MEXICAN COBB SALAD with JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING

MEXICAN COBB SALAD
Bed of Lettuce
Grilled chicken breast, chilled and chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
1 avocado chopped
1/8 cup chopped green chiles
1/4 cup grated jack cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
Juice of 1 lime

JALAPENO RANCH DRESSING
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon crushed parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Penzey’s California crushed jalapenos
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

  • Whisk all together and chill overnight before serving

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 17 of 2017

I hope you all had a GREAT weekend. Ours was quiet. I’m stuck in the house for the most part again.

Having a compromised immunity SUCKS.  Thank you SLE. It especially sucks when you’re working with a house like this and constantly exposed to something lurking.  Despite my constant effort to wash the dirt and grime away I keep ending up with bacterial infections from what I am coming in contact with. Fortunately this time I got into the doctor the next day after I noticed a problem . She took one look and said I had what she thought was cellulitis. She referred me a great specialist the same day who says we caught it in time to avoid the hospital and eye surgery.

The ophthalmologist also told me that cellulitis can be from a mosquito or spider bite. It usually affects the skin of the lower legs, but mine is in the muscle of my lower eyelid which makes even blinking painful. While it isn’t contagious, it can spread withing your own body quickly making it a potentially serious bacterial infection that can become life threatening by spreading to the lymph nodes or bloodstream when left untreated, Boy am I glad I didn’t ignore the pain and went to the doctor right away.  I can’t be out in the sun because of the medications so, it will be a quiet week indoors for me again.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

It’s supposed to warm up quite a bit this week, high 80’s+ and even a low 90’s, but at least there is no rain in the forecast for the next 5 days!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Black Cherry yogurt and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

I’m pretty happy.  Doing the laundry and deep cleans on Saturdays are making for HAPPY Mondays!

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

We’re going to work on some finishing touches around here this week:

  • Caulk and seal new molding on door frames
  • Seal windows

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Not much on TV at this time of year, just a few straggler shows that are about to wrap up for the season and some cooking shows backing up on the DVR so I’ll catch up on those this week. We did find a new show on Netflix that we are liking and we watched Adam Sandler’s Sandy Wexler this past weekend. It was okay.

I’m currently reading Ava Miles Dare River 5 book series. I’m on the second book, Chocolate Garden.

CRAFTS/PROJECTS

I’m working to finish a quilt for my niece Jill and her first baby, Luca.  I used a Noah’s Ark theme for one side and spring showers for the back.

KITCHEN WISHES

LOL nothing for now, but dreaming about my next kitchen.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
BACON & EGGS
PANCAKES or WAFFLES
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
BLUE APRON TAWANESE CHICKEN & RICE
BLUE APRON SEARED COD IN CREME FRAICHE SAUCE
BLUE APRON SILCILIAN STEAK & FREGOLA SALAD
C.O.R.N.
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

Health tips for Kids – Precautions are better than treatment

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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BUTTERMILK RANCH CHICKEN

BUTTERMILK RANCH CHICKEN

2 boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 + 1 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Heat avocado oil over medium high heat in a non stick skillet.
  • Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the Ranch seasoning on both sides of chicken.
  • Add chicken to pan, searing for 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through.
  • Transfer to a plate and keep warm with foil.
  • DO NOT wipe the pan clean.
  • Add butter to man.
  • Once butter is melted add the remaining Ranch seasoning and cream, whisking until smooth.
  • Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until thick enough to coat your spoon, 4-5 minutes.
  • Plate chicken and top with sauce.

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NOTE: I served it with mashed carrots for this picture, but hubby much prefers it with mashed potatoes and I have to agree with hum

RANCH GREEN BEANS

4 tablespoons butter
1 VERY small sweet onion, cut into thin wedges
1 medium regular red potato, unpeeled, ½-3/4″ dice
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
3 strips crisp-cooked bacon, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoon dry Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing or Dip Mix
1 (14.5 oz.) can green beans, drained WELL

  • In medium skillet, melt butter.
  • Add onion, potato and pepper, sautéing over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender.
  • Add bacon, garlic, and Ranch Mix. Stir in well.
  • Fold in green beans and heat through, simmering, occasionally stirring gently.
  • Add pepper to taste.

NOTE: Ranch Mixes are salty so NO need to add extra salt.

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LEMON MERINGUE PIE

LEMON MERINGUE PIE

CRUST
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter CRISCO
1/4 cup COLD ice water (use 1 cup measure & add ice to the 1/4 cup cold ice water)

  • Mix until blended together JUST until incorporated.
  • Roll out on floured surface.
  • Add to pie plate, fluent the edges by pinch between your fingers.

FILLING
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
dash salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3 beaten egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Key Lime juice

  • In a saucepan stir together the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt.
  • Add boiling water and cook until mixture boils and thickens, 3-5 minutes.
  • Temper the egg yolks slowly with some of the mixture and add back to saucepan.
  • Cook 2 more minutes and remove from heat.
  • Immediately add butter, whisking until melted.
  • Add zest and juice, blending until smooth.
  • Pour into crust.

MERINGUE
5 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup extra fine sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Beat egg whites until peaks form.
  • Slowly add sugar until dissolved.
  • Add cream of tartar and vanilla, blending well.
  • Add meringue to pie, sealing to crust.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes until meringue is browned.
  • Cool completely and then chill.

NOTES:

  • Meringue is extremely humidity sensitive. The sugar in the delicate mixture readily absorbs moisture from the air, which makes it soft and nearly impossible to achieve thick, stiff peaks. Humidity may also cause soft meringues to weep or crisp meringues to soften once baked. 
  • Using a copper bowl and beaters that were in the freezer for 30 minutes helps.  Many chefs prefer to use use copper bowls, a reaction between the copper and egg whites tends to produce a fluffy, more stable foam. Just before using a copper bowl, clean it with salt and lemon juice or vinegar, then rinse with cold water and dry thoroughly before placing in freezer.
  • Also make sure when separating your eggs to be extra careful, even the smallest piece of yolk can ruin your meringue. Separating your eggs while cold is easier to not get bits of yolk into the whites.

ROASTED POBLANO, GRILLED CHICKEN & CORN BISQUE

I love Escalante’s Roasted Corn Bisque – Fresh roasted corn, poblanos, bacon, grilled chicken, and onion in a sherry wine bisque and have been working to duplicate it. I think I have FINALLY accomplished it!

Roasted Poblano Chicken and Corn Bisque

2 medium Poblano peppers
1-2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
4 1/4 cups chicken broth, divided
2 cups peeled, small diced potatoes
2 cups cooked, grilled chopped chicken
2 cups fresh roasted corn on the cob, sliced off
2 cups half and half or light cream
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
4-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 cup sherry
Salt and pepper, to taste

OPTIONAL
Shredded Cheddar or Parmesan  cheese
a dollop of Sour cream
Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Cut Poblanos in half and remove seeds.
  • Place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Spray Poblanos with non-stick cooking spray and roast for 8-10 minutes or until skins begin to blacken.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Dice roasted Poblanos in to small pieces and add them to the pot along with chili powder and cumin, cooking a few minutes longer.
  • Add chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add potatoes and corn.
  • Simmer about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender.
  • Puree’ about half of the corn and potato mixture.
  • Add puree’ mixture back into pot.
  • Stir in chicken.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the half and half, remaining 1/4 cup broth, the sherry, sour cream  and 4 tablespoons of flour.
  • Whisk the cream mixture into the soup until smooth.
  • Simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow soup to thicken.
  • Stir in the crumbled bacon and cilantro.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve with optional toppings, if desired.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 16 of 2017

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. Ours was quiet, but really nice.  Our church service was a bit odd and we have been wanting a change from that church, but with all the other things going on we are going to wait until we know more about where we are going to land before make those changes. We’re still working out some kinks in a stressful situation around here, but hope to have some concrete answers soon so we can make some decisions about our next project.

We were originally going to go out for brunch after church, but changed our mind and had a small quiet Easter dinner here with my uncle and a neighbor. We had a pineapple carrot glazed ham with all the fixin’s.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

It’s cloudy and war already, but thankfully there is a small breeze.  I will be indoors for medical testing most the day so fortunately will not even notice much.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and granola.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

Not bad as I did a deep clean Saturday before having Easter dinner yesterday.

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Not much on TV at this time of year, just a few straggler shows that are about to wrap up for the season and some cooking shows backing up on the DVR so I’ll catch up on those this week.

I’m still reading Kristen Proby’s Boudreaux Series #5 book, Easy Magic.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

A busy week here and hoping to get a ton done!

  • A couple doctor appointments
  • Researching
  • Ebaying
  • Sorting and Donating

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
??
DINNER
CHICKEN CHILE CORN CHOWDER and GRILLED CHEESE
C.O.R.N. Y.O.Y.O.
MEATLOAF and SALAD
C.O.R.N. Y.O.Y.O.
POT ROAST HASH & EGGS
DESSERT

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

Family fun for a special birthday and memorial weekend at FAT ASS ranch and winery.

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM and ALL the FIXIN’s

So we changed our mind and stayed home for Easter dinner. We decided it’s just too busy around here and we didn’t want to fight the crowds.  Fortunately, we decided on Wednesday night so I was able to shop on Thursday and NOT fight the crowds in the markets.

PINEAPPLE CARROT TOP BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM
1 spiral sliced ham 8-10 pounds
1 jar pineapple preserves
1/2 cup minced carrot tops
2 cups brown sugar

  • Add the ham to the slow cooker, trimming off the bottom as needed to fit it into the slow cooker Add the trimmed fat pieces around the ham in the slow cooker.  They will help keep the moisture level up.
  • Whisk together preserves and minced carrot tops.
  • Spread glaze on ham.
  • Cover with the brown sugar.
  • Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  • Cover with a light covering of brown sugar and serve.

ROASTED CARROTS AND ASPARAGUS with BERNAISE SAUCE
3 large carrots, sliced thinly and diagonally
3-4 stalks asparagus, per person, trimmed and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, to taste
1 batch Bernaise sauce

  • Bring a double boiler of water to a boil.
  • Add butter, salt and pepper to water.
  • Add carrots and asparagus to vegetable steamer.
  • Cover and steam 15-20 minutes until crisp tender.
  • Top with sauce and serve immediately.

BERNAISE SAUCE
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
3 tablespoons minced shallots
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 large egg yolks
Juice of 1 large fresh lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add shallots and a pinch of salt and pepper; stir to coat.
  • Stir in vinegar, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until vinegar is evaporated, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue cooking shallots, stirring frequently, until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer shallot reduction to a small bowl and let cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, fill a blender with hot water to warm it; set aside.
  • Melt remaining 1 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is foamy.
  • Transfer butter to a measuring cup.
  • Drain blender and dry well.
  • Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water in warm, dry blender.
  • Purée mixture until smooth.
  • With blender running, slowly pour in hot butter in a thin stream of droplets, discarding milk solids at bottom of measuring cup. Blend until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour sauce into a medium bowl stirring in shallot reduction and tarragon.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature. I prefer fresh if your time allows.


POTATOES AU GRATIN
1/2 cup butter
16 oz. whipping cream
5 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic (jar) or 1 clove
2 cups grated 4 white cheese mix (Gruyere, Muenster, etc…)
2 cups rates sharp cheddar
Wondra Flour

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
  • Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.
  • Gradually add the whipping cream and spices. Blend well.
  • Gradually add the flour until the mixture thickens, but it is still pourable!
  • Mix the cheeses all together.
  • Layer the potatoes, cheese and cream mixture ending with cheese on top.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

I developed this recipe for a request from our youngest and it quickly became a family favorite.

Dessert was a recent inspiration from a new restaurant.  Tony Mandola’s Gulf Coast Kitchen is a fantastic place.  We had the BEST waiter who made our meal so enjoyable while he treated us to dessert and the history of two restaurant families (Carrabas Italian Grill and Ninfas Mexican Cantina) melding together to create this restaurant. I couldn’t find a recipe so I kind of made it up as I went and came VERY close.

BANANA KEY LIME PIE

1 large firm banana, sliced thin
1/4 cup Malibu rum
1 graham cracker crumb crust
14 ounce can Eagle sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Soak banana slices in rum.
  • Pat banana slices dry.
  • Combine milk, egg yolks, sugar and lime juice, beating until smooth like custard.
  • Layer banana slices in a layer on top of graham cracker crust.
  • Top with custard and bake 12-15 minutes until JUST barely set.
  • Cool 10 minutes.
  • Move to refrigerator, chilling several hours before serving.
  • Top with whipped cream.

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GOOD FRIDAY and a simple definition

Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary and is observed during Holy Week on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. It may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday.

While Easter is a legal holiday, the date of the holiday on the Gregorian calendar varies from one year to the next, and there is quite a bit of disagreement about its calculation. Some countries even have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

Good Friday for Christians is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world, commemorating a day of suffering and death for Jesus. Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Good Friday is followed by Easter Sunday which is the glorious celebration of the day Jesus rose from the dead.

Good Friday marks the day when God’s wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good.

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HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 15 of 2017

How was your week? Your weekend? Mine was productive and good.  The weather was beautiful and we took full advantage of it. We had a wonderful dinner out Saturday with my uncle and great lunch out with friends on Sunday to celebrate my friend’s birthday.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

So far it’s pretty outside, but the week is supposed to heat up quite a bit with rising humidity and a severe threat of thunderstorms. We shall see.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

I’m eating some leftover Quiche Lorraine and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE

I spent ALL day Saturday doing a DEEP clean, so am really happy with how the house looks.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS

  • Researching
  • Sorting
  • Ebaying
  • Packing

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

Not much on TV at this time of year, just a few straggler shows that are about to wrap up for the season and some cooking shows backing up on the DVR so I’ll catch up on those this week. I also started Kristen Proby’s Boudreaux Series #5 book, Easy Magic.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
FRUIT & COFFEE
SCRAMBLED EGGS
OUT
Brunch at BRENNERS ON THE BAYOU
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP
MEAT ROLL-UPS
SALAD
MEAT & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.
??
DINNER
 7 UP STEAK with POTATO GRATIN  IMPERIAL CHICKEN

and GREEN SALAD

B.A.
SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE
B.A.
ZA’ATAR SPICED CHICKEN with PINK LEMON PAN SAUCE & PEARL COUSCOUS
B.A.

POTATO & CHICKPEA STEW with PAN SEARED CHICKEN BREAST

GRILLED STEAKS
and SALAD
ROASTED
POBLANO CHILE & CORN
CHICKEN BISQUE
DESSERT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPES & LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

We tried BLUE APRON last week and were really happy with it.  We had Chicken Under a Brick, Fontina Stuffed Pork Chops and a Spinach Ricotta Flat Bread.  Thanks again Carrie for the referral!

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ON MY MIND

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

A couple months ago we had a HORRIBLE freeze. One day the temperature literally dropped 42 degrees almost all at once, OKAY SO IT WAS OVER 12 HOURS, BUT STILL SEVERE!  Plants everywhere froze that night.  No one had warning so plants didn’t get covered or brought in.  We lost our Norfolk pine and it comes from Virginia!  I noticed another neighbor had theirs out for trash this past week too.  My Lantanas all froze and turned brown and crisp with all the leaves and flowers dropping like that been hit with liquid nitrogen.  I cut them back and left them thinking I’d wait to do anything about it until spring got into full swing. I’m sure glad I waited!  They are coming back heartier than ever with LOTS of NEW blooms too!

INSPIRATION

Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

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BLUE APRON was a HUGE success!

THANK YOU again Carrie!  Loving my first Blue Apron box that came this past week.  Such pretty vegetables and all the fixings for  the 3 meals. They also included wonderful recipe directions that were really easy to follow. I cant wait to get my next box.

I let hubby choose the order we tried the recipes and he chose the Fontina Stuffed Pork Chops with a pepper sauce for our second meal. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed again! Definitely a meal we’ll have again. I did change a few techniques, but only for my own liking.  For example, they had you cutting the Fontina into small squares and I chose to slice them for better coverage inside the pork chop and to get some oozing out along the edge so there was a CRISP cheesy edge to the chop.