Every year, my husband starts to ask for this as soon as the pie pumpkins come to the produce stand, so I adapted their recipe to include fresh pumpkin. I adore cooking with fresh ingredients in season! Last year, I used an heirloom pumpkin called a “candy roaster” and it was HEAVENLY! Definitely ask for it at your local produce stand.
So how do you make a pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin? I’ve seen a lot of pie recipes using canned pumpkin, and you could here too, but here’s one with fresh pumpkin!
My husband and I (with some awesome parent helpers), tie-dyed shirts with over 100 Middle School Band members last week. It was… an experience. We had some left over, and finished the t-shirts with the family. We’ve gotten so many compliments on the brightness of the colors and generally how good they looked. So we just had to show you how we did it!
Here are 10 easy steps to a perfect Tie Dye! You can watch the video, with my cute children and adorable husband! Or you can skip to the bare-bones tips below!
I love to post meal ideas for busy moms. Of course, if you are not a mom, and you find yourself busy… or not busy… you may like them too. My friend Kay made my family a meal last week because my husband is in Pakistan for a professional educators’ trip. Yes, Pakistan, you read that right. I’ll have lots to write about when he comes back. The meal was so tasty and perfect for making ahead, so I asked if I could share it with you. It’s also a great gluten free/dairy free option if you leave out the tortillas.
Usually, the ingredients, Coffee Grounds, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, and Pork do not grace my lips in the same sentence. In this case, however, they combine to help create the MOST delicious Pork Barbecue I have ever tasted! I got this recipe from a friend of mine, Rick. He said he got it from a newspaper a long time ago, but couldn’t remember where.
If you’re skeptical on this one, trust me! Everyone who has ever tasted this recipe in my presence has loved it!I actually don’t use the sauce, because I like the taste of the meat without the sauce!
This dish can be prepared in a crockpot, or in the oven, but I love the ease of the crockpot! So convenient!
To make thicker chowder, blend or process half of the corn until smooth before adding it to the soup. If you want cheesy chowder, add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar with the bacon. For lower fat, omit bacon, and add more salt.
Whatever amount of cooked turkey you have, cubed! (2 cups?)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet green pepper (optional – I usually don’t use this)
1TBSP cooking oil
2 14.5 oz cans chicken broth or fresh chicken/turkey broth
1 cup cubed, peeled potatoes
2 cups milk
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper (I would use more)
2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 TBSP snipped fresh parsley (optional)
1. If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels off the cobs.
2. In a large saucepan cook onion and sweet pepper in hot oil until onion is tender, but not brown.
3. Stir in chicken broth and potato. Bring to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the corn. Cook, uncovered for about 10 minutes more until potato and corn are tender, stirring occasionally.
5. In a small bowl, combine milk, flour salt and pepper; stir into corn mixture. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.
6. Add bacon and turkey; cook until heated through. If desired garnish with parsley.
If you need an excuse to make decadent desserts, the Christmas holiday provides the perfect opportunity. And, of course, you must practice and taste test several times before serving your creations to guests, neighbors or teachers. I promise if you make these Peppermint Oreo Cookie Pops for your next office party, teacher gifts or just because, you will be the talk of the town!
The recipe was for cookie balls, but I decided to put a twist on it by adding sticks to make cookie pops. With the sticks, it was easier to coat the balls evenly with chocolate.
Oh, one more thing. In case you’re wondering, Peppermint Oreos are still great dipped in milk! Will you try them?
Since I went back to work full time about two years ago, I’ve been striving to figure out how to make our extra-busy lives work smoothly. When I’ve had time to blog, a weekly menu plan is usually what comes out. I imagined that people were kind of bored with that until I received requests on Facebook to share my meal ideas. These are not fancy, but they work for our family. I can pre-cook them on Sunday, then quickly prepare a meal when we get home from extra-curricular activities. To adapt these ideas to the size of your family, either multiply the recipes or store them in single-serving containers and freeze what you won’t use for next time.
Here are my last two weeks of menu plans to give you some ideas.
Sunday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
I usually use a cheap jar of spaghetti sauce and then embellish it with fresh herbs and meat. I added oregano and rosemary from my herb garden, fresh garlic, Italian sausage and mini-meatballs. You can also make and preserve my Homemade Tomato Sauce in late summer if you’d like – it is heavenly! I haven’t gotten my act together to make it for the last few years.
When I bring boneless chicken breasts home from the grocery store, I immediately butterfly it, and put it in freezer bags with marinade. I usually put 4-6 halves in each quart-size bag. This week, I left the Ginger Sesame Chicken in the refrigerator for Tuesday and froze the rest for later. The marinade recipe? Ken’s Steakhouse Asian Sesame dressing. Thanks, Ken!
To save time and money, we buy a side of beef every year and keep it in our deep freezer. That guarantees that we’ll have the main ingredients for this dish on hand at any moment. I made about eight patties and then used the rest of the meat for mini-meatballs for Sunday’s spaghetti sauce. Click here for my dad’s famous Salisbury Steak recipe
Thursday: Parents’ night off
We always take the girls to Earth Fare for kids eat free night after dance classes. Win-win.
Friday: Left-over Clean Up!
Some of this week’s recipes use left-overs from last week. Waste not, want not, right? I didn’t get any fancy photos this week, but you can imagine these simple dishes.
Sunday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Again?! Yup, suck it up, kids. We had much more sauce last week than we needed, so I froze several quart-size bags for the future.
We actually packed sandwiches to take with us in the morning. My 12-year-old has a volleyball game, so we’ll be eating on the go. Don’t worry, most of the time I don’t think ahead and have to stop at Chick-fil-A.
Taco Tuesday, si? I mashed up some of the pinto beans from last week to serve as “refried” beans. Then, I browned and seasoned some ground beef and put it in the fridge for quick reheating.
Wednesday: Red Beans and Rice
I actually have some time to cook on wednesdays, so I only precooked the brown rice which takes about an hour. On Wednesday, I’ll throw the smoked sausage, chopped onion, red beans, can of tomatoes, salt, pepper, and a little cajun seasoning into a skillet and serve it over the pre-cooked rice. (Random HINT: Fried rice is also better with rice that has been precooked and stored in the refrigerator for 24-hours.)
Thursday: EarthFare again!
Friday: Grilled Chicken.
This time, I’ll thaw the bag with the Italian dressing and soy sauce marinade that I made last week – two parts Italian dressing and one part soy. It’s the simplest marinade, but we always get huge compliments on it.
It’s about that time again! Back-to-school time? Well, yes – time for school supplies and new clothes and locker combinations. It’s also time for head checks, itchy scalps and and those little demon bugs we call lice. Whenever hundreds of children get together in close proximity in warm weather, the threat of lice is there. A local hair dresser said she had three children unknowingly come in with lice and/or nits just in the last few days. This revelation inevitably made my scalp itch, and the paranoia creep in. (Admit it, you’re scratching your head right now.) A couple of years ago, our children were victims of a lice outbreak at school. It’s incredibly embarrassing for kids, especially for those who take great care to wash and groom themselves (a.k.a. vain). I learned of this fool proof method from a friend, which we used on our children with great success… after we spent lots of money and time on the failed harsh chemical treatments. This method WILL work, but it’s important that you not skip any steps.
With your child in the bath tub, rub olive oil all over his/her scalp. Be sure to rub down under the hair and make sure it gets to the skin. The oil will “suffocate” any live lice.
Place the plastic shower cap over the oil-covered head and leave on overnight, or for several hours.
Wash the hair with Dawn dish soap, which will cut through the oil.
Wash with tea tree oil shampoo and use tea tree oil conditioner. Tea tree oil works to repel lice.
Comb through the hair with the lice comb to remove any visible nits.
Dry your child’s hair on the hottest setting he/she can stand. High heat will kill any remaining lice.
Use the hot flat iron all over the hair, getting as close to the scalp as possible. Be careful not to burn. The heat from the iron burns the mess out of any remaining nits.
Continue to wash hair with tea tree shampoo, dry with a hair dryer, and use the flat iron for the next several days.
Share this method with all the parents at your child’s school so they don’t keep sending their children back with lice!
After treatment, wash all clothes, bedding, pillows, and anything that was in the child’s room where they sleep. Put any stuffed animals, or plush toys you can’t wash in thick trash bags for 48 hours and then in the dryer on high heat. Vacuum all floors and furniture and sweep/mop floors. Throw out household brushes and buy new ones. This is our fool proof battle plan against lice. Please let me know if you try it and tell me how it worked. Of course I can’t guarantee 100% success but we’ve not been let down yet!