Showing posts from 2010

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Caramel Corn

Join us for Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed with Grace.
Normally on Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays I share my own recipes, but unfortunately I just haven't had much time lately to cook and I just couldn't resist this recipe.
When I logged onto my blog reader today I found this Caramel Corn recipe at Full Bellies, Happy Kids and just had to try it.  Not only is this a simple and easy recipe but I have all of the ingredients for it in my cabinet. 
Next time I make it though I am going to try adding some peanuts or pecans to it.

Menu Plan Monday - October 18th to 24th

This week I have a ton of ground beef to use up this week, I have had it in my freezer for a while now and I am afraid that it will go bad if I don't use it.  So this week is full of recipes that use ground beef.
Here's what I have planned
Tuesday - Basic Crockpot Chili
Wednesday - Vegetable Soup with Hamburger
Thursday - Smoked Sausage Au Gratin Recipes  (the only non-ground beef recipe this week)
Friday - Sloppy Joes, Mashed Potatoes
Saturday - Visiting My Mom
Sunday - Eating Out After Church

Menu Plan Monday - October 11th to 17th

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
As many of you know a few months ago I went back to work and subsequently started neglecting my blog.  I know bad, bad blogger.  I knew the job I took wasn't ideal for my family but I needed a job, and I knew it would work until I could find the job that I really wanted.  After waiting (not so patiently I am afraid) and much praying I have finally found a new job that is perfect for my family.  Monday through Friday from 8 to 5, which means no weekends or nights away from my family.  It is really what I need.  I am hoping that not only does this new job mean more family time for me but that it also means more blogging time because I really have missed you all.  This will also mean more simple suppers throughout the week, stuff I can put together the night before or cook in the crockpot. 
Here's what I have planned for this week:
Monday - Italian Sausage with Green Peppers and Onions
Tuesday - Bubble's volleyball ga…

Free, Free, and More Free!

There's nothing that I like more than getting something for free so I thought that I would share these great deals with you all!

Jules Gluten Free is offering a free Thanksgiving Gluten Free Recipes Book which you can get hereby entering the code "thanks10".

Rite Aid is offering a free 8x10 or two 5x7's with a coupon that you can print here.  If you order online make sure that you select in-store pickup so that you can use the coupon!

And if you are looking for a studio portrait you can go to to print out a coupon to get a Free Portrait Package from Olan Mills which includes one 8x10, two 5x7's, 8 wallets and fifty percent off an additional picture purchase.  You can also print out a coupon from Sears to get a free Halloween photo collage, no session fee, and twenty percent off your picture purchase.  You can print out both couponshere.

Menu Plan Monday - September 27th to October 2nd

This week there is no time for me to go to the grocery store so it will be a week of cooking from the pantry, so it means a little creativity on my part this week.
Monday - Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry (left over from last week)
Tuesday -Cheeseburger Pasta (a new recipe)
Wednesday - Cod Fillets, French Fries, and Hushpuppies
Thursday - Basic Crockpot Chili
Friday - Crockpot Italian Sasuage with Green Peppers and Onions (Recipe to Come Soon)
Saturday - Eating Out After Church
Sunday - Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Baked Beans, Parmesan and Herb Roasted Red Potatoes

Menu Plan Monday, September 20th to 26th

Boy, it's been a while since I have been here.  Oh how I have missed you all!  It's been a crazy few months for our family.  It is so hard to adjust to being a working mom after staying at home for so many years.  One of the things that has fallen by the wayside lately is our menu plan, and I can definetly tell.  I really have to get back to planning our menu each week, trying to determine what everyone will eat at the last minute is driving me insane and is actually costing us a fortune in last minute food purchases.
So what better time than the present to get back in the habit.
Here's what I have planned for this week:
Tuesday - Papa Johns fundraiser for school, ordering pizza
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Beef Fajitas, using this recipes with sirloin steaks instead of pork chops
Thursday - Crab Cakes Using Imitation Crab Meat
Friday - Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry
Saturday - Eating Out After Church
Sunday - Sesame Pork Ribs

Easy Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

3 to 5 pound Sirloin Roast
3 Green Peppers (cut into slices)
1 onion (cut into slices)
2 Cups beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
Provolone Cheese Slices
Hoagie Rolls
1.  Place Sirloin Roast in Crockpot and add in green peppers, onions, beef broth, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
2.  Cook on low for about 8 hours or high for about 4 to 5 hours.
3.  Remove the roast from crockpot, and use a food processor to chop it up.  You will have to cut the roast up to fit it into the food processor.
4.  Once the roast has been chopped in the food processor return it to the juices in the crockpot and stir.
5.  Scoop meat onto hoagie rolls, trying to remove as much of the juice as possible.  Put a slice of Provolone cheese on top of the meat.
6.  Toast sandwich in oven for 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Menu Plan Monday: August 16th - 22nd

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Well, we survived the first week of school and my first week back to work pretty well.  We only missed a couple of items on last week's menu, which is good for us even on a normal week. 
Here's what I have planned for this week:
Monday - Country Fried Pork Chops with white gravy, Mashed Potatoes
Tuesday -Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday - doctor's appointment, so we will be ordering pizza
Thursday - Stuffed Green Peppers
Friday - Eating Out
Saturday - Smoked Sausage Au Gratin Skillet
Sunday - Dry Rub Chicken with Honey Barbecue Sauce, Cheesy Hot Potatoes

Salmon Croquettes or Salmon Patties - Whatever You Want to Call Them

My kids love salmon croquettes, although they are called salmon patties around our house.  I don't mind making them either because they are easy to make.  We don't eat them a lot but when we do they are always received with a warm welcome.

2 cans of salmon
2 cups bread crumbs
3 eggs

1.  Prepare your bread crumbs.  I use a food processor and about 4-5 slices of bread to make 2 cups.

2.  After opening the cans of salmon, drain the juice and remove the black skin (or as much of it as you can).  Mix it with the 3 eggs and bread crumbs.  If mixture is too soggy or too dry you can add in more eggs or bread crumbs.  

3.  Make patties out of the salmon mixture. 
4.  Heat about 3 inches of canola oil in a skillet.  Once oil is heated, fry salmon patties until they are golden brown on each side.
My husband loves these with white gravy over them but they are also good just the way they are.

Menu Plan Monday - August 9th to 15th

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As I have mentioned before this summer has been a season of change for us, and the change is continuing full speed ahead.  Our oldest son is living with his grandparents so that he can attend the school we feel is best for him, I am starting a new job on Monday, and the kids start school on Tuesday.   Unfortunately, I don't see a slow down in sight.  Hence, the early Menu Plan Monday.  Here's what I have planned for this week:
Monday - Italian Sausages with Green Peppers and Onions
Tuesday - Eating Out
Wednesday - Johnny Rib Sandwiches, French Fries
Thursday - Stuffed Green Peppers
Friday - Family Game Night - Homemade Pizzas using this recipe for the sauce, and this herbed pizza crust 
Saturday -  Country Fried Steaks with white gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Corn
Sunday - Buttermilk Fried Chicken (Absolutely the BEST chicken recipe ever),Parmesan and Herb Roasted Red Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

Stuffed Green Peppers

We have had an overwhelming abundance of green peppers in our garden this summer, and one of my favorite ways to use them up is to make stuffed green peppers. 
There are plenty of stuffed green pepper recipes all across the Internet but my husband is so picky that typical recipes won't work for us.  For one thing he doesn't like rice, so we definetly leave that out.  Here's how we make ours:

6 large peppers
2 pounds hamburger
2 tablespoons worshestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 small onion chopped
1 can Hunts meatloaf seasoning (see below)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Remove tops and seeds from washed green peppers.

2.  Use a paring knife to cut 3 small slits in the bottom of each pepper.  I do this to allow the grease from the hamburger to drain.

3.  In a large bowl mix together hamburger, worshestershire sauce, chili powder and onion.

4.  Stuff each pepper with hamburger mixture and place in a casserole dish.

5.  Pour Hunts Meatloaf seasoning …

Menu Plan Monday - August 2nd - 8th

I am extremely sad, the freedom and tranquility of summer is drawing to a close for us.  In just one week my little ones will be heading back off to school.  Instead of enjoying this last week of freedom we will be busy, busy, busy, with school orientation, doctors appointments, dentist appointments, back to school shopping, the list goes on and on.  Needless, to say, there won't be much cooking going on here.
Monday - Chili Dogs
Tuesday - Eating Out
Wednesday - Slow Cooker Steak Fajitas, using this recipe with steak instead of pork
Thursday - Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry
Friday - Eating Out
Saturday - Potato Soup
Sunday - Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak, Hoagie Buns made using this Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe

Menu Plan Monday - July 26th through August 1st

Join us for Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.
Summer seems to have really given my organizational skills a kick in the pants.  I can't get my coupons organized, stick to a menu plan, or even stay on schedule.  It's been horrible.  The kids go back to school in two weeks, so I am hoping that will help to return our house to more of a routine.  Last week we were not able to get to everything on our menu plan so they will be making a return appearance this week.
Monday - Salmon Croquets, Scalloped Potatoes, Baked Beans
Tuesday - Steaks, Restaurant Style Smashed PotatoesYummy Dinner Rolls
Wednesday - Sloppy Joes, Homemade Hamburger Buns
Thursday - Beef Tips and Gravy, Yummy Dinner Rolls
Friday - Bali Maki, White Rice
Saturday - Eating Out
Sunday - Italian Sausage with Green Peppers and Onions

Roasted Salsa Recipe for Canning

I love fresh salsa, and have always used the same recipe for years, however it is quite a labor intensive recipe.  Yesterday I had quite a few tomatoes to use up, and knew that using my regular salsa recipe would take me all day so instead of using my normal recipe I went for a roasted recipe that was much less work and tasted great.
About 7 to 8 pounds of tomatoes (I used a mixture of Roma and Celebrity)
Several hot peppers (I used a mix of Chile, Cayenne, and Kung Pao)
7 large green peppers
3 large onions
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup of lime juice
4 tablespoons minced garlic
One of the reasons that a roasted salsa is so much easier is that it doesn't require a lot of chopping, the vegetables just need a rough chop.

  Cut tomatoes up into chunks.  For the Romas I just cut the tomatoes in half, and with the Celebrities I cut them into quarters.  I left the peel on them.

  I like a hot salsa, if you don't like a hot salsa you can skip the hot peppers.  I used a ha…

Menu Plan Monday - July 19th to 25th

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It's been another hot and busy week around here.  We have been busy working in the garden, canning, and freezing.  This week is going to be a weird week for us.  My oldest son is currently staying with his grandparents, and my youngest daughter will be leaving for camp, which means we will only have two kids home.  I don't think I even know how to cook for four people anymore! 
Here's what I have planned for us this week:
Monday - Chili Dogs ( I know not the most nutritious but they are quick and easy!)
Tuesday - 2 doctors appointments so we will be eating out
Wednesday - Hamburgers, Baked Beans, Seasoned Potatoes
Thursday - Roasted Spaghetti Sauce (look for recipe soon), Italian Herb Rolls
Friday - Bali Maki (look for recipe soon), white rice
Saturday -  Italian Sausage with Green Peppers and Onions
Sunday - Beef Tips and Gravy, Yummy Dinner Rolls

Homemade Rotel for Canning

Many of you know that I have just recently discoveredRotel, and instantly fell in love with it.  With my tomatoes from my garden just starting to come in I decided to can my own homemade version of Rotel, and it turned out great.  Here is how I did it.
1.  First you will want to blanche and peel your tomatoes as I described in this post.
2.  Next chop up your tomatoes you will need about one gallon of chopped tomatoes for this recipe.

2.  Add in 1/4 cup cut up Chile peppers (I used red but green will work as well), 2 cups of diced green peppers, one large diced onion (canned Rotel doesn't have onions in it so you can leave them out if you want but I wanted onions in mine), 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 1/2 cups sugar.

3.  Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to thicken.  Once it begins to thicken remove the Rotel from heat.
4.  You are now ready to fill your jars.  Since you are putting hot Rotel into the jars you will want to heat the jars before filling them.  I…

Blanching and Peeling Fresh Tomatoes

I have finally gotten my first tomatoes from my garden, and I am super excited!  Yesterday was the first time I finally had enough to do anything with, and I thought it would be the perfect time to share how I blanche and peel my tomatoes for freezing and canning. 
Before I start I want to apologize for the bad quality of my pictures.  I had my husband and 7 year old son helping so I didn't get the chance to get as many pictures or as many good pictures as I had hoped.  I plan to replace these later.
1.  Rinse and clean tomatoes.
2.  Place a large pot of water on stove to bring to a boil.
3.  While water is coming to a boil you will want to cut the stems out of the tops of the tomatoes.  I also cut out bad spots or bruises at this time.

4.  Flip tomato over and cut a small "x" on the bottom of the tomato.

5.  Once water has began boiling fill a sink with cold water and ice.
6.  Place tomatoes in boiling water and let them sit in it for one minute.  I only put a few at a…

Menu Plan Monday - July 12th to July 18th

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It's been quite a while since I have blogged.  It's been a busy few weeks around here, and we have been undergoing some major changes as a family.  On top of all that we are busy with our garden, and I have lots of great recipes to share.  So be looking for some great new recipes over the next few weeks - including some freezing and canning recipes.
So here is my menu for the week:
Monday - Chili Dogs
Tuesday - Kikkoman Chinese Pepper Steak (using peppers from my garden) with white rice
Wednesday - Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Bread Machine French Bread
Thursday - Crockpot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes (using potatoes from my garden!)
Friday - Chicken Cordon Bleu, Restaurant Style Smashed Potatoes
Saturday - Hamburgers, Macaroni and Cheese
Sunday - Steaks, The Best Baked Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms, Yummy Dinner Roll Recipe
Sometime this week we will be trying the Pioneer Woman's Panko Mozzarella Sticks.

Menu Plan Monday, June 14 - 20

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As I mentioned last week, I am attending continuing education classes this month.  Last week was my first week, and it truly kicked my butt.  I was sooo tired by the time I made it home, and then trying to go to ball games on top of that was just exhausting.  Last week was classroom training, and the next two weeks will be clinical time so I am sure that it will be just as hard on me.  Since I didn't attempt a meal plan last week, I figured it would be an awful week but it really wasn't that bad.  We had a lot of sandwiches, and easy meals though.  This week will more than likely be just as simple.
Monday - Chili Con Queso
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Breasts with Honey Barbecue Sauce, Seasoned Potatoes
Wednesday - Omelets (made by my husband)
Thursday - Smoked Sausage Au Gratin Skillet Dinner
Friday - Salt and Pepper Pork Chops, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn
Saturday - Birthday Party, eating out
Sunday - Salmon Patties (recipe co…

Menu Plan Monday - June 7th to 13th

Guess what?  There is no menu plan this week!  That's right no menu plan!  Can you believe it?  I will be taking some continuing education classes over the next three weeks, the first of which starts at 8 AM in the morning.  I am not looking forward to them, I don't want to go, but unfortunately I have to.  I had totally planned on having my grocery shopping done, and a full week of easy meals planned out for the week, but you know what happens to the best laid plans don't you?  Instead of planning out menus, doing laundry, and cleaning house this weekend in preparation for this week I spent the weekend enjoying my kids.  So this week we will be flying by the seat of our pants.
Hope you all have a great week!

The Summer of No Pants Sewing Challenge - Week Two

Well, I hope Marigold's a woman of her word because she promised us that she wouldn't send anyone to break our legs if we didn't get our skirts done one week, and guess what I didn't get my skirt finished the weekend.  I took my kids swimming instead!  Yep, that's right I totally played hookey! 
Yesterday, I worked on my skirt, and as I was finishing it up I decided it needed to be lined.  The fabric was a little thinner than I expected and you could almost see through it.  I had picked a light pink cotton fabric, which my daughter said was too young looking for me to which I responded I was young, and of course that brought on some serious eye rolling which was followed by a "Yeah right, mom".  The fabric has off-white and brown swirls, so I am lining it with some off-white fabric that I found in my stash.

Frugal Friday - Gift Ideas

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I am all about frugal gifts, for friends, family, my kids, no one is exempt from frugal gifts.  In my house we have a huge "gift drawer".  Throughout the year I fill the drawer with items that I find at great prices, and as a holiday/birthday/other gift giving event comes up I pull it out of the drawer.  For my husband's nephew's birthday we gave him a bottle of Mustang cologne and a Fender guitar strap.  The guitar strap was found on clearance at Meijer for $3.25 and the cologne (which normally retails for around $30) was found on clearance at Wal-Mart for $6.50.  So I had less than $10 in his gifts.  Did they mean less to him?  No!  It meant the same as if I had paid full price.
Here are some of the places that I find great gifts for my gift drawer:
1.  Clearace shelves Always search the clearance shelves, and search them in every department.   Little girls love makeup and nail polish, clothes are perfect for any age, househol…

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

We have really been using our ice cream freezer since the warmer weather has hit.  This past weekend was my nephew's birthday, and for his party we decided to make peach ice cream.  The recipe is very similiar to my Homemade Pineapple Ice Cream Recipe and is just as good.
4 Eggs (You can use an egg substitute) 2 cups white sugar 2 twelve ounce cans evaporated milk fourteen ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 can peaches whole milk
1.  Drain juice off of peaches, and cut peaches into small pieces.
2.  Using an electric mixer cream eggs and sugar.
3.  Add in evanporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract.
4.  Stir in cut up peaches.
5.  Place mixture into ice cream freezer, and add enough whole milk to make mixture reach fill line.
6.  Mix according to your ice cream freezers manufacturers instructions.
I am linking this post to

Cooking Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Wordless Wednesday

Oh, how I wish I could fall asleep this easily!

Works For Me Wednesday - Mom, I'm Bored

It's Work for Me Wednesday, and this week the theme is "Mom, I'm Bored", so after you read my post hop on over to Kristin's blog atWe are Theat Family for all kinds of ideas on how to beat the summer boredom blues. 
Last week, I shared some ideas with you on how to keep the kids busy this summer without breaking the budget.  So this summer our weeks will consist of going to the free movies at least once if not twice a week, going bowling once or twice a week with the Kids Bowl Free program, and of course we will go to the pool at least once or twice a week.  Then there is softball, baseball, VBS, and park playdates to keep us busy but even with all of that I will still inevitably hear the words "Mom, I'm Bored".  However, I am prepared this year.  We have introduced a treasure chest this year as a reward for good behavior, and helping out around the house but I have created a special "Summer Boredom Beater Treasure Chest" for this summer. …

And The Simplicity Pattern Winner Is....

Missbossypants!  I have sent you an email!

Rotel Crock Pot Chicken - Stephanie's Version

My husband is a very picky eater.  He grew up in a family where if you said you didn't like something you had to eat the entire bowl of it, it was not an environment that was conducive to experimenting with different foods or trying new things.  I think that it was has made him so paticular about what he eats.  Over the past few years I have been able to push him outside of his comfort zone here and there when it comes to food, but not too often and not without a fight.  The bad thing is that this plays a part in what recipes I can and can not fix, since there are recipes that I just can not tweak enough to get him to eat.  In the past I have created seperate dishes for us, but that's just too much work!  This week I found Amber's recipe for Rotel Crock Pot Chicken, and knew I really wanted to try it but I knew there was no way he would do the black beans or avacados.  Luckily, this recipe was easy enough for me to tweak to his liking.
I have increased the recipe to feed ou…

Menu Plan Monday, May 31st to June 6th

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Happy Memorial Day! 
Next week is my mega grocery shopping week for the month, so this week is the week that I will be using up what's in my freezer.  So my recipe choices may seem a little crazy but that's because they are using my pantry items.
Monday - Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Bread Machine French Bread
Tuesday - Eating Out
Wednesday - Roast Beef and Gravy, Restaurant Style Smashed Potatoes, Yummy Dinner Rolls
Thursday - Hamburgers with Bread Machine Hamburger Buns, Seasoned Potatoes, Baked Beans
Friday - Baked Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Golden Sweet Cornbread
Saturday - Eating Out After Church
Sunday - Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage, Cheddar Bay Biscuits

The Summer of No Pants Skirt Sewing Challenge - Week One

As I mentioned last week I am participating in The Summer of No Pants Skirt Sewing Challenge that Marigold is hosting at Hideous!  Dreadful!  Stinky!
Here is the skirt that I made this week for the first week of the challenge

This was the first skirt I have ever made for myself.  I have made skirts for the kids, but I have never made a skirt for myself.  I'm not really a skirt person, but I really want to be.  I think that's why the challenge appeals to me. 
Part of the challenge was to make one skirt from your fabric stash, make one skirt a reconstruction out of old clothes, and to make one with a non-elastic waist.  This was my skirt made from material from my fabric stash.  It's a knit fabric that I snagged out of a remnant bin a while back for next to nothing.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted it.  By the way, did I mention that I despise working with knit?  Absolutely despise it. 
I used Simplicity pattern number 3634 for the skirt.  It&#…

It's Too Hot to Go Outside Let's Sew!

It's incredibly hot and muggy outside today, so I have decided the best thing to do today is to stay inside in the air conditioning and spend my day sewing.  Sounds like a great day to me!
I am almost finished with my first skirt for the Summer of No Pants sewing challenge, and have found another sew along that I am going to have to join in as well.

Kelly at {Make} is hosting a wonderful Bag sew along.  Over the next eight weeks participants will construct a matching bag, toiletries pouch, mini cosmetics roll, Sunglasses/Glasses/Phone Case, an "Extras" pouch, and a Keyring decoration/zipper pull.  Kelly will be using a charm pack to create the projects but also suggests using it as a scrap buster project.
You can check learn more about Kelly's bag sew along here.