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Saturday, January 18, 2014

RIP Cleo

I shared with you all a few days ago about our cat , my daughters cat, cleo. Well Cleo has went on to kitty heaven. We are still not sure what was wrong with her. She suddenly got sick and never got better. RIP Cleo we will always love you.

I think this is what our cleo will look like looking down on our little house

Grandson Doing What He Loves To Do

Grandson playing with his cars (what he loves to do) and wearing his pediped shoes.

Get A Little Mixed Up This Weekend

Looks like it might just be a good weekend to stay inside and have some fun. So why not get into the kitchen and get it all mixed up. Have some fun with Jell-O

Stained Glass Jell-O

For the colored pieces:
4 packets jello in varying colors
4 cups boiling water
3 cups ice cold water

For the white outer layer
3 packets Knox gelatin
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt

Pour each of the colored jello packets into a medium, glass or ceramic bowl.  Whisk 1 cup of boiling water into each of the bowls. Once the gelatin powder has dissolved, whisk 3/4 cups of ice-cold water into each bowl.  Cover the bowls tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set, about 1 hour.
Once the colored jello has set, remove it from the fridge and use a butter knife to slice each bowl into several splintered pieces.  Place 1 cup of water in a large bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top, allow it to sit and soften for 1 minute, then whisk in the boiling water and sugar.  Whisk in the yogurt and stir until smooth.  Pour this mixture into a 9×13 pyrex pan.  Carefully drop the stained glass jello pieces into the white gelatin mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap, return to the fridge, and refrigerate for an additional hour until set.

recipe source here

shared at What To Do Weekend
Will Cook For Smiles
Too Much Time On My Hands

Company Casserole

Company Casserole
12 oz. egg noodles
1 lb. ground beef
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz.), softened
1 cup cottage cheese
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (more or less as desired)
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded (more or less as desired)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder or minced onion, oregano (all to taste)
Brown the ground beef. While browning, season well with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder/minced onion (more or less to taste but use at least some of each). Drain and set aside.
Cook egg noodles in well-salted water according to package directions. Drain, return to pot and add butter to noodles. Stir while butter melts. Set noodles aside.
In a very large bowl combine cream cheese, cottage cheese and sour cream. Mix well. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and/or minced onion, and oregano to taste. Add noodles to seasoned cream cheese mixture and stir thoroughly. Add mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and stir thoroughly. Add cooked beef and stir thoroughly. Finally, add both cans of tomato sauce and stir thoroughly.
Spoon (dump!) mixture into a large baking dish (13 x 9 or larger). Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes.

Easy Crockpot Roast

There are days that I simple do not feel like cooking, days that are late at work, days that are just days that I have so much time to do no time for cooking and simply days that I just want to eat but don't want to cook lol. Well this easy recipe will help me on any of those days yes the crockpot does the cooking.

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 chuck roast (2-4 pounds)

Place roast in crock pot. Combine creamy soup and soup mix, and pour over roast. Cook on low 8 hours.

shared at
Weekend Wind Down
Saturday Show and Tell
Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal
A Little Claireification

What Party Are You Having

Tonight where my niece lives they are celebrating Super Hero Night. Where ever you are and whatever you might be celebrating check out this snack mix as it very well may go right along with your party

1 bag (8 oz) chex mix chocolate peanut butter snack mix   
3/4 c reeses puffs cereal    
3/4 c sweet and salty glazed peanuts
1/2 c candy coated peanut butter pieces                       

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bugle Snack Mix

Who does not like chips? This mix is perfect for Super Bowl with so many different flavors of chips should offer a super taste

Bugles (14 oz. or so)
Mini Pretzels (12 oz. or so)
Cheddar flavored fish-shaped crackers (1 package)
Cashews (10 oz. or so)
1 package ranch dressing mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl a few hours before serving (gives the flavors time to blend). Voila!

shared at
Friday Favorites
Dear Creatives

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chinese Coca Cola Chicken

Chinese New Year is an awesome celebration I plan to try to cook up a bit of Chinese for the first time this year as well. Will be yummy
You will need
1 lb chicken wings
1 can coca cola
7 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp crushed ginger
3 pinches Chinese five spice
salt and pepper
14 cups of flour
5 cups frying oil

Pour two thirds of the Coke and two thirds of the soy sauce into a pot.
Add the garlic and ginger, a pinch of five spice and chili powder and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cut the chicken wings into sections and add them to the cold pot.
Bring the liquid to the boil, then simmer it for 12 minutes.
Drain the cooked wings and allow them to cool slightly, reserving the liquid for later use.
To make the sauce, skim the chicken fat off the top of the liquid.
Without disturbing the sediment, return some of the cooking liquid to the pot.
Add the remaining Coke and soy sauce to the pot and simmer gently.
Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of five spice and chili powder.
The sauce can be reduced until it has a syrup like consistency, or to speed things up and produce more volume, simply thicken the liquid, off the stove, with a slurry of corn flour and water.
Season the corn flour with salt and pepper and a pinch of five spice and chili powder.
While the chicken is still warm, coat it in the seasoned corn flour.
Heat the oil to 175° and fry the chicken wings until the coating is crisp and brown.
Remove the fried chicken a drain it on a paper towel.
Serve Chinese Coca Cola Chicken drizzled with the soy and cola sauce, accompanied by fried rice.

recipe source here

shared at
Flaunt It Friday
Domestic Super Hero
Farm Hop

Pediped : Semi Annual Sale

pediped offers great shoes everyday but now through February 9 they will be offering many of their shoes on the Semi annual sale. That's right you can save up to 60% Off

Recently we got the pair of flex jones - hunter green for our grandson. I was very impressed to see them included in the great sale currently going on. You really do not want to miss out on this sale.

 The Flex Jones are great looking perfect for any little boy. I do not care for light colored shoes as they never stay light colored. Boys like to play in the grass, on the ground and play hard so it is always better to look for a great looking colorful pair of shoes for boys in my opinion. The Jones shoe offers a sporty style as well. The stripes are full of color and run across the top and down the sides. The suede and leather upper part of the shoe and the all natural sole will offer parents something they are looking for as well a chance to save real money by having the shoes last longer than others. The sneakers also have Velcro strap that secures safely in place. The shoes also feature the Flex Fit System that allows the child foot to grow a bit in the shoe and prolong the length of the wear. pediped Flex Fit system shoes are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development.

This great pair of shoes with many other styles, colors and both for boy and girl are available on the great Semi Annual Sale at pediped. Simply head over there and check it out

we were sent the great pair of shoes from pediped for review only purposes. The thoughts shared within this post are those of mine alone

2 cups cold milk
1 (5 1/8 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (15 ounce) package Hostess Twinkies (cream filled sponge cakes)
4 cups fresh sliced strawberries
1 (8 ounce) carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
additional strawberry, halved for garnish

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes; let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set; set aside. Slice the Twinkies in half lengthwise; place filling side up in an ungreased 13x9x2 inch dish.
Spread the pudding over the top of the sliced twinkies. Arrange sliced strawberries over the pudding and then spread the whipped topping over the strawberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before cutting.
Garnish with strawberry halves if desired. Refrigerate any leftovers.

shared at
weekend retreat
Mommy Brain Mixer
Link Party Palooza

Slow Cook Irish Stew

This yummy stew should be perfect for St. Patricks Day. Irish stew is a filling dish that is very flavorful. Once considered peasant food it was traditionally made with the cheapest ingredients readily on hand. In other words it was the go to meal. The Irish raised primarily sheep and root crops for subsistence. Sheep had many uses including wool for warm clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese and they were also a food source. Potatoes prior to the potato famine were the main food crop.

Irish stew was made up of lamb, potatoes, onions, and parsley. Lamb pieces such as the neckbone, shank and other trimmings made up the base of the stock. They still provided flavor after a long simmering. Adding the root veggies provided more flavor and thickened the stew as well.

Todays Irish Stew may be like this

 1 whole chicken ( a 3-4 lb. fryer )
1 coarse chopped onion or 1 tblspoon dried onion flakes
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves unpeeled

3 leeks (or 2 onions), chopped
6 medium carrots cut into pennies
5 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon Peppercorns
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 whole cloves
Salt and pepper
3 quarts water
1/4 cup barley
2 dried plums or prunes diced

Stew the chicken with the onion bay leaves and garlic in a large soup pot for 45 minutes.
Strain Stock into another pot and reserve.
After the chicken cools a bit pick the meat, chop and reserve.
Cook all the remaining ingredients except barley until vegetables are almost tender, 30-60 minutes. Add barley , prunes and cook 30 minutes until barley is tender
Add the Chicken meat and simmer 10 minutes.
Serves 10.

Easy Pom Pom

These are super cute and pretty easy to make as well. I found the directions to make these easy pom poms here

shared at
Simply Dream & Create

Monkey Bread Muffins

I so love this recipe because our family loves Monkey Bread but this recipe offers individual servings. Yummy dish that is perfect for breakfast or dessert your choice.

Refrigerated biscuit dough (I bought two, 5-biscuit cans of Pillsbury Grands and that was way too much dough for 12 muffins.)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place about 1/2 teaspoon cold butter into each of 12 muffin tins. Add about a teaspoon of sugar to each tin. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon (maybe 1/8 or 1/16 teaspoon for those of you who like to measure).
Cut your biscuit dough into small bites the size of walnuts. If you are using Grand-sized biscuits, this is 6-8 pieces per biscuit. Add three pieces to each muffin tin. (Resist the urge to add more. They will rise. I made this mistake!)
Add another round of sugar and cinnamon, maybe a bit less than you added the first time through. Top with another half-pat of butter.
Bake in the preheated 375-degree oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with sweetened condensed milk. Allow to set for a bit (< 5 minutes) then scoop out and enjoy!

recipe source Pioneer Wife

shared at
Thrifty Thursday
Made u Look
Weekend ReTreat

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cowboy Caviar

Here is a link to save you a bit of money check this out

 save $1 off 3 cans of S&W beans. One of my favorite recipes that includes beans is Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar
1 can corn  - drained
1 can black beans - drained
1 can black eyed peas - drained
1/2 green pepper - diced
1/2 red pepper - diced
1 bunch green onions - chopped
1 container grape or cherry tomatoes - cut in halves
Mix packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing according to package directions. (I omitted this)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour dressing over top.  Can be served immediately, but marinating overnight is recommended.
Recipe from: Shabby Nest
 shared at
think tank thursday

Veggie Turkey Stew

3 cups fresh baby carrots  
6 cups cubed (1 inch) peeled russet potatoes
6     stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)    
1 cup sliced onion
2 lb. boneless skinless turkey thighs (2 thighs), cut into 1 inch pieces
2 (12 oz) jar roasted turkey gravy    
Spray a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Layer all veggies in slow cooker at the bottom Top with turkey. Pour gravy over turkey Cover: cook on high setting for 4 hours or on low setting for 8 hours Stir Just before
recipe source here

shared at
Sweet haute

Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert

January is Strawberry Ice Cream month. Many of you may ask why in the middle of weather and all I can say is I am not really sure maybe I will do a bit of research to find out why. If you know why please share with me. Well I am not ready for a delicious strawberry ice cream like I would be in the midst of July but I must say that this dessert recipe did spark my attention.

Strawberry Ice Cream Dessert
1 package Golden Oreos
4 T softened butter
1 cup strawberry preserves
2 quarts strawberry ice cream
8 oz Cool Whip
Pulse the Oreos with the softened butter in the food processor until combined and crumbly. Press the crumbs in a 9 x 13 glass pan to create the crust. 

Next, slather on the strawberry preserves.

Let the ice cream sit out on the counter while you work on the rest of the dessert so it can soften a little. Then scoop, spread to the edges, and lick the spatula

Top with the Cool Whip. And just like before…scoop, spread to the edges, lick the spatula.

Freeze until ready to enjoy. (Stick the pan in the freezer for awhile before you put the lid on. That way you don’t lose half of the Cool Whip on the lid. That would be very disappointing!) Run the knife under hot water to make it easy to slice

shared at
Sweet Wednesday
centerpiece Wednesday

Update on Cat

Cat went back to the vet today, wow he still is not feeling well and we found out it was a bit more than just constipation. The constipation was just something that came about because of it. The poor cat has a natural parasite to cats. After a round of shots he should be feeling better. Hoping for the best

Rootbeer BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

I love pulled pork and oh my each time we make it here it disappears quite quickly. I can not imagine a super bowl party without sliders like these oh so yummy

Root Beer BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders

  • 3-4 lbs pork butt/shoulder. 
  • 2 TBSP Montreal Steak Seasoning 
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) your favorite root beer.  Again, DO NOT USE DIET!!!  Seriously, seriously scary stuff happens when you heat all those crazy chemical sweeteners
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce.  My favorite is Bullseye Original.  I just saw a big taste test thing for BBQ sauces and Bullseye Original took first place ;)  Yup, I know how to pick a winner, lol!
  • Hawaiian Sweet Rolls for serving
Sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning over you pork roast.  Place in cold crock pot.  Add bottled root beer to crock pot, pouring around the roast to not disturb the seasoning.  Cook on low for 8 hours, or until it shreds easily.  Remove meat from crock pot and shred into desired sized pieces.  Drain and reserve liquid.  Add meat back into crock pot and add just enough reserved liquid to re-moisten meat, about 1/4 cup.  Add enough BBQ sauce to give meat a nice coating.  Let sit in crock pot on low until warm.  Serve on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.

Winter White Veggies

We have all heard the phrase "eat the rainbow" meaning that the more colors we have in our diet from fruits and veggies the more nutritional we are eating. Sometimes in the midst of winter this may get a bit hard to do. The good thing is that pale foods such as cauliflower and celery root have a lot to offer as well. The white fruit offers those that eat it heart health, boost bone strength and the best thing is that they peak season in cooler months should be easier to find.

Garlic has long been known to help prevent the buildup of plaque on artery walls, and thus reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease. It also has been known to have some power in blocking tumor growth.

Cauliflower packs 68 percent of dietary allowance of vitamin c in one cup of serving. Cauliflower is an antioxidant that may reduce your risk for heart disease. Cauliflower florets also contain the nutrient choline. Choline has been found to help the brain slow age related memory loss.

Parsnips, not white carrots as a grocery store clerk once thought they were, were my grandmothers favorite veggie I believe. One cup of cooked parsnips allows the eater 30% of daily vitamin c needs as well as giving 20 % of manganese that is needed in the body. Manganese is a mineral that many researches believe act as a natural antidote to PMS. Parsnips also offer fiber and helps you feel fuller longer.
resource here

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Work It Wednesday
Wonderful Wednesday

Cooking For Wildlife : Birds

Homemade Bark Batter

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups cornmeal
Combine all ingredients until well-mixed. I used my hands. Feel free to add some sunflower seeds, nuts, dried fruits, anything your birds might like!
There are many ways to serve this treat! We have a board attached to a pole, but you can also smear it right onto the tops of your bird feeders, or even onto the branches of a tree or bush. Or, add chunks of it to a tray feeder. The options are endless

shared at  Home and Garden Thursday

Savvy Southern Style Ivy and Elephants

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Coal Keeps the Lights On

An Outstanding Man, An Excellent Teacher, An Awesome Person

Heres a throw back a teacher to remember for sure. When I got to highschool this great man was ready to retire and did a few years later. Bill Trees was always one of our favorites at Harrisburg High School. He was a great teacher and a tremendous coach - we thoroughly enjoyed his biology class because he made it fun to learn in his classroom. Mr. Trees believed in science but also believed in the one true God. When he taught creationism he also share what the bible says as well. Bill was a man who always remembered you an outstanding community member and one that no one will ever forget.

Did you have teachers like him? Please tell me about your favorite teacher in school

Constipated Cat

All though I do not share a lot on my blog about my pets our family does have 2. We have a cat and a dog and love both of them very much. . You see this cat is treated like a prince and the dog is treated like a princess. Both loved very much and both very much part of the family. Recently our cat started acting quite funky. So to the vet we went Not knowing for sure what was wrong with him we were a bit worried. Finding out that she was simply constipated I had never heard of a cat being constipated but you know what many times we really do not know and just like kids we must take them to the doctor. We were given some medicine for her and in hopes that it will work

Here are few things that I found out online that can help a constipated animal as well

To start with
Ensure that your cat is eating a well-rounded diet suited to cats. If in doubt as to what to feed your cat with properly, ask the vet for a dietary plan

If you have a long haired cat, trim the hair around your cats backside, to keep the hair from getting tangled. This will keep the area clean and help prevent constipation from tangled hair getting inside the anus.

Keep a litter box, and maintain it. A clean litter box will encourage your cat to use it regularly, as sometimes cats refuse to use a dirty litter box, which can cause constipation.

Treatment could include
feeding cat tuna packed in oil

anti constipation medication which we got at the vets and will be using

make sure cat has plenty of water possibly also serving cat food in can as well as dry

you may also try adding a bit of bran to their diet

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Tuesday To Do Party

Pan Fried Pork Chops with Glazed Apples

Oh it is so beautiful outside here, stark difference from last weekend. It is 50 degrees here in  beautiful southern Illinois. Makes this river lover girl want to go on a journey. The only problem is not feeling real well I think this weather has made many of suffer from colds etc... So today I am making my family a feast of delicious pork chops and glazed apples. This recipe will have to be doubled to feed my family as it is one that is meant to only feed 2-4 individuals. I have made dishes like this many times in the oven but today is the first to make it on top of the stove. Hope you enjoy your day and grab a taste that you love as well.

Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Glazed Apples

 2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
4 thin cut pork chops
 1 Tbsp bacon grease
 2 small to medium red apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
 1/3 cup apricot jam, preferably fruit sweetened
 1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, and rosemary in a small bowl and stir together. Coat the pork chops on both sides with the mixture, gently massaging the meat with your fingers to jumpstart the curing process. Let stand for 15 minutes. Rinse the chops and pat dry with paper towels. Season the chops on both sides with pepper to taste.
Melt the 1 tablespoon bacon grease in a large heavy skillet over high heat, add the pork chops, and cook until crispy brown, about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer the pork chops to a plate and cover with foil. Add the apples to the skillet and cook, stirring gently to brown slightly, about 30 seconds, adding a bit more bacon grease if the pan is dry. Add the stock, jam, apple juice, and cinnamon and stir well. Cook until the sauce thickens and is rick brown in color, about 10 minutes. Add the pork chops back into the pan and cook for a few more minutes.

shared at The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Baking Tip : Make heart shaped cupcakes

Want valentine heart cupcakes? Here is the simple trick place a marble in the tin to make the heart shape.

shared at Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Home Stories A to Z
The Scoop

Monday, January 13, 2014

Alpha Block GIveaway

My grand-daughter has loved to read ever since she could hold a book it seems My grandson was always to active to sit down with a book but loves to look at the pictures and now nearing his 3rd birthday is starting to enjoy reading books as well. I love this Alpha Block book with its bright colors and theme that the kids I am sure will love. The other great thing is that you and I have a chance to win this awesome book

Prize being offered in giveaway Book Alpha Block
Blog Hosting Giveaway Mom and More
Giveaway Direct link
Giveaway ends 1/17/2014

Your Chance TO win A Lalaloopsy doll

My niece and grand-daughter and many others that I know simply love the little lalaloopsy dolls They are very cute and I would love to win one of these cute little dolls. The blog Mom and More is giving their readers the chance to win one of these special little dolls. Hurry though as the giveaway ends in just a few hours.

Giveaway prize: A Lalaloopsy doll
Blog Hosting : Mom and More
Giveaway ends: 1/13/14