Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yummy Chicken Noodle Soup!

Oh, the comfort of a warm bowl of homemade soup to warm you up on these chilly winter and spring days!!

In March, we had a "Thanksgiving in March" turkey dinner (click here)
and I had saved the turkey carcass so we could make soup on another day. This is such a great way to make up broth for a the turkey carcass/bones (most people just get rid of it) and put it in a freezer bag to enjoy a batch of soup at a later date.
I just learned last year that by boiling the chicken/turkey bones this is what adds all the yummy flavor to your broth.
(I always thought it was the meat that added the flavor, but it is actually the bones).
(here is a great article I read about making chicken here)
Well, this weekend we were lucky to get to boil it up and make a yummy batch of Chicken Noodle Soup, complete with homemade egg noodles as well!
I pulled the Carcass out of the freezer and put it in a stock pot and filled the pot half full of water....I brought it to a boil and reduced heat to simmer and let it simmer most of the morning/afternoon.
Since it was a Saturday morning and we were already in a mess in the kitchen from making pancakes for breakfast, I quickly made up the egg noodles to take advantage of the kitchen mess.
I saved aside 3 quarts of broth I then de-boned the turkey by pulling all of the meat off the bones and added it to the broth along with the cut up veggies and cooked until they were tender and then added in the noodles/cream soup base and we ended up with the YUMMY soup shown below!
(PS...I saved the rest of the broth and put it in freezer bags (2 cups per bag) to be able to pull out for future meals that require chicken broth).
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cook 1 whole chicken (OR leftover turkey carcass) and simmer until meat falls off the bones.
Remove chicken//turkey and de-bone.
Save 3 quarts of the broth

To the 3 quarts of chicken stock add: (if you don’t have “chicken stock” just have 3 quarts of water with 4 bouillon cubes)
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped carrots
2 large chopped onions
Cooked chicken or turkey
Cook until veggies are tender.

Stir in until dissolved:
2 cans cream of chicken soup OR homemade “cream soup” base (recipe shown below)

Stir in homemade noodles and salt/pepper to taste.
Cook until noodles are tender (15-20 minutes)
This is a very creamy and yummy soup...
the homemade noodles make it the best.

Homemade egg noodles
3 egg yolks (beat well)
½ tsp salt
½ cup water
2 cups flour

To the egg yolks add the salt and water.
Stir in the flour and mix well.
Roll out on a floured surface REAL THIN.
Let dry 15-30 minutes.
Slice real thin, spread and dry.
Drop into hot soup or broth and cook until tender. 15-20 minutes.

When I'm making a thrifty soup I sure don't want to add in expensive cans of Cream of Chicken Soup and so I made my own soup replacement using food storage items. These 2 Chicken Bouillon brands do NOT have any MSG in them.

Cream soup Base

¾ cup powdered milk
4 Tbsp. Cornstarch (heaping)
4 cups HOT water
2 Tbsp Chicken Bouillon

Mix milk & cornstarch in pan.
Add hot water and Bouillon.
Cook until thickened stirring constantly.

Makes enough to replace 2 cans of cream of chicken soup in recipes
How Frugal is this meal?
egg noodle fixins---.30
cream soup replacement---.50

We fed 4 people 1 dinner
3 people 2 lunches!!
Gotta love the amazing thrift of soup!
(whenever I make this I hear...
"Yay, yummy noodle soup for dinner"!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pudding treats for kids!


a few weekends ago Ethan was introduced to "pudding cups" at an event that we went to and he just LOVED them and wanted us to get some.

So, I pulled out my pudding recipes and found a great recipe for chocolate and butterscotch pudding and have been making these for lunches.
Ethan LOVES them!!
I found small containers at Wal-mart
and I just make the pudding up,
let it cool a little
and then put the pudding in these containers
and chill them in the fridge.

The kids feel special having their own
homemade pudding cups
to pull out of their lunches at school!!
Really easy,
Really yummy
and really FUN for kids
that is for sure to put a
on their faces!!

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch (heaping)
2 cups milk
2 beaten egg yolks
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in a sauce pan.
Combine milk and egg yolks and gradually stir into sugar mixture.
Cook on medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils
Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add in vanilla.
Cool slightly and chill.


2/3 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. cornstarch (heaping)
2 cups milk
2 beaten egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
Blend sugar, cornstarch, salt in a sauce pan.
Combine milk and egg yolks and gradually stir into sugar mixture.
Cook on medium heat stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils
Boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add in vanilla and butter.
Cool slightly and chill.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What is that Smell?

"The sense of smell can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back pictures as sharp as photographs of scenes that had left the conscious mind".
~~Thalassa Cruso


Easter weekend we spent the night at my parents house and the old bed in their guest room is too soft for my needs and I ended up getting some kind of pinched nerve/kink in my neck and I have been dealing with really bad pain all week in my neck and upper arm.

Well, Tracy, being the sweet hubby that he is has been massaging my neck every night and “popping” my upper back to provide relief to me.

Here is where “What is that smell” comes into the picture. Tracy pulled out some different massaging oils we have in our house and one of them is “Sunbreeze Essential Oil”. As he was massaging my neck a FLOOD of memories came back to my mind from that smell!
Tracy and I first started dating at the end of December and so he must have been dealing with a cold because he had rubbed Sunbreeze on his chest to break up congestion and on our dates I could smell this and thought it smelled odd, BUT, it smelled good... it was just different than cologne.
it is amazing when you smell a certain smell how it can take you back in time to memories you had completely forgotten about!

When we have moments like this we take a
DEEP breath and
let the air out slowly
to savor that memory in time!

Tracy has these same moments
with the colognes above...

Colors...Post Mission days
Perry Ellis...High School Days
Dune...Our trip to Orlando
Drakkar...High School Days (of course!)
Aspen...1st cologne he bought when we got married
Polo...High School Days
Georgio and POLO Crest....Newlywed days

(Albeit, neither of us ever wear much cologne/perfume anymore, because just as we try to be conscientious with what we eat, we also are conscientious with what we put on our skin as well).
Here is my duffle bag
that is FULL of empty perfume bottles of smells from my high school days, a trip to Hawaii, our wedding day/night, the first few years of our marriage, the smell of my sister that passed away, etc…..If I ever want a stroll down memory lane I just have to smell the bottle and it all comes back!
(Oh and as you can see, my duffle bag is also full of all of my many strands of beads, BIG earrings, outdated jewelry, etc…)
It’s my little bag of treasures that I keep in my cedar chest.
Our bodies are amazing in that way….
the senses are wonderful;
how you can smell a smell,
taste a taste,
hear a sound or song
and it will take you back in your mind
to wonderful memories that you had totally, completely forgotten about!
(hoping that they never stop making Sunbreeze as I LOVE taking a stroll down memory lane of the sweet moments we had in our dating days!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"I go to nature
to be soothed and healed
and to have my senses put in order".

~~John Burroughs

(click on photo to make it large)

I am getting SO excited to be able to head to mountains and enjoy our summer hiking trips! This photo was taken on the Teton Crest Trail (Death Canyon Shelf) in Grand Teton National Park. (August 2006) The wild flowers were SO beautiful that year! There is nothing more amazing than being up at 10,000 plus feet elevation, walking on a foot path with wildflowers up to your thighs/waist, taking in breathtaking scenery!
To be in this place means you have to be willing to invest a few days of putting one foot in front of the other. That is part of what makes secluded spots like this so special to me.
It feeds my soul
to be out in the beauty of nature
enjoying all of the
wonderful creations on this
beautiful earth that we live on!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inspiration from Grandma!

WARNING...this turned into a longer post than I intended, but if you stick with it you will be rewarded with a yummy pie recipe!!
First off,
I just wanted to say that we are all in different areas of our life with the way we do things, our likes and dislikes, the way we were raised, the goals and dreams we have for the future, etc....I just wanted to say that I hope I don't say something to offend anyone and the way I do things is definitely NOT the perfect or the best way, it is just what works for me and my family at this point in our lives.
And I celebrate the differences I have with others, because where I am lacking you have wonderful skills and I learn SO much from all of you whom I associate with!
So, the 2 things that inspired me to do this post are a photo I saw on the following Blog for Vanilla Cream Pie (click here)
Tracy thought it looked SO good and wanted me to make something like it.
Second, there has been a “couponing craze” in our local area going on.
I was always inspired by my grandparents;
their knowledge with gardening and cooking was amazing.
I was sad because I lost my paternal grandma to Cancer two weeks before I turned eight and so I’m sad that I didn’t have as much influence from her in the “kitchen” as I would have liked to have had. Thank goodness for her recipes so her yummy-ness can still be enjoyed in her kids and grand-kids kitchens today.

Well the following year my grandpa got remarried to a wonderful woman and little did I realize she is who would be inspiration to me in the kitchen in my adult years!

Tracy has got wonderful grandparents as well!

I don’t know about you, but when we opened the cupboards at our grand parents houses we NEVER found jello, pudding mixes, cake mixes, brownie mixes, biscuit mixes, pancakes mixes, or mixes of any kind. They just had “staples(flour, sugar, salt, yeast, honey, spices, beans, legumes, dried fruit from their fruit trees, bottles of fruit they canned, bottles of jam and the list goes on)
and they NEVER had cold cereal.
If we spent the night at their house you could expect that for breakfast you would get a nice bowl of hot cereal with dried fruit, or some kind of eggs with a slice of homemade toast, or homemade bread with a bowl of canned peaches, pears or cherries.
If they made something they pulled out their containers of staples and made pudding, pies, cakes, brownies, cookies, muffins, biscuits, stuffing, bean dishes/soups, casseroles, etc...
(Tracy's and my wedding day with our parents and grandparents)

As I have women all around me buzzing with excitement with the “good deals” they are getting from this coupon craze that is going on right now, it kind of baffles me. People are amazed at how many "boxes" of things they have in their food storage, but most packaged goods only have a 3 to4 month expiration date and it is easy for things to go stale, let alone most of the stuff is nutritionally bankrupt and is packed full of all kinds of chemicals, additives, extra sugar, salt, etc....that I sure don't want to put in mine or my children's bodies.

People that know me know that I LOVE to get a good deal on things and I also try to be as thrifty as I can in making our every dollar stretch as far as I can.

Manufacturers have coupon deals to get people to “try” their products and most generally the things that coupons are for are ‘Processed foods and snacks”, which are full of added sugar, salt, preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, nitrites, MSG. I like to control the amount of “preservatives and sugar” that my kids eat and I try to avoid “high fructose corn syrup”! (I've even scouted out and find some yogurt choices that aren't sweetened with this) (click here)
(Tracy's grandparents pantry in Feb. 2007)

So, in the end I would rather spend a little bit more on REAL food with real nourishment then boxes and bags of things that I don't trust all of the ingredients that are in them.
(Just for the record....we're not radical...I just don't enjoy buying or eating these types of foods, however, we do eat LOTS of yummy treats in our home, I just would rather make them and know what ingredients are in them than to buy them from the store.)
I take mine, my kids and my husband's health seriously and only want to put things in our bodies that will nourish and strengthen us and try to avoid pollutants and chemicals that can lead to health problems, allergies, etc... with some additives that even have side effects that don't show up for years.
BTW...both Tracy's maternal grandpa and my paternal grandpa both lived into their 90's and were on NO medications at all. Amazing! We attribute this to the great lifestyle that they lived with eating simple foods, fresh garden produce and avoiding a lot of processed foods. (I'm sure genetics played a big part as well).
Tracy's maternal grandma is in her 80's and is also NOT on any medications. I hope we are as lucky as they are to make it into our golden years and not have health problems!
So, this brings me to my statement:
"What would grandma do?"

Well, to make a vanilla pie I pulled out flour, sugar, salt, cornstarch, milk, eggs, vanilla and a dab of butter to make the pudding
and I used butter, flour, salt, baking powder, water, powdered milk and a touch of sugar to make the pie dough.

we had a wonderful pie and I also made a
berry sauce from frozen berries, sugar, cornstarch and water to put on the top of it.
It was SO yummy that Tracy ate 1/3 of the pie in one night!

It's amazing how basic simple ingredients
make such wonderfully delicious food!

Here is my pie crust, pudding and berry sauce recipes.
The possibilities with these are recipes are probably endless!

Thank goodness for the inspiration of wonderful women in my life that have given me more inspiration then they will ever know!


Basic Pudding (This was my Grandma's recipe)
3 ½ cups milk
2 beaten

¼ cup

¼ cup

1/4 tsp salt
½ cup

Little pinch
of brown sugar

flour, cornstarch, flour, salt and sugar in sauce pan.
Beat eggs with milk and add to dry mixture.
Cook on stove until mixture boils and thickens stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and add
1 teaspoon
vanilla and 1 Tablespoon butter.

(this is a great filling for cream puffs) or anything where you need pudding---
You can also add sliced bananas and and put in a pie filling—top it with whipped cream and have “Banana Cream Pie”. There are endless possibilities with the creations you can make with this!


Pie Crust
½ cup
REAL butter

2/3 cup

1 Tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon
baking powder


1 Tablespoon
dry milk

3 cups

½ cup
cold water

butter and shortening together.
Add half the flour and all of the dry ingredients.
the rest of flour and water. (Makes 2 double crusts)

Roll out
very thin with plenty of flour.
Carefully put in pie plates and prick with fork all over.
Bake 400 degrees for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned.

*****(OR you can use ALL butter instead of butter and shortening---if you choose this option it is 20 Tbsp. of butter or 2-1/2 sticks)

Berry Sauce
2 cups
(any mixture of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries)

¾ cup

2 Tbsp

1/3 cup

all ingredients together in sauce pan and
cook over medium heat until thick.
Let cool
and enjoy over pie, angel food cake or on top of cheesecake.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How I make a Roast stretch!!

So, I am what you call
the "Meanest mom on the block" because unless someone has requested a birthday dinner of roast beef and potatoes and gravy, this meal rarely gets fixed at my house. I know, my kids and hubby are deprived, however, they never seem to mind. That is what makes going to my parents house so fun is my mom usually fixes this kind of meal and so it is a real TREAT for us!
My frugal mindset can't handle cooking up a roast and having us gorge ourselves full of "Meat and potatoes" and so I am going to share
"How I make a roast stretch"!!

I take a roast and put in my crock pot
before I go to bed and then it cooks all night and day
and by the time it's dinnertime it is just falling off the bones.

The first meal we have with our roast is FAJITAS!!
I saute up 2 onions and 2 bell peppers until they are tender
and also chop up tomatoes.
We then put a small helping of roast on a tortilla,
with a little bit of cheese
and put it in our toaster oven until the cheese is melted.
We then top this with a big pile of sauteed onions/bell peppers
and tomatoes and a little dollop of sour cream.
This is SO yummy!
(I KNOW this isn't the best photo, but it's the best of the photos I took of this!)
The next day

we get leftover roast beef sandwiches for lunch
and if we have left over onions/bell peppers
these go on the sandwiches as well.
I drain off the juice from the roast
and let it sit in the fridge over night
and then the next day I pull off all of the fat on the top of the drippings
and then put the drippings in a snack size bag
in the freezer with bags of the rest of the roast.
This is then ready to FREEZE and pull out for future soups!!
Here are 2 yummy recipes
to use leftover roast/gravy!

Vegetable Beef Soup
(great way to use your leftover roast)

In a large pot add a little bit of olive oil
1 chopped

1 chopped
bell pepper

(any left over roast that you have…I usually add in 1/3 cup of chopped roast)

Cook until onion and pepper are soft

Then add in:

1 large
potato diced

1 cup
chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup
chopped cabbage
2 cans diced tomatoes (OR 3 or 4 cups diced tomatoes)
6 cups

1 tsp

¼ tsp Basil
¼ tsp

½ cup

Bring to a boil and cook for 1 hour.

Wonderful served with homemade bread and this tastes better the next day.


How Frugal is this meal?
onion/bell pepper---.75
2 cans tomatoes---1.58

We fed 4 people 1 dinner
and 4 people 1 lunch
(pretty much a "vegetarian meal")
1 Tbsp
olive oil

1 large
diced onion

1-2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup
sliced carrots

1 tsp

1 can
Italian tomatoes (undrained)

3 beef bouillon
cubes with 6 cups water
(OR, pull a bag of leftover "roast drippings" from the freezer and add in enough water to make 6 cups)
2 cups
finely chopped cabbage

1 can
Great Northern Beans (undrained)

1 cup
Spinach (OR, 1 cup chopped zucchini)

onions, carrots, garlic and basil in olive oil for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beef bouillon and cabbage.
Bring soup to boil and cook for 1 hour.
Add beans with liquid and spinach and cook another 20 minutes.

Garnish bowls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
This tastes even better the 2nd day.
This is my kids favorite and it’s SO easy and healthy!!
Great served with homemade bread!


How Frugal is this meal?
Beef bouillion---.30
canned beans---.59
spinach/zucchini FREE (from our garden)

This meal fed 4 people 1 dinner
and 3 people 1 lunch

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails, explore, dream, discover" - Mark Twain

(click on the photo to make it large)
I love this photo (Jenny Lake, GTNP)

It was at the end of the day from one of our day hikes and this nice man in the canoe was getting ready to load his canoe on his truck to head back with his wife to his home in Montana. However, since I have the world's friendliest husband who strikes up conversation with anyone he meets, Tracy asked this man about his canoe, since Tracy could tell that it was artfully crafted from a talented woodworker.

The man talked to Tracy for a bit telling about how he had made this canoe in his workshop (Tracy was so intrigued) and then the man asked if we would mind if he took Jade out for a little paddle (so Jade and that man are the people in the photo). WOW!
Talk about someone going the extra mile and really taking time out of their day to be kind and giving to other people, especially people they don't even know and especially when it is close to getting dark outside.
Hoping to do more of this quote....
"exploring, dreaming and discovering"
and never being TOO busy
to take time out of my day
to do something nice and thoughtful for someone else!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Friendship!

"Friends are the flowers
in the Garden of Life"!
weekend at our family Easter Egg hunt/breakfast I was talking with my neice telling her how much I enjoy my "Blogging friends". She was amazed that I have weekly contact with friends that I met online and whom I have never met in real life. The only way I know them is by reading their Blogs and commenting and also emailing from time to time.
I LOVE checking out my sweet friends Blogs daily/weekly.

My sweet friend Cherie
from "Bakow Babble" (click here)

announced she was having a "Spring Swap" a few weeks ago and so everyone who commented had their name put in the drawing and she informed us of who our Swap partner was and we had to send them a little bit of
"Spring in the mail".
Cherie and I got to be Swap partners!
(I was very excited)
I received my package today and was thrilled with the sweet things I received from her. She is an amazing card maker and I received a little bundle of homemade note cards she so skillfully made. I don't know how she knew, but my favorite color is HOT PINK and I got some garden gloves and a kneeling pad in this color. I'm looking forward to putting these to good use in my garden this spring/summer.
I also got an adorable jar of buttons, and "BEE" tissues AND a sweet hand written note on one of her cards telling me to "Scatter Sunshine"....
I LOVED everything!
Oh, and she made this "S" for our last name initial and decorated it up so cute with old fashioned paper and tied a cute green bow at the top and had an adorable flower adornment on it also.
It goes PERFECT on my entry shelf!
(here is what I sent to her)
What a fun thing and I wanted to tell Cherie
a very big "Thank you"!!
These will be treasures!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Wednesday favorite!!

I Love Wednesday!

It's Hump Day and the week is half over
....only 2 more days until the weekend!

It's the one day of the week I know exactly what we're having for dinner!

It's my favorite meal of the week!

What could this be?

Baked Salmon
for dinner!!

In Winter we usually eat our salmon with baked sweet potatoes with apples and pecans.
In Spring, Summer and Fall we usually eat our salmon with one of the following: STEAMED, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or spinach
Looking very forward to dinner tonight!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Choose thy Love...Love thy choice!

19-1/2 years ago
I laid my eyes on the most handsome man ever! Tracy and I had a class together at Rick’s College and little did we know we would end up dating and marrying.

It’s funny how life works out. I had a secret crush on Tracy and always made sure I had fresh gum in my mouth, fresh lipstick on and a little bit of perfume on when I went to class each day!
Well, we ended up being in the same ward and we also worked together in our ward callings helping with the music in our ward. Tracy was pretty shy (although he hasn’t been shy fact, I'm the SHY one in our marriage) and so I actually was the one that took him on our first date. I needed a date for a holiday work party and didn’t feel confident asking anyone I knew, but for some reason Tracy was in the right place at the right time and Tracy ended up being the person I took for my date to my party, I had to work at my job during the holidays in Rexburg, which left me all alone at Rick’s college during the holidays and when Tracy found out about this he invited me to attend his parents ward with him during the holidays, which was our second date and the rest was history and we continued dating, fell in love and were married on
April 12, 1990!

I can honestly say it’s been the best 19 years of my life
and I have no regrets and truly the highlight of my day is when my sweetie comes home and I get to be with him!
I look forward to that big hug and kiss
I get from him every night after a long days work!!
(And my favorite of all...he makes me LAUGH!)

I never get sick of him and if we were both stranded on a desert island with nobody else, that would be perfectly fine with me. He is my everything
the first person I want to see each morning,
the person I want to hear from in the middle of the day
and the last person I want to see before I go to bed each night.
He is the love of my life
and I can say we are still NEWLYWEDS
and head over heels in love with each other!!
Engagement photo we had on our invitations!
Happily Married couple outside the Logan Temple!
This is a hilarious photo...
our photographer handed us this bag and snapped the photo and said:
"I always like to get a photo of the newlyweds in "the sack" on their wedding day"!
He was definitely an interesting photographer!
This is a wedding collage
I made showcasing our wedding invitation, napkin, hanky and also my favorite wedding quote that I cross-stitched:
"If I could capture
a moment out of time
Preserve it in a crystal cube
and place it on a shelf
for easy view.
I'd choose the white serenity
and tingling, quiet joy,
of reaching over crocheted lace,
and clasping hands
Eternally with YOU"!

This photo breaks my heart...
we were college students our first anniversary and there just wasn't much money and also this was before the days of Wal-Mart and so for our anniversary I cross-stitched a Logan Temple, had a trail of "Kisses" leading to the bedroom and made Tracy a homemade from scratch corn tortilla in the shape of a bunny with homemade refried beans, covered in lettuce, with cheese slices for the whiskers, and sour cream, cheese and hot sauce for the eyes and mouth.
It's pretty sad, but it is a wonderful memory!
Our first year of marriage I cross-stitched this saying and it has been my motto:
IChose my Love” and I very much “Love and adore my Choice”!
A very sweet note my hubby left for me on Friday in my "Notebook"!
I Cherish my Love Letters that I get almost daily from my sweetie and I am looking forward to MANY more years together!!
(I'm also looking forward to our anniversary celebration
going to our DEPECHE MODE concert in August!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunshine for the Soul...Sunday!

"Spring unlocks the flowers
to paint the laughing soil".

- Reginald Heber

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thank heavens for dads!!

So, since it is our anniversary coming up this weekend,
(19 Wonderful Years)
I thought I would do a post about my “Weekend Chef Hubby”!

Tracy is SO much fun to be married to and always likes to “experiment” cook on the weekends and that is fun because I get a break and the kids really enjoy the things he makes. (Oh and, Tracy also likes us to make up brownies every once in awhile on the weekends…if it weren’t for Tracy I would never make up brownies because it goes against my “frugal side”…2 cubes of butter, 2 cups of sugar and 4 eggs…instead I opt to make up my
Double Chocolate cookies (click here)
that only call for 1 cube of butter, 1 cup of sugar and 1 egg).
Dads sure bring FUN to the weekend home life!
making pancake breakfasts to making yummy lunches and dinners!
My kids enjoy weekends very much and
it is because they have such an awesome dad!
I am a LUCKY woman to have a husband
who eases my burdens and brings so much
joy and fun to my life!
I am going to post 2 of Tracy’s recipes and our favorite brownie recipe. For anyone who has picky eaters I think either of these recipes would be enjoyable for them!
(click here for another one of Tracy's weekend favorites)
This first dish (Creamy Noodle Parmesan) we found on the back of a Ramen package and gave it a try and our kids loved it, however, To me Ramen is pretty nutritionally bankrupt, but it does make a great treat to enjoy at the top of a mountain to warm up after a long day of hiking!

Tracy made some modifications to it and has also made this with 2 different kinds of pasta (Angel Hair and Rigatoni) and they both went over well with the kids and these recipes use just basic staple ingredients….nothing fancy that we don’t have in the house. We seem to be having this almost every weekend....that is what the kids beg for when Tracy asks what he should make for dinner.
Great way for your kids to eat veggies
with something they all love PASTA!

What happens when you take
all of the above ingredients and mix them all together?
A yummy meal to enjoy with your kids!
Creamy Noodle Parmesan
4 cups pasta (either Rigatoni, pasta spirals, OR 4 oz of angel hair pasta) (cooked drained and set aside)
1 cup
chopped cooked turkey or chicken (OR 1 can cannery chicken)

chopped carrots

4 chopped celery stalks

1 large chopped onion
cloves minced garlic

of chopped chives

of sliced freeze dried mushrooms (I use TONES brand)

2 tsp chicken bouillon
2 tsp chicken gravy mix
2 tsp
Italian seasoning

Olive oil, scant milk, crushed red pepper, grated Parmesan cheese

onions and garlic in small amount of olive oil until translucent.

a minimum amount of water, chicken, chives, mushrooms carrots, celery and a "pinch" of crushed red pepper, chicken bouillon and chicken gravy mix.
Cook until carrots are desired tenderness.
Add water if needed but keep water to a minimum.

in Italian seasoning and a small amount of milk.

in pasta

garnished with grated cheese and more crushed red pepper if desired.

TIP...start cooking pasta so it is finished around the same time as the sauce so it doesn't sit and get starchy.

(OPTION...subsitiute noodles and chicken seasonings with 2 packages of Creamy Chicken Ramen, including the seasoning packets)
next recipe is a minestrone recipe that Tracy discovered on the back of a package of pasta and he made adjustments to it to be more conducive to ingredients we always have on hand and this is another hit as well.
And this recipe actually tastes better the next day!

Minestrone (Tracy’s creation)
2 cups
of pasta spirals
1 pound
ground beef
1 large
chopped onion
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce (PLUS 1-1/2 cans water)
2 cups
chopped carrots and celery
6 cups
2 beef bouillon cubes (OR 2 tsp. Tones Beef Base paste)
1 tsp
basil leaves
1 tsp marjoram leaves
½ tsp
garlic powder

In soup pot
, brown meat and onions—drain.
Stir in
the next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil—
reduce heat
and simmer for 30 minutes—
pasta spirals and cook another 10 minutes.

with FRESH grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese.
(Great meal served with bread sticks or French bread)

And last but not least….BROWNIES!!
2 cubes
6 Tbsp.
2 cups
2 cups
½ tsp
. Salt
2 tsp
1/2 cup chopped nuts—optional)
butter with cocoa in microwave.
other ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes in a greased 9x13 pan.
Do not
over bake.
The brownies will appear doughy but are really done.