BACON MAC & CHEESE

BACON MAC & CHEESE
8 ounces elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
8 slices thick bacon, diced
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 ½ cups WHOLE milk
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese* (see note)

  • Cook pasta per package directions and drain well.
  • Cook bacon in skillet until crisp.
  • Remove bacon to paper toweling to drain.
  • Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.
  • Add shallots and garlic to bacon drippings over medium heat and cook a minute or two until shallots soften.
  • Increase heat to medium high and sprinkle in flour, whisking until golden and smooth.
  • Whisk in milk slowly and bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 4-5 minutes until
  • sauce begins to thicken.
  • Reduce heat to low and gradually stir in cheese(s), stirring until cheese is melted and blended well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Fold in drained pasta and bacon pieces.

NOTE: *For an even creamier texture use a portion of Velvetta cheese to replace some of the cheddar cheese.

GRILLED CHICKEN RAMEN with PEANUT SAUCE

GRILLED CHICKEN RAMEN with PEANUT SAUCE
3-3 ounce packages of Ramen
2 (1+1) tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise and then cut into pieces
3/4 cup match stick carrots
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
3/4 cup salted peanuts

  • Prepare sauce (recipe below) and set aside.
  • Cut chicken tender in half lengthwise and then cut each of those pieces in half.
  • Discard ramen flavor packets.
  • Cook ramen in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Drain and toss in serving bowl with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.  Cover and set aside.
  • Coat chicken pieces with remaining oil and grill or sear in cast iron until chicken is seared on the outside and cooked through.
  • Toss chicken in sauce with vegetables.
  • Serve over prepared ramen, cucumbers and garnish with green onions.

SAUCE
1/2 cup salted creamy peanut butter (see note)
2-3 tablespoons BRAGG’S liquid aminos
2 tablespoons maple syrup
+/- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, depending on your heat level
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
+/- 1/4 cup water (to thin)

  • Whisk together the peanut butter, liquid aminos, maple syrup, chili sauce and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Add water a little at a time until a thick BUT pourable sauce is formed.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, chili garlic sauce for heat, lime juice for acidity, or liquid aminos for saltiness.

NOTE:

  • Almond butter or Cashew butter SUBSTITUTE WELL for Peanut butter.
  • If your sauce becomes too thin, add more nut butter.
  • If your sauce is too thick, thin with more water.
  • FRESH grated ginger to taste adds another great flavor.

BLUEBERRY BANANA MAPLE MUFFINS

I made these recently for a friend’s birthday and instantly fell in love <3 with them!  I’ve adapted the original recipe just slightly and think it’s absolutely perfect now.

BLUEBERRY BANANA MAPLE MUFFINS slightly adapted from Brandi Milloy
yields 18 muffins

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
²⁄³ cups PURE maple syrup
1 LARGE egg, room temperature
2 small VERY RIPE bananas, mashed
¹⁄³ cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups SMALL WILD blueberries
¼ cup FINELY chopped walnuts
¼ cup DARK brown sugar, for topping

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease tins well.
  • In an electric mixer bowl, cream together the butter and maple syrup.
  • Add egg, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • If you are using fresh blueberries add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Then FOLD in blueberries.
  • If you are using frozen blueberries, add 3/4 of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix. Then add your frozen blueberries to the remaining flour mixture and toss. This will keep the frozen blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins until they’re about ¾ of the way full.
  • Whisk together the brown sugar and walnuts.
  • Top with a generous sprinkle of the brown sugar nut mix.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY on wire rack.

GRAN’S CORN PUDDING

GRAN’S CORN PUDDING
4 LARGE eggs
1 cup WHOLE milk
1-15 ½ ounce cream style corn
1 can white shoepeg corn, drained well
5 slices day old STALE or toasted sourdough bread without crusts
½ cup sugar
1-2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced or cubed small

  • Grease a 9×9 baking dish. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together the eggs and milk.
  • Add the corn and sugar, blending well.
  • Cut the bread into ½ inch cubes.
  • Arrange bread cubes in the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Pour corn mixtures over bread cubes.
  • Dot with butter.
  • Bake uncovered 60 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.

NOTE:  When I prepared this tonight I didn’t realize we were out of sourdough so I use a rye with caraway seeds that actually added some seriously GREAT flavor.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 47 of 2019

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

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  How was your week?  I had appointments of one kind or another every day last week making it feel really broken up and discombobulated.  I’m hoping to get more done this week AND have a little fun too as I don’t have anywhere to be for the most part.  I need to get clothes ready for the Thanksgiving week trip. 

Today is a good friends birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER – and I baked muffins to go with her birthday present.  I’ll be running all of this by her house later this afternoon and posting the recipe later this week.  I can even eat these muffins since there is NO granulated sugar actually in them, but they taste great!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It’s starting out a bit gray and we’re supposed to have a decent amount of rain as the day goes on as well as a little tomorrow as the temperature will take a 10 degree dip this week from start to finish.  I have some Levi’s, a comfy sweatshirt and some pillow socks to wear when I get dressed.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and baby food (Apple Carrot Pineapple) 😀

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… Laundry is caught up as of this morning 😀 Need a little tidying elsewhere
  • YARD… nothing to be done right now
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… looks like a pretty good week or two until after Thanksgiving
  • BLOG… I’m still trying to get caught up on BLOGEMBER as well as prepare for BLOGMAS and a few new recipes to post
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I FINALLY finished the Christmas Card Tower with hubby’s help, but it was A LOT of work!  I was going to make several as gifts, but unless we come up with a new design this will be a one time project.  The good thing is that it will somewhat disassemble each year by just undoing 12 screws so it will pack away flat each year.  Getting the idea out of my brain into real life only took 12 big screws, 4 medium screws, 88 tiny brass screws, 1 lazy susan so it revolves, 1 decorative mat, 1 butcher block round, 6 1×1’s cut into 2 different sizes, 8 molding pieces cut into 48 equal sized pieces, 1 painter’s tarp, a couple of 60 degree days, 3 cans of spray paint, decorative ribbon, a lot of patience and hubby’s help. :D.  BUT, it will last forever. BTW, are you ready for Christmas?

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED

The DVR is still a bit backed up and we need to get caught up on quite a few shows and movies. Some of the shows for this year are (though a couple are quickly becoming non-essential and a few others are in their final seasons):

  • CRIME, POLICE & MEDICAL  – Chicago Series (Medical, FIRE and Police), Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum PI, FBI, NCIS, NCIS LA, NCIS NOLA, All Rise, Bluff City Law, The Resident, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor, Stumptown, The Rookie, Madam Secretary, Bull, 911, Emergence, Seal Team
  • COMEDIES & FAMILY – Young Sheldon, The Good Place, The Unicorn, American Housewife, GOD Friended me
  • REALITY – The Masked Singer, Dancing with the Stars

I’M READING Charming Hannah by Kristen Proby, book #1  from her BIG Sky series

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA My Christmas cacti are REALLY happy 😀

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK The plans for last week became totally topsy turvy so we’ll try for a better week this week with staying on schedule. 😀

MONDAY – WINTER PORK ROAST
TUESDAY – BUFFALO CHICKEN MEATLOAF & BACON MAC & CHEESE
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N.
THURSDAY – GRILLED CHICKEN with RAMEN & PEANUT SAUCE
FRIDAY – LEMON CHICKEN PAILLARD
SATURDAY – CREAMY GARLIC & HERB PORK CHOPS
SUNDAY – C.O.R.N.

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK

  • GRAN’S CORN PUDDING
  • BLUEBERRY BANANA MAPLE MUFFINS
  • GRILLED CHICKEN with RAMEN & PEANUT SAUCE
  • LEMON CHICKEN PAILLARD
  • CREAMY GARLIC & HERB PORK CHOPS

GARLIC LIME SLOW COOKER CHICKEN

GARLIC LIME SLOW COOKER CHICKEN
8 bone in chicken thighs
½ cup Bragg’s Amino liquids
½ cup chicken broth
1/3 cup lime juice, 4 large limes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon each FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Lightly spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour over chicken pieces.
  • Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. Watch that chicken does not dry out.

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS

Christmas is right around the corner so I thought I’d share one of my favorite holiday recipes. My great aunt who I only got to see a couple times a year used to make these every year special for me and I would wait out on the front steps for her arrive just to see them and know they were there. She always made them soooooooooo pretty and perfect!  They are delicious and they are a quick, easy, no bake treat and they’re so pretty to add to the cookie & candy tray selections.

CORN FLAKE HOLLY WREATHS
(these are better when they are made a few days ahead)

30 large marshmallows (or 3 cups mini marshmallows or 1 jar marshmallow cream)
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon green food color
3 1/2-4 cups cornflakes
Red Hots or sprinkles for decorating
  • Combine marshmallows, butter, vanilla and food color in top of double boiler.
  • Heat and stir frequently until well blended.
  • Gradually stir in cornflakes until well blended.
  • Drop onto wax paper and arrange into wreath shapes. I plop them onto the wax paper and then push out from the center to form the wreaths.
  • Decorate with red hots.
  • Let cool.
  • If your house is warm – chill in refrigerator until set.

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HONEYMOON SALAD

This recipe stems from my grandmother’s ancient file.  It was not a well written recipe so I’ve “interpreted” it into what I like 😀

HONEYMOON SALAD
2 LARGE (15 ½ ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained WELL juice reserved**
¼ cup sugar
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
pinch of salt
1 cup mini marshmallows, halved
½ cut chopped nuts
1 LARGE banana, diced

  • In a large saucepan whisk together the sugar, egg, flour and salt, until well blended.
  • Add  reserved juice (2 cups), cooking on medium low heat until thick.
  • Fold in fruit pieces, banana pieces, marshmallow and nuts.
  • Chill until cold.
  • Keep refrigerated.

NOTE:

  • I sometimes substitute a LARGE can of mandarin oranges for one of the cans of pineapple.  When I do, I cut the orange segments into 2-3 pieces each.
  • I’ve seen this made with a few Maraschino cherries during the holidays to add color.

TOMATO CHEDDAR DUMPLINGS

TOMATO CHEDDAR DUMPLINGS
SAUCE
2 green onions, minced
1 SMALL stalk celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2-15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet.
  • Add onion and celery, sauteing until soft.
  • Add flour, stirring to combine.
  • Add tomatoes and sugar, blending well.
  • Season with salt and pepper, bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.

DUMPLINGS
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons COLD butter, diced
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup milk

  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
  • Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
  • Add cheese.
  • Stir in milk until JUST moist.
  • Drop by tablespoons into simmering tomato sauce.
  • Cover and simmer, undisturbed, 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

CLASSIC CLAM CHOWDER

CLASSIC CLAM CHOWDER
2-10 ounce cans BUMBLE BEE whole baby clams
1-8 ounce bottle clam juice
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
½ LARGE red onion, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
8 slices bacon, chopped small
¼ cup chopped Italian leaf Parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 LARGE gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 ½ cups half-and-half
2 green onions, sliced thin

  • In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Add onions, celery and half of Parsley, sauteing until soft.
  • Add flour and blend well.
  • Strain clams, reserving juice.
  • Add clam juices, white wine and chicken stock, blending well.
  • Bring to a LOW SLOW boil. Reduce heat to medium low.
  • Add potatoes and simmer 15-20 minutes until potatoes are fork tender and soup has thickened to desired consistency.
  • Add clams.
  • Stir in half-and-half, simmering 5-10 minutes until clams are heated through.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Garnish with reserved Parsley, green onions and bacon.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 46 of 2019

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

GOOD MORNING everyone.  Happy Monday!  I can’t believe how quickly time seems to fly at this time of year!  I hope you had a blessed and productive week full of family time and fun.  I got quite a bit accomplished and saw some great football (The Chiefs and Titans game was one of the best I’ve seen all season) and NASCAR too. 

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING

I follow 2 different weather pages and rarely do they agree so I usually figure it will just be somewhere in between 😀  Every now and then they come within a couple degrees of agreeing.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE We’re back to food not being a not so friendly.  So, hot water and baby food it is for breakfast.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST, HOUSE & CRAFT PROJECTS, APPOINTMENTS FYI Christmas is only 44 days away!  Are you ready? 😀

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… pretty neat, just a little tidying to do
  • YARD… not a single thing!
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… Hubby and I both have several this week 😀 that will make a TO DO list difficult as they are in the middle of the days
  • BLOG… My goal is to get caught up on BLOGEMBER that I’ve fallen behind on, work on some BLOGMAS posts that can be done ahead of time and finish a couple recipes that I’ve been updating… 
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… Hoping to get to the Bowling Pin snowmen, but they will probably wait until after Thanksgiving because I started a Christmas Card Tower that I need to get painted before the weather gets too cold

ON MY MIND I’m worried about hubby and his upcoming interaction with his youngest sister over Thanksgiving.  I know he intends to keep it civil, but she is so far over the line about her dealings with their parents passing, settling affairs and the celebration of Life that I’m afraid it will come to a major fight and legal action to straighten it out so it’s fair for all 5 kids.  Unfortunately, no one wants to stand up to her and will just allow her to “screw” them all to avoid the unpleasantness 🙁  We could use prayers that things go smoothly.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED The DVR is getting a bit backed up and we need to get caught up on quite a few shows and movies. Some of the favorite shows this year are:

  • CRIME, POLICE & MEDICAL Shows – Chicago Series (Medical, FIRE and Police), Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum PI, FBI, NCIS, NCIS LA, NCIS NOLA, All Rise, Bluff City Law, The Resident, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor, Stumptown, The Rookie, Madam Secretary, Bull, 911, Emergence, Seal Team
  • COMEDIES & FAMILY – Young Sheldon, The Good Place, The Unicorn, American Housewife, GOD Friended me
  • REALITY – The Masked Singer, Dancing with the Stars

We rented a couple Red Box movies over the weekend that were pretty good:

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – CLAM CHOWDER & SALAD with BLEU CHEESE YOGURT DRESSING
TUESDAY – PORK CHOPS & SCALLOPED POTATOES with SALAD
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N.
THURSDAY – CHICKEN FRANCAISE & CORN PUDDING
FRIDAY – CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER CHICKEN SOUP & PULL APART ROLLS
SATURDAY – GARLIC LIME CHICKEN, GLAZED CARROTS & SALAD
SUNDAY – C.O.R.N.

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES WITH LINKS FROM LAST WEEK OR TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK

  • CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER CHICKEN SOUP
  • CLASSIC CLAM CHOWDER
  • GOLDEN PILLOW ROLLS
  • PICKLED BEETS
  • CHICKEN & GREEN CHILE COBBLER
  • ORANGE TERIYAKI CHICKEN

 

CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER CHICKEN SOUP

CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER CHICKEN SOUP
3 pounds small hot house tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
avocado oil
½ red onion
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken
3 tablespoons caramelized balsamic vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
½ cup half and half
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
Crumbled bacon for garnish

  • Halve and seed red pepper.
  • Holding pepper with tongs roast pepper halves over burner flame. Set aside to cool.
  • Small dice the red onion.
  • Small dice the red pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Fill a large bowl with ice water.
  • Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato.
  • Add tomatoes to boiling water and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes or until skins break.
  • Using a slotted spoon immediately transfer tomatoes to ice water.
  • When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and place tomatoes in a bowl.
  • In a small stock pot heat avocado oil.
  • Add onion, cooking a minute or so to soften.
  • Add red pepper and cook 2-3 minutes until soft and oil is absorbed.
  • Add parsley.
  • Using an immersion blender, cream tomatoes.
  • Add tomatoes to pan, stirring to blend well.
  • Season to taste.
  • Add vinegar and chicken broth, blending well. Cook 5-10 minutes.
  • Add half and half, stirring to blend.
  • Fold in chicken pieces.
  • Add butter, stirring until melted and blended well.