Monday, December 21, 2009

Snickerdoodles contributed by cdarrow

Snickerdoodles(from Better Homes and Gardens):
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cr. of tartar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
In a medium mixing bowl beat the butter or margarine with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the 1 c. sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat til combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in the egg and vainlla til combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining flour. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Combine the 2 T. sugar and 1 t. cinnamon. Shape douch into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar-cinn mixture to coat. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-11 minutes or til edges are golden.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies by reenee

here's the GF cookie recipe I came up with this fall. I'm working on subbing applesauce for the butter/margarine to maybe make them a bit chewier and lower the fat/calories, but I haven't perfected it yet. I use egg beaters just cuz they're easier for me to deal with in the fridge 90% of the time, you can use 1 real egg instead. And I use splenda to try and keep the calories down, you can use real sugar if you'd like.
Wheat Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. Splenda
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. rice flour
1 1/2 c. dry oatmeal (not instant)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. egg beaters
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

In a mixer, blend together the margarine, splenda and brown sugar. Add vanilla, baking soda, and egg beaters. Mix in rice flour until well incorporated. Stir in oatmeal, chocolate chips, and walnuts (if desired).

Using a 1 oz. cookie scoop, drop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in an air tight container.

These cookies are best hot out of the oven. They tend to be a bit crispy when cool rather than chewy. If the rice flour is not mixed in well, they can have a grainy texture.

Makes about 64 cookies. Two cookies per serving.

Nutrition Info: 116 calories, 6.4 g Fat, 0 Cholesteral, 99 mg. Sodium, 41 mg Potassium, 13.5 g Carbohydrates, 1.5 g Fiber, 1.9 g. Protein

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buckeyes contributed by beej

1/2 cup softened margarine
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 c. peanut butter (smooth)
3 c. rice krispies
1 pkg. chocolate bark (or 2 12oz pkg of choc. chips and 2/3 stick of paraffin)

Mix first 4 ingredients. Form into 1" balls. Refrigerate until firm. Once mixture is firm, Melt chocolate bark in microwave (time will vary depending on microwave) or over low heat on stove top, stirring frequently. Dip balls into melted chocolate, leaving small area uncoated to resemble a buckeye. Set on wax paper for the chocolate coating to cool and set.
Note: I usually cover the whole ball so mine don't look like "buckeyes" - I've also used the butterscotch flavored bark and white almond bark and both are also yummy. The choclate version tastes similar to scotcheroos or a reeses.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Don't Quit Poem contributed by jillbean

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
- Author unknown

Cake Balls Contributed by bonbon

cakeba11s- girls, get creative with the flavor combos, okay...b/c you can use any that you like...first, make a boxed cake per the directions. while it's still warm, dump in one entire regular-sized can of icing and mix well. refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. melt candy coating (i thin mine with solid shortening for easy dipping). form cake 'dough' into 1" sized ba11s and dip in candy coating. place on parchment lined cookie tray until set. that's it! i get really creative with flavors, and since i made so many yesterday, i added sprinkles on the top so you could tell what kind of center it had. for example, i made strawberry with cream cheese icing and dipped in white chocolate, and used pink can also use chopped nuts, drizzle another coating color, non pariels, etc...the possiblilites are endless!

Mocha Krinkles contributed by Angel

1 1/3 Cups firmly packed light brown sugar.
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1 egg
1 teasp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teasp instant espresso or coffee granules
1 teasp. baking soda
1/4 teasp salt
1/8 teasp black pepper
1/2 cup powder sugar

1.Beat brown sugar and oil in medium bowl with electric mixer. Mix in sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Set aside.
2. Mix flour, cocoa, espresso, baking soda, salt and pepper in another medium bowl.
3. Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture; mix well. Refrigerate dough until firm; 3 to 4 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Pour powdered sugar into a shallow bowl. Set aside. Cut dough into 1 inch pieces, roll into balls. Roll balls in powder sugar.
5. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets 10-12 minutes or until tops of cookies are firm to touch. Do not over bake. Cool on wire racks. Makes about 6 dozen of cookies.

Raspberry Meringue Kisses Contributed by MittenKitten

3 Egg Whites
1/8 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp Raspberry Jello Mix
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Beat Egg whites with salt until foamy. Gradually add raspberry jello and sugar, mixing well after each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form and sugar is desolved. Mix in vinegar. Fold in Chocolate chips. Drop from a teaspoon onto parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn oven off. Leave cookies in oven 20 minutes longer. Makes about 9 dozen.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stuffing Recipe contributed by Bonbon

2 jars (4.5 oz each) sliced mushrooms drained, 4 celery ribs chopped, 2 medium onions chopped, 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley, 3/4 c. butter, 1and 1/2 lbs. day old bread (i use texas toast white if i can find it) cubed, 1.5 tsp salt, 1.5 tsp sage, 1 tsp. poultry seasoning, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 2 eggs, 1 can chicken broth.

in a skillet, saute mushrooms, celery, onions and parsley in butter until the veggies are tender. in a large bowl, toss bread cubes with salt, pepper and spices. add mushroom veggie mixture and toss. whisk eggs with broth; add to bread mixture and toss. transfer to slow cooker. cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours our until the thermometer reads 160 degrees.

ladies, this recipe serves upwards of 15 people and will usually not have leftovers. so it's good to make for smaller crowds, too if you want to have some the next day!

Chilli Recipe contributed by Nsinglet

Crock Pot Turkey Chili Recipe

Put this chili together in the morning and by game time you will have a wonderful chili dish! This turkey chili recipe is also great for those watching their weight because turkey is a leaner alternative to ground beef. This healthy chili recipe is sure to please everyone at your table tonight!

Turkey Chili Recipe Ingredients
• 2 pounds ground turkey
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 1/2 cup green peppers, diced
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 2 teaspoon dried cumin
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1 can refried beans
• 2 15 to 16oz cans of kidney beans (not drained)

Turkey Chili Recipe Directions

In a large skillet, brown ground turkey and drain. Add all ingredients to crock pot except the can of refried beans. Cover and cook on low 2 hours. Add refried beans to chili for thickening. Cover and cook on low for an additional 2 hours.

Friday, December 4, 2009

7 Layer Bars aka Magic Cookies

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND®
Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup peanut butter chips (butterscotch or cherry)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork. (Or my hand in a plastic sandwich baggie)

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mac N Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese - from My_Gal

* 2/3rds bag of small shell pasta
* 1 long/large brick of medium cheddar (16 slices 1/4inch thick, 8 slices 1/2-3/4 inch thick)
* handful of saltine crackers
* 1/3C milk
* butter

Cook the pasta

In a deep casserole dish (looks like a 9x9 pan but it's really deep - I don't know 6-9inches deep??)

layer as follows:
thin cheese (cover surface of pasta)
2-3 saltines crumbled by hand
thin cheese
2-3 saltines
pasta (should be the last of the pasta)
thick cheese
1-2 saltines crumbled

pat on a few bits of butter (2-4)

pour milk down the side of the casserole

into the oven at 350F for about 40 mins

The cheese in the middle melts down into the pasta, the cheese on top gets bubbly and holds it's shape.

Mmm Mmm good!

Bacon Fried Rice

Bacon/Pork Fried Rice

4 cups cold cooked rice
5 slices of bacon
1 cup ham cut into small cubes (optional)
1-2 cloves of bacon, minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Soy sauce

Diced vegetables: for convenience I use frozen peas and carrots as the carrots are cubed into small pieces. You can also use frozen corn and/or frozen beans. Set them into a strainer and run warm water over them before you start cooking the rice so that they are thawed before you add them to the dish.

In a large skillet cook the bacon until very crispy, move to paper towels to drain.

On medium heat lightly sauté the minced garlic and scallions.

Add the rice and toss to coat it with the bacon drippings. Add oil as needed if the mix looks to dry. Stir the rice frequently to be sure it is all coated and has a chance to “toast”. This should take 5-10 minutes depending on your pan and stove.

Add the soy sauce a little at a time and stir the rice well to coat. Continue until the rice is lightly coated. You can add more to taste if desired.

Add the vegetables, crumble the reserved bacon and add it and the ham if desired. Stir occasionally to warm all the ingredients.

With the heat turned up a bit pour the beaten eggs over the entire mix and stir to “scramble” them. Serve.

Crockery Pot Lasagna

Yes lasagna in the crockypot … it is amazing. It is a Betty Crocker recipe. Note: although it calls for 5 noodles per layer my crockpot only took 3 per layer.

Thanks SingleMom


1 lb Italian sausage or ground beef
3 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles


1. Cook sausage/beef in 10 inch skillet 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.

2. Mix 1 cup of mozzarella, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses together. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella while lasagna cooks).

3. Sp00n ¼ of the sausage into slow cooker, top with 5 noodles. Spread with ½ of the cheese, top with ¼ sausage and 5 noodles. Spread with remaining ½ of cheese and ¼ sausage, top with last 5 noodles. Top with remaining ¼ of sausage.

4. Cover and cook on LOW 4-6 hours.

5. Sprinkle top with 1 cup of mozzarella, cover and let stand 10 minutes

ButterCream Frosting

Buttercream Icing


* 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened
* 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or Almond if you prefer
* 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
* 2 tablespoons milk

Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

(Medium Consistency)

In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

For Pure White Icing (stiff consistency), omit butter; substitute an additional 1/2 cup shortening for butter and add 1/2 teaspoon No-Color Butter Flavor. Add up to 4 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk to thin for icing cakes.

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

Creamy Potato and Leek soup with roasted garlic Thanks Honeylioness

Yukon Gold potatoes
1 Large leek
chicken broth (or water and 1 bouillon cube per cup)

Remove the green top of the leek. Slice the white stalk lengthwise and wash with cool water to clean. Cut into even slices.

In a large pan heat a bit of olive oil. Add the leeks and with the heat at medium or lower, let them soften and wilt.

Wash the potatoes. I prefer them with the skin, but you may peel them if you wish. Yukon's work the best as they have the creamiest consistency - other varieties can be too "mealy". Cut the potatoes into evenly sized pieces.

Add the potatoes to the pot, then add the broth/water until the potatoes are just covered. Place the lid on the pot and with the heat at medium, simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.

Meanwhile, peel garlic cloves to taste (I use 3-4 per batch of soup). Place them in a small pan with several pats of butter over low heat. Keep an eye on them but they and the butter should toast and become a nutty brown.

When the potatoes are done add the roasted garlic cloves to the pot. You can either use a stick blender or food processor to puree the contents of the pot into a creamy consistency. IF the mix is a bit heavy you can add more chicken broth.

I top mine with either small slices of toasted garlic bread or sautéed shrimp.

Because there is no milk or cream it stores and reheats wonderfully without “breaking” as most dairy based soups will.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Poem by 3Catslady

I see Jesus standing there with His arms spread open wide.
I see Him kneeling there for the little girl that's deep inside.
I see the tears running down His face when He sees that I am sad.
I see His glowing, shining face when He sees that I am glad.

He knows what is in my heart, whether it's joy or sadness or fear.
And I know when I feel these things that He is, oh, so near.
So why is it I have these times when doubt just floods my mind?
I know Jesus is there and salvation is all mine.

That demon down below is torturing me
I cannot let him win.
It is Jesus' love and grace I seek,
I do not want to sin.

But, alas, I am a human, and sin is part of life.
With Jesus' help and faithfulness I will get through this strife.
By prayer and meditation, I'll walk in my Lord's way
By prayer and meditation, from His side I will not stray.

When He holds me deep in those loving arms;
To me shall come no harm.
When He holds my hand and I am next to Him.
There is peace within my heart.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Forever Be Thine by 3catslady

by 3catslady

Hold me in Your arms, Lord
Don't let me go astray.
Hold me in Your Heart,
Teach me what to say.

Hold me by the hand,
Show me what to do.
Shield me with Your Love,
Let me live each day for You.

For it's when I'm without You
That my life falls apart.
Without Your loving arms,
I'm headed for the dark.

Without Your hands to help me,
I'm nothing but dried up clay.
Without Your in my heart,
There's no love in words I say.

So, keep Your Loving Arms around me.
Keep Your Hand held tight to mine.
Let Your Love and Light shine through me
Let my life and soul be Thine.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Raspberry Liqueur

Raspberry Liqueur – Small batch ingredients thanks HoneyLioness!
* Fifth of vodka
* Heavy syrup(see below)

* Raspberries
* Large sealable container – I recommend one with a wide opening. Either a few Quart Mason jars, a gallon jar or even a cleaned Gallo wine jug.
* Put two cups of water and four cups of sugar into a pan. Heat on the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool before adding to vodka.
* Into a large glass container pour in the vodka and syrup.
* If the container’s mouth is not real wide you will need to crush the berries ahead of time. Add at least four cups lightly mashed (8 cups whole fruit) into the mix. You can add more as wanted. The riper, or more over-ripe the berries the better in terms of color and flavor.
* Seal the container and let it sit in a cupboard or pantry for at least three months and up to six months. For the first month or so gently shake the container every few days – once a month after that.
* When you are ready to use or decant into smaller containers for gifts strain the liqueur through a fine mesh sieve (NOT a colander) to remove the spent fruit. The alcohol will have leeched the color out of the berries and they will appear grayish in color.

The final liqueur can be kept for over a year in the cupboard or indefinitely in the freezer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dilly Beans

2 pounds bush green beans (round slim bean not flat)
2 1/2 cups vinegar
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup canning salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or 1 sliced jalapeno with
seeds, not stems
4 cloves garlic peeled
4 heads fresh dill
2 (1-quart) sterilized canning jars

Trim ends of green beans. Set lids of jars to boil in water in a small pan. Combine vinegar and water and salt in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil.

Pack beans lengthwise into hot jars, Add 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or the jalapeno slices, 2 cloves garlic and 2 heads of dill to each quart.

Ladle the boiling vinegar solution over beans. leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Place caps (still hot from the boiling water) on jars. Invert jars until cool.

You can place them in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, if desired. Store in a cool dry place for 4-6 weeks before opening.

After opening keep refrigerated.

Breakfast Ideas

From SES

Grape Nuts Breakfast Bars

3 cups Grape Nuts cereal
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup raisins or craisins or other dried fruit chopped to raisin size
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a nonstick 9-in square baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm. Cool and cut into 12 squares. (or more)
Breakfast Cookies (or anytime) What kid, of any age, can refuse cookies for breakfast

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup raisins

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs and water.
Mix together flours, oats, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. Mix into peanut butter mixture. Stir in raisins. Drop by ice cream scoopfuls 2 1/2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly. ( For little kids make the size smaller)
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 - 20 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hot Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip submitted by MittenKitten:
1 14oz can artichoke herts, drained chopped
1 cup (4oz) 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Mayo or Miracle Whip (I only use Mayo)
1 clove garlic minced (I have used the jarred garlic)
Chopped tomato (optional IMO) for garnish
Sliced Green Onions (also optional IMO) for garnish

Mix all ingredients except tomato and onion.

Spoon into a 9 inch pie plate or quiche dish

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes on until lightly browned. Sprinkle with tomato and onions. Serve with crackers.

IF you need to transport it I have found wrapping things right after they come out of the oven in a towel really keeps the heat in.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chicken Pox/Itch Relief

Thanks Honeylioness

Here are some safe and homemade things you can try for your DD when the itching gets too bad:

1. Oatmeal: A bath of oatmeal is considered a natural remedy for relieving the itch due to chicken pox. This bath is prepared by cooking two cups of oatmeal in two liters of water for fifteen minutes. This mixture is then put into a cloth bag, preferably cotton, and a string is tied tightly around the top. This bag is allowed to float in a tub of warm water, and swished around until the water becomes turbid. Precaution should be taken to ensure that the bag is not torn. The child with chicken pox can splash and play in the water, making sure that water goes over all the scalds, while the pouch of oatmeal can remain in the tub .

2. Baking soda: Baking soda is a popular remedy to control the itching in chicken pox. Some baking soda should be put in a glass of water. The child should be sponged with this water, so that the soda dries on the skin. This will keep the child away from scratching the eruptions.

3. Honey The use of honey as an external application has also proved valuable in chicken pox. The skin should be smeared with honey. It will help in the healing of the disease within three days.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Things to send Soldiers overseas

Thank you Honeylioness

Sending packages overseas - something I know a little about from Hawk's last "rodeo". Now, depending on where your cousin is stationed there are things that seem a bit odd to us but will make their daily lives a bit more pleasant.

If the team/group is in the field as opposed to being in the Green Zone or Kabul I would recommend sending some of the following as well:

Antibacterial hand wash gel - Water is at a premium for most field troops and they will drink it rather than wash
Baby wipes - See above especially as regards personal hygiene.

Immodium AD - Many suffer from gastrointestinal issues from the water, stress and food
Sunscreen or zinc oxide

Playing cards
Crossword puzzle books - added bonus, completed pages double as field toilet paper.
Pencils and a sharpener
Note paper and envelopes to write thank you letters etc.
Packets or small jars of spices like garlic, pepper etc. - Most field units have no chow facilities and are preparing their MRE's over small propane burners. They may be nutritious but they lack any real flavor so spices are welcome in making them more palatable.

Medical Definitions for Rednecks

Submitted by Honeylioness

Barium - What the undertaker does to 'em once the doctors are through with 'em
Benign - What a child be after they be eight
Cauterize - To have gotten noticed by a woman
Cyst - To give someone in need a helpin' hand
Dilate - It sure beats dyin' early
Impotent - Significant and distinguished
Node - To have been acquainted with someone in the past
Pap Smear - To insult or belittle your own father
Pathology - The study of trails
Rectum - Crashed 'em and totaled 'em
Tumor - Not just one more
X-Rayed - For adult audiences only

Saturday, March 28, 2009

CFL Bulb Website

Ses provided along with this info:
I usually buy SKB13EAPDL CF / A-Shape 13 Watt Day Light ($8.05)

I always get bulbs with 5000K or higher--closest to natural full spectrum light. I used to be bothered by the yellowish green color myself. It doesn't cost any extra for a higher Kelvin rated bulb.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Another Coffee Mug Cake Recipe

5 MINUTE COFFEE MUG CHOCOLATE CAKE contributed by Sharing the Simple Life
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world ?
Because now we are only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Wonderful song by Honeylioness

Okay - I am home today for President's Day and once again my mind has moved into some weird territory. Ever since I made the comment to Angel about Helen Reddy, that song has been running through my brain. So in true Honey fashion I have modified it in homage to this group. Enjoy.

We are Women, hear us roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And we know too much to go and overspend
'Cause we've heard it all before
Creditor's knocking on the door
No one's ever gonna hound us so again

Oh yes, we are wise
But it's wisdom born of debt
Yes, we've paid the price
But look at what we get
If we have to, we can save everything
We are strong (strong)
We are now disciplined (disciplined)
We are Saving

You can bend but never break us
'cause it only serves to make us
More determined to give our funds a second look
And we come back even stronger
No, we are novices no longer
'cause we've held on to the funds in our checkbook

Oh yes, we are strong
And we're learning all the time
Things in the past we have done wrong
But now we squeeze those dimes
If we have to, we can save everything
We are strong (strong)
We are now disciplined (disciplined)
We are Saving

We are women watch us grow
From 401(k)s to portfolios
As we spread our lovin' wisdom 'cross the land
But we're sill determined to learn
The ways to invest and save and earn
Until we help our sisters understand

Oh yes, we're in the black
And don't need no stimulus
Yes, we've led the pack
And now they look to us
If we have to, we can save everything
We are strong (strong)
We are now disciplined (disciplined)
We are Saving

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mac & Cheese by My Gal

2/3rds bag of small shell pasta
1 long/large brick of medium cheddar (16 slices 1/4inch thick, 8 slices 1/2-3/4 inch thick)
handful of saltine crackers
1/3C milk

Cook the pasta
In a deep casserole dish (looks like a 9x9 pan but it's really deep - I don't know 6-9inches deep??)
layer as follows:
thin cheese (cover surface of pasta)
2-3 saltines crumbled by hand
thin cheese
2-3 saltines
pasta (should be the last of the pasta)
thick cheese
1-2 saltines crumbled
pat on a few bits of butter (2-4)
pour milk down the side of the casserole
into the oven at 350F for about 40 mins

The cheese in the middle melts down into the pasta, the cheese on top gets bubbly and holds it's shape.

Mmm Mmm good!

Mac & Cheese contributed by Sisters-3

Macaroni and Cheese

Cook your noodles. While the noodles are cooking, depending on how many you cook, make a white sauce:

1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in the milk
1 tablespoon of butter melted in a pan, add the milk/cornstarch or if you prefer 1 tablespoon of flour browned in the butter and either way whisk in the milk, stirring constantly until it starts to bubble. Turn if off and put about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese in to melt.

Drain your noodles let cool just a bit then mix together with slightly cooled cheese sauce. Add an egg or 2 depending on how many noodles in and mix well. Dump into a greased pan, sprinkle some bread crumbs and maybe a bit more cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

That is what I used with about 4-6 oz of noodles. If using an entire bag probably double the sauce.

Mac & Cheese Variation submitted by Honeylioness

Mac & Cheese variation. I saw this on a restaurant show today and may have to try this soon:

Mac and Cheese Crescents

Serving Size: 8 portions

1 package macaroni and cheese
8 ounces Velveeta (or whatever other melting cheese you prefer)
8 ounces ham cubes
1 package crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Prepare your favorite macaroni and cheese, fold in the cubed ham. Extra cheese and allow to cool slightly.

Separate dough into 8 triangles on an ungreased cookie tray

Place two tablespoons of mixture at widest part of triangle and roll up. Place point side down

Bake for 10-14 minutes or until a light golden brown.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cakes contributed by SES

Caramel Sheet Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar (sometimes I use 1 cup granulated +1 cup brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
2 eggs

Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

In saucepan bring butter, oil and water to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and mix. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla extract. Beat well. Pour into a greased and floured 10 x 15 inch pan (jellyroll pan). Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-17 minutes.

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt margarine. Add brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add buttermilk and return to a boil. Remove from heat. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and beat to desired consistency. Spread over warm cake.

Chocolate Buttermilk Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place in large mixing bowl, flour, sugar and salt. Place in saucepan margarine, water, vegetable, shortening and cocoa. Bring to boil and pour over flour mixture. Mix well. Place in another bowl eggs, baking soda, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir well and add to previous mixture. Pour into a greased and floured 10 x 15 inch pan (jellyroll pan). Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-17 minutes.
Or bake in greased and floured 13 x 9-inch pan at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

1/2 cup margarine
3 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts
6 tablespoons buttermilk

Melt margarine and cocoa in a 2-quart pan, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, nuts and milk. Stir well. Ice cake while hot.

There is so much butter and oil I don't always butter and flour the pans.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shrimp Diavolo Recipe:

Shrimp Diavolo Recipe Thanks Sapphire

jar Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce
Can of diced tomates
2 TBSP red pepper
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp sugar
oregano and/or italian seasoning sprinkle to your liking

Saute shrimp in olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano.
Linguine - add olive oil and salt (optional) to boil.
In sauce pan -- Add everything except linguine and let simmer for 40 mins

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where's the Beef

Copied from

Beef basics
Did you know that beef is divided into sections called primal cuts? From these large areas, the meat cutter makes smaller portions suitable for individual or family-sized packaging. Different cuts of beef require unique cooking methods. A chuck, for example, makes an excellent roast but isn't as pleasing when pan-broiled. With these details in mind, we have prepared the following information for you to use as a guide when selecting and preparing Certified Angus Beef ® cuts.

Meat is basically muscle, and the chuck happens to be a heavily exercised area. Luckily, this area contains a great deal of connective tissue, including collagen. Collagen melts during cooking, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cuts from this area benefit from slow, wet cooking methods like stewing, braising or pot-roasting.

Blade Roast—an inexpensive cut which lies next to the ribs; more tender than most chuck; makes an excellent roast. Alternatively, the roast can be cut into a rib-eye steak, with meat above and below the bone excellent for stir-fry dishes
Chuck Steak—a good choice for kabobs if well marinated

Download a detailed, printable PDF retail beef cuts chart.

Tender and flavorful ribs can be cooked any number of ways. Most recipes call for ribs to be roasted, sauteed, pan-fried, broiled, or grilled.

Rib Roast—known as a standing rib roast (bone left in), or without the bone for convenient slicing. Excellent when dry roasted. A seven-bone prime rib roast can be quite a hefty addition to the dinner table. It is great for a crowd, but for a small family a bone roast will do. Many butchers will cut a roast to order for you
Rib Steak—also cut from the rib section, these tender steaks can be purchased bone-in or as boneless rib-eye
Short Loin
This area boasts extremely tender cuts and can be prepared without the aid of moist heat or long cooking times. Cuts from the short loin may be sautéed, pan fried, broiled, pan broiled or grilled.

Porterhouse Steak—a very popular steak cut from the rear end of the short loin; the name originated from the days when it was served in public alehouses that also served a dark beer called porter. The porterhouse consists of both tenderloin and strip steak. The tenderloin is often served separately as filet mignon
T-bone Steak—cut from the middle section of the short loin; similar to the porterhouse steak; has a smaller piece of the tenderloin; usually grilled or pan-fried
Tenderloin—often considered the most tender cut of beef; responds well to sauces, meaning the meat does not overpower the flavor of the sauce. It can be cut as the whole strip, or into individual steaks for filet mignon
"The backbone's connected to the … hipbone"—not a song, but a sirloin. These tender cuts respond well to sautéing, pan-frying, broiling, pan-broiling or grilling.

Sirloin Steaks—these steaks are available in a variety of boneless and bone-in steaks
Sirloin Tip Roast—excellent when dry roasted or marinated
This meat is lean, muscular and very flavorful. Flank is primarily used for flank steaks and rolled flank steaks. It can also be used for kabobs.

Flank Steak—this steak has a great flavor, and should be sliced thin against the grain for maximum chewability. Use to make the classic London broil
Short Plate
This section is best used for stew meat, where its rich, beefy flavor can be appreciated.

The round consists of lean meat well-suited to long, moist cooking methods.

Top Round—this is the most tender part of the round; it can be prepared as pot roast or cut into thick steaks for braised dishes
Rump Roast—a very popular cut for pot roast, but can also be roasted at low temperatures
Traditionally used for corned beef, brisket is best prepared with moist heat. Suitable preparation methods include stewing, braising and pot-roasting.

Foreshank—excellent stew meat
Brisket First Cut—a leaner cut of the brisket, for those who want the flavor but not the fat of a brisket pot roast
Brisket Front Cut—fork tender and succulent, a Certified Angus Beef ® pot roast made with this cut is truly mouthwatering

A wonderful Defination of WHY to partipate in Controlled/No Spend

On our thread I do a Question of the Week. This week my question was "How has this thread changed your habits? What tangible benefits have you seen by being a member? I know we occassionally get someone on here that just doesn't get the concept of no spend is so much more then no spending 10 days to blow everything on day 11."

Honeylioness had a wonderful answer I think really defines WHAT we are about:

"I will admit that during my first two months of lurking, I wondered just how in the WORLD someone could not spend any money at ALL for 25 days? Did they just pay all their bills one day a month, and that same day do the food shopping for the month? Like many new to the concept I saw it as horribly, and restrictively, black or white – an opinion first based merely on the name of the thread.

But once I came to understand that it was not so totalitarian and was more about finding a way that worked for you to track your spending and any “leaks” in the wallet, it has felt more like a tool and less like a punishment. I wish I could say that I have paid off five extra years from the mortgage, or now have an EF of six months take home – but alas that would not be true.

What I do have however is a better awareness of where my “leaks” are, what are my hot buttons that make me want to spend on things I really don’t need or really cannot afford right now. And an awareness of the fact when I AM spending money. I think that awareness is key to learning a new behavior or paradigm. Just like lumberlady, some of us have had to look hard in the mirror and acknowledge that we had a problem. Until people can do that, be it an addiction to alcohol or drugs or credit cards ….. they will never really GET it."

Thanks Honeylioness!

More Websites

More websites for our followers:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Moving Tips

Moving Tips from Honeylioness

1) Moving is a great time to purge. Find a closet or a corner of a room (the Dining Room is usually a good choice) and put a big box there with a piece of paper taped to the wall over it reading: DONATIONS. All family members, okay – I will write a note excusing the 1 year old – has the power / authority / whatever to put their unused, no longer wanted items into this space.
One thing to consider about an object you are unsure of keeping before you pack it is this: Do I need it / use it / love it? Is it worth it to me to spend $10-$40 to move it? (That is a ball park based on truck rental/mileage/gas/time. For my family, if the answer was “No” the item was given away)

2) Let’s say your largest moving date is March 7th. Call Goodwill / Salvation Army / Big Brothers whoever it is in your area to come to your home on March 5th or 6th to collect all the stuff in the DONATION corner. If you have an appointment and a plan it makes it less overwhelming to deal with.

3) PAPERWORK: This is something I often see people forget to handle until the day before. Make a list now on one sheet of paper the names, phone numbers and account numbers of all the utilities you will need to disconnect – and another page with the names and phone numbers of all those you will need to order at the new place. Having it written down will ensure you don’t forget the sewer utility or newspaper.

Go to the Post Office and fill out a Change of Address card for them to keep on file. This way even if you forgot to let a specific magazine know – it will get forwarded to you. It never is TOO early to do this.

Contact any and all creditors, banks, churches, publications, alumni societies and schools in writing about your change of address and keep a list of who you contacted and when. You can do some of this online or send a form letter “To Whom It May Concern” then leave a blank spot to reference your account number etc. Remember it may take some places up to three months before you get mail directly to the new address instead of with a forwarding sticker.
Contact your Auto and Homeowners insurance companies. Let them know you are moving and when. A lot of companies, if you let them know, will make a note or rider on the account so that if something happened in transit you would be covered – including driving the rental. Be sure to ask the agent about this. This should also eliminate the need for any over priced insurance the rental truck agency is going to try to sell you when you pick up the truck.

IF you need to change banks DO NOT close the old account before the new one is up and running. Especially if there are direct deposits or withdrawals connected to the account. Doing so, in the case of a payroll check, will cause a big hassle with the issuer and getting it made right can take weeks. Weeks you will be without those funds. Contact any company or employer who makes these automatic transactions and give them the new account info. Only once you see that the activity is running smoothly should you close the old accounts.

4) SUPPLIES: Check Craigslist, Freecycle and grocery stores for people looking to give away sturdy boxes, Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap. For dishes, glassware, porcelains and good china I highly endorse spending the $30 or so to purchase a package of blank newsprint from U-Haul or a local office of a moving company. It may seem like an indulgence to some but will save you HOURS of time having to re-wash everything you wrapped in newspapers as the ink will rub off.
And remember, not everything needs a box. Stuffed animals can be tossed into a large black hefty bag for the short journey. As can shoes, some toys and coats.

5) ORGANIZE: It gets really easy when you are tired or just wanting to finish filling a box so you can close it to just toss what ever is at hand into the box you are working on. But it is a nightmare at the other end because you will not remember that you put that bottle of Windex in with the stuff from the linen closet in the bathroom. Group items in the way that makes the most sense for you – remembering that you will not have the exact same storage set ups often in a new home as in the current. Example: Pack all cleaning items together instead of the room they are currently being used in.

6) HELPERS: Older children, in my view anyway, perfectly capable of helping the “Family” move. Get the younger one involved as well. It actually makes the transition easier if they feel some ownership of the process. The younger ones can help put canned and dry food into boxes (nothing they can break), put items from their rooms into boxes, help the day of by carrying light objects, couch cushions etc. The teenager can be taught how to help wrap kitchen dishes, go around and remove nails from wall where things used to hang, etc.

Speaking of which, as items are taken off the wall there are two strategies for dealing with the hooks, hangers or nails. One is to have an empty jar to dump all hardware into, the other is to have a roll of masking tape on your wrist. Remove the picture from the wall, pull out the nail from the wall, tape the nail to the back of the picture before it is wrapped and stacked for moving. Do what makes sense to you.

7) PACKING: This is a personal pet peeve which you can take, or not, as it fits for you. However I have NEVER packed a box of towels!!! Towels, extra blankets, extra pillows, out of season coats or throw pillows I consider as FREE packing material. A bath towel crumpled in the bottom of a box, especially for a short move, is an acceptable cushioning for dishes. A blanket wrapped around the bases of at least two lamps keeps them chip free, lining a large box’s sides with a few throw pillows makes a nice safe “well” to place wrapped stemware into, face clothes make great filler for gaps in boxes of china or place settings.

I place my good china in the folds of my “nice” linens to keep them from scratching each other before placing them in a box. Or layer the plates between cloth napkins then wrap them in clean newsprint four at a time. TIP: Plates should be packed so they are “standing” on their edges. Believe it or not, this position is less likely to cause breakage then if they are stacked flat in a box where the shock waves transfer too rapidly to the plate above if dropped.

For a short moves I would not bother emptying dresser/bureau drawers. I would instead tuck small knick-knack items amongst the socks, t-shirts and undies. The day of the move you take out the drawers, carry the case to the moving truck, then carry the drawers and put them back in place. Reverse process at the other end. If the entire unit is not that large or heavy, sometimes two strong men will not even need to empty the drawers.

8) LABEL: Label, Label Label !!!!!!! ALL boxes should be clearly labeled on at least the two opposite sides AND the top. And the labels must be consistent: DR (Dining Room not Danny’s room), ABC (child #1 initials), Bath, LR etc. For kids it is often better to get several large sheets of colored sticker dots. The 16 year old gets yellow, the four year old blue etc… Everything from that child’s room gets these stickers including furniture. You can place them on the back of the dresser, behind the headboard, on the bed frame. If it is a separate item to carry it gets that colored sticker.

For boxes from the kitchen and dining room I would suggest one of two ways of “inventory” so you can find what you need on the arriving end. Either write clearly on the box what is inside: dry goods, canned food, glasses and cups, pans, bake ware etc. Or use a numbering system like Kit-1, Kit-2 and keep a separate list on a clipboard saying what is in each box. The first is fine for a short move with friends, but I would never do it with a professional long haul move as it temps too many people to make sure the box does not make it to it’s destination.

9) FIRST DAY BOX: This is an insider’s tip that has saved us more than once. You pack 1-2 boxes with items you need for that “First Day”: sheets for every bed, two rolls of T.P., a bar of soap, roll of paper towels, paper cups, small saucepan, plastic utensils, instant coffee/tea, baggie of sugar, baggie of creamer, baggies of any pet food – think of anything you will NEED the first 12 hours and pack it into these boxes. Don’t forget things like prescriptions, aspirin, screwdriver and hammer. These boxes are labeled in big letters LAST / FIRST and placed in the bathtub of the old home. They are the last items onto the truck and the first off where they go back into the bathtub. In the chaos of a move it is a wonderful feeling to realize that Yes, you do know where there is some toilet paper!
The tub being a very safe place to put things as most people would never think to look there so they do not “wander” into a truck. I also put the cat carriers into the tub and lock the cats a bathroom or large storage closet for the duration of the move with a big sign saying to Keep Out – Wild Animals Inside.

10) PRE-ARRANGE: Once you have a new home take a few minutes to sketch out each room on a separate piece of notebook paper. It does not have to be fancy (for instance I do to-scale drawings – but that is just too an@l retentive for most people!! ). For example – you might sketch your bedroom with quick notes as to door, window etc. The purpose is ….. to draw onto this sheet where the main pieces of furniture goes (bed, dresser, desk, couch etc). This way when your husband’s buddy from work, who has never seen your new home, is carrying your side chair and can’t find you he will merely need to look at this rough sketch, which you will have taped to the room door the day of the move, and know approximately where to set the chair down. So that the two guys behind him with the bed don’t have to shuffle a pile of boxes out of the way, or worse yet, wind up just making a huge unruly jumbled pile of bed rails, boxes and furniture. Along with the door sketches I also tape a sheet of paper to the wall that says BOXES in big bold letters. So that my helpers don’t pile up boxes that have to be moved out of the way before the Fridge can be hooked up.

For each room you have used the colored dot system for, be sure to add a few of the same dots to each room sketch. Then take a few moments in the morning to let your helpers know what the dots mean. They will actually thank you for this, as taking things off the truck(s) and into the house will move more smoothly than you can imagine. And cousin Bill will take a moment to say to himself “Hmmm… I could just take three random boxes, OR three green dot boxes this trip and not be wandering around the house for five minutes.”

11) MOVING DAY: I think there are two critical things to remember here. One – BREATHE. It is just a move and not the end of civilization as we know it. And Two – A well-fed helper is a happy and productive helper.

Never underestimate the good will and amount of work you will get from an investment in a box of coffee (aka Dunkin’ Donuts), some bagels and fruit for the morning crew. I keep a cooler with drinks, water, soda on the kitchen counter of whichever house we are working in for anyone to help themselves along with a supply of bananas, grapes and tangerines. Ask a friend or relative to make a big pot of chili or soup or anything one-dish like. A loaf of fresh bread from a nearby store and a package of cookies and you gather everyone together for either a late lunch or early dinner when the u-haul is emptied out. Of course, you will need disposable everything just this once as you will be too tired to do dishes.

BEDS: remember that First Day box you packed? Now is where you will see why I think it so important. Once each bedroom has it’s bed frame and mattress moved, get them put together and set up. Then get the sheets from the Box in the tub and make up the bed. You will thank me for this. Consider trying to find the energy to do this at 9:00 pm when you are so tired you can barely remember your own name? This way you and the kids can just collapse into bed when you want.

CLOTHES: For a short move like this I second the other ladies’ suggestion. If you have access to a minivan or station wagon you can get a lot of clothes laid down in the back of one. Just don’t try to carry too many at once as they are always heavier than they look.

CHILDREN: If you are worried that it will be too difficult having the two or three youngest underfoot is there a grandparent/godparent/ relative that could make their contribution to the move by watching them for the day?

Hard as it is to believe I am sure there are things I have forgotten to mention …. I hope this little novel has not put you into a panic, and that you did not fall asleep reading it by this point.

Guess once I got started I just kept thinking of things to add!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book List

Here is a list of the books we have discussed being useful to our members.

Basic Personal Finance
These books offer a wide view, discussing many aspects of money. They offer advice about saving, investing, and getting out of debt. They don’t go into much detail about any one subject, but they provide motivation to get started. And that’s what’s most important.

The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko
Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robin
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason


Saving money is a key skill to develop if you hope to get rich. (Read The Millionaire Next Door if you don’t believe me.) Here are four books that can help you learn to cut corners, to save money in ways that may not have occurred to you.

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car by Chris Balish
Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy
The Joy of Simple Living by Jeff Davidson
Wealth on Minimal Wage by James Steamer
Another highly-regarded book on frugality is
The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn.

This set of books deals specifically with investing. The four books I keep at hand are user-friendly. They’re not technical, but offer a good introduction to the topic.

The Automatic Millioinaire by David Bach
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias (Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful)
The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Larimore, Lindauer, and LeBoeuf
Yes, You Can…Achieve Financial Independence by James Stowers Two other classics on investing are
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel.