Eggs, eggs, eggs…

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

As a tribute to the girls, February is Chicken sensation and creation month! LOL. In actuality, June 3rd is national egg day and July 6th is national chicken day.

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

However, right around this time of year, chickens around the world begin to pick up on their egg laying. For others, within a couple months. SO, what does one do with all those eggs? For the month of February, everyday I will post a recipe that contains at consumes 6, or more eggs.

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

I know at first when eggs begin to multiply and animals freshen, it seems as though we have no trouble on starting on that list of things we want to make. For you folks, these recipes will be here to come back to when you have too many. 😉

Photo by Dawood Javed on Pexels.com

Gift, share, eat, bake, enjoy! All are an egg-cellent idea 😉

FREE Bonus Center Signs

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Centers are SO MUCH fun, whether you homeschool, tutor OR run a daycare or preschool. I understand it’s a little more formal for some homeschooling families, but the thought of finding some new learning treasure and that excitement extends across the board.

So, if you are in the professional realm and need some labels for changing up your home, center or atmosphere; here are a couple FREE, “Not so common” Center labels I use often.

Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

*If you missed the main FREE center signs post and printables, HERE is the link.

Happy Teaching!

Garden LOVE!

Who is ready for summer? As seed catalogs begin to flow through the mail and arrive, I am reminded that spring is right around the corner. It has us scrambling with excitement for our upcoming garden and mini homesteading projects.

@PioneerAcademy

Inspiration from our last seasons pictures and notes on methods, seed count and yield help us plan our garden. Although we say we are so busy this year, maybe we should cut back, LOL, it seems our garden beds and the number of plots increase. Why? We LOVE the fresh vegetables and new life that springs up. I’m so blessed to be able to enjoy watching the children scouring the garden for fresh ripe tomato varieties, peas, purple beans and cukes.

@PioneerAcademy

So, are you ready for planting season? Have your seed catalogs arrived and re-energized the “garden itch”? I hope this post is nothing more than:

  1. Are you excited for the warm weather around the corner? Are you starting your seeds already?

2. That new life is just around the corner and just as the garden seasons change, so do our lives. The season we are in, may be lead to a new season tomorrow. There is hope!

Happy Gardening! Happy Homemaking!

DIY Blueberry Granola Recipe

Photo by Ovidiu Creanga on Pexels.com

DIY Blueberry Granola Recipe

~Start by lining your baking or cookie sheet with parchment paper. Heat oven to 300 degrees.

~Mix in a large bowl:

1 Cup of Coconut Oil

1 Cup of honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of salt

~Add oats, almonds and stir. Coat evenly by stirring.

6 Cups of oats (old fashioned)

2 Cups of Sliced almonds

~Bake on sheet for 20 minutes. (It should be golden brown and toasted almonds.) Let cool, then add blueberries and store in an airtight container. (Up to 1 month storage)

2 Cups of dried blueberries

We cannot love this recipe enough. It is simple, makes enough granola for about 4 dozen mini jar-children parfaits (Or about 10 Cups to enjoy.)

Share, enjoy your favorite way!

Happy Baking! Happy Homemaking!

DIY Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix Recipe

When our family really started getting nitty gritty on our health from the foods we eat and watching different additives, I starting searching ways to fill my spice and seasoning racks (labeled mason jars) with loaded of fresh herbs, seasoning mixes and dehydrated goodness without all the preservatives! One seasoning mix that was a must in our home was taco seasoning. As you know there are so many varieties, so I wanted one I could use for any Mexican/ taco dish and just give it a little extra zing when needed. If I were to compare the “on market brands”, I would say this is closest to the McCormick brand.

Here is a smaller batch.

  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Black Pepper

Store in an air tight container. When you are ready to use your seasoning, simply add 2 Tablespoons of seasoning per 1 pound of burger, along with 1/2 Cup of water. Mix and bring to a boil. Simmer to coat the meat with seasoning.

As you can imagine, I do 5X this recipe for my spice rack jars. It’s wonderful to have on hand if your household tends to enjoy Mexican dishes. It is also wonderful if you dehydrate your own spices and/or buy bulk or fresh at your local market. It really does just make that amazing dish, even better!

Happy Cooking!

Tator Tot Hotdish

I don’t know about your house, but this classic go- to recipe is a hit in our home! Oddly enough, I just assumed everyone has heard of tator tot hotidish. Well, you know what assuming does…

One day my hubs was at work discussing classic meals that are always hits. Tator tot hot dish was one everyone participated in except a certain fellow, he and his wife had never heard of it before. I felt foolish. Customs in some homes are not the same in all home. Even though I already know that, we often forget how spoiled we are with some of our classic, comfort foods and hot-dishes no longer enjoyed around the world. Now hold on, if you already make Tator tot casserole, after the “classic” recipe, try some of the twists and delicious varieties you can make! Here goes our home recipe scaled down to a regular 9X13 cake or glass pan.

~First, brown 1 lb of burger of burger. Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of garlic powder. Brown, then crumble. A potato masher works great!

~Next spray your 9X13 pan. Evenly scatter your cooked & crumbled burger across the bottom of the pan.

~Open and drain (2) cans of mixed vegetables. (Frozen may be used as well.)~

~Then add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup (10.5 oz.)

~Fill your can up with milk and add into the pan as well.

~With a wooden spoon, gently stir around the creamy mixture and vegetables to make sure everything is coated.

~Finally top with tator tots and bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Now this is the plain Jane recipe, which is great might I add. However, try these 5 other burger varieties the next time you make this dish and see which is your favorite way to eat Tator tot casserole…

  1. Same as above, but prior to topping the dish with tator tots, top with (2-3) Cups of cheddar cheeses, then the tator tots.
  2. Start burger the same, but add 1/2 an onion and 2 cloves. Brown and place in pan as directed above. Then instead of mixed vegetables, try (2) cans of french style green beans and when you add the milk & cream of mushroom, be sure to add in 1 Tablespoon of Worcester sauce. Top with cheddar cheese, then tator tots. Bake as directed above.
  3. Brown 1&1/2 lbs of burger. Brown, drain & place in 9 X 13 pan. Next, in a large bowl combine 3-6 oz of precooked bacon, 16 oz of sour cream, 2 C. cheddar cheese, 1 can of cream of cheddar soup, and 32 oz pkg of Tator tots. Mix up and spread over the burger mixture. Cover and bake for about 45 minutes.
  4. Same as #2, but fry burger with fresh sliced morel mushrooms (or fresh replacement from the store). Omit Worcester sauce and replace the green beans with 2 cans of corn. (or fresh from the garden corn-**our favorite.) With a lot of cheddar cheese on top!
  5. Taco Tator tot casserole- brown beef with diced onion and cloves. Simmer and add your taco seasoning. While simmering, add 2 cans of corn, 1 can of black beans and one diced green pepper. Continue to simmer and ad 2/3 Cup of enchilada sauce and 1/3 Cup of water. Simmer until peppers begin to soften, then transfer to your 9 X 13 cake pan. Top with cheese and Tator tots. Bake as directed above. Then, remove from over and top again with cheese, salsa and enchilada sauce. Bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and place a handful of your favorite taco topping on: lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, etc.
  6. BONUS- Chili, Brown burger, onion & 1/2 green pepper. Brown and add: 1 packet of chili seasoning, 1 can of tomato sauce ( 8oz.) and 1 can of diced tomatoes (14oz). While it starts to cook, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove from heat, add 2 Tablespoons of sour cream and stir. Place in the 9 X 13 pan. Top with 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Top with Tator tots. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro and bake for 25 minutes.

I hope this classic dish is a hit for you, your family, friends daycare, potluck dish or whatever, like it is for us. Until next time, happy baking and happy homemaking! Enjoy!!!

Graham Cracker Coffee Cake

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

Graham Cracker Coffee Cake Recipe

Preaheat oven at 350 degrees.

With 1 box of yellow cake mix, mix as directed.

In a zip lock bag, crush AND mix (by squeezing the bag) 12 full crackers, 3/4 Cup of brown sugar & 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Add in 2/3 Cup of very soft butter, mix by squeezing bag.

Pour 1/2 of the cake into a greased cake pan.

Sprinkle half of the cracker mixture over the top.

Carefully pour and spread the second half of the cake batter in the pan.

Top with remaining graham cracker mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Best served warm. This is a great breakfast bake to go with fruit for your kids, your home daycare or company coming!

Happy Baking!

What God Hath Promised

What God Hath Promised

God hath not promised

Skies always blue,

Flower strewn pathways

All our lives through;

God hath not promised

Sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow,

Peace without pain.

But God hath promised

Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor,

Light for the way,

Grace for the trials,

Help from above,

Unfailing sympathy,

Undying love.

~ANNIE JOHNSON FLINT

DIY Panera Bread Mac & Cheese Recipe

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Kids love mac and cheese. A quick go to recipe that matches Panera Bread Mac and Cheese, what else can you ask for?

Boil (1) pound of noodles. Any work, my children love shells or the airplane noodles from Meijers. Boil as directed on the package. Drain. Set aside.

In a large pot, melt 4 Tablespoons of butter. Add 1/4 Cup of flour. Stir and begin to brown the flour. Once it begins to color, whisk in 2 Cups of whole milk, 1 Cup of heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard. Heat. Stir continuously.

As the liquid warms, shredd 2 Cups of White Sharp Cheddar and 1 Cup of White American cheese. Add 1 teaspoon of kisher salt to your liquid mixture, stir and add cheeses to the warm liquid. Stir until melted. Once the creamy mixture smooths, immediately add your noodles. Remove from heat. Stir.

Serve hot. Enjoy! Happy Homemaking!

Child Approved Fruit Parfait Recipe

I’m not sure about your family, but my family loves dessert. I love this SO SIMPLE recipe, but it feels like dessert. If one can get by with healthy dessert that could be eaten at breakfast, how much better can the day start, right?

Seriously though, my kids love anything with fruit and yogurt. This spin on their simple plain yogurt, fruit and granola breakfast really does make it seem like a sweet treat!

Here it is.

Grab a package of graham crackers and smash them up. (A rolling pin works wonders.) To save on a mess or top only make this for a couple people grab only 6 graham crackers, place them in a plastic bag, seal and crush.)

Place 2 Tablespoons of crushed graham crackers in the bottom of a clear kids cup. Layer with one cup of mixed yogurt. (Strawberry is a favorite here.) Sprinkle in some sliced fruit and stir (only the top yogurt layer to help cover the fruit.) Serve as is or put a dollop of cool whip and a piece of fruit to make it more dessert like. Share & enjoy!

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

A confession- I never make one. When I go to this recipe I but bulk and use glass jars. I will post on my glass jar system more later. But I LOVE the little glass jars and buy the plastic white lids that screw on. Yes with children, you have to be careful of broken glass, but in 15 years I have never had a child break a jar. Now when dropped, the lid (plastic) is the first to shatter. That happened once about 8 years in. It was an accident, a snack helper grabbed one too many jars and lost one. Not a bad mess, or safety issue. So to this day we are more careful and only grab one for each hand to carry and no more. 😉

In a nutshell, in a large seal-able plastic container (especially in the summer). I will then mix 3-4 large tubes of yogurt: 2 Vanilla and 2 fruit flavors of the kids choice. This is usually strawberry or black cherry. Peach is the next runner up for something different.

Then I place my slice my fruit into the container and mix. (I have a couple food allergies- so with those fruits I just slice them last and only add them in when I have a few jars made (extras too) & labeled so they have the same snack without the allergy item. Then I add in that particular fruit for the rest of the children to enjoy.) *If you are in a pinch for time you can always layer and add the sliced fruit when serving too.

For graham crackers- 2 boxes opened in a gallon zip lock bag, sealed and crushed.

With a 1/4 Cup metal scoop, I just make 2 dozen jars at a time. Graham cracker bottom, fill to the line with yogurt. I make extra yogurt filling on purpose to be a topping/ dip for pancakes later in the week. However if you were making the exact amount mix it in a gallon bag and slice a large hunk off of the corner- it is so much easier to fill the jars this way. Just be sure to slice the corner large enough for the fruit to pass through. ** Again you could just do this with the yogurt, but keep enough room then for the layer of sliced fruit.

Either way works and tastes great! **For daycare I found instead of them taking a bite or two, when it’s mixed in they tend to eat it all 😉

When you serve you can top or leave as is.

Share, Eat & Enjoy!!!