Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our Favorite Meatless Meals

Lent is in full swing and for us that means no meat on Fridays. We usually have one or two meat free meals a week so it's not that big of a stretch for us, but I thought I'd share a couple of our favorite meatless meals today for Balancing Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday.

Taco Pie
(This recipe actually calls for a pound of beef. I cheat and use the Morning Star Farms "fake" meat found in a green bag in the freezer section, usually near the breakfast items.)

1 bag Morning Star Farm's Crumbles
1 small onion, chopped
1 packet or 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 small can tomato sauce
dash of Tabasco sauce
8 oz can of biscuits
1 cup refried beans (Make sure to get the vegetarian ones if you use canned!)
1 cup cheese

Cook Crumbles and stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce, onion, and hot sauce. Heat until hot and bubbly. Simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Press biscuits over bottom and up sides of plate. Spread beans over dough. Top with taco mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 375. Top with cheese and cook another 5minutes or until cheese has melted.

Pasta Fagoli
This is our traditional Good Friday meal, served alongside a piece of crusty bread.

16 oz. elbow mac (uncooked)
4 small cans tomato sauce
1 can vegetable broth
1 can white beans
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Olive oil

Start pasta. In a separate pot, saute garlic and oregano in olive oil. Do not brown (But if you accidentally do, don't worry. I usually burn it.) Add sauce, broth, beans, and Tony's. Simmer 10 minutes. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.

Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Potatoes
4 large baked potatoes (My favorite way to bake potatoes is in the crockpot. Pierce each potato several times with a fork. Wrap in foil. Cook on Hi 3-4 hours or Low 8-10 hours.)
3 cups broccoli florets & stems, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 green onions chopped
1 1/3 cup shredded cheese (I just use whatever's on hand.)

Steam and drain broccoli. Cut a thin slice from the top of each cooked potato and scoop out insides, keeping skins intact. Mash potatoes and beat in sour cream until smooth. Add broccoli, onion, and 1 cup of cheese to mashed potatoes. Season to taste with Tony's. Refill potato shells. Arrange in shallow baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

And of course it would not be a round-up of meat free meals without our family favorite, Bean and Cheese Enchiladas.

I'm also adding this to the Lent Link Up at Catholic Icing (one of my new favorite blogs). Check it out for lots of great Lent ideas for the whole family to enjoy.

Lent Link-Up

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Box of Socks

Get a jump start on Christmas shopping for 2010! Here's a simple, but cute (and not to mention thrifty) gift for any young ladies on your list. Pick up holiday themed socks throughout the year, then box them all up and give as a gift.
I gave sock sets to both of my nieces this year and they were a hit. I found most of them at the Target Dollar Spot or Dollar Tree. For the Christmas pair, I splurged at Big Lots and spent $2 per pair for the big fuzzy socks, bringing my total to a whopping $7 for gifts that will be used throughout they year. Once I had all of the pairs, I tucked them into a recycled shirt box and made a fancy label like "Spice's Box O'Socks".



If you want to make this even more economical, wait until each holiday is over and score some half-price socks. I went ahead and made like a big spender though because I didn't want to chance missing out on any particular holiday.
When Christmas rolled around, I was kicking myself for not making sock boxes for Spice and her cousin so I've already started to work on that. I have noticed it is a little harder to find themed socks for little girls. Most of them come in ladies sizes. Why? Who do you honestly think would prefer to wear socks covered with shamrocks or skeletons? Anyway, I have had good luck with smaller sizes at Target. It just requires a little more digging.
Hope you find this idea useful even if you think it's a little soon to be thinking about Christmas! For more great tips, visit We Are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Favorite Projects of 2009 Part 2

When I first laid eyes on this family rules canvas over at the Pleated Poppy, I knew I had to have one. Luckily, Lindsey gives a great tutorial so you can make one of your own. I pretty much followed her directions to a tee. The only thing I would add is to print out a "rough draft" of your rules on plain paper first to make sure they will fit. I thought I had measured well and went straight to printing out on my lovely color-coordinated scrapbook paper that I had spent weeks searching for. Not good. I was able to make do and squeeze out enough scraps to print out our rules with a smaller font. Here's our finished product:


I used a 24X8 canvas. I would have loved to do a huge one, but I wanted this hanging in our kitchen where it could be seen often and the best place for hanging was the side of a cabinet. I also added a ribbon to the top of mine to make a bow for hanging. I did not want to put a nail through the cabinet so I used a Command Hook.

I used some of the rules on Lindsey's canvas and added some of my own. Here are our rules:

Always tell the truth
Always show respect
Don't hit...hug
Love one another
Have fun
Mind your manners
No whining
Help each other
Think before you speak...use gentle words
Laugh daily
Be kind, be happy, be positive
Clean up after yourself
Listen well
Obey the first time
Celebrate together, be on each other's team
Never leave angry
Be a blessing
Work hard, work together
Encourage each other
Cuddle often
Say your prayers...thank God for this family

The most fun part was picking out all the cute fonts to use. I downloaded all of my fonts for FREE from Fonts For Peas.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, February 1, 2010
Outside my window...it was a beautiful day where the sun actually shined, but darkness has taken over now.
I am thinking...about the list of things I needed to do on the computer tonight - most of which I've forgotten since signing on.
From the learning rooms... We had a crazy day today. Sport and I worked on math for about an hour this morning, then the kids finished most of their remaining work independently while I steamed off wallpaper in the guest bathroom before the rented steamer had to be returned to Home Depot.
Around the house...It is a MESS! We steamed wallpaper from the entryway yesterday. I cleaned most of the mess up this morning, but there are still bits and pieces stuck to the floor. The guest bath is a big blob of wallpaper.
From the kitchen...Tacos tonight. I didn't get to make the crockpot refried beans I'd been looking forward to because I forgot to buy the main ingredient at the store last week.
I am wearing...jeans and a maroon striped Henley top I brought home from our latest swap Friday night.
I am creating...plans for a Super Bowl party and a Saints hair bow for Spice to wear at the big event Sunday. We had planned to make her a Saints skirt, but were unable to find any fabric this weekend so she'll have to settle for just a bow.
I am reading... Running For My Life by Warrick Dunn. Hubby still hasn't finished it, but I sneak it out and read it when he's not looking. I think I'm about to catch up to him.
I am hoping...to find a lot of deals at Kroger tomorrow using the coupon match-ups from Southern Savers.
I am hearing...silence! Spice is tucked in for the night and Hubby and Sport are at Cub Scouts.
A few plans for the rest of the week: the usual shuttling kids around, but all that pales in comparison to watching the Saints in the Super Bowl on Sunday!
Here are a few picture thoughts I am sharing with you...
The New Orleans Saints arrive in Miami for the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, it's business as usual...

Visit Peggy for more Simple Woman's Daybook entries.

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