Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Oh Baby

Elyanna Grace was born on April 1 (no fooling!) to my big sister. It's her 3rd child. We've been waiting somewhat impatiently to drive down and see everyone. We finally got a chance to go after canceling one trip due to a crazy April blizzard. The girls were very excited to meet the new baby and play with their other cousins.

Lily loves babies, so this was very exciting for her. She loved "holding" Elyanna. However, when someone else asked Lily later if she had held Ely, she said no. Guess she just didn't remember it. I wish we all lived closer because the cousins really play together well and enjoy each other. Addie is in awe of her cousin Alyssa and all the cool big girl toys that Alyssa has.

And Then There Were Five.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weekly Meal Plan - April 27- May 2

Ahhh, feel the wind in my hair! I'm ready to go!

Sunday- Roast Salmon Provencal - from Eat Better America
Monday- Chicken Parmesan - again, here's the recipe from Eat Better America
Tuesday- Pork Tenderloin - this would be really yummy grilled and served with rice and stir fried veggies.
Wednesday- Shepard's Pie - I'll sub out the skim milk for soy or chicken broth - From Meals Matter
Thursday- BLT's - Thursdays are always a busy night for us. I try to knit on Thursdays and it seems like Adam always works late. :) We need a fast meal on nights like this.
Friday- Pizza! I like to make our own when I have the time. Plus I freeze all the leftover slices from Lily's pizza to just take out when we need it. I'll probably buy the premade crusts and just add whatever toppings the girls want. We're big on adding lots of meat and olives to the pizza. I'll add green peppers, onions, and whatever other veggies I think I can get away with.
Saturday- Flaxseed Morning Glory Muffins - from Eat Better America - got to love recipes with soymilk already in it, it makes it sooo easy for me. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weekly Meal Plan - April 20-26

Sorry I'm a little behind on this. We went to visit my older sister and see her new baby... pictures to come. Then yesterday got a little crazy. I started organizing Addie's room and the night just flew by. Anyway, enough excuses....

Sunday- Tacos

Monday- Baked Pasta

Tuesday- Stir Fry - I got the stir fry vegetables from Schwans so this will be a snap to make.

Wednesday- Grilled Pork Chops - I think I'm just going to marinade these in no-fat Italian dressing and throw them on the grill.

Thursday- Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store

Friday- Pizza at the cabin

Saturday- Leftovers

Baked Pasta

1/4 C non-dairy butter

1/4 C + 2 Tbs flour

1 1/2 C soy milk (or skim milk)

your favorite pasta (lasangna noodles would be perfect)

1 lb hamburger

1 sm zucchini

1 can mushrooms

1 can sliced black olives

1 jar pasta sauce

1 Tbs basil

1Tbs garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350. Cook noodles to al dente. Brown hamburger. In saucepan melt butter. Add flour and stir constantly until the mixture starts to brown and gets very thick (that's a rue). Warm milk in the microwave. Add milk slowly and stir constantly (you might need to use a wisk) You want the milk mixture to get very very thick and creamy. Take off the heat and stir in basil and garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Cut zucchini into very thin planks. Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan with oil. Lay down the zucchini. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the mushrooms and olives. Lay down half of the pasta. Add all of milk mixture to the top of the pasta and spread out evenly. Add a layer of meat and pasta sauce. Add another layer of pasta, meat, olives, mushrooms and sauce. Bake for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dear God, It's Me Addie

The other night while I was laying in bed with Addie trying to convince her it was bedtime, I heard her say this.

"Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen. Please God, make it so I never have to go to sleep again. I don't like going to sleep. I never want to sleep again. Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen."

She's 3 1/2. I'm not sure if I'm in for a lifetime of struggles with this one or if she's quietly going to join a monestary.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dairy Free Weekly Menu April 13-19

We're in the midst of a crazy winter storm today that's supposed to last through Saturday afternoon. We lost power for awhile this morning and I wouldn't be surprised if we loose it again at some point. The winds are whipping away out there at 55 mph!

Sunday- Pork Artichoke Pasta

Monday- Stir Fry

Tuesday- Souper Veggie Soup

Wednesday- Burritos

Thursday- Diablo Fish

Friday- Orange Crock Pot Chicken

Saturday- Leftovers & Baking Day

Pork Artichoke Pasta

I love artichoke hearts. I don't know what it is about them, but I absolutely love them. I know they're not everyone's thing though so you could certainly leave them out of this recipe without hurting anything. You may want to add some extra spices if you do though, because the artichoke marinade has lots of seasoning in it.

1 jar artichoke hearts

4 pork chops (or pork loin) sliced into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic

3/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup white wine

1 tbs cornstarch

Your favorite pasta

Cook pasta. Saute the pork in a saute pan until browned. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Drain artichoke hearts (reserve liquid) and add to the pan. Stir together broth, artichoke marinade, wine and cornstarch. Add to pan and stir, bring to a boil until thickened. Serve over pasta.

Stir Fry

1 lbs your favorite protein (tofu, beef, pork, chicken, shrimp)

1 bag frozen stir fry mix

1/4 Cup hoisen sauce

2 Tbs soy sauce

1 clove garlic

1 Tbs ginger

3 Tbs water


Cook rice according to package directions. Brown meat in saute pan. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Heat through and serve over rice.

Veggie Soup

Addie is a big fan of reading Stone Soup lately. This is very much how I make soup, I throw in a little of this and a little of that and cook until everything is tender and tasty.

1 quart beef stock

1 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2-3 carrots, diced

1 can diced tomatoes, I like the seasoned ones

1 1/2 tsp tyme

frozen mixed veggies (I use the Mediterranean type with zucchini, summer squash and kidney beans)

green beans, white beans, pasta, etc - whatever you like in your soup.

I dump everything into a stock pot and cook until the veggies are tender. You could also put it all in a crock pot and let it simmer all day.


1 lb ground beef (we often use ground venison) or diced chicken

1 can black beans (or low fat refried beans)

1 onion, sliced

8 tortillas

1 pkg taco seasoning mix

1 sm can green chilis

salsa, cheese (we use Dairy-free cheese), sour cream (Lily likes the Tofrutti Better than Sour Cream smeared on hers) for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Brown meat and onions. Add taco seasoning and water according to pkg directions. Cook until sauce starts to thicken. Spray 9x13 pan with oil spray. Into each tortilla put some meat mixture and beans, roll into shape and place in the 9x13 pan. Sprinkle chilis over the top (we leave them off the girls side) and bake for 30 min. Serve with any garnishes you like.

The girls like this version because the tortillas get a little crunchy on the top. If you don't like yours that way, you can always pour a jar of enchillada sauce over the top before baking.

Diablo Fish

6 fish fillets

1 can roasted diced tomatoes

1 can sliced black olives

1/2 onion, diced

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic

1 sm zucchini, diced

Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large skillet over med heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, pepper, and olives and simmer about 4 min. Add the fish. Cover and simmer until fish flakes easily. Serve with rice or couscous.

Orange Crock Pot Chicken

This is adapted from Leanne Ely's Saving Dinner.

6 oz can of orange juice concentrate

1 chicken (whole or pieces)

1/2 tsp tyme

salt and pepper to taste

1 clove minced garlic

1/4 cup water

2 Tbs cornstarch

Place chicken in crockpot. Stir together orange juice concentrate, tyme, salt and pepper, and garlic. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for approx. 8 hours. When chicken is done, remove and keep warm. Pour the sauce into a saucepan on medium. Stir cornstarch into water and stir (I put it in a little tupperware container and shake it until there aren't any more lumps). Add cornstarch to juice in pan. Stir and cook until sauce is thick. Serve over chicken or as Lily likes - on the side as "dip" for her chicken.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Play Date

We had a great play date last night. A group of us (5 moms, 8 kids) got together at McDonald's to eat and then play. The kids had a blast! For some reason, the toddler area was a huge hit with the 3 year olds for awhile. Could be because the bigger play structure was overrun by nasty big kids.

So our kids had a great time going up and down the mini-slide. Addie and her friends did the "help me, help me" routine and pulled each other up. I was amazed at how well the 8 kids got along. Everyone was so happy to see each other!

After the mean big kids left, our kids took over the tree/tunnel/slide climbing structure. I ended up going down the slide 3 times with 3 kids hanging on me. :) I had one girl on each knee and AJ hanging for dear life on my back!

The exciting news of the night was that both my kids went down the big slide (not the one here, but the big twisty dark slide) all by themselves! Addie decided that after she had gone down with me 3 times that maybe it wasn't so bad after all. Lily completely shocked me by going down by herself! I'm so proud of them!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dairy-Free Weekly Menu April 6-12

I started making a weekly menu about 2 years ago. I found that it helps me save money by planning out my meals ahead of time. It also helps prevent some of the, "What would you like for dinner?" "I don't know, what would you like?" "Well, let's just order pizza." We don't have the budget for that sort of thing all the time and it's not healthy for us or the kids.

I've found several menu services online, but they either cost more than I'm willing to spend or they are loaded with kid-friendly (allergy non-friendly) high calorie foods. So I've decided to start posting my own here. Bear with me. :) Everything I post here will be at the very least dairy-free. I can't guarentee they'll be free of other allergens, but the Mommas I know who deal with their kids allergies are a resourceful bunch - I think most of the recipes will be easily adaptable.

Weekly Menu April 6-12

Sunday- Pork Roast, boiled potatoes and steamed veggies
Monday- Chili, biscuits and salad
Tuesday- Fish and Chips, raw veggies
Wednesday- McDonald's Playdate (substitute one of your favorite meals here!)
Thursday- Meatballs (Addie's 2nd favorite meal) - serve with noodles and red sauce, bbq sauce or Swedish meatball sauce.
Friday- Out of town
Saturday- Out of town

Pork Roast
I'm very unscientific about this. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Sprinkle roast with your favorite herbs - I use garlic, thyme, majorom and savory. Place roast in a roasting pan and bake for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 350 and bake for 50 minutes.

I make a small roast (or two small ones so I have one to slice and freeze for later) and place a thermometer in the meat and set the alarm to ring when it hits 165. It takes about 50 minutes for a small roast, but adjust cooking time for larger ones.

1 lb ground beef (or venison)
1 sm onion, diced
1 lg can diced tomatoes (or fresh in season)
1 can kidney beans
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 cloved minced garlic
1/4 Cup chili powder
1/2 tsp cayanne pepper
1 Cup Tomato Juice (if needed)

Brown beef in a soup pot. Drain any excess oil. Add onions, green peppers and garlic - cook until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cayanne pepper. If you like your chili a little more soupy, feel free to add tomato juice to thin it out. We like our chili meaty and thick so this is definitely a hearty meal.

Fish and Chips
I found a bag of french fries in the frozen foods section of the grocery store last week for $1. I baked those in the oven so they're lighter than if you were to fry them. Normally I don't buy fries, I just wash and cut up several baking potatoes and bake those.

Fish fillets (any type will do)
Pam spray (not the butter kind)
1 Cup Bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Put crumbs on a plate and add salt and pepper and paprika to taste. Spray each fillet (front and back) with the oil spray. Dip fillet into crumbs and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 min or until fish flakes easily.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 cup soy milk
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbs Italian Seasoning
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together. Scoop out portions of meat and form into balls (I use one of those cookie scoops). Place formed balls onto a rimmed cookie sheet. You can freeze uncooked balls like this. Just put them into a ziplock when they're frozen. Thaw completely before cooking.
Bake for 30 min.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Three Cheers for Snow White

Darla sent Lily a fun birthday present; a Snow White costume and some pom poms (or pom pons, depending on where you were raised). Addie got a set of poms also.

After setting some firm ground rules (like no shaking the poms in Mommy's face, no hitting each other on the head with the poms and no stealing of the sister's poms) the girls had a blast! Give me a D-A-R-L-A, what's that spell? Dar-wonderful!

It took a few days, but Addie was able to finally try on the Snow White costume also. Lily is very protective of it! Addie's a little sad and mopey right now. She finally decided to give her binkies to her new baby cousin. They started not tasting very good (could be from the Tabasco Momma was putting on them) and so Addie decided that maybe the little bitty baby needed them more than she does. We put them in a very special sparkley gift bag and glam'd it up with some tissue paper. Addie then drew a picture for the baby to put in the bag. Grandma brought the gift of binkies down to the baby.

Last night Addie asked me to buy her some, "New Big Girl binkies." I told her that those were very hard to find. Most binkies don't taste good to Big Girls because they're made for babies. "But what will I put in my mouth to fall asleep?" Honey, you'll just have to fall asleep on your own like you do at naptime. :( Poor little thing. I feel really bad for her, but I know it's past time that she move on. I just hope we did it in a gentle enough way.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Stroller Made For Two

Lily got this super cool stroller from Baby Jack's Momma for her birthday. The girls immediately (without a word being said) put one baby in the front and one baby in the back. They made it into their double stroller!! They even very nicely strolled around the living room together. What good sharing!

I think Addie is starting to feel better. Although she did ask if she could "just lay down" on the couch this morning, she is starting to get her spunk back. While I was putting on makeup this morning the girls took a pot of Bath and Body Works lotion and smeared it all over themselves and the floor. The reason I know it was Addie who masterminded this (besides the fact that Lily can't quite open the container by herself) is that when I called for the girls they were suspiciously quiet. They had smeared the lotion all over the floor underneath our bed. It takes a 3 1/2 year old to hide while doing something naughty!