HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 18 of 2021

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

Hello sweet friends. I hope you are all doing well and have had a wonderful week. I can’t believe we are back to Monday already! We took a lazy Sunday off, so I will be going at it hard today as we have rescheduled an upcoming trip to leave this week instead. I will probably take a couple weeks off of blogging while we are traveling depending on connections and availability along the way.

Hot water and Strawberry Pineapple Smoothie

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY Just a couple loads and packing for trip
  • ERRANDS POWER Red blood donation, pedicure, hair, oil change and tire rotation
  • PHONE CALLS Just a couple “rearranging” phone calls

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX STARGATE
  • REDBOX VANQUISHED with MORGAN FREEMAN
  • APPLE TV The Year Earth changed, GREYHOUND with Tom Hanks
  • DISNEY+ Mandalorian, Secrets of Sulphur Springs, Secrets of the Whales – ORCA dynasty, Eart at Night – Elephant Plains
  • CABLE  I’m still weeding out and narrowing down my focus as too many shows are becoming repetitive or too dark ALL the time – GGG, DDD, Beat Bobby Flay, Tournament of Champions, Ellen’s Game of Games, Bull, The Resident, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor, 911, 911 Lone Star, FBI, FBI Most Wanted, Young Sheldon, The Unicorn, Last Man Standing, MOM, NCIS, REBEL, NCIS New Orleans, NCIS LA, Magnum PI, MacGyver, Blue Bloods, Chicago series

State of Affairs: A First Family Novel by [Marie Force]

Marie Force’s State of Affairs, the first in the “NEW” series, A First Family. It is the sequel series to her FATAL series of 16 books.

I’ve been doing the A to Z challenge  using #RailArt as my theme and this tiger from this past week is my favorite.

and a little joke to make you smile!

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
HAMBURGER SLIDERS, SWEET & SOUR BROWN BEANS and SOUR APPLE SLAW
CHILE LIME CHICKEN WINGS & SOUR APPLE SLAW
😀
C.O.R.N. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR NIGHT
??
??
??
DESSERT
 

  • RUSTIC CASSOULET
  • SWEET & SOUR BROWN BEANS
  • P3 PISTACHIO PLUM PLATZ

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ V is for VACUUM

A to Z challenge 

A Vacuum brake is a continuous train brake that is a fail-safe in operation. It is powered by a vacuum from the locomotive, but the application is actually by atmospheric pressure when the vacuum is released. The vacuum brake is now largely superseded by the air brake.

I have NO #RailArt for the letter V unless you count the last one that kind of looks like a V, but I’m not sure what it actually says, so we’ll just go with that. 😀

PAN FRIED PORK STEAK & POTATOES

PAN FRIED PORK STEAK & POTATOES

2-4 criss cross cut boneless pork steaks
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
2 cups chopped Yukon potatoes
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1 SMALL bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Generously season pork steaks with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Rub pork steaks on both sides with oil.
  • Heat heavy skillet over medium high heat with remaining oil.
  • Sear steaks 3-4 minutes each side and then keep warm in oven while you prepare the potatoes.
  • Add onions to skillet and saute 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add potato and carrot pieces, frying until fork tender and crisp on the edges.
  • Add in Italian herbs and sprinkle with paprika, stirring to coat and blend well.
  • Add water and heavy cream, simmering a few minutes until thickened.

PISTACHIO CRUSTED CHICKEN STEAKS

PISTACHIO CRUSTED CHICKEN STEAKS
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
4-6 thin chicken steaks
1/2 cup FINELY crushed pistachios
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons FRESH minced tarragon or basil
2 cups Panko crumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup all purpose flour, seasoned
2 LARGE eggs, beaten

  • Combine the pistachios, Parmesan cheese and tarragon or basil in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.
  • Set up a dredging station with 3 shallow bowls. Add the pistachio mixture to one shallow bowl, the eggs to another and the flour to a third.
  • In a large skillet melt butter and avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Generously season the chicken steaks with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken in flour first, shaking off excess followed by the egg and then the pistachio mixture.
  • Add breaded chicken to hot oil mixture, searing 3-4 minutes per side. Nuts burn easily so keep a close watch! REDUCE HEAT IF NECESSARY! DO NOT CROWD PAN!

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ U is for UNIT TRAIN and UNREADABLE

Unit train – a train in which all cars carry the same commodity and are shipped from the same origin to the same destination, without being split up or stored en route.

While I can’t be sure, I believe many of the trains we see going through our town are these type as much of the #RailArt is actually repeat.

Many of the following pictures are just unreadable, but still colorful and interesting. The first one though is my favorite. Raise your hand if you remember the unknown comic from the Gong Show 😀

   

 

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ T is for TRAIN ~ TAMPING, TRACK, and ALL things TRAIN

The tigers are some of my favorite #RailArt pieces.

A to Z challenge 

Tamping machine is generally a locomotive used in track maintenance and equipped with track lifting facilities, and paddles that push ballast beneath a rail track to assure its level.

Track bed The foundation of rail tracks

Train coupler is the mechanical interface that links vehicles so a driver can operate them together. The coupler can be a purely mechanical device such as a screw coupler or bar coupler. The coupler can also incorporate electrical or pneumatic connections.

Train horn Is the warning horn in a locomotive or in a control car

Trainman Is an employee assigned to train service, such as a conductor, brakeman, or switchman

SHEET PAN MAC & CHEESE

SHEET PAN MAC & CHEESE
2 LARGE cans evaporated milk (12 ounce)
1 cup cubed Velveeta pieces
2 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyere
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon Frank’s original hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 pound macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Nonstick cooking spray

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • In a saucepan over a medium heat, add the evaporated milk, processed cheese, 1 cup of the Cheddar, 1 cup of the Gruyere, the dry mustard if using, the hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, whisking until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to coat and combine.
  • In a small bowl, toss together the remaining cheeses.
  • Remove the sheet pan from the oven and carefully spray with the cooking spray.
  • Pour the mac and cheese from the saucepan into the sheet pan and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake until the cheese topping is fully melted and the mixture is bubbly, 15 to 20 minutes.

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ S is for SPOT, SANDBOX, SIGNALMAN and SNOWSHED

A to Z challenge 

SandboxA container on locomotives that holds sand, which a crew can drop onto the rail to improve rail adhesion under wet, steep, or slippery rail conditions. The sandbox and operating mechanism are collectively known as sanding gear.

Signalman – A person in charge of the signalling at a station or junction, often in a signal box.

Snow shed – A long shelter erected over a railroad track on the side of a mountain to protect the line from avalanches and drifting.

BEER BRAISED CHICKEN

BEER BRAISED CHICKEN
1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (preferably brown ale) I used MGD
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
1/2 pound small red-skinned new or gold potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard (optional)
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
  • Add the avocado oil to the drippings in the pot.
  • Add the chicken in batches and cook over medium-high heat until golden on the bottom, 4-5 minutes, then flip and sear the other side, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the beer, onions, potatoes, mustard, sugar, thyme leaves and 1 cup chicken broth to the pot and stir, making sure the chicken is fully submerged.
  • Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon and parsley. 

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ Q/R Q is for ?? AND R is for RAILWAY, ROUNDHOUSE & ROAD RUNNER

A to Z challenge 

Today’s definitions are for the letter “R” because I quite honestly CANNOT find anything for Q 😀 so we’ll just pretend it doesn’t even exist.

  • Railway station A train station, a stopping point for trains, usually with passenger access
  • Railway terminal A building for passengers at the end of a railway line
  • Reefer A refrigerated rail car used to transport perishable goods
  • Roundhouse A circular or semi-circular structure used for storage and running maintenance of locomotives

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 17 of 2021

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

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL week! We had a rare late spring/early summer like week here so hubby and I took a quick trip to the coast and REALLY enjoyed the beautiful weather. It is so unusual for this time of year here that we were able to snag a a beach side room for almost nothing!  We literally turned on the fireplace and slept with the door open and we LOVED hearing the waves ALL night!

We did a little antiquing too and just had a relaxing trip.

Now this week we’re back to the highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. So the sandals are stuck back into the closet and the tennies and sweatshirts back out 😀

Hot Water and Strawberry Pineapple Superfood Smoothie

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING Laundry is done except for a load of sheets tomorrow.
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS I’m doing most of the groceries & errands today and baking tomorrow.
  • PAPERWORK & PHONE CALLS I need to finish the maps and trip planning for the upcoming family reunion and project search.
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING I will be searching through my new found recipe treasures to see what will be on the experiment list. Many of the “new” recipes are so old that they need ingredient research before I attempt them – I just LOVE those types!

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX We have 2 more seasons of Stargate SG1 and then will move on to Stargate Atlantis reruns
  • DISNEY+ A couple of Mighty Ducks episodes to watch as well as a couple of Secrets of Sulphur Springs and Mandalorian 😀
  • CABLE I’m starting to weed out and narrow down my focus – too many shows are becoming repetitive or too dark ALL the time – GGG, DDD, Beat Bobby Flay, Tournament of Champions, Ellen’s Game of Games, Bull, New Amsterdam, The Good Doctor, 911, 911 Lone Star, FBI, FBI Most Wanted, Young Sheldon, The Unicorn, Last Man Standing, MOM, NCIS, NCIS New Orleans, NCIS LA, Magnum PI, MacGyver, Blue Bloods, The Resident, Chicago series

I finally started (I didn’t do much reading last week) SPY MISTRESS by Jennifer Chiaverini. I’ve read her many times in the past with her quilt series and always enjoy her stories.

enthralling historical novel set during the Civil War era, this time inspired by the life of “a true Union woman as true as steel” who risked everything by caring for Union prisoners of war — and stealing Confederate secrets”…

On our trip I had GREAT success on finding 2 separate vintage recipe boxes FULL of old time recipes! I wish I had taken a picture of the old (1940’s ish based on the color and bakelite handle) American Home Maker Menu box before I did a quick paint job.

And hubby is about to start working on my other old hope chest soon!

The drawer in the bottom needs some repairs as does the swinging drawer on the inside. It’s painted white now, but if you look 👀 under the blemishes you can see it has also been painted yellow, olive and pink at one time or another over the years. I can’t wait to see what the original wood looks like.

It’s really kind of sad that this beautiful old “HOPE” chest that has held so many other people’s hopes, dreams and memories over the years ended up discarded in an old junk shop. We even found a couple of OLD school pictures caught in the bottom drawer edges. ☹️ But we’ll get it restored and it will again be cherished and eventually be full of my quilts and extra blankets. I love that it’s completely cedar lined.

My other one is painted candy apple 🍎 red, but I think this one will end up painted teal blue 😊

If you look 👀 close there are even a couple of future hidden projects inside – some old vintage sewing machine cabinet drawers that he’s turning into part of my kitchen spice cabinet and a great wooden box with beautiful wood that someone had tole painted black! I can’t wait to see what it looks like after he sands off that horrible black paint! The unpainted wood on the inside is gorgeous 😀

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
BBQ PORK TENDERLOINS & SALAD
PULLED PORK PASTRY PUFFS & SALAD
CHICKEN & SAUSAGE CASSOULET
C.O.R.N. CLEAN OUT REFRIGERATOR NIGHT
Y.O.Y.O. YOUR ON YOUR OWN
PAN SEARED CHICKEN IN HERB SAUCE & BALSAMIC CARROTS
CHICKEN VESUVIO & BROCCOLI
DESSERT
CINNAMON PEAR PLATZ (GERMAN COFFEE CAKE)

  • BEER BRAISED CHICKEN
  • SHEET PAN MAC & CHEESE
  • PISTACHIO CRUSTED CHICKEN STEAKS

A to Z CHALLENGE ~ P is for PORTERS, PEANUTS, PASSENGER CARS, PENGUINS, PUSH AND PULL

WOW A to Z challenge is moving right along. I can’t believe we’re already on the letter P!

Have you ever seen a long train with engines on both ends? Did you notice that often the engines are going in opposite directions? There is actually a term for this 😀

Push–pull train – A term for a configuration of locomotive-hauled trains, allowing them to be driven from either end of the train. Also known as “Top and tail” train with locomotives at both the front and back.

Another term that is bit obsolete is that of the Porter – who is an employee who performs various physical duties, chiefly but not exclusively involving lifting. Various types of porters include:

  • A baggage porter assisting with luggage
  • An operating porter assisting with safe working duties
  • A station porter assisting with general station duties
  • A lad porter also known as a junior station porter

Now those are great definitions, but I don’t have a #RailArt picture for either one 😀 But I do have this awesome one I captured a short while ago for one of my favorite vintage cartoons, Peanuts (Snoopy has always been a favorite) 😀  as well as some fun penguins, an abandoned passenger car and an unreadable PINK #RailArt.