Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekly Menu/Goals and Update

Well, this past weekend was a pretty big one for Matt and I. Matt and I have been interested in purchasing a house and have been talking about it for quite some time. This past week we made an offer on a house and after a little "countering" they accepted! We will have an inspection done this week and if all goes well we should be closing at the end of February! We couldn't be more excited about finally being in our own home again!

Also, on Saturday Matt went to his last seminary class(at least for now as he says)! We moved to the KC area August 2005 for him to attend school, 3 1/2 years later he is finished! I couldn't be prouder of him! We went out and celebrated Saturday night at a restaurant in Kansas City, Yardhouse. Very, very good!

So now on w/ this week... it's cold here. I starting to get anxious for Spring, but seeing as how it is only January I'm trying to make the most of the cooler temps.

Here's what is on our menu this week:

Monday- I believe we are going out on a giftcard that we received at Christmas.. unless the weather gets bad.

Tuesday- Chicken Tortilla Soup w/ cornbread

Wednesday- Sweet and Sour Chicken, brown rice and broccoli (new recipe I'm anxious to try!)

Thursday- I don't know.. something w/ beef. Maybe burgers!

Friday/Saturday- My mom is visiting! I'm not sure what that will bring meal wise...

Goals for the week:

-daily quiet time

-house inspection completed

-begin gathering boxes for the move

-start organizing for the move- I don't want to move a bunch of "junk", so I'm hoping to clean out the clutter that doesn't need to join us at our new house!

-plan menu/cut coupons for next 2 weeks

- get house ready for mom to visit!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New week.. a day or so late:)

Hope your Tuesday is treating you well. It's a big day today...let's be praying for our new president and his family.

Weekly Menu:

Monday- we ended up grabbing wendy's.. wasn't really the plan, but we were out all day long. Gotta love the $1 menu!

Tuesday- Homemade Beef and Veggie Pizza w/ salad.. well sort of homemade, I'm using a crust mix tonight:( Oh well, it'll still be good!

Wednesday- Teriyaki Chicken, veggie and pineapple stirfry over brown rice

Thursday- Steak Fajitas w/ black beans, chips and salsa

Friday- not sure.. We usually eat something out on Fridays..

Goals for the week:

-Quiet time

-keep up w/ housework

-finish getting details together for lunch meeting after church on Sunday

-work out an additional 3 times, I already went once yesterday!

Well, that's all I can think of for now.. not bad to have an easy week:)

Chicken Spaghetti

If you haven't been over to the Pioneer Woman Cook's .. you must. Her website is great and the recipes are very easy to follow. One of the recipes that I have made over and over again is her Chicken Spaghetti...It's good ol' comfort food. Another bonus is this recipe is supposed to freeze really nice. I have never frozen it before but would like to try it out next time I make it.
(Oh and sorry my picture isn't great.. it really is good!)

Chicken Spaghetti
by the Pioneer Woman Cooks
(my own adjustments are added in parentheses)


2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (or cream of chicken works also)2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 cup finely diced onion

1- 4oz jar diced pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
2 cups reserved chicken broth from pot
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. (I just use boneless chicken breasts, works just fine). Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine w/ remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar. ( I usually just use 2 cups total cheese and just make do)

Place mixture in casserole pan and top w/ remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover w/ foil. ( I have never cooked it the entire 45 minutes.. I usually just watch it)

I usually serve this w/ just a nice salad. YUM!!


Matt and I love hummus. It is such a great meal:) So when I first came across a recipe online of how to make my own at home I couldn't wait to try. I have been making this same recipe for quite some time now but just had never blogged about it.. so I thought today was the day!

I was especially excited to make my hummus this past time since for Christmas my dad gave me a new food processor! We had been using a tiny one and while it did work.. it wasn't near as easy as w/ my new one!

Here's the recipe.. so easy, fast and delicious!

Restaurant-Style Hummus
taken from Annie's Eats, original source: Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2008.


3 tbsp. juice from 1-2 lemons

¼ cup water

6 tbsp. tahini, stirred well

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about ½ tsp.)

½ tsp. table salt

¼ tsp. ground cumin

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro or parsley


Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup. Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.

Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through food tube. Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute. With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through food tube, continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

** We like to serve w/ pita bread, naan and fresh veggies. I haven't made my own pita bread or naan yet but I have recipes that I can't wait to try out!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Confession: I'm an American Idol Junkie

I love American Idol.. I admit it. I have been watching since the Season Finale of Season 1. Last year was my favorite season by far. I drug my husband to the Power and Light district in KC when David Cook made his home town appearance ( got his autograph!) and back again to watch the finale with a whole bunch of other crazy AI fans. Matt and I were even on TV... it was about a 2 sec shot.. but if you Tivoed it.. and then put it in slow motion, you could SO see us!
And yes, I even have a David Cook t-shirt..(but in my defense, it was only 5 dollars). My dad also took us to the AI tour and then we waited afterwards in a big ol' line and got even more autographs and pics. (Well I waited.. everyone else just kind of stood back lol)

I told you.. a complete junkie.

So here comes the next season and tonight they are airing the KC auditions. (No, I didn't go to the auditions) I'm excited to see the shots of the city... it's always fun to see familiar places on TV!

So here's to another season of AI.. anybody w/ me?

Oh, and just for fun.. I got this pic off of the American Idol website. Can you find us? (Yeah.. and Matt said he didn't have fun!:) )

Last Night Recap/ My Time w/ God Lately

So, first a quick recap from my post yesterday...

-put away all the clean laundry/ straighten up closet- CHECK!
-straighten up/ clean kitchen- CHECK!
-vaccuum- CHECK!
-cut coupons and begin working on menu for next week.. - Pretty much check.. i cut and organized all my coupons, but didn't officially start writing my menu

So.. pretty good! Now tonight my two goals are to... sweep and mop kitchen and bathroom floors and clean out the refrigerator! (not really looking forward to that last one but it needs to be done!) I am also planning on going to the gym.

Now moving on...

Unfortunately my time with the Lord hasn't been going so well lately. Being quite honest, this has gone on my whole life. I go through really great times where I am in the Word every day, praying.. and then I go through slumps where I am not near as consistent.

For me, the times that I am "struggling" it can easily start to feel like God is disappointed in me... My husband often says something that completely puts it in the right perspective. If I begin to think that my relationship w/ God depends on what I do.. then I am making my relationship w/ God all about me. Thank goodness my relationship with God isn't about me and my good efforts/works but it is about Him. I don't say this to give me or you a reason to slack on the time we spend with the Lord , but just more as a reminder.

I plan on diving back into Exodus and hopefully getting back into more of a routine. I know for me this really helps if I have a regular time each day.

What has God been showing you lately?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


So, Tonight I will...

-put away all the clean laundry/ straighten up closet

-straighten up/ clean kitchen


-cut coupons and begin working on menu for next week.. (while watching American Idol of course!)

I'll report back on how I did. I know it doesn't look like much, but I will feel sooo much better if I get these things done!

Anyone else needing some motivation? Post what you need to get done and lets check back tomorrow and see how we did!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Menu and Goals

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Mine was a lot of fun.. saw a couple movies, ate out with some friends, enjoyed some time with Matt...

I do have to admit I was a little lazier than normal with housework due to all of our running around, so this week I'll have to get things back together.

My goals for this include:

finish catching up on laundry (Matt has been helping w/ this)

this week the room I am going to focus on getting our bedroom in order...
-straighten up and reorganize closet, possibly even buying a couple new containers to store things in
-reorganize dresser
-clean and organize both Matt and I's nightstands
-straighten up bathroom- maybe adding some new containers there as well
-extra clean the shower
-and obviously the normal stuff- dust, sweep, mop (bathroom)

begin house hunt- we had been planning on starting the search after Christmas. I have already been in contact w/ an agent and we have met w/ her once before. We just plan on getting more serious about the whole process now.

plan menu and organize coupons for end of the week shopping trip

have a sit down meeting w/ Matt regarding our personal budget

workout at least 3 times this week


When I go grocery shopping I meal plan for 2 weeks and then shop accordingly. I don't specifically say, "I planned for us to have spaghetti on Monday the 12th so that is what we are having". Instead, I have a list of meals that we have groceries for and then we just pick from that each night. So last weeks menu that I posted ended up being a little off from what we actually had.

Last week we ate...

Monday- Taco Ring w/ all the fixings and refried beans, chips and salsa

Tuesday- leftover night.. we had quite a bit from the weekend and Monday evening

Wednesday- grabbed some soup at Panera as we ended up being out that evening

Thursday- Beef Stroganoff w/ Mashed Potatoes

Friday- Out (We had a gift certificate!)

So this week we are eating...

Monday- Ravioli Lasagna w/ salad

Tuesday- Chili w/ cornbread

Wednesday- Orange Chicken w/ rice and veggies

Thursday- Lime Chicken Quesadillas w/ beans and rice

Friday- We are attending a banquet so we will be eating dinner there

I really am a little behind on posting recipes. I will add that to my goals this week as well!

I hope that you are having a great Monday!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Legends Coupon Card! (those in KC area)

The Legends is one of my favorite shopping areas in the KC area.. great restaurants, shops, atmosphere, OUTLETS! Matt and I love going up there and now we make sure to never head that direction without printing off their monthly coupon card!

Every month they post on their website a printable coupon sheet full of discounts at shops and restaurants. Now some of the deals aren't as great as others.. but we have actually came across some pretty good ones.. free coffee, free appetizers, extra discounts on clothes...

So here is a link to this months and don't forget to print it off before you head to the Legends!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Menu and Goals for 1st official week of January

This weekend Matt and I took down all of our Christmas decor and Aldo chewed the eyes out of his stuffed Santa.. so i guess Christmas is officially over:) lol

Here's what our upcoming week looks like...


Daily Quiet Time

continue to figure out dryer situation, looking to buy a new one probably

start room by room organization... we have papers and other various "stuff" that are really beginning to pile up and so I plan on working on organizing each room
throughout the coming winter months... I have been motivated by the latest Better Home and Gardens Magazine!:)

start house hunting

workout at least 3 times


Saturday- Chicken and Black bean Taquitos w/ Cilantro/Green Chili Sour Cream and extra black beans on the side (will post recipe soon)

Sunday- Chicken spaghetti casserole w/ salad

Monday- Chili w/ cornbread

Tuesday- Ravioli Lasagna w/ salad

Wednesday- Beef Stroganoff w/ mashed potatoes.. maybe another veggie

Thursday- Lime Chicken Quesadillas w/ beans and rice

Friday- out

New Years Eve Party

Matt and I had 3 other couples over to our house new years eve to welcome in 2009. Here are some pics and recipes from the evening!
Our menu for the night included...

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

Barbecued Little Smokies

Cheese Ball w/ crackers (brought by a friend)

Veggie Tray

Caramel Apple Trifle

No Bake Cookies (Brought by a friend)

Fudge (brought by a friend)

Water,Pop and Sparkling Juice for Midnight:)

I thought it would be fun to make some drink tags. These are obviously very simple but I thought they really added something to our plain glasses. Next time I'd like to try and be a little more creative! (Candice, we even used the insurance glasses we got at the white elephant party last year! haha, thanks!)

I had heard about buffalo chicken dip quite a bit but had never made it. Then a coworker brought it to a party and it was delicious! So I decided that it would be a fun addition for the evening. (I know the picture doesn't really do a whole lot for it, but you just have to trust me.. it's REALLY GOOD!)

Buffalo Chicken Dip


2 boiled chicken breasts, shredded
8 ounces of Franks Red Hot Sauce
8 ounces of Ranch dressing
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
16 ounces cream cheese


Mix all ingredients and then back at 325 for 40 minutes. I served mine w/ tortilla chips and celery but it is good w/ crackers, Frito's also.

My mom had gotten me a trifle dish for Christmas and so I decided to make use of it. I love how when making desserts in these dishes you get a 2 for one deal- great dessert and great centerpiece!

Here is the recipe that I used...

Luscious Apple Trifle

-Taste of Home


2 cups cold milk
1 package 3.4 ounces instant vanilla pudding
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 loaf (10 1/2 ounces) angel food cake, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 jar (12 1/4 ounces) caramel ice cream topping (recipe called for butterscotch)
3 medium red apples, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth; beat in pudding. Fold in 1 cup whipped topping.
In a 3-qt. glass bowl, layer a third of the cake cubes, 1/3 cup butterscotch topping, a third of the apples, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a third of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Garnish with remaining whipped topping. Chill until serving. Yield: 12-14 servings.

I hope your new year is off to a good start! Here's Matt and I's first pic of we look tired!