Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format. 


Good Morning! How is your week going? I'm kind of slow going this morning, still enjoying my first cup of coffee. 

Yesterday was a very long day. Hubby and I headed north to go and visit his mom and her husband. It was the first road trip I've taken since my surgery. It was a very nice trip. We got home late and I was exhausted, but it was worth the trip for the visit. It's about a 4 ½ hour drive each way to see them.

They are doing great on their little homestead. They still have their goats (that she milks daily) and chickens and my mother in law is busy getting her garden underway and planting her seed starts. I got an updated picture of them...

My weekend was also busy. My daughter Sierra and her fiance, Rex, came to visit over the weekend. It was very nice to see them and she and I have all kinds of wedding ideas floating across our minds. It's nice to have plenty of time to think and prepare.

Today I have several goals I want to accomplish. I have meal preps to do for our dinner and some leftovers that I want to get packed up and in the freezer for hubby's future work day meals.

My bird feeder is a mess right now. The seeds got wet and then started to sprout and I've not had time and energy to get it cleaned out. Plus I want to move the feeder. It's too close to the house and my kitchen window. Every time I walk by the window it scares them away.  And my cats sit on my back porch near the feeder and are a little too interested in the birds! :) It's not like I'm trying to bring the birds in for their hunting fun. So I'm going to move it to the front yard and away from people and cats. I also need to make a new batch of hummingbird food and clean their feeder. The birds should be happy once again by the end of the day.

Steps, Steps, Steps
With so much rain (way above the normal for us) it's made it hard to get out and walk. Today is actually supposed to be dry and who knows, maybe even sunny out.. that would be a nice change. If it stays dry I plan to get out and walk. I've done my Leslie Sansone walks and that is great but there is nothing like getting out and enjoying the outdoors to get my steps in.

Over the weekend I had some leftovers to work through. I had a small amount of black beans, rice and hamburger from a previous meal. Not enough to serve again and I had company here so I needed more then normal anyway. I put the beans and rice in a saucepan and added a little water then added some extra canned beans and spices and a can of chili and had a brand new meal.. a nice hot pot of chili for everyone. I served it with tortilla chips and a salad. I made mine into a taco salad..

It all gotten eaten up and my leftovers were put to good use.

View from my Deck
It's still quite overcast but I have hope it will burn off today and the sun will shine. It's been a while since we've seen the sun around here. 


Today's High: 59 Low: 39

Where oh where is spring? I know as I see news articles and comments made by friends that I'm not the only one who is having a hard time finding spring. 

What about you? Is it looking like spring yet in your area?

That is all for this week! Hope you are having a fantastic week!


Monday, April 16, 2018

Menu Monday!

Good Morning! Time for another week of menus.

Today is grocery shopping day and I plan to serve meatloaf. I have one left in the freezer all ready to pop in the oven. I'll have tater tots and green beans to go with this.

The rest of the week is looking like this:

Chili Dogs
I'm going to use the hot dogs and the buns that I have in my freezer along with a can of chili in my pantry. I'll serve chips and coleslaw on the side. 

Beef Broccoli Ramen
THIS RECIPE sounded easy and good. I have everything I need in freezer and pantry to put this together. It's basically a mean in itself but I'll add a salad on the side.

Pork Roast, Mac & Cheese
I have the pork roast in the freezer and will make a batch of mac &cheese in my Instant Pot. I plan on having roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

That should do it for this week!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Grocery Haul for Two and Hamburger Patties w/Onion Mushroom Gravy

This week it was time to head back to Costco as well as our usual Winco for our groceries. It had been 3 weeks since we'd been there.

Our first stop was Winco and this is what we got...

Our regular supply of fruits and veggies, a half gallon of milk and half-n-half for our coffee and yogurt. The Jimmy Dean sausage was on sale and I picked up one for the freezer. I also got 3 cans of spaghetti sauce for the pantry and a bag of bbq chips and hot dog buns. I have hot dogs in the freezer and no buns. So now both are in there waiting until we have a craving for some hot dogs! :)

The total for Winco this week was $32

Next stop was Costco...

I was out of cheese completely so I picked up 5#'s of grated cheddar and a pack of cheese slices. I've never tried this brand before as I'm typically a Tillamook cheese person but we decided to give it a try... 


Despite my plan to not buy any meat products until I thin out my freezer I had a real desire for some Aidells chicken sausages. I love these sausages and they come in some amazing varieties. This one is one I haven't tried yet but the combo caught my eye.. bacon, mushroom & swiss cheese.. what's not to love about that! Ha, ha..

After taking my Costco picture and starting to put things away I realized I'd forgot to include my coffee. These are the coffee pods I buy for my Keurig. I'm picky when it comes to how much I'm willing to spend on them. I've seen the K-cups for as much as $1 each and of course lower prices. Rarely do I see them under .40 cents each. But this brand, San Francisco Bay, is by far the best deal around. They sell a box of 100 pods for $29.99. Making the cost of each about .30 cents. And the best part is this coffee tastes so good! 


I also grind my own beans for use in my Keurig as well and will be doing a cost breakdown in a future post.

The total for the Costco trip was: $126

Grand Total for this week was: $158

I went through the grocery haul posts since I started in the middle of March to add up what our weekly average is coming to. 

Our average over the last 6 weeks has been $58 per week. 

One thing to remember is that I have not been buying a lot of meat because I have so much in my freezer and am trying to get that used up a bit before hunting down more deals. 


Now onto this weeks recipe... 

Hamburger Patties w/Mushroom & Onion Gravy

I wanted to share this recipe because it really was tasty. Both of us enjoyed it a lot. I had 6 hamburger patties in my freezer that I had preformed from some hamburger I purchased last year that was on sale. I had 6 – 4oz patties. This was perfect. It gave us 2 meals each. I served it with rice and a salad. The gravy would also be delicious on baked or mashed potatoes. 


1 ½ lbs hamburger
1 small to medium onion, sliced
4 medium size mushrooms, sliced
3T flour
1 ½ cups broth (your choice, chicken or beef) or water
1t garlic, either fresh and minced or powder or granulated
1t season salt
2t Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper to your own taste

Form hamburger into 6 (4oz, approx) patties. Heat a large frying to medium high heat and cook the burgers. Sprinkle salt and pepper on them to taste. When patties have finished cooking remove them to a platter and cover to keep warm.

If you have a lot of excess fat from your hamburger, drain, but leave a small amount in the frying pan (a tablespoon or two). Add the sliced onions and mushrooms and cook until they are soft.

When the veggies are soft sprinkle with flour and stir to coat the veggies. Stir this around for a few seconds to cook the flour a little. Add the broth (or water) and whisk to combine. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the gravy thickens up. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Place the burgers back into the gravy to stay warm and serve with potatoes or rice and veggies.

That's all for this week's Friday in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format.


Good Morning! I'm running late this morning. Yesterday was a long day and we didn't get home until late so this morning was a sleep in day.

We have some power lines that run through our property. The power company was here last week to let us know they were making some changes and rerouting a few lines. They also need to move the power pole that feeds our house. There was a tree in the way of their plans and they were going to trim the tree but my hubby asked if they could cut it down instead. It was a tree that we were planning to have cut down anyway but had not done it yet. They said yes they would and we were thrilled. It costs about $600 to have our tree guy cut down a tree so we were able to save that expense and it worked much better for the power company, a win-win deal. 


Since they've been here my hubby got the mess all cleaned up and now has to deal with the trunk of the tree. It's a great head start to next winters firewood!

My exciting news for this week is that my youngest daughter Sierra and her boyfriend Rex have officially announced their engagement! We are so happy about this. Rex is an amazing young man and we are blessed and thankful to make him part of our family. The wedding date is set for next year to give us time to plan.

Yesterday one of the things I had to do was go to an eye appointment. This is to deal with my vision issues. It's been a long time in coming. The doctor I saw was a specialist at the University hospital in the city. It took 3 months to get an appointment and unfortunately the original appointment was set for the end of January. Due to my surgery and medical complications following that the appointment had to be canceled and rescheduled. It was almost another 3 months before I could see him.

I have spent more then a year now dealing with double vision. It's been a long journey to figure out what was causing it. I've had countless blood tests to rule out many things such as thyroid, diabetes, auto immune issues and so forth. I had an MRI done last year to rule out tumors, I've been to a neurologist to rule out nerve issues. Finally in October of last year I saw the first specialist and was told it was a muscle issue called, “falling eye syndrome”. The muscles in my eyes are not working together and have caused my eyes to go out of alignment. Yesterday was the appointment with the specialist who has recommended surgery.

As to be expected I have a lot of anxiety about this due to my last surgery. I'm praying for the best direction. I'm going to move forward with planning the surgery for sometime this summer (depending on how full the doctors schedule is) to give me time to fully recover. If for some reason I don't feel a peace about this when the time comes I can cancel.

Today I have a couple loads of laundry to do and swish through the bathroom.

I also want to get upstairs and make the beds in two of guest rooms so they are ready for the next guests.

Dinner will be hamburger patties w/onion gravy and rice. So that should be a quick and simple dinner to put together.

If the rain stays away I'll get out and take a walk.

Steps, Steps, Steps
I walked the farthest yet this week (post surgery). On Monday I was able to walk about 2 miles which included a big hill (going down was easy, coming back up that hill was the challenge). It was also a busy day for me and I ended up about 200 steps shy of 9000 steps! :) I can tell it won't be long before I have my first 10,000 step day.

View from my Deck
We had a lovely day on Monday. It was around the mid 60's and the sun came out and there was no rain that day. So far the month of April has been very wet. As I listen to the weather reports and look at the forecasts it seems there will be rain every day for as far out as can be predicted. I just hope this followed by some nice dry May days.. only time will tell. 

This mornings view from my deck.... 


Today's High: 54  Low: 40  Cloudy with rain in the forecast

My duck enjoying the warm day on Monday. My hubby also was able to get out and do some mowing. 


Well that is all for this week's Wednesday Snap Shot! I hope you all are having a great week.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Menu Monday!

Good Morning! I'm working on a grocery list today and will shop tomorrow. My menu for the week is planned and today's cooking will be simple.

Dinner this evening will be “roasted” chicken in my Instant Pot. You can see the blog post I did on this HERE. I'll serve a potato casserole, green beans and a salad. My plan is to make enough for two nights and to have one or two extra meals for the freezer for my hubby to take to work.

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

Hamburger Patties w/Onion Gravy
Fancy way of cooking some burgers on the stove top and making onion gravy with the tidbits left from cooking the burgers. Rice pilaf, cooked beets and a salad will round out the meal.

Sausages & Pasta
I'm planning on picking up some Aidells Sausage from Costco. I love that brand and have not had any for some time. I'll make up a pasta dish (of some sort, have not decided exactly what yet), and make a nice salad for a yummy meal.

I think this will be enough for us this week. If I need another meal I'm going to make Green Chile Pork. You can find my recipe HERE. I'll serve it with corn muffins and salad.

That will do it for the week!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Grocery Haul for Two and Asian Chicken Potsicker Soup

This weeks grocery haul was another small one. I have meat in my freezer that I'm working through and I worked hard to avoid the meat aisles at the store in case I saw a deal I couldn't pass up.. Ha, ha! I want to use up some of what I already have to keep a good rotation going, and to free up space in my freezer.

This weeks haul was from WinCo. We did not need to go to Costco.

I needed to restock my salad veggies. I bought baby spinach, romaine hearts and cabbage. I like the nutritional value from those greens and the fact they make a pretty colored salad. I guess I like my salads looking pretty and appealing to eat. :) It's so easy to make veggies an afterthought with meal planning. And as I've looked at a few other blogs and YouTube's I find it interesting, sometimes, at how few fresh veggies people eat. I also picked up tomatoes, mushrooms and a green pepper for the salads. I still had a cucumber and beets left in the fridge.

The rest was a few basic items, half-n-half, fruit, tortilla chips (my hubby's favorite brand was on sale), salsa, cookies, a loaf of french bread to go with our spaghetti this week and they had Rotel tomatoes on sale so I picked up a couple for the pantry.

One thing I love about Winco is that they have a large bulk section with an amazing variety of foods. I use to purchase my Himalayan Pink Salt online from Amazon. Then WinCo started selling it in the bulk section. I was almost out of salt so I picked some up.... the cost is $2.26 a pound which is less then most of the brands I see on Amazon and much more convienient.

This weeks haul and my grocery total 
for the week came to: $30


Asian Chicken Potsticker Soup

This recipe is simply a variation of your basic chicken noodle soup. Instead of noodles I use frozen potstickers.  I buy mine from Costco.

You can make it with whatever cut of chicken you would like. I often buy a big package of chicken legs to have on hand. I use the legs to make the soup. The bone in chicken gives the broth a nice chicken flavor, it provides plenty of meat for the soup and is economical. When I don't have chicken legs in the freezer I'll also use chicken thighs or breast. Basically whatever you have or fits your budget. 

And to give it that Asian twist I add some Yoshidas Sauce to it at the end.


I make the soup in my Instant Pot. But this could easily be made on the stove top.

The basic ingredients (which you can also mess around with based on what you have on hand):

1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken (bone-in, boneless, legs, thighs, breast, whatever works for you)
6 cups water
1 medium onion, cut up
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
Garlic, this can be fresh and minced or powdered or granulated. Amount equivalent to 2 or 3 cloves or your desired tastes
Salt to taste
½ cup Yoshidas Sauce
1 dozen frozen potstickers

Instructions are given for the Instant Pot. You can do this on the stove top as well by adjusting the cooking times.

In the Instant Pot combine chicken, water, onion, carrots garlic and salt. If you are using legs you can cook them for about 30 minutes to get as much of the nutritional value and flavor in your broth as possible. If you are using thighs or breast then about 12 to 14 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure when you are done.

Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken and let cool. Debone the meat after it has cooled if you are using legs, or shred the meat if using thighs or breast meat. Set this aside.

In the broth add the Yoshidas sauce and the frozen potstickers. Put the lid back on the IP and set it for 5 minutes. When the time is up release the pressure (Quick Release, QR) and serve. You can taste to see if it needs more salt according to your own taste.

**you can also use frozen veggies instead of the carrots. If I do that I usually add them in when I add the potstickers in the broth.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot will have a little different look for awhile. When I'm back up and running again, I'll return to the previous format.

Good Morning! How's your week going? The last few days have been busier then usual. My two oldest sons came for a visit on Sunday and I really enjoyed that. My oldest son brought sushi with him. Oh wow did I ever enjoy that. It's been a while since I had sushi.

My best friend Sarah came and we had such an amazing time together. She lives about 3 or 4 hours away from me now and we don't get to see each other often. When I was in the hospital and my surgery went all wrong she did not think twice about dropping everything and getting to the hospital. She spent several days there while I was in ICU. She's been a part of my life for so many years that she is like a second mom to my kids. She was amazing at rallying my children, providing support, love and praying with them. It was an incredible blessing. 


I love to share pictures of my grandchildren! :) My daughter Emily who lives in Sacramento sent me this picture. It's her hubby and my little grandson who is getting to be not so little anymore! Such a sweet picture..

Since my youngest son left home we've done some rearranging around here. About 5 years ago my father in law moved in with us. We gave him our bedroom because it was closer to the bathroom and the only room on the main floor and he was not able to climb stairs. After he left to go and live with my brother in law and his wife, we gave our room to our youngest sons. It just worked better and we were fine where we were. Now that my youngest son has moved out on his own we decided it was time to move back into our room.

While my boys were here on Sunday they helped move the mattress and box springs. My hubby got the bed assembled and we are slowly moving things back to the room. So that is my goal today...

Go through things, sort, and continue moving things to our room

Also there are dinner preps to do. I have a few things that need to be used up in the fridge so I'll see how to incorporate them into our meal tonight.

Steps, Steps, Steps
I'm happy to say that I've reached a new post surgery milestone in my daily steps.. 8350 (approx) as of yesterday! Was able to get outside and walk to the end of our road and then a little further, so that was more progress. Today is rainy so I may end up doing a dvd workout with Leslie Sansone.

View from my Deck
Rain, rain, rain.. please go away! :) But sadly the forecast has a lot of rain in it. Spring in the PNW!! 

Today's High, 59 (and rainy) Low 49

Well that is all for this week's Wednesday Snap Shot! I hope you all are having a great week.