HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 8 of 2018

GOOD MORNING! Here we are in week 8 of 2018 and a long weekend too.

We had a quiet, wet weekend.  We did go to the Farmer’s Market Saturday, but it was raining and my favorite vendors weren’t there so we headed to my favorite grocer with the best produce and did a little shopping and ate lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants which is still kind of hard for me because of the spice, but I muddled through with a plain cheese quesadilla that I’m still munching on.  I’m giving doggy bags a new meaning with how many additional meals I get after we get home.

This was the official NASCAR season kickoff weekend at Daytona and the drivers did NOT disappoint.  It was action packed and fun.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE

We had to switch from heat to air conditioning this past weekend and I’m hoping this is not indicative of the weather to come.  We’re supposed to be in the mid to high 70’s with higher humidity and a chance of thunderstorms ALL week, but right now it’s just gray and foggy. I AM NOT READY for summer – I WANT SPRING!!!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea

CRAFTS / PROJECTS

Nothing much right now.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • I was doing really well on the road to recovery when I developed a new bacterial infection.  The doctor put me on a serious antibiotic to fight it and I was doing really well for the first week.  On day 8 she decided to extend the prescription another week which seemed fine. But, 2 days later I ended up with severe side affects and have been pretty miserable since Saturday night, but I have stopped the medication and seem to be getting better though I need to call her office tomorrow when they open back up.
  • I also tried on lots of clothes over the weekend and have several large donation piles again.  The weight loss is a double edge sword as I’m now smaller than my skinny clothes and are eventually going to need to buy new clothes and I am not fond of clothes shopping.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

I have an elderly neighbor that lives alone that I often take dinner too or a batch of goodies when I make some for hubby.  The door bell rang the other day and she was standing there with these beautiful pink and red tulips for Valentine’s day as a thank you – She’s so sweet to me!

We also had some worrisome moments when Sady couldn’t quite be found.  But, the crematorium called me and explained what happened and then the sweet woman actually drove her remains to our local vet so we didn’t have to wait another week to be home where she belongs.  Nice people make such a HUGE difference in our lives!  I need to dig out the baby pictures for Sady, Dickens and Gunner to have them in the area too.

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing as I’m still battling yet another infection
  • LIVING AREAS… lots of mopping and vacuuming as we’re having a little rain each day – just enough to make a mess
  • KITCHEN… I NEVER again want a kitchen that is a thoroughfare! Between hubby and the dog going in and out constantly it always needs cleaning!
  • STUDIO… is mainly storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… I need to plant the barrels soon, but am waiting to make sure we don’t get a late freeze
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR

OLYMPICS are on the DVR daily for awhile.  The winter Olympics are my absolute favorite and I watch them ALL! Thank goodness for DVR’s! 😀

  • I’m now reading BOOK #11, Change of Fortune of JANA DELEON’S Miss Fortune series. It’s a fun read that makes you laugh out loud.

COMEDIES

  • BIG BANG THEORY, YOUNG SHELDON
  • THE GOOD PLACE, AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE, SPEECHLESS, GREAT NEWS
  • BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, LIFE IN PIECES

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS NEW ORLEANS and NCIS LA, CRIMINAL MINDS, WISDOM OF THE CROWD, S.W.A.T.
  • MADAM SECRETARY, SCANDAL, DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • BRAVE, VALOR, SEAL TEAM, BLINDSPOT, MACGYVER, SCORPION
  • LAW & ORDER SVU, BLUE BLOODS, HAWAII 5-0, ELEMENTARY
  • CHICAGO FIRE, CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO MED, 911

DRAMAS

  • THE GOOD DOCTOR, THIS IS US, THE RESIDENT

SYFY

  • Z NATION, the WALKING DEAD, FLASH, SUPERGIRL, DC LEGENDS
  • ORVILLE, ONCE UPON A TIME, THE X-FILES, THE ALIENIST starts later this week

COOKING

  • GUY’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, BOBBY AND DAMARIS, BAKED IN VERMONT
  • KID’S BAKING CHAMPIONSHIP, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MON
TUES
WED
THUR
FRI
SAT
SUN
2 times a day
B-FAST
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
2 times a day
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink

LUNCH

2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
DINNER

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

BBQ BACON CHEESEBURGER MEATBALLS

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

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

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

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

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

CHIPOTLE PEPPER SHREDDED PORK 

 

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

CAST IRON SKILLET ROAST CHICKEN

3 ounces PROTEIN & small salad

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

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

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.

SPLIT PEA SOUP

When I went to bed last night it was a balmy 73 degrees.  As I lay there watching the news I was astounded that the weatherman said today’s high would be 46 with wind and rain.  Actually I didn’t believe him, but lo and behold I woke to thunder, rain, wind and 46 degrees.
That’s when I decided it was time to pull the Honey Baked Ham bone out of the freezer and make some split pea soup for dinner.  We’ll probably split a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it.
I’ve been making this recipe exactly the same way for over 20 years.  It’s that good – needs no updating. It’s smooth, creamy, chunky, slightly sweet and savory too! The beer gives it a pungent punch too.
I wrote and prepped this recipe and then forgot to post it so last night refers to last Sunday LOL 🙂

SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 Honey Baked Ham Bone
2 cups ham pieces
3 quarts water
1 small bag baby carrots, chopped
5 large stalk celery, leaves included, chopped
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
2 cups split green peas
2 cups split yellow peas
1/4 cup barley
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper & white pepper mix
1 bottle beer – Mystery ingredient – choose your favorite flavor
crispy bacon pieces for garnish

  • In a large stock pot, bring ham bone* & water to a boil. Boil until the meat is falling off the bone, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours)
  • Remove the bone and let cool enough so you can cut the meat off the bone. You should have about 8 cups water left.
  • In the mean time add the carrots, celery, onion (4 cups total) and seasonings to the water and return to a SLOW boil for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • While the vegetables are boiling, rinse the peas and pick out any bad ones.
  • Cut the ham pieces off the bone. Refrigerate the ham pieces and discard the bone.
  • After the vegetables have cooked 45 minutes or until tender, add the peas and barley, cooking for another 1-1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender.
  • Add the beer and ham pieces back in and cook another 30-45 minutes.

NOTE*: I always save my honey baked ham bones after the meat is all cut off. I then freeze them and save them for future soups. I always get at least 2 cups of meat off when I boil the bone.

This makes a huge batch and I always freeze it in several batches (3-4) for future easy weeknight meals.  We usually pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

TODAY’S TRIVIA as heard by hubby on an old game show – Campbell’s soup used to fill the bottom of the bowl with marbles so the vegetables would be at the top giving the appearance of more vegetables in each bowl of soup. That trick was not done here – what you see is what you get.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD with or without Chicken

NEW CLASSIC CAESAR SALAD

2 cloves garlic, minced
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1/2 Meyer lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (I like to use a lemon olive oil)
large egg yolk, beaten
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste
Torn Romaine lettuce
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons

  • In a small food processor combine 7 ingredients until well blended. Garlic and anchovies should become one with the liquid ingredients.
  • Fold olive oil mixture into beaten egg until well blended.
  • Season to taste with fresh ground salt and pepper.
  • Pour over torn lettuce and sliced green onions.
  • Top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss well and serve immediately.

NOTE: When I use chicken I use chicken tenders with salt and pepper browned in a little butter and then shredded into the salad.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

YUMMY HOMEMADE CELERY SEED DRESSING

CELERY SEED DRESSING
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard (optional as I’m allergic)
2 green onions, finely minced
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 cup olive oil (I use a lemon olive oil bu a vegetable oil works too)
1/3 cup vinegar (I sometimes use a flavored rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)

  • In the bowl of a food processor mix together the sugar, salt, dry mustard, celery seed and onions until well mixed.
  • Gradually add in the oil and vinegar alternately.
  • Chill before serving, but us also good heated.

Linking to SOUPER SUNDAY at Kahakai Kitchen and FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 7 of 2018

Good morning! Here we are about to start yet another new week.  I hope your weekend was great.  Mine was full of errands, chores and stormy weather followed by a SERIOUS cold front!

I had a few tests last Friday due to the new infection and while we were out we picked up my wedding ring that had been at the jeweler to be sized.  Our jeweler is in this cute little town and when we are normally there all the local antique stores are closed.  But, we lucked out and they were actually open! YAY! I LOVE ANTIQUING. When I go through an antique store I’m always on the lookout for old recipe boxes WITH recipes!  I lucked out on Friday and found a gorgeous large oak recipe box stuffed full of old handwritten recipes and a ton of newspaper clippings. I am having so much fun going through them AND will be making some retro meals too! LOL 😀 some of the recipes were written in German so I’m still not sure what they are, but I have a German neighbor that I’m going to see if she can translate them.

I found this over the weekend and have adopted it as my new motto:

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

The weather is still super crazy here.  Friday and Saturday were in the mid to high 70’s, true flip flop weather with a heavy rain and thunderstorm moving in and making it wet, but by Saturday dusk it was suddenly 55 degrees and dropping fast to an overnight low of 39 degrees.  Then we had a high of 40 yesterday with a windchill of 31-33 all day. The rest of this week is supposed to be in the low 50’s with off and on rain and thunderstorms and then back into the high 70’s by the weekend. Like I said, completely wonkers on the weather front.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Honey Nut cheerios with banana slices with milk and a cup of Green Tea

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

  • my recent post about my unplanned gastric bypass RECOVERY UPDATE
  • my recent post about FEELING BLESSED – OVARIAN CANCER
  • What we’re saving in the food bill is being spent on clothes.  I went through several totes of my “skinny” clothes over the weekend and even those are now being donated 🙁 I’m not a real love of shopping girl so this makes all of this a real chore for me.  I did buy a few new bras and tops on Saturday while I was out, but am holding off on pants until I finish losing weight.  My skinny jeans are too big, but passable for a while longer.
  • I have been ebaying (or at least trying to) many items (mostly antiques and collectibles), but am now thinking my peace of mind is worth more than the money that can be made from all these items and am in the process of sorting though and donating many items to the local abused women’s resale shop so they can benefit from them. I just can’t move them again or justify the time involved with the smaller items.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing – I will sure be glad when we’re out of here and can stop this overwhelming process.
  • LIVING AREAS… time for a serious deep clean
  • KITCHEN… time for a serious deep clean
  • STUDIO… is just storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… not much
  • BLOG… a little more recipe updating and future post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR / MOVIES

The Olympics are at the forefront of everything being watched.  Winter Olympics are my favorite! Go Team USA! 😀

MOVIES

I’ve taped a few of the Hallmark Valentine’s movies to watch during down time.

READING

I’m now reading ONCE HUNTED, TWICE SHY an EVERLASTING SERIES NOVEL by Mandy Roth

COMEDIES

  • Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, The Good Place, American Housewife, Better Late Than Never, Life in Pieces

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdom of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS

  • The Good Doctor, This is Us, The Resident, Elementary

SYFY

  • Z Nation, The Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC LEegends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files

COOKING

  • Guy’s Grocery Games, Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, The Grill Dads, Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby and Damaris, Baked in Vermont, Kid’s Baking Championship, Worst Cooks in America, Giada

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MON
TUES
WED
THUR
FRI
SAT
SUN
2 times a day
B-FAST
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and  Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
BACON & EGGS
TOASTED FRENCH TOAST
2 times a day
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 time a day

LUNCH

2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
DINNER 6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

CHICKEN PARMESAN LASAGNA

6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

CASHEW CHICKEN

6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

GRILLED SWORDFISH with LEMON BASTING SAUCE & SALAD with HOMEMADE CELERY SEED DRESSING

6-8 ounces

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

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

A YUMMIER lighter Chicken Marsala

I loved Italian food long before I met hubby. I’m also a creature of habit. When I find a dish that I absolutely adore I will try it every time I go out to find who makes it best. Unfortunately, for this recipe no one anymore seems to make it quite like it was originally made and I was forced to make my own recipe. LOL I also found out that I have to hide the wine or hubby makes it disappear without benefit of the recipe/meal 😀 I’ve been making this lower fat version of this recipe for about 8 years and really like it a lot. If we happen to go out to a nice Italian restaurant I do indulge in the full fat version just to keep trying to find it made like when I was a kid.

CHICKEN MARSALA

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded 1/4 inch thick
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons avocado/olive oil
1 small white onion, sliced into thin rings and then separated
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup sweet cooking sherry

  • With a mortar and pestle grind the oregano.
  • Sift together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano.
  • Coat the chicken pieces well with the flour mixture.
  • In a heavy skillet, heat oil and butter.
  • When oil and butter is hot, saute’ onions and mushrooms until just carmelized.
  • Set aside onions and mushrooms and place chicken breasts in skillet and brown on both sides about 6 minutes per side over medium heat. Remove and set aside, but keep warm.
  • To the skillet, add the wine, lemon juice and sherry. Stir, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce is partially reduced and begins to thicken.
  • Return onions and mushrooms to the skillet.
  • Plate chicken breasts.
  • Spoon sauce over the chicken.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  • Serve with Parsleyed Herb Noodles.

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE

When I went to the grocery store February 25, 2010 I ran across some awesome meat deals and these pork chops were perfect for a new BBQ sauce I wanted to try. Dave over at My Year on the Grill has been raving about a raspberry chipotle sauce that I can’t get here either, but left me craving raspberries and at $4.99 a small box that craving was going to go unsatisfied until I ran across this raspberry vinegar at $3.99 a bottle – a much better deal and it made an awesome sauce. So this recipe was developed on February 26, 2010, but is so worth the rerun!

GRILLED PORK CHOPS & RASPBERRY BBQ SAUCE
6 tablespoons Alessi raspberry blush vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons grandma’s molasses
1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot Pepper Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 thin pork chops
skewers

  • Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk all the ingredients (except pork chops) together until well blended over a medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer, whisking occasionally until thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Skewer each pork chop with 2 skewers (this helps them lay flat).
  • Generously salt and pepper each side.
  • Bring your grill to temperature.
  • Brush each side with sauce.
  • Spray grill surface with PURE.
  • Place chops on grill, grilling uncovered for 2-3 minutes total, turning once.

 

hubby approved

Linking to FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage.

BISCUITS AND SAUSAGE GRAVY BAKE

BISCUITS AND SAUSAGE GRAVY BAKE
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon avocado oil
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Wondra flour
3 cups milk
FRESH ground salt and pepper
1 can Pillsbury JUMBO biscuits
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (hubby like sharp – I prefer medium)

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add sausage and cook until completely browned and crumbly.
  • Drain sausage in colander until free of oil.
  • Return pan to heat and add butter.
  • Whisk in flour until a golden roux appears.
  • SLOWLY add milk, whisking constantly until heated through.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add sausage pieces.
  • Coat 11×7 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Place dish on baking pan to catch any drips.
  • Separate biscuits and then separate each biscuit in half so you have 16 pieces.
  • Place 8 halves in baking dish.
  • Cover with half the sausage mixture.
  • Sprinkle half the green onions over the sausage.
  • Repeat layers and sprinkle with cheese on top.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until golden.

NOTE: CAN EASILY BE MADE INTO INDIVIDUAL SERVINGS & I OFTEN SERVE IT WITH AN EGG ON TOP.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

CHICKEN FRIED HAMBURGER STEAKS

CHICKEN FRIED HAMBURGER STEAKS
We “chicken” fry steak, chicken and even pork. So, why not ground beef?

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup self-rising flour, use leftover seasoned flour for the gravy
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound lean ground beef
Avocado oil

  • Whisk together the egg and milk in shallow dish. Set aside.
  • In another shallow dish whisk together the flour, seasoning salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Shape ground beef into three equal sized oval “steaks” and flatten into 1/4 inch thickness.
  • Add each “steak” one at a time to egg mixture, coating both sides well.
  • Then add each “steak” to seasoned flour, making sure to cover each side well.
  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add “steaks” to hot oil and cook until both sides are golden brown.
  • Remove “steaks” from skillet and keep warm while you make gravy.

GRAVY
3 tablespoons seasoned flour
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 cup milk

  • Drain all but 3 tablespoons of the oil from the skillet, add flour and stir into oil until a paste like texture is reached and flour is golden.
  • Warm the milk before adding to roux.
  • Whisk in milk gradually until desired consistency is reached.
  • Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
  • Pour gravy over “steaks” and mashed potatoes.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET – cook ahead

I originally found this recipe through America’s Test Kitchen. Their changes to a typical recipe are awesome. I just made a few flavor profile changes for my family’s likes. Brisket is one of the most versatile cuts of beef. While every culture treats it a little differently they all agree that a brisket takes TIME! So many other recipes either turn out watery and tasteless, super sweet or dry and chewy. BUT, this recipe turns out PERFECT!

Keeping this brisket moist is essential to its flavor profile. Keeping it moist is best done by making it the day BEFORE you want to serve it. By not cutting the beef until it is chilled it holds together into slices better. This also helps on the clean up level if you’re making this for company. Removing the fat from the sauce is essential to a smooth rich sauce.

ONION BRAISED BEEF BRISKET
4-5 pound flat cut brisket
2 large Vidalia onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick (thick slices hold up better)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 cup chicken broth, yes I said chicken broth
1 cup cabernet sauvignon
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs FRESH thyme (I’ve used parsley in a pinch)
FRESH ground salt and pepper
Avocado oil

  • Bring brisket to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Lower oven rack to lower middle.
  • Line your baking dish, preferably cast iron) with two to three heavy duty sheets of foil in opposite directions and long enough to fold over to seal the brisket inside.
  • Pat brisket dry and place fat side up on cutting board.
  • Using a fork or needle meat tenderizer, poke holes in meat through the fat layer.
  • Generously season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Place brisket fat side up in skillet.
  • Weight down brisket with bacon press or cast iron skillet and sear until well browned, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove weight and turn brisket to sear fat side another 6 minutes or so until well browned.
  • Transfer meat to platter.
  • Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of fat.
  • Add onions, sugar and sea salt, cooking 10-12 minutes until onions are soft.
  • Add garlic, cooking another minute or so until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens, about 2 minutes.
  • Add paprika and chipotle powder.
  • Add flour and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in wine, broth, bay leaves, thyme sprigs and simmer 5 minutes until mixture begins to thicken. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

  • Pour onion mixture into the prepared dish and nestle brisket fat side up into the onion mixture.
  • Fold foil over and seal.
  • Bake 3 1/2-4 hours until fork slip easily into the meat and fat is broken down.
  • Carefully open foil and let brisket cool 20 minutes.

  • Transfer brisket to large bowl or baking dish.
  • Use a fine colander to strain sauce over brisket.
  • Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Place onion mixture in a small bowl.
  • Cover brisket and onions with Press and Seal.
  • Cut a couple small vents into plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate the meat and onions separately at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. I do it overnight.

  • An hour before serving, preheat oven to 350°.
  • Transfer brisket to cutting board.
  • Skim fat from top of sauce and discard.
  • Pour sauce into a saucepan
  • Slowly reheat sauce, skimming as needed to get rid of excess fat until you have about 2 cups of sauce.
  • Stir in vinegar and reserved onions.
  • Season to taste.

 

  • Slice brisket against the grain and place in baking dish.
  • Pour sauce over brisket.
  • Cover dish with foil.
  • Bake until heated through. About 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 6 of 2018

Good morning! Here we are at week 6 already. Can you believe that?  Time is truly just flying by!!!! I hope you had a GREAT weekend.

So are you a Super Bowl watcher?  We love football here and enjoyed yesterday’s game a lot, especially since we were voting fo the Eagles!

Do you watch just for the commercials? I don’t, since I love football, but I REALLY ENJOY the Super Bowl for the commercials almost as much as the game itself. My favorite commercials this year were:

  • M&M’S with DANNY DEVITO
  • ALEXA LOSES HER VOICE
  • DODGE RAM VIKINGS
  • ELI MANNING AND ODELL BECKHAM DIRTY DANCING
  • MARTHA STEWART AND JACK IN THE BOX
  • BUDWEISER CLYDESDALE
  • ALEXA SOUTHERN MODEL
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

The weather has been sooooooo crazy.  One day was 80 degrees last week and then 57 degrees the next day.  The lows at night have been just as crazy ranging from 30-60 degrees.  This week is supposed to be just as crazy with patchy fog, low visibility and a few days of rain also.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE

Honey Nut cheerios and banana with milk and Green Tea

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

Last week was very sad for us as we lost our beloved Sady.  Fur children are so precious and so hard to lose.  I found her and her sisters behind the garage almost 20 years ago when they were about 2 weeks old.  Her mother had been hit by a car.  I raised the three of them by hand until they were old enough to find homes for, but Sady always had a special place in my heart.  When she was little she would curl up on my neck after she took her bottle and sleep there. She was always a tiny little thing and I kept her as an indoor only cat.  Sady ALWAYS thought she was a real person with so many human like qualities.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

My uncle was here for dinner on Saturday night and brought me these great flowers for the table.  I just love this little vase! It’s hard to see, but there is all sorts of pretty embossing all over it.

YAY – I get to start exercising today!

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… quite a few loads this week, towels, bedding and clothing
  • LIVING AREAS… hubby helped me do a SERIOUS deep clean on Saturday before my uncle came for dinner so the house is still looking really good.
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean after a deep clean Saturday night
  • STUDIO… is just storage these days so nothing going on there
  • YARD… still nothing after the weekend storms, just too wet to do anything
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR / MOVIES

MOVIES

I’ve taped a few of the Hallmark Valentine’s movies to watch in some down time.

We actually ventured out into the world on Friday to see a movie – the first time hubby has really let me out among people for fear of me getting sick during recovery.  We saw the new Winchester with Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke.  I have always been enthralled with the Winchester Mystery House and love touring it whenever we are in the area.  I loved the plot of the movie, but was hoping to see more of the actual house.

  • I’m now reading Marie Force’s Here Come’s the Sun part of the Green Mountain, Butler, Vermont series.

COMEDIES

  • Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, The Good Place, American Housewife, Better Late Than Never, Life in Pieces

MILITARY, POLITICAL & CRIME DRAMAS and a couple that qualify as comedies

  • NCIS, NCIS New Orleans and NCIS LA, Criminal Minds, Wisdom of the Crowd, S.W.A.T., Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Brave, Valor, Seal Team, Blindspot, Macgyver, Scorpion, Law & Order SVU, Blue Bloods, Hawaii 5-0, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, 911

DRAMAS

  • The Good Doctor, This is Us, The Resident, Elementary

SYFY

  • Z Nation, The Walking Dead, Flash, Supergirl, DC LEegends, Orville, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files

COOKING

  • Guy’s Grocery Games, Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives, The Grill Dads, Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby and Damaris, Baked in Vermont, Kid’s Baking Championship, Worst Cooks in America, Giada

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MON
TUES
WED
THUR
FRI
SAT
SUN
2 times a day
B-FAST
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and  Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
Honey Nut Cheerios with Banana and Green Tea
QUICHE LORRAINE
BISCUITS & GRAVY  CASSEROLE BAKE
2 times a day
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 cup 1% Milk or Protein Drink
1 time a day

LUNCH

2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
2-4 ounces Protein or yogurt
DINNER

6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY GARLIC PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS

6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

BAKED GENERAL TSO CHICKEN

6-8 ounces

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

6-8 ounces

CHICKEN PARMESAN CASSEROLE

6-8 ounces

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

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

HOT CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES

HOT CHOCOLATE SOUFFLES makes 8-6 ounce servings
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
6 LARGE eggs
1/2 + 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray each ramekin with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Using the 1/4 cup sugar, sprinkle each ramekin with sugar, coating evenly.
  • Place ramekins inside a LARGE baking dish.

 

  • Separate eggs into separate mixing bowls.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the sugar to the egg yolks, beating with mixer until light, fluffy and really thick. Set aside.

 

  • Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave.
  • Stir cream and vanilla into chocolate until smooth.
  • Fold the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture one third at a time. Set aside.

 

  • Beat the egg whites until fluffy, but NOT stiff, 3-4 minutes.
  • Sprinkle in tablespoon of sugar, beating 1 minutes more until whites are shiny and firm, but still NOT overly stiff.

 

  • Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture one third at a time, blending well.
  • Divide chocolate mixture evenly into prepared ramekins.

 

  • Place baking dish in the center of the oven and bake for 15 minutes without disturbing them. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR!! Souffles should be puffed up and cracking on the top and should ONLY be slightly jiggly.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

NOTE: Souffles can be prepared and refrigerated until ready to bake, but they will need to be baked longer (20-23 minutes).

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.