Monday, February 22, 2010

Freezer Meal Recipes

Another month, another freezer meal swap. I'm planning on including recipes every now and then on this blog of meals that my kids have loved (except for Miss M of course, who is allergic to these). I haven't eaten the ones we just swapped, so these are from previous months.

Macaroni and Cheese
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups or 1/2 gallon milk (2% or whole is the best)
3 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 pounds sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 pounds elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and rinsed with cold water
In a big stock pot melt butter and add onion. Stir till onion is cooked but not browned. Remove from heat and add flour and salt and stir until smooth. Over medium heat add milk in a steady stream, stirring constantly until thickened. It will talk a while for it to come to a slow boil and thicken, but keep stirring. Add cheese and blend well. Pour cooked and drained macaroni into pot and mix it all together. Remove from heat. This makes 4, 8x8 inch foil pans or 2, 9x13 inch pans. Pour into foil pans. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil (at least 2 layers), and label with cooking instructions. Freeze.
Cooking Instructions: Thaw for 24 hours in refrigerator. Bake uncovered at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until its hot and bubbly and cheese on edge is browned. If it is partially frozen it will take longer to bake through.
Egg and Sausage Breakfast Sandwiches - My husband leaves for work very early, he's usually out the door around 6. I made a batch of these to put in his freezer at work, and won the good wife award (at least for a week).
English muffins,
toasted eggs (number of eggs depends on number of finished sandwiches desired)
water (1/2 tablespoon per egg)
cheese slices (American singles, cheddar, colby jack etc.)
frozen breakfast sausage patties (or sliced ham or cooked slices of bacon)
Decide on the number of sandwiches you'd like; you'll need one egg mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of water for each sandwich. I put all the eggs and water I need into a bowl and whisk them up to make scrambled eggs. You can either cook the eggs omelet style and then cut them into squares for each sandwich, cook scrambled eggs in a skillet and then pile them up on each sandwich, or if you have a microwave egg poacher you can pour a small amount of egg mixture into the egg poacher and microwave for 1 minute and 40 seconds.
To assemble place 1 slice of cheese on half of an English muffin, then egg, sausage patty (or other meat), and top off with other half of English muffin. Wrap each sandwich tightly in plastic wrap and label with heating instructions. Place all your wrapped sandwiches in an extra large ziplock bag and freeze.
Heating Instructions:Remove plastic wrap. Wrap sandwich in a paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds on 30% power to defrost. Microwave on high for 1 minute or until hot.

Chicken Parmesan
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
5 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Parmesan
1 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
Mix breading ingredients together. In a separate bowl, melt butter and garlic salt. Dip chicken in butter mixture, then in bread crumb mixture and place in a foil 9x13 pan. Pour any remaining butter over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, then foil, and label with cooking instructions.
Cooking Instructions:Frozen: Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350for 50-60 minutes.Thawed: Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.Serve over spaghetti with spaghetti sauce over all and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Hope you find something here that works for your family! Let me know if you try them out.
PS - Thanks Jenni!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Computer's Sick

Hopefully, not dead, but enough to sideline me! There are worse things, I know, but this stinks. I miss you all. . .

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Grateful Sunday

I've had a great weekend - how could I not? I am grateful to everyone for the sweet birthday wishes, the goodies and treats, the phone calls and texts. Then to follow up my great day, we have Valentines Day. ALSO . . . it is a four day weekend, just to celebrate my birthday, thank you very much. I'm grateful I have a sweet, thoughtful Valentine who makes this day special, despite it following my birthday, which he also makes special. Thanks again for a great weekend!

TrolleyCards Giveaway Winner

The winner is emily from imperfect! yeah for a "friend" winning! I'll give them your email and hopefully everything falls in place.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Love Reading Blogs

For a really cool giveaway, that not nearly enough people are taking advantage of (translation, the odds are good). . . . scroll down or click here.
Blogs saved our Valentines Day. The parties are today, and they kind of snuck up on me. Tom was out of town, and the kids got sick, so we had to pull this together quickly. Blogs to the rescue! This is who we copied:

White Chocolate Popcorn from Make and Takes - a gluten and egg free treat - perfect for our home!

Out of ribbon, so I used a fabric scrap, idea via Cheryl at a pretty cool life.

Original, and cute Valentines from Bunny Cakes

Whew - thanks to all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TrolleyCards Giveaway!!

Don't you love getting cards in the mail? I mean phone calls are great, emails are fine, facebook messages are barely passable, but what does it for me is an envelope in the mailbox that is just for me to open (and it isn't junk mail).

Don't you hate it when you've missed that important event? You realize after the fact that a card didn't even get purchased! (Happy Birthday Aaron - you would fall into this category, sorry).

Trolley Cards is a new-to-me business that offers a great service. While they aren't the first site to sell greeting cards on-line, they do offer a lot of unique features:

  • ALL cards are $4.95 (this ensures that customers pick a card they LIKE, instead of just picking one that is cheap) AND they are so pretty.

  • They have cards for practically every occasion.

  • You can add a personal message (gets printed with a handwritten font right inside the card).

  • You can add a gift card from 18 different retailers(iTunes, Target, Starbucks, Cheesecake Factory, and Nordstroms, just to name a few).

  • Schedule delivery up to 21 days in advance, and Trolleycards mails your card for you!

  • Amazing presentation--all cards are sent in a beautiful exterior envelope and sealed with TrolleyCard's wax seal.

Isn't that so cool? I don't have to load up three kids in the car and go trash the card section at Target. I'll actually have time to browse and pick one I like, instead of the grab and go method I have while shopping with kids. I can schedule it in advance - heaven!

They are offering one lucky winner 5 free TrolleyCards that they can send anytime to anyone.

Here's how to get considered for the giveaway:

  1. Visit TrollyCards and pick a favorite card.

  2. Leave a comment reporting on your favorite card.

For additional entries:

Follow Trolley Cards on Facebook or Twitter and say hello!! (Leave a comment saying you did).

Become a follower - leave another comment letting me know.

Winner will be chosen on Sunday - Valentines Day!

Additionally, everyone can get 15% off all Valentines card purchases now until Valentines Day using the Discount Code BEMINE (They even offer expedited shipping so you can get your card/gift there on time!) Also, they are doing a separate promotion where they are giving away $25 gift cards to the purchaser of the 25th card every day until Valentines.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Valentine's Ideas from Kristi

Click HERE for TrolleyCards Giveaway! I made this shirt for my 2 year old daughter and it turned out great. I bought different colors of tulle and cut them into small square pieces. I traced a heart onto this white shirt and then scrunched up the squares of tulle and hot glued them onto the shirt. Use a back of a pencil to press the tulle down and then you won't burn yourself. After all the tulle was applied, I hot glued rhinestones into the center of the tulle. Please use hand wash only on your washer, and air dry, so that nothing will come off! I might make one for myself!!

I bought copper wire at Home Depot (lots of it, about 30 feet) and had my husband help me wrap and form this big heart that hangs outside on my shepherds' hook all month long! After bending and shaping the heart, I spray painted it red and added ribbon to it as well!
Here is my ribbon wreath for Valentine's Day! I just love it! My favorite apothecary jars filled with none other then: Candy and heart shaped marshmallows!!
How could I not make a wreath out of valentine candy?!?!? This is 2 years old and still going strong!
Happy Valentine's Day! This is one of my favorite holidays and hearts are adorning my house everywhere. Here are a few ideas to help your home be filled with more valentine decor!
Love, Kristi

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grateful Sunday

I am grateful for:

a great time spent with a new friend

while my husband and I were working on our bookshelves, we listened to some CDs about communication and couples. While the CDs didn't give us any "a-ha" moments (my hubby has a minor in communications and I'm sure everything was pretty basic to him), we did have a great conversation following. I love those.

My little guy turned 5 and had a great day, a great birthday party, and I'm pretty sure he knows how loved he is. Can you guess which one is mine in a pre-school picture below? Man, I love him.

I've got a birthday coming up this week, which will probably be an excuse to indulge all week. 34 is going to be a great year!

What are you grateful for?

Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more. David Steindl-Rast:

Friday, February 5, 2010

"Get Ready For School" Bucket

It's not rocket science, and I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out.

The kids bathroom is upstairs, but often they don't want to go upstairs to get ready - all the action is downstairs. The downstairs bathroom is really just a powder room and there is no storage at all. So. . I put together a little bin of things we need, which includes a brush that desperately needs cleaning out.

We store it in our kitchen desk, AKA Command Center.

Sure has made life easier - don't know what took so long.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ring My Bell

Did you read this post of Layla's at The Lettered Cottage?

Layla is one of my decorating idols, so I was slightly excited when she showed this bell, because guess what's been hanging in my kitchen for over a year?

That would be the exact same bell.
And I had the exact same conversation with my husband that she had with hers - well I had the conversation at home after I had already bought it and hung it.

We use it to call everyone to meal time - for reals. It works great when they are upstairs, or outside and then I don't have to yell. It's really loud and everyone gets mad at me if I ring it while they are sitting at the table, but it's still fun for me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Birthday Time Around Here

We're getting ready to help my little man turn 5.

The banner is made (thanks for the idea, Jamie) and as soon as I finish this post, I can go iron on the rest of his name!
The shirt is in his favorite colors.

The bouncy balls are ready for the friends to arrive. An inexpensive bouncy ball with some vinyl lettering for personalization - I hope they are a hit.

The cake will be made tomorrow!

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