Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cantaloupe Bread / Muffins

Last summer I discovered that you can make bread using cantaloupe puree much like you can do with pumpkin. I had an overflow of cantaloupe left from the garden and decided to try it. The bread has a very mild flavor with hints of cinnamon and ginger and is a nice way to use up your fresh produce. You can even puree the melon ahead of time and freeze it in 2 cup increments for later use.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Menu: August 1-14

It's hard to believe that Miss S. is almost 1 month old and that I am back to writing menus. It was really nice having a month's worth of menus done up ahead of time so I'm thinking about attempting a few 2-week menus. What do you prefer? Do you like the 1-week, 2-week, or 4-week menu format?

Week 1: August 1-7
Week 2: August 8-14
If you'd like more ideas, check out the "master" list.

Temperance: Getting Out of Debt

In September of 2008 we were at our whit's end with finances. We had a negative cash flow, 5-6 credit cards (a few of them were maxed out), 2 car payments, some medical bills (our oldest spent almost a week in NICU at birth), a couple of student loans, and our mortgage.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Maternity Leave Menus: July 4-31

I am due with Miss S. today (June 28th) but have gone 41 weeks with all 3 of my other children so I'm just planning on it this time around as well. I will meet with my doctor later this morning to schedule a date and time to induce. With that in mind, I have prepared 4 weeks of menus in case I don't have time after she arrives to put them together on a weekly basis.

Week 1 (July 4-10)
Being the hubby will be off of work for this week whether baby #4 has arrived or not, he will be cooking (or more likely grilling) dinner tonight. Also, if baby has arrived and I am home from the hospital we will probably end up with some family/friends over for dinner.
  • Ahi Tuna Wraps with mango salsa, roasted red potatoes, sauted veggies (zucchini, summer squash, onions, peppers, etc. all tossed in herbs and olive oil then sauted or even grilled) and frozen juice pops for dessert.
  • Sub Sandwiches (grilled chicken breast), pasta salad, and grilled peaches ala mode. I will also have the hubby grill up some chicken breast for use later this week.
  • Chicken enchiladas (I made a double batch a month ago and froze it for easy use now), and black beans and rice
  • Grilled Chicken Pizza
  • Grilled Chicken Salad
    • grilled chicken strips
    • romaine lettuce
    • boiled eggs
    • mushrooms
    • black olives
    • turkey bacon
    • feta cheese
    • fat free dressing
Week 2 (July 11-17)
Week 3 (July 18-24)
Week 4 (July 25-31)
If you'd like more ideas, check out the "master" list.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Temperance: Eating for Weight Control

Our Story (You can check out our updates here)
Over the weekend Jared found a couple of pictures of us at our heaviest. It was quite a shock to look back and really see how other people saw us. When you are obese, you try not to have your picture taken very often and when someone does catch you on film you tend not to look at them very close or keep them out for others to see. Both the hubby and I were (and still are) obese. Weight is something that we've both struggled with since we were young. Granted a small part of it is probably due to genetics but most of our struggle is due to the choices that we've made in the past and present.
Early March 2006
(I was around 245 at the time.)
 I have never really been small (got to love that Norwegian and Swedish heritage) and shifted blame almost solely to my large frame for weight struggles most of my growing up and early adult years. I refused to accept that I was obese because of the choices I had made and was continuing to make.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cold Melon Soup

While we were on our cruise back in February, I tried cold soup for the first time. I really enjoyed the different soups that we had, everything from pineapple raspberry to melon. With that said, Miss E. has been asking me every week or two if she can make some soup since we let Mr. R. make chili last month for the cook-off. One of the local grocery stores had a melon extravaganza this week and I decided to pick up several varieties. I figured that now was the time to experiment with cold soup being the temperatures have been in the high 90's. I will mention that the cold soups we had on the cruise were all fairly sweet and I wanted something with a little more subtle flavor.

The Many Uses of Cucumbers

Extra cucumbers in the garden this year? Feel like you've got them coming out of your ears? Cucumbers are a great summer garden veggie. They are fairly easy to grow and one small plant can produce dozens of cucumbers. I recently heard that there are many more uses to cucumbers than simply topping your salad.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quick and Easy Garlic Herb Mac'n'Cheese

I love Mac'n'Cheese and have tried several different recipes and variations. After seeing an episode of Everyday Italian on Food Network, I came up with this variation on Mac'n'Cheese. It's quick, easy, and full of flavor.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gnocchi Adventure

The hubby and I went out for dinner with a few friends recently. We went to a little Italian restaurant nearby and decided to have a little fun by ordering for each other. Now we had just seen an episode of Guy's Big Bite featuring Spinach Gnocchi. The hubby commented on how easy it looked to make and said that we should try it sometime. When I saw that this particular restaurant had a Potato Gnocchi dish with a garlic cream sauce, fresh peas, pancetta, and chicken, I decided to order it for him. We were not disappointed. The dish was absolutely delicious and really made us want to attempt making it.

Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

I've been looking for a good garlic cream sauce recipe and I've finally found it. I love this sauce recipe! It has a rich, creamy flavor and works well with any pasta.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Book Review: Tithing by Douglas LeBlanc

I was recently provided with a copy of this book through BookSneeze.
Tithing is a study book in the Ancient Practices series by Thomas Nelson Publishers. This short book contains eleven chapters that each focus on arguing for the discipline of tithing. The author interviews influential people from different religious backgrounds as to their reason for tithing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Spicy Chicken Sausage Penne

I enjoy "couponing" to the point where it has almost become an "addiction" at times. About a month ago, one of our grocery stores had a sale on Johnsonville's new chicken sausage and I had a coupon (which I used on a double coupon day). I decided to make something new with it and was very pleased at the outcome.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

She's Here

I ended up being induced on Friday, July 1 and "little" Miss S. made her entrance into the world on Saturday, July 2 at 2:19am. I say "little" as she is my biggest baby weighing 9lbs. 8.7oz. and measuring 22" long (tall babies are a given when you are 5'7" and your hubby is 6'5"). We are all doing well and I should be heading home later today.

The hubby is already excited about grilling out tomorrow and has decided on Ahi Tuna Steaks instead of the original brats. I'll post the menu changes as soon as I know which recipe(s) he's decided to use.