The Nadel family- Enjoy reading our everyday adventures!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas decorating!

 Have you decorated your house for Christmas yet? We decorated our home this past Friday & Saturday, and the kids had tons of fun! I love opening the boxes and remembering where so many of the decorations come from... "Oh yeah! Rebekah made this in kindergarten..." Or "Mallory unwrapped this pretend present when she was 2, and was disappointed it was an empty matchbox!" Or..."Caleb loved this ornament when he was 2!" We never used to decorate our home so early in the year, until we were expecting Bethany. Her birthday is December 7, so we can't decorate our tree on the same weekend as her birthday party! So, it got pushed back a week to Thanksgiving weekend!

Since we are in our new home, we had the dilemma and fun of finding new places to put everything! Plus our 9 1/2 foot tree would not fit- no high ceilings here! So we bought a 7 foot tree (pre-lit of course!) We decided a few years ago that we would buy an artificial tree in an effort to save money, by not buying a real tree from a tree lot each year. But then we bought another tree this year! Oh well...

Enjoy the pics- it was lots of fun!

Mallory helps Daddy choose CD's to listen to...

Rebekah helps Dad put on the cranberry garland.

Cute elves wait patiently...

Now the ribbon...
We decked the halls too!

Attacking the tree with ornaments!

So pretty- eclectic ornaments...

The final touch- the star on top!
The whole house looks festive!

All lit up in the evening...

Mallory is looking for the pickle, and not finding it... 
We are looking forward to having our decorations up all month! It is a nice change and makes the house so festive! Now to decorate the outside, maybe? Need extension cords...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Homemade Granola recipes

Do you need to save a little money on your grocery budget this month? Do you need a good breakfast that will stick with you longer than cereal? Do you get tired of the same old foods for breakfast? Here are two of my favorite granola recipes!

The first one is dairy-free and from Betty, and can be found here.
It takes just 15 minutes of prep, and takes a while to bake (an hour +). But it makes 28 servings!

Homemade Chunky Granola

Savor the goodness of your own homemade granola, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing exactly what's in it. Just 15 minutes of prep, and it will be oven ready.

6cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2cups sunflower nuts
1 1/2cups slivered almonds
1cup Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
3/4cup packed brown sugar
1teaspoon salt
3/4cup vegetable oil
1/2cup honey
1/2cup water
1bag (7 oz) dried mixed fruit, chopped (I've done raisins or craisins only)
Print these coupons...
About Concordance™

Heat oven to 300°F. In very large bowl, mix oats, sunflower nuts, almonds, flour, brown sugar and salt. In small bowl, beat oil, honey and water with wire whisk until well blended. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.
Spread on 2 ungreased large cookie sheets with sides. Place both cookie sheets in oven on 2 separate oven racks, one below the other.
Bake 20 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes. Reverse position of cookie sheets in oven; bake 10 to 20 minutes longer, stirring every 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely on cookie sheets, about 30 minutes.
Stir mixture to break apart. Stir in dried fruit. Store in tightly covered container.

The other recipe is one that I've made for a long time, before I had a child that could not tolerate dairy. I think it is from the "More With Less" cookbook.

Homemade Granola

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
5 cups oatmeal
1/2 raisins (add after baking)
1/2 cup dry milk
3/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix brown sugar, oil and honey in saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Combine dry ingredients in a large cake pan. Pour sugar mixture over dry mixture and mix well. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. (You can stir it and put it back in for 10 more minutes, if you want crunchier granola.) Store in an airtight container.

Optional: Add up to 1/2 cup of: walnuts, pecans, wheat germ, coconut, dates, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, peanuts or flax.

These would make great gifts... put it in a big glass jar with a ribbon around it- yum!

Try one out and let me know if you do! Now my hubby wants me to make some...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving memories

Here are a few photos of highlights from our Thanksgiving yesterday... We had a great day here, celebrating in our new home! The food was soooo delicious and a great time was had by all. Our festivities included cooking (of course!), watching the Macy's Day parade, playing with cousins, lots of chatting, drinking Turkish coffee, playing Boggle, munching on crackers & Brie cheese for lunch, more games, setting the table, eating dinner, watching football, eating pie (4 kinds!) and watching a "Thanksgiving play" done by the kids. Enjoy the pics! (My sis-in-law Morgan has more too, I'm sure...)
Joshua made butterscotch rolls for breakfast, YUM!!

Nana snuggles with our little girls...

Rebekah braided Ashley & Mal's hair,
Norah has a bun!

The kids' table...

Getting silly to avoid the tryptofan (sp?)  coma

"Pilgrims" search for land on their "ship"...

"Land ho!" Cap'n Rebekah says...

Planting seeds in the "new land"...

Cap'n meets Squanto (yes, it's a shirt on her head!) 
Rebekah was the director of the play, as well as the star, so there were times when she'd have to stop and prompt the kids! It was very cute, the boys were too busy to really to participate. I think they were wrestling or playing football! Norah was the "backstage assistant"... Great job, kids! It was a very fun day! Now off to decorating for Christmas, but that's another post... :-D Hope you all enjoyed your holiday too!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is "THE Thanksgiving Psalm" that I learned and memorized as a kid. I have been meditating and thinking about this psalm this week. Do I shout for joy? Usually I shout in anger... convicting! Do I worship the LORD with gladness or drudgery? Convicting again! Hope this brings you to praise GOD in a real way today...

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 

 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
   come before him with joyful songs. 

3 Know that the LORD is God.
   It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
   we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
   and his courts with praise;
   give thanks to him and praise his name. 

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
   his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless!

Even Bethy had a decorated box-car courtesy of Rebekah,
even though she didn't get to go to AWANA in it!

Last night was the "Drive-in movie night" at our AWANA group. So here are the kids in their boxes they decorated as cars! Complete with pillows, blankets and stuffies! It was a fun time where they watched "Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankfulness garland

So in our family night last Thursday, we made a thankfulness garland with our kids. I took about 10 sheets of construction paper, cut them into 1" strips and got supplies ready beforehand (i.e. staplers, markers, etc.,)  Then in the evening after dinner, we sat down as a family, read Psalm 100 and began to discuss being thankful and thankfulness. We told the kids that we wanted to write down what we were thankful for on the strips of paper.

The first 30 or 40 were easy, things like our new house, food, toys, clothes, homeschool, our church family, Bethany's "ni-ni" blanket, our car and van, books, etc., then we started to get creative.  Some of the things that made it on the 2nd half of the strips were: slippers, a laundry room with doors, apple trees on our property, birthday parties, my blog, Facebook, Jesus dying on the cross, our chickens, football, baseball, music, the library, our homeschool co-op, individual friends and individual members of our family. It was a great time to talk to the kids about the abundance that God has given us and get them into the thankfulness mindset. Our children do pretty well at being thankful and saying thank you, but it is important to go beyond just the little things. It is wise to talk about ALL that God has given us and realize and remember that ALL things come from God. "Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights, in whom there are no shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

The best part of our thankfulness night was the part when we were finished with the 100 or so strips we had cut, that we still thought of more things we hadn't written down! SO we wrote on the BACKS of some of them too! I felt like then the kids really had gotten the message. It was also fun to see what the kids came up with that they were thankful for. :-D

We will leave our garland up all week and maybe part of next week. It depends if it gets in the way of the Christmas decorations! But the garland stretched over halfway around our living room! Here are a few pictures:

I hope that you will take time to do something like this with your family this week and give yourselves a visual reminder of all that you have to be thankful for too! What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday planner

Hey I Can Make That!
Ann's Amazing Holiday Planner
molly member banner

While browsing the Disney Family Fun website, I found this very helpful tutorial on making a holiday planner to help organize you and all your recipes, gift ideas, and more. 

There is a gift-giving printable that will come in handy as you are shopping for your loved ones.

Here's the link...

I've always printed off my own checklist of things to do/ buy. I have things on there that we do every year, and I can change it before I print it out. For example, if we purchase and artificial tree, then we won't need to buy a real tree, so that would not be on the list. This helps me so much in December, to be organized, especially since I have a baby born in December.  Of course, I have been working on my Christmas cards for a while now (I start in November), since I make them. Then I just have to sign them & put them in the envelopes. 

I have a file on my computer which is just for Christmas. It has old Christmas wish lists, Christmas letters and different craft ideas, etc., I do pull up the files in late November and review past year's lists & letters which is kinda fun! I love to see how the kids have changed. 

Anyway, I hope you'll check out this tutorial and print out some of the pages to help make your December a little smoother! I already printed them... enjoy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cranberry bread recipe

Here's a good one to enjoy when cranberries are on sale! It is my mother-in-law's recipe and we LOVE this bread at the holidays!

Cranberry Bread
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup orange juice
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts
In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add shortening. Combine juice and egg and add to dry mixture, stirring to moisten. Fold in cranberries and nuts. Turn into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 350° F for 60 min or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 min. Turn out to cool completely. Wrap airtight and store in refrigerator.

I hope to make this in the next few days- YUM! We make it a lot at Christmas time too. It is a nice gift to give to friends or family that "have everything"!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

2 for 1 Chicken casserole recipes

The kids wrote the dinner for the evening on
our new chalkboard!
Here are two more of our favorite casseroles... The first one I got from my mom, we had a it a lot when we were kids. The other I got from a friend one time, and liked it so much that I've made it a bunch! Enjoy!
Partially served "Wheaties Casserole" -YUM!

Chicken Rice Casserole (aka Wheaties Casserole- that's what my brother called it once...)
BTW- I altered this recipe slightly from Mom's...
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 c diced, cooked chicken (I cook it in the microwave)
3 c cooked rice
3/4 cup chopped celery (you can buy single stalks!)
1/4 cup cornflake crumbs (or Wheaties)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jar pimentos, drained and chopped (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Heat soup briefly in skillet. Add chicken, rice, celery, onion, pimento, parsley, salt & pepper. Heat through and pour into 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min. or until top is brown. (serves 4-6)

*Note: My mom's recipe had you make a roue- where you mixed flour, butter and water or milk, and set it to heat and thicken. I burned and overflowed it so many times that I changed it to the cream soup instead. It is easier on me! :-D

Stove-Top One Dish Chicken Bake
1 package (6 oz) of Stove Top stuffing mix for chicken
1 2/3 cup water
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup (I've done cream of chicken or celery & it's good too)
1/2 cup sour cream OR milk

Mix contents of vegetable/ seasoning packet, stuffing crumbs & water. Set aside. Place chicken in 9 X 13" or 2-qt baking dish. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until chicken is done. Makes 4 servings.

*This one would be great now because you can probably get the stuffing mix on sale. They are both pretty quick and easy! Let me know if you try either of them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless!

Here is Bethany singing her favorite song... So cute!

Or if it doesn't work for some reason, try this:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tator Tot Casserole

This is a family favorite of ours... it is on the regular monthly rotation in our home. Rebekah even had it at her birthday party dinner last year! I got this recipe from my mom. I hope you enjoy it!

Tator Tot Casserole makes 4-6 servings                    
This casserole was doubled and the tator tots were orderly put
 on by two first-borns... Rebekah and Joshua! :-D
1 lb ground hamburger or ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 cup green pepper
10 1/2 oz can cream soup (celery best)
approx 10 oz frozen cauliflower, cooked
1/2 c grated cheese
16 oz tator tots
Brown meat, then add celery, onion, gr. pepper. Drain off grease. Add cauliflower, soup, and cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees until brown and bubbly. YUM!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu planning

Do you do any type of menu planning at your house? I've tried lots of different ways to menu plan, and still haven't found the "perfect" one for me. I don't like to totally fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to dinner. But I don't like to plan each dinner a month in advance either. SO I have a way that I plan that is in-between those extremes. I have a list that I typed on my computer that has all of the meals I make for dinner. I went through my cookbooks and typed just the name into my list. (and sometimes the cookbook reference abbreviation & page #, if I didn't make it often). This helps when I need something different, and not necessarily new, one that I haven't made in a while. I have a very picky eater in my house, so I don't try new recipes tooo often. Plus I know my kids like mostly the same dinners. Not to say I make the same dinners all the time, because I change what I make for the seasons. In summer time, I make more sandwiches and grill more for dinners, so I don't need to heat up the house. In winter, I use the crock-pot and make casseroles more.

One friend of mine took her list of dinners and divided them into weeks. She mixed up the dinners so there were not too many like dinners together, i.e., Spaghetti and Lasagna in the same week; or tacos and burritos in the same week. Then she printed her list and rotates her menus so they don't always eat the same ten meals. Then she makes her shopping lists, so she can just grab her week 1 shopping list and go to the store. I have done this to some extent, but have a hard time sticking to the weekly list. So what I have done is make check boxes on my monthly menu list, so I can check off what we've had recently. It also gives me lots of ideas for different meals to make for my family. Maybe I'll remember that Southwest Stroganoff, pull out the recipe and make it again because I saw it on my meals list.

SO here is my copy of my monthly menu list. If you see anything on it that you want the recipe for, please let me know. My sister-in-law Morgan has lots of great recipes on her blog- some of which I've made. You can get to her blog here. She has even featured a few of my recipes! I hope to post some of our family favorites casseroles soon to give you some ideas.

Until then, enjoy the list! Let me know your thoughts on menu planning and what works for you (if anything)!

  • Monthly Menu—Colder weather
  • Week 1
  • Stuffed Shells
  • Wild Rice & Turkey Casserole
  • Ham Slice, baked potatoes and corn
  • Tacos/ Burritos
  • Pork Chops (w/ onion soup mix) noodles and veggie
  • Chicken/ Veggie Stir-fry w/ rice
  • Week 2
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Spaghetti/ pasta w/ salad – It. Sausage, red/ white sauce
  • Quiche w/ eggs, swiss cheese, ham, spinach?
  • Kilbasa, mac & cheese (or potatoes), carrots
  • Pizza (chicken or It. Sausage w/ veggies)
  • Week 3
  • Chicken Tortilla soup
  • Apple pancake
  • Meatballs & noodles (cream of chicken soup)
  • Chicken Scampi w/ tomatoes & rice
  • Tamale pie- corn, corn meal, salsa, ketchup
  • NEW______________________
  • Week 4
  • Mostacholi
  • Crockpot chicken Fettucine
  • Best Ever Meatloaf (MOPS), noodles, veggie
  • Green Chile Burritos—Rice, Gr. Turkey, gr. Chile sauce, tortillas,
  • Tator tot casserole
  • Ham stir-fry w/ raisins, celery, rice (RCC ckbk)
  • Week 5
  • Chicken rice casserole
  • Taco salad w/ chips, meat, beans, cheese, veggies
  • Pasta w/ peas & tuna
  • Breakfast – Fr. Toast, pancakes, crepes, 
  • Popover Pizza
  • Chicken Parmesan w/ chicken, red sauce, pasta
  • Week 6
  • Salsa chicken w/ rice, tomatoes
  • Egg burritos
  • Pasto sauce & pasta/ salad
  • French bread pizza/  mini-pizzas
  • BBQ Pork chops, mac & cheese, corn                  
  • Spaghetti carbonara (Colo Cache, p 219)
  • Week 7
  • Texas Tater Casserole
  • Tim’s chicken pot pie
  • Southwest Stroganoff
  • Shrimp  & pasta
  • Chicken fajitas
  • Porcupine meatballs? (w/ rice) OR
  • NEW______________________
  • Week 8
  • Apricot chicken and rice (MOPS)
  • Chili & corn bread
  • Pulled pork sandwiches w/ BBQ sauce (crockpot)
  • Shake & bake chicken, rice mix
  • Vegetable soup (homemade), rolls or biscuits
  • Crockpot chicken & dumplings w/ cream soup, celery, chicken & tortillas
  • Monthly Menu- warmer weather
  • Week 1
  • Steak on grill-oven potato fries- corn on cob
  • Perkins chicken salad (w/ chicken patties)
  • Tuna macaroni salad w/ onion, green pepper, celery, peas
  • Sloppy joes- meat, tomato soup, BBQ sauce, ketchup, onion soup mix, buns- baby carrots
  • K-bobs on grill—meat, veggies
  • Falafel w/ pitas, veggies
  • Week 2
  • Chili Dogs w/ buns, hot dogs, chili & cheese, carrots
  • Hamburgers/ hot dogs w/ buns, canned baked beans, OR Brats
  • Tomato Soup & Grilled cheese
  • BLT’s w/ chips, fruit
  • Couscous or Tabouli w/ Ham slice, veggie
  • Veggie pizza- crescent rolls, ranch, chopped veggies
  • Week 3
  • Soup & biscuits
  • Chicken salad w/ grapes, almonds, croissants, chips, fruit
  • 15 minute chicken chili w/ corn, salsa, chips
  • Egg salad sandwiches, chips, carrots
  • Chicken fajitas- tortillas, chicken, veggies, cheese, sour cream
  • Fish stix & rice mix
  • Week 4
  • Chicken club brunch ring w/ canned chicken, tomatoes, onions, crescent rolls
  • Frito pie- fritos, chili, hot dogs, buns
  • Potato stir-fry w/ corn, onions, green pepper
  • Taco salad
  • Breakfast—eggs, French toast, pancakes, crepes
  • Open face sandwiches- olives, mayo, bread, cheese
  • OTHER:
  • Pigs in blanket w/ broccoli salad
  • Corn quesadillas

I've actually got this in columns on my list, two columns on each side of the paper and I laminated it. Then I can check off, erase and reuse it!  I just copied and pasted it here for you! :-D
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