Thursday, April 10, 2014

Weekly Menu Planner #4

Welcome, to yet another Weekly Menu Planner! #4

We are on a two week Spring Break and we will be in Germany for part of that.  In celebration of me being in one of my favourite countries, how about a little cuisine from Germany?  Let's keep it simple!

Monday: meat, starch, veg (Choose your own if you don't like German cuisine or follow the recipe and just don't use the kraut.)

A typical dish is sauerkraut, potatoes and pork.  Chop your potatoes up rather large, chop carrots if you would like more veggies, add whatever pork meat you would like.  I like to use a mix.  Think about some thick, lean bacon, a tiny ham still on the bone, a thick slice of ham, sausages...kilbasa... (If you don't like pork, substitute those yummy veggie dogs!  They won't need to cook long.)  Then pour your sauerkraut over the top and add enough water or bouillon to cover the dish.  I would make it in the slow cooker on the slowest level and let it cook while you are at work or you can simmer it on the stove.  Note:  If ya wanna trade up this meal for in the weekend with the skillet lasagne, it will be a time saver.

Wow!  I grabbed this recipe, I thought looked great.  Mine is a little different and faster, but this one! I'll try this one next time.  Mmmm.....


Tuesday:  fish, starch, veg

Choose your favourite fresh or frozen fish and cook it how you like.  Grilled, steamed and baked are the healthiest ways to cook it.  Maybe look for a cajun spice recipe!

Everything goes with fish.  In Belgium, they often eat it with croquettes or mashed potatoes.  Mmmm...I really like mine with rice.  A quick and easy way to get some rice to go with your fish is this.  Chuck your rice and water in your rice cooker and turn it on.  When it's finished, take the lid off and throw in one of those gelatinised bouillon thingies and a pad of butter and stir!  MMM....If you have no idea what I'm talking about use half a regular bouillon cube or a 1/2 tsp of powdered bouillon.

Carrots, green beans, broccoli...all go great with fish!  Steam them and don't add too much slat or butter or use one or the other.

Wednesday:  Beef Stroganoff


The image is all hooked up to Kraft Recipes.  It's not my all time favourite place because they use a lot of recipes that have processed food, but this is one that doesn't  Yay!  Their recipes are typically really easy and fast.

This recipe is very close to the one I make.  You might be very surprised at how easy this meal is.  The thing with getting your meat just right is to use a good cut of meat and cook it fast or get a less good cut and let it sit until it falls apart.  This second method is cheaper and taste a lot better. Mmmm....This is also awesome in the slow cooker!

Thursday:  gourmet tunafish sandwiches with raw veggie boat side

Mix all of these ingredients in a large bowl:  diced, hard boiled eggs 3x (if you have time), a large can of tuna, chopped pickles or relish if you wanna save time, mayo (take it easy!), a shot of dijon mustard, pepper (no salt, it's in the mustard), and some parsley....Onion and celery if you like is yummy as well.

If you use all of these ingredients, then you will NOT need to make extra raw veggies, but do so if you like.  If you have to put out some dip to make the veggies more...appreciated/eaten, then do so!

Another tip for the eggs, break open some eggs in a greased muffin pan, then put them in the over for...I forgot 5 to 10 minutes?  It goes really fast.  While you are putting all of your ingredients together the eggs will be finished!

Use the freshest bread you can get or even better, some older fresh bread toasted.  I love tuna on toast!

Fun Food Friday:  hot wings, raw veggie tray and loaded french fries

Awwwweee....your mouth is watering, isn't it?!  Get some fresh wings, throw them in the fryer for the fastest method (once a week won't hurt, too much).  Just take your favourite hot sauce and mix it with some butter over low heat and toss your wings when they are finished, in it.  Awesome and super easy, right?!

I've got ya hooked up to a wing recipe, but I don't bread mine.  It's healthier.

 wings recipe

Blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing is unbelievable easy to make and SO much better for you and your family than the stuff from the shelf.  I'm hooking you up with some recipes for both!  After you make these, you're gonna be like, "Oh, my God!  Why haven't I always done?!"  That's what I've been saying for the last 10 years!  Hehehe...It literally, takes 5 minutes to make!!!!

 ranch recipe

 blue cheese

People!  I don't know about you, but everything fries are my weakness!!!  Le'me dip'm in some Ranch and I'm in heaven!  Make your fries, shake your favourite cheese or cheeses over them with some cooked bacon and some scallions and parsley.  OMG!!!  Let it all melt in the oven and voila!  Ok, this might take some time, but the family will love you for it.  I would!  Call me, ok?!  Hehehe...

Saturday:  Italian Subs/hoagies/grinders... depending on what part of the woods you're from.  Hehehe...

Now, I've got a recipe if ya  need one, but probably not.  Throw any kind of meat you like on there.  We typically do ham, salami and chicken...Watch your cheese though!  Don't go throw'n some Swiss on there!  Keep it mild!


Sunday:  Skillet or classic lasagna

Lasagna is a bugger to make!  Way too much work for me and the kids don't like it.  However, a classic lasagna is so awesome.  I'll hook ya up with a recipe.  Note:  lasagna is also very expensive to make because of all of the ingredients, if you choose to make it fresh.

This recipe looks awesome except for the sugar?!  Ah, sweet lasagna?!  No way!  Leave it out.  Tomatoes are really sweet!  Check out your sauce, too!  No sugar!!!  I also do NOT like Fennel seeds.  If you don't know what they are, stay away from them.  They are super powerful and to me, they steal the show.

 lasagna recipe

You WILL thank me for this next recipe.  It's the fastest, cheapest and really quite healthy way to eat lasagna.  You ARE welcome!


All righty then!  You are set for this week.  If you are using any part of my recipe series, please be a doll and leave a comment once in a while?  If you have suggestions, questions or would like for me to start doing a shopping list, let me know by commenting.

Thanks for checking out The Cherry!

Made By Keuntje Debut at The Cherry

Welcome, Friends and Fans!

Today, I am debuting Made By Keuntje!  She's another uber talented designer I work with.  As you can see by this first layout I made with her newest Easter release available at Scrap Takeout.  This colour combination is definitely a favourite of mine.  Is it not just gorgeous?!  Top it off with one of my all time favourite pictures of Liam!  Ha!

This second layout is showing the festive side of the kit.  Don'cha just love when a kit has this kind of versatility?!  Yes, please!!!

This is a closer look at the new kit, "Easter Fun".  It's definitely on the eclectic side which makes a perfect match for me!  Hehehe...Click on kit images to get to the shop.



Next, I wanna show off my favourite kit from MBK.  Robot Love!


Again, I used the kit in two totally different manners.  The first one is cartoonie, cute fun.  Another super fun photo of my spaghetti mushed, Liam looking very happy!  Don'cha just love all of the original elements?!


My second layout is just the opposite.  The sweet, soft side of the kit.  Such gorgeous, romantic colours.  Mmmm...ya just wanna touch it!


I want to show you just a couple other layouts I made with Made By Keuntje's lovely ellies so you get a better feel for her artistry.  She's new to the designing scene and I have to say, because I always do...hehehe...That she is off to a fantastic start!  She hardly looks like a beginning designer, don'cha think?!

The masculine, dark, rich side...


The frolic, bright side...


And the vintage, country feel with a hint of fun!


What fabulous versatility in an artist?!

She even dabbles with templates!

Click on the image to download this lovely, frame FREEBIE designed by The Cherry On Top.


Here's the FREEBIE she has offered on her Facebook Page.  Click on the image to go to FB Page.


Click on the image below to get to her blog, where you can find links to get more FREEBIES!


Get more FREEBIES by heading to Throwing  Some Scraps Around's blog where she also featured Made By Keuntje.


Wasn't all of those goodies and this amazing hook up with a new, fabulous designer, worth it?!

Thank you so much for visiting The Cherry On Top!  See ya in a couple days for week #4, weekly menu!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Free Word Art from Throwing Some Scraps Around

Welcome to The Cherry On Top!

Today, I have a peek at a new kit from Throwing Some Scraps Around, layout inspiration and a FREEBIE, of course!

Here's a look at the kit.  The prices are a total TCOT deal!  Anything under $3 is a great deal to me!  The image is all hooked up to the ETSY store.  No middle man fees.  Hehehe....

We are talking bright, come alive, serious fun, right?!


I had no intensions of bringing this kit down, so I used fun pictures.  I loved these of Liam at the playground way back in the day.  The one in the middle was his camera face.  Ha!  He sure did have a blast at the playground that day.

How silly is my little JJ, here?!  Hehehe...We went to a fantastic park with a friend of mine and his son.  It was really hot, but it didn't stop the boys from having a blast.

I hope you took a liking to the word art because that is your FREEBIE from this kit from The Cherry On Top.

I saw this layout from Jodi, the master mind behind TSSA and had to show it to you.  Isn't it fantastic?!  Let's not forget what scrapping is all about.  Our favourite photos, good times, memorable times all saved up for us because we'd forget!  Hehehe.. 

Here is your FREEBIE.  Enjoy it and share the link around.  (Click on the image, scroll down a bit and under media options, click download.)


All of my freebies are for personal use only and are not to be redistributed for purchase.

Thanks for taking a peep!  I'll be heading to Germany and won't be back until next week, but I've got an endless list of future blog entries.  So come on back and see what's new!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

TCOT Weekly Menu Planner #3

Welcome back to the weekly menu planner.

I'm very surprised at the attention it's gotten so far and also totally pleased!  Thanks to all of you who give me a shout, share, a like or leave a comment.  It keeps me go'n!  

I hope you enjoy the last two week's menu's.  If there's something you are not too crazy about, then go backwards and see if you can replace it from something on a previous menu.  If you still have left overs, make sure you plan them in the week.  A good place would be meat, starch, veg entries.

Monday:  shrimp or chicken etouffe

You might just be surprised at how simple this meal is to make.  Seriously, it should take no more than 20 minutes from start to finish, prep included.  The ingredients are very typical and you probably have many of them in your house already.

 all recipes

The picture above is linked to the recipe.  It is my all time favourite recipe for this so far.  I have an even easier version, though.  I load my rice in the rice cooker.  (I will never live without one.  Perfect rice every time!)  Then I chuck my onions, garlic, peppers in the mini chopper and add them to the warmed butter in a high-ish pan.  Prep whatever meat you wanna use or a combination!  Throw that in as well.  I've never made the rouĂ© because the consistency is just fine to me.  

If you are not an experienced cook, FOLLOW THE RECIPE.  hehehe....

Tuesday:  meat, starch, veg

Use this as a flex day if you must.  A time to grab a bite or get some take out if you are just too, busy.  Otherwise, choose something from the freezer if you have or how about some fresh fish, green beans and quinoa.  I'll give ya link for a quinoa recipe.  This is a super, basic recipe.  Give it a try! 


Wednesday:  sloppy joes

Let's make the family's day by whipping up some sloppy joes!  I'm hooking you up with another recipe, but I have a trick for ya that the family might enjoy.  Instead of buns, pack your joe in a pita or tortilla!  It's so much easier to eat.  Add some cheese, onions, extra hot sauce.  Do it buffet style if the kids like that best.

Whip up a salad or some cole slaw to go with it.  It's ok to buy prepared food once in a while, but don't make it a habit. Think about a raw veggie tray, too.  Carrots, celery, olives, radishes...what have ya got in the fridge?

Thursday:  Steak, corn, baked sweet potatoes

If you can, get organic meat.  It's a world of difference.  I was totally shocked when I first tried it and really couldn't get over the difference in taste.  Take a good look at prices.  They are coming down more and more.  Yay!

If you have a grill pan, cook the steak on there.  Depending on the size of your steak and how you like it done.  Try not to use any kind of fat on your grill pan.  Heat up your corn in the last couple of minutes, but make sure ya put those sweet potatoes in the oven first.  They take a while to bake.  Yes, bake!  It's the healthiest.  Or try these, baked sweet potato fries.  Watch what oil you use.  Olive oil is the best in most cases.  The picture is hooked up with a recipe.  


Fun Food Friday:  home made pizza

OK, maybe not home made.  Let's work backwards.  There is more and more research being done on just how bad some major chain pizza is.  Let's stay away from them.  I'll give ya few short cut tips.

Purchase, pre made, pizza dough.  Use tortillas or make your own yummy dough.  If you can or want to buy a jarred pre made pizza sauce it's ok.  Just check the ingredients and make sure it's good ingredients.  No sugar!!!  You could just use canned, diced tomatoes with some dried herbs in it.  Cheese, meats, know the routine!  My kids LOVE making pizza.  Of course, home made dough is my favourite.  So darn yummy and the kids favourite part of the whole shebang.

Saturday:  gyros, baby!!!!


Here's an awesome recipe that you can also do buffet style.  Making the sauce is quite some work.  It's the healthiest way to eat it, but don't beat yourself up too, much if you buy the stuff from the store.

Sunday:  Beer Butt Chicken, grilled zucchini and polenta



If ya don't feel like grill'n, bake a chicken in the oven.  It's Sunday!  Make this the day you put some time into your cooking.  You could go and buy a chicken all ready to eat, but it won't taste nearly as good or be nearly as cheap.

Polenta is fabulous!  It's something other than your typical starchy sides.  Use stock instead of water for more flavour, add seasonings of your choice and throw some fresh herbs in there, too.  I can't get enough of polenta!

OK!  You're set!  Make your grocery list.  Leave all the crappy, pre packed, junk in the grocery store. 

Leave me a comment if you gave this blog a peep and I'll keep posting!

Take care and see ya next week.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hope For Brady Blog Hop

Welcome To The Cherry On Top!

My goal is to make your life easier and happier.  As I find good deals, great recipes, free stuff and health information, I share it here and on my Facebook Page, The Cherry On Top.  Be sure to check out both on a regular basis.

I'm thrilled to be a part of this hop.  I have two young boys with Autism.  Everyday life is such a trial and most people just have no idea.  Understanding and patience is a huge part of dealing with Autism even if you don't know anyone with Autism.  

When you see a child having a tantrum, it could be Autism.  Rather than giving the parents a look of disapproval, how about a look of sympathy or understanding.  We've all had bad days and not all kids are great all of the time.  Besides, for many, it's just a temper tantrum after all.  It's not like they robbed the food bank?!

For my boys, visualisation is everything.  They take things literally to a...hilarious point at times, too!  There is a lot to learn and Autism can be just fascinating as well.  My children have taught me how to look at EVERYTHING differently.  Sometimes it's just flat out funny and other times the light goes off.  Those are the best moments and they are always there if you are looking them.

I have a couple of things for you.  The first one is a chart to help ya get your day started.  That is the most difficult part of mine!  Goodness!  The time it takes just to do the basics.  Charts help my boys with all of the necessary, daily activities.  By all means, make sure they do stuff and routinely.  Don't do it all for them even if you think they can't.  They will always surprise you.  Encouragement is the ticket to success.

OK, here's how it works!  If you like the first image, print it out.  Watch your settings!  I had to play with mine until they got just right.


If you want the list in a different order than print out this image, below.
(Click, then right click to save the larger image.)


You will need this last image if you want the check marks or if you want to change the list around. (Click, then right click to save the larger image.)

 info checks

I would highly recommend laminating all of it and simply use velcro on the back of the check marks if you want to use them over again or use an erasable marker!

If you head over to my Facebook Page, I have a FREE download for you there as well.

 FB Page

I'm glad you stopped by and I certainly encourage you to do it again!  Have a fantastic day and enjoy the hop!  4Mybabies will posting freebies all month long and I'll be do'n a few more, too.  So, stay tuned!

Weekly Menu #2

Weekly Menu #2

Welcome again, to The Cherry On Top's Weekly Menu!

We had a bit of a crazy weekend with illness and unplanned camping so I'm using a couple of last week's recipes again, but I'll make new ones for you.

Monday:  Soup N' Sandwiches (click on the image for the pumpkin soup recipe)

 pumpkin soup recipe

I'm the one who is sick.  So, today, I'm whipping up some soup from all of the veggies that are still sitting in the refrigerator.  Home made soup is so easy to make.  Wash the veggies that are still sitting in your fridge.  Cut them up in large pieces, throw them in the pot, add some salt, pepper and maybe a touch of veggie bouillon.  (Just watch how salty it is.)

The easy version to buy some pre made soup.  I always have soup in the cabinet!  My grocer sells an awesome organic soup in a bottle.  Just shake, open, pour in a mug and voila!  Mmmm...Check out the ingredients.  Most package soup is pretty darn good especially if there is no meat in it.

Serve up your favourite sandwich or buy a fresh French loaf and just dip!  I strongly recommend getting away from the white bread in a plastic bag with a long shelf life.  Try a bread machine.  It literally takes under 10 minutes to dump your ingredients in and turn it on.  When it beeps, you take it out and let it cool.  It is THAT easy!

Making bread might seem like  a lot of work in the beginning, but the more practice you have, the easier and faster it gets.  Wait until you make some garlic and walnut bread!  The smell will drive you insane!  Or maybe a cajun braided loaf?  Do this on the weekend and give the family a real treat.

Tuesday:  fish, starch,vegetable (click on image for couscous recipe)


Use your favourite fish and either bake, pan fry (in olive oil or coconut oil) or steam.  If you have a steamer, you can make an entire meal in there!  Steam broccoli, rice and your fish!  Talk about a time saver.  Throw your ingredients in the steamer, turn it on and get the table set, the kids washed up, empty the dishwasher and it's ready!

If you are wanting to stay away from starch (especially, potatoes and bread which is a great idea) then make some couscous, quinoa or bulgar.  Couscous is so so easy and fast to make!  Just add a pad of butter and season to your liking!  It goes great with fish.

Green beans, broccoli, whatever the family likes.  If you are using a lot of butter and salt, start cutting back until you don't use it all or just a touch of butter is you have to.  Use fresh whenever can or frozen.  Do NOT use canned.

Wednesday:  spaghetti/pasta

Definitely a family favourite.  Good old fashioned spaghetti.  My boys love the long noodles.  My little guy has sensory issues and cannot stand spaghetti sauce, so I just take out his pasta and put a little butter on it.  Then I serve him raw veggies.  They are the best for us and he actually likes quite a few different kinds.  NEVER stop introducing or reintroducing fruit and veg.  You might  just be surprised.  Never force, but persuade and even reward your child just for TRYING something new.

Making your own spaghetti sauce is a lot of work depending on what you like in your sauce.  Dump a can of canned tomatoes to your hamburger (if you are using meat) and shake in some spices and herbs that you like.  Use bacon or chicken in your spaghetti for something different, or no meat.  My family doesn't usually even notice!  Mushrooms are the key for this.  If you family has a problem with veggies like garlic, onion, peppers, shrooms...then put it all in the food processor.  That's what I do.  These vegetables are just so healthy, I have to use them and so should you!

You may used jarred sauce.  Just make sure there is no sugar and that you know what ALL of the ingredients are.  If you can't pronounce it, then your probably shouldn't be eating it.

Thursday:  meat, starch, veg

Choose a favourite meat like lean steak, fish, pork chops, sausage (my kids favourite), chicken strips (not breaded if possible).

Wash and peel your potatoes AND some carrots or spinach.  Put them together and let them cook.  When finished, drain off water into a measuring cup and mash together.  That's right!  My kids do NOT eat cooked carrots or spinach, but when mixed with mashed potatoes?!  THEY LOVE IT!

Add a touch of butter, salt and either milk or a bit of that reserve liquid if you are staying away from dairy.

If you know how to whoop up a quick sauce, then pour your reserve in the pan you used for your meat and add your thickener (2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water shaken very well).  We make a volcano and the sauce is lava.  They go nuts over this, STILL!  Hehehe...

Fun Food Friday:  Taco Buffet

So easy and another family favourite.

Choose the meat you want and sautĂ© it with some Mexican seasons of your choice.  While simmering, prepare the buffet of sour cream, salsa (or cut tomatoes), guacamole (you might be surprised that the little ones actually like it even if you don't.), shredded cheese, onions, your choice of soft, hard or boat shells or a mix, then the meat.  Everyone makes their own!

Saturday:  grilled cheese (Click on image for a pimped up grilled cheese!)

 grilled cheese recipe

Once again, don't use that awful, bagged bread!  It is RELLY BAD for you.  Soften up your butter or just put the butter in the pan than slop both sides of the bread in it.  So easy, right?!  Lay in your REAL cheese and top with the other slice of buttered bread.  It only take about 3 minutes in total.  Hello?!  Serve it with some raw veggies, pickles or soup!

Sunday:  plan a BBQ!

Get the grill (or your grill pan) going!  Choose the family's favorite grill'n meat. Whip up your favourite pasta, rice or potato salad or if the kids are dying, some french fries.  Once a week is not big deal. Heat or boil up your corn and voila!  Dinner is served.

For THE most awesome pasta salad click on the image.

 pasta salad recipe

OK, you're set now with a week's worth of healthy and yummy meals.  Get a grocery list together and start eat'n right! 

*Try to eat potatoes less and less.  Look for Nicola potatoes if you have to eat them.  Potatoes promote cancer growth and wreak havoc with those suffering from diabetes and other types of inflammatory diseases.*

If you ever have questions or want to share your favourite, healthy all natural recipes, please comment.

Let me know if you are liking these menu planners.  It takes me a long time to make them and if I don't get feed back, I'll stop doing it.  I hope you are enjoying them!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Boutique Cute Doll FREEBIE

Welcome, to The Cherry On Top!  

I've got Boutique Cute Doll on feature today.  "Between The Pages" is the newest release and in typical BCD fashion, it is FABulous!

The kit is linked up to the store, where it is on sale, but only for a couple more days.  Grab it while it's this cheap!


Here are the two book marks I made with "Between The Pages".  The first one you can get right here.    (Click, choose Media Options, then choose download.) The second one you have to get from the BCD blog.  Click on the image and it will take you there.

 download BCD Blog

If I were you, I'd laminate these!  It will make them extra rigid and water resistant, too!

I also provided you with a link where you can get these FREE bookmarks that Terresa has made.

 BCD Blog

Everything here is for private use only.  You may share our links, but not the images, please.

Thank you for the visit!  See ya again, soon!  I'll be participating in an Autism Awareness blog that will have a lot of FREEBIES for you to ooh and aaah over.