Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what we will be eating this week.

Monday: We are butchering chickens today so we will have fresh fried chicken, with new potatoes and corn on the cob from the garden.

Tuesday:  I will make wraps with leftover chicken.

Wednesday: Pork chops, rice, corn, and fresh tomatoes.

Thursday:  Italian cheese bread wedges with tomatoes on top, corn on the cob.

Friday: BLT sandwiches and raw veggies.

This weekend I think I will be having some family over so I don't have an exact menu plan but some possibilities are roast chicken, we could BBQ hamburgers and hotdogs, ham with scalloped potatoes, or I could make some chilli in the slow cooker and make cornbread to go along with it.  We will continue to eat the fresh tomatoes and corn from the garden, and my mom said she would bring out the stuff to make plum knaddle.  Plum knaddle (or plum dumplings) is a favorite fall treat that we love to make when plums are in season.  My cousin posted the recipe on her blog here and there is a similar recipe here.

Well that's it for this week.  So far school it going well for the girls.  We are still working on gettting back into a routine as my brother(15) and sister(19) have been visiting a lot.  But we love having them and they do some cool stuff with the girls (like make home movies). 

For more menu ideas head on over to

Friday, August 27, 2010

Apple Torte

I have been slowly working on dealing with the apples I picked from my father-in-laws tree.  Generally I just chop them into bite-sized pieces throw them into freezer bags and store them in the freezer to be made into whatever we want later.  Of course we have been eating them fresh as well as making a number of tasty desserts with them.  Apple Torte is one of those delicious desserts.  I got this recipe from my mom and my sister helped me make it today.  It was sooo yummmmy!  Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Apple Torte


1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

Cream butter and sugar and vanilla together.  Blend in flour.  Spread dough on bottom and sides of 9 inch pie plate.


1 8 oz package of cream cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix well and pour into pastry lined pan.


1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cup slices apples
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)

Combine sugar and cinnamon and toss apples in sugar mixture.  Spoon apple mixture over cheese layer.  Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake at 450*F for ten minutes.  Reduce to 400*F and bake for 25 more minutes.  Cool.

Here it is all ready for the oven.  I doubled the recipe and used a large baking pan.  Not as pretty but it still tastes delicious and it will go fast.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School

Today was the girls first day back to school.  My six year old was very excited to start grade two.  My eight year old was not as excited but she still seemed okay with going back.  She is in grade four this year.  I cannot believe how quickly this time goes.  Here are pictures I took of them this morning as we waited for the bus.

In other news we are enjoying fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob from the garden  field of weeds. Seriously, it is amazing I get anything from the garden you literally have to search through the weeds to find the plants.  But we are definately enjoying the fresh vegetables.  Home grown tomatoes are so much better than store bought ones.  I do have more than we can eat so I will have to can or freeze some this week.  I also have a bunch of apples that I picked from my father-in-laws tree that I am slowly dealing with (freezing, eating, and baking).

My son is getting more mobile (still not actually crawling, but he moves around a lot) and he loves attention, so he keeps me pretty busy as well.  With school starting I look forward to having more of routine and hopefully I will find time to fit in some exercise.

Here's to a good school year for everyone: children, parents and teachers.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't posted a menu for the last few weeks and it has shown in the meals (of lack thereof) that we have been having.  So here is my menu for this week in hopes that it will help me get some good meals on the table this week.

Monday: Leftover spaghetti and tomato meat sauce, garlic bread.

Tuesday:  Burritos with tomato meat sauce, raw veggies and dip.

Wednesday:  I need to make some bread so we will have fresh bread, devilled eggs, and more raw veggies.

Thursday:  I will put a chicken in the slow cooker and we will have potatoes and corn.

Friday: Cheddar Chicken Crunch Salad made with leftover chicken. 

Saturday:  Hamburgers and salad.

I also have a bunch of peaches and apples that I will need to use up this week.  I see some yummy desserts in our future.

One of my favorite snacks this time of year combines my favorite summer fruits: peaches and raspberries.  Simply toast a piece of bread (homemade is preferable) and spread with peanut butter or cream cheese (I don't like peanut butter so I use cream cheese but the rest of my family usually uses peanut butter), top with peaches and raspberries, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired.  Mmmmm so good and so simple. 

For more menu ideas check out

Summer Just Keeps Flying By

Another week has flown by.  We had a good week last week.  My sister-in-law came with her six kids to visit for a couple of days.  With that many little ones running around you are kept on your toes.  The girls had a great time with their cousins though and they would spend hours outside playing in the barn and whatnot.  This is the stuff summers are made of; being able to just play outside all day.  With the rural population in Sask. decreasing we don't have many close neighbours and none with young kids.  The girls do get bored outside with just themselves to play with.  So it was nice to have the cousins around. 

Also last week the circus was in our town. The circus rarely comes to our small town so I thought I should support it.  It wasn't a big show (no elephants) but it was enjoyable and the girls had fun there. 

Then we had some cooler weather and the girls had fun playing (and making a mess) indoors.  I made some play dough using this recipe.  It turned out very nice and they played with it for quite a while.  They also made a fort in my living room and had a lot of fun playing in it.  My little boy even got to hang out in it for a while.

It is a simple fort just made with a card table and a sheet over it.
What cuties! I think they are having fun.

My house is messy, there is laundry to be done, and at times I can be a little impatient with children.  I am going to try and enjoy the little bit of summer holidays that is left (without letting the house fall into utter chaos).  There is only a week and a half until school starts and while I am looking forward to a more regular routine I am going to miss having my girls around and the freedom of no schedule. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Solid Food

Over the weekend my little boy had his first real meal of solid food.  I went the traditional route and offered him rice cereal mixed with breast milk.  It wasn't an instant hit but he seemed to enjoy it after a bit and ate almost all that I had prepared.

Another thing I have been doing is having him sit in his highchair during family meals and letting him play with a bit of food while we eat.  When I was in the city last I found this Nibbler by Nuby at Superstore. I bought this for him and having  been letting him have some fruits and veggies to chew on in it.  This Nibbler makes it easier for him to pick up the pieces of food and reduces the risk of choking.

He really seems to enjoy the peaches I have been giving him.  I am afraid that I may be giving him a sweet tooth but I love fresh peaches at this time of year and he wants in on the fun.

I can't believe how fast my little baby is growing up.  I am a little sad that it goes by so quickly.  With my older children I was more excited by this milestone but I will miss being my little guy's sole source of nourishment.  Still it is great to seem him growing up happy and healthy.  What more could a mother want?

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Raspberries are one of my favorite summer fruits.  I have a bunch of raspberry plants in the garden (you may have to wade through a jungle of weeds to find them but they are there).  We have been enjoying eating as many fresh raspberries as we can (Mmmmm raspberries on cereal, raspberries on toast, raspberries on ice cream, raspberries on yogurt, just a bowl of raspberries with a touch of sugar mmmmm!).

What we can't eat fresh we have been freezing.  Either as whole raspberries to eat throughout the winter or as freezer jam.  I have never really gotten into canning and preserving as it seems like a lot of work and I am a little intimidated by it.  However making freezer jam is really simple.

You start by washing your berries.

Then you crush them up.  I just use my potato masher for this.  This is a good job for the kids to do although if they get a little vigorous you may end up with raspberry splatters all over (ask me how I know).

Then you mix together sugar and pectin in a bowl.  As you can see I use Bernardin freezer jam pectin.  This is about $2.20 at my grocery store.  Follow the directions on the package for the amount of fruit and sugar to use.

Then you add your crushed berries to the sugar and pectin and mix well (my package says to stir for 3 minutes).

All that is left to do is pour the jam into any freezer safe container, let set for 30 minutes, and then store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or the freezer for 6 months.  I just use old glass jars to store my jam in; taking care not to fill them too full so there is room for expansion.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Update on our Summer and Baby Boy

Wow, it has been a while since I posted and the summer just seems to be flying by.  We have been quite busy here.  The girls were in swimming lessons for two weeks. (They passed their levels, yeah!) I think it is important for children to learn to swim as you never know when they might fall into a body of water and their swimming skills could save them.  In our area there is only an outdoor pool so swimming lessons in the summer it is.  The girls also attended VBS (Vacation Bible School) for a week and they really enjoyed that as always.  Now the girls are off at camp for three days.  It is weird not having them around and I get a little worried about them being so far away.  But all must be well as I haven't received a phone call and I will be picking them up tonight so they will be home soon.  (Isn't amazing how when your kids are around all you want is for them to leave you alone for a while but when they are gone you miss them like crazy?).  We have no more scheduled activities this summer and I am looking forward to some slower days.  There is lot's to be done in the house and garden but I also want to spend some time with the kids doing some activities around home and enjoying some lazy summer days.  School is just around the corner and our schedule will soon be busy again.

I also wanted to give you an update on our little boy.  He is now six months old.  He had his six month appointment at the Doctor yesterday and he is 18.4 lbs (8.3 kg) and 27.6 inches (70 cm) which puts him at about the 75th percentile.  He is getting so strong and can sit up on his own now.  He is grabbing for anything he can reach and putting it all in his mouth.  On the floor he is rolling all over the place and can turn himself around quite easily.  Forward motion is still sort of eluding him but he does use his toes to push his bum way up into the air but all he really succeeds in doing is pushing his face into the floor.  Up until this point he has been exclusively breastfed but the doctor gave the go ahead to start solid food so that will be happening soon.  All in all he is a really contented boy.  He likes getting lot's of attention though and tends to cry if I leave the room.  He sleeps through the night regularly.  We don't have a consistent nap routine as we have been on the go a lot this summer but he sleeps when he gets a chance and seems to be doing all right.  He is such a joyful addition to the family and this third time around I am trying to enjoy every moment.

I will hopefully be posting a little more often now that our schedule is slowing down.  But I never know what will happen.  With three kids slowing down never really happens.  I hope everyone is having a great summer because it will be gone before you know it.