Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Yet again, the plan is thwarted, but this one was for a great reason.  I am an Aunt again!  I left town rather unexpectedly because of that, so we will do a few repeats from last week and then get on with the plan. 
For Breakfasts we'll have
Baked Oatmeal (Peanut Butter, Chocolate)
Rasin Bran

Sunday - Sloppy Joes and whatever veggies I can convince the family to eat on the side.

Monday - Popcorn Chicken, Green Beans, Salad, Whole Wheat Butter Biscuits (The biscuits are new for us, but I'm excited to try them).

Tuesday  - Crispy Oven Roast Chicken (I have some extra chicken quarters hanging around and I'm pretty sure I can adapt this recipe to that) corn, salad, bread machine rolls

Wednesday - Church

Thursday - Cheesy Broccoli, rice, and chicken (Dinner in one dish, yes! As a bonus we can use any excess chicken from Tuesday in the casserole.)

Friday - Family night

Saturday - Tacos or Hamburgers - Something really simple!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review - Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper

John Piper’s book can be summed up in one sentence. You should strive to find joy and happiness in God. I loved the point of the book. I loved that he went a little bit more in depth when looking at stories where people were suffering to show that ultimately they were striving to find happiness and that God not only honors that, but desires that too. Psalms 37:4 says “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” For me that was the whole crux of the matter.
With all of that being said, I did not love this book. I did love the idea of the book, but I found it to be too long and in depth to hold my attention for long. I didn’t need all the extras, and even found it to be tiresome to come upon the defense of the term Christian Hedonism again and again. I did not need the term defended, I don’t love the term, but understood Piper’s reference the first time he explained it. I think it would be a great study resource, but for me there was too much minutia to dig through. I would recommend the book to people who love to study and cross reference, but if you are looking for light reading this is not the book for you.

You can find this book here or here

Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing a free copy of this book for me to review. My Opinions are my own.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kitchen extras!

This week I want to get in some extra stuff in the kitchen to make life a little bit nicer.

I'll be making two "cookies in a jar" recipes - I'll get them posted soon. It's great for when you want cookies fast, all the measuring is done, just add the wet ingredients when you're ready to bake them.

I need to do another round of Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal - That is my Toddler's favorite breakfast food (although for some reason she calls them muffins).

Cinnamon Rolls! - We are out of Cinnamon rolls in our freezer, and they are a great "special treat" for us.

I'd also love to find a great "main dish" recipe to add to my freezer this week, but I haven't found one yet that meets with what I have on hand, and that I think every one at this house will eat. So I'm still looking. If you have a favorite let me know maybe I'll try it out. :)

Menu Plan

We have been sick off and on for the last week and a half or so, so I missed my posting deadline again. The good news is that I did actually plan a menu on Sunday and it is hanging in the kitchen, so my family is still eating :).

Our breakfasts this week will be finishing off our last batch of carrot bread, raisin bran, cheerios and oatmeal.

For lunches I just serve leftovers or "snacky lunches" (fruit or veggies and spread or cheese) for myself and my toddler and my husband is on his own at work.

And here is the dinner plan -

Sunday we had spaghetti. It's a quick and easy meal, and you can spread it to fit any number of people, so when my brother in law and sister in law stopped by it was easy to add more spaghetti to the pot and they even brought some garlic bread.

Monday - Penne Rustica - This is one of my all time favorites, and I found one in my freezer from november, so it looked like a good time to use it. :) We served it with green beans and garlic bread.

Tuesday - Sloppy Joes - I'll make a big batch for dinner tonight and freeze the left overs for later. I bought hamburger buns yesterday, but my toddler and I needed a project this morning, so I made rolls in the breadmachine also. (Ok, my recipe was slightly different but same idea, I did use half unbleached flour and half whole wheat flour)

Wednesday - Church night

Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie - Leftover chicken and cream of chicken soup, all the extra veggies I can find stick it in the oven until bubbling and then just top with grands a cook another 20 minutes or so.

Friday - Family Night

Saturday - I had planned on trying a new recipe this weekend, but the budget didn't allow, so Osso Busco Beef is going to have to wait. We will either have chicken jambalaya or tacos.

I also plan on doing a few kitchen extras this week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Bookin' It!

It is the time of year to share reading plans and goals. I love to read, and I am just giving myself a little bit of structure to keep myself on track. This year I'll be participating in the "Assigned reading" from Life as Mom (at least most months) and I'm hoping to have at least two other books to comment on each month. I also joined Blogging for books and will be reviewing books for them as well that I will be adding to my write ups. Since the last booking it in December I have actually done a lot of reading.

I read Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul and loved it. You can read my review here. It was a quick, fun read.

Fiddler's Gun by A.S. Peterson - This was a great book and Fiddler's Green just came out. I am looking forward to getting a hold of it. It is a historical fiction book and I loved that it focused on a strong female lead. I am already looking forward to how Fin Button will change and grow in the next book. It is written during the civil war and includes ship life and even pirates. Check it out!.

The Last Mango in Texas by Ray Blackston - I love Ray Blackston. I found him by accident because his books were next to Terry Blackstock at my library. He is funny! I really enjoyed Flabbergasted and went and tracked down the other books he had written outside of that series. This one is all about boy meets girl and boy pursues girl. I love how the book follows the lead and what he is thinking.

I've already started reading 3 books for next month I'll be reading The Happiness Project (assigned), Desiring God Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper (this is from my blogging for books projects) and then The Inn at Angel Island by Thomas Kinkaide and Katherine Spencer (for fun). Can't wait to see how it goes. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Welcome Back!!
It is a new week and time for a new plan. I need to be a little tight with budget this week, so I'm going to try and eat from the stockpile, but I also found a great new shrimp recipe I'd love to try, so if shrimp is reasonable when I go to the store this week I'll try it out too.
Monday - Lasagna, salad, rolls. I'm going to do 2 at the same time so I can stick one in my freezer for later. I'm sticking with my standby recipe, but I saw this cool recipe for a zucchini lasagna that you may want to try. :)
Tuesday - Chicken Pot Pie- chicken, cream of chicken soup, and veggies all warmed up in the oven, and then put refrigerator biscuits on top and cook for another 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees.
Wednesday - Church
Thursday - Tacos w/ lettuce, corn, and beans on the side, or in your taco.
Saturday - Family night
Sunday - shrimp (Maybe?) I think I will do grits if I get to make shrimp. Got to love shrimp and grits!! If I can't buy any shrimp or decide to just keep eating from my freezer I'll be doing Chicken Parmesan.
I am also going to be making carrot bread at the request of my toddler, and maybe some other baked goods. We'll have baked oatmeal, oatmeal, and of course cheerios for breakfast this week, and leftovers for lunch.
PS Last sunday we tried this macaroni, cheese, and chicken bake and it was great. It'll go on the family favorite list :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Menu Plan

Sorry this is so late...I debated not putting it up at all, but that doesn't seem like a great way to start the year. :)


Breakfasts for my toddler and I will be:
1) Cinnamon rolls
2) Pancakes - I have a favorite recipe. 1&1/2 c flour (I use Whole Wheat (spring wheat)), 3&1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspon salt, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1&1/4 milk, 3 Tablespoons butter, and 1 egg. It is great!
3) Oatmeal
4) Cheerios


Monday - I grilled my first TriTip Steak yesterday and it was yummy! We just did a dry rub of Kosher Salt (2 T), fresh pepper(2T), and garlic powder (1/2 T) and grilled 8 -10 minutes on each side. It is pretty hard to mess this one up, so I recommend it, even for beginners. :) Use a meat thermometer to check doneness and let it sit under a foil tent for a few minutes so that all the juices can go back into the meat. I made some rice and green beans to go with it.
Tuesday - Broiled Chicken (From Mark Bitman's How to Cook Everything Essentials)
I'm using chicken breast. You can pound to a uniform thickness if needed
3T olive oil, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic slivered, salt, freshly ground pepper, and a lemon. I have a veggie medley to go with it, a salad, and maybe some bread or rice.
Directions: 1) Heat Broiler to Med Heat with rack 4 in from heat. 2)Put chicken in pan w/ oil and garlic and then add salt and pepper. You can cover and set aside this for up to an hour to let the flavor develop) 3) no more than 3 to 4 minutes on each side, turning only once. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve.
Wednesday - Church :)
Thursday - I'm going to do a Balsamic Chicken from the South Beach book (you know, resolutions and all that!)
Friday - Family night!
Saturday - I will be doing something with beef. If the hubs sticks to his work out plan I may reward with hamburgers :)
Sunday -

For more great menu ideas check out

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011!

I am so glad to see your bright shining face, 2011! There is something fresh and new about a new year. This year I have a couple of goals that I'd like to accomplish.
1) Participate in Bookin' It every month. I want to stay on track with the 11 books listed as well as reading at least one of my own every month. I love to read, sometimes I just need to be reminded to make room for it (or reminded to turn off my tv).
2) Loose 10 pounds. I am putting a number on it, but I won't really be watching the scale. My goal is just to incorporate more fruits and vegetables and get more activity.
3) Spend time in the word. This is really what I want to be my top priority. I decided that this year I can do it in two ways. First, I can read my bible, and second I can listen to it. I got some speakers for my ipod and I set it up in my kitchen so that I can listen to a daily reading. Hopefully this will help :)
4) Continue to plan my menus and watch my budget.

Here is to another great year!