Category Archives: kid friendly

Menu Plan Monday January 25, 2016 Edition

The Snowpocalypse of 2016 thankfully missed our house. The kids got to enjoy three days off from school though. They played outside and went sledding with the little bit of snow we did get.  They had lots of fun and thoroughly enjoyed their mini vacation. They were off Monday too for Martin Luther King day so they only went one day this week. Not that they were complaining by any chance!
This week’s menu features great buys that I got from Aldi’s and Kroger’s. If you have never checked out Aldi’s do so. They have a whole line of gluten free products called LiveGFree which includes frozen foods like Blueberry Pancakes, Cheese Pizzas and even Chicken Nuggets and snacks like Double Chocolate Brownie Muffins. Another line they have is called Fit & Active which is their lower fat line. We personally like the Fit & Active® Lean Turkey Polska Kielbasa. It’s great sliced into spaghetti sauce for baked spaghetti casserole.
My big savings this week was a Cook’s ham at Kroger. The ham was an eleven pound ham for a little over eight dollars that was originally listed for $22.00. I’m cooking it right now and once it cools, I’ll divide it into meal sized portions to freeze. I have a FoodSaver® 4980 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System that I picked up from Costco before the holidays started. This has really saved our family time and money since I can buy food in bulk and divide it into portions for our family.

Menu Plan for January 25- January 31

Funeral Sandwiches (recipe courtesy of Clever Housewife,
Dutch Apple Pie w/ Whipped Cream (Aldi’s special – twenty five cents for the pie!)
Baked Pork Chops
Cheesy Julienne Potatoes
Mixed Vegetables
Salisbury Steaks
Steamed Rice
Green Beans
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Garlic Bread
 (Darling husband is cooking tonight. I’ll be out of town with Gabriel at an appointment.)
Hot Dogs
Macaroni and Cheese
Baked Beans
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Sweet Peas
Breakfasts: Cereal, French Toast, Mickey Waffles, Oatmeal etc
Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches, etc
I was looking for something pretty for this post and I came across this lovely painting. It’s called Midsummer’s Eve and was painted in 1908 by British painter Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914). Hughes worked mainly in watercolors and was part of the artistic movement called Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. With all the cold weather everyone has been having lately, I thought a picture of something warm would be great.
Until next time…

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Filed under breakfast, chicken, cooking, delicious, dinner, Dinner. Lunch. Menu Plan Monday, family, food, freezer, huband, january, kid friendly, kids, menu, menu plans, nutrious, recipes, savings, Spaghetti, storm, vegetables

Review and Giveaway!

What happens when you take fifteen of the best loved songs from one of YouTube’s most popular family friendly channels and put them on DVD? You get Super Simple Songs – Video Collection 1.  I recently got a copy of this great DVD to review with my kids and boy was it a hit!

Super Simple Learning was incorporated in 2009 in Tokyo, Japan by some North American school teachers. These folks were teaching English at a children’s English school but they were having trouble finding songs that were both simple and fun enough to engage their little learners. So they started making their own. This first group of songs became the CD Super Simple Songs CD. This led to the creation award-winning CDs, books, and other learning materials are used in homes and classrooms around the world. They are currently located to Seattle, Washington.

Super Simple Learning was voted one of Time Magazine‘s 50 Best Websites of 2013, Super Simple Learning produces awards winning DVDs, CD’s and books for children under age 5, young children who are learning English as a second language or special needs students.  Their website has over 600 printable pages of teaching resources plus a “free” resources page that has worksheets, flashcards and tons of other great things. Trust me when I say these are great for anyone who works with young learners. You can visit their store at

My kids loved this DVD! Even my 10 year was watching and singing right along with her younger brothers. The bright colors and catchy songs make this DVD a “win” . Nickolaus enjoyed singing along with the catchy tunes that included Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Rain Go Away (In fact he is watching it for the third time in less than 24 hours as I type this review. Normally if it’s not superhero related he could care less but this DVD has his full undivided attention! Score one for Super Simple Learning!)

Now here is the fun part for you all. Super Simple Learning is letting me give away one copy of Super Simple Songs -Video Collection 1 to a lucky reader.
Just follow the simple directions below so you can win a copy of this great DVD.

The rules are simple and easy:
1) You must be following my blog. Please put your name in the comments section below.

2)Only one entry per person/email! Multiple entries will be deleted. Everyone should have the same chance to win.

3) will be used to pick the winner. Winner will be chosen next Monday October 7th, 2013.

4) I’ll post the name of the lucky winner Monday evening. If you’re the winner I’ll be in touch with you to get your information so your DVD can be shipped to you. (They ship pretty fast. They shipped my DVD on Wednesday and I had it in my hands on Saturday afternoon. I’m not gonna lie, I was impressed with the speed in which it came)

Good Luck everyone!!

Until next time…

super simple



Filed under 2013, baby, boy, Children, easy, Emily, family, Gabriel, homeschooling, kid friendly, kids, reading, schooling, Schools

Better Bacon

We all love bacon. I mean how can you NOT like bacon. It’s chocked fully of smoky salty porky goodness. Plus it has become a staple in things like cupcakes, sandwiches, vodkas and even chocolate bars. Just about every state now has a bacon festival of some kind or another.
 Now recently I started experimenting with bacon to see how I could make it better. After some testing and very willing taste testers I came up with Better Bacon. Better Bacon is a sweet slightly smoky bacon that is the best bacon ever for grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. Plus it’s super easy to do and since it’s done in the oven your stove top is free for you to use.
I would recommend using a good brand name bacon for Better Bacon. There are some store brands out there that are really great but you want to buy a bacon with a good balance of meat and fat. Too much fat and the bacon starts to shrink. Too much meat and the bacon will start curling up. Not what we want

Better Bacon
1 (16 oz) package thick sliced hickory smoked bacon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1. Preheat oven to 375. In a roasting pan with a rack place bacon strips in a single layer.
2. In heated oven cook bacon for 12 minutes. Drain bacon grease and place in a coffee cup that has been rinsed out with very hot water and dried. (This bacon grease is great for frying eggs, potatoes and using in  greasing cast iron skillets for cornbread.Another great use is a big spoonful in green beans).
3. Drizzle the maple syrup evenly all over the bacon and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Place back in oven and cook for about 3 minutes more. You want the edges of your bacon to just start turning a nice golden brown color.
4. Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes. This resting period lets the maple syrup and bacon infuse into the bacon.

Now go enjoy your Better Bacon

Until next time

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Filed under 2013, bacon, cooking, easy, hearty, hot, kid friendly, kids, Uncategorized

Feed me…Part 1 of the Menu Planning Journey

I was recently looking at article online and it gave a week worth of dinner menus. That was a great idea since it gave complete shopping list along with the menu. After a closer look I realized that there was no way that any normal family would eat these dishes. Plus it required you to have on hand things that a lot of us simply don’t have like walnut oil,  dry sherry (I thought sherry was wet since it is a liquid. Dry sherry is made with lighter grapes than regular sherry) and other odd things
So I decided as a project to search thru all my vintage cookbooks, magazines and the internet to create a menu for the month of February that would meet the following requirements; (1) It must have dishes that we would actually eat plus a new side or main course each day for variety (2) Anyone could make the dishes on the menu without having to have a degree from the Cordon Bleu cooking school (3) The cost per day broke down like this -breakfast would cost $5.00, lunch would cost $5.00 and dinner would cost $10.00 and last but not least (4) It had to feed my family of six for under $600.
 I am now armed with my goals as far as my menu plan for the month of February. I will be doing research and figuring the costs of each meal. My goal is to each Sunday evening to post the upcoming week’s menu with a cost breakdown. I hope by doing this I can give my readers ideas for planning their own menus for the week saving them time and money.
Until next time…

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Filed under 2013, baby, delicious, dinner, Dinner. Lunch. Menu Plan Monday, easy, family, hot, kid friendly, kids, menu plans, Uncategorized

Chinese "Fake Out’"

There aren’t too many people out there who don’t enjoy good Chinese take out food. Chinese food is full of bright colorful veggies, meat and wonderful seasonings. Unfortunately not all of us are close enough to  great Chinese take out place. Even if you are close enough to said Chinese restaurant price for an order of Beef Lo-Mein about $9.50 on average. Not exactly cheap eats especially if you want to feed the whole family since those cute little take-out cartons only feed one  person. Let’s be honest a lot of times after we eat that cute container of Lo-Mein we’re still hungry. This sent me on a quest to create a cheap and kid friendly Lo Mein recipe that is quick, easy and great tasting to boot.
I decided to use thin spaghetti noodles instead of the traditional lo-mein noodle. Thin spaghetti is more easily accessible than actual lo-mein noodle and often times cheaper. Add to this some beef, veggies and sauce you to can replicate Beef Lo-Mein too.

Kid Friendly Beef Lo-Mein
1 1.5 pound beef skirt steak cut into thin strips (if your meat is partially frozen it cuts easier)
1 16 oz bag frozen California Blend Style vegetables
2 cloves garlic minced

8 ounces of thin spaghetti broken in half, cooked and drained

1/4 cup beef stock
1/4 cup Teryaki Sauce/Marinade
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons MSG powder (optional- if you don’t have it don’t worry about it.) 

Oil for frying
1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles in it. While the pan heats up combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add beef strips and cook until almost done stirring constantly. When meat is almost done add the minced garlic and continue to cook until done.

2.Add frozen vegetables and stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes. Cover with lid and lower heat to medium. Cook for 7-9 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.

3. Add cooked and drained thin spaghetti to meat and vegetable mixture. Add sauce and stir to coat. Cook until heated through.

4.  Serve in bowls with extra teriyaki sauce to pour on if desired.

There you have it. A quick, tasty and kid friendly lo-mein that’s easy to make.

Until next time…


Filed under 2013, beef, California Blend Style vegetables, Chinese, dinner, easy, fake-out, frozen. garlic, kid friendly, lo-mein, lunch.Teryaki, Noodles, quick, Spaghetti, Stir-fry. Skirt Steak, stock, take-out, tasty, vegetables