Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - April 25

We really have a busy week this week.  Football Spring Practice starts after school each day and Lacrosse is still going strong, which means double practices twice this week.  In addition, the school year is winding down which really means I have much, much more to do.  I am depending on some quick and easy meals to get us through the next couple of weeks. 

Sunday - Ham, Turkey, Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus, Deviled Eggs, Baked Pineapple and Pound Cake
Monday - Shrimp and Grits
Tuesday - Easter Leftovers
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Chicken Pot Pie (shelved last week due to FIL's surgery)
Friday - Chicken and Bacon Subs (shelved last week doue to FIL's surgery)
Saturday  - DH and Kids are on their own, I have a school event

Friday, April 22, 2011

What's For Lunch Week of April 18th

What a week!  My FIL was admitted to the hospital unexpectedly on Tuesday, shifting our usually routine.  He is doing well and coming home today thankfully.  But as we all know things like that can certainly throw our usually balanced schedule off.  Add to that an evening doctors appointment I had forgotten about and the honor of seeing several of my students honored at the school board meeting and dinner and lunch plans were thwarted!  I had planned on cooking a great deal this week and using the leftovers for my lunch plans.  Not cooking = no leftovers = no lunch for me! So, here is the good, the bad and the ugly of my scattered week. 

Monday -  Leftover BBQ Chicken Pizza, banana
Tuesday - Leftover Chef Salad
Wednesday - Cafeteria lunch at school
Thursday - Pizza ordered as part of a school celebration
Friday - was going to be another cafeteria lunch, but my fantastic work spouse brought tomato sandwiches.  YUM!  He truly saved the day. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday Garden Party - April 19th

 These are my roses, not so great looking.  They are a mess actually.  Usually at this time of year they are orderly and in the process of filling out to produce beautiful pink, white and yellow roses.  Not this year.  As I was preparing to cut them back several weeks ago, I found this....

A momma cardinal sitting on 3 lovely speckled eggs in a nest she made in my yellow rose bush.  There was no way I was cutting my roses back and jeopardizing Momma Cardinal and her three babies.  So, I will just have to do without my usual gorgeous display of roses this summer. 

Sharing at The Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I LOVE BBQ Chicken Pizza.  It is truly one of my favorite specialty pizza, along with any kind of pizza that includes pesto.  The problem is I am the only one in my house that will eat it, so I don't make it very often.  However on Saturday I decided to make homemade pizza and cater to everyone's favorites.  I also decided to spend some time and energy into making new pizza crust recipe that included rising and resting time.  That meant this was going to be a labor and time intensive venture.  I made one medium cheese and pepperoni pizza for DH, one small pesto with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses for the kids and one small BBQ chicken pizza for me.

BBQ Chicken Pizza
One small pizza crust, ready for toppings
1/4 c BBQ sauce (use your favorite)
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
1 T carmelized red onion, diced
1 T roasated red peppers, diced
2 T fresh cilantro, cut from the stem, leaves whole
1 1/2 c cheddar and jack cheeses, shredded

Preheat oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. 
Toss BBQ sauce, chicken, onions and peppers.  Top crust with mixture. 
Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven top with cilantro leaves and cheeses. 
Bake for 5 minutes more, or until cheese is hot and bubbly. 
Let rest for 5 minutes, cut and serve.

The Crust Experiment-
I used a new recipe that involved 1 1/2 hours of rise time and a 10 - 20 minutes rest before shaping and topping the crust.  I expected a fantastic, delicious, out of this world crust.  I was disappointed.  It was no better than my very good, standard 10 minute crust recipe I inherited from my mom.  So, I have decided from now on to stick with  my mom's crust, no more 3 hours pizza crust experiments for me.  So, if you have put off making homemade pizza because you think it takes too long or is too hard, try this recipe.  It is just as good as the more labor intensive recipes and my family loves it.

Quick and Delicious Pizza Crust
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 t sugar
1 t salt
2 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour ( I use 1 cup whole wheat)

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in remaining ingredients;  beat vigourously 20 strokes.  Let rise about 15 minutes.  Divide dough into halves.  Pat each half in to an 11 inch circle on a lightly greased cookie sheet or pizza stone.  Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake at 450 for 20 minutes.

Linked to -
Beauty and Bedlam
It's A Blog Party
Good Cheap Eats
What's On the Menu Wednesday
Eat At Home

Monday, April 18, 2011

What's For Lunch - Week of April 11th

Back to school after Spring Break is hard, just that little taste of what summer will be like makes it difficult to get back into the routine.  BUT, tempting as it was to forgo making my lunch this week, I persevered and as always, come lunch time I was glad I did.

Monday - Roast Beef Sandwich with Horseradish Cheese (YUM!), Pretzels, Banana
Tuesday - Chicken Salad with Crackers, Babybel Cheese, Banana
Wednesday - Roast Beef Sandwich with Horseradish Cheese, Pretzels, Banana
Thursday - Leftover Roasted Sausage and Potatoes, Strawberries and Grapes
Friday - Zaxby's House Salad - I NEEDED this today !

Meal Plan Monday - April 18th

We veered away from our menu just a bit last week, but we still ate at home, so I consider it to be a success anyway.  Here are our plans for this week.

Monday - Chef Salads (after 2 lacrosse games)
Tuesday - Crockpot Baked Potatoes, Fruit
Wednesday - Chicken Pot Pie and Fruit
Thursday - Parmesan Chicken Breasts, Baked Pineapple, Roasted Asparagus, Hashbrown Casserole
Friday - Chicken and Bacon Sub Sandwiches, Veggies with Ranch Dressing (didn't get to this one last week)

For more great menu plan inspiration visit I'm An Organized Junkie

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Garden Party

I just love Spring in the South!  Here's what's been blooming in my yard the past 2 weeks.

 Flowering Almond
The last picture of my Bradford Pear.  A HUGE part of it broke off in a storm 3 days after this picture was taken.  We have an tree service coming to cut it down next week. :-(

Linked up to Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage

Italian Pot Roast

Happy (early) Birthday to me!  While visiting my mom over Spring Break she offered to give me my birthday present early.  Come on, who can turn down an early present???  It was this lovely beauty---

An enamel covered cast iron dutch oven in LIME green.  And for Sunday dinner, I used it to make a delish Italian Pot Roast.  This was the first time I made a roast in the oven.  I have always used my crockpot, but never again.  This one was so flavorful, moist and tender.  YUM.  There was NOT ONE piece left for me to take to lunch on Monday.  *Note to self - Buy bigger roasts!

 Sunday Dinner - Italian Pot Roast (recipe below), Mashed Red Potatoes, Gravy and Roasted Asparagus.  My family was very happy. 

Italian Pot Roast
courtesy of Sandra Lee

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) chuck roast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup beef broth - I used 2 cups beef broth and omitted the wine as red wine gives me terrible migraines - couldn't tell the difference.
1 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 small onion, halved and quartered
2 bay leaves
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 325°.

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed, oven-safe pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook for 5 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Stir in broth, wine, Italian seasoning, onion, and bay leaves. Cover tightly.

Bake at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Add carrots, and bake 1 hour longer, or until tender. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve over rice, if desired.

Linked to -
Beauty and Bedlam via incourage
It's A Blog Party
Good Cheap Eats
What's On the Menu Wednesday
Full Plate Thursday
Life As Mom

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Meal Plan Monday - April 11th

Last week was our Spring Break and I did not cook ONE thing!  We were visiting my parents most of the week and then once we got home, we were out with friends each night.  It was a truly wonderful vacation, but truth be told I am ready for some home cooked meals (and so is my family). 

Sunday - Italian Pot Roast (in my new enamel coated cast iron dutch oven), Mashed Potatoes, carrots and Asparaugs
Monday - getting our taxes done, so we will grab something somewhere after that ordeal is finished.
Tuesday -
Wednesday - Italian Sausages in the Crockpot with pasta, roasted Asparagus
Thursday - Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken, Zuchinni and Squash Ribbons, Couscous
Friday - Chicken Bacon Sub Sandwiches, Veggies and Ranch Dressing
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - 2 Lacrosse games so not sure???

For over 400 meal plans, visit I'm An Organized Junkie.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

March Counterfeit Kit Scrapbook Layouts

Here are just a few of the layouts I made using my March Counterfeit Kit.  I made 10 different scrapbook pages which is more than I did all of 2010!  Here are my favorites. 

Many thanks to the ladies at the Counterfeit Challenge Blog for the inspiration! 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Counterfeit Kit - April

If you haven't discovered the Counterfeit Kit Challenge, they you must head over there and check it out.  This month's inspiration kit is a good one.  The concept has really jumpstarted my scrapping again. 

This has been a VERY busy Spring Break week for us, so it took me a bit longer than usual to put my kit together, but I finally did it and I really like how it turned out.  I am not so into birds, so instead I focused on butterflies.  My inspiration paper was the MOD floral with birds and butterflies I found so much in my stash to coordinate with it.  I made most of my butterfly embellishments with my Cricut.  I had a great time playing around with all the options.  I can't wait to play around with this fun kit!

My Paper Choices
Lots of Bazzil and DCWV Cardstock.  Patterned Papers are a mix of MOD, American Craft, Making Memories, Heidi Grace, Fontwerks, KI Memories, Daisy D's, and Pressed Petals

Burlap, 3 fabric swatches, 6 ribbons/trims, buttons, 1 large MM chipboard alphabet, 15 butterflies, silk flowers, one bird, 2 chipboard tags, letter stamp set, silk and Prima flowers, 2 die cut leaves on vine, Mod puffy stickers set, black rub ons and 4 printed chipboard circles

Hop on over to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog for some more great inspiration kits.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesday Garden Party - What's Growing in the Garden

Look what I found peaking out of the ground this week!  I'm so excited to see the first signs of my garden coming to life.  These are my peonies, waking up from their long winter's nap. 

I also found these lovely broccoli crowns in the vegetable garden.  They didn't last long... they were delicious roasted with dinner the other night.

 And, the first mint of the spring.  I just had to make some iced tea to enjoy with it.

Linked up to Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage

Friday, April 1, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

It's time to celebrate blogland with the Ultimate Blog Party hosted at 5 Minutes for Mom.  This is a great opportunity to enjoy some fantastic blogs.  I hope you  find something you like and keep coming back.  I am wife to a great guy and  mom to two really awesome kids.  I also teach advanced geography at one of our county high schools.  My kids are super involved in football, lacrosse, basketball, cheerleading, Girl Scouts and gymnastics.  We are contantly on the go and I try really hard to stay out of the drive thru at dinner time. 

Love Being In My Southern Kitchen is where I share my kitchen and craft adventures.  I LOVE to cook and I am very proud of my family's southern roots.  Many of my fondest memories include special foods my grandmothers or my mom made for us.   Recently I have been trying to cook more from scratch and reduce the amount of processed foods my family eats, just like we did growing up. 

Several of my favorite posts are below.  Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Granola
Cocoa-Almond Biscotti
Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
Vanilla Almond Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Mexican Black Bean and Spinach Pizza
Meatball Subs
Shrimp and Grits

Thanks for stopping by and joining the party!