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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

almost a year has passed...

So it's been almost a year since I have posted here. My family suffered a big loss and I just could not wrap my brain around sharing my day to day. Long story short I lost my youngest brother to lung cancer at the age of 28.  He battled for about 14 months and sadly lost last May.  Having also lost my Grandmother the year before it has been a challenge to keep my head above water some days. I continue to grieve but I also have tried to grow and to be the best wife and mom I can be.

so... please try to hang in there with me while I attempt to get my mojo back and reignite my passions.

see you soon!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Meal plan 4/27 -5/2 and catching up...

I was worn out after Easter and last week was crazy busy. So sorry I did not get around to posting my plan for last week so here it is...

Meal plan 4/20 - 4/26
Sunday - Easter - Spiral ham in the Crockpot
Monday - Quesadillas
Tuesday - crockpot bacon & cheese chicken
Wednesday - Grilled hot dogs and sweet potatoes
Thursday - Teriyaki chicken and fried rice (from the freezer!)
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Dinner out :)

And here is this weeks plan...
Meal Plan 4/37 - 5/3
Sunday - Grilled chicken
Monday - Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole (from the freezer)
Tuesday - Grilled Rib-eye steaks
Wednesday - New   minestrone soup
Thursday -  New    Tex mex chicken salad
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - New  crock pot Mongolian beef  

Friday and Saturday may have some changes due to it being my Birthday and my family may have something planned or I may get really lazy :)

Here are some photos of our happy Easter!










Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hi tech... Maybe not...

It's that time of year.... I'm making my annual foray into my families tradition of making easter bread. I'm not a novice at bread making but during cooler weather it can be a challenge in my house. We keep things on the cooler side which is not conducive to bread dough rising, especially this easter bread which has a relatively low amount of yeast relative to flour. Over the course of this VERY cold winter I have discovered a very hi tech way to help my  dough rise...


Here I have 8 loaves all rising at once :)    Stackable cooling racks are the BEST!


I have my Crockpot on the lowest setting and I moved the racks around every 15 minutes or so. You need to be careful as if it gets too hot your dough can actually cook and that is not the result we are looking for...

I love finding solutions... especially relatively low tech ones.

Here is my girl working hard to help knead the dough...





this is what the loaves look like after rising and being brushed with an egg wash...





I forgot to take a picture of the finished loaves but here is a picture of last years crop... 


I will share the recipe for this bread another day :) 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meal plan 4/13 - 4/19/2014

    Often when I talk with people about meal planning their first reaction is "oh I could never do that!" Or "What if something comes up?" I say Sure you can and if something comes up roll with it. Last week was a perfect example for me. Sunday I was just plain wiped out so we ordered pizza and another night I had run out of an ingredient I needed so I swapped a recipe from another night. If I remember right I swapped dinner on Tuesday and Thursday. It was an easy fix and no stress. Meal planning does take a bit of forethought but in the end it has reduced my daily stress level. I started by planning out a few weeks at a time and now I try to sit down at least once a week and plan for about 2 weeks out. As we come into warmer weather I try to always have burgers, hot dogs or brats (paired with a nice salad of course) on hand for a quick grill option if we feel like being outside or I just want a quick easy dinner.

Here is my list for this week...
Sunday - Cheesy Potato soup W / ham
Monday - Kielbasa W / onions and bell peppers
Tuesday - Chili W/ Cornbread (Chili is from the Freezer)

Wednesday -  Roasted Chicken (in the Crockpot)
Thursday -  Mexican Chicken Salad Inspired buy this recipe
Friday - Crockpot steak fajitas
Saturday -  Pizza, We will be eating out since we will be at a family outing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Steel cut oats... AKA my favorite breakfast at the moment :)

If you like oatmeal at all I think you will like steel cut oats. They are really good for you and I like the bit of "chew" in the texture.

Honestly I had not even heard of "steel cut oats"until about a year ago. Luckily they are easy to find in most grocery stores in the same area of the store where you find your regular oatmeal.

There are a few different ways to cook them (none quick) but its worth it since its mostly waiting time no real "work" is involved.

I made this yesterday morning...


I know it's hard to see the oats since I covered it with fruit but it's under there :)

I made a single serving by following the directions on the package. It took about 45minutes to cook.

I added
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 cup of raisins (toward the end of cooking)

Toppings can be anything you like.Think dried fruit of your favorite nuts. Bananas and blackberries are my current favorite :)

If you want to make this for a crowd there are 2 options that I have found that work well with little effort... either cook overnight in a Crockpot or prepare the and let the oats soak in the cooking liquid over night then cook in the morning for 5-10 minutes.

Here are 2 recipes I have tried:  crockpot overnight steel cut oats

When I made this I had no apples or flax seed. It was still fine. Next time I will add an exrtra 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and at least 2 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. ( if you are using a really good quality vanilla I would use a bit less)   *TIP* I am not a huge fan of Crock pot liners but for this it would be worth it! Mine was slightly overcooked and not the most fun to clean. Oh... it might not have been so bad if I had remembered to oil my crock :)

Recipe 2... overnight steel cut oats  It's Crazy good! Not to mention simple!