Sunday, March 31, 2019

Menu Plan for Week of March 31-April 6, 2019

Yep, that's what it looks like this morning, folks.  Snow on the daffodils.  After raining all day yesterday, it turned to snow last night and we got about an inch.  Hopefully it will melt today or tomorrow, probably tomorrow.  It is only 29 degrees right now, so it will take awhile to warm up.  My forsythia is covered in snow, and all the little green buds that were ready to pop on my cherry tree are now snow covered.  An early April Fool's joke from Mother Nature, I guess!

Spring Break is over today, so tomorrow the kids go back to school to sprint to the finish at the end of May.  These last two months of school are always crazy busy, with all the end of the year concerts, meetings, prom, Easter, the Indy 500, parties, sports, and on and on.  It wears me out just looking at the calendar.  But it's always a fun time, and then all of a sudden it's summer!

This week's menu plan is all made out and ready to go, except I still need to go to the grocery store today.  Somehow I got behind last week, and am still playing catch up.  For this week, the menu kind of eases up at the end of the week, because I have a couple dentist and doctor appointments during the day that will eat up all my time, no pun intended.  😉

So here is my menu plan for this week:
For a printable copy, please click HERE.
Recipe links and notes are below.

Farmhouse Cheddar Skillet Pie is from Cookstr - this is a good Sunday morning breakfast recipe

Easy Baked Pork Chops are from Stay At Home Chef - these are delicious and great for a quick weeknight meal.

No Bake Blueberry Dessert is from Adventures of Mel - cool and creamy, and light!  I make it with a gluten free graham cracker crust and 2 cans of blueberry pie filling.  Delicious!

Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls are from Dinner At The Zoo - easy and very good!

Frosted Fudge Brownies are from Taste of Home - tried and true, I love Taste of Home recipes!  Although it has changed over the past couple of years, I still use my old copies constantly!

Gluten Free Blueberry Banana Muffins are from Mama Knows Gluten Free - another winning recipe from Mama Knows!

Crockpot Italian Beef Sandwiches are from Centsless Deals - I buy Schar's ciabatta rolls for mine.  These are the next best thing to Portillos, for me!  If you haven't had a Portillos Italian Beef Sandwich, and you can eat gluten, go get one right now and dig in!

Easy Cheesy Fiesta Chowder is from Briana Thomas - so good and so good for you!

Easy Tiramisu is from Kitchen Nostalgia - so cool and creamy!

Potato Salad is from Julie's Eats and Treats - a good old fashioned recipe

Apple Pie is from All Recipes - this pie has a gazillion rave reviews, so it's sure to be good!

Fathead Pizza is from Noshtastic - I just have to try a recipe for anything called Fathead!  And it's gluten free!  I am putting our favorite toppings on it - sausage, pepperoni, black olives, and onion.

And that winds up another week of menus!  I hope you find an idea here that sounds good to you!  Have a wonderful week with wonderful meals with your family!

Saturday, March 30, 2019

April Cleaning Schedule

I love a clean house, don't you?  Unfortunately, mine is never as clean as I'd like, but hey, we live here!

I don't like to spend all day cleaning and cooking, because there are other things I want to do, too.  So each month, I make a cleaning schedule and try to stick to it as best as I can.  Sometimes I miss a day...or two...or three.  But that's okay, because I will get back to it eventually.

On my list, I have the chores I do daily as well as the day's special room to clean.  When I clean a room, it is usually dusting, straightening, vacuuming, and any other chores that need done. For bathrooms, I clean sinks, tubs, and toilets, wash throw rugs, and mop the floors.  I try to spend no more than an hour on the daily room I clean.  Sometimes I go over, but most of the time an hour is plenty of time for me to finish.  My daily chores take me about 20-30 minutes, and my daily room cleaning takes about an hour.  So that is about 1-1/2 hours of dedicated cleaning each day.  That doesn't include dishes or laundry, but I usually do dishes as I cook so there never are dishes piled in the sink.

Here is what my April cleaning schedule looks like:
For a printable copy, click HERE.

I like to simplify!  So, looking at the chart, the things on the left are done just about daily.  The list on the right coincides with the date.  So on April 1st, I clean the Guest Room.  April 2nd, my sewing room....and so on down the list.

Pretty easy, and this schedule gives me plenty of time to do other things I like to do during the day!  I didn't know if anyone reading this was looking for a cleaning schedule, but for me a schedule helps me stay on task.

With April just about here, I can't wait to open the windows and get some spring cleaning done!  Happy Cleaning!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Weekly Menu Plan for March 24-30, 2019

So sorry this is a tad late!  I went to visit my sister for a few days and just got back.  I am trying to get caught up now!  Hopefully, you still might find something you like!

This week, I am making a lot of easy prep meals, because I am in vacation mode.  I am just relaxing and enjoying spring break....and trying to get some shopping in while I can!

Here is this week's menu plan:
For a printable copy, please click HERE.
Recipe links and notes are below.

Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup is from Fast and Slow Cooking

Taco Salad is from Taste of Home - I have made this a lot, it is always good!

Tres Leche Cake is from The Recipe Critic

Chicken Ala King is from Kid Friendly Things To Do

Pineapple Cheesecake is from Food and Family

And that's it for this week!  Not very complicated!  Still, I hope you can find an idea or two to make for your family!
Have a great week!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Patchwork Drawstring Pouch

I finally had a few hours to sew, and I have been wanting to use some mini charm packs I ordered from Fat Quarter Shop a while ago.

I only had time to make one bag, and I decided to use the Moda Lilac Ridge mini charm pack I bought.  I love lilacs, and when my lilac bushes bloom in the spring I could just stay outside all day and breathe in their glorious scent.  When I was a little girl, there was a small town nearby that celebrated spring with a Lilac Festival.  There would be a parade, and some fun stuff like games for the kids and bake sales.  When we walked down the street, I think everyone had at least one lilac bush in their yard.  It was like heaven walking down that street and smelling those beautiful lilacs!  I will never forget that!

I love how this bag turned out!  I used all but 2 of the mini charms.  Here it is:

Isn't it pretty?  Do you see the lilacs in the top row?  It just makes me happy looking at it!

I used the tutorial from A Quilting Life for her Patchwork Gift Bag.  You can find the tutorial HERE.  It is very easy to follow, and only took me a couple of hours.  I didn't quilt mine, because I have quilted bags like this in the past and it makes the bag too stiff for my liking.  I like a softer bag.  For the cord casings, I stitched together 4 mini charms and cut the row to size.  I made mine patchwork on both sides.  

The only problem I had was at first, I used ribbon for the drawstrings.  It looked like this:

I loved the bag, but the ribbon was bugging me.  It just didn't seem right.  I looked and looked through my stash, and finally found a light beige material to use for the drawstrings.  I cut out the pieces, and was just finishing stitching the last one when my husband walked in with some gold drawstring cord he had just found in his closet.  He didn't know what it was from, and asked me if I could use it.  Perfect!  I cut it, and threaded it through the casings, and voila!  It was just what I had in mind!
This one is for my sister!  She will love the lilac connection to when we were little!

You should make one, or a dozen, of these!  I am going to use this tutorial over and over again!  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Weekly Menu Plan for Week of March 17-23, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I'm not Irish, but I do love corned beef and cabbage every year on this day!

This morning, my husband decided to make Sausage Gravy for us for breakfast - one regular, one gluten free.  2-1/2 hours later, I just finished cleaning up the kitchen and am sitting down with a cup of coffee and some quiet time on the computer. 😉 I did, though, get my corned beef and cabbage going during that 2-1/2 hour clean-up time.  I just put the corned beef, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and onion in the crockpot on low for 8 hours and let it simmer away all day.  This afternoon, I will make some Irish Soda Bread to go with it, and we will have our wonderful traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner!  I even bought some Kerrygold butter to use with the Irish Soda Bread.

This coming week is filled with doctor appointments and meetings, and supervising the grandkids for a half day each day.  They are on spring break, but my daughter is working the first four days of an inter-session their school holds for students who need extra help.  It is a half-day only, so I will have my afternoons to go where I need to go and do whatever I need to!  We are also hoping to go visit my sister sometime during spring break, and I cannot wait to see her!  We live about 6 hours apart, and visits are infrequent due to our busy lives!  But this year I decided to try and get up to visit her at least twice a year, more if I can manage.  I will also get to see my nephews and their families, and I just love to see them all.

I've got an easy week planned, meal-wise.  Since it is spring break, I'm giving myself a break in the kitchen, too!  Since the weather is turning warmer (40's and 50's), I am going to try and take a 30 minute walk each day.  I am terrible about doing this, so wish me luck!

Here is this week's menu:
For a printable copy, please click HERE.
Recipe links and notes are below.


Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets are from Mama Knows Gluten Free - I have made these several times and they are delicious!  And easy!

Coleslaw is from Barefeet in the Kitchen - I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it sounds like a winner!

Pina Colada Poke Cake is from The Country Cook


Strawberry Cheesecake Bars are from The Seaside Baker - I just found this blog and cannot wait to try these bars!


Lasagna Soup is from Cooking Classy - I will use gluten free lasagna noodles in place of regular noodles

Chocolate Cake is from Hersheys - the classic chocolate cake made gluten free


Gluten Free Oven Baked Fish is from Mama Gourmand - the crust is made from potato chips, Rice Chex, and Parmesan Cheese

Key Lime Pie is from Southern Bite - ending the week with a little more green!

That's it for this week!  Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest if you'd like!  The button is on the right sidebar at the top.  It seems there a ton of people following me on Bloglovin', too!  I am amazed!  Have a wonderful week, and  Think Spring!  It's coming!! 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

French Spice Bread

This past week, I was in the mood for a gluten free quick bread.  I wanted to try something new, but I didn't exactly know what I was looking for.  I searched around on Pinterest for awhile, and then this recipe jumped out at me.  French Spice Bread from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

It looked quick and easy to make, except for one thing.  I didn't have cashew butter.  I almost decided not to make it, and then it dawned on me that I had peanut butter.  Peanut butter is a nut butter, right?  So I decided to substitute the peanut butter for the cashew butter and see what happened.

I totally do not understand how nut butters can replace flour in a recipe, and I truly do not understand how you can make a loaf of bread with no flour.  But this recipe works!  The outcome is a dark, spicy, aromatic loaf of bread that reminds me of fall.  I will most definitely make this bread in the fall.  It slices beautifully, and has a glossy sheen that makes it a so pretty.  Now the spicy flavors are not hot spicy, they are cinnamon-clove spicy.  It is a very flavorful loaf, and spread with cinnamon cream cheese it is just wonderful with a cup of coffee in the morning.

Here it is right out of the oven:
It couldn't be easier to make.  You just whisk everything together in a bowl, pour it into a loaf pan, and bake.  I used one regular size loaf pan, but Gourmande in the Kitchen suggested two mini loaves.  Here is the recipe I used, adapted from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

French Spice Bread - For a printable recipe, click HERE.

4 large eggs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup honey
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
The zest of 1 medium orange
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2.  In a medium bowl. whisk together the eggs, peanut butter, and almond butter until combined.  Stir in the honey, spices, orange zest, and baking soda.
3.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until loaf is lightly browned and puffed.  A toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. 
4.  Remove the loaf from the baking pan, and place on a wire rack to cool.  Store the bread wrapped in an airtight container.

Here is a link to the original recipe:  French Spice Bread  

As you can see, I left out a couple of spices used in the original recipe because I didn't have them on hand.  The loaf still turned out beautifully.

If you enjoy dark, spicy bread I think you will like this one!

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Weekly Menu Plan for Week of March 10-16, 2019

Clocks were moved an hour ahead last night.  Now, I'm ready for spring.  Flowers, sunshine, warmer breezes.  Birds chirping, grass greening, worms on the sidewalk after it rains.  Capris.  Light jackets.  I am ready and waiting.

Here in Indiana, March can be a bit tricky.  The weather changes abruptly from warm to cold in an instant, and we can still get snow and ice.  But the good news is, it doesn't last long.  So even if we have a cold spell, it usually doesn't last longer than a few days.  With one more week until spring break, I'm just hoping the kids can enjoy some outdoor activities for at least part of their break.

This week's menu continues to have some gluten free meals woven into the plan.  I am getting fewer complaints, especially since most of the gluten free stuff is healthy and quite good.  I really enjoy cooking the same meal for everyone, instead of cooking for them and then cooking for me. It makes life much easier for me!  And gives me more time to sew and knit!  And watch Netflix!

And speaking of Netflix, if you haven't watched Saving Mr. Banks yet, you must watch it.  It is really a good movie, and I laughed and cried throughout the whole thing.  Walt Disney was such a wonderful man, such a dedicated and talented person!  I had no idea there was such a background to the movie Mary Poppins.  Now I want to watch Mary Poppins again with a new perspective.  I am so glad they saved Mr. Banks!  I don't think there is a movie Tom Hanks made that I don't like.  But this one really touched my heart!  

Now for this week's menu plan.  Here it is:
For a printable copy, please click HERE.
Recipe links and notes are below.

***NOTE:  GF in front of a recipe means Gluten Free

Breakfast Bowls are from Iowa Girl Eats - I am making these ahead on Saturday and freezing some for the coming weeks
Easy Mozzarella Chicken is from Café Delites - everything I have ever made from this blog is outstanding - I trust all of her recipes!
Almond Butterscotch Bars are from Recipe Goldmine - this is a new recipe for me

Classic Goulash is from Dinner Then Dessert - I will use gluten free pasta
Chicagoland Atomic Cake is from Recipe Goldmine - Oh my goodness, this looks so good I wish I could taste it!  But I imagine everyone will go crazy over this cake!

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup is from Now Find Gluten Free
Gluten Free Cornbread is from My Gluten Free Kitchen - this sounds delicious, but if I am running short on time, Krusteaz makes a good gluten free cornbread mix that I always keep on hand
Mom's Ice Cream Dessert is from All Recipes 

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins are from Gluten Free Baking - once in awhile I like muffins for a change of pace at breakfast
Gluten Free Pizza is from Meaningful Eats - always ready to try a new pizza crust!

Shepherds Pie is from What A Girl Eats 

Slow Cooker Ribs are from Buns In My Oven
Gluten Free Chocolate Cream Pie is from Faithfully Gluten Free 

Shamrock Protein Shakes are from Dashing Dish - super yummy!

That's it for this week!  Next week, I know we are having corned beef and cabbage on Sunday to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Last year, I made two of them.  One in the crockpot, one in the Instant Pot.  We wanted to compare the two.  Our decision was that we liked the crockpot version best!  We loved how the corned beef turned out in the Instant Pot, but the veggies didn't have much flavor.  I think they need the slow cooking to absorb the flavors from all the juices.  So crockpot it is for this year!  I already have a corned beef in the freezer, and I'm going to try some gluten free Irish Soda Bread for me this year!  

Have a great week, and hope you can find an idea or recipe here you can use!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Weekly Menu Plan for Week of March 3-9, 2019

Spring has to be coming, right?  If we just hang in there a couple more weeks, it will come, won't it? I'm starting to count down the days....I'm about done with winter.  And we haven't had it near as bad as a lot of people.  Just done with freezing.  And snow.  And ice.  I can't wait for birds chirping, green grass, flower buds, and to see my forsythia in bloom.  Patience.

Last week was another crazy one, with two grandkids home sick for two days and one for three days.  I felt like I was working full-time again!  Finally on Thursday, they were all back in school and on the mend.  Strep and flu, it hit hard.  I hope it, like Elvis, has left the building!  Everyone had a good, healthy weekend so I'm crossing my fingers they are all good to go this week.

For this week's menu plan, I am again trying to focus on some healthy dishes.  Grandma and Grandpa need to stay healthy and active with this family!  I wish the weather would warm up a bit because we need to start walking every day.  But it's too cold this week!  Maybe by the end of the week we can start.

Here is this week's menu plan.  There are LOTS of links this week, because most of the recipes are new for me.  I'm trying to keep things interesting!
For a printable copy, please click HERE.
Recipe links and notes are below.

Slow Cooker Irish Stew is from Slow Cooker Gourmet - I made this tonight and it was delicious!  I used cornstarch instead of flour, and no beer because I didn't have gluten free beer.  It was still very yummy!

Gluten Free Cheese Garlic Biscuits are from Betty Crocker - they were very good!

Gluten Free Kentucky Butter Cake is from Mama Knows Gluten Free - excellent!

Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots is from Cooking Classy - a very good recipe for pot roast

Gluten Free Rolls are from Life After Wheat - new recipe, can't wait to make these

Gluten Free Lemon Meringue Pie is from Pillsbury - looks so good!

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is from Gimme Some Oven - actually, this is just the recipe for the sauce.  I am adding the chicken and broccoli and gluten free penne pasta to the sauce.  I just use two cooked chicken breasts, dice them, and add a package of frozen broccoli cuts.  Stir that into the sauce and serve over gluten free pasta.

Shepherds Pie is from Genius Kitchen - this recipe is lowfat and gluten free

Skinny Banana Pudding Trifles are from Dashing Dish - a new recipe for me to try

Hershey's Gluten Free Brownies are from Hershey's - tried and true, and perfect!

That takes us through another week - then only 2 weeks until spring!  I hope you have a wonderful, healthy week and that you can find an idea or two to use from this week's menu!