- I love Jesus, my husband, being a stay at home mom to my little boy, New Orleans, crafting, cooking, fitness, nutrition, homemaking, hospitality, being outside, black coffee, chai tea, reading, journaling, thrifting, and deep conversation. Food is my love language; through food I savor memories, create traditions, and serve others.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
This is my favorite method of cooking broccoli or asparagus.
-1-2 large bunches of broccoli, chopped into big chunks
-fresh garlic, minced, or garlic powder (whatever I have on hand that day)
-parmesan cheese (not the grated kind in a can)
-salt and pepper to taste
-drizzle of olive oil
Grease or spray cookie sheet(s). Spread vegetables in a single layer on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with fresh garlic (2-4 cloves per pan), or about ½ tablespoon of garlic powder per pan. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (about ¼ to ½ cup per pan). Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Roast at 400 for ten minutes. Stir and continue to roast until desired doneness is achieved.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
for some reason Jeremy walked around with this bat all day long
Cori and Chad playing corn hole J's Dad
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I love to start decorating for Christmas and baking cookies the day after Thanksgiving. These are the recipes that I'm currently pondering; Big Soft Gingerbread Cookies, Soft Oatmeal Cookies (would probably add nuts and raisins or white chocolate and craisins), Peanut Butter Blossoms, Peanut Butter Fudge (perhaps poured on top of Chocolate Fudge), Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Iced Pumpkin Cookies (that I made last year and topped with cream cheese frosting instead of the glaze= AMAZING!!!!), Snickerdoodles, and Toffee Cookies.
If you don't already make your own gift tags, perhaps printing your own would be another frugal alternative. These and these are cute.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?
One of my favorites is Jeremy's Dad reading through the story of Jesus' birth. Another one is that on Christmas Eve, us and Jeremy's family all go to the Dollar Store and Jeremy's Dad gives us all enough money to buy one present for each person there. Then we all sneak around picking out gifts (mostly gag gifts) for each other, and then go home and exchange them. This is usually good for some laughs, and great pictures! Jeremy and I also had a tradition of going to The Night of 1,000 Candles every year when we lived in Myrtle Beach, now we're going to have to find something like that to do here in New Orleans.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This recipe is way better than the traditional cream of... soup version. It has more flavor, is more economical (without buying the processed soup), and is a bit healthier. The recipe for the white sauce could be used in any recipe to replace the standard cream of... soup, just add desired veggies or meat to achieve the needed replacement. It's the same technique as making a standard white sauce or gravy, and is very versatile.
-1 lb. whole wheat egg noodles, cooked al dente to package directions
-1/4 c. butter
-4 stalks celery, diced
-1 onion, diced
-1/4 c. flour
-1 t. salt
-1/2 t. black pepper
-1 1/2 c. skim milk
-2-3 cans water-packed tuna, fully drained
-3/4 c. light mayonnaise
-2 c. frozen peas, thawed
-Spices to play along with dish- curry, dill, cayenne pepper, Italian seasoning, cumin, thyme, lemon pepper (my current favorite is 2 teaspoons of garlic powder along with 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning and 1/8 tsp. of cayenne)
-Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan, melt the butter or margarine over medium heat. Stir in celery and onions. Cook for 3 minutes, until veggies are slightly cooked but still crispy. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened to a condensed cream-of soup consistency. Cool. In a large bowl, combine cooled sauce, tuna, mayonnaise and peas. Stir in any additional desired seasonings and salt & pepper, to taste. Add cooked noodles, stir to coat and pour into a large casserole dish. (Can be refrigerated until dinnertime at this point.) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
Some optional topping ideas: shredded cheese, breadcrumbs mixed with melted butter, crushed potato chips or crackers, crushed goldfish (these would all be excellent, but we like ours on the healthy side and skip these options).
- for $75 in grocery store gift certificates stuffed into my paycheck today as a Thanksgiving gift from my employer
- for having had (and still have) great female mentors in my life to learn from
- that although I'm getting close to 30 (a little over a year away), people still think I'm 18 all the time
- for a girls day out of town in Baton Rouge tomorrow
- for a quiet night in, planned with my hubby tonight
- for having a dishwasher
- for having a washer and dryer
- for a 3 day work week next week
- for jersey sheets
- for thrift stores
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
A few friends and I took a Turkish cooking class at a nearby Turkish community center. This was one of the most fun things that I have done my entire life. It was about 5 Turkish ladies who prepared the dishes and gave us other cooking hints. The women were so warm and kind, and just talking to them was half the fun. They all had small children, and the whole time there were toddlers and babies being passed around the room. The class was $10 per person, and that included several hours of watching the ladies cook, printed recipes to take home, and getting to enjoy as much of the food as we could eat. They even accommodated my vegetarianism and made a special entree for me, without the beef. I'm hoping to go back again in Dec. assuming we can fit it into our budget for the month.
The recipes that we got to enjoy were Shepherd's Salad, Tomato Soup, Rice Pilaf, Stuffed Eggplants, Turkish Tea, and an unknown dessert that they had prepared in advance... all delicious, and well worth the $10 cost.
If you live in New Orleans I strongly recommend checking this out, and if not, see what fun activities your local area has to offer. It was a fun night of fellowship, food, and learning about a different culture.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Baked Jalapeno Poppers
-12 jalapeno peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed
-4 oz cream cheese, softened (I use Neufatchel)
-1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I use reduced fat)
-1/8 tsp. cayenne
-1/8 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Mix cheeses and spices together. Stuff pepper halves with cheese mixture. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.
- the Once soundtrack that Jeremy downloaded on Sunday (after we watched the movie on Saturday), and that we've been listening to on our rides to and from work
- a light week (schedule wise) for us... only plans so far are tonight and tomorrow... hopes for lots of relaxing, and quality time together
- hot showers
- peppermint mochas
- last weekend, filled with good friends, and good food
- our small group
- getting to take a Turkish cooking class tomorrow
- love that covers multitudes of sins (1 Peter 4:8)
- knowing Jesus
- a sunny day
Curried Winter Squash sounds like a soothing seasonal dish.
Mexican Cod and Potato Stew
Soy Glazed Salmon
Linguine with Clam Sauce
Wendy's Frosty (I've been having Frosty cravings lately, and if I make them myself I can control the amount of fat in the milk and ice cream).
Roasted Salmon in White Wine Sauce
Shrimp Glass Noodles
Crawfish Etoufee, or maybe make it with shrimp
Broiled Shrimp Scampi
I have a can of green curry paste from my trip to Hong Kong Market, and this or this Shrimp Green Curry recipe sounds like the perfect way to use it.
I'm not in love with my Pad Thai recipe and would like to try this one.
PF Changs Cellophane Noodle Salad
I like this Chile Relleno Casserole recipe better than the one I made a few months ago, I'm anxious to give it a try.
Ever since I tried Pickled Okra a week ago I've been craving more. I may make my own.
(Can you tell I've had seafood on my brain today?)
This Curried Lentil Soup Mix is a great holiday or hostess gift idea.
This post has links to almost 200 homemade gift ideas.
This Felt Ornament is an easy craft.
This Framed Initial is super cute!
This Stocking tutorial is cute and simple.
I've been searching for a bed skirt for a while, and it's hard to just find a bed skirt (not a bed set), and when I do they seem to be expensive. I may just end up using this tutorial and making my own.
This is a super easy burp cloth tutorial using cloth diapers.
These Pacifier Clips are super easy and cute.
These Washer Necklaces are cute.
This no knit, no sew Knotted Scarf is nice.
These Jade Bead and Ribbon Necklaces are pretty.
I love this Give Thanks sign, or you could even change it up and put your favorite verse in there.
I love this light, stretchy, flowered Scarf.
This dyed Wooden Bead Necklace is cute!
I've been pondering hosting a ladies Christmas Cookie Exchange sometime in December.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
i placed the chicken carcass in my slow cooker and added some leftover onions, celery, and parsley stems that i had sitting in the freezer. i filled my slow cooker up with water, added some black peppercorns and a teaspoon of salt. i cooked all of this on low for about 8-10 hours. then i strained the broth, discarded the veggies, picked through the meat and froze it for a casserole at a later date, chilled the broth, skimmed the fat off, and then divided the broth into storage containers. i plan on using all of the broth for dishes this week, but if i didn't i would have frozen it in 1 cup portions in freezer bags, and maybe an ice cube tray for smaller portions.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
-bags of frozen veggies saved up from the last sale to be used in soups or in a pinch when we need a quick side for dinner
-a bag of blueberries for impromptu blueberry pancakes or baked oatmeal
-if we ever had leftovers that i didn't think we'd finish i'd store them in the freezer and bring them back out when we weren't so tired of the dish, but that is a rarity, we love leftovers so much that often we are fighting for who gets to eat them
-when i use parsley i save all of the stems and freeze them for flavoring a homemade broth
-when we have heels of bread that don't get eaten i freeze them until i have a bunch, and then toast and process to have my own homemade whole wheat bread crumbs
-i also save onion peels and ends to flavor homemade broth
-it seems that every time i buy celery i just need a few ribs and never use it all, so instead of it going to waste i freeze it for making a homemade broth later. once celery has been frozen it becomes quite mushy, so i would plan on using it for anything other than a broth, but mushy celery is perfect for flavoring a broth and then being strained out later.
-if i happen to have leftover bell pepper strips or halves i dice them and then freeze to later be used in a soup or casserole. again, the texture of these isn't great after freezing, so don't plan on using them in a dish where you're looking for a crunchy texture in the peppers.
-anytime i have extra herbs (usually cilantro or thai basil around our home) i freeze them. frozen herbs should never be used in a dish that isn't cooked, but i've found them perfectly acceptable for soups, stews, chilis and curries.
-from time to time i'll double a meal and tuck away a whole dish to be enjoyed at a later date when i don't have time to cook dinner
-it's not often that i need to do this, but when i have extra lemons or limes i juice them and freeze the juice into ice cube trays and then place in a freezer bag to have on hand for when i need to add a spike of citrus to a dish
-when i have the chance to make homemade broth i tuck it away in 1 cup and ice cube portions
-when i cook a bag of dried beans i try to double the amount that i'll need and tuck away some pre-cooked beans in the freezer to enjoy the money savings of using dried beans, but the ease of having already prepared beans on hand
i love that my mother-in-law usually has some type of individual goodies (like cookies) tucked away in her freezer for a perfect treat (that's usually the first place that jeremy and i look when we visit). she also frequently buys bulk shredded cheese and then freezes it into portions to have on hand for casseroles.
i've also heard of people doing a freezer stew container, where they keep a container in the freezer and add leftover meats or veggies from meals until it's full. then they make a stew out of it and enjoy the ways all of the different flavors mingle together.
what are your favorite freezer tricks?
Friday, November 13, 2009
- date nights
- each and every day
- top chef... now if only i had cable so i could watch it
- a free gym membership
- my HOT personal trainer and running partner (my husband)
- online sermons
- a special homemade gift i received in the mail today for winning a contest on a blog
- for indoor plumbing
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Front of tote bag
Back of tote bag (the straps were supposed to be cut from the white T shirt, and contrast here, but I made a mistake in cutting) One of the fabric flowers, sewed to a pin, so it can be put on a bag, worn as a broach, pinned to a headband etc.
the flower on the bag
- for girl time tonight
- for a beautiful day
- for having family close by
- for a gift I received of a handful of homegrown jalapenos
- for lunchtime conversations with co-workers
- for a drive to work today where Jeremy and I were able to connect with the Lord in worship
- for a God who is always the same, who is my constant in times of change
- for new beginnings
- for those pretty red berries showing up on all of the trees
- for the smell of burning fireplaces
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I added 1/2 cup of water to the baking dish, and baked the pumpkin halves at 450 degrees for 1 hour.
Once cooled, I spooned the flesh into tupperware to sit in the fridge until I was ready to tackle this further.
The next day (only because I ran out of time the first day) I pureed all the pumpkin in the food processor
I mixed half the seeds with cinnamon and sugar and half with salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and roasted them for 50 minutes at 300 degrees
I still have 2-3 cups of fresh pureed pumpkin left in the fridge, so I'll definitely be whipping up another treat soon.
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2 cups pumpkin
-1/2 cup oil
-1/2 cup applesauce (or leave this out and use an extra 1/2 cup of oil... but we like things on the healthy side)
-3 cups sugar (I used brown because ants had infested my bag or white sugar)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice/ seasoning
-1/2 cup water
Whisk salt, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and flour in bowl. Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, sugar and pumpkin until well mixed. Alternately add in flour and water until all ingredients are well mixed. Pour into 2 greased 9x5 loaf pans and bake for 60 minutes at 350. The texture and flavor are even better if you let the bread sit in the fridge overnight.
Thanksgiving Activity Ideas
10 Thanksgiving tradition ideas
Thanksgiving Conversation Starters
These aren't necessarily Thanksgiving related, but it's still a great list of conversation starters.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Here are some other great Thanksgiving games.
Here's my Thanksgiving menu plan from last year (minus my special mashed potatoes that I forgot to list). It was so good that if I was hosting again this year I wouldn't change a thing. The brined turkey is particularly tasty.
Here is a great list of Thanksgiving day crafts and decorations.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving traditions? Do you watch the Macy's day parade, reenact the first Thanksgiving, share thanksgiving Bible verses, have family prayer or devotion time, play an after turkey game of football, pull the wishbone, or share what you're grateful for?
One Thanksgiving tradition that I enjoyed growing up, was that at my Aunt and Uncle's house they would have a "Turkey Shoot" each year. They would tape paper turkeys to tin cans, and everyone would take turns shooting them with a BB gun.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods? Do you eat pumpkin pancakes, enjoy the traditional dinner spread, or do something unique?
One of my favorite holiday foods is my Aunt Lois' olive dip. I also really love my mother-in-law's dressing and sweet potato casserole, in fact, I'm getting hungry just thinking about all of this food!Shannon
The categories for printable items that they have are; resume templates, letters of resignation,
letters of recommendation, invoice forms, fax forms, balance sheets, cash statements, cover letters, stationery, business cards, legal documents, time sheets, business hours, general free printable templates, calendars, daily planner refills,printable maps, teachers printable, grocery lists, clip art, recipe cards, stationery, thank you cards, chore charts, family tree/ genealogy charts, party planner, greeting cards, banners, invitations, gift tags, party games, place cards, decorations, children's printables, coloring pages, crafts, activities, memory games, bingo games, dot-to-dot puzzles, and more.
My favorites so far are the;
Yahtzee Score Card
Homemade with love canning label
Christmas Gift Tags
Master Grocery List or Grocery List with extra space
Menu Planner with Grocery List
Monday, November 9, 2009
Since it's fall (although it still doesn't feel like it here) I'm thinking more soups. This Artichoke Soup sounds fantastic.
Cream of Mushroom Soup sounds like another great fall dinner.
And so does Clam Chowder.
Pumpkin Cobbler sounds yummy.
These White Chicken Enchiladas look like a great dinner for J (but with whole wheat tortillas and fat-free half and half in place of the cream)... maybe I could substitute ground tofu, or white beans and do a separate batch for me.
This may be the simplest Black Bean Soup that I've ever seen, we we all need a few go to quick recipes that we can throw together at a moments notice.
This Shrimp Fried Rice looks great, but I would definitely add fresh ginger, onion, and garlic.
I love this post on 5 ways to eat each off 22 healthy ingredients.
I have never heard of reusing pickle brine, but find it quite intriguing and frugal!
I'd love to make my own Chai Tea Syrup, for homemade Chai Tea Lattes. Or here are dry powder mixes for Chai Tea and Hot Chocolate.
This Argyle Onesie is super cute!
I think this Felt Bird is my favorite homemade Christmas ornament that I've seen yet. Or maybe these Felt Stockings.
These flower headbands and ponytail holders are pretty.
I make all of the cards we give, and usually use paper and/ or stamps to do so, but I think these Yarn Cards might be a nice change.
This Microwave Cleaner in natural and frugal.
- deep conversation
- the church, as in the body of believers that crosses national, denominational, economic, and geographic walls
- that I can wear jeans to work
- for God's written Word
- for creativity
- great sales at the grocery store
- for a light hurricane season this year
- gmail chat
- for coffee
- for worship
What are you thankful for today?
Sunday, November 8, 2009
-2 teaspoons sesame oil
-3 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-5 scallions, sliced
-2 tablespoons dry sherry
-2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
-2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Today I made a big batch of Crockpot Sloppy Lentils (think meat free Sloppy Joe's) to be my lunch to bring to work for the week. I quadrupled (except for the water and tomatoes) the recipe because lentils get eaten pretty quickly in our home (it's one of the few meat free dishes that Jeremy can't get enough of). I also added 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to give it a bit of a kick, and a teaspoon of cumin. This dish is designed to be served on a bun, but I just eat it plain, out of a bowl. It would also be excellent over brown rice. Since I made so much, I actually cooked it on high, for about 10 hours before they were done. I think next time I would just cook them on the stove because it only takes about 30 minutes start to finish to assemble this that way. Also, next time I think I would do more of a barbecue sauce like the one on these BBQ Lentils. Overall they were a good, solid dish that Jeremy and I both enjoyed, I just happen to like the flavor in the BBQ lentils better.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
- for a job that I enjoy, and co-workers that I get along with
- for chocolate
- for weekends
- for beautiful Audubon Park
- for living in a city that I love
- for all things pumpkin
- for clean water
- for a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer
- for unconditional love
- for forgiveness
What are you thankful for today?
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- for Jesus, that God loves me so much that He sent His only son to earth, to die, and be resurrected, that I may be forgiven and in relationship with Him.
- for the Holy Spirit, that guides me, that my God is a God who is with me, who dwells in me
- for a husband who loves the Lord first, and loves me second
- for family
- for friends
- for freedom
- for provision, and that all of my needs are met
- for the beautiful weather today
- for a lunch time walk and phone call with a friend
- for 1/2 a sweet potato pie that my mother-in-law made that is waiting for me when I get home tonight
What are you thankful for today?
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
P.S. I'm not in the mood to make another Pumpkin Soup right now considering that will still be my lunch for the rest of this week from the batch from last night.
- I'm completely tone deaf, can't sing at all, I lip sing at church, and sing in a horribly off key way in the car with my hubby
- I could eat sushi every day and never get sick of it
- I don't eat meat
- The first time I kissed my husband was the day he proposed
- I have a shoe addiction, and have well over 50 pairs in assorted styles and colors
- I am a people pleaser, and am horrible at saying no
- I can't sit still... ever... I run around like a chicken with my head cut off until my hubby makes me stop
- I always HATED chocolate until I was married, and now I can't get enough of it
- I haven't found a single vegetable that I dislike
- My dream job is to be a stay-at-home mom, and have 10 kids (but I'd settle for 3-5 since I'm not getting any younger)
Join in the fun, and let me know you're doing it so I can read yours!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Red Curry Coconut Pumpkin Soup
The 3 Tablespoons of curry paste that I had leftover are exactly how much I need to make my standard Red Curry Recipe. Having been inspired by a Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe that I read recently I decided red curry would be great with pumpkin. I made my standard curry recipe, but without the veggies (which probably would have been great in here), Thai basil, and plus the pumpkin.
-2 (15 oz) cans pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX)
-2 cups chicken or veggie broth
-2 (15 oz) cans coconut milk
-3 Tablespoons red curry paste
-3 Tablespoons soy sauce
-3 Tablespoons brown sugar
-juice of 1/2 lime
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add coconut milk and red curry paste, stirring until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes.
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
If I hadn't been in a hurry to have this ready before our friends came over for Bible study I may have added some sliced onion and apple into this dish, as they pair well with red cabbage. A great thing about this dish is that it will be even better the next day, so make enough for leftovers.
-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-1 head red cabbage, finely shredded
-1/4 cup brown sugar
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-fresh ground pepper
-1/4 teaspoon celery seed
-1 teaspoon caraway seed
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Cover and simmer 15-25 minutes depending on desired tenderness, stirring intermittently.
Monday, November 2, 2009