Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why it matters

Why does cleaning or organizing your home matter?
Here is a long quote by Sandra Felton ("Organizing by the Book") that has been very inspirational to me.

"What's the Big Deal About Getting Organized?

Here's the big deal. We Christians can't afford to fumble on living the life God has designed for us to live just because we can't get our organizational act together. For us organizing foes beyond cleaning, tidying and being on time.

We've got several strong reasons to put organizaing right at the top of our priority list.

We want to do our best for our families, helping our older members where necessary, making our spouses happy, and raising our children in the nurture of the Lord. We want and need order and beauty in our homes.

We want to work for the Lord in spreading the gospel in whatever way our talent takes us...

Finally we want to obey's God command to show hospitality to meet the needs of others...

Being disorganized can seriously hinder your living the abundant and productive life God has for you in all three of these areas -- and others.

... Only by having our minds enlightened and renewed by God's word will vibrant and enduring change come. (pages 3-4 "Organizing by The Book", Sandra Felton)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Online Resources from WOTTs mom's day

I had the amazing privilege to sit before some really amazing moms and talk about being a better mom. Here is the list of online resources we provided with the hand-outs. I will try to add more from that "workshop" here.

HOME (don’t create more paper clutter unless you’ll use it) (beware of the unnecessary stuff) (just a companion to the book) (phone app - have NOT tried it but want to) (this is one I researched and never tried (seemed to kill too many trees) but I know people who like it – have seen it work well for someone with pretty severe ADHD) (brand new ebook/kindle – Christian author – “house and heart cleaning”)

KIDS (teaching preschoolers at home) (cool printable books, activities and “lap books”) (just a mom, educating her child at home – great ideas! Very Montessori)
(great ideas for things to print out and make at home, especially to go with really good books) (Maile’s – she posts great ideas about teaching at home and also has a wonderful list of other similar blogs

(nurturing - “connecting” and sensory issues) –working on it - not much there yet)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New menu

Based on what's on sale TOMORROW at Sprouts.

Also needed is
a bag of pasta, potato toppings (cheese, sour cream, precooked bacon), a few mushrooms, some italian dressing, some whipped cream, some BBQ sauce, some peanut butter, butter, lemon juice, stevia or brown sugar, some ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and oil (for pork steak marinade). You could use the veggie eggs at Sprouts or pick up some at another store (Aldi - when I grab milk, bread and lunchbox fixins).

Wed - Loaded Potatoes (bake white and Sweet Potatoes - provide cheese, precooked bacon, etc.)
Steamed Asparagus

Thurs - Baby Back Ribs (with BBQ sauce in the crockpot)
Pasta Salad (cook 1 bag tri-color pasta - add one chopped yellow squash and 1/3 -1/2 pound chopped asparagus in the last 2 minutes - drain, add italian dressing)
Steamed Green Beans
Steamed Yellow Squash
Strawberries with whipped cream

Fri - Marinated Chicken Kabobs (3.99/lb. prepared) - grilled
Sweet Potatoes on the Grill (in the grill basket - microwave for a minute to soften, cut like fries, toss with olive oil and sea salt)
Corn on the Cob - grilled wrapped in tin foil
relish tray - sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and
celery with peanut butter

Sat - Fake Quiche (saute some chopped asparagus and mushrooms in olive oil, in another skillet scramble eggs. Scoop eggs onto plate - fold veggies in - top with cheese (shredded cheddar and feta) while hot
Grapefruit halves
Sourdough Toast (organic loaves on sale)
Greek Yogurt and Coconut Almond Granola and dried cranberries for dessert

Mon - Pork Steaks (grilled)
Veggie Packets (zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, green pepper - add a little butter and season salt - wrap in foil envelopes)
Baked Apples (half and core, drizzle with butter, lemon juice and a little brown sugar an/or Stevia)

Tues - Experiment with steamed cabbage and the chicken apple sausage (use recipe below after boiling the sausage to cook first).
fruit salad
clean out the crisper salad
Snacks -
Apples, Watermelon, Strawberries, Craisins, Granola, Almonds, and Dark Choc. Covered Almonds! (3.99/lb.)

Pork "Steaks"
1 pork tenderloin
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix all ingredients together. Slice against grain into "steaks"/chops and put meat into ziploc bag and pour marinade over. Seal well and double bag for freezing and thawing purposes.

Sausage Cabbage Skillet (

1 pound smoked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1.In a large skillet, brown the sausage; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

march 2nd sprouts/albertsons menu

We've slippped a little around here with the fresh fruit and veggies and are hoping to get back into it. I usually just do sprouts or sprouts/aldi but this week I will be shopping albertsons and sprouts and stocking the freezer. S = sprouts A = Albertsons C= coupon (sale flyer)

Day 1 -
Baby Back Ribs (crock pot)S
Boiled Potato Chunks (sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt and Parmesan cheese)
Steamed Asparagus (A - C)
Baked Pears (cut in half with a dab of real butter, and sprinkle of cinnamon and Truvia)

Day 2 -
No Peek Beef Tips (cut up steak - A) - crock pot
Egg Noodles
Steamed Brocolli
Sliced tomato and red/yellow pepper tray (with plain non-fat yogurt and a little hiddlen valley seasoning for dipping)
Blueberries and Cream (spray whipped cream)

Day 3 -
Bacon (A) Wrapped Chicken Tenders (marinate trimmed chicken tenders in italian dressing overnight, drain, wrap in bacon, fabulous grilled, wonderful broiled)
Oven Fried Sweet Potatoes (cut and tossed with olive oil and a dash of sea salt)
Roasted Asparagus

Day 4 -
Chicken Sausage Spaghetti S (remove from casing and brown 2 sausage links combine with Marinara Sauce, serve over whole wheat pasta
Bread (A)
Green Salad
Fruit Tray(cantaloupe, apple, tangerine)

Day 5 -
Chicken Soft Tacos
Homemade Refried beans
Strawberries and Cream

Day 6 -
Steak Strips in Wine Sauce (crock pot)
Brown Rice
Steamed Green Beans
Baked Apples

For the Freezer -

meatballs (with ground beef and owens sausage A - 2/1 ratio)
cooked chicken from bone-in breasts with Rotel (for Sopa De Maiz, Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken Taco/Nachos) and without for one pot Chicken Tetrazinni

snacks - sprouts cheese curls, apples, grapefruits, tangeloes, nachos (chips and cheese - A)

Ribs (we prefer with baby back)
8 country style pork ribs
2 cans tomato soup
1/4 cup vinager
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix all ingredients except ribs in crockpot. Add ribs and cover with sauce. Cook on low 5 to 6 hours, until meat is tender.

No Peek Beef Tips (Kimberly's recipe)

2 pounds steak, cut up (I use 1 1/2 lbs. max)
1 can goldern mushroom soup
1 can mushroom pieces (4 oz.)
1/2 package onion soup mix
1 cup ginger ale

Mix and cook on low in crock pot 6 to 8 hours or until done. Serve over rice or noodles.

steak strips in wine sauce (adapted for CP)

1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into strips (again 1 1/2 lbs. max)
15 mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
10 1/2 ounces beef broth
1/4 cup cooking sherry
cashews, optional

to serve:
Brown onion and garlic in buttter in skillet. Salt and pepper steak. Add steak to onion mixture and brown. Put all in crock pot. Add mushrooms, basil, marjoram and beef broth and sherry . Cook on low. Serve over rice with cashews on top, if desired. (I freeze the steak strips - cut thin against the grain in a quart freezer bag when steak is on sale.

Sopa De Maiz (mexican "corn soup")

2 cups chicken broth , bouillon cubes
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/2 package frozen corn (16 oz.bag), about 8 oz.)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic, crushed
2 chicken bouillon cubes
4 ounces diced green chiles
for serving:

1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
tomato, chopped
avocado, chopped
salsa and sour cream (opt.)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a container (gallon zip loc or 6 cup container), label and freeze.
To serve, Thaw (in a container - bag will likely leak) and bring just to boiling. Add milk and simmer until soup is heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
In individual bowls, layer a small handful of crushed fritos and then chopped tomato and avocado. Then pour soup over all. Opt. - add a dollop of salsa and sour cream.

Mix and cook on low in crock pot 6 to 8 hours or until done. Serve over rice or noodles.


2 pounds lean ground beef
1 pound pork sausage
2 eggs, beaten
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese, or from a can
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Mix all ingredients until completely mixed. Shape into meatballs (use a little cookie scoop). Then bake (or the recipe says you can fry in a pan on stove) on broiler pan at 400 degrees until done (20 minutes or more)- turning once. These also freeze well for me (flash freeze first on cookie sheet then put in bags). Makes enough for 2-3 family sized servings.

2. Sauces: heat with 1. spaghetti sauce over spaghetti noodles 2. cream of mushroom soup and milk (swedish meatballs) over wide egg noodles 3. catalina dressing over rice 4. grape jelly, ketchup, and pineapple (Californian) or 5. grape jelly and medium chili sauce (sweet and spicy)

One-Pot Chicken Tetrazinni

3 tablespoons margarine, melted
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken (chopped or shredded)
6 ounces spaghetti, broken
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 can mushroom (4 oz.) drained

Blend margarine and onion powder in saucepan. Stir in chicken and uncooked spaghetti. Add mixture of broth, soup, lemon juice and pepper; mix well. sprinkle with mushrooms on top. Cover. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes or until spaghetti is tender, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

new menu

I was going to take a break from posting menus but the Sprouts meat sale was too good not to share a menu plan this week. The meat is all from this week's sale circular - good through next Wed.

W - Pork Tenderloin
Brown Rice (make a ton - reserve 3 c. for tomorrow)
Yellow Squash (steamed)
Sliced tomatoes and Cucumbers (peeled) - drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with ground herb mix (Aldi)
Blackberries/Blueberries with whipped cream

Th- Teriyaki Chicken Chunks
Healthier Fried Rice
Steamed Broccoli
Apple slices with caramel dip

F - Green Chili Enchiladas with the ground chicken
Homemade Guacomole with Tortillas
Pineapple (Aldi last week)

Sa - Tortellini Soup
Caesar salad
Sprouts Vanilla wafers (add a little bit of leftover frosting - yum!)

Carrots (baby carrots - stocked up last week - aldi)
"Berries and Cream"

M- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders
Baked Sweet Potatoes with butter and cinnamon
Cauliflower (steamed)
Clean out the Crisper Salad

T- Buffet night (clean out the fridge special)
or Stew (if enough roast is left from Sun)
Fruit Salad
Veggies with dip (love Hidden Valley Ranch mixed in plain yogurt)
Brownies (only if you eat well - leftovers go better around here with a "new dessert")

snacks - Grapefruit
plain cheerios mixed with craisins and/or almonds (yum!)
lots of good apples and oranges/tangerines

also stocked the freezer - got 2 lbs of sausage (more soup and/or our favorite pasta sauce)
2 lbs of chicken tenders (prep ahead as parmesan chicken strips and more bacon wrapped chicken tenders)
2 lbs of chicken thighs (last week's sale) for Brown Sugar chicken
(6 other entrees)

Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dijon honey mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin roast
1.Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place the pork loin in a large sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before cooking.
2.Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3.Transfer the pork loin to a baking dish; pour marinade over the pork.
4.Cook in the preheated oven until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 45 to 60 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). (from allrecipes - I THINK this is the one I've done before and loved - seems hard to mess up)

Teriyaki Chicken Chunks - chop chicken and marinate overnight in bottled marinade (I used Aldis) - Then can boil, broil, or grill (out or Foreman grill).
Healthier Fried Rice - In lg. skillet, heat 1-2 T. olive oil. Add 3 c. brown rice, handful of green peas, and handful of baby carrots, steamed then chopped. Cook on med-hi/hi about 5 minutes (stirring to keep from sticking - the "brown bits are great in the rice", then scoot over to the other side of skillet and scramble two eggs. When scrambled, mix into rice and add about 2 T. low sodium soy sauce.

Green Chili Enchiladas
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I'm trying with ground chicken)
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
white corn tortillas (original recipe calls for flour ones), 8-12
3 cups Monterey jack cheese, grated
1 can cream of chicken soup, 10 3/4 oz.
4 ounces green chilies

Brown ground beef and saute onions. Combine with chili powder, salt and pepper. Spoon enough meat mixture and cheese on each tortilla to cover a third of it. Roll tortilla beginning at the filled edge. Place seam side down in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish treated with nonstick spray. When tortilas are completed, combine soup, sour cream and green chilies to make a sauce; pour over tortillas. Bake uncoverec in a preheated 375 oven for 20-25 minutes. The last 10 minutes sprinkle cheese on top.

Tortellini Soup
1 lb. Italian sausage (I'm trying the chicken italian sausage this time)
1 small chopped onion
3 c. water
½ tsp. dried basil leaves
½ tsp. dried oregano
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
2 cans tomato soup
8 oz. uncooked, filled tortellini (I usually get the three cheese)

Cook and stir sausage and onion until sausage is light brown. Drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables and tortellini are tender (about 20 minutes). Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Roast - place roast in Crock Pot. Add potatoes, peeled and chopped around side and baby carrots on top, then sprinkle onion soup mix on top, then cover potatoes with water. Cook on low all day.

For "leftover stew" - cool the crockpot and refrigerate. Skim the fat off the top (and big chunks you can get) and cut meat up with a pair of kitchen scissors. Add a can of green beans, corn, and tomatoes. I usually just don't drain the cans unless it looks like it will have too much liquid - then I drain one. Crock pot all day on low.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders - marinate chicken overnight in italian dressing. Drain and Wrap with bacon (you can use turkey bacon - just have to secure with a toothpick the reg bacon "secures itself"). Best grilled or broiled.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Fajita flavored Chicken Breasts
with roasted red peppers, avocado, tomato and feta (Feta from Aldi)
Spanish Rice
Refried Black Beans (vegetarian from a can)
Frozen Grapes

Megan's Roasted Turkey Breast with
Roasted Sweet Potato Chunks and Parsnips
Steamed Green Beans
Steamed Carrots
Baked Apples and Pears (cored with honey and butter drizzled over top with a sprinkle of cinnamon)

Leftover Fajita chicken (with veggies and beans) Tostadas
Homemade Guacomole and tortillas
Sliced Pineapple
Megan's Balsamic Pork Chops
Sauteed Squash Medley (yellow and Zucchini with olive oil and fresh grated parmesan)
Baked Sweet Potatoes

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Brown Rice
Veggie Medley (leftovers - roasted together)

For Freezer:
Chicken Fajita (2)
Chinese Chicken Morsels
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Tenders
Hawaiian Chicken
Herbed Chicken
Chicken Cacciatore
Turkey Breast
Pork Steaks
Hoisin Marinated Pork Chops
Cranberry Pork Roast
Pork Loin for BBQ Pulled Pork
Pork Loin for Pork Tacos
Browned Chicken Parmesan Sausage for Pasta sauce (4 links divided in 2 packages)

list of fab sale items:
Yellow Onions, Russet or Sweet Potatoes $0.49/lb.
Bartlett Pears, Gala or Braeburn Apples $0.99/lb.
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts $1.67/lb.
Boneless SkinlessChicken Thighs $1.99/lb.
Fresh Chicken Parmesan Sausage $2.99/lb.
Golden, Ripe Pineapple 2/$3.00
Gourmet Chicken Cordon Bleu $3.99/lb.Green Beans or Baby Carrots $0.99
BonelessPork Loin Chops or Roasts $1.99/lb.
Red Seedless Grapes $0.69/lb.
Fresh Free RangeTurkey Breast $2.77/lb.
Zucchini or Yellow Squash $0.77/lb.
Chicken Fajita Marinade
7 chicken breasts
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 cup oil (any kind)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons parsley
green pepper
Combine all marinade ingredients. Cut chicken breasts into strips. Place chicken pieces in 1 gallon freezer bag or rigid container. Pour marinade over meat.

Chicken Cacciatore (SL)
1 onion -- chopped
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
2 cans tomato paste -- *(6 oz.)
8 ounces mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 teaspoon oregano1/2 teaspoon basil1 bay leaf
1/2 cup water
Put sliced onion in bottom of Crock-Pot. Add chicken pieces. Stir together other ingred. Spread over chicken. Cover and cook on Low 7 to 9 hours (high 3 to 4 hours. Serve over spaghetti or vermicelli.

Chicken Chili Verde
8 ounces dry pinto beans (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped -- boneless, skinless (about 1 pound)
1 can chopped green chilies -- (4 ounce)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon garlic powder -- (1 clove)
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup finely chopped onion1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 jar salsa -- (11 1/2 ounce)
Rinse pinto beans, soak them in cold water overnight, then drain them. Combine beans, water, bouillon cubes, garlic, salt and onion in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are soft, about 1 hour. Add more water if necessary.Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Combine chicken with chilies and seasonings; refrigerate until needed. Combine chicken and spices with beans; simmer 10 more minutes. Cool and freeze. Grate cheese, put in a 1 quart bag, and attach it to the freezer container with the chili.To serve: Thaw chili and cheese. Simmer chili 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top chili with salsa and grated cheese; serve on warmed corn tortillas.

Crockpot Chipotle Pork Loin (for Pork Tacos)
1 pork loin -- 1.5 to 2 pounds
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies -- (14 oz.)
2 cups Chipotle salsa
1/2 cup chopped onion
Place pork in crockpot; sprinkle with onions, add canned tomatoes and chiles, and top with the chipotle salsa. Cook on Low 8 hours.

Cranberry Pork Roast
3 pounds lean boneless pork loin roast
16 ounces cranberry sauce, whole berry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1. Trim fat from roast; cut roast in half crosswisw/ Coat foast halves with cooking spray. Place a large nonstick skillet over med-hi heat and brown roast halves on all sides. Place in crock pot coated with cooking spray.2. Combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, and mustard, pour over roast. Cover, cook n hi heat 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 6 hours. Remove roast from crock potm reserve cranberry mixture. Set roast aside, keep warm.3. Combine cornstarch and water in a 1 quart glass measure or bowl; stir with whisk until well blended. Gradually stir reserved cranberry mixture into cornstarch mixture. Microwave at High 2 minutes or until thick; stirring after 1 minute. Serve sauce with roast.
(freezer cooking plan still in progress)

Friday, September 17, 2010

my faves - brunch recipes

Overnight French Toast Casserole

1 loaf french bread (I buy the pre-sliced plain kind at Wal-Mart and use a little over half the loaf - squishing as much in the pan as I can)
1/2 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
3 T Karo Syrup
6 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 T vanilla

Melt butter and brown sugar and Karo over med heat. Bring to a boil and then pour evenly into 9 x 13 casserole pan. Lay bread on top. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla and pour over bread. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

Next morning, uncover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Sausage-Chile-Egg Casserole

1 lb pork sausage
8 oz green chiles
8 oz cheese (I like Co-Jack blend)
8 eggs, beaten
5 oz evaporated milk (can use reg milk just not quite as good)
2 1/2 T flour

Preheat oven to 325. Cook sausage over med heat until browned. Crumble and drain. Layer 1/2 of the sausage, then 1/2 the cheese. Repeat. Combine eggs, milk and flour. Pour over top. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.

note - I don't layer - just sausage spread evenly, dotted evenly with chiles and covered with cheese. I use my Kitchen aid to get the egg/milk/flour mixture well blended (looks gross when they're separated on top of the casserole) I make this the night before and then uncover in the a.m. and bake at 350 for 45 minutes (with the french toast)