Monday, June 30, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

The tangy cherry chicken from last week was a big hit as were the Aussie Meat Pies.

This week we're trying the following - some we know and some are new:

Rustic Overstuffed Pizz-O
(an adaptation of the original for us)
Chicken Parm Soup Always a favorite and super easy to make
Carbonara Deep-Dish Pasta Crusted Pan "Pizza"
Fish with Ginger-Orange-Onion Sauce (we're using tuna steaks)
Chicken a la Queen (we're using buscuits instead of puff pastry shells)
Skillet Tamale Pie (subbing ground turkey breast for ground pork to keep it lighter)

These are al from Rachael Ray's Just in Time cookbook.
Do you ONLY use RR recipes?
No, but I find them easy to follow and they work for the way I cook. I cook most things without a "recipe" and really adapt and use the RR recipes as I see fit.

Can You really make it in 30 Minutes?
Usually - or at least approximately. I'm pretty good in the kitchen and I understand RR's process so that helps. I also am quick with a knife. Sometimes when things are coming together too quickly (or need to) I have Casey read out that portion of the instructions as I work.

Do you like all of Rachael Ray's recipes that you've tried?
NO - there have been a few that were definite NOs, but for the most part I know what we like and I know what we'll eat and RR is prolific so there are lots of choices. I try to choose menus all out of one book so I can just keep it in the kitchen all week.

I've been trying to get out of a dinner (OK take-out and eat out) rut lately so we've been trying lots of new recipes. Normally I don't cook from a recipe and I make lots of standard traditional meals like meatloaf, chicken & dressing casserole, tacos, various pasta dishes, homemade pizza, etc. The menu planning is an adventure and trying new things for several weeks in a row is helping us curb the eating away from home.

Overall I am pleased and happy with the project as it stands now and the family seems to be happy (they aren't complaining much anyway). So for a while longer anyway I'll be sticking with Rachael.

Be sure to check out more great menus HERE this week (a guest host with lots to say).

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, June 29, 2008



21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

I'll keep you posted!


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Read Along

All kids books all the time this week:

We read:

Ruby in Her Own Time - a charming story about finding your own way

Where the Wild Things Are - always a classic with incredible artwork

Why Did The Chicken Cross the Road - more for the grown-ups as the kids don't "get" the artist's interpretations of the classic joke, but fantastic artwork by many contemporary children's authors

The Do It Yourself House That Jack Built - funny and fun to read

Toot & Puddle - kind of a fun life lesson about being kind

Belinda the Ballerina - little girls will love it

Dinosailors - great fun puking dinos and all

Albert the Bear - Interesting if not "deep"

I Love it When You Smile - very sweet tale of a kangaroo having a bad day

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type - one of my very favorite books - clever and sophisticated without being lofty or too high-minded - FUNNY

We'll be reading more this week and maybe I'll get to that third Alex Cross in the series. I'll update you next week on a reading project we're working on, but if you want to know now check out the "Read to Feed" link in my sidebar. While you're over there in the sidebar check out the links to some really great bloggers.

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, June 27, 2008

Thoughtful Friday 5

Outings are so much more fun when we can savor them through the children's eyes.
Lawana Blackwell, The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, 1998
For more on Thoughtful Friday visit HERE.

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

That Was Then, THIS is Now!

There once was a girl who loved wool.

August Stash b

She had MUCH and thought it was cool.

Stash - stashed

But it weighed on her heart.

So she let it depart.

And now doesn't feel like a fool!

Now 2

Yes - "Th th that's all folks" only enough yarn for 2 shawls, and 5 pair of socks. Phew - I feel better now!

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WFMW: Go Stuff This In Your Pants

Problem: Plastic shopping bags - we all want to save and re-use them, but they seem to multiply in the pantry.

Typical Solution: One of those cute hang-y things to store them in (nope - don't have one and won't ever get around to making one).
One of those mount-it-on-the-door-so-it's-always-in-your-way plastic contraptions (nope don't have one of those either).

My WFM Solution?
pants pic

Toddler Pants!

Years ago I pulled the pants out of give-away precisely for the purpose of rounding up all those pesky plastic bags - it works and it was a good re-use. On grocery day it's the kids' job to "Go Stuff This In Your Pants." The children also like to hear me tell them about the pants and how they were first Anna's and then Toby's, etc. I didn't really expect that part - I thought I was just being cheap and clever (ok and a little lazy). And hey - now it's "Green" and that's hip right (yeah right).

It might be weird, but then so am I.

You can see more Works for Me Wednesdays ideas HERE.

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fiber Camp Review

Anna spent a wonderfully fun week in Fiber Camp at Knitch. She had the best time and it was well worth the money (Thank You Uncle "W") spent.

Anna made knitting needles:
Handmade Knitting Needles
On the Left - "girls dreaming of being a princess - a big sister and a little sister"
On The Right - "Our Kitties - P.C. & Mac. P.C. has a bow because he looks like a girl and it''s funny"

A Wet-Felted Bag with a "finger knitted" handle:
Felted Bag Front Felted Back Back

Felted Beads:
Felted Beads

Hand-Dyed Yarn (with koolaid):
Cool Kool-Aid Yarn

And the beginning of a weaving project:
Weaving Board

Anna had a wonderful time and made new friends. I am glad she went. I am also glad I don't have to be out the door by 7 a.m. everyday this week.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Today I was excused from Jury Duty this week b/c I am the primary childcare provider, etc. Otherwise this weeks menu would read something more like: Take Out, Spaghetti, Frozen Pizza, etc - not so good huh? Instead we have the following:

#312 Boo-Sotto
#240 Grilled Chicken Scampi Style
#284 Tangy Cherry Chicken
#201 Aussie Meat Pies: Made Quick (link to One Dinner At a Time's blog & review post)
#2 Smoky Turkey Shepherd's Pie

This week's menu brought to you by Rachael Ray's 365 No Repeats (and the letter E).

As always you can find more fabulous menus HERE.

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, June 22, 2008


Flying High

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

John 3:8 (NIV)

Also read HERE for an educated perspective.

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, June 20, 2008

Thoughtful Friday 3

My Boy.JPG

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967), (attributed)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Last week was mostly a bust on the menu front. We were so busy and working with only one car so the schedule was killer. We're going for a "reset" this week!

Tuna Steaks, White Beans with Rosemary, Salad, Green beans (for the kids)

Italian Tuna Casserole, Green Beans, Fresh Fruit (Just for YOU Andrea!)

Chicken Caesar Burgers, Chips, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Apples
Chopped Steaks w/Tangy Corn Relish, fresh salad, and super cheesy mashed potatoes with chives

Chicken and Dressing Casserole, peas, pineapple

Chef Salads

Taco Salads

See more menus HERE

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, June 13, 2008

Thoughtful Friday 2

Toby Penguin

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
Mark Twain
View More "Thoughtful Fridays" Here

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crafty Confession

I did it.
I bought yarn.

Lovely Linen

One skein of lovely linen.

I'll keep you posted!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

To encourage family unity, save a little money, and in general stop eating CRAP I've redoubled my menu-planning ways. Join me and many others on the Menu Planning Monday crusade. Find out more here.

In no particular order for the week:

Pork Roast with Macaroni & Cheese, Peas with bacon & onion, and Fresh nectarines (had that already, but there are leftovers for lunch)

Vodka Cream Pasta, Chocolate Pots-de-creme, and fresh green salad

Tuna Steaks, White Beans with Rosemary, Salad, Green beans (for the kids)

Italian Tuna Casserole, Green Beans, Fresh Fruit

Chicken Caesar Burgers, Chips, Carrot Sticks, Sliced Apples

Chopped Steaks w/Tangy Corn Relish, fresh salad, and super cheesy mashed potatoes with chives

And Yes - most of those are Rachael Ray recipes - you know how I adore her recipes.

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, June 08, 2008



Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give men in exchange for you,
and people in exchange for your life.
Isaiah 43:4

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday Story Time

While wanting to read more, this week lacked in that department. We read a Veggie Tales Book, but other than that - zip!

The kids were (generously delivered and retrieved by Grampy) in VBS this week so I had 3 blissful hours of P & Q each day this; as a homeschooling SAHM p & q is HARD to come by. I reveled in it. I went to the grocery by myself and I listened to my own music on the way (still can't figure out why the kids don't dig Led Zeppelin). I did get by the library to pick up Summer Reading Folders - so we're all ready to read - we just didn't this week.

I am listening to The Kite Runner from Audible and am through part 1. For anyone who has read the book you know - it's really really good, but hard; I struggle getting through it; I will - eventually.

I read The Creative Family by Amanda Soule. I'm glad Amanda enjoyed the experience of the writing process. The information wasn't anything I didn't already know and I wish I had borrowed it instead of bought it, but I AM glad to support a fellow blogger. Here is a flickr pool full of projects that readers have made if you want to see more.

I found NPR podcasts and have been cracking up to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" and "Car Talk" every chance I get. I haven't caught up on "Stash and Burn" for this week, but as soon as the kids are in bed...

Next week: lots of kids books - at least that's the goal.

I'll keep you posted!


Friday, June 06, 2008

Thoughtful Friday


If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Conclusion, 1854

Thoughtful Friday Inspired by Bella Dia

I'll keep you posted!


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear

Straight Talk

I am NOT a "Tree-Hugger." At least I am not who that term conjures. I am not a hippie-crunchy granola girl. I am not a "commie" or a "pinko" (those terms are used ONLY in jest and LOVE for my friends who are). I am not even a democrat (hell I'm a Bible-belt Georgia girl what did you expect). I AM an advocate of personal responsibility, honesty, big business, capitalism, true liberty, and the entrepreneurial spirit. I believe that when a person works harder and better he will have more and go further and THAT IS GOOD.

It is easy to feel pressured to obsession with "GREEN" efforts; I don't. I am conscious of my surroundings and my personal impact and influence. I do my best to eat organic, use less, give more, recycle as I go, and pay attention to life.

The notions of living "off-the-grid" and homesteading seem interesting (I blame Little House on The Prairie), even appealing - that's SO not me. I enjoy (a lot) my GIANT POWER SUCKING T.V. and my needs-to-be-replaced Air Conditioning. I like meat, dairy, leather shoes, and most modern conveniences of life. So you won't see me building a Yurt or doing my laundry in the river, but you might run into me at the local library borrowing instead of buying (after I pay my $42.00 late fine).

My Point:
I TiVoed the entire Planet Green line-up.

I'll keep you posted!

Check this out.

Rocks in My Dryer is having a giveaway for the new WOW CD's. Check out the links now.

I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Planet Green

Today is the day that Discovery Home Channel officially launches (switches to) as Planet Green, an entire channel dedicated to "green" efforts.

For me (on Altanta Comcast) it's channel 253 to find your channel check HERE.

I have been revising my ideas about blogging and trying to figure out what direction to take or if I should forget it all together. I have decided on a new format that works for me and I hope you enjoy as well. Please let me know in the coming weeks as I am curious.

For now go check out Planet Green on the web and on your local cable channel and find out what's happening on the "Green" front.

I'll keep you posted!