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Monday, April 30, 2012

the paradox of following Christ

    I have been pondering lately, the paradox

                                                                                          of being a Christ follower. 

Someone who wants to follow Him and live as He did must embrace:

                     a life that seems to be full of contradictions…

                               a way of living that seems absurd to the the outsider…

                                   …a paradoxical  way of life

a paradox is: 

an opinion, proposition or statement

that is contrary to what is commonly accepted.

Jesus taught us that:

     We can be wrong when we are right…
             The first will be last…

                    By loosing our life we save it…

                         The one who would be greatest must be a servant…

                              In order to have more of Him there needs to be less of me…

                                   Confessing our weakness is a source of strength…
                                         Victory often comes through surrender…


Let me learn by the paradox of my Saviors example…

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision

~excerpt - The Valley of Vision


#301 update from my mama

#202 the example she is to me

#303 friends who understand

#304 popcorn

#305 giving son’s promotion

#306 talks with sons

#307 finding yogurt that I like and doesn’t gag me

#308 finishing 2 phases of diet

#309 long talk with another special mom

#310 words of encouragement from friend

#311 reading giving sons personal responses – such great insight

#312 hearing heart of unique sons about relationships

#313 releasing a hurt

#314 seeing you work through those hurts your children experience

#315 special son with his head out the car window, squealing for joy

#316 the freedom he has

#317 breeze blowing through my hair

#318 walk to the park with pepper, my angel & little one

#319 hugs from my unique son

#320 planet wisdom conference for kids

#321  planning little ones birthday party

#322 cute things little one says – “I’m trying to barter with you”

#323 special sons interaction

#324 direction on meds

#325 life’s paradoxes

Walking out the paradoxical life of Christ,  day by day,

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Monthly Menu Plan

image  May Menu Plan

This month I am trying to use some of the good deals on meats that I have bought at our Savemart and Lucky’s grocery stores.  Hamburger for $1.69 pond and Boneless Chicken Breasts for $1.49 a pound.   I am also using up some of the canned items I have had on hand for awhile. 

Check out these menu series:
For desserts I want to try some of these recipes:
It does pay to plan your meals ahead.  I am not tied to my plan – I use it as a guide to knowing what I need to buy and in planning for the week.  Some weeks I will switch up the whole week for another one.  Or some days I just switch recipes around.  This will depend upon what I have on hand, do not have on hand, time restraints, budget restraints and sometimes just what I feel like making.  But, I so love having the plan because it does the thinking and planning for me on those “no-brainer” days.   You now, those days you have so much going on that you can’t think straight or ahead of the current moment. 

I posted and update yesterday on my 17 day diet progress. I am entering Phase 3 this week.  Phase 2 was actually more of a challenge for me.  Check out these posts form more information ...

17 day diet - Phase 1
17 day diet - Phase 2

Enjoy ~
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Saturday, April 28, 2012

17 Day Diet Update

  I just completed the Phase 2 of the 17 Day Diet.  This Phase has been challenging for me.  I have not followed it as faithfully as I did the first Phase.  The areas I struggled with where: 
  • getting enough protein
  • eating my Probiotic Foods
  • Drinking my Green Tea
  • Not Eating fruits or starches after 2.  I usually ate these items for dinner instead of lunch
  • Eating more of the starches then allowed – Instead of 2 – 1/2 servings I had full cup servings.
  • Eating corn chips with salsa or having taco with the shell (love my corn)
With that said – I only lost 2 pounds in this phase.  I felt that the first week I was at a stand still…  trying to be as faithful as I could.  The 2nd week I was not as faithful- to the logistics of the diet  but made healthy choices and I finally broke through that plateau.
Physically, I was struggling with these areas: (sorry – might be TMI – too much information) but just trying to keep it real…
  • Feeling blotted – like I was retaining my fluids.  I have been on some medications for high blood pressure and a medication for hormone replacement to help with hot flashes.  I stopped the hormone replacement meds, and this help with the fluid retention.
  • feeling bound up – I started taking  herbal fiber supplement and that is helping with that.
The benefits that I am seeing from the diet are:
  • Over all I feel better – at times I miss my carbs – but I feel better on having so many -
  • I feel that my body is loosing fat – even though my weight loss does not reflect it as much as I would have thought.
  • I am making healthier choices in eating and developing better eating habits
  • I am motivate to make long term change and choices (big one for me)
  • I am exercising more – not as much as I need to – but more…
Here are the logistics of Phase 2.
Goal of Phase 2 is: Metabolic restart with alternating low and high calorie days to help shed body fat.
  • Warm Water with Lemon
  • 8 glasses of Water
  • Green Tea - 3 times day
  • Coffee allowed - 1 or 2 cups day
  • Do not eat fruit or starches after 2 p.m.
  • Exercise Daily - if possible 17 minutes a day
  • Unlimited Lean Proteins (except eggs)
  • Unlimited Veggies
  • 2 Servings of Fruit
  • 2 Servings of Natural Starches
.Lean Proteins - Unlimited
  • Fish
  • Tuna
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Turkey Breasts
  • Ground Lean Turkey
  • Eggs - 2 eggs
  • Egg Whites - 4 whites
  • Shellfish
  • Lean cuts of meat
  • Natural Starches
Grains (1 serving - 1/2 Cup)
  • Barley
  • Brown Rice
  • Bulgur
  • Amaranth
  • Cocous
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Grits
  • Basmati Rice
  • Millet
  • Oat Bran
  • Oatmeal
Legumes (1 serving - 1/2 cup)
  • Black Beans
  • Any kind of beans
  • Peas
  • Slit Peas
  • Lentils
Starchy Vegetables
  • Corn - 1/2 cup
  • Potato - 1 medium
  • Sweet Potato -
  • Squashes - 1 cup
  • Yam
Vegetables - Unlimited
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Green Leafy Veggies
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce - all
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
Fruit - Low Sugar - 2 servings daily
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Red Grapes
Probiotic Foods - 2 servings Daily
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Low - fat acidophilus Milk
  • Breakstone's Live Active Cottage Cheese
  • Sauerkraut
Friendly Fats
  • Olive Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
Condiments & Seasonings
  • Allowed in moderation
So I am moving on to Phase 3 and have these goals in mind:
   Exercise 4 times week – doing on or a combination of these
  • Walk
  • Glider
  • Calisthenic – stretching exercises
  • start T-Tap video (my unique son is going to help me with that)
   Drink my tea
   Continue to take fiber supplements
    Eat/drink  my probiotic
   Watch my portion sizes
For more information on the 17 Day Diet check out these web sites:
I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
                                                                                                                      Philippians 3:13-15
Pressing on~
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Meals – 5 on Friday

We recently found a great deal on chicken breasts at our local Savemart/Lucky's stores.  Each friday through May 25th you can get chicken breast for $1.49 a pound.    That is a great deal!!!

So for 5 on Friday I found some wonderful chicken recipes that are made in the crock pot.  So not only do we get great meals for a great price but we save time and money!!!!  Now that is my kind of meals.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic  Chicken Fiesta with Black Beans

  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I like to use the tenders, as they break apart easily while cooking)
  • 15 oz. corn, drained
  • 15, oz black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • onion, sliced
  • green pepper, sliced
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix well.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Garnish with cheese and serve over cornbread or in tortillas.
smoky chipotle chicken tacos done     Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts – about 1 1/2 lbs.
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can Fire Roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped (not the whole can, just 1 pepper)
  • 1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
  • flour tortillas
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • lettuce, chopped
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  3. Serve in tortillas with cheese and lettuce, if desired.

   Chicken Enchilada Soup Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans tomatoes with diced green chilis
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cans enchilada sauce
  • 3 cups milk
Place chicken in bottom of the slow cooker. I used frozen chicken and did not thaw it. Add all other ingredients except cream soup, enchilada sauce and milk. Stir those last 3 ingredients together and pour over others in slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
Top with shredded pepper jack cheese and serve with tortilla chips.
In the doubled recipe, the 2 cans of tomatoes with green chilies gave the soup a nice kick. We liked that much heat, even the kids, but if your family doesn’t then substitute a can of diced tomatoes for 1 can of tomatoes with green chilies.
This made enough for my family of 6 to have dinner twice. I froze the leftovers for the second meal.

sunday chicken dinner in slow cooker done  Sunday Chicken Dinner
  • 2-3 lbs. chicken (boneless or with bones)
  • 2 cups potatoes, chopped
  • 4-5 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups (or 1 can) of chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place the chicken on the bottom of the crockpot.
  2. Put the veggies on top of the chicken.
  3. Stir the broth and soup together with the salt and pepper. Pour over the veggies and chicken. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  4. You can thicken the broth to make gravy. Remove the chicken and veggies from the pot. Turn the heat to high.
  5. In a container with a tight fitting lid, add several Tbs. of flour. Add some water and shake to make a thick paste. You want it to pour, but still be thick.
  6. Slowly whisk the flour mixture into the broth.
  7. Cook several more minutes till thick.


Crockpot Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken  Cantonese Sweet and Sour Chicken

  • 2 lbs. of chicken (I used chicken tenders because they were on sale. I did not use the whole bag)
  • small onion, sliced
  • red pepper, sliced
  • green pepper, sliced
  • 20 oz can pineapple
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  1. Put the chicken, onion and peppers in the crockpot. I added my chicken frozen.
  2. Drain the can of pineapple. Set the pineapple chunks aside for later.
  3. Mix the juice with the rest of the ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or high for about 4-5 hours.
  5. A bit before serving add the pineapple chunks.
  6. Serve over rice.

The above recipes and more are found at

You can download a Free eBook: My Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes – When you enter your email on the bottom of the page and choose between daily or weekly updates.

  5 on Friday

Enjoy~ Pin It

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mini Pizza Meatball Sanwiches

  Mini Pizza Meatloaf Sandwiches
This is a kid favorite!  

1  1/2 lbs. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 C. pizza sauce
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs or whole wheat crumbs
1/2 t Italian seasoning
1 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. pizza sauce for glaze

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Wear rubber gloves for easy clean up.

Use an ice cream scooper to scoop into 12 ct. muffin tin. Top with pizza sauce.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
Serve with salad and bread sticks.

Recipe from:

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cranberry Chicken

Do you still have canned cranberry sauce left over from Thanksgiving like I do.  If so here is a great recipe to use them up.  I decided to post on Wednesdays items I do not want to waste and the creative ways to use them.   Waste-not Wednesday is taking on cranberry sauce...

Cranberry Chicken


4 – 6 chicken breasts,
can of whole cranberry sauce *
1/2 bottle (so use 8 oz) French or light French dressing
1 package onion soup mix (dry)
Mix and pour over chicken, cook in crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours until chicken falls apart, shred and serve over rice.

 *(I am also going to try the jellied kinds since that is what I have extra cans of.  I will let you know how it turns out.
 Cranberry Chicken Enchiladas
Print Recipe


2 cups shredded cooked chicken *
1 cup homemade cranberry sauce *
1 – 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa
1 cup shredded Colby and Monterrey Jack Cheese
½ cup 2% Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 green onions, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
8 – 7 to 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

* or use the above recipe of cranberry chicken

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a rectangle baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. For filling, in a large bowl stir together chicken, black beans, ½ cup salsa, ¾ cup cheese, sour cream (or yogurt), 2 diced green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper. Spoon about 2/3 cup filling on each tortilla. Roll up tortillas around filling. Place, seam side down, in prepared dish; set aside.

2.) For sauce, in bowl stir together cranberry sauce and salsa. Spoon over filled tortillas. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Bake 5 to 10 minutes more until heated through and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and green onions.
Recipe from:
  Waste Not Wednesday
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Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe

Years ago  my brother gave me a copy of this recipe with the story of someone paying $250.00 for the recipe.  The story of the infamous $250 cookie recipe from Neiman Marcus (or Mrs. Fields), is a decade-old tall tale kept alive. Whether it is true or not, it is one of the best cookie recipes we have ever had and have been making them for years.  My missionary daughter called the other day asking for the recipe, which sparked my desire to post it to my blog so we would have it when we need it.

This makes a huge batch so you can half the recipe or make the whole recipe and freeze some of the dough to make at a later date.
 Mrs. Fields Chocolate Cookie Recipe


2 cups butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated - I do not add this if we have added different kinds of chips – vanilla, peanut butter, or butterscotch, I will add them)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice-optional we usually do not add because my little ones do not like nuts in their cookies but they would be good)
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet..Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies..

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 Recies with a cake Mix

So, I have been waiting for cake mixes to go on sale.  Here are 10 fun recipes that use cake mixes.  Our next installment of 10 on Tuesday. 

  1. Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls
When you’re looking to turn a classic recipe into something so irresistibly delicious, there’s only one thing to do … add a kick of cake mix. Dry cake mix lends a delicious cake batter flavor to the dough, filling, and icing of these totally incredible (and totally easy!) cinnamon rolls. Whether you’re serving them up for a big day or just adding a bit of oomph to your weekend breakfast table, these Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls are totally fab!
Roll out the dough.
On a floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough to about 1/2" thick.

Birthday Cake Cinnamon Rolls
1 1/2 cup very warm water
1 packet of yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup yellow cake mix (I prefer Betty Crocker.)
2 cups flour

For the filling:
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup yellow cake mix

For the icing:
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cake mix
4 tablespoons butter, melted
3-5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pour the water into a very large bowl. Whisk in the yeast. Then the sugar. Allow the mixture to rest for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the salt, olive oil, and 2 1/4 cups of the flour. Sprinkle just enough flour over the dough until it becomes pliable enough to knead. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and elastic. Cover with a clean cloth and set aside, allowing the dough to rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Drizzle butter across the dough, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and cake mix. Roll tightly into a roll, then slice into 2″ pieces with a sharp knife. Place rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and allow them to rise for 15 minutes more before putting them in the oven and baking for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
In a stand mixer, beat together all icing ingredients until a spreadable frosting is formed. Drizzle over hot rolls. Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles. Serve and enjoy!
Many of these recipes are from:

  2. The Birthday Cake Mix Milkshake
The other day my daughter and I were discussing the finer points of birthday celebrations. She has them a lot of school and is always telling me what her friend’s parents send in for snacks. Most of the snacks that come in are fresh fruit and cute mini-muffins but my daughter desperately wishes someone would send in milkshakes. I think she’ll have to wait a while for that to happen, but in the mean time I experimented with a birthday cake batter milkshake just for fun. I’ll have to keep it in mind in case I actually have the chance to bring them to school one day.

The Birthday Cake Batter Milkshake
Makes 4 small milkshakes 
1 pint vanilla ice cream
2 cups milk
3/4 cup dry boxed vanilla cake batter mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream
Festive sprinkles

Place the vanilla ice cream, milk, cake batter mix and vanilla extract into a blender and blender until smooth. If you want the shake a little thinner add a little more milk until you reached the desired consistency. Top with whipped cream and birthday sprinkles!

Cake Batter Pancakes  3. Cake Mix Pancakes
Blogger Jessica Walker from Little Miss Bossy shares a new kind of pancake recipe. Bisquick® and SuperMoist® cake mix make these pancakes sweet, fun and a delicious birthday treat!
1  cup Original Bisquick® mix
1  cup Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix
3  tablespoons candy sprinkles
1  cup milk
1  teaspoon vanilla
2  eggs
Glaze and Garnish
1  cup powdered sugar
1 1/2  teaspoons milk
1/2  teaspoon vanilla
Additional candy sprinkles
  • 1 Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water sprinkled on it dance and disappear.)
  • 2 In medium bowl, stir together pancake ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until pancakes are golden brown. Stack on serving plates.
  • 3 In small bowl, beat powdered sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with whisk until smooth.
  • 4 To serve, top each serving with glaze and additional candy sprinkles.
 4. Cake Mix Muddy Buddies
slightly adapted from So Very Blessed and Chef n' Training
Makes 5 cups

5 cups Rice Chex cereal
10 ounces (5 squares) vanilla flavored Almond Bark
3/4 cup yellow cake mix
1/4 cup powdered sugar
colored sprinkles
vegetable shortening, optional

1. Pour 5 cups of Chex Cereal into a large bowl.
2. Melt Almond Bark according to the package directions, adding vegetable shortening to thin if desired.
3. Pour Almond Bark over cereal, stirring and folding until the cereal is completely covered. Generously shake sprinkles over mixture and fold them in as well. so they stick to the Almond Bark.
4. In a large bag or covered container such as Tupperware, put cake mix and powdered sugar and shake to mix evenly.
5. Pour the Almond Bark covered cereal into the large bag or container containing cake mix and powdered sugar. Seal the bag or container and shake until all the cereal is coated with the powdered mixture.
6. Discard excess powder and enjoy!
  5. Cake Mix Snow Ice Cream
Author: Snappy Gourmet
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • 3 tablespoons Pinnacle Cake flavored vodka
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 cups fluffy clean snow (or fluffy shaved ice)
  1. Mix together condensed milk, cake mix, vodka, milk, and vanilla in large bowl until well combined. Quickly mix in snow.
  2. Serve immediately or spoon into container and freeze until hard.
SNAPPY TIPS: The ice cream is fairly soft right after you mix it together. If you want it a harder consistency, spoon it in a container with lid and freeze for an hour or two.
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: You can substitute any flavor of cake mix and/or vodka. You can substitute additional milk for the vodka.
(For more recipes visit Snappy Gourmet at to sign up for an email/RSS subscription or visit Snappy Gourmet on Facebook or Twitter.)

  6. Cake Mix Cookies
  • 18 oz. pkg. cake mix (any flavor)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened - 0r 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg (if use oil use 2 eggs)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is thoroughly mixed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoon 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Cool two minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool.
If using chocolate cake mix, add 2 Tbsp. water along with egg. You can stir in chocolate chips, coated candy pieces, chopped nuts, or oatmeal. Frost the cookies, using canned frosting, or make sandwich cookies by spreading frosting between two cookies. These Cake Mix Cookies should be stored tightly covered at room.
Add frosting and sprinkles if you want to decorate.  You can also add m&m’s, chocolate chips, white chips or any fun additions of your choice.  Be creative!!!!

cake bark    7. CAKE Mix BARK     

Sweet Eats

6 ounces high quality dark chocolate
12 ounces high quality white chocolate
3 teaspoons yellow cake mix
sprinkles of your choice (3 tablespoons+)

Melt dark chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour chocolate on. You can smooth it with a spatula to the thickness you desire. Stick in the freeze for 20 minutes.

Melt while chocolate. Whisk in cake mix slowly, stirring well until no lumps remain. Let it set for 3 full minutes (or at least until it slightly thickens). Remove baking sheet with chocolate from the freezer and immediately pour white chocolate on top. Sprinkle on sprinkles. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Once set, break into chunks. Keep refrigerated.

cake-batter-rice-krispies  8. CAKE Mix RICE KRISPIES via Gimme Some Oven
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup yellow cake mix
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 (1.75 oz.) container of sprinkles
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until they begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so its combined. Stir in cereal so it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a baking dish (any size will do) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. I find spraying a knife with nonstick spray helps to cut them.

cake batter truffle  9. CAKE BATTER TRUFFLES via The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup yellow cake mix
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons sprinkles
Truffle Coating:
16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)
4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix

Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.

While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.

Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

cakebatterbars-2  10. Cake Batter Bars
  • 1 1/4 cup funfetti cake mix
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 heaping tablespoons sprinkles of your choice (I used stars)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.
  2. Cream both sugars, butter, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.
  3. Gradually mix in flour, cake mix, and baking soda until just mixed. Stir in sprinkles.
  4. Spread batter evenly into greased pan.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is lightly browned and middle still jiggles slightly. Cool completely before cutting.
and here is a freebie…  Use the ice cream and cookie recipe from above and combine into Ice Cream Sandwiches

  Cake Mix Ice Cream Sandwiches

Well that's if for 10 on Tuesday.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

the In-between Place

    On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 

They found the stone rolled away from the tomb but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.

In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them,
“Why do you look for the living among the dead?
He is not here; He has risen.
I have been pondering these words all week…

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

How often do I look for the living among the dead…
  Seeking things that do not bring life
     Looking for fulfillment in things that only bring more emptiness…
               as if dead things can bring me life,
 when all along the living one… the resurrected one,  is the only one -
  to bring life to those dry places,   
       those thirsty places,
           those dying places,
               those dead places.

His resurrection life is the only thing that fills-   He is the only one that fills
    those empty places.

And Yet…
sometimes we live in the in-between place…
that place between His resurrection and the power of His resurrection,
that place of knowing  He is alive and the place of living in that truth.  
After he had resurrected - Jesus said to His disciple, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
His very breath of life…   covered them.

        He filled them with His presence - Life giving salvation - eternity set in them

But before He send them out,
He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
  Imparting and reminding them of all He had taught them…
                 head knowledge now becoming heart knowledge
the living word         
 not only living with them       
       but now dwelling in them.

And yet…
He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
The Disciples were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
Perhaps the same two men who stood in the tomb…  Who asked the simple question  
                  “why do you look for the living among the dead?”
“Men of Galilee,” they said…
                           “why do you stand here looking into the sky? "
“This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

the disciples were living in 
                                                   the in-between place…

that place of knowing the living resurrected Lord…
 yet waiting…
     waiting for His resurrection power.

So often I stand there…
        waiting for my Savior
              waiting for His power
                 waiting for His strength
…living in-between the resurrection  and the power.

50 days after the dead sprung to life,
    50 days after death’s sting was won, 
            50 days after the Resurrection and the Life bought victory for all mankind,

the promised power was received…
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Resurrection life received   -  Resurrection power given 
life that gives us the power  -  to manifest Jesus 
life which gives us the ability  to live victoriously
Jesus called them  out of that in-between place.

Jesus calls me out of the in-between place…

that place of complacency,
  that place of apathy,
    that place of just getting through the day,
       that place of fear, 
          that place that brings death.

He says to me…  

"I am your resurrection and your life…

believe and receive ME…  and LIVE.

live fully

you have no need to fear,  my perfect love covers it.

you have no need to just get by,  to believe things will remain dead,
                            the power of my resurrection covers death.

live in my resurrection life  -  Live in the power of the my resurrection.


#286  my mama
#287  resurrection power
#288  moving forward
#289  forgiveness - power of forgiveness
#290  restoration
#291  generational patterns broken
#292  watching special son jump for joy in worship
#293  learning about new ways to show gospel
#294  questions asked to a loving God who answers
#295  hope for future
#296  seeing new areas a gifting in children
#297  reading book and talking about pictures with special son
#298  lessons in failing and learning in dog sitting
#299  initative in children
#300  house that is falling apart but still a home

Walking in His blessings with a heart of gratitude...

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Menu Plan

   Week of 4/23 – 4/29

  Week of Chili – make a big batch of chili and serve all week:

Monday – Quickest Chili in the West
Tuesday – Chili Potatoes
Wednesday – Chili Mac
Thursday – Chili Corn Bread Casserole
Friday – Chili Nachos
Saturday – Left Overs or Breakfast for Diner
Sunday – Creamy Southwest Soup

Here is quick chili recipe:

The Quickest Chili in the West

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey, browned and drained, optional
  • one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • one 28-ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
  • one 15-ounce can hominy, drained
  • 1-2 cups water (depending on how thick you like your chili)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: salsa, grated cheese, sour cream
  1. Combine all ingredients in a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook for at least 4 hours on high.
  2. Alternatively, combine the ingredients in a stockpot over medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Serve with toppings and chips.
Recipe from:

   Creamy Southwest Soup
2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can tomatoes and green chilies, undrained (Rotel)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans whole kernel corn, undrained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (cooked black beans from dried beans)
1 brick, 8 oz, 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 envelope ranch dressing mix
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup brown rice, cooked (option – can serve over rice)

In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, combine tomatoes, corn, and beans. Place the brick of cream cheese on top, in the center away from the sides. Place chicken in a single layer over the top, sprinkle with spices. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Turn off the heat. Shred the chicken with two forks, and stir in the cream cheese. We served ours with cornbread muffins.
Recipe from:
    Linking up to:

    Enjoy having your meals planned for the week~
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    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    My Mother’s Hands

      My Mother’s Hands

    Today is my Mama’s Birthday… She is a young 75.  

         When I think of my Mom – I think of her hands.

              They are the softest hands I have ever felt.  

                   I just love holding her hands in-between mine.


    My Mother’s hands…
         have loved and cared for my  Dad for over 50 years.

    My Mother’s hands…    
          have held, nurtured and raised
    6 children – 2 girls & 4 boys

    My Mother’s hands…
          have cook and served many meals with great attention and care

    My Mother’s hands…
           still write cards and letters to family, friends and those she wants to share a word of encouragement with.            She never forgets a birthday…


    My Mother’s hands…
          have overcome obstacles in her life and turned them into triumphs….

    My Mother’s hands…  
         have cared for the houses we have lived in and made them a home

    My Mother’s hands… 
         faithfully plan and organize daily life and events with great detail and beauty

    My Mother’s hands…   
        have been disciplined and steadfast in all they do -  all her life

    My Mother's hands...
         have faithfully prayed...


    My Mother’s hands…   
         still bring comfort and love to me...

     when she holds my face between those delicate….
                         soft ……     hands…

    My Mother’s hands…
                      and how she uses them…   
                                       have been my role model

    She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.  Proverbs 31:27-30

    Happy Birthday Mama
        I arise and call you Blessed
                    I love you~

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    Friday, April 20, 2012

    5 Spaghetti Recipes – 5 on Friday

    We love spaghetti.  I like to make big batches of spaghetti sauce and freeze in meals size servings.  This way I have sauce on hand for a quick meal or to use in other recipes.
    I can across these different spaghetti recipes that I want to try. 
    So I am sharing them as part of my 5 on Friday posts.

     Chili Spaghetti

    Here is what you need:
    Printable recipe
    10 oz. spaghetti
    1 tsp. oil
    1 pound ground beef
    1 medium onion
    1 garlic clove
    1 26 oz. jar pasta sauce
    1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    2 T chili powder
    optional: cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, fritos or tortilla chips

    Heat oil, and cook ground beef, onion and garlic, then drain.
    I already had my ground beef cooked, so I just sauteed the onion and garlic, and then added my beef, pasta sauce and chili powder. After that has warmed through, add your drained and rinsed kidney beans and cook for about 5 more minutes.
    Cook your pasta according to package directions.
    After pasta is cooked and drained, you are ready to serve.
    Serve chili over spaghetti noodles and top with cheddar cheese, and if desired, green onions, corn chips and sour cream.

    Recipe from :

     Taco Spaghetti

    Printable Recipe
    Anyway, if you would like to try this delicious dish, here is what you need:

    A pound of ground beef
    5 oz. spaghetti noodles broken in smaller pieces
    1/2 chopped onion (I used dried minced onion.)
    3/4 cup of water
    2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning
    11 oz. can of corn (if you like the corn with sweet peppers, you can use that), drained
    1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
    3/4 cup of salsa
    4 cups of lettuce, shredded
    1 large or 2 small tomatoes
    A cup of broken up tortilla chips
    Options: 1 cup of pitted sliced olives, 4 oz. of green chili peppers (drained and diced), sour cream

    Make your pasta, rinse and drain.
    In a large pan brown your ground beef and cook the onion also. Drain out any fat, and then add the taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring a few times so it won't stick to the pan.
    Add the pasta, corn, salsa, half a cup of cheddar cheese, and if you like, the olives and chili peppers.
    Lightly mix and then pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.
    Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with the other 1/2 cup of cheese, and you are ready to serve with the lettuce, tomato and sour cream.
    Now this recipe says it serves six, but when I made it, it only served 3 hungry adults.
    I really can't express how yummy this dish is, and I hope you will try it and enjoy!

    Recipe from :

    Jo Mama's World Famous Spaghetti. Photo by lazyme Jo Mama's World Famous Spaghetti


      • 2 lbs Italian sausage, casings removed ( mild or hot)
      • 1 small onions, chopped (optional)
      • 3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
      • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
      • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
      • 2 cups water ( for a long period of simmering for flavors to meld. If you don't want to simmer it as long, add less)
      • 3 teaspoons basil
      • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
      • 1/4 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
      • 1/4 cup red wine ( a good Cabernet!)
      • 1 lb thin spaghetti


    1. In large, heavy stockpot, brown Italian sausage, breaking up as you stir.
    2. Add onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until onions are softened.
    3. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water.
    4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.
    5. Stir well and barely bring to a boil.
    6. Stir in red wine.
    7. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
    8. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
    9. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
    Read more:
    Image  Godfather Spaghetti and Meatballs

    I just love the name of this one.  My hubby use to cook for an Italian Restaurant in Minnesota called Godfather’s.
    • 1 tablespoon box salt
    • 1 tablespoon box ground black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 carton Accent

    • 1 pound ground lean meat (1/2 pork and 1/2 beef)
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup crackers or 10 crackers
    • 3 eggs, well beaten
    • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
    • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
    • 1/4 cup Romano cheese, grated
    • 1 cup milk

    • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
    • 2 cans (6-ounce) tomato paste
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 fresh basil leaf
    1. Mix first 6 ingredients together to make Creole seasoning.
    2. To make meat balls, mix meat, cracker meal, eggs, parsley, onion tops, cheese, Creole seasoning to taste and enough milk to make a soft mixture.
    3. Wet hands with water and roll into 10 very soft meat balls. (Add water to mixture if not soft enough.) Fry in olive oil in heavy Dutch oven until brown. Remove from pot and set aside.
    4. Now fix the sauce. To make spaghetti sauce use 2 cans of tomato paste, 1 large chopped onion, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/2 chopped bell pepper, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 fresh basil leaf and Creole seasoning to taste.
    5. Add oil in Dutch oven; add the chopped onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute until brown.
    6. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 10 minutes.
    7. Add sugar, basil and enough water to cook down to right consistency (about 1 quart).
    8. Cook 3 hours; then add meat balls and cook slowly for another 2 hours.
    9. Bring seasoning up to taste; skim off excess fat. Pour over spaghetti and serve.
    Recipe from

    Pizza Spaghetti Recipe  Pizza Spaghetti


    • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
    • 1/2 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed, crumbled
    • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
    • 4 cans (8 ounces each)  tomato sauce
    • 3 ounces sliced  pepperoni
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley or 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
    • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 9 ounces uncooked spaghetti
    • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


    • In a large nonstick skillet, cook the beef, sausage and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and sausage is browned; drain.
    • Stir in the tomato sauce, pepperoni, sugar, parsley and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until thickened. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to package directions.
    • Drain spaghetti; toss with sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 6 servings.
    Recipe adapted from:

      5 on Friday

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