Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS

I originally found this recipe in COOK'S ILLUSTRATED  and changed it very little.  I served it with rice here for a change, but really prefer it served with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles since it makes such a nice gravy.
SMOTHERED PORK CHOPS
3 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons Avocado oil
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
4 bone-in thick pork chops
2 sweet onions, halved and sliced thin
2 tablespoons water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
1 tablespoon minced parsley 
salt and pepper to taste
  • Fry bacon over medium heat, stirring frequntly for 8-10 minutes until browned. Remove with slotted spoon to a paper towel and allow to drain.
  • Reduce heat and add oil to make 2 tablespoons total in pan.
  • Whisk in flour and cook until golden like the color of peanut butter.
  • Slowly add broth and increase heat, whisking continuously until you reach a slow boil. Cover and set aside.
  • Pat pork chops dry.
  • Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet bring 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil to high heat. Add pork chops and brown 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer chops to a plate.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet and bring to heat.
  • Add onions and water to skillet browning until just beginning to caramelize.  Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the skillet.
  • Add thyme and garlic cooking until fragrant.
  • Add pork chops back into pan and pour sauce from other pan over top.
  • Simmer 20-30 minutes until pork is tender and cooked through.
  • Remove chops to a warming platter.
  • Stir in parsley and season sauce with salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until it reaches a gravy like consistency.
  • Spoon over pork chops and top with reserved bacon.

Monday, June 27, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER and MENU PLAN MONDAY

My plan last week was to get tons of things done and post about them too.  Well, as I always say, Man plans and God Laughs. That is the type of week I had last week.

I did have 2 days of routine follow-up testing for my cancer scheduled and they went well - NED (no evidence of disease) YAY!, but left me quite dehydrated and fatigued.  I thought I got a handle on re-hydrating, but evidently not when I had to be medic escorted away from the Skeeter's game Friday night.  The humidity, heat, dehydration and fatigue just caught up with me and then I was forced into 2 additional days of down time to recover. So, I have HIGH hopes for this week to play catch up.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
It's already quite warm and we have a threat of rain ALL week so the humidity levels are also already quite high!

AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
The clouds are gray and  a bit threatening and there is NO breeze so I'm planning to get out and do my errands early and get back before the heaven's open up.  Lately it seems to rain EVERY day and rain HARD, but not for long - just long enough to make it miserable outside and then it repeats itself 2 or 3 more times throughout the day.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
A banana and green tea.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
It's STILL a mess from ALL the sorting I've been doing, but I did make a HUGE dent in the pile that had been in the spare bedroom so I'm feeling pretty good despite the mess. 

TO DO FOR THE WEEK/HOUSE PROJECTS
I am still amazed that SEARS did this install less than 2 years ago.  They actually installed a brand new hot water heater onto a collapsing 40 years old base and came NO WHERE close to bringing it to code.  Fortunately our plumbers are coming on Friday to do it correctly, but it really burns my butt that we are having to spend the money! I can't wait to show you finished pictures next week. Hubby and I came up with a GREAT design for this area and I'm really anxious to see it completed not to mention that I can get several totes of things off my dining room floor once the cabinets are hung.
  • Monday - drop off donations, run errands and grocery shopping
  • Tuesday  - caulk molding in both bathrooms, kitchen and living room
  • Wednesday - paint living room baseboard, more sorting to complete the donation project
  • Thursday - paint bathrooms, rake backyard
  • Friday - Plumbers will be here to bring water heater to code and install new plumbing so we can finish the laundry are next week.
  • Saturday - Cleaning and laundry
  • Sunday - Not a darn thing! except what we want and watch the race.
CURRENTLY READING
TELEVISION / DVR
We've been trying that new series, BRAIN DEAD, but just aren't sure about it yet. We're also trying the new AMERICAN GOTHIC.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
I'm trying another entire week of experiments.  I also have a couple success recipes from the last time I did that to still post.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
OUT
FRENCH TOAST
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
FRENCH ONION SALISBURY STEAK & SALAD
SLOW COOKER PORK & TOMATILLO STEW
OUT CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN
MEATBALLS &MARINARA & ASPARAGUS with PEARL ONIONS
PAN SEARED CHICKEN with WINE & HERBS
CHILI SAUCE CHICKEN & SALAD
APRICOT GLAZED PORK KEBABS and SAVORY BREAD PUDDING
DESSERT









THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY
  • Getting more and more decisions made on what to keep and what to donate. At the very least this experience has allowed us to regroup, get EVERYTHING under one roof and sort it out. I have to tell you we are LOVING the minimization that's going on here!
  • We're planning a few trips for the fall that we're looking forward to. We picked up some maps and tour books to read up on where we are going.
FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA

INSPIRATION
 
Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, June 20, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I hope everyone had a wonderful Father's Day weekend.  Ours was quite busy, but nice.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
It is starting to cloud up a bit.  We're supposed to have a little rain the next couple days and then hopefully "dry" out again.  I'm really hating the humidity lately.

AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
I can see squirrels playing on the oak tree and for some reason the birds which I cannot see are seriously LOUD this morning.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
A bit of egg salad and a cup of tea.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
I see the remnants of a VERY busy weekend and am hoping to finish today and get the vacuuming done.

TO DO FOR THE WEEK
  • Paint cabinet bottom support and baseboards in living room.
  • Finish caulking both bathrooms.
  • Paint Master Bath final coat.
  • Paint Spare Bath final coat.
  • Clean.
  • Vacuum.
  • Laundry.
CURRENTLY READING
TELEVISION / DVR
I think there are a few new shows this week, but I haven't checked yet. There are also a few movies coming out this month that I'd like to see and I might need to go to AMC for a matinee or two on warmer days. We did see Now You See Me 2 this past week and really enjoyed it.

CRAFTS & PROJECTS/HOUSE PROJECTS
I recently did an update here. We're hoping to keep working forward to get this place finished once and for all.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
EGGS in the CLOUDS
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CHILE & CORNBREAD
PEANUT BUTTER BURGERS
C.O.R.N.
GLAZED STUFFED PORK CHOPS
SLOPPY JOES
CHICKEN & NOODLES
ORANGE CHICKEN & CHOW MEIN
DESSERT








FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
INSPIRATION
Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, June 17, 2016

CAPTAIN'S LOG-DAY 266, WEEK 3 MONTH 8 UPDATE

It's been awhile since I did a decent update on the house so thought I'd sit and chat for awhile. We've been quite busy doing a ton of the "LITTLE" finish projects and I've been fighting side affects of the cure to a disease that's actually worse than the disease itself or so it seems. So, my energy level is almost non-existent and I'm happy to get anything done. While not being able to get as much done physically I have finally gotten through ALL of my aunt's magazines that my uncle brought over.  I'm sure it's just in time for the next load he'll brings.  Anyway, on to the update.
Hubby got me a father's day present.  LOL, yeah I'm not a father, but he promised me one of these for my studio 10 years ago for my birthday and it never happened so now is the time.  I can't wait to get organized - finally a place for everything - now to get everything in its place.
We did finally get the floor in the studio closet and then I built the cubbies on the side walls for storage.  For some reason I didn't get a picture of those yet, but will do that for Happy Homemaker Monday.
Hubby has been working hard get the garage walls reinforced with pressure treated wood.  He's then sistering the old studs and finishing the walls.
I have been on a very specific diet (20 carbs or less a day) per doctor's orders, but did manage to get a couple new recipes tried and will get the recipes posted soon.
The mosquitoes are horrendously bad this year!  So, I'm planting Citronella all around trying to make a less friendly environment for them.
Hubby and I decided to finally get the living room TV hung today, but it turned into an ALL day project - one of those domino effect projects.  While we were getting ready to mount it we realized that the cabinets below where it was going to be needed to be raised for the bottom doors to clear the future carpet.  This meant we had to empty the cabinets of ALL their contents and move them.  By raising the cabinets we also found we then needed to relocate the power for the TV and accessories which required cutting a couple new holes.  At least I did get all the games, CD's and DVD's sorted through and donated a bunch while organizing the rest.  Love these CHEETAH mounts though!

Monday, June 13, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

WOW, where did this last week go.  I was planning to post more last week, but it obviously got away from me.  I spent the week and weekend sorting through craft items, desk items, old photographs and such - SOOOO much harder than manual labor with emotion connected to each item. It also worked out well with the stormy weekend to be inside.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
Still gray and stormy, but that is supposed to clear up tomorrow with temperatures soaring into the 90's and fortunately the humidity dipping into the 60's instead of the miserable 80 degrees and 95% humidity we had last week.

AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
I see the damage from yesterday's storm in broken branches and flower beds that need their dirt scooped back in which I will gt to later when I trim the roses.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Honey nut cheerios with sliced banana and green tea.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE & HOUSE PROJECTS
I see that I made a HUGE mess the last several days trying to sort through the last of the boxes most of which are craft items or small desk type items, but it will hopefully all come together by the end of the week and I will take a few pictures then.

TO DO FOR THE WEEK
  • Monday - Grocery Shopping for the ingredients for recipe experiment week  and Home Depot to pick up a few last minute items to install the new front door.
  • Tuesday thru Thursday - keep sorting through pile in atrium and organize my studio.
  • Friday - maybe go see a matinee and lunch out since we stay home weekends to avoid the traffic and masses of people.
  • Saturday - clean and laundry
  • Sunday - Y.O.Y.O. (you're on your own) day and do as I please which will probably be working in my studio.
CURRENTLY READING
TELEVISION / DVR
I think there are a few new shows this week, but I haven't checked yet. There are also a few movies coming out this month that I'd like to see and I might need to go to AMC for a matinee or two on warmer days.

CRAFTS & PROJECTS
I went through my fabric stash and began to organize it. WHEW! What a job! I didn't realize how much fabric I had accumulated.  Good thing I'm STILL going through my aunt's magazines and finding some new patterns to try for quilts.  Boy did she like her magazines!  Here are this week's quilt pattern finds:
  • Altitude
  • Little Red Bird
  • Patriot Parade 
  • Early Birds
  • Spring Forth
  • Garden Glories
  • Play it Again
  • Shades of Fall
  • Maisy Daisy
  • Bevels
  • Magic Stars
  • Warm Breeze
  • Squares Plus
  • Plum Spicy
  • Rainbow Hearts
  • Daffodils for Dad
  • Moon Shadow Stars
  • Blueberry Ice
  • Wavelength
HOUSE PROJECTS
No pictures this week, but we had a productive week moving forward on "little" finish projects.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
I found so many fun new recipes that I'm going to make every night this entire week an experiment night plus an interesting dessert.

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
EGGS in the CLOUDS
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CRISPY RAMEN CRUSTED CHICKEN with ASIAN SLAW
CAST IRON LEMON  CHICKEN and SALAD
C.O.R.N.
BUFFALO CHICKEN MAC & CHEESE
GRILLED CHICKEN with COLA SAUCE
BUFFALO CHICKEN THIGHS and SALAD
APRICOT GLAZED PORK KEBABS and SAVORY BREAD PUDDING
DESSERT


BLACK BEAN BROWNIES




SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK
  • Pineapple Pound Cake (recipe will be up a little later)
RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER
I'm STILL going through my aunt's magazines and boy did she like her magazines!  Here are this week's recipe finds:
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon Peach Pie
  • Ciabatta French Toast
  • Pork Tenderloin with Orange Compote
  • Argentinean Pork
  • Salted Caramel Brownies
  • Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Red Onion
  • Grilled Chicken with Asian Pear Slaw
  • Blueberry Sour Cream Muffins
  • Fresh Raspberry Vanilla Preserves
  • Strawberry Chicken Salad
  • Grilled Parmesan Cake
  • Crawfish Bisque
  • Kickin' Orange Glazed Chicken
  • Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs
  • Manicotti with Vodka Blush Sauce
  • Pear Tart
  • White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn
FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
One of the things I ran across this week was "real" photos from when the pups were pups! It made me realize just how old they are and made me sad too!  But I also took this picture of our "OLD MAN" (14) and a treat.  I gently laid it there to see how long it would take for him to notice and LOL it took a long time! When he was young it would have woken him up in a heart beat!
INSPIRATION
Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

Monday, June 6, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

Captains Log-DAY 255, Week 1, Month 8 - It has been an interesting, sad and strange 7 months. This past week we have helped my uncle several days as he is SO SO close to the flooding area.  We also started cleaning out my aunt's closets. I have always believed you end up where you are supposed to be in life for whatever reason and even though we were not happy about the condition of this house we initially thought we landed here to help my uncle with the house because he had his hands so full with my aunt and her Alzheimers.  Now I believe it was to be here to help him through her passing and dealing with the house, floods, etc...  God really does work in mysterious ways.
THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
We still have a small chance of thunderstorms for a few days and then they are predicting 2 FULL days of sunshine before we go back to potential thunderstorms.  Thus is the life in hurricane season.

AS I LOOK OUTSIDE MY WINDOW
I see a small break in the clouds and the sun is actually trying to make a glorious appearance for the first time in what feels like months, but I know is only a few weeks.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Maple Brown sugar oatmeal with golden raisins and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE/HOUSE PROJECTS
I'm beginning to feel more at home.  We still have a ton of "little" projects and a few big ones, but ALL and ALL, it's looking and feeling like a real home.

Once we finish the painting of the doors and baseboard we will order the carpet for the living room and atrium.  The living room is a great size (22x18), but these pictures make it look small.  Oh well, at least we got some shelves up and I was able to get some of our favorite things unpacked and even got a few quilts hung. The randomness of the shelves was based on the stud locations for mounting.  At first I didn't think I would like it, but now I really love it.
 After the carpet is in we will order the matching loveseat and oversized chair to match the couch. Even the dogs are feeling more at home in their new plush beds made especially for thei old bones.
Did I mention I can't wait for carpet?  
If we keep on momentum this month I think we can be ready by July!

TO DO FOR THE WEEK
  • Caulk and paint!
  • Lay floor in studio closet.
  • Sort 2 dozen big totes for donations or ebay sales.
  • A couple loads of laundry.
  • Vacuum.
  • Play one of the sunny days just to get out for a while!
CURRENTLY READING
TELEVISION / DVR
I think there are a few new shows this week, but I haven't checked yet. There are also a few movies coming out this month that I'd like to see and I might need to go to AMC for a matinee or two on warmer days.

CRAFTS & PROJECTS
Nothing new this week as I'm still working on getting the studio organized so I can work on one half of it while playing on the other half.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
OUT
SANDWICH
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
CARNITAS & SALAD
C.O.R.N. or RECIPE EXPERIMENT NIGHT
RECIPE EXPERIMENT NIGHT or C.O.R.N.

DESSERT




PINEAPPLE POUND CAKE


SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK
RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER
I did get through several of the magazines that my uncle brought over from my aunt and have cut out quite a few interesting recipes. I only hope to live long enough to try ALL the recipes I cut out!
  • Pineapple Pound Cake - I will be trying this one later this weeks for a neighbor's birthday.
  • Apple Cheddar Quinoa Muffins
  • Broken Dumpling Soup
  • Sour Orange Coconut Cakes
  • Pan Seared Chicken with wine and herbs
  • Creamy Chocolate Eclair Cake
  • Slow Cooker Pork and Tomatillo Stew aka (Guisado Verde)
  • Braised Beef with Sun-dried tomatoes and White Beans
  • Picnic Fruit Punch
  • Apricot Brandy Slush
  • Salmon Party Spread
  • Lemon Grilled Chicken 
  • Chili Chicken
  • Banana Beignet Bites
  • Aunt Murna's Jam Cake
  • Lime Angel Food Cake
  • Buttermilk Scones
  • French Onion Salisbury steak
ON MY MIND
DRIVERS! and their RUDENESSI swear I'd rather be driving in New York City.  I have never seen so many drivers run red lights, weave in and out of traffic at VERY high speeds and the road rage is off the charts around here AND on a daily basis!

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY
The PROGRESS on the 30 day, er 60 day minimalist project is going along extremely well!  We are up to 1946 items and that's before I start the 2 dozen totes in the atrium OR the studio boxes. I am hoping to finish by 60 days, but if not I WILL extend to 90!

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
I have an oak room screen that needed new panels made.  I also didn't really have a good place to put it so I stood it out of the way.  Then the light bulb went off and I thought, "What a great place to store my antique quilts."
INSPIRATION
Be sure to link up with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday and with Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.