Monday, September 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday



This week isn't all that exciting. Of course it's never that exciting around here LOL

Monday: Taco Pockets

Tuesday: Ham and potatoes

Wednesday: chicken curry

Thursday: Zucchini Ham and Potato Soup

Friday: breakfast for dinner... not sure what we're doing this week. maybe some real homemade french toast

it's been requested by a certain mini aspiring chef that I make some Strawberry Pudding and clotted cream so I may give that a whirl. She is just completely obsessed with Alton Brown. She credits him with helping her receive an honorable mention in the science fair last year with her demonstration and scientific explanation of why onions make you cry. I have no idea what we're going to come up with to top that this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

tagged for a meme

I was tagged for a meme by the author of Aunt Daisy's Cottage a great little blog that has crafts, decorating and all the stuff I never seem to get around to doing :) Go check her out.

I am supposed to tell you seven things you may not know about me. Hmmm

1. I hate spiders

2. I am a reality TV junkie. OK, so you may already know that, but I love to watch shows like Ghost Hunters and A Haunting

3. Which leads to the fact that my home was built on an old cememtery. The graves that were marked were moved. A half dozen graves remain and are visible from our front door.

4. I do not believe in ghosts

5. Watcher in the Woods is my all time favorite scary movie, even tho it is a Disney movie. It's freaky. Trust me.

6. My other favorite Disney movie that I can watch over and over is Lilo and Stitch.

7. The last movie I saw in theaters was Wall-E.

I'm tagging the following ladies:

1. My SIL Shannon who will probably get around to doing this in a week or two LOL

2. Victoria at Sew Inspired

3. Necessary Chocolate

4. The Plaid Post

5. Michelle's blog

6. Tara's Blog...mama mojo

7. and finally Better Full than Empty

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday

It's Tuesday. Time to really crack down this week on getting our entries together for the fair. I am turning the display entries in this Saturday. The kids better get crackin' on their entries! I don't think we are going to be able to get a scarecrow together by Saturday. It's disappointing, but we're just running out of time to do it properly.

Tonight is Enrichment meeting. I missed the official announcement of what is actually supposed to happen. I know it's something about crafts and card making and preparing for the holidays. I have boxes full of homemade greeting cards so I really don't need to go to make more. I do plan on bringing fabric, tracing papers and patterns and just to a massive precut of the outfits I'm entering in the sewing contests next week.

I'm feeling pretty good about it not being 11 a.m. and already having dinner in the crockpot. My recipe for chicken and dumplings isn't all that earth shattering. And since dumplings in the crockpot are a bit more difficult, I do them in a big pot on the stove.

OK...so the recipe, with my oh-so-exact measurements

place all in the crockpot:

1 bay leaf
2 big pinches of kosher salt
several turns of the pepper grinder
3-4 stalks of celery including leaves, chopped
1 small onion chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
a bunch of potatoes cut in large chunks. I use enough to get a double layer on the bottom of my oval crockpot
4 chicken thighs
cover with water

cook on low all day.

towards the end of the cooking, you're going to pull off 3-4 cups of broth into a big pot. You may or may not want to replace the water in teh crockpot. Depends on how many you are feeding. Since I'm feeding an army, i replace the water.

Dumpling recipe

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 scant cup milk or water
handful of parsley, chopped
2 T sugar

Mix dry ingredients and parsley; stir in milk or water gradually to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonful into boiling salted water or simmering stew. Cover tightly. Cook 10 to 15 minutes before lifting cover. Test for doneness. Drain. Serve at once.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday + an organizational tip



So this week's menu is a lot of leftovers of things we didn't eat last week. I am trying to clear out the fridge, freezer and pantry so I can do a really good cleaning without fear of Miss Dumps-Everything-Out making a ginormous mess in my kitchen.

Monday: Spaghetti

Tuesday: Crockpot chicken and dumplings

Wednesday: Pad Thai from a box

Thursday: Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

Friday: Breakfast for dinner (kids choice)

Saturday is grocery day this week and I'll be making a new menu for next week based on what's on sale.

OK, now for my earth shattering big organizational tip. Are you ready? Good.

I'm short. This isn't a newsflash to those who know me IRL, but online people, I'm short. I also have tall cabinets. This is not a good combination. I'm constantly after D to get things down for me. The other alternative is standing on a chair but that requires far more effort on my part.

To solve this problem of making my spices easily accessible, I purchased three of these plastic cube boxes for storing CDs from the dollar store. I labeled one for SPICES and put all the spices I use for cooking in it. The other is labeled BAKING and contains things like food coloring, cinnamon, vanilla, etc. I also have one specifically for seasoned vinegars and oils. When it's time to cook or bake, I just pull down one box and rummage through. It keeps everything so nice and neat.

Friday, September 19, 2008

braids

The older sister of the girl across the street asked if she could braid the 9 yo's hair. She's been wanting hair like her best friend for awhile, so how could I say no? I haven't done it because I don't have the patience to sit there and braid for *hours* at a time.

She sat for more than an hour and a half and they are only half way done. She goes back tomorrow morning to finish.

Leelee is beyond thrilled and wants to keep them in long term. I would have preferred them going down straight but she wanted them to the side... with this being a three hour project, that is the way they are going to stay for now!






Thursday, September 18, 2008

best laid plans

It's only Thursday and my meal planning has gone right out the window LOL

I went to WalMart for groceries this week and walked out without quite a bit on my list. First, I was excited to see oranges at a very reasonable 74 cents/lb. I got to the checkout to find out they were 74 cents EACH! And these weren't big oranges. These were the small ones not much bigger than a mandarin orange. Second, the potatoes on my list...I didn't even buy those. They wanted $7.95 for a FIVE lb bag of potatoes! That's highway robbery.

Today at Costco, I picked up a 10 lb bag of potatoes for $6. Much more reasonable, especially since they were baby reds. I also found boxes of pad thai for 3.95. The bad news at Costco is the extra lean ground beef which a month ago was selling for $1.99/lb is now $2.85/lb! Talk about a shock to my meal planning and grocery budget. I need to pay a bit more attention to the local sales flyers again to make sure I'm getting the best deal. Or better yet, beg a friend to buy meats for me at the commissary (shhhhhhhhh).

Sadly, the taco soup, which I filled in my 7 qt crock pot didn't generate enough leftovers for an entire second meal. We used to call it the endless soup because it felt like we ate it forever, even from the freezer. I guess with the kids getting bigger, we are just plain eating more. We did manage to get one lunch and two other servings out of it, which was fine.

And, no chicken and dumplings tonight! I got home from work and errands at 3 p.m. and naturally didn't do the crockpot before I left. We'll have to have that another night.

I bought the latest issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray and found a great recipe for a German Potato Pie. It calls for a pie crust, shredded potatoes, bacon and sauerkraut. Of course I'm changing it up a bit to accommodate the foods I have stashed in my freezer. I'll post the recipe after I have it all worked out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

100 days til Christmas? Are you KIDDING?

49 days til election day and 100 days til Christmas. You might as well just shoot me now.

While I am trying to focus more on being just a few weeks away from the Fair and not having all of our entries even ready, I still find little ways to remind me that the clock is ticking away on so many other things.

Like, the fact that Kari's birthday was three weeks ago and we still haven't even found a date for her party and Lizzy's birthday is 5 weeks away and Leelee's birthday is a month after that. Maybe I need a good dose of Christmas to take my mind away from crazy birthday party madness.

I was checking out some links to help me get organized and found One Hundred Days to Christmas a blog dedicated to helping you get organized for the holidays!

We already know what we're buying the kids for Christmas this year, but still, who doesn't need help for all the other stuff going on during the holidays? I will probably be working my seasonal job during Christmas plus my part time job...I don't expect to have much time to think about Christmas after Thanksgiving. Maybe having it all laid out in front of me with a planner will make it all nice and easy. A girl can dream, right?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Menu Plan Monday




OK, so I've been stalking a few blogs linked on The Sassy Apron Swap and saw a couple of the gals were doing something called Menu Plan Monday. I thought it was a great idea, so I'm participating now :)

I'm only doing Monday Through Friday this week because I can't think beyond Friday LOL

Monday: Taco Soup

Tuesday: Baked Potato Buffet using leftover Taco Soup

Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner...pancakes and eggs (aka mom's working at night and dad has to cook)

Thursday: Chicken and Dumplings in the crockpot

Friday: Taco Night

I know, tacos twice in one week, but the kids pick for Fridays and Saturdays and this week, they want lots of tacos.

We may make apple tostadas for dessert. You take a tostada shell and top with apple pie filling, toss on a few cinnamon red hots and shredded cheddar cheese and heat in the oven til the cheese melts. It's basically an apple grande. We don't have Taco Johns here and I haven't been to one since I was about 9, but I sure do remember eating these!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Sunday

For the second week in a row, I've been home with a sick child. I feel like I haven't been to church in ages. It's a bit depressing. I have to go next week as I'm teaching in Relief Society, the women's organization at church. I've taught the third Sunday lessons for the past four years.

I really do enjoy the calling, but sometimes I wish I could teach a different lesson, like fourth Sunday. Fourth Sunday lessons usually have more room to play with creative ideas for teaching. I think in order to get a new calling, I have to stop wanting another calling!

Anyway, D's been going to church instead of me because he is Sunday School President. Apparently this calling involves more than just ringing the bell to let people know when to change classes. In all seriousness, this is a very busy calling as he's never able to sit down and does have to attend early morning meetings with the bishopric and find substitutes for teachers who didn't show up. And he has to be prepared to teach classes at the last minute. It's a good thing he's a great teacher or else this calling would seriously stress him out.

I usually make a very nice Sunday dinner, but like the last several weeks, I've just not felt well enough to do something more than toss a few things in a casserole dish and walk away. Tonight we're doing spaghetti. It's not one of D's favorites. In fact, he hates all types of noodles. He also hates cheese. If I had knows this when we were dating...

Anyway, I am putting forth a bit of effort tonight as I'm breaking out the expensive dough mixer aka the bread machine. I don't actually bake bread in it because it just tastes weird and ends up with that hole in the bottom. I just use it to make dough. I'm also one of the few people to actually wear out bread machines. I'm on my third or fourth one.

I'm trying to decide between two recipes in my favorite (and only) bread machine cookbook. Both are basic breads. One is a simple french bread that doesn't call for butter. The other is a nice Italian loaf...and typical...I just looked at the recipe and realized I don't have semolina flour. That made the decision very easy. Pain Ordinaire au Beurre it is.

I'm hoping to make some mini cupcakes for dessert tonight as well. We'll see...

Friday, September 12, 2008

project runway

Spoilers are up for Bryant Park. I have Korto in a pool. If I win, I win an obscene amount of fabric. Thank goodness her collection is actually wonderful!

I didn't care for Leanne's at all. It just seemed more of the same as to what she did during the season...but on the same token her work was always wonderful.

Korto always seemed to be the bridesmaid during the season, never the bride. I have a sinking feeling I'm going to take second place in the pool.

sewing lament

After weeks of feeling horrible, I'm finally feeling well enough to sew. I'm pretty excited because I have to clean out my fabric stash. It's taking over the house...or else that's what you'd think listening to D complain about it. I don't hear him complaining much when I sell my creations, though ;)

My lament is this: On one of my favorite sewing websites they are playing a stash game. You get points for whatever you use that you didn't have to buy. Not that I'd actually ever win the bragging rights, but it would sure be motivation for me to keep sewing!

I've managed to complete several projects recently and I'm really pleased with how they've turned out. I've even purchased some vintage patterns for myself that I need to sew up very soon because I'm running out of clothes. I lost so much weight since I had Lizzy that none of my old maternity clothes fit! I'm trying to find patterns that I could easily modify back into regular wear.

We also have the state fair coming up next month and I do plan on entering my sewing again. I want to win first this time and not second and third. We are entering several cooking contests, too. Oh and the family may make a scarecrow together. We'll see.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More happy news

Things are going pretty good right now. Had a great week at work. I am really loving my job. I also had enough time to sew somethings up this week, which is always a bonus.

D is also having fun at work. I don't remember if I mentioned he's teaching 8th grade math this year. He's at a new school. We were a bit nervous because this school had a reputation, which apparently was quite unfounded. It's super close to our house, which is great. He's commuting a total of 20 miles a week! He's driving the van and I'm taking the car since it's more fuel efficient.

I have another job opportunity in the works that I'm really excited about. I'll post more about it as it gets closer. A friend is quitting her extremely part time job and is going to recommend me. This is a job that should help me towards my IBCLC.

The other fun news is we are very close to paying off our first credit card via debt snowball! If you aren't familiar with Dave Ramsey, you should get familiar with him! I'm really excited to see things start to pay off. We have set goals as a family and everyone is working towards this. People may think we're crazy for working all these extra jobs and never having any time, but we are really looking at the big picture...being debt free in two years.

We do well enough with D teaching, but we'll be slaves to debt forever at that rate. I'd like to be complete FREE from that burden.

Like Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

not much to say

Just trying to keep up with things, I suppose. The hyperemsis has set in and although I am taking zofran, it's not really helping as much as I'd like. I'll spare all my readers the details, but suffice to say, I will be very surprised to find if I am gaining any weight despite my pooched out belly.

I am desperately trying to keep my head above water. I am off my add meds because I can't keep them down. I do well enough on a good multivitamin and omega 3 supplements, but the omega 3 supplements have this sort of fishy taste and well, that's not a good thing right now.

My brave husband is having to rescue dinner many nights. He's a good sport. I'm not making any of my fancy meals I get from all the great foodie blogs. We're down to tater tot casserole and spaghetti. In fact, we're having two variations on tacos next week...the traditional taco and taco salad. Tacos are one food I can reliably keep down. And as vile as it sounds, lunchables taco wraps don't make me sick at all! I think I've eaten more processed foods in the last 9 weeks than I have in my entire life.

I can't wait til say, Thanksgiving-ish, when my stomach should quiet down enough for me to enjoy real food again.