Monday, October 18, 2010

Dog Treats That Humans Will Hijack

Yesterday was a rainy day which was a great setting for finishing up the baking that I didn't get to on Saturday. I had about an hour to kill while waiting for some cookie dough to chill, but already had the oven on from the first batch. I thumbed through a couple cookbooks for quick inspiration and came across a recipe for Cheese Bone Cookies For Dogs. Now, my dog gets treats regularly, but I've never actually MADE them. There's a first time for everything, though, right?
These were crazy simple to make, especially because I didn't bother with the cookie cutter step. I figured I can make them cute next time IF the pooch actually liked them.
When they came out of the oven they smelled awesome! Of course, garlic cheddar anything coming out of the oven smells amazing. Curiosity got the best of us all, and we HAD to try these treats. Aside from needing a little salt, the common opinion is that they taste like Crazy Bread. Seriously! Next time, I'll make two batches. One for the pooch and one with a teaspoon or so of salt for the humans.
Even if you don't have a dog, you should give these a whirl. They would be great with a bowl of soup or dipped in your favorite pizza sauce. I'll be adding them to the keeper pile for sure!
I almost forgot! The pooch loved them, too :)
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Deals of the Day!

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled baking day for some crazy cool Halloween deals!
For starters, our local Salvation Army is having a Dollar Day today. All clothes for a buck!? Yeah, I'm so there! Usually we get a dollar day on one Friday per month, but they were nice enough to give us a second one this month. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finish up the kids' Halloween costumes. The possibilities were endless!
Giant green shirts= Christmas tree costume
Crazy blue dresses with a ton of sequins= mermaid or princess
Big blanket sleepers or robes=baby
Camouflage anything= soldier
Giant orange shirts=pumpkin
Anyhoo, the boys are going for the soldier and psycho look so we only needed a crappy flannel to shred and a camo shirt to finish up for them. The girl didn't find much but says she's all set. We ended up finding a few extra treasures like a new Tony Hawk shirt for the boy and a new Harley shirt from Hawaii for Hubby.
When we finished up at the thrift store, we headed over to Raley's because their large pumpkins are a dollar with printable coupon today and tomorrow. That's the best deal I've seen so far for pumpkins so we were all over it. We had to do three transactions since we needed so many, but our Raley's is really coupon friendly so we didn't have any problems. I'm tempted to go get a couple more for baking. I'll let you know how that goes.
So rockers, if you need to get your Halloween pumpkins, or need a few to fill the freezer, I'd head over here to get your coupon this weekend and get while the gettin's good!
Now I'll get back to our regularly scheduled baking because late is better than never.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Keepin' It Real Folks!!! Baking Day 10/2/10

Happy Saturday rockers! You ever have one of those days?
The Blueberry Snack Cake turned out perfectly, but my banana experiment flopped...literally. I'm happy to report that it tastes awesome, but we'll be eating it with a spoon, I think. All I did was mix some overripe bananas and chopped up chocolate with a yellow cake mix. Next time, I'll wait until it's cooled off before I try to flip it. Otherwise, I think it'll work much better in a 13x9 pan. Oh well, live and learn.
Since I didn't have the best luck in the kitchen today, I'm going to declare it beer 30 time and enjoy the heat wave in my part of the world. Have a great rest of your weekend!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mission Birthday Week a Success!!!

Happy Sunday rockers! This week was a whirlwind of chaos, metal and birthday cake! As I think back to the last handful of days, parts are a blur, but I wouldn't have done anything different.
Monday started out pretty typical. School, housework, kids, you know, the usual. Then, just about dinner time, I popped on Facebook and found out that Hinder was playing at a club in the Sacramento area. Within an hour, we got the kids squared away and were on the road to the show. We had one hell of a time! I even got to be the chick in the pit that caught a drumstick!
Tuesday, I consumed A LOT of coffee and recovered just enough so that I could pull off...
Wednesday which was my older son's birthday. I got the cake bombs done and pack up a lovely heavy metal picnic dinner that consisted of beef sticks, cheese crackers, PB&J's and water to take t0 the Uproar Concert. We sang Happy Birthday and had the boys blow out their candle in parking lot before going in. The kids were so excited to see Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold and I'm happy to report that they totally rocked. Everyone was still so amped up that we even stuck around for Disturbed, which wasn't part of the original plan (we've taken the kids to see them numerous times and knew we wouldn't miss much, in our opinion) but we weren't ready to call it a night! Hubby took the kids down to get a better view and I hung out with some friends and played "pit patrol" to pass the time. It was a blast!
Thursday was another recovery day. Getting up in the morning and getting the kids to school was a big enough job. Yes, they go to school after a concert day. We're trying to teach the kids that it's totally acceptable to goof off and have fun as long as it doesn't interfere with our responsibilities. Plus, there is the added threat that concerts on school nights will stop (for them) if they flake on school. Needless to say, we all crashed pretty hard that evening. Honestly, I can't even remember what we had for dinner that night.
Friday we ran around like crazy people getting everything done for Saturday's birthday party. Housework, cooking, wrapping, goody bags, decorating and last minute shopping stops took over the whole day. The nice thing was, almost everything was done when I got up Saturday morning. I put four pork roasts in the slow cooker before bed to make BBQ pork sandwiches. I made a huge batch of macaroni salad and got the cake baked, filled and iced.
Saturday all I needed to do was shred the pork and put it back in the slow cooker to keep warm. Then, I put bell peppers and onions from the garden into the second cooker. In the third cooker, I put a bunch of baked beans. In case you're wondering just how many slow cookers I have, the answer is five. Since I had made most of the cake decorations last Saturday, finishing up took me all of about 15 minutes. I love, love, love the way the sugar skulls turned out. I plan on using some of my Christmas candy molds to make holiday sugar shapes to give away with little coffees and teas for gifts.
As far as today, I thought we would take it easy, but it's not working out that way. The guys are pulling the last big useless (meaning you can't eat from it) tree out back to make room for a baby fig tree that our friend gave us this week. I also went to a yard sale and was able to score two more canning jars for fifty cents. Now, I'm getting ready to start some seeds to get the winter garden under way. The nice thing is, there is so much food leftover from yesterday, I get the day off from cooking :)
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baking Day 9/18/10

Happy Saturday rockers! I must admit that it feels a bit odd that today's baking load was so small. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a light work day just as much as the next gal, so I really shouldn't complain. I also know that this week and next weekend are going to be super busy. On Wednesday we're taking off after school to have a Headbangin' Household concert adventure. Wednesday is also my older son's birthday, so we'll have a mini parking lot celebration before the show. Then Friday is my younger son's birthday. There won't be a concert that night, but I think we'll go out for something fun. Saturday is the big birthday party bash for the boys with lots of friends and family.
I planned out today's baking on the light side because I know that the week is going to be filled with all sorts of chaos and odds and ends that really just can't be done too far ahead of time. Plus, because I knew this week was quickly approaching, I over did it during the last two Saturdays and filled the freezer, so there really wasn't a need to go too crazy today. Here's today's list of goodies:
1 batch oatmeal raisin cookies (for snacks and lunches)
2 tubes of refrigerator croissants (not my favorite, but the kids love them and they were stupid cheap at the discount store. If the kids don't finish them by tomorrow, they'll have them with ham and cheese for lunches this week.)
1 bowl cake bomb filling (I'm purposely not dipping these until Monday when the kids are at school. They'll be for Wednesday's birthday celebration at the concert.)
1 batch sugar skulls (when I saw these, I knew they were going to make it on top of the boy's birthday cake this year. I'll be decorating these while the kids are at school, too. I have made it pretty clear that we are a heavy metal family, right? 'Nuff said.)
2 white chocolate bones (Also for the birthday cake.)
And that, my friends, was all she wrote. Since I finished up so early, I may go hit a couple yard sales and enjoy the rest of this awesome Saturday. Have a great rest if your weekend!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Baking Day 9/11/10

I can't believe how quickly this week flew by! I hope all of you rockers are having a great weekend. Good thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and families affected by 9/11.
Here's the run down for today:
15 little stuffed bell peppers (for the freezer)
1 batch burrito filling (for the freezer). I used this Stuffed Pepper recipe as a guide.
1 batch Down in The Dumps Pudding (desserts this week)
1 batch banana chocolate chip snack bars (lunches and snacks)
1 batch Cake Mix Cookies (lunches and snacks...if they last)
1 double batch pizza dough ( pizzas are going in the oven in a few for lunches)
I need to finish making a batch of salsa to use up some garden goodies. I'm also making a couple pork roasts for dinner tonight. The leftovers will be shredded for dinners throughout the week. Pork tacos and BBQ pork sandwiches sound pretty good. Not having to do much cooking this week sounds even better!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Baking Day 9/4/2010

Happy Saturday rockers! I woke up this morning knowing I was about to make a ton of lasagna. What I had conveniently forgotten, however, was that we only have enough sugar for coffee. Yikes!
I really didn't feel like running out the store around the corner and paying twice as much as I would at Winco, so I knew I needed to get creative.
I made the four lasagnas ( two for tonight and tomorrow's leftover night and two for the freezer). I knew I didn't need to make much for breakfasts after last weeks crazy insane bake fest. I did need to make somethings for lunch snacks. Without sugar.
Usually, I know at least a few days in advance what I'll be making on any given Saturday, but this week I couldn't think past the lasagnas. As I was rummaging through the cabinets for inspiration, I found four open boxes of random cereal and a bag of marshmallows. Peanut Butter krispy treats it was!
Then, I was staring at a stack of yellow cake mixes and I thought about making pineapple upside down cake. That wouldn't work, though, because we finished up the oil last night for taco shells.
Wow, no sugar AND no oil!! Maybe we should have grocery shopped this week, after all.
While I was going about the morning, I remembered reading a recipe a while back for Cake mix cookies. That might work! I jumped online, did a quick search, found the recipe, and went back to square one because oil did not magically reappear in the cabinet over the course of the morning. Awesome!
Finally, I thought about a Christmas cookie I make that starts with a cake mix and uses butter instead of oil. Houston, I think we may have lift off!
All I did was mix a yellow cake mix with an egg and 1/4 cup melted margarine. Then, I added about a half a cup of drained pineapple pieces because I still had the upside down cake on the brain. I dropped TBSP sized scoops about two inches apart on the baking sheet and baked them for about ten minutes at 350. After they were done, I pressed a chocolate covered macadamia nut into each one. The only thing I will probably do differently next time is make them a little smaller. I had a little trouble getting the baking time just right with them as big as they were. Other than that, Hubby declared them a keeper and said I need to make a double batch next time. I love when experiments have a happy ending!
Enjoy the rest of your Saturday rockers! I know I will :)
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Apple Butter Update

Yesterday I mentioned that I was trying this Apple Butter recipe. A couple weeks back while I was out with a friend of mine, we passed an apple tree in the country that had apples all over, including a bunch all over the ground. We decided to stop and ask if we could pick some. The lady was so nice and even offered us a bag. When it was all said and done, we had two big bags full. If I had to guess, I'd say it was easily 25 pounds worth. Well, I'd baked my way through, eaten and given away so many, but the apples just wouldn't disappear! Finally, I came across the Apple Butter recipe. I've heard of it before, but I've never tried it. Since I'd canned most weekends over the summer, apple butter seemed like a nice fit. Well, after my crazy, insane baking day, I got caught up having a beer with the guys after dinner. Somewhere in the middle of beer number two, I remembered the big bowl of apples that were still sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be peeled and chopped for the crock pot. Lovely!! The guys decided to help me out. So, there we sat, on a Saturday night. Music, beer, and apple peeling. Do we know how to party, or what?!? When we finished up, the crock pot was full. That was the only thing I didn't follow in the recipe. Everything else I left alone. When I woke up this morning, the house smelled amazing! The apple butter didn't look very appealing, though, and I wasn't sure if it was going to be a keeper. I decided to press on anyway. I ran the apples through the blender and through them back in the cooker for another hour. They thickened up nicely, but still looked scary. Really, the stuff looks like barbecue sauce! I reluctantly jarred it up and set some aside to finally try. It still smelled wonderful, I just had a hard time with the appearance. Now, I'm so mad at myself for not taking pictures! This stuff is so good! I can't wait to try it on biscuits or pancakes! It totally rocked on a blueberry muffin, too! I thought it would have the texture of jam, but was much lighter and sweeter like applesauce/syrup. The recipe couldn't have been much easier, and the end result was addictive. That's what I call a keeper. Now, I want to go pick apples again so I can make up a few more batches for Christmas presents. If you try it, let me know what you think! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baking Day 8/28/10 Crazy Insane Edition!

Hey rockers! It's great to be back to my blog! As much as I hate to see summer leaving, it feels great to get back into the "normal" routine of life. I won't lie, though, it's been rough getting started. Today I felt like I was making up for several weeks worth of baking and prep work, even though I'd still accomplished smaller baking days throughout the summer.
With the garden still giving like crazy, we had to plug back in our big old standing freezer. It's an awesome feeling to know that it will be full soon with the summer's garden goodness that will last us the coming months.
Here's today's goodies:
3 (yes 3) Zucchini Pies ( to be frozen)
2 batches of blueberry muffins (snacks and breakfasts)
1 big pan of chicken breasts ( for dinners this week)
1 batch Latte Bars (I haven't made these all summer, I swear!)
1 pan of apple snack cake (snacks and lunches)
1 batch of bread pudding (breakfasts)
1 big BBQ pizza (lunches, not pictured because it was still in the oven)
Still on the list:
a big batch of salsa (for the freezer)
a batch of corn bread (for tonight's dinner)
and a batch of Apple Butter. I can't wait to try this! I'm going to toss everything in the slow cooker tonight before bed. Keep your fingers crossed. I'll post the results tomorrow.
I hope you're all having a great weekend! I'm going to finish up in the kitchen and then get back to enjoying this Saturday outside.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm Still Around

Happy Wednesday rockers! I just wanted to check in with you to let you know I haven't forgotten about you. The Headbangin' Household has been playing hard and enjoying the summer. It's been a hectic few weeks, but it's been well worth it. We got to camp for a couple days up at Lake Amador, which was a first time for us. The fishing could have been a little bit better, okay okay, the fishing could have been a lot better, but the lake was still amazing. The water was perfectly warm, and we even accidentally found a rope swing to play on while we were out exploring on the boat.
After we got back from the lake we celebrated the 4th with some friends. We could see dozens of fireworks in the sky all around us and the kids had a blast with the sparklers.
This week we have a house full of friends from out of town. We've been staying up late on the back porch catching up over a few beers while the kids play Nerf wars and video games. The days are spent at the pool and full of more back porch time. We've been eating plenty home made salsa and fried zucchini, of course all from the garden :)
After today, Hubby will be home for a 10 day vacation. We're gearing up for the Mayhem Fest on Sunday with the kids. Nothing' says family time like a giant mosh pit! We also plan to go out for another camp out for a couple days. Who knows what else the next week and a half will bring! I'll keep you posted as often as I can!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Baking Day 6/26/10

Happy Saturday rockers! It's been a busy week here at the Headbangin' Household. What can I say? Summer is here!
I managed to get all but two items on my baking list done today. One was Whole Wheat Cinnamon Cookies. I really meant to get these done for Hubby's lunches, it just got too warm before I could get them done. The only other item was Smoothie Popsicles. Now, these still make get done...that is, if I can find the pitcher to my blender. I just used the thing a few days ago. Apparently, the pitcher has sprouted legs and vanished. I hate when that happens!
Here's what I did get finished:
A double batch of rice to be frozen for later. There's a couple Broccoli, Rice, Cheese Chicken Casseroles in our near future. Having the rice already cooked makes it go so much faster.
I also baked up a bunch of potatoes for the week. I plan on making a big potato salad for a cheese burger night.
Since I didn't get the cookies done, I made a quick batch of Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats. I made up a batch of Strawberry Muffins. This recipe came out of another one of my mom's old cookbooks. They are crazy simple, and also almost gone. Note to self: make a double batch next time. We have a few birthdays this week, so I wanted to make something special. Since I haven't made them in a while, I went ahead and made some Cake Bombs. I picked these because they freeze and travel well. They take a tiny bit of effort since you have to dip them, but it's totally worth it. Good luck just eating one! Finally, I made Apple Pie with Struesel Topping. Just Kidding! That's actually a little recipe called Zucchini Pie. I used the struesel topping that one of the reviewers recommended. Please, please what ever you do, don't tell my boys there is zucchini in there! This was the experiment of the week since zucchini is starting to go crazy in the garden. I read about it last season, but was too afraid to try. Now, I'm kicking myself for not trying it sooner! It tastes just like apple pie. I don't even know how to stress that enough. I fooled everyone who tried it. Everyone! It's the best darned apple pie recipe I've ever made. There you have it rockers! I'm off to go locate that blender top. Have a great rest of your weekend! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clean the Fridge Stir Fry

Hey rockers! It turns out cell phone pictures aren't that great, but try to ignore the blur, alright? In my quest to make the most of the garden and what we have on hand, I wanted to give you a better look at our Clean the Fridge Stir Fry. I talked about it over here a few weeks back, in case you missed it. After last weekend, our menu for the week is all about makin' due. The cool thing is, makin' due doesn't have to suck. This recipe never turns out the same way twice, which rocks because we never get sick of it. Since we'll have an exploding garden soon, this'll be a weekly staple. I don't follow a recipe anymore, but here's what I did this week: Cooked up a pound of linguine (the kids prefer it over cooked ramen noodles, whoops!) Then, I cleaned out the produce drawer in the fridge. I found celery, carrots, red and green onions and a couple zucchini from the garden. I also ran out back and found a yellow squash, a couple handfuls of green beans, one bell pepper, two jalapenos and three cherry tomatoes. I rinsed, peeled and sliced everything and threw it in my biggest skillet. I sauteed it all up with a couple tablespoons of olive oil until it's cooked to our preference. If I'm adding leftover cooked meat, I'd add it now, but didn't this week. I did however misjudge how much the veggies would cook down, so somewhere in the middle I added a bag of frozen broccoli to the mix to make sure we'd have enough for leftovers. Once it was all cooked up, I mixed two beef gravy packets and about a tablespoon-ish of soy sauce in two cups of cold water and dumped it in the pan. Then, just stirred until the sauce was thickened which only takes a couple minutes. Serve over the pasta. It's really that simple. On a side note, I only put it on the platter for the picture. In reality, the skillet and pasta pot would have been on the table :) Since I was curious, I added up an estimated total cost of this dish and came up with around $3.61. For five people, guys. Plus leftovers! We may just make it through the week after all! I'd love to hear if any of you have a "clean the fridge" dinner of your own. I'm always on the lookout for cheap cheap meals that rock. These recipes definitely make makin' due suck a lot less. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, June 14, 2010

We Blew the Budget, And I Sooo Don't Care!

The recovery from this weekend's road trip is coming along slowly. Everything hurts, we're broke until payday and as twisted as it sounds, I don't care! Saturday night, before the Korn show, we all sat down at Johnny Rockets to have some cheeseburgers. We were already hungover and moving slowly from way too many cocktails the night before. As we half finished our dinner, we tried to give each other pep talks of encouragement. C'mon man! Korn's playing in an hour! We can do it! But as excited as we were for the show, sleep kept screaming at us. We were a bunch of tore up metal heads, let me tell you. Then, all of the sudden, my girlfriend's eyes literally bulged out of her head. She was looking at something behind me, but I was too tired to bother turning around. "LOOK, LOOK LOOK, " she whispered. I turned, but didn't see what she could possibly be looking at. Nothing over my right shoulder was close to being that interesting! Her eyes moved over to my left side. She looked like she was about to have a heart attack. "LOOK, LOOK, LOOK RIGHT THERE!" I could tell she was afraid to point, so following her eyes and checked over my left shoulder, half expecting to see the world's largest mohawk. Instead of a mohawk, though, I saw a dude with dreadlocks walking next to our table. I couldn't see his face at first and wasn't even sure if I was looking in the right direction, so I glanced back at my friend for confirmation. She was scrambling for her phone like a mad woman. I can see that now, our friend sitting next to her has "deer in the headlights" eyes. What am I missing here? Mystery dreadlock dude sat down at the table across from us. I gave him a quick peek, but I was interrupted by my husband's elbow in my ribs. I shot him a look that ensured paybacks to come. He said, "Look! It's f*ckin' Munky!" WHAT!!!???!!! I looked over at the table again, actually paying attention this time, and as realize I'm looking AT MUNKY, I suddenly felt my stomach flip. I had to feel my chin to make sure it wasn't sitting on our table. Our friend had successfully found her phone, and tried unsuccessfully, to sneak a picture without Munky noticing. He noticed. We were all so worried that we'd tick him off, which is not something you want to do when someone from KORN sits next to you. He didn't get irritated, though. He giggled with us and posed for the picture above. We asked if, after he ate his dinner, he would mind signing a couple things for us. He said it was no problem. We didn't mind waiting. At all. I sat back in my seat, realizing that I still had half of my food on my plate. Everyone else at the table was texting wildly to all of our people at home. All of the responses were either disbelief or pure anger. As the texting died down, we all stared at each other. No one could eat. We were determined to sit at that table the entire night if that's how long Munky wanted to take to finish his meal. Then, a funny thing happened. Almost all at once, we discovered we weren't tired anymore. We weren't hungover anymore. Apparently we all received a much needed shot of adrenaline that would carry us through this night. We giggled like a bunch of school girls as we thanked the Big Man Upstairs for this amazing surprise. Nothing was going to top this. At this point, the show was a bonus. As promised, Munky took our tickets and things to sign, gave hugs and shook our hands. After we thanked him, he quickly and gracefully disappeared into the crowd. Such a nice guy. Seriously. We celebrated at the bar for a bit and toasted to great friends and adventure before heading into the theater. We laughed at all of the star struck silliness that none of us knew we had inside of us. We asked each other, countless times, "Can you believe that just happened?!?" As I said yesterday, the weekend was historical. Sometimes we all get so wrapped up in our own personal realities that we forget to just go with the flow and have some fun. We forget to stop sweating the small stuff. So yeah, we blew our budget and I so don't care. I'd do it all again exactly the same tomorrow if I had the chance. We laughed until we cried, created secrets, and "inside jokes," broke down walls and strengthened friendships. For everything we gained, I think a busted budget was well worth the price. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Menu Plan Monday 6/14/10 Oops Edition

Happy Monday rockers! Amazing isn't a big enough word to describe the weekend we had. I can't think of many things better than a weekend road trip with best friends. The whole adventure was historical, and while I feel like I could sleep for a week to recover, I can't wait to do it again. Korn absolutely rocked. The venue was so small that there wasn't a bad seat in the place. The pit was insane and the energy all around it was contagious and addictive. Saturday night was one of the best heavy metal roller coasters I've ever been on! I wanna go again!
So here I am, on Monday morning, trying to figure out the menu for the week. Somewhere over the last couple of weeks, with everything going on, we forgot to make time for grocery shopping. Oops!
Somewhere over the weekend, we also managed to completely blow the budget for the week. Oops!
I feel alright about it, though. I've already paid the bills for the month and I have a freezer full of food. The garden is also finally starting to give more. I know we'll need to go pick up some milk and eggs, but we can make do with what we have for the rest of the week. Irresponsibility is totally acceptable in our house as long as we are responsible first. This week is a perfect example of responsible irresponsibility.
So what the heck are we eating this week?
Breakfasts: Baked Oatmeal, eggs and toast, cereal, and bagels.
Lunches: Sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, corn dog muffins and leftovers.
Dinners: Tamales (from the freezer) with beans, rice and salad.
Rotisserie chicken, baked potatoes and steamed veggies from the garden. I'll baked a bunch of extra potatoes so we can also have Bacon Cheddar Baked Potatoes the following day and then we'll also have hot dogs and potato salad later in the week. I'll also steam extra veggies so we can have Clean the Fridge Stir Fry. I'm hoping to try Vegan Fajitas this week, too. I may end up adding some leftover chicken to the recipe just because it sounds good. Finally, we'll have breakfast for dinner which will be pancakes, sausage, eggs and apple salad.
Desserts: (Man, my brain and back are screaming REALLY!!!????!!!) Smoothies, ice cream and any cookies that are left in the freezer.
There you have it! Not a bad menu for the week, considering I'm running on auto pilot :)
Don't forget to check out Menu Plan Monday this week!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Baking Day 6/12/10

Yay for me! This is my last baking day off for a few weeks. We're out on a road trip without the kids for a much needed weekend with great friends, lots of booze and a KORN CONCERT!!! I'll definitely be back to baking next Saturday, but this week, I've traded my apron for my favorite boob shirt. I hope all of you have a great weekend too! Maybe I'll see some of you metal heads at the show. For all of you that couldn't make it out, here's a recipe to try: Down-In-The-Dumps Pudding Beat together: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 4 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 Tbsp. cocoa. Stir in: 1 cup milk, 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 2 cups chopped nuts (optional, and I leave them out). Spread mixture in an ungreased 9x13 pan. I also put the pan on a cookie sheet. I've had this rise up and over flow a bit in the oven and make a big, big mess. Blend in a small bowl: 2 cups brown sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa. Sprinkle over the top of batter in pan. Pour over all: 3 1/2 cups hot water. DO NOT STIR. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. This is my daughter's favorite dessert. She even asked for it instead of birthday cake last year. It's a gooey, chocolaty, mess but it'll fix even the worst sweet tooth. Alrighty rockers, enjoy. I'm going to get back to my mini vacation. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

First Garden pick!

You know how it goes. You plant seeds and starts, you water, you weed, you fertilize. Wash, rinse, repeat. For months. MONTHS! Starting the garden in March sounded like a great idea at the time. We had gotten lucky with some nice weather and thought if we got everything into the ground nice and early, we'd see an early harvest.
Meanwhile, back in reality, Mother Nature had another plan. Apparently she thought it's be just hilarious to give California a long winter. Lots of rain. Sun, not so much.
(This week, I can't complain. I finally got to run around barefoot most of the time. That's just how I gauge the weather. If I can run barefoot all day till bedtime, it's officially warm. Anyhow, back on topic.)
So, summer, or spring maybe (?) finally showed up this week. Finally, the garden has produced something. I couldn't wait to show you a picture! We got a couple handfuls of sweet peas, a strawberry, two raspberries, I think 8 blueberries and a whole whopping orange cherry tomato. Can you believe it? I know, it's not exactly enough for a meal yet, but it's a start!
I can't be the only metal head with a garden. How are your gardens growing?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Got Cereal Bags?

Alright, so I was in the middle of making a batch of Chex Muddy Buddies for my daughter's last class party of the year. Her class loves the stuff and they're so easy to make, I thought it would be no big deal. I get it all mixed up and bend down to grab a big plastic baggie so I can shake the powdered sugar to coat everything. Except there was one problem. I only found an empty box that used to contain my big baggies. Great! I can't run to the store since the chocolate will harden by the time I get back. So now what? That's when I had my "Ah Ha!" moment. I didn't have any more baggies, but I did have a big plastic cereal bag sitting empty on my counter. This could work! I started to spoon the chocolaty cereal mixture into the bag. Visions of powdered sugar clouds coating my kitchen ran through my head as I poured some sugar into the bag. I told myself to fold and hold extra tight. I realized I had closed my eyes as I started shaking the bag. Afraid to look, I peeked one eye open. Hmm...all clear? Sure enough, it worked. It worked like a charm! Now I can't help but kick myself knowing how many plastic baggies (and money) I could have saved over the years. I also keep asking myself how many other ways I can use cereal bags. I'll have to start purposely keeping a few of them on hand to experiment. I just had to share my accidental woo hoo with all of you. Have a great day! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Baking Day 6/5/10

Happy Saturday rockers! I am happy to report that there is no baking going on in the Headbangin' Household today. None what so ever. Instead of baking yummy cookies, breads and lunch goodies, I'm probably floating down the river in our raft that we've lovingly named The Big Floating Turd. (Yes, really.) As much as I love baking, I'm so thankful for the break. So, I hope you're all enjoying your Saturday. If you're missin' the baking too much, here's one of my favorite recipes you may want to try. How about Latte Bars? Just kidding! :) Zucchini Bread 3 eggs 2 c. sugar 1 c. oil 1 Tbsp. vanilla 3 c. flour 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. baking powder 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 3 c. grated zucchini In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients except zucchini. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and blend until smooth. Add grated zucchini and mix by hand until zucchini is evenly distributed. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans and bake at 350 for about an hour, until toothpick tests done. Enjoy! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good Deal Alert!

There's nothing worse than finding out that your favorite band is coming to town, but the service fees cost more than the actual tickets! Well, it turns out that for the entire month of June, Live Nation is waiving the service charges for all tickets purchased for events at Live Nation owned amphitheaters. Awesome, right? Hello Mayhem Fest 2010! There's an amazing selection of participating venues. Go over to Live Nation.com for all the details. Have fun! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 5/31/10 Caaampin'!

It's the first Monday of summer vacation for us! It was absolutely amazing to wake up without the alarm clock screaming at me.
It's going to be yet another crazy week here at the Headbangin' Household. Wednesday I have a dentist appointment and then Thursday we leave for our annual camping trip. I've got a ginormous list of last minute packing and cleaning, blog posts to schedule and baking to finish. I really planned on finishing up yesterday, but discovered (the hard way) that I need to make a run to the store. Since we do our grocery shopping in the next town over, and aren't headed that way until tonight, baking will be postponed until tomorrow.
The menu I'm sharing today is half normal and half camping. Everything is simple, as usual.
Monday we're having Peanut Butter Baked oatmeal for breakfast. For lunch, we'll have pizza cups from baking day and then ham and potato chowder with corn bread for dinner. I finally managed to bake the giant ham from the freezer on Saturday. It was a good thing, too, because we finally had our first 90 degree day in my part of the world yesterday. Hello Summer!
Tuesday's breakfast is scrambled eggs and toast. Then, for lunch we'll have corn dog muffins from the freezer. Dinner will be either homemade macaroni and cheese or fettuccine Alfredo. I need to check and see what cheeses I have in the fridge.
Wednesday for breakfast we'll have either cereal or peanut butter toast. Since my appointment is first thing in the morning, we need super quick and easy. Lunch is going to be more pizza cups and then dinner will be leftovers. I'll be too busy to want to cook and I don't want to leave a bunch of leftovers in the fridge for a week, because, well, ewww!
Thursday morning we will have breakfast sandwiches. For lunch on the first day of camping I always make everyone a "lunch bag of goodness". They usually have a PB&J, fruit, cookies, water and a juice box, crackers, trail mix and a couple Jolly Ranchers. I load them down pretty heavy because, with all the campsite set up during the first few hours, no one has time to stop and make lunch. I also make sure there's plenty of variety so the kids don't tear everything apart looking for the snack bin. Dinner that night will be pre made Dog Food Salad. Don't freak out on me, I didn't name it! It's just taco salad, but the girl I got the recipe from back in high school, called it Dog Food Salad and who am I to change it?
Friday morning is going to be breakfast burritos with eggs, ham and cheese. Lunch is going to be hot dogs and chips. Dinner that night is Chili Baked Potatoes.
Saturday breakfast will be pancakes and Spam. We use the "just add water" kind of pancake mix for camping. Actually, this is the only time during the year that we use pancake mix at all. Lunch is going to be macaroni and cheese with any leftover hot dogs that need to be finished. If you use Pasta Roni, you don't have to drain the pasta. It's the simple things that make your day while camping! Dinner that night is going to be nachos. Just heat your cans of beans and cheese (yes, we use canned nacho cheese sauce for camping) over the fire and dump over your chips. Add salsa, sliced olives and sour cream if you have it. I don't know why, but these nachos are the most amazing concoction after a hard day of raft races down the river!
Sunday's breakfast will be cream of wheat. If we still have any bread that needs using, we'll have toast too. Lunch will be Chili Baked potatoes again and then dinner will be Backpacker's Thanksgiving Dinner otherwise known as Hobo dinner around here. I usually add a can of corn to the stuffing mixture. This dinner has become a camping tradition. The recipe can be made in any amount, nothing needs refrigeration and it is so filling. Everyone loves it.
For desserts, of course there is s'mores, s'mores and s'more s'mores. Although one night near the beginning of the trip we'll also have Banana Boats.
There you have it folks! Have a great week! And don't forget to chek out Menu Plan Monday for more menu ideas. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal

Yesterday I promised I would post this recipe. It's become a staple here at the Headbangin' Household and the possibilities are endless. Sometimes I add chocolate chips, raisins or mashed bananas. Chunky Peanut butter is really good in this too. It's also freezer friendly which is always great for those mornings when you're running late or just don't feel like cooking. Believe it or not, that happens around here more than I'd like to admit! Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal 3 c. quick cooking oats 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 1 c. milk 2 Tbsp. melted butter 2 eggs 2 tsp. baking powder 3/4 tsp. salt 2 tsp. vanilla 1/2 c. peanut butter extra milk for serving Mix all and spread in a 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. If you like it a little crunchy on top, cook for a few minutes longer. Serve warm with a little milk poured over the top. That's it! Simple as can be! I'll be back in a bit with the rest of the baking for the week. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Baking Day 5/29/10

Happy Saturday! Even though I'm only half way through my baking this week, I've decided to finish up tomorrow. Why am I baking like a mad woman this weekend? Simply because I won't be home during the next two Saturdays. I want to have the freezer well stocked to make up for the lack of baking in the near future.
I'll still be posting on Saturdays, I'll just be doing things a little differently over the next couple weeks.
Here's where I'm at so far:
A pan of chocolate chip bar cookies. These are actually for dessert tonight and for snacks this week. I'll make another batch tomorrow for the freezer. Note to self: don't walk away from the oven when the phone rings. The poor things turned out a little more crisp than they should have. Sorry guys, just keepin' it real.
I've got a double batch of pizza crust in the big bowl. When the giant ham (not pictured) comes out of the oven, I'll be making ham and cheese cups for lunches. Now that I think about it, they would make great breakfasts too with a side of scrambled eggs. Bonus!
Yes, that is yet another batch of Latte Bars that have made their way into the baking list. I did, for the record, freeze half of last week's. I'll be freezing half of these as well.
I got a pan of Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal done. This stuff is so good. It's nothing like the traditional bowl of mush, which is why I think the kids love it so much. Sometimes I add a handful of chocolate chips or Raisins, but didn't this time. I'm having trouble with the recipe link I usually use for this, so I'll post the recipe tomorrow for you guys.
In the oval and muffin tin is a new recipe to me. I found the recipe in one of my (many) old cookbooks. They're called Moist and Minty Brownies and were totally simple! Here's the recipe
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. water
1 (10oz) pkg. Nestle Toll House mint flavored semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, combine sugar, butter and water. Microwave on high 1 1/2 minutes; stir. Microwave for another 1 1/2 minutes; stir until smooth. Add 1 cup chocolate chips and vanilla, stirring until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with mixer after each addition. Stir in flour mixture and remaining chocolate chips. Spread in a greased 9" square pan. Make 25-35 minutes until center is set. Cool completely. Cut into squares.
You can see I stole one of the little muffins of goodness to sample. I couldn't share the recipe unless I knew it was a keeper. I can't wait to experiment with different flavors of chocolate chips in this recipe. Something tells me these won't last long.
There you have it for today folks. Stay tuned tomorrow for the second half of my baking spree! Have a great rest of your day!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free Korn MP3 Today Only 5/27/10

It's been rough this week for rockers and maggots with the loss of Slipknot's Paul Gray. The hearts of the entire Headbangin' Household go out to all of his friends and family. Rock on forever! That said, to ease the sting just a little, I came across an awesome freebie this morning! Nothing helps a mourning metal head like....more metal. There's a thing or three I could add to the list, but I'll save that for another time. Go over here and scroll down to the fifth mini paragraph. That's where you'll find the link to download Korn's new song Are You Ready To Live off of their new album Remember Who You Are. Hurry, though, because this MP3 is available to download free today only. Enjoy! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 5/24/10

Happy Monday rockers! I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had an awesome time at the aquarium in San Francisco and an amazing lunch at Fisherman's Wharf. If only I'd have brought a thermos. I'd have bottled up that clam chowdery goodness for lunch today. Maybe next time!
This week is going to be absolutely insane with end of the school year activities and camping prep work. Let the fun begin!
Dinners this week are going to be Clean the Fridge Stir Fry. This is a lot like my Clean the Fridge Soup. Slice up whatever veggies are in the fridge and fry up in a little olive oil. You can make the sauce two ways. You can mix a gravy packet or two up with the water and about a tablespoon of soy sauce and pour over the cooked veggies in the pan; simmer till thickened. Or you can mix a can of broth with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and a tablespoon of soy sauce; pour over cooked veggies and simmer until thickened. Add sliced up leftover meat if you want. Serve over any cooked pasta or rice. You can also use two bags of frozen stir fry veggies if you have them. I'll make a double batch so we can have this for lunches too.
Tuesday we are going out for dinner to celebrate our daughter's eighth grade graduation. I swear last week I was walking her to her first day of kindergarten!
Wednesday I'm going to be at the school most of the day volunteering so I'm going to try this recipe for slow cooker baked potatoes. That way when I get home I'll just heat up a couple cans of chili for chili baked potatoes. Again, I'll be making a few extra potatoes for lunches.
Thursday we'll have breakfast for dinner. We'll have Breakfast Sausage Casserole and I'll throw together a Bread Pudding. I can mix all this together in the morning before we leave for our giant before camping errands and shopping trip. Then, I just have to toss them both in the oven that evening. I'll probably make apple salad to go with this too.
Friday we'll barbecue hamburgers and hot dogs to celebrate the end of the school year. I'll make some homemade JoJo Potatoes on the side.
Saturday will be a giant baking day. It's going to be my last full Saturday to bake for at least a couple weeks, so I've got a huge list to accomplish. To make it easy on myself, I'll make a double batch of pizza dough so we can have pizza and salad for dinner.
I'm hoping that by Sunday I won't be too burned out to cook. Note to self: find a casserole to throw together on baking day for Sunday. Otherwise we'll throw together some sandwiches.
As far as breakfasts go, I've called for an anything week. There's some baked oatmeal in the freezer and some muffins from past baking days that I want gone because I need the room. We also have a bunch of strawberries and yogurt for smoothies.
Have a great week rockers and go here to check out more menu plans!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Baking Day Done Early 5/21/10

Hey rockers, happy Friday! I finished up the baking for this week a day early since we won't be home much this weekend. I have to admit that even though there is a lot of work that goes into baking every week, I do look forward to it. I enjoy baking anyway, but getting this much done once a week really helps to keep the rest of the week's menu in order. If the menu is in order we eat better, save money and have more fun! Here's this week's goodies:
A batch of Whole Wheat Cinnamon Cookies. I picked these as the cookie of the week because they're simple, freeze well, and hold up awesome on road trips. Exactly what we'll need this weekend! I'm also going to freeze a bag of these for our next road trip in a couple weeks.
I threw a batch of Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats together. I make Krispy treats all the time, but haven't had the peanut butter kind in years. Again, I picked these for the travel factor. I also have half a dozen bags of random holiday marshmallows that I need to finish using.
A batch of Latte Bars. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know. Half of these WILL make it into the freezer too. I swear they will!
A couple rolls of croissants. Alright, so these bad boys aren't from scratch, but they'll rock in the bag of munchie goodness while on the road this weekend!
Finally, I made a huge batch of macaroni salad. This isn't for the road so much as it is for quick meals this weekend while we are actually at home. I have a feeling that if we do it right, no one will feel like cooking by the time we get home. With this in the fridge we can just throw some sandwiches together and call it dinner.
That's all for today folks! What have you guys and gals been baking?
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

$1 Flip Flop Day at Old Navy This Saturday!

Good morning rockers! Old Navy's annual Dollar Flip Flop Day is going to be going on this Saturday May, 22 2010. I wait for this sale every year so I can stock up for the whole family. There will be a limit of five pair per person, so bring a friend! The sale starts at 7am so get there early for the best selection, and be ready for a crowd. If you're a veteran mosher you'll do just fine. For more details, check it out over here.
Thanks to Money Saving Mom for the heads up!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 5/17/10

Happy Monday rockers! Since my weekend was a little more busy than I had originally planned, I never got the last ham baked. I'll be bumping that up later in the week. I may pay for that since the weather is getting warmer, but I'm hoping it'll work out fine. I also remembered that we have a day trip planned for Saturday in San Francisco, so I'll have to get the baking done this week on Friday or Sunday. I love the busyness that comes with the warmer weather. There's always an adventure to be had. With that in mind, I'm going to allow for flexibility in the menu for this week (maybe from here on out). So, I'm not going to assign a specific meal for a specific day, just list the choices available. That way, depending on what is going on throughout the week in addition to whatever may pop up unexpectedly, we won't have to rely on the drive through. I'll just fix whatever fits with the day.
Here we go:
Dinners are going to be Clean The Fridge Soup. I talked about it here. We're supposed to get rain a day or two this week, so I'll try to make it on one of those days, then, we can have the leftovers the following night.
We'll also have Broccoli Chicken Rice Casserole again at some point due to popular demand.
I hope to bake the ham Thursday or Friday. We'll have it with mashed potatoes, gravy and steamed veggies.
During the weekend we'll have hot dogs and macaroni salad and then Ham and Pea Thing. I've searched and searched for a recipe similar to mine, but can't find one. I got the recipe from one of my mom's old cookbooks ages ago, although I don't remember which one. I can't remember what it's real name was, either. I usually double the recipe.
Ham and Pea Thing
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 c. frozen peas
6 Tbsp. chicken stock
5 oz. thickly cut cooked ham, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound macaroni, or whatever pasta you have in the house
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
Cook macaroni, drain, set aside. Saute onions, ham and peas in butter or margarine. Add stock. Simmer till onions and peas are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked pasta to ham and pea mixture, stir well. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Breakfasts will be cereal, bread pudding and Banana Banana Bread from Baking Day and we still have some muffins and Baked Oatmeal in the freezer.

For lunches, we'll have ham and cheese tortilla wraps, sandwiches, Pizza Cups from Baking Day and corn dog muffins from the freezer.

Have a great week everyone! Don't forget to check out Menu Plan Monday for hundreds of great menu ideas!

Until next time, rock on my friends!

Baking Day 5/16/10

Happy Sunday rockers! I know I'm a little late getting this up, but it's been a bit hectic this weekend so I needed bump the baking up to today. Some of the things were do overs from last week which made it easy. I also shortened the initial "To bake" list for today because about half way through, it was getting way too warm in the house. Yes my friends, summer is coming. Note to self: plan better next week!!
I baked up a batch of peperoni olive pizza cups using this crust recipe. Super easy! I mix up the dough at the beginning of the baking day, while the oven pre heats. Then, it has a chance to rise while I get everything else done. Press chunks of the dough into your muffin cups and fill with whatever is in the fridge. Even though I used the pepperoni and olives today, I've also made them with barbecue sauce, cheese and chicken. Ham and cheese with bell peppers is another good combo. I cooked up a double batch of rice. I mixed a cup of brown rice in with the white rice today. The kids aren't diggin' the texture of the brown rice by itself, so I thought I'd try the mix. I'll use this for this casserole later in the week. I know we just had it last week, but everyone liked it so much, they requested it again. I got two loaves of banana bread done. I was out of oil, so I tried this recipe instead. I made another batch of bread pudding. I experimented with this last weekend and my youngest has decided it's his new favorite breakfast food. Eggs, bread, milk and dried fruit sounds like breakfast around here and I know it's got to be more nutritious than Captain Crunch. Finally, I made up yet another batch of Latte Bars. I can't believe these things haven't run their course. What is this? Four weeks straight I've made them? Not pictured are the two whole chickens that got baked up last night. We ate half of one for dinner last night, and then I'll be using the rest throughout the week. I'll post the menu tomorrow. Hubby got home early today and we got most of the garden work done yesterday, so for the rest of this afternoon we're going to be doing some prep work for our upcoming camping trip. We have a big hole in our tent that needs to be repaired. Good times! I'd rather be on a road trip to go see Korn. Oh wait! I get to do that too in about 26 days! Yay for the Headbangin' Housewife! Have a great rest of your weekend everyone! Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Walmart's Free Samples

Have you checked out Walmart's free samples recently? They've always got a great assortment of new products to try and usually get the samples out to you pretty quick. Aside from trying new products, I also use these freebies in our first aid kits, gift baskets, stocking stuffers and for travel bags. They also come in handy during the holidays for all those shoe box projects. Do you collect freebies too? What do you use your samples for? Thanks to Free Sample Freak for reminding me to always check out Walmart's sample section. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 5/10/10

Happy Monday rockers! I hope you had an awesome weekend and a rockin' Momma's Day! My baking day on Saturday went great and should make the menu run nice and smooth this week. Plus, one of the kids will be gone to science camp for the week so while I'll be missing him like crazy, I'll have one less to feed. Here's the plan: Breakfasts will be strawberry muffins, baked oatmeal, cereal and toast with homemade strawberry jam. Lunches will be PB&J, egg salad sandwiches, leftovers and corn dog muffins Monday Dinner: Biscuits and Gravy, scrambled eggs and apple salad Tuesday Dinner: Slow cooker Tamale Pie Wednesday Dinner: Broccoli, Rice, Cheese and Chicken Casserole. I used leftover chicken from the freezer and the rice from baking day. We actually tried this recipe Sunday, it turned out so good and it made enough for two nights. I love when that happens! Thursday Dinner: Leftover night Friday Dinner: Chili baked potatoes Saturday Dinner: Chicken tacos Sunday Dinner: Baked ham, mashed potatoes and steamed carrots. This is the last ham from the freezer. I want to get it baked before summer arrives and it's too hot to bake anything. Finally, desserts will be bread pudding, Latte bars and ice cream.

Have a great week everyone! For more menu ideas, go visit Menu Plan Monday.

Until next time, rock on my friends!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the rockin' moms out there! I hope you all have the chance to relax and enjoy the day.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Baking Day 5/8/10...I'm Baaack :)

Hey there everyone, happy Saturday! It's been a great morning and I feel like I'm ready to get back into my bloggy chair and drive this thang! I'm so sorry that it's taken this long, but I'm back and more motivated than ever. So, without further ado, here's this mornings creations.
My first ever batch of bread pudding. I hope it tastes as good as it smells.
A batch of corn dog muffins for the kids lunches
A batch of chocolate chip bar cookies
A batch of those Latte Bars. I think this whole house is addicted, seriously. You have got to try them!
I boiled some eggs for egg salad sandwiches for Monday and Tuesday
I cooked up a batch of rice so it'll be ready for dinners this week.
A batch of strawberry muffins for breakfasts this week
Not pictured are also a dozen smoothie Popsicles that are in the freezer. I also made a second batch of smoothies for the kids this morning, but those are long gone already.
The only thing I have to finish is a batch of strawberry jam. I'll probably get that done tonight so that it will have a chance to cool over night so we can have it on our toast in the morning.
For now, I have some planting to finish up in the garden before this day gets away from me. The weather is absolutely gorgeous today, so I'm looking forward to getting some sun on these shoulders. I'll post some pictures of the garden this week to show you how well its all coming along.
Have a great rest of your weekend rockers and as always,
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fun on a Budget Friday Tuesday Edition

Happy Tuesday rockers! Last time I promised that I would talk about ways we save money when we take our little rockers in training with us on our adventures. These are the trips that take a little more planning. Usually, us adults can go without a thing or two throughout a day, but I know (mom of three here) that's not always the case with the kids. Alright, we've already established ways to get free tickets. We've also covered a few simple ways to keep your day or night out reasonably cheap. Remember, the old tips still apply here, we're just dealing with a few extra needs. The packing list: Sweaters, because even in August it can get chilly at night. We also use them to sit on when we have lawn seats since we aren't always allowed to bring in a blanket (Thanks, Ozzy). Ear plugs, because hello, they're children and I'd like them to keep their hearing for as long as possible. Rocker in Training cards. These are just cards I print up ahead of time with every adults phone number on them, just in case we get separated. Luckily, we've never needed them, but all the kids know that if we do get separated, they are to find a security guard and hand them the piece of paper to call us. I list every one's number because you never know who will have cell service. Also, these little cards are small enough to slip into their shoes if they don't have any pockets. Mom's purse list: I don't normally carry a purse at all, but concert days are where I make an exception. I use a small backpack type purse so my hands are free at all times to hold precious little hands. Usually I keep a few band aids, Tylenol, sun block, bug repellent, hand sanitizer, glow sticks and a deck of cards. The glow sticks are great because I can keep track of the kids in the dark and they have something to play with. It's also cheaper to buy a pack at the dollar store instead of paying up to five bucks each at the event. The deck of cards also keeps them busy in between bands. MOM I'M HUUUNGRY!! Yeah, you've been there, right? Remember to plan on bringing snacks for the road to avoid the drive through. Some standards for us are popped popcorn, crackers, dry cereal, cookies and breads from Baking Day, and some fruit. Don't run out and buy $40 extra dollars worth of junk when you probably have some things that will do for the day. About the only thing extra we buy are water bottles, which we hang onto for inside the venue and on the way home. As far as a drink for the road, we just fill reusable bottles from home with water, tea, or even Kool aid. If we have them, we'll freeze juice boxes too. If we need to, I'll also make some sandwiches for a tail gate lunch before we head inside. MOM I'M STIIILLL HUUUNGRY!! Once you're inside the event there is no going back. Always check beforehand to see what they will allow you to bring in. I can't stress this one enough. Rules will vary, but I always pack each person a one gallon baggie of allowed snacks. Then, all of those baggies go into one of those extra extra large Ziplock bags. Everything that isn't factory sealed must be viewable, so these bags are great. I stay away from perishables since ice chests are a no no most of the time anyway. Usually we all get a PB&J sandwich, some jerky or a beef stick, some cheesy sandwich crackers, cookies or breads, hard candies and as many bottles of water that the place allows. In the past we've also taken shelf stable dips in plastic containers (the kind that you don't need to refrigerate until after opening) with chips and crackers. Why do we go through all of the trouble of packing and lugging all of this stuff with us? Because for a family of five, at one of these shows, we would be spending at least $40 for one meal and one bottle of water for each of us. At an all-day festival that amount could easily triple. Sure, we usually will break down and get the kids an order of garlic fries or nachos to share, and sometimes even a slushy, but we always determine our budget ahead of time and stick to it. The money we save allows us to see more shows! Please don't think we eat like this daily. We generally eat pretty healthy, but concert days are a special treat, and if eating beef jerky for dinner allows us the chance to have some family mosh time, we're OK with that. There's a couple extras that I almost forgot. Save all those outer baggies if they don't get too mangled. We've been using the same ones for two seasons. Not the small ones that had the actual sandwiches in them, but the ones that carried those baggies. Also, freeze some water bottles and keep them in a small cooler in the car along with a few extra snacks for on the way home...just in case you hear MOM, I'M HUNGRY (again) before they pass out in the back seat. Finally, remember a couple blankets and pillows for when that time comes :) Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Checking In

Hey rockers, I just wanted to check in really quick to let you know I haven't forgotten about you. I apologize for not posting during the last few days. Our family got slammed with a tragedy this week and we've all been trying to cope. Don't worry, Hubby and the kids are all ok. As for baking day this morning, I only baked up one batch of Latte Bars and a few loaves of banana bread for the week. Really not worthy of a picture :) Again I apologize, guys. I'll be back on Monday for regular posting. Have a great rest of your weekend, and as always, Until next time, rock on my friends!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Concert Binder

Happy Wednesday Rockers! I'm a big time binder lovin' girl. I have a binder for just about everything. Seriously, it's nuts. I have one for Christmas, camping, recipes, coupons, the household budget, gift giving, and this lovely little Crazy Concert Crew binder. Alright, alright, I know that chasing concerts isn't for everyone, but you can nickname your own binder depending on your own hobby.
The record setting 2007 concert season was the reason for this little beauty. See, we hit 18 concerts that year. Some of them with up to 10 kids between everyone. We had an absolute blast, but repetitive list making and direction getting got real old, real quick.
At some point I thought it would be useful to make a reference book of sorts, to keep track of it all and something that traveled well, that I could just grab and go. I started by dividing the binder with tabs marking the different venues we'd already been to. Here's a little list of what's in each tab section:
Directions to and from the venue.
The phone number to the venue.
Ticket purchase information.
Parking charges if any.
The number for the local taxi company. Hey, better safe than sorry! You may come across someone that needs it, even if you don't.
Print out of the seating chart
A list of items you are and aren't allowed to bring in with you.
Little side notes of interest, like local camp grounds, gas stations, restaurants, or if there is a serious lack of these things. Really, one of the venues in my book has a note that says "Get gas at the crazy expensive gas station in town if you need it because you'll run out before you get to the next one 30 minutes up the road." Another one says, " Remember, there are two parking lot H's here. Pay attention!"
In the first few pages of the binder I have our packing lists. The "bare essentials" list is, of course, much shorter than the "rocking with kids" list, but it was important to separate the two for quick reference. I also added a reminder page for things like checking the oil and spare tire, and not to forget to let the cat out. Then, for fun, I added a couple empty pages from an old photo album as a safe place to quickly put ticket stubs and other little souvenirs you pick up along the way.
Finally in the front pocket is where I keep the tickets for the current event, a phone card, road side assistance info, any coupons we may need and few emergency dollars. After all, at the end of a long heavy metal night, we all just want to get home safe, right?
Since keeping my concert binder for quick reference works for me, I thought maybe it was worth sharing no matter what your favorite adventures are.
Don't forget to go check out Works For Me Wednesdays over at We are THAT Family.
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 4/19/10

I hope everyone had a great weekend. We had awesome weather in my part of the world all weekend, and got to visit a bit with friends and family. We have a busy week here in the Headbangin' Household so I'm planning quick and easiness so I can keep my sanity and stay on budget. I can't blow it now....we are way too close to concert season!
Monday is baked chicken, baked potatoes and steamed carrots. I love when I can throw and go!
Tuesday is "Clean the fridge soup" and Honey Oat bread from baking day. Basically, I'll throw the leftover chicken and veggies from Monday into the crock pot with whatever other veggies are in the fridge and freezer that need using along with some broth. I'll add a couple handfuls of pasta in about a half an hour before dinner and call it done.
Wednesday will be breakfast burritos and Apple Salad. This is seriously one of my favorite salads. I honestly cannot remember where I got the recipe from and I don't measure any more, but it's just a few chopped apples, a handful of chopped walnuts, a handful of raisins or dried cranberries, and a cup of your favorite flavor yogurt. Raspberry is a favorite around here.
Thursday We will be trying out Taco Pasta because it looked and sounded delicious over at Org Junkie the other week, and I just can't wait any more.
Friday looks like it'll be a grilled ham and cheese sandwich with Baked JoJo Potatoes kind of night.
Saturday I'll make a big pot of spaghetti with a salad, so that
Sunday can be leftovers aka anything night.
Breakfasts this week are cream of wheat, Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Banana Carrot muffins, cereal and peanut butter toast.
Lunches are sandwiches, baked sweet potatoes, and pizza cups from baking day
Desserts are Fruit Cocktail cake, ice cream and strawberry shortcake. We would have had Latte Bars, too, except that batch from baking day are totally gone. I can't wait to make more!
Are you having trouble planning your menu for the week? Check out Organizing Junkie for hundreds of menu plan ideas!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Baking Day 4/17/10

Happy Saturday everyone! There's nothing like the sound of Harleys and Slipknot on a Saturday morning! We had an awesome surprise visit from my brother and parents who rode down this morning. Here's what I got done for the week...
The pan that is already half eaten was the new recipe to try this week. They are Latte Bars and they are awesome! I didn't put the pecans in, added a couple dashes of cinnamon, and sprinkled the chocolate chips on top instead of mixing them in. I really should have made two pans. They were easy enough to be an everyday recipe, but taste fancy enough to add to the Christmas list.
Next was a double batch of Fruit Cocktail Cake. Do you remember the cuppa-cuppa cake that Dolly Parton talks about in Steel Magnolias? It's that cake.
I also made the usual Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal to freeze for the week. The kids just love the stuff. There's a batch of their favorite Banana Carrot Muffins, Honey Oat Casserole Bread, and some pizza cups that I threw together using my favorite pizza crust recipe and random leftovers in the fridge. As always, I tossed in some sweet and regular potatoes while everything else baked to reheat throughout the week.
That's all folks! It's an absolutely gorgeous day out, so I'm going to get out back and plant a few things in the garden. I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend!
Until next time, rock on my friends!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fun On A Budget Friday 4/16/10

Happy Friday! We all need a little fun from time to time, right? Friday seems like the perfect time to talk about fun. So, how in the heck can you afford to have fun when you're living paycheck to paycheck? Let me throw in my two cents! Last week we talked about ways to get you to events for free. Since we all know that getting your tickets is only the first step, what about the rest of the trip? Tip number one: Car pool! If we have a group of people going with us, we always, always try to squeeze into as few cars as legally possible. That way the cost of gas and parking fees can be divided up accordingly. We usually save up our recycling money for part of our "concert fund" throughout the year. Then, I'll toss in any rebate or survey money I earn and before we know it, we've got a few tanks of gas saved up and ready for the next adventure! Tip number two: Try to avoid the drive through. Chances are you'll know about your upcoming outing for a while before you're leaving. (This doesn't always happen in my world, but I'll talk more about spontaneous adventures later). Plan on packing your meals, drinks and snacks for the road. Also, call ahead to find out what you are allowed to bring into the venue. This will limit your trips to the over priced concession stands. I have a concert coming up in a few weeks that I'll use as an example. I already have the tickets. I've got the recycling ready to cash in this weekend for gas and parking. This is an indoor show, and I've called the arena to find out what foods and drinks we can bring in. Nothing. Oh lovely joy! That's alright, we've been down this road before. I'm making ice and storing it in empty bread bags that I've saved so we can pack a small ice chest. I don't like taking perishables, but cold drinks are always nice. If we have soda, I'll pack it. If not, I'll make some iced tea. We'll fill a couple Big Gulp cups we've saved for the road and pack extra in an empty water jug. Chances are, I'll throw in a few beers for the guys. Don't forget to pick your sober driver ahead of time!! For snacks, I'll pop some popcorn, bag up some cookies from Baking Day, and throw in whatever nuts or crackers are in the pantry. This is an evening show, so I'm expecting that we'll eat dinner before we leave, but if all hell breaks loose, plan B is to heat up a couple homemade hot pockets to eat on the road. The only thing we should have to buy inside the arena will be a beverage. The main point I'm trying to make is that it won't cost us a fortune to have a great time. I won't blow the household budget because I've planned ahead. I won't blow the grocery budget, either, because I'll shop at home first, and make do with what we already have. It won't be fancy, but it's rock and roll...it doesn't have to be. This is an easy trip because the kids aren't coming. Next week, I'll talk about how we roll when we have our little rockers in training with us. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Just another Thursday...

As I sipped my first cup of coffee this morning, I glanced out the kitchen window. Finally, the sun is shining instead of another day of wind and rain. I flip the switch on the radio, grab my sweater and coffee, and headed out back. This is my favorite part of the day. I gave a quick look at the blueberries and raspberries along the fence. Full of blooms and babies, they reminded me of my good friend that gave me these when we first bought the house. It hasn't even been a year, and I am amazed at how many berries I see starting. I'm thankful for my friend's giving heart. As I walked further along the fence, I sipped my coffee and heard Sixx A.M.'s "Life is Beautiful" through the window. I can't help but chuckle at how fitting the song is for my morning. I glanced at the blossoms on the upside down strawberry plants on the clothes line. I'm happy to see that the little guys are doing well. It's amazing what you can do with a few ice cream buckets and scissors. Underneath the strawberries sits our baby apricot tree. He's not much to look at yet, but I can see evidence of blossoms coming soon. I glanced up at the apple tree. The poor thing was almost dead when we moved in, as was the orange tree. They hadn't been watered in a year, so the story went. Now, months later, they are both beautifully full of thousands of blossoms. I can't wait to share the harvest with friends. I walked over to check the peach tree. He's had a rough week. The wind from our last storm snapped him almost in two. We've done an emergency tape job, and five days later, I'm thankful to see he shows signs of life. I know he needs all the help he can get, so I tell him "C'mon little dude, you can do it," and continue with my walk. We've dug up most of the lawn along every outer wall of the yard and replaced it with rows and rows of corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, artichokes, onions, peas, green beans and herbs. We also dug up the flower bed outside the kitchen window to make room for zucchini, lettuce and spinach. As the morning sun warms my back, it reminds me of how much work and love we've put into this garden. A jolt of relief combined with panic come over me as I think of all the food we'll have this summer....and all the canning, pickling, peeling, chopping, freezing and pitting that comes along with it. I hear "Psychosocial" by Slipknot start playing through the window. My coffee up is almost empty, and the dogs are chasing each other at my feet. I know my morning ritual of checking the garden is almost done for today. A final check of the tomatoes reveals about half a dozen new blossoms on Mr. Stripey, a new flavor this year. After I reposition a couple of the vines from the peas onto their poles, I stood back up and gave a long look at the whole yard. I can picture what it will look like in another month. Full of colors and bushy vegetable plants, these babies will soon be feeding my babies. What else can I say? It's just another Thursday for the Headbangin' Housewife. Life sure is good. Until next time, rock on my friends!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Thinking About Christmas!

I know it's only mid April, but I can't help thinking about Christmas. Even though I'm up to my rear end these days in our garden and planning end of the school year events, our annual camping trip and who knows how many concerts and road trips, Christmas is always in the back of my mind. It'll be here before you know it...happens every year.
Spring time is the perfect time to try any of those new Christmas cookie and candy recipes you came across last December. You know, all the ones you clipped and put in the "I'm so going to try that next year" pile. Why on earth would make these now? Well, because it's better to find out in April that a recipe is a total flop, than during your last minute baking (you know we all do it!) throughout Christmas week. I usually try at least one new holiday recipe on my baking days, during spring...before it's 110 degrees outside and I don't want to bake at all in the summer. This saves so much time, money, energy and stress during the already hectic holiday season.
I also plan for any homemade gifts that I'll want to give. I already know that I'll need jars for gift mixes. I'll be looking for these over the next several months at the thrift shop and yard sales. Plus, they are on sale during the summer months, so I'll be stocking up as I find the deals. I definitely want to try making this salt scrub and this sugar scrub in the near future. If they are keepers, I'll be set for the girls this Christmas. I think the guys will be getting this drink and these goodies. I'm still on the look out for simple additions to these gifts, but at least I have a head start.
Getting a head start on Christmas during the spring Works For Me! For tons more rockin' tips and tricks check out Works For Me Wednesday!
Until next time, rock on my friends!