Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday in the Kitchen



Friday in the Kitchen is about sharing some of the food I've been cooking in my kitchen recently.


Even though I'm taking a break I still have a few things I prepared ahead of time to share with you. :)


White Bean Chicken Chili
THIS
recipe was so good! I'm still on my veggie quest. Trying to find ways to add them to our diet. I'm looking for recipes that use them in a different way then just cooking and serving as a side dish. That is good too, but I want to get a bit more of all the amazing veggies there are out there in our diet. So making this White Bean Chicken Chili was a great way to use butternut squash. My family loved this soup (and me too! :). It went great with tortillas and salsa. I served a big green salad on the side.

I cooked my butternut squash in my Instant Pot. I used the same method I used to cook acorn squash. You can see my video on how I do this HERE. The only difference was time.

I cut my squash in half so it would fit in the pot. I added a cup of water and cooked it on manual for 10 minutes. Then removed it and cleaned out the seeds. I found my ice cream scoop a good way to do this job..




Then I put it back in and cooked it another 10 minutes. I then peeled it, and cut it into chunks to add to the chili.

I also cooked the chicken in the IP to speed things up. When all was cooked and cut up I put the rest of the ingredients in the IP, heated it up, tasted and added a little more salt and served it up...
 



Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
I had this on my menu recently and wanted to share that this recipe is so easy and so very good! I highly recommend it. It was originally a crockpot recipe and this lady converted it into and IP recipe. If you don't have an IP, you can make it in a crockpot.


When it was done cooking I took a lot of the juices and pineapple and pureed them, added some flour and then added that back to the rest of the juices for a thicker sauce. This will be on our menu again! It's a great recipe because it only uses a few ingredients that are easy to have on hand.



I served it with rice and garlic roasted brussel sprouts. It was a yummy meal...
 




That is all for this week!


Wednesday, March 22, 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!! :)


I'm taking a break this week and hubby and I are off on an adventure (otherwise known as a little vacation)   :) 
 
Wednesday Snap Shot will be back next week. And... Friday in the Kitchen will be posted as well.. I have it done ahead of time.  
 
I'll be back soon!



Monday, March 20, 2017

Menu Monday!



This week it is possible that my hubby and I will be out of town for a few days. Still working on details. But, I'm planning only a few meals in case. If we don't go then I'll have something in the pantry to round out the week.


White Bean Chicken Chili
I actually made this recipe yesterday and made a large batch so we could eat it tonight as well. I had purchased a butternut squash and wanted a different way to use it besides the typical bake and serve with butter, salt and pepper. I came across THIS recipe. I've used cooked squash many times in soups so I decided to try it out. It is very good! This will be our dinner once again tonight. Tortilla chips, salsa and a salad will be on the side.

Lasagna
It's an easy but filling meal. French bread, roasted fresh asparagus, and a salad will be served with it.

Tacos
Tacos, or maybe burritos, or maybe both, not sure yet. Burritos are easier for my kids to take to work with them the next day. They will be served with all the usual trimmings.

I'm thinking this should do it for the week. If not, I have the makings for various other meals in my pantry.

Happy menu planning!!



Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday in the Kitchen




Friday in the Kitchen is about sharing some of the food I've been cooking in my kitchen recently.


Cream of Asparagus Soup
I made this soup recently and it was delicious! I've been looking at ways to add more veggies into our diet, in creative ways, and this one was a hit. This was served with tuna melts made on english muffins. It was a very nice meal. 



You can find the recipe HERE. I followed it pretty much as written. However I did not have chicken stock and so I used water and added a little extra salt.



Veggies in the Diet
Here was something else I did recently. I was not sure what I was going to do with my veggies, but, I cut up an onion, some mushrooms, mini peppers, and celery. I sautéed them up in a little coconut oil until they were soft. I used them over the next couple of days. 



One way I used them was on a sandwich. I had fried up some bacon one morning and made a little extra. For lunch I took a sub sandwich roll and toasted it, laid a couple strips of bacon on it, warmed up some of the veggies and put those on top of the bacon and sprinkled cheese on top and put it under the broiler to melt. It was an amazing sandwich!  (the picture does not look as good as it tasted.. ha, ha! :)



The next day for my lunch I cut up some kale and sautéed that until it was just about soft and then added some of the veggie mix. Heated it up and put it over rice. 




Instant Pot Cheat Sheet
When you start cooking with an Instant Pot there is a learning curve. There are new methods and times to cook even just basic things like hard boiled eggs or beans. I know I can get tired of constantly looking the times up on line. Well, I have a great link to share with you. It is an Instant Pot Cheat Sheet. Gives you some basic times for commonly made items.

I've shared with you about my dear friend, Laurie, in the past. She has a great blog, Successful Homemakers, and she is the one who has made these nifty little sheets. If you head on over to her blog you print them out: http://successfulhomemakers.com/2-free-instant-pot-cheat-sheets/




That is all from my kitchen for this week!!





Wednesday, March 15, 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
What a busy week it has been. My daughter and her fiance spent 5 days with us. It was wonderful. We got to meet him and get to know him. Local family came and visited. They went and visited family as well. It was a lot fun. 



They left and my quiet house returned and life has gone back to its normal routines. And I do like that. I love my kids and time spent with them, but more and more I'm enjoying a quieter household. When the quiet returns, it is also a blessing to me.

On Sunday we celebrated my youngest child's birthday.. Isaac turned 19. It is always a sobering day for me. I have shared in past blog posts about his birth. I almost died in his birth. He was oxygen deprived for 5 minutes. He has had no effects from this, praise God. I spent many hours in life saving surgery due to a ruptured uterus, and barely made it. There is really not a day that goes by in my life that I am not grateful to the Lord for my life. I am here, today, to see my son grow, to be with my family, to experience the joy of grandchildren, to be my husbands wife. God is good... all the time.

I've spent a couple days with hubby who had things in town to do and wanted me to come with him for company and we did grocery shopping and more. I love being in a place in life where I can drop everything thing and spend time with my husband.



On My To-Do List
Today is an “at home” day. I have laundry to catch up on, I have cooking to do, I have house cleaning to do. The whole works.. :)



Projects I'm Working On
Many little projects. Now I just need some time to get them done.


Today's Weather
Right now it's very foggy out, and we have a break in the rain. But more rain is in the forecast today and all the way through to Saturday night. Is it any wonder I crave heat and sunshine! :)

High 55, Low 41



The View from my Deck (or window)
As I said, very foggy this morning! 




What I'm Reading
I finished 1st Chronicles and am now reading 2nd Chronicles.

I'm over half way done with Robinson Crusoe and I really am enjoying the book! So many interesting things to read about. Being a homesteader type I've loved how he has provided for himself on this somewhat desolate island.


What I'm Listening To
It's a quiet morning here. Hubby is sleeping in and I got the fire going this morning. I hear it crackling away and I hear my two living room clocks ticking.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Aww... there are weeks were it is hard to be frugal. You have family visiting and you need to feed them, care for them, provide for them.. and it is a joy, but not frugal. These are the times I am thankful that there are so many things in our life that we do as a regular part of life that are frugal. The things I've shared.. heating our hot water with our wood stove, recycling, packing my husbands lunch, making my own cleaning products or using frugal options, etc.. Life is like this and frugality is a mindset for all of life.


Fitness and Health for the Week
Oh my .. the rain.. it just keeps coming. I looked at the totals for the rain year (starts the beginning of Oct).. almost 38 inches and this in the city. We typically have twice as much rain as the city does.. which means we are probably getting close to 80 inches. I'm pretty over it all.. and it is making it hard to find a time to walk when it is constantly pouring down rain. I can handle some rain.. but constant pouring rain, is making it difficult. Praying that this calms down and we can experience some nicer spring days and I can get out and walk more.


That is all for my week, hope you all are having a great week.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Menu Monday!




It's been a busy time around my home but this week we are back to business as usual and I'm feeling like trying out a couple new recipes.

Today I need to go run some errands so I'm picking a simple meal, meatloaf and potatoes. I'll make a salad on the side.



The rest of the week looks like this...



Easy Garlic Chicken
This recipe looked easy and yummy. I'm going to make pasta alfredo and roasted veggies with this.


Asian Sesame Pork
I plan using THIS recipe and substituting pork for the chicken. This is an Instant Pot recipe. I'll serve rice and a veggie of some sort on the side.


Chicken Bacon Chowder
I've made this recipe a few times. It is yummy. I'll make a salad and biscuits on the side.


That should do it for the week! :)




Wednesday, March 8, 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
I'm very happy to say my daughter who has been living in S. Korea for the last 2 years, teaching, is now home. :) She finished out her last contract and decided she wanted time with family and to be home for a while. She arrived last week, with her new fiancé, in Los Angeles to visit his family. Very early this morning they arrived here. We were already in bed and now as I write this I am waiting for them to wake up and to give my girl a big mama hug.



She is not quite sure what her next plan is but for the next few months she will be going to California to help her sister (my daughter Emily) with her new baby. She is excited to spend time with her and to be a help to her.

I spent yesterday getting on top of the house and prepping guest rooms preparing for their arrival.


On My To-Do List
Certainly visit time and coffee time is top on my list today.



Projects I'm Working On
I had wanted to get my baby blanket finished, but did not get that far. Maybe I can do that this week if I have the time.


Today's Weather
Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Goodness we've had a lot of rain. In fact it has broken records as of late. We go from the most snow in winter we've ever seen to the most rain. I'm really starving for some sunshine and a little bit of warmth about now.

High if 45, Low of 43 and more rain and gray skies



The View from my Deck (or window)




What I'm Reading
I'm still in the book of 1st Chronicles.

And I'm almost half way through Robinson Crusoe.

I've always had a love for classic books. It was one of the foundations for my homeschooling. I read so many childrens classics to my kids. After I was done homeschooling I began to read more books for my own enjoyment. Many types of books and enjoyed so many authors. After a while I began to search for other authors, other styles of books and so on. But this year one of my goals I set for myself was to go back to the classics. I have to say I've really been enjoying it. Classic books are classics for a reason and each book I've read takes on its own life and pulls you into its little world.


What I'm Listening To
I hear a few birds chirping outside and that is so soothing. Spring is almost here and their sweet sounds are encouraging to me.


Something Frugal I've Done This Week
Recycling. We recycle our glass, plastic and tin cans and such. For one, it saves on our garbage bill, a lot. It reaps a lot of rewards in that way. I keep a bin in my laundry room where all the recycling items go and when it is full I take it to the basement where I sort it into individual bins, when they are full we take a trip to the recycling center. We go a few times a year and combine the trip there with other errands so the cost of driving there is minimal because we would have been going into town anyway.


Fitness and Health for the Week
Despite the rain I've been out waking several times in the last week. My new rain jacket has come in handy and I will say it works wonderfully! :)

In the past I would take my phone with me to not only capture any pretty pics I might want but also to listen to music. This week I started thinking about audio books and how great that would be to listen to that while I walk. I was thrilled to find an app on my phone that has so many books available for free that you can download. Of course most of them are classics, but that works well for me. So several of the chapters of Robinson Crusoe were listened to as I walked. For me it has been a great way to combine two things I enjoy.

For anyone interested in the app you can find it in the Google Play Store, and here is the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=biz.bookdesign.librivox&hl=en


That is all for my week, hope you all are having a great week.