I love milestones like this!
From start to finish. He did it all!
I like to be organized. That’s not to say that I always am, but I like to be.
Especially with meals. Flying by the seat of your pants on meals can get expensive, especially here.
So today I wrote out ten days worth of dinners. It took me a while, but I thought of ten!
Then I shopped for all ten meals. Uggghh. Talk about painful (on the wallet).
Because I like you all, I’ve decided to share my two-week menu with you:
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches and Salad – this was my husbands idea, and he wanted them with Cheez Whiz. Gotta admit they were good!
Thai Peanut Salad – one of our very favorites! Ben and I fight over who gets to lick the spoon after we make the dressing 🙂
Black Bean Soup – This is new to our menu…..hope everybody likes it.
Tacos – an old standby
Spaghetti/French Bread/Green Beans – another old standby. I actually highly dislike spaghetti, but my family loves it so I put up with it once in a while.
BBQ Meatballs/Rice/Broccoli – these are THE BEST meatballs ever, but they take some time to make. Definitely a “Sunday Dinner” meal. Hmmm, we should find a family to invite over for dinner next Sunday.
Chicken Tortilla Soup – This is my own recipe and it’s good! I’ll have to share it with you sometime.
Grilled Cheese/Canned Soup – just like it sounds.
Fauxtisserie Chicken */Mashed Potatoes/Green Beans – anyone care to guess how much a whole chicken is here (per pound).
BBQ Chicken Sandwiches (with left over fauxtisserie chicken)/French Fries/Salad
So there is our ten for the next two weeks. I don’t plan out what days we eat what because I’m not a rule follower, and if I had a menu that said “Monday – spaghetti, Tuesday – Thai peanut salad…..etc”, you know for sure I would not want to follow it. I am going to try to do as much prep as possible though. Like browning the ground beef for tacos and spaghetti, chopping the veggies for salads and soups, and forming the meatballs and freezing them. That way dinner is mostly done when I get home from work.
You’ve also got to know that at some point during the next two weeks I will tell my children to just eat cereal. No shame here.
Now it’s your turn to share a meal from your repertoire!
*Note to self: Don’t forget there’s “goodies” in the chicken.
There is a smoothie shop in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver that the boys and I used to frequent when we lived there. For the life of me, I can’t remember what it was called, but it was one of those chain shops and it wasn’t Jamba Juice. The name doesn’t really matter that much, except that it drives me nuts that I can’t remember what the place is called, so if anyone there can clue me in it would really help me sleep at night.
Anyway, Cooper LOVED a smoothie there called the Funky Monkey. It was chocolate, peanut butter and banana. He used to BEG me daily to stop and get him a “Funty Munty” (remember, he has speech issues). Well there is no stopping for a Funky Monkey anywhere around here, so we have created out own, and I do have to say that it is as good as (if not better than) the original.
Since it’s that good, I’ve decided to share our recipe with you, but first you have to start with a different recipe. The first one that you need is our Hot Cocoa mix. Yes, we make our own Hot Cocoa mix. In bulk. Because we drink hot cocoa in bulk. Feel free to 1/2 this recipe if you need to.
Hot Cocoa Mix
16 Cups Powdered Milk
10 Cups Powdered Nesquik Chocolate
6 Cups Powdered Non Dairy Creamer (you can use flavored….I don’t, but you could)
Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
To serve mix 1/2-3/4 cup of mix in a mug with HOT water.
Top with lots of marshmallows.
Funky Monkey Smoothie
1 1/2 cups Ice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Hot Cocoa mix
4 tablespoons peanut butter
Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
Makes 2-3 servings.
Cooper is one happy bush Alaska living boy since we’ve started making these!
(photo courtesy of All Recipes.com)
One of the major frustrations I have encountered is the lack of good produce available here. The grocery store that Dave works for does have a produce department, but for whatever reason the quality is less than stellar and the prices are outrageous (groceries in general are so expensive, but that’s a whole different, carefully worded post!).
A couple of weeks ago some friends told us about Full Circle Farms in Carnation Washington. They offer bi-monthly organic produce delivery to our village (and many other locations in Alaska and Washington) so Dave and I decided to give it a try.
Signing up was simple and quick online. We were given the option of “permanently excluding” three items. These are things that you never want in your box. Our three permanent exclusions were brussel sprouts, beets and parsnips. On the Thursday before our village’s scheduled delivery we received an e-mail declaring that weeks box contents. From Thursday until Saturday we were able to log into our account and make up to 5 substitutions to our box or add additional content to our box. Substitutions are free, but adding contents does cost additional. I only made three substitutions trading tomatoes for kiwi, lemons for more apples, and asparagus for avocados.
Tuesday is pickup day in Kotzebue. All of the boxes are air freighted in and delivered to a church. My friend Bree was kind enough to go by and pick mine up and delver it to my house for me!
There was a few casualties in shipping in that three of the five kiwis and one of the mangoes were smashed and split open by heavier produce, but I was told that the farm will take care of that, so I sent them an e-mail today. Other than that we are very happy to have found this service!