Monday, April 23, 2012

Garden, the beginning

 A few weeks ago, I came across a groupon that I couldn't pass up!  I ordered 50 packets of seeds.  I ripped open the box.. and stared in horror.  What was I thinking? I carefully have spent the last few days wading through the mess I created.  and picked out a few to start with.

Tomatoes, peppers, peas, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, and beans!  :) I am really excited.  I see canned beans, pickles, salsa, my own tomato paste, frozen carrots, onions, broccoli!

In my excitement, I turned to my nook for a new app I heard about.  Garden minder.  It gives all kinds of fun tips!  Plus it walks me through when to start seedlings, when to plant.  It's kind of limited if you want to think outside the box, but it has the basics, and spring & fall versions of many plants.

Soon I'll have many more updates, I'm hoping to get some of me starting my seedlings & the building of our garden boxes.  Although they might not look as organized as the ones above!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When you're needed

This past week a good friend of mine had surgery, so since she was going to be laid up, and there are 8 kids in the house to feed, I made dinners.

I wanted easy, pop in the oven, so they didn't have to worry too much about it all.

The first night I did a taco bar, cheap and easy :)
The second night was ziti
The third night.. I threw a bunch of stuff in a pan.. and took it over :) it's one of Cory's favorite meals I make.

I used 4 cups of cooked rice, 1 lb of cooked chunk chicken, 3 cups broccoli, 24 ounces of velveeta chunked, 3 cups of water, and cream of something soup- I used chicken and broccoli in this recipe. Sprinkled it with cheese and sent it off. I often times make this for freezer meals and freeze it without the cheese on top & toss that on top when I put it in the oven.

I mixed it all together, heated it up so that the cheese melted. I generally toss it together and so it's mixed up well.

What are your favorite potluck/delivery meals to others?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

One of the foods we love in our house is Chinese. Many Chinese places, especially buffets include MSG, well, that's a no-no in this migrainer's diet.

Cory loves sweet & sour, I'm not a huge fan, so I took the pineapple and chicken he loves so much & adapted it, in 20 minutes.

Chinese Pineapple Chicken w/veggies

It was delicious, and my husband approved. (however, it is still our first year of marriage, maybe he wouldn't tell me if it was awful!) We have a rice cooker, and I don't like the taste of minute rice, you could probably chop some time off this if you are okay with minute rice. The chicken was sliced and frozen in strips the day I did my freezer meals :)

Pineapple Chicken w/veggies
Makes 4 servings

4 C Rice
1 C pineapple chunks
1/4 C water
1/3 C + 1 T soy sauce
2 T corn starch
3/4t garlic powder
1 LB chicken breasts cut into strips
2T veg oil
2 C broccoli
3/4 C red bell pepper
1 carrot
1 t minced ginger

Prepare rice
Drain pineapple, keep 1/2 C juice
Cut: Pepper & Carrot into chunks
Mix: Juice, water, 1/3 C soy sauce, 1 T cornstarch and garlic powder
Combine chicken w/1T cornstarch and remaining soy sauce
Heat oil, add chicken and stir-fry 4 - 5 minutes or until lightly browned, add broccoli, pepper, carrot and ginger; stir fry apx. 5 minutes, or until tender. Add mixed sauce, stir until sauce thickens. Stir in pineapple, warm through & serve over rice.

Enjoy! We sure did!

Monday, April 9, 2012


He puts up with a lot, this man of mine.

This past weekend, I was so sick with yet another migraine, and he took care of me, making my mac and cheese and administering my meds.

For valentine's day this year, he did the sweetest thing, made me dinner and a beautiful creation on our bed. "I Luv U".

I cannot say enough, how amazing he is to me, how much he does for me, and the distance we have gone together, we've had better, we've had worse, and as we approach our 2 years together, I've never been happier and this blessed in my life.

It took me a long time to get to this spot in life, where I could appreciate this man for who and what he is. He makes me appreciate laughter, love and life. It's a very precious time in life for both of us, learning to love each other, lean on each other, and enjoying marriage for all it holds.

I love you Cory, thank you for all you do for me!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Aching hearts...

I remember when I first got into blogging, a few years ago, I started following Mom's with kids, cuz.. as many of you know, I was becoming a foster parent in the hopes of adopting.

I had just started reading this blog, about this hilarious little bundle of joy commenting, here and there... and then.. the bloggers best friend posted a post, 3 years ago, I remember crying at my desk devastated at the pain they must be going through. Her daughter passed away... Heather's blog.. it still breaks my heart to this day.

During Heather's time of loss, a mutual friend of her's lost her son.. on Easter.. Shana's blog is here.

I think of the grown people I've lost, that I cannot get over.. and I just can't imagine the pain of losing a child, a baby.

As many of you know, we are struggling with fertility. Not only does this scare me, but it makes me want to gather every infant up with in the states that hasn't been loved, hugged, kissed, cuddled unconditionally within the last few hours... and take them home. I want to be a mom so bad, and my heart just breaks.. because these two very real mom's lost their very real, precious children that were very, very loved.

I don't get God, I never have, I know he's out there, and sometimes, we aren't supposed to get it. I can't... stop wrestling with my anger that it's okay for innocent, sweet people to be wiped from this earth while rapists, serial murders, and child abusers live to 90. Really??

I can't always hide behind a cookbook.

Please donate to a good cause, if you have a few extra pennies, this goes directly to helping babies survive. Friends of Maddie

Over this weekend, while many enjoy time with their families, these Mommy's will be missing their babies, and a personal friend of mine, will be missing her sweet baby that never made it here, she went from womb to God's arms.

Pray, think, hope for those who ache today, and love those around you. We don't get to choose what happens, when it's our time, but you do get to choose how you love those around you. Make a bright spot in someone's life and consider those that have been quiet, angry, etc in your life, they might just need a hug.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ordinary Rolls

Making ordinary rolls of dough into something extraordinary. Usually I do slave, enjoy working with flour & making my own little balls of dough. Eventually I'll sit down and make my own dough balls :)
I love cooking bread in my iron skillet. There just isn't anything better. So, I set rolls in the skillet, after I have brushed the skillet with olive oil.

Melted butter on the stove, and once they have risen for 2 - 3 hours, I brushed them with butter & sprinkled fresh rosemary and salt on them.

Once they came out, they paired well with the pork loin with rosemary.
The thing I love the most about cooking them in the skillet is the crisp crust that develops on the bottom. Yum. Enjoy pain or slathered with more butter.

Rosemary Rolls

  • Take 7-8 Rolls, let rise in pan or iron skillet.
  • Melt 2 T butter, rub over rolls.
  • Sprinkle rosemary and salt over rolls
  • Rub more butter over
  • Place in oven at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes
  • (make sure you have them in the middle rack, they will brown the top and bottom)


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Using it all

One of the fun things of being frugal is waste, you try to avoid it at all costs.

I try to use left overs for lunches, etc. One of my favorite things to do though, is to use all of something expensive. Cory loves asparagus, it's close to being in season here, but still pretty costly.

What I do, is I save those pesky ends, I cut them up and include them in soups, risotto, or casseroles. If I can't use them right away, I flash boil & freeze them. I use broccoli ends, asparagus, etc.

It's using everything possible, to save money & stretch your dollars.

Happy savings!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Maple Glazed Stuffed Pork Roast- Sunday Dinner

On the weekends I give myself time to play with meals, like this weekend, I had put off a meal from a week ago, so I could give it proper attention.

Maple Glazed Stuffed Roast Pork

This meal works great if you have some frustration to take out on. I take a pork tenderloin, which- I bought when I did my shopping last month, and butterfly it. Well, I guess I cut it in half this time, it's supposed to be butterflied.. and mine broke apart while I was pounding it out, so I went for 2.

I cut up 2 small apples- saute them in a tablespoon of butter until soft & put them in a box of stuffing, that I made per directions.

Spreading the stuffing out, leaving some of the edge clean, I roll them up.

They smelled amazing :) I placed them in a 350 degree oven for an hour, uncovered

Once in for an hour, I created a sauce, 2 tablespoons, 2 tablespoons honey mustard- the recipe called for Dijon, but I didn't use it, I don't like Dijon, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped up.

I just poor the sauce on, the loin is warm, so it melts over pretty easily.

20 minutes later, it looks beautiful!

Slice & plate, and it's a delicious Sunday dinner!!

Maple Glazed Stuffed Pork Roast
2T Butter
1 C Apple chopped
1 1/2 C hot water
1 pkg stuffing
Pork loin- 2 lb

Sauce: 2 T syrup, 2 T Honey Mustard, 1 t Chopped rosemary

  • Heat oven to 350, melt butter in a large skillet on med heat
  • Add apples, cook for 3 minutes, add water and stuffing, cover, let stand for 5 minutes
  • Spoon stuffing onto cut side of meat, roll up, jelly roll style, place seam side down in a roasting pan.
  • Bake uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Mix syrup, mustard & rosemary
  • Pour over roast, place back in oven for 2 hours until meat is done, let stand for 15 minutes before slicing to serve.