Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: February 21

Last week's Pepperoncini Roast was a huge hit with Billy and me. The boys, not so much. Still, it's definitely something I'll make in the future. Since it was mainly Billy and me eating it, we managed 4 meals from the one 3 lb. roast!

This week I'll be making up another recipe based on something we're wanting to eat, but I haven't taken the time to look up a recipe for it...

cheese quesadillas
I needed something quick and easy, as the afternoon was...not good. I'll post about that another time...

sausage, egg, and cheese on English muffins
I'll have bacon on mine in an effort to cut some fat from my diet, but still have a little meaty goodness.

Fiesta Nacho Casserole
This is what I don't have a recipe for, but I do have ingredients for something like this. I hope it's good! After enjoying typical cheesy nachos at a sports arena, we decided we want fancier nachos at home...

fried rice - without a mix this time!
crab rangoon
mini pork egg rolls
ALDI had Chinese food items on sale last week...

leftover buffet

chicken & sausage gumbo

leftover gumbo for lunch
sandwiches for supper (after we get home from AWANA)

For more menu plan ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Who's on your Bookshelf?

According to my cyber friend Cindy, she found the following meme through me. It's been so long ago, I don't remember it! I guess that means I need to play again. :o)

This is how this meme works: copy this list, delete the names of the authors you don't have on your home library shelves, and replace them with names of authors you do have. Bold the replacements. Then link to me.

Danielle Steel
Louisa May Alcott
Jane Austen
Agatha Christie
J. R. R. Tolkien
Charles Swindoll
Ted Dekker
James Herriot
C.S. Lewis

That's quite an assortment! Everything from classic authors to mainstream, from romance to mystery to biography, from both Christian and secular viewpoints. I must say, however, that my shelf space is limited. While those I listed are on my own bookshelves, I have one shelf dedicated to library books and that's where the majority of my reading these days comes from.

Thanks for reposting and playing, Cindy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: February 14

Last week's chaos is over, and this week looks to be a little more normal.

Menu plans are always subject to change, but especially on Fridays and Saturdays. Last Friday when I was grocery shopping, I saw a bin of fresh pineapples for 99 cents each. We love fresh pineapple, so I couldn't resist. Then I remembered we had a partial package of hamburger buns that needed to be used. So I grabbed a package of lunch meat ham and a tray of jalapenos so I could make some grilled ham & jalapeno pineapple sandwiches. They turned out great, even though I forgot to get some teriyaki sauce for them. Billy worked his magic in the kitchen and made a honey soy sauce to help hold the sandwich mixture together and add a little more flavor. The boys were disappointed to find there were no leftovers. And we polished off the rest of that pineapple with our supper. Maybe they'll have some more this week...

I also bought some strawberries for tonight!

Here's this week's menu (which is subject to change based on anything interesting I see while grocery shopping at ALDI - and this week they're featuring Asian food...):

blackened tilapia (unless I decide to do something with some of those jalapenos I bought...)
whole kernel corn
chocolate-dipped strawberries

** I've changed two of today's menu items: Chipotle Grilled Tilapia and Mexican Corn (recipe from allrecipes.com). We shall see...

baked potatoes

We'll be eating at the Dallas Mavericks game! The boys' basketball award was free tickets for all the players, and parents were able to get discount tickets. And it's Billy's birthday, too!

Italian roast
mashed potatoes
roasted cauliflower
homemade bread

leftover Italian roast on hoagies
fresh fruit

sandwiches (It's home team night.)

leftovers or sandwiches

The Italian roast is a new recipe, but I've eaten it before and it's melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious! I enjoyed it for the first time a few days before Thanksgiving at a luncheon at Billy's office. I've been dying for more, but I've been waiting for a good sale on chuck roast, which Brookshire's has this week and which I'll be purchasing tomorrow morning. I can't wait!

For more menu plan ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 2011 Book List

3. 703: How I Lost More than a Quarter Ton and Gained a Life" by Nancy Makin

Nancy Makin struggled with weight from adolescence. Though not pin-pointed by Makin as the starting point of her obsession with eating, she does admit to stealing food during her stay at a Catholic commune in Canada, where food for the residents was sparse and tasteless. After leaving the commune (twice), she responded by gorging herself, enjoying tastes she had desperately missed.

She equated food with self-esteem. When she was happy and fulfilled, she was able to manage her weight and keep herself occupied. When things took a downturn, she ate. As she got bigger, her self-esteem shrank - which led to more eating. Embarrassed by her appearance, she stayed in her apartment, rarely leaving for anything - and then only if the chances of her being seen were little to none.

At her worst, she weighed 703 pounds. Still that wasn't enough to turn her around.

Her sister had bought her a used computer for her birthday. It sat for months before she finally turned it on. When she finally started using it, she got so involved in building online relationships that she stopped eating from boredom and depression and began losing weight.

Her journey to morbid obesity and back is inspiring. She learned a lot about herself and what triggers her eating - as well as how to fight back. Now an inspirational speaker, Makin works to encourage other obese people to find themselves and take back their lives.

While I gave some of the bare bones of Makin's story, there's much more in the book you need to read for yourself. Her story is amazing.

4. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I read this as both my (modern) classic book of the month as well as in honor of Black History Month.

Born Marguerite Johnson, Maya (nicknamed by her older brother Bailey) spent most of her childhood years growing up under the watchful eye of Momma, her paternal grandmother, in Stamps, Arkansas. She and Bailey lived a short time in St. Louis with their mother and her family before Maya's personal tragedy led them back to Stamps, where they lived with Momma again until their early teens. By then, their mother had moved to San Francisco, and Maya and Bailey moved to live with her again.

Considering the life Maya lived during her formative years, it's a wonder she has turned out to be the woman she is today. It's nothing short of a miracle. The language she uses in this first part of her autobiographical story is beautiful, contrasting sharply with her state of life.

Unfortunately the book ends when Maya is 17, just three weeks after giving birth to a baby boy. I am left wanting to know more, so before long I'll read Gather Together in My Name, which covers the next four years of her life, and hope the many questions in my head are answered. If not, I'll go on to the third, fourth, and fifth parts.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cooking Light: Healthy Habit 2: Exercise 3 Times a Week

I was in a good exercise routine - last summer. Then we left for vacation in September and I had a hard time getting back to that routine. I did a little here and there, then the busyness of the holidays happened and I quit. In January, I had planned to start again. Sometimes plans don't work out. This was entirely my fault, though. I just...didn't.

I had read earlier in my Cooking Light magazine (Jan/Feb double issue) what February's challenge was, and I think I subconsciously put off exercising until this month. Now the first week of February has gone by and I only exercised once. Yesterday. For about 5 minutes. The goal is 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

That really shouldn't be hard for me. Oh, I find all sorts of excuses:
* I prefer to exercise in the morning before the boys get up.
* It's too cold/hot/wet/windy outside.
* I just ate something.
* I have too many chores to do right now.
* I'm tired.
* I forgot.
And the list could go on and on...

But here's how I CAN work some exercise into my day without much "effort" on my part:
* I take lots of "breaks" throughout the day. Some are to jump on Facebook for a few minutes. Others are to watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix. Why not take two 15-minute breaks to do some punches, crunches, squats, arm raises, jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc.?
* Exercise while I watch Grey's Anatomy, or whatever else happens to be on. I find just plain exercise to be boring, but if I have something else to occupy my mind, the time should pass quickly.
* Once the weather starts to warm up - and in the meantime, on those rare warm days that come out of nowhere - I need to get outside with the boys and ride bikes with them, or at least walk while they ride. We haven't made our way around the lake in many months.

I miss the evening walks I started taking last spring. Even when I went by myself, I had a good time. I'd put on my iPod and pick up the pace. Most days, I'd walk for 25-30 minutes. And I'd almost always vary my route. When the temperature started creeping up, I'd walk a little later in the evenings. Once summer hit in its full force, I quit. It was too miserable out there, even when it was almost dark. I had intended to start back in the fall, but habits die and are hard to get going again. I walked once or twice.

I could tell a difference in my body when I was getting regular exercise, and it felt great! I can tell a difference in my body now. Not so great.

So, I'm accepting this challenge. I will exercise three times this week - because the five minutes of punches I did yesterday don't really count. Tonight I'll have my first opportunity, if I don't let my pride get in the way. Caleb's basketball coach is opening the last half of this last practice up for parents to play against the team. I'm horrible at basketball. I don't know the rules, and I know the parents who will be playing will be so much better than me. Still, if I don't worry about getting out there and looking like a fool in front of everyone, I'll get in about half an hour of good exercise that will seem like only minutes. And it'll probably be a lot of fun, too. I'm sure it'll be great fodder for another blog post!


In all the busyness of the last week, I didn't complete last Friday's Photo Friday assignment: Travels. And since I didn't do any traveling to allow me to take a current picture for my Project 52, I can't allow myself to post this on that blog. (Project 52 is supposed to be a picture from the week, and the previous Photo Friday challenge - Trees - didn't belong there, either. Oops!)

The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker; Rock City, Chattanooga, TN

Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker.
Turn them out, knaves all three.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: February 7

At first I was glad to be done with last week. All the craziness with the winter weather and being iced and snowed in interfered with our regular routine. Then I saw what's in store for this week: dentist check-up for the boys tomorrow, county spelling bee on Thursday - and a possible snowfall in between. Please, no. Can I fast forward to spring?

Since I couldn't get out to shop for groceries for this week, the menu is a little sparse on cooking and high on heating and reheating. And I don't have a clue for Friday and Saturday. Since I didn't make out my menu and grocery list for this week, I'm a bit behind.

lasagna - leftover from Friday night

hot dogs - basketball practice

I'll probably make a quick stop by the store on the way home from the dentist and pick up some necessities...

tomato soup
grilled cheese sandwiches

scrambled eggs



Valentine dinner at church catered by Spaghetti Warehouse
desserts for auction donated by The Cheesecake Factory and Braum's (It's a youth fundraiser.)

For more menu plans, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.