Tuesday, June 30

Tuesday's Tip ~ How to cut a pineapple

I posted one other time about how to make pineapple rings....but now...I've got pictues! Yay! Don't you just love pictures. :) lol.

~cut the top and bottom off

~work your way around the pineapple slicing off the pokey skin (it's ok if some of the eyes are showing...it won't hurt ya)

~Lay the pineapple on it's side and slice desired thickness

~Use a water or soda lid and place in the center and push. Remove the core. (the core is a little tougher but is still edible)

Monday, June 29

Meal Plan Mondays

I'm in Kentucky this week for the North American Christian Convention. So this week's meal plan is lots of eating out for me. Here are a few websites/blogs that I find great recipes! Enjoy and have a blessed week!

$5 Dinners

Lynn's Kitchen


For the Love of Cooking

Saturday, June 27

Seasonal Saturdays ~ Farmer's Market

Famer's Market today was awesome! It wasn't too humid, a little cloudy, and we even got a light shower. Lighting was perfect for some nice pics. Here ya go:

Yes, that is a mountain of basil! ha ha. We are making pesto and pizza margarita. The cheese comes from a dairy in Brainard, NE. As you can see in the pic with all the cheese samples...the majority of the cheese was sold out by the time I got there! It's wonderful!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25

Thirsty Thursday ~ Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade
(makes 1 quart)

1 container sliced strawberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups ice cubes (can use less)
In a blender process all ingredients until smooth. Drink immediately.

This recipe comes from The Grocery Cart Challenge

Wednesday, June 24

Library Stack

Claire is in VBS this week, so Caleb and I spent our morning at the library. Gosh, I love that place! Here is what I walked out with:

Landscape Makeovers by HGTV: I'm lovin this book! There are lots of before and after pics as well as 50 DIY projects. I'm most excited about reading through the chapter on children's gardens and outdoor play rooms.

Apartment Therapy by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan: I visit apartment therapy online quite often so I was thrilled to see they have a book too! We live in a 1920's teeny tiny house....(it's our first...so we are "learning" to love it). This book and website....so inspirational to me. Giving the date of our home...we have NO storage, so that is always what I'm looking for. Great book/website for ideas on storage and small spaces.

Best of the Best by Food & Wine: It's no surprise to see I checked out some cookbooks! This one is the best recipes from the 25 best cookbooks of the year (I believe 2007). The cookbooks cover lots of different categories.....they range from How to Boil Water (by the Food Network) to The Food of France (by Sarah Woodward)....and how dare I not mention The Cake Book (by Tish Boyle) or The Essence of Chocolate (by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg). Stay tuned...I'm sure to make some yummy things from this gem! :)

America's Test Kitchen from the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine: And last but certainly not least, America's Test Kitchen. I do love these folks. It took me about 5-6 years of cooking before I started reading and trusting these recipes. (I don't want to admit this...but I think it was because they lack colored pictures :( Anyway, why do I trust them now? Their motto is, "we make the mistakes so you don't have to." And...it's true...and they show little pics of their mistakes...like...what the inside of an apple pie looks like when you don't pre-cook the apples...or..what sliced beef brisket looks like if you cut it before resting. They also do reviews on tons of kitchen products. Anything from food processors to oven mits.

This is what my kiddos are reading:

You say Hola, I say Hello by Elizabeth Zapata: Our neighbors are Hispanic and Claire and Caleb love playing with their little girl but she doesn't speak much english, so I'm trying to incorporate some spanish into their vocabulary. (Caleb is picking up quite a bit from Dora and Diego though...ha ha)

All Aboard! by Bill Mayer: This is an alphabet book with emphasis on travel and transportation. It's got some nice pictures....to honest though...I'm not sure it's gonna hold my kiddos attention long.

Little Boy by Alison McGhee and Peter H. Reynolds: This book is sooo cute and all about letting little boys be.....little boys! Well done :)

The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson: This book is about a father and child and their trip under the moon. I like it....and I think this will be a great bedtime book for our little ones.

Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis: The main character of this book is Lulu the Ladybug Girl. She is a red and black polka-dot boot wearing hero with wings and a tutu. (dress-up) And nothing is too big or daring for her! Love this book based on the authors daughter. Too cute!

Tuesday, June 23

Tuesday's Tip ~ How to make the perfect hard boiled egg

Have you been trying to figure out how to make the perfect hard boiled egg?

Cover the eggs with water and a splash of vinegar (it supposedly helps to keep the whites together if the egg were to crack). Bring to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, turn off the burner and cover for 15 minutes. Pour cold water over and peel. Success everytime! :)

Monday, June 22

Meal Plan Monday

I'm trying 3 new recipes this week! But here's the good part, they are all under 30 minutes!

I hope to be unveiling some news pretty soon.....regarding cooking (no I'm not pregnant...lol).

Enjoy your week and I pray you find time to enjoy some great dinners and great family time as well.

If you make any of the recipes found on this website, please send me a pic. I'd love to share with everybody and know what you think!

Stir-fried Sesame Shrimp
(I'll add a pic later)

Boursin Chicken with Mushrooms
(making these tomorrow for company) :)

Sichuan Pork Noodles

(planning on making the kiddos something different, not sure if this will be spicy)

Feta Burgers

Smothered Breakfast Burritos


Eat Out

Click here to print this meal plan with recipes and a grocery list!

Saturday, June 20

Father's Day Menu

What father doesn't love a good ol' cookout?!?!?!

Montreal Steak
Your hubby or dad's favorite cut of steak. Sprinkle 1 Tbl of seasoning per pound of steak before grilling.

Grilled Corn with lime and cheese

Roasted Asparagus and cherry tomato with balsamic vinaigrette

Potato Salad

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Friday, June 19

Family Fridays ~ Father's Day

Do you have your plans picked out for Father's Day yet? If not, try this new tradition.....Father's Day Adventure. Make clues or have the kids make a clue for Dad on where you're going.....example: wear swimming trunks.....or bring your sunglasses. Think about things he always wanted to do or a hobby he has always wanted to try. Maybe a museum or water activity, whatever you decide to do......have fun let the men in your life know how much you appreciate them! :)
adapted from familyfun.com

Wednesday, June 17

Which Blog Wednesday ~ Mommy Enterprises.com

Today's feature is Mommy Enterprises.com! Stefani runs this great website and has sooo many great tips and tools. You won't be surprised to find that my favorite is the freebie/contest section, specifically the coffee samples and stuff!

Here is our interview:

Name: Stefani
Blog: http://www.mommyenterprises.com/
Thoughts, Opinions, Reviews and More From A Work At Home Mom
What is your blog about: My blog is geared towards a variety of topics. I do product reviews on products I think other moms would enjoy. I also share freebies, work at home opportunities, tips, website reviews and more.
What is your passion in doing this blog: I love being able to express my thoughts and opinions about products, websites and services to other moms.
Best tip(s) for WAHM: There are definitely ways to make money at home. If you put your mind to it, you can start making multiple streams of extra income at home. This can be done by blogging, starting a home business opportunity, freelance writing, finding a work at home job and more.
Anything else you'd like to share about you, family, or blog: I am a full time work at home mom of 4. I stay home with my kids and juggle a network of websites and blogs geared towards moms. On top of that I help other moms generate leads for their home based business, write articles, do freelance writing for other clients and more.

Leave a comment to tell us your favorite part of Mommy Enterprises.
Don't forget to sign up on Mommy's Mailing List!

If you are interested in having your blog featured on my blog, leave a comment with your blog address! We'll be in touch! :)

Tuesday, June 16

Tuesday's Tip ~ Dump Chicken

In the summer time goes by so quickly, doesn't it? I find myself running a lot more errands, spending more time with the kiddos, and just simply enjoying the longer daylight. With all that said, I spend a lot less time in the kitchen. If your summer sounds anything like mine, you might be interested in stocking up your freezer with Dump Chicken. Doesn't sound so appetizing, I know. But it's so simple and you'll love the time saver that it is. Basically, you "dump" chicken and a marinade/topping in a freezer bag and freeze. Pull it out 24 hours in advance and grill/bake/broil/stove top(whatever you prefer). During the thawing time it is absorbing the flavors you "dumped" in. It's a great chance to be creative too. Here are some found on various recipe websites. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite.

Sweet Salsa Dump Chicken

Honey-glazed Dump Chicken

Orange Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS orange juice conentrate (thawed)
2 teaspoons garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
Coarse salt & Pepper to taste

Jammin Chicken
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup blackberry ,strawberry, peach or apricot jam
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Lemon-Garlic Chicken
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Terriyaki Chicken
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine (or sherry)
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 1/2 pounds chicken pieces

Monday, June 15

The Old Cookstove

I drove back home (Maysville, MO) last week to help my mom. My uncle was sick and ended up passing Sunday morning. Although it was a sad trip, I was able to do a few fun things while there. I made it out to a little Amish store 5 miles east of town. The store is called The Old Cookstove. They have everything from homemade pies and breads to deli meats and specialty coffee. Most of their items are homemade and quite enjoyable. I picked up two bags of sanded hot cinnamon balls (one for rob and a guy he works with), root beer and sarsaparilla (rob is a root beer fan :), homemade raisin cinnamon bread, horseradish cheddar, and honey ham. I love the horseradish cheddar. Amazing!

So, if your ever in our part of Missouri....check out The Old Cookstove!
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Fun Fiber Honey Cookies

I was babysitting some girls the other day and we wanted to make cookies, but I really didn't want to blow a ton of calories on normal cookies. So, we made these! They were crunchy because of the fiber one but chewy also. I think these would be great with raisins or dried cranberries. Here is the recipe:

1/2 c light whipped butter
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c honey
1/4 c egg beaters (or 1 egg)
3/4 c wheat flour
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2-1 t cinnamon (we really like cinnamon so we added 1 t)
1 1/2 c fiber one cereal

Preheat oven to 375. Beat butter, sugar, honey, egg until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl down. Add flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and fiber one. Place heaping spoonful on greased cookie sheet about 2 in apart. Bake for 7-9 min or until golden and set.

Take a pic and send my way when you make these. I'd love to post your picture!
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Tuesday, June 9

Meal Plan 9

My meal plan this week is going to be easy and frugal! I plan on only cooking 3-4 times this week. I am going to cook breakfast for my husbands work (only 8 people), so dinner plan is going to be simple.
We are having:

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Muffin tin Mini Meatloaves

Black Bean Enchiladas (using leftover Cuban black beans)

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

Meatloaf Sliders with chipotle ketchup and crispy onions(using leftover mini meatloaves)

Chicken and Broccoli Quiche (using leftover parmesan chicken)

Tuesday's Tip ~ Meatloaf Burgers

Next time you are making meatloaf, plan to prepare a little extra and shape into burgers. Freeze them layered in between parchment and grill at a later time. If your like me, I love to make the most of my time when cooking. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, June 7

SONday - Table Manners

We teach our children the importance of table manners.....chew with your mouth closed.....eat all your dinner.....use your fork, but are we teaching or practicing table manners at God's Table?

What is God's Table? John 3:16 says, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." But do we "finish our dinner?" Most of us believe there is a God and maybe even that He sent his Son, Jesus, but do we "believe in Him so that we can have eternal life?" Jesus says in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." Finish your meal, choose to believe in the One and Only Savior who has the power to seat us at God's Table!

Do we use our tools (forks)? Do we read and put into practice what we read from the Bible? That is our tool. The Bible says not just to be a hearer, but a doer. Choose to use your utensils and live a life that represents who you believe!

So, I pray, Lord, Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. (matthew 6:11-13)
And I pray that you who are reading this would taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (psalm 34:8)

Giveaway at $5 Dinners

Win Some Pace Picante from $5 Dinners.

This blog inspired me to make a frugal meal plan this week. Stay tuned! :)

Saturday, June 6

Date Night

My husband and I had date night last night and although our original plan was to walk around at the Taste of Omaha Food Festival, the crowd and parking was pretty crazy and we opted out. Instead we went to Blue Sushi in Old Market.
The sushi.....Fantastic. The price......downer. Although everything tasted excellent, we left feeling like we could eat another meal. (and I have a rule of stopping around 85% full).
The presentation was beautiful as you can see and the atmosphere is fun, young, and lively. My suggestion, go during happy hour and get selected sushi rolls for $4. Thats more like it.
We ended our date people watching at a happy bakery called Delice. We shared a Cappuccino Bomb. It was yummy and satisfying! All and all, we had a good quiet evening together and thats really what counts. (I think my next crazy adventure just might be learning how to make sushi.....suggestions anyone?)

Seasonal Saturday - Farmers Market Find

I love the Farmer's Market, but you all know that already. Here is what we purchased:

Raw local Honey and Raspberry Jalapeno Jelly from It's All About Bees

Fresh green onions and swiss chard (not sure what I'm gonna do with this.

Homemade Pita Bread (my kiddos snack on this but I'm also thinking of making cinnamon pita chips too)

Pretty soon the produce will start selling like crazy....can't wait!

Friday, June 5

Good Morning Sunshine

One of the ways I show my husband love and respect is by making him breakfast in the mornings. (he gets up at 4:30am!!.....I'm not crazy....I usually go back to bed when he leaves) He loves it and means the world to him. It's just a little way of mine to say thanks for working so hard and a chance to send him on his way with a kiss and hug. He never has time to sit and eat so I have the opportunity to get creative.
We love these breakfast sandwiches. I try to make smart choices and save calories for dinnertime ;) I use a real egg for him, egg beaters for me. Today, I used sundried tomato and basil cheese but I must say our favorite is applewood bacon cheddar. I cook the egg for 30 sec in the microwave, top it with cheese for another 20 sec, heat the turkey sausage for 25 sec and assemble. TA DA!

Library Stack

Hi. My name is Shelby and I'm addicted to cookbooks. whew, that feels good. Seriously though, I love cookbook. I read cookbooks like they are novels. I have a whole collection of them and then I still go weekly to the library to read more. :) We love going to the library. It's a great place for my kiddos to learn a little self-control......no running (we're workin on this one).....no yelling (workin on this one too)....no fighting (ok, you get the point). I worry about my kids growing up with no desire to simply read a book. They are bombarded with tv, games, internet now....can you imagine what it's gonna be like 20 years from now. (lets not go there....that would mean I'm 20 years older too....yikes :/ )

So here is my library stack:

The Big Book of Fish & Shellfish by Fred Thompson
~I've been skimming through this book. I'm excited to try some crab cakes and various sauces out of here. Stay tuned :)

Diabetic Living Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens
~No one in my family is diabetic but I would like to educate myself. *sneak peak (I'm hopeing to add more variety to meal plans soon)

The Big Book of Diabetic Desserts by Jackie Mills
~Same as above.....just education. I do plan on making some of these though.

Short & Sweet by Melanie Barnard
~This book is about sophisticated desserts in 30 minutes or less. Something to look forward to....I'm planning on making Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake, Warm Mocha Truffle Cake, and Chocolate Thin Mint Triangles....all recipes found in this book.

Rachel Ray's BIG Orange Book
~This is a collection of good recipes from many of her books. If you love Rachel, you'll love this one. I plan on making her Tandoori Chicken. Yum-o (can't believe I just said that)

The Gluten, Wheat, & Dairy Free Cookbook by Antoinette Savill
~To be honest, I haven't even cracked this one open yet. It's another education book for me.

Southern Living 40 Years of Our Best Recipes
~I'm most excited about this one. Lots of pictures, lots of recipes, lots I can't wait to try! Nuff said. :)

What did you get from the library? OR What is your favorite cookbook? Leave a comment.

Inspired by Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
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Thursday, June 4

Thirsty Thursday - watermelon cubes

Pretty simple. I froze some watermelon balls and used them as ice cubes in my hard lemonade. Of course you can do this with just about any drink. The watermelon tasted fizzy but didn't add much flavor to my drink. Maybe it would if your melon was really ripe....leave a comment....tell us what variations you try!
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Wednesday, June 3

Which Blog Wednesday?!?!

Every couple of weeks I plan on featuring a blog that I personally like and use.

My first feature is Mom Saves Money by Nicole!

Nicole is a personal friend of mine but that is not why I like her blog so much. It's AWESOME! She blogs everyday about useful tips and free stuff!! (who doesn't like free stuff!!) I check her blog daily like my e-mail! My favorite feature about Mom Saves Money is the local weekly price matching for Omaha. HELLO! This saves me sooo much time when making out my grocery list. I also love the giveaways. She has coupon giveaways pretty frequently.....we're not talking 20 or 30....we're talking 200-400!!! Visit her blog, be inspired to save money, leave her a comment on what you love about her blog. If you don't already, become a follower so you can get the latest and greatest from her fast.
Thanks Nicole for inspiring us and working so hard to motivate us to save money!

Here are some questions I asked her:

Blog: Mom Saves Money http://www.momsavesmoney.net/

What is your blog about: Money saving ideas, coupons, freebies, giveaways, reviews and much more.

What is your passion in doing this blog: We became a one-income family after our daughter was born in April 2006 and it became absolutely essential that we budget and save money to live within our means. At first, we didn't do so well and wracked up credit card debt, but now we've successfully payed off our debt and are much more financially secure. I took an active role in saving money for the family, by couponing, requesting freebies, and budgeting. I also follow several money saving blogs and learned I could make money sharing my passion for frugality. I want to contribute to the family finances and blogging is a perfect fit for my lifestyle. Last month, I received my first big check and was so excited to see all my hard work finally pay. ( http://www.momsavesmoney.net/2009/04/my-first-big-check.html )

Best tip(s) you have for saving money: Budgeting is so important to saving money. There are many budgeting systems available and find the one that works for you and your family and follow it. Budgeting can allow you to enjoy life without stressing about money. Budgets aren't only about sacrifice, but also planning and setting aside money for fun. Another great way to save money is by following money saving blogs. Why research all the money saving ideas yourself when you can find them all on a blog.

Anything else you'd like to share about you, family, or blog: I am a married SAHM with two kids, ages 3 years and 9 months. I served in the Navy for seven years before deciding to stay home with my children. I am a military-trained financial counselor and recently completed a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Marketing.

Mom Saves Money

Leave a comment and tell us your favorite thing about Mom Saves Money!

If you would like your blog featured on my blog, leave a comment with your blog address! I'll be in contact. :)

Under Construction

Ok, so now that I've been blogging for a month and have kinda gotten the hang of it, I'm changin it up. Hopefully when I'm done it will be much more user friendly. Please be patient with me. :)

Tuesday, June 2

Tuesday's Tip - Display Fresh Herbs

Instead of hiding your fresh herbs in the refrigerator, display them in a bottle or vase in your kitchen. Enjoy the smell and I bet you'll use em more too. :) Make sure to fill your vase with water just like flowers and change the water every day.

Monday, June 1

Meal Plan 7 - low cal

This week I focused on low calorie meals. There are some yummy recipes here and I have a few snack items to post about as well. This meal plan will require you to spend a little more on grocerys because of the little things you are not used to buying (ex. egg substitute, butter spray...), but your saving in calories and not eating out!! Enjoy!


Crispy White Pizza (we added mushrooms to ours)
Click here for more meal planning ideas.