Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mongolian Beef

I you are looking for a new recipe to try out I HIGHLY recommend THIS one. I have had it pinned on Pinterest forever and Brent happened to spy it the other day when we were looking for some Brent friendly gluten free recipes and he was really excited to give it a try. We went with a really lean cut if meat which was really healthy and only ran about $11.00 for 4 servings. 

I will have I say Brent is definitely the better cook between the 2 of us specially when it comes to meat so I let him do the hard work on this meal (darn). I did however prepare an extra large pot of quinoa in vegetable broth to go with it and some steamed frozen broccoli to eat on the rest of the week. We of course couldn't eat an Asian meal without edamame which was Mckinley's favorite part. This kid lives for edamame! She also loved the quonia and broccoli, but since she isn't a huge fan of red meat I got to finish that off for her which was just awful.
I think if all of our new recipes turn out as amazing as this one did Brent might actually enjoy the gluten free lifestyle. I just want to say P.F. Changs I hate to tell you, but our Mongolian beef might be better than yours.

Plans and Changes

I am finally jumping back on my serious meal planning. Last month I kept everything pretty simple with crock pot Mondays, taco Tuesdays, pasta Wednesdays, breakfast for dinner Thursdays, and pizza Fridays, but I am ready for some new recipes. I also have a new motivation. Daddy D is going gluten free because of a few health issues he has going on and he was told to cut out white flour and white rice. This will be a little tricky because a lot of gluten free products are made from rice flour, but I think kicking the flour habit will be such a huge change on his body a little rice flour won't do anymore damage everything else has already done. I also plan on trying my hand at bread machine baking so we shall see how that goes.

We just got back from our latest shopping trip and Brent had asked if our grocery bills would go up now that he will also be eating gluten free and after seeing our $230 bill got a little scared until I reminded him this was basically a months worth of meals. I plan on us eating leftovers and a lot of these meals can be divided in 2 and frozen for later use which means next months planning will be even easier. I am also psyched about my new to us freezer that will be moving into our shed to house all of these delicious meals.

Now let's take a look at how all this madness come together. There isn't really a science to and now that I think about it almost exactly how I put together my lesson plans for school. I make a plan, make a list, and get to work. I start by searching Pinterest and the internet for interesting recipes (gluten free of course), then I make a big list, figure out what ingredients I already have and what I will need, and then I decide when we want to eat them. I wasn't going  to plan out an entire month, but I just got so caught up in the excitement that I went ahead and did it anyways which just makes my life easier. There are still a few things we will still need to purchase like the salmon because we like that to be fresh and I will need a few more lbs. of ground turkey, but my freezer is full so we will pick that up fresh as needed. 

The first picture doesn't do my kamikaze meal planning justice. Usually there are scratch pieces of paper everywhere, it is missing my computer, and there is almost always a small child in the mix of everything. The snack cup is evidence of her presence.

I typically do not plan anything for the weekends since we usually have leftovers and we spend a lot of time with friends and family so this gives us a little meal leeway.  Now these recipes on these days are not set in stone. If we want or need to switch them around we do it. I am just such a visual and hands on person that I need it to be down in writing so I can process all of the information. We have already switched a few things around (all of the salmon recipes have switched to Friday since Brent takes care of that and I have cross country meets on Thursday evenings) and I have already eliminated a recipe because of a conflict (we do this prior to grocery shopping so we don't waste any $ on something we don't need).

You might wonder how we decide what days we eat what and that is simple. Monday is always a crock pot meal because I am usually exhausted on Mondays after a long weekend and a long day of getting everyone back into a routine at school. I also almost always have a ton of pork stashed in my freezer hence the main ingredient in all of those dishes being just that. We love pork in this house and crock pork is the best! Tuesday is always Turkey Taco Tuesday. Tacos are simple, easy, and healthy. Plus they are easy prep and and clean and I just like the alliteration in the name. Wednesday and Thursday are my days to try out new recipes. Usually they are chicken recipes that I can prepare ahead of time and or freeze for a later time. Fridays as I said earlier will be grill nights typically salmon and veggies. Now don't think we don't ever have any fun because at least one Friday a month we will be throwing in a Mellow Mushroom night since there is one opening walking distance from our house and they have AMAZING gluten free options. 

These next few weeks are pretty crucial for the success of Brent's new healthier lifestyle. I have been through the unglutenizing and it can be rough and you are really hungry at first, but preparation and planning is the key to success so whatever I can do to make this transition as easy as possible for him is exactly what I will do. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Calling It

As of September 22 2013 I am calling potty training a win! We made it through the zoo in panties (we hit every bathroom in the park just to be safe), but I think 3 days in panties equals potty trained. We aren't brave enough to go bare t night or naptime, but I am ok with that. It lets me hold on to my girl being a baby for a little longer. 

Mckinley started going on the potty around 16 months. We never wanted to push her because I knew she would go when she was ready, but he kind of took to it. Some weeks she would go all if the time an other weeks she wouldn't want anything to do with it so we just went at her pace. It wasn't until this summer that we started pitying on a pretty consistent basis because we were home a lot more and we went pants off dance off when we were at home. I actually feel like this just d if hindered our progress because anytime I did put pants or a diaper on the girl she would just get lazy and just go.  

Finally last week we took her to pick out some big girl panties and she went traight for the Sesams St. pack and there was no going back. I sent Mckinley to Mrs. Julie's in panties and a few backup diapers and after 1 little accident we were good to go!

So we have been in panties since Friday and except for a puddle on Papa and Yaya's back porch we have been in panties ever since. We still wear our cloth trainers because I sure do t have time to take apart the entire car seat and wash it. I am thinking about hitting up Babies Are Us since I need to return some stuff and get ahead on my Christmas shopping and picking up one of them thar car seat pads. 

I may or may not have gotten a little sad when my girl put her own panties on all by herself. I stil can't believe my little squishy punkin head is a big girl panty wearing 2 year old. Good news I can now say put on your big girl panties and deal with it and really mean it! Her booty looks so tiny without her big ole fluffy bum. 

My big girl panty wearer and her 2 boyfriends!