Family Adventures, Recipes, Uncategorized

Seeking to Live Those Simple Days & My Favorite Apple Crumble Recipe

I have this vision that life is supposed to play out a certain way. I focus hard on wanting it to be something that may not be in the works at the moment. I’m guilty of envisioning the life where we have days that are “free” from work and we’re able to sit on our front porch with our favorite drinks, while just enjoying each other as we breathe in the fresh air and leave all the stress behind.

Really, it’s the s i m p l e days I’m seeking now that I’m in my life stage of m o t h e r h o o d.

(Funny how things change.)

We all have our “dreams” in mind of what we want our life to “look” like, but the hardest part is attaining it. There are so many obstacles that get in the way and sometimes we can loose sight or feel like just giving that vision up. I’m totally guilty of having a difficult time “foreseeing” how our hard work will play out in the future. I guess in reality I’m having a hard time trusting things will work with how they are meant to.

This past weekend I read a page from “Grace for the Moment” By Max Lucado, these are short daily devotionals that are easy to read, but brings so much insight into your day. The day marked “September 23rd” was exactly what I needed to read. It helped me to redirect my mindset so that I can continue to “swim along” through the daily grind.

Trust God with the Future 

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. -John 14:1

I sat there for a few moments and pondered this verse. I knew my heart has been troubled lately, mainly due with the stress of financial decisions we have made, along with at this very moment trying to build our future while also raising our little boy. Everyday I seek for wisdom along with clarity that things will start to work out, and while some days are better than others… knowing that my family’s future is already taken care of is bringing me more peace.

Our family will continue to have long days ahead of us as we are build our future, but knowing that we have Him guiding us is giving me more moments where I can let out those “sighs of relief”.  Doesn’t it feel good to know that you can release the control into His hands?

It may be that you too are in a similar situation, where the stress of life is really starting to build up and you’re seeking those “s i m p l e days”.

Here’s what I want you to know…

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” -Exodus 14:14

Keep doing what your doing, trust in the Lord, be kind, humble, and gracious…your time will soon come.

“I will also give to each one who wins the victory a white stone with a new name written on it.” Revelation 2:17

Do you remember the story of Joseph and how diligent he was in “waiting”? He went through so many obstacles, from being betrayed by his brothers, to being in a dungeon (not a prison, but a dungeon!) for a crime he never did, and so many other battles he encountered throughout his life. But, you know what?! He never gave up in believing that one day “his time will come”. And it sure did!

Time is something that we either want to slow down or speed up. (we’re so indecisive as humans, aren’t we?) It all depends on our situation. As for me, I would like time to speed up, but we all know that won’t happen. So for now, I’m focusing on those simple moments and releasing my thoughts to knowing that someone else is in control and He definitely has a plan for my family.

I believe that’s called having F A I T H.

You know what else helps with the waiting period? Yummy food, especially treats! 🙂

I’ll stop here and share with you a delicious apple crumble that I made this past Sunday, because it’s these simple moments that I’m truly starting to treasure.  Now, I wish I could say I came up with the recipe, but that’s definitely not the case. I went to one of my favorite online “cookbooks”! 🙂 Pinterest recipes and allrecipes.com are my top favorites! 🙂

The Apple Crumble Recipe came from allrecipes.com. All 3 of us enjoyed it (even Little Johnny). It’s a simple recipe too!

Click the link below to be directed to our favorite apple crumble recipe!

>>>Apple Crumble<<<

We also came to a conclusion that this would taste really good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! 🙂

Here’s to a great week ahead!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

Motherhood, Recipes

Tips and Tricks with Saving Money on Groceries & 7 Day Menu

We all like to save money and if we can eat well out of it too, than it’s a win win in all situations! Let me start off by saying that this is NOT a sponsored post. I am simply sharing my tips and tricks that are helping us to save money on our grocery bill, along with the new found love I have for…Aldi.  We all have to grocery shop at some point, so why not save money while you’re doing it without the extra step of couponing!

I always new about Aldi, but never actually shopped there until I started staying home with Little Johnny. We had to find all kinds of ways to cut back on our spending and the grocery bill was a huge oneMy only complaint is that right now I do have to drive about 20-25 minutes to get to the store, so let’s get on building an Aldi near us, shall we?! 🙂 Mind you, we live right next to a Publix too…so it’s very tempting to just say “forget the drive” but the amount we save is so worth it!

Here’s a little secret about me…I am not a couponer…(if that’s even a word, haha)! I applaud all mamas that take the time to coupon. I don’t have the patience for that right now and I realize how much money you can save along with even getting money back sometimes, but my life is already a little hectic so I’m just keeping it simple with a few tips & tricks that drastically help to cut back on our grocery bill!

This grocery trip I spent $67.89, which includes a planned out menu for 7 meals (I’m a pinterest meal planner :)) and a few added snacks, and beverages. We are a family of 4, so we tend to have a lot of leftovers that ends up just being our lunch for the week. Before I share my menu with links to the recipes, let’s get into a few tips &tricks that I have been doing to save.

Tips & Tricks with Saving $ on Groceries


  • Shop at Aldi- There prices are  unbelievably cheap, and you’re not risking the quality of your meals either. So far we have no complaints. (By the way this week the eggs were 48 cents & avocados were 89 cents!
  • plan out your menu for the week and write down a grocery list!
    • It’s a bit of work to complete this, but well worth it throughout the week because I don’t have to worry about thinking “what’s for dinner”. I just look at my board and I’m good to go, it truly is a lifesaver for the weekly dinner time stress. And by the way, I’m a traditional lady with grocery lists and I literally just write it down on scrap paper.
  • Stick to your list!
    • This is always the hardest thing for me, but sticking to your list and not adding on is one of the easiest ways you’ll save (but it does take some self-control on your part..)
  • buy in large quantities of meat and use it for more than 1 meal
    • For example the pork roast will do us for a couple of meals, so I planned 2 dinners out of it…pulled pork sandwiches and pulled pork nachos.
  • build your spice cabinet!
    • I have collected a variety of spices over the last couple of months which has helped me to not have buy more spices.
  • Check your fridge and cabinets before you grocery shop!
    • This is another simple one, but something I’m even guilty of not always doing! When I see that we still have some leftover fruits/veggies along with other spices I try to incorporate it into my planned out meals (mostly as side dishes) so they’re not going to waste!  You’d be surprised with the variety of things you can make out of leftovers, which also tastes yummy too! (Google is a great friend for this! ;))
  • use “protein fillers” within meat-
    • I buy cans of black beans every time I go grocery shopping and I use them within my ground turkey or other meals as “protein fillers” so that I can divide the pound of meat into at least 2 meals!
  • Use a calculator! 
    • I’m going old school with this, but it truly helps to keep track of what you’re spending!
  • Skip the snack aisle and shop your produce & meats first!
    • I use to does this backwards where I would shop for the things that are just extras, but sometimes we just don’t have the wiggle room to purchase them. So when I shop for the necessities first than I can see if I am able to splurge.
  • pay with cash and leave all your cards at home!
    • This might be extreme, but if you don’t have the cards on hand and are limited to just the money you have, those extra snacks that you really don’t need won’t be added on… I’m so bad with getting caught up in the snack aisle and even though it’s small added costs, it does add up.

7 Day Menu for the Week 


(we are not on any type of diet, we simply eat food that sounds good to us but in balanced portions.)

I have included all the links to where I found the recipes so make sure to click on them!

Meal #1 Sunday

Main Dish- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Side Dish- I already had sweet potatoes so I just added it as our side. You can also include honey cinnamon butter! 

photo credit is to allrecipes.com

(P.S. here’s a quick and easy trick I learned to bake sweet potatoes in the microwave if you’re in a hurry, wet a paper towel and wrap it around each potato…it creates a “steamed approach” to cooking them.) 

Meal #2 Monday

Main Dish- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup & Garlic Bread 

This is a really easy recipe, but still gives it that “homemade taste”.

Meal #3 Tuesday

Main Dish- Ground Turkey Enchiladas 

Side Dish- Tomato & Corn Lemon Salad 

Easiest side dish ever! Simply mix in a can of corn, cilantro, and chopped tomatos. Then add lemon juice and salt to taste. (Usually I add black beans too, but the enchiladas already call for them.) 

photo credit is to diethood.com

Meal #4 Wednesday

Main Dish- Southwestern Chicken Alfredo Pasta 

Meal #5 Thursday

Main Dish- Pulled Pork Nachos

I’m using my leftover pulled pork from earlier in the week. I even had enough to freeze for another meal.

Meal #6 Friday

Main Dish- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza  

photo credit is to countrysidecravings.com

Meal # 7 Saturday

Main Dish- Baked Ziti 

photo credit is to countrycook.com

What are some tips that you do to save on your grocery bill? I hope this has helped you in planning out your meals as I know it can be a bit stressful at times! Enjoy!

Wishing you well,

~Amanda

 

Recipes

The Best Oven Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs (with a chipotle twist)

Phew, that was a lot of “B” talking in the title!  Spring time is definitely in the air over here! Soon we’ll be moving onto the season of BBQ everything! Why not start practicing now, then come summer time everyone will be raving about your BBQ skills. =)

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Now, I usually don’t post about recipes, but since being a stay at home mom I have been exploring in the kitchen and trying to vamp up my cooking skills. I think comfort food is my thing. =) One other recipe I posted a while back was homemade guacamole . I’m very picky about the type of recipes I post, so you know this is going to be good!

When I say “the best BBQ baby back ribs” I’m really not joking. When we had family in town I made these ribs for them and they loved them. My grandpa who is a meat connoisseur (he manages a meat department), even said these are the best he has tasted. Now, that says something, right?!

I developed the basis of the recipe from my favorite site to get ideas from allrecipes.com , so I can’t give myself full credit BUT I did add a few extra seasoning items that makes it jut over the top tasty. This recipe calls for the ribs to be oven baked with a special dry rub while using  tinfoil to create a seal that “crutches” the meat. This is the secret right here! Low and slow cooking, then the last hour brushing the ribs with BBQ sauce every 10 minutes. My mouth is watering right now just writing about it, I really wish we had this on our menu for tonight’s dinner. =)

Go ahead and ask me what Little Johnny’s favorite meal is…Yeah, it’s definitely these ribs. I have never seen him eat so much! He devours these ribs every time! 

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I added a little extra touches to this recipe and perfected it to our liking, but if you’re looking for the basic recipe click the link below. With the way that theses ribs cook they’ll be very tender on the inside (tear from the bone as your teeth sink in, not overly done where they “fall off the bone”) and a little crispy on the outside (we finish them on the grill for the last 15-20 minutes).

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs 

These ribs take about 3/12 hours to cook, so make sure you plan out the time. It will definitely make your house smell delicious too.

Ingredients

Here is where I changed some ingredients in the dry rub I tried both ways and we actually like it this way better. I put stars next to the ingredients I personally added.

-1/2 cup of chile powder

-1/4 cup of white sugar

-1/4 cup of brown sugar

-1/4 cup of salt

-2 tablespoons ground pepper

-2 tablespoons of Southwest Chipotle seasoning blend (I used the Mrs. Dash brand) **img_5656

-1 tablespoon of garlic salt (or powder) **

-1 tablespoon of cumin

1/2 tablespoon of paprika **

-1 teaspoon of dry mustard

-1 bottle of BBQ sauce

-full rack of baby back pork ribs

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 250 degrees

2.Mix all your above dry seasonsings into a bowl.

3.Put aluminum foil onto a cookie sheet and rub just a little bit of olive oil onto the foil so that the ribs don’t stick. Then place ribs meat side down and prick the back of the ribs several times using a fork or knife. (you want the foil long enough to be able to fold around the ribs for a tight seal)

4. Apply the dry rub mixing to all sides of the ribs.

5. Fold the foil around the ribs to make a tight seal (this “crutches” the meat). Bake for about 2 hours, or until tender and cooked through (you can click here to read about how to tell when ribs are done.)

6. Remove the ribs from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees.

7. Open foil and drain any juices, then brush BBQ sauce on all sides.

8. Place the ribs back into the oven with foil open.

9. Repeat the process of brushing BBQ sauce onto the ribs every 10 minutes (total of 50 minutes, so 5 times all together).

10. The last 20 minutes ( and 2 BBQ sauce brush cycles) remove the ribs and place them on the grill while still brushing BBQ sauce on.

There you go, the best oven bake BBQ ribs! Delicous! I promise you, everyone will rave about them so make sure to make plenty!

Wishing You Well,

Happy Mama, Happy Wife, Happy Life

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