Sunday, December 31, 2017

In My Home This Week (December 24-December 30)

Happy New Year's Eve! Even though the children were home this week, enjoying the holiday and their Christmas goodies, it was relatively low key and quiet around here. Here's what on this week:

1. Gratefully accepted Christmas dinner leftovers and brought them home to use throughout the week

2. Gathered up all of the bags used on Christmas to reuse next year

3. Watched a few movies on Netflix

4. Shopped my craft stash to make a gift for a friend

5. Found cabbage on sale for $0.29 cents/lb. I bought several heads and will dehydrate them

6. Found white sweet potatoes for $0.10 cents/bag! I bought $1.00 worth

7. Was reminded of a few ways to get ahead in my pantry

8. Made my 2018 goal list. Interested? Here it is:
     1. Blog more regularly
     2. Build up my pantry by
         a. taking advantages of sales
         b. utilizing preserving methods
     3. Make the majority of my gifts for gift giving or shop very frugally
     4. Use my planner
     5. Keep up with my housekeeping chores (I usually do well with this and then slack off and have to play catch up. This repeats all year. I'd like to stop that cycle this year!)

Happy 2018!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Menu Plan for This Week (December 25-30)


Good Morning and a very merry Christmas to you! As I type, it is 8:37am and my kids are still asleep! Can you believe it? Last night we enjoyed watching A Christmas Story together after we came home from dinner out. It's hard to believe that this is the last week of the year. It really flew on by! Here's what we'll be eating this week:

Dinner is at my in laws. I made a ham yesterday for us to eat tonight if anyone is hungry when we get home. 

Spinach lasagna

Ham and cheese fritatta
Fried cabbage

Chicken and broccoli stir fry

Either the last of the ham, leftovers, or we will go out

You're On Your Own! 
What's on your menu this week? Will you be using up leftovers? Check out for more inspiration! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Countdown Day 4 (3-2-1 Cake)


Here's a great gift idea that guessed it...cake mix! This is called 3-2-1 Cake and I never knew such a thing existed until I was watching a youtube video. I had to try it right away and I'm so glad I did! It is quick and easy when you want just a little something sweet. The best part is, since there are no eggs involved, you can just eat the batter if you want to! I have! I gave a gift of this last year. I put some in a mason jar, put a tag around it with instructions, added two mugs, and put everything in a little basket. Here's the recipe and instructions:

3-2-1 Cake Mix

*1 box Angel Food cake mix
*1 box any flavor cake mix
Put Angel Food cake mix in a large bowl. Add approximately half of the any flavor cake mix. You can add the whole box, but I think it turns out better with just half. Thoroughly mix the two cake mixes together. Store in a mason jar. To make one personalized cake: spray a mug with non stick spray. In the mug mix 3 Tbsp mix and 2 Tbsp water. Microwave for 1 minute. That's it! Delicious as is or add some frosting.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Menu for the Week (December 3-December 9)

I know that it's not technically winter yet, but our temperatures sure are dropping! Brrrr....!!! We're even going to have some temps in the 40's at the end of this week! That doesn't usually happen for us until at least January. I was thinking of trying something new with my menu planning and doing "themes". For example, Sunday would be some type of roast, Tuesday would be Italian, ect. But in the end, I went with what I usually do: see what's on sale and go from there :) I was also able to utilize some things in the freezer, which made it possible to save a little at the store. I'll use these savings to purchase some Christmas items. Onto the menu:

Roast beef (pressure cooker)
Cottage potatoes
Cheesy creamed spinach
Lima beans
Pudding parfaits


Jamaican Brown Chicken Stew

Roasted cabbage

Sausage gravy
Egg puffs
Winter fruit salad


Your On Your Own!

For more menu ideas, check out!

Christmas Countdown Day 3 (Two Ingredient Fudge)


I wish I could remember where I got this recipe, but I can't. All I can tell you is that I have been making this for *years*. It is so simple and so good! It's hard to believe that there are only two ingredients! And, much like the previous recipes I've shared, the flavor combinations abound. Here's what you need:

Two Ingredient Fudge
*12 oz candy chips (chocolate, white, butterscotch, peanut butter, ect)
*1 tub of homestyle frosting, any flavor (not whipped!)

Melt your desired chips in the microwave. When completely melted and smooth, stir in the frosting. Pour into a foil lined 8x8 pan and place into the refrigerator to firm up. Cut into small squares. This is a very rich fudge, so a little goes a long way! Here are some of favorite combinations:

peanut butter chips with chocolate frosting
chocolate chips with cream cheese frosting (my favorite)
mint chips with chocolate frosting
white chips with cream cheese frosting with chopped craisins and pistachios stirred in (also very good!) 


In My Home This Week (November 26-December 2)

It was a fairly slow week this past week. A nice break from the frantic cleaning and cooking and company of Thanksgiving before diving into Christmas preparations. I'm on week three of no car, so that has cut down on a lot, too.

1. I downloaded some more free Kindle books to enjoy during my downtime.

2. We used up just about all of the Thanksgiving leftovers. The only things left are the turkey carcass and the ham bone. Both of those are in the freezer to be used at a later date.

3. I watched Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas with the kids.

4. We got a few good deals on Christmas gifts on Cyber Monday. The Christmas shopping is just about finished. I have several things I need to get started on making!

5. I started putting up my winter decor. The tree will go up today.

6. I downloaded a free Christmas Carol Devotional to work through and enjoy during Advent.

I think that's it for this week!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Christmas Countdown Day 2 (Whippersnappers)


I'm back with another cake mix recipe. This is an old recipe that my grandmother taught me eons ago when I would spend a week with her in the summer. They are called Whippersnappers. Don't you just love that? It always makes me smile :) Like the previous Cake Mix Cookies, these start with a cake mix and again, you are only limited by your imagination. These are crinkle type cookie, so I think they look a bit fancier than the others, but they are just as easy. Are you ready? Here's what you need:

*1 box cake mix any flavor (not Angel Food)
*2 cups Cool Whip (measure this out)
*1 egg 
*Add ins
*1/2c powdered sugar
Mix your egg, Cool Whip, and any add ins together. Add the cake mix and fold it in. The dough will be sticky and you may find it helpful to chill it for about an hour. I use a cookie scoop and have no problems with the dough as is. Put the powdered sugar in a bowl. Drop balls of dough (either by teaspoon or tablespoon...I usually use tablespoon as that is the size of my scoop) into the powdered sugar and roll around to coat the dough. Place on a greased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. You should get 12 cookies on a sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool for a minute on the sheet and then transfer to a wire rack.

Combinations we enjoy:

White cake mix with cut up cherries
Chocolate with chocolate chips
Lemon (very refreshing)
Pistachio with mini chocolate chips
Rocky Road--chocolate with nuts and mini marshmallows


Christmas Countdown Day 1 (Cake Mix Cookies)


Though it's only the beginning of December, my calendar is already filling up. While I like to spend time in the kitchen making edible gifts or just baking up a storm, I don't always have the time. Enter quick and easy recipes! Just because something is quick and easy doesn't mean it can't be fancy enough for a gift and they are always tried, true, and delicious! Here's the first one: Cake Mix Cookies :) This recipe has been around a long time and it is one of the best cookie recipes out there.  With cake mix on sale at most stores right now for the holidays, it is pretty economical too. Another great things about these cookies is that ideas are endless. You truly are limited only by your imagination. There's only three ingredients, plus whatever you want to add. Are you ready to get baking? Here's what you need:
Cake Mix Cookies
*One box of cake mix any flavor
*Two eggs
*1/2c vegetable oil
*Add ins
Mix all ingredients together, drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet keeping cookies about two inches apart, and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the pan for a minute and then transfer to a cooling rack.

That's it! Pretty cool, huh? Add ins are things like chocolate chips, nuts, or chopped up dried fruit and they are optional. Here are some of favorite combinations:

vanilla with mini chocolate chips
chocolate with peppermint extract
red velvet with white chocolate chips
chocolate with peanut butter chips
lemon with white chocolate chips

I've even made these and then made a simple buttercream to make sandwich cookies with. It was for St. Patrick's Day, so I colored white cake mix with green food coloring and made the buttercream peppermint. They were a big hit!