Monthly Archives: April 2012

Menu Plan for the Week: 4/22 – 4/28

Healthified Ham and Potato Casserole

How last week’s menu went:

Last week went really well. Of course it was huge that we were gifted with 3 out of 7 meals. That was helpful on many levels.

Favorite meal from last week:

Let’s go with the Healthified Ham and Potato Casserole. Great comfort food. I used red pepper instead of green and added some mushrooms that were crazy on sale from Aldi. Oh, and mine wasn’t quite as healthified as the recipe, mainly because I used regular cheese instead of reduced fat.

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday

Monday

  • Quick spaghetti and meat sauce: 1 box of spaghetti + 1/2 pound of cooked ground beef + 2 jars of spaghetti sauce = happy tummies in a hurry
  • salad

Tuesday  

  • A friend is bringing us dinner.

Wednesday 

Thursday 

  • Chicken Fried Rice – I make it pretty much like this Pork Fried Rice recipe, but I add celery and increase the spices

Friday

  • Homemade Pizza with a quick and easy crust (I use part whole wheat flour and knead the dough after mixing)
  • fruit/veggies

Saturday

I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!

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Updates! The good, the bad, and the ugly

It’s time for some updates!

The Good

I swept the entire kitchen floor yesterday and look at the sweep pile. I couldn’t get over how small it was.

Almost a year ago I wrote about how I sweep my really messy, cluttered floor. The sweep pile in that post is ginormous.

And check out the living room floor:

Sure there’s clutter in the living room and stains on the carpet, but look at the middle of the room! Cleared space! I even vacuumed. And I liked it.

The Bad

What?? What happened here? Where did this come from, anyway?

Whatever happened, it’s got to go.

The Ugly

Maybe you shouldn’t look.

It’s the desk.

It’s not well.

And this next one.

Oh dear.

I know what you are saying. I’m saying it to myself, too.

“Oh NO you don’t! Don’t go there again!”

I’m taking care of this one TODAY people. Today.

Now to leave you with happy thoughts, I’ll show one more good picture:

How are your cluttery spots doing?

P.S. I feel like I have so much to tell you about. A kitchen island clutter experiment that I did, my new cleaning schedule, chores for the kids, a clutter hot spot that I removed completely, and more! Stay tuned. And if you haven’t joined me on Facebook yet, I hope you will. I would love to see you there!

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Meal Plan for the Week: 4/15 – 4/21 and Umbrella Cookies

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole

How last week’s menu went:

It was a really good menu week. I made the Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole with macaroni noodles this time, and I think we liked it even better. I really need to double the recipe next time, because it was gone, gone, gone.

Favorite meal from last week:

Of the meals we made we’re going with the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Yum. And I put some in the freezer for another meal. Of course I didn’t get a picture because we were so excited to eat it that we just scarfed it down.

But I did get a picture of the Umbrella Cookies that I made for “U” week in kindergarten. I use The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies recipe. It really is the best, by the way. I just used a circle cookie cutter and then cut the circle in half to get the right shape. And I used this Sugar Cookie Icing recipe with vanilla extract instead of almond. I had help from Gabe, too. He loves to help in the kitchen, especially with baking.

Umbrella Cookies

This Week’s Menu Plan

I am feeling ridiculously blessed this week because 3 lovely ladies from my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group are providing meals for us.

Sunday 

  • A friend brought us dinner.

Monday

  • Homemade Pizza with a quick and easy crust (I use part whole wheat flour and knead the dough after mixing)
  • salad

Tuesday  

  • A friend brought us dinner.

Wednesday 

Thursday 

  • A friend is bringing us dinner.

Friday

  • Brown Rice with Black Beans (I’ll add some cumin and chili powder.) Possible toppings: Lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, cilantro)

Saturday

  • leftovers
I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!

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Another Reason to Simplify: Unemployment

Way back at the start of this blog, I listed 5 Reasons why I want to simplify. Well, here’s another one: Unemployment. I debated for quite a while about whether I should mention it here on the blog or not, but I have been realizing lately just how relevant it is to the topics here. Plus, I feel like you guys are my friends, and I just feel like letting you know.

Mr. RSS has been unemployed for several months now, and this has certainly caused us to make more moves towards simplifying.

-We aren’t buying a lot of unnecessary things.

-We aren’t going to extra events that cost money, unless it is free or someone else is treating us

-We cancelled cable TV

-We cancelled our home phone (This was actually one of the hardest things for me.)

-We are getting rid of things by selling them. In some ways, this actually slows down the process of getting rid of things, because this is more complicated than just bringing them to Goodwill. Some things will still be donated, though. I’m trying to post at least one thing for sale each week. Last week I posted 2 things on Craigslist. They haven’t sold. I think I’m going to try eBay and see what happens there.

-I am trying to simplify meals and make more frugal meals.

There are some things related to unemployment that are not really simplifying, too.

-We are both trying to bring in some income in various ways, so that can be a little crazy with schedules and such.

-Stress/anxiety/discouragement – It’s there all right. The good thing about this is that it gives us opportunities to grow in faith. Here are a few Bible verses I remind myself of often (maybe not often enough!)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:6-9

I also just want to say that we have been so blessed on this journey. God has provided for us and encouraged us in so many different ways and through so many different people. Perhaps I will write more about that another time. And I will keep you posted on the job situation, too.

Have you ever dealt with unemployment?

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Menu Plan for the Week: 4/8 – 4/14 with Bunny Cake

Chicken Divan, Lightened Up

How last week’s menu went:

Last week went pretty well. I didn’t make the quiche, but I cannot seem to remember what we ate instead! I must be getting old, or I’m sleep deprived, or both. We also did not have a leftover night, and that was because our friends invited us over for a cookout. Sweet! It was a lovely time.

Oh, and I tried the Beautiful Burger Buns as hot dog buns, and it didn’t work out very well. They were very flat and not very soft. I wonder if I used too much flour. But we were able to laugh about it and enjoy the hot dogs anyway!

The Big-Batch Vegetable Soup  (I added a bay leaf and a parmesan rind while cooking) turned out great. I didn’t want to use a tablespoon of tomato paste this time, because I ended up wasting the rest of the can I used the last time. So I just used some pasta sauce instead (more than a tablespoon). I also added diced potato instead of the pasta I had planned. It was good!

Favorite meal from last week:

I couldn’t really decide, so I asked everyone else, and of those who could clearly verbalize a choice, here’s what we had:

Gabe picked the Homemade Pizza with a quick and easy crust, Ella picked the hot dogs, and Mr. RSS picked the Chicken Divan, Lightened Up (I increased the sauce amounts, used cheddar cheese, and added curry powder).

Bunny Cake

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday –  Easter Dinner with family! 

  • Glazed Baked Ham
  • Classic Green Bean Casserole
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Bunny Cake (I didn’t make it exactly like the one from this link, but this is the same basic cake.) Mr. RSS grew up having this cake on Easter Sunday, so it has some family history. Grandma and the kids helped decorate it.

Monday

  • I got a free Artisan pizza from Domino’s Facebook offer! My sister was coming over for dinner with her kids, so she picked up a cheese pizza also.
  • raw veggies
  • grapes
  • leftover bunny cake

Tuesday  

  • Ham and Cheese Omelet
  • green salad or fruit salad

Wednesday – A certain little boy is turning 6!

Thursday 

  • A friend is bringing us dinner. :-)

Friday

Saturday

  • Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole  (I’ll top it with french fried onions instead of whole wheat bread crumbs. Yep. And I might use macaroni instead of egg noodles this time, too.)
  • raw veggies and fruit
I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!

 

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Menu Plan for the Week: 4/1 – 4/7

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

How last week’s menu went:

Last week went pretty well. I have been such a crock pot failure lately, though. I always seem to forget to get the crock pot recipes started in time! Does anyone have a great idea for this? It happened this week with the Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. I didn’t get them started in time, so I made them more like this recipe (which I have used before) that uses the oven.  I ended up doing a recipe that was something between the two, and it was good, but one of these days I want to try again to get those peppers in the crock pot on time!

Favorite meal from last week:

I’m going with the Omelet Bar (choice of cheese, a little bit of leftover ham, spinach, sauteed onions, mushrooms) was the favorite for the week. It was sort of a surprise favorite, actually. And I’m adding it to my mental list of good recipes for using up little bits of food that need to be eaten. Omelets are cheap and easy, too!

I didn’t get a picture of the omelets, but Mr. RSS assures me that you all know what one looks like. :-)

I did get a picture of the Buffalo Chicken Salad, which was another favorite (I saved some plain chicken for the kids).

Buffalo Chicken Salad

This Week’s Menu Plan

Sunday

  • Homemade Pizza with a quick and easy crust (I use part whole wheat flour and knead the dough after mixing)
  • raw veggies

Monday

Tuesday  

  • Beans and Rice – I was totally winging it on this one – sauteed onion and red pepper, taco seasoning, diced tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, brown rice (served with a few optional toppings like cheese and sour cream)
  • optional tortillas to make a burrito (the kids like this)
  • apple slices

Wednesday

Thursday 

Friday

Saturday

  • leftovers
I’m linking up with OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday, where you can find many more meal plans to check out!
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