Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Week's Menu

Before I post my weekly menu, I just want to say thank you to all my friends who said such encouraging words about my last post. Some of you said that you shed tears over it, and that means a great deal to me. Everything that happens is for our good and for God's glory. 

Now for my weekly menu: My goal is to post weekly. I use it as a resource for myself to link any recipes that I might use and to have the list always available. Many times I plan a menu, buy the groceries, then forget what the plan is. If I don't keep the menu posted, then I always forget what I planned on making. I end up pulling a Macguyver in the kitchen every night, where I'm pulling random things together to make a meal. Here is my plan this week:

Falafels, carrot couscous 
Spaghetti, salad
Grilled garlic tenderloin, steamed broccoli, sweet potatoes
Salami salad (we can't get enough)
Tilapia tacos, chips and salsa

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Family Potluck Birthday

It's still amazing to me that my divorced-parent family has its little traditions. Our birthday tradition is to go out to eat to birthday person's favorite restaurant. It's not a very unique tradition, but again, divorced parents and traditions go together like oil and water. They just don't mix. Our most recent birthday was my own. Instead of a restaurant, I asked my family to come to my house and cook dinner together-meaning my parents did most of the cooking.

It was much more fun this way. We had slow appetizers, turns playing Mario Cart, and many laughs at my parents cooking beside each other. The dinner was relaxed and slowly paced, which was so nice. 

The food wasn't too bad either. Homemade pasta noodles, the cream sauce I've ever had, shrimp, scallops...and that was just the main dish. It was amazing. The kids were able to be wild and crazy with their family, instead of sitting quietly at a restaurant. This was a perfect decision.

We ended the night with something that's never happened before: I got a picture with just me and my parents. My whole life and I never got this before:

I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that nights like these are to be cherished and remembered. It was a very happy birthday night to me.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Even superheroes have to pick up their legos before they have flying practice.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Week's Menu

Every once-in-a-while I post my little menu for the week on the blog. Here is what we're eating this week:

Fish tacos, chipotle coleslaw
Black beans and rice with toppings
Tomato basil soup, Caesar salad
Tomato sausage pasta
Shrimp and vegetable stir fry, sesame coleslaw 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baguette Night

On our final meal before our French family returns to France, we had a baguette tasting. We had four loaves from around the city: two local bakeries and two chains. There was much talk, critique, tasting, tasting, and tasting that went into the decision. They decided that Niedlov's and Panera were the best. 

After dinner we spread out around the house and let the kids have the den. They played hard and trashed the room, as only kids can do. Signs of life and play. As for the adults, all I need to share about that part is our French cousin loved my dessert so much that The Chocolate Cloud Cake that never disappoints. 

I asked for yet another group picture and we called it a night. Baguette Night was wonderful.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Family Favorite Salad

Once a week, I try to make everyone unhappy and serve salad for dinner. If the salad is lame, then I'll make a batch of fresh bread to redeem the meal. Our kids do well with salad, but they need reminders to eat the lettuce and not just the toppings. 

Recently, I made a salad that everyone in the house loves. Often we are able to save some for leftovers. When the kids hear that I'm making salami salad (I only use half the salami), they get excited. One time Burl told me it's his favorite meal. Fern jumps up and down when we have it for dinner. While most salad nights don't go this well, Salami Salad Night is a huge hit. I highly recommend it. Click on the picture for the recipe: 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trailer Night

It was just one night in a trailer, but it was perfect. John and I went away for a night to East Nashville to stay in a trailer in someone's backyard. Seriously, check this place out.

It was small, simple, relaxing, and different. We took turns reading in the hammock, snapping pictures, and taking it slow. We didn't make a single meal and got to eat our food slowly. Driving home, we fit in a small hike around a lake we found. Our 36 hours away was a hurry-up-and-relax trip.
We made the most of it by making the least of it. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

This Week's Menu

Here's my menu for next week. We have some dinners-out thrown in there as well because it's someone's (my!) birthday week. I love celebrating around food, so many of my meals are already planned and have been that way for a while. Here are the easy, non-birthday ones:

Chicken and wild rice soup
Black beans & rice
Corn & black bean quesadillas

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fall Creek Falls & The Alps

As many people would agree, part of the fun of hiking is being outside and taking in the elements of nature. Being in outside for any stretch of time is a complete change in senses. It smells wonderful (usually), it is beautiful, etc. Whether it's time alone or time with family and friends, it offers a unique adventure. This sounds cheesy, but stay with me, it's going to get funny. Another element to good hiking is the location. I'm always looking for good hikes and location is always a consideration of mine. 

I recently went with the kids, my father-in-law, and our visiting French family to one of our favorite places, Fall Creek Falls. We hiked the rim of the gorge from the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi river and ended by the cascades. The trail takes us through section of woods where the forest floor is pretty clear. It's just flat ground with towering trees. I love these sections, because the contrast is very dramatic.

As we were hiking, I asked about hiking in France and what the landscaped looked like. She responded with something like this, "yes, we have woods like this in my town with a few trails, but we like to go on holiday in the Alps for hiking. They are so high that the trees don't grow there." Basically, it's like hiking in the closing scene of Sound Of Music. Sounds nice. Kind of trumps "tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi." Bless us.

After our hike we ate fried chicken at a buffet because America. It was a great day indeed!