Monday, January 31, 2011

Meal Plan for January 30 - February 6th!

Our dinner last night:

Hawaiian Chicken and Sausage Kabobs
with Pineapple, Bell Pepper & Onions
All on a bed of white rice!

Boy do I have the best husband ever!

So now the week day cooking is left up to me and here is my menu for the week:

Breakfasts:
Breakfast planning is not set in stone but just an idea!
Sunday: Chorizo & Eggs
Monday: Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Fruit & Peanut Butter on a spoon.
Tuesday:  Cereal, Fruit & Yogurt
Wednesday:  French Toast & Fruit
Thursday: Syrup Pancakes, Fruit
Friday:  Eggs, Toast, Fruit
Saturday: Eggs, Hash browns, Bacon & Fruit
Sunday: Something yummy!

Lunches:
Again, not set in stone these are often replaced with leftovers!
Except for Justin who is at work eating PB&J with an orange and chips. Every.Single.Day

Monday: Grilled Cheese & Canned Soup
Tuesday: Black Bean Burrito Bowls - Flour Tortilla, Black Beans, Corn, Salsa and Cheese mm mm.
Wednesday: Tuna Salad Sandwiches and Carrots with Ranch
Thursday: Chicken Fries w/ketchup, carrots w/ranch, crackers 
Friday: Chicken Paninis on Naan and Peas
Saturday: Egg Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Baby Oranges
Sunday: Pasta & Sauce


Dinners:
Sunday: Fish & Steak Tacos (not together Justin just loathes fish), Rice and a Veggie (from here).
Monday: Whole Chicken in Salsa Verde (pics & recipe to follow), Refried Beans, Chips & Salsa
Tuesday: Spaghetti & Meatballs with homemade bread sticks and salad.
Wednesday: Fried Chicken Tacos, Spanish Rice, Zucchini (using chicken from Monday's whole chicken)
Thursday: Omelets, Sausage, Pancakes, Fruit
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas in Green Sauce, with Green Chili Rice and veggies (using Monday's chicken)
Saturday: Indian Food of some type including Naan and Basmati Rice
Sunday: Superbowl Sunday at Tio's house - he is having a taco bar!

Bon Appetit,
Ash of All Trades

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Big Girl Room Unveiled!

So Little C decided that she would like a big girl bed.  And that she didn't want diapers. So for the last two weeks we have been redoing her room and potty training!  Now while neither one if completely done they are fully improved and fully functioning.  Her theme as shown above is owls and nature!


Now this was a thrifty room makeover (and sorry but I don't have any nursery pictures on this computer!) but still expensive considering we went from crib & changing table to bed, dresser, and armoire.  We did luck out and actually gave Big C's furniture to Little C and purchased Big C a new bed, dresser, and desk from the neighbor (half of for only 9 month old furniture) LOVE IT! 
Big C's room is still in progress so no pictures yet but back to Little C's room!


Here we used some garland at Michael's (Buy One Get One Free) to make a unique "moulding" of sorts.  $50 and one extra garland later voila! Add in a decorative armoire with Porcelain dolls from my childhood and we have an instant girly girl room!



Here we bought paper maiche letters and painted them with craft paint.  Total cost $6 (I had the paint and brushes at home)! The girls were just itching to get in the shot then I took the picture and Caylee started running away - eek.


Here is the newest addition added yesterday - a vinyl wall decal.  If you have seen or used these before you must try them - they are fabulous!  This one is a huge 5.5 foot tree and was $39.99 on amazon.  They also sell awesome ones on etsy.



The wall decal also came with these critters (the flowers and squirrel not the girls) and there is an adorable hedgehog behind Little C.  She is so cute she gets up in the morning and says HI to all of her animals.



Okay then we have this wall (with the adorable bed) and it is plain...blech.  We are definitely getting this monogrammed vinyl decal for above the bed in pink.  But other than that that wall boggles my mind.

So there is our newest Big Girl room!  Meal planning tomorrow and some other decorating blogs coming up!

~Ash of All Trades



Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken Parmigiana!

As many of you know our dating anniversary is New Year's Eve and on that very first date 7 years ago we went to Stadium Brewery in Aliso Viejo then watched movies at my parents house!  For a few year's after we continued going to the Brewery but once we had kids everything changed!  Every year since then I have recreated the meal Justin chose that night (and I now get every time we go) - Chicken Parmigiana - delicious!

Their chicken parm is the best and I haven't quite recreated an exact version but ours is pretty good!  The important thing is that they serve it with alfredo pasta mmmm mmmm good!

Chicken Parmigiana:
2 eggs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs (seasoned)
1/2 tsp italian seasoning (if bread crumbs aren't seasoned)
1 cup flour
1.5 lbs chicken thighs or breasts
Marinara or Pasta Sauce
Shredded or slice mozzarella
cooked pasta
alfredo sauce (store bought or see below recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Lightly beat 2 eggs in a bowl - set aside
2. Place flour in separate bowl
3. Mix parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and italian seasoning in a third bowl
4. Dip chicken in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs
5. Place in greased pyrex dish and bake 30 minutes
6. Pour marinara/pasta sauce over chicken then sprinkle on mozzarella
7. Bake additional 10-15 minutes and serve next to alfredo pasta

To make Alfredo Sauce (actually Parmesan Pasta Sauce)

1. Boil 1 cup water
2. Add 1/2 block of cream cheese, 2tbsp butter, 1/2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning, 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp parsley, 1 garlic clove, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
3. Combine until mixing then microwave for 1 minute or heat through on stove top.
4. Serve over cooked pasta.

After searching my computer I realized I don't have a picture of this meal - bummer!  But please try it because it is great!

Much Ado,
Ash of All Trades

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bread!

For about a year now I have been itching to get a bread maker and make some homemade bread.  Well I am so loved that for Christmas I received two!  Now we will take one back and get some more awesome kitchen gadgets (like a food scale so I can track the produce we grow in our garden this year) but one we will keep and I get to make homemade bread!

This past Sunday we spent some time getting to know our bread maker by making some Garlic Bread sticks.  Bread sticks only use the kneading element of a bread maker but we thought we should start with something basic! 


Ahh perfect heaven!

Now in preparation for using our bread machine I did buy Bread Flour and Yeast this week.  In my research I found a ton of people who say bread flour and bread machine yeast don't need to be used but others say it does so I am using the real deal!  (And for anyone else who makes bread Ralphs brand Bread Flour -unbleached - is on sale for 1.99 this week). 

So here we are watching the kneading process start:

And one just because it is cute:

And here is the final product:

So there it is - my newest kitchen gadget!  A design to help me be more self sustainable and provide healthy homemade food for my family!  Slowly we will start making more types of bread! Oh and the bread sticks were absolutely delicious - we had planned on freezing half for another day but we ended up eating about 2/3rds of them.


Here's to a great first Monday of the year,
Ash of All Trades

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!



Welcome to 2011!  Here we are a new year and a new beginning.  My New Year's resolution this year is to enjoy every moment.  If 2010 taught me anything it is that anything can change in the snap of two fingers - sometimes for the better and sometimes not so much. 

For 2011we have the following exciting changes:

1. Justin will GRADUATE in August (he is getting is MBA through PennState)
2. Chloee will be 4 and Caylee will be 2.
3. Caylee will potty train and move to a big girl bed!
4. We will take the girls on their first plane ride - to Pennsylvania for Justin's graduation!
5. Chloee will start Pre-K after our PennState trip.
6. Praying that I will become an aunt this year!
7. Take the girls to the snow for the first time.
8. Try to Blog 3-4 times per week!
9. Eat lots of new foods!
10. Learn how to make homemade breads in my new bread machine!
11. Finish our backyard!
12. Change churches - we are trying to go local in an effort to become more involved!

So obviously we have many many things planned for this year and I hope that we can continue to enjoy the little things just like our girls are constantly doing.  We will have a more set routine that allows plenty of free time and will try to enjoy all of our local surroundings (beaches, parks, zoos, etc)!

Here's to a New Year!

Ash of All Trades!