Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From the House Hubbie!

I miss Uncle Luke!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Foodies Blogroll

I have joined the Foodies Blogroll administered by The Leftover Queen. Why not join us!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


That is the amount a family saves in child care, transportation costs, medical cost, food expenses, etc if one parent stays home to watch over the kids. according to The Simple Dollar.
hat tip The Job Board

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's For Dinner? (During A Crazy Week)

I have a wild, crazy week ahead of me. Since my main vocation is serving as the pastor of a small church, the week before Christmas is one of my two busiest weeks during the year. Add to that the fact that my college age children are returning from school and then the family is headed in ten different directions for college events, and you get the picture. Yesterday I picked my daughter up from the airport, Wednesday my son comes home for Christmas break from Montclair State. Today the girls are headed up to Granma Glady's to bake Norwegian Christmas cookies with their cousins. Wednesday we have our youth group Christmas party at our home. Thursday the girls go over to my mother's house to make olie koeken. I will make a half hearted attempt to publish this weeks dinner menu, and share a few recipes, but I will also use this week to publish a couple of our family's traditonal dutch and norwegian recipes.


Norwegian Waffles
and Left Overs


Dinner at Granma Glady's


Fusilli with Meat Sauce
Garlic Bread
Tossed Salad


Chicken in the pot




Mashed Potatoes


Family Christmas Gathering

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Norwegian Christmas Eve

I enjoy Norwegian Christmas Eve by adoption rather than by heritage having married into a Viking Clan. In our family, as in most families of Scandinavian decent, Christmas Eve is a time for the extended family to gather, usually at Grandma Glady's house, to enjoy the family, sing Christmas Carols, read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke and enjoy a delicious Christmas smorgasbord.

As our family has grown to include other ethnic groups (including me) the smorgasbord has come to include lasagna, salad (for the vegans in our midst) and other non-Scandinavian recipes, but there is always some Norwegian soul food. Christine usually brings the Creamed Herring and Carol the Kjottkaker (meatballs) which are highlights among other main dishes. Thankfully, we have never had to endure the horror of Lutefisk, a dish made from dried cod fish reconstituted in a solution of water and lye. Although it is traditional in many Norwegian families, it never was in the Pierce home.

The main attraction for Christmas Eve is the sweets. There is always a grand assortment of cookies including Sandkaker, Spritz, Serinakaker, and Krumkaker. Lingenberry jam and whipped cream are on hand to enrich the cookies. Sometimes someone has made it over to Brooklyn to pick up a Kringle, which is a special treat. The main event for the sweets is the Risgrǿt (Norwegian Rice Pudding-see recipe below). It always has an almond buried inside and the lucky person to get the almond in their dish is the winner of a marzipan pig. For some reason this honor is usually won by our nephew Daniel.

This year our celebration is changing to meet the realities of changing family circumstances. Grandma is having trouble walking this year so the celebration will be moved to Aunt Margie and Uncle Richard's house. Also, our celebration will not be on Christmas Eve but the night before as growing families now have to be in different places to share themselves fairly with the in-laws. Whenever it takes place though, the gathering of as much of the extended family as possible around the Christmas tree is one of the most looked forward to events of the year. The warm conversation, the joyful singing, the reverent recounting of the Christmas story and food filled with memories gives us a perspective on what this time of year is all about.

Grandma Glady's Risgrǿt

4 cups long grain white rice
8 cups whole milk
1 t. salt
4 T. unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
4 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

In a heavy sauce pan, cook rice with milk and salt over very gentle heat until rice is thick and tender, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on the rice as it cooks and if milk is absorbed add more milk. When finished rice should be tender (taste it to be sure it is not al dente) and it should be a very thick porridge almost like a soft ball of dough.

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cooked rice. Chill.

Serve risgrǿt in a large bowl with an almond hidden in the bowl. Allow people to serve themselves. Serve risgrǿt with lingonberry jam. The person who finds the almond wins a prize.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chicken Fricassee

This is one of our family favorites. I made it today. It was the prefect comfort food for the rainy, icy weather. I like to use chicken breast on the rack as it produces a richer broth, but I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts because that's what was in the fridge and it was quick, easy and tasty. I serve this over brown rice cooked in a rice cooker, which make this meal a cinch.

3 large chicken breasts
2 ribs of celery, cut into chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 medium yellow onion sliced into small wedges
enough water to just cover
6 peppercorns
salt to taste
3 T butter
3 T flour

Put chicken breasts, celery, carrots, onion and peppercorns into a medium pan with a tight fitting lid. Add water to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until carrots are soft, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove chicken, celery, carrots, and onions, season these ingredients with salt to taste. Bring broth back to a boil, reduce by half. Knead the butter and flour together (beurre manie). Wisk 2 T of buerre manie to broth, which should result in a white sauce. Sauce should coat a spoon. If more thickening is needed wisk in additional buerre manie. Taste, add salt to taste.

Pull chicken apart into large shreds. Return chicken, celery, carrots and onions back to the pan and heat through.

Serve over steamed rice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Home Fried Potatoes

I cook these potatoes when I have steak or for breakfast.

1 medium potatoe per person plus 1 or 2 extra for the whole gang.
(use a starchy potatoe like a russet)
optional (onions, herbs)

Peel the potatoes, cut the larger ones into quarters and the smaller ones in half. Slice them into 1/8 thick slices. Heat up about 1 or 2 Tbs. of a vegetable oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet. When oil thins and ripples in the pan add the potatoes, press down into the pan. Turn heat very low. DON'T turn the potatoes until you hear them start to sizzle. Leave for 3 to 5 minutes without turning after sizzeling. Turn potatoes with a metal spatula scrapping all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Repeat this process several times until the potatoes are almost soft. At this point you could also add diced onions and various herbs such as thyme, parsley, chives, or whatever your favorite is. (My daughter doesn't like onions so I just leave them plain). Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and cook until potatoes are tender. Scrape and turn one more time. Add salt and pepper. Turn heat to high and cook until a nice brown crust forms on the bottom of the potatoes. Serve portions by lifting out of the pan and turning the serving over so the brown goodness is on top.

The ones I mad last night were yum, especially with the mushroom, shallot and wine pan sauce from the steak running into them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's for Dinner

I thought a great way to use this blog would be to post my weekly menu planning. Breakfasts are pretty simple for me. Usually it's either hot or cold cereal, one in a while I will do eggs, pancakes or frenchtoast, but usually this is on the weekend as since we have to get out of the house so early to get the kids to school. I also pack the kids lunch. They want the same thing every day--a sandwich, piece of fruit and something sweet. Since cold cuts start at $4.99 a pound, I try to save by roasting a cheap cut of beef or a whole chicken which I slice for sandwiches.

Dinner, however is a challenge. Putting together five to seven meals a week that appeal to the whole family and don't take half a day to cook can be a challenge. So I think a great thing for us house husbands would be to share a weekly dinner menus. I will also post during the week the recipes I find and come up with that I think are pretty good that I use in these meals.

This weeks menu plan.

New York Strip Steaks w/ mushrooms, red wine and shallot sauce
Home Fried
Steamed Broccoli

Rob's concert at Montclair State University
Dinner with Aunt Cindy (yea, I have the night off)

Chicken Friccasee
Brown Rice

Fish (I'll see what's fresh at my fish guy)

Noodles w/ Brown Butter Sauce
Green Beans

Navy Bean & Bacon Soup

Eat out after church
Home Made Pizza's


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Welcome to House Hubbie's Cooking Blog

About eight month ago my wife started a new sales job. It was her first full time job after staying home to raise our four kids. It became pretty clear after about 4 months of her working full time that things were not working in terms of household management.

It was at this point that I decided that I needed to quit my second job and take the responsibility for most of the household management. My main responsibilities are managing the family finances, doing the laundry, keeping the kitchen clean and doing most of the cooking.

The cooking part was pretty cool, because I have always enjoyed cooking, so now I am just doing it on a more regular basis. Pretty soon I realized I was spending time on the web looking for recipes and figuring out new recipes of my own. I figured, hey, why not start sharing these? So today is the launch of House Hubbie's Home Cooking, a blog about cooking, but with particular guy-ward slant. Please read my blog, bookmark, syndicate it, do whatever you have to and be sure to click on the ads as I hope I can maybe help out with the family finances a bit with this new little side project.