Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Warm and Humid

Hello everyone! 

The weather here is starting to turn warmer- we're up in the 80's most days, and a few days in the 90's, too. 

If you are like me, and don't have central air conditioning, cooking can be a rather daunting task when it's already 82 in the house.  I try to rely on skillet meals, crock pot meals, and cold suppers when the thermometer climbs. 

I thought today I'd share a few of my favorite recipes that do not require you to turn on the oven. 

Skillet Meals

Ground Beef Stroganoff
1 lb ground beef
1 med. onion, diced
4 slices crisp bacon, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream
8 oz cooked pasta of your choice (I usually use rotini)

Brown ground beef and onion, drain.  Add in salt, paprika and cream of mushroom soup.  Cook on low for 10 minutes.  Stir in bacon.  When ready to serve, add in sour cream.  Heat through, but don't allow the mixture to come to a boil.  Serve over pasta.   Serves 4

I served this last night with mixed vegetables, pickled beets, and bread and butter. 

Santa Fe Chicken Skillet

1 onion, chopped
1 T butter
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 c. salsa
1 c. uncooked rice (regular rice, not the instant kind)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts ( 6 oz each)
1 cup cheddar cheese

Saute onion in butter until tender.  Add in broth and salsa.  Bring to a boil then stir in rice. Place chicken over rice.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Turn chicken and cook 10-15 minutes longer till chicken is cooked and rice is tender.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Serves 4

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
4-6 chicken tenderloins
Wing Sauce
Blue Cheese Crumbles
2 Sandwich Rolls
Optional- ranch or blue cheese dressing

 Over medium heat, cook chicken tenderloins in a skillet until cooked through.  Chop roughly and place in a bowl.  Add in as much wing sauce as you would like.  Stir to coat.  Add in 2-3 Tablespoons of blue cheese crumbles.  Allow cheese to warm/melt then place chicken onto sandwich roll.  Top with lettuce and tomato.  Use blue cheese or ranch dressing on the side, if you'd like to dip your sandwich.  Serves 2

Other easy meals that can be cooked on the stove top:

* Sloppy Joe sandwiches (hubby likes a slice of cheddar cheese on his- try it!)
* Tacos
* Eggs and Bacon (most everyone likes a 'breakfast for supper' night now and again)
* Stir Fry

Next time, I'll give you some crockpot meal ideas! 

This time of the year, I have a bigger problem with dust than I seem to in the winter time.  (If you have forced air heat, you may have the opposite problem!) I find it easiest to dust on a specific schedule instead of doing it "whenever it needs it"...cause if I were to do that, it likely wouldn't get done at all.  Truly, to just do a quick touch up job, it takes me about 15 minutes and I tend to watch TV while I'm doing it.  I always use a dry cloth (such as swiffer) or a feather duster and just give everything a quick wipe.  When the pollen is out and the windows are open, it tends to accumulate pretty quickly.  I recommend a once a week dusting to keep things looking neat and tidy. 

I've been listening to both of these CD's recently and I recommend them to you.  Joey + Rory are a country duo and both my husband and myself really like their music.  The latest CD they released is a collection of classic country hits that they grew up listening to.  They are down-to-earth people who really love what they do, and really love each other.  They have their own TV show on RFD-TV.  We went to see them in concert a couple years ago, and they were truly wonderful- they signed CD's for us, took pictures with us, and were so friendly and nice. 

The Wow Worship Deluxe edition double CD is great!  I actually won this by calling into a radio contest at WGRC- I couldn't believe I actually got through, and couldn't believe that I had the first correct response.  Woohoo!  Who doesn't love free music?  :)

I suppose that's all for today, friends.  I hope you are doing well.  Thank you for taking the time to read my little blog.  May God bless you!  :) 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Book Recommendation or Two...

Howdy there, friends!  

How are you all doing today?  I hope you are well and that you are enjoying a great morning, day, or evening, depending on when you're reading this. 

I thought today's post might be a bit shorter- I've wanted to do a recommendation post for awhile now, but wasn't quite sure exactly what you might be interested in...then I got an idea. 

Are you looking for a book filled with wonderful memories, happy nostalgic photos, and happy snippets of people's lives?  There are quite a few books that were put out by Reiman publications back in the late 1990's/early 2000's that I recommend for anyone. 

These books are easy to find on Amazon- I bought them all for 1 penny each (plus 3.99 shipping) with the exception of the School Days book.  I won that one in a "find Hattie's Hatpin" contest sponsored by Reminsce back in 2000!  I don't have all of the books, but here are the titles in case you aren't able to read them from the picture:

"When Families Made Memories Together"
"We Had Everything But Money"
"School Days"
"We Pulled Together...and Won!"

Other titles that I'll purchase as space on the bookshelf allows:

"We Made Our Own Fun"
"When the Banks Closed, We Opened Our Hearts"
"The Christmases We Used to Know"
"Motorin' Along"
"Tough Times, Strong Women"

These books are nicely printed on glossy paper, have lots of black and white pictures with captions, and are jam packed with stories sent in by readers of Reminisce magazine.   

 I would recommend sticking with the older titles.  Reiman Publications was bought out by Reader's Digest in 2005 or so and things have really gone downhill since then.  I no longer subscribe to Taste of Home, Reminisce, or Country Woman because the magazines (in my opinion) have been VERY commercialized and have lost so much of the essence of what made them special. 

Here is a peek at what you can expect to read in these wonderful, homey, wholesome books: 

"When I was 14 or 15 years old, I saw a cedar hope chest in the Sears catalog and knew that's waht I wanted for Christmas. But we didn't have much money that year and Dad was working at odd jobs just to feed us all.  I put the hope chest out of my mind. 

When Dad finished doing some work for a neighbor, she offered him an old clothes closet she no longer needed.  Dad remembered my wish, took that closet apart, and made a cedar chest for me for Christmas!  He also used the wood to make a jewelry box for my sister. 

That chest is still my prized piece- a reminder of a young girl's wish, and all her dad did to make it come true."  From When Families Made Memories Together

And here's another:

"After three days at an invasion site in Salerno, Italy, our assault transport, the USS Samuel Chase, started back to Algeria.  That night the Luftwaffe found us and we underwent an intense raid.  Just as the attack subsided, one of the 40 mm guns malfunctioned.  At daybreak, the gunner's mates discovered a broken part. 

There was no replacement part to be found in Algeria; we'd have to wait until we got back to the States.  In Bayonne, New Jersey we were surprised we still couldn't locate the part. 

The word went out all along the East Coast, but we kept getting the same response: No part.
Finally, a seaman who had observed this fiasco said, "I think I can find that part."  In a most unmilitary way, he was given cash, a car, and a driver.  Her returned within in the hour.

"Did you find one?" he was asked.


"How much was it?"

"Five bucks," the sailor said, "so I bought four."

"Where on earth did you find them?"

"Montgomery Ward." 

From We Pulled Together...and Won!"

I hope that you enjoyed these two little snippets from some books that I consider warm, comforting, and a nice slice of life from back in the day. 

God bless you, reader.  Have a wonderful evening. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little blog.  I do appreciate it.  :)