Monday, November 2, 2015

Menu Monday: Week of November 2nd

Well, the month of November AND the How to be Thankful Bible study is off and running.  I am super excited about it... and a little nervous.  I hope everyone finds it helpful and uplifting!  I am finding myself 'preaching' the messages to my youngest daughter at times.  While she is gentle and sweet, she is at a stage of struggling with peace and gratitude that overflows.  She gets sad easy (I know it is mostly hormones) and can't seem to find joy in very many tasks.  This is especially sad because she is usually so sweet and cheerful.  Again... hormones!  *sigh*  She was actually what God used to inspire the core message of the study.  Some of the content has come from talks her and I have.  It is fun to be part of something which integrates itself into my life and then I get to share it with others!  I can say, however, it is keeping me quite busy behind the scenes when coupled with all else going on right now!  It is joyful work though.

Our weekend without the kids was actually nice.  I was nervous because, I will just be honest, hubby and I hadn't been getting along super well the end of last week.  However, the quiet seemed to be just what he and I needed.  Not only did we have time to internally reflect, but we also had time to connect without interruption.  For those of you putting off needed couple time because you are too busy or just not connecting first... let me advise: DON'T put it off!  The couple time may be just what God uses to get you reconnected and working things out.

I also had a hands-on lesson in friendship this weekend... something resonating from Jennifer Dukes Lee's article I shared on Facebook last week.  While at the Coats and Candy event Saturday morning I connected with acquaintances old and new.  It was refreshing to hear them share about the quirky things their kids and families do which I thought were exclusive to me!  I am making plans to start connecting more regularly outside my 4 walls and outside my current nucleus. I need it... and my family will benefit as well!

Food played a part in mine and hubby's weekend too, of course.  A family of 5 (and 6 when Zach is home) on a tight budget eats rather so-so most the time.  Hubby dressed up our Costco burritos Friday night when I got busy in the studio (the craft show is in just one week!!!!) and HE took initiative and cooked dinner, put it on fancy plates and made a lovely salad to go with it.  I felt so doted on!  Last night we livened up plain old burgers with some pepper bacon we had in the freezer.  It felt so gourmet, I could hardly believe I was sitting in my own house to eat it!  I fried the bacon, then the burgers in the same pan (after draining the bacon grease) and they were so delicious!

This week Brooke's basketball season wraps up with a dessert and awards banquet Tuesday evening.  I am going to try the Pumpkin Bar dessert I saw and Pinned from Modest Mom last week since it seems quicker and easier than my planned pumpkin roll!  I tell ya, linky parties are the best for all sorts of things, recipes and encouraging messages being just two of them!  We will need a quick and low-mess dinner that night because we need to be there by 6:30 to help set up.  Wednesday is youth group.  Then Thursday, while we don't have anything going on, will probably be loaded with last minute prep because Friday is the craft Bazaar.  We will be there from 10-2 (not counting set-up and break-down time) so I expect to be tiered... especially since the buzz doesn't stop there:  Saturday is the Fall Ball.  The girls will be gone off and on all day between rehearsal first thing and then the dance in the evening.  I need to find time this week to make some minor fixes to their dresses.  I will put the guys in charge with the grill Saturday night so I have one less worry!  I have an opportunity to do a second show for home based businesses Saturday but, realistically, I think I need to say no, for sanity's sake!  After choir practice on Sunday, life should slow down considerably... until the concert next month anyway!

We were going to start back to school this week (we took last week off in light of stepping down from another obligation which was making school work, and life in general, hard.) BUT, the kids are so wiped out from their retreat and I am so behind, what with the devotion and the craft show, I decided to concede Monday.  I will use a portion of the day off to set our lessons in motion for a shortened week; Tues-Thurs; since all will be at the Craft Bazaar on Friday with me, selling their wears as well!

With that, herrrrre we go!

Menu for this week...

- eggs
- oatmeal
- cereal
- french toast

hubby: smoked sausage and rice, left-over stir fry
me and kids: leftovers, mac n cheese, grilled sandwiches


Pork Fried Rice
I took pictures while making this a few months ago and I don't think I ever shared!  So here is the step-by-step:
 Not sure why Cilantro is out!!!  I cut pork into bite-size peaces and fry in oil. I season with Onion and Garlic powders, celery salt or flakes and a dash of soy sauce.  I make my rice early and cool if necessary (it fries better cold) and I pre-steam some peas and carrots and set aside.

 I strain the fried pork, then I stir fry the veggies in oil, strain, fry (scrambled) up 2-3 eggs and drain... all one right on top of the other in the same strainer.

Then I fry the rice in some oil with a few dashes of soy, onion and garlic powders.  Once it is good and warm I add the strainer of meat, veggies and egg and stir all together.  Sounds like a lot but it is quick and easy and one pot!  (well, if you don't count the rice cooker and the steamer!)

Chicken Fettuccine with fresh Salad and Garlic Bread
I classify this as low mess because I can make a lot of it early and simmer in one pot or the slow cooker.  Dinner time = only plates and utensils.

Chicken Sandwiches and JoJos
I may fry or grill filleted chicken breast and serve it on a bun.

I have nothing on my menu for this day yet.  Suggestions for quick and easy and low cost???

Black Bean and Beef  'chili'
This is a recipe I devised and should take pictures of and share.  It is awesome because it is all slow cooker, filling and plenty of leftovers!

Burgers (boys in charge)

Roasted Chicken and Yellow Squash with Corn and fresh bread


What are you cooking this week?


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