Prepping and Organizing a Pantry….

This has always been something that I have wanted to do.  I think overall I have had small sections of my kitchen and/or a closet or two with some pantry items.  But over all I have never had a full and complete set up for a pantry.

Well, now fast forward.  After 30+ years of marriage and raising a family, I decided in January of 2020 to create one.  First of all, I did not have the time to create a pantry and the space for one, or at least I didn’t think I did. Now we find ourselves with more time then we realized we would have, and a situation that makes us realize that a pantry is so needed.

I have to admit that I had a rude awakening, along with a bit of panic shopping.  I did not think that I had certain things on hand, so I went right out and spent funds from our budget to accommodate what I thought we needed.  After we had all these goodies piled on our dining room table, it was time to now set up our pantry.  So, we gathered all our items from every little spot that we stored things in, and brought them to one place in our home.  Then we cleaned out our one and only closet to make a pantry where we could store everything.  After setting it up and putting things away, we realized that we had spent money on things we already had, and had items in large amounts (like extra cans of tomatoes that we did not need).

This taught me a BIG lesson in life, and one that I will hold onto for a very long time.  I wasted money on things I don’t need, I am using up space that I could use for something else, and I probably wasted time in buying these items too.  Now it is time to make a change!  I have a pantry set up with an inventory list of my staples, how many I want on hand, and then how many I need to buy for the next time.

Have you found yourself without a pantry?  Or are you well organized in this area?  Either way leave a comment below with pictures of what you have set up or what you would like to do.

These are trying times in our country; it is a good time to reevaluate what we do and why and how to make things better for ourselves.

I would love to hear from you.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Fresh Perspective #Finding Normalcy in the Abnormal

Have you ever buttoned up your shirt, and the buttons didn’t line up right, and then you could not figure out why the shirt did not feel right?  To me that is how life feels right now…. like a weird-buttoned shirt that I can’t quite get to fit right.

How are you doing in all of this craziness?  COVID19, “the virus”, Coronavirus…. it has taken on many names and we cringe at the sounds of these words.  This virus has us feeling out of sorts and not even knowing what day of the week it is.  I have friends who have told me that they have not showered for a few days, changed their clothes, and have almost become numb in their lives.  This virus cannot take over our lives…. yes, we must live through this time and what is happening around us.  Stores are on limited hours and supplies, schools are teaching differently, we cannot visit with friends for a while, but we can still LIVE!

Come and see how some simple routine things can change your numb life to a normal life.  It might be a “new” normal….but it will help you reestablish a normal.

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Staying Calm In the Midst of Chaos! #let’s get practical

So after reading and hearing the news that most people have their kids home for two weeks….all I hear is complaining and chaos from everyone around me. Now that is not to say that schedules will need to change, and things will need to be tweaked,  but we need to stay calm and be practical about this. Let’s create less stress and less chaos in the midst of this situation that we find ourselves in.

After talking with my sister….she was saying how her state was crazy all week, but this weekend people seem to be calming down a bit.  Staying calm is one of the answers to this craziness!!! No matter if you are single, married with kids, or without kids, and it does not matter your age….we are all in the same boat.  And this boat is not the Titanic, and it is not sinking….it is a boat of change and uncertainty, but being as normal as possible will calm the spirit.

So how can we stay calm and try to be “normal”?  Well here is my two week plan that I am putting into place. Yes, wash your hands.  Take necessary precautions needed for your lifestyle and where you live. But my plan after that is in place, is to make a list of all the things that I always put off and never seem to have the time to do.

Keeping our hands and minds busy will make the time pass, and it will not allow our minds to go places that are not reality and also allow our imagination to go crazy.

Today I had a friend pick up some potatoes for me since I had to work, and I could not get out.  She was kind and would not take the money for it. So I then told her I would share the soup that I was going to make with them, and that I would also make her some bread.  Since she is a single woman….she does not make homemade soup and bread, so this was a real treat.

Clean out  that closet that you have been wanting to clean, email a friend and check up on them, call someone, text someone, write a letter, sort out those recipe cards that are a mess.  Stop and breath, stop and take hold that you are alive today, and there is a purpose. Reach out to others….we are all human beings and should be respecting each other in a unique and special way.  This does not mean that you need to put yourself at risk….there are plenty of ways to help someone without doing this.

For those of us who have hope of eternity with the God of creation….share that hope today.  We as Christians can rise up and encourage our friends with this plain and simple gospel message.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Can Essential Oils help? Some basic suggestions for basic needs.

People ask me all the time what essential oils do I use and why.  I use them for basic first aid, colds and allergies and other basic health needs. This is not by any means a “go-to” for all things….but an alternative at times.  I have used natural alternatives for over 25 years and used medical when needed as well.  This is something that we choose to look into and we are true believers that many of our basic health and nutritional needs come from nature.  We forget that in years past that our ancestors only knew of natural.  Again…. this is not the only answer but it does help with many situations.

Here are a few items we use:

Myrrh This is great for that nagging cough. Rub some on your throat to calm a cough that will not leave you, especially at night.

Oregano – This is an easy go-to when you feel like something is coming on. Oregano is a “hot oil”, so if you are sensitive you might  want to use a carrier oil with it. We use it on the bottom of our feet. We rub some on our heels and big toes at night before bed. For us it helps clear the head, and in the morning we awake feeling a whole lot better. We will use this for a few days in a row to keep our health in check while the cold season is upon us.

Tea Tree – We use this along with oregano when there is more of a threat of cold and flu. You also apply this on the bottom of your feet.

Peppermint – There are so many uses. Where do I begin?

Headaches- you can use this on your temples, back of the neck, and wrists. (I use it straight, but my adult son is sensitive and needs to use it as a carrier oil.) Breathing- put a drop in your hands and rub your hands together, and then breathe into them for a breath of fresh air. It’ll help open your lungs. Defuse this at night to help with a stuffy head and breathing.

Defender – (different names depending on the brand that you use.)- We use this as a hand sanitizer, especially when shopping, touching carts, and being around so many people. This can help prevent cold germs. We also will use this on our neck, wrists, and feet to help prevent any issues before the cold season approaches.

Digest – (different names depending on the brand that you use)- This is for those times you have stomach issues. This will help settle your stomach for about two to four hours before you might need to apply again. Rub on your tummy area and/or wrists.

Lavender – is great for scars, cuts and burns.  I have used this time and time again for all of these things listed with great results.

Our special tea – is a blend of peppermint, lemon, and thieves (like defender). Use one drop of each with some hot water and honey. It tastes great and helps with the aches and pains of a cold, and you will sleep better! Our youngest son will ask for “Mom’s tea” when he does not feel well. He is not pushed into this; it is his choice.

Side note: When using oils for tea, make sure it is one that states that it can be taken internally.

These are a few things that we use and have enjoyed the benefits.  How about you? What do you use? What are the pros and cons that you have found? Leave me a comment below. I would love to hear your feedback!

 Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

check out my YouTube channel for some other Essential Oil helps…

At Home with Lynn Wilson – YouTube

Honey, Garlic Instant Pot Pork chops #quick and easy dinner

Need a quick and easy and delicious dinner?  Check this out!

Ingredients:

  • 4-8 pork chops (thin sliced or if thick, pound down for a thinner cut) – taste better this way
  • 2-3 teaspoons of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon of orange marmalade

 

How to cook in the Instant Pot:

  • Turn your pot to sauté
  • Place butter and 2 strips of bacon in the pot to cook for 1-2 minutes only (cut bacon up into small bite size pieces)
  • Salt and pepper both side of chops
  • Place chops in pot and brown on both sides
  • Turn Instant Pot off
  • Now pour in the rest of the ingredients on top
  • Place lid on pot in sealing position
  • Turn on Manuel for 7 minute for thin chops and 10 minutes for thick chops
  • When you are done with you 7 minutes ….do a quick release
  • Open pot away from you and enjoys your oh so good pork chops.

 

Great over rice, pasta or just about anything!

 

Ranch and BBQ Red Chili Kielbasa # Quick and Easy Meal

If you like something quick, easy, and really tasty….than this might be something good for you to try.  We serve this over rice and add broccoli on the side, or you can even use this as an appetizer. Either way, I think you will really enjoy this!!

Ingredients:

two packages of kielbasa

one package of dry ranch dressing mix

one bottle of Red Chili BBQ sauce

Preparations: 

  • slice up the kielbasa into bite size pieces

 

  • dump into a crock pot

 

  • sprinkle the ranch mix over meat

 

  • pour the bottle of BBQ sauce over top

 

  • turn on high for one hour and low for two hours

 

  • Once done, mix together well and enjoy!

 Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

Million Dollar Casserole #Quick And Easy Meal

“Million Dollar Casserole” is a crowd pleaser for the holidays, family dinner on a Friday night, or just anytime.  It is a simple dish and served with a side-salad or veggies. This would be a treat for anyone. I have included both the regular recipe and also my own.  The one that I used is a little different because I was using up the left-overs in my pantry and freezer. Enjoy and have fun with this one.

This is a layered recipe….so I like to make two layers, but you can also go as high as three or four layers depending on how deep your casserole dish is.

Basic idea for this dish is to place …

  • layer with sauce on the bottom of the dish
  • next a layer of pasta
  • then a layer of meat
  • next a layer of cheese
  • then a layer of sour cream mixture
  • repeat
  • Top with cheese and bake for thirty minutes on 350 degrees. Enjoy!

My ingredients:

  • crushed tomatoes
  • cheddar cheese
  • leftover meatballs (crushed up)
  • 16 oz. sour cream/ one package of cream cheese/ 12 oz. ricotta cheese all mixed together well
  • bow tie pasta (that is what was in the pantry)

Regular recipe:

  • spaghetti sauce
  • chop meat (already cooked)
  • mozzarella  cheese
  • 16 oz. sour cream/ one package of cream cheese/ 12 oz. ricotta cheese all mixed well together 
  • elbow macaroni

This recipe is so forgiving…. so use what you have;  clean out your freezer and pantry.

Lynn A. C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning out the freezer/freezer and pantry challenge #2020

I love watching You-Tube channels on home and organization.  How about you? I sat one day and watched two of my favorite channels….Jamerrill Stewart and Parsnips and Parsimony.  They are two large families, but the overall idea is the same. One family will fill their pantry once a month for the next month’s menu, with a few extras. The other family will fill their pantry with extras for when the budget is tight.  They then have food in the pantry to pull from.

After watching the two of them, I took one look at my freezers and realized….what a mess!!! Not only was it a mess, but I would buy doubles of things I did not need, and not enough of what I needed because I was not organized.  Another You-Tube channel that I love is Coupons to Provide.  She goes on to say how she is a visual person…and oh how I could relate to that.  If she puts it away in a closet, etc…and she does not see it….she forgets she has it.

Bingo…that gave me an idea.  What I need is a place for a pantry that would be organized, simple (with my busy schedule I need this), efficient for the family to use, and visual for me. I need to know quickly what I have in order to work for meals.

So, I emptied my pantry….what a job.  I sorted what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to give away. I was able to bless someone else with the things I will not use, and I created a great little nook.

Now every time I enter and exit my kitchen….I get to see my pantry stash of stuff, and I love it.  If you are not a visual person, and/or a practical, functional homemaker….this would probably drive you nuts.  But for me it is perfect.

So now it is time to clean up, and clean out my two freezers. Creative cooking will be happening in our home from now until Easter. Come and join in the fun; clean out your bits and pieces in both your pantry and freezer.

Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother

 

Sausage Casserole (or AKA Hotdog Casserole) # Quick and Easy

Do you want quick and easy? Do you want simple and yummy? Do you want a crowd pleaser….try this yummy recipe!

Ingredients:

1 package of hotdogs, kielbasa, or chicken sausage

5 lbs. of potatoes

1 can or bag of sauerkraut

2 bay leaves

1 cup water

½ stick of butter

How to prepare:

I use a slow cooker (I have tried doing this in the instant pot but I didn’t think it tasted as good).

Potatoes – Wash, peel, and cut in half;  dump in the crock pot.

Meat – Slice the meat of your choice into bite size pieces and pour over top of the potatoes.

Next, take the sauerkraut and pour over the meat and potatoes, and then add butter and water too.

Add two bay leaves on the top of the mixture, and then cook two hours on low for four hours on high.

Before serving ….just remember to take out the bay leaves.

Oh soooooo good!!!

 Lynn A.C. Wilson – Resume of a Mother