Sunday, February 28, 2010

Menu Plan--March 1st.

Are you kidding me? It's March already? YIKES! OK, here goes another week. Nothing too exciting happening this week, except for Dr. Seuss's Birthday on the 2nd. (I know this because I was a 1st Gr. teacher for many years.) So we'll be doing some fun activities to celebrate Dr. Seuss and I'll post about it later. Have a blessed week!!!

Monday- Renato's out of town, so the boys and I will just scrape up what we can. :)

Tuesday- Broiled Steaks, Crash Hot Potatoes, Salad

Wednesday- Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup

Thursday- Crockpot-Cabbage Kielbasa Supper

Friday- Baked Chicken Drumsticks, Creamy Garlic Pasta, Salad

Saturday- Tuna Melt Hot Sandwiches, Chips and Salsa

Sunday- Breakfast for Dinner

Check out Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

OK.....just saw this recipe and may have to substitute it sometime this week, or I'll wait till next week, but it looks like a keeper! Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach

Friday, February 26, 2010

Frugal Friday--Beans, Beans, Glorious Beans

If you happened to check out my menu plan and pantry challenge, you know I've inherited a large supply of beans....OK, a GIGANTIC amount of beans.....30 POUNDS!!! And as I stated before, thank goodness I lived in Brazil for awhile and learned how to make some very tasty beans, if I do say so myself. :) (My husband thinks so too, and that's pretty good because he IS Brazilian.)

Beans are a great source of protein, and of course VERY cheap...I mean FRUGAL. Ahem. Even though I got my beans free, I would still be buying them on a pretty regular basis, just because they are so frugal. (And because my huband grew up eating beans EVERY DAY OF HIS LIFE...up until he married me. So he likes himself some beans!!) AND beans are super easy to make! They are a tasty side to go with just about anything. (That's the way Brazilians see it anyway.) :)

A friend then asked if I would post on how I make here goes!!!!

First, you need to spread out all the beans and pick out any "duds". Then rinse/wash beans.

Second, put the beans in a large bowl and cover with water, maybe an inch over the beans. Let soak overnight.

Third, cook up the beans! In the morning, you'll notice the beans have expanded, and soaked up most of the water. Put the beans in a big pot and again cover with water. (My husband measures everything in "fingers", so about 3 horizontal "fingers" of water over the beans.) :)

Fourth, boil beans. This is a LONG process of you don't have a pressure cooker. In Brazil it took only about 20 minutes to boil the beans with a pressure cooker, but if you just have a pot, depending on the amount of beans, it could take a long time. We cooked up about 8-10 cups of beans and it took over 2 hours of boiling.

Fifth, stir the beans periodically while boiling and add more water to keep it over the top of the beans. When the beans juice is darkening up and the beans are tender...they're done!

*****This is where I freeze the beans in smaller containers that are perfect for a meal at a time.*******

When you want to serve the beans with a meal, make sure you get them defrosted as much as possible beforehand. Use a medium sized pot, put in about 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (to cover the bottom). Heat up the olive oil and then add about 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.

Cook up the garlic for a few minutes, then add the defrosted beans. Also add enough water to cover them by about an inch. Add salt to taste. Then just boil/cook the beans until the juice thickens up a bit. DONE!!

You can also add any other spices to the beans that you like. My mother-in-law always cooks hers with onions too, but we don't eat onions. For example, last night we were eating a Mexican themed dinner, so I added some chopped green chillies and lime. They turned out great! Just serve over rice or as a side!! I also have blended them up and cooked them for re-fried beans. Much better then out of a can!!

I'm just so thankful I started eating beans a few years before I got married, or it would have been pretty hard to get used to "Brazilian Style" food!

So there you have a frugal and tasty way of eating your beans!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Oh my goodness. I am SOOOO incredibly glad I had enough sense to combine both Camden and Dawson's birthday's into ONE party. I was exhausted after it was all said and done, but it was super fun! As I've told others, since they're b-days are only 2 weeks apart, they're going to get "combined" party's until they are old enough to complain. (which I'm hoping is...ummm....NEVER!) I should be good for a couple years or so. :)

My parents were also able to come and visit the week before so that was great! The boys loved having Grandma and Papa around. (And they totally PACKED-OUT their van with stuff we had left in ND, so it was like Chirstmas all over again!)

Back to the party.....I didn't have any games or anything planned, knowing that the kids would be happy just playing. (And since most of the kids were boys, they did a lot of wrestling, screaming, and fighting over toys, but there was no blood least that I know of.) ;) Fun times people, fun times.

OF COURSE I had to make the cakes. (I still can't believe that decorating cakes is actually a stress-RELIEF to me....totally amazing.) Camden's was a Diego themed cake, although my colors were slightly more "Broncos" colored. Then I found a cute Teddy Bear cake for Dawson.

I totally know what you're thinking, and "YES, of course I'll make a cake for your next party!". No really, I would love to.... give me a call.

Of course we had to let Dawson eat his first taste of sugar and get messy. :) Although he didn't really like it very much and had more fun with his hands being sticky then with tasting the cake.

I think the coolest thing that we did was have Renato's family down in Brazil on video Skype to join in the celebration. We first sang Happy Birthday in English, then in Portuguese. And how cute is this.....Renato's mom invited the whole family over for cake so they could eat cake with us too. Isn't that just so sweet!?! :) I know that they really missed Camden that day for sure, since this was his first birthday that wasn't celebrated in Brazil.

And here's a picture with Grandma and Papa.

Camden wasn't so thrilled with the picture idea....ha!

For party favors, I bought plastic cups and wrote the kids' names on with puffy paint, then filled them with cheap, *ahem*, I mean FUN little trinkets.

And of course the gifts....oh the gifts. Let's just say that I'll be rationing the new toys a little at a time. The boys would go into complete "overload" with all the new stimulation. Ha! :)

It was such a great time and thank you to everyone who showed up in the yucky/icy weather to help us celebrate our boys! I can't believe they are 3 and 1!!! Thank you Lord for such healthy, loving, and amazing little boys. My life is so blessed!!!

Menu Plan Monday-Feb. 22nd

Whew! Last week was a whirl-wind! My parents were here, which is always great. Then we had a double b-day party for the boys on Sat. (pics and post to come....) So today I'm just trying to play catch-up....maybe all week I'll be playing catch-up, we'll see. :)

Monday: FINALLY doing the crockpot Chicken Spinach Soup (told you last week was nuts!)

Tuesday: Lamb, Mashed Potatoes, Veggie

Wednesday: Salmon in Red Pepper sauce, Cilantro Rice, Black Beans

Thursday: Chilli, homemade bread

Friday: Chicken Alfredo (free family frozen dinner....we'll see if it tastes good....I'm sure mine would be better, but's free!)

Saturday: BBQ Sandwiches (Sloppy Joes)

Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner

Visit Organized Junkie for more menu plans!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Plan for week Feb. 8th

Wow, we've got a busy week I hope that means I get some-sort of a break from a full week of dinner making. Yay! :) That's always exciting. :)

Monday- Super Bowl Leftovers.....Ha! (I'm so serious about this though...yikes!)

Tuesday- Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (I'm out for a Women's Night at church.)

Wednesday- Crockpot Soup: Chicken Spinach Soup

Thursday- Swiss steak with Mushroom sauce, Pasta with Alfredo sauce,

Friday- We have a dinner with our Church so I'll just prepare some basic Mac-N-Cheese or leftovers for the kids. Thanks for babysitting Laura!! :)

Saturday- Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Sunday- Pancakes, Eggs, Bacon.... My parents are coming in for the week so we'll start them off with our famous Breakfast for Dinner menu. :) Although I'm sure my dad will want REAL bacon, not TURKEY bacon like we eat. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cute Kiddos!!!

Not too long ago we went to visit our good friends the Chu's in Castle Rock. The kids love playing and they had a great time playing "dress up" for winter. :) (And of course the adults LOVE to see each other too....even though it's hard to have an actual ongoing conversation with 5 kids (4 and under) to keep track of. It's always a bit chaotic! Ha!)

And since it's been a long time since I posted any pics of the boys and I'm sure the Grandparents and family are going a bit nuts, I thought I'd do a quick photo shoot this morning while the boys were still in their jammies. When they are in their cozy footie jammies, I just want to EAT THEM UP!!!!

It's amazing to me how close in size the boys are, considering they are 2 yrs. apart in age. We've got some strong, healthy, growing boys on our hands!! :) Thank you Lord!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Get Your Kleenex's Ready

I just saw a friend post this on Facebook, and I wanted to share it here.

Jared Anderson, the awesome Christian Recording Artist, is a good friend of ours. (He actually sang at our wedding and we joked with him that he was the "Wedding Singer" that year because he sang at a BUNCH of weddings. He was such a good sport and such a blessing to many as he was super busy just starting his recording career and leading worship at our church. Thanks again Jared!) ANYWAY, he just wrote this song, Carry Me, and dedicated it to his neighbors who were involved with the Haiti Earthquake. I wish I knew how to post the video right on my blog, but I'm not that tech savvy. So please follow the link and listen to this annointed and amazing song.

Jared Anderson's-Carry Me

It's so heartbreaking looking at all the pictures from the devestation of Haiti. It kills me to see those precious little children suffering. But the One comfort we have is that God is in control, and that He loves those children more that we can even imagine.

As the media coverage is starting to fade away from Haiti, please don't let these images fade from your heart. Please continue to pray for all of the people effected by this disaster and for the country of Haiti.

I'm so grateful for all the miraculous stories that are coming out of Haiti, and of course heartbroken by all the stories of tragedy. But let's thank God together for amazing stories of LIFE and HOPE coming out of Haiti right now. Thank you Lord for these glimpses of HOPE!!!

There are more stories of gratitude over at Heavenly Homemakers GRATITUESDAY.