Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu for the week of February 27-March 5

Kiera and Laura, I hope you don't mind that I am copying you. I have really enjoyed it when you blog about your meals, and now you've both motivated me to share mine, too. I've been using the site to help organize my recipes and get my meal plans down for the week. Most of my recipes come from and they are really easy to input into the plantoeat site.

Saturday, February 27:
We had Grilled Marinated Shrimp and Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus. I will post the recipe for the yummy shrimp at the end.

Sunday, February 28:
Sunday nights are our big screen movie nights. I don't cook a meal, but we do have popcorn, soda, deli meats, cheese, and fruit. Lots of fun! I've been starting a new thing for lunch, though. Growing up, we always had a huge meal on Sundays after church. I don't feel like doing a lot of work when we get home after church, but I've been making a simple lunch in the crockpot. Last week, we had French Dip with toasted rolls--so good! Yesterday, we had Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork (I bought a package of two inexpensive roasts and used one for the pulled pork. Froze the other one and will thaw it out on Tuesday to use for that night's meal.) topped with barbecue sauce and served on whole wheat buns. I have never cooked pork in root beer, but it turned out delicious!

Monday, March 1:
Tonight, we had my favorite chicken recipe that I discovered not too long ago. It was Mushroom Chicken Piccata (recipe at the end) served with Herbed Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. Strange thing about my kids is that none of them, except for Grace, likes mashed potatoes. So, only Grace and I get to enjoy them. :)

Tuesday, March 2:
We will be having Ginger Pork with Steamed Rice and Stir-Fried Snow Peas and Mushrooms.

Wednesday, March 3:
This is always our busiest day of the week, so I like to do a crockpot meal to save some time. This week will be the standard Pot Roast with Vegetables.

Thursday, March 4:
I guess I burned out on my menu this week as I have nothing planned for this night! Can I blame pregnancy brain on this one?? I have chicken breasts in the freezer, so I will probably make something with them. :)

Friday, March 5:
I do my grocery shopping on Saturday mornings, so by Friday we are running out of food and we have what the kids like to call "Anything Night!!" Aaron and I usually eat leftovers, and the kids get to choose what they would like, as long as it's relatively healthy. Emily almost always has a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, Grace loves grilled cheese (which is my pick sometimes), and the boys usually pick cereal or ramen (uhh,not so healthy!). Anyway, it works and everyone is happy, especially mom.


Grilled Marinated Shrimp

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds Large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails attached
  • skewers
In a mixing bowl, mix together olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce, garlic, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Reserve a small amount for basting later. Pour remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag with shrimp. Seal, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat grill for medium-low heat. Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head. Discard marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes per side, or until opaque, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

(I made the mistake of getting unpeeled shrimp, so we had to peel and eat ours. It was a little work, but the shrimp was so good that it was worth it.)

Mushroom Chicken Piccata

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together flour, salt and paprika. In a separate dish or bowl mix together egg and milk. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then in seasoned flour.

In a large skillet, heat butter or margarine over medium high heat. Saute chicken pieces until golden brown. Add mushrooms and onion and saute for 3 to 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the broth, wine, lemon juice and cornstarch. Mix together and pour mixture over chicken and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium low and let chicken mixture simmer for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Sprinkle with parsley and serve

Friday, February 26, 2010

All-Natural Play Clay

My kids love helping me in the kitchen, especially if it's making treats or crafts. Today we tried a recipe that I got off of the Family Fun website. It was a lot of fun and simple, too, because we didn't have to deal with a hot stove to make each batch of playdough, like our regular recipe does. I changed some of the recipe, so I could use ingredients that I have at home. I didn't have any beets or tumeric, and since we decided to make all of the clay more sweet smelling, we didn't make the paprika one.
Here is the original recipe and below it are my additions:

1 cup flour
3/8 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Natural Dye:
Brown: 3/8 cup plus one tablespoon hot water and 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
Fuchsia: 3/8 cup hot beet juice (we used the liquid from a 15-ounce can of beets)
Orange: 3/8 cup hot water and 1 tablespoon paprika
Yellow: 3/8 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon turmeric

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the oil and your chosen natural dye, and stir well.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes. If the clay is too soft, add a bit more flour.

We made the brown, which smelled so yummy, like brownies! Hard to resist eating it. :)
For the yellow, I used 3/8 cup of hot lemon juice, which didn't color the dough at all and didn't have a scent, either. I added a dash of vanilla and that did the trick. For the future, I will just add hot water to the dough and then the vanilla.
For the fuchsia, I thawed some frozen strawberries (about 1 1/2 cups) in a saucepan along with a 1/4 of a cup of water (I think that is how much I used. I am terrible about measurements!). I brought it to a boil and let them simmer until they were mushy. Then, I strained them over a bowl, and used 3/8 cup of the hot strawberry liquid to make the pink dough.
Instead of orange, we made purple, using blueberries. I used the same method as the strawberries.

With the leftover berries, we made smoothies!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Starting over

I have a wonderful friend whom I have known for over 25 years that has encouraged me to start blogging again. So, here it goes.
As everyone knows, I am pregnant again. I am now halfway through the pregnancy, and so far it has been identical to all of my other ones. I am very blessed to have relatively easy pregnancies, so I really can't complain. I can't but I do, and it drives my poor husband crazy. I gripe almost every night about how bloated and uncomfortable I am. Plus, I've gained close to 30 pounds, and I still have four months to go!
I started homeschooling my daughters in September, only to find out a few weeks later, that I was pregnant. It has been a challenge to be pregnant and school my girls, but they are doing so well. They love being able to get all of their work done in the morning, and then have the rest of the day free. They also go to classes on Wednesdays at a charter school and then to an arts and crafts class on Friday mornings. Emily got a keyboard for her birthday and just started piano lessons this week. She is so excited about learning music. Grace is our athletic girl, so she will be starting gymnastics next week--she can't wait!
Mark will be six in July and will start homeschooling at the end of August. He is a fast learner, so I know he will do well. Right now, his favorite things to do are playing computer games (especially Mario Bros.), hanging out with daddy, and playing freeze tag.
Micah is still our little charmer, even during the "terrible 3's". His blanket is in shreds but he still carries it around and sucks his thumb when he's upset or tired. He loves playing outside any chance he can get and begs me to "snuggle up" under a big warm blanket on the couch when we watch tv.
Samuel is such a boy. He loves eating and playing nonstop. He is great at plowing into people and head butting me. We are going to put him in football as soon as he's old enough. He can be so sweet and loving, too. He gives the best bear hugs!
Well, that's our update, after over a year of not posting. I will try to update more about the kids and also my cooking, as I love sharing recipes with everyone.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Update time

I have been so slow about giving the latest news on our family. So here it is.
We had a good time with my side of the family over Thanksgiving vacation. There were over 30 people there for dinner and that was without my oldest sister and two of my brothers. Unfortunately, my little ones couldn't be there as the oldest three had strep throat, so daddy stayed home with them. (I did bring him a plate of leftovers later that evening.) The kids recovered well enough to be able to spend some time with the family a few days later. They loved playing with their older cousins and being included in all the activities.
The girls are doing well in school. Emily got a completely positive report from her teacher during her conference. She is an excellent speller and a top reader and we are very proud of her. Grace is moving right along in kindergarten, making lots of friends, and doing great at memorizing her Bible verses.
The boys are enjoying time at home with me (I think!), and I know Mark loves being the oldest while his sisters are in school. He is a smart boy and loves to use the computer and hang out with daddy when he is at home in the evenings. Micah is our little charmer. He just flashes that little grin and those green eyes and has everyone wrapped around his finger. Samuel is on the go and loves to be in to everything. He has been the quickest to crawl of all the kids, so we are predicting that he will be walking fast, too. He has eight teeth now and enjoys testing them out on whoever and whatever he can!
Ok, I guess that it is it. I will try to blog a little more often this month. Can't match Cyndie, though, on the perfect record of blogs for November. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


My kids (especially the girls) love bugs. I guess it started a few years ago when they discovered rolly pollies in the front yard of our apartment. Now it's on to bigger and better things like...worms. Grace found a huge earthworm in our backyard this past weekend and proudly carried it around everywhere in an empty yogurt container. She even had it at the park today where she finally decided to let it go.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cleaning time

Every Friday morning, I clean our bathrooms. Sounds like fun, huh? Well, it is especially nice when I have some help. Micah practically begs to help clean and follows me upstairs to do it. I couldn't resist snapping a pic of him this morning when he was cleaning the master bathroom. He will make a great husband someday, don't you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Funny things kids say

Mark talks nonstop, especially on our rides to and from school. Today's conversation: "Mommy, can we make a time machine? Maybe we could make one when the fireworks come. Then we can see the dinosaurs. I like dinosaurs. They eat people."