11 08 2008

Wow, we have a lot of posts today.  The baby has been great at occupying himself lately so I’ve gotten more than two minutes in a row to write up a few posts.  Well, I just wanted to give a cheer for the USA athletes competing in the summer Olympics.  I am especially excited (as is most everyone who cares about Olympic swimming) about our win in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay last night.  Michael Phelps continues on his quest for 8 golds!  I don’t think I could ever explain in words how excited I am right now!

Watching swimming is like watching golf- it’s usually only exciting if you’re really involved in the sport.  Until a huge upset comes along.  Like Tiger Woods taking back the US Open in June.  I’m not a huge fan of golf, but that was an exciting game to watch.  Last night the USA won by 8 one hundreths of a second.  When Jason Lezak out-touched his French opponent, Alain Bernard, my husband and I were yelling and cheering at the TV like we were watching the Super Bowl. (Can you believe Lezak is 32?)  And in addition to winning gold and beating the French in spite of their threat to “smash” our team, they crushed the world record by nearly 4 seconds. I’ll let you read a better telling of the story here…  I’m being called into the kitchen to make “dinner” for my toddler (even though it’s only 10 in the morning).  Time for snacks I guess! 


PS- watching the swimming races these past few days is making me miss my swimming days.  I was no where near Olympic material, but I was competitive in my own right and spent a good portion of my college days in the pool.

Meal Plan Monday (in AK)

11 08 2008

It’s been a while since I posted a meal plan.  Most of my efforts at planning a menu lately have been thwarted by last minute invites to barbeques and such.  The weather here has been pretty nice lately, after a miserable July.  So everyone is getting in their barbeques before the weather takes a turn to the worse.  There is already fresh snow on some mountains nearby and the leaves are starting to show hints of yellow.  Aaahhh!!!  Not ready for winter yet!!!!

I spent some time while it was raining poring over some recipe books (pun intended) to find some new recipes.  At our local library I found a great crockpot recipe [Fix-It and Forget-It by Dawn Ranck and Pyhllis Pellman Good] that I will be putting that to good use as I try to get myself back in the habit of regularly using the crockpot.  I also dug out an old family favorite to use up the (fake) crab meat we have in the fridge.  We might be going camping this weekend so I am not really planning those days.  If we do we’ll just have leftovers and/or hotdogs and brats.  If we don’t we’ll probably BBQ burgers on Saturday.  Sunday I am planning on roasting a turkey we inherited from a neighbor who moved away recently so look for leftovers from that next week!

Anyway, here is the plan for the rest of the week.  Also, check out Colleen’s menu  for this week and I’m an Organizing Junkie for more great recipe and meal plan ideas.

Monday: Pork Roast (bought already marinated), mashed potatoes, carrots

Tuesday: Crab Pasta, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday: crockpot- haven’t decided on the recipe to use yet, but it will be chicken.  Probably Orange Chicken Leg Quarters or Sweet and Sour Chicken (page 175 and 177 of the book I mentioned above)

Thursday: Greek style pizza- homemade pizza dough, grilled onions, feta cheese, and random other ingredients that I find lurking in the fridge that day.

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: brats or burgers

Sunday: roast turkey, stuffing, green beans

Family Favorite- Crab Flake Toss

11 08 2008

I am not sure if this was a published recipe anywhere, or if my mom invented it. But it is one of my favorite dishes of all time. There was never any leftover when she would make it for the family and I’d always request it for birthday dinners. It goes together rather quickly too.

Crab Flake Toss
serves 6-8

1/2 package spaghetti
1 lb imitation crab flakes
4-6 TBSP butter
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 tsp. basil leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tomatoes, chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, chopped

Cook spaghetti according to package and drain. Heat crab in microwave. Return spaghetti to pot. Toss with all ingredients. Serve immediately. Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread.

I find it easier to mix if I mix all the herbs into the melted butter first.  I also don’t usually heat up the crab first, I just return the pot to the stove after all is mixed.

I yelled at hubby last night not to eat the crab flakes.  He was sad, but will be very happy to have this for dinner tomorrow night!!

Minimizing Monday: Medicine Cabinet

11 08 2008


Another Minimizing Monday project is here; time to clean out the medicine cabinet. It’s been only about 6 months since I went through our bathroom cupboards and purged items that were past their expiration date. But this time around, I still found some that I had missed on the first pass! 
You can save a lot of space by taking medicines out of their original boxes, but I decided to leave some of the small ones in their packages so they wouldn’t be overlooked in the cupboard. I made sure the other small ones were coralled in a basket.
I’m very happy about finally clearing the clutter from on top of the cabinet. It’s fallen off quite a few times. I took the blue-topped plastic container (which still had some baby things in it), and made a new home to all the bandaids.

here we are before

here we are before…


...and, wow! Just a few minutes later 
…and after!

Follow the easy steps suggested by Handprints on the Wall, and get to work on your medicine cabinets!

Meal Plan Monday (in MA)

11 08 2008

We have a busy week ahead of us, and guess what, it’s raining again! These are the quick dinners I’ve planned for the week, since I’m also working evenings M-Thursday. Eep! I thought I’d include my notes for my flexible recipes here in case you’d like to try.

Or find some other recipes & ideas at Meal Plan Mondays at Organizing Junkie.

Monday–Pork fried rice with stir fry veggies (pork is already cooked)
          Cook rice. Dice onion and saute with olive oil in large skillet. Add cubed pork, rice, green peas & diced carrots (I buy either a can or use frozen. You can use fresh carrots and cook them with the onion) to the skillet along with enough soy sauce to darken the rice. Add a bit of oil if necessary to keep the mixture from completely gluing to the skillet. Cook and stir until vegetables are heated through. You can also whisk an egg or two and stir in towards the end.

Tuesday–Turkey Meatloaf and Veggies (Sunday’s leftovers)
           Mix together 1 package ground turkey (about 1.25 lb), 1/2 small onion (diced), 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 1 beaten egg, 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbs soy sauce, 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce, 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs, salt & pepper. Shape into a loaf on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until internal temp is 165F. (about 45 min) I always eyeball measurements when making this, and never had a problem. You can also grate a carrot into the mix, or add some bell peppers.

Wednesday–Soup, salad, & sandwiches

Thursday–Hamburgers and potato salad

Friday–Leftovers or pizza

Saturday–Pasta and cookout foods (going to the park if it doesn’t rain!)

Sunday–Quiche or casserole? Jennifer’s Better Banana Bread!

Sunday I’m also preparing dinner for a mom in our playgroup with a newborn, so I have to come up with something that can sit in their cooler for awhile and still taste good reheated. I don’t want to use chicken either since all the other volunteers are preparing poultry dishes. I’d love to hear any suggestions you might have! Thanks!