Friday, December 17, 2010

It is the most wonderful time of the year ... really?

I have been super busy this past month. Try to stretch my dollars to get Christmas gifts is time consuming!  But I am nearly done- just one or two last things to go and track down.

Baking Cookies

I have been baking like a mad woman! Here is what we have cranked out of our humble kitchen:
-Peanut Clusters
-Sugar Cookies
-Ginger Bars
-Peanut Blossoms
-Soft Ginger cookies
-Peppermint Popcorn
-Christmas Crack
I know that I am forgetting something, but at least you get the idea! To make up for my absence, I will post the top secret (not really, it just sounds cooler that way) recipe for Peanut Clusters.

Peanut Clusters

2 jars salted roasted peanuts
1 package almond bark
2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
2/3 cup chunky peanut butter

Melt the almond bark over very low heat, stirring often to avoid scorching. Stir in sifted powdered sugar and then the peanut butter until smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat. Stir in all the peanuts until they are well coated. Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper. Let the candies sit until the chocolate has set up. Remove and store in air tight container.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chicken Taco Soup

For dinner tonight, we had a really good recipe. This one is a keeper! It was made of just a few items and was wonderful on this cold windy day.
I found this recipe in a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, but I could not resist adding in a few things that I knew my family would like. I hope you try it.

Chicken Taco Soup
1TBSP butter
1 onion diced
2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa verde
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
Tortilla chips
Shredded cheddar cheese
In large saucepan, melt butter and the add onion. Stir and cook until soft and starting to caramelize. Add chicken, broth, salsa verde, cilantro, salt and pepper. Heat over medium heat for 15- 20 minutes. Serve with chips and shredded cheese.

Menu Plan for Week of 11-14-10

Here is our menu plan for this week. I am posting this in between math questions and grammar dilemmas so it will be short and sweet.
Sunday: Leftovers
Monday: Chicken Taco Soup - this is new I will post recipe if we like it
Tuesday: Pepperoni Bread
Wednesday: Cheesy Potato Soup- Crock pot
Thursday: Lemon Pepper Bacon Chicken Sandwich
Friday: French Toast and Bacon
Saturday: Mexican Stuffed shells

Son #4 turns two!

The older that I get, the faster time seems to fly. I can remember being 6 and feeling like a month to Christmas was equal to 10 years! Now it seems that I can't get it to slow down so I can savor the time I get with my boys.
Two years ago our fourth son was born. Now look at the sweet little boy. My heart melts every time I look at him!

 This was the funniest thing- we sang him Happy Birthday and he started to cry and say " No! No! Stop!" He is definitely two!

I am so blessed to be mama to these guys.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Menu Plan for week of November 7

I am having one of those weeks where you never seem to catch up. I feel as though I am stuck in slow motion and the rest of the world is in hyper speed. Or maybe it is just my soon to be two-year old? Regardless, here is what we are eating here this week.

Sunday: Leftovers Buffet
Monday: Chicken Pot Pie from Ree Drummond's (Pioneer Woman) cookbook
Tuesday: Queso Steak
Wednesday: Mac -n- Cheese and Skillet-fried Ham Steak
Thursday: Pioneer Woman Enchiladas
Friday: BBQ Chip chicken
Saturday: Pepperoni Bread

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beef Barley Soup

We had a wonderful soup for dinner tonight. It was so flavorful and yummy! One of the best parts was that it is a crock pot recipe!

Crock pot Beef Barley Soup
1 lb. cubed beef stew meat
2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup celery, sliced thin
3/4 cups bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup barley
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 can beef broth
3/4 tsp dried basil
2 TBSP catsup
5 cups water

Place vegetables and meat in bottom of crock pot. then add the barley, the beef broth and the spices. Last, add the water. DO NOT STIR. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
We had ours with big hunks of Peasant bread to soak up all the yummy broth. This will be added to our menu rotation!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010

  I like to make the boys Halloween costumes. However, this year, I simply did not have the time to sew them costumes. They boys looked over all the costumes in the store and decided that they would be aliens and ninjas. I think that they looked great! We had a great time trick or treating despite the rainy cold night. Son#4 REALLY liked the whole experience! He would faithfully say "Thank you" to each person. He was so sweet!

This is Sons #3 and 4- they made really good ninjas!

My oldest two sons- I kept wanting them to smile!

My little guy- he wore his bat sweatshirt all weekend lond. He would hold his arms out to make the wings and declare "Fly!!" So precious!

We had a great Halloween! Now off to hide some candy where the boys can't find it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Corn Maze + Family = Fun!

We spent last Saturday at a corn maze near Denver. I have not figured out how they do these amazing mazes, nor have I figured out how to not get lost while in one! We had a great time tromping through the corn fields.
We also let loose with these "grown up" tricycles! Here is Son #3 with his Uncle!

We also shot corn out of cannons.

And we could not resist shooting the pumpkin cannon!

Even Son #4  had a blast! He looked so cute in his vest!

My new nephew

We were able to home to Colorado this past weekend and we got to have a great visit with family. I am always excited to get together with family. This visit we got to meet our newest family member .... Baby Ethan. He is such a sweet little guy! There is no way that any of my boys were this little, right?!!?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu for Week of October 10

As usual we have a busy week laid out in front of us. Soccer, music lessons, Awana, and a camp out for Son#1.  To help out with the time crunch, this week's menu has some great things to help me out. Two crock pot recipes,  a dish that will be used for one meal and the leftovers will be featured in another night's dinner, and several easy on the wallet meals. I hope that you have a great week!
Sunday: Taco Bar-bumped from last week
Monday: Spaghetti - I will post this recipe this week.
Tuesday: Rice a Roni Chicken-  Cook diced chicken breasts in a little olive oil on top of the stove. Meanwhile, mix up two boxes of chicken flavored rice-a -roni. Scoop the rice and the chicken into a crock pot and set to low for 3-4 hours.
Wednesday: Baked Potato Bar
Thursday: Foil Wrapped Tilapia
Friday: Calzones with leftover spaghetti sauce for smothering
Saturday: Hamburgers and Homemade Fries

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Crock Pot Roast Beef

Who ever invented the crock pot was a genius! I am so thankful for my trusty crock pot. It is such a relief after a long evening of running kids to practice to have a nice hot meal waiting for me at home. It eliminates the temptation to hit the drive through! This is one of our favorite recipes. Whenever the grocery store has a good sale on beef roasts, I will grab a couple and throw them in the freezer. I hope you give this delicious roast a try.

Crock Pot Roast Beef
1 beef roast
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup of brewed coffee
1/2 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pepper
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours or until tender. Transfer roast to a platter. Measure drippings after straining onions. Whisk together 1/4 cup water and 1 TBSP flour for every cup of drippings. Whisk flour mixture into drippings and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

This makes the best gravy! So flavorful!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Beautiful Fall

Are the leaves turning where you live? They sure are in the mountains of Utah. We went for a drive after church this past weekend and saw God's amazing hand all over his creations!

 We drove by a lake that had dozens of these brave people doing this. It was mesmerizing to watch!

We stumbled across Bridal Veil Falls. It was so pretty! We are going to go back soon when we all have appropriate shoes on and get a closer look!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday Week of 10-3-2010

The weather is starting to turn fall-ish. At least for part of this week, anyways. I am craving soups, roasts and baking treats! I got a couple of them in the plan for this week. I just discovered that on Wednesday nights, our church offers a very cheap meal for anyone right before Awana, so the boys and I are going to give that a try before all the soccer and Awana madness of  Wednesday nights. Here is what we will be eating this week:
Sunday: Yo Yo- You are on your own night- we had leftovers stacking up, so we made a dent in those.
Monday: Breakfast for dinner night- Pancakes and Bacon
Tuesday: Crock Pot Roast Beef- I will post recipe this week.
Wednesday: Trying out meal served at church
Thursday: Crock pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday: Oven Ham Sammies - a new recipe to us, but the reviews sounded good
Saturday: Taco Night with Pioneer Woman's Pico De Gallo and Guacamole

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Soccer for Son#3

My third son is totally a scrapper. He is rough and tumble, and he LOVES  soccer! He gets a total thrill from kicking and passing and running. We really enjoy watching him play.

He is such a great 8 year old!

Menu Plan for week of 10-26-2010

The last week of September is supposed to bring wonderful crisp fall air. That is the exact opposite of the weather that we are due to get this week. 90° for the last week of September is nice, but I am ready for some savory soups and warm your kitchen baking. I guess I will just keep the air conditioning on for a few more weeks! Here is what we will be eating at our home:

Sunday: Chicken Packets- finally got around to this!
Monday: Pan seared Pork Chops with butter herb potatoes and steamed carrots. ( Another pull forward from last week)
Tuesday: Lemon Pepper Shrimp
Wednesday: Quick Ginger Chicken
Thursday: Pasta Casserole
Friday: Enchilada Stacks
Saturday:  Homemade Pizza night- who knows what flavors we will be making this weekend? I will post if it is anything noteworthy!

I hope that you have a wonderful week caring for your families!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Menu Plan for week of 10-19-2010

It was one of those weeks last week. We had some soccer practices and games that threw a wrench in what I had planned. A few items from last week will be bumped in to this week. Hopefully I can manage my time better this week.

Sunday: Leftovers
Monday: Leftover Chimichangas from last weeks menu plan
Tuesday: Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich- easy and yummy from Pioneer Woman
Wednesday: Crock pot Ravioli and Homemade Foccacia
Thursday: Chicken Packets
Friday: Antipasto Wraps
Saturday: Pan seared Pork chops with butter herb potatoes and steamed carrots.

I hope that you have a great week feeding your family!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Menu Plan for week of 9-12-2010

Last week we tried a new recipe Greek Chicken Pitas, and they were wonderful! We will decrease the lemon juice by a 1/4 cup, but the flavor was incredible! Here is this weeks menu:

Sunday: Queso Steak
Monday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia- this is new for us.
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie - I will post the recipe this week
Wednesday: Crock Pot Ravioli and Homemade Foccacia
Thursday: Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich- easy and yummy from Pioneer Woman
Friday: Chimichangas
Saturday: Antipasto Wraps- we have been grilling these up like you would a grilled cheese, and we like them even more warmed through.
Sunday : Poppyseed Chicken with roasted asparagus

For more menu ideas and a great resource for tried and true recipes head over to Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday. I always give myself some time every Monday to check it out!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Red Butte Gardens (aka- my dream garden)

We spent Labor Day Monday touring the Red Butte Gardens on Univ. of Utah's campus. It was the perfect weather to be walking up and down the hills and smelling all the beautiful flowers. For those who know me well, you know that I am such a plant killer. I love plants and flowers but they do not love me. It is best if I visit others gardens!

The colors were so bright and bold.

Or just simply beautiful.

The boys found these swings hidden all over the place.

Son#4 found this guy. He wasn't quite sure of why he was sitting on it!

We spent a wonderful day enjoying what God has labored over and created.