Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara with Asparagus

2 large eggs
2 Tb grated parmigiano cheese
salt, pepper

1 lb asparagus, chopped into long pieces

10 oz spaghetti, regular or whole grain
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
4 oz nitrate free ham, cut in pieces
1/4 cup soaked dried tomato halves, chopped

Beat eggs, cheese and salt and pepper in large bowl while water for pasta is coming to boil. Cook asparagus in water 4 minutes, scoop out and set aside. I put them in a colander in the sink so I can pour the pasta water over it to reheat at the last second. Put spaghetti on to boil and while timing, cook (in another pan) garlic for a bit in oil adding ham and tomatoes half way through the cooking time. Scoop out a mug of pasta water and then drain spaghetti and immediately dump on egg mixture, stirring quickly. Add ham mixture and continue to stir, adding a bit of pasta water to thin if needed. Serve with asparagus on side, unless you have asparagus lovers in your house, then you can add the raw veggie to cook with the spaghetti during the last 4 minutes of its cook time.
Serves 4- 10 points plus per serving

Menu Monday December 5-11th

When I plan out my week, I try to keep similar Points Plus values to my meals and snacks in order to make things easier. Breakfast tends to be 6-7, lunch a bit less, supper around 10 with a couple snacks or a beer in there as well. As the weeks go on, feel free to comment things so that I can tailor the menu a bit. Also pay attention to the suggestions at the bottom if you are dealing with "selective" eaters in your house. All recipes I am posting with be four servings unless otherwise noted. If there are two of you in the house, you have two choices. Handy huh? You can either half the recipe or you can make the full batch and have left-overs for your lunch the next 2 days. Remember, that little scale that is somewhere in your kitchen is your friend...

Monday (Run 2 miles, strength)
Oatmeal, blueberries, brown sugar, milk
Open face with 4 ham slices, 1 swiss, mustard, lettuce, apple, carrot sticks
Big raw salad, 2 PP worth dressing, Spaghetti Carbonara, asparagus

Tuesday (Spin)
1 egg and 2 whites, wedge laughing cow cheese on English muffin
1 slice toast, peanut butter, apple, celery
2 grilled chicken thighs(5oz), 1 cup brown rice, broccoli, tomato and red onions with balsamic
MGD 64

Wednesday (Run 2 miles, weigh in)
1 small or 1/2 large muffin, string cheese
Kids Flatout, can tuna, olive oil mayo 1Tb, lettuce, grapes, 1/4 oz chocolate
4 oz lean steak, winter squash, sugar snap peas
5 c air popped corn with hot sauce
cheese stick

Thursday (Step class, strength)
Mulitgrain bagel, 2 T hummus
1 sliced boiled egg, 8 Triscuit, grapes, carrots
1 can Progresso Lentil soup, 5 saltines
1/2 c cottage cheese, pineapple

Friday (Run 2 miles,)
Kashi Golean, 1/2 cup milk, banana
Open face 3 slice turkey, mustard, lettuce, 1 cup Progresso minestrone
Fish fry, pizza or something I have been craving for the week keep to about 20 points

Saturday (P90 or kickbox tape)
Soft cooked egg, 1 slice toast with 1 T strawberry jam and 1/2 slice swiss, fruit of choice
Any leftover soup from the week, cereal or an open face sandwich with veggies
Chili, leftover rice, pickles, onions (stay away from cheese, you can't taste it anyway)

Sunday (Day off)
Kids choice, I may or may not eat it, or will stick with cereal
My birthday, so who knows? Will not eat breakfast as we have brunch on Sundays so will try to make good choices depending on where we go and what I had for supper on Friday.

One thing to remember, I weigh in on Wednesday, so Friday tends to be my splurge day. If you are a Sunday weigh-er, that might not work for you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Menu Monday May 8-15

Hello all, it has been busy with school, life, work for hubby and celebrating #2 First Holy Communion. Spring is finally here and the boys came over yesterday and dug up my garden spot with their gianormous tractors! I will post pictures soon of the 20,000 sq foot space so you can see the craziness I am talking about. In the mean time...

Cranberry white chocolate muffins
Eggs and toast
Breakfast banana splits
Pear cheese quesadillas
Pancakes and bacon

Nut butter and jelly sandwiches, banans
Hard boiled eggs with soba noodles, veggies
Meatballs and rice, snow peas
Egg salad sandwich, veggies
Ham and cheese sandwiches, grapes
Panini, chips

Sesame crusted tilapia, gingered green beans
Beef snow pea stir fry, rice
chicken Fricassee, salad
Salmon with sweet potato crust, cilantro rice, relish plate with lime
Pulled pork butt, coleslaw, biscuits with cinnamon honey butter
Thai green curry chicken with veggies, rice

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why coupons are a good thing... sometimes...

My hubby and I were watching TLC's Extreme Couponer the other night. I thought to myself, why am I not using coupons? Usually I don't even look at them in the Sunday paper as they are for things I don't normally buy. For some reason, my neighbor just doesn't run adds for $1 a gallon of the raw milk that I get from him...
I decided to check the paper this week because I love a bargain! Who doesn't? Then I checked the online coupon sites. Here is what happened this week, and no, my totals were not like what was on tv.
I went to that big store with the red bulls eye trademark on it today, armed with my flyer and coupons and scored big, see photo above. According to my receipt, I saved $32.90 today by buying things on sale with coupons, that we would normally buy.
Not bad...
Yesterday I went to IGA. I bought blue cheese, ham, pasta sauce, salad dressing and french fried onions. I saved $5.31. Everything was on sale with the exception of the ham, I had a coupon for everything but the salad dressing, stuff that we would normally buy.
Not bad....
I went to Walgreens, saved $29.87 inlcuding a few treats for Easter. I also walked out with $1.00 registar reward and 2 free movie coupons from Redbox, too. Everything was on sale, I used coupons, and it was stuff that we would normally buy.
Not bad...
Then I went to Trigs...
I got sausage, 4 frozen diet meals, 2 dozen eggs, 6 boxes of cereal and a jar of mayo. I saved $28.69, spending $30.57 buying things on sale, with coupons.........
Wait, you say... ! I saved nearly 50% didn't I. I used my coupons, the stuff was on sale!
Yes I did, and now I have a cupboard full of high fructose corn syrup cereal, and a freezer with nasty "fast" lunches that I refuse to microwave and will pull out of the plastic package, break into small pieces and bake for 30 minutes in my oven and sausage full of nitrates. Here is where the lure of saving money got me. I don't buy those things on a normal week, why would I buy them now? For years I have changed our eating habits and ignored the brightly colored ads in the paper calling me to try this or that processed food. This week I failed on that one... So when I ran into my co-couponer, I gave her my 5 other cereal coupons and the frozen meal coupon. I don't feel guilty, because she does buy that stuff and she was thrilled to get the coupons. That makes me happy. She can use them, it saves her money and I don't have food in the house that my kids can't eat. Sure they will groan at the sight of oatmeal tomorrow, but at least I won't have to worry about little bodies that can't hold still, or break out in a rash, or have a tummy ache, or who are hungry thirty minutes after they ate breakfast.

On a side note.
To those of you who do eat cereal in your house, I do envy you. This post is in no way to make anyone feel bad about what they or their kids are eating. We just can't eat it here. I am sorry if you are offended, but then you kinda missed the point of the post...

Red Snitch Lunch

Soboro over rice

Friday, March 25, 2011


Many prayers have been lifted up for the people of Japan. People all over are thinking of that devastated country and with the electronic capabilities now, keeping up on what is happening through twitter, web news, and blogs. While there are many ways to help, our rotary club is paying for four people who work a vocational job to go for four weeks, sometimes it is overwhelming to know where to give. If you haven't had a chance to, you should go check out what the bento community is doing over on ebay. Bento bloggers like Heather at Ohayo Bento, Debra at Hapa Bento, are auctioning off bento sets to raise money for Japan on Ebay. What a great cause, and what cute stuff! Be sure to browse the selection and help raise money for those who are struggling while facing such a great disaster.

totally cute!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My beautiful husband

A little love for my husband today.

I love his beautiful face. I love his strong character. I love how he encourages me to be whatever I want, and that makes me want to be his wife and the mother of his children all the more. I love his honesty, and how he stands by his convictions. I love his tenderness when everything at home seems to be falling apart around my ears. I love his faith in God. I love how he reminds me of my own father. I love how he would give the shirt off his back to anyone. I love that he is married to me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Monday March 21-27

Irish food week is done here for another year, so it is back to menu planning out of more than one cookbook. While a theme week is fun, I am always happy for the variety that several cookbooks bring.

Cranberry and white chocolate muffins, pears
Eggs and bagels
Pecan maple oatmeal
Egg casserole, mangos
Cereal and bananas
Kids choice
Brunch- Strawberry french toast, bacon and eggs

Egg rolls, somen, broccoli and oranges
Sesame chicken nuggets, onigiri, squash and pickles
Sausage octopi, rice, corn, potato croquette
Egg salad, bananas, chips
Country Steak, potatoes, green beans

Guinness beef casserole, carrots, no need-bread
Beef and green pepper soup, cheese bread
Orange chipotle chicken, rice, salad
Beef wraps, carrots, fruit
Spaghetti, garlic toast, salad

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day-2011

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
From a headstone in Ireland
One year today, we still miss you Mr. Olsen!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Makes me smile

God is good but never dance in a small boat - an Irish proverb

Brown soda breakfast scones

I like these for a change of pace, but they are not as tender as ones made with butter.

2 c unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2c soft whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c buttermilk (plus a bit more)

Sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and dump in buttermilk. Stir just long enough to soak in liquid adding more if your flour is too dry. Do not overmix, tough scones. Turn out onto a floured counter and gather into a ball by folding 2-3 times. Gently pat down to 1 1/2 inch thick and cut 16 scones either with a biscuit cutter or just into squares like I do.
Wash tops with egg wash or sprinkle with sharp cheddar and bake 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Statements this Mom is grateful to hear

I don't know about every mother, but this makes my heart glad....

From my oldest:
-Mom, there are kids that actually eat the white bread they serve at school! That is so nasty! (nuff said)

From my youngest:
-I told Grandpa that I only wanted to play at McD*nalds, not eat. That food is yucky. (and he did despite being offered french fries that they were eating)

From my daughter:
-That girl's outfit is, like, so totally inappropriate! (oh we hope this lasts)

From my third:
-I need a haircut, my hair is touching my ears. (It is cute, but I am glad he wants to keep it short)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Monday March 14-20

St. Patty's Week! Yes, it is all week here, not just Thursday, and we are celebrating all week because that's just how we roll around here. We will have Irish food, Irish beer, Irish whiskey, QVC All things Irish on tv, Irish music...not to mention our Irish children we will be doing all this with. Ok, maybe not the whiskey...or too much of the beer, a girls got to cook with it though. We may even have an Irish wake of sorts as we celebrate remembering Mr. Olsen. Here is our menu for the week.

Irish oats (also known as porridge, made in the crock pot)
Brown soda breakfast scones, soft boiled eggs
Potato cakes with butter and sugar
Buttermilk scones, raspberry jam, Irish cheese
Cheese toasties, tomatoes
Buttermilk pancakes with honey
Full breakfast/brunch-eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage and potato cakes (we will be skipping the kidneys and black pudding for now...)

Standard lunches/school lunch (see previous menus)

Dingle pies with beef rather than mutton
Corned beef, dumplings, cabbage and boiled potatoes
Mustard baked chicken, peas, colcannon
Irish supper at church (pork pie, beef and guinness pie and other goodies)
Salmon, asparagus with hollandaise, boiled new potatoes
Roast duck with apples and cider, roasted jerusalem artichokes
Spiced pork roast with apple and thyme cream sauce, carrott and parsnip puree, broccoli, baked caramel custard

Now that you know what we are eating this week, have you made your menu plan yet? What are your plans for St. Patty's day/weekend and do you have any traditions that your family normally celebrates?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Monday March 7-13

Here is the menu for this week. I already shopped, and spent around $100 total, so that is good!

Oatmeal with bananas
Eggs and biscuits
Bagels with pb
Muffins and yogurt

Cheeseburger Mac (homemade), apples
Ham and Swiss sandwiches, grapes, carrot sticks
School lunch (Ash Wednesday, cheesy bread sticks)
Boiled eggs, soba noodles, broccoli
Nut butter sandwiches, dried fruit, veggie sticks
Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Chicken noodle soup, artichoke dip with crackers
Fat Tuesday... TBD
Fish, broccoli, purple rice
Chicken quesadillas, oranges, salad
Spaghetti, garlic toast
Ham and bean soup, bread, salad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Money Money Money...

Always sunny, in a rich man's world....

They were playing this song last night on A Nun's Life Podcast Praying with the Sisters. I love this program, there is a chat room and a live podcast where you can see the Sisters as they talk and pray for all requests that are listed in the chat room. ABBA was being played after prayers to celebrate someone getting a job, and this was the song...
Somehow rather than feeling celebratory, it just felt burdensome to me. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy for the celebrator, it just brought up thoughts about our own budget and I always get crabby when I think about the budget.

So what am I thankful for? WE are on the budget, not me, WE. My prayers were answered and my husband sat down with me to figure out a plan for tackling our debt. No nagging, no crabbing, no begging or anger, just prayer. He is the head of our house, and once again, he delivered that promise that he made to God to care for me. Praying for your husband is good!

Now, we are not on a budget because we are in the poorhouse, quite the contrary, we and our kids have and do things I never dreamed of being able to do as a kid, much less when we first got married. We are on a budget because the Bible has convicted us to be more responsible with our gifts. Day after day, when I pull out the checkbook to balance it, pay a bill, purchase anything, I am reminded, "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law" Romans 13:8. I even have that written on a sticky note stuck to my Sams Club card inside my checkbook cover. A reminder to be responsible for the gifts we have been given, and the debt that we still owe.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Monday February 27-March 5

Oatmeal with apples and raisins
Waffles with peaches
Eggs and toast
Cereal and pb toast
Muffins and yogurt
Kid's Choice

(none since brunch after church)
Potstickers, brown rice and edamame
Pb or almond butter sandwiches, grapes, veggie sticks
Sukiyaki-style beef, soba noodles, dried fruit
Crab sushi, salad or edamame
Baked chicken kara-age, brown rice, broccoli

Cheese Frenchies, onion rings (oh the decadence)
Baked bean chili, brown rice
Crock pot french dip, oven fries, coleslaw
Tuni-noonie, cottage cheese, grapes
Chicken on a biscuit, salad
Spaghetti, salad

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Marriage Challenge Wednesday

So, Courtney over at Women Living Well has raised our next marriage challenge. I have to say, for a G-rated post, this one really hit the spot! We are too look at our husbands through the eyes of his fiance and remember how once he made our hearts skip a beat. (Although I am sure that all your hearts still do.) So for this week's challenge, we are to be the womenly women that God made us to be, kiss him like we mean it, and encourage him to continue his advances on us, even if he has been making those same moves for 20+ years! We need to show him that we still like him, like we did when we first knew him, and that even after 20+ years, he still trips our triggers! (It has only been 19 years for us, so no boredom
Now, close that computer and go get him girls!
Your him,
not mine...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Monday January 31st

The word of the month is budget. The word of the month is also Mexico, but the only way we can go there without freaking out about the money directly relates back to the first word. Apparently I have once again fallen prey to my grocery hording style of shopping, lol, because I could feed a small army with all that I have. Soooo this months shopping will consist mostly of fresh produce and dairy and keeping our costs as low as possible.

Oatmeal and leftover muffins
Eggs and toast
Waffles and yogurt
Cereal and bananas
Breakfast scones and boiled eggs
Pancakes and smoothies
Biscuit sandwiches with egg, cheese, turkey sausage

Soba noodles and hard boiled eggs, fruit cups
Ham and cheese, apples
Soboro bento, rice, pineapple
Almond butter and nutella roll-ups, oranges
Chicken stir-fry, rice, grapes
Kids choice

Turkey burgers, sweet potatoes, salad
Bouf Bourguignon soup, noodles, garlic bread
Salmon, rice, green beans
Baked chicken, herb roasted potatoes, salad
Frozen pizza, salad
Leftovers/Steak, baked squash, corn
Chili, toppings, nacho bar (GO PACKERS!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Monday January 24th

It is going to be an interesting week food wise. I have the hubby home all week, which makes an apple and piece of cheese lunches not really an option. I have two extra kids home today and tomorrow since a water main at their school broke, which means pb n j is an option. I have not lost any weight in three weeks, which means whatever I have been doing is not an option...
So, what are my options? Go with the flow! Yup, not much in the way of grocery shopping, just eating what we have on hand, and stretching my brain to use it the most creatively.

Pumpkin muffins, milk, oranges
Oatmeal with pears and blueberries
Egg sandwiches
Cereal and bananas
Caramel pecan rolls, eggs, fruit

Ranch turkey wrap, tomatoes, blue chips
Ham and cheese panini, tomato soup
Leftover whatever
Grilled chicken, rice, squash
Noodle and boiled egg bento
Spaghetti and lettuce salad (big guys out of town)

Beef tips and homemade mac-n-cheese
Steak, squash, lettuce salad
Chicken noodle soup, soft pretzels
Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries pineapple
Pizza movie night
Kids choice or chili
Roast beef, potatoes, green beans

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Monday January 17

Snow and more snow have been on the agenda, in addition to swimming and more swimming... Doesn't sound like a sentence I ever thought I would be saying, but here I am running swimmer, wrestler, academic clubber, another swimmer, another swimmer.... you know how it goes. Somehow I find myself under the delusion that we are going to be a one sport family. Right. Reality calls, and so does the need for another menu.

Egg sandwiches, oranges
Cereal, bananas
Smoothies and muffins
Blueberry pear oatmeal
PB and apple toast

Ham and pear salads, tortillas
Leftover Reuben and kiwi
Turkey sandwiches, oranges
Chef salad, apples
Rosemary Chicken and potato salad
Leftover salad
Tomato melts with fruit

Reuben Sandwiches, oranges
Baked fish, green beans, rice
Spaghetti and salad
Turkey Burgers with coleslaw
Mexican Pitas
Salmon with green beans and rice
Steak, coleslaw or salad, sweet potato

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Menu Monday January 3rd

Happy New Year! Welcome to the start of a beautiful new year with all of it's freshness and resolutions. Here is our first menu for 2011.

Muffins with yogurt
Egg sandwiches with bacon
Cereal with bananas
Pecan sweet rolls and fruit
Baked eggs with sausage and fruit

Potstickers with soba noodles, edamame and oranges
Turkey soboro, rice, green beans and apples
Sandwiches, carrot sticks and spread cheese
Cheese sandwiches, tomato soup
Soba bento, crab and cabbage salad, broccoli
Turkey soup with homemade bread

Spaghetti with sauce, garlic bread
Baked chicken, oven fries, veggie sticks
Chicken potpie, cottage cheese
Turkey, sweet potatoes, salad, fruit
Hot wings/ pizza
Salmon, brown rice, salad
Who knows?