Monday, January 31, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/31/2022 }

Good morning, good morning sweet ladies.  I hope you are all doing well this Monday.  
I've already been out of the house, just got back and am having my breakfast real quick, and finally getting to sit down and work on our Happy Homemaker Monday.  I don't like putting it up too late, but some Mondays are just like this.
I wish you all a very blessed week ahead, may it be filled with blessings and peace. 

:::: The Weather ::::
It's about 39 at the moment but our high for today is 72.  LOL  Please laugh along with me, because this is ridiculous.  Especially considering that we have a Winter Storm incoming tomorrow night and lasting until Thursday.  We're expecting snow and really cold temperatures. 
Monday - Plentiful sunshine, 72
Tuesday - AM clouds, PM Sun, 70
Wednesday - Rain to ice, 40
Thursday - Snow and wind, 22
Friday - Partly cloudy, 33
Saturday - Mostly sunny, 40
Sunday - Mostly sunny, 46
:::: How I am feeling this morning ::::
Pretty good today, thank God.  Yesterday was a bit rough, I woke up with a Sinus headache/pressure, and had to take Sudafed all day long.  We went to my brother's house in the afternoon, and I still had that sinus nonsense happening.  But thankfully, it is much better this morning.  I can't help but think this crazy weather and the constant temperature changes are the biggest cause of all these issues.   
:::: On the breakfast plate ::::
Had a cup of coffee with peppermint mocha creamer, and a cheese and ham sandwich on a bolillo roll. 
:::: On my reading pile :::: 
I finished both my books for January and have already started March by Geraldine Brooks.  I'm halfway through.  I can't say that I'm enjoying it much, but I'm determined to finish it.  

I also got a few review books in, I know I said I would show you, and I will, am just waiting for a few more to arrive.  

:::: On my TV ::::
Youtube and my Portuguese soaps.  I need to catch up on 1883 though, I've missed 2 episodes. 

:::: On the menu this week ::::
I'm starting to work on the new menu, because Friday is grocery day, but in the meantime, these are the meals for the rest of the week. 

Monday - Beef Enchiladas, Rice, Beans and Salad
Tuesday - Ground Beef Potato Skillet, Salad
Wednesday - Chicken Curry, Rice
Thursday - Pumpkin Soup, Sandwiches
:::: From the camera ::::
Last week I made some French Bread Pizzas, but decided to make the French Bread for them too.  It took no time at all to throw the ingredients in the bread machine, let it make the dough, then shape, bake and make the pizzas.
I know that often we don't want to make certain things because of the effort and time it may take, but it really is worth the effort, and if you just plan your day accordingly, you'll be surprised at just what you can get done.
Also, let's be honest, there is nothing like fresh bread is there?  
I'll have the recipe on the blog, later this afternoon.
:::: Looking around the house ::::
I have been really good at keeping the house clean and tidy.  I must be honest, and I'll talk about it in another post, but when I got sick in the beginning of January, I found myself sliding in a lot of areas in my life.  I don't know what happened, but I was really struggling.  Since then, I have kicked myself in the behind and got back on track.
There is something about getting up each morning, cleaning the house, and I mean really taking the time to clean and tidy, and then having the rest of the day for other projects, or reading, or whatever the case may be.  If you keep on top of it, it is so much easier to keep your house look good all the time. 
::::  To do List ::::
♥ Kitchen - unload dishwasher, and load breakfast dishes, wipe down counters and sweep floors
♥ Work on new menu and grocery list, start adding items to Walmart pickup
♥ Take out meat for dinner
♥ Pick Jasmine up at 3pm
♥ Schedule bills to be paid tomorrow
♥ Post office tomorrow to mail books
♥ Take photos of books for upcoming reviews 
♥ Take photos for a blog post

:::: Today's devotional :::: 
Today's message from the New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp, devotional.

If you're God's child, it's no more you against the world, than it was David, by himself, against the great warrior Goliath. 
May God give you grace to remember your identity as his child in those moments when remembering is essential.  Wow!!!

I can't say enough good things about this devotional.  It is one that I believe every Christian should have in their homes.  I'll link it here for you if you want to take a look, but it really is phenomenal.


Thursday, January 27, 2022

{ Beyond Grapes by Yacov Morad - TLC Book Tours }


About Beyond Grapes

• Publisher: Library Tales Publishing (October 29, 2021)
• Paperback: 134 pages

Featuring more than 100 recipes, Beyond Grapes – Simple Recipes for Delicious Homemade Liqueurs is the first book of its kind to feature rare liqueur recipes that anyone can make in the ease and comfort of home. It’s a must-have for any cocktail enthusiast, dinner party aficionado, or industry professional.

What you will discover in this book are delicious, mouth-watering recipes, developed over a lifetime of experience, for making delicious, homemade liqueurs from pretty much anything you can imagine. Each recipe follows a similar formula, which, once mastered, will give you the blueprint you need to design your own liqueur, regardless of what fruit, vegetable, or plant you want to use as its base.

Learn how to make high quality, delicious liqueurs from chestnuts, maple, grapes, artichoke, and even Coca Cola or Nutella chocolate, as well as how to mix fruits to produce amazing liqueurs such as strawberry banana liqueur, plum raisin, and blueberry mint.

Purchase Links

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Yacov Morad

Yacov Morad is a winemaker, author, and founder of Morad Winery in Israel. At the tender age of 10, he watched his father make wine on a small plot of land just outside their home, and by the age of 12, he was making wine all by himself. After 30 years of experience, he decided (along with the love of his life-his wife Ester) to convert his lifelong hobby into a full-time profession, so in 1999, Morad Winery opened its doors to rave reviews and the international press-all of whom were fascinated by the fact that a small winery in Israel can make wine out of parsley, sweet potatoes, and sage. 
The winery became a household name; Yacov appeared on a great many popular TV shows and news broadcasts and hosted hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the world in his boutique winery’s visitors’ center. Morad Winery was the first commercial winery in Israel to make wine out of almost anything BUT grapes. Now, more than 20 years later, Mr. Morad and his wife are retired. Yacov Morad now spends most of his time teaching students the secrets to making mouth-watering wines and liqueurs out of anything but grapes, in the comfort of their own homes.
So, let me just say that I have never reviewed a book that had me make some liqueur.  Never!!!  But, I am so glad I did hahahah
The book itself is quite short, it is filled with recipes, 100 to be specific, and basically just teaches you how to make numerous delicious sounding liqueurs.  
The first few pages tell you exactly what you'll need, and also an overall simple description of making the homemade liqueurs, from the materials you'll need to sugar alternatives.  He also includes pictures of the process to guide you along, though I have to say, it is sooooooo easy, like sooooo easy.

Anyway, I looked through the book and oh my goodness, the amount of yummy sounding recipes.  From Chestnut to Apple and Mango, Coconut Chocolate (you best believe I'll be trying this one),   

The last section in the book is all about Veggie and Herb Liqueurs and there are so many that sounds amazing, and others quiet interesting, though I'm not sure I would enjoy them, but you never know.

Lavender, Lemongrass, Brussels Sprouts?  Not sure about that one but it sounds interesting.  Carrot, tomato and even beet liqueur.

I almost forgot, but at the very end of that section are some recipes for homemade flavored vodka.  

As I was looking through the book, I almost missed the very last section, and I'm glad I saw it, because it's all about moonshine.  There is one particular in there for Apple moonshine called Apple Season, that sounds sooooooooo good.

From the book, I picked 3 different liqueurs to try.  I chose them simply because it's the ingredients I already had on hand and didn't want to have to wait to make them, because the whole process takes close to a month, so while mine are now finished, they are still waiting for another 10 days until completely ready.

From left to right:  Grapefruit, Banana and Honey Lemon Liqueur.

They were very easy to make, I mean there is nothing to making them.  They already smell so good, especially the banana one, so I'm quite interested to taste them once they're completely done, and I'll be sure to come back and let you know how they turned out.

Thank you so much to TLC Book Tours and Library Tales Publishing, for providing me with a review copy. 


Monday, January 24, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/24/2022 }

Good morning from a cold Texas.  
I have already been out early, and now I'm back home, with a cup of hot coffee,  my breakfast and sitting on my bed ready to type this out.
I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend with your families.  Mine was good, met up for a coffee with my brother and sister in law, at this really cute coffee shop in town.  Rest of the weekend, was just spent at church and relaxing.
Anyway, let's get on with our happy homemaker Monday post for today.  I hope you all have a blessed week.

:::: The Weather ::::
Quite cold at the moment, I had to scrape ice from my car this morning.  But our high today is 65 so not too bad.   Think Wednesday is going to be our coldest day of the week.     

:::: How I am feeling this morning ::::
I will give you 3 guesses and the first 2 don't count.  Hahaha
I'm exhausted folk, sleeping lately has been an issue.  Remember when I went through horrible insomnia a few years ago?  It got better and now I'm struggling again.  I'm a walking zombie at the moment, but maybe after all the housework is done, I can sneak in a 15 minute nap. 
:::: On the breakfast plate ::::
A cup of coffee with vanilla creamer and a bread roll with bologna and cheese. 
:::: On my reading pile :::: 
I finished Lilac Girls last week and loved it.  You know I love anything history related, especially Tudor times or WWII and Holocaust related.  
I am pretty proud of myself for achieving my goal of two books in January, and I've already started February's read, with March by Geraldine Brooks.  
Also got a few review books in, so I'll show you those in a different post.

:::: On my TV ::::
Just been binging one of my favorite Brazilian vloggers.  The way I get most of my shows watched, is during dinner time or if I'm cleaning or doing chores.  I just put it on the laptop and get going. 
Portuguese soaps
All Creatures Great and Small Season 2
Dayani Mika on Youtube

:::: On the menu this week ::::
The next two weeks menu is going to be super easy, family faves. 

Monday - Creamy Ranch Chicken with Firehouse Mac and Cheese, Caesar Salad
Tuesday - French Bread Pizzas
Wednesday - Pork Flautas, Rice, Beans
Thursday - Homemade Hamburger Helper, Salad
Friday -  Enchiladas, Steamed Broccoli
:::: From the camera ::::
I have a book review coming up, called Beyond Grapes.  In it, it teaches you how to make a whole bunch of different liqueurs etc.  I am trying 3 different ones, a Banana, a honey lemon and a grapefruit liqueur.  So excited to try these and see how they turned out. 

:::: Looking around the house ::::
It is almost 9am, Curt and Jasmine are at work, Nick is still in bed and Elliott is asleep under my computer desk.
I need to vacuum and dust, and pick up Elliott's toys that he has played with and left all over the living room.
::::  To do List ::::
♥ Kitchen - dishes and sweeping
♥ Pay bills
♥ Take out chicken for dinner
♥ Pick Jasmine up at 3pm
♥ Run to post office to drop off 4 books that were requested from my Paperbackswap

:::: Today's devotional :::: 
As always, today's devotional comes from the New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. 

Your little kingdom of one cannot compete with the glory of the kingdom of God, which is yours by grace and grace alone.

This is the reason I just love this devotional.  Every single day, has such a simple but powerful statement, that always makes me stop and think.  Hope you enjoy it as well.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

{ Her Secret War by Pam Lecky - TLC Book Tour }

• Publisher: Avon (January 4, 2022)
• Paperback: 384 pages

A life-changing moment

May 1941: German bombs drop on Dublin taking Sarah Gillespie’s family and home. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist.

A heart-breaking choice

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in England. But before long, her father’s dark past threatens to catch up with her.

A dangerous mission

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through a special mission. Her courage could save lives. But it could also come at the cost of her own…

A gripping story that explores a deadly tangle of love and espionage in war-torn Britain, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff, Kate Quinn and Kate Furnivall.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Pam Lecky

Pam Lecky is an Irish historical fiction author, represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency. From an early age, Pam had a particular fascination with all things historical, from food and clothes to architecture and social history. Patiently awaiting the invention of time travel, she must be content with giving her novels a historical setting instead.

Find more about Pam on her website and Instagram.

This was my first ever read of Pam Lecky and wow she did not disappoint.  Historical fiction aside, which by the way is my favorite, Pam Lecky tells such a vivid tale of war torn Britain that will leave all the history enthusiasts longing for more.

Her Secret War follows the life of Sarah Gillespie.  She is in her home in Dublin, Ireland, when a bomb is dropped sending the whole country into disarray.  The german bombs decimate her home.  She really only has her love interest left, but he too is taken from her when he decides to enlist to fight for Britain in the war.

Sarah is left alone, not knowing what to do but feeling a tug at her heart, to jump in and help with the way, in any way she can.  She makes the decision to head to England and to do whatever she is able to, to help Britain in the war effort.

Unfortunately things don't quite go as she had planned, when her duty and loyalty is called into question.  Seems her father had quite a dark past that none were aware of and his political views and opinions, may just put her life at risk.  She is approached and asked to gather information on a possible German spy.

I wasn't quite sure how this would play out, Sarah has a bit of a temper to put it mildly, and she is not exactly the kind of girl I would see tasked with such an important matter, but I do end up enjoying her character as the story develops.  

There is action and moments of fear, but also some romance thrown in too.  All I know is that by the end of the book, I wanted it to continue.  I wanted more, and wasn't quite ready to turn the last page.

Luckily for me and many others who enjoyed Her Secret War, Pam Lecky is already working on the next called Her Last Betrayal.  I am really looking forward to that reading that one too, and I'm hoping we get to see more of Sarah in it as well.

Thank you TLC Book Tours and Avon for providing me with a copy of for review.

{ Count it all worship }


Good morning sweet friends. How are you all doing? 
First can we just talk about how cold it's been?  I am currently sitting on my bed, under a warm blanket, and listening to the wind blowing outside.  The temperature is 20 degrees, the real feel however?  5 degrees!!!
I can't complain too much because some of you have had some crazy snow storms, blow into your area.  Sure hope you're staying warm and cozy.
It's been a while.  The past 3 weeks I've just been posting the Happy Homemaker Monday and then nothing else.  It's what I've been able to do.  Thankfully, Curt and I are finally turning the corner, and are basically 90% better.  Still some lingering congestion, and some lingering coughs as the sickness works its way out.  For me, I have the added wind storms which kick up the asthma as you know, so it takes a little longer than usual.


Many of you asked if we had been tested for Covid, and yes we did and no we didn't have Covid, just a the flu that is going around.  Our sense of taste and smell has already returned, thank the good Lord.  For a girl that loves her coffee and her food, that is one of the most annoying symptoms right?
Thank you all for the prayers, they did help and I'm sure they played a big part in our recovery.
So what have I been up to the past 3 weeks?  
Well, reading, a lot of reading.  I finished my two books for the month of January, which I'm so proud of myself for doing.  I love reading but there are years I tend to get into a funk and not read as much, actually find it so hard to sit and read.  But, I seem to have that mojo back and I'm fully taking advantage of it.

I've read Sold on a Monday and Lilac Girls, both really good.  I am not on my third book which is March by Geraldine Brooks.

I just realized as well I never told you my list of books, which ones I am reading in what order, so I'm going to do that right now.

I promised myself I wouldn't change any of the books, but then I kind of broke that promise because I know myself, and I know that if I force a book that I really don't want to read, I will just set it aside and next thing I know, months will go by without reading.

So, what did I do, I simply removed the one non fiction book I had on the list, and replaced it with a fiction one.  I am not in a non fiction mood, and those are usually harder for me to get into, I have to really be in the mood.   My list is now, just fully fiction.


I just wrote down 24 numbers and then put them all in a bowl and pulled one at a time. I had written down the books I had in order on a piece of paper, and as I pulled the numbers, I pulled the corresponding book. 
Here's my 24 books for 2022.  Also keep in mind, again, that these are my own books, I'm not adding in any of the review books that will come in throughout the year.  Those will be separate.
#1  Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
#2  Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
#3  March by Geraldine Brooks 
#4  Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (I just realized two Geraldine Brooks one after the other lol)
#5  The Sugar Camp Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
#6  Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
#7  The Tale of Hilltop Farm by Susan Wittig Albert
#8  The Factory Girls of Lark Lane by Pam Howes
#9  One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
#10  The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
#11  Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris
#12 Wideacre by Phillipa Gregory
#13  Prayers for sale by Sandra Dallas
#14  The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella
#15  October Song by Beverly Lewis
#16  Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
#17  Children of the Stars by Mario Escobar
#18  Tidelands by Phillipa Gregory
#19  The King's Witch by Tracy Borman
#20  The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
#21  The Pioneers by David McCullough
#22  The Two Princesses of Bamarre Gail Carson Levine
#23  The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
#24  The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick
I've striked through the two I've already read.  You've read any of these yourself, let me know what you thought.

I've also been cooking a lot, especially meals from my childhood.  Even on those days that I was the sickest, I still made my way to the kitchen and got a meal on the table.  It wasn't easy, there was actually one day that I was in so much pain physically, that I cried my eyes through the dinner prep, but I thanked God all along that I still cooked for my family.

I always find that it's those special home cooked meals, that are most appreciated and also the ones that seem to make you feel better.
I haven't been watching as much TV as I used to, but I'm still squeezing in some favorite shows and youtube videos.  1883 has become my favorite at the moment, it's is beyond what I would expect it to be.  I've always been very vocal about how I feel that England seems to make all the good historical period series and movies, and I wish America would too.

When 1883 came out, I was hopeful but wasn't really expecting much.  I am so glad I was proved wrong.  It is a fantastic show and I'm learning quite a bit about the wagon trains and the things that happened during those difficult drives.  

Through these past 3 weeks, I have also learned to count everything I do as worship.  

It's easy to get caught in the moment, to feel so incredibly sick and to not think of anything that we do, as worship.  But it all counts.  If it's done to honor God, to think of Him, to praise Him, it is worship and He absolutely loves every minute of it.

The housework, the cooking and cleaning, the mountains of endless laundry.  Whether you are singing a praise song, saying a prayer, reading a devotional or the Bible, or cleaning a toilet, it is all worship, every part of it.  Now it may seem a bit strange to say that, but just remember that the work we are given as homemakers, is given to us by the Lord.

So I think of everything I do as giving it back to Him.  He charged me with being a homemaker, and that includes everything that is contained within these four walls.  So whatever we do, with do with joy and all for His glory.  Does that make sense?

Just wanted to share that with you all.  I love sharing what I learn or what I experience on this journey of life we're all on.

I don't have a lot planned for today, it is cold, dreary, windy which means I have to stay indoors as much as possible, so I don't aggravate my lungs.  I will however work on a book review that needs to go up today, plus one for tomorrow.  Actually made some licqueur which I'm quite excited to try and share with you all.
I have 3 books I need to get to the post office and mail off, they were requested from my paperbackswap, but I'll wait until tomorrow and then get all my errands done in one day.

Taking Jasmine to work (yes she's still practicing driving, but hasn't been able to much lately with my car constantly breaking down), grocery pick up at Walmart, and post office, is on the agenda for tomorrow morning.  

In the meantime, I am watching a show on Amazon Prime, called America's Hidden Stories.  It is quite good and each episode is about a certain period of time in the USA, or covering a well known iconic historic moments in this country.  

Episode 1 was about the Salem Witches, the second episode was about the target and attempted assassination of Jefferson Davis who was the President of the Confederate States between 1861 and 1865.

The current episode I'm watching, Episode 3 is about the Spanish Flu of 1918, which is quite interesting for the day and time we find ourselves in.  

And that my friends is basically what I've been up to the past 3 weeks.  I'm just thankful that I'm turning the corner and feeling much better.  I am definitely ready to get back to normal day to day life.

The rest of the day I will be reading my book....this one below:

For lunch, I have leftover chili from last night which I'm very much looking forward to.  Dinner will be Bacon Spaghetti, with some veggies and homemade garlic bread.

I still need to sit and read my Bible for today, I need to read Genesis 19 and 20, and also do my devotional for this morning as well.

I sure hope you're all doing well, staying warm and healthy.  Oh, I'll come by and visit the Happy Homemaker Mondays from this week, sometimes this afternoon.

For now, I am out of here, need to go fold some laundry and do a quick pick up in the living room and dining room.

Have a wonderful rest of Thursday.

Monday, January 17, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/17/2021

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to my little blog.
Well after typing up this post last week, and telling you that I was pretty much done with my cold, I took a nose dive.  All thanks to my husband getting sick, and since I was not yet 100%, it hit me again and knocked me on my toosh.
This past week has been quite bad for us both, and thankfully today we are starting to come out the other side, but I still can't smell or taste completely.  Doesn't help that everyone around here seems to be sick as well.  If you're down with this cold/flu, my prayers go out to you as well.  Hope you start feeling better soon.  
Right, let's get on with today's post.  I'm sorry it's going up a little later than usual.

:::: The Weather ::::
Pretty cold this morning at only 20 degrees, though we do expect to go up to 64.   Seems a bit of a cooler week coming up.   
:::: How I am feeling this morning ::::
I'm ok, thankfully feeling much better.  I am a bit tired, as Elliott barged into the bedroom at 430am and didn't want to let me sleep the rest of the night. 
:::: On the breakfast plate ::::
I am having a cup of coffee and some homemade artisan bread, with a slather of butter.   
:::: On my reading pile :::: 
I said I wouldn't change any of the books around on my reading list for this year, but I had to.  I decided to remove Having a Mary heart in a Martha world, and set it in my non fiction pile instead.  I am in the mood for fictional and if I force myself through this one, I'll just not want to read at all.
I just moved this one out of my 2022 book goal list, and substituted in a different one.  So, I've moved on to the next on the list, which is Lilac Girls.

:::: On my TV ::::
Last weekend, the family and I watched Encanto.  It was such a sweet movie.  Today we are hoping to sit down and watch The Eternals as a family as well.  With such busy schedules, we've been trying to do family movie days, when everyone is home.  
I've also been watching 1883, matter of fact just watched the new episode yesterday and cried my eyes out.  My goodness, what a good show, but ugh, I was not expecting what happened yesterday.
Still watching my two Portuguese soaps, Quero e Viver and Para Sempre.
Also as usual, been watching some true crime channels on Youtube as well as homemaking vlogs.

:::: On the menu this week ::::
We've been enjoying the Portuguese meals I've been making, there's something so comforting about home cooked meals, especially those that you grew up eating yourself.  
I do have to start working on the next meal plan this week, not really sure what to add on there, I seem to be drawing a bit of a blank, but I want to use what is in my pantry and freezer, so will be going through those first to see what I can come up with.   

Monday - Galinha de Fricasse (chicken fricassee), Mashed Potatoes, Salad
Tuesday - Tiras de carne (beef strips), Buttered Rice, Fried Okra
Wednesday - Arroz de Salsicha (sausage rice)
Thursday - Pumpkin Soup, Grilled Cheese and Ham sandwiches
Friday -  *grocery shopping*
:::: From the camera ::::
Super yummy creamy bratwurst, that I made last week.  It was one of the family's favorite meals.  The recipe is up on the food blog, if you want to check it out.  

:::: Looking around the house ::::
Elliott was playing earlier, so there are foil balls all strewn throughout the living room.  I need to pick those up and place them back in his toy basket.
There is a blanket on the couch that needs folding up and the pillows also need fluffing and setting back up on the couch.  In the kitchen, there are a few dishes in the sink that need to be moved to the dishwasher and I need to give the floor a quick sweep.
::::  To do List ::::
♥ Kitchen - dishes and sweeping
♥ Start working on menu
♥ Take out chicken for dinner

:::: Today's devotional :::: 
I'm again taking today's quote from the New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. 

To think today, when your life doesn't work as planned, that it's out of control is to forget that Jesus reigns for your sake and his glory.

Friday, January 14, 2022

{ Big Mountain Foods Recipe Contest - Cauli Crumble and Cheese Rangoons with Onion Chutney }

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Big Mountain Foods. All opinions and recipe included are my own.  


Our Story:

Big Mountain Foods has been proudly family-owned since 1987. Our Mission is to make food that we would proudly serve our own family. In other words, real food that tastes good. Food with no additives, no subsitutes and no names that you cannot pronounce. That is, unless your mouth is full. Which we guarantee it will be once you make a meal of our veggie patties, veggie links, bites and crumbles.
Big Mountain Food products are all certified vegan, gluten free, soy free, cruelty free, certified kosher, nut free, common allergen free, dairy free, non-gmo verified, women owned company, keto friendly and made in Canada.

For more information, or to check out the products available, you can head to their website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

I was sent a few products to try:

But they have many others that are sure to be a hit with your family. 

I want to start by saying, I am not Vegan, my family is not Vegan, but we love food and we love trying out new products.  I have been wanting to steer away from meat a bit more and delve a little deeper into some Vegan recipes, and this was the perfect way to kick that off.
For someone who is used to meat, the thought of a product that is supposed to be like meat but is plant based, is quite fascinating and very intriguing to say the least.  I don't know how that is possible, but I am willing to try and give you my honest and humble opinion.
I will be trying the rest of the products over the next few days, and will let you know what I think.  Really, my plan was to try them over the holidays but there was so much going on, and then sickness hit our house and we are still trying to get over this second bout.  

So for my recipe, I wanted to create something for the holidays, a quick appetizer that I could throw together and that everyone would enjoy.  Of course the holidays are gone, but there are still plenty of get togethers coming up through the year, and I really think this is a great appetizer to serve to your family and friends.

One of our family's favorite appetizers, are rangoons, whether cream cheese or crab.  Of course cream cheese is a dairy product and not vegan, but I still wanted to create something similar.  A delicious bite of dough with a yummy filling dipped in some sweet chili sauce.

I raided my fridge and pantry, and quickly realized that though I had what I needed to throw these together, they weren't vegan products, so I made a trip to the store to remedy that issue.

What I came up with, are the delicious Cauli Crumble and Cheese Rangoons with Onion Chutney.  SO GOOD!!!!

Cauli Crumble and Cheese Rangoons with Onion Chutney

1 pack Vegan Wonton Wrappers
Vegan Cream Cheese
Onion Chutney
Sweet Chili Sauce for serving, dipping

These couldn't be easier to throw together.  Cut the wonton wrappers into squares.  If you have the rectangle pack, slice them in half, if you have the big square pack, cut wrappers into fourths.

In a skillet, warm up the veggie ground, turn off heat and add the vegan cream cheese.  Stir well to combine.

In the middle of each square of wrapper, place one teaspoon of the veggie ground and cheese mixture, and then top with a bit of onion chutney.   

Dab a little water on the edges of the wrapper, then bring up two sides and seal, then bring the other two sides opposite to each other, to create a little pouch.  

Place on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with oil.  

You can fry them at this point, but I wanted to keep them light, so I gave them a quick spritz of olive oil to help with browning, then baked them in a 375 F oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve with sweet chili sauce.

These turned out so delicious.  My 22 and 18 year old, devoured them.  

I have to say the Cauli Crumble Veggie Ground on it's own, is absolutely delicious.  It completely blew my mind just how delicious it was, but when you add in the vegan cheese and the onion chutney, it takes it to a whole new level.

They are seriously addictive and dangerous, I could eat the whole shebang on my own.  

Thank you again to Big Mountain Foods for providing me with these delicious Vegan products.  They may have just set me on a whole new journey, eating healthier food.


Monday, January 10, 2022

{ Happy Homemaker Monday - 01/10/2022 }

Good morning dear friends, come on in out of the cold.  It is a bitterly cold morning, 20 degrees and the real feel is just  15.  Sure cuts to the bones doesn't it?
Well, it is Monday morning, a start to a new week, and I just realized that last week, the only post I managed to get up was this one.  Goodness!!!  I don't know why the week got away from me.
The colds seemed to be making their rounds, I'm pretty much done with mine, except for the lingering cough which doesn't get a chance to get better with the high winds we've been having.  They kick up my asthma and it's just a vicious circle that never seems to end.  
Anyway, it's life and it's normal for this time of the year.  The weather certainly doesn't help, we had 20 degrees two days ago, and then the next day the high was 80.  How?  Why? Crazy!!!!

I enjoyed visiting you all last week, and I can't wait to go by again today and say hi, and see what you're all getting up to.  
Have a blessed week my friends!!! 

:::: The Weather ::::
A bit of a cooler week, at least there doesn't seem to be many flip flopping days from cold to hot and back.  

:::: How I am feeling this morning ::::
My chest feels a bit tight and I have the little cough going on, but I've already taken my allergy pills.  I take Singulair for asthma, which is induced by the allergies.  *sigh* 
:::: On the breakfast plate ::::
All I've had so far is coffee, however, I will be making some Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats soon. 
:::: On my reading pile :::: 
I am now reading Having a Mary heart in a Martha world by Joanna Weaver.  I've already read one book so far this January, it was called Sold on a Monday and it was really good, read it in two hours. 

:::: On my TV ::::
I am loving, and I mean LOVING the new 1883 show, on Paramount.  I don't usually have that channel, but I do have Amazon Prime, and I got the 30 day trial, with the 99c for two months after, deal.  I normally wouldn't do it, but this is such a good show, and well worth subscribing for.
Aside from 1883, I've started watching Yellowstone, since the shows are connected.
I am also watching 2 Portuguese Soaps, Quero e Viver and Para Sempre.  And that is basically all the television I am wasting any time watching.  The rest of my time, I've been reading.  

:::: On the menu this week ::::
The next two weeks, I am making primarily Portuguese meals.  I've been craving my food, my heritage, the meals I remember eating in Portugal.  Most of the recipes are already on the blog, and those that aren't, I'll be taking pictures so that I can get the recipes up. 

Monday - Pasteis de Massa Tenra, Salad (I have some leftover sausages that I'll be using)
Wednesday - Frango Estufado com Espargete (Skillet Chicken and Spaghetti)
Thursday - Almondegas da Bio, Batata Frita, Salada (Greatgrandma's Meatballs and fries)
FridayGalinha com cenoura e Arroz (Dad's Favorite Chicken)
:::: From the camera ::::
Every Christmas, we get a real tree.  When it's time to get rid of it, I always cut some of it's branches and place them in a mason jar and label it.  It's something the kids started doing when they were still little, I actually have a jar from 2012.  It's just so much fun to keep and it's amazing how they still smell like pine after all these years. 

:::: Looking around the house ::::
I need to carpet clean, yet again.  I wish I could convince my husband to get rid of the carpet in the dining area/den, because it's a high traffic area and I just can't keep it clean.  Looking at it, you would think it never gets washed.  It's frustrating to me as a homemaker.  
I opened my back door for a few minutes this morning, just to let in some fresh air, but that was about 3 minutes before I closed it again since it's so cold.  
The curtains have been opened however, and the sun is streaming the most beautiful rays, through the windows.
::::  To do List ::::
♥ Laundry - remove the last load from the dryer, fold, and put away
♥ Take my car for a drive - started giving me issues on Friday and it turns out, it was almost empty on the coolant.  I keep an eye on these things, but it had just been to the dealership to get repaired, and I figured they would have checked it as well.  Guess not.
♥ Fix bathroom wall - our master bathroom has a half wall between the tub and toilet.  Since we've moved in, there is an area that gets wet from the shower, and has been falling apart.  We've fixed it a couple times but it continues to deteriorate.  We need to patch it again today.
♥ Make some French Bread rolls

:::: Something fun to share ::::
I was thinking this morning about how much I miss the feature I used to have, many years ago, called The Greatest Places on Earth.  
I used to share a beautiful place somewhere on earth, and even shared a recipe from that area.  It was so much fun, and I had quite a few homeschooling moms and littles following along.
I would love to bring that back to the blog, however, I know that at the moment, I am not very good with keeping up with anything on the blog, so I won't even attempt to do that.  But, I can certainly show some of these amazing places, here on our Happy Homemaker Monday.  
So, this morning, I actually want to share with you a place that I visited on a school trip in Portugal.  We traveled from Povoa de Santa Iria (where we lived), to Evora, which is about an hour and 20 minutes.  

They took us to visit the Capela dos Osso which in English is the Chapel of Bones.  I was fascinated and a bit scared to be honest, I was only 5 years old so this was quite intimidating  Hahaha

The Capela dos Ossos was built in the seventeenth century by three Franciscan friars, a building that used to be a dormitory and a reflection room for them. The idea was to create a space for reflection that would convey the ephemerality of human life and, at the same time, to free some space occupied by the cemeteries in the city. This was a creative solution, but at the same time, very sinister!
 They decided to remove the skeletons from the earth and give them a new home, the Chapel of Bones, which was then decorated by various skeletons. There are probably more than 5000 human skulls arranged by the walls, columns, and the ceiling of this building. But let's focus on the message we found before entering this chapel. 
 - Source Living Tours

If you want to see more of the chapel or read more about it's history, you can head on over to Wikipedia or just google the chapel.  There is a ton of pictures and interesting information.  

:::: Today's devotional :::: 
Today's devotional comes from the New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp.  A short sentence but it makes you stop and think of just how truthful it is.
The DNA of joy is thankfulness.  Have you noticed that entitled, complaining people don't happen to be very joyful?
Wow!!!  Short but to the point.  The author also tells us to read Psalm 107 to go along with this message, so I'll be doing that shortly.