September Meals

We had some successful meals during August.  I heard alot of yums coming from hubby’s mouth.  Some of his favorites were the White Castle Sliders, spaghetti carbonara, and breakfast burritos.  My favorites were the bowtie lasagna, White Castle Sliders, spaghetti carbonara, and lemon basil pasta.  During early August, I made the spaghetti carbonara.  Hubby absolutely loved it and ate the last of the left-overs.  There was no way he was going to share.  Two weeks later, I offered to make Sunday night dinner.  I decided to make spaghetti carbonara.  That time I got to eat the rest of the left-overs at work the next day.  I had to stake claim on them right away or he would eaten them again.

Week of September 1

  • Skyline chili over spaghetti, rolls
  • Baked potatoes with skyline chili and cheese, veggie
  • spaghetti, Italian breadsticks, salad, applesauce
  • leftovers
  •  

    Week of September 6 (Labor day – don’t know if we are eating at my in-laws or not for labor day.  one of my meals will be a tba.  it will probably be hamburgers and hot dogs.)

    Week of September 13

    • ravoli lasagna (freezer), salad, garlic bread or Italian breadsticks
    • Chicken and cornbread dumplings (The $5 dollar mom’s cookbook pg 97) – I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time.  I’m finally going to get around to making it.
    • pork chops, peas, applesauce
    • shimmy and roast Italian chicken, crash hot potato, veggie
    • White Castle Sliders, chip or fries, raw veggies
    • left-overs

    Week of september 20

    • lemon chicken (freezer), lemon basil pasta, salad or veggies, rolls
    • Skyline chili over spaghetti, cornbread, salad or veggie
    • homemade pizza
    • pancakes, bacon
    • quesadillas,taco soup
    • left-overs

    week of september 27

    • chicken cordon bleu (freezer), veggies, biscuits
    • ham in crockpot, scalloped potatoes, veggie
    • breakfast burritos, hash browns, fruit
    • grilled cheese sandwiches, soup (TBA which kind of soup)
    • homemade hamburger helper, veggie, rolls
    • left-overs

    This post has been linked up to This Mommy Cooks and Mommy’s Kitchen.

    Wordless Wednesday #8 – Imaginative One’s Pictures (Part 1)

    The Imaginative One has been working on taking pictures.  These were taken at the Columbus Zoo.  I am in absolute love with the polar bear, penguin, and flamingo shots.

    Come back next week for more pictures taken by the Imaginative One.

    This post is linked up to Wordless Wednesday at “And Miles to Go Before We Sleep.”

    Menu Plan Monday – Week of August 30

    Monday – porcupine meatballs (freezer), rolls, veggie

    Tuesday – molasses chicken (freezer), make over macaroni and cheese, veggie

    Wednesday – Skyline chili over spaghetti, rolls

    Thursday – Baked potatoes with skyline chili and cheese, veggie

    Friday – spaghetti, Italian breadsticks, salad, applesauce

    Saturday – leftovers

    This post is linked up to Menu Planning Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

    Seasoning without salt

    MJ, one of my family members, got this interesting sheet that lists different ways to season food without using salt.  As we are becoming more diligent with making sure things are low sodium for my father-in-law, I thought it was appropriate to post this list.

    For beef:  bay leaf, dry mustard, green pepper, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme

    Chicken:  green pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest, marjoram, fresh mushrooms, paprika, parsley, poultry seasoning, sage, thyme

    Fish:  bay leaf, curry powder, dry mustard, green pepper, lemon juice, paprika

    Lamb:  curry powder, garlic, mint, mint jelly, pineapple, rosemary

    Pork:  apple, applesauce, garlic, onion, sage

    Veal:  apricot, cinnamon, cloves, ginger

    Breads:  cinnamon, cloves, dills, poppy seed

    Pasta:  basil (my fav), caraway seed, garlic, oregano, poppy seed, lemon juice and zest

    Rice:  chives, green pepper, saffron, onion

    Asparagus:  garlic, lemon juice, onion, vinegar

    Broccoli:  lemon juice, garlic

    Cucumbers:  chives, dill, garlic, onion, vinegar

    Green beans:  dill, lemon juice, nutmeg, marjoram

    Greens:  onion, pepper, vinegar

    Peas:  green pepper, mint, parsley, onion, fresh mushrooms

    Potatoes:  green pepper, mace, onion, paprika, parsley

    Squash:  cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, ginger

    Tomatoes:  basil, marjoram, onion, oregano

    From www.gndpg.org

    Favorite books – Hannah Swenson series

    I’ve decided to do a series of posts about different books that I enjoy either reading or listening to on CD.  Some are adult series while others might be a children’s series. 

    One of my favorite series is the Hannah Swenson series.  It’s a murder mystery series that involves Hannah who owns a cookie shop in Lake Eden, Minnesota.  Hannah is famous not only for her baking skills but also for finding dead bodies which drives her mother, Delores, batty.  With the help of her sisters, Michelle and Andrea, her cookie shop partner, Lisa, and one of her two on-and-off boyfriend, Norman, they track down the killer.  Her other on-and-off boyfriend, Mike, does not always like her investigating these murders.  In some of the books, Hannah finds herself in some very tight situations which leaves the readers wanting to read more because they want to make sure everything is okay with Hannah.

    An added bonus to the entertaining books is the recipes, Joanna Fluke provides for the readers.  They range from cookies to casseroles or hot dishes as they are called in Minnesota.  I have tried some of the recipes from her books that are absolutely delicious.  In fact, I have posted two of the recipes – Pretzel chocolate chip cookies and Watermelon cookies

    I have read all of the books and several of them numerous times.  I hope you enjoy the series as much as I have.

    Cookies and Cream Cheeseball

    A few weeks ago, I had a MOP’s party that I was going to attend.  I knew I needed to bring some sort of party food to share with everyone.  At first I thought about bringing brownies but when I got home from work that evening I decided I was not in the mood to bake so I went onto the Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen blog and try to find another recipe.  I ended up finding a recipe for cookies and cream cheeseball.   It sounded like something different and totally yummy.

    Once I tasted it, I knew I had made the right choice because it was deliciouso (my own made up word).  I had some left-over so I took it to work and one of my co-workers even enjoyed it.

    My hubby even enjoyed eating this right out of the fridge with a fork.

    Stars of the Recipe:

    • 8 ounces, weight Package Cream Cheese, Softened
    • ½ cups Butter, Softened
    • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
    • 2 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
    • ¾ cups Confectioner’s Sugar
    • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Broken Into Small Chunks
    • 1 cup Oreo Cookies Crushed Fine

    Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.
    2. Add vanilla, sugars and mix well.
    3. Stir in the Oreo cookie chunks.
    4. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
    5. Then form a ball, roll the ball in the Oreo cookie crumbs.
    6. Place on a waxed paper lined plate and drape the ball loosely with plastic wrap.
    7. Chill for at least 1 hour.
    8. Serve on graham cracker stix or mini vanilla wafers. (I used graham crackers because that is what I had the house.)

    For more great recipes, please visit Potluck Sundays, Kitchen recipe swapDelicious Dishes, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

    Instant Oatmeal Mix

    Usually I’m not a big oatmeal eater, however; when I saw this mix on Mommy’s Kitchen I decided I needed to try it.  Oh my goodness, it’s a lot better than the instant oatmeal you get at the grocery store.  I think I like it because I can add what I want to it so it’s unique to my likings.

    Stars of the “recipe”:

    • 2 and 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal
    • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon  (I added more because I love the taste of cinnamon.)
    • 1 cup of raisins or any other dried fruit (I used blueberry flavored craisins in mine.  I also added chopped pecans to my mix.)

    Directions:

    1. Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a airtight container.
    2. Label the container with the directions on how to prepare the oatmeal.

    To Prepare OatMeal:

    1. Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup water. You may need a bit more water if you like you oatmeal thinner.
    2. Microwave on high for 1 minute stir and enjoy.

    This post has been linked to Eat at Home – Ingredient Spotlight.

    Wordless Wednesday #7 – Adventures of the Scary Monkey (Part 3)

    Three weeks ago, the family and I went to a local historical park.  The Wee One decided to bring along his stuffed monkey.  We had a lot of fun posing the monkey at various exhibits.

    Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    This post is linked to Wordless Wednesday at “And Miles to Go Before We Sleep.”

    Menu Plan Monday – August 23

    A review of last week’s meals:

    A favorite was lemon-basil pasta.  It was my favorite meal during the week.  My hubby enjoyed it but not as much as I did.  The boys were not so keen on it but it was because it had green in it.
    My hubby’s favorites were the meatbball sub, breakfast burrito, and the barbecue ham.  I was nervous about making the breakfast burritos for hubby because I didn’t know if he would like it or not.  He ended up eating two of them! 

    This week’s meals

    Monday – Primetime meatloaf (freezer), makeover macaroni and cheese, veggie

    Tuesday – sloppy joes (freezer), chips, raw veggies

    Wednesday – chicken cooked in crockpot, mashed potato, green beans (Imaginative One’s first day back at school.  He requested this meal because it’s one of his favorites.)

    Thursday – pork chops, peas, applesauce

    Friday – chicken and rice casserole, rolls, veggies

    Saturday – left-overs

    For other great menus, please visit I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

    Lemon Basil Pasta

    I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website.  Since I had put some lemon chicken in the freezer, I decided that this would really compliment the chicken.  The pasta dish is pure heaven.  Okay maybe not pure heaven.  However, it was delicious and the smells coming from cooking it or even heating it up makes me happy.  In fact, I took it to work for lunch and one of my fellow teachers complimented me on the smell of the dish.  If you get a chance, make this dish and escape to happiness from the taste and smell.

    Stars of the Recipe

    • 1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
    • ½ sticks Butter
    • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced (I also used some of the lemon rind to add another depth of flavor.)
    • ¾ cups Heavy Cream (I used heavy whipping cream.)
    • ¼ cups Half-and-half
    • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
    • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
    • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped (I used basil paste in a tube.  It’s all I could find.  I used maybe a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half.  I didn’t measure.)

    Directions

    1. Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain.
    2. Set pasta aside in a colander.
    3. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.
    4. Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. (Also use a microplane to grate some rind.)
    5. Whisk together.
    6. Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot.
    7. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.
    8. Add salt, pepper, and basil.
    9. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. (I didn’t need to add that much.)
    10. Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top.  (I skipped this step.)
    11. Serve!

    This recipe is great as a side dish or eaten by itself.

    For other great recipes, Potluck Sundays, Delicious Dishes , and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

    Wordless Wednesday #6 Adventures of the Scary Monkey (Part 2)

    Two weeks ago, the family and I went to a local historical park.  The Wee One decided to bring along his stuffed monkey.  We had a lot of fun posing the monkey at various exhibits.

    Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    This post is linked back to Wordless Wednesday at “And Miles to Go Before I Sleep.”

    Menu Plan Monday – Week of August 16

    The students are coming.  The students are coming.  Monday is the first day back for students.  Since I teach special education and I don’t have my schedule yet, I don’t start working with them until at least next week.  I do know who my students are though and of the 12, I have either worked with or know 8 of them. 

    I’m so glad I planned a simple meal on Friday.  The Wee One woke me up at 3 am because he had a bad dream.  He asked me to go lay with him in his bed.  I laid there until 5 am when I had to get up for work.  Between that and the heat, I was beat when I got home at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I crashed for 2 hours.  Fortunately for me, my hubby wasn’t working so he could watch the boys.  I did make pancakes which was what was on the menu for supper.  It was just later then expected. 

    On to this week’s plan:

    Sunday – Spaghetti Carbonara, Cheddar Bay biscuits, Caesar’s salad, dessert (My mother-in-law is camping with her girl scouts so I volunteered to cook Sunday’s dinner.  Two of the people were in agreement about me making spaghetti carbonara for dinner.)

    Monday – lemon chicken (freezer), lemon basil pasta, veggie, rolls

    Tuesday – homemade pizza

    Wednesday – meatball subs, chips, veggie

    Thursday – breakfast burritos, hashbrowns, muffins or biscuits

    Friday – bbq ham steak, make-over mac and cheese, veggie

    Saturday – leftovers

    For more great menu plans visit Menu Planning Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

    Dirt pudding

    Last weekend, we went to the zoo and COSI (a science museum).  For a snack at both places, the Imaginative One tried dirt pudding.  He loved it because it had gummie worms, Oreos, and chocolate pudding in it.  Since he liked it, we decided to make some for dessert tonight. 

      

    Gather all the ingredients. 

     

     

    Mix up the pudding 

     

    Crush up the Oreos. 

     

    Fold the Cool Whip into the pudding. 

     

    Layer the crushed up Oreos, gummy worms, and pudding/Cool Whip. 

     

    Enjoy! 

    Stars of the recipe:

    • 1 small box of chocolate pudding (We used milk chocolate flavor.)
    • 2 cups of milk
    • 1 – 16 oz. container of Cool Whip
    • 10 to 15 Oreos
    • gummy worms

    Steps:

    1. Make up the chocolate pudding by following the directions on the package.  Put it to the side so it can set up.
    2. Place Oreos in a ziploc bag.  Crush up the Oreos.  (We used a meat tenderizer.)
    3. Fold in cool whip into the pudding.
    4. Place a third of the crushed Oreos and a few of the gummy worms on the bottom of a bowl.  Top with half of the pudding/Cool whip.
    5. Place another third of the crushed Oreos and a few of the gummy worms on top of pudding/Cool whip.
    6. Top with the rest of the pudding/Cool whip.
    7. Place the rest of the crushed Oreos on the top.  Place some more gummy worms on the top or sticking out of the top.
    8. Enjoy!

    For more great recipes, check out Potluck Sundays and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

    Wordless Wednesday #5 Adventures of the Scary Monkey (Part 1)

    Last week, the family and I went to a local historical park.  The Wee One decided to bring along his stuffed monkey.  We had a lot of fun posing the monkey at various exhibits.

    Click on the pictures to make them bigger.

    Two good fruit dips

    I have been transferred back to the middle school for this school year.  Yesterday we had our first work meeting and I got to talk with some of my co-workers I hadn’t worked with for a few years.  As I was eating my lunch, one of them mentioned a fruit dip I used to make for carry-ins.  She used to take the left-overs.  For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what fruit dip she was talking about.  Later that evening, it came back to me.  It’s the heavy whipped cream with pudding one.  It’s so easy and very delicious.

    Whipped Fruit Dip

    From my mother-in-law

    • 1 small container of heavy whipping cream (the smallest one)
    • 1 small box of instant pudding either sugar free or sugared (My favorites are cheesecake and white chocolate for this recipe.)
    1. Pour the whipping cream into a mixing bowl.
    2. Open the box of pudding and pour it over the whipping cream.
    3. Using a hand mixer, whip the pudding and whipping cream until it is stiff.  (I usually start at the lowest setting and gradually move toward the highest setting.)
    4. Serve.

    This is especially good with strawberries or even by its self!

    For the Fourth of July, I made a fruit tray for a family get together.  My mother-in-law asked me what kind of fruit dip I was going to bring for the tray.  I told her that I was probably going to get the Marzetti’s fruit dip and call it a day.  She gave me this recipe which turned out to be delicious.

    Strawberry Fruit Dip

    From my mother-in-law

    • 1/2 of a container of marshmallow fluff
    • 1 container of soft strawberry cream cheese
    1. Place the marshmallow fluff in a bowl.
    2. Fold in the cream cheese until it’s well incorporated.
    3. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

    This has been posted on Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

    Menu Plan Monday – August 9

    This is a simple menu for this week because I start back to work on Thursday. 

    Monday – almost famous chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, fruit salad

    Tuesday – homemade corn dogs (Food Network recipe), chips, veggie

    Wednesday – Bowtie lasagna, garlic bread, salad or veggie 

    Thursday – Chicken cordon bleu (freezer), veggie, Easy Rolls

    Friday – breakfast for dinner – waffles or pancakes, bacon or sausage,  fruit

    Saturday – left-overs

    This post has been linked up to Menu Planning Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

    Have a great week.

    Make Over Macaroni and Cheese

    Last week, I was looking through Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking Magazine when I saw a recipe for makeover macaroni and cheese that used no butter in it.  It was also very simple to make because you make a roux of milk and flour and then add Velveeta (or a similar off brand cheese) and cheddar cheese to make a cheese sauce.  You then add that cheese sauce to cooked pasta such as elbow macaroni.  The texture reminds me of Kraft’s Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese with the cheese packet instead of the powder cheese sauce.  When I served it, my hubby and the Wee One loved it.  Both of them went back for seconds.

    I love having this in my arsenal of side dishes that are simple to make especially when I’m in a time crunch.

    Stars of the recipe:

    •  1/2 package elbow macaroni or shells
    • 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1 cups fat-free milk
    • 1/2 package (16 ounces) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product cubed or similar store brand
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

    Steps:

    1. Cook macaroni according to package directions.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine flour and milk until smooth.
    3. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
    4. Stir in process cheese and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese until smooth.
    5. Drain macaroni; stir into cheese sauce.
    6. Remove from the heat; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    7. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

    This recipe makes 4 servings.

    This post has been linked to Mommy’s Kitchen for Potluck Monday and at Colleen’s Kitchen Recipe Swap.

    Aviation Tour – Carillon Park

    Our final stop on the Aviation Tour was to Carillon Park.  I had not been to Carillon Park since I was a child.  Hubby hadn’t been there in years either.  So this ws a fun trip for all of us.  During the first half of the park, the Imaginative One and Wee One were very interested in the buildings.  However by the time they got to the Wright Cycle building, they were complaining about being fatigued from all the walking.  They regained their energy after we stopped at the Culp Diner for ice cream treats.  The Imaginative One had a sundae with mint chip ice cream and chocolate sauce.  The Wee One tried his first root beer float which he loved.

    While we were there, we had fun taking pictures of Will’s scary monkey visiting different exhibits.  (Those pictures will be featured in future Wordless Wednesday posts.)

    The Imaginative One’s favorite exhibit was Wilbur and Orville Wright speaking to him the beginning of the tour. 

    Here are pictures of our visit to Carillon Park:

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    Here are links to our other adventures on the Aviation Tour:  Air Force Museum, Wright Brother’s Interpretive Center and Wright B. Flyer and Woodland Cemetry.

    Aviation Tour – Wright Brothers Interpretive Center

    On Wednesday, we went out to my school to drop of  some of my things.  Then we went to lunch and the Wright Brothers Interpretive Center.  Last spring, I started taking Third Street home because of the construction on Route 35 at 675.  I passed the Interpretive Center many times on my way home but had not realized it.

    We got to see how the Wrights figured out how to have a successful heavier than air manned flying machine.  We also learned about their printing business.  The boys’ favorite areas were the parachute area and the supermarket area.

    After we finished up with the Interpretive Center, we went next door to the Wright Brothers’ Cycle Shop.  They had five bicycle shops.  The fourth one is the only one in existence.  It was neat walking into that Cycle Shop knowing that over a hundred years ago the Wright Brothers had worked there. 

    Behind the Cycle Shop, there is an outhouse.  The Imaginative One asked me what an outhouse is.  He then looked at it again and decided it was a wooden port-a-potty.  I like his description.

    Here are pictures from our visit to the Interpretive Center:

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    Here are links to our other adventures on the Aviation Tour:  Air Force Museum, Carillon Park, and Wright B. Flyer and Woodland Cemetry.

    Aviation Tour – Wright B Flyer and Woodland Cemetery

    Last Thursday, the Imaginative One, Wee One and I started on the Aviation Tour around Dayton, Ohio.  We went to see the look alikes of the Wright B Flyer and then went to Woodland Cemetery.  A lot of famous Daytonians are buried in Woodland Cemetery.  We wanted to see the Wright Brothers’ burial plot, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s burial plot, and the boy and his dog statue.  The boys were real troopers with the walking in the cemetery.

    After we got done at Woodland Cemetery, we discovered the car’s keys were left in the car.  So we had to call my hubby so he could bring the spare keys to me.  While we waited for him, we walked down to Starbucks to use the restroom and get a drink.  The boys were again troopers with all the walking.  When we got back to the car, hubby was pulling up with the keys.

    After we got home, the Imaginative One came down with a fever and had a really bad cough.  The next day, we found out he had the Croup. 

    Here are some pictures of our adventure:

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    Here are links to our other adventures on the Aviation Tour:  Air Force Museum, Carillon Park , and the Wright Brothers’ Interpretive Center.