Tuesday, September 30, 2008

OAMC part Deux DONE!!!

Jaime putting chicken parm in her food saver bags.

We had our second Once a Month cooking marathon on Sunday at it was a complete success. There were four of us this time, me, Lisa H., Anna and Jaime. We recruited my SIL Jaime, and she did a GREAT job!!! I think we have her hooked on this OAMC way of life. I sure know that I am hooked, it makes life sooooo much easier. We did really well this time we made

Chili - 6 batches
Stuffed peppers - 30 (10 each)
Lasagna - 3 pans
Dump lime chicken - 3 batches
Dump chicken w/ veggies - 3 batches
Chicken parm - 3 batches
Dump swiss steak - 6 batches
Beef stew - 6 batches
Baked ziti - 6 pans
Chicken tenders 1 bag of 25 each
garlic fries - one big bag each

Lisa H. showing off her 1/3 of the meals we prepared that day
This didn't even include the 2 pans of stuffed peppers and pan of lasagna

We ended up making about 18 meals each. Again its going to be a huge time saver over the next month to have all these meals just sitting waiting in my freezer.

So you ask, how much did it cost us to make all these dinners??? Well I would be glad to answer that. It was approximately $7.75 per meal to feed a family of four. Some of the meals I will add a veggie and/or a starch to, but most of the meals have everything I need all in the freezer bag or pan.

So, on the financial end of this OAMC, it is a smart way to go. You have the meals all paid for and just waiting in the freezer. So it cuts down on my weekly grocery bill, because I have these meals already prepared. I would say I use the OAMC meals about 4 times a week and three times a week I cook other non-prepared meals.

Whats next for us, well, in December, we are going to have a huge baking day where we are going to bake Christmas cookies and goodies. And we're going to make jams and jellies.

And I am so excited to share my next OAMC day in November with my sister, Nikki. We are going to have so much fun! I will keep you all posted on that OAMC day.

I hope I have inspired you to try this way of cooking, its so much fun, lots and lots of work, but soooo worth it in the end!!!

Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amish Friendship bread

pics of Jason and Justin mixing the batter up.
Amish Friendship bread (AFB)

The boys and I made our second batch of AFB. This time we made the original Cinnamon recipe, we made them into muffins and we made a banana nut variation into a cake pan. They both are delish!!!
Here is a pic of our finished product, as you can see the boys had two muffins right away!

Here is some information about it. Its really fun to change up the different recipes. I have tried it with the original cinnamon and have tried it with bananas and nuts. they both are yummy!!

This is more than a recipe - it's a way of thinking. In our hi-tech world almost everything comes prepackaged and designed for instant gratification. So where does a recipe that takes ten days to make fit in? Maybe it's a touch stone to our past - to those days not so very long ago when everything we did took time and where a bread that took 10 days to make was not as extraordinary as it seems today.

Amish Friendship Bread is a great bread for the holidays. When you've made your bread, you can give your friends a sample and the starter that made it! Then your friends can make their own and pass it along to their friends. This is why the bread is called "friendship bread". It makes a great homemade birthday and Christmas present. Church groups and hospitals have spread a lot of love and cheer by making Amish Friendship Bread for their members. Many people make it regularly just because it tastes so good!

Amish Friendship Bread is a genuine starter bread. If you know someone with a starter, you are in luck. For those of you without access to a starter, we've done our research and found a great option. It's a special starter in powder form that can be activated with flour and water; it's safe, very inexpensive and we can send it to you. (from

In case anyone was wondering, here is the nutritional information for the AFB
approximate Nutritional Information
Amish Friendship Bread

Servings Per Recipe: 30

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 130

Total Fat: 5.6g
Cholesterol: 22mg
Sodium: 89mg
Total Carbs: 18.3g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3g
Protein: 1.9g

So if one of your friends or family members hands you a Ziploc baggie with batter in it, take it with a smile. Its fun to make. Its not a burden. Take the time to teach your kiddos to bake, learning how to measure, pouring, cracking open an egg and taste testing is so much fun for them and you too!

Have a great day.
"Live simply, not just simply live"

OAMC part Deux

We are doing our Once a Month Cooking day again on September 28th. I am so excited, we recruited my sister in law, Jaime. She was so interested in it, we didn't even have to talk her into doing it with us. Lisa H. and I are becoming the masters at OAMC. I love the planning aspect of OAMC, there is quite a bit that goes into planning a OAMC day. You have to decide what recipes you are going to make, then convert all the ingredients, as you have to sometimes quadruple the recipes, pick your date, make the grocery list (as in our case, lists, cuz we divide up the list between all the OAMC chefs), and much more.

So, here are the reciepes we are going to tackle this time.

Dump lime chicken
Beef stew
stuffed green peppers
dump chicken with potatoes, carrots and zucchini
dump swiss steak (again, we loved it the first time, so this is a repeat)
chicken roll ups (another repeat, yummo!)

chicken tenders
garlic fries
mashed potatoes

At the end of our cooking day we will have over 20 main meals each, approx 40 chicken tenders, tons of fries and at least 3 bags of mashed potatoes. If you ask me that is so worth cooking for an entire day. If you can have at least 20 days of no cooking during the next month....woohoo!!! I love Once a Month Cooking ☺
Wish us luck.
I will post recipes another day, its way past midnight and I am so tired.
Good night.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Menu Planning Monday Sept 22- Sept 28

Good morning,
Happy Monday!! ☺ This week I am trying a new recipe that looks sooo delish. Organizing Junkie's MPM is Family Favorite edition. So I am also adding my families favorite dinner, and wow, we havne't had this meal in at least a month. I feel like I am depriving my family.

I have organized it a little differant this week. I think its going to work better for me.

cereal and fruit
cereal and yogurt
eggs and bacon
french toast and strawberries
pancake puffs, fuit and S/F pudding

homemade chicken nuggets and fries
cheese quasadillas, veggies and ranch dip

mac and cheese and broccoli
chicken noodle soup with crackers and oranges
grilled cheese

Beef Stew with dinner rolls
bruschetta chicken with broccoli and pasta
oregano Chicken - one of my families Fav's
slow cooker swiss steak w/ potatoes and carrots
chimichangas and spanish rice - recipe from Guy Fieri Hot off the Grill on Food Network
pasta and meatballs, salad and garlic toast - another family fav
asian pork tenderloin, rice and roasted brussel sprouts

Well thats all, until next week!

For more great ideas and to post your own menu planning go to

Have a blessed week!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our Disney World adventure Part 3

The final installment of our Disney trip is finally done.
And its all about our time IN Disney.

The above pics were taken by a Photopass photographer
at the Epcot Character meet and greet

I found these great pics of Port Orleans Riverside - Alligator Bayou section, on the message boards. So I thought I would post them, so you can see where we stayed.

Pic of Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans Riverside resort.
Our room was in the second building in this pic.

This was the view from our room and my smoking bench
that I sat at every morning and evening. What a beautiful view.

It was such a beautiful place, the landscape and grounds were so beautifully rustic and peaceful. Daily, our boys fed the birds, ducks, bunnies and even tried to feed an iguana one day. POR Riverside has so many fun things to do right on the property: horse drawn carriage rides, boats and bicyles made for four people you can rent and drive them around the resort. So much fun!!

Here is some basic info about Port Orleans Riverside
Total Number of rooms: 2048
Room size: 315 Sq Ft.

The great things about Port Orleans Resort is that your have access to seven different pools and two water slides. In addition to the bus transportation, resort guests can use the water taxi to make their way to the Downtown Disney. The overall southern theme and beautiful landscaping sets it apart from any other moderate resort on Disney property. I have also stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort, which is also a moderate resort and we love it there also. They are two totally different themed resorts with similar amenities. They are both fairly large resorts and there is alot of walking to do between food court or pool and your room. I would stay at both POR and Caribbean again and again.

Enough said about the resort now onto our fun filled 8 days in Disney.

Day one- On our arrival day we just hung out at our resort, got settled in, explored the resort and had dinner at Boatwrights restaurant, the food was delicious.

Day two - We got up and spent the morning and all afternoon at Magic Kingdom. We went through Main Street USA, Liberty Square and Fantasy Land. The boys rode rides (some they rode several times in a row ☺) - It's a Small World, Tea cups, Haunted Mansion, Cinderella's Carousal, Dumbo the flying elephant.
That evening we got dressed and jumped on the boat to Downtown Disney where we had dinner ressies at Capt'n Jacks restaurant, again the food was delish. We shopped at the toys store, Once upon a Toy Store, the Lego store, Mickey's mart (everything is 10.00 or under), and the World of Disney store. We had a great time in DTD.

Day three- As we got up that AM with anticipation to go to Typhoon Lagoon water park, one of our boys had a bad accident in the room. As John and I were walking out the door, the boys were so excited they were jumping on the bed and Jason fell off and hit his little noggin on the wood bed rail. My poor baby was bleeding everywhere, so we took him to a pediatric clinic where he got stitches.
After we were all done at the clinic, we headed back to the resort to relax for the day. But Jason would not have that, we were in Disney and he wanted to be on the run going, going and going. So we asked him where he wanted to go, he said "Magic Kingdom, for sure" So there we went and spent the entire evening until 1:00am there. We went on tons of rides, spent alot of time in Toontown at Mickey and Minnie's houses, rode Goofy's Barnstormer, and all the other rides we had rode the day before. This time we headed to Tomorrowland and rode the Buzzlight year ride, Monsters Inc laugh floor, Tomorrowland Speedway.
We ate at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe, we had BBQ Ribs and chicken, it was very tasty. Really cute set up in there, there was a puppet like character playing music and singing. Jason was really afraid of that, so we ran through that seating area and found a different place to sit.

Day Four- Off to Epcot we went to meet up with John's entire family. We hung with them for a little while and took a few really cute pics of all of us. We parted ways, so we could get to our first character meal at the Garden Grill. We met, Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale. It was tons of fun and the food was good, John LOVED the food. The characters spent alot of time with our boys. Chip came by and tickled Justin til Justin practically fell of his chair ☺, it was so cute. And of course, Justin got up and tickled Chip right back, it made for some really cute pics. Oh and Mickey Mouse was obsessed with Johns tattoos, he could not get over how many Johnny had. I got a cute pic of Mickey pointing at Johns tats. The cool thing about the Garden Grill restaurant is it rotates. We didn't realize it at first and after we were sitting there for about 15 minutes, John said, whoa, the floor is spinning. It was so funny.

After lunch we went on some rides, we rode the Living with the Land boat ride, The Seas with Finding Nemo, Turtle Talk with Crush, Soarin, Test Track, and Innovations West. We had a blast at Epcot. And then we ended our time at Epcot at the Character connection and met, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Dale. It was amazing, we got family pics with each character and got pics of just the boys with each character. Fun Fun Fun!!!!! I just LOVE Disney!!

That evening we met John's family at MGM and hung out, had ice cream and did some shopping. The kids played and had tons of fun with these cool Mickey Mouse light sabers.

Day 5 - I can't for the life of me remember what we did during the day. But I remember we had an early dinner at the restaurant, Boatwrights at our resort.
And we went to Epcot in the evening to ride Soarin and Test track again and watch their fireworks. We found a perfect spot and saw everything perfect. This is one of John's favorite things in Disney, he loves the Epcot fireworks.

Day 6 - Was not so great for me, as I was sick with the stomach flu. But Johnny took the kids to Magic Kingdom with his family and they spent the morning and afternoon there, having a great time. Going on rides with their cousins. They got Jason to go on Pirates of the Caribbean, which was a huge accomplishment, since he had been saying for months that he would NOT go on POTC. He loved it!!!!
After a long day at MK, we ended the day by ordering pizza to our room and swimming in the resort pool.

Day 7 - Animal Kingdom - We got up early that morning to make it to our character meal at 8:30. We went to the Donald's Safari Breakfast to meet Donald, Mickey, Daisy, and Goofy. What a blast that was, it was so interactive, the characters grabbed all the kids and gave them musical instruments and they all paraded and danced around the room. It was a blast!!! We will definitely be going there again next time we go to Disney. The food was great!!! They had this Jungle Juice, it was soooo delish.
We rode some great rides and saw some cool attractions here. We took the Kilimanjaro safari ride, saw its tough to be a bug, rode the Triceratops spin, and played in the boneyard.
We ended our day at Magic Kingdom to see Spectromagic parade. That was amazing, so many lights and you get to see tons of characters. We rode all our favorite rides again, Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean, the teacups, Its a Small World, and soo many more. It was a great way to finish out our trip as this was our last full day in Disney.

Day 8 - We got all packed up and ready to leave. And headed out to meet the Gottfried Gang at Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) to see the Lights, Action, Motor Stunt show. That was awesome, the kids loved seeing the fast cars, cars driving in revise, the motorcycles and jet skis speeding around. It was a nice way to end the trip. After that, we headed back to the resort to grab our bags and get on the Magical Express bus to go to the airport.

All in all, we had a fantastically, wonderful, amazing, perfectly, magical trip!!!! I hope to get back there sometime in the next year and a half. I am trying to convince John, we need to go back next December so we can see all the holiday decorations and lights. We will see??!!!!

That's it!! I am finally done...
Have a great day.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Happy birthday Justin and Jason. I can't believe our boys are 5 years old. It is so amazing how time goes by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday I was rushing to the hospital after my waterbag broke. August 28th was the happiest day of my life!!!