So I started a new study and reading a book 'Becoming A Woman Who Pleases God'. Pretty awesome book I must say, and it of course is centered around the Proverbs 31 woman and Titus 2. I'm one to skim through a book and had to be nosey and see some of what's to come. Like chore charts and weekly menus. Sounds awesome right?! It goes along with a Proverbs woman keeping her house in order and implementing effective methods for managing your household.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men.
So, today before I started anything I made a chore chart for myself, hubby and the kids (they're going to thank me in the long run, I know it! lol). Then I made a menu to stick to for the rest of the week. I must say, being organized does have it's advantages! I had most everything done before lunch time (even supper made and ready for the oven) and it felt awesome!!! My oldest son was actually excited about all of it. I think mostly because he thinks there may be an allowance as the light at the end of his tunnel. We shall see. I'm just thinking if it's this simple.... God definitely had a hand in it and is sitting above watching saying, geesh..... it only took her 39 years to figure this out. If she would have tried harder to be what I desired in her imagine the things we would have accomplished by now! LOL Yes, Lord..... I'm listening.
After some input from the kids the menu has been posted in the kitchen so everyone knows what to expect this week and I started going through the cabinets to see what I needed. Here comes the fun part--I made my list of needed items and went to the store this afternoon. I only spent $20!!!! Everything else I needed we already had on hand. I've read before about making your menu plan around your pantry first so it saves money. I was impressed that I only spent that much and we are good to go until Sunday!
My friend Joy is looking for new recipes all the time and I'm game for fixing anything so if there's something on my menu besides 'normal' food I'll try to share and we can do a recipe swap. Who doesn't love recipes right? If I ever get them from good books I'll be sure to reference them so you can always find them if you can't read my photos. Be warned though.... I can be very frugal so I reserve the right to make substitutions!
Baked Cavatelli (Total yumminess!)
You can see the items it calls for in this photo (taken from my Betty Crocker cookbook), for the wagon wheel macaroni I substitute any pasta I have in the cabinet. We've used rigatoni, elbow macaroni, mostaciolli... whatever. Cook it up, drain and set aside.
For the italian sausage I used ground up sausage, not the links. Our local grocery store has 10 lb bags of precooked sausage that are wonderful for this. (and homemade pizza, sausage gravy and lots of other goodies. Just measure what's needed and dump it in!) We've used ground beef for this recipe before too. Just as yummy, but not as spicy.
The pasta sauce (I never have jar pasta sauce on hand...don't like it) was substituted (this time) with a can of pizza sauce and a can of tomato sauce. The pizza sauce had enough spice for flavor. If I use plain tomato sauce I always add in a bit of oregano or Italian seasoning for flavor.
See.... whatever kind of pasta you have on hand will work. I was almost out of both of these today so combined them to get the amount the recipe called for. :)
See my precooked sausage! That stuff is awesome. All you have to do is combine all your ingredients, mix them up and dump it in a casserole dish. VERY simple. I made this up today before I had my errands and such to do so I just had to pop it in the oven come supper time and wait 30 minutes and voila!
See my little garlic keeper?! That's my favorite new splurge for my kitchen. I'm crazy about garlic and usually buy the fresh garlic, spend my time peeling and then some of it eventually goes bad or molds. Well, I found these new packs of garlic at the grocery store. They are all peeled and zip packed about 4 pieces to a pouch and the big bag is resealable too. Once I open a small pouch whatever I don't use goes into the little plastic garlic container and back in the fridge. I love that little sucker! :)
Once you get everything in the casserole dish top it off with mozzarella cheese (I don't measure this because after all, can you ever have too much cheese?) I just use what looks good for us. Pop it in the oven at 350-375 for approximately 20 to 30 minutes (or until it's bubbly and the cheese is melted good).
We had garlic toast with it and I was lazy tonight. I didn't make homemade bread sticks. I bought french bread at the store and spread garlic butter on it and stuck it under the broiler for a minute to melt it really good. I was going to take an 'after' picture but everyone gets a little overzealous at our house around feeding time and it was demolished before I could get the camera back to the kitchen.