SWEET & SOUR CABBAGE ROLLS

SWEET & SOUR CABBAGE ROLLS
8 WHOLE cabbage leaves
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 cup carrot sticks
1/2 cup sliced red pepper
1/3 pound ground sirloin
1/3 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons PURE maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Stack leaves in a large dutch oven and cover with boiling water.
  • Cover and bring to a boil for 4-6 minutes until cabbage is JUST tender enough to be pliable.
  • DRAIN and cool leaves on towel.
  • In a large skillet heat oil.
  • Brown beef and pork JUST until crumbly.
  • Add onion and saute’ 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots and peppers, sauteing a couple minutes more.
  • Add tomato paste and stir to coat.
  • Add Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and syrup, stirring to mix well and stirring often.
  • Bring to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Spoon 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture into each cabbage leaf rolling and tucking in the edges.
  • Arrange rolls in baking dish seam side down.
  • Top with tomato sauce, cover and bake 20 minutes.
  • Add mozzarella and return to oven uncovered until cheese melts and rolls are heated through.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

GREEN BEAN CAESAR SALAD


GREEN BEAN CAESAR SALAD
GREEN BEANS
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut

  • Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.
  • Add green beans and blanch 5-7 minutes.
  • Drain and spread out on a towel to cool.

DRESSING
Juice of LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon QUALITY dijon
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 anchovy fillets, finely minced into a paste
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together the Lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, anchovies, salt and pepper.
  • SLOWLY whisk in oil until emulsified.  Set aside.

CROUTONS
1 baguette, cut or torn into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Toss bread pieces with oil.
  • Generously season and toss again.
  • Transfer to a HOT cast iron skillet.
  • Stir over medium high heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Drain on paper toweling.

ASSEMBLY

1/4-1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

  • Toss cooled green beans with dressing in a large salad bowl.
  • Add croutons and toss again.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and toss gently one last time.
  • Serve and Enjoy.

IRISH PUB STYLE POTATO NACHOS

IRISH PUB STYLE POTATO NACHOS serves 4

I had these recently at an Irish Pub and they were SOOO good!.  They are like regular nachos but instead of tortilla chips, they use crispy fried potato slices!

3-4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped bacon
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 large tomato chopped and drained
scant 1/4 cup avocado oil
sour cream

POTATO preparation

  • Slice potatoes in half.
  • Slice each half into 1/4″ thick slices.
  • Place potato slices in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
  • Drain WELL and dry potatoes with paper towel.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Toss potatoes with avocado oil.
  • Place on a parchment lined pan and bake 30-35 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt immediately.
Drain on paper towels.
  • While potatoes are baking, cook bacon and render fat.
  • Drain bacon on paper towels.

NACHOS preparation

  • Increase oven to 475°.
In a bowl, combine cheese, most of the bacon and half of the green onions.
  • Layer half of the potatoes in an oven proof skillet or the same baking tray.
  • Top with half of the cheese mixture.
  • Top with another layer of potatoes.
  • Top with remaining cheese mixture.

  • Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is melted through.
  • Remove from oven and top with remaining green onions, bacon and dollops of sour cream.

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH APPLE SLAB PIE, CANDIED WALNUTS & A NEW TOY, ER KITCHEN GADGET, ER TIME SAVER

My sister-n-law found this new apple slicer.  It peels, cores AND makes long spiral slices of apple.  I LOVE my new tool 😀

PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH APPLE SLAB PIE
1 large batch of your favorite pie crust

FILLING
5-6 Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Toss apple pieces with lemon juice and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • Whisk together the sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Drain apples.
  • Toss apples and raisins in dry mixture until evenly coated.
  • Arrange pie crust on jelly roll pan.
  • Top with apple mixture and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle topping evenly over apples.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes. WATCH edges and cover in foil if necessary so they don’t burn.
  • Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

TOPPING
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped candied walnuts

  • Use a pastry blender to create a coarse crumble.

CANDIED WALNUTS or PECANS
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

  • In a non-stick skillet melt butter.
  • Add brown sugar, stirring to dissolve.
  • Add nuts, continuously stirring to coat well and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to parchment paper and separate nuts immediately so they don’t clump.
  • COOL COMPLETELY.
  • Store in air tight container.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 31 of 2109

GOOD MORNING How was your week?  Mine was kind of a blur as we were quite busy dealing with our storage units and the boxes crushed by the movers.  We are at least consolidated into a single unit for now.  Unfortunately, I now have to begin the arduous task of repacking all the crushed boxes.  I also have several totes of clothes that are going to need to be tried on piece by piece to see if I can salvage anything with the extreme weight loss. I see a HUGE donation load or two in my future as we minimize our life.

We are taking 2 more research trips this next month to check out several regions we are looking at.  This too is an arduous task trying check out EVERYTHING from churches, volunteer programs, health care… to daily traffic patterns, grocery stores and entertainment.  We really only want to do this move one last time so are being thorough in our research and trying to immerse ourselves into the local cultures.

Be sure to join us and 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 Later this week we leave for a few days to check out one of the areas we are thinking about.  One of the things I have been watching every so many days is the weather in each area.  Here are the four areas we are thinking about.

The upper one is we live and the next one is where we will be visiting later this week.  Not much difference now, but the winters are quite a bit different with the lower area being a bit drier and cooler than where we are now on average.

These 2 lower areas are certainly warmer now and really quite similar to here, but are both quite a bit colder in the winter with actual snow and 4 actual seasons each year!  Hubby and I are fonder of the cooler drier climates.

The one thing we have learned is that summer is summer and it’s hot EVERYWHERE!  The big differences (snow, rain, etc…) are the OTHER 9 months of the year 😀

Today I have to go to an early doctor appointment so I’m already dressed in Levis and a comfy blouse with my favorite sandals.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and grapes

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… pretty good – got the laundry finished yesterday and vacuumed
  • YARD… nothing
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… doctor appointment for me to remove the stitches and one for hubby too
  • BLOG… still updating some recipes and hoping to get to the past trip posts soon
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… LOL 😀 as always the garland is pending

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We watched the NASCAR races and a few old TCM movies I’d never seen, but other than that the DVR is empty:D  Looking forward to the fall line up.

I’M READING I finally finished Ava Miles’ Love Among Lavender (Merriams #2) and picked up  Jana Deleon’s Cajun Fried Felony (Miss Fortune #15) for a fun summer read

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Wow I just realized I didn’t take many pictures this week except on my phone and have yet to convert the HEIC to JPG so don’t have anything today.

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – GRILLED CHICKEN STRAWBERRY SALAD
TUESDAY – BAKED APRICOT GINGER SALMON & SALAD
WEDNESDAY – BALSAMIC BROWN SUGAR BRISKET & SALAD
THURSDAY – OUT
FRIDAY – OUT
SATURDAY – OUT
SUNDAY – OUT

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

BEEF & CABBAGE STIR FRY

All this started because one of my favorite munchkins brought me a cabbage from her class. 😀 It was this straggly looking thing, but then it grew and grew and grew into a HUGE head that I was able to make 3 meals from 😀

BEEF & CABBAGE STIR FRY

1 Pound ground beef
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups Shredded Cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 teaspoona Siracha (more or less depending on your preference)
2 teaspoon Ginger, minced
2 tablespoons QUALITY Honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
FRESH ground salt & pepper to taste

  • In a large frying pan heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Saute the onions with the ground beef. Drain WELL.
  • Add in garlic, carrots & red peppers.
  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, Siracha, honey, vinegar, ginger, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • When the beef is browned and the peppers and onions are soft, add in the cabbage
  • Once cabbage has slightly wilted, add in the soy mixture, mix well and allow to cook about 5 minutes, remove from heat.
  • Add in the sesame oil and toss well.
  • Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or by itself!
  • ENJOY!

ORANGE PEANUT APPLE SALAD

When I first found this recipe in an old magazine, it intrigued me, but I let it sit for quite some time before I finally made it.  The original recipe called for red apples with the skin on and large chop.  It was also served on lettuce, neither of which set well with me so I adapted to something I could eat and O.M.G. my family fell in love with it.  I originally intended to serve it 2 nights in a row, but there wasn’t anything left after the first night!  Serve it at your next potluck or picnic and it will go over BIG!  I am going to experiment with another flavor of yogurt next time, maybe lemon or even raspberry.

ORANGE PEANUT APPLE SALAD

8 ounces creamy YOPLAIT orange yogurt
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
11 ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained WELL
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 green onions, halved and sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Whisk together the yogurt, honey, salt and pepper.
  • Toss apple pieces in the lemon juice.
  • Discard the juice.
  • Add the celery, carrots and nuts and toss well.
  • Drizzle yogurt mixture over veggies and toss to coat.
  • Fold in peanuts and orange segments.
  • Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Serve over chopped romaine if desired.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 30 of 2019

Be sure to join us and 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.

GOOD MORNING everyone!  How was your week?  Mine was long, but somewhat productive.  I have an early morning here so will get right to it.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING This whole week looks like a ground hog day episode with very little change from day to day – nice mornings, hot afternoons and warm evenings.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE yogurt and coffee

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

  • LAUNDRY, LIVING AREAS & KITCHEN… not too bad
  • YARD… nothing
  • APPOINTMENTS & TO DO… looking for paperwork in storage and organizing
  • BLOG… same as always LOL 😀 recipe uploads
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… we’ll see how the storage bit goes, but I hope to FINALLY get started on the garland.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY The human condition, you know the characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of our human existence, things like growth, emotions, aspirations, conflicts, and ultimately our own mortality.  Sounds deep right? LOL 😀 Yet, they are all relevant to where we are and where we ultimately want and/or need to be.  A neighbor asked us recently, why not here?  There are many answers to that question and ultimately the big one is the health care or lack of it with all my health issues as well as not getting any younger.  We have a whole list of things (health care, economy, church, activities and things to do, property taxes, local government, demographics, base life, groceries, shopping… etc…) we research with each area.  Health care though seems to top the list each time. I have to say health care was the best in Texas, but that was also a double edge sword with the source of my ailments coming from the HOUSE FROM HELL and being complicated by the hot humid weather of the area not to mention the family betrayal that just left a sour note EVERYWHERE!

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH/SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED I wish I could say there was plenty to watch (which of course there is, but so much of it just doesn’t interest me!  Honestly I wonder how someone spent money to produce half the crap that show up on the screen!) We did watch an old movie on Amazon with Tom Selleck and Ellen DeGeneres called the Love Letter and another on Netflix called Secret Obsession that were both pretty good. We also rented Dumbo and Pet Sematary – I know what a combo!  I’m a fan of both Disney and Stephen King – go figure!

I’M READING LOL still reading the same book, just haven’t had the energy to finish this one, but not for the lack of trying 😀

Love Among Lavender The Merriams #2 by Ava Miles

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA When we first moved back here, our storage unit only had 3 small units available so we had to take what was available.  This has made it really tough while trying to locate things.  We also hired movers since I was in such poor health and unable to do much at the time.  My strength and stamina as well as my energy are still a bit fleeting with not being able to consume enough food, but we’re making the best of it as a larger single unit has become available.  Hubby and I are spending mornings moving things into the new unit so we can begin to sort and find the necessary things.  The moving men were given IMPLICIT instructions on stacking things.  As we began emptying the first unit we quickly realized that the moving men just didn’t listen nor were they evidently too bright as they stacked heavy garage items on top of clearly labeled TOP ONLY FRAGILE boxes or turned things on their sides when they had clear messages saying NOT to!  To say I am beyond ticked off would be a serious understatement!  We are having to ALSO re-box many things as we begin this arduous process!  FORTUNATELY for me we just helped our friends move a mile and a half away and they used ALL new boxes that they are filtering back to us so we can re-pack the broken by the movers boxes!  Thank you Heather & Josh!! 😀 

We still haven’t narrowed down the next project or the area, but we are working hard to do just that and want to be prepared to move when that happens so all this work will be a godsend in the end.

INSPIRATION & A FUNNY

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAY – SWEET & SOUR CABBAGE ROLLS or ASIAN CABBAGE STIR FRY
TUESDAY – SWEET & SOUR CARAMELIZED CHICKEN with MIMOSA ASPARAGUS
WEDNESDAY – C.O.R.N.
THURSDAY – TAMALE PIE FRIDAY – SALMON with ASIAN WALNUT SLAW
SATURDAY – MINI CHICKEN POT PIES
SUNDAY – Y.O.Y.O.

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

BRAISED TOMATILLO PORK

BRAISED TOMATILLO PORK serves 6-8

3-4 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
1 tablespoon FRESHLY toasted coriander seeds
1 tablespoons FRESHLY toasted cumin seeds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
10-15 tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange, peeled and cut into small segments
1 cup white wine
6 cups chicken broth

  • Crush coriander and cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle until aromatic. Set aside.
  • Generously season pork roast with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat oil in an ovenproof dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Brown pork roast on all sides. Remove roast and set aside.
  • Add tomatillo and onion pieces to pan, sautéing until tender and tomatillos are slightly charred.
  • Add garlic and crushed coriander and cumin seeds. Cook 1 more minute until fragrant.
  • Add wine, stirring to combine. Scrape bits from bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in chicken broth and return roast to pan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Remove from heat, cover and bake 3-3 1/2 hours until pork is tender.
  • Shred pork into sauce.
  • Serve over creamy masked potatoes, polenta or with tortillas, avocado salsa and sour cream.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN IN LEMON WINE SAUCE OR ala PRESSURE COOKER OR SLOW COOKER

I found this recipe in a Taste Of Home magazine and it was written for the new and improved pressure cookers of today, but I find it works great in an older “regular” pressure cooker too. It can also be made in a slow cooker or insta pot quite easily.  I especially like it pan seared using boneless, skinless chicken thighs.  The best part is that it is incredibly FULL of flavor!

PAN SEARED CHICKEN IN LEMON WINE SAUCE OR ala PRESSURE COOKER OR SLOW COOKER

6 bone-in chicken thighs
1 cup FRESHLY sliced mushrooms (I like Beech mushrooms)
4 tablespoons, butter, divided
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 small bunch green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme

PAN SEARED

  • Heat butter in skillet and cook 3-4 minutes until tender.
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add remaining butter.
  • In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Generously season chicken thighs.
  • Dredge chicken thighs, shaking off any excess.
  • Brown chicken thighs on both sides.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.
  • Add shallots and cook a few minutes until soft.
  • Add wine, lemon juice and broth to skillet, cook 2-3 minutes scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Return the chicken and mushrooms to skillet.
  • Add onions.
  • Turn chicken to coat and cook 5 minutes until sauce slightly thickens.

PRESSURE COOKER

  • Heat butter in bottom of slow cooker over a low flame.
  • Add mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes until tender.
  • Remove mushrooms from pan.
  • Add remaining butter.

 

  • In a shallow bowl whisk together the flour, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Generously season chicken thighs.
  • Dredge chicken thighs, shaking off any excess.
  • Brown chicken thighs on both sides.

 

  • Add wine and broth to pressure cooker, cook 2-3 minutes scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pressure cooker.
  • Add onions.
  • Lock lid and cook over medium high for 10 minutes.
  • Allow pressure to dissipate naturally, about 10 minutes.

NOTES: To make as a SLOW COOKER recipe, cover and cook on low 3 hours until chicken is tender.

MANDARIN CHICKEN BROCCOLI SALAD

MANDARIN BROCCOLI SALAD serves 4

1/2 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise
scant 1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4 cups FRESH broccoli florets
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
1/2 red onion, halved and sliced
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into quarters
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup candied walnuts
1 can mandarin oranges, drained WELL

  • Whisk mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together well.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • In a large bowl toss together the broccoli, onion pieces, raisins and walnuts.
  • Drizzle with mayo mixture and toss again.
  • Fold in orange segments.
  • Chill for several hours before serving. Overnight is better when time permits.

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES serves 6

1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
2 shallots, halved and sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken stock
FRESHLY ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds small red and/or white potatoes, with a strip peeled around the centers
1 pound green beans trimmed and sectioned

  • Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy.
  • Remove bacon from grease with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper toweling.
  • Add avocado oil to bacon grease.
  • Add shallots, stirring occasionally until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, salt and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes or JUST until potatoes are tender enough to be fork pierced, but still firm.
  • Add green beans, cover and simmer 6-7 minutes until tender.
  • Remove potatoes and green beans with a slotted spoon to a serving dish.
  • Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to 1 cup.
  • Spoon over vegetables and gently fold to mix.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and serve.