Sunday, September 13, 2020

Skillet Lasagna

I made a new recipe and it's a keeper. 

1 lb ground beef

24 oz of spaghetti sauce

16 oz mini lasagna noodles

2 cups of mozarella cheese
Brown and drain ground beef and then add spaghetti sauce.  Allow to heat through. 
Add 1/2 cup of cheese.  Mix and then cover to let the cheese melt. 

Add cooked noodled and stir. Below are the noodles that I used. 

Add remaining cheese on top and cover until melted. 
I served it with garlic toast and a side salad. 

This was delicious!  There was plenty of leftover for lunch too.  I really like how vertitable this recipe can be.  You could use ground pork instead of the beef or you could even use both.  The noodles can also be what ever you have on hand. I think the cheese could be reduced or changed out also.  Maybe add cottage cheese to the sauce and mozarella on top.  You could even add ricotta cheese.  So many possibilities. Yum!

Keep on keepin', friends!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Road Trip

 Chuck surprised us by taking a day off work.  We took a road trip to see the sunflowers.  
As we drove further and further into the country I could feel the stress of every day life melting away. 

Sadly, we missed the peak of this field by a few days.  
They had dropped their leaves and the heads were so heavy that they were leaning over.  At first it was disappointing, then I changed my mindset.  I choose to embrace the beauful day and all the beauty around. 
When we left we needed to find some lunch.  We went to the next larger town.  Imagine our surprise when we saw this praying mantis in the middle of town!
Megan loves praying mantis so it was a must that we stop for a photo.  It's named Kokomantis after the down.  Fun!

Megan read about another thing to see... The Worlds Largest Sycamore Stump.  We thought we'd humor her and go since it wasn't far.  I'm really glad that we did as this was impressive. 
The stump was moved to a park in 1916 and is 57 feet around, 18 feet wide, and 12 feet tall.  Amazing! Yes, I know to some this might be simple and maybe considered boring or nerdy.  If you've been around for a while then you know we really are a family that embraces simple. 

We took a different route home and it was just as lovely.  

It might not have been the trip we had envisioned, but none the less, we had a good time exploring the back roads of our beloved Indiana. 

Keep on keepin', friends!

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Joy in the Ordinary

Sometimes I wonder why some call this season, "The Lazy Days of Summer." For me it always seems like the it is anything but lazy. Even with all of the current restrictions it has been  a busy season. Thankfully I am starting to see a glimpse of life slowing down.
As always there is housework.  I am thankful that Megan is helpful.  She is becoming quite the little homemaker. 
We added a new member to the family.  Meet Link.  We went to the shetter and Megan picked him out for her birthday.  
A front moved through that brought lower temperatures and NO humidity.  We have been out enjoying it since the humidity will return this weekend. 
BLT sandwiches for a quick Sunday lunch.  We didn't have any large tomatoes.  There are plenty of cherry so those were used instead. 
I'm sorry about the wording in black and blue.  New blogger did not want to cooperate!

Keep on keepin', friends!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Putting up Corn

First off  I'd like to say I never meant to disappear.  We all know that the world has been crazy.  Really, I think we all know, so there is no explaination needed.  I needed a social media break. 
 I almost deleted my FB account.  I didn't because I belong to a couple of pantry groups that I would have missed.  Instead I have been using the unfollow button and the 30 day snooze.  I have had all I could take and it has made my life feel more peaceful.  All that to say that I am in a better place mentally and am ready to give this a go again.  

I recently stopped by our local farmers market and put in an order for corn.  I was able to pick it up this week.  There is an aroma that comes from freshly harvested corn that is hard to explain.  It has an earthly, fresh smell that can't be replicated.  
I sat on the front porch with my mom while we shucked the corn.  Thankfully it was a day with lower humidity which made the task enjoyable. 
Once the corn was washed and cut off the cob it was time to get busy.  
You'll notice I didn't say it was cut off after it was blanched.  The reason for that is I tried a different method.  After the corn was bagged in two cup amounts it was time to make the brine.  
It consisted of 3 cups water, 1 Tbs salt, and 2 Tbs of sugar. This is heated until the sugar is disolved.  (This recipe is for 10 cups of corn, so I needed to make a double batch.) A 1/2 cup of brine is added to each bag. 
I had a little over three dozen ears of corn and ended up with 7 bags that have been tucked away in my freezer.  
The instructions say to thaw the corn, drain and then heat.  Since this a new way of putting up corn I will report back later and let you know how it worked out.  

Please say "hello" I know you all are still around! 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Waste Not, Want Not

I won't post pictures of the empty store shelves as we all have experiencced them first hand.  When all of this started Chuck ran into the store to pick up a few things on my list.  As he was in the store he sent me pictures of what he called "mass hysteria."

Fast forward to Friday night.  I was sure I had a back up of an item, but it turned out I didn't.  It's a essential item so we headed to the store.  Chuck had not been into the stores since all of this had started.  He had seen it on the news and I had been telling him, but seeing it for himself was sobering.  Actually, it was for me also.  Isles, and isles of empty shelves.  It's only been a little over a week since that first shopping trip, yet it feels like months ago.

Seeing as how food is now scarce it's time be extra diligent about food waste.  The fridge was fairly full and a container of leftover roast beef was pushed to the back.  Sadly, it had to be tossed.  That was the moment that I knew I had to take better charge of the kitchen.

I went through the refrigerator and put away things that I thought might go bad before they would be eaten.  Chuck had picked up some lunch meat.  I divided it down into more manageable portion sizes and put them into the freezer.
A container of blueberries were close to passing their prime, so into the freezer they went.  They will be used in baking or for Megan snacks.  She loves frozen blueberries! The browning bananas became banana bread.
I had used some beef broth in a recipe earlier this week.  I took the leftover broth and poured it into ice cube trays for later use.  I saved just enough broth to use in the roast I intend to prepare on Sunday.
We had take out recently and there was a small container of dressing left.  That was added to my current bottle.

I know I've mentioned this before, but you can write on plastic/glass containers with a dry erase marker.  I am now making sure to mark the date on all leftover.  I want to ensure that things are used in a timely manner.

Beside the fact that finding food is scarce we also need to be diligent due to cost.  For those without a stocked pantry it's currently hard to shop on a budget.  No ground beef or chicken means you may have to buy the more expensive cut of meat.  The $1 loaves of bread out stock means you may have to buy the premium loaf.  All of those subsitutes can add up to budget crushers. 

I still find it unreal to think about all of the events that have unfolded in such a short amount of time.  If you let it, you could become anxious and paralyzed with fear.  I find that besides prayer, the best thing I can do is "look well to ways of my household."

Please let me know how you are doing.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Semi Quarantine: Weekend #1

I same semi quarantine because we will go out as needed. Although the goal is to stay home as much as possible. I feel better,but I know that I am one that is the risk catagory.   I still have no voice. It has now been three months with a hoarse/raspy voice. Nuts!

Speaking of nuts....
I imagine it has been the same everywhere.  The paper goods and cleaning products were already selling out.  Then Wednesday it was announced that the schools were closing.  That lead to what Chuck refered to as "mass hysteria."

After all of the crazy it was nice to enjoy this snowy scene.  There is something about falling snow that says peace. 
With the schedule cleared and time at home it means that things can be marked off of the to do list.  That is exactly what happened this weekend.  

Our window blinds are almost 19 years old.  Several of them no longer worked properly.  The blinds had arrived last week and the week before, so it was time for their installation.  
I love them!  We have two large windows like this one and previously there were three blinds in place.  It has always been a wish of mine to have a blind that fit the window correctly.  I'm a happy girl!

For the last month I been working on a little kitchen update.  I did some painting and hope to have it completed soon. 
Of course there were  every day things like laundry and dinner. 
As unsettling as things have been this week the best thing we can do is use caution and carry on as normal as possible.  The Bible tells us to fear not 365 times, so most important thing we can do is pray.