Archive for the ‘recipes’ category

Taco Bake

February 8, 2008

I just finished dinner- taco bake.  It was really good!  As I promised YFS, here is the recipe.

I changed it a little.  I’m not a huge onion and pepper fan.  So, I substituted 1 of the tomato sauce cans with salsa instead- just enough pepper and onion for me.  I also used refried beans instead of pinto beans.  I had sour cream and tortilla chips on the table for anyone who wanted to top to their own taste.

Taco Bake-Weight Watchers Recipe

Poultry  Dinner 
Submitted by STACIARN01



1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2cup diced onion
1/2cup diced red/green pepper
1 8oz package Red Fat cresent rolls
1 can pinto beans,drained
1 pkt taco seasoning (red sodium)
2-8oz cans tomato sauce
1 cup fat free cheddar cheese



Preheat oven 375 deg
Brown Turkey,onion,pepper,drain
spray 9×13″ baking dish w/cooking spray.Unrol Cresent rolls.Pinch together to make crust.Bake for 6 min.
Add tomato sauce,beans,and taco seasoning to beef:mix thoroughly. Top crust with meat mixture and bake an additional 10min. Top with cheese and bake an addtional 5 minutes.
Yum!!! Makes 8 servings…….5pts each

Number of Servings: 8

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user STACIARN01.
Number of Servings- 8


Living the Simple Life- Not Starting Out So Simple

February 3, 2008

     Inspired by several people close to me, I have started a process to make my life more simple and therefore, better.  Living in the busy chaos of life in these times seems to be unfulfilling at times.  So, maybe by going back to the way things used to be before my time- simple and focused- I can become more focused on the things I enjoy and have more time to spend with those I love.

     The first goal I had was to create a better budget system.  I used to do the envelope thing and I lovrd it.  Pretty much, at each payday, money gets put in each envelope which is designated for a certain thing- groceries, gas, entertainment, etc.- and then, when it’s gone for the week, it’s gone.  I loved this system because after the initial planning and aside from the weekly “stuffing the envelopes”, there is no thnking involved.  I know how much was spent or not spent and I know where the money goes each week.  Unfortunately, my dh didn’t really get into this system when I tried it after we got married.  But, thanks to his friends recommending it to him and the book by Dave Ramsey, My Total Money Makeover, we are trying it again.  This is week one.  We started Friday with my paycheck and the begining of the month.  it seemed to be the perfect time.  The only problem was my dh was having pizza cravings and cheap pizza just wouldn’t do.  So, $30 later, he had pizza- from a place he loves and I don’t like- and our envelopes were already off.  Trying to relax and understand this is going to be a hard thing to get used to, I wasn’t very successful at.  But, by later that evening, I had refigured the weekly envelopes to add up.  We’ll see how the rest of the week goes!

I just spent $20 on groceries for the week- $10 less than our budget due to the pizza.  When I make out a menu and really plan the list, I’m amazed that I can have well balanced, good meals every day for very little money.  When I don’t plan ahead, it’s amazing how much I spend on the junk I end up buying!  This week we are having chicken in the crock pot, burritos, spaghetti, pot pies, and taco bake casserole. 

The next project for the day is what I am sitting here writing to procrastinate for.  My cousing had the idea to eliminate so much laundry and clutter by limiting the amount of clothing for everyone in the house.  I am not that brave since I have to go to work every day and need to wear different clothes.  Also, I am not worried about the amount of laundry I contribute.  My son on the other hand has two very bad habits.  The first is that he would rather put clean clothes back in the laundry than folding them and putting them away.  This is one of my biggest pet peaves!  The second is that whenever he gets something out to wear, he gets every single thing out of his drawers!  I mean everything!  And, then it all gets thrown in a pile on the floor where it stays until we have to yell at him to clean his room.  So, by giving him only a fewn options of clothing, there will be a smaller pile on his floor and he will be forced to put it away or else have nothing to wear!  I am hoping this works!

My other project for the day is to update my son’s school work.  Usually this time of year, I am not in charge of his school.  But, due to my dh having heart surgery, he has not been keepng up with it.  So, today I am going to make sure things are on track and plan for this week of school.  It will be a review week- which we have periodically to make sure he is retaining the information.  Also, at the begining of the year I created our book of goals for the year and I really need to start checking them off.  I know some of them have been accomplished and others should have been accomplished and I really need to regain my focus on his studies.  Pretty soon, it will be springtime and school will not be as easy then- too many distractions!

Focusing on taking better care of myself is on the list.  But, as most of you mom’s know, it usually doesn’t ever make it to the top of the list.  I hear people always saying you should take time out for yourself.  But, what do I take that time out of?  I get up and go to work early.  No high maintenance or prep time for me, it’s usually the get up and go look.  So, doing anything in the morning only takes time out of sleeping.  Does that sound like a good idea?  I’m thinking no.  But, then there’s the evening when I get home.  Ok.  I admit it.  I’m lucky to get dinner made before I colapse for the night!  But, I guess that seems to be my only option.  But, it just seems that since I come home so tired, I am setting myself up to fail by planning to excercise then.  But, I’ll keep you posted.   

I had thought several weeks ago about having weekly goals to accomplish.  Two weeks ago, they were to eat at the table more and to play games more as a family- or at least with my son.  I’m making an effort on both of these but fell a little short this week and didn’t make any new ones for last week.  This upcoming week here are my goals.  Although they sound easy, sometimes, they are not easy in my world.

Goal 1- excercise 3 times this week

Goal 2- keep up with schoolwork checking

Goal 3- continue the first goals- dinner time 3 times a week and game time at least once

So, I believe these are all good things- things to make life easier.  But, getting them started- making myself do them- sometimes seems to be a hurdle I’m not too sure about!  

Autumn Goodies- Treats Without Tricks

October 29, 2007

With fall comes the change in temperature, the changing of the leaves, and Halloween.  With Halloween only a few days away, here are some fun ideas for some sweet treats!

My favorite Halloween treat is a yummy cake made to look like a pumpkin.  It’s really easy and really does look like a pumpkin.  All you need is a bundt cake pan, two yellow cake mixes, and white frosting mixed with orange food coloring.  Make both cake mixes in the bundt pan.  After they cool, put the flat sides of both cakes together using some frosting to hold them in place.  Then, frost with your orange frosting.  You can frost using a knife or spatula in an upward motion to make the lines on the pumpkin.  Use whatever candies you would like to decorate the face of the pumpkin.  Some ideas I’ve used are candy corn, gumdrops, or chocolate kisses. 

For an extra fun time, before putting the two cakes together, put in a few surprises- spider rings, toy skeletons, etc.  Your family and friends will love it- after they realize they aren’t real!

Looking for something a little more healthy?  This is a great time for making apple crisp.  There are some really good mixes that make it really easy.  Calhoun Bend Apple Cinnamon Mix is great.  calhoun

Just slice up the apples, put them in your baking dish, and follow the mix directions.  In a few minutes, you have a yummy apple crisp.  I’ve even had it made in the microwave and it still tasted really good!

Be sure to check all candy before your kids dive into thier treasures.  If you think anything looks suspicious or anything is unwrapped, get rid of it.  The other good thing about making sure you check the candy first is that then you get to grab all the good stuff!  Do you really want them to have all of that?  You’re really just helping them out.


Calling All Homeschoolers- Cool Homeschool Ideas Wanted!

September 4, 2007

I was so excited when my son came up with the geography project.  (see previous post)  Now, I have been searching everywhere, racking my brain to come up with some cool projects for his other subjects.  He is so hands on that it really sinks in if he has projects as well as regular stuff to do.  So, after a couple of weeks of trying to figure out some projects, I am looking to you, my readers, to share your cool homeschool ideas!

Here are the things I could come up with. 

Each month, I plan on having him pick a subject.  Rather than doing the reading and questions, he will prepare a lesson and teach the chapter to someone else.  It’s been said that teaching is the best way to learn things.  (I have experienced this many times since I started homeschooling!)  The other bonus to this is getting him to feel comfortable in different situations- presenting information and answering questions.  We did this once last year- I didn’t think of it until the end of the year.   But, it was really great.  He really knew his material.  And, the few things he wasn’t sure about, they discussed together and figured it out together.  But, had he not been teaching, the areas of confusion wouldn’t have come up.  So, it was a great experience.  He started out nervous, but by the end, he was feeling very confident.  SO, I figure that by doing it monthly, he will be a pro in no time!

For history, I have 2 thoughts.  The first is to use our Sunday night movie time- or another time- to watch a movie set in the time period we are studying.  I’m sure they won’t all be factual.  But, they would at least give him an idea of life- how people lived, what they ate, how they talked, etc- during that time period.  We are starting with the civil war.  I wonder if he would watch Gone With the Wind with me… 

The second history idea is to find recipes from the time period and let him cook a meal or part of a meal.  He really enjoys cooking so this might be fun for him.  Maybe not for the rest of us- depending on what strange things they ate!

So, those definitely don’t seem too exciting or earth shattering compared to the geography project.  Nor do they seem as encompassing of material and facts as the geography project.  But, I do realize we don’t have time to do major things in every subject. 

All of that aside, I am anxious to hear what things you have done, heard about, or are planning to try this year.  So, send me your comments and we can all learn from each other!