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Saturday, July 30, 2011

My new logo

For those who do not know, I am going to college to become a virtual designer.  If all goes well, (and I pass my last few classes), I should be graduating with my Bachelor's degree in November.  Here is my logo I created for myself. 


So, what do you think of it? 

In Christ,
Melody

Loving wife of Ronald and incredibly blessed home educating mother with fantastic children.

‎"Tough times never last, tough people do." -Robert Schuller

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hungry anyone?

Hi, everyone!
     I don't know about you but I absolutely LOVE Arby's French Dip and Swiss sandwiches with au jus!  They are so delicious but we have to pinch pennies so we rarely go out to eat.  I found a recipe a few years back, tried it, modified it and now use it about once a month to treat my family.


Easy French Dip Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef consomm√© (It is different than the beef broth).
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb. thinly sliced roast beef from a deli
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 hoagie rolls, cut lengthwise (so you will have 8 halves of hoagie rolls).

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay the 8 hoagie halves on a cookie sheet.
  3. Heat up the beef consomme and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  4.  Place the roast beef in the broth and warm for 3 minutes.
  5. Arrange the meat on the hoagie rolls and top each roll with 2 slices of cheese.
  6. Bake the sandwiches in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese just begins to melt. Serve the sandwiches with small bowls of the warm consomme for dipping.

     Do you have any fast food or favorite restaurant style recipes to share?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Raising chickens

Hi, everyone!

We are in the process of getting some chickens.  We plan on getting some laying hens and some broilers.  Anyone raise chickens currently who is willing to give us some tips, hints, or tricks.  Anyone in SE Oklahoma or the Arkansas area who has any for sale?

Prayer request

Hi, friends.

We are big believers in prayer in our home and are hoping many of my readers are also.  We are asking you to join with us in prayer for God to bless us our family with another baby.  It is something that I have been wanting for quite awhile and now come to my friends and ask them to pray in unison with us.  We also have an unspoken prayer. 

If you have a prayer request, please feel free to leave it and we will pray for you.

In Christ,
Melody


Loving wife of Ronald and incredibly blessed home educating mother with fantastic children.

‎"Tough times never last, tough people do." -Robert Schuller

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Bulk Cooking

     I was wanting to talk a bit today about bulk cooking.  Bulk cooking scares or intimidates a lot of people but once you start doing some bulk cooking, you'll love it.  It saves time and money.  I also like the convenience.  If  I am not feeling well or if someone has a death in the family, I can always pull something out of the deep freeze for them.
    Today, I had planned on making meatloaf for lunch.  Instead, I made 2 meatloaves.  One for our lunch and then I double wrapped the other one in foil (uncooked) and  then put it in a marked freezer bag for the future.  My meatloaf is really easy to make and tastes unbelievable.  At the end of this post, I will post my cooking methods for both items I am discussing today.
   I did some homemade rotisserie chicken for supper and prepared another one to be our supper for tomorrow.  We will not eat all of either chicken so after we eat our fill, I will shred the chicken for some chicken sandwiches next week, chicken pot pie, chicken tacos, chicken enchiladas, etc.  The rest of the 2nd chicken will be shredded and froze for future meals. 
                                         Easy Melody Meatloaf

2 lbs. hamburger meat                                    2 small cans tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce                                2 eggs
1 box stuffing mix                                            2 T. chopped onions
1 tsp. seasoning salt                                         1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together by hand.  Form into 2 equal loaves.  Double wrap one in foil and then place in freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.  The other one place in a sprayed pan and bake for 1 hour at 400 degrees.  Ten minutes before it is done, make a glaze of 3 T. worcestershire sauce and 6 T. ketchup.  Pour onto meatloaf and finish cooking.  This meatloaf is really moist and so delicious.  Meatloaf always tastes better warmed up the next day but this meatloaf never makes it to day two.  :-)


                                          Homemade Rotisserie Chicken

Make a rub with the following ingredients:
 

  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dead sea salt (if not available, just use 1 tsp. more of salt)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
    This rub will be enough for a 10 pound chicken or 2 five pound fryers.  I used the 2 fryers. 
Once the rub is complete, wash and rinse the chickens.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  The first fryer will be cooked in the crockpot.  Melt a tablespoon or 2 of butter per bird.  Rub the butter over the outside of the chicken.  Rub some of the mixture into the cavity of the chicken then place a half onion inside.  Rub more onto the outside of the bird.  Place in a crockpot on high for one hour.  After an hour, turn the crockpot to low and cook 8-10 hours.

The second chicken, prepare the same way but put in a large freezer baggie and place in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours.  I like it to stay in the over night. 
The next day, turn on the oven to 250 degrees to preheat.  Slice up some potatoes and carrots and place in a cake pan or roaster.  Remove the chicken from the freezer bag and place on top of the vegetables.  Bake uncovered for 2 hours.  At this point, turn the oven to  275 and cook for 45 minutes.  Next, turn the oven back to 250 and bake 1 1/2-2 hours more.  Once the juices run clear, remove from oven and drizzle the pan drippings over the chicken. 
It is great like this but you can make a gravy out of the pan drippings by adding 1 can of chicken broth and a tablespoon of cornstarch.  No other spices or needed.  Bring it to a boil and let it thicken and it will turn out great. 

As I said before, these turn out wonderful.  Let your family eat their fill and then shred the rest for future meals.  You get to eat wonderful food for a great price!   Once you try it out, let me hear your comments!


In Christ,
Melody

Loving wife of Ronald and incredibly blessed home educating mother with fantastic children.

‎"Tough times never last, tough people do." -Robert Schuller

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher




Friday, July 22, 2011

Our weekly menu

We have recently decided to try something new in our household and have a weekly menu schedule.  It takes most of the guess work out and makes grocery shopping so much easier.  Here is our current menu:

Day 1:
     Breakfast:  French toast casserole
     Lunch:  Grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup
     Supper:  Spaghetti & meatballs and garlic bread

Day 2: 
     Breakfast:  Cereal
     Lunch:  Turkey wraps
     Supper:  Loaded baked potatoes & winter veggies

Day 3:
     Breakfast:  Homemade egg mcmuffins
     Lunch:  Tuna melt sandwiches
     Supper:  Chicken fried rice

Day 4:
      Breakfast:  Breakfast smoothie and granola bars
      Lunch:  Hot ham & cheese sandwich
     Supper:  Stew and homemade biscuits

Day 5:
     Breakfast:  Oatmeal
     Lunch:  Chicken noodle soup and turkey sandwich
     Supper:  Tater tot casserole

Day 6:
      Breakfast:  Bulls-eye (cut a circle out of a piece of bread, butter the toast and then crack an egg into the center fry in a hot skillet).
     Lunch:  PB & J sandwiches
     Supper:  BBQ Chicken, baked beans, rolls and peaches

Day 7:
     Breakfast:  Pancakes or biscuits and gravy
     Lunch:  Meatloaf
     Supper:  Roast, potatoes, and carrots

   With our breakfasts', we serve it with milk and some kind of fruit.
  Lunches are served with cubed cheese, pickles, and olives with a glass of V-8 Fusion to drink. 

We serve snacks in between meals and they consist of:  applesauce, yogurt, jell-o, carrots with ranch, bread/butter/sugar sandwich, granola bars, dry cereal, carrots and peanut butter, etc.


Click on the following links to see some other family menus:
http://inashoe.com/2011/07/4-moms-3-smoothie-recipes-and-lunch-linky/
http://raisingolives.com/2011/07/lunch-menus-for-homeschooling-moms/

http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2011/07/4-moms-discuss-lunch-menus-linky.html

In Christ,
Melody

Loving wife of Ronald and incredibly blessed home educating mother with fantastic children.

‎"Tough times never last, tough people do." -Robert Schuller

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our School Room

Hi, everyone. 

Well, our school building had to be put off for a bit so we converted a bedroom to our school room and we all absolutely LOVE how it turned out.  We are also excited because we now have a trumpet and 2 violins that we will be teaching our boys how to play. 

I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures.








In Christ,
Melody

Loving wife of Ronald and incredibly blessed home educating mother with fantastic children.

‎"Tough times never last, tough people do." -Robert Schuller

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

German Apple Dumplings: Simplified

Tonight I made some Easy German Apple Dumplings for my hubby and kids.  My husband ate them, and ate them, and ate them.  They absolutely loved them.  I thought I would take the time to share them with you all.  They are very easy to make and come out deliciously.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
German Apple Dumplings:  Simplified
                     
  •  3 c. sugar
  •  2 c. butter/margarine
  • 2 large Granny Smith apples
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 12 oz. Mountain Dew
  • cinnamon
  1. Melt butter/margarine in a small pot. 
  2. Once it is completely melted, stir in the sugar and 2 tsp. of cinnamon.  Stir and allow to come to a small boil.
  3. As it is cooking, unroll each crescent roll and leave each roll in its triangular form. 
  4. Peel and core the apples.  Then cut apples into 8 pieces each.
  5. Place an apple slice on the small end of a crescent roll and roll it up and seal the edges.
  6. Place them in an oiled cake pan.
  7. Once the liquid has come to a small boil, pour the mixture over each "dumpling".
  8. Pour the Mountain Dew over each dumpling.
  9. Sprinkle each with cinnamon.
  10. Bake for 35 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. 
  11. Once the apples are softened, serve alone and drizzled with the sauce or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.