Friday, February 29, 2008

First attempt!!!

OK! So here it is! I made my first attempt at making something and freezing it!!! I made these for Eric for lunches. I am also going to make little pizza rolls. I will let you know how that goes too!!!

Best news is they only cost about $4 to make and will last about a month!!!

Bean and Cheese Burritos



3 cans refried beans

grated chedder cheese (I used about 1 and a half pounds)

1 package tortillas



Gradually mix beans and cheese together in large bowl. Place desired amount of mixture on
tortilla. Fold tortilla and seal in plastic wrap. Yields about 20
To heat in microwave: Unwrap burrito. Place it in microwave for 1 minute. Rotate and heat additional minute. ENJOY!!!!!

Baeya's room


Before

After



We got those boxes at the dollar store!!!


She had to be in EVERY picture!!!


This isn't the complete room. We are going to add more decor and I am going to make a canopy for her bed! We might even get her new bedding! So what do you think so far?

Ethan

video

I realized today how animated Ethan was...here's a few pictures to show you just how cute that boy is!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

THE LONG LOST USB!!!!





So I found the USB cord!!! Now I can update everyone with pictures!!! It is just going to take time to download the pics to my computer...there's only 230! I'm looking at how many picture have been taken on my camera and there is 6125 images that have been taken! That's about 255 rolls of film. With a development of $5 per roll that is $1275!!!! I have paid for my camera almost twice now with the money I've saved in developing!!! I would say that's a bit of a testament to going digital!!!

Thankses!!!

I was at my house today with my children, doing laundry, cleaning...the usual and I was putting the ten thousandth load of laundry in when it struck me: "I am SO thankful for all that I have been given lately!" I have two great kids, a wonderful husband that has stuck to his guns ansd is now providing for us. We have been incredibly blessed with everything that has happend these last few months! I could make a list of things I'm thankful for and it would go on and on and on!!!

I was folding laundry and my sweet three year old comes and asks if she can help!!! I taught her how to fold and she picked it up right away! She's a natural!!! She folded her shirts and put them away!!! Wah a big girl!

After folding laundry, the kids and I went into Baeya's room and took some pictures of her room. OF COURSE Baeya had to be in EVERY picture! Then Ethan found out that you can see the pictures on the back of the camera so after every picture he'd pull my arm down to see it. It was so funny!!

In the move I have lost mu USB cord but as soon as I find it, I'll get the pictures on here!

I think I am going to like this ward. It is a very young ward...as student ward but everyone is employed, not in school. We've met several couples that I think we will become GREAT friends with. I am excited to get a calling and get involved!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Freezer Meals

I went to enrichment tonight. We talked about food storage...namely freezer meals. I really like the idea of freezer meals. The sister that taught said she can make a months worth of meals for $100. MAN!!! If I could do that, that would be fantastic! She also said that it cuts down on time in the kitchen per day. That would be so nice!!! I spend so much time cleaning and in the kitchen and with the kids that I hardly get time to myself or with Eric. So anyway, here are some things that I learned tonight at enrichment and online.

Day One - Preparation and planning
The first day of my OAMC, I go to the shops. I check what is on special, and what is in season. I take note of what does not look good, too. I come home and check what is in the garden that is in peak condition to be used. This is my research phase.

Next, I clean out and defrost the freezer. I keep a written inventory of what I have in the freezer, and this clean-out helps me to check the inventory is up-to-date.

While the freezer is defrosting, I check my family's calendar for the next month and count how many dinners I would like to freeze. Then, with the knowledge I gained from my research earlier, I make up a list of what I will cook, and how many meals of each.

The next step is to make up a shopping list, broken up according to where I will be buying each food item. The last stage is to make myself lists showing what I will need to do to prepare and cook the food.

Day Two - Shopping and Chopping Day
The next day is broken up into two distinct phases. I like to get to the shopping centre early in the day while it is still not too busy. I buy all the food I will need, making sure to keep perishable items like meat cool by putting them in a cooler bag as soon as they are purchased.
After coming home and unpacking, I can start the second phase of this day. This is when I peel and chop all my vegetables except onion and garlic (they smell if cut too early), and trim and dice the meat. This is all stored in the refrigerator overnight.

The last job for Day Two is to freeze any meals that will not require further cooking. For example, I like to make Fish Parcels. This is where I place a boneless fillet of fish on a square of aluminium foil and top it with a little butter, lemon juice, herbs, garlic, chilli (or whatever flavorings I like at the time). The fish is wrapped in the foil and frozen. To cook it, I simply place the fish parcels straight from the freezer into a pre-heated oven. I add frozen garlic bread to the oven to heat at the same time, and prepare a simple salad.
Other ideas for meals that can be frozen without being cooked first include marinated chicken wings, lamb chops in marinade, hamburger patties, and so on.

Day Three - Cooking Day
The third day of the OAMC is the big one. But it is made much easier by having so much of the preparation work done the day before.

I start the day by cutting up all my onions and garlic and browning them. Then I brown all my meats. I can do several different kinds of meat simultaneously to save time, but I do them in small batches to avoid over-crowding the pans.

The next step depends on what you are making. Many dishes are fully cooked before being frozen, so they must be assembled and cooked. Others are only partially cooked, and are perhaps properly cooked in a crockpot (slow cooker) after thawing.

But whatever you are cooking, it all goes into labelled containers in the refrigerator to thoroughly cool before being frozen. I use rigid plastic containers, because I have been doing this for years and have bought a few at a time. A cheaper alternative is to use food-quality plastic bags to line a foil or plastic box. The bag is popped out of the box after it is frozen, so the box can be used again.

Using the meals
Once you have your freezer full of dinners, you will find there very little effort required to cook up some pasta to go with the frozen Bolognese Sauce, or some rice to have with the Beef Curry. Since I put tomorrow night's dinner in the refrigerator to thaw each evening, there is little left to do but re-heat the main course. A salad fresh from the garden is a great accompaniment to any meal and quick to prepare.

Some people might be concerned about the possible loss of so much food in the event of a power failure. The trick is to keep your freezer as full as possible. It doesn't have to be full of food - I put soda bottles half-full of water in the empty spaces. The idea is that the more frozen volume there is in the freezer, as opposed to air pockets, the longer it will take for the contents to thaw if the power goes off. This approach also makes the freezer work more efficiently, since it will turn on and off less often.

In summary, by concentrating your time and effort (and mess!) into a big cooking session once a month, you can have a freezer full of your family's favourite meals. This will give you more time, save you money, and give you peace of mind that your family can eat a proper meal every evening.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Favorite Photographer





Anne Brigman 1869-1950


Her photography was controversial in her day. She was a rebel. I LOVE HER WORK!!!




To view more of her work go to: http://www.geh.org/ar/strip81/htmlsrc/brigmanetal_sum00001.html

Friday, February 8, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!!!


Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Valentines Day!!! I made this card and want to print it out for the holiday. Whatchya think? Right now we are being packed by the Moving company and they are doing EVERYTHING!!! We only had to pack the van! We are officially leaving Moscow/Spokane Tuesday morning. I have to be honest...I have never been more excited for any other move in my life!!! This feels alot like when we moved to California for the summer. With the exception that we are moving permanently this time.

There have been many things that have happened this past week or so...my mind is just whirling!!! Last weekend I got to have one last fling with the Jandre and Renee!! It was nice to be able to do something with them. Being so far away, I don't see for hear from them very often, but it was nice that they found time to squeeze me into their busy schedules. :)

I find myself thinking about our new home. I think about how it would be to live there, celebrating holidays, building a family, making traditions and memories. I want to go decorate, making it my own!!! I am SO EXCITED to live there, start anew, make friends and start REAL life...