Tuesday, June 30, 2009

WFMW- Mam's Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispie Treats

Well it's theme time at WFMW and what a wonderful theme it is... CHOCOLATE! I love chocolate treats and the first one that came to mind was my mam's recipe. Oh the memories I have associated with these treats. Mom didn't want us to have them because of braces, but grandmas will be grandmas so we had them often. Anyway here's the recipe of the treat that is now a favorite of my boys!

Mam's Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Crispie Treats

1 stick butter
8 cups (approximately 1 package) mini marshmellows
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
6 cups rice crispie cereal (I get bulk crispie rice from Winco and it works just like the real stuff)

1. Grease a 13x9 inch rectangular pan (I use the butter wrapper to grease the pan. It was a tip from Stephanie.) and measure out all of the ingredients. You will not have time for measuring once you start cooking!

2. Melt butter in a large stock pan over medium heat
3. When butter is melted add marshmellows and stir constantly until melted

4. Add chocolate and peanut butter chips, stir until melted

5. Once everything is mixed together add cereal. You must mix quickly to get all of the cereal coated.

6. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Push it down into the pan with your hand. I get my hand wet to keep it cool and from getting sticky.

7. Put in the refrigerator for as long as you can stand it (In my house we hold out about 30 minutes max!)

8. Cut into squares and savor the sweetness!

I hope you all enjoy this treat! We sure do!

P.S. A special thank you to my future cinematographer, L, for taking a couple of the pictures for me!

P.S.S. Also join Life as Mom Ultimate Recipe Swap for some more goodies! They all look so yummy I don't know where to start!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Family Visits

This last few days was full of family time. My nephew is turning the big 5 this week so we had his birthday party on Saturday. I am my sister's right hand, party coordinator, go to girl, and helper for these occasions. We flutter around like crazy people for a couple of hours getting everything just right. She blames my OCD organizing, I say I just like to be ready.
Teeheehee. We all know she is right! Anyway, the party was a hit and the kiddos had a blast. Happy Birthday to the little man!

As we were leaving I get a voice mail that my Aunt Deb is coming through town Sunday. She wants to know if she can stay the night with us to break up her trip a bit. OF COURSE she can stay! I was so excited. She has been through a lot this last year and a half, but nothing gets her down. We adore her and all her energy! She has such a faith that things are all happening for a reason. I hold onto her laughter as I face challenges in my life. She arrived late (I mean late for me, I am no night owl), but we stayed up and giggled and shared our happenings until early in the morning. Unfortunately it was a quick visit, but I will hold onto it until we can see each other again.

My last family time came on the phone. During the school year I talk to my mom every morning on my way to school, but during the summer time I don't call as much. This morning I got to visit with mom and talk about all the happenings this past week. It is hard having them all the way in Idaho, but a phone call brings our lives together. I am so thankful to have my crazy family whether near or far. Any way we can visit with each other is definitely something to be grateful for in my life.

Join Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thrifty Finds

Well we didn't find a lot this weekend, but K was so happy with one thing we found in particular. He is always on the hunt for Legos, if you remember this post. He found a Lego Mindstorm set, not complete, but with the "brain" and some other key parts still there. The cost a mere $5.00 and if you know Legos you know that is a B-A-R-G-A-I-N.

Now on to my goodies for the house and kitchen. I found a box of canning jars at a church sale, about 25 jars for $8.00. It gets better...I was telling my sister about my find and she brought a box of 10 quart jars to me from her pantry. She gave them to me! Thanks Sister!! Now I have plenty to get me started in my canning adventures.

I also found some goodies at another sale and at the Salvation Army this week. I think I spent about $5.00 for this divided wooden box, a darling frame (both will be getting a paint job), and a few yards of this cute fabric. I think the fabric is going to transform into an apron. Maybe like the ones shown here.

I think my favorite find this week is a shirt I also found at the Salvation Army. It was 50% off women's clothes, so I got this Ann Taylor Loft cutie for $1.65. I love the pattern and the way it fits!

Anyway those are my deals for the week, to see other great finds join Rhonda over at Southern Hospitality for Thrifty Treasures.

Menu Plan for the Week

Happy Independence Day Week!

Here is what we have planned for this week:


cereal, oatmeal, omelets, pancakes (freezer batch), banana nut muffins, Eggos, French Toast

sandwiches, quesedillas, chicken or tuna salad, corn dogs, homemade "lunchables"(crackers& lunch meat), fruit

Sunday- YOYO (Leftovers night)

Monday- Beef Tri-tip, corn on the cob, squash

Tuesday- Tacos, refried beans, salad

Wednesday- Pasta with red sauce, Italian sausage, salad, and

Thursday- Sloppy Joes, corn on the cob, salad

Friday- Beef Kabobs, bell peppers, onions, squash

Saturday- BBQ Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, veggies & fruit

Find more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie.

In case anyone was curious...our pizza turned out awesome (if I do say so myself). Here's a couple of pictures of the finished product!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finer Things Friday- Homemade Pizza

I have been waiting for this day ALL week...it's PIZZA night! Oh, how we love our pizza, our homemade, dough from scratch pizza. You want to know the secret to GREAT, FABULOUS, AMAZING pizza?!? It's a little thing called a pizza stone. Oh my, I never knew that was the key until I was watching a cooking show (It's called "Chef at Home"). He was making pizza and he used a stone, he was so enthusiastic about it that I decided I needed to try one out. Our attempt at homemade pizza prior to this revelation was, well let's just say we were usually disappointed.

Using the stone truly makes the biggest difference in how the crust turns out. I use a dough recipe I found in my bread machine cookbook, but I use my Kitchen Aid to mix everything up. I usually make the dough in the morning and let is rise all day. YUMMY! I also season my own sauce. I get organic tomato sauce from Costco and add garlic powder, basil, and oregano until my oldest, Z (future foodie I tell ya), gives his thumbs up after a little sampling. The rest will crack you up. I usually make at least 2 pizzas. One is good old pepperoni and cheese and the other is 1/2 combination (K needs his veggies), 1/4 Hawaiian (for L), and 1/4 pepperoni and sausage (for N). It is piled so high it barely fits in the oven. :)

Here's the crust recipe I use in case someone wants to try it out, but I am telling you unless you have a pizza stone I cannot vouch for the results.

Rob and Holly's Pizza (I double this recipe to get my two crusts.)

3 cups flour (I use unbleached)
1 1/8 cup water
1 1/4 tsp salt (I use sea salt)
1 1/2 TBS olive oil (I use organic)
1 1/2 tsp yeast

I mix everything in my mixer until I get a good sized dough ball. Then, I turn it out into a well oiled bowl to rise most of the day. When it is close to dinner time I preheat my stones according to the directions. Next, I cut the dough in half and roll each of the halves into a circle. I also dust the stone with a cornmeal-flour mixture before I put my dough on it. I then poke the crust with a fork all over and precook the crusts for 6 or 7 minutes. Finally, I add our toppings to the crusts and get plates ready for our treat!

It truly is a Finer Thing and so much more frugal (and healthy) than eating take-out pizza!

Stop by Amy's Finer Things for more Finer Things Friday.

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

WFMW (Works for Me Wednesday)-Heathly Smiles

I have the dentist on the brain since we had our check ups on Monday. I struggled with making sure each of the boys brushed their teeth. I hated doing the wet toothbrush test, or the tattle-tale test, or the yelling "are you sure you brushed your teeth?". One day it hit me- if I set up their toothbrushes with toothpaste I would know exactly who had or who had not brushed their teeth.

GENIUS I tell you! It is so simple, why had I not done it before? Who knows!?! I do know that everyone came out of the dentist with healthy smiles and most importantly...NO CAVITIES!! I was so proud and happy that our system is working.

Now if I could just get the big one to pick up his clothes in the bathroom after he bathes...Until next time...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Garden

I have a lot of gratitude today. My little veggie patch has started sprouting already! I got a late start in planting, so we won't have as much of a bounty as I had hoped. We will however have something to show for all of the effort put into getting our yard ready (i.e. dog resistant)for our vegetable garden. I am so thankful for all of the energy K put into making a picket fence for me and all the care he took in making it beautiful.

I kept saying next year it will be wonderful, but now I am going to relish the awesomeness it has TODAY. Being able to grow your own food and fun is definitely something to be thankful for every day. I am truly blessed to have a home where we can teach our children how to take care of themselves and provide for the needs of a family. My boys are seeing all of our ideas growing and Halloween will be even more fun with homegrown pumpkins! Yeah for gardens!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week

Well we're off to another week of summer break! Not much planned- the boys are going to go with their Papa (grandpa) to the water slides one day and we're off to the dentist on Monday. Here's what we've planned (food wise) for this week-

Breakfasts: cereal, oatmeal, omelets, pancakes (freezer batch), banana nut muffins, Eggos, French Toast

sandwiches, quesedillas, salads, hot dogs, corn dogs, homemade "lunchables"(crackers& lunch meat)


Sunday- Garden Salad with grilled chicken breast and/or Steak (dh does not eat chicken).

Monday- Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, High Five Recipe- Creamy Mac and Cheese (thanks Laura)-All from scratch

Tuesday- Pork Chops, scalloped potatoes (new Recipe), and asparagus

Wednesday- Steak Fajitas and refried beans

Thursday- Beef Tri Tip, broccoli, steamed red potatoes, bread sticks

Friday- HOMEMADE Pizza!! 2 pizzas -1 all pepperoni and cheese 1- 1/2 combo, 1/4 Hawaiian, 1/4 pepperoni and sausage (I'll try to post this process, the pizza turns out so well!!!)

Saturday- Pasta with red sauce, Italian sausage, salad, and

Find more menu planning inspiration at Organizing Junkie.

Have a great week!


We had a blast this last Saturday. K and I went out for our Saturday morning "date" hitting a bunch of yard sales. I had mapped out some that I wanted to check out, but that was only the tip of the iceberg! They were everywhere!

We hit a retirement home rummage sale and got a great dessert rack (In desperate need of some paint love), a needed frame, some Legos and a network cable. We then found some other sales and scored with 8 cloth napkins, a journal, a Mustang book, an optical mouse, and more Legos. K found and air purifier for his compressor and I found an adorable dress. We even found some treasures in a box marked "free-go put it in
your car".

Before **************** After

perfect frame for our family picture

The best find of the day was a 5 tray food dehydrator. Guess how much...wait for it...ladies and gentlemen it was a whopping...are you sitting down... 50 cents! Can you believe it! I almost didn't even ask about it! Overall I say we were extremely pleased with our weekend hunt! Best of all we only spent $9.60 for our treasures, definitely puts a smile on my face...

The BEST find this weekend!

Join Rhonda at Southern Hospitality for Todays Thrifty Treasures and see what treasures everyone else found...

All the best,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Finer Things Friday

One of the finest things in my life is all of my boys (hubby too) spread out on the floor building new Lego sets (don't look at the back ground, I brought home way too much from my classroom this summer).

Oh, the joy this brings my men...and the little bit of quiet it brings me while they are so busy concentrating on the process. Bionicles, Miners, and remote control Lego cars- be still my (mom of boys) heart! I am just trying to enjoy as they work together to get everything built. Definitely a Finer Thing.

Stop by Amy's Finer Things for more Finer Things Friday.

Randomness is contagious...

Well as I did my morning stroll through blogs today I noticed a lot of random musings out there in blog land. I think the freedom that summer brings allows our brains a chance to recharge and think about all that we don't have time for during the school year. We actually have time to stop and enjoy the lives we are creating everyday.

I feel so less rushed, not controlled by the clock on the wall. It is in a word quite liberating, this peace that I am feeling. My last two summers have been rushed and scheduled, but this one seems to really be a time for re-energizing. I so needed to have this time after a somewhat stressful school year. I am just enjoying my moments and soaking in the noise that feels my house on these lazy days of summer...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A First for Me

Wow! I'm finally joining the blog-o-sphere...friends had asked and I said, "No. Not me. I don't have time, but maybe..." So I'll be sharing my life- the good, the bad, and the silly...enjoy my journey through mommyhood, marriage, frugal living, and teaching elementary school.