Showing posts with label In My Kitchen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In My Kitchen. Show all posts

Friday, June 9, 2017

Best Fresh Fruit Salad for Any Occasion

2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Bring orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool. (Note - don't simmer too long on too high heat or it will be to thick - I kept it a thin liquid to pour over the fruit.)

1 cubed fresh pineapple 
3 lb. strawberries, hulled and sliced 
6-8 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced 
1 bunch of 4-5 bananas, sliced 
oranges, (I used a bag of Cuties) peeled and sectioned 
1 lb. each of  green and red seedless grapes 

Layer the fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, and grapes. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving. - I mixed the fruit altogether right before serving.

*we served this for our daughters graduation party and received many compliments!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

5 Best Household Hacks

There are some 'household hacks' that I think just about every body has heard of by now, like heating a bowl of lemon water in the microwave before cleaning it and it will wipe off effortlessly. But then, sometimes as I'm using a household hack, I think to myself, I wonder if people know to do this, because I love it so much!

So, today I'm sharing 5 of my favorite household hacks....

1. Upside Down Laundry Room Towel Rack
How many times do you have a wet rag with no where to put it, so it ends up on the washer, counter, floor, or flung over the hamper to dry until laundry day? Well, I don't know about you, but at our house we go through a lot of wet rags.... I had hubby screw in a towel rod upside down under the laundry room cabinet. It is the best thing ever! Now we hang the wet rags up, and when they're dry, I toss them into the hamper. Having this in my laundry room has made me a happier person!

2. Spinning Spice Rack Pampered Chef
I used to have the little spice rack shelf where every single time you reached for a spice bottle, about 3 or 4 other ones would fall over, creating a domino effect and they would all come falling out. Every. Single. Time.
Now, if I had a huge kitchen with lots of drawer space, I'd love to have the ikea spice rack drawers to lay my spices in. But since I have a modestly small, (just right for me size kitchen), I absolutely love my pampered chef spice rack spinner! (PS. If you need a great Pampered Chef lady.... Rose is awesome! And, no, I don't get any perks for saying that) but please let her know that I sent you her way!

3. Plastic Shoe Boxes For Medicine Cupboard
Our bathroom closet used to look like a tornado hit it on a regular basis.... it was chaos to find anything, bottles would fall over, I would end up buying 10 tubes of toothpaste, because you couldn't find the other 6 I had already bought that was hiding out in the huge mess! I took everything out of the closet and bought 6 plastic shoe boxes. Then I sorted everything into piles: slaves and creams, first aid, colds and flu, eyes and razors, teeth stuff, and allergy...... I got rid of anything out dated or no longer used and put each pile into the perspective box, put a label in the front and walla! -Now you can find everything your looking for and the closet always stays clean!

4. DVD Albums
At our house we have 3 kids and 2 adults with vastly different movie preferences. We don't pay for TV, and we don't own any Wii or Ps games or anything like that and do not have a library close by, so for our entertainment - we enjoy watching DVDs. Over the last 10+ years, we have acquire quite a few movies! (Let me insert here that I try to spend no more than $3 per DVD with the exception of season sets). As, you can imagine, I had a whole closet full of movies (both VHS and DVD's). Well, I decided something had to be done, so when our VHS player quit, we got rid of all the VHS tapes, then went through our DVD stash and gave over 70 away.....

Anyway, we were left with still a whole lot of movies, but also ones we like to watch, so I ordered Cd pages, bought albums, and organized the albums by kind. 

Right now our album titles along with the kind of movies are as follows:
Dads (Fast and Furious, Ocean 13, Duck Dynasty, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.)
Moms (Love Comes Softly Season Set, Lipstick Jungle, Fireproof, God's Not Dead, Mom's Night Out, etc.)
Kids (The Fox and The Hound, Secret Garden, Robots, Finding Nemo, American Girl Movies, Horse land, etc.)
Family (Ice Age, Madagascar, RV, Princess Diary's, Flubber, Disney Cars, etc.)
Little House On The Prairie - Complete Seasons Set
Heartland - Complete Seasons Set
CSI - Seasons Sets (we will sell this set after we finish watching it)
Everwood - Complete Seasons Set
Parenthood - Complete Seasons Set
7th Heaven - Complete Seasons Set
Sex in the City - Complete Seasons Set and Movies 1 & 2 (don't judge - its my own personal secret indulgence.)
Gilmore Girls - Complete Seasons Set (another favorite of mine)
Christy - Complete Season Set

This system has made things so easy and the best part is, it has given me back my closet. I can now keep all our movies in the bottom of an end table!

5.  Cutting Curtains
If you like redecorating your home.... I'm sure you know that it can get somewhat costly. I shop second hand stores, antique shops, craigslist, etc. and try to keep my costs down but the one thing that always surprises me with the cost is curtains! Even a cheap curtain panel will usually cost around $18 - $25..... and that is for just one panel. Well for two windows, you'll easily have $80 just in curtains.... While $80 for curtains might not be much for some, for me, that is a whole lot of $$$!

So, in stead of buying 4 panels for the 2 windows, I only buy 2 panels. I measure and cut the panels in half. Then I hem them up where I cut, restitching the rod pocket and guess what? I now have 4 panels!! A word of caution: I only do this for windows that I am using either a blind, shade, or sheers in, as I am just using the panels for decoration. Here is the girls room, that I just made last week.

So, there you have it.... I'd love to hear some of your favorite household hacks in the comments!

Friday, April 28, 2017


This early-spring treat is one of a few perennial vegetable crops, so once you get a patch established, it will give you many years of delicious harvests for little work. Here's my little patch from last year:

Asparagus are fresh, crisp, nutritious, and adaptable to use in many different ways. Asparagus are a good source of the following minerals & vitamins:
Iodine, Potassium, Copper, Magnesium, Folate, and Vitamins A, C and E. 

My favorite ways to eat it are - 

Steamed with Eggs...
Steam Asparagus on stove top... top with shredded or chopped hard boiled eggs and salt and pepper.

 Oven Roasted...
This has to be one of the easiest and tastiest ways to cook asparagus. Just trim the ends, lay out on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and then bake until done. 

In a sandwich...

We like to use a toasted and buttered bread or bagel. Add bacon, steamed asparagus and a fried egg! *Note: some people put guacamole on this sandwich - I prefer not to, but it's your choice!

Here are some other recipes that I want to make with asparagus this spring...

For more info on all things Asparagus - from different ways to cooking, cleaning, seasoning and much, much more - please visit Quick Easy Cook!

For more great recipe's - Follow our Recipe's/Kitchen board on Pinterest!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Chewy Rhubarb Crisp

 Crust Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter

Filling Ingredients
3 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4 cups cold water
1 cups sugar
2 tbsp. strawberry jello granuels
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, baking soda. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press 3 cups into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; set aside.

 In a saucepan, combine sugar, water and rhubarb and jello. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Combine 2 tbsp of flour and 1/2 c. sugar in seperate bowl and add to rhubarb mixture, stiring for 1 min. or until thickened. Add vanilla.  Spoon over crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. 

Bake at 350° for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Serve with ice cream if desired. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Breakfast Burritos

I like to keep these breakfast burritos on hand for a quick meal, snack, or when hubby needs to pack his lunch for work and I'm out of everything! 

I make two different kinds -
#1: Eggs, Ham and Cheese
#2: Eggs, Sausage, Hash browns and Cheese

I also change them up, sometimes I add garlic, or onions, or use different kinds of cheese (cheddar, monterrey jack, mozzarella, etc) .... You could add peppers, mushrooms, different meats, or just about anything that you like..

The simplest way to make them is to make a large skillet full of scrambled eggs (I make 1 dozen eggs at a time), add your ham and cheese, (don't forget the salt and pepper), and your ready to put them in your tortilla shell.

To make the sausage and hash brown burritos - I recommend browning the sausage first and drain on a paper towel. Cook hash browns in the same pan. While the hash browns are cooking -

In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add browned sausage back to the pan with the cooked hash browns. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture and cook until the eggs are done, stirring gently and add cheese.

After eggs are done - Place egg mixture on tortilla and roll into a burrito.

Depending on how many eggs you use and how large you make each burrito, will determine how many burritos you will end up with.

Wrap each burrito individually in a paper towel then wrap in plastic wrap.

Place the wrapped burritos in freezer zip-lock bags.
(I use a magic marker and white what kind they are on the large zip-lock bag.)

Place in freezer. 

When you are ready to eat - take the burrito out of the freezer - unwrap (if you wrapped the burritos in plastic wrap you MUST unwrap them!) - keep in the paper towel, (as it will help to absorb some moisture from freezing) and warm burrito for 1 minute and 20 sec. (Time will vary based on individual microwaves.)

Serve with salsa, sour cream, or plain. -Enjoy

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Camouflage Cake

We don't do big extravagant birthday parties at our house.... but, I do let each kid pick what kind of cake they want and their birthday supper meal. I also get them a birthday balloon (Dollar Tree has them for $1), and we either get them a small gift or go somewhere as a family. I think the whole point is to make it a special day for them to remember!

I enjoy making and decorating cakes. You can see some of them here, here, and here

Wyatt turned 10 this week and requested a camouflage cake with a Polaris 500 ATV on top.... I think it turned out pretty good!

I've had a few people ask how I make the camouflage cakes. It really is easy....

First, mix a white cake mix and a chocolate cake mix separately. Put half of each batter into separate bowls and add green food coloring to one bowl of white and one bowl of chocolate cake mix. 

Prepare your pans and spoon a little of each batter in random spots until you have the proper amount of batter in each pan. Do not swirl the batters. 

Bake and cool the cakes as usual. 

This is how it looked on top.....

Decorate the cake.

Happy 10th Birthday WYATT!

Here is a photo of the inside of the cake after cutting...

You can use this for many different occasions - a shower, school colors, holidays, etc. I plan to do a purple, pink, white and blue cake for my 7 yr old's barbie birthday cake in a couple weeks. I think any boy or girl would love to get a camouflage cake!

See my other cakes here:
Cake Anyone - Graduation Cake, Cakes for guys and more.
Cake Anyone Continued - lots of birthday cakes for little girls.
Even More Cake - Anniversary, Wedding, Baby Shower, Campfire, Candy, and more cakes. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Best Protein Snack Recipe

Is your family getting all the protein that they need? If they are like the majority of Americans, they most likely aren't! My kids don't enjoy drinking protein shakes..... but they LOVE this Protein Snack! Even adults can't resist!

~ Recipe ~

1 cup (dry) oatmeal or crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup Chocolate or Vanilla Shaklee Life Energizing Protein

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut/almond butter

1/2 cup honey

(You can also add other ingredients like flax seed, chia seed, raisins, nuts, etc.)

Stir until everything is moist. Press into 8×8 pan or roll into bite sized balls. Keep in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Around the world, millions of people don’t get enough protein. Protein malnutrition leads to the condition known as kwashiorkor. Lack of protein can cause growth failure, loss of muscle mass, decreased immunity, weakening of the heart and respiratory system, and death.

Protein is the single most important food we eat. The name comes form the Greek “protos,” meaning “first place” or “takes first place.” Every cell in our body contains and needs protein to survive!

All Protein Isn't Alike!

The quality of protein is measured by the balance and amounts of the essential amino acids it contains. If the protein contains all nine essential amino acids in proper amounts to support your body’s health, it is called a complete protein.

Not only does Shaklee’s Protein Powder have all nine essential amino acids in the proper amount and is a complete protein, but Shaklee products also go through rigorous safety tests, to insure you are getting the highest quality protein available! Order your Shaklee Protein here!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best of 2016

This year there were 48 blog posts at SRKindredSpirits....  There were a lot of different topics.... Things to say on a job interview, Recipes, Visiting Louisville KY, Getting rid of cookbook clutter, Book reviews, Bookcase redo, Why I don't sell, Making an orb, Crochet Christmas tree skirt, Understanding a INTJ, Adoption, DYT experiment, My first speeding ticket, What Instagram really tells you, How to review a product company, Family quality time, A free health quiz, and much more.

Here's the top 10 posts of 2016:

We had our first giveaway here on SRKindredSpirits and it was a success! The Happiness Dare is a highly recommended book!

Once you try these, you'll be hooked! Easy and yummy... you can't go wrong with these cream cheese roll ups!

I wrote this post after reading the definition of the word 'family', it will give you a little insight to my life.

Getting rid of the swimming pool was personal favorite and the relief we felt after the pool was gone was major! You have to click through and read the attached article.... it makes for a great laugh!

I think everyone could use a bit of a slow down in this thing we call life. Have you ever stopped and thought about all the errands you run or the many places you go?

Something so simple, but yet, so often, people don't take the time to do these ten simple things. It does make a difference!

Isn't it funny how most people always want more? From those of us who have been blessed with more.... all it takes to make you happy is enough!

What things are you great at? I really lay my heart out there on this post....

A fan favorite. This post has gotten the most talked about over on Facebook!

And lastly.... this post was the most popular all the way around. How qualified am I really?

What are some things you'd like to see on this blog in the next year? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for visiting us here at SRKindredSpirits... please share our blog with friends and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updated posts. 

Happy New Year! 
Here's to a great 2017!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Getting Rid of Cookbook Clutter

When I moved into my first apartment at the age of 16, I knew that I wanted some of my mom's recipes. So, I made a homemade recipe book, and spent a few days writing my favorite recipes down. You see, my parents were in the process of moving to another state (Pennsylvania) over nine hours away. I knew that I couldn't just go home and look through mom's recipes when ever I wanted. Through the years, I added to my homemade recipe book, collecting any recipes that I thought looked good.

 Fast forward thirteen years down the road. I was married with three kids. I had a Taste of Home magazine subscription, recipes from other magazines like Country Side, Better Homes and Gardens, and lots of recipe books that people had given me over the years. I had a whole shelf and a half full of recipes. When I wanted to try a new recipe, just the idea of looking through the stacks of recipes made me stop - there was so many, I didn't even want to sort through them. 

I never used most of them, but didn't want to get rid of them - because I, like most people, occasionally don't know what to make, and want to try something new..... so, I'd keep the stacks piled up for 'someday'.

And a few more years went by....

Last year, my hubby and I decided that we were tired of 'stuff' and wanted to simplify our life by living with less.... the extra recipes, and magazines, and cookbooks had to go....

“Living with less is about having more…. more time, more money, more quality… it’s about adding to your life, not taking away.” 
– Rhoda A Kindred

I went through all the cookbooks, magazines, and recipes. Any recipes that I thought my family might like, I cut out and saved. I made a folder to put them in. My folder has two sides, one for deserts and drinks, the other side for main dishes, salads, and breads.

I divided my personal cookbook into two, (one for breads, desserts, canning, and misc. and one for drinks, soups, salads, vegetables, and main dishes) so they are easier to handle. All my pages are in a clear sheet protector - which is great if you have a 'messy' teen (sorry Faith!!!*) cooking! 

*She's a great cook - almost better than myself, but lets just say, I'm glad for the sheet protectors when she's in the kitchen!!!

I also took all the recipes that we have never used or that we didn't like out of my homemade cookbooks. I want my cookbook to be only recipes that we like and eat as a family. 

Here's the final project:

On my shelf I have:
My Homemade Cookbooks 1 & 2
My Recipes To Try Folder
The Heisey Cookbook (my best childhood friend's family cookbook)
The Dunkard Brethren Cookbook (recipes from the church that I grew up in)
The ABC Cookbook for kids (mine as a kid)
The Molly Cookbook (mine as a kid)
The Moss Weaver Family Cookbook (it has lots of my Grandma Frick and Great Grandma's recipes - some in their original hand writing.)       
My Grandma Stumps recipes on CD

I also have my Ball Canning Book, Presto Canner Manuel, Stove Manuel, and Kitchen Aid Mixer Manuel and a Cake Decorating Book on my shelf.

Here is my new recipe shelf.... 

Now when new recipes come into the house, I go through them immediately - cutting out the ones that looks good enough to try and tossing the rest straight into the trash. It's a great solution that keeps recipe clutter to a minimum, and my recipes organized, and easy to find!

What do you do with your recipes? Please share in the comments below.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Monster Cookie Recipe - Best Ever!

Monster Cookie Recipe

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 & 1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 & 1/2 cup quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M & M's

1. Cream butter, sugars, and peanut butter together

2. Add the eggs, soda, and vanilla and blend well

3. Stir in chocolate chips and M & M's until well blended

4. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Do not bake cookies any longer than 10 minutes. The cookies will set up as they cool.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cream Cheese Roll Ups

Looking for a quick brunch idea for a special occasion, or maybe just a little something special to serve your family this weekend? Try these Cream Cheese Roll-ups - they are quick, easy and taste amazing with a cold glass of fresh milk!


1 loaf of white bread
1 bar (8oz) of cream cheese softened
3/4 - 1 cup powdered sugar
¾ cups sugar
1 TB cinnamon
½ cup butter, melted


With a rolling pin, flatten bread. (I used 12 slices.)


In a small bowl combine cream cheese and powdered sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl combine sugar and cinnamon - set aside. Spread 1 - 1½ tablespoons of cream cheese mixture onto each flattened bread piece and roll up.


Dip each rolled bread into melted butter and then into the cinnamon and sugar mix. (I have found using a paper plate for the melted butter and cinnamon sugar, makes it easier and is less mess!)


 Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat for remaining pieces of bread. 
Note: can I just say that I love my USA pans! They are awesome!

Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm. ENJOY!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Raspberry Chocolate Torte Recipe

Raspberry season is almost, thought I'd share a Raspberry Chocolate Torte recipe for you to enjoy!

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking coco

1/4 cup boiling water
4 teaspoons raspberry gelatin
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

2 cups (12 ounces ) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cartons (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups fresh raspberries

Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with waxed paper.
grease the paper. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until
light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each
addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and cocoa; gradually beat
into the creamed mixture. Transfer to prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near
the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto
a wire rack to cool completely. Carefully remove waxed paper.

For glaze, stir water and gelatin until dissolved. Stir in jam. Brush
evenly over bottom of cake. Trim edges; cut cake width wise into

For topping, in a microwave, melt chips; stir until smooth. Fold in
half of the whipped topping until blended; fold in remaining whipped
topping (mixture will be thick).

Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread with 3/4 cup
topping. Repeat layers; top with remaining cake. Frost and decorate
with raspberries and remaining topping. Yield: 12 servings.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lemon Crinkle Cookies: A Taste of Spring

It's a beautiful, windy, day in East Central Indiana.....
The sun is out and I have tulips peeping through the ground in my flower beds, which makes me very happy! Spring will be here in 20 days, 6 hrs, 42 min and a few seconds.... but who's counting, right!?!?!
Here's a cookie recipe that we like. It is light and fluffy and reminds me of Spring. Enjoy!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies 
 Makes 2-3 dozen

                                  ½ cups butter, softened                    1 cup granulated sugar
                                  ½ teaspoons vanilla extract              1 whole egg
                                  1 teaspoon lemon zest                      1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                                  ¼ teaspoons salt                              ¼ teaspoons baking powder
                                  ⅛ teaspoons baking soda                 1-½ cup all-purpose flour
                                                                                           ½ cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melted or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

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