Lasagna Soup (Meatless) (or not!)

Making this for our meatless supper tomorrow night…if you wanna make it too you’ll need to get the ingredients today!!!

Print Recipe Card Here Recipe-Card-Meatless Lasagna Soup

Easy Lasagna Soup

During Lent (Ash Wednesday until Easter each year) my family doesn’t eat meat on Fridays. We do all the usuals like fish, pancake dinner, baked potato bar, and there’s some Fridays we do soup nights. There’s tomato soup and grilled cheese, and vegetable, but I love to mix it up and try something new….this recipe is FABULOUS! And once Lent is over we will make the version with meatballs! I made this with the slow cooker!

 

First here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

Soup

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

6 cups vegetable broth

1 yellow onion, diced or chopped, your preference

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

2 zucchinis, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 Tablespoon dried basil

⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces lasagna noodles

4 cups fresh spinach leaves

 

Cheese topping

1 8 ounce container ricotta cheese

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

¼ cup parsley, chopped

¼ cup basil leaves, chopped

Pinch (or 2) of kosher salt

Here’s what you’ll do next!

In the slow cooker put your tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes, then the onions.

Add chopped onion

Next the sliced mushrooms:

Add sliced mushrooms

Next the garlic…

Add minced garlic

And then the sliced zucchini (YUM)

Add sliced zucchini

Bay leaves and spices next!

Add spices

Next either put on high for about 4 hours or low for about 6-6.5 if you won’t be home

4 Hours on High

Noodle time!

Go ahead and break the noodles into smaller (but not too small) pieces and boil according to directions minus about 2-3 minutes. (Ive seen recipes that put the noodles in at the beginning but its too risky for me. Ive had them not soften)

Noodle time

Drain when soft and add them into the slow cooker and stir

Add them to the soup

Almost done!

Next wash and destem your fresh spinach leaves and add them to the mixture and let them wilt

Wash and destem your fresh spinachAdd and wilt

CHEEEEESEEEEE!!!!

Next mix together the ricotta and mozarella cheese, add the parsley and basil and  pinchish of salt

Cheese Topping

Now….on the cheese…a little dab will do ya…so a dollop about a tablespoon is all you need per bowl, give or take on your taste!

Ladel into your bowl and dollop with cheese topping and enjoy the yummy goodness!!!

Enjoy!

I made 2 slow cookers full for the soup supper at church last night and it was a HIT!!!!

Christmas Eve Fun!

Simple and easy! Fun before bed! Then a poem at bedtime!

Christmas Eve is magical…we love the anticipation of all the littles as the sugarplums dance in their heads….but before they head to bed let them leave a sparkle trail for Santa and his reindeer to see and a little snack for the reindeer to munch on while Santa does the present placement! 

Easy peasy and you can give them out as gifts to preschool classes, nieces and nephews, and neighborhood littles too!!

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2 Tablespoons of oatmeal and a sprinkle of glitter in a little goodie bag! We printed the Reindeer Food poem onto card stock and stapled it over the folded bag!  Thats IT! Really cool! They LOVE the pre-bedtime ritual!!

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Also right before bed, the Candy Cane Poem

We print and give out this poem to all the littles we know as well…a good reminder of the Candy Cane and all it represents and means!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…

AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!!

Schools out…Christmas Crafts…OH YEAH BABY!!! Don’t let those littles get bored!!

OK…Ok…ok…I admit it…I put up 6 (s-i-x) Christmas trees…

Am I crazy…maybe…but oh how much fun my grandchildren have watching them no matter what room they are in!!! So maybe not crazy…maybe just spirited…yeah yeah let’s go with that….Christmas Spirited!!

First, the memories tree…

All my kids are grown now but I still decorate the tree with the ornaments we collected over the years whether it be different store bought balls we went together and picked out to all the different crafts they brought home from school, and church class, etc. Its a big mismatched tree of fun and love….and it is…MY FAVORITE!

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The rest…

They range from the Charlie Brown tree…to a white tree to a small living room tree to special tree in our bedroom they get to pile up in our room and watch it glow… 

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to the tallest tree upstairs that is bare….until we all gather for Christmas together and everyone puts ornaments on…together…img_6633

 

This year’s additions…

I have 8 grandchildren of my own AND I teach a preschool class….I LOVE LOVE LOVE ordering crafts from Oriental Trading to do with them all. They come all together ready to lay out and execute! Takes the big prep time out of it! And they are SO easy to do!!!

http://www.orientaltrading.com/holidays/christmas-a1-550904.fltr

We did snow man ornaments and peppermint candy handprints…

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The handprint craft comes in 3 pieces and includes the paint! We just used a sponge brush to paint the little hands and then glued them on! Easy peasy!

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The snowman ornaments were just clear balls I got online sent straight to my door! Took some puff paint in black and orange to do the faces ahead of time. 

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We let the littles stuff the poly fill in to make the snowman white and snap it shut! We added a tiny top hat to ours that I had used on another craft earlier in the year!

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Red string to make it complete!!! Ready for the tree!!

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Stay tuned! We will be doing a picture frame craft this next week I’ll post! 

 

Get on over to Oriental Trading and get busy not bored!!!

 

 

 

#AtHomeStore #CollegeMoveIn

#AtHomeStore #CollegeMoveIn

I was invited to attend the At Home Store College Move In event at the Franklin, TN store this week. We had an awesome time taking a tour of the store. It’s #CollegeMoveIn time all over the nation. If you have a young adult moving into a college dorm or apartment, this is the place to shop! Anything and everything they need to get settled into their home away from home is here!

At Home

 

From the essentials for the bed, bath, and kitchen to desk and study areas, to just plain making it look fashionable, #AtHomeStore has it!!!

Butter Dish

 

P.S. You might just find a few things to make Mom feel better about this #CollegMoveIn as well 😉

For Mom

I’ll be back very soon #AtHomeStore to get all of my Halloween, Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations! Tis the season!!

See you there!!!

 

 

SOOOOOO EASY SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHEESE TORTELLINI

Slow Cooker Chicken Cheese Tortellini

This recipe is so easy! Today was one of those days I just didn’t think I wanted to spend time planning then cooking dinner this evening. I’m glad I snagged all these ingredients to have on hand for a day such as today! You literally just throw it all in the crock pot and in 6-8 hours you scoop it out and eat it!

What you’ll need: (I double the recipe because I feed a BUNCH!)

1 package frozen cheese tortellini

1 package frozen spinach

4 cups chicken broth

1 can Italian style tomatoes

1 pack cream cheese

2 chicken breast boiled and shredded

 

Next what you’ll do…

Throw it all in the slow cooker and turn on low

Tortellini

Scoop into a bowl and eat!!!! Its….that…simple! And oh so delicious!!!

 

 

 

Play Nook/Book Nook For Toddlers

What to do with the old playpen when you’re toddler doesn’t need it?

I don’t know about you guys but I LOVE repurposing things instead of discarding them! I had an old playpen upstairs and decided to make it into something the littles could still use and love! 

First dust off and set up the old playpen!

Old Playpen

Next cut away one side of the mesh…

Cut One Side of Mesh Away

Super easy for them to climb in and out of on their own!

Comfy it up! 

I used a matching set of playpen/crib sheets so they could have a top on it like a tent as well!! Add a few comfy pillows and they will be in and out reading books, playing with their favorite toys, and even watching a show from in there! I even find them napping in there now and then!

Comfy It Up

Next just add some Littles!!!!!!

Playpen 1Play Time Fun

 

 

Beef Wellington At Home!

Beef Wellington

Love some of the dishes you find at fancy restaurants but can’t always afford to go out? For about the price of one of these meals at a restaurant you can make this Beef Wellington for about a family of 4! You can half the recipe if it just you and love <3 

Ingredients:

First let’s get what we will need. All found at your local supermarket!

5 lb Beef Tenderloin (I go to the town butcher for this cut of meat. Chain Supermarkets just don’t live up to my expectations)

4 oz Liver Pate

2 + 4 +4  TBSP Butter

1 Medium Onion Chopped

1 Cup Mushrooms (Sliced

2 Puff Pastries (Freezer Section, Usually sold 2 per box)

1 Egg

1.5 Can Beef Broth

4  TBSP Red Wine

Here we go!

Take your pastries out of the freezer to thaw and soften!

Puff Pastry

Preheat the oven to 425

Soften 4 TBSP Butter

Place Beef Into Baking Dish (I halved my beef, about 2.5 lb fits per pasty sheet when you wrap it)

Spread the softened butter over the beef

Beef Tenderloin

Bake until browned, about 20 minutes. Don’t worry, we are baking it again, we aren’t serving raw meat!

Remove and let beef cool. Reserve the juices for the dip later!

While the beef is baking and cooling, in a skillet saute the onion and mushrooms with remaining 4 TBSP Butter (about 5-7 min)

Butter Onions Mushrooms

Remove when finished and set aside to cool.

Next take the last 4 TBSP softened butter and mix it with 4 oz Liver Pate. I used a fork to just smash and mix it all together. Works fabulous!

Butter Liver PateMixed Butter Pate

Tine To Prep and Bake!

Alright! Now let’s get it all together and get it ready for baking! Turn the oven up to 450 to preheat!

Ready to Prep

At this point you should be able to unfold your pastry sheet. Spread the Pate/Butter Mixture on one of the Beef Halves. (I used a butter knife, it was a bit too thick to use the basting brush) After spreading one side place it on the pastry sheet. Then spread the top side.

Pate'd Beef

Next you want to top it with the onion/mushrooms.

Onion and Mushroomed Beef

Stretch and close the pastry and pinch it good and closed. Brush with egg white. Then cut a few slits in it for venting while baking. Prepare the second one if you didn’t half the recipe.

Wrapped BeefCut Slits

Next Bake it at 450 for about 15 min or until the pastry is golden brown. Reduce to 425 and bake about 20 more minutes. Check with meat thermometer, its done at 145 degrees. 

Almost there! 

Fresh Outta The Oven

Set aside and keep warm while we make the dip!

In a saucepan where you put the drippings from the pans from before add 1.5 cans beef broth and 4 TBSP Red wine and bring to a low boil, then simmer for 10 min. Serve on the side.

Gather Round The Table!

I paired mine with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus and it was Happy Valentines to everyone in the house!

Served!

 

Valentines Day…OR…..

Valentine’s Day…ScamEmTimes Day..Am I Right…

Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I have been married over 26 years and this year will celebrate our 27th Valentine’s Day and YES we do celebrate! But we try not to fall into the hoopla that surrounds this day monetarily! We have in the past, our first few Valentines days came with long stemmed roses, huge cards, jewelry, candy….

I was in a local supermarket yesterday when a very young (obviously and does not know the repercussions of talking too much lol) cashier who had scanned my supplies then clocked out right after my order and was walking to her car when I was walking to mine. She told me she usually works in Floral and she couldn’t believe the markup that started about a month ago (so as not to be so sudden I guess?) on the Roses and arrangements as well as the candy!! Nothing I wasn’t already aware of, hence the supplies I bought!  I’m going to share what I am making my husband this Valentine’s Day and I tell ya it could go either way with the genders…I would absolutely love these gifts given to me as well! Thoughtful and I know he won’t need a day of overtime away to make up the cost!

Kisses For When I’m Not With You (SMOOCH)

Supplies (Some you might have around the house already!)

Mason Jar (any size you want….I used giant because he REALLY loves his chocolate)

Hershey’s Kisses (STAY OUT OF THE SEASONAL AISLE! I bought the traditional bag of kisses for $3, the Valetines bag of the same size was $5.49!!)

Heart Tissue Paper

Red Material (COMPLETELY optional, I had some leftover in my sewing bag)

Kisses For When I’m Not Around Print Out (OR write it out and stick it to the lid!)

Kisses Supples Too

Assemble!! 

Top Of Kisses

 

 

It’s that easy! It’s thoughtful! And it’s delicious! I’ll put it in the driver’s seat of his truck to have!

Kisses Complete

 

Lottery Ticket Bouquet

Small Bud Vase

Tissue Paper

Candy

Wooden Skewers

Lottery Tickets

I HIT THE LOTTERY WHEN I MET YOU Print out

Hot Glue Gun

Close Up Lottery Supplies

 

Hot glue the tickets ( Don’t hot glue over the bar code) and signs to the skewers. Then break them off into different sizes

Lottery Bouquet Close Up

Assemble into the bud vase…. There ya have it folks!

Lottery Complete

 

So don’t stress it! Easy and thoughtful! 

 

P.S. I’ll also make him his very favorite special Valentine’s Day dinner! Recipe next week! Come back and see!

Country Wedding On A Budget

Country Wedding On A Budget

Want to have a beautiful outside country wedding but think you can’t afford it? Here’s a few tips to help you through!

Many barn wedding venues look beautiful but even the cheapest can cost thousands simply to use the property and that’s without a single decoration, table, or the food. We have our own small farm so we used it and dressed it up. These tips can be used to do it all yourself at your own place or it’ll save you a bundle after spending the money to rent a venue!

We started by clearing the field and getting spools from the local electric company (FREE I might add, we just went and picked them up. Call early as they are sporadically available, so try and plan ahead) and used them for tables. There were several sizes so we used them as seating tables as well as cake and present and drink tables! Some were tall enough we put them around the perimeter and some people liked to use them to stand around!

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Backdrop for the Ceremony

Next we made the backdrop for the ceremony. We were using the barn but needed to dress it up a bit. This was a fall wedding so we incorporated sunflowers into a burlap wreath. To make it the large scale we wanted and so it would be heavier than the normal wreath to hang and help us shape properly, we used chicken wire and doubled it over. We then took Burlap Ribbon (easily found at craft stores for $1.00-$5.00 per roll) and intertwined the holes in the chicken wire. Put in some sunflowers and you have a simple but eye catching backdrop for an overhead backdrop. Bales of Hay and pumpkins and one of the larger spools set up with a unity candle finishes off where the bride and groom will stand and take their vows!

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Dance Floor and Presentation Area

Next we built our own dance floor. Find level ground then use Particle board and 2×6’s screwed together in any dimensions that will accommodate your number of guests. Bales of hay around the perimeter holds the 2×2’s to string the lights on (it always helps to have cute little helpers with the lights) and the hay bales double as seats for spectators who want to be close to the action! We had a friend we hired who is a DJ, so that’s where we spent our wedding allowance in addition to the dress of course! 

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Centerpieces and Signs

Next we made centerpieces and signs! We took a small tree and cut it into slices then used a simple wood burner tool to make the bride and grooms initials. We repurposed some different shaped beer bottles and painted them wedding colors (purple and white here) and used them for simple flowers and wheat stalks. Repurposed wine bottles were used as candle covers. We used a glass cutter and took the bottoms off the bottles and used a citronella votive to help at night when the mosquitoes are out. The sign was just a piece of particle board painted with whatever message you want…for this one Here Comes The Love Of You Life. It can be made small enough to be carried by one person but we had 2 so we used a pole through the top!

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Goody Bags and Cake

Next instead of the usual birdseed or bubbles we made a goody bags instead and we had them available for guests at the end of the meal line as we also had a bonfire pit available after the sun went down. We used Sending You S’mores Love as the theme as Smores are a great idea to make outside at a bonfire. 1 Pack was 2 smores and we simply printed and cut the tags on our home computer as well. The wedding cake was made by a friend of ours. Always price your local bakeries but also as around your area for some folks who might do this as a hobby. By all means be sure you get samples and see pictures and don’t just take someones word for it. The level of skill for the cake you want for your big day makes alot of difference in price too.

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Bouquets and Tutus!

The bouquets we made from a local supermarket and plant stand with sunflowers and some accent flowers. We used a spool of flower tape and ribbon to keep them spun tight and beautiful! For the flower girls we dyed the shirts/onsies ourselves to be sure we got even colors for the 3 of them. Next we make them tutus with some elastic bands and tulle! 

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Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

Bridesmaids got to go pick their own style dress as long as they got the same fabric and color. So the bride made it easy. These bridesmaids paid as little as $25 for their dress, but by having the option to pick whichever style they wanted as long as they stayed with the same fabric and color let them spend as little or as much as they wanted. For the groomsmen, the only thing they spent money on was a white long sleeve button up and a purple tie. The vests were rented for $8 each! The little boys simply wore white button ups with their jeans!

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Feeding the Crowd

BBQ is always a cheap way to feed alot of people! You can crock it and do it yourself or its pretty cheap to cater in as well. Chips and Beans are easy peasy as well. We used Mason Jars with lids and straws. Using plastic cups is cheap too, but we opted to do these in case it was windy so they didn’t blow away when they were getting empty!

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The Final View

The finished product! We used folding chairs and had everyone bring theirs from the ceremony area over to use at the tables. It was super fabulous both day and night!

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Dance Floor Fun

And the crowd danced into the night! 

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The Best Wedding Ever….Keep It Simple!

The Wedding Party! A beautiful country wedding for less than $500!!!!

 

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What will you do for your career choice in the next ten years?

what will be your career choices in the next ten years

what will be your career choices in the next ten years

The world is filled with many choices for careers. This is why so many people have a hard time deciding what they want to do with their lives. Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. This is why your decision must be given a lot of thought and not rushed in any way. If you have always loved to read, and you excelled in creative writing class while you were in school, you might want to consider a career as an author. Why should you be an author? Here are a few of the main reasons.

1. Lifestyle

Most people do not like getting up early in the morning and going off to a job for eight hours each day, five days a week. If you are an author like Daniel Handler, you will make your own hours. You can write whenever you want. You will be your own boss and set your own schedule. You can also work from home. You will not need to worry about annoying coworkers or office politics ever again. One of the most attractive things about being an author is the fact that you can do your writing anywhere. You do not even need to have an Internet connection. If you are traveling, just bring your laptop or tablet with you. Whenever you have some free time, you can turn on your device and do some writing. When your manuscript is ready to be sent to your agent or publisher, you do not need to worry about it getting lost in the mail. You can simply email it.

2. Be your own boss

It is the dream of most people to be their own boss. Going to work every day, only to be screamed at by an angry boss can be a horrible experience. Millions of people endure this type of situation because they need the paycheck. However, authors control their own destiny. They decide what they want to do, and when they want to do it.

3. Notoriety

Successful authors often achieve some level of fame. This is something that you could never hope to achieve working at a regular office job. It is always nice to be recognized by people who appreciate your work. Developing loyal fans is a great benefit of writing a book that many people in the public respond to.

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