Monday, July 26, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

10:56 PM 3 Comments
Welcome back to the blog, folks. I'm so sorry for skipping out on you over the past couple of weeks. Camping didn't go as well as I'd expected and on top of the emotional turmoil, I came back with a very, very bad sunburn. I couldn't move because of pain for a few days and then I've been dealing with the other physical side effects. Emotionally, I'm still a bit of a wreck but I'm holding out hope that the relationships can and will be repaired soon.

Now, let's get to the menu for this week. The boys are with their dad until Thursday so it's going to be really simple cooking. So, let's see what we've got:

Monday - n/a
Tuesday - Pasta
Wednesday - Rice
Thursday - Ravioli
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Lasagna
Sunday - Cheeseburgers

Seems simple? Well, it is. I'll toss some veggies with things and it will all be yum yum yummy!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Save the Planet Saturday

12:00 AM 4 Comments

How many of us give into the temptation and stop at fast food places? Unless you have phenomenal willpower, I suspect that most of us do from time to time. Did you know that you can practice a bit of helping out the planet, even when you dine at fast food joints? No? Well, you can in two simple ways.

1. If you're running through the drive through on your way home, tell them that you don't need those ketchup packets, nugget dunking sauces, extra napkins or plastic utensils. You've already got all of those things at home!

2. If you're dining in or on your way to someplace where those things aren't accessible, figure out just how many you do need and ask specifically for that amount. That way, you save all of those extras for the guy behind you in line, instead of for the landfill!

Quick and easy and even the "laziest" of going greeners can do this one!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Save the Planet Saturday

12:00 AM 3 Comments

One of the most annoying things about summer, other than the heat and humidity, is the bugs. I really am not a fan of the millions of flies that seem to invade my house or the millions of mosquitos that seem naturally drawn to my oldest son. I've seriously been outside and watched them swarm him while they ignore my younger son who is standing right next to him.

So, what can we do? Well, this summer we're going to try one of those home remedies that I've read about. We're actually going to carry dryer sheets in our pockets. I've read quite a bit that this seems to be some sort of natural repellent. If that doesn't work (and I admit I have my doubts), I'll be going the chemical route. We'll be looking for a more natural, eco-friendly bug spray and if nothing else, it will be DEET free. Also, we'll go with something that has a pump versus aerosaul.

Our theory is every little bit helps and in this case, hopefully it will help save us from some serious scratching and itching!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Camping Recipe: Smoky Sweet Baked Beans

12:00 AM 1 Comments

Smoky Sweet Baked Beans
4 oz bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (28 ounces) baked beans
¼ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon prepared chili powder
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350-450 degrees)
2. In a large ovenproof saucepan, cook the bacon over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Add the baked beans (with their liquid), ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
3. Lower the temperature of the grill to low heat (250-350 degrees) and continue to cook the beans over direct low heat with the lid closed as much as possible, for 15 minutes, stirring all the way to the bottom of the pot occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Camping Recipe: Grilled Carrots

12:00 AM 2 Comments

Grilled Carrots
8 medium carrots
½ stick unsalted butter
½ tsp red wine vinegar
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt, divided
¼ tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 tsp minced Italian parsley (optional)

1. Peel the carrots and cook them in boiling water until they are partially cooked but still crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and rinse them under cold water for at least 10 seconds to stop the cooking.
2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat. (450-550 degrees)
3. Lay the carrots flat on a work surface. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the nutmeg and vinegar. Brush the carrots with about half the butter mixture and season them with about half of the salt and pepper.
4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the carrots over direct high heat, with the lid open, until lightly charred with spots and stripes, 3 to 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Move the carrots to a platter, brush them with the remaining butter mixture, and season them with the remaining salt and pepper. Sprinkle parsley over the top, if desired. (Serves 4)


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Camping Recipe: Baked Apples

12:00 AM 1 Comments

Mmm...Baked Apples. Another of my favorite camping recipes and heck, just one of my all time favorite desserts. They're sooooo yummy! I only wish we were going to have some icecream on this camping trip to go with them!

Baked Apples
Granny Smith Apples
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon Candies (optional)
Caramels (optional)

Use as many apples as you need for your camping crowd. Core the apple, leaving a thin layer on the bottom. In the cored out area, put a pat of butter and about a tablespoon of brown sugar. This will depend on how big your apples are, remember the brown sugar will melt down into the butter. The rest is up to you! You can put in a few cinnamon candies, or a couple caramels, depending on the flavor you like. Wrap the apples in foil (if your coals are hot, double wrap. If they are cooler, single wrap) The apples are placed on the coals and rolled every 10 minutes or so. They usually take about a half hour, depending on the heat of your coals. If you are lucky enough to have a freezer,  serve these with some yummy french vanilla icecream. Otherwise, serve them with whipped topping, cheese or just as they are!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Camping Recipe: Campfire Banana Split

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Ready for something really yummy? This is one of my favorite camping desserts! It's quick, easy and super delicious!

Campfire Banana Splits
Favorite Toppings: Chocolate Chips, Mini Marshmallows, etc.
Aluminum Foil

Peel banana. Split banana lengthwise, push open like a hotdog bun. Add toppings. Wrap completely in foil and place in coals (outside edges) of campfire for 3-5 minutes.

That's it! Be careful when removing it from the coals. The foil will be hot! Carefully unwrap it and enjoy!


Monday, July 5, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

12:00 AM 2 Comments

Welcome to another Menu Plan Monday. This week is our Grilling/Camping edition since that's where I'm going to be for the rest of this week and part of next week. Instead of leaving y'all with nothing to read, I'm going to post one of our recipes each day. These will be the actual recipes that we'll be using at camp and I hope that everyone enjoys them as much as I hope we're going to be enjoying them.

So, let's start with the menu:

Thursday- BBQ Chicken & Salad
Friday- Turkey, Potatoes, Stuffing & Grilled Carrots
Saturday- Burgers & Corn on the Cob with Basil-Parmesan Butter
Sunday- Pork Chops, Baked Beans & Baked Apples

Also on the menu: S'mores, Campfire Banana Splits and of course, Hot Dogs!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Save the Planet Saturday

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Happy almost 4th of July, everyone! If you're like our family, you're going to enjoy the holiday and all of the fun that it entails. If you're also like our family, you want to add a bit of the "Going Green" philosophy to your holiday, so here are some tips:

1. If you're going to attend the fireworks, see if there are any within walking distance or find some friends and family that you can carpool with.

2. Add some locally raised veggies to the menu. Check out your local farmer's market for deliciousness!
3. Skip the paper and styrafoam plates. More often than not, these end up in the local landfill.
4. Make sure you turn off all burners and flames once you're done with them. Grilling is fun but hot grills are also dangerous when you have kids running about!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time for Me Thursday

9:33 PM 2 Comments
Happy super stressful Thursday, everyone! Ugh. I am so not ready for this weekend's super awesome fantastic wonderful incredible company or the camping trip next week. My house is honestly a disaster and I'm going to be honest and say that it really hurts my feelings when someone isn't even surprised that my house is a mess. I've been accused of being a hoarder. Maybe. It hurts though to hear someone say it with such disdain and without any kind of understanding. Instead, some understanding and acknowledgement of the fact that I've really spend the past year trying to get things under control would really go a long way. I am aware that I have a problem. I am also aware of why I have this problem. Please don't judge me or make me feel bad about it. Feeling bad just encourages the problem.

So, what am I doing to help with all of this? To help me feel better about me? I'm remembering how many boxes there were when I moved in. I'm remembering how many boxes of things have gone back out and the fact that I have a box almost ready to go and another garbage bag 2/3 of the way filled with clothes. Once they're ready, I'll list them and that will be a bit more of out of my house. I'm spending time cuddling my boys and hanging out with them. I'm going to read them another chapter of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse. Then, I'm going to come downstairs and see what else I can do tonight to prepare for next week's trip. I'm not going to dwell on the negative but remind myself of the positives.


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