Scalloped Potatoes

By Stephanie

Along with my baked pork chops I make this quick and easy and non cheese potatoes side dish.  It goes great with a ham, ribs, or pork chops or even chicken or beef.  You can cook it in the oven or Crockpot.  Easy and versatile.


Scalloped Potatoes

8 to 10 medium potatoes-sliced thin

1/2 onion minced fine

salt and pepper

1 cup water

1/3 cup SOS mix

1 Tbsp mayo

In Crockpot or in a 9X9 baking dish put one layer of sliced potatoes.  Salt and pepper them and sprinkle on 1/2 of your onions.  On top of that layer do another layer and repeat until all onions and potatoes are gone.  In microwave proof bowl put in water and SOS mix.  Mix with whisk.  Put in microwave for 1 minute.   Take out and stir out lumps.  Repeat at least two more times (maybe more) until it is thick and creamy.  Add in mayo and stir.  Pour over potatoes.  If cooking in oven put in at 350 degrees for 45 min to 1 hour until potatoes are tender.  If cooking in Crockpot put on low 4-5 hours or high 2-3 hours.


Being Fabulous

I found the best book last week! It is called The Essentials of Fabulous.

I was buying a few books on Amazon and, don't ask me how, but I found this book. It sounded intriguing, so I added it to my cart. As soon as my order arrived, I couldn't help it, I just had to read this book first and I'm so glad I did.  Here is the caption on the back of the book. "Count your lucky stars if you grew up without one illustrious relative to your name. That means you aren't under the delusion that you've inherited some magical gene or magnificent bankroll that makes you fabulous. It also means that you may be in on a secret: No one is born fabulous." The author, Ellen Lubin-Sherman shows throughout the book what fabulous people do, and gives practical advice on how we can incorporate that into our lives. If you are looking for not only a good read, but a leg up on how to live a fabulous life order this book, you won't regret it!


Oven Baked Pork Chops

By Stephanie

This just takes a little prep work and great for company since it goes in the oven and doesn’t need any fussing over. 


Oven Baked Pork Chops

Serves 4-6

4-6 pork chops (I prefer bone-in)

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic-minced

1/2 tsp pepper

Put everything into a gallon zip top bag and put in fridge for at least one hour.  Then take out pork chops and put into 9X13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until registers 155 degrees inside meat.  Take out and let sit for 5-10 minutes.


Buttermilk Syrup…to die for…

By Stephanie

So if you did'n’t get enough sugar this weekend…try this…

My sisters made this syrup for years before I tried it.  I mean I don’t really know why I never really listened to them…sorry girls.  But I am now HOOKED.  I really could just lick it off the spoon when I make it.  Actually I do.  Another reason I do cardio.  And since there is that great butter in it, I don’t put butter on my pancakes or waffles when I use this one.  Really it is buttery, sugary, foamy,  deliciousness..


Buttermilk Syrup

Makes about 2 cups

1/2 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk (or the substitute of 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tsp vinegar microwaved for 30 seconds also works…I have tried)

Put in a LARGE sauce pan.  Why large?  It is like that volcano you did in elementary school…it expands…a lot.

Melt butter and stir.  I know it looks lumpy and gross…


Just wait…

Then take off heat and add 1/2 tsp baking soda and whisk…


Add in 1/2 tsp vanilla.  TRY, TRY, TRY, not to lick it off the spoon before you get everyone all served up.  Keep it in the fridge in a covered container.  Although we usually have hardly any left to store. 


Some of my Favorite Things

by Stephanie
When every I hear “my favorite things”, I think of the song from “Sound of Music”.  Then I think of another version by Hilary Weeks.  LOVE IT!!
Kandee Johnson the make-up lady.  Super awesome tutorials and tips.  And some of her stuff (like jewelry is cheap!).  She has totally changed the way I think of make-up.  AND she has four kids! 
  Jessica Simpson Shoes.  I bought these in a patent leather.  LOVE them.  But any shoes she makes is super comfortable and worth every penny!  Check overstock.com and 6pm.com for bargain prices. 
Hapari swimsuits.  Again worth every penny!  Super flattering, cute styles and colors.  AND…if you are like me (hourglass with most the sand on the bottom), they have a pocket for “inserts” that come in 1/2 cup size or a full cup size.  They sit in their little pocket and are wonderful…for those of us that need it.
Minty lip gloss from Bath and Body works.  It makes you pretty and smell minty.  I am truly addicted to this stuff.
Quilt fabric.  Gorgeous, great quality, great for dresses, quilts, curtains, pillows, purses, etc... Sigh…..My dream is to own my own quilt shop.  That way I can justify having thousands of yards of fabric. 
Enjoy your day!!


Hinging on Perfection

 A couple of weeks ago I teased you about the great product that I used to rust out my light fixture in my kitchen. Well,  I’m ready to tell you about it.  When we were remodeling our home, I found this great laundry room that was decorated for the book Junk Beautiful by Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer.  One of the elements of the room that I wanted to copy were these beautiful old icebox hinges that they used to hang curtains from. 

Junk Beautiful

Junk Beautiful

 After looking through the Internet, I realized that buying some actual icebox hinges would be way out of my price range. I still wanted that look, but I needed to find a budget way to recreate it!  I found some simple hinges from a local hardware store, They were the right price, but definitely not the right look.  This is similar to what they looked like:

 So, I went to my local craft store and found the product that would help me get the look I was going for.  This is it:

The two bottles came packaged together in a box. I first painted the Iron on the hinges and let them dry. I then painted on the rust antiquing solution letting it dry and adding coats until I was happy with the results.  And here is how they turned out:

 Maybe not as beautiful as the original pictures from Junk Beautiful, but definitely more fun because I made them! If you can't find the Sophisticated Finishes Rust Antiquing Set at your local craft store, I have included a link to Triangle Crafts website http://www.tricoatstore.com/home.php?cat=251. Let me know if you "rust" something in your home!

I linked up to these linky parties...


My own kind of bookcase….

By: Jennifer

So this is my living room before. As you can see it really needs some help in this corner I have since ripped off all that wall paper but it really needed something to draw your eye. So my sister Amy suggested a tall bookcase which would not only draw your eye up, but also add some much needed storage space. I loved the idea the problem was my lack of funds… I went to Wal-Mart and they had bookcases for $20 bucks but they were so flimsy and plain it didn’t really fit the look I was going for so I went to my garage to see what I had that would work and I found these….
These shelves were just what I needed to add the height and the extra storage I needed but they also went with my e=style which is definitely eclectic! I loved that all of them were different but I brought it all together by making them all the same color! So Simple and really cheap and I have a bookcase…. sort of.

I linked up to these linky parties....

Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

by Stephanie

I LOVE the combination of oats, whole wheat and regular flour.  You get a texture that is chewy, yet soft.  This recipe came from my friend Dawn.  Always good when it comes from her kitchen! 

We went to a local restaurant for my birthday brunch.  They had a similar pancake with bananas and coconut.  I tried making them at home, and really, I think mine are BETTER!  And for as long as we waited for our food (which wasn’t that long), I could make them for my whole family including the buttermilk syrup.  And for what I paid for one meal, I could feed us all.  BONUS!  Although it is nice to have someone else do the cleanup.  But that’s why we had kids right?  At least that is what we tell them…


Brown Sugar Oatmeal Pancakes

Makes 10-12 pancakes

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup brown sugar (I like dark brown best)

1 egg

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk plus 1 tsp vinegar and microwave for 30 seconds)

In large bowl combine oats, flours, soda, salt and sugar.  Mix to combine.  In smaller bowl whisk together egg, oil and buttermilk.  Add into dry ingredients and mix just until combined.  Let sit for a few minutes while griddle heats up.  Pour about 1/2 cup at a time to form pancakes on hot griddle.  When bubbles form and is golden brown flip it over to cook other side.  Batter will be thick so I spread it out with my spatula, otherwise they don’t cook through..yuck.  Enjoy with your favorite syrup.

Variations:  add in 1 tsp cinnamon, sliced bananas, chopped pecans, and/or shredded coconut.  I like all of them added in.  I add the coconut after you put it on the griddle before you flip it.  That way the coconut gets toasted as the second side cooks.  SO GOOD!!  


Le Creuset Envy

Last week was Spring Break for my kids.  We didn't go anywhere, just had a mini Stay-Cation at home.  The weather didn't cooperate much, it rained several days and so we spent a lot of time indoors.  But, on Friday, we went to an outdoor mall that my children like to go to once in a while, it has a children's museum, outdoor fountain that is fun to run through, and several shops that aren't in our local mall.  One of the stores I enjoy peeking into and finding some great kitchen gotta haves is Sur La Table.  While looking around, I stumbled onto these:

Aren't they beautiful?  I have always liked the look of Le Creuset and I know how wonderful it is to have one in your kitchen, but I have never coveted one until a few days ago, and now I do!  Obviously it's the color that got me.  The shape and style has not changed, but what a difference one color can make! WOW!


Lemon Lime Pound Cake

By Stephanie
I know why it’s called pound cake…because you gain a pound with each slice…seriously.  But I was hosting the Finer Things Club, and it was necessary.  Totally. 
This came from the Idaho chapter of Finer Things.  Thanks Katie.  Super yummy.  Super non-low fat.
Lemon Lime Pound Cake
serves 12 (or more)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp lime zest
2 tsp lemon zest
5 large eggs
3/4 cup lemon-lime soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 12 cup Bundt pan.  In large bowl, sift flour and salt.  Set aside.  In another large bowl, add in butter and sugar and zests.  Cream together.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well.  Beat for another 2-3 minutes until light yellow and creamy looking.  Gradually add in flour,  then stir in soda.  Pour into pan and bake 1hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.  Let cool slightly and flip out onto plate.  Pour glaze over and let cool. 
For glaze: juice one lemon, one lime and combine with 2 cups powdered sugar. 
Great served with strawberries!


You can enter for this AWESOME sewing station.  First you have to win a cutting board and then on to the big prize.  You can enter at all these sites.  See their posts for details...I SO want this!!

 Busy With The Cricky Spartansusscraper.blogspot.com

A Garden to Grow In

by Stephanie
My darling friend emailed me a few weeks back with a pic of her daughter wearing this darling gap dress…with paint on it.  Oh no.  She is a great mom that provides a wonderful environment that fosters creativity.  But creativity can be messy.  As we see.  She asked if I could help her “save” the dress. 
Why yes.   And in the meantime she was fostering my creativity.  Thanks Jami.  I sent here some ideas and she liked this one.  Me too!  I really loved that little bird.  And it comes with the pattern.  Hooray!  And I already had enough scrap fabric, so it was FREE!! 
I did need to adapt a bit since the paint was bigger than the flower patterns provided.  I removed the crystals that already made “flowers” on the top bodice.  I wanted some fabric flowers to tie into what we were doing on the bottom. 
I used her pattern for the center of the flower, the smallest flower and the peddle.  Then I just used that flower and cut it about 1/2” bigger once and then again.  For the three layers of flowers.  Then I just cut down the other two flower patterns for the flowers on the upper bodice.
Then I used a spray adhesive for fabrics and quilting and sprayed between each piece so it would stay. 
Then I just did a small zig zag stitch to keep it all in place and so the edges wouldn’t fray.  You can do a small regular stitch about 1/4” inside if you want the frayed too too.  About an hour later…all done! 
My daughter tried it on so I could take a pic.  I hope she loves it!  I still love that birdie….



By Stephanie
It’s like Christmas….but in April.  Ok actually it IS my Christmas present…just early.  That’s okay.  Fine by me.  My mother-in-law came to visit and attempted to make scrambled eggs in my once non-stick pan.  She put in four eggs and got out about two.  She decided that new pans might be a good idea.  She said it was my early Christmas present if I wanted them….yep…I want them.  Badly. 
So…here they are….red…to match my mixer.  But really I wouldn’t have cared what color they were.    But the red does look nice.  My mother-in-laws initials are PD.  My pans have PD on the bottom.  Funny.  Yep, they are Paula Deen.  I love her.  And from all the butter I use, you should have determined who I cook like…..
P4098399 P4098400
Y’all are jealous…I can tell…..(did you hear my southern accent as I said that..)


Chicken Salad

by Stephanie

When my last kido was born, we weren’t suppose to take her out for a few months.  So, trying not to loose my mind in a house full of kids we started the “Finer Things Club”.  If you watch “The Office”, you might remember that episode.  Any way, it was a lunch with girl food….and adult conversation….and it kept me sane.  Mostly.  So every time we moved I have continued the tradition.  We get together and rotate houses.  When it’s your “turn” you host us, make the lunch for us and something simple for the kids.  I always make corndogs, cause my kids never get corndogs.  They think it is special.  Whatever makes you happy.  And I get to make things normally I don’t.  Because I am on the only one who will eat it.  Chicken salad is one of those things.  So it was my turn and I made chicken salad. 


Chicken Salad

Makes enough for 6-8

2 chicken breasts cooked and cubed.  (I put it in the oven at 350 degrees-frozen- with salt,  and lemon pepper for 45 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees inside)

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

2-3 green onions chopped

1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

salt and pepper

I like to mix the cream cheese, sour cream and onions together.  Add in the warm chicken and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add in the nuts right before serving.  I love this on the thin buns or in a pita with sprouts and sliced tomato. 



by Stephanie

I love to read.  Now that my kids are old enough that I can read for about an hour at a time instead of waiting just until they are down for a nap or bed for the night!  But it needs to be worth my time.  I don’t like investing hours into a book to not really enjoy it. 

I have a friend on Goodreads.com that is a librarian.  She reads A LOT!  She and I have similar tastes.  There is one series that we both like that isn’t for everyone.  So I know when she gives it four stars, it will be worth my time.  She is a great resource and Goodreads.com makes it easy for me to see what she likes and doesn’t like.  (And NO I am NOT being paid to tell you that.)

I have a few favorite authors, but I was in the mood to find a new series to read.  My 12 year old kido is a great reader too so I kept seeing this collection when I would go to the YA section at my library. 

My library is NOT well stocked.  Not like in Las Vegas.  Were they co-op with all the surrounding libraries and will transfer it…for free.  It was awesome.  And I could get just about any book I was looking for.  Here…not so much.  But the pictures on the covers were…interesting.  Not “Oh that looks like a good book” interesting.  More like “I am not sure about that one” interesting.




But my friend on Goodreads.com had marked it with four stars and I was hungry for a good book.   So I got the first one.  The Luxe by Anna Godbersen.  I WAS HOOKED!  The only problem was that the second was checked out by someone that works for the library.  Apparently you get the book for like 6 months when you work for them.  Sssssooooo, I was impatiently waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.  I told Jenny (younger sister) about it.  She went and bought all four.  But she is two states away from me.  BUT…..my parents were coming to visit.  And they brought book two and three (since Jenny had just finished book three).  That only left book four which I am still on hold for, but only for a few more weeks!  I REALLY like this series.  And since it is YA, there is a bit of scandal, but it isn’t the kind described in any detail.  You know what happened, we don’t need all the description.  It’s nice when an author lets you use your imagination too.  I love some scandal.  I am hoping book four wraps it up nicely.  I can see how it could go either way…I am also a sucker for a happy ending.  So here’s hoping!   Or maybe you could find out for yourself…If you would like a good book, or four.


Banana Peanut Butter Muffins

By Stephanie
Or cupcakes….if you want your kids to feel like they are having something they shouldn’t snack or for breakfast.
My kids eat a lot of fruit.  I mean a LOT of fruit.  But once in a while they just stop….and then I am left with a ton of apples or grapes, or in this case…bananas.  So, what to do with bananas? 
Here is my first suggestion.  Cupcakes, or muffins.  However you want to spin it.  I don’t like to wait until the bananas are too brown to use.  Just when they start to get freckles.  That is when they are perfect.  
Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 24
In large mixing bowl combine:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
(if you want a more “cake like” texture, you can put this in the blender).
In another large mixing bowl combine:
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (any kind)
3-4 ripe mashed bananas (about a cup)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk or for cupcakes buttermilk (they will rise a bit more)
Combine wet with dry and pour into cupcake liners or muffin tin.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.  When cool frost with: 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 Tbsp honey, 2 cups powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp milk.  OR…my new fav, with Nutella!  And no I am NOT being paid to say that.  But it is super yummy. 



by Stephanie

Actually we had the button last week.  I just couldn’t figure out how to get it so you could see it and grab it!!  But Amy found this awesome tutorial.  She have everything!  PLUS it’s in ENGLISH…not computerese…..So I followed her links and whoot whoot…we have a button!!  If it doesn't work when you paste it…let me know….I will keep working on it.

I also love this link to a conversion site to make it so you see your address NOT your button she gave for the scroll box…SO EASY..really! 


Paula Deen Cheesecake Recipe

by Stephanie

Okay, if you are dieting….do not proceed

if you are on a low carb diet…do not proceed

if you plan on wearing a swimsuit in the next three months…do not proceed

You get the hint…

this is SUPER non-low fat…

I don’t even dare calculate the calories in this thing..



I don’t usually like cheesecake.  I ate it once in my early 20’s and then got the flu…REALLY bad!  So it isn’t ever something I order.  But me and my soon to be eight year old kido were watching the Food Network episodes and we saw Paula Deen make this amazing cheesecake  She turned to me and said “that is what I want you to make for my birthday”.   Um…okay. 

So here it goes, with the changes I made.  All of which are recommended on the reviews from her site.

First layer…I actually used chocolate graham crackers instead of the regular it calls for.  

Second layer…fudge brownie like, just did what it said.

Third layer…I used my own chocolate chip cookie dough (1/2 of the regular recipe, I will post it later) and baked it for 10 minutes before going on. 

Fourth layer… Cheesecake.  I baked this for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 300 degrees and it was still a bit under done.  I would do it again at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

Fifth layer…chocolate ganache and I used 6 tablespoons of cream instead of the 4 it calls for.

Now chill for 24 hours.  Not kidding.  Serve with fresh strawberries.  You actually really need them to cut the richness of the chocolate. 

Now go into diabetic coma….