Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot



Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
Good morning everyone! I've had a good week. I've mentioned in a few blog posts that this year I've had some vision issues. I've been to several doctors, had multiple tests which have all come back normal, so it's been a long journey. Finally last week I saw a specialist and he was able to tell me what the problem is. I felt a huge weight of relief off of me as I walked out of his office. I now know what I'm dealing with and have an answer to solve it. The solution will be surgery and now I wait for the surgeon's office to call and schedule and appointment to meet him and go from there. Everything medical seems to take time, so I don't have any idea how long it will be before this is solved but at least I finally have an answer and I'm very thankful for that.

My daughter Hannah and children came to see us last week and we had such a nice visit. My hubby is known to the grandchildren as the snack grandpa. Whenever we go to their house, he brings a snack. Whenever they come here and he is home, he has a snack for them. These are very simple snacks sometimes it's a little container of nuts, sometimes it's a small amount of potato chips or fruit. The kids love mostly the ritual of snack time with grandpa more then anything else. When they see him the first thing they will ask him is if he has a snack for them :).

While we were out shopping a couple weeks ago my hubby saw some Bugles. It brought back memories from our own childhoods. As a child I remember putting them on our fingers to make witches nails as we called them. So he bought a small package of them. When they were here last week he brought them out and they all had some snack time fun..







The kids do love it when Grandpa is just as goofy as they are!  :)


On My To-Do List
Today is a cool, rainy, wet, cloudy day. All it really makes me feel like doing is snuggling up with a cup of something warm and yummy and a book! :) I may do that later on in the day but before that I have a few things to do..

~laundry.. I have a load going and another one to do after that
~vacuum the living room
~make dinner... I posted on Monday the recipe for Crockpot Steak & Veggies. I'm going to get that started soon. I have the meat defrosting now.
~make lemonade... I send lemonade to work with my hubby each day. I make it up ahead of time and fill bottles with it. I usually make a couple gallons at a time and then have it ready to go for quite a while.

Maybe by late afternoon/evening I'll be ready for that book, warm drink and snuggling up for the evening.


Projects I'm Working On
I had a friend come over last week and we made soap together. She had never made it so I let her make a small batch to learn the process. That was a lot of fun. I made a bigger batch and still would like to make some more. As soon as my children hear I'm making soap they stand in line to get some! Ha, ha.. I think I love giving it away to them as much as I love making it.

After I finished doing my round of fall cleaning I decided a little decorating would be a nice finish on a clean house. I'm really not much of a fall person, but I try each year to get into the spirit of it all. I was happy with my efforts when I was done and it does make the house feel more cozy..




Today's Weather
Wet and rainy and cool..

High, 64 Low 52



The View from my Deck (or window)
I stood out in the rain to get this picture. One thing is for sure, with the rain we've had it's made everything  green, pretty quickly!




What I'm Reading
I finished reading Joel and Amos in my Bible reading. I started reading Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four. Then I saw a freebie on my Kindle called, The Girl with No Name by Diney Costeloe that peeked my interest and I started reading it. I've been reading classics all year, which was my goal, but I may either read both, switching between books or pick one and finish it, then finish the next.


What I'm Listening To
My washing machine going, the rain falling and my hubby dealing with our resident frog.. Ha, ha..

We had a frog in our basement, not sure how he got there and every time we'd hear him croak we'd go in the basement to see if we could find him, only to have him stop croaking. Finally this morning my hubby was in the basement, heard him.. and found him.. I think he just released him into the great outdoors. Hopefully he will not come back.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Found a few regularly used items on sale and stocked up, strained out another batch of vinegar orange homemade cleaner, brought coffee with us on our day in town to save $$$ instead of buying it.. I do love my Starbucks, but have decided it needs to be an occasional treat, not a weekly thing (we only buy coffee when we are there, not the drinks, but I'm shocked to see how much the coffee has gone up in price this year). And made excellent use of my leftovers. I challenge myself to see how little food waste I can have each week. The goal would be zero and some weeks I actually meet that goal.



Fitness and Health for the Week
I had a couple 6000 step days this week. I know as soon as I get my vision issues taken care of, walking will be much easier.

Continued to eat lots of fruits, veggies, and grains..



That is all for this week!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Menu Monday!




The weather has been cooling down. We're starting fires each morning to take the chill off the house. I came across a few crockpot recipes and I decided to try a couple of them this week. Having the crockpot going in the kitchen helps to warm it up a bit. It's definitely feeling like fall here.

However, tonight I'm making the shrimp ravioli w/pesto sauce that was on my menu last week. I was going to make it last night but still had leftover soup.



The rest of the week is looking like this...

Crockpot Healthy Chicken Tacos
This recipe looked good, easy, and healthy! It's the perfect combination. I've not tried it yet, but will share the recipe with you. If we like it.. I'll update you on it.

Crockpot Healthy Chicken Tacos

2t cumin
2t oregano
½t paprika
1t chili powder
½t pepper
1t salt
1 onion, sliced
1 cup frozen corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic
juice from 1 lime
6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
Corn or flour tortillas, your choice
Toppings for tacos, salsa or pico degalo, guacamole, sour cream, your choice


Combine seasonings (cumin, oregano, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper) and set aside. In crockpot add onions, corn, diced tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and lime juice. Lay chicken thighs on top and sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the seasonings. Stir to combine ingredients. Cook on “Low” for 6 hours or “High” for 3 hours. When cooking time is done, remove chicken and cut into pieces. Add the chicken back in and cook on low for 10 minutes.

Serve on tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Meatloaf with Macaroni & Cheese
I have a couple meatloaf's in the freezer. Last shopping day I decided to whip them up before putting the meat in the freezer. I'm going to make macaroni & cheese in my IP and serve this meal with a big green salad.


Crockpot Steak & Veggies
I have some sirloin steak in the freezer and this recipe seemed like a good use for it. Again, I've not tried it but it looks good, easy and healthy! Another win/win. I'll be sure to give a review of this after I try it. For now, I'll share the recipe

Crockpot Steak & Veggies

2lbs top sirloin beef, sliced thin
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
1T minced ginger
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1lb brussel sprouts, cut in half
1 red pepper, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced

Put steak in crockpot. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Pour over steak and add onion. Stir it all up. Cook on “Low” for 3 hours. Then add brussel sprouts, red pepper and carrots. Cook on “Low” for 1 hour. Serve with rice.




That should do it for the week!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
I've had a nice week. I made progress on my fall cleaning and finally got my refrigerator & freezer cleaned out and organized. That inspired me to give the floor a good cleaning and wipe down all the cupboards.

I had a fun day spent with a neighbor/friend and taught her how to make soap. She just wanted me to let her know when I was making soap because she wanted to watch me do it. But I know if you want to learn to do something you learn much better by actually doing it rather then just watching. So I got my little crockpot out and she made a 1lb batch as I was making my 4lb batch. She was happy to be able to have soap to take home and we had fun visiting and doing a project together.


I'm writing this post on Tuesday evening and will be setting it to go out in the morning. I have a very early appointment that is in the city. It normally would take me close to an hour to get where I need to go, but add in rush hour morning traffic it a few different areas it will take longer. My hubby is going with me so we decided to get a very early start.




On My To-Do List
After my appointment we are going to run a few errands and go grocery shopping. We figured we'd just combine everything into one day. So it will be a long day. I doubt I'll be doing a whole lot more when I get home. Dinner will be leftover potato soup that I made last night.



Projects I'm Working On
I'm making slow and steady progress on my fall cleaning. My kitchen is done, my sun room is almost done. The only other area I want to hit is my laundry room/pantry.




Today's Weather
Our weather is really changing now. Nights are getting cooler, more cloudy days and more rain. I think the rainy season may be starting. And for us the rainy season lasts about 8 months.. ha, ha..

Today's High 47 Low 42 and rainy



The View from my Deck (or window)
No picture this week, since I'm posting this the night before




What I'm Reading
I finished reading Daniel and Hosea. I also finished Dracula. What a great book, I'd give it 5 stars for a great story, plot and creativity of the author Bram Stoker. Now to find my next classic book to read (my classic reading year :)



What I'm Listening To
My hubby is listening to some music, the rain falling, the fire crackling.



Something Frugal I've Done This Week
This is something I do often. I think before buying. It's so easy to buy things online. So convenient. But also so easy to buy things that are on impulse. What I do is if I'm searching for something on Amazon I put it in the cart and let it sit there. I may think of a few more things I need and add them over the course of a few days. Then before I go and check out, I look at what I have in the cart and ask myself if I still feel I need to purchase each of the items. Often times I find I don't really need what I thought I needed a few days prior. Just a way of keeping impulse buying in check.



Fitness and Health for the Week
More steps are finally happening for me. I'm not at 10,000 yet, but I'm getting there. My new Fitbit will give me a little buzz every hour to remind me to move and I've started by trying to get more steps in throughout the day. I'm building myself back up and it's going great.


That is all for this week!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Menu Monday!



I've been doing a little freezer reorganization and clean up. My refrigerator freezer was long overdue for a clean out and clean up. I found a bag with 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and a ½ bag of shrimp. I decided to make chicken & shrimp scampi with that. I did that yesterday while I was also cleaning the refrigerator. Felt good to have those chores done and also have dinner for tonight all done. I'll serve the scampi with coleslaw and french bread. 



The rest of the week is looking like this...

Brats & Potatoes
I had this on my menu a few weeks ago and it was a meal that never got made. So it's on the menu this week. I plan to have green beans on the side.


Potato Soup
I have a bag of seasoned cooked ground beef in the fridge. I'm going to make some potato soup and use the precooked meat for this. I'll serve biscuits or french bread and a salad with this.


Shrimp Ravioli w/Pesto
I also found a package of shrimp ravioli in my freezer. I plan to boil them, drain and add pesto sauce to them. I'll serve this with roasted butternut squash & broccoli. Fall and roasted veggies just seem to go together in my mind. :)


That should do it for the week!



Friday, October 6, 2017

Saving Time in the Kitchen



This week in "Friday in the Kitchen" I'll be sharing my afternoon of cooking up a few meals all at once to save me time in the kitchen the rest of the week. 
 

Last Sunday afternoon I had a little extra time and decided to make a few meals up at the same time. This has been great to have this week and I hope to be able to do it again.

I picked simple and easy to put together meals. I wanted enough for us to eat at home and enough to pack my husbands meals for the following work week.

I made:
BBQ Chicken (for sandwiches)
Mexican Chicken Soup
Chili
Spaghetti

I used my Instant Pot for these meals because it makes cooking much quicker.


I started by cooking 2#'s of chicken breast in my IP. When that was finished I divided the meat into two bowls and shredded up the chicken. I strained the liquids left in the IP to use in my chicken soup.  While the chicken was cooking I made a small batch of cornbread muffins to go with our soup. 



I added BBQ sauce to the shredded chicken and we ate this on hamburger buns with coleslaw..


 

The next things I did was wash out my IP and cook 2#'s of hamburger. I added some onions, sliced mushrooms, salt, pepper, and garlic to the meat. When that was done I divided it into two bowls. 

 

I used 1# to make spaghetti.






And the 2nd to make chili. I loosely followed THIS recipe. The only changes I made to was to use less water, I used 1 cup not the 1 ½ cups she calls for and I used a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh.




I then washed out the IP and made the chicken soup. I did not follow a recipe for this. I just did my own thing. :) I put the cooked chicken and broth into the IP and added a diced onion, 2 peeled and chopped up carrots, 1 cut up jalapeno pepper, a small amount of chopped fresh cilantro, and one can of corn (I did not drain it). I added a 7oz can of green chili salsa, and salted to taste. I cooked the soup for 12 minutes on "Manual" and did an instant release.  It was a bit spicy, but we like spicy so it was all good. 




I divided all the food into containers and ziplock bags to be able to put it in the freezer.  Then cleaned up my kitchen mess and stood back and admired my handiwork! :) It was a good feeling to have it all done and this week I've been reaping the rewards for my efforts.





Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot




Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic..BUT Please download the picture to your computer first.. do not just directly copy and paste.. otherwise you are using my bandwidth..thank you! :).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)



So Far This Week
I had a good week. The most enjoyable part was a trip to the Oregon Coast. I enjoy going to the beach but it's something we only do about once a year. We had the most beautiful weather.

The Oregon Coast and the Washington Coast as well are not places you go and visit if you are looking for warm sandy beaches and hot temperatures. It's typically always cool, somewhat cloudy and windy. A walk on the beach usually means that no matter the time of year you wear a jacket and a hat. Well I think my hubby and I hit the jackpot of beautiful coast days the day we arrived. I really don't recall a trip to the coast that was as warm and beautiful. It was about 82 degrees and no wind. Almost unheard of. We parked ourselves on the warm sandy beach and enjoyed an afternoon of ocean waves, swimming in the ocean (well, I waded my hubby swam) and watching the most gorgeous sunset. We even saw whales spouting and swimming southward to warmer places for the winter.






On My To-Do List
I may make some soap today, we'll see. First I need to continue working through my junk and purging more. I also have a few household chores to do..

~vacuum living room
~mop kitchen floor
~do a couple loads of laundry



Projects I'm Working On
My cleaning and purging of items in my sunroom. I want to get it all cleared out and reorganize my toy boxes that I keep in there for the grandkids.




Today's Weather
The mornings and nights are sure feeling a lot like fall.  There is that familiar fall nip in the air.  The seasons are changing!

Today's High  71   Low 46


The View from my Deck (or window)





What I'm Reading
I finished Ezekiel and will be starting Daniel next. I almost finished Dracula, with our trip out of town I did not do as much reading as I typically do.



What I'm Listening To
It's a quiet morning I hear my dishwasher running, clocks ticking, my hubby up and doing his routines


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
My hubby likes to bbq and while we were grocery shopping this week we saw New York Steaks on sale. They were actually a really good deal for our area. Then sitting next to the steaks was a whole loin of the same thing, only uncut. The price for this was $1.50 less per pound. So we bought it. It only took me 20 minutes or less to cut the meat into steaks, making it very worth the effort. I wrapped each steak individually in plastic wrap to freeze them. This way when we want to bbq I can pull out only as many as I need for that meal.



Fitness and Health for the Week
I enjoy making smoothies at least a couple times a week. I usually add fruit of some sort and spinach. I wanted a smoothie for breakfast the other day and did not have any spinach. I did have quite a bit of mixed spring greens (I buy these for salad making). I wondered if I could add some of those instead of spinach. So I tried it.. it worked great. I got a nice nutrient dense smoothie that tasted yummy. 




 Here is my recipe...

1 cup milk
1 6oz container yogurt of choice
½ cup frozen blueberries
A couple large handfuls of mixed salad greens.

Blend it up until smooth and enjoy..





That is all for this week!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Menu Monday!




Yesterday afternoon was busy but productive for me. I was thinking about the upcoming week and my menu and decided to cook up a few meals at once and freeze them for the week. I ended up making 4 meals using my Instant Pot and now should have us set for the week. I plan to share more about this on Friday in the Kitchen.

Tonight we are having bbq chicken sandwiches. I cooked up chicken breasts and shredded them, added bbq sauce and will have this on hamburger buns with coleslaw.


The rest of the week is looking like this...


Mexican Chicken Soup
This soup is a combo of chicken, carrots, corn, onions, and spices all cooked in the IP. I'll be serving corn bread muffins and a salad on the side.  I don't have a recipe written down for this yet, I was winging it..  :)


Chili
Rainy days in the forecast always make me think of chili. I'll serve this with tortilla chips and a salad.


Spaghetti
It's easy to make spaghetti in the IP. French bread and a salad will round out this meal.


That should do it for the week!