Menu Plan For Week of August 1

August is here!!!! This means fair time and also the start of a new school year. It is hard to believe in just a couple of weeks, I will have a third grader. UGH!! Where did all the time go? So, for summer fun to subside and fall to begin here is the menu for the week. This second to last week of summer is a busy one for us. I am finishing up another semester of school, and trying to get the kids ready for the start of their's. So here is my time saver menu for the week.

Monday--Leftovers(We are smoking ribs and chicken on Sunday)

Tuesday--Caprese Pizza Watch for recipe later this week

Wednesday--Tater Tot Casserole


Friday--Gyro Sandwiches


Peach Cobbler Muffins

I was in need of using up some peaches. Here is a great recipe that tastes like peach cobbler in a muffin. This would be great for a breakfast get together. I think cinnamon butter is the best spread for this muffin.

2 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chopped peaches
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Beat eggs, and sugar. Add oil and stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together and slowly mix into wet ingredients. Place into greased muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins. Makes 12 standard size muffins.

August 3 in 30 challenge

Okay, I decided today I am going to take a 3 in 30 challenge in August. My home and blog have kind of fallen apart over the summer, and with my children going back to school, I need to get my life in order again. 

Here are my goals:

Join me as I post at least 3 new to me recipes a week in August. 

I want to be able to find time for my family amongst the chaos in my life

I want to connect with at least 30 new followers for my blog. 

If you want to join me on this adventure check out 3 in 30 and add a comment with your goals.


Homemade Hamburger Helpers/Tuna Helpers

I have been on a "movement" over the last few months.  I have been making all my own mixes etc. to become more healthy.  Many of these recipes taste better than what you are able to buy in the store.  I take usually a day and mix up a batch of these mixes and then use them as I would the storebought counterparts.
These recipes are wonderful additions to family meals.  I needed to find recipes last school year that would allow me to make meals that would keep, since my daughter had afterschool activities most nights of the week.  I made usually one of these meals weekly and added different spices etc. to the recipe to change it a bit each week. 


8 oz uncooked broad noodles ¼ tsp oregano

1 tbl dried onion flakes ½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp basil ½ tsp salt

Brown 1 lb ground beef. Add 3 ½ cups water, bring to boil. Add 1 pkg mix and 1 cup tomato sauce. Let simmer, stirring often, for about 20 minutes or until needles are just done. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Stroganoff Style

8 oz uncooked medium noodles ½ tsp paprika

1 cup dry skim milk 1 tsp salt

1 tbl onion flakes 1/8 tsp pepper

Brown 1 lb ground beef, 1 cup sliced mushrooms or 1 can mushrooms. Add 4 cups water, 1 tbl vinegar. Bring to boil and add 1 pkg mix. Let simmer, stirring often for about 20 minutes or until noodles are just done. Serves 4

Macaroni and Cheese

8 oz uncooked macaroni 1 tsp paprika

1 cup instant dry skim milk 1 tsp salt

¼ tsp thyme 1/8 tsp pepper

½ tsp dry mustard

To cook: lightly brown 1 lb ground beef

Add: 4 cups water, bring to boil and add

1 pkg mix

Simmer, stirring often for about 20 minutes or until noodles are just done.

Add: 1 cup grated cheddar

Simmer gently, stirring often, until cheese is evenly melted through….serves 4

Tuna and Noodles

8 oz uncooked egg noodles 2 tsp dried celery leaves

1 cup instant dry skim milk ½ tsp dry mustard

1 tbl flour 1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika 1/8 tsp pepper

To cook: boil 4 cups water, add 1 pkg mix, simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 can tuna. Let simmer, stirring for 5 minutes or until noodles are just done. Serves 4

Tuna-Cheese Supper

8 ox uncooked macaroni 1 tsp salt

1 cup instant dry skim milk 1/8 tsp pepper

½ tsp thyme ½ tsp dillweed

To cook: Boil 4 cups water. Add 1 pkg mix. Let simmer, stirring for 15 minutes. Add 1 can tuna and 1 cup grated cheddar. Simmer 5 minutes or until noodles are just done. ….serves 4

Variation: use grated Italian, Parmesan or Romano cheese instead of cheddar

Beef Kabobs

Last night, I chose to make Kabobs.  I had harvested around 15 cherry tomatoes out of my wonderful little garden.  I had never grown cherry tomatoes before, and was surprised at the quantity of fruit.  I originally planted the cherry tomatoes because I like to have them in my salad.  I was thrilled when I actually had enough to make something out of them. 

Making the kabobs, I used the following marinade and round steak.  I buy my own beef from a local farmer in the spring.  This cuts down on price of the meat.  I used for the first time meat tenderizer on the beef also.  This made a big difference with the tenderness of round steak.  In making the kabobs, I used mushrooms, green pepper, onion, and cherry tomato.  This was a great meal for temps above 90 degrees.  Light and filling. 

Beef Kabobs


1 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon meat tenderizer (optional)


1.In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground black pepper, garlic, and meat tenderizer. Mix well, and add your favorite meat. Seal the bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.


Back to School

Boy oh boy!!  The summer has flown by.  I only have a couple weeks of summer fun left and then my daughter starts back to school.  I am so not ready for school to start this year.  I am still having fun with my summer.  The first plans I have are to enter some foods into the state fair.  Then a few days later school begins.  SO, for a great summer recipe or back to school recipe try this bumbleberry pie.  It was a great surprise I found while on vacation.  I even managed to obtain the recipe from the lady who made it at the great coffee shop I stopped at.  The name itself intrigued me, but the taste was so wonderful.  Turns out bumbleberry pie is just a mix of berries in the pie and not a specific type of berry.

Bumbleberry Pie


5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups shortening

3/4 cup cold water

1 egg

1 tablespoon vinegar

4 cups apples - peeled, cored and chopped\
2 cups fresh blueberries

2 cups fresh raspberries

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cups white sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons tapioca

1 egg yolk, beaten

2 tablespoons water


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2.In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together 3/4 cup water, egg, and vinegar. Stir into flour until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into 4 balls. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. Roll out dough portions to fit a 9 inch pie pan. Place bottom crusts in 2 pie pans. Set aside top crusts.

3.In a large bowl, combine apples, rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and lemon juice. Mix together 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup flour, and tapioca; gently toss with fruit mixture. Divide into 2 pastry lined pie pans. Cover with top crusts; trim and crimp edges. Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water). Cut a few slits in the top to allow steam to vent.

4.Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until filling is bubbly in center and top is golden brown.

Yield:  2 9 inch pies


Frugal Vacation

So some may ask, "how do you do a vacation on a budget?"

My first answer to this would be to PLAN.  Maybe not an itinerary, but plan where to stay.  I tend to look up places to stay on the internet.  I can get great deals by booking ahead.  I look at reviews of the hotel online and try to get good value and price.  My hotel stay for three nights is under $200.00 all by finding a great rate on the internet.  Some of the internet deals do charge your credit card at the time of making the reservation.  These deals may save you hundreds of dollars if you are patient and can find a good deal. 

I also take food along with me on my trips.  The hotel we are staying at has a refrigerator in our room, so I am taking along sandwich meat and fixins and also some healthy snacks.  This will keep me from going to the nearest McDonalds to suffice a craving.  If I have the food in my room, then I am more likely to eat healthy.  The plan for my weekend is to only eat out for dinners if needed.  I have a list made of the restaurants I want to try if we have time. 

I also have found a list of parks and recreational offerings for the time period we will be visiting.  Many communities have a great list of free things to do.  Some of these are historical sights, so you end up learning something on your trip also.  I love to travel and have found that many of the greatest sights are found by searching out opportunities. 

What are your ideas for a frugal vacation?  I am always up for a new idea or two!!  Leave a comment if you want to add your frugal idea.


Where am I???

Ok, so I am on vacation officially.  I am still trying to get a few assignments completed for school, but I am away from home and not working.  This qualifies for a vacation, right?  I am going to try and let you guess where I am.

Can't hardly wait for the fish fry on Friday night!!!!  This is the menu from the best restaurant ever!!!

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
Going to take my daughter to see some art...Gotta have some girl time!

Historic Wausau Depot

Taking the little boy to see the world famous train station!!!!

World Class Kayak Course
Going to do some kayaking on a great whitewater course!!!

My great weekend will be spent in Wausau Wisconsin.  Hope everyone has a great weekend and if I find some great frugal finds, I may have to let you know about it.  My computer is going with me and I will try to blog about my happenings over the weekend, otherwise I will definitely blog about them next week.


Cookie of the Day: Snickerdoodles

This is my favorite cookie of all time.  I absolutely love snickerdoodle cookies.  Therefore, they are going on vacation with me.  Please stay tuned later this week to see pictures about where we are and what we are doing?  Can't wait for my vacation.  I am literally so excited. 

Snickerdoodle Cookies

■1/2 cup margarine (1 stick)

■3/4 cup sugar

■1 medium egg

■1 teaspoons baking powder

■1/4 teaspoon salt

■1-2/3 cups flour

■2 tablespoons white sugar mixed with 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a large bowl mash together the margarine and sugar. Add the egg and beat until everything is creamy. Add the baking powder, salt and flour. Stir it up until you have a nice thick dough. In a cereal bowl, combine the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Now comes the fun part; let the kids help. Make sure everyone’s hands are clean and then shape the dough into balls the size of a walnut, or an egg yolk. Roll them in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place the coated balls on an oiled cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a smooth cup or glass, press the dough down to flatten the cookies slightly. Bake them at 400° for 10 minutes. If your oven runs hot, turn it down to 375°. These cookies are great in lunch boxes and for after school snacks. These are an old favorite of mine. My momma made them for us as children, and they are exceptionally good.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, it is over 90 degrees already this morning.  Humidity is very high and I am baking a batch of cookies to put in the freezer.  Today I am making good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies.   This is my go to crowd pleaser recipe.


1 cup butter, softened

 1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 3 cups all-purpose flour

 1 teaspoon baking soda

 2 teaspoons hot water

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.

3. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.


Sugar Cookies

My grandmother passed away in March, and since she lived in Florida and was going to be buried in Wisconsin as a family we decided to have a memorial service to her this summer.  Well, it will be this weekend, and I have been elected to make all the desserts. 

Since I have to travel 8 hours from Iowa to where the memorial will be, I am going to be making cookies and bars that will travel well.  I am excited to take my children to my childhood home and give them a great vacation.  I plan to hike Rib Mountain in central Wisconsin, spend a day by the lake (maybe catch a fish or two), and enjoy a great Wisconsin fish fry. 

This sounds like a great long weekend, but first I need to make some sugar cookies.  This recipe was always at my grandmothers house in a large cookie jar.  I am glad that the recipe was given to me by my grandmother.  I am happy to remember her life with these cookies.


1 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg

mix all together

2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

mix together and combine with sugar mixture

drop by on cookie sheet with large tablespoon.  Grease flat glass bottom and dip into sugar.  Press each cookie. 

Bake 375 degrees for 7-8 mins.  Do not let them brown.


This week I am on vacation!!!  I am so excited.  I haven't been on a long vacation in years.  I will be cooking up a storm this week!!!  I am trying to get all my recipes ready for the Iowa State Fair  This is my favorite time of the year.  I usually enter my pies, but this year I am expanding into some breads and other items.  I am entering a pasta salad that is to die for, cookies, and cinnamon rolls.  I hear the Tone's contest is THE contest to enter.  Today I am baking cookies!!!  This is the hardest day for me, because I want to taste test the cookies, and I am not able to eat just one.

What are you baking today???