Wednesday…

I got home tonight to find my husband had made dinner. Now when I say made, he put the stuffed pasta shells and pasta sauce I made the other week and froze, into the oven to cook. But I still appreciate it very much ūüôā It’s nice to come home after a long day and have a hot and healthy meal ready for you. It’s also nice to know after almost 4 years of marriage (and 6 years together)¬†that he still takes the time to make such a loving gesture.

As I get older I try to look for the little things that make life good. Some days it may be hard, but usually achievable. Even on the worst day I have found a kind comment, someone let me over in traffic, my dogs playing, or a hug from my husband, may be all there is… but it is still good. I think in a world where all you see on TV is bad news, poor taste in shows,¬† negative behaviors being glamorized, and so many things¬†that can break down¬†a spirit… it is nice to seek out the good and try to keep out the bad, especially for kids sakes. There are good things on TV, but you have to look and really¬†pay attention to a show, even the subtleties of it to make sure it is appropriate for you and your family. As someone once said…¬†When you put junk in… you¬†get junk out.

Well, hump day is over and so is half the week. It passes by quicker each year. I hope you have a good rest of the week.

Tuesday…

It was another long day. I had a training at work that started before¬†I normally go in on a Tuesday. Then¬†I worked my normal hours after that, for an 10 hour day total. It was nice to get off and come home to my husband and dad at the table waiting on the chinese food I was bringing, so they wouldn’t have to wait¬†for me to cook. They were sitting around counting the change they had collected as the dogs were laying underfoot. I always enjoy the feeling of coming home to family (this includes the pets).¬†I love walking¬†in the door being greeted with smiling faces, kisses, and wagging tails. It makes a good day better and a bad day good.¬†Tomorrow is set to be a busy day too at work, but I am looking forward to coming home to walk the dogs and enjoy the sunshine.

I was looking through my photos the other day and found this picture of our most recent chicks when they were a few days old. I thought I would share because I think they are cuties.

The chicks a few days after they were born...

I hope y’all have a happy Wednesday…

Monday…

What a day… I am ready for bed. Work was long. When I got home and after I put on the pot roast (see recipes section), my husband and I took the dogs on a long walk. For the first day in a long time it was nice weather, sunny, and¬†NO WIND. The chickens who had been let out in the back yard, were playing and pecking around.¬†We went walking and just enjoyed the beauty of the¬†country. It’s so funny to watch the dogs on a walk as they seem to live for long walks and nice weather.

Baxter and Chase having a ball on their walk...

The appear to smile and glow. It’s so nice to watch and hard not to smile when you see them. I love having my pups and think I am getting a little glimpse into the future¬†for when God blesses us with kids. It’s not always easy, but it is rewarding at the end of most days. ¬†We saw our neighbor on the way back from our walk¬†and stopped to talk. It’s always nice to catch up¬†with the neighbors.

I hope you all have a blessed week.

Grandmas Pot Roast Updated

You will need:

  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3-5 lb chuck roast
  • Garlic powder, Salt, and Pepper to season roast
  • 2 large or 4-5 small onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 stem fresh oregano or 1 tbsp dried
  • 1 small bag baby carrots
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water

What you need…

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 300*

2. Chop onions and potatoes into quarters or smaller if desired.

The onions and Potatoes quartered

3. Generously salt and pepper pot roast adding garlic powder.

The roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder…

4. Heat over medium heat 2 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil in a large dutch oven or large pot that can go in the oven.

5. Place cut onions in the pot and cook 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until onions are evenly browned on most sides.

The onions browning…

6. Remove onions from the pot and put aside.

7. You may want to add more oil at this point. Put potatoes and¬†carrots in the pot and brown like the onions. This usually takes about 10-12 minutes. Make sure you stir every couple of minutes so the potatoes don’t stick. The carrots and potatoes wont brown as much as the onions.

Carrots and Potatoes browning…

8. Add garlic till it starts to soften with the potatoes and carrots.

9. Remove all the vegetables and put them with the onions on a plate.

10. Add a couple more tablespoons of oil to a hot-pot over medium high heat and then sear the pot roast on each side. About 2 minutes a side.

Roast side 1

Roast side 3

11.When all the sides are seared remove the roast from the pot and de-glaze it with 1 cup of the beef broth, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon or wisk.

12. Place the roast back in the pot and add the vegetables on top.

It all goes back in

13. Sprinkle in the thyme and oregeno, and add the remaining 3 cups of beef brother and 2 cups water.

Broth in the pot

14. Cover and place in the oven. Cook about 1 to 1 1/2 hours per pound. For my 3.29 lb roast I cooked it for 4 1/2 hours or until the roast falls apart when you try to get it out of the pot. * cooking times can vary depending on your oven*

In the oven

15. Check the roast about every 1 1/2 hours to make sure you do not need to add any more water or broth as you want everything to stay covered.

After cooking it can look like this

16. Remove from the oven when your kitchen smells like your grandmother’s did on pot roast night ūüėČ Serve and enjoy!

The plated final product

Serving Ideas:  

  • You can also cook the potatoes¬†separately and use them to¬†make mashed potatoes (with cream cheese and chives¬†very good)¬†or roast the quarters with a little bit of EVOO and italian seasoning.
  • Other vegetables¬†you can use with the¬†roast in place of potatoes is parsnips and instead of onions you can use leeks. It will change the flavor, but can still be good.
  • You can also use cooking wine or red wine to de-glaze the pot¬†instead of beef brother and¬†just use the broth for cooking it in the oven. You will need less wine than broth if you choose to do this, only about 1/2 cup.
  • I used a boneless chuck roast (cut specifically for pot roast), but you can use other cuts of meat¬† including: boneless shoulder roast (cut also for pot roast, but is a little¬†more tough),¬†brisket (would be a good choice as it is very tender and soft),and sirloin tip roast or top round roast¬†(but this¬†tends to be a tougher pot roast and will not fall apart as much).

Other Tips:

  • Make sure you do not skip the browning and searing parts of the recipe as they are important to the flavor and moisture of the ingredients.
  • You can¬†do two roasts¬†and more vegetables at a time if you have a pot big enough,¬†just make sure to cook it till the roast(s) falls apart.
  • Cook the roast about¬† to 1 1/2 hours per pound so for a 4-5 lb roast cook it 4-5 hours.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes  depending on how fast you chop and season

Cook Time: Depending on your roast and oven 4-5 hours.

Serves: 6

Serving Size: About 4-6 oz of meat and a good scoop or so of vegetables.

Sunday the day of rest…

So today is supposed to be a day of rest and in some households it is. In my household we try to honor this, however today it was not so easy to do. I had so many other things to do yesterday that the house list from Saturday got moved to today. Todays list included cleaning (including closets, drawers, floors, rugs, dusting, polishing, dishes, and laundry), grocery shopping, taking care of the pups and chickens (who are running around the yard), and a little light cooking. I am too tired to make my original plan¬†of Pot Roast and not just any pot roast, the¬†Best Pot Roast in the World (recipe to¬†come hopefully tomorrow).¬†I decided to take a break and write a post and see if anyone was out there… I hope you had a good Sunday that was less busy than mine. Blessings for the coming week.

Some of the chickens...

Lemon Paprika Chicken

Here is what’s for dinner tonight…

What you will need:

1 lemon (zest the outside and cut in 1/2)

8 oz Peppers (mixed yellow, orange, red) frozen or fresh

8 oz Broccoli frozen or fresh

8 oz Green Beans frozen or fresh

6 oz Corn frozen or fresh

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 1 lb)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

4 tsp paprika (sweet or smoked)

1 1/2 cups mariana sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Spray cooking oil or Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (4 tsp)

The ingredients…

What to do:

1. Place non stick skillet over medium heat add 2 tsp of the coconut oil or spray skillet with cooking spray.

2. Place vegetables and lemon peel in melted oil and cook 8-10 minutes until tender, stirring every couple of minutes to cook vegetable evenly. Then add 1/4 tsp black pepper. When done transfer to a plate and keep warm.

The vegetables cooking in a cast iron skillet

3. Season chicken on both sides with the remaining black pepper, salt, and paprika.

4. If needed add remaining 2 tsp of coconut oil or spray skillet with more cooking spray. Add chicken to skillet and brown on both sides, about 6-8 minutes a side depending on your skillet. While the first side is browning squeeze half the lemon over the chicken, being careful not to get seeds in the skillet.

The chicken browned

5. When both sides are browned add back in the vegetables. Squeeze on the other half of the lemon and add in the mariner sauce. Stir then reduce heat to low/medium, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring if needed.

Its all back in the skillet

6. Serve.

Finished and plated

Serving Ideas:

Serve over egg noodles, or for a healthier option serve over whole wheat noodles or brown rice. You can just serve as is too. Also my father and husband like to shake a little Texas Pete on top of it before eating.

Other Tips:

Amount of seasoning can be adjusted to your taste. You can also add more or less vegetables and adjust the recipe to serve more or less people. You can also add different vegetables according to what you have in you freezer or on hand. Other good ideas are zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes, okra, etc. You can also substitute turkey breast for the chicken if that is what you have.

Prep time: If vegetables are frozen: 4 minutes. If vegetables are fresh: 6-8 minutes depending on how fast you chop.

Cook Time: 28 Р36 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Serving size: 1 chicken breast and 3/4 cups vegetables

Work in progress…

So I have been sitting here all morning trying to figure out how to work all aspects of this blog… I have to admit I am having some trouble… but as the old saying goes practice makes perfect so I will keep at it. Wish me luck.

Today is also a day that I take Baxter my therapy dog to his Therapy Dog event at a library. There kids get a opportunity to read to him without judgement. They love this and he loves kids so it works out well. I will try to post a picture of him later. Have a good Saturday.

Adendium: Here is the picture  promised.

Baxter the Therapy Dog

First Post

Spring 2010

I am sitting in my basement tonight writing this first post. I just finished locking the chickens in their coop for the night and my little dog Chase is always happy to help. The fire is blazing on this cold Virginia night as the wind whips around our house. It seems the last year the wind has been really bad in our neck of the woods.

Before I go any further maybe I should tell you a little more about me and why I decided to become a blogger. It all started one cold rainy night…. not… so seriously… I decided to write this blog as a memory bank not only for myself, but for any kids God decides to bless us with. We have been trying to start a family for a while now, but no luck yet. I have faith God will allow us a blessing when it is his time, so I just go on with daily life until it happens.

My husband and I got married in 2008 and have been together since 2006. We moved to a little piece of property in upper Virginia and have tried to set up a nice life for ourselves. Yet, we still have always had a secret ambition to move out west and start our own ranch or farm with some animals, land, and a nice place to raise our kids like we were raised. We have a couple of Dogs our oldest is a 3-year-old¬†black lab/blue tick named Baxter and a 1-year-old terrier mix¬†named Chase.¬†They have their own personalities, good and bad habits, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything (except maybe my husband if I had to). Baxter is a therapy dog.¬†I can take him to schools, nursing homes, libraries, and¬†any place that need him to cheer someone up or encourage reading in kids.

Baxter

Chase Winter 2011

My father lives with my husband and I, as he was paralyzed in 2005 and can not live on his own anymore. Sometimes its tough, but other times a blessing.

That is the basics…

More to come…