Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 31st

The first snow of ....fall?.....was on Saturday. I don't think I ever remember having snow in October in Pennsylvania before. So we are probably going to be enjoying lots of hot chocolate, coffee, and tea this week : ) Here is what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday - Alternative Halloween party at church - I'm making BBQ meatballs and Spinach dip

Tuesday - Rice and beans

Wednesday - Tuna noodle casserole (with peas)

Thursday - Bourbon chicken, brown rice, and broccoli

Friday - Homemade pizza and salad

This post is linked to: Plan it - don't panic at Keeper of the Home

Friday, October 28, 2011

Honey whole wheat rolls

These rolls are really delicious. I love them, and I don't even like bread :) These take about 1 1/2 hours to make, which is much faster than making a whole loaf of bread, so I usually make them instead of bread.

3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 - 1 1/2 C white flour
1 T yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C milk
1/4 cup water
2 T honey
2 T butter (+ more for brushing on top)

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the milk, water, and honey and heat just until warm to the touch (not too hot!)

Combine the whole wheat flour, salt, and yeast. Stir in the warmed milk mixture. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough, and knead for 6-8 min. Cover and let rest for 10 min.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape each piece into a roll. Place on a cookie sheet that has been buttered or covered with parchment paper. Let the rolls rise for 35 min.

Brush the rolls with melted butter. You can sprinkle on salt or herbs at this point to give more flavor, but they taste great just plain too. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 min.

This recipe is linked to:  The Ultimate Recipe Swap

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeping the cold air OUT!

Our back door is a little drafty, so I made a draft dodger to keep out the chill. I took some pictures so I could whip up a little tutorial. It was super easy to make :)

To make this project you will need:
-1/2 yd of Fabric for the outside (I used wool, but any fabric will work)
-1/4 yd of Fabric for the inside pocket, cotton is best
-Dried beans
-Sewing machine

Cut a piece of wool (or other fabric) 36"  x 12" for the outside.

 Then fold it in half lengthwise (right sides together) and sew up the long end, and one of the short ends.

Turn it right side out to form a tube

 Then, cut a 36" x 8" piece of the inside fabric

 Fold in half lengthwise (right sides together) and sew up one short end and the long end, and turn right side out to form a tube, the same way as the outside.

 Use a funnel to fill the inner pocket with dried beans (4-5 cups or so).

Turn under the fabric at the open end of the inner tube and sew it closed.

 Distribute the dried beans evenly along the tube, and sew 2 vertical lines, dividing the inner tube into 3 even sections.

Put the inner tube into the outer tube, so that it lays along the bottom, and fill the rest of the way with stuffing.

 Turn under the edges of the open side of the outer tube, and handsew the opening closed.

Here is my draft dodger in action! It isn't super cute, just functional. I thought about embellishing it, but decided to just go with a very basic design.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - October 24th

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Monday - Saucy pork chops and baked sweet potatoes (moved from last week)

Tuesday - Salmon patties, orzo pilaf, and peas

Wednesday - Cashew chicken and brown rice

Thursday - Beef and barley soup and whole wheat bread

Friday - Youth group retreat

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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My new fall bag!

Last night I made a new bag with this pattern. I got the pattern and the fabric for the outside of the bag from the quilt shop where my mother-in-law works. I love it so much! It is nice and roomy too, so I can probably throw in a few diapers and wipes if I am going somewhere with Titus, instead of bringing along the whole diaper bag.

There are 2 pockets inside, and I made one pocket skinnier for my cell phone.

I think it is cuter in person, but hopefully these pictures give a good approximation of what it looks like : ) It took a while to make, and I had to modify the pattern a little bit, but it was pretty simple overall, and I am happy with the way it turned out : )

This post is linked to: Making the world cuter Monday

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Visiting the most awesome people in Texas!

We went to Texas at the beginning of this month to visit George's sister Sarah, her husband James, and their son Andrew, and to celebrate Andrew's dedication and 1 year birthday. About 1000 pictures were taken while we were there, and Sarah was so sweet to burn us a CD of them. Here are a few of my favorites!

The cousins eating their dinner

The boys diving into the empty ball pit

Hahahaha George : p

Being silly
"What nice glasses you have!"
Snuggle buddy
The cousins and Poppy
Sharing the ball so nicely :)
Playing together
Best buddies going for a stroller ride together
Super bike mechanics
We needed some cauliflower, so Titus went shopping for us
"Splish splash I was takin' a bath"

"How do we get in the kitchen?"

Swimming in the awesome wading pool!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple goodness!

 I only made a small dent in those 25 lbs. of apples, but I'm happy with what I did :)

First, I made applesauce in the crockpot. I peeled and cored the apples and chopped them into eighths. Then I filled the crockpot with the apple pieces and added 1/2 cup apple cider (you can use water instead) and about a teaspoon of cinnamon.  I also added about 2 TBSP of sugar at the end, but you should taste the applesauce and sweeten to your liking because sweetness varies so much among different apples. I let that cook on low for a few hours, then I switched it to high so that it would cook faster. When the apples were soft I pureed the cooked apples in a blender. I didn't like the consistency of the resulting applesauce, it tasted too much like baby food in my opinion, so next time I am going to use an applesauce mill (I just have the old fashioned one that looks like this ).

I was only able to make a little over a quart of applesauce using the apples that fit into the crockpot, so I am going to make some more applesauce with my stockpot, so I can make a larger batch.

Then I peeled and sliced apples for apple pie filling.

Here is the recipe I used:
Mix in a large pot or dutch oven:
4 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Add 10 cups of water

Bring to a boil and let it cook for 3-5 minutes, until it is thickened.

Add 18 cups of sliced apples and let it cook for 5 minutes more.


Next, I poured the apple pie filling into clean quart jars and processed in a hot water bath for 25 minutes.

 The recipe made 5 quarts of apple pie filling (plus I made 1 quart of applesauce).

This was my finished product. I am excited to be able to make apple pies anytime I want to with relatively little preparation. And it is nice to have applesauce on hand as well :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu plan Monday - October 17th

 I'm so excited that it finally feels like fall! Time for stew, chili, and all those other delicious meals that are just not as fun to eat when it is hot out. On Saturday I went apple picking with some friends and I picked 24 lbs. of apples, so I today I am working on transforming those apples into apple sauce and apple pie filling! Our whole house smells like apples and cinnamon : )

Here is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Baked Teriyaki Chicken, brown rice, & broccoli

Tuesday - Bible study for me and meeting for George - so it's get your own dinner night

Wednesday - Crockpot beef stew and honey whole wheat rolls

Thursday - Saucy Pork Chops and baked sweet potatoes

Friday - Swedish meatballs, egg noodles, and green beans

This post is linked to: Plan it - Don't panic at Keeper of the Home

Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu plan Monday - October 10th

This is what we are eating this week:

Monday - Grilled salmon and salad greens

Tuesday - Crockpot Beef with Broccoli and brown rice

Wednesday - Scalloped potatoes (with ham) and peas

Thursday - Creamy chicken taquitos and corn (moved from 2 weeks ago)

Friday - Pasta with Bolognese sauce and salad

This post is linked to: Plan it - don't panic at Keeper of the Home