Monday, December 27, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

I am sure you wonder why I try to post my menu every Monday. The reason being, is two fold. First of all, I like to keep track of what we eat and the recipes that go along with menus. I like to think of part of this blog as my own little online recipe book. The second reason I make a weekly menu is to help with my grocery shopping. I make the menu ahead and then do my grocery shopping Monday evenings after the kids go to bed. (This also gives My Sweetie some quiet time). I have found that taking two little ones to the grocery and trying to concentrate and use coupons is almost impossible.

So here is my menu for the last week of the year:

Monday: Peanut Pad Thai Chicken

Tuesday: Ham and Bean Soup with Cornbread

Wednesday: Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin and riced potatoes

Thursday - Sunday: Spending time with family abroad

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Menu

I always love planning the menu for the holidays. However, I try to make an easy Christmas meal so that I can spend time with the family and not be stressed out all day in the kitchen. My menu consist of everything that can be made the day before. The only thing that I need to bake is the hash brown potatoes.

Christmas 2010 Menu

Dried Beef Cheese Ball (a family favorite for many years) and Crackers

Mandarin Orange Salad

Honey Baked Ham

Hash Brown Potato Casserole

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Busy time, because it's Christmas time!

Having children in our home at Christmas has made everything more special. From decorating the tree to driving around looking at the lights in the evenings, Christmas has become magical.

We have been a bit busy here and I would just like to share a few things that have been up to lately.

On a daily basis Double D thinking the Christmas Tree skirt is a cape:

Dressing up the kids in their jammies and taking them to see lights several nights a week:

Making cookies with the best little kitchen helper a Mommy could ask for:
Look at her form. She is an expert baker at 2 years old!

Showing the kids the first snow fall of the year:

Getting ready to go visit Santa at the mall:

The kids excited and overjoyed to see him in person:

Sissyboo gazing up at the lights while lying under the Christmas tree:
We are thoroughly enjoying this wonderful time of year and thanking the Lord for all of his blessings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Simply Christmas

During the fall of my kindergarten year, my family packed up and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. While it had always been a family favorite vacation destination, we left our home and moved due to my Dad's new position at a local company. While our house was still on the market in Ohio, we now were living in a little rental home. A small two bedroom winter home for a pair of snow birds who lived up north during the Summer.

I remember two very important things that I loved about that Christmas. One being that my very lovely Mommy didn't know how to decorate our Christmas tree due to the fact that all of our family ornaments were still in Ohio. So, she resorted to using red velvet bows to decorate the Christmas tree. In my child like mind, this is still the prettiest tree we ever had as a family. My Mom taking something so simple and making something so beautiful was amazing to me. I know she didn't think that it was perfect, but I did. I am sure that as my Mom tied on all those little bows, she would never know the impact that it would have on me. But, I will never forget that little tree. To help me never to forget, I always put up red bows in my own home to remind me of simpler times and my Mommy.

The second thing I loved about that Christmas is singing in our schools Christmas concert. We sang O Come All Ye Faithful. To this day, I still remember wearing my floor length (hey it was the 70's) red velvet dress and singing that song at the top of my lungs. I remember being hugged so tight after the concert by both parents because they were so proud.

For children, Christmas doesn't have to be perfect to be special. It is how we act as parents and live our lives that make the most wonderful memories for our children.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

We are enjoying a cold and snowy day here in the St. Louis area. We had our first snow of the winter yesterday and it feels like a great day just to stay inside and play games with the kiddos.
Here is the menu for this week:

Monday: My Mom's Vegetable Beef Soup and Homemade Bread

Thursday: My Sweetie is going to be out, so leftovers for me and the kids

Friday: Shrimp Scampi and Crab Legs

Saturday: Buffalo Chicken Salad (for lunch); Chinese Take Away (for dinner)

Sunday: Spanish Rice

I hope you all have a blessed week. Only 13 more days until CHRISTmas. Yeah!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Easy English Toffee

This recipe is so simple it almost makes itself. I have been making this for several years and it turns out great every time. It taste just like a Heath Bar.

English Toffee
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup slivered almond
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon light Karo syrup
5 Hershey Bars

~ Combine all ingredients except the Hershey Bars.
~ Cook in heavy pan over high heat.
~ Stir until shade darker than brown sugar- about 10 to 12 minutes (less time if you are not using a heavy pan).
~ Pour onto cookie sheet (which I always spray with a light coating of cooking spray) and spread with back of wooden spoon to all edges.
~ Crush five Hershey Bars and spread over the top (while the toffee is still hot).
~ Refrigerate immediately for about an hour or until cool.
~ When harden, break into pieces and store in air tight container.
Best if kept in refrigerator.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

For the love of all things....FROSTY?

My daughter has a new love in her life. It all started this summer on a hot and humid 100 degree day. I put in the Frosty the Snowman DVD to get MY mind on cooler weather. I didn't know that just that simple act would cause such a big deal in my daughters little life!

Then, this fall I noticed that she started carrying the DVD around with her, like a precious baby. Followed then by wanting to watch it everyday. Ok I thought, no big deal.

Now the child is over the moon for all things snowmen related! She can literally spot a snowman across the room. She even sits on Sunday afternoons and peruses the newspaper advertisements in hopes that she may be able to find a snowman. I love it!

To add to her love, her Grandparents bought her a Frosty the Snowman shirt. When she is not wearing it, she tries to carry it around like a blankie! My Sweetie even bought her a singing Frosty that she has loved on so much already, that it is broken!

I had no idea that she would love snowmen this much, but I love watching her face light up and hearing her she scream..."Frosty Man"!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Goodbye My Dear Friend Fall

Goodbye My Friend Fall,

The stockings are already hung with care, but I just can’t seem to get the wonderful thoughts of the fall that we shared as a family out of my head. I love fall and all that goes with all of the holidays. Before I fully put all my thoughts on Christmas, I would like to reflect the glorious fall that we shared.

Here are a few pictures:

The babies cuddling up on a chilly morning. A wonderful visit with family.
Exploring new places like The Magic House.
Picking the perfect pumpkin in the pumpkin patch.
Double D dropping every pumpkin he picked up to see if it would bounce. (They don't).
Carving pumpkins with my favorite people.
Getting to take Double D and Sissyboo out on their first Trick or Treat night.
Feeding the goats at Grant's Farm.
My Sweetie and Double D cooking stuffing for Thanksgiving.
The proud couple and their little turkey.
Double D being a big boy trying to eat his Thanksgiving Turkey with an adult sized fork.
Many visits with dear family members.
Confirming Double D looks JUST LIKE his Papaw!
We have had a wonderful fall here and hope you all did as well.

Blessings, Lori