Showing posts from March, 2016

Coffee Chat: A New Season

It looks like a birthday cake doesn't it?  And I suspect from the clearness of that brew it's tea, but that's okay with you isn't it?   I bought a Peach Green Tea a couple of weeks ago on sale.  I liked it well enough.  I confess having had black teas all my life, a green tea tends to look 'weak' in my opinion but I know some really prefer it.  I think it will make a lovely iced tea this summer.  But that is another season isn't it?

I have seasons on the mind at the moment.  There are all sorts in this world you know: spiritual, physical, natural, emotional.  There are seasons of plenty and seasons of drought.  There are age related seasons.  There are seasons for prayer and for answered prayers. Right now I feel very strongly that this is a new season in my life but I haven't quite pinned it down to tell you what season that might be.  It doesn't feel like a physical nor natural season.  But there are, as with all seasons, little signs of the new …

In My Home This Week: Lovely Spring

In my home this week, I... appreciating the new season.   And I don't just mean the new season in the natural world...Do you ever have the feeling you've crossed over a milestone somehow?  Not a birthday, nor an anniversary, nor a move or anything like that has occurred, yet something feels brand new and different.  It's a funny sort of feeling when you can't see the change, or count it off, but I can still tell that something is definitely different than it was before.  It will be interesting to see what manifests in this new season in life.

I have been watching in awe as God answers prayers of many.  Kathy reports that her husband found a new job  which is great news.  I sat down earlier this week and noted ten items of prayer had been answered in the past two weeks, which is mighty awesome.  I guess God means for me to keep right on praying as he added two to my list last week.  It's very reassuring to see that this small ministry of prayer is something He …

Assigning Value to What I Do: Spring Is Here

Mar 19:  Earlier this week I emptied the freezer of all the odds and ends of bread and combined them into one bag (what wasn't used for French Toast).  I washed out the bread sacks and hung them to dry and then turned them inside out and dried them some more.  Now they are folded nice and flat and stored in a box where I can pull them out next time I want to put meats up in the freezer.  So much less expensive than using a zippered freezer bag and I can double or triple up as needed if I'm worried about leaks.  Mostly I store like items together and then put those in a heavier duty plastic bread  sack.

Cooked our corned beef today and as soon as I'd glazed it, I determine the best way to slice it so that it could be cut thinly and not shred.  Across the grain is always best and the meat slices beautifully well.  We'll have plenty of sandwich meat and perhaps another meal of corned beef from this piece of brisket.

Leftover mashed potatoes went into the fridge for potato…

Menu Monday - Week 3 Pantry Freezer Challenge

This past week proved busy and I ate out three times.  Gasp!  I know!  Three times.  I didn't pay for a single meal and at least twice I brought home half a plate of food to use as a second meal.    It was frugal enough but you know I kinda missed my home cooking.  However,  those meals I didn't make last week will fill our menus later this month.

The pantry challenge is proceeding very well.  I've added quite a bit of stock to the freezer and pantry cupboards.  We've limited our usage to pretty much dairy and produce. I've even added to our freezer with some of the foods I've prepared. Yesterday I added a large serving of Chicken Fried Rice and 16 egg rolls.  I'll be adding more oranges this week and strawberries for future jelly making and sundae topping. Check out the end of the menu for my planned baking  to see what else I mean to add to my freezer.

The first meal I'm going to share this week is one I actually ate last week, but it was so good I j…

This Week In My Home:

This week in my home...

...I gladly welcome Spring.  I was up early this morning as I have been all week long and looked out the window.  It seems my flowers are determined to bloom in ones or twos so each day there is a new surprise awaiting me when I look out the window.  Everything looks very healthy and although I'd prefer to see a mass of daffodil or iris bloom they make me just as happy when seen in singles and doubles.  Last week there were flowers upon many trees.  This week there are new leaves.  And happiest harbinger of all, the metal racks of herbs and hardy annuals appeared outside the local grocery this week.  I long to go wild over plants but I won't.  One could easily go bankrupt of both money and time (and back muscles!!) if all the plants were bought.  I'll choose a few and plant a few seed and perhaps I'll put in something really new this year but I'll try hard to keep it reasonable.

We've a brief cool spell this week and then more of the love…

Assigning Value to What I Do: Prettying My Nest

Mar. 12:  Used up some strawberries and made a cobbler.  I decreased proportions so that my cobbler was just right for us. It wasn't a lot of strawberries but about a pint, not one of which went to waste.  Savings $.60.

I made Tuna Pasta salad for today's meal.  I  packaged up a portion to go into John's work lunch and there's plenty left for a supper one night this next week.  It's such an inexpensive meal to make, even using whole wheat pasta.  I used up the last of the jar of Tapenade in the dish since I often add chopped olives anyway.  That was a savings right there as I had nearly half a jar left!  Savings $1.50.  The whole wheat pasta in this dish was bought off the clearance shelf at Publix and cost just $.75 for a pound box.  I used vegetables that were in my fridge, including a red bell pepper that was getting rather worn looking, so another savings there of $1.

I forgot to share on Thursday but when I bought the carnations at the grocery this past week, …

Iced Tea Chat: The Season Awaits

Come in!  The weather is so pleasant I thought we'd sit outdoors today and have peach iced tea and gingersnaps.  What shall it be?  The  not quite finished front porch?  It's a little shadier there just now.  The back porch is nice and shady, too, and freshly swept, if not painted.  Or shall we put up the wonky umbrella over the patio table and settle in the shade there? Hmmm?

We'll watch Maddie chase the bees.  I swear these busy carpenter bees spend half their time playing with Maddie.  I'll watch her minding her own business and suddenly there is a bee hovering over her as if to say, "Let's play" and off she runs to chase him down.  Woe to any bee (or wasp, etc) she does catch because she kills them right away.   The other day I was on the porch watching her as she went off to follow the cat to the front porch when a butterfly, a bee and a wasp all flew past at once, each going in different directions.  She literally was stopped dead in her tracks by …

Recipes to Share: Tried and True from Our Homes

I'm so happy that you all have chosen to join in with this.  I've been looking over the recipes as they've come in and there are definitely a few I want to try myself.  Thanks again to Lana for thinking of doing this. I hope we can make it a regular feature once a month.

Since Lana suggested this post and was the first to reply, I'm going to start with her shared recipes:

Oh YAY! Thanks for doing this!

Easy and delicious-

Delicious but make sure to make exactly as directed for the yummy flavor-

This coleslaw will keep for 4-7 days depending on how fresh your cabbage is-I use regular milk instead of buttermilk which I never have on hand.

I freeze half of this for another meal for us. Delicious with mashed potatoes.…

This Week In My Home: Spring Has Sprung

In My Home this week:

I went out Thursday and noted that the peach trees across the road from my home were just beginning to bloom.  There were four or five blooms on each tree.  Not much, but enough to let me know they were getting started.  We went out on Friday and I told John, "My goodness!  Those trees had barely begun to bloom out yesterday!"  And there they were, every tree full of pink blossoms and pink stretching as far as the eye could see.  Not just the peach trees either, but the wild pear and plums and turkey foot oaks and oaks and cedars and pines have all bloomed out seemingly overnight.  The whole world, it seems, at least here in middle Southwest Georgia is determined to hurry up and beat the arrival date of Spring by a week or so.  And with temperatures in the mid 80's the past two days it's felt like a new season!
But I am not fooled by this Spring.  It will be cold again.  Indeed, today it is much cooler than it was yesterday.  There will be chill…

Assinging Value To What I Do: Making Do, Doing Without

March 5:  I took the time yesterday afternoon when we'd returned from our day out to prep food for today's dinner and plan out what supper should be.  I used the last bit of chuck roast from the freezer (bought in November...the meat market dates the packets when they weigh and price them.  Very handy to help me keep track of what packets need to be used up first!).  I seasoned and browned the meat off today.  I used onions and potatoes I'd sliced yesterday (potatoes kept in water overnight in the fridge) to make a side dish.  The meal, served with a 24 hour layered salad, was very tasty and took me just a few minutes to prepare for the oven.

Everything baked in the oven together.  Most welcome warmth on this chilly day.  Chuck roast is so yummy when slow cooked but it can be a very heavy seeming meat for warm days.  I was glad to use this up now while the days are still cooler.

At the end of the meal, I had a small portion of roast left and about half the potato dish.  I…

Recipes To Share: Tried and True from Our Homes

Lana suggested a couple of weeks ago that we have a recipe share post.  I thought we'd try it out this month and we'll see if you all are interested enough to participate.  So here are the rules:

It can be any recipe you like for a drink or entre or dessert or side dish or salad, etc. It must be a recipe you yourself have tried and truly liked.

For submission: post a link or the recipe in the comments of this post. I'll move them to a new post that will be published in 7 days, so your comments will disappear.  No fear!  I am simply setting up  the recipes in a regular post.  So that gives you all until March 14 to get your recipe in to me.  I'll try to get the post up March 15 and we'll see what we all have tried.

 Here's the caveat, too.  If you've tried a recipe that simply didn't turn out at all let us know about that too so we can avoid making a mistake, just post the link and your comments.  Please don't post recipes you made knowing that you…

Coffee Chat: March To A Busy Beat

Come in dears, do come in.  And let us sit right down and rest, shall we?  The week has not been tedious but it has most certainly been busy and tiring as a consequence.  It does seem when John has a week off we end up being far busier than we might be otherwise.  Four days running I was out of the house and I realized on our way back home on the fourth day that I was done, weary, and ready for a good rest.  Could I rest?  Of course not. There was all the housekeeping I hadn't done all week long.  And I'd made big plans for Friday so, of course, I must work all day Thursday and get six days worth of work done.  I started by making out a list...Always the best place for me to prioritize and determine what must be done.  I soon had a plan.

So I worked and when I rested I made out a list of things I mean to look for at the yard sales/thrift shops. I worked more and played about with that wall of art in the bedroom.  I worked and finally I was done and somewhat rested as well.  I…

In My Home This Week: Time Is On My Side

In my home this week, I...
am trying to find an appreciation for the in between season.   The trees in the swamp have only just begun blooming.  Granny called all the red bloomed ones maples, but I don't know if they are all maples or not.  There are gold and reds and rusty reds and beige blooms on the trees.   There is a reason for these colorings. The peach trees are only just beginning to show a bloom here and there. It is not spring... This is late winter.  Not a sign yet of the pines blooming.  The distant trees have a softened appearance, not as stark as they were a couple of weeks ago.  Buds are forming, but not yet ready to yield the soft greens.  The muscari which is the usually quick to bloom has only just come up and budded.

But what is this season really, this twixt and between that isn't winter nor is it spring?  And what do I do during it?  Too early to plant but golly things look dull about me.  I've been playing about indoors but I'm longing for out.  T…

Assigning Value to What I Do: March Into New Savings

Feb 27:  John worked last night.  A 'better' breakfast is wanted on those mornings even if it is Shabat.  I make sure there is plenty of coffee, too.  This morning I kept it simple: Cream Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs, Beef Sausage, Toast.

Dinner today was made up of frozen leftovers and Ground Beef.  I used leftover tomato sauce and tomatoes and a pint of no meat spaghetti sauce and made Spaghetti for today's dinner.

I thawed the second pie that Bess made when she was home for Christmas.  It is delicious, not hurt in the least by freezing.

Our Shabat afternoon at home ritual includes Home Popped Pop Corn.  So inexpensive and so good.

While digging in stuff yesterday I found two pictures, both my own artwork that I'd forgotten I had. I think they will be beautiful in the bedroom.  I'll need frames for those two pieces.  I'm hoping to find I have some the right size lying about in my stash.

Questions, Answers, Comments, Oh My! February Edition

I worked on this rather late last night and may have confused my positioning of posts but the comments under each link should be in the right place so hopefully this won't be too confusing to anyone.  I just wanted to thank you all for making comments, whether or nor you asked a question or made a suggestion.  There were several who simply stopped by to thank me for writing, or to say they appreciated my writing.  I so appreciate that and I thank you sincerely for taking the time to comment.
My very first post of the month was a coffee chat, Geese and Groundhogs, Pam I did figure out the sour cream and Splenda idea.  I had noted that things tended to be drier when using it to bake, fat alone didn't increase the I tried sour cream which had a greater moisture content.  It worked!  I'll take my bows and move on.  It's likely someone else thought of it at the same time and I just happen to publish it...

Geese continued to fly over most all of the month.  In…

Questions, Answers, Comments Oh My!

February is a short month...well it always seems short even when there are 29 days which just makes it short by one day this year.  Still, it always seems to fly by.  Unless of course it's a rainy or sleety sort of February.  Then it appears to linger for at least 45 days.

Not knowing what the month shall bring weather wise, I thought it best to get this January Q&A post done early this month.

The first post of January in which I quoted Arthur Ashe and pretty much decided this would be my motto for the year, "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can."

I showed you my change in colors  in the living room and Susie commented on them.  I have to tell you that the room has a calm light feeling that is very appealing in these winter months where days can often be gloomy.