Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trouble Maker....

Today while I was making dinner, Lucas was in the living room with my husband. It was a cool day, so the front door was open and the window was open on the screen door, too. Lucas LOVES to close himself in between the front door and the screen door, so hubby and I were playing with him. I was asking Lucas where he was and he'd laugh and we did this over and over. Hubby was peeking at him through the crack and I happened to look up and see a cop car in front of our house. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I saw the officer approaching our house. I went to the door and opened it, with Lucas still in between the two doors (but the front door wasn't pulled all the way shut, as he can't close it all the way). Anyway, the officer happened to be passing by and stopped because she thought Lucas was trapped!! LOL. I assured her we were playing with him and he was just in his favorite hiding spot. LOL--my little trouble maker!! Who knew he'd have the cops coming to our house at the ripe old age of 2!!
Who?? Me??

Make a Wish!! (WW)

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Super yummy!!

I know I've posted both of these in the past, but I am posting again, because I love them that much!! Plus, Pioneer Woman is having a giveaway and for what ever reason, I can't get my post to show up. I'm posting this and then just posting the link in my comment to enter her contest. Go check it out!!

Penne a la Vodka Sauce
(the notes are from my sister)
1 package sausage (Italian Turkey)
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28oz.)
¼ cup vodka
½ teaspoon salt
½-1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
¾ cup fat free half and half
1 cup skim milk

Cook garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes, add sausage; cook until sausage is browned. Add tomatoes and vodka and simmer for about 3 minutes (this cooks off the alcohol). Season with salt and hot red pepper flakes. Add the half and half and milk and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve over Penne Pasta.

Freezing instructions: Cook as directed above. Allow to cool and store in freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before serving. Heat the sauce in the microwave, on the stovetop or in the crockpot (High 2 hours or Low 4 hours). Serve over Penne Pasta.

The original recipe called for 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, but we altered the recipe to be lowfat. We also are using turkey Italian sausage and the original called for Italian or Breakfast sausage.

Weight Watchers Points: (sauce only)
1cup= 4points
½ cup=2 points

I like to serve this salad with pasta. Super easy and yummy!!

Spring mix greens, bell pepper, celery, green onions, pumpkin seeds (I use sunflower seeds and slivered almonds, but my favorite is the pumpkin) and olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and sea salt for the dressing. You can make this salad a meal by adding an avocado and garbanzo beans. YUM!! I also eat this with kale, but my husband doesn't like the kale.

Menu Plan Monday..

Plain and simple this week. I don't have any pictures because we didn't try anything new last week. I've also not been feeling well at all. My allergies are horrible--they've not been this bad in a VERY long time. I'm not surprised--considering our normally red van is completely covered in yellow pollen--or it was until we had a huge storm blow through here last night. It went from a few HUGE raindrops to massive downpour in a matter of seconds. We pulled up to the house and I told my husband to hurry because it was starting to rain. We couldn't even get our doors open before the rain was pouring down. Rather than deal with umbrellas, we just ran the boys in. We each had to make two trips between the boys and our bags from shopping and we got soaked---the boys, however, didn't seem too bad!

Monday--beef stir fry, egg rolls, rice (carried over from last week)

Tuesday--pecan chicken, brown rice, salad

Wednesday--spaghetti, garlic bread, green beans (I might have to use Barb's sauce--which I have already made and in my freezer--to make this after seeing it on Laura's site!!--YUM!)

Thursday--honey mustard chicken, tomato artichoke pasta, salad

Friday--beef tips, rice pilaf, steamed veggies

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A boy and his truck!! (WW)

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New flowers...

Over the weekend I worked on my flower bed. I had not done anything to it yet, so I decided it was time. We have a really pretty ground covering in it, but I didn't like how it covered part, but not all of the flower bed. I tried to straighten it up and planted some new things. It will probably grow back in all sporadic despite my efforts. We're not finished yet, but I'm liking it!! I think we are going to put some rocks in between the new flowers and the house. Anyway, I was trying to get some pictures and what walks into my frame----a little boy picking his nose--NICE!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday..

I put this up early in the day on Sunday (I typically put it up late at night) because I was working on the menu plan and shopping list anyway. Figured I'd get it all out of the way!!

Last week, we tried two new meals.

The steak (we used New York strip) turned out okay. Certainly not the best steak I've ever had, but we have lots of steak in the freezer to use and this was a good way to do it. We bought some steaks in bulk from a local company and to just eat them as a steak, they aren't very good--so, I have to find ways to cook them. They usually turn out mediocre, but I just can't bring myself to throw all that meat out. Not all of the steak is bad, but the ones that are supposed to be a better cut and eaten just as a plain ol' steak--they just don't cut it. So, I'm sure we will have this again---and if we had a better steak, I'm sure it would be even better!

We also had the crispy potato quiche. I think the next time I make this, I will use a a bigger pan so the potatoes will be more spread out. I used a Pampered Chef stoneware that is smaller than 9x13 and the potatoes were pretty thick in it--meaning they didn't really crisp up. Maybe they just needed to cook a little longer. Actually, my husband made this---and that is another reason I love meal planning. If I am busy, he can pull up the menu plan, follow the links to the recipes and start dinner!! Anyway--this was very good! More like a casserole because my potatoes didn't crisp up, but very good---and as anordianrymom stated in her comments, the person she got the recipe from called it a quiche, so she did, and then I did!!

This week we are sticking to some favorite meals. They are all super good and easy--which is always a win-win!!

Monday--cheese enchiladas, rice, beans (We love this meal--and I typically only have to buy the tortillas!!)

Tuesday--butternut squash, sausage, and bow ties

Wednesday--coconut chicken (scroll down for recipe...I added it in since Mommychef was deleted), saffron rice, steamed veggies (We have had this chicken dish several times and love it!!)

Thursday--Indian tacos (Another one we love!! We are using pork this time instead of beef--I have a Southwest pork roast to use up.)

Friday--beef stir fry, rice (I love the flavor of the beef broccoli stiry fry, so I am using the marinade from it---instead of using broccoli, I am using a bag of stir fry veggies that I have in my freezer.)

Coconut Chicken
1 C. flaked coconut
1/2 C. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 C. butter or margarine, melted
1 C. apricot preserves, optional
2 T. Dijon mustard, optional

Heat oven to 400° F. Wash your hands. Mix coconut, flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in medium bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with coconut mixture. Place in a shallow baking pan. Wash your hands. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake 25 minutes or until chicken is browned and cooked through, turning once. If you stick an instant-read thermometer in the center of the chicken breast, it should register 165° F. Meanwhile, mix apricot preserves and Dijon mustard until well blended. Serve as sauce with chicken.

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A family favorite!

I'm in the process of planning my menu for this week and this is one of the things we are having. We have had this several times and really like it. Anyway, I thought I would go ahead and type up the recipe and share a picture of it from the last time we had it.

Butternut Squash, Sausage and Bow Ties

6 oz. (2.5 cups) uncooked bow tie pasta (farfalle)
12 oz. pork breakfast sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 T. olive oil
1 med, butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (4 cups)
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried marjoram leaves
1/4 t. dry mustard

1. Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; cover to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, in 12-inch non-stick skillet, cook sausage as directed on package. Remove sausage and drippings from skillet; discard drippings.

3. Add 2 T. of the oil to the same skillet. Heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add squash; cover and cook 10 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Add onions; cover and cook 3-5 minutes or until squash is fork-tender, stirring occasionally.

5. Add cooked sausage, cooked pasta, sugar, salt, marjoram, mustard, and remaining 1 T. oil; mix well. Cook 3-5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Childhood favorites....

Today, Themommykelly has asked us to share our favorite childhood tv show. Growing up, we didn't have cable, so I didn't watch a lot of tv. We got the 3 main channels and sometimes PBS and Fox. We moved when I was in 2nd grade and we're lucky if we even got those channels.

I remember at one point my favorite Saturday morning show was Pee-wee's Playhouse (yeah--I'm a bit embarrassed by that now). My older brother and sister hated that I loved it...LOL! But, with there being 5 and almost 7 years between us, it was bound to happen that they'd think my shows were dumb!!

I also really loved Full House! I remember I was watching it, when this came on the news and interrupted my show...what can I say, I was just shy of 8!! Soon enough, I became captivated by the story....just as others did.

Another that I really loved was Punky Brewster!! I even had the same haircut for a while---LOL! I liked that in the show she was the same age that I was in real life!

So, what were some of your favorites??

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Meun Plan Monday...

I've got LOTS of pictures for you this week!!

I didn't realize until after my planning that last week was heavy on the pasta side. Pasta is one thing that we all love, so it was a good week around here.

We had the artichoke tomato pasta again. We really love this pasta. It is super easy, too!

Another favorite is penne a la vodka. Only, we used Farfalle instead. Sooooo good!!

Then we had another we've tried in the past and loved...Basil chicken over Angel hair pasta, but slightly different than the recipe. I had some basil chicken patties from Costco that I used. We used them as sandwiches in the past and didn't care for them. I decided to give them a try in this pasta and it was awesome!! I add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to make a little more sauce.

I also made homemade buns and they turned out wonderful. I'm so pleased with them and they were so easy, that I'm making them again this week!

And we finally had Ree's apple dumplings. My, oh my were they good!!

*= new recipe

Monday--stuffed tilapia (from Costco deli area), artichoke tomato pasta, salad

Tuesday--New York strip* (obviously I'm using strip steak instead of flank), egg noodles, Syrian green beans, corn on the cob

Wednesday--crispy potato quiche*, salad

Thursday--beef stir fry, rice, egg rolls

Friday--buffalo chicken sandwiches with homemade buns, roasted potatoes, salad

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I've really only made homemade bread a few times. The last time I attempted, it didn't turn out so great. After getting some tips from a few friends, I gave it a go again. I made these homemade buns and they were very tasty!! I was amazed at what a difference it made in the burger!!

So, the tips I followed were to proof my yeast and I used a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the liquids.

A Day in D.C. (WW)

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday..

We finally made it into DC to see the cherry blossoms. I had wanted to go on Saturday, but it was supposed to rain. Well, it didn't. Sunday was supposed to be party cloudy with only 20% chance of rain. It was completely cloudy and raining. At first we weren't going to go, but decided to head that way and hang out in Arlington for a while to see if the rain stopped. We had a late lunch and when we came out, the rain had stopped!! Into DC we went!! It was pretty cool out, so we were only there for about 2 hours.

We did decent last week, but still had 3 meals to carry over to this week. I got the fajitas in to marinate on Saturday night, but we didn't get home from DC until about 8 PM and I didn't really want to make a big meal that late. On top of that, we had a late lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. That will make for an easy meal today--which is nice since they will be here working on the bathroom.

I had some bananas that needed to be used up so I went on the search to find a recipe to use them in. I found this and decided to try them out! I added 3 mashed bananas in and about 1/2 extra cup of oatmeal. I chilled the dough before baking. Actually, I was only making a few at a time so that we could have them fresh out of the oven. The other night, there was only a little bit of dough left after I made what we wanted, so I went ahead and made the rest. I had one the next morning and I think it was better after sitting for a day than fresh out of the oven. They were soooo yummy!!

We also had the buffalo chicken chili mac. Oh my---it was sooo good!! I used about 1/3 cup hot sauce.

On to this week....

*=new recipe

Monday--fajitas*, chips, salsa

Tuesday--pan fried chicken, artichoke tomato pasta, steamed veggies

Wednesday--burgers with homemade buns, roasted potatoes, salad

Thursday--basil chicken pasta, garlic bread, salad

Friday--penne a la vodka, bread, salad

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Carnival Time!!

On Easter Sunday, we took the boys to a carnival. It was the first time for either of them! Lucas was too little for most things, but he had lots of fun watching the lights! We had lots of fun, and managed to get out of there spending just under $25!! Not too bad!! I was telling hubby that it would double next year. I don't know how people can take a few kids---they must spend close to $100!! Logan rode some helicopters, went down a slide twice, went through the fun house, and all the boys rode the ferris wheel--and we got cotton candy. Logan had us laughing so hard when he went through the fun house. He was walking pretty fast and smacked his head right into one of the mirrors. I told him to put his hands up to help keep from bumping his head and he put his arms straight up over his head. Finally he just followed some older kids through!! Logan was a little nervous about the slide, but ended up choosing to go down it a second time. Hubby asked if I realized that by the time it was done, we would have paid $6 for him to go down a slide twice. Yep--I realized it. Good thing it is a rare event!! I must admit that I was very tempted to eat all the fried things (snicker bar, oreo, funnel cake, etc...), but I had some self control!!

First trip down the slide--
(Be sure to click on the pictures for a larger view to get the full effect!!)

Second trip down the slide:

This is my favorite one!!

Ferris wheel fun!!

First bite of cotton candy!!
Fun in the fun house!!