HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 33 of 2018

GOOD MORNING everyone. I hope you had a wonderful weekend. It was a quiet weekend here, but productive and full too. The temperatures have been more tolerable, but the smoke from the fires is heavy and making my eyes burn so we spent time inside watching racing, pre-season football, some odd ball movies and did some honey-do repairs around here. We’re back to routine this morning and off to the gym when I finish this post.

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.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – It’s horribly smoky still with seriously poor air quality topped off by the horrible Salton Sea smell.  It will be an “indoor day” with no pool time, but I will spend some extra time at the gym to replace the pool and bike time.  It’s still terribly warm, but the evenings are cooling down to the low 80’s.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – I’m on my 3rd cup of green tea and have already had a peach yogurt, but plan on having a banana also before I leave for the gym.

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – we’re on the countdown to the vacation end of this recuperation process. Vacation will will include the San Diego zoo (end of August), my birthday, Disneyland (mid September), a visit with hubby’s almost 97 year old father and Hearst Castle, our nephew’s wedding (Saturday the 22nd), a visit with SIL…

Also this is our anniversary week so I’m looking forward to some fun times together and with friends. I made this to put on hubby’s facebook wall on our anniversary.

I was able to add another machine to my routine last week and while it kicked my butt, I’m happy to be progressing.  The weight loss has slowed to ounces and even balanced out a bit as the previously “missing” muscle is being replaced with again active muscle.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – smokey sunsets from the lingering fires 🙁

INSPIRATION

SOMETHING INTERESTING I SAW

This first one isn’t interesting so much as it is sad.  A piece of my childhood burnt down Saturday night 🙁 So sad – picture from the SIGNAL

Los Angeles County Firefighters and Angeles National Forest Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that leveled Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

Hubby shared this on my facebook wall this past week.  I’m pretty sure he’s still laughing though I’m not sure why as neither of us has ever left the keys in the ignition or had a car stolen LOL 😀 I thought it was so cute though that I would share it with you.

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

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads
  • LIVING AREAS… looking pretty tidy after a deep clean
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean, but starting to dwindle things down
  • YARD… nothing much
  • BLOG… still doing some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning
  • TO DO… oil change on the car
  • PROJECTS… Christmas Cards
  • APPOINTMENTS… dinner with Paul & Deb, Lunch with Dick & Kay, our anniversary dinner, BBQ at Robin & Tom’s house

I’M READING UNLUCKY by Jana Deleon and Where The Hurt Is by Chris Kelsey

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – Nothing too much, but am starting to see previews for the fall lineup.  I have a few things recorded on sling and a list of things to see on netflix, amazon and hulu.

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKET – Christmas Card parts

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

ALL DAY BRISKET with TARRAGON GREEN BEANS

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

APRICOT CHICKEN and SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CREAM BRAISED CHICKEN

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 CHICKEN DUMPLING STEW

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

QUICHE

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

SWEDISH MEATBALLS and PARSLEY NOODLES with LINGONBERRY JAM

COCOA MERINGUES

SUNDAY

CHEESECAKE PANCAKES

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 BISTRO SANDWICHES with BACON GREEN ONION DIP

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

BACON GREEN ONION DIP

Another awesome Facebook/internet find recipe. Just a couple changes to make is “US” friendly and we really enjoyed it on yesterday’s race day!! It will become a football friendly dip too 😀

BACON GREEN ONION DIP Adapted from the MIDNIGHT BAKER
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
  • Add onions and mix well.
  • Fold in bacon.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

NOTE: I have used my homemade Pimiento Cheese and just add the sour cream, garlic powder, green onions and bacon to it for a tasty variation. 😀

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

AVOCADO PEACH CHICKEN SALAD with HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled to perfection and sliced 😀
1 large peach, washed and sliced
1 large RIPE avocado, sliced
1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, sliced thin
4 strips bacon, diced, browned andcrisp
3 cups torn romaine or watercress lettuce

  • Arrange ingredients on plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.

HONEY LIME VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
Pinch FRESH ground sea salt

  • Add ingredients into a glass container or jar with a lid.
  • Shake jar vigorously until completely combined.
  • Serve on your favorite salad.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

NOTES: When using cold from the refrigerator make sure you shake it up REALLY well to re-blend the ingredients. I usually run my jar under warm water before giving it a good shake and if that doesn’t mix it enough a few seconds in the microwave should thin it enough to make mixable!

HONEY SRIRACHA CHICKEN

HONEY SRIRACHA CHICKEN
avocado oil
2 skin on Chicken legs with thigh meat attached or 6 thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 ounce sriracha sauce
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
2 green onions, sliced thin – whites and greens separate
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid aminos
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Prepared rice

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Cover a baking sheet in foil and set aside.
  • Heat heavy cast iron pan over medium high heat.
  • Drizzle avocado oil in pan and spread to coat.
  • Generously season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  • Add chicken to pan, skin side down. Cook 7-8 minutes until skin is crisp and golden.
  • Turn chicken and cook another 4-5 minutes.
  • Place chicken on baking sheet skin side up.
  • Roast chicken for 15 minutes.
  • Add onion whites and sauté 30 seconds.
  • Stir in liquid aminos, honey and sriracha to taste.
  • Stir collecting any browned bits from the bottom. Let bubble 2-3 minutes until thick and sticky.
  • Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil.
  • Remove chicken from oven.
  • Brush sauce over chicken pieces.
  • Return to oven and roast another 10 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove from oven and brush with glaze again.
  • Plate chicken over prepared rice.
  • Drizzle with remaining sauce and serve immediately.

FIG GLAZED CHICKEN & WHITE BEANS

FIG GLAZED CHICKEN & WHITE BEANS
avocado oil
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 large shallots, halved and sliced
1 can small northern white beans or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup fig preserves
1/3 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the fig preserves, chicken broth, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, thyme,
  • Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • In a large cast iron skillet add the oil to the hot pan and brown chicken pieces in batches, starting with skin side down.
  • Remove chicken from pan and add shallots, sautéing until golden.
  • Add fig preserve mixture and bring to a SLOW boil. Be sure to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chicken pieces back in. Reduce heat and simmer covered 5 minutes.
  • Add the beans and return to a SLOW boil.
  • Cook uncovered 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 32 of 2018

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  I hope you had a wonderful week.  Last week was good for me and we had a wonderful weekend despite some internet issues that tried to interrupt it. It was busy and full of fun and laughter with loved ones. I can’t believe it’s August already and we’re just 6 weeks away from our next trek.

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.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING – As ALWAYS here in August it is slated to be triple digit warmth this week, but at least nothing is predicted to be higher than 115 and lows in the 80’s at night and a clear week with no chance of rain.

I’m dressed for the gym in purple yoga capris and matching t-shirt.  Unfortunately the darn washing machine ate one of the matching socks 🙁 so I haven’t quite decided on footwear yet.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – This is such a boring category for me LOL Green tea and black cherry yogurt are my go to breakfast.

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – I started the Christmas cards, but don’t have enough done to really take any pictures yet.  My new elf arrived this week though and I love her.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – I am seriously thrilled to be feeling a bit stronger and am always sad when the 2 steps forward equal 4 steps backward, but at least it’s not the 20 steps backward I was taking in the beginning of this recuperation process.  Experimenting with foods and trying to eat more is still an issue even though it is not as big an issue so there’s hope that it continues to equal less and less steps backwards as time goes on.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I got to spend some time this weekend with 2 of my nieces and their mom for some long overdue girl time.  Coordinating our schedules has been difficult, but we finally coordinated it and made it happen and we packed a lot into just 24 hours and it was a special time especially with Katie pregnant with her first child! I have always been able to tell them apart (identical twins) but Katie’s Baby bump I’m sure helps others now 😀 and she looks so cute! Lulu and I should have changed places since My shirt and Katie’s skirt are so similar!  I was also able to give Katie her baby album in person!

Hubby came and picked me up from where we’d been staying and some man was nice enough to take a picture of all of us too 😀

INSPIRATION AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE / WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS /  APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • LIVING AREAS… I need to sweep and mop
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… nothing much, but do need to do some pruning and the patios need to be hosed down soon
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning
  • PROJECTS… Christmas cards
  • APPOINTMENTS… nothing this week specific besides lunch with family on Tuesday
  • TO DOgym, pool, biking, pick up alterations

CURRENTLY READING 

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – We started a wonderful new (at least new to us) and funny series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  Fortunately we don’t have any small children around because the language is a bit much, but after a couple episodes we realized it was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino who wrote one of our very favorites series, Gilmore Girls. So, we binge watched the first season and are looking forward to the second season. we also found a Stephen King series premiere for CastleRock that we’re going to watch. Unfortunately I need to download another app and just didn’t feel like getting into it last night so will get that done sometime this week.

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKET – Christmas cards

WHERE I’VE BEEN SURFING ON THE NET -Nowhere really as the internet was down several days 🙁

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 MEATLOAF & GRAVY with SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHICKEN FLAUTAS and SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CREAMED BRAISED CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

ORANGE CHICKEN & SCALLION RICE

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

CHEESECAKE PANCAKES

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHICKEN AND CORN ENCHILADAS

COCOA MERINGUE KISSES

SUNDAY

BISCUITS & GRAVY

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 CHICKEN DUMPLING STEW

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CHILI SKILLET

This is a perfect fall dish and yes I’m planning ahead for the cooler temperatures up north where we will be in just a couple months. It is also a recipe that makes WONDERFUL leftovers as the flavors meld the longer it sits.

CHILI SKILLET – serves 6
1 pound ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper (optional)*
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup tomato juice**
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 can Green Giant White shopped corn, drained
1/2 cup shredded jack and cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced olives, optional

  • In a large skillet cook ground beef, onions, peppers (if using) and garlic over medium heat, breaking apart the meat until well crumbled and no longer pink.
  • Drain off ALL fat.
  • Add the tomato juice, water, chicken broth, red pepper flakes (if using), chili powder, oregano, rice, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer 20-25 minutes on low covered until rice is tender.
  • Fold in corn and olives (if using).
  • Sprinkle with cheese and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Top with green onions.
  • ENJOY.

NOTES: *I substitute 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
**I often use a small 6 ounce can of V8 juice and add 2 ounces water or chicken broth

THE SUMMER OF SALADS – WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with PEAR LEMON VINAIGRETTE

I’m officially declaring this the summer of Salads.  This extreme heat has left me wanting more, MORE salads that is! 😀

WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 cups torn lettuce pieces
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup candied walnut pieces
1/3 cup craisins

  • Toss together.
  • Plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • ENJOY!

LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE
1 RIPE pear, pureed
Juice of 1 large lemon
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together.
  • Chill.

CORNBREAD TAMALE PIE

We LOVE Mexican food, so this recipe works well into a Mexican themed week. By making Taco Salad, Chili Skillet, Tacos and this Cornbread Tamale pie all back to back I only have to make the meats and parts once and then assemble as needed.


CORNBREAD TAMALE PIE
Avocado oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained WELL
1-2 large bunches green onions, thinly sliced (save some for garnish)
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 + cup cheddar cheese (use the +portion as garnish)
1 LARGE egg yolk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • In a heavy duty cast iron skillet drizzle avocado oil over hot pan.
  • Add beef and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and completely crumbled. Drain off fat.
  • In a prep bowl add drained beef to drained tomatoes and set aside.
  • Wipe out pan.
  • Add another drizzle of avocado oil when pan is hot again.
  • Add onions and sauce until soft.
  • Add cumin and chile powder and stir to blend.
  • Add beef mixture to pan and stir to coat well. Cook a few minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Add beans and remaining cheese in last and remove from heat.

 

  • While meat is cooking prepare batter.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, milk and egg yolk until well blended.
  • Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder blending well.
  • Fold in half of the cheese.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread meat mixture evenly in cast iron pan.
  • Gently spread the cornbread mixture over the meat mixture.
  • Put pan in oven and bake 12-14 minutes until cornbread is golden and set.
  • Cool 5 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with cheese and green onions.
  • ENJOY!

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN DIP

This recipe is perfect for a potluck, tail gate party, holiday get together or Sunday dinner and it has nice refreshing change of taste.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN DIP
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 ounce jar sweet and sour sauce
2 cups FRESH baby spinach
2 bunches thinly slice green onions
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
Sesame Rice Crackers

  • Generously season chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  • Sear chicken tenders until golden and cooked through. Set aside to rest.
  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, sesame oil and garlic.
  • Shred chicken pieces.
  • Toss with sesame oil mixture and refrigerate for AT LEAST an hour.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread cream cheese onto serving platter.
  • Spread sweet and sour sauce over cream cheese.
  • Top with spinach pieces.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.
  • Serve with sesame rice crackers.

NOTE: For a more elegant serving:

  • Combine the cream cheese with the sweet and sour sauce into a spread.
  • Spread each cracker with a generous portion.
  • Top with spinach pieces.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Top with green onions.
  • Arrange on platter.
  • ENJOY!

 

When Calls the Heart to When Hope Calls

I could have easily lived in Hope Valley. The sense of purpose, belonging and community was so invested in each and every person. I love this show and while it may take twists and turns we are not always happy about it does mimic real life and its uncertainties. I will continue watching for that reason.

But the exciting news is that When Calls the Heart is getting a spin off, When Hope Calls in 2019. There are no real details yet to the spin off, but it will feature Susan Lucci.  That I will have to see to believe and not real sure how I feel about it yet after all her years as Erica Kane on All My Children, but we shall see.

And as always will be doing their annual Christmas movie.