Posted in Imaginative one, Pictures, Wee one

Aviation Tour – Air Force Museum

My best friend, Angie, suggested taking the Aviation Tour around my hometown.  When her daughter did it two weeks ago, she had a blast.  Many of the places I had never visited even though I’ve lived in the area for twenty-five years.  It’s been fun to visit the places especially with the Imaginative One because he is so interested in history and how things work.

Yesterday we visited the Air Force Museum.  We have been here many times before because it is close by and is free to the public.  The Imaginative One had a blast looking at the different planes, trying to figure out how they kept the planes up in the air, and trying to figure out what type of material they used to make the grass and snow in a few of the displays.  The Wee One thought some of the planes were cool but really had the attention span of a gnat when it came to the museum.  He kept on moving ahead which really put a damper on the Imaginative One and I trying to learn about the airplanes.

The Imaginative One was funny when he began to talk about one of the areas of the museum.  He told me that his memory was not fresh but he did remember some of it.  It was amazing what he did remember. 

Here are some pictures from our trip:

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Here are links to our other adventures on the Aviation Tour:  Wright B Flyer and Woodland Cemetery, Carillon Park, and the Wright Brothers’ Interpretive Center.

Posted in Bread and muffins, Recipes

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

Two days ago, I posted about a recipe for All Star Muffin Mix that I found in Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious magazine.  One of the add ins I used in the muffin mix was dried cranberries and pecan pieces.  The orginal recipe called for either fresh or frozen cranberries.  Even though I didn’t have either of those in the house, I had Craisins so I used those instead. 

After I baked a batch of those, I flash froze them and then put them in freezer bags to be used later.  These are great for quick breakfasts which I’m going to need when school starts in a week and a half.  I just put one of them in the microwave for a minute on 40% power.  They are especially great with a cup of coffee.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups of All Star Muffin Mix
  • 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

I omitted the sugar when I used the Craisins.

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine muffin mix, cranberries, pecans and sugar.
  2. Whisk the egg, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. 
  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  4. Bake at 400° for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  6. Serve warm.

 For more great recipes, visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Colleen’s Recipe Swap.

Posted in Menu planning

Menu Plan Monday – August 2

I can’t believe summer is almost over for me.  In a week and a half, I’m back at work and in two weeks students are back in school.  Time flies by so quickly.

I have a chiropractor appointment on Wednesday.  I won’t be able to cook dinner before hubby has to be at work.  Fortunately for me during the weekend, I prepared some freezer meals so when I planned for this week, I decided to use one of those freezer meals.  I can pull out the ravioli lasagna and hubby can follow the directions on how to prepare it.  He will get fed and then when the boys and I get home, we will be able to eat dinner right away.

Next weekend, the family is going on a weekend trip.  We are going to the Columbus Zoo, visiting and spending the night at a family friend, and then going to COSI (a science museum).  It’s our last big event before everyone going back to school.  I’m super excited because I love visiting zoos.  When the boys and I visited the Columbus Zoo in April, the polar bear exhibit wasn’t open yet.  Now it’s open so I’m excited to see it.  The best polar bear exhibit I’ve seen so far has been at the Pittsburgh Zoo so I’m anxious to compare the two exhibits.

Dinners:

Monday – White Castle Sliders, fries, veggie

Tuesday – Spaghetti Carbonara, garlic bread, salad

Wednesday – Ravioli lasagna (in freezer), rolls, veggie

Thursday – Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken, rice, egg rolls

Friday – left-overs

Saturday – out

For other great menu plans, visit I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Posted in Menu planning

August Meals

In a week and a half, I’m going back to work.  During this past weekend, I did some freezer cooking in preparation of going back to work.  I’ve indicated which meals are going to be from the freezer.  Having things in the freezer is going to be a huge help on days that I’m super tired and don’t want to cook.  On those days, I would usually just stop at a fast food restaurant and grab us dinner there instead of cooking. Also having things planned out helps hubby when he needs to step up to the plate and prepare dinner.  He doesn’t mind preparing dinner if it is planned out and he is told exactly what he has to do.  On those nights, I tend to do something easy. 

If I plan a big meal that takes more time to prep and cook, I cook those on Saturday nights because that is when I have more time.

Week of August 2 – We are going away for the weekend so I need to only plan for 4 days and one day of left-overs.

Week of August 9 – I start back to work during the week.

  • almost famous chicken sandwiches, waffle fries, fruit salad
  • homemade corn dogs (Food Network recipe), chips, veggie
  • Chicken cordon bleu (freezer), veggie, Easy Rolls
  • breakfast for dinner – waffles or pancakes, bacon or sausage,  fruit
  • Bowtie lasagna, garlic bread, salad or veggie
  • left-overs

Week of August 16 – Students start back this week. 

Week of August 23

Week of August 30

  • porcupine meatballs (freezer), roll, veggie
  • molasses chicken (freezer), make over macaroni and cheese, veggie
  • Skyline chili over spaghetti, rolls
  • Baked potatoes with skyline chili and cheese, veggie
  • spaghetti, Italian breadsticks, salad, applesauce
  • leftovers

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

Posted in Bread and muffins, Recipes

All Star Muffin Mix

I found a recipe for All Star Muffin Mix in Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious Magazine.  The recipe makes a dry mix that you can either store in your freezer or cupboard for up to six months.  When you make up the mix, you can either make the mix without adding anything to it or you can add different ingredients.  When I tried it without adding anything to it, it was delicious because the cinnamon and nutmeg are two of my favorite spices.  Another time, I tried adding dried cranberries and pecan pieces.  The result was pure deliciousness.

Today I will post the basic mix.  After I try successful add-ins, I will post the recipes so that you can bake a bunch of different types of muffins using one mix.

All Star Muffin Mix

Stars of the recipe:

  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Additional stars:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick) – When I did it, I melted it in the microwave for a minute.

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
  2. Divide the mix into 2 and 3/4 cup portions.

To prepare muffins

  1. Place 2-3/4 cups muffin mix in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the egg, milk and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
  4. Bake at 400° for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
  6. Serve warm.

You can make a batch of the plain muffins and then flash freeze** them.  When you are ready to eat a muffin, place it on a microwavable plate and warm it up at 40% power for a minute.  If it is still not defrosted, continue warming it up at 30 second intervals.

**To flash freeze, put the muffins on a cookie sheet.  Place the cookie sheet in the freezer until the muffins are frozen.  Then place the muffins in a labeled gallon size freezer bag.

  • Store in airtight containers in a cool dry place or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Yield: 4 batches (11 cups).

Variations:

Cranberry-Pecan Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This recipe has been posted on Mommy’s Kitchen’s Potluck Sunday.

Posted in Menu planning

Freezer cooking in preparation for school year

Breakfast Items:

Lunch/Dinner Items:

Side Dishes:

Breads;

Posted in Bread and muffins, Recipes

Homemade Hamburger Buns

A few months ago, I found this recipe for homemade hamburger buns.  Since then, I’ve made them three times.  My fourth attempt is currently in the bread machine.  If I could describe them in one word, it would be delicious.

After I make them, I wrap each one in foil and then place about five in a gallon size ziplock freezer bag.  Then I place them in the freezer.  When I want to use one or two, I pull them out of the freezer, unwrap them, and defrost them in the microwave.  My favorite sandwich that I make with them is a chicken patty, muenster cheese, and a tiny bit of olive oil based mayo.  Yum!

Continue reading “Homemade Hamburger Buns”

Posted in Pictures

Pictures from the St. Louis Zoo

On Saturday morning, we decided to go to the St. Louis Zoo.  It’s free to the public; however, some of the exhibits cost money.  Between eight and nine o’clock, visitors can visit certain exhibits for free.  We went rode the Conservation Carousel and petted the sting rays during that hour.

We loved the zoo and probably would have stayed longer if it wasn’t so hot (90 plus degrees).  By the time we left, the heat was beginning to become unbearable.  I was drinking liquids like crazy because I was so hot.

These pictures are the best of the pictures that were taken at the St. Louis Zoo.

 

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