My Cooking Lesson

I love, love, love it when students bring me reicpes from home.

It is extra special, when they bring all the ingredients from home and teach you how to make it.

It is like I am back in school : D

I have a lovely young lady in my class, who I will call Alaska, cause she used to live there.

Alaska, loves to cook and her mom has the best candy recipes. Alaska was telling me all about this cracker toffee recipe that her family makes for the holidays. It was kinda a coincidence that she was telling me about this recipe because I had just bought a new magazine with a similar recipe it it. Alaska said that her mom would not let her make it at home for now because the recipe is so good and they eat the whole batch in one night.

Alaska really wanted me to taste this recipe, so she decided to teach me how to do it.

Alaska brought all the ingredients to school, already measured out!

The first thing she did was melt 2 sticks of butter in a sauce pan.

Next she lined a cookie sheet with saltine crackers.

After the butter has melted, add in the dark brown sugar.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Pour the boiled butter and brown sugar over the crackers.

Spread the mixtures over the crackers. Next, you put it in the oven for a few minutes.

While the cracker toffee is in the oven, chop up the pecans.

When the toffee comes out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over it. Let it set until the chocolate chips melt.

When the chocolate chips have melted, spread it over the toffee. Sprinkles the pecans on top.

All done! Now it is time to break it apart.

Alaska was a great teacher. I hope I was a good student.

When can I eat? I even sound like a student.

“Miss. Alaska, can I please have a taste?”


I hope you try this recipe. It taste so good you will crack up!


Recipe for Cracker Toffee


1 sleeve of saltine crackers (it might take just a couple of crackers more)

I cup of butter

1 cup of dark brown sugar

2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cups chopped pecans


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with the saltine crackers. In a sauce pan melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the dark brown sugar. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Immediately pour the mixture over the crackers. Spread over toffee mixture over the crackers. Put the pan of crackers and toffee into the oven. Bake in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. When the chips are melted, spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Let sit in a cool dry place until the chocolate hardens. Break into bite size pieces.

This recipe comes all the way from Alaska!

Thank you Miss Alaska!

Onion Update and More

Baby onion seedlings week two.

Don’t they just want to make you cry??

I really am going to be crying it I don’t get my raised garden bed started.

Especially since I planted artichokes yesterday.

Yesterday, after I got the kitchen all cleaned up. Oldest grand girl and I planted artichokes seeds.

Grand girl did a much better job planting the artichokes then she did planting the onion seeds. The artichokes seeds where much bigger to handle and there was only 18 of them to plant.

I had to order the artichokes seeds from this great place called Botanical Interests, since I could not find them locally. Do you think the seed companies think people from Missouri do not eat artichokes? Or, that we Missourians just buy artichokes if they come in a jar?

That is where I may be buying them, if this seed planted scheme does not work.

I hope I know what I am doing, besides just playing in the dirt.

Have you gotten brave yet and planted anything or do you think I am crazy. (please do not answer that)


Good Morning Saturday!

This is what I woke up to this morning.

Good Morning Saturday!

Today was going to be the one morning I could sleep in. Most Saturdays morning I work part time tutoring students at a local tutoring business.

Today I had the day off!


I thought I had it all worked out. Last night, I told my munchkins downstairs not to wake me up this morning. If my door was close I was sleeping in. I heard the first sounds of noise this morning around 7 am. I pondered if I should get up but talked myself out of it and decided to play draw something on my I PAD.  After about a hour, my stomach started to rumble because on a normal work days I am already out the door with a piece of warm toast with honey in my hand and off to work. I contemplated the questions…..If I stayed in bed all day and just ate a whole box of Special K cereal, if I could lose 6 pounds in one day instead of two weeks, like the box says. Or maybe, if I skipped the milk I could get it up to 7 pounds in one day.  

I must have still been dreaming.

My stomach won out and I came down to the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal and this is what I found.

I must be sleep walking and I am in a nighmare.

I did the only thing I could do. I made myself a bowl of Special K cereal with chocolate and went back to bed.

Yes, they really have chocolate Special K..I wasn’t pulling your leg or still dreaming about chocolate while I was sleep walking.

I still went back to bed.

I decided to eat the cereal first and save all the little chocolate bars for last. I knew the kitchen mess was not going to go away by itself and just decided to get up for the day and clean it all up.

I went back into the kitchen and found MORE dirty dishes. What evil little elf was playing mean games with me this morning????? I had my suspicions.

This looks like the work of my little oldest grand girl.

After unloading the dishwasher and loading it up, putting spices, honey and a can of pumpkin (?) away I finally could see a glimpse of the counter.

Ok…I am getting there. I just keep finding random things….Like a can lid…really?

3 ripe bananas….looks like banana bread to me.

I found two free sample packages of olives I got in the mail. I gave them to my little brother on New Year’s Day. Wonder why they are still sitting on my counter? Maybe it was the chili peppers that were in them? Should I thrown them away?

My friend Jeanetta at work would say, “throw them away!” Jeanetta if you are reading this, look at the bottom of this post to see what I did with at least one package of them.

I also found a……

pink dinosaur head.

I have no comment on that one.

Ah…..the weekend.

If I have to clean the kitchen all day, I might as well go back to work. How soon is Monday??? Oh, I am off Monday because of Martin Luther Kings birthday….that means one more day of cleaning this kitchen.

I will let you know if I survive. Right now I need more chocolate,

Were did I put that box of Special K?

Hope you have a great and restful weekend. I hope you have many meals of eating out and leaving the mess at the restaurant!

LMK if you have weekend mornings like this!


P.S. I could not throw my free little package of olives away. So, I put them on…

On a salad I made for lunch.

Guess who’s recipe it is…..

Jeanetta, your salad recipe taste great even when I added cheese, salami and that little bag of (almost in the trash) olives.


Trash taste pretty good : ) chuckle….chuckle

I had to find something to laugh about after cleaning up that awful kitchen!






Triple Coupons

Have you ever wondered how all those folks out there save a ton of money at the grocery store using coupons?

You are just dieing to know their secret, or what crystal ball they look into that tells them the best sales to go to. Have you ever watched an old episode of I Dream Of Jeanie? Just imagine Barbara Eden putting her hands together and with a nod to her head, granting our wishes of where to go to find the best deals using our coupons. Now wouldn’t that be great!  I think someone let the Jeanie out of the bottle, and she is already at the store buying all the good stuff hehe ; D

Anywho, I think part of the secret for those great deals is double or triple coupons.

There is a store called Albertson’s and they do double coupons, but instead of just doubling up to a dollar, they will double coupons over a dollar. Take this for example; you have a $1.10 coupon off of two packages of Pillsbury cookie dough and the coupon doubles to $2.20. The cookie dough is on sale for 2 for 4 dollars. With the double coupon you get both of them for $1.80 or .90 cents a piece. Pretty good uh?  Too bad there is not an Alberson’s in Missouri. It just might become my favorite store.

You might be wondering where I am going with this. Well, this week at our local Schnucks stores, they are having triple coupons. I would love to be able to take in a $1.10 coupon in and have them triple it. But, it does not work out that way. The rules are triple coupons up to .50 cents, only 3 like coupons and they will triple 15 coupons each day per household. Golly gee willikers…..I hope I can remember all those rules.

Last night, I decided to go try it out. It was late when I left, I was a little tired, and I guess I could not count either.

This is what I managed to buy:

3  boxes bandaids

2 red velvet cake mixes

3 chex mix

2 bottles salsa

2 boxes fruit cups

3 packages of frozen seasoned steamer vegetables

The receipt says I paid $9.98 for all of that. Now before you start cheering, you may also be wondering why is there 3 dollar bills laying besides the receipt. Well… seems I forgot to give them two coupons for .50 cent each. When they tripled them and gave me a refund they gave me $3.00. So when you take off the $3.00 off the $9.98, I really only paid $6.98 for everything. Making my savings $33.56.

Whew… might be easier to find a jeanie in a bottle to help with this!

I did not give up that easy though!

Today, before school and after school, I made three short shopping trips. Below is what I managed to buy altogether.

12 boxes of cereal

2 band aid

3 seasoned steamer vegetables

2 boxes of cocoa

2 red velvet cake mixes

1 can of tuna

2 chex mix

6 packages of toilet paper


After adding up all my three receipts (two from Gerbes and one from Schnucks) I spent a total of $12.45 for everything.

Just call me Jeanie…..I just wish I could be granted her figure….with my figure, I would get stuck in her bottle.

Happy Couponing and don’t give up!






Never Cook Bacon at School!

This week my school is hosting a basketball tournament. I am in charge of making all the food for the hospitality room. I ran across a interesting salad recipe from my stash of recipes that I wanted to make for tonight.

It has bacon in it.

I had a student cut up the bacon in little pieces. I had another student fry the little pieces up, nice and golden brown, to go into the salad.

That is when it started.

Every student within smelling distance from my hallway followed their nose and came down to my room and  said, “I smell bacon.” I want some bacon.” “Do you have some bacon I can eat?” “I will just take a little piece.” “Can I fry some bacon?” “If there is any left, I can have the rest?”

Can you spot the bacon in it?

Only because I hid the bacon.

I don’t think Farmland Bacon has to worry about going out of businesss soon.

I have to fry more bacon tomorrow, for another salad.

I think I will shut my door and turn on the exhaust fans.

Everyone says, everything taste better with bacon.

There is even a movie named after bacon……it is called Hamlet. : D

I know you are trying not to laugh!


Hyvee Sale Match Up at Walmart

Well……it seems I could not give up on the soup limit at Hyvee. I had 3 coupons for $1.00 off of Campbell soup when you buy 5 cans of soup.

The problem was, Hyvee’s limit was 4 cans of soup.

So….it dawned on me that I could do a sale price match up at Walmart. Walmart did not have a limit on how many cans of soup you could buy. In other words I could use my $1.00 off coupons off of 5 cans of soup. The soup was on sale for .48 and with the coupons I could get another .20 off of each can. This brings the soup down to .28 a can.

This works for me!

For just $8.70 plus tax, I got 15 cans of Campbells soup and 2 cans of Progresso Soup.

I think I made my point about limits.

Please do not get me wrong. I think reasonable limits are fine. Like 5 cans of soup instead of 4.

I still love’em Hyvee!

In other shopping news;

I bought some organic honey, because my sister, Niener Wiener told me about this honey. It taste just like the honey we grew up eating. So, now I am addicted to this honey to the point that I have put mouse traps about the bottle so my honey loving kids will stay out of it.

Well, really I didn’t. Not, that it did not cross my mind.

I also did a small amount of shopping at Sam’s. Has anyone figured out how to walk out of there without spending $100.00. I managed to just spend $12.62 on groceries.

I ended the week with just $8.23 left in my weekly budget.

I decided to start my tally over and start fresh last week and try to keep a more accurate amount of money I spend on groceries each week. This is just groceries. It does not included household stuff like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, dish soap. Though, with coupons I usually can buy those at a pretty decent price.

As of Sunday the 13th, I had $8.23, plus I get to add my $75.00 for the beginning of a new week.

This gives me a new total of $83.28 to start the week with.

Wish me luck!



Onion Seeds Update

Can you see it?

You have to look really close.

Here is a better picture.

Do you see it now?

Yes, that is it!

I have a ONION sproutling.

Yep, your eyes are not decieving you, there is just one of them.  At least on one tray, there is just one sproutling.

Remember me telling you about planting onion seeds with my oldest grand girl last Sunday. If not, your can read about it here. I was worried that grand girl had over watered and floated the little seeds off in the flood. On the first planting tray, grand girl did a great job. She measured the depth and put little seeds way down in the potting soil. On the second tray…well…..the attentioin span of a 10 year old took complete control of her actions and she just sprinkled the seeds on top. The seeds are probably floating down the Missouri river right now.

So, this afternoon I took a good look at the two trays.

Here are the trays sitting on top of a basket (full of Christmas beanie babies). The tray without the lid is the tray with only one onion sproutling.


Here is the second tray with the lid off. See the little sproutlings?


Here is a closer look.

So, I dug little holes into each little container and put a little onion seed into each one.

Can you see the little holes? Now, they are all covered up with a new little seed in them.

Now, they are all watered and covered up in front of my big window, ready to soak in the sunshine! One tray will just be a week behind the other. No big deal.

They can’t grow too fast. Cause right now, I have no clue where I am going to plant them outside.


Oh well, I have eight weeks to figure it out.

I better at least think on it, cause I ordered artichokes seeds 3 days ago.

How is your garden going? Do you have raised garden beds or do you do container gardening?

I may need some help!

Happy Gardening!


Bring Me My Needle and Thread; FACS Teacher Week in Review

It is Friday!

I survived my first full week back at school. It is the beginning of a new semester and I have over a 100 new students.

That means new names for me to learn.

I tried doing roll call for attendance to see if that helped. It helped a little bit, but after three days I was stills pronouncing half of the names wrong. Last semester, I never could get one girls name right, so I just called her Merv. When I  see her in the hallway, I still call her Merv. Other students just look at me like I am from another planet, but isn’t that what junior high students thinks adults come from anyway.  Like maybe a planet called Old Fogies, or Geezer Galaxy.

Any who, I am off topic.

I will keep working on those pesky names, and matching them with the correct student so I am not calling the wrong parent….how embarrassing would that be. That would be a BIG OPPS, in the OPPS  department.

Back to my school week in rewind.

I started Monday morning with a fire drill at 8:10 am in 22 temperature weather. The door we have to go out of leds down a incline onto the football field. The incline was frost covered, so half asleep students were doing a little slip sliding down the hill and a couple of them took a little tumble. They were ok, but by this time everyone was awake.

We went back into the school after the all clear was given, refresh and invigorated from our outing.

Over the course of the next few days, students kept coming in with mending jobs. A pair of favorite pants her brother ripped at home, wanting to know if I could sew them up; a pj bottom that the elastic was torn off; 2 pair of jeans that she loved that had tears in the front and in the back. She had been wearing them to school with a LONG t-shirt so no one would notice; a pair of sweat pants that need the back seam sewn back together in time for gym; a cuff ripped off of a sweatshirt.




All finished with these two pair of pants. She did not want the rips at the knees sewn up….you see, that is the style now.

Good thing someone invented leggings to wear underneath them.

It took most of the week, sewing between classes, to get them all done. I finished the last pair of pants this morning. I was glad that I was able to get them all finished before the weekend.


A cute little student came in and showed me her purse. The strap on her purse had torn off and it needed sewn back on. I told her I could do it. She said that would be great and she would bring it back in on Monday. I will let you know how many mending jobs I do next week.

This just reafirms to me that sewing is not a lost art. It is still needed and still appreciated. I will use this example to my students when we start our sewing unit in about a month. When they ask me, “why do we have to learn to sew?” I am going to say, “because if you tear a hole in your pants you cannot download a patch.”

Happy Friday!






Hyvee Shopping Trip

Tonight, I stopped at Hyvee for a short little shopping trip.

I had planned to do a better shopping trip then this, but I did not read the fine print.

Don’t you hate the  fine print?

Well anywho, I thought you could buy 6 cans of each different kind of vegetable on sale. I also thought you could buy 4 of each kind of flavor of soup.


It was 6 cans of vegetables, Total, and 4 cans of soup, Total. I asked the manager, which was a former student of mine, why was there such a stingy limit if they were advertising  this as a CAN-TACULAR sale.

I was a little PE-ODE-TACULAR.

He said the advertising comes from the corporate office.

Being the nice young man that he is, he offered to let me buy more using seperate transactions. By, this time I had put the extra cans back on the shelf and did not want to start over. It really was ok, I will try to go back tomorrow and stock up a little bit more….6 cans of vegetables and 4 cans of soup at a time : ) I still love Hyvee….but not feeling the love so much for the corporate office.

Here is what I bought:

3 cans of corn

3 cans of peas

3 cans of tomato soup (I only got 3 cause my coupon said 40 cents off of 3)

6 cans of mandrian oranges

1- 1/2 gallon of ice cream

Coupons I used:

$1.00 off of the ice cream

2 – $1.00 off of 3 cans of oranges

.40 cent off of 3 cans of soup.

Total amount spent was $8.71.

Total amount saved was $5.53.

That is OK-TACULAR by me.

Total amount spent on groceries this week is $33.50.

Total amount saved is $31.85.

I have $41.50 left in my grocery budget to spend this week.

Have you saved anything this week using coupons?

Happy Couponing!





OOPS! I Almost Forgot

I am so sorry!

With the new semester of school starting and trying to get to know over 100 new names, I almost forgot to give you the recipes to the rest of the appetizers I made for New Year’s Day.


So, tonight while I have a couple of minutes, before oldest great grand girl tells me I need to get on the treadmill, I am going to give you another recipe.

How about……(drum roll)…..

Sweet and Savory Meatballs.

This recipe is a legend.

I bet Paul Bunyan even ate them while he was cutting down all those trees, I bet he even feed them to Babe his Blue Ox…..OK, that might be a little big of a TALL TALE but round these parts, this recipe taste so good, even forks want to drown in the sauce.

OK, I will stop, but if you want to read about Paul Bunyan’s kitchen go here.

This recipe is made out of store bought frozen meatballs, grape jelly and store bought chili sauce. You can buy the jelly at the store too….hehe….with a coupon, like I did. : ) So, in other words, all the ingredients are store bought. Do I sound like Sara Lee????

First thing you do is, take the frozen meatballs and put them in a pan to thaw and brown them up a little bit. I put a small amount of water in the bottom to help them steam and then I  put a tight fitting lid on the pan.

After the meatballs are thawed and browned, add half a bottle of grape jelly.

After you add the jelly, pour the entire bottle of chili sauce over the meatballs.

Turn the heat on low, and gently stir while the jelly melts and mixes with the chili sauce.

Seriously, that is all there is to it.

Who knew something this simple would taste so good!

If you like them a little sweeter, add more jelly, if you like them with a little more savor, add less jelly.

With super bowl right around the corner, keep this simple, sweet and savory recipe in mind!


Sweet and Savory Meatballs


Frozen Italian Meatballs precooked approximately 2 1/2 pounds

1/4 cup water

1-12 ounce jar of chili sauce

15 ounces (half and a large jar 32 ounce jar) of grape jelly.


Place meatballs in a large pan. Place a small amount of water (1/4 cup) in the bottom of the pan. Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and slowly steam and brown the meatballs. You can also place the frozen meatballs in the microwave (in a microwaveable dish) and thaw the meatballs. I prefer the pan because you get the all the drippings from the meatballs to add more flavor.

When the meatballs are thawed and slightly browned, add the jelly and chili sauce. Gently stir to melt the jelly and combine the jelly and sauce together.

Now it is time to serve.

Oh, am I almost forgot…..EAT.