While I was catching up with blogs, I discovered that my new blogging friend Jamie, over the Miller Homestead also honored me with the Fabulous Fall Decor award. Thanks Jamie, I really appreciate that you think my blog is worthy of such an honor. Please stop by her blog to say hello, and click on the link to her home albums on Webshots too. She is a very sweet gal!
I love this nubby little stenciled towel.
This gourd lives here all year but I hide his face the rest of the year. Shame on me!
I love this hooked wool jack. He is unhappy because he has the hottest spot in the house.
A school family gave me this mini jack many years ago so he is special.
This Jill o'lantern doll is reversible. The rest of the season she is just a plain old pumpkin head - poor girl.
This friendly prim witch has one black eye but she's not telling me what happened. I didn't ask either. I figure what happens in OZ, stays in OZ. I raised teens - I know what TMI means.
So that's it for my prim Halloween decor! Thanks for taking a peak!
And speaking of stretching the food dollar, here is one of my DH's favorite ways for me to use leftover pork. First I should say he hates leftovers for the most part so I have to be creative. And then I should explain my favorite way to cook pork in the fall. I always look for pork tenderloins on sale and keep them in the freezer. They cook up nicely and are lean too. I use either my 4 qt or 6 qt Nesco Roasting Ovens. I guess I need to explain about my those too. Nesco Roasting Ovens have removable cooking wells and can be set to any temp, like your regular oven, not just low, medium and high like crock pots. Another way they differ from crock pots in that there is a heating element around the sides, not the bottom. It heats more evenly.
I own a 4 qt, a 6 qt
and a huge 18 quart roasting oven - it looks like a much bigger version of the 4 qt. I use them several times a week in the colder months for soup, stews, roasts, one dish meals, making my pasta sauce and more. I cook the Thanksgiving turkey in the largest one and it stays so moist and does not dry out at all and it frees up the oven too. I used that roaster to make 18 qts of chili or pasta for the football team when Jay was in high school. It's great to put on the deck in the summer and steam corn on the cob for a crowd while you are grilling. We have used it to steam hot dogs for over 50 people too. Any size is a great way to cook all year and not heat up the kitchen. It's a less expensive alternative to turning on the big oven when you don't need to. And the food is always moist. I truly don't know what I would do without them! I got all of mine from QVC many YEARS ago so I do not know if they still carry them. I should note this - you won't get the browning on roasts and the skin on poultry like you do in a traditional oven, but the meat will be much more tender! If you want chicken that falls off the bone, this is the way to cook it.
So to cook the pork tenderloin, or even a pork loin roast, I slice a large onion into rings, peel and slice 2-3 apples into rings and lay them both in the bottom of the Nesco. I sprinkle them with some cracked black pepper and garlic powder. I lay the roast on top. I then take one package of dry pork gravy mix(Like McCormick brand) and sprinkle it over everything. Put the cover on and cook on low heat for several hours. It comes out moist and tender with the most delicious gravy.
To make DH's Pork Chop Suey, I saute some sliced celery and onion in my deep fry pan. I just use Pam. When they are tender crisp, I add one can of drained sliced water chestnuts, one can drained bamboo shoots, one can drained of bean sprouts and about a cup of water, 1 Tablespoon of molasses(trust me), several teaspoons of light soy sauce, and a little more garlic. I let them simmer about 10-15 minutes and then I add the leftover pork which I have diced small and any remaining gravy. If you don't have a lot of gravy left you can add another package of the pork gravy mix. Simmer a little longer and then I thicken it with cornstarch just before I serve it over white rice. Top it with the crispy Chinese noodles and viola! LOL Like manybrown foods, it tastes better than it looks - I promise!
And speaking of DH ( wow, I did that 'speaking of' thing 3 times in this post!) I did some tweaking in his office at home. It is the smallest room in the house but we still mange to fit in his big desk, a book case, a TV cabinet and TV, a narrow jelly cupboard, and a full size sofa. Oh and a small prim table I use as his printer stand. Here are a few pictures of his room so far.
This simple book case means a lot to me. It was once in the preschool our kids went to and where I later taught and was the Director. It was lime green back then. When DH took this job, he worked at home a lot in the beginning and still does at times, so we had to make his den into a real working office for him so parts of it are not so prim. But that's OK. It's his space.
This is the area that got some tweaking. The painting to the left of the window is a still life of an old tin bucket and apple that my mom painted many years ago.
Here's a better view of her painting. I love it!
I need a bigger lamp for this corner. It is not balanced. In an effort to save, I am looking for the kit to make one of my jugs into a lamp like I have done many times before. You can see a bit of the old sofa he uses when he watches TV in here. I was so excited in the very late 80's when I got that slate blue sofa with a cream and barn red design. I thought I had arrived! LOL It was in the living room but because we used the family room for daily hanging around, it stayed in fairly good condition, though is a bit faded. We had to take the moldings off the door to get it in here so I suspect it is staying for awhile. I camouflage it with my colonial flame stitch throw.
Well that's it for this post. Have a great weekend and enjoy the fall goodness all around! I'll be doing just that and DH and I will watch the Red Sox win the playoff series once again as they head towards yet another Word series win. Yup, it ain't over yet baby!!