FRENCH ONION PORK CHOPS ~ BLOG 365.7

This is the perfect “date night” recipe for 2. Thin pork chops smothered with a creamy sauce and topped with crispy fried onions are fork tender and simply addicting. Serve with rice pilaf of creamy mashed potatoes.

FRENCH ONION PORK CHOPS serves 2

4 boneless pork chops, thin cut
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 package Lipton French Onion dip mix
1/2 cup French’s Crispy Fried Onions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. 
  • Lay the pork chops on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish, touching but not overlapping. 
  • Combine the sour cream and onion dip mix to create french onion dip.
  • Spread dip evenly over the pork chops covering the pork chops entirely.
  • Sprinkle crispy fried onions over the top in an even layer. 
  • 
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-45 minutes until the meat is cooked through.

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHARRED CARROTS and APPLE BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE ~ BLOG 365.6

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHARRED CARROTS and APPLE BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE

1 + 2 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
4 chicken breasts
1/4 up almond flour
1 bunch green onions, sliced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 LARGE Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored and diced
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat.
  • Add carrot chunks in a single layer cooking 6-8 minutes, turning as necessary until all sides are charred.
  • Transfer pan to oven and roast 30 minutes or until caramelized and tender.
  • Add 2 more tablespoons butter to pan.
  • Generously season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add chicken to hot butter and sear 3-4 minutes on both sides.
  • Transfer chicken to carrot pan in the oven to bake 10 minutes while you prepare the vinaigrette.
  • Add remaining butter to pan.
  • When melted add green onions, chili flakes, apple pieces, sugar and thyme leaves sauteing t minutes until apples are tender.
  • Add lemon juice and vinegar, stir to coat and cooking 2-3 minutes more until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Plate chicken and carrots.
  • Spoon apples and sauce over carrots and chicken.

MARRY ME CHICKEN MADE SIMPLY ITALIAN ~ UPDATED ~ BLOG365.5

This saucy, tender and creamy meal is just so delicious that he will propose LOL or at least that’s what was said in years past. He may not propose, but he will be satisfied with this truly melt in your mouth chicken dish.

MARRY ME CHICKEN

2 tablespoon avocado oil+
A pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken steaks (your preference)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon FRESH thyme or tarragon (your preference)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
scant 1/4 cup champagne (pink moscato is my favorite) or white wine
1 cup homemade chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
FRESH chopped parsley, torn to garnish
1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch, for thickening

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat a large oven proof skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons avocado oil.
  • Place tomato halves in the skillet.
  • Add a few pinches of salt and pepper and toss it all together to combine.
  • Place in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring once and roasting until the tomatoes have sizzled off some of their water and begin to brown slightly.
  • While the tomatoes are roasting, season the chicken generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
  • Remove skillet from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
  • Transfer all of the tomatoes to a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Add a bit more avocado oil if necessary and sear the chicken in the same pan the tomatoes roasted in until golden brown on both sides. Don’t worry about cooking the chicken all the way through. It will spend enough time in the oven to cook through and tenderize.
  • Place the seared chicken in a shallow bowl or platter with a lip to catch any juices and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to low. DO NOT WIPE OUT PAN! You want the nice browned bits across the pan for flavor!
  • Add garlic to the pan and stir constantly around the pan for 1 minute.
  • Stir in thyme or tarragon and red pepper flakes.
  • Return the tomatoes to the pan along with the champagne.
  • Scrape all those browned bits off the bottom of the pan as the wine cooks off.
  • Stir in chicken stock and heavy cream and bring to a low simmer.
  • Return the chicken pieces to the pan, nestling them in the sauce.
  • Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven when chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  • In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch or potato starch and 1 tablespoon of water.
  • Add to sauce, whisking to thicken. If the sauce doesn’t thicken immediately, place it back on a burner on low for a minute or two.
  • Return the chicken to the sauce and garnish with FRESH parsley.
  • Serve over rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.

CRANBERRY POUND CAKE ~ BLOG 365.3

CRANBERRY POUND CAKE

CAKE
187 grams cake flour-sifted (1 1/2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons) before sifting
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups small cranberries (fresh or thawed) SEE NOTES
140 grams (5 oz.) white chocolate, grated fine
1 tablespoon flour
115 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter-softened at room temperature
300 grams sugar ( 1 and 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons browned butter

  • Preheat convection oven to 325°.
  • Butter and flour 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  • Combine cake flour, baking powder and salt and sift it three times, set aside.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat salted butter until it’s nice amber color, remove the foam and set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the egg with vanilla extract and set aside.
  • Cream the unsalted butter on medium speed until it’s creamy.
  • Slowly add sugar and continue beating until it’s creamy.
  • Add heavy cream and mascarpone, beating on medium speed JUST until combined.
  • Lower speed and gradually add dry ingredients alternately with the eggs.
  • Toss cranberries with flour and finely grated white chocolate.
  • Fold chocolate cranberry mixture into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan, smooth the top.
  • Gently tap the pan on countertop to remove the air bubbles.
  • With a butter knife draw a line down the center of the pound cake.
  • Pour browned butter into the line.
  • Loosely tent pan with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you don’t have convection air oven, baking time will probably take longer.
  • Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan and COMPLETELY cool on the rack before icing.

ICING
56 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter-softened
112 grams (4 ounces) cream cheese-softened
1 1/2 + cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
handful dried cranberries
2 tablespoons QUALITY rum or alcohol of choice

  • While cake is chilling soak cranberries in a quality rum.
  • Drain cranberries well.
  • Cream together softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Slowly powdered sugar and beat until smooth,.
  • Add vanilla extract.
  • Spread on top of the cake.
  • Sprinkle cranberries randomly on cake.
  • Chill cake until the icing is set.

NOTES

  • If you don’t have convection air oven raise the temperature to 350° and you will have to rotate the pan half way through the baking time.
  • Using smaller cranberries gives you a better disbursement throughout the cake.
  • If you are using frozen cranberries, thaw them first, rinse with cold water until the water is clear, drain the cranberries and dry well.
  • Small WILD blueberries substitute wonderfully!

HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY with MENU PLANS week 1 of 2023 ~ BLOG 365.2

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

I found these memes over the weekend and they really spoke to me. I couldn’t decide on just one so used both 😀 This is who I am striving to be.

It’s gray, cloudy and foggy – another typical Pacific North West winter week full of bone chilling “wet” cold with highs in the 40’s (barely) and lows in the 30’s (definitely) 😀 It will be another week of my layered turtlenecks and flannels with Levis and UGGs.

Starting 2023 with an open mind, grateful heart and positive attitude while hoping and praying for the best possible outcome, but still staying alert for the possible worst.

Not sure why I even do this category sometimes. This meal never really changes, but I have hopes that someday it will. I’ve been trying a few sips of coffee and tolerating it pretty well most days. I’m having a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios with it. While I’m not allergic to gluten, I am going to try going gluten free for the month of January in hopes that it may help alleviate some issues.

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING I have the standard bedding and towels for a Monday morning and a bit of ironing to do on some blouses.
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS I’m scheduled for a tetanus booster on Wednesday and a pedicure on Thursday so will work any needed groceries and such into going into town for those appointments. I’m hoping the replacement parts come in for the warranty work on the car so we can get it dropped off. The parts were ordered before Christmas and then lost in last week’s ice storm so the wait for them began all over again.
  • PAPERWORK, PHONE CALLS, PROJECTS & TRAVELS This is one of those weeks that is not worth the effort to try and call anyone because of the holiday. I’ll have the patience to wait until next week.
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING I started a new menu planner and have meals planned through the 15th, but am trying to only plan a couple weeks at a time. I have a dozen or so recipes that have been sitting in a pile next to my computer that need to be input into blog posts. I’ll use these to help get me started on Sandra’s new challenge of BLOG 365. So look soon for Molasses Snaps, Chocolate Snaps, Tomato Chicken Pasta, Panettone, Marry Me Chicken Made Simple, Char Sui Pork, Dutch Hash, Timeless Classic Sugar Cookies and Charred Carrots with APPLE BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE, Cranberry Pound Cake, Apple Balsamic Chicken and Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls. 

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
  • CABLE The Rose parade is set to tape so we can watch it commercial free, Yellowstone, 1923, The Worst Cooks, Kid’s Baking Championship – I still have a couple Christmas movies to watch. We’ve also been watching a lot of TCM old movies (classics made many years before I was born, but that I had always heard of) during the holidays – The Caine Mutiny, The Best Years of Our Life, The Good Old Summertime and then for New Years we watched the Thin Man series of movies The Thin Man, After the Thin Man, Another Thin Man, The Song of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home and The Shadow of the Thin Man). I’d seen their clues in the crosswords, but never read the stories or seen the movies.

I FINALLY finished book #2 of The Wild Widows series by Marie force and began the Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. My friend gave me 4 other new titles yesterday that I’m going to research for later.

1/2 MONDAY
1/3 TUESDAY
1/4 WEDNESDAY
1/5 THURSDAY
1/6 FRIDAY
1/7 SATURDAY
1/8 SUNDAY
DINNER
 PAN SEARED CHICKEN, CHARRED CARROTS with APPLE BROWN BUTTER VINAIGRETTE
 SALSA VERDE CHICKEN SOUP & TWISTY ROLLS (I’m making SPLIT PEA SOUP & CORN BREAD earlier in the day for them to serve at the bar at the Eagles.
 C.O.R.N. CLEAN OUT FRIDGE NIGHT
 HAMBURGER STEAKS with CREAMED HASHED POTATOES
 DECONSTRUCTED CABBAGE ROLLS & BUTTERED CARROTS
 APPLE BALSAMIC CHICKEN & SOUTHERN CORNBREAD DRESSING
RISOTTO CARBONARA
DESSERT
CRANBERRY POUND CAKE
 
 

Saturday was cold, but we had a few hours of beautiful sunshine. We had lunch at our favorite Tavern and then went to feed the peacocks with all the stale food we had amassed. I LOVE this old Memorial Park and LOVE the beautiful peacocks. I also LOVE all the old buildings and have been trying to get a decent picture of this old cattle loader for quite some time.

Here’s a rare picture with me actually in it. My friend Niki and I had just finished wrapping all the packages for the Eagle’s adopted family we delivered just before Christmas. Being blonde I always look a bit washed out and LOL I always forget to take off my glasses 😀

The munchkins were here last night and we had a lot of fun! Allie in particular fell in love with the kittens all over again. If her dad would have allowed her, Ash and Fluffy would have gone home with her. 😀 She did get these great pictures of them. There’s a little glass reflection from the door, but not too bad.

I’ve already put a piece in the donation pile 😀

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2023 ~ YEARLY LIST ~ The word is RESILIENT PROGRESS! ~ BLOG 365.1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Last year I joined up with Jean over at Chit Chat with Jean to do a year long accomplishment list for 2022 and a word for the year. I wondered if I would be successful? I’m impressed that I did REALLY well and I’m looking forward to doing this all over again in 2023. I fell back FINALLY into my more organized ways. The minimalizing lifestyle helped tremendously!!
I recently took one of those silly Facebook games and it said my word was RESILIENCE, but I like PROGRESS better. Or better yet, both words for RESILIENT PROGRESS! Then I saw this meme and decided to add BALANCE! I truly believe all three words work hand in hand to make life easier and happier.

My list for 2023 is:

  • Do a Happy Homemaker Monday post each and every week and link up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom. This keeps me more on track and organized about my home life. Doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for this week. I have also decided the join Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom for her Blog 365 challenge. A blog post every single day of 2023!  Sometimes the post might be a full one but other times it might simply be a picture.I may not always get the logo in, but I will get the post done!
  • Do a devotional every day.
  • Follow a nightly skincare regime.
  • Complete 4 quilts – at least 1 for each quarter. This year is starting off right with these 2 Christmas beauties being bound. I have several others that are 90% done, but need bindings and I’m hoping to get to them soon.
  • Make a better effort to reach out and connect with friends and family more regularly.
  • Learn YOGA or Pilates or both!
  • Take at least a 2 mile walk daily. While I USUALLY get this done in just my daily routine, it is something I need to be more conscious of accomplishing.
  • Continue to downsize and declutter EVERYTHING. This is a serious work in progress that has taken ALL 2022, BUT IS GOING REALLY WELL and will be done by March when we are planning a HUGE garage sale.
  • Clean out photo files that date back 13 years! I’m working on it, but it’s really hard. This is a serious work in progress that will ALWAYS take ALL year, EVERY YEAR, mainly because I keep taking pictures 😀
  • Create Shutterfly photo albums for 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.
  • Do more drawing and painting – at least one per every other month.
  • Focus on rewriting more recipes to work for only 2 people with NO leftovers. This is a work in progress, but doing REALLY well so far. It has been seriously complicated by the increase in grocery prices 🙁
  • Volunteer at least once a month for a community project. Since I’ve gotten more involved in the Eagles this is a category I accomplish regularly.
  • Do a date weekend once a month – exploring a new place we’ve never been before.
  • Clean out old files and recycle or destroy old papers. This is still an ongoing work in progress, but I’ve made seriously good progress in 2022 and will finish through the winter and spring.
  • Eat at least 1 piece of fruit daily.
  • I’m all about leading a positive life and carrying the Christmas spirit year round. There is no better way to do that than to do at least 1 random act of kindness every time I leave the house.
  • Read 36 books. Hoping for double this year over last year! 36 was a realistic goal and I actually reached 59 which makes me REALLY happy!  Here’s a list of the books I have in queue – a baker’s dozen+ to get this year started. When I’ve actually read them I’ll change their number to red. 1) A Fire Sparkling by Juliane Maclean 2) The Honey Bus by Meredith May 3) When It Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee 4) The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor 5) The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman 6) The Woman with Two Shadows by Sarah James 7) The Silent Woman by Minka Kent 8) Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen 9) Real Bad Things by Kelly J. Ford 10) The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff 11) The D’Angelos by Catherine Bybee 12) Brewed Book #1 in the Cozy Coffee Shop series by Heather Sage 13) Cauldrons Call by Kristen Proby 14) The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham 15) Someone to Hold Wild Widows #2 by Marie Force. 16) State of Shock, First Family #4 by Marie Force
  • I’ve added a “SEASONAL” list too. I started with fall that you can see here. And a simple winter list is here.

  • Finish indexing the recipes on my Food blog, Savory Kitchen Table. This is a serious work in progress and hold over from 2022 that WILL take ALL year.
  • Finish indexing the recipes on my Life blog, Chasing MY Life. When I merged my old blogspot blogs into this single blog it duplicated many things and added an “ALL” category that I am having to eliminate one by one so it’s taking a LONG time. This is a serious work in progress and roll over from 2022 that WILL take ALL year.

2022 IN REVIEW as 2023 LOOMS AHEAD

I joined up with Jean over at Chit Chat with Jean to do an accomplishment list for 2022 and a word for the year. This is my year in review. I wondered if I would be successful? I’m impressed that I did REALLY well. I’m also looking forward to doing this all again in 2023. I fell back FINALLY into my more organized ways. The minimalizing lifestyle has helped tremendously!!

My list for 2022 is:

  • Do a Happy Homemaker Monday post each and every week. This keeps me more on track and organized about my home life. Doing Happy Homemaker Monday so extensively helps keep me on track as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for this week. DONE
  • Do 1-2 devotionals every day. DONE, but not as consistent as I’d like 🙁
  • Follow a nightly skincare regime – DONE
  • Complete 4 quilts – at least 1 for each quarter. 1 and 2 Christmas quilt wall hangings (tree and Santa) done, but need binding, 3 Snowman lap quilt, and 4 and 5 batik table runners in opposing colors are done and a batik table runner.
  • Learn YOGA or Pilates or both! These are going to continue to be a work in progress.
  • Make a better effort to reach out and connect with friends and family more regularly. This is AND ALWAYS WILL BE a work in progress.
  • Take at least a 2 mile walk daily. DONE most days
  • Continue to downsize and declutter EVERYTHING. This is a serious work in progress that has taken ALL year and isn’t done yet, BUT IS GOING REALLY WELL and will be done by next March when we are planning a HUGE garage sale.
  • Clean out photo files that date back 13 years! I’m working on it, but it’s really hard. This is a serious work in progress that will ALWAYS take ALL year, EVERY YEAR, mainly because I keep taking pictures 😀
  • Create Shutterfly photo albums for 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016. Yet to do 😀 but this WILL get done in January.
  • Go through scrap recipe tote and eliminate all the recipes I will never try – they’re just not worth saving. DONE
  • Do more drawing and painting – at least one per month. I’m still working on a few of these, but did complete several, one of which was for a Ukranian fund raiser. And hubby and I did one for a date night outing where we went to the afternoon class then dinner out 😀 Neither one of us liked it though so I’m not even posting it 🙁
  • Focus on rewriting more recipes to work for only 2 people with NO leftovers. This is a work in progress, but doing REALLY well so far. It has been seriously complicated by the increase in grocery prices 🙁
  • Volunteer at least once a month for a community project. DONE TO DATE I have gotten quite involved at the Eagles post doing various projects. I cooked dinner several times in 2022, helped with the Christmas parade float, food and presents for needy families, cleaned up a WAY OVERGROWN yard of an elderly friend in AUGUST as well as some grocery runs and various other projects.
  • Do a date weekend once a month – exploring a new place we’ve never been before. I’d like to say we’ve been really good about this, but it’s only happened a few times so far this past year, but three of those were 3 day trips so that counts extra right 😀 1) RICOTTA class at a local winery 2) BURGERS & BEER at a local brewery that opened a new BURGER BOMB food truck 3) Romantic dinner at a favorite Italian restaurant 4) We spent 2 days at a resort near Lassen National Park hiking and exploring 5) We spent 2 more days at Mt. Shasta also hiking and exploring 6) Afternoon paint class then dinner out at a favorite little rooftop bistro we like 😀 7) Trip to Silver Falls to go hiking and exploring and RELAXING 😀 8) Trip to Coos Bay for Shore Acres Light Show where we stayed at a cute little house on Oyster Cove
  • Clean out old files and recycle or destroy old papers. This is still an ongoing work in progress, but I’ve made seriously good progress and will finish through the winter and spring.
  • Clean out craft cabinets and donate craft parts no longer needed. DONE
  • Eat at least 1 piece of fruit daily. DONE
  • Do at least 1 random act of kindness every time I leave the house. DONE
  • Finish indexing the recipes on my Food blog, Savory Kitchen Table. This is a serious work in progress that WILL take ALL year into next year.
  • Finish indexing the recipes on my Life blog, Chasing MY Life. When I merged my old blogspot blogs into this single blog it duplicated many things and added an “ALL” category that I am having to eliminate one by one so it’s taking a LONG time. This is a serious work in progress that WILL take ALL year into next year.
  • Read 36 books. Was hoping for double, but this was a realistic goal and now looks like I actually reached 59 which makes me REALLY happy! The books in blue are works in progress and will be moved to the 2023 list to begin the year. 1) State of Grace by Marie Force, 2) Swamp Sweets by Jana DeLeon, 3) Beside Golden Irish Fields by Ava Miles, 4) What Child Is This by Rhys Bowen, 5) Women and Children First by Gill Paul, 6) Return to Sender by Jennifer Peel, 7) The Cape May Garden by Claudia Vance, 8) South of the Buttonwood Tree by Heather Webber, 9) A Home for Unloved Orphans by Rachel Wesson and 10) All My Loving by Marie Force 11) Wild Widows by Marie Force 12) Return to Sender by Jennifer Peel 13) In Name Only by Jennifer Peel 14) Flame & Fortune by Jana DeLeon 15) The Restaurant by Pamela Kelley 16) Here, There & Everywhere by Marie Force 17) Someone Like You by Marie Force 18) Beach House Romance by Cora Seton 19) Return to Sender by Jennifer Peel 20) In Name Only by Jennifer Peel 21) Silent Partner by Jennifer Peel 22) The Wedding Charm by Susan Hatler 23) The Girl From the Channel Islands 24) Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by Jodi Thomas 25) The Book of Sorrel by Jennifer Peel 26) Written in the Stars by Noelle Fox 27) The Restaurant by Pamela Kelley 28) Secrets Hidden in the Glass by Cate Beauman 29) Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 30) The Woman with the Blue Star by Pan Jenoff 31) The Lost Girls by Pam Jenoff 32) The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin 33) The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham 34) The Stationmaster’s Cottage, #1 Rivers End by Phillipa Nefri Clark 35) Accidentally Matched An Alaska Matchmaker Series by Cathryn Brown #1 36) Finally Matched An Alaska Matchmaker Series by Cathryn Brown #2 37) Hopefully Matched An Alaska Matchmaker Series by Cathryn Brown #3 38) A Fire Sparkling by Juliane Maclean 39) The Resistance Girl by Mandy Robotham 40) Jasmine Sea, #2 in the Rivers End series by Phillipa Nefri Clark 41) Palmerston House, #3 in the Rivers End series by Phillipa Nefri Clark 42) Last Known Contact by Phillipa Nefri Clark 43) The Honey Bus by Meredith May 44) Deadly Falls #1 Charlotte Dean Mysteries by Phillipa Nefri Clark 45) #2 Charlotte Dean Mysteries by Phillipa Nefri Clark 46) #3 Charlotte Dean Mysteries by Phillipa Nefri Clark 47) #4 Charlotte Dean Mysteries by Phillipa Nefri Clark 48) Hickory Lane by Heather Webber 49) Swamp Spirits #23 Miss Fortune series by Jana DeLeon 50) UNMISSING by Minka Kent 51) The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent 52) When It Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee 53) The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor 54) Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes, Winter Series #1 by Joanne Demaio 55) Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens 56) The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman 57) The Woman with Two Shadows by Sarah James 58) The Lost Girls of Paris by Pan Jenoff 59) Beyond the Moonlit Sea by Julianne MacLean 60) State of the Union – First Family #3 by Marie Force 61) The Silent Woman by Minka Kent 62) Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen 63) Real Bad Things by Kelly J. Ford 64) The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff 65) Beyond the Moonlit Sea by Julianne Maclean 66) Someone to Hold – Wild Widows #2 by Marie Force 67) The D’Angelos by Catherine Bybee 68) Brewed Book #1 in the Cozy Coffee Shop series by Heather Sage 69) Adrift Book #2 in Tempest Island by Jana DeLeon 70) Hallows End by Kristen Proby 71) Cauldrons Call by Kristen Proby 72) Eight Maids a Missing by Jana DeLeon
  • I’ve added a “SEASONAL” list too. I started with fall that you can see here. And a simple winter list is here.

CARAMELIZED BALSAMIC ONIONS

CARAMELIZED BALSAMIC ONIONS serves 4

As the onions cook, the balsamic mixture becomes syrupy and caramelizes the onions, giving them a bronzed caramel color and a luscious, rich flavor.

2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon avocado oil
⅓ cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons homemade bone chicken broth or dry white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds medium yellow onions
1 bunch FRESH thyme leaves

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Combine butter and avocado oil in rectangular baking dish.
  • Whisk in vinegar, wine or broth, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Peel off papery outer layers of onions, but do not cut off either end.
  • Cut onions in half from stem through root end.
  • Place onions in dish, cut-sides up.
  • Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and using tongs, carefully turn onions over to cut-sides down.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes longer or until onions are tender and balsamic mixture is thick and caramelized.
  • Serve cut-sides up.
  • Sprinkle with FRESH thyme.


NOTES: To make ahead: Prepare onions as directed. Cool, cover, and chill overnight. To reheat, preheat oven to 325°. Bake, covered, 40 minutes or until warmed through.

BLOOMING QUESADILLA

BLOOMING QUESADILLA adapted from SPACE SHIPS & LASER BEAMS

A Blooming Quesadilla Ring is PERFECT for the upcoming holidays, a tailgate or Super Bowl party or even a church potluck.

20 taco sized soft flour tortillas
4 cups FINELY shredded taco blend Colby jack cheese
3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken pieces (OR PROTEIN OF CHOICE)
1 SMALL red bell pepper, seeded and FINELY diced
1/2 cup FINELY diced red onion
1/2 cup salsa your favorite brand
1 cup Taco Bell mild taco sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese finely shredded
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped cilantro

GARNISHES
FRESH chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Sour cream
Chopped green onions
Salsa

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place a large, wide mouth glass jar in the center of the baking sheet.

  • Cut the tortilla’s in half.
  • Cover the halved tortilla’s with a clean dry cloth and set aside so they don’t dry out.

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the shredded cooked chicken, red pepper, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, red onion, salsa and taco sauce.
  • Stir well until all of the ingredients are well mixed. 

  • Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons each of the shredded colby monterey jack cheese and the chicken mixture.
  • Roll each of the halved, “filled” tortillas into a cone shape. Be careful not to squish out the filling. The small pointed ends of the cones need to touch the wide mouth jar and form a ring around the jar.

  • Once you have made a complete bottom layer of about 12 to 13 “cones,” sprinkle ¾ cup of the shredded cheddar cheese on top of the ring.

  • Repeat the ring of cones for a second layer.
  • Then top with 1 cup of the colby and monterey jack cheese.

  • Repeat for the 3rd and final ring.
  • Remove the glass jar from the center of the cones.

  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the cones are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Using the edges of the parchment paper, carefully transfer the quesadilla ring to a platter.
  • Serve the quesadilla ring with your favorite salsa or dipping sauce AND garnishes.

NOTES: If trimming off the excess parchment paper, BE VERY CAREFUL not to touch the hot cheese.


HAPPY HOMEMAKER MONDAY with MENU PLANS week 52 of 2022

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

This is going to be my new motto!

How are you? I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Christmas! I also hope you have time to just “be” this week and enjoy each other before we dive into the preparations for 2023.

I couldn’t resist! Christmas is 364 days away. BLOGMAS 2022 is over and BLOGMAS 2023 is only 327 days away.

While the rest of the country was on a blizzard watch and horrific Christmas travel weather we had an unusual “warming” trend here for Christmas weekend. Yesterday was the warmest – 55°, though still cold, Christmas we’ve had here in the Pacific North West (while we’ve been here) – no snow for us this year, but has been sooooooo foggy that it still feels cold and wet in your bones!

This week’s weather predictions have us back to actual rain and lots of it with the temperatures dropping back into our lower normal range of 30’s and 40’s.

I have tons of things going through my mind on what I want 2023 to look like. I’ve also been helping a friend get her side business going and wondering how much time I want to devote to that. After the 1st I’ll be getting back to my sorting and downsizing in preparation of the spring garage sale.

Doing Happy Homemaker Monday, EVERY MONDAY, loyally for all these years and so extensively helps keep me on track of my daily life as it summarizes the past week and lays out a fairly concise plan for the current week. This now coupled with the yearly and quarterly lists I’m doing along with Jean have REALLY is helping get me back to my organized self.

THIS WEEK’S TO DO LIST, PROJECTS & APPOINTMENTS
  • LAUNDRY & CLEANING I’ll be getting back on schedule today with laundry especially – bedding, towels and outerwear. I deep cleaned just before Christmas so not much to be done except picking up the clutter.
  • GROCERIES & ERRANDS We’re I’ll figure out my list and go shopping on Friday.e supposed to get a couple inches of rain today so I plan to go nowhere! No real appointments or errands until 2023!
  • RECIPE RESEARCH & MENU PLANNING My girlfriend gave me and old Oregon State Fair recipe book from 1983 AND one of those antique recipe boxes full of OLD vintage recipes that I like to collect. I’ve selected SEVERAL recipes from each and will create the next couple week’s menu around them.

WHAT’S ON THE DVR/TV
Not much until next year when the network shows resume. I’ll finish up the Hallmark and Christmas movies over this next week.

12/26 MONDAY
12/27 TUESDAY
12/28 WEDNESDAY
12/29 THURSDAY
12/30 FRIDAY
12/31 SATURDAY
1/1 SUNDAY
DINNER
 JET TILA BEEF PHO
 DUTCH HASH
 SICILIAN SPAGHETTI with CARAMELIZED BALSAMIC ONIONS
BEEF & BEAN BAKE
 SALSA  VERDE CHICKEN SOUP
 BLACK EYED PEA CHILI our traditional New Year’s meal
HAMBURGER STEAKS with CREAM HASHED POTATOES
DESSERT
 
CRANBERRY POUND CAKE
 
COFFEE CAKE KNOTS

All my pictures need editing, but I LOVE this fun one of my girlfriend’s front door where I left some goodies for her on Christmas Eve.