Sunday, January 14, 2007

Freezer-Kit Cooking and Travel

So, we are going to be on the road and all we have to do is pack our cooler with these great meals! I am taking Citrus Maple Ham, Smashed Red Potatoes and look, wonderful homemade chocolate syrup! I will pack a crock pot and the hotel room has a microwave (even if it didn't the lobby usually does). Our family will also enjoy pulled pork with a pomegranate glaze, cheddar and honey ham bread, Pizza pockets and the most wonderful Chocolate Chunk Cookies. Freezer-Kit Cooking is such a wonderful way to save while traveling, our family would spend about $45 to eat out with this kind of meal. We will try to limit dining out to once or twice.

A lot of people are asking for recipes, I just want to let everyone know that I am working on the recipes, freezer cards, and will post a receipt as soon as I can to show how we manage to feed our family SPLENDIDLY within our budget. Blessings, Shawn <><

(PICS: Plated Citrus Maple Ham with Smashed Potatoes, frozen bagged ham, potatoes and bottled home-made chocolate syrup, with ice cream.)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Money, Menu and Time Stewardship...

This is a program that I have been working on for a long time. I have tried Once a Month Cookint (OAMC), 30 Day Meal Plan (Homemade Gourmet), Cook Once Serve Twice (COST), and Freezer Feeding, and now even the stores that offer the work for you; Super Suppers, Dish and Dine, Dinner Thyme (average $200 for 12 meals)...all great ideas and plans... and now I am setting up a program that halps me tremendously in menu planning, good meals, family dinner routine and money managment. I want to share, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Freezer-Kit Cooking

The idea is to prepare "kits" to store in your freezer for ease and menu planning. By purchasing in bulk the costs are minimal. I feed a family of five monthly for around $200 for dinner, add another $50 to include lunches and breakfasts. I will post a full menu plan soon...with a receipt from the grocery and begin some recipe logs. I am trained in the culinary field, but it really isn't necessary. I want to share this kitchen technique...

Tile Baked Sourdough Pizza

Start with the best ingredients you can afford, and remember, there are many out there from groceries, like Aldi, that won't hurt your budget! Yumm-O!!!

I like to "blend" my own sauce, using canned tomatoes, roasted red peppers (1/4 the cost of fresh, and the roasting is done for you!)herbs and cheeses. Notice as well that I have gone to the hardware store and purchased inexpensive on glazed tiles to line my oven rack with. This trick will give you that rustic, old world Italian Pizzaria Crust.

The tiles were very cheap and they cut them for free...I leave them in the oven at all times and bake right on top of them with parchement for rustic breads and cookies.

After the cheeses, cooked meats, sauce and bread is divided up and measured I put them in quart size freezer bags, the place everything in a gallon size bag...the KIT is now assembles and frozen. I am in the process of making up laminated instruction cards to place in the KITS that may be used over and over again, so the family can prepare dinner.

Well, this is about all I can get done for today, it is the Pastor's day off and we must take a breather and more this week....God's richest Blessings! Shawn <><

Friday, January 5, 2007

Fried heard right!

The children have been waiting for me to make this DE-lish treat since they heard about it last summer at the Fair. So today we spent time mixing and funneling into a pot of HOT oil. So, what do you think, sound the best, huh? Okay, before anyone says how awful it is for my health, this is only a-once-a-year event!

So, I trimmed a coffee filter to insert into the coca-cola cups (4 for $1 at the Dollar Tree) to absorb any excess oils, fried the batter funnel-cake style and topped with powdered sugar.

Can't you see how much Christopher loved them?! White tipped nose!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Aldi Grocery Store

So today we are off on our 1 1/2 hour road trip to do our grocery shopping! This is sort of a fun day for our family. We go to Aldi's Grocery Store every-other-week and shop for our family of 5. We usually spend $170 for two weeks worth of goods, and that isn't to bad, since I am a food-y and sort of picky about the choices. I will post our rotating menu and shopping lists once I get them typed out in a Word Doc and show how awesome Aldi Grocery is for a bargain seeker! Another thing I like to do is Once A Month Cooking, and Cook Once Serve Twice principles. That is a whole other post though! So off to plan and pack, btw, the kids love to eat lunch out on our shopping days too!

The snow is glittery, the sun is shining brightly on our new year! Hmmmm, still not resolutions, although Pastor is running on the tread mill right now!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Hand Embroidered Pillow Cases...Who wooda thunk it?!...

The children are loving the embroidered pillowcases I stitched for Christmas...along with the new pillows their Uncle and Aunt provided via a Penney's Gift Card...thanks big brother! So embroidered on each one is the morning prayer...I was hoping to stitch the evening prayer on the back, but all of these words takes a bunch of time! I was surprised at how long they took.

My wonderful man, who happens to be a great dad, took the kids up to Indianhead Ski Hill for the FIRST afternoon of snowboarding and skiing...scary and fun at the same time, hey, everyone is taking turns in the hot tub tonight and my sweet husband is going to have a lot of sermon illustrations! wink...wink, teeheehee

These little kitty cats are out for the afternoon, they have been running with the kids outback in the snow...which evidently wipes out the feline boys!

RESOLUTIONS...thinking on these things....just thinking....hmmm, I have one more day, don't I?!

Our Menu Plan, Jan 1-6

  • Sunday: Tile Baked Pizzas, Cranberry Spritzer, Fresh dressed Greens and New Year's Celebration Cake
  • Monday: Lemon Chicken, Seasoned Rice,Glazed Carrots, Milk, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
  • Tuesday: Baked Chimichangas with topping bar, homemade refried beans, fresh lemonade, chocolate chip cookies.
  • Wednesday: Pulled pork (barbeque style) fresh rolls, corn salad, Milk and leftover desserts.
  • Thursday: Quiche topped with filo dough, sliced apples, Milk and Chocolate Mousse.
  • Friday: Tile Baked Pizzas, Sodas, Dressed Fresh Greens, Red Pan Pound Cake with Fresh Chocolate Glaze.
  • Saturday: Crock Pot Chilli, Cheddar-Corn Bread, Lemonade, Ice Cream.

Friday, December 29, 2006


All friends who are wanting this blog emailed directly will be pleased that Google has tutored me through the phase, so the mails will begin. I thank everyone for their words of encouragement and look forward to keeping this wonderful world of blog land alive and serving to the Lord.

I adore this Starbucks Coffee Mug Danielle gave me for Christmas this year, isn't it so retro? The trees are a wonderful blue/green and I smile everymorning when I make my doubletall2%latte'....Yummmm-O!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

On the Third Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me...

A gear for my Kitchen Aid Mixer!?! YUP, my Profesional Kitchen Aid just does not seem to like creaming sugar with butter, funny, it gobbles up the wheat berries fine, but the sweets, now that is another story! So we took it apart (after calling customer service and finding out that it will cost a small fortune to send in to "take a look at") and now are in search of a gear, and great-grandmother's-spatula , was it messy! So I am thankful my sweet man is a Pastor, not a mechanic!So, take a deep breath, have a few sweet doughnuts for a pick-me-upAnd enjoy the children in the Winter Wonderland of The Northwoods of Michigan, where God's creation of the life He blesses us with daily is so very evident!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Whew! What an afternoon! I can't believe how wonderful all of our Parsonage Open House guests were! Everyone was so gracious about their visit and all seemed to appreciate the menu and fellowship, I know that we enjoyed their company! The cheese tray was a big hit, not surprising, as we are so close to Wisconsin! A bunch of people were glad to try Brie, and is was such a great purchase from Sam's club, and an easy indulgence!BUT...the show stopper, which I was REALLY surprised was the Bacon Wrapped Scallops served with Merlot Sauce. My children didn't want to try them, but the crisp sugared tops were a hit with the adults.
Then the cheesecakes...who would have thought! The little mini-cakes were eeny-meeny-miny-moed over, and yup the Chocolate Covered Blueberry was the adult favorite, while the P'nut butter cup was the children's favorite! The other one in the picture had a home-made caramel baked into the center. The tray continued to be refilled and refilled.

I can't possible post every picture of every item...but you get the idea. OH, OH, the adult men of the group hung out at the chocolate fountain...which I thought the ladies would claim that territory, and Danielle (my dd) thought it was adorable to see the menfolk mixing up little cups of hot cocoa and placing chocolate bits, marshmallows and whipped cream on the tops! But the ladies, once again, surprised me with opting for the Hot Spiced Pink Lemonade over Starbucks coffees! Ya just never know! I am wiped out today and am planning on having a few leftovers and a nice day of hanging around the living room watching football. May God Bless your households as he has ours this Christmas week, as our pastor said in service this morning, "It's always about the little Baby." Shawn <><

Oh, BTW What kind of English do you speak? I guess this proves that I travels a bunch growing up because my results are: LOL?!?
Your Linguistic Profile:
50% General American English
25% Yankee
15% Upper Midwestern
5% Dixie
0% Midwestern

Friday, December 22, 2006


My daughter and I are in a prep stage for the Parsonage Open House and I am adding some fun pics...from the individual s'mores (love all the snowmen heads?!)to the wintermint vanilla cupcakes, and yup, even a picture of the Honey Lager Bread (the one that we ate last time made...before a picture made it to the blog, teeheehee...)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Parsonage Open House Menu

Okay, so here begins the cooking and baking frenzy...YIPPEE, this is what I adore! Here is the planned menu, but any other ideas are welcome! I will post pics as I create, and appreciate all of the kind words you all have sent my way. Blessings from Shawn <><

Menu for Parsonage Open House 2006

Pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling

Vanilla Wintermint Cupcakes

Chocolate Lava Star Cakes

Variety of mini Cheesecakes- Buttercup,
Milk chocolate covered blueberry, Caramel swirl

Dipped Oreo snowmen

Cheese slate dressed with sugared grapes and sliced brown sugar-cracked pepper ham.

Chocolate fountain with dippers:
Fresh Strawberries, Frozen Bananas
, Pizzelle Italian Cookies, Jumbo Marshmallows, Apple slices

Scallops wrapped in bacon with merlot sauce

Bread sticks with roasted red pepper marinara

Smoked salmon cups

Holiday finger sandwiches


Quiche tart

Wisconsin Honey Lager beer bread with tapenade

Cranberry spritzer

Hot Cocoa Bar

Coffee Bar

Ice Water

Hot Spiced Pink Lemonade

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Creating a beer bread...

Okay, so I am back, the children had a ball ice skating, and meeting up with the other homeschooling families, and I am getting pointers from them on posting my pics...hmmm, well, uh, when did this, um, yaknow, how did this happen?! Turning to the next gen already!!! LOL

ANYway, so I had some Tastefully Simple Beer bread last week and I tweaked a recipe to make it on my own...those years of culinary school must pay off somehow! First, fresh ingredients, and local is better! Always.

Then mix and watch the bubbles...mmmm, mmmm...good!
After the batter is in the pan, dribble with some fresh , real, butter before baking, then bake, eat...guess what? We ate it for lunch with ham before taking a picture of the end product! ooops, but well, you understand...right? Hey, if you want the recipe, I'll think about it...LOL...

Morning life at The Parsonage...

Great Greetings to you in the name of our Lord, Christ Jesus! and...with the help of this awesome gift he has blessed me with each and every morning...double tall latte' with 2%....yumm-o! I have so much so much more to post, but am having some digi cam issues...gosh, this is turning into a new hobby...ANYways...I had a productive morning, with cleaning out my oven, finishing a gift (pics will post after the 24th- wink-)making a beer bread mix and preparing it for hot ham sammies for lunch...I will post the beer bread pics and recipe when I have a moment, off to take the children ice skating. (gotta keep moving while the latte' buz is going!) Enjoy this day, for Heaven's sake! Shawn <><

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Parson's Wife is busy baking and pakaging the simply perfect basic pound cake. I adore and LOVE love the red pan that I found at a local shop, which aid in the naming of this Chistmas gift!

Don't you love the great red trimmed pan, and the simple pleasure of the eggs, flour, sugar, butter and cream...How God makes this great cake out of some simple ingredients is beyond me! WOW ! I am hoping the grandparents love this gift for the celebration of Christ's Birth this year. I just wish we could be together to share the day. I am off to town to post packages. Blessings on this week to all!

Friday, December 15, 2006

posting picture practice

I wanted to check out how this posting of the pictures would work, so I am going to post some of my bread baking pictures to check out the quality and see if I can figure it out...thanks for your patience as I learn this blogland...

Some whole wheat starter that I am growing...

Checking out first blog, and hopes...

Checking out this blog land, from a former homeschoolblogger, to see the differences and such. Also, I am going to post my goals so to have a vision of my blog life. Photos, that is the big thing...whenEVer I go to a blog I want to see the things the gals chat about, so I am hoping to use my ds digi cam and keep the world updated on the household checking, one, two, three...