Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Mom Tip [4/52]

[4/52] Those pesky cords!! 

I recently discovered a way to hide them and keep them under control......
Command Cord Bundlers and Cord Clips...they are on my to-buy list!!!

source: Instagram




Image result for command strips cords
source: Walmart



17303CLRES Command(TM) Clear Large Cord Clips

Image result for command strips cords
source: command.com


How did I not know about these things????

And speaking of cords and small appliances.....I finally let my dinosaur blender go!! It would not die, 34 years later and it was still going strong. BUT, I have a Nutribullet that serves the same blending purpose and I never use it anymore, so while cleaning out kitchen cabinets last week, I finally tossed it! 
A prime example of "they don't make things like they used too"!! :O)


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pioneer Woman: Hoppin' John, Loaded Corn Bread, & Collard Greens


The Pioneer Woman Cooks
A Year of Holidays Cook Book

Recipe-a-month Cooking Challenge [1/12]
{LINK}

January 2017
Happy New Year!!


Every New Year, I hear about everyone cooking up black-eyed peas (which supposedly brings you good luck!), and I just think "yuck". While Peter and I can eat pretty much anything, I usually have to pass on black-eyed peas. I actually did cook up a pot-full a few years ago, but for me, they were just a huge miss! Peter mentioned a dish using black-eyed peas that he had tried and it sounded intriguing. It's called Hoppin' John, and it has all the ingredients in it that I love - peppers, ham, garlic, lots of great stuff that should make for a pretty tasty dish. Surprisingly, when I started my Pioneer Woman recipe-a-month challenge, there it was, the first recipe I turned to, her recipe for Hoppin' John! Of course, I picked that to try this month, along with her recipes for Loaded Corn Bread, and Collard Greens. :O)



(I'll post her recipe with my variations noted).


HOPPIN' JOHN

4 cups dried black-eyed peas (I used a 1 lb. pkg.)
4 T. butter
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 large onion - diced
1 green, 1 yellow, 1 red bell pepper - seeded & diced
2 stalks celery - diced
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used a dash of red pepper flakes)
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced ham or ham hock
2 T. white vinegar

Cooking Instructions {HERE}



LOADED SKILLET CORNBREAD

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (I just do the 1 cup milk + 1 T vinegar)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup shortening - melted then slightly cooled
2 T. butter
1 yellow, 1 red, 1 green bell pepper (I used baby bell) - diced
3 cloves garlic - minced

-- cast iron skillet

Cooking Instructions: Add cornmeal to large bowl along with flour, salt, powder, and soda. Whisk together. In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, milk, egg, whisk until smooth. Pour this into dry mixture and whisk. Whisk in shortening, set aside. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add peppers and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes. With veggies in a single layer in bottom of skillet, pour batter on top, smooth out evenly. Bake 20 minutes at 425  degrees or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve with Hoppin' John & Collards!


COLLARD GREENS

2 bunches collards or kale -rinsed well, stems removed
6 slices bacon - cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 T. apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Heat pan to medium-high and cook bacon until half way done. Add garlic, stirring for a minute. Add greens, tossing until almost wilted. Add vinegar, toss. Season with salt & pepper. 





My review: I had only ever tried black-eyed peas once in my life, and obviously I cooked them all wrong, because they not only looked yucky, but tasted yucky as well. I was very anxious to try this recipe since I normally love all bean/pea soups and I really love corn bread and collard greens. I also wanted to do the yearly New Year's tradition of eating them for "good luck"! :O) Ree even added in her notes about this tradition that, she always heard if you leave 3 black-eyed peas on your plate after a feast of Hoppin' John, that you'll enjoy even more love, happiness, prosperity, and luck than you would from simply eating black-eyed peas in the first place....but seriously, who comes up with this stuff? And am I really superstitious??? Anyhow, rave reviews for this dish from me, Mom, and Dad - who I invited down for dinner to taste test too. The flavors just blended together so nicely, the peas with chunks of ham, the greens with that hint of vinegar, and the (unsweet) cornbread loaded with bell peppers -YUM!! I will most definitely be adding Hoppin' John as my New Year's feast next year! 

Just when I thought I couldn't learn to love anything else...I do\id!! :O)

two ships that pass in the night.....

Nathan heading down to NY from Maine------>


passing Logan heading up to Boston from NY------>



Now, how COOL is that??????

So proud of my boys!!
<3 <3 <3

Saturday, January 21, 2017

taming paper clutter

What to keep, what to toss.....I'm drowning in paper clutter!! I save EVERYTHING!! It's this time of year, after all the holiday shopping, and all those receipts, that I feel the need to really sort through all the paperwork that has piled up and hasn't found a home.

A few years ago, I actually finally found the solution for filing all those receipts and important papers in one spot. Remember this......


This old bench is the forever home for all that pesky paperwork...plus, it's pretty and functional.

I found a drop-in filing system that fit inside perfectly........


There is even room to hold the paper shredder. I love, love, love that everything is now in one spot, no scouring the house looking for a receipt and no cluttered drawers and baskets full of unorganized papers.


But, while I had my long-term filing system in place, I needed something to keep my bill paying stuff, current receipts, and monthly budget in. I've been wanting a "command center" or mobile "bill paying station", something similar to ideas I had pinned. (picture sources for the following pics: Pinterest)

How to Create a Kitchen Command Center Part 1 of 2Organized Portable Home Office:

Great bill organizer!: Command Center

command center: How to get organized and design your home using Pinterest | The Butterfly Mom. Tackle the kitchen paperwork monster with this simple yet ultra effective “command center” via Lovely Crafty Home.
A simple and pretty solution to paper piles - use a basket and file folders to temporarily sort papers by category until you can permanently put them awayThe Sunday Basket | Professional Organizer Lisa Woodruff shares her weekly paper organization and planning tool - the Sunday Basket.

how to create an office in a boxkitchen basket organization:

Seems simple enough, a basket or bin and some folders. So, last fall, I found the perfect holder at Target online for like $20 and bought some pretty Sugar Paper folders too, now I just needed to start sorting and filing.....fast forward 3 months later...and ta-da......my new bill paying/filing command center.......


I keep current paperwork, bills to-pay, and receipts from the past 1-2 months, which I'll later add to my filing bench. It also holds my planner (Sugar Paper) and calculator, pens, etc. I picked up those fun polka-dotted clothespins in the Target $$ spot. :O)

Paper clutter challenge ---- check!

My goal is to keep on top of my filing and only store receipts here or in the bench....you won't find a receipt anywhere else in my house (now maybe I'll be able to put my hands on them when I need something!!!).

Friday, January 20, 2017

I Love You A Bushel & A Peck.........

<3 <3 <3








:O) :O) :O) :O) :O)

photo dump friday: 1/09 - 1/19

A TOOTH!!!!
those one -piece suits...with ears!! :O)
what a peach!!

pretty in PINK!!

sleepy head.....



even fell asleep while getting her bath and getting jammies on... a first!! :O)
baby it's cold outside.....
those shoes.....<3 that headband....<3....that girl......
a play date with Grayson :O)
when chubby thighs are cute.....
*L*O*V*E*



Face Time w/ Nana <3
what a ham.....



always happy!!


best buddies......