SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE

SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE
4 ounces sun dried tomatoes with herb in oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup champagne vinegar
1/2 cup avocado oil (see notes)

  • Blend together the tomatoes and vinegar until desired consistency.
  • Slowly add oil until emulsified.
  • Chill.

NOTES: I often use a flavored oil (mushroom olive) as an alternative.

SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS & RICE

SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS & RICE Yield: 6-8 servings
I think grams originally found this on a Campbell’s soup label and her version was always done in the oven, which is part of what makes it a filling, hearty, winter family meal. Preparing this in the slow cooker makes it even easier and even more versatile! A little goes a long way, making it super easy and budget friendly too!

4 boneless pork chops
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 – 10.5 ounce can cream of mushroom soup (see notes)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
1 stick of butter, cubed

  • Spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Add the pork chops.
  • Top with onions.
  • Whisk together the mushroom soup, chicken broth, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour over pork chops and onions.
  • Add the cubes of butter on top.
  • Replace lid and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove lid and shred the pork chops.

2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

  • Add the rice and 1 cup of water.
  • Stir to make sure the rice is covered with liquid and replace the lid.
  • Cook on HIGH for 45 minutes to one more hour, or until rice is done cooking.
  • Remove the lid, add the shredded cheese, and stir.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE:

  • I change up the soup flavor to my likes of the day 😀
  • I also sometimes skip the rice portion and make potatoes instead.

BANANA CREAM CHEESECAKE

BANANA CREAM CHEESECAKE

CRUST
20 lemon or vanilla cream-filled sandwich style cookies I usually use OREO
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

  • Finely crush cookies in food processor.
  • Add melted butter, blending until well combined.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of a 10″ springform pan and smooth it out.
  • Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling.

FILLING
3 blocks (24 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup FINE sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 LARGE eggs
3/4 cup – 2 VERY ripe bananas mashed
1/2 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Wrap spring form pan with a double layer of foil and place in a deep baking dish or roaster.
  • Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until creamy.
  • Add sugar and cornstarch, blending well.
  • Add eggs one at a time, blending until incorporated before adding additional eggs.
  • Beat in bananas until well blended.
  • Add whipping cream and vanilla, blending until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into crust.
  • Fill roasting pan with hot water halfway up the side of the spring form pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 300°.
  • Bake an additional 60-75 minutes, or until center is almost set.
  • Allow to cool COMPLETELY on cooling rack.
  • Before removing the pan ring, slide a knife around the edge of the cake to separate the cake from the pan cleanly.
  • Refrigerate cheesecake, uncovered, at least 6 hours.

ASSEMBLY
FRESH whipped cream
Caramel Sauce
Fudge sauce
FRESH sliced banana

  • Serve with FRESH whipped cream, caramel sauce, fudge sauce and FRESH sliced bananas.

CARAMEL SAUCE 
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water

  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
  • Serve warm.
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups.

NOTE: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften before serving.

MOCHA HOT FUDGE SAUCE
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
scant 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted & cooled
3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons golden rum

  • In a medium saucepan blend together the water, corn syrup dissolving the sugar and cocoa into it until smooth.
  • Bring to a low boil.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth.
  • Gradually add the coffee and rum until desired flavor and consistency is reached.
  • Serve warm.

NOTE: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften before serving.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 10 of 2020

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

GOOD MORNING I have to start my day by wishing my wonderful hubby HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  He is the best man I know and am proud to call him mine 😀

It was a cold, wet and windy weekend here – the kind of weather pattern that EVERY hour was different!  Saturday morning was sunny, but cold so we decided to take a bunch of stale bread, chips and cereal over to feed the peacocks and we literally encountered a half dozen different weathers!  It’s only 10 miles away.  We found a dry spot under a shed to leave their food and headed home as the sleet and wind was more than we wanted to deal with!  We watched old movies, NASCAR and I baked hubby’s cheesecake for today so it would have plenty of time to chill 😀

I felt a bit achy and lethargic over the weekend and started a bit of a cough that is getting worse and wet so will be staying in until I’m better.  I did get a flu shot and haven’t been anywhere too much around people so hoping it will pass in a day or two if I stay down and warm.

Don’t forget that we switch time next weekend too!

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING The sunny deceptive warm afternoons of last week are gone and we’re back to normal cold, wet weather here.  Highs in the 40’s, lows in the 30’s, windy and wet.  I’m not going anywhere today until late afternoon so I’m wearing yoga pants and a favorite old soft sweatshirt with fuzzy slippers!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and peach yogurt

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… House got a deep clean last week, but I still have a load of laundry to do.
  • HOUSE & YARD… backyard garden boxes need some attention as they are not weathering well in the winter months, replacing weatherstripping on the mudroom and garage doors and hubby is hoping to get the last 18 supports done on the fence he re-did last year – he was hoping they might not need done, but the weather has indicated otherwise 😀 …
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… ANTS!!!!!  I HATE this time of year when the crazy ants come inside.  They are not looking for food or even water and they turn up in all the weirdest places – like out of electrical outlets or making a pilgrimage to the dryer!  I bought all new ant traps for inside and outside their normal areas.  I’ve caulked along baseboard seams and venting.  They appear to be coming from under the house and seem impervious to any and ALL ant traps or deterrents So the chore is to try and find yet another way to eliminate them…
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… eye doctor, pedicure, grocery shopping, errands, meeting…
  • BLOG… A few new recipes will post this week.  I’ve gotten my “recipeBox” blog, Savory Kitchen Table pretty much up to date… I think!
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… With the blanket chest and flowers beds done, I am seriously hoping to get to a quilt or mixed media project this next weekend.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched a couple old Svengoolie movies that were on the DVR and a political drama on Netflix as well as NASCAR and some old Cheers reruns from Netflix.

I’M READING The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes – a WWI tale that traverses a century of history and provenance of a painting as it interacts with the people who see it.

Paris, World War I. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Édouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans, Sophie is forced to serve them every evening at her hotel. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait—painted by her artist husband—a dangerous obsession is born.

Almost a century later in London, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before his sudden death. After a chance encounter reveals the portrait’s true worth, a battle begins over its troubled history and Liv’s world is turned upside all over again.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA The Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Barrels we bought have worked well to cover the stumps that were impossible to dig out.  They will also last a long, long time.  Hubby used the bottoms he cut out as pavers.  I found some long “dead” bulbs in the shed and have been pleasantly surprised to see that a couple appear to actually be taking root.  We’ll see 😀

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
SHIRRED EGGS
APPLE FRENCH TOAST
LUNCH
TUNA MELTS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
~C.O.R.N.~ clean out refrigerator night
SALAD & FRUIT
PICNIC?
CHILI
DINNER
Hubby’s Choice Pan seared New York Steak, baked potatoes and salad with BANANA CREAM CHEESECAKE
BOLOGNESE RAVIOLI and SALAD
BLACK COD, HERB RICE PILAF and SALAD
~C.O.R.N.~ clean out refrigerator night
CHICKEN APPLE BUNDLES and COLE SLAW
BACON GRUYERE QUICHE
JEZEBEL SAUCE and CREAM CHEESE with CRACKERS
DESSERT
 

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • BANANA CREAM CHEESECAKE
  • SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE
  • SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS & RICE
  • JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF (sort of)
  • BACON GRUYERE QUICHE

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP Using LARGE mismatched buttons to keep earring sets together can be super helpful.

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

THYME BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS

THYME BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS
4 LARGE bone-in pork chops
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper
1 shallot sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons FRESH minced thyme
2 tablespoons orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice

  • Melt butter and avocado oil in large skillet.
  • Generously season pork chops with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Add pork chops to skillet and sear 4 minutes, flip and repeat on second side. Transfer pork chops to plate and keep warm.
  • Add shallot and garlic to pan, sauteing 2 minutes until tender.
  • Add thyme, orange juice, zest and vinegar to skillet, cooking 2-3 minutes until reduced to a glaze consistency.
  • Return chops to pan, turning to coat in glaze.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTE: I used orange pineapple juice and coconut pineapple balsamic vinegar this time and was extremely pleased!

WHITE MISO CREAM SAUCE PASTA

PASTA with MISO CREAM SAUCE

8 ounces uncooked pasta (see note), prepared per package directions
1 1/2 cups WHOLE milk
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
4 tablespoons white miso
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled small
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups heirloom grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
2 teaspoon chopped thyme
4 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves, optional
18-20 mini mozzarella balls, halved or quartered
Torn basil leaves for garnish

  • Place 1/2 cup of milk in deep bowl.
  • Whisk in flour and miso until smooth.

 

  • Add remaining milk and stock to saucepan. Bring to a SLOW boil over medium-high heat.
  • Whisk in flour mixture and reduce heat. Simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly thick.
  • Add pepper.

 

  • Heat oil and butter in skillet over high heat.
  • Add tomatoes, stirring and cooking 2 minutes until beginning to char and pop.
  • Add thyme and garlic, cooking 1 minute more.
  • Add spinach, cooking 2 minutes more until wilted.
  • Remove from heat.

 

  • Add pasta sauce and half the cheese to the skillet, tossing to combine.
  • Serve in pasta bowls.
  • Top with remaining cheese pieces and torn basil.

NOTE: Any pasta works with this recipe!

MRS. GIBSON’S CHOCOLATE CHEWS

One of the things I look for when we’re antiquing is old recipe boxes. Not just any old recipe boxes, but old recipe boxes FULL of handwritten recipes. This recipe came from one of those boxes. I have no idea who owned the box, just that MANY of their recipe’s were in the same handwriting and referenced Mrs. Gibson who must have been an excellent cook based on the recipes I’ve tried so far!  This recipe has the added bonus of being a no bake recipe.

MRS. GIBSON’S CHOCOLATE CHEWS yields 24 cookies
1/2 cup (whole)* milk
2 1 cup sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup – 8 tablespoons) butter
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon PURE* vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups quick oatmeal
1/2 cup FINELY chopped walnuts

  • In a large saucepan melt the butter.
  • Whisk in the milk and vanilla.
  • Stir in the sugar and cocoa until dissolved and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Remove from heat and let cool 2 minutes.
  • In a large bowl sift together the oatmeal and nuts.
  • Pour the cocoa mixture over the oatmeal and nuts.
  • Use 2 spatulas (see note) to mix it all together until well coated. (see notes)
  • With your hands (see note) form into balls and cool on wax paper. (see notes)

NOTE:

  • Based on the age of the recipe card and style of writing I decided whole milk and PURE vanilla extract were a MUST for the texture and flavor of this recipe to be best.
  • I spray the spatulas with non-stick cooking spray to keep the mixture from sticking.  I use food grade rubber gloves also sprayed with non-stick cooking spray to form the balls with. BUT, the best thing I finally started doing was using a cookie scoop sprayed with non stick spray to make the cookies more even.

SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESE STEAK & RICE

SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESE BEEF & RICE Yield: 6-8 servings

I think grams originally found this on a Campbell’s soup label and her version was always done in the oven made with pork, which is part of what makes it a filling, hearty, winter family meal. But now I’ve updated it to include a beef version.  Preparing this in the slow cooker makes it even easier and even more versatile! A little goes a long way, making it super easy and budget friendly too!

1 1/2 pounds chuck steak beef pieces
1 SMALL red onion, chopped or sliced thin
1/2 green pepper, washed, seeded and cut into thin rings
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup water
1 – 10.5 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
1 stick of butter, cubed

  • Spray the slow cooker insert with non-stick spray.
  • Add the beef pieces.
  • Top with onions and peppers.
  • Whisk together the mushroom soup, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour over pork chops and onions.
  • Add the cubes of butter on top.
  • Replace lid and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.
  • Remove lid and shred any large pieces of beef.

2 cups long grain white rice
1 cup water
1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

  • Add the rice and 1 cup of water.
  • Stir to make sure the rice is covered with liquid and replace the lid.
  • Cook on HIGH for 45 minutes to one more hour, or until rice is done cooking.
  • Remove the lid, add the shredded cheese, and stir.
  • Enjoy!

APPLE PIE CAKE

This was a Bobby Flay French toast recipe, but with a few changes, it’s now a cake!  You could still call it French toast and serve it for Brunch, but it’s yummy enough for dessert too!

APPLE PIE CAKE majorly altered and formerly known as APPLE CRISP FRENCH TOAST CASSEROLE ala Bobby Flay

TOAST
1 loaf day-old sourdough bread, crust removed, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • Preheat the oven to 275 °.
  • Spread the bread cubes on a large baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Adjust the oven to 350°.

APPLES
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider, plus more for syrup if needed
Juice of 1 lemon
4 LARGE Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
2 tablespoons Coconut Rum
1/2 cup golden raisins

  • Combine the sugar, apple cider, lemon juice and coconut rum in a large saute pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Stir in the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a bowl (you don’t want the apples to be too wet) and let cool 10 minutes.
  • Reserve the apple cooking liquid for serving.
  • Fold in the golden raisins.

STREUSEL
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup crushed walnut pieces

  • While the apples cool mix together the butter, salt and sugar in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Add the flour, oats. crushed nuts and cinnamon and mix until well combined.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

ASSEMBLY
Softened butter for greasing the baking dish
3 LARGE eggs
2 LARGE egg yolks
1 teaspoon  PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons PURE maple syrup, for apple syrup
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces for syrup

  • Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some softened butter.
  • Whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla and cinnamon in a large bowl until smooth.
  • Whisk in the half-and-half, then fold in the cooled apples.
  • Add the bread and stir to coat, pressing down to make sure bread is totally submerged.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the apple-bread mixture to the buttered 9×13 baking dish, pressing down to make sure the top is an even layer.
  • Scatter the streusel evenly over the top.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue baking until set, slightly puffed and lightly golden brown, another 30 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  • Reheat the reserved apple cooking liquid. (If very thin, simmer briefly over medium heat until reduced to a syrup; if there isn’t much, add some apple cider and simmer briefly.)
  • Turn the heat to low and whisk in the maple syrup and cold butter, piece by piece, until emulsified.
  • Pour syrup over each piece as you serve it.

CRISPY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN

CRISPY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN
This is just like crispy peanut butter  served in many Chinese restaurants.

CHICKEN
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken tenders
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 LARGE egg
FRESH ground salt and pepper
2-3 cups crushed Corn Flakes
Avocado Oil

  • Whisk together the milk, peanut butter, and egg.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Soak your chicken in this mixture for 15 minutes.
  • Drain chicken pieces.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in Corn Flakes.
  • Cook in hot oil, flipping once, until browned on both sides and cooked through.
  • Serve over prepared rice.
    Drizzle with peanut butter sauce.

SAUCE
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or maybe a little more)
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 -3/4 cup water (Adjust to desired thickness)
Drizzle of honey

  • Combine sauce ingredients in bowl or microwave safe measuring cup. Start with 1/4 cup of water and add more later to reach your desired consistency.
  • Microwave for 30 seconds and then whisk to thoroughly combine.
  • Microwave another 30 seconds until hot – Add water a teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Whisk again and pour over sliced chicken, or dip chicken pieces in sauce.
  • You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and reheat as needed.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 9 of 2020

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

GOOD MORNING everyone.  I hope you had another GREAT week and an even better weekend.  Mine was super busy trying to take advantage of a couple warm afternoons and I haven’t been online as much.

Please forgive me for time getting away from me and my visits being more sporadic! This long Valentine’s Day weekend has been productive and satisfying for me. 

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING LOL I’m wearing levis, a long sleeve t-shirt and UGG’s, pretty much my standard uniform for this time of year.  The weather this week is about the same as last with some sun in the afternoons the first several days and high 40’s during the day, low 30’s at night with bouts of rain, clouds and fog at the end of the week.

I’ll admit I’m a bit worried about COVID-19. When I sign on to see the weather in the mornings there seems to always be an article every day about it.  I read an article this morning that actually listed it as a Pandemic now. With my compromised immunity I have been avoiding people as much as I can for now 🙁

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE I’m having some energy issues as well as some compromised eating ability again so it’s hot water and baby food again for breakfast 🙁

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… I did the bedding blankets and towels yesterday so we’re caught up besides what we wore yesterday 😀
  • HOUSE & YARD… backyard garden boxes need some attention as they are not weathering well in the winter months, replacing weatherstripping on the mudroom and garage doors and hubby is hoping to get the last 18 supports done on the fence he re-did last year – he was hoping they might not need done, but the weather has indicated otherwise 😀 …
  • CHORE I’M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO… I already scrubbed the shower tracts that were on the schedule for this week so we’ll see…
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… grocery shopping, errands…
  • BLOG… A few new recipes will post.
  • TO RELAX THIS WEEK I’LL… to me is synonymous with CRAFTS & PROJECTS… With the blanket chest and flowers beds done, I am seriously hoping to get to a quilt or mixed media project this next weekend.

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We finished Locke & Key Season one, are working on Anne with an E season 3, have 2 episodes of V Wars left on Netflix and started Hunters on Amazon as well as the normal DVR backlog for this season.

I’M READING The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes – a wonderful WWI tale that traverses several decades.

Paris, World War I. Sophie Lefèvre must keep her family safe while her adored husband, Édouard, fights at the front. When their town falls to the Germans, Sophie is forced to serve them every evening at her hotel. From the moment the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie’s portrait—painted by her artist husband—a dangerous obsession is born.

Almost a century later in London, Sophie’s portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston, a wedding gift from her young husband before his sudden death. After a chance encounter reveals the portrait’s true worth, a battle begins over its troubled history and Liv’s world is turned upside all over again.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We actually were able to get 2 projects done this week during a couple sunny afternoons.  Don’t let that sunshine fool you though, it was still COLD BRRRRRR while we were working. 

We found this old blanket chest in an antique store a while back and hubby was going to refinish it for me this winter.  After he started on it, we realized it needed a tone more work than originally planned so it took a ton longer than planned.  Good thing we got it for a steal of a price originally. 

The chest despite the added work is a handmade one of kind based on the craftsmanship.  Hubby had to sand it down COMPLETELY! Then he disassembled the lock mechanism, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for an appropriate skeleton key.  He added all the decorative molding and feet for me as well as put a new bottom in it from inside and outside.  I then freshly oiled the inside cedar.  The lid had a lot of gaps in the design and edging so I spent some serious time sanding and wood filling the problem areas.  I then started painting.  Oh, did I mention it had been painted black?  I wish I’d taken a before picture!!  Painting it red took about 8 coats to get the black covered and make the new molding look the same as the old!

There are 2 planting areas that had previous trees cut down and the stumps were covered in moss, but seriously a pain in the neck to dig out.  The sunny weather afforded that time to do a spruce up with Jack Daniel’s Whiskey barrels and FRESH mulch!  We filled the bottoms of the barrels around the old stumps with pebbles before the new soil and springs bulbs.  We’ll just have to wait to see the bulbs in a couple months. 😀 Here are the before and after pictures.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
YOGURT & HOT WATER
LUNCH
TURKEY & CHEESE WRAPS
GRILLED CHICKEN & TOMATOES
MEAT & CHEESE WRAPS
C.O.R.N.
SALAD & FRUIT
Y.O.Y.O.
DINNER
SLOW COOKER PORK CHOPS and RICE
SALAD with SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL VINAIGRETTE
JACK ALLEN’S MAMA’S CHICKEN with JACK’S SLAW
C.O.R.N.
JACK ALLEN’S MEATLOAF with MUSHROOM GRAVY
THYME BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS and SALAD
C.O.R.N.
DESSERT
“PORTZILKE” RAISIN FRITTERS
 

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • CRISPY PEANUT BUTTER CHICKEN
  • APPLE PIE CAKE
  • WEEKNIGHT BEEF GHOULASH
  • WHITE MISO CREAM SAUCE PASTA
  • SLOW COOKER PHILLY CHEESE STEAK & RICE

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

ORANGE GLAZED SALMON

ORANGE GLAZED SALMON
2 salmon fillets, about the same size and thickness
2 tablespoons Cajun spice
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
PINCH sea salt
FRESH ground black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons orange marmalade (see note)
Juice from small lime
Lime wedges, garnish

  • Combine Cajun spice, sugar, salt and pepper in small bowl.
  • Rub spice mixture all over salmon fillets.
  • Heat avocado oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear skin side of fillets for 3-4 minutes until crispy.
  • Flip and saute’ another 2-3 minutes until salmon is cooked through.
  • Whisk marmalade and lime juice together.
  • Swirl into skillet, turning fillets to coat well with glaze.
  • Serve immediately.

    NOTE:  You can change the flavor up by using any flavor jam!  I’ve made this with pineapple, apricot pineapple, peach and even raspberry!  YUM!