Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fresh Brewed Life Coming to a Screeching Halt

I needed a new devotional so I picked up Fresh Brewed Life at Amazon. I just started it a few days ago and it seems pretty interesting so I picked it up to continue on today and I was on page 18 when the next page jumped to page 51! Oh well. Back to Amazon it goes and I'm going to lose all of my highlighting! UGH!

Slow Cooker Thursday - Ranch Beef Stroganoff

I am in the process of trying some new recipes for contribution to Slow Cooker Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I made this one last week and Rich would have licked the crock pot clean if I would have let him!


2 lbs. beef stew meat
2 - 14.5 oz cans beef broth (I used reduced sodium)
4 T dried minced onion (I used Tastefully Simple Onion Onion)
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch mix
2 8oz cream cheese (I used Neufchatel for the reduced calorie-minded)
Rice or noodles

Combine meat, beef broth, onion and dressing mix in crock pot. Cook 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. Before serving, cube up cream cheese and gradually stir in until melted (I added about 1/4 at a time). Serve over rice or noodles.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Oh, where does time fly? Ian is 9 years old today. It seems just like yesterday I was sitting in my doctor's office waiting patiently for my appointment when my water broke right there. Yep, I was so totally not ready for that moment but it's been a totally fun 9 years!

Of course, the weather here in NE Wisconsin is wreaking havoc on our birthday plans of traveling to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner so we have postponed it until tomorrow. Of course, Ian is thrilled because he now gets to spend quality time with his best friend and his new Wii games. Aaah, to be nine and not have a care in the world!

Happy Birthday, Buddy Bear!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - January 28, 2008

I'm back in the saddle of Menu Plan Monday. Here's the menu for this week:

Monday: Boneless Pork Chops
Tuesday: Ian's Choice - Birthday dinner at The Cheesecake Factory (no complaints from Mom on this one!)
Wednesday: Ginormous Omlette
Thursday: Slow Cooked Swiss Steak
Friday: Shrimp & Zuchinni Salad

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Slow Cooker Thursday - Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

Here's my contribution to Slow Cooker Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. I've found some great recipes here to add to my weekly meal plans.

Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

1.5 lbs Browned Ground Beef/Turkey
1.5 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 14 oz. can of tomatoes
2 - 6 oz. cans of tomato paste
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low 5-7 hours. Serve over your favorite pasta shape. Freeze leftovers.

This is a yummy spaghetti sauce recipe that I found years ago when I had to cook with low sodium. Add more salt to your liking and you can use reduced/no sodium tomato paste

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yet another game of tag!

I got another e-mail and while I don't particular like chain e-mails, I do like posting some of the quizzes here.

4 Things You May or May Not Know About Me

Four things about me that you may or may not have known in no particular order.

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. Receptionist
2. Reading tutor
3. Lifeguard
4. Accountant

Four places I have worked:

1. Manchester College
2. Beefy's Hamburgers
3. Osco Drug
4. USG

Four places I have lived:

1. Griffith, IN
2. North Manchester, IN
3. Strasbourg, France
4. Sun Prairie, WI

Four TV Shows that I watch:

1. 24
2. The Biggest Loser
3. Survivor
4. NFL Total Access

Four places I've been
1. Krakow, Poland
2. Braco, Jamaica
3. Rome, Italy
4. Paris, France

Four People who e-mail me (regularly):

1. Jen
2. Jim
3. Linda
4. Melissa

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Steak
2. Roast Chicken
3. Diet Coke (yeah, I know, not technically a food, but my body won't live without it)
4. Yoplait Light Boston Cream Pie Yogurt

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. Somewhere warm!
2. Scrapbooking with my friends
3. The spa
4. Disney World

Things I am looking forward to this year:

1. Running my first triathalon
2. The birth of my new niece/nephew
3. LM Crop in November
4. Bon Jovi in concert

Four people I am tagging:

1. Angie
2. Arlyn
3. Mandi
4. Stephanie

Riding a spiritual high

I love my Tuesday morning ladies' Bible study for so many reasons but today was an incredible day in our small group. One of my dear friends asked Christ to come into her life and I don't think it is physically possible to be more excited than I am at this moment! Congratulations, M!!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Timing is everything!

Well, yet again Rich has somehow managed to go out of town on business when we get a snow storm. Luckily, the snow so far is of the light, fluffy variety, so I was able to get out tonight after the kids went to bed and clear the majority of the driveway and sidewalks. We also have a neighbor who I owe some cookies because they kindly snowblowed the entire block's front sidewalk - gotta love those random acts of kindness!

Menu Plan Monday

This week, I am taking a break from Menu Plan Monday simply because Rich is out of town and it's not much fun planning a menu for just yourself. I'll be back next week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Guess what?!?

Seriously, I don't know, but this is Kyra's recent favorite saying to which there usually is no answer so I thought I'd share the question myself.

Menu Plan Monday

I don't know why, but I'm having a hard time choosing meals this week for Menu Plan Monday. Here goes:

Monday: Grilled Boneless Pork Chops
Tuesday: Shrimp tacos
Wednesday: Italian Chicken Breasts
Thursday: Teriyaki Chicken & mushrooms
Friday: TBD

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Pampered Chef, anyone?

I am going to be hosting a catalog show for Pampered Chef. If you need anything, let me know and I can send you a link to my showing on my consultant's website.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The BEST omlette ever!!!

Whenever I am making dinner, I know there are some things that my picky children won't eat but I try to make something similar to what Rich and I will be eating. Last night, I was making Hungry Girl's Ginormous Oven Baked Omlette (which, I might add, will be a regular on our menu because it was unbelievably yummy) but I knew Ian would not go for the peppers and onions. Instead, I just made a plain hame and cheese omlette for him and Kyra to split. I don't know what I did differently, but according to Ian, it was the best omlette he ever had in his whole life - which is good to know because it's something I can keep on the menu for them too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Slow Cooker Thursday - Easy Chicken Teriyaki

I made this recipe for the first time this week and the whole family enjoyed it.

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

1 pound boneless chicken breasts
1/2 c "thick" teriyaki sauce (I used Tastefully Simple Honey Teriyaki)
1 - 8 oz. can of chunk pineapple

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Add sauce and pineapple chunks. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. Serve over rice and garnish with additional pineapple. Chicken will shred easily with fork.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Congrats, Diana & Nichole!

Two of my scrapbooking friends have been named to the new design team at Twelve Fridays. I think the sneak peaks of this new kit club look absolutely awesome and I can't wait to get my hands on them (even though truth be told I haven't scrapbooked in what seems like forever!)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

A new year and a new vow to keep up with my weekly menu planning through
Menu Plan Monday. I really did find that it helped me out considerably when I followed through with it last year and made grocery shopping a lot easier because I went for exactly what I knew I needed. So, here's the plan for the week:

Monday: Pomegranate Chipotle Roast Tenderloin (leftovers)
Tuesday: Slow Cooked Chicken Teriyaki
Wednesday: Shrimp and Zucchini Salad
Thursday: Ginormous Oven Baked Omlette (ok, so it isn't technically dinner, but it looks sooooooooooooo good)
Friday: Chicken Spaghetti

I think I'm just going to leave it to the weekdays for my menu planning because there always seems to be some wiggle room or leftovers thrown in somewhere. Anyhow, happy eating!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Slow Cooker Thursday - Easy Meatballs

I have to get back into some serious meal planning. I let it lapse in the fall and I need to get back to it so here's going back to a favorite weekly recipe sharing at Sandra's blog for Slow Cooker Thursday.


1 bag of frozen meatballs (I use a half a bag of the Market Day variety)
1 jar of grape jelly
1 bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce

Combine the grape jelly and BBQ sauce in your slow cooker. Gradually add meatballs stirring to coat. Turn on low for 2-4 hours. Serve with crusty french rolls or just as an appetizer.

New Year/New Me

Wow! 2008! I remember when I used to laugh at high school letterman's jackets with '00 on the sleeve. It made my '92 seem like a breeze! Of course, now we're not quite but almost to the end of a decade. Time really does fly!

For the first time in ages, my new year's resolution does not involve losing weight. For the first time in my life that I can remember, I am actually in my "ideal" weight range for my frame size. Again, I never thought I'd see that day happen. Of course, some of my new year's resolutions are health related - I need to maintain my weight and tone up. I am not going to let this hard work go to waste.

Along with physical exercise, how about some spiritual exercise? I am making a consistent effort to study the Word every day and Ian and I have also started a family devotional which will hopefully help him develop great disciplines.

Oh, and I've also resolved to make real efforts to do things I have never before in my life. The first of these will take place on Sunday, February 24th. I will be participating in my first triathalon. Granted, it's an indoor triathalon, but who would have thought this former couch potato would ever have undertaken such an event. I'm training now and it is whooping my booty but I can't wait to cross the finish line!