Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy October

It is the first day of October.   Although the house is dressed in it's best Halloween garb,  I still have to pinch myself...  Is it really October already.   For some reason the thought stresses me out, I feel like I'm not ready.   Leslie, slow your brain down girl,  You are ready.  It's time to enjoy it.   Rewind back to this time last year,  back when I was working nights and every weekend and I didn't have the motivation to do much of  around the house.   I worked every weekend from August through almost the end of October,  I remember being so frustrated that I was missing out on all of my favorite Fall activities.  Heck, I worked on Halloween last year!   and black Friday.  and Thanksgiving.  Hash-tag = Not this year!

This year October is going to be filled with fun gross family dinners, hayrides, apple picking and pie making, bonfires, haunted houses and topped off with a Halloween camping trip.   It's going to be a great October!

 I can't wait to share some of the disgusting meals that are on my menu!  : )  
 Until then..  here's an easy recipe that I made the other day.

1 lb of browned ground beef
1 package of elbow macaroni ~ cooked
1 jar of pasta sauce
2 tbs of oregano
 1 tsp garlic salt
2 cups of cheddar cheese
2 cups of mozzarella cheese

Mix ground beef, pasta, sauce, oregano and salt together in a large bowl.  add 1 cup of the cheddar and mozzarella cheeses,  mix well.   Pour into casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese, cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Time for me to go start living October ~  Have a great day friends.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Apple Pie baked in an apple

It doesn't get much more September then this...

(boy... that's a great picture if I  do say so myself! )
and yes..  they were as delicious as it looks.

I saw a recipe and pinterest and tweaked it since I didn't have the proper ingredients.
First thing I did was grab 4 red apples..  I'm not really sure what kind they are.
Remember,  I'm a price shopper now,  I just bought the cheap ones.

As clumsy and big thumbed as I am ~  we all know that I am a self proclaimed klutz. 
I thought that coring and scooping out the apple would be difficult.
As I started with the first apple, my first thought was that I was going to destroy all 4 apples and end up with a huge mess.

It wasn't that bad.

First I cut the top off and dug a knife in around the core, 
 once I removed a little from the top I was able to use a small spoon to scoop out the rest.
With the same spoon, I pressed and cut around the apple skin and then started removing the apple pieces.
It didn't take long at all.

I put the apple pieces in a bowl and once I had all of the apples hollowed out 
I mixed a little sugar and a lot of cinnamon in with the chunks.

Then I spooned the sugar and cinnamon coated pieces back inside of the apple.
Looks pretty amazing right.
I gotta say.. I was pretty darn proud of myself!! 

The finishing touch...
layer some pre-made pie crust over the top and gently press around the edges to secure it.

They are sooo cute.
They make me feel all nesty.  

Place your apples in a baking dish and add a little bit of water to the pan.
cover and bake for about 20 mins.
Uncover and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Since I happened to have some heavy cream in the fridge
I whipped up some easy whipped cream.

This is a favorite around here.
The husband normally eats it right from the bowl!

And there you have it..
Delicious fall goodness!!!!

Have a great day friends!
Be your best happy.
: )

Linking in with Valerie and Simple Saturday blog hop

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

30 minutes in the life

I almost have to stop myself from skipping as I close my polka dot sweater to the cool breeze, clutch my starbucks pumpkin spice latte (Yes.. I'm am one of them),  and open the jeep door for the big dirty Golden Retriever to hop in the back.  I love this time of year.  A few leaves fall like colorful snowflakes against the windshield and I smile..  it makes me want to put my hands deep into a jar of candy corns.  My all time favorite song  ( Snow Patrol ~ Chasing Cars) is playing on the radio and I glance to the backseat where the dog drool  has collected on the glass from sharky's big head hanging out of the half opened window..  I don't care, I just keep singing loud and I decide that Sharky likes this song too. 

As we drive along the scenic road to Sally's school , I see so many stately houses dressed up for fall.  Cornstalks and pumpkins sitting orderly on huge cobblestone steps. I look at them with envy.   Who lives there?   Wouldn't it be cool if THEY had a blog so that I could see the inside.   I imagine,  if I approached the door,  that I would be welcomed by the smell of apple pie and roast beef  that has been cooking all day. 
  I drive on, pressing my thumb against the steering wheel to skip over songs on my ipod.  I pass over the songs that are emotional,  you know.. the ones that you love to hear but remind you of someone or some other time in your life.   I stop at  "Stacy's mom"...  why,  because I'm 42 years old and I like to pretend that I am that hot mom driving a Cadillac..  just like that chic in the commercial.    And then of course, I glance in the mirror and see the gray roots flowing out of my dye job. Shit.

I think about the text that received from Paul earlier, while I was standing in line waiting for my starbucks.  That is now getting cold.   Love you honey.  He sends me random texts throughout the day while he is working. Most of the time he makes me laugh with things like ,  I can't wait to get the eff out of this place Or  so and so is a @#@$ @$%@$% @#$%$%!   He works on the waterfront..  eloquent language is not his strong points.    Love you honey.   It makes me smile when he sends them.  He loves me... my gray roots, my now - pumpkin spice latte stained jeans,  and all of my other flaws.  I need to text him back.  If we have learned anything this past year, it's to let each other know how much we mean to each other.  How much our lives mean and how much we appreciate what the other does.

I pull up in front of Sally's school.  Now, I'm feeling sappy, so I skip songs until I reach Darius Rucker's "This".   I'm not a huge country music fan..  but darn that's a good song!    High school kids crowd around the back window.  Can we pet your dog?   By now,  some of them even know Sharky's name. There are at least 10 sets of hands reaching inside of the window, rubbing over Sharkys head as I text Paul a quick XO.   I see Sally walking across the courtyard.  She's smiling and wearing the red hoodie that still has the "old" school name on it.   This year,  her Lutheran school changed it's name to a Prep school and jacked the tuition cost up.   My first thought,  11th grade = just 20 more payments to go!  and my second thought,  I need to get her a new hoodie.    I watch her as she approaches the car,  She's so beautiful.   Of course, yes.. I'm their mom and all mom's think that their children are beautiful,  but mine really are.   Sally hugs her dog, who's happily wagging tail is thumping across the back of my seat.   As she throws her stuff carelessly into the car...  book bags, volleyball, guitar... I can't get over how much she reminds me of my mom and at that moment I am wishing that my mom could see her.

The drive home is filled with stories about our day.  I tell Sally what I've been up to and she fills me in on tests, volleyball practice and school drama.  Who's dating who. which teacher is a dork. Who's cute. Who's thirsty.   You know, normal teenage stuff ~  by the way, for those of you without a 15 year old,  Thirsty no longer means thirsting for a drink.  Thirsty is a person who will date a-n-y-b-o-d-y.   I learned that one last year. 

We pull into the drive and I help Sally with her bags as she lets sharky out.  He runs past us frockicing in the grass for a few seconds before he follows us inside of the gate.  I glance at my front steps.. no pumpkins, cornstalks or mums,  I really want to dress the house up but I don't have the extra money.  Maybe next week.    Once inside of the kitchen, it's mad chaos.  Sally drops her things in the middle of the floor and 3 dogs are jumping all over each other and I am running to the oven.  My dinner smells good. Chicken breast, stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach, topped with chicken gravy. Paul and I love anything with spinach.  I hear Sally and Michelle upstairs laughing,  no doubt Sally is telling her big sister all of the juicy tid-bits that she doesn't tell her mom.  I love how they love each other.

In an hour, dinner will be ready and Paul will be home.  I fix myself a coke zero,  sit outside on the deck, put my feet up on the rails and text Paul back.  Love you too.  C u soon.  
 Life is good!   

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Something is brewing

Hello all of my favorite Muggles.

Something fun is brewing on the spoonful porch.

I've got some finishing touches to do...  

Hold on to your broomsticks and wizard hats..
Ill Be back soon!  

Monday, September 22, 2014

A little halloween in the kitchen & meatball parmesan

Yesterday we were floating in the bay
Today,  I'm sporting socks and a sweater.
Fall has arrived in Baltimore!!

We've already had dinner
and the coffee is ready.
Come in and have a seat.

 I would offer you a slice of the delicious smelling Pineapple upside down cake that I made this morning...

But unfortunately..
it landed upside down on the floor when I pulled it from the oven.
Note to self:   Get better oven mitts!

The kitchen is dressed up for Halloween. 
Things are much "gentler" then in the creepy dining room.

If you look at the picture below..
You will notice one of the spoonful house's great unsolved mysteries.

What happened to the door knob?
Nobody around here has an answer.
Obviously the Spoonful ghost must have taken it.

I love all of these happy little jack-o-lantern faces.

Of course..  These cute little hoodlums had to join in the photo shoot.

Sharky,  the miniature pony-Golden Retriever knows that his cookies are in that pumpkin jar

Ok.. I'll give you cookies...
but only after I torture Darla with this hat.

Come on mom... stop fussing over Darla
and look how pretty I'm sitting.

How can I ever say no..
He's such a sweetheart!  : )

Now, that Mr cuteness has been ejected from the kitchen..
Let's get back to show and tell.

This is one of my favorite fall decorations.
I believe that it came from Michael's many years ago

Just like everything else in this house..
The "coffee organizer" is another thing that I purchased from Michaels back in the spring. 
It's actually a terrarium/green house type of thing meant for growing herbs.
I knew as soon as I saw it that it would be perfect for holding my assorted coffees.

 There are just enough tiny touches of Halloween to make the kitchen festive. 
It really makes me want to bake.
perhaps some apple pecan cookies   ~ right now!  

Speaking of baking...
Thankfully the baked Meatball Parmesan that I made for dinner
 was much more successful then the cake that I dropped earlier.

I love when I make a dinner that completely disappears ~ 
my family ate every bite!

Little do they know that my secret ingredient is..


I don't think anyone would even try them if I told them about the grape jelly.
It just sounds so...   weird
but it really does add a little unexpected sweetness that makes this dish delicious!
Meatballs  ( I roll my own.. about 20)
1 jar of prepared sauce ( hunts etc)
1/2 cup of grape Jelly
Garlic salt..  as much as you like
1 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup of mozzarella cheese

Mix jelly and sauce in a baking dish.
add meatballs and garlic.
cover and bake for about an hour.
Add cheeses and bake for another 15 mins.


Hope that you all had fun hanging out in the kitchen with me this evening.
Happy Fall!!!!


Linking up with Kathe and You're gonna love it Tuesday

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Witch hats & learning to spend wisely

There are a few things that I miss about my old job at Michaels..
but the thing that I miss the most is making treats for the kids there.
They were always so happy and grateful.

So, When one of the girls recently sent me a link to these cute little witch hat cookies,
I knew that I had to make her some.

 How easy is this... 
Dip a hershey kiss into some melted orange chocolate
and add to the bottom of a fudge stripped cookie.

Another thing that I miss about that job...
a paycheck.

Since Ive stopped working I have had to learn to become more frugal
and spend more wisely.

We've cut back on several things that we were wasting to much money on.
 Groceries..   I can't tell you how much stuff that we used to waste.
I would buy so much and it would go bad before we used/ate it.

For the past few months I've been planning a biweekly dinner menu.
I don't designate a day for each meal since our schedule is always changing.
Each morning I refer to my menu and decide what will be best for that day.
This routine really works out.

After I scour my cookbooks and make the menu,  
then I compose a shopping list. 

I rarely ever shopped with lists before.
I would just aimlessly browse through groceries aisles while chucking any and everything into the cart.
 The results of that:
Very high grocery bills,
Lots of wasted food
daily trips back to the store where I would spend more money.

I don't do coupons...  
but I have learned to browse the sales ads to see which market has the best prices on the things that I need.
It's actually quite fun!

This last shopping trip was about $180.00 
for two weeks worth of  lunch and dinners.
( and that includes food for 3 dogs)

The total cost
 $12.85 per day!!!
We used to waste that much buying lunches.

What a great weekend it was in the Spoonful house.
Friday ~  Sally's JV volleyball team finally won their first game.
I was jumping out of my seat the whole time. 
The kids and coaches were having a blast!!

On Saturday Paul and I celebrated and enjoyed a delicious dinner
 at our neighbors 50th (surprise) birthday party.
She was super surprised and happy.
It was a lot of fun.  

And today..  Paul and I spent this gorgeous sunday out on our boat.
and yes...  in our tubes. 

Now.. I am in my warm comfy pjs, waiting for prince charming to fire up the grill.
Maybe after dinner,  I can talk him into painting my toe nails again.
Probably NOT!  lol

Hope that you all had a great weekend too!!

Linking up with Kathe and You're gonna love it Tuesday

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Simple Glazed Doughnuts

Are you kidding me!!!!
I've been making homemade doughnuts from scratch
when all I had to do was use biscuits!

 While browsing through some of my favorite magazines
I found the easiest.. and I mean the EASIEST
doughnut recipe ever.

All you need is:

2  12oz. tubes of biscuits
oil for frying
2 c. powdered sugar
3 or 4 tablespoons water

Using a thimble or a frosting tip..  remove the center of each doughnut.
Set aside.   Pour 1/2 inch of oil into a skillet and heat over med/high heat.
Fry biscuits and holes until golden (about a minute) and carefully turn over and repeat.
Drain on paper towels and let cool.

Combine powdered sugar and water to make a glaze. 
 Dip doughnuts in the glaze

Some I used a store bought chocolate frosting ~ For Sally
some I powdered  ~  For Paul
Some I added some melted Pumpkin Spice chips ~  For ME
and some I just left with the glaze alone

And we ate them all!  

Hope that you enjoy
They are YUMMY!!!