Archives for April 2011

Gardens, Green, and Confessions


That basil plant sitting on the window ledge above my sink is just about the extent of our garden so far.  Plans for planting lettuce, carrots, potatoes never translated into action.  Does that ever happen to you?

We do have 1 square foot garden box of strawberries coming up nicely.  Last year, they blessed us with heaps of sweet berries.  I hope we’ll be so lucky again.

And Jim built a new box for our tomatoes and whatever else we decide to plant in it.  The other 2 boxes are going to be planted with more strawberries.

Green [Read more…]

Menu Ideas for Graduation Parties

Raise your hand if you have a new graduate this year!

A year ago, I was planning my oldest daughter’s high school graduation menu.  I’ve noticed quite a few people searching for ideas for recipes to serve at graduation parties, so I thought I’d put together a list to get you started.

There are so many ways to celebrate a graduation.  I’m not even going to try to cover them all.  Casual is what I’m most comfortable with, so this list will include foods that can be served buffet style, can be fixed ahead of time, and serve a crowd.

[Read more…]

Scalloped Potatoes in the Oven or Slow Cooker

Sometimes you just need a choice.  I usually do homemade scalloped potatoes in the oven, but this time I needed to make them early in the day.

It was  one of those nights when you rush in the door at dinner time and need it to put itself on the table.

You know the kind.

Slow cooker to the rescue.  Again. [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Pasta

We love pasta.  I’m not sure there’s another ingredient so useful for pulling together quick, delicious meals.  It’s cheap.  It cooks fast.  It can be combined with an infinite number of other ingredients.

Not to mention that it’s fun to eat.  And kid friendly.

Here are some of my favorite pasta recipes: [Read more…]

Italian Seasoned Salt Chicken in the Slow Cooker

A few weeks ago I decided to make some flat bread with homemade Italian Seasoning.  That didn’t work out too well on my first try.  I’ll have to play around with it a bit.

But I have been using the Italian Seasoning on all kinds of other foods and it’s been really good.  The seasoning adds lots of flavor to chicken or pasta dishes.  This time, I used it on chicken thighs in the slow cooker.  Here’s what you’ll need:

[Read more…]

Menu, Grocery List, Recipes Year 2 Week 29

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.

It’s not too late to enter the Graeter’s Ice Cream giveaway, if you haven’t already.

The menu this week has 3 slow cooker meals, 2 super quick meals (the other meal is pretty fast too) and a dessert made with cake mix.  That’s my kind of week!

As always, you get 6 dinners and 1 dessert.  Serving suggestions are included in bold on the recipes and in curly brackets {} on the grocery list.

For more menu plans, check out the  previous  1 1/2 years’ worth here.  And if you like to do your own menu planning, you can find a pretty printable menu planner here.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

To print, click here: [download id=”92″]

This menu is part of Menu Plan Monday at

Weekend Links

Happy Easter!

He is risen!

I hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend.  If you have time to relax and read for a few minutes, here are some links you might enjoy.

You know I’m in favor of family meals.  Dinner can be difficult though.  This idea from Rachel Meeks focuses on the importance of family, but substitutes breakfast for dinner.

We talked about Cool Whip earlier this week.  I never get tired of seeing creations from I Am Baker.  This is stunning from the Cool Whip on the outside to the Easter egg on the inside.

Erin, the $5 Dinner Mom, has a new site called One Dish Dinners.  That’s my kind of cooking.

Here are 10 Ways to Use Coffee Filters from Tara at Feels Like Home.

Frugal gardening ideas can be found at Smockity Frocks, The Finer Things in Life, and Getting Freedom from Debt.


Lemon Cheesecake Dessert

Still looking for a dessert for Easter?  Here you go!

This is the “cheesecake” I grew up with.  Unlike the real deal, this one is light with a hint of lemon.  It’s also no-bake, so it’s easy to make.

Here’s what you’ll need: [Read more…]

Graeter’s Ice Cream Giveaway!

To quote my 12 year old son,

Now I know what God eats for dessert!

Oh my goodness.  I {heart} ice cream.  A lot.  And even though I’ve eaten all kinds of premium brands (I’m kind of an ice cream snob), I’ve never had any other ice cream that even compares to Graeter’s.

It’s rich and creamy.  Like, after you eat it, your lips feel slightly buttery.  That kind of creamy.

The flavors are pure and fresh and pronounced.  Vanilla tastes like real vanilla.

The strawberry has small pieces of fresh berries that taste as if they were picked in a plot near the field where the dairy cows graze.  They must run with a bucket of strawberries and pail of milk straight to the ice cream makers and start churning.

And the chocolate chunks…. love! They are so smooth, they just melt in your mouth.  Divine. [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Frozen Whipped Topping

I wouldn’t really eat a big bowl of Cool Whip like what you see in the photo.  At least not without a strawberry to dip in it.

Frozen whipped topping is such a great ingredient for making desserts.  I scheduled this for right before Easter because this ingredient makes such cool, refreshing desserts that seem perfect for springtime.

Of course, you can also use it to make rich, decadent desserts.  Either way is delicious.

Here are some of the recipes I have that use frozen whipped topping: [Read more…]

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