Wednesday, March 29, 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).. 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
What a great week I had! Hubby and I drove down to California to visit my daughter Emily and hubby and my precious little grandboy! He has grown so much since November.

It is a 12/13 hour drive for us so on the way there we decided to go at a little slower pace. We spent the night after driving about halfway. The next morning I had the joy of stopping to see a friend of mine and her husband. We had coffee and a wonderful visit for a couple hours. We hopped back on the road and made it to my daughters by dinner time.

First thing I did when I got there was to pick up my grandbaby.. Emily captured this great pic..

Here was another one I took of him...

With our weather being so wet and rainy we were really hoping for a little sunshine and dry weather in CA. But our first day there was rainy. However the second day the sun came out and it was much more pleasant. That was such a treat as it was my birthday and I could not have asked for a better gift then time with my kids, my grandbaby, and some sunshine. My son in law snapped this pic of hubby and me as we were walking all around downtown Sacramento.

Sacramento is a very nice city. As many of you may know, I love my coffee (as in coffee, not sweetened coffee drinks)! There is a great coffee shop that is a MUST stop each time we are there. Old Soul Coffee Company is the name. They make the best coffee ever. So of course we stopped in there on our walk around town...

We headed home on Sunday and drove straight through. It felt good to be home but I sure missed my little guy. He is such a sweetheart.

Monday and Tuesday were all about getting life back together, unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping and all the rest.

On My To-Do List
Today I am giving my bedroom some attention. It needs vacuuming and dusting and some clutter control. :)

Other then that I'll be making pulled pork for dinner and maybe another meal so I don't have to cook for a few days.

Projects I'm Working On
My poor neglected baby blanket. It sits there waiting for me to get back at it. That is plan to try and make some major progress on it over the next few days.

Today's Weather
Rain all day.. sigh.. I'm ready for some dry days!

High 53, Low 42

The View from my Deck (or window)
It is hard to capture rain in a photo, but trust me it is pouring down right now and very grey out. 

This pic is from my window. I really did not want to walk outside in the pouring rain. :)

What I'm Reading
I started reading the Innocence of Father Brown. It is an older book about a Catholic priest who has a knack for solving crimes. I'm enjoying it, however the book is not one story written out over the span of the book, but rather each chapter is another mystery that Father Brown solves. Not sure that is quite my style so I'll have to think a bit about whether or not I'll read another one.

I plan to catch up on my Bible reading as well over the next few days. I'm in 2nd Chronicles and should be able to finish it by the end of the weekend.

What I'm Listening To
I'm listening to the rain fall, and my hubby chatting with me as I write.

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I've shared this one before, but it is what I did frugal this week. :) While on the road we took our own food with us. Mostly snackie type stuff, but healthy as in fruit and nuts and such. Much better option health wise and money wise then fast food on the road.

Fitness and Health for the Week
Prior to leaving on our little trip I was able to get out and walk a few times and get over my 10,000 steps. Just had to take advantage of the breaks in the rain to do it! While in Sacramento we did a lot of walking so I had days when I did get my steps in. This coming week I see some dry days which I'm very thankful for. My daughter Hannah and I are hoping to get out with the kids and enjoy some of these nice days. Both of us are missing our walk times together. It is so much more fun to walk with her and my grandbabies then to walk by myself! :)


Monday, March 27, 2017

Menu Monday!

We are home from our vacation and it was wonderful. I need to shop and get life back together. I'll share more about our trip on Wednesday. 

My menu is just a few basic meals that are simple.

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Pre-made meatballs from Costco, spaghetti sauce in a jar, made in my Instant Pot. French bread and a salad round out the meal.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
I'll make this in my IP, it can also be made in a crockpot. I'll serve this with coleslaw and chips and maybe some type of soup.

Veggie Enchiladas & Baked Chicken
This was a hit the last time I made it and wanted to make it again. You can find my recipe for the enchiladas HERE. I'll serve this with tortilla chips & salsa and a salad.

This may be something as simple as french bread pizza or I may make it. We'll see what I'm up for. Or who knows, it may be a Costco all ready made pizza on the day I shop! LOL.. but I'm in the mood for pizza for sure. A big fresh green salad with lots of goodies on it will be served on the side.

That should do it for the week!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday in the Kitchen

Friday in the Kitchen is about sharing some of the food I've been cooking in my kitchen recently.

Even though I'm taking a break I still have a few things I prepared ahead of time to share with you. :)

White Bean Chicken Chili
recipe was so good! I'm still on my veggie quest. Trying to find ways to add them to our diet. I'm looking for recipes that use them in a different way then just cooking and serving as a side dish. That is good too, but I want to get a bit more of all the amazing veggies there are out there in our diet. So making this White Bean Chicken Chili was a great way to use butternut squash. My family loved this soup (and me too! :). It went great with tortillas and salsa. I served a big green salad on the side.

I cooked my butternut squash in my Instant Pot. I used the same method I used to cook acorn squash. You can see my video on how I do this HERE. The only difference was time.

I cut my squash in half so it would fit in the pot. I added a cup of water and cooked it on manual for 10 minutes. Then removed it and cleaned out the seeds. I found my ice cream scoop a good way to do this job..

Then I put it back in and cooked it another 10 minutes. I then peeled it, and cut it into chunks to add to the chili.

I also cooked the chicken in the IP to speed things up. When all was cooked and cut up I put the rest of the ingredients in the IP, heated it up, tasted and added a little more salt and served it up...

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
I had this on my menu recently and wanted to share that this recipe is so easy and so very good! I highly recommend it. It was originally a crockpot recipe and this lady converted it into and IP recipe. If you don't have an IP, you can make it in a crockpot.

When it was done cooking I took a lot of the juices and pineapple and pureed them, added some flour and then added that back to the rest of the juices for a thicker sauce. This will be on our menu again! It's a great recipe because it only uses a few ingredients that are easy to have on hand.

I served it with rice and garlic roasted brussel sprouts. It was a yummy meal...

That is all for this week!

Wednesday, March 22, 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).. 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!! :)

I'm taking a break this week and hubby and I are off on an adventure (otherwise known as a little vacation)   :) 
Wednesday Snap Shot will be back next week. And... Friday in the Kitchen will be posted as well.. I have it done ahead of time.  
I'll be back soon!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Menu Monday!

This week it is possible that my hubby and I will be out of town for a few days. Still working on details. But, I'm planning only a few meals in case. If we don't go then I'll have something in the pantry to round out the week.

White Bean Chicken Chili
I actually made this recipe yesterday and made a large batch so we could eat it tonight as well. I had purchased a butternut squash and wanted a different way to use it besides the typical bake and serve with butter, salt and pepper. I came across THIS recipe. I've used cooked squash many times in soups so I decided to try it out. It is very good! This will be our dinner once again tonight. Tortilla chips, salsa and a salad will be on the side.

It's an easy but filling meal. French bread, roasted fresh asparagus, and a salad will be served with it.

Tacos, or maybe burritos, or maybe both, not sure yet. Burritos are easier for my kids to take to work with them the next day. They will be served with all the usual trimmings.

I'm thinking this should do it for the week. If not, I have the makings for various other meals in my pantry.

Happy menu planning!!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday in the Kitchen

Friday in the Kitchen is about sharing some of the food I've been cooking in my kitchen recently.

Cream of Asparagus Soup
I made this soup recently and it was delicious! I've been looking at ways to add more veggies into our diet, in creative ways, and this one was a hit. This was served with tuna melts made on english muffins. It was a very nice meal. 

You can find the recipe HERE. I followed it pretty much as written. However I did not have chicken stock and so I used water and added a little extra salt.

Veggies in the Diet
Here was something else I did recently. I was not sure what I was going to do with my veggies, but, I cut up an onion, some mushrooms, mini peppers, and celery. I sautéed them up in a little coconut oil until they were soft. I used them over the next couple of days. 

One way I used them was on a sandwich. I had fried up some bacon one morning and made a little extra. For lunch I took a sub sandwich roll and toasted it, laid a couple strips of bacon on it, warmed up some of the veggies and put those on top of the bacon and sprinkled cheese on top and put it under the broiler to melt. It was an amazing sandwich!  (the picture does not look as good as it tasted.. ha, ha! :)

The next day for my lunch I cut up some kale and sautéed that until it was just about soft and then added some of the veggie mix. Heated it up and put it over rice. 

Instant Pot Cheat Sheet
When you start cooking with an Instant Pot there is a learning curve. There are new methods and times to cook even just basic things like hard boiled eggs or beans. I know I can get tired of constantly looking the times up on line. Well, I have a great link to share with you. It is an Instant Pot Cheat Sheet. Gives you some basic times for commonly made items.

I've shared with you about my dear friend, Laurie, in the past. She has a great blog, Successful Homemakers, and she is the one who has made these nifty little sheets. If you head on over to her blog you print them out:

That is all from my kitchen for this week!!

Wednesday, March 15, 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).. 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
What a busy week it has been. My daughter and her fiance spent 5 days with us. It was wonderful. We got to meet him and get to know him. Local family came and visited. They went and visited family as well. It was a lot fun. 

They left and my quiet house returned and life has gone back to its normal routines. And I do like that. I love my kids and time spent with them, but more and more I'm enjoying a quieter household. When the quiet returns, it is also a blessing to me.

On Sunday we celebrated my youngest child's birthday.. Isaac turned 19. It is always a sobering day for me. I have shared in past blog posts about his birth. I almost died in his birth. He was oxygen deprived for 5 minutes. He has had no effects from this, praise God. I spent many hours in life saving surgery due to a ruptured uterus, and barely made it. There is really not a day that goes by in my life that I am not grateful to the Lord for my life. I am here, today, to see my son grow, to be with my family, to experience the joy of grandchildren, to be my husbands wife. God is good... all the time.

I've spent a couple days with hubby who had things in town to do and wanted me to come with him for company and we did grocery shopping and more. I love being in a place in life where I can drop everything thing and spend time with my husband.

On My To-Do List
Today is an “at home” day. I have laundry to catch up on, I have cooking to do, I have house cleaning to do. The whole works.. :)

Projects I'm Working On
Many little projects. Now I just need some time to get them done.

Today's Weather
Right now it's very foggy out, and we have a break in the rain. But more rain is in the forecast today and all the way through to Saturday night. Is it any wonder I crave heat and sunshine! :)

High 55, Low 41

The View from my Deck (or window)
As I said, very foggy this morning! 

What I'm Reading
I finished 1st Chronicles and am now reading 2nd Chronicles.

I'm over half way done with Robinson Crusoe and I really am enjoying the book! So many interesting things to read about. Being a homesteader type I've loved how he has provided for himself on this somewhat desolate island.

What I'm Listening To
It's a quiet morning here. Hubby is sleeping in and I got the fire going this morning. I hear it crackling away and I hear my two living room clocks ticking.

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Aww... there are weeks were it is hard to be frugal. You have family visiting and you need to feed them, care for them, provide for them.. and it is a joy, but not frugal. These are the times I am thankful that there are so many things in our life that we do as a regular part of life that are frugal. The things I've shared.. heating our hot water with our wood stove, recycling, packing my husbands lunch, making my own cleaning products or using frugal options, etc.. Life is like this and frugality is a mindset for all of life.

Fitness and Health for the Week
Oh my .. the rain.. it just keeps coming. I looked at the totals for the rain year (starts the beginning of Oct).. almost 38 inches and this in the city. We typically have twice as much rain as the city does.. which means we are probably getting close to 80 inches. I'm pretty over it all.. and it is making it hard to find a time to walk when it is constantly pouring down rain. I can handle some rain.. but constant pouring rain, is making it difficult. Praying that this calms down and we can experience some nicer spring days and I can get out and walk more.

That is all for my week, hope you all are having a great week.