Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Remedy and my take on the final American Idol performances

Happy Thursday! I like Thursdays...they seem so cheerful to me. Especially when they come before a 3 day weekend. =)

Here is a home remedy for a cough with mucus:
Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1/2 tsp. each of ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Filter. Sweeten with 1 tsp. honey and drink.

Did anyone else watch American Idol? We did and I can't tell you how happy I am that Kris Allen won. I was really cheering for Danny Gokey, but I liked Kris too.

One Tuesday, their final performance, I was a wee bit ticked off with the final song. It was one that Kara DioGuardi (the new 4th judge) co-wrote. It seemed to be a song written just for Adam Lambert. Even Kara admitted that it had been written in a key too high for Kris. It appeared as though they had written a song perfect for Adam and made to help Kris fail. And oh how Kara glowed after watching Adam's performance of her cutesy little song. It wasn't too hard to see that she had written this with only Adam in mind. But Kris did his best and after almost 100 million votes he won American Idol.

I don't want to take anything away from Adam. He has a great voice and I think he'll do great on a big stage (Broadway). Kris and Adam are just two very different performers. You'd go see Adam if you wanted to see a huge performance, a big "show". If you want to feel like someone is singing to you, like your hanging with the guy...then you would go see Kris. Kris reminds me of someone like John Mayer, where Adam reminds me of...sorry, but I kept thinking this every time I saw him sing and I have to be honest, he really reminded me of a drag queen. You know, like he was putting on this really big show. While Kris just seemed more REAL and honest in his performances.

I'm sure I'll get more than a few hate-mails if any of the Adam fans find me here in my little blog. I really don't mean any disrespect by it, but that is honestly what I kept picturing in my mind when I would watch him sing. His performances were just so "showy" and that's what I would think of. Where Kris just seemed more authentic with his performance.

Yeah, I'll admit after watching many of Adams performances I would sit there and say "wow, what a show" and "that boy can really scream high". But when I would watch Kris sing it almost always touched me in some way and it always left a smile on my face. I think it would be really cool to see him perform live and watch him just sing on with his acustic guitar (maybe a few back up instruments). Kris has the ability to touch you with his voice without needing to scream and screetch or put on a big "show" and that is what I like about him the most. Plus, that lil' boy is cute too. LOL

Well, I hope ya'll have a happy and safe holiday weekend.
Jill Marie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's all child's play...

Good morning. Yesterday was just way too busy and I didn't have time to get on the computer and make a post. So today I wanted to give ya'll those recipes for childrens activites that my neighbor gave me. These are for clay, paint and paste made right in your kitchen. The kids will have fun working on projects and helping make the art supplies too.


1 cup flour, Add cold water until water and flour is as thick as cream. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes. Add wintergreen for nice smell. Add food coloring for nice color. Store in refrigerator in airtight Jar.

Liquid starch and a little food coloring mixed together. Use a pastry brush ,or paint brush. Or Mix soap flakes and a little water to make paste. Add food coloring. Store in baby food Jars.

Mix 6 Tbsp, each of bluing, water and salt. Add: 1 Tbsp. ammonia. Mix well and slowly pour over 3 or 4 small rocks or coal in an old pie pan. Crystals start to grow very soon and continue to grow as long as liquid stays. You may add a few drops of food coloring to rocks.

3 cups flour 2 tsp. food coloring 3/4 cup salt 1/2 cup water
Sift flour and salt together Into a pan. Mix coloring and water and add gradually to flour and salt mixture. Knead as you would bread dough until mixture is smooth and easy to handle. When not In use, place in plastic bag and keep in cool place.

Mix flour and salt with a little water to make a paste like thick gravy. Add food coloring. Used best on shelf paper.
1 can shaving soap (non-mentholated). Mix powdered paint or food coloring for desired color. If soap begins to dry add a few drops of water or more soap. This paint cleans up easily with 9 paper towel and washes off clothes and hands easily.

2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and a few drops each of: oil of cloves
and food coloring, and water. Mix flour, salt and cloves. Add
food coloring to water and then add to flour and salt. Can be
stored In plsatlc bag for a month. Don't refrigerate.

1 handful of flour, add water (a little at a time). Mix until
gooey, It should be quite thick.

1 cup salt 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup water 2 Tbsp, food coloring Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl. Can be stored for weeks in a plastic bag or covered Jar in refrigerator.

In the top of a double boiler put:
1 cup salt, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 3/4 CUP cold water
This mixture will thicken quickly. Place on waxed paper to cool before making your project.

I apologize for any typo's. I scanned the paper and saved it to my computer. Unfortunately, the scanner didn't recognize some of the charaters and I had to try to catch them all and correct them.

I was in the kitchen making Rylie's breakfast yesterday when the doorbell rang. It was the FedEx lady. She had a nice little delivery for me. It was the Wave Petunia's I won in a contest last fall. I was so excited, I just couldn't wait to get them planted. I planted most of them in the middle of the yard around one of the water features (I'd really like to re-do that one) we have.

I'll have to take some pictures of the flowers once they take ahold and get busy growing. I am so excited about summer! On Monday I went and bought a few vegetable plants and put them in the garden...after I made it a wee bit bigger. LOL So from seeds I have 3 kinds of radishes, carrots, lettuce, green beans, spinach, cucumbers and onions. From the nursery I have zuchini, squash, watermelons, cantaloupe, banana peppers and habeneros. Mmm, I can't wait until it is time to start harvesting some of those goodies.

I'm off to finish some things and then hopefully enjoy a beautiful day.
Jill Marie

Monday, May 18, 2009

Baked Ziti

I was trying to figure out what recipe to share with ya'll today when I got an email from our neighbor with a recipe she had promised to send me.

* Salt
* 1 pound ziti
* 1 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
* 6 ounces pesto
* 15 ounces ricotta cheese
* 1 (9-ounce) package washed spinach
* Butter, for baking dish
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella, plus more for topping
* 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add ziti and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander.
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute turkey sausage. Add onion and garlic and saute until the sausage is cooked through. Use your spoon to break up the sausage while it cooks. Add the can of diced tomatoes and pesto and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the ricotta cheese, spinach, Parmesan and mozzarella to a large bowl, and stir to combine.
Butter a 4-quart baking dish, add the cooked pasta, then sausage mixture and cheese mixture. Top with a sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan.
Bake until completely heated through and golden and crisp on top, about 20 minutes.

Sounds delicious to me. And...I have spinach planted in the garden so soon I'll be able to add FRESH spinach. Yum!
I also went and found a really simple recipe for those of you who have to work and need to put a dinner together quickly. Just add a veggie and/or a salad and some hot garlic bread or rolls and your ready to go.

1 box ziti noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
ricotta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
In a large oven safe dish, pour in the whole jar of spaghetti sauce. Add ricotta cheese, mixing as you go, until the mixture turns an orange kinda color. Meanwhile, cook the whole box of ziti noodles according to the instructions on the box. When they are cooked and drained, dump them into the dish with the spaghetti sauce/ricotta mix. Stir so all the noodles are covered with the sauce. Cover the whole mixture with a layer of mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven at 350* F until mozzarella cheese is melted.

I often forget to buy garlic bread so I put some cheap dinner biscuits on the pan and lightly spray the tops with butter flavored cooking spray and shake a bit of garlic salt on them. It's a quick and easy way to flavor up the package of 33 cent dinner biscuits I get at Aldi's.

It looks like it is going to be a very nice day here ((keeping my fingers crossed)). I've got some laundry to do, a garden to check on (we had a freeze warning last night, ugh) and I might try to find the time to make some salt clay for Rylie today. The same neighbor who gave me the Ziti recipe sent me a page of homemade paint and clay recipes. I'll have to put some of them on here at some point.

Have a great day everyone!
Jill Marie

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cleaning Tip & Home Remedy

Good Morning! Since I was busy crying with pain last week, over my kidney stone, I've been spending most of this week trying to catch up on household chores. So here is the tip I should have posted on Tuesday.

Smelly Shoes: Simply fill a tube sock with kitty litter, baking soda, or tea leaves; tie the end closed; and place the filled socks in the shoes when you're not wearing them. These sachets can be used over and over in any kind of shoe.

And here are some home remedies for dealing with morning sickness. If you are a first time mommy you should know that morning sickness is just a "morning" thing. It can hit you any time of the day, or all day long.

Morning Sickness

Keep a snack by the bed to eat before you lift your head from the pillow in the morning. Then, get up slowly.

Make sure your stomach is never completely empty. Carry fruit, cheese and/or crackers around with you to nibble on throughout the day.

Mix 1 tsp. each fresh juice of mint and lime, and 1 Tbls. honey. Take 3 times a day.

Eat a high protein snack before bed at night.

Eat a diet high in carbohydrates and protein, low in fats.

Sniff a fresh lemon peel.

Avoid strong odors and stuffy or smoky rooms.

Suck a piece of peeled ginger root.

Drink red raspberry leaf, peppermint, squaw vine or spearmint tea.

Drink ginger tea made by boiling some ginger root in water. Strain it and add honey to sweeten.

Try taking your vitamins later in the day.

If you are vomiting a lot, try limiting your diet to a single food, one that you know you can tolerate. Add one additional food per day as you can tolerate them.

Everyone is different and what may work for one person may not work for someone else. The most important thing is to make sure your baby is getting enough nurishment. Be sure you discuss the morning sickness with your doctor. Let him know what you have tried and whether or not anything is working for you.

I hope ya'll have a great day. It looks like another gloomy and wet one here. Blah... =(

Jill Marie

Monday, May 11, 2009

Olive Garden Salad & Bread Sticks

Forgive my absence. I had to go to the doctor and ER last week. Another bout of kidney stones. I can't even begin to describe the pain and the pain meds make me loopier than usual. =)

Saturday my daughter, Samantha, took me out to lunch with her boyfriend and his mother. We went to Olive Garden. My main entree' was alright, but I still love the salad and bread sticks the best. I looked around online and found these recipes to share with ya'll today.

Olive Garden Salad Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbls. corn syrup
2 Tbls. Parmesan cheese
2 Tbls. Romano cheese
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 Tbl. lemon juice

Olive Garden Salad Mix
1 bag American blend Dole Salad
4-5 slices red onion
4-6 Black olives
2-4 Banana peppers
1/2 cup croutons
1 small tomato, quartered
Freshy grated Parmesan cheese

Mix all ingredients in a blender or processor until well blended. If this is a little too tart for your personal taste, add a little sugar.

Olive Garden Breadsticks
1 Loaf unfrozen bread -- thaw in bowl at room temp
Garlic powder
Dry oregano leaf -- rub to a powder between fingers

When dough is soft enough to knead, spray your fingers with Pam or oil and knead just until you can shape into cigar-sized pieces (about 8 to 10). Place these 3" apart on Pam-sprayed cookie sheets. Let rise in warm place until doubled - about 1-1/2 hours. Then holding Pam (I use butter flavored Pam for this) about 8" from sticks, lightly spray top of each and then dust with garlic powder and oregano. Bake at 375 for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on rack to serve within a day or two.

Mothers Day was a really good day. Ray made me breakfast in bed...really! LOL It was a great start to the day. I had bought wooden picture frames about two weeks ago and had Rylie paint them for her grandma's, so we had those to give them. So that morning Rylie and I went to the nursery and bought a planter for both grandmothers.

Ray, Rylie and I spent the day working outside and whatnot. Then we took our mom's to Red Lobster for dinner. We only go there about once every 3 or 4 years so, of course, we made pigs of ourselves. It was delicious. I think, if I let him, Ray could eat two of the Ultimate Feasts all by himself. LOL

By the way, did anyone watch the Celebrity Apprentice? OMGosh...I could not have been more annoyed. When we first started watching the series I kept ignoring Ray and the smart alec comments he would make about Joan Rivers and her daughter, Melissa. However, several weeks ago that ol' hag Joan started showing her true colors and let me tell you, she is a very ugly person inside. I believe if you lifted up their shirts you'd see the umbilical cord which still has Melissa attached to her mommy.

Joan attacked another woman, Annie Duke (a famous poker player) week after week. All because she thought Annie had "betrayed" her daughter. Give it up's a flippin' game! I'm sorry, I never saw the scene where anyone swore allegiance to her precious lil' Melissa. What the heck? But apparently when you "betray" that old woman's daughter you better be prepared to be viciously attacked by an old vile mouthed plastic faced viper that wears a ton of make-up.

I guess I expected a little more class from an old woman like Joanie. For someone who thinks she is so much better than everyone else she behaved like pure trash! I'll just say this, I am a mother of four, I shop at Aldi's and live in a double wide and I believe I have more class in my little finger than ol' Joanie has in her entire body. Joan Rivers may have won the Celebrity Apprentice, but I'd give the award for grace and class under attack to Annie the poker player. Annie also appears to be a much better business person too.

Old Joanie was also infamous to attacking Clint Black, accusing him of being egotistical. OMG, is that calling the kettle black or what?! I don't think I've ever seen anyone as egotistical, nasty, vile, and sure of their superiority than old lady Rivers. Just my opinion.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a nice day here. I'd really like to get outside and work in the garden.

Have a good one!
Jill Marie

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bisquick Dinner Recipes

Good morning! When David, Sammi and Chris were small I used to make this first recipe a lot. It is one that is on the back of the Bisquick box. We'd top it with ketchup and mustard. Sometimes I'd even make some french fries to go with it. The Betty Crocker site has a lot more Bisquick recipes if you wanna check out some more.

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie
1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.
4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

Impossibly Easy Taco Pie
1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 package (1 ounce) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix
1 can (4.5 ounces) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, drained
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (3 ounces)
Old El Paso® salsa (any variety)
Sour cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Cook ground beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in seasoning mix (dry). Spoon into pie plate; top with chilies.
2. Stir milk, eggs and Bisquick mix until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes longer. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with salsa and sour cream.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Increase first bake time to about 28 minutes.

Special Touch-Top it like a taco! Pile slices of this zesty pie high with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions and sour cream.
Substitution-For a zippier flavor, chop a jalapeño chili and use it instead of the green chilies.

Quick Cheeseburger Bake
1 lb (at least 80%) lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 can (11 oz) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1 cup Green Giant® Valley Fresh Steamers™ frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup milk
2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
3/4 cup water
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Generously grease rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Cook ground beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in soup, vegetables and milk.
2. Stir Bisquick mix and water in baking dish until moistened; spread evenly. Spread beef mixture over batter. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake 30 minutes.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) No changes.

Bisquick Chicken Pot Pie
2 cups frozen veggies, thawed
1 cup cooked chicken, or 1 can chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
Save Recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix veggies, chicken and soup in a glass pie plate. In a separate bowl, mix the Bisquick, milk and egg. Pour batter on veggie mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

Of course, if you're on a tight budget, or just extremely cheap (like myself), you don't have to use the Bisquick brand. I use a generic baking mix, along with everything else generic, and it is just as good.

When Ray's oldest daughter lived with us, we liked making the Chicken Pot Pie. However, we were not crazy about all the veggies, so we just added corn and potatoes. Mmmm. After the second or third time of making it that way, Ray informed us that he didn't care for it. He always ate it though, he said by the time he got home he was just hungry and ate whatever was for dinner. I love the fact that we will just eat whatever I make with no complaints. So unlike our youngest, Rylie Jo, who will eat one thing this week and hate it next week.

By the way, I'd like to make a little product recommendation. Last week I bought a bottle of that stuff call "Cool Blue Agent", or something like that. It's made by Listerine. It has a cool little measure thing right at the top of the bottle. The kids just slowly squeeze the bottle and it measure exactly how much you need into the neck of the bottle. If they squeeze too much, the excess goes back into the bottle. The kids swish it around in their mouth for about 30 seconds and it will leave a blue stain on their teeth showing them where they really need to concentrate on brushing.

Rylie really enjoys using this stuff and now makes of point of remembering to brush her teeth. She will even go into the bathroom in the middle of the day to brush now, without my having to tell her to do it. I just have to count to 30 while she swishes the stuff in her mouth.

I don't know if this will work the same way for other kids (getting them to brush more often), but it's worth the $3 or $4 to give it a try.

I went to take a look at my garden the other day. I am so flippin' excited. It's been less than a week and I've got radishes popping up. I can't wait to get everything else planted. Mmmm, fresh veggies. My neighbor isn't doing a garden this year so she gave me some of her fresh oregano to put in my garden. I also have fresh chives growing out there. Wow, let me tell you, those chives are awesome and I don't have to do anything to keep them. They just keep coming up like crazy.

Well, I've got a lot of laundry and cleaning to do today, so have a wonderful day and I'll see ya later.
Jill Marie