Monday, March 26, 2012

Menu Plan for Week of 3/25...

First for Last Week...

Easy BBQ Pork Chops
(hint:  This one uses soda--and you'll never guess which one!!!!)
Now I am gonna tell you...because we thought they were YUMMERS!!!!
1 T Vegetable Oil
1.5 lb boneless pork chops
1 c ketchup
1 c diet Dr. Pepper or regular cola

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  
Brown chops on both sides.  
Drain skillet.
Add Ketchup and Dr. Pepper (I used regular Dr. Pepper--not Diet); simmer on low for 35 minutes. 
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Peas

Greek Baked Chicken
We didn't get to try this one...I forgot to make the marinade which takes 8 hours...
Dinner Rolls
So we had Wednesday's menu instead... so...

WEDNESDAY (on Tuesday cause I am flexible like that...):
Upside Down Pizza
2 lb lean ground beef
1 c chopped onion
13 oz spaghetti sauce (I made my own using 2 cans no salt added tomato sauce, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, onion and green bell pepper, salt & freshly ground pepper)
1 c sour cream (I used fat free)
8 oz shredded mozzarella
8 oz can crescent rolls (I used reduced fat)

Brown ground beef and onion.
Stir in spaghetti sauce; cook over low heat.
10 min stirring often.
Spoon mix into greased 13x9x2 in dish.
Top with sour cream and cheese.
Unroll crescent rolls; place over cheese.
Bake uncovered @350 degrees for 20-25 min.
(we thought this was really good, but would leave out the sour cream.  It just gets better overnight too!)

Creamy Roast Beef Pitas
Not enough votes!!!!!  It's FIRED!!!!

Now for this week...

Santa Fe Soup
Low Carb Tortillas

I am going to try for the Greek Baked Chicken again--If I can remember to marinate it for 8 hours!  LOL

Cottage Pies
Fruit & Yogurt

Black Bean Burgers
Oven Fries

Fish Night!!!
Graphic courtesy of Graphics Fairy
This is because I am putting my hammock up--so, I though the fish in the hammock was fun!  :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In The Garden...Thursday's Things In A Row...

I am joining Pat over at A View From The Edge for Thursday's Things In A Row.

Today we are visiting Tom and Nina's Garden and Mom and Dad's flower beds.  It's really making me want to start my little flower beds here at the camper!  Yes, I do put in flowers and a tomato plant and hummingbird feeders...LOVE my humming birds!!!!!

So, let's start at mom and dad's...
Hyacinths and grape hyacinths--you can see that the regular hyacinths have seen better days already...

The tulips are just beginning to bloom...

A row of redbuds are in bloom--I just LOVE those little trees!

Tom & Nina have grape hyacinths too...

And narcissus--They look so pretty together, don't you think?

See the lovely gently undulating bed there?  Soon, tulips will join the dance...

The rows of metal tubes make beautiful music hanging from the huge maple tree in the front yard...

The goldfish are lining up for some food--yep, I went sneaking over to the gazebo to throw them a snack and they were sure happy!  :)

Back over to mom and dad's house (located across the fish pond) to see the back yard tulips under the purple martin house...
And on the way home, I ran across this gnarly tree...isn't it interesting???

Hope you had a nice time in the garden with me today.  Spring is about a month ahead, so it is definitely appreciated!  Spring coming ahead of schedule where you are?  Have a wonderful day...

Don't forget to visit Pat for more Things In A Row...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Menu Plan for Week of 3/18...

Hey all!  Back to a week of cooking after a week off!  So, here we go...

Easy BBQ Pork Chops
(hint:  This one uses soda--and you'll never guess which one!!!!)
Baked Potatoes
Steamed Peas

Greek Baked Chicken
Dinner Rolls

Upside Down Pizza

Creamy Roast Beef Pitas

Fish Fry Night....

Have a great week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

An Irish Blessing For You... :-D

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday's Things In A Row (On Friday)...St. Patrick's Day & Recipe...

Hey all!  You may have noticed that I have been a bit preoccupied lately (meaning I have not been blogging regularly).  It has been so nice here that I have been out running around with the parents and such.  I am also working on a major redo in the 5th wheel...won't be done for a few weeks, but believe me--it will be a HUGE change!  (I just hope it turns out like the voices in my head are telling me it will!  LOL)

So, I was late getting my Thursday's Things In A Row in time for Pat's fun at A View From The Edge.  You can take a hop over there for more of the fun though!

Anywho, here are my things in a row...
How cute are THESE????  I found them at Dollar Tree and couldn't resist a  picture!

And this pretty much says it all (yes there is a drop o the Irish in our line--along with pretty much everything else!  LOL)
I have my corned beef, potatoes and since I don't really do cabbage, I did find a recipe that I LOVE LOVE LOVE that has cabbage in it, so I will make this for my cabbage dish:

Apple-Peanut Cole Slaw

1 bag Cole Slaw (those little bags of already chopped greens by the salads)
2 apples, diced
1/4 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup Fat Free Mayo (NOT Salad Dressing!!!!)
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
1 T Sugar

1)  Dressing:  Combine May, Vinegar and Sugar.
2)  Toss Slaw, apples and peanuts, and dressing.
Just gets better the second day!

Now go on and hop over to Pat's to check out more fun!  And don't forget to take a gander at her header--it is STUNNING!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Menu Plan for Week of 3/12...

So, how was last week?  Let's take a look...

MONDAY:  Teriyaki Chicken with Bacon Ranch Packet Potatoes
(I found out that gman liked it so much that he even told my hairdresser about it!  LOL)

I found the Teriyaki Chicken on, but changed it up a bit for us.
1 T cornstarch
1 T cold water
1/2 C brown sugar (I think 1/4 c honey would be good too!)
1/2 c soy sauce (I used reduced sodium soy sauce)
1/4 c cider vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar--rice vinegar would be good too)
2 cloves garlic, minced (recipe calls for 1 clove, but we like garlic!)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (recipe calls for 12 skinless chicken thighs)

1)  In small saucepan over low heat, combine the cornstarch, cold water, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger and ground black pepper.
Let simmer, stirring frequently until sauce thickens and bubbles
2)  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3)  Place chicken pieces on a layer of heavy duty foil.
Pour sauce over chicken evenly.  Turn and brush bottom with sauce as well.
Put layer of heavy duty foil over chicken and crimp edges to create a packet.  (could place this in an oven cooking bag instead of the foil if you prefer.)
4)  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
(the original recipe places chicken in baking dish and brush with sauce every 10 minutes during cooking, but I like the packet or bag cooking which bastes it as it cooks)

I found the Bacon Ranch Packet Potatoes at Cassie Craves, but changed it just a touch.
10-12 baby red potatoes, quartered
6 slices of cooked and crumbled bacon (I used the Hormel precooked bacon crumbles)
1 packet ranch dressing mix
Salt & Pepper to Taste (I used only fresh ground pepper since there is salt in the ranch dressing mix)
3 Tbsp Butter
Sour Cream for serving, if desired (we used fat free)

Put ranch dressing mix and Pepper into large ziploc bag.  Dump in the quartered red potatoes and shake until coated.

Lay out a sheet of heavy duty foil and dump potatoes onto foil spreading evenly.  (or place them into an oven cooking bag if preferred)

Put bacon crumbles on top of potatoes and butter on top of the bacon.

Cover with a sheet of heavy duty foil and crimp edges to create a packet.

Bake in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes or until potatoes are done.  Let stand for 10 minutes in the packet before serving.  Serve with Sour cream if desired.

This is a good recipe to put on the grill in the summer too but only in the foil--don't use the oven bags on the grill!

Since they were both baked items, they worked really well together to bake.

Yep--It made the cut!  Basically this is spaghetti made in one pan--how easy is that??
Original recipe calls for canned spaghetti sauce, but that has lots of sodium so:

1 lb extra lean ground beef, cooked and drained
(original recipe calls for 26 oz spaghetti sauce)
~~~~~~~~~~~~ My spaghetti sauce
3-8 oz cans tomato sauce--no salt added
6 cloves garlic (less if you aren't crazy about garlic like I am!)
1 small onion diced
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)
Pinch of salt
Simmer for at least 1/2 hour
back to the recipe:
1 cup green bell pepper (chopped) (I added this to my spaghetti sauce to cook)
8 oz spaghetti noodles, broken in pieces
2 c water
1 c shredded Italian Blend Cheese

In lg skillet or saucepan, brown ground beef and drain.
Stir in spaghetti sauce and water; mix well and bring to boil.
Stir in spaghetti noodles and green bell pepper.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until spaghetti is tender.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with tossed salad and Italian bread (or reduced fat crescent rolls)

Yep this one definitely made the cut too!  Yummmmmm...

1/3 c dried bread crumbs
1 T Parmesan cheese (I used grated)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 T Dijon mustard
1.5-2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp margarine (I used all olive oil)

Combine first 5 ingredients in small bowl, stirring well.
Brush both sides of chicken with mustard;
dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over med high heat until butter melts.
Add chicken breasts; saute' 6-8 minutes on each side until chicken is done.

Original menu called for buttered noodles, but I had a box of herb and garlic angel hair pasta that was calling out, so I fixed that as the side.

Oh yes!!!!  This is a keeper!  yum...

1 lb extra lean ground beef cooked and drained
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped green bell pepper
15 oz can beef broth (I used reduced sodium)
1 T chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T minced garlic
2-14 oz cans dice tomatoes (I used no salt added)
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained (I cooked my black bean from scratch in the crock pot along with all of the spices and broth--7 oz dry beans=1 can of beans)
1 c shredded 2 % cheddar cheese
8 ct pkg flour tortillas, warmed (I used low carb tortillas)

Original directions:  In Dutch oven,  ground beef, onion and bell pepper and cook until crumbly, drain. 
Add broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, minced garlic, diced tomatoes and drained black beans.  
Simmer for 30 minutes or until thick. 
(My Directions:  Bring black beans to boil in pan and let soak for 1 hour, drain.  Add low sodium beef broth to cover beans and then another 15 oz beef broth.  Add cooked and drained ground beef, spices, bell pepper, onion, diced tomatoes and cook on high 5-6 hours)
Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
Serve with Tortillas

FRIDAY was supposed to be eat out at a fish fry, but my niece and her family came up to visit mom and dad and asked if we would all like to go to a Chinese buffet--uh, sure!!!!  It was such a lot of fun!  Their 3 kids are great!

This week's menu (not cooking--nope I'm not!  We are eating leftovers for a while because the freezers are full from the last 3 weeks.  LOL)

Hope you have a great week!  Bon Appetite!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday's Things In A Row...Spring Flowers

I am joining Pat at A View From The Edge for Thursday's Things In A Row.

Today, I went to visit my brother Tom and his wife, Nina's, gardens to see what is blooming...

So, with that, here we go...

 Look at all of the little green things in the leaves--those are tulips and Syberian Iris!  Can you imagine what they will look like shortly????

 Even this little one's skirt is a row of leaves...
Hope you enjoyed the little sneak peek of the gardens and today's Things In A Row. 
For more Things In A Row, visit Pat's site...and don't miss her header--what a wonderful shot!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I ran down to the Post Office today and as I walked in the door, Anita, the postmaster, had a box waiting on the counter for me!  Weeeeeeeee....

I LOVE getting boxes!!!!!

This box was from Lisa over at The Way Grandmama Does It.  She had a giveaway and guess who won!!!!

So, I had to start taking stuff out, right?????  Here we go...
 In bag one we have:
I bet you want to do what I wanted to do, so let's go closer!

An ear warmer--charcoal gray with pretty burgundy flowers!  Warm!
And 5, count 'em FIVE hand crocheted dishcloths that are just too pretty to use!  Really!  Soft, and so perfectly square!  I LOVE them!

Then, there are the packs of cards--with pens!
The first one is black and white with pink adornments!  I thought it was all the same but when I opened them, it was a grouping of the cutest cards!  All sparkly and ready to go!
Here...look closer... 
And the envelopes...
They are just as pretty as the cards!
So, on to the second package of cards...
Aren't they perfect for spring???
I think these cards would be perfect for a baby, but the harlequins back there are just perfect for spring!
And look at those envelopes!!!!  The circles just made me smile!
Did I mention that I just really LOVE note cards??????

And THAT was not ALLLLLLL....
The second bag has this:
Let's take a closer look...
Made from Scratch book about homesteading.  Looks like some good info and to go along with it is a package of Allum bulbs to plant this fall and some lavender seeds!  Do we all love lavender or what????
I called my sister in law right away to see if she would give the bulbs and seeds a home in her gardens.   YESSSSSSSS...she said!  She is starting her seeds in the greenhouse now, so the timing is great!  (I am thinking that I need to give a tour of their gardens this year--you saw the house at Christmas, but you haven't seen the outside!--YET)
The second book is The Idiots Guide to Disaster Preparedness.
Perfect for me!  Anything called the Idiot's Guide was surely written for ME!  HEHE!
Seriously, we all need to be prepared for the disasters in our areas (think Hurricane Katrina folks!) and this is a good place to start for sure!
And to get me started...
She included a set of Buddy Burners!  Aren't they GREAT???
What is a buddy burner you ask?  Well, it is basically a tuna can (or similar) with corrugated cardboard made into a tight spiral with some wax and a wick.  They can be used to cook when in an emergency and even for some warmth (with adequate ventilation of course).  Just light like a candle and go for it!  She even included matches!

Thanks so much Lisa!  Hope you will all head over to her site and check out her blog.  Lots of great info there!

Now I am off to play with my new goodies...weeeeeeeeee....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fun From The Sunshine State!

I went to the post office late last week and Anita (our postmaster) told me that I had a package! 

A Package!!!!!

For ME!!!!!

Well, it had gman's name on it, but it was for ME!!!!!  :)

Happy Dancing!

I had to open it right then and there to share with Anita!  

It was my order from Diane's Dream Designs (AKA Welcome to Lavender Dreams)!

Here is what was inside:

My new wristlet.  But it didn't come alone...

She sent me some Florida Sunshine too!  Look at the cute little bag filled with the seashells!  Makes me want to put my toes in the sand...Is that great or what????

Thank Diane!  The workmanship on this little wristlet is so good and makes it a little work of art that I am proud to show off!

Happy dancing off to play with my new toys...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Menu Plan for Week of 3/4...

Hey all!  Here we are with the critique of last week's menu...

Monday:  Garlic Seasoned Hamburgers with Mashed Potatoes--Well, yummmmm...A favorite of our home!
I just take my hamburger patty and sprinkle it with garlic salt or garlic powder and cook in the oven at 350 until they are done.  And I cheat on the mashed potatoes (shhhhhhhh...) I buy the Bob Evans and nuke them.  I like a lazy Monday!  Call me crazy!  :)

Tuesday:  I got confused and made the Spaghetti with meat sauce.  oops!
Emeals suggests cooking the spaghetti and using a jar of spaghetti sauce on it.
However, due to the low sodium thing, I make my spaghetti sauce:
4-8 oz cans of Tomato sauce (no salt added)
5-6 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 lb of lean hamburger cooked and drained
about 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning or Fine Herbs
some onion chopped
some bell pepper chopped
Freshly ground pepper to taste
(I don't add mushrooms for Gman, cause he doesn't like fungus!)
Throw it in the sauce pan and let it simmer for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  Put over cooked spaghetti noodles and top with some grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese--or some Mozzarella  whatever you like--or all of them!  ;-)
Serve with nice green salad.

Did not get to the Teriyaki Chicken with oven bake potatoes because we ate out TWO nights!  yay!  So this leads us to....

This Week's Menu

Teriyaki Chicken with Bacon Ranch Baked Packet Potatoes

Italian Skillet
Crescent Rolls & Italian Salad

Chicken Breasts Dijon
Buttered Noodles & Tomato Salad

Mexican Black Bean Chili

Eating Fish out!  Yes Siree Bob!
So, everyone have a great week!