Monday, October 31

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: Sunny, High of 58

Things that make me happy: Food Network!!!

Book I'm reading: Chazown

What's on TV today: Morning news

On the menu for dinner: Harvest soup & yeast rolls

On my To Do list:
1. Laundry
2. Pay bills
3. Make treats for Mom's Life prayer gathering tomorrow
4. Rake leaves

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Sunny Anderson's pork chops & pasta

Looking forward to this week: Passing out candy tonight & Prayer meeting w Mom's Life tomorrow


No words needed:

On my mind: Not much of anything but a lot of everything!

In the craft basket (B/c I don't do crafts- This question will usually be involving food): Make homemade croutons out of a few old french bread loafs

Devotionals, versus etc.: From yesterday's church service- 6 "rules" for your finances:
1. Earn $$$ ethically
2. Spend $$$ wisely
3. Save $$$ diligently
4. Avoid destructive debit
5. Give $$$ generously
6. Honor God by tithing a percentage

Wednesday, October 26

Aching Heart

I had first seen this picture floating around on Facebook a few weeks ago. For a brief moment it made me reflect on how I currently & will speak to MaeMae. Then that was it- I forgot all about this image until yesterday when it came flooding into my head and I felt I needed to share it...

My heart is still aching for what I saw yesterday. A child (about 6 years old) being verbally abused by their parent~
In a loud, angry, Screaming voice:
Swear words being used (And yes I mean the mother of all swear words)
Threats of physical punishment
Threats of privileges being taken away
Threats of going straight to bed when they got home

Not a word from the 6 year old. Just the gesture of wiping away tears.

I'm not sure if the parent didn't care I was there and witnessing or if they were unaware b/c they were so caught up in their own anger?!?! My heart literally hurt. To see a parent speak to their child that way really upset me. I could never imagine speaking that way to Mae (yes, I know that might be harder to say when she is a teenager). I got from the ranting that the child had sassed the parent in some way. Uh, really? You are surprised? Guess where your child learned how to speak to someone when they're angry?!?!?!
I feel like this child is going to be ruined by the ONE PERSON IN THE WORLD that should be there for them. I was overly appreciative of the home I was raised in. I hugged Mae and told her I loved her. I prayed as I watched them leave. I got emotional telling Kenny.

But what DIDN'T I do? I did not step in. I did not stand up for that child. I did not hug that child & say "You are loved by me & Jesus" I did not ask the parent "Is everything ok? Why don't you take a walk while I stay here w/ your child" (Even though I wanted to do that soooo bad) Is that what I should have done?Would you have?

Shredded Chicken Tacos WIN!

Shredded Chicken Tacos
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 jalapeno, minced (optional)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp. dry parsley
1/2 tsp. each cilantro and cumin
S & P to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
6 corn or flour tortillas {I homemade my tortillas using this Excellent recipe}

1. Place everything through salt and pepper into crock pot. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
2. After crock pot cooking time is up- Add olive oil and bell pepper to a large skillet and saute until tender.
3. Transfer chicken mixture to skillet, discarding juice. {I use tongs to eliminated as much juice as possible}
4. Stir until mixed and any juice has simmered off.
5. Serve in warm tortillas with: Cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce & EXTRA napkins these tacos are messy :)

Nutritional Info: Recipe makes 4 servings (4 tacos)
Chicken filling only= 2 pts per serving
Tortillas= Use points value on package or if you use the same recipe I used they are 4 pts a piece!
Don't forget to calculate your points for garnishes like sour cream and cheese too!

Monday, October 24

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: Sunny, high of 70= Perfect

Things that make me happy: Getting together w/ my Mom's Life group (tomorrow)

Book I'm reading: Chazown (It's a 10 week series)

What's on TV today: Morning News

On the menu for dinner: Grilling out- maybe the last time for the season

On my To Do list:
1. Laundry
2. Put closet back together
3. Pay bills for the week
4. Make snacks for get together tomorrow!

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Parsnip & Potato Gratin from ToH
 Parsnip Potato Gratin Recipe

Looking forward to this week: More visitors

Tips & Tricks: Wrap gifts in comics from the newspaper. I got this idea from my Grandma :)

No words needed:

On my mind: I really don't want to go grocery shopping today! Do I have everything I need to get us by for the next couple of days....

In the craft basket (B/c I don't do crafts- This question will usually be involving food): Make another batch of Homemade Yogurt!--I did not get to it last week!

Devotionals, versus etc.: God has called you to do something you cannot do on your own- Chazown

Wednesday, October 19

Traditional (Lamb) Shepherd's Pie Wins!

I've always made Shepherd's pie with beef or turkey and it is more like a meatloaf topped with mashed potatoes. But when we got a half lamb butchered w my in laws I decided to do a more traditional Shepherd's pie. This has more vegetables in the meat and has a loose consistency. This is a pheasant dish. Veggies and a sauce is meant to help small amounts of meat go a long way, and it did. Ken and I were stuffed and always have leftovers for the next day.This meal was even a hit w MaeMae :)
*Swap out the veggies for your family's favorites. Onions, celery, parsnips and/or mushrooms could all be used.
*This time I didn't have tomato paste so I used tomato sauce and just added an additional Tbsp.
*You can top w cheese or bacon. I didn't want any extra calories

Lamb Shepherd's pie=
Meat mixture:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 c. peas (frozen)
1/2 c. corn (frozen, canned or fresh)
1 lb. ground lamb
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. each: pepper, rosemary & thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
 -Heat olive oil in a large skillet of over medium/high heat. Add carrot, peas and corn. Cook for about 3 minutes just to start to soften
-Add ground lamb, garlic and herbs. Cook until brown.
-Drain off grease. Remove meat mixture from skillet into a 2 QT. baking dish

Pan sauce:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 c. fat free chicken or beef broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
dash of Worcestershire sauce
S&P to taste
-Melt butter in the same large skillet used to cook meat. Stir in flour and allow to become light brown in color.
-Whisk in broth slowly. As it thickens you may not use the entire cup if gravy like consistency is reached early.
-Allow to simmer for 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and S & P if desired.
-Pour over meat mixture
-Top w 2 c. mashed potatoes. (Use your own recipe or mine is below)
-Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until potatoes start to brown

***If Freezing: I do not top w/ mashed potatoes. Make the meat mixture & pan sauce. Transfer to a freezer friendly container. Allow to cool completely. Cover & freeze. When ready to use allow to thaw overnight in fridge. Top w mashed potatoes & bake!

Nutritional Info: Recipe equals 6 servings (aprox. 1 1/2 c.)
B/c everyone makes their mashed potatoes differently you might want to use just the meat mixture's pts value which was 7 WW pts and then figure up your version of potatoes pts.
I did figure my mashed potatoes as another 2 pts per serving. I thought that was pretty low!
Here's how I made mine:
2 c. mashed red potatoes w skin
1/2 c. skim milk (aprox. I didn't measure)
2 Tbsp. fat free sour cream
1 Tbsp. butter
salt, pepper & parsley

Monday, October 17

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: High of 60 & sunny :)

Things that make me happy: Staying home w my adorable baby girl

Book I'm reading: Chazown (It's a 10 week series)

What's on TV today: Nothing! It's pure silence this morning!

On the menu for dinner:  Butternut Squash Risotto

On my To Do list: 1. Put my closet back together. It's our attic access so my closet has been toren apart for 2 weeks due to insulation work being done!
2. Go grocery shopping
3. Finish laundry I started yesterday 
4. Organize coupon binder
5. Make treats from Mom's Life tomorrow (which is the sausage breakfast pockets below & Lemon Blueberry bread if I have time)

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Sausage breakfast pockets from ToH
Sausage Breakfast Pockets Recipe
Looking forward to this week: Visitors this weekend.

Tips & Tricks: Add 1 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice to coffee grounds just before brewing for a great, fresh flavoring.

No words needed:

On my mind: My very busy week ahead of me...

In the craft basket (B/c I don't do crafts- This question will usually be involving food): Make another batch of Homemade Yogurt!

Devotionals, versus etc.: "For every minute of Anger-You lose 60 seconds of happiness"

Friday, October 14

Friday's Freezer Friendly Food

Sorry, No freezer ideas this week. I am still fighting with Sears/Kenmore over our freezer that died on us. Until we get a new one I do not have room to freeze anything more than necessary. But stay tuned b/c I have some things I want to freeze: pumpkin, onions and breakfast burritos! Hopefully we get our new one soon...

Thursday, October 13

Brussels Sprouts Win!

If you think you do not like Brussels sprouts; please try them prepared this way! I personally do not like steamed or boiled Brussels sprouts, which is how my lovely grandma used to make them. ICK! Then I learned that way of cooking them intensifies the crucifer  flavor. (The strong cabbage like taste)
This is an easy way to prepare them that masks the usual strong flavor. I "Julified" them but if serving to kids or a picky husband add more cheese and/or prepare with whole milk or heavy cream to give more flavor. I promise the small amount of red pepper flakes will not make it too spicy but just enough!
Comment on this post when you try these :)

Brussels Sprouts Au gratin: 4 servings
1 lb. brussels sprouts
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 c. reduce fat cheddar cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 c. bread crumbs
1 Tbsp EVOO (olive oil)

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring water to a boil in a medium pan.
2. Cut off the bottom core of brussels sprouts & then cut in half long ways. (Some of the outer leaves will fall off-I use them) Place in a colander and rinse in cold water. Blanch in boiling water for 4 minutes.
3. Transfer blanched brussels sprouts to a greased baking dish.
4. In a small bowl mix: milk, cheese, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Pour over brussel sprouts.
5. In another small bowl mix bread crumbs and EVOO. Sprinkle on brussels sprouts.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until browned.

4 WW pts. per serving

Tuesday, October 11

Brussels Sprouts Win...Check back tomorrow!

Thanks to all who voted on last week's recipe. Brussels sprouts au gratin Won! I plan on posting the recipe Wednesday.
I have had an insulation crew here working on our home all day Monday and Tuesday so I wasn't able to go grocery shopping to get brussels sprouts---the necessary ingredient :) 

Monday, October 10

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: Sunny, high of 79!!!

Things that make me happy: Blogging

Book I'm reading: Chazown

What's on TV today: Today show

On the menu for dinner: Braised pork chops w/ apples

On my To Do list: unpack & laundry

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon:  Braised pork chops (from All You magazine)

Slow-Cooker Recipe: Braised Pork Chops
(ps- lasts week's recipe, buffalo sloppy joes, were excellant)

Looking forward to this week: All the work on our house being DONE!!!

Tips & Tricks: A carrot/potato peeler also works great on apples :)

No words needed:

On my mind: Halloween- should I dress Mae up? What should she be? I just don't get all into it and I hate spending money on silly costumes....

In the craft basket (B/c I don't do crafts- This question will usually be involving food): Make homemade applesauce then can it!

Devotionals, versus etc.: "I thank my God every time I remember you." Phil. 1:3

Monday, October 3

Happy Homemaker Monday

The weather in my neck of the woods: Sunny & warm! High 70s-low 80s

Things that make me happy: This weather! Planning on taking a LONG walk when Mae wakes. I just love the colors of the leaves!

Book I'm reading: Chazown

What's on TV today: I'm using the TV as a radio. Non stop country today :)

On the menu for dinner: Leftovers= Tamale pie

On my To Do list: swiffer & mop floors

New Recipe I tried or want to try soon: Buffalo Sloppy Joes from Taste of Home

 Buffalo Sloppy Joes Recipe

Looking forward to this week: Audrey coming to visit & Seeing Joe, Jen & kids

Tips & Tricks: Since I've been doing laundry all morning: 1. use half the amount of detergent suggested (Or make your Own!!) 2. wash in cold water (with a few exceptions) 3. cut dryer sheets in half 4. I set my kitchen timer when clothes will be dry b/c I can't hear it buzz and this prevents a wrinkled mess!

No words needed:

On my mind: Christmas! Excited to pick names this weekend, working on ideas for Mae, I think I have Ken's gift planned....

Devotionals, versus etc.: 1 Peter 4:10-11 "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ"