Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Christmas Tree... and Turkey Pot Pie

Well the tree is up... and MrD sorted out the lights because it came without any instructions on what plugs in where and I was getting confused.(there were eight plugs and sockets...go figure). Its not decorated yet as I have to go and buy some hooks for the baubles.. and I ran out of tinsel half way up.. I did say it was a big one. Mind you..it looks so pretty with just the lights on. I need to get a wriggle on to get this place decorated by Sunday... but Im getting there.
We had our Turkey Pot Pie for dinner the other night... and MrD really enjoyed it. There are many Pot Pie recipes out there..but this is the one I use...and its absolutely delicious. I used my left over veggies in it and packed it with leftover turkey. I also didnt put a bottom pastry crust trying to save some calories and it actually worked well. This recipe makes two pies... so I baked one and froze the other.

Turkey Pot Pie
2 cups frozen peas and carrots
2 cups frozen green beans
1 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/3 cups milk
4 cups cubed cooked turkey meat - light and dark meat mixed
4 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

  • Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  • Place the peas and carrots, green beans, and celery into a saucepan
  • Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer  until the celery is tender, about 8 minutes. 
  • Drain the vegetables and set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in 2/3 cup of flour, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and Italian seasoning
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  • Remove from heat
  • Stir the cooked vegetables and turkey meat into the filling until well combined.
  • Fit 2 pie crusts into the bottom of 2 9-inch pie dishes. 
  • Spoon half the filling into each pie crust, then top each pie with another crust. 
  • Pinch and roll the top and bottom crusts together at the edge of each pie to seal
  • Cut several small slits into the top of the pies with a sharp knife to release steam.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 30 to 35 minutes. 
  • If the crusts are browning too quickly, cover the pies with aluminum foil after about 15 minutes. 
  • Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Cwik Christmas Craft

Well yesterday was a success and I managed to complete everything on my list. Two loads of laundry and all  the ironing was done before 8am. Thats the beauty of hubby leaving for work at 2.30am..and me getting my house work done early. The Fall decorations came down and were put away and all the Christmas boxes were taken out. Our tree...which is huge...is put together and in its place. I will start decorating it tomorrow. And I managed to make two rather delicious Turkey Pot Pies.. one for dinner and one for the freezer. I will share the recipe later this week. All the leftovers are used up now and I froze the remaining turkey...so there's plenty of room in the fridge
So with all that done I settled down with a quick Christmas craft.. which literally took half an hour. Last Christmas I made some slip on sleeves for my plain kitchen jars pictured below. Using the same idea I prettied up an old jam jar with a bit of "festive flair"


For this craft you will need:
A jar.. I used an old jam jar
Burlap Ribbon 
Needle and thread
Decorative ribbon
Artificial Flowers to finish
Wrap the burlap round the jar to measure and cut leaving a seam allowance
With right sides together..stitch along seam edge with a quick back stitch
Turn right side out..
and slide onto the jar
Tie some decorative ribbon around the middle..
fill with dried flowers and voila!!

So simple. You could even glue the seams together..but I prefer to stitch. And Im not gluing the burlap to the jar as I like to be able to remove it. You can use it for every season...just change the decorative ribbon

I love crafting that costs next to nothing...I have some more ideas using Dollar Tree items. Im looking forward to sharing them with you.
Have a great day

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Monday, November 27, 2017

Meal Plan Monday


So Thanksgiving week is over.... but not the Turkey. I stripped it all down and we have enough left to use in a couple of meals this week.. and the rest is going in the freezer. I dont want to leave it in the fridge longer than I have to. 

I have a busy... yet enjoyable week ahead as I start preparing for the Christmas season.. which is of course my favourite time of year. Seriously... if I could get a job as Mrs Claus and work in a Christmas Village all year round I would be in my element!  So its time to get the Fall decor down and start getting our home full of the festive spirit. Im hoping by the weekend it will look like Santa's grotto here. However...I wont be putting any lights on until next Sunday...in honour of my dear Mother. Its will be thirteen years since her passing.. and its from her that I got my deep love of Christmas and learned how wonderful it can feel when you make it special for others. I hope I have passed that trait onto my children

Have you started your Christmas prep yet? When do you put up your tree? Have you any favourite yule time recipes?  I would love to hear from you?

Hope you all have a fabulous week...and here's this weeks menu

Weekly Plan - 27th November 2017
 
Monday             
Turkey Pot Pie

Tuesday             Beef Tacos

Wednesday        Turkey Chili

Thursday           Goulash

Friday                
Ham, Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans

Saturday            
Quesadillas

Sunday               Dinner with Friends





Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Great Christmas Tree Saga

I think too much turkey has gone to our heads and madness took over!! Hubby has decided that this year we will have an artificial Christmas tree... as he wants to get it decorated early. We had a real tree last year  and he said we had to wait to put it up for fear of falling pine needles. So yesterday we went tree shopping. Yes...thats right... Black Friday and over stuffed with food we hit the stores. We did leave it til later in the day.. thinking it may have calmed down again. But I think everyone had the same thought. But...seeing the mall Christmas tree calmed me for a fleeting moment, No Santa tho..which is why my hand may have been a bit shaky(wink) 
Now we had a tree in mind.. and thought it would be easy to find one... even though Hubby is a bit fussy. It has to be the right shape...no gaps.. the right texture and 7ft, After all... it is still November leaving us weeks til Christmas so finding one would be easy....right?. We drove to...and traipsed through store after store... pointed out the tree on display we wanted...and were emphatically told they were sold out. Hubby was getting just a little miffed... especially when I pointed to what I will lovingly call "the Welsh Dragon". "Babes do you really want to put tinsel on a Dragon?" he sighed. I did the right thing and bit my tongue
But I may have said the wrong thing when I jovially exclaimed "Well lets look at the bright side...at least we don't have to stand in that mile long queue at the checkout! The look I got said it all.. "Fancy a coffee?" he asked.... "good lets grab one ...ON THE WAY HOME!!" It took a lot for me not to laugh.... But the MacDonalds Peppermint Mocha was particularly good.
Once we got home.... hubby refused to admit defeat...even though it was nearly 8 o'clock. He got out his lap top and started searching the internet....the coffee helped. He finally found one half an hour later.. a very pretty Martha Stewart pre lit beauty...and there were two left in store. He got straight on line and ordered it. Now all we needed was confirmation. Then the phone rang. The tree wouldn't be ready for pick up for three days. But that was absolutely fine. We had a tree!! Woo hoo!!

Well...we did have one ...til this morning. We had an email to say they were sorry.. but they were sold out and the website hadn't been updated.. so our money would be refunded! A few "grrrr's" later, refusing to admit defeat... hubby got his lap top out again and started looking. And then we saw it...the perfect tree that fit all MrD's criteria..and very similar to the one we had wanted.. but with deals and coupons.. $100 cheaper.. and $200 off the original price!! It was in stock three miles away and we could go pick it up. We didn't even have to go into the store...we just pulled into the reserved bay.. called their number and they guaranteed to bring it out to us within five minutes
So that's what we did.. maybe I will do all my shopping like this in future...order on line..and brought to your car...lol. And we now definitely have our Christmas tree...sitting proudly in its box in the middle of our living room ready to be dressed in the next couple of days..Can't wait...

And MrD is a Happy Chappie too 

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x


Friday, November 24, 2017

Food Glorious Food!! (or..Eating Leftovers til Christmas..)

Thanksgiving was just as we wanted. At home... just the two of us.. relaxing and giving thanks for getting through the past year.
The food was plentiful but we didn't eat too much so we have lots of leftovers... we hardly made a dent in that 22lb turkey. I even burnt my finger getting ot out of the oven.. not badly I may add
The Green Bean Casserole turned out really well. MrD loved it..especially as I added extra cheese and bacon  
This morning MrD was still too full for breakfast so had a homemade Chocolate Fudge Cookie and a coffee. Baking again is going to be a dieting downfall... I will have to ease up in the New Year
The best part of today was getting to Skype with the birthday boy himself who was so excited about his party yesterday. I am blessed to be his Nana    
We took our annual compulsory photo.. reluctantly. I'm looking very podgy... but you can see I have hair and eyebrows now. I have come to the conclusion that maybe this is not the right time of year for dieting... even tho I really really need to lose that extra weight again. But I am really not in the right frame of mind. I kinda feel that I spent so many months in pain, being sick and fighting the cancer I am so tired. This time of year is for the three F's... Fun, Food and Fellowship..( I guess you could add fat to that list!!) Dwelling on my weight will only make me unhappy .. and I have already become extremely camera...and mirror shy!
So.. for the next few weeks moderation will be the key. I am still going walking...Im enjoying it...and this is such a pretty time of year. But I am going to accept all the invitations and not be worried about what I eat. Hopefully by the new year my mojo will have returned and I can start my new battle back to fitness. After all.. I have a big trip coming up in March.

Love and Hugs
Phoebe x

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving


I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have a wonderful family and friends.. three amazing children.. a rather fabulous grandson who is celebrating his fifth birthday today.... and a beautiful grand daughter due in March. My life has never been happier thanks to all these people and to the absolute love of my life MrD. He has shown me more love and respect in the last three years than I ever thought I deserved and I know I would have never got this far without him
I have fought and won the biggest battle of my life.. mainly because of the strength you have all given me through your kind support, messages and prayers. You have no idea how much that means to me
And I am thankful to my Father in Heaven.. who never left my side when I was going through my trials... giving me Peace.. and surmountable Faith that I would come through the darkness and into the light
To you all who celebrate..and even those who dont.. I wish you much love and a very Happy Thanksgiving
Love and Hugs
Phoebe x


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ready!

So...I'm all ready for tomorrow's feast. We had a quick last minute trip to the supermarket as hubby decided he would like  Green Bean Casserole tomorrow. He has never mentioned it before... and I have never made it
But the potatoes are peeled ready for boiling and mashing. The veg is prepared. The apple pie is made. We opted for apple as hubby isnt a big pumpkin fan
The turkey is stuffed (at one end) and topped with bacon for extra flavour. 
Its a big bird! Look at that label and you can see how we made the mistake... we thought it was 14lb. Note to oneself ....next time wear your glasses!!!

So thats us ready... hope you are too. Whatever happens just enjoy your day and try not to get too stressed
Happy Thanksgiving

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x


Monday, November 20, 2017

Meal Plan Monday


Thanksgiving week....and the Menu Plan should be really simple... seeing as the 14lb turkey MrD and I bought is actually 22lb!! Turkey sandwich anyone? Both Hubby and I misread the label... but he says not to worry about it...just make plenty of mashed potatoes and stuffing and he will live on leftovers for a week. Im sure I can rustle up a few turkey recipes

Today I'm doing a major houseclean so its throw everything into the Crockpot and let it simmer all day.. Tomorrow of course its Taco Tuesday. And Wednesday Im trying a new recipe. I saw it over on My Little Corner of the World and it looked so good and easy to throw together in the crockpot so I can get on with other Thanksgiving prep. Mari always makes wonderful dishes. Just follow this Link to her post

Have a great week everyone... try not to stress too much...and remember.. Christmas is just round the corner...YAY!

Weekly Plan - 20th November 2017
 
Monday            
Crockpot Pork Chops and Onions, Potatoes and Carrots

Tuesday             Tacos

Wednesday        Southwestern White Chili

Thursday           Thanksgiving

Friday                
Leftovers

Saturday            
Turkey Curry and Rice

Sunday               Fellowship


Saturday, November 18, 2017

A True Gentleman

It is eleven years since we lost the kindest, gentlest, funniest man I have ever met...and who I am proud to call Dad
Growing up he never raised his voice or his hand to me or my brother.. and always had a wink for us if we ever got in trouble
He filled our world with laughter.. was an amazing grandfather and was a friend to every one he met
He faced his cancer and stroke head on with bravery and strength..and beat it... but when it returned two years later... he missed my recently deceased mother so much he had no heart to go on
When he died...the church in our little Welsh village was filled to over flowing. A fitting tribute to a real gentleman who was genuinely loved by so many
Love you Dad

Until we meet again
Phoebe x


Friday, November 17, 2017

Three Happy Years

Three years ago this weekend I left my home in Wales to travel 5,000 miles to start a new life in the US with my lovely MrD.  who has gently encouraged, supported and respected me from the day we first spoke
It was a huge step to take and very bitter sweet.. but I have no regrets. The hardest part was leaving my children. Although they are all grown and settled in their own lives.. they are still my babies. Saying goodbye to Miss C at the airport was heartbreaking
Without their blessing I would never have left.. but they were all really happy for me. Its still very hard being so far away from them but they do visit and I get to talk to at least one of them every day, Now I'm getting well again I hope to go back as often as I can.
Roll on March 7th... It cant come fast enough

Love and Hugs 
Phoebe x