It Might Not Be . . .

what ALL mothers do, but it’s what THIS Mother does! We’re into Week 2 of the Big Art Project (Surf & Wave Board designs); as I’ve explained before son thought he was signing up for Basic DRAWING but ended up in Basic DESIGN – he is NOT a drawer/artist, so this class is really testing his ‘skills’. He had the ideas for what he wanted done, but kind of lacked the skills to accomplish the ‘drawing’ portion – that’s where I come in. I’m good at copying, so I volunteered to just do the basic drawings for him, it’s up to him to execute the PAINTING portion (which, in my opinion, will be FAR MORE difficult, given his teacher’s expectations – but that was his choice and it IS his project). They could chose one of the designs from the previous assignment and then create another idea. One board is to be done in Cool colors, the other in Warm colors. Here are the designs he chose (they’re a little light because they’re only pencil drawings and a bit difficult to photograph):


The top one is a ‘Wings & Triangle” design; I’m guessing this one will be the Cool Colors. The bottom is a design from the previous assignment; he calls them “Suns & Lines”. Now, for me, it’s ‘sit back and wait’ – I try VERY hard to NOT be a controlling Mom/person – I guess it’s just my nature to want to HELP as much as possible; it’s hard for me to do the ‘sit back & wait’.

Today is one of those ‘Get Things Done’ days – started out going to Sears searching for a pair of ladies sweat pants to use as winter PJ’s; I should explain – I’ve had one pair for a good 8-10 years, but the elastic finally ‘rotted’ out on them; I tried replacing the elastic, but it just was not good enough. Sears, with ALL of their multiple sales departments, etc. did not have ladies sweat pants (at least the kind I wanted – lots of those really light-weight pairs that aren’t really sweat pants/the kind you would wear for a work out?). Ended up at KMart – same thing, then it dawned on me – wonder if they have MEN’S sweat pants? Took a bit of searching but I found just what I wanted AND they were marked down to $9.98 (name brand, too)! I’m a happy camper – I only wear them (a) when it’s REALLY cold outside or (b) when I’m sick but I like to have them on hand for when I’ll need them. Next up – grocery shopping; got that done in record time, we really didn’t need much. Tonight is homemade Beef Stew (got a nice chunk of beef on sale – yay!). Today is also ‘Catch up on the Laundry’ – one load in the dryer, 3 folded, one waiting in the washer. After that, it’s run the dishwasher, then I’m “Off Duty” as far as responsibilities are concerned, until time to make dinner!

Yesterday was fun getting back to choir – not sure if all the choir members got the message/email/memo, but we only had about 12 people show up, 5 from my soprano section! We went over some older music and then into a few new pieces. It became rather amusing (to say the least) when we were cruising through a rather familiar piece (“Finlandia”/Be Still My Soul) and then the composer of this particular church piece decided to send the sopranos out in left field! We all stopped singing simply because we weren’t exactly sure WHAT we were doing! (It split into the regular soprano part and added a descant/higher part) In our choir we have two lovely ladies who are both blessed with extremely clear, high voices – they usually take any really high parts; THIS TIME the choir director told us we were ALL taking that part – I nearly fainted! Not only was I not sure of the part/notes I couldn’t even HEAR where we were supposed to start! (I mostly sing/play piano by EAR; yes, I can read notes, but I’m NOT a QUICK study! This was almost a disaster!). Oh well – we will practice THAT part quite a bit in the very near future, I’M SURE! That’s what makes life INTERESTING, right?


Cinnamon Sugar Breakfast Muffins

1/2 C. sugar
1/3 C. shortening
1 egg
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 C. sugar
1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl cream together 1/2 C.
sugar, shortening & egg. In separate
bowl, combine flour, baking powder &
salt. Add flour mixture & 1/2 C. milk
alternately to sugar/shortening/egg
mixture; beat well. Spray 12 muffin
cups (do NOT use paper liners). Fill
cups 2/3rds full of batter. Bake 20-25
minutes or until golden brown. Combine
remaining 1/2 C. sugar & cinnamon in
shallow dish. While muffins are still hot
from the oven, spear each with a fork,
dip into melted butter then into sugar/
cinnamon mixture until well coated.
Serve warm. Makes 12.


Jiffy Ground Pork Skillet

1 1/2 C. uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. ground pork
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes,
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4″

Cook pasta accordg. to pkg. directions.
In large skillet, cook pork & onion over
medium heat until meat is  no longer
pink; drain. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce
& Ital. seasoning. Bring to boil; reduce
heat. Cover & cook 5 minutes to allow
flavors to blend. Drain pasta; add to
skillet. Stir in zucchini; cover & cook
3-5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-
tender. Serves 5

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Southwestern Egg Rolls

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 packet chipotle marinade OR
taco seasoning
dash garlic salt
small can Mexicorn or chipotle corn, drained
1 can black beans/rinsed & drained
8 oz.  pepperjack cheese, shredded
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded
dash hot sauce or salsa (optional)

2 pkgs. egg roll wrappers (larger ones
if using for dinner, smaller for appetizers)
kosher salt

Sides for dipping: sour cream, salsa,
guacamole (optional)

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
In 9 X 13 pan place chicken breasts; sprinkle
marinade mix on top & a little garlic salt.
Pour veggies (not beans)on top & around
chicken. Add 1/2 C. water to pan. Bake 50-55
minutes, when chicken is cooked all the way
through & veggies are tender. Place chicken
& veggies in large bowl; shred with 2 forks.
Add corn & beans to chicken mixture along
with 2 cheeses. Sprinkle a little salt & pepper
& a little hot sauce or salsa on top (if you
want it a little spicier); mix well. Lay egg roll
wrapper down in a diamond shape; add a little
mixture to middle of wrapper, shaping filling
into a log shape. Begin to roll up; halfway
through, tuck in ends & finish rolling. Place,
seam-side-down, on well-greased cookie sheet.
Repeat until filling is gone. Spray tops of eggrolls
with nonstick spray & a light sprinkling of kosher
salt. Bake until browned & crispy, 20-25 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, salsa or guacamole for


Bacon-Horseradish Chip Dip

16 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 (16 oz,ea) containers sour cream
2 (3 oz, ea) jars real bacon bits
5 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 of 8 oz. jar prepared horseradish
1-2 pinches salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients.
Serves 25

(NOTE: you can add more or less
Worcestershire & horseradish, to
your taste).


Mississippi Mud Cake

2 C. sugar
1 C. shortening, softened
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 C. cocoa powder
1 1/2 C. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped pecans
3 tsp. vanilla
2 C. miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/3 C. cocoa powder
1 box confectioners sugar
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
In a bowl, cream together sugar &
shortening; add eggs & beat. Sift
together flour, cocoa & salt; add this
to mixture & mix well. Add vanilla &
pecans – mix well. Pour into a 9 X 13
baking pan sprayed with nonstick spray.
Bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven
immediately – gently drop pan onto a
flat surface, enough to make the cake
‘fall’ – this makes it fudgy. Cover top
of cake with marshmallows; place back
in oven & let marshmallows slightly melt.

Combine confectioners sugar, cocoa, vanilla,
evaporated milk, melted butter & pecans in
large bowl; mix well. Pour mixture over cake
& spread out. Place cake in refrigerator 2-3
hours. Keep chilled until time to serve.
Makes 12 servings.


Foil-Pack Chicken & Mushroom Dinner

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 C. water, divided
1 (6 oz) pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
6 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(1 1/2 lb.)
6 slices smoked ham
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 C. frozen peas, thawed

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Combine stuffing mix & remaining water.
Spoon onto centers of 6 large sheets
heavy-duty* aluminum foil sprayed with
nonstick spray. Top with chicken, ham
& vegetables.  Mix soup & 1/4 C. water
& pour over vegetables. Fold foil to make
6 packets; place on rimmed baking sheet.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until chicken is done
(165 degrees F). Cut slits in foil to release
steam before opening packets. Serves 6

*If you don’t have heavy-duty foil, just use
double layers of regular aluminum foil.

(recipe: Kraft foods)


1 box yellow cake mix (& ingredients to make cake)
2 box (small) instant banana pudding
4 c milk
8 oz whipped topping
20 vanilla wafers, crushed
sliced bananas – use your own judgment

Follow the direction on the cake mix box to prepare
the actual cake. Prepare it in a 9 x 13″ pan. When
golden, remove from over and let cool for a few
minutes.When just slightly cooled, use the end of
a wooden spoon (the handle end) to poke holes
into the baked cake. Don’t be shy; make the holes
big enough for the pudding to seep into and go deep
enough with the spoon that you hit the bottom of
the pan.Next, prepare pudding mixture. Combine
4 cups of milk and instant pudding mix; whisk until
fully combined and there are no lumps.Now it’s
time to fill those holes! Pour pudding mixture over
the entire cake, taking care to get it into all holes.
Use the spoon to help really get it into the cake and
spread evenly. Refrigerate for about two hours…
or until set.
Top with whipped topping, crushed vanilla wafers
and sliced banana.
(Refrigerate any leftovers.)

(From Betty Crocker and Just a pinch)

Mexican Pizza

Approx 1/2 lb ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 T. taco seasoning
1/4-1/2 C. refried beans
1/4-1/2 C. salsa ( jarred or homemade)
1/4-1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese (or your desired flavor)
2 (4 inch) flour tortillas
your choice of toppings: tomatoes, green onions, olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground beef in skillet. Add taco seasoning.
Drain if needed. Spray baking sheet with non stick
cooking spray. Lay one tortilla on sheet. Spread
with beans, then, with meat. Cover with second
tortilla. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Spread top tortilla with salsa, then, top with cheese and desired toppings. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted completely.
Cool slightly before cutting.

(recipe: Facebook)

Barbie’s Tuna Salad

1 (7 oz) can white tuna, drained & flaked
6 T. mayonnaise or salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. sweet pickle relish
1/8 tsp. dried minced onion
1/4 tsp. curry powder
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill weed
1 pinch garlic powder

In medium bowl, stir together tuna, mayonnaise,
Parmesan cheese & onion flakes. Season with
curry powder, parsley, dill & garlic powder. Mix
well & serve with crackers or on a sandwich.
Makes 4 servings.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Turkey Chili Taco Soup

1 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 (10 oz) can Ro*tel tomatoes with
green chilies
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained (or frozen)
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning mix
2 1/2 C. chicken broth

In large pot, brown turkey on medium heat.
When cooked through, add onions & pepper;
cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, beans,
tomato sauce, refried beans, taco seasoning &
chicken broth. Bring to boil & simmer 10-15
minutes. Serves 9

Serve with: baked tortilla chips, or top with sour cream,
jalapenos, shredded cheese, chopped scallions, or
chopped fresh cilantro.


Cherry Cream Cheese Bake

1 can cherry pie filling
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 stick of butter
2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Preheat oven375 degrees.
Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
Take half of the crescent rolls and lay
them out on the bottom of the baking dish.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, blend cream
cheese until smooth. Once smooth, add
powdered sugar and vanilla and blend.
Once blended, spoon onto the crescent rolls
in baking dish and spread evenly.
Top with can of cherry pie filling.
Top with the last half (4 triangles) of crescent
rolls.Melt butter and pour on top of crescents.
Top with granulated sugar; bake for 25 minutes
or until browned.

(recipe: Facebook)

How are your Gas Prices lately? I had a big shock when we drove past our regular gas station yesterday; Regular gas had jumped from $3.39/9 to $3.59/9 (I actually let out a yelp which caused my husband to think something was wrong – he was NOT happy I startled him). I’m glad that, right now, my tank is 3/4 full – sure hope it drops some soon.

Weather-wise, it’s back to being in the really cold temps: in the teens! When I went out earlier I was surprised at just how cold the wind was making me in such a short time. (Ah, those pesky Wind Chills that they factor into our weather reports). Right now it’s 19 and the cold is supposed to stay for the remainder of this week (sigh). The good thing? (in my humble opinion?) – You can still Walk/Drive/move about in cold – not so much in huge snow storms or freezing rain/icy roads, etc. Our unpaved road going to our church is a real mess right now – TONS of BIG potholes and ice all around – I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster just attempting to get to church! Spring is around the corner – but I really wish it would HURRY UP!

Hope you are all in good health – when I finish this post I have one more load of laundry, then it’s get back into my current mystery book (“The Witness” by Dee Henderson) and work on baby hats/crocheted baby blanket a little. (Ah, the life of a RETIRED Woman – sometimes it can be so taxing . . . she said with a smirk!)



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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. That smirk hides a smile I’m sure. You will always find a way to make the most of your time. I on the other hand have found a nap very enticing the last few days.

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