Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Banana Crumb Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix in separate bowl:
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup melted butter

Stir both mixtures together. Do not over mix.
Spoon into muffin cups.

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
Mix to coarse crumbs

Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 375' for 18-20 minutes.

These are great for breakfast or am afternoon snack! My kids gobbled them right up!!


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Weekend Getaway

OK, its been awhile again! Hehe! But ya know, that's life right?! Last weekend our family went away for the weekend to Erie. It was so nice to get away. We booked a hotel room and crashed for the weekend. And of course, with our family of 8, it had to be a big room! The highlight of the room was the whirlpool tub! 
It was a nice break away from things. 
My mornings looked like this....

We also did a few activities while we were out. We visited the Erie Zoo for the first time. We really liked it! You could really see all of the animals! Some of the animals were right by the glass!

A little scary being that close to a lion!

My littlest Minion called everything a "kitty"!! 

....and our getaway wouldn't have been complete without a stop at the beach! We chased seagulls, splashed in the waves, found some seaweed, and gathered smooth glass, stones and shells!

All in all it was a great weekend! We are already wanting to go away again soon!

Did you do anything special this summer? 


Friday, August 21, 2015

Gluten Free Cheesecake with Pecan Crust

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The cheesecake recipe I'm sharing with you today was a HUGE hit at a recent volleyball practice and I received many requests for the recipe. Thanks for your patience ladies! ;)
Anyway, this cheesecake recipe is so easy. And totally worth breaking your diet to have a "small" piece!

Like I've said many times before, I like to keep things simple and easy and that is exactly what this recipe is! Ready for it? Here it is!!

Actually, I forgot to tell you a few things... This recipe will make either 2 9 inch cheesecakes, or 1 9x13 cheesecake. So, if you make 2 9 inch cheesecakes, then divided the crust evenly amongst the 2 pans and you will do the same with the filling. Also, make the crust first, so it can cool while you are mixing the cheesecake.

Gluten Free Cheesecake with Pecan Crust

(Start with the crust first)

Pecan Crust
 2 1/2 cups ground pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
4 tbsp melted butter

Mix together. 
Press into bottom of pan(s).
Bake @ 350' for 10 minutes.
Let cool.

Now onto the cheesecake filling!!


4 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

1. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.

2. Add eggs one at a time. 

**mix thoroughly until smooth, but do not mix at a high speed. if you do, too much air will get incorporated into the cheesecake and cause it to crack when baking.

3. Pour over crust.

Bake 9x13 cheesecake @ 325' for 45 minutes or until center is set.

Bake 2 9 inch cheesecakes @ 325' for 35 minutes or until center is set.

Once cheesecake is done, open oven door and shut off oven. Let cheesecake sit for 5 minutes.
This will prevent cracks.

If you do get a  crack in your cheesecake and want to cover it up, fruit toppings, cool whip or chocolate will work perfectly and taste great!!

Allow your cheesecake to cool on the counter for about an hour and then chill in refrigerator.

So, are ya gonna make one?!
If you do, let me know how it went!

What toppings do you like on your cheesecake? 
I'm a plain jane kinda gal! That was even my dinner time nickname growing up! I like my food simple!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Life Lately....

This little guy loves the outdoors... Especially all of the edible things he finds!!

Well, as you can see its been awhile since I've last posted. Probably the longest gap in between posts yet. Well its been a crazy time for me and my family. Lots of ups and a few downs. Projects. Gardening issues. Volleyball practice. And, sadly... a death of a close family member.
I started to recieve requests for blog posts, so I figured I better get back at it.
So, where to start....

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Peek into our Week! Freezer Cooking, Gardening and my New Coffee System!

Well, some of these pictures are a few weeks old , but I figured Id share them any way! The above pic is a layered fruit cheesecake dessert I made for the 4th of July.

My oldest Minionette and I went out for a short shopping trip and stopped off for a few minutes of one on one time.

Evening garden pic. I love to take a walk in the cool evening. 

Tomatoes are coming! I can't wait! A home grown tomato tastes wwaayy better than one bought in the store!

Cucumbers are off to a good start as well. I sense a pickling post coming soon!

And pickles need dill, of course! It's so easy to grow! Most years it just comes back by itself.

I recently purchased organic coffee beans, a french press and a manual coffee grinder. Why? Well, organic coffee, because why not?! French press? Well, I've heard it makes better coffee and no waste compared to the Keurig that I wanted. Manual coffee grinder? My husband didn't understand why I just didn't buy an electric one either! Well the way I pictured it was sitting around a campfire with no electric around, perhaps in a mountain cabin somewhere and I could grind my coffee beans and brew them without electricity! OK, OK, so its a stretch, but I love it!

A friend and I did a freezer cooking session! We made 20 dozen meatballs, 56 hot pockets, and 5 batches of cookie dough! It was a great success and it only took us 4 hours!

So, what have you been up to lately? Leave me a comment below!

Be sure to keep coming back to see what we have been doing!

Psst... I've been working on a new section to the blog! Hopefully I will get it out soon! :)

Hope your summer is going great! 


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Best EVER Baked Mac n Cheese!

I don't know how lunchtime is at your house, but at my house with 6 kids, lunch isn't made, its found! And by found, I mean, when your hungry, find some leftovers or some sandwich makings and eat up! On a typical day, I don't stop to cook lunch. So, the other day, my oldest minionette, found a recipe she wanted to try out. It was for baked mac n cheese. 

I am not much of a mac n cheese eater, but i tell ya what... it was DELICIOUS!! And....it was easy! And.....it only used one dish! And.....you have got to try it!!  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our Week in Pictures!

We had a busy week...or two! Lots of gardening and.... CAKE! Oh boy! We had so much cake, we are a bit tired of it! But when you look through the pictures you will see we didn't only have cake! I kept busy not only in the garden but in the kitchen as well! And after selecting the pictures for this post, I realized I had a pretty productive couple of weeks! 
The above picture collage is of our garden and my helpers pulling weeds around the beans. The tomatoes are doing great! I can wait to make a salad! There are lots of flowers blooming around our yard. Including our elderberry patch, which is in full bloom! I will make elderberry syrup again this year to use during the winter cold season. 
Check out some more pictures .......

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Camping Sleepover Party

Well, here's another birthday post! I'm sure I've said this before, but 5 out of 6 of my kids' birthdays are in June! 
My Minionettes decided they wanted a camping sleepover party. So here is some highlights from the party! And this was probably the best party we have thrown yet!! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Ninja Turtle Cake

Last weekend was Minion #5's birthday. He turned 5 years old. I can't believe how fast he grew! He told me he wanted a cake that looked like the blue Ninja Turtle, I think his name is Leonardo, correct me if I'm wrong! 
So, being the blue turtle and all, I went with Duncan Hines Blue Velvet cake mix. I baked 2 9 inch cakes and cut the rounded tops off.
I also made homemade frosting and used Wilton's green gel color to get a deep green color. 

I then started icing the cakes. And once I got a smooth finish, it was time to give it a face. An easy way to ensure you don't  mess up drawing on your cake, is to use a toothpick and draw an outline to follow with your icing.
(My pics aren't in the right order below, but you get the idea!! ;)).

Then I just used Ziploc freezer bags filled with my different colored icing to make the rest of his face. The red mouth is a bit goofey looking because I was out of red coloring, so I had to settle for a tube of red decorator gel.
Overall, Minion #5 loved his cake and the celebration! We took him to Chuckie Cheese for game time and then came home and had pizza and cake and presents. We finished the evening off by letting the kids run through a GIANT rain puddle leftover from some excessive flooding we had!
It was a great day!
Praise God for another year of life for my little guy!:)


Friday, June 19, 2015

Photo Fridays!

Welcome to Photo Fridays! This is a mini series that I wanted to give a try and see how everyone likes it. I will just post some random photos from the week. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Homestead Update! ...and why we got rid of our chickens!

So its been awhile....some of you probably gave up on coming back to look for new posts...I would have! But so many of you have come back daily and looked through old posts! Thank you! Business of life has kept me away. Oh and a malfunction in my tablet I use for blogging left me empty handed! But its all fixed! Yay!! So I figured with a lot of exciting stuff happening around our homestead, an update was much needed before I start into my other posts I have planned!

Here's some of whats been going on:

The garden before...


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

My new purchase!!

Introducing the Make Over Your Mornings Course

I just purchased Crystal Paine's Make Over Your Mornings. I am really excited to check it out!!

Crystal always does a great job at being organized and real, so I can't wait to dig in and give this a try.

Wanna get your mornings off to a better start? Check it out HERE.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Snowball Cookies (Easy and Simple, and Perfect for Mother's Day!!)

 One of my daughters friends requested this recipe post and it has been awhile since she made her request, sorry G.R.!! But I will tell ya, I have never had a snowball cookie before!! I always see them on the cookie trays at Christmas time, but I usually look for the most chocolatey goodie I can find! So when I got this request, I told my oldest that it was her job to make them!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

One Pot Pasta

Ladies! This is a recipe you have got to try! Its so easy, I can't believe I haven't tried it sooner. And its versatile, mix in more or less veggies to suit your taste. And easy, wait I mentioned that one already, but easy is my favorite, so let just stick with the repeat!! 
You, literally, only use one pot. And even better, if you wanna throw it in the slow cooker, go for it! I will include directions for that too! 
Oh, and another bonus, you change it up for chicken Alfredo, spaghetti and ziti!! Hungry? Let's cook!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub

Spring is here and it feels so good to open the windows and let a fresh breeze blow in, and blow some dust out! And if your like me, you've probably been doing some spring cleaning projects. I've done a few clutter piles and we've been working on some outdoor projects. 

With spring come fresh, clean scents. The store shelves are stocked with flowery candles, lemon scented cleaners, and yummy smelling hand soaps. And while they smell great, the ingredients probably aren't the greatest. 
I haven't quite replaced all of my household supplies with all natural choices, but I have made a few changes. Instead of lotion, I use coconut oil. Instead of store bought ChapStick, I use my homemade organic lip balm. Find it HERE. I have used essential oils to replace my household cleaners. 
My next goals are homemade deodorant and toothpaste. Many of you may do more than this, some of you, less. But we're going for one step at a time here! And little steps add up to big distances!
So today I'm going to share with you another sugar scrub recipe. I mixed this one up last week for a friend. Its refreshing, moisturizing, and smells good enough to eat! Which wouldn't hurt if you did, unless, of course you are avoiding sugar!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What we've been up to...!

*** OK, I think its working! :)
NOTE: Im having some issues with pics not showing up right now....Im not very techy, so it mite be awhile..., sorry:/.

Well we are finally recovered from the flu...ugh! It really wiped us out! I was in bed for 3 days! And the baby got sick too! It was not fun! My husband was the only one of the 8 of us that didnt get sick! Praise God for that! :).

I'm sure by my lloonngg disappearance from blogger world, some of you have probably wondered what we' ve been up to. Well, here's a few things we' ve been doing.....

We had PSSA testing last week for 4 days. We were gone from 8 am till around noon each day. We made a couple goodie baskets for the hard working, and ever so pleasant school staff! Thanks again!

My kids had a great time during testing week. They get to experience a regular classroom setting for a few days!

I did a quick spring cleaning on the shelf in my dining room. It only took about 20 minutes to sort through everything and dust.


Much better! Did anyone start any spring cleaning yet?

There was an open house event at my husbands place of employment and I made enough potato salad to feed 200+ people,
11 dozen chocolate chip cookies,  12 dozen Mahindra logo sugar cookies!

These were very easy and fun to make! I recieved several compliments and someone informed me that people were even taking pictures!! I am planning on a tutorial soon. Now I know not everyone wants to make Mahindra Logo cookies, but I will show you how you can make any logo or design on cookies or cupcakes for your next big event!

And thru all the busy-ness, I even took time for me! My hair was neglected for wwaayy too long. I made an appointment with a close friend of mine, she also doubles as my hairdresser! If she ever quits cutting hair, I am doomed!! She is the ONLY person I trust to do anything with my hair!

Heres my hair BEFORE: (and yes, I am aware of how bad it was!!)

AFTER: She did such a great job!

I made her a jar of Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub. (recipe coming soon!). The way I see it, "take really good care of the person holding scissors above your head!" LOL!! Thanks again Liz!

We also took some time to enjoy the beautiful weather with a stop for lunch at the park!.... 
This guy was just loving the feel of the grass! 
Ain't he just so cute?!

I also have some fun posts planned. A friend and I are planning to get together and make some homemade toothpaste! This will be a first. I am excited to expand our homemade products!

Also, since I have now been using essential oils for 1 year now, I find it time to share some info with you all! I will go thru several oils that we use on a regular basis, how to decide which oils are best for you, I will also give a review of using an oil diffuser and if you should use one. And I will share a few recipes with oils for you to try. I will also share which company I use and why!

Stay tuned! Im back in blogger world and have a lot planned! Including a special request for Snowball Cookies!

Have a great day!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A Mothers Role

The other day, I mentioned that I was going to post on how to make Resurrection Rolls, well little did I know, or plan, but things went way different this week than I expected. It started Tuesday night, at 2am. My second oldest child came running downstairs. And by the look on her face, it wasn't good.

She had severe stomach pain, headache, fever (103.3°) and was very faint and dizzy. My first thought was appendicitis. So we rushed to the ER. She had some tests done and everything came back normal accept for a urine culture saying her white cell count was up. The doctor said it suggests a uti. So, to make this long story, short; she is resting and still running high fevers. And now my oldest has joined quarantine with her, as she is also running fevers. Hers are low grade fevers. But I still will be keeping them quarantined away! ;).  (Oh, and yes, the ER doctor was wrong because our pediatrician called and got the results and said it wasn't a uti :/ ).
So anyway, the Easter posts that I had planned, well it just ain't gonna happen folks! Sorry, thats life though, right?

And instead of beating myself up and stressing it, I know the Lord is in control and allowed this to come my way.
Image result for easter flowers pics

So I will stop all of my other spring cleaning plans and Easter posts, and tend to my sick ones with love and grace :).
I will put aside all other duties and put first my role as a mom/doctor!
I will do my best to keep them comfortable, as they are completely miserable and achey.
I will have patience as I get called upstairs every 10 minutes to check a temperature, fix a blanket, refill a water glass or fluff a pillow.

Moms, this is our job! To show love, patience and grace. To be there when we are needed. To make the boo-boo feel better, even if its just with a kiss! To comfort the uncomfortable. To reassure them that its gonna be okay.
We have a wonderful job as moms.
Be thankful everyday that God has given you that job. He picked you to fit the position and He gives you what He wants for you.

Image result for christian easter pics
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. Remember, Christ died and rose for us to save us from our sins. And if we accept what He did, we can join Him in heaven one day. Let us remember that this holiday as we gather with loved ones!

Well I'm off to the quarantine unit!! ;)

Image result for christian easter pics

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Lunch Ideas

We had an Easter lunch with some friends last week. It was full of bright colors, fresh food, and fun! It was very easy to put together. I love simple and easy, so this was my kinda lunch party!!

Here's a few pictures to show what we did! If you are wanting to have a spring, or Easter lunch, I hope you find a few ideas!...

Lots of color! We did a rainbow with fruits and veggies! The kids loved it and it was perfect for everyone! They all found something they liked in the rainbow! The food rainbow was made up of strawberries, carrots, pineapple, grapes, pickles, olives, string cheese and meat slices.

My oldest daughter put together this arrangement. She is all about finding ways to incorporate mason jars into decorating! Its the farm girl in her ;).

The cupcakes were red velvet cupcakes, topped with cool whip. I know, not very traditional for Easter, ... I can explain, I made cupcakes for my husband to take to work and these were the leftovers. But I ran out of icing so I opted for cool whip!! (Blog post coming soon on how to make logo cupcakes!! ).

I found Easter shape pasta at Aldi. I topped it with butter and parmesean cheese. Kids loved it!!

We also made ressurection rolls and told the story of Easter. I will be doing a post (hopefully) tomorrow so you all have a chance to make them before Easter :).

We all had a great time. And if you are trying to put together an Easter/spring lunch, just go simple and easy! Sometimes the simple things are the best!

Happy Spring!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Making Memories with Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I remember as a child eating fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies. Mmmm... The warm gooey center, melty chocolate and crisp buttery edges. Sounds good, right? But there was a problem.... My grandmother never used a recipe! So therefore there was no way for me to duplicate those wonderful cookies for my children.... Until 2 years ago when I found the perfect recipe!  Check it out....

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nutritional Frontiers - Lean Greens (Breakfast in a Blender!)

I really enjoy smoothies! Green smoothies! I love getting in all my greens! I feel energized and ready to go! Sometimes though, the same thing over and over and over again, can get kinda monotonous. Know what I mean? So I try to change things up a bit from my regular Green Smoothies and Blueberry Lemon Smoothies
So the other day when I was in the local health food store, I picked up some Lean Greens. 
And if you have access to purchasing some, do so! And here's why!!......