Wednesday, September 29, 2010


19 September - 26 September, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Emily is really great at finding and using discount coupon websites.  (Tomorrow I will post one of her purchases.)  This morning (Tuesday) she told me the deal of the day was a $25.00 purchase for only $10.00 at VILLAGE BAKER.  We really like their sandwiches, and Emily works near there :)

When you register for their deals, you will get a $5.00 discount.  They will send you a daily deal thru your email.  You print your coupons off.

You can also tell them which city you are in, and they will check your community.

If this is up your alley, check it out.

I also picked up out Wheeler Farm pay date activity tickets TODAY at

It is $3.50 to visit their Halloween attractions.  (Usually $7.00) 
Thanks, Emily.  (I am trying to get her to do a guest blog with her deals info.)

Monday, September 27, 2010


We really enjoy our play dates.  We usually have at least 1 a week.

1  You do not have to clean the kitchen after lunch :)
2  The kids have fun (and wear themselves out for quiet time/nap time :)
3 Adults get to visit :)
4  Quality time :)

We try to balance the activities so that so that most are free, and some have controlled costs.  We try as often as possible to bring our lunches.   Once in a while we pick up $5.00 pizzas.  (We like "Big Daddy's" on 700 East the best.)  Sometimes the food IS the activity.  (Arctic Circle play place.)  We try to do a variety of things.

How to start (and keep) a play group.

1  Know Your Community.

Several summers ago we visited a different park every week.  We kept track of the ones we liked.
Many attractions have a regular "FREE" day.  Call and find out if they have one, and when.  Then put it on your calender.  Also read/listen for GRAND OPENINGS/special promotions...  Many years ago K-Mart had a race car event sponsored by an advertiser.  The kids got to race a car and be timed.  (It was fun :)  Soon after we got there, a family from our church came with their children.  We laughed together because we often saw each other at free (and fun) local events.)

Some stores have a regular project/craft activity.  (Both Lowe's and Home Depot have fun Saturday classes.  One day when I took grand kids, I saw the daughter (of above family) with her husbands and kids.

Think about annual passes.  We used one of the discount web sights and got a BIG discount for our local aquarium.  Now we can go anytime.  And do.  (Emily takes Logan about once a week to his "Penguin Store".)

2  Pick a Day

We always have play date on Wednesday.  Unless the summer movies are on Tuesday.  Or we are busy on Wednesday...  Have a regular date, so you will stick with it, BUT BE VERY FLEXIBLE, so you will stick with it-and be able to take advantage of the community.
When my children were younger we had "FUN FRIDAY" during the summer. One Friday was free and the next Friday could cost money.

3  Plan Ahead

Know where you are going.  Know what you are going to eat for lunch or snacks.  This save time and money. 
Let the kids know what you are doing (unless it is a surprise) so they can look forward to it.  And let them help pick on what you are going to do.  Remember to give choices.  "Do you want to do this?  Or this?"  (Too many choices and you could end up with a request to go to DISNEYLAND :)

4  Be Prepared

TAKE WATER.  Have a water bottle for each person.  (I always take bottles of water even if we are running to the store or post office.)  "I'm thirsty" can make an activity a pain, or cost money.)

Always take a camera.  You may not want to take pictures.  You may not take pictures.  But I have found that if I do not have a camera, I want to record something. 

Take a stroller if there is even a chance you will want it.  It can be hard to carry a sleeping child back to the car.  If you don't need the stroller, you can always have it carry the lunches/purses/diaper bag.)

5  Have Fun

Enjoy who you are with.  If someone's children are out of line, oh well.  Don't let it bother you.  Their parent can worry about it.

If the kids have a favourite, it's o.k. to go often.  For us, it is the farm. 

Invite others to join you sometimes. 

Keep track of where you go, or where you want to go.  Record the addresses, hours, phone numbers...  It makes it easy to return. 

This is our latest recipe that I have added to "Our Lunch Time Cook Book".  (I am taking pictures of lunches the boys eat.  We are putting them in a photo album so they can pick lunches.) 
This is an easy make-ahead sandwich that all the kids like.  (Mark and Ashley actually pay for these :)

(Which picture do you think I am putting in our cook book? :)

These simple sandwiches are made ahead and  frozen in individual zipper sandwich bags.
I started by laying out the bread.  (This loaf cost $1.00 and made 12 sandwiches.)  I counted so I knew how many to lay out.  I spread peanut butter on the bread, not going to the edges.  (In this picture I used jam, but jelly works better.)  Put about 1 1/2 teaspoons jelly in the centre and spread out a bit.
I used a "Pampered Chef" sandwich cutter, but they are sold other places, too.  (I bought mine many years ago, but checked the on- line catalogue and they do still sell them.  It is called CUT AND SEAL and is $9.50.) 
Start by pressing just the circle on the bread.  Twist and press until crust is free from sandwich.  Then firmly press the spring loaded knob in the centre to seal. 
I put them in their own zipper sealed bag and freeze in a single layer.  When they are frozen, I put them in a freezer container. 
We just pull out what we need for lunch.  They defrost quick.

(I am sure I will think of other play date ideas that I will add later.)  Share some of your ideas or favourite places to go.  Later this week I will post info. on 2 of our favourite local parks.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I knew it was going to be a very busy week but... I had no idea it would take me until Saturday to write my "10 Things...".

13 September - 19 September, 2010
#1  (Not in any order.)  I am happy that I don't have my talk at the Relief Society camp out looming over me.  IT'S DONE:)
The drive was more twisty (and more into the sun) than I had hoped it would be.  We decided to not spend the night, and so had a full car to bring down from the campsite that night.  (I don't think any of them noticed that my AC does not blow out.)
Thank-you so much sweet Leslie, for going with me.  And for keeping an eye out for deer on the drive home.  (And thank-you Hilary and Leslie for helping me do my sign when we did that.)

#2  After Elana's birthday dinner 2 Sundays ago (Cafe Rio style salads) I had enough pork, rice... left to make burritos for Monday's dinner for us, Charles and Elana, and Lindsay and David. 

#3  We had Emily's birthday dinner on Sunday.  She picked my Ice Cream Crunch for her "birthday Cake".  The happy thing about Ice Cream Crunch is that it brings everyone home for dinner.  (Unlike fish, which we also had ;) (with steak).)  (Hey.  Have I given you my recipe for cashew pelof?  Emily hates potatoes, so that was one of her side dishes.)
Thanks Lindsay for putting them together and freezing them at your house.  For the recipe, see the August 23, 2010 post.

#4 For the past 2 weeks we have had out play dates at Wheeler Farm.  I love that place.  I love play dates.
#5  Swimming.  (Was it the last time this summer:(

#6  Three days a week Layne comes to my house after kindergarten.  Lindsay, Logan and I walk to pick him up, and then walk back to Lindsay's apartment.  (Not her apt. for long:)  It 1/2 mile each way, so we are walking an extra 3 miles a week.  (I really enjoy destination walking.)

#7  I bought 5 new patio chairs on clearance at Lowe's.  Yea.  More seating for Sunday/summer outside eating.

#8  Leslie has been doing some hunting/finding/bidding/buying on eBay.  (I pay and am HAPPY to write what I've gotten on Christmas done list ;)

#9  "Family Fun" (Disney magazine-filled with crafts, seasonal ideas, recipes, travel ideas...)  makes me happy.  I think I will ALWAYS get this magazine. 

#10  I am working on a fun idea with Layne and Logan.  Remember the peanut butter, jam and banana burrito sandwich?  The french toasted pnut butter and jam sandwich?  After I post the picture and recipe on my blog, I have the picture or pictures printed.  We are using them to make a "photo album cookbook.  Soon we will have enough pictures for the boys to pick their lunches for the week.  They are having fun helping me on this project.  (I will have another lunch recipe next week.)

Friday, September 24, 2010

PANINI PRESSES and Patty Melts

I am in hiding.  Doug and I have gone away for a l o n g week-end.  Well, not too far away.  Things are busy at work so Doug has to go to work on Friday.  (He did take Monday off :)  Saturday he is going home for the family trip to the BYU game.  I am going home to go to the General Relief Society meeting, and we both will go to church on Sunday.  But still, we are gone until Monday night. 

I found another Hamilton Beach grill (that I use for paninis) at a thrift store last week.  It was $5.00.  Now we can make 4 at a time.

Then, this week there was a Hamilton Beach Panini Press on sale at Target for $29.00.  A real one.  Not a George Forman type grill (that has worked great) that I use as one.  I went to Amazon to check them out, and read reviews.  (It is the same price there, and has free shipping.

Hamilton Beach 25450 Gourmet Panini Press
This is what I learned.   This machine has a pretty good reputation.  It has the REAL panini hinge that fits any size sandwich.  (That's what I want.  I support mine as I close it so the sandwiches do not slide open.) But, this panini maker has a few draw backs that mine do not have.  On this one, it  begins heating when plugged in and must be unplugged to turn it off.  Also, the grills are not removable for cleaning.  (Mine are.)  I think this is a good machine-for the price.  I decided to just keep using the 2 that I have- and save money.                                                                                                                                                        

A few Sundays ago we ended up with extra BBQed hamburger patties.  More than usual.  We invited Lindsay and David over for dinner (they were working on the house EVERY night)  and planned to make patty melts with the extra meat.  (Grilled cheese sandwich with a cooked patty.)  I wanted to use the extra buns, so I just used the panini grill.  I just turned the bun "inside out".  I buttered the INSIDES of the buns. I put cheese on the top of the bun (buttered inside facing down), then the patty.  I topped the patty with more cheese (so it would all melt together) and then the the bottom of the bun on (with the butter facing up).   It was a good and easy meal that used left over/planned-overs.  (Much easier than hamburgers because the meat is already cooked, and you don't need to cut/pull out a million things to go with /on them :)

For more panini info. and ideas check out my blog post on 15 March, 2010.  And sure, if you live close you can borrow these :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Lately my comfort food seems to be Frosted Flakes cereal.  (I eat only 1/4 cup at a time so it does not get too soggy.)
Doug's comfort foods are some of the classic 60s and 70s family dishes.  The odd thing is that I made them for our kids when they were younger, and they did eat and like them.  Since they don't eat them now, I try to fix them when I am just cooking for the two of us.  And yes, he likes the left-overs, too.
Last week I made Cream Tuna over Toast for him.  WHAT!  You don't want that recipe?  (My kidults are sure you don't.)  Don't worry.  That was not my plan.
To make the simple meal, special, I made toast cups.  These are simple and have several uses.

I like to use an over six muffin tin to make these, but the regular size will work fine.
Simply lightly butter both sides of your bread and form into a bowl in each muffin cup.  (Half the time I don't even butter the bread.)

Bake at 350* for about 10 mins. 
That's it.
I serve these (I plan 2 per person.) filled with "Tuna Fish Gravy".
 For an easy breakfast, butter the bread and put in muffin cups.  Carefully crack an egg into the cup.  Increase baking time until yolk is what you want.  (About 15 mins.)  You can also fill the toast cups with already scrambled eggs and top with grated cheese.
Try mixing some fresh chopped tomatoes with some mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip, if you must) and cooked crumbled bacon, and you have an easy-sandwich.
Left-over "cups" can be stored well for the next day. 
What are your ideas for filling them?

I know you don't want to make CREAM TUNA, but I decided to post the recipe for a basic white sauce.  A white sauce is the base for other things.


2 tablespoons butter (margarine will work, but I prefer butter.)
2 table. flour
1/2 teas. salt
1 cup of milk

In a sauce pan, melt butter and stir in flour.  When well mixed, wisk in milk and salt.  Wisk constantly until thickened and remove from heat.

For cheese sauce stir in about 1 cup of grated cheese.  Usually I use cheddar.  This can be used on vegetables (think broccoli :)  or stirred into hot pasta for mac n cheese  (Put pasta in greased dish and top with some grated Parmesan cheese and buttered, seasoned bread crumbs. Bake until hot and bubbly.)

For chicken pot pie filling, stir in 1 teas. chicken base with the milk.  After it has thicken add seasonings of your choice.  (sage, parsley, maybe a bit of rosemary...)  Add your cooked vegetables and fill/finish your pie.

(And for cream tuna over toast, drain 1-2 cans of well drained white tuna (I prefer albacore).)

(My picture was taken before cooking, and does not really show the "cup" well.  Sorry.)
Later this week I will post 2 other recipes using the white sauce base.

Monday, September 20, 2010


...I am back with a recipe. 
This is an easy pasta recipe.  Besides your choice of pasta, there are only 2 ingredients needed for


2 cubes (1 cup) REAL butter.  (I almost always prefer unsalted, but especially in this recipe.)
pack of mizithra cheese (usually about 8 oz.)
1 pound of pasta, cooked al dente' (I use thin spaghetti)

The first step is to grate your mizithra cheese.  I use my 5 in 1 Power Blender.  (Like a Magic Bullet.)  It is fast and I can store the extra cheese in the container.
Then brown (clarify) your butter.  In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt your 2 cubes of butter.  When the butter has melted, it will start to cook.  It will begin to foam and bubble.  You want to stir it constantly so it does not foam over (can catch fire) or burn.  It will take between 3-6 minutes to foam and then start to brown.  You want the butter to be a caramel colour, and have a wonderful brown butter smell, BUT, once it starts to brown-it goes fast.  There can be seconds between "almost" and "burned".  Don't let that scare you.  Just watch and stir.

As soon as your butter looks right, remove from heat and let it set for a minute or two.  The butter will separate, clarifying the butter on the top, and leaving a residue in the bottom of your pan.  Pour butter into a clean dish (a gravy bowl?)  without disturbing the sediment on the bottom of the pan.  You may strain the butter if you want to.

I strain my pasta (after saving about 1 cup of my pasta liquid).  I make it family style by pouring most of the butter over the hot pasta and then tossing it together with the grated cheese.  (I grate the whole 8 oz., but usually use about half.)  I serve it hot with extra fresh grated Parmesan cheese. (If your pasta is too dry, you can toss in a bit of the reserved starchy pasta water.  I rarely need to do that, but I always save the water.)

One good thing about this recipe is that everything can be made ahead.  I can strain my al dente pasta and put it in a zip lock.  Before serving reheat briefly in a new pot of salted boiling water.
Browned butter heats up nicely in the microwave.  (Be sure to cover it.)
This recipe also re-heats well if you have left-overs.

My family likes roasted, grilled or sauteed fresh vegetables, so I make that with this a lot.  (any quantity or variety of tomatoes, squash, zucchini, onions, garlic, peppers...)  I usually do fruit and sometimes a salad or veggie tray. 

I will post another recipe using browned butter soon.
I have another busy week this week, but hope to get at least 2 posts done.  Have a great week, and let me know what you are cooking or crafting :) 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


5 September - 12 September, 2010

"Blessings only come to those who notice."  DOVE-bite

#1  Happy BIRTHDAY, EMILY!!!
We love you and are glad that you are a part of our family.  I appreciate all you do.

#2  We had a friend come spend the week with us.  I (We) love Mitch.  He is a very sweet boy.  Although he can not speak, we can feel his spirit and testimony.  We are happy his family shares him with us.

#3  We love (love, love) the Labour Day canyon family breakfast.  I don't think anyone knows how long we have been doing this.
Many many years ago, we went up to the canyons for dinner (and the cave).  It was hard to get a spot, and we would get home late - and dirty.  With the new school year the next day.  (We did dutch oven dinners, tin foil dinners, BBQ dinners...)
So, (probably sometime around when Michael and Kate built the pool) we decided to meet for breakfast (and have dinner and swim party and dive contest in the evening). 
We put a menu together and I have a master list of assignments.  Grandma and Grandpa get to the canyons early and pay for 2 spots.  One for cooking and one for visiting.  We fill them both.
Everyone brings food and all kids bring flashlights.  (It's o.k. if you forget.  Grandpa brings extras :)
Hilary brings the box of names and cousins draw to see who they will give a Christmas gift to. 
Grandpa takes the group down to the (very small) cave, and then on a hike.
This is one of my favourite family traditions/parties.  (As at any Johnson family party, if you have company for the holiday, or someone that your family is watching, they are welcome.)  I love this family.  Thank-you, mom and dad.


#5  Lindsay and David's house got finished.  And they passed the appraisal.  (Huge sigh of relief..  And big smile :D

#6  BYU football is back.  Most of my family loves BYU football.  The first away game was Saturday,  (I do not watch the games, at all, and sadly we lost.)  but I love having everyone here to watch them.  Such fun times.

#7  We had "homemade Cafe' Rio" salads for Elana's birthday dinner on Sunday. ummm

#8  I love that we play games together on Sunday night.  A couple of Sundays ago we played SKIPBO, which Christy said was too slow.  So, for the last 2 weeks we have played PIT.  NOT too slow.  Or too quiet.  We also played "5 CROWNS".  I love family times.

#9  I got an idea that I like that I will share later this week.  (Not a big one.  Don't have too high of expectations.)   It is one the boys will like that will make things easier for me.

#10  Remember my horrid dresser (that I picked up on the side of the street during garbage pick-up week) project?  Well, IT IS DONE.  And I am looking forward to sharing my next project with you.  (Well, really I am looking forward to having it done.  I have not started it, yet.)
I loved doing the faux granite on the top.  The effect is really amazing.  There are lots of places to go on the internet, so I do not want to bore with the pictures.  BUT, I did take them along the way, so if you want a tutorial, just let me know.  Or call.  Or come over.

I am giving a talk this week at a Relief Society retreat.  (Our church's women's group.)  I was asked to speak on happiness.  I feel inadequate to speak on this.  My happiness is a work in progress.  I try to be happy and develop faith and trust in Jesus Christ and in Heavenly Father.  As I work, my happiness is increased, as well as the peace and hope I feel.  Worries and problems have not gone away.  Some have not lessened.   (Yes, some are worse.) 
And I know that many carry far greater burdens than I do.  Doug says that I can do this because I have the passion and do the work, but I fear that some with problems will feel like I don't understand, or am trivializing.  In fact, my heart breaks as I contemplate losses that some friends are going thru.  Some family and friends have gone thru EXTREME challenges.  Some have trials that I see looming ahead.  Some have hardships that will not end in this life.
I hope that the studying, fasting, and prayers will help me meet the needs of the sisters.  And that I will not be terrified.  (Usually I am not at all concerned about speaking.)   

Monday, September 13, 2010



#1  I have been cutting Doug's hair since we started dating. 
When Grandma (Alice) Johnson died, Mom asked that Doug get his hair cut professionally.  She paid.  He did.  Turned out she could not tell a difference :), and I kept cutting his hair. 
So, 33 years at an average of at least 12 haircuts a year = 396 hair cuts.  I love that head.

#2  About 8 months ago I moved all my oils/sprays to 1 place in the pantry.  I have heard that something becomes a habit after 1 month.  Why do I keep going to the spice cupboard (after 8 months) for the cooking sprays?

#3  I really love my PAMPERED CHEF pineapple cutter.  (And we love grilled pineapple.  Naked or with brown sugar.)  I decided to try my PC cutter against the grocery store screw in kind.   I looked at it at and it looked flimsy.  Then I remembered that Kate said hers kept breaking.  I decided to save my $10.00.  Cash! 

#4  A few weeks ago I served wraps.  I had bought wrap bread.  I was surprised that it was not good.  I think tortillas (white or Sam's Club wheat) are much better.  And cheaper.

#5  I know QUINEA (Like a grain, but related more to beets and spinach) is very healthy.  I keep trying it, but have not found a way we (I) like it.  I have tried pilafs, breakfast cereals...  I think I am giving up on it.  I love bulgar wheat.  Love rices. Like couscous.

#6  Remember "LEMISHINE"?  I found another use for it.  I put about 1 teaspoon in my indoor and outdoor fountains.  It really helped to get rid of hard water deposits so the fountains run very smooth.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It is already Saturday.  I had intended to post more this week, but...

I get to spend the afternoons with my grandsons three days a week.  I love watching them play, and playing with them.
Lunch can be a pain. I  get bored with "mac n cheese, ramen noodles and pnut butter sandwiches", but they are both picky.  I love finding something new to feed them. 
This recipe combines a couple of favourites-with a twist.  This "recipe" is from the DESERET NEWS by J.M. Hirsch.  This recipe is simple and uses what I already have. 


Make your pnut butter and jam/jelly sandwiches.  Use a sandwich cutter to make them cute.  (I used the train from WILLIAMS-SONOMA.  Thanks Debbie.  And Peggy :)
Dip sandwiches into french toast egg mix.  (I used 3 eggs, 2 cups of milk, a drop of vanilla and a few twists of fresh ground cinnamon.  Remind me to tell you more about the cinnamon later.  You can also whisk in a tablespoon or 2 of BISQUICK.)

Dip both sides of each sandwich in the batter and cook on both sides in a sprayed or buttered skillet.  Yea, french toast.

The boys really liked this.  Layne had me make another one for him.  It's a comfort food.  With a twist.

Then I tried a few other ideas.  I cooked a couple in the waffle iron.  This worked better than stove top, because it sealed the sandwiches.  But the insides leaked out leaving a slow burning mess.
I still had bread and batter, so I dipped bread just in the batter and then cooked it in the waffle iron.  Worked great.  BUT WHY?

(I use tea balls or mesh strainers for sprinkling powdered sugar.  Cute Mickey one, huh?)
Layne had lots of fun watching/helping me make this.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."     Dalai Lama


As always, not in any particular order :)

#1  Happy Birthday, Elana.  I am happy to have you as a daughter-in-law, and in our family.

#2  I am happy we know what our next baby grandchild will be.  A GIRL.  (Due in January.)  I already have 2 grandsons, and Lincoln.

#3  I got my nephew's address.  AND got a letter mailed to Chile.

#4  THANK YOU SO MUCH, LESLIE FOR TAKING MY CAR IN FOR INSPECTION.  I absolutely HATE taking it in.  I sit there terrified about what I will have to spend.  (I needed rear tires and something fixed so I could squirt water on the driver's side window.  DONE)   I usually pay a kidult to do it, but she just did it.  And then took it back when repairs were made.  I LOVE A NEWLY LEGAL CAR.   THANK YOU, LESLIE!!!!!

#5  Doug looked on line and figured out how to fix the windshield washer thing.  The Internet makes me happy.  Doug makes me happiest.  Thank-you, Honey.

#6  Remember the 2 matching shirts I found on National Thrift Store Shopping Day?  I needed them to wear to an "Alice in Wonderland Tea Party" that I was invited to. I was one half of TWEEDLE DEE AND TWEEDLE DUM.    It was fun.  The party was outside and decorated so well.  The food was really fun, too.  I especially liked the crumpets with clotted cream and the cucumber sandwiches.  Thank-you, Paula.  It was fun.  (But my kidults thought we were too old to have a costume tea party :)
(I had a picture here, but it disappeared.  Doug will put it back Wed. p.m.)

#7  Book Club was this week.  I really enjoy book club.  This month one friend was there who lost her husband a few weeks ago.  The next day, another book club friend's husband passed away.  I am thankful for friendships formed in happy times that help support thru times that are hard or painful.

#8  For Family Home Evening we met at Lindsay and David's not owned, yet house, and leveled the ground for their shed.  The FREE shed that I helped them win.  (Remember the 97% credit I got?)  The shed is in and filled, now.

#9  Does this make me happy?  Leslie showed me how you press "next blog" and visit random blogs.  I do not have time to play with that, but am happy I learned what it was for.  (I do wonder if I am missing a GREAT craft idea or wonderful, delicious recipe.)  Did everyone else already know this?

#10  I am happy this week is not (supposed to be) as busy as last week.  I have a few projects that I want/need to work on.

I have 2 recipes and a craft to post this week.  I will also add something to "my favourites" GIVE AWAY basket.  I hope we all find plenty to be happy about this week.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I got the picture from an ad, and did not save what the ad was for.  It was a hit.
The first time I made it Logan decided he did not want jam, so I ate his and made him another one.  Minus jam.  It was really good. 
I have since made it for Logan and Layne, and Lindsay who hates bananas, tried it and loved it.


Slightly soften a smaller size flour tortilla.  (I did 5 seconds in the microwave.)  Spread peanut butter and jam on the tortilla, but do not go to the edges.
Peel a banana and set on the softened tortilla.  Wrap it up, using just a bit of peanut butter to seal the tortilla.
Cut in half for littler hands.
So easy and fun

I have both my grandsons for lunch 3 days a week.  Next week I will post another easy lunch for kids.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I have had a hard time getting to the blog this week.

Do you work on preparedness/food storage?
This week (until next Tuesday) Van Camps Pork and Beans are on sale 3/$1.00 At our local FRESH MARKET.  (Formerly Albertson's)  If you are not in the Salt Lake area, check your local FRESH MARKET ad.
------------ THREE CANS FOR ONE DOLLAR------------
If for nothing else than giving to the FOOD BANK.  It is a high protein/high fibre food.
I use pork and beans all summer for BBQ beans in a hurry.


In a pan, saute' bacon and finely diced onions until crisp.  (I usually start with already cooked from SAM'S)  Toss in some fresh garlic and dehydrated onions (if you did not already use fresh). 
Open 5+ cans of beans.  Drain off the top liquid and remove the "pork piece".
Put beans and pan contents into microwave dish.  Add lots of your favourite BBQ sauce.  I use SWEET BABY RAY'S or HUNTS.
Cover and microwave about 5 mins.

You can also toss a can of pork and beans into soup. 

...and BACON
Man I love bacon.  I do not eat it much, and hate dealing with the cooking mess.  Here are 3 bacons that I use. 
#1 Sam' Club pre-cooked.  (Costco has it, too.)  Low in fat and quite convenient.  Also lower in flavour.
#2 HORMEL MICROWAVE READY-  This is 4 pouches of Ready to cook (uncooked) bacon.  Each pouch has 4 slices of bacon.  The bacon is cooked in the pouch.  It is easy and not messy.  Great for sandwiches (bacon and garden tomatoes. mmm).  I pay under $4.00 a box for this at WINCO.  It is a 12 oz. box and must be kept in the fridge.
#3 HORMEL REAL BACON BITS-At Super Walmart this 3 oz. bottle is about $1.75.  It can stay on the shelf until opened and then goes in the fridge.  One thing I love about this is that it is shelf stable and does not expire until 2013.  The jar is equal to 12 slices of bacon.  It is also lower in fat. I use this for recipes, in eggs, on salads...
Next week I will post a pasta recipe that I love that uses chopped bacon.
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