Posted in Recipe

Pork Pot Roast in Cider

I love to read cookbooks. I love dreaming of making recipes, especially ones that my whole family would love. Mind you, that never happens, but it’s nice to dream!

This recipe comes from the pink limited edition Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, page 392.

Pork Pot Roast in Cider

1 1 1/2 to 2 lb boneless pork blade or sirloin roast (I think I got just a boneless loin)
2 Tbls oil (skipped this and used cooking spray)
1 1/4 cup apple cider or juice (used cider)
2 tsp instant beef bouillon granules (used two blocks)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 medium red potatoes or round white potatoes, peeled if desired and quarters. (I used red and didn’t peel them)
3 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces (I used a bunch of baby carrots and wished I used more)
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (first time ever in my life trying parsnips)
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Trim fat from meat. In a 4-6 quart Dutch oven, brown meat on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat (skipped this because I just used spray!). Stir together cider, bouillon, mustard and pepper. Pour over meat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 1 hour. (I did a little less b/c the meat was clearly done)

2. Add potato, carrot, parsnip and onion. Simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes more or until meat and vegetables were tender. Transfer meat and veggies to a serving platter, reserving juices. Keep warm.

3. For gravy, measure juices; skim fat (I didn’t see any). If necessary, add enough water to juices to equal 1 1/2 cups. Return to Dutch oven. Stir 1/3 cup cold water into flour. Stir into juices in pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. To serve, remove string from meat (there wasn’t one) if present. Slice meat and serve with veggies and gravy.

Slow Cooker Directions: Prepare meat as above. Place veggies in a 3 1/2-4 quart crockpot. Cut meat to fit, if necessary. Place on top of veggies. Stir apple cider, bouillon, mustard and pepper. Add to cooker. Cover and cook on low-heat for 8-10 hours or high 4-5 or until tender. Transfer to serving platter and prepare gravy in a medium saucepan.

This was delicious and a complete winner. Jim and I both loved it. And neither one of us had ever had parsnips. Really. And they weren’t bad at all! I would have them again, even! And no, the kids wouldn’t even try this. Whatever. More for Jim and me!

Posted in Kids, Menu Planning Monday

Our Little Scientist and Menu Planning Monday

This week’s menu has been incredibly tough for me, I have no idea why. The every week stuff fits in fine, but that’s only three days–the other four were just seriously tough. And yes, I know I’m having two ground-beefy things in one week, but I think I can safely say that chili and meatloaf are nothing alike. đŸ˜€

M: Spaghetti and Meatballs
T: Hot dogs, mac’n’cheese, carrots
W: Meatloaf, frozen potato product of some sort, carrots/green beans
R: Quiche, fruit
F: Take Out
S: Shrimp Pomodoro Pasta (recipe posted after I try it, but it sounds yummy)
S: QAD Chili*, cornbread

*QAD chili is Quick and Dirty Chili. I got sick and tired of all the steps of making “proper” chili, so I take 2 cans of chili beans, 1 lb ground beef (browned and drained) and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Put together in a dutch oven, probably mix in some extra chili powder and call it good. Jim and I both like it and man, it’s a LOT easier!

Onto our Little Scientist

Back story: two nights ago we went to Chili’s for dinner and Catie brought home her cup with ice in it and put it into the freezer. No explanations, just “I want to do this.” Ok.

This morning Catie got up, saw that it was, yes, still freezing outside. She put on her snow clothes, and informed Jim and me that she was going to do her ice experiment. Huh? Ice experiment? I figured, oh, she’ll put the ice outside and that’s the end of it. No, our little scientist got the cup out, broke the ice into two groups, put them on the deck into two piles and put salt on one group. Apparently they did this last year in preschool and she wanted to see if she got the same results that they did! And no surprise, she did!

But wow! For a five (almost six) year old, I was pretty impressed that she planned it out and got it done all by herself!

Posted in Funny

7 Quick Takes

1. Oh, please, please, if you have 42 minutes, please go watch this!!

Dr. Horrible

Apparently it’s been around awhile, but I just found out about it today, so that’s all that counts, right? But don’t let your kids watch. Most of it is fine, but there are a few things that are INAPPROPRIATE for 7 year old ears, as I unfortunately found out the hard way.

2. I’ve been doing pretty ok with actually reading my bible! I try to decide the night before when I will read and then stick to it. Sometimes that works and sometimes not so much, but there is actual QUIET TIME being set aside. The prayer happens. The bible is read. It’s a Good Thing.

3. Laura’s orthodontia is going to cost considerably less than I had feared. I’ll bet I was the first person sitting across the table from the coordinator actually thrilled with the cost. Seriously. Several. Thousands. Less. Happy Dance time!!

4. Our school district has an in-service day today. So, Ethan has school but the others don’t. Therefore, I’m taking them to a movie. I have never taken the children to a movie. They’ve gone once with the neighbors, and Ethan hated it. I talked to him this morning about it, and he did NOT want to go and was fine with the others going. Win-Win!

5. The kids are enjoying the basement. Glad to know all that work is not going to waste!

6. I’m already working on our taxes. I got Turbo Tax the other day (totally recommend it) and put in our charitable information and mortgage interest so far. As things appear in the mail I just put them in. The big thing I’m waiting for is Jim’s W-2.

7. Seriously. Go watch Dr. Horrible. It’s funny, it’s poignant, it’s musical, it’s very good! And you’re even able to get past Neil Patrick Harris’ orientation. He’s that believable.

Posted in House

Basement Pictures

I got the pictures loaded on the pc finally. Here they are!

Before (well, sort of–this is after we took the tiny carpet up and moved everything out of the way to put down the new carpet)



After:

Please note the dual-purpose air hockey table. #1 a great air hockey table. #2, a great laundry folding table for me! Two, two, two things in one!

And yes, I hate the blue. It was here when we moved in. They had also painted part of our kitchen with it. Yes, the kitchen. That was one of the first things we did!

Posted in Christian

Deep Thinkin’

Terry at Breathing Grace posted a link to this article today. Wow. I mean, wow. Half of me was convicted at a lot of truth he spoke. The other half of me was saddened that this is his view of what Christian women are today. I mean, am I the only Christian wife honestly struggling for what God wants for me? Who doesn’t expect her husband to make a mint, but spends wisely? Who is trying to lose that baby weight? Who actually–gasp!–likes sex a lot? Not that I’ll be discussing THAT more! But still…I don’t think I’m the only one. But there sure must be a lot of them out there who don’t, because the “joke” about the husband who hands over his paycheck and the wife who overspends is way too prevalent.

One thing he had to say really resonated with me–that we as women tend to view men as less. Not different. Less. We are better, smarter, wiser, more knowing, have it more together, etc, etc, etc. 14 years ago when I was going through counseling for my addiction, this was actually something that came up and we worked through. That men may be as different from women as can be, but that just makes them DIFFERENT. Not better, not worse. God made them different, and thank goodness! While it would be easier to be married to someone who thought like I did, it sure would be boring! And that’s often what stretches us, makes us open our minds and grow!

I’m not sure where this post is going, except that I hope it challenges you. I hope you read the article I linked to. It wasn’t fun, but it was challenging. I hope and pray that the man who wrote it meets some Godly women who show him that a lot of us really DO care and ARE trying.

Posted in To Do List

Our New Basement

I will post pictures tomorrow when I’m more awake (remember, I’m a morning person!), but the basement looks terrific! We cleaned it out and took out the old carpet. I was telling Jim I would relist our freezer on Craigslist only to find an email from a local couple that wanted to buy it tonight. Perfect timing!

We cut down the padding and laid down the new carpet and put all the furniture and stuff back and it looks like a ROOM. Not just a basement where the kids sometimes hang out.

Tomorrow, besides the regular laundry and cleaning, I’ll be working on some more of the Domino Effect. Our original plan was to have Ethan upstairs over the Christmas break. The new goal? Before the end of January!

Posted in To Do List

The Domino Effect

Have you ever wanted to do one thing, but couldn’t because you had to do something else first? That has been the very long story of this coming month.

Our end desire is to have Ethan FINALLY upstairs with his brother sharing a bedroom. Currently he is down in the den, where he has slept since he moved out of the living room (where we had an informal NICU set up). Once he was finished with both night nursing and now night tube feeds it became feasible to do this. But lots of things stood in the way. As of tomorrow, the dominoes will start to fall!

1. New bound carpet remnant and padding delivered tomorrow for us to put down in the basement.
2. Move a lot of the larger toys (dollhouse esp) from the playroom down to the basement.
3. Move the desk from Bennett’s bedroom (soon to be boys’ bedroom) to the playroom for homework and/or art projects (thereby moving them from the always-cluttered dining room table)
4. Move toys from Bennett’s room to either basement or playroom depending on how much room they take up!
5. Move bureau/changing table from den to Boys’ room. And hamper. And diaper champ.
6. Move Ethan to boy’s room
7. Paint den/office
8. Install some sort of new flooring in den/office. Currently it has an area rug (too small) over bare subfloor. Been that way for almost 9 years now. Sigh.
9. Move Jim’s desk up from basement so it will officially become “The Office” like it used to be pre-kids.

Man, that’s a long list! And it’s going to be a lot of work. But, OH, The End Results will SO be worth it!

Posted in 7 Quick Takes

7 Quick Takes

It’s going to be a challenge to come up with 7 things, but I’m going to give it the old college try.

1. Where in the world did the old college try come from? Why do we say it anyway?

2. When our local WalMart remodeled, they removed a lot of things. One of them being the microwavable meals that Ethan eats every day at school. Thusly, I am now going to another grocery story in another town, because my town only has a Super WalMart. (It’s a small town, people, trust me.) While I like Weis (local store), it’s not a one-stop-shopping place and it’s 7 or 8 minutes farther than WM. So I go there once a month to get E’s food and buy tea, because their tea selection ROCKS and WM’s SUCKS.

3. Potty training continues to be the challenge that it normally is with every three year old. Except it’s with one of my seven year olds. Some days (2 days ago) it’s a mess from start to finish, as well as fighting with his aide at school. Yesterday he was dry all day and went #2 on the potty twice. Lots of m&m’s for my boy yesterday.

4. Jim got home at midnight last night. He’s working from home today. We’ll actually get to see him!

5. I wonder if Mary (Jesus’ mom) ever complained about laundry? It’s the bane of my existance.

6. We’re supposed to get 3-6″ of snow tomorrow. Of course, we were supposed to have a massive ice storm earlier this week and ended up getting rain, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

7. Two of the people I’ve been praying for died this week. Coleman Scott, a little boy with medulablastoma earned his wings after a long drawn out fight. Mark Lamberth, whom I have been praying for since Christmas, joined Coleman in heaven yesterday. Both are with the Lord and not suffering, but please pray for their families. Coleman leaves behind a mom and dad and his twin brother Caden. Mark has a wife and son Nolan.

That’s it for me this Friday. I’m off to do dishes, laundry, and straighten some of my house.

Posted in House, Me, To Do List

Errand Day

I love errand day. I know, I’m weird! I save them up and make a whole day of it. Now that I don’t have kids I can make my own schedule. Today I ended up going to:

Bank – deposit all those Christmas checks!
Liz’s – pick up cd
Karen – drop off jeans, pick up books
Bath and Body Works – exchange gift from sis. Love her, but did NOT like the gift!
Yankee Candle – They were having a sale and I got sucked into the swirling vortex of it
Food Court – I was good and had a Garden Salad with a vinaigrette dressing and NO ROLL
Starbucks – I made up for the roll and got a Tall (i.e. small) caramel macchiato. YUM
Toys R Us – Exchanged two “modified to fit your TV” movies for the good Widescreen versions
Ross – Went in to look for a winter coat for me, but didn’t LOVE anything. I want a hood, but something that looks nice. Apparently that’s a difficult thing to put together. Ended up buying some sheets for our bed and a blanket for Catie’s bed. Finally.
Carpetmart – picked out a remnant for our basement and made arrangements for our first floor getting new wall to wall. We have had pink walls, pink ceiling and pink carpeting on our first floor for almost 9 years. We painted everything last August and are finally (with the tax return) getting NEUTRAL carpeting. Thank you, Jesus!
Muldoon’s Kitchen – return their samples that we didn’t like either of’
WalMart – buy a few groceries
Home after 5 3/4 hours.

I had so much Fun! I got a ton accomplished, drove the “long” way instead of the highway, talked to my mom on the cell while I drove (nope, no bluetooth, either.) and people watched a lot. Even met a fellow mom of multiples (baby twins) in my club. I usually accost moms of multiples and ask if anyone has introduced them to our club. Some say “yes!” enthusiasically. Some not so much. They usually are so shocked when I say I have triplets, which I still think is funny. Now that we’re past those horribly difficult early years, at least!

Jim is working late….again. AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN. Repeat after me “I am thankful Jim has a job. I am thankful Jim has a job. I am thankful Jim has a job.” and tap your heels together at the same time. Maybe that will make it all go away.

Or not.