Foodie Friday: November Menu

While September seemed to drag on, October has flown by! I feel like I just went to bed on October 1 and woke up on October 28. But I love November. I wish the weather around here would cool down so that it felt like November is supposed to feel, but I guess this heat will have to do. I feel like this November is going to be one of my best yet!

Here’s my November menu:


And here’s a printable version:


Here’s wishing you and your family the happiest of Thanksgivings! Enjoy the menu!

QuickTip Tuesday: Breathe Easy(er)

This time of year always gets my allergies going. With the incredibly warm fall we are having, my symptoms seem to be even worse than normal! If you, like me, are suffering from late summer/early fall allergies, here are some tips for making your home an easier place to breathe:

  • wash bedding weekly
  • dust your furniture weekly
  • remove carpet and dust-mop hard floors several times a week or vacuum with a anti-allergen filter
  • choose furniture that is easy to clean
  • keep windows closed- I know, I know… I really wanted to turn off my a/c too.
  • remove clutter from all or most rooms as clutter can trap dust and allergens
  • if you cannot re-home pets, at least keep them out of the bedroom
  • wash curtains and clean blinds a few times a year
  • keep the house clean!

Adapted from:

Foodie Friday: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have tried several different ways to do chicken noodle soup. I almost always eat it from a can at least a few times a year, but I have finally found a way to do it that is loved by everyone in the house! My mom says it’s too dry, and not really soup. My kids and husband (who are not big soup fans) think it’s fantastic!

1 lb chicken thighs, grilled and cubed
1 large onion, finely diced
4-5 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced- because I don’t like much celery. Add more if you like it.
32 oz chicken broth,  low sodium
1 medium bag egg noodles
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

I start by seasoning my chicken with salt and pepper. I grill it until it’s cooked through (internal temp of 165). While it cools,I heat my dutch oven on medium with a good coating of olive oil on the bottom. Then I start on the veggies. Once they are peeled and diced, I throw them in the dutch oven, all together to start sauteing. I let them cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then throw in the chicken. Let that cook for a couple minutes, then add in the chicken broth and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes and add in the noodles. Once the noodles are tender, it’s done. Remove the bay leaves. If you let it go longer, the noodles will soak up most of the broth and the soup is more like chicken and noodles than soup. That’s how my kids like it. It’s up to you how you want to do it.

Working Through Tough Issues


Working Through Tough Issues

Logically, most parents are in a better position than the court system when it comes to knowing what’s best for their children.  However, many divorcing parents become so focused on their own need to “win” that they can never agree on anything and make those important needed decisions. That strong competitive spirit may also continue after the divorce is finalized and changes in custody or the divorce decree are often required.  Judges will do the best they can when you and your co-parent can’t agree on what is best for your child, but this may not be the best decision for your child.

Meditation is a cost-effective alternative to expensive lawyer’s fees and court costs. Mediators are experienced professionals specially trained to help two disagreeing parties come to a workable solution. While lawyers are paid to win, mediators are paid to make sure both parties win, which is almost always better for the children. Mediation allows co-parents to discuss difficult issues and come to an agreement about what is best for the children. It continues to be a good option as your children grow older and additional changes are needed in your parenting agreement as well. Consider using mediation during these times to help create smooth transitions for your child.

For more information on mediation in Oklahoma, click on these handouts: 
Oklahoma Early Settlement Mediation Directory 
Mediation Information for Participants
Rules for Mediation
Creating a Parenting Plan Worksheet





QuickTip Tuesday: Popcorn Tip

I like popcorn. I really like popcorn. Please do not give me that junk they put in the little greasy packets for the microwave. Pop me some real popcorn. Or I can do the popping. I don’t really care… as long as you do it right.

Image result for popcorn

Here’s the secret to making good stove-top popcorn:

  • Put your tall-sided pan on the stove over medium heat.
  • Add in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Use whatever oil you like, but if you don’t know what you like use canola. It doesn’t add its own flavor to the popcorn. I use a butter-flavored oil specific for popcorn popping.
  • Put 3 popcorn kernels in the pan and put the lid on.
  • Wait for the 3 kernels to pop.
  • Once they have popped you can remove them at eat them. Also remove the pan from the heat and add in the rest of your kernels. Only add in so many that they are still in a single layer at the bottom of the pan. *If you overload your pan, you’ll end up with a lot of unpopped kernels.
  • Put the lid back on. Wait 30 seconds and put pan back over heat. Shake it around a little.
  • Shake a few more times after popcorn starts popping.
  • Once the popping slows down- like a lot- like almost stopped, it’s done.
  • Season with salt, garlic salt, chili powder… whatever you like!