Friday, April 29, 2011

Our Garden is Growing!

I am so excited to say that all of our plants are beginning to grow.  Whether or not they actually produce vegetables is a whole different topic.  Right now I'm just ecstatic that they are growing. We started with just the spinach, watermelon and cucumber sprouting.  Then we had a couple of days with rain and when I got the chance to really get back out there and look everything was blooming.  The following pictures are a couple of days old but we have had nasty thunderstorms and tornado warnings, again, for the past 3 days.

Cucumber

Zucchini- theres a little bud there it's just hard to see.

Tomato- I know you can't see the teeny tiny bud on this one but I promise it was there, or a really green piece of dirt but I'm going to stick with a tomato plant is growing.

Spinach- Nope that's not grass, that's spinach growing.


Watermelon- Those would be watermelon buds coming up.
 


I hope that I will be able to get out and take some updated pictures of the garden today.  There is no rain forecast and the garden has been getting a nice dose of water the past few days.  I'm excited to see if there has been any progress.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu 4/25-5/1

Last weeks menu was, well.......let's just say not utilized as it should have been.  Did we eat takeout, yes.  But in our defense it was once and we used up the last of our gift certificates that we bought almost a year ago.  Did we eat what we already had on hand, sure did.  For the most part we ate what we had around here we just didn't stick directly to the plan.


I ended up using the last of the leftover chicken from our crock pot chicken to make a pizza.  It was delicious and different.



But, I am trying to stick to our menu's because they are planned around what we already have and using up leftovers.  Here's this weeks menu.  Hopefully we can stick to this a little better.


Monday
Breakfast- Cereal and banana
Lunch- Deviled eggs and fruit
Dinner- Grilled pork chops with roasted carrots and potato's, broccoli


Tuesday
Breakfast- Banana bread with orange slices
Lunch- Spinach and mushroom omelets (ham too if there's any left)
Dinner- Roast with salad and baked potato


Wednesday
Breakfast- Chocolate chip scones with smoothies
Lunch- Rotini with white sauce (leftover from our pizza night) with mushroom and spinach
Dinner- Grilled portabella with rice and spinach


Thursday
Breakfast- Banana bread and nutella sandwich
Lunch-Chicken nuggets, apple slices
Dinner- Out (the boys will be on their own, so probably pizza or soup)


Friday
Breakfast- Oatmeal, yogurt, oranges
Lunch- Sandwich's with fruit salad
Dinner- Out for Dad's B-Day


Saturday
Breakfast- Peach pancakes with sausage links
Lunch- On the road
Dinner- Friends Bar-B-Que


Sunday
Breakfast- Out of Town
Lunch- On the road
Dinner- Crescent dogs with green beans


As you can see, there are several repeats.  I'm hoping that we will get back on track this week.  




**Also super excited because Harris Teeter is doing Super Doubles starting Wednesday and I've been working on putting together my first ever coupon notebook.  I have finally graduated from the accordion file.  Not sure if there will be any deals worth going for yet.



Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Mommy Kind of Saturday

Little man and I started the day by making homemade biscuits for breakfast.  Not on the menu but they sounded really good, and they were.






Today included dyeing our Easter eggs.  We were a little later than normal getting to these this year.  We have an art set that allows little man to squeeze drops of paint into a spinning circle and the spinning spreads the color.  He LOVES that thing, but it's very messy so we only play with it occasionally and use a lot of newspaper and wet paper towels.  When I was at the store and spotted this egg decorating kit I knew it would be perfect since it was similar to the art spinner he loves.  




Little man and I also made cookies.  We made decorated sugar cookies using this recipe.  The main difference will be that the cookies are decorated with spring colored and themed sprinkles that I found in the Target $1 section a couple of weeks back.  (To be honest, most of my holiday themed sprinkles for cookies have come from the $1 section of Target.  I always walk through when we go because I have found some really great things there.)


As you can see, little man had no interest in helping me decorate the first batch of cookies.


He did however help with the next batch.


We also made chocolate chip cookies.  I'm making this recipe again because they were so delicious.  


Both cookies are going with us to my parents for Easter lunch tomorrow.  I can't wait.  Little man and I have sampled a couple, but just to make sure they tasted okay.....   

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gardening Update

Our garden is finally in the ground.  Of course I found out all of the things that we did wrong the day I was planting it when my dad stopped by.  We didn't fertilize/lime the ground, the tomato's weren't planted indoors weeks ago, there's still too much grass mixed in and so on.  The hubby had already tilled the ground and raked it about 5 times, and then I raked it again and cleared out more grass when I was planting.  I did dig deeper than necessary for the vegetables and mixed some of our compost into the ground below where the vegetables would be. 

The following morning little man and I went to check the garden.  As he's running full speed to the garden he stops, looks at me and says, "Mommy, where are all the vegetables?"  That same afternoon when we went out to water the garden he asked again.  I've been explaining to him that plants take time to grow and that in a few weeks we might see some vegetables.  So, every afternoon we have been going out to water the garden.  Today we won't need to since it rained earlier.  Yay for saving us water!  Now is the worst part, the waiting. 

I know that I have probably done so many things wrong and will not be surprised at all if nothing grows but I'm very hopeful that we will have at least one successful vegetable.  Knowing my luck it will be the tomato's since I don't eat them.  LOL

Our row of Spinach

Whole garden view.

And just for fun, a smiling Gus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homemade Chips

Little man had no interest in food this morning.  I was beginning to get a little concerned when he went potty and obviously had an upset tummy.  Then I happily saw him munching on an individual bag of chips.  Yay! No upset tummy, just an off morning. 

Unfortunately,. that was enough to make me really want some chips.  Chips that we don't have.  I wanted them badly enough that I made potato chips.  I've never made them before but c'mon it's potato's, oil and salt.  How hard could it be?  To answer that, not very hard at all. 

I used two medium baking potato's.  I washed them and then used our grater to thinly slice them.  I heated some oil in a pot and once it was nice and hot I grabbed a small handful of potato slices and patted them as dry as I could with a paper towel.  I let them cook until they began to brown.  Right after removing them from the heat I placed them on paper towels to drain and sprinkled with salt, tossed them a bit and sprinkled with a little more salt.  I did have a few that weren't crunchy but more like very thin french fries.  Overall they were delicious and hit the spot.  Little man approved too.



It's funny that I will pay $2-3 for a bag of chips and I could make the same amount of chips for about $1 and they are probably healthier.  Will I stop buying store bought chips? No.  Will I make homemade chips as a treat when little man and I have a craving and don't have any?  Of course.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weekly Menu 4/18-4/24

Yesterday was spent getting the garden prepped and planted and then working on a closet makeover and dinner and by the time that was over I was exhausted and had a massive headache.  So here's our menu a little late.  But better late than never right?

Monday
Breakfast- Egg-in-in-a-holes and bacon
Lunch- Bacon Sandwich (I know so bad, but it tasted so good and I used up leftovers.)
Dinner- Shrimp scampi, homemade mashed potato's, broccoli and cauliflower
Tuesday
Breakfast- Pop Tarts and juice
Lunch- Soy butter and jelly sandwich and apples
Dinner- Crock pot chicken, potato's, sauteed spinach and portabello
Wednesday
Breakfast- Wheat mini bagels, nutella and apples
Lunch- Chicken sandwich's, carrot sticks
Dinner- Chicken noodle soup, salad, rolls

Thursday
Breakfast- Cereal with bananas
Lunch- Chicken salad, rolls
Dinner- Leftovers

Friday
Breakfast- Banana bread and nutella sandwich
Lunch- Pita sandwich's w/ fruit
Dinner- White pizza (chicken, mozzarella and portabello's)

Saturday
Breakfast- Chocolate Chip Scones, fruit salad
Lunch- Cheeseburger, salad and chips
Dinner- Roast, potato's, carrots, snap peas
Sunday
Breakfast- Leftover scones
Lunch- Leftovers
Dinner- @ Parents

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Mommy Kind of Saturday

We left our hotel early this morning to make our way home.  It was a fun trip to the zoo but we are all ready to be in our own beds.  During our drive little man started talking about chocolate cake.  He wanted to go home and make a chocolate cake with chocolate icing.  I agreed that it sounded delicious.  After getting settled we whipped this yummy treat up.




Then proceeded to watch 101 Dalmatians.



And after eating dinner we are watching Snow White.


Just another mommy kind of Saturday night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gingerbread Pear Muffins

To be honest, I wasn't sure how I would like these.  I've never had anything like them but I like muffins and I like gingerbread cookies so I figured it couldn't hurt to try them.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I don't know what I was expecting but they were different and delicious.  I found the recipe in my 3 Books in One: Cookies, Bars, and Muffins.

Gingerbread Pear Muffins

1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. light molasses
1 egg
1 medium pear (Confession, I used canned pear halves and since they were small used 3 halves.)

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Grease a muffin tin, or line with muffin cups.
2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  (Lets be honest, I don't sift.  I put all of the ingredients I just listed in a bowl and stirred it with a fork.)
3.  Combine milk, oil, molasses, and egg in medium bowl.  Stir in pear.  Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just moistened. (Agan, I cheated.  i just mixed all of the above ingredients excluding the pear into the dry ingredients.  Once that was mixed up I stired the pear in.)
4. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.
5.  Bake 20 minutes (mine took about 18 on about 325 but then again my oven is wonkey) or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan; cool on wire rack 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  (That makes me laugh.  They stayed in the muffin tin until I put them away so that I could use the muffin tin for corn dog muffins, no cooling rack involved.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gardening

In the 6.5 years that the hubby and I have been married we have never planted a garden.  He did buy me a kit to plant herbs and they started to grow and were beautiful and then just as quickly as they sprouted and grew they shriveled and died.  We've been in our home for over 3 years and it's time that we plant a vegetable garden.  In the past time has been an issue.  This year we have talked about what we would like to plant and where we would plant it.  We decided to try growing cucumbers, zucchini, tomato's, watermelon, spinach and strawberries.  We wanted to try potato's as well but are pretty sure that it's already too warm to plant them now. 

Earlier this week the hubby treated the ground to kill weeks. (We used an organic product, we are trying to keep chemicals out of the garden if at all possible.)  Hopefully the hubby will be able to get out with the tiller so that we can get the ground dug up and remove any weeds and get these seeds in the ground.  I am also going to plant some herbs in small pots and planters.  I really hope that this works out because we would love to have some of our own fruit and vegetables this year.

If we are not able to yield any strawberries this year there is a strawberry farm that we can go to and pick our own or purchase buckets already picked.  I will be able to get some blueberries from my parents neighbor.  We usually pick there every year and get several bags of blueberries that I then freeze and use throughout the year.  I think that this year I may try to pick more often to have plenty to get through until next year without running out.  Here are some picks from last year's blueberry picking.




Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reasons I Shouldn't Shop Alone with a 3 year old

Little man and I ran some errands this morning while the hubby rested before going in to work.  I try to have the hubby with me or leave little man with the hubby when grocery shopping.  It's usually faster and I spend less money.  Today was a fail.  We started off very successful.  Little man was being a great listener and we ran to the library to pick up a book I requested, stopped by the shoe store to replace a pair of shoes (I really don't know how he managed to loose a shoe, we think that he threw it away...), and then hit Wal Mart.  We only needed a handful of things so instead of driving 20 minutes to Aldi I opted to drive 10 to Walmart.

I had about 3 coupons that I intended to use.  They went into my pocket like always.  Even though little man was being awesome he was still very distracting.  I realized on the way home that I never used the coupons, they were still in my pocket.  Fail 1.

As I'm unpacking the groceries and putting my coffee away I realized I bought regular coffee.  Did I mention that I've been drinking decaf for the past....oh two months or more.  Fail 2. 

Obviously, it was not my day.  I got a lot accomplished and all while keeping a little boy happy and in good spirits but I had a few hiccups along the way.  Now I remember why I shop alone whenever possible.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekly Menu 4/11-4/17

I'm keeping things simple this week since we are going to the zoo.

Monday
Breakfast-Scrambled eggs, toast and banana
Lunch- Chicken nuggets, fries and carrots
Dinner- Homemade lunchable (wheat crackers, cheese, sliced turkey), apple slices

Tuesday
Breakfast- Pear Gingerbread muffins with yogurt
Lunch- Sandwich/Leftovers
Dinner- Corn dog muffins, green beans

Wednesday
Breakfast- Granola with yogurt and fruit
Lunch- Macaroni and cheese with salad
Dinner- Sandwich wraps with fruit

Thursday
Breakfast- Cereal with fruit
Lunch- Soy butter and jelly sandwich's/pizza
Dinner- Out

Friday
Breakfast- @ hotel
Lunch- @ Zoo
Dinner- Out/ possibly sandwich's in our room

Saturday
Breakfast- @ hotel
Lunch- On the road
Dinner- Sandwich's with chips and fruit

Sunday
Breakfast- Blueberry pancakes with bacon
Lunch- Grilled cheese with carrots
Dinner- Ribs, baked potato's and steamed veggies

As you can see there are some repeats.  I forget that we usually have dinner with my parents on Sunday and as I mentioned before there are several meals that were skipped.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Another Mommy Kind of Saturday

This is how my Saturday went.  Made Easter magnets with little man. (I picked them up at Dollar Tree a month or so back.)



Then we decided to make some glue and glitter art.




After dinner little man wanted to draw some more.  Which then turned into coloring these.




While I was coloring this picture little man and I had the following conversation.



Him: Mommy, where is his penis?
Me:  He's a toy and toys aren't always made with a penis or vagina.
Him:  How does he go poop?
Me: Toys don't need to go pee pee or poop.

And that was my Saturday.

Weekly Menu's

Now that I've gotten through most of this week I realize that I need to plan less for lunch and breakfast than I did.  I took into account leftovers but didn't think about the times when we would be out and about or something else would come up. 

So far this week there have been a couple of meals skipped.  When we got home from the grocery store little man begged to have hot dogs for lunch that day, so we did.  Yesterday we spent the morning with my dad and had lunch while we were out.  Then today Michael didn't want eggs for breakfast, he begged for waffles.  So I guess I need to plan a little less.  

On a positive note, like when I plan our dinners, I find having all of the meals planned to be helpful.  It makes me really look at what I am cooking and makes it easier for me to make use of leftovers because I am putting them on the plan.  I've discovered with little man that not having to think about what I'm making at each meal and being able to just glance at the schedule to know what needs to be pulled out for dinner or premade for breakfast makes life easier and my morning a little easier, especially before I've had my coffee.  

With next weeks menu it will look a little different and there will probably be some repeats since there were several breakfasts/lunches that we did not get to.  I'm hoping to post that tonight or tomorrow.  I started working on it earlier this week but it will need to be tweaked.   

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shrimp, Shrimp and more Shrimp!!

In our home we all LOVE shrimp.  We do not love the price though.  We don't normally buy it fresh, that's even more expensive.  I'm happy buying the frozen bags and pulling out what I need and thawing it.  We haven't had shrimp since January.  We ran out and never came across sales.  Like I've mentioned, I try not to buy meat unless it's a great price and then I buy as much as I can to last several months.  I would rather pay more now to get a better deal in the long run.  I now that it may not make sense to some but it works well for our family.

After checking the ads on Wednesday morning I discovered that Harris Teeter has 2lb bags of shrimp buy 2 get 3 free.  Yep, 5 bags of shrimp (10 lbs) for the price of 2 bags (4lbs).  We bought 5 bags.  We also purchased 5 bags for my parents, they paid us back though.  We also decided to get the meal deal offered this week while we were there.  It was 1 pack of Ball Park hot dogs, 1 bag of Lays chips, Lipton Green Tea, and White Wheat hot dog buns for $5.99.  We have been planning a couple of hot dog meals and based on normal prices this really is a great deal. 

So for a recap here's what we purchased:

10 bags of shrimp (2lbs ea)
Ball Park Hot dogs
Gallon of Lipton Green Tea
Lays Potato Chips
Starburst Candy (for little man)
White Wheat Hot dog Buns

Total= $121.75
Repayment= $60
Total we paid= $61.75

Coupons Tendered this order=$177.24!!

This will last us several months.  Little man is already asking when we are having shrimp.  He actually asked for it Wednesday when we got home.  I need to work a shrimp meal in soon.

Last Night's Stew

As I made dinner last night I realized that our stew dinner is one of those meals that also helps keep our budget in check.  I've mentioned before that when we buy meat we generally distribute it into smaller portions, which cuts down on how often we need to buy meat.  The last time that we purchased stew meat we bought a large package.  Looking at it we decided that it could be split into 4 separate bags.  Yesterday after allowing the meat the thaw, I cut the pieces even smaller. (I don't know how they expect you to be able to eat some of those pieces but I made sure they were bite size).  Even though I make this meal in the crock pot I still sear the meat before putting it into the crock pot.  Here is the total amount of stew meat used.


To that I added cut up red potato's and carrots.

 (I cut the potato's and carrots the day before while preparing dinner and stored them in that plastic container with water until I added them to the crock pot.  I drained the water.)

The plan was to make homemade biscuits to go with this meal, but I was out of baking powder so I decided to use some of the clearance bread we bought earlier this week.



So, was there meat in every bite?  No.  Did it taste good?  Yes.  Did I care that I didn't eat a piece of meat with every bite?  Not one bit. 

I also did something similar with our burritos.  I've slowly been cutting back from using 1 lb of ground meat.  We are only down to 3/4 lb but it's an improvement.  I added a grated carrot (it was the consistency of baby food and didn't stretch the meat but added more nutrients to the food) and chopped up a portabello mushroom.  After the meat was almost done cooking I added the mushroom and carrot and mixed it up well.  I also cooked some spicy rice.  Once everything was finished I mixed the meat mixture and rice together.  We added cheese and ate it in tortillas.  It was delicious and filling.  I honestly think that next time I can go down to 1/2 lb, especially if we have it with rice.  Once you add in the rice, cheese and fixings (lettuce, tomato, salsa) you can't tell that there is less meat and it doesn't affect the flavor.  Plus, it means that we are eating more veggies.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wal Mart 4/5/11

Instead of my normal trip to Aldi I went to Wal Mart because I had to buy bread flour and yeast, neither or which is sold at Aldi.  There were also a couple of other non food things that we were in need of like new sheets (yeah sometimes things are on clearance for a reason, we will never buy clearance sheets again) and an oven thermometer.  I am about 90% positive that our oven is about 25 degrees off.  Not good.  For this week it made more sense to just go to Wal Mart to get it all rather than go to multiple places.  I'm all about the multi-tasking when possible.  The extra items were purchased separately since they weren't something that I would have purchased on a grocery trip and I wanted to be able to still use cash for the food to see if I was keeping within my budget.


Total Spent $38.83.  It could have been less but as you see there were a few extra's in there.  As of today's trip I have about $5 extra in a our grocery money.  One of the things I do miss when shopping at Aldi is that other stores have discounted sections.  I found some discounted chicken breasts and bread.  There was acutally quite a bit of discounted meat but I only got one pack of chicken simply because that's all we needed.  Actually I have a couple of whole chickens in our deep freezer but to be honest I don't know how to cut up a whole chicken.  I should really learn since they are so much less expensive.   

Oh and I did check the oven.



Its hard to see but the bottom picture reads almost 450 degrees.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pumpkin Rolls

Until I got the cookbook The Bread Machine Cookbook VI, I had never heard of pumpkin rolls.  So what is a pumpkin roll?  It's a cinnamon roll but the filling has pumpkin puree, brown sugar, raisins/cranberries, and nuts.  I'm not a huge fan of raisins in food, I seriously have to be in the mood and craving it and with little man's peanut allergy being so severe it's hard to find nuts that have not been contaminated.  So our filling consisted of just the pumpkin and brown sugar.

Here's the recipe.

Dough

1 c. milk
1 tbs. butter or margarine
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/1-1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. oats
2 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. yeast

Filling

1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. raisins/cranberries/ cherries
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Glaze

1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1-2 tbs. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla


I put everything in the bread machine in the order listed and let it run on the dough cycle.  After it was complete I rolled the dough into a rectangle and spread the pumpkin and brown sugar mixture on the dough.


Then I rolled it jelly roll style and began cutting the rolls.  It's supposed to make 12, I got 16.....I probably did something wrong.  I generously sprayed a muffin tin and placed one pumpkin roll into each of the muffin cups.



**Warning- this is a little messy.

After that I popped the whole thing into refrigerator until this morning.  I pulled out the tin and placed it on the stove top while the oven preheated.  I cooked mine at 350 for about 18 minutes.




I then used the leftover icing from our cinnamon roll pancakes to ice the rolls.




All in all they were very good.  I like that they are not as sweet as cinnamon rolls.  Little man and the hubby liked them too.  It was also really easy to make.  The most involved part was actually spreading the filling and making the rolls.  I would estimate that there was probably 20 minutes of actual work time between filling the bread machine, making the filling, making the actual roll and cutting out individual rolls.  The bread machine really did all of the work.  We will definitely be having this again.  It also makes me curious as to what other types of rolls I could make.  I think that I may have to experiment with an apple roll using applesauce......hmmm

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Menu 4/4-4/10

So I wanted to try something a little different.  I always plan our dinner menu in advance.  It makes cooking and shopping much easier for me.  There was a short period, a very short period, when I was also planning breakfasts and lunches.  So here is my attempt to start that up again. 

Monday
Breakfast- Pumpkin Rolls(using leftover icing from Cinnamon Roll Pancakes) w/ clementines and grapes
Lunch-Sandwich, chips and cucumber 
Dinner-Veggie Stir fry with rice

Tuesday
Breakfast-Leftover pumpkin rolls with banana and grapes
Lunch- Leftovers
Dinner- Waffles with bacon and peaches

Wednesday
Breakfast- Cereal w/ banana
Lunch- Soy butter and jelly sandwich with apple
Dinner- Burritos with salad

Thursday
Breakfast- Cinnamon Puff with smoothies
Lunch- Macaroni and salad
Dinner- Crock pot stew with homemade biscuits

Friday
Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, toast and banana
Lunch- Leftover stew with rice
Dinner- Hot dogs with french fries and apple slices

Saturday
Breakfast- Granola with yogurt and fruit salad
Lunch- Grilled cheese w/ carrots and cucumber
Dinner- Leftovers

Sunday
Breakfast- Gingerbread pear muffins with yogurt
Lunch- Corn dog muffins and green beans
Dinner- Pork chops with roasted potato's and salad

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Mommy Kind of Saturday Night

As I sat on the couch with little man watching Wonder Pets I tried to remember how I spent Saturday nights before becoming a parent.  I vaguely remember going out with the hubby, vegging out on the couch, going out with friends and the occasional party at a friends house.  This Saturday night was spent something like this....

Made dinner while little man took an unexpected nap and had a chance to eat in peace.  Don't get me wrong I ADORE little man but lately I feel as if he has some spidey sense that tells him when mommy is about to eat that then triggers his bowels.  Yes, every time I sit down to eat I get a call from the bathroom asking me to come wipe his hiney.  I know, I know....gross but that is my life these days.

Waking little man  up from his unexpected nap so that he will go to sleep at a decent time.

Watching the second half of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, anwsering little man's questions pertaining to said movie and enjoying his giggles at the completely absurd parts of the movie.

Made little man dinner.

Watched Blue's Clues and Wonder Pets with little man and realizing how much he has learned and loving every time he shouts out an answer or participates.

Savoring the few minutes when little man asked if we could snuggle; it was a ploy to avoid bedtime for a few more minutes but I'm a sucker for good snuggles. 

Reading a bedtime story about firetrucks.

And finally....here it is 10:02 pm and little man is still awake.  He is using every stalling tactic he knows and fighting sleep. (he's too hot, he wants a tiny bit of water, he has to pee, he has question after question)   It will probably be about 30 more minutes before he is fully asleep.

That is my kind of Saturday night now.  Do I miss the way I used to spend my time?  Sometimes....but only for a split second because then I remember how much I miss little man when he's not here and how I don't know what to do with myself when he's not here.  Tonight is simply a Mommy Kind of Saturday Night...... 

Oh my pancakes!!

I saw the recipe for the pancakes I made yesterday at A Little Bit Crunchy a Little Bit Rock and Roll.  There are step by step pictures, which I really like.  I decided this morning it was finally time to make them.  They have been on my recipes to try list for a couple of weeks since the recipe was posted.  All I can say is Oh my!!!  I had these with bacon and you almost need something like that to cut the sweetness.  I really want to add my picture but our other computer has it's own opinion on that....It will eventually make it here.


**Warning- there will be an extreme sugar high in small children.  I wish I had video of little man bouncing off the walls.  Not literally of course but he was very......energetic.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Menu 4/1-4/15

Here's my April menu so far.  There are lots of repeats since several items were not made.  We also have a trip to the zoo planned mid month which will require us to stay in a hotel, possibly 2 nights so we will be taking snacks and sandwich items with us.  During that time we will probably end up eating out or getting take out at least once.  Once I know what our hotel has I can better plan but we generally try to book rooms with a kitchenette and at hotels that offer breakfast because even if they are slightly more expensive that is one meal for the day taken care of and we can plan ahead to eat in the room but that's a whole separate post.

4/1- Grilled roast w/ salad and bread
4/2- Grilled portabello's with rice and spinach
4/3- Chicken Alfredo with broccoli and carrots
4/4- Stir fry with rice (will use any leftover meat and portabello's to use them up)
4/5- Waffles with fruit salad
4/6- Burritos with rice and salad (I'm adding rice so we can cut down on meat consumption)
4/7- Crock pot stew with homemade biscuits
4/8- Hot dogs with french fries and fruit
4/9- Leftovers
4/10- Pork chops with potato's and salad
4/11- Homemade lunchables (wheat crackers with cheese and lunch meat) and fruit
4/12- Lemon pepper fish with rice and mixed veggies
4/13- Sandwich wraps with chips and fruit
4/14- Zoo Trip
4/15- Zoo Trip

Camping

We have been itching to take a camping trip with little man.  He's almost 4 and finally at an age where he would enjoy it and actually remember going.  We went when he was about a year old and he definitely does not remember that.  Once we decided the approximate dates we started to think about locations.  We recently purchased a membership to the zoo which allots for free or discounted admission to several aquariums and museums nationwide.  We debated about going camping near the zoo and then making a day trip there but the weather was still a little cold.  We finally decided on a camp ground in Wilmington which put us about 20 minutes from the aquarium and 20 minutes from the battleship.  We went tent camping and used mostly supplies and food that we already had on hand.  For this trip the only things we actually had to purchase were gas to get there, the fee for the campsite, wood (bought on clearance), a few snacks (bought on sale) and entrance to the battleship (little man is free since he's under 5).

We planned ahead and knew what our meals would be while we were there.  I made muffins, bread and granola to have on hand for breakfast and lunches.  Our menu went like this.

First night: Cheeseburgers, roasted potato's and apple slices with s'mores for dessert
Breakfast 1st day: Coffee, scrambled eggs, toast, bacon
Lunch: Sandwich's and pretzels
Dinner: Chicken breasts, roasted potato's and macaroni and cheese with s'mores for dessert
Breakfast: Yogurt, granola, bananas

Why is it that food cooked over a fire tastes so much better?  We had the potato's twice because they were so good.  I simply cut red potato's and put them in foil with butter, salt and pepper and they were AMAZING.  We were able to cook some of these things because the hubby has a camping burner that we used and the rest was cooked over the fire.  YUM.

Next time I think that I will plan a little bit better.  Before we go again I want all of our meals planned out completely and bagged together so that every time we start cooking I can pull out a large Ziploc bag and find the whole meal inside.  For example, if I had done that this time there would have been a large bag with the hamburger meat, sliced cheese, bread/buns, potato's (possibly cut and in water to keep from browning and the seasonings needed for the meal.  When we went to prepare dinner I could have simply pulled out that bag, drained the potato's and added them to foil with butter and seasoning and cooked the burgers.  Instead of doing this though we were digging through the cooler for things each time we cooked or got a snack.  You live, you learn.  I think I did well considering this is only my 3rd camping trip ever.  

The first full day there after breakfast we got cleaned up and went to the aquarium.  We gained free entrance with our zoo membership card.  I called ahead and made sure it was free.  We actually walked through twice.  It was really crowded with field trips and little man did not linger at all.  Here are some of our favorites.




I personally LOVED the adorable little turtles.


We searched until we found "Nemo".  Little man was very excited about this.

The following day after packing up our campsite we went to the battleship.  Little man liked it so much.  We got there about 30 minutes after they opened and it was not crowded at all.  He loved standing on deck and climbing up to see the guns.  He was not a fan of being below deck though.  We paid approximately $24 for the three of us and were there for about 2.5 hours.  Here are a few of our favorites from that trip.



Little man loved the plane.



Little man and daddy with the ship in the background. 

Of course there was also the camp site.  It worked out really well for us because the tent camping sites were directly beside the playground.

Yes, that is our car and camp site in the background....we were that close to the playground.

Also directly beside us was the camp site store, bathrooms and pool (way too cold for that). 

Overall it was an awesome trip.  We are already talking about planning another once the weather warms up a little.  We are hoping that next time when we go to the beach we will be wearing a lot less clothing than this.  LOL