Monday, June 15, 2020

Biscuits Supreme- cheap, easy, delicious

I have been baking the following biscuits since middle school.  They are SO good and so cheap to make yourself.  Don't overbake, as with any biscuit recipe, or they'll be dry and crumbly.

Bun is the expert at this recipe.  I wouldn't be surprised if he has it memorized.  He whips them up to make biscuits and gravy for the whole family.   Yum!

Biscuits Supreme

Preparation time:  8 minutes
Baking time:  10 to 12 minutes
Makes:  16 medium-sized biscuits

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening or lard
2/3 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  (high-altitude 475 degrees).
2.  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar, and sugar; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3.  Add milk all at once; stir only until dough follows fork around bowl.
4.  Turn out on lightly floured board; knead gently 1/2 minute.  Seriously-- only 30 seconds.
5.  Pat or roll 1/2-inch thick.  Cut with biscuit cutter.
6.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden on top.

VARIATIONS:  (1) Add 1 cup grated cheese to dry ingredients before adding milk.  (2) Use buttermilk instead of milk and use less salt.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Addictive Vanilla Popcorn

I've never met anyone that doesn't like vanilla popcorn.  But if you quadruple the vanilla from 1/2 tsp. to 2 tsp. then you're in trouble unless you made a truckload.  Today I also discovered it gives it just a little extra to add cinnamon extract and increases the appeal even more.

You will need:

15-20 cups air-popped popcorn with unpopped kernels removed (seriously don't want to break your teeth on this when you're munching through your delicious treat)

  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon extract optional

1.  In a 2-quart saucepan, cook butter, sugar, and light corn syrup over medium heat until bubbly.  Once it starts to get bubbly, cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

2.  Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon extract.

3.  Pour over air-popped popcorn and stir well to coat.

4.  Spread over wax paper to cool or form into popcorn balls when cool enough to handle.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Grandma’s Ranch Style Dressing Mix

If you have a sensitivity to preservatives or just like to save money making your own mixes, you'll enjoy this dressing mix.  We use it in Instant Pot recipes, crockpot recipes, or even mix it with Greek yogurt and use as salad dressing.  

Grandma’s Ranch Style Dressing Mix

2 tsp. garlic powder

8 tsp. onion powder

4 tsp. dried basil leaves

4 tsp. dried parsley leaves

1/2 tsp. pepper

4 tsp. salt

Mix and store.  Use a scant 2 T. in a recipe in place of 1 packet ranch dressing mix.  

If you use this, let us know how you liked it!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Chicken Bacon Cream Cheese Wreath

If you've made one crescent roll wreath, you can make them all.  They're very simple and the variations are endless.  They make great party foods. 

I honestly can't tell the difference between the well-known brand of crescent rolls and store-brand.  So buy whichever brand is cheapest. 

You can fry up bacon and crumble it, or if you're like me, you can buy a big ole' bag of Bacon Crumbles from Costco and keep it on hand in your freezer for recipes like this one. 

I'll try to make this again soon and take more pictures to add to this post. 

Chicken Bacon Cream Cheese Wreath
12 servings

2 - 8 oz. packages crescent rolls
8 oz. cream cheese - softened at room temperature
2 1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup bacon crumbles
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/8 tsp. garlic
2 tsp. dill weed
2 tbsp. dried minced onion

1.  Preheat oven to 375º F.

2.  Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 16 triangles.  On ungreased cookie sheet or pizza stone (or pizza pan like I used today), arrange triangles in a ring so shorts sides of triangles form a 5-inch circle in center.  Dough will overlap.  Dough ring should look like the sun. 

3.  Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl.

4.  Spoon chicken bacon cream cheese mixture on the half of each triangle closest to center of ring. 

5.  Fold crescent roll points over filling and tuck under wide ends (on the inside of the 5-inch circle). 

6.  Bake for 18-24 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Grandma's Corn Chowder served with Love

I am fortunate to be born into a family with a mom that cooks and bakes better than ANYONE I know.
She taught us how to bake and cook and some of us were quite resistant to learning... until it came time to feed our own families. 😆
But this recipe came from my Grandma— my dad’s mom. I don’t know what it is exactly about it, maybe the memories, maybe that it was always served with Grandma’s love, but we are big fans of Grandma’s Corn Chowder.

I loved it so much that I assumed it was a difficult dish to make and didn’t even attempt it until I was pregnant with my first child at 24 years old.
So every time I make it, which is usually only in the cold months, I tell my children how Grandma showed her love through feeding people. She fed her grandchildren. She fed the missionaries. She fed you even if you stopped by for a quick visit.
I know she’s in heaven smiling down when I pass on what she taught me through her example.

Grandma's Corn Chowder 

Serves 6 to 8.
Preparation and cooking time:  40 minutes

One 12-ounce can Spam, diced
6 to 8 slices of bacon, diced
3 medium-sized potatoes, diced
1 medium-sized onion, diced
6 cups water
One 15-ounce can whole kernel corn
One 15-ounce cream-style corn
One 10 3/4 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
Mashed potato flakes (optional)
One 13-ounce can evaporated milk
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Fry bacon until pieces are crisp; drain fat from bacon.  Place bacon on paper towels to continue draining fat until ready to use.  

2.  Sauté Spam as desired; set aside.  

3.  Cook potatoes and onion in water until potatoes are tender and onions are transparent.  

4.  Add undrained corn, cream-style corn, and cream of mushroom soup to potatoes; bring to a boil.  Add mashed potato flakes if you want your soup thicker, a little at a time.  

5.  Stir in evaporated milk; heat through.  Stir in Spam.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

6.  Top with bacon.  Serve at once.  

I have made this with ham.  I've also used store-brand "Spam."  I've also done it with steamed corn leftover and not used cream corn.  Lots of ways to vary this recipe.  Be sure to serve it with love, like Grandma.  

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Cheesy Chicken Potato Casserole

frozen cubed potatoes

 I added chopped cauliflower in with the cubed potatoes to give my family a little more vegetables with dinner.  If you do this, chop the cauliflower smaller than the potatoes as it takes longer to soften.

 Stir the potatoes into the chicken, onion, cheese, seasonings, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), and cream soup mixture that's been warmed on the stove.

 Divide into greased pans.

Top with more cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
 If you have an aluminum pan, you might want to poke your finger in the middle of the casserole to be sure it's heated through. 

Feed your hungry tribe! 

Cheesy Chicken Potato Casserole

  • 2 lbs. frozen cubed hashbrowns
  • 1 pint plain Greek yogurt or sour cream 
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (or mushroom or celery)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped (or 1/4 cup dried minced onion)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top if desired
  • 1 can 12.5 ounce chicken including the water/broth
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a 9x13 pan.

In a 3 qt. saucepan on medium heat, warm together everything EXCEPT the cheese and potatoes.  Combine sauce mixture with potatoes and cheese.  Pour into 9x13 pan.  Sprinkle with additional 1/2 cup cheese if desired.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

This makes one 9x13 pan.  If you have a mega-sized family like us, you might want to double the recipe and make 2 9x13 pans.  Even if you don't have a large family, it's always nice to have easy yummy leftovers. 

Sunday, June 09, 2019

After 12 years, the Mommy Store continues!

I started a Mommy Store when I only had 3 kids and now it's still going strong with 8.  You can type in Mommy Store in the search bar of my blog and you'll see past posts about it. 

It was started as a motivation to behave.  We didn't know at the time that my oldest, Pookie, has Aspergers (High-Functioning Autism).  We were on the lookout for a disclipine system that he would respond to.

They get rewarded for good behavior with tokens or tickets or money that they can then use to buy treats and whatnot at The Mommy Store.  We currently use money. 

For about a year, The Mommy Store reward system had been converted into a tool to teach money to the little kids.  We weren't consistently using it anymore as a way of discipline, but we weren't ready for it to go away.  Everyone still enjoyed it. 

Every couple of months or so, all the children would get a dollar in play money. They got to shop from The Mommy Store for the sole purpose of figuring out what's a good deal, how many things they can buy, that money isn't limitless, etc.

These regular attempts at teaching money management seemed to help as I see some of them carefully save every penny.  Of course, I also still see some eager to spend every single coin they have as if it's burning a hole in their pocket.

I realized that my kids could still learn about money without me just handing money over to them.  So we went back to our original reason for having the store.  

 For a while I did away with it when my kids were not willing to do things to help unless something was in it for them.  If this kind of behavior increases, I don't let them visit the store for a while.  It's a delicate balance between handing over rewards for good behavior and letting them understand the heavenly rewards for obedience and service.  
We are back to using it again to encourage good behavior.  Sometimes, no one wants to help with particularly heinous jobs, and I say, "Whoever helps with X will be rewarded with Mommy Money."  That usually does the trick and I get volunteers.

 Our card table was our wrapping station at Christmas time except when I set up the store on it.

Some friends have asked me, "Why does a teenager have interest in The Mommy Store?"  

I asked Gabbers, 15 1/2, a few questions.

Me:  How do you earn money for The Mommy Store?
G:  When we do an extra chore or do something really nicely without complaint, we get Mommy Store money.   
Me:  Why would a teenager want to shop at The Mommy Store?

G:  It's cool to see what options there are.  It's always fun to see if there's new stuff and neat when you see things that you didn't know was there.  I like it because it's an easy way to earn money and you don't have to wait for an allowance and wait to go to The Dollar Tree or something.  
Me:  How often do we have The Mommy Store?
G:  It's always on a Friday but not every week.  It's about every 2-3 weeks.  
Me:  Do you like going to The Mommy Store?  
G:  Yeah, why wouldn't I??  There are treats, stickers, pencils, fun stuff!

whistles I bought for the store

The rules:  Go above and beyond helping out and you get Mommy Money.  The store is sometimes every Friday, but more often it's every other Friday.  I keep track on my phone how much Mommy Money they have.  They can ask me at any time how much their balance it.  

They use that money to shop when I open the store.  Sometimes they choose not to use it all.  A couple kids like to keep a positive balance in their account-- even if it's 5 cents.    

They can never lose what's in their mommy store money account.  We do not discipline bad behavior that way.  However, sometimes we wait to have the Mommy Store until morale improves.  

They may spend their own money (in addition to what they've earned specifically for the store) but they must get back in line to spend it.  This allows everyone a chance to shop before one person buys out everything.  

  This pic was from last Christmastime.  They were eager to buy tiny ornaments and Christmas lights to decorate their rooms.

I don't see The Mommy Store going away anytime soon. We all like it too much. 

 Sometimes it's hard to decide when there are sooooo many goodies.

 Our most recent line at The Mommy Store just a few days ago.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Resurrection Rolls - a simple Easter lesson and treat

I'm making these tonight with my Activity Girls (8-11 year olds) at church.  We made them in homeschool today so I could time how long it takes.  Everyone 6-17 years enjoyed making (and eating) them. 
 The butter represents the oils of embalming.  
The cinnamon and sugar represent the spices used to anoint the body. 
 All wrapped up in the crescent roll dough and ready to go in the oven (the tomb).
 Tater felt the need to roll his after pinching the dough closed.  Maybe that's why his didn't split open.
 Some were not sealed well and the marshmallow leaked out.  
This is our first pan.  We did two pans.
 This one was perfectly sealed!
 The tomb is empty!
Another perfect one!

  • 1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls (8 count)
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1- 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • paper cupcake liners

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Separate crescent rolls into triangles and give each person one. The crescent roll represents the cloth that Jesus was wrapped in after he died.
  4. Give each person a large marshmallow. The marshmallow represents Jesus’ body. 
  5. Have each person dip their marshmallow into the melted butter. The melted butter represents the oils of embalming. 
  6. Then dip the buttered the marshmallow into the cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar represents the spices used to anoint the body. 
  7. Wrap the coated marshmallow tightly into the crescent roll. Pinch the sides to make a good seal.  Don’t roll up like a regular crescent rollThis represents the wrapping of Jesus’ body after death.
  8. When they're done forming their roll, place inside a paper cupcake liner and on a jelly roll pan (a baking sheet with edges).  
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The oven represents the tomb Jesus was buried in. 
  10. When the rolls have cooled slightly, everyone can open their rolls (cloth) and discover that Jesus is no longer there, for HE IS RISEN!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Pizzas, Planets, and Learning

 We're focusing on 13 and 15 today in homeschool with Biscuit.  Biscuit regular switches these two numbers when counting.  I'm not sure if it's because she can't pronounce 13 very clearly.  

So I set out to make sure she understood how much each was-- even if she can't say thirteen clearly.


First I ordered one 15 button pepperoni pizza.

Then I ordered a 13 button pepperoni pizza.  
(She decided it needed extra sauce.  😬)

Then she was showing signs of hangriness.

So we made Planet 15 and found 15 aliens to live on it.

And then she promptly abducted them.  

There were many giggles during math this morning.  This girl finds much joy in hands-on and sensory learning.  I find much joy in her finding much joy in learning.  

Thursday, August 02, 2018

A favorite snack to keep our family regular without meds

Homemade air-popped popcorn is a great way to stay regular without costly or nasty tasting medicines.  

This is our favorite recipe.

1/2 cup unpopped kernels, popped = approx. 12-14 cups popcorn
1/4-1/3 cup unflavored coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast 

Pour the melted oil onto the popped popcorn.  Sprinkle the salt, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast over the popcorn.  Stir & serve!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chatty Chocolate Addict

This afternoon I picked up a few treats to add to this weekend's conference kits. #ldsconf
I got chocolate covered Craisins as well as Dove Milk Chocolate Coconut Créme eggs.
I was filling tiny ziploc bags with chocolate Craisins and this girl appeared in front of me out of nowhere. Poof!

She has a sensor for chocolate!
"Mommy, what are you doing?"
"Are you making me one?"
"Who are those for?"
"Are you using ALL the treats?"
Realizing there was no hiding the little scale and treat bags and the crinkly sounds, I answered her questions.
"I'm making sure each bag weighs the same. Yes, you'll get a bag -- on Saturday. Each kid gets one. They're for conference kits."
"Ohh!" her grin widened. "I remember conference. I love conference! I can't wait!" she squealed.
Then she watched me put the Dove eggs in little bags too.
"Those look like chocolate too. Are they chocolates?" she asked.
"How astute you are. They sure are chocolates. You'll get two of these on Saturday or Sunday in your conference kit."
"But there are 8 bags and chocolate not in bags. Who are the extras for?" she asked.
"They're for me of course. I'm going to gobble them up!" I said. And I meant it.
"Right now?" she asked.
"Yep," I answered and opened one.
"Ohh. I wish I knew what they tasted like," she hinted heavily.
"They taste like guts," I told her. "Guts and bad feelings," I added.
She didn't believe me for a millisecond.
"Mommy! This wrapper smells like it tastes good," she said.
So I shared the other one with her. And if you thought she was chatty BEFORE the chocolate, you should've heard her AFTER.
She talked for 5 minutes straight at top speed about it and how cool the wrapper was and how shiny and how she can make the wrapper look neat pressed against things like my allergy medication bottle lid and one wrapper being a puppy and one being a kitten and it could hold snacks and be a butterfly on and on and on.
I love my little chocolate addict.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Today my first born turned 15.

I knew I loved him before he was born. When he was just a lima bean making me throw up multiple times a day, he had my heart.

I will never forget that direct connection to my Heavenly Father I felt that first evening with my newborn son. The love I felt for him witnessed to me of the love my Heavenly Father feels for us. I would love this child eternally no matter what. I sang him to sleep that night after feeding him and just felt so grateful for that glimpse into heaven.

Happy Birthday Pookie!

Friday, December 23, 2016

A Homemade Christmas

At the beginning of November, I approached my children with the idea of homemade gifts for the sibling they chose for the Christmas gift exchange.  Being of the rarely employed variety of children, they liked this idea.

When they chose a name out of the bowl, I wrote it down in case they forgot or in case they needed ideas.  Only two came to me for ideas:  Bun and Pookie.  

Honestly not sure if the littles even did it, but I figured that was up to them.  I offered a couple times for them to run an idea past me.  So we'll see if the younger kids did anything...

Bun had Hammy's name for the exchange.  He decided to make a padded binder. 

Hammy's favorite color is yellow, so that's what Bun went with.  

Gabbers bought an inexpensive plain magenta shirt (Peach's favorite color) and then decorated it for Peach.

Pookie thought that this would be a fun shirt for Biscuit since she likes stars.  I think it looks like it says, "Easter," but he thought she'd like it since her name starts with an "E."

I love seeing my kids' creativity grow!