Saturday, August 30, 2008

Home School Helps

While looking to print out some certificates for my Bible class students this evening, I found this wonderful, free website - 123 Certificates. You can print out awards for Bible class, home school, sports teams, etc.
Chocolate Glazed Mint Brownies
12 servings

2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
for filling
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 to 4 drops green food coloring
for glaze
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

In microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and flour until blended. Stir in the chocolate mixture. Pour into a greased 9 inch square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. In a small mixing bowl, beat the filling ingredients until creamy. Spread over brownies; refrigerate. For glaze, in a microwave, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate until filling and glaze are set.

These were for my chocolate and mint loving children. :-) I might get a picture of one when my camera returns...if there are any left!

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna 
(from The Pioneer Woman)
approximately 12 servings

1 1/2 cups white rice
2 cups water
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup butter
1 tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
2 teaspoons cumin, divided
2 teaspoons paprika, divided
1 can black beans, drained
1 pound ground beef
1 8 ounce jar salsa verde
10 flour tortillas
1 8 ounce bag mexican blend cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can corn, drained
sour cream

Bring rice, water and chicken broth to a boil; lower heat and simmer 20 minutes. Meanwhile, saute tomato, onion, and garlic in butter until soft. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 1 teaspoon paprika to tomato mixture. Combine rice, tomato mixture and beans. Cook ground beef and add remaining spices. In a 13x9x2 pyrex dish pour 1/2 of the salsa verde. Place 5 tortillas on the salsa - they will overlap some. Spread 1/2 the rice and bean mixture over the tortillas. Top with half the cheese. Place the remaining 5 tortillas on the cheese and pour the enchilada sauce over them. Spread the ground beef and corn over the enchilada sauce. Top with the remaining rice mixture, salsa verde and remaining cheese. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Broil for a few minutes until cheese browns - watch carefully. Serve with sour cream and cilantro and enjoy!

This yummy meal is from The Pioneer Woman. The original recipe makes enough to feed a small army, so I fiddled with the amounts to ensure it would fit in my pan! :-)

Edited to add -
After making this many, many times over the years, I have changed the recipe to suit the taste of my family.  This is how I make this wonderful recipe now, our way, and we enjoy it even more!

Mexican Lasagna Our Way

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
1 can black beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika

1 small can of salsa verde (I use the kind found in the International Foods section of the store, not the salsa verde found with the salsa/picante sauces - it's in a can instead of a jar, cheaper, and better)
16 fresh flour tortillas
1 box Uncle Ben's Mexican Fiesta rice, prepared according to package directions
2 packages Mexican blend shredded cheese, 8 ounces each
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can corn
sour cream

Melt butter in saucepan and sauté onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add beans and seasonings to the pan, stir to combine and set aside.  In a large pyrex casserole pour half the salsa verde. Lay 4 tortillas in the pan, they will overlap some.  Spread prepared rice over tortillas and top with the 1/2 of one package of cheese. Layer 4 more tortillas.  Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and then spread bean mixture over sauce and top with the rest of the first package of cheese.  Layer 4 more tortillas.  Spread corn over tortillas and top with  1/2 of the second package of cheese.  Layer the last 4 tortillas.  Spread the rest of the salsa verde over the tortillas and top with the last of the cheese.  Bake uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese is starting to brown.  Serve with sour cream and cilantro and enjoy!
"Everybody, everywhere
seeks happiness, it's true.
But finding it and keeping it
seems difficult to do,
Difficult because we think
that happiness is found
Only in the places where wealth and fame abound
And so we go on searching
in "palaces of pleasure"
Seeking recognition
and monetary treasure,
Unaware that happiness
is just a "state of mind"
Within the reach of everyone
who takes time to be kind
For in making Others Happy
we will be happy, too,
For the happiness you give away
Returns to "shine on you."

~Helen Steiner Rice

illustration courtesy of
"White and Yellow Daisies" by Cuca Garcia