Our Twice a Month Menu Musings is changing to once a month. I think I think (yes, I meant to say it that way:) along those lines better since I find that I keep wanting to share what I did in the last two week and then what I am thinking for the next two weeks along with sharing recipes from other blogs. So we’ll see how that change goes. Your feedback is encouraged, too!
Even though I haven’t posted a lot lately, I have still been thinking about and working on the blog. Skip to the food below in BOLD if you don’t want to read the personal.
It’s been a crazy transition time as we were trying to squeeze some things in before school started. I’ve been organizing and cleaning, trying to finish up some sewing projects to turn our “sewing/craft” table into a school-at-home table again. We also made a little time to see some friends during a teeny-weeny get-a-way as a family right before Labor Day. Then we came back and were thrust into school mode. My husband is the headmaster (principal) of a small (yet mighty) classical school called Evangel Classical School. I teach music there, and my 4 year old son accompanies me (not on piano, though:). Because we are so small (18 students), we meet Tuesdays through Thursdays at a local church, and we school at home on Fridays and Mondays. I think the blend is the perfect balance for those who are transitioning from homeschooling or for those who are used to school at school five days a week. I feel like I know more of what’s going on in the classroom with their other teachers, yet the teachers direct the work. Our dream is to meet M-F some day, though. Anyway, our family was getting ready with uniforms, school planning, moving the school location and the like.
However, when not thinking about school, I’ve also been going to town in the kitchen trying to use this year’s bountiful harvest (most of it not from our personal garden:() like zucchini, tomatoes, apples, blackberries, pears, and peaches. AND I’ve been updating photos for older posts, so I’ll show you below what we’ve been eating the last few weeks and our future plans.
- Sourdough Waffles and Sourdough Pancakes
- Overnight Crock-pot Breakfast Cobbler: The kids feel like they are having dessert for breakfast when we have this one. And who doesn’t like waking up to a hot-ready meal?
- Chocolate Chip Coconut Zucchini Breakfast Cookies: I was definitely enjoying these the last couple of weeks for breakfast. It was nice to have something quick and easy to grab that was portable and not overbearingly sweet.
- We are taking a little break from our Crock-pot Granola and going with Overnight Steel Cut Oats in the Crock-pot for a while.
- Nontraditional Toast, Fruit, & Yogurt: Here is something you can do with leftover hotdog and hamburger buns. Funny thing is we NEVER have real bona fide toast since we stopped buying bread a few years ago, but since we had leftover buns from a gathering that needed to be used, the kids were having toast using hotdog buns and hamburger buns, along with fruit, and crock-pot yogurt (I made some more yesterday/today: it’s an overnight process) for breakfast this last week. The kids have been eating butter and jam on their toast, and I have been basically eating an almond butter and jelly sandwich. Plus yesterday I had strawberries that needed to be used so I made some more no cook blender jam. We have one more day’s worth of toast left.
- Cinnamon & Sugar/Maple Syrup Rice: We have leftover crock-pot rice, so we are having rice with milk (I’ll use almond & the kids use dairy), cinnamon and sugar or maple syrup-another thing the kids only get about twice a year and get really excited about. I grew up having this for occasional lunches at home so I feel like I am sharing a small piece of my childhood with my family when we have this.
Nachos: If you’ve been frequently our blog for awhile, you will know I am addicted to salsa with chips and greens for lunch. I have been eating this for a few years now, and the past couple of weeks not only did I make fresh salsa a few times, but I also made a couple of batches of spicy crock-pot salsa, and some batches of cucumber peach salsa. Fresh. Healthy. Yum. Good.
- Sauteed or Roasted Veggies on a Tortilla (with cheese for the kids): I’ve been using up the zucchini and yellow squash this way. The kids like the vegetables with lots of brown. I think it makes the veggies so much more tasty!
- Homemade Marinara Sauce for Pizza and Spaghetti: I’ve never had garden-fresh marinara sauce before this summer. It’s a real treat to eat, tastes fresh, and it’s so easy to make. I froze some portions for those uninspiring winter months. If you’ve come into some tomatoes, this should be on your list!
- Crock-pot Lasagna: Here is a pic of the one I made a few weeks ago. You don’t even need to boil the noodles. There is nothing like making lasagna in the crock-pot. Such a time saver, and tasty, too!
- Drumsticks: I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE those organic drumsticks they sell at Costco for $1.79/lb. I bought some this week we’ll be grilling or crock-potting in the next few days. Last week I found some on clearance at Fred Meyer in the morning and threw them in the crock-pot right when I got home with NOTHING (no seasonings or water) on high so we were able to enjoy drumsticks for lunch. People flavored as desired, which meant for me, BARBECUE SAUCE!
- Low Carb Crock-pot Zucchini Parmesan Turkey Meatballs: Made these a few weeks ago, and I loved having the leftovers for the family! It’s a great way to use up some zucchini, too. Again, I like them with BARBECUE SAUCE!
- Chicken Tacos from my 10 Crock-pot Freezer meals. I need to use a wad of tortillas, so I think I’ll throw this in the mix.
- Crock-pot Sweet and Sour Chicken: This always makes our house smell so good!! This was also part of my 10 crock-pot freezer meal recipes, and knowing that dinner was in the crock-pot all day Thursday let me focus on other things. I always love that! Bad thing is I forgot to make rice, so I made it super fast on the stove top and TOTALLY burned it. This is why I like to make crock-pot rice! I am MUCH less likely to burn it.
- Spicy Ginger Sauce with Chicken and Rice. We are having guests next week, and this is on the menu for them. This is probably my favorite dish to serve guests or to bring to a potluck, if I haven’t decided to try something new on them. I always make a huge batch of this so we are sure to have leftovers.
- Lemony Vinaigrette: Just made some this afternoon. If you haven’t made your own salad dressings before, it’s time. They are so easy to make and so much tastier than store-bought versions.
- Crock-pot Corn on the Cob: I had the opportunity to bring these to two different potlucks as my dad kept stocking me with them. Seriously, if you don’t have a crock-pot, get one. Life is hard. Crock-pots make life easier. I also added the fresh corn on the cob to some tortilla soup I made earlier this week. So yum!
- Crock-pot Bread: It’s been so muggy here that it’s nice to not turn on the oven and still enjoy the smell and taste of fresh bread.
- Creamy Chicken Quesadillas: These look really yummy for the family. I’d have to adapt it for myself being dairy-free, but I think I could try it with my no-cheese nacho “cheese”. I might throw in some kale or zucchini if it’s around because I do that kind of stuff to get more greens into the fam. I saw this recipe on my friend, Kim’s, blog. She blogs at iklugg.com, and you should go check her out! She shares some healthier recipes, some DIY projects, and some about her precious family. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her grow into a lovely lady of the Lord since I’ve known her about half of her life. Now she is a wife and a mommy all the way across the country (we aren’t happy about that fact:). We want you back!!
- Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Salad: Here’s another something from Kim that looks great especially for those nights you only have 30 minutes to get something on the table!
- Leftovers: Gotta love them!
Snacks & Dessert:
- Crock-pot Apple Sauce: I made a couple of batches with our apples, and Abbie (age 6) even made one tiny batch in her Little Dipper Crock-pot. That thing is small! Just cook and stir. No need to blend at all (unless YOU want)! Just keep cooking and stirring until you get your desired texture.
- Fruit Leather in the Oven: So easy! I’ve got to follow directions though, so I get a thicker leather. I get lazy and just smooth some fruit sauce/pureed fruit on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet without looking at a recipe. Get the right amounts. Still great. Just thin. When I make more pear leather I will remedy and use more sauce.
- Dairy-free “Ice Cream”: Have bananas lasted in your house this summer? Bananas here have been turning brown way too quickly, so multiple times a week we’ve been eating dairy-free “ice cream”. I’ve been making it a bit differently by not always freezing the bananas and just adding ice to the blender with the fresh bananas. They blend way easier this way, but the ice cream isn’t as firm. I keep adding more ice until I get the consistency I want. We top our banana “ice cream” with pecans or walnuts and chocolate chips. My friend Keri has a fabulous looking 2 ingredient recipe for chocolate sauce that I keep forgetting to try. Just maple syrup and cocoa powder. You can go here to see the rest of her blog.
- Crock-pot Blackberry Apple Crisp (includes oven directions): It’s blackberry time, which means crisp time! Oh the sweet treat of fall we are enjoying a bit early!
- Almond Butter and Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars: I’ve been doing so much with the produce of the season, I haven’t been keeping up on my go-to snacks. We still have like one or two granola bars left after making a triple batch 3 weeks ago or so (it all blends together), but I need to get going. These are my favorite family snacks because they keep awhile, are tasty, are portable, and I know the ingredients going into them. The kids have been asking for them, and I’ve been holding out and giving them other snack suggestions trying to stretch out these last few bars. Silly!
- Double Chocolate Energy Bars and Homemade KIND Inspired Bars: I told the girls we have to make these for lunches this week! I want them to have a few different healthy quick-to-grab snack options.
- Ellie’s Lemon Lime Smoothie: Here is a pic of Ellie’s creation with a pucker. I add more banana to mine to make it less tart.
Hope you are having a fabulous September! Blessings!!