Monday, November 29, 2010

My Freezer Cookin Weekend!!

Freezer Cooking Session!!

Ok, well I attempted a long weekend of freezer cooking. I am not quite done yet but have realized I need to make sure I am doing this religiously. For our menu for 30 dinners, 15 breakfasts, and baked goods I only spent $88!! Granted, yes I have a pretty good food storage but I got a steal on meat. Turkeys of course on sale we already had one and when I went to walmart the thawed turkeys were only $.50 per pound. That is a steal so I cooked 45 pounds of turkey this weekend ( thanks moms roaster!). I also made 6 packages of homemade hamburger buns and hotdog buns, muffins, and banana bread. I will post more when I finish up.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Freezer Meals

I have found a wonderful blog/site to share that has lots of ideas for make ahead/freezer meals. Freezer cooking is another way to save alot of $ on your grocery budget. We usually can do a month's worth of meals (dinners), 10 desserts, and 15 breakfasts for under $250 a month for our family of 6! I will continue to try to share recipes for other freezer meals that we enjoy as well. Here is the link :

Here is one of Brian's favorite freezer meals:   Chicken Spaghetti


  • 2 cups Cooked Chicken
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Green Pepper
  • ¼ cups Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ⅛ teaspoons (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook 1 cut up fryer and pick out the meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.
Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Cover and freeze up to six months, cover and refrigerate up to two days, or bake immediately: 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Make Your Own Spreadable Butter

Soft Butter Spread
A fluffy butter mixture that's easily spreadable
2 cups
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water, at room temperature
1. Using an electric mixer, blend butter on HI until fluffy.
2. Continue mixing, and slowly add oil. Continue mixing and slowly add water. Mixture will turn white and be very light and fluffy!
3. Chill until set. (See additional notes.)
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones with Cinnamon Icing
Spiced pumpkin scones with cinnamon icing drizzled on top!
8 scones
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons butter, sliced and chilled
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Icing Ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons milk
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients (dry). Cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
2. In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, cream, sugar, and vanilla.
3. Add to dry mixture and stir just until mixture forms a thick dough. Use your (clean) hands to knead the dough once or twice, pressing it together. (For more tender scones, don't over-knead.)
4. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into a circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut circle into 8 wedges/triangles. Place wedges on an ungreased baking sheet, not touching.
5. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, until scones are lightly browned on the bottom.
6. Make icing by whisking together the icing ingredients, adding just enough milk to make a drizzling consistency. Icing can be drizzled over warm or hot scones, or brushed on.
Whole wheat pumpkin scones with cinnamon icing

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweet and Salty Halloween Treats
Mini Pretzels (I used the snaps, shaped like squares, but you could use the twists too.)
Hershey Kisses Hugs (any kind of kisses would do)
Candy Corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place pretzels on cookie sheet, not touching. Unwrap Hershey's Kisses and place on top of pretzels and then place filled cookie sheet in oven. Bake for 3-5 minutes but no longer.You will know they are ready when the Hershey Kisses start to get shiny. Take out of oven and gently place candy corn on top of Hershey Kisses, pushing down ever so gently. Cool and then transfer to serving platter or wrap up as gifts. I actually placed mine in the fridge for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process, and it worked perfectly.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts

2 Pillsbury pie crusts to make it easier
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Maple Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Topping:
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.

On a lightly-floured surface, roll pie crust ¼ inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut pie dough into same-sized rectangles, approximately 4 inches tall by 3 inches wide. You could really make these any size you want, Mine were all different sizes. If you're using store-bought Pillsbury roll out crusts, they may need to be rolled a little thinner, I'm not sure. I didn't use them.

Spoon a 1-3 Tablespoons of the pumpkin pie mixture on top of one of the rectangles. Gently place a second rectangle of pie dough on top. Secure edges together by pressing them gently with a fork. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges of the tart begin to brown slightly. Remove and cool.

To make the glaze, stir together all ingredients until a thick, spreadable consistency is reached. Spoon a thin layer of the frosting on top of cooled pumpkin pie tarts.

To decorate, melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave on medium. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until melted. Add a little vegetable oil to make the chocolate more liquid. Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and cut the corner off. Drizzle onto pop tarts, sprinkle with orange sprinkles.

Store in an air tight container. Best if eaten within 2-3 days. Keep refrigerated.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Turtle Rice Krispy TreatsIngredients:
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows (or one bag large marshmallows, about 40)
1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup pecan pieces
1/3 cup Heath toffee bits (optional)

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan generously with nonstick cooking spray. In a large pan on the stovetop, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Add the rice krispy cereal. Stir until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture to the prepared pan with buttered fingers or a spatula. Drizzle ice cream topping all over the mixture (you may need to warm it a little first in the microwave). Sprinkle pecan pieces and Heath toffee bits on top. Press lightly to make sure they stick onto the bars.
When cool, cut into squares and enjoy!
HOw to Make Your Own Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar


2 Pounds of Sugar
6 ounces of Molasses

Put Sugar and Molasses in food processor and pulse a few times until incorporated. Store in airtight container for 30 days

HOw Was ScHool TodAy??

When the kids get home from school they usually ALL have something to tell me & usually at the same time. I want to hear about it all but one at a time. I thought about it and today I'm going to try something new. . .

1- they need to pick a numbered stick/coin.

2- then they get time on the timer. . 

3- but if, by chance, they do run out of something to say or need some help they can pick a question stick(the ones with the colored tip facing out of the cup).

I colored the tip of each stick and taped the question on. When they are done answering that question they put the colored side down in the cup. When all the "colored side" tips are down, you can turn them over and reuse them.

These are just a few questions I have but I'm trying to think of more. If you have any i would you to share.
1-Did you meet anyone new today?
2-What was your lunch time like?
3-Did you love the outfit you wore?
4-Name 2 fun things that happened in a class.
5-Did your teacher say something funny?
6-What was your favorite part of your lunch?
7-Did anything exciting happen on the bus?
8-What was your favorite assignment today?
9-What did you do in P.E. ?
10-What did you do in Math?
11-What did you do in Science?
12-Tell me about your favorite part of the book you are reading.
13-What did you & your friends do at recess?
14-Name 2 things you love about your school.
15-Did you help another teacher or student?
16-How do you feel you are doing in school?
17-What was your favorite part of the day?

Walmart in Utah

Today is one of those days I miss living in Utah and sharing in the food storage resources available even at the local Wal mart!

Homemade Baby Wipes

Yes, my kiddos are much too old for baby wipes but I used to get several requests for my babywipe
recipe. Just thought I would post in case someone wanted it. It is wonderful and I never ran out of baby wipes!!

1 ½ cups water
2 Tbsp. baby bath or shampoo
1 Tbsp. baby oil
1 roll paper towels
Mix the water, baby bath and baby oil in an empty round baby wipe container. Cut the paper towels in ½ using an electric knife. Remove core from the center. Place paper towels in wipe container. Let the paper towels soak up the water solution. Turn every few minutes to allow the solution to reach the middle of the paper towels. If there is still a dry spot in the middle, add a little more water and turn until soaked through. Pull the wipes from the middle of the roll through the top of the wipe container.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

There are so many times I find myself trying to use up produce from the garden or I bought too many carrots or zucchini coming out of my ears.... here are some recipes to help use it all up. We don't want anything to go to waste!
                                                            Pumpkin ButterMilk Biscuits


* 2 cups all-purpose flour 
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon Kosher salt {or 1/2 tsp table salt}
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
* 5 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
* 1/3 cup buttermilk
* 3 tablespoons honey
* 3/4 cup packed canned pumpkin


1. Combine flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl or in the food processor bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or pulse in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and chill 10 minutes.

2. Combine buttermilk and honey, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir just until moist.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 times. 


Roll dough into roughly a 9 x 5–inch rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. 


Fold dough crosswise into thirds. 


Roll into 9x5 inch rectangle again and repeat folding and rolling process one more time. Then, cut dough with a biscuit cutter. 


Place dough rounds, 1 inch apart, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a silpat. Chill for a few minutes in the refrigerator. Bake at 400° for 14 minutes or until golden. 


Halloween Luminaries

If you're looking for an easy and affordable way to decorate your home for Halloween, make these luminaries using tin cans! Place them along your walkway or front steps to light the way on Halloween. So cute and charming!  Several years ago we made these in cub scouts for Christmas Gifts and traced christmas shapes from cookie cutters.


What You'll Need: 


* Sharpie or marker in the same color as your paint
* Clean empty tin cans {I like to use the big coffee cans, any size will work}
* Hammer and large nail or awl
* Paint
* Paint brush
* Candles


Fill the tin can with water and place it in the freezer. When the water in the can is frozen, remove the can from the freezer.


Using the marker, draw whatever image or word onto the tin can. You can freehand or print a design from the internet and then trace it onto the tin can. Keep the design simple though. Design Ideas: outline of a cat, a bat, a witch's hat, words like Boo or Happy Halloween. 


Place the tin can on a folded towel. This will help brace the tin can and reduce the impact of punching the holes with the hammer. 


Then, use the hammer and awl {or nail} nail to puncture the design in the can. 


When you're done punching the holes, place the can under hot, running water to melt the ice. 


Also, since water expands as it freezes, the bottom of your can will probably not be level. If not, then turn the can over, cover with a towel, and hammer down the edges until the bottom of the can is level. 


Paint the tin can using either spray paint or acrylic paint. Once the the paint is dry, you'll probably have to go back with a toothpick and poke some of the holes through on the can since the paint can clog them up. 


Place a candle inside the can and enjoy!


Homemade Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

I was talking to a friend the other day and she was asking me about how I make my household cleaners so I decided to help spread the word.  I purchased all of the bottles at a dollar store and made the labels myself. They honestly work just as good as store bought cleaners if not better. And, there is the added benefit of no toxic chemicals, which is why I make them. Oh, and they are much cheaper than store bought. I spent $30 for all of the materials and ingredients and I have enough to make cleaners for a year or longer! Here are the recipes that I use.

Glass Cleaner
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 tsp dish soap
10-15 drops essential oil
Spray Bottle

All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 tsp washing soda
1/2 tsp liquid Castille soap
2 cups hot water
10-15 drops essential oil
Spray Bottle

Hydrogen Peroxide
10-15 drops essential oil
Spray Bottle

Hardwood Floor Cleaner
4-5 Tbsp Murphy's Oil Soap
2 Cups Water
Spray Bottle

Furniture Polish and/or Stainless Steel Cleaner
2 cups oil (vegetable or olive)
1 squeezed lemon
15 drops of lemon essential oil

Air Deodorizer
1 tsp baking soda
1tsp vinegar
2 cups water
10 drops essential oil
Spray Bottle