Monday, April 28, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!!

Yea, I know it looks like I am excited about menu plan Monday, but I'm really not. Really and truly? I am sick of planning and cooking meals. I know, I know....Big surprise, right? I sorta go through this every so-many weeks. I want to go on meal planning strike but this family of mine rises up in protest. Seems they are used to getting fed every night. And yes, we do sit down together for dinner every single solitary night of the week, thank you very much. So, I have to keep planning these menus and I have to try to stick with whatever I planned. It is difficult with all of the activities they collectively engage in(not to mention Mike and my busy schedules). But I will do my best.

But first, we had a pretty nice weekend. Dinner at a friends house Friday night. First of all, anytime I don't have to cook makes me very happy, but when I don't have to cook and I get good food and conversation, well that is really great. That was Friday night (plus a bottle of wine). Saturday bright and early Brooks had his first baseball game. They won 14-0. I'm telling you his teams rock! So far they have won every game in both soccer and baseball. Of course now I am probably jinxing him. (Knocking on wood). Saturday afternoon we did some yard work, lots and lots of laundry and then went to Wal Mart (as a family) on a Saturday night. Yea I know, FREAK SHOW! What was I thinking? lol Sunday after the family went to church(I am a heathen) we did more yard work. Planted a ton of flowers and did some mulching. I still need to do some more but the front yard is shaping up rather nicely. The backyard is a mess though. It is a never ending cycle of work around here. I can see why older people sell the homestead and move into condos.

So that about sums up our weekend. Nothing terribly exciting. But hey, fairly productive. So now on to what you have been waiting for with bated breath......

Monday: crock pot chicken cacciatore with pasta
Tuesday: Honey Teriyaki chicken, seasoned oven potatoes
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes
Friday: pizza
Saturday: cheeseburgers on grill
Sunday: going to Walking with Dinosaurs so dinner at Moms

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I impress myself.

I made the best dinner tonight. Of course the boys turned their noses up at it since it looked like rice, but it was delicious. Anyway, I was in a big hurry because we had baseball at 5:30. I had some chicken breasts out so I sliced them up and cooked them in a little olive oil and garlic. I also added some sliced mushrooms and chopped tomatoes, a couple spring onions and some fresh basil and a tbsp or butter towards the end. While it was cooking I brought some water to boil and cooked orzo. When the orzo was done, I just spooned the chicken over the orzo. I also added some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. It was sooooo gooood! OMG! I totally hit a home run. I should have went all Pioneer woman on you and took some pictures. Maybe next time. But take my word for it, yummo!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two words.........

Baked Ravioli! Oh my how good it is! Why didn't I ever try this sooner? It is the easiest way to make ravioli and it is sort of like lasagna only much much easier. OK so I bought a huge bag of cheese ravioli from Sam's (OK look, I know that this is frozen food and not organic, and blah blah blah-sometimes we just have to throw caution to the wind and go the easiest route-and today was the day) ...anyway, on the back of the ravioli is a recipe for baked ravioli. So I thought for Mikey's confirmation, maybe I would make that instead of baked ziti or lasagna. Anyway, I figured I would give it a try first before serving it to guests. It was so good. I made some meat sauce and put a little sauce in the bottom of the casserole. Then I put a layer of ravioli and topped it with meat sauce and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Then I repeated the layer a couple more times and topped with sauce and mozzarella cheese. Really really easy and very good. And much easier to cut and serve. I will definitely be making this for the confirmation party.

Also.....Mike and I went to vote. Now, we are conservative Republicans and we thought about not even voting since there were not many people on the ballot for us to vote for. But we figured we should do our duty and vote, and we did. I decided to vote for Ron Paul. Just for the hell of it. I figured what's the point in voting for McCain since he is already in. Oh and I also voted for myself. I wrote myself in for Republican Delegate. lol! I should have asked my republican friends to do the same. I may have had a chance to actually win since there aren't many Republicans even voting today. Oh well...

I only have two more classes left, and they are review classes for the final. I can't believe school is almost over. I will be so glad when I am done. Ah, to be able to read for pleasure! Can't wait!

The kids school year is winding down as well. I really need to figure out what we are going to do for our vacation this year. I am thinking we will go to the beach for a week or maybe a little longer. Then probably a couple more weekend camping trips. With the price of gas being so damn high, I just can't imagine we will be going far very often. We will just have to hang here and enjoy our pool and yard. Or hang out at my parents house and enjoy the boat. So what are you doing for summer vacation? Anything fun planned?

Monday, April 21, 2008


The past few days have been a whirl. I worked for a friend on their sausage cart on Friday and Saturday. Which was actually fun. We pretty much laughed the entire time. But before work on Saturday, we went to Brooks' soccer game...early....But it was worth it because they won 6-0! They are such a good team. I hope they do well at the tourney they are entering in a few weeks. While I was working (having fun at the sausage cart), Mike took Brooks to the baseball field for his baseball pictures and a chicken BBQ. Then Saturday night we went to friends house to hang out, enjoy the beautiful evening, and have a few drinks. Sunday was church and laundry and gardening. This is where the Ohmygodiamsofreakingtired! comes in. Raking, weeding, and trimming bushes(me), and planting and mulching(mike) makes 40 year old people very, very tired! I have a blister on my thumb and my wrist hurts. lol I am such a whiner. And there is still more to be done! But the front gardens are starting to look a lot better. We neglected them over the winter. I didn't get the leaves, etc. out before winter came so there were the usual weeds along with the frigging corn stalks that always blow in after the field is harvested. So today along with getting my house somewhat straightened out, I am going to go to the nursery and pick up a few more plants and some more mulch. I also would like to color my hair and I have a ton of homework to do as well. So no rest for the weary.

I think in the next week or two, I would like to really get serious about planning my vegetable garden. I don't have the set-up to actually start plants from seed. I probably should look into a small system of lights, etc. to do that since buying established plants is ridiculously expensive and seeds are relatively cheap. But we have no good windows to place plants and if we did, I think the cats would probably love to knock the plants to the floor so they can have that windowsill sunshine. The last couple of years I have had my vegetable garden in a part of the yard that probably isn't the best place for it. Between the house and the fence but I think it is getting too much shade there. So I want to move it, but our entire yard practically is a slope. Except of course where the swing set is. I don't want to put the garden right smack in the middle of the yard next to the swings because I think it will be in the way. But I am not sure how to do it on the sloped portion of the yard? I thought about building a raised garden but wow, the work that would be involved. I just don't know if I have it in me (or mike since he would probably be doing the hard work). I love being able to just walk outside and pick tomatoes, etc. But I am not sure that it is even worth it cost wise? Anyhoe...This is the stuff swirling through my mind this morning. Oh and it is Monday! Time for..........................

Monday: baked ravioli with meat sauce
Tuesday: crock pot chicken
Wednesday: Breakfast(french toast, eggs and maybe bacon)
Thursday: Chicken enchiladas, red beans and rice
Friday: Dinner at friends(kids eat pizza)
Saturday: Steak, baked potato, spinach
Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs

Monday, April 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday and a Meme!

It's that time of the week again. Monday which means another week of school, sports and activities. Last week I did not follow my menu plan very closely so this week, some of last weeks menu will be seen on my menu this week. That's OK. As long as we are not buying food out, we are doing OK. Keep reading below my menu for the Meme my good friend Leeann tagged me with. Thanks a lot Leeann! lol

Monday: Cheese and lobster ravioli, salad

Tuesday: Crock pot roast chicken

Wednesday: Auntie Anne's pretzel dogs(yea I know, real healthy-so sue me)!

Thursday: pork chops, spinach, apple sauce, scalloped potatoes

Friday: Pizza

Saturday: Chicken BBQ through baseball

Sunday: Some sort of beef. Steak or a roast. Not sure yet.

OK, so on to the meme....

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.***

So I have to first say, I am a rule breaker so I am going to break the third rule and not tag anyone. Mostly because I don't know who to tag. So if your reading this and want to participate, that is great! Leave a message in the comment section with a link to your blog.

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?

10 years ago, Mikey was just 4 and Caitey was almost 3 and I was just a few month pregnant with Brooks. We were living in a little house in Pasadena Maryland and were looking for a bigger home and had our house up for sale. It was a good time, a happy time. Lots of great new things happening. With two little kids in the house who actually loved one another and weren't afraid to show it was great. They played very well together and we had a lot of fun. Our house was very small though. About 1000 sq ft. and only had 2 bedrooms. So both of the kids were sharing the second bedroom and with a third child on the way, it was obvious we needed to move. Moving would prove to be bitter-sweet because we lived in a lovely older neighborhood in a water front community in MD. That summer that I was pregnant with Brooks we would walk over to the community beach just about every day and go swimming. It was the only relief I got being so pregnant that hot summer. Plus I wanted to keep the kids out of the house as much as possible so that I could keep the house clean for showings. It was also at that time that that I joined an email loop called OML October Moms Loop. That is where I met Leeann!

Five Snacks I enjoy:

In a perfect, non weight-gaining world

1. chocolate-cookies, cake, brownies doesn't really matter as long as it is chocolate.

2. candy-as long as it is chocolate. Not really interested in fruity candy. That's for sissies.

3. Hot crab dip or really, just about any dip

4. Potato chips. I love salty.

5. cheese, especially brie with hot pepper jelly on top. Yum!

In the real world

1. fluff(this is sugar free jello powder mixed in with lite cool whip and cottage cheese and some sort of fruit) It tastes great and is a somewhat healthy alternative to say, ice cream.

2. bruschetta on garlic toast

3. hard pretzels

4. some sort of fresh fruit

5. sunflower seeds(I get my salty fix)

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. buy a farm with lots of land and either a custom built new home that has all of the character and charm of an old home with all of the energy conservation of a "green" home, or an old rehabbed home.

2. since I would now own a huge home with land I would want to adopt a couple of kids.

3. make sure my family and extended family had what they needed to pay for college for the kids.

4. quit school or work and just volunteer-something to do with children

5. travel and share with my family and friends.

Five jobs that I have had:

1. Rite Aid cashier

2. Chucky at Chuck E Cheese

3. nanny

4. receptionist

5. Black Bear shed sales person

Three of my habits:

1. I have to read before I go to sleep. Something, anything.

2.I always have to pee before I leave the house. Even if i just went, I have to go again. I don't claim to understand my neurosis, I am just keeping it real.

3. I have to check the locks before I go upstairs for bed.

Five place I have lived:

1. Baltimore, Maryland

2. Towson, Maryland

3. Pasadena, Maryland

4. Essex, Maryland

By now your thinking I am soooooooo

5. Pennsylvania!

Five People I Want to Get to Know Better: (a nice way of saying TAG!) But don't feel obligated! Just do it if you want to.

OK so as I said, I decided to break the rules and not tag anyone. SO if you want to participate, please do so. If not, I can't say that I blame you! lol

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, Day of Rest... NOT

Even though I would love to be able to rest all day today, I can not. I have got to rally the troops and get down into the dungeon and do some heave duty decluttering. It is a freaking mess down there. Between the kids toys, the storage stuff and misc. crap that should just be thrown away, there is a lot to be done. So we are going to get a crack-a-lackin and go clean. Hopefully this wont end in an all out screaming match between Mike and me or the kids. He would like to just clear everything out of there (except for his stuff) and I am a pack rat so it is physically painful for me to get rid of some stuff. Especially the baby clothes, etc. that are down there. But I am going to really put forth a great effort to get rid of as much as possible. We are going to make 5 piles.
1. Trash
2. Goodwill
3. Keep
4. Sell on Ebay
5. Take to consignment store

My hope is that the biggest pile will be goodwill, followed by trash, consignment, keep and sell. We'll see! Wish me luck!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Brooks had his second soccer game today. Second game ever, and his team rocks! They won 10-0! Brooks is pretty good too. Not great, but not half bad either. I am pretty proud of him. Best of all, he loves soccer! Which is pretty damn cool since I made him sign up for soccer and once again had the pleasure of announcing that mother knows best. lol

Monday, April 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

We are in for a string of busy weeks between school, sports, and planning the Confirmation party. So I will try to keep my menu as easy as possible.

Monday: Cheese and lobster ravioli, spinach salad
Tuesday: Swiss steak in crock pot
Thursday: pork chops, scalloped potatoes, apple sauce
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: BBQ chicken on grill, German potato salad, carrots mushrooms & red peppers and ranch dip.

Leeann asked for my bruscetta recipe. Here it is.


3 large tomatoes chopped
2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
about 20 basil leaves chopped
ground pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste
olive oil
balsamic vinegar


1. chopped tomatoes in bowl
2. add garlic and mix together
3. add enough olive oil to cover almost to the half way point of the tomatoes
4. add balsamic vinegar by going around the bowl a few times.
5. add basil
6. add salt and pepper and half of the sugar
7. mix together and taste. If too vinegary, add more sugar (I use splenda).

That's about it. I use a lot of garlic and basil. You can use fresh garlic but I am too lazy to chop it. I find the minced is just fine.

I buy bread at the bakery in my grocery store and have them slice it for me. Use a thin loaf like a baguette but french does not work well because it is too light and has too many holes. I like a denser bread.

To prepare the bread I drizzle olive oil on a cookie sheet. Then I made sure it is coating the sheet then put the bread down on it. Next drizzle more olive oil on top of the bread and sprinkle with garlic salt. Put in the oven for 5 minutes then take out and turn toast over for another minute or two. You do not want it too toasted. Just a nice golden color on one side. It should still have a little bit of chewiness to it when you bite into it. This makes the best bruscetta bread.

Or, you can toast one side of the bread, turn it over and place the tomato and a little bit of cheese on top and put it back into the oven for a hot appetizer.

This tomato mixture also tastes GREAT over pasta.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weekend stuff

We had a pretty nice weekend. Went to Baltimore to my parents house on Friday. Stayed over night and visited with my sister and her family who were up from North Carolina for a few days. It was nice seeing the niece and nephew.( you can actually see my nephew if you look at my previous post about my nephews NHL debut) The cousins had a great time playing together and catching up. I wish we lived closer. It is sad that they cant spend more time together. On Saturday my brother, sister, and I along with our spouses all took the kids bowling. That was a trip. They had a blast though and good memories were made. Brooks kicked butt and out of everyone had the highest score. I think it was around 111 so as you can see, we all collectively suck at bowling. except for Brooks of course. He did OK!

Mike, Caitey and I came home Saturday night and left the boys in Baltimore. I had to come home so I could get a decent nights sleep. We decided to take Catiey out on a date Saturday night. We tortured her by singing songs from the 80's and talking about how we were on a mom and dad and Catiey date. Since she is almost 13, she was not amused. I think the trip to Hollister and the t-shirt bought for her, made up for any embarrassment we may have caused. Not that we cared. :)

Today my mom brought the boys back to us and we grilled some delicious steaks and I made Pioneer Woman's creamed spinach (which I liked but there was a little too much cream). I also made my famous bruscetta). (OK so maybe famous in my mind only but still...) I could live on that stuff. So now I am having a glass of wine and Mike is watching the Tudors on showtime. I can't get into that show. It is just too violent or something.

We are also planning a Confirmation party for Mikey in May. It just so happens that Caitey will be turning 13 the next day (mothers day) so I am thinking of combining her birthday with his party. Hope that isn't too tacky! But I figure if I can get it all over with in one day, that is a very good thing (casue I will need the next day to recover). But it also means I need to plan a party and spring cleaning and gardening and the end of my semester (finals) etc. all within the next few weeks. 4 to be exact. Ugh! So I think I will go get another glass of wine now and maybe retire to my bathroom and have a nice long bath. I think I need the relaxation time before all this party planning goes into full effect. Tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2008

NHL Debut

This is my nephew Jacksons, NHL debut. How freaking cute is he?? He is cute. Just take my word for it if you can't tell because he is all padded up. Cute.