GRILLED BALSAMIC BEEF KEBABS

GRILLED BALSAMIC BEEF KEBABS
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup avocado oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed into 1 inch chunks
1 red onion, cut into wedges
Colorful Mini peppers, cut into chunks

  • Whisk together vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes and oil in a small bowl.
  • Season steak pieces GENEROUSLY with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add steak pieces to a large ziploc bag.
  • Pour oil mixture over steak pieces and marinade 2-4 hours.
  • Drain steak pieces and add drained marinade to a small sauce pan.
  • Cook marinade over medium heat until slightly thickened,
  • Thread meat, onion wedges and pepper pieces alternately onto prepared skewers.
  • Grill kebabs, turning every 2 minutes and basting with reserved sauce until charred and cooked through.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PLUMS

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PLUMS
4 thick bone-in pork chops
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4-6 LARGE plums, halved and pitted
Juice from 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons PACKED brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Whisk together the avocado oil and lemon juice. Set aside.
  • Rub plums with half of the brown sugar.
  • Whisk together the remaining brown sugar with the coriander, ginger, salt and pepper.
  • Lightly brush the pork chops with oil mixture and then sprinkle with spice mixture.
  • Sear chops on an oiled grill over medium heat 3-4 minutes per side until you reach 140° and a good sear on each side.
  • Transfer chops to platter and tent with foil while you grill the plums.
  • Add plums to grill 2-3 minutes per side until caramelized and skins are peeling away.
  • Peel away skins and toss plums in remaining lemon juice mixture.
  • Serve immediately.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 32 of 2020

GOOD MORNING I can’t get Willie Nelson out of my head! On The Road Again is playing over and over as we trek back to SIL’s house for an important meeting…

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend.  Since we had to cancel our anniversary trip later this month to make this trip instead, we left a little early to make a stop at the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay. I do find it ironic though that you cannot go ANYWHERE and have it truly relaxing when you know there is a LIVE webcam on the area.  SIGH, I do suppose that keeps us safer though. At least there was serious social distancing going on. 

We had planned to spend the day and not get to SIL’s until today, but changed our mind when it was 99° and too people so we powered through to finish the trek instead and arrived last night.  We’ll find something fun and relaxing to do on the way home to complete the trip.

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It’s high 80’s at home and higher yet where we wereyesterday, but SIL’s house is in the high 60’s.  I’m in love! 😀

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Not sure yet – traveling is still really hard for me.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS
Nothing this week as we deal with out of town issues.

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV Absolutely nothing except what will record while we are gone.

I’M READING I finally finished Hurricane Season by Lauren Denton and loved it.  I’m also finally beginning Lost Friends.  I did read part of the Marie Force’s Green Mountain Vermont series, All My Lovin’ in the middle of those.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Here are a couple quick pictures from yesterday’s visit to the Sundial Bridge (it really works) and this amusing one from a tiny border town.

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
SIL’S CHOICE
DESSERT
 

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PLUMS
  • GRILLED BALSAMIC BEEF KEBABS
  • TERIYAKI BEEF & VEGGIES
  • MEATLOAF BURGERS

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES & CARROT BROCCOLI SLAW

This couldn’t be a simpler recipe if you tried.

PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES & CARROT BROCCOLI SLAW
2 cups torn rotisserie chicken pieces
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
OR
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used a Cherry Chipotle)

  • Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over HIGH heat, simmering 8-10 minutes until reduced by half.
  • Stir in chicken and cook several minutes until warmed through.

OR

  • Bring YOUR FAVORITE BBQ sauce to a SLOW simmer.
  • Add chicken, stirring to coat all the pieces.
  • Simmer 5-10 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve on buns with FRESH corn on the cob.

CARROT SLAW
1 1/2 cups shredded matchstick carrots
1/2 cup broccoli matchstick pieces
1/4 cup bread and butter pickles, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or juice from the pickles
1/2 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the sour cream, vinegar or brine, salt and pepper.
  • Toss carrots and broccoli pieces together with dressing.
  • Chill several hours before serving.

TERIYAKI CHICKEN with PINEAPPLE SALSA and RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS

TERIYAKI CHICKEN
1/3 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon FRESH grated ginger
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders

  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, sugar, mirin, ginger and cornstarch together in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Marinate chicken pieces for 1 hour.
  • Grill chicken 2-3 minutes per side on a medium hot grill.
  • Brush chicken with remaining sauce as grilling.

JALAPENO PINEAPPLE SALSA
1 pineapple, diced
4 cups watermelon cubes
2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 cup cherries, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • Toss all together.
  • Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

RED PEPPER JELLY GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds FRESH green beans, trimmed
1 LARGE shallot or SMALL red onion, diced
4 cloves or chicken in garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup FRESH orange juice
1/2 cup red pepper jelly
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons butter

  • Heat butter until melted over medium heat.
  • Add shallots or red onions and saute 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add green beans and orange juice, stirring to coat.
  • Add jelly to top of beans, cover and cook over medium heat 10-15 minutes until beans are tender.
  • Stir in cilantro to blend flavor and serve immediately.

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS serves 6
6 medium zucchini or 3 LARGE, depending on type
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 3/4 pounds QUALITY ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Green onions, chopped for garnish
Chopped Cilantro, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cover baking sheet with foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Wash zucchini and cut off ends.
  • Cut zucchini in half and remove seeds to hollow out centers.
  • Spread oil on zucchini and sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place zucchini on baking sheet. Set aside while you prepare chili.

 

  • Heat oil in large cast iron skillet.
  • Add ground beef to brown. Drain off excess grease.
  • Add onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 4-5 minutes until onions soften.
  • Whisk together tomato paste, chicken stock and tomato sauce.
  • Add tomato mixture to meat, stirring to combine and cooking 8-10 minutes until VERY thick.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Fill zucchini boats with chili and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more until cheese is golden.
  • Top with sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE

Wednesday Hodgepodge is hosted over at From This Side of the Pond

1. Last time you moved house? Something you’ve learned in moving house? Last time we moved was a surreal and emotional move.  We had been rehabbing my grandparent’s house for my uncle (who eventually swindled us out of about $75,000 – but that’s another story).  It was a cross country move, so pretty expensive.  The thing I have learned the most is to ONLY move the most important things.  If it’s a cross country move there are a ton of things that are better donated and repurchased on the other end – things like toasters, coffee pots, patio furniture which is big, bulky and heavy, etc…

2. Move mountains, move along, make a wrong move, moved to tears, get a move on, move up, move over, move out of the way, move the deck chairs on the Titanic, move it!…pick one and tell us how it fits your recent circumstances. Tough topic in this COVID world we are living in since I feel like I’m not moving at all, except in circles while we wait for the world to calm itself down.  So of those choices, I guess I’ll move onMove on as in taking one day at a time and moving forward despite all that is going on around us.

3. What have you been doing to make yourself move (aka stay fit-active) during these strange times? When this all began I spent a ton of time outside – we literally had most of the summer projects done during the spring  which included new garden beds, flowers, pruning and pressure washing all the concrete surfaces.

4. This week’s calendar includes celebrations for the following foods- National Coffee Milkshake Day (Sunday), National Creme Brûlée Day (Monday), National Milk Chocolate Day (Tuesday), National Chicken Wing Day (Wednesday), National Lasagne Day (Wednesday), National Cheesecake Day (Thursday), and National Avocado Day (Friday)
Which one on the list would you be most inclined to celebrate? I would definitely celebrate Milk Chocolate Day, Chicken Wing Day, Lasagna Day, Cheesecake Day  and Avocado Day.

Which would you be most inclined to skip? I would skip Coffee Milkshake Day and Creme Brulee Day – not a fan of either one.

5. Next week’s Hodgepodge lands in August! I know!! Raise your hand if you feel like July flew by in the blink of an eye? Now bid farewell to your July acrostic style.

Bright and Cheery,
Yet dismal and dreary,
Every day starts a new
Just as it’s supposed to.
Until we again realize,
Life goes on and on
Yielding both sadness and happiness.

6.  Insert your own random thought here. I have to say that I truly have no random thoughts today. HA HA 😀

TUESDAY 4

IT’S TIME FOR TUESDAY 4 hosted at TUESDAY 4. This week’s questions seem a bit random, but I’ll try for answers that make some sense.

1. What kind of restaurants do you enjoy most and why? Do you have a favorite? This is a tough question these days amid the horrors of COVID19!  I LOVE a lot of different food and restaurants, but have been spending my money mainly on local mom and pop places to help them out. Hubby and I tended to go out to lunch more often than not before, whereas now we order it and then pick it up to eat at home. We do have a favorite old historic pub that makes tremendous sandwiches.

2. Do you have a favorite cartoon from film, news or comic book? Not really!

3. Do you belong to any clubs or societies or organizations? We’re military and hubby is a lifetime member of the VFW, American Legion, 82nd Airborne Association… I’ve been on the auxiliary of several and participated in the clubs at many levels like writing their newsletters, etc…  I was also a Girl Scout Leader for several years.

4. The internet is filled with ads. Are there any ads that you enjoy seeing or hate to see?  Honestly I HATE most ads – I find most of them insulting to our intelligence.  Now if they make them positive, add a golden retriever or a cute kid that makes me smile, I’ll watch.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 31 of 2020

GOOD MORNING sweet friends.  I hope you all had a GREAT week and relaxing weekend. I’m getting settled back in from our trip. I know the world is still crazy and personally I’m trying to avoid it as much as possible due to my own health concerns, but it, the world and all its complications, has a way of finding us no matter what.  The situation with hubby’s sister is becoming more and more complex and sadly requires us to travel again next week.  Keep us in your prayers that this whole situation settles itself fairly quickly and calmly.

Be sure to join us for Happy Homemaker Monday and link up
with our host, Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We’re having a serious hot spell here!  It’s fairly unusual to see triple digits, but they’re here!  Fortunately it’s only a day or 2 until it’s back into the 80’s.  So today is cutoffs, a t-shirt and probably barefoot all day except to go out to the garden and then it’s flip flops.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE hot water & baby food

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS

MONDAY
  • TIMELINE & DOCUMENT RESEARCH
TUESDAY
  • PAPERWORK & LETTERS
WEDNESDAY
  • CLEANING & LAUNDRY
THURSDAY
  • OIL CHANGE
FRIDAY
  • LONG AWAITED HAIR APPOINTMENT
SATURDAY
  • PACKING
SUNDAY
  • TRAVEL DAY

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV There is not much on the TV or DVR! A couple of cooking shows, A Svengoolie and a race or two to watch.  We are also watching THE LAST KINGDOM on Netflix. We watched a couple RedBox movies over the weekend.

I’M READING I need to get back to reading regularly.  My intentions are good of an evening, but I seem to fall asleep before I get 2 pages in… I didn’t get much reading done as I thought I would while we ere traveling so I’m just starting The Book of Lost Friends and  Hurricane Season by Lauren Denton. I’ve also loaded my kindle with a couple more in hopes of some down time to more reading while we’re gone this time in hopes of more reading time.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We went to feed the peacocks all the old stale snacks from our trip and were rewarded with a bunch of babies!  I had never seen peacock babies here before – they were so sweet! It’s also feather losing season – they were everywhere!

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES & RED CABBAGE SLAW
TERIYAKI BEEF & VEGGIES with SALAD
CHICKEN with TARRAGON BREAD CRUMBS, POTATOES & PEAS
ORANGE BEEF with SUGAR SNAP PEAS & SALAD
GRILLED HOISIN PORK CHOPS with PINEAPPLE SALSA
BBQ PORK TENDERLOINS & SALAD
ON THE ROAD
DESSERT
 PEACH, CHERRY & BLACKBERRY FRUIT CRUMBLE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS
  • BALSAMIC BEEF KEBABS
  • GRILLED PORK CHOPS & PLUMS
  • SPICY GREEN BEANS
  • PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICHES
  • MEATLOAF BURGERS

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

There are a lot of recipes out there for Brown Bag Apple Pie, but I honestly haven’t found one that compares to grans. ALL of those others will tell you that their pie is the most incredible one! Once again I haven’t found one that compares with gran’s old recipe. I can agree that no matter what recipe you use, the paper bag is THE key ingredient! It truly makes for a crust that doesn’t burn, but is a lightly textured and deep golden flaky crust, sweet and delicately flavored center and a crunchy topping. Don’t forget the luscious vanilla ice cream on a nice warm piece of pie!

BROWN BAG APPLE PIE

CRUST
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons SUPERFINE sugar
6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter
2 ½ tablespoons COLD vodka or more as needed

  • Whisk the flour and white sugar together in a bowl until well-combined.
  • Cut the unsalted butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle with the vodka, a little at a time, mixing the dough together lightly with a fork until it barely holds together.
  • Form the dough into a ball and roll it out to a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  • Gently ease the dough into pie dish, pressing to fit pie pan.
  • Cut off any excess pastry with a knife.
  • Finish the edge of the crust by gently pressing the tines of a fork into the dough all the way around the edge of the pie dish.
  • Set the crust aside.

FILLING
5 pounds Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced thinly
½ cup PACKED brown sugar
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 teaspoons PURE ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch QUALITY ground ginger
Juice from 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons ginger snap crumbs

  • In a large mixing bowl toss the apples with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and lemon juice.
  • Set aside.

CRUMB TOPPING
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup COLD butter
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons QUALITY cinnamon 



  • Combine the flour, sugars and cinnamon, whisking to combine.
  • Cut in butter pieces until you have a crumbly coarse mixture.


ASSEMBLY


  • Sprinkle the ginger snap crumbs over the bottom of the pie crust evenly.
  • Fill the pie with the apple mixture.
  • Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture evenly over the filling.
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Place pie in a brown paper bag (grocery size) so that bag is folded over, but not actually touching the pie itself.

  • Bake for 1 hour. DO NOT PEEK while baking.
  • Remove from the oven, carefully remove paper bag from around pie and let cool; serve warm.
  • Store leftovers in refrigerator.


NOTE: ALTERNATE METHOD TO AN ACTUAL PAPER BAG

  • Tear off two 30 inch long pieces of parchment paper.
  • Place them perpendicular to each other on a work surface.
  • Place the filled pie in the center of the two pieces of parchment, bring the paper ends up over the pie and fold and staple the parchment paper over the pie to COMPLETELY enclose and seal in the pie inside.
  • The paper should not touch the top or sides of the pie.
  • Place on a baking sheet to catch any drips.

CREAMED CORN

CREAMED CORN
3-4 cups FRESH corn kernels
2+2 tablespoons butter
1 Vidalia onion or LARGE bunch green onions, chopped small
2-3 cloves garlic FINELY minced
1-2 red or orange mini peppers, chopped small
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
1/4-1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions, sauteing until soft, 5-10 minutes.
  • Add garlic, sauteing 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add corn kernels and pepper pieces, stirring to combine.
  • Sprinkle generously with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • Lower heat and cook 30-35 minutes or so until tender.
  • Stir in cream, 2 tablespoons butter, thyme and red pepper flakes.