Friday, August 29, 2008

Dalton Sherman~Do you believe in me?

I believe...



Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins

This recipe comes to me from Angela at Hello Darlin'. She did a fabulous job at taking photos of the step by step process of making these delicious muffins. My photo isn't as fabulous, but you get the idea. These muffins are fabulous! I'm so happy that I tried them today. Please check out Angela's pics and detailed instructions. Her tips were great!
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Cinnamon Cream Cheese Muffins
(adapted from 500 Best Muffin Recipes by Esther Brody, shared by my friend Natalie)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz cream cheese, cut up (little cubes are good)
Cinnamon Sugar OR2 tbsp granulated sugar plus 1/2 tsp cinnamon-
Preheat oven to 375 F-12 (regular size) muffin tin, greased or paper-lined
1. In a large mixer bowl, beat together butter, sugar, baking powder and salt until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs.
2. In another bowl, mix together flour and cinnamon. Slowly stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk just until moistened and blended. Do not overmix. Fold in melted chocolate just until blended.
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling cups two-thirds full. Press pieces of cream cheese into top of batter in each cup. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saucy Baked Pork Chops

This recipe is adapted from I had other ingredients on hand and used them instead of following the original recipe. This was a kid-friendly dinner too! I served it with steamed green beans and rice pilaf.

Saucy Baked Pork Chops

6 Thin Cut Pork Chops
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce or your favorite bottled sauce

2 Tbsp. apricot preserves
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place chops in greased 13 x 9 baking dish.

Combine sauce, preserves, ginger and garlic powder; spoon evenly over chops.

Bake 40 min. or until chops are cooked through (160ºF).



Monday, August 25, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, August 25th

Good afternoon! I'm a bit late in posting today because it's my first day back to school. I'm exhausted! This week's menu will be simple because I know I won't feel like cooking an elaborate meal when I get home. :0) Yesterday I made homemade ravioli and will post pictures and the recipe later this evening.

Sunday~Homemade Ravioli and Sauce, Salad, Garlic Toast

Monday~Hot Dogs, Baked Beans and Homemade Fries

Tuesday~Grilled Chicken and Vegetables and Rice

Wednesday~Zesty Grilled Pork Chops, Angel Hair Pasta with Olive Oil and Garlic, Green Beans

Thursday~Slow Cooker Beef Tips, Peppers, Onions, and Mushrooms with Gravy over Noodles, Salad and Rolls

Friday~Pizza and Wing Night

Saturday~Camping~Cheeseburgers, Amish Macaroni Salad and Melons

Please check out the other menus at:

Have a week full of blessings,


Simple Woman's Daybook, August 25th

FOR TODAY, August 25 2008...

Outside My's beginning to get light out, there's fog in the valley

I am thinking...that I'm going to miss my kids when I return to work today.

I am thankful for... my husband

From the kitchen...will be a Jello Poke Cake for my mom's birthday.
I am wearing... my robe.

I am creating... a new decor in ds's room. We're moving into the "tween" years. Painting should be done tomorrow.

I am going... to school. It's the first day for teachers.

I am reading... Summer by the Sea by Susan Wiggs and the Word Among Us (daily meditations).

I am hoping... for a positive school year for myself.

I am hearing... the tv in the kitchen while ds eats breakfast. He is so excited about spending the day at Pappy's farm that he is up very early.

Around the house... ds's room is being painted and the house should stay pretty clean and neat because we'll be back to work and school.

One of my favorite things... chocolate cake.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: It will be my first week back to work. We'll be going to my mom's tonight for her birthday. Happy Birthday Mom! We'll probably head to camp for part of the weekend, too. There's so much going on in town that we'll have to come back for some etnic food and music.

Here is picture thought I am classroom waiting for students

Have a week full of blessings,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Classroom

After reading Spaces & Places Designing Classrooms for Literacy by Debbie Diller, I was inspired to clean out the excess "stuff" in my classroom and create new learning spaces. Here are some photos of my changes. I can't wait to see how the classroom functions when school starts for the kids in 2 weeks.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday at the Lake

The Simple Woman's Daybook~August 18th

FOR TODAY, August 18, 2008...

Outside My Window...the sun is shining, the American Flag is waving gently in the breeze, the road is quiet

I am thinking... about my Nana, who would have celebrated her 88th birthday on the 16th. I miss her and wish my kids would have known her.

I am thankful for... our family time together at the lake and that we are able to have such a great getaway space.

From the kitchen... it's baking day! I am making Honey Wheat Bread and Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls. They're rising now.

I am wearing... my white nightgown with purple flowers.

I am creating... my to do list for the week. It's packed with things to do!

I am going... no where today!! It's recovery day after the weekend away.

I am reading... Innocent as Sin and the Word Among Us (daily meditations).

I am hoping... for a positive school year for ds.

I am hearing...
the dishes clinking and the pots clanging as ds empties the dishwasher.

Around the house... there are loads of laundry to do. I hope to start priming ds's bedroom to complete his room makeover before returning to school on Monday.

One of my favorite things... black eyed susans. They're so cheerful!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I plan on going into school tomorrow to complete my classroom set up. On Wednesday, my gf's are having a luncheon for my birthday. On Thursday, it's my birthday. I'm planning on shopping for school clothes for myself. Then, we'll go out to dinner and have cake with my parents afterwards. On Friday, the kids and I will grocery shop and do any final back to school shopping for ds.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is our dd and our niece, who heads off to her freshman year of college on Thursday. We wish her our best...

Be sure to check out Peggy's for more...

Have a week full of blessings,


Menu Plan Monday, August 18, 2008

Good morning!
It's my last week of summer vacation! I don't know where the time has gone, but I'm sad that it's over and excited about a new school year at the same time.
Last week's menu was followed, but not in order. We did try the Zesty Pork Chops and Grilled Veggies recipe. They were very good and a keeper recipe. Today is baking day. I'm making some Honey Wheat Bread and Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls.
Here's the plan for this week:
Sunday~BBQ Italian Chicken, Supreme Linguine Salad and Corn on the Cob
Monday~Hot Ham and Cheese Sandwiches, Homemade French Fries with Ranch for dipping, and Baked Beans
Tuesday~Super Sloppy Joes, Macaroni and Cheese, Steamed Green Beans
Wednesday~Chicken in Cream Sauce over Linguine, Tossed Salad, Garlic Toast
Thursday~ Dinner Out for my Birthday
Friday~ Pizza and Wings
Saturday~Grilled Bacon Cheeseburgers, Potato and Veggie Packets, Fruit
Have a week full of blessings,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Family Reunion Photos

On Saturday, dh's annual family reunion was held. My sil, Kelly and I were in charge of kid's games this year. Most of the photos are of the kids playing the games. They had a great time! Our Scavenger Hunt was the biggest hit of all. Email me if you'd like a copy of our list with graphics.


Monday, August 11, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...the sun is shining and my hanging ferns are blowing in the breeze.

I am thinking.....that all children should be given equal educational opportunties regardless of ability, race or economic status

I am thankful for....healthy children

From the kitchen....will be zucchini bread that dh has requested

I am creating.....a new scrapbook of only summer photos

I am dinner and back to school shopping this evening

I am white robe, with a blue nightgown underneath

I am reading...Virgin River and Classroom Places and Spaces

I am hoping.....that this school year runs smoothly

I am hearing.....ds releasing his bow while practicing in the yard

Around the house.....I have laundry to do today. I want to get ds's room primed and painted

One of my favorite things is....Galliker's Iced Tea

A few plans for the rest of the week include.....going to dh's work picnic, setting up my classroom, going camping with my family

A picture thought~

My family is heading off to get onto a ride...I love to watch ds walk by his dad because he has the same walk. Too cute!

Have a blessed day!

Menu Plan Monday, August 11, 2008

Good morning! Only 2 weeks until school begins for me! I am excited to go back, but sad the summer is almost over. We've been so busy and the kids have had so much fun that I hate to see it end.
Over the weekend we attended dh's family reunion. I made this Seven-Layer Salad that was well received. It was nice to catch up with family we don't see very often and for the cousins to get to play together. On Sunday, ds had his first archery tournament for 4-H. He placed 5th. Then dh and I went on a date. We went for dinner and a movie at a local theatre. They serve us each a sandwich platter, bottomless popcorn and drinks during the movie for 30 dollars. We saw Get Smart!
This week will be another busy one for us! Here are our dinner plans for the week:
Sunday~ Dinner and a Movie Date Night
Monday~Out to Dinner and Back to School Shopping
Tuesday~DH's Annual Work Picnic
Wednesday~Spaghetti, Veal Parmesan and Fried Zucchini
Friday~Pizza and Wing Night
Saturday~Grilled Cheese Kielbassi, Potato Salad, and Baked Beans
For more great menus, check out Laura at
Have a week full of blessings!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Raisin- Zucchini Spice Cupcakes

I made these tonight. They didn't bake in the time recommended. I put them back in for another 10 minutes. I think the zucchini needs to be put in a towel and the moisture removed before adding it to the batter. They do taste good, though! The icing is very good!

Raisin-Zucchini Spice Cupcakes from the current issue of Taste of Home

1 package (18-1/4 ounces) spice cake mix
1-1/3 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and raisins. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, in a small mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add enough milk to achieve a spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes. Yield: 2 dozen.

Going off to College Gift Basket

Our niece, Krista, is heading off to college. Obviously it's to PITT. I made her this bucket filled with snacks for her birthday. I found the bucket at Lowe's, of all places! The bottom is filled with blue and gold shreds. Inside she'll find fruit snacks, Starburst, Jolly ranchers, Skittles, microwave popcorn, Cheez-its, Iced Animal Crackers, Salt and Vinegar Chips, and 2 magnetic clips to keep her snacks fresh, in blue and gold, of course! I finished it up with shrink wrap and a big, blue bow.
I'm hoping she enjoys it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tasty Thursday, August 7, 2008

Trista at The Pumkin Patch hosts Tasty Thursday. Visit her to see more tried and true recipes.
Here's a new tried and true recipe for me. This is a summer favorite of mine:

BBQ Chicken Salad

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive Oil
Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend
Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ Sauce
1 (12 ounce) bag of mixed salad greens
2 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups croutons (I used cheddar garlic croutons)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Ranch Dressing

1. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of breast with Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend. Grill chicken until done, about 10-15 minutes. Slice cooked chicken into strips. Toss the strips with enough BBQ sauce to coat.

2. Toss remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve topped with the warm chicken mixture.

Makes 4 lunch size servings


Monday, August 4, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...

Outside my Window...are the bed of Black Eyed Susans in full bloom. So cheerful!

I am thinking...about everything that I need to get ready for school in 21 days...

I am thankful husband and his love

From the kitchen...fresh green beans for dinner tonight from my dad's garden

I am shorts and a red t-shirt with a flag on it

I am reading...Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard

I am finalize the date for a trip to NYC! I'm so excited!

I am from dd's favorite Cinderella movie and dd singing along.

Around the house...very little tidying, washing beach towels and suits from our day on the boat, cooking dinner

One of my favorite the sound of my kids laughing and giggling together.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...meetings at school and church, grocery shopping, making dn's gift basket, family reunion, and ds's Archery Tournament

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is our precious daughter chasing the bubbles she is blowing in the yard.

Have a blessed week!

Menu Plan Monday, August 4, 2008

It's the first Monday in August, and I am wondering...where did the summer go?! This means that I only have 21 more days to accomplish everything that I wanted to this summer. I better get busy! ;0)
Instead of last Saturday's Menu, we went out to dinner Saturday night and had the Tortellini Antipasto Salad on Sunday with Kielbassi Sandwiches at camp after our day at the lake. Otherwise our menu was followed for the week.
Here's the plan for this week:
Sunday~Kielbassi and Sauerkraut Sandwiches with Tortellini Antipasto Salad, Fresh Fruit, and Veggies with Dip
Monday~Ham Steaks, Candied Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Steamed Green Beans (from my dad's garden)
Tuesday~Italian Cheeseburgers, Oven Steak Fries, Tossed Salad
Wednesday~Lemon Basil Chicken Breasts, Rice Pilaf, Carrots
Thursday~Grilled Steaks, Baked Potatoes with toppings, Fried Zucchini
Friday~Pizza and Wing Family Movie Night
Saturday~Family Reunion
View more menus at
Have a week full of Blessings,