Crout-Burger Roll

For the filling:

1 teaspoon canola (or other vegetable oil)

1/2 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 head cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent, about three minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned and no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage to pan, distributing evenly. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low. Allow mixture to simmer for about eight-ten minutes or until cabbage is steamed. Set aside to cool in the refrigerator until dough has risen.

For the dough:

1 Cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)

1 package yeast (about 1 teaspoon)

3 Tablespoons honey or sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon canola oil

3-31/2 Cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add honey (or sugar), salt and oil. Mix in about 2 Cups flour; dough will be sticky. Incorporate remaining flour, adjusting as needed for dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny and set aside to rise – about 45 minutes to an hour.

After dough has risen, roll into a 9”x12” rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Carefully spread cooled meat mixture evenly over dough, leaving one inch uncovered on both long sides of the rectangle. Starting on one long edge, roll dough jelly roll style, encasing meat mixture within dough. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Carefully move loaf to a greased cookie sheet, seam side down, and allow to rise again – about 30 minutes.

 You can brush the dough with an egg wash (1 yolk and 1 Tablespoon water) before baking to help the crust bake to a rich, shiny brown color.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until done and crust is brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Variations: Sprinkle shredded cheese over meat mixture before rolling or add mustard to the meat mixture before spreading over dough.

Posted in Main Dish - Beef, Recipes | Leave a comment

Post-Holiday Decluttering

Before packing up all the ornaments, lights and decorations, take a hard look at your inventory. Do you really need everything you have? I make it a habit to sort through my items and toss those things I don’t absolutely love. The result is I’m not repacking stuff I don’t want or use and I know that what I do have is what I want to keep.

Once I have decided what to keep, I make sure those items get a good cleaning before I pack them. This saves me a step next Christmas season when I unpack and decorate. A feather duster and even a bucket full of a mild dish soap should be all that is required. Once clean, I packed the items in clear storage boxes with an inventory list attached to each box.

The decorations that I have decided to part with are donated to a charity or listed on Freecycle (check for a location near you). This is also a good time to sort through toys and donate or list them as well. For those items that just aren’t in good enough condition, I don’t mind pitching them in the trash.

Here’s another tip: place all those wonderful hand-made school projects in scrapbooks. If you happen to have three-dimensional gifts, you can take pics of them and include them in the scrapbook as well. If you cannot part with these precious gifts of love, pack them carefully and store them for next year.  In our home, we have a tree that we set up downstairs that showcases all those beautiful hand-made ornaments and decorations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Household Notebook: Travel Section

Did we remember to set the light timers before we left?  What about the iron?  Did someone unplug it?  Did I remember to pack our toothbrushes?  I really dislike those feelings of uncertainty that come once we’re about 50 miles down the road.  FlyLady has developed a great resource for organized traveling.  It is her Packing Control Journal.  She covers everything from what are your travel plans to toothbrushes.  I basically just printed off her journal and added it to my notebook.

I found another resource  at  They have a great “Before We Leave Checklist.”  It covers quite a bit and has space to write in the things that are unique to your home.  Both of these tools help diminish those uncertain feelings that hit once you are too far down the road to turn back, as well as those late night trips to Wal-Mart in an unfamiliar town.

By the way, the Organized Home website has a ton of free printables available, including more forms for picnic planning, camping checklists and packing checklists.  Find them here.

Posted in Home Management, Household Notebook | Leave a comment

Household Notebook: Health Section

We move.  Frequently.  Too frequently.  And, unfortunately, our family has a novel’s worth of medical history.  I learned a few years ago that it is easier to have everything typed out and ready to go when we visit a new physician.  Generally, when we sign in, I hand the receptionist a copy of the history to add to our file.  It’s just easier than hand-writing everything out.  I still check the boxes on the intake form and sign on the dotted lines, but instead of explaining each incident, I can refer to the copy I have given to the office.  It makes my life much easier.

Also, because I have our information in one spot, I don’t have to try and remember when it was that I had that surgery or illness.  It’s right there in my notebook.  I keep a copy of all our immunizations here as well.  It makes it a little easier in the ER to tell them that yes, the tetanus booster was given just two years ago and I have the documentation to prove it.

The health section is also a great place to track weight loss, food intake, exercise plans and goals.  A friend of mine keeps a copy of her points system in her notebook so she can easily find it.  Basically, anything having to do with health and fitness can go here.

Posted in Household Notebook | Leave a comment

Household Notebook: Ideas Section

From time to time, I run across and idea I would like to use in the future, but I’m not always certain when I might be able to do so.  I used to print of pages and pages of ideas I came across while visiting different websites and forums and then promptly lost them in a sea of other papers that needed to be filed away.  My solution is to keep new ideas in my Household Notebook.

Here I keep ideas for Christmas crafts for kids’ parties, several different ideas to use with Resurrection Eggs, Girls’ Night Out thoughts, spa night party ideas, baby shower games and family activities ideas.  Then, five months later, when I need that idea I can easily find it in my notebook.

I also enjoy writing just for fun.  Thoughts and ideas will come to me at the least convenient times, though.  If I don’t write my thoughts down right away, I tend to forget them.  So, I have a set of index cards on a ring in my bag for these times.  I will quickly jot down my thoughts.  When I get home, I will place the index card in the pocket of my Ideas Section in the Household Notebook.  When I have opportunity to write, I find my index cards, select a topic and write.

I can imagine a myriad of ways an idea section could be used:

  • party menu planning
  • holiday celebrations
  • birthday cake ideas
  • remodeling projects
  • summer plans
  • new ways to organize something
  • useful magazine clippings
  • work projects
  • landscaping thoughts
  • gardening plots

The key is to make it work for you and be unique to you.  We are creative beings; an idea section is a tool to keep all those creative thoughts in one place.

Posted in Home Management, Household Notebook | Leave a comment

Maintaining the Household and Working

YIKES! It’s been awhile since I have posted anything on my blog. Since our move to a new state and town, I’ve had to start working outside of our home. The town we live in has an above-average cost of living, and my sweet husband, who works very hard, was only able to find an average salaried position in this above-average expenses place. Hence, this is why I needed to find employment. I started out part-time and have since moved to full-time. This has brought many, many changes and adjustments to our home life and my schedule.

To be honest, I don’t know how other moms who work outside the home manage life. I am so very thankful that God was able to supply a job for me in this economy and that I am able to help out with our household expenses. But, working full-time and then trying to stay on top of household stuff has been a bit of a learning process for me.

I am trying to tweak my weekly schedules a bit. I’m also learning to employ the help of my growing children. Not only does this help me out, but helps them learn skills and gain somewhat of a work ethic. I am learning to let go of some of my expectations. I’m not quite sure where the line might be of good enough to get by and this area needs more work. It is a bit of a balancing act.

This is the schedule I have managed to work out thus far (and all of this is in the evenings):
Monday: fold laundry and put away
Tuesday: Zone cleaning
Wednesday: Zone cleaning
Thursday: Weekly blessing hour
Friday: Paperwork

My hope is that we will be able to spend Saturdays working on projects together or having a family fun day. One Saturday a month, I am going to starting doing once a month cooking again. I expect to prepare about 15 meals. I have found that my once a month cooking trial runs in the past have shown that I really don’t like having a full month’s worth of meals in the freezer. I enjoy cooking and baking quite a bit and I need to be able to do so when I feel like it.

In the meantime, I am asking my kids to do some extra cleaning after school. I have a list for them to complete after they finish any homework assignments. And, for the moment, I am inspecting their work and helping them to see beyond what is done to what should be done. Helping them learn a new skill and how to finish a task completely and yet not crush their spirits has been difficult. I once heard that we need to wrap a criticism with two slices of compliments. I think this works with kids. I like to tell them what they did well, then what needs to be improved, and then note something else positive about their chore. Whenever they display a joyful, positive attitude about their work, I praise them.

In a day or so, I should be able to upload some of the lists I have found useful in helping my children know what is expected of the tasks they complete. You can look for it in my file widget to the right of this webpage.

Posted in Home Management | Leave a comment

Organizations/ Volunteering / Church

I have learned I must keep track of all the different activities my family takes part.  As my children get older, the list seems to get bigger – so organization is a must.

I have separate “pockets” for each organization in which I place notes, phone numbers, letters, calendars, etc.  On Fridays, I make sure the family calendar is up-to-date (the one in the calendar section of my notebook) and check the organization’s calendar for up-coming events.  If our church is having a pot luck dinner in two weeks, I plan what I will be bringing and add those items to the next week’s grocery list.  If the Girl Scouts are going on a field trip and need specific supplies, I make sure I have those on hand and place needed items on the shopping list.

I also keep any kind of paperwork for our activities, like copies of signed permission slips, in this section of my notebook.  I also keep running to-do lists here.  For example, I need to get a filing system going for our worship team at church.  Instead of adding that to my household to-do list, I have it here.

If I have an event to plan, like a training meeting for MOPS leaders, I keep all my notes, plans, contacts, and invites in this section.  I often use sticky notes as I plan out details, so I keep them in the pocket divider for MOPS. 

You may discover, if your family is on the go most of the time, that using a separate notebook for your family activities might be necessary.  Just remember to transfer all the calendar information over to your household calendar.  And I have found it helpful to use a different color ink for each family member as well as a unique color for events the whole family will attend.

The beauty of keeping all your activities in one section is you will be able to easily find all those important dates and papers.  It does require personal discipline to ensure each item is placed in your notebook.

Posted in Home Management, Household Notebook | Leave a comment