Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pinterest, and a Whole Lot of Cross Stitch!

I know I have said this before but, Pinterest is awesome!  You can find anything out about everything DIY (Do it Yourself), some inspirational quotes, food, food and more food, most with recipes but even more with mouth-watering pictures, and for me, lots and lots of cross stitch.  Some of what I find are just pictures, some cute, some not so cute, but my favorite are the ones with color charts.  I have printed off a lot of those.  Putting the copies away for a later date to make for myself, for friends, for gifts and the like. 

There is a recipe for Lavender Laundry Detergent that I have been making for almost a year for our family.  It is so amazing to spend $20-$25 on a large batch of powdered detergent that lasts our family of four for almost five months, instead of the same amount for "good" quality name brand laundry detergent that lasts just about one month. 

So many of the recipes that I have for food is for casseroles and breads, of all different kinds.  One of my favorite ones that I have yet to try is for Pretzel Rolls.  They seem to be the "in" thing now.  Every place from fast food to fancier locales are serving these in differing capacities.

I have learned from different links how to clean our shower doors, whiten a bed cover, re purpose  even the most mundane household items and give them new life. 

Check it out, but be warned, Pinterest is so addictive!

Friday, October 11, 2013

An Ol' Standby...Tuna Casserole

I told a friend today that I was planning on making tuna casserole for dinner tonight, and she gave me a suggestion as an addition for creaminess and I thought I would try it. 

I started with a 24 oz. package of egg noodles and got them boiling according to the package directions.

In a medium sized bowl, I combined the following:

2 sm. cans of cream of chicken soup mix (cream of mushroom will work also)
1 can worth of milk
2 small cans of canned tuna fish
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
A dash of pepper to taste
The new addition...1/2 cup mayonnaise ( I used name brand salad dressing, but next time I will try a favorite name brand mayo)

Once the noodles were half cooked and then drained, I added the tuna mixture to the drained noodles, and combined them.  Then I transferred the mixture to a casserole dish and added additional shredded cheese a top it all.  Then it baked in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  My friend suggested adding french fried onions at this point and baking for another 15-20, which I did not have so I just checked on it, and let it bake for another 10 minutes. 

She was right, the casserole did not come out of the oven dry at all.  It was plenty creamy, and that is a good thing, especially if you are planning on leftovers.  The next time I make this though, I will use actual mayo.  I am sure if you prefer salad dressing instead that is fine, there is that "tangy zip" to it. 

The recipe above would comfortably feed a family of five or six with an extra helping or two I am sure.

Holiday Desserts...shortcuts!

I have decided on a Dessert theme for this coming Thanksgiving Dinner, with a few exceptions.  There will be the traditional pumpkin pie, and a concoction favored by my husband's family with graham cracker crust, and some jello-ish topping that reminds me of tapioca.  But the features of the dessert will be bite-sized, and finger food inspired.  Petite fours with different flavors, chocolate covered nuts, English toffee, and pumpkin, chocolate, and red velvet whoopie pies.

Yes, I will make from scratch some of the items, but my intention is to purchase most of it.  The petite fours are always well packaged when someone else does them, and the chocolate covered nuts, and toffee are less time consuming when purchased, but I will take care of the whoopie pies, and the pumpkin pies.

I know that I could do like others do and spend the week prior to Thanksgiving doing all of the baking of desserts, but why?  When there are perfectly good bakeries that are more than happy to take care of that for me.  So, that is my shortcut...shh, don't tell, ha, ha!

My home will smell plenty delicious on Thanksgiving with the Baked Ham, Roasted Turkey, and the other aromas that will join in.

Do you have any shortcuts for any meals that you use?  Holiday or no those shortcuts are pretty smart aren't they?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Upcoming Family Get Together...

How many of you plan to have family and mostly extended family at your home this year for a holiday meal?  I do.  Not that I was looking forward to it or really wanted to do it, but I offered.  Inspite of my dear, sweet, amazing husband saying that I was going to regret doing it, and that this would not be a good idea.  But, for the last several years, with only a few exceptions we have had my husband's family holiday meals at one of two places.  Both of which are not an option this year.  One in particular is the reason for my offering our home.  The indoor animals.  I have a brother-in-law who will be visiting, and he is severely allergic to cats.  So, if the meal was to be at this location, he would be unable to spend the day with his wife and daughter, and be forced to go wherever else he could to avoid the pets. 

So, enter my suggestion...I offered our home, our somewhat limited space, but yet without the threat of animal hair and dander, not matter how much you scrub, sweep and vacuum, home.  I offered, expecting to be declined, rather abruptly actually, but that did not happen.  Instead, I was told, rather rudely, "So, I hear we are having Thanksgiving here..." 

But, inspite of ill feelings and distain from family members, I refuse to stoop to that level, and I will put a smile on my face, prepare an amazing meal, that I will end up doing almost entirely on my own, I have a feeling, even though I will ask politely for some assistance with a few things.  I will plan as if I am doing it alone, and clean my home, without assistance from a cleaning lady, and I will locate many more tables and chairs, and set them up, where I see fit, and I even plan on making small gifts for each person, as a welcome to my home, Happy Thanksgiving gift.  I am even planning a slightly larger, more meaningful gift for my Mother-in-Law. 

And, I will do my best to smile and endure through the ordeal.  I will not let them see that their comments are hurtful, and that their looks are mean, and that I am hurt by their actions in any way.

My Sister-in-Law and her husband deserve to be together and be able to visit with family without having to suffer, so I will focus on their happiness.

I have even started planning a menu of sorts, and have already purchased a Ham, and my one Sister-in-Law has offered to make Cornbread Stuffing, her husband's favorite, and bring some specialty mashed potatoes.  That pretty much leaves the preparation of the ham and turkey to me, along with a couple of sides and desserts.  Piece of cake, right?  We shall see.

My question is...what is you "family favorite" recipe that is a "must-have" during a holiday?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

P, B & J and the First Day of First Grade!

Okay, okay...I made my new first grader P, B & J for her first day of school, but in my defense, she likes it.  We don't usually have this kind of sandwich, so it actually was kind of a treat for her.  Plus, her lunch was actually healthier than usual, the sandwich, grapes and some canned pears, with a juice box.

I wasn't sure how much hot lunch was going to cost us, so I packed her a lunch.  But, starting tomorrow, she will be having hot lunch daily from school with the occasional cold lunch.  I know that back when my parents and grandparents were in school, everyone brought their own lunches from home, but I am glad that a hot school lunch is offered.

Another change from last school year, my first grader will also be riding the school bus.  Last year, I drove her to and from school daily...yes, daily.  But, this afternoon, and each morning and afternoon from here on out, unless otherwise unavoidable, she will be riding the bus.  I am so excited.  She knows a lot of the kids on her bus, so that should not be a problem, and the best part...I won't be losing an hour a day plus driving to the school, waiting and then driving home... yippee!

A question for each of you then is, what was your child's first day of school like for you?  Did you get a lot done, housework, grocery shopping, etc. Or did you rest, relax, recuperate from summer vacation, or just take a nap?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Most recent project...(s)...

Good Afternoon All!

I have been really, really busy.  I am embarking on a wondrous and mystifying adventure...one into the world of homemade and hand crafted items.  I cross stitch and have done so for over 30 years now.  Some members of my family and I, three total, have decided to put our talents to good use and share them with others.  More on that at a later date!

The following pictures are a few of the assortment of items that I have personally been working on.

Koi Fish cross stitched on what will be a cloth diaper.

An assorted theme of ornaments.

An assortment of stocking ornaments.

I truly love to cross stitch.  It is a passion of mine you could say.  I love the hunt for the perfect pattern/chart.  I love especially finding patterns for a bargain, ones that are found in a used book store, or even better, ones given to me by friends and family!  I enjoy the process of making the items,  when I complete a project, there is immense satisfaction, and not so much some when I discover a mistake that requires a lot of back tracking.  I enjoy wrapping the finished project up, and watching my intended recipient open the gift, and seeing the amazement on their face, and the happiness they display when they realize that their gift was made with love and that they are cherished by me. 

Whatever your passion is, embrace it, enjoy every minute, and better yet...share it with others!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Exciting Opportunity!

I have been given a great opportunity!  I know a few author's who write LDS Fiction, and I enjoy their books and consider them among my favorite author's and stories, but this opportunity is pretty cool also.

I am also a big fan of the more main-stream author Debbie Macomber.  She writes a lot of relationship fiction and that is actually my favorite genre in the Romance Category of Fiction.  Within her books, I do not have to worry about inappropriate scenes, and unnecessary language.  Much like what I find in the LDS Fiction that I read, she writes more wholesome stories.  I cheer for the characters in her books and much like the other author's I enjoy, I get impatient while I wait for her next book to be released.  I often find myself re-reading some of her books while I am waiting for the new one to arrive.  Much as I do with other favorite stories.  I even re-read the entire Cedar Cove Series in preparation for the TV Series to be released on the Hallmark Channel.  Nerd, I know, but I have no problem with that!

Yea! I am a Fan Ambassador for Debbie!  This is so exciting!  I look forward to the opportunities that this will bring, though probably small, I will enjoy every moment! 

Whether you read a book that you purchased from a book store, an online outlet, or borrowed from a friend or family member or checked out from the local library, or if you downloaded an e-book, enjoy! Books are wonderful and take everyone who reads them off to a land of adventure or intrigue for a few hours! Reading is so fun and worth every penny!