Monday, June 29, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - XII

Here is the menu for the week of June 29th - July 5th, 2009.
  • MONDAY - Chicken Pot Pie (from Tim and Alyssa Stevens - thank you guys!!!), Tossed Salad
  • TUESDAY - Chinese Broccoli Beef, Jasmine Rice, Tossed Salad, Homemade Garlic-y Bread
  • WEDNESDAY - Pizza Tortillas, Fruit Salad
  • THURSDAY - Dinner with Autry's OR Bistro Chicken Skillet, Pasta, Tossed Salad
  • FRIDAY - Celebrate Eric's 33rd Birthday with Wright's
  • SATURDAY - Hamburgers on the Grill, Baked Beans, Cantaloupe
  • SUNDAY - Lasagna, Corn, Tossed Salad, Homemade Garlic-y Bread

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Menu Planning Thursday!

This week's menu was delayed due to a very busy start to the week - our church had it's annual VBS (Vacation Bible School). I am the coordinator for the worship choreography team and had to be at church 4 or more hours each night (Sunday through Wednesday). One BIG perk to all of the hard work was that all of the workers and volunteers were fed at the church each night - I didn't have to cook. The rest of this week is back to business as usual, however. Here is the menu for the remainder of the week:
  • THURSDAY - Glorious Smorgasbord of Leftovers (LOL), Fresh Strawberry Almond Salad with Poppyseed Dressing (thanks Hoy family for all of the garden-fresh lettuce!)
  • FRIDAY - BBQ Chicken, Baked Beans, Tossed Salad, Dinner Rolls
  • SATURDAY - Pizza, Tossed Salad
  • SUNDAY - Catalina Cranberry Chicken, Steamed Broccoli, Garlic-y Bread

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Race!

The Homeschool Regatta was a great hit with the boys! They loved building their boats with Daddy and highly anticipated the moment they could set them loose on the Huron River. Fortunately, the weather was sunny and somewhat warm (low 70s) for the race because as soon as the boys got to the river, they waded fully in up to their armpits and splashed around before the races even began. I'm not sure they would have even needed the race to entertain them - the water was a tempting distraction in and of itself.
The boys were super enthusiastic about the whole event and keeping track of all of them while holding Delanie proved to be quite a trick. I was certainly glad that Kevin's parents and grandparents came along to cheer the boys on - I'm sure I would have lost a boy down the river if my mother-in-law hadn't kept such a good eye on them all!The first race was held in a deeper tributary of the Huron River and was exclusively for all non-propelled boats that were made by the children themselves (no store-bought or parent-made boats). Only Elijah and Ethan were tall enough to stand at the waist-deep starting line, so they launched Kaden's boat for him.
Unfortunately, both boys got stuck nearer to the shore and toward the back of the starting line because of the confusion and because of the depth of the water. Still, when the race started, all three boats floated well and although none of them won, their designs seemed solid.
It was very interesting to see all of the different ship designs as they raced down the river. There were some elaborate ships with masts and sails, quite a few boats made out of pop bottles and plastic storage containers, and there was even one "ship" that looked suspiciously a lot like a flip flop! I believe the boat that ended up winning the first race was a wooden boat cut in a speed-boat design - simple, classic and apparently fast!
A second race was also held in this location for all of the kit boats, store-bought boats and parent-made boats. We weren't involved in that race so the boys just enjoyed swimming along the edge a little bit longer.
The next race was held at a more preschool-friendly location and Kaden was able to be directly involved this time. However, the starting line was even more packed here since the river was narrower and the age-span more diverse.
I felt bad for Elijah and Kaden this round because some of the bigger kids stepped right in front of them at the starting line, but Ethan made up for their disadvantage. Right at the beginning of the race he stepped out in front of the line of kids and walked behind his boat (even though the kids were told not to), guarding it. He wasn't the only child to do so, but I'm not sure he didn't get some sort of advantage because he did.
We all cheered for Ethan when his boat ended up winning the second race! Yay!

I think the boys actually had more fun once the official races were over with just playing in the shallow, rocky stream. The river runs very swiftly at this point and the older kids created a little waterfall out of a bunch of rocks by the mouth of a culvert. Kaden gave me a few scares climbing up and down the steep rocks at the edge of the stream, but that child is fearless and virtually indestructible so he just couldn't understand why his Grammy and I kept calling him and yelling at him.
We spent about another half an hour playing in the water and having fun swimming in both streams. However, our time came to an abrupt end when upstream from the boys we witnessed a deer "dropping its business" in the water. You can imagine how fast the boys booked it out of the water! I don't know that they'll be interested in swimming in that river ever again . . . but then again, they're boys - I'm sure they'll be waist deep before I can stop them next time we're at the park. LOL!
The Homeschool Regatta was a great experience and the boys are already looking forward to the boats they will build next year.

Preparing for the Homeschool Regatta

Two weeks ago our homeschool support group held it's annual Homeschool Regatta in Milford Central Park. This was our first year to be involved in this fun, challenging and slightly crazy event and it was great watching the boys work together with Kevin to build the best boats for the races. They agreed that they wanted as lightweight and buoyant a craft they could create, so the material of choice was Styrofoam. Kevin allowed the boys to draw the shape they wanted in the foam and then he cut it out and handed them over for decorating. Each boy painted his ship a rainbow of colors and Kevin had to resort to a blow dryer to get the paint to dry on the surface of the foam.
The finishing touch to each of the boy's ships was the "sail". We tried to think through all the advantages and disadvantages to the stereotypical sail design and decided that since we couldn't easily lower the sails if the wind was against us, we'd needed something that could accept the push from the wind in any direction OR be removed completely. Our solution? A balloon. We figured that since it was round it would catch the wind no matter which direction it was coming from and if the wind was counter-productive to our forward progress we could remove the balloon by popping it easily enough.

Our results? I will post pictures and a video from the actual race as soon as I am able!

Tomato Pesto Chicken, Easy Pesto and Savory Herb and Garlic Chicken

Tomato Pesto Chicken
I found a recipe similar to this years ago but lost it somewhere along the way. This is the modified version I now make and we love it. It's quick, easy and tastes wonderful served over any type of pasta.

4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup homemade Easy Pesto (see recipe below) or store-bought pesto sauce
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Season chicken breasts with paprika, salt and pepper and place in 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread pesto sauce evenly over chicken and top with tomato slices. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from baking dish and transfer to an oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Serves 4-5

Easy Pesto
I typically grow a few basil plants in my garden each year, and this is my favorite way to use up the surplus harvest. This recipe is super quick and easy, and it can be frozen in batches to use throughout the year.

1/4 cup almonds (walnuts and pine nuts can also be used)
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup olive oil
1 dash ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. In a food processor (or blender), combine toasted almonds, and all remaining ingredients. Process until a coarse paste is formed.

Makes approx. 1 cup

Savory Herb and Garlic Chicken
I got this recipe off of the back of a box of Lipton soup mix back when Kevin and I were first married. It is delicious a great one-pan dinner that has been a main-stay in our recipe repertoire ever since.

2 medium baking potatoes, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Savory Herb with Garlic Soup Mix
1/3 cup water
1 Tbs olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 F. In a 9x13 baking dish layer potatoes and carrots. Top with chicken. Blend together soup mix, water and olive oil; pour over chicken and vegetables. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and vegetables are tender.

Serves 4-5

Monday, June 15, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - XI

Here is our menu for the week of June 15 - June 21, 2009. Recipes available upon request! :)
  • MONDAY - Grab a bite on the run sometime between strawberry picking, stopping by my sister's house and picking up Elijah from my in-laws
  • TUESDAY - Tomato Pesto Chicken, Butter Noodles, Mixed Veggies, Homemade Bread
  • WEDNESDAY - Turkey Melt Sandwiches, Raw Carrots, Chips
  • THURSDAY - 3 Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta, Sugar Snap Peas
  • FRIDAY - Russian Beef Stroganoff, Egg Noodles, Green Beans
  • SATURDAY - Leftovers
  • SUNDAY - Lasagna (thanks Jeff and Joie!), Salad, Corn, Garlic Bread

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Planning Monday - X

I'm back - finally!  Now that Delanie is 3 weeks old I am beginning to get organized enough to plan our weekly menu again.  Here is the menu for the week of June 8th - June 14th:
  • MONDAY - Slow Cooked Beef Fajitas (with all the fixin's), Spanish Rice
  • TUESDAY - Lasagna, Corn, Garlic Bread
  • WEDNESDAY - Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs (thanks Jenny!), Rice Pilaf, Glazed Carrots
  • THURSDAY - Leftovers
  • FRIDAY - Hamburgers on the Grill, Baked Beans, French Fries
  • SATURDAY - Leftovers
  • SUNDAY - Young Marrieds Meet & Greet at Brightmoor