A new me in 2010!

Can I make my goal in GPT this year?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Anniversary My Love


One year ago today, we stood beside one another and said those vows that we cling so tightly to each day. On that day, I knew that I was making the best choice that I could have and that for some reason, God had chosen me to have one of the best around. It was an extremely humbling thought to know that after it all, all of the things I had allowed to happen to me, that you still wanted me.

In the past year, I have fallen in love with you all over again so many times that I have lost count. The way you treat me, the things you do for me, the love you give me...at times it is almost more than I can handle. You still manage to take my breath away sometimes. Even the butterflies have remained.

Yes, we have had our problems...Lord knows we have had our problems. I am sure too that we will continue to have them...lol, our medical conditions almost guarantee that. But we've made it thru every single one of them...some without battle scars...some with them. We've overcome those obsticals tho. And I know we will continue to overcome them.

Seeing you in the hospital this past week really hit me hard. Not that you were all that bad off, but coming home to an empty house, sleeping alone in our bed, not being able to talk to you whenever, or beat you at that stupid game...it really hit me hard. Its insane how dependent you can become on someone in such a short time. If nothing else, it reminded me how much I love you...which is easily forgotten sometimes.

I love you Damon. I have since I first heard your voice over that phone. Really since that first chat on im. There was something about you that drew me to you...I think I knew even then that something big was about to happen. When you picked me up in Ohio and we hugged that first time, it was like coming home. I had found what I had searched for, for so long.

Never forget that you are my one and only. There have been others in both of our lives, but for me there has never been another who has my love like you do. There is, was, and ever will be only you. You are not perfect but neither am I, but together...what we have is probably as close to perfection as we could get on this earth.

Happy Anniversary My love...here's to you, me and a lifetime full of love and happiness.


Menu Planning Monday for week of 2/1/09-2/7/09

This week we stayed pretty close to the menu plan with the exception of the 2 days that my DH was in the hospital. Him being admitted kinda threw me off kilter so I ordered out...lol. Bad of me I know, but I am sure you all understand.

Here is next weeks plan...pretty cheap week actually. I only planned dinners this week, we will figure lunches out as they come.

Sunday: SuperBowl Buffet--pizzas (maybe and frozen ones), nachos, little smokies, etc.
Monday: Ham and potatoes (turkey ham with augratin potatoes, cooked in crock)
Tuesday: beef stew and biscuits
Wednesday: Chinese night--chicken fried rice
Thursday: frozen pizza night
Friday: bean and bacon soup
Saturday: tuna casserole
Sunday: Lasagna (DH's B-day and Favorite meal)

Now keep in mind that I shop on Friday's so some of this will actually be on next week's groceries, but I wanted to start planning on a regular weekly schedule. Friday to Friday is just too off kilter for me. Lol, I need regular structure in my life and any little weird thing will throw me off of that.

Have a great week!

And the world goes calm...

So...well things are quieting down here some. My DH is home from the hospital, with his meds straighted out. He is starting to come back to himself more and more everyday. I love it b/c I finally have the man I married back instead of what can only be described as an angry shell of him before.

Went grocery shopping yesterday....still spent over 100, but thats okay. I decided that I am not going to stress over that. If it comes down, it comes down. However, the main cost of the bill was items for the SuperBowl. DH is a HUGE football fan, so I am throwing a full out party...lol, even if it is just the three of us.

The list of what I bought is way to long to post here, but I thought I would share some of my deals...

Smuckers jelly 1.29 (reg price is 2.29)
large eggs .99 ea (reg. 1.49)
boneless skinless chicken breast 1.99lb (reg 2.49 or higher)
boneless sirloin roast 2.49lb (reg 3.99 or higher)
Chex Mix 1.25 ea (reg 1.99)
Kraft American Cheese 12 oz 1.67 ea (reg over 2.00)
Kraft Mac and Cheese 2/1 (reg over 1.00, and the cheap stuff was on sale for the same price.)
Hillshire Farms Little Smokies 2.50 ea (reg over 3.00)
Pepsi 2 Liters 4/5 (reg 1.59 ea plus tax and deposit)
Lays chips 2.47 ea (reg 3.99)
GM cereal 1.68 ea (reg over 2.50)

In addition, there's a "rebate" out there for the chips and pop, where when you buy so many they will send you a coupon booklet. I got this last year too and its pretty decent.

Here is the link with the offer details and form if you are interested. I would have posted it sooner, but life took over.


Anyhow, hope you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Dh is home from the hospital. Thanks to all that sent up a prayer.

I hope to be back to posting regularly soon. With everything that has happened, I have gotten out of the habit.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please pray

My husband was admitted to the psych ward last night. Please send up a prayer for him that they will be able to get him stabilized quickly and back home to us soon.

Thanks all

Friday, January 23, 2009

Menu Planning for week of 1-23 to 1-29

Okay...so last weeks menu's got kinda all clustered about. The good part is that while we may not have eaten every meal on the menu or we may have shifted days, we didn't buy anything or fix anything that wasn't on that list. There were a couple of nights where we ended up not being home at dinner so I was actually up 2 meals for this week that I didn't have to buy.

Here's the plan for next week.

Date Lunch Dinner
January 24 grilled cheese, tomato soup baked spaghetti, salad, homemade breadsticks
January 25 hot dogs, mac and cheese taco bake
January 26 leftover buffet chicken and brocolli alfredo
January 27, soup and sandwiches beef and noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes
January 28, chicken nuggets, lipton side pork chops, augratin potatoes, green beans, applesauce
January 29 grab and growl meatloaf, mixed veggies, mashed potatoes

We shall see how it goes.

In other news, went shopping today. Spent over 100.00 again this week...I really hope I can get it back down some here soon. Did manage to get a few good deals tho and one happy dance deal..lol.

The lowered my cat's wet food from .85 for one to 2/.85. Yes we feed him an offbrand, but I was still shocked at that much of a price drop. Oh well tho, I will be stocking up on it before it rises again.

I got:

Sara Lee brea-1.18 a loaf
milk for 1.46 a gallon with the save 1.00 on milk wyb sara lee bread
breakfast sausage for .99 a roll
Oscar Meyer bacon at 2/5.
Downy fabric softener sheets for1.59 w/ coupon
Ragu for 1.48 ea
80% lean ground beef for 1.49lb...lol, I got 10lbs...
Skippy pb for .99
12 Charmin Big Rolls for 5.88--I know, I could buy cheaper tp but this is my one splurge item, and if you break this price down by roll its the same price as the cheap stuff.

I am going back later to pick up a couple more things of pb since it was limit 2, some more of that sausage, and Carefree pantiliners that they have on sale for .99 I may even pick up another thing of that Charmin since thats such a good price for it. Also gonna have them price match the Walgreens and HyVee ads to get some cheap Dawn and Kleenex.

Yanno, I really miss having coupons for all this stuff.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My baby's b-day and losing weight

So my little girl turns 4 on Thursday. *Sneef Sneef* They really do grow up too fast yanno...

Anyhow, we had her party this past weekend because it was the weekend her stepbrothers were with us. She had a really great time, and got the Moon Sand she had been asking for for months.

Note: Awesome stuff, but MESSY! MESSY! MESSY!! It gets all over the place and no matter how much you try to keep that from happening, you just can't. Would be much better if I had a table in my kitchen or anything other than carpet in my dining room, but with carpet it just goes in and you can't get it out unless you vacuum constantly.

Anyhow, I will get some pics posted as soon as I can find the usb cord for my camera. Lol, I am always losing that stupid thing.

You know what tho...I was reminded in the middle of that small b-day party what a great child I have managed to raise so far. She takes a bite of her cake, does the whole "mmmm, yummy" thing, then looks at me and says "Mommy, thank you for my birthday party." Wow. I have a great child.

I made a promise at the beginning of the year...not so much a resolution but more of a promise to myself that I would try to lose weight this year. No given amount set, just that I would try and lose something. Even 2 lbs would be a start...lol.

I got the clearance from my doctor today to go ahead and start a program or something. So I am going to be doing Weight Watchers from home. Not paying for it, can't afford it, but I found a site online that lists all the foods and their point values. I was also able to come across the quiz you take to determine daily points so I know that too...32 points a day with 35 allowance points a week.

Anyhow, I hope you all don't mind if I post my daily totals and such here to help keep me motivated. I get discouraged really easily so I am hoping that by posting here that it will help me. That starts tomorrow.

Also a GDA (Good Deal Alert) for ya'll before I go.

I had a gift card for JC Penny's that I got for working Simple Gpt last month so I headed in there today to grab some socks for the little one. They are having a huge sale right now. Almost everything that I saw was at least 50% off or bogo 50%, but most of it was 70% off. I was able to get her 2 outfits, a pack of socks, a pair of sneakers and Damon (DH) a pair of flannel pj's for under 45.00. The skirt I got her was only 2.97, one shirt was 4.97, the other 2 seperates were 6.99 ea, sneakers for 7.99 and pj's were 10.99.

Awesome deals for JC Penny's!

Night all

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Grocery Shopping for the week of 1/16/09 *Long*


so my effort to save money this week did not go as well as I had hoped. Well, honestly, it didn't go well at all. There is always next week tho. I have been out of that saddle for a long time but I will get it again. Next week I will be taking in the soda bottles for the return money (.05 each times about 6 bags) and using that towards the groceries. I don't take bottles in very often, because I prefer to let them accumulate in money...lol. Time to get them outta my basement tho.

paper bowls-dd's b-day party--2.50
paper plates-1.59 (this is my one splurge, I don't have many real plates (seriously, like 3) so I prefer to use these unless its a special day.
plastic silverware for party-.99
3 dzn eggs @ 1.69 ea-5.07
1% gallon milk-2.85
1/2 gal choc milk for preschool snacks this week-1.95
Malt O Meal cold cereal-2.39
doritos (taco bake)-1.59-generic
Malt O Meal cold cereal-2.49
ice cream for party-1.99
crackers @ .98 ea-1.96
shredded cheese-on sale 3/5.00 (cheaper than blocked this week)
Land O Lakes Buttermilk-half pint @ .41 ea-1.23 (<--I was so upset, I use buttermilk a lot and they didn't have any 1/2 gallons which are cheaper.)
bnls chuck roast-6.54
sour cream-1.18
soda 4@ 1.69-6.76 + .20 deposit= 6.96
soda 2@ .99=1.98 +.10 deposit=2.08
beef stew-3.39 (large can)
butter- 3@ 1.69 ea-5.07
5 lb potatoes=1.97
pork ribeye chops-4.00
egg noodles-.98
elbow mac- 2 @ .55-1.10
tomato sauce 2@ .29-.87
McCormick seasonings 2@ .69 = 1.38
cooked bacon-2.79
hot dogs 3@ .79 = 2.37
1 onion-.33
dole salad-.99
chili beans 2@ .59 -1.18
stewed tomatoes .59

coupons used were 2 75/1 Malt O meal

Total savings 1.50 (not counting sale prices)

Total OOP (with tax) 81.02

I can do better than that...I know that I can. I am extremely disappointed in myself this week. My husband normally drinks a lot more soda than that, but we are starting to wean him off of it. Once we get that done and he's off the caffiene, that will help out some.

Friday, January 16, 2009

First day of eating the menu plan-and Mama's Easy Chili Recipe

So chili night went off without a hitch. Yum-O! Took me forever to figure out a chili recipe that didn't taste like tomato soup with beans...lol. If you are interested, here it is. **Note: It is bean heavy.

2 cans tomato sauce
2 cans chili beans
1 can kidney beans (dark or light, your preference)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 lbs ground beef
1 pkge McCormick mild chili seasonings
1 pkge McCormick Tex Mex chili seasoning
1/4-1/2 cup salsa (your preference on kind and flavor)
a little amount of water

Combine sauce and beans in large pot and set to cook on med/low. Brown ground beef and drain almost all of the grease off..leave about 1 tsp in skillet. Add salsa and cook on med for 2 to 3 minutes. Add seasoning packets to the meat. This is important..this is how it gets it flavor. Add the water. I don't know how much because it really depends. You want the meat mixture to be wet, but not sopping. It should turn a dark brownish color and should hold together pretty well when there is enough water in it. Like I said, you don't want it dripping wet, but you don't want it dry either. Cook the seasonings into the meat for 2-3 minutes, then slowly add into tomato mixture. Add by serving spoonful, stirring the mixture well after each. Your tomato mixture will turn a dark reddish, brown color. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until seasonings are mixed in well. Make sure to stir often.

Note: It does have some kick to it, but its not real overwhelming. My 4 year old ate it with no problem. If you like extra kick add some green chiles to it. My husband loves it, even with it being as simple as it is. I am seasoning challenged..lol, so thats why I use the McCormick packets.

Now..the cornbread...lol...taste like Jiffy...lol

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 milk, plus a little extra if its too thick
Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, mix well. Whisk in vegetable oil and mix until dry mixture is smooth and lumps are gone <---I could not get the lumps out, so I went ahead with the recipe and made sure it was smooth after adding the egg and milk, turned out great anyhow. Combine mix with egg and milk, mixing well until smooth. Spray 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees F 15-20 minutes or until done. I doubled the recipe and used a glass 9x13 pyrex dish and it turned out fantastic...not too thin, not too thick.

Also, I put in the part about the extra milk. Made up the way it was, it was waayyy to thick to bake right. I added probably (didn't look) 2 tsp of extra milk, maybe 3 to the batter and mixed in it well. It made it the right consistency and helped it turn out the way it did.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A big request

I need a huge favor.

My husband is in need of prayer in a big, big way. Here's why...he is mentally ill. He has severe bipolar disorder to the point where the US Navy has declared him as 100% totally and permenently disabled as well as Social Security. He has dealt with this for years.

For the most part, most of the time, he is okay. But along with the BP he has Seasonal Affective Disorder (known as SAD from now on). His sad is triggered by the weather and the fact that he had 2 very traumatic events happen around Christmas back in 2002.

Basically this is what happens...he gets depressed and from there it snowballs. It starts out as SAD, but eventually his BP takes over. This is where the problems start. He becomes lethargic and unresponsive. His thought processes are interuppted and even doing the smallest tasks, like getting dressed or remembering to bathe become an ordeal for him. As a direct result of that, he gets easily frustrated and angry, both on the inside and on the outside. He becomes beligerent, and frankly an all around butthead. (Lol, and he admits that. )

This year has/is especially bad for him. He is on medication (Lamictal and Zoloft) but they seem to not be controlling it this year for some reason. My personal belief is that it has to do with a 2 week trip we took from Iowa to Arkansas to California then back to Iowa. I think the stress of that has just turned his brain to mush.

I am begging you all to send up a quick prayer for him. His faith waivers when he is like this so I doubt he will do it himself. It would be much appreciated.

What a Deal Wednesday!

So I thought that I would start a weekly post called

"What a deal Wednesday."

Each Wednesday I will share an awesome deal that I managed to snag OR if I haven't found one (let's face it...it happens..lol), I will try and post an awesome one I have come across for you all.

This week I will do both.

My deal was found at a Hy-Vee drugstore. I went in to pick up my medication yesterday and lo and behold right beside the pharmacy is a clearance cart. I don't know about you all, but I love, love, love clearance carts.

So I very quietly (and sheepishly I might add) slid over to the cart. Much to my surprise its filled with Tampax:fresh and Summers Eve products. WHOO HOO! (hey, that stuff is expensive out here). So I grab 2 boxes of Tampax (money was/is tight, wish I coulda got more) and 2 boxes of Summers Eve and go to the pharmacy where I suddenly decide that I need to grab one more box of Summers Eve.

Here's where this get kinda funny.

Without even thinking about it, I hand the stack of boxes in my hand to my husband and walk back to the cart. It wasn't until I was walking back to him that I realized I had just left my husband standing in the middle of the pharmacy holding 2 boxes of tampons and 2 boxes of "feminine hygeine washes..." with a rather dazed look on his face. I burst out laughing and apologized immediately.

Anyhow, here's how the breakdown on price went...

2 boxes 18 ct Tampax Fresh- 2.00
1 4ct box Summers Eve-1.00
1 2ct Summers Eve- .50
1 2ct Summers Eve- .20

Total 3.70 + tax!!!

Normal prices:

Tampax 3.99
Summers Eve 4 ct. 3.99
Summers Eve 2 ct 1.49 ea

Total of 10.96 + tax

Total Savings of 7.26
66.2% Saved!

YAY! *Does a happy jig across her living room*

Okay, for you all...

Here's a couple of them..they really aren't deals, but they will help ya'll save some cash.

Get 10.00 in Betty Crocker coupons just for signing up for their email list. They do come, I have already gotten mine.


Get 10.00 in Pillsbury coupons just for signing up for their email list.


Big Crumbs: Let me explain this one...

Big Crumbs is a cashback site for online shopping. You sign in, find the shop you want to shop at, click thru them (meaning click the link they give you to get to the site) and whatever you buy that session you will get cashback on. The cashback percentages vary, but hey, in this day and age, every little bit helps. I personally have an ebay habit so this helps tame that a little. I have been paid cashback from them twice now...and will be getting another payment (from the Christmas shopping on Ebay) next month.

Some of the sites where you can shop thru them are (and this is a very limited list):

Ebay (obviously)
AT&T Wireless
Babies R Us
Barnes and Noble
Best Buy
BlockBuster Total Access
Buy.com (Note to you all: THEY ACCEPT PAYPAL NOW! I love Paypal! Lol)
Circuit City
Discovery Store (also accepts Paypal)
drugstore.com (paypal)
Enterprise Rent A Car
Home Depot.com
Office Depot

and MANY MANY MORE! It really is worth it to sign up. If you do and you need help, just leave a comment or email me and I will give you a hand.

Hope you all have a great day!

OH MY! You have to try these biscuits!! (buttermilk biscuits)

4 cups all purpose flour (I used bread flour and oh my!)
1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chilled vegetable shortening or butter, cut into small chunks*
2 cups buttermilk**

* The vegetable shortening or butter must be very cold

** If you find yourself short of buttermilk for your recipe, you can make your own by adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 cups of whole milk.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in vegetable shortening or butter until particles are the size of small peas. Make a well in the center of the ingredients. Add milk, all at once, into the well; stir just until dough sticks together and is free from sides bowl.

On a lightly flour surface, knead dough gently about 10 to 15 times (do not over knead or the biscuits will be tough).

Gently roll or pat dough to 1-inch thickness. Cut with a floured 2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter or a drinking glass that has been dipped in flour. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet, close together for soft-sided biscuits or 1-inch apart for crisp-sided ones. Prick biscuits with a fork.

NOTE: If you need to hold the uncooked biscuits, the cut dough rounds can be refrigerated for up to 1 hour.

Bake 5 minutes; reduce oven to 400 degrees F. and bake another 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Makes 15 biscuits.

Courtesy of Linda

2 songs that remind of us the prices paid

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homemakin Hero's

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim 2:15

I got to thinking today about when I was a kid. Not putting her down or anything, she did the best she could with what God gave her, but my mom wasn't the mothering type. I wasn't taught to cook, clean, anything. She was always in the hospital when I was growing up and when she was home she never offered for me to help her, so it was either I teach myself or just didn't learn. Unfortunately for the most part, I chose the later.

But I can remember that I wanted to be like June Cleaver when I was growing up. Lol. I wanted to be the mom that always had the delicious, nutrient rich dinner on the table when everyone walked thru the door, the one that met her husband at the door with a kiss and a genuine smile, the one everyone loved and wanted to be like.

I wanted that so badly. I can look back now and realize that I wanted to be that because she (June) is the exact opposite of my mother. I wanted to be a real mom.

But I'm not. LOL, I know that I could never achieve that perfect June-ness. I know that as an imperfect human being saved by the Grace of God that I could never come close to that. But I can try right? If I stop trying to perfect it then I will never improve, right? If I stop studying I will never learn, right?

Who was your homemaking hero? Or am I the only one that had one?

Meal Planning Monday for week of 1/12/09

So I am new to meal planning, but with it being a new year and all, I decided that I would give it a try. I am trying to cut my grocery budget down by A LOT! Currently we spend 150.00 a week for groceries. I am someone who used to coupon avidly but burned out on it...that is WAAAAYYY to extreme.


Here's my first week. I will post the grocery totals on Friday after I do my shopping. My week will go from Friday to Thursday since I do all my shopping on Fridays.


Breakfast:scrambled eggs
Lunch: grab and growl
Dinner: chili, homemade cornbread


Lunch:homemade subs
Dinner: taco salad bowls


Breakfast: bacon, egg and cheese biscuits
Lunch: hot dogs, mac and cheese, nachos (football food)
Dinner: beef and noodles, green beans, mashed potatoes


Breakfast: biscuits and gravy <---I am gravy challenged, so I have to have a recipe. Never tried this one before..will let you know how it turns out. Lunch: chicken nuggets Dinner: meatloaf, mixed veggies, augratin potatoes

Breakfast:biscuits and jam
Lunch: soup, sandwich
Dinner: pork chops, peas, mac and cheese, applesauce


Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: cheeseburgers, lipton side
Dinner: pizza casserole


Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: grilled cheese, tomato soup
Dinner: beef stew and biscuits, corn (the beef stew this week will be canned..lol)

The beginning of my journey

Okay...so my house is hit. I don't mean messy like normal messy, I mean "We just got back from a 2 week vacation, mom has been down sick since then" kind of messy.

Its flat out nasty in some spots...I love him, but I swear he couldn't pick up a dish rag if his life depended on it. Lol. EVERY dish in my house (minus a few skillets and the bread machine <--cause he doesn't know how to use it) is dirty. My house has NEVER looked this badly and it won't for long. Its 12:45 am and I am still up catching up on laundry (little one has no clean panties or socks) and doing dishes. Yuck. Plain and Simple Yuck. So step one of my journey. Clean and de-clutter the kitchen (might as well do that while I am at it). Here's my list. To keep me motivated, I am going to come back here and check everything off as I do it. >Replace everything in an orderly fashion (HA!),
Clean off top of storage pantry,
Replace cookbooks neatly,
Move microwave to its new home,
replace plastic over back door (we had to give my stepdaughter the front door key so she could feed the cat and forgot that the back door was covered in plastic, we had to tear it down to get in when we got home from vacation),

When everything is checked off of this list, I will post pics so you all can see my prettiness...lol.

My kitchen isn't much. We bought a fixer upper and have more pressing issues than anything asthestic. LOl. But its my kitchen and I am tired of it not being some place I can go to and feel at home in. I want a comfy and cozy place that I can nurioush my family from. :)

Off to the kitchen now...

Wish me luck!!

EDIT: 1/13/09 I gave up last night with just a couple dishes to go. Lol I had to get some sleep, but hopefully (with the Grace of God) I can get this done today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Helpmeet for Him...

"And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Gen 2: 18"

This blog is dedicated to my husband and to the journey that I am traveling in learning to be a better wife to him.

A bit about myself...

I am an EXTREMELY unorganized person..I hardly ever know what I am having for dinner until right before (which leads to a rush in getting something thawed), my desk looks like it hasn't been cleaned in years (when in reality it hasn't been all that long) and my house is a clutter and disaster area.

I try to be a good wife to him. I try to let him know how much I love him by showing him everyday, but then I realized that it isn't enough. I could tell him that I love him a thousand times a day but as long as I was letting his house be cluttered and messy, as long as I wasn't feeding him nutricious meals every night, as long as I was slacking that I really wasn't showing him.

And worst of all...I wasn't following God's plan for my marriage. I haven't been following the orders of God to be a helpmeet to my husband...to submit to him...to try and be like
Sarah (1 Pet 3:6).

So I prayed and went searching for ways to fix the problem (I am a firm believer that God does help those who help themselves), and I found some answers.


I invite you to join me on my journey to becoming the type of wife and mother that not only I want to be, but that God wants me to be.


Welcome to my recipe collection.

Click on the Name of the recipe you want to access to visit it's page.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Taco Bake

So here's how this came about. In June of 2008, my brother in law and his family were coming to visit us. Me, not thinking, didn't prepare a meal plan since I figured they'd be eating on the road. Well an hour from our house, they called and they were hungry! LOL I needed something that would feed a small army, our 5 and their 4...
So...after taking stock of what I had I came up with this. Little did I know that it would turn into a staple at our house. It's very kid friendly and VERY easy to play around with. I think that's why I like it so much!

2 lbs ground beef
3-4 cups nacho cheese flavor Doritos, crushed
4-6 flour tortillas
16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese or mexican cheese
2 (1 1/4 ounce) packages taco seasoning
1 (10 ounce) can refried beans
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces salsa
shredded lettuce
any other taco toppings you like

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crush Dorito Chips.
Brown ground beef and drain, making sure it is crumbled well. Add in taco seasonings according to directions on packets.
Spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Lay down 2 tortillas to cover bottom of pan. You may have to rip them to make them fit.
Add a layer of ground beef and then a handful (or more if you choose) of shredded cheese onto meat.
Add a layer of crushed dorito's onto cheese.
Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish, ending with a layer of chips. Depending on how big my chunks of meat are, I can get 2 or 3 layers into a baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes. Warm refried beans and spread on top of "casserole."
Finish by spreading sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce and whatever other toppings you like onto the dish.
I always like to garnish is with a light layer of chips onto the top of it after I am done layering.
Note: Cheese and chip amounts are estimates. I usually end up using 2 bags of cheese, but it really is in how much you put into each layer. The same applies with the chips.

Simple White Gravy

2 tablespoons drippings, from meat you are cooking
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk (2% works fine)
salt and pepper

Add flour to drippings and cook until light brown and smooth. Slowly whisk in milk and cook until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a very versatile gravy base. It can be played with so that it suites whatever meal your eating.

Green Bean Casserole

1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce (you can also use soy sauce if you prefer)
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
1 1/3 cups French-fried onions (French's)

Combine soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 qt baking dish; stir until blended.

Stir in beans and 2/3 cup fried onions.

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until hot.


Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup fried onions.

Bake 5 more minutes or until onions are golden.

Sweet Cornbread

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat over to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease 8-9 inch square pan.

Combine dry ingredients. ****Stop here if you want to store the mix or if you're making a recipe that calls just for cornbread mix.****

Stir in milk, oil, and egg until moistened.

Pour into pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe was said to be President Reagen's favorite mac and cheese. I know we sure like it!

1/2 lb macaroni
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk, plus a couple of tablespoons if needed.

Boil macaroni in water until tender and drain thoroughly.

Stir in butter and egg.

Mix mustard and salt with 1T hot water, and add to milk.

Add cheese, leaving enough to sprinkle on top.

Pour into buttered casserole; add milk, sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350°F for about 45 minutes or until custard is set and top is crusty.

Your Very Basic Bread Stuffing

2 cups dry bread cubes
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sage
1 cup melted real butter (not margarine)
1/2-1 cup hot chicken broth or turkey broth, to moisten

Combine bread, onion, celery and all seasonings.

Add melted butter.
Toss gently to mix.
Add hot broth to moisten to desired consistency (but be careful NOT to make it soggy.)

Pour all into a large casserole and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes.

Do not let the top get too crispy. If it starts to, cover it with foil.

Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs potatoes, peeled (9 large)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons onions or garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-4 tablespoons butter
butter, for greasing pan
butter, to melt on the mountain at serving time

Quarter the spuds, cook in salted water until tender (25-30 min?), drain well, and mash.

Add remaining ingredients, mixing well (I use my KitchenAid mixer).

Butter a large casserole dish, spoon spuds into the pan, smoothing off the top.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes OR zap in the microwave until heated through.

SERVE: Stir, then spoon into a lovely LARGE bowl, add a dollop of butter at the top of the mountain.

NOTE: These can be made up to a week ahead of the time they're needed and then reheated.

Corn Pudding

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Prolly the same thing I did when I first heard of it. Corn Pudding? Wait. Corn. Pudding.

LOL Yes.

And it's delicious.

1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 1/2 ounce) box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can creamed corn
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

Melt butter in a casserole dish.

Mix in egg and then all remaining ingredients.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Easy Dinner Rolls

These are FANTASTIC! They taste just like they came from a professional bakery! Try them, you'll won't regret it.

1 cup water (110 degrees F)
2 packages yeast (Do not use the quick rising in this recipe)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups flour

  1. Combine water and yeast in lg bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. With wooden spoon, stir in butter, sugar, eggs and salt.
  3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time and beat in as much as you can.(you will probably be able to use all the flour)
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  5. Grease a 13x9 baking pan.
  6. Turn dough out onto floured surface.
  7. Divide into 24 equal pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into a smooth round ball.
  9. Place in rows in prepared pan.
  10. Cover and let rise for 1 hour; until doubled.
  11. Heat oven to 375*.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 17 minutes.

Southern BBQ Sauce

1/4 cup molasses
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 dash salt
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon, rind of
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 9 in.baked pastry shell
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar

Combine first 4 ingredients; Blend in water.

Bring to boiling over high heat;stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to medium;cook and stir 8 minutes more.

Remove from heat.

Stir small amount hot mixture into egg yolks;Return to hot mixture.

Bring to a boil over high heat,stirring constantly.

Reduce heat to low;cook and stir 4 minutes longer.

Remove from heat.

Add lemon peel and butter.

Stir in 1/3 cup lemon juice.

Cover entire surface with clear plastic wrap;cool 10 minutes.

Pour into cooled pastry.


Beat egg whites with 1 teaspoon lemon juice till soft peaks form.

Gradually add 6 Tablespoons sugar,beating till stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved.

Spread over filling,sealing to edges of pastry.

Bake at 350 12 to 15 minutes.