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Food, Family & Fun!





Updated: 2018-03-06T13:13:23.638-05:00

 



Menu Plan Monday July 13-19

2009-07-13T11:06:24.573-04:00

(image) Here's the plan for this week...

Dinners
Monday- Weight Watchers Juicy Hamburgers, corn on the cob, salad
Tuesday- Weekday Lasagna, salad, garlic toast
Wednesday- Monterey Chicken, green beans, rolls
Thursday- Buffalo Chicken Pasta, salad
Friday- Pizza, salad
Saturday- Crispy Chicken Drumsticks, green beans, rolls
Sunday- Magnificent Casserole, corn on the cob

Breakfast
Monday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Tuesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Wednesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Thursday-Cinnamon French Toast, fruit, hot herbal tea
Friday- Cereal, yogurt
Saturday- Blueberry Pancakes, fruit, hot herbal tea
Sunday- Cereal, fruit, yogurt, hot herbal tea

Lunch
Monday-Wednesday- Kids eat at Library Summer Reading Program
Thursday- Sandwiches
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday-Leftovers
Sunday- Fat Free Hot Dogs, Baked Doritos

Snacks and desserts- Chex Party Mix, Mississippi Mud Cake, Fat Free Rice Krispie Treats, Pistachio Dream Cake, Wendy's No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Go here to see more plans.
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Menu Plan Monday-July 6-12

2009-07-06T10:20:10.622-04:00

(image) Here's my plan for the week:
Dinner:
Monday-Crispy Chicken Drumsticks, green beans, rolls
Tuesday- Taco Junk, salad, Caramel Apple Salad
Wednesday- Beef Stuffed Peppers
Thursday- Chili Mac Crockpot, corn on the cob
Friday- Pizza, salad
Saturday- Weekday Lasagna, salad, garlic toast
Lunch:
Monday-Wednesday- Kids eat at Library Summer Reading Program
Thursday- Sandwiches
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday-Leftovers
Sunday- Fat Free Hot Dogs, Baked Doritos
Breakfast:
Monday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Tuesday- Omelets, fruit, hot herbal tea
Wednesday-Low fat waffles and fruit, hot herbal tea
Thursday- Cinnamon French Toast, fruit
Friday- Cereal, fruit
Saturday-Blueberry Pancakes, fruit
Sunday- Cereal, fruit
Snacks and desserts- Chex Party Mix, Mississippi Mud Cake, Fat Free Rice Krispie Treats, Pistachio Dream Cake, Cotton Candy Angel Food Cake
Go here to see more plans.


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Campfire Night

2009-07-02T08:28:50.127-04:00

(image) One of the things on my kid's list of fun things they wanted to do this summer was to make smores. I thought it would be neat to expand that idea to a campfire night. During a campfire night, we roast winnies, make smores, and just enjoy the fire. You could build a fire at a local park which has the facilities to do that, make a fire in your charcoal grill, or use a fire pit. Fire pits can range from $50-$300, so that might be an expensive purchase if you only bought it for that one time use. It could however be an investment if you planned to do several campfire night or use it when you campout. I was planning on going to a local park, but my son's Cub Scout Pack had a campfire night that we were all invited to and someone brought a fire pit. The kids enjoyed looking for sticks to roast their hot dogs and marshmallows on, but you could also use skewers. Make sure you keep safety in mind during a camp fire night by keeping your children from getting too close to the fire and having a bucket of water near the fire in case of an emergency.
After it gets dark, you can sit around the fire and tell stories. This activity was a lot of fun for my family and cost a lot less than if I would have gotten a camping site. The only money I spent on this activity was on the food and my family would have eaten dinner that night, so this was a pretty frugal activity for us. Here's a list of some items you may need for a Campfire Night.

Things to get for a Campfire Night
Campfire Marshmallows
Hershey’s Chocolate Bars
Graham Crackers
Hot dogs
Hot Dog Buns
Mustard, Ketchup, other condiments
Charcoal, wood, etc (Things to start your fire with)
Cold drinks
I hope you get the chance to have a campfire night with your family this summer.


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Summer Reading Program-4-H Fun Week 1

2009-06-16T16:02:12.189-04:00

We went to the library activites again today. Tuesday's are 4-H Fun days. Today they let the kid's make ziplock bag ice cream. The kids loved it! Then they ate it and they gave them a lunch. This was one of the things one my kids summer fun list that they wanted to do. Here are some pictures from today and the recipe in case you want to do this with your kids. Ice Cream in a Bag1 tablespoon sugar1/2 cup of Half and Half1/4 teaspoon vanilla6 tablespoons rock salt1 pint-size Ziplock bag1 gallon-size Ziplock bagice cubesFill the gallon size Ziplock bag with ice cubes and then add rock salt. Seal the bag. Put half and half, vanilla, and sugar in small Ziplock bag and seal it. Place the small Ziplock bag inside the large one and seal again carefully. Shake until mixture is ice cream or about 5 minutes. Wipe off top of the small Ziplock bag, then open carefully and enjoy! [...]



Not So Big Bad Banana Muffins

2009-06-16T14:41:15.409-04:00

I made 4 batches of these today. I tricked the kids with the 50/50 whole wheat and white flour and they loved them. I am freezing the rest for an easy breakfast on a busy morning this summer!
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Not So Big Bad Banana Muffins
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cup White Flour
3/4 cup Sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Egg
2 Large Bananas, mashed
1/2 cup Applesauce
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease entire cupcake or muffin tin including the top of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl mix egg, sugar, applesauce, and bananas. Add wet to dryand stir just until combined. (A few lumps are fine.) Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared tin, filling all the way to the top. Fill unused cups with 1/3 cup water to prevent burning. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.
Notes: You can freeze these muffins and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds for a great, easy breakfast.
Makes 10 servings at 3 Weight Watchers Points each.

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Pizza and a Movie Night

2009-06-15T18:53:40.766-04:00

(image) My kids love pizza and love to watch movies, so why not do both in one night? This summer my kids made a list of fun things they wanted to do this summer and Pizza and a Movie night was one of those. I really like to do these nights because it's a time for my family to spend together doing something fun. We usually get our movie from the Redbox, which cost $1.00, but we have also gotten movies from the library for FREE. I don't cost the count of the pizza because I make it homemade and we would have had dinner anyways. So, I think this is a pretty frugal summer activity.

Here are the recipes that I used to make our pizza, pizza sauce cheesy breadticks, and Monkey Munch (our movie snack):

Pizza Hut Style Pizza Dough or Cheesy Breadsticks
1 1/3 cups water
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp cornmeal
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp yeast
Add ingredients to bread machine, according to manufacturer’s settings, and run dough setting. After the machine beeps, roll out the dough. You can roll the dough into two 9×13″ pizzas (great for kid’s lunches!) or into two medium pizzas or a large pizza and an order of breadsticks (as instructed above). Parbake the crust with a drizzle of olive oil on it at 450 degrees for ten minutes. Remove the crust and add sauce and toppings. If making breadsticks, add your breadsticks at this time. Place into the oven for another ten to fifteen minutes or until golden and bubbly. Enjoy!
You can freeze your pizza dough for an easier night.

Easy Pizza Sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups water
Combine tomato paste, garlic, parsley flakes, onion, oregano, basil and water in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Cool a little and spread on your pizza crust and proceed with remainder of your toppings.
Makes 3 cups
You can freeze this pizza sauce easily.

Monkey Munch
9 cup Chex
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Put cereal in large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over Chex cereal, put into a large plastic bag with powdered sugar and shake well to coat.Spread mixture evenly on wax paper and allow to cool.
This does not last long at my house!
We will be doing this several more times this summer. I hope you get to plan a Pizza and a Movie night for your family this summer.


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Pine Cone Bird Feeders

2009-06-09T08:42:14.174-04:00

Our family gets together once a week, usually on Monday night and does something fun together. It's a great way to make sure that you take time for your family. So, each week, I'll post something about what we did for fun.On our summer fun list (that my kids made) they wanted to make pine cone bird feeders. They love the birds and were really excited about this. We have two huge pine trees in our yard and I kept seeing these beautiful pone cones on the ground well we started collecting them and I knew I was going to do something with them. So here's what we did.Pine Cone Bird FeedersMaterials you will need:Pine ConesPeanut Butterbird seedstringDirections:Place string on the end of the pine cone leaving a loop to place the feeder on the tree. Place peanut butter on the pine cone and get into the underneath parts of the pine cone. We made 4 feeders and it took a whole jar of peanut butter. Next, I got a casserole pan and place the bird seed in it and the kids rolled the pine cone in the seed. Then we hung them on a tree.Cost- Bird seed- $1.00 (we used half a bag)String- $1.00 (from Dollar Tree and there is lots left over)Peanut Butter- FREE (for me but this might cost you a little more.)Pine Cones- FREEResults:So, for under $5.00 we had a really fun family time and also accomplished an activity the kids wanted to do this summer. The kids were really proud of their feeders and can't wait to see the birds eat from them. I am really glad that I waited to do this activity when my husband was home because every kid wanted you to help them. The extra hands came in handy.So, if you want to have fun this summer with your kids, consider pine cone bird feeders. [...]



Edible Play Dough

2009-06-08T16:38:32.814-04:00

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(image) I have been watching a lot of reruns of Jon and Kate plus 8 and I saw the Valentine's Day one where she made edible play dough and I knew I wanted to try that out with my kids. We have played with lots of other homemade play dough and the kids love it. So, I knew they would love this and we would also have a snack! I did not tell my kids that it was edible, but they figured out. Actually my 2 year old figured it out first. This lasted about an hour and half of playing with and eating. Make sure you get your kids to wash their hands before playing with the edible play dough. My kids also loved helping make it!

Here's the recipe:

Jon and Kate plus 8 Edible Play Dough
Mix equal parts of powdered milk, honey, and peanut butter.
Add flour to reach play dough consistency.
Play and enjoy!


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Frugal Summer Fun- Redbox Movies

2009-06-05T10:43:40.902-04:00

(image) Are you looking for fun activites for your kids this summer, but you don't have a lot of money to spend on that fun? Well, that's how I felt, so my family made a list of things they wanted to do this summer and most of them were pretty frugal activites. One activity was getting movies from the Redbox using the free movie of the month codes. We actual got to use the first one this week. We had popcorn and sodas, which cost maybe $2.00-$3.00. But all of those things were already in my pantry, so it felt like I did not spend much at all. We enjoyed watching Hotel For Dogs as a family.
Redbox is a great service for families not wanting to spend much money on family fun. You can find Redboxes in many locations. My closest one is in a Walmart, but I also have one near me outside of a MacDonald's. You will need to go to the Redbox website to find where the closest Redbox is to you. Once you find out where your closest Redbox is located go to that place. It will be hard to miss because it is a big red vending machine. You will have to have a credit card to rent a movie. The movies cost $1.00 per night. I think that is pretty frugal family fun. But, wait, on the first Monday of the month throughout this summer, you can go online and get a free movie code, we usually post it on Busy Mommy too. You need to hit the rent with promo code first and then proceed with your order, you will still need to use a credit card. If you want more than one free movie, all you have to do is use a different credit card. As long as you bring the movie back before 8 pm the next evening your credit card will not be charged. Also, if you register your e-mail on the Redbox website, they will give you a free first movie code to use and send you e-mails about upcoming movies. Another feature that I really like about the Redbox service is you can go online and reserve a movie, so when you get to the Redbox the movie will be waiting for you. You can not use movie codes on reserved movies though.
I have been using the Redbox movie service for over a year now and I have been quite happy with it! I did however have a movie that would not play. I e-mailed Redbox about my problem and they sent me a free movie code. So, I also think that they have great customer service !
So, if you are looking for a fun frugal family night this summer check out your local Redbox.
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Summer Fun Plan 2009

2009-06-05T10:41:32.787-04:00

Last Friday was my kids last day of school. So, now it's time for me to entertain them all summer until school starts back. But, what can I do that won't put a huge strain on the budget? This year, I decided to get creative after reading an article from Momadvice. I let my kids decide what they wanted to do. I already do a lot of fun frugal activites with them so they had some ideas already in mind. It was interesting to me that they put a lot of those activites and lots more that were very frugal on the list. It was also a fun family time as we sat around talking about what we wanted to do this summer. We posted a list of the activites we want to get done this summer and placed it next to our family message board. We will be marking things off the list as we do them to make the list even more fun. I will also be posting about these activites here as we do them, so stay tuned. Here is my family's list of of the things they want to do this summer to give you an idea of what you can do for a little or no money. I am sure your family will come up with their own great ideas.Family Summer Fun List 20091. Go to Burger King Playland and Eat2. Go to the Summer Library Programs3. Make Homemade Slushies 4. Have a Homemade Pizza and Movie Night5. Make and Play with Homemade Play dough6. Go get some shaved ice from a local store7. Spend a night with Granny8. Go to the Park9. Make Pine Cone Bird Feeders 10. Have a Family Bake Night11. Make Smores12. Go to the Movies13. Go on a nature hike14. Go to at least 1 movie night at the park 15. Get a free Redbox movie each month (They have 1 free movie code per month)16. Go Swimming17. Have an ice cream sundae night18. Read a LONG book with mommy19. Go on a picnic20. Make homemade ice cream21. Make homemade bubbles and play with them outside As you can see most of these are pretty cheap. We do take the kids to the movies in the summer which will be the greatest expense but we do go to the matenee to cut cost. There are lots of free movies during the summer at some locations but we don't live near any of those or we would take advantage of that. Why don't you make a list with your kids before summer gets started. You may have to give them a few ideas, but it is interesting to see what they will say they want to do. Hope you have a fun frugal summer! [...]



Easy Pizza Sauce

2009-05-14T10:27:23.701-04:00

(image) Easy Pizza Sauce
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
4 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups water
Combine tomato paste, garlic, parsley flakes, onion, oregano, basil and water in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Cool a little and spread on your pizza crust and proceed with remainder of your toppings.
Makes 4 servings
Calories 80 Fat 0.5 Fiber 4.5
~
This was really good on the pizza. I don't know about the serving size, but I can get at least 2 pizzas out of this one batch of sauce and maybe a third one.
~
Note: This pizza sauce freezes really well too.

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Basic Pizza Dough

2009-05-14T10:21:20.876-04:00

I have been trying out new recipes and the thing I really like about Weight Watchers is we still have those extra 35 points to spend as we want. Sometimes, we just need to have a "treat." This is one such treat for me. I found this recipe on Mom Advice.Basic Pizza Dough (from"How to Cook Everything,")1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea slat, plus extra for sprinkling1 to 1 1/4 cups water2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil~To make this dough in food processor: Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 teaspoons salt in the container of a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons of oil through the feed tube. Process for 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining olive oil, and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry or you can let the dough rise more slowly in the refrigerator for six to eight hours.~To make this dough by hand: Combine half the flour with the salt and yeast and stir to blend. Add 1 cup water and the 2 tablespoons olive oil; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining flour a bit at a time; when the mixture becomes too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading, adding as little flour as possible- just enough to keep the dough from being a sticky mess. Knead until smooth but still quite moist, about ten minutes. Proceed as above.~To make this dough with a standing mixer: The machine must be fairly powerful or it will stall. Combine half the flour with the salt, yeast, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 cup water; blend with the machines paddle. With the machine on slow speed, add flour a little at a time until the mix has become a sticky ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (switch to the dough hook if necessary). Knead for a minute by hand, adding as little flour as possible, then proceed as above.~To make this dough with the bread machine: Add ingredients as follows- warm water, olive oil, flour, salt, and then add yeast at the top. Turn machine on and select the dough setting. When the machine beeps, you can roll out the dough onto your pizza stone/pan.~I made this dough in my bread machine. I watched it and it seemed really wet so I added some more flour to it. It was still a little sticky when I took it out of the machine so I added some more flour. This was really good and once I took care of the stickiness, it was easy. I added a sauce, cheese and other toppings and cooked for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Some people like to pre-bake there crust before putting on toppings and you can do that too.~If you cut your crust in 8 pieces this is 4 points per slice, but you also have to add points for sauce, cheese and other toppings. Try to stick with filling food toppings to keep this pizza lower in points. [...]



Mom Advise Experiment: Homemade Laundry Detergent

2009-05-13T10:03:05.166-04:00

Experiment: Can I make a powder laundry detergent that will clean well, not break out my family, and be cheaper?~Experiment Taken From: Notebook 03.08.2007 Materials Needed: (See Instructables for their directions)1 cup Borax1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda Powder (not baking soda)1 bar Fels Naptha soap (you can use other soaps like Zote used by instructables, but I could not find that soap, others also use Ivory, Pure & Natural etc)Food Processor or cheese graterUse the cheese grater on your food processor and put your soap in to grate. Then take out the grated soap and put in the chopping blade on your food processor add the grated soap and the rest of the ingredients and process until powdery. I like to put a wet dish towel on top of my processor during the chopping stage. Add to container and use 1 tablespoon for small loads and 2 tablespoons for large loads.~Note: You can use a grater instead of a food processor and mix all the ingredients with your hands, but I find that harder to dissolve in the washer if it is not more of a powder like substance. ~I put my washing powder in a 5 gallon bucket that I got at Walmart for about $5. I also tied a long string to the bucket with my tablespoon attached, so I would never lose it. (see above picture)~Results: I was worried about whether this powder form would dissolve as I had read others having this problem. I just turned on the hot water and swished the soap around before putting in my clothes and I have not had any problems with my powder soap dissolving. I made 10 batches of the laundry powder to save more time later and it really did not take that long to finish all of the batches. My clothes seem clean. One big difference is that this soap does not make bubbles and people worry that it will not work, but it does work fine. Nobody seemed to break out from the detergent and several in my family have broken out when I have changed detergents. I figured out that this soap cost about 5 cents a load. I was using Sun detergent and it was about 8-10 cents a load depending on where I got it from. So, while the powder detergent does not save as much as the liquid homemade laundry detergent, which is more like 1 cents a load. I am still saving money. Most tide detergents are about 20 cents a load. Personally, I was really happy with the results. I would like to mention that you really do not want to wash your food processor in the dishwasher after you have made your detergent because it will leave a soapy residue on your dishes. Instead hand wash it. Also, I have read a lot of articles saying that this type of detergent is harder on your washing machine. I read that adding some vinegar to your fabric softener dispenser every now and then will help with this problem, so I plan to do that. I also learned that vinegar works really well as a fabric softener, so I may be switching for fabric softener sheets to a homemade fabric softener soon.~Conclusion: This homemade powder laundry detergent is easy to make, if you have a food processor, and cleans well. It also did not break anyone out in my family. So, I think it is a keeper for my house. ~For more experiments go to Mom Advise.[...]



Naturally-Dyed Playdough

2009-05-07T10:37:01.761-04:00

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(image) I had this perfect project picked out this week, but it has rained every single day and we needed to go outside for this project, so we made play dough! I had never made it before and it was fun. Go here to see the first play dough recipe we made. This was the second one we tried.
~
Experiment: Can I make a play dough that the kids will love that is still pretty cheap?
Experiment Taken From: Notebook Entry 04.29.09
Materials Needed: See One Golden Apple for the original recipe
~
Naturally-Dyed Playdough
1 cup flour
1 cup brightly colored juice (blueberry, cherry, pomengranate, grape, etc.)
1/4 cup salt
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Put all ingredients in a pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough comes together. This only takes a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, squish and knead until smooth. Voila. Store in a container in the fridge.
Note: A lovely yellow can be made by using the recipe above, replacing the juice with water, and adding a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
~
Results: The play dough was super easy to make, smelled good, and was pretty cheap to make. But best of all, it gave my kids hours of fun! I do however like the ease of the first recipe because I do not have to actually cook the play dough and the colors were so much brighter.
Conclusion: I like both recipes and will definitely use both of them again. Both are cheap and my kids love them!
For more experiments go to Mom Advise.

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My Brother-In Laws Wedding

2009-05-04T17:19:58.286-04:00

We went to my brother-in-laws wedding this past weekend and I am pretty tired. 3 of my kids were in the wedding and my dh was the Best Man. My twins were the ring bearer and flower girl and my older son was an usher. It was hard getting them all ready and taking care of a 2 year old, but we got it done. My dh and I danced for the first time at the reception after being married for 10 years! lol! Nathan and Katie Sue were so tired while waiting to take pictures. Katie Sue feel asleep and I love that picture of her! I can not wait to see the professional photographers picture. [...]



Fruity Playdough

2009-05-04T16:42:20.877-04:00

(image) This week is suppose to be rainy, that's right for the entire week! So, I planned to do this little activity with my kids when they got home today. They are hot to the touch after you make them, so I am putting them in the refrigerator and tomorrow we will get out the cookie cutters and play with the playdough. It really does smell fruity! The colors are so vibrant compared to the playdough you buy at the store too. I first saw this recipe on MomAdvise and then at Day By Day. I used the suggestion from Day By Day to use 1 tbs. flour instead of the 1 tbs cream of tarter because cream of tarter is expensive and guess what it works just fine without the cream of tarter. We will definitely be using this recipe again!

Here's the recipe!
Fruity Play Dough (courtesy of Recipezaar.com)
1 cup flour
1 package Kool-Aid (any flavor)
1 tablespoon cream of tartar or 1 Tbs flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup salt
3/4 cup boiling water (the original recipe called for one cup of boiling water, but I found it made the dough too loose- aim for 3/4 cup and add more if needed)
Mix all dry ingredients in bowl then oil, then pour boiling water in and mix thoroughly. Wrap in cellophane or air tight container and store in fridge. The play dough should last a few months.
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Mom Advise Notebook Experiment- Who Bread: White vs.Wheat

2009-04-29T17:41:36.105-04:00

Bread 1: Bread Flour Bread 2: All-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flourSo, I decided to give the Mom Advise Notebook Experiments a try. Amy has a notebook where she list all kinds of great ideas she finds online. Many of them are projects that I really want to do. I've looked through her past notebooks and have booked marked lots of things to try. So, I'll be back for the weekly experiments. I really like how Amy makes them look like an experiment when she post them, so hopefully she won't mind if I do mine the same. I got a bread machine with our income tax refund this year and I love it. Although I still have a lot to learn! This is the first recipe we tried and really love, Low-Fat Bread Machine Italian Bread . I was really excited to try a different one.Experiment: Can I make Who (pronounced hooo, like an owl) bread and will my kids and husband will still like it if I substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the bread flour?Experiment taken from: Notebook Entry 02.14.07Materials needed: Here's the recipe that I used from SouleMama.WHO Bread(makes 1.5 lb loaf, set to 'basic' with medium crust)1 1/4 cup water2 tablespoons honey2 tablespoons butter @ room temperature1 tsp salt3 cups of flour (we do 2 cups unbleached white, 1 cup whole wheat pastry)1/2 cup rolled oats1 tablespoons brown sugar1 tsp cinnamon2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or, one package)Add ingredients to pan in order listed according to bread machine instructions. Makes 1.5 lb loaf, set to medium crust and basic.Results:Part 1: The first loaf we made was with just the bread flour. This bread rose quite a bit in my machine and looked more like a 2 lb loaf. I was worried that my lid would come off of the top of my machine, but it did not. I thought maybe I did something wrong, but I followed the instructions exactly! So, I thought? After rereading the recipe, it called for plain flour and not the bread flour, which is probably what made it rise more. My kids ate the bread fine and said they liked it okay. I liked it.Part 2: The second loaf I made was the one that I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the white flour. Now why would I want to do this? Well, first it is healthier for my kids and second since being on Weight Watchers, I noticed that using the whole wheat flour lowered my points sometimes and after running the recipe through the recipe builder (you have to be an e-tools subscriber to get this service) on the Weight Watchers Website, I found that it did indeed lower it by one point. If it tasted just as good, that was the one I wanted to use. The bread rose more like it was suppose too since I used the all-purpose flour. (I did not have any unbleached white.) The top fell, but the results were that my bread's crust was crispier and the bread really did taste better to me than the first one I tried. But how did my kids like it? Well, my oldest one said it's okay. I asked him what he did not like about it and he said it taste like wheat. The others are 4 years old and 2 years old and basically they will eat warm bread with butter on it.Conclusion: Well, I guess my kids will eat the bread with the wheat in it, although they seem to like the white flour bread better. My dh and my 9 year old refuse to eat wheat bread. I don't have any other answers as to how to get them to eat healthier and to eat wheat. Personally, I liked the second one and if I make this bread again, that will be the one I choose. This however is not my first pick for my favorite bread.~For more experiments go here. [...]



Low-Fat Bread Machine Italian Bread

2009-04-29T10:44:22.897-04:00

(image) Well, my dh bought me a bread maker with our income tax money. I have really wanted one forever! But, with Weight Watchers, I wondered if I was going to be able to use it. So, I have been on the search for recipes I could still eat and stay on plan. My kids love the bread! I do too. I love the ease that the bread maker gives me! So, here is one that I made that I really like! I make it with my Spaghetti Casserole that we eat weekly. My dh wants us to try to use this as a pizza crust dough or even bread sticks. I think it would be fabulous as either! I have learned though that with a bread maker, you really have to deal with portion control, luckily I have a large family and usually there is not a lot left over!

Low-Fat Bread Machine Italian Bread
1 1/8 cups water
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried onions
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
2 tablespoons butter
Add ingredients to pan in order listed according to bread machine instructions. Program as desired.
Per serving: Calories, 184; Fat 3g; Fiber 1.3g


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What's On My Nightstand?- April

2009-04-28T11:34:42.181-04:00

(image) This is the first time I am participating in the 5 Minutes For Books, What's On Your Nightstand? I am just now really getting back into reading again. I don't know why I quit for awile, probably just busy. I just recently joined a book club, so that motivates me to get the books done. It is also giving me an opportunity to expereince new authors. I know lots of these may still be here next month, but here is what I am working on.

Fiction
1. White Chocolate Moments- Lori Wick (This is my book club book for May)
2. Kerry Madden's Maggie Valley Trilogy Gentle's Holler, Jessie's Mountain, and Louisiana's Song
3. Uncle Tom's Cabin- Harriet Beecher Stowe (My bookclub is reading this throughout this year.)
4. Where the Wild Rose Blooms- Lori Wick
5. An Untamed Land- Lauraine Snelling
6. Fatally Flaky- Diane Mott Davidson
7. A Body To Die For- G.A. McKevett
Non Fiction
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To see what other's are reading go to 5 Minutes For Books.
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Tackle It Tuesday-Starting Seeds

2009-04-28T10:49:44.693-04:00

My tackle was actually done on Saturday. I wanted everyone in the family to be involved and that was the day we were all here and it was a beautiful day outside! This is a project that we had been putting off. The project was starting our seeds. We are going to be doing container gardening so if our crop is late, I guess that's okay too. We used a Jiffy Greenhouse. This was $6.00 at Walmart and allowed for 72 plants. My kids had a great time and what made it even better was that last week and this one my twins theme at head start was gardens. We even took them on a trip to Walmart to look at all of the plants and gardening stuff and buy the stuff for this tackle. My kids had a great evening and I have my containers ready to transplant when they are ready. Here are some pictures from our tackle.For more tackles, go to 5 Minutes For Mom. [...]



Family Easter Picture

2009-04-21T08:10:11.287-04:00

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Looking Back

2009-01-05T08:00:13.029-05:00

I posted this on my other blog, but I realize that a lot of you don't visit over there, so I decided to post it here too. Happy New Year!~Looking back is always a great thing to do. It helps us see how far we have gone. I like to look back at the end of a year. I got a lot to look back on this year. These pictures really show that for me! I know that I did not lose the 100 pounds that I wanted to lose this year, but I also know that 77 pounds is a lot of weight and as I can see in these pictures I look so much better. I think I can truly say that I was Looking Great in 2008 and will be Looking Fine in 2009! Enjoy...these made me feel good!1. Church Christmas Party 2008What a HUGE difference, I can actually sit in the chair! 2. Church Christmas Party 2007I hated my dh for taking this picture, but now I am so glad that I have it!I remember not being able to sit in that chair because I was so big!3. Our Christmas Card picture for 2007Wow! My face looks so different!4. Our Christmas Card picture for 2008, I look so different!Over all I am so proud of myself this year! I know that I am so much happier. Some things I got to do this year that I could not do when I was heavier:1. Wear jeans!2. Wear panty hose!3. Wear clothes that are about 4 sizes smaller!4. Eat healthier!5. Walk about 2 miles at a time without dying!6. Read a story to my kids without feeling like I can't breathe!7. Wrap a towel all the way around my body!8. Fit behind the steering wheel in my car!9. Not overeat! I've learned portion control something that was always hard for me.10. I'm happier! I can see it in my pictures and people tell me they see it! [...]



Honey I Shrank Our Spending!

2008-11-28T09:08:58.049-05:00

I've got lots of great new ideas posted on my other blog, Honey, I Shrank Our Spending. Come see lots of freebies and great hoilday gift ideas that won't break your budget!
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Book Review St. Patrick's Day Murder

2008-11-28T09:04:17.770-05:00

(image) St. Patrick's Day Murder written by Leslie Meier is the 13th book in the Lucy Stone Mystery series. I have read everyone of these books and really enjoy them! They are really a quick read. Each book starts off with a murder of some kind. Lucy Stone who is a writer for the local newspaper usually helps solve the mystery as to why someone died. This book has an Irish theme as it relates to the St. Patrick's theme. The local bar owner is found dead in the harbor. His brother comes to visit from Ireland and to direct a play at a local church. The play is also a St. Patrick's theme. When the director comes up dead too, Lucy begins to find several clues leading to the capture of the killer. The book is really a fun read and much like her other novels. I can't wait for the next one to come out!

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Nicholas' 9th Birthday

2008-11-24T09:18:41.841-05:00

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