Monthly Archives: May 2013

One Little Thing… Summer fun, on the cheap!


Today is the last day of school for my little hooligans, and since I am not working it is up to me to keep them occupied, healthy and happy. My goal is to limit the video game playing and tv watching, while increasing the outside (within reason – after all it IS Florida and 95 degrees!) and educational time.

I have been trying to make a list of the things we can do cheaply, and here are a few of my ideas.
1. Bowling – with free passes leftover from my oldest kid’s last birthday party.
2. Dog park
3. Beach
4. Swimming with friends
5. Science experiments at home
6. Bike riding
7. Parks with friends
8. Nature hikes
9. Dollar movies
10. Library

I also got workbooks for the kids so I can have them keep up on using their brain. Lofty plans, bit we’ll give it a go.


Twinkie Cupcakes.


This recipe for Twinkie cupcakes was modified from This Recipe.

The changes I made were twofold. I didn’t want to use the frosting, only modify the filling to work for both. Also, I remember a hint of lemon flavor in the originals, so I added where I thought proper. I think I’ve nailed it. Except, that 10 minutes after filling the cupcakes they are less pretty. Refrigeration would fix this, as would a proper frosting. Oh we’ll.

1 box butter yellow cake mix, and the ingredients to make it
1 small box French vanilla fat free pudding
1 tsp lemon flavoring

1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow fluff
1/2 c room temp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt dissolved into 2 Tbsp hot water (cooled)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix up the cake batter as called for on the box. Mix in pudding mix and lemon flavoring. Scoop into cupcake liners. Mine made 22 cupcakes.
Bake 15 – 18 mins until done. Let cool. With a slanted knife, cut a cone out of the middle.

In mixing bowl, beat together fluff, butter, & vanilla until fluffy. Slowly add in sugar, alternating with water. I used about 1 Tbsp of the water.
Scoop filling into zip top bag (stand it up in a cup with the edges draped over. You’ll thank me later.), and put in the fridge for at least an hour. Snip the tip and pipe a swirl into each middle.


One Little Thing… Crockpot pork chops and gravy


I really love those days during the week that I am able to browse Pinterest for some really great recipes. I get so excited, and dive in head first. This is what happened the other day when I planned pork chops for supper with one such recipe.

However, I didn’t have any cream of chicken, and cream of mushroom is the go to… And I wanted something different. The result was so good, and easy.

The pork chops I used were bone in, but if I had to do it again, I would probably use boneless because the bones fell out anyway, and I had to hunt them all down… And some still ended up on plates! I have also changed up how it’s put together because the gravy was a little gloppy in parts, so mixing with water before its cooked fixes the issue.


Pork chops, cream of celery, ranch mix, Italian seasoning. Crock pot. 3 hours. Yummy.

4 pork chops
1 can cream of celery
1 packet of ranch mix
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup water

Spray crock pot with non-stick spray, or place crock pot liner. Place pork chops on bottom of pot. In mixing bowl, mix ranch packet, Italian seasoning, cream of celery and 1/2 cup water. Pour over pork chops. Cook on high 3-4 hours.

Once pork chops are done, remove from pot, leaving as much gravy as possible. Some of the meat staying with the gravy is a good thing! Remove any bones at this point. Stir in 1/2 – 1 cup of water, whisk together to thin out gravy.

Everyone raved about this recipe, and I served it with mashed potatoes and corn. The gravy was awesome, especially with little bits of pork chop mixed in.


These awesomely moist and tender pork chops tried to fall apart on me, but managed to mostly stay together long enough for me to get a pic!