Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Husband's Favorite Cookies

 
My husband has been asking me to make Honey Cookies for a while.  So I thought I would share it with you guys!  This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies.  I always bake half and then roll the rest in wax paper for some slice and bake cookies for later.  Here's the recipe:
 
 
Chewy Honey Cookies
1 1/2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups sifted flour
4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt.
 
Directions:  Cream together on high speed shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Blend in honey.  Add eggs, one at a time beating well.  Blend in vanilla.  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamy mixture.  Shape into 1" balls and place 2" apart.  Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.



Monday, August 20, 2012

More coming soon!!!

I know it's been a while since my last post.  I have tons of things in the works.  A yummy cookie recipe that my family loves, some more crockpot freezer meals and some awesome exercise tips!

Truth is, it's that time of year.  Summer is over and I am spending most of my free time in my classroom setting up.  I am very excited, it's going to be a great year!  My husband also just started his new job as a firefighter, so I've been busy taking care of extra things with that as well.  We have been praying for this transition for just about 4 years now.  Seems like an eternity.  We had just gotten engaged when an unexpected event happened and he was left no choice but to leave his current fire job.  We thought about postponing the wedding and waiting things out.  I'm glad we didn't!  Not sure I could have waited 4 years!!!  We've been through so much in that time and God has done so much in our marriage.  Although it was a very difficult journey, I am so glad it happened the way it did.  Do you ever think about things like that?  Do you ever think even though it was so incredibly hard, you are grateful God brought you through it?

Anyhow,  I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm still here, just very busy at the moment!  I promise this weekend you'll get to see lots of fun stuff!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Poverty Immersion Experience

My school staff took part in a Poverty Immersion Experience last week.  No, this wasn't one of those things where they make you live on the street for a day, but I feel like we really got a tasts of the kinf of poverty that isn't so far away from home.  The scary thing is that my family, or many of my friend's families could end up like the pretend family I was apart of with just a couple bad things happening.  I know that we have enough is savings for us to get by for a few months, but other than that, we live paycheck to paycheck.  I think most people do.  Yet another reason I started my Shaklee business, so we could change that.  But that's not the point of this post.  I live in a fairly rural area in Texas, so I don't think about poverty that often I guess.  I don't really see it on the street corner.  Here's a map that lays it out for you.  It was borrowed from CDC.gov.  From what I can tell, there is actually quite a bit of poverty in my area.  I know there it's in my school, we have over half our kids on free and reduced lunches.



When we came inside the building, we were assigned a person to be and a family that we would be part of.  I was Ben, 42 years old with 3 kids.  My 16 year old daughter was 7 months pregnant and I had lost my job as a computer programmer 2 months ago.   My wife was working as a receptionist for a hospital for $9 an hour.  We had bills.  Nothing more than what most people have--car payment, student loans, mortgage, credit card bill, utilities, etc.  Oh, and don't forget we needed food, school supplies, new clothes and the gas to get us everywhere! 

When I got my role card and read the amount of money we made and the amount we had to pay compared to how much my wife was bringing in, it was clear we weren't going to make everything work.  We had to sell some of our belongings.  My 16 year old pregnant daughter had to stay out of school to help me go to all the places to make payments since of course internet service was one of the things that had to go!  I had to stand in line everywhere and wait to take care of things.  There just wasn't enough time for it all to get done.  I was rushing from place to place and the people weren't always very friendly.  I found it so hard to go from one place to another, that the idea of sparing time and gas to go "get help" wasn't the top priority.  In addition to the daily things that had to be taken care of, you would get dealt kind of like "chance" cards in Monopoly.  Like the car broke down, or a family member sent you some money. 

Anyhow, the reason we did this was to see what it might be like to be down on our luck.  I was only in that situation for an hour and it was exhausting.  I can only imagine why parents don't come to the parent teacher conferences, or why some students come to school dirty, hungry, without homework done or falling asleep.  It was such a moving experience and I'm glad I got to be part of it.  You can click here to go to the website for the place that put this activity on for us:  Center of Hope.  I am so grateful for God's grace on my family and how even when things have been tight, he's brought us through it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Great Cookbook I'm Using!

I am so excited to share Mama and Baby Love's cookbook with you!  I have used a couple of her recipes, but I will be using 5 recipes of hers in my next freezer cooking day in the next week or so!  You should definitely check her out.  Click here to visit Mama And Baby Love.

She is truly awesome, she has labels for you to print and everything!  This is what I'm aspiring to do!  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Crockpot Freezer Cooking 5

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Hey guys!  Here is my latest set of crock pot to freezer recipes.  I hope you enjoy.  I do appreciate all your comments.  Just so you know, I do make these for my family and I do what works for us, so I apologize in advance if these don't suite your family's needs.  I simply post these to share what we are doing at home.

A few tips:
  • Each bag is one meal that serves a family of 4 typically.  Some meals are a little bigger and leave leftovers.
  • I do not defrost my bags overnight.  You can if you want, but I haven't had any issues just putting the frozen chunk in.  However, some people say that doing that may cause a foodborne illness.  We have never gotten sick from this.  I also find that by putting it in frozen there is less chance of things overcooking/burning.
  • I run the bag under hot water for about 30 seconds to loosen the contents from the bag before dumping the contents in the crockpot.
  • This particular meal plan cost me about $120 for the ten meals.  That's $12 a meal--can't beat that!
  • At this time, I am not offering printable recipes/grocery lists.  But you can copy and paste into a word document.
  • Feel free to share my ideas, but please link back to this post!
  • I also recommend getting Mama and Baby Love's e-cookbook.  It has 20 great recipes and includes printable labels for your bags!  Love her stuff!!  Click here to get it.



Here's what's on the menu this week!

Mediterranean Pork Chops

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chick broth
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
6-8 thick cut pork chops

Directions:  Split all ingredients into two bags.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with salad and rice or noodles.

Beef Pot Roast

2  2lb boneless chuck roasts
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion diced
4 bay leaves
4 beef bouillon cubes crushed
4 garlic cloves
2 cans of cream of mushroom
1/2 cup Chardonnay

Directions:  Sear the roasts on all sides.  Split ingredients into two bags.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve with potatos and salad.  You can add other veggies if desired.  Warning: new potatoes are the only ones that freeze acceptably.

Chipotle Lime Chicken

2 cups diced onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
8 skinless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tbsp miced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro
2 sliced avacodos

Directions:  Split all ingredients into two bags except avacado.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve with avacodo on top.  Serve on top of rice or noodles.

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

2 cans of beef broth
3 lbs of boneless pork ribs
1 large bottle BBQ sauce

Directions:  Slipt all ingredients into two bags except BBQ sauce.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degress.  Shred pork and put in cooking pan and mix in BBQ sauce.  Cook for 30 minutes or until warmed.  Serve on buns.  *You can use bone-in pork ribs, the meat falls right off and they are a bit cheaper.

Chicken Taco Soup

2 onions diced
2 cans of chili beans
2 cans of black beans
2 cans corn, drained
2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans chicken broth
4 cans of Rotel undrained
2 taco seasoning packets
6 chicken breasts
cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Directions:  Split all ingredients except cheese, sour cream, and chips into two bags.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Top with cheese, sour cream and chips.  This makes a lot of soup!



And here is the grocery list:

Meats:
6-8 thick cut boneless pork chops
4 pound boneless chuck roast
8 lbs skinless chicken thighs
3 lbs boneless pork ribs
6 chicken breasts

Condiments:
½ cup Chardonnay
large bottle bbq sauce
Canned:
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans cream of mushroom
3 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 cans (14oz) beef broth
2 cans chili beans
2 cans black beans
2 cans corn
4 cans Rotel
Packaged
Tortilla chips
Sandwich rolls
Produce:
12 cloves of garlic
2 avacados
½ cup cilantro
4 large onion
2 cups celery
2 cups carrots
½ cup lime juice
Spices:
¼ cup olive oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
paprika
garlic powder
poultry seasoning
oregano
basil
4 bay leaves
5-6 beef bouillon cubes
2 packets taco seasoning
Dairy:
Cheese
Sour Cream







Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I'm Quitting Soda!

Hey friends!  I wrote a post about quitting sodas for my friend Jaima's blog!  I'd love for you to check it out here:  http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/08/quitting-soda.html

Here is a little preview:

To start, I have to tell you about my husband. I guess it was about a month into dating, he told me that he used chewing tobacco. While I was thoroughly disgusted, I had already fallen in love with him. I told him that it was fine, but once we had kids, it had to stop. I knew in all honesty, that he’d likely never quit, especially if he really didn’t want to. I am so proud to say that 4 years later, with a two year old at home, my husband finally quit! I have never been so proud! I had been nagging at him since my mom was diagnosed with cancer, and even more after she passed away. I understood the addiction side—I’m addicted to sodas. I always thought that it wasn’t nearly as bad of an addiction, but since my husband quit, I decided to do some research to help convince myself to stop drinking soda.

Now, I LOVE cokes. It’s often one of the first things on my mind when I wake up– I need a fix.  Terrible isn’t it?......

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Garlic Chicken Ranch and Fajitas Crockpot Freezer Meals

Okay, here it is!  I know everyone has been looking for these recipes and here they are!  I know I found these online, but I can not remember where, I only found my typed up copy for shopping and meal prep.  So, if I have posted your recipe, please let me know I will credit you promptly!  I never want to steal someone's ideas!  Just borrow!  :)

Garlic Ranch Chicken
8 Chicken breasts
2 bottles of ranch (you may want to use ranch packets and add the milk/mayo on crockpot day)
2 cup of mayo
3-4 tbsp of garlic
*Add in some crumbled bacon if you want to make it special!

Directions:  Split all ingredients into two gallon sized baggies.  Cook on low 8 hours.

Fajitas
2 lbs of round steak or chicken
2 8oz cans of Rotel
1 large onion
1 green pepper, strips
1 red pepper, strips
2 tsp cilantro
2-4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 jalapeno

Directions:  Split all ingredients into two bags.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve with fajita fixings!

My Week in Paradise

Well, it's taking me a lot more time than I anticipated to get back into the swing of things since coming home from vacation! Sorry I've been MIA for so long. I thought I'd share some pictures of our vacation!

We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed our all-inclusive Adults Only resort; it was so peaceful and relaxing. No wonder I am having a hard time getting back into things! I took naps on the beach every afternoon. I didn't have to cook or clean anything. I didn't have to worry about anyone else. It was nice, but I was really happy to get back to my little boy. We are still dealing with a little separation anxiety. He's been attached to my hip since we got home. That's probably another reason I haven't gotten any blogging done!









And now I begin my Cinch weight loss program to get those extra vacaction pounds off! Good thing I love all the Cinch products!  Jen's story is so inspiring to me!

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