Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tex Mex Supper Was a HIT!

So I plan to share my meal from last night, in recipe form. It was a huge hit.
Cheese enchiladas with queso sauce, spanish rice, black beans--serves with diced avocado, tortilla chips and salsa.

Earlier in the day I soaked the beans  and then set them to simmer with salt to taste and two chicken bouillon cubes. Done. Cooked, and set aside to warm later.

We used white corn tortillas and heated them in a skillet until pliable, then filled each with shredded cheddar and rolled up. Placed them seam side down in a 13 by 9 pan to make 16 enchiladas. Truth be told I would have added diced, sauteed onion if it were up to me, but the moans and rejections I would have encountered just weren't worth it, so they were minus the onions.
Next I made the sauce--which I made up as I went- from 3/4 can Las Palmas enchilada sauce (Taco Bell or Old El Paso or Gebhardt is fine too), about a cup of mexican velveeta, and a can of cream of chicken soup. I microwaved it until creamy. Poured it over the enchiladas and baked until bubbly at 350.

While that was baking I brought to a boil, 4 cups of water, 1/4 cup of the reserved enchilada sauce, 1 tbsp each of chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic, black pepper, and salt. I added 3 chicken bouillon cubes. When it was boiling I added 2 cups jasmine rice, reduced heat, covered, and simmered, stirring now and then to prevent sticking, until most liquid was absorbed.

Set table, set out avocado, chips, salsa, beans, rice and enchiladas and we dug in. It was hailed as the best cheese enchiladas and rice/beans yet.

Guess we have a keeper....

Monday, October 27, 2014

Answered prayers

I was going to post the weeks menu, but it is changing quickly. The kids ate several of the ingredients and meal choices in advance, so I am scrambling to figure out food for the week until I get to ALDI, Sam's and WinCo to restock. No one realy wants to know that todays breakfast was Halloween candy and lunch will be leftover chicken BBQ meat, some beefy rice, a few meatballs and three GF chicken strips...possibly served with the last half of a bag of GF pretzels....so I am going to post about answered prayers.

I have a 16 year old and he wants to get some filming equipment before starting to earn steady income for insurance, gas, and cell service (at which point he can get his license). Unfortunately his  efforts at employment were not fruitful. So as his mom, I prayed for something to come along that fit his schedule and activities and for it to be the right timing for him.

So about two weeks after I began praying I saw a FB post that a friend needed twice a month house cleaning. I jumped on it and employed my oldest two. All I ask is $5 gas money. Then a friend called and asked Jacob if he wanted to work on the renovations of their rent house. Sure! Opportunity to work and learn about construction. Win win.  Then he got a call to help someone move items from a storage facility to their home. Done. Then his sister got called to work a shift as a fill in at the local Christmas tree farm and offered her services when needed. She also learned they need boys to work. He is applying today. So God's timing for these odd jobs has provided cash for the teens and references for future jobs and much needed experience. We are so grateful. They may end quickly, but the Lord provided the work needed, at the right time.

I had felt that maybe this wasn't the time for him to have a regular job, given his drama performances and the prospect of doing community theater in spring. God provides. Also, the boy has decided he might just extend his high school by 6 months to a year so he can work more and finish schooling before starting to save for a car and pay for college costs. The process will be slow, but all in His hands. And he will learn the value of the dollar and hard work. Besides, these teen years only happen once and when they are gone, that is it. Adult life kicks immediately into high gear. Might as well enjoy the end.

How has God worked in your family's life lately?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Late arrival of the week's menu

I like to see posts about what people are having for meals. It gives me ideas and makes life easier to have a plan in place. So, I am going to give this a shot, myself!
Homeschooling five kids, directing a co-op, and teaching bible classes, besides being the family taxi, means I have a lot going on and need that plan. Maybe it will help someone out. I will try to post recipes, or you can request them.
I have two kids gluten free so we use gluten free pastas for everyone, and sandwich bread for them. Anything gluten free probably comes from Celeste's Best Cookbook. We buy in bulk from Sam's club for many things, and also use WinCo and ALDI a lot.

Breakfast choices:
  1. toast-cheese and cinnamon
  2. homemade GF muffins
  3. baked oatmeal
  4. GF pancakes
  5. eggs and hashbrowns
  1. GF chicken strips (frozen Perdue brand) with rice and fruit
  2. Mozzarella sticks (frozen) , asparagus , chips
  3. refried bean and cheese tostadas (blended pintos from supper)
  4. fish stix (frozen) with GF pasta (possibly mac and cheese)
  5. sandwiches and chips
  1. Creamy chicken noodle soup and homemade biscuits (recipe of your choice)
  2. sausage and rice casserole with frozen steamed veggies
  3. pinto beans and rice
  4. beef noodle asian bowls
  5. knockoff Chick fil a nuggets and potatoes and beans
Creamy chicken Noodle Soup

3 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 package pasta
8 cups water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
Combine first five ingredients and cook until pasta is done. Add an extra  cup of water if needed. When pasta is done add sour cream and stir until combined.

Sausage and Rice casserole

1 lb breakfast sausage
2 cups dry rice
4 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
Brown the sausage. Put the rice in a 13 by 9 dish and sprinkle with salt/pepper/onion powder. Tope with cooked sausage (you can also add sliced onions and carrots if you want). In the skillet you used, add the water and cubes until dissolved. Pour over rice mix and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Beef Noodle Asian Bowl

1 lb round steak -not tenderized
1 head broccoli
2 large carrots
1.5 lb fettucine or long pasta
teriyaki sauce
zesty italian dressing

Cook pasta according to directions. Slice beef into finger size thin strips and stir fry in 2 tbsp olive oil until browned and done. Add veggies and 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce and 3/4  cup italian dressing. Let veggies cook a few minutes-still should be mostly crisp. Drain pasta and place in serving dish. Pour meat mixture on top and toss. Serve.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Early Rise Challenge

Earlier this year...like maybe two months ago....a friend challenged some of us at church to rise early and accomplish the day more efficiently for 10 days.


Ten days went by and we were all very encouraging as we tried to tidy the house before bed, rise early to exercise and pray and get a jump on the day. It was so great that we decided to continue as a group through the school year. We have our own social media group to post and keep up. It has been great! BUT...I have been noticing some things about our group.
1. not everyone is wired to wake early.
2. most of us need to nap if we wake early--or hit the caffeine by 2pm
3. early rising means early bedtimes, which aren't always possible
4. time changes make a huge difference for some of us

My personal obstacle is the sun.  I can't get going if the sun isn't almost up. I refuse to walk the dog or jog in the dark, and don't want to wait around an hour before doing that. I also don't want to disturb the kids...they have to accomplish school. And I don't want to "need" a nap or caffeine in the afternoon. So for me, getting up more than 20 minutes before sunrise is not happening. But luckily the autumn time change is coming! Early light is wonderful to me...early dark - not so much. But it happens.

When the time changes I will gladly rise earlier. Until then I am going to sleep in the darkness of the morning hours. And I will continue to post and enjoy my group as we encourage each other each week of the "school year". For that reason alone, it is worthwhile.

No photos???

If you have read this blog for any length of time you probably noticed that I rarely if ever, add photos. I have a very good reason.

I blog from the desktop computer which happens to be Vista operating system--probably the worst OS ever. It won't load itunes songs properly onto devices or store pictures well without crashing or run most educational software without major glitching. But it is what we have so it is what I use. My sons laptop is used for his schoolwork and movie editing and has no photos on it. The Lenovo laptop is (was) an excellent option until it was dropped, the screen broke and a few keys fell off. It has pictures, but being slow to load from the drop and having missing keys, it is difficult to type on. My phone could do it, but seriously---who wants to do a blog post from an iphone??? Not me. Thumb typing is hard enough on texts.

So that is why I am sans photos at this point. I hope this changes in the next 6 months---searching for a Windows 7 laptop for school and basic use.

Until then I will just have to run my mouth. And I hate that because pictures add so much!

It is what it is.....