Monday, December 29, 2014

Too Blessed to Be Stressed!

As I write this post, I am hearing the continuous sound of rain drops falling on the roof and on the A/C-Heating unit outside the window. After being out of work for a week, driving into work in the pouring rain on a Monday morning is not sounding too good. But, one of my goals for 2015 is to think positively. Positive thoughts, positive words and no (less?) anxiety.  I want to be intentional about having peace in my life in small and large things.

This is my new planner for 2015. I really like it a lot. In fact I bought 6 while they were on sale at Family Christian Store for gifts. The things I like are that its small enough to fit in my pocketbook, it has a page for monthly goals, the whole month at a glance and each page has a Bible verse and a small motivational paragraph.


So, I had to share with you what the scripture and devotion for this week is:

"Papa God is our heavenly Father, and we can trust that He will get us safely where we need to be.  We don't need to worry, fret, or fear the what-ifs."

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.  Psalm 56:3

I'll quote even further the devotion for the month of January ends with this:  "...By opening that station wagon door of trust and climbing in.  By making the choice to relax in the backseat, enjoy the journey, and let Papa drive." (emphasis mine)

Ok, so I will let Papa drive, and trust that He will get me to work safely.  But, if not, I know its His will!

Have a great Monday, the last one for 2014!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beef Pot Pie


I made beef pot pie for Sunday's lunch. We love chicken pot pie and I kept remembering those little  frozen beef pot pies I used to buy years ago.    They were mostly beef and potatoes, not many vegetables. 

The recipe I came up with starts out in a frying pan looking like this:
  

After being transferred to a baking dish and adding the crust, its cooked in the oven until lightly browned.


After being dipped into a serving bowl, it looks deliciously yummy!




Here's how I made it:

Ingredients:

1 lb of beef, cut into bite size pieces.

Mine was chuck steak.  I think ground beef would be good and I plan to try that next time.   This is a great way to use those small packages of meat you sometimes see marked down at the grocery store.

Small amount of chopped onion
Olive oil for browning the beef and onion
1 can of Vegall, undrained.  ( I sometimes add 1 small can of garden peas, but didn't have any on hand this time.  You could also used frozen mixed vegetables or fresh vegetables that you have precooked.  You can use your imagination and put together any combination of vegetables.)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
3 or 4 small potatoes, peeled, cut into bite size pieces and boiled in a separate pot
pepper

Directions:

Brown the beef and onion over medium heat in the olive oil until done.
Sprinkle the flour all over the mixture and stir
Add the can of vegall and stir
Add the beef broth and stir.
Cook over medium heat until it starts to slightly bubble and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.  You can always add more liquid if you think its too thick.  It will thicken more when baking in the oven.
Then pour it into a baking dish
Stir in the extra potatoes

The crust can be made in many ways.  You can make your own pie crust or use store bought.  I have even made it using a can of crescent rolls.

This time I used this recipe:

Crust:

1 cup of milk
1 stick of margarine melted (butter does not do well in this recipe.  I don't know why, but it doesn't)
1 cup of self rising flour
1 tsp of baking powder

Mix together until just blended.  It will be lumpy, but that's ok.
Pour it evenly over the beef and veggie mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until lightly browned.

You may notice that salt wasn't listed as an ingredient.  There's already plenty of salt in the Vegall and the beef broth.  We try not to add salt to our food if we can help it for health reasons.

Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 Christmas stockings for our grandsons....

Good Friday Morning to you! I can't believe its already December 12th and in only 2 weeks, Christmas will be behind us! Here's a picture of all five of the Christmas stockings for our five grandsons. I needed to make two new ones for the last two years in a row. 4 grandbabies in diapers and 1 in second grade. I am amazed!

And the Stockings were hug by the chimney with care....

The little tin Christmas ornaments were bought while in the Tennessee Mountains and while on a trip to Pennsylvania Amish Country.   I think they are really cute and make the stockings more special.

I made the one for Jake using some black and white houndstooth fabric with the red cuff in an effort to please his Alabama fan Mama.  She likes it!

Enjoy your Friday!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Goodbye October


 My first attempt at making a garden flag.  I appliqued the curly "J" on the fabric with the sewing machine and put rocks in the bottom to help keep the flag straight in windy weather.  Everything worked well, except the black fabric "J" was faded in just a few days by the sun.  I fixed that by painting the "J" with some acrylic paint that I had on hand.  Worked like a charm! 

 


Baby Jake's pumpkin was put to good use in his family's Fall display.


These lilies bloomed really late this year.


I finished the Papa Jack Quilt.


Loads of pumpkins.


A pumpkin topiary designed by my hubby.


Baby Eli playing the piano.


My hubby brought me these beautiful mums and pumpkins.




I did a lot of Fall cleaning.  You can get a good amount of work done in only 20 minutes a day.  I loosely followed Flylady's zones.  Each week before work I worked in a different room of the house doing some detail cleaning.  The biggest problem in our house is dust.  Its everywhere.  I have to vacuum, dust and dustmop constantly to stay on top of it.  Thinking ahead to the holidays is much less stressful for me when I have the housework under control.


I love this time of year and look forward to November, and the winter. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Look what I made!

Sometimes I get in the mood to do a little crocheting, especially this time of the year.  Here's my most recent project.  Its a Minion hat!  I made this for grandson #4, who is now 2 1/2 months old.  The size of the hat is 3 to 6 months, so should be perfect for the Fall and Winter.   He looked soooo cute in it!


I'm still learning how to crochet.  Believe me, after not picking up a crochet hook since before Christmas last year, I had to relearn what little I knew! 

If you aren't sure what a Minion is, HERE they are.  I chose the Minion with one eye, since the hat was kind of small. 



Monday, September 22, 2014

End of Summer Garden

This summer, we only had a small raised bed garden, but boy has it produced for us.   We have had lots of grape tomatoes. In fact they have needed to be picked constantly and I should be out there this morning picking them again.  I have found that they are good in vegetable soup.  Saturday I used some of them in a pot of soup and froze two quart bags for future soups.



The other day I picked 25 bell peppers from just two plants.  The plants were about to break from the weight!


Its kind of hard to use that many bell peppers, but I'm trying.  Here's a pan of stuffed peppers ready to go into the oven.


Since its the first day of fall, I just had to show some pumpkins!  We didn't grown these.  My hubby brought these home for me.


Happy Fall!

Monday, September 15, 2014

In The Kitchen With Debbie - An easy and delicious one dish meal.

Good Monday morning to you!

I've been seeing an easy chicken, green bean and potato recipe on the internet, on Facebook, blogs and Pinterest, called One Dish Italian Chicken.  I'm always interested in easy, yet delicious and healthy meals, so I decided to give it a try.

As usual I changed it up a little bit to make use of what I already had on hand in my pantry.

The original recipe calls for green beans, boneless chicken breasts and new red potatoes.  You sprinkle Italian dressing mix on top and cut up butter on the chicken.  There is a page full of these recipes on Pinterest HERE.

Before adding the fried onions.


I substituted Ranch dressing mix and I only used about half of the package.  I then sprinkled some French's French Fried Onions all over the top.  The potatoes I had on hand were regular potatoes, not the new red ones, so I peeled some of those and cut them up into chunks.

Ready to go in the oven.
We are trying limit our salt intake so I didn't add any salt.  There is enough salt and flavor in the ranch dressing mix and the fried onions to make this dish delicious. 

The finished product.

This recipe is a keeper!  You can't beat it for being an easy to put together meal all in one dish.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sweetie Pies are growing.

We now have 5 grandsons and as the old saying goes, "As soon as they are born you start losing them" These two are growing and changing so fast.

Eli sopping up spaghetti Os with watermelon.

Legos for a 7th birthday gift.

Eli in constant motion.....

Lots of falling and getting right back up.

Wow, I didn't realize how tall those soybeans are.

Interesting flower.

Standing up in the swring.

Brothers

Running

Climbing.
I really need to get in better shape!  I need to be able to keep up with them and that's not easy.....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Signs of Fall at the Farmhouse.....

Of all the Summer months, my favorite is August.  The reason for this is that its the closest one to Fall!  During August I start dreaming a little bit of Autumn...... I will start enjoying the scent of a pumpkin candle.... note that a few Dogwood Tree leaves have fallen..... enjoy the purple spike flowers of the Lirope that always bloom in August and other harbingers that signal that the end of Summer is coming.
 

This year I have enjoyed a Sunflower and some pumpkins from God.  The above sunflower and the below pumpkins grew with no assistance from me.  The pumpkins volunteered in the spot where some pumpkins had been discarded last winter.  Pumpkins don't grow well around here but these managed to grow to maturity.


We've had a lot of nice rain this summer and haven't hit 100 degrees on a single day.... yet.   Lots of days have been down right Fall-like.  I snapped the below picture of some grape tomatoes early one morning between showers.
 

When I saw these "three" heart shaped Morning Glory leaves I couldn't help but think "Father, Son and Holy Spirit".



Dogwood Leaf:



Leaves of Three, Leave it be?


Another nice thing about the end of August,... Baby Jake will soon be here.


Enjoy your late summer!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Now that's a sandwich!

OK, this is the ultimate summer sandwich.  Its stick to the roof of your mouth, NOT whole wheat bread, running down your chin juiciness, healthy and bad for you all at the same time, goodness.


Gotta love a tomato that's so big, one slice covers the whole piece of bread!


We didn't grow this tomato, but it was locally grown.  Our tomatoes aren't as pretty, but every bit as delicious, if not more so!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Freezing Field Peas

Out in the country, here in the South, we love our peas.  Not the little green peas that come in cans, but peas that, after being cooked, turn brownish gray.


One of my brothers called me Saturday to see if I wanted a bushel of peas.  He had already picked them and would bring them to me.  I said yes, of course.  The only problem is that they would need to all be hand shelled because the automatic shellers could not shell wet peas.  Since, it has been raining for days around here, the automatic sheller was not an option.  I could have spread them out and let them dry, but it would have been too late in the day on a Saturday.  Besides hand shelling is free.


I figured with it being a rainy day, I could just stay inside, watch tv and shell the peas, taking my time, even if I ended up shelling some on Sunday.


I didn't realize that one of my thumbs would start hurting after one pan full was shelled.  I think its early arthritis.  Anyway, when my hubby got home from a full day of work, he went right to work and shelled all but the two pans I shelled.  I was so amazed and thankful!!!


I shelled the peas in the small bowl and he shelled the peas in the large one!  However, I did do the blanching and freezing of the peas.

I have been purging and organizing our chest freezer and maybe I can show you some pictures of the frozen peas and the freezer organization later this week.  I am planning for fall and winter soups!

Meanwhile, I've got to get to work!  Have a great Monday!

Practice first.... Sew once!

I worked on the monogrammed bags I am making for Christmas gifts over the weekend.  I had already been successful with one bag.  The monogra...