Two for You…

When you grow up in a family of four kids, it pays to be the second-oldest sibling. If nothing else, there’s the fact that the oldest sibling always plays the “Bank” in Monopoly.

One day I might even figure out what you're supposed to do with those hotels...

One day I might even figure out what you’re supposed to do with those hotels…

My older brother used to beat us by a lot.  Like…a whole lot.  We’d be struggling to pay rent on Baltic Ave while he was counting up a huge stack of golden bills.  To get us to keep playing he offered “handicap” the game by giving us more bills at the beginning than he took for himself. While handing out hundreds he turned to me and said, “Two for you, and one for me.”  Then he said the same thing to my sister and to my younger brother.  Of course, there were three of us and only one of him…so he was actually taking 50% more than he was giving to the rest of us.

We caught onto that one pretty quickly, so then he handed us all $100s while giving himself $500s.  Tricky, tricky.

(I hate to admit it, but I’m pretty sure I pulled the same tricks on my little sister and brother as soon as I got the chance!)

As an adult, I’ve found a much better use of that system.

A few weeks ago, my best friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  I love her like a sister and introduced her to her hubby, so of course I think little Madeleine is the most gorgeous thing ever!

I take that back...the whole family is gorgeous!

I take that back…the whole family is gorgeous!

You might remember some of Tina’s friends and I threw her a cupcake baby shower a while back. But, once the little cupcake arrived, I wanted to do a little something more.  So, time again for two for you…one for me!

First up…chicken pot pies.  I’d never made a chicken pot pie until Tina’s baby shower.  Then I made a couple dozen tiny ones…

So cute!  But sooooo much work.

So cute! But sooooo much work.

Luckily, making regular sized chicken pot pies are much easier than teeny tiny ones! I used the same recipe as I had used for the baby shower.

Before long, I had two beautiful pies…

Note to self:  Let the filling cool before putting it in the crust.  Otherwise the crust melts in the most annoying ways!

Note to self: Let the filling cool before putting it in the crust. Otherwise the crust melts in the most annoying ways!

But, I also had this:

Leftovers!

Leftovers!

Just enough filling to fill a “me” sized dish, and lots of leftover dough that could be rolled out and reformed.

Who knew pot pies could be so pretty?

Who knew pot pies could be so pretty?

But, the fun didn’t stop there. I had learned on the internet about breakfast burritos that could be frozen and reheated in the oven. I’d also read that food that can be eaten “single handed” was really good for new moms. So, I made up a batch of Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos.

I added hot sauce to the eggs, because Tina's from Texas.  She can handle a little heat!

I added hot sauce to the eggs, because Tina’s from Texas. She can handle a little heat!

The burritos were super easy and they re-heat nicely. They really are yummy any time of day.  I had one for dinner while writing this post!

I suppose you could wrap them in plastic wrap, to encourage microwave re-heating. But microwave re-heating would turn the tortilla chewy and make the eggy rubbery. Don’t do it! They’re oh so lovely if you just stick one in a toaster oven and walk away until the tortilla gets toasty and you can smell the loveliness.

(By the way, the recipe is great, but…the math is off. If you add 1/2 cup of cooked eggs to each burrito, as is recommended, you’ll only need a dozen tortillas. The recipe suggests they need to be used in a month, so a dozen is probably as many as you should do at once.)

Finally…it was time for recipe that I didn’t steal from the internet.  Years ago, I wanted to make some stuffed bell peppers…but I didn’t have any of the required ingredients.  I did have a bunch of other stuff. Hence…

Super Yum!

Super Yum!

Stick with me. This one might sound weird, but it’s fantastic. It has gobs of veggies and is super healthy despite the cheese and sausage.  Trust me…

Karen’s “Mediterranean” Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 package Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed.
1 package baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 package cous cous (whatever flavor you like!), prepared
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 oz feta, crumbled
4 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise
grated cheddar cheese, for topping
1 small can tomato sauce

Brown up the sausage and onions. Add garlic, mushrooms, zucchini. Saute until vegetables are soft. Add cous cous, vinegar and thyme. Remove from heat. Add feta.

Spoon mixture into bell peppers, which have been propped up in small baking dishes. I look for peppers that are relatively square and halve them lengthwise. They’re easier to fill (and eat!) that way.

Top with cheese. Pour some of the tomato sauce into the bottom of each of the baking dishes. Cover and freeze.

Don’t forget to label with re-heating instructions.

Do they really need to be told to "Remove the plastic lid" before baking?  Yes...because they're brand-new parents and they're not getting any sleep!

Do they really need to be told to “Remove the plastic lid” before baking? Yes…because they’re brand-new parents and they’re not getting any sleep!

I delivered the food a week and a day after Madeleine was born. If I had been smarter, I would have asked her mom how much room she had in her freezer first!

Do you want to know the best thing about delivering food to a new family?

Getting to see the new baby!

Getting to see the new baby!

Madeleine had a pretty tough day, which means her mom and dad’s was even tougher. So, one of those pot pies went directly into their oven. Success!

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