Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/31

I am a bit late but, DH and I went to town this morning for a few supplies. The weather forecast is predicting snow and lots of it! ....Grrrrrr..When ever people hear a snowstorm is coming, as always, the grocery store does a booming business. I am thinking this morning I was just as guilty. I am sure with all I have in the freezer and pantry, DH and I could eat well for awhile if we did get snowed in for a spell. We had to go to town for other business so it made sense to stop at the store for a few things we needed while we were in town anyhow. Yesterday the sun was shining ever so bright and it made me hunger for spring ever so much...sigh...Heres what I came up with for this weeks menu. For more menu ideas stop by organizing junkie.

pulled pork sandwiches
michigan baked beans ( this is my sisters recipe. It's new for me and I am so anxious to try it out)
carrot and celery sticks

pan fried bluegill( DH has been ice fishing about every day so we have been getting an abundance of this fish)
green salad
baked sweet potato fries

salsa chicken
corn cakes with fresh corn and chives
bread pudding ( this is a great way to use all those crust or odds and ends of bread that need used up)

chicken/veggie stir fry w/brown rice
tapioca pudding

blueberry pancakes

pork chops
glazed carrots
baked potato

Defend for ourselves!

Michigan baked beans

16 oz (2 cups) dry navy beans
2 Quarts cold water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
4 oz salt pork, bacon,or ham ( may substitute a half cup of butter or shortening if your'e going meat free)
1 med. yellow onion

Rinse beans, add to water in a saucepan. Bring to boiling and simmer 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover; let stand 1 hour ( or let beans to cold water and soak overnight)
Add salt to beans and water; cover and simmer until beans are tender; about 1 hour. Drain, reserving liquid. Measure 2 cups liquid, adding water if needed; mix with molasses, brown sugar, and mustard. Cut salt pork in half, score one half. Grind or thinly slice remainder.
In 2 quart bean pot or cassarole, combine beans, onion and ground salt pork. Pour molasses mixture over. Top with scored pork. Cover; bake in 300 degree F oven for 5 to 7 hours. Add more liquid if needed. Makes 8 servings

NOTE* I just cooked the dry beans for awhile and added everything together in crockpot. I also used bacon in the place of salt pork. It is cooking and it is starting to smell AMAZING!

Bread Pudding

3 eggs
3 cups of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4-1 cup of sugar ( depending on your taste preference and amount of bread used)
dash of salt
dry or old bread
1 tsp cinnamon
raisins (optional)
Mix together all ingredients except for the cinnamon in a cassarole or baking pan. Size depends on how much bread you have
Sprinkle cinnamon on top
Bake at 350 degree F oven for about 45 minutes. Poke with knife, if it comes out clean then it's done. Baking time varies.

Friday, January 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Every year I try, I really do. I try to make wonderful and inspirational New Years Resolutions and most years, they trickle by the wayside in just a few short months. I either can't stick to my guns or I find I never really wanted to in the first place. I was sure this was year I would stick to my resolution because I even got a head start on it way back last year. Yep, I thought it would go smoothly because I have already succeeded by losing a few lbs, eating healthier, exercising by walking when ever I can, just being more active in general. But, I had a game plan and I had already been working on this was a piece of cake. I had it nailed. I pledged to myself that 2011 was the year. I have entered the year sure of myself. Sure until, lets see, what's today's date? Yep, it's true. I have already managed to find a slew of excuses and reasons why I haven't managed to make my regularly scheduled workout times. I am so steamed at myself! Seriously? Okay, so I still have time to recover and go on to keep this resolution, but already my heart feels like it's failed and why bother..
Yesterday something occurred to me. I have been trying to do this all on my own. I have been deciding what I was going to do, how I was going to change myself, and going about it in my own human power.
Don't we all do that in some form or another? Maybe it's not a new years resolution and workout for you, but haven't you ever tried to do something that feels big under your own power?
To make it work, and have a sticking power, there is only one driven force that has the ability to change anything of value. And that force is God. I know, I know, sounds a little preachy when I say it out loud. But hear me out....
Only God has the power and strength to take something tired, worn, dirty and old and change it into a whole new clean, whole, and life filled beginning. It doesn't matter what it is- name anything- and God can bring new life into it. Be it your finances, your job, a relationship, or even plain ole you! He can make all things new. He can strengthen, renew and grow us. But there is something important in having this happen...we have to want it, and then ask for it. He has to be invited into the changes we desire, into the new beginnings we crave, into relationships we hold dear. Like anyone of us, He won't jump in where He's not wanted. But, He'd jump at the chance to be part of your life if you asked! It's what he desires most.
I know if I truly want to become a more healthy person this coming year, I won't resist the temptations that lead to failure without the sustaining strength that God at my side will bring. So I've invited Him into my New Years Resolution. I know that He will motivate me and help make 2011 amazing!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Noodle Adventure

As I promised, I want to share with you my noodle adventure. In my effort to eat more whole foods, eating healthier and saving dollars on our grocery bill. I decided to try my hand at making noodles. This noodle making thing was a whole new challenge for me. Making noodles isn't really hard. DH and I love homemade noodles but, I never considered making them because I thought....well..just that...Hard! We always bought our noodles at the store and if we wanted homemade we would buy from the local Amish. There are many recipes out there but, this is the recipe I used. This simple recipe requires only flour, eggs,salt, baking powder, and water. How simple is that? To start I took 4 beaten eggs with 2-3 Tbls. water. In another bowl I took 3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking powder; mix together......I then made a well in center of flour mixture and poured my beaten eggs into the well....
I stirred in the flour mixture by hand until a soft dough formed. Does it look a bit on the dry side? Yup, looks like it to me.

I continue to roll out the dough into a very thin layer on a lightly floured surface and I cut into 1/2 inch strips.

After cutting in strips, the noodles need to dry at least 4 hours before using. I hung my noodles over chairs on a towel. I was told that if you do not use right away, you should put them in the freezer until you are ready to use them ( I did this) as they will mold otherwise.
So there you have it...My noodle adventure! I suppose I am just being critical of myself but, these noodles just don't look pretty. The Amish noodles we buy don't look like this.This won't stop me from making them again because there is no rule that says they have to look perfect or pretty to taste good!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

LOL! His daddy got him a new shirt! our grandson is a handsome young man!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cooking from scratch

Who has time to cook anymore? Well, unfortunately this is the reality in many homes. Many of us have abandoned our kitchens for faster food which means that we are not choosing healthy whole foods anymore. This is sad. Have you ever noticed unfortunately people are brainwashed by the media into thinking that they don't have time to cook, and they don't have time to eat together? This is really sad Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be complicated, and it certainly will result in a healthier diet. People have different opinions on what exactly "from scratch" means. Well, scratch for me means getting your hands a little dirty, spending some time over the stove and at the cutting board and using whole ingredients to start. From now on, I am hoping to prepare healthy nutritious meals using only basic ingredients. My overall plan is to reduce my dependence on buying the food we eat hence, saving money and preparing healthier meals. Remember convenience comes with a price! Growing up my mother used to make her own butter, maple syrup, spaghetti sauce ect. and even her own soap. She did this all from scratch. She always had a large garden and grew all her own vegetables and canned and froze what we didn't eat fresh. We had our own milk fresh from the cow and raised our own beef, pork chicken and eggs. This was a benefit from having a father who was a farmer. With six children in the family, and one income, my parents had to make the most of their food dollar. My mother would not have dreamed making boxed macaroni and cheese for the family. Many prepared foods, whether from the drive thru or a microwave safe package, contain a myriad of unhealthy ingredients. Don't let cooking from scratch intimidate you. Once you start you will be glad you did. My thought is, why should I pay strangers to gather, cook, assemble my package meals when I can do it myself for pennies on the dollar, with a much lower fat content and a higher vitamin content.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - January 24

Hello, welcome and thanks for visiting! It's another Monday menu time again. I am a little late on my posting but this is my plan for this week. There are many great menus on organizing junkie!

garlic bread
green salad

homemade veggie soup
grilled cheese sandwiches

bean and cheese burritos
Spanish rice

beef pot roast w/potatoes and carrots
cottage cheese

homemade pizza (meat for DH and all veggie for me)

beef and noodles (made with my homemade noodles) I will post my noodle adventure, LOL, later this week
steamed broccoli

Defend for ourselves!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I will be 53 years young tomorrow.While to some this doesn't seem old, to others including myself it is old. The older I get, the more I dislike birthdays. I would just rather well, forget them. So, this thankful Thursday I thought...what do I have to be thankful for? I am 53, my body aches all the time, I get fatigue rather easily and my mind isn't as sharp as it used to be, my hair is graying faster and faster. I could go on and on. This can make anyone grouchy. Everyone knows some grumpy old men and women. We make excuses for them by saying "he is just set in his ways" or "she has gotten old enough where she has earned the right to be a grouch". But, truth be told, people don't like to be around grouches very much regardless of how old you are. Okay, I may have earned my right to be a grouch, but, people like to be around happy people period! So, as I turn the big 53 tomorrow, I will put on a giant sized smile because I am thankful for my friends ,and family that I can celebrate life. That I can share memories with friends, especially with family. I can celebrate each day as a gift. Growing old gracefully, about enjoying the life I have and being thankful for the things I have for the moment, and striving always to improve upon those things that I can improve on. Isn't that what it is all about? Birthdays, may I have lots of them! Be sure to check out Lynn over at spiritually unequal marriage for more thankful Thursday's.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 1/17

Oh my! I weighed myself for the first time since the holidays. Gasp! I gained 5lbs! Statics say that this is typical amount of weight gain between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am guessing if you look at it this way, however for me 5lbs is 5lbs too many!I need to get back on the bandwagon again I worked too hard last year to shed this weight! after all, I got a skinny pair of jeans ( size smaller) for Christmas that I promised I would be able to get into by spring. This is my incentive anyway. Coming up with meals is hard when I want everything healthy, low calorie and the DH is well, unhealthy. This man could live on just hot dogs, bacon, bologna. Yes! he eats hot dogs for snack food, cold, right out of the refrigerator. Seriously, 1 lb. of hot dogs doesn't last the night. I am thinking nitrate overload! Anyways, I've come up with a menu we can both be satisfied with. Oh! and be sure to visit organizing junkie for more menu ideas and while you are there hook up with her.
omelets veggie for me)
raggedy Ann cinnamon chip muffins*
canned peaches
macaroni and cheese
green beans
raisin bread pudding
salmon with garlic butter sauce
brown rice
steamed broccoli
chicken and noodles
butternut squash
Happy Birthday To Me!
DH is taking me out!
Swiss steak
mashed potatoes
green tossed salad
Defend for ourselves!
Raggedy Ann Cinnamon Chip Muffins
These muffins are made with cinnamon baking chips. In the high heat of the oven. ( the oven is set to 425 degrees) the cinnamon chips melt leaving swirls of cinnamon through the muffins. With all that melted cinnamon, the tops are often roughen and ragged and hence the name Raggedy Ann cinnamon chip muffins. These are very good muffins.
This recipe makes 10 large, well domed muffins or 12 smaller ones.
2 lg. eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/3 cup whole rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cinnamon chips
For the topping
2 tbls. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin pan
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. Add the butter milk and vanilla. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients. Stir only until combined. Add the cinnamon chips. Drop the batter into the greased muffin cups. Mix the 2 tbls. sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon together. Spoon the cinnamon sugar over the muffins. Place the muffin pan in the oven Immediately turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Baking times will vary depending on how well your oven holds heat. Cool the muffins on a wire rack.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Farmville Confession

Farmville is something to do in your spare time, something that consumes you? Yes, it does but, I find it to be very relaxing. Hi, I am Susan and I'm addicted to farmville. Most of you probably already know about farmville but for those who do not, farmville is a game created for facebook by a company called zynga that allows us users to manage and grow a virtual farm. Apparently, it is the # 1 application on facebook Players earn money to build their farms by planting, growing and harvesting crops. It takes time, patience, and you have to keep up with the game so that your crops don't wither over time. The game lets you cultivate crops in a small amount of time. You use the coins you earn to increase the amount of things you cultivate and how conveniently you can do it. You also can increase the size of your farm. I soon found myself trying to get as much coins as possible, expanding my land, then checking every few minutes, waiting for my crops to be ready for harvesting. I can't let them wither! This game is possibly the most addictive game ever! I can never seem to get enough of it. Yes, it's true, I'm addicted to farmville. It's insanity really. I guess it proves I don't have anything better to do with my time except blogging of course. I owe all the thanks to my sweet brother-in-law who informed me I should give this game a try. This was last fall. It sounded very intriguing. It demanded my attention and curious, decided to give it a try. Was it a mistake or not? I ask myself that question alot. I can't ever see myself saying goodbye to farmville, at least not in the future anyway. It's not an addiction that I'm particularly proud of, but hey, at least I know I am not alone. Who else is willing to confess?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Sometimes some weeks can be hard financially, especially in the winter when DH is layed off. It seems the money is barely there to get through the week. I could go to work if I chose to, but, my age and with my back problems now, it limits me to what I could do. DH has never pushed me or expected me to work. We may not be wealthy and never will be. I am content living the simple frugal life and so is DH. We have a roof over our head, food on the table, the bills always somehow get paid. God watches over us and takes care of us. Sometimes what we wish for doesn't fall in our laps, rather it falls somewhere nearby and we have to recognize it, stand up, and put in the time and work it takes to get it. I suppose it's because we wouldn't appreciate it as much if it came too easy. Everyday I am thankful what we are blessed with. God has been so good to us. Stop for a moment and think about all the things in your life that are worth being thankful for and check out Lynn at spiritually unequal marriage. She is hosting thankful Thursday this week, and be blessed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Freezer Slaw

What do you do when you acquire 3 very large bags of chopped cabbage? You make freezer slaw of course! My nephew works at a fast food place and at the end of the night if there is food left, the employees get the option of taking it home or the restaurant just throws the food away. The same principle applies to food that is about to expire or expired,. The employees can take if wanted or the food goes in the dumpster. Gasp! There is nothing wrong with the food and is perfectly good even if beyond a day or two. So here we were sitting with 3 very large bags of chopped cabbage and 1 very large bag of shredded lettuce. Since this is perfectly good food yet but, needs to be used soon, I have to make something with it quick. I had already made slaw for our supper Monday so, unless I want to eat cabbage morning noon and night and have the cleanest colon in the neighborhood. I will have to freeze all this cabbage. *Freezer slaw makes perfect since. I have this wonderful recipe I have had for years. It is easy and very delicious. Keep in mind, I used 1/2 of a large bag of chopped cabbage to equal a large head of cabbage. The recipe doesn't call for onions but you can add red onions.

1 cabbage
1 carrot
1 sweet pepper (I used frozen green pepper)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
2 cups sugar ( I only use 1 1/2 cup at the most)
1/2 water
1tsp mustard seed
Chop cabbage, carrot, and pepper. Cover with salt and let set for 1 hour. Squeeze the salt and water out of cabbage. Mix vinegar, sugar, water and mustard seed in 2 qt. pot. Bring to boil and boil 3 minutes, let cool. Pour over cabbage, stir well, let stand 3 minutes. Freeze

I froze 10 quarts of slaw. This will be good eating this winter and beyond to go with all the bluegill we have in our freezer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice fishing..... Love it or hate it

Monday for supper we had bluegill my dad and I caught on the pond this summer. I had froze them for some delicious eating this winter. My DH has been out a few times ice fishing so far this winter, something he never got to do last winter, in fact he is out fishing right now. I don't balk as he enjoys his man time and I enjoy my no man time. I would love to go out with him a couple of times. but, I dislike the cold and not sure if this old body can handle this sort of thing anymore. DH assured me when the temperature warms up in the 30 degree range I can go. Not going to argue with that. I will stay home where it is warm and let the DH freeze his old hiney, bring home the fish, ( if he catches any) clean them and I will cook them. I like to take each precious piece, dip in egg and roll in panko crumbs. I salt and pepper them and fry them in a small amount of canola oil until they are golden. mmmm-mmmm you just can't beat the taste of bluegill. Anyways, for those of you that have never ice fished, ice fishing is the practice of catching fish in an opening in the ice which you have drilled with an ice auger. If you are bothered by the cold, this kind of fishing is probably not for you. There has been many times DH has gone out and sat out on the iced lake or pond for hours and never caught a thing. However, the times I went out with him we were lucky and caught many fish right after another. It must have been the adrenaline flowing but, this kept me from thinking how cold I was. Ice fishing has an allure all of it's own. Some say it is peaceful, some say it's relaxing, most say it's crazy. There is very little debate when it comes to ice fishing. People usually love it or hate it. Perhaps you should try it and decide for yourself.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Hello everyone! Hope everyone had a good weekend. It feels so good to be back planing my menus. What a way to start 2011. This week, in particular, the money is tight and with DH layed off for the winter, the pennies have to be pinched even so tighter. We will have to make do on what we have in stock. It doesn't seem to be much of a problem this week as we still have quite a bit left in the freezer and a fairly well stocked pantry. Ahhh.....the beauty of stockpiling. However, our meat supply is getting low. I personally, can live without so much meat as I have never been a big meat eater but, for DH that would be a catastrophe. This man loves his meat! I will most definitely need to visit our local butcher the following week. In the meantime, here is this weeks menu plan. Don't forget to visit for more menu plans.

pan fried bluegill
sweet potato fries
cole slaw

green beans

chili (made with our venison)
homemade bread

chicken and stuffing (in crock pot)
steamed cauliflower
mashed potatoes

chicken and veggie stir fry
brown rice

leftover chili
grilled cheese sandwiches

on our own

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Return to the bloggy world and planning my seed order

I have been thinking it's about time to start posting in this blog of mine again. After a rather extensive long bloggy break, It is time to get out of hibernation and get this old brain working again. This has been an extremely busy and interesting last few months in 2010. I might add, that these months have gone buy just way too fast for me. I am sure 2011 won't be any different. I have big plans for this year already. My bloggy world is no exception. I will be striving to give you postings everyday, well, at least a bit less sparse. After looking at the dates of my blog posts in 2010, they are little and far between. It's a little sad. I don't know if I even been missed. I apologise for being gone so long. I've missed you guys. I hope you haven't given up on me. It will take me awhile to get back into the blogging groove but, I am ever determined to do so. So what have I been doing the last few months? Well, I have accomplished quite a bit which of course makes me happy. With the holidays behind us, This month I have been using this time to get my spring garden planned out. You could say, I am a gardening enthusiast. Yep, I'm already thinking about spring. Are you as eager as I for Spring? It's time to empty my seed stash on the floor and see what I need to order for my spring planting. I have been looking at several seed catalogs and have decided to order through Gurneys this year. I have ordered through them in the past and have always had good luck with their seed and service. I will buy my plants, seed potatoes and onion sets at our local Rural King store. This year I hope to introduce some new varieties to the Herlan garden. My list is almost finished. I will be ready to send in my order by the beginning of next month. I am taking it one day at a time.