Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu for week of October 31st


B-Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
L-Chicken Noodle Soup and Mexican Grilled Cheese
D-Mummies, Tots, Pumpkin Pie

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

3 cups quick cooking oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar (for the top)

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients except the ¼ cup brown sugar for the top. Spread into a greased 9×13 pan. Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve with milk and enjoy! (new recipe I am trying)

Magic Pumpkin Pie

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell
16 oz. pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I'm using Fat Free)
1 egg
½ t. salt
½ t. nutmeg
½ t. ginger
¾ t. cinnamon

In large size bowl, blend together all ingredients. Turn into shell. Bake 375 degrees 50-55 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate 1 hour.


B-Baked Doughnuts, Scrambled Eggs, Pears
L-PB&J, Sliced Apple
D-Impossible Southwestern Pie, Salad, Rolls

1 can refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Separate the dough into 10 biscuits and flatten each into 2 ½-inch rounds. With a 1-inch biscuit cutter, cut a hole in the center of each biscuit round. Dip all surfaces of doughnuts (and holes) in melted butter, then in sugar. Bake 10-to-14 minutes until golden brown.


1 1/2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
8 medium green onions, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup thick-and-chunky salsa
2 eggs
Additional thick-and-chunky salsa
Heat oven to 400°. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Layer corn, onions and beans in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese. Stir baking mix, milk, 1/2 cup salsa and the eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with salsa.
Makes 6 servings


B-Biscuit Sammies made with Ham, Egg and Cheese (freeze extras), OJ
L-Leftovers or Turkey or Ham Sammies
D-Salmon Patties, Macaroni and Cheese, Collards with Diced Turnips, Cornbread

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Butter, divided
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
1/2 lb Large Elbow Macaroni
1/4 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ground Mustard
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 cups Whole Milk
3/4 cup Chicken Broth
4 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a small bowl. Mix in the bread crumbs, and set aside.

In a large pot of water, pour in 1/2 tablespoon of salt and boil the macaroni until tender. About 11 minutes. Drain water. Leave macaroni in the strainer. Set aside.

Use the same large pot, and wipe it dry. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, and melt over medium heat.
Stir in the garlic and ground mustard. Cook until fragrant. About 30 seconds or so. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about a minute. Whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook, whisking often. Cook until mixture has thickened, about 6 minutes.

Remove from heat and add in all the cheese. Stir until cheese has completely melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the macaroni until well combined. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.


B-Oatmeal and Yogurt
L-Leftovers or PB&J, Sliced Apple
D-Chef Walter's Cabbage with Sausage, Fried Taters, Pintos, Leftover Cornbread

Chef Walter's Cabbage with Sausage

1 T oil
6-8 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 c. onion, chopped
1 apple, peeled and sliced thin
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ c. water or chicken stock
salt and pepper

Heat oil in skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until soft and transparent. Stir in cabbage and apple and cook, stirring until cabbage is wilted. Stir in sausage and water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 15 minutes until cabbage is tender-crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once with Dijon mustard.


B-One Eyed Sailors, Ham, OJ
D-Homemade Pizza, One BBQ Chicken and One Pepperoni and Cheese, Salad


B-Pancakes and Sausage, OJ
L-Leftovers or Sammies and Fruit
D-Chicken Casserole, Corn, Mashed Potatoes

Hazel's Chicken Casserole

4 large chicken breasts, cooked and boned and diced
1 box Stove Top stuffing
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 cup chicken broth

Prepare stuffing. Put stuffing in baking dish. Put the chicken next. Mix soup, sour cream and broth. Pour over chicken. Bake uncovered 350 degrees for 40 minutes.


B-Toaster Strudel before church
L-Crock Pot Pork Chops, Peas, Rice Almondine and Rolls
D-Clean Out Refrigerator Night

Crock Pot Pork Chops

Salt and pepper pork chops. Brown on stove top before placing in crock pot. After placing in crock pot, add 1 can undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Cover pot and cook about 4 hours.

Rice Almondine

¼ c. slivered almonds
2 ½ c. chicken broth
1 T parsley flakes
1 c. uncooked long grain or converted rice
1 T margarine

Toast almonds in nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly. In 2 qt. saucepan, combine broth, parsley and margarine. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Cover and reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Gently toss in almonds and serve. 6 servings.

Do The Next Thing

A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea,
there came in the twilight a message to me.
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear,
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven,
time, opportunity, guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King,
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer,
do it reliantly, casting all care.
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand,
who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
working or suffering be thy demeanor,
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm.
Do the next thing."

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Homeschooling Mother's Journal

In my life this week…we were pumped this week by hubby's interview on Friday last week. It went well and we are praying he gets the job. We should know something in about a month or so.

In our homeschool this week…we are just plugging along and everything seems to be working out fine. Daughter does have some projects to work on this weekend. I think I might need to add more work as she seems to find most of the SOS work pretty easy. I really want her to read more. I probably ought to just focus on that for more.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…we drove over to the Smoky Mountains yesterday to see the fall colors. We were a bit disappointed. The colors looked brilliant through Gatlinburg but once a couple miles into the park, the colors disappeared. There is some sort of blight or something attacking the trees. So many of them were gray and leafless. It was so sad. We did stop at Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Pigeon Forge on our way back and got coffee and one doughnut apiece. Mine was the pumpkin spice flavor and it was delicious.

My favorite thing this week was…date night with hubby. We went to the cheap movie theater and saw Cowboys and Aliens. It was a goofy movie and I don't recommend it. But it was nice to get out of the house, just the two of us, and enjoy a date.

What’s working/not working for us…
still struggling to get to bed earlier. Hubby is sleeping better and my sleeping is so so. Some nights I can't get to sleep and have to sleep late into the day to get in my sleep quota. Other nights I sleep well. I think it just comes with the season of life I am in. And, I'm just getting old. :(
We also need to walk more. Hubby needs to walk several times a day and I just haven't been going out and walking with him like I should. I need to work on that more.

Things I’m working on…I've already planned our menu for our vacation and I will begin making some of the recipes and freezing foods for this vacation. I'm going shopping tomorrow and will pick up some of the ingredients needed.

I’m reading…The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I'm not far enough into it yet to decide if I like it. It's a classic and I am trying to read more of those.

I’m cooking…I cooked Pork Chops Italiano this week and they were delicious. It was new recipe and it is going into my Tried and True recipes to be made again.

I’m grateful for…friends and family and God's provision.

I’m praying for…employment for my husband and good health. He will be taking a physical if he is offered the job he interviewed for last week and he needs to get that blood pressure down.

Thank you for stopping by Second Star Academy and Chaos Cottage. Please come back again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Freezer Meals

How did you like the previous post? I guess all of us feel that way sometimes, don't we? But seriously, we are going to be gone a couple of weeks next month. We have a couple of time shares and our weeks our piling up on us. We haven't been traveling, due to finances and other things and needed to use up a couple of weeks, so we booked them back to back. We thought that was pretty thrifty and a two week vacation can be so relaxing.

To make our mealtimes easier and cheaper, I've decided to prepare some foods ahead of time and freeze them to take with us. We can transport them in a cooler and then just place them in the freezer when we get there. Here is what I am planning:

Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins and Apple Muffins (these will be easily heated up as we need them, along with yogurt and fruit for a healthy and easy breakfast.)

Make Ahead Lunch Wraps, Corn Dog Muffins, Tomato Chicken Gumbo (these will supplement our lunches when we don't have leftovers to eat.)

Baked Chicken Fingers, Picnic Chicken, Texas Lasagna, Black Beans with Smoked Sausage and Rice, Lasagna Roll-ups and Slow Cooker Chili.

As I make these to feed our freezer in the next weeks, I will photograph them and post the menus for you.

Thanks for stopping by,


Labels for Freezer Meals

I have changed my system for labeling homemade freezer meals. I used to carefully note in large clear letters, "Meatloaf" or "Pot Roast" or "Steak and Vegetables or "Chicken and Dumplings" or "Beef Pot Pie."

However, I used to get very frustrated when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner because he never asked for any of those things. So, I decided to stock the freezer with what he really likes.

If you look in my freezer now you'll see a whole new set of labels. You'll find dinners with neat, legible tags that say: "Whatever," "Anything," "I Don't Know," "I Don't Care," "Something Good," or "Food." My frustration is reduced because no matter what my husband replies when I ask him what he wants for dinner, I know that it will be there waiting.

Bra ha ha ha...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu for week of October 24th

Monday: Chicken and Dumplings (didn't get to this over the weekend)

Tuesday: Pork Chops Italiano, Pasta, Salad

Pork Chops Italiano

4 chops
1 T olive oil
8 oz. tomato sauce
½ t. oregano
½ t. basil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small green pepper, sliced
4 slices Mozzarella cheese

Brown chops in oil in large skillet. In small bowl combine sauce, oregano and basil. Pour over chops. Top with onion and green pepper. Cover and cook 30 minutes. Several minutes before serving, top with cheese slices and heat until melted. Serve immediately.

UPDATE: This was so delicious. I used jarred spaghetti sauce in place of the tomato sauce and didn't have to add the spices. I heated the remaining sauce up to pour over angel hair pasta. I will definitely be making this again.

Wednesday: Fish Tenders and Potato Wedges

Thursday: Green Beans, Potatoes and Smoked Turkey Sausage, Cornbread

Friday: Chili from the freezer or make Slow Cooker Chili

Slow Cooker Chili

2 lb. ground beef (I use ground chicken)
2 cans kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained or homemade
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper

In skillet, brown beef, drain. Transfer to crock pot and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 3-4 hours. Makes 10 servings.

Saturday: Cheese Quesas, Refried Beans and Rice

Sunday: Taco Salad (using leftover chili)

That's what I have planned. How about you?


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…Monday we celebrated my dad's 77th birthday by bringing him Chinese food. Yum it was so good. Dad is doing well, just feeling his age :) Also on Thursday, a good friend popped in just to say hi and bring us some homemade pumpkin muffins. What a sweet surprise.

In our homeschool this week…daughter is enjoying astronomy and history of the United States.

I am inspired by…my husband keeping his spirits up despite his high blood pressure and unemployment.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…going to drive to Rhea County today. It's a couple of counties away. Hubby has a job interview.

My favorite thing this week was…visiting with my folks and eating yummy Chinese food.

What’s working/not working for us…getting to bed earlier has been a challenge. It hasn't been easy. We are all such night owls. Now, by night owls, I don't mean we have energy in the evening. No, we are pretty much couch potatoes and we surf the web and the TV channels. It's just hard to get to bed and fall asleep before midnight anymore it seems.

Things I’m working on…nothing really new on the home front. Same old stuff, laundry, homeschooling, cooking, dishes, vacuuming, herding cats, etc. :) I have been searching for homes on the MLS in other counties, in the event hubby is offered a job in one of them. Just dreaming, really.

I’m reading…I've been persuing a lot of blogs on decorating, homemaking, recipes, etc. It's a favorite past time of mine. Besides some reading in my bible, I haven't picked up a novel this week.

I’m cooking…I'm making my famous chicken and dumplings tomorrow. I haven't made any in a while and it is such a yummy and frugal meal to make.

I’m grateful for…
friends and family who lift our spirits and bless us with their love.

I’m praying for…my hubby's job interview to go well today and praying that this is the job God wants for him.

Thanks for visiting Chaos Cottage and Second Star Academy. Come back again.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu for week of October 17th

Monday: Little China (our favorite Chinese restaurant in a town north of us)

Tuesday: Chili with Spaghetti, Salad (this will make some lovely leftover lunch the next day)

Chili with Spaghetti
2 lb. ground beef (I use ground chicken or turkey)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 t. salt
3 cans tomato soup
1 large can tomatoes
4 cans red kidney beans
2 T sugar
½ pkg. spaghetti, cooked
2 T chili powder
Sauté ground beef, pepper and onion until meat loses red color. Add remaining ingredients; simmer slowly 1 hour. 8-10 servings.

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken (CP) on buns, Baked Beans, Slaw (we will eat this again for a lovely leftover lunch tomorrow)

Thursday: Golden Potatoes and Franks, Leftover Slaw, Biscuits

Golden Potatoes and Franks

3 c. hot mashed potatoes
8 oz. jar Cheez Whiz
¼ c. green onion slices
1 T prepared mustard
1 lb. frankfurters, cut in half lengthwise

Combine potatoes, Cheez Whiz, onion and mustard; mix well. In lightly greased 10 x 6 inch baking dish layer half of potatoes mixture and frankfurters; repeat layers. Bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired. 4-6 servings.

Friday: Chicken Stir-fry, Rice

Chicken Stir Fry
Makes 4 servings
¾ cup Catalina French Dressing
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tsp. garlic powder

1. Heat ingredients in skillet.
2. Stir in one pound boneless/skinless chicken breast, cubed. Cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done.
3. Add 16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables. Stir until cooked. Serve over rice.
Nutrition Information
¼ of recipe (1¼ cup chicken and vegetable) = 245 calories, 2.5 gm fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 24 gm protein, 30 gm carbohydrate, 2 gm fiber, 495 mg sodium.
Exchange 3 very lean meat, 1 carbohydrate choice (or starch), 2 vegetables.

Saturday: Chicken and Dumplings, Fried Okra, Country Ham and Corn Casserole (from the freezer)

Sunday: Hoping for good ole leftovers so I don't have to cook today :)

That's my plan. Thanks for stopping by. Come back again!


Friday, October 14, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…seems like I've done a lot of laundry this week, a little housework, lots of cooking and eating, a nap here and there, but nothing towards packing and getting the home ready for the market. I'm starting to believe we will be here all winter...

In our homeschool this week…Robyn did a good job of catching up her school work this week so that she could enjoy a few days of fall break.

I am inspired by…my daughter's sense of humor and her ability to mimic people. She's a natural. She now can do the Super nanny and she cracks us all up.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…I've been to the grocery store and that's about it. I told daughter I would take her shopping (she has saved up quite a bit of money), and my back is just not cooperating. Maybe tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day!

My favorite thing this week was…hearing today that hubby has an interview next Friday for a very good job. Pray that they pick him. Pick him, pick him!!!

What’s working/not working for us… still having difficulty getting up early. Now that the cooler days and nights are here, it makes it even harder to get up. I am so not a morning person. I worked 19 years after high school graduation and you would think after all those years I would be use to it. After becoming a stay at home mom, it didn't take me long at all to get use to the later hours and sleeping in.

I’m reading…didn't read much of anything but my Bible this week and the newspaper.

I’m cooking…I made a wonderful crumbly apple pie this week and still have a few slices left. I have enough Granny Smith apples and crumbly topping to make another, but I am just not in the mood. I'm not crazy about apple pie. I like it, but I guess it is just not decadent enough for me :)

I’m grateful for…a loving family, a loving Father, and God's provision for us.

I’m praying for… hubby's blood pressure, my dad's heart, my mil's safe trip, and my hubby's employment.

Thanks for stopping by Chaos Cottage and Second Star Academy. Have a great weekend with your family!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

We now know the breed of our cat.

We now know that Peyton is a Colorpoint Shorthair. He is a hybrid of a Siamese and a Tabby, which explains his blue eyes and coloring and the striped rings on his tail. I knew when I first held him when he was just a wee lad, that he looked like there might be Siamese in his lineage. I had no idea there was such a hybrid. Now, he's special! Thank you sweet Becky at

We are "princess" sitting this week

My mother-in-love has gone on a fun cruise into the New England/Canada area and beyond and has given us the responsibility to take care of her girl, Lacy Love, while she is gone. We do not refer to the "D" word when talking to her or about her. I made that mistake another time when we were "princess" sitting and she had to be deprogrammed when she returned home to her mama. Mama was not happy!

She is a cute little Papillon Phalene which means her ears don't stand up nice and perky like a regular Papillon. Daughter likes to dress her up in her little outfits when she is here. Lacy likes any attention, even demoralizing attention. She also likes cornbread. Good thing I am making a pan or two while she is here.

She keeps us company when we walk around the neighborhood too. Today, a woman yelled "hi puppy!" and she just looked at her like she was a goober. She knows she's a princess, not a puppy! Geesh!!!

Thank you Lacy for visiting with us. I know we will enjoy our week together, even if the cats aren't so sure.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Menu for week of October 10th

Monday: Tuna Egg Foo Yung, Fried Rice

Tuesday: Bean Burritos, Fruit Salad

Wednesday: Roasted Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Rolls

Crock Pot Roasted Chicken

1 whole chicken
salt and pepper, herbs, spices to taste

Scrunch up 3 balls of foil about the size of baseballs. Put them in bottom of crock pot. Wash chicken and place on balls. Add seasoning. Cook on high 1 hour then turn to low for 4 hours. Check for doneness.

Thursday: Chicken Noodle Soup (using yesterday's chicken), Salad, French Bread

Friday: Simple White Chili, Cornbread

Simple White Chili

2 c. cooked diced chicken
1 48 oz. jar of great northern beans (I'll probably just cook dry beans)
1 8 oz. jar salsa
1 8 oz. package of shredded Colby jack or Mexican blend cheese
2 t. cumin

Mix all ingredients and simmer. Can be frozen.

Saturday: Homemade Pizza, Salad

Sunday: Turkey Smoked Sausage, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans with Potatoes, Rolls

Thanks for visiting Chaos Cottage,


Friday, October 7, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…Daughter had a friend sleep over on Saturday and they had such a good time. This may be the last sleepover in this house. Bittersweet.

In our homeschool this week…Daughter is excited about starting on United States history. I love history so this will be very enjoyable for me.

I am inspired by…family walks through the neighborhood and the neighbors we have been blessed with.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…haven't gone anywhere but the grocery store this week. How exciting!

My favorite thing this week was…walking with my husband.

What’s working/not working for us…trying to get to bed earlier and get up earlier has been a challenge for us. We want to be in bed about 9:30 to read before retiring so that we can get an earlier start on our day. We managed to do this once this week :( We are a work in progress.

Things I’m working on…besides homeschooling, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundering, etc. I'm trying to get things packed up. Seems like I have very little time in my day. Hence, we are trying to get up earlier.

I’m reading…The Last of the Mohicans. Slowly getting through this one.

I’m cooking…today I am going to make apple pie. I bought 7 Granny Smith apples just for this pie.

I’m grateful for…God's provision, doctors who care, and a loving family.

I’m praying for…my husband's blood pressure, his job hunt, my Dad's heart, and various family members.

Thanks for visiting Second Star Academy. Come back again!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Menu for week of October 3rd

Monday: Ham and Potato Scallop, Roasted Asparagus

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

2 lbs ham - chopped into bite sized chunks
6 medium potatoes - peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium onions - peeled and chopped
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded Colby cheese

Combine ham with potatoes and onions and place in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour cream of mushroom soup over the top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. About an hour before serving stir in cheese.

Tuesday: Wild Rice Chicken (putting one in the freezer for another time), Green Beans, Rolls

Wednesday: Smokey BBQ Chicken Pizza, Salad

Thursday: Pigs in Blankets (healthy hotdogs), Oven Fried Potato Wedges, Crumbly Apple Pie

Oven Fried Potato Wedges

6 large potatoes
2 T oil
½ to 1 t. seasoned salt
¼ to ½ t. garlic powder
½ t. paprika
¼ t. pepper

Scrub potatoes well and cut lengthwise into wedges. Put oil and seasonings in large plastic food storage bag. Add potato wedges, close bag tightly and squeeze bag around until all potato surfaces are coated. Spray 2 large baking sheets with Pam Arrange potato wedges on sheets in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until tender.

Friday: Spaghetti Casserole (putting one in the freezer for another time), Salad, Garlic Bread sticks

Saturday: Pinto Beans, Greens, Fried Taters, Ham Cornbread Casserole (freezing leftovers)

Sunday: Chicken Fried Chops (crock pot), Mashed Potatoes, Green Veggie, Rolls or leftover breadsticks

That's my plan. Go to Organized Junkie to read many menu plans.