Monday, June 30, 2008

Whats for dinner?

Monday: B.B.Q. ribs w/grilled zucchini

Tuesday: Italian pinto beans w/cornbread

Wednesday: Church dinners will resume next week, only bible study tonight. Chicken legs w/potato salad

Thursday: Mexican hamburger rice bake w/ steamed broccoli

Friday: Happy 4Th of July! Grill out/pool party - potluck Our contribution, chicken and home made carrot cake

Saturday: Home made pizza w/tossed salad

Sunday: Pot roast w/ veggies

Decided to shake it up here and join this menu planner group. We all post our menus and you check us out at the link in the top logo. Other cooking for the week is home made granola, home made croutons, home made ranch dressing, date pecan bars and of course the carrot cake for the fourth.

Went blue berry picking with my friend over the weekend, she found a phenomenal place up by Nashville. But we had a busy bug week and I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! My middle dd had stepped on a bee the day before, and my twin son got stung by a wasp twice that very morning. So the whole time we were picking I kept waiting to get stung, get bit by a tick (bad year here for Rocky Mt. spotted fever) or have chiggers in my socks. None of those things happened, thank the good Lord and I had a great time! Came home with about 5 cups of blueberries and made the berry preserve recipe from the book Nourishing Traditions. Speaking of that book, made the fermented sauerkraut a couple months ago, and just server it with dinner last night. It was great! I plan on making more soon and planting cabbage in the garden next year!
Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, June 27, 2008

It's all "realative"

So I am sitting in my rocker, drinking my coffee and watching GMA. Emirl Lagassi is on doing a segment on cheap meals to grill out for the week-end, or some such nonsense. I mostly take all news with a grain of salt, but that same grain rubbed be the wrong way when I here ol' Emirl listing all , and there were alot, the ingredients and he refers to the boneless pork tenderloin as a relatively cheap piece of meat to serve. Where does he shop? Does he pay or does GMA? Is this like the time I watched Oprah and she admitted she hadn't pumped her own gas since 1982? Maybe Emirl is still thinking 1980's prices? This just bugged me, maybe I needed more coffee, but it made me think of Rachael Ray too. There is another one who has no concept of food prices or feeding a family. RR made it big demoing meals, hence the 30 minute meal fame. By the way, I have tried a couple of her recipes and the only way to do it in 30 minutes is to have her prep crew in your kitchen, slicing and dicing so that all you have to do is put it all together! What I want to see is someone who will do a realistic demo of real, cheap and nutritious food for people on a budget. Maybe call it .... "Get real with zeal with Beth behind the wheel". No, sounds like an RV show. I know, "Real cheap food, for you and your crew!" LOL You know, someone who will show you how to stretch 6 chicken breast into 4 different meals, someone to tell you it's okay if you run out of sugar, just use half as much honey and turn your oven down 25 degrees. Someone to show you how to make home made croutons so you won't wast your old bread......You get the idea. I will try to Emirl a break, he did use the term relative. I am guessing his relatives have more money than mine - LOL LOL LOL But am thinking there is no hope for miss Ray...... She only cooks burger and pasta but manages to add all manor of odd and expensive items to them, starting with like $8 a pound cheese! Yikes.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whats better than .....

A new package of chalk? LOL That's what my kids would like to know too. I picked up a pack for a $1 (what a bargain!) after church last night, and it guarantees hours of fun today!

Here is my middle dd with the twins, improving my front porch with rainbows!
Here is some of their sidewalk art, and E on the new hopscotch board.

Big brother Z is to old for this, but still wanted to be on the porch to see the fun. Here he is with a good book and our barn cat, Joe, on his lap.
Note: About two hours after we had this much fun, a pop up thunder storm went through and erased all the hard work! Darn, we'll have to go out and do it again! LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

See how my garden grows

Just wanted to share with everyone how our garden is growing... good! We sure could use more rain, but despite that, the garden has really exploded. We are thrilled since our past attempt with Tennessee soil wasn't positive and this year with food prices rocketing; it is more needed than ever. I also feel it is a valuable teaching tool for the children, in more ways than one. I am sure you can guess the first one, how plants grow. The funny thing is that our little garden also seems to teach all of us about the spirit of generosity and sharing. My ds already enjoys baking and giving it to the neighbors, church members and friends but now with the garden we find our selves hoping for more and more to harvest so that there will be plenty to share. My dd has a friend who lives in extremely poor conditions and has almost no fresh fruit or vegetables (unless at my house). Her friend has helped in the garden on many occasions (sometimes with out volunteering) and we would love to be able to share the food with her family. We are already making plans for next years garden. First plan is to make it bigger!

Here is Espresso Joe, the barn cat, with my DH banana pepper plant on our front porch.

Here is a small portion of our pumpkin plants. If you look close you can see the orange flowers peeking through. Wish I had waited to take this pic until today, took it two days ago but blogger wouldn't let me on, the blossoms are now fully open and waiting for bee's!

Here is one of our cucumber plants starting to flower, I can't wait!

And here is one of the green bean plants flowering, yeah!
How is your garden growing?
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eggplant bacon

Okay, here is that yummy recipe I promised last week and it is 100% vegetarian and 100% nitrate free! I decided to include photos for you so you would know if your on the right track or not. I personally prefer to know what something is "suppose" to look like when I am done! LOL

Start with a good size, firm eggplant. No green and no soft spots. I know you think it is silly for me to include a photo of what one looks like, but I can't tell you how many times I have been at the checkout and the cashier has no idea what she is holding and has to ask me what it is! LOL

Wash the skin and then peel it off, discard or save for compost pile. Then I continue to use my peeler to get thin "bacon" type slices off the plant. I do this until I reach the seeds in the middle. Discard middle section or save for compost.

Here is the slices in the marinade. Put a lid on it and save up to two days in fridge. Also shown are the slices placed on the dehydrator pan. The one shown here is an old Nesco from Wal-mart. Mine broke and I won't buy one from there again as the new ones have no temp control, cooks at a flat 135. You can however go to Nesco website and order their "deluxe" model that has a temp control, it is about $30 more than the regular version. I think I am going to keep checking my local Craigslist and see if I can pick up a nice one there.

Here is the eggplant on a sprayed cookie sheet ready for the oven. Since my dehydrator broke I developed this oven method. It is no longer considered a
"raw" food, but is still meat and nitrate free.

Here is the end product, and is it ever yummy! It comes out crunchy and slightly sweet, just don't over cook. I like to make this part of my breakfast about once every other week or so. Hope you enjoy it too.

Eggplant Bacon

In a bowl, marinate:
1 large eggplant, thinly sliced length wise
1/2 cup extra virgin cold first pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unheated honey
4 tablespoons Plum vinegar or apple cider vinegar

Marinate for 2 hours or up to 2 days, place on teflex (roll-up) sheets and dehydrate for 12 hours. Turn "bacon" over and dehydrate for another 12 hours without the teflex sheets. Bacon should be crispy.

OVEN METHOD: After marinating, place "bacon"stripes on sprayed cookie sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Don't over cook! Bacon will get crisper as it cools down. Repeat with remaining eggplant "bacon" stripes.

Great with eggs and toast for breakfast or for a "BLT" !

Last week-end our church had a car wash/bake sale/garage sale to raise money for the youth trip this week-end. My son who LOVES to bake was thrilled to go over to my friend Amy's house and cook with the girls, he was the only guy! To see a couple pictures of Z and his harem check out Amy's blog at .

Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Whats for dinner this week ~ 6/21 to 6/27

Here we are, another week has gone by. Sometimes I feel so old when I see how fast time passes. Then when I sit back to take stock, I am amazed. Amazed that another day went by and DH had gas money to get to work. Amazed that another week went by and we had enough food to feed everyone. Amazed that a whole month went by and we still have a roof over our heads and our lights turned on. There are so many days that it seems imposable, but then I look behind me in awe. There is absolutely no way we should have accomplished these things, and we didn't, not on our own. Everyone of these days shows us who is really in control and who we need to give control to and give full credit to as to the outcome. Makes me feel like singing (bet you thought I was going to do my best Leo Sayer impression and break into "makes me feel like danc'in" - LOL) the song, "Our God is an awesome God, he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love; our God is an awesome God!". I have mentioned the book, "God's Smuggler" before and like it says many times; "He always gives us enough". The key is to not wanting more or trying to store up for the future. Put your trust in Him now and He will take care care of you, with just enough.

Enough of my silly sermon. I just feel inspired and thankful today and wanted to share it. I also want to share my meal plan with you as I have gotten many emails from other bloggers who appreciate the help and recipes.

Saturday: One small veggie pizza on whole wheat crust (children not home tonight) w/salad and grapes

Sunday: Grilled steak w/sesame sauce and slow cooker baked potatoes and pesto steamed zucchini and carrots

Monday: Crock pot lasagna w/orzo & wild rice and veggie sticks

Tuesday: Chicken Florentine w/couscous and steamed broccoli

Wednesday: Church bible study only, Rainbow pasta and vegetable salad w/ Parmesan chicken drummettes

Thursday: Slow cooker Beef Bouguion with salad and seedless watermelon slices

Friday: Sweet n' sour chicken w/rice & pineapple slices

I have just finished reading a great book by Emilie Barnes & Sue Gregg, "The 15 minute meal planner". The name is a bit misleading as it is not meals in 15 minutes, ala Rachael Ray, but that is how much time it should take to read a chapter a day of the book. It is basically a book about eating whole natural foods, much like Hallelujah Acres, The makers Diet and Nourishing Traditions. I have read these other 3 books but found this one much easier to understand as they put the information in layman's terms for those of us who do not have a degree in biology. I encourage anyone interested to Google Sue Gregg and see the valuable information you can find on this topic and go to your local library to read the book (that is what I did). With all this said I think I am going to try and give up eating pork and shellfish - on biblical as well as nutritional principal. I am also going to try and save soda for treats and not waste my money on buy 12 packs anymore. Please wish me luck in this as I continue to strive for a healthy diet for myself and my family. Whats for dinner at your house?

Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, June 20, 2008

Letting them go

My son just left for a church week-end outing. I wanted to share the fact with you that I didn't even cry. I feel like I could any minute, but still... I usually ball when these things happen. Last year he left for a week, made husband take him. His Grandpa D and Grandma S dropped him off today. Probably better that way. He is getting far to old to have me hanging on him weeping, Won't even tell you what I went through last year when both oldest ds and middle dd went to Vegas for a MONTH to visit before mentioned G'parents! To add to the trauma of them leaving we had "issues" with security when no matter what ds did he didn't pass the metal detector. Turned out his knee brace must have had some metal in the fabric. Still, not fun watching your 14 get frisked by cops at the airport. (big breath) And..... if you think that is bad lets not even get started on how I behave when my oldest dd comes for a visit and it's time to leave. I cry almost the entire 60 miles home from the airport, and I mean huge gasping sobs that leave my DH wondering if I can breath or if he needs to turn around and take me to Vanderbuilt!

I guess I am sharing all this because I could feel a small change in me today. Although I think the key is let other people take them away. Then I can trick myself into believing they are only spending the night at a friends. Am I too close to my children? Is it wrong if I am? No. Only if I never let go and let them fly to reach their potential and be the person God wants them to be.

Fly Z and have a wonderful week-end.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Garlic Daze

Just sitting here enjoying the delicious smells coming from my oven as I bake home make croutons before church. I really, really hate using the oven when it is so hot, but with my food dehydrator dead . . . no choice. I refuse to waste food, and because I make home made bread I always seem to have bread buts leftover. Bread buts are the big puffy ends of bread hanging over my bread machine pan. My ds feels the term "bread buts" is derogatory, but not sure what else to call these things. Anyway, I break up leftover bread and mix it with olive oil, garlic powder and parsley. In a perfect world I then dehydrate for about 8-10 hours, but in the oven only about 30 minutes at 3oo while stirring half way through. Smells heavenly.....

Since we are lamenting about my broken food dehydrator....... I also have a batch of eggplant bacon marinating. Again, in a perfect world I would dehydrate it tomorrow for about 10-12 hours, but will back it off at 350 for 20 minutes a batch. I have some pictures somewhere I will post of me drying it and I will try to remember to add pic of finished baked "bacon" as well. It is really a great "veggie" bacon, with no soy or nitrates. Now adays seems you can buy anything "vegetarian", but it is all made of soy. People seem so excited to find these meat/low fat replacements that they forget that to much soy is a bad thing. So I just love this eggplant version that is marinated in a olive/flax seed oil mix with a little vinegar and honey as well. 100% natural and 100% soy free.

Well need to work on a shopping list. Thank goodness only have to to that twice a month!

Blessings, Beth

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Fun

Hope everyone had a great Father's day week-end. The weather here was great, warm and sunny. We stayed home and had a cook out/pool party. We will doing that alot this summer with the cost of . . . "living" so out of control. I actually found it very relaxing, sitting by the pool, instead of running around trying to pack up the RV. We also had a great church service on Sunday as well. Our old Pastor and his family were visiting from South Korea. It was nice to see so many new and old faces. Miss H was there as well. Again, very relaxing day. Tried to take some pictures to share with you all, but then realized it is hard to take pictures of everyone in the pool, if your one of the people in the pool! LOL So here are just a few highlights from the week-end.

Here is DH breaking in his D-day gift, while twin E rolls her eyes at dads enjoyment of playing with fire and food.

Here is our pool after everyone got out, shrug. What am I to do? Wanted to share the shark with you though. It brings a smile to my face, even on the roughest days, when I pull into the drive and see the "fin" circling the pool - LOL

Here is twin E eating a hot dog, man she loves those.

Here are the twins, E & E, playing horsey on big bro Z. What a great big brother!

Here are the twins and they just want to say, Have a blessed day and enjoy the summer!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Whats for dinner this week?

Here we are at the start of another week. I was pretty quiet last week. Not much happening here. Just finishing up school work with the kids. Oldest son seems to have many activities, guess that is normal with teenagers. Lots of sunny, hot and humid weather here also. So most afternoons were spent in the pool. Looking like it is going to be a lazy summer. With gas so expensive we are spending ours here at home around the pool. Got DH a new grill for fathers day since his old one rusted out - clean through! He put it together the other night and will break it in tomorrow on Fathers Day. We received a gentle rain over night and this morning our garden was resplendent in many shades of green and showing a marked growth and perkiness ~ LOL Our banana pepper plant has one pepper on it and a couple others started! Will have to take a pic to share with you all. That is about all that is happening here, a nice gentle southern summer.

Dinners for this week include:

Saturday: Home made pepperoni pizza (only one as DH is at work and middle dd is going to a pig roast with Grandpa D and Grandma S) with salad

Sunday: Happy Fathers Day! Grill out & pool party. Hot dogs, Hamburgers, coleslaw and baked beans.

Monday: Sirloin chili with cheese biscuits and veggie sticks

Tuesday: Meat loaf w/ mashed potatoes and steamed mixed vegetables

Wednesday: "Ritzy" chicken w/ pinto beans and salad (still no dinner at church, just bible study for the summer)

Thursday: Beef and broccoli stir-fry on rice

Friday: Chicken Alfredo with garlic bread and salad

Other cooking for the week includes everything I didn't get around to making last week! LOL Whats for dinner at your house?

Monday, June 09, 2008

To hot to cook?

It's that time of year again ~ HOT!!! Seems like most the country is locked in a heat wave right now. Some of us South Paws have this every year all summer long, other places like the Eastern seaboard are not use to this and are miserable! So I thought I would share a couple of crock pot recipes to keep your kitchen cool and your B.B.Q. yummy!

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

6 medium baking potatoes
butter or margarine

1. Prick potatoes with fork. Rub each with butter.

2. Place in cooker.

3. Cover. Cook on high 3-5 hours or low for 6-10 hours.

Corn on the Cob

6-8 ears of corn in husk
1/2 cup water

1. Remove silk from corn, as much as possible, but leave husks on.

2. Cut off ends of corn so ears can stand in the cooker.

3, Add water.

4. Cover. Cook on low 2-3 hours.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Whats for dinner this week?

Greetings all. Just got back from the Farmers Market and Wild Oats. Oh, and a nice tour of Nashville as my friend looked for Whole Foods ~ LOL Had a great time and I am so blessed that she is adventurous enough for the both of us to drive in Nashville!

Managed to snag a few good deals, like the end of the season asparagus. Oh, and pea pod snacks were on sale! My twins ADORE them. I was left however with a longing for a rain barrel. Both Wild Oats and Whole Foods had these nice resin (forget how many gallons) rain barrels (20 gallons?). They have mesh lids to keep out bugs and a spicket to hook your hose up to at the bottom of the barrel. Only $99 and it could be mine................. Other big news, Trader Joe's is coming to Nashville............ soon? Can't wait! Sounds like another adventure for Thelma (me) and Louise (bff)!

Dinner this week of June 7th ~ 13th

Saturday: Home made pizza w/ salad and watermelon (found some nitrate free pepperoni at Wild Oats!)

Sunday: Creamy mushroom pork chops w/mashed potatoes and steamed carrots

Monday: Slow cooker Alphabet Soup w/ home made garlic bread sticks

Tuesday: Asian plum chicken w/ noodles and steamed asparagus

Wednesday: Church (but no dinner until fall) B.B.Q. Beef w/corn salad and slow cooker baked potatoes

Thursday: Paprika chicken w/brown rice and green beans

Friday: Harvest chili w/cheddar biscuits

Other cooking this week includes but is not limited to, egg plant bacon, home made hummus, home made tortillas, home made ranch dressing and pecan date bars.

So whats for dinner at your house this week?

Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, June 06, 2008

Pet Parade

Thought I would share some pictures of our four legged friends with you. We have a new edition, a barn cat. Yes I know we don't have a barn, but what else do you call a stray cat that stays on your porch all day and night? Usually it does get off long enough to cross the road and potty underneath the neighbors bush, but last night... We were working in the garden, despite 90 degree weather and 100% humidity. I was spreading this organic fertilizer/plant food that smelled exactly like what it is, dehydrated and crumbled poo. Anyway the cat, Espresso Joe, comes running over and starts rolling in it. DH and I are like, aw that's cute; when all of a sudden he jumps up and takes a dump on one of my baby cucumber plants!!! AHG!!! I was horrified and yelling at DH to get the hoe and get rid of it! I should have turned the hose on that cat if I had been thinking or if the water had been turned on. So . . . that's our new cat.

Do you see the cat in this picture? That's our new cat, Espresso Joe or just Joe for short. He is one of those rare black cats that you almost never see ~ LOL
Here is middle daughter with her cat, Pumpkin.

This is our blue tick heeler, Hershey.

This is Howard, my miniature Dachshund. Here he is in his playpen. He spends about half his time in there due to a back injury last year. He has made miraculous progress and can walk some now and has bladder control back. The crate rest helps to keep the swelling down on his spine.

Here is Howard with his wheels. He only needs his wheels for long distances and rough terrain. Mostly for camping. He also uses his sweater mostly for camping. LOL

Howard and Hershey together. Hershey is totally submissive to Howard even after his injury. Howard is older and tougher ~ LOL

Hairdresser Update: Went to a new lady today that was recommended to me by my old girl, they used to word together. She did a great job, is only two blocks from my house and charged half the price! Woo-Hoo!!! I must be living right today! Since she did such a good job on me DH and DS will both take a chance on her. Good since both of them are starting to look shaggy and I don't mean that in a good Scobby Doo kind of way! LOL

Blessing, Beth Ann

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sprinkler Fun

The weather here in middle TN has been very hot and humid the past couple weeks. We are a bit slow getting our pool going this year as DH need a new filter, but it should be open for business this week~end!!! I also got DH a new grill for an early Fathers Day gift yesterday. His last one rusted right through!!! LOL Guess summer is officially here. Anyway, the kids have taken to going through the sprinkler the past couple of weeks and I thought I would share a couple pictures with you.

Here is twin E in her new bathing suit, right on top of the sprinkler.

Here is middle dd with the best smile ever (only 6 more months until braces come off).

Here are the twins, E & E, sitting on the front porch admiring the chalk rainbows they have made!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The case of the missing deodorant

Ok, here is one for that book I keep meaning to write . . .

You know you live in a house with small children when your roll-on solid is empty!!! I left it in the bathroom last night after my shower and forgot it. I felt so poor with my sinus and all, I just wanted to get into bed. So this morning I see it in the bathroom and decided to set it on the stairs to take up in a minute when I get dressed. About 15 minutes later I go up, get all my paraphernalia out and ready............ open my deodorant and........ it's empty! I can not, I mean not, tell you the surprise I experienced. So I start running through the house looking for it. Of course no one knew anything about it. Then DH found it tucked in my shoe, on the stairs. Then I noticed someone had used it to write on the walls of the staircase! I can just see the thought that one of the twins put into this ( still not sure which one did it ). I can see them sitting on the stairs, picking it up, opening it and... oh joy! It's chalk! Grrrrrrrr. DH finds this hysterical. It made me crabby. See how you would feel if first your solid was missing and all you had was an empty case, and then found out it was used as chalk for wall art!

Blessings, Beth Ann