Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kimmie in Real Life (week 6)

I am learning to be a more

patient person than I ever have been.

I LOVE my calendar in my kitchen as it has the most uplifting and funny quotes that always make me smile!

Here is the quote for this month:
"...and everywhere the flowers bloomed and people laughed and there was peace in the world"!

Anytime, I get feeling a little overwhelmed with life, I just think of this quote and it makes me chuckle and I am instantly put in a happy place with smile on my face...
always put me in a good mood!

I am a VERY organized person with my time...
I am a list person and it has become a joke that Tracy will come home and give me a big hug and kiss and put his hand in my back pocket and pull out my "list for the day".

Until this summer,
I usually accomplished everything I had on my daily lists, however, since I am still doing Physical Therapy each week and we still have Tae-Kwon-Do two nights each week, AND there is endless yard work that needs done, house work that never ends, meals to cook and most of all KIDS TO LOVE,

most days I am doing good to do a fraction of the things on my list that I have to take a moment each day and laugh and most of all feel SO grateful that I live the era of time that I do with washers and dryers and many of the modern conveniences of life that make my crazy life so much easier to deal with each day.

LIFE really is AWESOME,
especially when it's summer time and we enjoy most of our dinners sitting on the porch, enjoying good food, laughter and great conversation one with another!


Here are some of our food highlights for the week.

Our favorite smoothies turned purple this summer...
I was really hoping that one of our Bountiful Baskets would include grapes and yes it did, only they were purple.
SO, we compromised and used purple grapes and limes instead of lemons and it was still just as delicious as we remembered it.
(for our favorite green smoothie recipe click here)
We enjoyed this for three different meals this week.


we enjoyed some leftover cauliflower covered in yummy Hamburger Gravy.
(for recipe click here)

I had VERY excited kids
when they opened the fridge on Tuesday morning to find
Apple Butterflies
sitting on the second shelf in the fridge for their morning snack.

Our Tuesday smoothie
was another favorite this week.

1 cup milk
2 cups strawberries
1 or 2 bananas
1 or 2 tsp. vanilla
1 or 2 cups ice
Blend together until smooth.

This is sure to satisfy
any Strawberry/banana milkshake you might be craving and much healthier!!

Veggies never tasted so good!!
This was one of the most favorite meals of the week.
(click HERE for recipe!)

Muffins and Eggs saved my Wednesday!!
(click here for recipe and original post about this)
Wednesday was by far my most hectic day of the week as I only had about 35 minutes to prepare dinner, between my daily chaos,
SO, I heated up the oven, baked up Cereal muffins and while the muffins were baking, chopped up veggies for our Omelette Eggs.
That way, when we got home from Ethan's Tae-Kwon-Do, we just sauteed the veggies and scrambled the eggs and we had dinner "lickity-split"!!

I noticed some overripe cherries
and so I pitted them and blended them with some other fruits and yogurt and that was MY favorite smoothie of the week!

This photo is priceless...
I LOVE my sweet little boy in his little hat, sitting on a rock, eating dinner while enjoying the beauty of our yard.

I love this little guy
and realized that I had the happiest kid in the world, when I cooked up pasta for dinner. He said that was his favorite meal and asked why I didn't make it more often.
Friday was yet another busy day
without much time to prepare much of anything and so I cooked up our fresh green beans, browned one hamburger patty, added in one jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce and we enjoyed it over pasta spirals with a spoonful of cottage cheese.
I have to admit that it was really quite a yummy meal!

We realized our National Park Pass expired on June 30th and so we knew that we needed to head to our most favorite place on earth
YELLOWSTONE National Park to enjoy the beauty before the craziness of summer sets in even more.
We spent Saturday and Sunday enjoying the beauty and awesome family time together!

We didn't let being on a getaway stop us from being frugal and we brought food from home for every meal.
The only splurge we made was on some yummy ice cream to cool off.
As I get time, I can't wait to share photos and thoughts from our wonderful weekend getaways!

June 20th-26th
Salmon, Green Salad, Lime Drink
Gumdrop bread

Steel Cut Oats
Grape smoothie, grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks
Hamburger gravy over Cauliflower, cantaloupe, lime drink

Steel Cut Oats
Apple Butterflies, Gingersnaps
(Tracy lunch) leftover hamburger gravy, cantaloupe and grapes, apple, gingersnaps
(kids lunch)Strawberry/banana smoothie, tuna fish sandwich
Veggie cobbler, grapes, lime drink

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Leftover Veggie Cobbler, Apple, Cherries, Gingersnaps
(kids)Leftover Veggie Cobbler, grape smoothie
Muffins, Omelette Eggs, Grape Smoothie

Steel Cut Oats
Muffins, boiled eggs, carrot sticks, plums
(kids) muffins, boiled eggs, smoothie
LOTS of lime drink as it was a HOT day
Tracy treated us to Taco Time since it was pay day

Steel Cut Oats
Plums, carrot sticks and veggie sandwiches on Multi-grain bread with lettuce, avocados, tomatoes, pickles and cheese
Tracy bought us a frozen yogurt ($1.00 each) after we took the kids to the Summer movie
Pasta and red sauce with cottage cheese and steamed fresh green beans, lime drink

Steel Cut Oats
Miscellaneous snacks while we drove to Yellowstone (grapes, apple slices, carrot sticks, Gingersnap cookies, licorice, popcorn)
Pasta Salad for lunch
At our campsite for dinner, Tracy boiled up water and we cooked a Ramen up with frozen corn and peas and added in potato flakes to thicken it up. We then popped up a Jiffy Pop to enjoy after dinner

YAY we are enjoying the sunshine and heat from summer and savoring each moment we get to be together each evening!
With good food to eat each day, LOTS of laughter and smiles and wonderful family memories...

LIFE doesn't get any better than this!

Good-bye June...Hello July!

Veggies never tasted so good!

Tracy and I LOVE to go to Barnes and Noble for part of our Friday night dates.

I was browsing through a magazine and noticed this yummy recipe, only I had forgot my notebook that is usually in my purse to write the recipe down and so Tracy took a photo of the recipe, only you couldn't read the numbers part of the ingredients.
SO, I just guesstimated and WOW, did I ever had happy kids when they enjoyed this yummy dish for dinner.

I think this recipe is heading to be in our top five dinners in our family.

I love that when you just have a handful of veggies, you can throw together a healthy, yummy dinner and it is easy to make as well. I also enjoy having recipes that use Butternut Squash.

I also love
that you don't have to use "creamed canned soup" for the sauce.
Once again, just basic food storage ingredients!

JADE loved this so much he ate mine AND his piece for lunch the next day.
A great recipe to add meals to your diet that are meatless and full of LOTS of flavor and nutrition as well!

I always keep Sharp Cheese in my freezer and then just pull out a snack sized bag when I need to add in Parmesan Cheese to a recipe.

I never buy fresh mushrooms and I do NOT like canned mushrooms and so I have containers of Freeze Dried TONES brand mushrooms that I add to recipes calling for mushrooms. They are SO yummy and taste like fresh mushrooms and aren't rubbery liked canned ones.

Veggie Cobbler


1 potato diced

2 stalks celery chopped

2 carrots chopped

1 butternut squash chunked

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup frozen corn

1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli


2 Tbsp. butter

1 onion finely chopped

1/4 cup freeze dried mushrooms (0ptional)

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup flour

1-1/4 cup HOT water

1 tsp. chicken bouillon

1/2 tsp Thyme

1/3 cup freshly grated Sharp Cheese


3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 Tablespoon, plus 1 tsp. sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk
1 large egg lightly beaten

1 Tbsp. oil

all veggies in a pot with enough water to cover veggies...add in 1/4 tsp salt and bring to boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and drain and rinse.

butter and add in onions and mushrooms and saute until tender, stirring often. Stir in the flour and cook stirring non-stop for another 30 seconds. Add in water, bouillon, milk, salt and Thyme and cook until the sauce thickens.

Add in
the vegetables to the sauce and stir well.
Add in cheese and bring to a simmer.
Put in 9x13 pan.

Make the cornbread topping and spread batter evenly over the vegetable mixture. Bake at 400 degrees (about 25 minutes) until cobbler on top is brown and sides are bubbling. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

PS...if you don't have butternut squash, just peel a sweet potato and cut it into chunks instead.  We tried this and it was just as tasty!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer-time Refreshment!

"When life hands you limes...
make Limeade"!

With all of the crazy, out of the ordinary COLD weather we have been having who would have known that three days after it was officially the first day of summer we would be enjoying
82 degree weather

It was funny hearing Ethan saying:
"Maybe it's not always fun to get what you wish for, I mean, we wanted it to be warm, but now it's TOO hot"!!

I then proceeded to tell him
that there is no complaining allowed in our home about the weather and we are going to LOVE every moment of this hot weather as we deal with SO much cold here in Southeast Idaho, we are going to enjoy and savor each day of WARM that we get!

Water is always the drink of choice at our house,
(we don't buy pop or juice) however, our favorite summer-time beverage has always been Yellow or Pink Lemonade, (I buy Lemonade flavored Kool-aid...10 for $1.00--these are the only flavors I buy)
Since I try to limit my kids sugar, only I only use 1/2 cup sugar as I feel it's too sweet to use 1 cup.
2 quarts of cold water
1/2 cup sugar
one packet of Lemonade Kool-Aid

Mix together and enjoy to cool off in the summer.

We now have a NEW favorite...
Refreshing Lime Drink.

This was a recipe that I got from one my close friends and she makes it for every party she throws. The problem was the recipe makes 3 gallons and that is way TOO much for my little family of four.
SO, I have tweaked it so I finally can make up two quarts that is not too sour, not too sweet,
but JUST right!
I can't keep enough of this made up. Every time I think I have plenty, someone finishes it off and then it's back to making another batch.
(BTW...you can purchase Citric Acid at any Health Food store)

Refreshing Lime Drink
2 quarts water
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. Citric Acid
1 capful of Lemon Extract
1 sliced lime
Stir together well. 
Let chill for at least one to two hours and then pull out the limes (if the limes are in the drink for longer than 2 hours, they will make it bitter).
(**DOUBLE the batch to make one gallon)

I mix the sugar/water in the morning before I go to work.
Come home and add in the Citric Acid, Lemon Extract and sliced lime.
Let it sit for 2 hours and then by 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon, when my kiddos are playing hard outside, I have something refreshing and yummy to serve them to quench their thirst and help them cool off a little.

Enjoy a batch of summertime refreshment...
I have happy kids in my house when there's a pitcher of this to be enjoyed in the fridge!!

Happy Summer!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Multi-Grain Rolls!

I totally forgot about this yummy roll recipe,
until Jade reminded me about it last week and begged that I make it.
I found this recipe
when Jade was just a young boy in a 1998 "Martha Stewart Living" magazine.
I made it up years ago and we enjoyed them, only, I ran out of bulgur and haven't bought anymore.

(this shows how I modify things..with my hen scratch that only I can read)

When Jade
asked me last week to make these, I pulled out my recipe and decided to do some modifying to it.
I substituted Steel Cut Oats for the bulgur,
used 1 cup HOT tap water with 1/8 cup dry milk powder for the milk,
reduced the oil and salt,
deleted out
the pepper and oatmeal
and ended up with the most YUMMY creation that really are as good
or BETTER (in Tracy's words)
than anything you would get at a bakery.

I made some rolls AND bread with one batch and the bread made the best grilled cheese sandwiches that have ever been made in the Smith home.

I had to make another batch

to make sure the changes I made were correct and they turned out great again and so we decided it would be a yummy treat to give for Father's Day and we made up a third batch.

Three batches baked in one week and we're NOT sick of them.
It just goes to show you how good they are.

Tracy doesn't really enjoy rolls as a lot of times rolls are yeasty or doughy and so he was a little hesitant to try these as they were SO tall and fluffy.
He was wrong and LOVED them.
They were even great the next day in his lunch that he took. It was the last thing he ate in his lunch as he didn't want to have a doughy, yeasty roll to eat, but he was pleasantly surprised at just how good they were.

Sure to be a crowd pleaser every time for both old AND young and it uses food storage ingredients!

Multi-Grain Rolls/Bread
Bring 2-1/4 cups water
and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil
add in 2/3 cup steel cut oats and reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Let cool

Mix together in mixing bowl
1 cup HOT tap water
1/8 cup dry milk powder
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. yeast
Stir well and let sit 6 minutes until bubbly

Then add to yeast mixture:
Cooled steel cut oats
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs slightly beaten
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

Then add in
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups unbleached flour until you have a nice soft (slightly sticky) dough and knead for 3 minutes.

Put in large bowl and coat well with oil.
Cover and let rise one hour

Punch down
Shape into rolls/loaves (cover with seeds if you like)
Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown
Remove... brush with butter and let cool 15 minutes before un-molding.

HINT....I made 12 rolls and 1 large loaf of bread with one batch. For the seeds, I sprinkled on poppy seeds and some sunflower seeds

These are SO good and not yeasty or doughy at all. I don't think I've made a better batch of rolls than this recipe.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kimmie in Real Life (week 5)

can make
such a

(Jade noticed as we were heading out on our weekly date that we were both wearing brown and so he snapped this photo of us!)

It's amazing how one person can make such a difference.
With Tracy being gone to Scout Camp for the majority of the week, we didn't go through as much food as we usually do. NOT because he is a big eater, but because we only fed three people dinner instead of four people. I didn't think it made that much difference, but it really did.

SO happy to have the love of my life home safe and sound and my boys are THRILLED to have their dad home as well.

I do have a confession to make this week...
I did spend $1.00 at the grocery store. My kids have been begging for our refreshing lime drink since the days are getting hotter and I noticed that our local grocery store had limes on sale 10 for $1.00 and so I went in and picked up 10 limes.

Other than that one expenditure,
I spent the rest of the week using up our Bountiful Baskets and putting our food storage to good use as well.

Here are some Food Highlights from this week.

Every Saturday after we pick our Bountiful Basket, I come home and pull all of the lettuce apart and run each leaf under water and then pat it dry with a paper towel.
I then put the lettuce in a Zip-loc bag
and then get as much air out as I can.
This makes the lettuce last much longer.

Sunday I had good intentions
to make a yummy Sunday evening snack and so I made up Cream Puffs in the afternoon, but got side-tracked helping Tracy get packed and ready for Scout Camp and I totally spaced off making up some pudding to fill the Cream Puffs with,
, I just used them for lunch the next day and filled them with Tuna Salad for sandwiches.
They were delicious!

Our family LOVES real Maple Syrup,
however, it is $13.88 for a jug of this and so to make it stretch I alternate between filling the maple syrup jar with REAL maple syrup and homemade syrup.
After eating our pancakes on Monday evening, we had emptied the jar and so I made a batch of syrup, since the previous filling of the jar was REAL maple syrup.

RECIPE for Homemade Syrup
1 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Mapeleine Extract
Bring water to boil, add in sugar and extract
boil for 10 minutes. Cool and fill jar.

Tuesday was kind of a "clean out the fridge/freezer smoothie.
I even added in the rest of the Bok Choy to the smoothie and the kids never even knew it was in there.

Ethan's comment about Cantaloupe
was priceless this week.

As was cutting open the Cantaloupe Ethan said:
"Mom, that Cantaloupe looks like a brain...that will probably make me really smart"!

This was such a delicious smoothie.
Since I didn't have yogurt, I added in cottage cheese and it was perfectly yummy!
I LOVE making smoothies and my kids LOVE summer-time because we have smoothies many times during the week.

I haven't made this recipe for years.
Jade came with us on Saturday to pick up our Bountiful Basket and he spied the yummy nine-grain bread that they had available.
He asked me
if I would make my rolls that had "seeds" on the top of them.
I made some modifications to the recipe to work with what ingredients I had on hand and these rolls/bread seriously, look and taste like something you would purchase out of a bakery. I ended up baking 3 batches of these this week.
They're so good we are giving them as part of our Father's Day gifts.
(click here for recipe)

This soup also makes the top five
favorite meals we make for dinner.

I love having ingredients on hand that I can quickly throw a pot of soup together.
I pulled out a package of Cooked Wild Rice and Cooked turkey from our freezer and was able to whip up a pot of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup in no time at all.
(for recipe click here)

It was such a novelty to have fresh green beans to enjoy in JUNE and our favorite thing to make with fresh green beans is Shepherd's Pie.
(for recipe click here)

June 13th- 20th
Apple Slices
Tacos and grape and banana kabobs
Garlic Toast and Pasta with white sauce, shrimp and broccoli

Steel Cut Oats
Cream puffs filled with Tuna Salad, grapes, apple slices
Whole Wheat pancakes and scrambled eggs and ham

Steel Cut Oats
Broccoli and carrot sticks with Homemade Ranch
Smoothie and Quesadillas
Multi Grain Rolls and Wild Rice Soup
(my parents stopped by with one hours notice and so I was thrilled that this was a good day and we had yummy soup, rolls and Fresh Lime drink to feed them for dinner)

Steel Cut Oats
Apricots, leftover Wild Rice Soup and toast
Smoothie and toast

ZOOM cereal
Apricots, peanut butter and honey rolls, fresh corn and broccoli
Southwestern Beans and Rice Burritos, carrot sticks

Steel Cut Oats
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, carrot sticks, apple slices, Gumdrop Bread
Shepherd’s Pie and homemade Multi-Grain rolls
(we went up to Scout Camp to watch the boys do their skit and so I made up Shepherd's Pie and rolls that we enjoyed that evening)

Peanut Butter and Jelly on Multi-Grain rolls, milk
Leftover Shepherd's Pie
Carrot Sticks, apple slices, cherries and rolls

Carrot Sticks
Gumdrop bread
Idaho Spud Bars

I'm learning SO much!!
Thursday, Tracy came home from camp for a day to catch up with work, I had Physical Therapy, helped Tracy get gear unloaded from the car and then Ethan had Tae-Kwon-Do at 6:00. We didn't have time to eat dinner before we left and I was SO tired after Ethan was done that I just wanted to say
"Let's Grab a Hot and Ready and head home".
HOWEVER, I didn't give in and instead remembered that we had SouthWestern beans and rice in the freezer (click here for recipe)
and we also had tortillas in the fridge and so I came home and pulled a package out of the freezer, heated it up on the stove and made us burritos for dinner.

It was such a GOOD feeling
to not give into temptation and to keep moving forward with my quest.

My family is SO excited
for all of the yummy things we get to enjoy this week
cherries, grapes, peaches, plums, cantaloupe, more salads and broccoli!!

Life sometimes throws us curve balls and even though life isn't always a cake walk, there is not a day that goes by that I don't say: