Archive | February, 2011

Menu Plan Feb. 21-27

21 Feb

This week proves to be a busy one with my first Hebrew test on Tuesday.  We’ll be enjoying some simple meals, a couple of casseroles and plenty of yummy soup.  We were planning on eating Minestrone soup for a couple of lunches this week but I forgot to plug in the cord on the Crockpot.  We came home from church and everything was raw! 😦  This weekend I made some Herb Bread so we will be enjoying that for simple lunches this week.  (recipe to follow soon-it’s delicious!)

Monday:

  • breakfast: Cream of Wheat, Fruit
  • Lunch: Veggie Chicken Soup, Herb Bread
  • Dinner: Mexican Beef Macaroni and Cheese, Salad
  • to do: Make yogurt, thaw cooked turkey meat

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: Homemade Yogurt and Granola with Fruit
  • Lunch: Sandwiches and Butternut Squash Soup
  • Dinner: Turkey Tetrazzini, Peas, Herb Bread
  • To Do: Thaw Sausage

Wednesday:

  • breakfast: Sausage Bake with Toast
  • Lunch: Leftover Mexican Beef Macaroni and Cheese
  • Dinner: Lentil Pot Pie (don’t tell Brandon it’s lentils) 🙂 
  • To do: Thaw porkchops

Thursday:

Friday:

  • breakfast: Leftover Apple French Toast and Sausage Bake
  • Lunch: Potato Pockets with Crockpot Turkey Chili
  • Dinner: Leftovers, Fruit Salad
  • To Do: Make Bread

Saturday:

  • B: Pancakes and Bacon
  • L: Chicken with Noodles and Mixed Vegetables
  • D: Lentil-Rice casserole, Salad

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Leftovers, Fresh Fruit
  • Lunch: Stuffed Manicotti, Caesar Salad, Italian Bread
  • Dinner: Minestrone Soup with Bread

Creamy Veggie Chicken Soup

20 Feb

Eli often enjoys reading a book in the high chair while waiting for dinner. 🙂

Tonight I again tweaked a soup recipe and I think it is finally to my liking.   This is so yummy and tastes similar to a Cream of Broccoli soup you might get at a Panera type restaurant.  Have you noticed a trend yet?  Panera is my favorite restaurant.  🙂  I tried to take a picture for you all but failed miserably.  Trust me it looks and tastes great! 😉  Enjoy the picture of Eli instead. 

Ingredients:

  • In a large saucepan melt 2 T. butter.  Add 1 small chopped onion and 1/2 cup green pepper.  Cook for a few minutes and then add in the following:
  • 1 16 oz bag of California Medley style frozen vegetables: includes carrots, broccoli, cauliflower.  I buy mine from Aldi. I think it is around $1 and they taste great!  (Sometimes it is even cheaper to use the frozen medley than to buy the fresh vegetables and cut them up.  This also saves a little time if you are in a hurry.)
  • 1 1/2 cups of peeled, chopped potatoes.
  • 3 cups of chicken stock (preferably homemade). 
  • 4 t. chicken bouillon or 4 chicken bouillon cubes.
  • 1 c. cut up cooked chicken.  I have also made this soup without the chicken. (I needed to use some up some chicken that had been in the fridge a while so into the soup pot it went.)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • liberal dash of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 t. each of ground mustard, paprika, and coriander.  If you don’t have all these don’t worry about it just skip them or add your favorite seasonings in place. 
  • Bring mixture to a boil and simmer covered about 20 minutes.  (I like to stick a fork in the veggies to make sure they are tender.) 
  • Mix together: 1 can of coconut milk and 4 T. whole wheat flour.  Add into the soup mixture.  Simmer uncovered for about 20 more minutes or until the soup has thickened to your liking.  (You could use 1 3/4 c. milk instead of the coconut milk.) 
  • Stir in 1 1/2 c. of cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella since that’s what I had on hand.) 

Enjoy!  I didn’t measure but I would guess this recipe makes approximately 2 quarts or maybe more.  If you would rather use fresh veggies use any combination of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower in place of the medley.  (In case you are wondering you can’t taste the cauliflower.)  I would aim for about 4-5 cups of veggies.  I don’t think it would matter if the majority of the veggies were broccoli or cauliflower.  One might notice a lot of carrots though.  Well at least my hubby would.  We still haven’t made a Carrot soup-it sounds awful to us both! 🙂

Free Puppet Show Tickets

18 Feb

If you are local to me call the Woodford County Library to get your FREE tickets to the Annie Oakley’s Wild West Puppet Show on Feb. 27th at 2 pm.  It will be held at the Duthie Auditorium at Midway College.  This show is part of the Madcap Puppets and is sure to be a showstopper. 

If you don’t live near me make sure to periodically check your local library’s website for events.  They are usually free.  Remember part of your taxes goes to support the public library-make sure you take advantage of it.  This past fall we had a great time taking Eli to see his first play absolutely free. 🙂

Crockpot Beef Enchiladas

17 Feb

Crockpot Beef Enchiladas

I have been making Crockpot Beef Enchiladas since the early days of our marriage and they are still always a hit!  🙂  They also taste great as leftovers.  I often took them with me for lunch and reheated them in the microwave at Southern. 

In a skillet saute 1 pound ground beef (or turkey), 1 chopped onion, and 1/2 green pepper chopped.

Add in 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies, 1/2 cup water, 1 can of kidney beans (or pinto) rinsed and drained, 1 can of black beans rinsed and drained, 1 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. salt, dash of black pepper, dash of red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes.

Spray crockpot with cooking spray so it doesn't stick. 🙂 Layer 1 cup bean and meat mixture, one tortilla, and 1/4 cup cheese-I use cheddar, Colby Jack or a mixture. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Cook on low 5-7 hours.

I usually purchase cheap tortillas that don't fit perfectly in my crockpot. I usually trim off a little of the tortilla to make it fit. Then I take all of the extras and use for the final layer. (I usually use a total of 4-5 8' tortillas.)

A Valentine’s Day to Remember

15 Feb

Eli dressed up and ready to go. Don't' you just LOVE the tie! 😉

Last week Brandon asked if he could take me out for Valentine’s day.  Honestly I wasn’t that excited about going out to eat because I hate waiting an hour or more to eat.  By the time you get seated you are almost too tired to eat.  I agreed and so all day long yesterday I thought we were going out to eat. 

Dressed up and just waiting on daddy to get home.

I thought all along that we were going out to eat.  Yesterday is Monday (the day I usually make bread).  If you’ve been to our house you know that we have these crazy, crazy smoke detectors that go off ALL the time.  After hitting the button on the smoke detectors literally about every two minutes for an hour I was fed up.  I decided to do the self clean on the oven thinking the whole time that we were going out to eat and it could finish up while we were gone. 

Brandon got home and got a funny look on his face when he saw that the oven was on.  I explained that I was cleaning it and it would just take a couple hours but no big deal since we had reservations somewhere.  Then the confession came.  Brandon admitted to having secrectly planned to cook dinner!  🙂 

The cutest Valentine's Day dates ever!

I immediately tried to turn the self clean off but learned that an oven can be pretty stubborn.  We had a great laugh about it!  We are definately the couple where the girl would sell her hair to buy the man a case for his pocket watch while the man would sell his pocket wash to buy a hair brush! 🙂 

I felt like a princess. Look at that spread. 🙂

Eventually after the oven cooled off Brandon got to work making an excellent meal.  🙂  I couldn’t have been more impressed.  I am so blessed to be married to such a great guy! 

Yummy

To top it all off Brandon even washed the dishes while I took a nice hot bath and read a book.  I am so spoiled and thankful for my great husband. 

For Valentine's Day Eli gave his mommy a super good long nap. 🙂

In case you are wondering Brandon received some candy and a framed picture of Eli all dressed up in his Valentine's Day outfit! 🙂

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Card Idea

13 Feb

Our quick and easy Valentine's cards for family this year.

Elijah and I had so much fun making these the other day!  It was the first time we played with paint.  They worked okay but I think they would work even better if your child was slightly older (2 and up).  😉  To make these you will need pencil, pen, paper, 2 colors of acrylic paint (or other paint), and 2 paper plates. 

I cut a heart out of cardstock (blue paper) and then traced it on each of the cards.

 

Since we don't actually own any kid paint yet I purchased 2 bottles of acrylic paint for about 50 cents each. I used a paper plate to squirt a little paint in and then dipped in Eli's hands (one at a time). Then he took a nice bath. 🙂

After stamping both hands on the card we wrote a personalized message on the cards.  Then we erased the pencil lines. 🙂

We also made a get well card for Brandon's Papaw. He recently had heart surgery.

Travel High Chair Take 2

12 Feb

This portable high chair works great for chairs that do not have slats.

After taking Elijah with us to our first small group I realized that our old style portable high chair was not going to work.  It was a high chair that was wrapped around slats in a chair.  See picture below:

The first portable high chair-my favorite.

The reason the above high chair didn’t work is because the chairs  at our friend’s house do not have slats.  Since we are at their house regularly for small group (a couple times a month) I decided to make something that would work on their chairs.   We eat dinner at their house so this was important to me.  🙂  

They have these super cool new chairs that are just solid in the back (meaning there are new slats).  They do have a slat along the back so I came up with this with the help of this tutorial.  I did make some changes.  Instead of using ribbon as suggested I made 4 straps.  Two for the back of the chair to make it fit securely to any chair and two to wrap around the child to secure him to the chair.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric 28" X 3 1/4". Fold each in half lengthwise. With right sides together sew along long side and 1 short side. Turn inside out and press.

The ties made above are used on the back of the chair instead of the ribbon.  To make ties to go around the child’s body cut a piece of fabric 80″ X 3″.  It might be cheaper to buy the ribbon if you are using all new material.  Since I was using an old sheet I had plenty of fabric to make the ties.  With my wiggly son I was a little nervous about the ribbon.  If he were older (and I had ribbon on hand) I probably would have used that. 

Between the two portable high chairs I have made I prefer the first portable high chair .  It is much simpler in design, easier to sew, and a little quicker to use.  It also takes up a little less room in a diaper bag.  We have found the first one to work on every occasion except one.  Start noticing the next time you are at a family or friend’s house to see what type of high chair would work best for your situation.  🙂

Elijah loved his bumbo seat!

If you have a new baby (or expecting) you might want to look into the Bumbo seat (pictured below).  You can purchase an optional tray to go with it which I highly recommend.  Not only did we find it to be a great portable high chair and seat when Elijah was younger, but we used it daily at our house.  We took it on vacation, out to eat in restaurants, to a week at youth camp, and to Wed. night church suppers among other things.  Babies can sit in it at 4 months old which is great since they can’t sit in a regular high chair until they can sit up.  For Elijah this took a while. The only bad part about the seat was that Elijah outgrew it by about 9 months because his thighs were too big!  I would say it would work even longer for skinny babies.  🙂