3 HOTS: Week 4, Day 2

Two days in a row. Who’s being consistent now?  HA!

Toast – that was the end of the Glutino brand raisin bread. It was very good. We even did PB&J’s with the bread and that was fantastic. As always, toast GF bread prior to using
Bacon – 3 slices

Our girl took the leftover chicken from last night and boned it and put the meat in a med pot with 2 qts of chicken stock.  She sauteed about 1.5 c worth of celery, onions and carrots and added that to the stock. When this came to a boil, she added 1/2 tsp of ginger, 1 TBSP of Bragg’s Amino Acids, 1/4 c coconut milk and 1 cup GF egg noodles.  Served it up when the noodles were tender, with a corn tortilla-Quesadilla.

The girl took the chicken she brined over night and baked it in the oven for 35 min.  You wouldn’t believe how flavorful and juicy that chicken was!
Green beans
Cole Slaw
Wilted Spinach
Fried potatoes
We like lots of veggies at dinner.  Tonight’s meal was excellent!

See you tomorrow! ~CS

Week 4, Day 1: Back on the wagon…

Well, that was a crazy week that just got away from me.  Back on the straight and narrow this week.  I intend to follow through… we shall see.

Monday is our mark-down day at our grocery.  Here are my 1.49 deals on Produce:
2 – 3 lb bags of organic pears
1 – 3 lb bag of organic apples
1.5 lbs of org cukes
2 lb of Lemons
12 oz org mushrooms
8 oz org mushrooms
2 – 1 lb org Spinach
4 – 24 oz bags of grated cabbage
2 crowns of org celery
Meats today brought us a huge surprise!  There was a new boy working in the butcher area, and he marked down the pork chops, ham hocks and loin chops to .09 cents per pound.  He would not accept that he made a mistake, so we got packs of all of those for .14 – .39 a pack.  You really can’t beat that one!  Mayberry’s pork is more expensive than that!

Raisin Bread Toasted
Scrambled eggs with onions and ham

Stir fried a bag of the grated cabbage with some ground pork that we seasoned with ginger and Thai spices.  Added in leftover broccoli, rice and carrots from last night.  YUM!

Chicken wings with hot sauce and Blue cheese
Salad – had to balance out the rest of it somehow

We put a whole chicken to brine tonight.  It is butterflied and we will bake it tomorrow evening.  Brining meat ahead of time adds so much flavor to it.  Really worth the effort.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.


3 Hots: Week 3, Day 4

Thursday, March 7.

Egg and cheese sandwiches on Udi’s (GF) hotdog buns. HA!  A long, skinny Egg McMuffin… sort of.


Baked Potatoes
Steamed Veggies
Mozzarella Cheese on top
I know… rerun!  But it was such a hit earlier this week, and we needed to go ahead and cook the veggies, so we went for it. This time we melted mozz cheese on top for a gooey, yummy treat.  It was great!


Spaghetti – Meat sauce with pasta.
We make our meat sauce loaded with vegetables.  In the cast iron dutch oven we brown carrots, onions, zucchini, garlic, whatever veggies we want to add (avoid really strong flavors like broc or cauliflower).  If you have kids who have aversion to textures or will try to pick things out, puree the veggies before adding the tomatoes. We like diced tomatoes for spaghetti, usually tomatoes we have canned ourselves. Add the meat and herbs and we are ready to roll.  This time we used new-to-us pasta.  It is a Quinoa Amaranth mix.  It cooks REALLY fast, so if you try it, pay attention to your time and rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking.
Served with Salad. Hearty and filling.

See you again tomorrow!


3 Hots: Week 3, Days 1 – 3

Sorry. I have been a ba-a-a-a-d girl.  I will do better. I promise.

Monday we did our produce and meat run.  We found organic, whole chickens for .99/lb. Got all they had!  We love roasting whole chickens. So much you can do: enjoy eating it hot from the oven, make chicken salad, boil the carcass for stock, etc.  Chicken: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Oatmeal with apples and almonds

Salad  – do-it-yourself let’s the kids decide what they want on their own salad. This means they eat it all up!

Stir fry with chicken and rice.  Buying bags of shredded veggies makes stir fry super easy!


Blueberry Pancakes – this used up the last of the blueberries we bought a couple of weeks ago.


We found 5# bags of baking potatoes for 1.49 yesterday.  We also found 24 oz steamer bags of broc, carrots and cauliflower for 1.49.  We combined this today for lunch:
Baked Potatoes
Steamed veggies
Toppings: 1 TBSP Butter, 1 TBSP Sour cream, 2 oz cheese, green onions

Chicken wings  – some hot, some not


We took the left over baked potatoes from yesterday and diced them to make hashbrowns.  Baking the potatoes takes the moisture out and they make very crispy hash! We diced onions into the pan with the potatoes at the beginning. When these were translucent, I broke in a couple of eggs, and added some fresh parm. YUM!

The girls baked a loaf of bread (GF, of course!) and we used that to make PB&J’s.  Nothing can beat a PB&J sandwich on still-warm fresh bread!
carrots and apple slices are the perfect sides

The Girl made her world-famous meatloaf for dinner.
Rice and Green beans rounded out the meal

I will see you back here soon.


3 hots: Week 2, days 6 & 7

Well, it’s Saturday night and time to do a 2-fer.  🙂
Today we had a lazy, hang out at home and enjoy some down time kind of day.  It was lovely.  We were treated to breakfast in bed by two ambitious kiddos this morning.  That was nice.  Of course, we do a lot of our Sunday cooking on Saturday so we don’t have as much to do on Sunday morning.  That makes for a much more peaceful start to our day.
Breakfast Casserole (same as yesterday, except this time I got to eat some of it!)
Coffee and fruit juice
Hot wings – We LOVE hot wings!  Naked (no crusty batter) and hot enough to make you cry a little
Supper – since we had a late, filling lunch, we went light on supper
Celery with peanut butter
Potato Pancakes (Made with leftover mashed potatoes)
Cucumbers (marinated in vinegar, sugar and dill weed)
French Toast made with Banana Bread
Lunch – this is what we are taking to the covered dish
lunch at church:
Pork Chops
Green Beans
Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Supper – We are having friends over for Supper
Over fried chicken (This will have been brining for 48 hours when we cook it. Brining makes it so moist!)
Saffron Rice
Pea Salad
Spinach Salad
Apple Brown Betty

So that’s the plan.  I hope your Sunday is as much anticipated as ours.  Enjoy!


3 Hots: Week 2, Day 5

HAPPY FRIDAY!  Whew!  What a busy, busy day.  I met a sweet friend for breakfast and she made AMAZING Felafel pancakes.  Yep,  You read that correctly:  Felafel PANCAKES.  I will post the recipe here soon.
While I was out visiting my friend, Man and the kids hosted company for Breakfast, so The Girl made a casserole with eggs, sausage and cheese. We were out of cheddar, so she used the Kraft brand Mediterranean cheese.  It was FANTASTIC!  It melted and combined so smoothly. She only used half of what was called for because she didn’t want the spices in the cheese to overwhelm. The recipe:
8 eggs beaten well
one lb of sausage browned and well drained
1/2 c Mediterranean cheese, grated
1 c  milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 c GF bread crumbs (or bread crumbled up)
Spread sausage into bottom of 8×11 baking dish, sprinkle cheese on top of that.  Combine all other ingredients in mixing bowl and beat on med for 2 minutes.  Pour egg mixture into baking dish.  Bake at 350 for 25 min or until edges are golden and center is set.
We served this with oranges and coffee.
Sloppy Joe’s on homemade buns
To make the sloppy Joe’s, Boy browned 1 lb of ground beef.  While that was browning, Girl made a Mirepoix (2 parts onion to one parts celery and carrots) and browned with a couple of cloves of garlic.  When each of these was done, they were combined and we added a pint of our home-canned tomato sauce.  This simmered for about 30 min before serving.  yum!
Pasta with parmesan sauce (think alfredo, but lots less butter. The Girl cooked homemade pasta and then combined 1/4 c parm, 1/4 c milk and 1 TBSP butter and stirred it in the pasta. Added oregano and parsley.)
Simple and Yummy!
Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

3 Hots: Week 2, Day 4

It’s Thursday already?!  Where has this week gone?

We had our homeschool co-op group here today, and that means each family brought a dish to share. Co-op lunches are generally junk-foodier (I made that word up. HA!)  than we usually make, and today was no exception.
Nacho Dip – Velveeta (which is Gluten Free. Who knew?!), hamburger and Ro-tel, served with tortilla chips
Egg salad sandwiches on Chebe rolls
No-Bake Cookies – made with GF oatmeal, peanut butter and chocolate
Baked potatoes – Our Girl cut them in half lengthwise and put them cut side down on a baking sheet prepared with olive oil.  This cuts the baking time in half, and gives the potatoes a crisp, yummy side that reminds one of a french fry.  Nothing wrong with that!
Green Beans
Junk food every now and then isn’t so bad if you balance it with healthier foods over a period of days.
See you Friday.

3 Hots Week 2, Day 3

Busy day!  Here we go:

Grits – Living in the South means one doesn’t easily tire of grits.
Sausage links

Baked beans
Hot dogs
Steamed Veggies


Keeping carb portions small and vegetable servings big is a great way to help the family members learn to eat more of what is better for them and not over load on carbs and calories.

See you tomorrow.


Raising Responsible Adults

Make life easy on yourself:  Raise your kids to be responsible.

Middle of the week and busy!  We had several tasks that had to be handled today.  Both my husband and I work from home, and folks assume that we have all the time in the world to take care of those little demands that pop up in life with no problem.  We do have it much easier than most folks, with both of us available to juggle things, but it takes some planning ahead.
The best thing we have done to this end is to teach our kids to be
  • responsible
  • independent when needed
  • and obedient, so we can trust them
Today Man had the boys with him to take the dog to the vet, go to the Feed and Seed for fresh hay for the chickens, do some train watching (a must for boys), and get one of them to the eye doctor.
On my list was picking up the milk from the farm, visiting with family-friends, preparing to teach at the college tonight and meeting up with a friend to pass off one of the girls.  That’s a bunch of running.  I was about to load the girls up in the truck with me when it dawned on me that we needed to divide and conquer.
I turned to my 13 year old daughter and said, “I need you to make lunch, meet the UPS guy and send these emails to customers.”  She said, “I’ll take care of it,”  and I knew she would.  While I ran to meet the farm folks, she stayed home and cooked a balanced, nutritious lunch for 6.  No further instruction was needed.  She sent out a blast email for me, even editing the email.  She met the UPS man at the door, signed the electric pad and locked the door behind him. No TV. No Phone.
We aren’t the only ones raising our children to be responsible. Our closest friends have an almost-12-year-old daughter who lovingly cares for her 3 younger siblings, aged 3, 4, and 6, when her parents need her to.  She can do this while cleaning the kitchen and cooking dinner, while her mom, dad and older brother are working on building a new home for their family.  And she does this with a sweet heart.  It’s not all the time, but when the family needs her, she is willing and able.
I have many, many examples of parents preparing their kids for future success.  They are planning for it.  It takes time, effort and focus.  We have such a short time with our kids.  Such a very short time.  For this time to be sufficient, parents must have  a plan in place.
We decided early on that we were not raising kids. We were raising ADULTS.  This shift in our focus has made a world of difference.  We talk to them in the same way we talk to other adults.  We expect them to follow through.  We set expectations high, quite high.  Now at 11 and 13 we have two strong family-team members, instead of two kids who need direction and constant motivation.
Today I encourage you to commit to taking the time necessary to prepare your children for success in adult life.
Responsibility. It’s worth the effort.
~Carroll Sue

PS – No.  Our kids are not perfect.  We are not perfect parents. We are wretches dependent on our Savior.  This is not a forum for bragging, but a place to encourage parents that kids are growing into adults whether they are being prepared for it or not.  Prepare them.

3 Hots, week 2 day 2

Today was a re-run day as we used up some leftovers from the fridge.
Each time we use leftovers, we count that dish/meal as a -$0- cost,
because we have counted the cost in our original meal.
Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch (or breakfast)?!

Grits with cheese

We refrigerated the left over grits from yesterday morning, putting them in a left over Chinese take out container and spreading them out smooth and flat.  The girl sliced these into grits-cubes about 1×3 inches and browned them on all sides in a skillet, along with some sliced garlic cloves.  When all 6 sides had been seared, she sprinkled cheddar on top and lidded the pan for about a minute to melt the cheese. Talk about good!  Oh my!
I just wish I had thought to brown some Andouille sausage to go with it!

Mac and Cheese
Black Beans
I know this sounds like a bunch to eat in the middle of the day, but everyone had just a little of everything. That is the beauty of leftovers. HA!

Lettuce wraps – Yes, we just had these at the end of last week, but they are such a fave and so easy and pretty-dog’gone-healthy.  We also used up the leftover rice, cabbage and celery.

On our Monday shopping run, we bought three packs of whole cut up chicken that was less than 1/2 price (came out to about 80 cents a lb.).  That Sweet Man of Mine fileted the breasts and diced the meat up for us to use in the lettuce wraps recipe. We left the rest of the meat on the bone and seasoned it before putting it in freezer bags. Those 3 packages of chicken will make 8 meals.  Altogether the chicken cost about $15.00, and we will get 8 meals out of it, that comes out to an average of just under $2.00 for the meat for those 8 meals.
We also took the breast bones, necks and backs, added veggies and rendered 4 qts of stock which we will use for soup base.  That is quite the deal.   Planning your meals according to a set cost/meal is a great way to stick to your budget.

See you tomorrow.