Thursday, July 31, 2014

Update and new recipe ideas

Update on my previous post:

I'm enrolled to start school this coming semester, yay!! I'm very excited!  It's all online except one group meeting every Thursday.  I also have applied to be a substitute teacher this year just a couple days per week.  Yay again! It is a perfect fit I think.

Everything else is on hold but I think that's pretty great progress!

I've been looking for healthy breakfast ideas for hubby and I and this looks good to try.

Overnight Oats in a jar

I'll let you know how it works!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New project ideas

Ok so I totally don't know if anyone reads this blog.  I'm completely ok with that as it is mostly for me to keep all my ideas and recipes, etc. in one place that is easily accessible.  However, here is a quick update on me for those that are following and might be interested.

I've had quite the past year.  I had weight loss surgery in September and have lost a total of 116 pounds over the past year.  Woot! I feel so healthy and energized and I really feel like I can do anything I want.

Here are things I'm looking at doing and/or changing now:

  • Going back to school.... :)
  • Finding a part time job to supplement the household income
  • refinishing the play structure in the backyard
  • refinishing kitchen cabinets
  • cleaning out the rain gutters (also looking into a rain collector barrel)
  • switching my electricity to solar powered
  • building a new kitchen table (here's the plans for that)
I'm so excited! Life is so wonderful and I feel so very blessed.  I'll keep ALL you wonderful people that read my blog posted on the progress of this list! hah! :D


Monday, April 1, 2013

NOT an April fools joke that I'm posting...

I know I have very few readers, but I'm ok with that.  This blog has been so valuable to ME that I can't imagine what I would do without it.  I can pull it up on my phone just by googling it and have all my favorite recipes right there with me in the kitchen.  LOVE it!

That being said, I have to keep posting or I won't have what I need! haha!

Last week was one of those weeks where no matter what I did, dinner just didn't get cooked.  We were busy and I didn't have good enough plans that could weather the schedule.

This week WILL be different!  I have a great menu planned and have all my ingredients and it was a SPLENDID produce basket from so I'm READY for this week! (and it's a wee bit less busy which will also help)

Here is my menu plan for the week:

Mexican Lasagna
Beef roast
pressure cooker baby back ribs

That's it because Thursday we have dinner plans and Friday is my new week to plan for.  I did cook Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well, I just didnt' post about it.

Friday - I cooked chicken breasts in the pressure cooker and picked up tortillas, refried beans and chips and salsa at Rosa's to go with.  That was the best I could do and it worked out really well.

Saturday - I made sloppy joes which was perfect because everyone had different schedules so they could grab a sandwich and some fruit whenever they needed to.

Sunday - Happy Easter! We had some yummy ribeye steaks (splurge!) with grilled asparagus, mashed potatoes and fresh cut pineapple.  It was delicious!

Ok, onto this week!

I got some zuchinni in my basket.  My oldest daughter is in charge of family home evening tonight and requested banana bread for our treat.  I have talked her into zuchinni bread instead.  Yay!  I have never made it or eaten it but have heard it's yummy so we will try it.  I found this recipe:

Mom's Zuchinni Bread

I also have a few apples left over from the basket 2 weeks ago.  They are ok still but feel I need to use them up since we have a ton of fresher produce now.  I thought about making apple pie or apple crisp or applesauce, but then I remembered how much the kids LOVE muffins and wanted to find an apple muffin recipe.  I'm excited!

Whole Wheat Apple Muffins

Breakfast this week is muffins, strawberries, yogurt, cereal, etc.

Here's to this week!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

This is a recipe that I've used for years and everyone LOVES these!

6 week Refrigerator Bran Muffins

2 cups of water and 2 sticks of margarine

Bring to boil in microwave (I usually do 6 or 7 minutes)

Add 2 cups of Original All Bran cereal

Let sit while mixing the rest

In a large bowl combine the following:

5 cups flour

3 cups sugar

5 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. salt

4 eggs

1 quart buttermilk

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups Original All Bran cereal

Combine both mixtures together, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. Bake for 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Before baking you can add a small amount of brown sugar to the top if you like that taste. Mixture can last in the refrigerator up to 6 weeks.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beans! and January menu ideas

I have THE best husband ever! Why? Well for a million awesome reasons, but today it's because he got me THE BEST PRESENT ever for Christmas... :D  An electric pressure cooker!  This thing is truly amazing and I haven't even used it that much yet!

One reason why I really wanted this "new toy" is to cook the 75 pounds of dry beans I now have stored in my pantry. :)  I have many reasons for wanting to learn to cook beans.  One is to learn to use my food storage, second to eat better and third because it's cheap eating!

One of my goals is to start replacing white rice and pasta in our menus with beans.  This could prove tricky and I will try not to do it all at once, but I think it's definitely possible.  The electric pressure cooker will help for sure because it takes the work out of cooking the beans.

My oldest daughter is not a great meat eater.  She really doesn't care for it.  However, we do make her eat it because she hasn't found a protein replacement besides peanut butter that she likes.  One of the first things I cooked up was a few cups of pinto beans.  I cooked 2 dry cups of pinto beans with 3 pieces of bacon cut up.  It took less than an hour and they were super yummy.  We heated a bowl up in the microwave with some cheese and she devoured them.  Yay!

So here are some other ideas I would like to try.  Most of the recipies I'm finding will not work exactly as they are but I plan to tweak them to my liking and be able to make them in the pressure cooker.  I'll post how I tweak them and what worked and what didn't.

Northern beans and sausage

Crockpot bean soup

Slow cooker pinto beans

Pinto Bean Cassoulet

Beefy rice and bean casserole

Pork, Sweet Potato and black beans - I don't think I will use this recipe because the microwave instructions are odd to me, however, I like the idea of the flavors and combination.

Refried beans

Cola black bean soup

Mexican lasagna

Some great ideas I think! I'll be back to post my menu plans when I get them done.  I am having a late start this month...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fresh Produce to use for the Holidays

I just picked up my basket and it was full of a lot of yummy goodies!  Some I know EXACTLY what I'm doing with and some I don't.  Here is what I got...

Pomengrants, asian pears, red pears, oranges, tangerines, green beans, avacados, lettuce, cranberries, grape tomatoes, radishes, parsnips, rainbow carrots, turnips, eggplant, onions, large russet potatoes, yellow squash, bell pepper and red potatoes!!! Wowzer! (and all for $30, I got the standard basket and the hostess pack)

Christmas morning menu includes overnight cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs, toast and orange juice.  For lunch we mostly just snack but I like to have stuff we don't normally have.  The menu plan includes cheese varieties, crackers, summer sausage, fancy deli meat.  When we got the avacados this morning we knew we wanted to make guacamole and 7 layer dip.  Here are the recipes we plan to use:

7 layer dip

Classic Guacamole

Christmas dinner menu plan includes ham, mashed potatoes, stir fry green beans, southern stuffing, dinner rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert.  Here some other items I would like to try and add...

Ambrosia Waldorf Salad (using the fresh cranberries I received)

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

I think I might try slicing up some turnips to add in with the green beans when I sautee them... we'll see. :)

Merry Christmas! We will be eating very well over vacation! Yummmmm!!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Using my food storage... new ideas to try


It is and Crystal is quite literally my HERO!!

Everytime I go to her site I learn more.  I have NEVER had a recipe not turn out that came from her site.  She has taught me how to use my food storage in so many ways that AMAZE me.  She saves me time, money and inspires me to continue cooking for my family!  Have I convinced you with how much I LOVE her and her site?!?!?!

So here are some items she posted way back in September.  I remember seeing them but I just wasn't at a place where I felt I could try them out.  But, I'm ready now so here are the items I want to try, yay!!

Oatmeal on the go bars (or muffins)

Best ever pancake mix - When we went camping last month I wanted to take an easy pancake mix with me, but I really HATE using pre-packaged food.  I prefer to use my food storage and make my own.  I knew I could count on Crystal.  I mixed a batch of this up and it was soo easy Thanksgiving morning while camping to mix this with water and oil and BAM we had super duper YUMMY pancakes! They are so awesome!!

Homemade Oatmeal Mix

Whole Wheat Cereal

Homemade Granola

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Lunch ideas: freezing sandwiches and organizing

I can't wait to work through these and try all the ideas! I'll try to remember to post how they all turn out!