Monday, December 26, 2011

MPM, Christmas, and Weight Loss

Well, the Christmas weekend was such a blast. We just relaxed and made some new traditions as a family. Saturday we made Sugar cookies. I love this recipe for the cookies and this recipe for the frosting. Yum! Although, I still hate rolling and cutting out sugar cookies. I read like 5 different posts on little tricks to make it easier, but it still kind of annoys me. But Tim LOVES them and the girls really enjoy making them with me(aka: eating all of the raw dough and frosting :) SO in the long run it was worth it! Here's some pics of us baking :)

I made Paula Dean's Baked French Toast  for Christmas morning and it was pretty amazing.

I also made this yummy Bacon Cheese Dip that a friend had given me the recipe for years ago and that was delicious! We just relaxed Christmas eve and snacked on appetizers.

"Warm Bacon Cheese Spread"
1 round loaf sourdough bread (1lb)
1 package(8oz) cream cheese softened
12 oz sour cream
2 cups(8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped green onions
assorted crackers
1. Cut the top fourth of the loaf of bread; carefully hollow out the bottom, leaving a 1-in. shell. Cut the removed bread and top of loaf into cubes; set aside.
2. In a mixing  owl, beat the cream cheese. Add the sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce until combined; stir in the bacon and onions.
3. Spoon into the bread shell. Wrap in a piece of heavy-duty foil (about 24inx17in).
4. Bake at 325 fro 1 hour or until heated through. Serve with crackers and reserved bread cubes
Yields 4 cups

On Weight loss...
We have eaten very well (and badly) basically since Thanksgiving, and it was so amazing and worth it, but now we are trying to eat lighter for the New Year. Mainly me, but Tim is always supportive acting like he needs to lose a few...sweetie! But all that to say, I am going to start to *try* to include calorie counts next to my recipes mainly for planning on my part. I am back to counting calories, being sure to exercise 5 days a week, and weighing in once a week. I'm determined to finally lose this baby weight (after all, my "baby" is almost 16 months old- gasp ;)

Monday - Broiled Tilapia,  broiled  olive oil and salt and pepper broccoli  (225 calories) I know  I said I was going to make this last week, but my local grocery store didn't have the fish I wanted let time I ordered, so I just postponed it. But his week - it's happening :)

Tuesday- Chicken Parmesan (couldn't find calls, but on a healthy website and no pasta) with green salad

Wednesday - P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps (580 cals, but that's without the sauces only 160 calories a serving!)

Thursday - Baked Honey Mustard Chicken (232 Calories), Grilled Asparagus

Friday - Spaghetti and Meatballs (291 Calories), Salad

I'm linked up with orgjunkie

Monday, December 19, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

One of these days I'll actually get to go back and rate some of the new recipes that I have tried. There have been some amazing ones and some terrible ones-ha! But for now, here's another week.

Monday- Baked Chicken because we're having company over and it's easy, yummy and looks impressive ;)

Tuesday- Chicken Noodle Soup -Let me just start by saying, there is no science to this one. I just take the leftover chicken bones and pieces from the above baked chicken, and boil it in about 4-5 cups of water, 3 carrots, 1 onion, 3 stalks of celery, two more chicken breasts, salt and pepper and let it simmer away for a few hours. It must be the seasonings from the cavity of the above baked chicken, but this broth tastes amazing! I just strain it(settling aside the yummy carrots, onion and celery), cut up the chicken breasts, and add back those veggies, and put some cooked noodles or rice in. We love it especially on a cold day!

Wednesday- Baked Mac and Cheese -Tim's birthday was Sunday and he wanted a burger out that day, but then after it was all over, he  requested Mac and Cheese this week :)

Thursday- Chicken fajitas

Friday-Broiled Parmesan Tilapia - I'm giving this one a second go. My first attempt was not successful, but it sounds so good so I'm trying it again!

Check out orgjunkie for more menu ideas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aberdeen Update

Tim is writing a quarterly update letter while we are here in Aberdeen. If you are interested in reading it you can follow this link to download the letter.

Motherhood is Application

A friend of mine passed this article(Motherhood is Application) on to me from John Piper's "Desiring God" website.  I am so glad that I took the few minutes to read it. It was just the encouragement and conviction my soul needed today. Especially since both of my girls were hanging onto my legs yesterday crying to be held while I REALLY just wanted to finish the pile of dishes on the counter. 

Here's a little snippet to whet your appetite:

Imagine yourself in your kitchen trying to make dinner for a group of little kids who are tired and should have eaten a half hour ago. Imagine that things are going wrong beyond that — maybe you are out of something you assumed you had, children are fussing with one another, and maybe your littlest is still at the age where they come stand on your feet and pull on your pant leg. Bonus points if you are wearing maternity pants and this little person is actually capable of pulling your pants down. You are hot, you are tired, and you are sick of it.
This is no time for a gospel presentation. There isn’t time. There isn’t anyone to lead the discussion around the felt board, because you are still scrambling to figure out dinner. This isn’t a time for a gospel presentation because it is a time for gospel application."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

We can't send out as many cards as usual this year,so I wanted to post our card and say Merry Christmas to you all! Praying that Christ blesses you and your family this year!

First Visitors to Scotland!

We were so excited to have our first visitors come at the end of November. Tim and Katie were in the Cambridge and Leeds area for work and decided to take a train up to see us in ye old Aberdeen. We are so glad they did! It was wonderful sitting across with familiar faces over cup of coffee/tea again!

Tim and Tim catching up in Aberdeen's City Centre

We enjoyed showing them around our little town

Aberdeen houses and steeples

Local Park

Then we got to show them around Dunnator Castle. 

We were able to climb down to the sea since we had a babysitter! We had so much fun being goofy and exploring all the nooks and crannies of the area!

They are just so cute!

Climbing down to the sea

Tossing smooth rocks into the water - quite therapeutic!

After we were finished checking out the castle, we were told by the locals that we couldn't/shouldn't leave the Stonehaven area without first trying the "Best Fish and Chips in Scotland". And oh my word - The Bay Fish Shop was amazing!

The only problem is that they only had take out(the locals were lined up) and we had driven  30 minutes to get there. So even though it was about 40 degrees out, we sat outside and ate every last amazing morsel of our fish! I'm salivating thinking about it right now! It's such a good price too...yum!
Such good memories! I'm so glad we did it!

At the end of the week, we drove with them out to Inverness (about a 3 hour drive). 
We toured Urquhart Castle together and got to see Lake Loch Ness - very cool. 
Tim and Katie on the top of the hill looking out at the lake

It was a gorgeous sunny day for it too!

After the Castle, Tim and Katie headed on to Isle of Sky and we just stayed in Inverness for the afternoon and then headed home. We had lunch at a little place called Bella Italia.
 I highly recommend it! Yummy Italian food at a good price!
Maddy got a balloon and to keep it from blowing away we tied it to her pony and it created hours of fun :)

We enjoyed poking around Inverness. It was such a nice little town. Tim checked out the used book store while the girls and I wandered the cobblestone streets popping in and out of shops. It was such a relaxing afternoon!

It was such a nice week. I'm thankful that they took the time and extra money to come and see us. What a blessing to have friends (of 10+ years) here with us when we are so far from family and friends!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

menu plan Monday

Monday-  Martha Stewart's Lentil Soup
This one is a new one and I'm looking forward to trying it!

Tuesday - Chicken with Red Roasted Peppers and Asparagus

Wednesday- Beef Taco ring from Pampered Chef
This is super simple and you can add whatever extra veggies you want. I usually have lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa in the middle!

Thursday- Chicken Rice and Gravy with Broccoli
This one is my mom's recipe as well, so very unspecific amounts - she goes by memory. It's basically pieces of chicken in chicken gravy poured over white rice ( I know - terrible for you, but every once in a while I crave it! I grew up eating it regularly, ha! So yummy! Plus I had a side of steamed broccoli, so that evens things out, right?

2 chicken breast
2 pieces of celery
2 carrots
1 onion
2 T butter
1 cup white rice
3 cups water
2 T flour

1. So I boil the two raw chicken breasts in 3 cups of water with the celery, carrots, and onion chopped up in the water. After the chicken is done cooking, the water has magically turned into about 2 cups chicken stock :)
2. Set the cooked chicken aside to cool a bit, in a new pan, melt the butter and mix in the flour to make a roux (actually had to look the spelling of that word up!) - cook for a few min, then add 2 cups of chicken broth (strain out the carrots, onions etc before hand). Let the broth simmer for about 10 min or so to thicken up
3. Tear up the pieces of cooked chicken and place in gravy
4. Scoop Chicken/gravy mixture over rice and enjoy! - oh don't forget to have some broccoli on the side!

Friday- Christmas Party :)

I'm linked up with Orgjunkie