Posts made in January, 2011

Weekly Menus: January 31 – February 5, 2011 The “Snowmageddon” Edition

Posted in From My Kitchen | 4 comments

The weather predictions say “The WORST snowstorm in YEARS”….”ICE”….”DOWNED POWER LINE” (ours are underground)….”INCHES UPON INCHES OF SNOW” …. all of these forecasts have no doubt doomed us to a few measly inches and maybe a pretty little drizzling of ice.

None the less… I’m ready. Just in case. We made it to the grocery store tonight; kids were asleep in the car so SuperDad circled the parking lot while I did a mad dash shop to make sure I wouldn’t have to worry about it later this week.

Sunday: Skillet Ziti with Chicken and Broccoli

  • An “oldie but goodie” recipe in our house.  I first discovered this on Amy’s blog a couple of year’s ago and we all love it.  I use penne instead of ziti because that is what I have around.  I bought up 3 or 4 jars of roasted red peppers almost a year ago on sale for around $1/each…a GREAT find for this rather expensive culinary “treat”.  Chicken breasts I got at Target with my Gold N Plump mailer coupons and a rather expensive head of broccoli because “Due to Weather Conditions around the country….” BAH.  We all love it and it was gobbled up in a flash.  Just enough left for SuperDad to take to work tomorrow.

MondayVegetarian Chili, Great Grandma’s Cornbread

  • This recipe was a staple when I tried out the South Beach Diet yeeeears ago; before the beginning of SuperBoy.  I recently made it for the family, instead of just myself and the kids snarffed it up.  They actually asked for it again!  I figure the middle of this “alleged” snow storm will be the perfect time to make it again.  I couldn’t bring myself to spend $4+ on veggie crumbles…even with a coupon… when I have a freezer full of ground venison; but I’m trying to cut out some of the meat we eat SO… I may make it without any ground anything…. we shall see.  I have beans, tomato sauce and spices all on hand.  I had to pick up a couple of peppers which I will be sharing with a breakfast recipe.

Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Green Salad (and if they are lucky…some biscuits)

  • I make my meatloaf loosely based on a recipe I got from my friend Julie.  I use a box of StoveTop and 1cup of water mixed with a pound and a half of venison.  That.Is.It.  Bake it in the oven for about an hour and we are DONE.  I bought eight thousand boxes of StoveTop during a sale at Target a few months back (okay…not eight thousand…but a lot.  So much that when we were getting our house ready to put on the market I actually had to pack up my StoveTop.  And my cereal.) We have potatoes on hand so I will make the mashed potatoes from scratch and I bought a bag of “Manager’s Special” romaine lettuce this week for half price!

Wednesday: Tacos and Mini-Taco Cups

  • The “mini” part of this menu is my “What’s New For Dinner” for the week.  I found the recipe over at Hoosier Homemade. *WARNING: Do NOT visit this website unless you can safely lose yourself for hours on end.  This is a ridiculously wonderful site!!*  I have the venison and taco seasoning.  I have leftover sour cream from last week and I always have salsa on hand.  I picked up refried beans and tortilla “scoops” at the store as well as some Roma tomatoes which I can split between the salad on Tuesday and these tacos.  I also have soft and hard shells on hand in case SuperDad doesn’t fancy the idea of eating a million little taco cups to satiate himself :)  Look for my post on Thursday to see how this new recipe idea turned out!

Thursday: Leftovers

  • Either we will have been snowed in for a couple of days and I will be recovering, cleaning house and doing laundry from our slovenly retreat…. or we will have no more room in the fridge again from all of the cooking we’ve been doing.  If all else fails…we have sandwich meat and bread.

Friday: Tilapia, Butter Noodles and Green Beans

  • I buy the best frozen fish Kansas can provide from Aldi (I might be exaggerating a bit).  But seriously; I used to purchase fish from Schwann’s…when I broke up with my Schwann’s man cut Schwann’s out of our budget a couple of years ago I discovered that the frozen seafood at Aldi was right on par and MUCH less expensive.  I can buy a package of 5-6 individually frozen Tilapia or Wild Caught Salmon for $3.99 at Aldi.  My kids have grown up eating fish and they all love it.  Baked in a pan sprinkled with dill is our favorite way to fix tilapia.  I picked up two packages of Knorr Noodles for $0.50/each (I know, I know… this is a heavily processed week) and we have a bag of frozen green beans on hand.

Saturday: Brinner!!!

  • Brinner has been a long time coming.  Usually we rotate this into our menus as often as pizza (which gets an every other week billing) ….but it has been a loooong time since we had a good brinner.  Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fresh fruit salad and yogurt is our standard fare.  If SuperDad is feeling adventurous he will whip us up some hashbrown potatoes as well.

In addition I’ve got the fixin’s for some homemade macaroni and cheese when we have friends over for lunch on Thursday (if we aren’t suffering a new ice age); ingredients to make us a warm apple crisp one night; and I’m looking to bake a few goodies to keep on hand for the kids (granola bars, etc).

Do you have a weekly menu posted?  Sharing is a great idea for us all to find simple, new ways to keep our family dinner table a more interesting place to be!

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What’s New for Dinner? Crock Pot French Dip Sammies

Posted in From My Kitchen | 0 comments

Welcome to this week’s edition of “What’s New for Dinner?” Jaycie at CouponGeek and I have made a commitment to each other and to you, our readers, to try ONE new thing in our meal planning each week.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. Meal planning can get a bit tedious.  We find ourselves making the same dinners over and over again.  We are forcing ourselves to get creative and step outside of the lines.
  2. Hopefully this will inspire you, the reader, to try something new that you haven’t done before.                          And finally,
  3. To show  you that adding new recipes or tricks to your culinary routine does not have to be expensive or time consuming…you can have your dinner and eat it too!

Pot Roast is a common occurrence around here.  I have a standby recipe I got from Weight Watchers about 3 – 4 years ago.  It works really well with venison and SuperDad is “don’t change a thing” happy with the results.

I changed a thing.  Or two.

A couple of weeks ago Candy Tai from Mommypalooza and KCMetroMoms posted a yummy recipe for French Dip Sammies in her Facebook Notes.  I can’t link to it…but I’m giving her some serious street credit :)  It is very similar to my recipe…but knocks out my two least favorite parts of the preparation…and uses…. THE CROCKPOT!  YEAH!

The Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs. beef brisket (I used venison roast … and made 7lbs so I’d have some to freeze)
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Can Beef Broth
  • 1 Packet Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix (I used regular Onion Soup Mix because it was in my cabinet)
  • Hoagie Rolls
  • Provolone Cheese (We used Mozzarella because, again, I had it on hand)

The Directions:

  • Spray your crock pot with cooking spray.
  • Wash and pat dry your brisket or roast.
  • Rub Italian Seasoning over all sides of the roast.
  • Put it in the crock pot fatty side down (especially important if you are using brisket)

Raw meat generally makes for a gross picture...but thought I'd share this one anyway. Lucky You!

**Tip: If you don’t have a crock pot, get one.  If you can only get one and you aren’t sure what to get… I personally think a 6quart pot is the way to go.  I have THIS ONE and love it.  I’ve been able to adapt any recipes for smaller pots with a quick google search.  I haven’t burned anything in it (yet) and I’ve been using it for 5 years now!

  • Cut up the onion into wedges and lay it on the roast.
  • Mix the onion soup mix and the beef broth together with a whisk and pour over the roast.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 3-4. (Low is best for this kind of meat…makes it nice and tender…and smells YUMMA in your house all day!)
  • Serve it on sliced hoagie rolls with cheese and a dipping bowl of juice.

The Results:

This says it all!  SuperBaby was so inspired by the roast that he put all of his recent learning together in a string of events that involved:

  • Going to his room to get the step stool his sister uses to reach her clothes.
  • Carrying the step stool out to the kitchen (I didn’t know he could manage this)
  • Climbing up on it, standing on his tip toes and trying desperately to pull the roast off the counter.

SuperBoy ate the sandwich as it was intended…dip and all and was very…. enthusiastic.  SuperGirl is not a fan of bread so she just ate the roast and the cheese….and then some roast….and then some roast.  I really liked the flavor although I’m not sure it is as intense as the roast I usually make.  The meat was tender and almost fell apart… perfect.

SuperDad asked a lot of questions “What did you do differently…how did you cook it…” I think he wasn’t as enthusiastic as the kids….but as I’ve seen him leftovers two times already he must not of thought it was too shabby!

What I Would Change:

Not much, really.  I think I will look back at my other recipe and try to meld the two together a little more closely.  One thing that is in the other is balsamic vinegar… I think that should be included.

Want to see more of my culinary adventures? Check out other What’s New For Dinner? recipes HERE.

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Pride is a Sinful Thing

Posted in Blog | 7 comments

I’m sitting in my closet hiding from my kids.  It is a really nice closet.  SuperDad custom built it for me this year for my birthday.  It’s even clean right now because we are trying to sell our house and we HAVE to keep it clean.

When I woke up this morning SuperBoy walked out of his room and announced that he had made his bed as soon as he climbed out.  What a great thing!  While I was in the shower…SuperBoy made me a fruit salad (bananas and oranges) so I could start my day “hellfy”.  How very thoughtful!  When I was getting dressed…SuperBoy asked if he could play Wii and I said “No, we are getting ready to go to your doctor’s appointment.”  He lost it.

I feel like the place I have the least control over my children is at the Doctor’s Office.  Every time I think, “Surely, this time will be better than the last!” I take healthy snacks (although I did grab juice boxes this morning instead of their cups because I was out of time…. felt the guilt creep up on me as they ask “How much juice does he get a day?”)…I have the big kids pick out something to take along to keep themselves busy; usually their Leap Frog Tag Readers.    We are prepared, right?

And each time, it goes horribly wrong; worse than the last time.

Today was SuperBoy’s 5 year checkup.  My baby turned FIVE last week … the shock has not worn off.  We went to the appointment…I’m always a little guilty about the pride I harbor for these appointments…my chance to show off “MY little kid can do ALL of that and MORE” …. something along those lines.  They don’t really care.  Every mom thinks their child is gifted.

Let me sidetrack for a moment:

SuperBoy is unique.  I know, I know.  I’m his mom.  But I am constantly impressed by his abilities when it comes to art, to his vast curiosity and ability to retain the knowledge he finds.  His concentration levels when learning are better than my own.  He can write very well.  At preschool they start him on his art project always in the first group so that when his attention to detail causes him to take more time than most…he has time to finish.

So I’m back to my sinful pride and heading into the doctor’s office; a few minutes late (aren’t I always?) and only a few hellacious tantrums behind us before this 9am appointment.

SuperBoy gets his books out in the waiting room but we are instantly called back.  I tell him we can pick up the books and put them away properly when we reach the room… he melts down in front of everyone.  Red-faced and glowering I get him back to the exam room.

From there it only goes downhill.  SuperBoy will answer none of their questions.  “Can you put your arms above your head?”  Blank Stare.

“Do you think  you eat good food?”  Blank Stare.

“Did you just have a birthday? How old are you?”  Blank Stare.

You get the idea.  I will NOT be showing off my talented, gifted, wonderful child today.

During the appointment I couldn’t get SuperBoy to take off his clothes.  SuperGirl would not leave hers on.  SuperBaby was climbing on chairs and trying to fly falling off.

SuperGirl was singing at the top of her lungs, SuperBoy wouldn’t say a word.  SuperBaby was laughing hysterically.

Time to read the eye chart: SuperBoy couldn’t/wouldn’t read a line.  Wouldn’t tell anybody what the letters were.

SuperGirl is taking her clothes off again.

SuperBaby found the banana bread we had been snacking on and emptied it all over the floor…after he crumbled it up.

SuperBoy won’t pee in the cup.

A nurse comes in to watch the littles while I take SuperBoy to the bathroom to deal with the pee.  SuperGirl freaks out and loses it…throwing herself at me screaming…even after I explained I was just taking her brother to the bathroom.  SuperBaby follows suit.

SuperBoy hides under the table when he hears he has to have shots.

These are just the big ticket items.  The entire visit consists of them jumping, spinning, yelling, arguing and other general chaos.

I did not raise my voice.

I gave precise directions.

I did not fall to empty threats…I reminded them there would be consequences that I would decide later when we weren’t trying to do something else.

I did everything I could to salvage any possibility that the people in that office might think I wasn’t a loony, disorganized, failure of a mother.

I don’t think it worked.

SuperBoy got his shots.  Three.  Two in one arm, one in another.  He was miserable. He screamed all the way to the car…and home.

I hugged him and cuddled him.

He has a giant white and red blister at the back of his throat which would explain his not wanting to eat breakfast and his most recent complaint of a headache…. SuperGirl’s eyes are starting to droop and I realize her behavior is the same as when she is completely exhausted… I assume they are both getting sick.

I’m pretty glad I didn’t yell.

When we get home I put them on the couch and headed for the closet, where I am now.  SuperBaby stopped me along the way with his third super stinky horrible poopy diaper of the day.  When I picked him up, I sighed.  He grabbed my face with his two chubby little hands and turned my face to his.  He planted one very wet, soggy and sincere kiss straight on my face…then offered me a hug as well.

So here I sit in my closet…trying for a little bit of quiet … hoping for a little bit of strength…to get up and start this day all over again.

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Sunday Coupon Preview: January 30, 2011

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Here is a look at this weekend’s coupon inserts! I always like to know what to expect before the weekend arrives so I can plan both my shopping…and my paper purchases!  This weekend is the last of the month which means there will be a P & G insert.  Smaller than they have been ($98 in savings) it is still chalk full of great coupons.  You will also find 2 Red Plum inserts and a Smart Source.  Get those scissors ready!

While you are in the coupon mood, don’t forget to check out all of the great printable coupons available because when the month ends most of them will disappear!

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Check Out Tomorrow’s Coupons, Today

Posted in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I always like to take a look at what coupons will be available in Sunday’s paper; this let’s me do a little planning for the week ahead.  Not only do I know how many papers I want to purchase, I know if there is a coupon I could be using on next week’s shopping list!

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