Monday, April 23, 2012

Meal Planning...

 Meal Planning for a short week:
Saturday Night- Saturday is the one night we eat out (had yummy Japanese food)

Sunday Breakfast- Mini German Pancakes from Real Mom Kitchen
*Healthier by using whole wheat flour
*Heated frozen fruit with a little organic syrup for topping. Yum!
*Bacon with coconut sugar baked
Lunch- Tuna Melts on whole wheat bagels 
*light tuna with light mayo and relish
*avocado and cheese over tuna on a bagel and then broiled.
* Pears for Little girl and I, orange for the Daddy
Dinner- Chicken Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake from Sugar Free Mom
*followed recipe and the family loved it.
(Sunday Breakfast)

Monday Breakfast- Special K for me, leftover strawberry muffins for Daddy, Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries for Little Girl
Lunch- Crackers, cheese, almonds, cucumbers, Juice Plus+ Gummies (didn't feel like doing a "real lunch"). Little girl loved it!
Dinner- Leftovers from Sunday night (love not having to cook)

Tuesday Breakfast- Oatmeal with raisins, organic syrup, and organic milk
Lunch- Organic Mac n Cheese with Organic Mixed Veggies stirred in. Probably one of Little Girl's favorite meals as she always asks for "Peas and Carrots". Juice Plus+ Gummies and an Orange
Dinner- BBQ Pork Ribs
*Bought Pork Ribs at a good price a few weeks ago so I just throw them frozen covered in BBQ sauce in the crock pot for a few hours.
*Green Beans with garlic
*Brown Rice or home made biscuits... not sure yet.

Wednesday Breakfast- Special K for me and Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries for Little Girl
Lunch- Leftover Mac n Cheese from Tuesday's lunch and a Pear and Juice Plus+ Gummies
Dinner- Split Pea Soup
* Leftover from last week that I just froze.... easy meal that I simply have to thaw and serve :)

Thursday - Flying to Los Angeles
Breakfast- Making Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares 
Lunch- Bringing sausage, cheese, crackers, almonds, dried fruit and a cucumber or carrots
Snacks- Multi Grain Cheerios for Little girl and Pirate's Booty for all
Also, Bringing our Water Bobble to fill up at the water fountain once we get past security!

I am excited about eating at our favorite places in Los Angeles and not having to cook for a week. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Day in the Kitchen

It's official... my husband said Pinterest is making him fat! 
I laughed and told him that Pinterest in not making him fat and neither are the recipes that I am finding and actually using on Pinterest, because instead of buying ice cream, cookies, etc I am now making delicious snacks/desserts for our family and know exactly what is going into them. 

This first recipe is certainly not helping my case against making my husband fat, but I found a healthier version I will be trying in the future and my husband can take some of these cookies to work so we don't eat them all.

Someone made these for church this morning and I had of course already pinned the recipe on Pinterest, but hadn't actually made them. Offcially made, eaten, and in a sugar coma. 

Really yummy, but kinda felt like we were asking for some kind of sugar coma... excited to try this recipe next time: Healthy No-Bake Cookies

I am especially excited about this Home Made Cheez Its recipe from cooking ala mel's blog. This recipe requires four ingredients: whole wheat flour, cheddar cheese, butter, and a tiny bit of salt. Love that I can make a delicious snack for my little girl (and my husband of course) that has only four ingredients and is relativley easy to make. 

What my Cheez Its look like right before heading into the oven:

Right after a quick 12 minute bake at 350:

Not as pretty or neat as an actual Cheez It, but the taste made up for it. 

At first my husband was hesitant and then I caught him eating quite a few before I told him to stop! Do you see the hole on the pan? 

The next time I make these I am going to try freezing them and see how they last. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lovin' My Laminator

I honestly did not think I would ever own a laminator? Can't you just take your stuff to Staples and have them do it? Well, you certainly could, but after deciding the cost vs benefit to owning a laminator I belive benefits won hands down! 

Thanks to my handy new tool I was able to snag from Amazon during a lightning deal for only $19.99 (price when I looked right now is only $27.25) I have decided that laminating is a craft that I enjoy. Not really sure if laminating on its own can be considered a craft, but it has been awesome at getting me to print stuff that I normally would have been hesitant to due to little girl's desire to rip/tear/crunch/etc any paper that I want her to keep nice. 

All that to say I was able to make some cool new activities for little girl that I hope she will enjoy when she wakes up (I mean when she wakes up tomorrow since she has been getting up about once a night again). 

Project #1:
A simple printable that can be used multiple ways... I am excited to just have some basic (almost free) numbers flascards since she can count to 10 and almost 20, but can't quite name the numbers by sight.

Project #2: 
We have those silly pom poms. Let's see if she wants to play this counting game.

Project #3:

This is an awesome printable that can be printed and cut out and used like flashcards but for actions. I already did some with little girl while I was laminating and she had a blast trying to "Make circles with your Ankle".
Thanks to TheHomeTeacher

The test comes tomorrow when we will see if little girl is ready to play/learn!

Nesting Time...?

Not sure if what I am doing is considered "nesting" in preparation for #2, but whatever it is my husband is loving it! 

I use Pinterest for 2 things: food and kids. I love finding new ideas to do with my little girl and new recipes to use in the kitchen. I have made many muffins, new dinners, and most recently doughnuts!

No idea why, but I bought an extra thing of refridgerated biscuit dough at the store Saturday and am not a huge fan of eating them at dinner (although my husband is) so since I have a major sweet tooth I decided to try my hand at a recipe I saw online:  Doughnuts from Biscuits

Mine didn't turn out looking nearly as pretty as the ones on the blog I was looking at and I even burned a few small pieces since my oil was too hot:

After I buttered and sugar/cinnamoned them:

These actually taste amazing and my husband said, "better than any doughnuts at a doughnut shop!" Love that man :) haha 

After making these sugar-loaded mouth-watering yumminess I wanted to use up some fresh strawberries I bought on Saturday and some bananas that were brown and perfect for baking. I searched and searched and found this recipe:  Strawberry Brown Butter Banana Bread
These came out of the oven about the same time as dinner so after it cooled I decided to sample it to make sure it was worthy of serving to friends that are coming over... AMAZING! Another amazing thing is that the recipe calls for 2 cups of flour. I looked in my flour bag and after some measuring realized I had EXACTLY 2 cups of flour left! God knew what I needed. 

My finished product:

(Think my friends will like it?)

Last I did something that apparently my mom and my husband's mom used to do when we were growing up: an experiment with dinner! I remember often getting served dinner and asking what it was and the reply was always "food." OK mom, but what kind? "Good Food!" haha 

I made a whole chiken in my crock pot on Saturday and have been having fun figuring out how to use the leftovers. Have made mini chicken pot pies, chicken salad with craisins and almonds, and last night I tried to make Chicken Croquettes. After reading the recipe I thought it seemed pretty simple and starting to get to work. Hmmm I don't have seasoned dry bread crumbs, onion, fresh parsley and don't like pepper.  What does that leave me with? A new recipe made with panko bread crumbs, italian seasoning, onion powder, chicken, and eggs. I also baked them in the oven the same time as the Banana Bread was baking and was pleasantly surprised by how they came out! 

(almost forgot to take a picture, but my awesome husband reminded me at the last minute)

 The last thing I decided to tackle was a basic Sauce/Gravy for the Croquettes, but ran into a slight problem. The sauce calls for flour. Normally this is not a problem, but remember earlier how I was so thankful that I had EXACTLY 2 cups of flour left?!?! Well, I quickly remembered something I learned from my mother-in-law: blend up oats to make oat flour! After some quick blending and a lot of stirring I had a very yummy gravy sauce that my whole family enjoyed.

One last thing... my husband was able to get off work and be home with us at a normal time (which is an awesome rarity in this house) and he helped with the dishes and giving our little girl a bath! Woohoo for an awesome day of 3 loads of laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, and making some yummy food. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a Craft Person?!?!

I have been enjoying teaching my little one with her weekly theme, vocabulary word, shape/color, number, letter, and Bible Verse. She has surprised me with her excitment with wanting to learn more and loves saying her "Ible Erse" (bible verse). 

This past Friday I received my package of felt that I ordered and made little girl her felt cupcakes and felt rainbow puzzle. 

The link to a felt cupcake tutorial (I did not use this one, but like it better than the one I used haha): 

Felt Rainbow "Puzzle": 
I made two copies of the template and used one to cut up as stencils for cutting the felt. The second template was printed off to be laminated (with my spiffy new laminator) and then cut out so little girl could practice putting the pieces on the rainbow.

The other crafty thing I did over the weekend made use of my new laminator. Strange that I am excited about a laminator... ah the life of a stay at home mom :)

I was able to laminate the ABC Scriptures, cut them up, and attach them with a ring. Little girl LOVES them and did a pretty good job learning her "A" verse: "As for me and my house. We will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

I think I will like this new crafty side I am finding and enjoy playing and learning with my little one. Thank you Pinterest and Google :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's been too long...

I am excited to finally write a new post about what I am starting with my almost 21 month old. Little Girl and I strive on having a set schedule and I haven't been doing very well at keeping up with her amazing ability to soak in everything that I teach her. She still amazes me daily :)

I found this site and decided I wanted to start Little Girl on the curriculum this week:

The blog says it is for ages 2-4, but she hasn't had any problem learning and repeating what I have taught her today. I really like this FREE :) online curriculum because it is simple and has a laid out plan of what to do with your little ones Monday through Friday. Every week we will be making a learning poster  which will include our weekly theme, shape/color, number, vocabulary word, letter, and nursery rhyme. This is our picture from today (so happy I found our cow puppet):

We had a blast crawling around the house after our cat and "mooing" like cows! Little Girl quickly learned her vocab word: calf and started calling me the "mommy cow" and so I called her the "baby calf."

I also wanted to incorporate some Sunday School style learning and so we spent some time reading her Baby Bible (might be buying a new one and I don't really like the current one we have), praying, watching some worship songs (we did this Hillsongs Playlist and danced around), and read and repeated our ABC Printable Scripture Card of the week.