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

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.

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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


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
Directions:
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

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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

November 16, 2017

Continue...

Colossians 4:2(NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, 
being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;


November 14, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking Black Beans, ect…

Hello dear readers. I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll share with you the benefits of cooking dry beans and show you different ways to use them in your cooking. I washed, sorted, and cooked a 1 lb. bag of beans in an electric pressure cooker. I did this with two different types of beans (separately of course).

First I want to share with you that I learned the hard way about cooking beans in the pressure cooker. I normally do them in a crockpot LOW and SLOW. One day I decided I wanted to give the pressure cooker a try. I cooked two different kinds of beans: red kidney beans and black beans. I cooked them each separately. I learned that it’s best to put around 2 Tbsp. of oil in with the water (or chicken broth) and the beans when cooking in a pressure cooker. I had not done that when I cooked mine so I had a huge mess to deal with. There was bean juices spewing out all over the place. It sounded like my pressure cooker valve had gotten stopped up and it caused a big mess for me to clean up. Unfortunately the juices from the black beans left a noticeable stain on my wall :(. Adding the oil helps the beans to cook right so I’ll keep doing that way for now on.

Bulk Red Kidney Beans

From a 1b. of dry beans I can get several cans worth of cooked beans. Once the beans were done I separated them into 2 cup portions with 1/2 cup of the bean juice (can be rinsed off when thawed and ready to use). I pour the portions into quart sized labeled “Ziploc” bags. I ended up with the equivalent of 6 cans of both the red kidney beans and the black beans. I  flatten them to get out as much air as possible to freeze flat on a baking sheet.

Bulk Black Beans
I’m sorry for the way the black beans look in the picture. The bags had a lot of condensation going on inside so I couldn’t get a better picture.  Now what can I use these bags of beans for? If you did not season them up to eat by the bowl, you can do anything that you like using canned beans for. Here are some suggestions if you can’t think of any:

Meal ideas to serve Red Kidney Beans in, or with:

* Chili
* Red Beans and Rice
* Minestrone (Italian)
* any Soup
* and Stew
* Make Bean Dip or Hummus
* Make a Bean Salad (with red kidney beans, black beans, and white beans)

Meal ideas to serve Black Beans in, or with:

* Add to Soup, Chowder, or Stew
* Add to Chili
* Make Hummus or a Bean Dip
* Make Cuban Beans and Rice
* Make veggie burgers
* Tacos (or taco salad)
* Burritos/bowls
* Enchiladas
* Flautas
* Quesadilla
* Tostadas
* Mexican casserole
* Make bean and corn salsa
* Serve with nachos
* Mix into Brownie batter

These are just some examples of the many things you can do. Other types of dried beans can be pressure cooked too. I’ll have to try more soon. 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 in two weeks with another bulk cooking session. Thanksgiving is fast approaching us. Turkey Day will be here next week. There is so much to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for. I pray you take time out to give Him thanks. May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday!

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November 9, 2017

Rejoice always…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.



November 7, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Pumpkin & Butternut Squash

I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you different ways to cook and use pumpkin and butternut squash. I had 3 butternut squash and 1 medium sized pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees.

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

I started off by thoroughly cleaning the outside of all 3 squash and the pumpkin. You’ll want to use a big cutting board or spread a towel over your counter surface to put the squash and pumpkin on. I used a big sharp knife to cut off the tops and down the center of each individually. Be VERY careful doing this. They are hard to cut and you don’t want to hurt yourself doing this. I used a spoon to help me dig out the guts and seeds. I kept a bowl nearby for placing them in. Once the innards are out I washed the inside of the squash and pumpkin to be sure I got it all. I cut the top parts of the squash and peeled the skin then cut into bite sized cubes. Those got tossed in some olive oil and roasted on a baking pan for about 30-40 minutes.

Butternut Squash
Now I placed the rest of the squash cut side down on baking pans or in aluminum pans that are big enough. Rub olive or vegetable oil all over the inside and out. You can put up to 1/2 cup of water in if you think it’s needed. Cook the squash about 45 minutes or more. Once the squash was fork tender I scooped the flesh out and put in a pan. Throw away the peeling. I used my hand held emersion blender to puree the squash. I did the same with the pumpkin (cooked it on a different pan for an hour and scooped out the flesh to puree). I was left with two medium bowls of squash and pumpkin puree.

I divided the squash (also the pumpkin) into 2 cup portions in labeled quart sized Ziploc bags. I  flatten them 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 5 or more bags of each puree. I poured the roasted squash cubes into a container to use in meals for the week. Now what can I use all of this squash and pumpkin for?

Batch Butternut Squash

Meal ideas to serve butternut squash puree in, or with:
* Use as baby food (Yes you read that right. You can make it as thin or thick as needed)
* Make a Pureed Soup/ Bisque
* Stir into a sauce for pasta

Meal ideas to serve roasted butternut squash cubes in, or with
* Add to Curry
* Add to Soup
* Add to a Salad
* Add to a Stew
* Serve with other roasted vegetables (like carrots, potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, ect.)
* Serve in a Rice Pilaf
* Mix with roasted sweet potato cubes (to serve as a breakfast Hash)

Batch Pumpkin

Meal ideas to serve pumpkin puree in, or with:
* Mix into pancake batter
* Make sweet breads/muffins
* Make cookies
* Make cake/cheese cake
* Make Pie
* Make Pumpkin Butter
* Mix into cornbread batter
* Make Pureed Soup/ Bisque
* Stir in Chili
* Use in a smoothie
* Use in a dip for cookies or fruit
* Use in place of sweet potatoes in a dish/meal

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.

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November 3, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 11/3/17


Hi lovely readers. It’s time for another Feminine Friday! Today I'm wearing another maxi dress with a gray shirt and flats. I’m headed out to run some errands on this foggy day. It would love to see more ladies joining with us in showing that modesty still exists in this day and age. True beauty comes from within and showing how you represent Christ.

There Is Beauty In Grace

Be sure to click on the button above to visit Renee's post to learn more.

November 2, 2017

And whatsoever you do...

Colossians 3:17 (KJV)


And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


October 31, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Pork Butt

I’m back with another batch cooking session. This week I’m sharing different uses for the meat from a whole pork butt roast. I got this pork butt on sale at Aldi for a very reasonable price. As for preparing it first off I thoroughly wash my meat before I start cooking it. Next I put a seasoning blend all over the whole pork butt (be sure to coat all sides) and place in the crockpot. I pour in a cup of water around the meat and turn crockpot on to LOW to let cook for 10 hours. I want the meat falling off the bone so this is a great way to cook it for that to happen. Once it is thoroughly done I proceed on to the next part.


I carefully take out big chunks of meat and lay it on a platter. I use two forks to begin shredding (separating) the meat. I continue getting more out of the crockpot and shred until all of the meat has been shredded. I used some to make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches that night for dinner. I separated the pulled pork meat into 2-2.5 cup portions each and put into quart size Ziploc bags. We also had some leftover from that nights dinner that I put into a container to have the next day.


As you can see I got 4 bags of each (minus the leftovers in the container) that I pre-labeled, squeezed all the air out of them before closing, and placed in a flat single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once it was stiff enough I take the baking sheet out, and stack the bags on top of one another in the freezer. Now what can I use these bags of cooked pulled pork to make?

Shredded ideas:

* BBQ Pizza
* Breakfast Hash
* Fried rice
* Slider (sandwiches)
* Pit beans
* Soup
* Salad
* Chili
* Stew
* Burritos/Wraps
* Quesadillas
* Tacos
* Pulled Pork Loaded Nachos
* Tostadas
* Tequitos
* Enchiladas
* Empanadas
* Put into prepared Mac-n-Cheese then baked til bubbly
* Pull Pork Stuffed Baked Potatoes

These are just 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. I hope I have helped you think of other ways to use up pulled pork besides having days and days and days of BBQ sandwiches. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the lists? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week to share another cooking session.

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October 27, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/27/17


Hi lovely readers. It’s time for another Feminine Friday! Today I'm wearing a maxi dress with a white sweater and flats. I’m headed out to enjoy some quality time with my family. It would be great if more ladies could join us in showing that modesty still exists in this day and age and how it looks. We’re not here posing to see who looks the best, or to show off in any way. Beauty is not about the outer appearance. It should come from inside out showing how you represent Christ.  Remember modesty is more than just what you wear. It’s a mentality- a way of thinking/believing (your heart’s attitude/actions).

1 Peter 3:3-4(KJV)

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Just in case you don’t clearly understand let’s hear it again…




1 Peter 3:3-4(NKJV)


Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

Be sure to click on the button above to visit Renee's post to learn more.

October 24, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with White Chicken Chili

I’m back to share with y’all another chili batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you different ways to make comfort meals out of big batches of white bean chicken chili.

Cooked White Chicken Chili

I cooked up a double batch of white bean chicken chili using some of the chicken I had in the freezer from my previous session where I cooked up a big batch of chicken legs and thighs. I made the chili in my 6 quart slow cooker. If you can tell by the picture, it was a LOT of chili. For dinner that night I used 2 cups of it to see how it would taste in a cheesy chili pie. It was yummy!

Batch Cooking White Chicken Chili
I separated the rest and put it into several different containers. Once the chili had completely cooled off I put it all in the refrigerator overnight. I poured 2 containers into a gallon sized labeled Ziploc bag, squeezed out as much air as possible, and put it on a baking sheet to freeze flat. The other containers I labeled and placed in the freezer. Now what can I use all of this chili for?

Meal ideas to serve chili over, in, or with:

* Chili Pie (Tamale Pie)
* Chili Chowder
* Chili Soup
* Chili Stew
* Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
* Chili Stuffed Peppers
* Rice Bowls
* serve over spaghetti squash
* Burritos
* Nachos
* Enchiladas

These are just 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.

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October 20, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/20/17




Hi everyone. I'm joining in with other Christian lady bloggers for another Feminine Friday. Today I'm sharing another none skirt or dress post because you don't have to always wear a dress or skirt to be modest. Modesty is more than just what you wear although it is a big part of it. Today I'm wearing a blouse, pants, and my black boots. I love when Fall comes around so I can break out these boots my hubby bought me. I shared last time how I love wearing my long cardigan with my clothes on cooler days. I also love wearing ponchos. It keeps me warm on a chilly day and also helps me feel more covered up all around. I could not decide on how to wear my hair so that's why it's in two different styles :-)

Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be modest in these times as well as showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

October 17, 2017

Bulk Meal Prep: Pork Loin

For the last few weeks I have shared several batch cooking ideas with you. Today I want to share how buying a whole pork loin can save you more money than buying the smaller (already sliced) packages of meat. I just recently learned that it really is cheaper to buy the primal cuts of meat. When something like a whole pork loin goes on sale it is good to take advantage of the sale. By buying the primal cut you will have to do your own cutting since you are not buying the smaller packs. It really is easy to cut the meat down yourself. I forgot to get a picture of the pork loin I bought. I believe it was near 10 lbs. This will be a short post but keep reading to see what I did with all that meat.

Bulk Pork Loin

After cutting mine down I ended up with five meals. I bagged and put them in the freezer for later use. What are different parts of the pork loin good for?

The end pieces are good for:
* Slicing off and using for pork roasts (it's the dark part of the meat)

The middle is good for:
* Slicing into thin or thick pork chops

Other things to do with the tender parts are:
* Cut into strips for a Stir-Fry
* Cut into cubes for Stew meat or for making Kabobs

These are just examples of some 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 next week to share another batch/bulk cooking session with you.

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October 13, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/13/17


Hi everyone. I'm joining in another week of Feminine Friday's. I shared before how I love wearing maxi skirts and dresses. Today I'm not wearing a skirt or dress. You don't have to always wear a dress or skirt to be modest, so I'm showing a way I dress repectably and still look like a lady. I'm wearing a blouse, pants, and my tan flats. I feel better wearing shirts that cover my behind. This shirt is what I consider short because I do like to wear them longer. I also love wearing my long cardigan with my clothes on cooler days. It not only keeps me warm, but helps me feel I've covered up all around.

Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be modest in these times as well as showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

October 11, 2017

Easy Peasy stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Easy Peasy Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

5-6 Bell Peppers (I like using a variety of colors)
24 oz. meat pasta sauce (I use my homemade sauce)
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained (add this only if your pasta sauce doesn’t already have meat in it like mine does)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded Italian blend, Mozzarella, or Colby Jack cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Cut the tops off your bell peppers. I don’t throw mine away. I cut around the stem/core and use the other pepper pieces in another meal (see note below). Since I’m using my crockpot there’s no need to blanch the peppers first. In a large bowl, stir together your pasta sauce, beef (if adding), and a beaten egg (This is not a must. I just like the addition of the egg to help everything hold together when it’s cooking). Stir the rice into the meat mixture. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Stuff each bell pepper halfway with meat mixture. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top. Finish stuffing the peppers with more meat mixture until almost full. Carefully place each pepper in crockpot standing up. Sprinkle a little Parmesan Cheese over top of each. Pour 1/4 cup of water inside crockpot to fall to the bottom. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking sprinkle the rest of shredded cheese on top to melt. When done serve and enjoy.

Stuffed Pepper
Note: About those bell pepper tops. You can dice up and saute what is left on the tops to add to your meat sauce or use in another meal. Just cut around the stem/core and throw away (I put mine in a Ziploc bag in the freezer with other scraps to make homemade vegetable broth). Another thing I've seen done is to cut all of the seeds away from the tops and place back on top of peppers while they are cooking. The rest of the stem is easy to pull off and discard once cooked.

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October 9, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Rice

I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you how cooking big batches of rice saves time when preparing a meal. Sure rice is real easy to fix, but you won’t regret having some already prepared ahead of time. First I'll share that I like cooking different varieties of rice. I use white long grain, brown, Basmati, Jasmine, parboiled, and even wild rice.

Batch Cooking Rice

For this session I'm using long grain white rice. I do wash my rice before I cook it. I learned this from my hubby when we first got married. The first time I saw him washing rice I thought it was weird. I didn't recall ever seeing my mom wash her rice before cooking it so that's why I gave him strange looks. At the time I didn't know he was trying to teach me something beneficial. Moving forward years (and many Food Network Shows) later I learned why one would choose to wash the rice first, then put it in the pot, and fill with the appropriate amount of water needed to cook it. Washing the rice gets rid of the coating that's on the rice when they package it. It's best to rinse it under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Doing this will result in rice that won't be mushy/gummy after you finish cooking it. I do this for my white and brown rice.

I cooked up a huge batch of long grain rice in my pressure cooker. I used water this time to cook it, but I often do use chicken broth most of the time. It just gives it a little more flavor. I needed some rice for dinner so I just went ahead and cooked up four cups of it. For dinner I used some of it to make Stuffed Bell Peppers. I will share that recipe later on this week.

Bulk Rice

After I separated the rice I ended up with four quart sized Ziploc bags full. Each had 2 cups of the cooked rice in it. As stated above I used one of them for dinner. I only used 1 cup of the rice and put the other in the refrigerator to use later on in the week. Once the rice had cooled off a bit, I stacked the labeled and flattened bags in the freezer. When ready to use you do not have to thaw it out overnight. All you have to do is take it out of the freezer when you need to use it, put the bag of rice on a microwave safe plate, and thaw it out just a little. Next open the bag and pour the partially thawed rice in a bowl or container, and put a couple of teaspoons of water over it. Heat it until fully thawed then fluff with a fork. Now what can I use pre-cooked rice for?

Uses for pre-cooked rice:

* Eat with a Stir-Fry
* Make Fried Rice
* Serve Rice bowls
* Eat with Curry
* Make Breakfast or Regular Burritos
* Enchiladas
* Skillet Meals
* Casseroles
* Soup
* Stew
* Chowder
* Stuffed Peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes
* Taco Rice
* Spanish/Mexican Rice
* Dirty Rice
* Red Beans and Rice
* Gumbo
* Jambalaya
* Rice Pilaf
* Rice Pudding
* Use in Meatloaf or meatballs (in place of breadcrumbs)

These are just examples of some 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 later in the week with that Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe.

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October 6, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/6/17


Hi everyone. I'm joining in with my blogging buddy Renee in another week of Feminine Friday's. I've been stuck inside all week trying to get over being sick. I'm heading out to run some errands in hopes that I feel up to getting all I need done. Today I'm wearing a sky blue blouse with a light gray and white stripped skirt as well as some tan flats. I shared last week how I love wearing maxi skirts and dresses so this skirt is another one I have. If anyone were to wonder what gift to give me these skirts/dresses would definiately bring on a big smile from me. Even though I'm not totally well I feel so lady like and my hubby even said I looked like what a truly beautiful lady should be. *blushing*

Be sure to click on the button below to read all about Feminine Friday and visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be beautiful in Christ.

There Is Beauty In Grace
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