Last Sunday we had one of those amazing days where we didn’t go anywhere. The Weather Channel had predicted 5-8″ of snow and ice. I usually get groceries Sunday, but went out Saturday to get everything we’d need. Come 8 pm Saturday, the ice was already tinging off of the windows and we were snug in our beds. We woke up to some very slick roads and more snow than we had anticipated. I also had zero homework to do, since I turned in my final document for my final class in my teacher certification program that Friday. It was the first time in 20 months I didn’t have to think about what was due Sunday at 11 pm!
Sundays are always my meal prep day for the week. I typically try to have 2 different lunches hubs and I can choose from and, if I’m feeling froggy, I have a breakfast casserole or something planned out. I went a little overboard this weekend since I knew we would be stuck inside. The recipes I made this week will certainly be added to the rotation and I wanted to share them with y’all!
Homemade jam has become a must-have staple in my house. We have mature blueberry bushes and amazing berry farms around us, so summertime is abundant in jam making. We just ran out of jam and I needed to make another batch or risk a mutiny when I bought some! This is my favorite recipe for jam, mainly because it uses no pectin. I don’t have anything against pectin. It’s just not something I usually remember to buy or keep on hand. We live in a pretty rural area and they don’t sell pectin at the local store. I wanted to figure out a way to make a jam that didn’t use pectin. While it is a bit looser than the jams I have made with pectin, it works for my family!
I use frozen berries, since the quality of them is MUCH better than what I can get fresh in Vermont stores in March. This recipe is super easy and flexible! Everyone in my family gets excited when there’s jam making–they like to steal the cup I skim the foam into and dip crackers into it! My secret ingredient for this triple berry jam is adding in a splash or two of homemade vanilla extract–it REALLY makes the jam!
I always roast chicken breast and root vegetables to take as a lunch option. The bonus of the root vegetables is that I usually make so much that I can heat them up in the morning for breakfast! For the other lunch option, I will usually do a lunch kit or soup in mason jars that are quick and portable. Last week, I made a DELICIOUS Jamaican jerk chicken bowls. Holy flavor, Batman! This week was the last week of our coldish weather and I was craving a soup. I found a delicious recipe for Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. I made it on the stove top and it is AMAZING! Super filling and pretty healthy for you, too! I portion it out into mason jars for easy storage and grab n’ go in the morning!
Okay…I admit it. I forgot to take pictures of this. A long day of cooking and smelling the stew caused me to forget. Please accept my deepest apologies! However, this stew was SO delicious, it deserves a mention. Hubs actually dubbed it “the best he’s ever eaten,” which is a huge compliment. I’m a sucker for a beef stew and this Beef and Barley stew made in the slow cooker did not disappoint. Seriously…if you love a stew, you’ve got to try this! I scaled down the ingredients and hubs still took it for a couple days of lunches.
The girls and I also got crafty while hubs caught up on his ESPN. I got bit by a knitting bug this winter and have been making hats for pretty much anyone who let me. We live at the top of a hill and there is ALWAYS wind. On the cold days where we’re outside, the wind sneaks through the knitted hats and can get pretty chilly! They also stretched a bit and I was looking for a solution. I figured lining them with fleece would kill two birds with one stone. I found a great deal on fleece at a local craft store and set out to line the hat I had just made for my father-in-law.
TADA! Look what I can do! While my knitting still needs some work, I was super excited to (sort of) master this. I lined hubs and both girls hats, as well. The girls ended up wearing them around the house for about an hour because they were “sooooooooo cozy!”
The girls had fun being PJ bums all day. We’re usually go go go, so the ability to not have to change into clothes was amazing to Mae! They busted out the Play-Doh on the plywood floors and I didn’t even get an eye twitch! Play-Doh is the bane of my existence and seems to remain within the cracks of our hardwood floors for years to come, no matter how many times I vacuum! They also got to hang out in our bed and share the tablet. I VERY rarely let them use the tablet, simply because they have so many other toys they could use that might stimulate their brains more. But, a lazy Sunday allowed a half hour of tablet time and they shared SO well…until the didn’t and then time was up!
Our family really needed this day of rest and relaxation. Hubs hung out on the couch with ESPN for the first time in awhile and we were not bickering at all. Sometimes, it’s almost like a vacation when the weather forces us to take it a little slower and just hang out.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re forced to relax and hang at home? Leave some ideas in the comments for next time we have to!