Friday, December 31, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Here is yet another recipe that I made for Christmas this year. I first had this when a colleague of mine brought it into work. It was soooo good! She just uses a recipe found on AllRecipes. I wanted to try making it with my own healthier ingredients... and I wanted to do it all in the crockpot. So I made some modifications and voila! Buffalo chicken dip... and I have to say I think it tastes even better than my colleague's! :) It was a hit at both Christmas parties that I took it to. It doesn't look too appealing, but once you taste it (and if you like buffalo wings), you'll be hooked!

Buffalo Chicken Dip
2 cups shredded chicken (I used some that I had shredded and frozen... and I just dumped it in still frozen)
2 cups soft cheese (or you could use organic cream cheese)
3/4 cup hot sauce (like Frank's Red Hot, Tabasco, etc.)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Dump all ingredients into a 2 or 3 quart crockpot. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours. Stir before serving. Serve with celery sticks, crackers, or tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sausage Cheese Balls

We had to travel two hours west for one of our Christmas parties.  I wanted to find something to take that was portable, tasty, and fairly good for you.  I couldn't decide what to bring, so I scoured the Whole Foods for the Holidays posts.  I came across these Sausage Cheese Balls on Titus2Homemaker.  They sounded very easy and portable.  So I tried them out.  I used our pastured, naturally-seasoned sausage, a mixture of whole wheat and spelt flours, my homemade cultured butter, and raw cheddar cheese.  They are more dough-y than I guess I expected and they didn't blow me away, but they were okay.  They taste like a biscuit with a slight cheese and sausage flavoring.  The naturally flavored sausage doesn't have as much spice as conventional sausage does, so maybe they'd have more flavor with conventional sausage... I didn't think about it in advance, or I'd have probably added a few spices. 

Sausage Cheese Balls

3 cups whole wheat flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup spelt)
1-1/2 Tablespoons aluminum-free baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 lb. butter (I used homemade cultured butter)
1 lb. breakfast sausage, raw (I used pastured pork sausage with natural seasonings)
8 oz. grated cheddar (I used raw cheddar, a mixture of mild and sharp)

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. With your hands, mix in sausage and cheddar, adding a tad bit of water to make a dough. Form into 1″ balls (I used my 1-inch cookie scoop) and bake on a baking sheet at 375 for 20 minutes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Smoked Salmon Spread

I had decided I wanted to make a salmon dip or spread for one of our Christmas parties this year.  So I went searching for a good recipe.  I settled on a Smoked Salmon Spread with Pecans on Heartland Renaissance.  I pretty much followed the recipe as written.  I did use my homemade soft cheese in place of the cream cheese and I used crispy (soaked and dried) pecans.  This was very simple to make.  I served it with some organic whole wheat crackers.  I thought it was very tasty!  I'll make it again sometime, for sure.  Kevin liked it, too.  People who like salmon would like this, too.  Its really not too fishy tasting, nor too smoky, but it has a really good flavor.   

Smoked Salmon Spread

One 1-lb. can of wild, Alaskan salmon
One 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened (I used soft cheese)
2 teaspoons grated white or yellow onion
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I used crispy pecans)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon horseradish
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, snipped (or 1 Tablespoon dried parsley)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Drain salmon, removing bones and skin. Flake salmon into a bowl. Combine cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, horseradish, salt and liquid smoke with salmon, mixing well. Chill several hours or overnight.

About an hour before serving, combine pecans, parsley and paprika. Shape salmon mixture into a log or ball and roll in pecan mixture. Chill. Serve with crackers, sliced baguette and sliced fresh vegetables.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ranch Dressing

I have been making this Ranch Dressing Mix for awhile now... regularly for nearly a year.  It really is a great thing to have on hand.  We make our own ranch salad dressing quite often, as its my favorite.  I've also made dip with it for raw vegetables many, many times.  I've used it in other ways, too.  But I realize I've never posted anything about the actual salad dressing.  So I figured I would do a quick post.  Making the dressing is so easy.  Just whisk together some of the mix, mayo, and buttermilk or sour cream.  I've never made it with sour cream, I've always used buttermilk, but I'm sure it'd still be good.  This is the best ranch dressing I've ever had.  Way better than the Hidden Valley brand, which always seems to be a favorite conventional brand.  It's even better with your own homemade mayonnaise and buttermilk!  Yum!  Anyway, sorry for the poor picture, I mixed up a cup of dressing to use in a buffalo chicken dip I was making for Christmas Eve and just snapped a quick picture in the bowl.  Maybe I'll update someday when I take a better picture.  For now, you get the idea.  :)

Ranch Dressing Mix5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

For dressing: Mix 2 Tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.

Yummy Yummy Coffee Cake - made healthy(er)

I have been wanting to try making the Yummy Yummy Coffee Cake a little healthier for awhile now.  I figured why not make it for a breakfast during the holidays?  So I made it to have for breakfast on Friday morning.  I used whole wheat and spelt flours and I soaked them in homemade buttermilk.  I also used homemade cultured butter, half sucanat and half cane sugar, farm-fresh pastured eggs, homemade vanilla, sea salt, and aluminum-free baking soda for the cake.  I used sucanat and cane sugar, plus cinnamon for the filling.  And I used unbleached powdered sugar and raw milk for the glaze.  Everything was organic and local where possible.  Its still not a healthy dish, but making it this way is much better for you than making it with processed, conventional ingredients. 

Yummy Yummy Coffee Cake

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (I used half sucanat and half cane sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sucanat
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup nuts (optional)

1 cup unbleached powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk

If you are soaking the flours, mix flours and buttermilk together in a small bowl.  You may need to add an extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk.  You want to have just enough moisture to cover all of the flour.  Cover the bowl with a plate or kitchen towel and let sit at least 8 hours or overnight. 

When you are ready to bake, heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan with coconut oil or butter.

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Add baking soda and salt.  Then add the soaked flour mixture.  Stir well. 

Mix filling ingredients in a separate bowl.

Put half of the dough in the prepared pan. Top with half of filling. Spread the remaining dough on top. Then remaining filling.

Bake 35-40 minutes.

While still warm, mix glaze and drizzle over top.

This recipe was shared in the Kitchen Stewardship Soaked Grain Recipe Carnival.

Meal plans and the week ahead

What a whirlwhind, awesome week last week was! We have had some great times with family and friends! We have our last Christmas party this afternoon, which will be a lot of fun again. We're really looking forward to seeing the Hollebooms again today!

Tomorrow morning, we may get together with the Holleboom cousins again, if Aunt Mary, Uncle Justin, and Rebecca stay in town overnight. Either playtime at Grandma's or maybe a trip up to the Flint Childrens Museum. Carson and I may go up to FCM regardless since I think Kevin will have to work (yes, he's supposed to be off for shut-down... hopefully he'll be working from home, at least) and will have another very stressful day. Tuesday and Wednesday I'll be going into work in Lansing. Thursday and Friday are holidays for me. I'm not sure what we're going to do.  Friday, we'll go to pick up the milk at some point during the day.  And Carson and Sara have a playdate in the afternoon with Sara's college roommate, Tiffany, and her boys, Evan and Tyson.  Friday is also New Years Eve, but we're just going to celebrate at home again this year.  We haven't decided what we'll do on Saturday yet. We might invite some family or friends over for dinner, but haven't decided yet.

We're hoping to get some things done around the house this week, but we'll see how the week goes. It will depend on whether Kevin ends up working all week, or just a day or two, too. We shall see. Hopefully he will at least have time to build me a cheese press! :)

For now, here's the plan...

Sunday - church; Holleboom family Christmas
(prep grains for noodles)
B: leftover coffee cake
L: leftovers
D: at my in-laws' house, I'm bringing cheesy veggie casserole; buffalo chicken dip

Monday - Flint Childrens Museum? Play time at Grandma's?
(make butter; make yogurt; make noodles)
B: hard boiled eggs; fruit
L: leftovers... buffalo chicken dip with celery, salmon dip with crackers, cheesy veggie casserole
D: cream cheese chicken over noodles; green beans; corn

Tuesday -
(make beef stock)
B: fried eggs; veggies
D: spaghetti squash lasagna

Wednesday -
(prep grains for cinnamon rolls)
B: yogurt with granola
D: french onion soup

Thursday - off work
(make sourdough cinnamon rolls; make sourdough crepes)
B: sourdough english muffins from freezer with peanut butter
L: peas and cheese tortellini
D: cajun sausage and chicken casserole chicken and rice in the crockpot

Friday - off work; milk pickup; play date with friends; New Years Eve
(culture milk for soft cheese)
B: sourdough cinnamon rolls
L: leftovers
D: taco bar with sourdough crepes for shells

Saturday - New Years Day
(hang soft cheese)
B: sourdough cinnamon rolls
L: leftover tacos
D: tbd... depends on if/who we have over.... possibly a beef roast or brisket

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

One of the Christmas treats I made this year are Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Heavenly Homemakers.  These were so easy to make and I love that there are so few ingredients.  Not only are they easy to make, but they taste awesome, too!  If you love chocolate and peanut butter, you will love these!  This is definitely a keeper recipe!  I made the recipe as written, though I'd like to make them again sometime with some changes.  I'd like to try them with half carob chips and half chocolate chips and I'd like to try them with homemade sucanat powdered sugar (which I have actually made, but didn't have any when I made these, plus I had some organic unbleached powdered sugar that I needed to use up). 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used raw cream)
2 Tablespoons butter (I used homemade cultured butter)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used homemade peanut butter)
1/4 cup organic, unbleached powdered sugar

In a saucepan stir together chocolate chips, cream and butter over medium heat.  About the time the chocolate chips are almost melted, add peanut butter and stir until smooth.

Spread mixture into a pie pan and chill for about two hours.

Roll mixture into 1 inch balls.  I used my 1-inch cookie scoop and I actually only filled it half-way since the full scoop was too rich for me.  Then I just dropped them right into the powdered sugar to cover and placed on a serving plate.  Then chill them until they're set. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Parabens... and my favorite lotion

I've been on a quest for quite a long time now to eliminate (or limit in some cases) the toxins that our family is exposed to. One of the first steps I took, way back when, was to eliminate the parabens in as many of our personal care products as possible. This was no easy task. Parabens are one of the most commonly used ingredients in personal care products. The only ingredient that is found more often than parabens is water.

Parabens are synthetic chemicals that are added to most personal care products as a preservative. This allows your shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens, deoderants, lotions, hair products, etc. to sit on the shelf for many months and years. This is a good thing, right? You would think so... but really it is very dangerous to your health.

Parabens have now been proven to mimic the estrogen hormone in our bodies. This can lead to extra fat storage/obesity, diminished muscle mass, and male breast growth. Many studies have also linked parabens to an increased rate of breast cancer.

The different types of parabens have different effects on your body, as well. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that methyl parabens are linked to developmental, metabolic, hormonal, and neurological disorders. Yet they continue to allow them to be used in products. Sadly, the power of money and the lobbyists for the personal care companies is huge.

I could keep going... it continues to be just as scary. But there are articles upon articles of information on the internet that you can google if you still aren't convinced. This was enough information to convince me, though.

So I started on my quest. Since I use lotion many times a day, I really wanted to find some good alternatives to the brands I used to use. I thought it would be a pretty easy step. I first went out to Trader Joe's because they are known for good quality products. I just grabbed a moisturizing lotion off the shelf, assuming it was safe. I was appalled when I got it home and saw a couple different parabens on the ingredients list. That was one of many wake up calls that many products labeled "natural" or found in health food stores really aren't any better for you than the national brands that you see at your local big-box store.

There are no federal or official guidelines for personal care products. So basically, anyone can claim their product is natural or organic. Yes, even organic products. Some products labeled as organic actually only contain a very small percentage (like single-digit) of organic ingredients! Truly organic products will not contain any preservatives, however they may contain some natural antimicrobial/fungal ingredients (like grapefruit seed extract) or antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E). These ingredients will act as preservatives with no dangerous side effects.

Back to my quest, after the Trader Joe's lotion debacle, I tried out many other brands... and I always started by researching the brand on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Cosmetics Database site before purchasing it. I tried several brands, but just wasn't satisfied with them. They either left me feeling greasy or left my skin feeling dry. But I kept looking.

I finally found a lotion that I'm happy with while we were out in Colorado this summer. Dr. Bronner's Magic Organic Lotion. It has an EWG rating of 2 (ratings of 0-2 are low hazards). Although, it does have ethanol listed as an ingredient, which isn't safe but it doesn't effect the overall score of the lotion. I like to use this lotion on my hands and body. It keeps me feeling moisturized and does not make me feel greasy. Dr. Bronners is known for using purely organic ingredients and seems to be an overall great company with healthy products.

I also like to use straight coconut oil as a moisturizer when I'm feeling really dry. It does leave a greasy feeling, which I'm not too fond of, but it does moisturize very well. And its totally safe. Its great to use in the winter and it'd be awesome to use on a pregnant belly, I think.

So anyway, if you are looking for some new moisturizers, I'd highly recommend the Dr. Bronners Magic Organic Lotion - and straight up coconut oil.

If nothing else, I encourage you to take a look at the ingredients list of your most used personal care products. If any parabens are listed as ingredients, I urge you to try some different, safer products. There is no question that the beauty products you use on a daily basis can and will harm you. The adverse effects of the toxic ingredients are compounded over decades. Please choose wisely and read your labels.

Menu plans and the week ahead

I can't believe Christmas is already this week!  Eek!!  This is going to be such a fun week.  I'm so looking forward to everything with Carson - he's just at such a fun age this year! 

Today we're headed to church.  Then we're headed to First Baptist in Grand Blanc for the Christmas program to see our niece and nephew.  Afterwards we're going over to my BIL's/SIL's house to celebrate my BIL's birthday.  Tomorrow night I'll be going out with my colleagues for dinner and happy hour for Christmas.  Wednesday, our office is having a Christmas breakfast party.  Thursday and Friday are holidays for me at work.  Kevin is taking Thursday off and his holiday shutdown starts Friday.  I'll be meeting some college friends for dinner in Grand Rapids on Thursday night.  Friday is Christmas Eve!  We'll be going to my Aunt Sharon's house in the afternoon/evening.  Saturday is Christmas!!  We'll do our own thing in the morning, then we'll be heading to Grand Rapids for Christmas with Kevin's extended family in the afternoon/evening.  We still have to figure out when we're getting together with my parents and sister.  My mom has to work later than she thought she might on Christmas Eve now, so I'm not sure what we'll do (we had planned on going over there before heading to my aunt's house, but it won't work now).  Maybe we'll have them come over to our house on Christmas morning, or we'll go over there mid-morning.  We'll see. 

Here's the plan...
Sunday ~ church; First Baptist Christmas program; BIL's/SIL's for birthday cake
(prep sloppy lentils (lentils soaked last night); make yogurt; make AP cleaner
B: dutch baby pancakes; sausage
L: salmon in parchment packets
D: pork chops; garlic-spinach mashed potatoes; asparagus

Monday ~ out with colleagues
(soak pecans)
B: pumpkin scones from freezer
D: K/C - leftovers; S - Irish Pub in Lansing

Tuesday ~
(dry pecans)
B: oatmeal with maple syrup
D: sloppy lentils over spaghetti squash

Wednesday ~
(soak grains for coffee cake overnight)
B: Christmas breakfast at work
D: pesto cheesy chicken with garlic scape pesto; veggies; applesauce

Thursday ~ off of work; dinner in GR
(make coffee cake; make truffles)
B: bruleed yogurt parfaits
L: tuna salad with crackers; sliced cheese; raw carrots and cucumbers
D: K/C - leftovers; S - at Papa Vino's or Carlos O'Kelly's in Grand Rapids

Friday ~ off of work; Christmas Eve at my aunt's house
(prep celery and dip; prep sausage cheese balls; make salmon spread?; prep breakfast for Sat.)
B: yummy yummy coffee cake (modified to be soaked and using healthy ingredients); yogurt
L: leftovers
D: at aunt's house in Fenton... I'm bringing pickles/olives; buffalo chicken dip with chips and celery; and cookies

Saturday ~ Merry Christmas!!  Christmas dinner in GR
B: sourdough cinnamon rolls or breakfast casserole
L: leftovers
D: at SIL's house in Grand Rapids...I'm bringing pickles/olives; sausage cheese balls; peanut butter truffles; and possibly a smoked salmon with pecans spread with crackers.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Cheesy Vegetable Casserole

We hosted a Christmas party at our home last weekend with some of my family.  We had a lot of fun and, of course, we had quite the feast, too.  Everyone brought some food to contribute.  I supplied the ham and some sides, all of which were as REAL as possible.  A few days before the party, I realized we didn't really have enough vegetables, so I was going to just make some roasted veggies.  But then I saw Kelly the Kitchen Kop post a recipe for a healthy broccoli cheese casserole.  I knew I wanted to try it!  So I made it for our Christmas party.  It was sooooo good!  Yum!  This is definitely going to be a regular dish at our house!  I used to make a similar dish with the fake processed cheese (Velveeta or Cheez Whiz), but haven't made it in a couple of years now.  I'm very excited to have a great substitution that tastes even better than the fake version! 

Cheesy Vegetable Casserole

8 Tablespoons butter
8 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
1 pint homemade cream of mushroom soup
sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
onion powder, to taste
pinch of sugar/sucanat
4 cups chopped veggies, fresh or frozen
1/2 - 1 cup bread crumbs, seasoned to taste

Start by shredding up some cheese in your food processor, or you can use a box grater.  Set aside.

Next make a white sauce/roux.  Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Whisk in the arrowroot powder.  Whisk continuously for about a minute.  Add the milk, about a cup at a time until it thickens, then add another cup until you've added all the milk.

Once all of the milk has been added, add the cheese.  Then stir in your cream of mushroom soup.  Next, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar.  Taste it and adjust as you see fit.  You really want to make sure you get the sauce right - it is what makes the dish.  Keep stirring as it continues to thicken.

Meanwhile get your vegetables ready.  You can use fresh or frozen.  If you are using fresh, you'll want to blanch the veggies for a few minutes.  I used frozen vegetables, some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. 

Prepare an 8 1/2 x 11 inch baking dish by buttering the sides and bottom.  Next, place your vegetables in the bottom and pour cheese sauce over the top. 

Top with breadcrumbs. 

Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy! 

Note:  Kelly suggests melting another 8 Tablespoons of butter and stirring in 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs to make a topping.  Let your veggies bake without it for 10-15 minutes, then add the butter/crumb topping.  I'm sure this is delicious, but I was trying to save a step so I just added some homemade seasoned sourdough breadcrumbs to the top of mine (without the butter) before I baked it. It still tasted great!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Meal plans and the week ahead

Holy cow, its cold outside!  This week is going to be freezing!  Its way too early to have these kinds of temperatures!  At least we're getting some snow that should stick around a little.  But I could do without the 20s and worse yet, the single digit temps this early in the season!  :) 

Our Christmas party went very well yesterday.  We all had a ton of fun!  We had awesome food, the kids got some really fun gifts, we got to visit and catch up, and we busted out the Catch Phrase game, which is always a great time!  We can't wait for all the other Christmas celebrations we have coming up in the next few weeks! 

So this week is pretty low key.  Today we're going to church at my in-laws' church, at my mother's-in-law request.  And since we never made it to Journey to Bethlehem on Friday night (Kevin worked too late and didn't get home till almost 9pm), we're planning to go this afternoon as long as the weather isn't too crazy.  Tuesday night I'm going to dinner with some girlfriends from high school.  And that is about it for definite planned activities this week.  Kevin will probably be working late every night again.  We'll see what the weather is like on Saturday.  We might just stay home all day to get some things done... Kevin needs to work on the mower (weld the wheel shaft back onto it so that it's driveable again... and get it out of the garage and into the barn so we can bring the plow into the garage) and I could stay busy with some painting or sewing or cooking, I'm sure.  But we'd really like to get up to Longway Planetarium for the holiday laser show.  And we may go some where to see Santa.  So we'll see. 

I'm planning to do some cookie baking this week.  Definitely sugar cut-out cookies and probably some banana cookies, too.  I'm planning to modify both recipes to make them healthier.  I'll post the changes and results in a new post once I make them.  I am almost finished wrapping gifts, so I want to finish that up this week so I don't have to think about it anymore.  Carson and I will be making some Christmas ornaments this afternoon and finishing them up tomorrow after they've had time to sit and dry.  I'm planning to make some soft cheese this week, too.  I'd like to try making a cheesecake with it, so I may try that later in the week. We'll see what else I feel like doing or making. 

Here's the plan...

Sunday ~ church; Journey to Bethlehem
(make steel cut oats, wrap gifts, make ornaments with Carson, start soft cheese)
B: scrambled eggs with ham
L: leftover meatballs, layer salad, fruit salad, vegetables
D: white bean and ham soup

Monday ~
(finish ornaments with Carson; hang soft cheese)
B: steel cut oats
D: split pea soup in the crockpot (with leftover ham)

Tuesday ~ dinner with the girls
(finish soft cheese; make ricotta cheese)
B: smoothies
D: K/C - leftovers; S - Sam's in Rankin

Wednesday ~
(make sugar cookie dough)
B: steel cut oats
D: herbed baked eggs; roasted veggies

Thursday ~
(bake sugar cookies)
B: sourdough english muffins from freezer
D: spaghetti squash with pasta sauce; leftover roasted veggies from Wednesday

Friday ~
(decorate sugar cookies)
B: waffles from freezer
D: butternut squash soup; rolls from freezer

Saturday ~ Longway?  Santa? 
(make banana cookies; make cheesecake?)
B: sourdough skillet pancakes
D: beef roast with potatoes and carrots

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Meal plans and the week ahead

This week is fairly busy.  Today we're headed to East Lansing for a Wharton Center family show with my BIL, SIL, and niece.  Tuesday we may go downtown for the Flint Holiday Walk in the evening.  Friday is my flex day and I think Kevin will take the day off, too.  We have Kindermusik, milk/CSA pickup, and the last cleaning and prep for Saturday.  We may go up to Faith Lutheran on Friday night for their annual Journey to Bethlehem - if we don't go Friday, we'll go Sunday afternoon next weekend.  We're hosting my dad's family for Christmas on Saturday.  We're keeping it casual and doing a mid-afternoon lunch/dinner combo buffet.  Mostly appetizer and some meal type stuff.  I've got a great local, nitrite/ate-free, pastured ham that I'll be making and I'll be using all real food ingredients in the other things I'm making.  My mom, grandma, and cousins are all bringing some things, too. 

Most of the extras this week will be prep for Saturday's party.  But I'll also be doing some sewing, wrapping more gifts, addressing Christmas cards, and the normal cleaning.  I've already done some sewing today and will fit more in throughout the week... I have some things that I need to get done ASAP so I can ship them out to Colorado and Arizona in time for Christmas. 

Anyway, here's the plan...

Sunday ~ Wharton Center family show
(reserve bacon crumbles for layer salad; make mayonnaise)
B: pancakes with maple syrup; bacon
L: leftovers
D: out to eat

Monday ~
(make truffles?)
B: yogurt; granola
D: chicken noodle soup in the crockpot; sourdough corn muffins

Tuesday ~ Flint Holiday Walk?
B: oats
D: cream cheese chicken in the crockpot over noodles

Wednesday ~
(bake cookies?)
B: smoothie
D: homemade pizza on sourdough crust

Thursday ~
B: oats
D: leftovers

Friday ~ flex day; Kindermusik; milk/CSA pickup; Journey to Bethlehem?
(make sourdough gingerbread; make jello salad; prep breakfast casserole; bake cookies)
B: cheese and veggie omelets
D: crockpot chicken cordon bleu?

Saturday ~ Moore family Christmas
(make real whipped cream; make layer salad)
B: breakfast casserole
L/D: ham (me); meatballs (mom); lil' smokies (cousin); cheese ball/crackers (cousin); pickle/olive tray; nacho dip/chips (mom); layer salad (me); jello salad (me); sd gingerbread with real whipped cream (me); truffles (me); cookies (me); caramel cake (grandma)