Monday, January 12, 2015

[menu plan Monday]

Here's our menu for this week...

Sunday - Grilled Cheese (McKayslin had grilled cheese and an apple.  I had grilled cheese and some smoked salmon.  Luke had grilled turkey and cheese).

Monday - Waffles, Bubba Syrup, Sausage, Eggs

Tuesday - Porcupines, Biscuits, Green Beans

Wednesday - Baked Salmon, Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Scones

Thursday - Homemade Fish and "Chips"

Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs, homemade French Bread, Corn

Saturday - Hamburger Gravy over Rice, Green Beans, Rolls

Whisk together 2 eggs and 1 3/4 cups milk.
Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup oil, 1 TBSP brown sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt.
Beat until smooth.
Cook on a hot waffle iron until steam stops.
Makes 6 large waffles.

Bubba Syrup
In a saucepan combine 1 stick butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp white corn syrup.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Stop stirring and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp baking soda.  Syrup will foam up and get bubbly.

Combine 1 pound ground beef with 1/3 cup uncooked rice, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup water, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Mix well and form into meatballs.  (This is super easy to double and then freeze the other half of the meatballs at this point).
In a deep skillet with a tight fitting lid, combine 1 can tomato soup, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1 cup water.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat.  Add the meatballs.  Cover and simmer, stirring frequently for about an hour until the rice is tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
If you're using the frozen porcupines, mix the sauce ingredients and put the sauce and frozen meatballs into the crock pot.  Cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-6 hours, stirring when you get a chance.

Mix together 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 TBSP sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cream of tartar.  Use a pastry blender to cut in 6 TBSP cold butter.  Do NOT overmix.  The butter should be little globs throughout the flour mixture.
Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk.  Stir just until combined.
On a well floured surface, knead about 15 turns of the dough, kneading in enough flour for a very soft but non-sticky dough.
Pat dough about an inch to and inch and a half thick.  Cut with a glass or biscuit cutter to make only 8 biscuits.
Bake at 450* until golden brown and the middle is no longer doughy.
Cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before serving.

Spaghetti and Meatballs
For the sauce...
In a large pot, saute' 1/2 chopped onion and 2 tsp minced garlic in a little bit of oil until soft and fragrant.
Stir in 28 oz. crushed tomatoes and 16 oz. tomato sauce.
Add 2 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/2 - 1 tsp dried oregano (or Italian Seasoning), 2 tsp salt, and 2 TBSP sugar.
Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to a simmer and let simmer for an hour or more.

For the meatballs...
Combine 1 pound ground beef with 1 TBSP minced dried onion, 1 tsp season salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup oats, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup water.
Mix well.  Form into meatballs.
Bake at 350* until nearly done.
Add to the sauce and simmer together while you cook the noodles.

We like the leftover meatballs and sauce as meatball subs.  Or if there is only leftover sauce and no meatballs, I freeze the leftover sauce to use in tomato macaroni soup.

French Bread
Mix 1 tsp SAF instant yeast with 1 tsp sugar and 1 1/2 cups warm water.  Let proof until bubbly (about 5-10 minutes).
Add 1 1/2 tsp salt and 2 cups flour.  Mix well.
(I use my small Bosch for this - there's not enough dough for the big Bosch, but a Kitchen-Aide would work fine.  You could also do this by hand).
Mix in 2 more cups flour.  Knead about 8 minutes.  The dough will be fairly stiff.
Let rest until doubled (about an hour).
Divide into equal portions (1 big loaf, 2 skinnier baguette type loaves, or our favorite, 8 hoagie size buns).  Shape.  Place on a Silpat lined cookie sheet to rise about 30 minutes.
With a knife, slash each loaf 2 times - carefully and quickly.
Gently brush each loaf with water (use a pastry brush).  This will give the bread that chewy, crispy crust.
Bake at 400* until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped.  This will take anywhere from 15-25 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your loaves.

We also like to eat this bread hot from the oven dipped into a mixture of 1 stick melted butter, 1 tsp dried parsley, and 2 tsp minced garlic.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

[mental shift] MENU PLANNING

We set this goal as a family to live on one income and save the other.  It can be done.  It will take patience. And a whole lot of planning.  (I so just had a song from Into the Woods running through my head - it takes patience, and fear, and despair to change - though you swear to change, who can tell if you do?). That's kind of where we are...patience, and fear and despair to change...

Yesterday I had this huge mental temper tantrum.  Wah, wah, wah - we can't go out to eat, it's not in the budget.  Wah, wah, wah - I have to cook again tonight, and I'VE COOKED EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT.THIS.WEEK.ALREADY.AND.IT'S.THE.FIRST.WEEK.BACK.TO.SCHOOL.AFTER.CHRISTMAS.BREAK.  Wah, wah, wah.  I don't have time to cook.  (Wait, what?! - If I have time to go to town, get something to eat, and then come home, I certainly have time to cook dinner).

I'm such a spoiled brat.

I didn't even make the menu plan for this week, McKayslin did!  Yes, I've had to cook.  But she planned it.  And Luke does the dishes.  And miracle of miracles (name that musical!), our kitchen counter has stayed cleared off for 9 entire days.  That has never happened before.

Luke only ate out one lunch this week.  And I didn't eat school lunch at all.  McKayslin ate school lunch twice this week.  Because she wanted to.

That realization brought a slight mental shift.  My stomach hasn't hurt all week.  We've eaten dinner at the table every night (except last night which is always the exception for Friday night pizza and a movie).  We've actually talked to each other instead of playing on our tablets or watching tv.  It's been quite nice.

I knew I needed a better way to menu plan - something that involved the menu plan and the grocery list all on one page.  Something that would leave my menu plan safely at home on my fridge. I'm certain there are at least 121 different things floating around the internet.

My right brained reality would much rather make one than search for one.  

So I made one.

And I posted it on Instagram.
That's when I realized that I wasn't the only one looking for a better way to plan.  My friends were just as excited about this little thing as I am!

I made a few tweaks to the original document.  Things that I had forgotten, or that, when I filled out the form, annoyed me.

What I did love...
• There's a spot to write what I think we need when I'm planning.  And a spot to transfer it to the grocery list when I check if we really do need it or not.

• The grocery part can be cut off the bottom and taken to the store, while the menu plan stays intact, clean, and unwrinkled on my fridge.

• It's cute.  And it starts on Sunday.  We shop on Saturdays.

What I didn't love...
• I needed more space to write the actual menu.

• I was missing a whole lot of categories for the shopping list part.

• The font wasn't my favorite (I know, first world problem!)

So...this morning, I updated. Tweaked. Fixed.  And came up with this.

I haven't tried it out yet.  We'll see if it makes the cut when I menu plan next week.  ;)  This week, I'm sticking with the one I already filled out.  Because I'm lazy.  And it's already done.

Click on the image to download your own copy if you'd like.  Let me know if you find something that doesn't quite work.  I tried to lay out the grocery shopping boxes so they would follow the sections of the store.  But realized they don't follow our grocery store but our Wal-Mart.  I think it will be okay.  

We'll see.

I'll post our actual menu plan and recipes a little later.  I need to go cut the bread for french toast.   

Happy Planning! 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

[gospel principles] lesson 14 ~ Priesthood Organization

I actually really love teaching Gospel Principles.  Even though we're on round 3 of teaching through the manual, with each lesson, I learn something new.  Today our lesson is Priesthood Organization, lesson 14.

This lesson is one that I have struggled to understand and teach well in the past.  For some reason, my brain gets too wrapped up in the logistics of Priesthood VS Keys of the Priesthood.  I'm grateful that Brother Lott and Brother McBride are in Sunday School nearly every Sunday and can redirect and clarify when I get lost.  :)  This is the 2nd time I've taught this exact lesson.  I *think* I have a little better understanding than the last go round.  I guess we'll see.

Another thing that has been challenging for me is class participation.  I'm fully 100% guilty of being that person in class who never says anything, even when the teacher asks, so I totally understand why sometimes I ask a question and hear crickets...

As a teacher by profession, I understand that participation increases understanding.  It's just a lot less work to get 6 and 7 year olds to participate than to get adults to respond.  Somewhere along the way, we gain all of these insecurities and inhibitions.

One thing that has helped me understand each lesson I teach a little better is to sketch, doodle, or simply write out parts of the lesson that are more difficult to understand or the parts that really stuck out to me.  Interestingly enough, the lessons I've taught 3 times now have 3 very distinct and different sketches.  Sometimes the differences are very noticeable to me and pinpoint something with which I was struggling.  Other times the differences are more subtle, yet as the lesson is given, a comment is made by a class member allowing me a glimpse of a question they had, directly correlating to the difference in the delivery of that lesson.  And sometimes, all of my sketching, planning, drawing gets thrown completely out in the midst of delivering the lesson.

How grateful I am for the counsel and direction of my Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost as I prepare and teach each lesson.  Each lesson I teach is an opportunity for me to study, pray, and catch another glimpse of how much our Father in Heaven loves us.

Wow, that was a fun little tangent...  I ramble.  I know.

What I'm getting at is this little handout I made to go with today's lesson.  We're studying the Organization of the Priesthood.  I've included some quotes from the lesson that were ones I've highlighted in several colors in my manual (I use a different color each time I prepare a lesson - helps me see the differences).  And there are spaces to discuss and discover the duties of each office in the Priesthood, as well as a brief moment of reminder - Priesthood/Keys of the Priesthood.

You're welcome to use this printable for teaching your own Sunday School lesson, Family Home Evening, or personal study.  The image is linked.  Just click on it and it will take you to dropbox where you can download or print.  If the link doesn't work, please leave me a comment to let me know.  It's been a long time since I've done anything like this.

If you have questions about what our family believes, let me know.  I have some friends I can send your way.  :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Well, hi there!

Welcome to MamaGoose Craft and Bakery (and whatever other things we decide to dabble in)...

Here you'll find recipes, crafts (mostly handmade cards and digital scrapbook layouts), printables for home and church, and a little bit of everything.