Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guest Blog by Rachel

Hello Everyone my name is Rachel and I am a follower of Michelle's blog. I have really enjoyed her blog and love all her neat ideas on there and I feel so lucky to do a post on here! I just wanted to share a yummy waffle recipe with everyone that my family loves to do together.

Sour Cream Waffles- by Carol Searle
2 eggs
1 C. sour cream
1/4 C. melted butter, cooled
1 C. buttermilk
1 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda

Combine eggs, sour cream, butter, buttermilk and beat until smooth.

In a seperate bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and slowly add dry ingredients to liquid mixture. Stir until well blended.

Batter will be slightly lumpy.

Thats it! Its very easy and they are so light and fluffy! We do homemade syrup with ours and chopped up fresh strawberries and top it off with some whip cream! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Crock pot Lasagna

Only 1 more follower and I will random.org a winner for the basket of my favourite things. (I have a few more things I will add the beginning of next week.)
I have wanted to try lasagna in my crock pot for awhile but 2 things have held me back.
all the recipes I found called for some type of a pre-cooked noodle, and I can't find a healthy noodle. Finally I just decided to try my fast and easy, family size recipe.

Easy Crock Pot Family Lasagna

8-12 uncooked regular lasagna noodle (I think I used 12, but I still had 8 left in my 16 noodle package?)
about 1 1/2 lbs. ricotta cheese
about 1 1/2 lb. grated mozzarella cheese
3 cans (about 26 oz.each-I use Hunt's 4 cheese -see note)
1 cup water

cooked and drained ground beef or sausage
frozen spinach-defrosted and all liquid sqeezed out

This recipe makes a large (oval) pot of lasagna, but the left-overs are great. I start by turning my crock pot to high as I assemble. Spray your crock pot and pour about 3/4 of a can of spaghetti over the bottom. Then lay down 3 noodles. (I broke the corners off on the side ones.)
Spread 1/3 of ricotta cheese (I was going to stir the drained spinach into the ricotta-but I forgot.), then sprinkle about 1/4 of mozzarella cheese and pour on aboy 3/4 of a can of sauce.
Top with the rest of the sauce and then the rest of the cheese. (I sprinkled the cooked ground beef on 1/2 at this point. Hilary won't eat ground beef.) Then I poured 1 cup of water around the edges of the pot (for the noodles to absorb). Last of all, I stuck a couple of broken noodles near the out er edge. (These were so I could test it :^)
Lower the heat to low and cook for 3-4 hours. (I usually top my lasagna with pepperoni that I have microwaved between paper towels for about 30-45 seconds.) This was really good lasagna. Maybe my best using a canned sauce. Everything was cooked just right. The cheese was stringy. The noodles were perfect. (Use your "testers" to check for gumminess. For mine, that meant not done.) This was a hit.
note-We like Hunts 4 cheese sauce. It is not too sweet and the flavour is a good blend. (No pepper taste, etc.) Also, it goes on sale and is priced great for food storage (I paid $.69 for the ones I have now.). It is low in fat. The biggest reason is that many many years ago when we used a glass bottled pasta sauce, a child went to bring a jar up, and it fell and broke. It was terrible to clean, so I use cans.
In 2 1/2 days Mark and Ashley will be married. WHOO HOO!
(Spell check did not find any misspelled words. I hope you don't.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My 10 Things 14 March - 21 March, 2010

14 March - 21 March, 2010

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven".

by either George Bernard Shaw or Robert Browning or John Bowring

Weird, I know. I love quotes and have collected them forever. I thought George Bernard Shaw said it. But, before I put a quote from my book on my blog, I usually check it. This one is quoted all over the Internet by 1 of the 3 men.

#1 Less than 1 week until Mark and Ashley will be married. I am so happy and excited for them. I love Ashley and know they will be happy.

#2 Since Mark is sort of moving into the apartment until the wedding, he took the couch out of the garage. Sadly, a car will not fit in the garage, yet.

#3 Doug is taking 2 DAYS off next week. YEA!

#4 On Thursday Doug and I (and Lindsay and David and Lisa and Nelson) went to "Celebrate the Arts", a fundraising event for the Symphony, Opera and Ballet West. Mom was in charge and she did a really nice job. Thank-you for the tickets, Mom and Dad. I enjoyed the evening. My favourite part was seeing Jamie Wyeth's "Seven Deadly Sins" exhibit. He portrays the sins with seagulls. It was on my list to see after reading about it several months ago. I was not disappointed. I am so glad I went. I am going to see the exhibit again.

#5 Leslie gave me a Cadbury egg on Monday and I still have it :^) uneaten.

#6 I am happy that I got an apron this week. Not THE apron, but an apron. Cute for a $10.oo apron (Target Easter area).

I did not try many new things this week. (Busy week.) But both the recipes I tried for Sunday dinner were great. I loved the corned beef I made in the crock pot. It was my first time ever making this. I adapted the recipe from several sources, and learned some stuff.

First I sprayed my large oval crock pot. I started my crock pot on high and filled the bottom with 3 large potatoes cut into medium cubes, unpeeled. I poured about 1 1/2 cups of sliced carrots over the potatoes. I looked for a piece of corned beef with as little visible fat as possible. When I opened the package there was a thick layer of fat on the bottom that I sawed off. II cut out the streak of fat that ran thru the centre, and cut off all fat that I saw. Then I just set the meat on top of the veggies. I sprinkled the seasoning package on top of the meat and rubbed it in with the back of a spoon, and poured 1/2 cup of water around the edges. I would not use frozen meat.
I cooked on high for almost 2 hours. Then I cooked on low for about 4 hours, and finished on high for 2 hours.

Recap-2 hours high, 4 hours low, 2 hours high = about 8 hours

To serve we put the potatoes and carrots in a glass (about 7x11 size) dish or platter. David cut the meat for me with the grain, on the diagonal. We just set that by the veggies, in the same dish.

Emily bought the corned beef and I am so happy she did. It was so tender and amazingly good. The vegetables, too.

Those that do not like corned beef, did not try it. Those that like corned beef, really enjoyed this. I would remember to make this again next March, but we will want it before then, so I am writing this idea down. (Sorry, no picture. People were ready to eat.)

notes-After cooking the meat will still be almost as red as when you started. Don't worry. This was so tender, we could tell it was cooked.

Also, I put cabbage chunks on top while it cooked. We did not like the flavour. I won't put it in again.

As I was online looking for corned beef recipes, I also read about Reuben sandwiches. Kind of funny because we talked about Reuben in Sunday School today. (I had pastrami to go with the corned beef.) I learned a Reuben sandwich is made with corned beef. If you make it with pastrami it is a Rachel sandwich. I found a recipe for Reuben (Rachel) Turnovers. We liked these, too.

Rachel Turnovers makes up to 8

recipe adapted from a Pillsbury recipe

1 tube large refrigerator biscuits (like "Grands") I used a store brand

sliced pastrami (I used turkey pastrami)

grated Swiss cheese

well drained sour kraut (Don't panic. You can leave this out.)

1 lightly beaten egg

sesame seeds for garnish

Use your hands to flatten the biscuits to about a 5 inch circle. Let each one rest as you make the rest, then go back and finish forming. Top each round with about 1 piece of pastrami, 1-2 table. grated Swiss cheese and sour kraut (or not). Fold in 1/2 and pinch to seal the edges. I put mine on parchment paper on my cookie sheet. Use a basting brush to brush tops with beaten egg and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bake 25-30 mins. at 350* We dipped them in a spicy mustard/mayo mix. These were good.

I served the 2 meats (and veggies) with rolls, rye bread, Swiss cheese slices, sour kraut, mustards and 1ooo Island dressing, plus a salad bar. (I also made a pan of funeral potatoes for those that would not eat the potatoes by the corned beef.) Good Sunday dinner.

#7 Nelson made me happy. (Thank-you very much, Nelson.) When I have a lot to do and/or am stressed, I obsess. I needed a ,map for a project I am working on. Nelson works downtown for the Division of State History. I "needed " a map and thought maybe he knew where to get one. I left a message on the house phone. BY THAT NIGHT I HAD EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED, AND MORE. In my hands. Way to lower my stress level, Nelson. Thank-you.

#8 I finished making my magnet birthday board. I love it in my laundry room.

#9 I am happy that Elana and Lindsay both have working washing machines. (Neither had dryer problems.)

#10 Music makes me happy. Today at church we sang "The Day Dawn is Breaking" and "How firm a Foundation". I don't sing well, but I do sing out. I love to sing. I will very much miss singing by Mark at church, and the impromptu singing that happens around our home. He sings parts and rounds with me. I am sure he will sing in his new home.

Welcome new follower, Kayleen.

Two more followers and I will get a winner from random.org. for my give away basket. I have enjoyed finding my favourite things to put in the basket.

Today I am putting in the supplies for a fun project that I found several months ago, while blog visiting. I saw the idea over at http://brownpaper--packages.blogspot.com/ . The idea is @ 21 December, 2009, and is a tiny photo album. These are made with miniature page protectors and scrapbook supplies. I'm kidding. They are name tag holders, and very cute. I made mine with a love theme. I made a kit for the blog follower give away basket that has 6 tiny page protectors, 1 book ring, 10 pre-cut papers (some are double-sided), a flower, a button (I put mine on the flower), brads, ribbon and a few other embellishments. (I love my mini scrapbook, but what should I put in it?)

My mom is coming next week for Mark's wedding, so I will be trying and hopefully posting new crock pot recipes (I have 4 that I am making-2 are new ones) and another breakfast cake. Rachel will guest blog her waffle recipe the next week. We really liked it. Does anyone else want to guest post a recipe between 28 March and 2 April?


After a busy week I am posting throw back Thursday, on Saturday.
This recipe is one of Doug's favourites. I have been making it since I was newly married in the early 80's. The recipe comes from "The Junior League of Salt Lake City's Heritage Cookbook". My SIL, Wendy, gave this to me for my birthday in December, 1979. It is called "Company Casserole" and I have adapted it for crock-pot cooking.

Company Casserole
adapted from Jr. League Heritage Cookbook (Myra Cameron Kennedy)

8 oz. egg noodles- cooked al dente- I used no yolk
1/2 lb.- 1 lb. ground beef- cooked and drained
24 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup cottage cheese-I use low-fat
8 oz. cream cheese-I use light
1/4 cup sour cream- I use low-fat
about 4-6 chopped green onion
1 table. butter or margarine

After draining the cooked egg noodles, stir in the butter and set aside. Mix softened cream cheese, cottage cheese sour cream and green onion if everyone likes them. (I serve mine on the side.) Spray crock pot and turn on high. Layer 1/2 of the noodles in the crock pot. Cover with all of the cream cheese mixture. Spread the rest of the noodles over the cheese mix. Top with cooked ground beef, and pour tomato sauce over all. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Check at 2 1/2. I use an oval 5-7 quart crock pot for this. It looks a mess, but is creamy and has a nice flavour.

I am adding recipe cards and a weekly menu planning calender to the give away basket. I love recipes. I love collecting, trying, and getting rid of the paper clutter of those that don't pass.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A BIT OF GREEN & Happy Birthday, Debbie

Happy Birthday, Debbie. I hope this coming year will be a VERY good one. I love you.
Since today is St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would just write a few ideas for green dressings and dips. Yep, one more pesto post.

For a simple but unique pesto dressing, stir 2-3 table. prepared pesto into ranch dressing. This is a bit of the basil flavour for a basic green salad, or pasta salad.

One recipe I get a lot of requests for is a pasta pesto salad. It is just a bottle of Italian dressing (You can use the very cheapest, and I use low fat.) and stir in about 1/2 cup of prepared pesto. Stir into cooked and cooled pasta (I use rotini type.). Add your choice of vegetables. Cut tomatoes, olives, broccoli, matchstick carrots, sliced zucchini... Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan.

A bit of prepared pesto in mayo (regular or light) for using on a cold sandwich. I like removing the inside of a loaf of peasant pot bread. Then build the sandwich in the loaf and put the "lid" back on. This can be made ahead and wrapped well and kept in the fridge. To keep the bread from getting soggy, I butter the inside, and then line my bread bowl with washed and very dry lettuce.

For dipping hot sandwiches just mix half pesto and half sour cream (I use light.). Use this at room temp. (Remember this is also great as a pizza sauce.)

For a simple side dish cut red potatoes in to large cubes. (As many as you want.) Stir in pesto to coat.(As much as you want.) (I use about 2 lbs. potatoes and about 1/3 - 1/2 cup pesto.) Bake at 400* for about 40 mins.

Pesto Chicken Bake
Earlier in the week I tried another new recipe with pesto. I used the oven pot (with a lid) that I use for my pot bread. I sprayed the pan and added 4 (4-6)boneless skinless chicken thighs, one v e r y large potato (about 2 cups. I would have used red potatoes if I had had some.), cubed, 1-1 1/2 cut tomatoes (or cherry/grape tomatoes cut in 1/2). Stir in 1/2 cup prepared pesto. There is no reason to pre-heat the oven. Just cover and bake at 425* for 45 mins. I served this with pot bread and Parmesan cheese and fruit. I really liked this. Next winter this will go on my favourites list.
Tomorrow for throw back Thursday I am posting one of Doug's favourites adapted for a crock-pot. Also, I have a favourite thing to add to the give away basket. :D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Favourite Sandwich

At our house we love PANINIS!

I was making them before you could buy panini presses everywhere. I used a George Forman grill until I found (at a thrift store for $4.oo) this "General Electric Contact Grill". There are 2 main differences in this (or George
Forman) grill and a panini grill. A panini grill is at a straight horizontal level and an adjustable cover that lowers down to press. It also has (usually) a bigger surface. My grill cooks only 1 at a time. The angle on mine is level horizontal (Some major angle down.), but my top is hinged at the back and folds down. I can live with that. You will be much happier if you have grills that can be removed for washing.

It is hard to write a recipe for paninis. Use what you like. Start with the bread. I buy a decent hoagie roll. Decide on meats, cheeses and vegetables. Think about sauces and herbs. I'll start with this one.

For this panini I split a hoagie roll in 1/2 length wise. Because I am grill this I turn my roll inside out and using a silicone basting brush, brush the 2 outer sides (formerly insides) with olive oil. (You can also use melted butter.) I like to sprinkle dried herbs (basil, oregano) or garlic powder on mine.

Next I build the sandwich. I always put cheese on the top and bottom (first and last). This glues the sandwich. For this sandwich I used fresh mozzarella cheese. I added slices of fresh tomatoes and then a strip of bottled pesto down the centre. I added left over rotisserie chicken next. More cheese and then the top bread. You don't want to put too much sauce on the sandwich. Then I put it on the well heated grill.

To keep my sandwich from slipping apart as it grills, I use one finger to hold the part of the sandwich in place as I set the lid down on the panini. It will close on it's own as it cooks, leaving you with a perfect panini.

If the grill is hot, it takes 4-6 mins. on my grill.

Then, I serve a sauce at the side for dipping. (You don't use a lot of sauce on the sandwich so it will hold it's shape.) For this Chicken Basil Panini I serve 2 sauces. One is a basic marinara, and the other is the basil pizza sauce (from Melanie Q.). (1/2 cup prepared pesto + 1/2 cup light sour cream) You could also add pesto to mayonnaise if you prefer a heavier dip.

The great thing about paninis is that you can use any meat or cheese. Left over roast or chicken..., but one of my favourite dipping sauces is a mix of low fat mayo and Brianna's Chipotle Cheddar dressing. mmmm I serve the dips in a small serving dish with a spoon, like dip.

During the winter serve this with a soup. For summer, try a salad.

Just a note. If you don't like or have not used pesto, try it a new way. It has an amazing full flavour, but plays well with others. I will share a few more pesto recipes this week.

Pancakes and Waffles, Oh My! and Vanilla Sugar

7 March - 14 March, 2010
"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more of it I have." Thomas Jefferson

After a busy week-end I am back to write. Today I will do my 10 things and add to the give away basket. (I will post our favourite sandwich tomorrow.)

#1 Can you believe Mark and Ashley will be married in less than 2 weeks? Mark will be moving out next Saturday.

#2 All the flowers are ordered and I feel good about the florist we used. Kate recommended "The Rose Shoppe". I really appreciate her help SO much.

#3 Doug & I went to the Salt Lake Temple for a marriage early (VERY EARLY) Friday morning. It was a nice way to start our day. (But way to early.)

#4 Leslie and Christy get 20 points. Each. They put the "new" faucet in the kids bathroom sink. I bought it about 1 year ago. THANK-YOU VERY MUCH! Because, now the sink has it's faucet, and the box is out of the hall. (IT has lived there since Christmas as I have hoped it would get done. Turns out Christy knew how to put them in.)

#5 I took a really fun class with Hilary on Saturday. We really enjoyed it, and we both love our "Star Photo Album" we made. Cute, huh? I have a lot of ideas.

#6 This week's recipes were breakfast things. I have used a "big batch, cheap, easy" recipe that I have used (because I needed quantity) for about 20 years. Or bought a mix. As kidults eat here less, I decided I want a really good pancake and waffle recipe. I tried 2 more waffle recipes, a lemon blueberry muffin and blueberry pancakes. The first waffle recipe was a yeast recipe that you make the night before and can keep in the fridge for several days. It was convenient, but dense and not much flavour. Then I tried Rachel's recipe (a Follower), and really enjoyed it. Thank-you for sending it to me, Rachel. It was fast and easy, so I tossed the yeast one. I am hoping Rachel will guest post the recipe for me the week after Mark's wedding. (Out of towne guests.) I love waffles and have a fun waffle iron collection. (About 8.) Mickey mouse (of course), Winnie the Pooh, Cinderella, farm animals, roses, hearts...
I got the pancake recipe from Woman's Day (Jan. 2010). They got very good reviews. Next time I will try them without the blueberries.

Blueberry Pancakes
from Woman's Day
1 cup pancake/waffle mix (I used Heart Smart Bisquick)
3/4 cup milk (I use 1%)
1 large egg
2 tea. sugar
1 teas. baking powder
1 tea. lemon zest
1 table. fresh squeezed lemon juice (Doug wanted more lemon flavour next time)
1/2-1 cup fresh blueberries

Barely mix everything except the blueberries. Should have lumps still. Also, remember when you put eggs in batters like this that you want to mix the egg before adding. (The more you mix, the less fluffy your pancakes/waffles/cookies are. Don't waste your beating with the egg.)

Carefully stir in blueberries. Cook in a hot skillet with butter. (Not just to grease the pan. Adds flavour and crisp crust.) Turn when the edges are set and the top has bubbles. We liked these.

#7 I finished the birthday cards that I am sending to my siblings this year. (I usually have them done by Feb., but needed help. Thank-you Leslie and Doug.)

#8 I am happy I got a perm. (Well, except for the first week or so.)

#9 Each week (or so) I try to find something to do with my theme for this year. ("More Savior Like Thee, Hymn # 131) This week I discovered something interesting. Each request (almost) from the song can be given to a body part. Most are identified to the heart or mind. Here are some of the things I came up with for me. "More joy in His service" - Hands (for serving), "More purpose in prayer - knees, (also gratitude), I choose eyes for "More freedom from earthstains"... I enjoyed working on this.

# 10 I have over 50 posts.

I am building a BLOG GIVE AWAY basket that 1 follower will get when I have 32 followers.. Only 3 to go. Today I am adding a vanilla bean. (I picked it up at Spoons and Spice on Saturday for you.) It is in zip lock bag. That is how I buy them.

I use vanilla sugar a lot for baking. To make my vanilla sugar I cut off the 2 ends of my vanilla bean. I slice down the side of the bean without going through both layers. I scrape out the seeds from inside the bean and put them in my container with 1 cup of sugar. Then I add the bean and shake it well. Now I add another cup of sugar. (You can add more if your container is bigger.) Wait at least (about) a week for the flavour to disperse. Shake it every once in a while.
To use it, remove what you need for your recipe from the jar, and replace the same amount into the jar. Shake.
(I have always wanted to make my own vanilla, but you need vodka. I just can not buy that. So I do this. I also make lavender sugar in the summer.)

So far in the basket there are glow in the dark stars, Crayola Model Magic Fusion (glow in the dark), Bath and Body Works hand soap, 1 pair Reflexology gloves, heart cupcake liners, Thank-you notes, Mr. Clean Magic eraser, 2 Scentsy car candles, can of spray Oust and a vanilla bean. I will add 5 more things this week. Come see what favourite things I have for you. (I will still add these things even if I get 3 followers TODAY ;)

Have a good Monday.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I read an interesting statistic the other day. In the Blog World 1% of people will "follow", 9% will comment and 90% will visit. hmmm. I love my followers and really love the comments. I blog to save and share and connect. (It is a rather inexpensive hobby.) My aspirations are not huge.

I visit other blogs to make my world better. I love ideas and inspiration, and I send some out. So...

I decided to really work to give public input to some of the bloggers/blogs I like. Any blog I post on my visit list will be positive and have something to offer that you might enjoy.

I put "Clawson Live" on because (#1 I LOVE LOVE LOVE the pot bread that got me started on breads) I like her recipes and the variety she has. And I really enjoy her commentaries. I like visiting there and read the whole blog.

I put "Under the Umbrella" on partly because she is very generous with her ideas AND PATTERNS. It is a fun place to hang out.

I appreciate my followers and the comments. Come visit anytime.
I will post one of our favourite sandwiches tonight.

Thursday, March 11, 2010



Lately I have ended up cooking a few "oldie but goodie" recipes. In January Christy asked for a birthday cake that we used to make a lot.

In February I made one of Doug's favourite cassaroles since I had tried a bunch of experiments (new recipes) on him. Lindsay picked "Christy's" cake for her birthday, and I thought these old recipes were worth making again and sharing. So, today is my first "THROW BACK THURSDAY" post.

Lindsay is guest blogging for me since she has really enjoyed this recipe. A great spring/summer cake.


This recipe is so good. I don't ever remember having it before Christy's birthday at the end of January, but after having it I knew I wanted to try different kinds. Christy calls it Refrigerator Cake, my mom calls it Jello Poke Cake. For my birthday I decided to make lemon/strawberry.

1 box lemon cake mix

1 small box of any kind of jello

1 small box of vanilla pudding

1 container cool whip

Make your lemon cake mix as directed on the box. After cooking it let it cool completely. As your cake cools make your jello. I used 1 cup boiling water and a half a cup of cold water. Do not put it in the fridge to make it firm. When your cake is cooled, take a fork and poke up and down the whole cake all the way through. Next, spoon your liquid jello into the holes you made with the fork. After you do this make your pudding as directed on the box. Whisk for two minutes, but then do not put it in the fridge. Now, fold your cool whip into the pudding and spread it on the cake like frosting. Last, put it in the fridge to set up.

This cake is delicious and I will be making it again this weekend with Lime Jello for St. Patricks Day.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Playing with Pesto and Sweet Scents

Are you planning your St. Patrick's Day menus? While certainly not Irish, Pesto is green. Over the next week I will post 5 ways to use the pesto left -over (planned over) from your pasta bar.

(I had planned on posting this yesterday was my computer was wacko (Very slow and disconnecting) Thank-you, honey for staying up until 12:30 and spending 4 hours to make it very fast again. 0X

I love Pesto. I didn't always. It was not something I grew up having in my home. I started using it as my kidults got older. Although higher in fat than a marinara sauce, it uses healthy fats. Pesto is usually made with fresh basil, but other leafy (spinach) vegetables can also be used. Pesto uses olive oil as it's liquid.

I buy Pesto in a jar at Sam's Club (or Costco) for under $7.00 I can get at least 3 meals from that-plus a pasta bar. If I am not going to Sam's, and I want Pesto, I keep envelopes of Knorr Pesto sauce in my pantry. This does not have the freshness of the jar, but it works well for all my pesto uses. It is like packaged gravy in that you make it yourself using 3/4 cup water and 1/4 cup olive oil. (I have made this just fine with 1/8 cup olive oil and 7/8 water.)
I love the flavour of the pizza recipe I am posting today. This recipe came from Melanie Quinney, Lindsay's SIL. It is so easy.

Pesto Pizza

from Melanie Quinney

pizza crust (I will tell you what I used)

1/3 cup pesto

1/3 cup sour cream (I use light)

cooked chicken-shredded (Shredded is my preference. Do what you want. I used a rotisserie chicken from Sam's-and will get 2 or 3 more meals from it.)

grilled vegetables of choice (I used onion and tomatoes)

Cheese of choice (I used fresh mozzarella)

O.K. First the crust-I first saw this flat bread recipe on "Studio 5". It was shared by http://www.realmomkitchen.com/ . (You can see her original on 2 November, 2009)

Flat Bread Pizza Crust

Use 1 tube of large size refrigerator biscuits (I used Pillsbury Grands Flaky) - Shape with you hands to a 6 in circle. I shaped it and then set it on a plate to rest while I did the next 1 or 2. Then I returned to stretch it a bit more. Get the whole 6 inches so your thickness will be right. Then...

Put in a dry skillet heated to medium on the stove top. (Yep, no oil :) Cook about 60 sec. per side. Since I turned the oven on for the pizza, I also cooked some in the oven and the results were the same. I used parchment paper on my cookie sheet, and baked them at #50* for 7 mins. I turned them over and baked for 2 more mins.

Results- First of all, instant pizza bases. These can also be made ahead of time. (They will be a bit less tender when done this way, but very convenient.) Mark prefers this to pita bread/english muffins.

Now for the pizza sauce (I think this is taking me much longer to type (I use 1 finger) that it did to make.

Just mix the pesto and sour cream. How easy is that? I have seen a lot of pesto pizza sauces, but never this easy and yummy one.

I grill my veggies in a skillet with just a bit of olive oil, onions first. Then you toss in the drained tomatoes. In the summer we do it on the grill, and cook the pizzas out there, too. (On foil or in an aluminum trow-away pan with holes poked.)

To assemble I put the veggies first, then the shredded chicken and then cheese. Mark was the only kidult here for dinner (Emily was sick.) and he does not eat sour cream, tomatoes or onions. He put BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray's) on his crust, then chicken and cheese. He loved it.

WELCOME NEW FOLLOWERS Its So Very Cheri and raulai

Thank-you for playing. I really appreciate all of my followers and love the comments. Thank-you.

Three more new followers and I will draw for a basket of my favourite things.. Today I am adding to the basket. Today I am adding "scents". I love scents. I use sprays, candles, Scentsys, incense (which all of my kidults hate)... I am putting in a can of my favourite OUST - "clean scent", and 2 Scentsy car candles. Lemon Lavender and Nutmeg Orange.

Monday, March 8, 2010

SILHOUETTES - Making your own


All I wanted was a silhouette of each of my kidults.

I hope this picture will show how good these are. (I do all my computer stuff on a mini lap top.)

I took profile photos of each kidult to my copy shop. I reduced/enlarged to get all 6 about the same size, and then copied them onto paper weight paper.

I bought an acid free black paper at a local art supply store. I prefer my silhouettes cut from the black paper rather than a copy of the silhouette. In my experience the copied black does not have the even solid look of the paper. Then I just cut the 2 layers together (picture/black paper) along silhouette /profile lines. (Basically, cut out the face ;) This may seem simple (Think George Washington and Abe Lincoln in 2nd grade.), but there are some tips. (I bought books.)
#1 Make several copies of your pics so you can practice. But here is a tip. Even in practice, use the black paper. How sad to cut a great one-out of the copied pic.
#2 Detail- Cut the eyelashes, wisps of hair, collars... These things give life and individuality.
#3 Cut just outside the "line" as you practice, if you are hesitant. Then you can try again or fix a rough spot and maybe save it.
#4 When cutting, hold your scissors in one spot and turn your paper. This gives you more control.
#5 I like to use small scissors made for fine details of paper cutting. If you are used to using an exacto knife, you may choose to use that for some of your smaller, finer, tighter areas.
This is really pretty easy.

JOURNAL ENTRY- They worked together to take each others profile pictures, and the daughter on a church sign language mission (in Portland, Oregon) sent her profile. It barely got done in time for the week long trip my husband and I were taking to Southern Calif. (It was a wonderful week. I went to a thrift store and found an amazing very olde globe with a light in it. Doug carried it home on our flight for me.)

Anyway, we left my memory card at a little place near the entrance to Disneyland to get real photos. (Can you guess why?) The next day we went back to pick up the pics. After getting them I asked for the memory card. The man, who did not speak English well responded with, "Oh, you want back? We don't keep them." PANIC!!! WHAT??? He bursts out laughing. "Good Joke?" I laughed.

We took the photos into Disneyland to the silhouette shoppe on Main St. We left them, and went back to pick them up later. They were terrible. I was so shocked by how awful they looked that I started to cry. They offered to have another person do them, but never mind. I was disillusioned. I knew I would have to make my own. (I had already paid. BAD USE OF TRIP MONEY!)
When we go to So. Calif. (me and the kidults, Doug just humoured me) we go to Character Warehouse (Discount Disney). I found the Disney Silhouette oval frames for $1.99! There were only 3. So, dear husband drove to the other Character Warehouse (about 45 mins. away) just in case they had more. We found just 4 more. Just enough. (They were $3.00 each. I did not care.)

I peeled the juvenile, childish looking Disney ones off the Disney background. Put my own on-and signed them, and dated them. They hang above the media closet. And I love them.

They may all look close to the same to you, but they are all really good likenesses.

This is linked at http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com

Sunday, March 7, 2010


"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Paul in Phillipians 4:11

28 February - 7 March, 2010

As I was going into Micheal's this week, I saw a mom with 3 (I think) kids leaving. She had bought about 5 oval frames. I thought that was funny because I knew that I was posting about silhouettes for my "Bits & Pieces" on Monday night. I wondered if she blogged, and if I visit her. Maybe I will see those frames sometime soon. With silhouettes in them. Because I live in the Salt Lake, UT valley, I am sure I pass some of the many bloggers I visit.
The other funny thing about blogs is how often we all get the same idea. Or a variation of it. Last fall I saw a recipe for S'more Brownies that was made from scratch. In Jan. I adapted it to simplify it. Turns out this was not a unique idea. Fun to see how we all adapted it.

Now to my 10 things

#1 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LINDSAY!! She turned 24 today. 7 March. We had her birthday dinner today and everyone was here. I love you, Lindsay. I am thankful you are my daughter. Lindsay picked picked spaghetti for her birthday dinner , and we had a pasta bar.

I have a picture of PESTO on pasta here. That's because this week I am going to post some recipes that use pesto sauce. I make mine in the summer, but in the winter I buy a jar of it in the refrigerator section at Sam's Club. I love it on pasta. The first thing I'm going to do is include it in a pasta bar with a Marinara Sauce and an Alfredo Sauce. I still have plenty left, so check back later in the week for some other Pesto ideas. Some of the kidults mix the pesto with Alfredo for a smooth and creamier sauce. Some add a bit to the marinara.

#2 I went to Michael's with Hilary and found something I have looked for for awhile. A front opening shadow box frame! And it was in the clearance area! It was in new condition, originally priced at $39.99. Marked down to $9.99 (so worth it), and I had my coupon for 40% off. $5.99!!! I am so happy. Here's why. I love Sailor's Valentine's. I have a couple, but I have wanted to make my own amazing elaborate one. I started collecting shells, pictures, ideas and a dvd about 5 years ago, and now I can build it. (Well, after the wedding :) As bad as I want to, I am not bringing the shells up to even look at them. But I am happy to have the frame.
#3 30 points for me. I got the pantry emptied, cleaned and put back together. 20 points for Mark. He painted the pantry for me during his lunch times. (O.K. I paid him, but he is getting married in 3 weeks. I was happy to pay him and give him points.) 10 points for everyone else who put up with everything out of the pantry for 6 days.

#4 It's a little thing, but... When I went to Winco for the grand opening, they had a big bottle of hand washing dish soap on sale for $.99. It was not my brand (or any "brand") but it was cheap. I HAVE HATED IT. Yea! I finally finished it on Friday. It was great to fill my bottle with DAWN. The dish soap that bubbles well and releases cooked on food.

#5 Leslie printed some things for me this week. I have needed some things printed for a while. Thank-you, Leslie. It was great timing because I was feeling so obsessed about making my milk cartons. (see last post)) (Although the pictures make them look crooked, they are not. I think the band around it makes it look that way.)

#6 I am so happy that Doug told us (Lindsay and me) that he will put my pictures on my blog. I won't have to wait for Lindsay. Thank-you so much, dear. Thank-you for letting me play the blog game.

#7 I am happy about some of my family's adventures this month.
Matt-coming home from Italy the end of March. He has been on a 2 year mission as a member of our church. (Actually I am happier for his family ;-)
Melissa-Visiting her family in CA. for 1 month (with her kids)
Mom-coming to visit us from CA. for Mark and Ashley's wedding
Karyn and Kirstin-visiting Michael and Tracey and family in New York City for 1 week.

#8 I had fun shopping with Hilary on Saturday. At Joanne's we bought the MARTHA STEWART CUPCAKE BOOK with a coupon. We found what we needed at the $ STORE. We will show what we make as we make them.

#9 Not a great week of new recipes. I tried a new waffle recipe that I had great hopes for. It looked right, but alas the reviews were that they were the same as usual. Still hunting for a (really) good waffle that is easy and does not separate the eggs.
We roasted our chestnuts on Sunday. They burned. Badly. Oh well. Now I will get rid of my chestnut roaster. Been there. Done that.
It turns out that I had 6 bags of white beans in the pantry. (It is quite a bit cheaper to cook with dry beans. I am sure I thought, "I will buy the cans for this week, and the bags for next week-when I have more time") So, I soaked my beans over night and cooked them on Saturday to make white bean chicken chili. It was o.k. I will try a white chili each week until I find one I really like. Or until it is too hot for chili. Which ever comes first.

#10 This is my 49th post. Thank-you for visiting and hanging out. I appreciate you trying my ideas, and leaving comments Sometime this next week I will post some of my "Favourites of Fifty".

Friday, March 5, 2010

I Think This Is SOOO Cute-A Paper Project

Milk Carton!

I loved this the minute I saw it. A container. Made of paper. And miniature. I was so excited to get the o.k. to share this with you.
Isn't it so cute? (Plus, if you use a treat, portion control. I put 5 gold kisses in one. ;)

Here is the address of the original. http://diymaven.com/ It is on 2 March, 2010. Her tutorial is easy to follow.

I had Leslie copy the pattern on white paper (master copy), and on the back of a print card stock. You could add gold coins (or any coins), birthday money, a note, candy, jewelry... I had fun with this. And I have lots of ideas for it. (I made these at 2:00 a.m. They will be more creative when I use scrapbook supplies. (I did not want to go searching in the middle of the night, but I could not wait to make 1.) And they would have had crisper folds if I had gotten the bone folder.)

While you are at her blog, wander around a bit. I have found fun things. I like the Alexander Girard Valentine on 6 Feb., 2010.

I am adding a Mr. Clean eraser to my basket. Sounds weird, but I love them. I use them to clean doors (and frames), walls, appliances, stainless steel pans, plastic (Tupperware) lids and containers that get sticky, labels that stick... Anyway, here is my money saving tip. I HATE yucky Mr. Clean erasers so, I cut some into 6 or 8 pieces and keep in a container under my sink. Much of the time I am doing a small job, and these bits work well.

Graham Cracker Stuesel Breakfast Cake and Omelet Bar

This is my last (official) recipe from "start with a cake mix". Because there are a T O N of very good recipes that start with a cake mix, I will post more periodically.
This breakfast cake is easy and popular at our house. Now, lest you think we eat a lot of breakfast cake, we don't. Our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ) has a general conference twice a year. In Utah, we can watch most of it at home, and I plan and work to make it worthwhile. Our big family omelet brunch is 12:30 on Sunday.
I learned how to make omelets/omelet bar after I went with Doug on a business trip to Las Vegas. I prepare most of my omelet fillings on Saturday. Some things we use are red peppers, green and purple onions, black beans, zucchini and asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, avocados, olives, several cheeses, diced ham... (We also serve salsa, sour cream, and tortillas on the side.) Each person puts what they want on their omelet on a plate-and brings it to me. I cook them all using 3 small skillets with lids.
Here's what I do. In the skillet I put about 1-2 tea. butter and toss in all omelet fillings EXCEPT CHEESE. I stir fry to soften and, in a cup break 2 eggs. I add about 2 table. WATER. (I found that water blends the eggs. Milk caused them to be watery?) I grind a bit of pepper and salt and wisk with a fork. (I make each one separately.) Now I turn down the heat in my pan(s) and pour in my eggs. I cover with a lid and cook on low for several mins., then I loosen the edges and move uncooked eggs on top to the bottom of the pan by tilting the pan. I cover and cook a few more mins until top is set. Then I add cheese and cover until the cheese is melted. It will slide right out onto the plate. Yea, it takes awhile. That's why we have breakfast cake.
a note- These are not "light fluffy whip the egg whites" omelets. These are easy (not too fast). get several servings of veggies omelets. Everyone loves them because they designed them.

Graham Cracker Stuesel Breakfast Cake
from Better Homes and Gardens September 1992


1 yellow cake mix
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs
1 cup water


1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (see note)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (opt.)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teas. cinnamon
1/2 cup melted margarine


1 cup powdered sugar
1 teas. vanilla
enough water to drizzle

Mix cake mix, oil, water and eggs and beat on med. about 2 mins.

In another bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and melted margarine/butter. Mix with fork just until mixed.

In a sprayed 9 x 13 cake pan, layer 1/2 the cake mix. Sprinkle with 1/2 the streusel mix. Spread the rest of the cake mix, (you already know) and sprinkle the rest of the streusel over the top.

Cook at 350* for 35-40 mins. Cool and drizzle with mixed icing. (Leslie usually makes this one and Lindsay makes the lemon blueberry one. ) We also serve juice, milk, sausage and hot chocolate if it is cold.

NOTE- I will post a few more recipes that use graham cracker crumbs at another time. I prefere to buy graham cracker crumbs. I usually buy them on sale and they are quite reasonably priced. The work is done for me, so I don't have to wash my blender/food processer. AND, I never go to get graham crackers and find that someone has finished them.
I usually do not post on Saturday, but I found a fun little craft that I will show you tomorrow. Also, a cleaning tip and something new in my basket of favourite things.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I had SOOO forgotten how good these brownies are.(and Give Away Basket)

I make these very seldom (less than once a year), probably because I cannot keep Reese's Peanut Butter cups in my house. (I keep trying to pass a law that no one can buy, or bring in, candy, cake, donuts, chips...)

Since Monday was National Peanut Butter Lover's Day (and Doug LOVES peanut butter) I had to do something. Hilary and Lindsay picked up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and I whipped out a tried and true.

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

adapted from (I think) an old Pillsbury mini-cookbook recipe

1 box brownie mix - make according to box directions
about 35 - 50 mini peanut butter cups - (I will only ever use Reese's)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (We are a SKIPPY family)
milk (as desired for spreading 1/4-1/3 cup)

Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Prepare brownie mix and stir in about 20-30 (unwrapped) pnut butter cups-cut in 1/4 or 1/2s . Bake brownies according to box.  Check for doneness with a knife. Let cool completely.

Frosting-mix powdered sugar and peanut butter until well mixed. Add milk until it will spread easily. (1/4 -1/3 cup) Spread over cooled brownies, then top with about 10- 20 chopped pnut butter cups.

These are so good. And rich. And even better the nest day. (I only wanted 1 bite. I have now had 3, inch x inch bites) (I hid the rest of the pnut butter cups in my drawer for another recipe next week. shhh)
I wanted to adapt this recipe for anyone allergic to nuts (Sara :-) Spray your dish and make your brownies according to box directions.Bake as directed on box. Cut and serve. (May add ice cream?)

This recipe can be cut in 1/2 and made in a 9x9 pan.  Still use 1 boxed brownie mix.  (The brownies will be thicker and chewier.)  Cooking time will be increased.  Check for doneness with knife. Cut candy amounts and frosting in 1/2.

A later note-When I mentioned that next week I was going to make "peanut blossoms" using peanut better cups instead of chocolate kisses, they all voted for...MORE BROWNIES!

I added 2 new items to the Blog-Give-Away basket. When I have 32 followers I will do a followers give away of "a few of my favourite things". (To see the original post visit "A Happy Week, 21 Feb.-28 Feb. post.)


Monday, March 1, 2010



I loved door knobs and back plates (barely) before they became popular (read expensive). When Wendy and I would visit antique stores/yard/estate sales, these were high on my list to find. I was able to find many before the prices started going up. I have used them in various places and for several uses through out our home.

To hang our towels on in the master bathroom. (These look crooked, but they are not.)
By the shower door in the master bathroom (for a towel or robe).

On a wall with my dad' baby shoes and booties.

To hold an antique picture.

This is my favourite. It was a double-and expensive. We found it at an antique show, and Paula and I split it. We each got one :^) Any ideas on how I can use it? If I use your idea, you will get a prize.
My extras/unused. Almost like treasured Easter eggs in a basket-waiting.

This post is linked at






A HAPPY WEEK, A New Blog Give-A-Way

21 February - 28 February, 2010

"It is precarious to dwell on why we have not been given more. It is, however, beneficial and humbling to dwell on why we have been given so much." Steven E. Snow Oct. 2001

I had a very nice week. One reason was...

#1 I did not make it to Free Zoo Day.. And they had play date with out me. Why? Tuesday night Doug came and whispered in my ear that he had taken Wednesday off. Woo hoo! That made me ...THRILLED.

#2 I am always happy (and will give credit) when someone scrubs my kitchen floor. THANK-YOU, Elana. She came over and cleaned my wood floors on Monday. (On Tuesday Layne wanted to sweep them :^)


#4 I am so so so happy that I finally got (most) of a thank-you package mailed for my VERY wonderful trip to Michael, Tracey, Jenna and Tashina's house on Staten Island (in August). In my defense, I had to find very fresh bread and get it in the box and mailed by a Tuesday. I also had to get the walking tours burned and wait for things I ordered. I am giving myself 50 points as this has weighed heavily on me.

#5 I had a fun cooking week. Some failures. (I keep a list of what not to try again. ALL of them are crock-pot recipes.) My successes this week were a good rice pudding (Not perfect, but my best, yet.) A crock-pot roast (I like my oven one better, but I love crock-pots.). And a focaccia no-knead bread.

Roast-my old way from Anne Sperry

1 chuck roast

1 envelope onion soup mix


This is so easy. Put roast in a roasting pan, with a lid. Sprinkle dry soup mix over roast. Then cover completely with water. Put the lid and cook at 325* for 5 hours. (I like that best, but anywhere between 3 1/2 -5) I prefer chuck roasts. They will shred. If you want to throw in potatoes and carrots, toss them in about 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Crock-pot Roast adapted from Beverly Mills/Alicia Ross via The Deseret News http://www.kitchenscoop.com/

chuck roast

1 can Italian stewed tomatoes (run thru blender)

1 pack dry onion soup mix

Brown both sides of the roast in a pan on the stove. Spray crock-pot. Put roast in crock-pot and sprinkle dry soup over it. Pour tomatoes in and then fill crock-pot 1/2 way full of water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

This was good but in mine the liquid cooks off. That is why II browned the crock-pot roast. ((You could also brown the oven one if you want too.) The left-overs of both of them are great.

#6 Sunday Mark's aunts, Grandma, cousins and sisters (oh my) had a family shower for Ashley. It was very nice and very generous. Mark and Ashley felt loved. All the alphabet gifts were so fun. Thank-you so much family. My food assignment was the marina sauce and the bread. I made 2 loaves of my favourite peasant type bread and 2 focaccia loaves. It is a no-knead recipe (started the day before) that was demonstrated on Studio 5 t.v. show by Kathleen Alder

Easy Focaccia Bread

from Kathleen Alder via Studio 5

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teas. salt (I use kosher)

1/4 teas. INSTANT yeast

2 table. sugar

olive oil

Mix flour, salt, yeast together. Stir water in just until mixed. (I love using my CLEAN hands) Use olive oil to generously oil the bowl. Cover tightly and let set on counter (room temp.) for 12-24 hours.

When you are ready to bake, Pour and spread about 1-2 table. olive oil on a large cookie sheet. This dough will drink any oil you give it, so you may want to use parchment paper (not wax paper) after you oil the pan, and oil that, too. This dough is fragile, sour without stirring, try to slide the dough on to the cookie sheet. (Will need to loosen it and guide it on to the pan with a greased spatula.) Try not to leave any holes. They are more likely to burn. Pour about 2 table. olive oil on top and with spatula gently move dough to fill the pan. You can top it with fresh (or dry) herbs (thyme, sage, course salt...) Let rise 15-20 mins.as oven preheats to 450*. Bake 20-25 mins (still at 450*) Loosen from the pan with a spatula as soon as you take it out. SEE NOTES

notes- My first try was too done, so...the next batch I put the rack in the middle of the oven, lowered the heat to 425* and only baked it 18 mins. It was very nice that way.

#7 Music makes me happy. Actually, music Moves My Soul. I was listening to the radio in the car this week. A song came on that took me to another time. I immediately thought of the Trisha Yearwood song, "The Song Remembers When". Interesting how a song or smell brings it back. (Journal entry- The song was "After All" by Peter Cetera and Cher-spring 1989)I had just taken Leslie up the hill to Pat's Pre-School and was still in the drive-way. That song came on, and I had never heard it before. (It is from the movie, "Chances Are") I recognized Cher, but did not know who the male singer was. I decided to wait in the drive-way until the song was over and hear who it was. I had a full car, Lindsay, Mark and Eric, all ready to go back home, but we sat there. The song ended. I heard the singer. We left. As we approach the 13th East and 94oo South intersection we saw a car accident. A car coming north on 13th turned west on to 94th. They over-ran the turn and broadsided a car stopped on 13th E. turning west onto 94th. It had just happened. I mean JUST. The driver's were still in their cars. (And I had just passed that corner 7 minutes ago as I took Leslie to pre-school.) I KNEW I had been prompted, and protected. Each time I hear that song I am taken back to that experience and the gratitude I feel.

As I was growing up, I listened to country music with my dad. (Only with my dad) Although I did love to sing "Rose Garden , Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A... But, country was not cool in those days. And I was my high-school's reporter for the cool rock station (KYNO). Then about 20 years ago a friend introduced me to "Unanswered Prayers", and then "The Dance" (by Garth Brooks) and I was hooked. The gravely voice of Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, Lori Morgan... Anyway, I love country music. (I don't listen to it in the car much lately, but...) My country music friend got caught up in worldly stuff. It makes me sad for all of their family. It so reminds me how important it is to keep track of where we are and where we want to be. end of journal entry.)

#8 I enjoyed playing in the nursery (subbing) on Sunday. It was fun to see my little friends.

#9 I have an award today. Melissa (Missy) makes me happy. She has tried, and commented on 10+ recipes or projects. (Doug did comment that he tried them all too.) Thank-you, Melissa. I will mail it tomorrow. Thank-you, Melisa. I really appreciate my followers and their comments. Thank-you for following me :D

#10 I am also starting a new give-away. I will draw a WINNER when I have 32 registered followers. (It is a registered follower only give away this time.) BUT, I am not just sitting on my hands. I am building a basket of some of my favourite things from cooking, crafting, scrap booking and homemaking. I will be adding things several times a week. I will tell you what I am adding. (If I get 32 (total, not new) followers too quick I will still fill the basket with my ideas.) I will post a picture of my favourites for today when Lindsay gets here. I love ANYTHING that glows-in-the-dark! I love Bath & Body soaps. That is all we use at every sink. I love sending Thank-you notes. (Even though it sometimes takes me too long to get them mailed.)

Today (Monday, March 1st) is National Peanut Butter Lover's Day. How will you celebrate?
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