Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life! (week 9)

 "Contentment is a state of grace, a state of peace and happiness, appreciation and enjoyment for what is, right now.  
Desires, in contrast, can never be satisfied. 
Once we get what we crave, we soon find it less satisfying than we expected, so we strive for something else. 
The only escape from this perpetual wheel of want is to discover the contentment and perfection we already have".   
Gillian Stokes 
I am very much loving and savoring my afternoons this summer. Summer-time means, that I have kids that gather around the counter while I'm baking, and kids that I talk to as they eat lunch, while I'm making homemade noodles, bread, cookies or whatever else I am making up. I enjoy so much being surrounded by my kids while I'm doing all of my daily activities!
I LOVE my afternoons in the summer and cherish each little moment that I get to spend with my wonderful sons. 
Once school starts and we get back into our school routine, it means that I have 1 to 2 hours to myself after I get off work before the kids get home from school and that is usually when I get all of my cooking (or things started) so that when my kids get home from school I can spend the afternoon with them. 
It’s a bitter sweet time  
in that I love the 12 weeks of summer vacation because LOTS of one on one time with my kids is so wonderful, 
HOWEVER, it means I go from work to home and never have any real time for ME. The moment I enter in the door, there are kids greeting me at the car wanting to tell me all about their morning, asking what we're having for lunch, wanting me to sit and read to them, or work on projects with them.
It's amazing how having just 30 minutes or an hour of YOU time can make all of the difference in the world.   
Until August 24th,
I will just hold onto and savor, cherish and enjoy ALL of the time I get with my wonderful sons Jade and Ethan,
because one day I will surely look back and LONG for these sweet moments again with my kids!

Here are food highlights 
from our past week!
We enjoyed our Sunday Dinner in our back yard...
Cabbage Soup, Artisan Bread and Refreshing Lime Drink.
It was such a great time!
(Artisan Bread was served perfectly on the cute heart plate I got from my sweet friend Tauna!)

Took leftover potato casserole 
 browned it up with a little bit of ham, topped with salsa and we enjoyed a yummy lunch, using leftovers that we had from last week.
KIDS loved this!
Fruit Kabobs added excitement to this lunch!

Put my homemade yogurt to work and made a batch of Multi-Grain Yogurt bread.
Was SO delicious and a fun change of pace. This is a bread recipe that anyone could make as Wheat Germ and Wheat Bran both keep in the freezer and so if you don't have a wheat grinder and don't want to purchase wheat flour, this is SO yummy and easy to make with basic food storage ingredients.
It was a decadent treat for the kids and Tracy and we ate a whole loaf for dinner!  OOPS!
The next day we finished off the other loaf by making Tuna sandwiches.
This bread is PERFECT sandwich bread!

We had "Rooster Noodle Soup" as Tracy and the boys called it as it was a rooster that has been annoyingly waking us up every morning.
Simmered it all night, made homemade egg noodles, homemade cream of chicken soup replacement added in onions, carrots, celery and we had the most delicious soup ever! Love this soup recipe! This soup truly is COMFORT FOOD!
(even though my sister-in-law thinks it is "Amish" to make homemade noodles)

Last year Tracy commented that we need to always have ingredients on hand to make Homemade Salted Nut Rolls 
 as they are SO good, so at any given time I always have at least one bag of peanut butter chips, salted peanuts and mini marshmallows on hand to make these up.
SO very yummy and great to make in the dog days of summer when you want to keep from heating up your house as much as possible.   Sad that we used the last of the ingredients for these, so when we finally are in the mode of going shopping again come September, I will have to purchase ingredients to make more of these.

While Tracy and I were on our date, Tracy informed me he was going to buy some "Half and half" and make a decadent homemade ice cream for the boys.  I said
"Remember, we are going 3 months with no shopping"
and he nicely informed me that I was the one who was doing the challenge and so I just turned my head as he bought half and half. Also last week as you can tell, HE treated us to dinner while we were out and about.
However, I still remain meticulously honest in sticking to the guidelines I lined out for myself
($20.00 of weekly produce and a gallon of milk every other week)all other meals made out of things in our food storage.
He was craving homemade pie and thought it would be a nice gesture to take a hot pie and our ice cream machine out and enjoy the evening with his parents and so that is what we did. Pulled pie cherries from my freezer, whipped up a pie and we headed over after it came out of the oven and  plugged in our ice cream maker when we arrived at their house and made ice cream to go with it.

Absolutely delicious and since that was the only dessert to eat, my kids both LOVED it and wanted to make sure that we had more cherries to make up more pie again.

To make Taco Meat stretch,
I add in cooked beans in with the Ground Beef. Since I didn't have time to un-thaw cooked beans from my freezer, I added in a can of Kidney Beans and Black Beans from my food storage and it about doubled my Taco filling.
(just cooked up the ground beef, added in 1/3 cup taco seasoning and 2/3 cup water, brought to boil and added in drained beans and let simmer for 30 minutes).
This is really kid friendly as it makes it not so spicy for little ones.
We made homemade tortillas and lined bowls and made Taco Salads.
I took the leftover tortillas and made a bunch of burritos with the leftover Taco fixins
AND froze the rest of the leftover Taco Meat to pull out for a future meal. 

It's almost time for our yearly backpacking trip and so I pulled out my dehydrator and dried up some pineapple and bananas to add to our NUTS for some trail mix.
Ethan has been devouring books all summer and is always asking me to make Ranch Popcorn for him to enjoy while reading.  
This time I put some dried fruit on top and these were the words I heard out of his mouth: 
"Mom, I LOVE that dried is so sweet
and I think it is better than candy"

Lemon Bread...
such a wonderful treat for my family.  
We couldn't get enough of this bread this week!

Savoring our Summer-Time smoothies 
that we have almost everyday!!
Once the kid get back in school, 
we usually only enjoy smoothies on the weekends!

We went to my parents property near Lava Hot Springs and I was asked to bring bread for French Toast. SO, I made my French Bread recipe, divided it in half and made a loaf of French Bread and some homemade buns for BBQ pork that we were having for dinner.  
This worked out perfect!  

July 24-30
Homemade yogurt with fresh fruit/crumbled Gingersnaps,
Green smoothie, Buttermilk pancakes
Cabbage Soup, toasted Artisan Bread, lime drink

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Cabbage Soup, Artisan Bread toast, bananas, Gingersnaps
(kids and I) Took leftover ham and browned it up with leftover Potato Casserole and served it with Fresh Fruit Kabobs
Chicken Noodle Soup (broth made from our rooster we butchered), made with homemade egg noodles
Hot Cherry Pie and Homemade Ice Cream

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Chicken Noodle Soup, cherries, banana, Cherry Pie
(kids and I) Green Smoothie, Bean dip and chips, Cherries was SO hot that we made up our yummy smoothie creation with homemade yogurt, banana, mango, pineapple, ice and vanilla...Tracy was AMAZED at how good it was...he thinks we should open a smoothie shop as this would be a TOP seller as well! Open faced tuna/tomato sandwiches on Multi-Grain Yogurt Bread
(Got another batch of yogurt going)
(Dehydrated bananas and pineapple)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Tuna sandwich on homemade bread, cherries, bananas, Huckleberry cordial
(kids and I) Tuna Sandwiches, Green Smoothie,
Lemon Bread
Chicken Noodle Soup, Refreshing Lime Drink
(made a batch of Salted Nut Rolls)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Tuna sandwich, sliced tomatoes, Lemon Bread, Grapes, Banana
(kids and I) Leftover Chicken Soup, Lemon Bread
(snack) Ranch Popcorn with dried bananas and pineapple
Taco Salad with homemade tortillas and the lettuce, chives and cilantro were from our garden

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Homemade burrito, apple, grapes, homemade Salted Nut Rolls
(Kids and I) Homemade burritos, Green Smoothie
Lemon Bread
(dinner at my parents house)

(enjoyed time with my parents and siblings enjoying great conversations and time spent together and delicious food)

Hope this finds you all having a wonderful summer! 
We are sure having a wonderful time...
getting ready in the next few days to have 10 days off from work in a row to enjoy our yearly backpacking trip as a family, then after that, kids are going to spend a few days at their grandparents house and Tracy and I are going to have a little getaway ourselves.  
Can't believe the kids start school in 3 weeks from today!
Summer is flying by too fast!
So, Kimmie in Real Life will return on August 17th!
 I hope you all have a wonderful 2 weeks 
 and I can't wait to be back visiting your blogs AND sharing all of the FUN that we are experiencing as well!
(there will be a post in the next few days and then after that, nothing until the 17th)



Connie said...

The homemade tortillas look perfect! Every time I see pictures of your hoagie rolls, my mouth waters! You know how to work your food storage better than anyone I have EVER seen! I had to smile about Tracy buying half & half. I know that's what my hubby would do.
You're so wise to spend precious time with your sons. You're right about the time will come that you'll look back on this time and long for it. You should have no regrets, however. You're a good mom!
I hope you have a super fun time on your backpacking trip and on your own get-away.
Take care. Thanks for all these delicious recipes.

Garden of Egan said...

Where have I been????
You've had two posts!
I can't let that happen again.

I was going to email you and ask you if you had used fresh pineapple, then I read on!

It looks like this week was another amazing week in the Smith household.

You've convinced me to make yogurt because that yogurt bread looks so yummy. What is it about other pictures of peoples cooking that looks so magical?

Once again, I come away from your blog inspired.

If blogs were my recipe books....yours would have all the splatters on it. (that's how I'm able to find my favorite recipes in my recipe books, I look for the splattered pages.)

Oh my goodness! Have so much fun on your getaway! You are going to have such a blast!
Looking forward to seeing the pictures of the awesome places you go.