Thursday, May 13, 2010

When Priorities Collide

As with a lot of moms I've talked to, I have daily chores that get in the way of just spending time with my kids. They cry out for my attention and I long to give it to them always, but I've got soap up to my elbows and a greasy pan in my hands! Sometimes little collisions over time can cause big hurt.

For me, it's helped a lot to prioritize my day and write out our natural routine so that I can be more proactive. One thing that's helped me a lot is "My daily docket" from - one thing I like the most is that there's a section for "inspiration" which a friend of mine (who let me in on the daily-docket secret) told me that's where she writes her scripture memory. And by golly, it has worked! I've got Psalm 119:1-8 memorized! And I'm still going. This tool, along with, & "A Place of Quiet Rest" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, & reading through the Bible has drastically changed my life.

Also on the is a grocery list. I know, for a lot of families meal planning, grocery shopping (esp. if the kids are along), and budgeting for food is a huge challenge and another one of those "collisions" because who doesn't want to eat great tasting healthy meals everyday and have time for the kiddos and still have money in the bank? :)

(Both the daily docket and the grocery list are free downloadable pdfs I hope this link works, it wasn't loading on my computer today for some reason.)

I like to sit down, grab 4-6 good dinner meal recipes, a highlighter, and this list and go for it. Reading the recipes, I just highlight what we need and go. This week I printed out 4 meals from under their budget meals and went for it. It took maybe 15 minutes total - all while the kids ate lunch.

Back to the big hurt I referred to, for me not being able to do it all makes me feel like a huge failure. And sometimes being the best christian, wife, mother, teacher means knowing where each of those pieces fit and then giving each area the space and attention it (they) deserves. I guess I just need to work my thoughts out on paper to really make sense of it all.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

BBQ Pork as promised...

BBQ Pork

This recipe is definitely an art and not a science, so change it however you see fit!

Pork Picnic Roast (usually 1/2lb per person with meat, but for this since it's shredded average about 1/3lb per person)
Liquid Smoke
BBQ Sauce (any kind you like!)
Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
Sandwich buns or rolls

There's two ways you can cook the roast: crock pot or oven
Crock pot:
Place roast into pot sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder enough to cover all sides and sprinkle on liquid smoke (between 1/4 - 1/8 tsp per pound)
Cook roast on low for 6 hours, drain most of the juice
Shred meat and add BBQ Sauce (use enough to really saturate the meat, for 6+ pounds plan on a whole large bottle of sauce)
Cook on low 20 more minutes for sauce to really flavor the meat

Divide meat into baking dishes depending on how many pounds of meat you have (a 9x13 should have no more than 4 pounds in it)
Season meat with liquid smoke, garlic powder, salt & pepper enough to cover entire roast (see liquid smoke guide above)
Put into a 300F oven and bake for 3 hours
Take out the roast, drain most of the juice
Shred the meat and add BBQ Sauce (see above guide)
Place back into warm oven (can be off) and let it set 20 mins or so and serve warm

I like to serve this sandwich with chips and salad. For a super yummy, healthy kick to your salad add yellow and red peppers, sprinkle the whole salad with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and flax seed meal then add your favorite dressing and serve. Tastes great!

I hope you enjoy! This is a fun meal for entertaining!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Recipe: Family Fav & Crowd Pleaser!

I've made these meals for company twice now and everyone has enjoyed them! They aren't too labor intense and the Orzo salad can be made ahead. They are fresh, tangy, and light. I hope you love them as much as we do! (Even my kids devoured their portions)

Slow Baked Salmon with Tomato Orange Basil Sauce and Sauteed Fresh Green Beans
(Serves 6)

3 lbs Salmon, thawed (I use boneless, skinless)*
4 Tbsp Olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
8 med/large Tomatoes
4 Garlic cloves, fresh pressed
1 medium Orange
1 tsp cornstarch
3-4 Tbsp sliced fresh Basil
1-1/2 lbs fresh Green Beans, tips removed
4 Garlic cloves, fresh pressed
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat over to 300F
2. In 2-9x13 pans spread a Tbsp each with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and a garlic clove each *(if using skin-on fish, don't oil pan, place fish skin side down, and brush fish with oil and season)
3. Arrange thawed salmon in pans and flip to coat both sides in oil/seasonings
4. Bake for 20-30 mins or until light pink and set
1. While salmon bakes, de-core tomatoes and cut in half
2. Squeeze seeds out into trash
3. Using a box grater over a medium bowl, rub cut side of tomato over coarse side of grater until only skin remains and trash skins
4. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil, garlic and stir until it smells good
5. Add tomatoes and simmer until liquid from tomatoes evaporates (15 mins, stir occasionally)
6. Zest an orange in a small bowl, squeeze all of it's juice into the same bowl and stir in cornstarch until dissolved
7. Add orange mixture to tomato sauce, return to simmer
8. Add basil
9. Serve salmon with sauce spooned on top
Green Beans
1. Heat oil and garlic over medium heat
2. Making sure pan is hot, add beans, salt and pepper
3. Saute until beans change color, still tender-crisp, to taste

Orzo-Grape Salad with Basil and Toasted Pistachios*

1 lb. Orzo pasta, cooked in salted water according to pkg.
1-1/2 C. shelled pistachios
1/2 C. walnut oil (or EVOO)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/3 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 C. seedless grapes (if serving to kids, slice in half)
1-1/4 C. chopped fresh basil (main flavor, don't skip!)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Toast pistachios in oil; heat over low heat until pistachios are coated in oil and are warm (1-3 min, don't let the pan get too hot)
2. Stir in fresh garlic; warm one min and remove from heat
3. Drain cooked Orzo well, transfer to large mixing bowl
4. Fold in pistachios/oil/garlic mixture
5. Fold in lemon juice, grapes, and basil
6. Salt and pepper to taste
7. Cover and chill at least 8 hours, best overnight.
8. Before serving, fold thoroughly again and add more lemon juice to refresh flavors
9. Garnish with more pistachios and fresh basil (optional)

*This one is our alpha favorite! Serves at least 10 and leftovers taste wonderful!

I am also going to post our Pork BBQ Recipe - look back for it soon!