Monday, May 2, 2016

Menu Monday!

This weekend and this coming week are busy. I have my sister in law here and my niece will be arriving later in the week. My sister in law and I are involved in a little project. She is here helping me turn one of my bedrooms into another guest room. She is a pro at this! She did my first guest room a few years ago: I'll be posting before and after pics as soon as we are done. :)

In the meantime trying to focus on meal planning is a little challenging. However I have a house full of people who do need to eat. So I've done my best to come up with a few meals this week to keep us fed. I will say, it is possible for my menu to change at last moment if something easier or quicker comes to mind.. ha, ha..

But for now, this is what I'm planning on...

Chicken & gravy over mashed potatoes
I have the chicken already cooked from my last batch of chicken broth and figured this would be a good and quick use for it (I also have the broth to make the gravy). I'm adding a salad (from a bag) with added fresh veggies to go with it.

Simple, easy, quick, tastes good. I'll serve french bread and some veggies on the side.

Frito Pie
Thought this recipe would be fun for a group. I make not quite a 'pie'. I make basically a chili first. Then everyone puts a layer of Frito's in their bowl, tops it with the chili, then cheese, sliced olives, diced onions, hot sauce, sour cream and digs in with a spoon.

Roasted Chicken
A whole roasted chicken served with potato salad, coleslaw, and some toasted garlic bread and a simple veggie platter.

Despite my lack of focus I'm happy with what I did come up. It is subject to change if necessary. But, if not, at least I have a direction to go!

Happy menu planning!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Garden Update

I'm excited to have been able to plant my cabbages and get a little bit of lettuce started in my garden. Of course the day after I planted the weather report says a hail storm is coming. My hubby and I ran down to the garden as things were looking bad and put some gutter pieces over the cabbages to try and save them. As it turned out the hail never came and all was fine. They are doing great now.

Oh how we loved the dry warm sunny days! Hubby got lots of property work done and even took the first swim of the season..

And as I mentioned the cabbages were planted...

I have a little box that hubby made me in his shop to start my seeds. It is small and limited but I've made it work and was thankful for a place to start seeds. I recently asked if there was a way to expand what I had just a little to allow more room when I transplant my seeds. Just like that he made a few quick adjustments and doubled my space. I'm so excited. I now can fit 4 trays instead of 2...

In the above pic I have hot peppers, tomatoes, zinnias and watermelons growing. After a quick visit to see my in laws last week my mother in law gave me a whole tray of seed starts that she had planted and did not have room for. I was thrilled!! That added more tomatoes and more cabbages. I hope to have the cabbages in the garden next week and then most everything needs to be transplanted into bigger pots.

How's your garden coming along this year?


Monday, April 25, 2016

Menu Monday!

It is one of those weeks where I seem to be out or running out of everything. Grocery shopping is high on my list! I've been making a list for the last several days writing down everything I've either run out of or am about to run out of. Funny how that works sometimes.

My menu for the week is fairly basic. I have family coming to visit by the end of the week so I'm planning an extra meal to make sure I have all I need.

Tonight we are having leftover bbq chicken legs, coleslaw and macaroni salad that I made yesterday. The rest of the week is looking like this:

Pot Roast Dinner
I have a beef pot roast in my freezer that I want to use up (oh the things I find when I reorganize my freezer! Ha, ha). I'll serve this with carrots and potatoes of course and either green beans or a salad.

Honey Garlic Chicken
This is a recipe I found on the internet. I'll check it out first and see what I think and share it if we happy with it. It sounds pretty good to me. I plan on serving it with rice and broccoli.

Rainy days in the forecast call for a nice pot of chili. I'll either make corn bread or serve tortilla chips on the side. And a nice green salad.

Sweet Pork Tacos
OK, this is a recipe that has been floating around the internet for a while now. It uses Coke. I am not a fan of recipes that use soda pop.. but I've heard so many rave reviews on this and how wonderful it is that I am going to give it a try. It actually sounds like a nice change from hamburger tacos. I'll serve it with all the typical trimmings and probably pick up some avocados as well to either serve on the tacos or make some guacamole.

That should be plenty of meals for the week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bone Broth to the Rescue

 My son was sick on Sunday. He felt horrible. Running a fever, achy muscles, stuffed nose, cough.. all clear signs of the flu.

I jumped into action :). I got some bone broth out that I had in the fridge, peeled a few large cloves of garlic and cut up some of the chicken I had from making the broth.

I chopped up the garlic, heated some water up and poured that over the garlic to let is soften up. Then added some bone broth (it's pretty concentrated so it needs the extra water added). I added the chicken and at last minute threw in a big scoop of my homemade cream cheese (for the probiotics).

He drank that down and said he was feeling a bit better. His nose and head were cleared up a bit more. On Monday he stayed home from work because he still did not feel great. That afternoon I made him another big cup of the same mix. After that he slept for about 3 hours and woke up and said he had sweated up a storm and felt so much better. Yesterday was day 3 of this and he headed back to work. Still has a bit of a cough and runny nose but feels so much better.

Was it the bone broth? I would like to think it certainly helped! A 3 day flu? I'm sold.. ha, ha..


Monday, April 18, 2016

Menu Monday!

We are having some beautiful weather here in the PNW and that makes my Monday even better. I have a walk and garden work in my plans for today. It will be raining again in a couple of days and I figure it would be better to do my grocery shopping then.

Tonight's dinner will reflect the fact that I'll be outside most of the day! :) I have some orange chicken and egg rolls in the freezer (thanks to Costco) and either some fruit or a salad will go with this.. I'll figure that part out when I get there.

Last week I tried something new to me. I made cream cheese. It turned out good but not quite what I wanted so I'll be tweaking it and trying again soon. In the mean time I had a huge amount of cream cheese to use up. So instead of one of my planned meals I made alfredo sauce with meatballs, it turned out yummy. This week I plan to share my cream cheese making with you.

For now here is the plan for the rest of the week..

Ham & Cheese Bread, tomato soup
This was on the menu last week and did not get made. It is a variation from my pepperoni bread recipe. I'll use ham and cheddar cheese instead. I have some tomato soup base that I canned up last summer and plan to use that to go with the bread. And of course I like to add fresh veggies to most meals so a green salad or a veggie platter will also be on the menu.

Crockpot chicken & stuffing
This is a recipe I found on the internet. Looked simple, quick and easy. It does use boxed stuffing which I rarely use but every now and again it can make life run a bit more smooth. I'll serve green beans on the side. I'll share it if it turns out good.

BBQ chicken legs
I guess this warm weather streak has me thinking summer like foods. So baking a pan of chicken legs w/bbq sauce and serving baked beans and macaroni salad with it sounds like the perfect summer time meal. It will probably be raining the day I make this, but it will keep me hopeful that summer is just around the corner.

That should do it for this week!!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stay at Home Wife?

In today's society the thought of a woman without children or whose children are grown and gone, staying home to care for the home is almost unheard of.

I remember meeting a lady at a gathering that I had known several years ago. She asked me about my family and when she found out my youngest son was done with his homeschooling her first question was, “Are you working now?”, followed by, “What are you doing with your time?”. It was clearly a concept that was not familiar to her.

Being a stay at home wife is not a new concept. My grandmothers did not work outside the home, even after their children were raised. They continued to take care of their husbands and home.

I do admit to feeling a little lost when I realized that my job of raising and homeschooling children was done. I did reflect on my life and direction. Some women have aspirations to go to school or learn a trade and work outside the home when the children are gone. Some women need to for financial reasons. Some women may feel a societal pressure on them to go out and work. Personally I did not have those types of goals or needs. I remember talking to my husband about it and wondering if maybe I should think about a part time job. He said to me, I love the fact that you are home when I get home, that you adjust your schedule to mine, that we have our weekends together. Finally after all these years we have time to spend together. I love the fact that you keep the home clean, the meals you cook, I love knowing that our home is taken care. I would be very sad if that changed.

When you have children at home that you are raising it makes your purpose at home clearly defined. Purpose can get a bit hazy when you realize that you are done with this job. Now what is the purpose?

There is still purpose in being a homemaker even when the children are not the primary focus. Being your husbands helpmate and homemaking tasks are still needed. The key for me was to pray and ask the Lord for His wisdom and point me in a direction that still reflected my desire to love and serve and focus on valuable use of my time. As always the Lord is faithful and has done just that.

The Lord has shown me many ways to reach out and serve my family. It may be as simple as just more time spent with them, more phone calls, it has been meals, time caring for my grandchildren to give mama a break, etc. I've also been able to focus more on personal goals that I just did not have the time for when I was busy with children (such as getting fit, learning how to knit), and of course more time with my husband which has been a blessing to both of us.  Not to mention there are still gardens to tend, canning to be done, animal care, cooking & baking and all the small things that go into making a house a home.  I find my days very full and I am enjoying it more than I expected.

I realize that being a stay at home wife/homemaker is a small majority of women. It is not something everyone can do or desires to do. Because of this I rarely see encouragement directed towards women who choose this path. It is a worthy path to follow, it is not something new and strange :), it is an old path with its own blessings.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Menu Monday!

Happy Monday! It's menu day here on the blog. This week my week is looking pretty mellow and I hope to get not only my meals made but a batch of chicken stock and feta cheese started. And maybe a new batch of fermented veggies. With the upcoming rainy forecast for the week I'm thinking I'll be spending my time inside.

Now for the meals I have planned for the week..

Chicken tacos
Chicken breasts, salsa, cream cheese all tossed into a crockpot and cooked until the chicken shreds. Fill up taco shells or tortillas and all the trimmings. Yum!

Meatloaf is a favorite around here. I think I'll serve this with some potato salad and green beans. I think of this combo as delicious comfort food.

Fried cabbage and onions with sausage
Or I could use kielbasa or chicken with this. Depends on what I end up finding on sale when I shop for the week. Dinner rolls or biscuits and a salad will be go along with this meal.

Ham & Cheese Bread, tomato soup
This is a variation from my pepperoni bread recipe. I'll use ham and cheese instead. I have some tomato soup base that I canned up last summer and plan to use that to go with the bread. And of course I like to add fresh veggies to most meals so a green salad or a veggie platter will also be on the menu.