Monday, September 1, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 9/1/14

It's been months since I've taken the time to update the blog.  Let's see...

I quit working at the Blue Eyed Daisy to work from home providing decorated cakes.  I secured my license, set up my website, and have been taking orders.  So far so good.

We attended the International Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in Atlanta in July.  What a treat!  We met brothers and sisters from all over the world...Ukraine, Russia, England, Japan, Finland, Bahamas, Croatia, Ecuador, Mexico...I could go on.  It was so memorable, I truly hope my children know how special it was.

We moved to another congregation to help out with territory.  They have a large rural area and we are loving it.  I signed up to auxililary pioneer until whenever and it feels great.  I'm nervous about our financial situation, but I know Jehovah will take care of us.  That's one thing I got from the convention, seek first the kingdom and Jehovah will do the rest.  

We are working on a 15 year plan.  More about that later.

The kids are finally enrolled in the new charter school.

Wooley is a senior this year.  Woah!  How did that happen?!?

We are planning a camping trip with some friends and family.  We haven't been camping in a couple years and looking forward to it.

Well, I think that's pretty much it.

Here's the plan.  I'm thinking of going back to once a month cooking.  It helped out so much when the kids were smaller.  I think it will be great to get back into that.

Monday:  Chalupas with homemade salsa

Tuesday:  Spaghetti with meatballs, salad, garlic rolls (kids requested spaghetti)

Wednesday:  Breakfast for dinner

Thursday: Cheap Korean Beef with rice, honey carrots and roasted broccoli

Friday:  Pizza, Salad

Saturday:  Grilled Balsamic Chicken with salad

Sunday: Leftovers, if we have any (remember we have a teenage boy under the roof) and fend for yourself day

Hope y'all have a great week!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 5/5/14

Starting off the month right with my meal plan for the week!

Over the weekend, we had our annual arts and crafts festival at Serenbe called May Day.  Local artists come out and bring their wares.  This year we were so busy, I wasn't able to walk around to the booths.  Very disappointed!  But the glassblower was set up right outside our shop so we could peek out the windows and watch.  He was amazing! Janke Studios.

We made some lemonades and sold them in pint mason jars.  They looked so cute.
 
I was super proud of the sign.  I took part of the kids' playset and wrote on it with some chalk.  I didn't know if it would work, but it turned out pretty cute.  Then we filled the jars with our lemonades and displayed them in a galvanized bucket.  We sold out by 2:30 so next year, we'll know to make more!

We left at 3:30 to deliver a wedding cake to Foxhall.  The bride wanted to add blue to her cake.  I've never done a colored wedding cake, but I loved the way it turned out and so did she!

Now on to the meal plan!

Monday:  Cheap Korean Beef over rice with steamed broccoli and green beans (I've made this before and will be using only about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar but adding about 1/2 cup ketchup. We like the saucy look of it.)

Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner:  Waffles with strawberries, scrambled eggs with cheese.

Wednesday:  Traditional Pork Roast with carrots, celery, potatoes and onions (leftovers for soup)

Thursday:  Parmesan Tilapia with rice and veggies (probably green beans and peas)

Friday:  Pizza Night with salad

Saturday:  Lunch:  Nachos;  Supper:  Leftover Pork used for Pork Posole

Sunday: We will be at the Ren Fest, so I'll be eating a turkey leg!

Breakfast:
Sunbutter sandwich with strawberry banana smoothie
Egg White sandwich with cheese and applesauce

Snacks:
Ham and cheese roll up with applesauce
Almonds and cheese stick with pears

Weekly lunches:  I'm making Christina's Split Pea Soup (using some yellow split peas I found at the international food market) for lunches this week.  I'll freeze any leftovers for later on.

Hope you have a great week!





Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Meal Plan 4/7/14

Okay, so I'm falling behind the last couple of weeks.  It's been crazy busy around here and now we're on Spring Break.  But if I don't have something written down and planned out, we eat out way too much and go over budget.  Not good.  So here's the the plan:

Monday:  Sloppy Joe Casserole with steamed broccoli.  Everyone loved this and we will probably eat it again.  I just used my sloppy joe recipe and topped it with Jiffy cornbread mix in my cast iron skillet and baked it off in the oven.

Tuesday:  Baked Penne with Parmesan green beans, Ranch & Iceberg lettuce wedge and garlic cheddar drop biscuits

Wednesday: Fluffy Pancakes, bacon, fried taters and fruit

Thursday:  Potato Soup and bloomin biscuits

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  Chicken of some sort - I'm thawing it out now

Sunday:  Hot Dog roast, cole slaw, oven fries


This weekend, some friends and I are participating in the Dirty Girl Mud Run at Lake Lanier.  I'm so excited!!!  My husband and I are also staying the night at a hotel nearby so my parents are staying with the kids and cooking dinner Friday and Saturday night.

I haven't really prepared for the race, but it's all good.  I'll share pictures afterwards!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Meal Plan Monday...or Tuesday 3/25/14

Monday:  Chicken and Rice with leftover roasted chicken

Tuesday:  Baked Lemon Pepper Fish, cole slaw, oven fries

Wednesday:  French toast casserole, strawberries & mangos

Thursday:   Chicken Fried Rice (one pot wonder)

Friday:  Pizzadillas with marinara

Saturday:  Dinner out?

Sunday:  Lunch:  Sandwiches Supper: BBQ Chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans


Breakfasts:
peanut butter sandwich, yogurt tube, apple
egg white omelet with cheese toast, apple sauce

Lunches:
turkey, tomato sandwich, apple

Snacks:
turkey wrapped cheese, applesauce

parmesan popcorn
eanut butter sandwich

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tackling Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

These are so soft and delicious.  They are not low-calorie, but they are a yummy treat.

If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment, they work lovely.  If not, you can use a food processor to combine everything together.  You'll need to knead (haha!) the dough if you are using the food processor.  Only don't knead with flour, use vegetable oil. 

Cinnamon Roll Dough (adapted from What's Cooking America)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon dry active yeast

In the mixing bowl on your Kitchen-Aid or the bowl on your food processor, mix milk, water, butter, eggs, vanilla and sugar.   Now add flour, salt and yeast.  Mix until a ball forms.  In the Kitchen-Aid, keep mixing for about 2-3 minutes.  Remove the dough ball from your food processor bowl and pour onto an oiled surface.  Knead for about 2-3 minutes.  Roll the mixture onto an oiled surface, press into a 15 x 24 rectangle.

Cinnamon Roll Filling
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter

In a bowl,  combine brown sugar and cinnamon.  I usually rub the mixture through my fingers to make sure it's completely combined.  It will feel like dry sand.  Pour melted butter over the cinnamon roll dough rectangle and then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over it.  Spread it to the edges, making sure it soaks up the melted butter.  Roll up the dough and then slice into equal portions.  I make 12 rolls.  Cut the dough log in half.  Then cut each half into half.  You should have 4 smaller logs.  Now slice those into 3 equal slices. You can freeze them at this point.

If you want to bake them, place into a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1-1.5 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees F for only 10 minutes.   
(after they have risen, before baking)

Cinnamon Roll Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl, mix and stir everything together until smooth and creamy.  Immediately spread onto each cinnamon bun hot out of the oven.  

These are so yummy!

I made some Caramel Apple Sticky Buns for the bakery a few weeks ago.  They were a huge hit.  So yummy and soft and sticky and good and delicious and well, I could go on...


Caramel Apple Sticky Buns:
1/2 cup butter
1-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
1 apple, finely diced*

Melt butter in skillet, add brown sugar.  Bring to a boil add corn syrup and apples.  Cook for another minute or two, stirring to coat the apples and making sure everything is melting nicely.
Line a 9" cake pan with tin foil and then place a 9" circle of parchment in the bottom.  Then pour the caramel apple mixture into the bottom.  Arrange cinnamon rolls over the apple mixture and allow rolls to rise for an hour or so.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  When you press on the center of the rolls, it should sink a little.  That's good.  

Flip them onto a serving plate and then peel the tin foil away and parchment circle.

*I've also made these with pears.  

They are so yummy and gooey!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 3/17/14

We went to the Dekalb Farmer's Market over the weekend.  It was so crowded!  I forgot how busy they were on the weekend.  We picked up some golden beets, their sweet Italian sausage, and lots of dried spices.

We are going on a field trip to the Noah's Ark animal sanctuary on Saturday.  A group of us are going to get together.  It will be tons of fun!  We've never been, but I've heard lots of great things about it.  
Monday:  White Bean Chili (adding some salsa verde and whole jalapeno) with quesadillas

Tuesday:  Lasagna (using sweet Italian sausage) - didn't get to this last week, salad

Wednesday:  Breakfast Burritos, strawberries

Thursday:  Russian Chicken Dump, quinoa pilaf (using pecans)

Friday:  BBQ Chicken Pizza with salad

Saturday: Lunch: sandwiches, fruit and chips; Supper out 

Sunday: Lunch: Nachos, guac and salsa; Supper: Roasted Chicken, oven roasted potatoes, green beans and golden beets

Weekly:
Breakfast:
100 calorie Greek yogurt, peanut butter toast, applesauce
scrambled egg whites with mozzarella cheese wrap, applesauce

Lunch:
turkey wrap with lettuce and tomato, applesauce
pimento cheese dip with crackers and celery, applesauce

Snack:
100 calorie Greek yogurt, almonds, apple
turkey wrapped mozzarella cheese stick, peaches


Monday, March 10, 2014

Meal Plan Monday: 3/10/14

Busy busy busy.  Aren't we all?  Spring is in the air and the sun is shining today.  It's so pretty outside and I have to be cooped up cleaning house.  Oh well, maybe I can get done early and enjoy the day.

This week we are going to be eating:

Monday:  Lasagna, steamed broccoli (Italian-ish meal)

Tuesday:  Chicken Fried Rice (one pot wonder)

Wednesday:  Breakfast burritos with turkey sausage, fruit (breakfast for dinner)

Thursday:  Creamy Italian Chicken (crock pot meal) over pasta with oven roasted green beans

Friday: Friday Night Pizza Night using homemade pizza crust (pizza night)

Saturday: Lunch:  Nachos;  Supper: Crispy Fish, oven baked fries, cole slaw

Sunday: Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches; Supper: BBQ Chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans

Breakfasts:
peanut butter sandwich, yogurt tube, apple
egg white omelet with cheese toast, apple sauce

Lunches:
turkey, tomato sandwich, apple
sweet potato topped with black beans and cheese, applesauce

Snacks:
apple, cheese, almonds
yogurt, strawberries, almonds

parmesan popcorn
buffalo popcorn
peanut butter sandwich

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Reading in 2014 - February Update

Last month, I read a couple of books.  Not as many as I had hoped for.

I really enjoyed this book One Second After.  I was worried because my husband had warned me about the emotional and psychological effect it had on him.  I was brought to tears about 5 or 6 times.  There were slow moments, but they were far and few between.  It was definitely worth reading.  I wouldn't consider myself a "prepper", but after receiving information from the branch about being prepared for natural disasters, you can never be too prepared.  This book gave me much to think about.

My friend Donna, told me about the book A Girl of the Limberlost.  She loved it and suggested I read it.  I loved it.  The story line was good, slow but good.  There were moments when I thought the author was going in one direction, only to head down a completely different path.  Time skipped and dragged.  The author would dwell on an incident for chapters then quickly dismiss years within one paragraph.  If you like Anne of Green Gables, you would probably like this book.  I'm going to read Freckles next, I wonder if it should have been read first, I'll let you know. 

Tea with Emma was an especially fun read.  The character returns from a trip to England and decides to open up a tea room "a la Jane Austen-esque".  It was a free kindle book and I'm going to buy the next books in the series.  It's a sweet, clean romantic novella.  

I'd love to have a minimalist home.  I hate clutter, and I'm sentimental.  Catch 22 I know.  It's hard for me to throw things away, so 9 times out of 10, I donate things to Goodwill.  But it takes me weeks to donate something.  My friends laugh at me, and it's okay, I know I'm nuts.  The other problem I have is keeping things with a view of turning them into a DIY project.  Good grief, my garage is a nightmare.  I found this free kindle book Organize - the secret to a spotless life.  Most of the information was very practical and I have tried implementing the tips already.  I didn't find it extremely eye-opening, but for a free book, it was worth reading.  I skipped the suggestions about personal organization referring to my life (friends, family, religion...).  I learned a while ago to keep my life free of "drama" friends.  I just don't have the temperament to keep their life together and mine.  I have learned that "drama" people, while I love them, are more emotionally draining than upbuilding.  We all have moments when we are downers, but when your negativity starts to wear on me, I have to take a step back and limit my association with you.  Call it my age, I don't know, but I just don't have time for it anymore.  

Currently, I'm reading Fire in my Belly by Chef Kevin Gillespie.  I can't wait to tell you about it.  

What are you reading?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 3/3/14



Monday:  Stacy's Southwestern Beans & Rice, corn on the side with sliced tomatoes

Tuesday:  Parmesan Baked Fish, rice and roasted green beans

Wednesday:  Scrambled egg and sweet potato hash with fruit

Thursday:  Quesadillas and Vegetarian Chili

Friday:  Pizza and Salad

Saturday:  Lunch: Sandwiches; Supper: Chicken Fried Rice with broccoli and ginger honey carrots

Sunday: Snacky Sunday, leftovers 

Have a great week!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY: Upcycled Laundry Hamper to Jewelry Organizer


I don't have a beautiful laundry room.  I envy those who have an actual room where you can hide your dirty and clean laundry.  I, on the other hand, have a laundry closet.  The washer and dryer are hidden behind two doors.  No frills.  I do have a wired shelf above them for extra storage.  One day, I want to update it with another shelf and maybe a cabinet.  I even have a Pinterest board for my future Laundry Closet ideas.

In the meantime, we have two laundry hampers to help sort and hide the clothes neatly.  One in our bathroom and one in the kid's hallway.


Recently, (actually it's been about 3 months ago) our laundry hamper died.  The screws broke that hold it together.  Poor thing, there was no hope in repairing it.  I loved the bottom wire rack and decided to keep it in the bathroom next to the shower.  Why next to the shower?  I couldn't think of where else to keep it.  The garage is full of other things for future DIY projects and I didn't want to forget about it by placing it in the black hole a.k.a. garage.   

My husband ignores my hoarding until it gets out of control.  Thankfully, I decided to use it before he decided it was in the way.  Initially, I thought about turning it into a burlap wreath like this.


But I'd have to cut the wire with a wire cutter and frankly, that seemed a little daunting.

Then I saw this jewelry organizer and thought, bingo!  I can use my fancy-schmancy wire rack and hang all my $5 Paparazzi jewelry instead of it cluttering up my dresser.

This is how I made mine:

DIY Jewelry Organizer
wire rack - free
length of ribbon - free
sheetrock screw
s-hooks $1.50 per pack of 4 (5 packs)
jewelry

Find a place you like on your wall that would be appropriate for said jewelry organizer.

Tie ribbon at the top of the rack to create a hanger.

Screw the screw into the wall where you want to hang it.

Hang the rack from the ribbon on the screw.

Hang the s-hooks on the rack and hang the necklaces and bracelets on the s-hooks.

When you buy Paparazzi necklaces, you receive a free pair of matching fishhook earrings.  So I hung all of those on the rack too.  It turned out adorable and I am so happy about it.  My jewelry is neatly hung up, no worrying about it becoming tangled or mangled.

And I can actually see what I have!  And my dresser is back to being nice and neat. 

This makes my hubby happy!

Super simple!

That's it!

What kind of DIY projects are you up to?

Visit these linky parties to see how others have been crafty lately!

Skip To My Lou
The Girl Creative

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 2/24/14

What a week!  

We had a corporate team building exercise (cupcake decorating) last week.  

Last minute cupcake order.

Trying to keep up with "100 Day Challenge" (being active for 100 days even if it means only doing a 3 minute plank).

Tummy trouble...I think I had a bad salad from a restaurant and was sick all day Sunday.

I'm ready to start a fresh week!

This week should be pretty low key.  Going to help with some payroll this morning (we have a new system and we both have to figure it out).  Calling the doctor to see if I can get Sissy in for her nagging asthmatic cough.  Ministry Tuesday.  Work Wednesday - Friday (I have a baby shower cake due Saturday).  Working Saturday night for a wedding cake tasting on Sunday.  Sunday afternoon have the cake tasting.  That's pretty much it.  

On the food front, I saw a couple of recipes on pinterest that I'd like to try this week:

Monday:  Ravioli Bake with oven roasted broccoli and green beans

Tuesday:  Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger* (inspired by this recipe), parmesan cheese noodles, butter peas

Wednesday:  Blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, oranges

Thursday:  Crock pot something - maybe a chicken dump

Friday:  Thai Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice*, steamed broccoli

Saturday:  Pizza and Salad

Sunday:  Sandwiches and leftovers

*These are new recipes and I'll probably tweak them to suit our family.  If they are yummy, I might blog about it in the future.

Hope you all have a great and productive week!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Do you use Groupon?

Do you use Groupon?

I love to buy specials on there.


(this was us before the movie started)

My favorite Groupon is when they offer the Studio Movie Grill passes for $5.  Even if you don't purchase a meal, which is extra, you can still watch a new movie for $5!  A new movie nowadays is running around $9-12 depending on the theater.  Usually once every 3 months, my husband and I will do a date night.  We love going to the movies and this is one of favorite ways to spend the evening.



(one of the waterfalls we walked to)

Groupon occasionally offers special rates on hotels.  Last year for our 15th wedding anniversary, we stayed on the north side of Atlanta at a hotel with the best breakfast buffet we've ever enjoyed.  I found the hotel on Groupon and figured out the time frame to stay during our anniversary weekend.  It worked out perfectly.  It was close enough to the mountains, yet close enough to Atlanta so we can eat out at some yummy restaurants.


(we ate at Pappadeaux for the first time...oh my word! yum!)


(this was when we did the Dirty Girl in April 2012)

Some friends and I are participating in the Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run in April.  There's currently a Groupon for a fairly nice hotel up there for only $61 a night.  My parents are going to stay at our house while my husband and I head up there for the weekend.  Nice treat!

If you haven't purchased a Groupon before, let me explain a little bit about how it works.

You can choose to log in with your Facebook account or you can sign up using an email address.  Once you've logged in, you select the city where you'd like to see Groupons from.  We choose different cities depending on where we are going to be visiting.  There's also a free app for you smartphone.  View the Groupon you are interested in.  I always read the "fine print" and any questions others have asked.  You can also pose a question if you can't find the answer you are looking for.  If it's for a hotel, you can read the reviews from TripAdvisor or other reputable source to see what others have had to say about the hotel.  Once you decide to purchase a Groupon, select the "BUY" button and enter your credit card information.  Groupon keeps the credit card in a secured file and you only have to key it in once.  Then select "CONFIRM PURCHASE".  This will put the Groupon in your folder "MY GROUPONS".  You can view current Groupons, used Groupons and expired Groupons.

Almost always, if not always,  the amount you paid for the Groupon does not expire.  If the Groupon expires before you use it, you can apply the amount paid on the voucher to a purchase at the place you bought the Groupon for.

For example, I bought a Groupon for $5 for Studio Movie Grill.  It expired.  When I want to see a movie, I can apply the $5 as a coupon to the ticket price of a movie.  The $5 is still good, but only as a coupon or discount off a regular admission.

I have found that Groupon offers great ideas for kids too.  We've taken advantage of Apple Picking, Sky Zone, Bowling, and a Teahouse.  The kids loved all of that!

I have linked to my Groupon referral code, so if you choose to sign up using this referral and make a purchase within 72 hours, I'll receive a $10 referral credit.  Thank you for supporting me and my family!

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

RECIPE: Pork Posole



I love "double-duty" dinners.  You know what I'm talking about.  When you cook one thing, have leftovers and can make something else with it?

Last week I did that with a pork roast.  Initially I cooked the pork roast in the oven with only salsa verde on top (one of my new favorite ways to eat pork roast thanks to Donna!).  I made my Salsa Verde but you can buy it fairly reasonably priced.  I like La Constena brand.  You can find it in your Latin food aisle in the grocery store.

After it cooked, we shredded the pork and ate Pork Carnitas.  We used flour tortillas, but you can use corn tortillas just as well.  I like to drizzle a lime crema over them.  YUM!
 

Lime Crema
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
lime juice

Mix everything together in a small bowl and add enough lime juice to make it fluid enough to drizzle.  You can add as much or as little as you like.

You might have noticed my wrinkled jalapeno pepper in the above picture.  I put them in the freezer in a zip lock baggie and when I need one, I'll pull it out and use it.

To make the carnitas, I add the shredded pork to a cast iron skillet and add 1/4 cup red salsa and 1/4 cup salsa verde to it.  Occasionally stir it around to get the pork caramelized.  Once it's heated through and browned, turn off the heat and start assembling your carnitas.


I put about 1 oz shredded pork in the flour tortilla, topped with thinly sliced iceberg lettuce, avocado slice, drizzle of the lime crema and fresh cilantro.  That's it.  Super easy and yummy!  We also like to squeeze extra lime on ours.

The second meal we ate from the pork was Pork Posole.  I've made this before, but couldn't remember the exact way I made it.  One of the reasons I like to blog is to keep track of recipes.  So here's how I made it this time.  Using inspirations from these two recipes:  chicken posole and turkey posole.


Pork Posole
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons oil
2 guajillo chiles, (these are dried and I found them at Aldi)
10 cups water (or chicken broth)
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (omit if you are using chicken broth)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
2 cups cooked, shredded pork
1 large can hominy, drained
limes

Heat large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add oil, onion and garlic.  Saute until translucent.  Prepare the guajillo peppers.  Use a pair of kitchen shears and cut the stem off.  Shake out the loose seeds into the trash and pull out the dried membrane.  Using the shears, cut the peppers into 1" pieces; set aside.  Add chicken broth (or water & bouillon) and peppers to the pot.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Place a little of the soup mixture at a time into a blender and blend until smooth, pour into another pot until all soup is pureed.  Return to the stove over medium heat and add cilantro, pork and hominy.  Cook for 15 minutes until heated through.  Serve with a lime and avocado if you like.

Super yum!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 2/17/14

What a crazy Georgia weather week!  The ice storm came in on Wednesday early morning and lasted throughout the day.  Then we got about 1-1/2" of snow on top of it Wednesday night.  Thursday the temperatures warmed up and it literally looks like the sky was raining ice cubes.  That's how my cousin described it and I couldn't agree more!  By 1 p.m. Thursday you wouldn't have known there were over 250,000 people in the Atlanta area without power.  Sunday it warmed up to 63 degrees at our house.  Nuts!  A friend from Canada said she didn't feel sorry for us during the ice storm because she knew we would be sunburnt next week.  She's right.  Next week, we are forecasted to receive 70 degree weather.  Nuts!



We lost a few very large limbs and one took out our trash can.  Broke the lid.  I'm just glad no one was walking by when that happened!  The ice was really pretty but I'm glad it melted so quickly.

I haven't been to the grocery store yet.  But I'm thinking this is the plan for the week:

Monday:  Greek Lemon Chicken, roasted potatoes and green beans (I forgot to lay out the chicken last week so are trying this today)

Tuesday:  Pizza Pasta with salad and Peasant Bread

Wednesday:  Breakfast casserole with fresh strawberries

Thursday: Hoppin John Soup

Friday: Dinner out?

Saturday:  Lunch:  Crock Pot Roasted Chicken, rice, sweet peas and salad;  Supper:  Leftovers turned into Mexican Chicken and Rice soup.

Sunday:  Lunch: Sandwiches and fruit;  Supper:  Chicken Quesadillas, guacamole, salsa, corn

Breakfasts:  
Peanut butter and banana oatmeal, egg white with cheese
Peanut butter and apple oatmeal, egg white with cheese
Peanut butter sandwich, yogurt tube, strawberries

Lunches:
Turkey sandwich with applesauce
Sweet potato topped with black beans & rice with applesauce
Salad with turkey and strawberries

Snacks:
Frozen yogurt bar with strawberries and almonds
Mozzarella cheese stick with turkey and apple
Popcorn with parmesan cheese
Popcorn with buffalo sauce and almonds

Have a great week!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Reading in 2014 - January Update

I have always been an avid reader.  When I was younger, my favorite books were the Bobbsey Twins and the Sweet Valley Twins series.  My mother, also an avid reader, would indulge me with the next book in the series as a special treat.  As I got older, I read Victoria Holt.  My favorite of her books was the Landower Legacy.  I had tried reading her other pen name, Phillipa Carr.  I only read a few of hers.  Then I got hooked on the Regency Romances.  The time period was fascinating to me.  In the 12th grade, we were required to read Jane Eyre.  I loved it!  Then I learned of Jane Austen.  Oh my, Jane Austen.  Honestly, I haven't actually read her books, but I love the movies.

I will read them one day.

I have them.

On my fireplace mantle.

One day.

I even read cookbooks as novels.  I know...a little crazy.

I have some personal goals to increase my reading habits.  I've been following Life as Mom's booking it series for a years.  I thought I'd share what I've been reading so far this year.

Children read aloud:

We finished Black Beauty in January.  The littles loved it.  I want them to love to read as much as my husband and I do.  Even our oldest son, Wooley, loves to read.  We are currently reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

My personal reading:

I am happy to report I finished reading the Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses.  It's filled with encouraging experiences of faithful Christians all over the world.  I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it yet.  It's available online for free.  There are also older copies available as well, if you need to catch up.

I found an interesting book at the Dollar Tree a few months ago and thought I'd try it out.  Tomorrow River.  The author's style was very hard to read.  It was almost like they thought we could follow along without actually telling the story completely.  Anyway, I read almost half of it and then skipped to the end and read the last 5 chapters to found out what happened.


My mother let me borrow The Pursuit of Mary Bennet.  Wow!  It was fantastic!  I love Pride and Prejudice and have read Mr. Darcy's Little Sister in the past. (Which happened to be a really good read as well).  The Pursuit of Mary Bennet even brought me to tears a few times.  Such a good book!




I have been drawn to "end of the world" books in the past.  My husband read One Second After.  He has warned me that it's very dark and emotionally disturbing.  I've decided to try and read it. If I don't like it, I can put it down.

That's what I've been reading.  What have you been reading lately?  Any suggestions for me?

The hyperlinks take you to Amazon.com through my affiliate link.  If you choose to purchase any of the books, I will receive a very small commission.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Recipe Review: Tuna Casserole

I love tuna salad.

I do not love hot, cooked tuna.

Since we are trying to clean out the freezer and pantry, and I have cans of tuna and boxes of pasta in the pantry, it only made sense to make Tuna Casserole.  I looked over several recipes on Pinterest.  I liked the look of this one.  However, my picky-eater (my hubs), doesn't like green leafy veggies.  What's girl to do?  Work around it.  I've tried sneaking in the green veggies.  Pretty successfully, I might add.  But to blatantly add the spinach in this dish would be a no-go with him.

Then I spotted a box of stuffing mix in the top of my pantry.  I must've picked it up at back in the fall when they were on sale.  I thought this might be yummy to add to a Tuna Casserole, and found this recipe.  But I didn't like the look of making it a "dressing" over noodles.  So I decided to combine the two and came up with this recipe.  I would share a picture, but have you tried taking a picture of a casserole??  Unless you are Kraft foods or The Pioneer Woman (both of which make everything look delicious no matter what it is), don't even ask me to post it.  It looks the least bit appetizing.  :)

Tuna Noodle Casserole with Stove Top Stuffing Crumble
1 box multi colored rotini pasta
2 cans cream of celery soup (or you could make your own)
1 cup crushed french fried onions
4 cans (5 oz each) tuna fish, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used medium cheddar today)
1 box stuffing mix (I had savory herb flavor)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the celery soup, french fried onions and tuna fish together in 13x9 casserole dish.

Drain the pasta and add to the dish.  Sprinkle cheese over the top and stir everything together.  Add about 1/2-3/4 cup water to loosen up the mixture to the desired creaminess.

Sprinkle the stuffing mix evenly over the top and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

I served this with peas on the side, but you could easily just toss them right into the casserole for a one-pot wonder.  But alas, my picky-eater doesn't do peas either.

This was pretty tasty.  We had leftovers and the kids ate them for lunch on the weekend.

How do you eat tuna casserole? Or do you?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 2/10/14

A day late this week...

There's another ice storm heading to Atlanta area this week.  I had to brave the crowds yesterday to do my regular grocery shopping.  The milk was down to about 5 gallons of 2% by noon.  I hope everyone got what they needed.  We are not experiencing any snow or ice today.  The weather is forecasting we will start to receive ice and sleet around 3 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Of course, that's the day I'm supposed to be working at the bakery and have a cute baby shower cake due.  I need to be there working on the gumpaste accents so they can be drying so I'm a little nervous about getting it all finished before Friday.

In the meantime, here's the food plan for the week:

Monday:  Spaghetti, steamed broccoli with lemon pepper and rolls

Tuesday:  Red Beans and Rice with Sausage, salad

Wednesday:  Apple Pie Crock Pot Oatmeal using steel cut oats, bacon and scrambled eggs - I'm going to use this receipe as a basis but will most likely change it up.  If it's delicious beyond words, I'll share the recipe here.

Thursday:  Pork Roast with Salsa Verde , shredded and turned into pork carnitas using flour tortillas, dressed with lettuce, more salsa verde and avocado and side of rice

Friday:  Maybe out to eat...not sure yet

Saturday:  Posole with leftover pork from Thursday.  I wish I had blogged the last recipe when I made this.  I remember it being super tasty and my picky eater (my hubby) loved it.  So I'm going to try to remember and combine these two recipes (turkey posole and chicken posole) as last time and then  I'll blog about it to remember for the future!

Sunday:  Greek Chicken Marinade - baking in oven, oven roasted potatoes and green beans


Breakfasts:
peanut butter toast, yogurt, applesauce;
egg white with cheddar, buttered toast, applesauce

Lunches:  The kids are out of school for the next few days:
Spaghetti-o's and Grilled Cheese with peaches;
Macaroni and Cheese with peas and apple dippers with peanut butter;
for me:
Turkey Sandwich and applesauce and celery and pb
Tuna Salad with lemon pepper and applesauce and celery sticks
Leftovers for the weekend

Snacks:
Buffalo popcorn;
Parmesan popcorn;
turkey wrapped cheddar stick and applesauce;
apple dippers with peanut butter and yogurt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 2/3/14

I am still cleaning out the freezer this week.  And going through my pantry coming up with ideas.  This is what I have to work with:

Pantry:
beans (varieties of canned beans)
tuna fish
cream of mushroom soup
cranberry sauce
canned pineapple
spaghetti sauce
rice
pasta
quinoa
saltine crackers
potatoes

Freezer:
2 small packs of chicken breasts
1 bag of mystery meat...I know!  I need to label it!  I think it might be sliced ham
fish patties (my husband brought these home from work.  $5 for a box of 200 fish patties.  They're pretty okay, just high in calories)
loaves of bread
lunch meat
lima beans
black eyed peas
spinach
green beans
turkey and rice soup
bacon
corn

Refrigerator:
cornmeal
flour
eggs
sour cream
cheddar cheese
jack cheese
canned biscuits
sliced deli turkey
sliced deli ham

Instead of fixating on what I DON'T have.  I'm going to focus on what I do have.  Here's what I'm thinking for the week:

Monday:  Tuna Casserole* this is a new recipe to try.  I have most of these ingredients and think we can make it work.  I'm not fond of hot tuna fish so I'm going to be adventurous with this one.

Tuesday:  Chicken and Dumplings - going to toss in some frozen spinach to add some vitamins

Wednesday:  Pineapple Waffles* (We didn't eat these last week.  The snow/ice storm that hit Atlanta had me thinking chili instead.) bacon and more pineapple on the side

Thursday:  Crock Pot Lima Beans and Ham with cornbread

Friday:  Crock Pot Salsa Chicken over rice with corn

Saturday:  Chicken Marinara* over pasta with salad

Sunday: Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti with salad

I don't think we'll starve - LOL!  I hope you have a great week!  Let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you think.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 1/27/14

It's that time of year when I start cleaning out the freezer.  I found a bag of something, it looks like spaghetti sauce? So I have it thawing out to figure out what to do with it.  I also had a ham bone with a good bit of ham left on it, so I thinking soup.  Did you hear it is supposed to snow in Atlanta this week??  Crazy weather, it's 60 degrees today.  All the kiddos are going to end up sick.  I already had to give Sissy a breathing treatment last week.  Oh well...

Monday:  Lasagna Soup with cheese quesadillas

Tuesday:  Crock Pot Pineapple BBQ Chicken over rice with green beans and broccoli

Wednesday:  Pineapple Waffles with bacon and strawberry pineapple sauce

Thursday:  Crock Pot DAY - Ham & Lentils Soup

Friday:  Fish Tacos with Mexican Cole Slaw, Mexican Rice & Beans

Saturday:  Granny's Chili

Sunday:  SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!  We are watching the commercials, of course!  And here's a post from a couple of years ago.  We are going to eat the Asian Chicken Wings, because they are SO good and super easy.  I have a bag of Buffalo wings in the freezer, so we'll heat those up too.  I really want to do a Bacon Cheese Ball, but I'm afraid I'd be the only to eat it and that's not on the diet plan.  So probably just stick to celery and carrot sticks and ranch dip.  Any leftover chili can be used on hot dogs.

Have a great week!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meal Plan Monday 1/20/14

Monday: Turkey and Rice Soup with quesadillas

Tuesday:  Ground Beef and Potato Casserole, green beans and salad

Wednesday:  Breakfast for dinner - scrambled eggs, potato hash, fruit and yogurt

Thursday:  Crock Pot Salsa Chicken over rice with corn on the cob and green beans

Friday:  Pizza and Salad - mozzarella and pepperoni quesadilla with marinara dippers and a side salad

Saturday:  Lunch: Tuna Salad Sandwiches (tuna, mayo, lemon pepper and celery) fruit; supper: Lasagna Soup with salad, adding broccoli to my soup and the kids

Sunday:  Lunch:  Harvest Vegetable Beef Soup with quesadillas and fruit;  supper:


Breakfasts:  Oatmeal with peanut butter, apples and almond milk; Egg white scramble with parmesan cheese, gogurt, peanut butter toast and applesauce

Lunches:  Ham and tomato sandwich with peaches; Peanut Butter sandwich with banana

Snacks: cheddar stick, ham roll up and applesauce; buffalo popcorn with almonds

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