Monday, June 30, 2008

Monday Menu Plan June 30- July 6

To see what other people have on their menus this week, get tasty recipes or share your weekly menu and recipes, visit Laura at Heavenly Homemakers. (Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie is unplugged this week! )

Monday- Breakfast for dinner - scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, pancakes or waffles (haven't decided yet), fresh fruit, juice.

Tuesday- CANADA DAY- BBQ chicken, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, maybe frozen strawberry pie for dessert.

Wednesday- Ukraine Melanchuks arrive- BBQ ribs with rice and corn on the cob.

Thursday- Stuffed Pasta Shells (frozen left overs from last week), garlic toast and salad.

Friday- Ryan's 2nd Birthday/Fourth of July Family Dinner- BBQ steaks, chicken, roasted veggies with birthday cake and ice cream for dessert.

Saturday- Family Dinner with visiting cousins- BBQ hot dogs and bugers with potato and pasta salad, chips, veggies and dip with left over birthday cake, ice cream adn watermelon for dessert.

Sunday- Left Over Love

The weather is supposed to be rediculously hot this week, hence all the bbqing. Plus when you have company over in the summer isn't bbqing what people expect?!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday- First Smile and Toddler Talk edition

Talk about Tuesday

Welcome to Talk About Tuesday. For more information or to see what others are talking about, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer.

So maybe it is actually Wednesday. I am just catching up on some important blogging I wanted to get done but couldn't find the time to squeeze out of the day. Today, I am going to talk about my house. Specifically the glorious space on the main floor that I've longed for but until now haven't gotten to use much. WARNING: There are a lot of clickable links in this post to pictures plus the pictures of the office at the end of the post.

In October of 05 we moved to our current location. Our main living area is on the 2nd floor. The only thing finished on the main level was what we called "the office" and a hallway from the entry to the stairs to go up to our main living area. The rest looked like this. It became a big storage space for us. It was home to all my school stuff, our Christmas stuff, some of Brad's tools, his car audio stuff, stuff from grandma, stuff from his dad and stuff that we hadn't yet found a home for in our new house.

With only 2 completed bedrooms, I joked with our realtor (my father in law) that buying a house with only two bedrooms was a sure fire way to take us from a family of two to a family of more than two. And surprise, surprise the end of the next month we found out we were expecting our first little man. So in the spring of 06, Brad began the main floor renovations. That big open, unfinished space would be come 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, a linen closet and a laundry room. He pretty much got all of it done before the guests started arriving to visit the little man that had joined our family. What happened to all the items in that big, open unfinished space? It all ended up in our "office". We could barely get the door open, the space was so cramped. The blinds were pulled closed, the door was closed and we sort of forgot this space ever existed.

Over the last 2 years there have been many times when we have wanted to use this space, to reclaim this space as an office. But since one of the projects that didn't get finished with the renovations was hooking up the under slab heating, for 8+ months of the year, it is just too cold to do anything productive on this main level anyway. (A reason why most people only come to visit during the summer.) But before littlest man arrived we started working on this room a little. We were able to push our way in a bit. We finally found someone who was able to hook up our under slab heating without putting us on a waiting list longer than the drive to Edmonton. It wasn't in our budget but we knew it had to be done. (And this new water system may actually help us save $$ on our natural gas heating bill!) So now, people can visit any time of the year.

And they are coming. Right now, we are about a week away from the arrival of the Ukraine Melanchuks. And there is talk about a possible visit from some on my side of the family later this summer. So, when we decided to host a good bye party for a co- worker of Brad's we thought it was a great incentive to get the main floor all ready to go. Turn that office into an office again, get the two bedrooms and bathroom ready for our guests and just reorganize and get rid of some of the clutter.

So now, our office looks like this.

It is far from perfect, but it is live able, and use able and it just feels so good!

Monday Menu Plan

To see what other people have on their menus this week, get tasty recipes or share your weekly menu and recipes, visit Lara at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Okay, so it's actually Wednesday...sue me! I've been recovering from last week- major clean up and reorganization and parties...a couple of 'em! Last weeks menu plan worked out great. Here is what is on our menu for this week...

Monday- eat out *Monday's tend to be one of those days where the day just slips away from you and next thing you know it is 6pm and there is nothing cooking for supper.

Tuesday- Rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stove top and corn. *Ok, so we ordered in again...but it was a treat using $60 the neighbors gave us for several patio stones we no longer need.

Wednesday- stuffed shells with Caesar salad and garlic bread.

Thursday- pizza with left over Caesar salad.

Friday- grilled cheese sandwiches with oven french fries for Ryan and me.

Saturday- wings with rice and raw veggies.

Sunday-bistro chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and stove top.

Just to warn week is looking kind of busy and hot in these parts- my menu may be late again and will be simple for sure with lots of bbqing I think. My brother in law, his wife and 2 girls are arriving, Canada Day is Tuesday, Friday is the 4th of July and someones 2nd birthday, there is a trip to a local farm, possible visits from other relatives and a long weekend for Brad. The weather currently says between 25-32C the whole time Darryl, Amanda and the girls are here so I think we will be bbqing a lot! But then again, like the old saying goes, if you don't like the weather in Cold Lake? Wait 5 minutes and it will change.

Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

I just thought I would share a little about our Father's Day celebrations. We didn't really do anything all that special. Brad had to work as he usually does on Sunday (one of the pains of retail) but it is a shorter day. We bbqed supper and invited his dad to join us. I prepared the veggies, made the salad and garlic bread but he did the bbqing (which should be no surprise to anyone who knows me and my fear of fire). The new bbq is still taking some getting used to, and the steaks were not quite done to everyone's liking. The veggies were a touch over seasoned. But all in the all the meal was quite excellent if I do say so myself. The pie was a nice ending and Brad picked a wonderful light, double churned and seeminly very creamy ice cream to go along with it. YUMMY!

I picked out a cute card for Brad from the boys that basically said if they could have one wish it would be for Daddy to win the lottery so no one in our family would have to work anymore. I thought it was a very fitting card. Not because we are lazy and don't want to work but because we really enjoy having Daddy at home. Our days are just not the same when he is at work.

I also called my parents. I sent off a parcel to them earlier in the week and I knew that it would not arrive in time for Father's Day but I did want to call and let them know to at least expect it this week sometime. I told my Dad (step-dad) that he would have to let us know what he likes best from his gift. I won't ruin the surprise by mentioning what we got him now but I think he will really enjoy it!

Later in the evening we tried to take a couple of photos of the 4 of us but it isn't all that easy.

Monday Menu Plan June16-22

To see what other people have on their menus this week, get tasty recipes or share your weekly menu and recipes, visit Lara at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Last week we did well with our menu planning and sticking to it again. This week I am going to try to stick to things we mostly have in the house already because we are also hostessing a party on the weekend and that will eat into our weekly food budget.

Monday- eat out *this seems to be a Monday trend and I find that Monday is becoming a day of rest

Tuesday- chicken wings, rice and veggies

Wednesday- chicken pot pie


Friday-Leftover Love

Saturday- Party Night- BBQ potluck

Sunday- BBQ ribs, rice and veggies

Like I mentioned before, Saturday night we are hosting a going away party for one Brad's co-workers. His boss is buying chicken and beef for the bbq, I will be doing our grilled veggies that I gave the recipe for last week and we have a sign up sheet for salads/starters and deserts.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekly Menu Plan June9-15

To see what other people have on their menus this week, get tasty recipes or share your weekly menu and recipes, visit Lara at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Last week's menu worked pretty good for us. This week I am hoping to have as good of a week.

Monday- Take Out *today totally got away from me...

Tuesday- Taco Salad Bowls *carry over from last week

Wednesday- Stuffed Pasta Shells with garlic toast

Thursday- Lemon Dill Salmon** with Rice and Corn on the Cob

Friday- Kraft Dinner with Hotdogs

Saturday- BBQ chicken with grilled potatoes and veggies** and garlic toast

Sunday- *Father's Day* Caesar Salad, BBQ steaks, grilled potatoes and veggies**, garlic toast, apple pie with vanilla ice cream for desert

Most of what is on our menu is either already in our pantry/freezer or is on sale this week. YAY!

**Lemon Dill Salmon
Olive Oil

Lemon Pepper


Fresh Dill

Salmon Steaks or Fillets

1. Make a lemon pepper dill paste by combining the lemon pepper, chopped fresh dill and olive oil in a small bowl. (Keep a few springs of the fresh dill for later.)

2. Coat the salmon steaks/fillets in the lemon pepper dill paste and put them on a pam sprayed, tin foil lined pan.

3. Cut the lemon into slices (thickness depends on how many slices you need). Place a slice or two on each steak/fillet and put a spring of the fresh dill on top. Take the end pieces of the lemon and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the steaks/fillets.

4. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until the paste looks crispy.

**Grilled Potatoes and Vegetables
Bell Peppers

1. Wash potatoes and slice them into 3/4 cm thick rounds (I use a fruit and vegetable slicer to make them even).
2. Peel and rinse carrots and slice them into 3/4 cm rounds.
3. Rinse broccoli and cut off florets. Slice the stalks into 3/4 cm thick rounds.
4. Rinse mushrooms and bell peppers. Cut peppers into 1-1.5 cm wide slivers. Cut the mushrooms into quarters.
5. Spread out a large sheet of tinfoil.
6. Arrange the cut vegetables all together in a line down the centre of the long sheet of tin foil.
7. Cut up 1-2 1/4lb blocks of butter/margarine and add to the vegetables in the tinfoil.
8. Add any seasonings you would like. We add seasoning salt and a garlic seasoning.
9. Wrap the vegetables in tinfoil. Bring the two long sides up to meet each other with the vegetables in the centre. Fold the long sides together and keep rolling down until you have folded the tin foil down to the height of the vegetables. Fold/roll up the short ends in the same manner.
10. Wrap the vegetables once more in tin foil using the same method but putting your rolled edges on the bottom of the second sheet of tin foil.
11. Cook on the top rack of a bbq over medium heat for 45-60 minutes.

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

June SMART- Menu planning

I had wanted to join back in with SMART habit Saturday last week but I just never got around to posting about it. And even now, you can see I am quite tardy. Everything just takes longer with a newborn and all your routines and schedules need adjusting. But in an effort to get back to some sort of normalcy around here, I have decided that my SMAT habit for June is menu planning again. I fell off the wagon with this in the last weeks of my pregnancy and the first couple of weeks after the birth of Adam. Feeling a little overwhlemed once my parents went home and my husband went back to work a very good friend of mine (and a mother of 3) gave me some very good advice; as long as everyone is clean (meaning diapers for the boys), fed and getting some sleep then nothing else matters. Now, the diapers I can handle. Adam is sleeping well for a newborn, Ryan is sleeping ok, but really needs to get back to a more regular schedule and routine and well Brad and I could probably use a little more sleep at night and/or a nap during then day. So in an effort to make sure everyone is fed and not stressing so much about what we are eating and when, it's back to menu planning for me.

Last week I did manage to get my menu up and posted to my blog. How well did I do? Monday we had Pizza (although as a side note..I do NOT like Chicken Club pizza and am not fond of thin crust either!)but on Tuesday we did not have the fajita's. It was 10% off at the grocery store so we went to get groceries. As I mentioned earlier in this post, doing anything with a newborn takes longer than you expect or longer than it used to. I would have loved to have gone in the later morning or even very early afternoon but Ryan was up until 1 in the morning the night before, so well all slept in until almost 10. By the time we got out of the house, stopped to weigh the littest man and got to the mall where our grocery store is located, it was late afternoon. We were all feeling a little snackish so we ate at the food court since going grocery shopping on an empty stomach does not go well. Then we ran into a couple of people we know who hadn't met our newest addition yet, so there was a good hour of visiting in the mall and grocery store which made it so that I didn't even get out to our meat shop until later in the week. So we pushed everything back a day and have stuck to the menu for the rest of the week. I only just noticed that my menu plan for last week does not have Sunday. We could just have the taco salad bowls but we have leftover ingredients from our spinach strawberry salad that need to be used quickly before they spoil and I just don't think they will go well into the taco salad bowls. Since we love chicken in this house, I am thinking maybe bbqing some chicken breasts and veggies and starting with the strawberry spinach salad. And I will move the taco salad bowls to some night next week.

Knowing what I was going to make for dinner each night, and making sure we had all the ingedients when we went shopping on Tuesday made things very nice for me this week. I think it is helping to get our little family back into somewhat of a routine which is great for Ryan. I hope all of you are having a good SMART week too!

To find out more about SMART Habit Saturday or to see what others are being SMART about visit Lara @ The Lazy Organizer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Talk About Tuesday- Home Tour

Welcome to Talk About Tuesday. For more information or to see what others are talking about, visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer.

I was looking forward to this home tour idea for Talk about Tuesday until I realised that my house is a mess! No photos from me of my house currently. I would love to have pictures of our yard to post but as it was almost 3 years ago when we moved in, it is just dirt. However, about 2 weeks ago it was all leveled by a bobcat and sometime this week we are getting several more loads of dirt delivered with the hopes of sometime soon having sod delivered as well and having an actual yard one of these days.

I do however, have a couple of pictures of my pantry which was one of the parts of the house I loved from day one. I have to laugh though that my pantry can often be full but I will have no idea what to make for dinner or will complain that we have nothing to have for dinner. LOL! In addition to food, my pantry also stores plastic bags which I take to be recycled or use again myself, my george forman grill and my pizza oven, my mop, bucket, broom and dustpan, my aprons and a fire extinguisher.

My pantry is "L" shaped. The top shelf long side of the L is home to our cereal. We eat a lot of cereal. We have it for breakfast, sometimes we have it for dinner and Ryan and I snack on dry cereal throughout the day sometime. The short side top shelf is home to my pizza oven (which was actually out on my counter when I took the photos) and my GF grill. The next shelf on the long side is home to drink mixes, rice, instant potatoes, croutons, shake n'bakes and canned pastas. The short side is home to canned fruit and veggies, soup, crackers and cookies.

On the next shelf, the long side is baking land. All my ingredients for baking and treats are stored here. The short side is "seasonings" and is home to all my spices and spice mixes. So really this is a whole shelf in my pantry that is not really something that can make supper on it's own. The bottom shelf on the long side is home to pasta, pasta sauces, Kraft Dinner, any extra containers of condiments, baby food (that I was given as a baby shower gift but Ryan never enjoyed), cereal bars and Ryan's applesauces and various cookies (Baby Mum Mums, animal crackers, gold fish, ect). The short side is home to snacks and lunch items for Brad's lunch.

On the floor in my pantry I have large items stored. On the long side we usually a bottle of vinegar and a bottle of oil, a container with sugar and a couple of bags of flour. We also often have bottles or cans of pop stored there, our plastic bag collection and then tortilla chips and potato chips.

Menu Plan Monday

To see what other people have on their menu this week, for tasty recipes or to share your own menu and recipes, visit Laura @ I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday- Pizza's (Hawaiian and Chicken Club) *Can I tell you I just love having my own pizza oven...forget pricey, greasy order in or take out.

Tuesday- Chicken fajitas and rice

Wednesday- Chicken wings, left over rice and assorted crudites

Thursday- BBQ ribs, strawberry spinach salad and baked potatoes

Friday- Chicken fingers and potato wedges

Saturday- Taco Salad Bowls (this recipe looked just so good when I clicked on Laura's link!) *TIP: We add other garden salad ingredients to our taco salad, including diced celery, quartered cucumber slices, diced peppers, ect. My husband also adds his favorite salad dressing (Kraft Zesty Italian) over top. We serve with fresh, crisp dill pickles on the side as well.

I hope everyone has a great week. This week is 10% Tuesday at our local grocery store and there is also a great sale at a local meat place so I plan on stocking my freezer and pantry with lots of fun things for the next while. Plus with a new BBQ to break in, and summer finally approaching (although the rain outside right now doesn't seem to indicate summer approaching) I plan on testing out some new salad and bbq recipes.