Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 2/29

This is an older picture but just another reason I love where I live

Menu Monday a little late

So I haven't done a Menu Monday post for a while. Actually, I haven't used the weekly menu board in a couple of weeks. This week though Mike has a customer coming up from California to work on a car project with him, so I needed to make a menu so I could do some filler grocery shopping. I try to fix lunches and dinners that this particular customer likes. If you are working at the shop (ie My house) then you are going to get fed.
So this week:

Wednesday   Red beans and rice with peppers and beef smoked sausage.
Thursday   Stuffed bell peppers (freezer meal from the Zaycon Ground Beef order)
Friday   Squash ravioli with cream sauce


Thursday   Tuna and shells and peas
Friday   Homemade Mac & Cheese

As you can see, I'm still using the wipe off board. I need to finish my Menu Board, but have been busy with homeschool 

Hope you all have a great week. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Being Well means.... #cbias #FloridaOJ

Being Well means happy boys helping and thriving. 
At least that is what this mom thinks about being well.

Part of Being Well is eating nutritious foods even snacks. 
My boys loves smoothies, well so does Mommy. I love that I can make a smoothie depending on how we are feeling and if we happen to be under the weather I can modify our smoothies to help. 
During the winter months I don't always have fresh fruit on hand to make smoothies. We ventured to Safeway to pick up groceries and added some extra fresh fruit and Orange Juice so we could enjoy smoothies during the week.   We also took a look at the Be Well Save Well pamphlet for some fun ideas to help us "Be Well" 
After our shopping trip, I knew the boys were going to want smoothies for breakfast the next morning. 
We enjoyed Strawberry Orange Banana Smoothies the first day followed by Strawberries on Chocolate Cheesecake for Valentines Day.  I'll share the healthy recipe with you.

Strawberry Orange Banana Smoothies
2 cups 100% pure Orange Juice
2 medium bananas
6-8 medium to large strawberries
1 cup of ice
1 Tbsp Agave nectar for sweetening
1 cup of plain yogurt (optional)

Put all ingredients in a blender, blend on a medium speed until smooth. 

 pour into glasses and share with your family

If you would like to see the whole experience check out our Google+ Story.

Also be sure to check in with 100% Pure Florida Orange Juice on Facebook.  for more great ideas with Orange Juice.

  • This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias, recipes and opinions are that of the author.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Getting ready to stay well during this season

Are you ready to stay well during the cold and flu season?

What kind of things do you do to stay healthy during this season? I would love to hear from you.
I'll share what we do around here.
First keep vitamin C in our diets. One awesome way of doing that is 100% pure Florida Orange Juice. While my boys like juice drinks most have are watered down with other things and during this time of year I try and keep it 100% juice.  I have homemade juice in the pantry but Oregon isn't a good place for growing oranges so I make sure to find 100% Orange juice for the winter months to keep them pumped full of vitamin C.
Another great idea is to check your multi-vitamin? Are you getting all the good stuff?
This year we have been blessed by a mild winter and have lots of opportunities to soak up the sun and get some extra doses of vitamin D.
Remembering to drink enough water is another way to help. The cooler air tends to dry us out when we don't expect it.
I also keep Emergen-C in the cupboard along with a couple boxes of teas that include immune boosters.
Finally eating well helps keep a healthy body healthy. I love making soups and stews during the winter filled with extra veggies as I know we tend to not eat enough fruits and vegetables during the winter.  Yesterday was a perfect example. I made a pot of meatball minestrone soup and added extra carrots, celery, and even some sun dried tomatoes I had saved from the fall.
I try to keep on hand a "kit" of things for the seasonal colds. This includes things like teas, throat lozenges, soups, and the occasional Over the counter pain reliever.
Did you know Safeway is helping support us with a special promotion, "Be Well, Save Well" . Stop by your local Safeway Pharmacy and ask about the program. They should have a special flyer that is packed full of coupons and helpful recipes and ideas to support you during the cold and flu season.
One last way to help stay healthy during this season. Wiping down surfaces can help stop the germs from spreading.
On your next trip to the grocery store , make sure you have your own Cold and Flu Season Kit fully stocked and ready.
  • This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for CollectiveBias. #CBias all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog's owner/

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Meet the Moms Twooth Timer

This week Meet the Moms of Mompact responsible for creating Twooth Timer and Buzzy Cards.

Let me tell you about The Twooth Timer. This fun and functional product makes brushing a breeze. Just set the timer to 2 minutes by turning the top of the tooth and let them brush the time away.  It really is that simple.  My boys love the Twooth Timer in their bathroom, not only is it a fun way for them to brush, but I can give them a 2 minute shower warning and set the timer.
twooth® timerHave you really thought about how long 2 minutes is? My boys thought it was a lot shorter, until we played a little game with our youth group (all 3rd/ 4th graders). I set the timer and told them they had to stand still and not say anything for 2 minutes. It was funny to watch them only last for about 30 seconds, when we were done I then talked to them about the fact they should be brushing their teeth for 2 minutes and they were surprised that it was that long.  I gave each of the kids a small bag with dental hygiene products in it and had them tell their moms about how long 2 minutes really is.
Thankfully we have the Twooth Timer for my boys. It has made brushing a fun game for them. Now instead of rushing through the process, they see who can brush the longest and actually make it to the end of the 2 minutes. Thanks to the Twooth Timer brushing time is fun time.
Head over to Twooth Timer's webpage and download some fun coloring pages

You can enter the Meet the Moms giveaway through Mom Pact below for your chance to win a Twooth Timer, a Twooth Pocket Pal , and a set of BeeStraction Distraction Cards.  Also check out my review of the BeeStraction cards here

**This review is based on my personal experiences and the product was part of my kit as a MomPact Consultant***

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 10, 2012

Week night dinner made special with soup

I usually keep weeknight dinners simple, but also I want meals together to be special.
Last week I grilled chicken on the BBQ and wanted something a little different to go with it so I made bean soup.
When I started I wasn't 100% the boys would like it but they loved it.

3 Bean Soup
3 cans of beans (I used white, black, and soy)
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove of garlic grated or chopped small
2 cups shredded carrots (I used frozen as I have them on hand)
3-4 quarts of water
favorite stock base or bouillon
olive oil
italian seasoning or similar to add some extra flavor
salt and pepper to taste
sautee garlic and onions in olive oil.
dd carrots if raw otherwise add water and flavoring
Add seasoning, beans, and carrots if not added previously

Cook on medium until all is warm
Serve in a shallow soup bowl  and enjoy.

Make even a week night meal fancy with a simple soup as a side dish. I served my soup with BBQ'd chicken and brussel sprouts (my youngest and my husband both love them) and green beans. 

This post is a compensated post as part of Gigcoin although the recipe is mine.

Chicken , chicken, who got chicken

I did, actually my mom and I did.
This is the second time we've purchased bulk chicken from Zaycon Foods.

This time we decided to try grinding the chicken to replace beef for my Dad. I don't have the attachment for my kitchen aide mixer but Mom had a couple of old fashion crank grinders hanging in her kitchen for decoration, so we decided to give them a try. It was slow but we managed to work our way through 6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.

We packaged them up in 1 pound packages and vacuum sealed them for freezing.  I still had a partial roll of plastic to seal them in. We also did 4 bags of chicken strips for the freezer. It is handing to have in the freezer for meal planning. I have already used 1 package of the ground chicken for a batch of chicken and black bean chili and it turned out really good.

The rest of the chicken (about 25 pounds became diced canned chicken)
I did 14 pints of chicken, while Mom made about 30 half pints. We added about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice as a preservative and water. Mom took her's home to process while I went ahead and started the processing in the pressure cooker. I did 7 pints in the cooker for 90 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. I found that once it reaches pressure I could turn my stove down to about 4 and maintain the consistent heat it needed to keep the pressure gauge rattling.  We have already used the chicken for a batch of Chicken and rice casserole. It is so nice to have it on hand and no that it is not overloaded with sodium and other preservatives.  My hope is to order chicken from Zaycon the next time it comes around and watch for tuna locally and do the same thing. Home canning is a passion of mine, I enjoy having the food in the pantry but I also like that I am not having a bunch of extra garbage when I open up a jar of food. I wash the jars and reuse them. I recently purchased some reusable seals as well so there will be no waste when I open someone I have canned at home. It is a simple thing we can do to live a "greener"  healthier life in the country.