Another ten meals

I did it again. Yay me!

Another two weeks worth of meals and the shopping done too.

Here they are (again in no particular order, because I am not a rule follower):

Homemade Pizza – Sometimes I use Pioneer Woman’s crust recipe and sometimes I use this one from Our Best Bites. Both are very good and very simple, yet they are very different tasting. Pizza for the boys is usually 1/2 Canadian bacon & pineapple and 1/2 cheese. I, however, am addicted to this Carmelized Onion and Gorgonzola pizza. I have adapted that recipe a little by adding spinach and leaving off the olives…….Soooo good!

Chicken Tortilla Soup – This is a carry over from the last menu (ten meals planned for two weeks and we had a carry-over? We obviously had a few cereal or “fend for yourself” nights) 🙂 The good news though is that there was enough of this leftover to freeze some for another meal!

Sloppy Joes and Fries – This is a standby and usually what Dave makes when it’s his turn to cook. I don’t always dig it, but tonight I totally devoured it. I guess that’s what eating only a bag of peanut butter M&M’s for lunch will do to ya.

Orange Beef and Broccoli – I LOVE THIS!! It is one of my favorites and a little labor intensive, but so worth the effort. I begged this recipe from my friend Amy, so if you want it you have to beg it from me.

Chili and Baked Potatoes – Nothing fancy, just a basic homemade chili, but I love how the toppings for these two things just go together. Or you can make the chili a topping for the potato. We ate this this past Sunday and had invited two guys over that we met at church. They are Optometry interns here at the hospital and work as the AWANA game leaders too. They are really neat guys and my boys LOVE them. They just kept raving over dinner though, and finally I said “thank you guys, but it really wasn’t that fancy” to which one of them replied “anything eaten at a table off of real dishes is fancy”! Ah yes, I seem to have forgotten college days.

Chicken Parmesan Bundles – Found these while looking for a different recipe. They looked good, so they are our token “new” recipe this go round.

Taco Salad – a family favorite, but not made very often because I can’t stand paying over $8 for a bag of chips.

Potato Soup – I am on the hunt for the “perfect” potato soup recipe, so this is a new recipe too.

Chicken Enchilada’s – These are already made and in the freezer and will probably become my dish for this weekends church potluck. (shhhhh, just between me and you……..I don’t like potlucks.)

Biscuits & Gravy – by request from Ben. Total comfort food and mmmmmm, good! I used Elena’s biscuit recipe (except I did not roll the biscuits in crisco and flour, instead I just brushed them w/ a little butter) and I pestered my friend Craig for his Sausage Gravy recipe that Ben had declared “the best”. There is no recipe, but there were helpful hints.  And while I did not unseat Craig in his reign as King of B&G, I was told it was very good!

So there’s our ten for two more weeks.

I could use your help though…..I need a couple of “Rice and Beans” type of recipes. Got any to share?

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Danger Seeker, part Deux

I have two boys.

One of them has an affinity for jumping off of things.

I blame all my gray hairs on him.

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Filed under Alaska, Bethel, Cooper

Ten Meals

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.

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Filed under Alaska, Bethel, Food

Mail Call

Yep. I received a plant and some dirt in the mail!

From my Aunt Jacque.

It’s a spider plant, which is a natural air filter.

Our new apartment stinks.

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Filed under Alaska, Bethel

De Nile

That’s where I’ve been for that past month and a half.

Yep, De Nile.

Nope, not the river in Egypt.

Just pretending like it wasn’t happening, like somehow it would all go away.

Well, it didn’t.

So here we are again, in a new town/village.

Bethel.

That’s where we are on our Bush Alaska Tour these days.

If your keeping track, it’s stop number three.

First there was Kotzebue.

Then Dillingham.

Now Bethel. North of where we were, South of where we started and still in the middle of  NO WHERE!

I’ve gotta tell you, these moves are way harder than I thought they would be when we originally started out on this adventure.

Still, it’s a good thing. Or, shall I say, a God thing.

We trust everyday that He is in control.

We have been here a month. (Sorry if you are just now finding out, I was truly in denial!)

And are settling in.

So continues the adventure…….

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Danger Seeker

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Ketchup

Life here has just been plugging along. Here’s the highlights of our summer so far:

We moved. Not away from Dillingham, just to a new house here. Remember this house? It was a great house, with a HUGE kitchen and amazing windows. Having those windows was truly a blessing from God last winter; they allowed so much light in. However, that house was just too big and too expensive. We found a new place here and it is also amazing, albeit much smaller duplex. The owners live in the other half and are good friends of ours. They have 4 kids; ages 10, 7, 5 and 1. It’s like a playdate everyday…..except I hate the word playdate, so we won’t be calling it that.

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Camp. Ben went. He LOVED it! He wanted to go back the day he got home. I tried to get him to do a guest post about it, but he turned me down. So, this is what I know about it……He had a “totally awesome” counselor named Jacob and every time he talks about camp he refers to said counselor as “my totally awesome counselor Jacob”. I’m not sure if he was brainwashed by Jacob or if Jacob is truly “totally awesome”. Either way, I just appreciate an 18-year-old kid that is willing to take time out of his summer to hang with a bunch of ten-year old boys. The report that I got from Ben was that they played lots of games (including “Capture the Domesticated Farm Animal”…..ummm, yeah?), shot bb guns, swam in the lake, rode on a giant inner-tube behind the boat, played more games, ate moose stew, pushed their counselors into the lake (apparently while one counselor was being pushed off the dock Ben’s glasses were knocked off his face and into the lake. Apparently Jacob dove in after them and was able to retrieve them before they hit the bottom and that makes him “totally awesome” in my book!),  had a carnival, made hobo breakfast and went to chapel twice a day.  He came home a very tired (and stinky!) boy.

A few weeks ago (while Ben was gone), Dave, Cooper and I were invited out on the lake with our friend Clay. Cooper opted out in favor of staying to play with the neighbor kids, but Hannah (the oldest neighbor girl) wanted to go. We met up with Clay on a Sunday evening and headed out for a ride on Aleknagik Lake. It was truly a beautiful evening and I could have stayed out there forever. While the guys did a little fishing I sat in the boat soaking up the magnificent evening sun.

We’ve also stayed busy with baseball and soccer. And I mean baseball and soccer in the very loosest of terms. There is an organized league of 4 youth baseball teams. The league is open to kids ages 5-11. In sports that is a HUGE age gap. We have some teeny, tiny, microscopic little kids playing with some gigantically (yeah, that’s a word….I think), humongous, big boys. And kids of all skill level. Dave is coaching a team and again I use the word team very loosely. Our roster consists of 14 kids. On average about 8 make it to games and practice and it’s rarely the same 8! Still it’s fun and very laid back……nothing like suburban little league. (I’m joking there….kindof).

Soccer is about the same……primative. Another mom and I agreed to offer some soccer clinics, so on Saturday mornings we meet at the “soccer field” (yes, another loosely used term) for two sessions. We work with 5-9 year olds for the first hour and then 10-13 year olds for the second hour. Ending each hour with 15-20 minute scrimmages. Again, this is not what most people think of when they think soccer. There are no fancy uniforms, or try-outs, or traveling teams. Just a bunch of kids, that don’t even own cleats or shin guards, who meet in a bumpy field to have a little Saturday morning fun!

Alas, it looks like summer may be drawing to a close here in the Bristol Bay region. It has been quite rainy and rather chilly the past few days here. I have been told that fall will be upon us soon. And I’m pretty sure that by “fall” they mean rainfall. I’m okay with that, but only because in 5 days the boys and I embark on a month-long trip to the motherland; where summer is still in full-swing. We will be spending about two weeks with my family in Northern Washington and then Dave will join us and we will spend two weeks in the Vancouver area visiting his family and all our friends. There is much to look forward to……here is our list of things that we plan in being overjoyed about: cereal for less than $5 a box, Sonic happy hour, seeing Toy Story 3 in the theatre, 80 degree days, darkness at night, hanging out with cousins, watermelon, strawberries, corn on the cob, less mosquitos, Target, Subway, trying out 5 Guys Burgers and Fries for the first time, playing in a relatively warm lake, water slides and staying at both grandma’s (who understand the importance of having chocolate milk) houses.

And I leave you with one last thing that I am going to enjoy during my month away from the bush:

Paying less than $5.61 a gallon for gas!

There, now you’re all ketched-up.

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Filed under Alaska, Ben, Boys, Cooper, Dave, Dillingham