Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a godly home

“I believe that a godly home is a foretaste of heaven. Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.” ― Jani Ortlund

meal plan

My two week meal plan...
Its been difficult to plan on a budget this week because the sales just arent happening in the area stores :( but I am pretty certain I will be able to get everything I need for about 40 a week... for a family of three I suppose thats not too much...

- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup using leftover roasting chicken and broth
-Sweet and Spicy Chicken Legs
-Stromboni using a whole wheat dough
-Homemade Corn Dogs and Cheese Sticks ( my hubs birthday dinner)
-Homemade Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potato
-Tacos using leftover roasting chicken
-Kabobes with Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Lasagna Bake with Homemade sauce
-Potato and Kalbasa soup
-Breakfast for Dinner
-Crockpot Roasting Chicken with Whole Wheat Rice
-Homemade Nuggets and Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

I am going to try out making my own evap milk.
Each meal will also have veggies or fruit and a starch


Cinnamon Raisin Bread ( breadmaker)
PB/Banana Smoothie
Fruit Smoothie with some spinach
Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies
Banana Bread
Granola with Yogurt

I also want to make homemade strawberry sauce for milk and yogurt

Lunch is usually leftovers or tuna or pb sandwiches.

I might only make a couple of the breakfasts depending on the cost of the ingredients.

My goal is still to keep the costs low and the nutrition value high.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An art project...

During toddler school the other day my son and I made some leaf artwork. It was a leaf wreath for the front door :)

First we gathered leaves outside, then hot glued them to a small plate with a hole cut out the middle. Next up attached some left over rope. It was simple and fun!

an art board

A couple weeks ago I came up with an idea to use some wood scraps laying outside, some old spray paint, a few clothes pins and toy blocks to make an art display board for my sons room.

It was super easy to make and took only about 10 mins.

First off, I found a good piece of wood flat, wide and had enough room for the blocks to fit. Then screwed onto it the blocks that spell out "color" Then spray painted it all. For the clothes pins I attached them to a piece of cardboard to make holding them easy then spray painted them yellow.
Once it was completely dry I hot glued them to the board, attached hooks on the back and ta da... a place to display all my sons wonderful artwork. And the entire project was free!!

Vegetable Chowder

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 c. broth or water {I always use broth}
  • 1 bouillon cube — 2 cubes if use water instead of broth
  • 1 c.. zucchini chunks
  • 1 15 oz. can corn with liquid
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T. flour
  • 2/3 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 c. shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • I also used a little onion soup mix
I basically just cooked the veggies in the broth, added the cube when done added flour, evap milk, cheese and I was done :)

Caramel Apple Pancakes

This were so good! I just used the applesauce pancake recipe I normally use, made a caramel sauce and drizzled over the top... bada bing! caramel apple goodness!

For the pancakes:

2 eggs
2 c flour
1 c milk
1 c applesauce
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 T sugar
2 T baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees. (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.) Grease griddle. For each pancake, use slightly less than 1/4 cup batter. Cook pancakes until bubbly on top and dry around the edges. Turn to cook other sides until golden brown.

Caramel Sauce Recipe


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


1 First, before you begin, make sure you have everything ready to go - the cream and the butter next to the pan, ready to put in. Making caramel is a fast process that cannot wait for hunting around for ingredients. If you don't work fast, the sugar will burn. Safety first - make sure there are no children under foot and you may want to wear oven mitts; the caramelized sugar will be much hotter than boiling water.

2 Heat sugar on moderately high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart or 3-quart saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. As soon as the sugar comes to a boil, stop stirring. You can swirl the pan a bit if you want, from this point on. Note that this recipe works best if you are using a thick-bottomed pan. If you find that you end up burning some of the sugar before the rest of it is melted, the next time you attempt it, add a half cup of water to the sugar at the beginning of the process, this will help the sugar to cook more evenly, though it will take longer as the water will need to evaporate before the sugar will caramelize.

3 As soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted (the liquid sugar should be dark amber in color), immediately add the butter to the pan. Whisk until the butter has melted.

4 Once the butter has melted, take the pan off the heat. Count to three, then slowly add the cream to the pan and continue to whisk to incorporate. Note than when you add the butter and the cream, the mixture will foam up considerably. This is why you must use a pan that is at least 2-quarts (preferably 3-quarts) big.

5 Whisk until caramel sauce is smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass mason jar and let sit to cool to room temperature. (Remember to use pot holders when handling the jar filled with hot caramel sauce.) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Warm before serving.

Yield: Makes a little over one cup of sauce.

Pancake Sausage Muffins

These are beyond easy peasy to make. In a only a few minutes and very little baking time I have a delicious on the go breakfast. These also freeze well. A good grab and go on the way to church breakfast. Enjoy!

Pancake-Sausage Muffins

2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
2 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 pound cooked turkey sausage

Mix dry ingredients together. Add milk or buttermilk, eggs and melted butter. Stir in browned turkey sausage.

Pour batter into 18 buttered muffin tins. (I don’t recommend paper muffin liners for this as it will stick.) Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Serve with a lovely drizzle of maple syrup!

Potato and Bacon Torte

Made this for the first time a couple weeks back and has since made it a second time at my husbands request. It is SO very good. Simple, inexpensive and just yummy!


  • 4 strips bacon
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Pie Crusts, recipe follows
  • 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool to the touch.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the thyme and cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.

Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then finely slice the potatoes. Working in circles, arrange the potato slices in the pie crust, stopping to season each layer with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the crumbled bacon. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Top with an even layer of the cheese and gently pour cream around and over the entire pie, allowing it to seep down between the potato slices. (You may not use all the cream.)

Roll out the remaining disk of refrigerated dough. Cover the pie with the dough and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape, and put the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake the torte until the crust is browned and crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust edges get too brown, cover them with some strips of aluminum foil. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Pie Crust:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients.

Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

this and that

creative blog post name... not! ;)

1. Ok so my addiction to pinterest has only gotten Hubs has no put the application on my iphone! They have made an app!! :)
Seriously though I really think you should check it out. I have gotten so many craft ideas and home improvement ideas from it.

2. I need a haircut, like for reals! Its dry and shapeless and hopeless.... sad really and I definently DO NOT feel girly! I dont want to sound vain but I would like to look good for my Hubs and also have a style thats easy to manage. I am thinking of darkening it too...hmm should I?

3. My goal was to train for a 5k this first one. I haven't been though...and I am embarrassed I posted I was going to but sadly didn't... I am just struggling with time lately.

4. Speaking of time, there's not enough of it! I over commit myself to projects and activities. I just have so many people who are counting on me and who ask me for help. I sometimes just feel so very overwhelmed :(

5. Are the leaves changing where you live? They are here!! In Maine its crazy beautiful right now. This morning I went to open up the curtains in my sons room, it was very sunny. When I did ( there's a big outside his window that has changed to orange) he shouted " WOW!!" It was super gorgeous. You should have seen it! So bright and cheerful. Can a tree be cheerful... I think so, this one sure was ;)

no sugar- two week update

Hey everyone, well my goal to update you on the progress of the two week challenge to go without sugar was not accomplished :( I meant to post an update but everytime I sat down at the computer something always came up...
So here is an update:
I did... pretty good. Did I go the two weeks completely without the stuff....umm no not even close! Did I cheat a lot? not at all! But truth is, I love to bake. I also hate to waste. I love to enjoy a treat every now and then with my family. Key words: EVERY NOW AND THEN. Yes, I did have some sugar but in moderation and not every day. Did I see an improvement? You betcha! My energy level went up some, and I felt more focused. Am I still cutting down on sugar now that the two weeks are up? Of course! My goal is to cut down dessert to only a couple times a week, no soda ( besides tonight... Hubby brought one home... sneaky sneaky I know ;) )

I am also journaling what I am eating. Made a list of breakfast and lunch meals that are good for me to have and will help me on my weight loss journey. This morning... 2 egg omelet with cherry tomatoes and low fat cheese sprinkled on top with a cup of green tea.

I have gone down a couple pounds :) yay!

I will try my best to keep updating on this journey of mine. Until next time...