Monday, August 21, 2017

Menu Monday!













Last week I had such a busy weekend that I totally forgot about Menu Monday.. Just slipped my mind completely! I think that is a first.

Today I would love to go grocery shopping but I think I will put it off for a day or two. Due to the eclipse, traffic in our area is at an all time high. We are not far from the point of totality and many people are driving through (from all directions) to get to the perfect spot to see it. We are not far from the Oregon border and it is estimated that there is about one million extra people coming through the area. For today, staying off the roads seems like a wise choice.

Tonight we are going to have Cuban Pork Sandwiches. I'm using a crockpot recipe and converting to the IP. I'll share if it turns out.


The rest of the week:

Chicken, Bacon, Tater Tot Casserole
We like the traditional tater tot casserole made with hamburger. But I saw THIS recipe and loved the twist to an old favorite. I'll serve it with a nice big green salad full of veggies and some summer fruit.


Baked Salmon
A simple and quick meal to make. I spoon Italian dressing over the salmon and bake it for about 15 minutes or so at 375. I'll serve it with either rice, pasta or French bread. I'll see what appeals to me when the time comes. I'll also had some cooked broccoli & carrots on the side.


Chinese Chicken Salad
I found THIS recipe while searching out easy and quick recipes for my daughter. I thought I'd give it a try. I'll serve it with some French bread and summer fruit.


BBQ
If I find some good deals on steak we'll have a bbq this week. If not, I have enough meals planned out to keep us fed.



That should do it for the week!

Wednesday, August 16, 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
It wasn't until I went to put this blog post out that I realized I totally forgot about Menu Monday.. :) that is what happens when you have a busy weekend with family and are exhausted.

The weather has cooled down nicely. We even had a brief shower a couple mornings ago. First rain in 55 days. The nights are cooling down and I'm thinking fall is not to far off.

The weekend was nice. My son Jake came out and he and Isaac worked on clearing the fence line where the goats are. It still had a lot of fallen trees on it and was a mess. They did a nice job and I was grateful for their help.

My daughter Sierra and her boyfriend Rex also came out. Rex helped the boys on the fence line and Sierra and I had a nice long visit, which I enjoyed so much. She is busy with her life so it's nice to get more then just a phone call of visiting in.

My favorite catalog arrived in the mail a few days ago. Not that I purchase a whole lot from IKEA, but I like looking through it and getting ideas. Especially ideas for storage. I'm currently trying to come up with some creative, nice looking storage ideas for the toys I have for my grandchildren.






On My To-Do List
Yesterday I caught up on laundry and did most of my housework. Today I just need to vacuum and do a few other little things.

Then hubby and I are going to go and walk around our little county fair. It is opening day. I always love to look at the quilts, baked goods, animals and more. Small town fairs are the best. Just simple and fun.

We are planning on having a hamburger bbq after we get home, so dinner will be easy peasy.


Projects I'm Working On
Soap is still on my list, but I have not made it yet. I'm feeling much better and know it will happen soon.

Another simple project I'm working on is a list of fast to put together meals for my daughter. She works, has a baby and coming home from work (or just ending work as she works a lot from home) and putting together dinner is a challenge. She eats healthy and does not use a much in the way of prepackaged foods. So, it is a little challenging. If anyone has any good ideas for me to pass on to her, let me know! :)



Today's Weather
Perfect weather for a walk through the county fair.

High, 81 Low, 57


The View from my Deck (or window)






What I'm Reading
I'm really enjoying the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm only about a third of the way through it.

I finished Ecclesiastes, and read Song of Solomon and am now reading Isaiah.


What I'm Listening To
It's a very quiet morning. My windows are open and there is a nice breeze blowing. I'm hearing my wind chimes and a few birds.



Something Frugal I've Done This Week
It's a repeat, but it's still frugal. :) It felt so nice to have the energy to clean my house and of course I used my orange vinegar. I LOVE the smell. It just makes my whole house smell so clean. I recently started a new batch of orange vinegar and added the peel of a lemon to it.



Fitness and Health for the Week
More swimming, more walking, and continued focus on my diet. With all the summer fruits available I've enjoyed cherries, strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe.

That is all for this week!  I hope you all are having a great week.


Wednesday, August 9, 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
It seems the main goal for this last week has been to stay cool. Our temps soared over 100 degrees and the nights were not cooling off as much as I would have hoped. Our house heated up (we don't have air conditioning) but we survived and now it's starting to cool down a little. I have to say I would take all the heat and sunshine over snow, ice and freezing rain :), summer is my thing.

My daughter came again this week with the grandchildren to swim and cool off and visit.



On My To-Do List
I have a few junk piles that need some attention. I dislike clutter, but it still creeps up on me, and I'll deal with that.

Other then that, my to do list looks like this..
~sweep/mop kitchen floor
~do a couple loads of laundry
~clear out my fridge and see what leftovers we are having for dinner


Projects I'm Working On
I really need to make soap. I think by next week I'll be ready for that. A friend of mine who lives close by wants to learn how to make soap so I'll invite her over when I make it.

For this week, no new projects yet.


Today's Weather
Another warm one

Today's high, 95  low, 64


The View from my Deck (or window)

It's still pretty hazy out.  This is due to the wild fires in British Columbia.

 




















What I'm Reading
Finally back to reading. I finished Proverbs and am starting Ecclesiastes now. I've also started reading, To Kill a Mockingbird.


What I'm Listening To
A train going through the Gorge and fans in the house. 


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Found sales on a few items we use on a regular basis and stocked up on them. I'm pretty sure I have enough dish detergent to last me a couple years now.. ha, ha!! :)


Fitness and Health for the Week
More getting out and walking around my property and it's getting easier. I've also been swimming more in our pond. 

That's all for this week! 






Monday, August 7, 2017

Menu Monday!















It's another hot week coming up. Today is grocery shopping day for me. I think I'll pick up a pizza for dinner tonight and make a big salad.


The rest of the week is looking like this.


Pulled Pork Sandwiches
I'll cook the pork roast in my IP and serve it with coleslaw and some summer fruit.


Asian Braised Chicken
I'm using THIS recipe, which is for pork, but I'm substituting chicken for the pork. I'm serving this with rice and a veggie of some sort (yet to be determined).


Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi
I've never made this in the IP before, so we'll see how it goes. I'm going to try THIS recipe. I'll serve it with either rice or angel hair pasta. I'll add french bread and green salad on the side.



That should do it for the week!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Instant Pot Banana Bread & Iced Tea
















This post does contain affiliate links.  Thank you for your support. I truly appreciate all purchases made though this blog.  It helps me keep my blog going.  :)  
 

Today's Friday in the Kitchen is about making banana bread and iced tea in the Instant Pot. What I loved was that I made both of these things this week, plus a few other things and never heated my house up. We have had a hot string of days, near and over 100 degrees and I don't have air conditioning in my home. So making efforts not to overheat the house is a high priority.

If you think an Instant Pot is just for cooking meat, think again! I'm constantly amazed at all you can do with an IP. I seriously feel like it is one of the best investments I've made for my kitchen and my life in quite some time. 

Here is a link to the Instant Pot I own:  

 



Banana Bread





























I started off with the idea to make banana bread and ended up not having enough bananas and used applesauce to make up the difference. Either way.. all bananas or banana/applesauce .. it's pretty simple to make and enjoyable to eat.

You'll need a 6 cup bundt pan for this. I shared on Wednesday the little bundt pan I purchased through Amazon. 























You can find the pan here: Nordic Ware 6-Cup Bundt Pan, Multicolor 
   
Instant Pot Banana Bread (or variation: Banana Applesauce Bread)





½ cup butter, room temp
½ cup sugar

2 eggs
3 mashed bananas, or 2 mashed bananas and enough applesauce to equal 1 ¼ cups
2 cups flour
½ t baking soda
½ cup nuts or chocolate chips, or a combo of both, this is totally optional



Using a mixer combine the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the bananas (or bananas and applesauce) and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until all is combined. Add the nuts and/or chocolate chips if you are using and mix.



Spoon batter into a well greased and floured 6 inch bundt pan.



Put trivet in bottom of the Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup water. Using a foil sling lower the bundt pan into the IP (this is made by taking a long a piece of foil and folding it a strip about 2 inches or so thick. You use this to lower the pan into the IP, and to remove it when cooking time is done). If you are not familiar with a sling you can see an example of how it's used HERE.



Put the lid on the IP, set the sealing knob to, SEAL. Press “Manual” and set the timer for 50 minutes. When the time is done, let the pressure release for 10 to 15 minutes on it's own, then do a quick release.



Remove the pan, and let it cool for 30 minutes. And remove from pan.




Instant Pot Ice Tea


Why would choose to make tea in an IP? I've discovered 2 reasons. One, is I don't have to boil water and heat up my kitchen. :) The other, which I think is actually more important is this, black tea becomes bitter when the temperature of the water gets to the boiling point. The beauty of a pressure cooker is that it does not boil the contents in the pot.



Making black tea in the IP made the best tasting tea I have ever had. No bitter taste at all. And it's so easy to make!




Put 8 cups of water in the IP pot, add 4 tea bags, add sweetener.



The amount of sweetener and type is up to you. You can add whatever you normally would add, honey, sugar, Stevia, and add the same amount you typically add. I like my tea only slightly sweet and usually add either honey (a little less then ¼ cup) or sugar (about 1/3 cup or less).



Put the lid on the IP, set the sealing knob to “seal”. Press “manual” and set the time for 4 minutes.



When the time is up, let the pot do a natural release for about 15 minutes (longer won't hurt anything) and release whatever pressure is still left.



When you open the lid you may see a little boiling of the tea going on. This is normal and does not mean it has been boiling, it's caused by the temperature change. Next time let the pot the do a natural release a little longer.



Remove the tea bags and pour into a container and refrigerate. Serve over ice and enjoy!!






Wednesday, August 2, 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
Happy August!!   It's been a good week. I'm feeling better and better each day. My daughter Hannah and her kids came out to visit and swim in the pond. The kids had not met my new duck, Ping, yet. So they were excited to come. It was a fun afternoon at Grandmas.







My son Jacob and his girlfriend also came up over the weekend for a visit. It's always a good week for me when I get to see my children.

I also had a couple hours worth of phone conversations with my girls that live in California.



On My To-Do List
Today I have some housework on my to do list and maybe a little baking. I bought a 6 inch bundt pan to use in my Instant Pot. It's a cute little pan.. ha, ha.. and pretty too!



I'm planning on trying out banana bread in the IP. We'll see how that works.



Projects I'm Working On
Still no new projects other then my health. And that is going well.


Today's Weather
We are in the midst of a heat wave. I don't have air conditioning in my home. Our super hot days here are so few that it's really not necessary. When I grew up no one had an air conditioner. Nowadays more people do. I cover all my windows with sheets or blankets and keep the door closed to help keep the house cool. It also cools down most nights very nicely. So before bed we open everything up and turn on a fan to pull the warm air out of the house and bring the cooler air in overnight. The house has cooled down by morning.

Today's High, 101   Low, 65



The View from my Deck (or window)
The sky looks a little bit hazy.  I've heard there are forest fires up in British Columbia and we are getting just a little bit of the smoky haze from that. 





What I'm Reading
I've been doing a little reading but it's time to get back to my Bible reading. I left near the end of Proverbs.



What I'm Listening To
The fan blowing the air around the house, helps it to not feel stuffy in here as the day warms up.  



Something Frugal I've Done This Week
My hubby and I were in town running errands. He needed to replace an air filter on our car. We went to the dealership and they wanted $30 for it. He didn't want to pay that much so we went to an auto parts store. They wanted $24 for it. That was better but the man that was helping us said they would match any price either from another store or online. So I pulled out my phone, went to Amazon.com and found the filter for $8.18 and showed it to him. He gave it to us for that price. A good reminder to see if stores are willing to price match!!



Fitness and Health for the Week
During this hot weather it has been nice to be able to cool off in our pond. I've been swimming more and more and of course the walk down and back up to the pond is a good way to help me build back up my strength.


That is all for this week! Hope you are having a great week :)






Monday, July 31, 2017

Menu Monday!













It's a hot week coming and I don't have air conditioning so I'm planning on making good use of my Instant Pot and the BBQ to avoid heating up my kitchen when making dinner.

Tonight will be spaghetti & meatballs in the IP. I'll have french bread and a salad to go with it.


The rest of the week is looking like this.

Burritos
I'll make black beans in the IP and then cook some seasoned hamburger in the IP to use in the burritos. I'll serve with cheese, salsa and a salad.

Grilled Salmon
I have some wonderful wild caught salmon to cook up on the bbq. I'll serve this with some IP potatoes and coleslaw.

Teriyaki Chicken
I'm going to try THIS recipe. I'll also make rice in the IP for this meal and a salad.



All of these meals should be easy and very do able for me this week.