Saturday, January 31, 2009

I have a sweet tooth today!

I've really eliminated some bad foods from our diet but I have a sweet tooth today. What's a girl to do? Well, I rummaged in my freezer, fridge and pantry and came up with this dish. First, I'll post the original recipe and then I'll show you my modified version.

Apple-Blueberry Crunch, 8-10 servings, a Southern Living recipe

21 oz. can apple pie filling
14 oz. pkg. frozen blueberries
1 cup sugar
18.25 oz. pkg. white cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Ice cream or whipped topping

Spread apple pie filling on bottom of light greased 13x9 inch pan. Toss together frozen blueberries and 3/4 cup sugar and spoon over apple pie filling. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over fruit and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Bake 350 degrees 45-50 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

I've had these dump cakes before and they are delicious and absolutely sinful. Here is my modified version.

21 oz. can apple pie filling sweetened with Splenda
12 oz. pkg. of organic blueberries, (partially full bag used some in yogurt parfaits)
1/2 cup or so of Splenda
Opened one box of spice cake mix and sprinkled about 1/3 of this over top (save rest for another day!)
1/2 cup margarine, melted
about 1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
1/8 cup real sugar to sprinkle on top

I will top this with Cool Whip instead of ice cream.

This should take care of that sweet tooth of mine.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Oh, you gotta read this.

The stock boy!

In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register 4. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find
out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road. Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn't possible.

He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn't afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday. That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, "Well, let's take the kids with us."

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not
taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.

Kurtis asked Brenda, "I still don't understand why the kids can't
come with us?" Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities - just like her first husband and father of her children had done. Kurtis was not ordinary - - - he had a different mindset.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the
movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with.

A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children.
Since then they have added two more kids.

So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl? Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona , where he is currently employed as the quarterback of the National Football League Arizona Cardinals and has his Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Is this a surprise ending or could you have guessed that he was not an ordinary person.

It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.

He has also been the NLF's Most Valuable Player twice and the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player.

Menu for this week

Today: Dh and I had a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. We have been cutting back on bread but had several containers partially full of flavored cream cheeses that needed to be used up, so I bought a package of plain bagels at the store. It was yummy with our coffee this morning. Dd ate Fruit Loops. Now, before you berate me, you should know, that cereal is a rarity around here. Dd doesn't really care for it. But she saw a toy in this one that she just had to have. So she ate her cereal dry. No milk for her to mush it up. Dh and I sometimes enjoy natural granola layered with yogurt and fruit. Seems more like dessert to us.

For lunch we scarfed up leftovers.

For dinner: Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese-recipe to follow if it is a keeper. This is cooking in the crock pot. I already had cooked and shredded chicken in the freezer so I used this rather than whole frozen breasts. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Breakfasts for this coming week: I am attempting to win dd over to the taste of oatmeal. So I picked up a weight control version that is maple and brown sugar flavored and has 7 gm. protein per servings. I am hoping she will say it is yummy! So on the breakfast menu this week is oatmeal, eggs and toast (toad in the hole-one eyed sailor, whatever you want to call it), eggs, bacon and whole wheat toast, eggs, light sausage, and whole wheat toast and maybe Malt-O-Meal if dd says nay on the oatmeal.

Lunch for dh and I are normally leftovers or soups.

Dinners this week:

Monday-Ham, leftover pinto beans, broccoli salad

Tuesday-Reuben Chicken, leftover broccoli salad (This is a yummy chicken dish. If you like Reuben sandwiches you will like this. Recipe at the end of post.)

Wednesday-Meatloaf, Italian style green beans, salad

Thursday-Leftover buffet!

Friday-Healthy Pigs in a Blanket (use reduced fat crescent rolls, healthy hot dogs, lite cheese), Tots, Celery and Carrots with Ranch dressing (I try to make Friday meals fun since it is the start of the weekend, so you will often see dawgs, burgers, pizza and the like on this day)

Saturday-Reduced Fat Smoked Sausage, Baked Beans, Salad

Sunday - Creamy Baked Pork Chops, Green Bean Casserole (hubby favorite), Roasted New Potatoes, Whole Wheat Rolls

Baked Chicken Ruebens

4 small chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
16 oz. can sauerkraut, well drained
4 slices natural Swiss cheese
1 1/4 c. bottled Thousand Island dressing
1 T chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the chicken in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the sauerkraut over the chicken and top with Swiss cheese. Pour the dressing evenly over the cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is very tender. Remove the foil, turn up the broiler to brown the cheese, if necessary and sprinkle top with parsley.

I don't use the parsley in this recipe, as I rarely have any. I also use the reduced fat cheese and fat free Thousand Island dressing. It is really good and smells wonderful while baking.

Bon Appetite!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ten Rules of Housekeeping

I found this on another blog today and just had to share it.

Ten Rules of Housekeeping

1. Vacuuming too often weakens the carpet fibers. Say this with a serious
face, and shudder delicately whenever anyone mentions Carpet Fresh.

2. Dust bunnies cannot evolve into dust rhinos when disturbed. Rename the
area under the couch "The Galapagos Islands" and claim an ecological

3. Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter
against harmful and aging rays from the sun. Call it an SPF factor of 5 and
leave it alone.

4. Cobwebs artfully draped over lampshades reduces the glare from the bulb,
thereby creating a romantic atmosphere. If your husband points out
that the light fixtures need dusting, simply look affronted and exclaim,
"What? And spoil the mood?"

5. In a pinch, you can always claim that the haphazard tower of unread
magazines and newspapers next to your chair provides the valuable Feng Shui
aspect of a tiger, thereby reducing your vulnerability. Roll your eyes when
you say this.

6. Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the doorways by claiming
you are collecting it there to use for stuffing handsewn play
animals for underprivileged children.

7. If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room
and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home,
rattle the door knob vigorously, fake a growl and say, "I'd love you to see
our Den, but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive."

8. If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the
coffee table and insist that "THIS is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her

9. Don't bother repainting. Simply scribble lightly over a dirty wall with
an assortment of crayons, and try to muster a glint of tears as you say,
"Junior did this the week before that unspeakable accident... I haven't had
the heart to clean it..."

10. Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of
water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly. Leave dampened rags in
conspicuous locations. Develop an exhausted look, throw yourself onto the
couch, and sigh, "I clean and I clean and I still don't get anywhere..." I
think I'll take a break and check my E-mail!

Funny, huh? Sorry to say it's not far from the way my home looks at the moment. Uh-oh, better get busy!

Have a great day,


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby it's cold outside!

Has it been cold or what? A lot of schools around here were closed Friday because it was so cold. Our toilet on the main floor is frozen and so is the cold water to the sink in that bathroom. The washer in there is working fine. Upstairs the heat is not working. So glad we have two units. We will get someone out here this week to fix both these problems. It's always something. Dh just had $2,000 worth of work done on his Lexus. First major problem in 8 years. When it rains, it pours.

We have a fire going in the fireplace. I've been watching tv today in my recliner with a nice warm quilt over me. It has been nice and cozy in our den.

Dd played basketball again today. Her team did not win. But dd seemed to be fine with it. She spent last night with a friend so she has had a fun weekend. We may have one of her little friends over here Sunday night since Monday is a school holiday. It just depends on whether those pipes thaw or not. I think the girls will be happy to camp out in the den and sleep on the sofa bed.

Dh and I kinda enjoy the cooler temps upstairs. As long as I have my comforter and blankies, socks on my feet, my hubby, the furnace, and a nice furry cat in the bed, I'm nice and toasty!

Stay warm!


Sunday, January 11, 2009

My daughter's a scoring machine!

Yep, she's a scoring machine. She doesn't get it from her daddy or mommy either. She is playing basketball again on an Upwards team at church. She scored three baskets! Her coach declared her a scoring machine. I think this will motivate her to want to play better. Whoda thunk it?

Both dd and dh are playing on the Wii right now. She has lots of games but her favorite is Mario Kart. I play with her sometimes but I just have never been a video game kinda gal. Now solitare on my computer? that's another story. I can zone out while doing that. Mario Kart requires me to actually pay attention. Yuck!

I have my crock pot soup cooking and we are going to eat that this evening along with some grilled cheese. Sound yummy? It's a weight watchers recipe from way back. Full of lots of fiber. Yay me! But it really is delicious.

I have a fire burning in the den fireplace. It's so warm and cozy in there. I think I'll go curl up with a good book while the fam plays on the Wii. Time to start a new book anyway or finally break down and try to learn to crochet. Mom, where are you???

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Pix – tablescape, etc.


Dd played elf on Christmas Eve – when we celebrated with my family.


Our dining room table on Christmas Day – it’s da-lovely!


My Mil’s papillon (we don’t say d-o-g around her) with her “doppleganger”

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menu for Week of January 5th

Okay, in an attempt to eat healthier (more veggies and fruit, less processed foods, starches, and sweets) I have planned my menu for this week:

Monday: Grilled Chicken, Roasted Asparagus, New Potatoes, Rolls (had these already), Grapes

Tuesday: Meatloaf (substitute turkey for 1/2 of the beef), Cooked Carrots, Green Beans, Slaw, Cooked Apples (using stevia or Splenda in place of sugar)

Wednesday: Lite Smoked Sausage, Kraut, New Potatoes, Cantaloupe

Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad, Grapes

Friday: Chili, Cantaloupe

Saturday: Sticky Chicken (roast), Steamed Veggies, Salad

Sunday: Roast, Cabbage and Carrots, Salad (dinner after church) later in the evening a big o'pot of beans cooked with some leftover Christmas ham.

Breakfasts this week: One Eyed Sailors, Banana Shakes, Malt-O-Meal, Eggs and Sausage

Lunches: Weight Watchers 1 point soup, Chicken Salad, Turkey Chili, Chef Salad made with reduced fat cheese and turkey

Snacks: Fruit, Cheese, Nuts, Celery with Peanut Butter, Sugar Free Pudding with a dollop of Cool Whip, apple sauce

I still have some "illegal" unhealthy and processed items in my pantry and fridge/freezer and I will incorporate them in my plans until they are used up. But I will spread them out rather than wean us off of them "cold turkey". lol


Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's so good to be back home

We arrived home last night at 11:00. It as a long 13 hours on the road. Whew. I have spent today just decompressing from the vacation and drive. I haven't even gotten a shower. Dh has unloaded the van and taken it to get it cleaned and then returning it to my dad. Isn't it nice of him to loan us his van for vacation? We enjoy the extra room even if there is only three of us. We have a lot of stuff!

Tomorrow, dd returns to school and I have lots on my agenda for this week. I need to get all our vacation stuff put away. I need to catch up on laundry. I have Christmas stuff to pack away. Leaving the day after Christmas felt really weird. It was strange to leave the house with all the decorations still up and the Christmas table cloth still on the table, Christmas gifts strewn around the house and stuff like that. So it's January and time to put this stuff away for another 12 months!

I hope you all had a good Christmas and a happy new year. We enjoyed our time away but it always feel so good to be back home and in our own beds again.