Sunday, August 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~ 9/1/08

Happy September! I'm so happy that Fall is right around the corner! I absolutely LOVE Fall and can't wait to start pulling out my Fall decor! Not to mention I can start making hearty meals without them feeling so heavy! (Like the Easiest Chicken and Biscuits I reviewed a few weeks ago.)

I want to review two receipes that I made the past week or so that were amazing! The first were Apple Pie Muffins. They were SO yummy! Jason is a Type 2 diabetic so I'm always trying to cut sugar out of recipes. I made this with Splenda Brown Sugar blend (even for the topping) and they were perfect. There probably wasn't as much topping as there would be with regular brown sugar (you only use half the amount when using the Splenda blend) but it was fine for us. It made about 24 muffins so I froze half. I took them out this week and the defrosted great. They tasted like they'd never been frozen. They make a great breakfast or even dessert!

The other recipe I was so glad I tried was the Pizza Pockets I made last night. I am starting to really enjoy making things from scratch so the dough was fun to make. I've never made a dough like that before and was really excited that it turned out well! It took a few tries to figure out the right amount of toppings to put in and still be able to seal them but they all stayed closed! :) We added turkey pepperoni, pizza sauce, lowfat mozzarella, black olives and mushrooms (plus onions for the hubby). I think they're actually pretty healthy. We had them with a salad and were very satisfied. I froze 6 of them to have for lunches and a dinner this coming week! I was very impressed with these and will definately be making them again and again!

Onto this week's plan! I'm trying to make this a really good week because Jason leaves for another week next Monday. There won't be much of a plan that week!

Monday 9/1- Veggie Fried Rice, Garlic Chicken Stir fry (Made by Hubby!)
Tuesday 9/2- Leftovers
Wednesday 9/3- Spinach Lasagna, Salad, Garlic toast
Thursday 9/4- Crockpot Chicken Enchiladas, Chips/Salsa
Friday 9/5- Pizza Pockets (from freezer), Mac & Cheese, Veggies/Dip
Saturday 9/6- Ham, Stuffing, Broccoli, Salad
Sunday 9/7- Turkey Mushroom Burgers, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob
Monday 9/8- DH out of town- Grilled Cheese, Top Ramen with egg
Tuesday 9/9- ?? Nana and Aunt Nessa watching kiddos!

Head on over to Laura's for more menu plans!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Art Project of the Day~8/27/08

I decided I'm going to try and do a new art project with Hannah (and Avery once she's old enough) at least once, hopefully twice a week. I'll post the project and pictures here on my blog! We don't do enough together (they normally play on their own) and now that I have a cleaning schedule down (I'll post that later!) I have a lot more time to spend with them!

So here's today's project: Lunch Bag Puppets!

Hannah's making a dog:

I'm making a cat:

I'll update with pics once we're done!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~ August 25th!

I start school again Tuesday and will be going 2 (sometimes 3) nights a week so those dinners need to be fast! I'm also having problems with my wisdom teeth (well the spot where one was removed last month) all of the sudden and am going to try and go to the dentist tomorrow. This might put a damper on the first few meals this week. At least for me...we'll play it by ear!

I've also started a "Healthy Living" blog so check that out as well. See my last post for the link!
I'll be review some recipes later this week as we've been trying more. The Apple Pie Muffins were awesome and a great way to use of apples that were getting mealy. But more on that another day!

Monday 8/25- BLTs, carrots/chips/dip, fruit
Tuesday 8/26: Leftovers
Wednesday 8/27: Garlic Shrimp Alfredo, salad, bread
Thursday 8/28: Swedish Meatballs, Egg noodles, Salad
Friday 8/29: Chili dogs, tater tots, salad
Saturday 8/30: Pizza Pockets, salad
Sunday 8/31: Out to Dinner for Jason’s Birthday
Monday 9/1: Jason’s Making Chinese! Veggie Fried Rice and Garlic Chicken
Tuesday: Leftovers

Head on over to Laura's for more menu plans!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Healthy Living Blog!

I've been meaning to create a blog strictly for my journey to healthier living. I finally bit the bullet and started one today! Check it out if you'd like! Road to a Healthy Me!

Weekly Cleaning List

Anyone who knows Jason and I, knows that cleaning has never been a strong point for us. We're both pack rats and tend to have a lot of clutter. In the past year or so, I've started getting really irritated with junk and having stuff lying around. I've gotten pretty good at de-cluttering and have started getting rid of a lot of stuff. Most of the time the house is pretty neat though very lived in. (I'm not sure what else to expect with two little girls who can't really clean up after themselves!) However, while I'm being good about getting toys up off the floor before bedtime and stuff, major cleaning tasks get overlooked (bathrooms, mopping etc). I'm working PT and going back to school and I just get overwhelmed with all of the stuff I have to do.

Jason admits he just doesn't know how to clean. He sees the living room a mess or a sink of dished and for some reason, the thought that he should clean it just doesn't occur to him. That means I get left to either do it myself or nag him constantly. That obviously does not create a very happy husband and wife team!

So I've decided to impliment a Weekly Cleaning List. Both Jason and I have assigned jobs each day. The amount of work decided by who has what else scheduled that day (i.e. I go to school Tues and Wed nights so Jason gets the kitchen those days.). I still handle a heavier load but I'm home more days of the week. Other "big chores" (cleaning out the garage, major yardwork etc) will be added on a weekly basis. And if for some reason one of the chores can't be done, something else has to be done in it's place. For example, I was out of gas for the lawn mower this morning so I did a major cleaning of the dog area in the backyard instead.

Here is my Weekly Cleaning List: (Please let me know if you see something not on there that probably should be!)

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

S- Kitchen, Vacuum
J- P/U Computer room

S- Laundry, bathrooms, trash, vacuum
J- Kitchen, cat litter, trash

S- Grocery shopping, laundry, kids' rooms, vacuum upstairs
J- Kitchen, vacuum

S- Kitchen, sweep, mow lawn
J- Vacuum

S- Kitchen, Master bedroom
J- Master Bedroom

S- Dust, Clean Glass, Vacuum
J- Kitchen, laundry

S- Kitchen, sweep/mop
J- Vacuum upstairs

Every Night
De-clutter: Pick up trash, toys, clothes, shoes etc and put in proper places.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~ 08/18/08

Another menu plan with just a quick post! Hannah is at Nana's for the next 3 days going to Disneyland so DH and I are alone with just Avery! :) She'll be in bed early and we'll have some much needed relaxing time alone...

The grocery bill last week was a lot higher than I'd like and we didn't end up making all of the meals on last weeks menu. So I pushed those back to this week and am making a majority of the meals from what we currently have in the fridge/pantry. Hopefully I'll only need to get the basics (milk, juice) and produce for the salads we've been having with dinner lately. A $40 trip would be great!

Onto this weeks menu:

Monday 8/18- Leftovers
Tuesday 8/19- Crockpot Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Carrots, Salad
Wednesday 8/20- Roast Beef Hash, salad
Thursday 8/21- Turkey Mushroom Burgers with Homemade Buns, Salad, Fruit
Friday 8/22- Taco Salad (Homemade Taco Seasoning)
Saturday 8/23- Red Beans/Rice, Turkey Sausage, Broccoli
Sunday 8/24- Spaghetti, salad
Monday 8/25- BLTs, carrots/dip, fruit
Tuesday 8/26- Leftovers

I always shop on Wed so the plans overlap on MPM.

I also reviewed some recipes in the prior post! Check them out!

As always, visit Laura at OrgJunkie's for more wonderful menu plans!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Recipe Reviews!

I've been trying a TON of new recipes in my menu plan lately and I've been really impressed with most of them! The only one we didn't enjoy was the Bubble Up Enchiladas. I was actually really surprised since a lot of people make them but for us, the biscuits were doughy in the middle and we thought there was too much "bread" in it. I prefer the normal enchiladas I make better. I think it's a good recipe but more of a personal dislike here.

The rest have been pretty great though. The absolute BEST recipe we've tried is the Crockpot Potato Chowder! I think I'm making it for the 3rd time in less than two months tomorrow! We didn't use bacon last time though DH seems to like the bacon. (I prefer it with just shredded cheese and also add a can of corn to the mix.) I'm SO excited to have found this recipe. My DH's favorite soup has always been Marie Callendar's potato cheese soup. He could eat a vat of it at a time. LoL So after having this soup, he said it was EXTREMLY close in taste to that soup. Well today, we happened to take the kids to MC for lunch and of course had this soup with our salad bar. And what do you know? DH and I BOTH like MINE better! Woohoo! Such a great (and really frugal) recipe! Plus it reheats great and since the kid's don't eat much at this point, we have leftovers for lunches!

The last entree recipe I have tried lately was Easiest Chicken And Biscuits. I really liked this one! DH liked it too though it wasn't his favorite. He thought it had too many biscuits in it and not enough chicken. He said he'd eat it again but would prefer it in the colder months. It was too heavy for a summer meal. I'll definately make it again come fall but will probably use less biscuits and maybe add a bag of frozen mixed veggies. It also reheated well when I took leftovers to work the next day.

I never got around to making the Potato Chip Mac and Cheese or the Homemade Chicken Nuggets. I'm going to hold off on those as a chips are a VERY bad thing to have in this household! They don't last long!

The other things I have made have been baked goods or side dishes. I'll save those reviews for another time. However, if you look back at some of my past MPM you will find great recipes for Homemade Hamburger Buns, Whole Wheat Torillas, Spinach Artichoke Dip and Breakfast Cookies. All of these will be made again in this household! (As will the Whole Wheat Waffles I made this week!)

Hope some of you will try these out for yourselves!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Menu Plan Monday~ August 11th

I missed last week because we were out of town for my birthday! We had a blast but I'm ready to get back on track and back into our routines! My last menu plan from 2 weeks ago got tossed aside in the scramble to get ready for our trips. I ended up using some of the ingredients in other dishes so nothing went to waste.

I've been trying a lot of new recipes lately and will try to post reviews this week. Some were awesome and have already been repeated multiple times (Crockpot Potato Chowder is a rave!). Others I keep putting on the menu and they don't get made for one reason or another (Easiest Chicken and Biscuits for example). I'm going to try and get to some this week and the rest next week.

My main goal for this week is to increase our veggie/fruit intake. Hubby and I aren't very good about that (though the girls tend to have a fruit/veggie at every meal) and it's showing in our overall health. Jason is a newly diagnosed (as of April) Type 2 Diabetic and while his levels are good, I know it's only because of his meds and not diet/exercise. I've also stalled in my weight loss and need to jumpstart it again!

As always, I shop Wednesdays and my budget is between $60-80. We're on our last can of formula and then we'll be switching to whole milk. Avery doesn't seem to want formula anymore (not sure if it's taste or just because her table food has increased so much) and I want to switch her a bit early any way so we can make sure she has no problems before our trip to Atlanta right after her birthday. That will definately help with the budget too!

Head to Laura's for more Menu Plans!

Monday 8/11- Turkey Bacon BLTs, Spinach Artichoke Dip/Chips
Tuesday 8/12- Breakfast- Eggs with Cheese, Sausage/Bacon, Biscuits/Gravy
Wednesday 8/13- Turkey Mushroom Burgers with Homemade Buns, Salad, Fruit
Thursday 8/14- Easiest Chicken and Biscuits, Salad
Friday 8/15- Red Beans/Rice, Turkey Sausage, Broccoli
Saturday 8/16- Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Salad
Sunday 8/17- Crockpot Potato Chowder, Corn Bread, Salad
Monday 8/18- Leftovers
Tuesday 8/19- Crockpot Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Carrots, Salad

Have a great week everyone! Come back to read my recipe reviews!
And BTW, it's almost 10pm and now I'm STARVING after doing my menu! Figures!