Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Break

I decided out of the blue to take a blogging break over the holiday's.  Just thought I'd mention it quick... but I will be back after the first of the year.   Happy Holiday's!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ravioli Linky Party #10

I fell in love with this.  It's so simple.  I got both of these recipes at cooking class taught by LeAnn Poloni Whitesides.

Homemade Ravioli
1 package frozen beef ravioli  (the recipe called for 2, but I felt like one was enough for our family)
1-2 jars spaghetti sauce or you can make your own simple sauce (see below)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan or asiago cheese

Heat oven to 350*  Spray bottom and sides of 9 x 13" dish with cooking spray.

Put a thin layer of sauce on bottom of dish.  Arrange half of the frozen ravioli in a single layer over the sauce; top with half of the remaining pasta sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella.  Repeat layers.
Pour 1/4 cup of water along the sides of the dish.  Cover with foil and bake 60 minutes.  Remove foil and sprinkle Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

You could do the same thing with tortellini and Alfredo sauce for a different version. 

Simple Sauce
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans whole tomatoes   (use scissors and cut up in can)
2 tsp chicken base or bouillon cubes/  or you could use a slash of wine.
1 tsp basil or taste
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
1 T tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
could add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally until softened.  Add at the very end.  Crush the tomatoes and other ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thick and reduced (about 1/2 an hour).  Set aside.  Adjust seasonings.
Note: If sauce tastes a little bitter add 1/2 tsp baking soda

For the "drinky" this week try a nice glass of wine.  Feel free to comment on your favorites below!

Last weeks linky winner is Whole Food Mom on a Budget's pumpkin-almond-flour-waffles
Thanks for linking up!
I'm really sorry I still haven't created a brag button for winning.  I just started a new job last week and so life has been a little hectic for me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Linky #9

I learned a new way to "cook" mushrooms.  It's quick and easy too.

I had never heard of peeling mushrooms, but after thinking, it seems like a good idea considering that your not supposed to wash them... at least not drench them.

All you need for this is a small bottle of zesty Italian or vidial onion dressing and about a pound of mushrooms.

Bring your dressing to a gentle boil in a sauce pan and add your mushrooms for 1 minute.
Pour them out in a bowl and serve.

In all honesty they basically taste like salad dressing on a mushroom, but they're not bad!
Hope you enjoy this quick & easy idea!

For the drinky this week try cherry slush! Its one of my grandmas good old recipes. 
4pkg cherry koolaide
1 cup OJ concentrate
4-5 cups sugar
Freeze, then pour 7-up over to serve.

Last week's linky winner was made from pinterest DIY cupcake holder
Thanks for linking up!  I love the cute turkey on top.  It brings back a lot of childhood memories for me.

101 after school snacks

I personally hate it when I click on some link titled "101..." and it's only like 20.  So I counted these and there really are 101 ideas.  It took me a long time to come up with this, and it's not the greatest list- but it gets you thinking anyway...  Enjoy!

mini carmle apple pie
egg rolls
mini pizzas
toast with jam
scrambled eggs
celery and peanut butter or cheese whiz
saltine crackers
ramen noodles
mac n cheese
granola bar
string cheese
chicken nuggets
grilled cheese
sunflower seeds
gold fish crackers
fruit snacks
mini marshmallows
rice krispy treats
hard boiled eggs
rolled up lunch meat
graham crackers
ham & cheese salad
honey dew
ice cream
fresh peas
check mix
chocolate chips
left overs
cereal bar
chocolate milk
chips and salsa
hot dog
cottage cheese
marshmallow- brown sugar popcorn
     1/2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. butter 9-10 marshmallows 12 c. popcorn.
Microwave brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Add marshmallows.
Microwave until melted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn.
fresh sliced tomatoes with salt & pepper
oyster crackers
pumpkin seeds
genius cakes
bite size candy bars
pepper strips in dip
Cheese and crackers packs
cinnamon toast
Egg salad sandwich
chicken salad sandwich
corn dogs or pig in a blanket
pizza rolls
can of soup
fish sticks
pickle bunny bites
cherry tomatoes
red neck dessert

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Linky Party #8

I love this quick easy cake.  It always vanishes quickly in our home.

lemon poppy seed cake
1 yellow cake mix
1 small box lemon pudding
2 tea spoons poppy seeds
3 tbs flour
1/2 cup oil
4 eggs

Bake at 350* for 40 minutes in a bunt pan or 9x13
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Its really starting to get COLD in the mornings, in the shade, when there's a breeze and at night... so pretty much all the time.  I thought I'd share a drinky linky for Almond Hot Chocolate over at Adorned From Above.  Go check it out and tell them I sent you.
Almond Hot Chocolate

Last week was pretty slow on the blog.  My husband and I were celebrating our ten year wedding anniversary at a nice bed and breakfast.  It was a much need (and deserved- if I may say so) break.  Our real anniversary is actually this weekend, but it was better timing to celebrate last weekend.  So that's my excuse for not inviting more to join the linky last week.

I'm starting my new job on Monday... so that will probably slow me down on the blog a bit too.  I will do the best I can to keep up with.  Wish me luck I guess, I will need it.

Thanks for linking up!
Linked To:
Fluster Buster

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


28 oz canned tomatoes*
1 1/2 tbs Olive Oil
6 tbs water
1/2 Italian Seasonings
1-2 cloves Garlic
1/4 tsp Garlic Pepper
1 tbs cider vinegar
Fresh Basil
Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Let simmer and reduce for about 1/2 an hour.

bruschetta photo 20131020_191724.jpg
* I think I may have had a light bulb turned on here.  If you don't believe me, try it out yourself.  Normally when a recipe calls for diced tomatoes I just buy them that way.  But after attending this cooking class I have changed my mind.  Try buying canned whole tomatoes and then either cut them up with scissors inside the can or squish them with your hands if you want to.  Either way, the whole tomatoes taste so much better than the diced ones.  I used to buy the store brand, but I've also been convinced that Hunts brand is the best.

1 baguette sliced into 1/4" pieces
olive oil
good salt
 Brush both sides of bread and season lightly.  Bake about 10-12 minutes.

Drinky~ Apple Juice and Sprite (aka zombie juice)

Please come linky with me!  Add anything family friendly you'd like to share.  Link back to me in your original post and be sure to visit other linkers  :)  Feel free to share or invite others to link up too.  I would especially love for you to link up APPETIZERS FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES if possible, but anything goes. 

Last weeks winner was spiked-monster-halloween-cocktail
Thanks for linking up Liz!

Linked To:
Fluster Buster

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Dinner

Our friends started this tradition with us several years ago and our kids love it.  You bake your dinner in a pumpkin!  We usually do the homemade root beer with it too.

Choose a pumpkin that will fit in your dinner, but that will be big enough to fill with dinner.
Draw a face on your pumpkin with magic marker.
 photo 20131020_194246.jpg
Scrape out your pumpkin and stab several holes in it to vent.
Coat the inside with butter and bake for one hour at 350*.

1-2 lbs browned ground beef (depending on how many you're feeding)
rice (depending on how many you're feeding)
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup
salt and pepper

Mix together and put it inside the pumpkin to bake for an additional hour.

 photo 20131020_194258.jpg

 photo 6132227f-b151-4e8d-a4d6-4f6ef0bab239.jpg
Zombie Juice
3 quarts apple juice
2 cans Sprite
1 latex glove filled with water and food coloring- frozen

Linked To:
- See more at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Linky#6 Spooky Spiderweb Pizza

This actually happened by accident, but it turned out cute and I had to share.  I was making pizza and was ready to finish up with the cheese when I realized all we had in the fridge was string cheese!  So I improvised and used the string cheese...  and I got thinking, this looks like a spider web.  So then I sliced up some olives and made them into little spiders.

Note: after you bake it and the cheese melts closer together, so remember that when you're laying out the cheese and be sure to leave space.

Hope everyone is having a great Fall so far with lots of fun Halloween adventures.  If you have Halloween or Fall things to share on the link up that would be great, but anything family friendly goes.

Our linky winner last week was grilled-chicken-brusketta at Chaos With A Curve be sure to check it out!
Thanks for linking up.

For our drinky this week I wanted to feature this great IDEA.  I tried it this Summer and thought it was pretty awesome.  Although this time of year, I think I'd keep it warm/hot...
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Liked To:

Fluster Buster

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Winner of the Linky & Drinky #4

Holy brain fart.
Do you ever have those day's when you really start to wonder about yourself?
Is my blonde hair really shining through?  It's possible.

Did I smoke a bunch of pot in high school and forget about it?
No, but you would think so for as dumb as I've been today.

Did having 3 kids kill all my brain cells?!  Most likely.

So far today I've tried to get in someone else's van thinking it was mine.

Walked into the men's restroom.   Thank the Lord nobody was in there!!!

Posted my linky party late- and then I realized I didn't announce the winner from last week.  I'm super sorry about my case of Ditz.

It's a good thing I've got another desk job lined up, I really suck at this blogging stuff.  Apparently all the reading I've been catching up on isn't giving me any brain power.

On a positive note:  Last week's link up was the best one yet.  So maybe I should cut myself a little slack.

The link with the most views last week was ALMOND MILK ICE CREAM
from Making Our Sustainable Life  Thanks for linking up and congratulations!

Lunch Linky & Drinky #5

Staying home with little ones or sending picky eaters off to school can be challenging when it comes to lunch.
Left overs get boring, and it's hard enough to get kids to eat their dinner the first time.
I cant do sandwiches everyday either.
So here is my attempt at making lunch better.

Mini Kabobs
You could still use lunch meat and cheese, even bread if you wanted.  Pickles, olives, cherry tomatoes or whatever kinds of veggies your kids like.  You could do fruit and cheese too.
Or a pizza theme with pepperoni, olives and mozzarella.  Just slide it on toothpicks. 

Birds Nest
Build a nest out of spaghetti noodles/ or lettuce leaves and hard boiled eggs made to look like little birdies.
Use little pieces of carrots and olives for beak and eyes.
See inspiration HERE

Rainbow sandwich  or color themed...  You could pack a lunch in an egg carton picking a different color for each place or everything all the same color. 

Home style lunch-able
Sometimes making it "mini" is fun for the kids and switching out bread for crackers makes it seem all new and different. 

Slice up celery, carrots or bell peppers if your kids will eat them.  Whatever you can come up with for them to dip.  Could be hot dogs, chicken nuggets or bread sticks.   Give them different dipping options such as ranch, peanut butter or humus.

For more ideas, see my Pinterest board "If it gets my kids to eat better"...

And for our "drinky" this week try out this warm caramel-apple-cider!
4 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons caramel syrup
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix it all in together---stir, and cook on low for about 4 hours. 
Leftovers refrigerate and reheat well 

I also have a "juice" board on Pinterest.

Feel free to pin anything (family friendly) lunch ideas, snacks or drinks are especially welcome.  If you could link back to this post in your post I'd appreciate it a bunch.  I will pin each entry on Pinterest and announce the winner next week, so be sure to check back and see if it was you!
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Linked To:
Think%2520Tank%2520Thursday Welcome to Think Tank Thursday #51
Whip It Up Wednesday Handmade Linky Party

Fluster Buster

Monday, October 7, 2013

Cook with coupons

Now that' I'm staying home we've got to be a lot more frugal around here.
I've actually been when of those "coupon people" for a while.  I've gotten pretty good at it.
So I thought I'd share my successes and failures with coupon-ing.

Where to start...
There are a lot of ways to use coupons.
Everybody seems to adjust to what works best for them.

Things that work for me~
being organized
shopping the adds
meal planning
using a free website that does the hard work for you such as Grocery Smarts or pinching your penny
building your pantry/storage when things are on sale
or freezing food then "shopping from your starge"
double up your "winning" with store incentive programs- like Walgreen's register rewards
understanding store's coupon policies
subscribing to more than one paper- using multiple coupons (still only one coupon/item)

Things that don't work~
buying stuff (you're not going to use) just because it's on sale
or just using your coupons because you have them
letting your coupons expire
not reading your coupons- matching up the right products

A few things most people don't know about coupons:
The grocery stores make money off your coupons too.
If you donate what's left of your news paper others can benefit from it too, ask around.

Linked To:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Linky & Drinky #4

I was feeling "Fall vibes" yesterday. So we made homemade root beer. It's kind of become a tradition for us to do that this time of year.  Our friends got us started several years ago so my oldest was mad at me for doing it without them.  Shame on me!  We will have to make another batch with them I guess.

...Dry Ice...
enough said

 For me, it's worth making just to see the looks on their cute faces.
They yummy root beer is just a bonus.
It's kinda magical for the kids.
They LOVE it.

To make the root beer you basically need: water, sugar, dry ice and root beer extract.
Depending on the brand of extract you buy the ingredients may vary a little.  There is a recipe with the exact amounts on the bottle.  
 The only tricky part to this, is having a big enough container to make it in.  We like to make a big batch and then save the left over in recycled milk jugs.  You could share the leftovers with friends, or if you wanted to be a greedy butt you could probably even freeze it. 

 I also made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies... and we had apples dipped in caramel. We drug out the Halloween decorations from storage and my two year old tried on every costume we had.

Easiest cookies ever= package of spice cake mix + small can of pumpkin pie + chocolate chips= yummy.
Bake at 375* for about 9 minutes.  They are like fluffy little clouds of deliciousness.

And as if we didn't have enough treats, I bought two bags of candy while I was grocery shopping.

I'd love to have anyone link up with anything (family friendly that is) this week.
Last week was a bummer with only one link up.  So this week I'm leaving it open with no theme- share whatever you'd like!  I'm also going to leave the party open until next week.  Invite your friends to come link up with us.

 Linked To:

Fluster Buster
The Chicken Chick

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Linky & Drinky Party #3: Natural Remedies

Here's to staying healthy!
This week's linky party was inspired by being hit with my first cold of the season.  I hate going to to doctor and taking medications unless I'm desperate.  Especially right now, because I don't have insurance.

So I'm hoping you will share your "old tricks" when it comes to natural remedies.
*Please don't make me put in a disclaimer here about how non of us are doctors...duh.

You can link up anything you would like here.  Even if it's not related.   Please link to this post in your post.  Visit new friends and come back again next week.
I will pin each entry and announce the winner with the most views/ votes hopefully on Friday.  I'm trying to make a button for the winner, but it may not be ready this week.

When it comes to feeling better a few tricks I've learned are:
Rubbing Vick's vapor rub on the bottom of your feet and then putting on socks right before bedtime.
Cleaning your nose with hydrogen peroxide and then rubbing on some coconut oil for sore/dry nose is great.
Gargling warm salt water (do NOT drink).
Using natural oils and reflexology.

Using a humidifier or vaporizer.
Get plenty of rest.
Drink lots of fluids... which brings me to the "Drinky".

Sometimes the right drink can make all the difference in the world when you don't feel good.  My husbands grandma would make jello and severe it to them warm (although I'm pretty sure she would put in "something else").  If your kids are bad about taking medicine this is a good way to hide it.  I just added a little honey to help coat a sore throat.

Orange juice is great, or Sprite.  When you need something hot, chicken broth is nice.  I find that alternating between hot and cold helps too.

Shared With:

Fluster Buster
The Chicken Chick

Monday, September 23, 2013

Raspberry Layered Dessert

Bake a boxed cake mix as directed in a 9 x 13" pan.  Then let cool.
You could use any flavor but I recommend butter or white.

Whip together:
1/2 small container whip cream
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/2 cup sour cream
About 5 drops almond extract.

Spread out on top of cake.

Mix one box of Danish Dessert (Strawberry) and add 2 cups fresh raspberries or fruit of choice.
Make Danish dessert according to directions on box and using a large slotted spoon spread the fruit topping over the cake.  Refrigerate until set. 

Linked To:

Modern Hippie Momma

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Cookie Linky Winner

Hope you're all having a nice Sunday.  I'm sorry for the delay in announcing a winner to the link up.  I've been miserably sick with a bad head/chest cold.  I guess it's that time of year.

Thanks to all you you who linked up last week though.  It seems this is going to take a few rounds to figure out.  Last week we had pictures, and this week we didn't I guess I am going to have to pay $ for that or find another host who will do it for free.  I appreciate your patience with me in figuring it all out.  And I hope you will keep linking up each week.

The winner was oatmeal-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-snack-bites!  Thanks for sharing your yummy treat.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cookie Linky and Drinky Party

I regretted asking my husband what kind of cookies I should make when he said "oatmeal raisin".  They are my least favorite kind.  I don't mind them this time of year (read: if they have chocolate in them).  And every now and then I have to make something he likes or I would weigh 400 lbs.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
3 tablespoons apple butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup tiny chocolate chips

Bake by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheets at 375* for 10-12 minutes.

I know this is so lame and disappointing... but I can't think of what drink to go with this, other than milk!
If I come up with something good in the next day or two I will update.  Help me out!
If it counts for anything I did juice grapes today.

Linked To:

Happy 100th post!

I couldn't help but do a happy 100th post

Top ten most viewed:


Friday, September 13, 2013

End of Summer BBQ

One last hoorah with the grill before it gets put away sounded like a great idea to me.

A delicious rack of beef ribs-  I prefer pork, but the beef was on sale this week.
Fresh veggies from the garden &
Tasty Summer Salads
and of course, S'mores over the fire!

For the ribs- wash and cut into smaller sections or individual ribs.
Mix together: 1/4 cup brown sugar (not pictured), 1 1/2 tablespoons cayenne,  garlic and onion powders and 1 tablespoon black pepper.

They come out with a kick, so if you don't like the heat use less cayenne.

Rub the dry mix on the ribs then drizzle with Worcestershire sauce

Wrap in foil and bake at 250 for about 2 hours.

Then brush with BBQ sauce (I used Kraft) and put on the grill long enough to glaze.

They reminded me of those stupid stick family stickers people put on their back window.  hehehehe

For an easy coleslaw buy a bag of shredded cabbage. Then mix together a few heaping spoonfuls of mayo with a lid of lemon juice a pinch of sugar and a few splashes of pickle juice.

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