Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Menu Monday

My calendar says it's Tuesday but since it's the first working day this week my head and body says it' s Monday! A short workweek and another three day weekend means I'm feeling very lazy in the planning department.

Monday (last night) - not wanting turkey again we ordered pizza
Tuesday - Leftovers from Christmas dinner, turkey, rolls, potato casserole, gravy, stuffing and corn ( I might open a can of green beans since that is a lot of white/yellow/beige food)
Wednesday - Turkey and dumplings from the turkey stock
Thursday - Lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Friday - Steaks, potatoes, green beans
Saturday - ????? Maybe just munchies for dinner
Sunday (New Year's Day) - Pork Tenderloin, Greens, Black Eyed Peas

Sunday's dinner is the traditional southern new years dinner. Greens and black eyed peas for luck and money.

Do you have any New Year's traditions?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:6-15

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope that you are blessed by the true meaning of this day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Monday

We all know that this week is going to be a busy one and this time I planned accordingly! We are eating out ... of the freezer!

Monday - Baked Spaghetti
Tuesday - Chicken Casserole
Wednesday - It's somebody's birthday so we will be eating out, I'm thinking sushi for the birthday girl!
Thursday - Leftover
Friday - Chinese or Pizza
Saturday - Christmas Eve dinner with Chris' family
Sunday - Christmas day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Monday

I must have jinxed myself by saying it would be an easy week! We weren't home a single night for dinner! Even so, I'm not going to retry that menu. This week we will be going to see Santa, the tacky light tour, a Christmas party and I have a work luncheon; good thing we are finished decorating - I'll be in the kitchen the whole week!

Monday - Shepherd's Pie (make saltine toffee)
Tuesday - BBQ chicken thighs (make Redneck Caviar, Lemon Pound Cake and Deviled Eggs)
Wednesday - Going to see Santa so probably dinner in the city!
Thursday - Chili and cornbread before heading out for the Tacky Light Tour
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Christmas Party (still deciding what to make and take)
Sunday - Salmon (make oatmeal cookies and sugar cookies)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Menu Monday

Chris is back home and our schedule is pretty tame this week, which is good since we still have to decorate for Christmas!

Monday - Hot Dogs, Beans (Ladybug's request)
Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday - Dinner at Maamaa and Poppi's
Thursday - Baked Spaghetti
Friday - Lemon Dill Salmon, quinoa and peas
Saturday - Brunswick stew, bread
Sunday - Christmas get together

Things will probably start getting pretty crazy by the end of the week with Christmas coming up very fast. That means I'll be doubling what I can to freeze for busy nights.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I know it's supposed to be 'Wordless' but I thought some explanation might be necessary. Ladybug is the blueberry queen so she is proudly showing her empty blueberry container. Butterbean sat at lunch yesterday with food in front of her and screamed/fussed at me, she wouldn't touch the food. She kept pointing at me so I finally offered her some of my tomato soup - fussing over! She devoured her pizza pocket soaked in tomato soup!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Menu Monday

It's a short menu week due to Thanksgiving, that makes it easy on me!

Monday - Dinner at Costco
Tuesday - Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, Carrots
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken Pizza
Thursday - Thanksgiving
Friday - Out of Town until Sunday

Monday, November 14, 2011

Menu Monday

Last week's favorite meal was by far the Baked Potato Soup. I think this will be a relatively calm week (as calm as it can be with 2 children, pets and a house) so there shouldn't be any issues with sticking to the plan.

Monday - Beans and Rice
Tuesday - Brunswick Stew, grilled cheese
Wednesday - Chicken Parmesan, broccoli, pasta
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Grilled Mahi, zucchini
Saturday - Family Thanksgiving at lunch
Sunday - Dinner out for Mom's birthday <-- maybe?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Recipe Friday - Baked Potato Soup

I found this recipe stashed in my monstrous recipe stack, I don't know where it came from so if it's yours let me know - I'm not trying to take credit for it!

I had some potatoes that needed to be used and it was cold, plus I thought the girls might actually eat it so onto the menu it went.

Pictures to come!

Baked Potato Soup

3 lbs potatoes

2/3 cup flour

6 cups milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup sour cream

Crumbled bacon

Wash and dry potatoes, wrap in foil and place in slow cooker. Cook on low 10 hours or bake in oven at 400 for 1 hour.

Mash potatoes and set aside.

Heat flour in large stock pot over medium heat. Whisk in milk slowly, continue stirring until milk thickens, about 10 minutes.

Stir in potatoes, cheese, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender blend until desired consistency.

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Serve topped with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.

Both the girls loved this and so did I. I am going to attempt to freeze some of the leftovers to see if this can go on the freezer list, if not it only took me 20 minutes to pull together (letting the potatoes bake in the crock pot while at work) and get on the table. Served with a salad (for me) and fresh fruit (for the girls) it made a perfect quick dinner.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Laundry Room - Final Reveal

The laundry room is finally finished.

We relocated the ironing board to the wall with the door.
The diaper pail and hamper are across from the washer.

Looking from the kitchen.

New cabinets and rod for hanging clothes, a countertop for folding or storage. A second counter for the animals treats and cat's food bowl.

Chris did a wonderful job finishing everything up and giving me a room I don't mind being in. It seems twice as big as it was and the girls are having fun helping me load the dirty clothes into the washer. I have two great helpers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Menu Monday

The weather has turned to winter, we skipped fall this year! That means major comfort foods are in order.

Monday - Pot Roast, baked potatoes
Tuesday - Baked potato soup
Wednesday - Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry, Rice
Thursday - Leftovers/Beans and Rice
Friday - Salmon, Broccoli, pasta
Saturday - BBQ chicken Pizza
Sunday - Tenderloin, Stuffing, Peas

I also plan on processing the granny smith apples into apple pie filling this week. I'll let you know how much we got, the 8 quarts last year was no where near enough. I will still have the bushel of Fuji's to process into applesauce and apple butter after that.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


It was a yucky night for Trick or Treating, the rain was constant but we managed to make it around one cul-de-sac.

Goldilocks and the three bears (plus a little devil, our niece).
Papa Bear and Baby Bear.

Baby Bear is 'just right' to goldilocks!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

It will be Butterbean's first Halloween so this was her first trip to the Pumpkin Patch. We got there a little late so it was a quick trip!

Ladybug still insists on the small pumpkins so we let her pick one for her and Butterbean, then Chris and I got one for him and Ladybug to carve later this week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Monday

Not a whole lot going on this week. It will be the last week of football for Chris unless they make the playoffs (we won't know until Saturday). It will be such a blessing to have him at home in the evenings, I know the girls will love getting to spend more time with him (I will too).

We have a rerun this week since Chris was so kind as to take us out to dinner on Friday night.

Monday - Brunswick Stew
Tuesday - Pot Roast
Wednesday - At Maamaa and Poppi's
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Spinach and Bacon Linguine with Grilled Chicken
Saturday - Pizza Pockets at the game
Sunday - Salmon, broccoli, rice

Friday, October 21, 2011

Laundry Room Update - Halfway

We finally finished painting and then deciding how to arrange everything.
We found a rolling laundry room organizer that fits nicely under the countertop.

This where the washer and dryer will live.

So now all we have to do is put everything back in the room and find a storage/hang rack to put above the countertop.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Monday

We don't really have much going on this week, which is good as we are all recovering from being sick. It will also give us some time to get the house back together.

Monday - Chicken Pot Pie
Tuesday - Fish sticks, Mac and Cheese, Green Beans
Wednesday - Grilled chicken, Asparagus, scalloped potatoes
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Pot Roast, Potatoes, Salad
Saturday - 31 Party
Sunday - Tenderloin

Friday, October 14, 2011

Recipe Friday - Chicken and Dumplings

This is one of our favorite dreary day, cheer up foods. It's quick too, perfect for after work when it's been a rough day. This could be easily adapted to be made even quicker by pre-chopping and freezing the veggies and chicken so all that needs to be done is cook.

Chicken and Dumplings

4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, diced
2 tblsp olive oil or coconut oil
4 tblsp flour
2 quarts chicken stock (water will work too)
1 tblsp salt
1 tsp thyme (or poultry seasoning)
1 tsp herbs de provonce
1 tsp pepper

2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup milk
or 1 recipe for biscuit dough

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add oil, carrots, onion and celery. Cook 5 minutes, add chicken and cook 10 minutes. Add flour, thyme, salt, pepper and herbs de provonce. Stir to coat chicken and veggies. Pour in stock, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Combine bisquick and milk, or prepare biscuit dough. Drop dumplings by tblsp into the simmering stock. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Southern Women

I ran across this article the other day and it got me thinking. It touches on a lot of things that I find myself doing (or getting frustrated because I can't do) and then wondering why it's so important to me in the first place.

The article is true, us southern women do have a lot of expectations and rules that we follow, not because we have to but because it's who we are and where we're from. There is something to be said for traditional southern hospitality and values. It means something to someone when you take the time to hand write a note (not just sign a card or shoot and email), bake or cook a meal (not pick it up at the store) or really make an effort to look your best (it really does make you feel better). Now most people will say that it's the thought that counts and that may be true in most cases; however actions always tell the truest story. That little extra effort so that others truly see that you care, I believe it is part of the southern DNA.

So I will continue to write thank you notes, bake cookies, take meals when people need comfort and open my home (no matter what it looks like) because making the effort is part of what makes me a Southern Woman.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Time

We made our annual trek to Charlottesville to pick apples at Carter Mountain. This is Ladybug's third trip and she was very excited about going. Butterbean didn't seem to care either way, but that's only because she didn't know what to expect.
The best seat on the mountain! Daddy gets a great workout pulling the wagon every year.

Which one to get?

Both girls had two apples while we were there. Butterbean sucked the juice out and Ladybug actually ate the better part of the apples.

Ladybug was really into picking the apples this year, I think she felt 'big' since she was keeping up with our sitter's children.

We brought home one bag and two bushels of apples. My plan is apple pie filling, applesauce and apple butter. Maybe some dried apples in there too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Monday

It's getting to be comfort food time! The weather here is starting to cool off and signs of Fall are beginning to peek through. The leaves are starting to change and the humidity is not as oppressive.

I'm trying to eat my way through the freezer in preparation for restocking and hunting season.

Monday - Leftover Chinese for my, the girls will eat at the sitters since I have to work late.
Tuesday - BBQ Chicken, Rice, Broccoli
Wednesday - Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Zucchini
Thursday - Leftovers or Brunswick Stew
Friday - Mahi Creole, quinoa, Salad
Saturday - Grilled Italian Chicken, Grilled peppers, Rice
Sunday - Chicken Pot Pie/Pizza Pockets

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baby Shower

My best friend is having a baby next month and I was honored to throw her a shower. The theme was 'The Apple of My Eye'.

Caramel apples for favors.

Everything went well and this baby is already thoroughly loved! Amy looks great and we wish her and Mike nothing but the best. We can't wait to meet the newest little BOY!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Laundry Room Remodel

Who knew that a new washer and dryer would prompt a complete room remodel? It has, the new washer and dryer were delivered on Wednesday so Tuesday night we pulled everything out except for one shelf. I wiped down the walls and baseboard, vacuumed and moped the floor for the shiny new appliances. Thanks again for the great gift!!!

Here's looking into the room from the door, it is actually a decent sized room with out anything in it. Right now the washer and dryer are pulled out from the walls while we fix the drywall and paint. I'm still trying to decide on a color but I think I'm just going to go with the yellow I want to do in the kitchen/dining area.

Looking in from the other side of the door, we have a fuse box and wire access below, the ironing board may not stay in that location. I may just get rid of it since we never iron anything, I think Chris would go into shock if I took it out to use it!

From the inside looking out (plus our big helper). Ladybug was just as excited as I was over the new appliances.

I do know that the W&D will be going in the back left corner of the room and I would like some shelves and a hanging rack beside. Other than that I open to suggestion.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

Things have been crazy for the past few weeks and aren't going to be changing any time soon. So since we have gotten used to the craziness we have found a new normal. I am working harder at sticking to the meal plan as well as trying to figure out how to keep cutting our food budget. Here's this weeks plan:

Monday - Roast chicken, stuffing and green beans (thank you slow cooker)
Tuesday - Taking dinner to a family in our Sunday school - Lasagna for them with salad and garlic bread. Stroganoff for us.
Wednesday - Chicken and dumplings
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Bear steak (this is the last of them), scalloped potatoes and salad
Saturday - Pizza (I will be cooking for the family reunion all day and need something fast)
Sunday - Family reunion leftovers

Monday - Buffalo Chicken Salads
Tuesday - Italian Salads
Wednesday - BBQ Sandwiches
Thursday - Soup and sandwich
Friday - Leftovers

All week: Protein shakes, Breakfast casserole and fruit

Friday, September 9, 2011

Recipe Friday - Macaroni and Cheese

I have found Macaroni and Cheese Utopia! I don't have a recipe of my own to share but I had to put this link in. If Ladybug actually liked mac and cheese I would work my way through the recipes.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe Friday - Tomato Sauce

As promised here is how I make and can my tomato sauce.

Gather all the tomatoes you have, these are a combination from my garden and the CSA. (I saved the cherry tomatoes for salads)

Cut into quarters (or more), removing the hard center if necessary.

Place into a large stockpot.

Using a hand blender, roughly puree just to release some liquid to start the cooking. If you don't have a hand blender, puree using either your blender or food processor.

Allow to simmer over medium low heat until the tomatoes begin to break down, about an hour. Puree well and continue to cook over low to medium low heat until the sauce is at your desired consistency.

As the day wore on I forgot to continue taking pictures of the canning process. But I fill my quart jars and process at 10 psi for 10 minutes in my pressure canner. I use a pressure canner to avoid adding an acid to my sauce, I don't think it tastes right with lemon juice or vinegar added.

Here's the final result.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

I'm a week late with this post. Last Friday I was made aware of a fellow bloggers personal tragedy through this post. This woman lost her husband and requested that the blogging community make peanut butter pies as a memorial to her husband and to remind us to love on those closest to us.

After reading her post, there was no way I was going to not make a pie (even if it was a little late). In the spirit of loving on people I unselfishly let Ladybug help me make this, despite the mess. She had a blast and because we made it before bed she kept asking while we were reading if the pie was ready yet. She even woke up the next morning asking for pie.

The pictures are horrible but the pie was great.

Peanut Butter Pie

1 graham cracker crust (I would normally make this but I was short on time)

2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups peanut butter (creamy)

1 cup powdered sugar

3 oz semi sweet chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

Whip cream and sugar together, set aside. Cream peanut butter and powdered sugar, then fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust and chill 1 hour.

Heat 1 cup cream to steaming then stir in chocolate until melted. Let cool then pour over pie. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!