Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pikachu card

Hubby got me a Silhouette Cameo for my birthday.  He was pretty slick picking it out and getting it as a surprise.  He was a bit bummed when I guessed what it was right before opening it, though. LOL!!!

Anyhow, I haven't had a whole lot of time to play with it...but I did manage to make this card tempate this morning for Joshua to use as his birthday thank you notes.  Hoping to have him write those today...we are a little late on them!

Whatcha think?  Not perfect...but I think it is cute!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Menu Planning Monday

See more menu plans at
Time for another plan! 

Monday- Crockpot taco style lentils and rice, lettuce, cheese, salsa, leftover steak (burritos)
Tuesday- Chef salads with lettuce, quinoa, ham, hard boiled eggs, various veggies, cheese, homemade bread
Wednesday- Roasted red pepper sausages, brown rice, carrots, salad
Thursday-Egg drop soup with chicken and noodles, edamame
Friday- Pasta with red sauce, broccoli, salad
Saturday-Taco bowls-Crockpot black beans, Mexican rice, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, cheese, etc.
Sunday- Mini meatloaves, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad

What are you fixing?

Crockpot-Taco Lentils and Rice

This is a really easy, tasty and inexpensive recipe.  We usually eat this as a burrito filling but it would be good as a side dish as well. 

Crockpot-Taco Style Lentils and Rice
(From Hillbilly Housewife...I have changed the spices to suit our tastes better.  Adjust to your liking.)

3/4 cup dry lentils
3/4 cup brown rice
4 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1  teaspoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Rinse the lentils and rice. Combine everything and cook in the crock pot on low for about 5-6 hours. Stir well. Use as a taco or burrito filling. YUM!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Menu Planing tips

A friend recently asked me for some menu planning tips.  I thought I would share in case it would help any of you! :) Here is my reasoning and the method to my madness. ;)

I used to love cooking. And I still do. But I just don't have the time to cook like I used to. Kids pulling on legs, hungry, crying, activities we have to go to, bath and bedtimes to do afterwards, etc.

Later, I would spend time going through sale ads and buying up what was on sale before making my plan. Then I would plan based on what I bought (plus the staples I usually buy.) But honestly, I don't have time to do that most of the time. I just buy what we like, stock up on fruits and veggies that look good and are a good price and then plan.
Menu planning prep work-Type up a list of your family's favorite meals that are not too difficult (or expensive) to prepare. I recommend listing meals that EVERYONE will like...not just you and your hubby. You don't want to be a SHORT ORDER COOK. You should have a little bit of what your kids like at each meal and maybe one new item for them to try. I think I read that it takes about 15 times for a kid to try something before they actually accept it. Don't give up...keep trying.  They will learn to eat new things eventually. Serve them things you like and they will learn to like many or most of them.
You can use this list week after week to quickly add most of your meals to your plan. I tend to resort to tried and true recipes most of the time. (Mostly, ones using things I tend to buy a lot or usually have on hand.) Then if I have a little extra time or desire, I might add in a new recipe or two to try a week. (But even then, I would have a back up listed just in case you didn't get to the store or run out of time.)
1. Before I make the weekly plan, I make a list of the things in the freezer/fridge/pantry that I want to try to include in the plan. Generally, things that will go bad if we don't use them this week or things I may have forgotten about that I want to use up. This would mean using fresh veggies earlier in the week then using canned or frozen later in the week if you run out of fresh-instead of running back to the store.
**Next, print a few planner sheets.  I couldn't find the one I usually use that I got online several years ago...but this one looks good.
2. On your planner, make note on the planner of any "special" lunches/dinners. "Special" might mean a dinner out. Or it might mean a lunch that should be packed in a cooler ahead of time (park playdate or?). Or it might mean that you won't be home in time to cook or have to leave after eating so you want to make it a crockpot night to make it easier.
3. Fill in your meals. I like to try to alternate types of proteins, veggies, etc. so there is a decent variety. Use your list of family favorites as well as the list of items you would like to use up. If I have time and feel like coming up with a couple of different recipes, i might flip through some cookbooks or do an online search as I plan.
** I also list a couple of alternatives on the bottom of the paper in case I want something different or am actually out of something I thought I had. If you don't use these extra ideas, you can put them on next week's plan (or not.) :)
 **NOTE** Menu planning takes time but it will make your life easier in the long run. Also, you can mix up the days you serve meals on...the point is to have a plan to fall back on and have an idea of the sort of meals you can make with what you have.
 Here are a couple of favorite menu planning sites that have great tips and ideas:
Frugal menu planning (she makes a lot of good points. I follow her on facebook and like seeing her thoughts on saving money and feeding a family.)
**This site also hosts Menu Planning Monday where 100's of people link up their meal plans for the week.
Good luck!!! You can do it!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Menu Monday!

Our new sketch class started yesterday!  It's not too late to join in the fun!!! Register HERE. :)

Here's my menu for the week.  (Life is just a little easier having a plan. I don't always stick to it, but it is there and that helps a lot!) We are on Spring Break this week and we have a couple of birhdays so plans may indeed change. Anyhow, here it is:

Monday- HG BBQ chicken (crockpot), roasted cauliflower, rolls, quinoa
Tuesday- Taco salads (beef or chicken, beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, etc.) (Or possibly out or bring something home for my birthday.)
Wednesday- Pizza (out for Joshua's 7th birthday!)
Thursday- CP creamy Italian chicken, rice/cauliflower rice, squash, salad
Friday- CP Santa Fe Chicken, chips and cheese
Saturday- Egg drop soup with chicken and noodles, possibly homemade wontons
Sunday- I know, tradition states ham.  But I am thinking- grilled steak & sausages, biscuits, salad, deviled eggs. 

What's on YOUR menu??? :)  Visit for more menu ideas!!

My lovely blog visitors