Posted in Let's look, Meals and Recipes

Let’s Look

It’s time for this month’s Let’s Look with Shay and Erika. This month’s focus is yummy fall recipes. One of my favorites is…Pumpkin Sausage Penne Pasta…and guess where I got the recipe? YEARS ago from a Kroger coupon pack they sent me in the mail. I make this a few times a year but only in the fall…

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz whole wheat penne (I usually use the whole box)
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 12 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, brown sausage and set aside.
  3. In a skillet, over medium heat, add oil and saute shallots and garlic for 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in chicken broth, pumpkin, cream, crushed red pepper, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer 8-10 minutes to thicken.
  6. Stir in cooked penne, sausage, and cheese.
  7. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.
The four of us typically get two nights out of this meal!
I bet I’ve had this recipe card for 10 years!

Other fall recipes I love are pretty simple: pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, chili and soups!

Since I shared a recipe, it got me thinking about grocery shopping and then this memory popped up on Facebook. Feels like a lifetime ago that I often had both of the kids with me at the grocery store pushing that dang car cart while other customers looked at me and said, “Well, bless your heart!” 😂

Funny story about this picture. I would often give the kids an apple to keep them entertained while I shopped. I’m 99% sure this is the time that when Hadley went to hand me the core of her apple, I asked Hayden where his apple was…and he said, “I ate it. I ate ALL of the apple!” Core. And. ALL 😬 Those diapers were fun to change for a few days. Ugh.

I wish Kroger Click List (grocery pick up) would have been around when the kids were little. It’s a life saver now, but it would have been so nice to just pick up groceries rather than be in the store for an hour with two little ones. I’ve done grocery pick up for almost five years, and I can’t imagine going back to the old way I shopped.

A few years ago, I bumped into a friend in the store and she had a printed list of what she usually gets. I loved that idea, so I do that now and just add in what I need. I have a running list on the side of my fridge when we run out of things, but before I place my weekly Click List order, I get out my template and circle what we need for the week. I typed this out once a couple of years ago and add/delete as our needs change. To make it, I looked at a Click List order that I had placed and categorized what I bought, so making the template didn’t take me very long. Our regular items take up a couple of pages, but at least it’s all organized for when I sit down to place my order. I have extra lines in each section to write in other needs, and I cross our items we don’t need that week. Here’s one of the pages:

Grocery pickup has been a life saver. It still takes me time to plan meals and place the order, but at least I don’t have to spend as much time in the store, and if I forget something, I don’t mind running in the grocery on my way home to pick up a few things since it’s only a few minutes of my time.

Also, every other week or so, I stop in Trader Joe’s and meander around to pick up things and plan meals on the fly…and I enjoy doing that knowing I have my basics at home. Also, occasionally, I will go to Aldi’s and pick up a few items just to mix it up and get some good deals on items.

Next month’s Let’s Look is focused on entertaining ideas …odds are that I will share some of my kids’ birthday parties. I can’t believe they are almost 10!

I hope you enjoy this meal! Don’t forget to check out Shay and Erika.

What’s your favorite fall recipe?

Have a great day!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Let's look

Let’s Look: September

Let’s look at…your calendar

It’s the middle Wednesday of the month, so that means Shay and Erika are linking up again for Let’s Look. This month’s focus is: Let’s Look at your calendar.

My type A personality is both a blessing and a curse. There’s a sort of thrill for me (I’m lame, I know) about being super organized. I love on Sunday to sit down and plan the week, but then again, sometimes I’m completely overwhelmed by all of our daily activities. Let’s get one thing straight–if I didn’t write it down or put in on my phone calendar, I would completely forget to show up to a certain meeting, take my kids to a doctor’s appointment, or miss a soccer practice.

As far as calendars go, well, I have lots of them.

Phone Calendar

Definitely my #1 calendar is my calendar on my phone. That’s where I keep all the dates and even set reminders for myself. Travis and I don’t have a shared calendar; I know people who do that, but for some reason we just never have. I guess he knows I will tell him what’s on the agenda, and he can also look on the fridge calendar. There have been times where I have sent him a calendar invite for “Get s$%! done Saturday” when we are up to our eyeballs in chores to do…and he knows better than to decline that invite request 😉

Fridge Weekly Calendar

My weekly fridge calendar is where all my people look to see our activities and what’s for dinner. I love sitting down on Sunday and planning out the week. I always write my workout days, what we have going on and our dinners. I cross each day off as we go because that makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something 😉 I’ve been using these paper calendars for many years as my mom put one in my stocking at least six or seven years ago…and then I’ve found them at Michaels and now on Amazon #becauseAmazonhasallthethings

Note on my phone

I have many notes on my phone, but the one that I visit daily is my weekly note. Every Sunday, I update with with our schedule, my workouts, and any chores or errands I need to accomplish. Just like crossing off the days fridge calendar, I love deleting tasks too!

School organization :

At school, I couldn’t live without my desk calendar, but more importantly my lesson planner. The desk calendar has most of my after school and weekend appointments or activities but also school meetings. I used to buy the cheaper calendars from Walmart or Office Depot (or, at times, there are free ones at school), but this is the second year I’ve purchased this Bloom calendar and I love the bright colors and floral pattern.

I love my lesson planner. I used to buy one at the Parent Teacher store at the end of every summer, but then a couple years ago, I found this one by Blue Sky on Amazon. Like the ones I bought in previous years, I liked the layout (which I am picky about). The vertical layout with room for lessons, a to do list, and activities is exactly what I need.

While this isn’t an #ad for Amazon, I should be sponsored 😉 …at least for calendars as all my calendars have been purchased from there 🙂 Links below to the desk calendar and lesson planner.

That’s it for September’s Let’s Look.

Next month’s focus is on yummy fall recipes. I have a favorite pumpkin pasta to share. The recipe came, from all places, the Kroger coupon packet they send in the mail! It’s one of my family’s favorites. I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Books and Shows, Let's look

Let’s Look

Some of my favorite posts to read on a few of my favorite bloggers’ pages are when they post their “Let’s Look,” “Friday Favorites,” and “What’s Up Wednesday?” I love getting a glimpse into their lives and what they are up to. Erika and Shay posted a “Let’s Look” last Wednesday, but I was knee deep in 150 new students, so I thought I’d give it a try this week! Happy reading.

Each month, they link up with other bloggers and share about a topic. The topic for August is your favorite shows to binge watch.

For this to be my first “Let’s Look ” post, I must say the topic isn’t one with which I necessarily am successful. I’m not much of a binge watcher when it comes to television. Do I watch tv? Uh, yes! I just guess I’m at the point in my life where thirty minutes of television time is a luxury, so I watch one episode of something and probably end up falling asleep. Also, my kids seem to be around…all. of. the. time. And, since they are around, I’ve now realized how inappropriate most shows are that I watch..at least for 9 year olds…haha. By the time they get to bed or give me some peace and quiet, I’m about ready fall asleep myself.

That being said, off the top of my head, a few shows I have binge watched lately would be: Dead to Me and Ozark on Netflix and House Hunters on Hulu.

I can honestly say I did binge watch season one of Dead to Me. I had heard about it, and on Mother’s Day Sunday did what any good mom would do and asked for some quiet time. I headed to the basement and ended up watching five episodes in a row. I finished the other five episodes by the beginning of summer. I love Christina Applegate and the plot instantly drew me in. It’s definitely a dark comedy with some cussing (a girl after my own heart!), and (warning!) some R rated sections.

Jen is recently widowed and becomes friends with Judy, played by Linda Cardellini (who was on Netflix’s Bloodline which is another great series). Jen is obsessed with finding out who killed her husband while also working as a realtor, being a single mom to her two sons, and dealing with her mother-in-law.

I was thrilled to find out that there will be a season 2!

Travis and I started watching Ozark on Netflix last summer. Growing up in Missouri, I spent plenty of time going to the Lake of the Ozarks with my grandparents. I love seeing the scenery, but of course, I never came across the types of people Byrdes deal with on a daily basis. Being a child of the 80’s, I certainly heart Jason Bateman. He was definitely an 80’s crush of mine, and, fun fact, we share the same birthday!

The Byrdes have had to relocate from Chicago in order to right the wrongs of a money laundering scheme Marty’s involved in and end up working and being involved with other criminals of the Ozark area as well.

We watched season one pretty quickly last summer, but this summer have just started viewing season two due to lack of time (what else is new?!) Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve watched six of the ten episodes. Again, I’m excited that they are currently filming season three, and hope to watch it in 2020.

Besides lack of time, my other “issue” with binge watching is once I finish a season, it will be months until the next season comes out and I often forget what has previously happened. Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Google.

Oddly enough, House Hunters has become quite popular in our house latey. I remember back when I would watch this in my dorm room at college. Then, as adult, it was always on around 10:00 pm as I’d head to bed, so it was a good way to wrap up the day. About a year ago, Travis followed through with his “I’m going to cut cable” threat, and we now have Hulu. That being said, I didn’t really watch House Hunters anymore. Last month, I searched for it and watched a few episodes. It piqued Hayden’s interest, and it’s something we now watch together…and I’ve even caught him watching it on his own. haha.

Speaking of Hulu, when Travis said he’d looked into it last fall, he said, “Don’t worry, you can still watch the Golden Girls!” He knows me so well. I loved when GG would air on Lifetime in the morning and also at bedtime. These ladies are my fave. My kids could sing “Thank you for being a friend…” by the time they were three years old. This show is a forever classic, and I can easily watch multiple episodes at a time…and not worry about what my kids overhear. (Except for an occasional Blanche moment 😉

And, speaking of classics, I’m thrilled that Designing Women is coming to Hulu at the end of the month. Along with the Golden Girls, these ladies have my heart. Julia Sugarbaker is my fave probably because I am nothing like her and would give anything to be like her. She’s has a strong sense of self with a no nonsense attitude. Also, Annie Potts…need I say more? I love her too! All the ladies bring something to the table and make this show a classic. I can’t wait to binge watch it.

I have a note on my phone of books I want to read…it’s pretty long as I’m constantly adding to it. I also have a note of shows to watch such as Bloodlines and The Crown on Netflix. I watched season one of both and loved each of them …it’s just a lack of time at this point making it difficult for me to carry through with multiple seasons. Also on my list are You and The Americans. Now, if only I could find some more time…

What are some of your favorite shows to binge watch?

Happy Wednesday,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea