Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Meal Planning

Long post because I'm including some directions and ingredients.....Sunday and Monday food!!

Without having to work this past Friday AND Monday (yesterday), I received this extra energy boost.  (Like cleaning.  I cleaned their house, the apartment, etc.)  However my other boost was given to me for cooking.  Thankfully!

Sunday night was small group which I was pretty pumped about.  That probably also gave me another good amount of energy. :)  We had tacos and I brought dessert...

Brownie Cake from Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics cook book. yumm yumm yumm!
My mom got me this book as a gift for one of my bridal showers and inside it says, "Can't go too long with out brownie cake!"  And oh it is SO true! :)

Here's the list of goods...
Grease (or cooking spray) bottom of 9in round pan, sprinkle flour and have it evenly spread out sticking to the grease and remove excess flour.

Mix: in a medium bowl with wire whisk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs

-Pour into greased and floured pan
-Bake 40-45 minutes (or 30 mins in the Kaisand oven) or until top appears dry
-While it's baking cut the strawberries in friendly-sized pieces . :)  Because strawberries are so good with it.  (raspberries are a good option too)
-Cool cake for 10 minutes, remove from pan and place on cooling rack or just leave it in the pan
-Top with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries

yum yum yum!!! :)

Monday I was good to go and happy.  I had nothing else better to do then clean and cook.  But I put some food in the crock pot because it was something new.  NEW NEW NEW.  Can you believe it?  I made something new.  It smelled so sweet all day long! YEAH! :)

What you need and what to do:
Pork roast (or beef roast because that's what I had)
Carrots (as many as you desire)  or you could use dried apricots if you love them
Place onion in freezer with outer layers off for 15-20 mins prior to cutting.  It helps with the tear-issue.
1 medium onion, thickly sliced (seriously thick)
1 cup chicken stock (or beef is using beef roast)
1 (18 oz) apricot preserves (I used Walmart brand, but Smucker's is good too.)
2 T Dijon mustard (again I just used mustard because I use what I have)
1 T thyme leaves
salt and pepper
plus...some stuff for roast which I'll include soon.

First, layer bottom of crock pot with onions and carrots (or those dried apricots).
Then season roast with: onion powder, garlic salt, cinnamon and place in crock pot.
Mix in a bowl with a whisk: preserves, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper, (mix well) and then add the stock.  The stock will make it soup-like but that's okay as long as you got the other stuff mixed in well.
Pour it over the roast and it cooks for 6 hours.


More to come for what I made AFTER dinner Monday for Tuesday night's meal! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

88 cent green pepper

I used an 88 cent green pepper in three ways!
When I saw the sale I couldn't let it go.  I was looking forward to top it on my new favorite pizza option!

First green pepper meal option:
Homemade pizza- garlic chicken, mushrooms, green pepper, and lots of cheese!

Second option:
Jon put it in his chicken tacos for extra flavor!

Third option:
Hamburger and Corn Casserole

I absolutely LOVE love LOVE not having to throw food out! :)

Next post....this week's meal plans....

Perfect Meal for a spicy kind of guy!

Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole
(aka Mexican Casserole at the Kaisands)

Jon loves Mexican so I know I couldn't go wrong with this --and it's SO easy to make!  bonus! :)

1 pound ground beef
2 cans pinto beans
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
(I just use whatever I have on hand for red pasta sauce.)
1/2 cup mild chunky-style salsa
(I just used medium salsa since Jon loves the extra kick!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
(I use whatever cheese I already have.)
8x8 pan
aluminum foil

Cook the beef in a skillet until fully cooked; drain.
Rinse and drain beans.  Mix the beef, beans, tomato sauce, salsa, and chili powder in an ungreased baking pan (8x8 casserole pan).
Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until hot and bubbly.
Carefully remove lid and sprinkle cheese on top.  Continue baking UNCOVERED for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Put on plate with some rolls or something and watch your hubby scarf it down!
He also says it would be good as a burrito!  Yeah! :)
I love having those kind of options to change things up a bit!

-Taken from Betty Crocker's Cooking Basics cook book

Monday, November 7, 2011

The issue of being comfortable

If you know me for very long you learn that I have issues.  Yeah, I know.  I'm not perfect.  The secret is out.

One of my many issues is comfort.  Comfort through change.  Comfort while watching a movie.  Comfort about a new step in life.  Comfort about how to drive somewhere that I've never been.  Comfort about making a new recipe.  Comfort about having a warm shower.  Comfort with knowing where I'll be a year from now.  Comfort about having a roof over my head and a heater that works.

Comfort about the possibility of living hours away from my husband for many months.
Comfort about living on my own even though I am married.
Comfort when I have no one to share a bed with and share about my day.
Comfort with having a handyman.
Comfort to supply me with the needs that I have as a wife.
Comfort in the possibility of having to drive hours on the weekends just to see my husband.
Comfort in knowing my husband is okay.
Comfort in knowing he is taken care of without me there.

So many thoughts and concerns come up, in the areas where I am not strong.  My husband has a pretty big decision to make, and I can't see myself a part from him.

Before leaving his interview last Friday, he was told he got the job in Williamsburg (west of Iowa City).  That means he needs to be there by the beginning of January and would work through August.  He would receive $16.50 per hour, and the company is built from a Christian foundation.  He loves the small town atmosphere and the feel of everything.  We can both see God really working through this.  It would make him have to push his last semester of school NEXT fall in 2012.  Still thinking through that process, because there are quite a lot of options available.  This internship could be a great bonus for him for his future career and great for a resume of course.  However it would be hard to figure out how we would work things out.  Our apartment here in Ames....my job is here.  A lot of things to think through....

Please pray for us as we consider all our options.  Consider praying about searching for God's will and not for us to pick where we are most comfortable.  Please also consider thinking about my position as I support and encourage my husband!  Thank you so much for your prayers.  We can certainly feel God working in our lives....to God be the glory!