simple, simplify, Simply...Cooking

Simple Menu Plan and My Potato Soup Recipe

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Yesterday I posted on facebook that I had made a menu plan for September because life will soon get busier and I may as well plan ahead now, while I have the time.

Here was my post:

I just wrote out our meals for September. I want to plan ahead before life gets busy and I want to stock up on what I will need–Before you give me a high five, trust me, it’s basic. Pizza on Fridays, crockpot on Thursdays, Tacos on Tuesdays, etc.. #nofrills#simplemeals#theyjustwanttoeat#backtoSIMPLE

Really. That’s what I am all about. Getting back to simple.

No more elaborate color-coded meal plans, systems,  or cooking for a month. Just simple dishes focusing on those around the table, rather than what’s on it.

Seriously, my kids just want to eat. They don’t care about Pinterest-perfect. They would much prefer traditional simple meals, to a  mama running around busy trying to keep up with Betty Crocker.

So, as I (tried) to show you all on Facebook Live yesterday (the video kept cutting out 🙁 ) I printed out a calendar for September from my computer’s iCal. I handwrote a meal for each day (knowing they can be switched around as needed) but I also kept it easy because each night of the week is the same theme. 

For example, Tuesday is Tacos. That is something I can make it minutes because that day is usually busy. I can serve it with beans and corn or tortilla chips with guacamole. And every Tuesday, since we are out of the house all day, I know what I am making and don’t have to think about it.

I scheduled Thursdays as a crockpot day. We usually do different types of chicken in the crockpot or veggie chili, etc. So each Thursday I can pick which one I want to do. I just need to change to sauces or seasonings, etc.

I scheduled Fridays as pizza day. I like to make homemade pizza, and we can vary toppings and types. Or once in awhile, we can order pizza out!

Then, with those days of the week taken care of, I sprinkled other favorite meals throughout the month: Ravioli, chicken Parmesan, Quesadillas (again, different types- bean cheese, chicken, whatever I have on hand.) and soups. I  add a side of veggies, fruit, salad, etc. and we are done!

I will make sure when I do my grocery shopping coming up that I have most of the ingredients (non-perishables) for the month, so during the month I will just fill in as needed. (I haven’t gone “grocery shopping in the grocery store” in almost a year. I will write about my life-changing grocery shopping method soon!)

Anyway, it is simple. I enjoy cooking (and eating!) but also know at this stage in my life, it isn’t necessarily the time for elaborate meals. (I had all summer for that!) As life gets in full swing with back-to-school, simple is best for us. Predictability is fine too. And like I said, I can switch the meals around so it’s not always the same, but at least I have a skeleton outline to work with and the ingredients on hand for the month. And if we get some down time, then I can experiment with an elaborate meal on that day, but it won’t be every week!

I look at our grandmothers and how they lived and I would love to get back to that mindset.

They didn’t have these elaborate systems and methods. They simply cooked what they knew. I don’t think there was nearly as much fuss. I much prefer to focus on relationships around the table these days rather than stressing over elaborate cooking plans.

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Now, many of you asked for the potato soup recipe, so here it is! I have been making it forever, I don’t measure, but cook by sight, smell, and taste–so bear with me! Let me know if you have any questions.

SIMPLE SUPPERS

Simple Potato Soup: 

~About 8-10  potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I add more depending on how much I want to make)
~1-2 boxes (32 oz) box of chicken stock (again, add more if using more potatoes. Generally, I use enough to just cover the potatoes my about 1/2 in.- 1 in.)
~2-4 onions, chopped into large chunks (alter depending on your tastes. I like to err on the side of more for more flavor.)
~a few tablespoons butter
~salt and pepper to taste
~shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Melt butter in large pot.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add potatoes and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to low, add salt and pepper,  and simmer for about an hour.

Using the blender, puree the soup in batches until nice and smooth.

Top with shredded cheese.

Makes a great supper served with homemade bread or salad.

Enjoy!

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Simply Living for Him Retreat

Podcast, simplify

Podcast Episode 27 One Thing You Need To Do Before You Purge Clutter

Podcast Episode 27

One Thing You Need to Do Before You Purge Clutter

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How many times have you tried to de-clutter only to have it all creep back in within months? How many times have you vowed to have less, but end up buried in things again?
Before you even begin to simplify and purge, there is something you need to do. Join me as I discuss how to get your heart ready to purge and get on the road to living more simply.

Listen below or click to download.

 

Download my sessions from our 2016 Retreat!

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•In Him We Live and Move and Have Our Being: He is ALL That We Need
•The Remedy to Chaos and Clutter
•A Transformed Woman of the Word

 

simplify, Simply Living for Him

We Have Enough

Enough. What does that even mean? How much is enough? Are we just sustained? Do we have ample to provide for our family, plus a little for enjoying?

13912641_671189683039058_6961181086341253847_nWe have enough.

Really.

Yet, for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety over finances. For a family who has dealt with layoffs three times in our marriage, it’s like each time God said, “Yup. I’ll grow you through your worst fear.” And He did.

 

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Each time, with each layoff, we grew. We were always provided for and we never went without.

And even though I have grown immensely in this area, there are times when that sneaky slithery serpent of a thought comes back to me…

” What if we run out of money?”

Not a lie to ever focus on, but one that tries to take hold again.

I am usually very good at replacing the lie with truth, and to take those thoughts captive, but there are still times…

This summer we began a ministry at our little hobby farm where we give away our abundance of food that we grow here. We had always dreamed of having property where we could grow enough food to share with those in need. We truly believe all that we have belongs to Him and is from Him, and is not ours for holding onto.

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So this year our dream became a reality. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of food. So we set up a facebook page and let others know we had food to share. It is for the taking and if anyone wants to donate that is welcome, but we never ask for money. It is free for all who need.

Last week as we sat out at the farm stand, meeting folks from the community, someone asked me, “Why aren’t you selling this? You could make a good amount of money.”

For a split second, I thought. “He’s right.”

I very quickly replaced it with God’s truth. I truly felt He has been showing me lately that we have all we need. We have enough. Sure we  could make money from these veggies, but we don’t need it. We are blessed. We don’t struggle to put food on the table and He has provided time and again in our lives. We have more than enough.

We hold loosely to the things of this earth, knowing we need to cling tightly to the One that lasts.

And now it’s our turn to share with others. 

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More importantly, we want to share God’s love with others. We are so rich in the blessing of knowing Him, that we want to share that abundance with others too.

So yes, we have enough. In fact, we are quite rich because we have Jesus. And that is all we need.

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