Monday, September 29, 2008

Moving - Blogging Break

We're down to the wire on the move and I have not been online much for the last week. I know that I will not be online much for the next week either. I'll try to post once we're settled.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Indoor Cat - update

Well, Kisa has still not come home. This is the fifth day she's missing and we've not even seen her since Thursday afternoon. While we're pretty sure this means she's not coming home, the fact that we're moving in less than two weeks concerns us, too. What if she does come back after we've left :o( Honestly, though, that's not very likely. She is a pure bred (we adopted her as a rescue) who has spent all of her life indoors. I don't think she is going to be able to survive long outside. We keep putting food out for her every night and hoping.

Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Easy, easy, easy!

Shrimp and Corn Chowder

Boil about a pound of russet potatoes, rough cubed, until tender. Drain. Saute about 1/2 onion and butter in dutch oven over medium heat until onions are tender. Add a few tablespoons of flour (it will bubble) and blend. Then add milk or cream (about 1 cup) and stir to blend. Continue stirring until mixture thickens. Add chicken stock (about a quart), potatoes, creamed corn (one can - or 2 cups if homemade) and about a pound of shrimp (season shrimp with salt and pepper before you start cooking). Cook, stirring occasionally until shrimp are cooked through and soup is the consistency you want. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pumpkin Pancake Recipe

I make a double batch of pancakes when ever I make any - they are so easy to freeze and make a quick breakfast when all you have to do is heat and eat.

Pumpkin Pancakes:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick oats or oat flour
1/4 cup corn flour
1/4 cup flax meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 eggs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups buttermilk
1 cup cooked pumpkin

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine eggs and butter and mix. Once thoroughly mixed, add vanilla, buttermilk and pumkin and stir. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Allow mixture to rest for about 5 minutes, then cook pancakes on a lightly oiled surface.

We love this with butter and maple syrup - yummy!

MONDAY: Menu Plan Monday, Sept 22, 2008

I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, that we will be moving (again) in the next few weeks. This weeks menu will be a two week, use-it-up menu. We have a lot to do (pack, clean, garage sale) and a rather large stockpile of food items, so we're going to try to only hit the stores for milk and fresh produce. Here's our menu, including a few family favorites (denoted by ***):

***Pumpkin Pancakes
***Sausage, egg and cheese biscuits
Bacon and eggs
***Baked Oatmeal (this will be our "quick meal" as one pan usually lasts for 4 breakfasts-I usually freeze leftovers after the first meal)
***homemade cinnamon rolls

Ham, cheese and fruit chunk kabobs
PB sandwhich
Grilled Cheese
Turkey roll-up (turkey wrap - my oldest, who does not like "real" sushi, cuts these into "rolls" and calls it his sushi)
***Broccoli cheese soup

Carrot Sticks
hummus and pita
corn bread with honey butter
coconut macadamia nut cookies
smoothies (strawberry, peach and/or blueberry)
banana nut bread
pumpkin bread

Teriyaki Salmon (marinate salmon in terikayi sauce for 30 minutes then bake) with Soba noodles and Mixed veggie stir fry

Grass Fed Beef burgers on dressed bun, California blend veggies (salt, pepper and butter)

Sushi, edamame

***Shrimp/ corn chowder, homemade bread, green salad

Italian Sausage spaghetti, garlic bread, corn

Chicken and cheese stuffed shells, alfredo sauce, cucumber salad

Chicken Florentine over pasta, Asian broccoli slaw, Parmesan bread sticks

Chili with cornbread and green salad

Baked Chicken, mac n cheese, broccoli

Meatloaf (locally raised, grass fed beef), new potatoes, glazed carrots

See what everyone else is cooking at Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Our Indoor Cat

Somehow, last night, as we opened and closed the back door, our indoor cat "escaped". She spent the night outside before we discovered her absence. We've seen her a few times today, but she is very frightened of all of the noises and dogs in the neighborhood and only runs away, so she is still at large. This is the first time she's spent more than a few minutes outside (and we're closing in on 24 hours). I pray she comes home soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Oak Trees, Squirrels and Hurricane Ike

We had an interesting Saturday, when Hurricane Ike roared through our area. While the rain and wind were pretty strong, thankfully, we were only mildly inconvenienced (we lost power for about 18 hours), unlike our friends and neighbors to the South in TX & LA.

For the families of squirrels in our oak trees, though, Ike was life changing. We when awoke yesterday, we found squirrels nests among the other leaves and branches littering our yard. We spent many hours yesterday restoring order to the yard. At one point, as dusk approached, we heard lots of noise and commotion coming from an area of landscaping containing many small trees and bushes. Closer inspection revealed an adorable baby squirrel who was probably thrown from the trees in the strong winds. While our cat was very interested in the baby, she did not try to harm it (although we did lock the cat up in the workshop for the night, just to be sure). Amazingly, though the baby was very young (eyes were barely open), it was very good at climbing and made its way up one of the bushes into a dense area of leaves and branches where it would be more safe. Since its parents were nearby (making lots of noise), we decided not to bring it to animal rescue.

I'm hoping the boys will want to draw pictures of it and maybe write a short work of fiction about the baby squirrel's adventures as part of our school work. Maybe we'll write it outside, to enjoy the beautiful weather we're experiencing since Ike.

MONDAY: Menu Plan Monday - Sept 15, 2008

Busy, busy, busy. In addition to home schooling, home keeping and our activities for the boys, we are starting to box up our things and prep the house for the move. Here's the menu plan for our busy week.

Breakfasts (to be served with milk and fruit):

Cold cereal
Baked Oatmeal
Banana Nut Pancakes
French Toast

Lunch (served with a fruit and a veggie):

PB & honey
Grilled Cheese
Homemade "Lunchables" (cheese, crackers and turkey)
Broccoli cheese soup


Hummus and pita
homemade brownies (with spinach and blueberry puree)
Chocolate Chip cookies
biscuits with butter and honey
carrots and cucumber with ranch dip
homemade salsa with chips


Tex-Mex Bowls (black beans with brown rices layered under seasoned meat (ground turkey) with cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream) with cubed melon

Chicken Alfredo Florentine Pizza (homemade crust with homemade Alfredo sauce chicken, cooked spinach, garlic and sliced whole milk Mozzarella) with Asian Broccoli Slaw (Broccoli Slaw mix - found in the produce dept of most grocery stores and mega marts - with Asian Style Salad Dressing, chow mien noodles and cashew halves and pieces). Be Sure to visit the link in the title to see how my friend Melanie grills her pizzas - great idea! We love this!

Yakisoba Chicken

Pan Fried (in olive oil) Chicken Strips (with wheat germ, flour and ground almonds to coat - tasty and healthy, and the kids love it), pan smothered sweet potatoes (brown in butter with a little salt), broccoli, cornbread

Tuna Burgers, dressed bun, oven roasted veggies (squash, zucchini, red peppers, asparagus, broccoli), Tater Tots (special treat for our oldest who loves these).

Check out hundreds of menus at Menu Plan Monday on Organizing Junkie.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Good News and Bad News

First, the bad news. My Grandmother has been in and out of hospitals for the last 4 weeks and there is still no indication of what is causing her illness. Please pray for her that she can get well soon - I'm not sure how much more she can take.

The good news? Dh got a job closer to home so we're moving (okay, I'm not so excited about the moving part, but definitely excited about being closer to family).

I'm hoping to get back to a more regular blogging routine, but between my good news and bad news, it may take some time.