Thursday, August 21, 2008

Supper's On The Table!

Yesterday we got back on track with the "no artificial colors/flavors/preservatives" diet for the kids. I know it'll probably take a couple weeks before Jackson's behavior is under control again. Tonight we're having a really easy chicken alfredo. I got the recipe from Rachel Master's cookbook, Supper's On The Table, Come Home. I love, love, LOVE this cookbook! Most all of her recipes include make-from-scratch foods so they fit right in with our eating plan! Some recipes call for easy short cuts using some store bought items which is really convenient for most people. I just replace those items with their organic counterparts, or my own modifications. But this cookbook has more than just awesome recipes. Rachel has included shopping lists for her weekly menus to make your life of so much easier! Not only that, but she also has a handy time frame to show you how to cook a complete, delicious dinner in the most efficient way. For example, here's Rachel's suggested time frame for her yummy crock pot lasagna:

11:30 assemble lasagna for crockpot
2:00 start French bread in bread machine
4:00 shape French bread; let rise
5:30 bake French bread; make salad
6:00 EAT!

Every recipe I've tried so far has taken an hour or less to prepare and much of the work can be done ahead of time. We've all loved every recipe I've tried. And don't you feel great when you've managed to put a nice meal on the table? I know I do. Although we go the fast food route now and then (Yes, I know it was twice this week!), we try to avoid that because really, who needs all the fat and calories and artificial junk? Not to mention the cost! It was $44 for the 7 of us the other night at Sonic. Who can afford that on a regular basis?

Besides, what better place than the dinner table can you talk to your kids about their classes, teachers, and friends? Where else can you all sit down, relax, enjoy each other's company, and partake in a yummy nutritious hot meal? (Just gloss over the stuff like having to cut up everyone's meat, listening to burps that would rival any frat boy, having conversations about gross bodily functions, getting up and down from the table 20 times to clean up spilled milk, refill glasses, and turn off the oven that you forgot to turn off earlier, and eating your dinner cold because your nursing baby always gets hungry the minute you sit down.)

Seriously though, this is one of my favorite cookbooks. Rachel has tons of quick tips and resourceful ideas at the back of her book which I enjoy looking through. And I love how she has planned out each week so you're eating a variety of foods. She makes good use of your time and ingredients too by putting a recipe for roast beef on Sunday and then beef stew (using the left-over meat) on Wednesday, for example. She includes recipes for 5 full meals, a snack and a dessert every week. You can fill in the other two days with left-overs, going out to eat, or your own favorite recipes.

There are recipes for chicken quesadillas, curly cheesy potatoes, baked potato soup, honey wheat bread, spaghetti pie, meatball soup, monster cookies, Snicker salad, peanut butter pie, and many, many more! HERE are some sample pages. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is!

Anyway, if you're interested in getting one of these awesome cookbooks, you can click HERE to order. They're only $15 each ($12 each if you want to start your Christmas shopping early and get 10 or more books) and that includes all shipping and handling costs.

OK, enough about eating yummy homecooked dinners now! I'm getting seriously hungry! So, you know what I did last night? I got out my (actually, Austin crawled up in the attic and got it out for me) step thingy so I could do some step aerobics. I did this hour long step tape back after I had Jackson. I lost 40-some pounds at that time. I looked good. I felt great. What happened? I mean, yeah, I gave birth to 3 more kids, but I'm pretty sure I didn't carry any of them in my butt so I really have no excuse. Anyway, after tripping over this stupid step for a week, I finally made myself do the workout tape.

I still haven't decided whether it's inspiring or depressing to see lean, muscular, well-oiled, perfectly made up and coiffed people working out. The have smiles plastered on their faces, they act like working out is fun and easy, and they don't ever break a sweat. I'm not sure if I should be inspired to work out so I can look like them or if I should throw my shoe at the tv to wipe those smiles off their stupid, skinny faces.

Less than 20 minutes into the workout, I thought I was going to die. I seriously thought my heart would actually explode. Oh. My. Gosh. I decided it was better to go slowly and work up to the full hour than to, you know, go into cardiac arrest, so I stopped. I've got to say that I felt great (after my heart slowed down to under 5000 beats a minute) for getting off my butt and moving. My goal is to do it for one week. Baby steps. After one week, if I'm not dead, I'll go for another week. That's the plan anyway. Then again, I had grand plans back in January when I made my new year's resolutions and those have notsomuch worked according to plan...

Remember to check out Rachel's cookbook HERE. And from now until next Wednesday, when you order a cookbook (through the online site ONLY, not mail-in) you'll get your name put in a drawing. For every 20 books sold, Rachel will choose a winner from those names, and that person will receive a FREE cookbook to give away. This is great for bridal showers, the young family who just moved to your neighborhood, your daughter, your mother, your best friend! Good luck and happy cooking!

40 comments:

April said...

This is in the same ball park as the Saving Dinner book I tried years ago. It worked well, I just got out of the habit. I have since given that book away, so I decided to order this book and give it a try. I am a homeschooling mom who needs some help in the cooking dept this year. It amazes me how the ease of cooking or lack of ease cycles through our lives and never seems to stay consistent. Maybe this will be a happy little reminder to work at consistency with my family. One thing that I remember about cooking with the Saving Dinner plan that is similar to this one was that I saved a ton of money at the grocery store. I love that I can save money and cook well for my family. Thank you for the reminder to do that. I can't wait to get the book in the mail!

Shari said...

I will have to purchase it and see! I love cookbooks and using the all natural and organic way for my son. I have a question though. I don't know if you can answer it. The diet doesn't seem to be working for my son after 3 months on it. Do you have any other ideas that I could try before we do meds? Just wondering.

janice said...

That sounds like a great cookbook - thanks for the tip!!!

ClistyB said...

I have been reading a little about the diet you adhere to for Jackson, and I must tell you BRAVO! I can totally see why you sometimes take a break from it - I bet after awhile you just want something to put on the table you don't have to think about...

Irishmama said...

Dammit Dawn, you're always making me spend money. You can sell things, thats for sure. I already ordered it. Thanks for the tip. Now I'll have 348 cookbooks on my shelf. :)

Anonymous said...

Your exercise sounds about like mine. I vote for throwing the shoe at the tv. I think I would be more inspired if the people on those videos looked like they had to actually work at making it the hour.

I will have to check out the cook book. I sure can use all of the help I can get with cooking!

Sherry

Christine said...

ok, I went and ordered, even before leaving a comment. I actually feel comfy in the kitchen, but, you know, those days, when you are not sure what to make? This will come in handy! Thanks for the tip!!!

Knitty said...

Well dang, assemble the lasagna at 11:30, but what time do the groceries magically appear in the kitchen?

I am 55 (I know, I know, my comments look at least ten years younger) and only had two kids (but they were boys to they ate like four)and I HATE grocery shopping. You'd think after 33 years of Krogering I'd be used it, and now that I am usually just cooking for two, it should be a snap, right?

I'm sure you aren't trying to alienate your older, less mom-ulated (mothers who have populated their homes with fewer offspring than you) readers, but I think you might be wrong on a few things.

I think the preservatives in fast food are good for my complexion. The fat in them fills out my wrinkles and I don't need Botox. In another twenty years, this could be important to you!

Heather said...

thanks for the info on the cookbook. I have been looking for something like this since both of my kids are on soy and dairy free diets, and I am thinking about trying my oldest on the artificial free diet to see if his behavior improves. To accomplish all that you most often have to cook from scratch. If you are doing dairy free(I know some parents of ADHD kids are dairy free) a great cookbook is the "Milk Free Kitchen" it gives great recipes for anything you could want and noe of them have any dairy in them

Brenda said...

I LOVE cookbooks. They are almost as addictive as shoes. I'll check it out.

Crystal said...

Thank you for this recommendation - as a working mom with another on the way, I'm hoping this helps us with our nightly "What's for Dinner?" saga.

Your blog completely cracks me up - I've been reading for a while now and you just amaze me. :) Thank you!

Mary G said...

I've tried Saving Dinner by Leeanne Ely and it is similar, but I'm ready for something new...got out of the habit of cooking a variety of things this summer...we don't budget for eating out, so we had a lot of the same meals over and over again b/c I just couldn't get myself motivated to do something different...also, I have about 20 recipies that i usually rotate and I was getting bored with them, so it is time to get some new ones!

As far as working out, I'm trying Body For Life by Bill Phillips. I'm not doing the eating plan quite right, but I'm doing the workouts regularly! I use a set of dumbells and a treadmill...20 mins aerobic exercise 3X a week and 40 mins weight training 3X a week and a day off a week. Several years ago, my boss and a few other people tried this and it worked really well for them...

Thanks for the cookbook tip! Have a great day!

Kate said...

Hey Dawn, good for you for working out~!! I'm 44 and am in the best shape of my life. I did step in the 90s but now I have a bad knee. I also found a workout that's more effective per minute, and who doesn't need that with kiddos? hehe. I started in 2004 with 15 minutes a day, so you're right about baby steps~!! For me, a combination of T-Tapp (ttapp.com) and yoga has helped me get back to my natural size 8 for the first time since 1992 (before kids). I also like both of these programs because I can do it anywhere without any equipment... hotel rooms, my mother's porch, hehe

Joy Glover said...

Thank you for your recommendation. This looks wonderful and I ordered 5 books. Christmas is just around the corner you know.

Six-Pack Momma said...

I'm so excited about the cookbook!

I just caught up on your posts (it has been a hectic week) and I want to tell you what an awesome mom you are. I can tell by the pictures and stories that your kids are very well adjusted. They seem to love each other (I know that there are times you question it...) and have a great time together. You take them so many neat places and expose them to a variety of experiences. Just the fact that they are growing up in a large family will make them amazing adults. So much is learned by having to share and get along. They learn to work hard and sometimes do without. Yes, things get crazy sometimes, but I challenge anyone to say that their kids NEVER act up.

Keep up the great work, and don't stop telling us about your crazy days. It makes you real, and helps other realize they are not alone.

Hugs,
Christie

Jody said...

I have been searching for a book exactly like that! Thank you SO much for telling about it and where we can get it! Already ordered mine lol. Can't wait til it gets here!

christygrant said...

I haven't had a chance to read your blog in a while, but it never fails to warm my heart, make me laugh and also identify with the joys and trials of motherhood.

I'm sorry you've had some rude post-ers. People are people everywhere you know. No escaping them. I don't see them having the guts to put is all out there. No one asked them to read it or their opinion.

Yep, you can be a Christian and get mad. We're human and forgiven, NOT PERFECT! :)

Hugs!

Jenn said...

That cookbook looks like just what my family needs. I ordered it and I'm looking forward to putting it to work.

Elleah said...

I think it's really cool that she even has a shopping list for a week's worth of meals in her cookbook. That's definitely going the extra mile!

Baby Tunnel Exodus said...

I know Just how you feel about the getting back into working out! http://babytunnelexodus.blogspot.com
/2008/04/my-husbands-alter-egos-name
-is-sven.html
You're absolutely right, go slow, you'll stay with it that way.

Another great cookbook I use is called Special Diets for Special Kids. (We have a son with Asperger's Syndrome and a son with ADHD) The cook book is set up for Gluten Free/ Casein (dairy) Free, but it could be used with those ingredients substituted to still go all natural.

Best of Luck and thanks for sharing new ideas! ~Whitney

§wanny said...

thank you for suggesting this cookbook. It looks WONDERFUL and simple. We have VERY limited funds, but decided to splurge on this book because it looks so good. I am hoping to save the $15 back due to better planing and grocery shopping.

Erin said...

I have this cookbook and LOVE it! I actually own two, because I used the first one so much and it is covered in spaghetti sauce and other goo :) It is definitely worth the money, and Rachel has done all the grunt work for you. Makes an awesome gift for newlyweds & new moms, too!

Deirdrea said...

I LOVE cook books! Especially ones that make things easier. I found this one, "Fix Freeze Take & Bake", at a little store attached to this great Mennonite restaurant in my area they also sell it on amazon for $10 a book. I'm not affiliated with the book or anything it's just a really great book that gives you directions for fixing stuff ahead of time and freezing it. I usually triple or quad. the recipes and then pack them up. I MUCH prefer cooking ahead like that. It makes life SO much easier when I don't have to cook EVERY night but can give healthy choices.

Anonymous said...

I feel so good when I put a meal on the table! And it definitely doesn't happen every day. If I did it every day, it would just become routine and expected. Now when I cook dinner, it's appreciated!

Kim in Atl said...

Dawn, You should get a Wii fit. It is fun, entertaining and hilarious. You could get lots of blog material from it! You create yourself on the screen. It is called a Mii. I laughed so hard when my husband created his Mii and then got on the Wii fit. He went from tall and thin to shorter with the gut that should have been there in the first place!! I hate to workout but not with the Wii fit because it is so entertaining and so much fun. Your kids would love the Wii also. It is great fun for the whole family.

Bekah said...

Ohhh, I am so excited! Rachel is one of my closest friends and I told her about your site months ago! Thanks so much for promoting her book...don't forget to check out the shepard's pie on page 38 which was my little contribution to the book! :-)

Anonymous said...

I ordered this cookbook about two months ago and I LOVE it! I've already recommended it to many of my family and friends. It is such a time saver, and with the grocery lists she has for you, it's a money saver, too. I especially like it because I am a very picky eater and I enjoy about 95% of the meals. Those I don't enjoy can simply be replaced with one of the many other recipies she includes.

Michelle said...

Ooooo I love the timelines. If I weren't under orders to not increase my collection of cookbooks, I'd have this one on order! Sadly, that order still stands AND the new special needs association in my area is putting together a cook book to raise funds to support their families so I'm sure I'm already going to have to break that vow!

Good luck with the step. I'm just impressed you made it to the 20 minute mark! I'd have quit long before then. I'd be working up to the 20 minutes, forget the hour!

wrong shoes said...

Hi, I just started reading your blog, and was wondering what you're treating for Jackson with the diet... ADHD?

In case Shari's son also has ADHD, I figured I'd recommend this great book, which has a ton of things to try before drugs - The Myth of the A.D.D Child:50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion

Mandy said...

I've been doing step aerobics on Wii fit...I've noticed others here have, too! Its great, there are so many benefits, like keeping track of your progress and telling you if you got it right...or not...

Oh about dinner, I always feel like the mom in A Christmas Story who "Hasn't had a hot meal in 12 years" or something like that...I guess I really shouldn't use quotation marks if I'm not sure it's really the quote...hmm...I'll just press enter and pretend it's the actual quote
Crap..."Enter" just moved the line down...now I have to scroll down and click the appropriate buttons...

Anonymous said...

I just ordered mine! Thanks for the tip, it sounds awesome!!

~Jenifer~ said...

ok well an hour long workout sucks!! I LOVE Billy Blanks Tae Bo the workouts are short and very, very effective! I looked awesome for a little while. Matter of fact I just bought some off ebay but I can't use them now because I just had a car accident and messed up my back for the moment.

I would really love to know when your book is going to get here. please let us know!

Cheryl said...

Hi Dawn - I love your blog - makes me giggle. I am in awe of handling 6 kids - I only have two and they are in too many different directions.
When i heard you pulled out your step to try to work out - I thought that you may be interested in T-Tap http://t-tapp.com/faq/what-is-ttapp.asp
It is a workout that involves sequential "comprehensive, compound muscle movements" that help you lose inches and improve flexibility and alignment. I like it because I can sweat and burn calories without jumping around. Theresa Tapp developed this program and has been featured in several fitness magazine and TV programs. Check it out :
http://t-tapp.com/home/

Anonymous said...

Dawn, Dawn, Dawn...you do know that you are evil, right? j/k. I just ordered your book (finally, yay!!!) and Fix, Freeze, Take & Bake ($10 on Amazon) that one of your other readers recommended. Our local Super Suppers franchise just went out of business and this cookbook sounds like a do it at home yourself version of the same concept. I am trying to get away from all the high sodium, high sugar, HFCS processed foods that we eat so frequently. And, we are not going vegetarian, per se, but I am trying to go "meat lite", as it were. Hopefully, this will be a big help to me. Your readers are the best! Mwah!!

Deirdrea said...

Another place that I have found for really great dinner ideas is on the Kraft website. It's called "1 Bag 5 Dinners". It's along the same lines as the cook book, and because it's done by Kraft it uses a lot of their products but the ideas are still really good. http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/Dinner/

mommeeof9 said...

I guess I don't go to Winchester VA often enough. The Sonics site says there is a restaurant there.

Angie said...

Where oh where, is there a sonic around here? I haven't had sonic since I was a little girl.

Heather Leigh said...

When I was pregnant with my 3rd child, my 2 and a half year old son said to me, "Mommy, if the baby's in your belly, why is your butt getting so big?" (as he affectionately patted my rear end). I finally figured out that rump expansion is God's way of balancing out a pregnant woman so she doesn't tip over from the weight of the baby in her belly.

Bridget said...

I just ordered my copy. Dropping out of the 'full-time working away from home' Mom status soon, and really want to beef up my families choices. This recomendation couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks Dawn!

Lo said...

Hey Dawn ~
Got my cookbook, went shopping, started cooking...everything has been delicious, the time line is really great and I appreciate you so much for this blog and sharing this gem. If you ever get a not so nice or even mean comment, just know in your heart how much of a positive difference you made to a stay at home mom who was needing someone to say it was all ok. You have made me laugh and cry and hug my kids a little tighter. Thanks

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