$1.99 E-book Special thru October 19

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Christianbook.com

If you have been wanting to download the cookbook.  Here is your chance to do it at  a great price.

Cheers!

Dawn

It’s been Days, Weeks, Months

It’s been Days, Weeks, Months

since I have been here because I have been buried under our new bundle of joy!  Sweet, little Will Franklin has had so many challenges since birth.  I think he liked the womb best.  It’s tested my resolve.  I am worn out, I am tired! But in all this, my heart and soul has bonded to this little boy like I didn’t know possible.

In his first 8 weeks of life, if he wasn’t sleeping or eating he was crying.  I don’t just mean every once in a while. I mean every waking minute.  The verse, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” became my husband and I ‘s constant prayer.  We have tried so many things, pro-biotics, chiropractic care, visited the pediatrician several times, homeopathy, sac-cranial therapy (never in my life heard of it until this babes), 8 different pacifiers, and all of these things are to just name a few of the things that we have done.  We have cried, we have been worried (that there was something terribly wrong), we have prayed. He has consumed our every waking moments.

Please say a prayer that little Will Frankin would be well again.

Please say a prayer that little Will Frankin would be well again.

He is now 12 weeks and we have new, other issues.  Thrush and a nasty cough that is startling.  I walked into Salvation Army the other day and he had a nasty round of coughing and all the heads turned and looked at me as if to say, “Woman, what is wrong with your baby?”  I just wanted to run, and run fast but I pulled myself together and reminded myself that he is ok per the Dr.  Lungs are clear, oxygen and respiratory levels are good.  The cough keeps us awake at night because it wrecks you when you hear your ‘wee one’ miserable.  Our best defense at this point has been essential oils that help him with his breathing and breast feeding.  Our pediatrician (who has a great reputation in our county) would have hospitalized him if he would have had a fever of 100.4  but he hasn’t spiked a fever once during this time and looks at us and smiles, which melts us all into a puddle especially after the first 8 weeks.  All that to say he seems to feel good except for the cough. And the Dr told me to go on with normal life.

So this is my world and it’s my ‘hard’.  3 months have slipped by and I am still emerging from the little piles that are sitting all around me in my house.  Projects, things left undone because they really aren’t important.  I hardly read my Bible these days but then I happen on verses that speak to my heart (my heart  really does long to sit in His presence but I hardly get a shower or get my kids fed so long, glowing times with the Lord are out).  Or I hear something and I am in awe of the One so great who loves me.  Genesis 28:16 says it best as I wonder thru these moments in time.  “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!”

As I am reflecting HE truly has been in my moments, they just look different then I would have thought they would be.

I am counting my blessings, and I have them in 4 precious babies and 1 wonderful husband.  This is to only name the biggest of my blessings.  There are a thousand more!  Because I have friends who are hurting, one of my dear friends lost her dad very unexpectedly at the young age of 60 (he was an outstanding man and has left an incredible legacy).  And then there is one of my husband’s colleagues who is losing his wife to cancer at the young age of 30ish and I am sure you know people around you who are carrying deep pain in their hearts over something.  So I go back to the verse, “Surely the LORD is in place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!”.

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Cheers to a lovely week, as you look for the moments that Jesus shows up in your life!

Dawn

Free ebook for A Farmer’s Daughter and Baby Will

Free ebook for A Farmer’s Daughter and Baby Will

July 30 from midnight to midnight you can download for FREE, to your electronic device a copy of my cookbook,  A Farmer’s Daughter.  And then from July 31 to August 6, it will be on special for $6.99.  If you don’t have the book and have been wanting to get the ebook TODAY is a perfect chance to take advantage of this free deal!

You can access it from:

Amazon

Barnes and Nobles

Christianbook.com

And finally, Will Franklin joined our family on Wednesday, July 16.  We are thrilled with this precious little boy.  The delivery was great and my recovery has been fantastic!  We are so blessed.  He weighed 10 lbs, 13 oz at birth (biggest baby yet) and was 23″ long.  He is quite the hefty little fellow!

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Freezer Meals

Freezer Meals

I spent my 8th month of pregnancy focusing on freezer meals, I am so happy I did. I have already pulled from my stash just because my 9th month of pregnancy is always a bit rough.  This one has been exceptionally good but I still like the fact that I haven’t had to spend a lot of time focusing on food prep.

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I will share a few tips of what I find helpful in doing freezer meals but my best encouragement to you is to think thru what are things your family really likes?  Work with that menu. It might take you a month to come up with a list of some key items that would do well for you in the freezer.  It does take a bit of extra cash to make it work up front but it has been so worth the physical exhaustion I could be experiencing this late in my pregnancy.

Future Freezer Meal Chef

Future Freezer Meal Chef

Another simple thing I always do when I pull hamburger out of the freezer is pull 2 or 3 times the amount I would typically need for a meal so that I can just triple my recipe.  It could be sloppy joe’s, meatballs, meatloaf, taco meat or whatever.  With sloppy joe’s and taco meat I just get my big crock pot out and let the crock-pot do the work all day and then mid-day, add my seasonings.  At dinner, we eat what we need and then I divvy out the remaining in freezer bags. (Always keep plenty of freezer bags on hand – gallon and quart size!)

I was fortunate to have 2 wonderful woman from my church volunteer to help me at different days.  Rhoda, was such a blessing and probably helped me 5 hours one day and then I had young Gabi

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here for about 8 hours and did we pump out the meals that day!  Other then that I would just make a batch of something and super, duper size it.  I ended up with about 40 entrees for my freezer.  These will all come in very handy leading up to delivery and this fall after I have started school.  We are fortunate to be part of a ‘community’ of believers who provide meals for about 10 days post baby.  It’s always such a gift!!!  When someone else makes food for me, I feel so loved and cared for!

BEWARE: your kitchen is a wreck in order to make this freezer meal deal happen!!!  If you can wash dishes up as you go it won’t be quite as over whelming at the end of your project!

These are some of the items on my bucket list this freezer meal round:

Alpine Meat Balls, (I just googled for a recipe and combined two recipes that I thought I might like to create my own recipe), Poor Man’s Steak  (a family favorite) which I will share the recipe at the end of this post, made a Trim Healthy Momma Shepherd’s pie (which I got off of Pinterest), experimented with a baked Oatmeal from my cookbook (while baked oatmeal only takes 15 minutes to mix together in the morning, I figured if I would spend an hour and get 6 breakfasts in the freezer long term I would be better off) and finally I seasoned and sliced some round steak for fajitas’s.

These books however have been my 2 main sources for freezer meal cooking  and you can purchase them here:

Product DetailsProduct Details

These are some of the items that came from the books that I made:

Savory Chicken Bundles

Donna’s Stromboli

Beef Pasta Bake (I used Dream Fields Pasta for this, only cook it for 3 minutes and not the full time the box says, immediately drain and do not return to heat)

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Chicken Enchilada’s

Smothered Breakfast Burritos (these are ok but probably would not do them again)

Grilled Coconut Lime Chicken Tenders

Baked Penne Tomato, Cheese and Sausage (here again I used Dream Fields Pasta and the reason is I am trying to follow the Trim Healthy Momma eating approach and have had great success with it so wanted to have some meals that really fit plan well!  This one might be border line because I added more cheese then it calls for).

Basic Mashed Potatoes (I was a such a skeptic on this one but am happy I did it)!

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One of the kettles that cooked up 12 lbs of potatoes

POOR MAN’S STEAK

3 lbs grass fed beef

1 tbsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup milk

1/4 cup or more of flour

Butter for frying

2 boxes of mushroom soup (You could also sub 3 cans of regular mushroom soup)

 

Product Details

I buy it by the case on Amazon.

I like it because there is no MSG in it  and the packaging is  BPA free.

Mix together beef, salt, pepper, oatmeal, onion and milk.  Pat in a 9X13 pan and allow to chill for several hours or overnight (the time I made this I only did it for 30 minutes, I think it is so it cuts into pieces nicer, I am not sure it’s necessary).  Cut into squares.  Put several pats of butter in a frying pan; roll the meat in flour and fry for 2-3 minutes on a side.  Place in a baking dish and once you have the amount of pieces you think you need to feed your family consider that pan full and start filling another pan.  (When you do this many freezer meals you might want to buy some disposable foil pans so that you have enough containers).  Fill all your pans and then add some water (3/4 -1 cup) and  2 boxes of mushroom soup to the skillet.  Heat up your gravy and be sure to scratch off all those pan drippings on the bottom into the soup mixture.  Divide the soup over your meat and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 40-45 minutes.  This meat is so tender and so yummy.  

So the days I need some good, yummy food that reminds me of home, I will pull one of the 6  poor man steaks that are in the freezer with a bag of mashed potatoes from that same freezer and viola have dinner prompt o.  That is provided I remember to pull it from the freezer :-) but I usually remember because when it comes to dinner time, things at my house can be out-of-control!  We are so ready to see daddy walk in and rescue us all!!! 

I know this post is super duper long but I hope it will get you thinking about how you might be creative in your own kitchen and maximize some of your time.  Time is a high commodity and every minute I can save frees me to breathe a little deeper when tension is high or I feel pulled to thin.

I plan to take a little break from blogging over the next month or 2.  There will probably be a random post about the baby and my publisher and I are working together on a 24 hour free e-book promotion for the cookbook.  Stay tuned for that, it will come the end of this month!

CHEERS!

Dawn