Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clam up, you !

I try to get my kids to eat good things anyway I can! If that means putting eyeballs on with black olives....well I will do it!

I found a great bag of whole wheat mini pitas at Trader Joes. I will confess, I got them partly because they were cute. (I had no idea what I could make with them but my kids like little things and they were a good prices, so I scooped them up!)

What we came up with was so cute I just had to share.

I split them halfway and filled them with sliced turkey and some shredded cheese. I then popped them in the microwave for twenty seconds and wahlah!

I may have chased my kids around with them...but they loved it. We talked about where clams lived and what they are.

Add eyeballs with olives or make them crabs with thin carrot strips for legs. I am also thinking about added some cooked and seasoned spinach for "seaweed".

They loved them and I felt good that it was a healthy and a different lunch for them!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Works for me Wednesday: Keeping the stockpile under control

Hello. My name is Summer and I am a......stockpiler.

I admit that when I see a next to nothing deal, I grab it. Or two or three or a dozen.

I just can't help myself. If I have 3 coupons for an item, its a manager special and it's $.20 for a bag of frozen broccoli, you bet your tushy I buy 3 of them.

I get alot of sighing and looks from my hubs but he rarely says anything because he has seen the power of the money savings. I get the looks because it is his job to go out to our chest freezer and find a spot for all the deals.

There is only one itzy bitzy problem......... I forget what I have out there. I could go out there every Sunday night and see what I have before I do my menu planning. I tell myself, however that Sunday is supposed to be the day of rest, right?!?! I know, however that I just don't want my hands to turn blue as I dig through the Mary Poppins bag of freezers.

So...... I have come up with this.

I found these magnetic whiteboards at a store for $1. I love that I can simply write what I have in my freezer, erase when I no longer have it, post dates of casseroles and baked goods and add as I go to the grocery store. It actually saves me money because we are using the things that I have gotten the deals on and nothing goes bad and gets wasted.

And that works for this mama...who would rather play games with her kidlets than dig through a freezer!

For more great WFMW ideas visit We Are that Family!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mama Knows Best: Serving veggies in the summertime

I love to entertain. Especially in the summertime. I think we eat outside more than we do inside :) Since we eat from our garden, there is an abundance of salads and fresh veggies.

This is great...except when the heat strikes. It seems as if I barely get the salad on the table when I notice its already wilting!

So, I have found that if I place my salad plates or bowls in the fridge for an hour before dinner, all my salads, fruits and cold veggies stay nice and crisp for serving...which makes for some good entertaining :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Grill-tastic

Happy Monday! I am excited to use our grill this week because it means easier cleanup for mama!! I am also really excited to try a new grilled Buffalo wing recipe that I found. I love wings but the fact that they are deep fried a couple times means my waist line doesn't like them so much! I have posted the recipe below so if you try it, let me know how it works for you. I have also included a recipe for black beans and rice. My little ones just love it !!! (I use chicken broth instead of veggie broth.) Happy eating Y'all!!

Monday: shrimp kabobs, grilled veggies (summer squash, onion and green pepper), brown rice

Tuesday: Grilled pork tenderloin, asparagus, baked potatoes

Wednesday: Leftovers buffet- if its not movin, you can eat it...but mama is not cookin!

Thursday: spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic bread

Friday: Pizza Night

Saturday: Grilled Buffalo wings (Recipe below), baked fries, spinach salad

Sunday: Steak fajitas (made on the grill with marinated bell peppers), black beans and rice (Recipe below)

Grilled Buffalo Wings

3 pounds chicken wings, separated at joints, tips discarded
1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle cola-flavored carbonated beverage
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Preheat a grill to medium heat.

In a large pot, mix together the hot sauce, cola, cayenne pepper, black pepper and soy sauce. Add the wings to the sauce - frozen is okay. Place the pot to one side of the grill, so the sauce comes to a simmer.

Use tongs to fish wings out of the sauce, and place them on the grill for 8 to 10 minutes. Then return to the sauce to simmer. Repeat this process for about 50 minutes. The sauce will thicken. When the chicken is tender and pulls easily off of the bone, you have two options. You can dip one last time and serve for sloppy style wings, or serve right off the grill for dryer wings.

Black Beans and Rice

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups low sodium, low fat vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained

In a stockpot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the spices and black beans.