Sunday, August 31, 2008

Watching Gustav and Menu Planning...

We've been watching Hurricane Gustav... looking to see if he'll turn or stay on his current path. So far, it looks like we are out of the 'worry zone'. It's been very breezy all day but not too much rain - I guess that will come in later. Yes, hurricane season in Hurricane Alley. We are here.

This week is a very light week as far as cooking goes. My birthday is this week so I get treated to lots of meals out of the kitchen! ;)
Sunday~ out with hubby to a fave local spot
Monday~ Labor Day Holiday - hotdogs and baked beans, probably from inside because we're expecting lots of tropical moisture....
Tuesday~ Beef stroganoff over egg noodles, mushrooms, salad, broccoli
Wednesday~ my birthday - out to eat here.... ever had fried pickles???
Thursday~ Loaded potatoes and tossed salad
Friday~ jewelry party for the girls... finger foods (the boys will go somewhere else!!)
Saturday~ Empanadas (first time with this recipe - I'll be using ground beef instead of turkey)
Be sure to visit Organized Junkie for inspiring menus!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
That is what I can say about last week.

Having my menus planned and lots of stuff ready to go in the freezer really saved me at meal time. We get home an hour later this year, and everybody is RAVENOUS when we walk in the door. We followed the plan really well - ended up going out for pizza on Friday night, and Saturday, I made baked spaghetti from Monday night's leftovers (just layered spaghetti noodles, sauce, and shredded cheese until the dish was full and leftovers were used up. Baked at 325 until cheese was bubbly and everything was heated through).
On to this week:
Sunday~ Sticky chicken (I use bone-in chicken breasts), twice baked potatoes (from the freezer), zipper peas from our garden, homemade cornbread.
Monday~ Roast in the crock pot, mashed potatatoes (from the freezer), tossed salad, rolls.
Tuesday~ Open-faced roast beef sandwiches with gravy (leftovers from Monday!).
Wednesday~ Hubby's first night of graduate classes - son #3 and I will probably have leftovers.
Thursday~ if it rains like it is forecast to do, Taco Soup. If not, Chicken salad (made from Sunday's leftovers).
Friday~ OUT TO EAT - we are celebrating PAYDAY ! ! ! !
Saturday~ out with the fam for my birthday (which actually isn't until next week)
Check out Organized Junkie for more menu inspiration - and have a GREAT week!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Frugal Friday

Well, it is Friday. And as I said in my post yesterday, I am SUPREMELY thankful. God has blessed me this week, but I am relieved to see the weekend come so that we can sleep in a little bit, and unwind a little bit, and play a little too.

My frugal tip this week is about packing lunches for school. I have been pleased with my own resourcefulness this week as I have tried to provide good lunches for my son, my husband, and myself back at school.

I made a big bowl of pasta salad on Sunday, and dear hubby has taken it all week to work. This has been a nice comfort to him because he loves pasta salad, and it has been a stressful week.

Darling son has taken turkey rolled around cheese, water, homemade cookies, and crackers (or some variation thereof) and been perfectly content. He actually likes to have the same kind of lunch every day. Variety in 'dessert' is okay, but he pretty much likes everything else to be the same.

And because I have a fridge and a microwave in my office, I have been able to take leftovers from dinner this week. So we've not spent any money eating out - woo hoo!

What's your frugal idea for the week? Share at!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week, I am thankful for a couple of very specific things.
This has been the first week of school with students for us, and I have not been this exhausted in a long time. I have enormous classes.... I teach chorus, so large classes with performing groups is to be expected, but I also have some extremely large Music Appreciation classes. In all, I'm seeing over 200 students a day. Middle school students. Emotional, hormonal, dramatic middle school students.
I am thankful that God has helped me keep a positive attitude when it would have been just as easy to be sour.
I am thankful that my husband and I have purposed to pray together every day for God's grace to sustain us through the day.
I am thankful that my darling 2nd grader has had a fantastic week.
And lastly, I am thankful that FRIDAY IS ALMOST HERE !!!!!
Share your blessings at Thankful Thursday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time for Menu Plan!

If you could see all the arrows on my calendar pointing to rearranged dinners, you would laugh. Out loud.
Flexibility is the name of the game... and having everything on hand to prepare meals without having to dash to the store has helped me watch our pennies as we wait for the first payday since June!
Hubby and I went back to work this week, and our youngest son resumed his routine at his daycare. They had several field trips this week, so that made it a little more palatable. We, however, dealt with numerous stressors as we prepare for students to arrive on Monday.
Deep breath.
Our school hours have changed this year because the school district says it can save big $$ this way. We will now be getting home around 5 p.m. I'm not EVEN going to get started on my feelings here, but I will say that being prepared for dinner will be ESSENTIAL if I am going to keep my lovely family from going into a meltdown in the evenings.
Sunday~ Red beans and rice with sausage (did not get cooked on Saturday - we had leftovers instead)
Monday~ Spaghetti with meatballs, caesar salad, garlic bread - the sauce will cook in the crock pot while we're at school (this is true comfort food in our house, and we will need it, as it is the first day back to school with students)
Tuesday~ Chicken in mushroom gravy, egg noodles, broccoli, crescent rolls
Wednesday~ Our old standby of breakfast for dinner
Thursday~ Marinated flank steak, twice baked potatoes from the freezer, salad
Friday~ I'm not sure... if we're living and breathing by then, we may just have pizza.
Saturday~ TBA

Friday, August 15, 2008

Frugal Friday...having a plan

My darling husband loves to go out to eat. He just does. However, I am also a pretty proficient cook, and can usually replicate a darn good dinner for a fraction of what it would cost to go out.

So hubby says to me, "Wanna go out to eat tonight?" (It is the end of our first week back to work, and that has been somewhat stressful.)
We chat about what he has in mind, and I say, "Let me think about it."

So I think about what he wants.... he wants to go to a quaint Italian place close to our house and have pizza. Well, I have pizza in the freezer. I also have cheese sticks, and 'fried' mushrooms - both of which he loves. So I think that tonight, we'll eat in.

I have learned to always have a plan. I can change it if I want to, but having one usually saves me a lot of money! Visit Frugal Friday for more tips!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Six Random Things...

Kate at A Simple Walk tagged me to share 6 random things about myself. When I am done, I get to tag 6 more people to play along. So, here goes, six random things about me:

1. I adore chocolate. It makes me feel better. YES, I need it.

2. I love to sing. When I lose my voice, I feel like I will die because I cannot express myself in song. Bizarre, maybe. Music is truly the language of my soul.

3. In high school, I thought it would be a waste to go to college... instead, I'd just get married after graduation and have kids. Never mind that I didn't even have a boyfriend. (I never told my parents about these plans. I am sure they would not have approved.) **If this happens to be your story, please do not feel that I am implying anything negative about your choice. This is simply VERY different from the way my own life turned out.**

4. I have considered shaving my head. You can read more of that story here.

5. I was probably the most unattached pregnant woman I have ever known. I was not in love with the baby inside me. I was too busy throwing up and wishing I could feel better to care that he could be wonderful. (After he was born, all that changed. But for those nine months..... ugh.)

6. I wish I looked good without makeup. My sister is gorgeous when she wakes up in the morning. I am not. I need some help. Mascara, eyeliner, and blush are my friends.

Okay. Here are my six:
1. Kiy at Rocking Chairs & a Tricycle
2. Audra at Krellfish
3. Carolyn at Scrapping Servant
4. Toni at The Happy Housewife
5. Diane at Forgetful One
6. Jubilee at Notes of Jubilee

Have fun with it! ;)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's Menu Plan Monday. I learned in a recent Bible Study to associate "Monday" with "Attitude" - a positive one, that is! So as I savor my last moments of summer vacation, I am going to practice having a good attitude.
Last week's menu was an interesting time. I spent Monday shuttling my grandmother back and forth to the doctor, so it was nice to know what we were having for dinner without having to think about it. Tuesday, my darling husband decided to surprise me with a dinner at one of our favorite spots, The Melting Pot. On Wednesday, my youngest brother came from Charlotte to visit the family here, so we gathered at What-a-burger for buy-one-get-one-free night. That meant that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were all shuffled around! Once again, hubby loved the Bourbon Chicken (which, by the way, has no bourbon in it), and dear Marine Son requested the tenderloin on the grill, which brought us to Saturday, and that was a hodge podge of trying to use up leftovers in the fridge.
Because... hubby decided we should have family gathering before Marine Son leaves on Tuesday. So that means we need room for everything that will go in it on Sunday (the day of the cookout).

So the plan for this week.
We go back to school on Tuesday - but no students until the following week.

Sunday~ family dinner. Hubby will grill burgers, dogs, and sausages. My mom is bringing potato salad (she makes the BEST), sister is bringing baked beans, grandmother is bringing buns and ice cream. We will also have chips, and I will make cookies and this dessert from Cooking Light. Perfect with or without the ice cream.

Monday~ Penne with chicken and pesto, tossed salad, garlic bread. (We tried this for the first time last month and really liked it; I will make more sauce because we wanted more for the pasta!)

Tuesday~ Either leftovers or pork BBQ sandwiches (made in the crockpot) with chips or any remaining side dishes from the cookout the day before. (I have a meeting after school, so I need dinner to be readily available to hubby & son #3 just in case I'm home later than expected.)

Wednesday~ Breakfast for Dinner.

Thursday~ Pizza for the boys. I will take a side dish to a Bible Study.

Friday~ Sandwiches and pasta salad.

Saturday~ Red beans and rice with sausage.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's another Monday.... and you know what that means!!! Hop over to Laura's to get inspired with tons of ideas for your menu.

So about last week....
the menu went fine - I didn't make the A-1 & Dijon steak recipe; we ended up with good ol' spaghetti instead. But everything else went pretty much according to plan. The boys ordered pizza while I was at the Beth Moore simulcast on Friday (which, by the way, was AMAZING!!), and Saturday, we made BBQ chicken sandwiches from leftover lemon & herb chicken.

And on to this week.....
Sunday~ Leftovers: BBQ chicken sandwiches, pasta salad, mac'n'cheese, anything in the fridge
(hubby was sick so I didn't really cook.)
Monday~ Tacos & nachos
Tuesday~ Bourbon chicken, rice, zipper peas (from our garden), garlic biscuits
Wednesday~ Breakfast for dinner
Thursday~ Beef tenderloin on the grill, mashed potatoes, tossed salad, texas toast
Friday~ Sandwiches & chips (if there's any tenderloin left, we'll get fancy with the sandwiches. If not, it'll just be turkey!)
Saturday~ Pork BBQ sandwiches, baked beans