Mama Don’t Get NO REST!


Yep, it’s another ‘Rope your mother into your Art Project” day! (HONEST: I sincerely TRIED to get him to have his DAD do this one . . . that lasted about 20 minutes – at the most). This project is to construct a Color Wheel (not bad, right?) BUT his teacher REALLY wants them to get all the concepts of how colors combined make different colors (or – in HER terms: Complimentary and Analgous colors . . . sigh). Let’s just say, after Dad, son & I worked on said project for a good 2-3 hours, it’s ready to be pasted on the foam board for Tuesday’s class presentation. This one required cutting out tons of little 1″ X 2″ rectangles from cardboard (or FANCY cardboard: Bristol board), then painting them with water colors to make the various colors in the Color Wheel PLUS making 11 shades/variants of all white to total black. WAaaaaaaaaaay back when I was taking Art classes from Art Instruction Schools I had a similar assignment: draw then paint a picture of a lady wearing a fur coat, using something like 15 variations of blacks/greys/white – let’s just say I don’t remember PASSING that assignment. It might sound easy to make 11 variations of white/gray/black but believe me – it isn’t. (I warned son, and he said: “It’ll be easy!” . . . by the end, he agreed with me (only after making I-can’t-tell-you-how-many rectangles of greys and still not getting enough difference between one and the one next to it).   I’m beginning to think of suggesting when he passes this class, he owes me at least a LUNCH!  (I love my husband, but he’s VERY …to the extreme…precise about his art ideas. When he was trying to show son about how to make a grey from beginning white he was saying: “Now you put 1 drop of white, then add 1 drop of black & mix them. If that isn’t enough you must continue to add EXACT amounts of each color to get the color you want.” (Maybe in HIS world, but in our family I’M THE ARTIST and there AIN’T NO WAY I mix colors that exactly/precisely! About 10 minutes of that and son was ready to pull his hair out! Somehow Dad got distracted and went to play on his computer game, leaving ‘guess who’ to take over. (Aside from the every-so-often comment of: “Is the project DONE yet?” from him, we did just like last project and kept plugging away.) I finally announced that there was NO WAY I was staying up until 2:30 a.m. like last time, I’d take it up in the morning, and I went to bed. Sometimes you just HAVE to step away from a project and get some relaxation or you’ll just go crazy!

(NOTE: I’m not trying to ‘toot my own horn’ in saying I’m the artist, but of all of our family members I am the only one with formal training and lots of art experience from doing huge commercial backdrops for Jacobson’s Ladies Wear in Pontiac, big Christmas displays for our Junior High school (those were about 6 ft tall) to lots and lots of church backdrops for Easter Dramas to lots & lots of 6 ft X 9 ft posters for the church halls – yep, I’ve ‘been there – done that’.)

Yesterday was also a day for lots of activity; husband & I drove to Comcast to exchange our cable receiver- On Demand stopped working then stopped at Costco to get a membership. I knew it had been a very long time (10 years when they looked it up) since we were members; during that time I totally forgot exactly how HUGE that store is! (side note: I am sometimes given to anxiety attacks due to Agoraphobia: fear of crowds/large places) but haven’t had them in a long time . . . let’s just say, being in Costco really triggered one! I felt bad for my dear husband because he just kept saying: “Take deep breaths – you’ll be alright!” No, I wasn’t panicking, but just had the ‘Fear or Flight’ syndrome: the feeling that I just HAD to RUN and GET OUT OF THERE! Let me tell ya – it’s not fun. The longer I was there with all the VERY RUDE shoppers, huge floor-to-ceiling displays, around-every-aisle people demoing all sorts of food stuffs – the faster I wanted to leave. We ended up picking up a rotisserie chicken ($4.99) and a huge all-meat pizza ($8.99) and then we left. Husband graciously said: “Well, maybe the boys & I will come shopping here and you can just make us a list.”  After considering the entire experience, I’m not sure I, personally, will EVER return there. I know that sounds extreme, but I know my limits. (See? Now you know one of my biggest shortcomings).

Also had grandson yesterday (after the Costco thing) – we spent some fun time together; it’s always nice to be able to just play together.  Middle son’s girlfriend also made an appearance – it was like an Open House around here for awhile once oldest son arrived to pick up grandson but it slowly calmed down.


Peanut Butter Balls
(makes 12)

2/3 C. creamy peanut butter
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 C. flour
2 tsp. honey
1/2 C. 80% dark chocolate

In small bowl, blend peanut butter,
sugar & flour; dough will be stiff. Taste
for sweetness and adjust if needed. Using
a small scoop, measure out mixture & roll
in hands to form balls. Place in refrigerator
at least 30-60 minutes until firm.
On top of the stove (or microwave):
Melt chocolate. Insert toothpick into cooled
peanut butter balls & carefully dip in melted
chocolate. Place balls on waxed paper & allow
to cool. Keep refrigerated until time to serve.

Peanut Butter Cup Version:
 Place mini liners into mini muffin pan. Spoon
1/2 tsp. melted chocolate into bottom of liners
followed by 1/2 of a peanut butter ball. Top with
1 tsp. more melted chocolate. Refrigerate.
Chicken Enchilada Skillet

12 corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized
3 C. shredded, cooked chicken (about 12 oz)
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes & green
chiles, undrained
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 C. shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack
blend cheese, divided

Spray large skillet with nonstick spray. Add
tortilla pieces & chicken; mix well. Cook over
medium-high heat 5 minutes or until hot,
stirring frequently. Pour undrained tomatoes,
enchilada & tomato sauces over chicken mixture
in skillet; mix well. Sprinkle 1/2 C. cheese over
chicken mixxture. Cover skillet; cook 5 minutes
or until hot, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with
remaining 1/2 C. cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 (1 C. each)


Crockpot Beef & Broccoli

1 C. water, divided
1/4 C. soy sauce
3 T. firmly packed brown sugar
1 T. finely chopped garlic
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 lb. beef flank steak
2 T. cornstarch
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen broccoli florets
hot, cooked rice (for serving)

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Stir together 3/4 C. water, soy
sauce, brown sugar, garlic & ginger
in large bowl. Add beef; turn to coat
with mixture. Place in crockpot; cover &
cook on Low 7 1/2 hours or High 3 1/2
hours, until beef is tender. Remove beef
from crockpot. Combine cornstarch &
remaining 1/4 C. water in small bowl; stir
into crockpot. Cover & cook on High 15
minutes or until sauce thickens. Pull beef
into shreds with 2 forks; cover to keep
wram. Place broccoli in microwaveable
bowl. Cover & microwave on High 5
minutes or until broccoli is thawed. Add
beef & broccoli to crockpot; stir to
combine. Cover & cook on High 15
minutes more or until mixture is hot.
Serve with rice. Serves 6 (1 C. each)


Mexican Monkey Bread

1 (16.3 oz) can refrigerated buttermilk
biscuits, quartered, divided
2 t. butter, melted
1 1/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese,
3/4 C. canned sliced jalapeno peppers,
drained & divided
3/4 tsp. parsley flakes, divided
1/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Dip 1/3 of the biscuit pieces in butter; place
in prepared pan. Top with 1/2 C. Cheddar,
1/4 C. peppers & 1/4 tsp. parsley; repeat
layers. Cover with remaining dipped biscuit
pieces, peppers & parsley, top with mozzarella &
remaining Cheddar. Bake 40-45 minutes or until
golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes; invert onto
plate & remove pan. Serve bread warm.
Serves 12

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Marvelous Minestrone Soup

2 (14.5 oz, ea) cans chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can chick peas (garbanzo beans),
drained & rinsed*
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 C. frozen Italian-style vegetable blend
1/2 C. elbow macaroni, uncooked
1/4 C. zesty Italian salad dressing
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients (except cheese) in large
pot, bring to boil. Simmer, on medium-low,
6-8 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Serve
topped with cheese. Serves 6

*can substitute canned red or white kidney
beans (cannellini), drain & rinse

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Cheesy Chicken/Rice Casserole

2 chicken breasts (1 lb) or
2 C. cooked, shredded chicken
1 t. chicken bullion granules
salt & pepper
1 1/2 C. white rice, cooked
2 T. onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. celery, chopped
2/3 C. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 C. crushed potato chips

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place chicken breasts in large, deep skillet;
pour hot water over. Add 1 tsp. chicken
bullion granules & touch of salt & pepper.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat; cover
& cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 15
minutes. Remove from pan; shred with 2 forks
then place back in pan; let simmer 5 minutes
more. Remove chicken from pan; place in large
mixing bowl. (Save water – using later) Add
1 1/2 C. cooked rice to bowl; add onion, celery
& mayonnaise. Add lemon juice, chicken soup
(undiluted) & 1/4 C. water (can use water chicken
was cooked in); mix until well combined. Spray a
9 X 13 baking pan with nonstick spray; spread
mixture into pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 C. sharp
Cheddar cheese & top with crushed potato chips.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until heated through & cheese
is melted. Serves 6-7

(recipe: Jamie Cooks It UP!)

Easy Carrot Cake

1 (2 layer) box spice cake mix
1 c. Miracle Whip salad dressing
4 eggs
1/4 C. water
2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 carrots, shredded (about 2 C.)
1 C. plus 2 T. chopped walnuts, divided
1/4 C. raisins

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. butter, softened
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. zest & 1 tsp. juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Beat first 5 ingredients in large bowl with
elec. mixer 3 minutes. Stir in carrots, nuts &
raisins. Pour into greased (or sprayed) 9 x 13
baking dish. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool Completely.

Beat cream cheese & butter in large bowl with
mixer until blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Add
lemon zest & juice; mix well then spread onto cake.
Sprinkle top with remaining nuts just before
serving. Serves 16

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Fried Pickle Chips

Canolla oil for frying
1 egg
3/4 C. milk
pinch cayenne
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/2 C. cornstarch
1/2 C. cornmeal
2 T. chopped dill
2 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper
3 dozen cold pickle slices

Ranch dressing for dipping

Beat egg, milk & cayenne. Place
1/4 C. cornstarch in shallow dish.
In another dish mix cornstarch &
cornmeal with chopped dill, paprika,
salt & pepper. Dip pickle slices in plain
cornstarch, then egg wash, then corn-
meal mixture. Heat about 2 inches
canola oil in skillet to 375 degrees F.
Fry pickle slices in oil until golden, about
3 minutes. Drain on paper towels & serve
with ranch dressing. Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)

Chili Dog Nachos

1 T. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground sirloin
salt & pepper
2 hot dogs, sliced into 1/2 ” pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 bag yellow corn tortilla chips
1 (10 oz) bag shredded yellow
Cheddar cheese
sour cream – garnish
salsa – garnish
2 chopped scallions – garnish

Heat medium skillet over high heat; add
oil then beef; brown & crumble with wooden
spoon about 2 minutes. Season with salt &
pepper; add chopped hot dogs & continue
browning another 3 minutes. Add onions &
seasonings, Worcestershire, chili powder & cumin;
cook another 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce; simmer
5 minutes.
Preheat broiler
Arrange corn chips on a platter or in a casserole
dish. Top chips with cooked chili dog topping;
cover topping with cheese. Melt cheese under
broiler 2 minutes until melted & bubbly. Garnish
with sour cream, salsa & chopped scallions.
Serves 4

(recipe: Food Network)

Apple Slab Pie

1box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts,
softened as directed on box
1cup granulated sugar
3tablespoons all-purpose flour
1teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4teaspoon salt
1 1/2tablespoons lemon juice
9cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium)

1 C. powdered sugar

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts,
 softened as directed on box
1 C. granulated sugar
3 T. flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
9 C. thinly sliced, peeled apples (9 medium)
1cup powdered sugar

2 T. milk

Preheat oven 450 degrees F.
Remove pie crusts from pouches, unroll
& stack crusts one on top of the other on
lightly floured surface. Roll to 17 X 12 inch
rectangle. Fit crust into 14 X 10 X 1 inch pan
pressing into corners. Fold extra pastry crust
under, even with edges of pan; crimp edges.
Mix granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg,
salt & lemon juice; stir in apples to coat. Spoon
apple mixture into crust-lined pan. Bake 33-38
minutes or until crust is golden brown & filling
is bubbling. Cool on rack 45 minutes. Mix
powdered sugar & milk until well blended.
Drizzle over pie, allowing glaze to set before
serving, about 30 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

I promise, when the Color Wheel is done, I’ll take a photo. One good thing? This class is over some time in April! No rest for the wicked, I guess. (or crazy Mommas who get involved . . . sigh).

Our weather is cold: 18 degrees F. with 40% chance of snow tonight BUT we’re already planning on GOING TO CHURCH in the morning! NO MORE of this missing church – it’s been too long and I want to go!!! (almost sounds like some of the responses I got when I called my special needs kids this Tuesday telling them we weren’t meeting on Weds. – they WANT to go to church!) It will be good to be ‘back’, see our friends, worship together and learn in our Sunday School class (we have a special teacher for 6 weeks: son-in-law of our teacher, he’s a History teacher by trade and an EXCELLENT Bible teacher – I’m bummed I missed 2 weeks, but tomorrow will get us back on track.).

Still plugging away on baby hats: making use of some of the donated yarn – finished 2 hats and am 1/2 way done with #3. With the amount of yarn given to me, I could be knitting for YEARS!

Hope you’re in good health, relaxing a bit and not letting this goofy weather totally make you crazy. Even though it’s cold out, I don’t mind it so much – you can WALK, DRIVE and move about in cold but not so much in deep snow.




The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I would be saying drop the class but then I’m not you. I know you will help him make it because that is what Moms are for. Keep us posted on the progress.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: