Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mushroom and Herb Stuffing

This dish is a must for our holiday table! 

Mushroom & Herb Stuffing

15 cups Italian or French bread, 1-inch cubed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
3 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

1. On baking sheets, toast the cubed bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until toasted and crunchy.
2. In a skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook the onion and celery, until soft.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the vegetables and stir until well combined. Turn off heat.
5. In a large bowl, combine toasted bread and vegetables. Add the vegetable broth and mix well until bread is softened and well-coated. If bread is still dry, add a bit more vegetable broth.
6. Add fresh parsley and stir until well combined.
7. Pour contents of bowl into a 9x13 baking dish.
8. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.

Note: The vegetables can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before adding them to the bowl with the bread, heat up in microwave for a minute or two to "loosen up" so that they can be mixed in well.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, October 28, 2019

Keeping a journal has always been a challenge for me, and not something I grew up doing. Posting something positive on a Monday may help me look forward to the rest of the week.


Mother nature is still trying to decide if it is summer or fall. Currently it is sunny and 62 degrees. Highs this week are in the 70s, with the exception of Halloween, which is expected to be in the low 80s. Temperatures are expected to drop to a high of 60s by the weekend.


The kitchen floor is a mess and desperately needs to be swept and mopped. The children had popcorn yesterday and kernels seem to jump right out of the bowls, so the living room needs to be vacuumed as well. The children have just barely finished their breakfast and are upstairs finishing their morning chores.


We're starting back to school this week after taking a few weeks off to get to know the new baby. We'll start off slow, as baby sister hasn't gotten into a good routine of eating and sleeping yet. We also have laundry to do today, and the children have piano lessons. We're still trying to find a good balance for our household. It's been so long since we've had a little one to care for. 


Enjoying her morning swing time.


“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” 
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley


Monday: Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup
Thursday:  Austrian Goulash
Friday: Taco Pizza
Saturday: Minestrone, Bread Sticks
Sunday: Sloppy Joe's, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob



We finally have a slow week now that baseball is over for the fall season! We also don't have any doctor appointments. We do have dance lessons two days this week, and Halloween is on Thursday. Our neighborhood is very busy on Halloween and I'd prefer to not pass out candy and watch movies instead, but I don't think the rest of the family will go for that. Other than that, we've got a pretty laid back week, perfect for getting back into a homeschool routine.



Friday, October 25, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Clean on Friday"

Happy Friday! Over the past few weeks, I have shared our MondayTuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday chore charts. This week I am sharing our Friday chores. 

Folks used to give their house a good cleaning on Fridays in anticipation of visitors during the weekend. While most of our guests visit during the week, I still felt Friday would be a good day to stick to tradition. If anything, it provides a clean home for my husband who is off work most weekends. I also enjoy a clean home on the weekend, as it gives me a much needed break. If the weather is nice, the children wash our vehicles with Daddy's help. We're fortunate that he doesn't work all day on Fridays and can do some "fun" cleaning with the kids.

On Friday evenings, we often have a family movie night. My husband and children pick a movie, and we either have dinner or popcorn as we enjoy the movie in the living room. This does require a quick vacuuming on Saturday morning to clean up whatever popcorn pieces were left behind, but it's a small price to pay for an enjoyable evening with the family.

The children also clean their bedrooms in anticipation for Saturday morning, the only time during the week they're allowed to play the Wii or a computer game. However, if the weather is nice I tend to push them outside and away from the television. They do not get "chore bucks" for cleaning their room, as I feel that this is a responsibility all children should have and need to complete without reward. The task does not come without its battles, but they're a lot happier once their room is clean. We all are.


Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Market on Thursday"

Happy Thursday! Over the past few weeks, I have shared our MondayTuesday, and Wednesday chore charts. This week I am sharing our Thursday chores. 

This schedule works well for us because my daughter has dance class across the street from the grocery store. I prepare a list the day before and do my best to stick to it. To be completely honest, this is not the only day we ever go grocery shopping. My husband will sometimes go to the store on his way home from work to pick up essentials like milk, bread, apples, or bananas. The store I go to on Thursdays is a little more expensive but their produce is much more fresh (and there is more variety) than at other stores. 

The children also help to clean the dining room, and as our school week ends on Thursdays, we put away our school supplies in the school room (unless we have catch-up work to do on Friday). Lately, however, as soon as the weeks school supplies get put away, my "I need to declutter and organize this stuff" piles come back out for the weekend. 


Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Corn Chowder

A dairy-free take on a classic chowder.

Corn Chowder

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 c. diced red potatoes
8 Tbsp. flour
4 c. water
4 c. unsweetened almond milk
2-15 oz. cans cream-style corn
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and add onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Cook until they just begin to get tender.
2. Add flour and coat the vegetables.
3. Add water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add creamed corn, almond milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until it reaches your desired chowder consistency.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Mend on Wednesday"

Happy Wednesday! Over the past couple of weeks, I have shared our Monday and Tuesday chore charts. Now we've arrived at Wednesday!

Wednesday is fairly simple for our home cleaning routine. The zone areas are smaller and overall kept tidy throughout the week (we do try to put away our shoes in their bins as soon as we come through the door). The most difficult task is the stairs, and so the children get more chore bucks for this. I will typically vacuum them as the children to other chores, but they take care of the baseboards (which since they are dusting anyway, this also includes the railings).

It feels good to have a simple day of chores in the middle of a busy week.


Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Iron on Tuesday"

Last week I shared what our Monday chores look like. Today, I'm sharing what we do on Tuesday.

Monday is the day we wash our clothes. Most of the time, we catch the clothes as they come out of the hot dryer and can avoid ironing, but sometimes they need a little extra care so we do this on Tuesday. Most clothes that do not need ironing have already been hung up the day before, so there is very little to do with this on Tuesday.

Each day we also focus on an area of our home, which I call a "zone". The zone that we clean on Tuesday is the bathrooms. We have three full bathrooms in our home, which include 3 bathtubs, a large tile shower, and a total of 5 sinks, so it can be a large undertaking. This is also the day we wash towels, as I like to change the bathroom hand towels on the same day we clean the sinks. 

With young children, much of the bathroom cleaning falls on me. The children are able to do some cleaning of the mirrors, baseboards, and the bathroom sinks (without chemicals---I'll follow behind to sanitize it once they've been scrubbed clean), but anything that requires harsh chemicals I prefer to do on my own or with the help of an older and more responsible child.

When we work together, we can get it all done during one of our breaks from school work. The children love this opportunity to help.

Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!