Saturday, October 29, 2016

For the Love of Chicken

We eat a lot of chicken, at least once a week.    It is just so easy to throw a breast on the grill and pair it with a salad and dinner is done.  For the sake of variety I have been looking for new ways dress that bird up!

When I find a recipe we enjoy I like to pass it on, and this marinade is definitely share worthy.      Mom On Timeout posted the Best Chicken Marinade, and I had all of the ingredients on hand, except the rosemary and I substituted French Thyme so I decided to go for it.  Wonderful really enjoyed the change and I am always a sucker for anything with balsamic vinegar.

The chicken was very moist, tender and full of flavor.  Garlic and cheese mashed potatoes were a great compliment,  back to my diet on Monday!  Because I can't leave well enough alone, the changes I would make for next time include cutting down the brown sugar.  I really believe you could get by with half a cup and maybe even a third.  I will also be purchasing rosemary, the thyme was good, but I want to try rosemary.

If you are looking for a way to change up your chicken, I hope you will give this recipe a try!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Making My Week Productive

My week hasn't been very productive, and just to be honest frustrating.  We are in a holding pattern in so many areas right now.  Our bathroom remodel has stalled, it is taking twice as long as I had hoped when we started.  We have hired someone to do the tile, but he can't start for a few weeks.  There are several things that can't move forward until the tile is in, we had to special order a part for the skylight because of the slope of the ceiling and that postponed getting that installed, but hopefully this weekend.

We are car shopping for Darling Daughter.  Car shopping stinks, used car shopping is worse and takes so much time.  We have a tight budget and of course want the best safest car possible for the girl, but doing it from a thousand miles away is an added frustration.  While we are looking there, we are also looking here and will take it up at Thanksgiving, we are open to our options.  For all of the honest people trying to sell a car there are scams, for all of the good salespeople there are dishonest ones and unfortunately we seem to keep running into the latter in these categories.

I have really gotten caught up in all of the things I would like to do but can't because of circumstances that I have no control over.  I have allowed what can't be done to overshadow my week and my mood.  Yesterday I decided to change my focus, instead of the frustration of what can't be done or sits undone I decided to shift to what can I do.  If you have followed me for long you know I am a list maker, so I chose to make a list of what I can do.  I can work on a couple of craft projects that gets my Christmas list closer to done.  I can recover a chair seat in my bedroom.  I can clean my laundry-mudroom (even though I don't want to).  Truth is there is much I can be doing, but by focusing on what I couldn't do, nothing was getting done and that was frustrating me even more!

Attitude and focus are powerful life influences.  When my focus is on the negetatives around me, I get overwhelmed, when I choose to focus on the things I do have control over and indeed can get completed then I feel more accomplished and productive.  Do you have somethings that are frustrating to you, change your focus.  How can you be productive, make a list of five things you can do and have control over.  Focus on completing those five things, when those things are finished make a list of five more things.  It can be as simple as cleaning out the junk drawer, because who among us wouldn't benefit from that!  What about planning your meals for the next week, this will benefit everyone in your house.  It really doesn't matter what is on the list the idea is to be focused on tasks that can be accomplished now!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Five Ways to Prepare for Christmas in October

I know, I get it!  The stores put out Christmas stuff earlier and earlier.  It isn't even Halloween, much less Thanksgiving, I feel the same way, BUT...... if you are the manager of your house you know that Christmas doesn't just happen.  It takes planning, a lot of planning from schedules, budget, the actual gift buying and wrapping and cooking.  That doesn't even include if you will be hosting parties or out of town guests.  So here are five ways to help alleviate some holiday stress now!

How does this get so messy!

1.  Clean out your spices.  Yes your spices have expiration dates, sometimes they are hard to find but keep looking.  I found about eight bottles that were expired, (that is more than I expected).  Some I will replace, I needed two for the pumpkin pie.  Others I don't even remember why I bought them.  When I begin baking, I will have everything I need, no last minute trips to the store.

2.  In the same category, clean out your pantry.  My pantry is two cabinets, one is for canned goods, the other is baking supplies.  Again, check expiration dates, I had two out of date cans.  I don't have a lot of room to stockpile these items, but I do try to buy extras of things I know I will need for holiday baking and cooking as I have space.

3.  I also begin buying extras of paper goods, cleaning supplies and toiletries,  I have tons of bathroom storage. My goal every year is not to have to buy any cleaning supplies, toiletries or paper goods between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One it is nice to have a little extra breathing room in the budget for those unexpected things and also the stores are so crazy I hate going in to get toilet paper or trash bags if I don't have to!

4.  Make your list, include neighbors, teachers or party gifts you might need.  Many people shop year around for these things and that is a great idea, but if you haven't start shopping now.  This is a great time to  consider making a little something instead of buying, get your supplies and spend an evening putting them together.    Small gifts sometimes take up a good portion of your gift giving budget, by planning ahead you can greatly reduce this expense.

5.  Are you having overnight guests or hosting a party?  Again now is a great time to get papergoods, and get that out of the way.  You can also go ahead and plan your menu and start buying needed non perishable ingredients.  For overnight guests do you need to get a few fresh linens?  Buying one new towel or washcloth every couple of weeks you will be ready and you will have a nice set of fresh towels to offer your guests.

Each of these suggestions allow you to take advantage of sale items or coupons.  By using a bit of your weekly budget now, you can put a major dent in your holiday expenses and hopefully relieve some stress allowing you more time to enjoy the season!

Sharing with:  Classical Homemaking

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Pumpkin Pie

Our oldest, The Coach doesn't like a lot of sweets, so when he came home for his birthday I made pumpkin pie.  This is my mom's recipe and the only pumpkin pie I have ever made.  I thought I would share it with you since we are still in all things pumpkin season.

Mom's Pumpkin Pie

2 eggs slightly beaten
1 can 16 oz solid pack pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 2/3 cup (lg can) evaporated milk
1 9" unbaked pie shell deep dish

Mix filling ingredients in order given.  Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pie filling comes out clean.  Cool. 

It is easy to make, and really yummy.  I hope you will give it a try!

The Coach

Linking with:  Classical Homemaking

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Reminded of God's Faithfulness

Each Sunday after our worship services, Wonderful and I go out to a reception area and greet guests. Last Sunday was no different, after visiting for a bit I walked back inside of the worship center to gather my stuff in order to get ready to go home.  Darling Daughter, my niece and nephew were coming for a visit  later that evening and I was super excited.  The Coach had spent the weekend and headed back after the first service, so I was going home and changing bedding and cleaning up to get ready for the next crew of visitors.  I had left quite a mess deciding to spend time with our son instead of cleaning,  I knew I would have the afternoon to get everything ready and maybe catch a nap!

I checked my phone first and noticed I had missed a call from the girl just by a few minutes, I quickly hit redial hoping to get an update of where they were on the road.  When she answered I was met with sobs, my heart stopped!  There had been a wreck, I quickly found out that no one seemed to be hurt, but the car was undriveable.  I assured her that as long as everyone was okay the other was unimportant.  The police were on their way as well as EMS to check them out for sure.  While I was talking to her and reassuring her, Wonderful walked up and could tell by my face that something was wrong.  I got off the phone with Darling Daughter and filled him in, we jumped in the truck and headed north.  Wonderful called the girl and found out they were indeed okay, and were going to a hotel where we would meet them, we were 7 hours away.