Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Nice Surprise

Today we had a repair man come to the house to repair a recliner we purchased two years ago. We rarely have repairmen in the house since my hubby is very handy at fixing pretty much anything but since this piece of furniture has a lifetime warranty on the mechanism and that was the problem...Tom was here to put in the new parts.

    As you can imagine, our younger two were totally entertained by watching Tom install the parts. I'm almost sure I saw one of his ears fall off from their talking so much, telling him stories, asking him know, all the normal things we hear ALL day, EVERY day.

    It wasn't surprising that Tom was patient, after all he is a grandpa and has a granddaughter about the same age as the Princess. What was surprising is that as soon as he discovered that we home school our children, he went on and on about how great it is for children. This comes as quite a surprise because most people are not real encouraging. Tom, however, was very informed on what home schooling is and how it works! He talked about how well children who are home schooled do on tests, how most of them turn out as great citizens and just, in general, bragging on them.

    So...Tom, thanks for your encouraging words. You probably won't know how much you lifted my weary heart. Home schooling is hard and it's nice to have a cheering section.

Blessings to you,

Mavis D.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wordy Wednesday - My Little LadyBug

Recently we participated in co-op classes with our local homeschool group. This cute little bug learned all about God's creatures with our good friends "Confetti" and "Cranberry." 

Adorable, right? :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Perfect Rice...Every Time

Photo courtesy of ScottChan of
 How many times have I made rice and it turned out to be a huge sticky mess? I can't begin to count the times! All I wanted was rice that sat nicely on a plate and I could put stir fry over or I could use it in fried rice, one of my favorite foods!
Well, I've tried and tried and just couldn't get the hang of it. Now, finally after all these years, I've figured out something that works for me! EVERY. TIME! The great thing about this method is that it doesn't much effort and if you do a little planning, you won't be using any extra electric or extra appliances (yes, I almost bought a "rice cooker" before I discovered this method).

So...lets get started.

The amount of rice doesn't matter...whatever you need for your family. For ours we usually make one cup of dry rice so we end up with about two cups of cooked rice.

You'll need a covered baking dish. If you don't have a regular casserole dish you can use whatever you have and cover it with foil but I prefer my Corning Ware dishes. Put one cup of rice in the dish and add two cups of water, add a dash of salt (if desired but it's not necessary) and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the lid on the dish and bake it at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it sit another 15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and serve.

Now the way I save on energy is I'll bake a dish or two of rice while I'm baking something else. If I'm not serving it with dinner I let it cool off some then I put it in the refrigerator for later use. Most of the time it becomes part of lunch for the next day when I have something that calls for cold fried rice!

Here's another tip: If you are using it for fried rice, instead of adding two cups of water, replace 1/4 of a cup of water with soy sauce. Then when you make your fried rice the next day you won't need to add the soy sauce so you won't need to wait for it to evaporate when you are frying the rice. It really makes the rice crispy.

Have a great day!
Mavis D.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sautéed Zucchini

I've been trying to be more creative with side dishes and use potatoes and rice a little less. I've been on a lower card diet for about 10 weeks now so I've had to get creative so we aren't eating the same things over and over. Today I made Sautéed Zucchini and it was a big hit, even with the one kid that says he doesn't like veggies much but just tolerates them! LOL!

Anyway, here it is, I hope you like it!

Two zucchini squash, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter (you can use olive oil if you like)
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Coarsely chop zucchini, toss with salt, pepper and parsley then set aside. In a nonstick skillet, heat butter on medium/high heat. Add zucchini mixture and cook until about half done...this will be to your taste, some like it a little tender-crisp and some like it a little more soft. When you have about a minute of cook time left, add your garlic. If you're handy with flipping it with just the skillet, you can do that , otherwise, toss using a spatula. :)

Serve immediately.

Sorry the picture is a little blurry...I was trying to hold the pan and take the picture without fogging up the camera! :) 

Have a great day!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Coleslaw Dressing

I've been looking for a recipe for a coleslaw dressing that we liked. My mom just mixes mayonnaise and vinegar but we didn't like that flavor much so I've been experimenting and we've finally decided on a winner.

I just make it up as needed, there no reason to make up too much at a time. I'd say we have coleslaw about once per week and it only takes a few minutes to mix it up so it's fresh!

Using a pint size jar, add three tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon of salt and three tablespoons of vinegar.
Shake or stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add 3/4 cup of "salad dressing" (some people call all of the white sandwich spreads mayonnaise but if you look closely, there is actually two different products...we prefer the salad dressing version). After you've added your mayo or "salad dressing" put the lid on tight and shake it up. Right before serving, pour dressing over your shredded cabbage and carrots, then toss to coat.

We used to buy the Kraft Coleslaw dressing but now we use this instead. It works out to be about 35c per mix and the Kraft is about $1.50 per bottle.

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Great Search!

     I was beginning to think our family was just really hard on can openers! Either that or we simply couldn't operate one correctly! We've tried several over the last few years trying to find one that will hold up without leaving shreds of metal around the top of the can or that doesn't mess up the can do bad you can't even come close to getting it open!
     Finally I did some homework! I planned on getting a quality can open that will open all size cans and last at least a year...longer if it cost was on the high side.
     So, I found's called a Swing-a-Way and it's made by Amco. It looks a lot like one we had years ago but lost. Now the only problem was finding one locally because we needed one last week! After a little more searching I found a local dealer and purchase TWO! After just a few day I know this was a good purchase and I'm sharing the info with my friends. Ok...I'm sharing the info with anyone who stands still for more than 2 minutes!

Fox Run Craftsmen Swing-A-Way Can Opener

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday - August 29

Today I am planning a "baking day" so I'll be making at least two loaves of bread and various other things like muffins, whole wheat buns, wheat rolls and probably some cookies. Since I'll be baking most of the day, I'll put dinner in the crockpot so I won't need to worry about it later when I'm tired!

One thing I have done to make menu planning easier was to make a list of all the meals we enjoy. So far, I have about 42 meals in our rotation and I'll add to the list as we try new recipes and find more "favorites." This is what our menu looks like for the week.

Monday - Chuck roast with potatoes, carrots and onions
Tuesday - Herbed chicken, rice pilaf and green salad
Wednesday - Taco salad
Thursday - Chicken Spaghetti with green salad
Friday - Scalloped potatoes with turkey ham, green beans
Saturday - Homemade pizza
Sunday -  Chicken & Dressing casserole

What will you be serving this week?