Friday, October 29, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Cake Mix Cookies

1 boxed cake mix, any flavor
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
3-4 tsp water
Any mix-ins or flavorings desired

Soften the butter, and add the egg. Beat 3 minutes until the egg and butter are fluffy and light yellow. (You don’t have to do this step, but if you do, the cookies will be fluffier.)

Add the cake mix and mix until just combined. If you want to add anything special (nuts, chocolate chips, etc.), do it now and mix until combined.

Add water 1 tsp at a time until the dough reaches the consistency you’d like.* It should be stiff but not dry.

Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes (add 1 minute if dough was refrigerated). DO NOT BE FOOLED – the cookies will not look done, and they will be pretty squishy. (If you are using a light-colored cake mix like white or yellow, watch for browning. Once you see the slightest bit of brown on the cookies, take them out of the oven immediately.) Let them sit on the hot pan for several minutes before carefully moving to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

The above cooking time is for a soft, chewy cookie. If you prefer more crispy cookies, bake 13-14 minutes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Day in Autumn

It will not always be like this,
The air windless, a few last
Leaves adding their decoration
To the trees’ shoulders, braiding the cuffs
Of the boughs with gold; a bird preening

In the lawn’s mirror. Having looked up
From the day’s chores, pause a minute,
Let the mind take its photograph
Of the bright scene, something to wear
Against the heart in the long cold.

~ R.S. Thomas

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rice and Lentil Casserole

1 pound Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 2/3 cups chicken broth

In a large saucepan over medium heat, brown the sausage until no pink shows. Stir in the onion and green pepper, and sauté until the onions are tender. Stir in the lentils, rice and chicken broth. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes.

October 25-31 Menu Plan

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: White Chili, and Cornbread

Wednesday: Marinated Chicken Breast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

Thursday: Chicken Pie, and Green Beans

Friday: Beef Veggie Soup, and Cornbread

Saturday: Dinner Out- Fish Fry

Sunday: Chili Mac Skillet, and Corn

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas

Chicken Pie

3 cups diced cooked chicken
2 cans (14 1/2 ounce each) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 package frozen mixed veggies (16 oz)
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust

In Crock Pot, combine chicken, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, celery, onion, bay leaf, potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 to 6 hours. Remove bay leaf. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix milk and flour. Gradually stir flour and water mixture into Crockpot. Stir in pepper, poultry seasoning, and salt/ Remove the liner from Crockpot base and carefully place 9-inch pie crust over the mixture. Place the crockery liner inside preheated oven and bake (uncovered) for about 15 minutes, or until browned. If your liner is not removable, put the mixture in a casserole dish, cover with the pie crust and bake as above.

Serves 8

Beef Veggie Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 can green beans
1 can sliced potatoes
1 can butter beans
1 can corn
1 can peas
1 can carrots
1 can diced tomatoes (big can)

Brown the ground beef, drain. Dump all the canned veggies in, do not drain. Sprinkle in some Italian seasoning. Cook in your slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

White Chili

1 lb large white beans, soaked overnight in water, drained
6 cups chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped (divided)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, chopped (optional)

1 Combine beans, chicken broth, garlic and half the onions in a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are very soft, 3 hours or more. Add additional water (or watered-down broth), if necessary.

2 In a skillet, sauté remaining onions in oil until tender. Add chilies and seasonings and mix thoroughly. Add to bean mixture. Add chicken and continue to simmer 1 hour. Check seasoning, add jalapeno or serrano to level of desired hotness.

3 Serve topped with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips.

8-10 servings

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 spice cake mixes
1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

September 2010 Reading List

Canadian West Series by Janette Oke

When Calls the Heart

Elizabeth is an educated easterner who moves to the north to teach school to a town who has never had a teacher for their new school and they kids have no education. She lives in the teacherage on the back of the school. She doesn’t have any plans to marry until she encounters Wynn a Royal Canadian Mountie who is not interested in taking a wife because of his job. They eventually work things out and marry.

When Comes the Spring

After Elizabeth and Wynn marry they move even farther north to a remote Indian Village. They struggle with their new responsibilities and loneliness. They experience a harsh winter and the general store’s fire that destroys all the supplies. The village has to pull together to keep everyone fed until supplies come in the spring.

When Breaks the Dawn

Elizabeth struggles with not having any children of her own but find joy when she is giving the chance to raise an Indian boy after his mother dies. She is trust into depression a year later when the father returns and wants the child back because he has found a new wife. She goes to visit her family for 3 weeks so that she can see a doctor since it has been 4 years of marriage with no children and is told that she is fine and there is no reason she can’t conceive. Sickness comes to the village and her best friend miscarries and her two year old dies.

When Hope Spring New

Elizabeth and Wynn get a new post in a remote and more primitive Indian reservation. Elizabeth is not welcomed by the people who have had little contact with white people and no contact with a white woman. They shun her and she has to face a lonely winter alone. In the spring she plants her vegetable garden in an area the people think has evil spirits and when a fire comes to destroy the village they think it is because of her until they see that it comes to her garden and turns back. She is able to get them to care for themselves when they have no food or shelter for several months. She organizes them into camps and work groups to feed and shelter the community and gains respect of everyone including the chief. Because of the needs of the village they are transformed to a small town while the village is being built. The join a local church and help with the Sunday school. One of the boys ends up coming to live with them and they decide to not go back to the reservation because he needs them.

Beyond the Gathering Storm

The Delaney’s adopted son Henry becomes a RCMP just like his father. He is haunted by a young widow that he had to visit to tell of her husband’s death. He eventually find that the young widow lives in his town and he be friends her and her son. They end up falling in love.

Christine the Delaney’s adopted daughter moves to the city and falls in love with her boss’s son. He is pushy and not a Christian but she hopes he will come around. She is attracted to him against her better judgment and even after warning signs that he will not treat her well. She plans to marry him and soon after Christmas she realizes that she can’t be with him and breaks up with him and her boss lets her go so she moves back home.

When Tomorrow Comes

Henry is planning to wed the young widow and Christine comes to town and help with the wedding details. She fills called to the North but because of the scars from her last love is she is not ready for a relationship when eligible young men are interested in her. Christine’s brother and his new wife get into a car accident as they are coming to a family Easter celebration. When they are in the hospital with serious injuries a kind young doctor befriends her. After several months goes buy he eventually calls her and asks her out on a date and then they start courting but she is not sure what to do about her feeling for him because she would have to give up on the dream of going to the North. She eventually decides on love and they plan to marry.

Submitted to:

Life As Mom I’m Booking It in 2010!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Carrot-Cranberry Bars

1 box spice cake mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 container cream cheese frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour, or spray with baking spray with flour, bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch pan.

2. In large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, water and eggs with spoon. Stir in carrot and cranberries. Spread evenly in pan.

3. Bake 18 to 24 minutes (25 to 29 minutes for dark or nonstick pan) or until bars spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Spread with frosting. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Serving: 48 Bars
Calories: 120

October 18-24 Menu Plan

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Turkey Brats, Scalloped Potatoes, and Peas

Wednesday: Italian Breaded Pork Chops, Swiss Turkey Stuffing Pie, and Corn

Thursday: October Fest at Church- Meal Provided

Friday: Marinated Chicken Breast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

Saturday: Chili Mac Skillet, and Corn

Sunday: Volunteer Trunk or Treat at Church - Meal Provided

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Pumpkin Muffin Cookies

1 box Spice Cake mix
1 can (15 ounces) pureed pumpkin
1 cup of add-ins

Optional add-ins: Raisins, dried cranberries, Chocolate Chips, White Chocolate Chips, Pecans, pumpkin seeds...the list goes on and on. You could always leave them plain and frost them with a cream cheese frosting.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with baking spray. In a bowl, combine canned pumpkin and cake mix. Stir until smooth, mixture will be thick. Add optional ingredients. Scoop desired amount of dough on sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned on edges. They will not spread, as they are a "cakey" cookie.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn in the Country

Autumn chill is in the air,
Golden leaves are everywhere.

Apple trees with bright-red fruit,
Scarecrow has a brand-new suit.

Fields of pumplins, orange and green,
Children everywhere thinking Halloween.

Haystacks standing staight and tall,
Waiting for the Harvest Ball.
Picking berries, making jam,
Baking pies, baking ham.

Busy days full of cheer,
Oh, how I love this time of year!
~Patricia Wyatt, Ventura, California~
(Poem from Country Woman Magazine, Sept/Oct '06)

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11-17 Menu Plan

Monday: Spaghetti, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, and Salad

Tuesday: Potluck- Corn Casserole

Wednesday: BBQ Pork Sandwiches, and Minestrone Soup

Thursday: Cook’s B-day Day Off

Friday: Mexican Pot Roast, Rice, and Peas

Saturday: Marinated Chicken Breast, Sweet Potatoes, and Green Beans

Sunday: Chili Mac Skillet, and Corn

Submitted to:
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie to see more menu ideas

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

1 box chocolate cake mix
8oz cream cheese
1 stick butter-room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat together cream cheese, butter, egg. Then beat in vanilla, and then slowly add in cake mix. Refrigerate 2 hours. Roll dough into balls then roll into a little powdered sugar to cover the balls. Bake 12 minutes at 350.

They can be made with any cake mix flavor!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Walking: The Easiest Exercise

Walking is the simplest way to get fit, stay in shape and strengthen your heart and bones. Walk at a brisk pace while enjoying your surroundings, breathing fresh air and, spending time with a friend or family member is fun and good for you.

Make an effort to walk more such as parking your car far from the entrance to a store, pace or walk in place while doing chores try to beat your time each day. Most exercise experts recommend 30 minutes of activity most days of the week, and walking is a great way to get it. Taking 10,000 steps over the course of a day is roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise. Walking one mile burns approximately 100 calories. Walking is simply one of the easiest and safest activities for burning calories and tuning up the cardiovascular system.

If you’re just starting a walking program, begin the first week by walking 20 minutes three times a week. For the next few weeks, increase your time to 30 minutes. As you feel more energetic and fit, add an extra session or two to your weekly walking program. Try to work up to five sessions a week, for 30 to 45 minutes each time and remember to walk at a good pace, too. Here are some additional tips:

• Wear sturdy athletic shoes.

• Keep your head level as you walk and look straight ahead.

• Bend your elbows at about a 90-degree angle and keep them close to your sides. Swing your arms back and forth as you walk.

• Let your heel strike the ground first, and then roll from the heel to the ball of your foot. Push off with the ball of your foot for more momentum.

• Take long, smooth strides.Walk as briskly as you can.

• Breathe deeply but naturally as you walk.

Finally, make your walk meaningful. Look around. Enjoy your surroundings. Have fun.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cake Mix Recipes: Cookies & Crème Cake

1 white cake mix egg whites
1 cup crushed Oreo cookies
1 can white frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Stir in the crushed Oreos. Pour into a greased 13×9” cake pan. You can also make this in two 9” cake pans or as cupcakes. Bake according to package directions.