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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Crockpot Pulled Pork

I love my crockpot On days where I am gone, hot summer days when I don't want to stay inside to cook, cold winter days where I would rather cuddle than to cook and long work days where I have no time to cook. I am always looking for new ideas and recipes to use my crockpot with as well. I love to prepare pulled pork in the crockpot and have did it many different ways. It normally depends on what I have on hand as I don't want to run out to the store if I don't have to. I am known to scan the meat department each time I am there to see what is on sale and where I can get the most out of my money. When roast are on sale I often purchase them as there are lots of ways to prepare them.

BBQ Pulled Pork

Source: here

1 package boneless pork ribs or 2-3 lb. pork shoulder
BBQ sauce (I use regular Sweet Baby Rays and some Open Pit)
1 TBSP liquid smoke
1 can of coke (optional)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt to taste
Desired toppings: pickles, cole slaw, potato chips, etc.

1. Season the meat with Lawry's and place into crock pot (if you have crock pot liners I'd suggest using them).

2. Cover the meat with BBQ sauce. Add the can of coke and the liquid smoke. I sometimes mix some BBQ sauce with about 1 cup of water and add that as well. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-5 hours.

3. Once cooked and falling apart, drain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl. Shred the pork with two forks and add some liquid back in to keep the pork moist. I also add some BBQ sauce at this point and mix it in. Whatever you do, DON'T over sauce your pork!! You can always add more sauce when it's on your bun.

4. Pile pulled pork on a bun and top with your desired toppings! Enjoy

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

 Stuffed Pepper Casserole

 1 c. white rice
1 lb. ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (14 ½ oz) diced tomatos w/basil, garlic and oregano
3 cans (8 oz each) tomato sauce
2 tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 F – only if you plan to serve right away. Mixture can be refrigerated or frozen and baked later (See note below)

2. Cook rice according to directions.

3. Brown ground beef in skillet, drain fat and set beef aside

4. In deep skillet, cook bell pepper and onion in hot oil until tender. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 min. Stir in cooked rice and cooked beef into tomato mixture.
**If you are freezing, allow mixture to cool, and put in a gallon size zip loc, freeze flat.

On cooking day, thaw mixture and
5. pour into 9 x 13 inch pan

6. bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly

Optional: sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese after baking is done.

recipe source here

Friday, March 6, 2015

silly snowmen

Silly Sock Snowmen 10

If where you live is like where I live then you may be getting tired of snow and ice. Its too cold to get out there and play and enjoy the snow but these little critters may be just the thing to help keep them from getting cabin fever.
Chenille socks ($1 per pair at the $1 store)
googly eyes
hot glue gun

Silly Sock Snowmen 1

Step 1: Cut the toe off of the sock (about 3 inches or so) and set aside.  Then turn the sock inside out.  Using a little yarn, tie one end tightly and turn right side out.

Silly Sock Snowmen 3

Step 2:  Fill sock with lots of polyfill.  That’s right, just stuff it in there!

Silly Sock Snowmen 4

Step 3:  Tie the open end closed tightly (you don’t want those snowman guts oozing out!).Silly Sock Snowmen 5

Step 4: Using several strands of yarn, tie the snowman around the middle to divide his “head” from his “body” and attach his hat.  It was nice to have a variety of socks and mix up the bodies and hats

. Silly Sock Snowmen 6

The rest is up to you, make them silly as you want to and have fun

craft resource here

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No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake

No-bake White Chocolate Cheesecake

I am a total fan of cheesecakes and these mini cheesecakes I believe should not only make myself smile but my family and friends as well. My daughter is a huge macadamia nut fan and it seems perfect to share these at my daughters bridal shower. This recipe makes 4 cheesecakes find the recipe here

For the crust:

  • 16 graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoon butter (melted)
  • 3 tablespoon sugar

For the filling:

  • 12 ounce cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (melted)
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream (whipped)
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce


  1. Crush the graham crackers and mix with melted butter and sugar. When combined, press mixture into the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Melt white chocolate chips. Chop the macadamia nuts.
  3. Make whipped cream. In another bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and melted white chocolate. Fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Pour caramel sauce (about a tablespoon) over the cheesecake crust and add chopped macadamia nuts.
  5. Fill the rest of the pan with the cream cheese mixture and freeze for an hour. To loosen the cheesecake from the pan, wrap a warm kitchen towel over each cup. The temperature difference will loosen the pieces quickly. Top each small cheesecake with caramel sauce and macadamia nut if desired.

Meatloaf love it or leave it Cook it or Freeze It

Meatloaf the way I see it you either love it or you don't. The problem may be that everyone has different taste preferences When we do finally find what we love we don't want to change it. Did you know that you can make your own meatloaf season, find it in a pre packaged envelope of seasoning or buy a can of meatloaf sauce. I recently found this yummy recipe which originally belonged the mom of the author. It is a quick and easy recipe and one that our family enjoyed.

Mom's Meatloaf
1 1/2-2# ground beef
1/2 onion, diced fine (been known to use minced/dried onions if I am out too)
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. breadcrumbs
1/2 c. ketchup
salt and pepper to your taste, I have been known to throw in some garlic powder on occasion

Mix all the above in a bowl, put in a meatloaf/bread pan...
Bake at 350 for 1- 1 1/2 hours...viola!

Make two and freeze one mixed (flat) in a gallon size baggie for later!

Freezing Directions

Step 1: Mix All Ingredients For Meatloaf
Step 2: Shape The Meatloaf And Wrap In Plastic Wrap
On a piece of plastic wrap roll the meatloaf mix into a log. Wrap with plastic wrap Do not add catsup at this time it will be added when thawed and meatloaf is cooked through.

Step 3: Put Meatloaf In A Freezer Bag And Place In The Freezer
Wrap the meatloaf in plastic wrap and put inside a large plastic freezer bag. Label the bag.

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Give Back : National Red Cross Month

March is a American Red Cross Month. My family has been impacted by life events and Red Cross has always been there to help. There are ways that we all can give back. A few of them include

Many of us including myself think of blood drives when I think of Red Cross. Give blood. This is a hard one for me with my fear of needles but many members of my family including my children and several friends have been involved with everything from working at and setting up a blood drive to donating their own blood. The Red Cross website advises that nearly 4 million people will donate blood this year. Red Cross is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the U.S. If you are able you should find your local blood drive and get involved it does not take a lot of time and remember you are giving your part to help others.

Being in the health care field I also think of CPR classes when I think about red cross. Red Cross workers teach more than 9 million people a year the life saving skills. Red Cross also provides the classes for emergence or disaster prep classes. If you have a background in health and education you may be the volunteer they are searching for to teach such classes. If you do not know the techniques of CPR perhaps it is time to sign up for a class many of which I have seen are at low or no cost.

Looking for a way to get involved?? Think about volunteering. While there are some ways that trained professionals are needed I have seen many times when volunteers help make a great difference. The time when the tornado swept through our community I saw volunteers out there in many ways and like other organizations the Red Cross is in need of volunteers.

Along with volunteering you can get involved with groups that are there for individuals to work together with the same focus in mind. There are letter writing campaigns, groups for older individuals and even youth. Get involved in your neighborhood and see where the need is and what you can do to help.

Share your story in an attempt to spread the word, get others involved, or help others find the needs. There are many ways for you to do this and you can start with the social outworks that you may use every day like twitter and facebook.

One of the biggest needs out there is financial. That's right you can be involved here as well. You can donate your own money or even better host a fund raiser where you can get the word out, have some fun ad raise money for Red Cross.

want to find out more information and how you can get involved check it out here

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Freezer to Dinner Recipe : Chicken Pot Pi

Chicken Pot Pie
Yield: 2 pot pies (6 to 8 servings each)
4 cups cubed cooked chicken (ham, shredded beef or turkey)
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups sliced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup flour
2 1/2  teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1½ cups milk
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
pastry for two double-crust 9-inch pies, or use biscuit/baking mix to make crust I buy the ready made cursts (2 in a box) for $2.00 from Walmart.
Boil potatoes and carrots in a large stockpot. In another pot, boil cubed chicken for 8 minutes. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain vegetables and chicken and set aside.
In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour, salt, thyme, and pepper until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the chicken, peas, corn, potatoes, and carrots. Remove from heat.
Crust option 1: Line two 9-inch pie plates with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate. Fill pastry shells with chicken mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pies. Cut slits or decorative cutouts in pastry. Place over filling; trim, seal and style the edges. Bake one pot pie at 425ºF for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.
Crust option 2: Mix together 2 cups biscuit/baking mix, 1¼ cups milk, 1 teaspoon garlic salt, ½ teaspoons celery seed. (Mixture will be thin.) Sprinkle over top of chicken pot pie. Bake at 350ºF for 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Cover and freeze remaining pot pie for up to 4 months.
To serve frozen pie: Cover edges of frozen piecrust with foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425ºF for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake for 70 to 80 minutes longer, or until crust is golden brown

National Anthem Day

Star Spangled Banner  the U.S. national anthem was written by Francis Scott Key. I can remember the story being told to our music class by the one and only Carol Randolph. Perhaps Mrs. Randolph had some odd standings but the one thing she knew was her history. I can remember her making it so very realistic in my opinion that is what made it stick so much in our minds. The Star Spangled Banner was written during a terrified moment during the war of 1812. While being kept as a prisoner of war Dr. William Beanes in 1814 was aided by Francis Scott Key who himself would be taken prisoner as well. The sight that Key watched as the bombs head toward the beloved Fort in the darkness and the sunlight to rise and shine light on the flag that still stood in triumph. Francis Scott Key was so inspired that he wrote The Star Spangled Banner.

On March 3, 1931 the song officially became the U.S. national anthem

Nationa Cold Cut Day Enjoy a Dagwood

Cold Cuts Day is expressed on March 3rd and is here to celebrate anything and everything related to cold cut meats. Who nominated cold cuts to have a day of their own no one really knows. Most of us for sure have some lunch meat in our fridge and many of us probably use it as a staple for lunches, snacks or quick meals. Cold cuts come in many shapes and forms. From leftover ham, turkey or chicken to deli sliced pastrami, salami, chorizo, sausage or corned beef.

One character that I believe could have really celebrated this day is Dagwood. Now he truly loved his cold cuts in a sandwich piled as high as you can get one.

3 slices rye sandwich bread
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
4 slices deli ham
2 slices American cheese
2 leaves iceberg lettuce
4 slices bologna
4 slices salami
6 dill pickle chips
3 slices tomato
4 slices turkey
2 slices Swiss cheese
2 pimiento stuffed green olives

Lay the three slices of bread out on a cutting board. Smear two of them with a tablespoon each of the yellow mustard. Smear the last one with mayonnaise. Top one of the mustard smeared slices of rye bread with the ham, cheese, lettuce, and bologna. Top the second mustard smeared slice of rye bread with the salami, pickle chips, tomato slices, turkey, Swiss cheese, and the third slice of rye bread, mayonnaise side down. Stack this unit on top of the first mustard smeared slice. Skewer each green olive with a toothpick. Secure the sandwich with these. Slice the sandwich in half if you'd like

Monday, March 2, 2015

Easter Dessert Easter Baskets

I simply love to serve a good dinner on the holidays. The dessert is as important as the meal itself in my opinion. If you can make cute desserts like these Easter Cheesecake Baskets adapted from the Kraft website I believe these would be super cute seat placements myself Allowing everyone to have a personalized dessert Easter Basket. Yummy

Easter Cheesecake Baskets – adapted from Kraft
2 8 ounce pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut, tinted green
36 small jelly beans
12 pieces shoestring licorice, 4″ lengths

Preheat your oven to 350F and beat the cream cheese and the sugar. Add the egg and beat until blended. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, then press into individual muffin cups
Now pour the actual cheesecake batter over top of the crust
Bake for about 20 minutes, then cool and pop in the fridge for at least 2 hours. The green coconut is for festive grass but my kids hate coconut so it’s a waste. However, they love mini eggs and jellybeans so I added those to the ‘baskets’ and then the licorice handles! Way cute!

Patch Work Easter Egg Ornament

My grandmother was a quilter and I grew up watching her cut pieces of fabric by hand and when she had some left overs she would allow me to be creative as well. I can remember spending hours with her watching as she pieced together quilts and helped me make creative art as well. She was a one of a kind but I imagine we all think of our grandmas like that. Now that I am a grandma and have a little princess running around here I try to be creative as well I am not the quilter or artist that my grandmother was but I try and with craft ideas like this one inspired by  Clares Craft Room it is easy to allow her a chance to be creative. Just check out this super cute craft for patchwork Easter egg décor

She used paper for her eggs but I think that gluing on fabric would be cute and to me more vintage feeling. Either way have fun selecting your choice of fabric or magazine pages. Cut up into miss match patch work pieces. Cut a large egg shape from out of cardboard, a cereal box works great for this but any thin cardboard would work . Glue all pieces onto the cardboard. Use hole punch to create hole for ribbon and hanger. Now you have a super cute Easter décor ornament

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

National Peanut Butter Lovers' Day is celebrated on the first day of March. It is a sticky sort of day with lots of lovers that salute their choice of Peanut Butter spread. Was you a kid that grew up eating PB&J sandwiches? In our house we always have it on hand as it has become a staple that is enjoyed for both snacks and meals and often is the sub if you find you simply don't like what is bein served.  You will find both smooth and crunchy peanut butter on the shelf. Peanut butter is an item that is enjoyed on toast, crackers, celery as well is a variety of recipes. 

Make up a quick craft that will smell so good that little hands may just want to take a quick bite and don't worry it wont hurt them.

Edible Play Dough
  • 1/2 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup honey

Mix up, play with like playdough  

Another quick recipe that will be great for supper or to take to the next picnic or potluck check out this recipe for no bake PB pie

4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 deep dish graham cracker or chocolate flavored crust
whipped topping
chocolate syrup

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Slowly add milk and mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into pie crust and cover. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Pipe extra whipped topping around edge of pie. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.

find this recipe and other delicious peanut butter recipe at the  Peanut Butter

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Guiltless Seven Layer Dip

1 cup guacamole (or make your own – see above for recipe)
1 cup salsa
1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 + 1/4 fat free refried beans
½ tomato, cut into small cubes
¼ bunch of green onions, sliced
½ cup iceburg lettuce, shredded
½ cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
equipment: 4 small cups/containers OR 8 mini containers

    For 4 containers
1. Spread ¼ of lettuce on bottom of container, layer with 5 tablespoons of refried beans, add with 2-3 tablespoons of guacamole, add with 4 tablespoons of yogurt, add 4 tablespoons salsa, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese, top with onions and tomatoes
2. Repeat for remaining cups or containers

recipe source here

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Frozen Food Month

The month of March is National Frozen Food Month. Even before I began writing my blog I loved this month as there are normally lots of great buys on frozen foods in the super markets. As a young mother with a little budget but lots of family I had to stretch my dollars. Here are some tips on how you can do that as well

So you found a great sale on frozen lasagna and you serve it to your family and have lots of leftovers. Don't throw it away. It is great as leftovers in lunches, simply divide into individual portions and save

You can find great buys on frozen veggies as well. Frozen veggies are great served with a meal or in a stir fry or casserole. Fresh vegetables can also be frozen as well. Another great way to serve frozen veggies is to mix them with rice.

Bread is another thing that you will find in our freezer. Whether you freeze bread that comes directly off the shelf to be saved in freezer where it will stay fresher for a later use or you purchase bread that is bought from the frozen department bead is one item that goes with nearly every meal in our family.

I hope that you come back to visit where you will find awesome recipes and more tips on frozen foods. Enjoy

In Like A Lion Out Like A Lamb

Since I was a little girl I have heard the old saying : March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb. I decided to do a bit of research into this and turned to a favorite faithful resource of my parents and grandparents the Farmers Almanac

It seems that weather sayings come from a range of resources and may or may not be based on careful observations. Some are accurate and others are merely rhymes or beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation. In the olden days it was believed that there were spirits that could affect the weather and so if you believed in this then you were very cautious as to what behaviors you had. The important thing to do was to keep a balance between your life and the weather. Thus the opposition between a lion and a lamb.

The truth is that this saying is simply a rhyme more than it is a true weather predictor. We all know that March weather is very unpredictable. Today here in our neighborhood March 1st has started with some freezing rain, snow on the ground and very cold. The hope is that since it March started like a lion it will end at peace like a lamb with lots of sun and warmth. We never really know though since March may offer us winter like weather or get warm like spring. My hopes are that you get the weather that you desire.

Family Fun Tip
On a calendar for the month of March keep tract of the days. If it is a cold day then place a Lion or if it is a spring like day place a Lamb. This should be a fun activity to see if the old saying is true for your weather or not. Have Fun