Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Freezer Meals August 2013

-ingredients for Italian bread are not listed.

2 bags of frozen peas and carrots
1 lb. Thinly sliced roast beef
12 cheese slices
1/2 c. Chipolte mayo
4 lb. Hamburger
2 c. shortening
4 1/2 c. milk
4 cans black beans
4 cans chili beans in sauce
4 15 oz. cans of tomato sauce
4 packages of Veggie Ground Beef (Boca or Morningstar Farms)
8 chicken breast (fresh)
4 lb chicken breast (fresh or frozen)
1 bag of shredded pepper jack
1 box of frozen spinach
4 T. olive oil
4 T. Cajun seasoning
2 T. breadcrumbs
2 c. chopped onion (I use Kroger brand chopped frozen)
2 boxes of chicken broth

5 foil cake pans
Ziploc Perfect Portions Baggies (I never understood how great these are until now. :) )
Quart size freezer bags
Gallon size freezer bags

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches (Makes 12)
    1.  Ingredients for Italian Bread Recipe in breadmaker.
    2.  Form dough into 12 rolls and bake.
    3.  Mix mayo. (I had chipolte mayo already in the refrigerator and just used that.)
    4.  Assemble.
    5.  Wrap & freeze.

Taco Meat (almost 4 lb.)
    1.  Heat hamburger and taco spices.
    2.  Bag and freeze.

Biscuits (15 biscuits)
    1.  Combine in mixer.
    2.  Add milk.
    3.  Form
    4.  Freeze.

Chili (4 recipes - 8 qts.)
    1.  Thaw pepper packs. (Or saute a little oil, chopped bell pepper, and onion until tender)
    2.  Add other ingredients.
    3.  Bag and freeze.

Cajun Chicken Stuffed with Jack Cheese (8 servings)
    1.  Thaw/drain spinach.
    2.  Pound chicken.
    3.  Assemble.
    4.  Bread.
    5.  Wrap and freeze.

Chicken Filling for pie, topped with biscuits, or topped with puff pastry (made 5 "pies" from 4 recipes)
    1.  Cook chicken.
    2.  Make thickening mix.
    3.  Boil broth in cooked chicken.
    4.  Add thickening mix; simmer 5 minutes.
    5.  Add peas and carrots.
    6.  Put in cake pans, let temp drop a tad before covering in foil and putting in the freezer.


1.  Thaw/drain spinach.
2.  Put ingredients for Italian bread in bread-maker.  Set to make dough.
3.  Butterfly and pound 8 chicken breast (Cajun Chicken).
4.  Chop chicken for pies into cubes.
5.  Cook chicken (pies).  This took longer than I thought I would.
6.  Make thickening mix.
7.  Boil broth in chicken.
8.  Simmer 5 minutes.
9.  Combine biscuits in mixer.
10.  Add peas and carrots to chicken/gravy.
       Portion into pans.

11.  Assemble Cajun chicken.

12.  Form bread into rolls and rise.

13.  Bread Cajun chicken.

14.  Wrap Cajun chicken and freeze.

16.  Bake rolls.

17.  Heat taco meat.

18.  Cool rolls.
19.  Add milk to biscuits.
20.  Thaw pepper packs.
21.  Cut biscuits.

22. Add chili ingredients to pot.

23.  Freeze biscuits.
24.  Assemble Rolls.
25. Wrap and freeze rolls.

Clean up tomorrow. :)

Pots I used: 
Large dutch oven
Medium dutch oven
Large pan (pictured above) 

In the case of the chicken pie filling and the chili, I tried to start a recipe in one large pot, but since I was making 4 recipes, I had to transfer half to another cooking vessel. 

Recipe links:

Italian Bread

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches

Chicken Biscuits

BOCA chili

Taco seasoning

Cajun Stuffed Chicken

From my Southern Living Cookbook

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I'm back! Maybe. . .

What a great title!  So original! :) Last night, I came home and Josh had installed my new computer for me!  It has been approximately 10 MONTHS since my last post. . .not that you didn't already know that.  I don't know how much I will be able to blog soon, but I am ready to give it a go after this last break.

Updates:  Candace is due in two weeks!

May I preface the rest of this post by saying that I am being EXTREMELY transparent here.  I am not saying that I am always right, nor do I always handle situations in the best possible way.  I am human and I am still learning. . .<3

This morning, I was on my way to work - mulling over a recent conversation as I usually do.  I tend to give in to that part of my semi-melancholic personality at times. :)  The conversation (although I don't know if I can really call it a conversation. . .) was between me and someone I would love to actually communicate with (as in two-way communication!) - but they seem to always insist on being the one talking with the most important things to say.  Okay.  So I listen and bite my tongue.  But then they want to know certain personal details of my life. . .only so that they can be "happy."  If I give them what they want to hear, they go back to their one-sided conversation about themselves again. . .  And their version of "happy" seems to be. . .um. . ."drama" to me. To make a long story short - I'm not okay with that.  I don't care to share personal details with someone who only cares so that they can draw more attention to themselves.  I don't mean to come across as a mean person, I just feel used.  So at this point, I do my best to listen, then withdraw when needed.  It may not be the best way to handle the situation, but I'm still working through it.  It will be okay someday.  God must be trying to teach me something. . .and I don't always get those lessons quickly!

So this morning, I was racking my brain to think of how I maybe could have handled it better. . .if only there was a way!  I have never been one of those people who always seems to know the perfect thing to say.  It was then that the Holy Spirit seemed to convict me.  Look at the relationship as the one that I have with God.

  • How many times do I keep up with my one-sided conversation and don't let Him speak?  Who am I putting in first place when I do that?
  • How many times do I insist on knowing information that will make me "happy" - but that God knows will just create more "drama"?  
  • How many times does God withhold information from me because He wishes that I would concentrate harder on having a true relationship with Him. . .instead of searching for supposed "happiness"?

I am not trying to put my feelings into God - truly, I'm not.  But I do believe per Genesis 1:27 that we all were made in God's image - which is that my feelings, although human, imitate God's feelings sometimes.  God created our feelings. . .in the image of Himself.  I feel that a lot of times we get frustrated with other people, but really need to take a closer look at ourselves - no only to "fix" our relationship with another human being, but also to "fix" us in our relationship with God.  If I don't care for something someone else does to me, probably, God doesn't like it when I do THE EXACT SAME THING to Him!

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Little Red Phone

When I was a little girl, I remember going to the funeral of a dear friend of our family, Mrs. Lois Aley.  She loved gladiolas and planted them in her garden every year.  She would babysit us sometimes.  She had a cool house with a neat basement.  At the funeral, the director gave opportunity for those in the crowd to share remembrances of Mrs. Aley.  One of the ladies told about when she needed prayer for something, she would always ask Mrs. Aley.  She said it seemed as if Mrs. Aley had a little red telephone that she could just pick up and talk right to Jesus.

I always remember that.  I don't know why.  It is just a memory that has always stuck with me.  The little red telephone.  Maybe it's because I like red.  I have no idea.

Back to present day. . .  My dog is hyper.  Really hyper.  I haven't taken her on a walk in a long, long, long, long time.  Last night, I would wake up to her running the length of the bed, hopping over me (like a football player through the tires. . .only she was the football player and I was the tire), and doing flip-like movements.  Poor thing.  We are so boring. :)

Normally, she is fine while I take my shower.  She will maybe hide under the bed until I am done.  I knew that since she was hyper, she was more likely to find something "interesting" to play with while I was otherwise occupied.  So I put her on the bed.  I know she can get off if she really wants to, but she tends to stay there if I put her there.

She did.  She was such a good girl.  I came to get her off of the bed.  Her little tail was wagging back and forth - so cute!  Then I saw my phone.  Right in front of her. Oh. No.  It looked fine from the back, but when I turned it over, it was completely destroyed.  Since it is a touchscreen phone, there was nothing I could do.  I couldn't get the phone feature, let alone text, or use the web. Nothing.  There was no reason to fuss at the dog.  I had left the phone in our bed. . .with a hyper dog and now the phone was gone.

It's okay.  Josh reminded me that we still have his blackberry and we have an upgrade in one month, but have you ever forgotten your phone somewhere?  I know I rarely use my phone for emergencies, but isn't it always the case that when we need something, we don't have it?  I was driving to work this morning and just knew that this would be the day something would happen.  Something where I would need my phone.

I've gotten to work okay this morning, but I still have an event that I am going to tonight and will be driving home late.  I can picture myself on the side of the road, something wrong with my car, and no phone.  As I am going over the possibilities in my head, an image pops into my mind.  A little red phone.  I remember that no matter where I am, I can always pray.  I always have access to my Heavenly Father.  I don't need to have any device to talk to Him.  I don't need to go through a person to get to Him.  I can just talk to Him.  In fact, He even knows my thoughts. . . my prayers when I don't even use my voice.  He knows me.  He knew before I did this morning that Daisy was going to chew my phone.  He even knew before it happened.  He knew while it was happening.  He also knows what is going to happen to me this afternoon and already has a plan to help me.  I love my God and am so happy that He loves me more.  And that at any time, I can pick up my little red telephone called prayer and have a long conversation with Him.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Conglomeration of Semi-Related Thoughts

I had to laugh a last week.  I came to work, walked to our back refrigerator, was about to deposit my lunch when - WHAT?  Someone put their lunch in MY SPOT!  I had a moment of annoyed frustration.  Then there was a little recording that played in the back of my mind of ME telling my little Sunday school children, "No, that is not YOUR chair.  You do not own it.  Anyone can sit there.  You just need to find another seat."  Ha.  I need to learn my own lesson.  What is it about us humans?  Do we ever really learn our own lessons?  We do get rather possessive of OUR things. . .parking spots, church pews, lunch bag spots. . .   :)  But are they really OURS?  No.  Why do we get so upset?  Don't we know better?

I am sitting here thinking. . .I wonder if such a company is hiring?  You see, a little bit ago I was talking to an authority of mine about some of the situations I have to deal with . . .they asked me to please stay where I am even though it is frustrating.  There is really nothing that either one of us can do about the situation.  Anyway, since that individual said that to me, I have been doing just the opposite - thinking of places where maybe I could get a job that would allow me to push myself and really DO something. Do I need a new job?  No.  Maybe there are things about my job that I don't like (as if a perfect job with no snags exists), but Who was it who placed me here?  Wasn't it the Lord Who helped me get here?  Didn't He put me here for a reason - whether or not I know what the reason is?  So, despite all of my reasoning, I do a job search and see something interesting. As I am about to click, a little voice (a.k.a the Holy Spirit - the part of the Godhead Who lives inside of me and guides me) says, "Don't do it.  You are exactly where I want you.  Be still and know that I am God."  As much as I love that verse about being still and knowing that God is God, I have a really hard time with it.  I don't like to be still. . .I like to have goals and plans.  I like to know where I am going and at what time I am going to be there.  I love that God has a plan for my life, but I don't really like to be still.  What a human I am.  But what a good God He is.  I tell myself to "Be still" again.  And again.  And again.  I'm about as good at being still and knowing that God is in control as my dog is at sitting when I tell her to - which is definitely not a strong point of hers. . .

I have a recent pet peeve. . .maybe not recent, but it has been raring its ugly head in my life recently.  I hate it when other people don't want to help others by spreading information.  I hate it when they are stopping progress because they insist on tradition (let me say, I understand and agree with some tradition, but there are times. . .when we need to let go a little).  So this morning, my mom sent out an e-mail with a word of the week and a thought of the day.  It went like this:

"obscurantism \uhb-SKYOORr-uhn-tiz-uhm\,noun:
1. Opposition to the increase and spread of knowledge.
2. Deliberate obscurity or evasion of clarity.
Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.  ~Thomas à Kempis"

As I read the first part of the e-mail, I thought, "Yes.  This is what I hate.  I could apply that definition to too many people in my life right now!"  Then I read the quote.  Point taken.

Do I feel like a heathen right now?  Maybe.  Am I being too transparent?  Maybe.

I guess this is my way of swallowing my pride and admitting that I am not as perfect as I think I am. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Faster than the Drive-thru - in Pictures

Haven't we all been there?  Okay, maybe it's just me who is running around - a few minutes after I should have left for work, mind you - gathering everything I need for my day, only to remember that I haven't thought about breakfast yet.  I am normally not hungry at that time, but I know when I get to work I will be famished!  Yes, I should plan better, but sometimes (especially this week) I get home late enough to jump into bed so I can at least get a few hours of sleep before I have to start it all over again. . .

The temptation is there. . .I can just spend $4.99 at my coffee place (30 miles away, even though it's on my way to work - it's the closest one) and get a coffee with and extra espresso shot and an egg/cheese English muffin.  Anti-justifications race through my mind, "$4.99 - Are you kidding me? That's enough money for at least three meals."  Then, "You still have hot coffee in your coffeemaker. . .why do you need more?"  Followed by, "Is there really nothing that you can take to work with you to eat for breakfast?"

Okay, okay.  There is.  My go-to breakfast. . .  That didn't sound very exciting, did it?  I meant more enthusiasm. :)  I really love this idea and it has saved me approximately $4.70 every time the previous thought struck me.  Here goes:

1.  Grab a mug off of the mug-tree on my refrigerator - or grab a mug off of your own mug-tree.  Mine may be a little far. :)

No, this is not my mug. . .I didn't have time to picture mine as 
I was running out the door. :)  Mine are either light blue, 
green with taupe and blue flowers, 
or my favorite restaurant's mug 
(Zanzibar, downtown San Diego if you really wanted to know :) ).

2.  Spritz the inside of your mug with a little cooking spray.  

 Warning:  this step is skippable; however, if you choose to skip it,
you will be chiseling egg remains at a later time.

3.  Add a little salt and a grind or two of pepper.

4.  Crack two eggs into the mug.

5.  "Whisk" your eggs with a fork. 

Pretty difficult so far, right?

6.  Pop your mug in the microwave for 30 seconds.

7.  After the first microwave round, whisk your eggs again.

8.  Zap your eggs again for 30-45 seconds. 
(although I've accidentally done a minute before and nothing too terrible happened).

9.  Sprinkle some cheese on your eggs.

10.  Grab a clean fork.

11.  Continue to run out the door 
     to wherever it is you are going. . .

12.  Eat your eggs at a red light. . .

Thursday, October 27, 2011

LIBC Sunday School Picnic

This past Saturday, we had a picnic/harvest party for our Sunday School department.  We had so much fun!

We started the afternoon by playing wii and playing with Daisy (who was VERY excited to have someone who was not as boring as her mom and dad :) ).

Then we a lunch of hot dogs, chips, caramel corn, and ice cream sodas.
 Which we finished off with s'mores!

And had fun hanging on the swing. . .

We ran relay races with popcorn. . .

And tossed rings onto pumpkin stems. . .
And painted pumpkins . . .

Monday, October 24, 2011

To Voice a Thought

Suddenly, I have the urge to write. . .and ideas keep popping into my brain.  I imagine this is because of our recent trip to San Diego - which both rested and challenged my mind.

We all defend those we love in our own way.  I have never been good at spoken words.  I never feel that I know the correct thing to say, so I often fall back on silence.  I realize that my medium of choice is the type-written word.  Anyway.

Recently, I have felt that my attempts to defend people have been futile - that they make me look stupid instead of doing what I want them to do . . which I didn't know how to explain.  I was reading a blog from my reading list and saw this quote:

"When we are silent, we are hurting the outcome. . .
Research proves that even when the different points of view are wrong, 

they cause people to think better
to create more solutions 
and to improve creativity in problem solving."  

This is a quote by Nilofer Merchant, author of a book called The Now How.

That quote helped me to realize what it is that I want people to do:  think.  I want people to think.  So many times I feel that we insist on keeping the same opinion about a person.  But people change - for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.  I've always known that it only takes one person to stand up and say something in order to stop bullying.  I know that it takes one person to say something convicting to stop gossiping.  I know that it takes one person's well-thought-out words to change the mind of a crowd.  But my words weren't working.

I often find that my response to gossip is to voice what the object of the gossip could have been thinking.  Often, if we can get outside of our own head/situation, we can have more sympathy on others.  I find that when I can try to put myself into the situation that I see them in (even though I know that I'm not there, so I don't really understand), I can see why they made whatever decision it was that they made - even if it was a poor one that I may or may not have made.    I also want those around me - especially those who claim to be Christians - to be more sympathetic and compassionate.

In some of the recent situations that I have been in, I knew the decision that was made was wrong, but I was more worried about the people around me who were gossiping about it.  I didn't know what to say to stop it. . .so I attempted to play the devil's advocate.  It didn't work.  That bothered me even more.

In the weeks after that time, I have dwelt on the subject.  The thought just popped in my head:  My attempts didn't work for two reasons.  First, people do not really want to think.  They want to voice their opinion.  It makes them feel important and superior.  They gossip to tell people who will listen (hint:  the person being gossiped about probably does not want to listen and/or had already heard).

Secondly, people want to solve problems.  But are we solving problems by gossiping?  No.  I believe that when we gossip, we want to help the person, but we know that it is not our place to help them. . .we want to give our two cents, but know that the person who needs to hear it may not want to hear it.  We don't want to risk the hurt and/or embarrassment we may acquire once we tell the person.

What are we to do?  We are to look for the help outside of ourselves.  We are to look for help with the One Who has the best interest of both parties in mind.  The One Who can change lives. . .  Have you prayed about the situation?  Have you prayed about the person you are worried about?  Have you left your worries with Jesus?  Do you really trust Him to deal with the person in question?  Maybe that's the problem.  Maybe we don't have enough faith that God really knows what He is doing.  I only know myself. . .and that I do not like to admit that I do not have enough faith, but I am reminded to pray, "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief." and leave the situation with Him.