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Menu Planning

One of my goals for 2007 is to start menu planning again. I used to make a menu plan on a monthly basis and was quite obsessive about it, but since we moved to our new house and added another baby to the family, my old menu planning habits have fallen by the wayside. These days, dinner is usually planned about an hour before we actually eat it. I hate not being organized about menu planning, so I'm going to give it a whirl again. This time around, I'm going to be a little less ambitious and instead of a monthly plan, work on a bi-weekly basis. I'll be planning for the 1st through 16th and the 17th through the end of the month. Why do I want to make a menu plan? 1) Menu planning, if done correctly, should save us money. It should eliminate those last minute runs to the grocery store for one or two things that inevitably end up with a cart load of spontaneous purchases. Hopefully I can stick to my bi-weekly grocery store run and just send hubby to the store for perishables when we need them. (He seems to be immune to the need to make spontaneous grocery purchases!) It also reduces the number of times we go out to eat just because I haven't made dinner. This way, when we go out to eat we'll be able to plan for it and go to a restaurant worth eating out at, versus just going to the closest or quickest option. 2) I post my menu where the entire family can see it, so this should eliminate the constant "What's for dinner" questions from everyone who can read. 3) Menu … [Continue reading]

Breaking Bread

I just wanted to pop on here tonight to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and if you don't celebrate Christmas, I wish you a wonderful day. It amazes me now that I am a parent how exciting it is to see Christmas through the eyes of my children. I hope that as you celebrated this day, you were able to find the magic and joy of the season and that you have a sense of peace, happiness and hope when you look forward to the coming year. They say that breaking bread with others is a sincere way of sharing our hearts, minds, and homes with people... it's an act of peace and graciousness.  My wish for you is that you always have someone to break bread with.Merry Chrismtas! Kristen One week ago today, I dished about  Our Annual Chrismtas Party. Over at our family blog, I dished about The One That Got Away. … [Continue reading]

Stinky Breath

What do you make when you find yourself home alone for the weekend, without a husband in sight, when you are sick of sweets and hearty food, and you've been reading about delicious salad's all week and you have some wonderful new Alejandro & Martin Olive Oil that you want to try out? Me? I make a Spinach and Red Onion Salad. Yes... red onion, which is the equivalent of really stinky breath. No need to worry though because the only person within my breaths distance is my 6 month old baby, and she hasn't complained so far. If you are interested in offending others with your stinky breath, but tasting an amazingly simple salad, here's the recipe adapted from Recipezaar: Spinach and Red Onion Salad Salad: Fresh Spinach Leaves, Washed and Spun Dry (I just use the pre-packaged bag of spinach) 1 Medium Red Onion, thinly sliced 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved Dressing: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (may I suggest Alejandro and Martin's 2005 Greek Fragrant and Fruity blend...delicious!) Freshly ground black pepper, to taste Garlic flavored croutons Add to bowl, toss and serve. One week ago today I dished about my Golden Globes Girl's Night Out Party Over at our family blog I dished about My Really Loud King   … [Continue reading]

A Rare Moment of Quiet

I'm home alone. Well, almost alone. Ella is upstairs asleep in her bed and I pretty much have the house to myself. It's quiet... almost too quiet, but I'm  not complaining. Ella went back to the doctor this afternoon after running a fever of 103+ for 4 days straight. It turns out that she now has RSV and a double ear infection. No wonder the little pumpkin has been so miserable. They didn't test her for RSV on Wednesday night when I took her to Children's Mercy, but they did check her ears then and she was fine. Ear infections apparently can develop rather quickly because the infections were pretty advanced by this afternoon. Nick made an executive decision to go on to Iowa without us. Jacob and Kelly were dying to go, and it doesn't make sense for them to have to miss Christmas with the family just because the baby is sick. I'm disappointed and sad not to be there but I'm also looking forward to some peaceful time in our home alone. I have a list of things I'd like to get done while the kids are gone. Go through all of the toys and make a Goodwill donation Clean out the pantry Do a menu plan for January Budget on www.mvelopes.com Wrap Christmas gifts Catch up on TiVo and Magazines Read, read, and read some more I'm sure that by tomorrow at this time I'll be lonely and ready for my family to return home. In the meantime, I'm going to try and enjoy this gift of peace and quiet... at least until the baby wakes up again. … [Continue reading]

Please…no more cookies!

Our Santa decided several years ago that by this time in the holiday season, he is up to his ears with cookies. If he has to gobble down one more thumbprint, chocolate chip, shortbread, snickerdoodle, sugar cookie, etc. he'll turn into a cookie himself. You see, Santa's wife is a little obsessed with baking. She's obsessed with baking in December and is obsessed with baking the 11 other months as well. Santa just wants a cookie break. As much as the thought behind giving him cookies is appreciated, he is thankful when alternatives are sought out. I've heard that Santa is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but a nice steak just didn't seem like an appropriate thing to leave out for him. For this reason, our Santa Clause receives yummy, gooey, warm from the oven Cinnamon Rolls every Christmas. This works out as an advantage for our family too. Santa gets a tasty treat (something other than cookies) when he delivers the presents and we have a nice breakfast all ready for us on Christmas morning. To make things even easier on me, I use a Cinnamon Roll recipe that utilizes the bread machine. Talk about easy! If Santa comes to your house each year, what do you leave him as a snack? One week ago today I dished about The Placecard Lineup Over at our Family Blog I dished about  A Really Loud King … [Continue reading]