Tuesday, September 28, 2010

k12 still sucks

Big time.

Sept 28

breakfast, rice, milk, sugar, scrambled eggs with ham on english muffins
lunch, split pea soup, roast pork, acorn squash, cauliflower with cheese sauce
dinner, potato soup, leftovers

We have a Court of Honor tonight. Both #1 and #2 are moving up a rank and receiving about 10 badges each. #1 is working on his communications badge so his the Master of Ceremonies and the Venturing crew (which he is part of) is in charge of refreshments and cleanup. That means this household is doing the planning, coordinating of program and refreshments and cleanup. It is going to be a long and busy day.

Hmmm, how do I feel about this?

The younger sister is wearing her brother's pants (and they fit and will be highwaters on her before him). The brother wore his younger sister's shirt. And it fit. (It was black. He absolutely would not wear pink but he had on her black long sleeve shirt for a couple days last week.)

This wasn't a problem with two boys. #1 and #2 would swap clothes all the time. #4 and #5 seem to be swapping clothes and both have a touch of embarrassment when they have each other's clothes on. But not enough embarrassment to march themselves upstairs to change their clothes.

Today the girl doesn't care. She has on his pants and she wants to go outside and she just does not care.

I foresee screaming.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Really, k12

sucks.

That is my current opinion. I am hoping it changes.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Car Adventure

As I mentioned before we sold the van. We bought a PT cruiser. It is working out mostly. To get to church we would just plan two trips but friends of ours have loaned us a vehicle they are not using so we just put 4 in one car and 4 in the truck (extended cab) and make one trip. By the time they want the car back we will have enough cash to buy a beater. Problem solved!

People have asked us, "Well, what will you do when you want to go on vacation?" I thought about it. You know we vacation once or twice a year. The payment on a car loan is 12 months a year. It is cheaper in the long run for us to rent a larger vehicle for vacations. Most of the time we are local and it seems to be working. Even if we didn't have the truck our friends loaned us our attitude (and the way we explained to the children) is short term logistical problem, long term financial relief and security.

Sept 25

breakfast, pumpkin pancakes with buttermilk cinnamon syrup and applesauce
lunch, leftovers
dinner, I really don't know yet, I am getting my hair done and I don't know what time I will be home, maybe they will just eat toast and cheese

Today is Soup Day!

I am making Potato Soup and Split Pea Soup. I am also making granola.

This recipe is large. It is my #1's absolute favorite soup. (Really, he is already hovering. He asked when it will be done. True indicator of love, he will peel all the potatoes himself without being asked twice.) He will eat it until it is gone, even for breakfast! My ideal way of making this is with 15 pounds of potatoes because then it lasts for more than a dinner and a lunch. I know, INSANE!

Potato Soup

1 lb. Bacon, cut into small pieces
3 pounds onions, diced
10 pounds potates, peeled and diced
enough water to cover the potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. flour
2 egg

Place potatoes and diced onion in a large soup pot. Cover with cold water. Add 1 T. salt. Bring to boil. While waiting for water to boil cook bacon until crisp. When potatoes are cooked until tender add bacon to soup pot. To thicken, mix flour with egg, (I use my fingers and sift the mixture as much as possible). It will be lumpy (this makes little dumplings). Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread and butter.

Split Pea Soup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion , chopped medium
2 carrots , peeled and chopped medium
3 large cloves garlic , minced
1 pound ham steak , chopped fine
Pinch sugar
1 pound dried split peas , picked over and rinsed
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
Ground black pepper

Melt butter in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, garlic, ham, and sugar; cover and cook until vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add peas, broth, water, and bay leaf; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until peas are soft, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaf and add pepper to taste. Serve.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I just want to remember








This three year old is a hoot! She is so incredibly animated it can be irritating. You end up laughing when you should be scolding or at least enforcing and you end up laughing!

She gasps and puts her hand up to her mouth. Her eyes get all big. Then she smiles like she is pulling something over on you.
She looked over the back of the pew last week and told the perfectly quiet family behind us, "SHHH!"
She says, "YAH!" instead of yes, but just for today she is doing that. She normally very solemnly says, "Yeth." and nods at the same time.
She tortures the cat. She finds Jemima everywhere. It is like she has Cat Radar. The cat will nip her but she still smiles and exclaims, "I hab Phineas!Jemima!"
She has this little squeaky laugh that jumps about 3 octaves at the end of the giggle. All the rest of us end up shaking our heads because our ears hurt.
We love her but she is really Hell on Wheels. She is Tornado Toddler, Destructo Girl. #5 was Mistress of Mess but #6 is worse. Ten times worse. She and #1 are on the same level. And believe me, #1 set records for messes.
She is a cuddler. Many times a day she climbs up into my lap for hugs and kisses.
She loves her "laba laba" from Auntie Amy. She is wearing like a turban in the photo above.
People do ask me why I cut her hair. I never have. She is just slow in the hair production. But she loves having a piggy in the back. It looks like a fin shooting straight out-maybe it is just showing her true momentum.
She really does not want to stop long enough to eat. Then she gets all hungry and onery. Mandarin oranges are still the fruit to get her to stop to eat. She calls them "orangins."
She comes and gives me body slam hugs when I get home from bringing #1 and #2 home from seminary. She yells, "MOM YOU HOME?" then she sees me and squeals, "MOM YOU HOME!!!" and then hugs me. She tells me all her woes, like how dad didn't get her a bada (banana) and that Eiiii wouldn't put on a moobie for her.

Oh, we love this Little Bit.

Sept. 22

I didn't cook yesterday. We reheated all the leftovers.

breakfast, fried eggs and toast
lunch, chili beans and rice
dinner, oyako don buri (Japanese rice bowls)

EDITED TO ADD RECIPE:
Oyako don(buri)

¼ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
about 2 oz. Chicken breast, sliced
shiitake mushrooms, fresh or dry, thinly sliced, if available
2 or 3 snow peas, julienned
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1-2 inch lengths
1 egg, beaten

½ c. dashi no moto, dissolved in ½ c. water or ½ c. chicken stock
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. or more brown sugar

freshly cooked Japanese-style rice

Place onion, mushroom and dashi. Cook for 2-3 minutes until onion is tender. While cooking, add chicken and green onion. When chicken is cooked, spread beaten egg over all. Sprinkle snow peas on top immediately. Cook until egg hardens partially or completely, as you like. We like to add sliced pepper also. Add when you put in the green onion.

Dashi is basically fish and seaweed boullion. I find mine at the local Asian mart. I have found it at Meijer also.


There is a cat perched on the couch arm watching my fingers type. Her head is bobbing up and down and now she is coming over and licking my fingers. What a kitten!

I spent $80 on groceries last night. I had coupons. I saved 92.80 and spent 80.86. A local store had canned good cheaper than Aldi and I ended up with 20 free cans of chili. Campbell soups were a 1.00 a piece but they had peelies, so I got them for .45 a piece. It was a good haul and a good way to build up the pantry of all the things we have been using.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sept. 20

breakfast, rice, milk and sugar or rice with a fried egg on top (sounds weird but delish!)
lunch, soup, cracker, cheese, apple slices
dinner, spaghetti, cucumber slices, breadsticks (all made by #1)

She has that fresh, minty smell

#6 washed her hair in flouride rinse.

It activated some curl in that little amount of hair she has.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The first Sunday the van is not with us

Many people at church were shocked we don't have our van. You can hear it right? "What do you mean you sold it?" Some were out right ticked off at our tenant (if our tenant had kept paying the rent we could have kept the van). I just had to keep telling people and some understood that we just don't want to keep digging ourselves in deeper financially. We have worked hard to get out of debt before this. We don't like it anymore (except for the house). We were starting to go into debt and we just could not do it. We will tighten our belts, cut back and deal with what comes our way.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sept 18

It is Saturday. I am making a batches of soup and beans today. When I take time on Saturday to do meal prep Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday tend to run smoother. Those are our big school days. All we have to do is reheat for a meal, slice some bread and put out apples and carrots.

The status of the freezer...right now we could fit in the pork we have committed to. Just using up the frozen fruit (smoothies) has freed up a lot of space. The freezers got loaded up this summer when I found green grapes on sale for 2 bucks a flat. The girls have loved being able to go in, grab a handful of grapes and munch away. All the ice cream is gone, much to #3's dismay.

I forgot the recipe for Breakfast Porridge. Here it is-

Breakfast Porridge

2 c. steel cut oats
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. cardamom
1/4 t. salt
2-3 apple grated or chopped
6 c. water

Place all ingredients except water in rice cooker and mix. Add water and set on regular rice cycle. Serve with milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Can add 6 T. of flax seeds. Lately I have been using dehydrated apple rings in place of the fresh apple. The kids have not complained. I used an entire quart jar for a batch, they weren't tightly packed so I am going to go with 2 cups. I added in an extra 1/2 cup of water for the apples to rehydrate.

Red Beans and Rice
8 slices bacon , chopped medium
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1 green bell pepper , chopped fine
1 rib celery , chopped fine
6 cloves garlic , minced
Ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 bay leaves
Table salt
3/4 pound dried red kidney beans , rinsed and picked over
3/4 pound dried red beans, rinsed and picked over
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use chicken base and water)
7 cups water
1-2 pounds andouille sausage or kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons (I normally make more on the 2 pound side because the boys walk past the pot, fish out a piece of sausage and pop it in their mouth.)
cooked rice
Hot pepper sauce-we like Frank's best, Tabasco was too vinegary (Margo and I did a taste test.)

1. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, beans, broth, and water, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain vigorous simmer (mixture will be steaming and several bubbles should be breaking the surface) and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and liquid thickens, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

2. Stir in sausage and cook until liquid is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot pepper sauce, if desired. (Leftover beans can be refrigerated in airtight container for several days.)

We like these better the second day.

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
1 bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bag of Peppridge farms stuffing mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup

Use hot water and moisten the stuffing mix. Layer chicken, stuffing and soups in a shallow pan. Can sprinkle with cheese. Serve with instant mashed potatoes and veggies.

Vegetable Barley Soup

1/2 c. barley
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 lb. frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 lb. frozen lima beans (if the mix veg doesn't have them in the mix)
1 14.5 oz. canned diced tomatoes
12 c. vegetable broth
1 leek, lower portion only, sliced

Combine all in pot. Simmer until barley and potato are cooked. This is using up the remainder of the mix veg we didn't eat this week.

After all the soups are made I ladle them into quart jars. It takes up less room in the frig and each jar feeds 3-4 little kids and 1 hungry big kid. The soup goes in hot, the lids seal and then the food lasts longer. They are not processed for shelf. They still need to be refrigerated. At lunch time we don't all have to have the same soup.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sept 16

I missed a few days-I am still eating out of the freezers to make room for half a pig.

breakfasts, breakfast porridge, french toast (made with coconut milk), eggs and toast
lunchs and dinners, I have been making bigger batches (haha) so that I am only cooking one time a day instead of twice, eggs noodles with hamburger gravy, 5 pounds of mixed veggies, veggie barley soup, pinto beans with cheese (eaten like a soup), then refried beans (from the leftover beans) and roasted vegetable tacos.
snacks, smoothies, I still have lots of frozen fruit,

This weekend I think I will make up the black and blue jam. The blackberries and the blueberries seem to miss ripening at the same time by a couple weeks. I freeze them until a cooler day and don't heat up the house even more in canning season. I use equal parts of blackberries and blueberries. I run the berries through my Victorio strainer to get out all the seeds. It is #3's favorite jam. By making the jam I will use up probably 20 pounds of berries.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have been holding back on ya'll

Remember this? Dawn ordered me to update the blog. At the bottom I threw in there for good measure that I would like to lose weight but don't know how?

Well, amidst all the other things that are going on here I decided to start exercising. Some of ya'll don't know what a challenge that can really be for me. I had some pretty serious ankle injuries in my late teens and early twenties. Serious enough that I was on bedrest for about 9 months one time and have had ankle stabilization surgery with chronic tendonitis. Impact anything does not work for me. Even if I start a treadmill walking program within a week my tendinotis usually starts to rear its ugly little head. I still think it is a miracle I can walk pain free most days.

I tried a gym before #6 was born. Whoa. That took up a lot of time.

My mom introduced me to an exercise program called T-tapp. She did it a long time ago; over 4 years ago. I read a homeschooling board. A lady on that board had good success with T-tapp. I remembered my mom saying something about it and the lady on the board had a 50% off coupon. I ordered it. Had to have a coupon.

It sat in my dresser drawer for at least a year. More than a year.

This past April I was browsing and got sent to the T-tapp website. Well, there was a lady on there that is a homeschooling mom of 12. She went from a 22W to a 4 in 18 months with 75% of her workouts being only 15 minutes a day. Her name is Charlotte Siems. That caught my attention. I got interested in T-tapp again.

I had promised myself after the babies were born and done nursing I would do something. I didn't know what. But I had to do something.

To keep myself honest and with a deadline on the horizon I joined in on their 60 Day Challenge.

I just needed to finish. Do you ever feel that way? I just needed to finish something for me. I was desperate. I could manage 15 minutes a day. I didn't expect to win. I just wanted to finish. I had to do something for me.

I took the measurements and the pictures at the beginning and the end of the Challenge. DH made me take the pictures at the end. I didn't think I had done that well.

and......


I am one of the Grand Prize Winners of the 60 Day Challenge!

Me!

The person who is the 100xCouch Potato.

The person who never did sports in her entire life except in 5th grade when we had Track Day and the race I chose only had one other person in it-Becky Howe-and I knew that I would get a ribbon because only she and I were in the race. And they gave away three ribbons.

Oh, wait! I did baseball in third grade and they thought I was a boy until I wore a halter top to practice one day. After that I didn't do baseball anymore. I digress.

In the 60 days I lost a little more than 26 inches.

and......

I am going to Florida! They are flying me down to a spa to meet the developer of the program, Teresa Tapp. I get to attend the annual retreat free of charge. I am going to a spa. In Florida! I am going to get a make-up thingamaboober and pictures taken.

I am down 2 sizes and ready to drop another one before I go to Florida.

This could be fantastic

Homeschooling a girl.

She likes to write.

She wants to read.

She thinks it is fun.

She wants more.

Wholey Moley.

The little one wants to do it too.

And they aren't distracted by legos.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Thrift Store Event

Well.

Deep breath.


I am a regular at our local Goodwill. I am there at least twice a month. I am probably there every week. I start Christmas shopping this early because I have a great master bedroom closet that I can stash stuff. All you mommies on a budget know what I am talking about. Anywho, I went to the thrift store this week. #6's birthday was coming up and the boys needed long sleeve shirts and winter jammies.

The store is set up like a U around the registers. There were two carts of things about 10 feet in front of the registers. In the afternoon this store regularly starts bringing things out of the back and carts sit with the new items for sale. I walked into the store. I didn't get a cart because I really didn't want to buy all that much. I walked past the two carts and snagged a Cinderella tea set. Three bucks, 1/2 off, good for the birthday girl. I head over to the mens section, found 4 shirts for #2, a Lands End cashmere sweater vest for #2, some pullovers for DH and #2. I head over to the kids section, 3 dresses for #5, 3 dresses for #6. I make a comment to the lady in kids, "It is every time I come in and don't get a cart that I find everything we need." So, I head back up front to get a cart and drop the whole load into the bottom.

I head to shoes. Find a brand new pair for me. Tags still on. Yeah! this trip is rocking! I find a brand new bean bag for the school room. Perfect for the little kids and reading this fall. I found a brand new Party Lite 3 wick vanilla candle. It still had the wrapping. The cart was filled and overflowing. By this time I am in the store a minimum of 20 minutes.

I am at the back of the store and all the sudden I hear, "WHERE IS MY TEAPOT?! SOMEONE STOLE MY SHOES AND MY TEAPOT!" There was a family (I assume) in the store with 2 bigger kids, a daughter (mid 20s) and a mom (grandmother). They have more melatonin than me. The kids were running wild in the store, trying all the toys and being loud kids. The mid-20s woman starts going up and down every single aisle. She starts rummaging through every person's cart in the store. No joke. They are growing louder and louder and oh, the complaining. "I cannot BELIEVE that someone would STEAL MY TEAPOT and MY SHOES!" At this time I am in women's looking for something for myself when the whole thing starts. The woman going around and rummaging through the carts comes up to my cart and yells, "HERE IT IS. SHE STOLE IT!" and starts taking things out of my cart.

Now, if they would have been a bit more polite that steel rod that I felt strengthen my spine would have never gone stiff. In general, I am easy going. I go with the flow. Dawn knows this. My mother knows this. Margo knows this. But she called me a thief. And then she called me a liar.

I said, "I got this out of a cart up at the front. It was unattended. It was right behind the cart marked everything for fifty cents."

"Oh! SHE LYING! Our buggy was always attended. Someone was watchin' it the whooowa time."

Then the grandma came back. I was in the back of the aisle and the daughter was coming at me from one side and the grandma came at me from the other side. I was closer to the daughter and standing in between her and my cart. The daughter was trying to empty out my cart and kept swiping. The grandma was verbally chewing me out.

I stated, firmly, with that rod of steel not going limp, "Well, if your cart was attended you would have known 20 minutes ago that the teapot was missing. Your kids are running wild. You are calling me a liar and a theif and you ARE NOT touching anything in this cart." The daughter reached out towards me and I stepped back, giving her my best don't mess with me look. But she was just mean. I was truly scared. I knew that if we weren't in the middle of a store she would have no problem hurting me. I was scared. The grandma was coming at me from the right and the daughter was swiping at me from the left. Right then the clerk at the front dinged for the manager and someone yelled, "Call the police!"

The grandma backed off and said, "No teapot is worth callin' the police!" but the daughter still wouldn't back off. The manager came out. She has more melatonin than me. She was trying to play peacemaker. She asked me how I got the teapot and I told her and the daughter/grandma team kept calling me a liar and a theif.

"NO! Our buggy was always attended. She stole it. She is lying." They kept yelling it over and over again.

I reached my point. I told the manager, "I am regular here. I have been coming here for 2 years. The clerks know me. Never have I encountered people like this ever here. They are calling me a liar and a thief. I cannot steal something they have not purchased. It does not belong to them."

The manager said, "Oh that is a good point."

The daughter says, "She stole our shoes!"

I respond, "I got these off the rack."

I kept going, "And if they would have stayed by their cart they would have known over 20 minutes ago this was no longer there."

The manager asked me to take the teapot out of my cart.

So, guess who didn't come home with a teapot? Guess who went back into the store after I checked out? I saw the grandma waddling back in.


Guess who is going to get a CCW? I don't ever want to be that close to being harmed again.

Sept 12

breakfast, steel cut oatmeal with craisins (cook the oatmeal with the craisins and a pinch of salt)
lunch, baked potato bar, salad
dinner, leftovers


We have been eating lots of leftovers. I cooked for a zone conference this week and most of the leftovers came home with us "Hey! you have lots of kids at your house. Take all of this home." Easy cooking week for me! Next week more will have to come out of the freezer to be used.

#6 has turned 3. I walked through the baby section at Meijer and there was nothing she could fit into. The tall genes have blessed her and she is in 4/5s. It was sort of sad for me. I hold other people's little ones and get my baby fix that way.

In way of interesting events, this week I was almost beat up at the thrift store. I think I will take my dad's advice and take the CCW class. So instead of being just a hot mama, I can be a hot packing mama. Yes, it was that bad. Not exaggerating. It took me about 24 hours to stop shaking.

We are home from church. #4 is sick. He is still running a fever and laying on the couch in his red stripe jammies pretending he is asleep. He is trying hard but his feet were just moving in time to the ding-dong clock we have. I think it is so funny when little kids think their eyes are closed that no one can see them.

I am having menu envy. A friend of mine makes up these menus with poached eggs on brioche with pistou and minted blueberries with lemon cream for breakfast. Only 3 girls to feed at their house. But some days I really want to go to their house to eat.

School really starts tomorrow. We have been working to get all the computers set up and books in place and busy boxes put together. Everyone but #1 seems to be excited to start. Big surprise there, right?

Off to make bread and change loads in the laundry.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mish Mash

Things are moving along here in our little corner of the world.
The big boys have started seminary. Which means my wake up time is zero dark thirty.
My 3 year old (tomorrow! gasp!) has decided she wants to learn to read.
#5 and #3 and DH are suffering from ragweed allergy. Sniffles all the way around.
Foxes got all but 3 of our baby chicks.
#1 and #2 are demolishing an old pop up camper my dad brought our way. We are going to make a trailer for hauling stuff out of it.
I have finally figured out how to keep the house relatively clean-zones. Strict enforcement of zone work has led to less contention and a cleaner house. No electronics until school work and zone work is done. No exceptions. No matter how much they try.
I am teaching preparedness classes again and doing a lot for my calling at church.
Our tenant has decided to not pay rent. In order to make ends meet we are downsizing our vehicle. I had no idea to get someone evicted it would cost the landlord well over a $1000. Ah, the things we are learning.
We have a couple braeburn apple trees we need to glean-maybe tomorrow.
There is more....but I have to drive for seminary now. Later!

Sept 10

breakfast, rice, milk and sugar (I had eggs, needed the protein)
lunch, baked potatoes, broccoli, cheese
dinner, spaghetti, red sauce, alfredo sauce, garlic toast, tossed salad
snack, apple slices and cashews

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sept 9

breakfast, bran muffins
lunch, not really sure what the little kids ate but it was sandwiches I think (I was out of the house)
dinner, pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sept 8

breakfast, migas con heuvos, diced tomato, scrambled eggs for the no salsa in the morning eaters
lunch, leftover rice and beans, apple slices
dinner,


Migas Con Heuvos

5 corn tortillas, diced
1 medium onion, diced
12 eggs
salsa

Use skillet, place 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon butter, melt. Put in onion, (you can also add diced bell pepper here) cook until softened. Put in tortillas. Cook until crunchy. After the tortillas are crunchy put the scrambled eggs on top and cook until done. Top with salsa and fresh diced tomato.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sept 6

breakfast, rice, milk, sugar
lunch, beans and rice, carrots, last of the pears (oh, they were soooo good! Margo's pears have ruined me forever on store bought pears)
dinner, turkey #1, broccoli cheese rice, lemon meringue pie

Sept 5

breakfast, oatmeal
lunch, waffles, applesauce and scrambled eggs
dinner, tomato sandwiches, leftovers

Steel Cut Oat Porridge

1 c. steel cut oats
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch of cardamom
pinch of salt
1-2 apple grated or chopped
3 c. water

Place all ingredients except water in rice cooker and mix. Add water and set on regular rice cycle. Serve with milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Can add 3 T. of flax seeds. I triple this for our family and use granny smith apple or dehydrated apple slices.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sept 4

breakfast, bran muffins, hardboiled eggs
lunch, leftover sloppy joes, tomato sandwiches
dinner, fresh bread! butter, jam

Bran Muffins is the 6 week bran muffin recipe from allrecipes.com. We add mashed banana, maraschino cherries and chocolate chips. We use a portion of the batch and add the bananas, cherries and chocolate chips each time. I worry about the banana going funky. I am using buttermilk powder. All the ingredients I have in the pantry.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sept 3

breakfast, rice, milk and sugar
lunch, cuban beans and rice
dinner, pizza
snacks, lots of popsicles


Rice, milk and sugar is just that! Cook rice, serve like boxed cereal with milk and a sprinkling of sugar on top. My kids even like brown rice this way. With brown rice they like GoLean Crunch on top with craisins or granola on top instead of sugar.

I forgot to mention

The reason for the freezer/pantry experiment are two-fold. One-to clean it out for the incoming pork. Two-to save up for a trip. We don't want to go into debt for a trip. All the kids are on board and that is making this much easier.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sept 2

I thought about taking pictures of the freezers. I am ashamed at how bad they look. No pictures. Just think blackberry juice on white freezer background with yeast spilled on top. Is that enough?

breakfast, yogurt, frozen blueberries and granola
lunch, broccoli cheese soup
dinner, cuban beans and rice, carrots, pears

Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
2 ½ c. water
1 ½ c. carrots, diced
6 bullion cubes
1 c. cheese, shredded
1 ½ c. broccoli, chopped
2 c. milk
1 pkg. 8 oz. Cream cheese
½ t. ground mustard
1/8 t. cayenne

Cook potato, carrots and onion in water until potatoes are done. Add remaining ingredients and simmer. Don’t boil. Serve when heated through and all the cheeses are melted. I usually blend the milk and cream cheese together so there are no lumps of cream cheese to melt.


Cuban Black Beans
1 pound black beans, washed (3 c.)
1/4 cup olive oil (deleted)
1 large onion, chopped (2)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (1/2 c. chopped)
5 cups water (12 c)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (2 6 oz. cans)
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimentos, drained (deleted)
1 tablespoon vinegar (1 1/2 T.)
2 teaspoons salt (3 t.)
1 teaspoon white sugar (3 t.)
1 teaspoon black pepper (deleted)
5 bay leaf
5 slices of pickled jalepeno pepper

Place beans in a large saucepan with enough water to cover, and soak 8 hours, or overnight; drain. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and saute onion, green bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Into the onion mixture, stir the drained beans, water, tomato paste, pimentos, and vinegar. Season with salt, sugar, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender.

I just tossed the garlic, onion, bell pepper, black beans and water in the crockpot overnight. The next day I added the spices and tomato after the beans were soft. My boys really like this best with some sauteed sausage as a topping.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sept 1

breakfast, eggs and toast
lunch, granola and yogurt
dinner, leftovers-sloppy joes, pears, rice salad, carrots, broccoli, cuke slices
snacks, whatever was leftover from the party

August is over and my new experiment begins

I committed with sharing a pig with my parents.

My freezers are full. The blog is going to take a bit of a detour.

What am I going to make these hungry, ravenous people out of the freezer? and how long can I do it? how much money can I save? I need room for at least 50 pounds of meat (maybe more). There is no room. Maybe I should take a picture? Right now there is a box on the chest freezer to make sure it stays closed. The frig freezer is loaded with grapes and berries. The garage frig freezer is loaded with all sorts of stuff-chorizo, sausage, ice cream (#3 would be happy to empty that out). So, my experiment is to empty the freezer and use the pantry as much as possible in the next 60 days.

Off to inventory the freezers...

The house is full of flies

Last night we invited four other families over. We potlucked it and had a good time. After we were in bed I did the math. We had 30 people here-mostly children. And that is why the house is full of flies. Ever try to keep the doors closed with that many kids in and out of the house?

I made a vat of sloppy joe meat and happiness reigned over the household. Sloppy joes have magical powers according to to #5 and #4. They LOVE sloppy joes. They danced around the kitchen saying, "Oooo! Mom! I can SMELL the sloppy joe meat!!" and then they would roll their eyes and lick their lips. No joke. They were soo funny yesterday afternoon!

We ate. The kids jumped on the trampoline. One of the dad's asked what was the weight limit on the trampoline cause it was loaded with kids. The kids swam in the pool. #2 fixed the trebuchet and bowling balls were flying. There were even teenagers on our swingset. They were even swinging-not just harassing the little kids.

It was the sort of party that everyone just brought what they had leftover from the summer and shared. Shannon brought all the fireworks we didn't use at the lake. My driveway pad is covered in pop-it papers. All the kids ooohed and aaaahhed at the fireworks. Then the parents put the kids in the cars and talked while the cars were shaking from gymanstics being done in various vans. We got mosquito bites but we got 20 minutes of uninterupted conversation. The price we pay.

We had a good night. Now the house is clean, with the exception of a few paper plates or cups here and there. The kids are tired and satisfied. The littles are watching Backyardigans. And at 8:49 I just got my first request for breakfast. (#3 as usual, he is just behind by 2 1/2 hours.)

Off to the kitchen. I think today I will tackle getting ready for school 'cause that garage is just too big a project for the day.