Friday Five #3: April 24, 2015

This has been quite the week! So much to be thankful for! Here are the five things I am loving this week:

1. Julia Belle’s at the Farmers Market. This great little gem is one of those places you go when you want amazing food. We don’t eat fast food; we rarely eat out because my husband says my food is better (what a line..maybe), and I don’t like not knowing what is exactly in my food or who handles it.
Julia Belle’s has one of the nicest staff, a glass wall in their sitting area so you can see them prepping the food, and it has this rustic feel without feeling dirty.  If you live in the Florence, SC area you should check it out.

2.  Famers Markets / Fresh Produce.
My family farms and I compare all corn, blueberries, potatoes and watermelon to my Uncle’s. I have to say there is something so relaxing about spending the day at the Farmers Market. I’m addicted to it.

image

image

image

image

3. Target (& not for the LP line)
I have searched high and low for a kitchen mat. I wanted one for the sink.  The only one I contemplated getting wasn’t long enough. It was red and cost about  $100. I was at Target and found one for around $20 that looks like us.

image

Extremely happy with this purchase.

I also got some chalk board signs for my herb garden and plastic planters for my flowers on the back deck. One of my nice ones broke this week in the wind and I vowed then and there if it was on a high planter stand it couldn’t break. I love these!

image

image

4. Sam’s Club.
Huge Costco/Sam’s addict. We get everything there for the husband’s lunchbox. I never leave there without spending  $200, but you get so much that bulk seems logical.  Recently I have been organic, and I like the grass fed meats. I found some organics there, and some not; but I also found Adidas running shorts for about $16…and I can go for that!

image

image

image

5. Frisbee days and sunshine.

image

This one loves her frisbee. It’s a tradition my husband started; it’s their game, but if she brings you a frisbee taller than she is, you have to throw it. Even if it’s windy.

image

Can’t wait to see what everyone loves on the reader!

Thanks to all the new subscribers!

Tried and True #1: Smothered Crock Pot Pork Chops

I am a huge fan of our crock pot.  One of my new favorite uses is Saturday night I will make Sunday’s dinner so that I really don’t work on the Sabbath.  In general, it’s hard to mess up a crock pot recipe; which is why I have tried MANY of them.

This recipe calls for a little extra pan work, but it is worth it.

Smothered Crock Pot Pork Chops

Ingredients:

4 Pork Chops

1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 – 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cups of sliced mushrooms

2 cans of Cream of Mushroom soup

1 – 2  cups Beef Broth

Slice your mushrooms and onion.  Place them in a crock pot.20150203_110420Warm a pan on Medium – High heat.  Add olive oil.  Season pork chops with garlic, pepper and salt.  Place pork chops in the pan.  Cook each side for 3 minutes.  Do not play with the pork chop while it is cooking.  Simply place it side down and use a timer for 3 minutes, then flip for an additional 3 minutes on the other side (I speak from experience).

20150203_110415

20150121_123536

Remove pork chops from pan and place atop the mushroom and onions until all four pork chops are present.

20150121_124537

Turn the stove to Medium heat.  Take a whisk and stir up the brown bits in your pan.  Add broth and mushroom soup.  Stir and let the mixture simply heat.  This normally takes mine 2 minutes.  After the mixture has been heated, pour over the pork chops in the crock pot.

Note: For a thicker gravy, use one cup of Beef Broth to two cans of Cream of Mushroom soup.  I normally use two cups of Beef Broth for two cans of Cream of Mushroom soup for a thinner gravy.  This also helps if you have a larger family – you will have more gravy.  

20150121_124936

Cook on low 7-8 hours.  Serve over rice.

20150121_192355

The easiest way to cook bacon

This post was inspired by someone asking about our bacon on Instagram. We use a ton of bacon. Bacon wrapped chicken, bacon in salads, breakfast bacon. We love bacon!

My mom breaks everything down for me in steps. I think this is due to me trying to make eggs and burning the eggs and her pans because I didn’t know you needed to put anything in the pan before the egg. Thankfully she speaks my language; now I can speak it to you. Maybe it will help a lost soul like myself who has no clue about cooking.

The first few times I made bacon, I ended up calling Mom with grease injuries. She told me to cook the bacon in the oven. Baked bacon.

You don’t have to have a special pan with a drip rack for this, in fact I won’t use ours for this demonstration.

Start out with a baking sheet with sides and line it with aluminum foil. Take the foil and push it to each edge, molding it with the corners. This will make a boat for your bacon.
image

You don’t need to spray it, just lay the bacon flat.
image

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bacon in the oven for 15-20 minutes. It takes our oven 17 minutes to get it the way I like it.
image

If you don’t have a rack or a pan with the rack, simply place paper towels in a plate to soak up the grease. Also place a paper towel on top to get the other side. I chose to let my rack let some of the bacon drip off.

After you have your bacon, remove the foil and toss it. It’s so much easier to clean than the bacon splatter on the stove (trust me, I know).
image

Ta Da! Perfect bacon every time!

Friday Five : April 17, 2015

It’s time for my five favorites of the week!

1. My husband makes soap! We have been looking at ways to detox our home and get away from so many chemicals and soap seemed like a great place to start! All natural imported organic oils make up the soap and now our family asks for more, so he continues to make it! It really has changed how my skin feels and it smells fresh all day! I snapped a picture of some of the bars drying.

image

2. HomemadeDog Treats!

image

I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to dogs. I absolutely love ours. I started making their dog food and thought I would try to make their treats too. They love them and I feel so proud and happy when they devour them.

image

3. Gardening! My new Mint!

image

I don’t know if Mint is a bush or a tree, but whatever it is; it grows! You water it from the bottom, which is a new concept for me but it seems to like it; so yay! I haven’t killed the Mint yet!

4. Radius workouts

image

I currently have 71 Radius workouts on our DVR. If I get bored or want to add to my cardio I love working out with this series. It comes on NBCSPORTS. I am pretty sure it is on the internet as well!

5. Salads!

image

I used to crash diet on salads which left me not ever wanting a salad again.  Then I began eating organic and clean, and one day I wanted one. I mix lettuce with fruits and a protein. Sometimes it’s bacon, sometimes chicken. No croutons. Almonds are a great substitute. No cheese. No dressing. Sweet and savory combine to make salads one of my favorites.

image

image

I have to go check out all the other Friday Favorites! Happy weekend!!!!

My #1 tip for a cleaner kitchen while making large meals

Lately I have been cooking large batches of food.  Sometimes the husband takes it to work for lunch the next day, or we give half away to family members.  The problem I always run into while cooking is the clean up.

I’ve learned the hard way that the hardest part of cooking or baking recipes with lots of ingredients is the clean up.  I always assemble everything I need before I begin, but the state of the kitchen after I finish cooking is sometimes questionable.

I have found that cleaning as you cook is extremely helpful and expedites the process of returning your kitchen to its normal state.

Rachael Ray has a “trash bowl” that she sells for close to $20.  I have tried this and it is too small for what I need.  But I adapted from her idea, and the end result helps so much when cooking.

I use a red bowl that I think we used for a summer cookout last year.  It had been sitting in one of the cabinets above the fridge, and I never used it before last week.

Before I begin I always put one of those grocery bags we have in it, almost like a trash can liner.  I then put it on the stove or counter near the cutting board.  As I go along I don’t have to go back and forth to the trashcan; I just add the trash to the bowl and at the end of cooking I simply remove the bag from the bowl.  Less mess.  Less clean up.

20150413_151015

Weekend Review #1: April 10 – 12

Happy Monday!

This weekend was perfection around here. Or maybe it was my version of perfection; I spent time with people I love, worked a little, and appreciated our many blessings.

Friday would have been my late Daddy’s birthday. It seemed fitting to go to a flower show at the Farmers Market and pick out some things to plant since he used to make me follow him around with the watering can and water his flowers at our house. He was a true Southern man; he looked like someone you wouldn’t want to go up against,  but he was God fearing; instilling morals and Christian values into three girls. He could build a tree house, build a car, build an engine and if it was broken he could fix it. He worked from sun up to sun down making sure all three girls went to private schools for our education (K4-12 – all private), and I could go on for a while listing everything we loved about him.

After the flower show I made my first Upside Down Pineapple Cake. The recipe is from 1948, and I remember Daddy loving them as a kid. I had never made one before but it tasted amazing. We have a tradition in the Outlaw house, when someone who is no longer with us has a birthday, we make their favorite food.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Saturday I spent some time grocery shopping and getting some more flowers for the yard. I also cleaned and did laundry. My goal was to have everything done so no work would be done on the Sabbath.  My husband had a great day playing with the puppies. After I had finished ironing for the week, I made us a great T-Bone dinner.

image

Sunday we celebrated the Lord and our blessings.  We made Ben and Jerry’s Fudge Brownies from scratch and  chicken and dumplings.  We then delivered the food to loved ones since there was so much.

image

image

It’s Monday now….and I am making grilled Tilapia tonight with fresh green beans. I also have to dust today before Zumba and Yoga. Enjoy your week!

Housewife Life

I should start off by acknowledging my absence on the blog.  I won’t apologize for it.  I have been living each day to the fullest and I must admit, I am the happiest I think I have ever been.

I quit my job mid-December.  I should say I quit my “day job.”  Security blanket removed; I am now a housewife who LOVES being domesticated.  I also still guest blog from time to time on other sites, and Iris Edna Embroidery has been growing daily.  I adore the designs and really take pride in creating products families enjoy.  There is such a feeling of gratitude at this point in my life; especially when it comes to my embroidery and applique business.  

Iris Edna products were in Christmas cards in four different states, and there have been many orders since that I take pride in.  I love being able to be HONEST with customers, and knowing how great customer service can be.  There’s a different feeling when you do something you love and not because you need a paycheck.

It feels like everything in life has changed for the better.  Right now I am on a quest to be the healthiest I can be while following the Proverbs 31 way of living.

For the past few months I have been sugar, processed carb, dairy and gluten free.  My husband remains well fed with his normal foods, but I have been keeping a diary of what he has versus what I have.  Anyone can change their diet without interrupting everyone else’s lives.  That is a new concept for me, and it is something I feel I am ready to blog about.

So I am relaunching Domesticated Outlaws.

More recipes, garden ideas, Pinterest successes and failures, Bible posts, lots of doggy pictures, and volunteer posts. An Almighty God, less makeup, more sunshine, loving family, and huge smiles.  Happiness defined by Mrs. Outlaw!

I hope you all are still out there and are ready to come along on the adventure I call life!