Monday, September 28, 2015

Menu Monday: Week of September 28th

Well, one or two of my meals from last week didn't make it onto the cooking block, so some of the dinners might seem like a repeat... but (other than burgers) they are not!  THREE basketball games AND finishing unpacking all in one week really kicked my butt last week!  However, in the middle of it I was reminded of how much smoother things can go if I just pause throughout the day to remember peace in Jesus, stress less and breathe in grace!

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 
- Matthew 6:25-27 & 31-32

When we take time each day/week to make our plans, let us not forget to consult the Great Planner of all things and recognize; when things don't seem to be going according to schedule, perhaps the schedule simply isn't going according to His Plans; and we need to adjust!


Last week's First day of Fall bread-bowl chili was a bit hit with home-made bowls.  I will admit, my first batch didn't mix right.  Thankfully, I started early enough in the day that the mishap was redeemable and the second batch was a great improvement. 

I found the recipe a few years ago on  I used all white whole-grain flour in my bread, as opposed to the half white/half wheat they recommend, and it had a sourdough taste to it which was  perfect for Chili.  Also, as mentioned last week, I form 1/2" thick disks which lay over greased custard cups when I bake them for the perfect, now hollowing, bowl.

Also, Brenden helped me make Pumpkin Bread for breakfast that day... because it seemed like the fall thing to do!  We all thought the smell in our home wonderfully reflected the time of year we are entering!!

This week is a walk in the park compared to last week!  One game, today, and the new usual of two youth groups happening over Tuesday/Wednesday.  Friday will close out the week nicely with a Rend Collective style bonfire and songs at our church in the evening.  Saturday Brenden is contemplating contributing his time to a Habitat for Humanity build. I'm looking forward to the weekday slow-down, especially now that my house is 95% unpacked!  Perhaps this week will see that last 5% done!  My other focus will be attempting to compile a chore list and regular regiment of maintaining clean in our new surroundings. I have an idea for a weekly check-sheet for my planner.  IF it works out well, I will be sure to share it here!

Menu for this week...

- hubby and I, eggs and toast
- kids; jelly toast with homemade bread, sweet bread, cereal
- I will probably make pancakes or waffles at some point this week

hubby; chicken and salad, fried smoked sausage and rice
me and kids; leftovers, ham sandwiches, grilled tuna, red beans


BBQ Pork in slow-cooker, sliced Salad, toasted home-made bread

Chicken Stir-Fry with garden Squash and Jasmine Rice

Ground Turkey Stroganoff, Mashed Potato, Green Beans, Fresh Bread

Beef and Bean Burrito
- I make my own tortillas, the family loves them more than store-bought, they are more filling, great tasting and easy to make (though time consuming and a bit messy!)  Here is the recipe I found on Pinterest.

Burger and Home-Fries

These use to be a family favorite when Pizza Hut started selling them and I made my more cost-effective alternative!  Thought I would revisit serving them to my crew who keeps begging me to make Pizza soon!.


What are you cooking this week?


Monday, September 21, 2015

Menu Monday: Week of September 21st

I'm back on the blog and mostly settled in the new house.  A few decor items still need to go up in the living room and I want my whole house to have a splash of FALL since Wednesday is the first day of Autumn!  My bedroom still needs unpacking and the art studio is halfway there.  All in all, it is coming together and it feels nice to be in our own home.

As I share this week's menu plans I thought I would share a couple pictures of my new kitchen.  Moving tip of the weekunpack your kitchen FIRST when you move!  A little tip I have picked up over time and many moves.  If you can at least cook meals, everything else goes a bit smoother.  I had my cabinets in order by day 3 of the move-in... however, my pretties on the walls didn't come until Saturday night (2+ weeks later!)  I still have a few more things to hang above my cabinets but I think they got mixed in with the general household stuff so those will go up this week.

I don't know why this image is so blurry but that picture on the wall contains the theme for my entire kitchen: old fashioned general store.  I have had it for nearly 20 years now and every now and then, when I find darling trinkets to compliment and make the picture pop, I pick them up.  My favorite finds are both antique and either free or low cost!  For the 12 years I lived in Lakeside I could pile my trinkets on top of my cabinets but since we left that house, I have had much less space for display. In our new house the only space I have is on top of my fridge.  When we do a kitchen remodel I hope to regain cabinet top display space.... but that is probably at least a few years down the road!!
I know the lighting is bad because of the sunlight coming in the window but that back corner has been dubbed the "baking corner".  One thing I love about old houses are the built-ins.  I think this area use to house the stove once-upon-a-time.  When we moved in it had the fridge which blocked that cute shelf built into the wall.  So, I moved the fridge!!  The self has my measuring cups, spoons, a small container for salt and one for flour (for when I need to "dust my surface" in baking).  The tall shelf against the wall has other baking implements and the cabinet above holds all my baking powder, brown sugar and the such. 

I love the window over the sink.  Makes doing dishes less of a chore!  I plan to plant some herbs I can grow in this space.

This week in my new kitchen and life in general we have crazy on the slate!  Brooke joined homeschool basketball with the 7th and 8th graders in our area.  She has THREE games this week and there is a college fair at the university tomorrow I felt all my kids could benefit from, even though they sort of have their colleges picked (Ashley is already accepted for next year).  I thought the exposure to degree and career opportunities would be good.  My slow cooker will come in quite handy this week since it is always nice to come home after a busy day and a 5pm game and find a nice warm dinner waiting for us to dish it up!  Oh.... and Thursday our family is in charge of the snack stand at our 'home' game so that will push us even later getting home. I think all the challenges to our schedule will be a lot of fun (and make for a well-deserved and welcomed weekend break!) so I don't mind one bit!  And all as we head into our second week of jam-packed schoolwork!

Menu for this week...

BREAKFAST.... everyone has become picky eaters!  So, generally speaking....
- hubby and I usually share eggs and toast in the morning before he leaves for work.
- kids will have cereal or oatmeal
- I will probably make pancakes or waffles at some point this week

- chicken and salad or fried smoked sausage and rice
(I always cook extra chicken when I make it, cut it into bite-size cubes and freeze in serving size pouches to pull out for hubby's lunch which he pours over salad with some ranch dressing)

The rest of us:
- leftovers from previous night's dinner
- grilled tuna or cheese sandwiches
- Ravioli 


Leftover Lasagna from Sunday with salad and homemade French Bread
SLOW COOKER Hobo Stew and Fresh Bread
- I'll put the dough in the bread machine before we leave for the game!

Bread Bowl Chili and Apple Crisp dessert
This has become an annual tradition in our family.  I LOVE autumn and actually have a neat little tradition for each season change.  This is my favorite though (next to snowman soup with roasted ham on the first day of Winter!)  Last year I made my bread bowls home-made and liked the ability to personalize each one.  However, I have often bought round mini-loaves in the bakery section of my supermarket and hollowed out a hole to make the bowl and it works great.  For last year's home-made loaves I used a basic bread recipe on the dough cycle in my bread machine.  When the dough was done I formed about 6 or 8 fat disks and molded them over a greased custard dish, let them rise and baked them upside down on the dish.  Worked like a dream and everyone loved the "bowls"!

SLOW COOKER Boneless BBQ Pork Ribs, Slow Roasted Yellow Potatoes, Fresh Salad and Corn with Fresh Bread (My family always wants a fat slice of fresh bread with meals like this!)

Stir fry Chicken with Rice and Yellow Squash

One of the greatest measures of care we can give our family and guests is a balanced menu of food we labor in love over for their well being and enjoyment.  This, I believe, is just one of the noble reflections of the Proverbs 31 character in any women.

What are you cooking this week?