Friday, November 26, 2010


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

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

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

14 November - 21 November, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 19, 2010


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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 17, 2010



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

You can click here to see the deal.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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

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

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

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

31 October - 14 November, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

recipe from My Little Gems  (

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, November 11, 2010


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

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

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

My costume/craft for the Johnson Family party

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

A fun "eyeball" bracelet and earrings
Idea from

It was fun to make these owl treats
idea from
We really did a lot of fun stuff. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010



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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


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

24 October - 31 October, 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 1, 2010



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

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

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

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