Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Update

Tuesday I posted about stocking up for Winter. For me stocking up in winter is all about convenience, not necessity. I wanted to share some comments I received:

From Peggy in Alaska:

"Saw your post via Tammy's Tuesday tips and couldn't pass it up. We live in Alaska so stocking up for Winter is imperative. We had our first snow of the season back in September (28th to be exact) and have had snow on the ground every since. Our days haven't gotten too cold yet, we have been staying around 10 so far. We heat with a wood stove during the winter so we can still cook if the electricity goes out. Right now I think we have about 20 cases of canned fruit (8 cans per case), powdered milk, 150#wheat berries (hard and soft), 15# white sugar, 50# raw sugar, 1 gallon honey, 10 # white flour,8 cases-corn & 12-cases green beans (12 per case), 80# spaghetti, 24# macaroni, 5# dried apples, 5# dried bananas, and 5# dried cranberries. We also have numerous 1 gallon bags of wild blueberries. Our winters are long (7 to 8) months so as you can see we have to really stock up in order to avoid driving to town which is an hour away! We have three boys between the ages of 9 and 14 so you can also see how our food disappears so quickly!!

From Sonshine:

With living in the upper midwest, stocking up is essential for me! Once the snow starts to fall around here I am going to either clean milk jugs or get a couple of jugs of water to have on hand for the just in case a water pipe breaks and the water gets shut off for several hours! My pantry is stocked year around but the winter months I make sure that I have a few more things where I can do meals out of cans if necessary.

Thanks for all my commenters for shedding a new perspective on this post! I really enjoyed hearing how different people need to prepare for their family in winter.

This week has been typical fall weather for our area. We've had a few drizzly cool days, but today promises to be bright, shiny and the high will be in the low seventies. Its currently 52 degrees outside at 6:00 A.M. Our leaf color is at its peak right now. I am loving the beautiful sight of leaves flying all over the place as I'm driving around and when looking out my windows at home.

Monday night I made a new recipe that I wanted to share with you. Its a combination of a recipe I found online and my own ideas. I know a lot of people frown upon using cream soups. Sorry, but it tastes good to me! You can always substitute a home made version of the soup if you wish. I was looking for something that would use some boneless chicken breasts and a large container of sour cream that I wanted to start using. So this is what I came up with:

Chicken Crunch Bake

3 boneless chicken breasts (about 2 or 2 1/2 lbs)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream (mine is low fat)
1/2 regular size can or 1 small can of sweet peas (aka garden peas here in NC)
1 sleeve of saltine crackers
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
Small amount of cooking oil
8 oz of pasta (we used shells)
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and cook them in a frying pan in a small amount of cooking oil just until done. I sprinkled a little salt and pepper around. Remove and place in a baking dish. Combine the soup, sour cream and garden peas in a bowl and then pour over the chicken in the baking dish. Crush the sleeve of crackers and swirl them around in the melted margarine. Scatter this all over the top of the dish. Bake in the oven, uncovered, 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Serve the chicken crunch bake over the pasta.

As always, you can make this recipe more healthy by using low fat versions of the sour cream and soup.

Monday morning before work I browned up 2 pounds of ground beef with onions and put this in two separate containers in the fridge. It was very convenient to come home from work Tuesday night, simply add a jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat and cook a pot of spaghetti noodles. We had lettuce and all the salad fixins to go with it.

Last night I had one more package of boneless chicken breasts in the fridge. I cut these into strips, dredged them in flour and made fried chicken strips. With this I served baked beans and salad. I also made some fried cornbread.

Tonight I will make something using the other bowl of pre-browned ground beef and onion. Maybe chili!

I posted last week about Laundry in my home. I stated that it aggravates me to have laundry going all the time and I had just as soon wait until Saturday and do it all..... well, that didn't work too well this past weekend. I was doing laundry til the cows come home, Saturday, Sunday and finally finished up Monday morning.

My plan this week is to do 2 or 3 loads of laundry during the week from start to finish in one work session. This morning as soon as I got up (5:30 A.M.) I gathered up a large load of light colors and started them. While I was posting here and doing other things, they washed. I have already placed them in the dryer and am going to fold them AND put them away before I leave for work. That way I don't feel like laundry is going on nonstop. Usually I would wash the clothes in the morning, dry them at night and get them out of the dryer the next day and keep that cycle going. I'm going to do the same thing tomorrow morning with a large load of darks. When Saturday comes I'll still have laundry, but not be overwhelmed, I hope!

Also placing the drying rack in the out of the way place in our bedroom (outside the bathroom door) is working great! We are able to dry our towels for our own personal re-use. They dry better there and stay fresher. The only problem is Hubby keeps forgetting to grab his before going into the shower!!! LOL

HEY tomorrow's Friday! TA, RA, RA, BOOM DE A!


Teresa said...

I just wanted to encourage you. I was having the same frustrations over the never ending pile(We are a family of 4)of laundry until a dear friend said to me that the laundry would never be "done" because we live. So she helped me to focus on just one load and enjoy the satisfaction of that load and to pray as I am doing that load. Funny how a change in focus can do wonders for the stress level. Ha ha. Overall I am doing about 6 loads a week-but my focus is only on one, so the all or nothing mentality is gone. Hope this helps
A blog reader,

Debbie J. said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement Teresa! You are absolutely right. Laundry is a blessing which shows we have loved ones who are around to get them dirty! Also it shows that we have the money to buy the clothes, we are blessed with a washer and dryer or have access to a laundromat.

Mary Ann said...

The chicken casserole looks yummy. I make a similar one with Ritz crackers and poppy seeds. I know cream soups aren't good for you but they are so good and my husband really likes stuff made with them at least occasionally. :-)

Melinda said...

Your chicken recipe looks really good! I'll have to give that a try. I also use canned cream of soups in casseroles.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all your little tips of how you break tasks down. They are very good reminders. I have not been so productive in the kitchen this week and need to get going with that! :)

Your casserole looks very tasty to me. You mentioned fried cornbread - that sounds quite delicious, would you mind sharing how you do that? I should have been born in the south, I love all southern food!

BLUE SKY said...

My goodness I love North Carolina and these 70 degree winter days!!! Reading how there is already snow on the ground in Alaska and that the high was 10 - it really does put things in perspective!! You must have to be a really good planner to make sure you have what you need in a climate like that. Love you Mama, that Chicken bake looks yum.

Pen Pen said...

I've been thinking of restocking our freezer. We had lots and lots of ground deer meat last year. With the kids eating from it too, it dwindled away pretty fast. Hubby is going deer hunting this week.... maybe more meat???? I love that feeling of "being prepared." YOur chicken casserole dish looks yummy.

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