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Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome to 2015

Image result for happy new year image

It’s a new year, and as cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe it is 2015.  Time has flown.  I took a few years off of blogging.  Frankly, I was a bit burnt out.  When I last wrote, was in June of 2011!  I wasn't on Pinterest, I only had two kids, I was juggling two different work places, and we lived in our “old house.”  Since then, Pinterest has changed the way we cook, create, and compete.  I have a beautiful 12 year old girl, a spunky 10 year old girl, and a rowdy 2 ½ year old boy.  In the last year, we have sold a house, lived in a rent house for 9 months, and are now living in the house we only dreamed we could have.  I am working at one school full time as an instructional facilitator.  This is a fancy word for working with teachers and curriculum.  Although I miss working with kids in the classroom, I am lucky enough to work with a staff of dedicated people.  In the last year, I completed college hours to become a school administrator.  By my side in everything, my wonderful husband helps me to find balance and keep up with the daily whirlwind of family activities. 

If anything, I am trying to find the joy in cooking again.  Schedules dictate our life five days a week.  The other two days seem to be spent getting ready for the next five days.  This was all compounded with having a baby, the process of building, and going to school.  We made it work, but we ate out a little too much, didn’t cook as healthy as I wanted to, and didn’t always have my act together to plan like I needed to plan out our meals. 

So that brings me here.  I am excited to start blogging again.  I am going to focus on writing about what most families struggle with.  I had found in talking with friends we struggle with how to eat clean, without processed foods, how to eat on a budget, and how to eat on a schedule when everyone is meeting themselves coming.   

So I end the first post of the year, with no recipe, but with hopes that you ate your black-eyed peas!    What recipes would you like to see here?  What is it that you search for? 

Looking forward to a great year, Kelli

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tradtional Bread and Butter Pickles

I love my summer time activities. One of the things I enjoy doing is canning. That may sound a bit strange, but I find it relaxing and it makes a great gift come Christmas time. Here is the recipe that I use that I like. You can do the same thing with squash, which I love!

For the basics of home canning you can go to

10 cups of pickling cucumbers
4 medium white onions
1/2 cup canning salt
Cold water
3 cups vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoons celery seed
1 teaspoons turmeric
2 Tbsp mustard seeds

Slice unpeeled cucumbers 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Slice peeled white onions 1/8 inch thick.
In a large stockpot, arrange cucumbers in layers, sprinkling each layer with canning salt. Let stand for 2 hours; rinse in cold water and drain in colander.

Bring vinegar and remaining ingredients to a boil. Add vegetables; bring to a boil again and boil for 5 minutes.

Pack into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Roast Beef Sandwiches Au Jus

This is the first of the freezer meals that I made. It was really tasty and VERY easy!!!!! Well worth the few minutes it takes to make it.

1.5 pound London broil
1 oz package of au jus gravy mix
1 oz package of brown gravy mix
3 cups water
4-6 sandwich rolls

Trim fat off meat. Sprinkle gravy mixes on London broil in 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Label and freeze. Thaw, add 3 cups water to back and shake. Pour into Crock-Pot and cook (low) for 3-4 hours. Slice mean and return to sauce. Serve on toasted buns.

Once a Month Cooking

Okay, I have been a bad cook and blogger the last couple of months. I have not been planning my meals as I know I need to. I know myself well enough to know that if I don't have plan, we end up eating out more. The girls had swim lessons the last couple of weeks from 5:30 to 7:00 each night. Between that and the end of school, we have been out of kilter. It has also been 95 degrees (or higher) each day, and it is only June! I hate to be in the kitchen when it is 100 degrees. So, I pulled out a cookbook that I purchased not too long ago. It is a Once-a-Month Cooking by Wilson and Lagerborg. It has menus, supply lists and recipes for two-weeks of cooking, or even a month of cooking. I decided to try one of the two week menus. I now have 14 meals in the freezer for summer use. The cookbook is set up to be used as a guide and was pretty easy to use. I ended up splitting up the cooking into two days, so I was not as efficient as I could have been. I was very pleased with the results so far. I think that I could use the 14 meals over a three week time period very easily by inserting a couple of vegetarian meals into the mix. I couldn't do this once a month, it was very intense, but once every few months I could make it work. The other thing to consider is the cost of the meals. I think the author's did a great job on this. I spent about $135.00 for the 14 meals. I thought that was pretty good!

Here are the meals that I have in the freezer:

  1. Hearty Hamburger Tomato Stew

  2. Chinese Chicken Morsels

  3. Roast Beef sandwiches with Au Jus

  4. Grilled Fish

  5. Chicken Spaghetti

  6. Mandarin Orange Chicken

  7. Grilled Chile Pepper Cheeseburgers

  8. Rainy day Chicken with Rice

  9. Polynesian Pork Loin

  10. Blackened Chicken Breast

  11. Chicken Cacciatore

  12. Meal-on-the-Run Pork Loin

  13. Chile Verde

  14. Savory Beef

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sonic Cherry Limeade

Here is a summer favorite! Easy and cheaper than a run to the drive through.

1 (12 ounce) can Sprite
3 lime wedges
1/4 cup cherry juice (Libby's Juicy Juice best)

1 Fill a 16 oz glass 2/3 full with ice Pour sprite over the ice.
2 add the juice of 3 lime wedges and drop them into the drink.
3 add the cherry juice and serve with straw.

Makes one 16 oz. drink.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza

Wow it's been a while since I've posted a recipe. To be honest I haven't been very creative lately so I haven't had anything exciting to post. Last night I did find a really good recipe that helped me use up some leftover pulled pork that I made in the crock pot. It was a hit in this household. I found it on the food network website. It is an Emeril recipe:


Make or buy your dough. I use the recipe that came with my breadmaker.


12 oz Shredded Mozzerella

BBQ Sauce (instead of tomato sauce):

1 c apple cider vinegar

1 c ketchup

1/4 c light brown sugar

1 T molasses

1 T yellow mustard

2 t worchestershire sauce

1/2 t minced garlic

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/4 t freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine ingredients (mixing to dissolve sugar). Allow sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Roll out dough. Spoon 1 cup of the cooled bbq sauce over the pizza dough, leaving about 3/4" of dough uncovered around the edge. Spread the pulled pork over the sauce. Top with onion and/or bell pepper if desired. Spread cheese evenly over pizza. Bake at 425F for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Broccoli Salad

Great summer time salad!

1 large head broccoli, broken into small flowerettes
1 medium onion or about 1/2 cup chopped onion
8 to 10 slices bacon
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
2 to 3 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

1. Cut bacon into bits and fry crisp.
2. Mix together mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, bacon, raisins and nuts (if using).
3. Pour over broccoli and onions. Mix well.
4. Let stand at least 1 hour or more before serving.