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Why you should wash fruit and veggies before you eat them.

I know I said that I was taking the week off, but I HAVE to share this... 

I took this picture after rinsing this apple for about 10 seconds. Just looking at it should explain why you should wash, not just rinse, fresh produce.


I won't disclose where I bought this from. I have a love/hate relationship with this store. I love the prices, but can not stand that 85% of their items are made in China. Back on point, these apples were supposedly organic and locally grown, or so they were trying to advertise. I am NOT stupid, there are NO apples ripe in PA right now. However, I bought them anyway...the price couldn't be beat. At least not until my apple trees start producing! I don't mean to gripe about the store. The point I'm trying to make...PLEASE wash, not just rinse, any produce you purchase. And by wash, I mean: wet it, scrub it with a veggie brush, rinse it off, and then wipe it dry. You may have to repeat these steps to completely rid it of *nasty stuff*, but it's well worth the effort! Just look at the picture...you wouldn't want to eat that would you??








A pile-up on route Mom...Menu plan to save the day.

This week I am taking off from blogging. I will begin again next week.


I'm torn between a million projects and not a one is getting finished. It's very difficult being spread so thin. Sickness is running rampant through my house. My dining room is piled in the middle of the floor...I'm trying to get it painted. My husband has been working on our new entertainment center, so the living room has been a total mess. And of course, my son has been working on getting every single toy that he owns out and he doesn't like putting them away. Besides all of our house renovation projects, the chores are beginning to pile up, and I'm getting stressed. So this week, I am mainly working on the house and my sanity. My goal is to finish at least 3 of the projects that have been started, laundry not included.


Blogging used to be a way to relax and take some *me time* to share information that I'm passionate about. Now I fuss over every word that I write, I'm rarely satisfied, and I keep second guessing myself. I have a million great tips that I want to share, but lately I stare at the computer feeling like it's another chore. And that is NOT what blogging means to me. I want to enjoy it and not feel like I'm working to a deadline. I'm not a journalist, I have no boss, yet I feel that way.

Besides all of the happenings here, I have opened an Etsy store. I have been a crafter for quite a while now. There is a LOT more work to be done than I realized. I'm not saying that I've got in over my head, it just seems overwhelming because there are soo many other projects going on right now and I haven't accomplished anything. However, like my picture, the sun is beginning to peek it's face above the mess. This picture was taken in our last big snowstorm. We had over 36". To some that may not be much, to me...it was too much!!  Although it's snowing here again right now, I have a handle on the snow. And if I can do that, I can get a handle on my life. I'm in charge, so stress...get out of my life!

Also, around the beginning of March, I will be launching my crafting blog (Cre8ivaT). Add that to the list I'm trying to accomplish. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe week! And may you get many things accomplished.


If everything goes as planned this week, this will be my menu. Menu plans help keep what little sanity I have intact.  :)
Monday
Dinner: Pot Roast w/ veggies.
Tuesday
Dinner: (Pizza Night) Taco Pizza
Wednesday
Dinner: (Crock Pot Night) Chicken & Stuffing In a Pot
Thursday
Dinner: (Pasta Night) Mom's Choice.
Friday
Dinner: Beef Stroganoff w/ peas.
Saturday
Lunch: Left Over's Lunch 
Dinner: Fish , rice, and cauliflower.
Sunday 
Lunch: Chicken nuggets & French Fries.
Dinner: Steak, Skillet Potatoes, and green beans.







Menu Planning Monday...back on track,

Good Morning Dear Blogosphere! I hope everyone has survived the weather of late. I took this past week off to keep up with the weather, chores, and my son. It proved to be a real challenge. The first storm hit us on a weekend, thankfully. However the next snow storm totaling 36" hit during the week...so not only was my son home from school, but my husband headed into work each day. He has this determination that the weather will never stop him! Thank goodness he's a good driver. With all the added outside chores, having a menu plan really saved me this past week! I was able to spend most of the days outside and still have a nice hot meal on the table at a decent time.


***Side note***
In times like these, please remember your neighbors, especially the elderly or disabled. Not only could they need help shoveling snow, they might not be able to cook for themselves. 


Without any more delay...


Monday
Lunch:Grilled Ham & Cheese w/ leftover Chicken Corn Chowder.
Dinner: Sweet & Sour Chicken with white rice and broccoli.
Tuesday
Dinner: (Pizza Night) Pepperoni/Bacon Pizza
Wednesday
Dinner: (Crock Pot Night)  Sunday Wednesday Boiled Dinner
Thursday
Dinner: (Pasta Night) Dad's Choice.
Friday
Dinner: Mexican Skillet Meal
Saturday
Lunch: Left Over's Lunch 
Dinner: Fish Sticks, French Fries, and Carrot Sticks.
Sunday 
Lunch: Spamwiches
Dinner: Chicken Lasagna with Salad


Check back later this week for my Chicken Lasagna recipe!







How to avert a water crisis ...

It seems these days everyone is concerned with emergency rations and supplies. Let me just say that I am NOT an 'end of the world nut'.  However, I do believe in preparing for emergencies. And there is somewhat of a point in some of their theories. Please let me explain...

Not only do I live out in the country, I grew up living way out in the country. Country life helps prepare you for emergency situations. In the country you don't just run down the block to get groceries or supplies from the hardware store. You need to be prepared. 
One of my 'oddities' as my husband like to call it is that I keep quite a few gallon jugs full of water in our basement. He used to get such a kick out this. He could never understand why I did 'such a foolish thing'... until this past weekend. 

My husband is an early riser; he's mostly up before 6 every day. On Sunday, when he awoke we had no water. After checking to see if the pipes were frozen, he discovered that our water pump's motor had burnt out. (Luckily my husband is quite the handyman and can fix these kinds of things!) Needless to say, he quickly found how much water is taken for granted...he couldn't flush toilets, or shower, or brush teeth, or most important...make coffee. The poor guy found out all of this before my son and I woke.  Then a light bulb turned on; he remember all the jugs of water that he made fun of me for in the basement! By the time my son and I awoke, he had a jug in each bathroom, one at the kitchen sink, and was no longer laughing at me. He finally understood why I had all of those jugs of water. You see although he laughed at me I was preparing for emergencies, just not the kind he tried to associate it with. You never know when something is going to happen. You could loose power, your well could run dry, your pump could burn out, etc. And if you live out in the country, it isn't always easy to just run to the store.


Be ecOnomical and prepared... fill gallon jugs with water from your tap and store them. I recommened at least 2 gallons per person per day. I try to keep at least three days worth of water in our basement. And so it's always fresh, I water my plants each week (rotating two jugs). I know to some people it might seem crazy or over board, but it saved us this past weekend. Not only were we still able to have drinking water and coffee, we were able to flush the toilets, wash ourselves, brush our teeth and do some dishes! And I've only rubbed the 'see I told you so' in a little bit!




Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezee Menu Plan...plus an exciting new desert recipe!

I have to confess, the only thing exciting about this week's menu plan is my new desert recipe! Things, as always, did not go as planned, so I was able to move meals from last week to this week. I love when this happens! I really do. It save me even more time. I have always cherished time, but now that my son has gone into the big kindergarten; I cherish it even more!
Now onto this week's plan...


Monday
Dinner: Chili with White Cornbread Bake.
Tuesday
Dinner: (Pizza Night) White Bacon Pizza
Wednesday
Dinner: (Crock Pot Night) Sunday Wednesday Boiled Dinner
Thursday
Dinner: (Pasta Night) Dad's Choice.
Friday
Dinner: Sweet & Sour Chicken, White Rice, and Broccoli.
Saturday
Lunch: Left Over's Lunch 
Dinner: Individual Meatloaves, Home Made Mashed Potatoes, and Home Canned Green Beans.
Sunday 
Lunch: BLT's made with wonderful turkey bacon! 
Dinner: Breaded Tilapia, Sun Dried Tomato Pilaf, and Cauliflower

While at a craft show back in the fall, two ladies made this amazing, delectable desert. They were little pieces of chocolate heaven; a wonderful, crisp outer coating with a moist, melt-in-your-mouth chocolaty center. I was hooked. Months went by and I forgot all about these little pieces of heaven. Then miraculously, while searching for new recipes on AllRecipes, I came across a recipe for them!  Now for the exciting part of this post...my new (found) desert recipe!!! I hope everyone enjoys these as much as I do!

Cake Balls...makes about 36.

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package (chocolate) cake mix
  • 1 (16 ounce) container prepared (chocolate) frosting
  • 1 (3 ounce) bar chocolate flavored confectioners coating

Directions

  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions using any of the recommended pan sizes. When cake is done, crumble while warm into a large bowl, and stir in the frosting until well blended.
  2. Melt chocolate coating in a double broiler, a glass bowl in the microwave, or in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water; stirring occasionally until smooth.
  3. Use a melon baller or small scoop to form balls of the chocolate cake mixture. Dip the balls in chocolate using a toothpick or fork to hold them. Place on waxed paper to set.
This recipe is SOOO easy to make and easily tweaked. For Valentine's Day, I am using a strawberry cake mix and strawberry icing. I haven't decided whether to use a regular chocolate coating or white chocolate. What do you think?



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