Friday, May 29, 2015

Ramen Special

I have been making ramen special for awhile now and I thought I would share my ideas with you. I really need to go to a speciality store and find the ramen noodles by themselves. I toss the packet that comes with it and make my own broth.

I'm obsessed with The Ramen Girl movie. So I guess my desire to make ramen started with this movie. Now my recipe is no where near what they make in the movie but it's a start. Someday I will make it entirely from scratch, or how my sons says it from scratching. Hehehe

Let's get started...


1 ramen any flavor (remember we're tossing the packet out)
1 cup water
1 cup broth of your choosing ( I made chicken)
1/2 cup peas (edamame would be yummy too)
3 or 4 Shitake mushrooms
1 green onion
1/2 chopped cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
Salt and pepper or granulated garlic is great too
Sriracha optional

Heat water and broth in a pot over high heat, bring to a boil. Add ramen noodles and peas, bring back to a boil, add mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes. Towards the end of cooking time add chicken to reheat and add green onion. Add seasonings and Sriracha, pour into bowl and enjoy.

This is a favorite of ours. I keep adding others things, beef broth is my favorite. Lots of times I will add left over veggies, carrots, bell peppers and celery are delicious. I just realized I had some I could have added some. Oh well next time. Oh and eggs are really good too!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Homemade Graham Crackers...I can't quit you!

Graham crackers are one of those foods that I can go months without eating - but that I can't stop eating once I have them!  I recently bought some and Eric and I ate the whole box in 3 days.  So when Eric asked if I could make graham crackers, I blindly went into it and said sure...and now I have to make them for his lunches!! Lol.  Luckily they are not hard to make, unluckily they are very hard to stop eating!!  Instead of making his granola bars every 2 weeks, I have to make graham crackers two/three times a week!  I am planning to make the dough all in one day and then baking enough for a few days at a time or it could get dangerous...I ate 3 just while I was taking pictures :/  the original recipe is here.

Graham Crackers

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water or milk
1 tbsp vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients in you mixer.  Add the butter in cubes and combine until it is fully incorporated.  Mix the wet ingredients together and then add it to the mixture.  Combine to form a sticky dough.  Divide the dough in half and wrap it up.  Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.  Roll the dough as thin as possible on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.  Cut into squares and use a fork to poke each piece a few times.  If you wang you can sprinkle the dough with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool and enjoy!

I am still trying to get my dough thin enough to be crispy all the way through, but it is just as delicious slightly chewy!

I can't wait to try them as s'mores!! Mmmmm....

Have a great day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Liquid Dishwasher Soap

I meant to post this last week but life got in the way :)  Hopefully it will settle down for awhile now...

I wrote about making my own dishwasher tablets almost exactly a year ago (the link is here).  After using them for so long I was pretty happy about the results - the only downside was that every once in a while the tablet wouldn't disolve so I would need to run the load a second time.  I'm pretty sure the problem is with my dishwasher not opening the dispenser correctly but since it has been a year, and I'm almost out of tablets, I thought it would be a good time to try out liquid dishwasher soap.  I found the original recipe here and I only made a few changes.

Liquid Dishwasher Soap

1 cup baking soda
1 cup borax
8 cups water
7 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup dish soap (I used the Seventh Generation dish liquid I had)
1 tbsp citric acid (I used the fruit fresh produce protector I had)

In a large pot bring the 8 cups of water to a boil.  Add the Baking Soda and Borax and stir until they have dissolved.  Add the 7 cups of room temp. water and then add the vinegar (it will foam so make sure you use a very large pot).  Add the citric acid and soap and mix until combined.  Bring the mixture back to a boil for a few minutes and then let cool completely.  Once its cooled, pour into a jug or container and let it sit overnight.  Shake before using and fill the dispenser (you can also add it to the prewashing spot if you want).  The mixture should gel slightly, but it won't be as thick as you are used to.

I have been using the liquid soap for about 2 weeks now and I really like how well it works.  It seems like the dishes are shinier - but that could just be because it's so new ;)  The liquid was a lot faster to make since I didn't need to make tablets, but I will need to make it every few months instead of once a year so it's kind of a toss up on which is faster.  The liquid soap also has more ingredients, so I don't think it will work out to be cheaper either but it's not expensive to make at all.  I actually had all of the things I needed when I decided to make this so I didn't have to do anything but mix them together.  In addition to using it for the dishwasher, I have been using it to hand wash dishes, clean the shower and sinks, and I even used it to clean the toilet bowl lol.  So many of the DIY cleaners have similar ingredients and I wanted to try it out as an all purpose cleaner.  I think the only thing I will change is maybe adding some essential oils - for both scent and additional disinfecting.  I figured that if I trusted it to clean my dishes which I eat off - then why not try it out on things that I don't.  So far I have be really happy with using it, and I'm planning to keep using it and see what else I can use it for...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Car Organizer

I'm quite proud of this. It's not pretty but it's so helpful! My kiddo has quite the collection...doesn't he? My son will often say "I need that blue car" I'll ask him to give me more info..."It has big wheels and little wheels" no joke! So this will help narrow down the search.

We bought an under the bed plastic bin with a lid. I divided the colors, some have two colors because of how little we have of one color. My husband does 3D printing and will make him real dividers soon. This is just perfect for now. I cut down a cardboard box to use for the dividers.

I really wanted a shoe organizer. I wanted to hang it on the wall. The more I thought about it though I was worried it would be too heavy or too tall for my son to reach.

I would love to hear how you have organized these kind of cars.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Super Easy Leather Couch Cleaner & Conditioner

One of the most neglected things in our daily lives is probably our couches - we use them every day but I only clean them once or twice a year (unless there's a mess lol).  Since they are leather, they are more or less wipe and go but they get pretty dull.  I decided to take care of them and put something on them to help brighten them up...but of course I didn't have anything to use!  I decided it was a good time to switch to a DIY solution :)  I am pretty happy with the results!
Before on the left & After on the right - in case it isn't obvious ;)
My biggest worry was that they would seem oily but that doesn't seem to be the case, and there is a lingering smell of vinegar but not too bad and it should go away within a few hours (I think using apple cider vinegar helps with the smell).  This is by far the easiest DIY recipe ever - 1 part oil to 2 parts vinegar...that's it!  I used apple cider vinegar and sunflower oil.  You can also use essential oils for the smell if the vinegar is too much for you.  I love that I don't need to store a large batch of cleaner - I can just whip up enough each time I want to clean and condition the couches!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 15, 2015


The weather still has been a little sad around here so I went for another comfort food, meatloaf. We love it in our house, it's usually gone so I don't get a sandwich out of it. I think I will this time. I bought some yummy white bread and I think I will make it tonight and have it tomorrow.

You will need a loaf pan or a medium size baking sheet. I also use grill foil pans. They have slits, I put them on my baking sheets and the fat falls to the bottom and keeps the meatloaf firm. You can also you use a metal cooling rack if you have one.

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
3 Tablespoons minced dried onion
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon season salt

1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

In a large bowl combine onion, egg, bread crumbs, milk and seasoning. Add ground beef, gently mix it all together, form into a loaf and into your baking sheet or put into your loaf pan. Make topping, combine ketchup, mustard and sugar pour over the top. Bake in oven for 1 hour and then let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Adapted from here.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2015


I was excited when I saw my apple tree with blossoms on it a few weeks ago - but I'm even more excited to see that almost all of the blooms have turned into apples!!  According to the growing guides I should pull by them off for another 2 years, but since I'm planning to move the tree next year I decided that I would let them grow this year.  I can't wait until I can try them!!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One Pot Chicken and Rice with Peas

I was wanting some comfort food. It's been raining here and of course soup comes to my mind. It's not so liked with my family.

I looked for a chicken and pea recipe and nothing was sounding good so when I found this, I adapted to what I wanted and had on hand.

You will need a large pot with a lid or a Dutch oven.


1/4 cup oil
1 sweet onion
2 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
5 cups chicken broth, heated
2 cups basmati rice
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, I also used a seasoned salt blend
1 cup shredded cheese

Heat oil in pot or Dutch oven at medium heat. Add onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken, season, cook until no longer pink. Add rice cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth, season. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Slowly add cheese and mix until melted. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Baked Fries

Mmmm...Potatoes! I really like potatoes, I don't think there's a potato out there that I don't like.

I pinned this recipe from Pinterest a little bit ago. I'm so glad I did! I not only have a great baked fries recipe but I have a great season recipe!

You will need a sheet pan or a pan big enough to have the fries lay flat and not touching.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 potato per person, golden yellow
1 teaspoon oil per potato

Seasoning recipe (Only use 1/2-1 teaspoon for 4 potatoes)
2 Tablespoons Garlic salt
1 teaspoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon Dried basil
1/8 teaspoon Cumin
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper

*early prep
Slice potatoes and dice into sticks, place in cold water for 30 min. If you are making later than 30 minutes place in refrigerator.

Drain potatoes and dry with towels. Place in bowl and add oil and seasoning mix thoroughly. Put on pan spread them out evenly and not touching. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn up temp to 450 and bake for 10 min or until egdes turn brown. Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015


Today I am finally getting something done that is very overdue - a new eye exam!  So exciting right?!  Lol!  I have needed new glasses for at least a year but for some reason it's something that I can easily ignore (I dislike appointments - but I'm fine with the actual exams.  The same thing happens with doctors and dentists lol).  So this morning I decided I really need to get on it - and when I called they had an opening in an hour - so I jumped on it and now I can cross it off my list of things to do.

The hardest part is picking out new glasses :/  I hate doing it by myself (what if I pick ugly ones?!), but at least this time I can get whatever I want since I don't have to go to work...I'm really liking the purple ones above (it's hard to tell in the picture but they are dark purple).  I decided that I wanted a fun pair and that they don't need to go with everything (yes, I worry about stuff like that).

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eating Healthy...or Else

I have always struggled with my eating habits - too much fat, too many carbs and sugars, not enough veggies...over the last few years I have tried again and again to change my eating habits.  Sometimes I succeed in changing a small thing here or there (like not drinking soda), but never enough to be considered 'healthy eating'.  Now, I don't have a choice.  At my last check-up I found out that my blood pressure is starting to get a little high.  After monitoring it for a few weeks, it seems to be staying a little higher than it should be.  So now I have 2 options - really get serious about changing what I eat on a regular basis or go on medicine.  I would really like to avoid the meds, so I talked with my doctor.  We decided that I would take two months to try to get my BP down through diet and exercise, and if I'm not able to then I would go on the meds with the intention of continuing to work to get off of them.  Then I got sick lol so that was postponed for a few weeks, but now I have no excuses.  Since I want something maintainable I decided not to do a 'diet', but instead start adding more veggies into my regular meals and using fruit as a snack first  - hopefully that will help me from snacking on the less healthy stuff too much!  I have also switched my bread to a whole grain option, changed to unsalted butter and have limited the amount of 'junk food' I have access to.  Hopefully these changes will be enough to make an impact.
I have also started doing the P90x workout program.  I was doing Insanity and I made it about 40 days into it (it's a 60 day program), but when I got sick I stopped working out.  I workout with my neighbor and since they were sick as well, we decided it would be better to start over on a new program than trying to go back into the end of Insanity.  I've done the P90x workout before and made it to 45 days (out of 90) - so I am hopeful I will be able to do this for the next few months.

Has anyone else been able to make enough changes to get off of blood pressure medicine?  I would love to know what you did!!

Have a great day!

Cinnamon Rolls

Beth told me to blog about these. This week my son's school is celebrating teacher staff week and today is treat day. I figured I should make these! They smell good! Mouth watering good!

I made The Pioneer Women's recipe. I try and make it for my neighbors every year around Christmas time. I need to make them ahead of time and just bake as I need them.

This recipe makes a lot. They go quickly! My husband served one with ice cream and it's amazing!


4 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast

8 cups bread flour

1 cup bread flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt

2 cups melted butter
2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla

I sectioned off the ingredients by the order of instructions. You will need a large pot, enough to hold the 1-3 ingredient sections. This makes 40-50 rolls. I can fit them all into buttered 9 by 13 and 15 by 10. It makes quite a bit. If you wanted to gift these buy some foil baking pans and do the math of how many you want in each.

In a large pot heat milk, oil and sugar at medium heat until 100 degrees. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for 1 minute.

Add 8 cups of flour and mix well. Cover with a towel and let sit for 1 hour. Should double in rising.

Punch down dough. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Divided in half. Roll out to 30 in by 10 inches.

Pour 1 cup butter on dough sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons cinnamon. (I mixed the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkled half of it on top.) Starting with edge of the length side roll towards you, tucking inch by inch. Seal the edge if you can. Cut slices with a knife and place into pan, cut side up. Cover again and let rise for 20 minutes. Pre heat your oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

Bake for 13-17 or if you make them a little thicker like me 18-20 minutes. You want the edges to be browned.

Make icing while the rolls are baking. Whether you melt the butter in a pan on the stove or in the microwave have medium size vessel. Add powdered sugar, milk, water and vanilla. Mix until well blended.

Pour icing over rolls as soon as you bring them out.

Get familiar with this recipe you will be making them, they will be asked for!

I hope you enjoy these as we did!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cinco de Mayo!

Any day to celebrate with food and being together is a great day! Our household loves to eat Mexican cuisine, well America's version. I'm the only one that has been there, I didn't spend enough time to translate the recipes. I really want the bread they make for breakfast with hot chocolate. Handmade flour tortillas are so amazing!

My go to recipes are guacamole, taquitos and burritos. I saw this appetizer and it looked refreshing to add to my menu.

Here I'm making a guacamole in a scoop chip with a shrimp on top.


Scoops chips
Avocado diced
Red onion diced
Tomatoes diced
Garlic (1 clove per avocado)
Shrimp 50-60 count (you want them bite size) shells removed and deveined.
Salt and pepper

Your other option is to chop everything separately and put it in the chip for a beautiful presentation. I just mixed everything (avocado, garlic, tomatoes, red onion, and salt) together and scooped into the crackers.

To make the shrimp, I just removed the shell and cooked them in the pan until just turning pink, turned off the heat. They will cook a bit more, you don't want to cook them for too long or they will get rubbery. When they are done place on a plate and salt and pepper them. I just did one side.

When your chips are filled top with a shrimp. I think these good be made ahead just don't assemble until ready to eat.

My husband said they might be the best thing I've ever made! That's pretty cool!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Crescent wrapped casserole

Dinner will be wrapped up quickly with this meal!

It's fun to make and fun to eat.

Here's the original recipe, my husband absolutely loves this recipe. So it's going on the monthly menu!


Butter a 9 by 13 baking pan, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit


Crescent bundles

1 tube 8 refrigerated crescent rolls
1 rotisserie chicken meat removed and shredded
1 large broccoli crown cut into florets, steamed in microwave for 2 1/2 minutes
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


1/4 butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth - the 4 ingredients abound can be replaced with cream of chicken soup.
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend.


Making the bundles first. Mix chicken, broccoli and cheese. Open up the crescent rolls and break apart the rolls. One by one fill one up with a 2 Tablespoon of chicken mixture and roll it up and tuck as much as possible, place in pan. Continue until you have all 8 bundles. You will have left over chicken mixture. Bake bundles for 10 minutes.

While those are baking make your sauce. Heat butter at medium low heat, add flour once melted. Keep mixing for a minute, add milk and chicken broth. Mix until thickened. Add sour cream, additional milk and slowly add cheese, mix until melted.

Pour chicken, cheese and broccoli over the bundles. Pour sauce on top and place bake in oven. Bake for 20 more minutes.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!
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