Friday, March 30, 2012

Weekly Menu

What a morning we've had already.  I started my day with sticking to my resolution of getting up before everyone else and going for a jog/walk, then I made everyone breakfast, coffee for me and J, took the boys to school, picked weeds in the front yard, went on a short walk with Penelope, went to Michaels and a couple of other errands, painted with Penelope, picked up lunch for J since he took the day off to do yard work :), ate lunch, menu planned (loved the meals from this past week but have decided to give in to all of the kids' request for the upcoming week), and now I'm off to the grocery store.  Whew!, all that and umm, no shower.  J just made a pretty sweet comment about my hair.  Oh well, same can be said about his :)  It's a let's-get-as-much-work-done-as-possible kind of day, so I'll make time to shower at the end.  It feels like summer outside...crazy weather! at least mid-week things should cool back down to normal here.

Saturday--Spinach Artichoke pizza, pepperoni pizza, salad
Sunday--dinner with Grammy Julie, not sure what we're having
Monday--Kale and Quinoa Salad
Tuesday--Beef Short Ribs
Wednesday--Spaghetti with meat sauce, salad
Thursday--Tacos, rice, and guacamole

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bringing a Bit of Nature Inside with Moss Balls

I've wanted these moss covered balls for so long now.  Today I finally made some, with Penelope's help.  I love the way that they look so simple and bring in some pretty texture and color.  With coupon in hand, the girls and I headed to Michael's this morning to pick up our supplies.
 You'll need some moss, scissors, glue gun and glue, balls.  I used my 40% off coupon to buy the table runner size sheet of moss.  You can buy it this way or buy it loose in bags.
For the balls, you can use Styrofoam, newspaper, beach balls, bouncy balls, etc.  I found a bag of Styrofoam type balls. They are more solid than Styrofoam and the package said they could be cut, painted, glued, and even sanded.  Styrofoam balls are EXPENSIVE!  I recommend either making sure you buy them on sale, with a coupon, or use something else.
To begin making the moss balls, you can spray paint the balls with a dark green so that if any white shows it's not a big deal.  I knew mine would not be viewable that close up, so I didn't paint mine.  Then, since I chose to use the mat moss, I cut a portion off to glue to the ball.  Carefully apply some glue from the glue gun on to the ball then gently press the moss on the glue.  Continue until the ball is completely covered.
Do you see that bit of white showing?  You can always glue more moss on there or paint the balls before putting the moss on them.  I just turned mine so that that side isn't seen--problem solved! :)
I put my moss balls in my apothecary jars.  They look great, but don't photograph well.  I'm working on that!
While at Michael's, I purchased 2 of the large moss covered balls.  I did this because the uncovered balls cost the same amount as the moss covered ones.  I had planned on putting one of the large moss balls in the jar with a couple of the smaller ones I made, but the larger one was too big.  I put it back in the bag to return it, but then I found another home for it :)
I put it in this little bowl that I have on a side table with a lamp, but due to poor lighting for the picture I moved it next to some flowers on a different table.
linked up at Momnivore's Dilemma

Monday, March 26, 2012

Toddler Spring Bouquet

Spring has sprung!  I don't know why I never thought about this phrase more until this spring.  We've had warmer than normal weather occur here in Kansas.  Suddenly all the trees had blooms that in a week's worth of time had leaves explode out!  Now instead of sticks for trees we have fluffy green trees everywhere.  It's so rejuvenating and beautiful!  To have some fun with the season and some craft supplies we have on hand, Penelope and I made some flowers.
First, we gathered our supplies.  You'll need an empty egg carton, scissors, and pipe cleaners.

Cut each egg section apart and poke a small hole in the bottom of each section.
Next, thread a pipe cleaner through the hole.  This can get fancy by twirling the inner end of the pipe cleaner or by twisting two or more colored pipe cleaners together and then threading them through the hole.
Finally, the carton flowers can be decorated with markers, stickers, pom-poms, glitter, etc.

Welcome spring!

linked up at Momnivore's Dilemma

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekly Menu

I'm in a cooking rut!  I feel like several of the new things I've tried are just flops (though some have been fantastic!) and I'm uninspired to cook.  With some beautiful weather on the way, hopefully I'll get out of my food planning/cooking slump.  I love food and want to try new dishes, but I'm just not feeling it lately.  I'm thinking some fresh salads with new dressings topped with some grilled chicken or fish are in order.  Maybe a pasta salad and some sandwiches too.  Pinterest to my rescue! Let's see what I find :)

Saturday--a light dinner because we are going out for a late lunch after the boys' violin concert--zucchini tots, Chicken & Noodles in Spicy Peanut Coconut broth
Sunday--Grilled steak, baked potatoes, salad
Monday--BLTs with spinach, avocado, and sunny side up eggs--here's the idea spark--might use our pizza crust as the bread
Tuesday--Taco Salad
Wednesday--grilled chicken legs, bacon sauteed asparagus (from Everyday Food mag, made this last week for my birthday and it was DE.LISH!) and a green salad
Thursday--Black Bean, Quinoa, Citrus Salad
Friday--Grilled portobello mushroom burgers with hummus and feta, roasted broccoli and parsnips

I'm feeling good about this menu!  Excited to eat again :) Oh, and I'm going to have to squeeze this spinach artichoke pizza in somewhere for Jaime and myself--lunch one day maybe?!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekly Menu

What a week we had for Spring Break (hence the lateness in this post)!  It was gorgeous weather for being outside, borderline too hot for spring in my opinion, but none the less gorgeous. We stayed pretty busy but relaxed as well.  We had fun going to a park, a few play dates, a trip to the fire station, a movie night, and the zoo.  Spring sports--soccer and baseball--are underway and now we have something every single night Monday-Thursday!  Rrg, busy nights make dinner a little more tricky, but I love that the boys are back in sports.
Saturday--St Patrick's Day--corned beef, potatoes, roasted broccoli, parsnips, and beets
Sunday--grilled chicken, salad with cucumber and onion
Monday--Spaghetti and meat sauce, green salad
Tuesday--Thai Chicken Pizza (a family favorite and Alexander's request)
Wednesday--Chipotle Chocolate Chili
Thursday--my birthday--I should plan something special, but instead Jaime and I will go out next week--Sauteed chicken with capers, sauteed asparagus with bacon (Everyday Food mag, April 2012, p 23 and 88)
Friday--grilled fish, and salad/veggie

Friday, March 9, 2012

Weekly Menu and Spring Break

Spring break has started--the kids are in heaven!  They didn't sleep in, but quickly ate breakfast, spent time in timeout, played Legos, wrestled, dressed, brushed teeth, and are currently playing basketball (indoors!) Good thing I have some play dates and activities lined up. :)
As much as I love fall and by the end of summer can't wait to start cooking all the warm comfort foods, now I'm looking forward to warmer weather and fresh food. Gardens and farmers markets!  I have these romantic ideas of having the kids truly help prepare dinner and maybe even make a meal all by themselves.  I think it's time to start making them responsible for prepping a bit more of the dinner meals.  I find this easier with garden fresh foods--nothing to risk burning themselves.
Doesn't this look good!?
All 3 of them are pretty proficient at browning ground beef too.

Saturday--Thai Chicken Pizza, Grilled Asparagus, Salad
Sunday--Baked Pasta with Meat sauce, Salad
Monday--Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Grapes, Pears, and Almonds
Tuesday--Portobello Pesto Pizza, Roasted Broccoli
Wednesday--Taco Salad
Thursday--Grilled Chicken Salad
Friday--Sushi Salad

Can you tell that I'm in a pizza and salad mood? :)

A few extra meals since everyone will be home for lunches this week too:
Pizza Stuffed Potatoes
Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti
Broiled PB and Banana tostadas
Bean and Cheese burritos with guacamole
Frittata--kale, bacon, onion, potato

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Like a Lion

You know the saying, "in like a lion, out like a lamb" for March weather?  Well, the last week or so has been incredibly windy here in Kansas.  Definitely a lion start to the month!  We were at the park yesterday and were nearly blown away.  Crazy!  Penelope has been wanting to fly a kite, but it's too windy for that.  I'm thankful we haven't had any serious/dangerous weather like so many others have suffered through recently.  My prayers go out to all of them. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

I'm a picky eater. Yes, despite all the interesting foods I post in our Weekly Menus, I'm a picky eater.  A friend laughed disbelievingly at this tidbit of info that was shared with her this past weekend.  However, I've come a looong way :)  My husband reminded me of just how far I've come.  Ten, twelve, years ago I told Jaime I'd make him dinner.  I served him a plate of pasta with Parmesan cheese on top.  The cheese in the green can.  There's still quite a bit that I don't like--eggs, hot dogs, bananas, ham, shrimp...shall I continue?  I would eat broccoli but it had to be cooked/steamed and have a sauce--not cheese sauce though--in order for me to eat it.  Tonight though, I (and the family) couldn't eat enough of the broccoli (and parsnips) I made!  While grocery shopping this afternoon, Penelope requested the little trees.  I remembered seeing on Pinterest several people post about how delicious and addicting roasted broccoli is, so that's what I did.  It truly is YUMMY!!!

Roasted Broccoli via mostly from Amateur Gourmet
1-2 bunches of broccoli--washed or not washed (high heat oven will kill pretty much everything) if wash DRY IT WELL, cut in to florets--I did some small and left some a bit larger
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper
1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, sliced--not too thinly

heat oven to 425. place the DRY broccoli and garlic slices on to a baking sheet.  drizzle with the olive oil. sprinkle the salt and pepper on top. bake for 20-25 minutes (you want some brown edges). remove from oven. sprinkle with the lemon juice. devour!

Weekly Menu

Lots of new recipes this week.  I've been having to make adjustments to my menus because of the truck delays to the grocery store. As much as I love getting my shopping done on Friday afternoons, I may have to change my day.  We'll see how today goes.

Saturday--Veggie & Egg Tower of Power  :) start chicken for Monday and perpetual broth for the week
Sunday--Four Corners Lentil Soup, Taco Pie (lunch)
Monday--Roasted Veggie Pizza with Chicken
Tuesday--Split Pea Sunshine and Saffron Soup
Wednesday--Quinoa Taco Salad
Thursday--Chicken Pot Pie, Salad
Friday--Fish Tacos


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