Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work Home and Family - Summer Recipes - Kale Chips


Kale Chips

Honestly, when I was told these things were super yummy I was skeptical.  I don't care much for veggie chips or potato chips or any chips for that matter.  Fortunately, these were a totally different matter!

Ingredients:
Several Fresh Kale Leaves
Olive Oil (or vegetable oil)  - I used olive oil in a mister
Seasonings to Taste - we liked basic salt and pepper but others like chili powder, garlic powder, Cajun spices, cayenne pepper, etc. or a combination of these.

Place kale in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan.  Coat leaves lightly with oil. Turn and coat the other side.  Dust both sides with seasonings to taste.

Bake at 400F for approximately 10 minutes, or until crispy.

Note:  The recipes I read all had you toss the kale leaves in a bowl with the oil and seasonings. I found this gave a more even coverage of the oil and I used far less oil and spices using this method.  This recipe works best with very fresh kale leaves that don't droop when held upright by the stem.  

If you like, you can de-stem the kale and tear the leaves into smaller pieces.  We don't do this since we like to use the stem as a handle for eating!

Kale has a slightly sea-weedy flavor that some might not care for.  We like to eat these as a snack as is.  I have also had them dipped in hummus. Both ways are very good!

Enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Goals - Week of October 21, 2012

Wow.

Last week was quite the week.  The biggest thing was, of course, John's Candidacy Hearing on Tuesday. I had been gone for the weekend last weekend, getting home late in the day on Sunday, and there were several other things that happened last week, too, that were emotionally taxing and physically tiring.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, we were all totally exhausted.  I actually went to bed before my children did (and my children typically go to bed by 830pm) that night!  Can you believe that? Then I slept until my "regular" get up time on Thursday morning.  I think I need it because I went to bed at 930pm on Thursday too.   I'm feeling much better now and was ready to tackle a weekend where John was on a mini-mission trip/class thing the entire weekend (Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday). 

Since I didn't write up goals for last week, I'll just go straight to this week:

Work:
* Notes for next unit for both classes.
* Update class web pages.
* Get mid-term project photos from the department photographer.
* Submit mid-term grades to the registrar.

School:
* Cross 4 things off my dissertation to-do list
* Continue cleaning out my desk and bookcase

Jazzercise:
* Teach 2 classes
* Attend a meeting
* Learn 3 new songs
* Put together 2 new sets
* Organize paperwork (again)

Family:
* Dance Lessons x 2
* Piano Lessons x 2
* Family Date Night (not sure what we're doing yet)
* The Children have a birthday party to go to
* At Home Date Night with John
* FPU & Accompanying homework

Home:
* Catch up that ironing (I swear it's taking over!)
* Finish getting the flower and vegetable beds ready for winter
* Tidy 1 area each day for five days

Faith/Ministry/Church:
* Write Thank You notes from John's Candidacy Hearing
* Attend Choir Practice
* Decide what scripture I'm going to memorize next (I have it narrowed down to 3 - I need to decide already!)
* Update my prayer list
* Pray for guidance in 2 matters

Personal:
* Polish my shoes
* Get to bed on time 5 nights this week

What are you doing this week?  Check out Money Saving Mom to share and be inspired.

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 21, 2012



It's fall weather here - soup weather!  I love the chilly weather and the warmth that soups and stews provide.  Even better - I can pop them in the crock-pot before I leave in the morning and then we are ready to eat when we get home!  Love that.  Quick, easy, yummy dinner without the temptation of take out or pre-packaged food!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 21:
    Breakfast:  Cereal and Milk
    Lunch: Waffles with Peaches
    Snack: Popcorn
    Dinner: Cream of Chicken Wild Rice Soup, French Bread, Sliced Apples

Monday, October 22:
   Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Pan Fried Tilapia, Rice, Tossed Salad, Fruit

Tuesday, October 23:
   Breakfast: Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon
   Lunch: Hot Lunch for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, French Bread, Fruit

Wednesday, October 24:
   Breakfast: Yogurt with Granola Bananas
   Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Carrots or Tomatoes, French Bread, Cookie
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Chili in the Crock-pot, Baking Powder Biscuits, Fruit

Thursday, October 25:
   Breakfast: Chai Spiced Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Sliced Apples

Friday, October 26:
   Breakfast:  Yogurt with Granola
   Lunch:  PB&J, Yogurt, Grapes, Cookie
   Snack: Yogurt
   Dinner: Baked Potatoes with Chili and Cheese, Tossed Salad, Fruit

Saturday, October 27:
  Breakfast:  Cinnamon Strudel Muffins
  Lunch: Tossed Salad with Pecans, Mandarin Oranges and Dried Cranberries
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Homemade Pizza and Bread sticks, Fruit

What are you eating this week? Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! to share.




Sunday, October 21, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things - The Little Things....

ICEEs - this one's from summer - but we also bought some to celebrate John's Endorsement! YUM!

My children loving and learning so much at their dance classes - started ballet this year too!

Playing board games with my family or just with my husband for a date night.  Our new favorite is "221B Baker Street".

Hot Vanilla for my chocolate disliking guys (yes, they're weird, but the hot vanilla is very good!) with cinnamon whipped cream.  Double YUM!

This little guy absolutely loving to wash the dishes and vacuum. Who'd have guessed?

This supper yummy tea!  YUUUUUMMMMM!

A friend sent me this photo of the pipe cleaner dinosaurs she made with her daughter.

And...

My student's mid-term projects going very well - I'm so proud of them!

The lovely large bunch of "Indian Corn" that one of my husband's Endorsement Committee members gave us after the hearing.

Rain - finally!  And a whole day of it too! 

My husband being able to take some time off from work this week to spend with the kids and recover from the hearing.

Hot soup on a chilly night.

A "date" with my daughter spent coloring.  I love her color sense!

Having dinner every single night with my family.  After two years of both John and I working odd-ish hours, having all four of us home each evening is such a blessing!
 
Having our email in-boxes filled with happy emails celebrating John's endorsement this week. And the fantastic sermon he gave this last weekend.

Fresh home-baked bread.

Mini-pumpkins on my kitchen table.

Morning hugs from my sleepy kiddos.

We are so very blessed!  Truly these are just a few of my favorite things.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Endorsed!!!

John was endorsed yesterday!
Praise the Lord!

It was a long, exhausting day but at 430pm Tuesday 10/16 he was endorsed to continue his journey to Ordination.

We are so very thankful.


Now, hopefully, we can take a deep breath and have things get back to something with a bit more routine.




Thanks for your prayers - we definitely appreciate them!

Lea

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

Monday, October 15, 2012

John's Candidacy Interview

We've been busy here!  Why, you ask?

John has his Candidacy Interview tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10am.

What is that?

It's an interview process where the Bishop's Office, the Seminary and the Ordination Council look at John's call story, his personal theology statement, his formal and informal education and his understanding of Lutheran Doctrine and decides whether he can continue on to Ordination with our national church body, the ELCA.

If you feel lead, will you please say an extra prayer or two for him (and the rest of us) as he heads into this milestone?  We would SO appreciate it!

Thank You


I'm hoping to be back to a more regular blogging schedule later this week.

God Bless,
Lea

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Work Home and Family - Summer Recipes - Pizza in a Dutch Oven


So, I'm not really sure you can call this a "recipe".  Maybe "cooking method" is a better description.

Cooking Pizza in a Dutch Oven

Normally we make homemade pizza once a week at our house - either Friday or Saturday most of the time.  On our camping trip this summer, I was looking for something other than grilled meat, sandwiches or hot dogs.  I stumbled across several people talking about cooking pizza on a campfire.
I'd heard of cooking pizza on a gas grill (and actually done it) but this was different.

My first idea was after finding a scouts cookbook that talked about English Muffin pizzas cooked in open tuna cams.  We've done those in the oven at home but they're not so much our thing.  We like our "real" pizza - large and cut into slices and loaded with vegetables.

Then I stumbled across the idea of cooking pizza in a Dutch Oven.  
We have a Dutch Oven and we could easily do this.  

So here's the recipe:

A Dutch Oven
Aluminum foil
Pre-cooked/Pre-made pizza dough that fits inside of your Dutch Oven
Pizza sauce
Toppings

Heat the Dutch Oven in the coals of your campfire and heat until warm.  This will take about 10-15 minutes depending on the temperature of your campfire coals and how deeply you bury the Dutch Oven in them. 

Top your pizza dough with your sauce and toppings.

Place enough loosely wadded balls of aluminum foil in the bottom of the Dutch Oven to form a "shelf" for the pizza to sit on.  Allow air to circulate between and around the balls. This forms an "oven" for the pizza to cook in, similar to the oven in your kitchen at home.

Place the pizza on top of the aluminum foil balls.  Put the lid on the Dutch Oven. 

Cook for 10-20  minutes or until cheese is melted to your desired level of done.  This will depend on your campfire, the size of your pizza, and your Dutch Oven.  Once you are close to done, keep a careful eye on things - we burned the bottom of our pizza by getting distracted!

Note: I didn't dare try this with our soft, uncooked homemade pizza dough.  We used purchased pre-cooked pizza dough rounds for this, since they were shelf stable and would keep well at our campsite for a few days.  You could make this with homemade pizza dough by cooking the dough beforehand partway or you could buy a frozen pizza and use that too.  

There you go - how to make pizza in a Dutch Oven! Enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Goals - Week of October 7, 2012

Well, we're all still sick here.  John has bronchitis and he and I both have a sinus infection (joy!) and the kids are feeling okay but we're keeping an eye out for strep throat - someone in their class had that last week.   I'm officially ready to be done being sick this fall!  Thankfully John and I are almost better - we're hoping this is the week we lick all this. We're both on the tail end of antibiotics and actually feel much better than we have in a few weeks.  That's the good news!

I did get some things done last week, but not many because of the sickies.  Here was my list from last week:

Work:
* Catch all grading up to current.  Made some progress but not much.
* Write up project assignment for this unit in one class.
* Write test for other class.
* Start outlining next units for both classes.
* Update web pages.


School:
* Cross 4 things off my dissertation to-do list.  I crossed off 1 thing last week.
* Continue cleaning out my desk and bookcase at school.

Jazzercise:
* Teach 5 classes this week (yes, you did read that right!).
* Put together 2 new sets.

* Learn 3 new routines.  I learned 2 last week and picked out a 3rd one to learn.
* Pay franchise and insurance fees.

Family:
* Piano Lessons.
* Dance Lessons 2x.
* Scouts.

* Print photos for Missy's 2011 photo album.
* Date Night with John on Friday (free childcare at church).
* Family Night - Pot Luck at our CSA.  Canceled due to bad weather - we popped popcorn and played a board game instead.
* "Date" at home with Missy while John and Buddy go to Scouts.
* Finish reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis out loud to the children.

Home:
* Finish mulching flower beds.
* Do one little thing each night to keep our house clutter free.
* Do one little thing each day to keep our bedroom clutter free.
* FPU Class - and homework!
* Pay bills and mail them.

* Catch up the ironing (again - I swear this stuff multiplies on it's own!).

Faith/Church/Ministry:
* Write to our Compassion International child.
* Finish memorizing The Sermon on the Mount.
* Read 2nd book for Book Study at church.
* Choir Practice.

Personal:
* Get my hair cut.  I canceled my appointment because I felt so icky.
* Polish my shoes.
* Get to bed on time 6 nights out of 7 this week.  This was easy because I was sick and wanted to go to bed super early just about every night - one night I actually fell asleep at 8pm! Yikes!

Sooo, now that I'm feeling better (even though I'm still battling this sinus thing), I really don't want to push too much but I do have to get things caught up.  Like my giant pile of grading and being ready for class and having a house that doesn't look like a paper mill exploded inside of it. So, here's my to-do list for this week:

Work:
* Grading caught up (REALLY Already!)
* Next units completely outlined for both classes
* Update both web pages

School;
* Cross 4 things off my dissertation list
* Continue cleaning out bookcase and desk

Jazzercise:
* Teach 4 classes this week.
* Learn 3 new routines
* Put together 3 new sets
* Pay my fees

Family:
* Piano x2
* Dance x2
* Finish reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis aloud to the children
* At home date night with Hubby - Thursday night this week

Home:
* 30 minutes of ironing
* One small thing to tidy up our bedroom each day
* One small thing to tidy up the house each day
* FPU - and homework
* Make Homemade Granola
* Make Sugar Cookies for snacks this week

Church/Ministry/Faith:
* Finish reading second book for book study at church
* Decide what to work on memorizing next
* Send pictures and stickers to our Compassion International Child
* Mail sympathy card to a friend who's father just passed away

Personal:
* Reschedule hair appointment and get my hair cut
* Get to bed on time 5 days this week
* Visit with my cousin Diane this weekend

 What are you up to this week? Visit Money Saving Mom to share and be inspired!

Menu Plan Monday - Week of October 7, 2012


It's October already.  How did that happen?  It's definitely fall here - our high was a whole whopping 52F today and over the weekend we topped out at 43F.  Brrrr.  I keep telling myself that at least we didn't get snow like northern Minnesota did!  I'm just not ready for that yet.  The leaves are almost done and we're ready for nice warm fall foods like chili, chicken noodle soup and roasts in the crock pot!

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday, October 7:
  Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
  Lunch:  Baked Eggs, Cinnamon Biscuit Twists, Orange Wedges and Bananas
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup in the Crock Pot, Whole Wheat Bread, Apple Slices

Monday, October 8:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal with Almonds
  Lunch: Cheerios, Yogurt, Applesauce and Cookies
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Baked Salmon, Couscous, Tossed Salad, Apple-Banana-Grape Salad

Tuesday, October 9:
   Breakfast: Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal
   Lunch: Hot for Children, Leftovers for Adults
   Snack: Cookies
   Dinner: Baked Chicken, Tossed Salad, Apple-Banana-Grape Salad

Wednesday, October 10:
  Breakfast: Toast with Peanut Butter
  Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Carrot Sticks, Cookie
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Beef Roast in the Crock Pot, Potatoes, Carrots and Melon

Thursday, October 11:
  Breakfast: Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot for Children
  Snack: Yogurt
  Dinner:  Salad with Shredded Beef, Baking Powder Biscuits, Melon
  Date Night Desert: Apple Crisp

Friday, October 12:
  Breakfast: Toast with Peanut Butter, Banana
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot for Children
  Snack: Cookies
  Dinner:  Hot Dogs in Buns, Cut Veggies, Melon and Apple Slices

Saturday, October 13:
  Breakfast: Out for All
  Lunch: Soup from the Freezer, Apples with Peanut Butter
  Snack: Cookies
  Dinner: Homemade Pizza, Melon and Apple Slices

What are you eating this week?  Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie! to share.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Goals - Week of September 30, 2012

Last week was a whirl-wind of taking care of my sick husband, trying to dig myself out of my giant pile of grading, having a ton of other "little" things happen (like getting stuck in traffic and being late to work) that just didn't help matters, and coming down with a huge amount of sinus drainage from the huge air pressure changes.  Add a stress migraine that arrived about 7am on Monday morning and didn't leave until about 8pm on Wednesday and it was definitely not the best week I've ever had. 

Worship Sunday morning was a Service of Healing, which was exactly what I needed to get this week off to a good start!  It was lovely and so appreciated. Even though the rest of the day wasn't exactly restful, it was a nice way to release the tension and start the week on the right foot.

I'm skipping the review since last week was chaos and I never got last week's goals posted anyway.  So here's this week's:

Work:
* Catch all grading up to current.
* Write up project assignment for this unit in one class.
* Write test for other class.
* Start outlining next units for both classes.
* Update web pages.

School:
* Cross 4 things off my dissertation to-do list.
* Continue cleaning out my desk and bookcase at school.

Jazzercise:
* Teach 5 classes this week (yes, you did read that right!).
* Put together 2 new sets.
* Learn 3 new routines.
* Pay franchise and insurance fees.

Family:
* Piano Lessons.
* Dance Lessons 2x.
* Scouts.
* Print photos for Missy's 2011 photo album.
* Date Night with John on Friday (free childcare at church).
* Family Night - Pot Luck at our CSA.
* "Date" at home with Missy while John and Buddy go to Scouts.
 * Finish reading The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis out loud to the children.

Home:
* Finish mulching flower beds.
* Do one little thing each night to keep our house clutter free.
* Do one little thing each day to keep our bedroom clutter free.
* FPU Class - and homework!
* Pay bills and mail them.
* Catch up the ironing (again - I swear this stuff multiplies on it's own!).

Faith/Church/Ministry:
* Write to our Compassion International child.
* Finish memorizing The Sermon on the Mount.
* Read 2nd book for Book Study at church.
* Choir Practice.

 Personal:
* Get my hair cut.
* Polish my shoes.
* Get to bed on time 6 nights out of 7 this week.

 What are your goals for this week?  Visit Money Saving Mom to share.

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 30, 2012

Brunch after church on Sunday Morning (last spring - hence the Easter decorations).  Fruit, sausage and strawberry braided bread.

It's another busy week for us here!  This semester is just seeming to fly by - and being sick from the beginning hasn't helped at all!  We're all heading to the doctor this week so hopefully we can knock this thing off and get back to "normal".

We're cooking fairly easy meals this week just to keep things easy around here.

Sunday, September 30:
   Breakfast: Cereal and Milk
   Lunch: Leftovers
   Snack: Popcorn
   Dinner: Baked Chicken and Sweet Potatoes, Sliced Apples and Grapes

Monday, October 1:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal
  Lunch: Apples with Peanut Butter, Yogurt, Carrot Sticks or Tomatoes, Oatmeal Cookie
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Cabbage Rolls, Apple-Grape-Melon Salad

Tuesday, October 2:
  Breakfast: "Pumpkin Pancakes" from the Freezer
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Hot Lunch for Kids
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, Veggie Fritata, Grapes

Wednesday, October 3:
  Breakfast; Oatmeal
  Lunch: Leftovers for Adults, Leftovers for Kids
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Chicken Noodle Soup in the Crock Pot, French Bread, Apple Slices

Thursday, October 4:
  Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins
  Lunch: Hot for Kids, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, Orange Wedges

Friday, October 5:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal
  Lunch: Hot for Kids, Leftovers for Adults
  Snack: Yogurt with Granola
  Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese, Grapes for Kids; Date Night Out for Mom and Dad

Saturday, October 6:
  Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins and Bananas
  Lunch: Homemade Pizza and Bread sticks, Fruit
  Snack: Popcorn
  Dinner: Potluck at our CSA: Bring a fruit salad

What are you eating this week?  Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie! to share and be inspired.