menu plan monday ~ september 18, 2017

I spent last week finishing a custom order for a Putz church. It is done, except for a sign on the front of the base, identifying the church. I make signs on printable glitter paper, and am waiting on that to be delivered. It feels good to have this project so close to completion. I plan to blog the process in a few days. I’ve started the post, but there are a lot of pictures to sort through. I have to decide which ones to use, which ones to leave out…never an easy decision!

Untitled

The front doors of the church are 1 1/8″ tall. I made the tiny wreaths from punchouts, glue and glitter.

Putz church

Clark is amusing. Here he’s taking a call from Younger Son.

Clark takes a call

The Sunday bouquet this weekend was made of Jerusalem Artichokes and Goldenrod. A cheerful bouquet!

Sunday bouquet. Goldenrod and Jerusalem artichoke.

Part of this week’s menu depends on leftovers. We have a lot in the fridge that needs to be used. Just gives me more time in the craft room!

Monday
Lots of leftovers, so it’s fridge food tonight.

Tuesday
Baby Back Ribs
Cauliflower in Cheese Sauce
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas with Butter
Garden Salad

Wednesday
Taco Salad

Thursday
Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan

Friday
Cobb Salad

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Roast Beef in the Instant Pot
Mashed Potatoes
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Garden Salad

Jerusalem artichoke blossom

I hope you have a good week! ~~Rhonda

putz Christmas tree lots

Some of my most favorite Putz patterns are for the Putz Christmas tree lots I’ve made.

This Christmas tree lot has a welcoming snowman…

Santa's Christmas Tree Lot

…and a garland on the snowy fence. And how cute is that corrugated “tin” roof?

Santa's Christmas Tree Lot

This one is in my Etsy shop ~ ChristmasNotebook. I love the details of the Santa mail box, the wreaths and the twig fence.

Putz Christmas Tree Lot

This may be my favorite, though I love them all. It sold to a local friend as soon as it became available.

Noel Farms Christmas Tree Lot

I love the way the Christmas lights frame the lot.

Noel Farms Christmas Tree Lot

Noel Farms Christmas Tree Lot

I am in the mood to make a new Christams tree lot. Any thoughts, ideas? Which one is your favorite?

~~Rhonda

zucchini gratin

I found myself with six small to medium zucchini to use for supper and I came across a recipe to try at the “I Breathe / I’m Hungry” blog site. This was a new recipe for me and I am so glad I tried it. It was delicous. DH complimented it, too.

Click this link to see Mellissa’s version. Easy Cheezy Zucchini Gratin

Here’s my version.

Zucchini Gratin

5 or 6 small to medium zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick, peel left on
2 T. butter
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
2 oz. regular cream cheese
1 T. dry onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dry basil
1 tsp. dry parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In the microwave, melt the butter in a small casserole dish. Mine was about 8″x10″. It would work in a pie plate, too.

Use the melted butter to grease the dish, then add the remaining ingredients to the casserole dish, except the zucchini and the cheddar cheese, and heat in the microwave for about a minute, until the cream cheese is soft enough to mix the ingredients together with a fork. Pour the resulting sauce into a measuring cup or small bowl.

Line the casserole dish with half the sliced zucchini. My dish made three rows with halved slices down one side to fill the gap.

Zucchini Gratin

Put half the cheese on top the zucchini. Pour half the sauce over the cheddar cheese. Repeat: zucchini, cheddar cheese, sauce.

Zucchini Gratin

Bake in a 375º oven for 45 minutes, uncovered.

We ate is without thinking to snap a picture of the finished product. I will add a picture next time I make this recipe, which will be soon, I am sure.

I had planned to have hamburgers to eat with this dish, but DH was about an hour later than usual getting home from work. At that point, the casserole had been in the turned-off oven for about 45 minutes past the cooking time, and DH was hungry. Didn’t want to wait on hamburgers. The casserole was still great and actually made a filling meal. It’s good to know it will do fine waiting in the oven till needed.

Notes:

The sauce may seem to be too little, but the zucchini will give off some moisture as it bakes and that will increase the amount of sauce.

Also, if I had fresh basil and fresh parsley on hand, I would have used that instead of dry. I do have to use dry onion as DH is allergic to fresh. You can substitute fresh, sliced onion to place between the zucchini slices, as suggested on “I Breathe / I’m Hungry,” if desired.

And, finally, this would be delicious with some cooked, crumbled bacon sprinkled over the cheese layers. Next time!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ september 11, 2017

Today I have a lot of things on my to-do list, but I have two things I really want to get done. One is the custom order Putz church I am working on. Woody the Gnome thinks the steeple is great. It reminds him of his hat.

TN church

The other project is to begin embellishing the twenty new Putz houses I have that need to be finished. Most were made earlier this year and they need to be done so I can get them into my ChristmasNotebook Etsy shop. I probably won’t get to them till later this week, but I’m keeping them on my list. I want to get to them as soon as I can.

Waiting for embellishments.

When I need a little humor to brighten my day, Clark is a constant source of amusement. My daughter-in-law dubbed him the monorail cat because he loves to nap on the banister railing in the upstairs hall with all four feet dangling down. How strange and hilarious is that??

Clark the monorail cat

Last Saturday a group of women from my church came over to help put together a quilt top. We have a project underway to make quilts for the twelve missionaries our church supports as a reminder to them that we think of them and pray for them as they work around the world to show Christ’s love to others. Middle Daughter was the “boss” this Saturday. She kept us all on track as we worked, some cutting, some sewing, some ironing. Every helping hand was appreciated! Thank you, friends! This is the quilt top we finished.

Another quilt top done.

This Sunday’s bouquet was a heap of Jerusalem Artichokes from the back yard. Such a happy flower!

Sunday bouquet

Here’s the menu for the week. I have never made the recipe for the Zucchini Gratin we are having this evening. I put it together this afternoon. It’s ready to pop into the oven. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Update: Delicious!

Monday
Hamburgers
Homemade Rolls
Dill Pickle Spears
Cheesy Zucchini Gratin

Tuesday
BBQ Pork Steaks in the Oven
Garden Salad
Steamed Sugar Snap Peas with Butter

Wednesday
Cream of Chicken Soup with Bacon

Thursday
Fridge Food

Friday
Pizza

Saturday
Mexican Dip Bowls

Sunday
Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot (Ribs were on the menu last week, but we had taco salad instead. Go with the flow.)
Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Butter
Garden Salad

My week will be full of crafting! Always fun! I hope your week holds good things for you!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ september 4, 2017

September is here before I am ready to give up summer. But this month does have its own beauty. Our weather is usually the best in September and October. Lovely cool days with blue skies. Sunny but not hot.

Saturday I enjoyed taking some pictures of the butterflies on the garlic chives. The blossoms were covered in butterflies, little moths, bees and wasps.

Painted Lady (bottom) and a Common Buckeye butterfly.

fall garden

Painted Lady

fall garden

The Jerusalem Artichokes are just starting their bloom time. These make pretty fall bouquets.

fall garden

I combined them with ‘Becky’ daisies for the Sunday bouquet.

Sunday bouquet

I had a very quiet week last week due to Youngest Daughter going back to college and Middle Daughter out of state to visit friends. I spent the time working on Putz orders and some organization projects. I didn’t post a menu last week, but here’s this week’s plan.

Monday
Fridge Food
Roasted Cabbage Slices with Bacon

Tuesday
Roast Beef in the Instant Pot with Potatoes and Onions / I brown the beef in a large hot skillet with a generous dose of cumin, salt and pepper before adding it to the Instant Pot.
Steamed Broccoli with Butter
Garden Salad

Wednesday
5-Layer Mexican Dip Bowls

Thursday
Fridge Food

Friday
Cobb Salad

Saturday
Cheesy Burgers
Pork Rinds and Guacamole
Sweet and Sour Cucumber Slices

Sunday
Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot
Loaded Cauliflower and Broccoli
Garden Salad

After today, our temps are supposed to cool down to 75-80 for the next few weeks. Some of that lovely weather I’ve been looking forward to! I hope your week is a good one. Making a menu plan will go a long way toward making that happen! Give it a try and see how much it eases meal time at your house.

~~Rhonda

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

total solar eclipse…amazing!

Did you see the solar eclipse on Monday? It was amazing! We had two minutes and sixteen seconds of totality in our back yard. A good reason to have a party!

We had about 44 people here. Everyone who came brought something to share for dinner. We had quite a spread!

eclipse party

We watched first contact and then DH got the grill going. One of our guests took over that job for him so he could take care of other things. Some of our guests chose to cook their own hot dogs over the fire pit. My sisters Margaret and Genny were a huge help with putting out the meal, along with many others, including DH’s siblings and their families. Everyone was happy to help.

eclipse party

There was a lot of looking up involved.

eclipse party

Lots of cute kids, too.

eclipse party

And lots of happy chatter. Family and friends catching up with each other.

eclipse party

eclipse party

eclipse party

Lots of Moon Pies, of course!

eclipse party

As time went by, we began to get some fun pictures of the shadows caused by the eclipse.

eclipse shadows

eclipse party

Most of the party went out to the white sheets that were stretched on the ground to watch for shadow bands during totality. DH’s brother-in-law is a retired science teacher and he talked to the children about what was happening. And they saw the shadow bands!

eclipse party

When totality started, the crickets and cicadas began to sing loudly! The swallows flew to the chimney of the building next door where they nest at night. We saw Venus. The light became very weird. Like someone used a dimmer switch on it. It was fascinating! I’ve never experienced anything like it.

eclipse party

It got dark! But there was a glow around the horizon. It felt so odd.

eclipse party

eclipse party

It went by too quickly, but what an amazing experience! I was awed by the majesty of God’s creation. There really aren’t words to explain how it made me feel.

“You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.” Nehemiah 9:6

And we get to do it again in 2024! This part of the country is in the intersection of this year’s eclipse path and the path of the 2024 eclipse. A once in a life time experience that we get to experience twice! If you can manage it, find your way to the path of totality and take in the total solar eclipse of 2024. You won’t be sorry!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ august 14, 2017

I spent most of last week cleaning up the craft room. I finally found the counters.

Cleaning...

Among many other things I located, I also found three Putz houses and a Putz church that had been painted and then forgotten. I put panes in the windows and then found matching bases for the houses. I need to make a base for the church as I didn’t have one already made that matched the colors of the church. Two of the houses need window and door frames.

Putz houses

Middle Daughter and Youngest Daughter went shopping last Thursday. They brought back a toy for the kitties. A carrot stuffed with catnip…the cats are taking turns wrestling with the carrot…this is Amy.

Amy loves her carrot.

Saturday we traveled to Older Son’s house and enjoyed a delicious meal. To get there, we crossed the Stan Span across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. Otherwise known as the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, it is beautiful.

crossing the Stan Span

We had a great visit with our son and his family. It was the first time I got to see their new home. So much more room than they had before. We are very happy for them.

Here is the menu for the week.

Monday
Italian Baked Chicken
Roasted New Potatoes
Steamed Cauliflower with Cheddar Cheese
Garden Salad

Tuesday
Cheesy Burgers
Sliced Tomatoes
Asparagus

Wednesday
Fridge Food

Thursday
Tacos

Friday
Sausage Casserole
Melon Slices

Saturday
Chicken Salad over Greens
Cheese and Crackers
Grapes

Sunday
Roast Beef in the Instant Pot with Potatoes and Carrots
Loaded Cauliflower and Broccoli
Garden Salad

We will have company over the weekend and an eclipse party on Monday. I am excited about the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse. We will have two minutes and 16 seconds of totality in our back yard! It should be fun!

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ august 7, 2017

Our garden has received much needed rain and the grass is looking greener and the flowers are looking fresher. This past weekend, I used surprise lilies, crepe myrtle, and hosta flowers for the Sunday bouquet.

Sunday bouquet

I captured a little video of Clark. He likes to hang out on the banister in the upstairs hall.

Clark, the monorail cat

He even takes naps there. Such a funny cat.

Clark, the monorail cat

Here’s the menu for the week. I’m loving the Instant Pot. It’a an electric pressure cooker. It cooks quickly without heating the kitchen. Nice this time of year. The more I use it, the more I like it.

Monday
Burgers with Smoked Cheddar Cheese
Steamed Broccoli

Tuesday
Roasted Kielbasa and Cabbage

Wednesday
Pork Roast in the Instant Pot
Buttered New Potatoes with Fresh Parsley
Garden Salad
Green Beans

Thursday
Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas
Garden Salad

Friday
Fridge Food

Saturday
Dinner to be prepared by our son and DDIL.

Sunday
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Garden Salad

Have you planned your menu for the week? I hope you have! It’s so helpful!

~~Rhonda

the tail end of the week

This past week has been a busy one. Today is much quieter and at a slower pace, which I am enjoying.

DH is the director for our presbytery summer camp. That took place this week, so he was gone to camp. I am the editor of the camp “yearbook,” a collection of pictures of campers, camp activities, and address lists. It takes a full three days to pull that together. Middle Daughter takes tons of pictures for me to use each year. It is fun to do, but by Thursday I was way tired!

Ski kept me company most of the time I was working on the yearbook.

Ski

Sometimes he napped, though…

Ski

DH got home yesterday, with our grands in tow. It was their first time at summer camp. They had a great week! They stayed all night here and their daddy picked them up this morning. They need to do some school shopping. Their school year starts later this week.

We made a little fire last evening and cooked hot dogs and made S’Mores. The weather was beautiful and it was a pleasant evening to be outside.

backyard cookout

The S’Mores are their favorite part.

Time for S'Mores

We spent part of our outdoor time looking for butterfly eggs on Queen Anne’s Lace, but didn’t find any. The girls were disappointed, but we’ll keep looking. In previous years, we’ve found the black swallowtail butterfly eggs in late August and September. We have a fish tank that we have set aside for raising butterflies, so we’re ready if we do come across some eggs. Here’s a picture of the tank.

butterfly tank

And a picture from last year. Clark paid no attention to the tank until the butterflies emerged. Their fluttering was so exciting!

raising butterflies

Here’s a blog post about our caterpillar / butterfly setup, in case you’re interested in doing the same. It’s an activity that is just as fascinating for adults as it is for the kids.

caterpillar club

Youngest Daughter’s college roommate is visiting this weekend. We aren’t seeing much of them, as is usually the case. They’re making the rounds of places to go and people to see. Soon, they will be starting school where classes and projects will be filling their time.

I am looking forward to getting back to the craft room next week. It has been almost a week since I made any progress there. All those projects I have underway are calling my name and I’m eager to get back to them.

~~Rhonda

menu plan monday ~ july 31, 2017

Life has been very busy the past several days. Today it has slowed down a bit. I am working on this blue and white Putz church. I like the contrast between the dark blue and the white. I am adding silver embellishments. Maybe some white or clear, too. We shall see how it goes.

blue and white Putz church

Winston loves a good nap. Here he is curled up in my recliner. I always feel bad for shooing him out of such a cozy spot. Doesn’t he look comfy?

Winston loves a cozy corner.

He did let me pet him to make up for waking him up. He’s such a sweet tempered cat.

Winston and  his curly whiskers

We play host to a bee hive that belongs to friends. The bees get lots of lovely flowers and we get a lovely gift of honey! Thank you, Diane! I poured off a bit to give to our pastor’s wife when she came by to say hi. She asked if it was local. I said it was about as local as you can get. Part of it may have come from our yard!

very local honey

I’m keeping the menu easy this week, so I can concentrate on a big project the next few days. I usually have a cobb-style salad for lunch and then a meat and veggie combo for supper, with a side salad for good measure. Wiki says to remember what’s in a Cobb salad this way…
“One way to remember the components is to use the mnemonic EAT COBB: Egg, Avocado, Tomato, Chicken, Onion, Bacon, Blue cheese…then add lettuce.” I usually have feta instead of blue cheese, but the rest sounds right. 🙂

Monday
Cobb Salad

Tuesday
Stir Fried Kielbasa and Sugar Snap Peas
Garden Salad

Wednesday
Cheddar Burgers
Dill Pickle Spears
Steamed Broccoli

Thursday
Meatloaf
Summer Squash Stir Fry
Garden Salad

Friday
Baby Back Ribs
Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Garden Salad
Corn on the Cob

Saturday
Fridge Food

Sunday
Pork Roast in the Instant Pot
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans and Avocado
Boiled New Potatoes with fresh parsley and butter
Garden Salad

Have a great week! ~~Rhonda