Bird Photography Weekly.

Any Given Sunday: Nachos

4 Oct

Last week, I missed posting my new Sunday post of a Football Food . . . I was in the middle of making my football munchies and realized I was due at an event like 10 minutes ago.  Oops . . . and off I went.

This week, I didn’t feel like making what I’d planned for last week.  We spent 2 hours working on the yard so I was tired and hungry when I went shopping.  Nachos were the perfect choice.  Easy, delicious, and loved by all.


My family likes nachos to be pretty simple.  Lots of chips and lots of cheese.  All the goodies are on the side so you get just what you want.  Spread the chips on a baking sheet — I recommend covering it with tinfoil first (although I forgot that step!) as it makes clean up a LOT easier!  Put on plenty of cheese.  The more, the better.  I recommend doing layers of chips and cheese almost like a lasagna. Heat at 300F for about 10 minutes until cheese is melting.

For goodies, we like good salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.  Other additions could be sliced jalopenos, black olives, refried beans (which I would layer in with the chips and cheese), shredded beef, chicken, or pork.

Oh and by the way, the Niners won.  Woo-hoo!

Neighborhood friends

1 Oct


I wonder how many of you have Ravens as neighborhood friends . . .

For more skyward birds, visit Sky Watch Friday.