Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Happy eating this week. . .here is what we are doing:

Monday- Polynesian Ham, noodles, Melted Cheese Buns

Tuesday-Honey-Ginger Grilled Salmon (can substitute chicken), rice, salad

Wednesday-BBQ Chicken, buns

Thursday (CP)-Vegetable-Barley-Beef Soup

Friday-left-overs or pizza

Saturday's Snack-one-pan brownies (hopefully I'll post later)

Sunday (BFS)-pancakes, bacon

*Since my hubby is destroying my kitchen, I've been forced into "cleaning." Both the results of what he has destroyed (as I have a baby in the house!) and the junk in the cupboards that I no longer have! Which means. . .recipes. I discovered--again--that once upon a time, I had great hopes and dreams to be (or become) quite the homemaker! I have recipes galore, magazine clippings about hosting and table decorations, articles about how to pair wines with meals, crafts and decoration how-to's. . . and sadly, much of that went into the recycle. I guess when you are younger you just don't know how life is going to turn out--or how busy life becomes, especially with children and everything that goes along with raising them! Funny how I didn't have any articles on how to make a child clean their room every day or how to raise your child to become the next president. . .

Anyway, the positive outcome of my sad nostalgia, is that I found a few good recipes to hold onto and to try. One of them is this one. And it is super easy!

Honey-Ginger Grilled Chicken

1 t. ground ginger
1 t. garlic powder
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. orange juice
1/4 c. honey
1 scallion, chopped
1-1/2 lbs. salmon fillet


1. In a large self-closing plastic bag, combine first 6 ingredients. Mix well. Place salmon in bag and seal tightly. Turn bag to distribute the marinade.

2. Refrigerate 15 minutes or up to 30 minutes. Turn bag occasionally.

3. Lightly grease grill rack. Preheat grill to medium heat. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade. Grill 12-15 minutes per inch of thickness or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Brush with reserved marinade during cooking. Discard left-over marinade. Serves 4.

Notes: You can substitute salmon with 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Served great with steamed rice tossed with grilled vegetables.

My note: I kept the salmon in the marinade all day. We ate it with honey-garlic noodles and a salad. It was super easy and super good. Our kids even asked for more of the "chicken." And therefore, we definitely had "chicken" for supper. LOL!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Apple Loaf

Finally I am going to get this post up! For how incredibly easy this recipe is, you'd think I'd have posted it already!
I got this recipe from my sister--back in "apple-sauce season" I wanted something productive to do with apples instead of applesauce! (Although looking back, and being more than half-way done all the applesauce I made, something productive would have been making EVEN MORE applesauce!)

This was originally a Zucchini Bread recipe with an apple variation.

1.5 c. flour

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. baking powder

1/4 t. nutmeg

1 egg, beaten

1 c. sugar

1 c. shredded unpeeled zucchini

1/4 c. cooking oil

1/2 c, chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

The apple variation of the recipe says to replace the zucchini with 1.5 c. shredded peeled apple. My sister's great advice is to also substitute the cooking oil for applesauce (Which many people do things like that anyway).

So. . .grating apples. . .

Mix that with applesauce/oil, egg, and sugar. In another bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Add the "wet" stuff to the "dry" stuff. Stir until just moistened. Fold in nuts now if you are going to add any. Pour in a pan. . .Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes.

There you go. Yummy bread all the time. I make these into muffins, little loafs or regular sized loafs--whatever works. The other thing I love about this recipe, is that it is so-o-o forgiving and still works out! If you don't have nutmeg, add a little more cinnamon. Use whole-wheat flour instead. Use all chunky applesauce instead of shredded apple. Add a little extra apple if you like it super apple-ish-y.
Some things I have learned. . .let the loaf cool completely before slicing or moving into plastic to freeze or store. Its better to even wait a day. That is why the little muffins or little loafs work better if you want to eat right away--which you will!!! And make two at a time. . .in our house this disappears VERY quickly!

See more recipes at Tempt My Tummy, Tasty Tuesdays What's Cooking Wednesday, Sweets for Saturday.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

So, I skipped a week. . .welcome back to MPs for me!

Monday-Hamburger Stroganoff. . .okay, it was a Hamburger Helper!!! (gotta keep the hubby happy if i want my kitchen usable soon!) with garlic bread and salad.

Tuesday-Polynesian Ham, rice
Thursday (CP)-Slow CookerThai Chicken, noodles, salad

Friday- pizza

Saturday's Snack-Apple Loaf. . .I'll get around to posting about this one of these days!

Sunday- French Toast Casserole, ham steaks
Last week we had: ravioli in spaghetti sauce (found the "just-like-old-spaghetti-factory-tomato-based recipe and made that. . .added Italian sausage. . .not a big hit in this household this week. . .and we even had to eat it twice!), chicken bacon pizza (this was and always is a big hit!), chicken nuggets and french fries, and grilled cheese.
Have a great week!
For more mp idea, visit

Just a regular weekend. . .

I thought we were having a regular weekend. . .
playing with the kids,
shopping for groceries,
visiting with a friend,
going to church,
having regular family dinner,
the usual, family stuff. . .
{What a sweetheart!!!}
. . . until my hubby just kinda decided he didn't like valences anymore.
Many people who has an older home like this is very familiar with the valences--to hide the curtain rods--we deal with them. We get used to them. There isn't a lot you can do with them. . .
Unless you are my hubby, and decide you don't like them on a weekend like any other. And your house suddenly looks like this!
And then this:
And then this. . .
I just want to know where my cupboards are!!! He gets to go to work and leave the mess behind. But I have to function in here!!!
But I shouldn't complain. He was nice enough to put the clock back up!
What have we gotten ourselves into?
I must have {jinx-ed} myself. A mom of one of my son's friends stopped by and said she remembers being in our house because she was friends with someone who lived here previously. She thought it was neat because we had made a few changes and she remembers what it was like before. I was telling her about how I wanted to have the kitchen redone one of these days.
I did not mean that this weekend was "one of these days!"
We have lots of little projects to do--a baseboard needs nailing, a door needs a fixed hinge, cleaning galore. . .why a new project???
So. . .we will see how one is to function in a mess like this! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making Snowmen

A few weeks ago my son got a letter home from school about a book that they had read:

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. It is this cute children's book and all the illustrations are done using "stuff": things like paper, screws, popcorn, seeds, hats, socks, scarves and so forth. They got a "homework assignment" to make a snowman of their own at home using stuff from around the house. Junk. Recyclables. That kind of stuff. So, that is what we spent the day doing.

First, E had to look at images on the Internet about "snow people." That gave him the perfect idea.

Then, we had to make a stop at our local, free craft shop (aka: Oma's house) to pick up a few supplies. (That is still considered stuff from around the house, right? It was just from her house!)Since E and A were awake and ready to do all this by 7:30AM, they had to be distracted to make a cut and drawn kind of snowman first!

(Here is little a keeping himself entertained through it all!)

My busy workers! They used cups and bowls to trace their circles and material scraps for scarves. And of course lots of glue and crayons! And the final projects~ at 8:30AM! (First is E's, second is Princess A's creation)

Then, we were finally able to make the trip over to Oma's to pick up some stuff--googly eyes, Styrofoam balls and a cute little outfit for little a (not part of the supplies, of course, but just a nice added bonus!)

Here is E with some of the supplies:
And here is his story: "We got a ball and tissue paper. Then we stuffed it in a bag for eating lunch until it was full and taped it shut. We glued the buttons on and colored them too. The the nose. We poked it in and for the smile we did beads. I got burned a bit from the hot glue. For the eyes we did googly eyes. We used material for the hat and tied it with a string and then did the cutting and made a scarf from the same material. We poked straws for the arms. That was very last. And. . .I think that is all. We used a glue gun to stick everything on. And some tape. Done. I think."

Here is the snowman and the proud owner (minus the straw arms--that was a thought later on). And some close ups. . .

Then of course, Princess A needed one. So during the 20 minutes of napping time in the afternoon (mixed with crying because little a didn't want to nap!) Princess A got to make her "Snow Angel."

Too much fun.. . .she spent some time afterwards floating it around the house! Here is a link for where we were looking at snow people ideas (if it still works--I had some problems with it earlier!).

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan day again. . .

Last week was one of those weeks were I didn't follow the plan. Which is all good, because I made this recipe: Honey Citrus Crock Pot Chicken. (I was kinda tired of peppers and onions and all that in food and creamy chicken kind of recipes). The only thing I would change is to use more pepper or ginger or something like that to give it a bit more of a kick.
And then later on in the week, to use the left-over chicken, I made a version of this stir fry. And everyone liked it. So it turned out to be a good eating week anyway--plan or no plan.
This week:
Monday- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, coleslaw
Tuesday- Spaghetti, salad, garlic buns
Wednesday- Fancy grilled cheese, and for me and hubby~Homemade Broccoli & Cheddar Soup
Thursday (Crock Pot Day)-CP Thai Chicken, rice, corn
Friday- left-overs or pizza
Saturday's Snack- Apple Loaf (hopefully I'll get a post out about this one)
Sunday-French Toast Casserole, sausage
Well, there you go.
For more menu plan ideas, visit

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Menu Plan late-Monday

So much for starting the new year in an organized fashion!
Oh well. We have been busy with family get-togethers and the resulting colds and germs that go along with all of that (read: crabby kids)! This week it is back to the ordinary life. . .I think, anyway!
Monday-We had creamy chicken (CP) on buns and salad
Tuesday- We had Taco Salad
Wednesday-Thinking about pizza sandwiches or pizza
Thursday-Tuscan Chicken sandwiches (CP), stir fried veggies
Friday-Hamburgers (just want the BBQ going in the cold! we did it this past weekend with some salmon, and it is just yum when you smell that outside!)
Saturday- see my appy selection below
Sunday-pancakes and ham
Appies: Since it is a new year and no one wants to be eating anymore, here are a few of the appies/treats we had over the holidays (while I ceased to blog!)
Fresh Salsa
6 Roma tomatoes, 1 c. chopped onion, 1 T. garlic, 1 pepper, 1 t. hot chili, 1/2 t. cumin, 2 T oil, 2 t. lemon or lime juice.
Chop, mix, let sit for 1/2 hour, and enjoy!
8-10 tomatoes, 2T finely chopped onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 c. fresh basil, 2 t. red wine vinegar, 3 T olive oil, salt and pepper--to taste.
Mix ingredient together and let stand for 1/2 hour. Drain excess liquid. Slice Italian bread, brush with 3 T oil, broil on low until just browning. Spoon tomato mixture on top of bread. Enjoy!
For more menu plan ideas, visit!