Tag Archives: Dinner

Ch-ch-ch-changes….

Our fluffy, fatty learned to climb and jump and last night he decided to pull an all-nighter. Cats. Dirty little stay-out!!

Back-to-school always brings a new routine with it and, try as we might, it ALWAYS takes a couple of weeks of tweaking and a TON of patience as we all get in to our new groove.  I’m a structured person and change is rarely easy on me, however, God’s grace can carry us through…..if we let it and so far……so far…..a fairly successful week.  We only have a few binders to purchase and some extra loose leaf paper…not bad, not bad…

1.  Oldest son started high school.  New faces, new classes, taking the bus for the first time EVER and so far….so far…..he only got on the wrong bus the first day (coming home).  Aside from that, it appears his transition–especially the waking @ 5:30 a.m. change, has gone pretty well.

2.  Youngest son’s academic brilliance overshines his common sense on occasion and had a little lapse of such during a rainy afternoon resulting in major miscommunication with Dad.  All ended well, its times like these that I have to keep repeating to myself……he’s only 13, he isn’t using his full brain yet…he’s only 13….it’s painful though.

3.  Oldest daughter forgot her backpack one day BUT remembered her lunch.  Dad to the rescue which meant getting snagged in morning school traffic….GRRRRr…..tweak, tweak, tweak….must get in the habit of remembering all that’s to be remembered…

4.  With rain ALL week long the girls FINALLY had practices last night, so we’ve had mostly all family dinners this week!  Which I love.  And which will also be the biggest challenge for me with these evening practices messing up our dinner schedules, but see how good God is??….he eased me into it this week.  How often do YOU have family dinners??

This puppy is on sale now and has some GREAT dinner ideas….a lovely addition for our weeknight dinners…save money….save time…eat well….I like it, I like it!!

5.  Hubby has taken on the coupon challenge and is in the researching phase (and accumulation phase) of coupons and how to work the sales.  He is a detail guy and has infinitely more patience than I in these matters and I look forward to him steering this ship AND saving us some cash!!!  We’ve reigned in our grocery bill for our family of 6 (2 teen boys included) to roughly $600/mo…but I know we can go lower.  What’s your average??

6.  I finally broke down and bought new sneakers.  My work ones are shot, so I’ll swap out my walking ones for work (not my favorites) and use my new ones for walking.  Broke them in on the track at practice last night….3 miles!!  Nice.  Add to that 2 days at the gym (3 today) and I’m feeling pretty good about this week.  Woop woop!!  Definitely helps to manage the stress level!!

My feet liked these….on sale@ Kohl’s…

7.  Having dinner and a night out with one of my oldest girlfriends tonight and several other high school friends. She’s in town from California and it’s going to be a min-high school reunion!  She and I have been friends since 7th grade!!  It will be fun…but with an early game tomorrow morning this Mama will be home early-ish so I’m not so grumpy tomorrow.  That leaves Hubby on practice drop off/pick up, etc, etc….he’s the Bomb and a Blessing.  Balance.  All Balance.  A constant work in motion, isn’t it??  Have  a great weekend!!

Join in @ Conversion Diary and check out what Jen and the rest of the world have been up to!

Sneaking it in…

Turkey was on sale this week at our grocery store.  A whole turkey.  Like Thanksgiving.  So turkey was on the menu this week.  Mostly because I figured it would be great leftovers.  Hubby was home so he put it in the oven.  Once it was almost finished cooking I got started on the sides.  I had decided on mashed potatoes and green beans.  I had 3 potatoes.  Hmmmm.  BUT.  I had a whole head of cauliflower also.

And so, I boiled up those 3 potatoes and that head of cauliflower.  Added in some butter, 1/2 a block of cream cheese and some skim milk.  Topped it off with a 1/3 of a block of cheddar cheese and Voila!  Rave reviews.  Not completely healthy, but not ONE person complained.  Not one.  OK…OK….not COMPLETELY healthy but absolutely healthier than straight up mashed potatoes fully loaded.  There has to be balance.  Moderation, folks!

I also spied a can of sweet potatoes.  So I topped it off with a little brown sugar, marshmallows and graham crackers and next thing you know……

Thanksgiving in July!!!

No complaints.

Not much in leftovers either.

Ah well.  At least my family was happy.  And full.  And fed (mostly) healthy.

Date night and U2

Hubby and I celebrated our 18th anniversary a couple of weeks ago, however, it was smack DAB at the end of the school year with a flurry of kiddo stuff, so we finally went to a nice dinner to celebrate last night.  Hey, better late than never, right?

Impressive building, eh? Not only houses the culinary school but the Photography school and Museum.

We went to the local state college because we had heard great things about their Cafe 101:  the culinary school that offers lunch (reservations only @ $10) and dinner on Wednesdays (reservations only @ $15).  The meal was fabulous.  I’m still full.  Four courses.  A limited menu, however, Hubby and I ordered opposite choices and pretty much sampled the menu.  I’ve never had such amazing conch fritters.  There goes my mouth, watering again!

Lovely, intimate atmosphere. Seats 75. I think there were 15 people tops the whole time we were there.

It was nice to get out.  We don’t realize how busy we are during the week, working and tending to children and family life.  Weekends are filled with chores and family outings (next weekend we have friends visiting–WOOT WOOT!!!) , so getting away just the two of us is rare.  Uninterrupted conversation, catching up on the week, etc, etc.  The funny thing is (or pathetic, depending on how you look at it), during the day, I jotted down notes on my phone of things I wanted to make sure we discussed during our date.  OY.  These aging, multitasking, distracted brain cells.  Know what?  It worked!

To top the evening off, we did a little price shopping on eyeglasses for our youngest and a new pair for Hubby.  Holy COW they are expensive, so we wanted to see if we could get a better deal than our ophthalmologist’s office–yes, about 1/2 off!!!!!

Came home to kiddos getting along, showered, full of pizza, settling in to watch America’s Funniest Videos and ready for bed.  It was a good night.  And my date was great!!  He smelled real good, too! Falling asleep, we both laughed recalling one of our first dates when he said something to me as U2 was playing SO SOFTLY on the radio that somehow I thought I heard “I love you”.  My response was , ” Love me?  You hardly even know me?!”  After laughing, he explained he loved U2—DUH!  That wasn’t awkward at all.  So we still laugh and we both remember EXACTLY where we were when I said it.  Good times.  Good times!  At least now I can say, “I love you, too”  and “I love U2”, because they are both still true!

Blessings and Happy GO SKATE DAY!!!

My boy, grinding a rail last year..generally he prefers to film!

Running away….for 26 hours!

With 17 hours in my old city to visit friends (and 6 of them filled by sleep), I wanted to make the most of my time.  I wasn’t able to see EVERYone, but the friends I did manage to visit……QUALITY time.

The trip was spontaneous-ish and came about because a sweet friend is moving from my old city to Washington D.C. with her family.  I happened to be taking a few days off of work at the same time.  The girls lucked into a VBS @ a Catholic school the next town over for the same week (with my neighbor who was driving there AND back!!).  Hubby was on board and encouraged me to go.  And so, the quick “up and back” plan was hatched.  Continue reading

Last Friday in May?!?! or 7 months until Christmas…..

— 1 —

We’ve been in a rut (according to the kids) as far as dinner goes, so I’ve been letting our youngest (8) pick out a few new dinners from our Publix Apron Meals collection.  (We grab the recipe every week while they stalk  chat up Rick, the cooking dude and see if he has any grub ready.  Last week was a Rib dinner (not so great), Scallop dinner (delish!) and Honey mustard chicken pasta (pretty tasty).  This week, she picked out Peanut Satay chicken.  I figured it would be tricky, since we aren’t a very spicy or Thai craving people….however, OH MAN!  Huge hit.  Especially the Edamame sauté side dish.  We’ll keep up with this…it’s shaking up dinner in a good way!

— 2 —

I finished the Kite Runner.  I can’t say my Hubby didn’t warn me.  Multiple times.  I just finished yesterday.  It was “difficult”.  In that heart wrenching, yanking it out of your chest, stomping on it, trying to shove it back in “difficult”.  A glimpse of a life I really can’t bear to think about most days.  I’m still processing the book.  Rest assured, the next book will be light and fluffy.  Maybe the next two books. I need to regroup.

— 3 —

We hit the beach for Happy hour last night.  I needed it after finishing my book (see #2).  It was great.  Nice breeze.  Refreshing water.  Fun waves.  Ahhhh.  My soul rejoiced.  Heart refreshed.  Zero calories and no hangover 😉

— 4 —

Adoration.  Lunch break.  Never disappointing.  I went for peace regarding a few things in my life right now…ask and you shall receive.  (Matthew 7:7) Super cool.  I don’t ALWAYS get my prayer request answered so quickly!!  Sadly, I did NOT get the handout with bullet points and step-by-step instructions as to the direction I should take.  It’s coming though.  Probably in the format I least expect, seems to be how it usually works out.

— 5 —

The kids all received their FCAT scores from their teachers and everyone passed.  Hallelujah!  There wasn’t a “doubt” per se, but there’s been a lot of controversy on the testing changes this year and they had to have an emergency education meeting for the state to address the scores (they were THAT bad).  It’s an awful test.  Every year they take it is another year I mourn the fact I can’t home school (sorta) and not subject our kids to this ridiculous test and the immense amount of pressure it brings to the teachers and the students.  EVERY.  YEAR.  There must be some growth in it for us.  somewhere.

— 6 —

Apparently, my our lazy summer plans just got less lazy.  Our youngest wants to do Pop Warner cheerleading.  She’s been interested before, but dance and soccer have always won out in prior years.  This year she’s committed.  And our oldest daughter wants to play Club soccer.  She’s been conditioning with DaddiO this week, running and biking and will start drills next week since tryouts are in about 10 days.  She’s better than she thinks she is, she’ll just need to find that “competitive” spirit and learn to dump the “nurturer” to the curb during game time.  Thankfully the boys will be focusing on skateboarding and practicing French Horn and Xbox.  And they have their little lawn business.  So they are set.  phew.

— 7 —

We’ve been hitting the old home movies this week.  The girls LOVE to see themselves as babies (their baby scrapbooks are worn. out.)  The movies are putting them over the moon.  Meanwhile, Hubby and I have vacillated between sadness, laughter and absolute AMAZEMENT that we made it through those years mentally intact–for the most part.  It’s such a bittersweet, tangible thing to see your sweet BABIES and toddlers and now you look UP to look them in the eye.  Surreal.  And I did not enjoy those years enough.  I am, however, relieved that I am not really shrieking or scolding anyone (on camera), and I have video proof that I did laugh, so maybe I enjoyed it more than I think and it just went so quickly I don’t remember.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

and my other May blogging friends!

Laura

Lynnell

Apurva 

MB

Brite  

Amanda 

Lea 

Yum, yum…the kids loved dinner!

This week when I went grocery shopping I had the what-to-cook-for-dinner blues.  Seems like this happens a couple of times a year when I get completely uncreative for dinner.  The kids give the same suggestions.  Though tasty and nutritious, we just get in a rut.  So, I did a quick run through of some recipe books and came across a long forgotten recipe.  So long forgotten that I don’t think I’ve ever cooked it for the kids!  I’ll link you to the original recipe at Pillsbury, but I’m providing my options for the blog.  All I can say is the kids could not rave enough about how AWESOME.  how DELICIOUS.  how AMAZING.  how this was the BEST.  DINNER.  EVER.  Seriously.  I felt like Guy Fieri  (without the crazy hairdo) or Paula Deen  (without the white hair).   Even the picky kiddo had seconds.  Yeah.  I said it.  Even the picky one.

Fair warning:  if you are watching carbs, it’s not the recipe for you.  BUT.  If you want your kids to kiss your cooking hands, wash the dishes and eat seconds…..enjoy.  I sure did.

MEXICAN FIESTA BISCUIT BAKE 

We are not big olive fans and my kids aren’t big pepper fans, so I left those out.

2 Cans Grands biscuits, cut each biscuit into quarters

1 can refried beans

1 can black beans

1 can red kidney beans

1 block cheddar cheese, shredded

Jar of salsa

Place butter into 9X13 dish into preheated oven @ 375 until melted

Place biscuit quarters in pan

Spread out refried beans or use a spoon and drop it around

Pour  drained beans onto biscuits

Pour Salsa over beans, biscuits

Bake @ 375 for about 45 min

Sprinkle shredded cheese ontop of biscuit bake and let it melt

Serve with sour cream (optional)

May you receive the adoration and rave reviews I was blessed with!

**image via Pillsbury link

Friday….or the day before vacation starts!

— 1 —

It’s Friday, the end of a long week and the last day of work before I have a week of STAYCATION enjoying Christmas break with the kids, hubby and my sister and nephews…(Bro-in-law has to work—boooooo hissss)!

— 2 —

We had our parish priest over for dinner this week. We let the kids decide the menu:  Chicken Enchiladas.  They decided that all our priests and deacons should be served some sort of Mexican dish.  Taco stuffed shells, Tacos, now Enchiladas.  It was a hit. I think they just want an excuse for lots of cheese and sour cream.   It was a great dinner and plenty of entertainment provided by our two youngest who had the MOST to talk about and ask questions of our very gracious guest.  Dinner was followed by peach cobbler (yum) and the girl’s “performances”.  Lots of them.  Cheerleading tricks.  Complete with one sister (accidentally) dropping another on her head.  Magic tricks that weren’t quite magic.  and lots of “Father Chris, Father Chris…”  It was fun.  And it was funny.  Will have to have the conversation with the girls on hogging the priest next time…

— 3 —

I.  Finished.  Our.  Christmas.  Shopping.  (I think)….need to go to all my secret places and take stock and double-check that the boxes I received (hopefully safely after the whole FedEx and UPS videos lately, OY!!!…) from UPS contain what I ordered.  Otherwise….it’s going to get interesting.  I probably should do that tonight.  Just in case….

— 4 —

I.  Am.  Over.  Food.  After our pizza lunch today, I am certain that I am breaking up with food.  Or after our Christmas dinner tonight at my brother’s house.  Or after Christmas lunch.  Yes.  That will be when.  For sure.

— 5 —

I was able to get in THREE days of exercise this week.  Yup.  Sanity is somewhat intact, peeps.  My friend and I have even begun strategizing our post-Christmas workout plan in between coffee and cookie breaks.

— 6 —

Next week I am going to pretend to be a Stay-at-Home mom.  Which means I’m hitting the gym.  Or some kind of exercise all week-long.  And then I won’t be at home.  At all.  Because SAHM’s really DON’T stay home.  They are everywhere else, doing all kinds of errands.  I’m SO out of practice, but I feel up for the challenge!!

— 7 —

Tonight we build the gingerbread house.  Yes.  It is tradition.  And with onlyTWO. DAYS.  LEFT.  We are running out of time to complete our traditions!  YIKERS!!  Don’t worry, the tradition of mama (and now papa) staying up quite late with the finishing touches on Christmas Eve is sure to continue!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!