Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New (to me) Wheels!

For all the guys out there:
Hubby has been complaining about the alloy wheels on my car for a while. He wanted to make them look better since they were scuffed and chipped. He set out to do it using a method my cousin shared with us.
You were right babe.... Those were kind of bad.

I was driving around with wheels like this???? UGH!

Step 1: Remove tires from vehicle (duh).
Step 2: Using a can of primer spraypaint, spray the wheels. Allow to dry.
Step 3: Using the automotive premium spraypaint in the finish of your choice, spray the wheels. We used silver. It's just classic.
Step 4: Use the clearcoat spraypaint and spray them.
Step 5: In the process, some paint will have gotten on the tires (unless you took the time to tape and make sure the tape stuck- we were a little impatient). Use a steel wool pad (Brillo, SOS, etc) to scrub the tires and the paint will come off.
Now you have new wheels for less than $20! If only tires were that cheap! :)
Before the magic of spraypaint....

After.... SOOO Much better!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Meal Plan 8-28 through 9-3

Some good food this week. Stuff that's not really new to me, but that I've been craving! I hope I inspire you to make something yummy this week!

Sunday: Quesadillas (chicken with fresh from the garden pico de gallo, sour cream, and maybe some beans)
Monday: Beef enchiladas with green chiles (I'm on a Mexican kick right now).
Tuesday: Saute of chicken and broccoli (bumped from last week since I didn't get to make it)
Wednesday: bacon, onion swiss quiche with spinach salad
Thursday: Calzones
Friday: Out with Mom
Saturday: Beef burritos from Krista's Kitchen (I'll cook the meat in the crock pot during the day and assemble at dinner time) with spanish rice and refried beans.

I'm already planning my fall menus... can't wait to make homemade applesauce, apple dumplings, apple pie and apple butter! YUMMM!!! I want to go apple picking! Fall is my favorite season. I wish it lasted the 6 months that winter does!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another deal...

I haven't posted any of our deals lately.  Back at the end of July, we went out garage saling- a usual Thursday, Friday, Saturday morning activity. We hit up this moving sale. There wasn't much there but a few piece of furniture and some odds and ends. The couple was moving from Ohio to California and were looking to get rid of everything (I love this kind of sale!).

Prior to hitting up this sale, hubby and I were talking about redoing the office. I hate the big bulky desk that is in there (from when we were first married - almost 11 years ago). I also am hoping to make the room a walk-in closet with a small office in the future. A smaller desk would be perfect and I had a great idea planned in my head. I could almost envision everything so quaint and beautiful yet functional. Ah the things in my head always seem like they won't take much work. :) Isn't that always the case?

Back to the desk. We hit up the sale and my husband actually saw the beauty before I did. He pointed it out to me. Was it really truly beautiful? No, but it could be. I loved the structure and all the drawers. This desk had tons of potential. I had a total of $27 in cash, plus a little change (maybe about 50 cents). We stood there while the seller was talking with someone else. The desk was marked $10- a total steal at that price. When it was our turn, we talked about having them hold it until we got a truck/SUV to pick it up and learned the history of the piece. Apparently, it was her parents' desk, they passed it to her and she passed it to her son who didn't want it. This thing is OLD, but I think it's beautiful. Since I didn't have a $10 and most sales need ones, I threw it out there- Could I buy it for $7? She said "YES!" 
Hubby and I were so happy with the purchase and couldn't believe we just stole something from someone for that's what it truly felt like. It's our greatest find yet.
Stupid wires. If it wasn't sooo late, I would have hidden them and the chair for the big desk better.
   I have many things I could do with this... cute for a little laptop, small printer some pics and such in our little office/walk-in closet as it's the perfect size. OR Use it as a vanity! Lots of storage for my stockpile of make-up and so cute with a little stool under it and pretty mirror....
   Right now, it's sitting in the office waiting to be painted or refinished with new hardware and has one of our desktops on it. Not the best situation, but it works.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meal Plan 8-21 through 8-27- Dairy Free week challenge

I'm new to blogging and reading blogs. I can tell you, it's addicting. I came across a blog that is becoming one of my favorites quickly- john's journal. Her challenges with finding dairy free recipes, as well as our limitations with Everett and his allergies, led me to this week's meal plan. I wanted to a do a week with NO Dairy. It's not easy, but can be done! I'm thinking it will be tasty.

Sunday: Rotisserie chicken with parsley potatoes (made with olive oil and garlic salt instead of butter) and spinach salad. I'm cheating since I have to do shopping and class prep on Sundays.
Monday: Wild rice and mushroom chicken from Taste Of Home 5 Ingredient recipe book.
Tuesday: Pot roast in the crock pot (potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, soup mix)
Wednesday: Easy Pork Chop Suey from Pillsbury Best Family Supper 2007 cookbook
Thursday: Saute of chicken and Broccoli from Food Network. (One of my favorites and very healthy!)
Friday: out to eat with my folks
Saturday: BLTs and a birthday party
Sunday: Honey grilled chicken with baked sweet potatoes

The new recipes for the week fall on Monday and Wednesday. I'll do the review of course and let you know how it goes.
An upcoming blog to look forward to (and share with your hubby): How to get new "wheels" on your car for less than $30. I'm working on the write up and sifting through the pics. Soooo cool how great my car now looks!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chicken a la King Recipe Review

The one recipe I made "new" this week was Chicken a la King. I have made this meal before, but this time I chose a recipe from the Nestle cookbook I received as a gift (one of my favorites!).

Here's the recipe:
3 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 c. chopped onio
2 Tbsp. all -purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cans Nestle Carnation Evaporated Milk
3 large egg yolks, beaten
2 c. cooked, chopped chicken breast
2 Tbsp diced pimento (optional)
2 Tbsp dry sherry (optional)
8 biscuits, 2 c cooked rice, toast other medium to serve with it (mashed potatoes may be really really good, but not good for you- not that this recipe is!)

Directions:  Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 1 - 2 minutes or until tender (not brown). Stir in flour, salt, paprika. Gradually add evaporated milk. Cook stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.

Whick 1 c. thickened sauce into egg yolks, pour into saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil.  Stir in chicken, pimento and sherry. Heat through. Serve with rice, toast, potatoes, biscuits, etc.

Review: Sorry... that took a while! This was a good recipe. I didn't have fresh mushrooms or the last 3 optional ingredients. It ended up taking longer than I anticipated in making it, but with a toddler, this happens! According to the recipe it should take 20 min prep and 15 min cook. Well, I guess the fact that I needed to cook the chicken didn't help matters!  We did need a little more salt than called for, but we love salt (I know- it's a terrible habit!) so you may not need to add that extra pinch.

If I had pre-cooked chicken, this recipe would have come together in a jiff, but that wasn't the case for me. I added carrots to it (not normal, I know). It was very tasty and scrumptious. It tasted almost exactly like Stouffer's CAK. Good stuff.
Would I make it again? YEP! Now, if I could lower the fat... maybe change out evaporated milk for half and half.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quick meal plan post- Gotta get ready for work! YIKES!

It's been a little crazy trying to get the classroom together and spend as much time as possible with the little guy, who ended up sick. That stinking virus foiled our plans for Waterworks and Cleveland zoo and hiking. Oh well. Healthy is better than fun.
I threw together this meal plan yesterday in just a few quick minutes. The only "new" recipe I tried was Chicken a la King. I found it in an old recipe book and have made a la kind before- but not this recipe.
Here it is:

Sunday: brinner (breakfast for dinner - for those of you unfamiliar with the term)
Monday: Chicken A La King (courtesy of the Nestle cookbook)
Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans
Wednesday: Honey Grilled Chicken, sweet potatoes and asparagus
Thursday: Tuna noodle casserole (hubby's favorite)
Friday: Out
Saturday: sloppy joes (Mommy's really busy with important paperwork this day! I even had to cancel on the shower for dear friends. I really wanted to go, but time crunch is on!)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall....

I'm' working on redoing one of our rooms, a kind of catch all known as "Cheri's room". Our house is 93 years old. That being said, it has very small closets. My hubby has the closet in our room, the kid has the closet in his room. That leaves a closet in the attic (bigger- actually biggest in the house) and "my room". Currently this room is for my clothing/dressers, crafts and gift stockpile storage area (that's a little awkward- essentially where I store gifts for kids and people when I get super good deals on them).

UGH! I hate dislike don't know what to do with this room. It has no order and an awkward layout, but a super cool balcony off of it (pending we fix it since it's kind of not-in-the-best-shape). There is no bed as it's a craft/storage room. The paint was light green which is fine and I loved the color, however, since it used to be our bedroom and the bed was up against the window and blocked the closet (that's how small it it), there were things all over the wall (juice from kids, spilled pop, holes from previous hangings, etc.). I really didn't like this room at all.

Anyway, I'm redoing it on a frayed shoestring budget (yes, my budget is that tight). I told my husband I really wanted to move the beautiful big mirror we have in the dining room into this room right above my old dresser (that is scarred and needs painted or redone in some fashion). He said "no". Poo! No mirror- unless I find a super cheap one at a garage sale.

Imagine my surprise when I hit this garage sale that had a mirror very similar to the one we have in the dining room but in a cream painted frame for $5. When I was loading it in the car, the sun hit it just right and I noticed 2 scratches in the mirror. Boo! I had already bought it. Is there a return policy for garage sales?? I didn't want to find out and decided to keep it and see what I could do with it.

I hung it and left it in the room. The scratches were in the way when I first hung it, but I left it as I wasn't sure if I was going to keep it/fix it or paint it or whatever (chalkboard paint the mirror surface).
Not bad for $5. I should have haggled a little, but I was in a moment.

 After about 1 1/2 weeks, I decided I wanted to paint the frame and go from there. I had left over Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint from my shelf project so that wasn't going to cost anything. I loved the result!
I know, the window needs curtains. I'm working on it... it's all a process when you're low on cash!
 I re-hung it, but upside down from how it was initially. Amazingly, the scratches are in a lower corner and aren't too bad. I can totally live with it for the time being (until I determine if I'll replace the mirror or get it resilvered). Honest, it's in a room that isn't used by anyone other than me, so I think I'm okay until I get up the nerve to try the home remedies for fixing mirror scratches or get enough cash for a new mirror. For the time being, I love the mirror and it beats the old, small fogged/film covered mirror it replaced!
See, my sewing machine, ironing board, with newly cut fabric strips, fave book and other misc stuff. I think I have too much stuff..... hmm...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

You want how much for 2 dressers?

My hubby has been using the armoire that I used in high school for over 10 years. Mind you, I graduated from high school many years before my hubby inherited the armoire. As we all know, guys are not the most gentle with things, but I'm not sure the problem was caused by him.

The said armoire was nice and sturdy. It had 2 large spacious drawers that pulled out on the bottom and a beautiful cabinet with 2 shelves on top. It was pretty nice for being as old as it was- with one exception. Every time you opened the top drawer (below the cabinet) it would come off track and fall out dumping the contents on the floor. Thankfully, this was a sock and undie drawer but there are a lot of socks stuffed in there but it beats refolding anything else.

For over a year we have been looking for a dresser. Mind you, we are on a super tight budget since we have one steady income coming in and another that is half of what it was and a baby toddler. We have searched everywhere for dressers. Our favorite IKEA (where a deal can always be found), local furniture thrift stores (Abbey Ann's, Village Thrift, etc.), and even asked neighbors and family. No one had anything for which we were truly head over heels. Until.... the glorious garage sale weekend.

There was a weekend in July where everyone was selling the best stuff ever! We bought so much from garage sales that week- including furniture! Yay!!!

We hit up this estate sale and found 2 (yes, not 1 but 2) dressers we liked (and a trunk from the 1930's that I was in LOVE with but didn't want to spend $40 on). We were hesitant to know the price. I mean 2 dressers of perfect size and color and price. Yeah, they needed cleaned up (and the yucky mirror that came with them removed) and stunk like an old lady, but those are easy fixes.   We asked the sellers how much, paid for them, went to lunch and then picked up a truck to get the dressers. When we got them home, we wiped them down and placed them in our room. They still smelled... like bad...

We removed the old mirror and gained a place for everything to sit and no mess!

Next step: Downy sheets. I'm glad I coupon and get these things super cheap. I took 10 sheets and placed 1 in each drawer. The whole upstairs smelled delightful. Ahhh! Fresh laundry smell. Refreshing, but almost overpowering. Within a few hours, the smell was gone and life was good. The clothing was placed in the drawers with room to spare. I think we have 2 unused drawers (good storage for pillow cases, table cloths, etc.
Much more storage! Yippee!!!

So, for $30, we walked out with 2 beautiful dressers and much more storage. What are we going to do when it's winter and there are no more sales??? Wait until you see some of the other stuff in upcoming posts! Wooo hooo!

Beef and Bean Burritos... Can't miss!

Tonight, I made the Beef and Bean Burritos from  I don't know where to start. It was beyond good. It was delicious! I did think that a little spanish rice in them would be a nice addition. I'll do it that way next time!

First, I made it easy on myself and simply put a roast in the crock pot before heading to school to do a little work. In the afternoon, it was done and I could easily shred it up for the filling. Super simple. I cut the recipe in half as I don't need 24 burritos. It's only hubby and me eating them as the kiddo can't have dairy which is abundant in this recipe. By cutting it in half, I still had 12 burritos. We cooked 6 (for dinner and lunches) and froze the remaining 6. I also didn't have the jalapeno or hormel chili (I was too lazy to head to the store for 2 ingredients - you know what happens when you make this trip).

While the hubby took the kiddo to the "monkey bars" (aka, park), I got to cooking. This recipe does take a little time. While the pan of burritos was baking, I finished assembling the other burritos and labeled them for their new home in the freezer. How cool that we now have 6 burritos in the freezer for lunch at a later time! I loved that she included cooking instructions for the burritos. Fantastic! 

I think everyone who likes Mexican should try this recipe. It did take about 1.5 hours from start to finish (not including the slow cooker roast), but it is truly scrumptious and you have lunches and dinners for a while. Give it a shot. Absolutely one of the tastiest burritos I've had in a while! YUM!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back to School- Already???

Wow! I can't believe how time has flown this summer. Maybe it's because of all we have done to the house or that summer just seems to have been getting started. It's amazing that I go back to school on Tuesday. Students join me on Wednesday.

Going back to school means a change in routine and schedule. For some, it's welcome because you get back to "normal" (whatever that is). For some, it's scary, new teachers, new school, new friends, new classes and definitely new expectations. I find this to be very true for students going from middle school to high school. What great changes come at this age, let alone all the new things high school has to offer! YIKES! or YAY! However you choose to see it. (For the record, I'm a YAY-er- at least until it's my guy going to high school.)

Yes, even for teachers, it's definitely different getting back in the classroom. We have to return to a "normal" routine. I have no clue that what will be for me this year. I'll still be teaching, but managing everything at home too will be a challenge in the evenings. Ya see, this past year was easy as I was not trying to cook at home as much so going to the gym was easy since we could just stop by Chipotle or a pizza shop to get dinner. This made the routine very easy. Now, I don't know how I'll find the time to cook good meals (to save some cash) as well as head to the gym, pick up the house, grade papers, write lesson plans and spend time with my family. Did you notice the order there? Yep, family came last. My goal this year is to make them come first. I don't know how I'll do it, but I will. Maybe instead of going to the gym 4 days a week, I take up running with friends in the evening 2 days a week, head to the gym 2 days a week and hit a workout video another day. Time will tell. I've gotta get it together though as I'm down to 1 week left and tons of projects left undone.

List of projects to finish before school starts:
-set up classroom (this is started. I just need to do some putting away and organizing)
-do a week's worth of lesson plans (started last night)
-finish rag quilt
-finish baby blanket
-organize old photos and put them away.
-finish (well, add to since they are really finished until you run out of room!) the picture collage wall
-develop a cleaning routine/strategy
- finish my necklace organizer
-create an earring and bracelet organizer
-go to the Cleveland and akron zoos
-Go to Waterworks 1 last time
-Spend as much time with everyone as I possibly can.
Oh yeah, and find a babysitter for Everett.
See why I'm overwhelmed???  I'm up for delegating. Please let me know which activity you would like to take aside from the last 4. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Meal Plan 8/7-8/13

Easy but busy week getting ready to head back to school work. I have a lot of things planned to do plus getting time to set up the classroom and such- create new posters and all that good stuff that is teaching.

Sunday: burgers on the grill - real beef burgers as I'm terrified of ground turkey now.
Monday: pork chops, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots
Tuesday: Great grandma's No- Peek chicken and rice casserole
Wednesday: beef and bean burritos from Kristas Ktichen. I'm so excited to try this!
Thursday: Girls night (cooking for some lovely friends) Spanakopita, salad and chocolate covered strawberries

Friday: out - reserved for my mom. It's our weekly thing! :)
Saturday: Speedy jambalaya - because my husband has been craving more of it (not to mention it's super easy!)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Peach Sauce Review

Peach chicken. The thought was a little odd at first, but I've loved fruit and meat combined in the past so I figured it had to be good.

The fact that this recipe had only 5 ingredients made it even better. How easy is that? 5 ingredients and a total prep time of maybe 10 minutes. Super quick and easy.

It even looks great. I was kind of excited to let my taste buds explore the bursts of flavor in this recipe. I must say that it's very sweet. The fresh peach really made this much better. If it weren't for the fresh peach, I would have thrown this out. I really didn't like this as much as I thought I would. I was kind of disappointed. :( I feel it needed some salt or onion or garlic and some more crunch to it. The sauce didn't taste as fresh as I would have liked. I think that's where my true disappointment and dislike came into play.

Everett really didn't like it. I was surprised by this as he LOVES peaches and jell-o. Both of which are in this recipe. He ran to me saying "I don't like that chicken." Granted, he's not had a terrific day and is a very picky eater. But then again, he's 2.

Hubby refused to give a review saying he wanted to comment on the blog instead. Look for his comments- coming soon to a computer near you!
I will not make it again unless I change it up- A LOT! Essentially, reinvent the recipe. Some may like it, but it's not for me. Hmm... but maybe it's a decent base recipe. I'll have to play around with it.

Time out - it's good for adults too!

A friend and I were talking the other day about the book "Heaven is For Real". We both had the same feeling that it made us see our children (both toddlers - age 2) differently and made us feel like we needed to "shape up" (I just stole her words) our attitude toward going through this toddler "let me be independent- I don't want to listen to you Mom" stage. Which leads me to discipline. Something that is not fun, but necessary.

On the way home, I started thinking random thoughts- nothing out of the ordinary for me. I realized how much I value TO (Not Terrell Owens, but Time Out). I use time out as my disciplinary strategy for my son. We've been using time out since he was about 10 or 11 months old. There are times when we give him a choice and he will actually choose the time out. Smart kid.

In my thoughts, I stopped when I thought about God and how He wants us to take a time out. "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10. In thinking about my life, I'm not often still. I'm constantly moving and busy. This week I've been trying to be still and reflect on God and His goodness as well as just regrouping myself to get ready to go back to school (I'm a teacher). I can't tell you how much better I feel after this time.

As I think further about it, time outs are taken in sports to go over strategy and regroup the team. Time outs are a necessary thing in life in order to help us focus our efforts to reach our goal. After a time out, my son is usually over the issue and we can move on; I feel better after my own "time out"- fresh, rejuvenated, ready to move on and do something, sports teams can create a new strategy to beat the opponent. Time out is a good and necessary thing.

Are you making progress toward your goal(s) - by the way, I hope you have more than 1 goal? When was your last time out?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My new-to-me centerpiece filled with free goodies! :)

Isn't it lovely?! 

I found this at a garage sale and it was a little dirty, but nothing soap and water couldn't help. Here it is nice and clean and filled with fresh from the garden goodness. All for the cost of a quarter- yep $0.25! Woohoo!!!

How pretty with the fresh cucumbers and tomatoes. I love all the color! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Posting comments

I've had several people tell me that they cannot post comments. I have added the feature that you can post anonymously as well as subscribe via email. I was hoping that would help with commenting. I was WRONG!

The way to comment is to type the message then to choose the way to post. If you choose name/url, you do not have to have a URL, simply use your name. Next, click Preview. This asks you to type in a code. Then the post will be complete when you click the post comment button.

I hope this helps with posting comments! Have a great day!

Basement Part 3- The window...

Back in the basement- AGAIN. This will not be the last, but remember that window I broke? We needed to get it fixed. With the heat lately, we've been putting it off. Not only that, but let's face it- we've never done this and it was quite intimidating. Neither hubby nor I knew what to do. We watched youtube videos for some visual help. We read posts/articles on various DIY sites. Still, we weren't confident. We talked with people at the stores. Why is it sooo intimidating when you're talking about fixing a hole in the wall of your home?

Jay took the reins on this one. I was merely there playing in cement. He took out the old window- the one I broke while removing the mold from the basement. Remember that saga? After it was out, we realized we really truly had to get this fixed that day... but the kiddo didn't nap like he should have. That lead to a problem. How do you install a window with a 2-year-old running around and wanting to be the "big helper"? YIKES! Thank goodness for Nana. She came to the rescue so we could work on the window. While hubby mixed cement, I transplanted a hosta that was going to be victim of death by cement and stomping otherwise.
Removed old window- hole in wall and hosta transplanted. Look at the mess in the basement while trying to get this done. UGH! Messes everywhere!

Then I went and helped with the cement mixing. It was a MESS. Let me emphasize that. It was a COMPLETE MESS. Unbelievable that people could work with this stuff regularly.

 I have to admit that I really did not want to do this at all tonight. However, after getting started, I really was enjoying the process. Yes, I was covered in cement that was slowly drying on my hands. Yes I got some cuts and knicks from the siding and woodwork- may now need a tetanus shot to go with it. Yes, it was a complete mess, but it also allowed me to feel like I was being an artist. This is the closest I will ever come to artistry (and it's pretty crappy art if I do say so myself), but it was fun and kind of relaxing. Did I just say relaxing about putting in a window? Yep. Hey, after a 2.5 hour kitchen fiasco, anything allowing me to sit and mess something up with a purpose is definitely less like work and maybe more relaxing. It's at least calming.

After about an hour, the window was in place and clean up was underway- actually almost finished. Look at the finished product. That's why I love crafts and home projects- you get to see the end result and it's lasting (unlike cleaning the house which is totally undone after a minute when you have a toddler or actually live in your home).

So, by putting this in ourselves, we saved $100. By shopping around we saved $50. The total cost of the window was:

$99 (plus tax so $107) for the window
+$10.50 for the mortar
$109.50 pre-tax  $117 post-tax.

Not bad. We saved $150 in our efforts by shopping around and installing ourselves. Now we need to paint the cement on the outside to match the rest of the house, but I'm not terribly concerned with that right now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Calzone Recipe - with pics!

I'm getting fancy folks! Don't think this will be a regular thing though! I'm providing tips and pics on how to make this super easy and fun calzones from Pillsbury.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375.
Step 2: Open a can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits. You have to smoosh down the biscuit to make it flat like a pizza crust would be. I only had Grands Jr. biscuits on hand. There are 10 in a package. Since the circle should be about 6" in circumference (like that geometry term math teacher friends??), I use 2 of the Jr. biscuits to make a circle about the same size.

Step 3: Put whatever you want on half of the crust. We use pepperoni, mushrooms (when we have them), green peppers, cheese, onions- add whatever you want, but remember you have to be able to fold it closed.

Step 4: Fold the empty side over the stuffed side and seal tightly. It works best with a fork. Today, I eliminated that step accidentally as I was working on some serious jo-jos and Everett was building his own calzone (too much fun!). I just pressed it closed, but it didn't work as well as usual.

So there were 3 pieces of pepperoni on this, but Everett couldn't help himself. He had to eat some. This lone piece made it back. He then took a bite out of the uncooked biscuit. That was a face I wish I could have captured on camera!

Step 5: Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.   When finished, serve with sauce. I'm guessing you could put sauce in there, but I've always served mine on the side. I like to "dip it" as Everett would say.

Tonight's meal was more complex for me as I learned/attempted to make homemade jo-jo's like my grandma's. OH MY!!!! They are the best things ever (sooo not healthy in any way shape or form. I'm surprised we didn't have a heart attack eating them... shoot, even just making them!).

 In making these time consuming, labor of love jo jos I realized how much effort people used to put into their meals. It amazes me at the love and goodness wrapped in those old southern recipes my grandma makes. I love her dearly and am thankful for every recipe she teaches me. I just need to sit down with her again on those chicken and dumplings- my favorite but I've screwed them up every time I make them- unless I'm with her!

Mammaw- I want to say thank you so much for all the meals you have cooked us and the love it took to make them. Thank you for sharing your recipes with me. I love you!

 For those of you near your grandma's, if they are still alive, please learn some of those recipes! You will be the one to pass them down to another generation.

That wasn't all the cooking I did. I also made a pasta salad and some brownies. This is what the kitchen looked like 2 hours later:

Good thing clean up doesn't take as long as messing it up! 15 minutes later, the kitchen was clean and I was off to work on the basement window!

I also learned that when cooking the jo-jos, I need to have the hubby take the kiddo to do something. He managed to find the stockpile of dishsoap, unpack it from the cute container, spill it on the floor and rub it all up and down his legs to "wash feet". Nice! At least the floor has been cleaned! :)
How could you be upset with this face??? I love him!