Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Thinking Ahead: Meal Planning

It isn't always fun being on a super strict budget.  In really stinks!  But a great friend gave me some smart advice.  He said..."What can you do today to make tomorrow more predictable?"  Genius!

So, one thing I can do is to plan out a two week menu plan and shop for everything I need, right when the paycheck comes in.  Then, no matter what craziness ensues, I'm not going to be worried about what my family will be eating.   Plus, by pre cooking a lot of it, dinner is super easy to throw together! 

I've been doing this for a few months and thought I would start sharing my menu and some recipes with you.  I plan 14 meals, but not necessarily the days I will make them.  It depends on what mood I'm in every day.  I've included links to most of the things on the menu.   I'm not a strict recipe follower...I'm more of a fly by the seat of my skillet girl!  But I will attempt to post my recipes and pictures throughout the week as I actually make each meal.

Here we go.....

Greek Meatball Pita Sandwiches
Clam Chowder
Curried Coconut Chicken
Thanksgiving Casserole with Chicken
Kalua Pork with Cilantro Lime Rice
Pulled Pork Tacos (Using leftover Kalua Pork)
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Asian BBQ sauce (Using Leftover Kalua Pork)
Italian Meatloaf with Smashed Potatoes
Navajo Tacos
Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
Chili Dogs with Fries
Tuscan Brick Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Tiny Spicy Chicken with Vegetable Lo Mein

Today, I will cook a pot of pinto beans in my pressure cooker. When they're done, I will divide them and make Chili with half of them for the Chili Dogs and Green Chili Beans with the other half, for the Navajo Tacos.

When I grocery shop tomorrow, I will buy a really big pork roast and slow cook it.  I will divide the meat into three parts, and freeze, to use for the Kalua Pork, Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Pork Tacos.  Cook once....use THREE times!  :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My Favorite Poem For Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my two awesome moms! I'm so blessed to have both of you in my life! Love you!

Legacy of an Adopted Child

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other

One you do not remember,
The other you call mother.

Two different lives
Shaped to make yours one

One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
The second taught you to live it

The first gave you a need for Love,
The second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name

One gave you the seed for talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears

One saw your first smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you up,
It was all that she could do

The other prayed for a child
And was led straight to you.

And now you ask me
through your tears
the age old question
through the years,

"Heredity or environment, which am I the product of?"

Neither my darling, neither,
Just two different kinds of Love.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Young Woman Value Posters

I made these for our Luau themed Evening of Excellence!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Whole Grain Blue Cheese Crackers

3 1/2 C Whole Grain Flour (I used Rye ground at a course setting)
1/3 C Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 C water
2 Tbs Blue Cheese Powder
2 tsp Chicken Soup Base
Salt / Spices / Seeds for sprinkling

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the whole wheat flour, salt, cheese powder and soup base. Pour in the Olive oil and water; mix until just blended.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as possible - no thicker than 1/8 inch. I used some of the leftover course Rye flour I had ground. Use a small biscuit or cookie cutter to cut into rounds. Place dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a fork to prick holes in the top. Sprinkle on salt, seeds or your favorite seasoning mix. I used Zapp spice blend and Chia seeds!
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until crisp and light brown. Baking time may be different depending on how thin your crackers are. I needed almost 20 minutes.
A note about Chia Seeds...they aren't just to grow hair on those terracotta Obama heads! They are SO good for you. "Chia seeds are one of the most powerful, functional, and nutritious superfoods in the world! The chia seed is an excellent source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, full of protein, loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the richest known plant source of omega-3." Click Here for more Great Chia information!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gazpacho Shooters With Garlic Roasted Shrimp


2 Cans Italian Style Tomatoes (stewed or diced)
1 English Cucumber seeded and small diced
6 green onions, chopped
1 Tbs chopped Parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 - 1 tsp horseradish (how spicy do you like it?)
zest of 1 lime
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper

In a blender, pulse tomatoes, onion parsley, garlic, Worcestershire, horseradish, lime, salt and pepper. Pulse it about 4 - 5 times until barely combined, but chunky. Add in the cucumber and give it 2 - 3 more pulses. Refrigerate a few hours to let flavors combine.

Garlic Roasted Shrimp

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, leave tails on
6-9 cloves minced garlic (heck...chop up the whole head!)
1/4 C Olive Oil
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
pinch of red pepper flakes
chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 6 - 8 minutes, until just pink. Remove from oven and top with chopped parsley.

I am actually using votive candle holders as shot glasses in the picture above! But if you have the perfect size shot glasses...Yay!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday, August 07, 2010

One Great Kid!

We went out today to get a few pictures of Kayden to start off the school year! I think we got some pretty cute pics! But...I am wearing the "mom" goggles! :)

By the way...there are a BUNCH of pics up over at my photography blog! Click on over and check them out!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tasty Lunch!

It's been so long since I've had a "good" day. I have been feeling so yucky lately. Anyway, I took some Excedrin this morning and it gave me the jump I needed! I made 2 batches of bread and then this fun lunch! Maybe I'll post some bread pics later.....

Picnic in the Woods!

Friday, July 02, 2010


Haven't been feeling great these last few days. It seems like everything I have is hurting. So achy and yucky. Yesterday, I barely made it out of bed at all. I am still hurting today, but not nearly as wiped out as yesterday. It seems like my body just shuts down after going through a few busy crazy days.

I wish we were going someplace nice and cool for the 4th of July. But we are stuck here. We'll go out to my parent's house after church and catch the fireworks in Florence. But I'm pretty sure that even when the sun goes down, it's going to be too stinkin hot!

Kayden and I went and saw Toy Story 3 today! (3D) It was really good. I got all blubbery and weepy at the end. Dang you Pixar!

James has his percussion concert tonight. That's going to be fun to watch!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Girls Camp!

We had a great time at Girls Camp this year! I'm not a huge fan of camping...but cabin camping is awesome! Here are some pics of the good times...