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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

When life hits you square in the nose...

How is eating at home going for you?


Um... We're doing better but life always seems to happen and happen hard.

Here is a little preview of what's been going on in our neck of
the woods...

Boy meets end table... End table wins.

Spidey band-aide makes it all better, right?

Wrong. After a week of continued whining and crying, I take him to the doctor. Broken nose. Here it is a week later... He's still so beautiful though. I could eat up his cheeks and stare into those eyes forever!

So let's recap... End table vs. Kristian - End table wins. End table vs. Mama (always a day late and a dollar short.) - End table wins.

But here is the rest of the story.... When I took him to the doctor. They thought there was a blood clot so down to the emergency we go. Praise God it wasn't a blood clot. Mama always had an anyurism worrying but Kristian is good! Woohooo!!

Happy day! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fast Dinner Friday - Take ONE!

One of the biggest obstacles that stands in our venture to eat at home is lack of time.

Sometimes, we are just busy and overwhelmed or just plain tired. Sometimes we just don't want to cook. Sometimes we don't want the mess. Sometimes we just don't want to. Plain and simple.

I want to dedicate Fridays to fast foods. Foods we can make in a hurry without a lot of mess or work. If we come together and share our good "Fast Dinner" recipes, we'll soon all be around the table instead of being at a true fast food establishment.

So with that little announcement, please take part. Add your blog or favorite recipe to the comments and if we get enough growth, we'll add Mr. Linky! :)

Here is my recipe for Fast Dinner Friday!

We are really working on adding more beans and lentils to our menu . It's a slow and not always yummy process but we are getting there.

Bean Soup - Slow Cooker Style

What you'll need:
* large slow cooker
* about a quart jar of your choice of beans
* ham bone
* salt and pepper - to taste

1. Go through beans and toss all cracked and nasty beans.
2. Put ham bone in bottom of slow cooker.
3. Add beans and salt and pepper graciously.
4. Cover we water to the rim of crock.
5. Allow to cook on low for 24 hours.

With this amount of time, the beans will be mushy. However, that is how we like them. It kind of makes a gravy and is delish! All you need to do in the evening is make a batch of cornbread and toss a salad!

Now this might not be a start to finish quick dinner however, it is little mess and little work. My kind of meal! :)

Your turn! Post your favorite and tried and true fast recipes so that we can go and check them out! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Are We Weirdos?

Are we weirdos? Are we not normal?

Those were the questions Andy asked as I was kneading bread this morning. 

Why would you think that hunny? I just opened our fresh wheat berries, grinded fresh wheat flour from them and now I'm kneading homemade bread.... Are we different? Hmm....

I looked at him puzzled. He went on to talk about how birthday celebrations are usually done eating out or having pizza ordered. Not homemade and definitely not organic.

Maybe, he isn't crazy and was on to something. 

I had a friend that was in utter horror that I make family's birthday cakes and not purchase them from a store. Kind of reminded me of the baby carrots moment... 

Lincoln's five year old cake... Not too hateful, right? :) 

With all of this talk about us being weirdos, my mind starting wondering... Do a lot of people not celebrate in their homes because of all the work they *think*  it is to cook for a group?

Cooking for a group does not have to be expensive, hard or take a lot of time. 

In fact, the meal for over 25 people yesterday was easy and I used ONLY things I had on hand. Actually the food was made early and just left in the refrigerator until it needed heated for the party. 

The feast included - 
* bean soup
* chicken and noodles
* chili
* cheesy potato soup
* corn muffins
* salad (delegated)
* fruit (delegated)
* pumpkin bread
* cookies
* cake
* ice cream sundae bar

The BEST part! Most of the left overs could be put in the freezer for a later meal. Easy clean up and everyone loved it! 

What are some quick, inexpensive and easy ways that you feed a large group? Do you get carry-out or pizza for celebrations? Do you make your own cakes?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

But I Don't Wanna... and a Quick "Throw Together" Dinner !!

Put I really don't want to cook...

That seems to be a continual thought going through my mind lately. I will not beat myself up about this because I know I cannot be the only mama in the world who is run down and just doesn't want to think about preparing dinner.

Can I get a witness?! :)

Today, I rose above. I made breakfast, lunch, bread AND dinner!

Above is my quick, easy and thrown together dinner...

Chicken - I butterflied it, put it in a pan and dumped BBQ sauce on it. Put in the a 350 degree over for an hour and there it was!

Potatoes - in a large zip loc bag, I added three pounds of red potatoes (halved and quartered), 1/3 cup of olive oil and a package of oil soup mix. Shake it baby, shake it! Put in a greased baking pan and put inside the oven (next to the chicken) for 40 to 45 minutes.

Peas - pull them out of the freezer (you know, you are good and put them up from your garden last year! :) ). Warm them with 2 tablespoons of butter.

Voila! Done and dinner is at the table!

Next step, I need to revisit the series on FINDING the kitchen table! :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

What is the quote.... ?? "When we plan, God laughs." ? Maybe? Is that it? I constantly feel like that is my life quote.

Over the passed couple of years, I have planned to eat at home constantly. To bring the joy of the table back to my family.

It hit me last Friday. Do you know what last Thursday was? It was Maundy Thursday. The Last Supper. The last time that Jesus met with His disciples. It was the last time they would be together as a group. What did Jesus do? Did He meet them at the movies? Did He meet them at Applebee's or the closest pub? No, they met together at a table and shared a meal. They met at the table.

How amazing the table must be! So once again, here am I. Ready to begin another journey into bringing healthy foods and joy to the table at my home.

With the spring planting season coming, we are quickly trying to go through our surplus of food in the pantry and freezer. I detest how many foods are going to waste at my home.

This morning, I pulled out all the foods in the pantry and put them on the counter. Booting up the computer and pulling out the cook books, I went to work trying to find recipes to use up all those ingredients. I have found that when I just make a list of meals and work from that, I am more likely to stick to a menu plan. I then labeled all the pantry ingredients by the number on my menu plan and put them all together in the pantry.

  1. Spinach Lasagna Rolls
  2. Upside Down Pizza
  3. Round Steak with Gravy
  4. Tacos; Refried Beans
  5. Salmon Patties
  6. Sour Cream Noodle Bake
  7. Buffalo Chicken Dip
  8. Tex Mex Dip
  9. Grilled Cheese with Chicken Noodle Soup
  10. Grilled Cheese with Chicken Noodle Soup
  11. Black Bean Burgers
  12. Easy Chicken Bake
  13. Chicken Sandwiches
  14. Cheesy Enchilada Bake
  15. CP Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti
  16. Chicken Dumpling Casserole
  17. Chicken and Biscuits
  18. Chicken Enchiladas
  19. Chicken Pot Pie
  20. Lasagna
  21. Ranch Chicken Pasta
  22. Speedy Chicken Quesadillas
  23. Beef and Broccoli 
  24. Cheesy Sausage Stromboli
  25. Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Vegetable Soup
  26. Breakfast Casserole
  27. Pancakes and Meat
  28. Sausage Gravy and Biscuits; Home fries
  29. Meatballs
  30. Chicken Salad
  31. Chili Dogs
  32. Chili Spaghetti
So April's menu plan is in full swing! I cannot wait to share some recipes and how the went with my family!