Showing posts from July, 2012

This Week’s Menu

This week I am relying a lot on my crockpot.  I also have a few of my cabbage plants ready to pick so I incorporated cabbage into the weeks menu as well. 
I have a couple new recipes to try out and will post them later on in the week..  providing they are a hit with the family..  :)
Monday Chicken salad, deviled eggs, strawberries & grapes,  (Sierra’s making dinner and this is her menu plan)
Tuesday Crockpot beef pot roast & cabbage, baked sweet potatoes, salad
Wednesday Crockpot Mexican chicken over brown rice, chips & salsa, salad
Thursday Leftovers
Friday Sautéed cabbage, onions, peppers & hamburger, mac & cheese, watermelon
Saturday Lasagna, french bread, salad
Sunday Crockpot pineapple pork roast, brown rice pilaf, black beans, coleslaw
Breakfast meals will be mostly smoothies, muffins, eggs, and fruit.  Lunches will be leftovers with sandwiches as a backup if we run out of leftovers. 

Green Chile Pork

I made this meal a few days ago. It is good .. but be warned it IS spicy.

Here is the recipe:

Green Chile Pork

3 to 4T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3+ pounds pork cut into bite size pieces
1T lime juice
1T chili powder
2t minced garlic
2t cumin
2 4 oz cans green chilies
16 oz Salsa Verde )
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large frying pan or dutch oven and add olive oil. When the oil is hot add onions. Cook onion for a few minutes to soften slightly. Add pork and cook until pork has browned nicely. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes. If you are not using a dutch oven the transfer to an oven proof pan, cover with foil or a lid and put in 325 oven. If you are using a dutch oven put lid on and simply put the pork into the 325 oven. Let this cook for 2 to 3 hours or until the pork is tender.

Here it is in pics…

Chop up the pork ( I used 3lbs of boneless pork loin roast) and onion. ..

Heat oil in a dutch oven (or frying pan) and…

Avocado Tomato and Mango Salsa

I made this today to go with our dinner which was Green Chile Pork (another post to come). This salsa is amazing! It tastes so fresh and good. I plan to make it again and again. I ran out of my canned salsa from last summer’s garden and thought it was time to experiment with a few fresh salsa recipes and this one tastes so summery .. :) Perfect this time of year.

Here is the recipe…

Avocado Tomato and Mango Salsa

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix up well and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Gather together ingredients (I made a double batch of the above recipe) …

Chop and put all ingredients and put in a bowl ..

Stir it up….

Refrigerate for 30 minutes (at least) to blend flavors. Serve with tacos, …

Canning Navy Bean & Ham Soup

Over the weekend I canned up some navy bean & ham soup. My canning shelves are looking pretty bleak now as most all of last summer’s canning has been consumed and I have a few jars of chicken noodle – less soup left. I love the convenience and economy of good food ready to go on the shelf. Here was my recipe…

Navy Bean & Ham Soup for Canning

8 cups dried navy beans (aka small white beans)
1 ½ gallons water
2 T salt
2lbs ham meat cut in bite size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup molasses
1/3 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1t pepper
extra water, as needed
salt to taste

Begin by cooking the beans. Put the 8 cups of dried beans in a large stock pot (I used a 14 quart pot) and add water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 2 hours.

When beans are done cooking add the ham, diced tomatoes, molasses, Sucanat or brown sugar, and pepper. At this point you may need to add more water to make sure you have plenty of soup …

This Week’s Menu

Monday Chicken curry over rice, salad, watermelon (Sierra’s making dinner and this was her choice)
Tuesday Tacos w/all the trimmings, watermelon
Wednesday Green chile pork w/ avocado mango salsa, sweet corn muffins, salad, grapes & strawberries
Thursday Baked chicken legs, fried brown rice, salad, grapes & strawberries
Friday Leftovers
Saturday Crockpot meatballs, Laurie’s Mac & Cheese, salad, cantaloupe
Sunday Salmon patties, baked potatoes, salad, watermelon

Kids, Chores and a New Book I’m Reading

I’ve always had my children do chores. My mom was the type of mother who found she could do things faster, better, easier and consequently she did just that. I did not do my first load of laundry until I was 16 years old and then felt I was somehow being punished when she decided it might be a good idea for me to know how to do this. I did not know my way around the kitchen much at all, had no clue how to organize a closet, dresser, shelves, let alone an entire house. I was a bit of slob but really did not know it. If I left my clothes lying around my room by the time I got home from school they were gone. Having been washed, dried, folded and put away. I never thought a thing about the fact that my dresser drawers always had clothes ready for me and were neatly organized. My mother was an amazing housekeeper and homemaker. She just did not pass this on to me.

When I got out in the real world with my own home I was woefully unprepared. I remember how I struggled to clean…

Almond Butter Brownies

I tried a new brownie recipe yesterday and it was soooo good!! It was also very different! I basically followed this recipe:  only made some changes.  Here is what I did..

16 oz almond butter (I had a large jar of almond butter and weighed out 16 ounces), my favorite brand is Maranatha
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups honey
1T vanilla
½ cup cocoa powder
½ t salt
1t baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Almond butter separates as it sits on the shelf. I started by first stirring it up real well. ..

Measure out 16oz of almond butter (you can buy almond butter in 16oz jars if you don’t have a scale) and pour it into a mixer (I used my Bosch with the cookie paddles, a Kitchen Aid will do the job as well). Mix it for a bit to make sure it is smooth. Add eggs and mix well. Add honey and vanilla and mix again. Add the cocoa powder, salt and soda. Mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Pour batter into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 325 for 35 to 40 minutes.


Watermelon Lemonade

I made this over the weekend for my family and it was so yummy! And so easy to make.

You will need some watermelon, lemon juice (from the bottle), honey and water.

I started by cutting up 4 generous cups of watermelon chunks..

I put this in my blender and pureed it until very smooth…

Next I made 2 quarts of lemonade. I measured into a one gallon container a ½ cup of honey….

I put in a little boiling water so the honey would dissolve and stirred this up. I then added 1 cup of lemon juice..

Next, I added water until it reached the 2 quart mark on my pitcher..

Finally I added the pureed watermelon and mixed it up well. I divided the mixture between 2 2-quart jars (because this fits better into my fridge)…

Pour over a glass full of ice and enjoy a nice refreshing glass of watermelon lemonade!!

Note: the lemonade can separate as it sits in the fridge..  just shake it up a bit before serving.

This Week’s Menu

Monday Leftovers Tuesday Sausage links (I use organic chicken sausage from Costco) sautéed with onion & pepper slices, brown rice pilaf, salad, brownies for dessert (I don’t make dessert often but occasionally plan one for a treat) Wednesday Crockpot beef stew, garlic cheese biscuits, salad, strawberries Thursday Buffalo chicken salad (found this recipe and it sounded so yummy..  so I’ll give it a try!), deviled eggs, watermelon & cantaloupe Friday Yummy pinto beans, tortilla chips & salsa, salad Saturday Lemon garlic pork chops (a new recipe idea..  I’ll share if it turns out good :), potato salad, watermelon Sunday Ham & cheese wraps, potato salad, watermelon

Berry Smoothie

Summer is smoothie time!! Well, honestly I love smoothies all the time.. but they do seem more fitting on hot summer days. I have lately been making a delish berry smoothie. I enjoy them for breakfast the most. My kids enjoy them for lunch along with brown rice cakes spread with peanut butter.

Here is my recipe…

I start with 1/3 cup coconut milk. This is coconut milk from the can…

I open the can and use a fork to gently mix it all together as coconut milk separates. I add the 1/3 cup coconut to the blender…

And then add milk to make 1 cup..

Then I add 1 cup frozen berries. I am using frozen berries from Costco…

But any type will work (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries ). Add to blender…

Then add a big handful of spinach leaves, trust me you won’t taste them and neither will your children  but everyone will enjoy the nutritional benefits! ….

Finally add a little honey, (a tablespoon or so).. this is optional… (sorry for the blurry picture)

Blend until smooth…

Homestead Garden Update

This evening I spent an hour or so in the garden. I watered and weeded and took a few pics. My garden is growing nicely thanks to the warm days we have had. Several days ago my youngest son and I hooked up the watering system. I shared about how I water my garden in a past blog post here: .

Here are a few pics I took this evening of the garden…

This one shows the pumpkins way in the back then the tomatoes, yellow wax beans and green beans…

Here’s a better shot of the pumpkins and winter squash…

The corn…

My cabbages are doing fantastic!! I am super excited about this…

Zinnias and sunflowers that I planted back in May when I planted the cabbages..

Zucchini .. I planted a lot of zucchini and yellow squash and very few of them came up.. which is a little disappointing.. I love my zucchini!!

Up close shot of my tomatoes.. they are really growing great…

Garden from the back view (or at least most of the garden)….