Friday, April 29, 2011

52 Weeks: #17 Serving Size Snacks

I made serving size snack packs with snacks from my pantry that was already opened along with snack size baggies. I had made some pretzel packs for my husband to take to work with him last week and he asked me to make more with other snacks too.  The container was in the basement unused and now it holds all the baggies.
I wrote the serving size, type of snack, and calorie count on each baggie and he can take however many he needs. This will help him to be aware of serving sizes and calories but feel that he can control how many baggies he wants to eat. I am sure others in the house will eat some of them too when they need a snack on the go. This saves money by using what we have, not buying premade packs, and avoiding the temptation of vending machines.

Serving Size, Type of Snack, and Calorie Count

16 Waffle Pretzels 110 Cal.
24 Special K Savory Herb Crackers 120 Cal.
24 Special K Multigrain Crackers 120 Cal.
19 Animal Crackers 120 Cal.
2 Chocolate Chip Cookies 130 Cal.
16 Wheat Thins 140 Cal.
8 sq. Cinnamon Graham Crackers 140 Cal.
24 White Cheddar Crackers 150 Cal.
4 Shortbread Cookies 150 Cal.

What I suggest is one snack pack serving along with a serving of fruit. This is the kind of snack that I eat in the afternoon or yogurt and fruit. I then have a dessert type snack or the same in the evening. It would be roughly 200-250 calories per snack if you did this.

Submitted to:
I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cake Mix Recipes: Blueberry-Lemon Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 eggs
1 1/3 cups blueberry pie filling (from 21-oz can)
1 container (12 oz) whipped vanilla frosting

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only 2 (8-inch or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray; lightly flour (or spray with baking spray with flour).

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, oil, lemon peel and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.

3. Bake 8-inch rounds 27 to 32 minutes, 9-inch rounds 23 to 28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on serving plate. Spread 2/3 cup pie filling over layer. Top with second layer, rounded side up. Frost side with frosting, building up a slight edge at top of cake. Spread remaining pie filling over top of cake to frosted edge. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Servings: 16
Calories: 300

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

52 Weeks: #17 China Cabinet

I reorganized and cleaned the china cabinet.



Before view with the door closed.

I doesn't looks too different but I think it looks a little less cluttered with the door closed in the after picture.

This is what it looks like now with the door open.

The right drawer had a lot of stuff in it before I organized it. I moved the candles to my candle storage in the basement. The seed packets went to the shed with the planting stuff. The ribbon went to the ribbon box in my little office. The spice jars got bagged and stored in another cabinet until I decide to use them. And the bird ornaments I made a couple years ago got rehung in my kitchen.

This is after cleaning out the drawer. I plan to hang some plates over the main wall in my kitchen so the hangers should get used soon.

This is the before picture of the right drawer. I keep our most frequently used cloth napkins and a prayer book and cards in this drawer.


This is the linen before I reorganized.

This is after I removed all the candles and straightened up the linen.

This is the decor on the top of the china cabinet.

Submitted to:
I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25- May 1 Menu Plan

Monday: Out to Dinner

Tuesday: Chicken Breast, Breakfast Casserole, and Herbed Broccoli w/ Mushrooms

Wednesday: Chicken, Asparagus, and Penne Pasta, and Green Beans

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake, Carrots, and Corn

Saturday: Pork Loin Roast, All Day Macaroni and Cheese, and Peas

Sunday: Roasted Turkey, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, and Green Beans

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

Friday, April 22, 2011

52 Weeks: #16 Kitchen Decor

I cleaned and reorganized my kitchen wall decor. I removed the plates from the plate rack and washed them.

They got put back in the rack all nice and clean.

I removed the tea cups and washed them along with dusting the flowers and bird cage.

The tea cups were returned. This is a paper towel bar but we don't use paper towels much so I decided about a year ago that I had to find something else to hang on it so I went with tea cups.

My over the stove decor before I cleaned and reorganized.

This is after most of it was removed.

I put everything back after I cleaned the shelf and decor.

Submitted to:
I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pudding Eggs

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 pkg. (4 serving size) chocolate flavor instant pudding
1/3 cup boiling water
5 cups unsifted powdered sugar
8 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 squares white baking chocolate (optional)

1. Mix butter and dry pudding mix in large bowl. Gradually add boiling water, stirring until well blended. Stir in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until mixture forms a ball. Shape scant tablespoonfuls of the pudding mixture into 60 small eggs, each about 1-1/2 inches long. (If pudding mixture is too soft, refrigerate about 15 minutes to firm slightly before shaping.) Refrigerate 30 minutes or until eggs are firm.

2. Microwave semi-sweet chocolate in microwavable bowl on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until slightly melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Dip eggs into chocolate. Refrigerate on wax paper-covered tray 15 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

3. Meanwhile, microwave white chocolate in separate microwavable bowl on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until slightly melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Drizzle white chocolate over eggs; let stand until set. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Serving Size: 2 eggs
Calories: 253

Cake Mix Recipes: Traditional Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Brownie Base
1 box Betty fudge brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.) Make brownies as directed on box. Cool completely.
In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. For brownies, cut into 9 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Servings: 36
Calories 180

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

52 Weeks: #16 Dish Cabinet

While most of the dishes were in the dishwasher I remove the ones left in the cabinet and wiped the shelves and then put everything back. After the dishes in the dishwasher were finished I put those away.

Submitted to:

I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Tea Ring

3/4 C milk
1/4 cup butter
3 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
1/2 C sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C water
1 egg

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 C sugar
6 apples, peeled and diced
2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles; remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; set aside. Put 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl, mix well. Add the water, egg and milk/butter mixture. Stir until everything is mixed together (this part will look sticky). Add the remaining cup of flour and mix until the dough starts to form a ball. Continue kneading for five minutes. Place dough onto a well floured surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar; spread evenly over dough. Mix together the apples, cinnamon and sugar. Spread on top of the cream cheese.

Roll dough up and form into a circle making sure the edges are sealed together. Transfer to cookie sheet and cut slits three fourths down into the dough, about two inches apart, all the ways around the ring. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; drizzle on some cream cheese icing (same as I used in the apple pizza) and sprinkle on some cinnamon.

30-Minute Rolls

30-Minute Rolls (1 dozen version)

1 1/8 cups plus 2 tsp. warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 T yeast
1/4 cup sugar or honey
½ tsp. Salt
1 eggs
3 ½ cups flour

Mix 1st 4 ingredients and let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs – gradually add flour. Shape into dinner rolls, or use in your favorite recipe that calls for dough. After shaped, let rest for 10 minutes. For rolls, Bake 10 minutes 400 degrees ‘till golden brown.

30-Minute Rolls (3 dozen version)

3 ½ cup warm water
1 cup oil
6 T yeast
¾ cup sugar or honey
1 ½ tsp. Salt
3 eggs
10 ½ cups flour

Mix 1st 4 ingredients and let rest for 15 minutes. Add salt and eggs – gradually add flour. Shape into dinner rolls, or use in your favorite recipe that calls for dough. After shaped, let rest for 10 minutes. For rolls, Bake 10 minutes 400 degrees till golden brown.

Glazed Ham

1 (10 lb.) ham ½ C. honey
1/3 C. brown sugar
¼ C. orange juice

Score ham. Mix honey, brown sugar, and orange juice together. Rub mixture over scored ham. Place ham, fat side up, in roasting pan. Bake ham at 350 degrees F. for 2 ½ hours. Baste with juices during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes

2 lb. hash brown potatoes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cap cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients. Pour into a greased 9x13 glass pan (or 2 8x8 pans). Bake at 350 for 1 hour until browned.

aka Favorite Potluck Potatoes

Spinach Ambrosia

7 cups bite-size pieces fresh spinach
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 can (11 ounces) pineapple and mandarin orange segments, drained
1/3 cup orange juice

Toss spinach, coconut and fruit in large bowl. Drizzle with orange juice. Serve immediately.

Servings: 8
Calories 60

Blueberry Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested (the zest is for the frosting)
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries, washed and picked over
extra blueberries and sliced almonds for garnish

For the cream cheese frosting:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package light cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper, with enough paper that paper hangs over the two long sides. Grease lightly with baking spray or butter.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer) cream the butter with the sugars. Blend in the eggs one at a time, and whip until creamy. Add the vanilla as well as the bananas. Mix until creamy.

3. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the mixture roughly, but do not combine completely.

4. In a large measuring cup, mix the lemon juice with the milk. (Reserve the lemon zest for the frosting.) With the mixer running, slowly pour the milk into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Mix until smooth. Fold in the blueberries. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

5. Bake the cake for 75 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Start checking after 60 minutes, but mine took more like 80 minutes.)

6. When the cake is firm and a tester comes out clean, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.

7. Run a knife between the cake and the short edges of the pan to help release the cake. Lift up on the parchment paper to remove the whole cake from the pan, and place the cake, parchment and all, on a cooling rack. Place the rack in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and let the cake cool completely before icing.

For the icing: In a large bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese together until very smooth, with no lumps remaining. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the confectioners’ sugar, reserved lemon zest, and salt and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake. Garnish with blueberries and sliced almonds if desired.

Perfect Freezer Biscuits

4 cups flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1 (16 oz) container or 2 cups reduced fat sour cream
3-5 tsp water, if needed
4 Tbsp melted butter (need when baking the entire batch of biscuits)

1. In a food processor, add all of the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to get the ingredients mixed together.

2. Add butter to the food processor and pulse until butter is cut into pea sized pieces. This will take a few minutes.

3. Next, add the sour cream and and pulse until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too dry you can add some water. (I didn’t need any water)

4. Remove dough from the food processor and knead a couple of times on a lightly floured surface.

5. Roll out to 1 inch in thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut out into round biscuit shapes or cut into squares using a pizza cutter.

6. If freezing, place biscuits on a cookie sheet for about 1-2 hours, until solid. After they are frozen, place in a freezer bag to store. Use as needed.

7. To bake biscuits whether fresh or frozen: Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes or until top is golden. Halfway through the baking process, brush the tops of the biscuits again with melted butter. Makes 16-20 biscuits.

Friday, April 15, 2011

52 Weeks: #15 Stove Drawer

I cleaned and organized my stove drawer.

I took everything out and washed the drawer.

I put everything back when I was finished. No purging required for this project, although I have consider getting rid of the blue bowls but we use them for chips at parties. I would have to decide if I have enough glass bowls to make up for them being gone.

Submitted to:

I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cake Mix Recipes: Strawberry Yogurt Torte

1 box white cake mix

3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 container (6 oz)  fat free strawberry yogurt
2 containers whipped vanilla frosting
20 fresh strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Assorted fresh berries, if desired
Fresh mint leaves, if desired

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

2. In large bowl, beat dry cake mix, water, oil, egg whites and yogurt with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes (batter will be lumpy). Pour into pan.

3. Bake 24 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Cut cake crosswise into thirds. Place one-third on flat serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup of the frosting. Arrange half of the sliced strawberries on frosting. Repeat with another third of cake, 1/2 cup of the frosting and remaining strawberries. Top with remaining third of cake. Frost side of torte with thin coat of frosting to seal in crumbs, then frost side and top.

5. Cover loosely and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled. Before serving, garnish with berries and mint leaves. Cut into 12 slices; cut each slice in half. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Servings: 24
Calories: 250

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

52 Weeks: #15 Small Appliances, Pots & Pans

I cleaned, and organized my small appliances, pots & pans cabinet I did not purge anything with this project.


I took everything off the top shelf such as pots & pans, lids, mixing bowls, strainers, and roasting pan I organized, cleaned the shelf  and then put everything back.

I did the same to my small appliance shelf except I also wiped them down. I wipe them down after each use but I wanted to do it again since other people in the house don't always. The crockpot liner & lid are in the fridge and the coffee pot & basket are in the dishwasher which is why the are not in the photo. I store my extra appliances in the basement kitchen storage.

The top and middle drawers slide out but I never do that except when I clean them.

Appliances on the drawers slide out.

I store my platers and baking trays on the bottom shelf.

Everything clean and back in place.

Submitted to:

I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 11-17 Menu Plan

Monday: Homemade Pepperoni Pizza, and Salad

Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Beans, and Carrots

Wednesday: Skillet Bow Tie Lasagna, Cheese-Garlic Biscuits, and Salad

Thursday: Pizza Bread Salad, Cheese-Garlic Biscuits

Friday: BBQ Chicken Legs, Chicken-Parmesan-Pasta Salad, Peas

Saturday: Ham and Cheddar Strata, and Corn

Sunday: Sloppy Joe Cornbread Bake, Green Beans, and Corn

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

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spinach-Strawberry Salad

Honey-Dijon Dressing

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon poppy seed, if desired
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 small jicama
2 kiwifruit
1/2 pint (1 cup) fresh strawberries
8 cups ready-to-eat spinach (from 9- or 10-oz bag)

1. In a tightly covered jar or container, shake all the dressing ingredients.

2. Peel the jicama, removing the brown skin and a thin layer of the flesh just under the skin. The skin can sometimes be slightly tough. Cut about half of the jicama into about 1x 1/4-inch sticks to measure about 3/4 cup. Wrap remaining jicama and refrigerate for another use.

3. Peel the kiwifruit. Cut lengthwise in half, then cut into slices. Rinse the strawberries with cool water and pat dry. Remove the leaves and cut the berries lengthwise into slices.

4. Remove and discard the stems from the spinach leaves. Rinse the leaves in cool water. Shake off excess water and blot to dry with paper towels. Tear any large leaves into bite-size pieces.

5. In a large salad bowl, place the spinach, strawberries, jicama sticks and kiwifruit slices. Shake the dressing again to mix ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, and toss with 2 large spoons or salad tongs. To keep salad crisp, serve immediately
Servings: 4
Calories 190

Chicken-Parmesan-Pasta Salad

8 oz. (3 cups) uncooked pasta nuggets (radiatore)
1 cup fresh baby carrots, halved diagonally
1 cup fresh small broccoli florets
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 cup purchased peppercorn ranch salad dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package, adding carrots and broccoli during last minute of cooking time. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well.

In large serving bowl, combine cooked pasta, carrots and broccoli with chicken, onions, bell pepper and cucumber; mix well. Add dressing, cheese and salt; toss gently to coat.

Servings: 6
Calories 490

Friday, April 8, 2011

52 Weeks: #14 Dinner Cabinet

I decluttered, cleaned, and organized what I call my dinner cabinet and this is the before picture.

This is everything out of the bottom shelf such as rice, pasta, potato flakes, bread crumbs, croutons, soup mix jar, gravy, rice kits.

This is the middle shelf unloaded onto the counter. It has mac n' cheese, barley, helper kits, pasta sauce, mushrooms, ramen noodles, and split peas.

This is the top shelf stuff on the counter I have lots of  beans, and pasta. The two plastic containers was a purchase I made a couple weeks ago at Wal-Mart for $3.00 each. It is a failed attempt to have my beans all in containers. They are too wide and are not long enough to fit my cabinets but I will have to deal with the two I bought until the beans are used up and then I will take them out of this cabinet. I wanted ones similar  to the blue ones that I have on my bottom shelf and I wanted them to go all the way across the shelf. I guess I will just keep stacking the bags since that has worked the best so far.

This is the after picture of my dinner cabinet. I actually added 3 boxes of mac n' cheese from my basement food storage.

Breading crumbs, chicken sauce mix, and french fried onions is what went into the trash.

Submitted to:

I'm an Organizing Junkie 52 Weeks of Organizing

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cake Mix Recipes: Traditional Spring Celebration Brownies

1 box fudge brownie mix

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup pastel-colored chocolate candies
1/4 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon shortening

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. Make brownies as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs.

Bake 23 minutes. Sprinkle with marshmallows; bake 5 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed and golden. Sprinkle with candies.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chips and shortening uncovered on High 15 seconds; stir. Drizzle over bars. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For easier cutting, use plastic knife dipped in hot water. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

Servings: 24
Calories: 200