Monthly Archives: October 2011

Monday Menu Plan


Menu for the Week of October 31st, 2011

Monday- Halloween party at a friends house. If we don't eat food there, we will have leftovers. Makes for an easy Monday night!!

Tuesday- Mexican Chicken "Lasagna" 

Wednesday-  Slow Cooker Lentil Rice Casserole  from Katie's "Everything Beans Book" @

Thursday-"Wanna Be" Lasagna Skillet Pasta (No boil, no bake lasagna-my kind of meal!) With Joe's Rosemary Bread (

Friday- Herb Crusted Halibut AKA-Mommy's fish stix With a new attempt at homemade tater-tots courtesy

Saturday- Venison Chili (Oh yeah…Never had venison before, we got it from a friend. So excited to try it!)

Sunday-Sandwiches (Again, due to C-boy's AWANA program's ill-timed placement on Sunday nights at 5…Anyone know why they do this to us? Ugh)

That's the weekly round up, it's been fun planning these meals ahead of time, and makes my afternoons less stressful because I know what's in order. Breakfast and Lunches seem to fall nicely into place as well, and I have no need or desire to list them all out for the week. But I can tell you that sourdough pancakes and pumpkin oatmeal are on the breakfast list this week. Be Safe tomorrow night out with the kids (Unless you're like me and don't take kids trick or treating) have a great week!

Thankful Thursday; Remembering the “Terrible Twos” in 20 Ways


So A-girl is three months into the terrible twos although they started a long time ago. In an effort to remain sane while traveling through this season of life with her, I feel compelled to write down all the things she does and says that will make me miss her at this age, despite the tantrums, manipulating, and dramatics that accompany my two year old daughter. 


20 ways you will make me smile (forever)

1. Your beautiful blue eyes.

2. How everyone says you have your mama's curls. (I don't trust them to last, so I'm enjoying them now!)

3. The way your eyes get HUGE when we are really close and talking about something "So Cool"

4. How you potty trained yourself because you wanted to be a big girl. I really hope you grow out of wanting to be a big girl…You'll grow up way to fast like mama did.

5. It makes my laugh and smile to see you traipsing around the house in nothing but your pink panties and high heeled princess shoes.

6. It makes me smile to remember how well you can speak at this age, but how you never say the "s" at the beginning of a word. Spaceship becomes "Paceship" and spaghetti is "Paghetti" 

7. The way you light up whenever daddy comes home.

8. How eager you are to help me in the kitchen dumping measuring spoons and watching my ever-constant mixer go 'round and 'round.

9. Your chubby little buns…Oh, I could just squeeze all day!

10. It makes me smile that you both have similar white lovey blankets; The name of your white blanket is "Neenee". Brother's white favorite blanket was "Boo" (And I have no idea where either name came from.)

11. It makes me smile to listen to how sweet you are to your brother even when he isn't nice to you.

12. You know how to use your manners. It does a mama's heart good to hear that.

13. Whenever you are sad, you want to sit on my lap and snuggle for as long as I can sit. (Which isn't long these days)

14. That you love to go shopping with me, even when it's to Walmart and I haven't promised you a toy. (Because I don't need to, and most times I don't even need  a snack for you either)

15. It makes me smile to hear you call yourself a princess. Even though it brings frantic thoughts of drama and pinkness beyond my comprehension.

16. That when you fall asleep in my arms you still do your little baby whimper-smile with your sweet little lips. 

17. It makes me smile that you are always willing to sit and read. You love books.

18. I think it's pretty cool that you love to count, sing songs pretty well and are well on your way to knowing the whole alphabet.

19. It makes me smile when you do something that your brother asks you to do without questioning him, because you trust him completely. (May be dangerous some day…)

20. It makes me smile knowing that God gave you to me for this sweet time and I get the privilege of watching you grow and teaching you all the wonders of Christ so that you too may one day know and love Him as much as I do.

I love my babies!


Monday Menu Plan October 24th, 2011


So even though I had nothing to foul up my menu planning yesterday, I still didn't manage to write it down in a post for the world to see. I am finally getting a minute to do so. BTW, I completely blame the horribly sore neck and shoulder that I had all weekend for the lapse in posting my menu on time! Haha!

Monday: Slow Cooker Roast Beef with potatoes, carrots, onions and buttermilk (freshly cultured too!) biscuits.

Tuesday: Turkey Burgers on home baked Sourdough rolls with a tossed salad and maybe some steamed brocolli since I need to use it.

Wednesday: Quesadilla Casserole with home made refried beans.

Thursday: freezer Meal, probably a lasagna bolognese that I made last month with a spinach and romaine caesar salad.

Friday: Halloween party at the In-Laws house. I expect only the finest "Unhealthy Foods" Since that what she creatively put on the inviations. It was pretty cool!

Saturday: Barbeque Chicken with garlic mashed red potatoes and green beans.

Sunday: Turkey and/or PB&J Sandwiches with matchstick carrots



Fall Bucket List (A Part of Thankful Thursdays)

Fall is my favorite season of all of them. The smell on the air, the falling leaves, the chilly mornings and still warm afternoons. There are quite a few fun things to do in Northern California in the autumn. Here is this years bucket list before the cold gets too cold!




Wordless Wednesday

It's always sweet when big brother will let his little sister give him a sweet peck on the cheek. Happy Wednesday!



Tasty Tuesday October 18, 2011



Pumpkin Tortellini
Recipe courtesy Giacomo's
Prep Time:
10 min
Cook Time:
10 min
Serves: 4

1 tablespoon butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage leaves
3 tablespoons mascarpone
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bag pumpkin or butternut squash filled pasta
1/4 cup or less grated Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper
In saute pan, melt the butter with a pinch of pepper, the sage, and mascarpone. Add heavy cream and reduce to a thick sauce, about 10 minutes. While the sauce is reducing, boil the pasta. Drain and add to the sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce over low heat until the pasta is well coated. Add the cheese and salt and pepper, to taste.
* Restaurant Recipe
This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. Food Network Kitchens have not tested this recipe in the proportions indicated and therefore cannot make representation as to the results.

The Joy of Jars…50 Different Ways!

I absolutely love glass jars….! I have been collecting them like crazy lately, and I needed some inspiration!

I thought the whole concept of food in a jar deserved a post all of it's own.

So this weeks post is dedicated to all the glorious food you can put in a jar: desserts in a jar, bread in a jar, appetizers in a jar, meals in a jar, drinks in a jar… I think you can pretty much put anything in jar and it instantly becomes a million times cuter!

{Source: I Am Baker}
Cheesecake in a Jar

{Source: My Baking Addiction}
Mixed Berry Cheesecake in Jars

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
No Bake Oreo Cheesecake in a Jar

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Neapolitan Cake in a Jar

{Source: Sprinkled With Flour}
Banana Split Cake in Jars

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Rainbow Cake in a Jar

{Source: How Sweet It Is}
S'Mores Cake in a Jar

{Source: Eclectic Recipes}
Whiskey in a Jar Chocolate Cake {flour-less recipe}

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Peanut Butter Cups {Cake} in a Jar

{SourceMartha Stewart}
Buttermilk Cupcakes in a Jar

{Source: Cakies}
Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar

{Source: Glorious Treats}
Orange Dreamsicle Cupcakes in a Jar

{Source: Man With a Fork}
Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake in Jars

{Source: The Boastful Baker}
Mini Canning Jar Apple Pies

{Source: Our Best Bites}
Single Serving Pie in a Jar

{Source: The Nerd's Wife}
Pumpkin Pie in a Jar

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Peach Cobbler in a Jar

{Source: Gooseberry Patch via My Recipes}
Baked Brownies in a Jar

{Source: Pen n' Paper Flowers}
Ice Cream Jars

{Source: Paula Deen}
White Chocolate Lemon Trifle Jars

{Source: Ezra Pound Cake}
Mason Jar Breakfast Parfaits

{Source: American Spoon}
Jam, Granola & Yogurt Parfait Jars

{Source: Today's Nest}
Chocolate Banana Pudding Jars

{Source: Savor This Moment}
Bread Pudding in a Jar

{Source: Healthful Pursuit}
Layered Maple Oat n’ Apple Dessert Jars

{Source: My Baking Addiction}
Cherry Crisp in a Jar

{Source: The Family Kitchen}
Monkey Bread in a Jar

{Source: Good Food Bread & Muffins}
Chocolate Muffin Bread in a Jar

{Source: Simple Bites}
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Rolls in a Jar

{Source: The Chubby Vegetarian}
Caprese Salad in a Jar

{Source: Salad in a Jar}
Romaine Salad in a Jar

{Source: Savvy Mom}
Simple Layer Dip in a Jar

{Source: Southern Living}
Mason Jar Layered Cornbread and Turkey Salad

{Source: Savoring The Thyme}
Wheat Berry Apple Salad in a Jar

{Source: Country Living}
Corn and Chickpea Salad in a Jar

{Source: Fat and Happy}
Mason Jar Turkey Chickpea Salad

{Source: The Decorated Cookie}
Pesto Pasta in a Jar

{Source: Stone Gable}
Homemade Pasta Salad Jars

{Source: My Own Ideas}
Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomatoes with Garlic Herb Pesto in a Jar

{Source: Eat*Drink*Pretty}
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tarts in a Jar

{Source: Good Housekeeping}
Shrimp Rillettes in a Jar

{Source: Fuchsia}
Hearty Lentil Stew with Roasted Squash & Pumpkin Jar

{Source: Jones in Hungry}
BBQ Sundae in a Jar

{Source: Giver's Log}
Chili and Cornbread in a Jar

{Source: Saveur}
Strawberry Moonshine Julep

{Source: Nutrition to Invigorate Mind Body and Spirit}
Mason Jar Mojito Cocktail

{Source: Southern Weddings}
Mason Jar Mojitos

{Source: Martha Stewart}
Lemony Spiked Sweet Tea

{Source: Kahakai Kitchen}
Cranberry Apple Cider Shandy

Now I want to save even more jars!

Monday Menu October 17, 2011



Last week, I did not post a menu due to the fact that the engineer was away on business and I knew it would be a week of leftovers, freezer meals and sandwiches. Here's the lineup for this week. Have a great week and enjoy!
Monday: Turkey Burgers with Jalapeno Potato Poppers
        (Curtesy of
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas with Mexi Rice and Homemade Refried Beans
        (Beans recipes from's "Everything beans book" and enchilada recipe is my   own and can be found here in my recipes list)
Wednesday: Rustic Corn Chowder
                (I'm sorry, but this recipe has no link and I don't know what magazine it came from!)
Thursday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Jasmine Rice
                (America's Test Kitchen Skillet Meals Cookbook)
Friday: Homemade Pizza’s
         (my own recipe)
Saturday: Slow Cooker Meal
         (Not too sure yet, but check out, although many of their recipes call for canned cream of X soups, I make my own and will be subbing that part of the recipe when I figure out                 what recipe I'd like to make)
Sunday: Sandwiches Before AWANA’s

Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken


This is a great freezer meal. What makes it really nice is that you wrap them individually, so if you make a whole bunch, you can serve the who neighborhood with a quick drop in the oven, or you can make one for yourself for lunch or for just you and the kids when the husband is working late. But you certainly don't have to freeze it, you can eat it today too!!
6 boneless chicken breasts
10 oz. Monterey jack cheese with jalapenos, not shredded
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup salsa or taco sauce, not chunky
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Serving Day:
1/4 cup butter
sliced avocado, salsa, or sour cream
Cooking Day:
Cut Monterey jack cheese into 6 equal pieces. Cut a horizontal slit or pocket into the side of each chicken breast-don’t cut all the way through. Place one piece of cheese in the pocket of each chicken breast. To secure the cheese in the pocket, use 2-3 wooden toothpicks if needed.
In a shallow pan or pie plate, mix together eggs, salsa, and salt. In a separate pan, combine the panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and oregano. Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture to coat, then dip the breast in the panko crumb mixture. Place coated breasts in a shallow baking dish. Freeze for 1 hour, then carefully wrap each chicken breast in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze them in a large freezer bag.
Serving Day:
Carefully unwrap chicken breasts. Place 1/4 cup butter in a 9×13 baking dish and put in over while it is preheating to 375. As soon as the butter is melted, remove the pan from the oven. Place chicken in dish, turning to coat with butter. Bake uncovered about 35-40 minutes, or just until done. Serve immediately.
The instructions are for freezing prior to serving. You can certainly make and eat the same day, just disregard the freezing instructions!

Thankful Thursday October 13th, 2011

Thankful for you! Your patience with me as I struggle to balance life; God, children, a traveling husband, a clean house, a well fed family, etc…

Thanks for sticking around and listening to me come up with excuses as to why I haven't posted anything lately. There is no crew of people (or sponsors to pay me or them) hanging out here waiting for me to give directions and delegate online chores/writing…It's just me.

I am still recovering from a long weekend away, and coming home without the engineer at my side to help with the kids or household stuff. I actually found myself being dramatic with him on Skype last night about how I had to take out the trash cans, how I had to empty the dishwasher, etc…I found myself laughing about it afterwards. Because, no I wasn't really complaining…I was making a point that I missed him and really appreciated the things he does around the house to help me. (Gee, I hope he understood that was my point- I'll have to clarify later!)

My kids have been especially "spirited" this week. My daughter is in the throws of the "terrible twos" and my son is challenging every rule (still) as he struggles with being a big kindergartner and yet still a very little (read: irresponsible) boy. They want structure and rules, yet are constantly challenging my authority.

But I am thankful…

Thankful that I have been blessed with two children. Some either struggle with the desire for a family while others struggle with even wanting the family they have.

Thankful that my husband loves me and is committed to working through some issues we have and growing together in our relationship.

Thankful that even though we have NO money right now, all my wants needs are being provided for. 

Thankful for my God who loved me so much that He died for me, took away all my sins, and continues to grow me and stretch me in ways that are sometimes painful but result in great fruit. Thank you Jesus!

And last, but already mentioned; YOU! My readers who are patient with me and continue to read my posts. 

Happy Thursday!