Monday, November 30, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - November 30, 2020

Greetings! Happy Last Monday of November! πŸ’— Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving 2020

We did here. We went up to our youngest daughter's in Kansas City on Wednesday and spent the holiday with her and her new family. 

Aaron, Kayla, Alysia, and Amanda

We came home Thursday afternoon and spent the evening with family and friends here in town. It was a lovely Thanksgiving and we have much to be thankful for...always! πŸ™

I don't have a lot of time this morning, so I must keep pressing forward. Here is this week's post...




This week's master-to-do list...

- work
- complete my weekly "home blessing" 🏑 
- do laundry πŸ‘š
- wash bedding πŸ›Œ
- continue to pray over election resultsπŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- figure December budget and bills πŸ’²
- pay bills ✉
- attend a staff meeting at work 
- attend an online baby shower 🍼
- start preparing for a class that I will be presenting in December
- work on Christmas lists and gifts (family Christmas is coming up in less than two weeks!) πŸŽ…
- fill out Christmas cards πŸŽ„
- mark a few more things off my autumn bucket list (the season is nearly over!) 🍁
- start my winter bucket list ⛄
- walk as often as possible πŸ‘Ÿ

This week's menus...

Monday - Turkey tetrazzini with green beans and rolls πŸ¦ƒ
Tuesday - Swiss steak with mashed potatoes, cream style corn, and biscuits πŸ„
Wednesday - Potato soup and cornbread πŸ₯”
Thursday - Chili and cornbread πŸ„
Friday - Broiled salmon, baked butternut squash, fried cabbage, and biscuits 🐟
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers) ❓
Sunday - Leftovers

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours, and that you have a great week ahead! 

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - November 23, 2020

Greetings, Dear Ones! Happy Monday! πŸ’—

How was your week and weekend? 

This past week was a really long one for me, but in a good way. Other than work, for the most part, I was able to stay in and concentrate on cleaning out the closet in the Van Gogh room (a.k.a. my office). I took everything out and have been sorting, purging, and rearranging ever since. I'm still not finished with it, but, man! Have I gotten rid of a lot of junk! I have a carload of stuff ready to donate and have taken several big bags of trash out to the bin. If feels great, but I still have a long way to go before I'm done!

Over the weekend we attended a pre-Thanksgiving service at our daughter and son-in-law's church and enjoyed a fellowship dinner afterwards. It was very nice! 


These are some of the decorations that our daughter and granddaughter made to adorn the fellowship tables. They turned out absolutely lovely!


My time is short this morning and it's almost time to leave for work. You all have a great day and I'm going to get right on into this week's master list and menu plan!




This week's master-to-do list...


- work
- complete my weekly "home blessing" 🏑 
- do laundry πŸ‘š
- continue to monitor election results πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends πŸ¦ƒ
- mark a few things off my autumn bucket list πŸ
- walk as often as possible πŸ‘Ÿ



This week's menus...

Monday - Chicken a la King with brown rice and veggies πŸ”
Tuesday -  Lentil Soup with Cornbread πŸ₯£
Wednesday - Out ❓
Thursday - Out πŸ¦ƒ
Friday - Broiled Salmon with baked potatoes and oven-roasted carrots 🐟
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers) 
Sunday - Leftovers




Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours, and that you have a great week ahead! HAPPY THANKSGIVING! πŸ¦ƒ

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Turkey Talk


Thanksgiving is a little over a week away and, while not every family in America serves turkey on Thanksgiving Day, most families do. Have you purchased a turkey for your Thanksgiving?  πŸ¦ƒ

Let's get right on into this and talk a little turkey...shall we?












HOW MUCH TURKEY TO BUY


For turkeys 12 pounds or smaller, allow about one pound per person. Larger birds have a higher proportion of meat to bone weight. For a 12- to 24-pound turkey, allow about 3/4 pound per person. If you want leftovers, allow 2 pounds per person when buying a turkey 12 pounds or smaller. Allow 1 1/2 pounds per person for 12- to 24-pound birds.

TURKEY CARVING TIPS

1. Remove Drumstick, Thigh

Remove the drumstick and thigh by pressing the leg away from the body. The joint connecting the leg to the backbone will often snap free or can be cut easily with a knife.

2. Dark Meat (Drumstick)

First, separate the drumstick from the thigh. Remove the meat from the drumstick by slicing away from you and toward the cutting surface.

3. Dark Meat (Thigh)

Thigh meat can be cut by holding it firmly with a fork and cutting slices evenly and parallel to the bone.

4. Carve the Breast (Base Cut)

To make a base cut, first cut parallel to, and as close to the wing as possible. All breast meat cuts will stop at this horizontal cut.

5. Cut Thin Slices

Carve downward, ending at the base cut slightly higher up on the breast. Remember to try to keep slices as thin and even as possible.

6. Kitchen Carving Method

OR… if you're cramped for table space, try this method. Remove the whole breast from one side of the turkey. Place it on a cutting board and slice evenly across the grain. Repeat with the second half of the turkey.

GOT A QUESTION ABOUT COOKING TURKEY?

Check out the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line where professionally trained home economists and dieticians are available to answer questions about cooking turkeys by phone e-mail.

The Talk-Line number is 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372) or you can text them at 844-877-3456. The website address is: www.butterball.com. You can also connect to the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, or even Alexa!!! 😲

ROASTING TIME FOR TURKEYS

Oven Temperature 325 degrees F (165 degrees C)

Size Stuffed Unstuffed

8-12 pounds 4-5 hours 3-4 hours
12-16 pounds 4 1/2-6 hours 3 1/2-5 hours
16-20 pounds 5 1/2-7 hours 4 1/2-6 hours
20-24 pounds 6 1/2-71/2 hours 5 1/2-6 1/2 hours

These times are guidelines only. The meat thermometer should register 185 degrees F (85 degrees C) in the thickest part of the thigh when done. Juices should run clear when the bird is pierced with a fork between the leg and thigh.

HOW TO GRILL A TURKEY

Grilling a turkey makes good sense for busy cooks, especially if you're dealing with a small space kitchen. With the turkey cooking merrily away on the grill, the oven is free for other chores such as cooking large pans of dressing, side dishes or even home baked pies. And, as always, grilling cuts down on clean-up time so you'll have more time to relax and enjoy the day.

Whether you have a gas or a charcoal grill, you can use it to prepare a moist, delicious turkey, if you keep a few tips in mind.

· After removing the plastic wrapping, prepare the turkey by freeing the legs from tucked position and removing the neck and giblets from neck and body cavities. Rinse the turkey and drain well. Turn wings back to hold neck skin in place. Return legs to tucked position. It's not necessary to truss a turkey for the grill.

· You can marinate the turkey by using a fork to make random holes over the entire bird. Place the turkey in a large, plastic cooking bag or clean plastic trash bag and pour in the marinade. Close the bag securely and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Before cooking, scrape off excess marinade and discard.

· Do not re-use marinade to baste the turkey.

· Do not stuff a turkey that's to be grilled as it can take too long for the temperature of the stuffing to reach the required temperature of 165 F degrees.

· Keep the lid on the grill closed as much as possible to prevent heat loss.

Grilling

Use indirect heat to grill the turkey. Prepare the grill by removing top grill rack and opening all vents. Mound 50 to 60 briquettes in center of the lower grill rack or the bottom of grill and ignite briquettes. When coals become ash-gray -- about 20 to 40 minutes -- divide them into two equal parts, positioned on the outside edges of lower grill rack or bottom of grill.

Place a foil drip pan or a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil between the two piles of coals.

Lightly grease the top grill rack before repositioning it on the hot coals. Place the prepared turkey in the middle of the grill rack, directly over drip pan, and replace the lid on the grill.

You can figure roughly 12 minutes cooking time per pound of turkey. Be sure to check turkey's doneness by using a meat thermometer. Breast meat is ready at 170 °F degrees, thigh meat at 180° F degrees.

Maintain grill heat during cooking by adding 5 to 8 briquettes to both sides of hot coals every hour or as needed.

HOW TO DEEP-FRY A TURKEY

Deep frying a turkey may sound like a strange concept, but trust me, it doesn't come out like you'd think. Deep fried turkey is moist and delicious and not at all greasy.
Of course, an idea like fried turkey originated in the south, the frying capital of the United States, but it is gaining popularity nationwide. In fact, a recent block party I attended in South Central Los Angeles had three fried tukeys going. Several groups of neighbors had gotten together and split the cost of the oil and special equipment needed to make this dish. Needless to say, their tables were some of the most popular.

You Will Need

In addition to a turkey, you'll need a 40 or 60 quart pot with basket, plus a propane gas tank and burner, a candy thermometer, a meat thermometer and lots of oil. You should also keep a fire extinguisher and plenty of pot holders nearby. An injector to add marinades and seasonings to the meat is also good to have, although you can make a plain turkey without it.

As far as the turkey itself goes, smaller birds work better for frying. Try not to go over ten pounds. Before cooking, you can inject the turkey with your favorite marinade, rub it with a dry spice rub, or even coat it in seasoned breadcrumbs. You will need about five gallons of oil in which to fry the turkey.

Where to Fry

Because so much oil is flammable, you should never fry a turkey indoors. Place the fryer, outdoors, on a level dirt or grassy area. Avoid frying on wood decks, which could catch fire. You will also want to avoid concrete surfaces, unless you don't mind oil stains.

How to Fry

Before beginning, determine the amount of oil you'll need by placing the turkey in the basket and putting this in the pot. Add water until it reaches about two inches above the turkey. Remove the turkey and note the water level by using a ruler to measure the distance from the top of the pot to the surface of the water. Remove the water and thoroughly dry the pot.

Using the candy thermometer to determine temperature, heat the oil to 350°F. This usually takes between 45 minutes to an hour. Once the oil is hot enough, place the turkey in the basket and slowly lower it into the pot. With whole turkeys, you can estimate on about three minutes per pound to cook. Remove turkey and check the temperature with meat thermometer. The temperature should reach 170° F. in the breast and 180° F. in the thigh.

HINTS AND TIPS

· Do not stuff turkeys you plan on frying, it just doesn't work.

· Be sure to measure for the amount of oil you'll need BEFORE you marinate or bread the turkey. A good time to do these tasks is while the oil is heating.

· Immediately wash hands, utensils, equipment and surfaces that have come in contact with raw turkey to avoid cross contamination.

· Consume cooked turkey immediately and store leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking.

· Never leave the hot oil unattended.

· Don't allow children or pets near the cooking area.

· Allow oil to cool completely before disposing or storing it.

How do you prepare your turkey? Leave your comments, along with any hints or tips you might have to share, in the comments section below.

Until next time...
~Rebecca

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Monday, November 16, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - November 16, 2020

Good morning, Dear Ones! Happy Monday! πŸ’—

Election results are still being tabulated, the United States of America is in chaos, and her citizens (and people around the globe) are in a complete uproar, but I stand firm on my faith in God and have no doubt that everything will get sorted out soon enough and that we are all in for some HUGE surprises! I can't wait to see how it all plays out! πŸ’–πŸ€πŸ’™

How was your week and weekend?




Things have been going along pretty good here. I worked my usual Monday, but ended up working Friday instead of Saturday, as someone needed to be at the nature center while the guys did a prescribed burn on the east side of the park. It was nice having Saturday and Sunday off together. 

We got my husband's new captioned phone set up on Tuesday. The technician never did show up (turns out he was home sick), so the people at Tel Caps walked me through the process over the phone and we got it done. He can now converse with people over the phone by reading what they're saying on his end. It should make life a lot simpler for him. 

The rest of the week was spent working around the place and running errands. We paid the taxes this week and got the tires on the car rotated and balanced. It's needed doing for quite some time, but the automotive section at Walmart has been closed due to COVID. I'm glad they're finally open again. 

I've been working in the Van Gogh room again this weekend and have it completely torn apart. My original goal was to pull out Christmas stuff that was in the closet, but it's turned into a full-fledge exercise in deep-cleaning, de-cluttering, and purging. I'm even sorting through program boxes and getting rid of the excess stuff. I'm sick of junk and that's all there is to it! 😠

Okay...I need to get on with it. It's almost time to leave for work. Let's get started on this week's post...shall we?


Sassafras Leaves


This week's master-to-do list...

- work
- complete my weekly "home blessing" 🏑 
- do laundry πŸ‘š
- continue to watch election results πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- continue to deep-clean, declutter, and purge the Van Gogh room (a.k.a. my office) 🎨
- host a WLMO movie night πŸŽ₯
- write a few letters ✍
- solidify Thanksgiving plans πŸ¦ƒ
- attend a pre-Thanksgiving church service with dinner following (bake a turkey, pies, and rolls)
- mark a few things off my autumn bucket list πŸ
- walk as often as possible πŸ‘Ÿ



This week's menus...

Monday - Crockpot Pizza Potatoes (recipe below) with sautΓ©ed garlic and greens πŸ•
Tuesday -  Chicken Angelo Parmesano (recipe below) with brown rice, oven-roasted carrots, and celery sticks
Wednesday - Stovetop lasagna with sautΓ©ed garlic and greens and homemade French bread πŸ₯–
Thursday - Guatemalan Red Beans and Rice (recipe below) with sautΓ©ed cabbage 
Friday - Tuna and noodles 🐟
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice or leftovers)
Sunday - Leftovers

CROCKPOT PIZZA POTATOES

8 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 c chopped onion
1 lb turkey Italian sausage
1 t salt
8 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley

Place potatoes in crockpot.  Cut sausage into bite-sized chunks.  Place sausage on top of potatoes.  Add onions. Mix spices into tomato sauce and pour over all.  Cover and cook on low 6-8 hrs until potatoes are tender.

CHICKEN ANGELO PARMESANO


8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced, divided
4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons margarine
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup chicken broth
dried parsley flakes
Hot cooked noodles or rice, optional

Place half of the mushrooms in a 13x9-inch baking pan. Dip chicken in beaten eggs; roll in crumbs. In a skillet, melt margarine over medium heat. Brown chicken on both sides; place on top of mushrooms. Arrange remaining mushrooms over the chicken; sprinkle cheese, dividing equally, over chicken breasts. Add broth to pan. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve over hot noodles or rice, if desired. Yield: 4 servings.

GUATEMALAN RED BEANS AND RICE

1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TBS olive oil
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro or parsley (I used 2 tablespoons dried
cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin (I added more)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 cans(16 oz. each) red beans, rinsed and drained (I used pre-cooked dry beans)
3 cups hot rice

In a large nonstick skillet, sautΓ© the onion, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Add cilantro, salt, cumin, black pepper, and beans. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over hot rice. Yield: 6 servings



Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a great week ahead! Be blessed and be thankful! 

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday - Veteran's Day - November 11, 2020

I am so very thankful for our veterans...those that, down through the ages, have, unashamedly and without apology, served our nation throughout its history and in times of trouble...giving their all...and, in some cases, their very lives...that we may be free. 

To all those veterans out there I shout out a great big..."Thank you!"



And even though all of them have passed away and are no longer with us, a very special 'thank you' is whispered to the memory of my great-uncle, Mick (Milton Fox), uncles, Clifford Brown, Howard Brown, J.B. Graham, and Donald Adams, and to my husband's uncles, Art Cuda, Al Cuda, and Jack Clark for their years of service during WWII. 

My Great-Uncle, Milton ("Micky") Fox

And let's not forget all those who lived, fought, and died before them to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today in this great and glorious country...the United States of America!

The Grave of My Seventh-Great-Grandfather, James Stephenson
Revolutionary War Hero - King's Mountain and Siege of Yorktown

God bless veterans everywhere...today and always! 



Freedom Speech from "Braveheart"...

"I am William Wallace. And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny! You have come to fight as free men. And free man you are! What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?"

"Two thousand against ten?" - one shouted - "No! We will run - and live!"

"Aye!" Wallace shouted back. "Fight and you may die. Run and you will live...at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!"

c

Until next time...

~Rebecca

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Master List and Menu Monday - November 9, 2020

Monday, November 9, 2020

Master List and Menu Monday - November 9, 2020

Greetings, Dear Ones! πŸ’—

With all the political and civil unrest going on in our nation this week...whew! What a week! Looks like it might be a while before it all gets sorted out, too! We need to earnestly be praying over President Trump and our country like never before! Will you join me? πŸ™

How was your week and weekend? Our week and weekend here were good and the weather has been absolutely GORGEOUS! Mid- to upper-70's with sunshine! Incredibly nice for November! 🌞


Violets in November??? Who ever heard of violets in November? 
But it's true! I have violets blooming just outside the backdoor!


I worked my usual days at work this week and attended a staff meeting on Thursday. 

Tuesday morning I presented a program on winter wildflowers to a homeschool group in Nevada and that evening attended a political watch party. 



My husband officiated at a wedding on Friday and, that evening, we spent time with a couple of our children and their families. It's interesting that we spent part of our time together watching reruns of Jeopardy. Alex Trebek passed away Sunday morning. 
He was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Prayers go out to his family and friends.





This week's master-to-do list...

- work
- complete my weekly "home blessing" 🏑 
- do laundry πŸ‘š
- continue to watch election results πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- get with a technician to get dh's Clear Caps phone set up and registered πŸ–€
- write a few letters ✍
- pay taxes πŸ’²
- get tires rotated and balanced πŸš—
- dig Christmas decorations out πŸŽ„
- mark a few things off my autumn bucket list πŸ
- walk as often as possible πŸ‘Ÿ

This week's menus...

Monday - Crockpot Lemon and Garlic Chicken  w/ butter n' garlic pasta, sautΓ©ed greens, and mushrooms πŸ”
Tuesday -  Italian sausage stuffed peppers with zoodles (zucchini noodles) and baked sweet potatoes 🌢
Wednesday - Black bean and cheese burritos with Spanish rice 🌯
Thursday - Creamy Ranch Potatoes and Chicken with fried cabbage
Friday - Broiled salmon, baked potatoes, and oven-roasted vegetables 🐟 
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice) 
Sunday - Leftovers


Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a great week ahead! Be blessed and be thankful! 

Until next time...
~Rebecca 

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Monday, November 2, 2020

Master List and Menu Plan Monday - November 2, 2020

Greetings, Dear Ones! πŸ’—

It's the first Monday of November 2020! Election Day is tomorrow, Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Christmas is next month! πŸŽ„ Can you believe it??? 😲

I hope that your day, week, month, and holiday season are all off to a great start and that you're ready to tackle whatever comes your way! 

How was your week and weekend?

Our week and weekend here were good. We ended up getting the freezing rain on Monday and Tuesday which resulted in a mini-ice storm of sorts. 

October Ice on the Tallgrass Prairie

Nothing too major really. Just enough to coat everything in ice and create a few slick spots on the roadways.

Ice-Encrusted Bridal's Wreath

After I got home from work Monday I stayed in and worked on stuff around the house during the early part of the week. 

The Mums That I Shared With You Last 
Week Covered In A Thin Layer Of Ice

We had to get out and run errands a couple of days mid-week, but, by the time the weekend arrived, we were back into sunshine and warmer temperatures. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous!

A Young Fawn @ the Picnic 

Now, here it is, Monday morning and time to start a new week...and this one promises to be a busy one!

I do hope you have a blessed day and a great week (and month) ahead! I'll be with you again as soon as possible! Let's get started on this week's post...shall we? 🧑

The Hunt

This week's master to-do list...

- work 
- complete my weekly "home blessing" 🏑 
- do laundry πŸ‘š
- present a program on winter wildflowers and frost flowers to an area homeschool group
- get out and VOTE!!!! πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- attend a political watch party πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- watch election coverage on America Stands πŸ’“☆πŸ’™
- attend a staff meeting at work
- attend a wedding πŸ‘°
- mark a few things off my autumn bucket list
- walk as often as I can

This week's menus...

I'm thinking that I need to completely overhaul my menu planning. Between having a house full of children and tons of people around when they were growing up I was used to making huge quantities of food. Now that it's just John and I it's been really hard cutting recipes down to fit cooking for two. I've made progress, but, much of the time, we still end up with way too many leftovers and, sometimes, I buy certain things that I normally wouldn't buy at all (or, at least, not so much of) if I weren't including it in a certain recipe. 

All of that to say that one of the changes that I'm going to TRY to remember to make when menu planning is to not specify certain vegetables in specific meals (unless, of course, it is absolutely necessary for that particular recipe). Instead, I am going to try to remember to just add fresh or frozen vegetables to every meal based on what we've got in the house and what is meal-appropriate. 

I am also going to spend November focusing on what we've got in the house, using up things first that are fresh (fruits and vegetables), open packages (crackers, chips, cereals, etc.), and what's in the fridge. 

Monday - Cabbage and Dumplings, baked sweet potatoes, sautΓ©ed greens, and Sue Gregg's Good Earth Rolls 
Tuesday - Pigs in a blanket and other watch party foods πŸ– 
Wednesday - Chicken fajitas with black beans and rice πŸ“
Thursday - Green beans, potatoes, and ham with cottage cheese, veggies, and rolls 
🐷
Friday - Tuna and noodles 🐟 
Saturday - Dh's night to cook (chef's choice) 
Sunday - Leftovers

What's One Thing For Which
You Are Thankful?

Well, Ladies, that's it for this time! I pray that all is well with you and yours and that you have a blessed week ahead!

Until next time...
~Rebecca
 

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