Mom, What’s for Dinner? | December 20, 2021

This week’s dinners are all from our pantry/freezer to use up some of the food we already have in our house.

My mom used to do Chinese for Christmas. I’m going to make it on Christmas Eve this year. Our Christmas Eve service is at 6 pm this year, so we are going to have a small meal after the service. My mother-in-law and I are still planning that meal.

Christmas dinner has not been planned yet. We have invited over 2 members of our church to eat with us. Last night, we began talking about the menu. I’ve ordered some gluten-free desserts so that is covered. The rest of the menu is to be determined.

Happy Eating,
Traci

My First Wedding

My sister-in-law got remarried yesterday. She asked me to be the photographer for the wedding. I was nervous but willing to shoot the wedding. In all honesty, it was an honor.

So I got everything ready to go for the wedding. I had 3 batteries fully charged along with my charger. Both of my camera lenses were with me. I showed up about 45 minutes before the ceremony to take photos.

Then my camera suddenly stopped working. I changed the batteries to see if it was one of the batteries that was the issue. NOTHING happened. No green light showing some sort of charge. ARGH.

So what did I do instead? I used my iPhone’s camera. For the most part, it worked out great except for a few photos I used Zoom. I feel as though you can’t see the features of the people which reminds me of a more cartoonish photo.

Needless to say, it all turned out well.

After I got home, I began to use Lightroom to edit the photos. Not the hyperfocused part of my brain begins to take over. I want everything to be perfect. As an enneagram 4 taking photos is my creative outcome.

About a month ago, my sister-in-law texted me a concept for a photo. I kept the concept in my text messages. When we showed their children, they were less than thrilled to do the concept and to see their parents kissing. I think this is my favorite photo from yesterday.
The ceremony was an intimate affair. This is both of thems second marriage, so they wanted a small ceremony with little fuss. After the ceremony, the majority lined up against that back wall while other guests mingled in the pews. My new brother-in-law’s father had been the pastor of this church.
Both of their fathers had passed away, so they honored them with photos. The only thing is there was a reflection of the lights in the photo. Boo, hiss! During the processional, they played Jingle Bells to honor my father-in-law and Amazing Grace to honor his dad.
Okay a photo of them with the photos without that reflection.
My niece showed up with these shiny shoes she had found a thrift store for only 5 dollars. I kept bugging her until she allowed me to get a photo of them.
The grandkids with my mother-in-law. This is after my Youngest announced his zipper was broken. Really boy.

So even though it didn’t go as planned, we got some really great photos of the ceremony.

Have a great day,
Traci

Shelf-Stable Lunch Ideas

I’ve been going to a dietician for the past 6 months because I was having health issues. Even though my weight is stable, I’m losing fat percentage which is good. Yeah for progress!

When I met with her yesterday, she asked me what I needed help with and I told her shelf-stable lunch ideas so that I can keep those in my classroom. My life changed once again where I’m leaving for work 15 minutes earlier than normal. On days I’m running behind, I won’t have to worry about packing a lunch because I know I’ll have something already at work.

Here’s the formula for lunch:

Protein/ Healthy Fat + Carb/ Fruit + Veggies

Protein Sources:

  • Beef / Turkey Meat Sticks (EPIC, chomps, Thrive Market has a good turkey one.)
  • Peanut butter / Nut butter – Get squeezy packets if you don’t a whole entire jar in your workspace.
  • Trail Mix – Make your own, so you don’t have chocolate or other sweets in your mix.
  • Tuna / Salmon packets
  • Almonds
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Jerky
  • Protein bars
  • Pumpkin Seeds

Healthy Fats

  • Peanut butter / Nut butter – Get squeezy packets if you don’t a whole entire jar in your workspace.
  • Trail Mix – Make your own, so you don’t have chocolate or other sweets in your mix.
  • Almonds or other nuts

Carbs

  • That’s It Bars – I tried the apple/cherry one yesterday. It’s not bad.
  • Fruit leather
  • Larabars
  • Kind bars
  • Squeezy applesauce / unsweetened applesauce cups – Keep a container of cinnamon in your workspace.
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn – I love the Safe & Fair chocolate drizzled kettle corn.
  • Rice rollers
  • Rice cakes
  • Fruit cups (juice – not heavy syrup)
  • Granola – Be careful that it’s not full of sugary goodness. Make your own.
  • Freeze dried fruit
  • 90 second rice packets

She also suggested I keep shelf-stable fruit and veggies in my classroom. Ideas are apples, oranges, mini peppers, and carrots.

If I have the basics in my room, I can just grab supplemental items in the morning. It makes it easier for me to get going in the morning.

Here are some of the basics I can grab in the morning.

  • Pb3 packets
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Hummus
  • Cheese Sticks
  • Yogurt

Here is a previous post about lunch ideas.

Happy eating,
Traci

Mom, What’s For Dinner? | Week of December 6, 2021

The last few weeks have been crazy. Thanksgiving week was spent visiting Columbus and Cincinnati, so we didn’t eat many dinners at the house. We also ate at our favorite spots. Last week, we were both feeling poor. I didn’t cook dinner at home because I was just trying to survive.

This week we are back to eating at home.

Monday

Smoky Tomato Soup (Budget Bytes)

Grilled cheese sandwiches

Tuesday

Chicken stew (Budget Bytes)

Wednesday

Million Dollar Chicken (Easy Family Recipes)

Pan Roasted Green beans

Ranch Smashed Potatoes

Thursday

Left-overs or you are on your own

Friday

Salsa chicken

Sauteed Peppers and onions

Mexican Rice

Breakfasts

Smoothies

Lunch / Snacks

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Sugar snap peas with hummus

Kalamata Olives

Yogurt with blueberries

I also have chocolate-drizzled popcorn at work that I can eat as a snack.

I hope these give you an idea of what to eat this week.

Happy eating,
Traci

Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer (GF, DF, W30)

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I love chicken wings. If you were to ask me what my comfort food is currently, I would tell you chicken wings without a doubt. Getting them at a restaurant is often expensive, so it’s more economical to make them at home coated with your favorite seasoning and covered with your favorite barbecue sauce.

My favorite seasoning is from a local shop. Rosebuds is located at the 2nd Street Market, a local farmer’s market/ artisan shop. My seasoning is the Campfire Rub which reminds me of cooking over an actual campfire. Yum!

I just get a bottle of honey barbecue sauce from Aldi. Youngest and I just like a basic barbecue sauce. I also like a Carolina type of barbecue sauce.

I’m not good at explaining how to cut up the chicken wings. I know I’m not the best at it. So I did what I do best, I googled how to cut up the chicken wings properly. Click here for the directions and then return to my blog for the recipe.


What to Serve with the chicken wings

Salad (greens, veggie or fruit, topping) with a dressing

Cooked frozen or canned veggies

Chips, French fries, or Tater Tots – Our favorite is the seasoned Tater Tots from Alexa foods.

Celery or carrots with ranch or bleu cheese – Classic choice

Applesauce

Macaroni and cheese


Similiar Recipes

BBQ ribs

Apricot BBQ wings

Ranch chicken legs


Chicken Wings

Stars of the recipe

  • 1 – 1 lb. chicken wings split
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. your favorite spice

Directions

  1. Preheat your Air Fryer to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine the split chicken wings, olive oil, and spices. In a sealed container or gallon sized bag.
  3. Shake to distribute the spices and olive oil onto the chicken wings.
  4. Put into the Air Fryer in a single layer.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
  6. Enjoy with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Notes:

Here is the link to how to split your chicken wings.

Bramble Beans in the Instant Pot

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Jump to what to serve with the recipe
SIMILAR Recipes

Last week, I put bramble beans on our menu but didn’t have time to meal prep. So when it came time to cook the recipe, I had to change up how I was going to cook the meal. I decided to make it in my Instant Pot instead of the crockpot. It was easy to do.


So what do you serve with the bramble beans?

A simple side dish would be either a salad or frozen/ canned veggies warmed up.

Roasted veggies

Cornbread, biscuits, or rolls – Simple and delicious

Applesauce or baked apples


Similar Recipes

Sloppy Joes (Crockpot)

Sloppy Joes

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe French fries

Beenie Weenies


Bramble Beans

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 – 15 oz. cans of pork and beans
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb. hamburger, browned
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Turn on the Instant Pot to sauté.
  2. Place the hamburger and diced onion in the Instant Pot. Cook until the onion is transparent and the hamburger is no longer pink.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients.
  4. Manual set the Instant Pot to 15 minutes. (Make sure you have the vent is closed.)
  5. Quick release the vent once it is cooked.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: You may need to add about a quarter cup of water since you are using the Instant Pot.

Mom, What’s for Dinner? – Week of November 7, 2021

I created a list of meals for November. Yesterday I sat down with our puppy and planned out the meals for the week. Originally this week included sloppy Joes and cubed steak. I made sloppy Joes for church last week, so I knew my family wasn’t ready to have sloppy Joes on the menu this week. There wasn’t cube steak at the store, but I found shaved beef instead. So I changed my mind to Philly cheesesteaks instead.

We have 2 concerts planned this week, so 2 of the nights have to be easy meals. When we went to the Crowder concert a few weeks ago, we stopped for food on the way down. We were late. I rather have the food ready to go before we leave.

We are getting used to the new schedule. Several years ago, I would cook for the family all the time. Then as our lives changed, I quit cooking most of the time. I’m now back to cooking for the family. Oldest is happy because we are having family dinners once again. I’m glad my 18-year-old values eating with his family.

Sunday

Roast, Roasted Potatoes and Carrots, Salad

Monday

Mongolian Beef Sheet Pan, Rice, and Salad

Tuesday

Stuffed Pepper Soup, Salad

Wednesday

Philly Cheese Steak, Salad, French fries, Roasted broccoli

Thursday

Cashew Chicken in Crockpot, Rice, Salad

Friday

Leftover Stuffed Pepper Soup, Salad

Saturday

Chicken legs, mac, and cheese, salad

My goal this week is to eat more veggies, so you see salad on the menu every day.

Stay kind!

Have a magical day,
Traci

November 2021 Dinners

To create this meal plan, I went through the recipes on my blog and tried to find ones that I wanted to cook during the month of November. Each week, I have listed 4 meals. We can have leftovers or eat out for two of the days. The other day is our Sunday dinner.

Ideas for Sunday dinner: Roast – I have a new recipe that I need to cook at least one more time before I put it on the blog. Pork RoastChickenSoy Sauce Pork Chops

Week of November 1st:

Bramble Beans
Burrito Bowls
Pinto beans and ham
Breakfast for Dinner

Happy eating,
Traci