Monday, November 24, 2008
He does so great with all this traveling we have to do. I hope he does well this holiday whirlwind trip we have coming up. We are off to my parent's late Wednesday, on Friday we head to Marvin's parents, then Saturday we head to Colorado, and Sunday we drive home. That's a lot of car time for a boy who likes to move. It may take us a while, but we'll get there. Despite all that car time I'm looking forward to seeing family. My little sister is moving to NC the day after Thanksgiving, so she won't be around like she has. It's a bummer for us, but we are glad she found a job.
I have a long list of things to do this week, several things I'd like to bake for the trip, plus I bought a Turkey and I need to cook that before we leave. (I couldn't resist buying cheap meat, so it looks like we'll be having a lot of turkey dishes in December, yum.)
Here is what we'll be having this week:
Monday-Crockpot Beef & Lentil Soup (NEW RECIPE) w/ HM Rolls & apple sauce
Tuesday-Buttermilk Berry Pancakes & Sausage Patties, maybe hash browns
Wednesday-Leftovers or Turkey sandwiches
Thursday-Bringing 3 pies: apple, cherry & pumpkin
Friday-Bringing Fresh Green Beans
Saturday-On the Road-I'm bringing some Pumpkin Apple Muffins (a friend posted the recipe and it sounds delicious), trail mix, apples & PBJ sandwiches, but we'll probably stop and let our little guy move a bit, but I'd rather feed him in the car so that when we stop he can move as much as possible. I never thought I'd want him to eat in the car, but feeding him takes up some time where he isn't completely bored.
Sunday-Lunch is being provided for us, but hopefully we can find a good place to stop on the way home.
Friday, November 21, 2008
It's amazing how much time I spend in the kitchen and I am so thankful that we have a play room off the kitchen so I can see exactly what Calvin is up to. But I can't count how many times a day he comes in and opens the cabinet to the pans and takes out the cooling racks(It's one of the few he can actually open). It must be something about those things because they are a favorite. Well the other day I got tired of picking them up and now they up higher where little hands can't reach. But don't worry he has moved on to pans, they seem to be more fun, because he can put things in them. I just love this stage that he is in now, container play. He loves any type of container, he'll spend forever nesting yogurt containers, and recently he has been into trying to get the lids back on things. Yesterday we spent a good hour finding things to put in an empty box and then emptying it and starting over. I felt so blessed yesterday being able to play with him and his box. He was so thrilled over this box every time he'd fill it up I'd clap and he would come over and give me a kiss or a hug. It's things like this that I want to never forget. I love my job!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Last night was rough without the pacifier. As I type Calvin is crying and so tired. I am torn between going in there all the time and just letting him try to calm himself. I hope he learns quickly, the poor guy was exhausted this morning. I think the only reason he woke up is because he was hungry. Poor guy, well he's been crying for a while so I better go.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Garlic Studded Pork Loin with Potatoes and Carrots
from The Wellness Lowfat Cookbook (University of California at Berkeley)
1/3 c. frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed (I used pineapple, orange, apple)
3 T. Dijon mustard (I used honey mustard, since i forgot to buy Dijon mustard)
1 t. reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
6 cloves of garlic
1 small boneless pork loin (about 1 3/4 lb.) trimmed and tied
1 c. chicken stock (increased to 2 c. chicken broth and then added 1 c. water for the crock pot)
1 lb. small red potatoes, unpeeled
3 medium sized carrots
2 t. cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice concentrate, mustard, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
3. Peel the garlic and cut each clove lengthwise into thirds. With a sharp knife, make 18 slits randomly in the pork loin. Tuck a piece of garlic into each slit.
4. Place the pork loin in a small roasting pan and brush the pork with half of the pineapple-mustard mixture. Pour 1/2 c. of the chicken stock into the bottom of the pan. Roast the pork loin 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile quarter the red potatoes. Cut the carrots into 1/2 inch thick slices. Spray a shallow pan with nonstick cooking spray, place the vegetables in the pan and roast them until the pork is done.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Brush the pork with the remaining pineapple-mustard mix and continue roasting until it is cooked through and the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees on a meat thermometer, about 45 minutes longer.
7. Remove the pork from the roasting pan and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile skim and discard the fat from the pan juices. Stir together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/2 c. stock.
8. Add stock mixture to the roasting pan and set over medium-low heat. Stir to incorporate any browned bits clinging to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
9. Slice the pork an serve it with the roasted vegetables and sauce.
Now you know the original recipe, here's what I actually did. After reading all the steps I thought it sounded like it would take up too much time and I didn't have that kind of time today, (there is a sale at the goodwill later, yep you heard right I really am that cheap, but in my defense this mama doesn't have many clothes, remember the part about never going back home, and I thought this would be a great chance to see if I can pick up some sweet finds). So I broke out the crockpot and poured 2 cups of broth on the bottom, slit the pork loin and added the garlic, like the directions stated. Place it in the crock pot. Made up the pineapple-mustard mix and poured 1/2 of it over the pork. Sliced up the potatoes and carrots and placed them around the pork. I then poured the remaining pineapple-mustard mixture over the potatoes, and added water to cover the pork. Turned it on high for 6 hours. When it is finished I am planning on using some of the the juices to make the sauce. Here's my plan dissolve the cornstarch into 2 cups of the juices, using a saucepan stir over a medium heat until thickened. Serve sauce over potatoes and carrots. I may pop the pork in the oven to brown it a bit, but we will see how much time I have.
The verdict: It smells wonderful, can't wait to eat dinner, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Braised Pork Chops with Sweet Potatoes
from Healthy Homestyle Cooking-200 of your family favorite recipes with a fraction of the fat
4 lean center-cut pork chops 3/4 inch thick (6 ounces each)
1 T. Olive Oil or Canola oil
1 c. chicken stock
1c. unsweetened apple juice (I'll be using this pineapple orange apple juice)
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/8 t. each salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, cut across into 1/4 inch slices
1. Trim pork and dredge in flour.
2. Saute the pork chops in oil until browned on both sides
3. Keep chops warm and return skillet to heat, then add the chicken stock, apple juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil, stir mixture continuously. Lower heat so that the mixture is simmering.
4. Return chops to pan with sweet potatoes, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until the chops are cooked through and juices run clear.
Verdict: Flavorful and great for company, Marvin doesn't care for sweet potatoes, but he liked this recipe. It only requires time on the front end, once it is simmering you can leave it on the stove and don't have to attend to it. It will take about 20 minutes of your time to make this recipe.
So there you go Marie. Let me know if you want the other recipes. Now I'm going to read before our little guy wakes up. Today is Day ONE Bez (without) pacifier. He is finally feeling better so I decided to take the plunge. He has been doing pretty well, although I did rock him to sleep this morning. But somehow I didn't mind, I love it when he snuggles and it doesn't happen often.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Last week Walgreens had a sale on pudding 4/$1 and Marvin loves pudding. He usually takes a little pudding cup in his lunches but I had a brilliant idea of making up his pudding ahead of time and putting it in individual containers, so simple yet I hadn't thought of it before. I'm also doing this with his applesauce. It's much cheaper especially when you can get a good deal on instant pudding and there will be less to take the recycling center. I think the little bowls were $2.50 at Target so these will pay themselves off in a hurry. Plus I can add a dab or cool whip on these and make my hubby's day!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Monday-Tuna Gravy over HM (Homemade) Biscuits, Peas, Tossed Salad & Grapes
Tuesday-Spaghetti, w/ whole wheat pasta, tossed Salad, & Cooked Carrots (Can you believe Calvin has never had this meal, I don't think I've made it since this summer.)
Wednesday-Left Overs or I like to call Smorgasbord Buffet!
Thursday-Date Night Eating Out!
Friday-(I'm out of town at a conference) I'll make up some spanish rice and bean burritos for the boys
Saturday-Taco Salad Bowls along with leftover spanish rice. I'll be home around dinner time so I'll throw everything together once I get home or Marvin can warm everything up if I'm running late.
Sunday-All of us are Out of Town
Snacks for the week:
Сrackers & raisins
Applesauce with Cottage Cheese
Bananas & cheerios
Cheese cubes & pears (or apples)
Now lunches are where I struggle. Here's what I've got so far:
Chicken & rice
Pancakes (Freeze extras)
Well since my last post we have snapped 4 gross things. I am certainly relieved they are dead and haven't seen any more action since Thursday. My jumpiness has subsided a bit, and I am not stomping every time I go in the kitchen. I was reminded of a little guy on our team overseas who was so terrified of dogs and sometimes cats. When they came to visit we were outside and one of the cats came around and this little guy kept repeating, "I'm bigger than you cat." Priceless, so I am using his little trick to make me a little braver. Thanks little E!
Lately I have been busy working on a few sewing projects, possibly to sell at some point. I am REALLY bad about starting something and not finishing it, so this is going to be a stretching experience for me. One of my projects is about 1/2 of the way finished and I am already excited to start the next project. Thankfully I have a great husband who reminds me to finish what I started. I'll post some more pictures when they are a little more completed.
I was so pumped to do my grocery shopping this week. Dillons was having an awesome mix and match deal and I had a ton of coupons that matched the sales. I didn't do as good as I thought I would due to the fact that they were out of several items so I had to trade a few things out of my plan, but that's what I get for shopping on Monday, I should have gone last Wednesday, but I had already done my shopping for the week and didn't want to dip into the next week's grocery money. My receipt says I saved $81.04 and I had $33.64 worth of coupons before some of them doubled. AWESOME! It's so funny how excited I get to save money.
Calvin learned how to spin in a circle this weekend and thinks it is the coolest thing. We aren't really encouraging this due to his bruise factor. (He likes to have at least one bruise on his face at all times.) But I must admit it is the cutest thing to watch. Another cute thing is that he is starting to do the actions to a few songs, he'll clap when we sing 'If your happy and you know it' and the 'soup song'. One day we were eating soup for lunch and I started to sing this song, so now he thinks every song should have the same actions (BTW I made it up). So he is stirring it up to Jesus Loves me and He's got the whole world in his hands. Love It!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
This morning I was loading the dishwasher and all of a sudden I saw this disgusting thing run across the floor and I screamed, swept a screaming Calvin up and ran out of the room (he was screaming because I scared him). Of course it is impossible to stay out of the kitchen, so when I finally was brave enough to return I turned the radio up loudly and stomped everywhere I went. It was quite a sight, but what's a girl going to do when it's only 11:00 and your husband doesn't get home until 6:00. So we will be avoiding this part of the house until Marvin comes home. I hate these things! They funny thing is that Calvin eventually started to stomp too. They certainly pick up things quickly.
If this is not bad enough we also have been killing wasps right and left during the afternoon. Marvin thinks they are coming from the attic. So I guess in between screaming from sightings of gross things and killing wasps life should be pretty normal around here. I hope they both go away soon.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
We had a fun day and enjoyed the beautiful weather. We went to the library for story time, where he was even recognized as Charlie Brown. I was pretty happy because the day before I took him to Dillon's because they were having a special thing for kids and my Uncle works there, as I finished up some shopping this is what a lady said to me, "Oh did he get a hold of a marker?". We had a good laugh after I told her he was supposed to be Charlie Brown. She totally got it after she saw his shirt. So I opted not to draw on his head on Friday.
We headed to the zoo in the afternoon where Calvin had fun watching the penguins and seeing all the animals in the Children's area. I let him walk around a bit and of course he kept trying to pick up every leaf in sight until a peacock strolled past him and he took off after it.
What a goofy little guy.