Monday, November 28, 2011

Menu Day

Ah! Ha!  Not only am I getting a Menu Day posted for the second time this month BUT this week it's on time ... This week's meal plan includes:

Breakfast:  Cheerios's & Pop Tarts ( I was EXHAUSTED this morning and didn't wake up until after 7! )
Dinner:  French bread pizza, pineapple slices
Supper:  chili & cornbread

Breakfast:  bacon & cheese crescent roll-ups, apple wedges
Dinner & Supper:  Out ( Dr.'s appointment in the "city" ie. 250 miles - one-way)

Breakfast:  homemade egg mcmuffins, apple wedges
Dinner:  grilled cheese, tomato soup
Supper:  chicken broccoli bake casserole, carrots

Breakfast:  pancakes & sausage
Dinner:  vegetable soup, crackers
Supper:  Salisbury steaks w/ gravy, mashed potatoes, steamed spinach

Breakfast:  oatmeal, toast, fruit
Dinner:  peanut butter & jelly, fruit
Supper:  Italian vegetable pasta, salad

Breakfast:  blackberry muffins, fruit, yogurt
Dinner:  vegetable soup, buttered bread
Supper:  grilled steaks, loaded baked potatoes, salad

Breakfast:  twice baked breakfast potatoes, fruit salad
Dinner:  corn chowder, herbed biscuits, salad

I know that I could take a more frugal approach to Tuesday's meal planning by packing lunches & even a portable picnic supper that could be eaten in the car because it is now too cold to eat outdoors.  However, since we now live where there aren't any restaurants or drive-thru's, we are actually excited about the opportunity to eat a couple nice meals in restaurants.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving's Make-Over-Madness

Thanksgiving was two days ago and even by declaring yesterday as leftover buffet day for dinner AND supper, we still have leftovers.  Are we all really in the mood for another Thanksgiving meal?  Well, honestly Mr.B and Grandpa would be completely satisfied eating the same things day in and day out; but not me!  I like and crave a wide variety of foods. 

So, what will I do with all the little bits we have left today?  For starters I turned the candied yams (yes, I had planned to prepare twice baked sweet potatoes BUT, the grocer carried only yams) into pancakes topped with maple flavored syrup & chopped pecans.  I will re-make the mashed potatoes and 3 tbsp. carrots into potato cakes ( ) for today's dinner.  Some of the roasted chicken will be used in our chicken quesadillas, charro beans and Mexican rice for supper this evening.  The remaining chicken and stuffing will be turned into a chicken broccoli bake casserole (substitute roasted chicken and broccoli in this turkey Florentine casserole ) and placed in the freezer for a quick meal during the Christmas season hustle and bustle.  What do you have planned for your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Here's my recipe for Candied Yam Pancakes

Candied Yam Pancakes w/ maple flavored syrup & chopped pecans
 1 1/2 c. pureed candied yams
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 c. milk
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 1/2 c. all-purpose unbleached flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

In a medium bowl combine yam puree, eggs, milk and oil.  In a larger bowl combine all dry ingredients.  Stir wet ingredients into dry.  Mix until moistened, do not over mix.  Cook on a griddle over medium heat until batter bubbles, flip and continue cooking until golden.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Makes about 1 1/2 dozen pancakes.  Note:  if a thinner batter/pancake is preferred add more milk, 1tbsp. at a time, until disired consistancy is reached.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving, a short re-cap ...

Although our entire family was not able to be with us, we still enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving.  Besides a huge meal that brought all sorts of compliments my way,  (Did you know that a second helping is the best compliment one can give a southern cook?  Third helpings are equal to praise and adoration.) we received very nice, lengthy telephone calls from our 3 big boys.  It is always a joy to visit with them, even if only via telephone.

After we thanked the Lord and asked Him to bless our meal, EJ wanted everyone to share what they have been most thankful for this past year.

EJ - is thankful for food to eat and a bed to sleep in
OG - is thankful for her home and family
Mr.B - is thankful for his family
Grandpa - is thankful for family & friends
Me? - salvation through Jesus Christ

I hope your Thanksgiving was as lovely and blessed as ours.  What have you been thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Menu Day & Recipe

Not only am I a day late with this post, but it's been, what seems like forever, since I logged a Menu Day post. 
Since I've incorporated my new shopping strategy, meal planning has been super easy.  Having a large variety of foods readily available has kept me from driving nearly 100 miles round-trip to the grocer each week.   I simply "grocery shop" right in my own kitchen!

Monday - hamburgers & cowboy beans
Tuesday - chicken-a-la-king, sauteed apples & onions, bacon-mushroom Brussels sprouts
Wednesday - chili dogs, oven fries
Thanksgiving - appetizers: deviled eggs, artichoke dip w/ crackers / meal:  roasted chicken, cornbread dressing, cranberry sauce, gravy, twice baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, & buttered carrots / dessert:  chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie
Friday - left over buffet
Saturday - quesadillas, beans, rice
Sunday - chicken & dumplings, salad, garlic cheese toast

What do you have planned for supper this week?

Bacon-Mushroom Brussels Sprouts
(adapted from a recipe published in Taste of Home)

4 c. halved fresh or frozen brussels sprouts, if frozen thaw
5 strips bacon, julienned
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. sliced mushroom, drain if canned
1/2 c. water
1 chicken bullion cube
salt & pepper to taste

Steam brussels sprouts until tender, keep warm.  Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove & drain on paper towels.  Saute onions & mushrooms in drippings until tender. (do not add canned mushrooms as this point).  Add water & bullion cube.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered 3-4 minutes until broth is reduced by 1/2.  (if using canned mushrooms add after broth is reduced). Stir in brussels sprouts & bacon.
serves 4-6

Friday, November 18, 2011


2 Corinthians 4:4

1599 Geneva Bible:  "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds, that is, of the infidels, that the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, which is the image of God, should not shine unto them."

1611 King James Bible:  "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

1978 New International Version Bible:  "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

1982 New King James Version Bible:  "whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them."

There have been times when I have asked, "Why".  Why are there people in my family who continue to reject the love, grace and salvation of our Lord?  Why do they seemingly refuse to believe in an all powerful, Omnipotent God who has certain requirements and expectations of us?  Why do they seemingly refuse to believe that just as there really is a heaven (they all seem to believe in heaven), there is also a very real hell?   According to the Bible, regardless of the translation I search, it is because their MINDS are blinded by the enemy. 

Romans 12:2

1599 Geneva Bible:  "And fashion not yourselves like unto this world, but be ye changed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God is."

1611 King James Bible:  "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

1978 New International Version Bible:  "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will."

1982 New King James Version Bible:  "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

Blindness of the mind and renewing of one's mind.  These verses bring back memories of my own born again salvation.  Once this supernatural occurrence took place, it was as if someone flipped on a light switch.  As if all my prior perspectives had been formulated by the shadows of viewing life through a dark and dimly lit room.  When the proverbial light was turned on, I had a clear view and perspective.  Things that I once thought were "not quite so bad" OR "although I didn't agree on some things personally, I could understand where another person found it acceptable", instantly became appalling. 

Today I live life with a different perspective than most of my family.  I spend a lot of time with people who's minds are blinded like mine used to be.  Sometimes it is a very hard life.  It can take a toll on one's emotions and spiritual strength.  It is hard to live a life contrary to one your family lives.  My family often becomes very aggravated with me because I don't and won't allow participation many things.  My family often becomes aggravated with my steadfastness to attend church regularly - basically, it sometimes interferes with their own "fun" plans.  By God's grace alone, I have continued a steadfast walk with Him and through the years my family has come to accept that I am "different".  They have started accepting that as I mature, I become more steadfast.  But that doesn't lessen the toll on my emotions or strength as one would expect.  No, my burden seems to increase.

My burden has increased because I know that if they died today, they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  They do not know the Lord.  Thus far, it seems most have no desire to know the Lord.  For many years I've prayed, "Lord, please bring salvation to name."  "Lord, I beseech you to have the Holy Spirit move upon name's heart and bring salvation to him/her."  "Lord, allow the "right" witness to minister to name's heart, so that he/she may accept you as Saviour."  I was studying my Bibles this morning, actually I was searching scripture for an answer to another topic.  When the Word of God really spoke to my heart through 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Romans 12:2.  For so very many years I've been praying that God brings salvation to these people and their hearts be changed.  God has answered everyone of those prayers.  Thanks to Jesus Christ's atoning death on the cross and His glorious Resurrection, EVERYONE has the gift of salvation readily available.  I was praying for something already provided.  A change in their hearts?  That one has also been answered.  I've watched my family members become more compassionate, more caring, more understanding, more generous.  But I haven't seen any of them accept God's free gift of salvation. 

Could it be that I've been praying incorrectly?  I've been praying that salvation come to them through a change in their heart when the Word of God clearly states that the MIND is blinded by the enemy and that transformation comes through the renewing of the the MIND.  Today, I leave you with a new prayer for mine and your lost loved ones.  I pray that the blindness of their MINDS be swept away by the illumination of the light and knowledge of the Gospel of Christ and that they be transformed to know and accept God's good, acceptable and perfect will by the renewing of their MINDS.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A New Shopping Strategy

We've moved to the country - really, really far into the country.  We are so far out that I mentioned in a previous post that the only access to the internet is via satellite.  Have I also mentioned that we must travel 60 miles one-way across the state line to access the closest Wal-Mart or McDonald's?  I am certainly NOT complaining - we moved out here on purpose - we WANTED to live really, really far out in the country.

We experienced our 1st snow of the season this past weekend and within the next few weeks we will begin accumulating mountains of it.  Being a southern girl I am not accustom to driving in snowy, icy conditions.  I think it's best, and something I'm sure the locals will appreciate, I avoid the highways and byways when the weather conditions warrant a more experienced driver. 

Needing to prepare for the months that driving 100 miles round trip to the grocer will not be feasible and desiring to keep our grocery budget as low as possible, I've started utilizing a new shopping strategy.  I've made up a projected 6 month grocery supply list.   (By the way, this list is really long - it includes everything from snacks to personal care products).   When the sale papers arrive on Friday, I compare ALL the sale items to see which grocer has the best prices for any of the items on my master list.  I then plan out which and how many items I will purchase from each store and purchase ONLY sale items (I do not pay full price for anything).  Did I mention that the stores are across the street from each other - how convenient is that?   I also carry my sales papers with me into the store to ensure that I purchase the exact item that's on sale.  (I hate getting to the register and discovering that the "flavor" I selected was not the "flavor" that was advertised.)  Once I've purchased the needed amount of any item from my master 6 month supply list, I do not purchase additional amounts of those products - no matter how low the current sales price.  I must remember to stay within a budget and we can't eat an extra 6 bottles of shampoo, regardless of how cheap it may be this week.

Items are being marked off my list and our shelves are filling up.  I hope that by the time the mountains of snow begin to arrive within the next few weeks, I will be ready to park my car in the garage and venture out only on Sundays for church.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Dusting ...

This is the sight we saw as we gazed out the window yesterday morning.  Our 1st snow of the season - isn't it beautiful? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Few Little Blessings

Good Morning!
 This is the morning view from by bedroom window, sun porch and breakfast nook, aka future mud room.

Getting ready to make a birthday wish ...
  EJ isn't the only one in our family with an October birthday.

There's nothin' like it
  Here's something we can't find up here.   We thank God for Mrs.A and UPS.

Full of, Mmm Mmm Good stuff.
  This week we enjoyed the following recipe from "Forgotten Recipes" complied by Jaine Rodack -
I served it with brown rice and sauteed yellow squash.  Since I prepared this for just the littles and myself, I reduced the steak, onions and mushrooms by half.

1949 Steak, Country Style (pg. 101)

2 lb. round steak
seasoned flour
1/2 c. butter, divided
2 onions, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. water
2 tbs. grated cheese
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 c. sour cream

Cut steak into serving pieces and dredge in seasoned flour.  Melt 1/4 c. butter in large frying pan and add the onions and mushrooms.  Cook until the onions are tender and the mushrooms are just lightly browned.  Remove the onion mixture from the pan and set aside.  Add the remaining butter; when melted add the steak and brown on both sides.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the remaining ingredients and return the onion and mushroom mixture; stir well.  Return the steak to the pan, cover and simmer on low until meat is tender enough to cut with a fork.  Note:  if sauce gets too thick while simmering, stir in an additional 1/4 - 1/2 cup water.
Serves 6-8