Eat New Round 2

Well my family survived being guinea pigs for a week!  If they are honest, I think they might say they actually enjoyed it!

In my last post, “Eat New Challenge,” I detailed recipes that we were going to try for supper last week, along with providing links to the recipes.

What were the results?  Well, since you asked….

Sunday – The copy cat recipes for KFC Extra Crispy Chicken and Cheddar Bay Biscuits were tasty as was the jalapeno corn dip.

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Sunday is also the day I prepared the Vanilla Bean Cream Pie.  Let me just tell you, this is THE best pie I have tasted in a very, very, very looooonnnnggggg time. Everyone wanted a second piece and was asking for another pie to be made!  So it is definitely a keeper!

Monday – Corndogs – these were good, and I don’t like hotdogs much.  I used white coarse ground cornmeal, instead of the yellow specified in the recipe, because it’s what I had and what I use.  I didn’t want to buy something new for just this single use.  I found the procedure easy and using a glass to batter the hotdogs, was complete genius!

Tuesday – The Crockpot Carnitas were one of my favorites for the week.  Super easy and super tasty.  No complaints in this house at all.  I decided to serve it with some Mexican fried rice.  The recipe was pretty straight forward and was easier than I anticipated.  You can find that recipe here.

Wednesday – The Cuban Beef tied with the Carnitas this week for me, for being the best.  It had a few more steps than I was prepared for, especially when preparing a side dish that needed a little babysitting, but it was amazing.  And, surprisingly, this was my kids’ favorite dish of the week, beating out corndogs!  Can you believe it??  The Avocado fries were not as tasteful as I hoped for.  I believe they have great potential, but I couldn’t put my finger on what ingredient I would want to add to give it a kick.  Some may find them excellent, but for my family, we will probably pass next time.  A good result that did come from making these, is learning the flour, then egg, then panko breading procedure.  I am planning on trying this to create baked onion rings!

Thursday – Tuscan Tortellini Soup.  Delicious, easy to make, and best of all, my kids devoured kale like there was no tomorrow!  Next time this graces my table, it will be accompanied by some crusty garlic bread and tossed salad.

Friday and Saturday are our unpredictable days and so meals are always prepared with our pantry/freezer staples.

One thing I learned in trying new things is it is hard to plan side dishes that compliment the meal (e.g. Thursday).  I think this is something I may develop a better skill for as we continue our “Eat New Challenge.”  I don’t have really picky eaters, but even so, I also learned this past week that it’s even easier to have them try something new when my husband and I are joining in!

Although the week has already begun, I want to share with you what’s for supper….

Sunday:  White Cheddar Chicken Pasta

Monday – White Bean Soup with Bacon

Tuesday – LEFTOVERS 🙂 Easy peasy

Wednesday – Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Thursday – Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

This week’s dessert is Peanut Butter Chip Cupcakes!

I’m really looking forward to the soup tonight.  It’s 64 degrees here and breezy, so it’ll be the perfect meal on this fall-like day  Plus it has bacon, it’s hard to go wrong when bacon is involved!

What about you?  Up for trying something new?  Join me in the “Eat New Challenge!”  Comment below with a new recipe you’re trying, I’d love to hear about it!

Thanks for dropping by ~Kim~

Eat New Challenge

It’s been a long time. I have taken the word “slacker” to a whole new level. Don’t think I haven’t missed you, I have. The summer got off to a rocky start in my house. Including gall bladder surgery for me, followed by recovery. All with my poor kids being home on their, oh so short, summer break.

We’ve been back to school for over a month now. It’s hard to believe!

With getting back into my groove, I have decided to try something new. First, let me remind everyone that I grocery shop on Fridays, so my menu plans normally cover Friday through the following Thursday. Because weekends are unpredictable (which is allowed for in my planning), I have decided to challenge myself to eat something new for supper each day starting Sunday, going through Thursday!

After scouring my pinned recipes, this is the menu (with links to the recipes) that I plan on preparing for my family.

Sunday – Kentucky Fried Chicken (copycat), Red Lobster biscuits, and jalapeno corn dip

Monday – Corndogs, probably with some green beans and fries, unless something else sparks my interest!

Tuesday – Crock Pot Carnitas (with rice). This is a link to the Pin, the recipe is listed there.

Wednesday – Cuban beef with baked avocado fries

Thursday – Tuscan Tortellini Soup

This week’s dessert – Vanilla Bean Cream Pie, probably will be made on Sunday!

So there you have it! Finally, my Pinterest time has come in handy 😉 They all looked sooo delicious! I figure my kids will be the most excited about Monday…and probably Sunday.

I’m looking forward to all the new flavors, and, if this coming week goes well, maybe I’ll give it another try the next week!

Now I challenge you to try something new. Maybe one of the recipes I’m trying out, or another one you’ve had tucked away. If you accept the Eat New Challenge, I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know the outcome!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

Anyone Want Waffles?

“YES!!!”  was the answer I received to this question, from all three boys, almost in unison.

We had some milder temps here yesterday, accompanied by some freezing rain.  The result?  Our schools were on a two-hour delay.  That means the bus doesn’t pick the kids up until 9!  Just enough time to prepare them a tastier breakfast than the normal cereal, yogurt or oatmeal.

I don’t know about you but I love cooking with buttermilk.  Pancakes, bread, biscuits, and even cake, all taste amazing with buttermilk as an ingredient! 

One thing that I think everyone should have in their recipe stash, is a tasty take on buttermilk waffles.  So to help you with that, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share my recipe with you.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 stick of butter, melted (or 1/2 oil, in a pinch)
  • 1 3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon of packed brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • optional ingredients – 3/4 tsp vanilla or maple extract, 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Beat eggs, then add the remainder of the ingredients.  Stir until it’s just smooth.  Don’t over do it! 

Pour prepared batter onto a preheated waffle iron.  If you would like to (and who wouldn’t) sprinkle some mini chocolate chips onto the batter before closing the iron, or even some chopped nuts.  Or blueberries….

Blueberry Waffles

Yum!

I have a 6 inch Belgian waffle iron.  A single batch of this recipe makes approximately four for us.  I normally make a double or triple batch.  Then the kids reheat the leftovers in the toaster to have for breakfast throughout the week!

Buttermilk Waffle

If you’ve never make a recipe with buttermilk, I think you should give it a try.  It definitely adds to the flavor and texture of whatever you make.  A great benefit of buttermilk is even after it is opened, it still keeps for a good while.  Just close that lid up tight! 

Are you looking for more tasty sweet breakfast treats?  Check out these past posts:

Bananas for Breakfast

Fancy Banana Bread

Do you have a post you made about a great breakfast treat?  Post a link in the comments!

If you don’t already, follow me by email by entering your email address on the side of the page.  If you’d rather, jump on over and like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!

Thanks for stopping by ~Kim~

 

Love Is…

“Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Although this isn’t a super-celebrated holiday in my family, I still heard this phrase mixed in with our conversations this morning.  The kids will exchange Valentines with their friends and I do plan on making a special dessert for our dinner tonight, but, all in all, we keep this day pretty low-key.  From the buzz in the blog world this week, it seems we are not alone in this.

I, of course, believe love is amazing.  Love is “shout it from the roof top” awesome.  But an important lesson we try hard to instill in our children, is….

Love isn’t romantic dinners and poetic cards.

Love isn’t flowers and candy.

Love isn’t expensive jewelry.

Love isn’t merely saying “I love you.”

Anyone can give a gift, it doesn’t define who loves us, but it is something loved ones can do.

We try to show them that all of these things are fun, and it’s ok to enjoy them, as long as they know……

Love isn’t tangible.

Love lives in our hearts.

Love is a gift from God.  His love makes us complete.  This is why we must love.  (1 John 4:7-12)

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

I write this post, not to cast a gray cloud over the day, but to be that little reminder we all need some times.

Love is more than words and things.

Love is those little things you do everyday.

Some times love is all captured in a look.  Completely unspoken, just felt.

Felt with every bit of your being.

While you celebrate with your Valentine today, take a moment to really feel the love, because love is truly the best gift of all.

For more on love, in scripture, check out these verses:

  • John 3:16
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 1 John 3:16
  • 1 John 4:7-12
  • John 15:13
  • Romans 5:8
  • Romans 8:37
  • Ephesians 3:18-20
  • Ephesians 5:1

Do you have a favorite love verse or saying?  If you have a blog post about love or Valentine’s Day, feel free to post a link in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Helped by the Unexpected

Have you ever had one of those days, that nothing goes right?  Sure, we all have.  Yesterday was that day for me.  I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I think we all have a little dread in our hearts when Monday rolls around.

I woke up yesterday at 4:15 to the sound of my eldest son blowing his nose.  Nice alarm clock, don’t you think?  I never went back to sleep after that, finally getting out of bed at 5:30.

That was unexpected.

unexpected screws up

I like to plan my day and normally adhere pretty well to my schedule, but when you start your day in an unexpected way, at an unexpected time, it sort of sets the tone for the day.  Not exactly a good tone either.  But trying to remain positive, I found some motivation and strength somewhere deep inside.  Coffee may have played a role in that, but motivation and strength, nonetheless.

I went to work on laundry, chores and was making good progress on my “to-do” list.  All the while, dropping about everything I touched, to the point I thought I should not look at anything, because it might just throw itself on the floor, to save it the suspense of who’s next.

Then I remembered I had to make a phone call about some personal matters.  Ugh.  Two hours later after a torturous conversation and a ridiculous amount of time filling out online forms, my schedule went right out the window.

So now it’s only lunch time, I’ve picked up nearly everything in the house. Twice.  I’m stressed about something completely out of my control.

~sigh~

Does this ever happen to you?  Thankfully last night was the monthly homemaker’s meeting.  The topic for discussion?  Stress management.  What could be more fitting?

We talked about the different types of stress and how to cope with it.  Even though we didn’t talk specifically about my stressor, we discussed stresses that are out of our control.  I found it so helpful.

It’s good to be reminded that you can’t do everything, some things are beyond your control, and no one is perfect.

unexpected lesson

Everyone experiences stress.  EVERYONE.  Young, old, single, married, it shows no discrimination.

For me a big stress is the unexpected.  I am doing so much better with it, mostly due to being a mom.  Once a child is in your life, the unexpected just becomes the norm.  When you have four children, like I do, having something expected happen, becomes the crazy.

Just remember you’re not alone.

Stress can do so much to you body and mind without us being aware of it.  It can hurt us and our relationships with those we love.  It can cause illness.

Don’t let it take control.  Little bits of stress (like my day Monday), can add up before you know it.  Talk about it, take a walk, read a book, find a way that works for you, but relieve that stress.

Here are a couple of links about stress if you are interested…

Stress Management – Learn to Prevent and Reduce Stress

Stress Management – Healthy Lifestyle

How do you relieve stress?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

Similar posts:

A Mother’s Worry

No Mommy’s Perfect

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

How ’bout Them Buns?

Hamburger buns of course 😉

Wow!  I like snow, but it feels like I moved in with Santa or something.  I think we’ve had snow on the ground since before Thanksgiving.  My kids may have had a full week of school since then also, but then again, I don’t really think so.  They were off school yesterday and today.  It’s nice having extra hands to complete the chores, but at this rate I don’t know if they will get a summer break!

Today was busy and fun.  They of course played outside.  We also had our weekly bible study today.  It’s normally on Wednesday, but I wasn’t feeling all that well, and the benefit of teaching them myself, is I can postpone it.  Rarely do I, but it is always an option if necessary!

A slight glitch in my day occurred when i checked the scheduled meal for tonight’s supper.  Hamburger and french fries.  Ground beef:  check.  Potatoes: check.  Buns: buns???  how do I put hamburgers on the menu and forget buns? ~sigh~

How to solve the dilemma?  Pinterest.  How else?  It’s a one stop shop for absolutely everything.  Search:  hamburger buns.  I found a super easy recipe that claims to be the best.  We’ll just see about that.  So I assembled the ingredients and went to work.

The result?  AAAAHHH- Mazing.  Look if you don’t believe me……

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They smell and taste just as good people.  Seriously……when will they invent smell-ivision?

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The buns were just slightly big, so when I make them again, I might make 10 to 12 of them instead of 8.  I guess it depends on how big you make your burgers!

If you want to give them a try, and I highly recommend that you do, head over to Parsley, Sage and Sweet for the recipe.

Need a burger recipe to go with it?  I have one you just might enjoy, here!

Stay warm, and thanks for stopping by,

~Kim~

P.S. I am making progress on the office, here is a peek,

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always messy while in process, right?  I can’t wait for it to be finished so I can share the before and after shots!

 

 

Goals? Let’s Get Real…

So hopefully you caught last week’s post about what goals I sort of reached last year.  (In case you missed it, check it out here!)

I wasn’t as successful last year as I had hoped.  It seems from reading other’s blogs, this can be common.  It’s a new year, it’s exciting, and goals are set with all good intentions of follow-through, but in the end normal life gets in the way.  I thought I set fairly realistic goals for 2013.  Honestly, they pretty much were, my inner procrastinator, although I made great improvements, still found a way to mess things up.  Also, the goals I set in 2013, will continue.  A lot of them were improvements that needed to be made to my life/family and will be an on-going process.

That being said, on to 2014.  It is 2014, you know?  So let’s break it down…….

HOME

Making things homey – We have lived in our home, since it was built in 2002.  Which, although seems like yesterday, it was actually 12 years ago.  Wow, ok.  So I guess it’s time to decorate?  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have bare walls, but there is no method to the madness. You have no idea how haphazard my house feels.  I have ideas. Boy, do I! But starting has always been my problem.  Especially knowing where to start.

So this is my plan.

I intend to concentrate on one room a month.  I am aware that some parts of the project may not get completed within the month, like if I need someone else’s help (ie hubby).  But for the most part, I should be able to arrange, organize, paint, decorate, etc. a room each month until my house is “finished.”  Because both my office and the boys’ bedroom was on my list for last year, they are first on the list, starting off with the office.  If all goes well, then I will be able to share before and after pictures with you, once each room is completed.  I’m really excited about this goal!

SELF

As you may know, I had a sweet baby girl last March.  With my first three kids I did a pretty good job of getting back into some sort of workout routine.  This time, not so much.  Last week was the first week that I worked out consistently since before I was pregnant. ~sigh~  Mainly because I just didn’t make myself do it, and because of my affinity for food.  Oh, and I hate exercise. I shouldn’t say “hate,” but there is an astounding amount of things I’d rather do…watching paint dry, for instance. Of course I know I’d feel better, have more energy, that it’s a healthy choice, but unlike many, I’m not so much worried about my weight, as fitting into my clothes.  Clothes are expensive, exercise is free.  So it’s a lot cheaper to get back in shape and fit into the ones I already have!

No measurements have been taken, I’ll know I succeeded when I can finally put on my favorite pair of jeans and not have to use the jaws of life to get them off.

I’m glad that I’ve already started my journey to a healthier self. My two older boys even asked that I wake them up early on Saturday to exercise with me! (That reminds me that our actions are a very effective way to teach. Practice what you preach!)

Alright, so just because I am only now sharing my goals with you, doesn’t mean I haven’t begun. As I mentioned, the first room up, is the office. I have a picture in my head of what my it will look like. I have enlisted my amazing husband to build shelves on one wall. I have paint to buy and a frame for a vintage print I purchased. It’s going to look totally different, I can’t wait!!

So this year, two goals. Big goals, though. I feel more confident with what I have chosen for this year. Excited too!!
What about you? Did you set any goals for 2014? Do share!