Monday, November 17, 2008

Menu Plan Monday!

A little later than normal, work is crazy busy! I have two employees out, so in addition to all my stuff, I am covering some of the major things they do. * are recipes I will post as I make them!
For LOTS of great ideas, visit Laura and the rest of the gang!

For November 17, 2008 thru November 23, 2008

Monday, November 17
Tortellini ai Formaggi

Tuesday, November 18
Cheeseburger Soup*
Dinner rolls

Wednesday, November 19
Mexican Rice

Thursday, November 20
Orange Chicken*

Friday, November 21
Beef Patties in Onion Gravy
Mashed Potatoes

Saturday, November 22
Homemade Lasagna
Macaroni Grill Bread (made with Italian Seasonings and Garlic, topped with Garlic Butter)

Sunday, November 23
Roasted Chicken or Leftover Lasagna*
Roasted Veggies
Dinner rolls

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pina Colada Cake*

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good news!

So I went yesterday, Got there at 2:05, did not leave until 4:55. They were all so nice, especially the mammogram tech. She told me the plan of action was for me to get an ultrasound, see if the doc could tell if it was a cyst or not from that. Then if he could, I was all done. If he couldn't, then off to mammogram I go. He wanted to do the ultrasound first due to my age, he said I was young, so I really didn't need a mammogram.

So I had the ultrasound, waited, then they came in and told me I needed to go for the mammogram. Thank goodness the mammo tech was so nice, she told me that he thought it was a cyst, but since he couldn't tell for sure, he wanted to do the mammo to cover all the bases. So off to mammo I went. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, uncomfortable, but not bad. The worst part is they put this marker (kinda like the male part of a snap) on the spot where the lump when it squished me down, that pushed into my boob. Ouchie!

I had the mammo, went back and waited some more. Then the mammo tech comes back in and says he wants to do two more views. She reassures me that it's fine, he just sees some areas he wants squished some more to get a better look. She was very reassuring, but part of me was doubting it a bit at that point...I mean, would they just tell me if something was wrong? I didn't know and let me tell you my stomach was doing flip flops all day and this didn't help!

I went and had two more views done, then back to wait some more. I swear, I felt I was on the verge of tears the whole time. Then they came and got me and I met the doc finally. He told me he was pretty certain that it was a cyst, a benign fibroadenoma. He couldn't say 100%, but he is positive it is. He wants me to go for a biopsy, to make it 100%. He said the only reason was he saw no reason to remove it and due to my age, he would like to be 100%. So I have to do that.

I'm relieved! Of course it's not 100% yet, but he seemed sure. Let me tell you, that was one of the most nerve-racking experiences in my life! My stomach was in knots. I went home and essentially laid on the couch the rest of the night. I was so done!

Thank you all for the well wishes, means so much to me, thank you!

So I have to schedule the next part of it, the biopsy. The sooner the better!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Split Pea Soup

I ended up not following the one I linked too, I tried one via memory! It turned out thick, so I might use maybe another half cup to a cup more liquid. I also cooked it forever, as DH wasn't home til late because of school. I think the smoked ham hock is soooo good!

Split Pea Soup

1 smoked ham hock
1 lb split peas
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
sprinkling of dried onion (or chop up some onion and throw it in)
6 cups liquid (I used 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups water--next time I think I will up it a half cup, see how it does, then maybe a cup)

Dump ingredients in crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours or longer. Take ham hock out, remove any meat left on the bone and place back in the crockpot. Shred any meat that is in large pieces and place back in the crockpot.

Happy Hump Day!

Ok, I'm nervous about the mammo today. I'm just hoping and praying it will all be ok. All things considered I haven't gotten too emotional about it all, until today. I just keep thinking...what if?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tomorrow is the day!

Good morning ya'all! Tomorrow I have an appt to get my mammogram/ultrasound done for the lump. Keep your fingers crossed for me ok?

Kitchen Tip Tuesday!/Tips on Tuesday!

TIP: If you ever don't have enough batter to fill your muffin tins, just fill the empty holes with water. This helps prevent the others from overbrowning and helps everything cook evenly!

For more tips, stop by Tammy's site for kitchen tips and for all-around tips, Sandra's is where it's at! Both these ladies have some awesome recipes!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday!

Isn't the Thanksgiving TMTT too cute? Visit Lisa & Lana and the rest of us for other TMTT ideas!

Next month everyone will start sharing their favorite cookies and other goodies! Whoo-hoo! Can't wait for that!

One of my favorite fall recipes is my Chili recipe. It's easy and makes a bunch! Usually I can feed DH dinner twice, make chili dogs twice and some nachos out of one batch.

Meg's Chili

1.5-2 lbs ground beef
2 (29oz each) cans tomato sauce
2 (10-15oz each) can tomatoes and chilis/jalepenos (I say 10-15 oz, because I find them in all different sizes)
1 can (15oz) dark red kidney beans, undrained
1 can (15oz) chili beans, undrained
2 packets chili seasoning (I like to use one hot, one mild--depends on your family)
1 tsp sugar
a sprinkle of Old Bay if you have it

I just dump everything in my crockpot (bean juice and all)! Cook on low all day, 8-12 hours, leave the lid off the last few hours to thicken. I don't bother browning the meat, if you like to, feel free! It's versatile, if you want to add more beans, do so! Enjoy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Monday!

Well, the doc appt went as well as could be expected. It turns out I have PCOS. I kind of knew I did, I had all the symptoms and even had a cyst removed from my ovary when I was 16. Back then, there wasn’t a heck of a lot of info out there about PCOS. I came home and cried for a bit. It was kind of nice to know that some issues I’ve had are due to something and I’m not a freak of nature!

I have to read more about it…I need to make the time! My biggest concern, besides the weight battle is my ability to conceive. They say it can be an issue, but I guess we won’t know until we try. And that’s not happening for a few more years! She is going to refer me to a gyno, so that way I can develop a relationship now, rather than later.

Boob issue…good news is she thinks it is a cyst! She referred me to a radiologist, so I can get a mammo done. So I have to keep my fingers crossed for that.

Have to go back for blood work, so she said we will go from there!

Didn’t get guppy this weekend, he is sick, poor thing! Spent the weekend getting rid of wedding stuff, which I sniffled over. My house is less cluttered though!

I’m reading the Complete Tightwad Gazette. It’s about 10 years old (I think) so it’s a bit out-dated (I wish they would do an updated one!) but it has some helpful things in it. I think once we buy a house with a yard, I might buy it, as it has some house stuff in it that I think is helpful.

Ok, I’m all about saving money, but one reader wrote in to the Gazette and said she saves money by…get this…she lives in an apartment building, so when she does laundry, she just re-uses other people’s dryer sheets. She says she finds them lying around all the time. Ew. I’m not acting all hoity-toity, that just grosses me out a bit. I’ve heard of putting some fabric softener on a washcloth and throwing it in there (I’m actually going to try that once I’m out of sheets), but using someone else’s USED dryer sheet? One thing comes to mind…I know, TMI, but pubic hair! I can’t imagine what the heck could be on those things. Probably the dryer heat would kill the germs, blah, blah, but I have to draw the line!

Simple Woman's Daybook

Visit Peggy and the rest of us! It's so much fun to read everyone's daybooks!

FOR TODAY November 10, 2008…

Outside My Window...
The leaves are on the ground, the trees are getting bare.

I am thinking...
About PCOS, read some info online, but have to make the time to read more about it.

I am thankful for...
The doctor thinks the lump in my breast is a cyst.

From the kitchen...
Not a whole heck of a lot! I’m making chili dogs tonight with leftover chili.

I am wearing...
Gray floral sweatshirt with gray sweatpants, underoos, no socks (my feet are icicles!).

I am creating...
This post! Hahahaha!

I am going...
Nowhere today, tomorrow, I am going to get a breadmaker to replace mine that died.

I am reading...
The Complete Tightwad Gazette.

I am hoping...
That it really is a cyst!

I am hearing...
The TV on downstairs. DH took a vacation day today!

Around the house...
Two loads of laundry to do, one to fold.

One of my favorite things...
My chili, mmmmm!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Grocery shopping on Thursday. I might try a store that I’ve never been to before.
Obie is off to the groomers on Wednesday. I only get him clipped twice a year, we do it ourselves the rest of the time.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Obie riding in the car. You would THINK the cups would be uncomfortable, but he didn't seem to mind!

Menu Plan Monday!

I ended up making the chili Saturday, rather than Friday. Friday I made perogies (ok, frozen ones)!
Here is the menu plan for this week! I'll get some of the other recipes up as I go along, if you want any sooner, just let me know!

Head over to for many, many menu plans!

For November 10, 2008 thru November 16, 2008

Monday, November 10
Chili Dogs
Oven Fries

Tuesday, November 11
Split Pea Soup
Grilled Cheese

Wednesday, November 12

Thursday, November 13
Chicken & Broccoli Casserole*

Friday, November 14
Cheeseburger Soup*

Saturday, November 15
Baked Spaghetti*
Garlic Bread

Sunday, November 16
Chicken Croquettes* (Didn’t make last week!)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Pumpkin muffins
Pina Colada Cake*

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Friday!

Why is it, after having your house picked up and kitchen free of dirty dishes all week, the night you decide to clean out the fridge (and in the process decide to wipe it down, which entails putting everything everywhere) someone stops by unexpectedly? My MIL stopped in on the way back home from her appointment. Of course, the kitchen looked like a disaster zone. Figures!

On a positive note, she’s not too picky like that…I’ve seen her house at its worst too. Another bonus ladies was that my bathroom was spotless! So keeping the guest bathroom clean all the time (which is always my goal) pays off!

On another positive note, Obie did fine at his doc appt. He has an early cataract in his left eye…which we suspected. He has problems seeing far away…we knew something was wrong, but we had been told before he was fine. So part of us doubted anything was wrong with his eyes and figured he just wasn’t paying attention. I have a saying (please forgive me if you are blonde and reading this, some of my best friends are blonde!) “He’s worse than a blonde, he’s a cream!” Obie has been vindicated! I’m upset about the cataract, but she said it is early and his other eye is fine. Heck, I’ll carry him around in a papoose all day or get him a custom helmet so he won’t bump into things, I don’t care!

Last but not least, today is doc appt day. So we will see about the boob issue. Also, have to get my other parts checked today too. Blech. I hate that. With technology nowadays, they can’t figure out an alternative to a speculum? I just pray I don’t have to fart the whole time! Ok, TMI, but you ladies know what I’m talking about!

Happy Friday! We get step-guppy this weekend and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. So we are going to rent a game, play some board games, etc.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


It seems like DH is being a dork because he is nervous about the boob issue. Understandable! We sat and talked last night and he understood where I am coming from!

I'm nervous about the doc tomorrow. In the meantime, today is Obie's turn at the vet. Poor puppy! He's going to ignore me for the rest of the day once he realizes where we are going.

I made the Mama's BBQ chicken last night, it was good...I think next time I'd put half the sauce aside, then coat it and blast it on the grill or under the broiler. I like crisp skin, but this didn't have that! I know, skin's not good for you, so I felt all self-righteous taking the skin I was doing something good for myself, I "rose" above, lol!! Instead, it was really because I don't like soggy skin. But I like to let myself be delusional every so often...I think it's good for the ego!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Prayers/Thoughts Please

DH and I are going through kind of a rough patch right now. Any thoughts, prayers would be most appreciated. So much for the "honeymoon" period! We're just not seeing eye to eye on some especially. It's hard, as my family is far away, his is right here. He just assumes we're going to spend every holiday with his, no mention of mine. He has some vacation days coming to him...I mean, I don't expect we will see my family as often of course, but I think I just feel that he could offer hey honey, we'll make sure to visit next year, etc. You know, something? Part of me would like to have dinner here, as it's our first married.

We're also not seeing eye to eye on some other things too. I'm feeling really picked might be childish, but I do. I got some great advice from a friend...she said to sit, hold hands and talk. Listen too. It's just that when he is being a butt, it's hard to do that.

Last but not least, I found a lump in my breast. It is moveable, freely so. It's probably just a cyst...but still. I do have some medical knowledge due to my job, so the rational side of me is just analyzing symptoms, etc. The other side of me is completely freaked. I have an appt Friday for an annual checkup, so the timing couldn't be better I guess.

So right now I'm feeling scared, sad and a little pissed off.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Kmart Super Duper Deal!

So last week, certain Kmarts had double coupons. Luckily, ours was one of them! Considering I’ve never been to the one here (I just moved here at the end of May), I went, armed with my TomTom and my list…um, organized by type of coupon, if there were any stipulations to the coupon (i.e. buy 2, only a certain type, etc)…all done in an Excel spreadsheet…yep, I’m a dork! I saved $63.67…not bad for a day’s haul!

Some of my best deals:

Colgate toothpaste, $0.50
Dove shampoo, $0.79
Dove shampoo (big guy), $1.49
Swanson broth (26oz), $1
Pedigree Good Bites treats, $0.29
Purina Carvers, $1.49
Beggin Strips, $0.50
Palmolive (24 oz), $1.50
Scotch Brite Nail Saver Sponge, $0.99
Glade Glass Scents, $1.00
Oust air sanitizer, $0.79
Renuzit air/fabric refresher, $1.19

I ended up buying 84 items for $133.63, which averages out to $1.59 per item. That includes makeup, a pair of fleece pants, candy for Halloween, etc. I think I did good! I would have done better had they had more in stock (like Resolve or Palmolive Pure & Clear) but I'm happy! I now have tons of shampoo, t.p., liquid dish soap, etc for awhile!!

What do you think?

Would you rather me post about last night's dinner the next day or do a summary at the end of the week with any changes, etc? Or edit the original post with the changes?

Let me know!

Kitchen Tip Tuesday!/Tips on Tuesday!

They kind of go together this week!

TIP: To make nice looking cookies, roll them into 1" balls. This seems to work best for cookie sheets, allows me to space them evenly. I use this method for chocolate/chocolate-peanut butter cookies.

For more tips, stop by Tammy's site for kitchen tips and for all-around tips, Sandra's is where it's at! Oh and both these ladies have some awesome recipes!

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

It's my first time and Lisa asked for quick meals. I try to remember to do a protein, veg and starch...usually the sides are no problem, it's the protein that gets me! Stop on by for other TMTT ideas!

Some of my favorite quick meals are:

Best Grilled Pork Chops, I freeze the marinade with the chops so all I have to do is take it out and defrost. By the time I cook the chops on the grill, I can cook off a box of rice pilaf and heat up some peas.

Crescent Dogs (Tube of crescent rolls, 4 slices cheese, some mustart and hot dogs. Cut cheese in half diagonally, unroll the crescent rolls, split them up into 8. A squirt of mustart on each, half a slice of cheese and roll up. Bake at 350 for 15-20 min, til done.)

Frozen ravioli or stuffed shells...cook according to directions, add some pasta sauce (doctor it up or use your own) and cook some garlic bread. Add a salad and you are set!

Hamburgers are easy, as are hot dogs or turkey cheddarwursts along with baked beans, tater tots, etc.

Sloppy Joes are quick and one of my faves!

Election Day & November Goal! (House Marathon too!)

Happy Election Day!

I'm excited to see how this turns out, but even more excited to get rid of all the political ads!!! I come into work to 3 or 4 voicemails by those "bots"...ugh! Like a phone call by a bot is going to change my mind on who to vote for!

Also, those snarky ads...who do they think they are kidding. McCain this, Obama that. Blech...though, I think the local ads are worse!

Anyhoo, I'm glad it will be over.

That being said, I never made it to the library yesterday. Made some cookies, cleaned the bathroom, did the dishes and a load of laundry, whoot for me!

I slept like poop too, didn't fall asleep til midnight, woke up 3 times and finally got up at 6.

Do you know what fascinates me right now? The blogs where I see people spend $25 a week for two people (Miriam, she seems sweet) and $50 a week for 6 (Gayle, awesome site!) on groceries! It blows my mind. I have problems keeping it at $100 or less a week! That is my goal, to keep it below that. I would love to be at $50-75 for the two of us...that is my goal this month I think! I'm going to get some ideas from $5 Dollar Dinners, she has monthly plans and recipes. Not everything is a dinner we would eat, but it gives me some ideas and I can go from there.

Come join me! Come on, we can all use the extra $$ for the holidays!

Oh yes, to complete my day, there is a House marathon on USA today. I love me some House!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

Visit Peggy and the rest of us! It's so much fun to read everyone's daybooks!

FOR TODAY Monday, November 3, 2008

Outside My Window...
The leaves are on the ground, but not for long as the landscapers are here! It is kind of gloomy out.

I am thinking...
It’s November already??!

I am thankful for...
I remembered to turn back the clocks and I love “fall back”…I like waking up feeling like it is later!

From the kitchen...
BBQ beef in the crockpot.

I am wearing...
Light gray fleece pants, white socks and a blue long sleeve shirt, and under-roos!

I am creating...
My work invoices.

I am going...
To the library to pick up a book or 4 after work.

I am reading...
Nothing, I ran out!

I am hoping...
Everything goes a-ok with Obie and me at the doc’s this week. We both have appointments!

I am hearing...
Obie bark at the landscapers.

Around the house...
Dishes to be done! Two loads of laundry to do.

One of my favorite things...
Going to the library. I’m an addict!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Library today.
Grocery shop on Thursday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Biloxi baby! One of my favorite places! Went there for my birthday with Mom & Dad, this was a boat show we stopped by on a Saturday.

Peach Cobbler

I halved the recipes, made it in an 8x8. Shorter cook time too. It was good, but I have an old time recipe I love that I need to dig out! As always, changes in parentheses/bolded.

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup melted butter (I used 1/4 c)
1 cup flour (I used 1/2 c)
1 cup sugar (I used a little over 1/3 c...cut in more than in half)
2 teaspoons baking powder (I used 1 tsp)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used 1/8 tsp)
2/3 cup room temperature milk (I used 1/3 c)
1 room temperature egg (I used 1 egg)

1 (28 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained (I used a 15 oz can packed in juice, drained)
1 cup sugar (I used a little over 1/3 c again)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used 3/4 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (omitted)

1. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 inch pan. (I used 8x8)
2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
3. Stir in milk & egg.
4. Pour evenly over melted butter.
5. Combine peaches, sugar & spices and spread over batter-DO NOT STIR!
6. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350°F until batter comes to the top and is golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream.

The Best Apple Pie Muffins Ever

Ok, I have to say...don't know if these are the BEST, but they are good! I could eat the topping after it's bakes on it's own...chewy and yummy. I made a dozen regular and I think about 18 minis. The topping kind of ran off a bit, I was sad. These need a bit more oomph to them...more spice. If you ever don't have enough batter to fill your muffin tins (as was the case for my minis, just fill the empty holes with water.)

As always, my changes are in bold or in parentheses.

The Best Apple Pie Muffins Ever

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (I used 1/3 c applesauce and 1/3 c oil)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups diced peeled firm tart apples (such as Spy, Granny Smith)
1 tsp cinnamon


Topping: In a small bowl toss together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon until crumbly; set aside.

1. Prehaeat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl whisk together brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla until smooth.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt.
3. Stir oil mixture into flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.
4. Fold in apples, mixing just until combined.
5. Spoon into greased muffin cups filling 3/4 full.
6. Sprinkle topping over evenly.
7. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My changes are in parentheses or bolded.

I get about 28.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter (a MUST for chewy/crispy cookies)
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter (sometimes I mix chunky and creamy)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (I use light too, whatever I have on hand)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or bittersweet semisweet chocolate chunks (I use semi-sweet chips, just stir in chocolate chips until it looks good)

1. Cream the butter and peanut butter together until fully incorporated.
2. Add the sugars and cream on medium speed.
3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until completely incorporated.
4. Add the flour and baking soda, mix until no white remains, then add the chocolate and mix on low just until everything comes together.
5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. (I actually make 1" balls.)
6. Bake at 350° for 9 minutes or until golden brown. (They might look a little light, don't bake more than 10 minutes.)

Menu Plan Monday!

Swing by Organizing Junkie and check out the over 200 menu plans!

Just so you know, I've made Sharon's beef about 6 is good! I just dump the frozen roast in the crockpot with the sauce ingredients, cook it all on low.

For November 3, 2008 thru November 9, 2008

Monday, November 3
Sharon’s Ono BBQ Beef (Just so you know, I've made Sharon's beef about 6 is good! I just dump the frozen roast in the crockpot with the sauce ingredients, cook it all on low for most of the day. I then drain it and make the sauce again, put it all back in (beef & sauce) for another hour or two. I just don't like the grease it sometimes makes.)
Tater Tots

Tuesday, November 4
Bacon Cheeseburger Wellingtons (Will post later.)
Mac N Cheese

Wednesday, November 5
Mama’s BBQ Chicken (New recipe!)
Rice Pilaf
Green Beans

Thursday, November 6
Beef Patties in Onion Gravy (Tried and true--weren't sure we'd like the onion, onion, onion...but it's good!)
Mashed Potatoes

Friday, November 7
Chili (Will post later.)
Butter Bread

Saturday, November 8
Chili Dogs (made with leftover chili)
Oven Fries

Sunday, November 9
Chicken Croquettes (Will post one of these days!)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pumpkin muffins
Best Apple Pie Muffins
Peach Cobbler
Oatmeal Coconut Cookies

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Obie!

My puppy, Obi Wan Kenobi (DH named him, I call him Obie), is 6 today. For breakfast he had an egg (he loves eggs, bypasses bacon for the egg) and for dinner, steak!

Below is the pic from the rescue website we got him from...ok, I'm getting cheesy here, but the song "The first time I ever saw your face..." is coming to mind. We adopted him 2 years ago from a rescue agency, after seeing him online. He came to us severely underweight, about 3 lbs (for a little dog, that's a lot), with a hernia and a big sore on his tail (covered half of it on one side). He was found wandering the streets of Miami. He's a tough guy. The first time I saw him I melted, he was such a grump (still is) and he just needed someone to love him.

He's a total Momma's boy. He loves his Daddy, but is all about Mom. In fact we sing (think of the tune from the 80s song Obsession), "Obsession, Mommy's my obsession" a lot.

He's awesome...we love him so much and can't imagine life without him.

Photo from the rescue site.

DH and Obe.

Momma, why are you wearing that dress?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some neat giveaways!

Happy to be at Home is a great, menu plans and more! They are having some good giveaways is a beautiful cook book here to enter. The other is their recipe e-book, they are giving away 3, but if you don't win, you can buy it for just $4.95. It's family tested and approved. If you check out their recipe page, you'll get some ideas of how good the recipes in the book are!

They are all part of the Great Bloggy Giveaway! Hundreds of blogs are giving away goodies!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, October 27, 2008

Outside My Window...
The clouds are out, a chill is in the air…leaves are on the ground.

I am thinking...
I wish I was in bed!

I am thankful for...

From the kitchen...
Defrosting are the goodies from the Amish Country my MIL brought back with her (ham loaf for me, chicken croquettes for DH).

I am wearing...
My long gray sweatpants, gray floral sweatshirt and socks…wait, should I mention my under-roos? I wear those too!

I am creating...
My coupon list for Kmart’s double coupon days! Whoot!

I am going...
Nowhere today! Have to pick up the house after guppy was here this weekend!

I am reading...
Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

I am hoping...
My review at work is good! I think it will be!

I am hearing...
My puppy squeak his toy.

Around the house...
Laundry to be put away, sheets on guppy’s bed to be changed. Dishes to be done!

One of my favorite things...
I checked out 7 books Saturday. Three of them I’ve been wanting to read! Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich and T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. The other four are good too, just happened to pick them up while I was there.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Kmart run.
Grocery shop on Thursday.
Stop by the Goodwill if I have a chance.
Lane Bryant stop (have a $50 coupon and a $55 credit, whoot!)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(what I am hearing squeaking)

Visit Peggy for more daybooks!

Clam Chowder

My Best Clam Chowder—my changes are bolded or in parentheses.
Originally from All Recipes.

3 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams (I used 2 (6.5 oz) cans minced and 1 (10 oz) can whole baby clams)
1 cup minced onion (I used dried)
1 cup diced celery (omitted)
2 cups cubed potatoes (did not peel, used white)
1 cup diced carrots
3/4 cup butter (combo of ICBINB and butter)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream (I used ff half-and-half)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
I added: 6 slices of bacon, a sprinkling of Old Bay, a smidge of garlic powder, a dash of cayenne

1. Drain juice from clams into a large skillet over the onions, celery, potatoes and carrots. Fry bacon til crisp, add. Add water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Whisk in cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in vegetables and clam juice. Heat through, but do not boil.

3. Stir in clams just before serving. If they cook too much they get tough. When clams are heated through, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.

If you are in the mood for some clam chowder, try this! MMMM! I cooked up 6 slices of bacon til crisp, added it to the rest. Next time, I think I might up the veggies some more. I also added some Old Bay, cayenne, garlic powder. This stuff is gooooood!!

Menu Plan Monday!

My mother-in-law went to Amish Country with a friend Friday and brought us back some goodies! So that's Monday's dinner. Of course, she also brought back peanut butter frosted bear claws too...that was Saturday's breakfast...mmmmm. So much for watching what I eat! DH did eat half of mine, so that was watching what I ate right?

For October 27, 2008 thru November 2, 2008

Monday, October 27
Goodies from Amish Country
Me—Ham loaf
DH—Chicken croquettes
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Tuesday, October 28
Homemade Rolls

Wednesday, October 29
Crockpot chicken
Mashed potatoes

Thursday, October 30
Sharon’s Ono BBQ Beef
Tater Tots

Friday, October 31
Pork chops
Rice pilaf

Saturday, November 1
Homemade Pizza

Sunday, November 2
Chicken Pot Pie (never got made last week!)

Pumpkin muffins

Let them eat cake!

I thought this was cute! I love fruit cakes...but my fave is peanut butter chocolate. I'm not a sweet icing person, more of a whipped cream icing. MMMMM.

You Are Strawberry Cake

Fresh, sassy, and romantic.

You're a total flirt, who never would turn down a sugary treat.

Occasionally you're a bit moody - but you usually stay sweet!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have a great weekend!

What's in store this weekend? Our big plan is to (it's guppy's weekend) hopefully go over to the church fair and maybe over to the orchard. We want to do a hayride, pumpkin pick, eat some yummy bbq and then come home and carve our pumpkins. Now, they are saying it is supposed to rain! Booo!

So we will see what we end up doing. Either way, I'm sure we'll have fun! My other to-dos this weekend are finishing up laundry, mopping the floors and baking.

I hope ya'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

David’s Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

Boy, I'm tired! DH gets up at 5:40 every morning...I don't like that. I'm more of a 7:00 type of gal. But I did make cookies, so not all was lost!

DH can eat a dozen cookies at a time easy, so I'm always looking for recipes to try. He's so cute...he sits there with a cup of milk and dunks his cookies. It's like watching an overgrown kid. He also can eat mass quantities of food and not gain an ounce. I other the other hand, cannot eat whatever...I'm HAVE to watch what I eat...found this recipe online, it is good!

David’s Skinny Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons whole milk (I used 1%, that's all I have)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (about ¾ of a 12-ounce bag) chocolate chips (next time I might use a tad less)
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil. (I used parchment)

Set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

(Please note, these are the original instructions. I just mixed the dry together, then added the wet, then the choc. chips. No mixer, just a fork! Wasn't hard to mix.)
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Beat the butter and sugars together by machine with the paddle attachment on medium speed until well mixed (about one minute). Beat in the egg and milk until they are absorbed and then the vanilla. Don’t worry if the mixture looks curdled, the flour mixture will smooth it out. Scrape down the bowl and beater and beat in the flour mixture on low speed. Use a large rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough in the bowl for fifteen minutes to keep the cookies from spreading too much while they are baking. Form the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls or use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies. Arrange the balls of dough 2 inches apart all around the prepared pans.

Bake the cookies for eight to twelve minutes, or until they look dull on the surface, have spread, and are still quite moist. (I cooked mine about 12 min, til lightly brown on top.)

Cool the cookies on the pans on racks for five minutes. Slide the papers to racks and cool the cookies completely. For storing: keep the cookies between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Per cookie: 114 calories, 5 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 11 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boys are gross!

Thank you to Maggie Ann and Cassidy for stopping by and commenting! It means a lot to me!

Now for a rant: Why do men not understand the difference between guest towels and regular towels...or the "nice" kitchen towels and the regular ones? Maybe it's just in our chromosomes, but women...we see a cute fall kitchen towel with leaves and pumpkins on it in a kitchen...then we see a red one that we know we've seen before...which one are we going to use? The red one of course! If we HAD to use the fall one, we might...but not to wipe ketchup on...we would WASH the ketchup off of our hands and then if we HAD to, use the nice fall one to dry our hands. But men, no...they think towels are to wipe any substance at any time off any part of their body.

Ketchup, toothpaste, dirt...ugh. Excuse me while I revert to a 6-year-old...boys are gross.

We have a guest bathroom downstairs and a regular bathroom upstairs. The toothbrushes and toothpaste are all upstairs. So how does toothpaste become smeared on my nice guest hand towels downstairs? I'm not anal retentive, really I'm not! I just don't understand how toothpaste can travel a whole floor level.

I just think we women like pretty things...things to smell nice, look nice. Men prefer a free for all. :-)

I might not make it to the library and Goodwill after all today, most likely Thursday. I requested a few books that I wanted to read and they should be there by Thursday...also, I have two more chapters to finish on Assault and Pepper!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Menu Plan Monday: October 20, 2008 thru October 26, 2008

Menu Plan Monday! Visit Laura at OrgJunkie for more great ideas!

For October 20, 2008 thru October 26, 2008

Monday, October 20
Mashed potatoes/gravy

Tuesday, October 21
Stuffed Shells
Homemade bread
Green beans

Wednesday, October 22
Wing Dings

Thursday, October 23
Clam Chowder
Homemade Dinner Rolls

Friday, October 24
Pork chops
Rice pilaf

Saturday, October 25
Chicken Pot Pie (never got made last week!)

Sunday, October 26
Crockpot chicken
Mashed potatoes

Chocolate chip cookies
Pumpkin muffins
Breakfasts will be omelets, cereal.
Lunches will be sandwiches, leftovers.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

This comes from Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman. For other's daybooks and more, go take a look!

For TODAY Monday, October 20, 2008

Outside My Window...
The windows are wet, due to the frost we had last night. It was 28 this morning!

I am thinking...
I better do my menu planning and work invoices today!

I am thankful for...
Heat…I’m freezing!

From the kitchen...
On tonight’s menu, meatloaf (part turkey, part ground beef) with mashed potatoes and gravy with peas. Something comforting on a cold day!

I am wearing...
One of my blue fleece warm up suits and socks.

I am creating...
Space for my decorations…got the boxes out of storage, need room for them!

I am going...
Nowhere today. Out for a walk later.

I am reading...
Assualt and Pepper by Tamar Myers

I am hoping...
My boss’s meeting goes well tomorrow.

I am hearing...
The TV.

Around the house...
Three loads of laundry to be done. Rest of the house is clean, whoot!

One of my favorite things...
Saturday…we spent the morning in bed, just watching tv…does NOT happen often, we both totally needed it!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Tomorrow is the library and maybe stop by the new Goodwill.
Thank you notes.
Walmart run.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
From our first dance...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Here is my first one. It is supposed to be on Monday's, but I just came across it, lol! It comes from Peggy's blog, The Simple Woman. For other's daybooks and more, go take a look!

FOR TODAY Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Outside My Window...
The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful 77 degree day. Which is nice, since tomorrow it is supposed to rain. I want to enjoy these days as much as possible, considering cold weather is coming!

I am thinking...
When will the mail get here? (I am waiting for our wedding pictures.)

I am thankful for...
My family and my life. I’m loved.

From the kitchen...
Right now I have ground beef defrosting. Burgers on the grill tonight, to take advantage of the mild weather.

I am wearing...
Black yoga pants with a gray top.

I am creating...
A masterpiece! No, besides this post, no creating right now. I’m a little burnt out from all the wedding stuff.

I am going...
Already went! I went to the bank to deposit our checks today.

I am reading...
Work stuff. Also, Strangers in Death by Nora Roberts.

I am hoping...
We can save some money this month.

I am hearing...
My doggie snoring ever so softly. Birds chirping. The TV.

Around the house...
Laundry that needs to be put away. Dishwasher that needs to be emptied.

One of my favorite things...
Lying in bed on a cool afternoon, under the covers, reading a book.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Call and set up a Vet appt for Obie.
Buy a new cooler for DH.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is from our honeymoon...a lovely sunrise off of our balcony.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe

Per Ashley's request! Thanks for stopping by Ashley! It's actually a WW recipe, I was on WW one year and tried this recipe. My DH loves them!

Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 box spice cake mix (if you can't find spice cake, use carrot instead)

1 can pumpkin (I use Libby's, not pumpkin pie mix, just plain ole pumpkin)

a handful of cinnamon chips (This might be hard to find in your area, they are located with the chocolate chips. I live about 15 min from Hershey, PA, so I just buy them when I go to Hershey. You could sub chocolate chips I am thinking!)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix together the cake mix, pumpkin and cinnamon chips. Do not add eggs, oil, etc. Just the cake mix, pumpkin and cinnamon chips. Mix together until well combined. It's tough to do, just do your best!

Spoon into greased/pammed muffin pan. Bake as directed on back of cake mix box, I think it's 20 minutes or so. (Test to see if they are done.)

Daily List

I love making lists and things…my problem is following them! So I came up with a List that is basically what I am going to strive to do every single day. Yep, even weekends.

Daily Routine—Morning

1. Wake up, get out of bed!
2. Make DH’s lunch, make sure he has it.
3. Shower/dry hair.
4. Get dressed.
5. Walk Ober (our dog).
6. Take out dinner to thaw if nec., start it in the crockpot if nec.
7. Make breakfast—stick to diet!!
8. Do dishes/clean out sink (shine)/Run dishwasher if full.
9. Wipe down counters.
10. Pick up/Febreeze living room.
11. Shine guest bath sink.
12. Brush teeth/Shine sink.
13. Make bed.
14. Pick up clothes.

Daily Routine—Evening

1. Make dinner.
2. Do dishes/run dishwasher if nec./shine sink.
3. Wipe down counters.
4. Open/dispose of mail.
5. Pick up living room.
6. Clean face/brush teeth.

Honestly, the house just feels cleaner when I follow this. I can have someone come to the door and I can stand there and leave the door open if I want. Rather than scooting out the door and closing it behind me as I say hi.

Do I follow this all the time. Honestly, no. Part of my rehabilitation is that I want to follow it! Especially with the craziness of the wedding, things have fallen by the wayside. I started back on it though! I'm planning on a good clean this weekend too.

Getting it together

I have tried before and failed at getting organized. Some of my favorite sites include and the Sidetracked Home Executives - they have some books and a neat card file system. While I do not subscribe to all of their teachings, I have gleaned many interesting tidbits of info. I have incorporated some of their ideas to fit my life.

Flylady does a whole routine/binder thing, daily, weekly, monthly, etc. While I would love to be THAT organized, I know I’m not. No way, no how! I mean, really, am I going to do monthly things every week? Nope. At least I’m honest. I’m better at weekend cleaning…just busting out a whole room top to bottom once a month on a Saturday.

SHEs do a card file system…which is really neat…just not something I can use right now. I might revisit this as I have kiddos…several of the Moms just hand the cards to the kids to do…I love that idea!

So far, I've come up with a Daily List. Next, the harder thing, is the Weekly List. Problem is, our weeks vary. So I think my best bet is just to come up with a base list. Things that should get done during the week.
Some of the recipes for this week:

I made these this morning, I figure DH might grab some for snacks. I THOUGHT I had pecans, instead, I had walnuts. So I used them. I ground them in my food processor for a minute, so they were not big chunks (DH doesn’t like chunks of nuts). I really liked these! They have a crispy edge on the tops, made the mini muffins. I only got 21. I don’t know why! Maybe because I ground the nuts? Either way, I just filled up the other 3 with water. I think these would be good with a combo of nuts…like walnuts, pecans, almonds…mmmm.

Recipe from Recipezaar (with my modifications):

Mini Pecan Pie Muffins

24 mini muffins (I got 21)

1 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used a tad less)
2/3 cup butter, melted (I used 2 TB butter with the rest margarine)
2 eggs
I also added: 1 TB of light corn syrup and 1 tsp vanilla (give or take, I just dump it in)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Spray a miniature muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven for approx 18 minutes.

Original Recipe Here.

In the Crockpot right now I have BBQ Pork going. Way easy to make.

BBQ Pork:

3 lb pork butt, boneless
1 can diet or regular cola (or use a glass full)
1 can of beef broth
1 onion, quartered
garlic powder

1. Dump the cola in, then place the pork on top. Pour the beef broth on the butt, then sprinkle with garlic powder. Place some onion on top of the roast and on the sides. Let cook on Low all day (I put it in at 7:00 am and we eat around 6:00 pm.) I would think at least 8 hours would be ok.

2. About ½ hour before dinner: Take roast out, shred. Drain all the liquid out of the crockpot. You can leave the onions in with the meat if you like! Get a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce (I’ll share one of my faves in a minute) and dump it in with the shredded pork back into the crockpot. Cook til heated through, about ½ hour.

Sooo good served on potato rolls, with baked beans and coleslaw...mmmm!

I'm back!

Hi ya’all!

Well, the wedding is over…it was so beautiful. Everything I hoped for. Well, a few issues (like my MIL drinking too much and throwing up in the bushes)…yep, classy. But other than that, it was wonderful!

Now, to write the thank you notes and try to settle in. I feel like I am a crazed monkey, running around trying to unpack, go to the bank, name change stuff, etc. See, I just got home last week really. We got home from the honeymoon and a few days later, I flew down to my parents’ house to pick up my dog (they grandpuppy sat), then Mom and I drove back up. She left last Tuesday, I miss her!

DH has fall break from school this week, which is nice! He has school 3 nights a week, so I don’t see much of him! He started his new job too, which is in the field he is going to school for. What an awesome opportunity! He was pretty beat last week, with being gone 3 days a week from 6:30 am until 9:30 pm.

Yesterday was our one month anniversary! Whoot! He surprised me with flowers and a cute card. I got him a pumpkin and a card. He love Halloween and has been trying to carve my decoration pumpkins for a week now. So I got him a big ole guy he can have fun with!

I love menu planning, I usually do it every week! Go to to check out lots of menu plans!

Menu Plan:

For October 13, 2008 thru October 19, 2008

Monday, October 13

Tuesday, October 14
BBQ Pork in the Crockpot
Baked Beans

Wednesday, October 15
Burgers (It's in the upper 70s, going to keep using the grill while I can!)
Mac N Cheese
Leftover Baked Beans

Thursday, October 16
Cube Steak & Gravy
Mashed Potatoes

Friday, October 17
Pasta Fagioli
Homemade Bread

Saturday, October 18
Leftover Pasta Fagioli
Homemade Bread

Sunday, October 19
Chicken Pot Pie (homemade, mmmm)

Pumpkin Muffins
Pecan Pie Muffins (ended up as Walnut)
Reeses Squares

BTW, if you get Sunday’s paper, lately there have been a lot of Ronzoni Smart Taste coupons, $1 off. I bought a box of the spaghetti yesterday at Giant. They normally sell for $1.49, with $1 off, just $0.49 each! I don’t know how it tastes yet, so I’ll report back!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Not quite ready yet!

Hi all! I haven't had a chance to update lately, as I have been busy with wedding prep! Almost two weeks to go!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Menu Planning

I plan a new menu every Thursday/Friday for the next depends on when I want to go shopping...I try to go Friday nights, but this week I'm going Saturday (yuck--too many people!).

Here is this week's menu:

July 12, 2008 thru July 18, 2008

Saturday, July 12
BBQ Chicken
Corn on the Cob
Mac N Cheese

Sunday, July 13

Homemade Pizza

Monday, July 14
Turkey Burgers
Leftover Mac N Cheese

Tuesday, July 15
Fried or Baked Fish

Wednesday, July 16
Meatball Burgers
Pan Roasted Broccoli

Thursday, July 17
Beef Oven Fried Chimichangas

Friday, July 18
Turkey Cheddarwursts or Hot Dogs

The Best Apple Pie Muffins Ever
All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce
Snickers Pie
Pumpkin Muffins
Carrot Cake
Pizza Wraps
Roast Beef Wraps

Day One...Confession Time.

Hi all! Welcome to my blog. I decided to start one as I really like to read others.

A little about me...I'm 30, turned the big 3-0 in May. I'm engaged, about to get married (in September). Things are a little nuts right now, with wedding planning and all of that! I have one dog and my fiance, then we have my fiance's son (aka guppy) every other weekend.

Why the blog...I'm trying to get organized, I really am. I would like to have a house people can come over to without me needing 2 weeks notice. So I figured I would share tidbits that work for me, along with other misc crud I am thinking about. I love to cook, so you might see some recipes here too!

Also, I want to try to get somewhat organized before we have our own kiddos. That's in the 5 year plan, so I've got some time! It's not like my house is dirty, it's more messy...with papers and other "stuff" I really don't need!

I'm not a full time housewife either...I do work full time. So I thought anything that might help me might help other unorganized folks such as myself.

Happy Reading!