Menu Plan Monday

June 29, 2009

Happy almost 4th of July! I love holidays, every holiday. It always means a celebration of some kind and more time with Mike, what’s not to love? This time last year, I was hoping Nate was about to be born (he was 10 days late) and I was huge. Mike told me that every day I was over due we would eat out for dinner, I don’t think he was expecting that to be ten dinners before I was induced, but it was still a special treat and made the time a little bit more fun! This year, I am thankful to be cooking and not 60 lbs heavier and eating out every night, it is a definitely the better side to be on. So have a happy holiday, I hope you get to enjoy some extra family time or at least some time off to relax and eat some watermelon, it’s good for you.

Monday: Burgers (the yummy ones from WF’s, ummm) and grilled veggies

Tuesday: Chicken-Fried Chops* (I am only making 3 chops, maybe 4 depending on the price)  w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday: Bagelinni (We love the bagelinni sandwich from Jason’s Deli, so I am trying to recreate it at home…we’ll see!)

Thursday: Blackened Chicken Caesar (didn’t end up having this last week)

Friday: Hopefully a date night, I am calling the babysitter in the morning

Saturday: 4th! Hotdogs, corn, watermelon, other fourthy type foods

Sunday: Leftovers or breakfast for dinner

*This recipe contains condensed soup. Most condensed soups contain lots of yucky ingredients so I went on the hunt for a homemade version and found this one at a blog called Passionate Homemaking (I do not consider myself a passionate homemaker, but she has lots of good organic/all natural ideas and tips that can be done on the cheap). I have used this recipe several times and it really is great. (I usually do 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 reg flour):

Condensed Creamed Soup Substitute

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt or more to taste
12 fresh mush­rooms, chopped
2 cups of milk (less for a thicker soup)

Heat butter and oil then add flour and salt, stir­ring to make a roux. Add mush­rooms and cook about a minute, just to soften. Add milk and stir until thick­ened. This is a sub­sti­tute (and a great one at that!) for two 10 oz. cans cream of mush­room soup. To make cream of chicken, simply omit mush­rooms, add 1 tsp. chicken base (a paste, like bouil­lon but with­out the MSG) and sub­sti­tute half the milk with chicken broth or stock. To make cream of celery, sub­sti­tute celery for the mush­rooms and pro­ceed as listed above.

Check it double deck it: Organizing Junkie, for more recipe ideas…

Gun and Skateboard

June 27, 2009

Things I learned this week:

1. I have always resisted the dorky sunshade for your car wind shield, BUT it truly does reduce the tempature of your car. I am now a fan.

2. If I let Nate drink his milk while we are reading books, he will actually sit and let me read to him! (I was very excited to learn this!)

3. I seriously need to pull it together with birthday party planning and present researching. Scott has been saying since Christmas that he wants a gun and a skateboard for his birthday party. A gun, ugh. I am on a hunt to find a non violent looking gun (yea, I know…) and a pirate skateboard that is small enough for a 39 inch tall, 28 lb boy!

4. I really want to get a dog. I’m trying to talk Mike into making it a Christmas present for the boys.

5. Maxi dresses are a yes. (Even though I have this nagging feeling I will look back on pictures of myself and laugh, saying that I look like a pregnant prairie girl.)

6. I would rather have Mike be out of town an extra night than have him come back in town at 1 am.

7. Nate likes broccoli. Slathered in butter of course.

8. I am getting really excited about our multi class eleven year reunion. There are a couple pf people I wonder about….

What did you learn this week?

Menu Plan Monday

June 22, 2009

Hot meals and summer don’t really sound that appealing together but not having to be in the kitchen and getting to spend more time at the pool does. So I am breaking out the crock pot.

Monday: Tacos* another stolen recipe from my friend Andrea! We ate this recipe burrito style at her house, but it would make great nacho topping, tacos, enchilada filling etc… I am going to use turkey in place of beef. w/ steamed broccoli

Tuesday: No Mikey…. Crock pot Beef Stew*

Wednesday: Calazones w/ salad

Thursday: German Pancakes (pfannkuchen) with fruit salad

Friday: Nachos with leftover taco meat

Saturday: Leftover Beef Stew

Sunday: Blackened Chicken Ceasar Salad

*Beef Stew

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 carrots, sliced (I throw in the bagged baby carrots instead)
  • 4 potatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbls quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion chopped

PREPARATION:

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir just enough to mix mix seasonings throughout. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours. (High 5-6 hours)

*Taco Meat- Andrea Style

3/4 lb ground beef

1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles drained (don’t use rotel TOO spicy!)

1 can of black beans not drained

1 packet of taco seasoning

Brown meat in a sauce pan. Drain, add other ingredients, let simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Serve it up!

What are you eating this week? Check other peoples’ menus at Organizing Junkie!

Sleep Socks

June 20, 2009

Things I learned this week:

1. If you shake the can of coconut milk before opening it, it mixes all up in the can so you don’t have to scrap it out and then stir it.

2. I look completely different after 9 straight hours of sleep. My parents kept the boys over night (Nate’s first time!) last Saturday night for my birthday and I didn’t wake up until 9 am. I looked in the mirror and was amazed! I looked so much better.

3. I had no idea I was looking so bad. (please see #2)

4. Getting a babysitter is awesome. Mike AND my mom were out of town this week, so on Friday I hired my first babysitter for a couple of hours to give me a little break. It was wonderful. I think babysitters should sell gift cards. I would ask for them for every holiday.

5. I don’t actually have to wear socks to be able to sleep at night! Ever since I can remember I have had a thing in my head that I can NOT sleep if I am not wearing socks. This week, I decided to test myself and not only did I sleep, but I liked it.

6. If you buy a car seat at Babies R Us, you can ask the customer service for a coupon and if they have any out at the time, they will give you one. We got 15% off.

7. Feeding your kids junk food all day is fun and much easier than trying to eat healthy. On Thursday we had chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, hot dog and slushie for lunch, pbj for dinner, and topped it off with a treat from the ice cream girl at the park. (this is also one of the reasons I love green smoothies, we can have these days and I still know we got all our fruits and veggies in!)

8. I will never eat at Pei Wei again. Food poison me once, shame on you. Food poison me twice, shame on me.

What did you learn this week?

The Pink Watch

June 17, 2009

My birthday was perfect. The best one I have had in a long long time. Maybe even the best one I have had since I turned sixteen and the Baby Blue Bronco Two entered my life.

Birthdays are not a big deal to Mike, so it has taken years of intense training (and by training, I mean annoying nagging and many disappointed faces.) BUT this year, he got it. The entire weekend was all about me.

My family, on the other hand,  has always made a huge deal about birthdays (I have had a total of 4 surprise parties, one of them was given by Bethany). I was surprised every time. This year, my parents kept BOTH boys over night (Nate’s first sleep over!) which was a big enough present, then they “helped” Scott plan a party for me, which included my favorite cake, party hats and princess plates. They made lunch and picked out perfect and thoughtful presents. I ended my birthday weekend feeling very appreciated and special.

My birthday kick off on Saturday was to pick out a new running watch from Scott and Nate. I lost my watch around January and have been timing my runs on my ipod because I just knew the watch would turn up…. (this is why I don’t buy fancy things, I lose them.) Mike walked around with Scott while I pondered over watches. When he came back, I had a pink Nike watch out that I was pretty sure was the one. When Mike saw it he said, “You don’t want to pick pink, that’s too girly.”

Me: I am a girl.

Mike: But you don’t want to look girly when you are running. You want to look hardcore.

Me: Actually, I want to look girly.

Mike: No, you will get sick of having a pink watch. Pick the black one or the black one with pink detail.

Me: (to the sales guy) Okay, may I please see the black one and the black one with pink detail also?

Sales Guy Inner Monologue: Seriously lady. Just pick a watch. You have already seen like every one we carry. And you keep asking me questions. Like I have all the watch facts memorized. Man, when is it my smoke break.

Me: The black and pink one reminds me of the eighties. Uuummmmm. (inner monologue: I really want the all pink one. But what if Mike is right… am I going to get sick of it? No! Cori, go with your gut. But now I am questioning my choice, maybe I should just get the all black one)

This inner monologue continued for about 8 minutes (if I already had a watch at this point, I could have timed it, but then there would be no story.)

Sales Guy Inner Monologue: I am seriously way to stoned to dealing with this lady.

Me: I am getting the pink one. It is the one I want.

Mike: Are you sure?

Me: I am sure.

I am not shy and I don’t have any problem speaking my mind, but I think sometimes I let peoples opinions and expectations of me determine my final choice. It is so hard to fight that those mom expectations. What sport is your kid in? Why isn’t Scott in preschool yet? Why is your child having a rage out??? Nate isn’t sleeping through the night yet? What church do you go too? Come here at this time, go here and buy this, pick this watch over that watch. Sometimes it just feels easier to do what everyone else expects me to do, instead of explaining or arguing or worst of all, letting someone down.

I should point out, I don’t feel judged by others. It is more that their comments and questions cause me to question my choices.

I never used to feel like this. I pretty much made all my own choices with very little input from others (or care at what others thought). I am working on getting back there.

So, cheers to my girly pink watch. Every time I look at it I smile.

*Side Note: There was much more to my birthday from Mike. And yes, he is bossy. We both are.

Menu Plan Monday

June 15, 2009

Don’t forget Father’s Day is Sunday! (I actually did forget until I looked at my friend Heidi‘s blog and decided to steal the pie recipe that she is making for her husband on Sunday) I think the theme of this week is going to be SPICY, I don’t plan these things, they just happen. I just sit down think about what food sounds good to me (sometimes I ask Mike if he has any requests, rarely he does which means he is laid back about food or my food is so bad that he doesn’t even care, honestly either is okay, I don’t like to be bossed.)

OH! Did anyone make the BBQ Chicken Salad from last week?

I did. I thought it was okay, Mike was not a fan. I think it would have been better if I used spicy bbq sauce instead of  a sweeter version. Also, I tried to serve it on bread as a sandwich that evening and then the next day I had it for lunch with crackers. It was much better with the crackers.

Moving right along…

Monday: Chicken Tortilla Soup (there was a mix on sale at WF last week that I impulse bought, you just add water and chicken….)

Tuesday: Blackened Tilapia with Red Beans and Rice (packaged red beans and rice with corn added, my mom made this for my birthday dinner on Sunday and sent home the leftovers!)

Wednesday: No Mikey, I will be eating Leftover Chicken Enchildas (also from the bday dinner)

Thursday: Still No Mikey, I am feeling a Dinner at the Pool Night!

Friday: Sigh, STILL No Mikey, something random with the kids, probably something super healthy like hotdogs

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa and multigrain pancakes)

Sunday: Happy Father’s Day! Mike and my Dad both love chimichangas* so that is what I am making. My friend Andrea (or as Scott called her for a couple of years Angiea) gave me an awesome recipe a year or so ago, WE LOVE IT! and a Chocolate Pie because apparently that is Mike’s favorite pie.

See, I told you it was going to be a spicy week! What are you cooking this week? As always, check out Organizing Junkie!

*Andrea’s Awesome Shredded Beef Chimichangas

2lb roast

2 cups beef broth

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

Other ingredients:

Shredded cheese

tortillas

queso sauce

Pop the roast in the crock pot, mix other ingredients and pour over top. Cook on low 8ish hours (take meat out, shred and add it back in for the last hour or so).

After meat is cooked: Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter. Place meat and cheese in the tortilla roll up chimi style place on pan, brush tortilla with butter. Repeat until you have made all you need (obviously). Bake 8-10 mins. Pour warm queso over the top before serving.

What I learned the last TWO weeks: (I decided not to learn anything last week in honor of girls weekend!)

1. Weaning hurts. Much more so this time around than last. I am finished nursing FOREVER. I am so happy to be able to say that.

2. Cleaning poop out of a bath tub triggers my gag reflex more than cleaning up pukers. It was disgusting. (note to self: do not feed Nate handfuls of dried berries the afternoon of bath night.)

3. Cream cheese is not freezable! It gets all crumbly.

4. There is a part of the masons called Job’s Daughters. You have to be in the blood line of a mason to become one. They have their own pageants and everything. We tried to find out more details, but it is all a little sketchy. Let’s just say, they are required to wear white robes to a ceremony once a week. A “ceremony”. Sppoookkky.

*If you happen to be a Job’s Daughter, please do not be offended. I am only relaying what I learned during cocktail hour at the Embassy Suites. I came across these facts by careful observation of your clan with three of my close associates and through numerous interviews with members of your sect.

5. Ebay is a wonderful place to score cloth napkins. I got two sets for an awesome price.

6. The new Old School Bagel Cafe on Brookside is as delicious as I predicted. I will be walking there frequently.

7. You know you are a mom (okay, maybe a dorky mom) when getting new MATCHING car seats makes you giddy.

8. I learned more about living a purposeful life from the movie UP than I have from any book I have read in a long time. It is wonderful. Even if you don’t have kids…you will think it is wonderful.

9. Every local car commercial here features the owners daughter. What is up with that? (and they all have blond hair)

10. My favorite color is still pink.

11. The section of the blog where you put the blogs you follow….has disappeared from my blog. Sigh, I sure with I knew someone who could help me out with these darned interwebs. Someone like, I don’t know… my husband…. sure wish I lived with someone who could help me. Sigh.

12. My laptop needs to be seriously detailed. It is gross. Is there somewhere that does that sort of thing?

13. I wish every weekend was my birthday weekend. (don’t tell me it wouldn’t be special if it was always my birthday weekend, I don’t buy that.)

14. I think 29 is going to be my best year ever. I can already feel the fabulousness oozing from it and my birthday isn’t even until tomorrow.

What did you learn this week? Or the last two weeks?