Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Happy Thanksgiving

Just wanted to send out Thanksgiving greetings to all of my family and friends. We're heading out to a late lunch and dinner at our parents' homes this year. I made a Caramel Apple Cheesecake and Cheddar Cheese Cheeseballs to take along. I've been making that cheesecake for dessert for years. I was quite surprised to find the recipe on-line. I use the recipe from the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cookbook.

Rachel Balducci, from Faith and Family Live, wrote this:

Some years, I find the gratitude is overwhelming—sometimes I am aware of so many incredible gifts from God in my life.
But some years I have to remind myself, ever so gently, to get in that mindset—to take my focus off of all I need to do, even for a moment, to thank God and praise him for all his goodness.

I have those feelings too, but find that I can't quite put it into such eloquent words. She also wrote a list of five things she is grateful for on her post. Here are my five:

1. My husband, who blesses me with his love
2. Our two children
3. friends and the kindness of strangers
4. flannel sheets on cold, winter mornings
5. the view of the mountains with the trees kissed with last night's snowfall.
It's beautiful!

Have a Thanksgiving Day full of God's Blessings!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, November 24, 2008

I have only tried one recipe from the Simple and Delicious magazine that I raved about in my last post. Our kitchen remodel is still in progress and use of the kitchen was impossible for most of the week. I did manage to make homemade pizza on Friday night and Pigs in the Blanket (stuffed cabbage rolls) on Saturday. As of Sunday, the finish trim and floor need to be completed. I'll be so glad when it is over. I think we made some great choices in finishes and Steve did a fabulous job with the cabinets.
Enough about my rambling, here's the plan for this week.
Sunday~Ham Steak, Pierogies with Butter and Onions, Green Beans
Monday~Slow Cooker Pork Roast with Sauerkraut, Mashed Potatoes and Salad
Tuesday~Steak Salad and Garlic Bread
Wednesday~Super Sloppy Joes , Homemade Fries, and Corn
Thursday~Have a blessed Thanksgiving! We're having dinner at my parent's house. I'm making Caramel Apple Cheesecake for dessert. I'm also making a Turkey Cheeseball for the appetizer.
Friday~Crock Pot Chicken Roll Ups , Parsleyed Potatoes and Glazed Carrots
Saturday~Shopping Day for meand nephew's birthday party for dh and the kids.
Check out more menus at
Have a week full of blessings!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I finally got to do some baking and made the Cinnamon Raisin Bread that was in this issue of Simple & Delicious. . Here's the recipe:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups sugar and oil. Beat in eggs and buttermilk until combined. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; set aside.

  • Spoon half of the batter into two greased 8x4x2 inch loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon-sugar; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each)

Enjoy! It's delicious and great for a holiday gathering or gift!


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Simple and Delicious

I'm an avid reader. I think I have an addiction to magazines. I picked up this magazine at the checkout yesterday. I've been a Taste of Home subscriber for 13 years, but had never bought this magazine. It was fabulous! The cookies on the cover caught my eye (My Christmas cookie baking week is quickly approaching and I love to add something new every year.), but the recipes and tips inside really got me. I plan to try several recipes over the next 2 weeks and will share them and the results with you here. Tonight I'm going to make the Basil-Garlic Cheese Bread to go with our Spaghetti and Veal Parmesan dinner. Other recipes I've put on the menu include: Zippy Calzones, Potato and Kielbassi Skillet, Apricot Bars and Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
Oh and I'm asking dh for a subscription for Christmas! ;0)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, November 10, 2008


We followed last week's menu pretty closely in spite of the kitchen remodel. I don't think this week will be that easy. I am very excited about the remodel, but I miss my kitchen and I absolutely am struggling with having clutter everywhere. I'm hoping the project will be finished by next weekend.

DS will have hockey practice 3 nights this week, so dinner will have to be quick and easy most evenings. Here's the plan:

Sunday~ Freezer Meal--Lasagna and Tossed Salad

Monday~Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Potatoes and Green Beans

Tuesday~Soup and Sandwiches

Wednesday~Anniversary Chicken, Parsleyed Noodles, Corn

Thursday~Pizza and Wing Night

Friday~Grilled Ham Steaks, Pierogies and Salad

Saturday~Away Game--Dinner Out

For more great menus, visit

Have a week full of blessings,

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kitchen Remodel

We've entered into the world of kitchen remodeling. Our home was custom built in 1949. When it was built, it was the "showcase" of the neighborhood according to people who lived nearby at the time. Our kitchen is still original to the house. We decided to update it this year with new cabinet doors and drawers, counters, sink, hardware, backsplash, lighting, flooring and an over the range microwave. We are doing a budget renovation, so the finishes will not be high-end. For this neighborhood, high end would not be appropriate. John is sanding and refinishing the cabinets, as he has done with all the windows and most of the woodwork in the house. Our uncle, a cabinet maker, is making the doors and drawers for us. This is a total DIY job.

I'm excited, yet anxious. I am hoping all the pieces that we've picked out come together nicely. Keep watching for updates and the finished look.


Ice Cream Punch

The holiday season is quickly approaching. I recently had a request for this punch recipe and thought I would post it here. Someone may want to use it for a holiday party. It's great for baby and bridal showers too. For dd's princess birthday party, I used pink lemonade and it looked perfect for our theme.

Here's a photo of the punch bowl (minus the punch!)

Ice Cream Punch
2 quarts vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 12-ounce can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda, chilled

Spoon ice cream by tablespoonfuls into a large punch bowl. Add water and lemonade concentrate; stir just till combined. Slowly pour lemon-lime soda down the side of the bowl. Stir gently to mix. Makes 32 (about 4-ounce) servings. Enjoy!

I usually double the recipe for a crowd, making a second bowl 1/2 way through the event.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Menu Plan Monday, November 3, 2008

I can't believe it's already November! That means that Christmas is just over one month away. I'm so excited! I've already began my planning of meals, parties and cookies that we'll be having over the holiday season.

We had a nice Halloween. Our Princess Cinderella and Hockey Player enjoyed trick-or-treating and passing out treats, as well. DH started tearing apart the kitchen for our remodeling project. I'm anxious, yet excited. It's hard to prepare meals when the kitchen is a mess.

The Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff that I posted last week was a hit with the family. DH actually requested it for this Saturday's meal. It was quick and easy to prepare and had good flavor. This week will be an easy week menu wise because of the kitchen remodel and hockey practice 3 nights and ds's 10th birthday! Happy Birthday baby!!

Here's the plan for this week:

Sunday~Italian Wedding Soup and Salad

Monday~Country Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Country Gravy, French Style Green Beans

Tuesday~Grilled Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Baked Beans

Wednesday~Meatloaf and Oven Roasted Potatoes

Thursday~ Pizza, Wings and Birthday Cake

Friday~Steak Sandwiches, Homemade Fries and Cheese Sauce, Salad

Saturday~Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff over Noodles, Green Beans
Check out more menus at
Have a week full of blessings,