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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throw Back Thursday- Vintage Inspired Recipes (Sausage and Potatoes)

Here's another Vintage Inspired Recipe that is a throw back to simpler times. Having World Wars caused our personal worlds to open up. Radios across the world spread the news of what was happening during this landmark time. We learned about people and culture; and shared our own victories and losses. Food became something to bond people and neighborhoods together. We celebrated and mourned, and created memories.

Sausage and Potato Casserole

12 med. potatoes, diced (any potato variety will do. I used Russet, so if you are using red or yellow use 15 potatoes)
1 long link of turkey kielbasa sausage, cut into chunks (or polish sausage, or even hot dogs in a pinch)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1-2 green or red peppers, chopped
1/2 c. water
1 Tbsp oil
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/4 c. honey mustard
3/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. tarragon
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Frank's Red Hot or Tabasco, optional

Cook onion and garlic in oil about 2 minutes. Add sausage, potatoes, peppers, soup and water, and cook for 15 minutes. Prepare sauce by whisking all ingredients together in small bowl. Once the potato mixture has cooked for about 15 -20 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender) add sauce, stir to combine. Cook together for 10-12 minutes and serve.

**This is a wonderful way to use many garden vegetables. The sauce adds a tangy sweet flavor to the dish. Consider tweaking this recipe to what you have on hand--zucchini, crookneck, hot peppers and tomatoes would be great additions to this easy meal.

This meal easily feeds 8 and costs about $6 to make--.75 cents per serving

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throw Back Thursday- Vintage Inspired WWII Recipes (Tomato Soup)

I have been doing a lot of Family History research for a couple of clients (I recently started a business helping people transcribe and organize their personal/family written info and pics) and in doing so have been really inspired by those who lived through WWI and WWII, especially since many had large families to feed, and rations were put into place which limited basic cooking ingredients like eggs, sugar and butter.

In my quest to save money, find appreciation for past generations, and RocK! something vintage besides a few throw pillows--I am doing a series of Vintage Inspired Recipes. People grew "Victory Gardens" and "Canned for Victory" during the 1940s, so I thought today I'd start out with my quick, easy, food storage friendly, garden friendly Tomato Soup. Enjoy!

Vintage Inspired Tomato Soup
2-10.15 oz cans of condensed tomato soup (or consider pureeing stewed garden tomatoes)
1-12 oz can of evaporated milk
2/3 c. water
1/2 tsp. onion flake
2 tsp. dried basil, or 3 freshly chopped basil leaves
pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in pot on stove top and heat until warm. Serve topped with croutons. You can find my great economical recipe for croutons here!

To round out the meal I serve this with grilled cheese sandwiches, which would not have happened back in the day of rationing, so I no longer take cheese and butter for granted.

This meal feeds 6 easily and costs about $3.30 to make--.55 cents a serving (sandwich and soup). 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

End of Summer Fun

It's winding down to the time when life returns to "normal" and school is back in session. This has been one of the most memorable summers of our lives. I am sure partly because we got to take an airplane to San Diego, but mostly we've just had fun doing a lot of new, cool things. Here's a list of things we've loved doing, and there's still time for you to fit them in before we get back to "normal."

1. Visit a local "watering hole." We love Blackridge Reservoir. This is a little hidden gem in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley. You really must see it to believe it.

2. Visit a local garden. Gilgal Gardens in SLC is a sculpture garden. I guarantee you haven't seen anything like it. Conservation Garden Park is another fun spot for date night or family time. Both are FREE.

3. Outdoor movie night. Lots of parks all over the country sponsor Free Family Movie nights. We built our own movie screen this year, and hold regular showings in our backyard for family and friends. It's a great memory!

4. Plan a family game day. Each year we hold our annual Family Olympics. We compete in hard core events like Monster Melting, Ping Pong toss, Eraser Bowling, three-legged races, potato sack races, and a variety of other quick paced games. This was our third year, and it was the best ever. Taking a cue from the "Minute to Win It" game show, we put on own spin on a 15 quick games and competed for the most coveted prize--giant candy bars. This was a great way to work on team work and communication, while under the clever guise of fun family time.

5. Reading. After all that fun, we had to have some down time. We loved going to the library and book store events. Barnes and Noble is still holding their kids contest, where kids can earn a free book for reading. Download the journal here. You have until Sept. 1 to get your free book.

6. Geocaching. Warning--this is not for the faint of heart, or very small kids. Geocaching is basically treasure hunting with clues and a GPS. There are many websites that have directions to caches all around the country. Google your area and "geocaching" and you should find a list of local treasure hunting sites.

7. Farmer's Markets. Support local businesses, especially farms! We visited Wheeler Farm and Gardner Village's Farmer's Market--both have great local produce, honey and arts & crafts. Support local economies!!

8. Food Trucks--not necessarily a "summer time" only thing, but lots of fun. Waffle Love, taco trucks and Moe's Sports Grill and hundreds of others are worth a visit. Also taking the kids to the local Snow Cone shack is a cheap, easy, quick bit of fun.

9. Historical Sites. If you know me, you know that Washington, DC is one of my favorite places on the planet. Strange, I know--could have something to do with being raised by a history teacher, or the fact that I am a nerd, and love learning. Some great sites around SLC that I highly recommend are: Utah State Capitol-free, open 7 days a week, kid friendly, amazing grounds (click here for details). Cathedral of the Madeline- beautiful Catholic church, free tours, amazing architecture (details here) .Beehive House- free tours, Mormon Church leader Brigham Young's house, great history, really cool old stuff (details here). Walking Tour of Temple Square-even if you've lived here your whole life, it's worth checking out (details here). Taffy Town- free tours teaching how some of the best treats are made. Hiking- Donut Falls or the Grotto on Mt. Nebo loop--fairly family friendly hikes, with amazing views.

10. Be Adventurous! I got some good advice this summer from an older gentleman at a Farmer's Market. He said, "Do something that scares you each day, and you will live with little regret." So whatever it is that you want to cross off your bucket list, and have been hesitant about...GO DO IT! You won't regret it!

~Live Up Summer!

Friday, August 1, 2014

August Meals

Here's a few more great ideas to keep your family fed this month.

Main Meal Ideas
Hawaiian Haystack recipe here
Personal Pita Pizzas
Sloppy Joe's & chili fries
Fajitas, black beans and fruit salad recipe here
Greek Kabobs recipe here or use Grilled Lemon Rosemary Chicken recipe and cube the chicken instead of leaving it as breasts or cutlets
Chipolte Chicken tacos recipe here
Shrimp Alfredo recipe here (can use chicken, or scallops, if you don't like shrimp)
Crock pot pork I like this one
Orange Chicken and brown rice recipe here
Egg Muffins and Pastries recipe here
Italian Garden Soup recipe here
Stuffed Green Peppers
Homemade Waffle Love -cook cinnamon rolls (the pop open kind like Pillsbury) in the waffle iron and top with fresh fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, etc.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Ravioli (frozen ravioli from the store)
Crock Pot Lazy Chicken and Potatoes (I've never tried this, but I am learning how to use my awesome new crock pot, so I am giving it a try.) Recipe Here
Crock Pot Enchiladas Recipe Here
Crock Pot Roast Recipe Here

If you need more ideas, please feel free to search my blog under "Meal Ideas" or "Meal Time"

I'd love to hear from you and get the recipes your family likes!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zucchini Bread, Muffins, Casserole, Soup, Stew, etc.

Zucchini is both a blessing and a curse--low calorie, grows plentifully, needs help to taste good sometimes, grows plentifully....**yep that's in there twice--once for blessing, once for curse.

We are trying really hard this year to love veggies. Eating them fresh from the garden makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my body, and my family. Then by the time the third freshly picked zucchini comes in from the day's harvest--I'm kind of over it.

What do you do this much zucchini? Here's a few delicious recipes we've tried and have loved (ok, most of us have at least liked enough not to spit it back out onto the plate). Really these are delicious ways to use your plentiful harvest. Enjoy!

Zucchini Corn Casserole from Bec at
Aunt Fanny's Bake from the Lion House and a million other places (Click Here for Recipe)
Lemon Zucchini Cookies from Betty Crocker
Minestrone soup from me at Time Over Things
Kung Pao Chicken (spicy) from Copycat Panda Express recipe or if you want a really easy recipe for this you can do what I do...cheat. I buy my sauce from the local Asian market or grocery store, and add it to my chopped veggies that I have from the garden, add diced, cooked chicken. I cook all this together in a large skillet for 8-10 minutes and serve with thin noodles or brown rice.

We tried this today...and doubled the recipe. I froze a batch and the other batch is tomorrow's breakfast!

Zucchini Banana Chocolate Muffins from The Ambitious Kitchen
  1. 1 banana, mashed
  2. 1/4 cup sugar
  3. 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  4. 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain (**I just used vanilla yogurt)
  5. 1 cup zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
  6. 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  8. 2/3 cup milk, non fat or milk of choice
  9. 1 1/2 cups flour
  10. 1 tsp. baking soda
  11. 1 tsp. baking powder
  12. 1/4 tsp. salt
  13. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a muffin tin with liners and spray with cooking spray. I recommend using aluminum foil liners or no liners at all. Just spray the tins.
  3. In a bowl, add banana, sugar and egg. mix until well combined. Add yogurt, zucchini, vanilla and cinnamon; mix until combined. Stir in the milk.
  4. Add the flour baking soda, baking powder and salt to batter; and just mix until combined. Do not over mix!
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Evenly fill muffin tins with batter. Bake in oven for 15 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins come out clean. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes in pan and place onto a cooling rack.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Online Garage Sale

In an effort to help de-clutter a few spaces we have several darling, wonderful, amazing items that need a new home. Please check out the pictures below and if you want something please email ( or text or call (801-244-1801). We are taking reasonable offers on all items.

 Boy's suit pants and vest, size 7/8; $5
 small trunk $10
 My size Elmo $5
 Pillow $3
 We have two of these tables, 20 inches in diameter $5 for both

 Sailboat (removable letter D) $8
 Plant $3; wicker magazine stand $3; clock-sold

Lamp with green, red and gold $5

 Hanging lights in shape of American Flag $5-yes, it works

 Bathtub picture $3
 picture $3
 Plate $3
 small Chinese pot (3 inches) $3
 wooden giraffe $2
 Spoon rack $5
 Rose picture $3
 Folding sheet music stand $8
 Musical instrument holder $8

 Cross stitch of Victorian Houses $10

  Lap desk $5
 We have 2 high chairs that convert into swings $25 each or both for $40

 Metal wall decor with 4 battery operated votive candles $15; 9 inches wide 3 feet long
 ABC cross stitch $10
 Rose tapestry 68 inches tall 25 inches across $25

HP laptop bag $10-great conditon

 Bag $3

 Like new, twin pop up trundle bed $100

 Various frames $1 each
 Glass curved frame $1
 3 hand painted flower pictures by KD Cooney $15 for set
 Glass shelf with all hardware $3
 Fall leaves table runner $2
 Red urn $8
We have 2 of these Tot Spot chairs $5 each; includes carrying bags

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Molten Lava Cake (crockpot)

Our summer has gone way too fast! Here's an easy way to have a delicious treat and not heat up the house. It's chocolatey goodness will make you come back for more~Guaranteed!

Molten Lava Cake
1 pkg chocolate cake mix
1 pkg (16 oz) chocolate chips
1 pkg. (4 serving size) Instant chocolate pudding
1 c. water
4 eggs
3/4 c. oil
2 c. sour cream (light is fine)

Put all ingredients in mixer, and mix together until combined. Put mixture into sprayed, or lined, crock pot. Bake 6-8 hours on low. Serve with Vanilla Bean (or your favorite) ice cream. We also add crushed chocolate cookies and chocolate syrup to the top of the cake after it's cooked and right before serving.