Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Happy New Year!!

Image
I love starting a new year.. It's a time to reflect on the old year and look forward to the next. It's a time for me to set goals for the year, for myself, my family.. hubby and I set goals as a couple.

What I do not do is make resolutions. Is there a difference between goals and resolutions? .. in my mind I felt like there was so I looked up the words to find their meanings..

Goal: the object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.


I see them as very different. When I set a goal.. it is something I can work towards every day. If I resolve to do something, and then I fail, it causes discouragement and I'm likely to give up on whatever it was.

An example: I made a goal last year to drink less coffee. My goal was one cup a day. Of course through the year there have been times that I had two cups or even three. Then I'd correct myself and go back to one cup a day. For health rea…

Menu Monday!

Image
Moving onto and into the New Year this week!! Won't be nearly has hectic as last week.. which is good! :) We had Christmas leftovers for a couple days and then a couple family members came down with a cold (and did not have much of an appetite) and so my menu for the end of the week did not happen. Those meals will now be part of the menu for this week. How's your menu shaping up this week? Any New Year celebrations going on? 


Monday
Clam chowder, dinner rolls, salad



Tuesday
Pizza casserole (new recipe to try), salad


Wednesday
Sliders, buffalo wings, stuffed mushrooms, chips & dip, veggies (Happy New Year fun!! )



Thursday
Marinated chicken, rice, cesar salad


Friday
Leftovers


Saturday
Chili, tortilla chips, salsa


Sunday
Pork chops, mac & cheese, salad


Our Christmas … and when do you put your tree away?

Image
We had a wonderful Christmas with the family. Not all of them could be here, but that seems to be the case more often than not nowadays. I have kids in other states and they were not able to make it home for the holidays.

But we did enjoy our time together. Lots of family time, good food, and grandbabies.

I made my granddaughters quilts for their gifts.. here is a pic of them.. I wanted them to be different, but basically the same. This way they would know which quilt was theirs! ~smile~ They are jelly roll race quilts with borders added so they would fit their twin size beds...



I'm a person that enjoy getting the Christmas tree up as soon as Thanksgiving is over. I like to decorate and enjoy the holiday time. But when it's over, I'm done. My husband had to work Christmas night (he works nights and was home for the day but then had to head to work in the evening). As soon as he left my daughter and I started taking down all the decorations and putting them away…

Merry Christmas From My Family to Yours!

Image
I pray you all have a blessed Christmas!

Menu Monday!

Image
Christmas is coming this week!! Lots of planning and prep work, packages to wrap, more cookies to make and a Christmas menu to plan and purchase for... all before Wednesday! Whew! … but I'm looking forward to the time together with my family. Hope your Christmas plans are coming together nicely. In the meantime, dinner still needs to be planned each night this week! How are you hanging in there? Menu planned? Christmas dinner planned? Do you have a traditional Christmas dinner? On Christmas Eve or Christmas day?



Monday
Yummy pinto bean soup, rolls, salad


Tuesday
Crockpot chicken philly sandwiches, chips, veggie platter


Wednesday
Christmas Eve Dinner with my family (still working on that menu)


Thursday
Leftovers – Christmas Day is eating the leftovers from Christmas Eve


Friday
Marinated chicken, rice, cesar salad


Saturday
Pizza casserole (new recipe to try), salad


Sunday
Clam chowder, dinner rolls, salad


Homestead Holidays!! Strawberry Cranberry Jam

Image
***I posted this last year.. made this and gave it away as gifts.. it was so good!! And so easy..  frozen store bought strawberries and fresh cranberries..  very easy to make!!














If you’re looking for an easy, fun project that could also be a nice gift this may the answer!! I made a batch of this and it is soooo good!! As a gift it would be perfect coupled with a loaf of homemade bread or rolls, or even just given on its own. What is nice about this recipe is that you can use frozen strawberries and fresh or frozen cranberries. I bought several bags of cranberries in November and put them in the freezer. When I made this jam I used both frozen strawberries & cranberries.
This recipe makes a lot!! So you will have plenty to give as gifts and for your family to enjoy.

Here is the recipe:

Strawberry Cranberry Jam
Makes approx. 13 half pint jars

3#’s frozen strawberries
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1T lemon juice
2 boxes pectin
1t butter
8 cups sugar

Put strawberries, cranber…

Menu Monday!

Image
Another week flies by and it's time to plan the menu again.  A planned menu just makes life so much better. :)  Grocery shopping is on my to do list today as well as a few other household chores.  Hope you all have a great Monday!! 



Monday
Lasagna, french bread, roasted broccoli & kale


Tuesday
Crockpot hamburger/tater tot casserole, salad


Wednesday
Mexican chicken casserole, refried beans, brown rice, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Bulgogi (Korean dish, made by Leanne), brown rice, kimchi


Saturday
Chicken noodle soup, dinner rolls, salad


Sunday
Tuna patties, roasted potatoes, green beans


Christmas Baking: Sugar Cookies...

Image
What would Christmas be without sugar cookies... every year we make them.. it is just a tradition. This year my daughter Leanne made the cookies.. even got my son Isaac to join in on the fun...



I used a new recipe... one I found here (and it was very good!): http://www.theyummylife.com/Sour_Cream_Sugar_Cookies


What are your favorite Christmas cookies.. what are your “must haves” each year?



Homemade Gift Idea: Dish Towel Apron

Image
I posted this idea a few years ago..  but it is so easy and so quick to make..  and is darn cute!!  Just thought I'd share it again!!  


Christmas is fast approaching! If you’re in need of a quick gift idea this dish towel apron may be just the project. It requires basic sewing skills and goes together very quickly. Using dish towels means no raw edges to think about!! :)

You will need 2 cotton dish towels that coordinate and some ½ or 1 inch twill tape.

I purchased my dish towels at Target. I got 5 in a package and the cost was $10. You will use 2 for the apron. I figured $4 an apron was pretty good (plus the cost of the twill tape, I had some on hand already). For my pack of 5 dish towels I got 2 aprons and an extra towel for my kitchen, or it could be put in a gift basket along with the apron.



You can find detailed instructions for the apron on this site: http://thepickledweasel.blogspot.com/2009/11/christmas-making-tea-towel-apron.html

Lay out your towels…

Sew them to…

Menu Monday!

Image
One week into December and my daughters and I are gathering together our cookie recipes. Hopefully we'll be baking up some goodies this week. Plus there is always so much to do this time of year. Menu planning is a must! How's your menu planning going?


Monday
Korean soup (my daughter did not get this made last week so it will be made tonight), egg rolls and salad


Tuesday
Pork chops, mashed potatoes, salad


Wednesday
Lasagna, french bread, mixed veggies


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Enchilada bake, refried beans, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Homemade pizza


Sunday
Chicken veggie soup, dinner rolls, salad


Out the Kitchen Window...

Image
In the past I lived in 3 apartments and a house with no kitchen window. I was so happy when we moved into our little homestead to see that I had a kitchen window above the sink.. I spend a lot of time at the kitchen sink.


Over the many years I've lived here I've seen a lot out my kitchen window. I've watched kids playing and growing, goats and horses up at the house eating the grass.. I've enjoyed the morning sunrise coming through my window. I've seen my whole view covered in white snow in the winter, I've watched my hubby and boys mowing the grass and working on the property, I've watched the UPS man coming up my driveway to deliver my packages, I've seen visitors driving up to see us..

So much of life happens right outside the kitchen window. Today, I was at the sink, once again, washing a few dishes.. I looked up and this is what I saw...



Life right outside the kitchen window.. priceless...

Family Traditions

Image
Family traditions... how do they start? I once said.. if you do something once with your kids.. it will be a tradition and every year after that they will say.. Remember mom.. when??... Traditions are like glue.. they hold families together. Christmas is a great time to reflect on family traditions.

We had for many years a Christmas tree decorating tradition. I would make cheap store bought frozen pizza, have cocoa, eggnog, candy canes, Christmas cookies. Then we would decorate the tree. This tradition had its start very simply.

One year, we had 5 or was it 6 little ones?? We went out and bought a tree and brought it home. The kids were so excited. But the reality was that dad needed to get the tree in the stand and string the lights on before the kids could put the decorations on. But they all just stood there when the tree was brought in looking at dad and waiting for all the fun to begin. He felt a little stressed by it all. 
I jumped in and told the kids.. lets have som…

Menu Monday!

Image
Happy December everyone!!  So much to do this month...  It's good to have a menu planned.. one less thing to think about each day.. How is your menu planning this week?
Monday
Kalua Pork, macaroni salad, steamed veggies


Tuesday
Split pea soup w/bacon, cheese bread, salad


Wednesday
BBQ chicken, roasted potatoes, coleslaw


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Rice cake soup (Korean soup, made by Leanne), egg rolls, salad


Saturday
Tomato soup, sandwiches, veggie platter


Sunday
Thai chicken over rice (made by Leanne), salad



Homemade Christmas Gift Idea: Chalkboard Table for Kids

Image
With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us, we are moving on to Christmas in our home. Today the tree goes up and the Christmas decorations come out and a little Christmas music will be playing to get everyone in the holiday mood.

Every year I like to make a few gift for my family. I don't make them all, that would completely overwhelming to me!! ~smile~ But I do pick out a few gifts each year to make.


I made this gift last year for my granddaughters. It was super easy. Chalkboard paint is easy to use! It was the first time I'd tried it and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was and how quick the little homemade gift went together.

I found the idea from this website: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/08/cheap-and-easy-diy-chalkboard-table.html

I am fortunate enough to have an IKEA not far from me. As far as I know the items listed for this table (and chairs) could be mail ordered as well. However, any little table would work. It could be an end table (as thi…

Updates from the Homestead

Image
It's been a busy month. So much happening... our family Thanksgiving and birthdays for my kids...

My oldest son, Richard, turned 32 on the 16th of this month. I can hardly believe this! I was 18 when I had him. The moment the doctor laid him in my arms my whole entire life changed.. in an instant. He's grown to be a wonderful man. I love him... the picture here is one of him when he was in the Army. He spent 5 years in the Army. Two deployments... one to Cuba for a year and one to Iraq for 15 months. I'm very proud of him. He is currently finishing up his degree in Computer Software Engineering..



My daughter Sierra also celebrated her 19th birthday on the 23rd. She is such a sweet young lady. I love her so much and am so proud of her. This is a pic of her and her best friend (they've been friends since they were born as her friends mother and I have been best friend for 20 years) .. Sierra is on the left.. ...


My daughter, Emily, and her husband are moving…

How to Roast a Turkey

Image
In case this is your first Thanksgiving turkey...  :)





I am sure a lot of you reading this already know how to cook a turkey.  But I also know that many ladies have never done it before.  I was in my late 20’s before I cooked my first turkey.  My grandma or mom or mother in law had always done that part.  When I went to cook my first turkey I was reading lots of cookbooks and talking with my mother to learn.  It is not like we have the opportunity to practice turkey roasting too often! 
I thought I would just share from my own turkey roasting experience how I have done it.  There are lots of ways to do this and tips, etc..  and I am sure I won’t cover them all but will share what has worked for me. 
First is the actual buying of the turkey.  I typically have purchased frozen turkeys.  The week before Thanksgiving you can find turkeys at the best price of the year.  In fact I usually take advantage of these great prices and buy another turkey or two for the freezer. A mini Tha…

Menu Monday!

Image
The weekend was so busy with lots of family here and celebrating our Thanksgiving dinner that my weekly menu was not even on my mind. But I managed to get one put together so I can do some grocery shopping... the week does march on!


Monday
Leftover Thanksgiving dinner


Tuesday
Turkey soup, dinner rolls, salad


Wednesday
Crockpot pork chops, brown rice, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Enchilada bake, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Saturday
Split pea soup w/sausage, biscuits, salad


Sunday
Cream cheese chicken casserole, rice, salad



Thanksgiving Planner!

Image
Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year at your home?  If you are, this list might help you to be a bit more organized.   

I'll be hosting my family's Thanksgiving meal on Sunday the 23rd.  We'll have about 16 people here including grandchildren.   Being prepared with good planning is a must!!  



3 weeks ahead of time  Figure out how many people will you be serving and how big of a turkey you will need.  To calculate this, you need to figure about 1 ½ lbs of turkey per person.  So if you are feeding 8 people you would need a turkey that was about 12 pounds.  I usually buy them bigger so I will have leftovers.  Write out guest list Plan out menu Gather recipes Write out grocery list 2 weeks ahead Buy turkey (if buying frozen ones) Make dinner rolls and freeze.  I like to freeze them before baking.  I shape them into rolls; lay them out on a tray and flash freeze them.  On Thanksgiving Day I bring them out in the morning to defrost and rise.  If your guests are con…

Menu Monday!

Image
This week will be busy! I have shopping and prep to think about for my family's Thanksgiving dinner and a couple of sewing projects that I need to make progress on if they are going to be finished by Christmas! A planned out menu is a life saver on busy days. How is your menu looking this week?


Monday
Hot roast beef sandwiches, salad


Tuesday
Homemade pizza, coleslaw


Wednesday
Mexican chicken casserole, tortilla chips & salsa, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Teriyaki pork chops, brown rice, green beans


Saturday
Chili, cornbread, salad


Sunday
Our Family Thanksgiving Dinner


Hot Process Soap Making – New Video!

Image
Making soap is fun and rewarding. It can be scary to start out but once you do it you realize how simple it is. And you realize how useful it is! I know my family and I could never go back to store bought soap.

In this video I'm showing you how to make hot process soap in a crockpot. There are 2 ways to make soap. One is called Cold Process and the other Hot Process. Here is the difference...

CP - This stands for Cold Processing. This is a soap making method. This is the method I use for making soap to sell. It involves combining your liquid/lye mixture with your oils and stirring until you reach trace (as defined below). Then pouring the mixture into molds. In a day or two you unmold, cut the bars and let the soap cure anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks depending on the recipe.

HP – This stands for Hot Processing. You follow the same procedures as CP but instead of pouring into your mold you keep cooking the soap. The soap is heated and cooked all the way through to the end. Af…

Striving for a Heart of Gratefulness

Image
This is a repost from last year..  but my feelings are still the same!!  Be grateful, be thankful for all of God's blessings..  the big ones and the little tiny ones..  God's love is everywhere when we take the time to look and see them.. 


Thanksgiving always means to me a time to stop and give thanks. I’ve seen many lists on the things people are thankful for in their life. I have my own list as well. But I have really been contemplating something beyond this. I’ve been contemplating and thinking about a heart of gratefulness.

How is this different you might ask? Well I’ll share my thoughts. In my mind a true heart of gratefulness goes beyond my list of what I’m thankful for. It is a deeper meaning that I am going to strive for in my life. I looked it like this.. if you were walking through a desert of heat you would be so thankful, deeply grateful for every drop of water you had. If you stood next to a huge lake, water would be taken for granted. How many things in …