Saturday, August 28, 2010

Congratulations to our Giveaway Winner!!

Winner of the giveaway was Jessica, who said this:
"This is brilliant! I've been looking for ways to pack lunches that don't involve a thousand little baggies!! I LOVE that they nest together and are eco-friendly. Thanks for this giveaway."
Jessica, you will be getting an email soon that will tell you exactly what information we need from you before we can get your EasyLunchBoxes sent out!!! Check your inbox, and CONGRATULATIONS!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What's up with no meals posted this week?

I'm not well. I thought for sure I would be "up and at em" by now, but, alas, I am not. I feel quite miserable at the moment actually, and I have been having this really strange feeling that I only remember having when I was in my first trimester...no appetite. Let me also just state that I am NOT pregnant; I just wanted to emphasize how rare a loss of appetite is for me. I have always been one for keeping it real, even at the expense of looking stupid...so here it goes....today looked something like this...

8:00...Husband feeds the kids a pancake while I loaf around in bed, deciding if I will get up yet.

12:00...kids are whining about being hungry and I am not hungry, plus I have no energy to whip up something nutritious, so I roll off the couch to pop a loaf of Italian bread in the oven and cut up an apple for them to share.

3:00...Keely starts talking about wanting a snack, and we're out in the van, so I stopped to get the kids Wendy's chicken nuggets and a frosty.

4:30...I have to head out for work. I stopped at Arby's to get a Jr. Deluxe because I knew I would not make it the whole evening on an empty tank. (I should have called off tonight, but I was trying to be superwoman... moms, you know how that goes, right?)

6:30...While I am at work, my husband feeds the kids grilled cheese sandwiches. Thank you honey!! I love you.

10:00...My stomach was growling on the drive home from work and the only thing that sounded even remotely appetizing was a sub from Jimmy John's. I stopped and got a Turkey Tom and managed to scarf less than half of it down before I decided to give up, and lay down on the couch.

So, needless to say, not a typical week. I am going to post the recipes I was going to make in case if you wanted to try to make the recipe, but I do not have pictures, because I did not make my planned meals for this week. The next few posts are the recipes for this week.

Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chinese Beef Stir Fry

Taken from Dine Without Whine

Makes 4 servings

1 pound beef sirloin steaks lean,* 1/2 -inch thick
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ginger root 1-inch piece fresh peeled and sliced 1/8 -inch thick

1. Trim excess fat from steak. Thinly slice beef into 2 x 1/8 -inch strips. Place in a pie plate. Sprinkle with pepper and stir; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, stir soy sauce, water and cornstarch until smooth; set aside.
3. In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the ginger root and stir-fry about 30 seconds or until light brown. Add half of the meat and stir-fry until no longer red. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, ginger root and meat. Reduce heat to low. Return all meat to wok. Stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until sauce thickens and is shiny. Serve immediately.
Serve with steamed rice and orange slices

Crispy Pork Cutlets

Taken from Dine Without Whine.

Makes 4 servings

2 eggs
2 tablespoons mustard
2 pounds pork loin cutlets
1 cup instant potato flakes
3 tablespoons oils

1. Blend eggs and mustard together in a shallow pie pan; set aside.
2. Dip pork cutlets in egg mixture; coat with potato flakes.
3. Heat oil in a skillet; add pork, heating on both sides until done.
Serve with green beans

Turkey and Broccoli Alfredo and Italian Bread Salad

Taken from Dine Without Whine

Makes 4 servings

1 (6-ounce) package fettuccine pasta, uncooked
2 cups frozen chopped broccoli
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups cooked turkey, cubed
1/8 teaspoon pepper

1. Prepare fettuccine according to package directions. Add broccoli in the last 5 minutes of cooking; drain.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, mix soup, milk, cheese, turkey, pepper and fettuccine mixture;
cook until warm, stirring often.

Italian Bread Salad

Makes 10 servings

4 cups Italian breads, toasted and cubed
3 tomatoes, diced and juice reserved
1 red onion, diced
1 3/4 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large serving bowl, combine bread cubes, tomatoes and juice, onion and basil. Pour on olive oil and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.

Buttery Garlic Chicken and Creamed Corn

Taken from Dine Without Whine.

Makes 4 servings

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup round buttery crackers, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter, sliced

1. Place eggs in a shallow bowl; set aside.
2. Mix cracker crumbs and garlic salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
3. Dip chicken in eggs and then coat in crumb mixture. Arrange in an ungreased 13" x 9" baking pan; dot
with butter.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

Creamed Corn

Makes 4 servings

1 cup canned corn
1/2 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled and drippings reserved
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine corn and milk; add sugar.
2. Place corn mixture and bacon drippings in a large skillet.
3. In a measuring cup, mix flour and water together; blend until smooth. Add enough additional water to
the measuring cup to equal one cup.
4. Add flour mixture to corn and stir over medium heat until mixture is thick; salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Beefy Taco Soup

Taken from Dine without Whine

Makes 4 servings

1 pound ground beef, browned
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (1 1/4-ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1. Stir ingredients together; pour into a slow cooker. Heat on low setting for 6 to 8 hours; stir occasionally.
Add water to thin consistency as desired.
Serve with bread sticks

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deep Fried Oreos Recipe I promised some of you

I have to say, deep fried oreos just sounded like a really bad idea to me. :) My husband, on the other hand, who LOVES doughnuts, was really excited about the new dessert at the fair. He tried it and asked me if I wanted some. I told him, "no, it's not like I need one more thing to love that I shouldn't have". :) He enjoyed his treat and we went on with our day. Well, he never stopped thinking about those things. :) For real, he kept talking about them, saying that he was going to make his own. What you should know, though, is that my husband never cooks. Then, one night, I hear him using the mixer. Sure enough. He had found the recipe and was creating his own "fair" treat to enjoy at home. I took pictures so I could show you, and share the recipe with you. It's quite easy actually.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup buttermilk pancake mix (For directions on how to make your own Bisquick, go here)
  • 3/4 cup ice water
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • 1 sleeve of Oreo cookies (14 each)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

  • Directions

    1. Freeze cookies for 3 hours.

    2. In a heavy-gauge 3-quart saucepot heat oil to 350 degrees F. (My hubster used our deep fryer)

    3. While oil is heating, set up a sheetpan with paper towels for draining.

    4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl stir water into buttermilk pancake mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. As soon as batter is smooth, dip each cookie, one at a time, into batter and smooth batter, making a thin coat completely around the cookie. Place coated cookie carefully into hot oil. Repeat for each cookie. Fry on both sides, turning over once until golden brown.

    5. Remove fried cookie from hot oil with metal tongs and drain on paper towels. Dust with confectioners sugar.(I should probably mention her that my daughter did not eat all of these by herself)
    6. Let cool slightly (about 2 minutes) before serving.

    2 dessert Ideas that you might have already have the ingredients for.

    Peanut Butter Crisscrosses
    Makes 10 servings
    3 cups flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter or margarine, softened
    1 cup chunky peanut butter
    1 cup brown sugar packed
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. In a medium bowl, stir flour, baking soda and salt until blended; set aside.
    3. In a large mixer bowl at low speed, beat butter or margarine, peanut butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs and
    vanilla until well blended, scraping bowl and beaters as needed. Gradually add flour mixture until blended.
    4. Using a teaspoon of dough at a time, form small balls or drop dough about 1 inch apart on ungreased.
    baking sheets. Dip a fork in flour and flatten each cookie with a crisscross design.
    5. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and set in center. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight
    container.

    Easy Apple Crisp
    Makes 8 servings
    5 cups apples peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (about 4 large)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice fresh
    1/3 cup whole wheat flour
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
    1/2 teaspoon allspice ground
    Dash nutmeg ground
    1/4 cup wheat germ toasted
    1 cup oats old-fashioned
    1/2 cup nuts chopped
    1/3 cup butter melted or margarine
    1. Heat oven to 375°.
    2. Place apple slices in a greased 8-inch square shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
    3. Combine dry ingredients with oats and nuts and mix in melted butter or margarine until mixture is
    crumbly. Sprinkle over apples.
    4. Put in oven and bake about 25 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm or cold topped with
    milk and a dash of nutmeg, or with cream or ice cream.

    Calling in sick

    I have been totally drained of energy today. I had a sick night last night that left me wiped out all day today. I have been falling asleep on the couch more than should be legal for a stay-at-home mom. Currently, I am wearing my snuggie, while munching on oyster crackers for dinner. (First time I have been able to keep food down all day) :( My husband was kind enough to take the kids out to eat tonight, so that I could rest some more, and not have to worry about dinner. Hoping to get back into the swing of things tomorrow. In the meantime, check out some of our old recipes by scrolling backward.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    GIVEAWAY: Kid's lunch is easy using this lunch box system!

    Have you already gotten your kid's lunch boxes for the school year? Well, if you have not, you are in for a real treat. We've got a great giveaway that every mom would LOVE to have, I am sure. Check this one out...
    One lucky winner is going to win an Easy Lunch Boxes container set and one lunch bag (winner gets to choose color). Retail value ($21.90)
    I had the privilege of using these containers, and I love the practicality of them.
    No more squished sandwiches and wasteful baggies for each individual thing you are serving your child. The containers fit perfectly inside the roomy EasyLunchbox custom carrying bag. And there is still plenty of room to throw in an extra snack or two, whole fruit, perhaps a thermos of soup, drink and ice block.

    You can click here for many, many yummy lunch ideas. In fact, I encourage you to check this page out because there are many healthy lunch ideas on there. Here are some pictures of a couple of lunches that I did with my kiddos:

    LUNCH NUMBER ONE
    : At a picnic!
    You might recall me blogging about the day I took my kids for a "swim" that ended up being a picnic and some time in a sprinkler. Well, I referred to my new cool containers in that post. I purposefully did not let on that those containers were our next giveaway because I wanted to keep it a secret! :) This is the lunch I made that day. This lunch is as easy as it gets. Nothing fancy. Bologna and ketchup sandwiches, grapes, and 2 Oreo cookies.
    Lunch is as easy as 1,2, 3. :0)
    1. Line up enough containers for everyone you are serving, and divvy out all the food amongst the containers.
    2. Slap the colorful lids on each one. (Color code if you have several kids, according to the colors they like...in my case, blue for my son, red for my daughter)

    3. They stack perfectly if you are taking their lunches to the same place.
    I could stack all three of our lunch containers on top of each other and they all fit in the bag, so we could carry them out easily. Three fit perfectly in one bag. I decided to take the kids out for a picnic and these made it easy for me. When my kids (who are prone to wander at times) decided to get up and play, but were not done eating, I could just place the top back over it quickly to keep the bugs away from their food.
    LUNCH NUMBER TWO: Right here in my dining area
    Peanut Butter Banana Roll Ups, fruit cocktail, cherry tomatoes.
    Make your roll ups and cut them in half. (or more than half for itty bittys)
    When your kids announce that they are done, (and you know they have only taken two bites and they will be hungry and begging for food again in another half hour) you can just place the top on and pop it in the fridge until they are hungry again. And, of course, then there is the obvious...you can use them at school or work!


    To enter the giveaway: After you have taken a moment to visit the Easy Lunch Boxes site, come back to this post to leave us a comment, telling us something you learned about this great product, and an email to reach you at. Giveaway ends this Friday, August 27, at midnight. Good luck!
    This giveaway is offered to US & Canadian residents only. Please do not enter this giveaway if have won or received free product from EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.

    Tuesday: Chicken Stir Fry

    This recipe came from my mother. It was the first dinner I prepared for my darling husband back when we were dating. I served it with apple sauce and Mountain Dew. :) My husband (boyfriend at the time) ate seconds and thirds. Needless to say, I have been making it ever since.












    What you need:
    1-2 eggs, uncooked
    1 lb chicken cut into pieces
    1 tsp. garlic (1-2 garlic cloves)
    1-2 cups rice cooked
    vegetable oil
    soy sauce
    Frozen veges (we use peas, carrots, green beans blend)













    Begin to cook rice, according to the directions on the package. Pour 2-3 Tbs. oil into skillet and begin to heat oil. Toss in 1-2 eggs and scramble. Add 1-2 cloves garlic and chicken. Allow to cook until chicken is no longer pink on the inside. Throw in vegetables and cook for 6-8 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir in rice and soy sauce. (more or less according to taste)















    To healthify this recipe substitute the following:
    olive or coconut oil for vegetable oil
    brown rice for white rice
    low sodium soy sauce for regular soy sauce.
    For whatever reason, growing up, we always at this with apple sauce on the side. :)

    ENJOY!

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Cheating week of meal planning...shhhhh...

    Picture of the conference I was at this past weekend. (this place was packed out)
    If you ever get a chance to go to a Women of Faith conference I highly recommend it!

    Crazy busy week last week + gone all weekend + crazy busy week this week= Meal Planning out the window. I actually have so much catching up to do today that I was too overwhelmed to even create a meal plan. The headache didn't help either. Then, I remembered something...
    No, just kidding. We're not eating out all week--although it does sound like a fun option right now. I remembered that a few months back I purchased a cute little notebook with breakfast and lunch meal plans all laid out for me and in the back of the notebook, there was a one week sample menu for dinners. The notebook was created by one of the founders of the website, Dine without Whine, Christine Steendahl.
    On her site, she offers a one week sample menu if you are ever interested in checking that out. See her site to find out more.

    Okay, so here it is-- my meal plan for the week that I did not have to do any work to create:

    Monday: (We're doing Digornio, since I will be grocery shopping tonight after dinner has already happened)
    Tuesday: Chicken Stir Fry (an oldie but a goodie around my house)
    Wednesday: Beefy Taco Soup
    Thursday: Turkey & Broccoli Alfredo and Italian Bread Salad
    Friday: Chinese Beef Stir Fry

    PLUS...how to make deep fried oreos. My husband had these at the fair, fell in love, and decided to make them here at home. I just had to take pictures for our site.

    PLUS, PLUS...A GIVEAWAY!!!

    Wondering what's for dinner?


    Are you wondering what's for dinner this week? Me too! ;) I had a fun, much needed, getaway weekend, and then came home to church and a birthday party yesterday. I have not had a chance to meal plan, or grocery shop, for this week yet. I will make it happen today and then I will get it posted by tonight.