Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meal Plan Thursday

I just can't seem to get things posted on here in a timely manner, but we are eating this week.

Sunday - Chicken and Dumplings, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Monday - Lemon-Herb Chicken Legs (crockpot), Pesto Orzo, Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Fresh Fruit
Tuesday - Pick up Construct-A-Burger after practice.  It is 2 for 1 night and I have a gift card
Wednesday - Order Pizza
Thursday - French Dip Sandwiches (crockpot), Chips and Fresh Fruit
Friday - Mongolian Beef, Rice, Steamed Potstickers - my first attempt at making Chinese at home!
Saturday - We are attending a benefit Lacrosse tournament and will probably eat at the tourney.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly

This was the first thing I ever canned and it is still one of my favorites and one of my most requested.  All the peppers came from my garden.  YEAH!!!  This is a tested recipe from the Ball Blue Book (the ultimate canning guide IMHO), so it is very safe.  Original recipe calls for all jalapenos, I use 1/2 jalapenos and 1/2 green peppers as my family is not a fan of super hot things, but love this jelly.  There are many many canning sites that give great information on how to can, please consult those (or get a Blue Book) if you have never done it before.  This is just the recipe.

Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
from the Ball Blue Book

3/4 pounds jalapeno peppers (I use 3 large jalapenos and 3 green bell peppers)
2 c cider vinegar
6 cups sugar (I only use 5 - we don't like it so sweet)
2 pouches liquid pectin
green food coloring - optional ( I have never used it and get a lovely light green color that looks much more natural)

Wash peppers, drain.  Remove stems and seeds.  Puree peppers and 1 cup vinegar in a food processor or blender.  Combind puree, 1 c vinegar and sugar in a large saucepot.  Bring to a boil; boil 10 minutes, stirring constantly (use a much bigger pot than you think you will need.  This stuff bubbles up alot).  Stir in liquid pectin.  Return to a rolling boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary.  Stir in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.  Ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  ADjust two piece caps.  Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. 
Makes about 6 1/2 pints of jelly.

*** wear rubber gloves when seeding and chopping peppers --- trust me!

We love this on our bagels in the morning or served with cream cheese on crackes for a quick summer appetizer. 

Linked to It's A Blog Party Harvest Recipes
Tasty Tuesday
Tuesday Garden Party
Tater Tots and Jello Weekend Wrap Up
Quit Eating Out's Saturday Swap

Meal Plan Monday...

on Satuday!  Oh well, it was the first week of classes, football and cheerleading and I just didn't get it posted.  I did however make a meal plan and stick to it, which really saved us. 

Sunday - Make Your Own Pizzas, Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Monday - Chicken Quesadillas, Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing and Strawberries

Tuesday - Baked Potato Bar
Wednesday - Grilled Hamburgers, Lima Beans, Fruit Salad
Thursday - Picked up Zaxby's - 2 practices and an emergency trip to Barnes and Noble for school
Friday - Bunco Night!  Kids and DH ordered pizza
Saturday - Picnic with friends - I'm bringing a salad and mint for the mojitos!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Freezer Cooking Success!

My little impromptu freezer cooking session today was a success.  I completed the following -

20 Breakfast Burritos
40 Chocolate Chip Pancakes
12 Zucchini Muffins
1 Loaf Zucchini Bread
16 Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
4 batches of Pesto
1 Pizza Sauce - divided into 3 meal size portions - used one for dinner tonight
1 Chocolate sauce
1 Ranch Dressing
1 Maple Syrup (for pancakes)

As I was going through the refrigerator, I noticed we were out of pancake syrup, chocolate sauce and ranch dressing, so I added those to my list.  I also made 2 extra batches of pesto as I was afraid my basil would not make it through the heat we are expecting this week.  All breakfast items are individually wrapped and frozen, ready to reheat in the microwave.  The only thing I did not get to was the Kentucky Sugar Cookies.  I will try to get those done next weekend.

Quick, Impromptu Freezer Cooking Session

I decided this morning to participate in Money Saving Mom and Life As Mom's Freezer Cooking Event.  Crazy, I know, as I just completed a HUGE session a few weeks ago.  I haven't planned for it, but I need to get some breakfast items in the freezer before the kids start school tomorrow, so I'm all in.  Luckily I have everything I need to make the items on my list, so no grocery trip is needed. 

Chocolate Chip Pancakes - I just add chocolate chips to my regular pancake recipe
Breakfast Burritos
Zucchini Muffins
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars - adding shredded coconut and dried cranberries
Kentucky Sugar Cookies
Pizza Sauce
Ranch Dressing

I hope I can get all this done today AND get the kids ready to start school tomorrow AND finalize MY lesson plans.  It is a tall order, but I know it will make my life easier the next few weeks. 

Linked to Money Saving Mom

Monday, August 2, 2010

Meal Plan Monday - 8/1/10

It's Back to School Time!
Sunday - Book Club here - Stuffed Banana Peppers, Pesto Bruschetta with Homemade Pesto, Chips and Salsa

Monday - Hamburgers (we like them with Weber's Gourment Burger Seasoning), Roasted Corn and Lima Beans

Tuesday - Chef Salad and Brownies

Wednesday - Out to Dinner for our 15th Anniversary

Thursday - Sloppy Joes, Salad and Chips

Friday - Friends Over for Back to School Party

Saturday - Make Your Own Pizza

Sunday - Chicken and Dumplings, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Cornbread

Linking up to Meal Plan Monday at I'm An Organized Junkie

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's Time to Head Back to School....

What a week!  I start back to school tomorrow (the kids go next Monday) and I have been trying to finish up alot of projects and getting together with friends before life gets crazy again (football and cheerleading start this week too!)

Here's what I managed to accomplish this week:
  • Hosted a going away party for my nanny.  I miss her soooooo much!
  • 2 colored pencil rolls for birthday gifts.  I followed this tutorial from Skip to My Lou.  I just made it taller to accommodate the length of the pencils.
  • I completed hemming 12 napkins for my kitchen
  • Knitted 2 dishclothes and almost finished a new wrap. 
  • Covered the stool from my classroom with new fabric.
  • Fought (and for the moment winning) a battle against squash borer worms in my yellow squash and zucchini and cucumber worms in my cucumbers. 
  • Moved the entire contents of my classroom from one hall to another, in 100 degree heat, without any air conditioning.  I even put up my bulletin boards!
  • Went to Bunco, Supper Club, dinner with a great friend and hosting Book Club at my house this afternoon
  • Back to school shopping for me and Boo Boo, luckily Bubba doesn't need anything to start school except a new backpack and I have that ordered. 
  • Laundry, grocery shopping, organizing.....
One the list for today -
  • Make homemade pesto for the freezer (my basil will go to seed next week if I don't get it done today) and Salsa with my abundance of jalapenos.
  • Host Book Club - making Stuffed Banana Peppers, Pesto Bruschetta and Lemon Squares
  • Sweep and wipe down the back porch for Book Club
  • Finish laundry
  • Finalize Meal Plan for the week so we don't resort to easy takeout!
  • Give both dogs their "back to school" bath
  • Pack up my school stuff and load the car for tomorrow. 
That's a lot to get done.....