Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Most Amazing Chocolate Cupcake

I had the privilege of making cupcakes for a local children's program's fundraising dinner this past weekend. I decided on lemon and chocolate cupcakes. I already had a go to for lemon cupcakes but I never had found a chocolate cupcake recipe that I really liked. So I decided it was time to make my own.



These are by far the best chocolate cupcakes that I have ever had, paired with the peanut butter frosting I made, they were a huge hit.

Recipe

Ingredients -
3 cups self rising flour
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1 cup of butter ( room temperature )
2 cups of raw sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk


Directions -
Preheat your oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla together.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated after each egg.
Mix flour and salt together in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the batter. Beat until incorporated
Add half of the milk, beat until incorporated
Add other half of flour mixture, beat until incorporated .
Add other half of mix, beat until incorporated. Do not over mix.

Using cupcake liners, fill each spot about 3/4 full.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes.

You can pair these with just about any frosting. We decided on a peanut butter frosting for this event.

Frosting recipe -
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 - 1/2 cup of heavy cream

Mix peanut butter, vanilla and butter until well combined.
Slowly add powdered sugar, and cream until you have desired thickness.
Whip for about five minutes to make it fluffy, it should form soft peaks.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Feb. Meal Plan

I am running behind on the meal plan for this month. Our month started off busy! Field trips, daddy daughter dances, and just daily life. The new week starts tomorrow, just in time for us to get back on track with the meal plan.


2/5 - 2/11
Monday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Chicken sandwiches and apple slices
Dinner - Chili

Tuesday
Breakfast - Fruit bars
Lunch - Mac and cheese and broccoli
Dinner -Chicken butternut pasta

Wednesday  -
Cassandra's birthday!! She picks meals.

Thursday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Gone
Dinner -Tacos, beans, and veggies

Friday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches, cottage cheese, and veggies
Dinner - Spaghetti

Saturday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Turkey and rice soup or sandwiches
Dinner - FFY fundraiser dinner

Sunday -
Breakfast - Muffins
Lunch - Sandwiches or salads
Dinner - Cheese burger chowder or Tortellini spinach soup 

2/12 - 2/17
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Tacos, rice, and beans

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Chicken sandwiches and fruit salad
Dinner - Turkey, potatoes, and veggies

Wednesday
Breakfast - Muffins
Lunch - Tuna or ham wraps and veggies
Dinner - Sour cream chicken enchiladas, ( subbing turkey for chicken ) rice and beans

Thursday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Turkey and rice soup or sandwiches
Dinner - Turkey pot pie

Friday -
Breakfast - Breakfast bars
Lunch - Leftovers
Dinner - Nacho night

Saturday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Breakfast burritos and fruit
Dinner - Meatball subs and veggies

Sunday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Gone

2/19 - 2/24
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Tuna wraps or ham wraps with fruit salad
Dinner - Bacon cheese burger tater tot casserole and veggies

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast, and fruit
Dinner - Pizza grilled cheese sandwiches with pizza sauce dipping sauce and veggies

Wednesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Tuna wraps or ham wraps with fruit salad
Dinner - Spaghetti and salad

Thursday
Breakfast - Muffins
Lunch - Mac and cheese and broccoli
Dinner - Roast, potatoes, and veggies

Friday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Left overs
Dinner - Tacos, rice, and beans

Saturday
Breakfast - Breakfast bars
Lunch - Pancakes, eggs, and fruit
Dinner - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn

Sunday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches, cottage cheese, and veggies
Dinner - Gone

2/25 - 2/28

Monday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Chicken sandwiches and fruit salad
Dinner - Ham, potatoes, and veggies

Tuesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - French toast and fruit
Dinner - Ham and potato cheddar soup and salad

Wednesday
Breakfast - Oatmeal with fruit or yogurt with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast, and fruit
Dinner - Cheesy potatoes and ham, and side of veggies

Monday, January 22, 2018

10 Charities That Need Your Knit or Crochet Work.





Volunteering and crocheting are two things I love to do. I recently made over a dozen little red hats to donate to the American Heart Association.  I have been doing a lot of searching recently, trying to find more places that I can donate my items to. 

I have found several places, and I wanted to share them with everyone else.

1. Carewear -  Care Wear is a nationwide group of volunteers who knit, crochet, and/or sew, providing handmade baby items directly  to hospitals. All Care Wear items are distributed by hospital staff  to infants, children and their parents.
There are patterns on their site, along with ideas on what they are needing most.

Link to their site.

2. Warm up America - ( Information copied directly from what they are currently in need of, off their site )
As a Texas-based charity, Warm Up America! feels a special connection to the people of Houston and all the Gulf Coast towns who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Working with local shelters and other relief organizations, we plan to provide afghans to families as the rescue phase shifts to rebuilding.
Our goal is to assemble as many youth and adult afghans as possible and we need your help to realize this goal. If it is possible to crochet or knit an entire afghan, youth or lap robe (see size chart below) and donate to Warm Up America! that would be amazing. However, we always accept 7” by 9” sections, which our wonderful local volunteers will assemble.
We will be collecting afghans and sections plus assembling afghans at the upcoming Stitches Texas show, September 14-17 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX.

Link to their site.

3. Hat Box Foundation - This charity is on a mission to make and distribute hand made hats to people with cancer and others in need.

Link to their site.

4. Red Scarf Project - This charity distributes red scarfs to children the foster care program
. They accept crochet scarves in any shade of red, fringe optional, sized between 5″ and 8″ wide and about 60″ long.
( Note that scarves are only accepted during the last four months of every calendar year; they are given to students in a Valentine’s care package. )

Link to their site.

5. Knitting Rays of Hope - A charity that gives hats ( any age, gender, and size ) to cancer patients. They take knit, crocheted, and loom knit items.

Link to their site.

6. Operation Gratitude - This charity sends care packages to our soldiers. They are looking for neutral colored hats and scarves ( They prefer fairly neutral colors, with scarves that are a maximum of 4″ wide and 36″ long and do not include fringe. ) to be sent in these packages.
These items go to  military members including those who are deployed, new members, veterans, wounded members and the family members of these people.

Link to their site.

7. Bridge and Beyond - This charity is a Central Ohio serving program that helps people who are homeless with basic clothing items to help them stay warm. They accept crochet scarves, mittens, hats and slippers for this purpose. They also accept crochet washcloths and afghans.

Link to their site.

8. The Snuggles Project - This charity accepts crochet donations for our furry friends that are currently living in shelters, them feel more comfortable, safe and cozy. The Snuggles Project has a worldwide directory of animal shelters and the donations they are seeking.

Link to their site.

9. Little Hats, Big Hearts - This charity is looking for people to make little red hats to give to babies born in February at participating hospitals. This is to raise awareness for Congenital Heart Defects.  You can knit, crochet, or loom knit these hats. They also take donations of yarn.

Link to their site.

10. Save the Children - This international charity collects donated crochet items for kids. These items are given to mothers, and babies.  It's an organization that helps to keep newborns cared for through providing education and supplies to new mothers in need. One thing that the mothers learn is how to keep their babies warm, that is why they are looking for crocheted hats.
Your items will be sent to Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Link to their site.


There are many other places that you can send items to! If you have a favorite please link them to me in the comments. I would love to write more posts like this!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Survival Skills - Ice Fishing

Alexzander was able to take an ice fishing trip with his Grandpa and his Uncle Buck. His Uncle Buck bought him some ice fishing equipment for Christmas, so Alexzander was pretty excited to use his gear!

We used this opportunity to have his Uncle Buck teach him a "class" about ice fishing. Before he left we watched the following videos about ice fishing safety.

Four Ice Fishing Safety Tips
Safe Ice and Signs of Bad Ice

During his trip, he took notes about his lesson.

Alexzanders notes:

Jigging is moving your line up & down to attract fish.
Line is kept in the middle of the hole.
Tieing line-Wrap the line 8 to 13 times, feed it through hole in line, put it through other hole, tighten, trim access.
Use tipups, jigging rods.
Ice should be 6 inches to walk on & snowmobile.
12 inches to drive on. If ice is dark it is not safe.
Look for open water & springs.
Springs are in constant movement & don't freeze.
We fished for for Northern Pike, Walleyes & pan fish.
Legal limit was 25 fish per person for pan fish.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chicken Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce


One thing we grow in our garden each year is butternut squash. I think it is one of the best squashes ( and most versatile ) out there.

We eat a lot of squash, sometimes we just bake it or roast it. I will also make squash pie, muffins, and so much more. I think we have found a favorite way to eat it, we turn in into a sauce for pasta, and it is delicious! Even my husband loves it, and he does not like squash.

The process is actually pretty simple. You cook your squash, scrape it all out of the shell, and run it through the food processor. After you have your squash ready, dump it all in a bowl, and get your favorite spaghetti sauce out. We personally use the organic marinara sauce from Aldis. Dump one full jar of sauce into your processor, and add the same amount of processed squash. Process those two until they are well blended. That is it for the sauce. I usually do large batches that way I can freeze some of it for later use.




I start cooking my noodles while I cook my chicken. We usually use bow tie pasta, but you can use any type of pasta you like.

Cut up a full chicken breast into bite sized pieces.  Drizzle your chicken with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin. Fully cook, toss it with your pasta, and add your sauce.



Enjoy!








January Meal Plan

Welcome 2018! With the start of the new year, I decided to start meal planning again. Things were a little crazy last year, and it was just one thing that I kept not sticking to, so I stopped. With the new year starting, I decided to go ahead and start again.

January 2018

1/1 - 1/7
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Beef burgers, home made fries, and veggies
Dinner - Chicken pasta with squash sauce

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Pancakes and fruit
Dinner - Meatloaf, potatoes, and veggies

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Spaghetti and veggies
Dinner - Egg casserole and fruit

Thursday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Omelettes and fruit

Friday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Left overs
Dinner - Skillet lasagna and veggies

Saturday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Chicken fingers, carrots, and strawberries
Dinner - Pancakes, eggs, and fruit

Sunday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Grilled cheese and tomato soup
Dinner - Cheesy hash brown casserole and veggies

1/8 - 1/14
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Spaghetti and veggies

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast, and fruit
Dinner - Chili

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and fruit
Dinner - Breakfast burritos and fruit

Thursday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Ravoli and veggies
Dinner - Shredded roast sandwiches and veggies

Friday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Left overs
Dinner - Chicken sandwiches and veggies

Saturday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Hot dogs, cottage cheese, and veggies
Dinner - Spaghetti and salad

Sunday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, and veggies
Dinner - Chicken tacos, rice, and beans

1/15 - 1/21
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Broccoli tortellini alfredo
Dinner - Cheese burger chowder and salad

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Roasted turkey and veggies

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Turkey noodle soup
Dinner - Turkey and noodles over mashed potatoes

Thursday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast, and fruit
Dinner - Turkey pot pie

Friday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Left overs
Dinner - Shredded BBQ pork sandwiches, creamed corn, and salad

Saturday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Cheese quesadillas or BBQ pork cheese quesadillas, and salad
Dinner - Chicken taquitos, rice and bean

Sunday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Cheese quesadillas, rice and, beans
Dinner - Sausage, beans, and potatoes

1/22 - 1/28
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Spaghetti and salad
Dinner - Chicken breast, cheesy potatoes, and veggies

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast and fruit
Dinner - Meatball subs and salad

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - French toast and fruit
Dinner - Shredded roast beef sandwiches, home made fries, and veggies

Thursday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Home made mac and cheese and veggies
Dinner - Ham. potatoes, and veggies

Friday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Left overs
Dinner - Cheesy garlic potatoes ( with added ham ), and veggies

Saturday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Ham salad, or ham sandwiches and veggies/dip
Dinner - Ham and potato chowder

Sunday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Pizza
Dinner - Chicken tacos, beans, and rice

1/29 - 1/31
Monday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Eggs, toast, and fruit
Dinner - Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and veggies

Tuesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Hot dogs, cottage cheese, and veggies/dip
Dinner - Skillet lasagna and salad

Wednesday -
Breakfast - Oatmeal, toast, or yogurt, with fruit
Lunch - Sandwiches, cottage cheese, and veggies/dip
Dinner - Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Monday, December 4, 2017

Survival Skills Class - Fire starting

I would like to start this post by talking a little bit about my son. Alexzander is eleven years old, he is in sixth grade. He has recently gotten really into learning about survival skills, wanting to hunt, fish and the like.

Since we home school, I thought it would be beneficial to him, to make this one of his classes. I have been trying to decide what to do for him, and finally decided to use a collective of information, and just make my own  classes. At this time, I am unsure of how many classes this will run. Most likely it will be several posts over the course of a few months,  as long as he is enjoying the class.

I also plan on posting pictures, and other comments as he does classes. Just to show his progress.

I will be including links to all resources we use, video links, book links, product links, and much more.

Books we have already bought -
https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Explorer-Guide-Justin-Miles/dp/1770856188/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1512445693&sr=8-7&keywords=survival+kids

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Survival-Guide-Kids-Colson/dp/1770856196/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512445693&sr=8-1&keywords=survival+kids


Week 1 lesson plans.

Start off by taking this quiz about how long you would survive in the wild.  Discuss the results.

This week we are going to learn about the importance of being able to start a fire.

The very first thing you should talk about is fire safety.

Secondly, teach your student to make a fire, without the use of matches or a lighter.
( Items needed for this can be mostly found around your yard. You will need a pocket knife for this. )
Practice these skills.

Learn about starting a fire, even when it is wet. You can practice this skill if you want. This is a skill that will be practiced later of for us. We want him to master the art of regular fire starting first.


Make some fire starters. Be sure to try them out!

We are ending each class with a video about true survival stories.
This classes video.




The Most Amazing Chocolate Cupcake

I had the privilege of making cupcakes for a local children's program's fundraising dinner this past weekend. I decided on lemon and...