Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2009

Crazy Southern Weather and a Prayer Request

I don't know about the weather where you are, but our weather here in Alabama is crazy! Although that's fairly typical of the South--if you don't like the weather today, stick around because it'll change by tomorrow.

Yesterday my kiddos were running around the park in shirt sleeves in 73 degree weather!! Yes, I said 73 degrees!! It was an unusual January day, to say the least.

Today it's.....snowing!

Of course, the ground is too warm for it all to stick and accumulate, but we are getting a little dusting. Which is something to celebrate here in the Deep South where we almost never see any snow at all. We're more accustomed to ice storms around here, but we haven't seen one of those this year (and I hope we don't!).

Our extended families on both sides are all iced and snowed in over in Oklahoma and Arkansas. We are praying that their electricity stays on.

We are also praying for Vince's sister. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law are expecting their firs…

What I Do With *Aging* Veggies

Have you looked in the crisper of your refrigerator lately? Last week it was definitely time for a little fridge clean out at my house. When I got to the crisper I found some *aging* bell peppers and celery.

You see how the peppers aren't bad yet, but they're starting to get that *wrinkled* look. And the celery is getting sort of *soft*. This means that they don't work so well for salads or snacking, etc. and if you don't use them quickly they'll definitely go bad and you'll have to throw them out. Don't let that happen!

Go ahead and chop them up, getting them ready for all of those soups, casseroles and whatever other dishes you like to use them in. Then pop them in the freezer and they'll be ready whenever you need them! I always keep frozen peppers and celery in my freezer and I can't even tell you how handy they are. I just take out what I need and put the rest back for another time.

If you have items that you like to keep handy in the freezer I…

Not The Way I Like To Wake Up

This morning I was awakened by my 3-year-old son, Mr. B, with the following: "I'm sorry, Mama, I colored on the carpet in the family room."

A work of beauty, isn't it? When we bought this house we knew that the lovely (and I do use that term loosely) white carpet would be a nightmare with two little kiddos. We were right. Unfortunately it hasn't been in the budget to replace it yet. We rent a steam cleaner every few months because it gets SO bad. It would have been better if we had bought our own steam cleaner!


So I googled some carpet/crayon remedies today. The first one sounded so easy...I should have known it wouldn't work!

The idea was to put a brown paper bag over the area and then use an warm iron to press over the bag and the crayola would somehow *stick* to the bag and lift off the carpet. Apparently the person that this worked for had actual chunks of crayola in said carpet--not a drawn work of art! Didn't even begin to work!

Then I found this remedy…

Taco Braid

First of all, I must apologize. I totally meant to take some step-by-step photos of the making of the Taco Braid. And I forgot. It was small group night at our house and I just got in a rush at the last minute getting everything ready. Sorry about that. It's really a simple process though and I think I can explain it fine without photos. If you have any questions about it though, feel free to ask!
This is one my husband's favorite meals. I learned how to make this at a Pampered Chef party years ago. Of course, I love my PC baking stones, but this can also bake just fine on a cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan, even a 9x13 baking dish! You just might want to spray some cooking oil on the pan or dish before you put the braid on it. That's the great thing about those stones--nothing sticks to them!
Taco Braid
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
diced onion
1 1/2 cans cresent rolls
1 egg, beaten
****
shredded lettuce
tomatoes
shredded cheese
black olives
jalapenos
salsa
sour cream
guacam…

Looking Toward Spring

Some of you may remember that we've been trying to sell our house here in Alabama. Even though we've had lots of interest and have shown it a lot, you know how the housing market and economy are right now. So it doesn't seem that we'll be moving as soon as we thought. We've decided to take our house off the market for right now and try again in the Spring.
In the meantime...we're planning our first garden! Whether we're here or we move somewhere else, we are hoping to plant a vegetable garden this Spring.

So I am now in the *information gathering* stage of this. I've started reading a little about compost bins and found a great idea over at Simple Mom last week.

We're thinking of tomatoes, peppers (sweet & hot), squash, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, a few herbs....I'd love to hear what you think grows the easiest for beginners! Any tips you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated!

Time to Get LOST Again

My very favorite show is back!! Whoo hoo!! The hubby and I have been looking forward to this night for a while now. We celebrated by having these awesome *chili cheese dogs in beach blankets* for dinner. Mmmmmm!!

So Much For Plans...

So, how has your day been? Mine has been pretty crazy!

Of course, it started off watching tv coverage of the inauguration. Then right about the time they were going to finally introduce the president-elect (after about a million other introductions!), Vince got a phone call. I was trying to listen to the news commentators while refereeing the kiddos, so I only caught snatches of his conversation. When he got off of the phone, he says "I'm going to Peru!" Well, OK!

I knew the call must have been from my dad. He is a minister and travels internationally and domestically full-time. I can hardly keep up with where he is week to week. He does a great job helping out my postcard collection though!:)

Sure enough, that's what it was.

Then I started thinking...about plane schedules, packing...and then--oh, yeah! His passport! Which was expired. Oops! Did I mention that he leaves on this trip in 10days!?! So I went to get the old passport out of the *special passport place* and it…

Inauguration Day 2009

This historic day is finally here. I hope that you will join me in praying for our new president, his family and our government leaders.

If you would like, you can save this picture to your computer
and place it on your blog, too.

Praying For Harper

Click the button below to read about this precious newborn who is struggling for life...

A Letter to the President

Today has been sort of a laid-back school day (since it's a holiday and all!). We enjoyed reading this book together: Then The Princess wrote a letter to President Obama and drew him a picture:

I can remember writing to President Reagan (my favorite president!) with my class in 4th grade. It was so exciting to receive a letter back from him! I hope that President Obama will respond to The Princess' letter, although I know he has a lot on his plate. It was good letter-writing practice for her anyway--that is a talent I want to encourage her to develop. I'm curious, have you ever written a letter to one of our past presidents? Do you encourage your children to do that?

Find more Blissfully Domestic things here!

Menu Plan Monday & Recipes Requested (please!)

So how did your week of dinners go last week? Mine went pretty well, although there was a little shuffling of the schedule. A thing or two got bumped, but that's okay.

This week should be fairly easy, if busy. Vince will be out of town for a couple of days, then my parents and sister are coming for a visit. You know what that means: DINNER OUT!! My parents are always so sweet to give me a cooking break when they come. I do like to make special breakfasts for them while they're here though. I'm still deciding on those...

Here's the dinner plan:

Monday:leftover night (the fridge is full of good stuff)
Tuesday:French onion soup (bumped from last week)
Wednesday:Chili Cheese Dogs in Beach Blankets and French fries
Thursday:Taco Braid*
Friday:Going out!!
Saturday:Going out!!

*I'll be posting this recipe w/pics after Thursday.

OK, now I need your help! This weekend a friend gave us a TON of deer meat. Most of it is ground, but there is also some cube steak and a tenderloin. I was …

Brrr...

We're watching this....

and wishing we had some snow to go along with our freezing weather today!

Easy Stir Fry

In the area of the country where my husband and I are from there is a large Asian population with lots of wonderful, authentic Asian restaurants. Oh, how we miss them!! Where we live now our options are limited to none. So occasionally I make us a dinner of stir fry with a few easy sides from the store to help with the cravings!

This recipe is from Down-Home Cooking without the Down-Home Fat, so it is a relatively low-fat meal. That helps make up for those fattening egg rolls!!:)



Teriyaki Beef & Broccoli
1 lb. steak (eye of round) trimmed of fat*
1 (16 oz.) bag frozen broccoli pieces, thawed**
2 medium onions, cut into quarters and separated
1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 tbls. minced garlic
1/2 cup KikkomanTeriyaki Baste & Glaze***
~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Cut the steak across the grain into very thin slices
2. Cook the steak, broccoli, onions, mushrooms and garlic over high heat in a large saute pan.
3. Cover the pan and cook the steak for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. …

My *Go To* Meal

This is definitely my *go to* meal for when I am taking a meal to a family with a new baby or someone who's just gotten home from the hospital. It's easy, filling and delicious! Spaghetti Pie
1 box Kraft spaghetti dinner
2 cans tomato sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded Cheddar
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
******
Prepare the sauce as directed on the box. (I like to use only 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained, for a chunkier sauce). Set sauce aside. Cook spaghetti noodles as directed on the box; drain and rinse with cool water. Toss the cooked spaghetti with the beaten eggs. In a small casserole dish (8x8 or so), layer 1/2 of noodles on bottom. Then top with half of the cheeses. Add the remaining noodles, then pour the sauce over the noodles. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 min. @ 350F.
**Sometimes I add browned ground beef to the sauce--it's really good that way, too!
**This freezes well and also doubles great to make a (9x13) dish.
Now just gra…

Fun With a Box

Today was craft day at our house. In The Princess' current reader there was a section on *fun with a box*. Since we have no shortage of boxes around our house right now, we decided to put one to use.

Mr. ElephantFor more *show & tell* fun, visit There Is No Place Like Home.

Chicken Pot Pie

Osage Hills Chicken Pot Pie (from my friend Teresa)
1 whole chicken, cooked and deboned
(I used several chicken breasts instead)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 cup chicken broth
1 recipe for double crust pie crust or 2 prepared pie crusts
*******
Dice the chicken into bite size pieces. Mix with the soup, vegetables and broth. (I also added alittle black pepper and tarragon here). Heat and stir till smooth. This may be done in the microwave or on the stovetop. Pour into a 9" unbaked pie shell. Top with another unbaked pie shell. Bake @ 350F for 35-45 minutes or until crust is light brown. Serves 4-6


This is really a very simple recipe, but it's so yummy, especially on a cold winter's night!

Movie Time

We have not been to the movies much at all in the past few months due to our extremely tight budget, but this week I've gotten to go to a couple of matinees. It's been so fun!

First Vince and I took the kiddos to see this:
If you haven't seen it, you should!! I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! The kiddos loved it, too:) It's just adorable and it had such great moral themes throughout (not just at the end). And I'll admit, Vince and I were both teared up the end.

Then I went with a girlfriend to see this:
Oh, this was funny! I can so remember planning my wedding, I think I was a little obsessed with it (I still have my planner and my *special* notebook!). I mean, after being a bridesmaid 9 times I had some definite ideas about what I did and did not want at mine. My friend and I really enjoyed this and then we had fun telling our own wedding stories afterwards over dinner:) Have you seen any good movies lately? I'd love to hear what you've seen!

Pray For Our Nation and Our President

In less than a week our new President-elect will officially take office. The new First Family is busy getting moved into the Whitehouse and choosing the new First Pet.

It is no longer a question of who you're going to vote for, but instead how you will respond to the winner of the election.

I would like to encourage us all to pray daily for our President and also all of our government leaders. There will be many crucial decisions made in the next four years and godly wisdom is needed to make those. I believe our nation is at a critical crossroads with rough roads ahead, but God is ultimately in control. If we are faithful to call out to Him, He will hear our prayers.

If you would like to grab this *button* for your blog, please do! (It doesn't have any fancy-schmancy html code, just right click on it and save the picture to your computer). Thanks to Vince for creating the *button* for me!

We Have a Winner!

First I put all of the names of those who entered for the giveaway in a hat (a very cute, vintagehat!).

Then I asked The Princess to draw one out.


And the winner is........Elaine (ironically, comment #1!)!!


THANK YOU to everyone who entered my very first giveaway (but not the last, I'm sure)! It was so fun seeing familiar names and also lots of new ones. I enjoyed reading all of your comments and visiting lots of new-to-me blogs. I hope that you'll all come back often.

Menu Plan Monday: January 12th-18th

Well, last week was a great week with the menu planning! It was so good to be back on track in the kitchen after the craziness of the holidays.


And I enjoyed meeting my new kitchen challenges for myself : 1.) fix at least one meatless meal a week and 2.) cook a new recipe from one cookbook in my collection. You can check out some of last week's yummy meals here(chicken enchiladas),here(cornflake-crustedtilapia) and here(feisty fajitas).

This week I'm incorporating recipes from a couple of my cookbooks:
Monday:French onion soup(from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook)with salad
Tuesday:Osage Hills chicken pot pie*
Wednesday:Pork stir fry*(from Down-Home Cooking without the Down-Home Fat)with teryaki noodles and egg rolls
Thursday:Spaghetti pie*
Friday:Loaded bbq potatocasserole with baked beans
Saturday:Hamburgers Diane* with mac-n-cheese and a veggie
Sunday:Crockpot chicken bbq* with sides TBD

*Recipes to follow with pictures throughout the week--so come back soon!

Happy Cooking this week!…

I {heart} My New Griddle!

I'm loving this gift from my mom! This griddle fits over two burners on the stovetop. It's great being able to make more than one pancake at a time!

Or more than one *animal pancake* at a time:)

Aren't these pancake molds adorable? I found them a while back on the clearance aisle of Hobby Lobby (I'm pretty sure they shouldbe paying me for advertisingso much for them-ha!).
Seriously though, this griddle is amazing! I wondered if it would cook evenly, even in the middle, but it transfers heat very well. Loving it!!