Monday, June 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #26

Well, we made it!  Halfway through 2011 and we're still menu planning!  This week we are getting ready for next week's vacation, so we're trying to save some money and clean out the fridge.  Also, this is the first time I've ordered "Dream Dinners" (DD), which are pre-made frozen meals that you pick up at Piggly Wiggly and all you have to do is throw them in the pan or the oven, no prep required.  I'm trying them out because they give 30% back to my fundraising for TNT, plus, you it is a pretty good deal to get an entire meal that feeds 3 for $10.  (And, there are only 2 of us).  I only ordered a few this time because I wanted to check them out, but if they are a success, then I might be trying even more next month!

6.27.11 - Leftovers & Carolina Baseball in CWS Finals!
6.28.11 - Diablo Chicken & Rice (DD) and homemade guacamole, Carolina Baseball in CWS Finals!
6.29.11 - Creamy Bacon Tortellini (DD) and another baseball game if it goes to 3.
6.30.11 - Girls Night for me, Softball for Ryan
7.1.11 - Meal TBA...but, it's my nephew's FIRST BIRTHDAY!!! (And the first anniversary of Gamecock National Championship Day)
7.2.11 - Cooper's Birthday Party in the afternoon, then it's off to the BEACH!
7.3.11 - BEACH!!

Have a great week y'all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruit Trifle Recipe

My summer go-to dessert is the fruit trifle.  Usually, I make it with just strawberries, but for our luncheon at work this week, I decided to change it up a bit and add blueberries, too!  Very "American" themed, huh?  This is the 3rd or 4th time I've whipped up this recipe in the last few months and lots of people have asked me to write it down so they could make it, so here it is!

"USA" Theme Trifle

Vanilla Jello Instant Pudding Mix + Milk to prepare
Cool Whip
Angel Food Cake (torn into lots of pieces)
Fresh Fruit

On the night before your event, slice up your fruit and top with sugar.  Allow to sit in fridge overnight to get good and yummy.  Go ahead and put your cool whip in the fridge to thaw, too!

When you're ready to put it all together, use a glass bowl or trifle dish (this makes for a pretty presentation, but it would definitely be just as tasty in any other dish), tear your angel food cake into lots of little pieces, then get ready to layer:

angel food cake - fruit- pudding - cool whip - angel food cake - fruit - pudding - cool whip

You always want to end with cool whip, then use a little bit of fresh fruit to decorate the top!  

side view to show the yummy layers
I've made it with both vanilla and cheese cake flavored puddings.  I think it would be GREAT with peaches, and can't wait to try that later this summer.  If you're wanting something light & cool, this is your dish!  You can change up the size by using more fruit, larger boxes of jello mix and a larger container of cool whip.

I've gotten lots of compliments on this recipe, especially on hot summer days.  Trust me, you won't ever have leftovers!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - Menu Planning Week #25

OK, so this past week was a little bit nuts, and since I'm always late posting up our menu plans anyway, I decided to go ahead and jump on board with all the other bloggers who love the alliteration with Menu Plan Monday. 
This is officially week #25 of menu planning for me, so we'll be at HALF A YEAR next week.  That seems so stinking crazy.  Anyway, this weekend we went to Charlotte to greet our friends returning from Ethiopia, and while their flight was delayed, I got to share the joy of the Midwood Smokehouse with my hubby and our friends.  It was a hit.  Then, of course, yesterday we celebrated Father's day with both our dads, so it was an all-day grillfest with burgers for lunch and pork chops for dinner.
Now, that we're caught up, here's my first Menu-Plan-Monday:
6.20.11 Monday - Ryan dinner at church, Sandwich at home for me
6.21.11 Tuesday - Calzones
6.22.11 Wednesday - Creamy Chicken Crescent Casserole
6.23.11 Thursday - Leftovers
6.24.11 Friday - Pork Tenderloin & Sweet Potatoes
6.25.11 Saturday - Monthly Supper Club at Wes&Kate's - taking salad
6.26.11 Sunday - Grilling out
For you who wonder what's been keeping me so busy, go visit my Team-in-Training fundraising site at to learn about my involvement with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Also, there's a prize up for grabs for the next person who makes an online donation... that could be you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Planning - Week 24

Here's what we're munching on this week....

6.11.11 - Pizza & Watching Carolina Baseball
6.12.11 - Lorraine's Stuffed Peppers from Supper Swap
6.13.11 - Baked Ziti w/ Italian Sausage
6.14.11 - Leftovers/Dinner on your own
6.15.11 - ZPizza Fundraiser for Team-in-Training
6.16.11 - Jennifer's Burritos from Supper Swap
6.17.11 - Grilling out

It is a busy week for us, but looks like we're getting used to our new schedule and getting the hang of planning our meals around it again.  Summer is officially in session :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Return of Memory Verses

I got away from blogging about my memory verses a while back.  Probably, because I got away from memorizing them weekly when our last Bible study ended several MONTHS ago. (New Year's Resolution FAIL).  I tell you, accountability is KEY to help keep you on track!  We're back started now, reading an incredible book Lord, I Want to Know You by Kay Arthur.  But anyway, back to memory verses. 
Currently, I'm working on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.  I've written the whole passage here, but it'll probably take me a few weeks to get the whole thing down by heart. 
"Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory which far outweighs them all.  So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal." 
When I read this passage this week, it hit me that for the last little while, my mind has been focused on the "light and momentary troubles" we have been facing lately.  I've written and erased a few whiny posts about things that have been going on in our lives, because ultimately, as this verse reminds me, those things that have been troubling me are just temporary, and the things that should fill my mind are things that have eternal significance. 
I feel so incredibly blessed to serve a God who uses His word to remind me at just the right time.  In fact, I am over a month behind on my "Read-the-Bible-in-A-Year" plan, and if I was on schedule, this verse may not have spoken to me quite as much.  So God can use every situation for good, even my failure to fulfill my committment to daily Bible reading.  That's the beauty though, when we fall down, He picks us up.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Menu Planning - Week 23 (UPDATED)

UPDATE: OK, now that things are coming together for the week, I fixed up our menu plan.

There's absolutely no plan for this week.  We have been totally spinning for two weeks in a row and things are just gonna have to settle down before I can make my brain think!  Perhaps I'll share a little of what we're up to this week and that'll help inspire me on what we'll eat.  I'll update the plan whenever I get to the grocery store and decide what's cookin'.

6.4.11 - Dinner was wedding reception food
6.5.11 - Village Idiot Pizza with Gray & Leigh while helping get some stuff together around their house
6.6.11 - Pilates class for me after work... haven't been in a few weeks and definitely need to get back!  We'll probably eat a freezer meal from supper swap.  These are the kind of weeks supper swap saves me.  Seriously, if I didn't have these frozen meals tucked away, we'd be eating lots-o-sandwiches, cereal and the like for supper.  (We ate Leila's Manicotti w/ Meat Sauce -- YUM!)
6.7.11 - Group run with TNT, Country Style BBQ Ribs on the Grill w/ Mashed Potatoes
6.8.11 - Bible Study, Out to eat
6.9.11 - Group run with TNT, Buffalo Chicken Pizza
6.10.11 - Dinner at The Melting Pot - celebrating with our friends the Ladd's who are FINALLY bringing home their sweet boy from Ethiopia

Maybe you have a suggestion of something good you're making this week that I should try sometime soon?