Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Diversification is the key?

My blog is new – only a couple of months old and lately, I’ve been having difficulty writing regularly. When I started it, I was MOTIVATED to clean and organize my life and I felt truly inspired – why not share my bumbling tale with others and I shot out of the gate like a winning Thoroughbred!

Except I’m far more diverse. Sure... I’m trying to organize and clean but I also like to postulate about politics, life, children. I like to think of funky design ideas, dream about paint colours and complain about annoying people. I have learned many things from TroubleMaker (my 2 year old) and the Wonder Pup (my 10 year old Standard Schnauzer) that I’d like to share with the world...

I feel that I’ve pigeon holed myself thus far by trying to focus my blog on one idea. I really thought my blog had to have a ‘theme’ – a guiding light that would make it interesting and helpful but I’ve come to see that I have far more to offer everyone by just sharing me and the various parts of my life I write about.

Or maybe you have a design question you’d like answered. Or perhaps want to know about cloth diapers and extended breastfeeding or c/sections and breastfeeding or babies (who turn into toddlers) who do not sleep. Or life as a step child or having your son be the first, fourth and fifteenth grandchild or what family gatherings are like when you have a HUGE (immediate) blended family. I'm open to suggestions too!

Yes, I think it’s time to diversify the Barefoot Deliberations portfolio. I’m not a static, flat person so why should my blog be any different than Brennan’s Mom is in real life? I hope you’ll enjoy the changes I’ll be making in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Family Favourite Recipe Index

I'm naturally disorganized so I usually have to look elsewhere to find inspiration to get me organized and I sure found it with Org Junkie's Family Recipe Index!

This is a marvelous idea and so Earth Friendly! Yippee for good ideas!

So without further adieu - here are some of our favourites!

Breakfast Ideas
Chocolate Chip Biscuits
Basic Blueberry Muffins
Apple Strudel Muffins
Gingerbread Waffles
Crockpot Egg Casserole

Lunch Ideas
Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sanwiches My Hubby was horrifed at this recipe - he made it relunctantly for TroubleMaker one day and it was a hit. a HUGE hit - try it - if you have a kid in the house, they'll gobble it up!
BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Dinner Ideas
Mushroom & Chicken linguine
2 Step Honey Dijon Chicken
Easy Hot Wings
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Skewers
Chicken Biryani
Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chinese Takeout Lemon Chicken
Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Chicken Pot Pie (simple)
Chicken Noodle Soup
White Chicken Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce

Crockpot Meatballs
Beefy One-Pot Dinner
Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Beef Roast
Bacon Cheeseburger Roll Ups
Beef with Snow Peas
Beef & Bean Burritos
Weeknight Lasagne Toss
Beef Stroganoff
Swiss Steak
Hamburger Hash
Sante Fe Shepherd's Pie
Lasagna Toss
Sweet and Sour Hamburger
Taco Dip Supper

Mom's Crockpot Ham
Chili's Grilled Copy Cat Recipe
Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni
Pork Lo Mein
Pork Roast with Brown Sugar Glaze
Crustless Quiche

Tuna Casserole
Tortellini w/ Salmon ricotta sauce
Salmon Patties

Vegetarian (Lacto-Ovo)
Creamy Primavera Tortellini Salad
Gramma's Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
Vegetable & Cheese Empanadas
Fettucine Alfredo
Weeknight Italian Pasta Bake

Breakfast for Dinner
Tater Tot Casserole
Farmer's Breakfast

Low Fat Scalloped Potatoes
Tomato & Cucumber Salad
Gramma's Potato Salad
Creamy Tortellini Primavera

Taco Seasoning
Frog's BBQ Sauce
Homemade Spagetti Sauce
Corrie' Spanish Rice
Coyote Fritters
Caramelized Onion & Olive Tart
French Onion Soup
Baked Potato & Leek Soup
Chicken Nuggets
Vegetarian Stuffing
Gramma's Buns
Corn Chowder
Minestrone Soup
Epicure's Extraordinary Cheese Dip

Monday, June 28, 2010


I'm a late getting this done! It's the 'end of the month' which means I must plan the next month in advance (it really saves us on the grocery budget it I do it a month at a time)... But more on that in an upcoming post...

We ventured out to my Mother's to pick up our beloved motorhome this week... Ahhh... Camping season is REALLY here now that it's parked outfront... I feel like a school kid - can we sleep in tonight, PLEASE!? Anyway, now I have holdovers for another menu in the next few weeks as my Mom fed us and last night we cheated and ordered pizza!

So here is our week at a glance!
June 28 to July 4
Monday Chicken Burgers
Tuesday BBQ chicken
Wednesday Tortellini w/ Salmon ricotta saucewith sauteed zucchini & French bread
Thursday Beef burgers & chips
Friday BBQ Ribs, Potato salad & grilled vegges
Saturday BBQ steak, Caesar Salad & French bread
Sunday BBQ Smokies, Potato salad

Lunches I'm living on the edge this week. It's Monday and the menu is not on the fridge so Hubby is winging it anyway and that really only leaves Tuesday as TroubleMaker will be at the sitter's on Wednesday and then I'm home Thursday/Friday...

Toast, Banana Muffins, Bagels, Chocolate Chip Biscuits, Bacon & Eggs and Hubby's Super Awesome French Toast on Saturday! It's his recipe and SO good - but I know nothing about it - it is Top Secret!

Hope you have a great week and check out more Menu Plan Monday cooking and meal planning ideas over at Org Junkie!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MPM #7

I skipped last week - just had too much going on. We had the menu posted (and we followed it mostly) but just didn't get to blog-land to share it! TroubleMaker is down for a nap so we'll see how we get!

It's supposed to be a hot week this week so with summer coming (I think for real this time) I may have to adjust the menu to suit the weather. There is nothing worse than heating the house up further by having to 'cook' with the oven!

Sometimes the problem with planning a month in advance is by the end of week three, what I planned just doesn't sound good or we're in the middle of heat wave! I've also had it happen where I've planned a yummy 'summer menu' and it's pouring rain (so who wants BBQ anything when it's 10 deg. C and raining cats and dogs?)!

So here is our week at a glance!
June 21 to June 27
Monday Mushroom & Chicken Linguine
Tuesday Tuna Casserole
Wednesday Spaghetti with homemade meat sauce
Thursday Tater Tot Casserole
Friday Shepherd's Pie
Saturday Homemade Pizza (ACK - I can't find my crust recipe to share... UGH)
Sunday Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches (this is not my usual recipe but I cannot seem to open the recipe link with our ISP!)

Lunches are simple this week for Hubby and TroubleMaker:
Tortilla Pizzas, Cottage cheese, leftovers and grilled cheese sandwiches

Breakfasts are easy too and will likely include some fresh berries and lots of cereal as it is Hubby's new mission to get more milk into our son's diet! So far, they've had cornflakes and muffets! I've got some banana muffins frozen and another day will include scrambled eggs so I think they'll have a yummy week!

But its getting late in the day and I best go get TroubleMaker up from his nap (if I ever want him to go to bed tonight)! Hope you have a great week and check out more Menu Plan Monday cooking and meal planning ideas over at Org Junkie!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

MPM #6

We've had a beautiful weekend to end an otherwise dreary week. Our menu this past week was reasonably uninspired but sometimes it's more about just getting us fed than it is an exploration of my culinary abilities! I think the hi-lites of our menu were the Farmer's breakfast and the baked tortellini. I added lots of yummy vegetables to the sauce (zucchini, mushrooms, onions, celery, red & green peppers). And the best is that we froze half of it for supper another night!

The weekend's wonderful weather meant a great coming together of family to celebrate my older brother's 40th birthday. They had a great spread of delicious hamburgers, turkey burgers and hot dogs. My mom made her famous No Bake Cheesecake (I'll get the recipe and post it soon) - I ate 2 and a half pieces! TroubleMaker had tons of fun tearing around my Dad and Step Mom's yard with his cousins - he slept very well last night!

Today was 'do it all' day! After a yummy Hubby cooked (not on the menu) breakfast, I made potato salad and tossed a frozen slab of beef into a marinade. I then baked Hubby's favourite chocolate cake (again, recipe will come soon, I promise). After a quick wash of some dishes and the floor (TroubleMaker has a way of making every surface in the house sticky) I was out to help pull weeds from the lawn Hubby is working to make soft and perfect for Barefoots! ;-)

TroubleMaker is down for a nap and I wanted to share this weeks' menu! As always, links where applicable are shared and underlined recipes are shared below!

Dinners at a Glance
Monday: Tuna Sandwiches and tossed salad
Tuesday: Chicken fingers & fries
Wednesday: Crock pot meatballs over egg noodles
Thursday: Spinach salad with French bread
Friday: Gramma's Baked Mac & Cheese (maybe - I may be going to a fundraiser for Dufashanye Canada! Check them out and support this very worthy cause!
Saturday: Chicken wings & veggies n dip from Barefoot Deliberations MPM 4th Edition
Sunday: Hamburgers & chips

Lunches include cereal bars, yogurt and smoothies and breakfasts are cheese toast, Banana Muffins, PB Toast and hard boiled eggs on English Muffins!


Crock pot Meatballs
Use your favourite meatball recipe (or use prepared meatballs) put in the crock pot RAW (that's right, you don't have to precook your meatballs for this recipe!)!

2 cans mushroom soup
3/4 cup water
1 can mushrooms (if desired)
1 package of Lipton's Onion Soup Mix

Add soups, water, mushrooms and soup mix to crock pot, stir well and then add your meatballs. Turn on low and cook all day. Delicious served over egg noodles!

Gramma's Baked Mac & Cheese
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups milk
Lots and lots of shredded cheese

2 cups macaroni

1/8 to 1/4 cup butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup bread crumbs


Boil water for the macaroni. When boiling, add macaroni and cook until desired tenderness is achieved. Meanwhile...

Melt butter and flour in small pot. Allow to bubble for 2 to 3 minutes but do not let brown. Add salt slowly, stirring well. Add milk, small amount at a time stirring well with each addition. Once all added, add mustard and pepper. One may add additional seasonings (such as parsley, garlic, etc) if desired. As it slowly starts to boil, add lots of cheese - the sharper the better. At least 2 cups. I often mix a blend of whatever is in the fridge - cheddar, mozza, etc. Stir after each addition of cheese. Allow to almost boil but continue to stir so it does not stick or burn.

Get another small pot and add about 1/4 cup of butter to it and melt. Then add about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of bread crumbs. Stir until mixed.

Drain macaroni well. Pour cheese sauce over and stir to combine. Pour 1/2 of macaroni with cheese sauce into a casserole dish. Top with 1/2 the buttered crumbs and a small amount of shredded cheese. Top with remaining mac & cheese and add the remaining buttered crumbs and more shredded cheese. Sprinkle with paprika & bake 15 to 20 minutes at 375 F.

Need more inspiration? Check out Org Junkie's MPM!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Back on the Wagon!

So I’m hiatus from blogging – I make it ‘official’ and BOOM, the spirit hits. Maybe it’s because I’m in better spirits today?

Over the past few weeks, I have been tackling small organizing projects in our house. The first was randomly emptying kitchen drawers on the May Long weekend. Our outdoor plans were shelved due to rain (and snow, if I recall) so as we stood around on Sunday morning discussing what we could do that day, I started to empty the drawers… First in search of a little plastic square we use to scrape out the cast-iron frying pans but it quickly evolved into a complete empty, purge and wash event!

I don’t have many drawers in my kitchen. Well, I actually have lots of drawers in my kitchen. In our condominium, I had two drawers. One for cutlery and ‘everything’ and one additional one that had to be the ‘junk drawer’ because EVERY kitchen has to have one. In our present house, I have six drawers and of course, one of them is the customary ‘junk drawer’. I have a drawer with towels, one with potholders, oh, wait – I have two junk drawers – a small junk drawer, the drawer for plastic wrap, foil and baggies, the cutlery drawer, the kitchen tool drawer (for egg slices, flippers, etc) and another junk drawer.

So as I write this, all proud to tell you I filled half a shoe box with unused and unneeded kitchen implements, I’m embarrassed to realize I’ve discovered my next project.

Every kitchen needs a junk drawer but not two. I’ll let you know how I make out with the next “snip-it” in a couple of days.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Temporary Leave of Absence

There are some things going on in my life that I need to sort out right now... I will still post my MPM but will likely not be further updating my blog until July.

Check back - please - sometimes life gets in the way of the creative spirit.

AKA Brennan's Mom


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