Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Saturday, November 3, 2012

French Bread Pizza

As long as you have everything for it in your kitchen, French bread pizza is a very easy and tasty meal to throw together!  You can use whatever French bread you like, whether it's homemade or store-bought.  I like to try to always keep a couple of loaves of my homemade French bread in the freezer, so that I'm always ready to make this just in case I'm having "one of those days" where I need something quick to throw together for dinner.

I'm not putting in an ingredients list here, because the amounts are totally up to you and are better eye-balled than measured.  This post is more to help with assembly and baking.  :-)  Just make sure you have a loaf of French bread (my family needs AT LEAST 2 loaves), your favorite pizza sauce (we just use our favorite jarred spaghetti sauce from Aldi), shredded mozzarella, and your favorite pizza toppings.

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Get out a baking sheet but do NOT grease it.

Cut your loaf of French bread lengthwise in half.  Depending on the size of your pan and the length of the bread, you may need to cut it crosswise in half as well.  Lay the bread, cut side up, on the baking pan.  Spread pizza or spaghetti sauce on the cut sides, then top with whatever toppings tickle your fancy.  We like to be what most people would call boring and just use pepperoni on some and plain ole cheese on the rest.  ;-)  When your satisfied with the toppings, sprinkle on the cheese.  Use as little or as much as you want!  Or, at least as much as the bread can handle.  LOL!  Have fun with this, it's the beauty of making your own stuff!  :-)

Once the oven is preheated, slide the pan with the pizzas into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and browned lightly.  Pull the pan out, cut into pieces of desired size, and enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Exploration to 1850 Week 1

We finally got our curriculum last week and so, this past Monday, Vincent started his first week of sixth grade.  Andrew has already been in first grade for awhile...he is about half-way through.  But, since we had been on a break, Monday was just like a first day for everyone.  :-)

We start every day (yep, even the one who is not "officially" doing school yet!)...
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation, under GOD, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.

As the name of the year implies, we started out learning about the exploration period, picking up where we left off last year.  Monday we learned about the Vikings and decorated a cake (that Vincent had made the night before!) to look like a world map.
Tuesday and Wednesday, we learned about Christopher Columbus and Vincent made tin foil boats for himself and his brothers that represented Columbus' three ships, the NiƱa, Pinta, and Santa Maria.
Then, they filled the bathtub and tried to blow them from one end to the other, as if from shore-to-shore across the Atlantic Ocean.
Of course, with three boys, it doesn't take long for them to start getting turned into an all-out race!  I'm not really sure who won, but those boats were not fit to sail by the time they were done.  ;-)

For Bible, Andrew is currently memorizing select verses in the book of Proverbs, and Vincent and I will be studying and learning (together!) the book of James.  Yep, you read that right...memorizing the ENTIRE BOOK of James!  Now as far as books of the Bible go, James is not that long.  However for us, that is still A LOT of memorizing!  I know Vincent can do it, and hopefully, I will be able to keep up!  ;-)  We are also learning some hymns this year, and we will be spending two weeks on each one.  For these first two weeks, we will be learning My Father's World.  It is the name of the company we buy our curriculum from, and, we will be studying many things in our Father's world for science this year.

I am very happy with how this week of school has gone.  I commented to my husband that this is probably the best first week we've had.  Despite our long break, attitudes started out and STAYED good throughout the week.  Now hubby and Vincent have gone to deer camp for the weekend opener, so it's the perfect end to a great week!  Well, for him and hubby anyway.  I never get used to hubby (and now a son already!) going away for the weekend, but at least I have the little guys to keep me company until they go to bed.  :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Once-A-Month Cooking...Giving it a try

A few weeks ago, over the course of a week, I made some extra dinners to put into my freezer.  It ended up being about two weeks' worth.  After going through those two weeks being completely spoiled by just being able to pull a good, homemade meal out of the freezer a day or two ahead of time to thaw, and just popping it in the oven, I decided feeding the freezer is not so bad.  ;-)

So, I came up with a months' worth of meals to make, picked a day to go shopping (payday, of course!) and then cook away!  This past Saturday was to be the big cooking day, but since I was able to do some of the shopping early on Friday, I decided to get a head start.  Boy, am I glad I did!  I spent both days in the kitchen all. day. long.  But, we're only a few days into enjoying the fruits of my labors, and I've gotta tell is SO worth it!

Here's the meals I made.  If the recipe is online, I will link to it.  If not, I will work on getting them on my blog in the next week or two so they can all be linked to something.  ;-)  Not all of these are completely made up and in the freezer, some of them just need a starter in the freezer (and a couple of them have nothing to do with the freezer!), so I will try and let you know what I did as I go.

Spaghetti (x3)--gasp! I don't make my own sauce for this.  I use Aldi's Reggano Traditional pasta's really good without doctoring, and it's cheaper than making your own (if you have to buy all of your ingredients...growing  your own veggies is a different story!).  I just cook up a bunch of sausage, season it, and divide it up among 3 freezer bags and freeze!  Thaw the meat in the refrigerator the day before, then the day of, cook it up in the sauce while the noodles boil.  I also have French bread in the freezer that I made, and will pull out to make garlic bread.  Yummy!  Very simple.

Chicken Tetrazzini (2x)

French Bread Pizza (1x)--Freeze the French bread, shredded mozzarella, maybe some cooked-up sausage or pepperoni.  I use our Aldi's pasta sauce (see Spaghetti above) for pizza sauce, so that can just stay in a jar in the cupboard.  ;-)  Pull everything out the day before to thaw in the fridge, then assemble just before dinner time and throw it in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Pizza (2x)--I make up my own crust dough and freeze it.  Same concept as the French Bread Pizza above, except you're working with a pizza crust instead of the bread.  Thaw out the dough, roll out the crust, then proceed as normal.

Chili (2x)

Tacos (1x)--just cook up the taco meat and freeze in a ziploc.  Take it out to thaw, heat, and assemble as desired.

Taco Bake (1x)

Sloppy Joes (1x)  Again, just make up the meat mixture and freeze in a ziploc.  You can either freeze the buns separately, or just wait to buy (or make!) them until you're ready to eat it.

Calico Beans (2x)

Almond Chicken Casserole (2x) I just make this up until right before putting the topping on and baking, and instead dump it into a gallon-sized ziploc.  When I'm ready to make it, I thaw it, dump it into a 9 x 13 pan, put the topping on and bake as directed.

Chicken & Stuffing Casserole (1x)

Sticky Chicken (1x) With this, I rub the spice rub all over as directed, then stick it in a gallon bag and freeze.  This counts as refrigerating overnight.  :-)  So when you're ready and it's thawed again, just stick the onions in the cavity and continue with step 2 in the directions.

Cheeseburger Soup (2x)

Twice-Baked Potatoes (1x)

Split Peas Soup (1x)

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (2x)

Chicken Pot Pie (x2)--I didn't actually make this yet, because I actually ran out of chicken!  But I will make it when I can get more chicken, so here it is.  This is a WONDERFUL recipe.  I just make it as the recipe states (I do use my own variation of the recipe for the gravy, and I will post that later), but I freeze it instead of bake it!  Then I just let it thaw and bake as the instructions say...turns out really well!

Rarebit (1x)--This is not actually a freezer meal, but is extremely easy to put together.  It's actually one of my hubby's comfort foods, and he prefers to make it himself, so I just let him at it!  :-)  It's basically a cheesy white sauce over saltine crackers...super easy and super yummy!

Mac & Cheese (1x)--Again, not a freezer meal, this is one of our "cheapo" meals that comes out of a box, so basically, I count it as ready.  This one is also hubby's deal...he has a certain way of making it, and even the kids can tell it doesn't quite come out the same when Mom does it.  LOL!

Chicken Curry (2x)

So, there you have it!  One month's worth of meals.  It was hard work for 2 straight days, but now I'm livin' the good life with all the work already done!  LOL!  At least until next month...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 10/14/12

Happy Monday everyone!  :-)  Had a busy morning that's just now slowing down enough to give me a little time to post this week's menus.

Monday: Breakfast-for-Dinner-->French toast bake and turkey ham slices
Tuesday: Green chili enchiladas and veggies
Wednesday: Sweet potato soup and homemade bread
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Taco bake, veggies, and sweet corn cake
Saturday:  Good ole' mac & cheese :-)

There you have it!  Have a blessed week!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tackle-It Tuesday

Here in our home, we will be starting our new school year in a few weeks.  Yesterday, I started integrating our school-day schedule back into our lives to get re-acclimated to a stricter schedule.  Going from an 8 or 8:30 wake-up to a 5:30 (for me) wake-up, is not fun at first, but I'm doing it.  Even if I'm not all here yet.  But, I digress.

Part of getting ready for a new school year, for me, means getting some fall cleaning and de-cluttering done around the house.  While I do try and keep up on basics during our breaks, I will freely admit I slack off on any serious housekeeping.  So, I like to go through and make sure that the state of our home is not going to be a distraction while we're doing school.

All that said, I have decided to make today Tackle-It Tuesday.  I know I'm not the only mom who has at least one cleaning/de-cluttering project we keep trying to put off until it's practically staring us in the face (or someone else mentions that it's staring THEM in the face, you know, because you've just gotten that good at ignoring it yourself).  Well, today, on Tackle-It Tuesday, let's pick one project to tackle!  If it's too overwhelming, just pick one STEP of it to tackle.  You never know...once you get into it, you may decide to finish it.  But, if you don't, that's okay.  We're looking for progress here.

My project?  Ironing.  I've got quite the pile going.

I haven't decided if I'm going to finish the whole pile today, but I'm at least going to start.  (Have I ever mentioned ironing is probably one of my least favorite chores?)  This is one of those things, for me at least, where the hardest part is just getting started.

So, let's go!  Get something tackled.  :-)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

This week it's easy, since we are eating out of the freezer!  Over the last couple of weeks, I had been working on making meals and feeding the freezer, getting about 2 weeks worth of meals in there.  Now, my family will enjoy the fruits of that.  :-)

Monday-Breakfast-for-Dinner: Baked egg casserole
Tuesday-Tacos and fixin's
Wednesday-Split pea soup with homemade bread
Thursday-Chicken Tetrazzini, bread & butter, veggies
Saturday-Chicken pot pie

And there you have it!  Enjoy your Monday, everyone, and may your week be blessed!

Shall we continue?

So, it seems I've been gone from the blogosphere for a little while.  Back in June 2011 my husband and I made the decision to get the internet and cable out of our home for a period indefinite.  We just needed a break from all the hoopla.  And a break we got!  Sure, there were occasional trips to the library to check in, and I would get on when my phone would pick up a wi-fi signal, but other than that, it was completely out of our home.  It was definitely nice...sometimes.  We all really enjoyed not having the distraction, but every once in awhile situations popped up that definitely made us think that life would be a whole lot easier if we could hop online and find the info instantly.  Now, don't get me wrong...we survived without the internet just fine (just like people did before the internet was around), and we could continue to survive without the internet just fine if we had to or desired to.  However, because it's there and because right now we can, we have made the decision to bring it back into our home.

There weren't a whole lot of things I missed, but of the few, blogging was a pretty big one.  I realize I'm not the world's greatest writer and that my blog has no "official" following at the moment (and I wasn't exactly "big time" before we went offline, either!), but blogging has been something that I've always enjoyed, even if I wasn't always consistent with it.

Having said that, it has been 3 days since we've been back online here and I am just now writing this post.  Why, when I'm so excited to get blogging?  Well, I wanted to get all the re-exploring out of my system first.  Catching up on Facebook with a real keyboard instead of using the hunt-and-peck method on a phone, re-visiting old favorite sites and making sure favorite recipe sites were still up and running, and cleaning out my e-mail account, groups, and reader account.  Now that those things are for the most part taken care of, I can sit down, relax, pray over, and think about what I really want to write about.

To me, this is kind of like a fresh start, a clean slate.  A time to really think about where I want this blog to go.  Or more like, a time to pray about where God wants to take this and ask Him to use my writing and this blog to glorify Him.  And may it be so.