From Traveling to Camping to Potlucks, Gardening, and Saving Money – These Are My Favorites, and It’s Not Too Late

Before I start writing this, let me remind you: I’m not going Paleo. An exclusive Paleo diet doesn’t work for me, for my family of growing sons, or for my already enormous grocery budget. I wrote all the details about how I love-paleo-recipes-but-am-not-going-paleo here.

What I also shared there and on almost every post I’ve written the past few years is my love of nourishing food. My focus is not on the DO eat and DON’T eats as much as it is on this: Our bodies need nourishment!!! Let’s not make it hard. Let’s just eat good food. And please somebody hand me a strawberry. (Seriously. Last night I dreamed I got a price-match on strawberries. I was so excited that I bought a cart-full and then I woke up and there were actually no strawberries in my entire house. I was so sad, but then I made coffee and all was right in my world again. But if strawberries don’t hurry up and be in season, I don’t even know what.)

strawberries

I dream of strawberries!!!!!

Today I want to remind you about the package of free resources being offered right now by PaleoDork. THEY ARE FREE and they are going away at midnight Friday. I’ve spent the last several days working my way through these books and videos – and you guys? It doesn’t even matter what you think about the Paleo diet. Maybe you eat that way or maybe you’re like me and eat those foods with a side of potato or bread. But these sources are worth having – and they are FREE so just go get them. There’s not even a catch.

If you’ve been waiting, I understand. But you can’t wait anymore because Feb. 12 is it for this offering. If you don’t get this now, you won’t be able to get it later. Want to see my favorites in this package so far?

Eat Beautiful ($0.00)

I can’t even believe we can get this for free. It has 273 pages of really great recipes. Some are more complicated than I choose to tackle – but many are amazing and perfect for my family. This is the book I’m most impressed with so far as I make my way through the list. The recipes list everything from sweets to main dishes.

eat beautiful

Family Camping Handbook ($0.00)

Katie’s books are always amazing. I’m struck not only by all the great recipes in this but even more with all the great tips and ideas she shares –  like camping with babies and toddlers, making homemade wipes, and ways to save money.

family camping

Apartment Gardening ($0.00)

This book shows that almost everyone can have some sort of garden!! I’m loving how simple this book lays out the basics of gardening. Plus, I’m really hungry for a fresh strawberry, but we’ve been through this already.

apartment gardening

$5 Meal Plan ($0.00)

This one includes 6-weeks worth of really simple recipe ideas that are very low in cost! Enough said, right? Of course I love this one.

5 meal plan

Eating Out and Traveling on the Paleo Diet ($0.00)

This resource is great for our family because we are on the go many Saturdays because of sports. We pack a lot of food to-go, and it’s great to have more sandwich-free options. My favorite part of this book is the fantastic list of 30+ foods to take to a potluck or party. What a great, healthy resource to have on hand!

eating out

I am really enjoying several of the other books too – but these rise to the top for me as I search out great tips and recipes for my fam!

There are over 50 resources in this package, all of which are free. I don’t need and won’t use about half of them, which of course doesn’t matter in the least – I simply won’t download the ones I don’t need.

Hurry to get your free package here – and have fun! Not having to pay a penny for these resources is like a big present handed to every single one of us as we work hard to put great food on the table for our families.

Remember, this offer expires midnight February 12!!!

paleodork.com

This post contains referral links.

Homemade French Onion Dip

I’m getting ready to write this recipe for you, but suddenly I’m in a panic because I don’t know what makes French Onion Dip French. I get my onions from America and I don’t do anything Frenchy to them. Am I somehow supposed to Frenchify my onions? If so, what does that look like? My once super simple recipe has now become completely stressful.

french onion dip

I therefore decided to do some research on the matter since I have plenty of time to waste, but mostly because I don’t want to steer you wrong with a recipe. The first thing I came across online was a packet of Simple Organics French Onion Dip. Its tagline? “America’s Most Popular Dip.” Well that clears all the questions right up.

I couldn’t let it go, so next I did an online search for “what makes French Onion Dip French?” Because the internet never lets us down, an actual article titled Why Is French Onion Dip called French? came up. It said a few things and some other stuff, but my favorite sentence was this:

“There are now recipes for French onion dip that combine actual caramelized onions with the usual dip ingredients (mayonnaise, sour cream) and other flavorings, but this is not a dip you’d find in France.”

What?? Well, we it appears that in our quest to discover the origin of this dip, we can conclude that this dip is not French at all. The dip has nothing to do with France or French people or French food. French Onion Dip is a made up name, just because it sounded good for marketing purposes. In defense of Lipton, I would concur that French Onion Dip is a better sounding title than White Onion Dip or the obvious, Just Onion Dip. The name French Onion Dip sounds more fun and fancy. Either that or I’ve gotten sucked into the marketing ploy.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, we can move on with life and learn the recipe.

Homemade French Onion DipYum

Homemade French Onion Dip
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Stir the ingredients together.
  2. Chill for at least two hours before serving (or serve right away because who actually follows that instruction?).
  3. Serve with fresh veggies or potato chips.

You can’t really mess up this recipe, so don’t worry about measuring exactly. Life’s too short to use (and wash) measuring spoons. Feel free to add a touch of garlic powder or black pepper. And about the potato chips mentioned in the recipe? I find the kind with the fewest ingredients and the healthiest oil (usually safflower) and go with it. Potato chips with this dip make a great party food.

Homemade French Onion Dip - Three Ingredients!

It goes without saying that the next item on my agenda was to see why fries are French, or if in fact they actually are at all. Low and behold, fries originated in the U.S. but were called French because they were “served in the French manner.” Huh.

Are you doing something fun for New Year’s Eve? I’ll probably make this dip. Then we can sit around with our friends and talk about the origin of food and where different foods got their names. I’ll be the life of the party.

Oh Good Gravy ~ How to Make Turkey Gravy

I’ve probably told you about the first time I made gravy for Matt (who was my boyfriend at the time). It was so thick he had to spread it onto his potatoes with a knife. I’m pretty sure it was flavorless. He still married me a year later.

Thankfully, I’ve improved my gravy-making skills. I think it gets easier with practice. Sometimes I still mess it up. I’ve been known to strain out lumps while distracting my guests by sending them outside to look for the black squirrels we sometimes have on our property. Straining works, and black squirrels are fascinating.

Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) to make your gravy-making experiences easier.

While this series is called “Getting Ahead for the Holidays,” gravy is actually one part of the meal I save for the last minute. This still isn’t hard though. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve already made the broth for this gravy a couple of days before the holiday meal when I made the turkey. Therefore, I just have to rewarm some broth and whisk it into gravy (details below).
  2. I’ve made so many of our other dishes ahead of time that I have plenty of time to make gravy just before serving the meal.
  3. Turkey Gravy can be made in only about 10 minutes.

Why do I wait until the last minute to make gravy?

Because it tastes best this way. You can make it ahead of time and rewarm it before serving (we do this with leftover gravy, after all). But I prefer to make a fresh batch for a special meal on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

How to Make Turkey Gravy

Oh Good Gravy

Yum

Oh Good Gravy ~ How to Make Turkey Gravy
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Turkey broth
  • Cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or wheat flour (about 2 Tablespoons for every 2 cups of broth)
  • Cold water (about ⅓ cup for each of your 2 Tablespoons of corn starch/arrowroot/flour)
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Spoon cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) into a small jar or glass.
  2. Add water to to the jar and whisk smooth with a fork.
  3. Pour broth into a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling.
  4. Slowly pour cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) and water mixture into boiling broth, whisking while you pour.
  5. Stir at medium to high heat until gravy thickens.
  6. Turn down the heat and allow the gravy to simmer for a minute or two.
  7. Salt to taste and serve your gravy.

You’ll notice my recipe gives the option of using cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or wheat flour to thicken your gravy. Any will work. I prefer cornstarch because it’s easiest. Arrowroot powder works well but can sometimes result in a gooey gravy. Wheat flour works well, but I’d rather avoid it so that people with a gluten or wheat intolerance can still enjoy it.

Trouble Shooting Your Gravy

  • If it isn’t thick enough for your liking, simply stir 2 Tablespoons cornstarch/arrowroot/flour into about 3 Tablespoons of water – making a consistency just thinner than paste. Stir it into your gravy while it is hot, whisking until smooth. This should thicken it up as it cooks.
  • Lumpy gravy? Whisk like you’ve never whisked before.
  • Still lumpy? Strain out the lumps the best you can. Pray your guests like lumpy gravy. Hey, you never know.

Here is a picture tutorial to show you the specifics of making Turkey Gravy:

Step One: Pour broth into a medium saucepan.

gravy2sm

Step Two: Spoon cornstarch (or arrowroot or flour) into a small jar or glass.
(Surprise, surprise…I use  a jar.)

gravy1sm

Step Three: Add cold water to cornstarch/arrowroot/flour and whisk smooth with a fork.

gravy3sm

Step Four: Bring broth to a boil.

gravy4smStep Five: Slowly pour cornstarch (or arrowroot, or flour)/water mixture into boiling broth, stirring while you pour. (I usually use a whisk. On picture taking day, I used a wooden spoon. Either one works, but a whisk usually helps in case lumps want to form.

gravy5sm

Step Six: Stir at medium to high heat until mixture thickens.
Turn down the heat and allow the gravy to simmer for a minute or two.
Salt to taste.

gravy6smWhat has been your gravy making experience? Do you find it easy? Hard? Lumpy?

Here are the quick links to all the recipes we covered in this series:

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Simple Meals is here! It’s saving my brain (and many of yours too!). If you haven’t joined yet, now’s the time. Get all the details here!

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Favorite Things for Summer Giveaway

favorite summer things 2

Want to know my favorite thing about summer? Well let me think…SUNSHINE!!! (You know I love it when I interrupt myself to blurt out my answer.)

I love sunshine coming in through my windows. I love sunshine beaming down on my face. I love warming up in the sunshine. And I love laying in the sunshine, soaking up Vitamin D. (Responsibly, of course. Don’t go all “harmful UV rays” on me. God made the sun, the sun is good, we need Vitamin D from the sun, amen and amen. I don’t overdo it, but still, sunshine is my very favorite thing about summertime.)

Now, women shall not live on sunshine alone. (I mean, we also need butter. Duh.)

In celebration of summer (and sunshine!) (and sure, butter. why not?) – I’ve teamed up with 11 other bloggers to share many chances for you to win some of our very favorite things for summertime. What’s included in our Heavenly Homemakers favorite summer things giveaway?

  • A “Night Owl” Flexi-Clip from Lilla Rose (valued at $14.00)
  • A Half-Tee Tank from Deborah and Co. (valued at $17.99)
  • 1/2 pound of Vanilla Beans from Olive Nation (valued at $39.95)
  • Bug Block Bar, BeeSilk Stick, and Peppermint Lip Balm from MadeOn (valued at $29.10)
  • Stainless Steel Fruit Slicer, Pastry Blender, and Mini Slotted Turner from Paula’s Bread (valued at $24.99)
  • My very own Oh, For Real Cookbook (valued at $25.95)

Altogether, that’s over $150 worth of my favorite items for summertime. You can win all of it!

summer giveaway4

Why are these my favorite things for summer?

  • I keep my hair pulled back in my Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip all summer long.
  • I wear my Half-Tee Tank from Deborah and Co. under my summer dresses and tank tops for modesty and comfort.
  • I start a batch of homemade vanilla extract with Vanilla Beans from Olive Nation in June so that it will be ready to give as gifts at Christmastime.
  • I safely protect my family from mosquito bites with MadeOn’s Bug Block Bar – and I use BeeSilk Stick, and Peppermint Lip Balm every single day of the year.
  • I use a Stainless Steel Fruit Slicer, Pastry Blender, and Mini Slotted Turner from Paula’s Bread for fresh summer produce and fun summer dishes.
  • I use my Oh, For Real Cookbook pretty much alllllll the time.

Simply leave a comment on this post for a chance to win this entire package. I will draw a random winner on Monday, June 1. Be watching for a post stating the winner!

Are you new to Heavenly Homemakers? Sweet! I have the greatest readers ever, and I’d love for you to be one of them. Subscribe (for free!) to receive our daily(ish) newsletter which includes everything from easy real food recipes to encouragement in your marriage or parenting to really ridiculous thoughts that you should read at your own risk.

Here’s my latest craze: coming up with recipes that are delicious but low in sugar. Check out the low sugar treats I’ve come up with so far, then be watching for this Low Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait recipe coming within the next week or so. It is incredible!

UPDATE: Here’s the recipe!

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait - Coming Soon

See you back here soon!

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Want a chance to win even more of these wonderful Favorite Things for Summer Giveaways? Click around on all the blogs below to see what they love about summer and to enter their giveaway too!

1. Thriving Home // 2. Happy Money Saver // 3. Happy Home Fairy // 4. Heavenly Homemakers // 5. Kitchen Stewardship // 6. Nourishing Joy // 7. The Nourishing Home // 8. Intoxicated on Life // 9. Tried and Tasty // 10. The Frugal Girl //11. Mommy Hates Cooking // 12. Stephanie Blue

 
favorite things summer 1

Here’s a little bit about each of these bloggers:

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Thriving Home

Friends and stay-at-home moms, Rachel and Polly, began Thriving Home in 2012 as a way to encourage and equip moms in several areas of home life. They share healthy kid-friendly recipes, evangelize about freezer cooking as well as documenting many other topics relating to running a home and family including a few spectacular parenting failures from time to time. Swing by to join in on their crazy journey through parenthood.

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Tried and Tasty

TriedandTasty.com is a premium and well established recipe blog with a friendly, conversational writing style paired with magazine quality food photography. The recipes are typically very health conscious, with rich and decadent desserts occasionally included for good measure. TriedandTasty.com has a loyal following of ‘foodies’ and is gaining new followers every day thanks to its recipes being featured on the websites of high profile magazines, news outlets, popular Facebook pages, Pinterest boards, and more.

logoHeavenly Homemakers

Laura Coppinger and her husband have four sons ages 10-17. HeavenlyHomemakers.com is dedicated to inspiring women daily with healthy (and easy!) recipes, homemaking tips, spiritual encouragement, and good ol’ clean fun.

logoMommy Hates Cooking

Mommy Hates Cooking is a national cooking and lifestyle website that encourages families to take back the dinner table. Through her easy-to-prepare (yet looks like you spent all day in the kitchen) meals and her knack for breaking down meal planning, Kristy has become the busy-mom’s resource for the modern family.

Kitchen Stewardship Chalkboard Logo - BlackKitchen Stewardship

The mission of Kitchen Stewardship is to present healthy living in bite-sized baby steps, challenging people to make positive changes in their kitchens without being overwhelmed, and providing tools to balance a family’s health, budget, time and the environment. Katie Kimball and her team share family-friendly whole foods recipes, weekly challenges, and science-geek research on what’s healthy and what’s not.

logoNourishing Joy

Nourishing Joy is dedicated to real food and natural living. We’re on a mission to equip and inspire parents like you with the tools to make intentional, thoughtful decisions that work for YOUR family easy. Or at least easier.

happyhomefairy facebook pageHappy Home Fairy

Julie Brasington is the creator of Happy Home Fairy, a popular blog focusing on encouraging and equipping moms to choose joy on the parenting journey. She shares easy craft ideas, FREE printables, simple recipes, corny jokes, holiday fun, thoughts on raising her 2 boys, and honest, heartfelt messages to uplift the weary mama. bbb

Happy Money Saver

Happy Money Saver is a website that has a growing population of readers who are passionate about saving money, homesteading, gardening, cooking from scratch, freezer meals, DIY projects and embracing their dreams.

logo3Stephanie Blue

At Stephanie Blue, I blog about my passions: natural living and essential oils. My purpose is to bring hope to moms and help them discover ways to strengthen their families physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.


frugal girlThe Frugal Girl

The Frugal Girl is all about living cheerfully (and well!) on less. Get recipes, DIY tips, painting ideas, photography tips, green living inspiration, and more from Kristen, a homeschooling mom of four.

IOL_Header_Design_no_taglineIntoxicated on Life

Intoxicated on Life is a resource for families who are looking to raise healthy families – body, mind, and soul. They cover a wide range of topics from healthy gluten-free recipes, to godly parenting, homeschooling resources, and more!

TNH Grab buttonThe Nourishing Home

The Nourishing Home provides family-friendly GF recipes, free weekly whole food meal plans, helpful cooking tips and techniques, and lots of encouragement to help you in your journey to live a more nourished life.

Leave a comment on this post to enter to win our $150 package of my favorite things for summer. Now let’s all go outside and get us some sunshine. Woohoo…summer!

This post contains affiliate links.

Heavenly Homemakers Recipes Across the Globe ~ Share Your Story

Share Your Heavenly Homemakers Recipe Story

I actually cried when I read this story sent in by Jennifer. What can I say? I tear up easily. I am so honored that God is using this site to bless people in so many ways. Plus, this story reminds me so much of MY STORY. I also didn’t grow up with sisters, but have gained three by marriage. I am so thankful for these sisters in my life now. Here’s Jennifer:

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I did not grow up with sisters, only one brother.  When I married I gained two sisters and a sister in law.  Score!  My sister in law, her husband (my husband’s brother…confused yet?!?) and their three young children have lived in Central Asia as missionaries for the last seven years.  We both have three children.  She has one boy and two girls and we have three boys.  When they left my oldest was in preschool.  He is starting middle school this year.  Sigh.  They’ve been back to the  states just a few times over those seven years.  

We try to communicate as much as possible via skype.  When we are able to talk guess what we discuss?  Your recipes!!  We love it.  We talk about what we like, how we adapted it, who ate it and so on.  Last fall, after several years of saving, my husband and I were able to visit them while they were working.  Guess what she served?  Heavenly Homemakers recipes!  We had the best time sitting around her table, eating good food and visiting.  
 
Living worlds apart is difficult to say the least, but Heavenly Homemakers has been a common bond.  Few things in our daily lives, outside of our mutual love of the Lord, are similar, but almost daily one of us has a HH recipe on our table.  It makes me smile.  Thanks for all you do and your daily encouragement!
 
In Him, 
Jennifer
 
PS-While in Central Asia with them she made your Breakfast Cake, but added fresh pumpkin and white chocolate chips.  It was a winner! 
breakfast_cake_3

Share with us:  Who did God bless you with when you got married, or when a sibling of yours got married?

Also, keep sending in your stories and pictures. I love ’em!

So, You Don’t Like to Cook?

I don’t understand how it can possibly be true, but from what I hear, some of you don’t get a “high” out of pulling out ingredients and stirring together dishes of deliciousness. When you see a new recipe – you don’t get giddy? How can it be?

It seems that instead, some of you very much enjoy mixing chemicals in beakers, changing the oil in a car, running marathons, writing software, organizing closets, crafting adorable items out of old window frames, decorating living rooms, taking pictures, or making quilts. I’m neither good at any of those, nor do I enjoy them – which is likely because I’m not good at them. Every time I try to run, I am then unable to walk for several days afterward. For me, quilting takes three million years of cross-eyed sewing and ripping out mistakes. And last week – someone handed me a camera with lots of cool lenses and I completely panicked because it wasn’t a simple point-and-shoot. They all stood there saying cheese, and I was like, what do I do? what do I do?

But put me in my kitchen, and I’m completely at ease. Ingredients of all kinds give me joy. (Well, not ingredients like margarine. But, you know what I mean, right?)  Creating new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. Making four dishes at one time is therapeutic for me.

Heavenly Homemaker's Messy Kitchen

Ah yes, we all have different talents, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and interests. God did that on purpose.  It’s a good thing.  Seriously, if it were all up to me, all living rooms would be painted white, NASA wouldn’t exist,  and there would be no party games.

While I can call in for back-up when picking paint colors, unfortunately, there’s not much of a way those of you who don’t enjoy cooking can avoid the kitchen. After all, we all need to eat three times each day. I’ll even admit that while I love cooking, sometimes even I don’t feel like going to all the trouble to once again feed the forever hungry people in my house.

So to all of you who do not enjoy cooking, or who might be experiencing some kitchen burn-out, I have a few suggestions:

1. Don’t make it hard.

Is it possible that you don’t like cooking because the recipes you try are complex and challenging? I believe one of the reasons I love cooking is that I always stick with very simple recipes. Basic ingredients. Tasty food. The end.  I’ll leave recipes which require fourteen complicated steps to gourmet chefs. As for me, I’ll stick with simple prep, real food, and family friendly meals.

2. Don’t give up.

I promise that cooking gets easier the more you do it. Make just a few recipes over and over, then slowly add in a few more as you become comfortable. Don’t overwhelm yourself, feeling like you have to put loads of work into this. Make a simple main dish, toss a salad, steam a veggie…and you’re done.

3. Make the most of your kitchen time.

If you don’t enjoy cooking, do everything possible to save yourself effort. If you’re making one casserole, make three (eat one, freeze two). Brown several pounds of hamburger at once, freezing one pound portions so you just have to pull out cooked meat to stir into sauce or make into tacos. Check out more of my Eat Healthy, Save Time Tips.

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I would say that about 95% of the recipes you’ll find here on my site are very quick to put together. (Homemade Twinkies are the bomb, but who really has time to bake little cakes, and then pipe filling inside except for the rare special treat?)

Here are some of my favorite, super fast and easy recipes to throw together:

Really, the list could continue – just click through all my recipe links in my Recipe drop-down tool bar at the top of my site. And don’t forget to make use of the new Heavenly Homemaker’s Recipe Search By Ingredient Box, located at the top of my right-hand side bar. It can take the thinking out of “what should I make?”

Don’t like to cook? No problem. I’ll do everything I can to make this healthy eating journey easier for you!

Let’s get an idea of how many of you love cooking, or dislike cooking. Share in the comments section! Those of you who don’t like cooking – what other activities do you enjoy?  :)

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie ~ Real Food Ingredients Make Real Good Treats

31 Days 300

I sure do love the fact that eating real food does not limit us. In fact, I believe it frees us! Do you know all the wonderful food that can be made with just a few real food ingredients? Pretty much everything, including Twinkies. (Although I never have figured out how to make a maraschino cherry without using a bunch of sugar and red food coloring. I guess we’ll just stick with real cherries.)

This Chocolate Cheesecake Pie recipe is so simple, so delicious, and made with all real food ingredients. You still want to make sure you consider this a very occasional treat, because sucanat is still sugar.  But how nice is it that we don’t have to resort to boxed mixes or spend hours in the kitchen when we want to make something special. In fact, last week when I made this, I had a pie crust already baked in the freezer. All I had to do was throw the filling ingredients into the food processor, give it a whirl, then spread the mixture into my pie crust. Seven minutes later – Chocolate Cheesecake Pie!

Chocolate Cheesecake PieYum

1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sucanat
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Baked and cooled whole wheat pie crust

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Mix in cream cheese, sucanat, cocoa powder, and vanilla until well combined and smooth. Pour mixture into a baked and cooled pie crust. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving. Or skip the pie chilling step if your kids are breathing down your neck and asking for a slice before you even get the filling into the crust. Why wait?!

Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

Don’t want chocolate in this pie? Skip the cocoa powder and end up with plain ol’ Cheesecake Pie. Or leave out the cocoa and add a splash of lemon juice for Lemon Cheesecake Pie.  Or a splash of lime juice for Lime Cheesecake Pie. See how much fun real food ingredients can be? It gives us the freedom to go crazy in the kitchen! Trust me, crazy in the kitchen is what I do best.

What fun treats do you make with real food ingredients?

 

Menu Plan for the Week and My Upcoming Birthday Celebration

I have exactly three weeks left before I turn 40. God is good to give us wisdom as we age, and I’m thankful to be at this point in my life journey.  So instead of fretting that I’m “getting old,” I am going to celebrate!

I’ve been putting together some fun sales and giveaways, all of which have something to do with the number 40. I will be revealing these one at a time during the next three weeks, beginning tonight.  Be sure to check back!  Above all, for the next twenty-one days, I am only 39 and don’t you forget it. :)

celebrating_40

Here’s our menu plan for this week:

Sunday, July 14
Orange glazed poppy seed bread, cantaloupe, blueberries
Cheesy chicken and rice, green beans, grapes
Grilled hot dogs, watermelon, baby carrots

Monday, July 15
Quick mix pancakes, blueberries, strawberries
Chicken patty sandwiches, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles
Crustless pizza, tossed salad, peas

Tuesday, July 16
Honey cinnamon muffins, cantaloupe
Chicken salad, lettuce, tomatoes, grapes
Cheeseburger macaroni, steamed broccoli and carrots

Wednesday, July 17
Scrambled eggs with cheese, pineapple mango smoothies
Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches, watermelon, raw veggies
Spanish rice with hamburger meat, sweet peppers, tossed salad

Thursday, July 18
Pancake sausage muffins, strawberries
Taco corn fritters, grapes, kiwi
Teriyaki chicken and veggies

Friday, July 19
Peanut butter pancakes, bananas
Pizza boats, watermelon
Salmon patties, potato wedges, peas

Saturday, July 20
Fried eggs, toast, creamy orange coolers
Leftovers
Grilled Italian chicken, green beans, corn on the cob, tossed salad

Care to share your age? Where are you on the timeline of this journey called life?

Breakfast Cake Muffins

breakfast_cake_muffins

One reader, Kim, left a comment months ago sharing that she’d made my Breakfast Cake recipe into muffins instead of baking the batter into a cake. It sounded so good that I decided to try it right away!

And then I forgot. For months.

I think it’s actually been well over a year since she left that comment. That’s practically like trying the idea right away, right? Yeah, well…

Turns out these are an easy, yummy, freezable, on-the-go breakfast muffin that is hearty enough to keep us satisfied until lunchtime. Thanks for the idea, Kim! Next time you share a great idea like this one, I’ll try to get around to trying it before thirteen months go by. Sheesh.

Breakfast Cake MuffinsYum

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, melted
¾ cup buttermilk or milk
¾ cup honey or 1 cup sucanat
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips, raisins, or other dried fruit  (We like Enjoy Life Soy Free Chocolate Chips)

Stir together flour, oats, salt and baking soda. Add butter, buttermilk, honey, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips, raisins, or other dried fruit.

Spoon batter into 18 paper lined muffin tins. Bake in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

Give these a try. Don’t wait a year like I did. :)

Menu Plan for the Week

Where is my brain sometimes?? 

Apparently, a few months ago I made two huge Apple Crisps and put them into the freezer for a “future huddle.”  Hooray for me – I got ahead!! Boo for me – I forgot all about the Apple Crisps. (I think I made them back in October.)  Yay for me – I found them last week! 

They are now in my oven, baking for Huddle tonight – and they smell super good! I’ve gotta say – with how crazy our schedule has been with finishing the book and being on the road for Asa’s basketball games, etc.,  it sure is nice to have a ready-made dessert. 

The moral of the story:  Make a dessert. Freeze it. Forget about it. Find it when you need it most, and consider yourself blessed. :)

Here’s what’s on our menu this week:

Sunday, March 3
Oatmeal, fruit
Lasagna casserole, tossed salad
High School Huddle – Crock pot bbq chicken, green beans, cream cheese corn, french bread, apple crisp (unless I forget to serve it…)  :)

Monday, March 4
Peanut butter pancakes, bananas
Chicken patty sandwiches, fruit salad
Italian roast wraps, tossed salad

Tuesday, March 5
Mini breakfast pizza, clementines
Pigs in a blanket, green beans
Calico beans, quick mix honey cinnamon muffins

Wednesday, March 6
Creamy orange coolers, fried eggs on toast
Black bean taco salad, apples
Shepherd’s pie, tossed salad

Thursday, March 7
Giant breakfast cookies, applesauce
Chicken noodle soup, carrots
Popcorn chicken, steamed broccoli and carrots with rice

Friday, March 8
Honey whole wheat bagels, oranges and kiwi
Sub sandwiches, fruit, baby carrots
Meat and cheese burritos, tossed salad

Saturday, March 9
Fruit pizza
Leftovers
Hamburgers and french fries, fruit

Ever made something for your freezer, then forgot it was there?  :)