Sunday, August 30
Tuesday, August 25
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tablespoon ranch seasoning (or you can use about 1/2 a packet of pre-made seasoning)
Toppings of your choice (I use broccoli, carrots, red pepper, black olives, green onions, and cheddar cheese)
I use the basic dough recipe from my bread maker:
1 1/8 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbls oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
Place the ingredients in the maker according to the manufacturers directions and use the dough setting. Once the cycle is finished, punch the dough and let rest about 5 minutes. Spread a little olive oil on your baking stone and press the dough into the stone.
Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.
This of course can be done earlier in the day or while your crust is cooling, mix your seasoning into the cream cheese and chop up your veggies of choice. Once your crust is cool, spread the seasoned cream cheese onto the crust and spread your toppings evenly. Slice up and enjoy!
Monday, August 24
Homemade Baby Wipes
You will need:
1 roll of good quality paper towels (I use Viva!)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon baby oil
1 tablespoon baby wash
Start by unwrapping the paper towels and cutting the roll in half with a bread knife:
I usually make just one batch at a time and store the other half for next time.
Sunday, August 23
Saturday, August 22
You will need:
Limeade (I just used the frozen concentrate, mixed as directed)
Lemon Lime Soda
Lime for Garnish (of course that is optional--it just makes for pretty picture)
To start, I had some raspberries in my freezer that needed using up and also needed to thaw for this purpose. So I took about 3/4 cup and generously sprinkled with sugar:
This recipe is linked to Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap.
Wednesday, August 19
Tuesday, August 18
First, I LOVE being at home with Peanut. Being a stay at home mom is something that I always wanted to do. In fact, DH and I even talked about it on our first date. Crazy, huh? But at least we were on the same page from the start. Although I had worked at my job in the "corporate" world for nearly 11 years, I never considered it a career. Silly, I know. Even though that is what I always wanted to do, when I was pregnant, I didn't think we (my husband and I) could do it financially. Cut our income in half? Um, we still have bills to pay.
It was definitely a step of faith to choose to stay at home. Even more so to walk into my job (while still on leave) and give my boss my notice. I was shaking. It was crazy. This was last November, right in the midst of one of our country's worst financial crises. I was quitting a well paying job with benefits and four weeks of vacation. (I used to joke I technically worked less than 11 months of the year between holidays and vacation. :) But against every practical grain in my body, I still turned in my notice.
Don't get me wrong. This hasn't been the skipping through grassy fields and picking daisies with my husband kind of easy. It's been hard. Really hard. Not the staying at home part, but the financial part. But we have worked hard on making do with less. We cut Netflix, we don't have cable/satellite, we don't eat out, my husband takes his lunch to work, I haven't went shopping in ages, etc., etc. Prior to quitting my job we would spend nearly $600 a month (for two of us) between groceries and eating out alone. Now I try to keep our grocery budget under $30 a week. So really, these new choices weren't really that hard, it was just a matter of doing it.
However, despite all of our choices and things we had control over, some things happened with DH's job and we had some very hard things to consider in the last several months. Our first priority has been for me to stay home. DH was offered a position at his prior place of employment that would certainly make things easier for us financially. By easier, I still mean tight, but no longer dipping into our savings each month to make ends meet. :) (After all, we do live in a two income world.) The problem is, this job is 350 miles away from our hometown. Nevertheless, he (we) accepted the position. I never thought I would be the type to move away from all my family and friends. I still don't think I am. I don't think it will really settle in until I am having to grocery shop in some strange place I am not used to.
But here we are. Packing our belongings, looking at all DH's (with the help of my Dad at times) home improvements, hoping the renter's we find won't trash our home, looking for a new place to call home, and praying that someday soon we will be able to come back so Peanut will be able to call this her hometown as well. Moving. Not just across town, but across the state. But it will be worth it.
I think she is definitely worth it. I will still be able to be at home with The Peanut. We won't have to do the baby swap with each of us working opposite hours. My husband will be able to work just one job and be able to move up within the company. We will be able to pay the bills and still be able to breath. And I will be there each time the Peanut cries, each time she wakes from a nap, each first that she makes. And it will be worth it.
Wednesday, August 12
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 - 1 lb. ground meat (I use beef, but you can use turkey, spicy sausage--whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste (I usually use two cans tomato sauce, but this is what I had on hand)
1-2 cups of water (depends on how thick you like your sauce)
1 can mushrooms, stems and pieces
3 cloves minced garlic (no, we don't kiss in this household) :)
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat and break into pieces and add onions while browning meat. Drain off fat and add remaining ingredients, except for garlic. Note-depending on the intensity of the garlic flavor you prefer, add it at the beginning of your cooking if you want a milder flavor, or shortly before serving if you prefer a more intense flavor. Let simmer 10-15 minutes prior to adding in pasta that has been cooked al dente.
We served ours tonight with steamed broccoli and the Mediterranean Herbed Bread from the Betty Crocker cookbook.
...she even gave us several smiles through dinner...
...hopefully this attitude towards vegetables continues.
Tuesday, August 11
But she settled down for a few moments and decided to cooperate just enough to let Mommy get a somewhat presentable photo for the album. Hmph...
Sunday, August 9
Monday-Garden Pasta Primavera
Tuesday-Soft Tacos with homemade tortillas, taco meat, black beans, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream
Wednesday-Grilled hamburgers, oven fries
Thursday-Spaghetti, broccoli, homemade french bread
Friday-Pizza, green salad
Wednesday, August 5
5 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed
1 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
1 cup diced dill pickles
1 cup diced sweet onion (I prefer the milder flavor)
2 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise (I am a huge proponent of store brand, but there are just some areas you can't compromise)
1/4 cup spicy prepared mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
I use the red potatoes because then I don't have to peel them. Potato salad is enough work without all the peeling! Plus, the skins are good for you. Place your scrubbed potatoes in a large stockpot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain off the water and then refrigerate overnight or until cool.
Cube your potatoes and mix the remaining ingredients together. Refrigerate several hours before serving and enjoy!
This recipe is linked to Life As Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap!
As with the linens, I figure there is no harm in her "rearranging" things. Granted, I have to put them back, but for now, as long as the shoes aren't going in her mouth, I figure no harm done. Isn't it funny how her toys occupy her for just seconds but linen or shoe reorganization could entertain her for hours?
Hopefully this no indication of how her own room will be as a teenager!