Showing posts from November, 2015

Menu Monday!

It has been a very busy few days in our home. My daughter Emily and her husband flew in on Thursday, Friday my daughter Sierra and her boyfriend came up to the house. We had a big houseful of family with lots of visiting time. I spent Friday preparing food in advance. On Saturday we enjoyed our holiday dinner. My daughter Hannah and her husband and children were also here. This morning everyone has gone home and my house will now settle into a more normal routine. I really enjoyed all the wonderful family time and will share a bit tomorrow on our holiday. Due to spending all my time with my family it is only now I'm sitting down to focus on the week ahead and what I'll be cooking in my kitchen.

We still have a few Thanksgiving leftovers and some leftover food from the day before. Tonight we'll be finishing all the food off for dinner.

The rest of week is looking like this...

Simple, easy and filling. I'll serve salad and garlic bread with this.


Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Striving for a Heart of Gratefulness

This is a repost from a couple years ago..  but my feelings are still the same!!  Be grateful, be thankful for all of God's blessings..  the big ones and the little tiny ones..  God's love is everywhere when we take the time to look and see them.. 

Thanksgiving always means to me a time to stop and give thanks. I’ve seen many lists on the things people are thankful for in their life. I have my own list as well. But I have really been contemplating something beyond this. I’ve been contemplating and thinking about a heart of gratefulness.

How is this different you might ask? Well I’ll share my thoughts. In my mind a true heart of gratefulness goes beyond my list of what I’m thankful for. It is a deeper meaning that I am going to strive for in my life. I looked it like this.. if you were walking through a desert of heat you would be so thankful, deeply grateful for every drop of water you had. If you stood next to a huge lake, water would be taken for granted. How man…

Menu Monday!

This last week with the crazy power outages (we had 2 more after the one I posted about).. I've been afraid to plan to many meals. Loosing power for long periods of time means no cooking. We ate sandwiches for a few meals and I went out to Costco one night and bought pizza. Praying that this weeks goes much better.

We are having our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, after the holiday. My daughter Emily and her hubby Brandon will be arriving on Thursday but my hubby has to work and so does my daughter Sierra. But that is OK.. we are flexible. I typically like doing my holiday dinner on a different day anyway. So it works well for us.

I'll be planning regular meals for the week, a little extra because of my kids coming and then our holiday dinner. I'm keeping the menu super simple this week so I can focus on holiday preparations and more importantly, my family arriving and spending time with them.

Today my plan is simple. We are having fish sticks from Costco a…

The Big Wind Storm

What a crazy couple of days. On Tuesday we woke up to rain and by the afternoon the wind was picking up. Then the wind really started blowing. It seemed to just get worse. Windy days this time of the year are normal but this was above normal.

At around 3:pm we lost power. At around 5:pm it came back on for a few minutes. We heard a big boom and the power was out again. We assumed it must have been a transformer. Around 7:pm the power came back on. But we started noticing the electricity doing weird things, the lights would get super bright and then dim really low. The fan on our wood stove would speed up and then almost stop. We called the power company but they were so busy they just told us they'd let someone know.

Around the same time we heard another big (kaboom) noise, we weren't sure what it was and it was dark out so we could not see anything.

By the next morning Tobin saw the reason for our strange power issue.. a tree had fallen and we had a line down. He…

Menu Monday!!

It's Monday!! Hope you all are ready to tackle the week. I have a lot of my thoughts on planning our Thanksgiving dinner. I'll have 6 of my kids here with family, grandkids, and friends. I haven't done a head count yet. I just plan on making a lot of food! Ha, ha!!

But in the meantime I still need to keep my weekly menu planning done too.....

I ended up not needing all the meals I planned last week. So one meal will be a repeat on the menu this week.

I made the chicken pot pie yesterday with enough made for leftovers tonight. So that is what's happening on Monday...

For the rest of the week...

Same plan as last week. With tortilla chips and salsa on the side

I'll make 2 large meatloaves (2#'s each) and that should last a couple nights. I'm planning on serving tater tots, green beans & bacon and a salad on the side.

If I need another meal it will most likely be Yummy Pinto Beans with cornbread and a salad.

Homemade Peppermint Flavored Coffee (YouTube)

Making your own flavored coffees at home is not only easy but very frugal as well. I've recently been enjoying an afternoon cup of peppermint coffee. It has been a nice treat to my day. This time of year, with the holidays right around the corner, peppermint is the flavor I start thinking about.

I made a quick video to show you how I do it. The recipe for the vanilla syrup (used for the coffee) is below the video. 

Vanilla Coffee Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1T vanilla extract

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan (or this can be done in the microwave as well). Heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Store in a canning jar in the fridge. Will last several weeks.
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Pumpkin Chili

I made this a couple days ago. It was very good. Even my youngest son who says he only likes his squash when it's in a pie.. liked it!! It was a bit different than typical chili but a great change.

Pumpkin Chili

2T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
2lbs hamburger
2 cans chili beans (canned beans, 15oz size, seasoned with tomato sauce and seasonings)
2 cans (15oz) red beans
1 can (16oz) tomato sauce
3T chili powder
2t cumin
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
½ t cinnamon
2T brown sugar
2t salt
1t pepper

In a 4qt stock pot over medium heat add oil. Sautee onion, peppers and garlic. Add hamburger and cook until hamburger is no longer pink.

Add canned beans, do not drain beans of liquid. Also add seasonings, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, salt & pepper. Stir and let simmer to blend flavors. Taste and add more salt if you would like (according to taste).

Serve with tortilla chips & salsa and enjoy!!

NOTE: you can use 8 cups of home coo…

Menu Monday!!

The rainy season is officially here in the PNW. After a very long dry summer, the rain seems to be here and cooler temps right along with it. Welcome fall! And welcome more time in the kitchen. Something about the rain and cooler temps makes me want to spend a little more time in the kitchen. Just feels homey I guess. There is nothing like the smells of soup and bread baking in the kitchen on a gray fall day. This weeks menu reflects a bit of this.

I'm planning 4 meals this week as I'm thinking some may not last us for more than meal.

Pumpkin Chili
Whenever I think of pumpkin of think sweet things, like muffins, cookies, pies, bread, etc. But pumpkin can have a savory side as well! :) I have some pumpkin in the fridge and decided this would be a good idea.  I'll share the recipe if turns out good. I plan on serving the soup with some garlic bread and a salad.

Chicken Pot Pie
Chicken pot pie
is a comfort food. Perfect for a cool fall evening. I'll make a big pan …

Making Homemade Pizza (YouTube)

I finally made another YouTube video. I had to make some upgrades in a camera and that took some time. My hope is to keep working on more videos. My son Isaac helped me (my great cameraman! :). Hope you find it helpful!

In this video I'm showing you how to make homemade pizza. Starting with making the crust to the finished pizza.

Below the video you will find the recipe I used for the crust and a recipe for pizza sauce. In the video I used canned spaghetti sauce but if you'd like to make your own the recipe is included.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel: 

Pizza Crust
Makes 2 – 14inch pizza crusts

4t yeast
1 ½ cup warm water
4 to 5 cups flour
2t salt
3T olive oil

In a mixer such as a Bosch or a Kitchen Aid add yeast and warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve and activate. Add 4 cups of flour and all remaining ingredients. Mix dough well adding the extra flour until the dough does n…

Menu Monday!!

Last weeks menu worked well. I did add another pizza night. I have another planned next week. My son's girlfriend wants to learn how to make pizza so we have an evening planned to do just that. I guess I'm on a pizza roll at the moment. Tomorrow I'll be sharing how to make pizza as well.

I made the roasted chicken legs, mentioned last week, on Sunday. We are having leftovers tonight. I made buttered pasta and salad to go with this.

The rest of the week looks like this:

Pork Chops
Last week when I was shopping I found pork chops on sale. I grabbed a big package (6+ lbs) and divided it half for the freezer. I'm not sure how I'll cook them. Maybe in the crockpot with some bbq sauce. I'll serve rice and veggies/salad along side.

Cincinnati Chili w/trimmings
It's been some time since I made Cincinnati Chili. It's bacially a flavorful all meat chili that you serve over spaghetti noodles and top with chopped onions, tomatoes, grated cheese, beans (an…