Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu Plan Monday- Sept 26th

Fall is officially here and yet a part of me is not willing to embrace this fact, at least when it comes to food.  While I love Autumn, the cool weather, fresh apples, beautiful colors, I am not ready to dive into autumn food, as it means that the summer bounty that I've been enjoying will soon be completely gone. So I"m desperately trying to include all the summer veggies our market still has into my cooking. Sadly hot soup, along with warm pasta and fresh bread, are calling my name as the weather cools down, the clouds roll in and the rain pours down. Oh what to do? Fall is here. And with it all it's warm, comforting food. So here is what we are eating this week.

Monday: My father-in-law is cooking cause we have Music together at 5pm
Tuesday: Southwest Chicken with Peaches (from Cooking Free), side veggie, salad (this is a carry over from last week as we had MIdweek Meal at Church last Wednesday)
Wednesday: Summer Vegetable Chowder with GF muffins (maybe zucchini?)
Thursday: Spaghetti with tomato sauce, salad, side veggie
Friday: Chicken stir-fry over rice noodles
Saturday: leftovers or other simple meal
Sunday: Pizza (most likely takeout because we are going to be moving stuff from our storage unit into our house!!) Note: I have a GF frozen pizza for Cai so that he has pizza to enjoy too :)

As always check out Organizing Junkie for more menus. She doesn't have here menu post up yet. I'll try to remember to put the exact link in my comments later after she posts here menu.

Have a happy week. Hopefully the sun will shine for more than 5 seconds here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Autumn!

In celebration of the Autumn Equinox we went out to the Calendar Garden. I had invited our play group to -join us, but sadly only Rachel (my sister-in-law) was able to join us. 
It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shinning, It wasn't too cold. And as always the garden was beautiful.
We found a frog lazing in the pond.

 A turtle sunbathing on a rock.

 Smelled the flowers.

Ran along the forests paths.

 And just enjoyed being outside. I love fall.
 Happy Autumn everyone!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


One of the many exciting things growing in our yard is a line of grape vines. The row takes up an entire length of our garden plot. And just as we closed on the house, they were becoming ripe.
 Sadly after our first picking, I didn't get out there again for a week and a half. Which meant we lost a ton. So after two pickings I think we are about done. :( But on the upside we did get to enjoy some of them.
And next year I'll be more on top of things. And hopefully have read up on how to care for them better. My reading list is getting longer by the second.
For our first picking we enjoyed Grape Pie out of Simply in Season.
It was pretty easy to make. I used a gluten free pie crust from my Gluten Free Baking cookbook.
 The boys enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it.
 I then made grape jello with the rest. That was not a hit. I think next time I might add just alittle sugar. The next bunch I picked I turned into 6 jars of gape jam. :) I'm looking forward to enjoying that. And I'm hoping that when I add these jars to the blueberry and strawberry jams I made earlier this summer we can last all winter and spring without buying store bought jam. We'll just have to wait and see though. And if we don't make it, at least it give me a better estimate for next year. I"m hoping that next year I can add grape juice to my canning list

Yeah for Grapes!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taming the yard

We are very excited about our yard. There is lots of space, an already large vegetable garden plot, compost bins, rain barrels, and a playhouse with climbing rope.
 But sadly it is very overgrown. The previous owners moved out early in the summer. Which meant not alot got done over that time. And the result is the landscaping is taking over. Add to the fact there are just some odd parts of the flower beds/gardens and it's a huge job taming it back down. Over Labor Day weekend we did alot of work outside.
We dug out a flower bed in preparation for moving a raised bed in the middle of the pavement.
Garage and side flower bed- before
fully dug out
raised bed that will eventually be removed completely
 I cleaned out the compost piles.

compost pile before
compost pile after

We trimmed bushes and trees.
Wisteria before
Wisteria after

And mowed down the vegetable garden that was over grown with wild, native grass.
garden plot after
 Mark fixed the side gate.
 gate with new top board and caster
 I pulled vines off our garage.
Garage before
garage after
And there is still so much to do. We filled up an entire back of a dump truck and could probably do it again. 
the dump truck we got from the city was full when we were done
Part of me thinks for all the work we did you can hardly tell. But again it was progress. And I'm already dreaming of all the things we can do. It's lovely. And will be even more beautiful for all our hard work. 
We keep spotting this beautiful bug around the yard. Although actually I think there are at least two as the other one is more copper in color. The boys love it when I find them and point them out. I don't think they are very happy with us as we keep trimming away at their hiding places.

Menu Plan Monday- Sept 19th

Yes it's Tuesday, but you got a non-menu post yesterday. So I would say I'm not doing too bad. Plus I did plan my menu yesterday, just didn't get it posted here. I checked out a stack of gluten-free cookbooks last week. I'm hoping to try a few of the recipes in the next couple weeks. I'm needing good baked good recipes. I'm not as pleased with my  Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America cookbook as I had hoped. So now it's off too look/try something new. Hope all are having a good Tuesday. We had thick fog this morning but the sun is shining now. Looks like it will be a nice night to play softball (Mark is part of a community league and has a game tonight). On to our menu

Monday: Coconut milk curry over rice (a recipe given to me by a friend)
Tuesday: homemade pizza- haven't decided which new GF crust recipe I'm going to use yet. I'll try to remember to let you know.
Wednesday: Southwest Chicken with Peaches (from Cooking Free), side veggie, salad
Thursday: Summer Veggie Pasta with Lemon Yogurt Sauce (with GF pasta)
Friday- Sunday: I'm off duty
Note: Friday night- Saturday afternoon is the Michiana MCC Relief Sale. Although we haven't decided when we are definitively going at some point. :)

Don't forget to visit Organizing Junkie.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Painting the Roses Red

Ok so I'm not paining my roses red. Cause, hey, they are already red! :)
But I am paining my kitchen red. The plan before moving into our new house was to paint the boys' room, my kitchen and put in grounded outlets in the downstairs bedroom.
 So far the only one of those that has been finished is the boys' room. Really their room went pretty fast. I got all four walls painted with the main colors in one day. The blue wall took two more coats. And the stripes I think took a total of four coats. But I'm very very please with the end result.
This is after two coats of green and orange. They look even better now.
 Plus taking the tape off makes a huge difference too :)
 And the boys are excited. So it's a success. I had to come up with a way to use green and orange together and I think it all came together beautifully.
The creative mind of a 5 year old and a face mask
 My kitchen is taking longer. Sanding took us longer than planned.
The first color we got was too pink for our taste, so we had to go back to the paint store and see if we could tweak it just alittle.
too pink, but it's hard to tell in the picture
 But I'm down to 9 cabinet door left for the first coat of paint.
 Of course then everything needs at least a second coat maybe a third. I'm thinking my walls will just have to wait to be painted till we move in. Cause we are itching to move in.
these are the inside of four doors that Ian panted! He was very proud
 Not to mention that Mark's brother and wife are visiting from England starting October 12th and we have to be out of my in-laws house so they have a place to stay. :) Oh the deadline is near. The final hold up is the electrical in the downstairs bedroom. Mark and his dad were supposed to finish it yesterday.
in basement working on wire. Ian took picture 
But alas, it is taking them longer than they thought. So if all goes well it will be finished next weekend (when they can go back and finish it).
 It should be noted that the wiring they are putting in will be the only up to date wiring in the house. Sad and scary, but true.
hole left from pulling and putting in new wire for grounded outlet
dead mouse found in the wall
 Of course that means that half the house is cut off of power, since they shut off the power to work on the wires. Oh the fun! It's all a test in patience I tell you. But progress is being made. And I'm painting my kitchen red!