Freezer meal

Common Sense Day

Are you familiar with the saying “common sense is not that common”? Celebrate this rarely used quality on November 4, Common Sense Day.

My favorite saying is

Common sense is a flower that does not grow in everyone’s garden.

Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone's Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)
Common Sense Is that Flower That Does Not Bloom In Everyone’s Garden: Lined Journal: The Thoughtful Gift Card Alternative Paperback – May 22, 2019

by Pink House Press  (Author)

As you watch the news, surf the internet, or simply read the latest Google headlines, I’m sure most if us have shook our heads, laughed, or the phrase “Really” a utured out loud. Common sense has become both more talked about and something becoming more lacking in encounters every day.

Growing up this skill was taught along with lots of practical skills for life. Our parents taught us about real world living do we could grow and mature into responsible adults. Today the news is filled with stunning examples where for some reason this was missed. Is it because we’ve become more focused on technology? I’d like to think no, however the wealth of young adults lacking these skills that are entering the world should give serious reservations about humanities future.

While this is meant to be a fun holiday, recognize that these skills are being lost at an alarming rate. Have you ever worked with someone who threw away an article of clothing because it’s missing a button? I have.

Common Sense, Thomas Paine
Common Sense (Books of American Wisdom) Hardcover – July 1, 2002

The date coincides with the birth date of actor Will Rogers who was thought to have coined this phrase.

How to Celebrate?

  • Well, what can we say? Use your common sense to celebrate this unofficial holiday.

Most important try to teach it to those around you. They may not say it today, but their future selves will likely thank you for it.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

With the fall season change, we get cooler temperatures and football.  We also get cold and flu season.  At some point in your life, I’ll bet you’ve heard chicken soup is the popular choice when a cold or flu comes home with you. Turns out there are health benefits to this comfort food that can help you recover. Cozy plush warm robeI recommend making your own and stocking it in the freezer. As my husband is both diabetic and on a low salt diet, it’s easier to control the ingredients.  It’s great on a just a winter evening or battling a bug. So here is my favorite recipe.AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue  by AmazonBasics  AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 6-Quart, Blue

by AmazonBasics

Homemade Chicken Soup

2-3 lbs chicken breasts or thighs

2 tsp olive oil

3 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
3 tsp grated ginger
1 medium onion diced
1 cup diced fresh carrots
1/2 cup diced celery
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired.
2 cups uncooked egg noodles (use low carb options here if prefer)

Optional ingredients are 1 cup mushrooms, 16 oz fresh spinach, 2 cleaned and chopped leeks, 2 tsp turmeric, and 16 oz white beans.  I only add some or all if making a more hearty main dish. Stick with less if using for cold and flu.

  1. Cut chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  In a Dutch oven add 2 tsp olive oil and chopped chicken.
  2. Cook over medium-high heat until chicken is seared.  (I like mine golden color for flavor).
  3. Add onions, garlic, and ginger.  Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Add carrots, Italian seasoning, celery, and both black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.
  5. Cook about 10 minutes stirring frequently.
  6. Add chicken broth.  Reduce heat to low and cover.
  7. Simmer on low heat for about 30 – 45 minutes until carrots are tender.
  8. Add cooked pasta. Cover. Let simmer 10 minutes.
If freezing put in yogurt cups or red solo cups on a sheet tray in the freezer. Once frozen remove cups and put in a gallon freezer bag. Now it’s perfectly portioned for single servings.Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups' worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.  Make extra soup, then ladle it into red Solo cups to freeze. Grab one or two cups’ worth to defrost anytime you need a quick dinner.

Beef Pepper Steak

Ingredients

2 lbs sirloin steak sliced ultra thin
2 medium bell peppers
1/2 onion cut into strips
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup beef broth
4 cups cooked rice
2 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in waterCalphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black  by Calphalon  Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Deep Skillet, 13-inch, Black

by Calphalon

Directions

  1. Once steak and veggies are sliced heat medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  2. Add steak. Cook 3 – 5 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and onions. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and beef broth.
  5. Add cornstarch and reduce heat to low.
  6. When sauce thickens serve warm or cool and freeze for an easy weeknight meal.  We serve over rice. Or cauliflower rice for a low carb, keto, option.

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lbs ground beef
1 can cream or mushroom soup
1 8 oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 pkg Beef Stroganoff seasoning mix
1/4 c finely chopped onion
1 cup sour cream
Golden egg noodles

Freezer meal directions


Brown ground beef, drain
Let cool.  In gallon freezer bag add mushrooms, cream soup, onions, seasoning mix, and cooled ground beef.  Remove air from bag and flatten to conserve space. Keeps in freezer for 60 – 90 days.Glad Zipper Food Storage Freezer Bags - Gallon - 40 Count - 4 Pack   by Glad  Glad Zipper Food Storage Freezer Bags – Gallon – 40 Count – 4 Pack 

by Glad


  • To prepare simply defrost and heat. 
  • Add 1 cup sour cream. 
  • Serve over fresh golden egg noodles.
Takes less than 30 minutes to put a healthy family favorite on the table

Stovetop directions

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray

by Circulon

Circulon Radiance Hard-Anodized Nonstick Covered Deep Skillet, 12-Inch, Gray

by Circulon

  1. Brown ground beef, drain.
  2. Add onions. Cook 5 minutes.
  3. Add cream of mushroom soup.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream.
  5. Add seasoning mix, and drained mushrooms.
  6. Simmer with cover 10 minutes.
  7. Serve warm over golden egg noodles.

Fall into Happiness

September is here! I love fall, & not just because pumpkin-spice everything is back on menu’s. (I’m a Cinnamon dolce latte girl.) After the high temperatures of summer in Florida I look forward to cooler breezes blowing through the northwest Florida climate. While our fall runs a much shorter period of time here there are several really good reasons to look ahead.

Take a family camping trip.
Easy fast tent set up
Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup | Cabin Tent for Camping Sets Up in 60 Seconds

by Coleman

Cooler temperatures here means less likely to get a hurricane. That said I know the tropics have just started their fireworks for places along any coastline. While our hearts and minds go out to family, friends, and even strangers as we watch Dorian, we are breathing a small sigh of relief it’s not coming here. I’m a native Florida girl do I have grown up with it just like Californian’s grew up with earthquakes, and others grew up with tornados. Between you and me i’ll take my hurricanes over the others. (We at least get about a weeks warning to get out if it’s going to be really bad.)
Hurricanes – What You Need to Know

Actloe  Actloe Women Cowl Neck Plaid Long Sleeve Pullover Tops Casual Tunic Sweatshirt
Actloe Women Cowl Neck Plaid Long Sleeve Pullover Tops Casual Tunic Sweatshirt

If you never learn anything about how this works, that’s okay. Cool weather means high pressure systems. They repel hurricanes, for the most part. While there can be late season surprises we only need to be hyper vigilant through November. The cooler temps let me unpack my favorite sweaters and even wear a pair of jeans outside without melting. I get to show off my cute boots, make out my birthday wish list, and make cozy comfort food like my easy chili that everyone loves.

Jens easy chili recipe
Jen’s Easy Chili Recipe

With the holiday season not far away I’ve started thinking about the joys of the season, the gifting, I love doing and the way things seem to sparkle under the moon with frost on the ground.

With the hustle if everyday life going full speed ahead I like to remind myself of the simple things that brighten someones day. Seeing others smile pleases me. Especially when I get no credit for it. The season of Thanksgiving is coming but, I like to spread some joy when it’s not expected. A kind word, a cup of hot tea, a child’s excitement, or just the neighbor helping neighbor we see in communities impacted by foul weather. Each of us have the power to make each day a wonderful experience to remember. So jump in the pile of leaves with the kids, dress up for Halloween, volunteer, and brighten the day.

Jen’s Easy Chili

This is fall or winter comfort food everyone looks forward to. If you don’t know this yet I worked in retail for almost 20 years. It makes it challenging to serve a home-cooked meal for dinner. Especially when there are dietary observances in play. I perfected this with the help of my best friend my Crockpot. You can do it on the stove in about an hour if you have to. Letting everything blend over that longer period in the Crockpot, gives it a deeper taste. Again it is really good right off the stove too.

The Ingredients

2 –  lbs ground chuck or beef
2 – 15 oz cans black beans no salt added, drained ( in this instance I buy Great Value or Walmart brand.  There are also less carbs than in other brands)
2 cans Diced Green Chili’s
4 – 14.25oz cans Diced Tomatoes no salt added (great value brand had the least cabs)
2 – 1.25oz pkgs Chili seasoning (pick your favorite brand and heat.  We use mild, either McCormick or Great value)
1 medium onion diced
1/2 medium green pepper diced


Directions

  1. Brown meat, drain if needed.  Leave a little for the onions and green pepper.  Continue cooking till onions become translucent. (I do this night before if using my Crockpot.)
  2. Add green chilis and seasoning mixes with 1/4 cup water.
  3. Once evenly mixed add tomatoes and beans.
  4. Simmer covered on low 20 minutes for stove top, or 4 hours on low in Crockpot.
  5. Serve warm and enjoy. 
  6. We like to top ours with fresh green onion, shredded sharp cheddar, and a spoonful of dour cream.


Nothing beats coming in after a long day to a warm, satisfying, meal.  It’s even better when the temperature drops or rainy evenings. Also goes great with game day and Superbowl!


Moms Pork Roast

This melt in your mouth meal will have people thinking you slaved for hours in a hot kitchen. You can literally serve the meat with a spoon.
Pot it on before work, school, or wherever your busy day takes you. Works great for holiday meals too.  I’ve made them for Christmas dinner to everyones delight.
By keeping the ingredients simple you can easily turn leftovers (assuming there are any), into a second meal.  Slice it thin add the gravy and serve over noodles, noodles, or mashed potatoes.  Shred it with two forks and add bbq sauce, buns and have pulled pork sandwiches.

Make clean up even easier with these.Make your clean up a breeze with slow cooker linersReynolds Slow Cooker Liners 2 Pack (8 Liners Total)

by Reynolds Wrap

Mom’s Pork Roast Dinner


7 – 8 lb Boston Butt Pork Roast

3/4 of 12 oz can Ginger Ale
1 1/2 tsp Adobo seasoning
2 pkg pork gravy mix (we buy what’s    on sale or sometimes store brand)

  1. Spray crockpot with none stick spray.  Lay roast inside. 
  2. Pour Ginger Ale over the top. 
  3. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp Adobo seasoning on top.
  4. Cover and set Crockpot on high
  5. Cook about 5 hours then turn down to low.
  6. Make gravy mix according to directions. 
  7. Serve warm with gravy.
  8. You can add potatoes and veggies to crock pot in the morning.  The meal will be ready when you come home from work, play, errands, etc.

Comfort food doesn’t get any better than this. 

%d bloggers like this: