Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #9 - First week of March

It's been a crazy few days. Last weeks menu plan started on Tuesday, not Monday. Monday I had a terrible headache all day from a fall onto my back on a rocky shore on Sunday (seems I don't remember how to fly a kite) and I also worked at the office all day. So for me that was enough of a reason for some Chinese food.

But come was great. I had bought 10 pounds of hamburger on sale at the grocery store, so on Tuesday I made 2 lasagnas and 2 meat loafs. I cooked 1 lasagna that night and froze the rest.

On Wednesday I had been marinating some chicken and I BBQ'd that with some sweet potatoes. So Good.

On Thursday I BBQ'd up some homemade hamburgers. I had made up the hamburgers on Wednesday with the remaining 5 pounds of hamburger and froze a dozen of them and saved some to BBQ. The hubby loved them and said it was like a Samba in his those were a score! I didn't make them exactly like the recipe I have listed, but pretty close.

I have no clue what I did on Friday ****UPDATE**** I remember now, we went to my church for the mexico dinner fundraiser. I didn't have a freezer meal, but I can't remember what we did have. Saturday we had dinner out and that was wonderful. No kids yelling or smearing food on me...heaven. And Sunday as it was my birthday and my folks and my oldest sister are both traveling I invited my family over to my other sisters house for dinner, we changed it to lunch so we could watch Canada WIN GOLD in hockey. She cooked a very wonderful Turkey for lunch...yum. And of course I made pancakes for dinner.
This week....

Monday - we invited ourselves over to my sister by loves place for dinner (seems we've done that a few times....hmmm, where else can I invite my family for dinner?)

Tuesday - I've been craving a good BBQ steak and I'll do sweet potatoes with it and salad

Wednesday - Meatloaf from the freezer with brown rice and salad

Thursday - Spaghetti with homemade meatballs from the freezer

Friday - another frozen meal, chicken burrito wraps with cut veg

Saturday - grilled cheese with soup

Sunday - good 'ol pancakes a family fav

nothing to crazy again this week. 3 freezer meals, I guess I'm feeling lazy tonight!
Check out many more meals over at the Organizing Junkie!

It was my birthday today and I had a nice day. I was given some new charms for my bracelet from my hubby and my sister gave me some wonderful lotions and a pampered chef mandolin and some candles. And even though I'm not a huge hockey fan (I know, I almost feel unpatriotic saying that), I made sure to watch the Olympic GOLD medal game. WOW. I'm so proud of our Canadian Athletes who gave it there all and did amazing in the Olympics! I'm so so sad I didn't make it into Vancouver to see any of it, but such is the stage of life we are at. GO CANADA!!

Here is the best picture I could get of my girly sporting her Olympic gear!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Natural Cleaning

I try to do little things to stay healthy and do the best for my family. I read a review some time ago about soap nuts and using them for laundry soap. This are really actually nuts! I've been using them for over a year and I really do like them.

Both of my kids and myself suffer with some Eczema. My girly had it by 5 weeks and my son had it very bad at 5 months and I suffer off and on with it on my hands. I was using the natural laundry soap from costco, but it still had added scent, which wasn't a good thing for eczema. I then went to the Tide all natural, but found it fairly pricey.

I love these soap nuts, they are all natural and I know I'm not adding anything more to my septic system and environment. I found that all our clothes are softer and there is no smell of harsh chemicals or added scents (which can sometimes affect me). You put the nuts into a little bag they provide and one little bag with 4 soap nuts will wash 4-5 loads of laundry! It works out to be fairly inexpensive.

On the down side, I have to remember to pull the small bag out of the wash machine while I'm transferring to the dryer. And I find that I have to rewash some of the kid's clothes if I missed stains.

However, in talking with a friend she mentioned it might be the prior stains being brought out that were not fully removed by the regular detergent. Either way, the stains always come out with no extra effort, just maybe a small amount of spray and wash.

The people over at the soap nuts company have assured me that they are working on a stain spray when I questioned them about it. So I'm excited to try that when it's available

If you are concerned about the environment or what your kids are exposed to, I recommend that you give them a try. If the idea of the soap nuts doesn't interest you; they have made it into a liquid that is 18x concentrate. And it's 1/2 price until March 1st! Why not try it when you can save money!!

And just a little extra incentive...they usually send a cute little sample of something with your order. I also use the face wash and face moisturizer. I really like them both.

Head over to the NaturOli website and see what they have to offer. Most of their items have more than one use. I'm looking forward to trying some more of what they have.

I don't have a recipe today. But rather I thought I would share with you a few things I tried out for this dinner last week. And it turned out amazing!!

The little produce store I shop at always has a buggy with discount items. Often discounted organic salad dressing that is just about to expire. The dressing is normally over $4 and they discount it for $0.99. So I normally buy some and I use them as an easy marinade for meat on the BBQ. Last week I picked up a peanut butter dressing and a green garlic dressing. I used the peanut butter one here and as we speak I have my chicken marinating in the green garlic dressing to BBQ today.

Something else I tried for the first time while BBQing last week was to put sweet potatoes (or yams, however you want to call them, but they are the BRIGHT ORANGE ones) straight onto the BBQ. I just washed them and put them on direct heat and made sure to turn them. They were soooooo good. The skins basically lift away from the flesh on the inside so you just cut them open and scope out the yummy potato. I don't need to add anything to these they are soo good and sooooo healthy for you.

I also cut up a granny smith apple and put it directly on the grill. So good and sweet. I've done this before with a few different fruits. Our favorite is the nectarine and pineapple. If you've never grilled fruit on the BBQ I highly recommend it. I'm sure once you try it you'll love it.

And I grilled some Zucchini. I just put it directly on the grill again. But if you want to add some flavor you can toss in some Olive oil or grape seed oil with a few spices and it tastes good to.

this dinner was all done on the BBQ with the exception of the salad of course! It was really very very good. Make good use of your BBQ, you can cook most anything on it.

Let me know if you've tried something interesting on the grill and if it worked out. I'm always looking for new ideas.

Today, I'm going to try Kale Chips that my beautiful cousin by love sent me a link to. I'll be sure to let you know how they turn out!

For more Tempt my Tummy Tuesday click on the link!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #8

So...last week was somewhat of a bust.....I didn't do to great sticking to the plan. And I can't really remember what I did cook..... We did some running around vehicle shopping and that really didn't do my plan good. But we have a new to us Tahoe and that stress is finished. So fingers crossed things go better this week.

I know that one day I went to Costco and bought the pizza's they had on sale and my husband saw that and so he really wanted pizza for dinner that night

I marinated some chicken in peanut sauce that was discounted and BBQ'd it with some spicy sausage for my hubby and I also BBQ's the sweet potatoes (they turned out amazing!) and BBQ'd some Zucchini and some granny smith apples...SOO GOOD!

We did the freezer meal and we did the beef burritos and the pancakes. We were out vehicle shopping all day on Saturday and didn't even eat dinner, the kids had boiled eggs. So looking back I guess we didn't do to bad after all.

Okay so this week. I've actually already been to the grocery store, tonight, as we were out of milk so I figured I should just do all the shopping there and be done.

Monday - BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with cut veg

Tuesday - Lasagna with salad. The hubby requested this one and I've not made one for awhile so I'll oblige

Wednesday - the tuna melts from last week that we didn't make

Thursday - Homemade hamburgers with cut veg

Friday - Freezer meal, not sure what yet, I have a few to pick from

Saturday - Babysitting Swap with my friend and we actually get to go out for dinner with out kids! We watched theirs a few weeks ago so now they are watching ours. NICE! And I have a gift certificate to the Old Spaghetti here's hoping it's a cheap night!

Sunday - of course pancakes and fruit...I might do bacon this time

Nothing to crazy. I did buy a bunch of hamburger on sale tonight so Tuesday I plan to make 2 lasagnas a meat loaf and a whole bunch of hamburgers to be able to put it all in the freezer...except the one lasagna of course!

For more ideas check out The organizing junkie for some inspiration

We've had amazing weather here at so today we headed out to the river to fly kites. There wasn't really any wind so we just had a picnic and hung out. It was great!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Throw it together - Pasta Bake

The other week as I was cleaning out my freezer I realized I had an unusual amount of Tortellini in the freezer. I'm really not sure how that happened. I needed to figure out a way to use it up.
Fingers crossed I went to my fridge and cupboard and put this together.

I put the tortellini on to boil and went to work cutting up the peppers and I diced up an onion (which I of course forgot to put in the picture) and the sausage (I didn't cook it) and threw them in a large bowl along with the cream of mushroom soup, the canned mushrooms, sour cream (which I also forgot to put in the picture) and some parm cheese and monteray jack cheese

Mix it all up

Pull the pasta off just before it's fully cooked add it to the mix it in with the rest. I made enough for two dinners in the end, this is where I was really hoping it was going to taste good

I topped them both with Monterary Jack, Parm and Feta Cheese and then some dried Thyme to make it look pretty. I covered one with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Whenever I freeze a meal, I always write the date, what it is and the instructions on how to cook it. You never know who is going to cook it or if you need a meal to give away.

Put the one for dinner in the over at 350 for around 45mins or until it's bubbly and brown. Serve with what ever else you love with a baked pasta

This turned out AMAZING! My entire family loved it. I can't wait to cook my extra one. mmm yum!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Peek

So I often wonder what other peoples houses look like and where they live. So I'm going to assume that I am so interesting that you would wonder that about me.....

I actually thought my good friend in Guatemala would be interested in seeing pictures, this is for you Kerry and I hope the rest of you enjoy and leave a link in the comments to show me your world!

So over here on the West Coast of Canada it's been crazy weather, which is unfortunate considering the Winter Olympics are going on an hour away from my house. Today it was 14 Celsius, that would be 57 Fahrenheit. That's crazy for the middle of February! It was wonderfully sunny and warm. We just wore hoodies outside today. Spring has started and the plant nursery's are selling spring blossoms already.
This is the little willow tree beside my front door....ready to go

this is my little home. It's not big at all, but I would rather a large yard then the big house. 3 bedrooms, 2 up one down. We rocked our gardens last summer and I planted wonderful weeping Japanese maples, to only have the dog bite the tops off them, that's what those sticks are on the right of the picture :( And ignore the trim in major need of a paint

This is from my front door looking straight out from it, West, to the raspberry fields. I love the view and the sunset is amazing to watch from the front steps

looking north

looking to the south. At the end of our road is the USA. RIGHT at the end of our road. We've had boarder jumpers before and the cops running around with dogs...entertaining to watch. They always try to hide in the berry fields.

This is part of our backyard.
I love our place. We have a nice big yard and it's totally fenced so I just don't have to stress about the kids running out of the yard.

This is my view if I ever get to actually sit and read the paper and have a coffee. The buoy is from my father in law, he's a tug boat captain and brought it back for my little man. However, the little man is still a bit nervous of it. I however enjoy swinging on it!

There is a small peek into my world! If you want, leave a link in the comments so I can come and check out your world.
Have a great day, I'm looking forward to another day of some wonderful sunshine.

Wordless Wednesday - To Quiet...up to something

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

Little late with this post today as Tuesday is closer to being over than starting! We were crazy busy running around looking at vehicles today and now both kids are down, hubby is cleaning the kitchen ;) and then he's off to work for the night and I will be sitting down to work before bed. It just doesn't stop.

But I want to share these fantastic muffins I made last week and then again this week! I had some bananas I needed to use up and the recipe my sister gave me just had too much sugar so I headed over to the Tasty Kitchen and found this fantastic Banana Apple Muffin recipe.

I changed a few things of course!

Banana Apple Muffins

2 mashed ripe banana's

1 cut up apple

2 cups flour **I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup white

1/2 cup sugar **I used less then this

1 1/2 cups apple juice

4 teaspoons baking powder **I used short of 3 as I didn't have enough and it was fine

1/2 teaspoon of Cinnamon **I didn't measure this, just added

You put everything in a bowl and mix. Put in muffin tins (this made one dozen muffins for me in a pampered chef muffin baking stone) and bake for 35 mins. I had to bake for just over 45 mins.

This first dozen lasted until lunch time......they loved it. (my little man took this picture)

Today I made this again and tripled the recipe as I had 6 bananas to use and I used 2 gala apples and 1 granny smith. It made 5 dozen muffins (various sized muffin tins). I made this, this morning and I think I have 2 dozen left. Hubby has taken 1/2 a dozen to work for his 'snack' tonight.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Menu Plan Monday #7

Number 7 out of goes....

Last week we did alright. I didn't stick to the plan exactly as I had it as life changes. We ate out Friday night and stayed in Saturday so I figure that's a draw.
The beef dips were sooooo good! I have left over beef still and we are doing them again!
Here is the picture before we closed the buns. I'll try to take a better picture this week!

I whipped up these super super easy banana apple muffins one morning and my family consumed them before lunch! I'll be making them again this week to use up a few bananas I need to before they go to bad.

I made this fantastic pasta dish that made enough to freeze half. Yay, love it when that happens! I'll post it later this week but here is a teaser picture

We had hard shell tacos for two dinners this week for both sets of our company and they went over really well. I forgot to take pictures, but they were yummy!
So this week......

Monday - Beef Dips with cut veg - I'll pick up the flax buns and the dip sauce

Tuesday - Freezer Meal - Chicken Tetrazzine with Salad - I have everything for this one

Wednesday - Tuna Melts with cut veg or salad, I love a good tuna melt and I'll use the left over buns from Monday

Thursday - BBQ chicken w/ baked sweet potatoes and salad - I have everything for this one but the sweet potatoes and I'm going to try them right on the BBQ and see how it goes

Friday - Beef Burritos - I'll use taco meet I have in the freezer and I'll pick up some avocados to make some yummy guacamole to go with them I have everything else

Saturday - left overs or scrambled eggs and veg

Sunday - our weekly pancake fix. As I said before I make a double batch and serve my kids pancake sandwiches with PB&J for lunches during the week.

I hope this week goes well, my grocery list is small so that's good. But we are still vehicle shopping so we might be doing some running around and not be home at dinner time. We are leaning towards a Dodge Dakota Quad Cab...we'll see!

Head over to the Organizing Junkie for hundreds more menu plans!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Family Friday's

I was over at The Peterson Family Blog and was reading about family Friday's. This week is for Husbands. Of course with Valentines Day this weekend it's hard not to be thinking about my hubby.

I never had a boyfriend, a 'real' boyfriend that is. I was 27 and still single. I was lonely and lonely and oh, lonely. I went on a spiritual retreat thru my church searching and seeking answers of what I was to be doing with my life. I realized God loves me, no matter what. And I felt that I needed to focus on that fact in my life, not negatives. But on God's love for me and to find things that make me happy. I was invited to play a girls volleyball night. I was hooked. I started playing a few nights a week at different places, not just with the girls anymore. I met a ton of new people and was having so much fun being active and getting out. I met my soon to be husband there, we hung out in a group for a year and eventually we started dating. He was not anything that I was expecting in a boyfriend (husband), BUT he IS everything I NEEDED. God totally knew what He was doing. We dated and married in 9 months.

We celebrated our 6th anniversary this last December. I can not believe it's been 6 years. We have 2 amazing gifts given to us from our Creator, a boy and a girl.

When my husband promised in sickness and in health...he has stuck by those words as I've struggled the last few years with being very sick for the entire length of both my pregnancies and struggling with post partum depression now.

My husband has loved me no matter what is happening. We have our struggles and there are many days when we have to choose to love each other. But thru everything God has kept us strong. We both will tell you if it was not for God and our belief that divorce is not an option we don't think we could have survived our marriage the first year.

I have not known a man like my husband. Someone that so willing takes care of me and our kids. He professes his love for me each and everyday. He tells me I'm beautiful each and everyday. He is the best gift God has given me. He is my support and my confident. He holds me when I cry and celebrates with me our victories. He works thru problems with me and helps to find solutions. He knows me like no other and still loves me with all my flaws and issues. He is everything I need and I'm so glad that God answered my prayer in only the God can. I love my husband. What more can I say?

For more Family Friday's head over to The Peterson Family blog and check out the links.

Happy Little Home Giveaway

Ashley over at the Happy Little Home is having a giveaway in honor of her 100th post! It's these amazing reusable produce bags. I have wanted some of these for some time and this store , Fickle Faeirie on Etsy looks great with the selection!

I think this orange set is my favorite. Head over to Ashley's blog and enter to win yourself a set!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yum, Grilled Cheese

I just think grilled cheese with tomato soup is the perfect combination. I grew up on it, as I'm sure a lot of people did. But for some reason I don't think to make it often enough. My husband loves it and the kids don't mind it.

However, I just don't do grilled 'cheese'. I always try to add to it. Always onions, tomatoes, usually ham and two types of cheese (old cheddar and Monterey jack for this one).

I use the silver hills bread that is made from sprouted grain. I just love how it works with the grilled cheese. I butter the outside of the slice, you may think this is too detailed, but I've heard of someone buttering the inside and outside or using mayo instead of butter. I prefer butter, on the grilling side only. I slow cook them in the pan, to make sure all the cheese melts. I've also done them in the oven before and it worked well.

Find a good tomato soup and saltines to go with them and of course, dill pickles is a must with grilled cheese.
Enjoy this cozy meal. It's easy and inexpensive. Use your imagination next time you make it! Everyone will enjoy it!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Homemade Yummy Hamburgers

I think my family could eat hamburgers a few times a week. They love them, a lot. Sadly we order in way to much and in an effort to stop I am trying to accommodate our desire for those yummy hamburgers. These hit the spot!

It was a sort of throw together hamburger here goes...

one pound of ground beef or another other ground meat

2 eggs

1/2 an onion chopped finely

steak spice


shredded parm cheese

Italian dressing for the local restaurant here...this dressing is amazing. any Italian dressing works

I also use quick oats to make the meat go farther, I think it was about a cup

Mix it all together and form your patties

I heated up the BBQ and cooked them until they were no longer pink and I added some cheese to them.
A little hint for the BBQ. I was told that meat, that is not heavy with sauce, will 'release' from the grill when it's ready to flip. So basically that means that you shouldn't have to scrap your meat off the grill it will naturally let go and be easy to flip. This generally works for me, unless, I have a lot of sauce on the meat then it does not always work or if I have not cleaned my grill very well.

I served this on the flax buns with sweet potato fries and roasted broccoli

I'll be making these again soon, they were very good. The kids loved them as did the husband.
Check out some more great recipes at Tempt my Tummy Tuesday