Monday, December 28, 2015

Menu: Week 125

I hope everyone had a great Christmas full of family and friends. I have to say though, I'm certainty glad it's over. It took me two days to clean up the Christmas mess in my house and i'm still behind on laundry and grocery shopping. I'm ready to move on to new years.

I'm wondering if I will be able to stay up to see 2016 roll in or if I'll be an old soul and fall asleep early? These are the questions that will be answered soon enough.

I hope you enjoy this weeks menu. It's simple but still yummy.

Monday
- Potato Soup

Tuesday
- Ham grilled cheese

Wednesday
- Taco Soup

Thursday
- Spaghetti

Friday
- Eggs and Sausage

Saturday
- Turkey Sandwiches

Sunday
- Tuna Sandwiches


Monday, December 21, 2015

Menu: Week 124

Merry Christmas! I hope all of you have lots of plans with your family this week, I know I do. Christmas eve with the in-laws where my mother in law is going to teach me how to make Lefsa (A potato tortilla that is traditional in Norwegian culture) Its also a family tradition. We sometimes have it with cinnamon and sugar for breakfast or if its dinner time, we eat it with flank steak and cheese. Its so yummy. I can't wait to learn how it's made.

Enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday
- Spaghetti

Tuesday
- Chicken tacos

Wednesday
Teriyaki chicken

Thursday
- Lefsa with the in-laws

Friday
- Christmas with the family

Saturday
Beef stroganoff

Sunday
- Tuna sandwiches


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

10 Christmas Traditions to Start This Year

With this being the first Christmas in our new house, my husband and I wanted to start some new family traditions that the boys could be excited to look forward to.

1. The Tree Hunt -This year, our new tradition was hunting for the perfect tree. In the past, we had a fake tree due to limited space and funds. Now that we have an amazing living room area, we wanted to fill it with the smell of fresh pine. The kids were super excited and eager to trek through the mud, but of course the two younger monsters fell asleep in the car on the way to the tree farm. We still managed to pick up a nice little tree for our home.


2. The Minivan Express - There is this great idea out there on the Confessions of a homeschooler blog. Its a fun way to to take a ride to see all the lights and incorporate the polar express experience. Check it out.

3. Christmas Story Advent Calendar - This year I got the boys one of those cheesy advent calendars where you open the door and find a stupid little piece of chocolate inside. I've done it, you've done it. Who hasn't? Maybe next year i'll try buying the boys a book for every day and having them unwrap it before bed time. That way we can snuggle and read a good story.

4. Christmas Ornament - I've done this one in the past and it is a great one to fill your tree with memories. Every year, purchase a new ornament that means something to you and your family. Have your kids pitch in and pick one out. After a few years your tree will be filled with memories instead of those matching sparkle balls that you buy in a twenty pack.

5. Leave Your Shoes out for Santa - This is kind of along the lines of a stocking. Leave your shoes by the fire place or tree for Santa to fill with goodies for Christmas morning. The kids will love waking up to a special treat.

6. The Christmas Pickle - There is an old German folk tale where the pickle was the last thing to be placed on the tree. It was hidden deep down inside the bows of the tree and the lucky child who found it would get a year of good luck. This could be fun, but I would suggest you not use a real pickle...

7. Advent Activity - Another advent idea is to have an activity to do each day before Christmas. It could be sledding with Daddy, or seeing Christmas lights. How about making Christmas cookies. You could really use your imagination on this one.

8. Christmas Movie - This is one that my boys would love. They love having movie night and staying up late to cuddle on the couch with me. Pick a Christmas movie, pop some popcorn and let the snuggles begin.

9. Elf on the Shelf - I've heard a lot of fun things about this tradition, but I neither have the time or will power at the end of the day to pull it off. If you've never heard of the elf on the shelf, then google it and enjoy the laughs.

10. Visit Santa - Of course, if you're going to do anything, make sure you get a picture with Santa. Your kids will either love it or hate you for all eternity. :)

And of course, you can always come up with your own new traditions that your family will love. I plan on getting some really fluffy socks and cuddling up next to my hubby with a cup of hot coco. Merry Christmas!   

Monday, December 14, 2015

Menu: Week 123


I can't believe how close Christmas is. We have less than two weeks to finish our shopping and making sure all the baking is done on time. I know I'm feeling the crunch. What about you?

The boys are having a blast buying presents for each other with the money they have been saving all year. I'm so proud of my little monsters, they've saved a lot.

Enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday
- Baked Penne Rigate

Tuesday
- Creamy Bruschetta Chicken

Wednesday
- Grilled chicken tacos

Thursday
- Chicken Teriyaki

Friday
- Hard Cider Pork Chops

Saturday
- Spaghetti

Sunday
- Dinner with the in-laws (Learning to make Lefsa)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Upside Down Cake

It's the time of year when our kitchens are filled with the smell of home cooked meals and our fridges are full of half eaten leftovers that we'll most likely throw out because we are sick of eating the same thing for days on end. Do you know the feeling?

I'm going to give you a simple way to use some leftovers to make a wonderful desert that everyone will enjoy, and you can make it gluten free too. I also lost the photos I took of the cake when it was whole, so you get this one photo I took with my cell phone. Sorry. :(


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter
  • 12 ounces fresh or leftover cranberrys
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten free flour mix
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 TBS orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
Directions:
  1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine the brown sugar and 4 TBS butter. On medium high heat stir the mixture until all the butter is melted. Stop stirring and let the mixture simmer for 15 seconds or so.
  3. Pour the Brown sugar mixture into a greased 9 inch cake pan. Spread the cranberrys on top of the brown sugar mix.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Mix in butter and sugar, then add the eggs and orange zest. Finally add the sour cream and milk.
  5. Pour the batter over the cranberrys and smooth the top.
  6. Bake in the over for about an hour. Let the cake cool for about ten minutes before you remove it from the pan.
It will smell delicious and you will want to eat it right away. That's what I did. Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Menu: Week 122

Well, folks. Its less than three weeks until Christmas. Are you ready? I am not. I haven't even started my shopping yet. I'm a last minute gift-getter.

This week with all the rain falling and me still hoping for snow, we are going to have some easy recipes that will warm your bellies.

I hope you enjoy.

Monday
- Chicken Caesar salad

Tuesday
- Mongolian Beef

Wednesday
- Tortellini soup

Thursday
- Chicken Fajita quesadillas

Friday
- Garlic parmesan chicken

Saturday
- Pizza night

Sunday
- Toads in a hole




Wednesday, December 2, 2015

DIY Argyle Christmas Wreath

I love argyle and I love Christmas, so why not put the two together and come up with an argyle Christmas wreath? A few years ago I made a wreath for my mom out of simple and easy to find materials. Its super simple and I will show you how.

What you will need:

  •  Straw wreath in a size of your choosing. You can find these at any craft store.
  • Two colors of yarn. One for the main color and one for the crisscross color.
  • One color of felt for the diamonds.
  • Hot glue gun and scissors. 
Making the wreath is easy but a little tedious. You have to wrap the yarn around the straw wreath as tightly as possible so you can't see the straw showing through. This is going to take a little while. For me it was about an hour. One you have the whole wreath wrapped you can tie off the yarn on the back of the wreath so you can't see it.

Use the felt to cut diamond shapes to glue onto the front of the wreath. The amount of diamonds depends on how big you make them and how far apart you space them, so make sure you lay them out on your wreath before you glue them on to get your spacing correct.

Take the second color of yarn and glue it to the back. Wrap it at an angle one way around the whole wreath and then wrap it the other way to make the crisscross pattern over the diamonds.

And that's it. You have a wreath. Now you can always add a ribbon like my mom did to hers, or just hang it without like I did. Pick any colors you like. Get creative and as always, share what you made so I can see what you came up with.






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