Saturday, September 4, 2021

September 2021 Meal Plan

It has been awhile since I've shared one of these. We're already four days into September, but we just got home from vacation late last night so I am only now getting around to posting. 

We have a couple of holidays and a couple of birthdays this month, and it's also the beginning of the fall season, which means delicious soups and fall-inspired flavors are back on the menu! 

I do have themes to every day of the week so that we are sure to have a variety of foods throughout the month. Wednesday is the day we try something new from one of the countries we studied that week. We're currently exploring the continent of Africa! 

I hope that you may be inspired when planning out your month of delicious home-cooked meals. 

(You may need to click on the calendar to enlarge it.)



Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Fettuccine Alfredo

A quick and easy weeknight alfredo sauce recipe that you'll absolutely love!



Fettuccine Alfredo


Ingredients
1 lb. fettuccine noodles
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 c. butter
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
6 oz. fresh grated parmesan cheese*
sea salt
black pepper

Directions
1. Prepare fettuccine noodles according to package directions. Lightly salt the water just before adding the pasta. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. 
2. In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the minced garlic.
3. Whisk in heavy cream and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the cream to reduce. 
4. Add half of the parmesan cheese and whisk until smooth. Add just a dash of salt and pepper. 
5. Pour the sauce over the cooked fettuccini noodles, and add the remaining parmesan cheese. If needed, add a little bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce until all of the noodles are coated and the sauce is the desired consistency. 


*This is found in the refrigerated cheese section of the grocery store, not the pantry section. 


Monday, August 16, 2021

A Homemaker's Journal | August 16, 2021

Ahh, Monday. It was a slow start for me this morning. It started to rain yesterday evening, and it continued on sporadically throughout the night. Normally this would be ideal sleeping conditions, but I had so much on my mind that I couldn't fall asleep until after 2:30! I was so bored that I even researched paint colors for my kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. Keep in mind, I hate painting. Then I researched how much it would cost to have someone paint our two-story foyer and staircase. I told hubby about my paint color ideas this morning and he gave me the green light as long as all he has to do is buy the paint. Lucky for me, I have a mother who loves painting and DIY projects, so with her onboard to help me, it may be doable. I also hinted to my dear husband that the wainscoting he did in our dining room is so gorgeous and would look amazing in our foyer as well. Cross your fingers that he'll feel motivated. It's taken him two years to complete our built-in bookshelves (they're still not done), so maybe we should take this one step at a time. 

Now back to this week's Homemaker's Journal. I'll be joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday!


THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Tropical Storm Fred is currently making landfall in Florida. Normally this means we need to prepare, but the projected path northward seems to be inland and away from the coast. Regardless, we're still expected to get a lot of rain this week. Scattered thunderstorms are projected for later today, Wednesday, and through the weekend. My mom's church is having their annual Homecoming on Sunday (I attend and treat it as a family reunion, having never been a member of her family church), but with all of the upcoming rain, it may not be possible. It's an outdoor country-style potluck. 

Temperatures will also be warm this week. High of 90 for today, and on Thursday it will be a high of 91. With the heat and the occasional rain, it's going to be miserably humid outside. 

AROUND THE HOME...

I didn't get downstairs until around 7:30. My oldest son asked for "egg in the hole" for breakfast, so I got started on that for everyone. My younger son is super picky, but I made him one anyway and he actually liked it. My oldest daughter didn't want hers, so her brother ate that one as well. 

My toddler wanted to wear her princess dress again, so I changed her diaper and instead of putting her usual outfit on, I helped her into the dress. While the kids ate breakfast, I went upstairs to tidy my bedroom. The vacuum cleaner wasn't sucking up anything, so I spent close to 45 minutes cleaning it. Turns out, one of the kids thought it'd be easier to vacuum up a paper towel rather than pick it up off the floor and throw it away. Once I got that unclogged, plus general vacuum maintenance, it worked again and I was able to get on with my task. 

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We'll be doing our usual homeschool studies. We're reading from the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament, and also studying ancient Greece. Science for today involves water experiments. 

I'd like to clean my bedroom closet to get ready for new shelving, but we'll see how far I get. I have a few boxes of clothes that the children have grown out of that need to be put into the attic, but they're heavy so I'll have to wait until my husband gets home from work. 

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

The weather cleared up and my flower garden was calling to me. I absolutely love this climbing rose! It's called "Joseph's Coat" and I got it because one of my husband's favorite stories in the scriptures is the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. Aren't those colors gorgeous? 




A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“Most things don’t work out as expected, but what happens instead often turns out to be the good stuff.” 
-Dame Judi Dench

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Fettuccine Alfredo w/ Broccoli
Tuesday: Chimichurri Tacos
Wednesday: Ethiopian Lentil Stew
Friday: Corn Chowder
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Shepherd's Pie


I AM READING...

It has taken a month to read this book because I've been so tired at night, but it's by one of my favorite Christian historical fiction authors. I am enjoying it and have two chapters left to read. 

 

 PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

My oldest daughter has an orthodontist appointment tomorrow to take pictures and come up with a plan. Her teeth are actually pretty straight, but her bite is slightly off. I can't believe I'm about to have two kids in braces. My older two also have church activities tomorrow night, then my boys are due for haircuts on Wednesday. Sunday is Homecoming, as I've already mentioned above. 

LINKING UP WITH...


Saturday, July 10, 2021

What's in Season? | July

I thought it would be fun to share what is in season in our state each month, which affects how I menu plan. Some of what is listed (and bold) is grown in our own garden.

We live in eastern North Carolina, and this is what's in season currently!

Fruits:

Blackberries
Blueberries
Cantaloupes
Figs
Honeydew Melons
Nectarines
Peaches
Plums
Watermelons


Vegetables:

Cabbage
Carrots
Cherry Tomatoes
Collards
Corn
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Green Onions
Okra
Peppers
Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Tomatoes
Yellow Squash
Zucchini



Herbs:

(These can be grown year round, but this is what we have an abundance of in our garden)
  • Basil
  • Italian Parsley
  • Rosemary

You can easily find what is in season in your state by visiting your state agriculture website. Buying what is in season ensures you are getting the greatest, freshest, and best tasting fruits and vegetables. Buying local will help your farmers. 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Shamrock Breakfast Sandwich

This is one of my favorite breakfast treats. It's not your typical breakfast, but it's that perfect combination of savory and fresh to get me going in the morning. You also don't have to wait until March 17th to enjoy it. I eat it year round! 

Since this isn't exactly a recipe, I'll share with you the assembly of my favorite breakfast sandwich in a slightly different format.


Shamrock Breakfast Sandwich

What you need:
-breakfast sausage patties (*see note below)
-kaiser rolls
-fresh kale
-tomato
-avocado
-mayonnaise
-sriracha

First what you need to do is cook your sausage. As it's cooking, prepare your sriracha mayo. You may buy it premade, but I prefer to make mine based on how hot I want it that particular morning. How much you make is up to you. 

Slice your tomato and avocado, and wash your kale.

Next, assemble the sandwich:

On the bottom half of the bun, spread a light portion of sriracha mayo (too much will make the bun soggy and you'll be eating your sandwich with a fork). 

Then add kale, topped with the sausage patty. Tomato goes on top of the sausage, then top with sliced avocado. Spread a generous amount of sriracha mayo on the top bun, then place on top of the sandwich. 

Enjoy!



Note: We abstain from eating pork, so we use plant-based breakfast sausage. I used to use Gardein brand for this sandwich, but they decided to shrink their patties from burger size to biscuit size, which doesn't quite work for this sandwich. I was able to find the perfect size meatless patty from Simple Truth at our grocery store freezer section. Beyond Meat makes a breakfats sausage, though I've never tried it and don't know what size it is. Turkey sausage patties would also work fine, though I haven't tried those either. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Spring Garden Update | End of March 2021

 We've had quite a bit of warm days recently and the yard is coming back to life, and so is the garden.

 We'll start with the lettuce bed. The lettuce I purchased has grown some, though there is no sign of the lettuce seeds I planted. I'm still sad that I will not be enjoying my favorite lettuce this year, but lesson learned and I'll be starting my own lettuce seeds indoors for next year. 


The peas I planted are coming up! Many are still missing form the two rows I planted, but I am hopeful more will come up soon. I just pray that the weather is not already too warm for our peas to thrive. 


Take a look at this oregano! I planted it three years ago and it has completely taken over. I've already begun disassembling this portion of the garden bed and sadly, this beauty has to go. I was able to separate a few pieces to plant in pots for myself and for my parents. I will not be putting oregano directly in the ground again. I could never eat that much pasta and pizza! 


The kale and bok choy are doing great! I love experimenting with new vegetables in the garden. I am unsure what pests may eat these greens, but I hope they stay far away. The beets haven't come up, and I am doubting they ever will. I'll have to remember to plant them earlier in the year next time. 


The broccoli is also growing well. I still have replanted the rose bushes (not pictured) that they're sharing a bed with. Prepping the summer garden beds has taken up most of my time. 


Strawberries seem to be doing well. There might be one or two blossoms, but I'm also not expecting a huge harvest from these this year.


The blueberries survived the move! Lot's of green is showing up and I've even found new branches. I think they'll be doing better this year in their new location than they ever have in the years we've had them. 


When we first moved in four years ago, I had dreams of a mini-orchard in my backyard. I bought two apple trees and two peach trees. After the first year, one of the apple trees died. The second year, a peach tree. The second peach tree was struggling, but it stayed on for another year. I ended up removing this year because I could tell it wasn't going to thrive here. Now I have one lone apple tree. It has never produced fruit and this year it didn't produce blossoms. I thought for sure it was dead and had made plans to dig it up tis week, until I came out and found these little leaves. It gets to stay and we'll see what it does.


I have four blackberry bushes along the fence on the other side of our yard. When I planted them, I didn't realize the area was not in full sun, but the blackberries have always done well. It looks like they're getting ready to blossom. I didn't have a chance to prune them back this year. 


That's all for this update! I can't wait to see how much everything grows next month. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spring Garden Update | Mid-March 2021

Can you believe spring is almost officially here? We've been very busy around our home over the past month or two. I've been digging up sod along the edges of our fence to make way for flower beds. In February, I transplanted our blueberry bushes from our raised bed garden and planted them alongside the fence. It is too early to tell if they'll survive, but I am hopeful. 

Last week, we planted a new strawberry bed. Something took out our old one that we had for three years. After the harvest season last year, the plants just died. The new strawberry bed is against the fence and framed in with 100-year-old handmade bricks from our family farm. This week, I finally added wheat straw to finish it up. 


We made a trip to the plant nursery this week and purchased broccoli, kale, bok choy, and lettuce. This is my broccoli bed this year. I planted two different varieties and a total of 8 plants. They're currently sharing the space with a couple of rose bushes I dug up but have not replanted in their new space yet. 


I've never grown kale or bok choy, so I am very excited about this bed. It will be nice not to buy any from the grocery store this spring. I also planted beets at the far end, but I'm a little late so they may not come up. 


Unfortunately, the nursery did not have any of the lettuce I love (a dark red and green salad blend) so I bought what they had and planted it anyway. I bought some seeds for what I love and planted those, but because it is so late in the season, I am not certain I'll get anything. Same goes for the peas and radishes I planted in this same bed, though not pictured. I've been so busy on other projects that the planting dates completely slipped my mind. 


That's all I'm planting this spring, as part of the project I am working on is disassembling the old garden beds and moving the raised bed garden to a new location in our backyard. I'll plant our summer garden in the new beds and finish disassembling the old beds once the spring garden has finished its harvest. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Homemaker's Journal | February 15, 2021

After careful thought and consideration, I've been stepping back from mainstream social media sites and am really going to make an effort to blog more. While I enjoy blogging, it often takes a backseat to social media posting. I've already said what I needed to say there, so why say it again here? Well, I'm not saying much there anymore. 

I figured the best way to jump back into a blogging routine is to pick back up on my weekly homemaker's journal posts. I'll again be joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday!


THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Oh, we have had so much rain! Our backyard is a soggy mess and any preparations for our spring garden have come to a pause. At the moment the rain has let up, but thunderstorms are expected tonight and into tomorrow. Wednesday is supposed to be sunny, but I may need to stay indoors for fear of sinking into the mud. More rain is predicted for Thursday and Friday, with sunshine over the weekend. 

AROUND THE HOME...

My oldest son woke up bright and early this morning and came downstairs to watch Bob Ross paint. The fireplace is going and the baby has made a mess of her toys and blankets in the living room. My younger son is in the boys room playing with legos. My oldest daughter is working on a new cross-stich handicraft I got her for Christmas. I have dinner in the crockpot, which will be ready by 6. I'm also working on this weeks grocery list. 

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We have a lot of housework to get done and I am slow moving today. If I can get the laundry done, the kitchen cleaned, and the floors mopped, I'll be satisfied. 

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

I haven't taken any pictures today, but this is a picture from last weekend. My oldest daughter made the blanket (pictured front left) for her baby sister. My mom helped her with the sewing machine, but Bridget cut and pinned it mostly on her own. She couldn't decide which material she liked best so she made it reversible. She also added extra padding to make it super soft. Baby sister has had nearly every nap on it since. Bridget also stitched by hand two small matching pillows. 


A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“I have one desire now—to live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all my energy and strength into it.” 
-Elisabeth Elliot

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Crockpot Spaghetti
Tuesday: Blackened Tilapia with Jambalaya
Wednesday: Tofu Luau w/ Brown Rice
Thursday: Chickpea Noodle Soup 
Friday: Baked Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes, Salad, and Challah
Saturday: Pizza
Sunday: Vegetarian Cheeseburger Wraps w/ Sweet Potato Fries

I AM READING...

 
PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

My oldest daughter has dance twice this week and my oldest son has baseball evaluations this weekend, as they were postponed last weekend due to the rain. I'll continue working on lesson plans. I need to order new handwriting books for the children which I have been putting off for an embarrassing amount of time. My daughter also asked me to order more dresses for her. She loves wearing dresses but wants them to be comfortable for everyday use and it's a bit of a struggle to find them at a good price. I'd love to be able to get out into the garden this weekend, but that will depend on weather conditions. 

LINKING UP WITH...



Sunday, February 14, 2021

A Gentle Kind of Love

I've never been a big fan of Valentine's Day but as our children have grown, my husband and I have started celebrating it more. We don't go out to eat and he doesn't buy me jewelry or things like that, but he does give me flowers. Some years he has given our oldest daughter flowers as well, and the children often cut out and decorate paper hearts to give to one another. This year, my husband bought each of our children a little box of chocolates, which was a first for them.

This year, my husband gave me a small planter box of sweet pink miniature roses. He said he wanted to get me yellow roses because they were so pretty, but thought they meant "friendship" and therefore didn't match his intentions. I've never known what all of the rose colors mean, so I looked up what pink roses symbolize and this is what popped up: 

"Pink roses symbolize gratitude, grace, and joy. Overall, pink roses suggest a gentleness compared to the typical bright red rose." 

Other words that popped up in the search were admiration, elegance, and innocence. (In case you were wondering, red roses symbolize love, passion, and desire.)

We're not the romantic type, and while we absolutely love one another, our love is kind and gentle. Our marriage is one of joy and gratitude for one another. He supports my role at home with the children, and I support, encourage, and admire him as our provider. I think the pink roses are perfect to symbolize our marriage and how he looks at me as his wife. I can think of no better man that I would want to go through life with.


"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

 -Ephesians 5:33  (KJV)


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Am I Doing Enough?


Am I Doing Enough?

It's a question I often ask myself as I reflect on my children and the current state of our country. They do not see a lot of what I see, and we're doing our best to keep it that way. Children should be children and not have to worry over adult problems. It is my goal to prepare them to lead a good and moral life. We pray often, read our scriptures together, and talk about what is right and wrong. Overall, they're good children so I think I'm doing something right in that aspect. They're kind to others and for the most part get along with one another. But I do still wonder if I am doing enough. My heart is in constant prayer as I navigate motherhood. Only time will tell if I've succeeded in bringing goodness into the world. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Curry Artichoke and Rice Salad

Curry Artichoke and Rice Salad


Ingredients
1 box chicken flavored Rice-A-Roni
1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 tsp. curry powder

Directions
1. Prepare Rice-A-Roni as directed on the package. 
2. In a small bowl, whisk juice of artichoke hearts, mayonnaise, and curry powder. 
3. Meanwhile, chop the artichoke hearts into small bite sized pieces.
4. Combine Rice-A-Roni, artichoke hearts and mayonnaise mixture together.
5. Chill in the refrigerator.



Note: My Grandma's recipe calls for 2 c. of chopped chicken in place of the artichokes (you still need the juice from the jar). It's delicious, but I love the artichokes.