Monday, July 29, 2013

Shepherds Pie

When you come from a large family, you eat a lot of one pan dishes.  Most commonly known as "Casseroles".  Which I did groaning up, eat A LOT of casseroles.  Casseroles of every kind, beef chicken, noodle, tuna, pork,  they were all good.  My mother is an excellent cook, and great at cooking on a tight budget.  She had too, she had 6 children in 9 years.  Some of those casseroles have made there way into my families favorite recipes.  We however, never use the word casserole in our home.  That is a discussing word to my husband.  He too being the oldest of 5 children at a lot of casseroles growing up and can't force himself to eat something that bares its name.  Hehehe this always makes me laugh.  Anyway I call things by what's in them except for one dish, and it does have the name casserole in it.

Shepherds Pie is a super easy one dish wonder.  You can have it mixed up really fast.  Especially if you use instant potatoes..(sometimes I do use instant, don't tell my hubby). If you put it in a glass dish with a glass lid you can cook it in the microwave in like 5-10 min.  But my favorite thing to do, is to make it up and then bake it in the oven for 30 min to warm it through.  Perfect if you have somewhere you have to be during the dinner hour.  You can pre-make this and either bakes in the oven using your timed bake so the oven shuts off for you and keeps dinner warm.  Or  just pull out when you get home, pop it in the microwave and 10 min later you have dinner.  A jello or green salad goes great with this. This is also a dish that is a great left over.  Almost better the second day than the first.

Another great thing about this dish it is so easy to adjust the amount.  You can make this smaller or larger.  It freezes great too.  So if there is just a couple of you or just your wonderful self. You can mix this up and freeze in smaller quanties.   Just remember to use a dish that could be both in the oven or microwave so it will be ready for whatever kind of day you are having.

Shepherd's Pie

1 Can of Green Beans, Drained (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 lb. Hamburger
Cold Mashed Potatoes
1/4 Onion
Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 Can Tomato Soup

Brown hamburger with onion.  Add the can of tomato soup.  Spread in the bottom of a glass dish.  Then layer green beans,  Spread evenly.  Then put the mashed potatoes on top.  Sprinkle grated cheese on top.  You can sprinkle with salt and pepper and paprika.  

Bake at 350 for 30-40 min. or until heated through.


Keeping it Simple

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Great Summer Treat, (that won't heat up the house).

Wow!  I can not believe how busy this summer has been so far.  I have had zero time to devote to my blog.  Which makes me sad because I was having such a great time with it.  I know all of you are having the same fun I am with your families too.  Life is just busy.  Well here is a favorite treat we have at our house.  Rice Krispy Treats.  I love this because you can always have the ingriendents on hand.  It's fast, easy and cheap.  Seriously, from start to finish we are talking 15 minutes.  What mom doesn't like a 15 minute treat?  Plus, it won't heat up your house on these Hot summer days.

I think the biggest mistake people make with this treat is, not watching it close enough so the butter and marshmallows burn a little.  This totally messes with the taste of it.  Also putting too much crispes in the mix.  Always measure it out and then if you feel like you need a little more add just a little bit at a time.  We like them a little more gooey than crispy and hard.

I always put my Krispy treats in a cookie sheet.  My kids don't need a mile high crispie bar.  They divinely seem to last a little longer this way.  Just remember to cover them somehow.  I have a lid that fits my cookie sheet.

If you use your knuckles to press it out in the pan, it won't get stuck all over your hands.  The mixture is warm and it doesn't seem to burn using your knuckles.

Push it into the corners and try and make it even all over the pan.

I hope you enjoy this easy, fast treat that won't heat up your house on those hot summer days.

Rice Krispy Treat -- My Mom's version

1 cube butter or margarine--melt in a large roasting pan on medium heat.
1-10 1/2 ounce bag marshmallows--add to melted butter and stir CONSTANTLY till smooth.  Take off stove and add
6-10 cups or more rice krispys depending on how gooey or crunchy you want your bars to be.
Pour into a large greased cookie sheet.
Can add M&M's.  Press in pan with lightly buttered hands.
Cool and cut
(can use Cheerios instead of rice krispies.)


Keeping it Simple

Monday, July 15, 2013

Are you suffering from TOO much FUN in the Sun?


Beautiful Day!  
Perfect to take the kiddos and meet some family members at the local pool.  

This is our local water park.  It's not a huge place, but we live in a small town.  It's still lots of fun!  My brother from Oklahoma  is here with his family this week, and we thought it would be fun to start the week of activities off at the local water park.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  Windy.  The wind helped with the 94+ temperatures that we had that day.  We put on our suits, piled in the car and headed out.  We did sunscreen before we got in the pool and about half way through.  But that just wasn't enough.  We all got fried!  Some worse than others.  Most of us do not tan,  we BURN.  Very fair skinned people!  Well after two days of whinny kids I thought and lots of aloe vera and some Ibprophen I thought I would figure out what we could of done to help prevent or reduce our burned skin.  After all we will go again and again.   

Day TWO of the Burn OUCH!

How to prevent a SUNBURN:

When outside wear light weight clothing, and a wide brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible.  Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UV light.

Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 30: REAPPLY at least every 2 hours.  Especially when swimming or sweating.  (OOPS!  We went wrong here.)

 *SEEK SHADE:  Limit direct exposure to sunlight.  ESPECIALLY during the hours of 10 a.m. to
    4 p.m. .  (UV rays are the strongest at this time) (OOPS! We were there 12:30 - 5:30 p.m.)

Treatment for a SUNBURN

Take an over -the- counter pain reliever:  
Ibuprofen and aspirin are good choices to help reduce the inflammation around your sunburn as well as lessen the pain.  Do not give aspirin to children use something that is marketed for a child like tylenol.

Use some form of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY paste:  
Aloe vera, cortisone cream, or other soothing agent specified for irritated and sunburned skin.

Take a cooling shower or Bath: 
 Set the water on a cool temperature thats just below luke warm.  If you have blisters take a bath instead of a shower.  The shower pounding out will hurt.  Or you could use cool damp washcloth.  Air dry or pat.  DO NOT RUB!  

Drink Plenty of Water:  
Sunburns can be dehydrating, so drink lots of water.

Protect sunburned skin:  
Keep covered up.  Sunscreen the burn to prevent further damage.

Do not pop them.  If you have a question about your blisters, see you doctor.

If you experience : 
Increased pain, swelling redness, or warmth around the blister, red streaks extending away from the blister, Drainage of pus from the blister , Swollen lymph nodes in your neck, armpit or groin.  Fever.  Seek medical attention immediately.

Also if you are experiencing: 
Feeling faint, dizzy.  Rapid pulse or rapid breathing.  Extreme thirst, no urine output or sunken eyes. Pale, clammy or cool skin, Nausea, fever chills, or rash.  Your eyes hurt and are sensitive to light. Sever, painful blisters.  SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION!


Want more info? Check out wikiHow

Keeping it Simple

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ways to cope with STRESS..

This Charlie Brown picture of Lucy pretty muchs sums up how I've been feeling lately.  The last few weeks, like four months have been a little stressful for me.  We have had a surgery in the family, church and community commitments.  End of school plays, recitals, exams, and parties.  The spring clean up of the yard and planting of the garden, family reunions to plan and attend, more church service and classes to attend.  Doctor appoints every week.   Grass to mow, weeds to pull ....not to mention to feed and wash ourselves and the up keep of the house.  I feel like I have been running to and fro with no breathing time in between.   And now I am feeling depleted.  Ready for a vacation and down time.  Which cause me to be crabby, tired, and very irritable. Can you say... STRESSED OUT! 

This has made me have very long conversations with my hubby about what's going on in our lives, and where we need to focus our energy and attention.  What needs to happen to have more peace and less stress.  After all, I don't care who you are...eventually your reserves run out, and you feel stress..we have all felt it, all dealt with it at one time or another.  Some of us are so depleted that we aren't functioning normally any more too.  That is something that I don't want to happen.  Again....  Because I've been there...and it's no fun.. So what's got to happen?.

I love Pinterest and some of the quotes that people have posted on there have buoyed me up.  Made me take a step back and are some of my favorite things to ponder related to stress..

Mary poppins quote..

I love that...remember she goes on to say " and you find the fun, and snap the jobs a game!"  Isn't that so true!  It's all about our attitudes.  We can make things fun or make them miserable!  

This quote is so true, yet so hard for me to remember!   This should be a huge siren for me.  If I'm not getting these things done then I am too busy.  Especially since this brings so much peace to my life. 

Why do we always think that everyone has it easier than we do?  I know that I should never compare my life to anyone else's.  It's never going to be a fair comparison.  I will always be a little hard on myself.  My Heavenly Father doesn't want me to do this, yet somedays I totally have a pity party and go there.  In stead of counting my blessings...

Some of my favorite quotes from the late President Gordon B. Hinckley....  "It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is.  It all works out.  Don't worry.  I say that to my self every morning.  It will all work out.  If you do your best, it will all work out.  Put your trust in God and move forward with faith and confidence in the future.  The Lord will not forsake us.  He will not forsake us.  If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers."

"Respect yourself.  Do not feel sorry for your self.  Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you.  Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you.  Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face,  but with great and strong purpose in your heart."

These quotes really need to be on my bedroom mirror so that I may recite them daily and be reminded.
Can you chant with me?...."It will all work out.  It will all work out.  It will all work out.......

I love President Dieter F. Uchtdorf!  I am always inspired after listening to this amazing man! 

"When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than, the man who merely raises his voice in prayer---no matter how eloquent the oration."  

What?  You mean I can't stay in bed winning in prayer...hoping everything will magically be solved?...Loved this reminder!  

Marjorie Pay Hinckley was, and still is such an inspiration to me.  She said...

"The Only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.  You either have to laugh or cray.  I prefer to laugh.  Crying gives me a headache."  

So true!  I so need to laugh more.  Learning to laugh, or see the humor in life is so important.  Besides laughter makes you feel so good cuz it releases stress.  

I can not do what everyone else is doing.  Nor should I care.  I had a dear friend that would say to me "Katie, put the whip down".  What a great reminder that was to me to take a step back and then move forward.

So if you are finding that this above quote is true....and you and I both know this sooo happens!


Take a step back and evaluate....

And above all......

Attitude is EVERYTHING!

Keeping it Simple

Monday, July 1, 2013

Have you got the Tools?

Having the right tools for the job is a Must!

I can't believe how much time and energy, stress, and sometimes money that it saves.  So why do we often try and get buy with what we have?  Cussing and screaming as we try and accomplish the job?  I know you just can't always go get all the equipment you want when you want, right?  Well, this summer  we have been hauling loads of dirt and bark, and I mean a lot of dirt and bark. 24 yards of bark so far with more to come.  I need a new wheelbarrow!  I need a new rake that the head doesn't fall off.  A new shovel that doesn't give me a splinter every time I use it even with gloves on....mmmmmm..maybe a new pair of gloves too!

This week I have been staining my deck.  Someone I don't know, who I think it was the paint guy...told me you should always use a sponge to stain with.  Ok, so I started this project with several sponge brushes.  They were  big ones, but it was all I had....took me FOREVER to stain the railing. 4 1/2 hours  and I still wasn't through.  My husband seemed frustrated with my choice in brush, but bit his lip...probably because I said that's what they said to do it with.  Well I was hot, tired and sore.  So the next day I went into town, back to the paint store, ready to buy a normal brush for the job.  I decided to ask a few more questions and the paint guy gave me a funny look. "Sponges?" He said.  "Let me go ask."  He came back with a kind smile and pointed out a stain brush and said, "that is the best thing to use."  No roller, no sponges.  Brush it on.  I stared at the brush..17 dollars...not a huge amount, but did it really make a difference?  I purchased the brush and brought it home.  After dinner last night I decided I would try it out and see.  I was tired, hot and exhausted so I told myself I would give it an hour.  How much more could I get done in 1 hour compared to the 4 1/2 I had spent the day before?  I had over half the deck to complete.  One hour later I was COMPLETELY finished but the stairs,  and I easily could of finished if I didn't run out if stain.  So yes!  Having the right tools saves so much time, energy and stress!  It may cost some extra...but what is your time worth to you and your stress level?  Sometimes I know we have to get by...and thats fine.  But certain jobs require certain tools....remember to budget for them also.  I'm going to town again tomorrow to buy another stain brush and more stain to do the play house.  We are going to breeze through this project!

Doesn't it look so nice freshly stained?  Don't make projects harder than they have to be.  It takes all the fun out!  It also makes you not want to start another project again.  Don't get sucked into that mind set either.  Pick a project make sure you have the right tools and have some fun accomplishing something that will make you smile every time you walk by it!

Keeping it Simple