Feeling Calmer Today!

Hi, I’m feeling calmer today! I discussed the food cost increase with my husband. He agreed that we don’t need meat every day. I bought some fresh vegetables and apples today.

Tonight we had a lovely salad with mixed greens, baby spinach, carrots, broccoli, celery, and green pepper, adorned with our favorite dressings. We followed with a delicious bowl of Mushroom Barley soup. Well, I did. Everyone else had at least two bowls of the soup. See the recipe in the cooking category. You really must try it. The barley is in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal.

Tomorrow I will cook pinto beans for refried beans. Those will appear tomorrow night as burritos. Yum! Then, Friday night, Honey and I decided to have our date night at home. We’re going to shoo the children downstairs and cook together. We really enjoy that. I have a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (my big splurge this week) to cook. He’s going to look for a recipe to try in

his new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook that I gave him for Christmas. The kids will eat with us; then, they’ll be shooed back downstairs while Honey and I watch a movie together.

Well, that’s what we’ve got planned. You know the old saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ~smile~



Happy at Home

      Homemade Refried Beans

      Refried beans

      These make delicious burritos!


      4 cups of pinto beans (2 lbs.)

      1 small onion, chopped

      3-5 garlic cloves, chopped

      2 T canola oil

      Put the beans in a colander. Sort out all the uglies and broken beans. Then rinse them well in cool water, continuing to look for bad ones.

      Now put everything in a your Crock Pot. Cook on high for around 7 or 8 hours. If you run out of time, you can put them on the stove to finish them up. You want them good and soft. Now add salt to taste, usually at least a tablespoon. Don’t put it in until your beans are soft, or they’ll be tough.

      Now, put 3 or 4 ladles full of beans and juice in a large skillet. I spray mine with cooking spray first. Now, over medium heat, mash the beans until they have the consistency of refried beans. If you want to, add some shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese. Now they’re ready to wrap up in warmed tortillas for burritos or use for dip with chips.


      A Christmas Weekend Menu & Cooking Schedule

      Season’s Greetings!  Having a well-planned menu and cooking schedule for the days just preceding and including Christmas is so helpful for me. I created a plan a few years ago; and, I update it yearly. Here’s what this weekend looks like for me. Perhaps you can adapt it to help you in your home.






      Tuna Sandwiches



      Potato Soup

      Cheese biscuits





      Egg Salad Sandwiches

      Canned Peaches


      Chili with Fritos


      Cookies and Milk

      Christmas Eve Day




      Canned Soup

      Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

      Christmas Eve

      Cocktail Meatballs

      Veggies & Dip

      Queso & Chips

      Rice Pudding with One Almond

      Fudge & Peanut Brittle

      Christmas Day

      Breakfast 9:00

      Breakfast Casserole

      Banana Bread

      Orange juice

      Dinner 2:00


      German Apple Stuffing

      Scalloped Corn

      Potatoes and gravy

      Green bean casserole

      Black & Green Olives

      Little Vlassics Sweet Gherkins

      Angel Eggs


      Pumpkin Pie

      Pecan Pie



      Spend 15 minutes at a time. Do not crash and burn!

      2 Days Before Christmas Eve:

      • Make candies.

      Day Before Christmas Eve:

      • Make chili.
      • Make meatballs & fry them.
      • Bake cookies with Grandma.
      • Mix veggie dip.
      • Banana Bread

      Christmas Eve Morning:

      • Finish anything left from yesterday.
      • Mix sauce & put meatballs together in crock pot & put in fridge.
      • Make pie.

      Christmas Eve Afternoon:

      • Cut up veggies & put in fridge.
      • Mix up stuffing & put in fridge.
      • Mix up breakfast casserole & put in fridge.

      Christmas Eve- Early Evening:

      • Heat meatballs.
      • Put everything on dishes & serve.
      • Cookies for Santa.

      Christmas morning:

      • Put casserole in oven.
      • Put turkey in oven.
      • Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes & refrigerate in water.
      • Set table for dinner.
      • Put green bean casserole together.
      • Mix scalloped corn.

      Christmas Afternoon:


      • Bake everything.
      • Carve turkey.
      • Mash potatoes.
      • Make gravy.
      • Warm rolls.
      • Serve.



      Christmas Night

      • Serve pie.



      Easy Morning Breakfast Casserole

      This yummy dish is straight forward and to the point!

      It’s got a down home flavor my kids really like!

      1 lb. Sausage

      6 eggs

      2 cups of milk

      2 slices of bread

      1 cup of shredded cheese

      Add some chopped green peppers and chopped onions if you like, we always do!

      Brown sausage and drain well. Beat eggs, and add the milk. Gently stir in the shredded cheese, sausage, and torn up bread pieces. This is the time to add the green peppers and onions if you’d like. Put it in 13 x 9 pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate overnight.

      Put it in a cold oven the next morning and Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Insert a knife in the middle to check doneness. It should come out clean. This is great with salsa.

      I like to have hot buttered toast and orange juice with it.

      Sweet Temptations!

      Pineapple Cream Pie

      Ooooh! This is scrumptious!

      This is made without any added sugar, but it is so popular with our family. They choose this over sugary pies!

      Stir the following ingredients together in a medium bowl:

      1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

      1 small sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix

      1 pint sour cream

      Spoon this into a prepared graham cracker crust. Chill for at least one hour.

      I hope you enjoy this

      little treat from

      Harvest Lane Cottage!


      Happy at Home,





      Hello world!

      Dear Reader,

      I’m so happy to spend a few moments with you as this old year is preparing to change to the new.  Change can be an uncomfortable thing, but it’s often a good thing.  I love the assurance of knowing that GOD works all things together for those who love HIM who are called acording to HIS purpose.

      This blog is one of those changes for me.  I’ve read blogs for years, but I’ve never had the courage to write myself.  Well, I plan to change that with the LORD’s help.  I hope you’ll visit me often as I build my little blog home.  I have many interests, as I’m sure you do:  Christian living, frugal living, cooking, writing, raising children, discipline-theirs and mine, loving my husband, caring for my home, scrapbooking, sewing.  Oh, the list goes on and on.  Won’t you join me as I begin my blogging journey?

      Happy at Home,