Sunday, November 29, 2009

Food For Thought...

When you don't have a lot of money, but do have a lot of produce....what do you do?

Make a Produce Thanksgiving Centerpiece of course!

Produce is not just for eating folks....

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Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 30, 2009

Can you say Too Much Turkey? I think I can... Phew, after 4 straight days of lunch AND dinner Thanksgiving Leftovers, I can honestly say I'm Turkey-ed Out!

With that in mind, last weeks menu plan was virtually non-existent because
I didn't need to make any meals.

I have a lot of catching up to do as far as cooking and
baking with the produce before they go bad.

Here's what we've got going for the week:

Breakfasts: Waffles (Leftover from Weekend- Made w/ Kefir, delicious!), Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Oatmeal( Slow Cooker)

Lunches: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Homemade Mac N' Cheese, Turkey Quesadillas (YES, we still have more turkey)


Monday: Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday: Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries and green beans (Really Good Last Week!)

Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Spicy Black Bean Empanadas- I'll use ground turkey served with Glazed Carrots and Kale Chips

Friday: Grilled Chicken Strips served over Fresh Greens Salad w/ Roma Tomatoes

Saturday: Slow Cooker Flank Steak served with Noodles and Carrots

Sunday: Eggplant Pizzas & Black Bean and Spinach Pizzas

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Smell the Fresh Air... Eat Apple Pie!

I am so excited that it is finally cool here in Florida..
Could Fall actually exist in Florida?

I just have to capitalize on this opportunity because who knows how long it will last.

I came across this blog post and had to share it with you.
Its about Plein Air or Plain Air
from Pioneer Woman

I am taking my kids outside right after lunch to get some...
and perhaps Lily can draw a little too!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful... Tree.... Craft.... Fun...

So I saw this post a while back and really wanted to make one for my wall.

Here is what we came up with...
Here's how I did it....frugally

2 Paper Bags Cut Open
Freehand a Tree....shocking, I know.

Then you cut it out!
Tape to the wall...
Ask your kids what they are thankful for...
I felt special because I came right after Lily being thankful for pillows and the wall.
I used this leaf template.
I had them laminated for a church project, which I recommend because...
if you use a dry erase marker,
you can use them over again!

Write Thankful Things on Leaf of your choice, and have children tape to wall!
During this project
I let Lily practice her cutting skills
on a scrap piece of paper bag,
and I showed Claire how to Tear to increase
her hand-eye coordination....

I'm Thankful for my husband and my children, and our health....
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving is just around the corner!! I can't wait for turkey!
Lately, we only have a roast turkey on Thanskgiving, so it has been a long time coming...
This year I am only roasting the turkey and making a dessert.
My mother- in- law is making everything else...bless her heart.

This week is also a produce share pick up week. Here is what we will be receiving:

Green Beans
Table Carrots
Green Kale
Green Romaine
Poultry Bouquet
Sweet Potatoes
Russet Potato
Cremini Mushrooms
Roma Tomato
Winsap Apples
Bosc Pears
Sunburst Tangerines

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Breakfasts: Eggs & Toast, Pancakes, Oatmeal( Slow Cooker)

Lunches: Leftovers (Hope there's lots from Turkey Day), Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Quesadillas


Monday: Leftover Cranberry Pork Tenderloin and Sweet Potato Puff- still have a ton of sweet potato left over from last share served with Wilted Spinach

Tuesday: Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries and green beans

Wednesday: Spicy Black Bean Empanadas- I'll use ground turkey served with Glazed Carrots and Kale Chips


Friday: I'm pretty sure we'll be eating leftovers!! YUMMY

Saturday: Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken (Slow Cooker)

Sunday: (Slow Cooker) Beef Stew- The picture looked too good to pass up!

Well, that's it for this week...hope you all have a great Thanksgiving ! For more recipes, visit for her MPM round-up!


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Friday, November 20, 2009

Birthdays Without Pressure

Living here in South Florida forces you to feel pressure to
"Keep Up" with your neighbors...

birthday parties are no exception.

Whatever happened to the small 5 child party with
pin the tail on the donkey, cake and everyone went home?
Those days seem over, but I'm on the pursuit to bring it back!

And it looks like others are too!

Here is a website that deals with this particular issue.

Birthdays Without Pressure

Sometimes it's good to know that you don't
HAVE to throw the same types of parties as your friends or neighbors, and that there are alternatives to the typical over-the-top birthday parties that are becoming more and more popular.

You may be interested in a previous post
that I shared on this particular issue as well.

If you have any of your own great frugal birthday ideas,
let me know in a comment.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wondering What to do with Celery Root?

Well, I was talking to some women from my organic buying co-op and told them that my blog had a hot celery root recipe on it....and that I soon found out, a flat out lie!
The recipe is for another cold salad just like what I said it wasn't!

Anyway, that got me searching to find what I could make "warm" with celery root to make it up to the ladies I fibbed to :)
There are a lot of great things to make out there.

First, I'd like to share a little about celery, or celeriac states:

Part of the celery family, the celery root or celeriac, is routinely used in French cooking and is seen throughout Europe. It is solely grown for its root use and appeared in the United States beginning in the 19th century.

This root is bypassed by many because of it unusual appearance of crevices and rootlets. When cooked well, this root evokes celery and parsley flavors.

Here are some great links and recipes I found and thought I would share with you to make up for my awful mistake as explained above.....sorry!

I think I am going to make this tomorrow for lunch:
Celery Root and Apple Soup- similar ingredients as the Winter Salad, but guessed it- HOT!

Another simple soup recipe is:

Double Celery Potato Soup

Here are some sides:

Peas with Celery

Sauteed Celery Root

Main Dishes:

Braised Chicken with Celery Root and Garlic

Dutch Split Pea Soup

Well, that's about all I could find that didn't have a million ingredients..or ones that we didn't have in our produce.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"The Pillow" is Finally done..along with some new ideas!

So I finally finished my version of THIS Tutorial

and here is the finished project... I'll let you look first, then I'll tell you my issues :)

I really enjoyed this project, in fact it allowed me to use my own imagination...and come up with some of my own ideas...I know, who knew I even had them!

Firstly, I would recommend using the pillow form like she does in the tutorial. I used pillow stuffing and the pillow came out very lumpy (see evidence above)

Secondly, all of my edges are fraying on my appliques. I am not sure if this is the way its supposed to look or not, can't decide. Next time I might try the zig-zag stitch to cover the edges.

Now for my ideas in which pictures are to come
when I get around to actually making them:

To coincide with the topic of Weather on my Other Blog,
I thought it would be great to make weather pillows for Lily's bed. One side would have a sun, and the other would have clouds with rain etc....what do you think? They would be really small pillows, probably about 8-12" or so.
I also did some pretty cool stuff with Lily this week for this topic
if you are interested in Kiddy Crafts!

I am also wanting to see where I can go with the tree thing...
I think I want to try palm trees since we are down here in Florida.
I was also thinking of just doing a long grass pillow for my long scrap pieces.
I also want to do a Christmas Tree Pillow that's in the shape of a Christmas tree.

So I'm going pillow crazy, but at least I can pass out on
my work if I pass out from Brain Exhaustion :)

I also found out that there really is life after 30...yup, I'm there.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 16, 2009

Well, last week was CRAZY!! I barely made any meals at home which is NOT like me...

SO this week will be very similar to last week since I didn't use all of the meals and I still want to make them!

The garlic broiled chicken thighs were AMAZING...definitely recommend!

Breakfast Burritos
Pancakes and Oatmeal



Chicken Salad and
Chicken Quesadillas
Baked Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup


Muffins (Apple),
Playgroup granola bars,

Persimmon Bread

Desserts: Beet Bundt Cake- DELICIOUS!

(I have a lot of baking to do to use some of this produce :)


Monday: Grilled Lemon Chicken w/ Baked Delicata Squash with Lime Butter

Pork Tenderloin- w/ wilted spinach orzo

Spanish Rice- Slow Cooker Meal w/ salad

Chicken and Dumplings ( Uses the mushrooms)

Friday: Hearty Hamburger Soup w/ Winter Market Salad- (Uses the Celery Root)

Saturday: Brown Rice and Black Bean Casserole- (Chicken goes a long way)

Sunday: Island Kielbasa- (Slow Cooker) served with rice and salad

That's about it!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 9, 2009

This week will be a "Use It Up" week. I will only be using what we have in our cabinets.

It is also a produce share pick up week. Here is a list of what we will be receiving:
(Not sure about everyone else, but I have cabbage up the is a site that I think might help me.... Cabbage Recipes

I also did a search for all things persimmon on All Recipes...HERE is the link

Red Beet Bunches
Green Cabbage
Table Carrots
Romaine Lettuce
Celery Root
Cremini Mushrooms
Sweet Potato
Roma Tomato
Delicata Squash
Red Pears
Persimmon Fuyu
Fall Glo Tangerines

Fruit Share: Raspberries, Granny Smith Apples, Kiwi

Here is the menu plan for this week:

Breakfast: Breakfast Burritos , Eggs, Pancakes and Oatmeal

Lunch: Leftovers, Chicken Salad and Chicken Quesadillas

Snacks: Muffins (Apple), Playgroup granola bars, Smoothies, Persimmon Bread

Desserts: Beet Bundt Cake- DELICIOUS!


Monday: Leftover Pumpkin Chili- delicious served with homemade cornbread

Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin- w/ wilted spinach orzo (Never had from last week due to leftovers)

Wednesday: My 30th birthday...up to the husband to cook!

Thursday: Spicy Turkey Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries (Baked w/ Olive Oil, Salt & Paprika) and Sweet and Sour Cabbage Wedges

Friday: Garlic Broiled Chicken Thighs w/ Apple Cole Slaw

Saturday: Spanish Rice- Crockpot Meal w/ salad

Sunday: Chicken and Dumplings ( Uses the mushrooms)

There you go!


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Friday, November 6, 2009

Don't Make Me Count To Three....

Sound familiar? With two young children, I find myself at times becoming a desperate discipliner...what does that mean?

Enter Example:

In the thrift store.... 1 year old is hanging on the metal bars in front of the automatic door letting it open and close continuously while also "un-hanging" from the bars and walking in a circle in front of people trying to leave.

I am at the checkout in which the checkout woman tells me that I physically have to take the clothes off the hangars, she can't do it....(enter increased blood pressure). All the while, I'm saying, "Claire, come over here...Claire, come over here", frantically trying to get the pants off the hangars so we can get out of there before we all lose it.

Next thing you know, I'm telling my 1 year old that she will be in "BIG TROUBLE" if she doesn't get over to me....Big Trouble? What am I saying, honestly, what does that mean...then I get mad at myself that I just said it.

Meanwhile, I can't do anything if she doesn't listen and come over to me because I'm too busy taking the pants off the hangars that seem to be stuck in the belt loops...

That's what I mean by desperate disciplining. I find myself saying things to my children that have no REAL consequence, make matters worse, and probably actually make them want to disobey me even huh?

Then a friend recommended this book,
Don't Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman.

I Love It. Now, not every story or example is exactly how I would handle things,
but the main theme of the book is what gets me....
are you ready?

Pay attention, this is good...
"Discipline your child fully so they have a heart change,
meaning to be more like Christ...
in addition to just eliminating the behavior. "

Wow, I gotta tell you...reading that book was the first time I had ever thought about disciplining to create a heart change in my child.

I guess I just thought that letting them know they did something wrong would make them better people because they would know not to do it again...I was missing the whole point.

Wouldn't you know that as soon as I read the first 4 chapters,
we had an incident that would let me test my heart shaping skills:

Lily,3, received a big pink chair for her birthday. Claire,1, did not. Claire loves to sit in said pink chair. Lily does not like that....enter conflict.

Screaming, crying and tattling.

"Mommy, Claire's sitting in MY chair...I want to sit in MY chair."

"Think Fast"
I say to myself...what would Ginger Plowman do....
oh wait, I mean what would Jesus do...

"Lily, wouldn't it be nice to just wait until Claire is finished sitting on the pink chair? She is having so much fun. You could sit on her Dora chair if you want?"

Lily explains, " No mommy I want the pink chair...(enter jumping up and down and pointing to Claire who is as cool as a cucumber knowing full well how she is causing her sister to act.) "

"Lily, do you think it would make you happy to force Claire out of the chair so you can get what you want? Don't you want to share the pink chair with Claire?"

" No mommy, I WANT to sit in that chair."

(ok, Ginger's example didn't quite go like what?)

"Lily, have you ever thought about going to Claire and asking her nicely if she would get up from the pink chair before you come and cry to me?"

Lily walks over to Claire, "Claire...would you please get up from the chair?"

Wouldn't you know, Claire gets up and sits in her own chair?

... this felt a little like grace to me.
In the book, Ginger would have disciplined for the temper tantrum and for the tattling, but I was just happy to have tried the technique of getting at the heart of my child
and not just putting a bandaid on the situation which I am very likely to do at 4 o'clock
in the afternoon trying to get dinner ready.
Maybe next time, there will be even more success.

Being a mother and the main disciplinarian can be tough and there really are no written rules...but realizing that I am primarily a "heart-shaper" really made me change my tune
and want to mediate rather than quickly solve the problem.

I truly suggest you read this book...I am almost through,
and it really has changed my perspective tremendously.


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Wednesday, November 4, 2009


My newest endeavor is.....

52 Week Preschool. Click here to check it out!I am planning on homeschooling our children, and to start
I figured I would get my feet wet by doing a little bit of preschool.

But I wanted to do it my way.

I am a firm believer in letting children be children
and to let them learn through
exploration with guidance.

Kate from My Kids Eat Off The Floor.... does Joy School,
which I love.

It was exactly the type of simple teaching I was looking for.

I decided to do something similar and integrate the 5 senses for learning a simple subject through reading, music, crafts, art, eating and hands-on activities.

Each week, or hopefully each week, I will post a new lesson.
At the end of the week, I will post pictures as a sort of documentary journal
so we can keep track of what we learned.


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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Try It Tuesday! Make Your Razor go 3x as long!

I was in the shower the other day and thought I would share something....
scary thought I know, but trust me here.

A while back I heard that if you dry off your razor blade after you use it, it will last 3x as long, or longer!
Well..I had to try it. It works!
I went out and purchased a suction cup sticky hook for my shower wall, and put a washcloth there.
Everytime I use the razor, I make sure to dry it before placing it back in the holder.

Do you have any interesting tips?


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Monday, November 2, 2009

Menu Plan Monday- Week of November 2, 2009

Last week was a success with all of the meals I made. The two crock pot meals ended up great except they were both in a little longer than they needed to be and therefore fell apart which kind of annoys me when its not supposed to do that in the meal!

I wanted to share with you the pic from my Halloween meal...I ended up just doing an adaptation on the idea from the was my version of sloppy goblins:

Here is the menu for this week. I really need to get going on all of the lettuce and cabbage that we received last week. So here is what I came up with....

Breakfasts: Eggs & Toast, Breakfast Burritos w/ Ham, Oatmeal, Pancakes

Lunches: Leftovers, Chicken Salad, Grilled Cheese

Snacks: Smoothies, Fruit and Veggies


Monday: Spicy Turkey Burgers- Made Double Batch last time...very helpful w/ leftover mashed potatoes and salad

Tuesday: Runza Burritos International- I know, sounds wierd but don't worry..I'll test it out for you :) It uses up half a head of cabbage, that's why I'm using it!

Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie- This is pretty close to how I make it...but I make my own crust. I'm going to add small pieces of zucchini to use it up as well. Here is a crust recipe

Thursday: Chicken, Mushroom and Polenta Lasagna - my husband doesn't eat cheese, but perhaps I can sneak this one in w/ only 1 cup of Mozzarella! Gotta use up those mushrooms.

Friday: Pork Tenderloin w/ Wilted Spinach

Saturday: Pumpkin Turkey Chili- Nice Fall Choice :) Pumpkin anyone?

Sunday: Rolled Ham w/ Stuffing and Sweet Potato Fries- Requested by my husband...we'll see how it goes. Don't have a recipe, but I will make stuffing, roll it with ham, and bake it for about 15 min.


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