Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday 2/24

Ahh halfway thru the work week. Always a good thing! Not much excitement mid week around here though.

A recipe to share:

This came from Taste of Home Simple & Delicious March/April 2010 . If you have not seen this magazine I highly recomend it some awesome recipes. My mom got me a subscription for Christmas THANKS MOM!

1 can cunky New England Clam Chowder
1 can cream style corn
2/3 c milk
2 T. shredded cheddar
2 T. bacon bits
2 T. minced chives

Mix the soup, corn and milk and heat either on stovetop or microwave. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon and chives.

I doubled the soup/milk and used 1 can of regular corn drained (all I had on hand. This made more than enough for several of us to eat.

I have also started working on some crafts again YEAH! Here is a thank you card I made this week:

I am also on the search for some GREAT craft blogs! If you have a craft blog you love to follow please share!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday 2/23

Happy Tuesday! Well the rain has returned to Western Washington. **sigh** the sun was nice while it lasted so I will not complain!

I thought I would share a cute pictures with you. Our kitten Fluffy discovered balloons last night for the first time.

I tried a new to us recipe last night that I also wanted to share.

1 c uncooked elbow macaroni
1 lb ground beef
1 small green pepper chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 cans chili with beans
1 can whole kernel corn drained
1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in chili and corn. Drain macaroni, add to skillet and heat thru. Sprinkle with cheese.

I have people ask me all of the time how I remember everything with 4 kids. I struggled for a long time with keep up with all of the appointments, games, practices, forms etc. I have a good system down that works very well for our family.

Each day when the kids get home from school they give me any forms, permission slips, activity calendars etc. I sit down later that evening when they are in bed and add those events to my Google calendar online. My Google calendar is Synched with my Blackberry so I have access to my calendar wherever I am. I also have a large calendar on the kitchen wall that I hand write activities so that they are always visual for the kids and myself.

I know not everyone has a Blackberry but most phones have a calendar feature. This is so helpful for me when at a medical appointment and they need to schedule another in the future, I can look to see when we are available. Also, I often find myself out and about when the kids say can I go do "insert whatever activity here" next Saturday? I am able to look at the calendar and fit that in without having to be physically at home. Saves alot of time, headache, double booking and forgotten appointments!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday 2/22

What a great weekend. I had taken Thursday/Friday off from work for my oldest daughters dental work and to prep for my youngest daughters birthday party. And well, because I needed a BREAK!!

We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. We were able to have the doors open during my daughters party on Saturday. We had a great time with friends and family. Sunday we were able to spend some time at the park and have a BBQ with some friends. I feel so blessed right now I could burst!

I wanted to share a couple of delicous recipes today. These were very inexpensive to make but delicous. I am hoping my friend Jodei will share the recipe for the salad she made last night so I can share that as well :D (hint, hint Jodei I know you are reading this LOL)


This is how my mom makes her ribs so I have to give full credit to her. I picked up some pork ribs at Safeway a couple of weeks ago in their mark down section at 50% off! Tossed them in the freezer to wait for a sunny day.

Thaw the ribs if they are frozen. Cover liberally with seasoning salt of your choice. Mom uses Lawrys I use Johnnys either works. Let them sit covered in the refrigerator overnight (I did them yesterday and let them sit for 6 hours and they were still really good). Wrap in foil and BBQ for 2 hours. Turn them once 1/2 way thru. The last 20 minutes, open up the foil and put BBQ sauce on the top of the ribs. I used Kraft Honey Hickory. Let them finish cooking for about 20 minutes and pull off the grill. So good (ok I am drooling a bit).


This recipe came from Taste of Home Simple and Delicious March/April 2010

3/4 c peanut butter
4 oz cream cheese softened
1 c confectioners sugar
8oz cool whip
1 graham cracker crust

In a large bowl beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and confectioners sugar until smooth. Fold in whip topping and pour into pie crust. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.

This was super easy to throw together at the last minute and a huge hit!


This is soooo good!! It makes enough for 2 salads. This recipe came from Everyday Food March 2010.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 head bibb lettuce leaves seperated and torn
1/2 c shredded cooked chicken
2 strips bacon cooked/crumbled
2 T crumbled blue cheese
2 warm easy poached eggs

Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard and season with salt/pepper. Divide lettuce, chicken, bacon and cheese between 2 plates. Top each salad with a poached egg. Serve dressing on the side.

Menu 2/21-2/27 and Shopping Trip

I did sit down and plan out a menu for the week. The best part, I did it sitting in the sun at the park while the kids were playing. LOVING the weather we are having!

This weeks menu is full of new to us recipes. However, my grocery list was very small. Most items I already have on hand!

Sunday- BBQ Ribs (bought at 50% off at Safeway a couple weeks ago), BBQ baked potatoes, roasted veggies. We had friends over for dinner and they brought a delicioius Spinach salad. Peanut butter pie for dessert!

Monday- Chili mac & biscuits

Tuesday- Jazzed up Clam chowder, salad and crackers

Wednesday- Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans

Thursday- Crockpot beef stew & cornbread

Friday- CORD (clean out refrigerator dinner) or Pizza (with a coupon of course)

Saturday- Grilled burgers & fries

My shopping list was quite small:

potatoes $2.50
graham cracker crust $2.29
cool whip $1.99
2 cans New England Clam Chowder $1.99 x 2
Stew meat $9.33 (value pack on sale will get 3 meals out of this)
lettuce $2.99
avacado .99
ice cream $4.99
briquets $4.59
raisins $3.59 (snacks for YDS)
ravioli .99 (monday lunch for YDS (see a trend guess who went shopping with me)

Total spent: $38.62

Unfortunately over the past week I have made several trips to the store for my daughters birthday party and misc other things and not kept very good track of my grocery spending. Ahhh, there is always next month!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blog Catch Up

Ok so for the few of you that follow my blog, you have probably realized I am not the best and posting as much as I would like. I really need to change that!! I enjoy the blog so must add it to my priorities!

Our household is buzzing with activity. Spring activities are starting which in our house includes, volleyball, soccer, prepping for spring dance recital and the addition of marching band here soon. Never a dull moment!

Our weather has been exceptionally nice and has the kids and I excited about and thinking about our garden! We will be able to have quite a large garden this year and there has been alot of talk in our house about what we should (and shouldn't) grow this year. Last weeknd DJ tackled the rose bushes in the front flower beds and cut them way back (at our landlords request). The flower beds have been neglected for quite some time and I am excited to change that this year. I see tulips and the like popping up out of the ground so there is some life there!

I didn't do much of a menu plan this last week, instead cooked a turkey from the freezer and used that for several meals. I am going to sit today and plan out my menu for today thru next Saturday and will get that posted and get back on track!

I am also prepping for 2 birthday parties, my daughters tomorrow and my own next month. I have never had a real birthday party so this year I decided to throw an 80's party and am very excited!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Feb 7-Feb 13th

Sunday- BBQ ribs, baked potatoes and peas
Monday- Bacon/Blue cheese stuffed chicken, buttered noodles and veggies
Tuesday- Chili & cornbread
Wednesday- Salmon & rice- for those that don't like fish, Grilled cheese & tomato soup
Thursday- Spaghetti, ceasar salad and homemade garlic bread
Friday- Tacos
Saturday- hm sub sandwiches

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Stocking the Pantry

Growing up we lived an hour away from any major grocery stores. In the winter, floods or heavy snow could prevent us from traveling far. We also could be without power for up to 3 days depending on the weather. I learned early on that keeping a well stocked pantry is a big help. We never had to worry about running out of the basics if the weather got bad.

As I got older, I found this to be of an even further advantage. When the 9-11 attacks happened, (I was still married my ex husband was in the Navy) we were living on a military base that went on lockdown. No one in, no one out. That meant no grocery store for a couple of days. Our friends/neighbors used to giggle at the fact that I had 10 bottles of ketchup in my pantry, until that week. Several times over those next few days neighbors came to borrow items that they had run out of, again the stocked pantry was a big help.

One never knows when unexpected expenses might come up, or illness that prevents a person from getting to the store etc. I feel great comfort in knowing I have a stocked pantry and get somewhat of a sense of panic when I don't. Over the past few years we have lived in an apartment, which as most don't, did not have much pantry storage. I used a hallway closet which was intended for linens to store my pantry items.

When we moved into this house last summer, one of my FAVORITE things is the large amount of shelving in the basement. One half of the basement is an old canning cellar with extra storage as well. I knew right then that I was going to rebuild my pantry.

Building a pantry takes time, unless you have a large chunk of cash sitting around to dump into it. Which, I did not. Over the past few months I have stocked up on things we use when they are on sale. This has slowly built up my pantry. It is no where near what I want the final product to be but its slowly getting there.

Pretty much everyone can build up food storage or a pantry. You don't need a large amount of space or money. Some tips I have collected over the years:

1. Be creative with space. Under beds, shelves in a basement or garage or a small hall closet all work as great pantry storage spaces. I have heard several people mention building small shelved areas under staircases which is usually wasted space!

2. It doesn't take alot of $. Set aside an extra $5 when you grocery shop just for stock up. For example: this past week with store sales for $5 I could add 4 spaghetti sauce, 4 pasta, 4 spaghettios to my pantry with store sales.

3. Don't get discouraged. It takes time and patience. Its not going to get to be full overnight.

4. Search the internet. There are GREAT food storage and pantry building tips and websites out there. Look to see what others have done!

Here are a few pictures of my current pantry. I look forward to filling part of this with home canned foods this summer as well!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our New Neighbors

I wanted you to meet our new neighbors (I think they are kind of cute!)

Few Recipes to Share

I wanted to share a couple of recipes I tried last week!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (18 ounce) jar peanut butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Cream butter/sugars. Add all other ingredients. I dump it all into my Kitchenaid Mixer and let it go. I used a Pampered Chef small scoop to put these on a cookie sheet, stamp down criss cross with a fork dipped in sugar and baked at 350 for 12 minutes.

This is a GREAT use for that store brand peanut butter when you find it on sale for .99 like I did a few weeks ago. This makes a large batch of cookies and were a huge hit with the kids!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Mix topping and set aside. Mix dry ingredients in bowl and add liquid ingredients. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Top with topping. Bake at 375 for 30 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. I used a mini muffin pan for these and baked them for about 15 minutes they were delicious!

Picture of Pineapple muffins above