Bake It Tuesday

I am not in the mood to heat my oven for hours on end like I was last week. The humidity this week is just nuts. So, I opted to only heat it up and make a small pan of brownies. When I did my homemade mixes last week, I made up three batches of chocolate brownies. In an effort to NOT sweat today, I used one of the mixes. Now, we will only sweat while the house is heated by the oven. ;)

I love making things ahead of time, so the brownie mix is great for me! If you know you will have a busy week, plan out some mixes that cut your prep time in half. The only thing to add is the wet ingredients and then just bake it! So simple. And three bags of the brownie mix took me just a few minutes. SO easy.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

mix the above and keep in sealed quart size bag til ready to use. then add:

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil (we used coconut today)

1 tsp vanilla

mix thoroughly then add to greased 9×9 baking pan. bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. We tossed some chocolate chips on top because I saw that idea on Money Saving Mom’s site, when she posted about this recipe! Great idea. :)

And now, to eat my brownies while I sweat! Mmmm.


Menu Plan Monday

I planned an easy cooking week for myself. Just a bunch of yummy, filling foods. :)


Waffles x 2
Eggs x 2
Redhead Bars


Leftovers x 3
PB&J x 2
Mac and cheese
Lunch at a birthday party

Pasta with meat sauce
Chicken fried rice
Frozen Pizza
Chicken and veggies over noodles
Sloppy Joes
Chicken Taco Casserole
Honey wings from the grocery store (so unhealthy, yet so delicious! Haha!)

Items to make this week:
Roasted Marinara Sauce
Pickles – either for fridge or canning

Any special plans for your menu this week??

Mama Wisdom

It doesn’t matter if everyone uses the bathroom the second before you walk out the door…one of the kids will need to go as soon as you get to your destination. And more than one will need to go if the location is outdoors and has no bathroom.

Every time you think you have seen a child do the most disgusting thing ever, another child will surprise you with something even more ‘special.’

The days I feel most ambitious and ready to grocery shop nice and early…is the day it starts to downpour first thing.

When people comment “your hands are full!” about how many kids we have makes me want to punch them in the face. BUT I am working to just remind myself that my heart is even more full!

Do not believe anyone when they say boys are not as vocal as girls. I have two toddler boys that can out-scream any of my girls. :)

Controlling Our Tongues

I am going through a Proverbs 31 study on my own. I have done it several times since I purchased the book about 10 years ago. Each time I go through it, something new jumps out at me. Today was about verse 11…”she brings him good not harm all the days of her life.” The author of the study got into detail of how we, as wives, can “bring harm.” It was more than the typical saying hurtful things or lying to our husbands. She wrote about pushing our husbands to live beyond our financial means by constantly talking about things we wish we had. I do not walk around saying I wish I had a million dollars, but I am extremely guilty of saying things like “we should do _____” or “look, that ______is on sale this week.” I also tend to talk about wanting a patio and going camping and other random and unnecessary objects. Things we don’t need but things I really want and my husband might just get if I talk about them enough. Then I justify the purchase by telling myself “well, he wants to get it.” As if my prodding had nothing to do with it.

What an eye-opener today. The author mentions several things I need to be careful talking about. These things have no place in building up our marriage and will ultimately just build a wall between us:

-burdening him with things I really want but we cannot afford
-gossip about what I read on social media (ugh!)
-trivial things about my day that have no consequence(i stubbed my toe….a waste of breath to report on that)
-complaining about the children
-angry words (that, in turn, put him in an angry mood)
-whining or nagging about something he did or did not do around the house.

All those are things I have a problem with. I always feel the need to unload every bit of info on my husband in the evening. As if he does not have enough going on in his mind.

Two verses that spoke to me today:

Proverbs 19:13
“…A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.”

How annoying I must be some days!!

Ephesians 4:29
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Looks like I need to bite my tongue A LOT more!

What I am learning is that God wants to hear everything I worry about or desire or am upset about. My husband is human, too, and he has his own worries and desires. I shouldn’t burden him with every thought that pops into my head. Instead, my goal should be to edify him, make him feel loved, and be submissive. Our home is my job, and blabbing in his ear is a distraction from what my purpose is. I cannot be the wife he needs and wants if I spend every breath grumbling or deceiving to get what I want. AND I am teaching our girls the wrong way to build a marriage.

Time to regroup and build up my wonderful husband! :)

Recipe: Tomato Paste

With all the tomatoes we have had this Summer, I was forced to get creative with how I preserved them. After freezing about 40 or more cups of marinara sauce and canning several pints, I decided to try tomato paste. I searched online for a good recipe and found a few interesting ones. The first I found said to use sweet red peppers with the tomatoes, but I didn’t like that idea. I just wanted plain old paste….nothing seasoned or different. I read through several of the recipes’ steps and decided to make my own recipe based on what I read. It turned out tasty, and I am happy with the results.

Tomato Paste

Tomatoes (Roma is best, from what I read, but I used all kinds. I had about 5 lbs)

Olive Oil

1. Rough chop the tomatoes and place in large stockpot with about 2 TBSP olive oil. Heat and stir until soft enough to push through a sieve by hand.







2. Run all tomatoes through sieve to remove skin and seeds. Discard skin and seeds. Return juice to stockpot.







3. Heat juices to boiling and simmer for several hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes to keep from sticking. Sauce/juice should reduce by at least 1/3 and thicken (like paste from a can, or close to it). It will darken as well. Once thick and dark and at desired consistency, turn off heat and let cool in pot.

4. Put into storage containers and freeze or can.

I ended up filling 3 pint jars with 6 oz in each jar (since that is the measurement of a small can I use from the store).







You start with a TON of tomatoes and end up with this tiny amount of paste. It almost seems like a waste. Happy I tried it, but I would probably just make a sauce or can the tomatoes next time to feel like I was able to use more of them!

Bake It Tuesday

We LOVE baked goods for breakfast. I just dislike how long it can take to make it in the morning. So, today I made a Buttermilk Coffee Cake ahead of time. We can throw a piece in the microwave to have it warm tomorrow for breakfast…and save the 40 minutes of making and baking in the morning.

This recipe comes from my Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook – Bridal Edition that we received as a wedding gift. When I got married I didn’t bake or cook much, and this particular cookbook has great information on cooking basics. I love it. It has been used so much the paper cover has crumpled off and several pages have come loose. I still use it at least once a week.

The recipe below is my version of their recipe….because I always change something in a recipe. ;)

Buttermilk Coffee Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2/3 cup butter, cold and cut into chunks

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or sour milk – pout 1 TBSP and 1 tsp white vinegar into measuring cups and then fill up to 1 1/3 mark with milk; let sit for at least 5 minutes to sour)

1. Grease bottom and sides of 9×13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter until coarse crumbles. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture for topping later.

3. Add baking powder, soda, cinnamon and nutmeg to the remainder of the flour/sugar/butter mixture.

4. In another bowl, combines eggs and buttermilk. Add egg mixture to the mixture from step 3. Pour batter into greased pan.

5. Sprinkle that 1/2 cup of the flour/sugar/butter mixture on top of the batter. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick poked in center comes out clean.

Serve warm or reheat if making night before!

This is such an easy basic recipe. You could add fruit or nuts to it and it would be delicious, too!!

Menu Plan Monday

Good morning! I have a ridiculous headache this morning and our dog ran away yesterday. :( So, I am chugging the coffee (not the brightest idea for a headache), and we are waiting for Animal Control to open as we were informed they picked up our Jack yesterday. It was a hectic evening looking for Jack and comforting a crying Addy, who worried if Jack was happy/sad, cold, if he had a pillow and food, and if he had any toys to play with. :( Poor girl was in tears over it.

Nevertheless, we are getting a menu plan posted and aiming for a great day.


Cereal, pop-tarts (yes, we have these! yikes.) x 2

Eggs, toast

Oatmeal x 2

Waffles x 2


Leftovers x 3

PB&J x 3

Mac and cheese

Dinner(lots of chicken meals this week)


Chicken and rice casserole, salad

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes, green beans (from the garden!)

BBQ Turkey Chili, rice, carrots (from the garden!), salad

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Chicken mac and cheese

Taco casserole (with chicken) :)


Our breakfasts and lunches are simple this week. We have a full week of school and I have a meeting at church. And it just seemed like a good idea for this week.

Want to share what your menu for this week looks like? Please do!!