Monday, September 15, 2014

menu plan monday: sept 15-21

Week #4


This week we're having EGGS......scrambled, fried, boiled, omelets, and my favorite....."Egg in a Basket" which I made this morning.

I may just make one of these every day this week! If you haven't tried eggs this way, well, you should. Here's all you have to do: melt a little butter in a hot skillet, butter one side of a slice of bread then cut out a hole with a biscuit cutter.

Put unbuttered side down in the pan and break an egg into the hole. Salt and pepper to taste. Flip toast and cook until done (I don't like runny eggs, so I make sure it's cooked through). And there you have egg in basket! Mmmmm! Don't forget to throw the little piece you cut out in the pan too....I love how the bread gets nice and toasted.

Peter had scrambled eggs this morning. Coming from people who rarely eat breakfast, we really look forward to it now every morning. We make sure to have a little fresh fruit too. We both feel so much better. It is so true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Eggs are super easy (and cheap) and supposedly, they are now good for you. Shopping was easy too.....a couple dozen eggs, a few slices of bread, some fresh veggies and cheese and I have breakfast taken care of for this week.

I'm not a big coffee drinker, but do drink more of it during the fall and winter months. I really love all the flavored creamers. I was searching for Pumpkin Spice creamer last week, but couldn't find it, so I'm giving the Crème Brulee a try....very good! I usually drink half of the cup hot, then pour the other half over ice.


This week will be pita bread w/ tuna, lettuce & pickles, or a salad, or maybe a turkey sandwich. I need to buy some healthier bread though, we are die-hard white sliced bread eaters...not very healthy I know! A little fresh fruit (I never ate so much fruit in my life) or a few baked chips on the side. Of course, I'm still hooked on Diet steps!


Dinner is my problem area, as far as planning. I'm not sticking to the meals on the menu. I am though, cooking meals mostly from what I have on hand, so at least I'm not standing in front of the freezer at the grocery store at 3:00 wondering what I could quickly fix for dinner. I absolutely hate that!!

I can be very creative when trying to use things I have on hand. Last week I made the yummiest "clean out my fridge & pantry" turkey casserole. I'm sharing the recipe (it was that good!).

Mom gave me a healthy turkey casserole recipe, I just improvised a little on it. I had everything on hand.

2 cups chopped turkey breast (leftover from last weekend) I had a bag frozen

1-1/2 cups egg noodles (cook and set aside)

Whisk together to make a sauce:

1 can cream of chicken
1/2 can milk
1/2 cup sour cream
(I also added 1/3 jar leftover turkey gravy to the sauce)
basil, salt, pepper to taste

Cook until tender:

1/2 onion-chopped
fresh green beans (I had about a cup in the freezer) or you can add a can of drained French style string beans to casserole when putting in pan)

Assemble casserole in 9x13 baking dish. Layer turkey, noodles, sauce, veggies (drained). Mix together and top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This dinner was a winner with my family.

We also had Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast, Pork Loin on the grill, clam chowder, tacos, and soft shell crabs last week. We ordered out turkey hoagies yesterday.

Chili was requested for today's dinner and tomorrow we'll be going to the hospital with Mom, so we'll eat out. Nathan goes back tomorrow evening, so we'll only be cooking for two for the next two weeks. I didn't make a dinner menu this week.

{weekend catch-up}

-great night for football!!  After losing to the Bills by 3 points last week, we were happy to see the Bears win against the 49ers!!!! So glad Marshall and Jeffrey were able to play- 3 TDs for Marshall!! Can't wait to go to the game next month!


-Mom and Dad leave today and will be in Maryland for at least two weeks. Her knee surgery is scheduled for Tuesday @noon and she is set up for PT for a few days a weeks for at least two weeks once she gets out of the hospital. Peter and I will be going to the hospital tomorrow, and I'll help more on this end, once she gets back home. I am praying that she will make out good with the surgery and recovery and hopefully be back to her wild self soon! Mom is very ambitious and is always busy doing something, her bad knee has frustrated her and she is often in pain. I am so happy that she is moving on with the surgery and hope she will be as good as new once she recovers! We have lots of organizing to do Mom!!! :0)

-Logan's boat was part of the Star Spangled 2014 celebration in Baltimore this weekend. He loves his boat and crew.

{DIY projects}
I haven't started yet, but this wooden arrow is my next it!!!! Dad is usually my helper, but maybe I can talk Peter into helping with this easy DIY project. :0)

Source: Pinterest

I have a bigger project that I'll need help with too- re-doing our dining tsble. I want to replace the existing trestle with the vintage wooden table legs I salvaged from the restaurant. I also want to refinish the table top and give it a weathered wood look or at least put a darker stain on it. Once I get the table looking like I want it.....I must have new chairs!!! I'm super excited about this project, Peter doesn't quite see my vision.....YET!! 



 15 days- last day at b&b 9/30

 18 days- Charlotte, NC weekend 10/03-10/06
 46 days- Halloween

 73 days- Thanksgiving 11/27

 101  days- Christmas 12/25

countdown to DISNEY........150 days!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

smoothie review.....

This week was smoothie week for breakfast. My Mom has been pushing healthy smoothies for years, but I never got into making them because I thought I wasn't a big fan.......I really love the sweet, fruity ones, but as for the "add flax seed or coconut milk" kind....well, you lost me there. That's until now! This is week #3 of eating (healthier) breakfast every day. I must say, we have both absolutely loved it!

Week #1 was yogurt w/granola and fresh fruit.....

Week #2 was bagels w/ flavored cream cheese or jam and fresh fruit....


Week #3 was smoothies........

I found tons of recipes (with every combination possible) but chose the following to is my review:

Monday- we started the week off with your basic smoothie recipe....frozen strawberries and bananas....add a little vanilla yogurt and a few ice cubes. Very good!

Tuesday- I made the Healthy Smoothies from the pre-made bags I put together on Monday.  This one had fresh spinach leaves. We both liked this one.

Wednesday- we had the Blueberry Smoothies....a favorite!

Thursday- I made the Hawaiian Smoothie. I used a can of crushed pineapple.....this was too thick and had too much texture. Next time, I'll add fresh pineapple or a small can of slices. It made ALOT....I froze the leftovers in individual small Ziploc bags and will add to other fruit smoothies later. This one was just...ok.

Friday- another Healthy Smoothie.

Saturday- Peter had another strawberry/banana smoothie and I gave the Skinny Coffee Smoothie a try......loved it!!!!

I also made a "snack" smoothie........
I have lots of stuff left over to do a few more smoothies next week and I really want to give the pumpkin smoothie a try! :O)

The Simple Woman's Day Book: September 2014

                                                                   September 2014

Outside my has been a little cooler today. A little rain in the a.m., then sunny. Actually had the windows up all day!

I am thinking......about Mom's upcoming knee surgery on Tuesday. Praying that all goes well and she will heal quickly. She and Dad will be away for 2 weeks while she does therapy.

I am thankful....that I was able to keep the b&b going this summer, but glad that things are winding down. Construction and repairs should begin soon, so I finally went through the rooms above the restaurant this week. I have avoided going up there again since the fire, it was worse than I remembered- very little could be salvaged. I had Nathan take a few pictures. :0(

In the kitchen....I made Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast (over mashed potatoes).YUM!

I am wearing....denim capris and my Mickey Mouse tee.

I am looking forward to....our trip to Charlotte, NC in just 3 weeks!!!!!

Around the house.....just keeping the house clean, dishes and laundry done, and dinner cooked. I have several projects I want to work on, that I will start as soon as work ends.

A favorite quote of the day....
 Today I choose joy...  Please like, comment, and share! <3
One of my favorite things.....although I don't watch a lot of tv, I do have a few FAVORITES!

Fixer Upper on HGTV (Joanna & Chip Gaines)
This is an amazing couple that remodels homes...Joanna and Chip Gaines - on HGTV- Fixer Upper
Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) on Food Network
BlogHer'13 Kick-off Keynote is Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman
Big Brother 16
#BigBrother 16 Spoilers: Major Game Changes During #BB16 - Two HOHs, Plus New Competition Challenge!

Parenthood (Season 6 begins on Sept. 25th!)
Parenthood~I'm so crazy excited for this to come back on. NINE DAYS.

Friday, September 12, 2014

{pioneer woman's pot roast}

Tried a new recipe today.......Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast. Check out her blog for step by step instructions with pictures.

Here's the recipe:


3 lb. chuck roast
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
2 onions
6-8 carrots
small pkg. fresh mushrooms
1 cup red wine
2-3 cups beef broth
seasonings: kosher salt, ground black pepper, rosemary, and thyme- to taste


In dutch oven, heat oil and butter. Peel onions and cut in half. Brown lightly on both sides -remove from pan. Add carrots and brown lightly- do not cook, just move around in pan for a few minutes to give some color. Remove from pan. Add a little more oil if needed, add roast to pan and sear on each side and the sides of roast as well. Make sure it is nicely browned before transferring to a plate. To pan, (with heat turned up a little more), add a splash of wine (or broth) and deglaze the pan. Add rest of wine and about a cup of the broth. Return roast to pan and add more broth to cover the roast halfway. Add onions, carrots, and seasonings. I also added a package of mushrooms on top. Cover and cook  @ 350 degrees for at least 3 hours or until tender. Remove roast and shred with 2 forks. (I thickened the gravy with a little corn starch - we like a thicker gravy). Serve over mashed potatoes. YUM!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

top ten & pin it tuesday: smoothie recipes

(1) I really love these make ahead & freeze Healthy Smoothie Packets......

smoothies-prepare them ahead of time and throw them in a blender with almond milk.

basic recipe:

1T. nuts (almonds or sunflower seeds)

1/4 cup oatmeal (rolled oats)

1 cup fruit

handful spinach or kale

Freeze in ziploc bags. When ready to make, dump packet into blender and add 1-2 cups milk.

(2) Piña Colada Smoothies
Piña Colada Smoothies {vegan} Ingredients 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in juice 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk 3 bananas, peeled and frozen Optional Garnish: A slice of pineapple a dusting of shredded coconut Instructions Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth. Divide between glasses and serve immediately! Leftovers can be frozen in ice pop form.
3 bananas (frozen)
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple w/juice
1 can coconut milk

*fresh pineapple slice for garnish

(3) Peach Coconut Smoothie
Peach Coconut Smoothie-creamy, sweet and delicious without any dairy or added sugar. Fresh summer peaches make all the difference.
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup ice
2 large peeled/cut peaches (although I don't mind the skin)

(4) Oatmeal Smoothie
Oatmeal Smoothies:  1 cup ice. 1/2 cup frozen raspberries or strawberries. 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt. 1 banana. 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats. 1 tablespoon honey. 1 cup coconut water (or other liquid, such as juice).
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup oats
1 T. honey
1 cup ice
1 cup juice or coconut water

(5) Hawaiian Smoothie
Sunny Hawaiian Smoothie (1 c. orange juice  1 can of crushed pineapple with juice  2 med. bananas  2 tsp. sugar  1 carton plain, vanilla or coconut yogurt)
2 bananas
1 can pineapple w/ juice
1 cup orange juice
1 (8 oz.) vanilla yogurt
1 cup ice

(6) Rise & Shine Skinny Coffee Smoothie
Rise and Shine Skinny Coffee Smoothie //  packed with bananas and coconut milk, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten free #healthy
2 bananas
2 T. coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coffee
handful ice

(7) Green Fruit Smoothie

1 cup frozen fruit
1 cup vanilla almond milk / or vanilla yogurt
handful of spinach
1 T. flaxseed
Healthy green smoothie for every day - and apparently increases fertility for those of you trying to conceive.

(8) Green Apple Smoothie
1 cup kale
1 Granny Smith Apple
1 banana
7 Days to end "Lower Belly Pooch"!
(9) Blueberry Coconut Smoothie

Blueberry Coconut Milk Smoothies
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 T. almonds

(10) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie :O) :O)

I just have to try this one!!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe Ingredients: 1 Banana frozen 1 cup pureed pumpkin 2 T honey 2 ounces chocolate or chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life) 2 T unsweetened shredded coconut 1 1/2 cup milk (preferable raw) 1 T Pumpkin pie spice
1 banana (frozen)
1 cup pumpkin (pureed)
2 T. honey
2 oz. chocolate or chocolate chips
2 T. shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups milk
pumpkin pie spice to taste (or cinnamon & nutmeg)

*photo sources: Pinterest

menu plan monday sept 8-14

Finished out bagel week with some yummy homemade strawberry jam courtesy of my friend Wanda. It is sooooooooo good!!! 

She also gave me a jar of figs and pepper relish. We are really enjoying it!! Thanks again friend!!! :0) 

Breakfast- this week we are doing smoothies. I cut up and bagged some fresh fruit for the freezer. I'll just have to add milk,  juice or yogurt to the prepackaged fruit for a quick smoothie each morning. I found lots of great smoothie recipes on Pinterest that I'll share tomorrow.

 I also tried this icy smoothie for a snack tonight......mmmm....

1 cup strawberries
1-1/2 bananas 
1 can diet 7-up
1 cup ice

Makes 2-8 oz. servings.

I'm still using my dinosaur blender (31 years & counting).......I really "need" a pretty new blender.....

Lunch- this week so far, we are doing salads. I also plan to use up the Pita bread from last week (Pita Pizza or filled with tuna/lettuce/pickles).


Last week's menu ended up.....
  1. BBQ Chicken
  2. Fish
  3. Chicken Pot Pie
  4. Neapolitan Casserole
  5. Pizza
  6. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, string beans, rolls, pumpkin cake.
  7. Steamed Shrimp
This week's menu ideas:
  1. Soft Shell Crabs
  2. Sweet & Sour Chicken
  3. Clam Chowder 
  4. Lasagna
  5. Roast
  6. ?
  7. ?