Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brioche breakfast Bread Pudding

I use to make this extremely delcious bread egg casserole dish. I cannot find the recipe and no one that I made it for can either! This is very delcious but not quite extraordinary like the other recipe. I'm determined to find it.

I found a beautiful brioche loaf, really you can use what ever kind you prefer. I'm a fan of brioche and Challah. The original recipe calls for croissants which would be wonderful too! On top of that they have you butter each side of a split croissant. Yum Yum! I didn't slice than butter, I just cubed, I like the look of that more than slices.


1 loaf of brioche
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Maple or pancake syrup about 3 Tablespoons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 by 13 baking pan.

Cubed your bread loaf, I spilt in half top and bottom then slice in 1/2-1 inch sections. Pour cubes into prepared pan.

In a big bowl slightly beat eggs, add milk and cream, cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Beat well and pour over the bread cubes. Lightly push down the cubes to help soak the cubes. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Pour syrup over the top and let sit for 5 minutes.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Homemade Ketchup

Once I successfully made BBQ sauce a few weeks ago, Eric and I started making a list other things I could make.  One of the items on our list is ketchup, so I made some this weekend!!  It was really good and a lot more flavorful than 'regular' ketchup.  The recipe is really simple and you can change the flavor any way you would like.

6 ounces tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Let sit until completely cool and store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

The original recipe is from here.  I think I might try apple cider vinegar next time, just for fun :)

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mini Greenhouses

A few weeks ago I posted about planting starters, and I mentioned that I wanted to try starting seeds in mini greenhouses made from gallon jugs.  So, yeah....I did and then forgot to post about it.  I started the seeds on March 15th - and today I have seedlings!!  (The lettuce did come up first,  but it's not as exciting lol)  The picture above is the cauliflower - but I planted broccoli, brussel sprouts, scallions, leeks and lettuce as well.  I'm very excited to see how well they do in the little mini greenhouses,  even though it does look like I'm doing a science experiment :)

Have a great day! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Vanilla Wafers (Banna Pudding part one)

I was watching a cooking show over the weekend and the chef made a banana pudding entirely from sratch. With my son's therapies in the morning and school in the afternoon there's not enough time to do it all at once. His birthday is coming up too and I need to spend my free time arranging things. I'm determind to make this even if takes two days!

This is part one. Making the vanilla wafers

Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.


1 stick or 8oz of butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 egg, room tempreture (here's a quick tip to bring an egg to temp, place egg in shell in a bowl cover with hot tap water and set timer for 5 minutes)
2 Tablespoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

In a large bowl add butter and sugar, with your hand mixer on medium speed, beat until fluffy about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla mix for 20 seconds or so. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Scoop by teaspoonfulls on to baking sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes and let cool.

I think I will make these and keep them in stock my family loves these. Of course they taste better than the boxed versions.

I might be in trouble and need to make more they are super tasty!

Stay tuned I will post the rest of the recipe on Thursday!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Making Banana Chips

One of the things I have been wanting to focus on is drying my own food.  Hopefully in a few years I will be able to dry the fruit that I grow,  but for now I have been experimenting with drying the fruit I get at the store.   I started by drying kiwi, which worked but still has some kinks to work out (I will share as soon as I figure it out).  Banana chips are the second thing I tried to dry - with much more success!!  I tried doing them for different ways: plain, with lemon water,  with honey and lemon water and (finally) with maple syrup and cinnamon with lemon water.  All of them are really good!!  I read a lot of different people used the lemon water to keep them from browning while drying - I did not notice a difference between the ones I left plain and the ones I used lemon water with.  As for measuring things - I didn't, I just added as much as i thought would work to the lemon juice (hint: there is no wrong amount)  Also, I didn't have lemon juice so I actually used a fizzy lemon water drink I had (no sugars or anything are added to it so it's pretty much the same thing but with bubbles lol).  The banana chips took about 6 hours to dry in my dehydrator.  Be aware that they wont get crunchy like the ones at the store - but they are healthier and very tasty!!  These were such a smashing success - Eric no longer wants to buy dried fruit but have me do it instead...oops lol I just added to my own work load!

I'm gonna start apple chips today, I'll post about how it goes soon!

Have a great day!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Welcome Spring! I wanted to find something to help bring me out of the winter food. Though I love comfort stews and casseroles, I've noticed I have been craving fresh and light food.

I really like puff pastry and to me it's always the star. I haven't ever made it though. I'm too nervous, I'm afraid I won't want the easy ready made stuff. That always happens to me. I never really liked Twinkies but my husband does. I got a pan and made my own. They were so delcious. I have made Ho-Ho's too same thing. I have seen quick puff pastry recipes, I should give it a try, At least then I'll have a quick version.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.


1 sheet puff pastry thawed
2 Tablespoons honey dijon mustard
2 cups grated gruyere cheese
1 lb asparagus trimmed (Tip: hold up 1 asparagus and grab both ends and bend where it breaks is where it should be trimmed, line the rest up and chop to the same amount)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablepoon oil.

Place puff pastry sheet on baking sheet. Score 1 inch around the border, this helps the edge puff up and look like a tart. Brush the mustard on the bottom and not the new edge you made. Sprinkle the cheese on the mustard then lay the asparagus out side by side. Brush the edge with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

You can serve this with a side salad for a complete meal.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

I bought a pork tenderloin a few weeks before we started making our meals without oils or butter.  My original plan was to make pork medallions with sauteed apples and onions (mmmmm...) -  unfortunately that wasn't an option anymore.  So I searched Pinterest and found this recipe.  Eric loves balsamic vinegar so I thought it would be a hit, but he said he liked the flavor but didn't like the 'shredded' texture...bummer!  However, I think a lot of people will like both so I decided to share it anyways.  It is very easy - it takes about 10 min of prep and then you just cook it in your slow cooker for your desired length of time.  I used mine frozen, so I set it to cook for 8 hours.  I also flipped it about halfway through since the juices only cover about halfway up the tenderloin.

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin 
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth 
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I didn't add this, but I would next time) 
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
1 tablespoon honey 
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optiona
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Place pork tenderloin into your slow cooker. Mix together all of the ingredients and pour over pork. Set the timer for your slow cooker. (6-8 hours on Low)  Once pork tenderloin has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs and a serving spoon. Break apart lightly with two forks. You can either ladle about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of gravy over pork tenderloin or leave it. I added plain cooked rice to the remaining gravy and let it heat up in the slow cooker for 20-30 minutes for the side dish.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shepard's Pie

I made Shepard's Pie for dinner last night. We had left over mashed potatoes so this recipe was quick to assemble. We had the best ground beef last night. I have to go back to the store and get some more. It was light and fluffy, when I browned the beef it crumbled perfectly. I think it made this dish really wonderful. I bought grass fed 85/15 (lean/fat) I've had organic grass fed before but this was even better for some reason.

If you really wanted this to be it could be a one pot dish. Start off with a Dutch oven or a skillet that can go into an oven. After you're done making the meat mixture top with the cheesey mashed potatoes and put it right into the oven,


1 lbs ground beef
3 Tablespoons minced dried onion or 1/2 cup fresh diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 minced fresh
3 Tablespoon flour
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce
3/4 cup beef broth
2 cups frozen veggies such as peas and carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups mashed potatoes, with 1 cup of shredded cheese mixed in.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need a 9 by 13 baking dish, unless you are baking in a Dutch oven or skillet.

In a large skillet browned beef with onions and garlic. Add flour and cook for a minute. Add worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, tomato sauce and broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Turn off heat and add veggies, mix until combined. Pour into dish and top with mashed potatoes.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are slightly browned.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Quick sugar cookies

I wanted to try this recipe knowing it wouldn't be as good as Beth's cookies. They do get the job done and a bonus there is no refrigeration time. I still rolled mine out to cut shamrock shapes. You could use a cookie scoop then flatten them with the bottom of a glass so they bake evenly.


1 cup or 2 sticks butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups flour

Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until combined, about 3 minutes, with a hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, then vanilla. Mix in sour cream. Add baking soda, salt and flour, you might have to hand mix a little or bits will fly out of the bowl! I cut mine in half and put in the refrigerator. I don't need that many cookies ready to eat! Roll them or scoop them onto your prepared sheets and bake for 7-10 minutes. Let them cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes then put on your favorite frosting or a quick icing below.

I took mine out at 7 minutes. If you like them soft make sure they look pale and not browned on the edges. That's when they turn hard. I iced mine then sprinkled with green sprinkles for St. Patrick's day. My icing is very easy. 1 cup powdered sugar and 4-7 teaspoons of milk. You can also tint with what ever color you like or need.

I hope you try these out they are tasty!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Closet Re-Organization

Now that I no longer need 'work clothes' and 'regular clothes' - I have been itching to go through my closet and purge everything I didn't want or need anymore.  I promised myself I would try to purge about half of my clothes...and if you don't count my sweaters I think I hit that mark Lol.  I think it probably equals out to about 1/3 of my clothes (I really like to wear sweaters instead of jackets with my outfits so I have a lot of them!) - so that wasn't too bad.  I still think I could get rid of more, but I just can't bring myself to get rid of clothes that both fit and that I like!!

Fancy hangers from here.
As an additional incentive to get rid of clothes - we bought new fancy wood hangers.  However, instead of buying the same amount that we already had, we only bought what we thought would be needed (except the clippy hangers for skirts - somehow we only ended up with one pack of 5 and I know I said I would need more of those).  It actually worked out almost perfect - we bought 50 of the regular hangers and I think I will buy one more 10 pack, and I need about 15 more clippy ones.

For some people 50 hangers might seem like a lot (and for some it will seem like a crazy small amount) but I want to make sure I didn't end up crowding all of my clothes together like they were before (you can see an example of what I mean in this post).  I used to have somewhere around 120 hangers!  After Eric hung up his collection of jackets - that left me with about 38 hangers (plus 4 clippy ones!)...so that means I had 1/3 of the number of hangers as before!!!  My palms were sweaty - but I was committed to at least trying to get down close to that number!  I did it - but I cheated just a little.  I combined outfits onto one hanger!  This actually solved 2 problems - the amount of hangers I needed and the amount of time it takes me to find an outfit I like!  Now I just choose a whole outfit at once.  The only exceptions are my jeans and a black skirt - because both items have more than one top that works with them.  I'm very happy with the outcome and I hope it will continue to work for me!! 

Here is my closet after:

From the yellow jacket to the right is my jeans, black skirt and individual tops - and to the left of the yellow jacket are the completed outfits.  You can see which hangers still need to be replaced :)  The funniest part is I have all those clothes I want to keep but I only wear them when I am leaving the house!  Here's what I will actually be wearing most of the time...

I am a creature of comfort for sure!!  LOL

Have a great day!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Making Space

I have big plans for my backyard garden - and unfortunately I only have so much space!  That means I had to make some decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of in the area I want to put the beds in.  Unfortunately, the bamboo got kicked off the island...I liked it, but I'm sure there are some undesirable animals living in there (I am sure the rats from NIMH could be in there and no one would know) and it just took up a lot of space.  As you can see I wasn't great at keeping it trimmed up - mostly because I knew I wanted to get rid of it and only slightly because of laziness. Lol :)  So - that is what is happening today, the bamboo is coming out and will be waiting for its new home at my mom's house.  Now I just have to find time to replace the fence and put in some privacy trees...

Have a great day! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Quick Update on My Front Flower Beds

This little guy is a rogue - I have no idea where it came from, but I am so happy to see signs that Spring is almost here.  To prepare, I have finally gotten my front beds cleared out and ready for new plants and bark.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much has already started to grow, so I thought I would share!


Flowering Almond Bush
Those are all the plants that I was happy I didn't kill for another year - LOL.  I'm still amazed every year that the Flowering Almond comes back - it looks so sad and bare, and then all of a sudden the little buds come out.  It is one of my favorites - so I decided to replace the roses with two more of the Flowering Almond Bushes.  I love roses - but the side of the house they are on does not get enough sunlight.  I think I will try again on the other side - it gets lots of light and hopefully will be easier to grow them there.

Here's a view of one side of the house - This side has the Flowering Almond Bush, the Rosemary (two survived from four plants) and the Peonies (there are about 6, but not all of them have come up yet - fingers crossed).  There are also a bunch of Daylilies, which all originated from 2 original ones my mom gave me, and a hand full of other plants that will come out later in the Spring.  It also has this big bush/small tree - which I have no idea what it is - but I spent some time trimming it since the branches were hanging almost to the ground.  It looks a lot better, but still needs some more trimming...

I had to stop when I noticed this in the branches - I'm not sure what kind of nest it is, but it looks like a birds nest.  However, considering that there are always bees on this side of the house (and I had one buzzing around me the whole time I was weeding) I didn't want to take a chance.  I figured I would wait until Eric was home so he could take me to the hospital if I made them angry :)

The front bed has Shasta Daisies, Lupines, and some Carnations that have already started growing.  There are also some Peonies just coming up - with Dahlias and Gladioli coming up soon!!

I have three Lilacs growing and they are all budding!  This year I have to start cutting 1/3 of the plant back, and I am super nervous about it!!

I already have more Peonies, Gladioli, and Dahlias to add this weekend - as well as some Astilbe plants for under the tree/bush.

 I also wanted to share a picture of the single Daffodil that grows under the Weeping Japanese Maple - it just looks so sweet!!  I might have to add some more this Fall!!

 Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup

So this is my version of Cheeseburger soup. I see a lot of recipes with a bunch veggies in the soup and it is a good way to get veggies into your family. I was set out to make a soup that tasted like a cheeseburger!

Since I was trying it for the first time I wrote down notes of what I would change! I added tomatoes in the beginning and I think I would throw them in at the end. I would try different cheese like blue cheese along with something that melts well. I would add mushrooms and caramelized onions.

I really wanted a beefy soup that wasn't as heavy as a stew. So this is what I came up with!


1 tablespoon of oil
4 slices of bacon
1 celery stick diced
1 tomato diced
1 lbs ground beef
3 cups chicken broth
3 large russet potatoes diced
1/4 butter
1/4 flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese (I did half Gruyere and half Mexican blend)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry minced onion (didn't have fresh)

In a large pot heat oil at medium heat. Add celery bacon and tomatoes (like I said above I would add these at the end) season with salt and pepper, cook for about 6 minutes. Add ground beef, season with salt, pepper, garlic and onion. Add broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, cover,  then bring down to a simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a small pot heat butter on low, when melted add flour. Whisk for a minute and slowly add milk. When it has thickend remove from heat. Add milk mixture or rue to the soup. Turn off heat and slowly mix in cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Sorry I don't have a picture right now I was planning on posting this later. I will have one up tonight!

It's raining today so this soup would be perfect!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Cheddar Cheese Ranch Spread

I found this on Pinterest. I went to pin it and come to find out I already pinned it, I like it when that happens for some reason. It's like I'm some how validating my first pin.

I really like dips, I like to have something I can grab that has lots of flavor. My son has been on the smaller side so dips like this are also good for him.

Since we got sick the last couple of week he lost a little weight. Luckily he has his appetite back and so he has been eating more. He loves cream cheese so this is a dip that is perfect for him. I can put on so many things for him.


1 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 heaping Tablespoon of ranch dry mix
1 cup finely shredded cheese blen, I used Mexican 4 cheese

In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients well and refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve with veggies, crackers or pita bread triangles.

The more it sits the more the flavors develop.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as we did!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Best BBQ Sauce

I have been waiting for the right time to bring out my BBQ - and I just couldn't wait any longer!!  I was so excited that I forgot to make sure I had everything I need - like BBQ sauce that wasn't expired!  So I decided to make my own.  I was hesitant at first, but I'm so glad I did since it was awesome!  Sweet, smoky, spicy (well, for me but not anyone else) - but not too much of any one of those - which to me makes it perfect!

The Best BBQ Sauce:
Print Recipe

1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4-1 tsp liquid smoke (to taste - I just poured a little in but I think it was about 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
4 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Combine the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

It was so easy, and I think it will work really well on just about any type of meat!!  I adapted the recipe from here

Since I think it looks so yummy right on the grill - here is an extra picture!  I love how crispy the outside gets on a BBQ.  We had this for lunch and then I ate the rest cold all day...I will definitely have to make extra next time! 

 Now I just have to figure out the best way to clean my grill LOL

Have a great day!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Amazing chicken casserole

This recipe was a fail, only because my child and husband didn't care for it. Otherwise it was perfect for me. I like lemon in my savory dishes. I should have known it wouldn't work. When I had posted about it some of my girlfriends popped up and said "sounds good to me." I think this is a great casserole for a ladies lunch.

I got the recipe from here.


2 cups of cooked chicken, diced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tablespoon grated onion
1 Tablespoon lemon
1-2 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crushed corn flakes cereal
1 Tablespoon melted butter

Pre heat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit. Butter a 9 by 7 baking pan.

Mix all ingredients together well except corn flakes and butter. Pour into prepared dish. In a small bowl mix butter and crushed cereal, sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake for 25 minutes.

The original recipe called for 3 hard boiled eggs and 2 cups of cooked or 1 cup minute rice. I made do with what I had. I think it turned out great. Someday I'll try the original.

Can you believe we caught another cold so I didn't take a picture last night. My head feels like it's splitting. Mine looked a lot like the link so if you need a picture reference check them out.

I hope you enjoy it as I did.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Swimming in Ruffles

One of the things I was looking forward to with my new stay at home status was time to sew again.  It's one of those things that I love to do but just never really had enough time for...until now!!  The first sewing project I'm taking on is an outfit for Sakura-Con - which is only 4 weeks away!  I'm not going to go into details yet on what I'm making - just that I am swimming in ruffles!!  All that fabric in the picture is for one tier - out of 7 tiers (down from the original 11 tiers)...needless to say I'm going to be gathering fabric for awhile lol.  I can never quite copy patterns so I have combined 2 patterns plus I have changed a lot of the details...I'm excited to see how it comes out and I'll definitely share what went into making it.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh my! Why haven't I done this before. This is what my dreams are made of. I enjoy baking cookies and often my chocolate chip cookies are asked for with glee. I have been trying to satisfy a craving of mine. I finally figured out it is the best coffee flavored sweet treat. I use to eat this Mocha almond fudge ice cream and the company doesn't make it any more. It was so yummy! I guess that's not true, they do, now they put the actually nuts in and before it was smooth and amazing and now it's chunky for some reason I don't like it.

This is hitting my craving on the nose. I searched Pinterest and found nothing that piqued my interest. So I just took my standard recipe and added a packet of instant coffee. Just to see how it goes, I was thinking I would need to add 2, I found that 1 was plenty.

I was thinking while they were baking that I will make these in the summer to make ice cream sandwiches. I'm so excited!

This recipe has been adapted from Nestle Toll House


2 sticks of butter or 1 cup, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 generous teaspoon vanilla (meaning it's ok to spill, I do it on purpose here)
1 single serving packet of instant coffee, I would guess 1/2 - 1 teaspoon
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Prepare 2 half sheet baking pans, I use a silpat you can line with foil or parchment or nothing!

Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl mix butter and sugars with a hand mixer until light a fluffy.

Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, mix in instant coffee as well.

I just add my dry ingredients all at once and I don't mix before hand since I'm using a hand mixer. If you are using a stand mixer I would measure into a small bowl and mix before adding to the dough. Mix until combined and clean your beaters. Grab a spatula to hand mix the chocolate chips in. I use a medium size scoop for the cookies, about 1 Tablespoon, after filling 1 pan I place in the oven for about 9 minutes. Bake until the edges set for soft gooey cookies. Bake for 10 1/2 - 11 minutes for firm cookies.

I hope you like these as much as I did! Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pork Chops and Scalloped Potatoes...Comfort Food

A slight update to last week ending in our surprise get away. We don't know exactly what we have/had it could be food poisoning or the Flu. None of us really have eaten much, if we did it was light fare and slightly bland. It was terrible! So now that I'm back to normal I have looked forward to enjoying the smell and thought of food. Last night I made pork chops. I really wanted to have some potatoes that were not mashed something with a bit more substance. 

I had two ideas pop into my head yesterday, scalloped potatoes and pork chops. I hoped they would pair well together. Honestly I think scalloped potatoes would pear well with anything. It's no secret I like potatoes. There is something about this recipe that makes them feel not so heavy.

I found this recipe here, I just swapped out the cheese with what was available. By all means if you have their cheese use it, it's amazing. It's worth it! I used a semi-hard cheddar cheese.

The pork chop recipe has been in the family on my husbands side for awhile. His sister gave me the recipe. It was one of the recipes, you start with this and then you can add some of this or not, then add some of this and then let it simmer. I usually don't remember recipes, but she walked me through everything and I did have to call her once because I hadn't made it in awhile and I forgot.

I won't do that to you, I will give you the exact amounts. This is one of the recipes that you can change things out and it will still be excellent!

Let's finally get started!

Pre heat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Prepare a small baking pan, such as an 8 by 8, with butter.

Recipe for scalloped potatoes:

2 lbs golden potatoes, about 5-7
1  cup whipping cream, heavy is just fine too
1/3 cup milk
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed, you will pull this out later.
1 teaspoon Salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup of shredded semi hard cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Peel and slice the potatoes thin, using a mandolin. Lay the slices out flat on paper towels and cover with paper towels to absorb the starches.

In a small pot heat cream, milk, garlic, salt and pepper until the edges begin to boil. Remove garlic clove. In your prepared pan layer half the potatoes on the bottom, pour half the milk mixture and sprinkle with half the cheeses, finish the remaining layers. Bake for 60-80 minutes.

Recipe for pork chops:

1 tablespoon Sunflower seed oil
3 tablespoons butter
4-6 thin pork chops
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (there are wonderful recipes to make this from scratch)
1 can of golden mushrooms
1 small half onion diced onion
6 mushrooms sliced
1 cup milk
Salt, pepper and garlic powder (I have grinders and I used a few turns on the pork and about 4 turns on the liquid, garlic powder can be over powering and I sprinkle lightly)

In a large pot heat oil and butter at medium heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms until soften. Push to the side or remove onions and mushrooms if you want to fit all of the pork chops at once. I just pushed the veggies aside and browned 2 pork chops at a time.

Before you put the pork in, sprinkle one side with salt, pepper and garlic, put that side down and do the same with the tops. Searing them should take about 2 minutes on each side, then take them out and set on a plate.

Place veggies back if you removed them, add soups, milk and season again, I just smelled and added what I thought it needed. Add the pork chops back in and reduce the heat to low and cover. I checked the internal temp after about 30 minutes and I got to 145 degrees Fahrenheit so they were perfect.

My husband and I thought we were eating a holiday meal. It was so nice to eat a real meal after our hectic week.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and give them a try.

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Cleaning Schedule

It's my first day as a housewife, and I am totally not doing anything lol!  I still feel a little like I'm on vacation - but I think that will go away soon.  Even though I am not doing anything today, I need a plan for the rest of my foreseeable future - it will be very easy for me to spend all of my time reading if I'm not careful!!

Here is my solution to keep myself in check - a cleaning schedule.  It sounds boring, and it would be easy to just think 'Duh - just clean up', but I wanted something more stable and inclusive.  I want to remember o clean everything - not just the obviously dirty ones!  Since you cannot possibly read the words in the picture above - here are some closer pictures...

 So I gave myself a list of Daily Chores which includes: The dishes, wiping the counters and table off, the kitchen floor, a load of laundry and a 10 minute tidy for the rest of the house.

The second list is a breakdown of when the Monthly Chores are done in each room.  For example - the bedrooms are deep cleaned every January, May and September.  Basically, every four months the entire house is deep cleaned - and then I start over.  Just in case anyone notices - I didn't forget the dining room, but I plan to do it at the same time as the living room (I just didn't want to mess up the look of my lists because there wasn't enough room lol).  I could have kept it as a separate section, but then it would have extended the cleaning cycle to 5 months, which I didn't like.  I'm gonna see how it goes and I can always change it up later!

Next, I made a Weekly Chore list, which includes tasks for each day.  This way I have something to do each day, and in theory my house will look clean at any given time...and Yes I am aware that it will not actually work this way but I'm hoping it will at least make it easier to clean up quickly when we are having people over!!  Here's the breakdown:

Monday - Vacuum and Dust Downstairs
Tuesday - Vacuum and Dust Upstairs and Tidy Closets
Wednesday- Sort the Mail, Tidy Desk and File papers and
                    Groom Winda
Thursday - Clean the Fridge and Wipe Down Appliances
Friday - Clean the Bathrooms and Wash Sheets and Towels
Saturday - Garden and Mow Lawn, Tidy Cars and Garage and
                  Do Monthly Chores
Sunday - Prepare Weekly Meals, Tidy Purse and Water House

So, not a lot each day but it keeps everything cleaned up and picked up...

Finally, the Monthly Chores.  The top section is the list of things done in every room, followed by specific tasks to each room if needed. 

Every Room: Spot clean walls and dust corners, Wash pillows and throws, Vacuum and wipe down baseboards, Vacuum and wash floors, De-clutter the room, Dust/wash all items, Vacuum vents, Clean light fixtures and switches, Clean blinds, windows and sills.

You get the idea - every item is listed so I don't forget something (like the baseboards) for too long.  It might seem like a lot of things, but since these are things I have an entire month to do it actually isn't that much.  Maybe I'll even decide it's not enough and make the whole cycle two months instead of four months - but I doubt it since this will leave me lots of time to work on my own projects!!

Now that I've shared what I plan to do for my cleaning routine - anyone else have a routine or plan that works great for them?  I'm always interested in new ways to get things done!

Have a great day!
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