Homemaking · Uncategorized

A Little Goes a Long Way

cleaning-house-2Housework, laundry, cooking, kids, sports, church, work. As moms, wives and homemakers we are busy people. Life gets overwhelming, and it’s easy to fall behind on our daily tasks.

I have tried many systems over the years of trying to keep on top of everything, but none seem to work on a long term basis, because one size does not fit all.

There are some things however that I’ve learned over the years that are helpful in keeping things caught up. So when those busy days come I am able to feel like my head is at least above water.

Before Bed Pick Up – After the kids have gone to bed and right before my husband and I head that way, I do a quick pick up around the living room and kitchen. I fold throw blankets, pick up the odds and ends that have accumulated through out the evening and put them back where they belong. It’s a blessing to wake up to order in the morning.

Dishes – Load the dishwasher and run it before bed. Nobody wants to wake up to stinky, crusty dishes. Blech!

Laundry – A dirty word! But a necessity none the less. There are six of us in my family. That six includes three teenage boys and a husband that works a physical job. Laundry is my nemesis. BUT, I refuse to let it be my master. I used to have a laundry day every week, but I found that I would have so much it was overwhelming and would take me literally all day. I had no time for anything else. I also had to factor in the possibility of something ‘coming up’ on my laundry day and me not getting it all done, which meant carry over to the next week. Being a slave to the laundry room- no bueno! So, I now do a load or even two every day, and more often than not my laundry basket is empty by the end of the day.

Here’s how to get started. Designate a day to get all of your outstanding laundry done so you start with a clean slate. You need to enlist your kids! I have my kids bring their laundry to the basket every evening before they go to bed, and I put a load in right before I go to bed. First thing in the morning I switch it over and add another load if I have one. As soon as your dryer load is done, pull it out and fold it immediately, then take it to the appropriate room and put it away. Or if your kids are old enough have them put it away. It only takes a few minutes of your time, rather than letting it pile up and taking hours to sort. It takes discipline to establish a routine, but it is so worth it.

Bathrooms – Yuck! I hate cleaning bathrooms. Once again, it is necessary and if you have a desire to be hospitable and have people in your home, the last thing you want to offer them is a dirty bathroom. Gross. A great tip is to keep a toilet brush, cleaner and Clorox disinfecting wipes in the cabinet under every bathroom sink. Every morning, I do a quick wipe down of the toilet, sink and mirror so at least my bathrooms are guest worthy and the weekly deep clean I do doesn’t become a two hour job! I spend maybe five minutes on each bathroom every day. Easy!

Bedrooms – Make your bed! Sorry to break it to you, but grown ups make beds! Yes, ‘adulting’ is difficult, but really, it takes thirty seconds to make a bed. Do it. It will feel so much nicer and look way tidier. It’s a good habit to get your kids into also. How can you tell them to make their beds if you don’t.

The point of this post is this, it takes discipline and may involve getting up just a few minutes earlier. A little bit of work every day will bring peace of mind and much less stress to your every day.

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Main Dishes · Uncategorized

Honey-Mustard Chicken

aussie chicken

Ingredients

 

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness

6 slices bacon, cut in half
1t seasoning salt
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Directions
Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350F (175 degrees C).
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned.
Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Pour half of the honey mustard sauce over the chicken, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon.
Sprinkle top with shredded cheese, then pour the rest of the sauce over the whole dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken juices run clear.
Uncategorized

Turning a Main Dish into Left-Overs

hamRecently I have been finding it super helpful to choose a main dish that I can turn into leftovers for either lunch or dinner for the following day or two.

This weekend we had company for Sunday lunch, so I purchased a 7lb bone-in ham to roast for a delicious ham dinner with mashed potatoes and veg on Sunday.

I used the left over ham to make my Ham & Egg Scramble for breakfast this week, and I still had enough left to make my delicious Crockpot Split Pea & Ham Soup. 

Both of these dishes are delicious and hearty and perfect for lunch or dinner. Planning your main protein ahead with leftovers in mind can save a lot of time and money. Three or four meals out of one meat is a pretty good deal I think!

I’ll be posting more leftover ideas over the next few weeks. If you have any recipes to share please let me know!

Breakfast · Sweet Treats · Uncategorized

Strawberry Muffins

strawberry muffins

These muffins were the result of a strawberry picking trip the kids and I did last year! They are so, so, so GOOD!

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries (you can substitute some of the strawberries with rhubarb if you like that combo)

Topping:
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

HOW TO:
Put the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a 12 -18 muffin tin with paper or foil baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Lightly stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the strawberries. The batter will be thick.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, using the back of a spoon or a small spatula to settle the batter into the cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Sprinkle a generous 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over each muffin.

Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown, spring back most of the way when gently pressed, and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes.

Sweet Treats · Uncategorized

The Best Scones Ever

scone

Often times scones can be dry and crumbly. Not these!! These are the best scones you’ll ever have. Great served with a real cup of British tea.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg

How To:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in raisins.

In a small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. (The dough will be sticky in places, and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.)

Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7- to 8-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. of sugar. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles or you can use a biscuit cutter; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Breakfast · Uncategorized

Ham & Egg Scramble

scramble

I am always looking for great ways to use all of those leftover meats that hang out in the fridge after the holidays. Here is a great, quick and easy breakfast!

Ingredients:

Ham diced into small pieces

Eggs (2 per person)

Splash of half & half or milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Cheese (optional)

How to:

In a small pan add a little butter and sauté the ham dices on medium low until slightly browned.

While ham browns whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper.

When ham is browned add the egg mixture and let it set for a few seconds. Slowly fold the eggs until they reach your desired consistency. Sprinkle cheese and give one last fold.

Enjoy!

Main Dishes · Uncategorized

Chicken Divan

chickendivan

What You Need:

1 package (16oz) frozen broccoli florets

1 cup mayonnaise

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 whole cooked chicken (deboned & shredded) or 3 cooked chicken breasts (shredded)

3t lemon juice

1/4-1/2t curry powder (to taste)

2 cups shredded cheddar

1 cup breadcrumbs

How To:

Thaw broccoli and drain as much of the liquid as possible. You want it to be pretty dry. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Layer with chicken. Combine the mayo, soup, lemon juice and curry powder and spread over the chicken layer. Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle over the whole casserole. Bake at 350 uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve over rice with a green salad. Enjoy!