Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Plan Monday

One thing that I try to consistently do is menu planning. I HATE hearing "what should we have for supper?" so if we menu plan once a week, I only have to hear it once! Menu planning helps keeps grocery costs down and helps a busy household stay organized. It also helps me survey what we have on hand that needs to be used. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of menu planning.

My friend Jessica once told me that my menus, pre-Lucan, were pretty ambitious. I will agree with her. Much of my cooking now is for things that can be prepped during naptime and then assembled with one hand later on. I also try and take into account what Lucan likes and can manage to eat. Spaghetti is hard. Too many beans, too many days in a row leads to some horrid diapers. Lu hates green peppers. I don't think that he's a fan of lettuce either. Or meatloaf. Obviously I'm glad that Lucan isn't too bad of an eater all in all. Because if I had a truly picky eater, I'd probably cry at every meal.

Game plan for this week. Eat out of the freezer. Which goes against my stockpiler/hoarder nature. True confession: there are still a few things in my freezer I made before Lucan was born when I thought that I would never be able to cook again. I know. Those things should be tossed. But we are eating out of the freezer because we got notification that a side of beef would be ready. Cue panic as to how we are going to be able to fit a side of beef in our freezer. Pan camera to Lance who's brain is frantically calculating the average size of a side of beef and what things are the biggest that we need to eat. Bring focus back on me whose solution is to make three loaves of banana bread and freeze them :) I know, not exactly helping. But our goal is to keep eating out of the freezer to make way for a side of beef.

Monday: Navy bean soup
Tuesday: Eat out for delayed Valentine's Day celebration - Sam & Gabes!
Wednesday: Campanelle with Mushrooms and Kale
Thursday: Small group nite - freezer food - old crusty lasagna?
Friday: brunch food (waffles, eggs and hasbrowns)
Saturday lunch: Hickory park (L & K), freezer casserole (parents and Lu) - we have ISU basketball tickets and my parents will be taking care of Lucan.
Saturday supper: cashew chicken stir fry and pot stickers
Sunday lunch: flour tacos (ambitious, but since my parents are in town, I'll have an extra set of hands)
Sunday supper: pizza and popcorn

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mischevious things Lucan did today.

We wall mounted the tv just after the first of the year because Lucan couldn't keep his grimly little hands was having troubles not touching the tv. But the other day I witnessed him climb atop the entertainment stand so he could get a better view of the tv. Problem solved.

Then Lucan decided he needed a new place to sit on the floor.

And then he couldn't quite view his microwave, so he needed a boost up.

His seat/step stool? Oh, just a bag of whole wheat flour I bought. That should teach me to put my groceries away the moment I get home.

After all of that action, Lu decided he needed a water break.
Out of my water cup.

I guess that should teach me not to leave my water within Lucan's grasp.

But the hard thing about the concept of "within Lucan's grasp" is that everything is within Lucan's grasp now. Only the things that are on the very center of the counter are safe. Everything else is liable to be touched or consumed. Like that bag of clementines for example.

Greedy little bugger.

That blurry blue thing in Lucan's hand? His sippy cup. Which he was wielding like a hammer to assault Fire and myself with. Lu's very happy about this.

Fire, unfortunately, is not so happy with being repeatedly whacked. This is Fire giving Lucan the stink eye and Lucan unflinchingly returning his gaze.

And this is what my days are like. Recording Lucan's terrible two-ness/twenty month-ness via digital camera.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Oh, was there football at the Superbowl? I thought there was just food ...

Until a team that I actually have a vested interest makes the Superbowl, I probably will continue to care about the food more than the game. Last year I think that we watched part of the Puppybowl instead. :) I don't actually know that I'll ever care too much as I'm not really a NFL person.

This year Lance and I both made a dessert. Lance got stuck making his own dessert because when I tried to talk to him about what else we should made, he shushed me so he could listen better to the Iowa State basketball game. How rude. I decided then he could do his own baking.

I made super yummy salted peanut chew bars aka salted nut roll bars. They got rave reviews from my consumer test panel. Lance made O' Henry bars. They were a little undercooked. There are no pictures to bear witness to the under-doneness.

 O'Henry Bars
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the oats, brown sugar, butter or margarine, and white corn syrup. Pat into a 10 x 15 inch pan. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not over bake. But at the same time, don't underbake either. This is where we had problems.
3. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter. Spread over baked crust while hot. Cut into bars right away.

Salted Peanut Chews

1 Yellow Cake mix
1/3 cup margarine, softened
1 egg

3 cups miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup white corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 tsp. vanilla
12 oz. bag peanut butter chips
2 cups rice krispies
2 cups salted peanuts (no skins)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine all base ingredients until crumbly. Press in bottom of ungreased 9 x 13 pan. Bake 12-18 min.
2. Remove from oven, sprinkle on marshmallows and bake 2-3 min., until marshmallows start to puff. Remove from oven.
3. In large saucepan, heat corn syrup, marg., vanilla, and chips until melted and smooth.
4. Remove from heat and stir in cereal and peanuts.
5. Spread over marshmallows. Cool. Store covered. Enjoy yumminess guaranteed to follow :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lucan observations

I am no longer doing monthly updates because I'm not feeling it. Props to those mothers who continue to chart and monitor their childrens' growth past one year. Originally I thought that I would, but like all mothers, there are just some things that you say that you will never do (or don't do) that you go back on once you are in the thick of things. There are a few things that I do want to record here in blog land otherwise they will probably go unnoticed.

  • Lu has finally gotten the hang of silverware. It took some time and some effort of me just not looking, but we've finally gotten there. Lucan actually gets quite unhappy if he has a meal in which he doesn't get some sort of utensil in which to feed himself.
  • Lucan had his first bout of pinkeye just after Christmas break. I'm not sure who he picked it up from, but I'm positive that the fact that when he identifies his eye, he pokes his finger into the middle of his eye didn't help matters. Have you ever given a toddler eye drops? By far one of the more challenging things I've done. Trying to wrestle him into submission while at the same time pry open his eye, four times a day - not my idea of fun.
  • At Lu's 18 month appointment, he was solidly in the 64% percentile for height and weight (25 lbs) and the 87% percentile for head circumference. Perhaps he is growing into his head!
  • I am amazed by how observant Lucan is which is thus translated into him being able to follow some basic instructions. If we are picking up Lu's blocks, Lucan will help. If I point to a green block off by its lonesome for Lucan to go and get, he will. The other day Lu left his mixer on and I asked him to turn it off and he did! Smart boy!
  • My smart boy continues to test his boundaries. He knows that he's not supposed to be on the table, but he will casually rest one knee on the table to see what you will do. After he gets scolded for being on the table he'll just sort of lean on the table. Like I said, boundary testing.
  • Lucan's vocab consists of mommy, daddy, uh-oh, no, moo, bang, beep, hi and bye. He still loves to greet every single person he sees at the store with an innocent little "hi!" I'm telling you, you would melt if Lu said hi to you at the store. If not, you have a heart of stone must be hard of hearing.
  • He knows what it means to wash his hands and when it's time to eat - Lu will go to the correct spot for these.
  • Okay, does anyone else's child HATE to have their diaper changed? Like wailing, kicking, thrashing and head butting? No, just mine? Great ...
  • Fav foods: clementines, cookies (Lance's fault), scrambled eggs, applesauce yogurt, yogurt covered raisins and of course pouches as a treat. Lance took him to Subway last weekend and Lucan ate all of the meatballs off a footlong (or is it 11 inches?) sub. Lance thought they were going to share it, but lo and behold, all Lance got was bread.
  • Lucan knows where we store the cookies. He'll stand in the corner, by the microwave and just point and grunt to the container. Observant little boy.
  • Lucan wants his own computer too. If anyone stands in front of the computer, he wants to be there too. Because Lu wants to bang on the keys or play with the mouse. Speaking of the mouse, we have a wireless mouse and it's been missing for a couple of days now. Pretty sure Lu had something to do with it.
  • Confession: we watch television. Lucan LOVES Sid the Science Kid and is mesmerized by Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. Lance likes to watch Dinosaur Train with Lu. It drives me a bit mad because there's no way a velocoraptor is happily co-exisiting with a brachiosaours.
  • I can always tell if Lucan has been up awhile in his crib because he has thrown all of his blankets and stuffed animals on the floor.
  • Cleaning up is fun, but making a mess is more fun. For example, we can't just get out a few blocks. We must dump the entire bag out onto the floor. Lu does help put the blocks back in the bag, but I'm pretty sure it's just so he can dump them all out again.
  • After bath time we are in the regular habit of letting run around diaper-less. Case in point, Lucan peed on a library book the other day. Whoops.
  • At bible study Lu will go from person to person playing with their ipad or iphone. If you don't have a fun electronic device, Lu is not interested in you. As a result, Lucan becomes other peoples charge at small group!
  • This could just be optimistic of me, but I feel like Lucan is having fewer tantrums. Or it could be that I'm learning how to better avoid them. But last night we were at Granite City for two hours, including our wait time and food time. We had the nicest server, but she was really terrible. Three tables that got there after us had their drinks and food before us. I digress. Lu did really well. I held him for close to a half an hour while we waited and when he started spazzing out, I gave him a pouch for his hunger. I always keep his diaper bag well stocked with snacks and had told Lance to pack some emergency fruit and food (but he didn't). Luckily there was an emergency pouch, some goldfish and some organic fruit snacks. Mommy saves the day with snacks because it kept Lu from a meltdown!