Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan for Week of August 28, 2011

On this week's menu plan you will see some of the same things that were on last week's menu plan.  That's because I didn't actually get around to making those meals last week, so I just put them on the plan for this week :)

Sunday - Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, green beans

Monday - Bar-b-que pork chops, peas, corn, slaw and cornbread

Tuesday - Deer Meat, butterbeans, corn, and cornbread

Wednesday - leftover soup

Thursday - Taco chicken bowls with tortilla chips

Friday - hamburgers, potato salad

Saturday - leftovers

Breakfast - Baked oatmeal, cold cereal, fruit, yogurt, smoothies

Lunches - leftovers, sandwiches, potato soup, fruit, smoothies

We have been getting a little more accomplished around here lately.  Some of that is due to Amanda feeling better, but some of it is due to the slightly cooler temperatures.  I have really struggled with being out in the heat this year and have avoided it as much as possible.  I guess my age is starting to show :)

Some of the things on our list for this week are:

Cleaning the porch (mine and Amanda's)
Rearranging things in the shed
Finishing the yard work (weedeating and cleaning the fence line)
Sewing (still have a couple of projects that I didn't get to last week)
Building a porch rail at Amanda's

What's going on at your place?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Menu Plan for Week of August 21, 2011

I'm going to give menu planning another try this week and we'll see how it goes :)

Sunday - Chicken rice soup

Monday - Turkey chili with tortilla chips

Tuesday - Homemade Pizza and Pesto Pasta

Wednesday - Beef strips with veggies

Thursday - Taco chicken bowls with tortilla chips

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Meat loaf, peas, corn on cob, cornbread

Breakfasts - pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, cold cereal, cheese toast, breakfast burritos

Lunches - leftovers, sandwiches, fruit, soup

I'm hoping things have settled down enough that I can actually follow a menu plan this week, but since we do have a few outside things going on it may or may not happen.

My youngest son has football practice from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Monday's and Thursdays which usually means I plan a simple crockpot meal that can be eaten at anytime or carried to the football field for a picnic. 

On Tuesday of this week I will be taking my daughter back to the doctor.  She is hoping that the baby cooperates so that we can finally find out if it is a boy or a girl :)  Amanda has been having a good bit of trouble with her hip lately and has been falling quite often.  She fell three times today, so we have located the crutches she had as a patient at St. Jude for her to use.  Hopefully, it will give her the support she needs and prevent her from falling again. 

In addition to football and Amanda's doctor appointment I am hoping to work on a few sewing projects.  I have three nursing mother cover-ups that I need to make for some sweet young ladies that we know and I am also planning to do some sewing for Rachel. 

Amanda and I went through the girls clothes recently so that we could determine what we needed for the fall and winter.  We found out that Ellen has an abundant supply of everything, but Rachel has two shirts, five jumpers/dresses and about three pairs of pants.  We're hoping to hit some yard sales and thrift shops soon to see if we can locate a few items for her.  I'm also working on a few skirts and pants for her as well.  Thankfully, Amanda was able to purchase winter coats at a consignment sale last year that will fit the girls this year so we don't have to worry about that. 

I am also hoping to do some canning and maybe even some cooking for the freezer this week if time permits.  I like having things on hand that make meal times a little easier.  

One of the things I'm planning on making for the freezer this week is my Chicken/Turkey Rice Soup.  I have made it twice this week at Rachel's request.  I'm also planning on cooking some beans either to can or freeze for quick meals and maybe some pancakes and muffins. 

Well, that's the plan for my week.  How about yours?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homestead Update

Things are finally quiet around here (at least for the moment) so I thought I would give a quick update on the homestead. 

Due to several things coming up over the past several months, we haven't done nearly as much on our little homestead as I had hoped to this summer.  We did have a small garden and even though it didn't do as well as I had hoped, we had a few yellow squash and zucchini, as well as some peppers and strawberries for which I am thankful.  I also planted two watermelon plants and the vines are loaded with melons and still blooming.  So far we haven't had any ripen enough to eat, but some of them are pretty big.  I can't wait until they are ready to cut into :)    I LOVE watermelon!!!   

Our tomatoes did not produce at all, but our herbs did great.  I have dried quiet a few of them in the dehydrator as well as making pesto from the basil to freeze. 

My neighbor gave us a good bit of corn and squash, which I was able to put up and he also brought us thirteen watermelons a couple of days ago.  In case you haven't figured it out, I have a GOOD neighbor :) 
I'm thinking about trying my hand at watermelon rind pickles, but need to locate a good recipe first.  I've only had them once a long time ago, but if memory serves me right I really liked them. 

I've decided that I'm not going to try having a fall garden this year, but I am already making plans for my spring garden.  I've learned some things that don't work for us and figured out some things that are working, so maybe next years garden will produce better. 

I haven't done as well with the livestock end of our little homestead as I would have liked either.  My chickens are still laying, but a snake got into the nest of our "setting" hen and since that point none of our hens have expressed a desire to set.  Since we don't have an incubator we did not get any little chicks this year.  I'm hoping to have an incubator by next year though.  

We still have our two rabbit does, but I haven't had time to locate a buck yet.  Since I haven't had time to get the additional cages built that's probably a good thing.  Now that things are starting to settle down, I'm hoping to get a couple of cages built and start breeding the does by the time the weather gets a little cooler. 

I dried up my milking goat about a month ago.  I decided that, in order to keep my sanity, there were some things that had to be let go and that just happened to be one of them.  I am planning to breed her and also our little nubian doe this fall so I should have a good supply of fresh goats milk this spring.  

My two older boys also expanded our horse pasture a little bit.  It's been needing to be done and they finally had a weekend off to take care of  it.  I'm glad to have it done and the horses are definitely enjoying the fresh grazing area.

Well, that's about all we've had going on the homestead front lately.  Maybe next year we'll do better :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Another Gluten Free/Dairy Free COR (Clean Out Refrigerator) Casserole

I didn't realize how much time had passed since my children were toddlers until I started staying with my daughter to help with her two girls.  Those two little stinkers can find more to get into in a day than this old woman can keep up with :)   Especially since they seem to sleep in shifts which leaves this grandma "pooped" most of the time ;)

They are definitely keeping me on my toes and trying to get meals on the table for ten people (I cook for my parents as well as my own family) on a daily basis is beginning to become a little overwhelming.  I miss the days of having my children home to help, since the only one around during the day and early evening is my youngest son Ferrell and he has his hands full keeping up with all of the outside work that needs to be done.  He also tries to be available for my parents whenever they need something and to be honest I don't know what I would do without that special young man :) 

Meals are becoming slightly "hodge podge" and probably not very well balanced if I actually took the time to think about it, but I think that for this season of my life that is perfectly okay.  Now that Amanda is starting to feel some better I am hoping to become a little more organized and maybe even replenish my freezer with already prepared meals.  

I made another COR Casserole (Clean Out Refrigerator) over the weekend that was a big hit, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.

I haven't decided on a name for it yet, but it is gluten free and can also be dairy free by using soy cheese.

Cooked beans (I used what was left over from a previous meal.)
Cooked gluten free pasta
Salsa (homemade works fine)
Browned ground beef
Grated Cheese  (I made a separate casserole for the girls with soy cheese that was also very good)

I combined the beans, pasta, and ground beef together in a casserole dish and added enough salsa to make it "juicy".  I then added grated cheese to the top and cooked at 350 degrees until it was heated through.    It was very good, but my son Caleb recommended that I add a layer of crushed tortilla chips either as the bottom layer or on the top with the cheese.  He felt like that would be the "finishing touch" to make it a family favorite.   Served with a salad it made a deliciously, filling meal and was soooo easy.  Hope you enjoy!