FIG GLAZED CHICKEN & WHITE BEANS

FIG GLAZED CHICKEN & WHITE BEANS
avocado oil
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 large shallots, halved and sliced
1 can small northern white beans or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup fig preserves
1/3 cup chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • In a mixing bowl whisk together the fig preserves, chicken broth, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, thyme,
  • Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
  • In a large cast iron skillet add the oil to the hot pan and brown chicken pieces in batches, starting with skin side down.
  • Remove chicken from pan and add shallots, sautéing until golden.
  • Add fig preserve mixture and bring to a SLOW boil. Be sure to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the chicken pieces back in. Reduce heat and simmer covered 5 minutes.
  • Add the beans and return to a SLOW boil.
  • Cook uncovered 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 32 of 2018

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  I hope you had a wonderful week.  Last week was good for me and we had a wonderful weekend despite some internet issues that tried to interrupt it. It was busy and full of fun and laughter with loved ones. I can’t believe it’s August already and we’re just 6 weeks away from our next trek.

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 & WHAT I’M WEARING – As ALWAYS here in August it is slated to be triple digit warmth this week, but at least nothing is predicted to be higher than 115 and lows in the 80’s at night and a clear week with no chance of rain.

I’m dressed for the gym in purple yoga capris and matching t-shirt.  Unfortunately the darn washing machine ate one of the matching socks 🙁 so I haven’t quite decided on footwear yet.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – This is such a boring category for me LOL Green tea and black cherry yogurt are my go to breakfast.

CRAFTS / PROJECTS – I started the Christmas cards, but don’t have enough done to really take any pictures yet.  My new elf arrived this week though and I love her.

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY – I am seriously thrilled to be feeling a bit stronger and am always sad when the 2 steps forward equal 4 steps backward, but at least it’s not the 20 steps backward I was taking in the beginning of this recuperation process.  Experimenting with foods and trying to eat more is still an issue even though it is not as big an issue so there’s hope that it continues to equal less and less steps backwards as time goes on.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – I got to spend some time this weekend with 2 of my nieces and their mom for some long overdue girl time.  Coordinating our schedules has been difficult, but we finally coordinated it and made it happen and we packed a lot into just 24 hours and it was a special time especially with Katie pregnant with her first child! I have always been able to tell them apart (identical twins) but Katie’s Baby bump I’m sure helps others now 😀 and she looks so cute! Lulu and I should have changed places since My shirt and Katie’s skirt are so similar!  I was also able to give Katie her baby album in person!

Hubby came and picked me up from where we’d been staying and some man was nice enough to take a picture of all of us too 😀

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

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • LIVING AREAS… I need to sweep and mop
  • KITCHEN… pretty clean
  • YARD… nothing much, but do need to do some pruning and the patios need to be hosed down soon
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and holiday post planning
  • PROJECTS… Christmas cards
  • APPOINTMENTS… nothing this week specific besides lunch with family on Tuesday
  • TO DOgym, pool, biking, pick up alterations

CURRENTLY READING 

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – We started a wonderful new (at least new to us) and funny series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.  Fortunately we don’t have any small children around because the language is a bit much, but after a couple episodes we realized it was written by Amy Sherman-Palladino who wrote one of our very favorites series, Gilmore Girls. So, we binge watched the first season and are looking forward to the second season. we also found a Stephen King series premiere for CastleRock that we’re going to watch. Unfortunately I need to download another app and just didn’t feel like getting into it last night so will get that done sometime this week.

WHAT’S IN THE CRAFT BASKET – Christmas cards

WHERE I’VE BEEN SURFING ON THE NET -Nowhere really as the internet was down several days 🙁

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 MEATLOAF & GRAVY with SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHICKEN FLAUTAS and SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

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

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CREAMED BRAISED CHICKEN AND VEGGIES

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

ORANGE CHICKEN & SCALLION RICE

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

CHEESECAKE PANCAKES

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHICKEN AND CORN ENCHILADAS

COCOA MERINGUE KISSES

SUNDAY

BISCUITS & GRAVY

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 CHICKEN DUMPLING STEW

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CHILI SKILLET

This is a perfect fall dish and yes I’m planning ahead for the cooler temperatures up north where we will be in just a couple months. It is also a recipe that makes WONDERFUL leftovers as the flavors meld the longer it sits.

CHILI SKILLET – serves 6
1 pound ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper (optional)*
1 LARGE clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup tomato juice**
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 can Green Giant White shopped corn, drained
1/2 cup shredded jack and cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup sliced olives, optional

  • In a large skillet cook ground beef, onions, peppers (if using) and garlic over medium heat, breaking apart the meat until well crumbled and no longer pink.
  • Drain off ALL fat.
  • Add the tomato juice, water, chicken broth, red pepper flakes (if using), chili powder, oregano, rice, salt and pepper.
  • Simmer 20-25 minutes on low covered until rice is tender.
  • Fold in corn and olives (if using).
  • Sprinkle with cheese and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Top with green onions.
  • ENJOY.

NOTES: *I substitute 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
**I often use a small 6 ounce can of V8 juice and add 2 ounces water or chicken broth

THE SUMMER OF SALADS – WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with PEAR LEMON VINAIGRETTE

I’m officially declaring this the summer of Salads.  This extreme heat has left me wanting more, MORE salads that is! 😀

WALNUT CRANBERRY PEAR SALAD with LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE

SALAD
2 cups torn lettuce pieces
1 small bunch green onions, sliced thin
2 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup candied walnut pieces
1/3 cup craisins

  • Toss together.
  • Plate.
  • Drizzle with vinaigrette.
  • ENJOY!

LEMON PEAR VINAIGRETTE
1 RIPE pear, pureed
Juice of 1 large lemon
pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Whisk together.
  • Chill.

CORNBREAD TAMALE PIE

We LOVE Mexican food, so this recipe works well into a Mexican themed week. By making Taco Salad, Chili Skillet, Tacos and this Cornbread Tamale pie all back to back I only have to make the meats and parts once and then assemble as needed.


CORNBREAD TAMALE PIE
Avocado oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained WELL
1-2 large bunches green onions, thinly sliced (save some for garnish)
3/4 pound ground beef
3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 + cup cheddar cheese (use the +portion as garnish)
1 LARGE egg yolk
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • In a heavy duty cast iron skillet drizzle avocado oil over hot pan.
  • Add beef and generously season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned and completely crumbled. Drain off fat.
  • In a prep bowl add drained beef to drained tomatoes and set aside.
  • Wipe out pan.
  • Add another drizzle of avocado oil when pan is hot again.
  • Add onions and sauce until soft.
  • Add cumin and chile powder and stir to blend.
  • Add beef mixture to pan and stir to coat well. Cook a few minutes until sauce thickens.
  • Add beans and remaining cheese in last and remove from heat.

 

  • While meat is cooking prepare batter.
  • Whisk together the melted butter, milk and egg yolk until well blended.
  • Add the cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder blending well.
  • Fold in half of the cheese.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread meat mixture evenly in cast iron pan.
  • Gently spread the cornbread mixture over the meat mixture.
  • Put pan in oven and bake 12-14 minutes until cornbread is golden and set.
  • Cool 5 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with cheese and green onions.
  • ENJOY!

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN DIP

This recipe is perfect for a potluck, tail gate party, holiday get together or Sunday dinner and it has nice refreshing change of taste.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN DIP
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 ounce jar sweet and sour sauce
2 cups FRESH baby spinach
2 bunches thinly slice green onions
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
Sesame Rice Crackers

  • Generously season chicken tenders with salt and pepper.
  • Sear chicken tenders until golden and cooked through. Set aside to rest.
  • Whisk together the liquid aminos, sesame oil and garlic.
  • Shred chicken pieces.
  • Toss with sesame oil mixture and refrigerate for AT LEAST an hour.

ASSEMBLY

  • Spread cream cheese onto serving platter.
  • Spread sweet and sour sauce over cream cheese.
  • Top with spinach pieces.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.
  • Serve with sesame rice crackers.

NOTE: For a more elegant serving:

  • Combine the cream cheese with the sweet and sour sauce into a spread.
  • Spread each cracker with a generous portion.
  • Top with spinach pieces.
  • Top with chicken mixture.
  • Top with green onions.
  • Arrange on platter.
  • ENJOY!

 

When Calls the Heart to When Hope Calls

I could have easily lived in Hope Valley. The sense of purpose, belonging and community was so invested in each and every person. I love this show and while it may take twists and turns we are not always happy about it does mimic real life and its uncertainties. I will continue watching for that reason.

But the exciting news is that When Calls the Heart is getting a spin off, When Hope Calls in 2019. There are no real details yet to the spin off, but it will feature Susan Lucci.  That I will have to see to believe and not real sure how I feel about it yet after all her years as Erica Kane on All My Children, but we shall see.

And as always will be doing their annual Christmas movie.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 31 of 2018

GOOD MORNING sweet ladies. Can you believe August starts this week.  By my calculations that puts fall within reach, 54 days to be exact! And then that means Christmas is only 149 days away!!  Somewhere along the way I miscalculated the weeks for this category, but am starting fresh this week 😀

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 & WHAT I’M WEARING – We are still in triple digits, but the heat index is lower as is the humidity so it is much more tolerable. It is also getting lower at night making everything a bit more comfortable.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE – Green tea, a banana and peach yogurt

CRAFTS / PROJECTSWOW I actually have something for this category this week!!!  My niece is having her first baby and I wanted to do something special for her.  Her mom suggested we do a joint quilt since all of my quilting supplies are in storage, but I thought about it and decided the quilt should be from grandma alone.  So I decided to do a scrapbook, a BLANK scrapbook.  All she’ll need to do is fill in the blanks and add pictures.  I’ve done these for other nieces and they really loved them, especially with being BUSY first time moms.  Here’s a collage of the cute album and a few of the pages.  The whole pictures are here at this link.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA – While the situation is SOOOOOOOO VERY unfortunate, there have been some interesting skies this week.  The IDYLLWILD fire is only 5 days old and has been so devastating.  I pray for complete containment VERY soon.  The area had barely recovered from 5 years ago. Arson is a crime that makes me so VERY VERY angry!

INSPIRATION

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

  • LAUNDRY… just a couple loads of clothing and towels
  • LIVING AREASpretty clean and tidy
  • YARD… nothing much
  • BLOG… some recipe updating, future post planning and some holiday post planning – the holidays are really getting close!
  • PROJECTS… Christmas cards, yes you read that right, I’m making my Christmas cards this week, finish transferring addresses into the new book, finish updating password book and internet sites
  • APPOINTMENTS… pick up new glasses, dental appointment
  • TO DO… gym, pool, errands, groceries

CURRENTLY READING

I’m in book 2 of the Summer Lake Romance Series by SJ McCoy

WHAT IS ON THE DVR OR LIST TO WATCH – A few Hallmark movies I recently taped, a few new cooking channel shows

WHERE I’VE BEEN SURFING ON THE NET – Nowhere special, but have been checking the Fire Status sites keeping track of the updates in our area.  Fortunately for us our biggest problem is the car and pool covered in ash and smoke in the air making outside activities a non-starter.

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

SNACK

LUNCH

DINNER

SNACK/DESSERT

MONDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 SWEDISH MEATBALLS and PARSLEY NOODLES

PROTEIN SHAKE

TUESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHICKEN & CORN ENCHILADAS

PROTEIN SHAKE

WEDNESDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

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

PROTEIN SHAKE

THURSDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

HONEY SRIRACHA CHICKEN & SALAD

PROTEIN SHAKE

FRIDAY

GREEN TEA & YOGURT

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

 TAMALE PIE

PROTEIN SHAKE

SATURDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS with PINEAPPLE COMPOTE

COCOA MERINGUE KISSES

SUNDAY

??

PROTEIN DRINK

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

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

PROTEIN SHAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS & PINEAPPLE COMPOTE

CHERRY BALSAMIC PORK CHOPS
2 boneless center cut pork chops
Avocado oil
1 shallot, sliced thin
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white moscato wine
2 tablespoons cherry jam
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
PINCH sugar
1 tablespoon butter

  • Heat a drizzle avocado oil in heavy cast iron pan.
  • Season pork chops with salt and pepper.
  • Add to pan and sear 3-4 minutes per side until ALMOST cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add another drizzle of oil to the pan.
  • Add shallots and sauce until browned.
  • Add vinegar into pan and simmer until reduced.
  • Add cherry jam and wine, breaking apart any large clumps.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
  • Add butter, stirring to melt.
  • Add pork chops back to pan, turning to coat. Cook another couple minutes until cooked through.

 

PINEAPPLE COMPOTE
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced onions
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white moscato wine
2 cups FRESH diced pineapple (about 1/2 a pineapple)
6 ounce can pineapple juice (I sometimes use pineapple orange)
1/2 cup QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I like to use champagne vinegar)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons FRESH minced parsley

  • In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add onions and ginger, cooking until softened.
  • Add wine, increase heat and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Stir in the pineapple pieces, pineapple juice and honey, stirring to combine well. Bring to a SLOW boil. Reduce
  • heat and simmer until liquid is about half gone.
  • Season with salt and red pepper.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and cornstarch.
  • Fold vinegar mixture into saucepan.
  • Simmer until thickened.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Serve in parfait cups.

SWEET BABY BOY

My niece, her twin and their mom are coming to visit next weekend and I wanted to have this book done in time.  She’s not due until December, but I didn’t want to mail it. I also got her a sweet little Hallmark 1st Christmas ornament since the baby will be born so close to Christmas.

One of the things I do for my nieces when they have their first child is start them a baby album – OLD SCHOOL style.  In this digital age, it’s too easy to forget to do some old school style projects and I like for them to have this “physical” boo that someday they can hand down to their baby.


I found this sweet little book in blue tones and went from there.  I did basic starter pages and she gets to do the fun fill-ins and just add pictures. 😀

BLT PASTA with GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS in WINE SAUCE

While this is NOT a salad, it is STILL refreshing and YUMMY!

CBLT PASTA with GARLIC BREAD CRUMBS in WINE SAUCE
4 ounces fettuccine
1 cup cubed day old baguette bread
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 1/2 cup shredded chicken pieces
1 leek, sliced
1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white moscato wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 cup FRESH spinach

  • Prepare fettuccine according to package directions. Drain WELL and keep warm.
  • In a food processor pulse garlic and bread cubes until crumbs form.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat.
  • Add crumbs and toast until golden, stirring frequently.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Drain on paper toweling.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet.
  • Add leeks and sauce 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes, sautéing another 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add broth, wine and vinegar. Simmer until reduced by at least a third.
  • Add spinach, stirring just until spinach wilts.
  • Fold in bacon and fettuccine noodles.
  • Divide between 2 pasta bowls.
  • Sprinkle with crumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  • ENJOY!

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE

We’re still under a serious EXTREME heat warning so I am NOT cooking, but focusing on salads this week.

APPLE SALAD with LEMON HONEY VINAIGRETTE
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced thin
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 cups torn lettuce

  • Whisk together the lemon juices, avocado oil, vinegar and honey.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss lettuce, onions and apple together.
  • Drizzle with dressing and toss again.
  • ENJOY!