Monday, July 26, 2010

Kimmie in Real Life (week 10)

Fridge and Freezer
is what I did this week!

I LOVE Bountiful Baskets

but this is not really conducive for summer-time as you have to be around on the weekends to pick it up and we have been out of town the past two weekends and we will also be out of town these next few weeks as well.
I decided to clean out my fridge
and use up our "wilted" celery, delicious corn, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots we got from the last basket we purchased 2 weeks ago.

I realized how true one of my favorite quotes by Catherine Pulispher was this week
"Being frugal does not mean being cheap!
It means being economical and avoiding waste."

It was rewarding
to make delicious soup and Noodle Parmesan out of veggies that most people would have thrown out because they had gone "limp" but they made delicious dinners that my kids and hubby just loved!!

We were only together for 3-1/2 days as a family this week and then it was just Tracy and I as our kids enjoyed spending four days with Grandparents, so I don't have as much to share this week.

These are the food highlights
from our time together:

This is one of Tracy's yummy creations
that we had for Sunday dinner. I always forget how yummy it is.
(I'm not much of a pasta lover, but this is SO good)
Click here for recipe

Since it was a "Clean out the fridge/freezer" week,
I noticed a container of Huckleberry ice cream we had made a few weeks ago and so I put this in our Vita-Mix, added in bluberries, strawberries and pineapple and I had the kids begging and promising we could make this smoothie up again!

This soup recipe was perfect
for using up celery and carrots

and the leftovers made PERFECT lunch the next day.
Since the noodles in the soup absorbed quite a bit of the liquid after it had been refrigerated overnight, it was quite thick and so the leftovers were more like a "goulash", but adding a scoop of cottage cheese on topped felt like you were eating Lasagna and was perfect!
Yummy Minestrone Soup recipe click here

It was time to have a
"Primitive Bread making day"

and so I baked bread from start to finish with just my hands (no mixers at all).
This Whole Wheat Bread recipe is the one I have been making for the past 20 years.
For this yummy, easy to make bread recipe click here

It seems like every time I make up Spaghetti for dinner, there is always just a little bit of sauce leftover and no noodles.
SO, in moments like this, I just put the leftover sauce in a Zip-loc freezer bag and freeze it and then on nights, when we are having a light dinner and want to make up some Bread Sticks, I just pull the sauce out, heat it up and we have something yummy for dipping delicious hot Bread Sticks.

As I was cleaning out the fridge,
I had a container of frosting leftover from making cupcakes a few weeks ago.
Lucky that we had one lonely package of graham crackers left and we frosted them up and it made the perfect afternoon snack on a hot summers day.

When I came across the package of Graham Crackers in our food storage room, I also came across our last package of Crackers.
As I was pulling out fruit from our freezer to make a smoothie, I noticed a package of Crab flakes and so I made up a yummy crab dip to enjoy with our crackers.
1 package crab flakes
2 large slices of onion finely chopped
4-5 stalks of celery finely chopped
about 1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream
1 to 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
about 1 to 2 Tbsp. dry Ranch Salad Dressing mix sprinkled on...
mix altogether, let chill and enjoy with crackers and veggies

This may not look like the tastiest lunch,
but it was by far my favorite meal this week!
It was because I was on a day hike with my best friend and hubby.
We hiked into and explored the Darby Wind Cave
and then sat on some comfy rocks while we watched the waterfall and ate apples, bean dip, (Tracy had bought a can of Bean Dip to make yet another backpacking stove) chips and Homemade Granola Bars.
July 24th was absolutely
100% perfect in every way!

July 18th to 24th
Creamy Noodle Parmesan
Apple Slices

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Leftover Noodle Parmesan, apples pudding cups
(kids) Tuna Melts, Smoothies
(snack) Cantaloupe and Hot Bread out of the oven and jam
Minestrone and Whole Wheat Bread

Steel Cut Oats
Leftover Minestrone and Cottage Cheese,
Cantaloupe, Pudding Cups
Corn on the Cob, Salad, Bread Sticks and dipping sauce
Pecan Pie Bars


Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy had lunch at the District Office)
Ethan has leftover Minestrone & Bread Sticks
Jade had leftover salad and Bread Sticks
Frosted Grahams, Bananas


Steel Cut Oats
Crab Dip, Crackers, Apples Pecan Pie Bars
DATE NIGHT!! Went and split Fajitas at Gringo’s...brought home the leftovers

Steel Cut Oats
Apples, Crab Dip and Crackers
(dinner) Leftover Fajitas and Lime Drink

Steel Cut Oats
DAY HIKE TO Darby Canyon Wind Cave
Trail Food….bananas, grapes, Homemade Granola Bars, Apples, Chips and Dip, Jerky, Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s (chips, jerky and M&M's were all pulled from our food storage room)
After our day of hiking we enjoyed burgers at Burger King in Driggs Idaho

The Second highlight of my week was...
my kiddo's made it home safe and sound

and the first words uttered out of Jade's mouth were:
"I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow to have Steel Cut Oats and will you make some yummy soup for dinner"?

Life is busy, busy, but OH so Good!
It's going to be a hectic next two weeks with three days going on a Pioneer Youth Trek this week and then preparing for and going on a four day backpacking excursion next week so
"Kimmie in Real Life" will return on August 10th!

Have a Happy, Healthy
and most of all FUN week!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Some of life's amazing moments!

July 20th, 2010

I sent off my babies
to spend a few days with their grandparents. This is always SUCH a bitter/sweet time for me.

SWEET...that my kids get some "one on one" time to create memories with their grandparents
SWEET...because Tracy and I get some great "alone time".
BITTER...because I MISS my kids greatly when they are not here and I always tend to worry about them more than usual....
the bitter always turns to SWEET once they are home safe and sound.

I came home to an empty and QUIET house.
I actually can say that I miss the "noise" of kids.
I missed coming in the door and hearing Ethan's same greeting that he has said everyday this summer:
"Okay mom, close your eyes...I have a surprise to show you"

and then he opens the dishwasher and shows that the dishes are all neatly put away.
I missed
Jade saying: "So mom, how was your day today" as he comes over and massages my shoulders.

I always wonder how well I'm teaching my kids to do chores and be a helping member of our family and then when they are not there, I realize REAL QUICK just how much my sweet little kids do.

Ethan always empties the garbages, takes care of dishwasher duties, folds and puts his clothes away, waters all of the trees in our back yard, fills the Dixie Cups in the bathrooms and MANY other things we ask him to do.
JADE always does the animal chores of making sure our chickens and dog have fresh food and water every day, mows the lawn, does his laundry, takes buckets of water to a tree on the side of our house that we are trying to keep alive, vacuums the house and cleans his room, etc...He is always quick to help in "tidying things up" when the house has got disorderly.

My boys are awesome and amazing and do SO much to help our home run smoothly and help their parents out.

Anywho, last week we had two amazing moments...

I was fixing dinner in our kitchen
and looked out our back window and noticed that everything had a weird orange cast to it.
It was strange
because the sky was bright blue and there was no hint of color at all in the sky.

I walked out our garage door
and here is what I saw...
this gorgeous beauty!!

There was a several thousand acre fire going on in the Arco desert and the way the sun was reflecting off the smoke created these amazing colors.
I have never seen such
an electric, colorful sky in my life.

My handsome hubby
with the gorgeous colorful sky.

The view to the East of our house.

The view to the West of our house

I LOVE how the sky goes
from the smoky clouds to the vibrant blue.

The view to the North of our house
and my cute little Ethan enjoying riding his bike enjoying the unique sky.

Truly amazing!!

We sent Jade off to his weekly Young Men's activity and the headed into Rexburg to get some parts so Tracy could get our garden watering system up and running...

There were SO many cars up by the Temple
and people all over taking photos trying to get that PERFECT was truly astounding!
(I wish I had my camera with me but at least we had Tracy's iPhone)

Another great photo...

And the last of the FIRE and colorful sky!
Within an hour the sky was hazy and the color was gone.

Saturday July 17th, 2010
We went to a family reunion in Alpine, Wyoming over the weekend. One of the activities we do is float the Hoback. My cousins love to take everyone that wants to go for a run down the river.
We went
on the last run on Saturday afternoon.
We took 2 rafts and there were 13 people on each raft.
Barbie and Boston
were our Captains...we rode on Boston's raft.

I have to chuckle as Tracy always writes in his Journal about the weeks activities during Sacrament meeting and showed me what he wrote about our river adventure. He said "Kimberly had a great time, although she was a little tentative".
Well, if that didn't have me fuming mad...."tentative"?!??
REALLY, that's what you thought about your wife?

I mean, I am an adventurer...
Kimmie is a "YES" girl!!

I love to backpack, I'm perfectly fine to pee in the woods, camp and sleep in a tent in the mountains for days with no shower, go on the "Sky Coaster" at Lagoon, Ride the "Big Shot"on top of the Stratosphere, jump off the highest platform dive at Lava Hot name the event, I usually won't turn it down and I will love every moment of it!!

SO, as I've had time to reflect this week about being "Tentative", yes , I can say I was a little apprehensive...not that I don't just LOVE going out on the river.
Some of my first and favorite memories from childhood were on the seven day rafting trip my parents took me on when I was nine. Tracy and I have LOVED each year at the reunions and never missed one of the float trips when we have gone to the reunions.

HOWEVER, this time I had a different variable involved...
this was the first time my babies were on the raft with me.
I was a little nervous because I know going over "BIG KAHUNA" there would be some pretty rough rapids. Ethan's life vest was a little bigger than it should have been and so I was being a little more cautious than normal. Mainly, because Ethan is a little bit of a dare devil and didn't quite understand the danger of the river. He kept on wanting to have us let him jump in the river when we were going through the rapids.

NEEDLESS to say,
we had one AMAZING time and my kids LOVED the river and BEGGED to go back the next day.

Happy that my kids love the river,
because we are going to be filling our summer-time with rafting trips now...

with Tracy's amazing "score" of a
12 foot, seven person
Avon Redshank Raft
that he purchased at a garage sale.
It's in great shape, been taken very well care of, holds air perfectly and he got it
for the amazing, out of this world price of $ read that right... twenty-five dollars! (New in the mid 90's this raft would have been nearly $1700 and even today, they go for half that much.)

Can't wait
to have a weekend where we don't have any other plans and we can take a nice float down the river as a family.
I need to hone up
my rafting skills so I can be Tracy's "First mate" in our river floating adventures.

And for memory sake,
I came home to this sweet note from "Mr. Smith" lying on my kitchen counter. Since mornings in the summer are hectic for Tracy, with getting kids lined out with chores, morning walks with Jade and getting to work earlier than during the school year, it means, I usually don't get notes left too often.
When I do get one,
especially when it's out of the blue
these are TREASURES to me!

I'm so lucky,
so in love and all I can say is
with all of it's "amazing moments"!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Homemade Tortillas!

This is a kind of a repost.
Okay, so I have had several people ask for my
Tortilla Recipe

(without the enchiladas recipe) and so here it is.
SO, easy to make and
SO yummy to eat!!

Flour Tortillas
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder (heaping..don't level it off)
1/2 cup oil
1-1/3 cup HOT water

Mix dry ingredients together and the add in hot water and oil. Mix until it forms a ball of dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest 15 minutes

Uncover and form into balls (10 or 12) just larger than a golf ball. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise 30 minutes to 1 hour. (I let mine go the full hour)

Flatten and roll out and cook on HOT griddle. Turn them when bubbles appear. After pulling them off the griddle, stack them on a plate and cover with a towel and then once they're all cooked, store in a Ziploc bag to keep them moist and pliable.

These are absolutely amazing

and make great burritos, soft tacos, Quesadillas, OR, are great to put in a bowl and then pile on fixins' for a Taco Salad.


Kimmie in Real Life (week 9)

Waste Not...Want Not!

Those were the words
I had going over and over in my mind this week!

Week nine of what you ask?

For those new to my Blog, we are on the "home-stretch" of paying off a large debt we have had since Ethan's birth eight years ago. Also we have been "honing" our Provident Living skills over the past few years, so we decided it might be fun to try living off food storage and not going shopping at the grocery store for three months and putting our money we would normally spend on major food expenses towards paying off this debt so it can be wiped out in three months instead of six months
That being said we are:
getting a weekly Bountiful Basket,
buying a gallon of milk every other week and
living off our food storage.
I am documenting all of our meals and frugal things we do each week for my journal. It has been a fun challenge to put the phrase "Provident Living" into real life living for our family and to show how really good and healthy you can eat doing these three things!
To read more about this challenge click Here

We got Brussel Sprouts
in our Bountiful Basket and so we steamed these up for dinner on Sunday.
Jade has been begging for me to make up some kind of Alfredo/Fettuccine and so this what I did to make the white sauce for our Pasta that was really quite good and is something that I will definitely make again. The fresh garlic really gives it some good flavor AND as usual, I always have sharp cheese in my freezer to pull out to grate on Pasta dishes that we make up.

Homemade Alfredo Sauce
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp. corn starch
1- 1/2 cups milk
Grated Parmesan or Sharp Cheese

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 3-5 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch and milk with wire whisk and then slowly add to garlic and butter. Bring to boil until thickened. Stir in grated cheese, pour over your choice of cooked pasta and enjoy!

My kids just stirred it into their Brussel Sprouts.
Tracy and I enjoyed it with a sprinkling of Crushed Red Pepper
I think this would be really good if you added in some steamed broccoli too.

was my last day of Physical Therapy and since our weekend was a little hectic and I didn't get as many things done as I wanted to, it meant I spent all afternoon watering everything in my yard and so I was SO happy to have had a few bags of Chili in our freezer to pull out for dinner.
(Chili Recipe)

I'm sad to admit it, but I have been known to have leftover baked potatoes in my fridge and cut them up and give them to my chickens to eat. (It doesn't feel like I'm wasting, if my chickens are eating it)

HOWEVER, this week
I pulled out the potatoes,
melted a pat of butter in the frying pan,
peeled and cut the potatoes up really small
and cooked them until they were a little crunchy.

That was the perfect accompaniment

to our Chili and I will definitely be doing that again!

It really goes to show that necessity is the mother of invention and had I not been in such a frugal mind set I would not have thought to do that...
and in Tracy's words
that is one of the best bowls of Chili he has had.

This was Ethan's favorite meal this week!
He has been begging for poached eggs, since he has never had them before and so I pulled out my poached egg cups and washed them off and made these for him.
A slice of Zucchini bread and juicy nectarines made these eggs perfect!

We made up a batch of cupcakes
to take as and "un-birthday" treat to a cute little girl in our neighborhood. I decided to jazz them up and put a fresh strawberry from our garden on top of them.
They were absolutely delicious!!

Yes, I did venture out and make homemade tortillas this week, since that was the only way I could make up my Veggie Enchiladas.

I tried so hard to make them round
but by the time you pull them off the counter after you have rolled them out, they stretch and turn into all kinds of weird shapes. Needless to say, they were SO yummy in our Enchiladas (because it doesn't matter what shape they are when you put filling on them and roll them and put them in the pan).

These also tasted great the next day
when I made a Quesadilla to go with my salad.

I found this tortilla recipe
in one of our Food Storage cookbooks

and I will definitely be making these more often.
The flavor of them compared to store bought is not even comparable.
They are MUCH better!
(recipe for Tortillas and Enchiladas found

Guess what was the favorite part of this meal for my kids?
The Veggies of course!
I lightly steamed up summer squash, white Asparagus and baby carrots. I felt bad when the kids asked if they could have more veggies and there wasn't any more cooked up to give them.

The meat was some two year old pork that I found in the freezer when I was taking inventory of what we have available.
I cooked it on low
all day in the crock pot and then before serving gave a few shakes of BBQ sauce that I had in our fridge and heated it through.
Put that on top of a Multi-Grain roll and it was fabulous!!

This week
only worked out to making one smoothie.

These ingredients always blend together to make the perfect smoothie!
Very satisfying and refreshing!

This weeks home-made treats!!

The kiddos (and Tracy's Scouts) very much enjoyed the orange rolls! I forget how YUMMY they really are.

Tracy had hinted all week that it had been awhile since we had made up Multi-Grain rolls. I have to agree, they are SO delicious and something I need to make up more often.

Such yummy things that we enjoyed this week!

White Cupcakes (click here)
Multi-Grain Rolls (click here)
Double Chocolate Cookies (click here)
Orange Rolls (click here)

While we don't eat too many chips or snack foods,
I always buy 10 to 15 cans of Lays Stax in the winter-time when they are on sale for less than a dollar.

They usually have a shelf-life of over a year and so they won't go stale before we use them up. It is so nice to be able to go down and grab a can of these when we are headed on summer picnic to "jazz up" our Tuna Salad sandwiches a bit.
I really like the size of these as they just fit perfectly in our picnic bag and don't take up much space at all. They are the perfect travel snack.

We went to a family reunion on Saturday
and so I baked up French Bread for our sandwiches.

Boiled up some eggs and mixed them with Tuna, chopped pickles and Mayo and Mustard for our sandwich fixins (we also brought sliced tomatoes and lettuce for them as well)
We had apple slices, chips and I made up some homemade pudding cups.
It was tasty, quite nutritious and Frugal!

(July 11th to July 17th)


Pork/veggies sandwiches
Homemade Alfredo sauce over pasta and Brussel Sprouts

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Granola Cereal and milk, bowl of fresh blueberries, apple
(kids) bowl of fresh blueberries, bowl of green grapes, French Toast
Chili over fried potatoes (pulled chili from the freezer…peeled up the potatoes we had baked up last week) and chopped them up and fried them with a little pat of butter

Steel Cut Oats
Cantaloupe and grapes
Poached eggs, zucchini bread and nectarines
Vegetarian Enchiladas
Cup Cakes

Steel Cut Oats
Grapes, leftover enchiladas, Cup Cakes
Multi-Grain Rolls, BBQ pork, steamed carrots, asparagus and summer squash
Double Chocolate cookies

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) BBQ on Multi-Grain Rolls, apple, banana and Double Chocolate cookies
(kids) Smoothie, banana, melted Cheese on Multi-Grain rolls
(kimmie) Salad for dinner, Quesadilla
(Tracy and the boys…Dutch Oven dinner at Scout camp-out)

Steel Cut Oats
(I had to work and so Tracy and the kids were back from their camp-out when I got off work).We brewed up Moroccan Mint tea and munched on Orange rolls and cookies from our neighbors all afternoon (I know it was a healthy day, wasn't it?) (wink)
Kids had Chicken Cordon Bleu (from our freezer) and cooked carrots
Tracy and I shared a Nacho Mucho at Plum Loco

Toast and apple slices
Picnic…apples, tuna salad sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, chips, pudding cups
Pot-luck dinner at family reunion.

Each day when I feed my family
I feel SO very blessed that we have such nourishing, simple and yummy things to eat. I reflect quite often on how other people are living in other countries with sometimes only a bowl of rice to eat each day and I never feel tempted to grumble one bit.
It is quite the opposite...
I daily take time to "count my many blessings"!

Happiness is...
having a home full of love, having a spouse and kids that are happy and healthy and having daily nourishment for both body and mind!
SO grateful
that I have all three of these in much abundance in my life!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Homemade Enchiladas!

Homemade Enchiladas
remind me of my dating days with Tracy.

This was
the first meal I made up for him when I invited him over to have dinner during the Christmas Break at college. Although the filling was different, (I just used onions, cheese and ground beef) the recipe for the sauce and assembly is the same.

I still remember his comment about
"are you sure that's not too much Chili Powder"

as I dumped it into the pan. His family was big Cayenne pepper lovers and so he thought Chili Powder had the same "KICK" as Cayenne Pepper did.

This spring
as I was shopping at the grocery store,

I took a shortcut to get to the registers and went down the Mexican Food aisle and noticed a girl picking up a can of Enchilada Sauce and it was $1.71 for the can. OUCH!!
That is so expensive
, compared to how cheap it is to make it from scratch. Here is how easy, economical and yummy it is to make homemade enchiladas with basic Food Storage ingredients.

After trying many kinds of fillings, I really enjoy just a bunch of steamed veggies, with maybe a little sprinkling of some roast, however, the possibilities are endless to what you can put in these.

Flour Tortillas
4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder (heaping..don't level it off)
1/2 cup oil
1-1/3 cup HOT water

Mix dry ingredients together and the add in hot water and oil. Mix until it forms a ball of dough. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest 15 minutes

Uncover and form into balls (10 or 12) just larger than a golf ball. Cover with damp cloth and allow to rise 30 minutes to 1 hour. (I let mine go the full hour)

Flatten and roll out and cook on HOT griddle. Turn them when bubbles appear. After pulling them off the griddle, stack them on a plate and cover with a towel and then once they're all cooked, store in a Ziploc bag to keep them moist and pliable.

These are absolutely amazing
and make great burritos, Quesadillas, OR, are great to put in a bowl and then pile on fixins' for a Taco Salad.


Homemade Enchiladas

8-10 flour tortillas
2-3 cups grated cheese
cream cheese
finely chopped onions

(for filling)
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 bell pepper thinly sliced
Fresh Corn (I cut the corn off 2 ears of corn)
1 to 2 summer squash OR 1 medium zucchini squash
2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
Saute together with 1 Tbsp butter and a few Tbsp of water until tender

(for sauce)
In a saucepan:
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter
add in and stir well
3 heaping Tbsp. flour
1-1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
add in
4 cups water, mix well with wire whisk and cook until thickened

Spread tortillas with a thin layer of cream cheese.
Dip tortillas in sauce and then put a spoonful filling and a handful of grated cheese in the middle and then roll up and put in a 9x13 pan. Do this until you have 8-10 filled tortillas.

After all the tortillas are rolled up in pan, sprinkle with more cheese and finely chopped onions and rest of sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.

**(you can also use shredded beef, cooked ground beef, or cooked chicken for the filling, instead of the veggies...if you use meat instead of the veggies eliminate the cream cheese )

Great topped with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream