Last year my mom and I went to Florida to visit my sister. During our visit we wanted to go to her local Farmers Market and check it out. Fortunately for us it was strawberry season!! We got the juiciest, sweetest, and most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted. I bought a flat of strawberries to freeze so I would enough to last me the year. I used them to make smoothies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry bread, berry muffins, strawberry sauce to pour over ice cream, pancakes, and waffles! Yum-O!

It is that time of the year again and unfortunately I wasn’t able to travel down to Florida to get my strawberries… but my mom was able to!!  I just finished preparing my flat of strawberries to freeze  for the next year.

Here’s what I have:

4 cups whole strawberries, frozen individually

12- 1/2 cup portions or pureed strawberries

8-1 cup portions of pureed strawberries

I started by washing and hulling all the strawberries and laid them out on towels to dry some.

In batches I placed about 1-2 cups of  strawberries in blender and broke them up using a wooden spoon, then pureed them.

To freeze the puree:

Method 1- I lined a muffin tin with plastic baggies. If you have a silicone muffin pan, that would make this process easier and less messy! But for those of us who have a regular pan, a baggie will do just fine. Using a 1/2 c. measuring cup, pour the puree into the baggie making sure that it forms to the muffin pan. Freeze. When completely frozen remove from the baggies and place in an airtight container and put back into freezer. You now have perfect portions for smoothies and other delicious treats!

Method 2- Pour 1 cup portions into freezer bags and squeeze as much air out as you can. Lay the bags flat so they will stack nicely in your freezer. Freeze.

Method 3- line a baking sheet with whole strawberries making sure they don’t touch. Freeze. When completely frozen, transfer them to an airtight container and place back in the freezer.

We just got back from a trip to South Carolina for a memorial Service for Brantley’s Uncle. It was so nice chatting with his Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins who we haven’t seen in almost 3 years.  The south had terrible storms on Sat. night, which is when we were going to head back home so we stayed an extra night and left at 5 AM Sunday morning so we could be back in time for church. We were very tired but glad to be back home to start a new week!

Monday:

Giant Breakfast Cookies, Apple Carrot Juice

Whole Wheat Pasta with fresh herbs, Edamame

Baked Alfredo Chicken, Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday:

Banana Pancakes, Blueberries

Hummus, Tabouleh, Whole Wheat Pita Chips

Minestrone, Rolls

Wednesday:

Fruit Smoothies, Toast

Peanut Butter and Jam, Carrot Sticks

Egg Scrambles, Biscuits, Peaches

Thursday:

Yogurt Parfait

Homemade Pizza, Salad, Grapes – moms group is coming over for lunch

Italian Chicken Wraps, Cantaloupe

Friday:

Strawberry Bread, Fruit Salad

Cheese, Crackers, Grapes, Veggie Sticks

Leftovers

Saturday:

French Toast with Strawberry Sauce

Peanut Butter and Jam

Mexican Pizza – A friend of ours is taking our family pictures and then she is joining us for dinner! Can’t wait!


I am day late but this is what we are having this week!

Sunday:

Giant Breakfast Cookies, Apple

Peanut Butter and Jam, Carrot Sticks

Swiss Chicken, Green Beans

Monday:

Whole Wheat Waffles with Strawberry Sauce

Chicken Noodle Soup, Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Corn Bread Chili Bake, Green Beans

Tuesday:

Toast, Carrot Apple Parsley Juice

Peanut Butter and Jam, Zucchini and Squash Sticks

Chicken Enchiladas, Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Wednesday:

Oatmeal Pancakes, Blueberries

Salad Bar

Rotisserie Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Thursday:

Berry Smoothie w/ Wheat Germ

Leftovers

We are going up to South Carolina and will be gone until Sat. night, so this is a short week for us!

I have always enjoyed walking, especially with my husband. We have had some of our best conversations while walking around the park or even our neighborhood. We talk about everything from childhood memories to future goals. It feels so great to get outside and soak in all of God’s beautiful creations around us. Sometimes we just “stroll” through the park but most of the time we are there to workout. As much as Brantley enjoys our walks, he would much rather run. Me, not so much. I despise running and I always have. Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to run I just need to convince myself that I can do it.

Before Gabriel was born I set some goals for myself. When I wanted to get back to my pre pregnancy weight (which I am already at! :)) when I would start walking, running, strength training, etc… The time came for me to start walking again and I got off to a pretty good start. The weather was a little chili so I didn’t get out as much I wanted to before I was going to start running. A friend of mine felt the same way about running as I did and she wrote a blog post about how she got motivated to run. She started out running to just one song on her ipod and gradually added in another song and another and so on. She stuck with it and recently ran her first 5K! I  thought that was a great idea and something that I could do. I got my running shoes on and Brantley and headed to the park, walked 1 mile and then ran to our first song. It was awesome!! I was so proud of myself for doing it I even ran a little bit more after the song was over.We have gone 3-4 times a week for the past 2 weeks and I have enjoyed running just as much as walking, and we even had a picnic one night for dinner! 🙂

I came across this website which has a plan for getting you off the couch and running a 5K in just 2 months! I am so excited to do this. I have never been one to really push myself to do anything. If something got too hard I just gave up or found a shortcut. It isn’t going to be easy but I believe I can do it! My husband has been so supportive and I know he will be right by my side every step of the way.

Quality time with my hubby, pushing myself towards a goal, staying healthy, and enjoying Gods beautiful creations all at the same time! Sounds good to me!!

6 lg russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 lg onion, chopped

42 oz chicken stock

1/4 c butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 c cream

1 c sharp cheddar cheese, plus some for the top

3 T chopped chives

sour cream (optional)

4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

Combine first 6 ing in a  qt slow cooker

Cover and cook  on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours, or until potatoes are tender

Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened; stir in cream, cheese, and chives.

Top with sour cream if desired, and sprinkle with cheese and bacon before serving.

Enjoy!

2 1/2 c peeled and 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 T chili powder

1 t salt

1/2 t ground cumin

2 (16 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 (16 oz) package frozen corn, thawed

1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes

1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles

1 1/2 c water

shredded cheese

sour cream

Combine first 7 ing. in a 5 qt slow cooker, add pinto beans and next 4 ing.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until slightly thickened and the squash is tender. Sprinkle with cheese and top with sour cream before serving

Enjoy!

Oil

1 pound chicken tenderloin chopped into bite size pieces

salt and pepper

4 garlic cloves

1 large red onion, very thinly sliced

red pepper flakes

1 (18 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 quart chicken stock

4 thick slices Italian bread

1 c grated parm, cheese

1 c fresh basil, about 20 leaves shredded or torn

Preheat broiler

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until lightly browned, 3-4 mins. Add the chopped garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes, and cook to soften the onions, 5-6 mins. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and cook until heated through.

While the soup cooks, char the bread on both sides under the broiler. Run with the  garlic halves and drizzle with olive oil, the mound with the parm cheese and return to the broiler to melt.

Turn off the heat and stir in the basil. Place the large toasts at the bottom of the soup bowls and ladle the soup, or put the toasts in top to keep them crunchy.

Enjoy!

2 T oil

2 pounds ground chicken

2 large carrots, finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery ribs finely chopped

4 garlic cloves chopped

1 T paprika

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (15 ounce) can stewed or crushed fire roasted tomatoes, with their juice

tortilla chips

blue cheese

flat leaf parsley chopped

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. add the chicken and cook until it no longer pink. Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika, bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 7-8 mins, then add the chicken stock, hot sauce, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Bring the chili up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 mins then discard the bay leaf.

While the chili is simmering, preheat the broiler. Spread the chips in a baking sheet and top with the crumbled blue cheese. Broil until the cheese melts, 2-3 mins, then sprinkle with the parsley.

Top each serving of chili with a few clue cheese chips.

Enjoy!

1 T oil

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 cups chicken stock

1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey breast

3 T parmigiano-reggiano cheese

3 T bread crumbs

1 egg

1 garlic clove

2 T chopped flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper

1/2 c orzo

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute the onions and carrots for 5 mins, then add the stock and bring to a boil. In a medium bowl, mix the meat with the cheese, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. If the mixture is too moist, add a few more bread crumbs.

When the broth comes to a boil, roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls and drop them into the broth. Stir in the orzo and cook for 7-8 mins or until tender. Enjoy!

I love crafts, anything I can get my hands on I want to try and I want to try everything! Unfortunately, this isn’t always a good thing. B/c I like to dabble in this and that I never really learn how to do a particular craft with excellence. So I decided that I would make a list of some of the projects that I want to tackle over this next year. I have made a goal for when I want to have them completed by. I am hoping that this will help me learn how to start something AND finish it. That is my other problem, I am great at beginnings…not so much on endings! I will probably be adding some projects to my list but for right now this is what I have!

Spring Project List:

Finish Gabriel’s Room – April 3

Sew Skirts –  May 1

  • Skirt One
  • Skirt Two

Sew Farmer’s Market Bags – May 8 (The Farmer’s Market opens the beginning of May!)

  • Bag One
  • Bag Two
  • Bag Three
  • Bag Four

Sew  more Skirts – June 5

  • Skirt One
  • Skirt Two

Headbands – June 13

  • Headband One
  • Headband Two
  • Headband Three
  • Headband Four

Summer Project List:

Start Vanilla – June 21

Sew  more Skirts – July 3

  • Skirt One
  • Skirt Two

Make Place Mats for Dining Room Table –  July 17

Grow Herb Garden – All Summer

Harvest and Dry/Freeze Herbs – End of Summer

Eye Pillow – September 18

Fall Project List:

Autumn Table Runner – September 23

Healing Cozy – October 2

Christmas Wreath – November 27

Evergreen Trees – December 4

Salt Scrubs – December 11

Sugar Scrubs – December 11

Winter Project List:

Bottle Vanilla – December 21

Coffee Cozy – December 23

“Sock Monkey” – January 24

Rag Rug – February 19

Make Candles – March 5

  • Candle One
  • Candle Two
  • Candle Three
  • Candle Four

“Flouncy Bag” – March 12

Picnic Blanket – March 19

Picnic-tastic Place Mats – March 19

Family Pics

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