Saturday, July 19, 2014

Homemake Meme

I was tagged by the lovely Sandra, at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom, for this wonderful Homemaking meme and I thought, Why not?  It looks like fun.  I'm tagging FeliciaMegan, and Sarah.  How it works is you copy and paste this onto your blog, answer the questions, tag some friends, and then let me know if you do it, so I can come and read. 

Aprons - Y/N If Y what does your favorite look like?
Yes I do.  I have one that I made out of fun brightly colored argyle and some pink and brown houndstooth printed fabrics.  I also made one for Sydney out of fabric with pretty birds on it, and Ben's has rocket ships and astronauts.

Baking - Favorite thing to bake?
Unfortunately my baking ends at bread, muffins, or cookies.  I just wasn't blessed with a baking gene. My sister on the other hand is a great cupcake baker.  One time for Thanksgiving I thought I would make rolls or biscuits, I can't remember which.  Well, they didn't rise, but I was proud of them anyway. At dinner, my Grandma, sweet Grandma, asked who made the sugar cookies, to which I answered saying they weren't actually sugar cookies but rolls.  She politely threw them directly in the trash.  I never tried them again.  Hahahaha!  Also, everytime I bake cakes from scratch, they only taste like flour, not yummy and fluffy.

Clothesline - Y/N
I wish.  We have a clothes rack for the clothes we don't dry and sometimes when it's nice outside, we move it out, but most of the time, it lives in the office, right across the hall from the laundry room.

Donuts - Have you ever made them?
I never have.  Once again, I'm no baker, and we don't usually fry much food. 

Everyday - One homemaking thing you do everyday?
Oh, there is too many, but one that I never get a single break from is laundry.

Freezer - Do you have a separate deep freeze?
YES!  With 5 mouths to feed, soon to be 6 when Scotland is eating table food, we'd be paying out the hooha without buying meat in bulk or things on sale and freezing them for later.

Garbage Disposal - Y/N
I have one but try not to use it often.  I had one break one time, and don't want to deal with that again so it's an every now and then for tiny things type of thing.

Handbook - What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Well, cookbooks of course, then there are a few blogs I turn to, and Pinterest when all else fails.

Ironing - Love it or hate it?
I'm not crazy about it although, I wish I did it more.  I think at this point my hatred of ironing is more of keeping the kids away from the hot iron.  When I was a teenager, I used to iron my Dad's work clothes, and I'd iron my neighbor's shirts for money.

Junk drawer- Y/N - Where is it?
No!  I hate a junk drawer.  I'm a pile queen, which is awful and I try to get rid of it, sometimes succeeding but always popping back up here and there.  Truth is, if I have a junk drawer, it is out of sight but never out of mind, and it sits there taunting me, driving me absolutely insane.

Kitchen - Color and decorating scheme?
My kitchen walls are white (we rent currently) but my accessories are black, white, red and green.  I have a country kitchen theme, mostly roosters.  My mom even gave me a picture that used to hang in our kitchen when I was growing up that has a pig and some roosters on it.

Love - What is your favorite part of homemaking?
It makes a house a home.  Someday, my kids will be making the foods I make today, for their kids, and I'll be passing down artwork or house decorations that they grew up with.  It's helps create the warmness for our family.

Mop - Y/N
Sometimes I use a regular old mop, but I much prefer my steam mop.

Nylons - Wash by hand or in washing machine?
I don't have nylons, but I wash my daughter's tights for dance in the washing machine and hang them to dry.

Oven - Do you use the window to check on things or do you open the door?
I usually open the door.  The stove at the last house didn't have a working light and you couldn't really see inside, so I just got into the habit of opening the door.

Pizza - What do you put on yours?
I love making pizza.  I like to load them up with delicious sauce, cheese, pepperoni, breakfast sausage, ham, onions, bell peppers, banana peppers, and cream cheese.  I like to put the green tabasco on my pizza as well.

Quiet - What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Read, whether it be a book, blogs, or even a magazine.  I also like to crochet, or sit and watch a TV show that maybe I can't watch while the kids are around.

Recipe Card Box - Y/N
I don't have one but I have a notebook that I write recipes in that I love.

Style of house
I have a couple of loves.  I love country/primitive, but I also love nautical and beachy themes, and kind of an India home decor theme. Sometimes I get in different moods and change things up a bit.

Tablecloth and napkins - Y/N
I wish... I'm saving those things for when my kids are older and a little less messy though.

Under the kitchen sink - Organized or toxic wasteland?
Somewhat organized.  It's not great, but if it's messy, it taunts me, much like a junk drawer does.

Vacuum -  How many times per week? 
With 3 kids running around, a dog, a cat, and company somewhat often, we get a lot of dirt, hair, and food tracked all over so I'm not sure how often I vacuum, but it's rather frequent.  Frequent enough that we finally gave in and bought a Dyson because we were going through a "cheaper" vacuum every year or so.

Wash - How many loads per week?
Oh boy, usually 2 loads a day and a towel load about every 3 days or so.  It's insane how much laundry we do.

X's - Do you make a daily to do list and check it off as you do things? 
Sometimes, but not usually.

Yard - Y/N - Who does what?
Shawn mows, but I usually weed eat, weed, and water the plants.  We garden together.

Zzz's - What is the last homemaking task you do for the day before you go to bed?
Picking up laundry from the kids room and throw it downstairs in the basket on top of the washer, and clean all the dirty dishes and cups off the kitchen table that have accumulated since dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me

Today, I start the last year of my 20s.  In honor of today I'm going to post a couple of fun pictures of me growing up.

Here's to the big 29!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Banana Jam

First of all, if you haven't been to Sandra's food blog, Full Bellies Happy Kids, you should.  It's full with mouth watering goodness.  Great recipes and beautiful pictures.  When she posted this Banana Jam, my sweet tooth demanded I make it.

Banana Jam

4 cups mashed up bananas
4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

(If you go to her blog, she gives you directions for canning this recipe as well which were helpful since I have never actually canned before.  You may not need to can this though, because it's so delicious it may not last that long anyway.)

In a large pot, mix together the bananas, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low medium.  Cook until it is nice and thick stirring occasionally.  You can tell it's done if you put a spoonful on a saucer and run your spoon through it.  It shouldn't run back together.

Cherry Tomato Salad

I don't know about you, but I am a cherry tomato-aholic.  I will sit down and eat a half a container for lunch and come back to eat the second half for a snack.  That said, I'm always looking for new ways of eating foods I love, and during the summer, when it's hot, this light Cherry Tomato Salad, from Taste of Home Complete Guide to Country Cooking, is exactly what the doctor ordered.

Cherry Tomato Salad

1 QT cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup veggie oil
3 tbsp vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1-2 tsp minced fresh basil
1-2 tsp minced fresh oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

Place tomatoes in a shallow bowl.  In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, parsley, basil, oregano, salt, and sugar; shake well.  Pour over the tomatoes.  Cover and refrigerate.

Amish Macaroni Salad

Who doesn't love a good old fashioned creamy pasta salad with barbecue?  To me, it's not summer without a healthy dose of the mayonnaise covered macaroni and I found a great recipe at All Recipes. With a couple of alterations I made, it's wonderful and the perfect summer time barbecue side dish.

Amish Macaroni Recipe

1 box elbow macaroni (1lb), cooked and drained
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
7 eggs, hard boiled and chopped
2 heaping tbsp dill pickle relish
2 cups mayonnaise
3 tbsp yellow mustard
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp celery seed
cheese cubes

In a very large bowl (this feeds an army and is perfect to take to a potluck) stir together your cooked macaroni, onion, bell pepper, celery, and eggs.  In a medium sized bowl whisk together relish, mayo, mustard, sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed.  Pour the sauce over the pasta/veggie mix a little at a time, stirring in between pours until it is all finally mixed together.  Add the cheese cubes and mix one more time before covering and refrigerating.

Grilled Herb Chicken Breasts

When my husband is at work, sometimes he goes out to eat with coworkers to some of the restaurants I don't get to because I always have the kids...  Like Nordstrom Cafe (inside the Nordstrom store) among many others.  While we visit the nicer restaurants every now and then when we get a date night.  While he was enjoying a salad, and by enjoying I mean that he came home bragging about how good it was, he thought of me and bought me the Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook.  This is the first recipe we tried from the cookbook but because it was so hot we didn't want to heat up the house so we changed the recipe from roasting to grilling.  Hey it's summer time.

Grilled Herb Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breast, boneless and skinless
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pound the chicken flat between two pieces of plastic wrap until about 1/2 inch thick. Whisk together the basil, oil, oregano, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly with the mixture.  Place in a gallon baggie and seal.  Refrigerate it, turning occasionally, for 1-3 hours.  Grill until cooked through.  Put on a platter and cut the lemon in half.  Squeeze both halves of the lemon over the chicken and serve.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday

Breakfast time....what is on the plate this morning::::
My kids had breakfast bars and cheese sticks while I'm enjoying a nice cold mocha and some strawberries.

On today's to do list::::
Finish getting the kitchen in order
Unpack the rest of the playroom
Hang some more pictures

Currently reading::::
I just picked up Nicholas Sparks' book The Longest Ride.  It had boots on the cover and part of it is about a rodeo rider so I had to give it a try.

On the TV today::::
Maybe some season 6 of Heartland
Return to Amish
Sister Wives
A couple of documentaries I recorded: Kidnapped for Christ, and David Beckham into the Unknown
Tori & Dean: Cabin Fever

The weather outside is::::
It's about 80 degrees although supposedly this is about as hot as it's supposed to get today.  It's also supposed to rain off and on.  Who knows.

On the menu this week::::
Monday - Grilled Herb Chicken with Amish Macaroni Salad
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - In KC
Thursday -
Friday - Birthday Dinner
Saturday - 
Sunday - 

If I have a few minutes to myself, I will::::
Read or work on my corner to corner blanket

New recipe I tried, or want to try this week::::
I'm finally going to make Sandra's Banana Jam.  I'm hoping to do that today.

In the garden::::
My strawberries are growing like crazy.  That's all the fruit or veggies we have this year.  The house we moved into seems to have some Irises and Lilies planted outside as well as an amazing amount of mint. It smells so good.

Favorite photo from the camera::::

Homemaking Tip::::
Before you start prepping for cooking a meal, fill the kitchen sink halfway with soapy hot water, and put all of your dirty measuring cups, mixing bowls, etc in the water as you use them.  It shortens the clean up time by a lot which is my least favorite part of cooking.

Visiting with Blog friends (blog you want to share, blog post that caught your eye)::::
I don't have one this week.  I just haven't had a lot of time for blog reading lately but I'm hoping to jump right in today.

Praying for::::
Right now just praying for friends and family.

Bible Verse, Devotional that is resonating with me at the moment::::
Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6