Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Crock Pot Recipe

In an effort to post more regularly, I'm just going to post random items. Perhaps that will get me more into a groove and then I can post more intelligently! lol! On that note, here's what I made for supper tonight. Comforting Cube Steaks. I had originally planned on Beef Stew. However, when I went to the store there was only one package of stew beef to be had *and* cube steak was on sale! So, I modified my menu to use them. I fell back on this recipe that I've used for a few years now, specifically in the fall and winter, when a warm, hearty meal fits the bill. I most often serve it with mashed potatoes, but it is lovely with rice as well. A few notes:

1. I do not cook mine in the oven. I use it, as stated in the title of my post, in the crock pot :) It always turns out super fall-apart-tender. I love being able to throw everything in the pot and go about my day!

2. I do not use Cajun seasoning. Most often I will use Lawry's or Montreal Steak Seasoning.

3. I use homemade onion soup mix. It works just fine.

4. Because we are a mostly gluten free house (my husband can't have it), I make my own "soup". It is based on this recipe. When I first found this version, I followed it to a t. Now, honestly, I mix milk and cornstarch (about 4 cups of milk with 1/2 cup cornstarch looks about two cans of soup) add some salt, garlic, pepper, and celery salt, and call it a day!

I wish I had thought to take a picture when it was finished cooking, but I had hungry children waiting to be fed!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Menu Plan Monday-Autumn Weather Approaches

Hi There!

I apologize for my extended absence. Life has been super crazy around here. My husband had a surgical procedure last week where he had a salivary tumor removed. The surgeon remarked it was one of the biggest ones he's every seen...he even took a picture of it. Luckily, we found out today that the pathology report came back fine! Unfortunately, he started swelling  quite a bit and found he was full of saliva and blood. He got that taken of, thankfully, but it was a bit stressful.

Here in my neck of the woods, the weather is starting to cool off. Temps have been in the mid to high 70's in the afternoons and in the mornings and evenings, they have been in the mid 60's to low 70's. Fabulous! I have a feeling that it's going to be a fairly harsh winter this year, so I'm breaking out the autumn food! Without further adieu, here's this weeks menu:


Pan fried pork chops
Brown rice


Comforting Cube Steaks
Mashed potatoes


Ham steak
Cottage potatoes
Green beans


Potato soup


Date Night




Beef Stew

For more menu ideas check out orgjunkie.com!

Friday, September 13, 2013

September Musings

I had really hoped that once September came around and the kids went back to school that things would calm down. Of course that's never the case, is it? I seem to be busier than ever! Cub Scouts are getting ready to start back, I've gone back to volunteering at the middle school, my two youngest are at a new school so I've been trying to help there (though they don't need as much help as the middle school!), and I've joined the women's group at my church. In between all of that and Boy Scouts (which doesn't stop for the Summer), I've been reading a new to me mystery series (I just finished A Rose From the Dead), keeping up with laundry, and going to the school events that happen when school starts up (open house, back to school night, pta meetings, ect).

I really do have plans for this blog. If you ever check on it, please know that things are coming once I get my schedule under control!

Meanwhile...I volunteered to make a cookie tray for our women's group meeting on Monday. I've found several interesting recipes and if they turn out well, I will share next week!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Party On A Budget: Back to School-Goodie Bags

I was hoping to do a "Fall for cotton Friday" post, but alas, I have yet to cut my pattern, let alone my fabric. Very behind on that! So, today I bring you the goodie bags from our Back to School party. Those, to me, are the best part of a party. I love to make them, especially. It's always fun to think of something cute that goes with your theme, that you think your guests will enjoy. I wasn't sure at first what to do for this though. The kids already have scads of supplies and I didn't want to spend a lot of money. To the internet I went for inspiration! Drawing ideas from here and here, I made each of them a Back to School Survival Kit. Everything but the Almond Joy bars came from the Dollar Store or Party City (Party City carries loose candy relatively cheap. I think 25 pieces for less than a $1).

                                       I tied the bags closed with leftover ribbon from the BTS banner

I typed up an explanation of each item, mounted it on card stock, and attached it to the bag

Here's what the tag said:

To start the year off right, I'm giving you a Back to School Survival Kit.
There are Smarties to boost your smart brain power and a Rubber band
to help stretch your mind. A Tootsie roll is to remind you to roll with the
punches. There's a Sponge to remind you to soak it all in and a Pencil to let
you know how sharp I think you are. The Lollipops are to remind you that
you can lick any problem that comes your way. The Eraser is to remind you
can start each new day with a clean slate. The chocolate Hug is to remind you
that I love you. The Starbursts are to remind you that you are always a star and that
everyone shines in their own way. I hope this year brings you great Joy

Of course, it was cuter on the tag, with a different font and colors highlighting the objects! The kids loved it and it was an easy and inexpensive way to start the school year off with a bang!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Party On A Budget: Back to School-Decorations


As previously noted, today was the first day of school for my kiddos. I can't say they were thrilled, but I was more than ready to ship them off. Don't get me wrong...I love my children to bits and I missed them something fierce, but I also loved being able to read in a quiet house, not having to listen to bickering because they were getting bored with each other, and getting a chance to use my computer for more than five seconds before it was commandeered by someone else.

Truth be told, I think they were ready to go back. They all came home with smiling faces and good things to say about their days.

To get them ready for the big day, I had a little Back to School party for them. Now, I have a very strict budget, but I wanted something fun for them too. A good party has all the essentials: decorations, gifts, good food, and goodie bags. I started with the decorations. I went to my favorite budget place: The Dollar Store. Seriously, this place rocks. It is my go to place for seasonal stuff and I knew I would be able to find something there for not a lot of money. Here's what I purchased:

                                                 Flash Cards, Sentence Strips, Teacher Signs
                                         (excuse the poor quality of the photos. My camera sucks)
                                             Punch out letters, Ribbon, Composition book

Total: $10

I selected a few of the sentence strips with words and used the blank one to write matching French words on them. My oldest is taking French again this year and I thought she'd appreciate it. The letters, ribbon, and composition book became a banner that reads "Back to School". I made everything with a Sharpie and double stick tape. I thought it turned out pretty cute!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (September 2-8)

Boy did this week fly by! I can't believe it is September already! Do you know what that means? It means that in my world, it's Autumn and I'm celebrating by using the cute Fall banner for MPM provided by Laura over at orgjunkie.com!

In my neck of the woods, school starts Tuesday. It's going to be a busy week of trying not to oversleep and getting everyone out of the door on time. Not only that, but I just know I'm going to relish the peace and quite and nothing is going to get done the first few days! Keeping that in mind, I've tried to keep the menus quick and easy as we settle into our new routine of homework time and early bed :)

Monday-Back to School party/cookout. More on that later this week.

Tuesday-Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, peas, grain free Apple Cake

Wednesday-Open faced hot roast beef sandwiches (using leftover roast from Sunday), green beans, potato patties (made from leftover mashed potatoes), pudding parfaits

Thursday-Italian chicken, sauteed zucchini, rice, ice cream

Friday-kids are with grandparents and I have a Cub Scout Committee meeting. DH on his own!

Saturday-Date Night

Sunday-Marinated pork chops, creamed spinach, fried eggplant, salad, apple dumplings

Are you excited for cooler temperatures and comfort food? Visit orgjunkie for more ideas!