Saturday, February 28, 2009

Relief & Pondering

Cooking day is over and once again my freezer is full of food. What a relief to know that for the next month I don't need to worry about what we're going to eat for dinner. Now just to remember to defrost something every day...

Anyways, my mom suggested to me that I should offer to other people to do this. I already offer other people to join me and we cook together, but she suggested that I shop, cook and deliver the meals to others, for a small fee. The more I think about it, it's not a bad idea. I have an extensive list of meals people could choose from, I don't mind doing the shopping and cooking, and anything to help out the finances is a plus.

So I'm asking everyone out there what you think of this? If you had the extra money is this a service that you could use? Anyone know what would be involved with me starting a "business" of preparing meals for others?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cooking Week

I am Blissfully domestic! This week I am doing my once-a-month cooking. It's amazing. I spend one day putting together dinners, freeze them, and eat for a month. It's wonderful. My husband loves it too! If I have something going on one night and can't be home, he knows that I will have already defrosted something and all he has to do is pop it in the oven. And one of the best parts... it saves us money.

It is a bit of a pinch budget wise the very first time. For our family of 4, it costs us about $300 for me to shop. Over the course of the month, I still have to buy perishable items, but for the most part, I'm saving money because I'm not impulse buying once a week. I'm working on getting my cost even lower than that by starting to use coupons and hitting sales.

Here's what we are going to eat this month. If you would like recipes for any of these meals, send me an email or leave a comment with your email address and I'll send it to you.

1. Grilled Orange Chicken Fingers
2. Ham & Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
3. Chicken Noodle Casserole
4. Chicken & Tomato Rice Bake
5. Chicken Pie
6. Oven BBQ Chicken & Cheesy Biscuits
7. Glazed Pork Tenderloin
8. Baked Chicken Pecan
9. Crock Pot Peppercorn Steak
10. Crustless Spinach Quiche
11. Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry
12. Peking Pork Chops
13. Macaroni and Cheese
14. Chicken Broccoli Rotini
15. Heavenly Chicken
16. Stromboli
17. Chicken Caesar Casserole
18. Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches
19. Farmers Casserole
20. Sausage and Rice
21. Italian Stuffed Meatloaf
22. Lasagna
23. Upside-down Pizza Casserole
24. Black Bean Soup
25. Marinated Flank Steak
26. Chicken Nuggets
27. Meal-In-One Potatoes
28. Cheesy Ham and Potatoes
29. Steak Fajitas
30. Stuffed Sausage Balls

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Title Winner

Congratulations to Debra for the suggestion of Elizabeth's Treasure Chest! My hubby and I really liked that one. Debra has declined the photo album because she said she has several that she hasn't filled yet. So I'm going to hold on to the album and give it away another time.

Thank you for the suggestions on the title, but now I have another request. Please read yesterday's post and give any suggestions you might have regarding my daughter's medical mystery.

Keep an eye out as I'm going to be updating this blog. If you have any cool suggestions or pictures feel free to leave a comment or email me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calling All Moms!

My 4-year-old daughter threw up yesterday. Just once, then she was fine and back to playing like nothing happened. I wouldn't be too concerned if this were a one-time deal, but unfortunately it's not. My daughter does this every 2 months. That's right, every 2 months she has a good vomit, and then goes about her business. This has been happening since she was a baby.

My 4-year-old is allergic to shellfish. She had a reaction to something Saturday night that we're thinking was mayonnaise. (We had hot roast beef sandwiches and Amish macaroni salad for dinner. She ate the roast beef and 1 bite of the mac salad and broke out in hives.) Other than that she's not allergeric to anything else we know of. I've started keeping a food journal (only since Sunday) to see what she is eating. She doesn't have any other problems during the 2 month span other than the cold bugs being passed at preschool.

I've talked to the doctor about it and he said that since it is not more frequent, there is nothing that he is going to do about it. Just what a mom wants to hear. So I decided to call upon other moms for advice.

Do you have any ideas of what could be wrong with her? Have you experienced something like this? Someone suggested that she is building up something in her system that just needs to come out every 2 months, but I have no idea what it could be. So please put on your thinking caps and give me some ideas. Any thoughts you might have would help a bunch. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Need A Title

I need a title for my blog. I follow and read a lot of blogs, most of which have fun names. Elizabeth Benge just seems so blah. I did recently update my tag line which I like, but I need a real name.

So I'm hosting a name contest! Help me pick a name for my blog and you could win a prize. Leave me a comment with your name, email address and a suggested title for my blog and you will be entered to win this cute photo album.
This album holds 100 4x6 photos and is perfect for a wedding or anything else girly. The picture of my cute daughter is not included.
Once the contest is closed my hubby and I will go over the suggested titles and pick a winner. So please come up with creative & fun names for my blog. I will post the winning name and email the winner by Thursday, Feb 26th.

1 - Contest will be open until Tuesday, Feb 24th at midnight.
2 - You must leave a valid email address & suggested title for my blog.

Good luck and thanks for helping me pick a title!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Front Room Update

Can you believe it has been 4 months since we started ripping out the wallpaper? It really seems like forever since we started. I know I am tired of living without a table to eat at and dining room chairs in my spare bedroom. Oh yeah, and not being able to use my front door. That's annoying too.

But there's hope!
Thanks to Seth's cousin and a friend, we have drywall on the ceiling and 1 wall. Yea!! After a little more electrical work we're hoping to have the drywall finished one night this week. Or possibly next weekend. Just seeing the ceiling finished is enough to help me keep going until it is finished!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chocolate Truffles

Who doesn't like chocolate truffles? I mean seriously. They have got to be one of the best things that God has created. Ok, well, maybe He didn't create them, but I firmly believe that God made everything and He put smart people on this earth to know how to crush up some cocoa beans and mix them with stuff and voila... you've got truffles.

Did you know they are extremely easy to make? I love making them. I like to give them out as cheap Christmas presents. It takes a little time to make them (mostly waiting time as they freeze) but throw them in a cellophane bag, tie some pretty ribbon on them and you've got a homemade gift that is cheap and easy. I mean, who wouldn't want to receive chocolate truffles? (Hint to my hubby!)

So tomorrow I am participating in a Sweets For Your Sweetie Swap with some ladies from my church. We're all making different sweets, sharing them, and bringing some home to our Sweeties. I've decided to use my very easy recipe for truffles and bring them tomorrow.

Chocolate Truffles

6 squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 TBSP butter
white chocolate squares or white chocolate candy covering

In a microwaveable bowl, mix the 6 squares chocolate, whipping cream and butter. Heat for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for an additional 30 seconds, stir. If chocolate is melted, stop heating. If it's not melted, go another 30 seconds. Don't overcook.

Put bowl in freezer. Boy this is tough.

Layer baking sheet with wax paper. After 1 1/2 hours take the chocolate out. Roll chocolate into 1 inch balls and stick in freezer for about 30 minutes more to firm back up. Dip in melted white chocolate. Put in fridge to set. Easy huh!

If you want to decorate them, melt some chocolate chips and drizzle on your truffles. You can also add different extracts to make them even more yummy. You can see 3 different truffles in this picture.

The ones with the heart are the basic recipe truffles. The ones with the swirl of chocolate on them are almond flavored. The ones with the 3 lines on them are raspberry flavored. Just throw a couple of teaspoons of extract in with your chocolate before you melt it in step 1 and you're done. You could also roll in crushed nuts before coating, or coat with shredded coconut, or decorate with tiny candy pieces. Do whatever you want! What I want right now is to eat one with my little helper. Yum!!