Sep 30, 2013

Pancake Squares

Perfect if you don't have time to stand at the stove and flip pancakes but you want your kids to have a hot breakfast my family loves these~~Southern Mama~~

3/4 cup milk
2 T. melted butter
1 large egg
1 T. sugar (we like our sweet I add at least 1/4 cup of sugar)
1 cup flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, beat together milk, butter and egg. Add sugar, then gradually beat the flour in. Carefully stir in the baking powder and salt. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

(I can see many ways to change these up, I tried changing the butter for this cinnamon spread and I have and then sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar to make a sort of cinnamon bun pancake - REALLY YUMMY!  I can also see trying different variations, with fruit on top, with chocolate and peanut butter, all sorts of ideas!)

Oreo Treats

One 16 oz package of Oreo Cookies
5 cups large marshmallows
4 tablespoons butter


Butter an 8X8 inch baking pan. Line the baking pan with parchment paper letting the paper extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Butter paper; set pan aside.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse Oreos until ground.
In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt butter and marshmallows in the microwave until puffed, about 1½ - 2 minutes. Stir in ground Oreo Cookies until combined. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Using a piece of wax paper, press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
Let set up for at least 10 minutes. Cut into bars and serve.

Sep 29, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Gratitude Sunday
Sunday's heart felt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
Here are some things I am grateful for this week:

Silly days with pretend glasses

Lots of songs and fun with my little girls:

First steps:

Little Prince playing fetch in the living room with himself

Sep 28, 2013

Newfoundland Snowballs

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups large rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened fine coconut
  • 12 tbsp cocoa
  1.  In a large saucepan, combine sugar, melted butter, milk and boil together gently over medium high heat for 5 minutes or until mixture reaches about 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer:
  2. Once mixture begins to boil it is very important not to stir it at all.
  3. Mix together:  rolled oats,  coconut,  and cocoa.
  4. Add the boiled mixture to the dry ingredients until well combined and chill well. until mixture is able to be shaped into 1 1/2 inch balls. 
  5. Roll the balls in additional coconut. 
Makes about 4 dozen. These should be stored in the fridge. These freeze very well (my kids eat them frozen all the time, just like my siblings and I did as kids)

Finally caught him walking

Finally caught him walking!

Rigatoni and Eggplant Pasta

  • 3 cups Rigatoni noodles (boiled according to instructions on box)
  • 2 medium eggplant (cubed)
  • 1 medium onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tbs oil
  • basil
  • salt to taste
  1. Sautee the eggplant cubes, add the onion and the garlic. 
  2. Leave on for a couple of minutes then add the tomato puree and simmer for 15 mins. If it starts to thicken and the eggplant is not ready, add some water or veggie broth. 
  3. Add the spices and salt to taste.
  4. Add the pasta to the eggplant sauce and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano. Enjoy!

Sep 27, 2013

Christmas Eve Creamy Crockpot Hot Chocolate

This sounds so yummy!  I can see a new tradition starting this year.
  • 1.5 cups heavy cream, 
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14oz), 
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips, 
  • 6 cups of milk, 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

This Moment: sweetness

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Carrot Cake Cheese Cake

  • 18 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 (8 1/2 ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained with juice reserved
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice
  • Dash of salt
Grease a 9 or 9 1/2 inch springform pan. Set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat together 2 packages cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 tablespoon flour, 3 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

For the carrot cake: In a large bowl, combine oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla, blending thoroughly. Stir in 1 cup flour, baking soda, cinnamon and pinch of salt, mixing well. Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts.

Spread 1 1/2 cups carrot cake batter over bottom of prepared pan. Drop large spoonfuls of cream cheese batter over carrot cake batter. Top with large spoonfuls of remaining carrot cake batter. Repeat with remaining cream cheese batter, spreading evenly with a knife.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 50 to 65 minutes or until cake is set and cooked through. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. When cake is cold, prepare the frosting.

For the frosting:
In a bowl of an electric mixer, combine 2 ounce cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice and a dash of salt. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Frost top of cheesecake. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Sep 26, 2013


  • 3 chicken breast halves
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.
4. Add cabbage and sauté 2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender.
5. Mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth.
6. Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
7. Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute.
8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


• Add bell peppers or carrots for color.
• Try with broccoli.

Sep 25, 2013

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups sugar
Dash of salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Waxed paper

In a large saucepan bring to a boil the sugar, salt, butter and milk. Boil mixture over medium heat for 1 full minute. Remove from heat immediately.

Add peanut butter and vanilla; stir well. Add oatmeal and stir until thoroughly incorporated. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls. Drizzle with a mixture of cocoa, powdered sugar and water if desired. Cool until set and firm.

Cool Money Saving Tip

Those packages of pre-sliced apples you can buy at store are great for a healthy snack on the go but the price can add up. Make your own by slicing apples, soak in cold water for 3-5 minutes, then soak in a lemon-lime carbonated soda (such as 7-up or sprite) for 3-5 minutes. Divide into snack size portions and store in Ziploc bags in the fridge. The lemon-lime soda will keep the apples from browning and make them last longer. LOVE THIS IDEA!

Wordless Wednesday: Sick Baby and Sister Couch Cuddles

Wordless Wednesdays
Click the pic above to get to other Wordless Wednesday Participants or go check out

Sep 24, 2013

Cheesy Cauli-Mac

  • 6 cups Cauliflower – steamed and chopped
  • 2 cup low fat shredded cheddar
  • 2 cup low fat shredded colby jack
  • 4 Tbsp half and half
  • 4 Tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In saucepan over medium-low heat, combine half and half, cream cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard.
  3. Whisk until creamy, do not let boil.
  4. Pour 3 cups of cheese mixture into saucepan.
  5. Stir until cheese is completely melted.
  6. Add cauliflower and gently fold until cauliflower is covered.
  7. Place mixture into baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

Random updates

Homeschool is going good.  I am constantly surprised at how much more my girls know than I have actually taught them. 

Princess Belle likes it here.  She can go out and play with other kids and for the most part, they don't pick on her.  The only one she ever has issues with is her cousin.  They just tend to clash for some reason, but other than that, she can go outside and never comes in crying, which is such an improvement over where we used to live. 

We are late risers here.  I feel a little guilty about how long it takes to get us up and on the go in the mornings.  I feel a little like we should be getting homeschool done earlier in the day. 

Sep 23, 2013

Jalapeño Popper Dip

  • 1 4 oz can diced jalapenos, well drained OR 4-6 fresh jalapenos, roasted and diced (include seeds if you like it really spicy)
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup + 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  1. In a mixer or by hand, combine cream cheese and sour cream.
  2. Add cheddar cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, and diced jalapenos, mix well.
  3. Spoon into 8x8 baking dish, spreading evenly.
  4. Blend bread crumbs, melted butter, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, and dried parsley, using a fork or your fingers, until crumbly.
  5. Sprinkle the buttery crumb topping evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until hot and breadcrumbs are golden brown. Do not overcook.
  7. Serve with bread or crackers...

Roasted Garlic Mushrooms

  • 16 even-sized open cup mushrooms, stalks cut level
  • 3 tbsp corn or vegetable oil
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped very finely
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 50g fresh breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Lightly fry the mushrooms, cap-side down, in hot oil for 20 seconds.
  2. Arrange the mushrooms in a shallow roasting tin with the stalks facing upwards.
  3. Mix together the butter, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and seasoning. Spoon a little garlic butter on to each mushroom, then lightly press the breadcrumbs on top. Either refrigerate for later use, or cook immediately in the oven for 10 minutes.

Sep 22, 2013

Sweet Potato Burritos

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • pinch cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese(optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Heat oil in medium skillet and sautee onions and garlic until soft.
  3. Mash beans and add to skillet. Heat on medium low until warm. You may want to add a little bit of water at this point.
  4. Add chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne, and soy sauce.
  5. Spoon bean mixture and sweet potatoes over tortillas. Top with cheese, if desired. Roll up burrito style.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until warm.

  • Any kind of bean will do for this recipe
  • The recipe is pretty spicy as is, but the sweetness of the sweet potato sets off the spiciness of the bean mixture. However, you can leave off the cayenne and lower the amount of chili powder to make it less spicy.
  • Sometimes the beans get really dry so you may want to add a bit of water to them while you're heating them on the stove.

Sep 21, 2013

Crockpot Applepie oatmeal (EASY!)

  • 2 sliced apples
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups water.
  1. Place sliced apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt in the bottom of the crock pot.
  2. Pour in oatmeal, milk and water. 
  3.  Do NOT stir. Cook overnight for 8 - 9 hours on low.

Sep 20, 2013

Crock Pot Orange Chicken

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 large red or green bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 8 ounces orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups Mandarin orange segments or fresh orange segments
  • 2 Green onions, chopped
  • hot cooked rice
  1. Put carrots, peppers, garlic, then the chicken, ginger, salt, pepper & frozen orange juice in Crockpot. 
  2. Cover and cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours. 
  3. Serve chicken on hot cooked rice on platter. 
  4. Top with orange segments and green onions.

This Moment: Family Fun

A beautiful and fun Friday ritual. Inspired by SouleMama.

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. – Amanda Soule

Honeycomb Puppy Paws!

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 8 cups Post Honeycomb cereal
  • 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  1. Microwave peanut butter and chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended.
  2. Pour over cereal in large bowl; toss to evenly coat. Place 2 large sheets of aluminum foil on counter, with long sides of foil slightly overlapping. Spread cereal mixture onto foil. Let stand 2 hours or until chocolate coating is set.
  3. Place powdered sugar in fine mesh strainer. Shake strainer over cereal mixture to evenly coat cereal mixture with sugar. Store in tightly covered container at room temperature.
Tips and Suggestions

Cooled cereal can be placed in a large brown paper bag instead of on the sheets of foil. Add powdered sugar to cereal mixture in bag; fold down top of bag to close bag. Let the kids shake the bag to coat the cereal mixture evenly with the sugar.

Sep 19, 2013

A Fun Day!

What a fun day!  We are doing so well in our studies that we decided to take a fun day and go to the park.  We had so much fun, we brought a snack and stayed until Little Prince started to fall asleep in his swing.  LOL, too very cute!!!  By the time we got home, he was asleep in my arms.  I will definitely be doing this on a regular basis.

Country Apple Dumplings

  • 1 large apple {Any apple will do, tart is better}
  • 1 can Pillsbury Crescent dough
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup or 6 oz. 7-Up or equivalent {half the can}
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  2. Cut each apple into 8-10 wedges. Slice the apple skin off as well and set aside.
  3. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the wide end. Pinch to seal and cover apple and place in the baking dish. {This is easier if you first pat the apple wedge dry, then wrap dough around it.}
  4. Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Heat, whisking to combine. The mixture will slowly combine and thicken. When it's thickened, remove from heat and add vanilla.
  5. Pour cinnamon mixture over the apple dumplings. Pour soda over the dumplings.
  6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Sep 17, 2013

Apple Crisp!


  • 3 -4 large apples
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  1. Peel apples and remove cores.
  2. Slice apples into thin slices and put into lightly greased casserole dish.
  3. Mix sugar and flour together.
  4. Cut in butter until you have course crumbs.
  5. Stir in oats and pour over apples.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.

Handsome men

While he was visiting his father, Prince Charming stood proxy at the Christening of our cousin's baby.  I wasn't there, but I did see pictures and the baby was sooo sweet.  I have to say though this picture of Prince Charming, Grandpa Grumpy and the baby was my favorite! 

Sep 16, 2013

Reese's Squares!

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
1) Combine graham crumbs, sugar and peanut butter and mix well.
2) Blend in melted butter until well combined.
3) Press mixture evenly into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
4) Melt chocolate chips in microwave or in double boiler.
5) Spread over peanut butter mixture.
6) Chill until just set and cut into bars (these are very hard to cut if the chocolate gets "rock hard".

Sep 15, 2013

TOS Crew Review: People Keys online Personality Style Report

I am always interested in getting more information to make it easier to motivate and reach my little ones.  So when I was given the chance to do a review of People Keys Online Personality Style Report, I was really excited.

 photo peoplekeys-logo_zpse1faa0a6.jpg

PeopleKeys offers behavioral assessments for students, hiring processes, employees, and more. They have developed state-of-the-art, online tests with instant results.  PeopleKeys uses four basic behavioral traits and breaks them down into a simple and understandable list, called DISC.
  • D - Drive
  • I - Influence
  • S - Steadiness
  • C - Compliance
The material that this company produces also takes into account that most people do not fit neatly into one of the four personality types, but rather are a combination of at least two.
It took Princess Belle about forty minutes to complete the survey without any difficulty. When she was finished we clicked on a link to download our report, and I also received an email that contained an easy to understand report.

Before I go into the report check out the video below...

Princess Belle was described as a “Communicator”.  The information that was provided about communicators did make sense when I thought about Princess Belle's personality.

In the report, the following helpful info was also provided to help understand Princess Belle: 
  • Motivating Goals
  • Evaluates Others By
  • Influences Others By
  • Reaction to Pressure
  • Areas for Improvement
 photo peoplekeys-personalitystylereport_zps5ee3591a.jpg
The report confirmed things I had already discovered and also gave me better ideas on how to motivate her in our homeschooling.

PeopleKeys offers many different products to help with understanding personalities better.  Companies use them to help hire the right people and maximize their employee's potential.  The Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review several of the products offered by PeopleKeys.  Please take some time to see how they used these products in their homes and how they worked for them.


Sep 14, 2013

Saturday Photohunt: silly and outdoors

The themes for the Saturday Photohunt this week are: silly and outdoors.  This picture of Princess Magpie is perfect for this theme.  She is outdoors being a silly girl.