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The EASIEST YUMMIEST Dessert in the World!

Chic Crafty Chick posted this easy yummy dessert. It sounded like a cool refreshing change from the hot baked desserts of winter. Another winning point with me is that it only took 3 ingredients and I could make as much or as little as I wanted.

Chips Ahoy Cookies
Cool Whip
Hersheys Syrup (optional)

For all the details on how to put this together, check it out HERE

I used a 8x8 foil pan. It took one whole side of the cookie package plus 2 cookies and a little over 1/2 of the large cool whip tub. There was two layers of cookies and two layers of cool whip.

Then I decided to garnish it with Hersheys syrup. You could sprinkle mini choco chips on top, or even lightly crush a couple cookies and sprinkle on top!

I'm thinking I might try oreo cookies next time.

The verdict from hubby, boy wonder and I...... YUMMMY! Did I say that already?


Make Your Own Catalina Dressing

Catalina Dressing

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon grated onion

Place all in a blender and blend until well blended. Thoroughly chill before serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Serve over mixed greens or vegetable-fruit salads.

Making it Kid Friendly: I will pour some out into a separate dish and squirt some ketchup into it for them.

When making dressing, I like to use my stick blender. There is less time cleaning up!


A look at my "No Till Garden"

Last year I was fed up with weeds overtaking my garden and decided to try the "No Till" method. I posted about it here. I originally got the idea from my Mother Earth News magazine I receive. You can check out their article here.

I LOVE this method of gardening. There was no tilling this spring. The weeding is minimal. The watering is minimal. And everything seemed to thrive with the exception of my hot pepper plants.

This year I only had to add a layer of compost to the top of each bed and we were ready to go!

Here's how it looked two weeks ago:

The tomatoes are big enough and now have been mulched.

My onions are doing great and the lettuce is needing to be thinned.

My son wanted to plant cauliflower and corn. Not a lot of room for corn, but we are trying it and it seems to be growing so well.

And the cauliflower already has little baby heads on the plants!

We've planted several bell and hot pepper plants again this year, as well as spinach, beans, and carrots.

I'll post more pics as the garden comes along and we harvest things.

Lastly, here's a glimpse of the part of the garden that hasnt been converted yet. Look at those weeds!


Salad & Fruit Dressings Series-Vinaigrette Dressing

Who has lettuce or spinach coming on in their gardens? My lettuce is getting there but I was late planting my spinach. And if you didn't get any planted, be sure to visit a local farmers market.

Home grown greens are so good with a home made dressing, don't you think? Making your own dressing are economical, quick and fun.

I have a series of 10 dressings I will be posting for you to try. There should be something everyone will enjoy. If green salads are not your thing I will also have some fruit salad dressings too!

3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
3 1 inch pieces medium green onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
ground pepper to taste
Dash of hot pepper sauce

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until uniform.
Cover and chill. makes about 1 cup.

Serve on any vegetable salad, greens or over sliced tomatoes.


Beef Taco Skillet

Here's my version:

2 lbs beefalo
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 can Ro-Tel
1/2-3/4 cup water
4 flour tortillas cut into 1" pieces
shredded American Cheddar Jack cheese to top

Brown beefalo and drain.
Stir in soup, Ro-Tel, water and tortillas. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
Top with cheese and serve.

Here's the Original Campbell's Beef Taco Skillet recipe:

1 lb ground beef
1 can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup water
6 6" flour tortillas cut into 1" pieces
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese to top

Brown beef and drain.
Stir in soup, salsa, water and tortillas. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.
Top with cheese and serve.

Creamy Mexican Fiesta: Stir in 1/2 cup sour cream with soup.
Ranchero Style: Use corn tortillas instead of flour and shredded Mexican cheese blend instead of Cheddar.


Here's Some Cheese For That Whine!

I need to whine. Do you mind?

I'm tired. Very, very tired. Since being let go February 20th, I have had to do more running, errands and helping others than for my own family. My husband has been running routes daily at work and I've been getting up at 4:40am to pack his lunches. I go back to bed until time to get youngest up for school, but my sleep is still not the same. I've ran myself to death.

First it was going through my aunt and uncles entire estate, getting everything ready for the auction my uncle wanted to sell. He liquidated everything! Over 40 years of stuff my aunt hoarded. The only daily help I had was my mother who is limited on what she can do. My oldest son did help us three or four days for a couple hours each day and my father did help out two or three Saturdays for a few hours. The rest was left up to my mother and I. Thank goodness that is done!

Monday my father had to have surgery. I have been at the hospital everyday this week, driving my mother back and forth. We were able to bring him home today.

Today was my youngest son's last day of school. He signed up for summer school and now doesn't want to attend since they wont be able to have band.

My house is a mess! There are coupon inserts stacked up so high. Magazines stacked up that I havnt had a chance to read. Boxes and bags of stuff brought home from my aunt's that needs to be put away.

My laundry is behind, my bathrooms need to be thoroughly cleaned. My hardwood floors need to be swept and mopped. My flower gardens needed to be weeded and my chicken coop needs to be spring cleaned.

Speaking of spring cleaning... I'm so far behind on my normal cleaning the thought of spring cleaning is upsetting.

I'm tired and overwhelmed. Completing the basic tasks day to day to live is all I've accomplished.

And now, I wanted to prepare a quick dinner and my son is mad because I didnt cook the Beef Taco Skillet just the way he wanted. The recipe follows this post. I guess he will either eat it or go hungry, I'm too tired to worry about it.


Olive Garden's Lasagna Rollatini with Chicken

Lasagna Rolls
1 lb lasagna noodle
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed, minus 3 tbs for sauce
2 cups Kraft Italian five cheese blend (mozzarella, provolone, romano, asiago, and parmesan cheeses) minus 1/2 cup for sauce
2 eggs, wisked
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon oregano
salt and pepper

1 head roasted garlic, large, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon flour
16 ounces half-and-half
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup reserved Kraft Italian five cheese blend
1 roma tomato, diced
3 tablespoons reserved spinach
1 tablespoon parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Putting rolls together:
Heat spinach in unopened box in microwave for couple minutes until warm. Remove spinach from box and squeeze all the water from the spinach. I used my lemon/lime hand press to press all the water out. You want the spinach very dry or it will water down the sauce too much. Don't forget to remove 3 tablespoons for sauce.

Roasting your garlic: Cut enough top off that all cloves are exposed, remove just the very outside skin, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Boil noodles while garlic is roasting.

While garlic is roasting and noodles are boiling: In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, add seasonings and whisk. Add ricotta cheese, Italian cheese and spinach with the egg and seasonings and stir until combined.

Lay cooked noodle on a clean surface. Spread a thin layer of cheese mixture down the length of the noodle,do not spread all the way to edges. Roll noodle loosely and place seam down in a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish. Repeat until all noodles are stuffed and rolled. Do not let rolls touch each other. I ended up with 12 rolls.

Squeeze garlic head until the roasted cloves pop out of the individual clove's skin. Dice.

Dice tomatoes.

In medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add roasted garlic and saute a couple minutes, being sure not to burn.

Add butter. Once melted, mix in flour, making a roux, cooking for 1 minute.
Whisk in white wine, cook for 2 minutes to allow alcohol to burn off. Whisk in half and half cream until velvety smooth.

Add the cheese, whisking until melted and smooth. Then whisk in spinach, whisking until spinach is broke up throughout sauce. Gently stir in tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper and add parsley. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Pour over lasagna rolls, cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Uncover and cook 10-15 minutes longer or until sauce is bubbling.

While rolls are in oven, saute boneless/skinless chicken strips seasoned with salt & pepper in olive oil in a skillet until done. I cut my strips into 3 narrow strips to cook faster.

To plate: Place one roll on plate, spoon sauce over roll. Place 2-3 strips of chicken on side.

The next time I make this, I am going to fix shrimp instead of chicken!


Monday Meal Plan Menu 5/11-5/17

Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday.

Monday Olive Garden's Cheese Lasagna Rollatini with Chicken

Tuesday Asian Crockpot Chicken

Wednesday Goulash

Thursday Savory Baked Pork Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Salad

Friday Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Saturday Grilled Hamburgers & Hot Dogs

Sunday Crock Pot Roast, Potatoes, Carrots


Make your own Clorox Anywhere Spray

I posted some recipes for making your own household cleaners about a month ago such as window cleaner, floor cleaner and furniture polish. If you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

Amy over at Cutting Coupons in KC told me about a recipe for Clorox Anywhere Spray that Michelle from Money Saving Madness had posted. I love this stuff! It’s so easy and CHEAP!

Here’s Michelle’s recipe, and be sure to visit both Amy and Michelle’s blogs. They have wonderful ideas and tips to share.

This product is no secret recipe. It is 99.9% WATER! ~and costs $3.29 or more per bottle. You can make your own with this easy Clorox Anywhere Recipe:
22 oz. Empty Spray Bottle
1 1/2 teaspoons bleach
22 oz. of Water
Add bleach and fill with water, shake to mix.
It's that easy and you'll save so much money never having to buy this product again!


Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder Nectar

It's that time of year to hang your hummingbird feeders.

If you hang multiple feeders like I do, buying the mix or liquid can get expensive. Those little buggers have a bottomless pit! They must eat more than their body weight every day.

Here is a safe and frugal way to feed your friends.

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

Mix 1 part sugar with 2 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present. Boil one minute.
Cool and fill feeder.
Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.
Red dye should not be added.

For further hummingbird reference, click here.

Also, for more frugal recipes be sure to visit The Grocery Cart!


FREE Entertainment

It's the time of year that there are so many self guided tours going on all over the United States. Many are sponsored by county extension offices. Most are free, but some require a small fee or ask for a donation.

You'll find self guided tours on different farms, orchards, winery/vinyards, gardens, backyard water features/koi ponds, etc.

Check with your local chamber of commerces, county extension offices, and garden clubs to see what's available in your area.

The tour I found for us that I think would be interesting is the Miami County Kansas Eco Development tour, featuring 10 rural stops. There will be alpacas, goats, emus, pecan groves, fresh herbs/vegetables/fruit, as well as flower gardens.

Each farm specializes in an area, and most have some type of stand set up where you can purchase their products such as goat cheese or soap, meat, plants, etc.

Here are a few more that caught my interest:

Visit Pulaski County
Pulaski County Rte 66 Tour
Green County Missouri Historic School Tour

Miami County Eco Dev Rural Tour

Oregon Wine and Farm Tour

Prairie Waters Map List of Tours

What does your family do during the summer for frugal entertainment?