Monday, January 19, 2009

Marvelous Menu Mondays

So I've been getting back in to menu planning. Thought I would post them here weekly (on Mondays) in hopes that it will help me stick with them. The goal for the year, along with healthier eating in general, is to make as much as I can from scratch and stay away from super refined foods. That said, I think I am keeping King Arthur Flours in business single handedly, with all of the baking I've been doing. I'm absolutely hooked on their flours.

I received possibly the most awesome cookbook ever for my birthday back in December and I am finally putting it to good use, almost daily. If you need (or want) a good vegetarian cookbook, this is the one that I would list as a "must".

As we are a split household on the veg'n/meat eater front, I will often list two items as main dishes (or lots of smaller dishes) as I aim to please all parties seated at the table.

Monday (already done): Sloppy Joes with homemade wheat rolls/baked tofu nuggets, and corn

Tuesday: Tomato soup, herbed chicken breast, salad

Wednesday: Pasta with homemade sauce, steamed green beans

Thursday: YO-YO (you're on your own)/left-over clean up night

Friday: Pizza from scratch (OMG yum) and salad

I don't cook much on Sat, and only some Sundays. Those tend to be left-over clean up or eating with extended family days.

If I ever talk about anything on here that peaks your interest, please feel free to ask for a recipe. I'm always happy to pass them along!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Harder Times

I have never been one to do well with hard things. I tend to pretend like they didn't happen until whatever it is festers long enough and I explode. I don't know why, it is something that I have actively tried to change and yet can't. From fighting to dealing with death, it's what I have done since I was little. So forgive me for not posting about these things in a more timely manner, I have been avoiding it.

First, our complex had a fire the weekend after Christmas. Andy was in Houston with his dad and brother, D was spending the weekend with my parents and thankfully the babies and I were with my mother in-law for the night. She and I heard the fire engines starting just before 10, and she commented that it was a heck of a night for a fire, the winds were bad. The engines kept coming, and eventually we both went to sleep, thinking that it must be a bad fire somewhere. Around midnight, she wakes me to tell me that the fire is at our apartment complex (about 5 minutes away)... Our place is fine but the units directly across from us were on fire and it was bad.

I drove over and had to walk in two blocks due to the amount of emergency vehicles that were there. I've never seen a response like it in my life and hope never to see anything like this again.

We know two out of the three families well, and the third in passing. The fire started on the second floor, in D's best friend's apartment. Thankfully they were not home, neither were the third floor tenants. Those units were the worst with fire damage. Our friends on the first floor were home, but made it out safely. All three units are destroyed. I could see straight through the roof on Sunday morning before they boarded everything up. Two cats did not make it out but no human lives were lost, thank god.

Our place still smells of smoke when the wind blows, and it smells strongly outside still. I didn't think that it would affect me as much as it has, given that we weren't here when it happened. However, every time I have heard sirens or seen a fire engine pass, I still check out my window. I can't wait until that response passes.

The view from our bedroom window....

Tape still left from when the area was blocked off across the street...

Additionally, this past weekend marked the one year anniversary of a very good friends passing. Andy made a beautiful cross to put at his grave site and we spent good times with friends remembering him. You were and are very loved Rob and we all miss you so very very much.

Friday, January 2, 2009

all wrapped up

I cannot believe how badly I neglected this over the holidays. A huge part of it was the constant right up until Christmas Eve knitting like a mad woman. I've never finished anything so close to a deadline including for work or school! It was all worth it though, everything was more appreciated than I could have imagined and it brings me so much joy seeing them wear their hats/socks/etc constantly.

So that was right up until Christmas, the actual holiday was great. We had our traditional Christmas Eve with my in-laws, started by going to preschool mass this year (very smart move in theory), dinner and then opening some presents with them.

When Andy and I had the kids in bed by 10 we thought we were set. We waited and waited to put out the presents, and it ended up being close to 1am before we hopped in bed. Wouldn't you know it... Our heathen children were awake at 4, 4:30 and 4:45am so we were opening presents before 5am. I have never been so tired, ever! We could have made D wait, she'd get it at 10, but A was the first awake and would not go back to sleep, so there was no fighting it.

Christmas day/evening was spent at my parents house and it was another awesome time. We left rather early given the length of time that we'd spent awake earlier in the day, but made it home okay.

I won't bore you with New Years stories or resolutions. We had an awesome time with a small home party that came around last minute. I honestly hope we get to do it again next year.

There was a horrid something that happened. There is too much and it would make this post too long, so I will update more about that tomorrow. Our lives were touched, but not damaged or changed. Some of our friends were not as lucky.

Much love to you all in the new year!