Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Wordless Wednesday, November 29

Thanksgiving Dinner, 2017
My parents.
Three of my offspring. 
My oldest son's girlfriend and her cousin. (My oldest son had to work that day).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

This Blogging Life

I am currently in a temporary season in which I spend several mornings a week at Panera Bread, which is across the street from where my almost-eighteen-year-old son is taking GED preparation classes.

While he's in class, sometimes I read books (for which I write reviews on my other blog), or spend time writing those reviews. I also write reviews (and post them on that other blog) for homeschool products for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew. Also on Life at Rossmont, I share our homeschooling adventures, inspiration, and daily life.

Throughout the coming year, I hope to blog more actively on this blog, too. Hopefully my daughter will share as well here. Please visit often. Better yet, sign up to receive our posts in your email inbox.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Today I reached a monumental milestone. I have walked 500 miles since January 22, 2017. It feels great, knowing I have walked that far this year.

The past few weeks, with cooler weather, I have been able to cover a greater distance each day. I have even walked 3 miles at least once a week over the past 2 or 3 weeks. Some days I do really have to push through the pain, but I am managing to do that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving Menu (vegetarian)

Today I'll share with you our usual go-to holiday menu and recipes.  I shared these on my Life at Rossmont blog a couple years ago.

Bread Dressing/stuffing with FriChik

Prepare a package of stuffing (we use Pepperidge Farms) on the stove top, following package directions. Chop up 1 or 2 cans of Worthington FriChick, and mix into stuffing. Serve. Often we put dried cranberries in this, as well.

Special K Roast

1 stick margarine
½ cup nuts (walnuts are my favorite to use), chopped fine
2 lbs. Cottage cheese
2 large onions
5 eggs
½ large box Special K
½ cup milk
3 pkgs. George Washington golden broth (or bouillon cubes)
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar

Dissolve honey, garlic, salt, and broth in ½ cup milk and add last.  Mix well and bake 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees.  Bake in a fairly thin layer.
(thank you, Mom)

Harvest Nut Roast

1 ½ cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoon oil (olive is best)
2 ½ c finely chopped celery
¾ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup ground pecans, or pecan meal   
1 ½ teaspoon salt
2 cup soy milk (plain Silk is good)
1 ¼ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon sage or 1 ¼ teaspoon thyme
3 cup whole grain bread crumbs

Saute onions in water and oil until clear.  Put in bowl and add remaining ingredients, omitting bread crumbs.  Stir together well.  Fold in bread crumbs.  Pour into greased 8” x 8” baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.  To prevent over browning on top, may need to cover with foil near end of baking time.  Delicious with gravy.
(adapted from Country Life cookbook)

Country Style Gravy

2 cup water
1/2 cup cashew raw pieces
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos (unfermented soy sauce)
1 Tablespoon Brewer’s yeast flakes
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

Place all ingredients in blender, and blend on high 2-3 minutes, until creamy. Pour into saucepan and cook on medium-high until thick, stirring constantly. Can be served over entrée roasts or loaves, potatoes, or biscuits.
Yield: 2 ½ cups
(adapted from Country Life cookbook)

Mashed Potatoes and gravy OR

Sweet Potato Souffle

3 cups sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
3 eggs, well beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter
Mix together well and place in 9x13" pan.

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 stick butter
Mix topping together until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of potato mixture
and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until whole top is
bubbly. Let stand 5 min. before serving.
Lima Beans with Sour Cream

1 pkg frozen lima beans
2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 8-oz can mushrooms (optional)
1 Tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1-2 cups sour cream
2 teaspoon chopped parsley
Cook beans with 1 teaspoon salt until tender.  Saute onions in butter
until golden.  Add flour and paprika, stirring until smooth.  Return
to heat and cook until bubbling.  Add drained beans, mushrooms,
remaining salt and sour cream.  Heat gently, do not boil.  Before
serving sprinkle top with chopped parsley. (This recipe comes from a friend of mine in Montana)

Greenbean Casserole (prepared as found on the can of French Fried Onions)
Relish tray (carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, olives, pickles)
Cranberry sauce
Dinner rolls
Cranberry Bread (from the back of the book, Cranberry Thanksgiving)

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie

Chocolate Meringue Pie

1 (9 inch) prepared pie crust (the kids and I like graham cracker crumb crust; hubby prefers flour crust)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup white sugar (we use less)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)
2. Prepare chocolate custard: In a large saucepan or double boiler, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Mix well, then stir in the egg yolks and milk. Whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches the consistency of pudding.
3. Stir vanilla and butter or margarine into custard. Pour mixture into prepared pie shell.
4. Prepare meringue: In a medium bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. It's best if they are room temperature. Gradually add the scant 1/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Spread meringue over chocolate custard, covering completely. (It's best if the custard has cooled quite a bit)
5. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes, until meringue is golden brown. Chill before serving.

We won't be serving everything on this menu. We pick and choose from it. Maybe you'll find something you might want to try. (By the way, these are great additions to the Christmas menu, as well! And some of them even show up on our Sabbath dinner table.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

My Journey to Healthy, by Wendy

 What made me decide to begin this journey back to healthy?

First of all, my age. Yeah, face it, we are all getting older. Our bodies begin to "fall apart" on us. Metabolism slows down. The aches and pains increase. For many of us, because the metabolism slows down, the weight increases.

A few years ago, I was walking daily...but I wasn't seeing any weight loss, so I grew discouraged. Then I moved to a different state, to a small town, where I didn't feel safe going out and walking. So, I didn't get exercise. The weight increased. It grew harder to bear the body aches and pains, which made me want to move my body even less.

Then about a year ago, my children and I moved back, to be near my folks. I still didn't feel the urgency to get out and walk. This past December, God spoke to me, and I finally listened. I began walking. Basically, I began taking a stroll each morning, with my camera, to find something new and interesting each day to photograph.

I was rather alarmed to find how breathless and in pain I was, just from walking to the corner and back! But I kept walking, a little further and a little further. I was excited to discover one day, that I could rise from a sitting position without using my arms to boost myself up!

On January 22, I set up an account on Map My Walk, and My Fitness Pal. When I began logging my food intake, I was impressed by how small a serving really is! They both have apps you can load on to your phone. When I take my walks, I track it with my app. I would be happy to be "friends" with you on Map My Walk; we could be exercise partners, encouraging each other along the way. Right now, I have only one friend, a lady from my church. I have other friends encouraging me along the way, through Facebook and Instagram as well.

Since January 22, I have lost 11 pounds, and walked 100 miles. 😇

I take phone photos, and post a collage on Instagram each day, as well as how many miles I've logged. Come follow along.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Welcome to the kitchen on Chickadee Lane.

I'm Wendy, the mom. Currently I spend my days homeschooling my two teenage sons, and "just being there" for my two young adult know, in case they do actually still "need" me.

I've recently begun a journey to becoming healthier. Before I began, my pain level was high pretty much continuously. I had to use my arms to push myself up from a chair. I could barely walk to the corner and back without feeling winded and hurting even more.

I began taking a morning stroll with my camera, to find what I could in nature to capture. I gradually increased my distance. I also began noticing improvements in how I felt. It was an exciting day to realize I could actually rise from a chair without needing to use my arms to push up!

There will be occasional...okay, probably frequent...posts about my journey to healthy.

Jen is my only daughter. She is a crew member at a nearby McDonald's. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 10 1/2. We've been on this roller coaster, mostly together, for about 13 years now. She depends on me a lot less now, but I'm still here if she needs me.

A few months ago, we decided that on March 16, 2018, we plan to begin a through hike on the Appalachian Trail. Yeah, it may be just a pipe dream, but it gives me a goal to work toward on this journey back to being healthier. We plan to share about our preparations for this adventure.

We also plan to share some of our adventures in the kitchen, and some of our favorite recipes.

One more purpose for this blog is to share reviews of some of the restaurants we visit. Our budgets are tight, so restaurants don't happen frequently. But we do belong to a ladies' luncheon group, which meets once a month at various local eateries.

I hope you'll join us often!