A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Daily Ramblings, recipes, photos and whatever else I like to share along the way.

Happy Halloween!!





It's late, I've been busy so I will make this short and sweet.

Happy Halloween and enjoy a clip from It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.

Such a classic.



Sweet Fall Surprise...



A beautiful Gerber Daisy!
I enjoy the colorful fall leaves but this daisy was a sweet fall surprise.

My New Best Friend..Bert's Bees Acne Solutions Spot Treatment...


This product is wonderful!
Lately I have been having issues with food allergies and this equals to my face breaking out.
(Yes, it really is due to food allergies. My food list is starting to dwindle down of what I can eat.)
I know not pretty at all.
Heck, I never broke out this bad as a teen.
*sigh*
Anywho, I normally used a tiny bit of Tea Tree Oil (this stuff is also really good) but it seems to have lost the zip for me on my face. :(
Not sure what to try next, I went out shopping where I stumbled upon this Bert's Bees Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment.
In the basket went the little box of acne treatment to give it a whirl.
I applied a little drop to my irritated nose, noticed a really nice natural fragrance and it absorbed quickly into my skin.
I have to say that I applied it two more times (a tiny bit impatient) and by the end of the night my nose was looking good!
The next morning I am quite happy to report it was clearing up very nicely.
This product full of wonderful natural oils that help heal your irritated skin.
I know one item I will not be without in my bathroom drawer.

Check out Bert's Bees Acne Solutions Targeted Spot Treatment on the Bert's Bees website.


Low Fat Cream of Broccoli Soup - Recipe

Yummy!
I have wanted to make cream of broccoli soup since I can remember but thought it would be a bit hard.
Pfft! I was so very wrong.
This recipe is quick, easy and tasty.
The recipe that I used originally used evaporated skim milk, I went one step further and used the fat free version of evaporated skim milk.
I think the whole process took around thirty minutes and I was rewarded with a hot, tasty soup.


* Exported from MasterCook *

Low Fat Cream of Broccoli Soup

Recipe By: Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D.
Serving Size: 4
Categories: Soups

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 cups broccoli florets
3 cups chicken broth, reduced fat
2 cups fat free evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

pepper -- to taste

  • In a large saucepan, combine the broccoli and 1 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 8 -10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
  • Transfer the broccoli mixture to a blender or food processor. Blend or process until nearly smooth (the broccoli will be in tiny pieces) Return the mixture to the saucepan and set aside.
  • In a custard cup, stir together 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth. Then stir the cornstarch mixture into the broccoli mixture. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups milk and remaining 2 cups broth. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add the thyme. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

Source:
"Healthy Homestyle Cooking"
Copyright:
"1994"
Yield:
"4 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 163 Calories; 1g Fat (3.1% calories from fat); 13g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 5mg Cholesterol; 178mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 Vegetable; 1 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat.

NOTES:

  • Great with a nice slice of crunchy bread.
  • Can use plain evaporated milk in place of the ff option.
  • I also like to use the lower sodium chicken broth when cooking.

Sometimes...





You can find even simple items very interesting all you need to do is slow down and take a look around you.
Our lives can zip past us before we know it; we are rushing here and there to make sure we get everything done.

Every so often we need to be reminded to stop, slow down and enjoy the little things all around us.
I noticed how lovely these lights were this summer-it only took me nineteen years!
Every day I passed these lights without really stopping and looking at them.
It took taking a trip showing my children the sites of Penn State University- University Park to stop and see what was around me.
I am a true type A always going, going, going and thinking about what is next ahead of me.
I'm trying to stop a bit more and take the time to enjoy/notice the small things all around.
You never know where you might find beauty, so next time you are out, stop and take in what is all around you.
You just might be surprised at what you can find.


Sour Cream Pork Chops - Recipe


Every now and then it is nice to have a pork chop but I get tired of breading them and baking them.
I dug up this recipe yesterday on allrecipes.com and tweaked it a little bit for our tastes.
I added in quite a bit of garlic but I think when I make it again I would add some uncooked to the soup mix. I would also add in some more onion powder to the gravy, cooked onions add a nice touch but I would like a bit more flavor.
Maybe the next time I will a touch of red pepper in the sauce?
These chops were so tender to the touch and had a nice flavor to them.

original recipe


* Exported from MasterCook *

Sour Cream Pork Chops

Recipe By: AMI
Serving Size: 6
Categories: Main Meal

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 pork chops
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion -- sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup 98% FF
1/2 cup sour cream
garlic powder
onion powder
Emeril's Original Seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic -- chopped fine
black pepper -- freshly ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces mushroom pieces

  • Season pork chops with freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and Emeril's seasoning. Then dredge them in 1/2 cup of flour that has been seasoned with garlic and black pepper. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of olive oil.
  • Remove the pork chops from pan and place in the crock pot.
  • In pan add in onions and freshly chopped garlic, cook lightly then place over top the prok chops.
  • Add in the cream of mushroom soup, water and cook on low for 6 hours
  • Remove the pork chops, add the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of flour to the gravy mix well. Cook for about 15 minutes or until thickend.
  • Place pork chops in a 200 degree oven to keep warm while making the gravy thick.
  • Enjoy!

Source:
"Allrecipes.com"
Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 349 Calories; 21g Fat (55.4% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 82mg Cholesterol; 76mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 2 Fat.

Serving Ideas:
  • Side Salad
  • Baked Potato
  • Green Beans

NOTES:
  • Purchase pork chops with less fat and boneless is possible.

I used other seasonings than what was called for and would increase the amounts used.


Snowman Rope Candle...


What a perfect candle to add a little seasonal cheer in your house all winter long.
Inside this cute little snowman is a beeswax rope candle that can be replaced once it has been burned.
The flame will only burn out when it gets to the rotating clip and beeswax burns with no soot.



You can also find this lovely rope candle that can be used year round.

If you are interested you can purchase the snowman rope candle here, the plain rope beeswax candle here and there is even a tree rope candle here, and they are all from Plow and Hearth.


Fall Basket....




Last week I noticed that I still had up my summer hat on the front door.
Hmm...
I needed to create a new one due to my last fall wreath being retired about two years ago.
*blush*
I hooked Spencer to go with me to Michaels (as he stated crafty stores are not his thing-eh, builds character) and we found the basket on clearance and the flowers on sale.
Sweet!
End result is not too bad.


Apple Butter Time!





Dh and I love apple butter.
We have not made it in about 2 years and we finally finished our last jar which meant it was time to make more.
It is so very simple to do, I know others that have a process they like to go through but for us it is super easy.

Crockpot - check
apples - check (We use whatever we have on hand or have picked at the orchard. I would not suggest Red Delicious or a very juicy apple.)
Cinnamon & Nutmeg - check
hand blender - check

How we do it:
Remove the skin, cut up and place into crock pot.
Sprinkle in your desired amount of spices, we never measure them simply go by our taste buds. :)
Add about 4 tablespoons of water and cook on low.
As the apples begin to soften up and cook down, simply zap a few times with the stick blender.
Cover back up, let cook again (about 2 hrs) then use the stick blender again.
Done!

Then it comes down to either canning or freezing the yummy goodness in plastic containers.

Nope, we do not add any sugar to our apple butter just the simple goodness of the apples.

Mmmm.... tasty!


Halloween Cupcake T-Shirt...




Calling all cupcake lovers!

An excellent t-shirt for this time of year but really any time is a great time to have a fun cupcake t-shirt.

Hurry...it is only on Shirt.Woot.com but I'm not sure how long.

Yankee Candle Lip Balm



Alright, I like making my own lip balms but I also enjoy treating myself to those made by others.
I heard a few months ago that Yankee Candle was now making lip balms; my interest was peaked and was interested in getting my hands on one to try.
Two weeks ago I went into Yankee, picked up a candle a few votives and tossed in the lip balm to give it a try.
I was not too sure how it would be but I kept an open mind.
The jar lid has a protective tamper resistant seal that peels off so you are then able to open up the product.
Shhh.... I need to admit that it took me a few minutes to figure out how to twist up the lip balm - it's the bottom of the jar that twists up. *silly me*
As you can see the lip balm is in the same shaped jar as their famous candles, way too cute!
I picked the strawberry flavored balm because that is my favorite lip balm flavor.
First thing I did once outside was look at the ingredients and I was mighty impressed.
This balm is with made with beeswax, organic extra virgin olive oil, organic hemp seed oil, vitamin E and has an SPF 15 factor. *Thumbs Up* Great ingredients to pamper your lips with so the next was the text of how it felt on my lips.
Excellent glide, nice light feeling (strong dislike to heavy lip balms), and it lasts a long time.
I have even worn this under my lipstick with great results.
*Thumbs Up*
Then there is the scent, it smells exactly like a juicy strawberry. Oh.Yum!
*Thumbs Up*

This is one fantastic lip balm that I highly recommend you give a try.
The lip balm is .14 ounces and packed with wonderful pampering ingredients for your lips.
You have four great flavors to select from they are Black Cherry, Sweet Strawberry, Buttercream, Vanilla Cupcake and Vanilla Lime.

Check out Yankee Candle (online) or your local store.


USB Pumpkin Halloween Light




This USB Pumpkin Halloween light is perfect for this time of year with Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving not too far behind.
I would keep this cutie out until Thanksgiving was over.
I mean, why not?
Anywho, this fun find is for Linda (who has a fabulous blog- Frenchless in France. ) who left a nice note about my Christmas Tree USB fun find.
This little pumpkin does not cost much and ships for only $3 worldwide!

You can pick up your light here.


I must have!!
A must for any Peanuts fan.

USB Christmas Tree for your Computer...



I know I'm early with Christmas decorations but I just had to share this cute tree with you.
This is a perfect way to add just a tiny bit of holiday cheer to your desk at home or your office.
Simply plug it into your USB port and your are ready to celebrate!
It really does not get much easier than that.
You can pick one up here and you won't break the piggy bank either.


Soft Dinner Rolls - Recipe


I adore making bread, any type, shape or kind it is so relaxing to me.
When I made the Cowboy Stew last week, I wanted to try a new bread recipe out.
I finally found one at the King Arthur website, which I might add is stuffed full of wonderful recipes.
(King Arthur just so happens to be my favorite type of flour and will go out of my way to make sure it is in the house at all time.)
This recipe was easy to follow and make. The end result was a wonderful addition to the dinner that had been made and would go great with any meal you prepare.

original recipe


* Exported from MasterCook *

Soft Dinner Rolls

Recipe By: King Arthur
Serving Size: 16
Categories : Bread

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast(package)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour -- King Arthur
1/4 cup potato flakes -- * can use potato flour
1/4 cup water -- 1 tablespoon - lukewarm
3/4 cup milk -- lukewarm
3 tablespoons butter -- softened and melted

  • *The recipe directions are written for instant yeast; to use active dry yeast, dissolve it in the water first. Also, be aware that your rising times will be longer.
  • You can do this by hand or mixer: In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar, salt, flour and potato flour or potato flakes. Add the water, milk and butter, and mix until cohesive. Knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface till it's smooth and supple. Add flour if you must, but the dough will continue to absorb liquid as you knead, so try to knead for 5 minutes or so before adding any additional flour. Remember, the more flour in the dough, the heavier and dryer the rolls will be.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set the dough aside to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans, or a 9 x 13-inch pan. Space the rolls in the pan(s), cover them with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow them to rise for about 1 hour, till they're very puffy and are touching one another.
  • Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, set them on a wire rack to cool, and brush them with melted butter or margarine, if desired. This will give the rolls a soft crust. Serve the rolls warm, or store them in an airtight container. Yield: 16 rolls.

Yield:
"16 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 125 Calories; 3g Fat (20.3% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 7mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES :

** There are directions for making these in a bread machine on the original recipe.


What a vacuum!



Our old vacuum had suffered a 2 cord replacements, a broken handle latch (metal, mind you) being banged into walls at full speed by the kiddos, a broken belt or two and a few mishaps with screws.
She was done, no longer were our carpets coming clean and well, the old cloth bag was no longer fresh and clean like a daisy.
eew....
Leaves were beginning to pile up in the house with two dogs, the boys and whatever else decided to wander in from outside.
It was not a pretty site to say the least.
After two long weeks of trying to figure out which one to buy we went out and purchased this Eureka Pet Lover vac.
Whoa!
This bad boy sucks up so much stuff, it's quiet and best of all has all those fun attachments to use. (the old one did not)
Heck, the first day Spencer asked to vacuum his room and the hallway.
Nate decided later that afternoon to clean out the sofas.
*blink* * blink* *blink*
What has happened to my children?
Any other time they groaned and moaned about have to clean the house and here they are asking to do it.
Yes, I can say they still want to help out and I am crossing my fingers that this will continue for quite some time.
btw-
I *wub* my new vac. : )





Fun T shirt for Algebra loving Moms..




With one Nate doing Pre-Algebra and Spencer in 7th grade Gifted and Talented this shirt is so me right now.

This would make a great holiday gift for that special someone in your life who loves Algebra.

You can pick up a shirt at Neatoroma.com.

My new best USB friend : )

Pasta Fagioli - Recipe




Now that the weather is starting to turn cooler I have begun to make soup again.
There is nothing quite like a nice hot bowl to warm you up on those chilly days.
One of my all time favorite soups is pasta fagioli and I have never made any until this past weekend.
Mmm... it was a hit. I have enough for a few days this week and I froze enough for another lunch for me.
The soup is super easy to make and it has a wonderful flavor.
Go grab your beans, pasta, spices and enjoy!

*This is a bit thick since it sat from yesterday but it still tasted great!


recipe from Recipezaar.com


* Exported from MasterCook *
Pasta Fagioli

Recipe By:Twig #2
Serving Size: 12
Categories : Soups

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
14 ounces diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup ditalini -- or any small pasta will do
14 1/2 ounces kidney beans, canned
14 1/2 ounces cannellini beans
14 1/2 ounces pinto beans
2 large carrot -- sliced 1/4" thick
2 large celery ribs -- diced
1 tablespoon parsley, freeze-dried
1 tablespoon oregano -- dried
1 teaspoon basil -- dried
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion -- chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.
  • Saute carrots, celery, garlic and onions for 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add diced tomatoes and chicken stock.
  • Add beans, macaroni and remaining spices.
  • Simmer for about 60 minutes on low temp.
  • Top with fresh Parmesan cheese if desired.

Source:
"recipezaar.com"
Copyright:
"2009"
Yield:
"12 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Serving Idea : Thick crusty bread.

NOTES:
Fast, easy and tasty!




Ouch!

I'm sore there is no other way to describe the pain I am in.
lol...
You see Spencer was talking smack to me yesterday about how rusty I was with the Wii boxing.
I was washed up and could not defend my title of being the best boxer.
HA!
No way was he going to get away with that, it was game on.
The first game we played he was schooled with a KO!
Sweet.
The next game well, I have to give it to him he won one round but I ended up winning the next two rounds and the game.
Oh yeah!
The sad part is by last night and continuing this morning my muscles in my upper arms and forearms are sooooo sore.
I would do it all over again.
Now, please pass the asprin.

Cowboy Stew - Crock Pot




Mmmm... nothing better than some stew to fill you up on a cool fall day.
This stew is simple to make and will be a nice reward after a hard days work.
I teamed this with some delicious rolls (recipe to follow in another post) that made the meal oh.so.good.
I don't remember who gave me this recipe but I have to say I am sure glad that they did!


* Exported from MasterCook *

Cowboy Stew


Serving Size: 6 Preparation Time: 8 hrs
Categories: Main Meal -Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 1/4 pounds beef stew meat -- make sure it is lean
4 large potatoes -- cubed
1 cup onion -- sliced
28 ounces pork and beans

  • Mix beef, potatoes, and onions in slow cooker.
  • Spread beans over the mixture.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs.
  • Enjoy!!
Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 374 Calories; 10g Fat (24.3% calories from fat); 29g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 9g Dietary Fiber; 61mg Cholesterol; 609mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat.

Serving Ideas:
side salad
rolls/biscuits


Who is Alice?

You might have been a tiny bit curious about my post about Alice on Tuesday.
I bet you were thinking about who or what Alice is and why would I have a box from them, right?
Well, Alice is a great shopping website for daily household items with free shipping.
The site saves you energy, time and money.
Don't forget the free shipping.

I placed my order last Wednesday (9/30) and it arrived safe and sound yesterday (Tuesday 10/6). Great turn around time, I could not have asked for anything better.

The site offers various household items (cleaning supplies, paper products, medicines, air fresheners, beauty items) some products even have a money saving coupon that you can use on your purchase. You can keep track of the items you have purchased, have a reminder sent to you when it is time to reorder, see how much you have spent per month, and money saved with coupons. All of these items are great in helping you keep on top of that monthly budget and saving money. You will also see products rated and reviews from other buyers, always helpful if you are undecided.

I will be using this site to help keeping some items in stock at the house. I will admit to using coupons all the time when I shop, and know my prices and ranges. There are some great deals on the site and don't forget your time is worth a lot. Take the extra time you will have to spend reading a book, with your family or special someone, or simply take a break from it all.

I'm sure you will like her so go on and give Alice.com a try!
You can receive a $10 off Sign Up Bonus by clicking on the banner on my side bar. --->

psst... your items are shipped in a really cool box! (It's the little things that make me smile.)

New Cupcake Holders....

Brand new from Tupperware are these cute single cupcake holders.
(Notice they even resemble those yummy treats.)
Nothing worse than trying to take a cupcake in your lunch only to find it in mushed or *sniffle* in crumbles.
You get two of these wonderful cupcake savers for $14.50 plus shipping.

Check them out at Tupperware and save a cupcake from a boo boo.

A package from Alice!

Etch- it Party Cups -



How great are these cups?
Really.

No more running for a Sharpie pen or telling others that your drink is right here.
Peel off the protective cover and write your name or let you guest do the honors.
That's it, so easy and saves everyone a headache.
I would love to see how others would label their cups.

Kids parties ... oh, how you would not have to hear the words, "Hey, that's my drink."
How cool!
The company also makes tags that you can place on so many things to keep labeled.
Seriously, these cups and tags are a great.



Main website for Etch-it Party Cups.

Can purchase some cups ShinDigz.com or Abernook and the labels at Amazon.com.




Cube Steak Crock Pot Recipecrock

This is such a wonderful melt in your mouth meal that you will want to make again and again during the cooler weather.
I found this recipe on Recipezaar about two years ago and it is one recipe that the boys will ask for over and over again.
I changed it slightly by using about half a package of Knorr Pot Roast Mix (Sauerbraten) instead of the onion soup mix and a low salt cream of mushroom soup.


Cube steak in crock pot with ingredients right after browning.


* Exported from MasterCook *


Cube Steak and Gravy

Recipe By: Southern Chef in Louisiana
Serving Size: 4-6
Categories: Main Meal -Crockpot

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
6 cube steaks
salt
pepper
flour -- for dredging
1/4 package Knorr Pot Roast Mix
1 can low salt cream of mushroom soup
1 cup water
canola & vegetable oil mix - for frying

  • Place flour in a shallow dish add in salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Dredge steaks one at a time in the flour.
  • Fry steak until brown and place in crock pot.
  • Add water, soup, and pot roast mix.
  • Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Yield:
"6 "
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Serving Ideas:
mashed potatoes
wide noodles
rice
salad
green beans

NOTES:
You can add up to 2 cups of water to create the gravy.
I add less so that it is a thicker gravy.



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