Baking Prep

This school year I plan on doing a lot of baking.  We have a longer ride to school this year, so I am online to prepare make ahead, grab-n-go breakfasts.  Today, while the girls are still home, I had them help me prep for baking.  We made Brown sugar, cinnamon sugar, and ground cinnamon.  Ground cinnamon is a little messy, but our house smells amazing! Oh, we also made taco seasoning! Below are the recipes I used.

Taco Seasoning

7 parts chilli powder

1 part onion powder

1 part garlic powder

1 part cumin

Mix so ingredients and store in an airtight container.
Brown Sugar

  2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

Mix together (I like to use my hands) and store in an airtight container.
We ran out of ground cinnamon making the cinnamon, so we ground some sticks to refill our bottle. I store This in a half pint mason jar with a kid I saved from a parmesan cheese container.
This doesn’t save time, but I love that I can control the ingredients.  

Now we are ready to bake a bunch of muffkns!


Meal plan week of 2/19

Monday – Enchilada Casserole

Rice krispie treats

Tuesday – Sausage or hamburger gravy + mashed potatoes

Celery & pb &j

Wednesday – Spaghetti & salad

Granola bars

Thursday – Sloppy joes, baked beans, peas

Granola bars

Friday- Tacos, corn

Celery, PB&j

Saturday – Waffles, bacon, blueberries


This week we are trying something new for breakfast: refrigerator oatmeal.  I will be posting about this later.

Freezer Slow cooker Meals – first attempt

Here is how I spent an hour of my Saturday afternoon.   It is my first attempt at freezer meals.  I spent about $33 on the ingredients that I didn’t have in the pantry.  I have 5 meals ready to go into my slow cookef (I only have to add some broth to the soup).  It was really pretty easy to put together.  20141108_150341I can’t wait to try them!

Using Essential Oils to help adjust to the time change

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My kids have been having a hard to going to sleep since the time change Saturday night. Now it is still daylight when they go to bed. My 10-year-old son has been affected the most. Today I decided to use some EOs to see if they could get to sleep a little better. I diffused lavender for about 30 minutes before bedtime. I also put Peace and Calming on their feet before they went to bed.


My new diffuser came today. It is smaller than I anticipated, but will be perfect for their bedrooms and for the camper this summer. They will love that it has 4 different light colors. It will also serve as their nightlight! It can also be used without the light for those who like their bedroom dark (that would be none of my kids!) It is super quiet. I think we will be satisfied with it (as long as it lasts a while!).


I came across this recipe today from Money Saving Mom and decided it was perfect for our supper tonight. I had to change it up a bit because I realized after the spaghetti was cooking that I don’t have an egg in the house! I used ground flaxseed in water as a substitute. Below is the original recipe.



8 ounces spaghetti noodles
3 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 ½ cups spaghetti sauce (one 23.5 ounce jar)
8-12 ounces (2-3 cups) shredded cheese (all mozzarella, or a mixture of your favorite pizza-friendly cheeses)
3.5 ounce package sliced pepperoni or any of your favorite pizza toppings


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions until al dente. Rinse immediately in cold water until cool and drain well.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add parmesan cheese and seasonings.

Toss in spaghetti noodles and transfer to a greased 9×13 pan (you can also use 2 8×8 pans, if you want to freeze one for later).

Pour the spaghetti sauce on top of noodles. Top with approximately half of the pepperoni. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the pepperoni and top with remaining pepperoni. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired.

Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

This recipe is very versatile. I used whole wheat pizza. My kids don’t like pepperoni, so I use ham and mushrooms (their favorite pizza toppings. Also, I put all the ham and mushrooms on before the cheese, just like I do when I make pizza. This was a BIG hit with my kids. They said they like it as well as fettuccini alfredo which is one of their favorite meals. After cooking the spaghetti I realized I had cooked a whole box of spaghetti (13.5 oz), so I doubled everything else, wrapped it up good and put it in the freezer for another meal. It was almost as easy to make as bubble pizza. We will definitely make again!

This Week’s Menu Plan


The kids are playing soccer this time of year, so I usually plan 4 meals.  We usually have left overs, or stop & eat if the soccer game is away.  I make sure I have everything I need on hand, but don’t plan a specific day to make each meal  This way I can make the meals that take a little longer to prepare on days that we’re not so busy.  I find it easier to stick to the meal plan this way.  Some always seems to come up during the week and I can juggle meals as necessary.  Saturdays the kids are responsible to make up the menu & help prepare the meal. 




Homemade Cheeseburger Helper

Crockpot Lasagna

Pork chops

Mashed Potato Bowls






Dehydrating Apples

When we planted our apple tree almost 15 years ago, we thought it was a shoot off a flowering crabapple tree. I wanted it because it would be pretty in the spring. This year is was gorgeous! It was loaded with blossoms! And now it is loaded with apples! We don’t know what kind they are, but they are definitely NOT crabapples! They are a small apple, and the kids tried them and said they taste okay. Since I don’t like things to go to waste, I decided to drying some. They are still in the dehydrator, so I will post again tomorrow with the results.

Here is what I did:


1. I selected apples without spots & blemishes. Since there are so many on the tree, I could afford to be picky.


2. I sliced the apples. Since they are so small and had not been sprayed, I didn’t want to peel them. Also, I did not core them. I got this tip from a friend. I just popped our the seeds (hence the paper clip.) Besides, my kids think the “star” in the middle of the apple is cool! I did soak them briefly in water with lemon juice hoping this could keep them from turning so brown.


3. Then is was just a matter of filling the dehydrator tray. Simple!


4. I decided to sprinkle them with a little pumpkin pie spice.

As I said earlier, they are in the dehydrator now. It sure is starting to smell good in here! I will post the results tomorrow. We cannot wait to try them! Hopefully this will make a great snack for the me and the kids!