Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Found: 1 dusty nickel

Found: 1 dusty nickel
Location:  Under the stove
Findee:  Andrew John Engelsma
Total:  15 cents

Little monkey

 Uncle Donald and Aaron.  He didn't stay there very long.
Here's a pic of Joel with Uncle Donald about 3 years ago.

 This week Aaron learned how to climb on the piano bench.

 He is pretty thrilled with the discovery.

He also learned how to climb onto the kitchen chairs and onto the table.  Fortunately, I rescued the sugar bowl before he could tip it over.

Aaron will be 21 months old tomorrow.  He still seems pretty babyish to me but he's almost 2! He says mom, bye-bye, yah, and he shakes his head no.  He will copy things you say and if you are his mother, you might be able to understand what he is saying.  :-)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What's Cookin'

I tried a few new recipes last week and although they were all pretty tasty, none were stellar enough to make the regular rotation.  The pasta fagioli was good, homemade nuggets were a hit (but time consuming), and the cheesy red potatoes I made in the crockpot were creamy, but a bit bland.  So let's try a few more new recipes this week, shall we?

Mon - Pulled pork (freezer) on homemade buns, raw veggies

Tues - Chicken Ranch tacos, salsa, salad

Wed -Brown sugar and balsamic glazed pork loin, red potatoes, carrots

Thurs -Teriyaki chicken, brown rice, broccoli

Fri -Pasta with chicken sausage, green beans

Sat - Pizza, raw veggies 

Sun - Chicken noodle soup, bread

Andrew's photographic maneuverings

Andrew and Aaron (Andrew asked for this pic to be taken).

I think Joel took this one.

Andrew's set-up.  It changes a bit each day, gets destroyed quite regularly and is hardly ever cleaned up.  I'm guessing some sort of battle is going on in this pic.

Some pics from the week

 Andrew building a very tall tower (which did not last that long).

 Andrew leading Noah in some exercises.  Shirtless, of course.

 My two babies.  I think they must've just gotten up from their naps.

 Daddy singing with his boys.  Andrew is turned away because otherwise he blasts too loud.

 Dancing?  Noah set this up, not sure where he learned that.   

Watching a PBS documentary on "Superfish" with cousins Kaiya and Jayden during their sleepover.  Of course, popcorn is required.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Meijer Breakfast Stock-up

Meijer had a President's sale today.  Buy 10 participating items, get $5 off your purchase.  Combined with a great $5/5 Kellogg's cereal coupon, I got 10 boxes of cereal for $9.90.  The pop tarts were about 80 cents (a rare treat!),  The waffles were still $3.49/box.  I also got 4 boxes of fruit snacks for 80 cents each and 4 Uncle Ben's ready rice for just over a dollar each.

Check out next weeks Meijer sales.  I'll be stocking up on eggs, English muffins, bagged spinach, and some fresh produce like mushrooms and potatoes.

Found: 1 dime

I saw a fb page that someone started about recording how much money they found in different places and they kept a running tally.  Joel and I found a dime at Meijers today so I thought it would be a fun game for the boys and I.  And it'll give them something to do when we are at a store!
Found: 1 dime
Location: Standale Meijer
Findee:  Joel Adrian Engelsma

What's Cookin'

Mon~Pasta Fagioli, artisan bread

Tues~PW's barbecued meatballs, mashed potatoes, corn

Wed~Egg sandwiches, fruit

Thurs~Creamy grilled chicken piccata, salad

Fri~Homemade chicken nuggets, oven fries, cold veggies

 Sat~Cast iron pizza, cold veggies


Sun~Meatball soup, bread

Friday, February 17, 2012

Crockpot Orange Chicken

My eyes are immediately drawn to recipes with the word "crockpot" in the title.  It just speaks to me!  When I found this one on Pinterest, I knew I would have to try it, so last night when Chris was out with his brothers was the perfect opportunity. 

Crockpot Orange Chicken
Adapted from  Six Sisters Stuff

3-4 chicken breasts (I used 2 large ones)
4 oz orange juice concentrate
1/2 T salt
1 t balsamic vinegar
3 T ketchup
3 T brown sugar
red pepper flakes (a dash or so to suit your taste)
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t garlic powder

Cut the chicken into bite size chunks and coat with about 1/3 cup of flour.  Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan and brown chicken on all sides.  When the chicken is browned, toss it in the crockpot.  The chicken does not have to be cooked through.

In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, salt, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic powder.  Pour over chicken and stir to coat chicken pieces.

I cooked mine on high for just over 2 hours, but you could also cook on low 5-6 hours. 

The Verdict:  Pretty good, but will tweak a bit next time I make it.  I will use white sugar instead of brown and put a bit more ginger and garlic in.  If you make this, consult the comments on the Six Sisters blog for some hints on how to make the recipe better. 

I also made some stir-fried veggies to go along with it.  I consulted a few recipes online and this is what I came up with:

Stir-fried Veggies

2 carrots, julienned
small bunch of broccoli, chopped
1/4 c of chopped red onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
sesame oil
red pepper flakes
soy sauce

Heat a tablespoon or so of sesame oil in a frying pan (or wok I suppose) over medium heat.  Put your garlic and red pepper flakes in and cook for 1-2 minutes and remove.  Toss in veggies and a splash of soy sauce and cook for 4-5 minutes, adding in the garlic and red pepper flakes after a couple of minutes.  Serve immediately.

The Verdict:  These were pretty good!  I usually eat my veggies kind of mushy, but I liked these crisp and they went well with the orange chicken.  Next time I'll try with some red pepper and snow peas.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What's Cookin'

Mon~Chicken packets (freezer), salad
Tues~Bbcued pork ribs, mashed potatoes, corn
Wed~Spaghetti, salad, bread
Thurs~Out to Dallas Deli with the gift cert. I picked up for 2 bucks!
Fri~Pancakes/eggs (Chris is out with his siblings for some bloodletting bonding.)
Sat~Pizza, cold veggies
Sun~Meatball soup, bread

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Random encouragement

Last Saturday we were on our way home from Canada and we stopped at Big Boy for dinner.  It was 6 PM, peak rush time for the supper hour, so it was a bit busy.  We were seated across the aisle from an older couple, probably about 60-65ish.  They stared at our family almost the whole time we were eating dinner, without cracking even a small smile.  And the boys were even behaving!  We get stares quite frequently.  I mean, a family with 4 small boys isn't exactly common place, but neither are we a total anomaly.  Anyway, maybe these people were just interested in our family, but it wasn't exactly a friendly stare.  More like a "what is wrong with you people?" stare.  So it was so refreshing in the grocery store today to have a lady come up to me, pat my arm, and tell me that I was so blessed to have 4 boys (after she asked if they were all mine!).  I thanked her and teared up a bit.  I mean, I love my boys and feel blessed to have them, but I'm glad that others can see it as a blessing too (and fortunately, she didn't see Joel screaming at Noah at the checkout!).

In 20 years

...the boys will still remember the treats their great-grandma DV snuck them almost every time she saw them.

Even Aaron's old enough to get his own treat!

Grandma always seems to have a bag of chocolate treats hanging around.  She is so good about asking me first if they can have a treat, and the boys are always happy to receive them!

Meijer deals this week

I saw a couple of good deals at Meijer this week:

John Morrell bacon~2 bucks for a 12 oz package.  I don't buy bacon too often, but this seemed like a decent deal.

Peanut Butter Cheerios~ deal here ($1/box).  However, I couldn't find them at my Meijer.

Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt  32 oz~$1.48, coupons here.

Also, check your Mperks for 50% off clearance winter apparel and footwear (2 coupons).  Usually Meijer puts winter clothing and accessories on clearance the beginning of February and with this mperk, you can get some great deals for next winter.

Monday, February 06, 2012

What's Cookin'

I have a horrible cold right now, but we still have to eat, right?  :-)

Mon~Noah requested hamburgers.  So I have these buns in the breadmaker and we will have salad and french fries.
Tues~Some kind of chicken with leftover odds and ends from the fridge
Wed~I have to bring a dessert for the fellowship dinner at church. 
Thurs~Beef Stroganoff adapted for the crockpot, green beans
Fri~Alton Brown's pizza, salad, dessert with friends
Sat~Chicken packets (freezer), cold veggies
Sun~Meatball soup, artisan bread

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Epic Fail

See this recipe?  Looks easy, right?  I wanted to make something to bring to family and friends we are visiting this weekend.  First batch, the chocolate chips melted easily and everything was going swimmingly until I added the 3/4 CUP of water instead of teaspoon.  I wondered why it was so watery so I double checked after I had poured the batch into the pan.  Um, yeah.  Not supposed to be that watery.  So, even though I was now upset with myself for wasting $2 worth of chocolate chips, I attempted another batch.  And promptly burned the chocolate chips even though I put them in the microwave for 1/2 the time as the last batch.  So I have decided that homemade tootsie rolls will not be making the trip to Canada with us this weekend, although I will try them again as soon as I figure out a way to master melting chocolate without burning it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Pro-life Victory

From Jill Stanek:

Susan G. Komen to defund Planned Parenthood.

This is a huge victory for pro-lifers; however, Susan G. Komen is being bombarded by Planned Parenthood supporters who are enraged that the breast cancer research foundation would dare to endanger the health of poor women who need PP's services.  If you are on facebook, take a moment to support this decision by thanking them at 'Susan G. Komen for the Cure.'  Or contact them here to show your appreciation for this decision.