Wednesday, September 28, 2016

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP

Fall is here, but we are still having seriously warm weather, like Indian Summer warm weather, but I don't care.  I WANT SOUP!
LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP
2 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1 Sweet Vidalia onion, diced
1 small red pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups mashed potato flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
3 green onions, chopped (green part only)
sour cream (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 400°. 
  • Bake potatoes one hour or until cooked through. 
  • Remove them from the oven to cool.
  • Roast red pepper until singed on all sides.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • As the potatoes and pepper cool, start soup by melting butter in a large saucepan.
  • Sauté onion until light brown. 
  • Add the flour to the onions and stir to make a roux.
  • Add stock, water, cornstarch, potato flakes, and spices to the pot and bring to a slow boil. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • When potatoes are cool enough to touch, but still warm gently peel the skins away and discard.
  • Do the same with the pepper.
  • Chop potato into chunks about 1/2 inch in size.
  • Chop pepper into pieces about 1/4 inch or smaller. 
  • Fold in the potato and pepper pieces to pan as well as the half and half and bring to a slow boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, until desired thickness.
  • Ladle soup into bowls.
  • Top with cheddar cheese, bacon and green onions.
  • For a bit of complete decadence also add the sour cream.

Monday, September 26, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I hope everyone had a great week and weekend. I didn't quite get around to visit everyone, but I will do better this week. I have to be honest, I'm tired! I'm a big believer in staying positive and "showing up" every day to live life, but like I said, I'm tired. 
 
Part of it is day 335 on this house.  We're still working towards completing it by the one year mark for several reasons: 
  • 1) we're just tired of living in a construction zone 
  • 2) the one year mark is only 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and we're planning on having a normal holiday season this year - that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas AND New Years.
  • 3) my mom is coming to visit just before Christmas
  • 4) Our son and his family are coming just after Christmas and bringing our granddaughter to stay while she begins college here locally. 
The other part of it is medicinal in a round robin kind of way.  Finishing this house would help with a couple of my conditions that are aggravated by heavy manual labor and stress. The last part is trying a new medicine and the side effects that go along with it. I committed to a 3 month round of it and am told it will get better if I just hang in there.

Many of you know I've been involved in several different blogs while I was "finding" myself.  It has all become too much though.  With my brother's help (he's my server) I am combining and collapsing all my irons in the fire into one new site that will be ALL encompassing no matter where my life takes me from here on out. I will be staying with my original "roots" from 3 Sides of Crazy. I bought my new domain and have made a couple selections for my new header and am now waiting on the behind the scenes completion so I can get busy combining and importing.  I'll keep you posted on when I make the BIG move.  I'm really excited at de-cluttering my virtual life as well as my real life.
WHICH ONE DO YOU GUYS LIKE? 
Or do you think I need something entirely different?

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
The sun is shining, FOR NOW, but we'll see.  We are supposed to be a bit cooler this week with off and on thunderstorms. It is still not where I'd like for fall, but at least it is tolerable enough to get going on the backyard soon.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE I SEE & MY
WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • I started cleaning on Saturday and got distracted so I'll finish the cleaning and de-cluttering today. 
  • I'm also getting more serious about donating as I'm beginning the "Make room for Carlie" changes.  We're so excited to have her coming to live with us until her parents move this way. I keep wondering where ALL this stuff came from, but then I remember, sigh and get busy again.
  • Finish the inventory and call the woman from Texas Children's Hospital AGAIN.  I'm donating my Barbie and Hallmark ornament collection to them for the kids and am trying to coordinate a drop off.
  • List a few things on eBay.
  • Try and finish the Painted Churches tour post once and for all - I ended up with way too many pictures to edit.
  • Start the drywall work in the living room.  Alas, the great contractor who was going to work us in before October is not returning calls or texts so I guess I'm just going to have to do it myself.  Hubby is busy working on putting up the interior walls in the garage.
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
We are trying all the new shows and will narrow them down soon - thank goodness for DVRs!
  • BIG BANG THEORY
  • NCIS
  • BLUE BLOODS
  • THIS IS US
  • BULL
  • SCORPION
  • THE GOOD PLACE
  • THE PITCH
  • LONGMIRE
  • Z-NATION
  • DESIGNATED SURVIVOR
  • MADAME SECRETARY
  • ONCE UPON A TIME 
  • CHESAPEAKE SHORES
  • ETC....... I'm sure I forgot a few...
With everything else going on I'm in between books right now.

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 HOLES
BACON & PANCAKES
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
C.O.R.N.
??
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
HAM STEAK with MAC & CHEESE
C.O.R.N.

BLACK BEAN CHILI & CORNBREAD
SOMETHING ON THE GRILL
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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

It's been a very long week and an even longer weekend and I'm just not feeling up to par. We worked outside several days on the backyard area and it is super slow going.  Digging in clay like mud/dirt and rock is horrible, but worse in the 90+ degree heat and humidity we are still having.  At least things are dry right now near the garage edge so we will be getting the garage sealed inside and out as well as possible and get things fairly level before they deliver the pallet of 100 bags of sand and pavers for the patio area.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
The sun is shining and there are a few fluffy clouds, but it is already stifling with high humidity.  We are supposed to hit 95 degrees today so I'm enjoying the AC inside before I tackle outside again.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
French Toast and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE, WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
I see tons of things I need to do, but things that will take a backseat to getting the bathroom floor and entryway grouting and a patio area done.

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
Looking forward to the premiers this week. Oh and we found a cool new show (to us), American Pickers, on the history channel that we've been enjoying A LOT!

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
TOASTED FRENCH TOAST
SAUSAGE AND CHEESE FRITTATA
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
OUT
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
LOBSTER CAKES
ROAST CHICKEN with MASHED POTATOES and GRAVY
OUT
SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE
SLOPPY JOES
CHICKEN POSOZLE
ORANGE CHICKEN & CHOW MEIN
DESSERT








RECIPE FINDS TO TRY LATER
My brother and SIL got me 2 new cookbooks for my  birthday and I'll reading those this week to fill this list.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
Honestly I haven't even downloaded the pictures yet so next week I'll post double.

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, September 12, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

WOW Last week really got away from me and here we are back on another Monday. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for another week - one week closer to FALL!  I can't wait.

We're still here trying to finish this rehab!  You know the drill 2 steps forward only to take 10 backwards.  We really were hoping to be done by now, but it looks like another couple months.  We did hire a contractor for the drywall work, but we're waiting for him to work us in between other jobs already scheduled.  And until he's done we can't finish painting and until the paiting is done we can't begin the carpeting... you see the way it's going.

It's been WAY too warm and humid to work outside, but we did have the opportunity this past week to have a tree company working in the area do a side job for us.  For a very very reasonably expensive price they removed the HUGE, but suffering Magnolia tree from the back yard.  Now the problem is that they don't do stumps, but there is supposed to be a stump crew out next week and hopefully we can slip them some cash to do ours while they are doing the big one between us and the neighbor.

Our neighbor down the way had a battery emergency this past weekend after her son cleaned the garage while listening to her car radio and ran the battery down.  I was waiting with her for AAA to come so we were chatting and learned so many things about my cousin and her cry for help.  It breaks my heart to hear a neighbor tell me how she didn't understand why her brother or parents hadn't done something to help her because it was so obvious that she was drinking and possibly doing drugs. She often sounded like she'd been drinking when we chatted, but it was usually later in the evening and on the phone you can't see anything. I really wish we hadn't been 2000 miles away, maybe I would been able to do something...

Just a reminder that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.   Know the warning signs. More detail here.
 
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
The sun is shining, FOR NOW, but we'll see.  We are supposed to be a bit cooler this week with off and on thunderstorms.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
A buttermilk waffle and coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE I SEE & MY
WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
I started cleaning on Saturday and got distracted so I'll finish the cleaning and decluttering today.

CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
Dancing with the stars begins tonight as well as Monday night football, but other than that we have cleaned up the DVR and are waiting for new shows.

I'm in between books right now also.

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
C.O.R.N.
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
C.O.R.N.
DINNER
HOT WINGS
PEANUT BUTTER BURGERS
C.O.R.N.
OUT FOR MY BIRTHDAY

SLOPPY JOES
CHILI & CORNBREAD
SOMETHING ON THE GRILL
DESSERT








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.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and my birthday month.  Is there a correlation?  Probably just for me, but the irony is NOT wasted on me.  At this age many people just say, it's another day, oh well.  For me, I look forward to it like a small child.  Not because of cake and presents, but because I'm alive to celebrate it. In a few months I will have my 6 year check up, an event fairly rare with this type of cancer, so I'm ecstatic to be having another birthday that puts me that much closer to being labeled cancer free AGAIN! I have vowed to tell my story every year in hopes of raising awareness.  My story was not just pure luck.  In today's world it's hard work to stay on top of awareness, healthy eating and a positive lifestyle, but it is also SOOOOO worth it!  BE AWARE. BE VIGILANT. BE HEALTHY. BE POSITIVE.
SEPTEMBER IS OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!
I've always been a good girl and gotten my yearly well woman exams. I know my own body.  I started getting my mammograms at a very early age because of a serious family history of breast cancer.  I have a degree in the health field.  I am aware, yet imagine my surprise at my well woman appointment when they said they thought I might have a serious problem - Merry Christmas (December 2010) to me!  Imagine my shock a few weeks later when it was confirmed.

Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don't neglect any little pain or irregularity.


  Take control of your health and reduce your cancer risk.
Despite getting my yearly well woman exams I had been having a few pains  here and there for several months before my scheduled appointment, but ignored them because they "mimicked" my chronic appendix of many, many years.  I ignored them and it almost killed me.  Are YOU ignoring something that you should be having a doctor check?  Think twice and make an appointment 1st thing tomorrow.

Ovarian cancer has an ugly step sister too, breast cancer.  If you have any family history please get tested for BRCA also.  You have probably heard about it with a few celebrities having chosen to remove their breasts after testing positive.  It's a simple blood test and can give you a world of relief to know the answer and if by chance it's not relief, then your are armed to save your life with positive choices.  You can learn more about it here. Because of my family history I not only got BRCA done, but I was ready to act on it f necessary.  Being prepared mentally is one of the best things to do fo yourself.  I cannot say it enough:
Are you aware of your body?  
Do you get regular check ups?  
Do you get timely cancer screenings.   
Don't neglect any little pain or irregularity.
Everyday Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk can be found here
Go check these out NOW!  
Here are a few other tips to get you started.
  • Stay away from tobacco.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.
  • Get moving with regular physical activity.
  • Eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink (if you drink at all).
  • Protect your skin.
  • Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
  • Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
  • For information on how to reduce your cancer risk and other questions about cancer, please call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit THEM online at www.cancer.org.

Monday, September 5, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I'm going with a shortened version today since it's a holiday.  I hope you are all having a relaxing labor day weekend with your friends and family.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
A little gray and VERY humid with the chance of thunderstorms all day.  I just hope it gves us the grill time with no issues for dinner.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Sausage and Gruyere Fritatta.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
I'm very happy with what I was able get done on the deep clean last Saturday and there is just a few things to be finished and picked up.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • eBay pictures and listings
  • Caulking and trim painting
  • some sorting and organizing
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
We signed up for NETFLIX this weekend and am going to binge watch a few shows we missed during the past year.

CRAFTS & PROJECTS
Nothing much this week, but hoping to get started on Christmas projects in the next couple weeks.  I have been sorting through some recipes and ideas for the homemade portions.

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
GRILLED STEAKS, MAC & CHEESE, and BRUSSELS SPROUTS
C.O.R.N.
SWEET CORN SOUP and BISCUITS
GLAZED STUFFED PORK CHOPS
SLOPPY JOES
CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS
ORANGE CHICKEN & CHOW MEIN
DESSERT
DUMP CAKE







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.