Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Artwork for the bathroom

George and I made this together on Monday night. I designed it, he drew the tree and wrote out the verse, and I made the leaves.

For this project I used the frame and cardboard from a picture I wasn't using. I painted the cardboard white with acrylic paint, and George used paint pens to draw the tree and write the verse. (Don't I have a talented husband?) I cut leaves out of fabric and modge-podged them onto the picture. I think it turned out really well! It looks perfect in our small bathroom :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan - August 29

Here is what we are eating this week!

Monday - Fajitas and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Sloppy Joes and salad

Wednesday - Macaroni and cheese and green beans

Thursday - Cashew chicken and brown rice

Friday - Grilled salmon and zucchini

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie

Friday, August 26, 2011

Easy Chocolate Banana Milkshakes


This recipe is super yummy, fast, and even healthy :) You have to plan ahead a little bit, but other than that it is perfect for a quick treat. Next time you have bananas that are starting to get a little too ripe, peel them and put them in the freezer, and when they are frozen you are all ready to make this shake!

1 frozen, very ripe banana
8 oz. milk
1/2 - 1 tsp cocoa powder

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. That's it, done!

You can adjust the amount of bananas, milk or cocoa to your liking. This is really too simple to be called a recipe, but I feel like it is one of those things everyone should know how to make :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Freezer cooking day

I got everything done that I planned to do! I didn't finish until about 8 pm, so next time I will probably not try to make quite at many things...that was a lot of dishes :)

Here are some pictures of what I made. Hopefully this will last us a while.

- 4 lbs. ground beef fried up

- 6 chicken breasts cooked and diced

- Pot of cooked pinto beans, divided into 2 cup portions

- 22 pancakes

- Homemade hashbrowns

I lost track of time, and I baked the potatoes for the hashbrowns a little too long, because when I tried to grate them they were very soft and starchy, so it didn't work very well. I went ahead and froze some grated potatoes, and I'll see if they end up tasting good as hashbrowns, but I just froze the rest of the baked potatoes to use in fried potatoes. Oh well, I can't be perfect at everything :)

- 8 breakfast burritos

- 18 chocolate chip banana muffins

- 6 peaches, peeled, sliced, and frozen

 I flash froze the peach slices on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes so they wouldn't all stick together in the container.

- Vanilla ice cream

- 16 granola bars

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Freezer cooking day game plan

Tomorrow I am going to cook up a whole bunch of food and put it in the freezer to have on hand for easier mealtimes and quick snacks. I am posting a list of the things I am going to make to provide inspiration for other people to do freezer cooking, as well as to keep myself accountable, so I actually do all this :)

- Fry 4 lbs of ground beef, and divide into 1 lb. portions

- Bake 6 chicken breasts and chop into pieces to use in chicken salad, soup, potpie, etc.

- Cook a pot of dried pinto beans, and divide the cooked beans into 2 cup portions

- Make a triple batch of pancakes

- Make homemade hashbrowns

- Make homemade breakfast burritos

- Make a batch of chocolate chip banana muffins

- Slice and freeze peaches for smoothies

- Make homemade ice cream

- Make homemade granola bars

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan - August 22

Monday - Chicken Teriaki, brown rice, and snow peas

Tuesday - Steak Salad and Homemade Bread

Wednesday - Sandwiches

Thursday - BBQ beef short ribs, Cream Scalloped Potatoes, Green beans, and Chocolate Zucchini Cake (times two, I am taking a meal to a family in our church who just had a baby)

Friday - Spaghetti Squash

For more great menu plans go to Menu Plan Monday

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are my new favorite cookies. They are especially delicious warm from the oven with a glass of milk :)

1 cup butter                                                              2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 cup sugar                                                               2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar                                                    1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs                                                                      1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla                                                              1 tsp baking powder
12 oz. bag mini chocolate chips (I only use about 3/4 of a bag)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter with sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Pulse the oatmeal in a food processor or blender a few times, and combine the oatmeal with the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips (if you can't find mini chocolate chips, just use a food processor to break regular chocolate chips into smaller pieces). Roll into balls and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.

This post is linked to: Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Our camping trip

Last week we went camping with some friends, and I thought I would share some pictures from the trip. We really didn't do very much, we basically just sat around and cooked food over the fire, so there are not very many pictures. :)

 Titus and his daddy

 First flip-flops :)

 Playing in the sand by the lake

Me and Titus - just hangin' out :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu plan - August 15

We were camping this past week, so I didn't make a menu plan or anything. But now we are home, and I am hit with the reality of my massive piles of laundry...this is one of those times that I really miss having a dryer : |

But I am excited to get back into menu planning! Having a plan for our meals for the week really helps me to feel more in control, and to be able to devote my energy to housework (yuck) :)

Monday: Homemade Pasta with Bolognese Sauce and salad

Tuesday: Pork Fried Rice (using leftover pork)

Wednesday: Baked Haddock, wild rice, and green beans

Thursday: Chicken Piccata and steamed broccoli

Friday: Homemade Pizza and zucchini chips

This post is linked to: Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

This makes a delicious meal, can be multiplied to feed a crowd, and the slow cooker does all the work!

Small pork roast (2-3 lb.)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp salt

Place roast in a slow cooker. Combine the other ingredients and pour over the roast. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. When the pork is falling apart, shred it with 2 forks and return the slow cooker for another hour or so to let the flavor of the sauce permeate the meat.

That's it, enjoy!

This post is linked to: The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Life with a one year old

Titus' first birthday was actually on Sunday, so I am a little late on the birthday front, but he is one year old nonetheless :) And I am loving it. He is such a fun, happy boy. He is on the verge of walking (almost!) and he can crawl and pull himself up on things to get pretty much anywhere he wants to go. It is making things a little more difficult for me, but I think it is a pretty good tradeoff :)

He did his first real sign last night!  George and I have been working on several different signs with him. We haven't been very consistent with it, and he hasn't showed much interest or comprehension, but last night we decided to really push the sign for "more". We did it, then formed his hands to make the sign a couple times before we gave him more food. Eventually he did the sign on his own, after being prompted. He did it a few more times that night, and he did the sign today at lunch, so my mom and sister saw it. I wish I had a picture of him signing, but I just didn't think of it : (  It is so fun to see him signing! Even if he doesn't fully understand it enough to really communicate with us just yet, it makes him seem like even more of a little human being :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu plan - August 1

This week we are eating...

Monday - Steak & venison on the grill, grilled butternut squash

Tuesday - Mustard chicken, Potato Wedges, green beans

Wednesday - Pork barbeque sandwiches, carrot fries

Thursday - Sausage and potatoes, peas

Friday - Enchiladas and corn on the cob

Also, yesterday was Titus' first birthday! We had a wonderful day visiting with friends, meeting new neighbors, and getting things done around the house, so it never even crossed my mind to blog about his birthday. Oh well, better late than never right?

Happy Birthday Titus! You are such a wonderful addition to our family. We love you so much! You are a constant source of entertainment and an absolute joy to be around. We are looking forward to many more years with you!

This post is linked to: Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie