Meal Plan for March 26-April 1

This week my church is having Revival!  I’m so excited to get to sit and listen to God’s Word FIVE times in the same week!  We’ll also have the guest pastor & his family staying in our home one of the nights (They’ll commute the rest of the week.), so setting a plan for our meals was a bit different!  Some of these meals will be prepared for lunch instead of dinner, but it’s still so helpful to sit down and make a plan–and at least know what to expect in that one area of our world!

meal-plan-for-the-week

Sunday, March 26

  • Church Potluck!  Since it’s a busy week, I’m keeping it simple and taking some corn flake chews and some rolls.

Monday, March 27  (lunch)

Tuesday, March 28 (lunch)

Wednesday, March 29

  • Leftovers

Thursday, March 30

  • Tacos  (I think Taco Thursdays is becoming a ‘thing’ at my house!)

Friday, March 31

Saturday, April 1

  • Venison Steak Diane
    *I made this a few weeks ago, and my husband called it “gourmet”!  I knew I had to make it again!  I do replace the brandy with apple juice.  I was supposed to make it this past week, but our schedule changed and I wasn’t able to.
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

Consignment Shopping

One of my favorite seasons of the year is “consignment season”!  Yes, it’s a season for me, and it comes twice per year!  Every March, and then again in the fall (usually August), there are three consignment sales that are within an hour drive for me.  Two of these, I make sure to hit every time!

Now, a lot of people love to go check out consignment sales and find great deals.  I, however, always go with a list–which surprises people.  Before I start my shopping, I think about the coming season.  I make a list of how many of each type of clothing each boy needs to own, and in what sizes.  Then, I pull out their drawers, and the boxes of their upcoming sizes, and see what they already have.

From that, I make my shopping list.  I want to make sure my boys have church clothes, play clothes, casual clothes, pajamas, swimwear, and shoes.  Sometimes we need a hat, coat, jacket, or gloves.  On the list this spring is an Easter Sunday outfit for Nathanael.  Joshua will wear the one Nathanael wore last year (Score!).

Two weeks ago was the first of my favorite two sales–the Consigning Mothers Sale in Paris, TN.  I got there about an hour after it opened to the public (because I always struggle with being late), and there was still a great selection!  I was able to buy about half of everything I need!  At that sale, I spent an average of $1.79 per item of clothing, and everything is in like-new condition.  And I scored a few super-cheap family games and wooden puzzles for Nathanael, in brand-new condition!

Today I’m going to my second sale of the season.  It’s a large sale called the Kentucky Kids Consignment Sale.  It’s slightly further from home, but still close enough to make it worth the trip!  (In all honesty, I went to this sale every time, even when I lived 2 hours away…)  I have no doubt that I will be able to finish all my shopping for the boys’ spring and summer clothes!   I almost always spend slightly more at whichever sale is second–simply because I am pickier at the first sale, knowing that I have another opportunity coming up soon.  More than likely, I’ll still spend less than $2.50 per item–maybe even less!

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All of our things that I had prepped for the sale!  I’m hoping to make enough money to cover my shopping there!  🙂

This year, I even tried something new, and consigned my own things with the Kentucky Kids Sale!  It was a lot of work to get things ready, but it was much easier than having a yard sale, or than selling things on Facebook buy & sell groups.   I took all my things to check in on Monday and it was super easy.  By my choice, anything that does not sell, they will donate to a local charity, and we’ll be able to deduct it from our taxes.  I won’t even have to go back to pick up the items!  I can’t wait to see how much money I make!

Do you consignment shop?  What kinds of things do you look for?  I’d love to hear about your favorite local sales or shops!

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Rachel 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where do we draw the line?

We live in a world that is filled with beauty, wonder, joy, fun, creativity, friendship, faith….  I could go on and on.  Butterflies.  Beaches.  Mountains.  Grandeur.  These are the parts of our world that I love to take in and absorb.  They often draw my gaze upward, to the God who created it all.

Unfortunately, our world also comes with darkness.  Sin.  Murder.  Sexual immorality.  Lies and deception.  Pride.  Hate.  Racism.  Gossip & slander.  Evil thoughts.  Sorcery.  Idol-worship.  False gods.  The hatred of God.  We don’t have to look far to find these things in our world.

Of course, between these two extremes are things that are a mix of both good and evil (our thoughts, for example).  Our world sees every shade of gray that you can dream up.  So where do Christians draw the line of what is acceptable?

Draw the Line

As Christians, we are IN the world, but not OF the world.  What does that mean?  And how does it work itself out in our daily lives?  We are in a world where we will obviously be exposed to evil.  That itself is not a problem.  Seeing sin is not a problem, but there’s another aspect of “seeing sin” that is a problem for me–and that comes in the form of our entertainment choices.

In movies and TV, we often find things that are of this “darkness” category I listed above.  Even in children’s movies.  This latest buzz about The Beauty & The Beast has caused quite a stir over a small scene that focuses in on a homosexual moment.  Many Christians are left wondering if it’s “okay” for them to watch the movie at all.  I’m not going to answer that question for you–at least not specifically, but I do want to redirect the focus of that question.

If your question is, “Is it okay for me to see sin?” then my answer would be Yes.  We see sin every day in our world.  Seeing sin around us isn’t sinful.  But that’s not the question I ask when I make my movie choices.  Here are a few other questions I ask instead:

  • Why do I see movies at all?  What is the purpose of it?  For me, the answer to this is almost always “for entertainment.”  On rare occasions, the answer will be “to learn”–Like in The Passion of the Christ, other Christian movies, or secular documentaries.
  • How does this movie suit my purpose?  If the movie is for entertainment, what in the movie will be entertaining me?  Does the movie revolve around goodness, or evil?  Does it emphasize magic?  Does it highlight sinful relationships?  If the purpose of the movie is to learn, what will I be learning?  Will it lead me to or away from truth?
  • Could this movie impact the way I think or act?  If so, how?  This question is tricky because it calls for some deep searching of our own hearts.  We like to think simply about this.  “Seeing an adulterous relationship on TV will never make me want to cheat on my husband.”  However, this isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like to think it is.  From personal experience, I know that if I consistently watch TV shows with sexually immoral relationships, I start to emotionally pull for those relationships to work out.  In that case, my heart and my beliefs are affected by my entertainment.  I also know that the more curse words I hear in the world around me, the more likely I am to begin thinking those words when I am angry (and eventually I would begin speaking those words as well.)
  • What does God think about this?  What does the Bible say about this?  The most important thing I do when evaluating a movie is to evaluate in by God’s terms–rather than my own.  What does God think about me being entertained by the things in this movie?  What does it imply about my heart, that I am entertained by these stories?  What does Scripture say about the things I’ll be seeing in the movie?

Over the years, there has been Christian debate over many pieces of entertainment.  One of the main ones has been the Harry Potter movies & books.  When the first of these came out, I was in High School.  Many of my friends read the books and watched every movie.  As a pastor’s daughter, I did not.  My parents had taught me that witchcraft, wizardry, and sorcery were wrong.  Harry Potter, at a quick glance, obviously centered on these things as the main story line.  So it was an easy decision for us.

But years later, friends (who watched Harry Potter) pointed out to me that I wasn’t consistent with that.  If magic is wrong, then I’d have to cut out Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz, and even Mickey Mouse.  And so the obvious question came into play:

Where do we draw the line?

My beliefs have gone through a step-by-step process on this:

  1. At first, I would watch it if it was not the main story line.
  2. Then, I would only watch it if evil was presented as evil, and good was presented as good.  (Example: Batman.  The joker and the League of Shadows were very evil, but were presented as the bad guys, so that was okay.)
  3. Third, I became conflicted, and began to ask myself another question.  Even if evil is presented as evil, am I finding the evil parts entertaining?  (Example: Batman. The joker’s question, “Want to see a magic trick?”.  Many people, myself included, found this very twisted scene to be entertaining.)

When I began to look at my heart, I began to realize that almost all of the things I found entertaining were not something that a follower of Christ should be entertained by.  In fact, when I see sin, it should grieve my heart.  At that revelation, to watch a movie that will do nothing more than grieve my spirit is not something that appeals to me.  I don’t want to watch something that will make me feel burdened and sad.  At least not often.  There may be occasions that this is fruitful–like watching a documentary on Christian persecution.  It grieves my spirit, but it also drives me to my knees for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It is not, however, what I would call “entertainment.”

With these as my standards,
you might be wondering,
“What’s left for her to watch?”

Truth be told, there’s not much.  There is only ONE “guy” movie that we have in our collection, and I haven’t been able to find another.  For the record, it’s The Giver.  If you know of another, let me know!  My husband would be most grateful!

Here are our standards.  Before watching any movie, we examine the content from websites like http://www.movieguide.org or http://www.pluggedin.com.  We do not watch moves with listed sexual content that is greater than tight clothing or non-sinful kissing (Kissing that is not in a sexually immoral relationship and not sensual enough to cause lust in our hearts).  We do not watch movies that portray any form of witchcraft, sorcery, magic, wizardry, or the underworld (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.).  We make an exception for viewing Bible stories (like our children’s movie that shows King Saul going to a medium and calling up a spirit of a dead prophet.)  We do not watch movies that use curse words inappropriately.  I’m okay with proper usage of words like damnation or Hell.  Or even, on rare occasions, the other words for female dog or donkey–when they are used to refer to the actual animal in a non-crude attitude.  I’m not okay with crude or potty humor.  I’m also not okay with movies that thrive on disrespect and unkindness.

When most people find out our movie standards, they are “aghast” by it.  They say, “You’d have to cut out everything!”  In truth, it’s not everything, but it’s most things.  And that’s okay, because movies and entertainment are not NEEDS.  There may come a day in our world (maybe very soon) when there are literally NO forms of entertainment that are acceptable for a Christian to watch.  If and when that day comes, will you be willing to say, “I will completely give up movies and TV for God”?  If that’s a decision that’s “off-the-table” for you, I’d encourage you to examine your heart.  This is the exact question I had to come to terms with.  As of now, there are still things that I can sit down and watch, and feel good about watching.  But even if there weren’t, I would not have to find something that is a “lesser evil” to watch.  I don’t need to be entertained.  I just need God.

At first, in my heart, I felt that it was unreasonable to have to give up entertainment for the Lord.  Then I realized that God doesn’t just ask us to give up entertainment.  He asks us to give Him everything.  All of it.  He asks us to die to ourselves.  To surrender all.  That most definitely includes our leisure time, don’t you think?

So where do I draw the line?  The answer is…..I don’t.  God has already drawn clear lines in Scripture about what is holy.  So instead of trying to create my own lines (like I used to do), I just look for the ones He has already drawn.  It’s not as complicated as it seems, but it does mean that the world doesn’t have all that much to offer me in the form of entertainment.  Thankfully, God has so much more to offer than any movie ever could.  Any pleasure or rest that I could get from a movie is easily surpassed through the blessings that my Lord brings into my life.

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Rachel  🙂

 


Related Posts:
A Heart that’s Entertained by Worldliness
Why I Won’t Be Seeing “The Shack”

Meal Plan for March 19-25

Last week was as busy as expected, and one of my meals did NOT go so well.  That’s alright, though.  I’m not giving up!  I will try those chicken and dumplings again, but I’ll probably wait a month or so just to make sure I’ve fully recovered from the failure.  This week is my favorite Consignment sale, and I decided to try out selling my stuff there this year!  Hopefully I’ll make some good money back to put towards all the clothes I buy.

meal-plan-for-the-week

Sunday, March 19

  • Leftovers- “Clean out the fridge.”

Monday, March 20

  • Salad
  • Spaghetti
  • 4 Cheese Herb Butter Braid
    (We bought this from a local school’s fundraiser, and they are so delicious!)
4cheese-slice-slider-bb1
Butter Braids are amazing!

Tuesday, March 21

Wednesday, March 22

Thursday, March 23

  • Tacos

Friday, March 24

  • Pulled Pork Sandwiches
    *We have some already in the freezer, and I’ll combine some of Wednesday’s leftovers with it.
  • Fried Potatoes
  • Baked Beans

Saturday, March 25

  • Venison Steak Diane
    *I made this a few weeks ago, and my husband called it “gourmet”!  I knew I had to make it again!  I do replace the brandy with apple juice.
  • Baked Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

The Power of Shining Your Sink

On Wednesday I woke up feeling….tired.  I just needed a nap.  BUT I had way too much to do for that to happen.  I was behind on laundry.  The house was a mess, and the boys were unusually disobedient.  And then I realized we were out of milk, because Nathanael has suddenly developed an obsession with drinking “mooook” and needs soooo many cups per day.  And  we needed it for dinner.  My normal shopping day is Thursday, and since the store is a 22 minute drive one way, I didn’t want to go 2 days in a row.  So, I set out to do next week’s meal planning and shopping list a day early.  Once I had that finished I headed to the store and did all my shopping.

I got home and went back to attacking my consignment sale items that needed to be entered by Friday.  I delayed on the laundry and cleaning, but at around 4:00 I was pumped to start dinner.  On the meal plan was chicken and dumplings–my absolute favorite!  All through the day, whenever I felt stressed I would just tell myself, “It’s okay because I get to eat chicken and dumplings tonight!”

I hadn’t attempted chicken and dumplings in over FOUR years, after failing miserably at them when I was a newlywed.  Now, I wasn’t even worried about them.  I’ve gotten so much better at cooking meals over the last couple of years, and I figured I’d be able to handle it–no problem.  Or so I thought.  I started the chicken, and then the potatoes that would be a side.  When the chicken finished, I pulled it from the broth, used a little broth to make the dumplings, and then thickened the broth up.  So far, so good.  And then I started dropping the dumplings in.  I dropped 7-8 into the pot, and then lost them.  Like….they disappeared and were magically absorbed into the broth.  I couldn’t find them in there anywhere!  The broth became so thick it wasn’t even usable.

As I gave up and just left the kitchen, I had used half a gallon of milk, half a bag of self-rising flour, all the broth from cooking the chicken, and half of a store-bought container of broth.  I had failed, again.  Even more miserably than the last time.  I cried.  I texted my husband big long teary text-messages, and he came home and saved the day.

He came home, dumped my disaster into the trash, and then made chicken and dumplings from start to finish.  Because unlike me, he CAN make them.  I have no idea why I can’t, and HE can.  But I’m just going to go with being thankful that he saved the day, because otherwise I’ll just feel pathetic.

We barely had time to eat dinner, get ready, and get to church.  I was 5 minutes late for church, and I was supposed to be teaching the preschool class.  Sigh.  What a LOVELY day.

After church I needed to come home and clean the mess of a kitchen, but I just. didn’t. feel. like it.  I turned on a TV show, and laid on the couch for 2 hours.  We didn’t put the boys to bed until after 10:00.  And then I looked at the kitchen.  I felt paralyzed.  I did NOT want to even touch it.  Couldn’t I just go to sleep and leave it for tomorrow?

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Yes, there was even food splattered on the bottom of my sign.

 

I could.  I knew I could.  But then I looked at my “Shiny Sink” reminder sign and felt a twinge of guilt.  I remembered something a friend had sent me that came from the Fly Lady.

“When I procrastinate, it’s as though I am punishing the future version of me…..As though the person who will live in my body tomorrow is a totally different person.  One who either really loves doing dishes or someone I just don’t like–and therefore it’s a good idea that she have a kitchen full of 2-day-old dishes to take care of.  Amazingly, though, it was always still me that had to get up the next day and face the ugly kitchen, the dirty floor, piles of clothes, etc.”

As I reflected back to this quote, I knew that I did NOT want my Thursday to start off just as badly as my Wednesday had gone, and I decided to bless the me of tomorrow by giving “her” a clean kitchen to begin “her” day.

So, at 11:00 at night, my kitchen looked like this:

Yuck.  It stresses me out to even see these pictures.  I started by putting away all the clean dishes.  Then I re-loaded the dishwasher as much as possible.  I scrubbed and rinsed the remaining dishes, and then cleaned the counters.  It sounds quick to say it like that, but it took me TWO. FULL. HOURS.

At 1:00 am I headed to bed, and my kitchen looked like this:

Ahhh…..  Breathe.  I literally stood in the kitchen when I finished, just breathing.  It was like for the first time all day, I felt peace.  I breathed, and then I headed to bed.  And I slept wonderfully.

And the best part?  Thursday’s version of me woke up to a house that was ready for my day.  I was busy with THAT day’s chaos, which we all know–is enough for the day.  I’m so thankful that I didn’t have Wednesday’s chaos still hanging over me.

I’m so incredibly grateful that I remembered the Fly Lady’s wisdom in that moment, and was able to bless myself with a better tomorrow, and give my family a more peaceful mother and wife.

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Rachel  🙂

Keep Flying and Shine Your Sink!

Snow in March?

I loved snow as a child, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to feel perfectly fine to just skip that season of the year.  I love, love, LOVE warm weather and sunshine!  Winter is cold, and….well, kind of dreary.  Sigh.  Most of winter I just have this big desire to wrap up in a blanket and sleep.  Why can’t people be like bears?  Hibernation sounds like a fantastic idea!

This year we escaped all the rough winter weather, or so I thought.  I’ve taken the boys out to play in shorts already!  The only downside I could think of to missing the snow is that it probably meant there’d be more wasps this summer–my biggest fear in the entire world.  (And no–I’m not allergic.  Just terrified!)

But alas, this Saturday morning we woke up to a blanket of beautiful snow covering our small town.  We were expecting maybe an inch, but woke up to about 3 inches, still coming down!  My parents, just half an hour away, had only a light dusting.  We ended up with somewhere between 4 or 5 inches.  Or so I heard.  I didn’t actually measure it.

Late morning, we got the boys bundled up and went out to play in the snow.  Though I’m not crazy for snow myself, I have to admit that being a mom has reawakened some of my childhood loves for snowballs and stomping in the snow.  I especially like the crisp freshness that’s in the air.  There’s something so calming about it.  And as a mom of toddlers, I’m sure you know that “calm” is like a dream world.  It truly was beautiful, and a fun & sweet time!

Here are some pics of our snow play!

When we first went out, I remembered that we should make snow cream, so I asked my husband to grab a bowl before he came outside.  I grabbed the bowl and scooped up a FULL fresh, clean bowl of snow, before we dirtied it with our play.

When I came inside, I put the bowl in the freezer, and went straight to work making snow cream!  I added sprinkles to the boys’ bowls, and even carried some over to the neighbor.  I do believe snow cream is my FAVORITE thing about snow!  It’s so not healthy, but the snow cream ended up replacing our lunch for the day.  Oh well.  We don’t get snow often, so we might as well enjoy it!

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Soooo good!  Recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

As of Sunday evening, 99% of the snow was already melted, and now I’m ready for spring.  It looks like, however, we’re going to have a full week of freezing & very cold days.  I’ll just keep telling myself, “It’s killing the wasps.  It’s killing the wasps.  It’s killing the wasps.”  It’s probably not going to happen, but hey–a girl can dream.

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Rachel  🙂

 

And yes, I re-used a selfie from an old post as my selfie signature.  I totally wore that shirt today though, so we can just pretend!  🙂

Meal Plan for March 12-18

 

This week is going to be CRAZY busy for me.  I have plans for Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday night, AND I have to finish prepping and tagging tons of items for a local consignment sale that’s coming up.  So, I needed some easy meals, for sure!  And since I’ll be gone a couple of nights, it was important to plan things my husband has mastered–like pizza and tacos!  Our boys will be thrilled!

meal-plan-for-the-week

Sunday, March 12

Monday, March 13

  • Homemade Pizza

Tuesday, March 14

Wednesday, March 15

  • Salad
  • Whole Red Potatoes
  • Chicken N’ Dumplins  (My favorite, but I’m always afraid I’ll mess up the dumplins!)

Thursday, March 16

  • Tacos

Friday, March 17pork-chops

Saturday, March 18Oven Fried Chicken

So tell me,

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

meal-planner-image

I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

3 Quick & Easy Deer Recipes

 

The day is finally here!  I promised to share a few Quick & Easy Deer Recipes for using canned deer meat!  (I will post later about our favorite recipes from our non-canned deer meat.)

Quick Easy Deer Recipes

On Wednesday night this week, we had Open-Faced Roast Deer, so I wanted to walk you through this recipe completely, and then at the end I’ll share two more basic recipes briefly.

Open-Faced Roast Deer

Besides the taste (YUM!), my favorite thing about this recipe is that dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes!  I’d like to say 5 minutes, but since I have 2 toddlers I’m never able to do anything that fast.

IMG_9725First off, gather your ingredients:

  • 2 Cans Deer Meat
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Butter to Taste
  • 2 Packs of Gravy Mix
  • A Loaf of Bread

That’s it!  Sometimes I use milk in my instant potatoes.  This time I pulled it out and ended up not using it.  That will just depend on how creamy you want your potatoes.

Now you’re ready to start:

  1. Boil water for your instant potatoes.  I never measure these, but you can follow the directions on the box for about 3 cups of Mashed Potatoes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and butter to your water as desired.
  3. Empty the 2 cans of deer meat into a second saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mix the 2 packs of gravy mix into 2 cups of water.  Pour into a skillet over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Although the deer has made its own broth, most of it will boil away (as you can see in the above pictures), so I always like to make some extra gravy. This week I only made about 1 cup of gravy, but 2 cups is best!IMG_9736
  5. When the water for your potatoes boils, mix in potato flakes, a little at a time, until the potatoes are your desired consistency.
  6. At this point, the meat and gravy should be boiling.  Stir each dish one last time, pour the gravy over the meat, and bring to the table.  You are ready to eat!

    IMG_9738
    This is EVERYTHING you need for your meal!  Bread, Potatoes, and the Deer/Gravy Mixture.

Building Your Open-Faced “Sandwich”

First Layer:  BREADIMG_9740

Second Layer:  Mashed PotatoesIMG_9741

Third Layer: Meat & GravyIMG_9743

That’s it!  Enjoy your meal!  My family did!

Want to make it from scratch?

Now, I understand that many of you may not want to use all the processed food.  I understand!  We rarely use it ourselves, BUT the quickness of this meal makes it worth it to me.  I have, however, made everything but the bread “from scratch”, and it’s been an excellent meal.  It will just no longer be “Quick & Easy”.  However, if that’s something you want to try, you’ll just want to (1) Save beef broth from a previous meal or pick some up from the store.  You can use this recipe to make the brown gravy yourself.  And (2) Make the mashed potatoes from actual potatoes!  It just takes a little bit longer.  If you want to make your own bread, go for it!  I haven’t been that brave yet!

Now, you can also make this with beef, and it is *almost* as good.  I’ve used canned roast beef from the store, but it’s quite expensive.  I’ve also actually roasted an entire beef roast in the crockpot for 5 hours, and then pulled the beef & used the broth to make gravy.  It’s delicious that way as well!

Two Other Ways to Use Canned Deer:

  1. DeerBQ.  I have another recipe for DeerBQ that comes from baking the entire front quarter for several hours, pulling the meat, etc. That one ends up with a similar feel to NC or TN pulled pork BBQ, though the meat is definitely NOT pork.  THIS recipe is quite different, and I feel more closely resembles the chopped brisket that you’ll get in TX as barbecue.  To make it, your meal will be ready in FIVE minutes!  Simply dump the can(s) in a saucepan, and add barbecue sauce.  LOTS of barbecue sauce–like ¼ of a bottle.  As soon as you’ve heated it, just serve it on a bun with the sides of your choice.  So easy and delicious!
  2. Deer Stew.  Empty the deer cans into a large pot, and add veggies and a little extra water or beef broth.  Throw in whatever seasonings you like.  I use garlic, salt, and pepper, and every now and then throw in a dash of hot sauce or some chili powder for my husband who loves a little kick.  Cook until boiling, and until veggies are soft when pierced with a fork.  This will vary depending on what veggies you use.  (I often throw leftover veggies, like the potatoes & carrots from a roast, into the stew.)  You could also make it in the morning and put it in a crockpot for dinner.  On high it will be ready in less than 5 hours.  On low it will take about 7-8 hours.

 

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Rachel  🙂

 

Note:  I plan to make recipe cards for each of these meals, but it will probably be a few days before they are up!  I apologize!  I will update here when I get those up.  In the meantime, feel free to browse some of my other recipes at http://www.myselfathome.com/printables.

Meal Plan for March 5-11

So last week I tried a new recipe for Venison Steak, and my husband said it was “gourmet!’  For a woman who, 5 years ago, could only make about 5 meals–and they all came from either frozen chicken breasts or ground beef–this is an amazing compliment!

I am LOVING meal planning, even though we often switch meals around, and sometimes 1 or 2 of them don’t get made during a week.  Still, at least 4-5 nights a week we follow our meal plan pretty closely, and it has been so much fun to serve my family in this way!

This week, I even bought a new springy Pioneer Woman tablecloth, and some great placemats and cloth napkins to make our table more lovely.  It’s so sweet to see my boys using the cloth napkins, and they can’t shred them like they do the paper ones!  (They are 1 & 2 years old…)

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Sunday, March 5garlic-pork-roast

Monday, March 6chicken-piccata-with-crispy-garlic

*NEW Recipe!  And I’m even going to try to make myself eat salad!  Here’s hoping that Romaine lettuce has a better texture than Iceberg….  We shall see!

Tuesday, March 7

  • Deer Chili with Crackers
  • Hot Dogs

Wednesday, March 8

  • Open-Faced Roast Deer

*I promise a post is coming this week on those Quick & Easy Deer Recipes!

Thursday, March 9

Friday, March 10

Saturday, March 11

This is yummy goodness, especially for my 2 pizza-loving boys!  And it’s so easy!  It’s the only reason I ever buy canned biscuits!

So tell me,
What’s for dinner at your house this week?

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FREE PRINTABLES!

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I have a FREE printable meal planner that I designed in January.  I am LOVING using it each week to plan my meals, and it looks cute on my fridge!  There are also printable recipe cards for a few recipes on this page, that you can download.

My Review of Le Tote-and a Giveaway!

Disclosure: The links in this post are referral links.  I don’t receive any payment for my opinions, but when you sign up through my links, I’ll get a discount on my next purchase.  And as a BONUS, you’ll get $25 off of your first month as well!

I’m always interested in trying online clothing subscriptions.  I’m not sure why exactly, because I do LOVE shopping.  However, it’s really fun to get a box of clothes in the mail!  I’ve tried both Kidbox & Rockets of Awesome for my boys.  I’ve used Stitch Fix to build my wardrobe after my pregnancies (and LOVED it!).  And now I’ve tried Le Tote, just for fun!

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If you haven’t heard of Le Tote, it’s a clothing subscription service where you rent clothes, rather than buy them.  For a monthly fee, they ship you a box of 3-5 items.  You wear them for as long as you’d like, and then drop them back in the mail.  As soon as Le Tote receives notification that you’ve mailed your return package, they begin prepping a new one.  For me, it usually takes 2-3 days to get a new box in, and I get 4-5 totes in a month.  One of my favorite things about it is that I don’t need to wash the clothes!  They do all the laundry for me!

It’s also a fun way to try a new style or something trendy without buying the item.  I’ve also been able to wear a few items that are more expensive & higher quality than my typical clothing.  I’ve used it to have the perfect clothes at a convention, for Sunday church, and even normal, everyday clothes.  It really is SO much fun!

But what if I want to keep the clothes?

You can totally keep something if you just love it, and it’s so easy!  I’ve only bought one pair of earrings from them, but there have been a few other items I’ve been tempted to buy as well.  The jewelry is usually very reasonably priced, and I’ve often seen pieces for as low as $8-10.  Not bad at all!  As for the clothes, some have been in the $20 range, but it’s more common for my items to vary from $40-60.  It’s a little more than I typically spend on clothes, but if something is just perfect I could see myself splurging.  To buy something from your tote, you just keep it.  It’s THAT easy!  When you send your tote back, you keep the item you want.  When they receive your returned items, they’ll charge your card for the item that you kept.

If it’s something that I do LOVE but am not ready to buy, that’s okay!  I’ve been able to get the same top back again a few times for just that reason!  You can save any item you receive, or any item you see on their site, in your CLOSET.  Then when your new tote is styled, you can easily swap out an item for something else before it ships.  You have 2 days to customize your tote before it ships.  At the end of that time, they’ll ship out whatever they’ve chosen for you.  In my case, I always go in and customize it.  I sometimes keep their selections, but other times I swap out for something that more specifically fits my activities for the next week.   As soon as I click finalize, my tote usually ships within 24 hours–sometimes within 4 or 5 hours!

You can subscribe so easily at Le Tote’s site, and just as easily place your account on hold. As for Customer Service, I’ve emailed them twice for various things and have always had STELLAR service returned.  The first time, I returned my tote and the shipping never showed up in USPS, so Le Tote was not notified that I had returned my tote.  Since I was going out of town within a few days and wanted some great clothes for my trip, I was in a hurry to get that next box!  So, I emailed Customer Service about it.  They quickly responded, and had styled my next tote before I even got the response!  In addition, they pushed back my billing date so I got a few extra days!  I’d say that’s going above and beyond!  The second time I had a simple question, and they responded super quick that time as well.  I honestly can’t think of another online company that has had such great (and FAST!) customer support!

Now for the FUN stuff!

Here’s a little peak of some of the clothes I’ve received:

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So, what do you think?  Have you tried Le Tote, or any other clothing subscription service?  Tell me about your experiences!

GIVEAWAY!!
Want to Try Le Tote for FREE?

I have three free totes to give away!  So, the first THREE people to leave a comment below can have them, provided that you’ve never tried Le Tote before!  Ready, set, GO!

And, if you aren’t one of those three, but still want to try LeTote, you can use this link to get $25 off of your first month!  That means you’d get the small subscription (the one I use) for only $15!  That’s a lot of clothes for $15!

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Rachel 🙂