Showing posts from November, 2012

This Week’s Menu

We had a great Thanksgiving and had lots of leftovers.  We’ve been eating them all up over the weekend and now it is time to change gears and come up with some non- turkey related meals!  :)
Monday Chili, chips & salsa, salad
Tuesday Crockpot pork roast, baked potatoes & sweet potatoes, salad
Wednesday Baked ham, mac & cheese, salad
Thursday Spaghetti, french bread, salad
Friday Leftovers
Saturday Chicken enchiladas, cornbread, salad
Sunday Black bean soup, crackers, salad

Tomorrow’s Cooking Plan and a Few of My Favorite Recipes

I try and do a good deal of the cooking and prep work the day before Thanksgiving.  I like the fact that it makes the day go smoother and I can spend time with my family and friends instead of all my time in the kitchen.  Here is what I have planned to do tomorrow:
I will be making the mashed potatoes a day early. I make them, put them in the fridge and on Thanksgiving Day put them in the crockpot to heat up and be ready. One less thing to stress about before serving the meal. I also pour a little milk into the bottom of the crockpot before adding potatoes. This helps prevent crusting and burning. If they heat too much a crust along the sides will form. So stir them every now and again while they heat up on low. 

Sweet potatoes: I make up my casserole and put it in the fridge. I heat it up shortly before the meal is served:

Dinner rolls: make them and reheat the next day:…

How to Roast a Turkey

I've posted this before and I had a link to it in my newsletter...  but thought I would post ithere on my blog in case anyone needed the information.

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…

This Week’s Menu

I am beginning my journey into cooking for 4 people.. instead of a big house full..  I suspect more nights of leftovers as I work to adjust my mindset to what it takes to feed a smaller group.  As I said to a friend..  who knew you could make spaghetti with less than 3 pounds of hamburger!!  :)  That was the norm for feeding adults and big teenage appetites.  Of course Thanksgiving is this week as well and I'll be serving up a big meal to family and friends on that day..  So here goes my journey and this week’s menu…
Monday Veggie Soup with mini- meatballs ( I am making a few adjustments to the recipe link, one is I am using this recipe to make the meatballs:   and I am using my own homemade stock instead of water and bouillon cubes), bread of some sort, salad
Tuesday Leftovers..  soup is one of those meals you don’t mind eating again. 
Wednesday Sandwiches and tomato soup..  I will be cooking all day in preparation fo…

My Daughter Arrived Safe and Sound


This Week’s Menu

Monday Bbq beef sandwiches (using my recently canned beef), tomato soup (using this recipe and adapting to use my home canned tomato puree), salad – it was a busy day today and I wanted an easy meal
Tuesday Tacos w/all the trimmings, salad
Wednesday Crockpot chili, chips & salsa, salad
Thursday Leftovers
Friday Lasagna, french bread, salad
Saturday Potato sausage chowder, dinner rolls, salad
Sunday Leftovers

Canning Chicken

I just can’t let my canner sit idle for too long! :) I actually just love having my canning shelves full of food choices for quick meals, soups, casseroles. It makes life just a bit simpler and still allows me to feed my family good quality homemade foods.

Yesterday I canned about 14 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. A few weeks back I did this with beef (blog post HERE). I have already used several jars for soup, enchiladas and bbq beef sandwiches. I figured it was time to add some chicken to the canning shelves.

I cut most of the fat off the chicken pieces and then cut the thighs into 3 or 4 pieces each. I planned on canning this in pint size jars. I added ½ teaspoon salt to each pint jar..

I began to pack the jars with the meat. I packed them tightly and worked to make sure there were no gaps and air pockets. I did not add any liquid. The chicken will cook and make its' own yummy broth.

I then wiped the rims clean and added a lid and ring…

And put them i…

One Week

I’m sitting here in my quiet house this morning trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Leanne will be leaving for S. Korea in one week! The time is going by too quickly. I am very happy for her as she is so excited for this adventure to begin in her life.

I’m a little sad to see my sweet daughter leave and know she will be gone for a year. It seems like a long time (and I'm ever so thankful for Skype.. :). I remember when Emily left for Denmark and I remember when my oldest son headed off to Iraq for a 15 month deployment (and when he left for Cuba for a 12 month deployment). It seems like such a long road ahead when it begins. One thing I remember is that life does move forward and time goes by faster than we realize. Before I know it the seasons will change and we will be here at this time of year again welcoming her home.

For now the adventure is just beginning and I have been busy helping her get many last minute needed things checked off her list before she…

The Wedding!

Wow!! What an experience for our family! Tobin and I and our two daughters Leanne and Sierra flew down to Sacramento, CA on Friday. Our sons and my sister in law Debbie and her daughter (our niece) Megan drove down.

On Friday night we all enjoyed a BBQ at Brandon’s parents’ home, meeting many of his family members and friends. It was a fun time.

On Saturday morning we had the wedding ceremony at Brandon’s parents’ home. It was attended by close family and a few friends. Brandon is Vietnamese and we experienced a traditional Vietnamese wedding. It was very beautiful and a whole different cultural experience for our family. Then on Saturday evening we had the reception. Again, it was full of culture and a glimpse into this amazing family. We were awe struck by the love, devotion and honor to family and the support and encouragement that we saw among the many family members and friends who attended the reception. There was a 10 course Asian meal served that was absolutely de…

This Week’s Menu

Monday Chicken curry, rice, salad
Tuesday Pork chops, baked potatoes, salad
Wednesday Spaghetti, french bread, salad
Thursday Crockpot rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, salad
Friday Leftovers
Saturday Enchiladas, tortilla chips & salsa, salad
Sunday Breakfast for dinner: waffles, eggs, bacon, fruit salad