"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding". Prov.3:13 (NKJV)

January 17, 2018

Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes

Green Beans, Ham, Potatoes

Crockpot Ham, Green Beans, and Potatoes

Up to 2 lbs. of Ham cubed (I used my very meaty ham bone left over from cooking a whole ham)
6 yellow potatoes, washed/scrubbed and quartered (can use small red potatoes or peeled Russets)
1.5 lbs. fresh green beans (or a 16 oz. bag of frozen cut green beans)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (you can just use seasoned salt)
1/4 tsp. garlic salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. garlic pepper (optional)
2 cups of broth (I used 1 cup of my ham stock/juices and 1 cup water)

Place ham bone (if using) in bottom of crockpot. Place potatoes in all around to fall down the sides around ham bone. Add onion, garlic, and seasonings. Pour in broth or water. Cook in 6 quart crock pot on LOW for 6-7 hours. Enjoy!

Note: We LOVE garlic in our house. You can cut back on the amount of garlic in this by swapping out the garlic seasonings with regular salt and pepper, or leave the garlic cloves out of the dish.

January 10, 2018

Bulk Cooking with a Whole Ham

Hello lovely readers. I’ve been busy since the Christmas season but now I’m back to share more batch/bulk cooking sessions with you. Happy New Year and I hope your Christmas was a blessed one. This week I’m sharing different ways to use a whole ham. Ham is cheapest to buy during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. This is a good time to buy one for your holiday meal plus an extra to freeze for cooking later. You may even find a deep discount after the holidays if they are trying to get rid of them. I purchase around a 10.5 lb. spiral ham during Christmas.  It was a bargain since I only paid $10 for it. I do all I can to get the most out of a ham. Let me share how I get several different meals out of one ham.

Bulk Cooking Ham

I started off by cooking the ham for my holiday meal. We prefer the spiral hams because they are already pre-sliced, but any type of ham you cook will work for what I’m about to share. After we eat our meal I go to work on separating the meat. I NEVER put my ham in the refrigerator on the bone to eat off of in the coming days. I don’t find I can stretch my meat that way. Remember I’m trying to get the MOST I can out of this ham.

I gather my pan of cooled down ham, gallon and quart sized Ziploc bags, a sharpie (for labeling my bags), a quart size Mason jar, a big hand held strainer (with a long handle), wide mouth funnel, and a pair of disposable gloves. I find it’s best to label the Ziploc bags first while my hands are still clean. I can pretty much look at how much meat I have left to know what bags to label. Next I sit down at the table, put on the gloves, and start separating the slices of meat still left. I put that in a gallon Ziploc bag so that we can have slices to warm up to eat or make sandwiches with. There is usually a hunk of ham that didn’t get pre-sliced. I pull that meat from the bone and cut into cubes. I can get 2 quart sized bags filled with 2 cups of cubed ham in each to use in some of the ideas I listed below. The only thing I have left is a little meat still left around the bone. I put that in a gallon sized bag to freeze and use later for making a soup or something like a crockpot meal of green beans, potatoes, and ham. After a few hours of cooking the rest of the meat easily comes off the bone. I pull it off and put back into the crockpot while the meal finishes cooking. I just throw away the bones from there.

As for the juices left in the bottom of my pan (when I was separating the meat from the bone to put into Ziploc bags), I place a wide mouth funnel over my Mason jar, fit my strainer on it, then pour in the broth/juices. I usually only have this much left. I let it sit in the refrigerator over night so that the fat rises to the top. I can easily scrap it off this way. I use this to make some of the things I have listed below.

Ham Cubes

Meal ideas to serve cooked, sliced, or cubed ham in:

* Make Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
* Casseroles (breakfast or dinner)
* Scrambled eggs with Ham
* Quesidillas
* Omelets
* Quiche
* Frittatas
* Strata
* Hash
* Cobb Salad
* Pasta Salad
* Make Mac-N-Cheese with Ham
* Make Stromboli
* Make Hawaiian Pizza
* Make Bisquick type ham and cheese balls
* Make sandwiches (even ham salad like chicken salad sandwiches) or Ham and cheese slidders
* Make grilled ham and cheese sandwiches

Use ham broth in:
* When cooking a bag of dry beans (I replace one cup of my water with this)
* Soup (I replace a few cups of water with this)
* Stew
* Chowder

These are just some examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you soon with another bulk cooking session.

Print Friendly and PDF

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!!

© My Life 0utside The Box 2016-2017. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text, personal videos, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the blog author.

December 19, 2017

Our family Christmas tradition...

All through December up til Christmas Day, we have daily readings and prayer to reflect on the true reason for this season. We enjoy one another as well as other activities outside of the home. We love listening to Christmas music from morning to night (even sleeping with the radio on), and watching old Christmas classics. We top it all off with something tasty to enjoy each day. This is how we enjoy the Christmas season in the Rhodes house :-)

Cookies galore, Hot Cocoa, Fudge, Nut Clusters, Popcorn Balls

Candied Nuts, PB blossoms, PB Fudge, Egg Nog Snickerdoodles

Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies, Chocolate dipped pretzels & Rice Krispies

A plate full of yummy goodness!

© My Life 0utside The Box 2016-2017. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text, personal videos, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the blog author.

December 13, 2017

Cedar Berry Pine Cone Centerpiece {Silk Plants Direct}~ Review

Recently I was given an opportunity to review a product from Commercial Palm Trees sister site Silk Plants Direct. I had never heard of either company before, so this was an introduction for a new place to shop around for things to beautify my home. This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time since I was looking for something new to add to my other Christmas holiday decor. Before I talk about what I received let me tell you a little about each company.

Commercial Palm Trees is a commercial site for small to large commercial businesses and wholesale trade. They have been in business for 40 years located in the Minneapolis, MN. They are "a leading national interior landscape firm in the manufacturing of indoor/outdoor palm trees". They deal with live and artificial plants and trees. Commercial Palm Trees offers a diverse set of specialty services in landscape planning and design, landscape architecture, tree installation, plant service and maintenance programs and commercial decor.

Silk Plants Direct has been around since the 1980's through their parent company Commercial Palm Trees. They are "one of the most reputable silk plant and tree producers in the world.". Silk Plants Direct has an inventory of over 500 varieties of silk plants, trees, flowers, foliage, planters, ect. For my review I had a chance to pick the product of my choice. It was so hard to choose because they had such a great selection of products. I will be sharing with you about a silk plant centerpiece I wanted to go with my Christmas holiday decorations.

Silk Plants Direct

I received Silk Plants Direct's Cedar Berry Pine Cone Centerpiece. It comes in a pack of 2 and retails for $62.99. Each are 6.5", has red berries and green Cedar. You also get a glass candle holder to place in the center of each. The box came well packaged. It was so securely wrapped that it took a bit of workout for me to finally get to my product. LOL Nothing was loose or broken, and everything was in great shape.

Berry Pine Cone Centerpiece

The centerpiece is made with a black stand underneath. When you sit it up you can sit the glass candle holder that comes with it in the middle. The candle does not come with it. I had to go out and purchase a candle that would fit inside. I bought 2 at Walmart for under $3. I like that I had 2 of these centerpieces to use with my holiday decorations.

Cedar Berry Pine Cone Centerpieces

I placed one Cedar Berry Pine Cone Centerpiece on my kitchen table and the other one in my living room. My family thought the centerpieces looked really nice. I have had fake flowers/plants. but never had any silk plants before. The look of these are very realistic and life like. You can't help but want to touch them to see if they are real or fake. To care for silk plants it is recommended to dust or wipe clean with a moist cloth.

I could see myself using something from the many different product selections at Silk Plants Direct for holidays and year round home decorating. My Cedar Berry Pine Cone Centerpieces have been a great addition to our Christmas decor this year :)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this review are entirely my own. I was not paid to write this but received this product from “Silk Plants Direct” at no cost to me for review purposes, and to give my honest opinion.

December 7, 2017

Batch {Bulk Cooking} with Sweet Potatoes

I’m back with another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you different ways to cook and use sweet potatoes. I had around 6 lbs. (2 3lb. bags) of sweet potatoes to work with. I preheated my oven to 375 degrees.

Batch Cooking Sweet Potatoes

I started off by thoroughly cleaning the outside of each sweet potato with water and scrubbed with a veggie brush. I poked a few holes all around 5 lbs. of the potatoes and put on a foiled lined baking sheet. I rubbed the outsides of each with a little oil and popped in the oven to cook for 50-55 minutes. I turn them halfway through the time for even cooking. Depending on the size and thickness of each potato you’ll want to check at the 45 minute mark for doneness (pierces easily all the way through with a fork). The other 2 lbs. where peeled and cut into bite sized cubes. Those got tossed in some olive oil and roasted on a foil lined baking pan for about 30-40 minutes.

Sweet Potato Puree
Once the sweet potatoes were fork tender I scooped the flesh out and put in a bowl and set aside. I threw away the peeling because there was no use for it. I divided the sweet potatoes into 1,2, and 3 cup portions in labeled quart sized Ziploc bags. I mashed any lumps with my hands to smoothen out. I  flatten each bag to get out as much air as possible to freeze flat on a baking sheet. As you can see in the pictures I ended up with 3 bags of the puree. As for the roasted sweet potato cubes (not pictured), I poured them into a container to use in meals for the week. Now what can I use all of this cooked sweet potatoes for?

Bulk Cooking Sweet Potatoes

Meal ideas to serve sweet potato puree in, or with:
* Mix into pancake batter
* Make sweet breads/muffins
* Make cookies
* Make cake
* Make Sweet Potato Pie
* Make a Soufflé/Casserole
* Make Pureed Soup
* Make Sweet Potato Butter
* Mix into cornbread batter
* Use to replace pumpkin in recipes
* Use in a smoothie
* Use as baby food (Yes you can make it as thin or thick as needed)

Meal ideas to serve roasted sweet potato cubes in, or with:
* Add to Curry
* Add to Soup
* Add to a Stew
* Add to a salad
* Use to replace regular potatoes in a meal/dish
* Serve with other roasted vegetables (like carrots, squash, Brussel Sprouts, ect.)
* Mix with roasted red or russet potato cubes (to serve as a breakfast Hash)

These are just some examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week with another bulk cooking session.

Print Friendly and PDF

December 5, 2017

A fun Q & A

Hi dear readers.I was tagged by Renee over at http://thereisbeautyingrace.blogspot.com/
She has a post about fun questions so I’m posting my reply.

Here’s a little bit about me:

1.What is your middle name?  I have two: Louquetta Lynn
2. What was your favorite subject at school? Nothing major but I loved Typing
3. What is your favorite drink?  Sprite and tea
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?  O Holy Night
5. What is your favorite food?  Potatoes fixed any way all day!
6. What is the last thing you bought? Herbal Essence Hello Hydration!
7. Favorite book of all time?  Books teaching a Biblical Worldview
8. Favorite Color?  Green
9. Do you have any pets?  No. We used to have some goldfish and I love watching and feeding birds
10. Favorite Perfume? Actually I love to choose my smell goods from different scents at Bath and Body Works
11. Favorite Holiday? I have two: Thanksgiving and Christmas
12. Are you married? Yes, to my love Cleve for almost 22 years :)
13. Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?  No, but I want to go on a cruise someday.
14. Do you speak any other language? No
15. How many siblings do you have? Two siblings from my mom (brothers), and from my dad I have an older brother, and the rest is complicated.
16. What is your favorite shop? Anywhere I can find a great bargain!
17. Favorite restaurant? Cheddars Scratch Kitchen
18. When was the last time you cried?  A few weeks ago during a movie
19. Favorite Blog?: Jolene Engle’s and Renee’s Blogs
20. Favorite Movie? Sound of Music
21. Favorite TV shows?  Carol Burnett, Alfred Hitchcock, and Touched By an Angel
22. PC or Mac?   PC
23. What phone do you have? Android
24. How tall are you?  5'6"
25. Can you cook?  Why of course
26. Do you have children?  Yes, a handsome son

Mrs. Regina, you're up next ;-)

November 29, 2017

Lasagna Roll-ups

Lasagna Rolls ingredients


1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. jarred)
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
15 oz. Ricotta or cottage cheese (see note)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (divided)
1 large egg, beaten
Fresh spinach (This is optional. I use a good handful)
12 lasagna noodles (uncooked)
2.5 cups shredded Italian blend, or mozzarella cheese

Prepping lasagna rolls
Cook lasagna noodles in a pot of boiling water til al dente. Drain and sit flat on a greased pan (I used two different pans). Brown ground beef with onions in a skillet. Add in spinach (if using) and garlic cloves right before finished cooking. Drain. Put back into skillet and pour in crushed tomatoes and half of the Italian seasoning. Mix thoroughly and sit aside. Combined ricotta (or cottage) cheese, egg, 1 cup of shredded cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and the rest of Italian seasoning in a medium bowl.

Place a spoonful of ricotta mixture down the center of each lasagna noodle (leave some space on the sides of noodles). Place a spoonful of meat mixture down the center (on top) of the ricotta mixture. Carefully roll up each noodle from one end to the other. Put 1/3 cup meat sauce in a sprayed baking dish. Place the lasagna rolls in a single layer on top of meat mixture in baking dish seem side down (I had to use an extra smaller dish for mine). Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on top. Sprinkle on the other 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve individually with garlic bread/toast and a salad. YUM!!!

Note: If you use cottage cheese, the texture will be different. Mixing in the egg will help it all hold together. The addition of the spinach is not necessary. I just wanted to use up some that I had on hand.

Lasagna Roll-ups

Print Friendly and PDF

November 23, 2017

Praise ye the Lord…

Psalm 106:1 (KJV)

Praise ye the Lord.
O give thanks unto the Lord;
for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.

November 17, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 11/17/17

Feminine Friday 11-17-17

Hi everyone. It’s time for another Feminine Friday. Today I'm wearing a black (3 way) poncho, leggings, and boots. I love when Fall comes around so I can break out these boots my hubby bought me. I shared before how I love wearing ponchos. I wish I had several colors of this one :-) Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing modesty in our modern times showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace