HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 44 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 Where did last week go?  It was Monday morning and I was working away.  Then, the next thing I knew it was Sunday afternoon!  Obviously it was a busy week and I did get a lot accomplished, but I really prefer a little slower pace where I can remember what day it is and appreciate it a little more!  Sorry I was so late visiting everyone last week, but will try VERY hard to make the rounds earlier this week.

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

Fall is in full swing here with very cool crisp nights full of freeze warnings and cool days that warm up for a couple hours in the afternoon.  Despite the picture above, more often than not mornings begin a bit gray and foggy only breaking to sunshine around lunch time for a couple hours – one of the main reasons why “snowbirds” travel south for the winter.  It will only get worse after next weekend with the time change. I wrote the 2nd because I do it BEFORE I go to bed even though it technically doesn’t change until 2AM on the 3rd 😀 

I’m on my way to the shower, but will putting on some warm socks to go with my Levi’s, teal hoodie and favorite gray POPS.

 

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE When I was at the grocery store the other day, there was a man handing out samples for this amazing Epiphany Pacific Northwest LOCAL caramelized balsamic vinegar.  One of the things that really attracted my attention was he had SEVERAL different labels for what turned out to be the SAME vinegar.  He was market testing and trying to educate people that it can be used on SOOOOOOOO many more things than what are traditionally done. 

He had samples with various “odd” foods for people to try and I have to say I was PLEASANTLY impressed.  One of those “odd” foods was a banana.  So I sampled and I probably looked like a kid in a candy store.  I know my eyes got huge with surprise and a grin broke out on my face.  This is the long way of saying that my morning banana is now made with a large drizzle of this amazing caramelized balsamic vinegar!  Oh and I have my normal hot water.

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… needs a bit of touch up which I will work on today…
  • YARD… hubby finished the new flower box this past week (part of what took up so much of our time) and I repainted (for the last time) the metal trellis that the clematis grows around in the spring.  The trellis had not been done previously (and should have been) so many areas of rust have eaten through beyond repair 🙁  It does have what repair could be done and a FRESH coat of paint giving it a couple more years of life.  Hubby also got the water spigots covered and the hoses drained.
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… I finally have the appointment with my primary this week, a nail appointment and hubby has some things too at the end of the week.  We got my step dad home from rehab at the end of last week and home health care is supposed to do an assessment this week too.  And of course all the wonderful kiddies and their costumes will be here Thursday!
  • BLOG… I need to get caught up on BLOGTOBER and am still working on a few future recipe posts.  I’m also working on BLOGMAS and a new to me set of blog prompts for November that I think I’ll call BLOGTHANKS? or BLOGEMBER?. I’ve made the list of prompts to start next Friday, but can’t settle on a name yet 😀 I’m NEEDING the prompts to keep me motivated and not have my subject matter get stale.
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… I have a couple of snowmen projects to finish, but have just NOT had the time yet 😀

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We caught an old movie from 2010, The Next Three Days,  on Amazon with quite a few big names (Russel Crowe, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Banks, Daniel Stern to name a few) and are not sure how we missed it when it originally came out.

I’M READING Swamp Santa by Jana Deleon – one of the Miss Fortune series

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

There was an evening with an absolutely beautiful sunset!

George and Elmer here would like to wish you a Happy Halloween! 😀

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

There’s still 2 months left to 2019 – make it so!

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – POT ROAST & VEGGIES with SALAD
TUESDAY – SOUP KETTLE – an ANTIQUE RECIPE re-creation
WEDNESDAY – MINI CHICKEN POT PIES & SALAD
THURSDAY – C.O.R.N.
FRIDAY – MINI CAJUN CHICKEN POT PIES
SATURDAY – SWEET & SOUR BRISKET
SUNDAY – GARLIC LIME CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK

  • SOUP KETTLE – an ANTIQUE RECIPE re-creation
  • CAJUN CHICKEN POT PIES
  • GARLIC LIME CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER

FYI to make you smile!

I’m sitting here watching football with hubby and there was a commercial for a “NATIONAL” pinata day and hubby was like that’s not a thing!  I just laughed and pulled out the laptop to look it up. 😀  Not only was it National Pinata Day, but I found a site for National Day Calendar that will tell you what ANY given day is a “NATIONAL” thing of day.

SALTED PEANUT OATMEAL COOKIES another ANTIQUE RECIPE

This is my new GO TO recipe!  SO SO Good!

SALTED PEANUT OATMEAL COOKIES another ANTIQUE RECIPE yields 5 dozen cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening (crisco stick) (next time I’ll use half crisco stick, half butter)
3 LARGE eggs (next time I’ll only use 2)
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1 cup peanuts
¾-1 cup golden raisins
½ cup peanut butter chips

  • Preheat oven 350°.
  • In a small food processor grind the peanuts and set aside.
  • Cream together the shortening and both sugars.
  • Add eggs one at a time and blend well.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Whisk together the oatmeal, ground peanuts, flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Sift flour mixture into wet mixing until blended well.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes.

BAVARIAN MEATBALLS ala SLOW COOKER

These meatballs make a GREAT appetizer, are also GREAT on a sandwich or served over rice or pasta. But the most preferred method is with mashed potatoes so there is spot for the YUMMY gravy!

BAVARIAN MEATBALLS ala SLOW COOKER
MEATBALLS
1 pound ground chicken
½ pound ground pork
1 LARGE egg, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon garam masala
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

GRAVY
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup PACKED brown sugar
1 envelope LIPTON onion soup mix
12 ounces beer or ginger ale
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (optional – best on sandwiches)

  • Mix everything together until well blended.
  • Form into 1 inch meatballs. It will make about 36.
  • Coat the slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place meatballs in the slow cooker.
  • Combine the onions, brown sugar, onion soup mix, and beer. Pour over and around meatballs.
  • Cook on low 3-4 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or on hoagies*.
  • Top with cheese.

NOTE*

  • If serving on hoagies, place split buns on baking sheet, place meatballs on buns and top with cheese. Broil 4-6 inches from heat source for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  • If making the “LOAF” mix EVERYTHING (except the cheese) together and add 1 cup Panko crumbs.  Press mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Top with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

GINGER ALE CHICKEN

GINGER ALE CHICKEN
2 pounds bone in chicken thighs
½ cup avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3-6 ounces ginger ale

  • Pour a VERY shallow amount of ginger ale into the bottom of baking dish.
  • Sift together the salt, pepper, brown sugar, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and garlic powder until well blended.
  • Rub chicken thighs with oil.
  • Sprinkle each thigh with spice mixture and place skin side up in a single layer in baking dish.
  • Bake 1 hour.
  • Coat with glaze.
  • Cover with foil and rest 10 minutes.

GLAZE
12 ounces ginger ale
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated FRESH ginger
¼ teaspoon FRANK’s original hot sauce

  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until glaze is reduced to ½ cup.

NOTE:  If serving with mashed potatoes, use a cornstarch slurry on the sauce and you have a GREAT gravy!

SCALLOPED HAM & POTATOES another ANTIQUE RECIPE

I’ve been experimenting with more of my “ANTIQUE” recipes and having GREAT success.  This recipe is also a blank canvas for getting creative.  I had a large jar of pimientos that was opened by accident that I drained and added to the layers.  I was also out of sweet onions so I used shallots and I used the cheese I had on hand which happened to be a garlic pepper cheddar and Gruyere.

SCALLOPED HAM & POTATOES another ANTIQUE RECIPE
5 medium potatoes
1 ham steak*
1 medium sweet Vidalia onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed, but not scalded
½ cup grated cheddar
½ cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon Paprika

  • Preheat oven 350°.
  • Peel and soak potatoes for one hour.
  • Drain and dry potatoes.
  • Trim ham steak of fat and discard. Cut steak into diced size pieces.
  • Spray baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
  • Arrange one third of the potatoes in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Top with half of the onions and garlic.
  • Top with half of the ham pieces.

  • Repeat layers, ending with potatoes.
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  • Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and turns golden, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a SLOW boil.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in grated cheddar cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking, along with the Paprika.
  • Pour over potato and ham layers.
  • Top with Gruyere cheese.
  • Bake one hour until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden.

*NOTEham steaks tend to be on the salty side so use salt sparingly until you taste test.  They also tend to be very watery.  If using a packaged ham steak, be sure to “press” excess water from steak before trimming and dicing.

CREAMY CHICKEN & VEGGIES

When I first saw this recipe, the tomatoes are what intrigued me the most and the baby spinach the least, but we tried it anyway.  It was really quite good, except hubby really hated the tomatoes.  Next time we will be using mushrooms instead of tomatoes.  We also had the rice, but will do mashed potatoes next time.  I also used my wok and will add a bunch more veggies like broccoli and snow peas.

CREAMY CHICKEN & VEGGIES
2 teaspoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ Vidalia onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin or minced
1 teaspoon minced FRESH thyme
1 ¼ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1 ½ cup chopped baby spinach
1 SMALL lemon, juiced and zest
Prepared rice, mashed potatoes or pasta

  • Heat oil and butter over medium high heat in a large skillet.
  • GENEROUSLY season chicken pieces with your FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add chicken to skillet searing 4-5 minutes until golden brown before turning.
  • Flip chicken and add tomatoes, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook 3-4 minutes until onion begins to soften.
  • Whisk together the chicken stock and flour. Add to skillet, stirring to mix. Be sure to scrape all the tasty tidbits from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a SLOW boil until sauce thickens.
  • Add spinach, lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring to mix well.
  • Serve immediately over prepared rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.

BLOGTOBER – DAY 22 – MORE FALL CLOTHING

Have I mentioned that I LOVE fall?  If you missed it, let me say it again.  I LOVE FALL!  And I especially LOVE fall clothing so this category deserves a second day 😀

Recently I ran into JC Penneys for some towels and passed by the shoe department and a sign that literally said Buy 1, Get 2 free!  How do you pass up a deal like that?  For me it was especially fitting because I have needed ALL new shoes as well as clothes since losing all the weight after that last surgery.  Who would have thought you’d lose shoes sizes, but I did – an entire size!  So this is my fun purchase where I not only took advantage of the sale, but also a 20% off coupon and was able to buy 3 pair for $64. 😀 My tootsies are staying toasty this fall!

 

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 43 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 sweet friends.  It was a busy week that seems to have just swept by when I wasn’t looking!  I’m jumping in with both feet this morning because of an early morning appointment.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING We’re supposed to have a relatively mild and dry week with cooler crisp nights. 🙂 We have an appointment this morning so I’m wearing Levis and a burgundy lightweight sweater with my new gray POPS.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Black cherry yogurt, string cheese and hot water

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… Standard tidying up to do
  • YARD… Need to cut back the clematus and start working on the flower box that is falling apart
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… I have my annual physical and follow-up for the vitamins and minerals post surgery, getting my hair done, hubby has a couple of appointments also, visiting with stepdad at rehab…
  • BLOG… I’ve been working on Blogtober, a few recipes and BLOGMAS posts
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… Made some more pumpkins with the munchkins yesterday.  I’m also working on a Snowman family made from old bowling pins.  They are still naked, but at least started 😀

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY Doing Blogtober has helped me get away from doing JUST recipes and I’m really enjoying it.  I think maybe I need prompts for every month of the year to keep me motivated.  Last week’s posts from BLOGTOBER include:

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

I’M READING nothing right now 🙁

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA We had our pumpkin making family day this week! I think the girls had fun making their own little families and using their imaginations to decorate them.  I made a couple new ones too for my ever growing family, including a set of twins.

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – HAM & SCALLOPED POTATOES with SALAD
TUESDAY – SOUP KETTLE – an ANTIQUE RECIPE re-creation
WEDNESDAY – MINI CHICKEN POT PIES & SALAD
THURSDAY – C.O.R.N.
FRIDAY – MINI CAJUN CHICKEN POT PIES
SATURDAY – SWEET & SOUR BRISKET
SUNDAY – GINGER ALE CHICKEN

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK

  • MINI CHICKEN POT PIES
  • MINI CAJUN CHICKEN POT PIES
  • HAM & SCALLOPED POTATO CASSEROLE
  • GINGER ALE CHICKEN
  • ANTIQUE SOUP KETTLE
  • CREAMY CHICKEN & VEGGIES

FARMHOUSE HOT DISH ala 21st CENTURY

The term “HOT DISH” is typically a mid western term, more specifically an upper Midwestern term for a pot luck style meal that consists of a starch, a protein and a canned or frozen vegetable along with a creamed can soup used as a binder, but is prepared in a single baking dish and served hot.  Hot dishes originated by Minnesota farmer’s wives and became extremely popular as the budget minded farm families needed to feed their own families as well as making dishes for church basement potlucks.  Hot Dishes are still popular in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.  Hot Dishes are a mainstay for communal gatherings like church potluck suppers, family reunions and funerals.

The starch was usually macaroni, but today many cooks often uses a wild rice or tater tots.  The protein is usually a ground beef.  The canned or frozen vegetable is usually peas or green beans or even a pea and carrot mix.  The canned soup is the ingredient I have the most issue with and use my own soup substitutes, but cream of mushroom soup is the most popular among original cooks.

I really like using COSTCO rotisserie chickens for many things whether it’s a HOT DISH, chicken salad or just plain snacking.  It really is a time saver for many dishes.

FARMHOUSE HOT DISH ala 21st CENTURY serves 6-8
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 carrots, cleaned and chopped
2 celery ribs, cleaned and thinly sliced
½ onion, sliced thin
½small fennel bulb, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin
¼ cup chopped tarragon
¼ cup chopped thyme
¼ cup chopped Italian flat leaf Parsley
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
7 tablespoons butter, divided 4 +3
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup WONDRA flour
FRESH grated nutmeg
1 bag frozen tater tots

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • In a large skillet melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.
  • Add the carrots, celery, onion, fennel, tarragon and thyme, stirring over medium high heat until beginning to brown.
  • Add the flour, stirring to mix.
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  • Add chicken stock and hot sauce, bring to a SLOW boil, stirring 5-10 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  • Reduce heat.
  • Add the cream, blending well.
  • Add the chicken pieces, carrots, peas and parsley.
  • Adjust seasoning with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Spread into a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Wipe out the pan and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • When butter is melted add the mushrooms and cook over high heat 5 minutes until browned and starting to caramelize.
  • Stir in tarragon until well blended.
  • Spread mushroom mixture over chicken mixture in baking dish.
  • Spread tater tots in a single layer over top of the mushroom mixture.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly, golden and tots are crisp.
  • Immediately sprinkle tots with salt when removing from the oven.

MEXICAN SOFRITO

I wanted to use what I had on hand so made a Mexican version of my Beef Ragu.  Naming it was an entirely different story! 

I found tons of words to replace ragu like goulash, pot-au-feu, gumbo, suey, cassoulet, chowder… You get the idea, but I couldn’t find a word in Spanish.  Finding a word for word translation of RAGU was challenging. 

Turns out there isn’t a DIRECT word for translation so I read until I found an acceptable translation for this Mexican version of my Beef Ragu recipe. The word soffritto is still Italian, but I found the same word with a single f and single t (sofrito) used for Puerto Rican and Latin American recipes.  Close enough for me! 

A Ragu is meat based with a little sauce added.

MEXICAN SOFRITO ala SLOW COOKER
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 ½ -3 pound chuck roast
1 tablespoon House Seasoning (see below)
28 ounces crushed tomatoes, with cumin and chili powder to taste
1 large can chopped green chiles
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Cotija cheese

  • Spray a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Arrange the onions, garlic, green chiles and bacon pieces in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  • Generously season roast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper on both sides.
  • Arrange roast on top of the onion mixture.
  • Sprinkle the carrots on top of the roast.
  • In a medium bowl, blend together the tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, red wine vinegar and cilantro.
  • Pour over the roast.
  • Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours until the beef is EXTREMELY tender and falls apart.
  • Skim any fat from the top.
  • Use 2 forks to shred the beef.
  • Stir beef into the sauce.
  • Adjust seasonings.
  • Re-cover and cook for another hour to allow the flavored to meld together.
  • Serve with corn tortillas and top with Cotija cheese sprinkles.

This is an adapted version of my Beef Ragu recipe.