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Showing posts from November, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie and Brookeo

Good morning!! The weather's changing around here and it's time for comfort food. Last night it was also time for getting rid of the last of the Thanksgiving Turkey -- four days after is the deadline. I decided to make Turkey Pot Pie. I used cream corn in it. If you're a cream corn hater like me, don't turn up your nose. In this instance, it was really good. Here's the recipe:

Turkey Pot Pie

4 cups (give or take) of cubed turkey
1 can creamed corn
1 can green beans, drained
1 can sliced potatoes, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Pepper to taste
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk

Mix together the first 6 ingredients and pour into a 9x13 pan.
In a bowl, cut butter into the flour. Mix in milk. Top the filling with the dough.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Now, after the pot pie, a little chocolate seemed the thing and Brookeo seemed perfect. It's a weird name, but you'll see where that comes from:

Brookeo (pronounced Brook-e-o)

1 roll Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough

What Are You Doing?

Recently, I’ve discussed with several people my belief that every person should have a cause or a charity that they support. This is something I teach my children and to which I’m committed. We all have “missions” placed on our heart. It’s what gives us humanity; it’s what keeps our world running.

But more and more, our culture is inundated by what I call rampant self-absorption. People care less and less for number one. It has to stop.

Sometimes, it’s little things that make a difference, like holding a door for someone. Tossing some money in the bell-ringer’s tin. Saying thank you to the person who waits on you. Just being kind to others. Writing a letter to support someone or something you believe in—or to denounce something we hope politicians will shy away from.

Other times it’s bigger—

Wait. I hear some of you yelling, “Oh God don’t tell me I have to do something! I’m already too busy!”

No. Not saying that.

Look, I understand about busy. I have two jobs, two busy kids, a husband…

Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

I mentioned our family Thankful Tree the other day and I thought I'd give you a look.

Here are the plain branches:

I cut out 5 circles for every one:

And put ribbons on them:

The everyone writes what they're thankful for and puts their circles on the tree:

This was one of my favs (from my son):

Thanksgiving Cooking - Not a Big Deal

This coming Thursday, I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Truly, I find it an exciting experience and look forward to it.

So many people I know, dread cooking the big feast. They worry over it. Don't! It's no big deal if you plan ahead.

If you haven't already, make your plan.

We're fairly traditional around here. I cook the same things every year. What are you planning to cook? Make a list. Run it past your family. Trust me, the one year I decided not to make green bean casserole, I disappointed my youngest son. It's one of his favorite things and he looks forward to it every year. I didn't know it. So check in, and make sure you're not missing something they really want.

Once you have your list, gather your recipes. Again, this should be done today, if you haven't done it already. Using your recipes, check your supplies then make a shopping list of what you need to pick up. Don't forget the turkey pan if you don't have a r…

Daily Cleaning Routine

So what’s my daily routine? Well…

1. Make the beds.
2. Check the laundry situation (I only wash laundry on Mondays so basically what I’m doing is making sure laundry is where it should be -- in the hamper.
3. Wash/wipe-down the bathroom sinks.
4. Change the bathroom and kitchen towels.
5. Check bathroom supplies.
6. Sweep kitchen and entryway.
7. Vacuum (my dog is a major shedder).
8. Straighten living area.
9. Wash and put away dishes.
11. Wipe counters and table.
10. Empty Trash.

That’s it. Pretty easy stuff…and then…there’s the stuff that’s once a week. But that’s another day.



One of my greatest battles is against accumulation. It's one of the great home perils. STUFF! I don't know anyone who doesn't have this problem. To keep your house clutter free, you must be ruthless!

Here's what I do to combat it:

1. At least twice a year, I go through the closet and drawers and purge clothing to go to Goodwill or the trash. It is my rule that I will never give away anything that isn't in excellent condition.

2. Once a month, I go through my books to determine what will go and what will stay. I've switched over 99% to ebooks so this isn't much of an issue anymore, but books sneak in all the time whether for Sunday School, from conferences, or as gifts. And cookbooks. I have an extensive cookbook collection, but I'm constantly struggling to contain it.

3. Determine what isn't useful anymore. Recently, I purged my jewelry. I had stuff that was over 20 years old and in great shape that I never, ever, wore anymore. It want to Goodwill. Hope…

Recipe: Wok Lasagna

This is one of my family's favorite meals and my son's girlfriend requests it when she comes over. I always double the recipe, but I'm listing the single here. It's fun and easy, but watch out for flying noodles!!

Wok Lasagna

6 Lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (this is the "Beware of flying noodles part". Really, be careful)
1 cup cream-style cottage cheese
4 oz. soft cream cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15 1/2 oz) can spaghetti sauce

In a large pot, cook noodles. Drain, rinse and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, cream cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

In the wok, brown the ground beef. Drain. Stir in noodles and sauce. Spoon cheese mixture over noodle mixture (at my house, I actually mix it into the sauce). Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Cover and cook over medium heat for …

My Dog Has Fleas...

Are you familiar with the silly song by Lorne Elliot, My Dog Has Fleas? That was going through my head this weekend, when I decided that mine did. I was wrong, thankfully. She's just a manic, itchy girl, but that's a different story.

Because of the scare, my Sunday plans went awry. I didn't work, but I spent some veg time, doing dog care I would rather have left for another day. But when you think your pet is suffering, you don't put things off for another day -- even if you want to. So...I did a bunch of research on how to rid the dog and house, because as I soon learned in my research, de-fleaing the dog is not enough.

So here's what to do if you find yourself in a fleaful situation:

1. Isolate your pet to a confined area. A good place would be the bathroom where the dog bath will take place.

2. Gather washables from the areas where your dog sleeps. Anything that can be washed should be.

3. Thoroughly vacuum anything that can't go in the washing machine. Follow th…

The Struggle With Perfection

One thing I've learned over the years is not to expect things to be perfect, especially when it comes to the house. When I first moved away from home, I went through a time of transition where I was trying to come to terms with what kind of house I'd have.

My first attempt was "the perfect place". My mom made sure our house got cleaned when I was growing up, but the sepulcher of the ideal -- at least to me -- was my aunt's house. I wanted to have that perfectly cleaned, beautiful home. So when I first moved from home with my then-fiance-now-husband, I tried to make our apartment like that. I was soon railroaded. 1. I didn't have the skills to keep a house like my aunt 2. I didn't understand overkill 3. My husband came from a very disorganized home. Today, he and I both believe that his mom is a hoarder and she learned it from her parents who had paths through their house. They are wonderful people and I don't want to disparage any of them. This is jus…

Day of Rest

I'm not writing this post on Sunday. That's just when it's going up.

For a really long time, I didn't observe a day of rest. You know what? I was gypping myself and my family. I didn't realize it until I started taking time off.

I promised I wouldn't bring religion into the blog and I'm not. This isn't about keeping the Lord's day holy. It doesn't matter what day you take as a rest day; you just need to.

On rest days, I try not to turn on my computer. There's a moratorium on work. Only the most basic of straightening is done: clothes in the hamper, beds made, dishes. Food prep is minimal and easy. Other than that, there is no real work. I encourage play and vegging.

Why? We push ourselves so much. During the work week, we tend to do long hours and try to fit in as much as possible. When the weekend rolls around, we try to squeeze in thirty-thousand activities and chores. We're so busy, we never give our bodies the opportunity to just slo…

Settling In

It comes as no surprise to any of my friends that I've started a blog about home. It's the kind of person I am. Home is important to me. I say "home" rather than homemaking or cleaning or anything like that because there are so many things I want to talk about, so many things that bring me comfort and joy.

Comfort and joy is an interesting phrase. The original meaning of comfort was "to make strong" and joy means happiness, soul-deep peaceful happiness and contentment. This place, this blog, is about Brynn's strength and complete contentment. This is where I'll discuss the strange, sometimes neurotic, things that comprise my home and family, but it's also where I'll mention my societal beliefs.

It's my blog, so I can talk about what I want, but I'll keep politics and religion out of it. We all have such different systems of belief, I don't feel I should "preach". I am a Christian, but this isn't Sunday School class. A…