Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!

 



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 reasons this is a good choice for me. If I'd started the year saying my resolution was to only drink one cup a day, and then I had a day where I had more, I would have failed. My inclination may have been to just give up and not care. But with a goal, I can get back on track and not feel discouraged.

So as this year has come to an end I reflected on all the goals that I had worked towards, made progress, and felt a sense of accomplishment. Then I began working on new goals for 2015 knowing that if it is something important to me, I will make progress and when dealing with the bumps in the road that can happen to everyone, not all is lost.

Happy New Year to you all, and praying for a blessed 2015 for everyone!

 
 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Menu Monday!


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


 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

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



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. I left the tree up until Friday morning, then put it away, moved all my furniture back where it belongs and cleaned up the house. It felt wonderful! ~smile~

I do this every year. Usually it is the day after Christmas. I've had a few of my friends tell me they do this as well.

I know everyone has their own traditions. I once had an older neighbor lady that said her and her husband would get the tree on the 24th of December, put the kids to bed, set it up, decorate it and put the gifts under the tree for the kids to see in the morning. Then they would leave the tree up until January 1st.


It just had me curious this year.... what is your tradition?



 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Menu Monday!



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


 
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Homestead Holidays!! Strawberry Cranberry Jam

***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, cranberries, lemon juice, pectin and butter into a large, 6 to 8qt, stock pot. On medium heat slowly bring to a boil. Stir to prevent it from sticking. Simmer and stir until fruit breaks up. If you want to hurry the process you can use a stick blender to smooth it out, or leave the fruit a bit chunky, the choice is yours.

Turn up the heat to high and add sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar. Bring it all to a hard boil (a boil that cannot be stirred down) and boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Fill half pint and/or pint jars. Put new lid on, ring on and put in a boiling water bath. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove from canner and let cool.
 
Enjoy!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Menu Monday!


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


 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Baking: Sugar Cookies...



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?



 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Homemade Gift Idea: Dish Towel Apron





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 together….

 


Use the twill tape for the neck and ties…



And you are done…


 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Menu Monday!




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


 
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Out the Kitchen Window...


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...
 
 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Family Traditions


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 some cocoa! Then I looked in my cupboards and freezer to see what else I might have to keep them distracted while dad did his thing. Here is what I found: Frozen pizza (the cheap kind.. bought for those “just in case” times in life), Christmas cookies, eggnog, candy canes, and hot cocoa mix. So.. I cooked the pizza and the kids enjoyed the cocoa, eggnog, cookies and candy canes.. and by that time dad was done with his job and the kids could decorate the tree.

After that, the tradition was started. Every year we'd bring in the tree, dad would set it up, put the lights on and we'd feast on frozen pizza, Christmas cookies, candy canes, eggnog and hot cocoa and then decorate the tree.

This year we put up the tree and my daughter Emily messaged me from California.. .. mom.. don't forget the pizza, eggnog and hot cocoa!

Family traditions are like glue.. they make memories, they hold us together and we never forget them..

Make some memories this year.. start some family traditions!


 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Menu Monday!

 


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