February 28, 2014

Monthly Menu - March 2014

01 Sat       Slow Cooked Pot Roast, potatoes, carrots
02 Sun      Dinner with in-laws
03 Mon     Cheesy Baked Tortellini, salad, bread (assemble day before)
04 Tue       Slow cooked ham, buttered egg noodles, peas
05 Wed     Leftovers, fast food
06 Thu       Pressure Cooker Minestrone Soup, crusty rolls
07 Fri         Chicken tacos, corn, cauliflower
08 Sat       kids have an activity, so it is dinner out with my husband!
09 Sun     Beef stew
10 Mon     Bubble Pizza, salad
11 Tue      pizza for kids, make your own
12 Wed     fast food
13 Thu      make your own
14 Fri       leftover chili from freezer, rice
15 Sat.     Chicken soup, rolls
16 Sun.    Corned beef and cabbage at Grandma's
17 Mon.   Three Cheese Chicken Penne Bake, spinach salad
18 Tue.    Freezer leftover pork, rice or egg noodles, green beans
19 Wed.    Fast food
20 Thu.     Lentil Sloppy Joes, coleslaw, corn
21 Fri        Homemade Macaroni and Cheese, spinach salad
22 Sat
23 Sun
24 Mon
25 Tue
26 Wed
27 Thu
28 Fri
29 Sat
30 Sun
31 Mon

February 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

I really liked this sauce made from a recipe on DamnDelicious.net. It was really good, although I am not a large enough fan of italian sausage to eat it regularly, so I intend to use this recipe as a base from which I can adapt to different tastes. Next time I intend to use two pounds of ground beef, omit the sausage, and add thyme.

Brown 2 pounds ground meat (beef, sausage, pork, turkey, chicken) in 2 T olive oil (optional) with a minced onion.
Add two minced garlic cloves, cook for about a minute.
Drain meat and add to slow cooker.
Add 3 (14.5 oz) cans chopped tomatoes, 2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil, 3 bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
Stir together and cook on low 10-12 hours.

I did not add any salt and pepper and it was still delicious!

February 3, 2014

Monthly Menu - February 2014

marks the start of tax season, and working 4 days a week outside of the home, therefore dinners will be simply made using a slow cooker or pressure cooker as much as possible.

1  Sat      dinner out
2  Sun     Super Bowl - veggie platter, fruit platter, munchies
3  Mon    pasta night - spaghetti with meat sauce
4  Tue     slow cooker bbq pork, baked beans, cole slaw
5  Wed    anticipated snow day - lemon chicken,*must post on sight, it was awesome! rice, green beans
7   Fri     dinner out, leftovers
8   Sat     steak, baked potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower
9   Sun     chicken soup,made with this chicken stock, rolls
10 Mon     pasta with slow cooker meat sauce, salad
11 T         slow cooker pork tenderloin, rice, green beans
12 W     ???
13 Th     split chicken breasts, egg noodles, carrots
14 F      pizza
15 Sa     dinner out
16 Su     Lasagna, salad, bread
17 M      Hamburger soup, leftover bread
18 T       Ham, cabbage, food storage noodles, frozen green beans
19 W     Kielbasi and beans, corn
20 Th     Chicken tacos, broccoli, rice
21 F      Leftovers - every man for himself!
22 Sa     Chili, rice, broccoli salad
23 Su     Ham and potatoes, green beans
24 M     Pasta with meat sauce, salad
25 T      Sophie's chicken - Grandma cooks!
26 W     Hot dogs, kielbasi & beans
27 Th     Smothered Lentils, rice, corn
28 F      pizza

January 14, 2014

New England Chuck Roast

photo courtesy of Google images

This was really good. I loved the gravy, and I love a recipe that teaches me how to make an easy but tasty gravy.

1 3lb chuck roast
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery stalk, cut into 8 pieces
1 bay leaf
1 T vinegar (used apple cider vinegar)
2 C water
1/2 small cabbage, cut into wedges
3 T butter
1 T instant minced onion
2 T flour
2 T prepared horseradish
@ 1 t gravy master

  • sprinkle meat with 1/2 t salt and pepper
  • place onion, carrots, and celery in slow cooker
  • place meat on top of vegetables
  • add water, bay leaf, and vinegar
  • cook on LOW 5-7 hours (I did 7 hours)
  • remove meat
  • turn control to high, add cabbage
  • cook for 20 minutes
  • remove 1 1/2 cups of beef broth
  • melt butter in saucepan
  • stir in minced onion and flour
  • add broth, horseradish and 1/2 t salt
  • stir over low heat until thickened
I made mashed potatoes to go with the the meal and some frozen peas for those who don't like cabbage. Delicious! Must make again soon!

January 1, 2014

Monthly Menu - January 2013

I've come up with a new plan! I often find interesting recipes while web browsing, and my favorites file is a bit cumbersome, so for now on, I am going to try calendaring the recipes I want to try, and putting the link on the assigned day right here on my blog where it will be handy.  So here goes:

  1  Wednesday          tacos*, veggie platter (*ground beef with salsa, shredded cheese)
  2  Thursday             red beans & rice (too much cayenne for our taste)
  3  Friday                 baked ziti, garlic bread, salad
  4  Saturday             leftovers

  5  Sunday               creamy chicken soup (I Don't Cook), Pillsbury biscuits
  6  Monday              spaghetti, salad
  7  Tuesday              kielbasi/hot dogs, coleslaw, baked beans, carrot sticks
  8  Wednesday         leftovers
  9  Thursday            fend for yourselves
10  Friday                 Hoppin John

12  Sunday                eggs, hash browns, sausage, biscuits
13  Monday              elbows with sauce & mozzarella, salad
14  Tuesday               pork tenderloin (omit cayenne pepper), green beans, mashed potatoes
15  Wednesday          pizza???
16  Thursday             bbq beans (366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, & Grains pg 234), rice, coleslaw
17  Friday                 graduation party
18  Saturday             chili, rice, broccoli salad

19  Sunday                chicken soup, rolls
20  Monday               elbows with lentil sauce, garlic bread, salad
21  Tuesday              creamy chicken (notes: make chicken ahead in crock pot with butter and garlic, then cook onion in oil and proceed with recipe. use egg noodles)
22  Wednesday          
23  Thursday               Black Beans and Rice, tacos (use meat from freezer)
24  Friday                  slow cooked pork roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy
25  Saturday               chicken soup, grandma's rolls

26  Sunday                 New England chuck roast, egg noodles
27  Monday                 pasta with italian sausage, salad
28  Tuesday                baked herb lemon chicken, crock pot roasted potatoes, green beans
29  Wednesday            bbq pork sandwiches, coleslaw
30  Thursday               grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
31  Friday                  honey lime tilapia, rice, zucchini

December 16, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday December 16, 2013

I came on here to write another post and realized it was Monday. I don't want to miss too many weeks in a row! Happy Christmas! Not much longer now, and I admit I am feeling the stress. I have not had time to think about what to get my kids, let alone buy it. Thank goodness for Amazon! Right now I am up to my elbows in cookie dough, but I'll tell you about that below. Thank you, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for hosting! Go see her blog for more Happy Homemaker Monday posts!

As I Look Outside My Window
I am looking at about 4 inches of snow on my deck, and I understand we are getting some more tomorrow. Snow days sometimes provide a nice break from the craziness that is December, but it also messes up my game. This morning it took my awhile to realize that the kids had to get up and get ready for school!

Right Now I Am
Baking cookies. My husband is a manager overseeing three shifts and he brings in a tray of my cookies for each shift. He says my cookies are probably the only reason they like him. I started baking yesterday, but we ran out of water (love well water, grrr) so that was the end of that. I managed one batch, and that was for my family.

Thinking and Pondering
I must admit I am not very spiritually minded right now, with my huge to do list, but I do try to think about the Savior and his great gift of His Atonement and what it means for me. I am also thinking about what I have left to buy for presents and what other cookies I am going to bake. Right now I am baking the second batch of the Pioneer Woman's Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies. The only thing I did differently is using light brown sugar instead of dark (because that is what I had) and I did include the optional pecans. They are delicious - I have to keep myself from eating them! Anyway, I first came on my blog to write a post about what cookies I made this year, since I never remember from one year to the next, and then realized that it was Monday. So that post will be coming next.

On My Bedside Table
Mostly the scriptures right now. Doing my best to focus on the Savior when I can.

On My TV
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! We watched It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story this weekend. Tonight may be the Walton's Homecoming.

Listening To
Pandora's Mannheim Steamroller's Christmas station. Right now is Canon in D by Brian Crain.

On the Menu for This Week
Cookies! Not really, but since I will be spending two days baking, well, tonight will be pizza anyway.

On My To Do List
Um, bake cookies. Shop, wrap, and CLEAN THE HOUSE. It's a mess.

My Simple Pleasure
Having my kids walk in the door after school and comment on how good it smells in the kitchen because of what I am cooking/baking.

Lesson Learned
That I desperately need the Atonement as I struggle to become better.

Looking Around the House
Christmas cards to send out, a box from Amazon, and cookies are on the table. Paper plates and plastic silverware are sitting around the kitchen and dining room since we had no water to wash dishes last night. Last night's lasagna pan is still sitting on the table waiting to be washed. And cookie baking supplies and ingredients are on the counter.

From the Camera
My wonderful kids:

Prayer List
My kids, mom, in-laws, a few friends with serious health issues, and myself.

Bible Verse
Psalm 24:9-10: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory."

Look to Him, the Lord of Glory, whose birth we celebrate this month!

Have a great week!

December 2, 2013

Happy Homemaker Monday December 2, 2013

Good morning! Can you believe it is December already! I have been trying to think of things that I love about the month that we are in, so that I can appreciate the season and not grumble at any unpleasantness it offers. However, December is easy. I love the Christmas holiday - the whole season as well as the day. I love my Savior, and love the opportunity to focus on Him as well as all of the other fun aspects of the holiday. So let's celebrate!

As I Look Outside My Window
It's a gloomy day. The sky is gray and completely overcast. Although it is not as cold as it has been (36 degrees right now), the air is wet and it seeps right into your bones. I came home from seminary and crawled under my electric blanket and slept for 3 hours. Caught up on sleep from our busy weekend, but I still had to force myself to get out from under that blanket.

Right Now I Am
Sitting at my kitchen table, as usual. I am, however, in a different chair and am facing my family room and fireplace. It sure would be nice if there was a fire burning in there! Everyone else is at work or school.

Thinking and Pondering
about how to make the Christmas season more focused on the Savior - more for myself than anything. It is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle as we try to shop for our loved ones and keep up with everything else. The stores are much busier and we are going to get in peoples' way, and they are going to get in our way. Some of them are going to be rude, and, to be honest, I know I have come across that way too at times, especially when in a hurry, as I often am. So I need to find ways to keep my focus on the Savior, and put all the other things into perspective. And I need to remember to be kind and to be forgiving when others are not.

On My Bedside Table
I am all over the place with reading. Right now I am trying to listen to The Infinite Atonement. But, I have a recommendation for you. The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn. I love the write up they have on Amazon:

It all started when Jeff Guinn was assigned to write a piece full of little-known facts about Christmas for his paper, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A few months later, he received a call from a gentleman who told him that he showed the story to an important friend who didn’t think much of it. And who might that be? asked Jeff. The next thing he knew, he was whisked off to the North Pole to meet with this “very important friend,” and the rest is, well, as they say, history.

It is an interesting look at history and the history of the Christmas and Santa Claus tradition. And, it is written in a way that is perfectly safe for believers to read/hear.

On My TV
Caught up on Glee, which I am finding a bit boring this season, with the exception of The Quarterback, which was phenomenal. Hopefully I will get in a holiday movie tonight to help with keeping me in the right spirit of the season.

Playing on the Radio
I have Pandora's Peaceful Christmas station on, which is instrumental. I love Windham Hill.

On the Menu for This Week
I am actually looking forward to having a week of menu planning, but alas, this is not the week for a full menu plan:

Monday turkey soup (stayed up until 2 am on Thanksgiving night until that broth was cooked down to a flavorful concoction), rolls
Tuesday pasta, salad
Wednesday ham, mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday freezer leftovers
Friday taco casserole
Saturday son's Christmas concert in the afternoon, and daughter's play at night. So it's dinner out.
Sunday beef stew or some such yummy, one bowl meal

On My To Do List
One load of laundry, grocery shop, take son to orthodontist. Now, all I want to do is turn on that oven to warm up the kitchen and bake some cookies. So, I'm thinking I'll do that and my laundry, go pick up my son and take him to the orthodontist, then stop at the store for just the necessary items. Yes, I like that plan! I won't venture out until I have to!

My Simple Pleasure
Baking cookies while listening to Christmas music

Lesson Learned
My lesson comes from Mary, mother of Jesus. When the shepherds came to visit the baby Jesus, Mary was quiet, and pondered the things they said. Too often I react too quickly to things, and later regret how I handled a situation. Saturday I came across a rude shopper (to his defense, I am sure he thought I was rude, because I honed in on what he was looking at, but I was friendly about it). I replied pleasantly and moved on, then worked the situation out in my head, prayerfully processing it so that I would not let it ruin my mood, or think badly of the person. And it worked. I need to do this more often, letting Mary be my example.

Looking Around the House
There are Christmas decorations everywhere! Two of my kids did most of the work, including getting the boxes down from the attic, and I get to sit and enjoy them! Now, if I turn around, I will see all of the stuff leftover from Thanksgiving sitting on my kitchen counter. Ugh.

From the Camera

On My Prayer List
Me, I am having trouble with sores in my mouth, which can be a result of Lupus (or the medication, I cannot remember which), my kids, mom, in-laws.

Bible Verse
Luke 2:19   "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."  (see above)

Have a great week!