Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another recipe...

Here is a new main dish that we've put on our favorite list...

Simple Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wraps
from allrecipes.com

1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
black pepper to taste

Mix above and refridgerate until later.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs chicken, sliced into strips
1 cup salsa
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Cook chicken until browned in oil. Add other ingredients and simmer.

8 flour tortillas and 1 bag of baby spinach.

Warm tortillas or make your own. Layer the chicken, sauce, and spinach into the tortilla. Wrap and eat. It got two thumbs up!


A couple of new recipes...

I have been so sick and tired of our usual meals lately! Allison and I have been using Allrecipes.com to help broaden our tastes a bit. We've found some real keepers and thought I'd get them on here so that I can find them again later.lol

First off, Granola!

(this is a great recipe and sugar free)

4 cups oats
1 cup nuts (I used chopped walnuts)
1 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
a dash of salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together and cook at 300* for 10 minutes, stir and then cook 10 minutes more, stir and cook until brown.(about 5 minutes)

Let cool and add fruit if desired.


Next on the list is, Baked French Fries

Chop 1 large potato however you like your fries. I did steak fry shapes because I wanted them to cook faster.

Add potatoes in a baggie with...

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt

You'll need to adjust seasonings for larger amounts of potatoes. I used about 1/2 cup olive oil, 6 potatoes, and lots more seasonings. Mix all the ingredients together and pour onto a baking sheet. Cook at 425* for 20 minutes, stir and cook another 20 minutes or until browned. Yum!


Am I Nesting Already?

The fatigue from the first half of my pregnancy, has been replaced with a desire to see my home in a functional state of cleanliness and unclutteredness before this baby arrives. What a difficult assignment for someone who can't bend too well!lol Nesting or not, I've been tackling each corner of the house, ever so slowly, each day. Just a few minutes here and there have really made a difference in the clutter department. I'm usually a detail person and seeing all the clutter would overwhelm me into not doing anything or me trying to complete the whole mess in one fell swoop. Because of my increasing girth, it has made over-doing it almost impossible since I tire too easily, so what I've been doing is just trying to focus on one small area each day. A counter top or bookshelf or some other small area. I really can't believe the difference and it's made doing a little each day something that I look forward to. I may never get it all done before the baby gets here but just gettting something done has made *me* feel better. I no longer feel as overwhelmed with the house, chores, homeschooling, bookkeeping, guidance counselor jobs that I was feeling before Christmas.

So, in other words, I'd recommend this to anyone feeling overwhelmed right now. 5 or 10 extra minutes can be found in just about anyone's life and using them to improve your living space can really help in the long run.


The Road to College...

Or I should call this one...

The Dreaded FAFSA!!!

It was nice to have a break from college stuff over the Christmas holidays but as the days came closer to January, I began to fret over this next hurtle. Questions began circling around in my head. Should I wait until I had filed my taxes? Should I do an estimate and then revise once our taxes were done? How bad is this really going to be? Will I really want to go back and revise once I had taken the time and effort into completing this form the first time?


I really shouldn't have worried. Normally, my dh's W2 form comes in very early, but this year he received notice that it wasn't going to be ready until the end of the month. We decided to go ahead and complete the FAFSA and then revise once we got the offical W2. You CAN complete it without your W2, if you can get a hold of your last paycheck statement for the year. Now here's the kicker though. You'll have to pretend to do your taxes first anyway.LOL Could we have waited? Probably but to get the most money from your favorite colleges, you need to get that form in as early as possible. We're on a tight budget and can use all the money that we can get, so we took the chance and filed the FAFSA first.

It only took us about a day to pretend file our taxes, pretend file Allison's, and then complete the FAFSA. Once it was complete, we submitted it and now we are playing the waiting game again. Eric did end up getting his W2 form last weekend and we completed our taxes and then I revised the FAFSA to reflect some minor changes that needed to be fixed. Today, Allison received her W2 form and we filed her taxes. In a few days, I'll revise the FAFSA for the last time and we'll be done. Revising the FAFSA is easy, so don't be afraid of filing early and revising later.

In other news...

Allison completed her classes last semester and received all A's. We're very proud of her and are hoping that it will make a big statement to the colleges that she applied. She is now in her second semester and these classes are much harder for her. We believe that she'll rise to the challenge and leave her senior year with a 4.0 average.

We've also been invited to participate in a local homeschool graduation ceremony. That's another blessing since we weren't sure how we were going to celebrate her graduation. She'll get to walk down the aisle, wear a cap and gown, and celebrate with friends that she made at her college, that are now a part of the church that we're attending. They are also going to do a group order for diplomas and cap and gowns so I'll get to save on shipping. Pretty neat!

Well, I guess that's it for now. The next installment will be about graduation and the final results from all the hard work that we've accomplished this year. Will she go away to college or stay home? Will she get enough money for a 4 year college or go to the local CC? Was the FAFSA worth it or not?

I know that no matter what, that God is in control and that whatever happens next will be His will for Allison. I am thankful that I'm not the one who has to make the decisions. I have done my part, so far and will be glad to see what God has in store for our oldest next year.