Showing posts from October, 2011

Happy Halloween! & A Meal Plan

A few crafts we worked on this week - and yes they are all made out of paper bags and paint! We had such a blast but cannot believe today is already Halloween.  This year is flying past us at the speed of light...we have a fun last week of soccer ahead of us and are gearing up for some fall weather (fingers crossed and prayers said) rather than the 90 degrees today.  So here is our menu for the week:
Breakfasts: Oatmeal, Blueberries, Yogurt Omelette's, Honeydew, Toast French Toast, Blueberries, Yogurt Pancakes, Plums, Yogurt Cereal, Plums Granola Bars, Applesauce, Hard boiled Eggs Cereal, Applesauce, Peanut Butter on a spoon

Lunches: Leftovers Grilled Cheese, Soup, Carrots, Plums Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Crackers, Snap Peas, Plums Tuna Sandwiches, Carrots, Honeydew Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Raisins, Snap Peas Sub Sandwiches, Honeydew, Chips Quesadillas, Salsa, Pinto Beans

Dinners: Homemade Pizza & Salad (our annual Halloween tradition) Albondigas, Quesadillas (never made it las…

Apes & The Best of Me- A Book Review (or two)

We started off the week on the right foot and then ended up with head colds for a few days..while we all rested this mama read a few books I have been dying to get to!

Ape House by Sarah Gruen

   This book far exceeded my expectations and is a wonderful addition to Sarah Gruen's collection (she is the author of Water for Elephants).  An excellent story about one person's devotion to a group of Bonobo Apes this fantastic story had just enough twists and turns to keep me turning page after page as well as enough emotion to draw me in to each of the characters.  While the relationship between the Isabelle and the reporter is a bit awkward at times (it probably could have been left out) I enjoy how the reporter is able to put the story aside to actually care for the topic (apes) and the subjects (bonobos and their "mom").  This story tore at my heart as a mother which Isabelle definitely is to this troop of Bonobos.  While truly a novel this story also gave some unknown h…

Garden Update - The Pumpkin is Turning!

Our biggest and pumpkin (yes a little scratched up) is turning orange if only ever so slowly!  We are bummed to only have two pumpkins growing this year but extremely hopeful that he will be ORANGE in a week...we are counting down to Halloween over here!
.69 lbs of produce
.234 lbs of basil

1.02 lbs of tomatoes
.35 lbs of chilies
.56 lbs of tomatillos
.53 lbs of cherry tomatoes
Total weight this week: 3.384 lbs of produce!
Annual Total: 139.861 lbs

Sausage Potatoe Packets

Here is our yummy version of a sausage potato packet...I am sure plenty of people make many varities of these and I hear they are great when camping but I like to make them at home!
Use one Hillshire Farms sausage link.
Cut it up into bite size pieces.
Get some fresh or frozen bell peppers and onions.
A few potatoes.  (4 for the four of us). Wash them. Poke holes in them.
Cook for 2-3 minutes (not all the way) just enough for the cooking process to have started.  This way you don't have to wait 40 minutes for the potatoes to cook on the bbq.
Add the sausage to a strip of foil.
For a packet with some heat - chop a jalapeno or other chili.
Add the potatoes, bell peppers, onion, (chilies) and olive oil. You can peal the potatoes or leave them whole - they get a bit crispier if you leave the skin on!
Spread some garlic salt over the top. Mix with your hands to coat a bit.
Cover with another piece of foil that is nice and secure.
Place on grill on high heat for 15 ish minutes.
Check …

Summer And Fall Foods Oct 24-30

Yummy a bowl of chicken tortilla soup!  Well we aren't having that this week but we are having another great one: Albondigas (sometimes known as Mexican Meatball Soup)!  While we are hoping to have some fallish weather I think sunny SoCal is going to stay warm again this week...oh well.  This time of year is always relatively busy and we have been thankful for our meal plan keeping food from being something else we have to "deal" with - well at least thinking up meals - there is always cooking and cleaning to be done. 

To everyone visiting from Passionate Homemaking - thank you for visiting!  I hope your meal planning is going well for you and hope that you can find something delicious from the list below:

Bagels with Cream Cheese, Honeydew Melon, Yogurt
Scrambled Eggs, Blueberries, Toast with jam or butter
Granola Bars, Grapes, Yogurt
Bagels with Peanut Butter, Honeydew Melon, Yogurt
Cereal, Pomegranates, Yogurt
Pancakes, Pomegranates, Peanut Butter
French …

Theme Thursday: Bible Studies!

Welcome to theme Thursday all!  This week I thought we would take a look at how we are studying the Bible and our Catholic faith.  While the girls are only 4.5 and 2.5 I feel that it is important to begin teaching them of our faith.  In addition to weekly mass attendance (which we have been doing since they were each 6 weeks old) we have now begun the following activities!
Each morning we read a bible story - out of both the traditional Catholic Bible and the Children's Rhymn Bible pictured above.  It is important for them to listen to biblical readings early as this is how they are read in mass and also the reference point for later life.  I also want them to be able to understand the stories and learn from them - hence the Children's storybook bible!
Then we color in some matching pages from our Bible Coloring Book!
We pick a major story and follow it all week - reading portions of it each day and coloring in portions of the story each day.
Examples: Creation, Adam & Ev…

How to Grow Garlic

Here are the simple steps we used to grow our own garlic! (Let me just add it had the best flavor ever)!
Start with a bulb of garlic - just buy it at the grocery store, please do not waster your money on bulbs from any gardening center.
Break each clove off. You will get a better crop if you use only the large cloves.
Push the clove into the soil - pointy side up. You can plant it in a box, in the ground, or in a pot! You don't need to peel it after it is separated just stick the whole thing in.
Make sure it is in the soil. Then water every few days (unless it is over 100 then every day would be better)!
In a week or two you should see little garlic sprouts! Keep watering every couple of days - you don't want the soil to completely dry out  but nor do you want it to be a swamp as the garlic clove could mold.
For big full heads of garlic plant sometime in the fallish months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec) Then harvest sometime between June and August (when the "leafy" tops ar…

Coaching A U5 Soccer Team

This year Big C is finally old enough to play organized sports!  Having played soccer my entire life I excitedly signed her up in March (the season didn't start until September)!  Well one thing leads to another and while I was technically considering it - they asked me to be a coach.  Whatever was I thinking agreeing to that!  In all actuality it has been a true learning experience and while it is much more difficult than I imagined it is turning out to be pretty fun.
There are six 4 year old's on our team and at practice and I also have Little C who is 2.5.  The first few practices and the first game were a total disaster - none of the girls understood the game at all and while we did score quite a few goals they were all in the other team's net!  Plus the girls plowed off the field and into all of the bystanders taking out quite a few people -oops. 

Slowly practices got better, now at week 7 (3 more to go) the girls are getting the basic concepts of direction and gett…

Tomatoes A Plenty - Weekly Weigh In

Our asparagus plant is growing like crazy and I am thinking these red balls mean it is getting closer to time to cut it down for the winter.  Next season I will take pictures of how we are growing asparagus (and we might even get to eat some next year!)  But for those who don't know ( I sure didn't) it looks like a crazy fern and is a forever plant (seriously it lasts around 30 years) so you just cut it back each year and then next year it will grow in!  Now for our weekly weigh in:
1.138 lbs of cucmbers sweet sweet cucumbers!
.406 lbs of basil and tomatillos
2.06 lbs of tomatoes and habeneros

.609 lbs of cherry tomatoes
We also had two onions, more basil, and some roma tomatoes that the hubby needed for bruschetta - so he cut them and used them not even stopping to think about weighing them....oh well!
Our total week's weight is: 4.213 lbs
Annual total: 136.477 lbs!

Food Galore Oct 17th - 23rd


I cannot believe that it is the middle of October already - this year is truly flying by.  The weather this past week was super hot (100+ degrees) so we are definitely ready for the cool down this week (to the mid 80s haha).  This week I will mix a little fall flare with some summertime BBQ since it is dark early but still warm.  Most of the recipes this week are ones we have created over time or adapted from other recipes and I will be posting more about them in the coming weeks!
Oatmeal, Blueberries, YogurtFrench Toats, Yogurt, PeachesPancakes, Apples, YogurtScrambled Eggs, Toast, PearsGranola Bars, Raisins, Peanut ButterChocolate Chip Muffins, Blueberries, YogurtChocolate Chip Muffins, Apples, Peanut Butter
Egg Salad Sandwiches, Pears, Carrot SticksPeanut Butter Sandwiches, Apples, Carrot SticksHam Sandwiches, Raisins, Graham CrackersLoaded Chicken QuesadillasPasta with butter sauce, peas, peachesChicken Nuggets, Grapes, TomatoesHot Dog Sandwiches, Peas, Pinea…

Early October Book Reviews!

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larrson

After reading the first two books in the trilogy I must say I was dissapointed in this book.  It was very slow in the beginning and it wasn't until halfway through that I finally became genuinely intrigued.  Once I got through the first half which was a lot of historical points, government explanations, and character backgrounds I was hooked and read the second half in about a day!  The story continues from the cliff hanger at the end of the second book and continues to complete the tale of Mickael and Lisbeth as well as many other characters.  There are some weird plots twisted into this novel that don't necessarily need to be included but are interesting on their own.  I definitely left many scenes wondering if Mickael had really lost his mind and also second guessing the truth of the matter's at hand.  While the death of Deg and Mia was quite shocking to me it really does tie the story together quite naturally.

Grocery Deals

Hey all and welcome to a new week w

Just wanted to point out that Fresh and Easy has a $5 off $25.
They have great prices on meat, pizza dough, pumpkins, veggies, bagels, dices tomatoes and bread.

(There is a daily deal until the 20th at

Hass Avocados @ .68 each - Excellent Price
Red/Green/Romaine Lettuce @ .99 each - Great Price
Bartlett Pears @ .99/lb = Great Price
Organic Bananas @ .79/lb = Great Price
Organic Apples @ 1.49/lb = Excellent Price
Organic Baby Carrots @ 1.49/lb = Excellent Price

Boneless Skinless Breasts or Thighs @ 1.97/lb = Stock Up Price
Cross Rib Roast @ 2.77 = Great Price
Hormel Pepperoni @ 2.99 = Good Price

Yoplait Yogurt 32 oz @ 2.49 = Great Price (coupons)

Crest Toothpaste @ 1.00 = Stock Up Price (with coupons)
Oral B Toothbrush @ 1.00 = Stock Up Price (with coupons)

Ghirardelli Premium Chocolate Chips @ 1.99 = Stock Up Price
Powdered Sugar @ 1.00 = Great Price
Albertsons Diced Tomatoes @ .50 = Stock Up Price

Green Enchiladas (gone sour)!

Green Enchiladas Recipe (the semi quick semi homemade way)!
 Heat half a big can of enchilada sauce in a shallow skillet.
 Heat a skillet of canola oil. You want it to cover the corn tortillas for sure and be about an inch or more deep.
 Once the oil is heated place the tortilla in and fry for 15 seconds. Flip over with tongs and fry another 15 seconds or so. You don't want them crispy but you also want to make sure they aren't as raw.
 You can add chopped or shredded chicken if you like! Yes I like the Hubs does not. The girls are undecided some days they do and some not so much.
 Have your shredded cheese ready in a bowl.
 Place a thin layer of sauce at the bottom of the Pyrex baking dish. Then dip your fried tortilla in the heated enchilada sauce and lay in the pan.
Layer your chicken (if using) and then cheese.   Roll the enchilada and repeat to make as many as desired. Then pour extra enchilada sauce over the whole pan. Sprinkle the whole pan with lots of cheese…

Garden Update Minus Pics!

So sorry folks but the above picture is from a few weeks ago and I have no new pictures for this week.  Our Goddaughter was born last week and we left the camera at the hospital following her birth (on purpose)...I don't mind one bit at having not had it!  
Our total weight though (yes I weighed it just didn't photograph it) is:
.412 lbs + 3 lbs + 1.12 lbs + 4lbs
Which consisted of cherry tomatoes, basil, roma tomatoes (galore), 2 nice big cucumbers (plus lots more coming) and some onions!

For a total weekly harvest of:  8.532 lbs! (this is thankfully heavier than Audrey's birth weight)!

Our annual total is:  132.264!
Wholly guacamole - we haven't harvested any pumpkins and none of our fruit trees bared any fruit this year - what is going to happen in the next few years when everything is producing!  Ahhhh I cannot wait to be able to can and freeze and can some more and give lots away and I even jokingly (semi) told the girls instead of a lemonade stand they could hav…

Meal Plan Oct 10 - 16th

This week we will continue celebrating the Hubby's birthday since he gets a day off this week instead of last week on his actual birthday!  Above are the cupcakes we served him - all you have to do is make your favorite brownie recipe/mix and pour into muffin liners then bake for about half the time of the original recipe (the girls each picked a candle holder)!
This week we will be making some delicious food and trying to stay away from the oven as it is supposed to be "warm" again - about mid 80s (supposedly).  Other than that we will keep busy with daddy's day off, library time, soccer practice, and all other things called life.
Our menu for the week:
Oatmeal, Blueberries, Hard Boiled Egg
Life Cereal, Pears, Yogurt with Jam
Blueberry Pancakes, Yogurt
French Toast, Egg, Apples
Granola Bars, Raisins, Milk
Eggs, Toast, Oranges
Cereal, Pears

Egg Salad Sandwiches, Crackers, Carrots, Pears
Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Animal Cookies, Apples, Peas