Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I Will Be Back

I am writing this for my mom.  She hurt her neck/back and hasn't been able to get on the computer for over a week.  She wanted me to write and say hopefully she will be feeling better soon and will be able to post.  She has a few great recipes she wants to share!!

Friday, November 26, 2010


WELCOME NEW FOLLOWER,  MEGAN!  I am glad you stayed after visiting.  Thank-you!

(Only 7 followers away from a drawing for some of "MY FAVOURITE THINGS").

"Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."  Doctrine and Covenants 59:7

14 November - 21 November, 2010

#1  We had a boutique at our house last Saturday.  We think it went pretty well considering it was a first year boutique.  Everyone made money.  And the socializing was fun, too.  We are planning to do it again next year.  I made A LOT of my Mexican Meatball soup and... 

#2 ..we had some soup (and other food) left from the boutique on Saturday.  It made me very happy to have left overs for dinner during the week.

#3  Sunday was a wonderful day.  Church was great.  (Stake conference and I always like the Saturday night meeting, too :)  But the best part was that mom decided mid-week to celebrate November birthdays on Sunday.  I was so tired after a busy week, and mom made made all the main food.  Thank-you so much, Mom.  It was really a treat for me this week.  (And not even my birthday.)

#4  I FINALLY GOT A PERM!  I have (really) needed one for about 1 month, but was putting it off until closer to the holidays.

#5  I had my semi-annual Dr. appointment.  My cholesterol was was 206.  Yea for me.  (i never miss taking the stupid medicines I hate.  I know.  Two words we don't use.))  Some of my numbers are not good, BUT SOME ARE:)

#6  Play date was fun.  We took the kids to JUNGLE JIM'S in the Fort Union area (Salt Lake, UT)  We got our kid's tickets thru SCREAMIN DAILY DEALS for only $4.00 each.  (Adults are free.)
Most of the time we were the only ones there.  The workers were happy (and nice) about running the rides for our kids.  ($4.00 (regularly $8.95) bought a wrist band for unlimited rides. ( There are video games/games that use tokens that are not included.  We did not use them.))  The kids really had fun.  We think the rides are geared to ages 2-6.  Our kids are in that range. 
We liked that each ride had benches where we could watch the kids.
For lunch we bought corn dogs and a pitcher of root beer.  It was reasonably priced.

#7  Wednesday night we went to see Hillcrest High's production of "Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella".  It is one of our family favourites.  (We have the Julie Andrews version, the Leslie Ann Warren version and the Brandy version.  Yea, we like it ;) 
Hillcrest always does a very nice job with their musicals.  (They use LOTS of students for a full production.)  Their backdrops/scenery were great.  PLUS, we got to see 3 nieces/cousins that were in it.  VERY NICE, HOMERS.

#8  BYU won the football game.  That meands (I think) that we will get to be in a bowl game.  And (maybe) go to a bowl game.

#9  Leslie's hold at the library finally came, and I am reading the new John Grisham book, "THE CONFESSION".  (For the first time E V E R I am reading 4 (very different) books at the same time.)


(I made a new recipe for Thanksgiving Day at Grandma and Grandpa's.  I loved it, and will post it this week :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday.  I love the anticipation, preparation, socialization...

First of all, here is how I organize. 
1.  I have a master menu list.  It lists everything I take to my in-laws on Thanksgiving day, and everything I make/serve when I redo Thanksgiving Day on the Sunday after Thanksgiving (at our home).

2.  My next list lists the dish I prepare, followed by all the ingredients.  This makes it easy when I start cooking, and I can be sure I have everything.

3.  My third list is my master grocery shopping list.  Besides listing what I need (example-11 bananas), I list what they are for (8-2 frozen fruit salads, 3 jello).  I do that in case I have a new recipe plan and need more, or am leaving a recipe out this year.  I take a copy of my shopping list to the store, as well as a copy of my menu.  If I pick something up on sale or already have it, I just cross it off before shopping.  It also includes everyone's favourite pies.

4.  I have a copy of every recipe that I will or may use.  (Also written on the recipe is any other cookbook that it is written in, and who and when I got it.)  If I have any recipes that I have found thru the year/season, they are there, too.

5.  All of the above are in a page protector, in the back of my main binder cook book.  (It is one that I write my recipes in.)

With everything organized, I am ready to go.
One of my favourite recipes is one that that I got from my sister-in-law, Kristin, in 1999.
Don't ignore this recipe just because you don't like cranberries.  It is really good.  We serve it as a side dish with the turkey, and it is sooo good on the planned-over turkey sandwiches.  And, if you have more left, make a jello salad.
This recipe makes a good amount so I always send some home with a sister-in-law.

CRANBERRY SALSA (I make this the day before and chill over night to blend the flavours.)

1 bag of cranberries-washed and chopped small in the food processor
5 apples-UN peeled and finely chopped
1 can crushed pineapple-well drained
1 - 1 1/2 cups sugar

Mix, cover and chill.
This is bright and pretty, also.  If you try this, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Another long time recipe that I make is a cheese ball.  I have used this recipe for AT LEAST 15 years.  (Can you believe that one of my daughters asked me if she could make and take it this year???)  I have many cheese ball recipes that I have collected thru the years - but I always use this one.

CHEESE BALL (This is from my mom-in-laws friend, Eileen.)  It makes 2 cheese balls

2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese-softened
1 tea. lemon juice
1/2 tea. garlic salt
1 tea. onion salt
2 table. mayonnaise
Mix all of this well.  Then add
1 1/2 cups grated (cheddar) cheese
1 table. dry parsley

Chill well (like overnight ;) and then form into 2 cheese balls.  Roll in chopped walnuts, lightly pressing them in.  (Sometimes I don't because some kidults don't like nuts.  No nuts on this one.)

If you have any questions (or a comment) you can use the "comments"or my email.I am trying a new cranberry dessert recipe tomorrow that I will share if it passes.  I will also add pictures to this post, and do MY 10 THINGS list.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My sister-in-laws Relief Society (women's church group) is doing a fun activity Tuesday night.  They all chose (and paid for) the kinds of pies they want to make (for Thursday) and are getting together to "assembly line" them.  Fun, huh!

I am having my book club at my house on December 1st, so have lots of Christmas up already.  (I like the trees up by Thanksgiving anyway ;-)  I do have a few things up for Thanksgiving.

I LOVED this idea and FREE PRINTABLE from http://craftily-ever-after.blogspot.com/.  You can print it from her 12 November, 2010 post.  THANK-YOU VERY MUCH, craftily ever after.  (The lighting is bad because I only have the tree lights on.)

This was a cheap and easy table display.  The flower arraingment is made with artificial flowers.  They are in a paper bag that has been folded down, tied with raffia and spray painted.  (Inside is a block of florist foam.)  Plus, it was a gift :)
The lone pumpkin is still here from Halloween (waiting to be used for seeds and pumpkin).  The "give thanks" was picked up at the thrift store-last year.  And the GIANT zuccini was grown, and then allowed to keep growing, by my husband and son (in-law).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



Pay $29.00 and get $40.00 in food and $20.00 in game tokens for "PIRATE ISLAND" in Orem, UT.  This is a fun place.  (Our review is on my 12 February, 2010 post.)  I will post more about this later, but wanted to let you know about it.
This coupon expires the end of January, so will be a fun AFTER Christmas activity.

You can click here to see the deal.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY (2 weeks worth :-)

WELCOME NEW FOLLOWER "THE OLD GEEZER"  I am happy to have you (but I feel bad calling you that :-)

TODAY'S  http://www.screamindailydeal.com/ deal is $3.50 for a ride on the Christmas Riverboat Cruise on the Provo River from CLAS ROPES.  We enjoyed the Halloween cruise we took.

With everything going on, I never posted "MY 10 THINGS"  last week.  So I will squish 2 weeks together.

31 October - 14 November, 2010

#1  I am very happy (thankful) that we are able to vote.  And I did.  (Also happy that there are no more commercials, signs and phone calls :-)

#2  Very happy that Leslie is getting published.  She had a short story accepted for her school literary magazine.  Yea!

#3  ALWAYS the Halloween Party at Grandma and Grandpa's makes me, and everyone else, happy.   Grandma and Grandpa work really really hard to make this a fun night.  Thank-you very much mom and dad.  Great party this year.

#4  Christy and Leslie made "soup-in-a-pumpkin" for us the week after Halloween.  I love it.  Thank-you.

#5  So happy that Doug got my Christmas lights up before it got cold.  Thank-you, Dear.

#6  Lindsay and David invited us to dinner at their new house.  It was fun (and made for an easy dinner for me).  Thank-you so much.

#7  I had a good experience picking Layne up from school on day.
I clipped my keys on my purse and read until it was time for him to get out of class.  I picked up my purse to get him, and had a thought that I should leave my purse in the car.  O.K.  I set it on the floor and went to remove my keys-but they were not on my purse.  I had missed the clip.  If I had taken my purse, my keys would have been locked in my car.  So happy I listened.

#8  I took a fun class from Sue Neal (at Robert's Craft Store)  I made a small Christmas Memory book for 2010.  I am glad I talked myself into it.
#9  I loved seeing "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (at Hale Center Theatre Orem) again.  It is a fun play with great music.  I went with Hilary, Leslie, Lindsay and Wendy C.  VERY FUN PLAY!  Thank-you, Leslie for getting the tickets.

#10  Happy Birthday Charles!  We love you.  I am glad you are our son.

#11  I made a new REALLY EASY and VERY GOOD Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie recipe.  I got the recipe from My Little Gems.  (I have seen it a few other places since then, but I saw it there first.  The recipe is at the end of this post.)

#12  I am happy Emily is out of the hospital :D  (She was in the hospital for 16 out of 30 days, and had surgery.)  

#13  And, this week I do have a top happy thing.  Doug and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary on November 10th.  I love my husband so much.  I am so thankful, and feel so blessed to share our lives together.

recipe from My Little Gems  (http://mygratitudeattitudes.blogspot.com/)

1 boxed yellow cake mix (see note)
1 16 oz. can of PUMPKIN
3 tea. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the pumpkin pie spice into the pumpkin.  Stir it well to make it smooth.  Add it to the cake mix with the chocolate chips.  Mix until there is no dry mix left.

Drop on a sprayed cookie sheet.  These do not spread, so I can get about 16-20 on my cookie sheet.
Bake at 350* for 10-15 mins.  (Mine take about 15 mins.)

NOTE You can also use a spice cake mix and eliminate the pumpkin pie spice.  I have not tried that, BUT, that makes it a 3 ingredient cookie.  WoW!  I am trying that on Thursday.

UPDATE ON SPICE CAKE MIX - I made this with a Pillsbury spice cake mix, and many liked it better.  Then I tried a store brand cake mix (the same night ;-)  It was for the "Harry Potter party.)  and it was not as good.  It also was more of a brown, instead of pumpkin orange.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Dear Bloggers, local craft stores, local television idea shows, magazines and Martha Stewart,

Thank-you for a great Halloween.  I loved the crafts, recipes and decorating ideas I tried this year.  (And I liked the one I did not have time to make, but loved looking at.  Actually, I did not want to make some of them.  Too gross.  Did you see the spider sacks? :O

I appreciate all the generous ideas and referrals to other ideas.  Thank-you for sharing.
I am looking forward to a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

My costume/craft for the Johnson Family party
from http://www.marthastewart.com/  

It worked great to put a (cheap) window light
in a wreath.

A fun "eyeball" bracelet and earrings
Idea from http://www.marthastewart.com/

It was fun to make these owl treats
idea from http://www.onecharmingparty.com/
We really did a lot of fun stuff. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010



Handmade Jewelry, Hairbows and Clippies, Cute Onesies, Pampered Chef, Holiday Wood, Caramel Apples...  What do you make?  Do you want to come sell with us?
Contact with a comment on my blog, or email to johnson797@att.net.  (We want shoppers, too ;-) 

I have had a busy soup/chili couple of weeks.  I have taken soup 3 places and chili 2 places. 
I took this soup 2 places and was asked several times if it was on my blog.  So, I went thru my whole blog, and wrote every recipe (with date) down.  (So hopefully I can organize them.)  And it was not there.
So, here it is.  I have been making this about 20 years.  I think I MAY have gotten it from a cooking magazine.  I adapted it (probably more than once ;) to make it faster/easier.  (The original has made from scratch meatballs.  If you want the meatball recipe, let me know.)


some purchased frozen cooked meatballs - defrosted and cut in half (I use about 10-20)
about 1/4 cup rice
about 1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tea. minced garlic from a jar

Brown defrosted meatballs in the bottom of your soup pan with rice, onion and garlic.
Use 1 table. oil, if needed  (I do not use any oil)

Add and bring to a boil
4 cups beef broth (I make mine with beef base)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 tea. oregano

Reduce heat, add meatball mix.  Cover and simmer 5-10 mins.

Stir in
2 sliced zucchini/yellow squash (I usually use fresh, but I will try frozen this winter.)
1 1/2 frozen corn
2-3 cans (16 oz.) stewed tomatoes MEXICAN STYLE

Simmer covered for 8-10 mins.
Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, chips...  You know.

This is an easy and fast soup.  We decided to put it on our 30 DAY PLAN.

I know.  Not a good pic.  Rushed for time.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


"I will make a difference because of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

24 October - 31 October, 2010


#1  Doug got/took another Monday off and got most of the yard winterized. 

#2  We had a fun ward (church) fall/Halloween party.  I helped (hid behind) the fishing booth.  It was fun.

#3  We had our play group Halloween party on Wednesday (for play group).  IT WAS VERY FUN.  We had jack-o-lantern grilled cheese sandwiches, orange cup fruit bowls, apple slices with caramel, and the kids made Halloween cookies.  (This was the least exciting part ;)

We fished for prizes, put the heart in the skeleton and had the kids wrap themselves as mummies.  The kids were wild as they laughed and replayed the games.
Then we made (cereal box) Haunted Houses.  So fun.

#4  On Thursday I got to watch Layne, Samantha, Kate and Benjamin in their Halloween parade at the school.  This was Layne's first school Halloween parade.

#5  On Friday we continued the tradition of taking Logan trick-or-treating at Grandpa's office.  (Grandpa is a good sport about it.  He so hates Halloween.  BUT, wait until you see what I got him to dress up as.)
#6  I loved "fake" Halloween.  (Saturday night, in Utah.)  Every single kidult and grandchild (minus Lincoln who is in CA. plus Christy) came at some point for dinner.  YEA!

#7 ( I made my Big Cookie chocolate cake for dinner at Mom and Dad's on Sunday.  The one where I use black beans for the oil.  Which is not what #7 is about.  When I made the cake on Sunday morning, I said to Doug, "I wonder if I will ever not say "I love silicone"?")  Anyway, I have been using coupons to get the Wilton silicone cupcake holders for baking.  I have the bears, the flowers and the hearts.  (I do want the regular pastel set, but not for cupcakes.) 
Although I bought them for cupcakes, so far I have only used them for freezing my black and white bean purees.  Each cupcake form is 1/2 cup.  I fill the shape to the top and freeze on a tray.  When they are frozen, they easily peel out.   (Then I put each in it's own bag.)  I love silicone.     

#8  I am enjoying subbing pureed beans for my fat in baking.  On 10 May, 2010 I posted a cookie recipe, "Magic...Cookies" (from http://karaskitchencreations.blogspot.com/.  She calls them Donna's Heavenly Cookies.  I changed the name because they are like Magic Bars, and I don't know Donna:)
Anyway, I made these substituting bean puree.  Although they lost a bit of the magic when I took out the butter, they were still very good.  I love cutting the fat, and being able to store, BEANS as OIL.

#9  On Sunday we got to hear Quinneys talk in their new ward.  They did a great job.  It was nice to visit their ward, and sit with Logan.

#10  Are you curious what I got Doug to dress up as?  (Still not too willingly ;)
Thank-you to Spencer, who gave this to us.  Yes, it can be borrowed.  It already went to Special Needs Mutual's Halloween Dance.  And, of course, Grandma and Grandpa's party.  Thank-you for humouring me, dear.

I am posting a much requested recipe for throw back Thursday.  AND I will share what is in my "FAVOURITEs BASKET" for a follower drawing when I reach 60 followers.  I am also posting my final Halloween blog this week :)

I am trying to learn how to organize my recipes on my blog to make it easier.  If you have any ideas, let me know .

ARE YOU HOPING TO SELL SOME CRAFTS TO EARN CHRISTMAS MONEY?  We are hoping to have a full boutique in Sandy, UT on Saturday, 13 November.  For committed booths, check the post before this one.
I will, for sure, have Halloween put away.  And hopefully some Thanksgiving/Christmas up.  (I like Christmas up by Thanksgiving.)
It should be a fun day.  Call, post or email info.
Only 10 days left to craft.

And, of course we want shoppers/buyers and even lookers (and tasters :)  Write us down in your dayplanner/calender/cell phone. 

Monday, November 1, 2010



We are having a boutique at our house in Sandy, UT on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13th from 10:00 to 6:00. 

We want to have at least 10 crafters.  So far we have "Bits and Pieces" headbands and bows and Megan with "Pampered Chef".  We tentatively have "Miche Bags", "Scentsy", caramel apples and some holiday wood decor.

Do you want to play/sell?  There are no charges or fees.  We would like you to bring a finger food for guests.  Either sweet or savory, or both :)

Let us know by posting on my blog, email me at johnson797@att.net or call.  (Email for the phone #.)  Contact us with any questions.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010



17 October - 24 October, 2010

"For your ship to come in, you must first build your dock."  Unknown (And I really tried.  All I found was game and boat/dock  info.)

#1  I have really enjoyed experimenting with using pured beans for oil/butter...  I made banana bread - 1/2 cup butter + 1/2 cup pured white beans.  Worked great.  And pumpkin chocolate chip cookies - 1/2 cup shortening + 1/2 cup pured white beans.  They were a bit more cakey, but for no shortening we will keep doing it.  I have found it takes a bit longer to cook my foods with beans, and they do not brown as much.
When I puree a can of beans (I have done black and white) I get 2 1/2 cups cups puree.  I use what I need and freeze the rest in silicone 1/2 containers.  When they are frozen, I peel them and put each one in it's own zip lock.  Then I put all the small bags in a large bag.  (Just like I do with my browned hamburger.)  They take about 2 hours to defrost in my bowl, and I used defrosted beans in my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  It worked great.

#2  Earlier in October Doug was working 7 days a week :(, so his boss gave him some days off :) 
I am happy Doug took Monday off.  We just stayed home.

#3  I love (LOVE) my down comforter and fleece sheets.  (Yep, it's winter-y.)  (I do not love/use them in the summer.)

#4  Are you following the daily deals, yet???  
We went to Wheeler Farm for play date using our discount coupons we bought at the end of September.  (It was $7.00  for 2 tickets to their kid activities and include a pumpkin.  For the 8 of us that went it was a SAVING of $28.00.  We paid $28.00 for all 8 of us.)  We had TONS of fun - and VERY wild children.  They were all so red from running and chasing thru the mazes.  (Even Layne took a nap during "quiet time" :)

#5  Are you following the daily deals, YET?
On Wednesday night we went to Provo for the fun Halloween Cruise on the Provo River.  Tickets are $7.00 each, with 2 and under free.  We got ours for $3.50 each about 1 month ago :-)
CLAS Ropes Course is located at 3606 W. Center Street in Provo.  Their web address is http://www.clasropes.com/ 
We really had fun.  It is very family friendly (read not scary).  Perhaps even cheesy.  But clean.  And a fun night time Halloween event.  BE AWARE THAT TRAFFIC IS HORRENDOUS WITH THE CONSTRUCTION!
(Although the Halloween cruise is almost over, they are also doing a Christmas one :)  And they have other stuff, too.)
(I had a funny conversation with one of my followers this week.  We were talking about restaurant coupons and I said I wanted to pay $10.00 for $20.00 for Famous Dave's.  They said, "Yea, right.  Who would do that?"  Do they READ my blog???  I will tell you the ones I love.  Trust me ;)

#6  SO happy BYU won.

#7  On Saturday we had our church women's group SUPER SATURDAY.  I know that the trend has been to not have craft activities.  Gotta say I love them.  I went with 2 daughters and we enjoyed our day.  (AND completed all projects.)  Many women were making hand crafted Christmas gifts.  And home/family organization helps.  It was a fun (and well planned) day.  So glad that I participated.

#8  I ate out twice this week. (O.K., Maybe not so happy.)
I ordered my first restaurant panini. (Lunch before the farm.  We used coupons.  Thank-you, Emily.)  It was dry and boring.  I am happy I can make my own.
On Saturday night I tried a new(er) hamburger place with Leslie, Hilary and Christy.  It was o.k.  TRAINING TABLE is still my favourite.

#9  I found these fun little hard boiled egg shapers.  They are from Japan and I bought them on eBay for about $13.00 for all 6 shapes.  I looked for awhile for the best deal.  If you are interested in who I used, let me know.  As always, mine can be borrowed.)  They are fun to eat, and the eggs are getting eaten.  (The picture will go in our lunch cookbook:)
To make them, you boil your eggs as usual.  As soon as they are done cooking I run warm water over the eggs as I crack/peel them. I peel them under warm water, and they are not too hot to handle.
Once they are peeled, stand it up in the case and put the lid on.  Just chill at least 1/2 hour.
I used extra large and think they are too big.  (I also thing large can be a bit too small, so I will keep egg shopping.)

#10  I finished one of my pumpkins.  It was cheaper than I thought it would be.  (I would not have spent more.)  The dot stickers were in a pack of 4 at Hobby Lobby - and I had a coupon.  They were $4.50 with tax.  The ribbon was 1/2 of at Hobby Lobby ($2.00).  The pumpkin was from last year after Halloween sale. ($2.00)  And the stand was $3.00 at the D.I.  (I will spray paint the cement part next week.)
(Because the dot patterns are each 1 sticker, I will wrap pantyhose around the pumpkin to store it.)   

Friday, October 22, 2010



This was not my idea!  I found it while I was out visiting.  I love antique/vintage and was excited to make it.
I originally saw the idea at http://www.lilluna.com/  (I CORRECTED THIS LINK.  SORRY.) on her 20 Sept., 2010 post.  She shared the link to the vintage look printable Halloween pictures from http://www.matthewmeadstyle.com/.   I am enjoying this bright (and not scary/gross/creepy) and cheerful idea. 

I made my circles different than they were done in the tutorial.  First find cute Halloween scrapbook paper.  I used what I already had  :)   I cut my paper into rectangles.  4x8 and 6x12.  I free folded it into a fan, with thin folds.  Then I folded the fan in 1/2 and wrapped jute (wire, fish, staples will also work) tight around the centre.
Put double stick tape or your favourite adhesive to one edge of the fan, and pull edges together to form fan 1/2.  (My favourite is SOOKWANG.  I buy the 1/2 inch size and tear it in half.  I buy it at HEARTLAND PAPER COMPANY with a coupon :) 
Repeat on the other side to make your circle.  Then I glue gunned the cute pumpkin (from the above web site) that my sweet daughter (Leslie) printed for me. 
I wrapped the sticks with electrical tape (You could paint them, but it sounded too messy.).  I glued the sticks on the back and "planted them in a container from the garage (that belonged to an unnamed kidult) that I spray painted black.  The floral foam and moss were from the dollar store. 
So cute.
Thank-you, Lindsay for putting my pictures in squares :) 
Thank-you, KRISTYN, for sharing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


10 October - 17 October, 2010

"Happiness is an empty washer AND dryer when you get ready to do laundry."  ME

#1  YEA!  I am happy Emily is home after being in the hospital for a week.  (Stupid infections.)  And she did not miss her whole "off track" :)  (But she can not go to Disneyland with her friends :(

#2  Woo hoo!  Lindsay and David and Logan closed (and are all moved in) on their first house.  To see all the hard work, visit "QUINNEY CORNER" on my sidebar (?)  We are all sooo happy.

#3   I enjoyed helping Hilary and Lindsay with the Jet Blue Boutique.  It was fun to have followers come visit us :)

#4  I am so happy/thankful that we have 2 cars.  Then when the brakes go out (or the radiator explodes) we still have a car for Doug to drive to work.  I am also quite grateful for my mechanic. They always try to fit us in.  (PK AUTO-About 11400 South on 7th East in Sandy.)  Nope, not getting paid.  They do not even know I have a blog.

#5  I am happy Hilary went with me to get a new cell phone after mine was stolen at Winco.  (They turned it off right away so we could not hear it ring:(  I have a really hard time adjusting to "new".  I hate learning how to do something -again - and then trying to remember it.  Hilary helped me find one quite similar to my stolen one.
Then, Leslie programed the whole thing for me.  THANK-YOU.

#6  On Tuesday Lindsay and I took Logan and Layne to Emily's class carnivals.  We got to help run some of the "booths".  (Emily was in the hospital, still.)  I did decorating cookies.  Lindsay did "Tape the nose on the pumpkin".
After the first carnival ended (the a.m. class) a very shy girl came (late) with her mother.  The girl clung to her mom and did not want to participate.  Luckily we had Layne and Logan and another sweet visitor.  They were willing to play Halloween Bingo, Bowling... with her.  It felt like she had needed to come late.  She needed to be the one in the centre.  I think her mom needed it, too.  She was thankful.  It felt really positive.
It was a fun morning.

We left quickly when they were over to pick up Logan's Halloween costume.  (Lindsay loved it at Old Navy, but it was sold out when she went back.)  Leslie looked ALL over on line.  We could find it for at least double, but...
Then, she checked KSL.com.  BAZINGA!  She found one in West Jordan for (drum roll) $7.00!  (We were already 1/2 way there :)  It is in super condition.  (I am so happy I do not have to hear Lindsay worry about Logan's costume anymore ;)
We finished our fun Play Date by eating lunch in the car at Sonic.
Good Day!

#7  I am happy all 33 miners were brought up safely from the mine in Chile.

#8  Macey's case lot sale.  (Darn.  It is over.)

#9  I have wanted this cake pan for several years.  The one I have been hoping to find at a good price is metal, and way more expensive.  Then I saw this one at "Bed, Bath and Beyond".  With my $5.00 coupon it was about $16.00.  AND, I LOVE SILICONE! ( "Bed, Bath and Beyond" has something we are getting Logan for his third birthday, AND the GIANT cupcake pan-silicone.  This is what I will be using my next 2 $5.00 coupons for :)

My cookie/cake pan review-  Price was great.  I let it cool in the pan and it released wonderfully.  The print was not as defined as I thought it would be, but it totally pulls off the effect.  My biggest problem is that I could only fit 1 layer on my cookie sheet, so I had to cook them separately.  Oh well.
As always, if you live in my area you are welcome to borrow things.

#10  (closely related to #9 :)  I used my cookie/cake pan to make a chocolate cake for Sunday dinner.  I recently saw on BYUTV show, "Living Essentials" about using pureed beans as your oil in baking.  (The guest was Crystal Godfrey and her blog is http://everydayfoodstorage.net/  .  I had a hard time finding that out.)  She said to use black beans in chocolate/dark things, and white beans in light/white.  I think lots of us have had the brownies with beans, but I wanted to try more.  (Lots more.  More about what I've done next week :)
I made my cake with a cake mix and pured black beans (1/2 cup pured black beans instead 1/2 cup oil:).  (I also used dehydrated canned eggs, but they are much more expensive than real eggs so I won,t do that often.) 
I made the cake on Saturday night.  After completely cooling the layers, I covered them with a plate to keep them fresh until Sunday.
Frosting was a breeze.  First of all, the frosting was left over from Emily's carnival.  (It was Macey's frosting. mmm)  The whole assembly only three minutes.  And some of that was showing people :) 
The result was GREAT!  It had a more homemade taste and texture.  It was a big hit.  (Yea, bad picture, but super cake :)

Monday, October 18, 2010


I have been making this recipe a long time.  This is one of the recipes that I put in our dorm cookbook when I was going to Ricks Collage (now BYUI) . I have made a few changes since then :)

adapted from somewhere about 30 years ago

1 lb. hamburger or sausage browned with...
...onion, peppers. mushrooms - whatever you like
1 cup canned or homemade spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce
1/2 cup water
grated cheese - mozzarella, cheddar - your choice  + Parmesan or extra grated for the top

Batter for the top
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 table. oil
1 cup flour
1/2 tea. salt

Mix browned meat, vegetables, sauce and water.  Spread in the bottom of sprayed 9x13 baking dish. 
Top with grated cheese.  (You can put pepperoni on top of meat layer, but under cheese layer.)  Beat batter ingredients well, and pour over the top.  Try to cover meat/cheese layer completely. 
Bake at 400* for 30 mins. 
Cut into squares and flip over for serving.  Can top with Parmesan cheese or extra grated cheese of your choice.

This is an easy pizza recipe.  (Christy said she thinks it is more of a pizza casserole.)  Let me know if you try it.

I will be posting a fun new recipe experiment this week, a new popcorn recipe that I made for the football game and a finished project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


#1  In reviewing my bills we found that our electric bill was double with an AC over a swamp cooler.  Our comfort was worth it.

#2  My cat, Lightning, usually has a hairball on her corner of our bed, about once a month.  In three day in September she had three.  THAT'S a lot of laundry.

#3  September 29th was my 1 year blogiversary  :D  I think I have been pretty consistent.

#4  In September Lindsay and David celebrated their 5th anniversary.  Charles and Elana celebrated their 3rd anniversary.

#5  I am saving money by not reading the Sunday ads.  (Time, too.)

#6  I am reading a Scottish book and love some of the differences.  In Scotland, "organization" is spelled "organisation".  I am glad we keep z busy.

#7  SPIDER FACE- I love this phrase.  We heard this (actually I did not hear it) from Michael Scott on the "OFFICE".  It stems from the phrase, "Cutting off your nose, to spite your face" :)
There was an incident a few months ago where for some reason I was not going swimming.  (I can not remember why.  Dumb, huh?)  I said to my girls, "Yea, I know.  I have a spider face."  One started laughing and said she had been thinking that, too.
Another time I mentioned to a daughter that she had a spider face.  The funny phase has has made it easier to see our fault - and fix it.   (Family Journal Entry-Summer 2010)

I will post a THURSDAY THROW BACK dinner recipe tomorrow or Saturday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


3 October - 10 October, 2010

"If you have integrity and love you have all of the great virtues."  Lowell Bennion

#1  A home alone Monday.

#2  We had a great play date visiting the WITCHES at Gardner Village.  (Took our lunch, and spent NO money:)

#3  Organized the storage room because...

#4  ...Macey's case lot sales make me happy.

#5  I am so happy /thankful that we live in a time with medical knowledge.  What an amazing time we live in.  I am sad that we do not know it all.   I am especially grateful for antibiotics.

#6  The other night Doug was channel hopping.  It was just a glimpse, but I instantly recognized it.  "STOP.  Go Back!"  I was right.   L&O, U.K. (LAW AND ORDER, UNITED KINGDOM :)   Yep, another dose of my comfort show.    (On BBC on Friday nights)

#7  I decided not to go to the Antique Show.  (I did not want to spend money.)

#8  BYU WON!  Happiness reigns at our house.

#9  Sunday dinner at Mom and Dad's house.  Last big family BBQ of the summer.  Easy dinner, but sad to loose summer.

#10 "Live within your harvest"  (I liked this thought.) I am happy about all of our fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  I will miss them.    Doug and David did a good job on their gardens.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


I wanted to use zucchini while we still have some in the garden.  (I want it off-season, but have a really hard time paying for it after the late summer abundance.) I adapted this recipe from ideas I have seen other places.

I started by picking the zucchini that my husband and son-in-law worked on all summer.  You don't want them too small, and a little big is great for this. 
After washing and cutting off the ends, cut into 2 - 3 inch lengths.   I used 2 smaller and 1 larger zucchini, and ended up with about 12 lengths, which fit my dish perfectly.
Hollow out the centre.  You can use an apple corer.  I used my V-shaped cutting knife.   I bought this over 25 years ago, and have used it a lot.  (It works great for cutting oranges/other fruit apart and leaves the "pinked" edges.  Or remove the orange and fill the "orange bowl".)
Anyway, hollow out the centre of your zucchini lengths.  (This removes the larger seeds of the larger zucchini:)  Then I microwave them (standing upright) for 3-5 mins., depending on their size.  Set aside to cool.
The recipes I have seen have stuffed the zucchini lengths with a meatloaf, and baked them.  I wanted something easier, and with less fat.  Since I usually have a big bag of cooked/frozen meatballs in my freezer, I decided to use those.  (I keep the meatballs for Sunday dinner pasta bars, Italian meatball sandwiches and to give to Quinney's when they run out :)
As my zucchini is cooling I defrost/microwave about 15 meatballs on high for about 5 minutes.  I roll them around on a paper towel covered plate as they cool, to remove excess grease.  (I am sure you can see where I am going.)
Then I just stuff meatballs (cooled) into my zucchini lengths (cooled).  The most that any length took was 2 1/2 meatballs.  (The serving size for the meatballs is 5 for 220 cal.)  I cut an edge off some, and used the edges to fill the smaller ones.  I tried to have a rounded meatball on each end.

I sprayed my (about) 9 1/2 x 9 1/2 glass dish and put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the dish, and put my zucchini lengths in, laying down.  I poured the rest of the sauce over the top, and then grated mozzarella cheese over the it.  Bake 20-30 mins. at 350* and serve with fresh Parmesan cheese.

I like this method because the fat from the meatloaf is not cooking into my zucchini.  It is also fast, and uses what I have on hand.  I served it with spaghetti squash :)


several zucchini- cut into 2-3 in. lengths and microwaved 3-5 mins.
about 15 frozen meatballs- defrosted and cooked
1 can prepared spaghetti sauce (or homemade)
grated cheese/cheeses of your choice

Fill cooled zucchini lengths with cooled (and cut to fit) meatballs.
Put in sprayed dish that you have poured a thin layer of spaghetti sauce into.  Pour rest of the sauce over the top, and top with cheese.
Bake 20-30 mins (depending on how you like your cheese and how cold it was when you put it in the oven) at   350*. 
Can be made ahead and cooked later.  Can also be cooked in a microwave.
Too easy of a recipe?

The special today thru KSL.com is for PIRATE ISLAND in Orem, UT. (and St. George, UT.)  We have enjoyed our visits there.  You can read my daughter's (Lindsay) guest blog review on my blog on the 12 February, 2010 post.

The deal is $30.00 for $60.00 of Food & Fun.  To check out this deal go to www.ksl.com/deals

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


26 September - 3 October, 2010

"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to control my ship."  Louisa May Alcott

(In no particular order.)

#1  I had 3 projects for last week.  I am happy I got at least one of them done.  And I am SO happy I got this done.  It has been on my list for over 1 year. 
Step one was getting the pictures taken.  DONE!
Step two was getting them developed.  DONE!
Step three was finding the frame.  DONE:)  (The frame is from ROBERT'S CRAFTS.  It was $55.00 w/ a 40% off coupon.  It is harder to find a 7 opening frame.)

It has flaws. 
Hilary - Hilary took all the pictures except for hers (H).  Thus she is "Little Hilary" (Logan).  (We will re-order that one.)

Emily- wants to hold her "O" on the other side.

Charles and Elana-(N)  We need to re-do it with Layne.  He was at his dad's.

Leslie- "Can I get mine re-done with my hair cut?"  (S)

Lindsay and David and Logan- (O) Will need to add Baby Sister in Jan.
"We will."  "O.K." "Sure" "Yep"
(Other than Layne) I HAVE WHAT I WANT!  The beauty of this (other than my great picture of our family name) is that we can replace/redo/whatever any picture.  (Also, I am aware that my photos are not great.  And the matte is black.)  Still happy :)

(This idea is from from Shauna at http://mymixofsix.blogspot.com/  You can see how she did it on her 5 Jan., 2010 post.  That is why I put her blog on my blog.  She shares.  And is happy.  THANK-YOU MY MIX OF SIX!

#2  October General Conference Week-end is one of my favourite week-ends.  (The other one is April General Conference week-end :)  (Twice a year our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) leaders speak to us at a world wide conference.  We are able to watch the conference sessions on cable /local television.)  I feel re-inspired and motivated after hearing the counsel given.  I see and feel places that I can do and be better.  It is a week-end that brings our family together.
On Saturday night we have pizza (Thank-you for getting the pizzas, Emily.), and sundaes.  (I tried a new recipe for "MAGIC SHELL" from http://www.instuctables.com/   .It worked great, BUT was not any cheaper.  The recipe is one cup coconut oil + 1-2 cups chocolate chips (I used GIRADELLI).  We all know how high the cost of chocolate chips are now.  Does anyone have any recipes that use coconut oil? 

Everyone comes over for omelets after the Sunday morning meeting.  (I made a new cinnamon roll recipe that was just o.k.)  I made a really good new APPLE DUMPLINGS recipe from Ree at http://thepioneerwoman.com/ .  (see 28 February, 2008)   IT WAS SO GOOD!  And very easy, too.  I wish I could I had a picture to post, but things were moving very fast as I cooked omelets.  This is the first recipe of hers that I have made, and I will make more.

#3  I stayed home all day on Monday.  All by myself. :)  (I cleaned.)

#4  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LINCOLN!  He turned 9 on Saturday, and spent the day with us.  We love you, Lincoln.

#5  Emily buys our laundry soap for us.  (I don't know why?  She brought home some laundry soap about 1 1/2 years ago, that was on sale.  And just kept getting it.)  She brought home 3 bottles this week.  THANK-YOU, EMILY :)

#6  An older neighbor invited me over to pick grapes and apples from her yard.  Some of my book club friends can wonderful grape juice, so I was excited to try making it.  When we got to her house, there were many, many squashed apples on the ground.  We took our plastic bags and started picking ALL of them up.  It was so fun to watch and work with my sweet grandsons.  They were great workers.  They picked up rotten apples for about 1 hour.  Layne thought it was a play date ;)
October is apple month.

#7  Which brings me to the grape juice.  WHY???  It took 1 hour to pick the grapes.  It took over 7 hours to make 6 qt. bottles of juice,  (The jars were $8.00) and 1/2 of them are Lindsay's.  I stained several dishcloths, 1 towel and a shirt.  (Can I count dying from the heat in the kitchen?)  It was so hot that my burners melted.  NOW I REMEMBER WHY I QUIT CANNING!
I was telling a visiting nephew about this and he asked if it was worth it because of the quality.  Nope!
Happy that I remember why I do not can.

#8  I am happy we watch "AMAZING RACE" together.  While I do think Team Glee boys are nice, everyone voted yes that I could change to the Father/Son team.  (Yea, I know it looks like they won't last, but I like them.)

#9  I love spring and summer foods.  Fruit and garden produce.  Salads galore.  I welcome spring and summer...  But I love fall and winter cooking.  Soups and crock pots.  For dinner on Friday I did a roast in one crock pot and baked potatoes in another. 
 I LOVE MAKING BAKED POTATOES IN A CROCK POT.  (Pick about 10 potatoes about the same size.  Wash and wrap in foil.  (You do not need to oil them because they do not get crisp in the crock pot.)  Put the potatoes in the crock pot.  Pour 3/4 -1 cup water into the bottom of the crock pot.  Cook on high for 4 hours for larger potatoes, or 3 hours for small.  I mix sweet potatoes, Yukon's and russet.  Squish with a pot holder to check for doneness.  Do not over cook.)

#10  Are you working collecting 30 meals that you can (easily) eat once a month?  I am trying.  I may be too picky.  Maybe I hate to commit.  I have about 7.  Until this week. 
For the week-end we were going to be gone, the kidults planned chili dogs for Sunday dinner.  We ended up with lots of extra hot dog buns that I was determined to finish.
Day 1- chili dogs
Day 2- french dip
Day 3- sloppy joes
Day 4- grilled cheese sandwiches for the boy's lunch
Result- Doug said to please add sloppy joes to my 30 Day Plan.  YEA!  I love it when Doug tells me what he wants for dinner. 
The kids LOVED grilled cheese sandwiches on the hot dog buns (turned inside out).  A new picture for our lunch cookbook. :) 

Monday, October 4, 2010

MY BOOK REVIEWS - August and September 2010

I have really been excited to tell anyone about this book..In August I read one of my favourite books.  Ever.
It had the science of a Michael Creighton.  (When I read his book JURASSIC PARK, his idea of extracting dinosaur DNA from a mosquito in amber?  It made sense.)
It has the suspense of a John Grisham.  (Can hardly put some of them down.  Although his endings are anti climactic.)
And it is a great family saga book.  (Put your own favourite author here.)

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, was written by Rebecca Skloot. 
The story is a compelling one.  In the early 1950s a poor black woman died of cancer at Johns Hopkins. 
The hospital lab discovered that her cervical cells remarkably reproduced.  Her cells have since been of great scientific value.
I don't want to tell too much, but we learn her story, and that of her family.
We learn of the medical impact she has had.  I kept waiting for the science part to become boring, over my head or just too much, but that never happened.  I read this book in 24 hours.
In reading reviews (before reading this book), some readers commented on the author seeming to have an agenda, or trying to use one sides point of view.  I did not find that to be true.  It felt very balanced to me.  One of my new favourite books.  I highly recommend it.  (If you read it, I would love to discuss it with you.)
One sad note.  I heard that OPRAH was going to introduce  a new BOOK CLUB book on her show.  I never watch OPRAH, but I was SURE it was going to be this book.  (After all, it reads like a novel - and is TRUE.)  I was so disappointed it was not this book. :(

FORD COUNTY by John Grisham
This is a book of short stories.   Although I love his lawyer mysteries, this one really did not do much for me.  Although there is a funny story about it.  Leslie put it on hold for me at the library.  I was 17 on the list.  Then, as she was leaving the library she saw it in the "For Sale" area.  $2.00.  Anyone want this book?

I was looking forward to this after really enjoying TARA ROAD by the same author.  Turned out it was a book of short stories.  Did not do much for me.  I don't think I like short stories.

This was a borrowed book.  It is a "how to fully live your life" book.  It had some good things.  It was o.k.
(I wonder if I am too picky?)

Books "in my stack".
44 Scotland Street
The Right Stuff
Mornings on Horseback (about Theodore Roosevelt)

Friday, October 1, 2010


This is a popular recipe this week.  So popular that I made it twice, and counting planned-overs, we have eaten it 4 times  since Sunday.  It also does not hurt that Doug keeps finding zucchini hiding in his garden.  I have been making this since the mid 1980s.


1 box stuffing - whatever flavour you have/like
6 cups sliced zucchini - lightly steamed (I microwave mine 3-5 mins.)
some grated onion (or dehydrated)  opt.
some grated carrots opt. (I try to make it healthier;)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream (I use light)

Make stuffing according to package directions (I do it in the microwave).  Mix soup and sour cream , then add onions and carrots if desired.
Layer a bit less than 1/2 of prepared stuffing in a sprayed 9x9 baking dish (about).
Spread all of the well drained zucchini over the stuffing base.
Spread all of the soup mixture over the zucchini, and then top with the rest of the stuffing.

Bake at 350* for about 30 mins.
I sometimes grate Parmesan cheese on the top.

This can be cooked in the microwave, but like left-overs of this, it is much better with the baked crunch.

This is an easy side dish, but to make it a main dish add a layer of pulled rotisserie chicken on top of zucchini, just under the soup.

I am trying a new zucchini recipe next week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


19 September - 26 September, 2010

"Being of good cheer makes it possible for us to turn all of our sunsets into sunrises."  Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1986)

#1  I almost always enjoyed Ann Cannon's column in the Deseret News on Mondays.  Sometimes I love it.  (I even have a few saved.  The one about going to church with her Dr. Pepper and slippers.  The one about the boy she was dating and the family reunion...)  (One time I bought and read a book only because she wrote the intro.)
Anyway, I loved her column on Monday.  It was titled, "Little lists are insurance against blues".  (Deseret News, 20 September, 2010)  It made me like her more.  She does happy lists like me :)  (Also, she loves the Hamish books by M. C. Beaton.  SO DO I! :)

#2  On Monday we went to IKEA for a lunch play date.  I had never been there before.  Lunch was fun for the kids.  The store "tour" was o.k. 

#3  It made me really happy to plan my get away with Doug.  As it turned out, Doug did not sleep well.  And he had forgotten his work computer at home.  We really like our bedroom.  So, we went back home.  It was a great idea.  Just bad timing.  Doug starts long long hours at work this week (and weekends, too) as he works on year end reports.  Luckily planning makes me happy.

#4  Emily planned a family activity for Wednesday night.  It was my first visit to "Incredible Pizza Company".  She bought 1/2 price coupons at one of the deal websites.  Without any discount coupons, but using their current specials it cost $200.00.  This was dinner for 7 adults and 3 children and 1 free 2 year old.  (There is still some money left on the game cards.)  The current special is $30.00 for unlimited food and attractions (lazer tag, race cars, bowling...) and a $20.00 arcade game card.  An adult buffet is currently $8.99, and games and/or attractions can be bought with the game cards.
"Incredible Pizza Company" is a chain, with a local location in Draper (UT.)  It has an all you can eat buffet (pizza, nachos, hot dogs, ice cream, cookies, mac and cheese, salad bar...).
It is also an entertainment centre.  There are video game, laser tag, glow in the dark miniature golf, mini bowling alley, bumper cars, race cars... 

The food is at best, o.k.  The kids LOVE the choices.
It was so fun to watch the kids enjoy the games.  So fun.  (There were also a couple of chances to talk about good sportsmanship.)

There are themed dining rooms.  We ate in the 60s style "family room".  There is also a high school lunch room, a drive-in theatre room and a Route 66 diner room.)
Thank-you for planning it, Emily.  It was a fun night.  Thank-you Emily and Hilary for getting the discount coupons.

#5  On Thursday Paula called Wendy to tell Wendy to call me to tell me that Friday was "THE WESLEY BELL RINGER"S SALE".  Woo Hoo.  (One of my favourites.)  Thank-you for wanting to go with me, Leslie.  Thank-you, Paula.  Thank-you, Wendy.

#6  I went to the Women's Broadcast at the church on Saturday.  (I went alone because most of my family went to the BYU football game.  Another loss:(
It was an excellent meeting.  I did not want to go.  It was going to be on TV later that night.  My family was going to watch it (and did) on Sunday evening.  Plus I had pajamas on.  I felt like I should go, so I did.  Sister Beck spoke about how difficult it is to participate in any religion in some countries.  There are the problems of transportation and distance, but also many dangers.  I live only 1 mile (exactly) from our church.  I will appreciate more the ease and comfort in which I am able to worship.
I am so thankful I went to the meeting.   I truly felt like I left having grown spiritually.  I was very thankful I had gone.  Great meeting.

#7  After watching Women's Conference on Sunday, we watched "Amazing Race".  Yes.  The new season started this week.  We have picked our teams.  My team is TEAM GLEE.  Through out the season we will watch this together and eat foods from the countries they visit, as we learn more about the different countries.  Fun family time.

#8  Leslie made Sunday dinner (since Doug and I would have been gone).  So happy.  And I did not have to clean up :)

#9  I am happy I have a van.  I drove some friends to the camp out last weekend.  This week I received a note and $10.00 gas money in "an unmarked envelope".  With a little help ;) I was able to return it.  I have always been so grateful that we have been able to have a van.  I know that we have been blessed because we will share it.
It has been, and will be busy this week as Lindsay and David move.  Yea!

#10  I have waited 6 weeks for this picture to go on sale at Savers.  (It is huge.)  (Every week a different colour tag is 1/2 price.  The tag was purple.  I call to find out what colour is on sale that week.)  It was originally $30.00, and I wanted it for a project.  Finally it was on sale this week, and I bought it for $15.00.  (If I had waited until the next Monday it would only have been $1.00.  I did not want to risk it selling.)

Next week I'll show you why I wanted it.  (Clue-Not for the picture ;)   
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