Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Updates from the Homestead

Life has been busy. Leanne got a job in S. Korea at the beginning of the month. She'll be teaching English again for another year. This month has been a crazy month of paperwork and packing and helping her take care of endless details. This morning, bright an early, my hubby and I took her to the airport to see her off. As I write this blog post she is about half way through the 12 hour flight.

It's been a bittersweet day. I want my children to spread their wings and fly and live their dreams. But boy will I miss her. For the last 15 months aside from a few part time jobs she had, she has been my buddy. We've shopped together, worked together, cooked together, spent mornings having coffee, evenings watching movies and drinking tea.. the memories we've made together have been priceless. I'm so thankful for the time we've had. But the emotions do run through me at the moment. For now, I'll be adjusting to my new normal. At this point Isaac is the only one at home during the day. My son Jacob works full time and is home in the evening. So as it stands, it is just me and the boys at home!

Now for some fun... at least it was fun for us.. Leanne left out of Portland International Airport (in Portland Oregon).. for some reason over the last few years people taking “foot selfies” has gotten very popular. More popular than what I see from other airports. The foot selfie is like a statement.. either.. I'm home!! Or.. I'm off on an adventure!! This year the airport said they were replacing the carpet at the airport.. the famous carpet for all those foot selfies.. and now there is a mad rush for people to get their foot selfie on the 20+ year old carpet. So today we could not resist the temptation to be part of this bit of history.. we had to take our own foot selfie.. and I share it here for you. My feet (bottom of the pic), Leanne's (to the left) and hubby's single foot...

Just a bit of fun to share!!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Menu Monday!

Happy Monday!! Time for the weekly menu. Hope your menu is coming along this week!

Kalua pork, mashed potatoes, salad

tacos w/trimmings, tortilla chips

Marinated chicken, rice pilaf, grilled veggies


Tuna patties, garlic roasted potatoes, salad

Sausage gravy over biscuits, roasted broccoli

Baked chicken legs, macaroni & cheese, salad


Friday, February 20, 2015

Cabbage, Kale and Bacon.. Yum!!

I was inspired to make this recipe from my daughter Hannah. She had made it for her family as a side dish one night (minus the bacon). I added the bacon and Leanne and I had this for lunch this week. It was sooo good, I had to share it.

I don't have an exact recipe as I just tossed it together. But here is how I made it:

½ of a small head of cabbage, chopped
3 or 4 large kale leaves, stem removed, chopped
4 to 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
a little coconut oil

I first began by frying up the bacon. Removed it from the pan and drained most of the bacon grease, but left a little in the pan. To that little bit of grease I added a bit of coconut oil. Then added the chopped up cabbage and kale. Stir fried this until the veggies were soft. Added the bacon.

For spices.. I salted it with pink himalayan salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder and some coconut aminos (similar to soy sauce, and soy sauce could be used instead).

Served it! It was easy to make and very enjoyable!!

This makes a great light lunch or a side to your dinner, with or without the bacon. 

My picture shows what was left after we ate ours!!  :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Creamy Burrito Casserole

I've made this several times now and it is a winner. My family loves it... the guys especially. It is filling and very yummy. I made a double batch for this meal so my hubby and son could have leftovers to take to work the next day.

Here is the recipe...

Creamy Burrito Casserole

1lb hamburger
½ a medium size onion, chopped
2 to 3 T taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup sour cream
6 large size tortillas
3 to 4 cups of grated cheddar cheese

In a large frying pan cook hamburger with onions until hamburger is no longer pink. Add taco seasonings and refried beans. Stir well to combine.

In a small bowl combing cream of mushroom soup and sour cream.

Cut or tear tortillas into strips.

In a 9x13 pan spread half the soup/sour cream mixture. Top with half the hamburger mix, half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and all is hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips and a salad.. and enjoy!!

Here it is in pics. I made a double batch so the amounts of ingredients are double what a single batch would look like...

All the cooked and prepared ingredients ready to go..

Start with the soup/sour cream mix...

Top with tortillas...



Repeat.. and ready for the oven...

Out of the oven....

Time to eat!!


Monday, February 16, 2015

Menu Monday!

I have a couple recipes I plan to share this week if they turn out. Hope your menu planning is coming along this week! I'm off to the grocery store today and stock up on groceries for the week.

Do you shop weekly, bi weekly, more often, less often?... I shop weekly and have for years. There have been times in the past I would shop every other week, but tend to run out of fresh fruit and veggies before that. So I went back to weekly.

Creamy burrito casserole, tortilla chips & salsa, salad

Split pea soup w/kielbasa, crackers, salad

Bacon wrapped stuffed chicken thighs, rice pilaf, salad


Pork roast, mashed potatoes, salad

Spaghetti, french bread, salad



Friday, February 13, 2015

Getting Fit at 50

I'm working to get a bit more fit. I've never had a regular exercise routine. I have had a very busy life over the years... kids to keep up with, barn chores, animals to take care of, gardens to grow and harvest.

One of the things I noticed as my life has started changing is that I'm not as busy as I once was and did not like the changes I saw in my own body. I decided it was time to spend a little more effort on my health.

I've started my health quest by just simply walking. I've been walking about 2 miles a day. At first it was challenging. I will say that I live in an area that is pretty much all on a hill. I live in a Gorge.. this is mountains on both sides and a river that runs between it. So when I set out on my walk it is mostly downhill. I walk a mile and turn around and walk the mile back.. mostly all uphill. And my muscles feel it!! But it has been a good thing, given me more energy and motivation.

I took a few pics today on my walk (and yes, unlike most of the USA we are having an unseasonably warm winter).  I know the pics don't show the incline as much as it is..  but trust me my body feels it!!!  Ha, ha!! ...

This is a downhill view...

Heading back up to my house..

So at 50 (almost 51 :) I'm making the choice to work a little harder, day by day to get and keep fit.

Do you have a regular exercise routine? Do you know you need to exercise but have problems with motivation? Are you reaching or in midlife and desire to get more fit? I'd love to hear from you and find out where you are at with exercise in your life.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Menu Monday!

I have a busy week ahead... so happy to have the menu ready to go! How is your menu planning coming along this week?

I don't plan breakfast or lunch .. do you?

Breakfast at our house is mostly serve yourself. I have oatmeal, eggs, cereal and pancake mix on hand for everyone to pick from. I do make a big family breakfast about once a week. Lunch is either leftovers, sandwiches or wraps, again usually self serve as my children are all grown and capable in the kitchen. As long as I have ingredients on hand for them, they do just fine. I still make my hubby's lunch for work

Beef and Peppers.. it will get made this week! LOL.. I have it in the crockpot now.. along with rice and a salad

Sour cream chicken enchiladas, tortilla chips, salad

Spaghetti & meatballs, french bread, green beans


Chicken soup, biscuits, salad

Pork chops, mac & cheese, salad



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bundt Pan Chicken

This is kind of an incomplete blog post. But the chicken turned out so good that I wanted to share it any way. Normally the best blog posts are those that show/tell you how to cook the meal and then at the end you get a beautiful picture of how the completed meal looked. Well that will not be the case here. I had just finished cooking the chicken when a dear sweet long time friend called and she was having an emergency and needed me. I did not hesitate to head out to help her (we are more like sisters than just friends and have been there for each other for over 20 years now). I told my family (who are now thankfuly all grown up adults and capable of fending for themselves :) what was going on they said no problem. I told them to enjoy the chicken and add whatever they wanted to go with the rest of the meal. They did just that and when I got home late that night the chicken was nearly gone. Everyone raved about the next day.

I've seen this concept on a few different websites so I gave it a try. Take a bundt pan, put the chicken in the center of it (the cavity over the post of the bundt pan)... I added a few onions and a couple lemon slices to the bottom to blend in with the juices. I was going to use those juices mixed with a little chicken broth to make gravy and serve it with rice or mashed potatoes. But as I said above that never happened.

I then rubbed the chicken down with a spice mix:

2t pink Himalayan salt
1t pepper
1t granulated garlic
1t dried onion
1 ½t Italian seasonings

Here is what it looked like right before I put it in the oven....

I baked it at 350 for about 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes.. the time got hazy with what was going on. But I baked it until the juices ran clear...

The chicken was just amazing! So much of the natural juices were sealed in, similar to a rotisserie chicken. It was moist and just delicious!

I plan to do this again and (hopefully) follow through with the juices/gravy and a complete meal.. but for now I wanted to share this with you because it was so good. I also think that if I could have given my chicken the spice rub down ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before baking.. it would have been even better!!

Side Note: stick a pan under the chicken when it cooks.. a bit, not much, of the juices do come through the center post..

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Chicken Veggie Soup

Oh man.. sometimes you just wing it and it turns out amazing! Maybe we were all just really hungry! ~smile~ But this was really good. I served corn muffins with it. It makes a very big pot of soup. I'm sure it freezes just fine. I personally don't have enough leftover to freeze.. my family ate it up and gave it 2 thumbs up!

Chicken Veggie Soup

2 quarts chicken broth
3#'s chicken (boneless, skinless)
½ a medium size cabbage, chopped
2 peppers, cut up (green, read, yellow.. your choice)
2 cups chopped broccoli pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups sliced celery
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes
2t salt
1t pepper
1t garlic powder
1 ½ t Italian seasonings
2 or 3 shakes of your favorite hot sauce

In a large 8 quart stock pot put in 1 quart chicken broth and the chicken. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken to cool. In the stock pot add all the veggies and the other quart of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the veggies are tender. While the veggies are cooking cut up the chicken meat. When the veggies are done, add chicken meat and spices. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve and enjoy!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Menu Monday


This week's menu has some old standby's like tacos and meatloaf and a few new recipes I plan on trying. If the new ones turn out well I share them this week!

Chicken veggie soup, corn muffins

Tacos w/all the trimmings

Crockpot beef & peppers (did not get this made last week!), french bread, salad


Baked fish, rice pilaf, salad

Creamy chicken & spinach over rice, salad

Meatloaf, baked potatoes, roasted veggies