Monthly Archives: July 2013

Menu Plan

We considered going out of town this weekend but last minute stayed home because of the weather. Half the windows in the house actually got cleaned inside and out for the first time since we moved in, bushes trimmed, and the budget looked at besides all the regular chaos so I’d say it was a productive weekend.

Breakfasts:

  • Muffins
  • Granola & yogurt

Lunches:

  • Lunch a friend brought over
  • Asian Salad (so yummy, one of my favorites)
  • Leftovers
  • Salad

Dinners:

  • Cajun Chicken Wraps (new recipe – really liked them)
  • Grilled Chicken, Watermelon, Carrots, and Rice (having a couple families over)
  • Garden Vegetable Pasta Skillet (new recipe)
  • Supper at a Lake Party with my husband’s work
  • Calzones (from freezer)
  • Salad
  • Yellow Lentil Soup (new recipe)

Snacks:

  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Pretzels

I’m linking up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday

Greek Wraps or Salad with Tzatziki Sauce

Some meals I just fall in love with the minute they first enter mouth. This recipe is one of those. So many great flavors and fresh ingredients all compliment each other perfectly. Great as a salad or layer in in a pita or tortilla to make a yummy wrap. Works well on the go or for a picnic dinner if you bring the sauce on the side to add before you are going to eat it.

Greek Wraps or Salad

Greek Wraps or Salad with Tzatziki Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For the Chicken:
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1½ pounds chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 1 t. oregano
  • ½ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Tzatziki:
  • 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
  • 6 c. romaine, leaf or artisan lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ c. fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 c. halved grape tomatoes
  • ½ c. cucumber peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ c. pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • ½ c. crumbled feta
For the Dressing:
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ¼ t. salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 tortillas or pita wraps
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When hot add the chicken and sprinkle it with salt, pepper, and oregano. Saute until cooked through. Cool.
  2. Place all the tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Place all the salad ingredients into individual bowls to allow for personal preference during the salad building or toss everything together in a large bowl.
  4. Combine all the dressing ingredients.
  5. To assemble wraps or salad layer your bowl or tortilla with salad ingredients and top with chicken, dressing and tzatziki sauce.

Adapted from Family Fun Magazine

Linked to The Weekend re-TreatWeekend Whatever, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Mama Moments Monday, Simple LivesNatural Living Monday, Good Tastes TuesdayLiving Proverbs 31Let’s Get Real

The Birthday Picture

One morning last week I mentioned to my daughter that my birthday was coming up.

 

A few hours later she walked over to me saying,

“Look what I made for you, Mommy! It’s a beautiful birthday picture.”

Birthday Picture

Moments such as that make me smile even in the midst of a stressful day. She’s growing up so quickly. I love my little girl.

Linking up to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers and Mommy-Brain Mixers

Menu Plan

No company in town this weekend but my husband hung out with a friend Friday night and Saturday and my birthday was Sunday. I’m ready for a weekend with absolutely nothing going on. :-) I’m beginning to think that might never happen. I did manage to be semi-productive though and scrubbed the grout on our bathroom floor. Figure that also counts for a workout.

I tried to use ingredients we already had or recipes that used a lot of the same ingredients to keep this week low budget since I’m getting ready to place an online order for some food.

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

  • Leftovers (Shaun)
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos (from freezer)
  • Salads (for me)
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Pizza and ice cream (at a friend’s house for my birthday)

Dinners:

  • Chicken, Spinach, and Mushroom Quesadillas
  • Greek Salad Wraps with tzatziki sauce and blackberry juliuses (my choice for my birthday dinner – yum! One of my new favorites. Recipe coming soon.)
  • Taco Salad
  • Asian Salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Pizza Pockets
  • Garden Veggie Pasta Bake (if we are around, if not will carry over to next week)

Snacks:

  • Almonds
  • Fruit
  • Pretzels

I’m linking up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

 

Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Chocolate. It’s hard to go wrong with a recipe that calls for cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Even better when it’s not horrible for you. :-) We don’t eat gluten free but I do try to watch how much wheat we use and these are a yummy treat with no flour. I also don’t need a ton of sweetener in my pastries, so if your family is used to things pretty sweet just up the honey.

This isn’t like a traditional muffin. It is a cross between a muffin and oatmeal but we really like them. Great for breakfast or snack. They probably would even make a tasty dessert served warm with whipped cream on them (especially if you added a few extra chocolate chips). I will even eat them right out of the freezer. But I’m weird like that. :-)

Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins

 

I don’t like my muffins super big, so I make 12 regular muffins and 12-18 mini muffins. Use the longer baking times if you are making larger muffins.


Chocolate Banana Baked Oatmeal Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • ¼-1/2 C. honey (or use ½-1 C. sugar)
  • 1 C. milk
  • 2 T. coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 2 eggs (I use one egg and 1 T. chia seed mixed with 3 T. water)
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 3 C. old fashioned oats
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ¾ t. salt
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • ½ c. chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (325 if dark coated pans)
  2. Combine honey, milk, fat, eggs, vanilla, and bananas.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Mix in oats, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes for regular muffins or 10-11 minutes for mini muffins.

 

Recipe adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from Imperial Sugar®Gold Medal Flour®Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs and KitchenAid®

Linking up to Natural Living MondayHealthy 2Day Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Friday Follow Along, Mindful Mommy Monday, Mama Moments Monday, Recipe Sharing MondayLiving Proverbs 31TGIM, Good Tastes TuesdayTeach Me TuesdayTending the Home TuesdayCreate it Or Bake itTitus 2 Tuesday, Let’s Get RealOld Fashioned Recipe Exchange

Mommy, I Need to Help You!

Lately, accomplishing regular household tasks have been taking a lot longer.

Why? My not yet 2 1/2 year old daughter has recently wanted to work along side me and do what I am doing.

There are certain days I try to start a baking project as quietly as I can hoping she won’t notice for at least a while. Other times I try to get tasks done before she gets up or after she is tucked in for the night. But the majority of my work happens when she is around.

Mommy, I need to help you

A mundane task takes longer. (Transferring clothes from the washer to the dryer:-))

Putting a batch of muffins in the oven is more time intensive.

Messes are larger and more frequent.

Kitchen towels are not folded, but rather shoved into the drawer.

Silverware is placed in wrong slots.

I don’t think she knows the difference between a want and a need but I think my daughter is right. She needs to help. She desires to learn, know she useful, feel like a grown-up, try new things, conquer what’s unknown to her with me beside her.

Honestly, sometimes it’s a drag. I really just want to rush through what I’m doing and get it finished. It’s hard for me to slow down and be patient and teach her what I’m doing.

I try to remind myself that if I do stop and engage with my daughter I’m fostering a love for learning, a love to try new things, and even courage. Through my interactions with her she can see that it’s okay if a spill happens, that the world is not going to end if something is not done perfectly and to persevere.

On the other hand, through me and my actions, she could have ingrained a fear of making mistakes, believe that messes cause frustration, and lose her desire to try new things.

I know there are times I will get frustrated and annoyed. I’m going to remind myself how important my reactions are and try to encourage and build my children up way more often than not.

 

Linking up with Christian Mommy Blogger and Intentional By Grace to Fellowship Fridays, Essential Fridays Link-up, Babies and Beyondone sharendipity place link up, The Better Mom, Weekend Whatever, Mindful Mommy Monday, Mama Moments Monday, Friday Follow Along, Teaching Tuesdays

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Family Ties

I’m a family girl.

Less than 5 months after we got married my family moved away from the town my husband and I were still (and are still) living in. It was sad. It was hard. I missed being around my younger siblings as they grew up and creating day to day memories with them.

But do you know what? I’ve also learned that it’s been good for me. I’m an introvert and I was pushed to grow as a person and do more things for myself.

If I would have lived in the same town as my family for the 6 years since we’ve been married I wouldn’t have had to step out of my comfort zone, let other people me when I’ve needed it, and the need to focus on building relationships with those around me wouldn’t have been there.

It would have been harder for Shaun and me to start our life as a couple and begin our own traditions.

I would have missed having my siblings come stay for weeks at a time and creating memories that way.

The time I am able to spend with them, I appreciate even more. My parents, three of my siblings, and a brother-in-law were all able to come this weekend and it was amazing. Tackling projects together, help with mopping the floor, doing dishes, sorting clothes. Watching them play with the 2 1/2 year old and not yet 2 month old. Family is a special thing.

All that to say, I won’t complain if we ever live closer than 8 hours away. I wouldn’t even mind being in the same town. :-)

Menu Plan

It’s been a while since we’ve had a “normal” week around here. Maybe I should just come to the realization that normal weeks with nothing going on are unusual. I think I’m in a state of denial though – I love quiet weeks were I can get lots done.

This weekend has actually been a welcomed (and fun and busy) abnormal one. Part of my family was able to make the drive and stay with us – the first time any of them had met our baby. Kenna loved having her grandparents and aunts and uncles here to entertain her. She’s going to think life around here is boring when they are all gone and she’s stuck with baby brother and mom and dad. :-)

As far as the menu goes, this weekend has been rather crazy so we are keeping it simple and using what we have the rest of the week.

Breakfasts:

Lunches:

Dinners:

  • Leftovers (x 3)
  • Baked Ziti (from freezer)
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
  • Southwestern Style Salad
  • Quesadillas

Snacks:

  • Ice Cream 
  • Chips
  • Fruit and nuts 

I’m linking up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

We went on a day trip this past week and I made up a batch of Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, a recipe that has been passed on from my grandma. I try not to bake a lot of sweets and eat pretty healthily, but sometimes you just need a cookie. :-) This is definitely in my top 5 cookies.

When I made them this last time my husband commented, “You know, normally I think oatmeal ruins a chocolate chip cookie but these are actually really good.” If you know Shaun’s love of a good chocolate chip cookies, that’s saying something.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. + 2-4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 t. soda
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 c. butter
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. hot water
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars.
  2. Add eggs, water, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Combine 1½ cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and mix well.
  4. Add oatmeal and combine. Add up to an extra ¼ cup of flour depending on your dough consistency.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.
  7. Makes 2 - 2/12 dozen cookies.

 

Bring your favorite chocolate dessert to Roxana’s home baking #chocolateparty and win amazing prizes from Imperial Sugar®Gold Medal Flour®Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs and KitchenAid®