Thursday, January 2, 2014

January Meal Plan

The reason that my menu plan works for me is because I am very familiar with my recipes and their names. What you may find as you are reading through my list is you don't know what an Egg MoMuffin is or Dagwood Sandwiches. So if you come across anything like that, just leave a comment and I post the recipe instructions. For now, here are the ones I mentioned above.

Egg MoMuffin

Yes, you read that correctly MOmuffin. Many years ago, a friends elderly grandmother was just getting to know me during a Christmas gathering I was attending. She was a quirky lady and was reading off the names on the gift tags when she came across one belonging to me. Now I don't know why she would read it as she did, but instead of reading Michelle, she read MOchelle. Well, that got everyone laughing and ever since I have been MOchelle to this family. It has even translated into my own family with my niece calling me Aunt MOchelle. So when I started making these yummy breakfast sandwich at home, they became "Egg MOmuffins". lol, I also make a killer Sloppy Mo's.


English Muffin (I like Thomas Lite Multigrain)
2% American Cheese
Canadian Bacon

1. Spray you frying pan with nonstick oil spray. Heat to medium.
2. Break egg into pan as if you were making a dippy egg.
3. While this is cooking, pop your English Muffin into the toaster.
4. Once egg is starting to solidify, break yolk and continually push egg towards center, or fold it on itself until it holds and is the size of your muffin.
5. Flip egg, cook until the yolk is no longer runny.
6. Place toasted muffin on a plate, lay cooked egg on top. Add Cheese.
7. Toss Canadian Bacon into hot pan. Cook for 20 seconds on each side. Don't overcook as this will dry it out.
8. Add Bacon to your sandwich and enjoy.

Dagwood Sandwiches

This are really simple and you can adjust them to your own tastes but this is how we like them.


Deli Turkey Breast
Colby Jack Cheese
Sweet Italian Loaf

1. Cut the loaf of bread length wise.
2. Generously layer Turkey, Salami and Cheese.
3. Close bread and slice into individual sandwiches.

Optional Ingredient Ideas: Lettuce, Tomato, Banana Peppers, Bacon, Red Onion, Ranch, Mayo, Mustard, Oil & Vinegar Dressing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 2014 Family Menu Plan

Starting next Monday, I'll be headed back to college full time, still homeschooling 4 kids and working part-time. Needless to say, organization is a must around here. I simply can't do it all so I developed a working menu plan for myself and 3 of my daughters.

Yellow Recipes are for my 13 year old to prepare, blue is my 16 year old, pink is my 19 year old and I am teal. It is all based around availability and skill level. I will still shop once a week because I prefer fresh ingredients, but making a grocery list will be a breeze now that I have a plan.

I was even a bit adventurous and threw in a few new recipes such as Navy Bean Soup, Chicken Fried Rice and Ham and Cheese Frittatas. I am on the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan so a few of these meals I'll have to skip or modify for myself but overall I think it is a pretty healthy and balanced meal plan.

Muffins & Milk
Mac & Cheese with Ham Chunks - Fruit
Chili – Cornbread - Applesauce
Dippy Eggs & Toast
Hot Dogs – Chips – Apples
Baked Parmesan Chicken – Broccoli - Rice
French Toast Sticks - Milk
Baked Potatoes & Fruit w/Whipped Cream
Tacos w/lettuce & tomato – Yellow Rice
Ham/Cheese Bagel Sandwich, Goldfish, Jello
*Navy Bean Soup – Crusty Bread
Chicken Quesadillas – Whipped Cream/Fruit
Pulled Pork Sand. - Applesauce - Chips
Ham/Broccoli Quiche – Grapes – Bread
Pizza Night
Enchiladas – Yellow Rice – Apple Slices
Hamburgers – Fries – Deviled Eggs– Apples
French Toast – Eggs – Oranges
Muffins & Milk
Taquitos – Refried Beans/Chips – Apples
Steak – Baked Potatoes - Salad
Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Club Sandwiches – Chips – Apples/Dip
Spaghetti – Garlic Bread - Salad
Dagwood Sandwiches – Chips - Fruit
Spahettio's & Meatballs, Apples
Ham and Cheese Potato Soup – Bread/Salad
Bean Burritos – Fruit Salad with Yogurt
Pizza Night
Meatloaf – Mashed Potatoes – Green Beans
Strawberry Banana Smoothie & Bacon
Chicken Soup, Biscuits, Yogurt w/Teddy Grahams
Cheeseburger Pie – Corn - Applesauce
Egg MoMuffins
Sloppy Joes, Chips & Veggies
*Chicken Fried Rice – Fruit w/Cream
Muffins & Milk
Grilled Cheese – Chips – Apples/Dip
Cool Taco Salad – Apples
Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Paula Deen Mac & Cheese – Bread - Veggies
Pork Chops *Broccoli Casserole, Applesauce
Oatmeal, w/Fried Apples & Cinnamon
Dagwood Sandwiches – Chips - Fruit
Lasagna – Garlic Bread - Salad
Cheesy Ham & Potato Soup, Bread, Salad
Pizza Night
Roast/Potatoes/Carrots – Bread - Coleslaw
French Bread Pizza – Pears
Tacos – Refried Beans
Baked Potatoes / Fruit w/Whipped Cream
Porcupine Meatballs–Cornbread – Salad
*PB Banana Smoothie & Bacon
*Amish Casserole – Apples
Steak, Steak Fries, Veggie
Muffins & Milk
Chicken Nuggets, Macaroni & Cheese, Fruit
*Chicken Burritos, Yellow Rice, Apples
Scrambled Eggs & Toast
Hot Pockets – Chips - Fruit
Turkey – Yams – Stuffing – Mashed Potatoes

The various colors indicate different cooks in the family. The stars indicate recipes online. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama Recipe - Mounds Muffin in a Mug

Attention dark chocolate and coconut fans! Introducing the Mounds MIM!

(Dark Chocolate and Coconut MIM)
1 egg
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp flaxseed meal 
1 Tbsp extra dark cocoa
1 heaping Tbsp regular cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 Dash of vanilla
2 Dashes of coconut extract
Sweetener to taste (I use 4 stevia drops, 3 xylitol packets, 2 Truvia packets)
Dash of Sea Salt
1 tsp water, almond milk, cream

Mix well. In separate bowl make coconut filling with 2Tbsp unsweetened coconut and 1- 1 1/2 Tbsp low fat ricotta cheese and another dash of coconut extract.Push into center of muffin mix. Microwave 1 minute. Top with a sprinkle of more flaked coconut and a dollop of whipped cream.
If you have skinny chocolate to melt and drizzle over this you will be in heaven.

Friday, December 13, 2013

"GREEN" Theme Christmas...

This year for Christmas, I would like to give out gifts that reflect all that I learned in my Environmental Science class at University. I was so moved that I have begun making changes in my own life to take better care of our world on a daily basis. So for my first project, I am going to make shopping bags to replace all those plastic ones you get everywhere you go shopping.

Reusable Shopping Bag

Another Shopping Bag Tutorial and Packaging Idea

WHY should we NOT use plastic bags???

Fact: Globally, over 1 million plastic bags are consumed per minute.
Gut-wrenching Fact: Marine wildlife mistakes plastic bags for food and dies.
Frustrating Fact: It’s taking too long for supermarkets and politicians to sort it out. Plastic bags are still blowing in the wind and choking the whales.
Happy Fact: Making your own bags will help, with immediate effect.
Plastic bags in water are serial killers. They are ingested by marine wildlife, as plastic bags are often mistaken for jellyfish. The dolphin, whale, turtle or bird dies by suffocation or starvation and decomposes around the bag. The bag floats off, ready for its next victim…
No one knows how long these treacherous bags take to biodegrade. Humans have only been using them for 40 years but they are already covering the planet. Plastic bags photodegrade (break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits) and the pieces infiltrate every part of the food chain, for marine wildlife and humans.
A young female minke whale was washed up in Normandy, France, on April 6th 2002. These were the contents of her stomach:
1 x plastic/aluminum crisp packet
2 x English supermarket bags
7 x various coloured dustbin bag bits
7 x transparent plastic bags
1 x food packaging wrapper
Factoids at a glance:
  •  Over 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year (so that’s about 70 plastic bags per person – if everyone had a trusty 10 or so morsbags to keep and use, problem solved!)
  • Retailers and governments are struggling to make the difference that is needed through taxes and bans – we – the consumers – need to take this into our own hands.
  • “The impact of this plastic waste can be seen littering our landscape, threatening our wildlife and accumulating as ‘plastic soup’ in the Pacific Ocean, which may cover more than 15,000,000 sq. km,” Janez Potocnik – European Commissioner for the environment.
  • According to MSN, the production of plastic bags creates enough solid waste per year to fill the Empire State Building two and a half times.
  • In some parts of the ocean there are six pounds of plastic for every pound of plankton.
These are unreferenced facts and there are plenty more out there on the web. However, it is generally acknowledged and accepted that plastic bags are harmful in one way or another, so we think time would be better spent making a reusable cloth bag than googling! Hope you agree…
The staggering amount of plastic bags freely handed out in shops is boggling and consequently shoppers habitually forget that plastic bags are not the only option.

Course Reflection

As I complete my first semester at the University, I look back amazed at what I have been able to accomplish. First and foremost, I have realized I am capable of a lot more than I expected. A lot of people tell me they are astounded that I can go to college, homeschool four kids, work part time, and run my household as a single mom. I hate to say it but, while it is exhausting at times, it hasn't been hard because I love what I am doing. (Well, maybe not my job, but that is another story.) 

I am truly thankful for college and the things I am learning. I was never able to have this experience when I was 18, but in the end I know I would not have appreciated it then like I do now. The experiences I had in my fist semester made me realize I can do even more, and that is why next semester I am doubling my class load.
In my Digital Media online class, I worked with so many new programs I had never heard of before. I really thought I was a "computer person" but I realized we get into our little niches and never see some of the wonderful creative resources out there.
I love how the class forced me to take my photography skills to the next level. I had to learn about pixels and mega pixels. I really think there is a ton more to learn here, and I plan to take a photography class to further expand this area.
One of my favorite assignments was creating music and the mash-up video to go with it. This is my niche and I loved all 32 hours I dedicated to both assignments. Prior to this, I didn't know how to create digital music, but now I have a product I can be proud of and the skill to create original music for future film projects.
The course also gave me the beginning skills to create a fantastic website with Wix and the ability to create graphics in 3D and GIF animation to showcase products I may want to feature on my site. My ultimate goal is to be my own business owner, and the exposure I had in the class has only helped in showing me the possibilities that digital media can play in my future online endeavors.
I wish I would have had more of an opportunity to learn how to create my own digital illustrations with a program like Adobe Illustrator, but I was able to play around a bit with this genre of art using the Scribbler and Flame programs. The typography assignment was fun, too, and I can see a ton of possibilities in using words and images as logos for any business I might launch. I am excited to take the skills I learned and continue on them throughout my college journey.

Unlikely Holiday Movies

Not all holiday movies have to be "Christmas" specific. Some of my favorite movies have little if nothing at all to do with the holidays but somehow they just seem to be a perfect fit for this time of year. Here are a few to get you started. Enjoy!


Find my work on Seelio now!