SCALLOPED POTATO TURNIP GRATIN

SCALLOPED POTATO TURNIP GRATIN
4 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
1 pound turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound YUKON gold potatoes, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH oregano
1/3 cup chopped Italian Parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • LIGHTLY spray sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Alternately layer turnip and potato slices.
  • Generously sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Repeat with a second layer and sprinkle again with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • In a skillet melt the butter.
  • Add the green onions and saute 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in flour until smooth.
  • Add garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley and heavy whipping cream, cooking until thickened.
  • Pour sauce over potatoes and turnip, smoothing evenly.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until cooked through and golden.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 25 of 2020

GOOD MORNING dear friends.  I hope you had a GREAT week and weekend!

While I’m “AWARE” of all that’s going on around me, I’m choosing to maintain a sense of normal best as I can.  It would be so easy to dwell on all that is wrong with just about everything to do with the world right now; the virus, the conflict… well 2020 in general! I did see the perfect MEME the other day though that made me LOL 😀 and if you’re a SYFY fan will make you laugh also! ALL kidding aside, I am putting everything in the hands of faith and optimism that everything will truly work out well… eventually… in the end.

Enough on that, let’s move on to Happy Homemaker Monday!

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 The weather has been really crazy lately!  The last several weekends have been cool and stormy and then the weeks heat up to extremely warm by Friday before starting the whole cycle over! 

This week looks to be starting similar in the low 60’s and ending in the high 80’s.  So today and tomorrow, I’ll be wearing socks and tennies instead of my standard summer flip flops 😀

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE My standard fare of hot water and baby food and a banana

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

MONDAY
  • errands
  • planning a trip
  • paperwork etc…
TUESDAY
  • bowling maybe – the alley just opened and we’re thinking early on a weekday might be safe
WEDNESDAY
  • menu planning
  • recipe updates
  • blog updates
THURSDAY
  • cleaning and laundry
  • continue organizing storage
FRIDAY
  • Hubby has a blood donation appointment
  • errands
SATURDAY
  • Farmer’s Market? we’ll see what’s available
SUNDAY
  • ??

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV  I watched a really sweet film on Netflix called THE HEALER that is dedicated to Paul Newman and all the kids battling cancer.  We used to live near THE PAINTED TURTLE CAMP which was actually an old Thousand Trails campground that his foundation purchased and converted.  My girlfriend and I helped clear the grounds and plant new trees before they opened and make quilts for their quilt program.  I also finally got completely caught up on all the backed up cooking shows.  Now if I could get caught up on all the Hallmark movies on the DVR.

I’M READING 2 books right now and can’t seem to put either down.  I love both authors and their story telling abilities to weave history into current day life.  The first is Gill Paul’s Lost Daughter and the 2nd is Lisa Wingate’s The Book of Lost Friends.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA On a whim we took a trip to Wildlife Safari last week where humans are captive in their cars and the animals roam free.  Our local Wildlife Safari has a globally successful cheetah breeding program. We were fortunate enough to run into a docent that was FULL of wonderful information. Unlike other jungle cats, female cheetahs are loners and do not bond with others, whereas male cheetahs MUST bond with other males to survive.

They have several new cheetah cubs, but they won’t be released for public viewing for another 4-5 weeks and I just wish we’d been able to get better pictures of the cheetahs, but the giraffes and elk were full of piss and vinegar! 😀

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
CHEESY TACO PASTA & SALAD
CHICKEN with CREAMY SUN DRIED TOMATO SAUCE & SALAD
BUTTER BRAISED PORK ROAST & SCALLOPED POTATOES
C.O.R.N.
SNAPPER WRAPPERS, SKILLET CORN and SALAD with SPICY 1000 ISLAND
BUTTERMILK ROAST CHICKEN & GREEN BEAN and CHEDDAR CASSEROLE
LEMON CHIVE PAN SAUCE CHICKEN & SALAD and CHEDDAR MUFFINS
DESSERT
LEMON CHERRY AUSTRALIAN CHEESECAKE
 

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • IMOGENE’S CHICKEN
  • BALSAMIC GLAZED FRUIT
  • CHEESY TACO PASTA
  • SKILLET CHOPS & OVEN BRAISED RAINBOW CARROTS
  • NATCHITOCHES MEAT PIES

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

BAKED ASIAGO MEATBALL PARMESAN

BAKED ASIAGO MEATBALL PARMESAN

1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
FRESH chopped flat leaf parsley, to taste
FRESH chopped oregano, to taste
FRESH chopped basil, to taste
2 LARGE eggs
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups marinara sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mix ground meats, garlic, breadcrumbs, Asiago cheese, parsley, eggs, salt and pepper together until well blended.
  • Form golf ball sized meatballs.
  • Coat a rimmed baking pan with avocado oil and place meatballs on pan.
  • Bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • In a large cast iron ovenproof skillet (I use my enameled cast iron crock pot) whisk together the marinara and chicken broth.
  • Bring sauce to a SLOW & LOW simmer.
  • Add meatballs to sauce and simmer 4-6 hours.
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top until completely covered.
  • Cover dish and bake 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes until golden.
  • Serve with a side of pasta.

SLOPPY JOE CORNBREAD CASSEROLE

SLOPPY JOE CORNBREAD CASSEROLE Serves 10-12
This recipe is sweet, yet tangy and pleases everyone.  It’s also good in ANY season and super simple to throw together!

1 box JIFFY corn muffin mix
1/2 + 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup WHOLE milk
1 LARGE egg
1 small can green chiles, WELL drained
14.75 ounces cream-style corn 1 can
24 ounce can sloppy joe sauce or homemade, divided
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
Grated Cotija cheese
1/4 cup diced green onions
sour cream dollops

  • Heat the oven to 400°.
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium sized bowl, add the cornbread mix, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, milk, egg, green chiles and canned corn stirring until combined.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until just set.
  • Heat butter in large skillet and add onion and pepper, sauteing until soft.
  • Add the ground beef to the skillet and cook through.
  • Drain the fat.
  • Add all but 1/2 cup of the sloppy joe sauce to the pan with the meat to warm.
  • Remove the cornbread from the oven and use a fork to prick holes over the cornbread.
  • Pour the remaining sloppy joe sauce over the cornbread.
  • Spoon the meat sauce over the baked cornbread and top with 3/4 cup cheddar cheese.
  • Return to the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Top with the green onions, cotija cheese and a dollop of sour cream before serving.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH CREAM SAUCE

Boneless skinless chicken thighs smothered in an easy-to-make creamy tomato basil and spinach sauce.

1 tablespoon avocado oil
4-6 LARGE boneless, skinless chicken thin breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons tomato pesto (Barilla or Classico)
1 cup tomato sauce
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
4-6 leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsely
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a large skillet heat avocado oil over medium heat.
  • Generously season chicken thighs with FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Dredge in 1/4 cup WONDRA flour.
  • Add to hot oil and cook for 2 minutes until the top side is nicely seared.
  • Flip over to the other side and sear for 2 more minutes on medium heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate and keep warm.
  • Add garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds or so until fragrant.
  • Add chicken broth, tomato pesto, tomato paste and heavy cream to skillet.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring regularly.
  • Reduce heat to low simmer.
  • Taste the sauce and add more salt and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk together with 2 tablespoons of reserved flour dredge until smooth.
  • Whisk into sauce until smooth.
  • Add fresh spinach, parsley and fresh basil, stirring until spinach wilts and reduces in volume.
  • Add chicken to sauce, turning to coat, increasing heat to medium for a minute or 2 to reheat chicken.
  • Serve over pasta and spoon the sauce over the pasta and chicken.
  • Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN

BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN

This is the PERFECT weeknight recipe! There are few ingredients that produce a sticky and crisp yet sweet garlicky taste for a quick meal.

2/3 cup PACKED brown sugar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into large chunks
12 slices bacon
Chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Lightly spray a deep dish baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl add the brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper and mix until combined.
  • Coat the chicken in the brown sugar mixture, pressing to adhere.
  • Wrap each piece of chicken with two slices of bacon in such a way that the ends are under the chicken to prevent it from unwrapping while cooking. I put them on a bed of green beans, onions and sliced carrots to make a one pot dish.
  • Top with the remaining brown sugar mixture.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and browned with the bacon crisp.

NOTE: Be careful to not let the brown sugar burn or blacken.

CHICKEN THIGHS with CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME SAUCE

CHICKEN THIGHS with CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME SAUCE
These chicken thighs smothered in a creamy bacon mushroom thyme sauce are so easy and yummy, but look like a company calling recipe.

CHICKEN
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
1+1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Season both sides of chicken thighs generously with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and
  • Italian herb seasoning .
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and 1 tablespoon butter on medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add chicken thighs skin-side down, cooking for 5-7 minutes, on the skin side until golden.
  • Transfer chicken thighs, skin side up, to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until chicken thighs are completely cooked through and no longer pink in the center.

SAUCE
4 LARGE green onions, sliced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
6 LARGE white mushrooms
5 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
5 sprigs fresh thyme, 3 trimmed, 2 whole

  • Add bacon to pan and brown until crisp.
  • Remove bacon pieces with slotted spoon and add 1 tablespoon of butter to pan.
  • When melted add sliced mushrooms cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring periodically.
  • Add onions and garlic, stirring and cooking 2 minutes more.
  • Add heavy cream and trimmed fresh thyme, and thyme sprigs.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, stirring continuously.
  • Reduce to simmer for about 2-3 minutes over low heat to allow flavors to blend and sauce to reduce a bit.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Add chicken and bacon pieces to sauce, turning to coat.
  • Serve over pasta, rice or mashed potatoes.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 24 of 2020

GOOD MORNING My head and heart just hurt from EVERYTHING so far in 2020 so let me just say

and get on with having a better week full of positivity, hope and amazing calmness!

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 We had another cold and stormy weekend (yesterday hardly reached 50°), but it is supposed to get back to “normal” this week with day time highs mostly in the 70’s and night time lows in the 50’s.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE Hot water and banana

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

MONDAY
  • blog organization
  • cleaning & laundry
TUESDAY
  • recipe updates
  • new roof begins
WEDNESDAY
  • storing winter clothes
  • storage organization
THURSDAY
  • errands and shopping
  • blood draw appointment
FRIDAY
  • storage organization
SATURDAY
  • Farmer’s market maybe
SUNDAY
  • races, cooking shows

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV We reactivated HULU so we could watch Homeland with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin with my SIL. She’s just started season 8 and we’re binge watching to catch up, but just started season 4.  Also saw a “new to us” movie that was really interesting, but 10 years old called THE WAY BACK with Ed Harris and Colin Farrell.  We’ve also been watching Svengoolie on Saturday nights (our normal SYFY night) and saw Bride of Frankenstein (1935) with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester.

I’M READING 2 books right now and can’t seem to put either down.  I love both authors and their story telling abilities to weave history into current day life.  The first is Gill Paul’s Lost Daughter and the 2nd is Lisa Wingate’s The Book of Lost Friends.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA This guy on the back fence this past week just seemed fitting to me for ALL that I’m searching for 😀

INSPIRATIONAL

LIFE TIP

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
DINNER
C.O.R.N.
NATCHITOCHES MEAT PIES & SALAD
CHICKEN POMODORO & SALAD with MIKE’S BREAD
BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN & VEGGIES
PARMESAN MEATBALL BAKE & SALAD
PEACH & GOAT CHEESE SALAD
CHICKEN with LEMON CHIVE PAN SAUCE & SCALLION PANCAKES
DESSERT
OATMEAL TREASURE COOKIES
CHOCOLATE ALMOND ICE CREAM BARS

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

RECIPES TO LOOK FOR THIS NEXT WEEK OR SO

  • CREAMY BACON MUSHROOM THYME CHICKEN THIGHS
  • BACON BROWN SUGAR GARLIC CHICKEN
  • SLOPPY JOE CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
  • CHEESY TACO PASTA
  • PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CREAMY TOMATO BASIL SPINACH SAUCE

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA

SPINACH ARTICHOKE RAVIOLI LASAGNA  Yields 8 servings

This is a GREAT and super EASY shortcut lasagna that packs an extra punch of flavor!

3 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
2 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1-14 ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained (see notes) and chopped
2 cups frozen spinach, defrosted, drained WELL and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds frozen cheese ravioli (see notes)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Whisk the flour into the butter and garlic and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in cream cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  • Let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Fold in artichoke hearts and spinach, then add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove from heat. 
  • Spread a thin layer of your prepared sauce onto the bottom of a 9″-x-13″ baking dish or lasagna pan.
  • Lay ravioli in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish, then top with half the prepared sauce and a thin layer of cheese.
  • Repeat with remaining ravioli, most of the remaining sauce and another thin layer of cheese.
  • Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and ravioli are tender.
  • If you’d like the top to be more golden, broil on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

NOTES:

  • I drain and save the oil marinade to use for future meals.
  • I usually prepare half again as much sauce because we like it saucy 😀
  • By having a choice on the ravioli, it can easily be vegetarian or protein packed with a meat 😀

BAKED GARLIC BUTTER PARSLEY CHICKEN

GARLIC BUTTER PARSLEY CHICKEN          Serves 4 to 6

3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
8 ounces butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan grated cheese
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Parsley
1 Vidalia onions, cut into wedges
Avocado oil
2 FRESH broccoli crowns, cleaned and trimmed

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • Pat the chicken dry with and generously season on all sides with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Melt butter and whisk in garlic and 1/2 the chopped Parsley in a small bowl.
  • In another bowl stir together the bread crumbs, cheese and remaining Parsley.
  • Dip each piece in the butter mixture and then the bread mixture.
  • Place skin side up on baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Scatter onion pieces among the chicken.
  • Place tray in oven and bake 1 hour. DO NOT TURN chicken pieces.
  • Toss broccoli with avocado oil to coat.
  • Add broccoli to pan and roast until the chicken is deeply golden brown, crispy, and registers 160º in the thickest part, 20-25 minutes.

FRESH updated COLE SLAW

FRESH updated COLE SLAW
1/2 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup chopped snap peas
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 shallot halved and sliced thin**
1 LARGE watermelon radish, sliced thin
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup golden raisins (optional)
1 cup mayonnaise
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar until well blended.
  • In a large bowl toss together the cabbages,  carrots, parsley, shallot (onion), radish pieces and snap peas.
  • Pour mayonnaise mixture over cabbage mixture, sprinkle with caraway seeds and toss until well coated.
  • Fold in raisins if using.
  • Adjust salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar to your personal tastes.
  • Cover and chill several hours before serving.

NOTE: Green onions or thin slices of red onion make GREAT substitutes for the shallot.