Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - July 26th

Last week’s menu went pretty well. I did end up skipping the cube steak and the kielbasa as we used up some leftovers those nights instead. This week our schedule isn’t quite nailed down so rather than planning for individual nights I’ve come up with a list of meals we can have and based on our plans for the day, I’ll pick and choose. I know that one night we’ll be meeting up with my brother in law and his family and we are also planning to spend a couple nights at the beach house weather pending. I’m heading out on Friday morning for a girl’s weekend in Hampton Beach, NH. I can’t wait – beach time, trashy magazines to read, nails to paint, shopping, fried dough, a nice dinner, cocktails and dancing ourselves silly. I’m sure my husband will be ordering pizza Friday night. I only needed to plan 3 dinners this week as well have breakfast, lunch and snack foods available.

Here’s what I plan on cooking this week:

Italian Marinated Split Chicken Breasts, Grilled Mixed Vegetables and Potatoes
Hamburgers, Hotdogs, Baked Beans and Corn on the Cob
BBQ Cubed Steak, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Cucumber Salad

Breakfast will be cereal, waffles and yogurt.   For lunches we have tuna, leftovers, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese and tossed salad.

For more menu ideas and links to recipes check this week’s Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie.

Have a great week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Fun Photos

Here's a pictoral glimpse into the activities that have kept our family busy over the past few months and have also been a portion of the reason I wasn't blogging.   Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we enjoyed the memories made:

First Grade Garden Party

Memorial Day Parade - Daisy Troop Procession

Neighborhood Kids at our Memorial Day Picnic

Dance Recital - Ballet

Grandpa took us to the Dinosaur Crossing when he visited

Spring Soccer

4th of July Weekend at the Beach

Sandcastles in Rhode Island

On the way back from ice cream at "The Shack" in RI

Our Family at Charlestown Beach, RI

It's been a great spring/summer so far.   Now I'm trying to regroup for the second half which includes a Girl's Weekend in Hampton Beach, a getaway to Newport, Rhode Island, and more time at our family's beach house.   Somewhere in there we also need to get my daughter's summer reading and math scavenger hunt completed as well as get ready for school to start on August 30th. 

Hope your family is making good memories this summer as well.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

After Vacation Chaos

Re-entry to real life after vacation sure is a lot of work. Most of that work seems to be laundry. I have been washing and hanging out clothes non-stop for the past three days. Of course have I put any of them away yet??? Noooo…..

Today is a cloudy showery day here so I’m going to take a break with the washing and get all these clean clothes put away. My To Do list is a mile long and while I’ve been busy working hard the past two days I feel like I’m spinning in circles and accomplishing little. It’s time to make a plan that focuses on fewer tasks. And then actually follow them through to completion.

Today I am going COMPLETE the following tasks:
  • Put away all clean clothes – and require help from the kids with theirs
  • Prep Tossed Salad and Cut Up Veggies
  • Clear my ‘desk’ aka countertop of all mail, papers, etc – sort by priority
  • Start tackling the paperwork that needs action – I know I can’t finish this today
  • Get Birthday Cards and a gift for my daughter from her little brother

While I’m tempted to add to this list I’m not. I have a second list going of things that need to get done but I’m not going to focus on them today. If I come across other things throughout the day I will add them to the second list for action another day.
Now it’s time I walk away from the computer and get going. On a positive note I already took a half hour walk this morning at 5:30am. With both kids home it seems that this is the only time I can get in my exercise and burn off some steam.

Wish me luck on having a productive day. Hope yours is as well!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Links I Liked - Summer Produce

Here are a few shots of my garden. I’m very pleased with the results thus far. It’s smaller than I wanted this year, hence a bit crowded and needs a little more weeding and pruning but it’s starting to produce nicely. I almost think that in the past I’ve been overwatering as it did well with me gone for 10 days.

Harvesting a few zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers and green beans yesterday has me excited about all the fresh summer foods available. I found a few great blog posts on using the abundance of summer produce available to us from farmers markets and grocery stores as well as our own gardens.
Give these a look:

The following two posts are from Jami at An Oregon Cottage. First is a great collection of light, easy, veggie oriented meals in her post Favorite Easy Summer Meals. This second post is one on Freezer Jam that I wish I had before strawberry season ended here. I’m bookmarking this one for next summer.

Take advantage of the great sale prices on red peppers and check out Holly, The Mostly Happy Stay at Home Mom’s process of preparing Roasted Red Peppers. I didn’t get any into my garden this year but I’m going to snag some at the next sale and make these.

Jessica aka FishMama at Life as Mom has dozens of links to summer recipes including grilled meats and vegetables, salads and treats. Check out her BBQ Recipe Ultimate Recipe Swap for some summer backyard party ideas.

Hope you enjoy these links as much as I did.   Have a great day!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - July 19th - Penny Pinching Menu

I have just recently gotten back into menu planning and really need a penny pincher menu this week. We just got back from 10 days at the Rhode Island shore after spending 7 days at our family’s house on Long Island Sound. I am dog tired, yet I have to climb Laundry Mountain and feed everyone this week. After vacation expenses and upcoming bills, I really need to try to stay out of the grocery store until after payday. So in between washer cycles I put together this menu for the week:

Sunday – Pantry Scrounge

Monday – Steak Kabobs, Grilled Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Onion (with the exception of the onion these are from my garden!!), Bread Maker Bread

Tuesday – Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs, Rice, Green Beans (also from my garden)

Wednesday – Crock Pot Cubed Steak, Mashed Potato, Corn

Thursday – Birthday Girl’s Choice – My daughter turns 7 and gets to choose dinner. Right now it sounds like she wants pancakes or French toast. Easy, yummy and budget friendly – I’m not going to complain!

Friday – BBQ Keilbasa, Baked Beans, Sweet Cucumber Salad (cucumbers are from garden)

Saturday – Sandwich Night, chips, carrots and celery sticks (above mentioned 7 year old is having a Chuck E Cheese party with her girlfriends this afternoon so keeping it simple)

Sunday – Afternoon Family Birthday Party – Appetizers, Cake, Ice Cream. I still need to figure out a few appetizers. I’m trying to keep it easy and inexpensive. The party is at 2pm so it’s between lunch and dinner.

Lunch options for my husband are tuna, chicken or egg salad sandwiches, leftovers or tossed salad. The kids will have peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese, soup, macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. Snack choices are goldfish crackers, jello, ice pops, gogurts, applesauce or animal crackers. We really need fresh produce around here. Thankfully the garden has provided a few things.

Grocery day is Friday so in order to make this work I need to do a little bit of scratch cooking. My ‘wish’ list to accomplish is:

Hard Boil Eggs – DONE
Bake Bread
Make Cucumber Salad
Make Jello - DONE
Plan Sunday Appetizers
Bake Cookies (?)

I also need to plan out my grocery trip and should probably draft out a menu for next week based on any good deals I can get on Friday.

For more great menu and recipe ideas check out this week's Menu Plan Monday at I’m an Organizing Junkie. Have a great week!