Friday, December 31, 2010

Setting Goals, not Resolutions

I have a long standing disdain for New Years resolutions. I believe strongly in the power of setting stretch goals and doing your all to achieve them with the caveat that you are seeking the LORD'S will in all you do. He certainly challenges us to be better each day, to deny ourselves each day, to live for Him each day. That's my plan for 2011 - live more for God than I did in 2010. More tomorrow than I did today, more for my family than for me, more for His kingdom than for my ego and glory.

I'll share some specific things I have felt conviction about over the next few days. What is the Lord laying on your heart as we approach another year? Are you more willing now than last December to submit and be used by Him, for Him?

Menu Plan - Week of January 2, 2011!

Wow!! It's amazing to me that another year is upon us. I am not a huge fan of New Years Eve celebrations. Perhaps as I've gotten older and now have a young child at home, I just have lost the thrill for staying up until midnight and over indulging. So, here I sit ... with 2 snoring children snug in their beds, watching the Chick fil A bowl with DH and planning, organizing, and feeling invigorated to take the reins back on our life after the Christmas season. Does everyone go through this - please assure me it's not just me?? Christmas is amazing, wonderful, and definitely one of my favorite times of year ... but, the unusual schedule, over indulgent once-a-year food, trying to squeeze in one more fun activity, and general over stimulation leave me craving a simple and quiet start to the new year. That starts with a menu plan, of course!!

I want to wish you all a New year full of blessings and leave you with a wonderful quote from Martin Luther:
"Glory to God in highest heaven, who unto man His Son hath given; while angels sing with tender mirth, a glad new year to all the earth."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kid Friendly Weekend Ahead

Our 9 year old niece is coming to stay with us this weekend. Our 5 year old son is over-the-moon! He is just about to bust with excitement. He is counting not just the days, but the hours, until her arrival. I want to make this weekend really special for her as it will be her first time away from home. We plan to visit the children's museum, go ice skating, and eat all sorts of yummy food.

On the menu:
Wishing you all a blessed New Year's weekend!!

Winter Wonderland

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Menu Plan - Christmas Week, 2010

Sometimes I wish we were a family that had an elaborate Christmas menu, but sadly we don't. Although, our boring menu is steeped in tradition. Christmas day we will head to my parent's home and thoroughly enjoy a standing rib roast, baked potatoes, and salad. Same menu for about 7 years now. I told my sweet daddy I thought changing it might be a divorcable offense!

I will still make dinner for 4 nights this week.

Weeknight Dinners:
Wishing you all a blessed Christmas week full of the Savior's presence, comfort, and love!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We're still here!!

It's been a wild few weeks with work. We have moved into a new office location and doubled our staff within 3 weeks time. I'm not sure what my name is some days!! But, I have been cooking, exercising, enjoying family time, and so many other things I want to share with you! Back to blogging this week, no more excuses!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

Faith Hope Family Religious Christmas Card
Shop for elegant Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Motivation!

I don't think I even posted than I participated in my first 5K on Halloween. It was so much fun! To keep myself motivated and to head off the weight gain from food and drink this season, I am joining in the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge. It should be a great way to stay accountable - and it's a super fun thing to say I'm participating in. What a fun name!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Lasagna

I had a craving this weekend for lasagna. The temps have been topping out in the low 50s and plummeting into the 20s at night. Lasagna, chili, soup, and stew are all beckoning for me! We also had a wonderful lunch planned with some dear friends from church today. So ... craving lasagna, little time, and far too frugal to go to the store ... I started reading recipes. I came up with the following list of ingredients after reading at least a dozen online recipes and finding myself short of at least one ingredient in each recipe. It turned out amazing, if I do say so myself :)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 t each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 2 t each black pepper and Kosher salt, divided
  • Approx 6 C total of tomato based product. For me this was 2 C homemade spaghetti sauce and 2, 14.5 oz cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • Approx 10 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1 lb whole milk mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 oz cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 C grated Italian style cheese (you can use mozzarella and a sprinkle of Parmesan also)
1. Brown the ground beef with the garlic powder, onion powder, and 1 t each pepper and Kosher salt.
2. Add the tomatoes and sauce an heat through. Test the taste once it's warm - add the reserved 1 t each pepper and Kosher salt if needed.
3. In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, place about 1 C sauce mix and then a double layer of lasagna noodles (break them to fit into the oval shape of a slow cooker).
4. Top the noodles with half each of the cubed mozzarella and cream cheese.
5. Repeat layers - sauce, noodles, cheese and another layer of sauce.
6. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
7. Cook on low 4-5 hours.
8. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Well Stocked Spice Cabinet

Several weeks ago, I posted about keeping our pantry well stocked. Along with the basics in the pantry, I find it essential to keep our spice cabinet well stocked. I do not use many fresh herbs and spices at all. First, I find them rather expensive and second - and maybe more important - is that they often spoil before I can use them. Throwing away good money is not something I am a fan of at all. So, dried it is for us. It's amazing what the addition of a bit of salt, pepper, or another spice will do to a plain dish. I love to experiment with spices and I love full-flavored food! Our essentials in the spice cabinet are:

  • Salt - iodized, Kosher, sea salt, Himilayan sea salt
  • Pepper - ground black, whole peppercorns, crushed red
  • Chili Powder - regular, dark, chipotle
  • Italian Seasoning Mix
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Old Bay
  • Dill
  • Caraway Seed
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Mustard Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon - regular and Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend
  • Allspice
  • Cloves - whole and ground
  • Minced Onions
  • Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
  • Cajun Spice Blend
  • Mrs. Dash - original, tomato & basil, hot & spicy, garlic & herb ... really, all varieties!
  • Chicken and Beef Boullion

I have found that using spices can really liven up a boring meal and can make a frugal meal seem like something restaurant-worthy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of October 18

Fall has officially arrived in NC!! Yes, I know the calendar said it was fall a few weeks ago, but it was still 85 degrees here. Now the temps are down in the low 70s, overnight lows in the 40s ... NOW it's fall!! Time to celebrate the season with squash, pumpkin, and all the wonderful savory flavors that this season brings. I have also recent discovered the Noble Pig website. I absolutely love, love, LOVE this blog and her recipes. I also love that she has one child who is a super-picky eater, but she keeps trying and that gives me hope for our little man.

Weeknight Dinners:
Have a great week in your home!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of October 11

This is our little man's birthday week! We started with a fun party at a local mini-golf place with friends. Tonight, we had a yummy dinner and watched a DVD my dad made of photos of his birth and first few weeks. So sweet!! Tomorrow is cupcakes at school and dinner with the grandparents. Then ... maybe, just maybe, by Tuesday we'll be back to normal! It's been so much fun to watch our son as he turns 5 and is enjoying every moment of his special time. On to the food:

Weeknight Dinners:
  • White Chili with homemade tortilla chips; I have leftover chicken from dinner tonight - I figure I can have this on the table in less than 30 minutes
  • Sideline Sausage Soup with corn muffins and honey butter
  • Shrimp Tacos with homemade guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Friday will bring something very easy - pizza, takeout, hubby making burgers on the grill
I would like to get a batch of Granola Bars and a double batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins made this week - we'll see how it goes!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Easy Pantry Recipes

As promised, I am sharing some very easy and delicious dinner recipes that can be made mainly from the pantry tiems I detailed here. I do not have a good supply of meat in the freezer right now either. I have a few split chicken breasts, 1 roasting chicken, 1 lb ground beef, and a handful of thick cut pork chops.

These are some of my go-to meals. They are easy, inexpensive, and tasty - all importnat in our house!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Well Stocked Pantry

Over the past 3 weeks as I have returned to work full time, I am realizing more and more the value of keeping a well stocked pantry. Having basic supplies on hand makes it so easy to plan a menu or even throw something together at 5:30 if I have forgotten to plan. Don't ask how many times that has happened already! There are - literally - hundreds of posts out there about stocking a pantry, so I don't pretend to be offering something new, but this is what works for our family. Here is a list of what's currently in the pantry that I use most often for dinner. We all have oodles of cereal and kid's snacks available, but not everyone wants to eat that for dinner. Tomorrow I'll share several recipes that can be made mostly from pantry items.
  • Rolled oats
  • Beans - canned and dry
  • Tomatoes - diced, crushed, tomato paste, diced w/ green chilis
  • Whole wheat pasta - a variety of shapes from elbow noodles to spaghetti, pasta side mixes
  • Panko crumbs
  • Rice - brown, long grain, seasoned mixes
  • Salad dressing - ranch, honey mustard, several vinaigrettes
  • Mole sauce
  • Salsa verde
  • Adobo chilis
  • Diced green chilis
  • Chicken gravy mix
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella (yummy!!)
  • 2 cans of fiesta style corn
  • 1 can of sauerkraut
  • Baking supplies - white & wheat flour, white & brown sugar, chocolate chips, baking powder, baking soda, powdered milk
  • Molasses
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Duck sauce
  • Stir Fry sauce
  • Olives - Kalamata and green
  • Roasted peppers
  • Sundried tomatoes

Notice what's missing? A lot of processed foods! As good a deal as those items are sometimes (especially with coupons), I don't keep much of that in the house.

This is the first post of at least 3 I will have about keeping your home well stocked. I will also share the contents of our freezer and spice rack. I hope to inspire some of you to stock up when you can on healthy options to make yummy meals any night of the week!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Change Is In The Air

Big time change is on the horizon for our little family. God has been faithful and provided an amazing opportunity for me to go back to work full time. We are thrilled about this and look forward to our new routine and even the new challenges. I've been home over 3 years and this is going to be a change, no doubt! I will continue to post from time to time and will definitely be sharing our favorite recipes.

I spent some time over the past few days prepping items in advance, scouring my favorite websites and this AMAZING new cookbook and have planned out our menu for the next 3-4 weeks. I also went and did a big grocery run to get stocked up since I won't have the luxury of shopping 3-4 stores per week any more.

Menu Plan, Week of September 20:

Have a blessed week in your homes!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars - Egg Free!

I have been making homemade granola bars for about 2 years now. There are a ton of recipes out there - some more crunchy and crumbly and some more chewy and cake-like. This recipe yields a chewy granola bar that is texturally like a bar cookie or brownie. So decadent! The original recipe used one egg. While planning a trip with a friend whose daughter has a severe egg allergy, I tried using applesauce instead. I prefer that way and will not use egg in these again. I hope you enjoy!

Chewy Granola Bars:
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (homemade or all natural)
  • 3 T honey
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 pan by spraying the bottom and sides with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar
  3. Add in the applesauce, vanilla, and honey and blend until smooth
  4. Mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl and then add to mixture. Mix just until incorporated.
  5. Add in the cereal, oats, and chocolate chips. Use a large spoon or spatula to mix everything together. The blades on a mixer will crush the cereal.
  6. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 25-27 minutes or unitl lightly brown on edges.
  7. Cool completely in pan, cut into bars and store at room temperature in an airtight container up to a week.
This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday. Enjoy!

Monday, August 30, 2010

31 Days to Build a Better Home - Days 9-31

I haven't totally forgotten about the 31 Days to Build a Better Home series over at Today's Housewife - honest! It has been a fun month in our house and I have been richly blessed to participate. I will be totally honest and admit that I have not done the suggested task every day, and some tasks I have done out of order. I find that it's not so much about following every single guideline with blog challenges - it's about gleaning ideas and inspiration to improve your life. And that, dear friends, I have done! A few highlights:

Day 30 - Start a Bucket List:
There are so many things I'd like to put on my list, most of them dealing with travel. A few places I'd like to visit with my amazing family - the Pacific NW, Colorado, the New England coastline.

Day 29 - Count Your Blessings:
I try to take a moment every day to thank God for my amazing family, our dear friends, and for the life we live. We are richly blessed and I never want to get complacent in that.

Day 19 - Start a New Book:BoldI am currently reading "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper - WOW!! And, in preparing for our final vacation of the year, I have reserved several books at the local library.

Day 15 - Try a New Recipe:
One of my goals is to try at least one new recipe a week. It may not be something totally new - I often take a recipe we enjoyed and will tweak it the 2nd or 3rd time I prepare it.

Thank you to the team at Today's Housewife for inspiring me! What a great way to wrap up the summer and refocus on our home and our family.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Menu Plan - Month of September

Is it really the last week of August? Oh my! We have had a wonderful summer traveling and spending time with family and friends. It's time to get back into a more consistent routing with eating, cooking, and cleaning though. Ten weeks of fun has taken a toll on our home and our freezer. I am going to start slowly restocking our freezer to help with not only dinner madness, but mornings too. Little man starts back to school soon, soccer practice starts back, Wednesday night church activities begin again, and on and on and on ... I need the order that comes from having tasty, healthy food on hand.

Dinners (* denotes a slow cooker recipe):

Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
What's cooking in your house this month?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Saving Money on Vacation Food

We have been blessed to be able to travel frequently this summer. My parents have several timeshare weeks and we have made full use of them this season. One HUGE benefit to timeshare accommodations are that each unit has a full kitchen. A full size stove, microwave, and refrigerator are standard in most units; they also supply a basic amount of dishes, flatware, cutlery, and assorted mixing bowls, etc. I was spending some time this afternoon preparing for another trip and thought I'd share how we handle the exorbitant expense of food while traveling.
  1. Take as much as possible from home with you. Whenever we drive, we always take a large cooler with cheese, lunch meat, butter, cream cheese, beer, wine, sour cream, yogurt, fresh fruit and veggies. We often make potato salad or pasta salad too for the week. Yes, the towns we travel too all have grocery stores. But, if I've shopped wisely in the weeks leading up to a vacation, I can take items purchased for pennies instead of spending full price once arriving.
  2. Do research on your destination and check out their local grocery ad online. Next week, we are traveling south to a locale with a Bi-Lo grocery store. We don't have a Bi-Lo local, but I have checked the ad and know what's on sale. If you go to a certain spot regularly, sign up for that store's rewards card. We've had a Bi-Lo card for several years and use it every time we travel.
  3. Now that you've checked out what's on sale where you are headed, you can plan a menu - just like at home. I am all for eating out a few times and treating yourself and your family. However, if you have a unit with a full kitchen, access to a grocery, and a bit of time each day - cook! Especially if your goal is to have fun, but not break the bank on a vacation.
  4. Logistics - make sure to take a large cooler with you for taking things and bringing them home. We have often come home with more than we left with. How? An amazing Farmer's Market and Fishmonger near one of our fave vacation spots. I have toted home a cooler full or corn, melon, and fish before (all separately and tightly wrapped, thank you very much!).
How does this work in real life? Let me share ... this is our laundry basket full 'o goodies for next week's beach trip:

In the basket - cereal, cereal bars, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, cooking spray, peanut butter, jelly, taco seasoning mix, dry ingredients to make chocolate cupcakes, laundry soap, dish soap and dishwasher tabs, dryer sheets, a variety of plastic bags, our cups and water bottles, aluminum foil, ketchup, mayo, mustard, a sturdy kitchen knife, extra kitchen towels and washcloth ... so far!! I'll post a photo of the cooler and it's contents later.

There is no need to spend all of your vacation budget on food. Particularly when you are driving. Make a list, shop the deals, make a menu, and go - ENJOY - your vacation!!

This post is linked to : Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of August 16

Summer is quickly drawing to a close here ... sniff, sniff! We are still planning, Lord willing, two more trips to the beach and then it's back into the Autumn and Winter routines full swing. I have thoroughly enjoyed this season and the extra time with little man at home. But, I can say with confidence it's been way too hot for my liking and I am eagerly anticipating the milder temperatures that Autumn brings. I am certainly hoping temperatures will be milder by the time late September arrives. I am participating in a 5K race - a first for me - at the end of September. We have 2 fun play dates planned this week with litte man's best buddies. There will definitely be a few batches of Sour Gummies made this week!

Sunday, August 15:
B - Blueberry Fritters with bacon
L - Leftover pork roast and potato salad from a BBQ on Saturday
D - Rotisserie Chicken, green beans, baked potatoes

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta with a green salad
  • Ranch and mushroom pork chops, green beans (recipe coming later this week)
  • Egg rolls with crunchy Asian slaw (recipe coming later this week)
  • Grilled fish, saffron rice, green salad
Baking, Freezer Cooking, Etc.:
One of my goals this year is to get away from packaged spice mixes and make our own. We have a wonderful fajita seasoning in the pantry now and I want to try to make a few more this week.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creative - and Frugal - Gift Bag

Does anyone else have a boatload of stickers from their days of scrapbooking? A few years back, I was obsessed with stickers and bought just about every cute one I found. I have since discovered several creative uses for my stockpile. One of those uses is decorating gift bags.

It's no secret that a cute, decorated gift bag can range from $2.50 - $6.00. A plain colored bag can be found at most any Dollar Tree for $1.00. Add your own stickers, maybe some detail with a permanent marker or paint pen, and enjoy the recipient's smile at a unique presentation!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Days 5-8 - 31 Days to Build a Better Home

Have you joined in the 31 Days to Build A Better Home Challenge? It's not to late to jump in!

Day 5: Get Rid of Some Paper Clutter
~ While cleaning off the back stairs on Day 4, I generated quite a lot of paper that needed to be shredded. Tonight is the night our trash goes out, so all those itty bitty pieces of info are heading out!

Day 6: Plan Some Family Game Time for the Weekend
~ DH and little man are big gamers in our home - they love the Wii and all games associated with the Lego product line. Occasionally, I will convince them to put away their games in favor of a sports game that I enjoy. We had a blazing HOT weekend here, so some indoor time was a must. We enjoyed bowling, Frisbee golf, and regular golf.

Day 7: Flirt with Your Husband All Day Long
~ Done! And oodles of fun, by the way :)

Day 8: Bless Your Parents and Your In Laws
~ We are very blessed to live close to our parents. My parents live less than 10 minutes away and DH's parents are about an hour. It's a Monday night tradition that little man and I eat dinner with my parents while DH has band practice at church. Today, I cut up some fresh peaches and added a bit of brown sugar. I plan to take those and some angel food cake tomorrow night as a healthy(ish) dessert for all of us.

GO visit the ladies at Today's Housewife and join in!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Days 3 & 4 - 31 Days to Build a Better Home

I am absolutely loving this challenge over at Today's Housewife! A few moments a day really is all it takes to get something done. The challenge for day 3 was to teach your child(ren) to help in a new way. This is not exactly a totally new thing for us, but it's always a struggle - donating toys! We spent some time yesterday sorting and he did pretty well:The carton above will go to his new preschool in a few weeks. I am hoping to add much more to it before school starts.

The challenge for day 4 - today - is to clean a spot that no one sees. For us, it's our stairs leading up to the bonus room. Very few people see this spot - including me since there's a door I usually keep closed. It's far too easy to let things pile up on the stairs thinking "I'll take that up next time I go."

Well, I haven't been up there in several days. And on my last few trips, I have simply walked right past the piles. So, today was the day! And it only took 20 minutes - sheesh!! Why did I wait so long?It's not too late to join in!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 2 - 31 Days to Build a Better Home

I spent the most wonderful day today down at the coast visiting with a dear friend from high school. Her son is just a few months older than our little man and the boys have such fun digging in the sand, chasing waves, playing in the ocean, and attempting to boogie board. This trip has been planned for several weeks - we try to get together once a month or so.

Imagine my delight when I came home and checked in over at Today's Housewife to see that today's task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Home challenge is to "catch up with an old friend." Not a problem for me - today was full of laughter and fellowship.

Two days down, 29 to go - we're off to a great start here!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 1 - 31 Days to Build a Better Home

Today's challenge is to plan a menu for the week. You all know that I love doing that anyway, so today is a nice way to ease into the 31 Day Challenge for me! Little man starts back to preschool this week, we have a day trip planning to visit friends, and I am trying to minimize our grocery expense this week.

Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes, and Honey Ginger Carrots

Prep for Week - make banana pudding, Hummus, and put chicken carcass into slow cooker overnight to make stock

Weeknight Meals:
  • Homemade chicken noodle soup with Buttery Breadsticks
  • Spaghetti with homemade sauce, green salad, and remaining breadsticks
  • Taco salad with lettuce, garden tomatoes, homemade pico de gallo, and homemade chips
  • Parmesan Chicken Sticks, mac & cheese, green beans
Grocery list for the week:
  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Red onion
  • Vanilla pudding mix
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Coffee creamer
  • Green beans (farm stand)
  • Tomatoes & jalapenos (mom & dad's garden)
Visit Today's Housewife to join in the 31 Day Challenge and to be inspired this month!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

31 Days to Build a Better Home

As the summer draws to a close, it seems time to refocus and get things back in order around here. The 31 Days to Build a Better Home challenge at Today's Housewife comes at a great time! Want to join in?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who Wants to Stay THERE??

Our new(ish) home has 3BR on the main level. The layout lends itself well to having a little one. Yet, it also tends to cause our "guest bedroom" to become the dumping ground for the things I am too busy, er - lazy, to take upstairs. This is what we had after several weeks of neglect ...
I spent several hours sorting, trashing, and putting things where they belong. Thank goodness, we ended up with a much more peaceful space that seems inviting to guests now. I think our friends will be glad to come stay a few days!It is so nice to have another usable space in out home. This room also has my desk and Bible study materials in it. I am so eager to have a dedicated space to dive back into the Word. I am eager for a fresh breath from God and so glad to have a quiet, calm space to seek Him!

This post is linked to: Tackle it Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of July 26

We are in the middle of a tremendous heat wave here. As with many parts of the country, our average temperatures are at least 10 degrees above normal. That's simply too hot to grill ... sniffle! You all know how much I love having DH toss meat on the grill and calling dinner "done." We've actually used to slow cooker a few times this week! This coming week holds a few days of intense cleaning and re-organizing for me, as little man will be at the in-laws farm. I have a list longer than my arm of things I'd like to get done. I'll keep you posted!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Creamy Corn Chowder with homemade French Bread
  • Beef tacos, lettuce, tomatoes, etc. with homemade guacamole and chips
  • DH and I will get sushi one night while little man is out of town
  • Chicken and gravy over saffron rice with green beans
Wishing you a blessed week in your home!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of July 19

There is a bounty of farm-fresh produce in our home right now. Corn, squash, tomatoes, basil, blackberries and blueberries are all filling our counters and 'fridge. We have some chicken and a small amount of ground beef in the freezer also. The plan this week is to stay out of the store - use what we have, enjoy the harvest, and stay out of the heat.

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Leftover chicken from grill night with Creamed Corn
  • Chicken and veggie quesadillas with homemade guacamole
  • Roasted Chicken with potatoes and carrots
  • Salmon patties (similar to crab cakes) with orzo, mozzarella, and tomato salad
Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
  • Zucchini Brownies
  • Banana muffins - I started with this recipe, used half whole wheat flour, a bit less sugar, and baked it as muffins. Half are on the counter and half in the freezer already.

A Fresh Perspective

I was watching Ratatouille a few days ago with little man for, oh the 400th time and was struck by a scene at the end of the movie. A waiter asks a famous food critic what he'd like for dinner and the food critic responds with "I'd like some perspective." I know I need some! What's important, what's first, what can I let go, who am I afraid to upset by saying "no," why do I think I should be perfect, what is perfect - anyway?!?!? You see the struggle, right? Please tell me you see it - and maybe feel some of it - too!

My perspective should come from remembering God's call on my life. Plain and simple. I stray from this very often and by NO means am I advocating a "follow me" philosophy. Girls, we'd all be going over the same high, dangerous cliff if you followed me. Follow Christ!!

I started a new Bible study last week with an amazing group of women. The scripture inspiration is from 1 John:4. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:10-11) As one of Christ's followers, the most important thing I can do is to LOVE. First God, then loving those around me. It sounds so simple, yet loving requires being vulnerable, being accessible, being sacrificial. Those things are much harder. I am working every day to become more loving. I pray you are too!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of July 5

July 4th ... fun, family, fireworks! It's not often that the holiday falls on a weekend and we get 3 days at home with DH. This year we are blessed to have one more full day to spend with him. How do we spend those days? Well, little man and DH often head out to the local par 3 golf course and play a round or 2.And, of course, we relax with family and friends, eat too much, and usually get a bit pink from the sun. Ahhh ... the joys of summertime!!

Weeknight Dinners:
Have a blessed week in your home!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of June 27

Hot, Hot, Hot!!! The local temperature hit 101 on Thursday, 100 % humidity. Too hot to even grill some nights. In light of the blazing heat, I am planning simpler meals and will build in several nights to use up leftovers. I am also trying to use up what we have on hand in an effort to NOT visit the grocery again this month ... we'll see! I'll be posting soon about our plans for the coming week. Free movies, parks, pools, and maybe a live baby crocodile are on the agenda!

Sunday: DH is playing in the praise band at church and has a Deacon meeting. We'll have a big lunch and then light dinner.
Overnight Coffee Cake and bacon
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
with carrots and mashed potatoes
Grilled cheese sandwiches with pretzels and yogurt for dinner

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Beef Machaca on corn tortillas with homemade guacamole, cheese, lettuce, etc. (I'll use the leftover meat to make Beef Taquitos to put in the freezer for easy lunches)
  • Chicken Salad: leftover chicken from Sunday over green salad with all the fixings
  • Spaghetti with homemade sauce and Italian Cheese Bread
  • Pizza night with green salad (I have tried time and again to make my own pizza with no luck. We buy ours at a local store for about 7.00 for a huge pizza that leaves enough for lunch the next day)
Breakfast, Freezer, Snacks:
Have a blessed week in your homes!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pocket Full of Ideas

I am finding, this being our 3rd summer home full time, that there are certain activities readily available, relatively inexpensive, and fairly consistent in schedule. I want to share with you some of our standard weekly activities that will speckle our summer schedule. Checkout the links too - many are nationwide!

Free Kid's Movies!!
Family Film Festival at Regal Entertainment Group

Free Bowling!!
Kids Bowl Free

Letterboxing or Geocaching!!

Day Trips!!
We live smack in the middle of a state rich with amazing opportunities - sand, surf, the Smoky Mountains, military bases, wetlands, marshes, lakes, rivers, fishing piers, boat landings, and on, an don, and on!!! I am confident your state provides just as many opportunities for free family fun. Start with your local county Parks & Recreation Department. Then, move on to the major cities and their local chamber of Commerce sites.

Google is your friend, moms!!! Type in what you want, what you dream, what you wish for ... and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised that someone has developed a day camp emphasizing the skills your little one needs to have fine-tuned. I would love for you to share what you are doing this summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Changing Things Up ...

Summer is in full swing at our house and that means 2 major changes ... home full time with little man and using the grill almost every night for dinner. I am going to try something new over the next few months. I want to share not only what we eat, but how we spend our time. I don't have any delusions that my ideas will be earth-shattering or really even all that creative. But, what I share will be real - the successes and failures. I am praying to have many of each. I hope you'll join me to celebrate the fun days of summer! First post coming tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of June 6

Is it that time again, already?? I vowed to do better this summer staying on a plan and have failed woefully. Try, and try again, right?

We have a fun week planned here. I am praying that the Lord gives us the motivation and momentum to tackle all the opportunities presented in the next 7 days. I find it so easy to open up my planner and write down commitments without consulting Him first. I am being convicted daily by the words of King Solomon "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21.

And yet, here I am - making another plan! This time revolving around food. We have to eat though. And I am happier and more confident knowing we have options close at hand without running to the grocery every day for some obscure, one time use ingredient.

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Grilled salmon, green salad, and pasta with homemade pesto sauce
  • Teriyaki chicken and pineapple in the slow cooker with rice and broccoli
  • Italian sausage with peppers and onions on hoagie rolls
  • Pizza with green salad or Chinese take out
  • C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night)
Snacks, Breakfast:
Have a blessed week in your homes!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of May 22

It's the last week of preschool for us and the first week with DH working his new job from our home every day. So, I am working harder to restock the freezer and pantry with quick, healthy, yummy meals and snacks. Since all 3 of us will be home now, it's essential to plan ahead to avoid the 12:00 rush for fast food and the even more costly 5:30 take out orders. We will be heading to the pool nearly every day starting next week and I am on the lookout for nutritious meal options that can be easily packed into a cooler.

Weeknight Dinners:

  • My two biggest time savers when it comes to lunch are to prepare a batch of basic pasta salad and a huge green salad early in the week. Then, I can use leftover meat and add a yogurt to have a complete lunch in less than 5 minutes.
  • Baked Chicken Fingers over green salad with homemade croutons
  • BBQ Chicken over pasta salad
  • Quesadillas using leftover grilled steak
  • Steak sandwiches with horseradish cream and chips

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of May 15

We just returned from a week in the desert Southwest. It was a great vacation and I am inspired to try out some regional flavors this coming week. Our Spring season is winding down rapidly as preschool is ending, vacations are beginning, and the Southeastern US heat is in full force. Now is the time for simple, flavorful meals that require little to no stove-top time. Have a wonderful week in your home and head over to see Laura for more menu plans each week!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Grilled chicken with chipotle BBQ sauce, pasta salad, grilled corn with chipotle butter
  • Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Viniagrette
  • Salad with chipotle grilled chicken (cook extra on grill), homemade tortilla strips, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and the remainder of the Cilantro-Lime Viniagrette
  • Egg rolls with coleslaw

Friday, April 30, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of May 2

What an amazing, and emotional, 2 weeks in our home. My sweet friend went home to be with Jesus, Spring arrived in full force, and our first extended travel of 2010 is just around the corner. God has been so present, so REAL, so forceful in our lives over the past 2 weeks. I would love to share with you every provision, every blessing, every fresh wind of the Holy Spirit we have felt. It's been simply amazing! We have been simply doing enough to keep our bellies from rumbling. The pantry is nearly bare, the freezers are almost empty, and I surely don't want to get on the scale. Back to the routine this week! One week of normal (whatever that is) and then 2 weeks of travel. I'm going to try something new this year and actually post our menus while we are traveling too. We'll see how it goes!

Weeknight Dinners:
DH starts a new job this week, little man and I leave Friday for a week, and it's supposed to be in the upper-80's every day. So ... no baking, no freezer cooking, just dinner and scrambling for breakfast and lunch.

Have a great week! Look for God in the little things and you will find that He's doing big things in your life!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Taking a Break

I will be back next week. My sweet friend who had been struggling with cancer for several months went home to be with Jesus on Sunday night. I am taking a little break to grieve, minister to her family, and spend time with my sweet family. I have loads of things to catch up next week, one of the first will be responding to Holly's nomination for a blog award. Thank you Holly!

See you all next week!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finer Things Friday - Skipping in the Streets

I LOVE springtime! After being hunkered down inside for what felt like the worst-winter-ever in the south, we have been celebrating mild temperatures, low humidity, and sunshine. One of my favorite parts about spring and summer is the assortment of festivals and fun days in our downtown area. We live in the state capital and every weekend from April to November offers something fun, and usually free! Last Saturday, we went to a BBQ and Bluegrass festival hosted by one of the downtown restaurants. We had an amazing lunch, saw some great friends, and were very pleased with how much little man enjoyed the day. My favorite part? Watching DH and little man skipping through the downtown streets. Spending time together is definitely a Finer Thing! Head over to Amy's Finer Things to see what other bloggers are celebrating this week.

And I have to share this too - last night while the boys were outside cooking dinner, little man came running into the house with a HUGE smile on his face. He pulled the most beautiful rose from behind his back and said "God made this just for you mommy." So sweet!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of April 12

The weather has been beautiful here in the South and we have been enjoying grilling, playing, and relaxing outdoors. My oomph with menu planning wanes during these months - somehow it seems silly to document that dinner most nights is "something on the grill." But, that's usually what we eat! I am going to be cleaning out the final items in our freezer stockpile over the next 2 weeks to make room for the bounty of fresh strawberries available at local farms. I love to go and get buckets full, wash them, and flash freeze them. I am also looking forward to making our first trip of the season to the farmer's market. Here's the plan for our week ...

Weeknight Dinners:
Breakfast, Baking, Snacks:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of April 5

Hmmmm ... what to eat? It's been a great weekend with family and friends - come tomorrow it will be odd to be back to "normal." I have not really given much thought to our menu this next week. We are short on groceries, so creativity is definitely in order!

Weeknight Dinners:
Baking, Breakfast, and Freezer:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of March 28

It's Holy Week! The week we remember and celebrate the incredible sacrifice made by - and through - our Savior. I have been eagerly anticipating this week. Little man is on Spring Break, my mom is retiring this week, DH gets a 3 day weekend to celebrate Good Friday, and we have a fun trip planned to visit friends. There are so many wonderful things happening in my life this week and reasons to celebrate. The absolute best thing about the coming week though will be the Easter celebration - not the bunnies, Peeps, or plastic colored eggs. Our Easter celebration will focus on our risen Savior and how we can serve Him. I can't wait! Yes, we will eat this week too ...

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Grilled chicken salad - I cooked up 3 lb of honey Dijon marinated chicken and have a huge salad in the 'fridge. Put them together an call it dinner!
  • Grilled pork chops with pineapple salsa, asparagus, and Buttery Bread Sticks
  • * Pork Carnitas with lettuce, salsa, cheese, etc.
  • I would like to make White Chicken Enchiladas on Friday, but I highly suspect we'll end up at mom and dad's grilling out. Maybe I'll just bookmark the recipe for another night.
Breakfast, Baking, Freezer:
  • I have about 8 lb split chicken in the freezer - I plan to thaw it, cook it in the slow cooker, shred it, and plunk it back in the freezer for future use. I got it when it was on sale and was too lazy to prep it properly. Hence, it's still in the freezer.
  • Strawberries and Cream Bread (I may enough berries for 2 loaves)
  • Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • Cinnamon Rolls (over the weekend)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of March 21

I have been really bad about sticking to a menu plan the past few weeks and we must get back on schedule around here. It's really be a little out of control - the 6:00 dinner rush, rooting through laundry baskets for clean socks, stacks and stacks of papers accumulating, and I really couldn't tell you the last time I cleaned toilets. There - all the skeletons are out of the closet. Now, to start dealing with them!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Bourbon Chicken, broccoli, rice
  • * Chicken Parmesan, spaghetti noodles, green salad (carryover from last week)
  • Salmon patties, fries, coleslaw (carryover from last week)
  • Pizza and green salad
  • Pizza Pasta Salad
  • Green salad with grilled pork or leftover Bourbon chicken
  • Leftovers for DH
  • Little man eats a rotation of chicken nuggets, PB&J sandwiches, grilled cheese, spaghetti, sometimes leftovers
Breakfast, Snacks, and Freezer:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Self Control - or lack thereof ...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23

Several weeks ago I attended a womens conference and listened to Priscilla Shirer speak. She briefly mentioned her battles with food and referenced the verse above from Galatians as one that helped her break the bondage to food. For her, it was all about self control. Food itself is not bad, liking food is not bad; the problem comes when we have no self control and we overindulge.

God has been working on my heart over the past few weeks. I have read those verses over and over and over again and I am also being "smacked in the face" with my sheer lack of self control. Every decision I make throughout the day speaks of what I value and how much I trust God to fulfill His promises. When I make impulsive, over-indulgent, unwise, foolish, or plain old bad decisions, it reflects on me and the God I serve. I am also realizing that God has big plans for my life, my husband, our family and our little man. He could use all of us much more fully if I would display more self control. Practical examples? How I speak to people and the words I choose, how I choose to spend time, how many things I commit to doing, how I choose to spend resources, and many more things each day give me the opportunity to exhibit Biblical self control in my life.

I often try to convince myself that I have an area of sin under control - that I have overcome it. Self control was one of those area for a while. Until I realized that I had begun to control only the worst - or most obvious - things that caused me to exhibit a lack of self control. God continues to peel back layers and expose more opportunities for me to think differently and act differently. I am so thankful He's not done with me yet!

"...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6b

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Is Your Personality Different From Your Child's?

Somewhere along the way through schooling and the adventures into adulthood, most of us have taken a personality assessment. The widely used Myers Briggs test can be found everywhere from college dorms to workplaces to - yes! - even churches. I just had to go take this again - the short, free online version - because I had long since forgotten my type. I firmly believe my personality has changed over the years. I am now an ISTJ although I am sure I used to be an EN something something. So ... back to the original question. Is your personality style inherently at odds with your child's personality?

Mine is and I am praying every day that God gives me the grace to nurture our sweet little man and that He gives me just enough discomfort to know that He is the only way I am succeeding. How is my personality different from our son's? Let me count the ways ...

  • Little man is a complete and total extrovert. He is happy as a lark when around many other children in a loud place. I, on the other hand, am generally pretty anti-social. I enjoy the company of a few close friends and family, but am just as content with a book and the quiet of the back porch.
  • Little man requires little - if any - time to decompress and "chill out" during the day. We are working VERY hard on a consistent schedule that includes quiet time. Both for his sanity and mine :)
  • Little man is an avid talker! I do know, thanks to my sweet mom, that I was exactly the same as a child. So, I can't be too upset about this one. But, DH and I have decided on our new favorite game - who can be the quietest for the longest time. Little man never wins!
What about you? Are you finding yourself pushed, challenged, extended, and learning new and different things due to your child's personality?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of March 14

Remember last week when said I thought Spring might be here? Well, the green film on the driveway and cars proves it - Spring is here! And so is the warehouse club pack of generic Zyrtec. DH got a new grill last weekend and we have been putting it through a vigorous initiation period - we've grilled 3 times this week, so far! I hoped to continue the trend on into next week, but we are due for rain most days.

Weeknight Dinners:
  • * Chicken Parmesan with green salad
  • Salmon patties, pan fried potatoes, coleslaw
  • * Ribs, baked potatoes, corn
  • Chicken taco casserole with Mexican style rice
* Indicates a Slow Cooker recipe

Baking, Breakfast, and Freezer:
  • Homemade Egg McMuffins - make these first and then assemble
  • Chewy Granola Bars
  • I'll be cooking up chicken and ground beef this week to restock the freezer - it makes weeknight meals come together so much quicker to have the meat already cooked.
Go visit I'm An Organizing Junkie for over 300 menu plans each week!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of March 7

I don't want to jinx us here in the mid-South, but it appears that Spring has sprung!! Hooray!!! The 7 day forecast calls for at least 60 degrees every day the next week. DH is a deacon at our local church and we are having a revival this week. He'll be at church at least 3 nights early in the week, so dinners will be pretty simple.

B: Oatmeal
L: An assortment of leftovers and pantry items
D: Grilled salmon and roasted asparagus

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Steak burritos (using leftover steak from Saturday) with salsa, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream
  • Chicken gravy over rice (chicken is already precooked in the freezer), green beans
  • Spaghetti, Italian Cheese Bread, salad
  • Pizza and salad
  • Chinese take out (DH gets paid and this is such a fun treat for us ... under $10 and we can be stuffed!)
Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
Have a wonderful week in your home. Go check out the hundreds of amazing bloggers at Laura's each Monday - most of the recipes I link to have been found there.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Menu Plan

Here's the rough plan for the month of March in our home. I will post additional plans each week which will include baking. I hope you gain some inspiration from this post!

Dinner with mom and dad - 4 times
Dinner at church - once for the whole family, 4 nights for DH
Creamy Ranch Pork Chops with rice and broccoli
Grilled cheese sandwiches with butternut squash soup
Chicken gravy over rice with sweet corn
Oatmeal with cinnamon, brown sugar, and raisins (DH will be at church - little man and I can indulge!)
Spaghetti with Italian Cheese Bread - 2 times
Pizza and green salad - 2 times
Taco Casserole with lettuce and tomatoes
Baked Lemon Chicken with rice and roasted asparagus
Salmon patties, pan fried potatoes, coleslaw
* Cranberry and Red Wine Glazed Pot Roast with mashed potatoes and roasted carrots
* Black Bean Salsa Chicken with homemade tortilla chips
* Chicken Parmesan with green salad

* Indicates a slow cooker recipe.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Menu Plan and Catching Up

It has been an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G week in our house! God has been mighty, powerful, merciful, and gracious beyond measure. He is so good! Three sweet friends and I spent the weekend at a Going Beyond conference near our nation's capital and were all richly blessed. I was searching for a fresh word from the Lord, and wow!, did I get it. He never fails me, never disappoints me, and always leaves me hungering for more. Thank you Lord!

It has been a wild and crazy few weeks here full of blessing and trial. Many of you know that my wonderful sweet friend has been suffering from terminal cancer. Time is short now and every moment precious. God has blessed us so much with moments where we have both clearly felt His arms, His presence, His reassurance, His calm cool breeze, His power, His love, and His grace upon both of us. I am so thankful to be in this place at this time!

Some of you tune in weekly for the food, so let's get to it. My plan for the month of March will be posted Monday or Tuesday this week.

Weeknight Dinners:
Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Finer Things Friday - Feb 19, 2010

It's been a wild week around our house - lots of emotional and spiritual up and down. We are clinging to the promise "that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6b). God is faithful when we are not; God is merciful when we don't deserve it; God is gracious beyond measure. These things I KNOW to be true and I rest in them. Just a few glimpses into our week filled with grace ...

My 2 Snow Angels:
Shaking off the Chill with Hot Chocolate (and charming blue eyes!):

An Oldie, but Goodie, to Remind Me How Far We've Come:

Choosing to focus on the blessings in my life, the goodness in each day, and the joy in my family is definitely a FINER THING!

This post is linked to Finer Things Friday at Amy's Finer Things.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WFMW: Craft Cabinet

When we moved into our new house several months ago, one of the main selling points for me was the huge eat in area/breakfast nook right off the kitchen. The area has 3 large windows plus a sliding door accessing the screened porch and is becoming one of my favorite spots in the house. I love to cook and we have a very active 4 year old little man. Combining all 3 things together, we decided to move all of little man's craft things into the breakfast area in the beautiful pie safe my MIL got us years ago.

Little man is close enough that we can talk while I am cooking and he has enough freedom to get out whatever he chooses. What's in the cabinet, you ask? Paints (washable paints plus paint with water books), markers, crayons, scissors and paper, coloring books, reusable sticker books, oodles of regular stickers, play-doh and writing practice books. His dry erase board is also in the breakfast area. This definitely works for me!

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh So Yummy - Faux-Reos

These are scrumptious! I started with this recipe I found at King Arthur Flour and made a few changes. I would love to say that my changes made the cookies markedly more healthy, but really - it's an oreo! There's no redeeming health value in these. The only comfort I have is that I know exactly what's in these and I know to limit myself to just one.

I did sub one half cup of whole wheat flour and found I needed to add one more teaspoon water to the filling mix. The extra water may have been needed since it's been cold and dry here today.

Also, the recommended size makes a rather large cookie. I will make them with no more than 1 teaspoon of dough for each cookie next time. These came out at least 2.5 times the size of a regular oreo cookie.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of February 15

This past week brought us another round of snow in the south and we are all just about D.O.N.E. with winter now. I desperately need to do some cooking and baking this week and restock the freezer. Things have been wild here for several weeks and I am praying for a calm week to focus on making our home a haven and taking care of my men. Head over to I'm An Organizing Junkie for more inspiration each week!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Chicken and veggie stir fry over Basmati rice
  • Beef tacos, refried beans, and Spanish rice
  • Pizza Pasta Bake with green salad
  • Roasted Pepper Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches
  • one night at church
Baking, Breakfast, and Freezer:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of February 8

I always have trouble figuring out what to write at the beginning of a menu planning post. It all seems sort of silly to me since the point is to share the food with you. So, that's what we're diving in to today. And I have a head cold, so I'm not in a great mood ... sorry, just the facts this week!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Crock Pot Peanut Chicken, orzo pasta, green salad
  • Spaghetti, rolls, green salad
  • Loaded Potato Soup with rolls
  • Beef tacos
  • I am looking for an easy, and frugal, recipe for fried rice. Likely I will make chicken fried rice one night too once I find a good recipe.
Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
The first round of freezer jam turned out very good, if I do say so! I used this recipe as a start, but used blackberries and raspberries instead. It turned out so good! A bit overly sweet for me, but that's okay.
What's cooking at your house this week? head over and see Laura if you need inspiration!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

February Menu Plan

The month of February is beginning with snow here in the South - an unusual sight and one that inspires soups, chilis, stews, and all arrays of comfort food. This month, I will continue to use some of the skills learned during last month's Eat From the Pantry Challenge. I will also though be making a major trip to the warehouse club to restock - after the ice melts!

Baking, Breakfast, Freezer:
I am trying to decide how best to use up almost 15 pounds of frozen berries in our freezer. Freezer Jam will be my first choice. Then probably smoothies and on to baked goods. I will share plans and recipes as the month goes along.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Menu Plan - Week of January 31

The month of January was amazing in our house. We participated in the Eat From the Pantry Challenge and reduced our grocery spending significantly. We also had our first snow of the season in NC and we thoroughly enjoyed it. God has continued to richly bless our family over the past month and we are so grateful! This week, I am cleaning out the last few items from our freezer and pantry and will be making a big run to the local warehouse store to restock. Here's what's cooking at our house. Head over to I'm An Organizing Junkie for more inspiration!

Weeknight Dinners:
  • Spicy Fatboy Sausage Pasta with green salad
  • Slow cooker soup with Italian Turkey Sausage, mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes (recipe on Tuesday is it turns out good)
  • Spaghetti with green salad
  • Pizza night
Baking and Breakfast:
We had a snowstorm this week and lost our heat at home, so I have been hunkered down at my parent's house with little man. Not much baking has been done, so there is a lot of carryover. Not too exciting, but - hey - it's life!