June 23, 2010

Running on summer hours..

In the summer time the days all run together, and hours don't mean much, its either dark or day light.. and that is how I like it. However, then I run off schedule and forget deadlines..which I don't like. So since I forgot to menu plan this week I'll just say I am only trying two new recipes this week.

Honey BBQ chicken wings, with macaroni salad
Grilled beef fajitas with veggies

I will let you know how they go.. and tomorrow makes my baby 5... so until day light... he's still my lil baby :)

June 12, 2010

Menu Plan

Sunday- Pork chops,fried taters, baked beans
Monday- Sweet and Sour Chicken with steamed broccoli and rice.
Tuesday- Spaghetti and meatballs, with bread
Wednesday- Sausage Skillet Scramble toast and fruit.
Friday- Leftovers ( prep for little bear's 5th birthday party) or pizza
Saturday- Hot dogs, pasta salad, baked beans, mac salad, cup cakes, gold fish, chips, pretzles.. all that fun stuff.

June 10, 2010

Recipe Review- Frozen Fruit Cups

Here is a nice treat for a hot summer day. These Frozen Fruit Cups are a nice change to regular fruit salad.

1 can (12 oz) frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
orange juice (2 juice cans full)
water (1 juice can full)
1/2 cup sugar
3 medium firm bananas, sliced
frozen, sliced, sweetened strawberries
1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges
1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple
clear plastic cups
In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Ladle into the cups and freeze. To serve, set them out of the freezer for 40-50 minutes or defrost them a bit in the microwave. Feel free to substitute ingredients as you like. I place all the cups on a cookie sheet to keep them upright in the freezer.

I made a few changes to this, I accidently got frozen lemonaid, and I used fresh strawberries, blueberries, and a jar of cherries. This was still good, a bit tart though. Hubby's complaint was that he had to wait for them to thaw a bit.

Hubby- 4 stars
Myself- 4 stars
Kiddo- hasn't wanted any yet. He did help make them.

Recipe Review- Taco Pasta

My boys are spaghetti lovers, I however am not. When I found this recipe for Taco Pasta at Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, I knew that it would be a hit, and it was. I served this with garlic toast.

Taco Pasta

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package (1-1/4 ounces) taco seasoning
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounce) shell macaroni, cooked and drained ( I used a gf brown rice pasta)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
In a skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain and add taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and green chilies. Stir in cooked macaroni. Place in a 9×13 pan. Top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through.

I used 3 cups of pasta and that is why my Hubby said 4 1/2 stars, I should have bumped up the sauce too, he said it needed a bit more sauce. There are no leftovers to toss, Hubby ate all the leftovers the next day, that too is a good sign.

Hubby- 4 1/2
Myself- 4
Kiddo- he ate it so it was good.

June 08, 2010

Recipe Review: Pot Roast

Usually I just toss my pot roast in the crock pot with whatever I have laying around and it comes out just ok.. nothing special but ok. I thought I would get crafty and try out a pot roast recipe for the oven and I am so glad I did! It was delishious. It even made the house smell amazing while it cooked. Here's the recipe:

Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast

  • 1 whole (4 To 5 Pounds) Chuck Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 whole Onions
  • 6 whole Carrots (Up To 8 Carrots)
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste
  • 1 cup Red Wine (optional, You Can Use Beef Broth Instead)
  • 2 cups To 3 Cups Beef Stock
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme, or more to taste
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Rosemary, or more to taste
Preparation Instructions
First and foremost, choose a nicely marbled piece of meat. This will enhance the flavor of your pot roast like nothing else. Generously salt and pepper your chuck roast.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or you can do a butter/olive oil split).
Cut two onions in half and cut 6 to 8 carrots into 2-inch slices (you can peel them, but you don’t have to). When the oil in the pot is very hot (but not smoking), add in the halved onions, browning them on one side and then the other. Remove the onions to a plate.
Throw the carrots into the same very hot pan and toss them around a bit until slightly browned, about a minute or so.
If needed, add a bit more olive oil to the very hot pan. Place the meat in the pan and sear it for about a minute on all sides until it is nice and brown all over. Remove the roast to a plate.
With the burner still on high, use either red wine or beef broth (about 1 cup) to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a whisk to get all of that wonderful flavor up.
When the bottom of the pan is sufficiently deglazed, place the roast back into the pan and add enough beef stock to cover the meat halfway (about 2 to 3 cups). Add in the onion and the carrots, as well as 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and about 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
Put the lid on, then roast in a 275F oven for 3 hours (for a 3-pound roast). For a 4 to 5-pound roast, plan on 4 hours.

I used beef broth and dried herbs. I didn't have rosemary but I did have a garlic and black pepper grinder that I used. Everything else I did as the recipe says..yyuuummm! Served along side some corn and mashed potatoes. Perfect comfort food.

Myself -5/5
Hubby- is sleeping but he loved it too.
Little Guy- He ate it so it must have been good to him.

June 07, 2010

Last week I tried making my own laundry soap with a bar of Fels Naptha, Borax, and Super Washing Soda. The results are in, and I think we'll continue to do this from now on. The clothes are coming out just as clean, its a very frugal "recipe" and it takes minimal effort. The hardest part was grating the soap, otherwise it was a breeze! The recipe I had linked to was for 1/2 cup of the washing soda and borax but all the others called for a whole cup of each so that is what I added. We've been using a table spoon for small-med loads and 2 for large- extra large loads. We built a clothes line for around 55 dollars, then made our own soap.. that is probably a savings of around 75 percent. Between the low to no use of the dryer and cheap cheap cheap soap! I feel like an accomplished woman!

I also made some homemade dishwasher soap, which is working out wonderfully also. Using mostly the same ingrediants I already had for the laundry soap. I am using super cheap white vinegar for the rinse agent, its all working out wonderfully.

It feels so good to save some cash!

June 06, 2010

Menu Plan

Last week we went for an unexpected trip to visit family from out of state that resulted in Wendy's one day. Otherwise we are ok on track.. I once again bumped the pesto chicken breast because we had went to my MIL's to visit with Hubby's Mimi while she was home so I just took the pasta salad with me to share. I didn't make breakfast because of the trip. Hopefully this week we stay on track better since gas prices are killing us.. we are going to be staying home a lot more now too. Here's my plan :)

Sunday- Chicken bbq at a car show
Monday- Roast in the crock pot with potatoes and carrots.. whatever else gets tossed in.
Tuesday-  Taco Pasta  with Garlic Toast and green beans
Wednesday- Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken  and broccoli salad (link is being funny and I am not laughing)
Thursday- Stromboli
Friday- Leftovers? Shopping day?
Saturday- I will know later this week

June 01, 2010

What I am working on this week

This is what I am making this week, some is old, some is new, but its keeping me busy.