Baked apple cider donut muffins

September 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I call these donut muffins because I don’t have a donut pan. If you do, you’ll want to decrease the cooking time to about 10 minutes.

For the donuts:

2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup organic sugar (even if you don’t normally use this, it’s worth it for these because it has a bit of a molasses taste)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp apple cider
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a regular cupcake pan. Mix all dry ingredients, then add cider and vanilla and stir until blended. Don’t overmix. Scoop batter into greased cups of muffin pan. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched.

Allow to cool for about a half hour before removing from pan. Combine powdered sugar and cider for topping. In another bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Dip each donut muffin in glaze, place on a cookie sheet or other flat dish, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Makes 12.

Categories: Uncategorized

A cemetery and a farm

September 9, 2013 Leave a comment

This morning, I was needing to get out of the house for a bit, so I wandered outside with my camera again. The great thing about my town is that it’s so eclectic. There’s a small downtown, a lot of residential, then farm country and that’s all on Main Street.

I am a volunteer for and I have been sitting on a request since August 28th, so I decided to go fulfill that. The cemetery is at the end of the road and before that, there is a dairy farm. So I have an odd mix of cows and headstones.

DSC_0691 DSC_0696 DSC_0702 DSC_0752 DSC_0762

Categories: cemeteries, Photos, Rural

Walking around town

September 8, 2013 Leave a comment

My daughter and I had some one on one time tonight as we walked along and I snapped photos of things she thought were pretty. Of course I also got shots of the most beautiful thing out there at the time – her!

DSC_0652 DSC_0654 DSC_0658 DSC_0666 DSC_0672

Mom’s Eulogy letter: My Dearest Mom

April 23, 2013 Leave a comment

I know I haven’t updated in a very long time. My mom passed away last week, after a long fight with the complications of diabetes. I really don’t feel like recounting the entire thing again, but I was with her when she passed away and I am as content as one could be that she is at peace. Yesterday was her funeral/memorial service and we skipped giving a eulogy but I did read this letter:

I don’t know if I’m up or down right now. I jump from okay to falling apart and back again. I mostly can’t fathom how the world continues to turn without you in it. My one constant in life is gone. The person that went hungry for me or made peanut butter and crackers a game – the person that would slip me a twenty and tell me to keep my mouth shut – the person that always seemed to know to call when I cooked dinner so that I couldn’t carry a conversation – if I had known then what I know now, I’d have left the roast to burn so I could have five more minutes on the phone.

I knew you were sick – very sick – but you pulled through so much that it got to be a thing that happened. I waited for you to wake up and act normally, maybe yelling at us for our choice of hospital for you until you took your last breath. I knew it wasn’t to be, but I wished for it anyway. You always woke up before.

I know you’re in a better place with both of your legs, dancing with Jesus. I know you are happy and at peace. I know all of that. That doesn’t stop me from wishing. No more silly singing animals for my birthday – no more sitting at my house on a Sunday until Darrell was practically begging to go home because you didn’t want to – no more common sense advice when my kids get sick. It’s the little things I miss.

I have already caught myself wanting to call you or thinking of something I can’t wait to tell you and it hasn’t even been a week. I have to learn how to live life without my constant. We all do.

I imagine you, happy and young with your parents and friends and the babies you never got to meet and I can’t think of you as being anything but full of joy.

Just don’t forget to shine down on the rest of us. We love you too and we always will.

Until we meet again,
Your baby girl

Categories: Uncategorized

2 for 1 meal – Roast beef

March 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Times are tough and food is expensive. It’s even more expensive when you have a large family. Then you add a teenage boy to the mix, and oh my! I like to find meals that center around a main dish, but cooking two back to back with the same main ingredient, because it saves money when I only have to buy that item once.

This time, I did Italian Roast Beef. It was delicious. I served it on buns with fries on the side. It was extra simple and even used the crockpot! The second day, I made a roast beef hash with eggs.

Day 1: Italian Beef Sandwiches

1 decent sized beef roast – boneless is best but get what’s on sale
1 jar pepperoncinis (located in the pickle aisle)
1 packet Good Seasons salad dressing mix
hoagie buns
Place roast in slow cooker. Pour spice packet and peppers over. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred meat with two forks, then serve on toasted buns.


Day 2: Roast beef hash

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
leftover roast beef, diced
1-2 eggs per person

Heat oil over medium heat and add potatoes; cook until tender. Add roast beef and stir. When the meat is heated through, divide onto plates. Using the same pan, add more oil and fry eggs to desired doneness. Top hash mixture with an egg.

Categories: Food, Frugal Living

Girls’ night recipes

February 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Last night, I had a little get together with a couple of friends with Magic Mike, Farkle, food, drinks, cake, and fun. I kicked the kids and the husband out, and had a nice evening in my home. These are my favorite kinds of nights. I like to kick back with a glass of wine but I hate the bar scene. I always did, but I hate it more as I get older.

Here are the recipes that I used for the party. Sorry, no photos. I forgot!

Strawberry Mimosas
20 strawberries, tops removed
a few ice cubes
2 cups orange juice
2 cups champagne

In a blender, mix strawberries, ice, and orange juice. Pour into a pitcher and pour champagne over mixture. Pour into champagne glasses.

Strawberry Moscato Punch
1 large bottle Barefoot Moscato
1 liter gingerale
1 container Welch’s Strawberry Breeze frozen juice concentrate

Pour into a pitcher and stir until strawberry juice is thawed and mixed in. Serve.

Veggie and dip cups
veggies of your choice
dip of your choice
Small cups

This one is pretty easy to figure out. Scoop about a tablespoon of dip into each cup and add a couple of veggies. This allows for double dipping and fingers in the dip, because it’s in individual cups.

Rainbow Fruit Platter
Another easy one. Just line up fruits on a platter in this order: Strawberries, “Cuties” broken into wedges, Pineapple slices, Green grapes, Blueberries, Blackberries
I didn’t use a fruit dip but you certainly could!

Chicken cream cheese roll ups
2 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (Or 3 boneless chicken thighs)
1 softened 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1 ranch dip packet
3 rolls crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cheeses, chicken, and seasoning until combined. Spoon small spoonfuls onto each crescent roll and fold up so that no cheese is showing. This part is a little time consuming, but worth it. You should be able to get 20-24 of these, depending on how much you spoon into each one. Bake for 15 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.

In addition to that, we had my favorite chocolate cake recipe ever in the shape of a heart, and topped with candy-dipped strawberries, using pink Wilton melts and fresh berries, the same cake in cupcake form with chocolate frosting and strawberries without candy. There was a bowl of Hershey’s miniatures on the table. I used a pink tablecover and tealight candles leftover from Kid #1’s sweet 16, and it made for a beautiful table. Since I forgot to take a photo, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Spiced nuts

January 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I am a horrible cookie baker, although sometimes I luck out. Usually I don’t. Because of that, I am always on the lookout for recipes for things I can make instead when I am invited to a cookie swap or asked to help with a bake sale. I always have cakes and cupcakes, but sometimes I want something else. I found something else to add to that list. The bonus is that they smell amazing!

spiced nuts

1 egg white
1 tbsp water
3 cups nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In medium mixing bowl, whisk egg white and water. Add nuts and stir to coat.

In small bowl, mix sugar, salt, and spice. Pour over nuts and stir well to coat.

Spread nuts on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for a total of 28 minutes, but take pan out and stir nuts every 7 minutes. Watch carefully, as sugar can burn quickly.

Remove foil with nuts from cookie sheet and allow to cool on counter, then serve or package, depending on your plans for them.

Categories: Uncategorized

Cute teacher gift

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Our school PTO does a collection just before Winter Break for the teachers, and the parents send in money to be added to a gift card. Then each teacher’s card is filled up and given to them to use on school supplies that they would otherwise have to pay for. It’s an awesome idea that I fully support, but I wanted my kids to give their teacher a little something more. Thanks to pinterest, where I get pretty much every creative idea I ever have, I decided to help them write a book called What We Would Get You If We Had A Million Dollars.

The most precious thing to me is the responses inside so I’m going to share them here.

“I would like to give her the biggest car of all and she could drive it!” – Olivia
“I would buy her a fire engine!!” – Perrin

“A book that has horses in it.” – Olivia
“A lot of fire engines!” – Perrin

“I think I’ll get her a dollhouse and some dolls.” – Olivia
“Paper please!” – Perrin

“I want to give her a tv and wii remote like ours.” – Olivia
“A truck that throws gravel.” – Perrin

“A teensy weensie dinosaur and it should be red, my favorite color.” – Olivia
“Umm, a rabbit. Hop! Hop! Hop!” – Perrin

“A hinker tinker toy.” – Olivia
“Something that’s round like my wrench. My hammer would be better. Okay?” – Perrin

“A clock like mine and it should be a toy clock.” – Olivia
“A plate with a donut on it.” – Perrin

“A click clock mouse.” – Olivia
“A bike with a flashlight on it.” – Perrin

The only thing it cost me was a little bonding time with my kids, which I think I needed as much as them today, and some paper.

Categories: crafts

After Thanksgiving

November 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I spent the afternoon with my mom and had a wonderful time. She is really starting to feel a lot better after having her leg amputated and she is more like herself. It felt genuinely good to see my mom and not the cranky, sick lady that acts twenty years older than she is. I hope that continues.

Now that Black Friday is upon us, I come bearing a coupon code. Come on over to my etsy shop and use the code BFCM12 between now and midnight central time on Cyber Monday, and your order will be 50% off.

While you’re out shopping for hot deals, don’t forget about what really matters. Be sure to give your loved ones a hug and some kind words. All of the holiday gifts in the world aren’t more important than the love of those we care about.

Categories: Uncategorized

Harry Potter 11th birthday party

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Kid 3 turned 11 last weekend and she is a Harry Potter nut. I was going to do a candy themed party but I thought she would like Harry Potter instead. So last weekend, I spent a day online on pinterest and google, planning for her party.┬áThere were a lot of things that I didn’t get to do once the time came, but I think the party ended up being great anyway.

We invited the entire class but she forgot to get the invites out before this Monday so we only had three guests. One was a boy and had to go home at eight but the two girls are upstairs with my kiddo now, having a nail polish and makeup fest.

Here is the doorway from my kitchen to my dining room. I wanted this to be in front of the back door but hubby didn’t do the bricks in the right direction and I wasn’t going to complain because hey, he drew bricks on a tablecloth for 45 minutes. He made the sign afterward and I think it came out cute! (Pardon the ipod picture. I didn’t think to get one with the camera.)


Here is the dessert table. We had Sorting hat cookies, Butterbeer cupcakes, a Harry Potter Hagrid cake, and ice cream sundae bar. If you aren’t familiar with the story, I spelled happy birthday wrong on purpose.


For drinks, we used regular cream soda and just made a sign calling it butterbeer. The jar has “potion punch” which is just green berry Hawaiian punch, gingerale, and raspberry sherbet. I poured the gingerale in last to get the fizz like this. I wanted to make up jars of colored water for extra decoration, to look like potions, but I didn’t have time.

I know I’m displaying these a bit backwards because we ate food before dessert, and we drank the drinks with our meal, but the next photo is of our pizza making station. The kids really seemed to like this. It fit well with the Harry Potter theme and it was cheap. I changed my mind on the foods I wanted several times but I’m glad I finally settled on this. We have plenty left over for omelets too! (SOS pads and fire extinguisher optional… oops.)


We didn’t have enough kids to do the sorting ceremony, so we skipped that. I didn’t get the pencils to make pencil wands. We did do two games, though. We did a balloon stomp, and we did a dragon egg hunt. The balloon stomp was loads of fun. I even played.


We made ice cream sundaes after this but I didn’t get any photos of that. The kids loved it. Then came the cake.

And presents… she really loves pickles.


Finally, we handed out the broom loot bags, which had assorted candy, a slinkie (because slinkies magically walk down the stairs), and a balloon. Then we took photos of the birthday girl with each guest and the group.


There was really nothing I missed out on doing that would have made it more fun for them. In the end, she doesn’t care if there’s streamers behind her gift table or a sign in the dining room indicating it’s the great hall, so I think it was a success. With the way she looks in that last picture, I think she agrees.

Also, that concludes birthday season. She’s the last one of the kids to have a birthday through the year. I am SO glad it’s over. Now onto the holidays!