This is it. It's our last week of summer, so to speak. As is our tradition we will start a new school year next Tuesday, the day after Labor Day. Labor Day is our last hoorah, if you will. Even though the calendar says summer ends on September 20th, for us summer ends on Labor Day. It will be somewhat of a start - stop - restart this year. We will start school on the 4th of September, have nine days of school, then take a family vacation to the beach. We could have waited until we got back from the beach but I figured why not start when we usually do and pack in a few good days before we go. What else would the kids be doing on those days anyhow?
Since it is our last week I have a list a MILE long of things I want to get done. Our family calendar is written all over and I've got more than a few post-it notes sticking around. I want to get the entire house really, really clean since we go into maintenance mode during the school year. I need to return library books and mail some packages. We are doing meal ministry the next two Fridays so I need to buy and prepare food for that. I need to drop off donations, clean up the yard, the garage, and the van. I won't be doing these things alone of course. These are family projects. It feels so good to start the new school year with the house completely cleaned, the school supplies organized and the projects out of the way. That's my goal. On top of starting back to school, our 3rd oldest is turning 14 on Labor Day and we have planned a big bash to celebrate. He wanted to have a game night with friends and lots of food so that's what we are going to do. I'm going to do some of the cooking and baking this week to get ready for his par-tay on Sunday night. The menu is shaping up to be a pretty interesting mix of teenager type foods. Here it is: brownies, cupcakes, nachos, Skittles, Goldfish crackers, chips and dip, soda, and Oreos. This is the request list I received from him. I'm going to tweak it just a bit and add a veggie and dip tray and a fruit tray. I'll make nacho dip in the crock-pot and set up a candy/dessert buffet. (Next week I hope to post pictures!)
I will leave you with some of the recipes I will be preparing this week.
For Friday night's meal ministry I will be delivering Chicken Casserole, Green Beans, Yeast Rolls and Chocolate Eclair Cake.
2 lbs chicken breasts
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1 pint sour cream
chicken broth - enough to moisten
1 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp rosemary or sage
1 stick margarine
1 pkg Stove Top Stuffing
Simmer chicken breasts with celery and spice. Use enough water to cover chicken. Save broth! Cube chicken. In separate bowl mix butter, celery, stuffing, soup and sour cream. Add chicken and enough broth to moisten - close to 2 cups. Spread mixture in casserole dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I usually sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
Chocolate Eclair Cake
1 lb box Graham Crackers
2 small boxes French Vanilla instant pudding
1 8oz Cool Whip (French Vanilla is good if you can find it.)
3 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
Mix pudding and milk until thickened, add vanilla and fold in Cool Whip. Layer graham crackers and pudding mixture (4 crackers, 3 pudding, be sure a layer of crackers is on top) into a 9x13 container.
Topping: 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup margarine, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, 1/3 cup cocoa
Bring to boil for one minute. Stir for 2 minutes after removing from heat. Pour over layers. Store overnight so crackers will soften.
For the Birthday Bash I'll be making Yummy Nacho Dip.
(I will double or triple this.)
1 lb Italian sausage
1 can Nacho cheese soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can (15 oz) Rotel tomatoes
Cook sausage, drain, pour into crock-pot. Add soups and tomatoes and stir well. Serve with tortilla chips.
Let me know if you try any of these recipes. I *heart* your feedback! And... If you are a regular reader and you are encouraged here, would you consider joining my site? Thanks so much!! :)