Category Archives: Recipes/Food

Bisque

I got my new cookbook a few days ago. So excited to try some of the Trim Healthy Mama recipes that are gathering rave reviews on Facebook and the internet.

Trim Healthy Mama cookbook

Gorgeous pictures, over 300 recipes, and good for you treats!

Tonight I made the tomato chicken bisque. It was delicious AND healthy – everyone loved it.

David gives the bisque the thumbs up!

David gives the bisque the thumbs up!

Tim walked around saying, “BIIIISSSSSQQQQUUUUEEE.” Which was a bit odd until he showed us this Studio C video.

Lobster Bisque.

Of course, after watching this video, I decided Tim might be a bit odd as well. He and the kids are on a Studio C kick these days. Have you watched any of these videos? Which one is your favorite?

Never a dull moment around here!

Project 365 – Days 298 & 299
Kathy

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Fresh Spring Rolls

By Sarah

Today, for my special day with Dad, we set up a bank account for me and went to the store on a mission. Our mission was to buy ingredients for homemade spring rolls. Our hope was that we could make homemade peanut sauce and spring rolls to surprise Mom. But, when we received the call that she was coming home, we decided to let her in on our secret.

As soon as she got home, she jumped with joy at seeing the ingredients arrayed out on the counter and we quickly explained our plan. She pounced on our plan with excitement and we got to work. We soon finished making the peanut sauce and started on readying the rice paper. We laid the rice paper in warm water and waited… Faster than we thought, the rice paper softened and we laid it softly on a dry towel. All the spring roll fixings were not so neatly put on the counter; lettuce, cilantro, baby shrimp, shredded carrots, and Thai basil.

Spring roll fixings

Spring roll fixings

We assembled, ate, assembled some more, and even more eating, and finally most of us were full. MOST of us. Mom, well just wasn’t quite. She could eat those for days and never grow tired of them.

Mom with her fresh spring rolls

Mom with her fresh spring rolls


Mom eating her beloved spring rolls

Mom eating her beloved spring rolls

Well, I must say that these spring rolls were a huge success and I wouldn’t be surprised if we made some more tomorrow.

Project 365 – Day 269
Sarah

Ps. Oh and eventually Mom filled up on spring rolls and reluctantly tore herself away from the kitchen, so no need to worry about her.

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Sarah Cooks – Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

We’re continuing with our meal planning. Hooray! It’s not difficult, but does require me to make an actual plan. The wonderful thing is that Sarah has gotten to the age (and experience) where she can do a good portion of the work.

And, it turns out, if you abandon her, say, and go off to a meeting, leaving her with a recipe and ingredients and strict instructions to feed her father and brother, she can do all the work!!

Gathering the ingredients

Gathering the ingredients

I had a Board meeting for our homeschool co-op, and I left Sarah with instructions to make dinner.

"Let me see if I understand everything here."

“Let me see if I understand everything here.”

She did beautifully – read through all the directions before I left. Gathered all the ingredients – again, before I left. And prepared dinner.

"I've got this, Mom!  Go to your meeting!"

“I’ve got this, Mom! Go to your meeting!”

I got a text from David in the middle of my meeting.

“Oh, Mom! I am soooooo stuffed! I ate so much of Sarah’s dinner. It was delicious!!”

Hooray, a success. Obviously I didn’t take any pictures of the final recipe (since I was gone), but it was taken from Pinch of Yum website and turned out perfectly. We used slightly less peppers, but otherwise followed the recipe.

Note to readers – MAKE THIS RECIPE!! So tasty.

This recipe was so yummy! I’m definitely adding it to our rotation again. I have found wonderful recipes on the pinchofyum site. And her photography is gorgeous! Visit this blog as soon as you can – it is a delight to the eyes and the palate.

Can’t wait to see what Sarah makes next!

Project 365 – Day 251 (Sept 8)
Kathy

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Meal Planning

Oh my mercy! If there is one thing that I can NOT SEEM TO CONQUER, it is meal planning. I don’t know why in the world this relatively simple task seems to elude me. I have tried over the years, really I have. There are notebooks scattered all over the house with menu plans scribbled in them. I have binders full of recipes. I have shelves of gorgeous cookbooks.

I have NO excuses. Oh, I have lots of reasons why I don’t like to meal plan, or why I can’t seem to “get it,” but none of them are very plausible.

“It’s too difficult?” Um, really? Picking 5 or more dishes is hard?
“It takes too much time?” Hmmm, isn’t it just a matter of deciding on a recipe and making it?
“It’s too confining! I prefer spontaneity.” Well, couldn’t you “spontaneously” pick out a few dishes to make?
“It’s too hard to have the right ingredients on hand.” LOL! Girl, you live 5 blocks from a major grocery store.
“It takes too much work.” Bwahaha, aren’t you making meals for your family anyway? This does not have to take any MORE time than what you’re already doing.

See! Even the voice in my own head is working against me, crushing my excuses.

Harrumph.

Our first attempt at a new (meal planning) recipe.

Our first attempt at a new (meal planning) recipe.

Since this week (and the last) were sort of limbo weeks for me, and I was a little gloomy anyway, it seemed like the perfect time to spend hours on Pinterest. Oh, and meal planning is just the kind of thing that is ALL OVER Pinterest. Goodness, there are meal plans for gluten-free diets, paleo diets, low carb, low fat, large families, busy families, and everything in between.

Finally, something struck my fancy.

And really, I think it’s all about what would make this fun for MOM here in this instance.

My beautiful assistant.

My beautiful assistant.

Theme Meal Planning

I read how one family enjoyed the simplicity, comfort and fun of having regular themes for their meal planning. I quickly pinned several great blog posts, but, after a little bit, realized I would actually have to get up and do some real planning if I wanted to make it happen. So much more fun to just lose track of time on Pinterest. Sigh.

I made Sarah come and sit at the table with me. I gave her the options of different themes and asked her to help me. We settled on:

Monday: Soup
Tuesday: Pasta
Wednesday: Crock-pot
Thursday: Casserole
Friday: Seafood
Saturday: International
Sunday: Roast and veggies

Next I handed her cookbooks and asked her to pick out recipes. She found a yummy looking chicken noodle soup (with homemade noodles) for Monday, a one-pot pasta recipe on Pinterest, and a delicious enchilada recipe from my Mexican cookbook for Saturday. We already have a crock-pot meal in the freezer. Things were rapidly coming together. We made a list of ingredients and went to the store. Again, fairly easy and painless.

Sarah wrote the meals down on a cute divided picture frame I bought and made sure to put it in plain sight.

Found this on the local FB sale page.

Found this on the local FB sale page.

Who knows, maybe I can conquer the anti-meal-planning giant that always seems to beat me down. And teach Sarah and David to cook in the process. Win-win.

Project 365 – Day 243 (Aug 31)
Kathy

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Sunshine, Healthy Apps, and Getting in Shape

The sun has been shining for days here in western Washington. It’s been wonderful. Truly we have been spoiled. Twice we went to the beach with friends. On Sunday, Sarah and I went to Costco and picked out some beautiful hanging flower baskets.

Sunshine - time to go for a walk.

Sunshine – time to go for a walk.

Today the temps had dropped, but the rain that threatened to come held off another day. Throwing on a winter coat (making sure there were gloves in the pocket), I met up with two friends for a morning walk. We managed to get in two miles before needing to return home and start the day. There is something about sunshine and the crisp air that cries out to be enjoyed.

Of course, I am very fond of sunshine and warm air as well. Especially if I can go some place like this:

I never get tired of looking at that blue water.

Rachel, Sarah, Jenny, and David – remember this? Ahhhh, I never get tired of looking at that blue water.

Tim surprised me with an early Mother’s Day present on Friday. A new cell phone!!! I was tired from a long day at co-op, so I barely appreciated it that day. However, I’ve been playing with it ever since. And today, my bright pink case arrived.

"Pink is my signature color."

“Pink is my signature color.”

I am attempting once again to take control of my eating and lose some weight this spring. I added the app for myfitnesspal.com in order to log my food and calories. I have tried to use this system before, with little success. This time I have made some tweaks to my recording, and so far it’s been a huge encouragement. I have a few friends who are also tracking their food and exercise. Seeing their exercise notifications pop up has given me new motivation to get moving.

FriendGirl has burned 280 calories doing 52 minutes of cardio exercises, including “Walking, 3.5 mph, brisk pace”
JJ255 has burned 202 calories doing 25 minutes of Aerobics, high impact

There’s even a category to record light cleaning and yard work. These programmers think of everything!

The next app I installed was runkeeper.com. Tim and Rachel both use this app for recording some of their exercise. I have only used it three times, and I already love it. With the gps turned on in my phone, I can start off for a walk or a jog and the phone automatically tracks the time I exercise, the distance I travel and the calories I burn. Love technology!!

Add to that a weekly weigh-in with two other friends, and it is obvious I am taking this spring shape up seriously. I’ve got a little bit of everything –

- recording food/tracking calories
- no sugar or junk food
- at the same time freedom in how I choose to distribute the daily calories
- walking and light weight training
- weigh in/accountability with committed friends

I am hoping to see great progress over the spring and into the summer. In the meantime I went for two walks today, made healthy food choices, and was under my calories. This is day 15 of recording my food! Praying to be faithful for the long haul.

Project 365 – Day 112
Kathy

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