Sunday, June 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday is being hosted this week at Heavenly Homemakers.

Last week, we did not stick to the plan for dinners at ALL. Son #3 ended up spending the night away from home twice, so on those nights it was just me... one night, we ate at my parents' house, and another, my grandparents took us out to dinner! So there are some repeats this week.

Hubby came home, safe and sound, on Saturday, and requested roast with mashed potatoes and gravy. So they reappeared on Sunday, too!

Sun~ Open-faced roast beef sandwiches with mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and gravy; sliced tomatoes.
Mon~ BLT's, crash hot potatoes
Tues~ Tacos with all the fixin's
Wed~ BBQ chicken, rice, cornbread, and possibly zipper peas from the garden if they are ready!
Thurs~ Breakfast for Dinner (Marine son flies in for the holiday - WOO HOO!!!!)
Fri~ out at the beach with the fam... Ribs
Sat~ at the beach.... shish-ke-bobs

My parents are renting a beach house for the weekend of the 4th, so we are going to be out there a lot this weekend. My parents are also renewing their wedding vows on Saturday, so we'll have a mini-reception for them.... just extended family.

Here is a totally yummy tomato sauce recipe - no peeling!!! My hubby sampled it and insisted we have spaghetti for dinner immediately. (My notes are in italics.)

4-5 large ripe fresh garden tomatoes, sliced into 1" rounds (I used a combo of grape, roma, and celebrity tomatoes from our garden. Whatever was really ripe.)
4 good size fresh basil leaves
1 head of garlic, top chopped off (I only used 2 cloves)
1/3 cup mellow red wine (I used just a splash of white wine that I had on hand for cooking)
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
To make:
Preheat oven to 450.

Cover rimmed baking sheet with foil and then drizzle foil with some olive oil, enough to slippery the surface. Place prepped garlic head on a piece of foil and drizzle some oil on there, too - and a bit of salt. Wrap the foil around it into a nice package. Put it in the middle of the baking sheet.

Place your tomato rounds in a single layer on the baking sheet around the garlic. Drizzle all the tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Slam it all into the oven for 30 minutes.
Pull out the food processor and add all the tomatoes (they'll be a bit charred and maybe a little grabby when trying to peel them from the foil - try hard). Unwrap the garlic and squeeze in the cloves (they'll be like paste - it's cool). Add the wine, basil and salt/pepper as you like it. Puree the whole mess until it's one even consistency and no giant basil bits are jamming around in there.
You can find the recipe complete with pics here

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Surfing Saturday...

I found this at Super Surfing Saturday:
Gotta try this - it is too cool.

And these. I have heard so much about these that I am compelled to try them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Frugal Friday

I'm sharing a tried-and-true frugal tip today on Frugal Friday.
I have read that because of the flooding in the heartland of our country, potatoes are going to skyrocket. Living in the HOTTTTTTTTT south, potatoes do not keep for very long. I've never tried growing them, but I think this might be the year to start. At any rate, I bought 20 pounds today, at a not-too-dreadful .59/lb. I made mashed potatoes for the freezer and a BUNCH of twice baked potatoes. I will freeze them and they will be on hand any time I want them. I know you can make mashed potatoes from instant, but I am a real-thing kinda girl. ;)

I am now on the hunt for a recipe for roasted potatoes that I can make ahead and freeze. Potatoes usually do okay if you at least partially cook them first. If you don't, they turn black... very unappetizing. If I find one, I'll post!

Here's to a Frugal Friday for everyone!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I guess I am trying several things on "for size"... to see how they fit me.
And today, I realize that I need to be thankful.

Son #1 just called me and told me that he got his orders... he will be stationed in the city where he is now, and he will probably be deployed in January.
"At least I'll be home for Christmas," he said.
"Yes, and I am grateful for that," I said.

So today, I choose to be thankful for every moment I have with my family - the good, the bad, the ugly.... because those moments quickly become too few, and all too precious.

Got Stress?

Try this:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Works For Me Wednesday - first time!

For the very first time, I am participating in "Works For Me Wednesday". Not that I've never found anything that worked for me before... I've just never participated before! :)
So here's what works for me:
Every year, we plant a garden. Some years it is larger than others... this year it happens to be on the large-ish size for us. And we have a bounty of tomatoes. After the salmonella scare on tomatoes, I'd be nervous to buy any kind at the grocery store.... but this year, we don't have to. We have grape tomatoes, romas, huge gigantic slicing tomatoes.... and they are sweet and juicy and salmonella free.
Having said that, we've also got cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant, and peas. There is a smattering of watermelon vines and a few collards thrown in for good measure. I love having fresh produce from my backyard... and that is what works for me.
Now I am off to find a tomato sauce that I can make and freeze, and not have to can it, because I don't know how to can. But I can freeze. So hopefully, that will be the next thing that works for me!

Vacation Bible School

Can I just take a moment to say a huge "THANK YOU" to everyone who teaches Vacation Bible School? I am a teacher, so I work with children every day. However, when summer comes around, I am with my own little man all day every day. His big brothers are both off serving the military, so this is the first summer that it has been just him and me during the day (Daddy has been gone during the days taking graduate classes).

He is at VBS this week, and he is LOVING it. And I am loving the time for Mommy, too. ;)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Tackle It Tuesday

Since I am out for the summer, I am doing a little more with the blog. So, since it's Tuesday, I'm joining in Tackle It Tuesday!
My project for today is the master bath. Hubby is out of town, and it is my goal to get that space spotless before he comes home! I've already scrubbed the floor, and have ordered new towels which should arrive tomorrow. So I should be able to have a 'brand new room' at the end of the day. :)
Drum roll, please....
Here's a shot of the area that got the most work!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!!

Happy Monday, everyone.
For tons of ideas, visit
Our menu for the week is a little unusual, because it's just ds#3 and me. Hubby is out of town at a conference, so I'm listing lunches and dinners in an effort to keep darling son from talking me into a meal out, unless it's planned. :)

Lunches (in no particular order)
quesadillas, refried beans, chips & salsa
chicken tenders, broccoli & cheese
"Toasted" sub sandwich, tossed salad
tortellini w/spaghetti sauce
miscellaneous leftovers from dinner

Sun~ Nachos
Mon~ dinner with my parents: roast, mashed potatoes & gravy, and I'll bring a veggie.
Tues~ Spaghetti carbonara, salad, bread
Wed~ BBQ Chicken (tenders), rice, broccoli, cucumber & tomato slices, cornbread
Thurs~ going to Concert in the Park with my parents - picnic!
Fri~ either Breakfast for Dinner or movie night
Sat~ Hubby comes home, so it will be his request!

Friday, June 20, 2008

my life...

I am really missing my big boys.
Fortunately, both of them now have the capability to access internet, so I can chat with them pretty frequently, but I miss them.

And I am feeling the challenges of being a stay-at-home-mom during the summer.
Son #3 needs constant attention.
I mean, he can entertain himself for a little while, but he wants me involved in EVERYTHING he is doing. Which is nice, but when it's 24/7, it gets very demanding.

Thank God for VBS next week. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Another week, another menu

Our menu this week is simple to accomodate the HOT HOT weather. We did finally get some rain this week, but humidity is 1000% percent and temps are in the 90s, so our menus are a little lighter.

Sun~ Father's Day - Dad's choice! BLTs, chips & dip, apple-cherry pie

Mon~ Tacos, burritos, taco salad (make your own)

Tues~ Tuna sandwiches, pasta salad, cucumber spears

Wed~ Gyros, cucumber sauce

Thurs~ Breakfast: waffles, bacon, grits

Fri~ BBQ sandwiches (crockpot!), tater tots, tossed salad

Sat~ TBA - Hubby leaves to go out of town next Sunday, so we may go out to eat on Saturday.

More great menus at !

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Back from Texas!!

We are finally home from the very LARGE Lone Star state.

We drove from Florida to San Antonio, Texas, to see son #2 graduate from Air Force Basic Training. We had a great visit with him, but it was a L-O-N-G drive. Have I mentioned that Texas is a very BIG state? If you ever had any doubts, allow me to put them to rest. It goes forever.

Anyway, we are back, and I'm here to share my menu for the week!
Lots more plans at

Sun~ spaghetti and spinach bites
Mon~ lemon pepper chicken, mashed potatoes, cucumber salad
Tues~ tacos & burritos
Wed~ our 14th anniversary! Steak, baked potatoes, tossed salad, texas toast
Thurs~ pasta tossed with basil & grape tomatoes from our garden, topped with feta cheese
Fri~ BLTs, tater tots
Sat~ TBA

Our garden has begun to grow!!! We've got enormous cucumbers, grape tomatoes, and the beefsteak tomatoes are beginning to ripen too. We've also got bell peppers, and will probably have peas in about 2 weeks. So we add garden produce to our meals whenever possible.

Tee ball all stars games are this week. Ds#3 did not make all-stars (he should have, but it's a long drawn out story... and made our lives much simpler that he did not) but all his buddies did, so we will be going to watch some of the games. They start on Thursday night, so the menu may be adjusted accordingly.