Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

This week is one of those weeks I'm thankful for a freezer stocked with meals. We're leaving for Florida next Tuesday, and I'm trying to organize a birthday party for Tinkerbell for a couple of days after our return. Of course, I had to make time to attend the Beth Moore simulcast this weekend, so there's really not much time for cooking. :)

Yesterday morning, I realized we were going to be at church later in the afternoon than usual, so I pulled the Maple Glazed Chicken out of the freezer and stuck it in the crockpot as we were headed out the door. As we were headed home at 1:15 with hungry, tired kids, I wondered out loud if the chicken would be ready, so Joel suggested we grab some Qdoba. I readily agreed, but when we got home the sauce on the chicken was a bit overcooked. :( The recipe wasn't for the crockpot, and my experiment didn't turn out as beautifully as I had hoped. This evening, however, we shredded the chicken, added some bbq sauce and put it on top of a salad--and it turned out quite good--lucky save!

Anyway, here's the rest of the plan for the week--minus any catastrophes!

Monday--bbq chicken salad
Tuesday--four cheese Italian minestrone with bread
Wednesday--spaghetti pie
Thursday--church gathering
Friday--stir fry with fruit
Saturday--steak--if I can convince Joel to grill :)

For other great menu plans, be sure to check out

Never Let You Go by Erin Healy

Lexi Solomon is a single mom working two jobs barely holding everything together when the foundation of her carefully constructed life is shaken by the appearance of three men from her past: Grant Solomon, her husband who disappeared seven years ago; Norman Von Ruden, her ex-lover who murdered her sister; and Warden Pavo, an old acquaintance who claims Lexi owes him an unpaid debt. At the center of the storm swirling around Lexi stands her daughter, Molly. Lexi’s relationship with Molly is threatened by Grant’s renewed interest in being a father to their daughter, by Warden’s threats to reveal the secrets of Lexi’s past to her daughter and most frighteningly by unseen supernatural forces that convince Lexi that Molly’s life is at stake. When Lexi finally learns to release the bitterness in her heart and to forgive others, she is able to defeat the evil that seeks to overcome the love she has for her daughter.

Never Let You Go is a fast-paced book with an intriguing storyline. It tackles some pretty heavy topics such as the role of the supernatural within the natural world as well as the issue of generational sin. Healy makes the important point that taking the hard steps toward forgiving those who have harmed us ultimately leads to our own freedom. Although the end of the book tends toward predictability, for the most part I found this book to be entertaining and thought-provoking, particularly if you enjoy the fiction of authors such as Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Recent Reads

Every so often I have three or four books that I've requested from the library that happen to arrive at precisely the same time; that happened this week. Several books for which I've waited literally months all arrive at the same moment and I find myself with three weeks in which to read them. So, I'm in the midst of squeezing in some marathon reading, compounded this time by the fact that these books are due during our upcoming vacation, so I really have to finish them in the next week. I really couldn't request them again and wait! :) Here's a quick synopsis of some of what I've been reading recently:

Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel--This book isn't a comprehensive system for child discipline, but it does have some techniques that I've been implementing with our kids with some success. I really appreciated how Welchel indexes Scriptures that apply to various infractions.

Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler--Jane Eyre is a favorite of mine and I recently reread it, so this book was a timely read for me. Kohler weaves together biographical information from the lives of the Brontë sisters with her interpretations of how these events may have played into their novels. I loved it!! This book made me want to read the lesser known works of these fascinating sisters.

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin--We read this book as our most recent book club selection and had an interesting discussion about it. This book tells the story of two brothers with an abusive past who overcome largely because of the prayers and sacrificial love shown them by a black woman who was employed by their father--interesting storyline with sound themes.

Now it's back to the books!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

On the Menu This Week

Wow! Can it really be Monday again?

I think the hit from last week's menu was the Garlic Parmesan Chicken; it's so moist and flavorful--and easy, of course.

This recipe is adapted from the Don't Panic More Dinner's in the Freezer. I've found the recipes in this cookbook to be quite tasty.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken
6 boneless chicken breasts--(or the equivalent in chicken tenders)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
2 cloves, garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix together cheese, garlic, and Italian dressing mix. Dip chicken breasts in olive oil, then coat with cheese mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 45- 60 minutes until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

Another treat we had this week was this Strawberry Bread also found on Once a Month Mom's April menu. Yummy!

We have an abbreviated menu again this week: Joel will be out of town for a couple of nights, so I'm packing up the kids and heading to Arkansas to visit my sister. :) Here's the plan for this week's menu:

Wednesday--Chicken Bruschetta Bake
Thursday--out of town
Saturday--Poppyseed Chicken

Happy Spring everyone!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday's Menu Plan

After a busy, enjoyable weekend with family and friends--along with several tasty meals that I didn't have to plan--today it was back to the normal routine.

Mom, Grandma and I spent a couple of hours this morning replenishing our freezer meals. The cooking went quickly with three of us working, and I particularly enjoyed having extra hands to help out with Tinkerbell. We were able to put together four meals: spaghetti pie, enchilada pie, poppyseed chicken and maple glazed chicken--this last one is from Once a Month Mom's April freezer menu.

Although we don't always follow my meal plans, having a plan makes dinner time much, much simpler for me. So, here's the plan for this week:

Monday--Enchilada Pie
Tuesday--Garlic Parmesan Chicken
Wednesday--Crockpot Roast
Thursday--Pizza at school
Saturday--Joel and I will be attending a banquet, and the kids? leftovers?
Sunday--Whole wheat pancakes

For more great menu ideas check out