Family Foodies and more!

I have a new gig!

Well I’ve been blogging at Family Foodies for about 2 months now, but in a couple weeks if all goes well I’ll be the new editor! Yippee!

What does this mean for Polka Spot Farm? Well instead of posting foodie type posts here like my Menu for Menu Plan Monday, it will be moved to Family Foodies. All of my old recipes and menus will stay here on this blog, but a lot of the new things will go to Family Foodies. I will be concentrating more on homemaking here at Polka Spot Farm, like I had originally intended.

Eat Sweat Lose

If you’ve missed it, I’m also blogging at Eat Sweat Lose with a great chick named Heather. This blog is about our weight loss journey. Check us out on Tuesday and Thursdays for our weigh-in’s. I know that all of the great food we had this weekend has me at a gain instead of a loss…but lets just see what the scale says for me on Tuesday’s

I’m also still blogging monthly at Sensational Divas Review. This group is full of ladies that I’m very close to, and most of them have great personal blogs.

When its all written out like this, I seem kind of busy don’t I?! That’s 4 blogs so far…what’s going to be next?! Just keep reading to see!

I hope that you will join me in my new ventures and leave lots of comments! lol I’ll be happy to see some familiar faces over at these other blogs.

Menu Plan Monday

For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be planning my menu around 1 or 2 people. My goal is to put some meals in the freezer for the summer. With some great finds at a local store, I’m now the new owner of a 14 cup Cuisinart food processor, a 4 cup Cuisinart food processor and a few J. A. Henckles knives! I got a great deal on them (under $50 one has a scratch, only 3 knives with the set, and I’m missing a couple blades), and I’m so excited!


I”ll definitely be at the farmers market this week looking for fresh tomatoes, I’m in a great need of salsa this week. Some things I will be doubling to freeze, other things I’ll only be using as a freezer meal, I’ll mark which ones are which.

Monday: Grilled Fajita Chicken ( I will keep about a cup of this out for my dinner, and freeze the excess )

Tuesday: Chicken Noodle Soup (I will be making stock this day to freeze, and keeping a little out for my soup)

Wednesday: Ribeye Steaks (DH may or may not be home this day, if not I’ll slice his steak for salads and freeze)

Thursday: Smoked Spiraled Sliced Ham (I’ll eat a few slices of this for lunches and maybe dinner, the rest will be divided and frozen)

Friday: Carribean Style Pork Chops (I will be making the marinade, and freezing the entire package)

Saturday: Stuffed Buffalo Chicken (I’ll double this recipe and have one for dinner with friends, and one for the freezer)

Sunday: Roast Chicken with Red Potatoes (I’ll be slicing and dicing the leftovers for sandwiches and salads)

I also plan on making cinnamon rolls and dinner rolls as soon as I find a good recipe.

This week is dedicated to packing your freezer with great family meals. I’ll be bringing you great tips throughout the week so don’t forget to subscribe. Do you have any recipes that you would like to share that are great for the freezer? Maybe you have a great mix to keep in the pantry for muffins? Add a comment below, or contact me using the contact form and I’ll be happy to add a link to your site in an upcoming post this week. I’ll also be sharing things on our Facebook Page.

Save Money and Green Your Beauty Routine – Make Your Own Natural Skin Care Products!

When many of us become pregnant or have a new baby, we became more interested in using only safe, natural products on ours and baby’s skin. We learn that many skin care products contain questionable, untested ingredients. But if you start shopping around for natural and organic alternatives, you find they are way out of the budget. What’s a frugal mom to do? One suggestion is to make your own!

Making your own natural skin care products is inexpensive and fun. It’s also a way to green your beauty routine, since homemade products create less packaging and waste, and it’s easy to create them in bulk. Homemade skin care products are also great for gift giving.

Here are a few easy recipes to get you started. For more, search my blog or download my free ebook at http://naturalmomstalkradio.com/blog/be-an-earthy-beauty/

Papaya Peel

(Fruit acids exfoliate and reduce fine lines and wrinkles)

* 1 cup fresh pineapple
* 1/2 cup fresh papaya
* 1 tbsp. honey

Puree pineapple and papaya together in blender.

Add honey and mix to create a paste.

Apply to the face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse

Oatmeal Mask/Scrub

(Oats are soothing for sensitive skin, and the honey is a powerful humectant – it pulls moisture from the air)

* 1/2 cup uncooked oats
* 1 tbsp. honey

Mix oats and honey to form a paste. Massage into face and neck. Leave on face for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off.

For an exfoliating mask, grind the oats finely in a blender, food processor or spice grinder.

Mix with water to make a paste, apply and gently scrub. Rinse and moisturize.

Simple Sugar Scrub

(Great for especially dry areas like your feet. In a pretty jar with a ribbon, sugar or salt scrubs are awesome as gifts)

* 1 tbsp. sugar
* A few drops of olive oil

Put sugar in a small bowl. Mix in a few drops of olive oil at a time until a paste is formed.

Massage into skin and rinse with warm water. Kosher salt may be substituted for the sugar to make a salt scrub.

Under Eye Circle Eraser

(Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase. It’s actually used as a skin lightener in cosmetics, so why not skip the expense and extra ingredients make it yourself?)

* 1 potato
* Piece of cheesecloth

Peel the potato and mash thoroughly in a food processor.

Place in cheesecloth and hold under each eye for 15 to 20 minutes, taking care to keep juice out of eyes. Rinse away residue.

Some of my favorite natural beauty treatments involve no recipe at all. For example, coconut oil is my favorite moisturizer and hair conditioner. It’s also antifungal and antibacterial. A dab of coconut oil (believe it or not!) on a blemish can dry it up quickly.

From Cleopatra’s milk baths to Sophia Loren’s olive oil treatments, natural beauty ingredients have been used for thousands of years by women all over the world. Why not try some of them out for yourself?

Carrie Lauth is a mom whose blog and podcast aim to educate families on natural living. Listen to her show at: Natural Moms Talk Radio

Menu Plan Monday

This morning I woke up to a call that came 30 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to buzz. I really thought something was wrong. It was, but nothing that serious, just about a sick kid . That’s 2 kids in 2 days. Hubby and I were sick, but thought it was something different. Oh well, life goes on. That being said, I’m sure that we will have more kids sick this week and will plan on making a huge stock pot of chicken broth (which will be needed for Loaded Potato Soup also).

Thanks to my Facebook Friends for helping with my menu this week, I was totally lost when I woke up. Also a big thanks to Amy at MomAdvice for sharing this totally cool music streaming find, Stereo Mood. Uses moods to help pick appropriate music for your pleasure. Pretty cool, right! Ok, on with the show.

Monday: Chili, grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza (I promise to share pictures and recipes this week, ok! – remind me if I don’t get them up Wednesday)
Wednesday: Chicken Parmesean, salad, homemade bread (from the pizza crust recipe too!)
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad with Loaded Potato Soup
Friday: Pork Tenderloin, steamed broccoli and homemade Mac N Cheese

For snacks this week: Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese filled Chocolate Brownies (that’s a mouthfull!!), and gonna try these Giant Breakfast Cookies. (I will be reporting back on my culinary adventures this week)

Stick around by subscribing to my feed or Facebook “like” page I will be working on a Pantry List, Freezer list and Fridge list, to keep an idea of what we need to keep them well stocked. I’ll be sharing my forms! (yep I’m still compiling information on this, if you have a list that you would like to share, contact me)

Chili’s Salsa

I love fresh salsa, don’t we all? When I’m hormonal, which is about 28 days of every month, I’m always craving something. Right now its fresh salsa. Today I went on a hunt for a recipe that’s not exactly fresh, but tastes awesome. I wanted to use canned tomatoes because that’s all that I had. After a little browsing I came across this Copy Cat recipe for Chili’s Salsa. Try it for yourself and let me know how you like it.

Today's Recipe on Polka Spot Farm

Recipe: Chili’s Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes (plus the juice)
  • 4 teaspoons jalapenos (canned,diced, not pickle
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  1. Add yellow onion and jalapenos to your food processor, and pulse a few times
  2. Add all other ingredients and pulse, do not puree.
  3. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to marinate.
  4. Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips.

Quick Notes

I used 1 can of Rotel tomatoes, and 1 can of diced tomatoes, half of a fresh jalapeno, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder. I used my blender on the lowest speed, because I don’t own a food processor! *GASP!* This is just what I had on hand. Its awesome!

Prep time (duration): 5

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 12

Meal type: snack

Culinary tradition: Mexican

My rating:4 stars: ★★★★☆

Recipe by on Polka Spot Farm.

No Bake Cookie Recipe

Recently I had a friend looking for this recipe, and its been shared with quite a few since then so I thought that I would share it here. It’s been called a lot of things, No Bake Cookies or Boiled Cookies are the two names that I’ve known for a long time. The great thing is, its simple and wonderful, and very forgiving.

Today's Recipe on Polka Spot Farm

Recipe: No Bake Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky)
  • 3-3 1/2 cups dry quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Add the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa into a 4-quart sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil and hold for 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla and drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.
  4. Let cool until set.

Quick Notes

Spoon these out on waxed paper, when cool store them in an air tight container.

Variations

Add Flax seed, coconut, nuts anything that you want!

Meal type: dessert

My rating: 5 stars: ★★★★★

Recipe by Christi on Polka Spot Farm.

Hot Dog Chili Recipe

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Hormel Foods. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was just thinking the other day how a friend of mine would bring this Hormel chili and Velveeta cheese dip to school all the time. We ate it with tortilla chips, and the huge bowl would be gone in about 10 minutes. It was a favorite at all of our class parties. She even brought it to get-togethers we had over spring break.

This week the kids have been out of school for Spring Break. Its not been real eventful, but we needed some down time. Its warming up, so of course its time to fire up the grill. Most of my readers know that we grill a lot year round. There’s lots of grilled chicken, burgers and my son’s favorite grilled burgers with Hormel Chili.

It took a while for me to get him to eat hot dogs. Most kids like them, and for some reason he would eat hot dogs at my aunt’s house but no where else. So one day I asked her what she was doing to get him to eat on hot dog night. This is the quick recipe she gave me :

Recipe: Hot Dog Chili

Summary: A super easy way to make chili for hot dogs.

Ingredients

  • 1 can Hormel Chili with no beans A dolop of butter (about 2 tablespoons) Half a medium onion diced

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a skillet. Add onions, stirring occasionally until slightly brown. Add 1 can of Hormel Chili with no beans. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over freshly grilled or roasted hot dogs.

Cooking time (duration): 10

Number of servings (yield): 6

Meal type: lunch

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating: 4 stars: ★★★★â˜â€

Recipe by Christi on Polka Spot Farm.
For more recipes try out these from Hormel and Dinty Moore.

hormel

Visit my sponsor: You ain't Dainty

Inside a Black Apple – Brownies

I must say that these are the best brownies I’ve ever tasted in my life. I’ve been sharing the recipe a lot lately, and making them more than usual over the holidays. They are super easy and I always have everything at my fingertips. I hope you enjoy them like my family and friends have lately.

Recipe: My Favorite Brownies

Summary: soft, chewey and delctible brownies that are super easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (8 tbsp)
  • 1/2 c Brown Sugar
  • 1 c White Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • Tbsp Vanilla
1. Preheat Oven to 390
2. Melt butter in pot over stove
3. Remove butter from heat, let cool about a minute, then add sugars (just use the pot as your bowl…it saves you more dishes).Mix well.
4. Add eggs, flour, cocoa, salt, and generous tablespoon-splash of vanilla, and mix well.
5. Line baking dish (I use a glass one) with parchment, pour in batter, and pop in oven.
6. Bake 20-25 minutes, I test with a knife in the center and remove when only a few little crumbs cling to the knife.
7. Cool one hour or overnight.

*notes* I cook these for 25-30 minutes in a glass pan at 400 degrees, and they never get cool before the pan is empty!

Menu Plan Monday (Cool Whip Cookies)

This week is going to be so busy! We have a cookie party, a Girl Scout party, 3 class parties, shopping with my mom and a partridge and a pear tree. So needless to say, Scott will be helping with dinner a lot of the nights.

Monday: Scott’s Mac and Cheese along side Roast Beast with carrots and potatos

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Loaded Potato Soup

Wednesday: Vegetable Beef Soup

Thursday: Mexican Taco Bake

Friday: Grilled Chicken Salad

Recipe: Cool Whip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box cake mix (any flavor desired)
  • 1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. #1 Mix all ingredients. #2 Form into balls. #3 Roll in confectioners’ sugar. # 4 Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes. #5 Cool in pan a few minutes before removing.

Quick Notes

Use any Cake mix that you enjoy, experiment with different combinations.

ORGJUNKIE.org

Menu Plan Monday: Bloggest Loser

I’ve joined the Bloggest Loser and I’m looking for healthy recipes, and better alternatives for the ones that I usually make. I’ll be getting lowfat cheese, and other “good for you” alternatives to substitute in my recipes.

Monday: Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Packets

Wednesday: Vegetable Beef Soup

Thursday: Taquitos for me, Nachos for the kiddos

Friday: Chicken Parm from Hungry Girl

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Do you have any go to recipes or substitutes that you’d like to share? I hope so, because I really need them!