Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make it work!

The is week's menu is blah! It is a make it work week, which means no more groceries, just use what we currently have.

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: same
Thursday: leftover frozen mini meatloaves (This is the first time I have frozen them- we will see) with roasted baby carrots.
Friday: grilled cheese and tomato soup
Saturday: lentil tacos
Sunday: Dinner party

Nothing special, but it will feed us for the week.

Hope everyone else is enjoying this cool fall weather.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Are you trying to earn God's love?

On our way to the pumpkin patch today, Kyle and I listen to a podcast by Francis Chan about how we try to earn God's love. As I reflected on his sermon and this past month, I realized the importance of this message in my life currently.This month I have been easily overwhelmed, anxious, emotional, and unable to sleep. Some point this week I decided to make a conscious effort to relax and truly cast my burdens to God. Ever since, I have felt content and relaxed. I wonder how long he as been waiting for me to do this.

Back on the sermon: Francis discussed resting in God's care and how we need to understand God genuine love for us. He pointed to Psalms 23 during his sermon and I have decided to make it my verse for the rest of the month.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

This is a very well known verse, but for good reason. How comforting is the Word of God! Thank you Jesus for restoring my soul and giving me the gift of life.

Pumpkin Patch

Today we played hookie with church and went to Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch. We had hoped to go on a Saturday, but Kyle had to work, so we had our family outing today instead. It was a lot of fun! If you are in the San Diego area and have never been, it is worth the road trip. Admission is free, which allows families to spend a lot of money or just purchase a pumpkin. We let Brooke pick one activity and she chose the pony ride, which she loved! Her method for picking a pumpkin was the first one she was able to pick up and carry herself. A little girl was also nice enough to share her corn so she could feed the goats. As we were leaving, Brookelyn grabbed my face and looked STRAIGHT into my eyes and said, "It's time for a bic-nic!" Unfortunately we were not prepared for that, but next year I think we will make it a full day outing and include a "bic-nic."

(if you haven't heard Brooke speak before she has the funniest intonation. She is kind of like a valley girl and hick in one. The hyphen is meant to display her accent.)

Beef Stew

This is probably one of my favorite fall time recipes, because it is so easy and delicious! If you have the Fix and Forget It cookbook then you already have this recipe. Brooke loves this recipe and gobbles every last bite up!

Beef Stew

2lbs of beef chuck, cubed (I have used trip tip, london broil, stew meat, or rump roast. I think any kind of cubed beef works well.)

1tsp of Worcestershire sauce

1/4-1/2 cup of flour

1 1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

1 tsp of paprika

1 1/2 cups of beef broth

1 clove of garlic minced

1 bay leaf

4 carrots, sliced

2 onions, chopped

1 rib celery, sliced

3 potatoes, diced

1. Place meat in the slow cooker.

2. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir into meant until coated thoroughly.

3. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well.

4. Cover. Cook on Low 10-12 hours, or High 4-6 hours. Stir before serving.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Back Sliding

Hi Mommies! I need some mommy advice. I believe that Brookelyn is ready for a big girl bed, but I am nervous about the transition. About three weeks ago she started whining off and on when we put her down. We have been talking about how she needs to go to bed without fussing so she can get a big girl bed, but that is only effective half of the time. How do I know she is ready and how do you keep them in their beds?

Secondly, we started potty training about 3 months ago and it has been going great until recently. We were still working on potty training when we were running errands, but going poop has always been her specialty. She would go poop anywhere and was even waking up a little earlier in the morning to go poop. Then last week she started pooping in her pants again. She has now pooped in her pants four times and I don't know why. HELP!!

Any advice you guys could give would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lentil Lasagna

Over the past year I have met some wonderful women who are great cooks. I love using other peoples recipe, because it adds a new dimension to my cooking. I love trying new recipes (Kyle kind of hates this because he is the type of person who orders the same thing everywhere) and 90% of the time they turn out well and are thrown in the recipe roulette until I find another recipe. This recipe is from my friend Kate and it is really yummy! It's very hearty because of the red lentils. I realized later that I layered it completely different then the recipe calls, so I am going to include the original steps, but the nice thing to know about this recipe is it turns out great either way! Don't skip out on the sugar step and make sure to try the sauce after the lentils are done cooking. It needs a good amount of salt, as most bean dishes do. Please make sure to wash your lentils before cooking with them.

Red Lentil & Vegetable Lasagna

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 stalk celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 zucchini, diced (I didn't have any zucchini and used a green pepper instead-yummy)

1/2 cup red lentils

2 15-oz cans chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried oregano

2 cups low-fat ricotta (or sub with cottage cheese)

1/2 cup skim milk

whole wheat lasagna noodles (I wanted to make this gluten free, but my store was all out.)

3 handfuls basil

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup low-fat grated cheddar

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook over low heat until softened. Stir in the celery, carrot, and zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and oregano. Add 3 cups of water, stir, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. Stir frequently, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the ricotta and milk in a bowl. Spoon half the lentil sauce into a 9 x 13 ovenproof dish. Top with lasagna noodles, then half of the ricotta/milk mixture. Cover with the basil leaves.

Top with more lasagna noodles, then spread the remaining lentil mixture over the top. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles. Beat the egg into the remaining half of the ricotta/milk mixture. Spread the surface with the ricotta mixture and cover with the cheese. Bake for 40 minutes. If the top starts to dry out, sprinkle with water. Top with additional basil ribbons.

The pictures may not be great because I used my phone.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weekly Menu

Monday: Lentil lasagna
Tuesday: Leftovers
Wednesday: Beef stew
Thursday: Bean soup with cornbread
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Caprese panini and salad
Sunday: Veggie wraps, chickpeas with mint, and kale chips

Some of these recipes will be gluten free and meat free. We are trying to cut more flour out of our diet and add more veggies, so our recipes hopefully will reflect that.

I will be sharing my beef stew, bean soup, and kale chip recipe with you this coming week. Should be yummy!

Weekly Blog Updates

I am trying to push myself to update my blog more often. To do this I am creating a couple of challenges for myself:
1. I will be posting my weekly menu
2. I am going to make a soup or stew once a week and post pictures, recipe, and my family's opinion of the soup.
3. Listen to at least three podcast a week and post one to share with all of you.
4. Brookelyn moments
5. Nutritional discussions: vitamins, homeopathy, cleaning products, etc.
6. What God is showing me through his word.

It is going to be a little bit of work, but I think it will be really helpful for me to start writing my thoughts down; lately I have had a hard time sleeping, because my brain has been so active with way too many thoughts.

I hope you enjoy reading!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Video journal of 2010-2011

Flip software has a cool feature called magic movie. You add video clips and they create a movie by taking parts of the video clip. I like it because it takes less time then cutting down your video to a small clip and piecing it all together. Now, if you are wanting to have more control of the part of the clip you want in the video this is not the kind of movie you want to create.

This video is about 7 minutes long and it consist of clips from Brooke's first birthday to her second birthday. I think it turned out pretty cute. Sorry if it a little bumpy, I am not the best recorder.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dress up

Tonight she put together such a cute outfit!