HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 45 of 2020

GOOD MORNING I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL week and a good Halloween despite the surreal nature of it during a pandemic.  We toyed with the idea of going “dark”, but in the end treated Halloween with care, wearing masks to open the door and serving full size candy and cookies to the 17 trick or treaters we saw. One friend had the Halloween Bat hide special little candy bags in her house and the search was conducted in the dark using flashlights.  Another rented a bounce house for her kids and had candy hunt too. Our next BIG challenge as a society will be Thanksgiving.

Personally, I can’t wait for Tuesday to be over and pray we can return to some semblance of normal with a renewed faith in our fellow humans and a respect for each other that not everyone has had during this horrific campaign.  Here’s a couple funnies to help lighten the mood.

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

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE, WHAT I’M WEARING & HOW I’M FEELING THIS MORNING We have a few more “nice” afternoons on the horizon and then it appears FALL/WINTER will be setting in by the end of the week with wet, rainy and even icy weather will be setting in with 15-20 degree lower temperatures.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and Peach, Pear and Apple baby food.

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS
  • WORK ON THE HOMEMADE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
  • PAPERWORK & PHONE CALLS
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING
WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX – We began REPRISAL and are a few episodes in – quite different and a bit dark, but then I learned it was canceled after season 1 so will probably not continue.  We need a series that will be around for awhile.  I like to see the endings. 😀 Any suggestions? We also saw Adam Sandler’s Hubie Halloween for a comedy on Saturday night and then HOLIDATE.  I did begin Call the Midwife on my own as hubby has no interest in that one.
  • HULU – We began Treadstone and are a few episodes in – about CIA sleeper agents, but then I learned it too was canceled after season 1 so will probably not continue.  We need a series that will be around for awhile.  I like to see the endings. 😀 Any suggestions? We’re also re-watching REBA as a late night comedy.
  • PRIME – We’re waiting on season 4 for both The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and ABESENTIA
  • CABLE – A few of my regular shows (Amazing Race, Ameican NINJA Warriors, Dancing with the Stars, This is Us, FEAR the Walking Dead,  Baking competitions – Holiday wars, Holiday Baking Championship…) have started and several more (Chicago Fire, Med and Police, L&O SVU, Blue Bloods, Bull, NCIS…) n the next few weeks so there is that 😀 I’m not happy about DWTS firing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews to be politically correct, but I do enjoy the dancing. And MORE importantly I’m taping ALL the new Hallmark and LifeTime Christmas movies 😀

I’M READING

  • I’m almost done with Marie Force’s Fatal Fraud and about to begin A Home for Unloved Orphans by Rachel Wesson, an author I’ve never read, but had glowing reviews of her books so I have high hopes in liking the book.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP – Seems like a good time to reiterate this!

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
UPDATED CHICKEN CONTINENTAL
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
VINEGAR CHICKEN & SALAD
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
TERIYAKI SALMON & SALAD
HAWAIIAN PORK RIBS & COLESLAW
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
DESSERT
PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES or PUMPKIN DUMP CAKE

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • CARAMELIZED CABBAGE
  • GREEN CHILE PORK CHILI
  • PARMESAN POTATO BAKE

NaBloPoMo ~ National blog posting month

My friend Martha posted today over at Seaside Simplicity about NaBloPoMo (National blog posting month). I too had forgotten all about it, but used to participate regularly back in the good old days of blogging.

All you have to do is post every single day for the month of November. I’ll also give it a try – no promises with the way things have been going in life, but I’ll give it a shot. I hadn’t posted today, but this may be the kick in the butt I needed and wanted to spread the word too.

NaBloPoMo no longer exists in an official form and nobody is really “in charge”, but many times individual bloggers sometimes host their own mini-NaBloPoMos. You can find these bloggers doing a search online for NaBloPloMo and the current month and year if you need to find writing prompts or ideas. For me the idea is just post something, anything (recipe, meme…) at all EVERY day!

I did find this prompts that I’m going to try and follow (though some will be out of order and combined in order to catch up) over at PINARTWORK.  They fall into the Thanksgiving type questions of gratitude and WHY AM I Here type of a category.

Day 1: If I didn’t feel shame or fear, what would I do now?
Day 2: If this was my last day, would I be satisfied with my life?
Day 3: How would I like people to remember me when I am no longer here?
Day 4: What if everything is as it should be? How would that make me feel?
Day 5: What kinds of situations do I avoid?
Day 6: What is my worst fear?
Day 7: How would I want to be encouraged right now?
Day 8: Why am I doing the things I am doing right now?
Day 9: What gives me great joy?
Day 10: What are my most important values?
Day 11: What is my biggest dream?
Day 12: What am I thankful for today?
Day 13: What or who am I beneath all my roles?
Day 14: What kinds of feelings am I feeling right now?
Day 15: What is the worst that could happen if I let go of things that no longer serve me?
Day 16: What have been the most defining moments that have helped shape my life?
Day 17: What does ‘being’ mean to me?
Day 18: What fascinates me so much that the thought of it won’t leave me alone?
Day 19: What are my best qualities?
Day 20: Where am I going and why?
Day 21: What does happiness mean to me?
Day 22: What is my life like when it is in balance?
Day 23: How or in what way do I experience myself when I’m alone?
Day 24: What kind of advice on life would I give my younger self?
Day 25: What kinds of routines/habits limit my experience of everyday life?
Day 26: What is my instinct telling me to do?
Day 27: What is my gift to the world?
Day 28: Am I focusing more on what my life looks like than on what it feels like?
Day 29: What kinds of recurring situations or people do I attract?
Day 30: Is there something in my life that makes me forget time while I’m doing it?

Anyone else want to join in the fun?  If you want to join in, but missed posting today just jump in tomorrow and do an extra post somewhere along the way. This is always a fun challenge. I hope you do it with us!  🙂

TACO BOWLS

I LOVE this recipe because there is an actual saladness to it and no tortillas are needed. It is as refreshing as it is filling and hearty.

TACO BOWLS serves 4
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounce can diced green chiles, drained but reserved
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup mini pepper rings
4 LARGE radishes, sliced thin
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
6 cups shredded cabbages and carrots
1-2 LARGE avocados, sliced
1 LARGE lemon, juiced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
FRESH chopped cilantro, to taste
1 cup sour cream
1-1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
salsa (optional)

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic and pepper rings, cooking and stirring 5-7 minutes until it begins to brown.
  • Add beef, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, green chiles and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until beef is cooked through.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice and reserved green chile liquid.
  • Arrange FRESH ingredients in bowls.
  • Drizzle with lemon juice mixture.
  • Sprinkle generously with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Divide the shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream to each bowl.
  • Add a large scoop of the meat to each bowl, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

IT’S SCAVENGER HUNT TIME

I haven’t played in many years and am running a bit late this month, but always enjoyed it so am playing along again. You too can join in over at Hootin Annie’s:

1 – A sign [sign of anything, any material] This is one of my all time favorite parks AND favorite signs.  There is nothing between you and nature except your wits and your common sense.

2 – Think “Outside the Box” on this…something seasonal. It’s not pie 😀


3 – A yellow leaf

4 – Anything of miniature [trinket, jewelry, knick-knack…anything]

5 – Pumpkin or gourd – my version 😀 since I don’t have any live ones this year and will not be anywhere that I can see any live ones before this hunt is over.

6 – Something that is dated* [document, newspaper, screenshot, etc. *show date!]

7 – Anything that is lighted [bulb, headlight, lantern, etc.]

8 – Decorated door [entryway…doesn’t have to be of the season]

9 – A printed author’s name [book cover, magazine article, TV credit, etc.]

10- Mystery item. ANYTHING…macro, close-up that will be ‘unknown’ to us all. We guess what it is!!

SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

This is one of those recipes that I cut out, but have NO idea from where 😀  It was really good and I made very few changes to the original recipe.

I did make it with a caramelized Cabbage that I think next time I will place under the chicken before baking to make it a one-pan dish and add extra flavor to the cabbage.

SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
4-6 6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

15 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained WELL and chopped
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup mayonnaise (NOT low-fat)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line baking dish with foil or spray with non-stick spray.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange chicken in bottom of baking dish.
  • Stir together the remaining ingredients and spread over chicken pieces,
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

NOTE:  I start draining the artichoke hearts about an hour before I begin cooking.

MOLLY YEH SUGAR COOKIES & SEA SALT and VINEGAR POTATO CHIP and CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

I was recently watching food network and there was an episode of Molly Yeh’s Farm Girl on she made the most amazing sugar cookies – thick AND chewy! I’m usually not a fan of sugar cookies, but she made them look so delicious! As long as I was making cookies, I thought I’d also make this intriguing sounding recipe which is a short cut recipe, but honestly Molly’s recipe with no rest or refrigerator time is just as easy 😀 I’ll make Molly’s recipe again closer to Christmas with snowmen and other cutters.

SEA SALT and VINEGAR POTATO CHIP and CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES make 3-4 dozen cookies

1 pouch (17.5 ounce) Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 LARGE egg
1 tablespoon water
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 bag (8 ounces) Lay’s Kettle cooked Sea Salt and Vinegar potato Chips, crushed

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine cookie mix with melt butter, water and egg until well mixed.
  • Add crushed potato chips, mixing well.
  • Drop by spoonfuls to baking sheets.
  • Arrange 2 or 3 chips on top of each cookie, gently pressing into the dough.
  • Bake 11-12 minutes until golden around the edges and centers are just set.
  • Let cool on baking sheet 2 minutes.
  • Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

MOLLY YEH SUGAR COOKIES  makes 10-12 large cookies
COOKIES
1 3/4 cups (227 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2/3 cup (75 grams) almond flour
1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles (cylinders)-(optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (40 grams) powdered sugar
Zest from 1 lemon
1 LARGE egg
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon PURE almond extract

  • Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sprinkles (if using), baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, granulated and powdered sugars and lemon zest in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the egg and mix to combine, and then add the extracts and mix to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until blended.

 

  • At this point you can wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days, or you can get going on rolling out your dough and cutting out your cookies immediately.

 

  • If not refrigerating preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.
  • Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a little less than 1/2-inch-thick, dusting with more flour as needed to prevent it from sticking to the work surface or rolling pin.
  • Cut out the cookies using your favorite cutters, then use an offset spatula to transfer to a lined baking sheet, 1 inch apart.
  • Re-roll scraps and cut out more cookies.
  • Bake until the cookies are just thinking about starting to turn brown, beginning to check larger cookies for doneness at 12 minutes and smaller cookies at 10 minutes.
  • Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

GLAZE
2 cups powdered sugar, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup, optional (see NOTES)
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Splash almond extract
Pinch kosher salt
4 to 6 tablespoons heavy cream
Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
food coloring, for the glaze

  • Mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup (if using), vanilla, almond extract, salt and 4 tablespoons heavy cream in a medium bowl until smooth. It should be very thick but just thin enough that when you lift your spoon it falls off in smooth ribbons. If it’s too thick, stir in more cream little by little, and if it’s too thin, stir in a few more spoonfuls of powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.
  • Divide into however many separate colors you need and fill a piping bags fitted with an 1/8-inch round tip with three-quarters of the glaze and decorate.
  • Sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired.
  • Let set and enjoy!
  • These will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for a good few days, but you can also freeze them once the glaze is dry and they’ll stay fresher longer!

NOTES: The corn syrup will make the glaze glossy. If you want to omit it, just increase the heavy cream by 2 tablespoons.

WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE #392

Boo, boo-hoo, make a boo-boo, boo(ze)…pick one and tell us how it relates to life lately. I actually can’t drink anymore because of my health issues, but if I could I’d choose Seagrams 7&7 or Malibu & Coke.  That said I thought this shirt was rather appropriate for the year 2020.

Do you like the color orange? Would we find this color in your home? Your wardrobe? Peach-pumpkin-tangeringe…your favorite shade of the three listed? Nope, none of the above!

October 28th is National Chocolate Day. What’s the last chocolate something you tasted? I had a couple of hubbys’ whoopers last night.  On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being out of this world delicious, how would you rate it? They’re good, but my ALL time favorite is See’s milk chocolate Bordeauxs. I rate them a 10+

Life is like a box of chocolates or so says Forrest Gump’s mama. Would you agree?  Aside from the pandemic fallout tell us one way this saying has played out in your life. YEP, I seriously agree.  I had an aunt who used to say, “Man plans, God laughs”.  And because she always said this to me I grew up learning to “roll with the punches”.

As October winds down tell us three things you loved about the month we’re bidding adieu. Oh this is easy!

  • Fall decorating starts.
  • The weather changes to cool and crisp.
  • Cinnamon and pumpkin are acceptable flavors!

SWEET & SOUR ROAST (slow cooker)

SWEET & SOUR ROAST
2-3 pound chuck roast
1/2 cup pickle juice or apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons FRESH ground salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
1 small bag baby carrots

  • Place potatoes and carrots in bottom of slow cooker.
  • Heat butter in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear roast on both sides.
  • Lay roast over potatoes and carrots.
  • Whisk together remaining ingredients.
  • Pour over roast.
  • Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours until fork tender.

NOTE:  This recipe easily converts to cast iron baking if you so choose. 😀

TUESDAY 4 – PARTS 1&2 making it TUESDAY 8?

I missed last week and decided to participate this week only to find it was PART 2! My OCD kicked in and made me decide I now had to do both parts! So does that make it a Tuesday 8? 😀

Tuesday 4 in memory of it’s founder, our friend Toni Taddeo…

How do you relax in the evening after dinner? After dinner relaxation is usually blogging or checking facebook while we watch a bit of TV.  Reading is reserved these days for bedtime, doctor’s office waits and the such. Do you read in bed? ABSOLUTELY! It’s how I fall asleep.

What kind of books do you read? I love all types, but tend to gravitate to contemporary series types where I can get invested in the same characters and/or families.

Do you have a list of books you look forward to reading? YEP, a VERY long list!

What is the best book you’ve ever read and why? This is a super HARD question for me!  I LITERALLY have a list of my favorites and have a favorite in many different genres. I cannot definitively answer this question 🙁

Kindle or hard cover/paper back? I was a die hard paper or hard back reader until about 6 years ago when hubby bought me a kindle for Christmas and I then realized it would hold ALL my favorites and yet to reads, ready at my fingertips at all times and I became a KINDLE GIRL. 🙂

Have you read a series like Harry Potter and if so which series and what did you think of the stories? Can you recommend them and why? I have read the Harry Potters and other realm series also.  I know many people have issues with many of these on religious grounds, but I honestly see them as entertainment and anything that gets someone reading and engaged is okay with me.

Do you have a library, book shelves etc... in your home? Don’t you?  Bookshelves are a MUST 🙂

Is there a book you just really disliked ? Why did you dislike it? In all my years of reading I can count on one hand the books I disliked or never finished and honestly don’t remember the titles or even the authors now.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 44 of 2020

GOOD MORNING It seems like it was a LONG week and that I still didn’t get everything done, but I did make great strides yesterday at getting all my little notes and projects organized.  I was even able to get several quilts cut out on Saturday night while we stayed in and watched The Might Joe Young.  I had never seen either version and Svengoolie was airing the 1949 original 😀

We also saw a couple races and several football games over the weekend while I was organizing.  We had hoped to get a walk around the pond done, but it was a bit chillier with the breeze than I wanted to tackle right now.

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

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE, WHAT I’M WEARING & HOW I’M FEELING THIS MORNING We’ve had pleasant days in the low 70’s last week and virtually no wind until the weekend when the breeze kicked up quite a bit yesterday.  This week is supposed to cool off a bit more with mid 60’s are due this week with a breeze making it quite chilly, but our nights have been freezing (literally) in the mid 20’s to 30’s expected for the rest of the week 😀  The worst part is that the 60;s or 70’s are only for an hour or two a day because it takes so long for the fog to burn off and get up to temperature and then it’s time for it to start cooling back down.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and baby food squeeze

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS
  • MISC. APPOINTMENTS (flu shot for hubby, eye dr, vent cleaning, etc…)
  • PAPERWORK & PHONE CALLS
  • WORK ON A FEW QUILT PROJECTS
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING
WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • NETFLIX – We watched season 1 of  Warrior Nun and I’m really enjoying it, can’t wait for season 2.
  • PRIME – We finished Eureka and are looking for a new Prime show to watch.
  • HULU – Finishing Doogie Howser
  • CABLE -NASCAR, This is Us, American Housewife

I’M READING

  • Fatal Fraud by Marie Force from the Fatal Series #16

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I hate to admit I didn’t take anything but food pictures this week 🙁 so I’ll leave you with this little thought 😀

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
Y.O.Y.O.
TACO SALAD BOWLS
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
BAKED SOUR CREAM CHICKEN, ASIAGO POTATOES & SALAD
PORK GREEN CHILI & GRANDMA WARE’S CORNBREAD
LEMONADE CHICKEN & CANDIED ACORN SQUASH
C.O.R.N.  clean out refrigerator night
DESSERT
POTATO CHIP CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • SWEET AND SOUR ROAST
  • SPINACH ARTICHOKE CHICKEN
  • CARAMELIZED CABBAGE

HAM & BROCCOLI NOODLE CASSEROLE

HAM & BROCCOLI NOODLE CASSEROLE
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups FRESH broccoli florets, cut small*
1/2 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 + 1/2-3/4 cup SHARP cheddar cheese, divided
1 ham steak (2 cups diced)
1 1/2 cups macaroni noodles, cooked and drained well
1 jar pimientos, drained WELL
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix together the mayonnaise, 1 cup of cheese and milk.
  • Fold in the broccoli, onions, pimientos and ham pieces.
  • Spoon into a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Melt butter and add bread crumbs until well blended.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2-3/4 cup of cheese and bread crumbs.
  • Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly and golden on top.

NOTE: *FROZEN broccoli will work, but FRESH is so much more tastier! 😀

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER – CROCK POT STYLE

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER – CROCK POT STYLE  serves 8-10

1/4 cup butter
3 pounds golden potatoes, washed and diced
1/2 LARGE Vidalia onion, diced
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups chicken broth, preferably FRESH made
20 ounces frozen corn
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken pieces
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled for garnish

  • Spray LARGE crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cube butter into bottom of crock pot.
  • Add potatoes and corn, stirring to combine.
  • Pour in chicken broth, cover ad cook on high 4 hours.
  • Whisk together cornstarch and water to form a slurry. Stir slurry into soup.
  • Gently stir in cream, recover and cook another 20-30 minutes until soup has thickened.
  • Fold in chicken pieces cooking another 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
  • Serve warm with Parmesan Cheddar biscuits.
  • Garnish with green onions, bacon pieces and shredded cheese.

water