Wednesday, November 10

Another cook done

Well I finally finished cooking last night. I had one meal left on my list so I decided to make it for dinner and then freeze the extras. Here are some of the things that went on this weekend, along with some reminders to myself. I think bullets will make it easier to write it all down. It was a crazy weekend for sure and there are many reasons it took me so long. Such is life, it's never perfect, but always worth living.

  • Next time I cook remind me to follow my own advice. It really makes sense!
  • For example: Only choose one new recipe to try. It takes time to learn a new set of directions.
  • Preparation the night before is necessary to saving time on cooking day. Wish I had remembered that. Sigh.
  • Its ok if it takes longer that 3 days to finish. Its still DONE!
  • Our dishwasher broke, this really wasn't an issue with cooking as I reuse so many of the pots anyway, but there are still dishes from the meals. Remember that it makes a nice drying rack or storage space when out of room on the counters.
  • My husband was not feeling well(and still isn't) I needed to take time to take care of him and the children. Instead of him watching them for me.
  • Don't forget important dates in your life. It was our anniversary, I forgot and then remembered so we took Saturday evening to go out to dinner and then have cake for desert. 
  • We had fun! Some of the children are really able to help out now that they are older.
  • Children discussing who gets to grate the cheese? Music to my ears as I did not have to do it! They also helped peel the garlic, measure out spices, and stir the pots.
  • Plan to incorporate the children helping the next time I cook. Yes, it must be planned or they constantly ask me what they can do next. This is actually a good problem. :)
  • I made 65 meals, more than I expected, and there are 4 more in the freezer left over. 
  • Do the math right when adding up pounds of meat. Its no fun to have to go back to the store because I forgot something. Twice.
  • I thought of a good method for freezing in small spaces. I will share that soon.
  • Now I must go clean the kitchen, the floor is a bit sticky.

That about sums it up. ALL DONE! I do have lots of new to you recipes to share. This is my winter rotation menu, and I added a couple of new ones in this time.

Monday, November 8

Where did my baby go?

Do you see it or is it just me but the baby face is disappearing at an alarming rate. I don't think I'm ready for that yet!! Sometimes I wish we could freeze time but then I guess in a way we do, with the photographs.174

Saturday, November 6

Eleven years

Today we celebrated eleven years of marriage.
How time flies! 056 Picture take by our son. At least there is one of us together this year, even if we are a bit fuzzy. :)

Friday, November 5


One of the things on my rather long list of things to do is take more pictures to learn my camera better. I find so many times i don't take the time to practice. So when we went away I took all of my books and manuals with me. Not that it helped, but I did take a lot of pictures to practice with the different settings. I'm not brave enough for manual yet, especially since I can't see clearly enough to focus properly. Yes, getting my eyes checked is also on that list. :) Anyway I did learn some things, but I have so much more to learn. Here are my meager attempts at portraits on a chilly morning in the mountains.
199 201 208 217 226I set out all prepared to take a family shot until I couldn't find my tri-pod attachment. So my father-in-law took this one for us. He only took one shot, thankfully we are all looking in the same direction.  233One must not forget the hundreds of outtakes to get that perfect shot. :)227And one more because it's so hard to pick and choose.  219

Thursday, November 4

Mini Cheddar Meat Loaves

I will be cooking again this weekend since the last time I cooked was in May. I am busy gathering my recipes and preparing shopping lists. I thought I would share one of my boys favorite meals. Meatloaf! Not just any meatloaf but individual serving sized meatloaf. It is so yummy and stays moist because they are small. They also take less time to cook which is always nice. This one will be on the menu this winter. I am only cooking to get through until January at this time. Then I will cook again for the rest of the winter. I find I need the meals to get through all of the holidays but don't have much time to prepare a full three months worth. 011
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar or sucanat
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard
FREEZER STEP: In a bowl beat egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion, and salt. Add ground beef and mix well. Shape into 8 mini loaves. Place into greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spoon over mini loaves. Freeze.
TO PREPARE: Thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees.
TIPS: You can cook this from frozen if you forget to pull it out beforehand. I use my homemade ketchup and 1/8 cup sugar to make it a bit healthier and less sweet. You can also make six larger loaves, or tailor it to the size of your family.

Wednesday, November 3

Doctors and Vacation

I spent last week sanitizing my house and still didn't finish. It wasn't on my list to become a germ freak. Then I took my girls to the Doctor for a strange rash on their arms and legs. Diagnosis? Impetigo. Never heard of it? Me either. Apparently its a form of a staph infection common in children. I just love it when the experts say common. Sigh. It's also highly contagious, which explains the crazy amounts of cleaning I did last week, all before we were to leave on vacation for the weekend. Why do these things always happen right before your supposed to do something big? So on top of cleaning I was packing for a weekend in the mountains of West Virginia, hence the silence here. There was just way to much to do! Thankfully they are getting better and their bodies are accepting the antibiotics. It could have been so much worse. 003 We had a wonderful time away and the weather was perfect. It's such a beautiful spot to visit and the children look forward to it all year. This year we took a little side trip and visited Blackwater Falls State Park. It was beautiful!
021 I'm not sure what prompted the salutes but they all did it at the same time. 043
We played and fish in the creek that runs through the family property. Some a little more than others. :)164 091116 We hiked, enjoyed the views and relaxed! It was a great weekend!093 086We are all ready looking forward to next year!


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