Saturday, September 4, 2010

What the What?!

I have decided that the term, "What the What?!" fits my life perfectly! I don't want to say WTF or even WTH around the kids. So, we have all started saying, "What the What?!", and I have even been posting it on Facebook at WTW! It will catch on! I say it describes my life, because, What the What am I doing?! I really think and know I can do it all! I can be the "leader" (I don't really like that term) of the new homeschool group, I can be mom to 2 boys, I can be teacher, I can be wife, I can be a chef, I can be a soccer mom, I can do it all!!!!!!! WTW?!

So much has been going on around here! We started homeschooling full force this week! I am the coordinator of a totally, brand new Secular homeschool group. I was totally blown away by the turn out! We had over 50 kids!!!!! Thank goodness we have great coordinators! And, I can't wait to get to know everyone better! We have such a great group of children and parents!

My mind is so full of ideas! I don't even know where to begin. I really want my blog to grow. I want to create a website for our homeschool group. I want to make sure we have a great year here at our "Academy"!

I am always experimenting with recipes/ideas with food. I will keep sharing them here. I will add what I find regarding homeschooling and resources.

So, here we go!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crowder Pea Chilli

I bought some fresh crowder peas from our local farmers' market on Saturday. I needed to do something with them. So, I created something. It is really good. Even the kids loved it.

1 lb ground beef (I used Ground Chuck from EarthFare)
1 can diced tomatoes
3 slices of dried tomatoes (chopped)that I bought at the farmers' market as well. You could use sun-dried tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 pint of crowder peas (of course, you could use frozen)
1.5 cups frozen corn
3-4 cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped)
Chili powder to taste (I used probably around 4 Tbsp)
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
1 Tbsp Zattarans Cajun Seasoning (optional)

Brown ground beef with chopped garlic until done.
If using fresh crowder peas, cook ahead of time for about 30 minutes.
Add chili powder and cajun spices.
Add the chopped dried tomatoes and oregano.
Add the can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water.
Add frozen corn
Mix well.
Cook on low (low boil) for about 30 minutes.
Serve hot with Mexican cheese blend sprinkled on top.

Super Mom!

What does it take to be a super mom?! I wish I knew the answer. This Super Mom isn't feeling so super lately. So, what am I going to do to change that? First, I'm putting it out to the Blog world that I am going to make some changes.

Here is my list:

  • Track calories using SparkPeople
  • Do at least 15 minutes of exercise
  • Stop snacking all day long!
  • Drink 8 8oz glasses of water

I feel like I eat all day long! This isn't good. I have gained 15 pounds over the past few months. And, I feel it! I feel bloated, sluggish, tired. My clothes don't fit. I'm not a vain person. I just want to feel good!

So, a Super Mom is there for her family, for herself, for her friends...She makes the best decisions she can. So, here is to feeling Super again! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Apple Pie Sunday!

We were at EarthFare (Natural Grocery store) yesterday. They had a FUN back to school party. Anyway, I was going to buy a pie. My 8yo said, why are we buying one when we can make one? Good question. I answered, because I don't feel like making one. His response, "but we know how to make a really good apple pie, and I'll help you". So, I have the ingredients to make apple pie...Yeah us! :) I really don't mind. I just love how he says, "Homemade is Best Made!", and he truly believes that. He says my french fries are better than McDonalds! That makes me feel so good! He also says things like, "why are we going out for icecream when we have icecream at home?" We are teaching him well! And, I'm proud of that!

Here is the apple pie we are making today:
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust
deep dish pie
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 6 cups thinly sliced apples

1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped
topping, thawed

1. Preheat oven and cookie sheet to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).
2. Stir together the sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Toss with the apples in a mixing bowl.
3. Pour the mixture into the first unbaked pie shell Place the second pie shell over this and flute the edges. Cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape then place on preheated cookie sheet.
4. Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 1 hour before slicing. Top with whipped topping, if desired.

This recipe was borrowed from, but I did edit it a bit. :)

Getting ready for school

We are getting geared up to start our second year of homeschooling. We are very excited about the new co-op we have joined. I hope it becomes a huge success. Regarding our year, I (the teacher) have to get everything organized! And, I have to know encorporate teaching a 2 year old (almost 3) as well as an 8 year old. I can do it, right?! I need encouragement...So, encourage away! More details to come! I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I can do it....I can do it...I can do it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quiet time is a blessing!

Today is the first day in a long, long time I have felt like I have had time just to myself. Our oldest is at inventor's camp and the youngest is taking a nap! So far I have taken a 30 minute nap, a shower, and enjoyed some quiet time. WAIT!!!!! As I type this, quiet time is over!!!! Little one just woke up and is crying that he peed (means he leaked out of his pull-up) on my side of the bed no less! More to come...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beans and Franks Casserole

To give credit where credit is due, I got the idea for this recipe from Rachael Ray's Franks and Beans Casserole. Here is the link:

I am lazy, and this made way too much. So, here is what I did:

In a saucepan, I sauteed 1/2 an onion in about 1 TBS of EVOO (Yeah...I know...Just goofing around!) I added 5 hotdogs cut up into small slices. I actually had some left over from yesterday's lunch.

After the onions and hotdogs were cooked, I added a small can of baked beans (mine happened to be Full Circle Baked Beans, Maple and Onion Flavor). I added to that about 2Tbs steak sauce (think A1) and about 1/4 cup of honey barbeque sauce.

I then poured the mixture into a pie plate.

The topping is a box of Jiffy corn bread mix prepared according to the box, mix in chili powder to taste and cheddar cheese.

Bake according to the package. It took it about 30 minute to cook, but I think it was because of the cheese.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Leftover Gourmet

Well....not exactly gourmet! But, I hate to waste leftovers. I have been known to make toast for the kids using left over hotdog buns or sandwiches for a picnic with leftover hamburger buns. Here is my recipe for using left over pasta. The kids love it, and I have to say, it is pretty darn good!

I had about 10 ounces of left over elbow macaroni from making hamburger mac the other night. I made a bit too much.

So, I used it today to make mac and cheese for the kids:

Left over cooked pasta (depending on how much will depend on how much of the following you will need).
For about 10 ounces of pasta:
4 slices of american cheese
2 Tbs butter or margarine
1/4 cup of milk
add all ingredients in a bowl, heat in microwave in 30 - 45 second intervals stirring in between until the consistency you want is reached....add more or less cheese or milk to get it how you like it!
YUM!!!! Going to eat some now!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Most Awesome Fettucine Alfredo EVER!

My friend of many, many years made this for us one night at dinner. It was so good! There was a secret ingredient in there....nutmeg! And, it is so easy to make!

Here we go:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in nutmeg and serve. Serve over fettucine or angel hair pasta.
I go ahead and just toss the noodles with the sauce. Of course, you could add some grilled chicken, brocolli, mushrooms, etc. Some folks sprinkle some parsley on top as well. I don't do that. My kids won't eat it if there are specks of green on the top!

Friday, April 23, 2010


I am on a quest today to shop and Aldi and not buy things with HFCS. I'm going to list the products that I find here. I am lucky sometimes. I LOVE going to Aldi with the kids. It is small enough to let them walk and help and none of us gets too overwhelmed. I also love that their prices are low enough that I don't have to deal with coupons. I can spend $100 and have a TON of food! I'll let you know how today's quest goes!

So, I'm back. I bought 46 items and spent $94.55. That is right around $2.05 an item. Not too shabby. The best buy was the Envirokidz Cereal at $2.49. It is usually around $4.50. The ingredients: Organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, sea salt. And, they are GREAT!!!!!
The salsa has no HFCS as well as the Vanilla wafer cookies and Baked Beans.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What a day with a 2 year old!

Today has been a VERY trying day! It started out a very good day with a very cute little 2 year old: went South from there! This adorable little 2 year old poured his orange juice all over his breakfast. Notice I said poured, not spilled! So, he got no more breakfast. Then, I guess he was helping. He threw a glass into the sink causing it to break. But, hey, he was helping! Later that day, I was downstairs for like 5 minutes....really...5 minutes. I noticed that it was very, very quiet upstairs. I asked what he was doing. I heard a very small, "nothing". I went upstairs to find purple artwork in a variety of locations...the carpet, the doors, the tile, the toilet, the shower, the bathtub, the walls! So, this picture above is of the 2 year old "Bad Boy" in our house! Today has been a very interesting day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gonna start gardening!

We tried this last year, and we did get zuchinni, one ear of corn, and tomatoes. We planted watermelon, carrots, and I don't remember what else. Needless to say, we over planted. My hubby and boys made a small garden in the back yard. It is a perfect size for us. So, this year, we aren't going to over plant. And, I think I'm going to grow the tomatoes in containers instead of in the ground. I am new to this, but I'm going to give it another try. I pulled out the weeds and cleaned out the garden last weekend. It is supposed to rain this weekend, but maybe we can get some things going. I know most of my "farmer" friends have already started seedlings in the house. Maybe we will do that this weekend. So, if all goes well, we will have some fresh veggies of our own!
Here is a great site that I found. This guy is very inspirational to us without a lot of space for gardening:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Organized Clutter

A friend of mine said she was getting organized and her husband referred to it as "organized clutter". I love it! I can't seem to get rid of any of our clutter. I try and try. Below is an example. I cleaned off one of our bookcases...So many more to go. I think if we didn't have the shelves, we wouldn't have so much stuff. But, I think I would find somewhere to stack stuff! So, after cleaning off this shelf, I have a bag of stuffed animals and a box of books to donate. I took the before picture after cleaning off the bottom two shelves. I am going to try to clean out one area a day. This is my one for today! I made this resolution about a month ago. I cleaned out the kitchen counters....Yes, I had to clean them out. And, we tackled the living room closet. I took 2 bags of shoes to donate!



Does it even look any better?!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Writing a Comic Book

I stumbled upon something wonderful yesterday while doing lessons with the 7 year old. He started reading Chance Fortune and the Outlaws by Shane Berryhill ( It is about a kid who wants to be a super hero. So far, he likes it. I had the idea of him writing his own comic book. It was a great exercise! He used his imagination, came up with qualities that make a good super hero, started drawing, came up with a back story for the character. So, stay tuned for the Adventures of Sonic Zoom! Our son reads on a 6th grade level. Books for his age range are just too easy for him. He really likes The Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. This book is a bit more advanced than Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We met Shane Berryhill at ConNooga. He was so nice and even autographed the book!

Chicken and Rice Bake

I can't wait to try this:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What's for lunch?

I have been surprised when I make this how many folks have never thought to use tortillas as a pizza crust. They work very well.

Tortilla Pizza
Tortillas for each pizza
Spaghetti or pizza sauce
Toppings (turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers...whatever you like)
Cheese (i like Italian blend)

I can fit 3 - 4 tortillas on my pizza pan. You can make individual ones in the toaster oven as well.

spread sauce on the tortilla. The beauty of this is that each person can have as little or as much as they want.
Add toppings
Add cheese
bake at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes. The tortilla will crisp up very nicely and the cheese will get brown and bubbly. is your preferance.

EVERYONE loves these. I even make some philly cheesesteak ones once. They were so yummy! Get creative. Let me know what you come up with!
You can see more GREAT recipes and ideas at:

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brown Rice and Ground Beef Casserole

I try not to waste anything. When I brown ground beef for spaghetti, tacos, etc, I put about 2 cups in a container to freeze. So, when I need a quick dinner, I just pull out the cooked ground beef from the freezer and add it to pasta sauce or create a casserole. Last night, we made one that was really good. Everyone except our 7 year old liked it. Oh well. Here is what I did:

In a casserole dish, I mixed together:
1 cup of brown rice (uncooked)
1 can of mushrooms (drained)
1 can of mixed vegetables (drained)
2 cups of boiling water
chili powder to taste...we like a lot
1 Tbs minced onions (dried...but you could use fresh)
Leftover ground beef from the freezer (thawed in microwave)
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

Cover and cook at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. I tasted it after one hour, and the rice was still not done.

If the rice is done, uncover, sprinkle cheddar cheese on the top, cook an additional 10 - 15 minutes to melt the cheese.

So YUMMY and so EASY! I'm all about yummy and easy! Enjoy....

If you try this, let me know what you thought and anything you did differently

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Our First Comic/Sci-Fi Convention

We are a total family of nerds and geeks. But, we are totally proud of that! Hubby likes zombies, comics, horror movies; I like dragons, fairies, fantasy; 7year old like video games, super heros, comics...2 year old likes EVERYTHING. So, we went to a convention in Chattanooga. It was AWESOME. I can't explain how much fun we had.
The boys won the kids' costume contest dressed at Mario and Luigi from Super Mario Brothers. They were so cute!!!!! I know some of the "conventions" aren't as family oriented as some, but I have to say, ConNooga was so much fun. I'm having withdrawals. We went every day over the weekend.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

How to Make a Motorcycle out of Old Watches (with video) - wikiHow

How to Make a Motorcycle out of Old Watches (with video) - wikiHow

Publix Gift Card Giveaway

I found this site via a Facebook friend. I'm all about saving money, and the more resources the better. But, they are giving away a $25 gift card to Publix, and you don't have to do much to enter.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

We tried to make some yeast-free cinnamon rolls this morning. What we ended up with were YUMMY cinnamon roll cookies. Here is the recipe:
2 cups flour (I used King Arthur, unbleached wheat white flour)
2 Tbsp sugar (I used organic crystals)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 Tbsp butter (divided into 2 parts)
3/4 cup milk
1 cup brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon (I used a little more)

1. Combine 4 Tbs softened butter, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to spread.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
3. Add in the other 4 Tbsp of softened butter (You might need to use your hands to mix this in)
4. Stir in milk
5. Knead slightly to combine all ingredients into a ball
6. Roll the ball out into a rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick
7. Spread the filling onto the pastry mix.
8. Roll up the rectangle and slice with a sharp knife into small slices (about 1/2 an inch thick)
9. Place the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet (I used a non-stick cookie sheet without greasing it first, and they stuck).
10. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes.
11. Let cool about 15 minutes before removing from pan
12. Let cool completely on wire rack then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

They are pretty, look like cinnamon rolls, and YUMMY!

Yield 15 - 18 cookies depending on how you slice them.

Things I'm thinking about today:

Things I'm thinking about today: What to do with the kids when I don't feel well, making a website just about recipes from left-overs, and bartering. I have already asked a local farm about trading work for food. I think this is a great idea! I have found several websites for bartering, and I hope to take advantage of some of them. Hubby and I are working on getting a web design business up and running again. What a better way than barter to get our local portfolio built back up? I'm excited about all of the possibilities. Now, to make them happen! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicken Carbonara

I needed to make dinner tonight...what to make...what do I have to work with? I had one large chicken breast, 6 strips of turkey bacon, onions, mozarella cheese, cream of chicken soup, garlic, butter, and a can of peas. There is a little more than that in the house, but not much. So, I created chicken carbonara. And, it is GOOD!!!!! The kids didn't like it too much....They did like the peas, but they always like the peas. :)

Here is what I did:
Cooked the chicken breast
browned the bacon, onion and garlic in a little butter
Added a can of cream of chicken soup and about 3/4 can of evaporated milk to the mixture.
Mixed in about 1 1/2 cup of mozarella cheese
Cut the chicken into small bite size pieces.
Mixed in the chicken
Added some black pepper
Warmed up a can of peas and added some carrots for the kids.

So easy and so yummy! Not exactly health food. You could make it pretty healthy cream of chicken soup, local chicken, organic peas, low-fat mozarella, etc.

I'll post pictures soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Play Food

What do boys do with plastic play food? They pretend that all of the action figures and stuffed animals in the house are eating it and pooping it out! Or, that the potato is a giant booger! is true. Just a warning if you are thinking about buying your sons play food! :) It was sooooo funny, though!

Monday, January 18, 2010

More days of semi-healthy living

O.K. I have a confession. I bribed my kids with a visit to the Little Debbie store after they went shoe shopping!!!! I know...But, it was right next door!!!! So, we get snack cakes. We haven't had anything like that in quite a while. We have been doing really well cutting out the hydrogenated oils and HFCS from our diet! Which, by the way, I am very proud of. Anyway, we ate the cakes. It felt like I had eaten a spoonful of Crisco! Even my 7 year old noticed it. Of course, the 2 year old was LOVING it! I did only let them pick out one cake and not buy a whole box. The cashier was so nice to give us a ton of free cakes (which have now gone into the trash). I share this to let you know that even a 7 year old can like eating things that are good for him or her!

I even made healthy, homemade blueberry muffins. They are sooooo good!!!!! They even look like something you would buy at Starbucks or something! :) Here is the recipe from the Earth Fare website. If you live near Earth Fare, sign up for their newsletter....You can get some free stuff!
I did alter the recipe a bit. I didn't have the yogurt, so I added extra milk. And, I used whole wheat flour. Oh, and as always, I added more cinnamon....Enjoy....

'Berry Special' Muffins
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups - all purpose flour
1 tablespoon - baking powder
1/4 teaspoon - salt
1/4 teaspoon - baking soda
1/2 cup - vanilla or lemon yogurt
1/4 cup - milk
1/3 cup - firmly packed Florida Crystals® Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 cup - vegetable oil 1 - egg 1 cup - fresh or frozen, thawed berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, cranberries or raspberries)
Crumb Topping:
1/4 cup - all purpose flour
2 tablespoons - firmly packed Florida Crystals® Organic Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon - cinnamon
2 tablespoons - butter or margarine, softened
Preparation:Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with paper baking cups; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; set aside. In large mixing bowl combine vanilla yogurt, milk, brown sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. Add the egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened. Stir in berries. Prepare the crumb topping: Stir together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, add butter and blend until crumbly. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.Courtesy of