Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken, Chicken, and more Chicken!

So, while this may be a departure from the "normal" post around here, I just had to share. For the first time ever, I bought 40 POUNDS of chicken! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts to be precise. Zaycon foods was doing an event nearby, the price was right, and we had the money. So, why not, right?
First things first..the pick up. It was super easy. All I had to do was drive to the location with my printed confirmation receipt, go through the line (and there weren't any cars in line ahead of me, so it was really fast!), they loaded the box of chicken into my car with a piece of plastic under the box, just in case, and I drove it home. Could not have been simpler!

Ever wonder what 40 pounds of chicken breasts looks like? We'll, I'll show you....

40 pounds of chicken breast, still in their box.

The chicken is in 4 separate bags inside
a larger bag and then in the box.

 The chicken was straight off the bone. In fact, the 2 breasts were still connected. So I took them out, separated the 2 breast, and cleaned off any extra fat (there wasn't very much). All the breasts were quite large, so some of them I cut in half for packaging.

One HUGE chicken breast!

Look how big! That is 15 breasts sitting on the cutting board.


All the chicken is cleaned and ready

Once the chicken was all separated and ready, I vacuum sealed 20 breasts for dinners later. Each bag weighed just under 1.5 pounds, more than enough for most meals we make (and that's for a family of 7!). I will be canning about 18 pints of the chicken, so I put the chicken for that into gallon sized ziptop bags. If you're wondering about canning the chicken, yes it is safe, as long you follow directions and use a pressure canner. I also cut up 1 1/2 breasts to use for our dinner that night, and sealed it in a bag with some soy sauce, garlic and cornstarch to marinate.

3 gallon bags of chicken that will be canned later,
10 vacuum sealed bags of 2 breasts each and
1 bag with 1 1/2 breasts cut up and marinating for dinner

Cooking the chicken for dinner

And finally, dinner! (Small portion, I know, but it's for my littlest!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Free Printable Valentine's Day craft

Since Valentine's day is just under 1 month away, it is time to start getting all those class cards ready. But you want something fun, that the kids will actually like getting, and remember after they've thrown all those store-bought cards in the garbage. All that, without spending a lot of money, right?
Well, today is your lucky day. With this downloadable popcorn wrapper, scissors, a little tape, and a box of microwave popcorn, you can have a great little Valentine's Day gift that your little one's classmates will not soon forget!

Beary Happy v-Day Popcorn Wrapper                                                            

Want to make some now? Just follow these easy steps:
1. Download the file by clicking on the image above and following the directions on Scribd.
2. Print as many copies as you need.
3. Cut out image just outside of  the outermost black line ( the large rectangle, not just around the center image).
4. Fold on black lines above and below center image.
5. Wrap around one package of microwave popcorn.
6. Secure on back with a small piece of tape.
7. Repeat for remaining pieces.

Here's an example of what a completed popcorn and wrapper looks like:

Don't want to print your own? Check out the selection of popcorn wrappers available on

Monday, January 17, 2011

Shopping with a purpose

Admit it....most of us LOVE to shop. We may not love the actual spending of our hard earned cash, but getting the perfect gift for that special someone, or finding the "right" shirt for ourselves is a great feeling!
Well, what if I told you you could get fabulous handmade items, not pay outrageous prices, AND help others at the same time?! Well, you most certainly can, and today, we'll feature just one of the shops that you can go to and do just that.
Today's shop is Raven's Rascals on etsy.  Owner Rachel and her family are making and selling all kinds of hand crafted goodies. Proceeds for the sales are being donated to the American Cancer Society. So far, they have raised just over $200 and still have 6 months to go before the Relay For Life.
A couple of my favorite things from the shop:

The Nekkins Tote Bag    

Made to Order Jester Jingle Hats
You can also find Raven's Rascals on facebook. Stop by, "like" the page, get updates, and even leave suggestions of items you would like to see available!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finally a new post (and a free PDF download!)

Well, it's been a while since I've had time to actively post on the blog, but it's time to start again!
As a cub scout leader, I'm always looking for things to make my den meetings easier. Today, we will be talking about personal safety, and as a part of that, the boys will be making an Emergency Phone List. I tried to find on online that I could just print and have them fill in, but I couldn't find one that suited my needs. So... I made my own:

The blank lines on the bottom are for each child to fill in his/her contact numbers (aunt, grandma, etc.)


I'm sharing it with you as a printable PDF file. You can print as many copies as you need, when you need them. Or save it to your computer to use in the future.
Please, do not post this pdf as a download on your site, but feel free to link directly to this post if you would like to share it with others.

Click below to get your free copy!

Emergency Phone List Blank

Clipart from Scrappin' Doodles (see link on the right!)

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