Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Pizza Dough

I have been using this recipe for 2 years for all of our homemade pizza! It is a tried and true recipe! You can take my word for it as we are a pizza eating family! This dough recipe is also great for bread, cinnamon rolls, hoagie buns, or dinner rolls. If you are looking for an easy recipe that has limitless uses, then you have found it! Give it a try!

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

We had an early Thanksgiving with some close friends of ours on Saturday, so I have already prepared a list of thanksgiving dishes. If you will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner this week, then you know all about the time and preparation that goes into getting ready. I will share some recipes on basic Thanksgiving dishes. These can all be made the day before and put in the oven when ready to bake.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

If you are looking for a yummy candy treat that is super healthy, low sugar, chocolaty, but caffeine free, then this recipe is for you!
This recipe is packed full of healthy goodness!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Toasted Seed Crackers

I love healthy snacks, I just don't like the price tag attached to them! I am always on the look out for recipes for simple, homemade, healthy snacks!
I found a recipe for snack crackers a few months ago and they were good but of course I had to change it up a bit!  And the nice thing about this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can make these to suit your family's liking!

Simple Hot Cocoa

The past couple mornings have not been so exciting around here. It is just bitter cold out there! The littles were out yesterday hauling in wood, so while they were out freezing, I whipped them up a batch of hot cocoa.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Snowy Morning at Our House

We awoke to such beauty this morning! It was the perfect snowy morning! My kids get pretty excited when the first real snow falls! Everyone was anxious to get outside and do their chores! The boys bundled up and headed out with snow shovels in hand and the girls gathered animal feed and headed out as well! I'll probably have a hard time getting them back in for school!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Snow In The Barnyard

Here's a pic of our feathered foals on the morning of our first snow in western Pennsylvania! Unfortunately this is the only pic I got because the battery on my camera died right after taking this picture! We have already had a few problems with the chickens adjusting to the cold temps. The oldest little discovered that one of our gals had a bleeding comb the other morning :(. Some of the chickens have chosen to sleep in the trees outside the coope over the summer, so now that the cold is here we are going to have to train them otherwise...(sigh...).... You will never hear me say that chickens are the smartest animals around! We have had one of our leghorns squeeze into the fence with our 2 German Shepherds, get caught by the female and shaken around a bit until we got alerted by the guineas ( gotta luv the guineas!), only to run off with a few less feathers and do it again the next week!! I think the count is now up to 4 times of this happening to the same chicken!! And she still hasn't learned her lesson!! They certainly are fun barnyard animals to have around though. And they come with a few benefits. Fresh eggs!! If you have never had a fresh, free range chicken egg, you are missing out! The taste and color are completely different of the eggs you buy in the store. Chickens are also great for bug control. This is our first year for having roosters ( we have 3 of them! ), anyway, our roosters have caught at least 3 mice!! I have a strong disliking for mice so this is bonus points for the roosters!! Overall, chickens may not be the smartest, but they are fun and provide healthy eggs each morning!

Hope you are enjoying the snow!
Keep warm!

How To Make a Simple, Fun Countdown to Christmas

In years past I've always wanted to do a Countdown to Christmas with my kids. Just something fun and simple (and easy on the wallet helps too!). Well, by the time I would get around to putting one together, I didn't have enough time to put one together, or I had already gotten so busy with the rest of the holiday preparations, I forgot all about. So I got an early start this year! I have put together a month full of fun activities for the littles. Its easy to get caught up in the business of the season, so by setting aside special activities to do each day, makes the season more special. I also wanted to be sure to post this early enough for you all to have enough time to put one together.

 Now when putting your countdown together, make sure to have your calendar handy so you don't plan something in the countdown when you have plans otherwise. For example, on Sundays we go to church so therefore I need to make sure I don't plan to bake cookies that day for the countdown.  So I will just put a treat in the bag for everyone. This is so simple and easy to fit into your schedule.

Here's what I did:

I bought an assortment of craft supplies and a bunch of fun simple activities and each item or items will go into a paper bag labeled with a number starting with 25 and counting down. On December 1st the littles will open the bag to reveal the 'special' activity for the day!

Here's some of the stuff I gathered up:

I bought these on sale for 50 cents each!! The lids go on mason jars and the straws are reusable and large enough to drink a smoothie with, so the day these get opened, the littles and I will be having smoothies!

This is just some activity books and fun pens you can find in the Christmas section at Walmart. I will put these in a bag for a day perhaps when I have a shopping trip and these can make great peace keepers while in the store!!
 What kid doesn't like bubbles?! Thought these would be fun for a cold snowy day outside when everyone is getting cabin fever! I will use the erasers in a bag for a Sunday.
 This is a whole weeks worth of goodies! On a Monday the littles will receive a note card and a craft supply saying to save up craft supplies each day for a super crafty party at the end of the week! We will then decorate the Styrofoam ornaments.
 This is easy and self explanatory!!

 The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with your kids and this countdown!
 Each year we put up a ceramic Christmas village, these trees are a new addition for this year, so when we open this bag with them in it, it will be the day we put it p the village.
 These are the bags I will be using.
 My kids love rocks!! In fact, in their toy room they have a container of rocks to play with!
Get creative and have some fun with this Christmas Countdown!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Crispy Chic Peas (Garbanzo Beans)

I have seen a lot of recipes for roasted chic peas, so I figured I had to give these a try! Boy am I glad I did!!! These little things are delicious!!! They were pretty easy to make, the hardest part was waiting till they were done!

Here's what I did:

Chic peas, garlic (of course!), ranch dressing mix, salt and oil.

Heat about 1-2 tbsp oil in skillet for a few minutes.

Put in about 1/2 can of chic peas. Stir around to coat in oil.

Add seasonings. 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp ranch dressing mix. Stir.

Continue cooking till chic peas are golden brown and crispy. About 20 minutes.

Look at all that crispy yumminess ( is that a word?!?). ;)

These are great just as a snack, or used on top of a salad!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Today I had a kitchen filled with 10 kids! Yes, 10!!! My 5 littles had their 5 friends over for apple pie baking! It was a lot of fun and a quick way to get a lot of apples peeled and chopped! I took time yesterday and did some prep work and made all the pie crust. That made things a lot easier! Here's a few pics I got when they got started,

You can see all their little hands busy peeling apples!!

but then I forgot to get pics of my island covered in apple peels :/. But anyway, everyone had a great time regardless of my lacking in the photo department!

Alright, use your favorite crust recipe and get the crust put in your pan. Then you'll need about 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick slices. Mix in 1/2 cup flour, 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 cup sugar in with apples. Stir till all apples are coated. Put apples in prepared crust. Now you can top it with another crust, or put on a crumb topping. Here's the recipe for the crumb topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 stick butter

Cut butter into flour with pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Mix in rolled oats and brown sugar. 
Mix with pastry cutter. 
Sprinkle over apples. 

This recipe makes enough topping to cover 2 pies.
If your are not making 2 pies, you can freeze remaining topping for another time.

Bake at 375* for 45-50 minutes.

**Here's a yummy twist: I drizzled caramel ice cream topping over the crumb topping after pie came out of oven. Mmmmmm! Can't wait to try it! 


Healthy Choices- Quinoa

The next healthy choice I am going to talk about is quinoa. 

 I like quinoa because it is so versatile. It can be cooked the same as you would cook rice and topped with some butter and salt and served as a side. Or it can be mixed in as a filler to meatballs. I cook it first and then mix it into my meatball mixture. It is a great way to get the health benefit of quinoa and it is a great filler to stretch your ground beef.
 Here's a few highlights of quinoa:
-great source of protein
- lots of minerals
-gluten free

If you are interested in learning more about quinoa, check out this website:

Remember, little steps towards better health goes a long way!
So start today, one step at a time!


Friday, November 7, 2014

Sneak Peek

OK, I am ssssoooooo excited right now! My fingers can't type fast enough!!! You are probably wondering why, well let me tell ya!  ITS HOLIDAY TIME!!!!!!! I LOVE the holidays! You have an excuse to be in the kitchen cooking and baking all day, besides just cooking for your family of 8! You get to have special get togethers with friends and family! You can wear cozy clothes and if someone stops by and your in your slippers and hoodie, its OK cause its the fashion of the season! And you get to bake all day in the kitchen! OK I think I mentioned that one ;).

Anyway, I wanna give you all something to be excited about too!! So I am going to give you all a sneak peek at what I have planned for November and December.

Here's just a few things to look forward to:

  • Pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin
  • Thanksgiving decorations and crafts
  • What to do with leftovers?
  • Sweet potatoes casserole
  • Holiday drinks, wassil, egg nog and 'the best hot cocoa ever' ( named by some of my littles friends!)
  • Homemade gift ideas. I'm excited about this one. We have a great one planned for grandma this year ;). 
  • Countdown to Christmas. I will give recipes, crafts and activities to do each day with the kids!
Im sure I'll find more along the way! I hope you will check back often and join me for some holiday fun!

Enjoy all this baking and cooking cuz come January, we'll be talking health and fitness!!

Be sure to check back often!
- Tiffany

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chilli Cornbread Bake

This recipe is a yummy comfort food perfect for this time of year. And another bonus is that it is super easy and it is a complete meal and you only use one skillet!! (That is of course, if you use cast iron, if not then you will have to use a baking dish as well).

First, make your favorite chilli. I used ground beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, chilli seasoning, corn, black beans and spaghetti sauce.

If you are using a cast iron skillet, then leave the chilli in pan and shut off heat. Make sure your pan is not too full of chilli. I had to remove about a third of my chill to make room for cornbread topping. Your chilli should fill about half of the skillet. 
If you are not using a cast iron skillet, then now is the time to transfer your chilli to a baking dish.

Next, put on the cheese layer. I use cheddar cheese sauce. I buy it in a large can at Sam's Club. I didn't measure how much I used, I just put a decent layer down! The more, the yummier! 

Now its time for the cornbread layer. You can use your own recipe or use my recipe. (Recipe follows). I drop it in dollops over the top of the cheese so it is easier to spread.

Now spread smooth....

Now bake at 350* for 40-50 minutes. Edges will be slightly brown when its done. Check center for doneness. 

We had this for dinner last night and there were no leftovers!


1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix dry ingredients.
Add in wet ingredients
Mix until blended. 

Dollop over chilli and spread evenly.
I love easy recipes!!

Have a wonder-fall day! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Healthy Choices- Flaxseed

I'm going to start a series on some simple healthy choices that can be made 
and are beneficial to your health.

The first one I will start with is flax.

You can buy it as a seed...

 or as meal...

I like to mix the seeds into homemade granola bars, bread, cookies and peanut butter balls. Now in my house we have a love/hate relationship with flax seed. We love the healthy benefits but we hate it stuck in our teeth!
Which is why I was so excited when I discovered flax meal!!! I can add it to just about anything (especially since I don't follow recipes anyway!!) and we get the health bonus, and don't have to pick it out of our teeth!

Here are few benefits of flaxseed:
~omega 3 fatty acids
~lignans- which has antioxidant properties

You can go to 

Coming Soon .... To a Kitchen Near You


It was so nice to go outside this morning and take a few pictures.
The fall air was so refreshing. I even had a few visitors.....

Mmm... yum!

I love this time of year.... cool crisp air, fall baking, and more baking, cozy slippers , and hot drinks!

After I finish all the pumpkin goodies, I will then start with the apples!

That is, of course, if I have any apples left with the way my littles have been gobbling them down!

Have a wonderful fall day!


Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup fresh pumpkin (or other squash)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
9 inch pie crust

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in a small bowl.
BEAT eggs in large bowl.

STIR I'm pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture.

Gradually, STIR in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE at 425* for 15 minutes.
REDUCE temperature to 350* and bake for 40-50 minutes more.
COOL 2 hours.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Barnyard.....

This is one of our roosters... his name is Mr. Rooster Pants

This is a favorite spot for the 'ladies' to dust bathe....

Home security system!
 These guineas will alert us of any intruders or disturbances! They eat snakes, bugs and ticks! They even chased off a coyote!!

That's just a glimpse of our barnyard!


Bacon Cheeseburger Mac n Cheese

This recipe is sssoooo simple, and sssoooo good!
 And what makes it even better is it has BACON in it!!
Mmm.... can't go wrong with this one!
Okay, enough talking, here it is:

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 boxes shells and cheese
 (or your favorite mac n cheese recipe)
-cook according to box

Now mix it all together and serve!

All of the littles asked for seconds of this meal! Even little number 5, who doesn't like his food mixed, gobbled his down! It's a winner in our house and I hope your family will enjoy it too.