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Showing posts from October, 2015

So That's What Being Married Is....

The other day my husband walked to the end of our long driveway to get the mail. He saw our neighbor out and said hi to him. They chatted for quite a while. My hubby was ready to come back up to the house so he said to the neighbor, “I better get going or Crystal will put out a missing persons report”. He meant it humorously of course. The neighbor said to him, “So that is what being married is all about”. He is an older man. At first I found the comment a little rude. Then I felt sorry for him. It is sad to think that he feels marriage is about someone else keeping tabs on you all the time. He has missed all the many beautiful things that make a marriage. Dear Mr. Neighbor here are a few things that marriage is about... Warm snuggles on the couch on a cool fall evening A smile from across a room full of people Dancing in the living room A candlelight dinner at home A hand to hold Saying “I love you” hundreds of different ways in all the things

Creamy Chicken Veggie Soup

This turned out to be so good. What a delicious way to get a lot of vegetables into the diet. But be warned.. this makes a HUGE pot of soup. It ended up almost filling up my 8 quart stock pot. That is a lot of soup. The recipe can easily be cut in half (which is still a lot of soup) and it can be frozen as well. I still make big batches of food because I'm feeding guys, hungry guys that eat a lot! And I like to have my meals last for a couple of days and provide food for the working men in my home to take to work. The soup is full of yummy veggies. Here are the veggies all cup and the chicken waiting to be cooked... I did not use chicken stock in this recipe. I started by cooking my chicken meat in the water to give the soup flavor, and then removing the cooked chicken, adding the veggies and letting those cook for a bit. And of course adding salt to bring out the flavors. In the end the broth was perfect (and no MSG, which is a good thing because it bothers m

Menu Monday!!

  Last week the menu went pretty much as planned. On Wednesday pizza just sounded so good. So along with making my huge pot of creamy chicken veggie soup (will be sharing this one tomorrow) I made a couple homemade pizzas. Yum.. my family was happy and I had enough food to keep my family fed for a few days. I'm making the hamburger rice casserole that I mentioned last week, tonight. I'll serve a nice salad along with this. The rest of this weeks menu is pretty basic. No new recipes in the plans. Unless I see something and it peeks my interest enough to try. Or I crave something! :) Spaghetti An old stand by. Easy, cheap, filling and everyone likes it. French bread and a salad will be the sides. Tacos Right now I'm thinking tacos. It may end up being enchiladas. My husband and sons take a lunch to work everyday. If I have enchiladas it is easier to take that and reheat it at work than to mess with tacos. I'll serve chips and salsa with thi

Green Beans & Ham

A few weeks ago I cooked a bone-in ham for dinner. I froze the ham bone and juices to use another time. My thoughts had been to make navy bean & ham soup. But in the end I wanted to try something different. I used the ham bone to make a side dish with my home canned green beans. It was super good. It was also easy to make! I put the ham bone in the crockpot on 'high'. My ham bone was frozen. I opened and drained 2 quarts of my home canned green beans. You could use store bought canned or frozen green beans for this. The amount you would use would be based on the size of the ham bone and how many people you were feeding. My ham bone was pretty large and I feed a few people. But this recipe is totally flexible and hard to give exact measurements. I started it out on 'high' but after a couple hours I turned it to 'low' and let it cook a few more hours. Since everything is already cooked the main idea is to give the flavors plenty of time to

Our Little Vacation

Last week hubs had a week off of work. We decided to take a little road trip to Sacramento California to visit our daughter Emily and her hubby, Brandon. It was a very fun trip. We rented a car because it just makes sense. Why put the wear and tear on our car? Not to mention that if there were any mechanical issues we would not have to be worried. We left Washington in the early morning and drove to a friends house first. My friend Erica lives about 2 or 3 hours from my daughter. She has been a long time internet friend. I mentioned her last year in a blog post when she and her family stopped by to see us and spend the night. We've met in person a few times now and are good friends. We had dinner with her and her family and afterwards another lady, Omeara, who I met online 8 or so years ago stopped by so we could meet in person. That was a huge highlight. I've met a lot of ladies online over the years with my (past) message board. It's not often I have the b

Face Book Page for this Blog..

I finally started a Face Book page for this blog. If you want to check it out.. please do.. and 'like' the page. I'll do my best to share fun things with you all. It can be a struggle for me if I have too many online things to keep up on. But, I'll do my best with this page.   Stop by, like, and say hi!! :)

Menu Monday! (the Tuesday edition :)

There has been a bit to do today, as typical, when I'm gone for a bit. I finally had time to sit down and work on the menu. Last week I only made 1 meal of the 2 I had planned. Tonight we are having the Aidells sausages and cabbage, rice and green beans. This should last us 2 nights. I mentioned these sausages last week and thought I'd share a pic of them if anyone was wondering. I buy them at Costco. I have loved menu planning bigger meals and having leftovers to eat. I highly recommend it. It makes grocery shopping easier and I cook less often. It's a win-win situation. Anywho.. here is what I planning for the rest of the week.... Creamy Chicken Veggie Soup A great fall combination of chicken, veggies and sweet potatoes with a block of cream cheese added at the end. Yum!! (I'll share this recipe soon). I'll serve either some garlic bread, french bread, corn bread or biscuits on the side. Hamburger Spinach Bake Hamburger, frozen spina

Fall Baking: Skillet Apple Fritter Cake

I made this cake last weekend. It was SOOOO good!! The recipe comes from my dear sweet friend Laurie Bostwick. She has a great blog, Successful Homemakers . Take a minute to check it out. Laurie and I have been friends for 12 years now. We met online all those years ago on a Yahoo Group. We bonded instantly. Had so many things in common! Even our husbands had similar names. My husband's name is, Tobin. Her husband's name is Toby. We both homeschooled and had an interest in homesteading. We both loved being a mama and wife and were thankful to be homemakers. Today we still have a strong friendship and are planning a meet up one day soon so we can give each other a big ol hug in person. This recipe came from her. She is an awesome cook and baker. When I saw this recipe I just knew I had to try it. And I was not disappointed. It has a layer of apple filling, covered by cake and glazed at the end. I dished it up with vanilla ice cream and my family was beyond

Cheddar Bacon Chicken Bake

Easy, delicious and quick to make.... who could ask for more from a meal? I came up with this idea while surfing the web looking for something to do with my boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  My family really enjoyed it. I must confess, I am not a huge fan of chicken breast meat. I find it dry and lacking somewhat in flavor. My preferred is boneless, skinless chicken thighs. They have a bit more fat in them, making them not as dry. The chicken breasts were the same price as the thighs the day I was shopping and I thought I'd give them another try. I will say this recipe was a good use for them. I used about 3lbs of chicken breasts divided into 2 9x13 pans. This recipe could be cut in half very easily. Cut up the chicken meat and divided between pans.. Drizzle ranch dressing over the chicken.... Top with cooked, crumbled bacon... Top with cheese... Bake covered with foil at 350 for about 30 minutes (or until chicken meat is cooked completely).

Menu Monday!

Last weeks menu went just as planned. The cheddar bacon chicken dish was delish. I'll share that one tomorrow. This week will be a bit different. Hubs and I are taking a little trip at the end of the week for a few days. So I don't need to plan 3 meals, and because I have some details to take care of before we leave my meals will be on the super simple side. I made the split pea soup, that was on my menu last week, yesterday. I made a big pot of it and we are having the leftovers tonight. The rest of the meals will be..... Fish Sticks Fish sticks and mac & cheese is an easy favorite around here. As typical I'll also add a salad on the side. Sausages & Cabbage I buy a brand of chicken sausage (similar to kielbasa) from Costco. The brand is Aidells.. They are so good! They come in different versions. My favorite is the pineapple bacon. Last week when I was shopping I saw they had mango jalapeno. I snatched up a package. I'll be slicin

Chicken Soup from Scratch

There is a lot of information out there on the health benefits of bone broth. One thing is known for sure, many mothers and grandmothers for years and years have always made a big ol pot of chicken soup (from the whole chicken, with bones) at the first sign of a cold or sickness. While they may not (or maybe they did) know the science behind all the good immunity and health benefits of chicken soup, they did know... it worked. Last week my son came home from work and said he had a cold. It is the season for it. Usually as soon as fall hits it's not long before someone in the house gets a cold. He won the prize. I went to my freezer and pulled out a whole chicken. I'd been thinking about what I wanted to make with it but had not come up with a plan. It was perfect timing. Making chicken soup from scratch is not hard. It does take a bit of time but not much labor. The longer your chicken bones cook in the stock the better. Much of the time requirements are just

Menu Monday!

When life throws you a curve ball.. you just roll with it!! :) Last week we made an overnight trip to visit my in laws up north and my son came home later in the week with a cold. So the menu changed. The philly cheesesteak sandwiches did not get made and the planned ham and bean soup became a big pot of chicken soup to battle his cold and hopefully help prevent the rest of us from catching it. I made it from a whole chicken I had in the freezer. I'll be sharing how I did this in tomorrow's blog post. So that brings me to this week. I'm going to put off making the ham and bean soup. My ham bone will wait just fine in the freezer until I'm ready, maybe next week, we will see. Here is what I'm tentatively planning for the week.. I made the Korean Pork on Sunday and tonight we have leftovers, so Monday is all set and ready to go. Cheddar Bacon Chicken Sometimes I see recipes online that appeals to me. But then I see changes that I'd m

Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute

This is a repost from last year. Fall baking time is here and I have a few things on my list to make. Pumpkin pie spice is common in so many recipes this time of year. I always buy my spices in bulk and so I have all the individual spices in my cupboard. When I'm ready to do some fall baking it is super easy to mix up a batch. If you're wanting to make a fall/pumpkin recipe and realize it calls for pumpkin pie spice and you don't have any... never fear.. you can make it easily yourself... Pumpkin Pie Spice Substitute 1T cinnamon 1t nutmeg 1t ginger ½ t ground cloves Put all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until combined... Store in an air tight container and use in any recipe calling for “pumpkin pie spice”..