Friday, May 31, 2013

Strawberry Crisp

It's Springtime in the south... that means it's strawberry pickin' time! My little family went strawberry picking earlier this week. We came home with 2 gallons of delicious ripe strawberries. Now we're eating strawberry this and strawberry that. I came up with the idea for this recipe, and boy did it turn out well! Give it a shot, hot strawberries are SO good!

Uh, How cute is she?! Nothing like strawberries with a tad of dirt!

Strawberry Cobbler


1 C. oats, old fashioned
1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. butter, softened
scant 1/4 C. water

5 C. stawberries, washed hulled, sliced in half
1 T. sugar

1. Prepare strawberries by washing and slicing. Toss in sugar.
2. Combine all ingredients (except for water) for the topping. Use a pastry cutter to blend.
3. Pour topping over strawberries. Pour water over topping.
4. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. The sides should bubble and the strawberries should be tender.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Greek Style Vinaigrette

 I originally found this recipe about 6 years ago, here.
I was pregnant at the time and had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Therefore, I eliminated the orzo and just made the salad. Now, it has become one of my favorite dressings. I make a batch and use it throughout the week. I love to use spinach, feta, kalamata olives and cucumber. You can also add tomatoes, artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, or whatever suits your fancy. I also add chicken to make it a meal.

Greek Style Vinaigrette
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. honey
1/2 t. oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. freshly cracked black pepper
1 t. lemon zest (optional-but I always add it-so yummy)
1/3 c. olive oil

Combine first eight ingredients in bowl or mason jar. Add oil and emulsify! Shake before using because the honey settles on the bottom if not fully incorporated.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Easy Cookie Bars

These are quick, easy, gooey, and delicious!

2/3 cup Butter (softened)
2 cups Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
2 1/2 cups Bread Flour
2 tsps Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

Optional Topping:
Sweet and Condensed Milk
Chopped Walnuts
Shredded Coconut

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Mix the eggs into the sugar and butter.  Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Grease a 11X7 pan with butter.  Press dough into the pan.  Bake for 25-30 min or until lightly browned.  Allow bars to cool and top with toppings.

Recipe Source:  I Heart Naptime

Monday, May 27, 2013

Grandma's Biscuits

I really love these biscuits....they're great with butter and jam, butter and honey, or just butter!  (Can you tell I like butter?)  And they remind my of my Grandma.

2 1/4 tsp. dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
7 cups all-purpose flour

1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine yeast and water and stir till dissolved.
2.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well blended.
3.  Pat/roll out 3/4" thick and cut with biscuit cutter OR place in greased bowl and place in fridge until needed (will keep a week in the fridge).
4.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Makes about 30, depending on your cutter


  • If you buy yeast in the little envelopes, then use one envelope for this recipe.
  • If you don't have buttermilk, put 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar in a 2-cup measure.  Fill to the 2-cup line with milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  
  • I like my biscuits tall and thick.  If you like yours thinner, roll or pat them out to the thickness you like.

Source:  my Grandma Davis

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mormon Morsels: The Gift of Choice

In an effort to be more effective parent, I've been reading a book about discipline.  The premise is "Giving your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline."  I'd love my children to become more resilient, responsible and to chose to do so of their own volition and not because they are afraid of a time out, etc.  My father-in-law raised 13 successful kids.  He didn't force them to be obedient but taught them that their choices have consequences and let them experience those.  At times it may be hard to let children experience the heartache that comes from poor choices.   I hope I can help my children want to make good choices and experiences both the happy consequences that come from those as well as help them experience unpleasant consequences that come from poor choices.  I am really working on not shaming or blaming when they do something wrong but helping them learn from it.
What a great blessing to have agency and to live in a country where we can exercise our ability to make choices.  I love the above quote from For the Strength of Youth.  I do believe that "true freedom comes from using your agency to chose obedience."  

Similarly, I think we can chose to have a good attitude even when life is hard and not ideal.  Being in control of my attitude and reaction to trials and other people is something I have not yet mastered.  Our attitude plays a big role in our ability to progress and meet our challenges.  A positive and cheerful attitude is a indeed a blessing.

In Alma 34:34, we read “for that same spirit which doth bpossess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.”

When my maternal Grandmother Olive was a young girl, she read this scripture and it had a profound effect on her.  She determined to be positive and happy tno matter what trials and challenges she experienced.  She had many challenges in her life.  When she died she weighed only 40 pounds having been crimpled from arthritis.  She had a fracture in almost every bone in her body.  She would sneeze and get a fracture.  However, she maintained a positive and cheerful attitude throughout her life despite her challenges.   She left such an impression on me.  She was always patient, positive and cheerful.  I never remember hearing her complain even though she was bedridden for the last 13 years of her life and never felt well.

My dear brother-in-law recently passed away after a very difficult battle with cancer.  He is also a great example of self-mastery.  At his funeral, I learned that he had a temper that he worked very hard to overcome.  I never would have guessed that as he was the most patient and even-tempered man I know.  As I struggle with my own temper and other shortcomings, both of their examples are a tremendous blessing to me.  I can chose to be better and not let my faults be the master of me.  And I can keep trying and repent even after I fail.

I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day as you remember and honor your loved ones who have passed away

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Homemade Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal

For several years now I have been saying that I wanted to make my own instant oatmeal packets. Years now.  And finally, thanks to our dear friend PINTEREST, I have found a recipe that I like and have tried it and have fulfilled a dream!  Yay me!  There are many variations to the basic recipe, but I chose the fruit and cream version.  I have a lot of fruit in my food storage that I want to use and this is a perfect way to do that.  I used peach this time, but next time I am trying mango.  Yeah, that fruit.

3 cups quick-cooking oats
Small (snack-size) zip baggies
Non Dairy Creamer (I used the non-fat and it is delicious!)
Dried or dehydrated fruit

1.  Put 1 cup oats in a food processor and process until powdery.  Set aside in a small bowl.
2.  Put the following in each baggie:  1/4 cup un-powdered oats, 2 T. powdered oats, 1/8 t. salt,
     1 T. creamer, 1 T. Sugar, 2 T. fruit.

3.  Store baggies in an air-tight container.
4.  To serve:  Empty packet into a bowl and add 3/4 cup boiling water.  Stir and let stand for
     2 minutes.  For thicker oatmeal, use less water--for thinner, use more water.

Source: Kaylin Cherry via Pinterest 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chicken Pillows

     This is one of our all-time favorite go-to recipes. My hubby loves it, my kids love it, and anything with 'pillow' in the name is delightful. It is very easy to put together and freezes well. It is very warm and comfort-foody. When I ask my kids what they want for dinner, this is one that always comes up.

Chicken Pillows


About 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp butter, softened
3-4 green onions, finely chopped
3 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 box chicken or turkey stuffing
Melted butter, for dipping


1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk

     Heat oven to 325 degrees. For filling: cream together cream cheese and butter. Add in chicken and green onions. I use a hand mixer to mix it all together, which shreds the chicken nicely.
     Open roll dough. Separate each roll. You will have triangle shapes. With a rolling pin, slightly widen and flatten the wide end of the triangle to make more room to put your filling in. Put about 1 Tbsp of filling in center of wide end. Roll toward point as you would a regular crescent roll. Take open side ends and fold toward center and pinch down so you have a nice little pillow.
     Crush stuffing mix a little bit until it is as fine as you would like, I leave mine a little coarse. (Make sure the seasoning and bread crumbs are mixed together) and put in a bowl. Dip chicken pillows in melted butter, then stuffing mix. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
     Meanwhile, for gravy, heat soup thinned with milk to desired consistency over medium heat in a saucepan.  Serve over hot rolls.

Source: College Roomate :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cowboy Caviar

I love my summer garden, and Cowboy Caviar is one of my favorite recipes that I make from the delicious goodies I get from it. I make huge bowls of this at a time. I've even lost a few pounds while eating this all week. Delicious and healthy!

Cowboy Caviar

Here is the original recipe I had:

1 15 oz can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup diced red or orange sweet pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP cider vinegar
1 or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
dash of salt
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and chill for several hours or overnight. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Here's how I really make it:

1. Go out to the garden and pick a bunch of vegetables - cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers (green, red, yellow, orange), banana peppers, jalapenos, vidalia onions, fresh garlic, etc.

2. Bring them in the house and wash them, then start chopping them up and put them in a bowl. 

3. Add some olive oil, black pepper, a little salt, plenty of apple cider vinegar, and a can or two of drained black-eyed peas. You can throw in chopped avocado, fresh cut corn, fresh parsley, or anything else that makes you happy.

4. If you can, let it sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight) before devouring it. The longer it sits, the stronger the vinegar flavor becomes, which I love. Enjoy with tortilla chips or your favorite crackers.

Source: Someone made this at a church activity many years ago, and I have been making my own version ever since.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake

Here's a twist on traditional strawberry shortcake that is super easy and one of those great make-ahead recipes that saves you time in the kitchen.  I made it for my daughter's birthday since she loves strawberry shortcake.  Try it, you'll like it!


2 packages of Hostess Shortcake Cups (8 cakes)*
1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
15-20 ripe, fresh strawberries**
1/4 cup plus 3 T. vanilla sugar
whipped cream and chocolate syrup for adornment


1.  Grease an 8 (or 9 inch) springform baking pan.

2.  Tear shortcakes into 1 inch pieces and lightly press into the bottom of your baking pan.

3.  Press slightly room temperature ice cream evenly over shortcake, smooth.

4.  Freeze for 4 hours before removing the springform pan.

5.  Top each slice of ice cream cake with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

Strawberry Topping Instructions:

1.  Clean and cut stems from the strawberries.

2.  Cut into 1/2 inch chunks and place into flat bottom dish.

3.  Coat with 1/4 cup vanilla sugar and stir.

4.  Wait 30 minutes, then crush strawberries with a potato masher.

5.  Sprinkle remaining vanilla sugar over strawberries and stir.

*I used 3 packages (18 cakes) of the dessert spongecakes that you find in the produce section by the strawberries.

**I used regular sugar.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

With Loss Comes the Comfort of Eternal Families

Many have heard that the beloved wife of Thomas S. Monson, prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away this week.  I'm sure he must be missing her so much.  At a time like this, it is so comforting to know that death is not the end and that our families can be together forever.

Friday, May 17, 2013

2 Ingredient Cookies

I love cookies. And chocolate. And pretty much all things sweet. Since I've been doing Weight Watchers, I've had to really temper my sweet tooth. I saw these lovely little cookies floating around the internet. I knew that I had to try them. Really, 2 ingredients? No butter or sugar? I'm in!

2 (Old) Bananas
1 Cup Quick Cook Oats

If you want... add a mix in of your choice.
Want some ideas?
- mini chocolate chips (what I used)
- coconut flakes
- nuts
- raisins
- craisins

1. Mix your ingredients together. Make sure that the mixture isn't too wet, if it is - add some oats. Don't add too many mix ins - you need to make sure that your cookies stick together.
2. Divide into 16 cookies, (i used my cookie scoop, worked perfectly)
3. Bake on a greased pan at 350 for 15 minutes.

**Depending on your mix ins, for the whole batch - it would be 7 points. Not too shabby, eh?


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Andes Layered Frozen Mousse Pie

I LOVE Andes Chocolates. A few years ago I discovered their Creme de Menthe baking chips and I was so excited. On the back of the package was this recipe (you can also find it on their website 
 I have made it multiple times for family gatherings around the holidays. I added the whipped cream and extra chips on top, but this pie is so delicious and rich. Definitely a family favorite.

Ingredients: 2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 ready-to-use chocolate wafer crumb crust (6 oz. or 9-inch)
1-1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
2 cups Andes Crème de Menthe Chips or 2 packages 4.67 oz Andes Crème de Menthe Thins, chopped. (28 candies)
2 egg yolks


Stir 1/2 cup of Andes Crème de Menthe chips into ice cream. Spread onto bottom of crust; freeze.

Melt remaining Andes chips with 1/2 cup whipping cream in saucepan over low heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in egg yolks. Continue heating over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Do not allow to boil. Cool to room temperature.

Whip remaining 1 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form; fold into Crème de Menthe mixture. Spoon over ice cream in crust. Freeze 4 hours or overnight.

Note: Allow pie to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

Two recipes herald the onset of strawberry season at our house:  strawberry freezer jam and strawberry muffins.  The muffin recipe came from a recipe pamphlet I got years ago at a local you-pick berry farm.  It's been a family favorite ever since.

3 3/4 cup flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups sweetened strawberries, sliced*
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten

1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nuts.  In another bowl, combine strawberries (with their juice), oil, and eggs.
2.  Stir strawberry mixture into dry ingredients and stir just until moistened; do NOT over mix because it will affect the texture of the muffins.
3.  Fill greased muffin pan or muffin liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-18 minutes or until done.  Makes about 2 dozen.  These freeze well.

*To sweeten strawberries:  Clean, hull, and slice into a bowl.  Sprinkle with sugar (a couple of tablespoons for the amount in this recipe) and gently stir.  Set aside.  The sugar will bring out the juices in the berries.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

image made with Microsoft Office Clipart and Picmonkey
After a day with breakfast in bed, homemade paper flowers, a nap, NOT having to cook dinner and NOT having to clean up, I am going to bed with a smile on my face!!  

Hope your day was amazing, fellow moms!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Penzey's Chicken Pot Pie

Makes enough to fill a large glass pan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Single Crust Pastry:
2 sticks butter2 pinches of salt6 Tbls milk (at the end of mixing)
2 cups flour2 pinches of sugar
To prepare the crust, cut each stick into fourths; it doesn’t have to be cold, but it should not be warm to the point of melting.  Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the butter—use the multi-bladed pastry knife with the handle to mix and break up the butter into small pieces (push down and twist at the same time to create a lot of floured chunks of butter.)  Put the milk in at this stage and continue mixing until it doesn’t seem like you are making any more progress.  Then use youhand(s) to squeeze everything together into a ball of dough.  Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill until it can be easily handled—at least half an hour.  While it is chilling, prepare the filling.

Filling:  In a Medium Sauce pan, add:
2 cups diced raw carrots (very thinly sliced carrots also work well)
1 stock of diced celery (optional)
3 Tbls dried white onion flakes
2 4-oz cans of mushrooms; pour everything into the pan including the approximately
½  cup of water in each can or 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
Pour the water from the quart of cooked chicken into the pan (it will be about 1 cup’s worth) then add another 3 cups of water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Using a strainer and bowl, pour what has been cooking into the strainer inside the bowl, return the vegetables to the pot, put 4 cups of the drained liquid back into the pot.  If you need more, just add water from the tap to make up the 4 cups of liquid. Put the pot on medium heat and Add:
2 cups frozen baby peas
3 tsp Chicken (or turkey) soup base (Penzey’s paste)

In a small cup combine 6 Tbls of cornstarch with 6 Tbls of cold water and slowly add the white liquid mixture to the pot while stirring.  Stir pot constantly over medium heat until it starts to boil.  Let boil for 1 minute before adding:

4 cups cooked diced chicken (or turkey) (we use the drained quart of bottled chicken)
1 tsp Pensey’s poultry seasoning or rubbed sage(optional)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper
Stir just enough to break up the chunks of meat and equally distribute everything before pouring into the oil-sprayed pan.

Roll out the pastry on a flour-covered table into the shape and size of the pan.  Place the pastry on top of the filled dish and cut slits to vent.  Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.  Check after 20 minutes.  If the crust is getting really brown, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top.  Or, if it is not browning quickly enough, turn on the broiler from above to hasten the browning process.   Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Because of the temperature, it will stay hot in the bowls for quite some time while eating.

Source: Penzey's Spices Catalog

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scotch Eggs

My daughter ordered Scotch Eggs at an English Pub at Epcot.  She went bonkers over them so, of course, I had to have a taste.  I was gobsmacked!  Could not believe how yummy they were!  She asked our waitress for the recipe and she was happy to share how she, personally, makes them at home in England.  Did we find the napkin she wrote the recipe down on?  I don't think so.  So, the other day I was looking through a magazine and I found a recipe!  Yahoo!   Chasity LeGrand shared this recipe via  I have made my variations to her recipe, below:

1 quart oil for frying
4 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
1 pound pork sausage
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten (did not take that much so I scrambled the rest for someone else to eat while I was making this)
2 cups dried bread crumbs, seasoned

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees.

2.  Flatten the sausage and make a patty to completely cover each egg and gently shape into a ball.  Very lightly flour the sausage and coat with beaten egg.  Roll in bread crumbs to cover evenly.

3.  Deep-fry until golden brown, then bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

4.  Cut eggs in half to serve.  I served mine with spring mix salad and coarse ground mustard.

Source:  Chasity LeGrand via

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Berry Cherry On A Cloud

    The name of this dessert describes it perfectly. Smooth berry sauce on a cloud of meringue and cream cheesiness. My Mother-In-Law is the source for this (and many more) of my recipes. It is a crowd-pleaser and it feels rich and highbrow. Of course, if you have someone who doesn't like meringue, cheesecake, or berries, they may not go for it, but that is probably not the type of person you would be inviting over for dessert in the first place, is it?

Berry Cherry On A Cloud

6 egg whites
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cream of tartar
pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla

2 C. heavy cream
6 oz. cream cheese
1 C. sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 C. miniature marshmallows (for extra cloudiness!)

1 Large Can Wilderness pie cherries
1 pkg frozen strawberries or raspberries, thawed (I prefer raspberries, or mixed berries)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Meringue: Beat egg whites until fluffy. Very slowly add sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Fold in vanilla and spread on the bottom and sides of a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 275 degrees for 60 minutes.
Filling: Beat together cream cheese, cream, sugar and vanilla. Fold in marshmallows. Spread on cooled meringue and chill at least 12 hours.
Mix all topping ingredients together and serve over slices of dessert.

Source: LuAnne Brown

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups


16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. creamy natural peanut butter
2 T. butter, softened
1.75 oz confectioner's sugar (1/4 c. plus 2 T.), sifted


  1. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
  2. Melt half the chocolate either in a double boiler (the safer method) or in the microwave (the more dangerous, but easier/lazier method). I opt for the latter.
  3. Distribute the melted chocolate into the 12 muffin tins (I use a cookie scoop to portion the chocolate), only barely filling the bottom of each cup. If the chocolate does not lie flat, drop the pan repeatedly on the counter, and it will flatten and smooth itself out. Place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, whip the peanut butter, butter, and confectioner's sugar together with a hand mixer until mixed and light. Taste it and make sure the sweetness is to your liking. Place small tablespoons of peanut butter into each cup, then drop the pan repeatedly on the counter again, so the peanut butter layer is flattened out. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  5. Melt the last 1/2lb of chocolate, and portion small spoonfuls of chocolate into the cups, one cup at a time, immediately dropping the pan repeatedly on the counter to flatten each cup. In my experience of making these, the chill from the peanut butter (because it was just in the freezer) will harden up that top layer of chocolate very quickly, so you must flatten out the tops immediately after you pour the chocolate into each cup. Place the peanut butter cups in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the top layer of chocolate.
  6. You can either refrigerate them for a peanut butter cup with more bite, or leave them at room temperature for a softer, creamier bite. Just peel the wrapper off, and enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Black Bean Lime Salad

This is a DELICIOUS black bean salad that I had to share with you! It's light, and fresh, and perfect for summer parties or barbecues. The lime juice makes it extra tasty. You can serve this with chips, as a topping for a taco/burrito bar, or as a side for hamburgers or grilled chicken. Great recipe!!

Black Bean Lime Salad

3 cans black beans, rinsed
2 colored peppers, diced (or a mixture of red, yellow, orange, green - whatever you like!)
1/3 cup red onions, diced small
A large handful of chopped cilantro
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup of olive oil
A little salt to taste
Optional - diced avocado - add right before serving

Add all ingredients together in a bowl, gently toss until mixed, cover and put in fridge for at least an hour to let flavors blend. If you are adding avocado, add right before serving. Enjoy!

To add a different kick, you can add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar instead of the lime juice. Or you can add both if you would like.

Source: My amazing sweet friend, Liz Zimmerman.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Mormon Morsels: What's On Your Plate?

Quite the catchy title for a food blog post, wouldn't you say?  I placed this sign above my kitchen window.  I used to have a clock up there, but 6 months out of the year it was always an hour off!  Yeah, that's right.  To change the time I would have to get up on a step stool and then stand on the sides of my kitchen sink.  Way too much trouble and probably a little dangerous.  Anyway, to make a long story just that much longer, my daughter brought this plaque home from babysitting at a friend's house. She was de-junking before a move.  It had a metal plate on the front that had a quote on it but I thought it needed to be redesigned for my house.  My friend, Stacie, has a vinyl lettering business and I knew that would be the perfect way to give this thing new life.  I gave it to her and told her I would be trying to figure out what to put on it and since it would be in the kitchen I wanted something, well, kitchen-y.  She gave me some suggestions and offered "The Gathering Place,"  which I thought was really cool. 

One day Stacie and I were discussing the sign.  Thankfully, she had not started on it yet but was ready to get going on it since she had a baby boy joining the family any week and just wanted to get it done.  I told her I understood that because she had a lot on her PLATE.  Ka-ching!!  Stacie, let's do "What's On Your Plate?"  It totally fit in a kitchen setting, but also gave "food for thought."  She loved that idea and has probably added it to her repertoire of quotes for her business.  I gave her permission to use it.  Haha...

So, what's on your plate?  As women, we've "got it goin' on" all the time.  Busy at home, busy at work, busy at church, busy in our communities, busy with our blogs, busy with our dogs.  BUSY! BUSY! BUSY!  (have you ever written a word so many times in a row that it looks wrong?  Yeah, that just happened.) 

We should all be "anxiously engaged" in the things that matter most in our lives, but we need to remember to balance our plate as we would balance food groups for a meal.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that, maybe just a little more of one thing, and then something sweet to top it off (chocolate has to go somewhere).  I won't go into the details of what you or I have to manage or outline a plan to get it all together because today I have a full plate to take care of and I don't have time.  However, if you will click on the Power of Moms button on this site or right here you will find out about a great way to get organized and get things off of your brain (plate) and into action.  It is called Mind Organization for Moms.  I am slowly building my M.O.M. system as we speak.  I need it.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Two Minute Smores

Everyone has that one snack that you can't get enough of. Mine, smores. LOVE them. Every time I turn on the grill you better believe that make up a few. I've also made them in the microwave, but the marshmallows tend to get rubbery. Not good. The other day it hit me, the broiler! Great discovery. Now you can get tasty browned smores in under two minutes. 

You know the drill, gather up your graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.

Place the marshmallows on top, stick them in the broiler until they start to brown. Pull them out and top with chocolate. 

 Two Minute Smores

Graham Crackers
Hershey Bars

1. Place graham crackers and marshmallows on a baking sheet.
2. Place in a preheated broiler for one to two minutes, until they are browned to your liking.
3. Pull them out and top with chocolate.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chicken Salad with Grapes

This recipe comes from my sister-in-law who got it from an old roommate's dad or something like that. I have tweaked it a bit over the years, as is usual for most recipes I use. It uses sour cream as well as mayonnaise to lighten it up a bit. The other secret ingredient is fresh lime juice. It adds some brightness to the salad.
Please feel free to add or omit ingredients. And a lot of the measurements are approximations. I do not measure when I make this. I just add as I go. 

4 Chicken breasts cooked and cut into small cubes
3-5 Cups seedless red grapes cut in half
3-4 Green onions, chopped
1/2-1 Cup sliced almonds
1/2 Cup mayonnaise
1/2 Cup sour cream
Juice of 1 or 2 limes
1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
Sprinkle of seasoned salt
S&P to taste

Combine chicken, grapes, green onion and almonds in a large bowl. 
In a separate bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, lime juice, thyme, seasoned salt and S&P. 
Pour dressing over the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning and lime juice as desired. 

Serve with your choice of bread, rolls or crackers.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Buttermilk Cornbread

Cornbread just reminds me of my childhood, of old-fashioned eating, and of my own grandmother.  To me, a chili meal is not complete with out it.
(the url is from an old blog I used to run)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Grease or spray an 8 1/2 × 4 1/2-inch loaf pan; set aside.
2.  In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda and stir to combine. Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs or small peas.  Don't overwork it.
3.  In a small bowl whisk the eggs and buttermilk together. Add the buttermilk-egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir to form a stiff, lumpy batter. Spread evenly in the greased loaf pan.
4.  Bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out nearly clean, with just a few crumbs on it, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove the cornbread from the loaf pan and cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.


If you don't have buttermilk, just put 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into the bottom of your measuring cup; then add enough milk to measure 1 1/3 cups (I use a Pyrex 2-cup glass measure for this).
If you are old school you can use some bacon grease for some of the shortening.  I happened to have some so I used about half bacon grease, half shortening.  It really adds to the flavor!

Source:  Grandma's Kitchen