So... a compilation, huh? Yep. Let me introduce myself. My name is Kelley and I am the mother of two wonderful children, Maddie and Spencer. We also have three crazy, but loveable dogs- Roxy, Norman and Penney. My husband, Allan is a fantastic, hardworking entrepreneur who makes sure we are all well taken care of.
Because we're always crazy busy, I'm always looking for things to make my life easier. That's where the compilation comes in. I scour the internet (especially Pinterest) and find things to not only entertain my kids, but also cut down on my cleaning time, my cooking time and last but not least, (if it ever happens), my work out time. Basically anything to make my life easier and more fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Crockpot Venison Chili

My kids looooove chili.  So, since it was getting a bit chillier outside, I thought today would be a perfect day to make it.  After realizing that I was out of ground beef, I remembered that one my husband's customers had given us some ground venison.  Now, let me tell you, my kids devour venison.  It's one of their favorites.  But I refuse to tell them what it is.  Why, might you ask?  I once told them I was going to make deer for dinner, and they both burst out crying.  So now, to sneak in the flavor and reduce a little fat in our diets, I substitute venison every once and a while!




Crockpot Venison Chili

1 lb. ground venison
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce 
1 8 oz. can No Salt Added tomato sauce
2 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, one drained, one with juices
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans with liquid (I used Simple Truth Organic- it had less sodium than the other brands)
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Dash of Salsa Picante (I use Juanita's Hot.  You could probably use any hot sauce)

Brown the venison over medium-low heat.  Venison dries out quickly, so I cook it over lower heat.  It might take longer, but you don't run the risk of it becoming too dry.

Put all your ingredients in your slow cooker and mix 'em up.  Cook over low for 8 hours.

Garnish as desired!  We like to put ours in a bowl with Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream and diced onions.  

Enjoy!







Nutrition Information provided by myfitnesspal.com


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pickled Beets

Wow!  It sure has been a long time since I posted!  Anyway... I attempted a juice cleanse about a week ago.  All I have to say is- Never. Again.  So, I had a bunch of beets left over.  I hate beets.  Luckily for me, I didn't have to throw them away!  My husband loves them.  So, being the cheapskate that I am, I decided to attempt to do something with them.  I made pickled beets, and let me tell you, my husband is raving about them (he says they're just like his mother's!).  Here's my recipe (adapted from several on the internet):

Ingredients:

2 bunches of beets (3 large beets per bunch)
5/8 cup white vinegar + more to cover beets in jar
2.5 Tbsp Pure Cane Sugar (I use Zulka Morena sugar)
2.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
1.5 tsp Coleman's dry Mustard (If you can't find it, use a spicy dry mustard if possible, otherwise plain dry mustard will do)
Salt and Pepper to taste

First, slice beets into uniform sized slices.  This is pretty hard while they are raw, but get a good cutting board and a very sharp knife.  Boil for about 30-40 minutes, or until you can easily stick a fork in them.  Once they're done boiling, run the entire pan under cold water.  Rub the outsides of the beets to remove the skin.  Place sliced beets into a mason jar.  (I had to use two because my beets were so big.)


In a mixing bowl, mix together the ingredients and pour into the mason jars.  (I had to divide mine between the two jars).  Close the jar and give it a good shake to coat the beets.  Now that they're all coated, pour vinegar over beets until the top beet is submerged.  Close up the jar again and give it another good shake.  I refrigerated the beets immediately and let them set a few days, but you can leave them out and eat them in a few hours.  Enjoy!




Monday, June 10, 2013

Customizable Chore Chart

I don't know what it is about summer that makes kids go crazy, but mine, even though they're homeschooled have gone absolutely berserk!  This is especially true in the chore department.  So, I came up with a fun little chore chart for them.  I decided not to make it too long and instead used it to focus on the chores that make the biggest impact on our house.  These particular chores don't take a long time but sure do make the house a ton cleaner!  Of course, you can edit the chart to suit your own household!

(By the way... I HATE to waste paper, so I laminated these and use a dry erase marker to mark when a chore has been done.)


Download it through this link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/geztt3kn7thvxqj/Chore%20Chart.xlsx



-Kelley-

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Polish Girl's Take on Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono)

Yesterday I started making plain old, boring chicken noodle soup for dinner.  About an hour in, I realized, "I really don't want plain old chicken noodle soup."  So, I ended up doctoring my soup to my own version of Greek Chicken Soup (Avgolemono).  Check it out!


Not so bad for not following a recipe, if I do say so myself!  Here's how I made it:

Ingredients
1-2 lbs chicken backs
12 c. water (approx.)
1 med. onion (chopped)
3 large carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 box acini di pepe pasta (normally you use rice, but this is what I had on hand)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
4-5 bay leaves
10 (approx) whole allspice
1/2 tsp. ground thyme
2 lemons (zested and juiced)
3 eggs

Put chicken backs, onion, celery, carrot, allspice, bayleaves, thyme, carrot and water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil.  Let boil about 20-30 minutes.  Bring down to a simmer.  Simmer for about 2 hours.  While simmering, skim the scum off the surface.  (Nice alliteration, I know.)
Remove from heat.  Once cooled, remove the chicken.  Pick off as much meat as you can from the chicken backs.  About 30-45 minutes before you're ready to serve, add lemon zest, salt and garlic salt and acini di pepe.  Bring to a boil for about 12 minutes. 
While this is boiling, juice the lemons into a bowl.  Add the three eggs, whisking constantly until it is frothy.  Remove about 2 cups of broth from the soup.  Very slowly add the broth to the lemon/egg mixture while whisking constantly.  This will temper the eggs. 
Reduce heat to about medium on the soup.  Add tempered egg mixture to the broth, slowly and stirring constantly.  Heat through for about 20-30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Do not allow the soup to go above a simmer or the eggs will curdle. 
I served each bowl as 2 ladles full.  At this serving size, you will get about 11 bowls. 

 
-Kelley-

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stuffed Cabbage- Yum!

I get so excited when I find something healthy that my kids like to eat.  Last night, I made stuffed cabbage.  They ate it all up, and asked for seconds!  Yes, they actually ate it all up!  So, I thought I might share the recipe with you!



Ingredients:
12 cabbage leaves
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. quinoa, rinsed (I didn't precook it and it was fine, but next time I will parboil it) (Or you can use rice in the same amount)
1/2 c. finely chopped spring onions
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms, drained and finely chopped 
1 tsp. salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water


Directions:
Cover cabbage leaves with boiling water.  Cover and let stand until leaves are limp, about 10 minutes.  Drain water, set aside.

Mix ground beef, quinoa, onion, mushrooms, garlic, salt pepper and 1/2 of the tomato sauce.  Place about 1/3 c. beef mixture at stem end of each leaf.  Roll leaf around mixture, tucking in sides.

Place cabbage rolls seam side down in an ungreased 11x9 in. baking dish.  Mix remaining tomato sauces, sugar and lemon juice.  Pour over cabbage rolls.  Cover and cook in 350° oven about 45 minutes, or until beef mixture is fully cooked.  

Mix cornstarch and water in saucepan.  Stir in liquid from cabbage rolls. (I used a turkey baster to get the juices out.)  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Serve sauce with cabbage rolls. (I like to put it over mashed potatoes.)

-Kelley-

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Fruitcake"

I saw this quote today in the book my husband was reading, "Father to Daughter: Life Lessons on Raising a Girl." I thought it applied very well to my 9 1/2 year old as well.

"Healthier" Apple Pie

Mmm.  There is absolutely nothing better than fresh apple pie.  Last weekend my husband really wanted some.  We are both attempting to lose weight, so this was kind of a what-to-do situation for me.  So, I decided to healthify it with pure, non-GMO cane sugar and whole wheat flour.  I figured it would be slightly healthier if I reduced the processed white flour and sugar.  Neither the kids nor the hubby could tell the difference!





Here is my "Healthier" Apple Pie:

Crust
2/3 c. Vegetable Shortening
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Salt
3 to 4 Tbsp. Cold Water

Cut butter and shortening into flour and salt using a pastry blender until the mixture looks like a bunch of small peas.  Sprinkle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all the flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the side of the bowl. 

Divide pastry in half.  Form each half into a ball.  Roll out (on a floured board) the first ball to the desired size (about 2 inches larger than your pie plate).  Put in pie plate.

Once you've added your filling, roll out the second half.  Place on top and crimp together the edges.  Prick several times with a fork to let steam escape.  Sprinkle about 1/2 Tbsp. of sugar on top for decoration.

Filling
1/2 c. Pure Cane Sugar
3 Tbsp. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Dash of Salt
6 c. Sliced Granny Smith Apples
1 Tbsp. Butter (cut into pieces)

Put the sliced apples in a large bowl.  Mix in sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.  Pour into pie plate (with the crust already in it).  Put the pieces of cut up butter all over the top.  Now, finish up putting on your crust.

Bake at 425° for 40- 50 minutes.  If the crust gets too brown, you can put foil on it to prevent burning.