Monday, January 30, 2017

Menu Monday!

I don't about you, but the month of January has really flown by quickly. I can't believe this is the last Monday of the month.

This week I plan to try a new recipe. My aunt (by marriage, she is my husband's aunt), sent me her cookbook of recipes. It is a collection of her favorite recipes. I enjoyed spending quite a bit of time over the weekend going through all her wonderful recipes. I found a several I want to try.

Tonight I plan on meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad.

The rest of the week in is looking like this..

Catalina Cranberry Chicken
This is a recipe from my aunt's cookbook. Very simple recipe, a can of cranberry sauce, a bottle of catalina dressing and a package of onion soup mix. Pour over chicken and bake until chicken is done. I'll serve pasta of some sort, and broccoli to go with this.

Tuna Patties
I love tuna patties and it's been a long time since I've made them. I'll serve garlic roasted potatoes, and a Caesar salad the side.

BBQ Pork on Buns
I'll make this in the IP, recipe can be found HERE. I serve the pork on hamburger buns topped with colesalw and potato chips on the side.

That should do it for the week! Happy menu planning!! :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
Good morning! I'm enjoying a hot cup of coffee and a warm home on this cold winter morning. It is warmer then it was last week, which is nice. We get a little melting of the snow each day before it drops back below freezing. Our white winter world is still holding on. For many of you, I'm sure this is the norm. However for us here in the PNW it is not. We do get snow, sometimes a big snow storm. But it melts quickly and we move on. Winters here are typically mild and wet. So this winter has been very different!

It has been a good week so far. My son came for a visit over the weekend. He and my youngest son have been involved in a project. They are designing and build a desk. My son does 3D computer modeling for a hobby and this is his first project. My youngest son works for a company that makes display cases, kiosks and such and they let the employees come in on the weekend to do personal projects. So they were in the first stage of building. He will be back this Saturday to finish it up.

Yesterday hubby and I spent the day in town visiting children and grandchildren. That was a lot of fun. Afterwards we went and had dinner at the Olive Garden. It was super relaxed day.

On My To-Do List
I need to cook up some food today and do a bit housecleaning. Not a whole lot as I got most things under control over the weekend. So beyond cooking my list is short

~Vacuum living room
~Wash a couple loads of laundry
~Pick up a bit clutter

When I finish my housework for the day I plan to sit and crochet.

Projects I'm Working On
On Monday I unpacked my box of yarn and was eager to get started on my first blanket. Even with not being home all day yesterday I was able to make some nice progress.
The lighting was not great this morning when I took this pic..

I really love THIS pattern. It's super easy, love how it looks and can be made up pretty quick. I'm making it with a size J hook instead of the I the pattern states. I also made it a little longer than the pattern calls for. I wanted it a little bit on the larger side. Now my grandbabies are getting older so I figured they could use a bigger blanket.

Today's Weather
It's a foggy morning and the temp is 33. We are supposed to get up to 44 today. That sounds lovely to me! :) I hope it happens. Low tonight will be 29

The View from my Deck (or window)
You can see the morning fog. I'm guessing it will burn off in the afternoon.

What I'm Reading
I finished 2nd Samuel and it's now on to 1st Kings. It was all about the reign of King David. An incredible man of God with more than his share of sins and faults. Yet God saw his heart. Love this book. Now I'm moving onto 1st Kings.

Tenant of Wildfeld Hall took a back seat to The Secret Life of Bees during our storm. So I've been going back and forth between them right now. However, I found the Tenant of Wildfeld Hall being read on YouTube. So, now, I can listen to the book and crochet at the same time. Sounds like a win-win to me.

What I'm Listening To
My daughter just left for work and I am enjoying the peaceful quiet of the morning with all it's typical morning sounds, clocks ticking, fire crackling, hubby bringing in fire wood to restock us, fridge running. The peaceful sounds of home.

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I don't use dryer sheets. I don't like the smell of most of them, I can get headaches easily from laundry scents and I sneeze like crazy. I typically don't find I really need them anyway. But with the cold and drier than normal weather my clothes were sticking together and there was more static than usual. Instead of dryer sheets I tried foil balls. I took aluminum foil and crumpled it up and threw it into the dryer. The results.. They were OK. It did helps some, and there was less static and my clothes did not stick together as much as they typically do. .

In conclusion, it was better than not using anything, the cost was next to nothing, they don't give me a chemical smell headache and sneezing fit and best of all.. they were easy to use, and can be reused. I'll use them again as I need them.

Fitness and Health for the Week
I'm still waiting for just a bit warmer weather and no ice on the road in front of my house to take a walk. Soon, I hope, things will warm up and I can get back into my walking routine.

I think 3 of the healthiest things for me to do in my family's diet is to consume: bone broth, cultured dairy and fermented foods. Last year I was doing good to keep these things going but somewhere along the way life got hectic and they were lost. Not all of them, bone broth seems to be one that I can keep going. So this week I'm going to start working on the cultured dairy. I need to first get some cultures and then will go from there. I was thinking of looking into getting kefir grains and trying that. Since I make smoothies often, the kefir would be easy to use. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Hope you all are having a blessed week!


Monday, January 23, 2017

Menu Monday!

Oh how good it has been to cook with my Instant Pot rather than a camp stove :). It's been nice to have all my appliances back this weekend. Oh the things we miss when the power is out.

This week I am once again using as much from my freezer and pantry as I can. As I mentioned last week, just trying to keep my food rotated and not forgotten. Having it all written down and organized in my notebook has been helpful.

Tonight I'm making my own chicken dish in my IP. I'm not using a recipe, just putting together chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) and seasoning them with salt, pepper, garlic, dried onion and a few sprinkles of red pepper. Then I'll add chicken broth, orange juice and a little lemon juice. We'll see how it turns out. I'll share more detail if it is a success. I'll serve this with rice, egg rolls (from Costco) and a salad.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

Pork Carnitas
This was a recipe I was going to try last week. After I lost power it was not something that I wanted to tackle on a propane camp stove. So, we'll try again this week.

Navy Bean and Ham Soup
Again, I did not want to use up all my propane cooking beans so this will make an appearance on my menu again. I'll serve it with biscuits and a salad.

Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing Casserole
Yes, it's not an IP recipe! :D I have a box of stuffing in my pantry, I have the rest of the ingredients so I thought I would try this. I know this can be made in the IP, but, I think I'll leave it as CP recipe and make it the day I go to town and will be gone for the day. You can find the recipe HERE.

That should do it for the week!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot - On Saturday - What a Week it Had Been!

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
What a week it is has been! I've been battling winter here and that is why Wednesday Snap Shot is so late this week.

I had a lot of nice things to say about this last week and was ready to put out my post on Wednesday. But, I woke up to no power and the worst ice storm I've ever seen in 20 years of living here. Everything was covered in a thick coat of ice. Yesterday evening we finally got our power on. It had been almost 3 full days.

The ice was so thick that it brought down tress and branches everywhere. It sounded like I was living in a war zone as I saw and heard branches and trees falling right and left with the weight of the ice. The road in front of our house was impassable due to fallen trees. From our house to the main highway we counted 5 power wires broken. And one big power line so thickly covered in ice that it had drooped down to the level of the road.

On Thursday my husband had been able to clean up our driveway (which is long) and worked on getting his tractor out to clear off the ice and snow and sleet so we could at least get to the road. When he was finally at the road there were two neighbors coming down the road in their tractors with the goal of knocking down trees and branches and clearing a path so cars could get through. Hubby came along behind them cleaning off the ice and the sleet and snow.

We were finally able to get down our road and then the next road, we had to dodge fallen trees and downed power lines to get to the main highway. We headed into town and purchased two inverters and a generator.

We had no idea how long we'd be without power and with a freezer full of food that was not going to make it we felt a generator was a good investment. It was so nice to be able to have lights and run the freezer and fridge.

It was also nice to have internet again. I don't get cell reception where I live, my internet was out and the phone lines were dead for some time as well. I knew my family would be concerned and it was good to be able to reach out and let everyone know we were ok.

Being without power for a few days makes me very appreciative of the modern conveniences we have. Small things we take for granted, like making a cup of coffee for instance, become bigger tasks.

On My To-Do List
I'm catching up on laundry and cooking today.

I was thankful that on Tuesday I had cooked up 2 meals. I had made Cuban sandwich meat and my saucy meatballs. Both of these meals were easy to reheat on my propane camp stove. After we had finished eating those meals I made chili (with canned beans) and hot dogs. Today however it is time to cook up some food.

Projects I'm Working On
Yesterday we finally had the first mail delivery that we'd had in a few days. I was happy to see my yarn had arrived. After I catch up around here I'll start working on my baby blankets.

Prior to losing power I was working on organizing and taking inventory of my freezer and my pantry. It's so easy to have items drop to the bottom of the freezer or get pushed to the back of the pantry shelves and I forget what I have.

I wrote down all my items in my homemaking notebook and color coded them according to what they were, such as, meats, veggies, canned goods, etc. It was very helpful in giving me ideas for what to eat this week (as I mentioned on Menu Monday) and gave me a better idea what to add to my grocery list.

I also labeled my little notebooks. I didn't think I'd need to but found myself having to open them up to see which notebook they were.. that has made them much easier to use.

Today's Weather
High of 37 and a low of 31, more snow is in the forecast

The View from my Deck (or window)
As I write this it is still dark outside. But at the bottom of the blog post I'm sharing some pictures of our storm.

What I'm Reading
My current book that I'm reading is on my Kindle and well with power outages and all.. my Kindle died on me pretty quick like. A reason I can see the value of actual books!! :) I went to my book shelf, needing something to entertain me during this power outage. I found a book that belonged to my daughter Leanne. It was a required reading when she was in college. I had asked her a while back what she thought of it. She said she liked it. So I kept it. I pulled it out and stared reading The Secret Life of Bees. So far I'm enjoying it.

I just finished 1st Samuel and am ready to move onto 2nd Samuel. One part (of several) that has always been stuck with me is when little Samuel was in bed and thought he heard Eli calling him. This happened several times and finally Eli realized it was the Lord calling him. Sometimes we just have stop and listen for the Lord is speaking to us in many ways.

What I'm Listening To
Right now, the washer and dryer going. I'm already starting on laundry catch up.

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I guess not using any electricity for a few days is frugal! Ha, ha!! :)

Fitness and Health for the Week
This has been another challenging week for me. Seems a lot of my time has just been keeping things going in the home and fitness has not been a thought. I think the biggest challenge I have dealt with is snacking. I'm not usually a snack type person. But all this time inside has made hard to not to do!

Now that I have power back, I'll work on getting food prepared ahead of time to make health options more readily available.

I'm very ready for this winter to be over and to be able to get out and walk again. I'm missing it terribly.

Below are some pics of our winter world over the last few days..

The white color on the trees is not snow, it's ice
The road in front of our house, cleared enough so we could make it down to the highway

Monday, January 16, 2017

Menu Monday!

The weather here is going to start warming up. It's been below freezing for a few weeks and the transition will most likely bring freezing rain and make driving conditions difficult. So hubby and I are running into town today to take care of a few errands and pick up some groceries in case we are stuck in house for a few days.

Over the weekend I did a freezer and pantry inventory, wrote & organized the lists. I wanted to work on making my menus with the idea to keep my food rotated and not get lost at the bottom of the freezer or the back of a shelf.

With this in mind here is this weeks menu....

Saucy Meatballs
This is a familiar recipe for most everyone. A bottle of chili sauce, a jar of grape jelly (approx the same size) poured over pre cooked meatballs in a crockpot. I'm going to try making it in my Instant Pot. I'll serve rice and broccoli.

Navy Bean & Ham Soup
I saved the ham bone from our Christmas ham and will use this to make soup. I'll serve biscuits and a salad on the side.

Pork Carnitas
I found THIS recipe that looked so good. I'll serve the pork in corn tortillas with pico de gallo and lettuce. Tortilla chips & salsa will be served on the side.

Cuban Sandwiches
My daughter Emily sent THIS recipe to me asking if I could convert it into an Instant Pot recipe. I plan to follow the basic recipe and adding a little broth or water to make sure it has enough liquid. I'll serve some type of soup on the side.

That usually is enough meals for the week (I make more than needed for one night so we can have leftovers) but due to the possible storms I figured I'd plan an extra meal.

I'll serve this with french bread and a salad.

That should do it for the week.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Beef Bone Broth in the Instant Pot

This was my first time making beef bone broth in my Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W(IP) (aff link). It turned out great. I simply love the fact that I can have nutritious bone broth in 2 hours, plus time added for coming to pressure and cooling down - but still something that can be done in an afternoon rather than taking 2 days or more.   I used the basic same method as I use for chicken broth.

I started with 3#'s beef bones. I used some beef rib bones and beef marrow bones. To ensure that my broth gelled I added 3 chicken feet. I also cut up one onion and about 3 carrots and several chopped cloves of garlic.

I put these ingredients in the IP.

I then gathered together 6 cups water, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar (helps pull out minerals from the bones).

I added this to the IP.

Put the lid on, set the sealing knob to “Sealing” and pressed “Manual”. I set the time for 120 minutes.

I did a natural pressure release when the time was up (just let the pressure come down on its own). When it was done it looked like this...

I strained out the bones using a strainer set inside a large bowl..

I pour the broth into a measuring cup..

I put it in the fridge overnight to let the fat solidify so I could remove it..

When it was done, it was nicely gelled (as I tried to show in this pic)..

This bone broth came at a good time. My youngest son got sick, then my daughter and I felt like we were coming down with something as well. It was helpful to have on hand. I also made a second batch during the week to keep us well supplied.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
It's been a wintry type week here. The big storm that came down from the north and hit most of the country also gave us our share of snow, sleet and ice. On Sunday it was mostly just ice and my hubby decided to not risk the trip to work. Normally he will drive through most anything and rarely misses work, but ice is another story. I for one was happy that both my younger children and my hubby were safely at home when the ice came.

Other than a trip to town to get groceries before the storms hit, I stayed home, hibernating, cooking and cleaning up. Yesterday the roads cleared enough for another grocery trip. We were almost out of half n half.. crisis, I tell you! Ha, ha.. :) .. More snow fell and I'm sure it is the most difficult winter I can remember in my 20 years of living here. More storms in the forecast for us. I, for one, will be happy to see January come to an end. I'm reading garden seed catalogs with happy thoughts of spring in my mind! :)

The only down side was my youngest son getting sick. He stayed home from work on Friday and slept through most of the weekend. By Monday he was feeling a little better, but not completely and we were snowed and iced in, so he stayed home from work again. By Tuesday he was feeling much better, hubby had plowed the driveway and the weather was improving, so he headed to work.

On My To-Do List
Today I plan to...

Cook food, clean up my house, pray for some snow melting (not really thinking this is going to happen :), do some laundry, read and keep stocking the wood stove to keep us warm.

Projects I'm Working On
I'm still waiting for my yarn order to arrive to start working on my baby blankets. But with the indoor weekend I did a mini project. I crocheted a couple “messy bun hats”. Basically a typical hat/beanie but with an opening in the top so you can have your pony tail or bun sticking out of it. They are super cute (at least I think so! :) And super easy to make. The only yarn I had on hand in the right weight was black, so my hats are black.

I used THIS pattern. It was nice she had a video, it is an easy, beginners type pattern.

I made the first one exactly according to the pattern (pictured on top). But on the second one, instead of starting by crocheting a chain of 24, I just did 24 double crochets around a hair band. I liked that much better. I also made the second one a little bigger using a bigger hook and adding a couple extra rows.

Today's Weather
High of 33, low of 20 and snow is supposed to continue to fall

The View from my Deck (or window)
It's still snowing this morning, not sure when it will let up.  I for one am done now with winter!  Ha, ha  :)

What I'm Reading
I finished reading Peril at End House by Agatha Christie and started reading Anne Bronte's, The Tenant of Wildfeld Hall. The book was a recommendation from my daughter Emily who, like me, enjoys all the books by the Bronte sisters. I'm almost half way through it and am enjoying it quite a bit.

In my Bible reading I finished the book of Judges and the book of Ruth. Judges is an awesome book. I see Israel in this endless loop.. they sin, they suffer the consequences of their sin, they cry out to the Lord, He redeems them, they are blessed.. and then they fall away and the cycle begins again. Oh the picture of what we can walk through in our lives if we don't stay faithful to our Savior.

Ruth is a beautiful book. A picture of a faithful woman who had a part in the lineage of Christ.

Now, it's 1st Samuel. I'm loving reading the Bible in order. I've used a lot of plans and Bible's that are One Year Bibles, and I loved them too, they are great, but it's been nice to have something new and different this year.

What I'm Listening To
Snow seems to make everything strangely quiet!  At this moment, I hear my clocks ticking and just heard the plow go down our road a few minutes ago.

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
My son loves Arizona Ice Tea. While he was sick this weekend he really wanted some. But there was no way I was going driving in the winter conditions for ice tea. So instead, I made him 2 quarts of homemade tea. He loved it. I said, well I know it's not Arizona Tea.. but.. and he said.. no.. it's actually pretty close! I'll need to have you show me how to make it. Ha, ha!! So the frugal ways are appealing to the next generation! :)

Fitness and Health for the Week
Once again winter makes it hard to be active. Our wood furnace is in the basement and during this cold snap I am going up and down the stairs many, many times a day restocking the stove. I figure that has to count for something besides keeping the house warm! But with snow, sleet, ice and temps in the 20's I'm not very motivated to get out and walk. Hoping for better weather soon.

As for health, I made bone broth on Monday and it came in handy not only for my son but it is something that I try and have daily. I have enough bones to make another batch of beef bone broth, then I'll make chicken. I like both types of broth, but chicken is my favorite.

I've also been eating more fresh fruits and veggies and continuing to try and limit my starchy, carby type foods. Easier to do on some days than others. But, I keep it as my goal.

One thing I do that I love is smoothies. I made this one the other day for my son and me.. I like this combo, protein, fruit, fiber.. kept me full most of the day. I add a couple hand fulls of spinach or kale to it when I have it on hand.

1 ½ cup water
¾ cup cottage cheese
5 or 6 frozen strawberries
½ cup, heaping, frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana
2T oats

Blend it all up and enjoy.. makes enough for 2 people..


Monday, January 9, 2017

Menu Monday!

We are currently snowed & iced in, as I'm guessing a lot of other people are around the country. But on the good side my kids and husband are all safely at home and we are cozy with the wood stove going.

I'm taking advantage of this time and working on my blog and cooking food to keep us going.

Here is what this weeks cooking is looking like..

BBQ Chicken
It's a quick and easy meal in the Instant Pot. I'll make a cheesy potato casserole to go with it and a salad.

The cheesy potato casserole is a easy & quick recipe from my daughter in law and my family really likes it.

1 bag (2lbs) frozen hash browns
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups grated cheese
¾ cup butter, melted
salt & pepper, to taste

Combine everything in a large bowl. Put mixture in a 9x13 pan and bake at 325 for 25 to 30 minutes. You can set aside some of the grated cheese to put on top of the casserole if you would like.

Beef Stroganoff
I'll serve green beans on the side and maybe some biscuits to along with the meal.

Petite Pan Fried Steak
I have a package of petite pan fried sirloin steak in the freezer. I typically like to just fry it up. Only takes a few minutes. I'll serve rice and a salad with this.

Pork Chops
I'm not sure what direction I plan to go with my pork chops quite yet. I'll most likely cook them in my IP and make a little gravy from the juices. I'll serve with potatoes and broccoli.

That should do it for the week for us.

Friday, January 6, 2017

New Notebooks to Help Organize 2017

I don't know what it is about new notebooks and pens that can make me so happy. :) Every year I purchase a few new notebooks to write, journal and schedule life in. I'm old school in the fact that I prefer paper and pens to write things down in rather than my computer or phone. I do use electronics to keep track of a lot of things, but when it comes to thinking & writing, it has to be paper and pens.

This year I was evaluating my needs for notebooks and thinking about the fact that my life is not super busy like it use to be. I don't need detailed weekly/monthly type planners to keep track of appointments and schedules. I need space to write.

With that in mind here is what I purchased...

I LOVE them! The large one is a 5 subject notebook with dividers that I labeled with the following subjects: Home (all thing homemaking will be written down in this section), Meal Planning (ideas, thoughts, recipes, plans for each month), Projects (this includes all craft and household type projects I want to try and plan for), Garden (garden planning and canning plans, notes on garden successes and failures, what to try and what not to bother with), Blog (Ideas and plans for this blog and any blog related projects).

I made the labels, simply, using my computer and attaching them with clear tape.  I also made a label for each divider...

Nothing fancy at all but totally suits my simplistic and everyday needs.

I found free calendars online and printed them out for the year. I have my January calendar tucked inside the flap of the Home divider... This way I can write down anything that I need to and have the month at glance as I make plans.

The little notebooks can have many uses. One will be used as my prayer journal/Bible reading studies, thoughts/gratitude journal. The second will be left in the kitchen for grocery lists. It's the perfect size to just leave on the kitchen counter so I can write down items that I need to replace as I use them. It can also easily be put in my purse to take with me to the grocery store. The third will be my daily to do list. I find when I go to bed at night that is when my mind starts thinking about the things I want to get down the next day and it will be nice to be able to leave this one by my bed so I jot down the to do list before falling asleep. The fourth one does not have a designated job right now. :) But they came as a set of 4 and were super cute, so having an extra one around won't be an issue.

Now I feel ready to tackle 2017.. ha,ha.. :)

I purchased my notebooks and pens from Amazon.  Below are the links for anyone interested in them.  The pens I purchased are my favorite pens of all time.  :)  I always make sure to have a good supply of them at home.

(affiliate links)


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday Snap Shot

Wednesday Snap Shot is a quick peek into my week.

If you'd like to join in on my Wednesday Snap Shot.. copy and paste my post, add your answers (you can also copy the pic).. link your post to my blog and then come back and let me know you shared your week. I'll come and visit you and read about your homemaking week!! :)

So Far This Week
Wednesday Snapshot is late today!  I woke up a little before 6:am and at 6:30am we had a power outage.  We called the power company to let them know and they said there had been several wide spread outages.  Our weather is cold and very windy.  Knocking down trees and limbs and doing damage to many power lines.  By 9:30am it was still not back so hubby and I decided to go to town and pick up groceries and get some hot coffee! :) But all is back on now.  I appreciate our hardworking power linemen so much.  They work in the worst conditions at this time of year.

Other then this mornings little issues, it's been a good week so far. Hubby had to work New Year's Eve and I celebrated in the same way I have for the last few years, sleeping! Ha! Sign of my age I guess. :) I went to bed and woke up to the New Year. My house was busy however. My kids had friends over and one of my sons came and spent the night, just to have a break from the city.

I'm super excited, my notebooks arrived yesterday. I bought a few new notebooks for journaling in this year. I am planning on keeping a homemaking journal, a prayer journal, and planning journal. I like to write and I like to make notes of things that are important to me. A way of getting all my thoughts out of my head and onto paper. I plan to share more about this soon.

On My To-Do List
Grocery shopping has been done now, but it was on today's list. 
For the rest of the afternoon my plans are:
~make dinner
~fold laundry
~change sheets on my bed
~clean up my bedroom

Projects I'm Working On
As you know, last year I had 3 new grandsons. In the past as I had grandbabies I always tried to make them a blanket. But last year it just never seemed to happen. I ordered yarn over the weekend to start working on the first 2 blankets. I decided to use THIS pattern. We will see if after 2 blankets I'm ready to try a new pattern. I've made this in the past and like it because it is quick and easy and looks sweet.

Today's Weather
Goodness it's been cold. Not as cold as some of my friends who live in other areas.. but for us it has been record cold. The news said it was the coldest start to a new year here since 1979. No new snow, but more is in the forecast later in the week.

As for today..
It's currently 28 degrees out and I think that will probably be the high.  But with the wind blowing like it is, the wind chill factor is making it feel like at least 10 or more degrees colder.  Low for tonight is in the mid teens. 

The View from my Deck (or window)
The picture does not show how cold it feels!  :)

What I'm Reading
I finished A Study in Scarlet, a Sherlock Holmes book. It was an easy fun read. I'm now reading Agatha Christie's book, Peril at End House. I love mystery books and Agatha Christie has been a favorite author of mine for many years.

I'm about half way through the book of Judges. I am happy to have started early on my goal to read through the Bible this year. I'm enjoying it so much. I love my Bible time.

What I'm Listening To
The wind blowing, my hubby outside cutting up bigger chunks of wood for the woodstove in his shop. 

Something Frugal I've Done This Week
I've been rechecking prices on commonly bought grocery items. I look for the best price on items and then continue to buy that brand. What I realized is that as prices are going up sometimes the items that were the cheaper or less expensive items are now more expensive. I plan on making a section in my homemaking journal for jotting down prices and a date. This way I can compare and find the best deal. Already I changed to different brands on items like olives, mustard, canned corn, and more.

Fitness and Health for the Week
It has been a MUCH better week! With the holidays behind me my focus has been on getting out and walking as the weather allows. It has been cold, but I've bundled up and set out anyway. It has actually been very refreshing and invigorating. I feel like I am back on track again. I've also been more focused on my diet and eating more fruits and veggies, more protein and less carby, sugary foods.

A couple pics of my walk yesterday.. it was cold, and windy.. and I wondered what the heck I was doing.. ha, ha.. :) but I came back home feeling great.. sometimes you just have to do it despite what your mind is saying to you.. (like how warm and nice it is inside.. ha, ha.. )..


Monday, January 2, 2017

Menu Monday!

First Monday of the New Year! Time to plan our meals for the week. I think almost the whole country is going to be hit with very cold temps this week. I'm going to plan on foods that fill us up and warm us up.

I'm starting my week off with beef stew. That jut sounds good to me. I have beef in the freezer, some small new potatoes, carrots, onions and mushrooms in the fridge. I'll use my Instant Pot (IP) and see what kind of a creation I can make for us tonight. I'll serve biscuits and a salad on the side. I plan on making a big batch so we can enjoy it for a couple nights.

The rest of the week is looking like this..

Salsa Verde Pork Stew
Last week I had salsa verde chicken on the menu. Due to leftovers and other foods not originally planned, it did not get made. So this week I'm planning on it with a difference, pork instead of chicken. And more stew/soup like. I don't have a recipe exactly so I'll see what I can put together. I'll use my IP for this. I'm thinking tortilla chips w/salsa and a salad on the side on the side will be the plan.

Chicken Gravy over Rice
Simple, easy and high on the comfort food list. :) This is another friendly IP meal. I'll serve green beans on the side.

Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches
I'm not sure if I'll cook up the meat or just buy deli roast beef. I still have a few days to think about. But it's easy to make the gravy and pour over sliced roast beef and toast. Broccoli or cooked kale will be the veggie for this meal.

That should do it for the week. Stay warm everyone ..