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Showing posts from September, 2014

Creamy Potato Soup – or.... Kalua Pork, Part 2!

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On Sunday I shared the Kalua Pork recipe.. a super yummy meal!! It was a 5# pork shoulder roast. After we ate I had roast leftover. So I decided to make soup. With fall time beginning to make its appearance I'm in the mood for soups!!


This was super good! And pretty easy to make.

Here is the recipe...

Creamy Potato Soup w/leftover Kalua Pork
2#'s potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite size pieces... or if you want to cheat like I did you can use a 2# bag of frozen hash browns (“southern style” .. the little cubes, not the grated type)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cube/stick butter
½ cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups milk
3 to 4 cups shredded cheese
4 to 5 cups cut up leftover Kalua Pork
1 can corn, drained


In a large stock pot add potatoes and cut up onion. Add water, just enough to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, in another stock pot heat butter until melte…

Menu Monday!!

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Monday
Hot dogs, baked beans, macaroni salad, fruit


Tuesday
Homemade pizza, salad


Wednesday
Chicken pot pie, salad


Thursday
Leftovers


Friday
Korean beef pot roast, brown rice, salad


Saturday
Creamy broccoli & meatball soup, salad, french bread



Sunday
Leftovers


Crockpot Kalua Pork

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So good!!! That is what I can say about this recipe. I've seen it circulating on the internet for quite some time.. I always had my doubts about how something with 4 ingredients could get such rave reviews on every site I visited.. but.. I'd have to agree..

To make this you will need a 5# pork shoulder roast... you do NOT want to use a pork loin roast.. you want the fatty roast, because this is what will make this recipe fall apart, moist and delicious. If you use a leaner roast you will end up with a dry roast.

The other 3 ingredients are Hawaiian Red Sea Salt, bacon and garlic. I first went to look and see what Hawaiian red sea salt was.. it is sea salt that has been combined with a red clay from Hawaii.. and not only is high in minerals, but gives a slight smoky taste as well. It is used often in Hawaiian cooking.  I bought mine online from Amazon, because I could not find it locally in the stores I normally shop at. I'm sure it could be found in specialty…

She Did It!!!

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On Monday night my daughter Sierra graduated from dental assisting school.  It was an intense 13 week program.  She put in her school hours, extra lab time, 50 hours of externship at a local dentist office and continued to work her job in the deli at a grocery store in the city.   Her dad and I are extremely proud of her hard work, dedication and tenacity!  She passed the course, both a written exam and clinical exam, with flying colors.   She now has her testing for the state of Washington scheduled in October and will be job searching.  She will also be scheduling her test for the state of Oregon as well so her job possibilities will be greater.  This is a pic of her graduating class and her teacher taken on Monday.  Sierra is on the far right, at the end of the second row... And Sierra with her teacher and the dentist she worked with at the school...

Friends ...

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When you are online a lot you meet a lot of people.  Some friends become lifelong true friends.  I have one of those super special friends.  I met her many years ago on my message board.  She had two little boys and was just beginning to homeschool.  We became good friends and since then have chatted many times on the phone and had the opportunity to meet in person a few times.  Her hubby & her and boys came to a homeschool convention in Vancouver Wa a few years ago and they came to meet me for the first time..  Erica also made (Facebook) friends with several of my children who love her as much as I do.. When my daughter Emily got married she invited Erica and her family to her wedding in California and they came.  That was our second time meeting in person.  This last week her family was vacationing in Washington and came to our home on their way home to California.  They spent the night with us and I invited my family to come out and we had a bbq and a lot of fun tim…

Menu Monday!!

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Last week was very busy!!  Had lots to do and friend visiting from California..  we had a great time!!  And now it's on to a new week..  and the first week in fall!!  Happy Fall!!  I'm still waiting for the weather to cool down.. because for the last couple days it has been nearly 90!!  I'm sure fall will be here soon..  I'm ready for some fall cooking..  soups, stews and the like..   I had a hard time coming up with this weeks menu.. it was hot, and I had no desire for food.. so it made it a bit difficult to figure out what to eat this week!!  But I came up with a menu that looks like it will work. 


Monday
meatball subs, salad


Tuesday
Yummy pinto bean soup, chips & salsa, salad
Wednesday
chicken pot pie, salad


Thursday
Leftovers
Friday
Ranch chicken, cilantro lime rice, salad


Saturday
Kalua Pork, garlic roasted potatoes, salad


Sunday
Leftovers


Making Salsa!!

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I’ve mentioned in a few blog posts that I did not plant a garden this year. I’ve been very blessed by the neighbor down the road who has shared the bounty of his garden with us. He’s given us green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, and as of Sunday, tomatoes! He gave us a huge amount! Said he and his wife had canned lots of salsa and tomato juice and did not want to see them go to waste. I told him I’d make salsa from them!! And then he went out and picked green peppers and jalapenos while we were there as well. I came home and weighed what I had.. 40lbs of tomatoes!


Yesterday while grocery shopping I picked up all the rest of the needed items to make salsa. This morning I got at it and gathered it altogether to make a double batch of my salsa recipe…


I began by coring and putting my tomatoes through my food processor. I do not peel them. It is an added step that to me is unnecessary. I’ve done it this way for years now, and never had a problem with using unpeele…

Crockpot Pork Chops

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I served these for dinner last night… This was sooo good and soooo easy!! I served with some leftover potatoes from last week and coleslaw..

You could easily cut this recipe down to feed your family (if you are not feeding an army!) .. Here is what I did…


I had 4 ½ pounds of pork chops. I began by pouring about 2 cups of chicken broth into my crockpot. Then I took a couple pork chops and sprinkled with salt and pepper and then sprinkled with some of my bulk ranch dressing mix (I’m guessing you could use packaged ranch dressing mix, but I used my home made.. you can find my recipe HERE)… then added another layer of pork chops and repeated.. salt, pepper, bulk ranch dressing.. and did this until I had added all my pork chops. Put the lid on and cooked on low for about 8 hours.


This was easy and my family loved it..


Menu Monday!

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I can’t believe how fast last week went by!! Monday is here and it's time to head out to the grocery store for my weekly shopping as soon as I get the pork chops in the crockpot and take care of my Monday cleaning list ;)  Hope everyone is having a good start to their week!!

Monday
Crockpot pork chops, potatoes, salad

Tuesday
Tacos w/trimmings, chips & salsa

Wednesday
Crockpot chili w/hotdogs served over buns (chili dogs), salad

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Hamburger bbq (having friends & family over), potato salad, fruit salad, cookies for dessert

Saturday
Summer pasta made w/chicken, cucumber tomato salad

Sunday
BLT sandwiches, chips, fruit

Weekly Cleaning List: Update on Homemaking Challenge for September

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OK.. this is my ideal schedule. With summer and other things I’ve not kept up with this and seem to be always be behind the curve. My desire is to hit these areas in my home on a regular basis, at regular days.. again!! :) … So far this week, I’ve been keeping up. It really, most days, does not take that much time to do this. Especially when I compare it to what it was like for me years ago!!

I’ll keep you posted this month on how it’s going for me. Hope you are getting your cleaning schedule worked out this month too!

Monday
Clutter pick up
Sweep kitchen floor
Clean off counters in kitchen
Clean out fridge to make room for grocery shopping (I shop on Monday)

Tuesday
Go through the house hitting each room and dealing with the basics
Kitchen: sweep, mop, wipe out microwave, clean off counters, wipe down fronts of cupboard doors and drawers
Living room: clean up piles of clutter, dust, and vacuum
Dining room: clear out table and chairs, sweep & mop, clean up clutter ‘hot’ spots (…

Broccoli Salad

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I made this last night for dinner. I was originally planning to make this to go with chicken and gravy over biscuits, but it seemed a better fit with lasagna. So I changed up my menu and made lasagna.

This salad is so good!! If you are looking for a little something different, this might just be the ticket. I made this earlier in the day so it would have time to drain and chill before dinner.

This recipe makes a very large amount of salad. Remember, I feed 6 adults.. :) .. so feel free to cut it in half or more if you are not feeding an army like I am!


Broccoli Salad

3#’s broccoli florets (the heads only, I buy them in a large 3# bag from Costco)
½ of a medium onion, chopped (I used a Walla Walla Sweet onion)
½ cup craisins (raisins would also work, but the craisins were very pretty)
1 ½ cups mayo
3T white wine vinegar
4t sugar
salt & pepper, to taste

Blanch the broccoli for 2 or 3 minutes (bring a pot of water to a boil, add broccoli, bring it back to a boil and cook fo…

10 Books with a Lasting Impression

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I saw this on FaceBook.. and have loved looking at others book lists. You were to name 10 books that had a lasting effect on you. So I thought.. ok.. what would be my 10 books? I’ve listed them in no particular order. According to the rules:

“the 10 books that had the most meaning in my life: In your status, list 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don't take too long or think too hard about it. They do not have to be great or classic works / just books that have had an effect on you.”

If you have a book list to share with me.. I’d LOVE to see it!! It was fun to think about and come up them…

So here is my List:

1. Little House on the Prairie (series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder – my introduction to homesteading, at a very young age. I read them all as a little girl.. was always fascinated with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her life. Definitely left a lasting impression on my life!
2. Chronicles of Narnia (series) C.S. Lewis – I loved this series. I read it, sat whi…

Menu Monday!

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Monday
Crockpot pork chops, potato salad, French bread, green salad

Tuesday
Chicken n’ gravy over biscuits, broccoli salad

Wednesday
Tacos, chips & salsa, fruit platter

Thursday
Leftovers

Friday
Lasagna, French bread, green salad

Saturday
Crockpot roasted chicken, garlic roasted potatoes, salad

Sunday
Leftovers

Homemaking Challenge for September!!

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I know, you probably thought I forgot about my monthly homemaking challenges… but I did not. ~smile~ July and August were not only crazy months for me (especially with my sons ruptured appendix!), but they were hot and sunny and it’s been beautiful outside. So I spent time enjoying the outdoors and having friends and family over to enjoy some of this amazing summer with me. Frankly, doing extra tasks in the home was just not on my list.

Now as fall is approaching my schedule needs to change, routines need to be reestablished and life needs to move on into a steady rhythm. 


This month I’ve decided to work on creating a workable household cleaning routine. My life has changed a LOT over of the last couple of years. I use to have several children at home, helping with the daily chores. Now, I’m down to just one at home during the day. My son and both daughters work full time (my daughter Sierra works almost full time and is going to school as well) and so while they may be g…

In the Kitchen..

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Fall is beginning to make its appearance here in the Pacific Northwest! The days are getting shorter, the evenings cool off quick and it takes a bit of time to warm up in the morning. The other day the clouds covered the sky and the house was cool and I decided to do a little cooking. Up to this point, I’ve not wanted to heat up the kitchen much. Just too hot!! But on this day I made up a couple of family favorites for dinner and did a little baking.

I started by making my Mexican Rice Casserole for dinner. I made a HUGE pan of this. Feel free to cut the recipe in half to fit your needs. I feed 6 adults daily and this meal fed us for 2 nights. The recipe calls for shredded cheese on the top.. I only had cheese slices (real cheese, not American, so that is what I used instead).


Here is the recipe..

Mexican Rice Casserole

2lbs hamburger
1 large onion, chopped
10 cups cooked brown rice
1 can rotel tomatoes
2 cups salsa
2 cups frozen corn
2 to 4 cups shredded cheese
Salt & p…