Retro Recipe Friday!

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Some of you may already be aware that I am a collector of vintage cookbooks. I have a lovely collection with cookbooks dating back all the way from 1912! It’s fascinating to read about all the ingredients and methods that were used during different times; and the cookbooks that came out around the great depression talking about rationing and substitutions are captivating. They are truly a wonderful piece of history, and I cherish each and every one of them.

So, with that being said, I thought it would be a lot of fun to try a different recipe each week from one of my vintage cookbooks! And with that, voila! Retro Recipe Friday was born! I know some will be delicious, and others maybe not so much, but it’s going to be so much fun cooking these old recipes. I hope that you will enjoy this as much as I do!

So with that, let’s begin!

This weeks recipe came from Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook. This cookbook not only has lovely recipes but serves as a handbook for any hostess. It was published in 1967.

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One of my favorites from the book, all made of fruit and veggies! If only I were more artistic…

So here it is, the first recipe for Retro Recipe Friday!

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This Weeks Menu 1/4 – 1/10

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Sunday 1/4Breaded Pork Chops w/ Carrots & Green Beans

Monday 1/5Pan Fried Trout w/ Sauteed Squash, Zucchini, & Onions

Tuesday 1/6Chili Lime Tilapia w/ Asparagus

Wednesday 1/7Lemon Rosemary Salmon w/ Steamed Winter Vegetables

Thursday 1/8Rosemary Garlic Roast Leg of Lamb w/ Red Potatoes

Friday 1/9Grilled Tilapia w/ lemon butter & capers w/ asparagus

Saturday 1/10Olive Oil Poached Salmon & Artichoke w/ Lemon, Garlic, Mayo Dipping Sauce

Please feel free to reach me through the contact page or email me at theretrohousewifelife@gmail.com for any of these recipes 🙂

New Year, New You!

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I always think of the new year as a chance for a fresh start.  The bad habits and things I didn’t do well before… this is a chance to make improvements on all of them!  I’m not one for new years resolutions.  I don’t believe that you should just decide to improve one part of your life.  Why not work on improving all of it?

For the new year, get a journal or a notebook.  Begin by writing down all of the things you want to do better.  Maybe it’s learn new recipes, do a better job at sticking to your cleaning schedule, or take better care of your husband.  Your list can be two things or fifty things.  It’s all up to you.

Once you’ve really looked at things and made your list, continue to journal about what you can do to make these improvements.  Are you going to look up local cooking classes to improve your cooking skills?  Are you going to take a sewing or a French class at the local college?  Maybe you are going to start meditating or doing yoga to help you keep calm and patient.  Be specific about what you plan on doing in order to make the improvements in your life.

Continue to journal throughout the year on your progress.  It’s amazing, after a few months you can go back and read from the beginning and see what leaps and bounds you have made.

I wish you all a wonderful and improved 2015!

Greeting Your Husband Properly

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I know I have touched on this topic before, but the way that you greet your husband when he comes home from work can have a huge impact on your relationship, whether you realize it or not.  It is so much more meaningful than we give credit.

Scenario 1-

Your husband is coming home from a long, stressful day at work.  He’s worn out and tired, and there’s nothing more he would like than to come home to his lovely wife and children; his sanctuary.  Instead, he comes home to chaos.  The children are running around the house making lots of noise, there’s a pile of dishes in the sink, there are toys scattered about, dinner isn’t even close to being ready, and his wife looks stressed out and disheveled. No one even hears him come through the door.  He realizes all he really wants to do is walk right back out that door, and go have a drink at a nearby bar.

Scenario 2-

Your husband is driving home from a long, stressful day at work.  He’s exhausted and tired, and he can’t wait to be home with his lovely wife and children.  He walks through the door, the house is spotless and the aroma of dinner fills his nose.  His wife greets him looking fresh faced and lovely, carrying his favorite drink in her hand.  The children are calm and lovely as well, and greet him with longing hugs and kisses.  His favorite genre of music is playing softly throughout the house.  Everything is wonderful and perfect.  He is so happy to finally be home with his family; he is truly in his sanctuary.

Which husband is trying to leave work early, and which one seems to always have to work late?  Make your home a place that your husband counts down the minutes to come home to.

15-20 minutes before your husband comes home, you should freshen yourself up.  Powder your face, brush your hair, sprtiz on some perfume.  Make sure you don’t look tired or stressed out, you should look fresh faced and happy to see him.  Don’t greet him in sweatpants and house slippers!  Put on a nice housedress or outfit that he likes you in.  You’ll want to do the same for your children.  Make sure they’re in clean clothes and have clean faces.  If your children eat dinner separately from you and your husband, they should already be fed and the dishes cleaned or in the dishwasher.  The entire kitchen should be cleaned except for whatever you’re using for you and your husbands dinner.  In fact, the whole house should be clean.  There shouldn’t be any clutter lying around.  Everything should be neat and tidy and in its place, all surfaces should be wiped down.  The house should smell clean and fresh, but not of cleaning products.  You should also greet him with a drink when he comes home.  This doesn’t necessarily mean alcoholic, maybe when he gets home he would like nothing more than some fresh squeezed lemonade or ice water.  If you don’t know, ask him!  My husband loves the classic tunes of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, so I make sure before he comes home that it is playing on the stereo in the house.  iTunes radio or Pandora are wonderful to have your husbands favorite music playing when he comes home!  You also want to know what time he wants dinner.  I know some men want to come home to dinner ready on the table, while others prefer to relax for a while before eating.  You know your husband better than anyone else, so you know what you need to do in order to meet his needs.  And if you don’t know, ask!  How many of you have actually ever asked your husband what he would like when he comes home?

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This is not only good for your husband, it is good for you and your entire family as well.  The entire atmosphere of your home is different when you put these things into practice.  You will eliminate stress as you will have everything prepared by the time he gets home.  If you’re using your schedule, you should have no problem getting everything done.  You will also enjoy the extra time you have together.  Instead of there being chaos trying to finish cleaning and putting dinner on the table, these things will be already taken care of.  You can enjoy watching a favorite TV show or movie together before bed.  Your quality time together will increase.  He will also be in a much better mood when he gets home, which definitely puts the entire family at ease.  Everyone is happy to see each other, and there is minimal stress and tension.  It will make you feel so good knowing that you created this!

The bottom line is that he should be coming home to peacefulness.  He should be coming home to a place full of joy and love, a place where he can unwind and relax after a hard days work.  Let him start the conversation for the evening, you should never bother him with problems or your day right when he gets home.  If he’s around people all day, he really might just want some peace and quiet, or maybe even a little time alone.  He may just want to enjoy your company, minus the conversation.  You should try your best to respect this and look at things from his point of view.  Obviously if there’s something important, you should bring it up.  Just don’t do it the moment he walks through the door.  With this, timing is everything.  Also, with this peaceful environment it makes talking about these things much easier.

Make your husband happy to come home… make him want to come home!  So many women complain about how their husbands are always working late.  They should take a step back and look at what he may be coming home too, it could very easily explain why he chooses to work extra hours rather than come home on time.  Doing these simple things can really make such a difference in your home environment and your marriage.  Besides your husband feeling happy and relieved when he comes home, you will find that you too feel satisfaction from what you’ve done.  You’ve created a sanctuary for your husband and yourself.  You will feel accomplished and proud that you are able to make your husband so happy, and make your home a place he wants to be.

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For those of you that don’t do this, I challenge you to try it!  See the difference it will make in your lives!  See the difference in the way your husband acts when he comes home, and even the way he treats you.  You are showing him how much you truly care about him by making something so simple, such as him coming home from work, so important to you.  He will see the effort you are putting forth, and you will be rewarded in so many ways.

Blue Apron – Review & 2 Free Meals For Readers!

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Imagine a world where you had someone to put together your meal plan, recipes, and even go grocery shopping for you, and at the end deliver it all to your front doorstep.  Sounds like a fantasy right?

Blue Apron has turned that fantasy into a reality!

As a busy mother and housemaker, Blue Apron is a Godsend.  I sit down every Sunday and plan my meals for the week as well as prepare my grocery list.  Sometimes it takes me almost an hour to try to figure out what to make, I hate to make the same dishes all the time, and recipes that I find online can be hit or miss.  Blue Apron takes all that stress away!  All you have to do is set your dietary preferences, and they do the rest for you.  The meals sent to you are designed and tested by professional chefs, and all the ingredients you need are sent to you, already measured out.  All ingredients sent to you are top quality and from local suppliers, they are also delivered in a refrigerated box so you don’t have to worry about being home exactly when the box arrives.  Along with all these great benefits, Blue Apron allows me to cook something new and different.  I’m able to try something I likely wouldn’t have, that way we aren’t eating the same meals over and over again.  That definitely gets boring!

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You are able to have a healthy, home cooked meal, minus all the stress, in about 40 minutes or less!

The first meal I cooked was the Chicken & Chestnut Pasta.  Here’s a copy of the recipe card:

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With all the ingredients included in this dish, I was very curious to see how it was going to turn out.  It was delicious!  The chestnuts gave it a wonderful nutty flavor and crunch, and it was really full of flavor.

Next I made the braised moroccan-style salmon & greens.  Here’s the recipe card:

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As I’ve mentioned before, we eat a TON of fish at our house, so I was really excited to try this!  The citrus flavor and vegetable were absolutely delicious.  This one is definitely going into my rotation.

The third meal I made was acorn squash tempura tacos w/ smoked spanish paprika-lime sauce. Recipe Card:

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I was very nervous to prepare this as we don’t ever have meatless dinners in our home.  But after trying it, I couldn’t believe how much “meatiness” the squash provided.  You really didn’t miss the protein as this was very filling.  The combination of spices was wonderful, and I will definitely be sharing this recipe with my vegetarian friends.

Blue Apron is great, and I highly recommend their service.  The food is delicious and easy to make, and they truly relieve any stresses that come along with making dinner.

The first 50 Retro Housewife Life readers can click here for two free meals from Blue Apron!  I hope that you will enjoy cooking with them as much as I have.

 

* Disclaimer: I received one free box for this review.

Hello Fresh – Review & Discount Code!

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I love to cook.  I love trying new foods, learning about new ingredients, and best of all, seeing the smiles on my family’s faces as the enjoy the delicious meal I’ve just cooked for them.  Unfortunately, creating gourmet meals at home is incredibly time consuming and expensive.  You have to find the right recipe, get the sometimes impossible to find ingredients, make sure you get the freshest meats and produce, etc.  It can be a lot of work to put a great meal on the table!

Until now.

Hello Fresh makes putting a delicious meal on the table as easy as opening a box and following directions.  I’m able to have the freshest ingredients along with an easy to follow, step-by-step recipe delivered right to my doorstep!  Hello Fresh, where have you been all my life?

Hello Fresh is a weekly meal delivery service that you can have as often or not as you’d like.  It’s so simple, you go online and fill out your profile including dietary preferences, select how often you’d like your deliveries, and wait for that lovely box to arrive to your home.  That’s it!  No more meal planning or walking up and down the aisles at the grocery store trying to find what you need.  Hello Fresh delivers it all right to you, and the ingredients are even already portioned out for you!  The box is also insulated and full of ice packs, so if you’re not home right when the box arrives you don’t have to worry about ingredients spoiling.

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I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out my very own HelloFresh box at home!

The first meal I made was the Creamy Penne w/ Chicken & Sun-Dired Tomatoes.  Here is the recipe card:

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As you can see it lists all of the necessary ingredients, all of which were included in the box except for the olive oil.  I love that it also gives you the nutritional information!  On the backside of the card they give you step by step directions including pictures.  I promise you, even the most novice of cooks can follow the directions and end up with a delicious meal for your family.  The pasta was delicious!  It was very rich and flavorful, the kids kept stealing it off of our plates!

Next was the Caramelized Onion Shepherd’s Pie.  Here’s the recipe card:

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I have to tell you I was very nervous about making this one.  My husband grew up eating Shepherd’s Pie, and his mother is an excellent cook.  I’ve never even tried to make it just for that reason, so I was really hoping that this would compare.  It ended up being a huge success, and he even asked that I start making it using this exact recipe!  Thank you Hello Fresh 🙂

The third meal I made was the Mustard Crusted Trout.  We eat a lot of fish in our house, so I was really excited to try a new fish recipe.  Here’s the recipe card:

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Absolutely delicious!  The trout was very good quality and the flavors were excellent.  I will definitely be repeating this recipe again in the future.

 

With Hello Fresh, you are getting the “best of the best” ingredients.  Everything is local and farm fresh, and they even have an in-house dietician that approves all the meals.  Having professional chef’s design your meals also means you get to learn about new ingredients, as well cook new things you wouldn’t usually make at home.  As a housewife, it really helps relieve the stress of finding recipes, menu planning, and grocery shopping.  Sometimes I feel like I’m at the grocery store half the day by the time I’m done, so I’ll definitely be using Hello Fresh again.

Hello Fresh and myself want all the readers of The Retro Housewife Life to try their amazing service too… so they are offering 25% off your first order!  Use the code HELLORETRO at checkout.

 

* Disclaimer: I was given one free box from HelloFresh for this review.

Good Cop, Bad Cop

There are some days I lay my head down so exhausted.  I’ve felt like my entire day was filled of me saying “No!  Don’t!  Stop it!  Go to your room!”  Do you ever have days like that? … where you feel like all you’ve done all day is discipline?

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As homemakers, we sometimes deal with the stigma of being “the mean one” or the “bad cop”.  We spend the day disciplining and teaching, making sure that our children grow up to be successful, responsible, respectful human beings, and some days require more of that than others.  What can make it difficult sometimes, is it seems the moment Dad walks through the door, all the bad behavior of the day is forgotten, and Daddy is home to save the day.  He’s the hero.  The children are so excited to see him, they drop whatever is in hand and run to the door with excitement.  And of course, daddy is beyond excited to see them as well after a long, hard day at work.  Meanwhile, we may be standing in the background exhausted and at our wit’s end.  And now that dad is home, the children only want to be with him, and we immediately become the bad guy.  All we’ve done all day is discipline.

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It can feel really draining sometimes.  It can feel so unfair at times!  Why do I always have to be the bad guy?  Why must I be the one to constantly say no?!  Why don’t the children seem as excited to see me?

It took a long time for me to deal with this problem.  For a very long time it really wore me down, it made me feel like an awful mother, it made me want to give up on things.  It made me question everything.  Then one day I realized, somebody has to do it.  Do I want to be my children’s friend or their mother?  Do I care more about them liking me or about them growing up to be good people?  This, along with so many other things, comes along as part of the sacrifice.  They might think I’m the “mean one”, and that is okay.  I can deal with that because I know at the end of the day, I am doing the right thing, I am doing what is necessary.  I’m doing what I need to do as a mother and wife.

For some time this whole thing actually caused me to resent my husband at times.  I was mad at him, and for what?  I was being so unfair to him, and it was causing tension.  It was really awful.  Eventually I sat down and looked at the big picture.  How many hours a day do I spend with them, compared to the time he spends with them?  By the time he gets home sometimes they are already in their pajamas and getting ready for bed.  So guess what, if that one hour of that day he gets to spend with them he gets to be the good guy, he deserves it.  He shouldn’t have to spend his limited time with the children disciplining them.  That is my job.  That is the responsibility I hold by being a homemaker.  It’s one more thing to add to the list of what truly makes this job difficult sometimes, one of the things other people don’t even think about.

If you are currently in the situation I was once in, I encourage you to take a step back.  Take a deep breath and look at the big picture.  Realize that this is all part of being a stay at home mother, it comes along with the job.  Besides that, things will get better!  Children will get older and things will change.  Make sure you are taking at least a little time out of your day to do something for yourself.  Keep your head up and stay positive!