Thursday, July 19, 2018

Jello Berry Dessert

This has become a holiday dessert in our family.  It's easy and looks fabulous when made in a see through glass serving dish. (This is a large serving and perfect to take to a potluck.)

Jello Berry Dessert

Makes approximately 15-20 servings.


1 - 6 oz. package of cherry jello
1 - 14 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 can blueberry pie mix
2 cups boiling water


1 - 8 oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped nuts*
*nuts can either be added and mixed together, or can be sprinkled on top of the cream mixture after spreading it onto the gelatin.


Dissolve jello completely in 2 cups boiling water. Add in blueberry pie mix and can of pineapple (undrained) into jello mixture.  Pour into glass 9x13 casserole dish.  Let set until congealed (set).

Make topping by mixing all ingredients together using hand mixer. After gelatin is set, spread evenly on top.


**This recipe may be cut in half successfully.
**This recipe may also be poured into individual dessert cups and then topped with cream mixture.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Italian Spaghetti Sauce

Yields approximately 5 quarts


1 onion, diced
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped finely
olive oil (enough to cover bottom of frying pan)
3 cans (29 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cans (29 oz.) diced tomatoes (drain off liquid)
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 -  6oz. cans tomato paste
2 ½ lbs. cooked hamburger (or ground turkey)
2 ½ lbs. cooked hot or regular Italian sausage (Italian turkey sausage works good, too!)
1 ½ cups red wine
1 TBSP dried oregano
2 TBSP dried Italian seasoning
2 TBSP dried basil
crushed red pepper flakes (I use probably 3 good Tablespoons)
fresh basil, chopped
fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf), chopped
salt & pepper

NOTE:  I use a very large stock pot.  If you do not have a pot big enough, it’s best to mix the ingredients all together while the sauces are still cold and then separate into separate pots to simmer.



  • Heat oil in large frying pan, saute onion. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and dried herbs, stirring until garlic is light golden.

  •  In LARGE stock pot, add crushed, diced and tomato sauce. Stir in tomato paste.

  • Add hamburger, sausage, fresh basil, fresh parsley and wine. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low (half covered) for 5-6 hours or all day. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BURN!  Stir regularly to make sure that it is not sticking the bottom of the pan.  Taste about 3 hours into simmering and add additional salt and/or seasonings as needed for taste.  Usually a lot of salt is needed.

*We like ours spicy, but if you want it a little milder, eliminate the crushed red pepper flakes.

We usually enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner and then I refrigerate the remaining sauce in quart jars overnight until cool.  The next morning, I pour each quart jar into quart size freezer bag, label & date it, and freeze.

We use this same sauce base to make homemade lasagna and pizzas, too!

PIZZA SAUCE (alternative):We  also make this sauce withOUT meat for pizza sauce.    We make the batch as usual but separate out a small portion of sauce to simmer without any meat added.

EXTRAS:  While simmering for your meal, consider adding in zucchini, squash, or mushrooms.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Little bits about me - Vacation

July was here and gone and it truly was a difficult month.  Internet issues were right at the start and have continued with little resolve.  We are moving at a slower than molasses rate and while posts have been making the draft part of the blog, they haven't been posted as I practice patience for finding ways to fix the problem.  Add to that a miserable head cold that lasted 3 weeks with several weeks of a heat wave, and I wasn't the most joyful model.

Let's play catch-up today!

 1.  Will you go on a summer vacation this year?  We might, but we haven't made any plans.

 2.  Do nothing but relax or a pack it all in vacation?  We do both - some days are packed full and others we enjoy the slow relaxing moments by a camp fire.

 3.  What month do you like to vacation?  I think I love the months of May or October.  Usually the weather is pleasant and places are not too crowded.

 4.  Cruise YES or NO?  Probably not.  It's usually cost prohibitive and I do not do well on the water.  I've been seasick a handful of times and it was a miserable experience no matter what kind of boat I've been on.

 5.  Favorite vacation tradition?  I wish we had one that was truly a "tradition" but it's probably roasting marshmallows and eating s'mores.

 6.  Most memorable vacation?  I've had a few, but the most recent was a full 3 weeks road trip through a few states and seeing some amazing forests, giant redwood trees, beautiful waterfalls, and just seeing so many new things - castle, geysers, petrified forest, and fascinating tide pools.  And, te weather was absolutely perfect nearly every single day.

 7.  Pack light or pack it all?  I probably over-pack with the thought process of better safe than sorry, but I think next time, I will try to pack a little lighter because the extras caused extra work, too.

 8.  Hotel, Condo, or House?  Hmm....none of those really are my first choice.  I'd pick and RV.  Love traveling and being able to relax in our own space.

 9.  Favorite things to eat on vacation? Messy BBQ ribs and corn on the cobb and let's add evenings with hot cocoa and playing a game.

10. Warm or Cold destinations?  I like comfortable - warm (not hot) days, with cool evenings.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Hello July

Hello July!  I have grand plans to keep me busy, but I hope to embrace the beauty of the longer days and extra sunshine.

July plans:

-:- summer school - try to get in at least 10 days of school before we "start" school
-:- make a bunch of freezer meals for my neighbor
-:- a small road trip to visit family
-:- order school ID cards
-:- watch 4th of July fireworks
-:- have race day (Nascar) family gatherings
-:- finish read-aloud:  Detectives in Togas

 Update on June:

-:- complete school reports & plans for 2018-19 done
-:- gather family for Father's Day done
-:- attend ultrasound to learn grand "son" or grand "daughter"done - it's a BOY!
-:- spend less done
-:- celebrate 27th Anniversary done - went out for lunch together but want to plan for a weekend get-a-way together in the Fall.
-:- try a new recipe done - we tried a hot chicken salad recipe - kind of a miss for us.

-:- create beauty in picket fence area- moving to cooler weather!


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