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Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu Plan Monday July 13-19

Here's the plan for this week...

Monday- Weight Watchers Juicy Hamburgers, corn on the cob, salad
Tuesday- Weekday Lasagna, salad, garlic toast
Wednesday- Monterey Chicken, green beans, rolls
Thursday- Buffalo Chicken Pasta, salad
Friday- Pizza, salad
Saturday- Crispy Chicken Drumsticks, green beans, rolls
Sunday- Magnificent Casserole, corn on the cob

Monday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Tuesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Wednesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Thursday-Cinnamon French Toast, fruit, hot herbal tea
Friday- Cereal, yogurt
Saturday- Blueberry Pancakes, fruit, hot herbal tea
Sunday- Cereal, fruit, yogurt, hot herbal tea

Monday-Wednesday- Kids eat at Library Summer Reading Program
Thursday- Sandwiches
Friday- Leftovers
Sunday- Fat Free Hot Dogs, Baked Doritos

Snacks and desserts- Chex Party Mix, Mississippi Mud Cake, Fat Free Rice Krispie Treats, Pistachio Dream Cake, Wendy's No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Go here to see more plans.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday-July 6-12

Here's my plan for the week:
Monday-Crispy Chicken Drumsticks, green beans, rolls
Tuesday- Taco Junk, salad, Caramel Apple Salad
Wednesday- Beef Stuffed Peppers
Thursday- Chili Mac Crockpot, corn on the cob
Friday- Pizza, salad
Saturday- Weekday Lasagna, salad, garlic toast
Monday-Wednesday- Kids eat at Library Summer Reading Program
Thursday- Sandwiches
Friday- Leftovers
Sunday- Fat Free Hot Dogs, Baked Doritos
Monday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Tuesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Wednesday-Low fat waffles and fruit, hot herbal tea
Thursday- Cinnamon French Toast, fruit
Friday- Cereal, fruit
Saturday-Blueberry Pancakes, fruit
Sunday- Cereal, fruit
Snacks and desserts- Chex Party Mix, Mississippi Mud Cake, Fat Free Rice Krispie Treats, Pistachio Dream Cake, Cotton Candy Angel Food Cake
Go here to see more plans.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Campfire Night

One of the things on my kid's list of fun things they wanted to do this summer was to make smores. I thought it would be neat to expand that idea to a campfire night. During a campfire night, we roast winnies, make smores, and just enjoy the fire. You could build a fire at a local park which has the facilities to do that, make a fire in your charcoal grill, or use a fire pit. Fire pits can range from $50-$300, so that might be an expensive purchase if you only bought it for that one time use. It could however be an investment if you planned to do several campfire night or use it when you campout. I was planning on going to a local park, but my son's Cub Scout Pack had a campfire night that we were all invited to and someone brought a fire pit. The kids enjoyed looking for sticks to roast their hot dogs and marshmallows on, but you could also use skewers. Make sure you keep safety in mind during a camp fire night by keeping your children from getting too close to the fire and having a bucket of water near the fire in case of an emergency.
After it gets dark, you can sit around the fire and tell stories. This activity was a lot of fun for my family and cost a lot less than if I would have gotten a camping site. The only money I spent on this activity was on the food and my family would have eaten dinner that night, so this was a pretty frugal activity for us. Here's a list of some items you may need for a Campfire Night.

Things to get for a Campfire Night
Campfire Marshmallows
Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
Graham Crackers
Hot dogs
Hot Dog Buns
Mustard, Ketchup, other condiments
Charcoal, wood, etc (Things to start your fire with)
Cold drinks
I hope you get the chance to have a campfire night with your family this summer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Reading Program-4-H Fun Week 1

We went to the library activites again today. Tuesday's are 4-H Fun days. Today they let the kid's make ziplock bag ice cream. The kids loved it! Then they ate it and they gave them a lunch. This was one of the things one my kids summer fun list that they wanted to do. Here are some pictures from today and the recipe in case you want to do this with your kids.

Ice Cream in a Bag
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup of Half and Half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons rock salt
1 pint-size Ziplock bag
1 gallon-size Ziplock bag
ice cubes
Fill the gallon size Ziplock bag with ice cubes and then add rock salt. Seal the bag. Put half and half, vanilla, and sugar in small Ziplock bag and seal it. Place the small Ziplock bag inside the large one and seal again carefully. Shake until mixture is ice cream or about 5 minutes. Wipe off top of the small Ziplock bag, then open carefully and enjoy!

Not So Big Bad Banana Muffins

I made 4 batches of these today. I tricked the kids with the 50/50 whole wheat and white flour and they loved them. I am freezing the rest for an easy breakfast on a busy morning this summer!
Not So Big Bad Banana Muffins
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup White Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Egg
2 Large Bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Applesauce
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease entire cupcake or muffin tin including the top of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl mix egg, sugar, applesauce, and bananas. Add wet to dryand stir just until combined. (A few lumps are fine.) Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared tin, filling all the way to the top. Fill unused cups with 1/3 cup water to prevent burning. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.
Notes: You can freeze these muffins and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds for a great, easy breakfast.
Makes 10 servings at 3 Weight Watchers Points each.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pizza and a Movie Night

My kids love pizza and love to watch movies, so why not do both in one night? This summer my kids made a list of fun things they wanted to do this summer and Pizza and a Movie night was one of those. I really like to do these nights because it's a time for my family to spend together doing something fun. We usually get our movie from the Redbox, which cost $1.00, but we have also gotten movies from the library for FREE. I don't cost the count of the pizza because I make it homemade and we would have had dinner anyways. So, I think this is a pretty frugal summer activity.

Here are the recipes that I used to make our pizza, pizza sauce cheesy breadticks, and Monkey Munch (our movie snack):

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough or Cheesy Breadsticks
1 1/3 cups water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornmeal
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp yeast
Add ingredients to bread machine, according to manufacturer’s settings, and run dough setting. After the machine beeps, roll out the dough. You can roll the dough into two 9×13″ pizzas (great for kid’s lunches!) or into two medium pizzas or a large pizza and an order of breadsticks (as instructed above). Parbake the crust with a drizzle of olive oil on it at 450 degrees for ten minutes. Remove the crust and add sauce and toppings. If making breadsticks, add your breadsticks at this time. Place into the oven for another ten to fifteen minutes or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!
You can freeze your pizza dough for an easier night.

Easy Pizza Sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups water
Combine tomato paste, garlic, parsley flakes, onion, oregano, basil and water in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Cool a little and spread on your pizza crust and proceed with remainder of your toppings.
Makes 3 cups
You can freeze this pizza sauce easily.

Monkey Munch
9 cup Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Put cereal in large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over Chex cereal, put into a large plastic bag with powdered sugar and shake well to coat.Spread mixture evenly on wax paper and allow to cool.
This does not last long at my house!
We will be doing this several more times this summer. I hope you get to plan a Pizza and a Movie night for your family this summer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

Our family gets together once a week, usually on Monday night and does something fun together. It's a great way to make sure that you take time for your family. So, each week, I'll post something about what we did for fun.

On our summer fun list (that my kids made) they wanted to make pine cone bird feeders. They love the birds and were really excited about this. We have two huge pine trees in our yard and I kept seeing these beautiful pone cones on the ground well we started collecting them and I knew I was going to do something with them. So here's what we did.

Pine Cone Bird Feeders
Materials you will need:
Pine Cones
Peanut Butter
bird seed
Place string on the end of the pine cone leaving a loop to place the feeder on the tree. Place peanut butter on the pine cone and get into the underneath parts of the pine cone. We made 4 feeders and it took a whole jar of peanut butter. Next, I got a casserole pan and place the bird seed in it and the kids rolled the pine cone in the seed. Then we hung them on a tree.

Bird seed- $1.00 (we used half a bag)
String- $1.00 (from Dollar Tree and there is lots left over)
Peanut Butter- FREE (for me but this might cost you a little more.)
Pine Cones- FREE
So, for under $5.00 we had a really fun family time and also accomplished an activity the kids wanted to do this summer. The kids were really proud of their feeders and can't wait to see the birds eat from them. I am really glad that I waited to do this activity when my husband was home because every kid wanted you to help them. The extra hands came in handy.

So, if you want to have fun this summer with your kids, consider pine cone bird feeders.

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