Category Archives: Meal Planning

Weekend Wrap Up: April 20, 2019

Hey there! It’s been a bit of a crazy week here. Last weekend I had a crazy reaction to some gun cleaner… crazy like I thought I was going to need an ER visit but thankfully a double dose of Zyrtec did the trick. However, after that, I was pretty much useless for a couple of days as I really truly felt like a walking zombie mom. This was truly not something I had expected or planned for so it kind of threw a wrench in my carefully laid out plans.

I had so many things planned that I wanted to get done before Easter and almost none of them have happened. The ones I did manage to get accomplished, like weeding the flower bed and picking up the yard, have been messed up and really don’t look like anything had been done. Instead of getting stressed like I sometimes too I’ve really just tried to go with the flow this week.

After resting Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday morning I did manage to muster up a bit of energy as we had an appointment to go to. We went to visit a place that does a lot of activities for the community. We may be doing some square dancing there next month and we needed to give it a quick look over so we knew what to expect. It was so cool and the kids really enjoyed the huge swing set that they had there.

Then we had our usual Monday dance but I was not able to go to that because my back had been bothering me and I was having some old issues flare up. My feet and hands were just so numb and tingling that it made getting around a bit difficult. I pretty much sat in the recliner most of the day. I was so glad that I had been able to do as meal prep as I did on Saturday morning. For dinner, we had some Red & White Pasta with some diced grilled chicken added into it. The kids loved it even more than the normal version.

Tuesday afternoon I did manage to get dressed and head to a dance where Mr. Awesome was filling in. I was glad that we went because it was so much fun to see all the young dancers. My kiddos also had a lot of fun watching them and it motivated them a bit more to want to take lessons soon. My lack of activity really showed through as I could myself getting winded after a tip. For dinner that night I had made a Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet which was super easy to throw together with the browned hamburger from the freezer.

I don’t even remember what we did on Wednesday. Hmmm… what did we do on Wednesday? I know we had Tortellini Soup and some Quick Garlic Bread that Mr. Jacob had helped me prep for the freezer last week but I don’t think anyone did a whole lot of anything. That combination was so good together! I might have caught up on some email but I couldn’t sit at the computer for very long so getting any work done was almost a lost cause.

I didn’t even get to the washing until Thursday because I couldn’t lift anything and walking out to the wash shed seemed like an impossibility if I had to carry a load of laundry with me. Although the kids were kind of enjoying the lazy zombie mom, I was ready to get something done around here. I mean Easter was fast approaching and we had a small dinner planned but I hadn’t been able to do much of anything.

I finally decided that something seriously had to get done around here so I just had the girls bring me some laundry baskets and I sorted the clothes in the house and carried the baskets out one at a time with was a lot less strenuous. Once I finished up my laundry the kids did a load and we were back on track. Feeling a bit ambitious, I decided to make a Chicken Cordon Casserole which was more labor intensive than I had remembered (or maybe I’m just getting lazy with all the meal prep) but it was so good!

I also made a phone call that I hadn’t expected to make and cleared the air between a family member. There had been an incident last year that had really hurt me and I had chosen to distance myself and my family from the situation. Now things seem to have calmed down a bit and we are taking things slowly to see how they go. Christmas and Easter a couple of times in the year when most of do seem to have softer hearts and people seem to be able to forgive easier. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to forgive, I just didn’t want to forget what had happened. All that did was to keep the hurt going.

So Friday we had a visit from this same family member and everyone got caught up on the past few months. The kids really enjoyed the visit and probably overwhelmed then with Minecraft facts but it was a good visit for the most part.

Midway through the visit, we had some terrible storms come through and we were under a tornado watch. We also lost power for a good while. The scariest part came when the winds were howling around our little cabin and all of a sudden there was a loud bang. The back door flew open and the wind was blowing pond water all over the bedroom. Things were swirling around and flying off the walls… it was crazy! I kept pushing the door shut only to have to fly open again. Then while I was dealing with that the front door burst open and the kids rushed to shut it.

The worst part of the storm passed quickly and we were able to keep the doors closed without assistance. My bedroom still has a ton of peacock feathers scattered here and there but things are almost back to normal in the house. There is a ton of stuff to get cleaned up in the yard. The picnic table had been thrown across the yard but seems to be okay. A neighbor had a big tree come down but we only had a bunch of branches. Whew, I know we had someone watching over us and I am so thankful for that.

After all that excitement, I was ready for an easy meal. We had some Sweet and Sour Meatballs, boxed mac n cheese, and some Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes. Mr. Awesome, however, wasn’t feeling like having meatballs and had brought home a couple of steaks to cook. (Click here for my recipe.)

This morning has been super busy as I’ve been making up for lost time earlier in the week. I have in fact been so productive that I’ve amazed myself. Before 9:00 am I had already picked up my vegetable order from Southwestern Produce Company and my grocery order from Walmart! I was so happy that the frozen veggies are back as our freezer supplies were getting low and as always our Walmart grocery pickup went smoothly. Chad was super helpful and got my order out to me quickly and loaded it up all up like a pro!

I even managed to sneak into the store alone, as Mr. Awesome was keeping an eye on the kiddos, and grab a few things for the Easter basket. Yes, the Easter Basket, only one basket for everyone to share and it’s not going to be chocked full of candies but it does have a lot of fun things like bubbles, slinkies, and even some Hatchimals that they can play with together. I did grab a couple of packages of candy for them to share but I know that other family will be bringing candy so I don’t want to deal with meltdowns after the overdose on sugar-laden treats. Trust me, we’ve been there several times this week and I’m not wanting to go there again anytime soon.

Honestly, my kids don’t really miss the sugary treats and such because this is what we’ve pretty much always done. Their favorite part of Easter is the Empty Tomb Rolls and the story that I tell them along with it. They do like to help make the Chocolate Covered Eggs to give to family and friends too but most of all they remember the time we spend with family and the conversations we have about Jesus which, to me, are the most important things.

This week I’ve seen, once again, that even though things haven’t gone as planned and/or my plans have not happened because of one thing or another, that God has a plan and His plan is always so much more than what I could have ever imagined. I just want you to remember this too because I know how much we can stress sometimes when we really want things to perfectly and they just don’t. Remember that your kids are watching and looking up to you. They are learning so many valuable lessons from you and everyone that they are around.

That’s all I have for now as I have a few more things left to get put away. Plus we have some chocolate eggs to make and I’m praying that my ham thaws out in time for tomorrow’s dinner as I forgot to get it out of the freezer earlier in the week. That’s how life goes though so I won’t let it get me discouraged because I know it’ll all work out in the end.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Have a blessed weekend!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

I know sometimes there are recipes or foods that just kind of stay away from because of one reason or another. Well, steak was one of those for me as they always turned out tough when I cooked them.

Then there might come along a certain someone, aka Mr. Awesome, who really likes his steak. I tried to convince him that I was incapable of cooking steak but he refused to give up on me. He has made some really great steaks on the grill but I really don’t grill that much anymore either so I wasn’t interested in trying that method.

After a little trial and error and a few burnt steaks, I’ve finally come up with an almost foolproof method that works for me. Now I do use my cast iron skillet for this so I don’t know how well this will work if you use something other than cast iron. These usually turn our about medium rare so you may need to adjust the cooking times for your preferred level of doneness too.

If you cook the veggies before you cook your steak you get a whole new level of taste. This method usually results in a nice crust too. This is really so good that I’ve even impressed myself with this.

Sizzlin’ Skillet Steak

Ingredients:

  • 2-6 T. butter
  • 1 steak (we usually use ribeyes that at about 1 inch thick)
  • Garlic salt (we like Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley and it looks really pretty too)
  • pepper
  • sliced onions, mushrooms, green peppers for toppings (optional)

Directions:

Season both sides of your steak with garlic salt and pepper.

Heat your cast iron skillet on medium-high heat.

Add 2-3 Tablespoons of butter and let melt.

Once melted, you can saute the vegetables until tender, if you choose. **

Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

**If not using vegetables go directly to the next step but don’t add more butter to the pan.

Add another 2-3 Tablespoons of butter and let melt but don’t let it burn.

When the butter is melted and hot carefully place your steak in the pan.

Don’t touch it or move, just let it be for about 3-5 minutes.

Now carefully flip the steak.

Don’t touch it or move, just let it be for about 3-5 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and let it rest for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve with a simple salad, some baked potatoes, garlic bread, and top with sauteed veggies.

Enjoy!

**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

This recipe is just too easy and with just a few ingredients and minimal work you can impress your family and friends while taking an ordinary meal to an extraordinary meal. Really this is so good that a couple of guests said it was ‘the bomb’ the last time we had it and it is so easy a kindergartner can do it (with a little help when it comes to the oven).

The other great thing about this is that you can fix up a couple loaves at a time and store them in the freezer for easy additions to meals.

Quick & Easy Garlic Bread or Garlic Cheesy Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 storebought French or Italian bread loaf (whatever kind you like, seasonings and/or seeds are ok too)
  • 1 stick melted butter or some spreadable butter
  • Garlic salt (we like Lawry’s Garlic Salt with Parsley and it looks really pretty too)
  • shredded cheese, optional (whatever kind your little heart desires)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Split the bread in half horizontally or slice into thick slices.

Place on an ungreased baking pan.

Spread top sides with butter. I don’t put a lot on but you can choose how much you want.

Sprinkle with garlic salt.

Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Bake 10-20 minutes or until slightly crispy. **

Enjoy.

**If you want to freeze these for later then wrap them in foil before baking and place back into the plastic wrapper to store in the freezer. I usually write the baking instructions on the plastic so anyone can pull it out of the freezer and pop it into the oven.

**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

It’s all about the eggs!

This time of year eggs are selling like hotcakes with all the egg hunts happening all around. Not to mention a lot of get-togethers and I’ve had many requests about egg recipes so here is a list of our favorite egg recipes:

The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Pickled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Here’s a couple more that use boiled eggs:

Potato Salad

Bread, Breakfast, Brown, Business, Cappuccino, Chicken

Super Easy Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Super Simple Egg Salad

Okay, these aren’t really eggs nor do they use eggs, but it’s Easter and I had to include them.

Chocolate Covered Eggs

 

Super Simple Egg Salad

This is such an easy thing to make and so delicious… I just boiled some eggs so I think I might just whip up some really quick and have a sandwich as it is way past lunchtime! I like to eat mine on toast but maybe I’m just weird but it is good just as it is too.

Super Simple Egg Salad

Ingredients:

  • Boiled eggs
  • 1/4 c. mayo
  • 2-3 t. mustard (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (use celery salt for a twist)
  • you could also add some chopped onion, green onion, celery or anything else that you desire

Directions:

Chop the boiled eggs by hand or with my personal favorite gadget, a pastry blender.

Gently stir in the remaining ingredients, just until blended.

Enjoy as is or on a sandwich.


**This post does contain affiliate links to products that we use. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

Last Confection Stainless Steel Pastry Blender Dough Cutter

Empty Tomb Rolls

via Empty Tomb Rolls

I may have forgotten to get the ingredients for the Chocolate Covered Eggs but I did remember everything for the Empty Tomb Rolls as my kiddos have been dying to make these again. They are so easy and make such a great way to teach your kids about the real reason for Easter.

Puddin’ Cake Time!

We were gifted with some fresh juicy strawberries earlier in the week. After eating a couple bowls of them the kids wanted to make something special. I knew just the recipe to pull out… Strawberry Pudding Poke Cake.

Here’s a few pictures of all the fun they had making it…

They had a ton of fun poking holes with the wooden spoon handle:

Then they had to pour on the jello:

img_6945

Next comes the strawberries (I think a few didn’t make it into the bowl):

Now a layer of pudding and then cool whip:

img_6941

Repeat the layers and make it pretty:

 

I tried to catch a few of them eating it but they gobbled it up way too fast!

I’m thinking the next time I might just give it a try without the vanilla pudding as I think that might taste more like a traditional shortcake… yummy!

Do you need some inspiration on how to get your kids helping out in the kitchen? Check out the Kids Can Cook Real Foods website for lots of helpful ideas!

** This post contains affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family. We may receive a small commission if a purchase is made through one of our links.

Made From Scratch Monkey Bread

My kids love monkey bread and they love helping to make it! Check out the slide show for some pics:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s so easy and those cute knives help them feel like real chefs will easing my mind. Those mixing bowls have been a life saver too and the lids make them perfect for this recipe. I can’t always find the 4-pack of canned biscuits (and I’ve been trying to make more things from scratch) so i have used our regular biscuit recipe at times. You just need to divide the dough into 1 inch balls and continue on if you decide to do make your own biscuit dough.

As you can see from the last picture, it goes really fast around here… so fast I didn’t have time to catch a picture of the whole thing!

Monkey bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2-3 t. of cinnamon
  • 4 cans biscuits or use this biscuit recipe (add 1/4 c. sugar to the flour before mixing in the shortening for a little extra sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease  or spray a 12-cup bundt cake pan. ** see below for alternate directions.

Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl, bag, or container with a tight fitting lid.

Cut each basket into quarters and then shake the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the sugar coated pieces into your greased pan.

Mix together the remaining cinnamon sugar, melted butter and the brown sugar.

Pour this mixture over top of the biscuit pieces in the pan.

Bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and turn upside down.

Best served warm. The kids like to eat it with bananas… I usually make some scrambled eggs and grits to go along with it too.

** You can bake this in a greased casserole for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more ideas on how to let your kids help in the kitchen be sure to check out the Kids Cook Real Foods site.

Affiliate links for items mentioned in this post:

Elite Gourmet EBS-0012 Maxi-Matic

12-Piece Stainless Steel Colored Mixing Bowls with Lids,

7.25 Qt. – 6 Qt. – 3.5 Qt. – 3 Qt. – 2.25 Qt. – 2 Qt.

Tovla Knives for Kids 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set 

A Look Back On 2018

So I’ve been posting quite a bit about my goals for 2019 but let’s not forget about all the good times we had in 2018. Sure, there were some sad times and some hard times but remembering the good times can help ease the pain of the not so good. Here’s a quick peek back on some of our pictures, posts, and activities from 2018:

Continue reading A Look Back On 2018

A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

So a few days ago I posted about my goals for 2019. I’m not waiting until the New Year to get started because there is no time like NOW to get started on these goals. You don’t have to wait either and you can follow along with me on my journey to finding a simpler, happier, and better functioning lifestyle here in our little cabin.

It’s so easy to get discouraged with LIFE at times, I know because I’ve felt myself falling into a HUGE pit of discouragement lately. It feels like I just keep hitting walls in so many areas of LIFE and I just don’t know how to get past them. The one thing I do know is the GOD is in control and if there is something in my way HE can help me overcome it.

I also know that a lot of times our failures come from inside of ourselves. We get unhappy with things and want to change them but sometimes the change must come from us first. This can be hard to do and sometimes it can be hard to admit that we aren’t PERFECT.

Over the holidays so many people are posting pictures of their families. Many of these pictures seem to show PERFECT homes and families but behind the scenes can be a different story. In reality LIFE is MESSY in so many ways. I can tell you that my LIFE is MESSY for sure with so many kids and special needs not to mention that we HOMESCHOOL and LIVE in a TINY CABIN. Boy can it get MESSY. Don’t let those pictures get you feeling depressed or down. You can follow along with me, a normal (well, somewhat normal depending on you definition of normal) Momma, as I tackle some of this crazy mess we call LIFE.

Continue reading A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

My 2019 New Year’s Goals

As you read the title you may be rolling your eyes because we all make resolutions but many of us, myself included, don’t quite keep to them or just never even start them. I know last year I had some really great ones that were not so specific but somehow they managed to slip away from me.

Part of the blame falls on some major life changes (big sister moved away/death in the family), an illness that took me a while to recover from, and LIFE which seems to get busier everyday. When you combine all of those with the fact that we had recently downsized and moved (from 2,000 sq ft to just barely over 600 sq ft) its no wonder I didn’t accomplish everything I had set out to do but I did manage to make a little progress in each area.

SO what are some of the top resolutions for 2019? According to an abc news article they are as follows:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Save money
  3. Travel
  4. Make new friends
  5. Get a new job or hobby
  6. Find love

Hmm… some pretty interesting resolutions. Have you thought about yours yet? I have given it a bit of thought and here are my goals for the upcoming year in no particular order:

Continue reading My 2019 New Year’s Goals

My 5 Fav Slow Cooker Recipes You Can Make in Your Instant Pot (+ 40 More!)

Were you lucky enough to get an Instant Pot for Christmas? If so you may be wondering just what the heck to do with it now. Did you know that you can make things like BBQ ribs, chili, and even cake in your Instant Pot?

Check out this affiliate link for many, many easy recipes to start cooking today!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/ipslowcook/happy2bmyownboss/