Freeze it Friday

Posted April 6, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Freeze it Friday

Freeze it Friday

Have you been to The Soapy Dish yet? It’s Freeze it Friday! Time to share your tips, tricks and recipes for great freezer meals.

Cookies. Yum! Who doesn’t love them?! Chocolate chip, oatmeal, raisin, nuts… For me it doesn’t really matter what you put in them, just as long as they are warm and gooey right out of the oven, and I have a big glass of milk to go with them. Unfortunately there’s not always time to make a batch of cookies, and while the eating part is always fantastic, the cleaning-up part is never so fun. You can buy the pre-made cookie dough at the store (in a tube, roll, or container) and it saves you the hassle of clean up, but it’s never quite as good. This week’s freeze it idea: Make your favorite batch of cookies – go ahead, put anything you want in them – and freeze the dough for a rainy day. You’ll be very grateful later, trust me!

Cookie dough will freeze great in any tupperware container. I always save containers from butter or sour cream (the big Costco versions), wash them out really good, and use them for cookie dough storage. Whatever you choose, you’ll quickly discover that nothing beats pulling your favorite cookie dough out of the freezer and having it all ready to go when that craving for your favorite chocolate chip cookies hits. You can make one or two, make a dozen and save the rest of the dough, or make it all. Depends on your craving that day!

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe:

1 cup softened butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

18 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips. With your fingers, place golf ball sized dough portions 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375* for 9-10 minutes or until edges are light brown.

What are your favorite cookies to make? Have you ever tried freezing the dough? Share your cookie recipes here, and don’t forget to go to The Soapy Dish to share more freezer meals tips and tricks.

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Menu Plan Monday

Posted March 26, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan Monday

Laura over at OrgJunkie hosts a Menu Plan Monday each week, and I love it! I think all of you have been there, but if you haven’t… you need to check it out! There is a Mister Linky there with everyone’s menus for the week, and you are guaranteed to find dozens of recipes you’ll want to try.

I love planning out the week’s menu. My husband and I have been doing this for quite a while, and it is really quite a money saver. We plan out our meals for the week and then make a shopping list of all the ingredients we might be missing, and our trips to the grocery store have become a lot more inexpensive! (no more putting things in the basket “just because” or because “I might make” something. We only get what we need, when we need it. Amazing concept, I know… Why didn’t we think of this sooner?!?) Even better is not having to decide what’s for dinner when 5:30 rolls around. Just check out your menu!

This week’s menu:

Monday: Ritz Chicken
Tuesday: Hamburgers
Wednesday: Date night with hubby!
Thursday: Stroganof
Friday: Fajitas
Saturday: Sunday Chicken
Sunday: Chicken, Spinach, and Tomato Pizza

Yum! It’s time for dinner now… All this talk has made me hungry! Have a tasty Monday!

Freeze it Friday

Posted March 24, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Freeze it Friday

Freeze it Friday

The Soapy Dish is hosting it’s first Freeze it Friday! Be sure to go there to find fabulous ideas and tips for freezer dinners, as well as some delicious freezer recipes!

You can participate and share your freezer recipes, tips, and tricks as well by posting a link to your site at The Soapy Dish. The more the merrier! Be sure to stop by!

My day was crazy, and I never got around to typing that recipe I wanted to share, so instead my “Freeze it Friday” will just be an idea. (Come back next Friday looking for tasty recipes…) My DH loves to eat rolls with every meal. I love them too, but for now there are only two of us and we can NEVER finish a bag before the last of them start to mold. I hate throwing them out! I know we would eat them – we just can’t get to them fast enough! It took me several wasted rolls to realize (DUH!) you can freeze them! We now buy the huge bag at Costco, and seperate the rolls into 3 or 4 Ziploc baggies to toss into the freezer. I know just how many we can go through before the bread goes bad, and so we always have the perfect amount in each Ziploc. We just pull them out when we need them! It’s so easy!

Maybe a lot of you already do this… Maybe I’m just slow to catch on! But I love it! We do the same thing with cheese. Buy the gigantic bag at Costco, and then divide it into smaller Ziploc baggies when we get home. All of the baggies get thrown into the freezer and we never run into the problem of “Oh no! We ran out of cheese and this recipe calls for one more cup!” Just pull a bag out of the freezer when you need it! You save tons of money buying that big bag from Costco, and it doesn’t go bad. Just another way to make life a little easier…

Works for me Wednesday

Posted March 22, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Computers, Works for me Wednesday

How many of you have special little “helpers” when you try to clean and organize? You know the type – those little stinkers cuties who discover all of the folded laundry and “help” to put it away all over the floor. The same helpers can manage to “help” pull out all of the toys you just organized in the closet. They can “organize” and “clean” just like you… or so they think.

Today’s tip: When you are trying your best to get a clean house, and you really don’t need the extra “help,” give them something better to do! My idea: Use the internet to your advantage. You will be amazed at how easy it is for kids to use the computer – even as little as 3 years old. And they love it! Now, we don’t want kids just playing around anywhere on the internet (of course) so I have compliled for you a list of links that I love. Most of these are educational (it’s the teacher in me) but fun. The majority will help teach kids to read and do math, and a couple just have some fun games. Check them out! I know you will love them, and your kids will love them even more. But the truth of the matter is we will all love the extra few minutes we get of real cleaning and organizing without our special little “helpers.”

Starfall – This site is my FAVORITE! It gives little ones practice at the alphabet and letter sounds, beginning readers practice at blending letter sounds together for reading, and it has interactive stories for bigger kids that already know how to read and just need extra practice. **Be sure to let your kids know you can click on everything on the screen. Characters move around when clicked on, objects change colors, etc. Try it out!**

I Know That – This will give your kids practice in ANYTHING. When you get to the site, look to the left and you’ll see you can click to practice in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Each one has levels from beginning to advanced. It will ask you to register before you can play (it’s free), but if you don’t want to just click “maybe later” and you can skip the registration and still play the games.

Professor Garfield – Art, music, reading, rhyming… You can find it all here! Just click the appropriate grade level, and get playing!

Sesame Street – Look under the Kids section – You’ll find games, music, art, stories, even Elmo’s World. It’s very cute and very entertaining.

Nick Jr. – Click on Nick Jr. Playtime on the left hand side of the page. Lots of cute, simple games that your kids can play with their favorite characters like Dora, Blue, and Lil’ Bill.

Fun Brain – More math games, reading games, and grammer games.

Seussville – For the Dr. Seuss fan in all of us. Head to the “Playground” to find lots of matching and fill in the blank games. There are also lots of printables on this site for your little one to color, do word searches, games, etc.

Hope you can find one that works for you and your little helpers! Be sure to check in with Rocks In My Dryer for more fabulous Works for me Wednesday tips and ideas.

Tackle it Tuesday

Posted March 21, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

It’s Tuesday, and 5 Minutes for Mom has inspired me. Each Tuesday it’s time to tackle a project – big or small – and celebrate your accomplishments. My project today wasn’t actually in my home… it was in my classroom. I teach second grade, and my teacher’s desk is an embarrassment to all teacher’s on the face of the planet.

It’s terrible. I’m not kidding you. (Check back later for my before and after pictures) The only excuse reason I can give for the huge disaster is the fact that I’m pregnant. (Any one else pregnant?? I’ve found that “I’m pregnant” is the one excuse that can get you out of almost anything! And YES, I will be blaming this on pregnancy as well!) In the beginning of my pregnancy I was really sick and it was hard enough to make it through the day, let alone stay and put papers away. Now that I’m almost to the end of my pregnancy, I am SO tired that by the time I send my kids home at 3:00 all I want to do is take a nap! Put papers in order? When the couch at home is calling my name?? Impossible!

Don’t think I’m an awful teacher. I can grade the papers, prepare the lessons, do all the fun activities with my kids… It’s just that darn putting things away when we’re done that I really struggle with this year. The rest of my classroom is actually quite tidy – and my students know that they are NOT allowed to keep a mess in their desks or leave a mess on my floor. Lucky for me, 7 year olds are forgiving and haven’t yet asked me why my desk is allowed to be such a mess if they need to keep their’s clean…

Today I did it! I stayed after school, I filed papers, I organized student’s work, I put worksheets, handouts, and homework away in their proper place… It really is a modern day miracle!! What was formerly known as chaos can now be referred to as clean, tidy, neat, and organized!

What did YOU tackle today?? Now’s your chance to celebrate!

Calling all ClutterBugs!

Posted March 20, 2007 by clutterbugs
Categories: Uncategorized

Okay, it’s time to get started.  I’ve been lurking on your blogs and getting some fabulous ideas for cooking, cleaning, crafting, and playing mommy.  I’m beginning to think that you all have it figured out, and somehow I missed the boat…

Tell me I’m not alone on this – At least 10 times a day I think about how much I have to do, and how little time I have to do it in.   Am I the only clutterbug left on shore?  I know there must be some of you left out there!  I have begun to accept the fact that my scrapbooks may never be caught up, closet doors will have to be closed when guests come over, sometimes take-out is as fancy as dinner is going to get, and there are some days when things will NEVER go as planned.  Luckily I have a loving husband who allows me to fuss over the small things and doesn’t complain when the clutter seems to be taking over in our lives.   (He is so patient with me!)

Okay, in my eternal quest to become organized, I have figured a few things out and learned a few secrets.  Time to stop lurking and share the things I know.  This blog is all about sharing ideas for becoming less of a clutterbug – and I’m going to need your help!  Let’s share ideas for cooking, cleaning, crafting, and everything in between.  If nothing else we’ll share the stories that keep us smiling and laughing during the day, giving us the sanity to try it all again tomorrow if it all goes wrong today.