Monday, August 22, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I hope you all had great weeks and weekends. We took our getaway trip and had a great time albeit too short.  I took tons of pictures and will do a write up later this week. The air conditioning went out on the car on the way home, but at least had the decency to wait until we were home and I didn't actually discover it until Saturday morning. So that is on the top of the list to get handled.  Running short on time this week so will make this short and sweet.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
It's gray and ugly, but at least 15 degrees cooler than last week when it looked the same.  We are experiencing a few thunderstorms in and around the area so am not sure what it will be like in an hour and the humidity is still REALLY high because of it.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
A scrambled egg and toast with coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
I'm happy with how things are moving along. I found an overstuffed display chair for the living room that I need to find an ottoman for, but all in all I'm getting more excited about being done.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • I spent last Saturday doing LOTS of laundry and cleaning, but still need to vacuum the living room and work on the donation inventory for the pile to be boxed up.  Today begins day 121 of the 30 day project, but it is still going strong so I'm going to stick with it for another 30 days at least.  We are now up over 6000 items and loving it.
  • Grocery shopping
  • Some mailing and shipping
  • Studio sorting and organizing
  • Get an estimate to fix the air conditioning on the car
  • Get an estimate on the drywall repair in the living room
  • Some ebay listings
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
We're finishing up the recordings from last week from when we were away. I really want to finish cleaning out the DVR before the fall season begins.

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
CINNAMON GRANOLA FRENCH TOAST
BACON & EGGS
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SANDWICH
GRAZING
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
C.O.R.N.
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, August 15, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend. I have been so busy trying to get ALL the little projects done before we leave on our anniversary trip that the ENTIRE week got away from me before I had a chance to visit with everyone.  I will be better this week!

We are using a "dog sitter" for the first time instead of kenneling the kids.  She came highly recommended by many of the neighbors, but I still have a bit of trepidation in using her. One of the neighbors (who is a perfectly nice woman) BUT is also a "GLADYS KRAVITZ" (you know the extremely nosy, frequently peeking through her curtains type) and a good friend of the dog sitter. I really don't want her in our home when we are not here and have expressed that in a diplomatic way to the sitter... Our own Gladys Kravitz has gone so far as to tell the sitter to tell us how a few things need to happen.  I'm pissed off and annoyed, but also NEED to get away for a few days so will just pray that the sitter respects our wishes and keeps her friend out by going there if they want to socialize.  I'm also not sure how the animals will react to too many strangers in the house when we're not here.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
We had some wonderfully vibrant and loud thunder and lightning storms with quite a bit of rain over the weekend and are expecting more today and through the week, but for now it is just gray and ugly though a bit cooler so am thankful for that.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Homemade waffles and Coffee - I made waffles yesterday and froze the extras for the toaster on weekday mornings.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
I'm fairly pleased with all that we got done last week and that I was able to keep it picked up and cleaned as we went.  I do have another pile that will load the back of the SUV for donation later this morning.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • Monday & Tuesday
  • Wednesday & Thursday 
  • Friday - Lazy day and Lunch with my oldest and dearest friend on our way home at Jack Allen's Kitchen
  • Saturday - Nascar
  • Sunday - NFL
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
I tried the planned new recipes last week from Count Me In The Houston Fire Department's Hottest chefs share their sizzling secrets.  I haven't had a chance to get the recipes up yet, but was quite happy with most of what I tried!  I will get them up next week.


MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
OUT
OUT
OUT
BACON & WAFFLES
QUICHE
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
OUT
OUT
OUT
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
C.O.R.N
C.O.R.N
OUT.
OUT
OUT
MEATLOAF
PORK CHOPS
DESSERT







SUCCESSFUL RECIPES and their links FROM LAST WEEK
THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY
  • ANNIVERSARY trip this week.  First time we will get away for a LONG time! We are really looking forward to it.
  • Daily completion of projects.  It's the little finishing work projects that seem to take the longest!
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.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHILE LIME GRAVY & THREE CHEESE BLOOMING POTATO

I've been binge watching Junk Food Flip and The Great British Baking Show lately at night trying to play catch up and clean out the DVR list.  I was so happy when Nadiya won The Great British Baking Show this year!  She was so cute and sweet and won so many of the technical challenges and star baker that it was only fitting.  I really liked Flora too, but in the end she just tried too hard to do too much when she should have been focusing more on the specific challenges.

It was an episode of Junk Food Flip that inspired this dish for us.  Bobby Deen was making a piece of fried chicken for a sandwich and to lessen the fat and carbohydrates he used a rice flour and then only the egg whites whisked with hot sauce. It looked and sounded so good that I just had to try something similar.

I was also seeing these blooming potatoes all over Facebook and wondered what they were all about so had to give it a try too - only seemed reasonable with an experimental meal. I used 1 really LARGE potato for the both of us and then split in half after the baking.
PAN SEARED CHICKEN with CHILE LIME GRAVY 
          & THREE CHEESE BLOOMING POTATO & SWEET and SOUR TOMATOES
4 chicken steaks (think cut breasts)
1/3 cup rice flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons Frank's Chile Lime Hot Sauce
fresh ground Salt & Pepper, to taste
1-3 tablespoons butter**
  • Whisk together the flours in a shallow dish for dredging.
  • Whisk egg whites and Frank's Chile Lime Hot Sauce in another shallow dish.
  • Heat pan with butter or oil over medium high.
  • Pat dry chicken breasts.
  • Generously salt and pepper each breast.
  • Dredge each breast in flour mixture, then egg mixture and then flour mixture again shaking off the excess.
  • Place chicken in heated pan searing the first side for about 5 minutes.
  • Turn chicken and sear other side until cooked through.
CHILE LIME GRAVY
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 small can green chile sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Whisk in rice flour until smooth and golden.
  • Add chicken broth and green chile sauce alternately, whisking until well blended.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, backing off to a simmer as soon as it begins to boil.
  • Add heavy cream whisking until well blended and smooth.
BLOOMING POTATO adapted from The Gunny Sack
1 potato per person
avocado oil
butter
salt and pepper
grated medium cheddar
grated Parmesan
grated smoke Gruyere
  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Cut the top off of the potatoes.
  • Use a small, thin, flexible knife to cut rings around the inside of the potato.
  • Flip the potato over and make cuts all the way around the potato, leaving a small space at the top uncut. I also put my thumb on the top of the potato and made the cuts around it leaving a small strip of uncut skin. These cuts go all the way through to the center of the potato.
  • Carefully flip the potato back over and place in baking dish.
  • Brush the whole potato with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes of baking. 
  • Pour melted butter into potatoes and brush all around the top.
  • Sprinkle with more sea salt. Return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes. 
  • Add cheeses and return them to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes to melt and toast the cheese.
SWEET & SOUR TOMATOES
1 box cherry tomatoes, halved or cut into thirds if they are large
fresh ground salt & pepper, taste
1 tablespoon sugar
splash avocado oil
1 tablespoon STAR golden balsamic vinegar
  • Toss tomatoes with all the ingredients.
  • Chill.
  • Enjoy.
NOTE: **I use a copper non-stick pan and don't need much oil at all so adjust for your cooking pan.

Monday, August 8, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
It is sunny but already in the 80's at this early hour and supposed to top out in the mid 90's with 75% humidity so in otherwise, MISERABLE by noon time.  Fortunately I have been able to make all our appointments and do all the running around first thing in the mornings so I'm in the rest of the day after.  My health just can't take it and is eagerly awaiting FALL and winter!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Maple cinnamon oatmeal and grapes with at least 2 cups of coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
I need to do some serious straightening up.  Our room and bath are perfect though as I took the time to deep clean them after we were done painting.

A few years back we were caring for my aunt I was working A LOT caring for my uncle, his home, my aunt and her care facility as well as volunteering for christian re-sale store! At some point hubby instituted a "Sunday Rule".  Sunday was my day to do ONLY what I wanted to do and my uncle was on his own for meals. For the past 9 months we kind of ignored that rule, but yesterday I re-instated it!  I spent the day watching the Olympics, Nascar and football was the plan, but they cancelled the football game and we ended up watching more Olympics all the while sorting through the bookcases and now I have stacks of books everywhere to be listed on the donation list and packed up for transportation.

Long story short, I need to straighten up around here!

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • Vet follow up for dog. 
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Finish caulking and touch up paint from last week's front door installation.
  • Last coat of paint for spare bathroom.
  • Work on kitchen ceiling repair.
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
I haven't started anything new - just too tired at the end of the day right now.

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
While I was going through the bookshelves I found a copy of Count Me In The Houston Fire Department's Hottest chefs share their sizzling secrets.  While I was skimming through it I found several recipes that sounded interesting so am going to cook from this book this whole week.  I'll post them soon if they are good.


MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
SUNDAY
BREAKFAST
YOGURT & FRUIT
SCRAMBLED EGGS & CHEESE
FRUIT SMOOTHIE
YOGURT & FRUIT
MAPLE OATMEAL & RAISINS
PANCAKES & BACON
QUICHE
LUNCH
FRUIT & CHEESE
SOUP & CRACKERS
SALAD
OUT
MEAT & CHEESE
LEFTOVERS
SANDWICHES
DINNER
SPICEY RICEY BACON SALAD
HOT DIRTY RICE & APPLE COLESLAW
C.O.R.N.
ITALIAN CHICKEN
TERIYAKI CHICKEN
HAWAIIAN CHICKEN
CHICKEN CORDON BLEU
DESSERT


BANANA CARAMEL PIE




THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY
  • Our anniversary trip is coming up in a couple weeks and I'm really looking forward to that.
  • The master bathroom with all the  HORRIBLE angles and out of square corners is FINALLY done!  It had to be gutted and re-plumbed with ALL new fixtures, walls and floors. The shower itself is large and was salvageable, but with a ton of work. LOVE the wainscotting paneling, but HATED having to paint all those grooves! Here are the horrible before pictures from the bathroom.
Here are the working and after pictures and I am so happy with the outcome considering ALL the issues we had in this room.
FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
My poor old guy (going on 15) keeps rallying and even seems like a pup again some days.  The humidity here is so bad on his ears and he shakes his head a lot.  Large dogs are prone to hematomas in their ears.  He had one several years ago in the left ear when we were in the desert working on my mom's house when he was attacked by a lose dog and it left home with a cauliflower ear (similar to a boxer's ear that has been punched too much).  The good news is that the cauliflower ear reduces the chances of it happening again.

Last weekend he ended up shaking his head and bapping the ear against the sharp edge of the desk leg and we woke up Monday morning to a swelling ear.  I iced it every hour for a couple days, but in the end we were forced into the vet.  We tried a new vet (we REALLY didn't like the first one we found here) and were so happy to meet Dr. Plummer.  What an absolutely fantastic animal doctor! SHE CAME IN AND IMMEDIATELY TURNED HER ATTENTION TO HIS NEEDS!  It was like she spoke dog.  Now, Gunner is NOT thrilled with her bandaging, but I am!  5 days later and the bandaging is a bit dirtier, but still in place! I'm taking him in later this morning for a check up.  Hopefully all the bandaging will go away!
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.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

SALAD SUPREME DRESSING

We LOVE salads! It's also no secret that I like to experiment with making new recipes and I always make our own salad dressings. We really like the one I made last night!
SALAD SUPREME DRESSING
8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon McCormick's Salad Supreme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Whip all ingredients together until smooth.
  • Chill for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

DAY 276 - LIFE IN REMODEL UPDATE - 2 BIG PROJECTS DONE

It's been awhile since I've done a good update.  We've been working hard to get things done, I mean completely done, but the molding, caulking and painting are taking forever since we had to start from scratch and have been working with old substandard beginnings.  Honestly it would have been easier to build from scratch!

We decided to hire out 2 of our most dreaded jobs - jobs that we hate doing and decided our sanity was worth the cost of hiring out these 2 jobs.  That said, we still have to do the finish work on both jobs. The old door was solid wood - so extremely heavy and completely warped with the foundation issues.  From what we could tell my cousin had not used the front door in close to 20 years because it would not open.  It took us several weeks to even get to it and the several more to get it to open after the foundation work was done.  After they completed the foundation work they told us NOT to change any doors or windows for 3-6 months because the house would continue to settle.  Living with this situation has been a eyesore and pain in the butt, but is finally corrected!
 OLD DOOR - EXTERIOR
 OLD DOOR - INTERIOR
 NEW DOOR & FRAME PIECES
  • NEW DOOR INSTALLED & HUBBY WORKING ON INTERIOR MOLDING
  • TOMORROW I WILL DO EXTERIOR CAULKING
  • THURSDAY I WILL DO EXTERIOR PAINT TOUCH UP EARLY IN THE MORNING AND THEN START ON THE FOYER MOLDING CAULKING AND PAINT.
The window was broken when we got here.  We added the tape for a small measure of security.  I CANNOT tell you how happy this one simple thing makes me! But I bet you can guess!
Daniel and Jose made short work of the old window and installing the new one - much quicker than trying to do the front door yesterday!
After Daniel and Jose left I installed the new sill and the finish molding, caulked and painted it an voile' I feel so much better!

Monday, August 1, 2016

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY

I'm up early preparing for the front door and master bedroom window installations today. YAY!!!! I'm so excited!  We had a very busy week and got quite a bit accomplished on this house.  We also had a Saturday that was super productive too and a super lazy Sunday, but I did get a lot of my library gone through deciding on hat to keep and what to donate. Kept waiting for the Nascar race to start, but it was eventually rained out and will run today.
OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE
It is sunny but already in the 80's at this early hour and supposed to top out in the mid 90's with 75% humidity so in otherwise, MISERABLE by noon time. Great day to be installing doors and windows!

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE
Banana and oatmeal with coffee.

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE
It's a little messy, but I held off cleaning knowing they would be making a HUGE mess tomorrow installing the door and window.

WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS
  • Monday - Installers will be here for the front door and master bedroom window.  I will be putting the next layer of texture on the ceiling drywall repair.  They wanted $300 to do this so I decided to do it myself. Hubby cut the new piece and I started working with it on the table so I wasn't working upside down and giving myself a crick in my neck.  The we installed it and I started repairing the edges to feather the texture into the existing ceiling.  Once it gets another layer of texture and a couple coats of paint, you won't be able to tell the difference.I'm using a sea sponge to create the texture areas.
  • Tuesday - Grocery shopping and Errands. 
  • Wednesday & Thursday - I am finally going to spend some serious time in the studio straightening up and filing patterns and papers...
  • Friday - Cleaning, laundry and vacuuming.
  • Saturday - PAINT! PAINT! PAINT!
  • Sunday - ??
CURRENTLY READING & TELEVISION / DVR
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
SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS
MALIBU CHICKEN & SALAD
C.O.R.N.
GLAZED STUFFED PORK CHOPS
SOUP & SALAD NIGHT
12 HOUR SALAD
ORANGE CHICKEN & CHOW MEIN
DESSERT








FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA
YUMMY BBQ and SALAD
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.