Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Menu Plan Monday – December 31, 2012

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Wow! The end of the year.  This year has been a whirlwind.  The last couple months being the roughest with so much sickness.  We had a very small, quiet Christmas.  The weather has been cold and we had rain all day Christmas Eve and Christmas, the rain has dried up, but it’s been windy and chilly.  

I’m way behind on posting on here.  I had so much I wanted to share before now, but with sickness, Christmas and my hard drive crashing I wasn’t able.  So, I’m hoping that in the next couple of weeks I can share some of the great recipes I managed to make over the holidays.
Menu for the week:
Monday:
Sweet n Sour Meatballs
Rice – Double it
Veg
Tuesday:
Hot Dogs
Chips
Wednesday:
Chilaquiles
Thursday:
Meatloaf
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Friday:
Chicken Enchilada Bake
Saturday:
Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes
Gravy
Peas
Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup

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For more great menu ideas head over here.
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Favorite Find Friday – Cast Iron Skillet

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Finding cookware that can multi-task is awesome.  I love being able to use these skillets in the oven, on the stove-top, on the grill or over an open fire.  You can bake, fry, deep fry, saute….really just about anything in cast iron.  I just got a big 12 inch skillet and I am so excited about it.  This is a kitchen item that you really can’t break.  Even if you make the mistake of using some abrasive cleaner, you just have to start over with seasoning it.  You can go here to read about the proper way to care for your cast iron.


I found this 12″ Lodge Cast Iron Skillet for $20 at Walmart.  



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Gluten Free Caramel Sauce

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I found this recipe over at Heavenly Homemaker.  I was looking for one without corn syrup. I made my first batch with brown sugar as I was making it for a crowd.  If I was doing it just for us at home I will use sucanat for it.  This was a huge success and I used it for the Gluten Free Samoas I made since I had it left over and I was very happy with it.

My only warning is to start it out on medium so your sugar has time to melt before it starts to boil, you really only want to boil it for 1 minute or it will start to turn to candy.  Again, I stored this in a mason jar and it reheated great on the stove in a pot of water.

2 cups sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cream (heavy whipping cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the sucanat, butter, and cream into a medium sized saucepan and heat over medium  heat until ingredients are melted and well mixed, stirring constantly.  Bring mixture to a boil and boil for one minute, while continuing to stir.  Pour mixture into a mixing bowl (I actually did this right in the pot) and add vanilla extract.  Whip with beaters for three minutes so that it will thicken. (I’m not sure how long I beat this, I did it by desired thickness.)

This made about 2 cups of sauce.

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Menu Plan Monday – December 17, 2012

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This past week I have been trying to make up for lost cookie baking time.  I made Gluten Free Caramel Biscotti, Gluten Free Samoas (Girl Scout Cookie), Chocolate Chip and we cut out Sugar Cookies – I used a mix for this because I had it.  But, it’s not super tasty, though the kids had a fabulous time doing it, it was a tad stressful for me by the end of it, but it gets easier every year.  I have a lot to do this week to get ready for Christmas.  Many food gifts to make and a few craft items.  I will post a recipe this week in case you want to make a new cookie.

I am also hosting a Christmas Tea Party for my Homeschool Moms Group.  I’m excited about this.  I will try and take lots of pictures and post them and recipes.

I made my menu starting from December 2nd and running through January 5th.  I have not followed it exactly so you may see repeats on the menus, those will be when I changed and then added it back in for another week.  The freedom of menu planning is wonderful, you’re not locked in, but you don’t have to think too much it’s all laid out there for you to choose from.

Monday:
Hash – I will use left over sausage, potatoes and carrots and dice it all up and fry it up.

Tuesday:
Roast Chicken
Potatoes
Carrots

Wednesday:
Tamale Pie

Thursday:
Beefy Noodles

Friday:
Coconut Curry Chicken
Coconut Rice
Carrots

Saturday:
Sloppy Joes
Chips or Potatoes
Veg or Salad

Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!



For more great ideas head over here.

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Favorite Find Friday – Tortilla Press

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If you’ve never made your own tortillas, you should!  It is definitely worth it.  You know how the store bought corn tortillas never really soften up enough?  They still break when you roll them.  I hate that.  These are so much more pliable.  So much more delicious.  To do this you will need this gadget.  I love this one that I got.  It is cast iron, so it’s heavy and doesn’t move around during use.  Being cast iron also ensure that it should last forever.

I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  They don’t sell them in the store, but if you go in they’ll order it for you and you can use one of their coupons.  It will be shipped to you.
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Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

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Hot Fudge Sauce

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My son described this as liquid brownie…..it really was so very good, surprisingly simple to make and quick.  You could have hot fudge sauce in less than 15 minutes.

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk (You might be able to use less than whole, not really sure.  I used cream because I had it on hand, next time I might not and I’ll use whole milk)

4 Tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

In a medium size saucepan, over medium heat combine sugar, cocoa powder and cream.  Whisk together and stir occasionally, as the sugar melts and then it will come to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil stir in the butter.  Continue cooking until desired thickness, stir in vanilla and salt.

After cooking I put this in a mason jar.  They are made to sustain heat and reheating in a pot of water on the stove, or I guess the microwave.  I don’t have  a microwave, so I can’t speak to this.  If you don’t have a mason jar you could just put it in a bowl, once cooled.  Then scrape into a pan and reheat over low heat.

This would also be a great gift idea.  Put it in the mason jar and tie a pretty bow around it.  If you want you can bring some ice cream with you when you deliver it and if you’re lucky they’ll ask you to stay!


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!

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Menu Plan Monday – December 10, 2012

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Today is my oldest son’s 16th birthday!  I canNOT believe that!  Happy Birthday, Son.

We have been relatively healthy for the last several days and no one has come down with anything else!! Rejoicing in this and praying that we can stay this way.

We finally got our tree up and the house decorated for Christmas and even hung lights outside on the house.  Being sick since before Thanksgiving totally threw me off my game.  I haven’t baked any Christmas cookies, but I hope to remedy that this week.

I did make some delicious Caramel Sauce and Hot Fudge Sauce this week at the request of my son for his birthday.  Huge hit at the party and super easy to make.  I will share the recipes soon.

Another accomplishment that I’ve been wanting to do but have put off – I made corn tortillas.  I got a tortilla press for my birthday and just hadn’t gotten around to making them.  This also is a super easy and oh, so yummy item you should definitely invest in making at home.

Menu for the week:

Monday:
Pasta Carbonara
Salad

Tuesday:
Tacos

Wednesday:
Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Peas

Thursday:
Sweet n Sour Chicken
Coconut Rice
Carrots

Friday:

Bean & Cheese Enchilada

Saturday:
Sausages
Potatoes
Carrots

Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup (I didn’t make this last week)


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!



For more great menu ideas head over here.

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Menu Plan Monday – December 3, 2012

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OK, you caught me, it’s actually Tuesday.  I have been sick, AGAIN!  I am still recovering.  My family has been bombarded with sickness on/off for weeks now.  I am praying that this is the end of sickness once this runs it’s course. Needless to say I’m way behind on everything, including blogging.  Thankfully, though, in between sicknesses, I made a FIVE week menu plan!!  Yay!  I’m so very thankful for this.  Having a menu to pull from when it’s hard to even think is such a blessing.

I’m also behind on Christmas decorating and our Advent Devotions.  I’m playing catch up now and it’s not too late for you to catch up if you haven’t started.  Celebrating each day the Coming of Christ’s birth and anticipating it through Scripture.  We’ve been doing a “Jesse Tree” for the last few years and this year I found a great guide through the Scriptures and devotion here, download for free.  Even if you don’t cut out the ornaments and hang them on a tree it is a wonderful focus on the Real meaning of Christmas.  It’s so easy to get caught up in activities and presents that we lose focus. 

Monday:
Garlic & Oil Pasta
Salad

Tuesday:
Cheeseburgers
Potatoes
Salad

Wednesday:
Salmon Patties
Roasted Veggies

Thursday:
Caribbean Chicken
Sweet Potatoes
Veggie

Friday:
Meatloaf
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans

Saturday:
Today we’ll celebrate my oldest son’s 16th birthday!
We’ll be having some of his favorite things.

Sunday:
Loaded Baked Potato Soup


Cookbook available for purchase!! Click here to purchase!  Get your copy today!



For more ideas head here.