Thursday, April 29, 2010


YEA! I have 43 followers. Welcome new follower... shell-3966. Thank-you for coming. I will add a couple more things to the basket of "a few of my favourite things" and "" a winner on Monday.

Maybe I will find something fun to add to the basket, this Saturday @ Wheeler Farm in Midvale, Ut. Two of our daughters are having their first experience selling crafts (hair bows/headbands, onesies...) at the boutique this Saturday. Since the weather is still going to wet, it will all be held inside the big barn. They are looking forward to it.
If you have started thinking about fun activities for summer, think Wheeler Farm (if you live near or visit the Salt Lake valley). It is a working farm with lots of play and picnic space. It is fun to watch the animals, and for a fee there are milking tours (p.m.) and hay rides. Admission is FREE. Parking is great. A fun place.
Wheeler Historic Farm is located at 6351 South 900 east. The boutique is open from 9-3 (unless they sell out :) on Saturday May 1st, 2010. Stop by and say "hi". (To see what they have made to sell, click on "Bits and Pieces" in my side bar.)

Doug picked my throw back recipe this week. I have seen variations on this, but if it is not broken, why fix it? I have been making this since 1980. This recipe comes from "The JUNIOR LEAGUE OF SALT LAKE CITY HERITAGE COOKBOOK. My book was a gift from my sister-in-law, Wendy.

5 Week Refrigerator BRAN MUFFINS
Hazel Thompsen Garn with just a few changes:)

Mix together
5 cups flour
1 teas. salt (I leave this out)
4 cups ALL BRAN cereal
2 cups BRAN FLAKES cereal (I use RAISIN BRAN cereal)
1 cup raisins (Doug likes raisins)
1 cup nuts if desired (I do not add nuts)

Mix and let cool
2 cups boiling water
5 teas. baking soda (This mix will bubble up)

In another bowl, cream
2 cups sugar (I use about 1 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup brown sugar)
1 cup shortening (I use 1/2 cup shortening + 1/2 cup applesauce.)

Stir in
4 eggs-1 at a time and beat well

1 quart buttermilk (4 cups) I prefer to use buttermilk, but when I do make my own, I use the lemon juice method (instead of vinegar).
Baking soda water

Stir in
flour/cereal mix. (I made mine in a big soup pot. It was a busy day and that was easy to get to. You do need a big bowl/pot to mix this in.)

Put in a plastic container that covers tightly. Refrigerate 12 hours before using. This will keep 5 weeks in the fridge. If it lasts that long.
To bake- Do not stir batter before using (Yea, it will look weird, BUT IT WORKS. GREAT.) Drop into sprayed or lined muffin cups. Bake at 375* for 20 mins. We like them better made the night before we eat them.

Makes about 5 dozen. NOTE: If you use 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup applesauce, the muffins are not as moist. It is harder to peel off the cupcake liner. (They peel better when cooled.)
These are good, easy and healthy. I like to make them the night before, for a quick breakfast.

Can you tell what this is? 1 box of All Bran cereal will make 2 batches of muffins. Since no one here wants to eat All Bran, I mix all the dry ingredients for another batch in a "plastic food storage bag". I put it in a flastic container in the freezer for a couple of months down the road.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BITS & PIECES and something for the basket

I finished a SCRABBLE tile project that I have had on my list for awhile. The supplies are pretty basic.
As I yard sale/ thrift store shop, there are a few things I always keep my eyes open for. Of course, SCRABBLE tiles (wood ones). There are many projects that you can do with them. Usually I recycle the game board and box, but this time I needed to pull my game board out.

I also watch for 12 x 12 inch frames. (I usually find them with 90's paper casting pieces in them.) I collect 12x12 because they are great for framing a 12x12 scrapbook page. I have 1 I change each month. I also can use a 12x12 metal sheet and make a magnet board. That is what I finished last week.
A few years ago there were some 12x12 scrapbook papers of game boards. I don't have any left, so I took my SCRABBLE game board to my copy shop and had it colour copied and laminated. I brought it home and centred the centre and cut it out. I used SCOR-TAPE around the edges to attach game to magnet sheet, (You can use any good adhesive. You could even use an all over spray adhesive.) and framed it :^)

The next part is NOT cheap. My craft project last week used FREE magnets, and I could use them again, but I really want these to stick. So I bought the very tiny and VERY strong magnets. (The kind that are hard to pry apart from each other.) The magnets that I used are $.20 each and I have only done 25 letters (so far). And they hold well.
NOTE- The tiles are small. The magnets are strong. Keep way away from children.

To attach the magnets to the tiles I used E-6000 . Because both pieces I am gluing are small, I applied the glue with a Q-tip. I put the glue on about 5 at a time and then just dropped the magnet on, and took them away until morning.

TA-DONE! (I did not make up this word.)

Only 1 more follower until I "" a winner for the contents of a basket of some of my favourite things. Can you guess what I am adding? (There is already a set of tiles in the basket.) I am putting in a tube of E-6000 adhesive. If you have not used it yet, you will be impressed by it's strength. Do you want more SCRABBLE tile ideas? Do you have any that you want to share?

Thank-you to these hosts of shared ideas. Visit their parties.

On Wednesday I enjoyed linking up to
Thank-you very much.

Monday, April 26, 2010

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

18 April - 25 April, 2010
"The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour." unknown

Welcome new follower...AMY. (She is from Frosted Bake Shop:)

#1 A friend gave us a very large, boneless and cooked, very good ham. It was so good for Sunday dinner. I made "funeral potatoes" (what do people in other places call them? Frozen hash browns, cream of ____ soup, sour cream and grated cheese. More about the potatoes later this week.), too.

#2 Doug took Friday and Monday off. I love our quiet(er) times together. Our favourite dates are when we are home. Alone. I like that he will watch "Bones" with me. (It's the humour, not the cases.) This is the only one of MY shows he will watch with me. I could do without "Office, Community, 30 Rock", but they make me happy because he will rub my back while "we" watch them;) I would actually watch any shows with him for a back rub.
We also enjoy playing Mancala together. It relaxes me. No thinking involved. (Doug does think. Then he wins. I have more fun.)

#3 Someone left a comment about about SCRABBLE tiles. In their home they use "Remember who you are". My mom and (somewhat less often) my dad ALWAYS said that. I had/have something that I tell my family. It made me happy to remember my mom reminding me, and that my kids knew what I say. "BE SMART"
(Journal Entry-skip if you want to) One August we were having a family home evening about going back to school. We talked about choosing good friends and being a good friend. We talked about safety and being in good places. You know. Standard stuff. We also used a Reader's Digest article to talk about auto safety. Everything was reviewed. (On Monday.) On Friday there was a back to school stomp. Our newest (about to be) high school student was late home. (Our rule was "Be home or check in by about 12:oo.) It was only 12:15, but the (unidentified) child came in prepared. "I'm sorry I am late. We got pulled over by a policeman near the train tracks. (Me: WWHAT! WHY?) "We had too many people in the car. (11 in a 5 passenger.) But don't worry, mom. I remembered our family home evening lesson. I was on the bottom with a seat belt on". HUH?

#4 I enjoy Bees baseball games. Doug watches the game, and I read :) Baseball games relax me.

#5 Leslie's stake relief Society (woman's church group) is doing an activity that makes me happy. They are doing an activity based on a book from my childhood, "The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes. They are collecting dresses that will be donated to women's charities to help women entering the work place. I love this service idea. And the book. (I still have my childhood Scholastic edition.)

#6 I found a recipe on Recipezaar that made me happy. #1-when I found it #2- when I showed it to Lindsay #3-when I showed it to Hilary... If you are looking for a family recipe, go to and make recipe #420398.

#7 We had Stake Conference this week-end. The Saturday night meeting is usually (in my opinion) a better meeting than the Sunday one. Although both were good, I did learn more from the Saturday night one.

#8 Cupcakes make me happy. I love... reading the recipes. I love looking at the pictures. I enjoy getting the cookbooks. Turns out I am just not that into making cupcakes. After all the hunting for a recipe, making the cupcakes, cleaning up the stuff, waiting for them to cool...I still have to make the frosting. Doug thinks I would like a 101 MUFFIN cookbook. Good idea, dear. But I still bought a couple more cupcake idea books. (Doug was with me ;)

#9 I tried 4 new recipes last week. I am at the stage where that makes me happy. One recipe I tried was from a neighbor. She took this soup to the Potluck Soup Social.

Greek Lemon Soup (not sure what makes it Greek)
from Joyce Shell (I adapted it a tiny bit. I will tell you how.)

olive oil
1/2 onion-chopped (This time I used 2 leeks-white and light green part-thinly sliced. I used the leeks because I had them.)
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (Bought that way:)

1 clove minced/chopped garlic

1 1/2 cup cooked chopped chicken (can use canned)
5 cups water
2 heaping teas. chicken base (she used 3 cans chicken broth)
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
zest of 2 lemons-grated

2/3 cup orzo (She used rice)
1/4 teas. pepper

Saute' onion (or leeks) and carrots in oil. Then add garlic for about 1 min. Add chicken, water, chicken base, Cream of Chicken soup, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, then add orzo and pepper. Turn down heat and simmer about 20-30 mins. until pasta (or rice) is cooked.
This soup had a fresh lemon flavour that feels springy. (If you are unsure, just cut the recipe in 1/2.)

#10 I found a new (king size) Matelasse' coverlet and dust ruffle for our bed (made in Portugal). I love linens. (Bedding, tablecloths. towels...darn.) (They were from the thrift store and were $8.oo and $4.oo respectively :^)
Tuesday or Wednesday I will post a SCRABBLE tile project that I just finished, and something new for the basket.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Follow Friday!

On Fridays I like to share a blog that I like and have chosen to follow. (At the end of a year I will have have 52 blogs on my side bar. WOW) I look for a blog that I feel great recommending to anyone. I want it to be positive, friendly and a blog that shares. (I like it when we get to know the blogger a bit :) You know how I found her. A blogger friend of a blogger friend of...

The blog I am following today is a small cooking blog. It is clean and neat and easy for me to follow. (Sigh. I hope I can learn to do that someday. I type my blog with 1 finger on a tiny lap top wit a 6" x 8" screen.)

Her recipes are some she has had for years, and some she tries for us.
Last night I made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. They were fun, and easy. (Especially how I did it.)

Ready? Check out Amy, from Frosted Bake Shop. (Address below)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

1 5 pound container of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip cookie dough (More about this later ;)

1 yellow cake mix (She used white, but we think yellow will be richer)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 beaten eggs

At least 2 hours before making cupcakes, prepare cookie balls and freeze. Form about 1 table. cookie dough into a ball. (I got 24 cupcakes, but had only frozen 18 balls :( Put on a cookie sheet and freeze at least 2 hours.

I really like the tub of Pillsbury. It is under $7.oo (barely) at Sam's Club, and makes a LOT. Sometimes I will get them for Sunday dinner if I have had a busy week-end. Then I will get out the extra conference Bingo candy (Reese's Pieces, M&Ms), nuts, raisins, oatmeal... A great gift to give away, too.

Mix cake mix, water, oil and eggs til well beaten. Fill sprayed or lined cupcake cups 2/3 full. Set a frozen dough ball on top. Bake at 350* for 20 mins. (I did 21 mins.) In the blog post you could see the dough ball in the centre. In mine, the dough left a hollow hole. (See photo.) After they have cooled, put in the fridge to chill. Store in fridge.)

I frosted them with this basic, but delicious, family favourite chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
From Mary Jefferies (Crazy Cake) late 1980's

Beat until smooth and fluffy and frost :)
2/3 cup softened butter or margarine
2 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 table. (about) milk
3/4 tea. vanilla
I also made her recipe for Baguettes. I decided to try it at the last minute when winter came back on Tuesday, and I decided to try a new soup. Both turned out great. I really love the flavour and texture of the pot bread recipe that I use. That recipe is in my January 23, 2010 post. The recipe is from Clawson Live. BUT, that bread gets started the day before. (It was still spring then.)

This recipe makes 2 (about) 12 inch bagettes that have a very good flavour. PLUS, from start to finish, this bread takes 1 HOUR! (One note-DO NOT use instant yeast.) I wish I had a picture, but Mark and Ashley took the rest home with them.) Trust me. It is easy, fast and good. Head over to her blog and try it out. It is on 8 February, 2010. (Still winter in Utah.) THANK-YOU, AMY for a fun blog.

I am adding something to my favourites basket today, too. Two of our daughters are working to prepare for a boutique booth at Wheeler Farm on May 1st (Saturday). They loved my idea of "Bits and Pieces" and have started a blog with their hair bows/haedbands, clippies and hats.. They are really having fun and looking forward to this. Their blog address is . They have given me a sweet red headband with big flower clippie to put in my give away basket. Thank-you, Hilary and Lindsay. They are so cute.
Do you have extra/old/left-over prescription/over the counter medicines hnging around your house? If you live in the Salt Lake City, UT area, there is a drop off tomorrow. Hillcrest High School (Canyons District, Sandy area) is sponsering a drop off tomorrow, Saturday, April 24th. This is a great way to safely dispose of old drugs, declutter your house and protect household members and visitors. Hillcrest is located at 7350 Soth 900 East. The hours are 10-2. Great Earth Day activity.
On Monday I will post the new soup I tried this week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010



Last Thursday I posted a Chili Frito Casserole that my family really likes. This week I am posting that recipe, adapted for a crock pot. One good thing about doing it this way is that you do not need to make sure that you have Fritos.

Crock Pot Chili Casserole (Is casserole an acceptable word any more?)
adapted from a family favourite

about 1 lb. ground beef
chopped onion 1/2 - 1
1 can black beans - drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
32 oz. tomato sauce
1 package of taco seasoning
1 cup grated cheese - cheddar, Colby jack, montery jack - whatever

6 - 8 oz. package of corn bread
1/3 - 1/2 cup milk
2 table. veg oil
1 beaten egg
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Stir together cooked beef and onions, beans, tomato sauce, taco seasoning and cheese. Spread in the bottom of sprayed crock-pot.

Barely mix corn bread package, milk, oil, egg and cheese. (Makes a stiff batter/dough.) I spoon it over the meat/bean mix, and spread with a knife.

Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. (Because we took the cub scouts to the fire station today, I cooked it 1 hour on high + 1hour on low + 3 hours on warm.) Can be served with sour cream...
We like this. Plus it is easy :)
I am adding a few of my favourite things to the basket of my favourites tonight. First of all I am putting in the SCRABBLE tiles. (I finished a project last night with one of my sets.)

(I am adding the SCRABBLE letters to the basket tonight, as well as a Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea Travel Set (2 oz. bottles of body spray, shower gel and body lotion). (Already in the basket is a Star Photo Album.(See it on the 12 April - 10 Things Post.) I made one for a boy and one for a girl, and the winner will choose one. Also there are 12 small clock hands that I ordered.)

BITS & PIECES + something for the basket?


I am the oldest of 10 children. Each year I make birthday cards in January (It took me until February.:( that are family related. Most years I use a picture of an ancestor on or in the card.
This year I decided to do a "Pedigree Chart (family tree) Magnet" card. I wanted all of my siblings name on the chart, so Leslie typed and printed them for me. (I really wish I had included birthdays after the names.) I reduced the pedigree chart so that 4 would fit on 8 1/2 x 11 , and made my copies on paper weight.

I had each sheet (uncut) hard laminated. ($1.oo at the copy shop I go to.) Then I cut them apart. Each card is 5 1/2 x 4 1/8.

Now for a couple of my favourite things.

#1 I love free magnets. I pick them up anywhere I can. (Taking someone to the Dr....again? Get one of their calenders. Get them from your phone book before recycling it. Check at resturants... I save mine in a page protector that is "stuck" to a file cabinet in my storage room.) I use all my free magnets to support my use of appliances as billboards;) I put free magnets on the back of scrapbook quotes, photos, ... and family pedigree charts. Or you can buy magnet sheets or disc magnets.

#2 Scor-tape - This is a really strong double sided adhesive. It does a super job attaching my magnets, as well as embellishments, etc. I buy it at Heartland Paper in Taylorsville, UT., but I have also found it sold on line. The official name is "SOOKWANG" and it is made in Korea. I like to buy the 1/2 inch width. (about $7.oo) because I can tear it into 1/4 inch width as I use it, basically getting a double roll. :^)

#3 I love that they are all made at one time and ready to go.

I added a tree brad, andmade a simple library card type pocket to put it in. I used a light weight ribbon and they are all ready to be mailed in the appropriate month. I put 2 stamps on the envelope. (Of course I add a note:)

An easy, but practical and personalized project.

I have picked up an extra set of "SCRABBLE" letters that I was thinking about putting in "MY FAVOURITE'S GIVE-AWAY BASKET", but a couple of kidults thought that was weird. I use them. ALOT. Comment and let me know if this is something YOU would use. (I will post ideas and pictures if you want me to put them in the basket.)

When I have 43 followers, I will "" a winner of the contents of a basket of my favourite things. I have a couple of things I will be adding this week.
This post is visiting @
...and I enjoy the parties they host :) THANK-YOU.
On Thursday this post went to parties hosted by
Thank-you for inviting us.

Monday, April 19, 2010

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

11 April - 18 April, 2010

"You only live once-but if you do it right, once is enough." Joe E. Lewis

#1 Do you recognize this?
For the past 4 years I have used about 2 bottles (at about $7.oo each) per month of Downy Wrinkle Releaser. It works best on polo/golf type shirts. I spend about 2 days every month and a half ironing and spraying.
As I was out visiting the blog friend of a blog friend... last week, I stopped by at 's blog. She has a recipe for "(put your name here) Wrinkle Releaser". The recipe is SO simple. 1 part fabric softener + 10 parts water. We went out that day and Logan helped me pick a scent we liked. (Important) (We picked one that also has a cute dimensional flower on top. We will use that on peanut butter cookies after we have used all the fabric softener:)

Back to my experiment- I emptied the rest of a bottle of Downey into another bottle of Downey, and mixed my new recipe in my old Downey Spray bottle. I LOVE IT. It works better (I ironed about 15 button down shirts in about 10 mins.) and faster and SO MUCH CHEAPER!!!!

(My pictures do not really show how ironed this is.) Yes, my iron does a better job, but what took me 2 whole days,I can do in about 1 hour (and a sore trigger finger;^) This does not do creases.

The mist is finer than the Downey and I ended up with over-spray. Not what I want on my laundry room floor tiles, so I set up a garden hook outside and will "iron" outside from now on. (In the garage in the winter.)
This recipe really makes me happy :^)

#2 I found some antique music magazines at a local thrift store about 5 weeks ago. Each week they have a different colour tag on sale for 1/2 off. They were $8.oo each, and I wanted 3 of them. So, I waited until purple was 1/2 off (last week) and went in Monday morning and got them. Yea! They were still there. I have lots of craft ideas planned for them.
I also got the whole set of the Fisher Price Little People Dinosaurs (moms, babies, eggs and food). Logan was happy. Little People are a H U G E hit at my house. (Still. My kidults spent hours playing with them as children.)

#3 I am happy I do not have a child leaving on a mission.

#4 Case lot sales make me happy. (What can I say. I am a list making organizer.) I am happy that turkey chili was $.78.

#5 Leslie had some Finger Kites that she shared. It was very fun to fly kites with Logan 1 day, and Layne the next day. They flew great. Worth getting from the $ store. I also picked up $ kites at Walmart for our California beach house trip. (Buy them now for later. They are hard to find in Utah in the summer, and will be expensive at the beach shops.) Kites (that fly) make me happy.

#6 Our Stake (church group) had a 5K Run, Walk, Stroll on Saturday. Lindsay has been training and ran the whole way (lots of hills, ugh.) David ran half of it. Leslie walk/ran it. Doug, Logan and I walked and strolled (with the stroller). Logan walked quite a bit, and RAN down one of the hills. It was pretty cute with those tiny legs. At the bottom of the hill he said , "Let's do it again, Grandpa." and started back up the hill. Silly boy :^)

#7 I am happy that we could eat Sunday dinner outside. Oh, it was nice. I love spring.

#8 Friday night our church had a pot luck soup social and Cub Scout cake auction. I took the chicken enchilada soup w/ chips and cheese. (It was all eaten.) I took peanut butter cup brownies for the cake auction. I tasted a Greek Lemon Soup that was very fresh and good. I will get the recipe this week :^)

#9 Odd cooking week. I WAS happy when I planned 4 new recipes for Sunday dinner. It turned out we were not too impressed. #1 Crock pot pork- great flavour, but pork was dry. May try again with chicken thighs. #2 Pasta Spinach Salad-some liked it, some hated it. Not sure if I will save it. #3 Potato side dish-not liked at all by most. O.K. Only me, Doug and Christy liked it. #4 Fast bread. Did not rise (yes, my yeast is good). I will try this again this week..

But, I do have a new recipe I tried when my mom was here. This recipe is an easy crock pot recipe and will go on my "30 day menu" list.

She gave this 5 stars, and I agree

about 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken THIGHS (not breasts) defrosted
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tea. pepper
1 table. oil

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 table. rice (wine) vinegar
2 table. katsup
1 table. brown sugar
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teas. red pepper flakes (or to taste)

1/2 cup cashews
hot rice

Shake chicken thighs in flour/pepper and brown each side in oil. (About 2 mins per side.) Lay out on the bottom of a sprayed crock pot.

Mix soy sauce, vinegar, katsup, brown sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours.

Add cashews and serve with hot rice.

We really liked this. I am sorry there is no picture. I had company and things were busy with the wedding plans.

#10 I have 36 dear followers. Welcome Lanie Ree, T .Irwin, and Marci. We are so glad to have you follow. There are many, many super blogs and I appreciate those who stop here. At mine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

FOLLOW FRIDAY! and her Chocolate Lover's Cake

This Friday I am posting "Follow Friday!" As I am out visiting blogs, there are some that I visit more. I like to visit a blog that is happy and positive. I love recipes and crafts. I like it when I get an idea of who I am spending time with.

Now for the blog I am following, visit

On my first visit to this blog I saw the family photo. I KNEW I WAS DOING THIS IN THE SPRING!!! I love the idea. II have 6 children, (plus me and Doug). And, 7 letters in our last name. I am at the point where kidults are getting married and having children. What a PERFECT way to keep my family picture up to date. Thank-you a lot for this idea. (5 January, 2010)

I kept visiting her blog, occasionally. Then I read her "Random" post. (7 April, 2010) It was me. What do I want my blog to be when it grows up? Just like hers. My blog is my journal, cook-book and and craft file. I love how she puts her recipes on "recipe cards". I am glad that she has the file on the side so I can find what I am looking for. (That is on my list to learn how to do.) She is big on holidays and so are we:) (You would be amazed at some things that were done to us by the Leprechaun thru the years.)

I have gotten to know the family a bit thru stories and pictures (I did not look at the disected buffalo eyes.)

I love it when blogs are written to share. This week I am sharing Shauna_Rae's "Chocolate Lover's Cake" (7 April, 2010) This cake was easy and fast to make. It is dence and moist. We especially like the chocolate sauce. It is not a thick fudge sauce, but is a very nice chocolate sauce. I really liked that it did not use chocolate chips.
Chocolate Lover's Cake

1 Devil's Food cake mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup water
8 oz. sour cream (I used light)
1 small pack INSTANT chocolate pudding
1 cup chocolate chips (I may try white chocolate next time)

Mix all the ingredieants well and pour into a well greased bundt pan. I sprayed my Tupperware silicone bundt pan before I mixed the cake, and then sprayed it again before putting the mix into the pan. Let it cool COMPLETELY before inverting onto a plate. Mine came out great.

Chocolate Sauce

1 cup butter-melt in larger size pan, then add
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
Stir over low heat until the sugar is completely disolved, then add
1 can evaporated milk

Bring to a boil and boil and stir for 4 minutes, then add
1 tea. vanilla

Serve the cake with chocolate topping and canned whipped cream :^) This is easy and looks very nice. (Much better than my picture.)Thank-you, Mark and Ashley for bringing some vanilla back from Mexico for me :^)

I am looking forward to sharing some of my favourite blogs with you on Fridays. Tell me some of your favourites and why, if you would like to.

I am trying an experiment this week-end. If it works, it will FOR SURE be in my 10 Things on Monday :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Throw Back Thursday Recipe - Frito Chili Cassarole

Throw back Thursday is where I pull out a tried and true recipe or idea and it again. I started it because my husband and kidults were tryng and reviewing many new recipes for me. To thank my husband for trying (and learning to eat) new things, I decided to make an old favourite of his. Turned out my kidults were happy, too. And the olde favourites were still good. (I like making them on Thursdays so my husband can have the planned overs on Friday;)

This weeks recipe has been made at our home since the 90's. It is a basic hamburger + tomatoes... recipe. A cross between several things. (Next week for "Throw Back Thursday I will post a variation on this recipe.)

Frito Chili Cassarole
(What can I say. It was the 90's and my husband really likes cassaroles.)
1 lb. ground beef (I have mine browned and frozen in about 1 lb. bags.)
1/4 chopped onion
1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans - rinsed and drained
32 oz. tomato sauce (about) (Sometimes I use about 16 oz. of tomato sauce and a can of stewed tomatoes (I sort of crush the tomatoes))
1 pack taco seasoning
1 bag Fritos (I prefer not scoops)
grated cheese (about 3-4 cups)
2 cups sour cream (I use light)

Brown beef and onion together and drain. Add beans, tomato sauce taco seasoning and 1 cup grated cheese.

Layer 1/2 bag of Fritos in sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Pour meat filling over the Fritos.

Bake 20-25 350*.

Top with 2 cups of sour cream, then the rest of the Fritos (I save about 1 cup of Fritos in the bag for a "fresh crunch" on the planned overs the next day.) and LOTS of grated cheese:) Bake 3 or 4 more minutes.
Pretty easy, huh?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


A Timely Necklace
This is not my idea, but I knew I would make it. I saw it in the March 2010 Country Living magazine.

For my first one I checked in my scrapbook supplies. Then I visited thrift stores looking for patterns of clock hands that I liked. Some thrift stores charge up to $14.99 for a clock that may/may not work. hmmm The most I paid was $3.oo, but D.I.s had lots of choices in the $2-4.oo range. (I have only made a few, but have collected about (gulp) 50 hands. Why do we do that? If a few is good, then lots are better?)

Start with 2 clock hands that you like. My favourites are art deco clock hands. I had fun taking the clocks apart. If the colour is wrong, they can easily be spray painted. Fold some masking tape (easy to remove) on itself and tape the front side of the hand to paint stirring stick or piece of cardboard. Easy to spray without it blowing from the paint pressure. After completely dry, turn over to paint the front side. I like my 2 hands to have different colours so that there is contrast and the hand patterns can be seen.

Attach the two (or more?) hands with a jump ring, and thread your chain or ribbon thru the jump ring.
I have linked this project to A Little Tipsy's "DIY Under $5.00" party.  Thank-you for hosting.

Monday, April 12, 2010

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week

4 April - 11 April, 2010
"Everybody's got a laughing place-trouble is most folks won't take the time to go look for it. And where it is for one, mightn't be for another." Song of the South

It has been awhile since I have done my 10 things, but there have been plenty of things that have brought joy and happiness this month.

#1 I felt such joy and peace at Mark and Ashley's marriage ceremony. I knew it was all done right. The whole day was great.

#2 I enjoyed having my mom come visit and stay with us for the wedding. It was nice having her here.

#3 I enjoyed meeting some of Mark's former missionary companions at the reception.

#4 We were able to attend the Draper Temple with Ashley the Tuesday before the wedding. It was very nice. I think my favourite temple visit yet.

#5 With Mark gone... I am turning his bedroom into a playroom/guest room for the boys (Logan, Layne, Lincoln). It is fun putting up some of the Disney and organizing toys in there.

#6 Doug makes me happy. He is so dear. Every morning I watch 2 neighborhood boys for about an hour before school, and do their carpools. Doug lets them in most days and gets their t.v. show on, and THEN comes and wakes me up. Thank-you, dear.

#7 Remember my broken rice cooker? (I still miss it. It made about 20 cups of rice.) Emily picked up the biggest one that Walmart had for me. WHAT! It only made 8 cups. (I already returned it.) Then I went to Target and bought a 14 cup rice cooker. When I brought it home, it was still much smaller than my old one. Emily looked at it and said that she bought that was the size she used had when she lived alone. I went down and looked in her kitchen-and there it was. A barely ever used 14 cup rice cooker. A $30.oo 14 cup rice cooker is way too small, but a free 14 cup rice cooker is wonderful. (It actually works better than my old one. It kept rice warm for 1 hour with no sticking:) Thank-you, Emily. Thirty points for you. (I already returned the Target one.)

#8 Leslie had some time off on Friday and so we went to the D.I. (local thrift store). I found something that I have wanted for awhile. A violin. I love to listen to violin music (Joshua Bell's Ladies in Lavender is my favourite.). I have wanted one to display. As I passed the collectible area (actually we had checked out. I was just running back to wash my hands.) they were putting out a Suzuki Violin in the case for $25.00. I am so pleased. This goes on my list of top finds. Thank-you for going with me, Leslie. (How many points would you like?)

#9 I am glad that for this week-end, spring is here. I love spring. I welcome the birds and flowers. Some people make New Year resolutions. I make mine in the spring and fall.
Maybe we can even have next Sunday dinner outside.

#10 My vacuum has been STUPID!! The belt breaks every time I use it. (EUREKA High Filtration Commercial Vacuum (I do not like bagless ones.) It was over $150.oo at Sam's Club about 6 months ago. It has been a pain. After borrowing Lindsay's for the wedding week, I bought a new one. It was only $39.oo. Doug said for that price I could buy a new one every year. I hope I don't need to (I hate the idea of filling the land with old vacuums). (Luckily I bought the new vacuum before may so that no one is even thinking Mother's Day;)

Now, to my give away basket. Kayleen won the basket of some of my favourite things last week. To get the basket Kayleen, contact me by Monday, April 20th. If I have not from her, I will draw again.

To start filling the new Follower Give Away Basket, I am adding a Star Photo Album. I made a girl and boy one this week-end, and the winner may choose one of them. I am posting a picture of the albums, and will collect the embellishments and ribbons this week. I love paper crafting, and hope you want to win one of these. I will add something to the basket every week until there are 43 dear followers. Then I will draw a winner.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Yea, I know it is Saturday. For my throw back recipe this week I am posting our family's favourite easy ground beef stroganoff. Doug likes it on rice. I like it on egg noodles. So, I make both.

Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff

1/2-1 lb. browned hamburger
onion salt
2 table. butter/margarine
1/8 tea. garlic powder
1/8 cup water
2 table. flour
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
3/4 (soup) can milk
1 cup sour cream

cooked rice, noodles or potatoes (left-overs work great)

Heat first 6 ingredients until mixed and warm. (beef, onion salt, butter, garlic powder, pepper & water)

Add flour and stir about 5 mins.

Stir in soup and milk and simmer 10 mins., then stir in sour cream

This is an easy recipe (especially if you had your hamburger already browned in the freezer), but I wanted to make it easier. I decided to try my frozen Sam's Club meatballs. I visited a few cooking blogs looking for an easy Swedish Meatball recipe. Then I BLINGOed (like Google, but 2 of my kidults won over $500.oo by using it. Ask if you care.) and got a lot of IKEA copycat recipes that were similar. This recipe is so easy, and was really enjoyed. I guess I should go try IKEA's someday and see if these are close, or just good and easy.

Very Fast Easy Meatballs (I could hardly wait to share this with you:)
adapted from internet
defrosted Sam's Club (or Costco or home made or...) meatballs (I used enough to cover the bottom of my skillet)
1 can beef gravy (10.5 oz.) (or 2 if you double the sauce;)
1/2 gravy can of 1/2 and 1/2 (or 1 can if you double the sauce;)
1 bit of grated fresh nutmeg

Brown the thawed meatballs. (I cut mine in 1/2 for more browning surface)
Drain. Then add gravy and 1/2 and 1/2. Heat thru. Stir in a bit of fresh grated nutmeg.
Serve over ... Try this and let me know what you think. I think this is going on my 30 Meals list. (My pictures are bad. I know. It was one of those nights where people were coming and going and coming)
I am finishing up something that will go in the new favourites basket. (I have some fun ideas:)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

WINNER!!! And a new Blog Give Away

Hi. I am getting back to my blog from #1- Our son's wedding, #2- out of town company, #3- a cold and #4- a throw up flu.
Thank-you so much, Rachel for posting your waffle recipe. We really liked it. Plus, it is easy. (Also, as a side note, I am usually happy to loan waffle irons, fake panini press or whatever.)
Thank-you Lindsay for updating while I was sick.

First off, a Blog Follower Give Away Winner. (I wanted to post the proof, but my computer froze before Lindsay came over to move it to my blog. Sorry.) I have had fun building this basket with some of my favourite things, so I am starting another basket this week. I will a winner from registered blog followers when I have 43 followers.

I am sure that is not why you are here. The basket give away is 22!!! I don't know Kayleen, but am enjoying the blogging and followers process. I will get your prize to you, Kayleen. (And no, I did not cheat, Melissa.) I tried to email you, but could figue out how. Contact me when ever you see this. I live in Sandy, Utah.
When you get the basket, please post and let us know what you think :^)
On Friday I will post a Thursday Throwback recipe. (I have cub scouts at my house this Thursday + TONS of errands undone.) Next week I will be back to the regular blogging schedule. (Did you know that I have a schedule:^)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Living Planet Aquarium

My mom is sick with a really bad flu so she asked me, Lindsay, to post this on her blog. I was reading on and she posted that if you go to you can get a year membership for one adult and one child to The Living Planet Aquarium. This is a savings of $16.00. Its an awesome deal. My family ordered 5 between all of us! So if you have been thinking about getting a pass anyway, now is the time. There is no telling how long this awesome deal will last though so go check it out. Also, since my mom has been so sick she hasn't been able to do much blogging or pick a winner from her giveaway, but check back soon because she will be posting the winner as soon as possible.
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