Monday, February 16, 2015

Menu Monday

This week is not near as busy as last week. More time spent at home means more meals to cook. Here is the plan for the week, subject to change. (Of course. :) )

Monday - Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes, buttered corn

Tuesday - Baked Potatoes and salad (My Dear has school)

Wednesday - Ham & Cheese pockets, homemade mac & cheese

Thursday - Spaghetti, Salad, French Bread

Friday - Homemade Noodles in Chicken Gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans

Saturday - Cornbread Chicken Potpie, fruit salad

Sunday - Chili Verde, fried potatoes, flour tortillas

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Making Commitments

So yesterday I did some baking and created the most beautiful and delicious baked goods for my family. I thought, "Oh I need to blog about this!" So with pictures and words at the ready I was going to share all about how I masterfully created something wonderful that should be admired and adored. Then I stopped and thought about the fact that how often do we read blogs about women and families who seem perfect. Sitting and wishing we could be like them only to be made to feel we somehow just don't add up. That is because in "blogland", very often I have found bloggers don't post their mistakes, failures and just plain flops. I mean who wants to read about those? Well I do. I want to know that everyone else is just like me, totally flawed, but by grace every once in awhile I have an awesome success and get it right. So first I want to tell you about the fact that the day before yesterday Lil'Bit had a friend over to spend the night, and I wanted to do something fun for them. So I mixed up a double batch of pretzel dough, telling the girls they could help me shape them into whatever shapes they wanted. It was a grand idea, but not one that would come to pass. You see I was also making scalloped potatoes and ham for a large surprise birthday party for my niece's new husband. Well when I had the commercial size pan of potatoes ready to bake, I turned on the oven to preheat it. Unfortunately the dough for the pretzels was in there raising. Well the result was not good, the dough halfway cooked into a giant dough ball. Now not only was this disappointing because of the waste of materials, but also it was disappointing to the girls. So I decided to just through it out and start again the next day...

Here is the result of a successful day of baking...
I made cinnamon rolls, onion and plain bagels, and also Bavarian Soft pretzels. And yes, it was all a success. I also made a homemade pizza for dinner as requested by my Dear. While this day of baking resulted on all these good foods, I have had my failures. I just feel it was good to share that. And to admit it was not the first time this week that I had done the SAME thing. I also cooked my bread dough instead of raising it earlier in the week by not turning off the oven when I was raising it. I always turn my oven to 170 degrees for 3 minutes then turn it off. I forgot to turn it off and therefore cooked it for an hour and a half at 170 degrees. Hahahaha! Again, it found its way into the trash. 
So now you know. I make a lot of mistakes too. I burn things, spill things, kill yeast and many other things. But I also have some successes, and I want to share everything with you all of the failures and all of the sucesses. I want you to know you can also have successes, even when you have failures.

Around the homestead

Today I am going to post about all the glorious things I see...

Outside my window: I see a beautiful blue sky, the sun is shinning its glory all around the hills. And while for now they are still brown and dull looking I know the sunshine is helping to turning them into a beautiful vibrant green somewhere in the near future. The deer are out pawing through the remains of last years garden, every once in a while digging up a carrot to munch on. And the chickens are out in their run pecking around looking for little critters to eat. And off in the distance I see my beautiful Eagle Caps, adorned with brilliant white snow calling for me to come and visit for a while. 

Inside the house: I see an orderly home, all dressed up and clean, waiting for company to come over and have dinner tonight. I am making a ham dinner with pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and rolls. And yes, this is a deviation from the weekly menu. The price of ham in my small town was way to high, so I never baked one earlier in the month which would have produced the leftovers for my Ham and Cheese pockets today. But this week we had to go to "big town" and I was able to pick up a large 10 lb shank portion ham for $.99 a pound and will be baking it today. This of course will alter things on the monthly menu for next week, but hey, being flexible is a necessity when you are trying to "homestead" in an apartment in a VERY small town. LOL

In the mirror: I am wearing woolly, fuzzy, polyester blend, yoga pants, a tank top (for some reason I am burning up), slippers with no socks (remember I am on fire) and no makeup, hair down and straight. Someday you will all be amazed at my snappy fashionable attire, just not today.

On my needles, and hooks: I am knitting a beautiful Harry Potter scarf for Sis (authentic style, just like the ones they had in the movie). It is a good thing I have more than one set of knitting needles or I would have to wait to knit anything else for like a year. This thing is taking FOREVER! On my hooks are a hat for my father in law, a pair of baby booties for Sis's baby hope chest, a set of finger-less gloves for Lil'Bit, and 2 newborn baby hats for someone in our valley who just had twins!

In the sewing basket: I see three new aprons for me, almost complete. (Pics to follow when they are done), 2 new receiving blankets for those beautiful twin boys, a new bed runner for my room.

Well that is what I see today on the homestead, I hope you are all seeing beautiful and wondrous things. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

What's cooking this week?

On Mondays I am going to post what my menu for the week will be. Every month I do a menu for the whole month. It really helps me to keep eating at home a priority. It makes it easier to say no to the excuse of not having anything thawed out so we better eat out. We love eating at home, and in our small town there are not many places to eat out anyway. So for us it is a win. So the following will be our menu for this week:

Monday - We are having dinner at the in-laws today.

Tuesday - My Dear is gone to school, so Lil'Bit and I always have baked potato, and salad

Wednesday - We will be gone to "Big" town until late at night so I will not be cooking

Thursday - Homemade Pizza

Friday - Chicken Broccoli Casserole, green beans

Saturday - Tri tip roast, baked potato, buttered corn

Sunday - Ham & Cheese pockets, homemade macaroni and cheese, salad

There you have it. I hope all of you have a blessed and fruitful week!

Back to Normal

Well this last weekend was a busy one. I had the little man all weekend, and Sis and her boyfriend came out on Friday and spent all weekend with us. In addition it was my momma's birthday on Saturday. To get ready for having company, I re-thought the menu, I didn't want to make pork chops like I had planned on Friday night as they are one of the few things Sis doesn't like. So I changed it to Tatter tot Casserole for Friday, Crock pot Chicken gravy w/noodles for Saturday night, and Hamburgers on homemade buns for Sunday. For breakfasts we had homemade waffles, and I made bagels on Thursday. Here are some pictures of my making bagels. 

 It was pretty easy to do, and the bagels were a huge hit with my family. I made plain and onion, and we ate them with flavored cream cheese.

I made a custard pie for my momma, and we all visited and had a great time. I am now cleaning house today, making bread, and doing laundry. All things I do on a regular basis, and life is back to normal.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Well it has been almost a year since I posted anything on my blog. It is not that I no longer live a busy country life, it is just that I have well, been busy. We had many changes over the last year, and many things went on. I was not really sure anyone would ever read my blog, and it was actually kind of a journal of sorts for me personally. I would go back an review what I had wrote and keep track of the things I did. Maybe how I did them, and what worked out, and sometimes what didn't. So I was not very regular about posting. Then this weekend I realized something. I have been giving cooking lessons to my niece. She just got married this last fall, and while her mother is a fabulous cook in her own right she just cooks, different from me. You see she has 13 children, 8 of which are still at home. When you have that many all of your recipes are geared more towards large amounts, and a lot of casseroles. LOL My niece only has 2 in her family right now so small meals made with frugal means in mind are what she needs. I have some experience with both so she has been coming to me and I have been sharing with her what I can. In this process though, I have come to realize I just might have something to contribute to other young women her age who need the same information, but don't have anyone close to teach them. So here I am, back to impart what I can on those who would like to learn. 
So to start I will update everyone on the changes in my life. First of all, with a mixture of joy and sadness, Sis moved out of the house. She wanted to spread her little wings, have a home of her own. She moved 92 miles away to another town that is a bit bigger than the one I live in, and set up her own little haven. It has been hard to have "my person" not here as she was such a blessing to have around. She does however come out and stay overnight about 2 times a month. I cook her favorite meals and we work on sewing, knitting or crochet projects. I will be posting some pictures of the things I have done for her lately. Her birthday is in January, and between that and Christmas my needles and hooks have been busy. 
Secondly, I GOT MARRIED!! I married the love of my life in May of last year. It was a private and quite ceremony as we had an actual wedding in September. But we had the opportunity to move into some housing that would be very beneficial to us while my Dear went to school full time, and wanted to be married before we lived together. So I also moved to a new apartment at the end of April/beginning of May. It was a bit difficult to give up the house that I had done so much work on  remodeling, but it was the best thing in the long run. And while we live in an apartment, we have made an agreement with the owners of a small lot of land right out our front door next to the complex to use the land. There we were able to keep our chickens, and so moved our hen house there. We are hoping to expand that in the spring. We also had a beautiful garden there this last summer which I will be doing a post on later. 
And lastly, we have taken a job doing daycare for a 14 month old baby boy. His grandfather is raising him right now. This is a situation that was not planned and the grandpa has been a bachelor for many years, and in addition to a full time job, is our voluntary Fire Chief. What this means for us is that we have baby, many hours a week. But since we have been considering adoption, it is a very welcome change. 
Well that is what has been going on in my life. Tomorrow I will post some of what I have been doing on my little homestead.