Recipe: Angel Food Cake Frosting

Angel Food Cake Frosting RecipeAngel Food Cake Frosting 004  Angel Food Cake Frosting 006

My mother-in-law has been making this Angel Food Cake Frosting for birthdays for years!  My daughter wanted it for her birthday this year, so I’m happy to share the recipe with you.

I just used a box mix to make the angel food cake.

Angel Food Cake Frosting:

2 cups sugar

2 egg whites

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

food coloring (optional)

Put about 2 inches of hot water in a saucepan and set heat to high.  Mix the first three ingredients in a double boiler over the saucepan.  Mix on low 1 minute, then on medium-high for about 10 minutes (until stiff peaks form).  My mother-in-law’s tip is to have a magazine sitting there so you can flip through it while you mix!  When the water boils, turn down the heat to low.  During the last minute add the vanilla and food coloring.  Immediately pour over the cake.  Depending on the humidity level, it may stay soft or it may get hard and crunchy.  Both ways taste great!


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Post linked to Inspire Me Mondays, Mom 2 Mom Monday, A Mama’s Story, Monday’s Musings, Hip Homeschool Hop, Laugh Learn Linkup , Our 4 Kiddos New Recipe Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Moms, Whole-Hearted Home

Craftsy Classes 50% off!



I don’t know if you have ever tried a Craftsy class, but they are really neat!  I’ve watched a few of the cooking ones.  I love that they remain yours forever, so you can watch them over and over (and use them for your kids!)  Summer is a perfect time to try them out.  Choose from cooking, sewing, cake decorating, gardening, crafts, knitting, photography–browse their classes and see what you want!

And they are having a BIG Summer Sale. All online classes are up to 50% off and some are starting at just $9.99! Just think of all the cooking, sewing and gardening knowledge that is waiting to be unlocked! This sale only lasts a few days (ends at 11:59pm MT on Monday, June 9th.), so be sure to sign up for one soon!

Here are some of the classes that are catching my eye:

*Decadent Chocolate Cakes

*Beginning Serging

*The Ultimate T-Shirt

*Classic Croissants at Home

If you get a class, let me know which one–and how you like it!

(Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.)

Heart Healthy Recipes With Campbell’s Soup

Heart Healthy Recipes


We are always thinking about ways to be healthier around our home. I’m not great at it, but here are a few things we do: save desserts for the weekends, cook most meals at home rather than eating out, and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Another thing I do is buy the Healthy Request Campbell’s soups because they have less sodium and no MSG.

Campbell’s Soup wants you to “Address Your Heart” with Heart Healthy Tips, recipes and more!

Visit to get heart-healthy tips, including 21 Campbell’s recipes that are certified by the American Heart Association and product coupons, as well as for the latest Campbell’s recipes and offers.

Here are 5 Yummy recipes to start with. Click on the pictures to get the recipes.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Slow-Cooked Chicken and Butternut Squash

Creamy Chicken & Vegetables over Spaghetti Squash

Pizza Primavera with Cauliflower Crust

Pork Medallions with Spinach & Barley

Here is a list of great coupons and special offers so you can get the Campbell’s money saving coupons!

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Soup Company)

From House to Home {Link Party}: Turkey Chowder recipe

I pray you are all having a very blessed Thanksgiving today!  Below is one of my favorite pictures.  My oldest (who turns 13 in a few days) did this when he was 6!




Be sure to enter all my awesome giveaways this week.  There are about 6 or 7, depending on when you read this!

I made a new soup a few weeks ago that was really good– Turkey Chowder!  I had cooked up a turkey breast in the crock-pot a while back and froze the leftovers. So, this soup took only about 30 minutes to make.  And, of course, it will be perfect for your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!

Turkey Chowder

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped carrot

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 T. butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups half-and-half

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. white pepper

1/8 t. cayenne pepper

3 cups diced cooked turkey

Saute the onions, carrots, and celery in butter in a soup pot.  Blend in flour.  Stir in broth and half-and-half.  Stir constantly until mixture thickens.  Add in spices and turkey.  So easy!


It’s time for our From House to Home Link Party:

From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page.

(If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!




Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

Review of “Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Journey For Families”

Celebrate Jesus Advent Guide


I’m really excited about the resource I’m reviewing today: Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Journey For Families by Amy Blevins.

It’s an Advent Guide chock full of all kinds of wonderful ideas–and it’s only $4.99!

Here are some examples of ideas I got from it that I’m going to try this year: Listening to a great version of A Christmas Carol on CD, wrapping up our Christmas books and opening one each day, using advent candles, listening to wonderful music–songs I haven’t thought of before, and baking some new treats!

What will you find in Celebrate Jesus?

  • 213 pages in a downloadable ebook
  • Each day of Advent (this year starts on Sunday December 1) has Scripture readings and activities listed
  • Activities include listening to a particular song (you can use the website she suggests, or YouTube!)
  • Lots of craft ideas
  • 13 holiday recipes
  • 24 pages of copywork

 Advent is coming! Use this daily schedule of Scripture, songs, activities and more to celebrate Adv

(To order, click on the above graphic.)


 What I like:

Here is what I really liked about this advent guide– It’s not overwhelming!

Each day is completely laid out for you.  See Day One below.  It has a Scripture printed there.  (By the way, there are 2 versions–King James Version and English Standard Version.)  That is the Scripture that you’ll read aloud with the family.  There are also questions included for Moms and older teens to work through together.

So, at the table together, you’ll light the Advent candle (this can be simple, something you make, or something you buy).  Then read the Scripture, sing or listen to the song, and then do an activity.  Day One’s activity is to “act out” the darkness and then the Light coming into the darkness.  Finally, you end with a question or two to think about and help everyone apply what they’ve learned.

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One craft my kids enjoyed doing was using old Christmas cards to make placemats.

You’ll also find instructions for

  • Beaded Wreath Ornaments
  • A “Birthday Gift” for Jesus
  • Star Ornament
  • Bookmarks
  • 3-D Nativity
  • Paper Stars
  • Cinnamon Ornaments
  • Christmas Cards
  • And more!

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Celebrate Jesus 002


On certain days it’s suggested to have a simple treat during your study time. But there is also a recipe section. I wish I had time to try out all of these yummy recipes– including Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Bread Machine Rolls, Party Punch, and Company Potatoes.
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Here are some pictures of copywork pages my kids did.  There is a different Scripture for each of the 24 days of Advent.  You may choose the ESV or KJV versions.  I like that each page has a small picture to color as well.  :)

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About the Author:

Amy Blevins is a Christian homeschooling mom of 6 (including 4-year-old twins), is married to a military man, and lives in California. She is a blogger, and you can read more about her at her website Homeschool Encouragement. The products she has written include “Listening to Learn: Using Audio Files in Your Homeschool,”Thanksgiving Copywork for Children,” “Christmas Copywork for Children,” and “Celebrate Jesus: An Advent Resource for Families.”

 Advent is coming! Use this daily schedule of Scripture, songs, activities and more to celebrate Adv
(To order, click on the above graphic.)


(Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the KJV and ESV Ebook versions of Celebrate Christmas in order to write this honest review. I am also an affiliate for all of Amy Blevins’ products/books.)

Have You Tried Out Craftsy?


Have you ever heard of Craftsy?  It’s a great new way to learn a variety of homemaking skills!

What is Craftsy?
Craftsy is a worldwide craft community offering online classes. It also has a patterns marketplace where independent designers can sell their patterns; a supplies shop with great deals on yarn, fabric, and class kits; and a projects section where members share pictures of their latest craft successes. With over two million members and counting, Craftsy has something for just about everyone, in categories ranging from quilting, sewing, knitting, painting, photography, cooking, and more.

Why should I take a class online?
Online education isn’t just for schools and universities anymore. Craftsy courses provide you the convenience of a world-class instructor in your home, whenever you want to learn. Online education, no matter what subject, is a great alternative to in-person classes for a number of reasons.

With many online learning opportunities being on-demand, you are able to learn at your own pace, anytime. Online learning is a fantastic alternative to in-store craft classes for people with busy schedules or who have difficulty leaving the house. It also allows you to watch a troubling section over-and-over again, so you can see exactly how a technique is carried out, or refer back to your class for relevant concepts before beginning any new projects.

You can try out Craftsy with Free Craftsy Classes.  The class that I’ve started watching is Online Croissants Class.  It’s great!  I love that it will stay there forever, for whenever I have  a chance to get back to it or if I need to re-watch a particular segment.  It’s also neat to be able to interact with others taking the class.  I have also downloaded a crochet pattern:  an adorable Minion hat!

And I have a surprise for you…there is a Craftsy FLASH SALE this Friday, October 25th for 24 hours only!  Click on this banner:


But in the meantime, click on the best banner below to get your Free Class!  If you aren’t into cake decorating or quilting, click here to find something else that interests you, like drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, or pizza-making!




(Disclosure:  I received a Free Class–croissant–in order to write this honest review.  I am also an affiliate of Craftsy.)

From House to Home {Link Party}: Recipes for the New School Year

Winner Meals for Fall

This week I’ve been experimenting with some new recipes, and they haven’t gone over well.  I was trying the “make-ahead frozen and then put in the crock-pot” meals.  They’re too mushy and don’t “present” well.  So, my husband helped me go through my recipes to identify the winners and get a list ready for fall.

Here are my best meals.  I hope to add some photos to the posts (and the rest of the recipes) in the coming months–but only if I can make them look good (like my friend over at A Little Bit Crunchy)!


Chicken Tacos/Nachos (crock-pot)

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Baked BBQ Chicken Breasts

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets/Strips

Italian Chicken Dish

Chicken Quesadillas


Beef Tacos


Cranberry Roast (crock-pot)

French Dip Sandwiches (crock-pot)

Roast and Veggies


Sloppy Joes (crock-pot)


Mexican Chicken Soup

Black Bean Soup

Butternut Squash Soup (crock-pot)

Vegetable Beef Soup

Chili (crock-pot)

Friendship Soup

Split Pea Soup

Baked Potato Soup


Turkey Breast (crock-pot)

Hot Dogs


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce or Meatballs


Ravioli Bake


Fettucini Alfredo


Turkey Tettrazini

Fried Egg Sandwiches

Baked Potatoes

Sausage and Penne Pasta

Pulled Pork Sandwiches (crock-pot)

Veggie Burgers

And here are a few meals that I’d like to add to the repertoire that I haven’t made before (or recently):  Quiche, Pot Pie, Stir Fry, Buffalo Chicken Salad, White Chili, Swedish Meatballs with Noodles, Hot Potato Salad with Ham, Ham and Potatoes with Cream Sauce.


What are your favorite standard dishes?  Please share a link in the linky or comments!

It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!

Only 2 rules: 1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! 2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!


By the way, if you have a post about your homeschool curriculum, link it up here.  (It will be open for a few months, so come back if you need to!)

Follow on Bloglovin

See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.

From House to Home {Link Party}: Homemade Tortillas

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I did something this week that I’ve been wanting to do for years!  I made homemade tortillas!

We’re doing a unit study about the American Girl Josefina who lived in New Mexico in 1824.  We got the recipe for tortillas from the Josefina Cook Book.  The kids helped make them and everyone loved them!  We eat a lot of tortillas every week, so I think I’ll invest in a tortilla press (like they sell on Amazon) to make the process of making them a little quicker (and the tortillas rounder!).  :)

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It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!


Only 2 rules:


1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house to a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!


2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks!  The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page.. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

(Post contains affiliate links.)

Linked to

Don’t Forget! Motivated Moms and Slow Cooker Cookbook

Both are on sale until Wednesday!

New Motivated Moms rectangle

The Motivated Moms Planner!


Motivated Moms is a printable chore planning system to help you have a clean and organized home and still have time for yourself!

Just consult the list each day, do the work, check it off, and enjoy your free time.

Here is a special coupon code for I Choose Joy! readers:

$1 off any 2013 Planner with the code JOY, good until January 2, 2013.  Tell your friends!


 E-book promotion for Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Meals by Cheryl Moeller.

From December 22 – January 2 we will be offering the cookbook at a special “sale” price of $2.99 through our ebook distributors—this includes Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and the Sony Reader.”

Find the Kindle Book at Amazon or the Nook Book or print book at Barnes and Noble:  Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Dinners

(This post contains affiliate links)

Review of “Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Meals”by Cheryl Moeller


Last review of 2011:  Creative Slow-Cooker Meals:  Use Two  Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Meals by Cheryl Moeller.

When Cheryl first told me about her cookbook and its focus on using two slow cookers, I had my husband buy us a second one as soon as they were on sale at Aldi!  This is such a cool idea.  The cookbook is divided into the following sections:  Breakfast, Shopping Local, Passport to the Nations, Simple Meals, Bulk Bargains, Parties, Vegetarian and Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, and more.  Sometimes you’ll see a main course paired with a side dish.  Or maybe a breakfast dish paired with a topping.  Or an appetizer paired with a drink.

I went through the cookbook and bookmarked every recipe I wanted to try first–there are about 30!  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any made this week as almost my entire family came down with the flu.  One night those who had an appetite just ate protein bars for dinner!  But I know this cookbook will be on my counter constantly from now on, as crock-pot meals work great for our busy family.

And now a word from the author, Cheryl Moeller:

“So you still have people to buy for on your Christmas List? We are excited to let you know about an upcoming before Christmas e-book promotion for Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Meals by Cheryl Moeller.

From December 22 – January 2 we will be offering the cookbook at a special “sale” price of $2.99 through our ebook distributors—this includes Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and the Sony Reader.”

Find the Kindle Book at Amazon or the Nook Book or print book at Barnes and Noble:  Creative Slow-Cooker Meals: Use Two Slow Cookers for Tasty and Easy Dinners

(Contains affiliate links)

Review and Giveaway of NuNaturals Stevia products


What a fun post today!  Thank you so much to the NuNaturals company for sending me a box of wonderful natural sugar-free gluten-free products to try out!  I received five bottles of liquid NuStevia:  Peppermint, Vanilla, Orange, Lemon, and Plain; a package of Presweet Tagatose; and NuStevia Prebiotic blend.

Stevia is derived from a leaf that is used as a sweetener.  Many Stevia products on the market have a bitter aftertaste, but not NuStevia!  NuNaturals sells it in powdered form, as well as in a concentrated liquid, and even flavored liquids!

PreSweet Tagatose is a naturally-occurring sweetener found in milk, fruits and vegetables. It is 92% as sweet as sugar. PreSweet is a low calorie (6 calories/serving), low GI (3 on the glycemic index), and low in carbohydrates (especially considering that many of the carbohydrates are not digested).  And it browns like sugar!


Here are the recipes I tried.  They all turned out great!  (My apologies for the photos–the food really did taste much better than it looks!)

1.  Chamomile Tea with a few drops of Peppermint Stevia.  I felt like I was drinking a candy cane!

2.  Orange Muffins-  made with Orange NuStevia.  My kids loved these–I’ll definitely make them again.


3.  Ginger- Mint Syrup served over fresh pears.  I substituted Peppermint NuStevia for the fresh mint leaves and used Tagatose instead of sugar.  Yummy, unique dessert!

4.  Sweet and Sour Chicken.  I’ve never made this before.  I made it with Tagatose instead of sugar, and it was wonderful!

5.  Mini brownies– made with Tagatose instead of sugar.  I topped them with marshmallows and chocolate chips for fun.


6.  Lemonade-  made with cold water and a few drops of Lemon NuStevia

They have lots of recipes on their website–I’ll be trying out more!


If we had a medical issue with sugar in our home, I would definitely purchase Presweet Tagatose for baking and cooking.  It is a wonderful product; diabetics will be thrilled with it!

My mom is allergic to sugar alcohols (Xylitol and Erythritol), so it’s wonderful to have NuStevia as an alternative.


I’m so excited about this giveaway from NuNaturals!  Four readers will receive one bottle of each of:

Lemon NuStevia Liquid, Alcohol-Free, 2 oz. Bottle
Orange NuStevia Liquid, Alcohol-Free, 2 oz. Bottle
Peppermint NuStevia Liquid, Alcohol-Free, 2 oz. Bottle



NuNaturals will ship directly to the winners, no P.O. Boxes, please.

Enter through the Rafflecopter app below, not by simply leaving a comment.  A winner will be chosen next Friday, December 6.

In case you don’t win or want a different product, you can receive DISCOUNTS on all orders placed on the NuNaturals website during December!  When you get to the checkout page enter the discount code BLG1212  and you will receive a 15% DISCOUNT on your ENTIRE ORDER.  This discount remains effective until December 31, 2012.

Online ordering customers may also receive FREE SHIPPING to the CONTINENTAL U. S. on all orders exceeding $35.00 after discounts.

You can also try a sample of NuStevia and find out why it’s the best tasting Stevia on the market–no aftertaste!

Find NuNaturals at their website, Facebook Page, and on Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 I received free products to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations and am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Linked to Giveaway Day and Free Homeschool Deals

Canning Crock-Pot Apple Butter- A Tutorial

**Jars of this delicious homemade Apple Butter would make an awesome Christmas gift!


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Are you ready to make some yummy apple butter? My husband LOVES it, so I’ve been making lots every fall for the past few years.  Here’s the recipe:

Crock-Pot Apple Butter

20 apples, cored and cut into pieces (keep skins on)
2 cups apple cider (or substitute apple juice or water)
3 cups sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves

Put apples and cider into crock-pot on low for 10 hours.  (I do it overnight.)
In the morning, barely puree in a blender–don’t liquify!  Add it back to the crock-pot and put in the sugar and spices.  Cook on low for 1 more hour.

Now you can simply put it in the refrigerator (it will keep for several weeks).  Or put in freezer containers to freeze.  Or can it; process 10 minutes.  It makes about 5 pint-sized jars (10 of the 8-ounce jelly jars).


1.  Wash, core, and cut up apples.  Put in large crock-pot with 2 cups of cider, juice, or water.

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2.  Cook on low 10 hours overnight.

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3.  Puree in a blender.

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4.  Put back in to the crock-pot with sugar and spices.  Cook on low one more hour.  Wash jars and rings in dishwasher–use heat dry so they will stay hot until ready to fill.  Get canning pot ready.  Start water to boil about 20 minutes before the apple butter will be done.

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5.  Preheat oven to 200 or 250 degrees to keep jars hot.  Boil water in a pot.  Place the new lids in the pot, turn off the heat, and cover with a lid.
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6.  Fill jars with apple butter leaving about 1/2 to 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe tops with a paper towel.  Put lids and rings on.  Place back in oven until ready to put all jars into the pot.  (Using the right tools makes canning so much easier!  See below for my suggestions.)

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7.  Place jars on rack in water-bath canning pot.  Lower rack; cover and boil for 10 minutes.  (Make sure there’s about an inch of water above jars after lowering.)

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8.  Remove jars from pot and place on a towel to cool.  Check later to see if the jar sealed by pressing on the lid.  If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use first.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

See these links for helpful canning equipment from Walmart:

**Have fun making apple butter and let me know if you make some!


Linked to The Common Room, Life in a ShoeSmockity Frocks, and Raising Olives.


Fox Hollow Cottage

(contains affiliate links)

Crock-pot Turkey Breast and Cranberry Sauce

Such an easy meal, and really good for the fall!  I made this yesterday. It’s one of the few meals that ALL my kids will eat!  One thing I do every November is buy lots (10-15) of bags of cranberries when they’re on sale around Thanksgiving.  No preparation needed–just throw them in the freezer.  I love to make cranberry sauce throughout the year.  We had that yesterday, too!  It’s also great for my Cranberry Roast recipe.

How to cook a turkey breast in the crock-pot:

Clean out and rinse turkey breast.

Place breast down in crock pot.  Add 1-2 cups of chicken broth.

Sprinkle on some seasonings, such as salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning, or Italian seasoning.

Optional: Add some veggies, such as carrots, potatoes, celery, and/or onions.

Cook on low 8 hours.

Serve with homemade gravy, if you like.

Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce:

Bring 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to boil.  Add the frozen cranberries, and bring back to a boil.  Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Cool and then refrigerate before eating.

Meals for 7/14 – 7/20, 2012

I’m going to start putting my weekly meal list here to see if I can simplify my life a bit.  Then, I’ll be able to come back here in future and not think about it again!

Meals for 7/14 – 7/20, 2012

Saturday:  Poppyseed Kabobs

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup each of zucchini, red bell peppers, not-too-ripe peaches, mushrooms, onions

half bottle of Kraft Signature Collection Creamy Poppyseed Dressing

Cut chicken and veggies into kabob sizes.  Marinate in the dressing for half a day or so.  Cook on the grill.

(Grocery list:  chicken breasts, zucchini, red peppers, peaches, mushrooms, onions, Poppyseed Dressing)

Sunday:  Kids-hot dogs, Mom and Dad go out

Monday:  French Dip Sandwiches

Put a chuck roast  in the crockpot.  Sprinkle a packet of Italian salad dressing mix over it, pour a cup of beef broth over the dressing mix, and cook about 5 hrs on high or all day on low.  Shred the meat and mound the meat on a hoagie roll. Put provolone cheese on top, and put under broiler just long enough to melt the cheese.  Take the broth left from the roast and serve as dip for the sandwiches.  If you like, use a fat separator to have a less fatty juice.

Oven Fries


Olive oil

chili powder



Cut the potatoes into wedges.  In a large bowl, whisk 3 T. olive oil with 2 t. chili powder and salt/pepper to taste.  Add potatoes; toss to coat.  Put on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.

(Grocery list:  chuck roast, Italian salad dressing mix, Better Than Bouillion Beef Broth paste, rolls, provolone cheese, potatoes, chili powder, olive oil)

Tuesday:  Chicken and Potato dish

I found this recipe on Pinterest.  See pictures for the recipe prep here.

Loaded Potato & Buffalo Chicken Casserole

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes  (I leave the skin on)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 TBS. freshly ground pepper
1 TBS. paprika
2 TBS. garlic powder
6 TBS. hot sauce

2 c. shredded cheese
1 c. crumbled bacon
1 c diced green onion

Preheat oven to 500F.  In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & hot sauce.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat.  Carefully scoop the potatoes into a cooking spray coated baking dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/hot sauce mix as possible.  Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside.  While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/hot sauce mix and stir to coat.  Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F.  Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken.  In a bowl mix together the cheese, bacon & green onion and top the raw chicken with the cheese mix.  Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly delicious.

(Grocery list:  2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8-10 medium potatoes, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, hot sauce, shredded cheese, bacon, green onion)

Wednesday:  Something from the freezer

Thursday:  Baked Potatoes or Leftovers

Friday:  Pizza (take out)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches- Pinterest Challenge

Last night I made these yummy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, that I originally saw on Pinterest.  I used my husband’s wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe.

This post is linked up to the Pinterest Challenge.

Pinterest Challenge


New Quizno’s Coupons!

Get Free Small Sub with purchase of any sub of equal or greater value and a large Fountain Drink.
$1 Off a Regular create your own steak or Chicken Sub or $2 Off a Large create your own steak or Chicken Sub
$1 Off a Regular create Sub or Large Salad, or $2 Off a Large Sub


(contains affiliate links)

What’s going on Today?

Well, I have slept through the night (7 hours in a row) the last TWO nights!  I don’t think that has happened in years!  Of course, I’m still so sleep-deprived that I don’t feel any better yet, but maybe if the trend continues. . . .  I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a cloud for so long, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to be clear-headed.  I’m going to try Claritan to help with my allergies–got the doctor’s approval yesterday.  Seven 1/2 weeks until baby’s due date!  Oh, and I really need to exercise today, too.

Today is a pretty easy day, as far as not having too much going on outside the house.  We only have soccer practice this afternoon (for the five oldest) and only if it doesn’t rain.

I’ve decided to try a week of Pinterest-Inspired recipes.  I worked on the menu and grocery list this morning and my wonderful husband is now at the store! Last night we had take out pizza, but for dessert we had Crock-Pot Lava cake.  I tried it with Sucanat instead of brown sugar this time, but it still tasted too “molassasy” for me.  I might see if it works with white sugar next time.

Here are the recipes for the next week, yes a lot are with the crock-pot!:

Tonight: Crock-pot Chicken Parmesan with asparagus and Andes Mint Cookies

Sunday:  Snicker-doodles for after the kids’ piano recital.  Crock-pot Steak Burritos for dinner

Monday:  Eggs and toast (easy, since Dad’s not here.  Bible Study Fellowship night.)

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday:  Taco Casserole

Thursday:  Crock-pot baked potatoes (easy, swim lessons evening)

Friday:  Homemade Pizza–garlic bread pizza crust

Let me know if you need an invite to Pinterest so you can see these recipes!

This morning I baked bread.  It’s been a while since I got behind on my wheat order.  But I picked up 100 pounds of wheat berries yesterday, so we’re set now!  The kids did their usual morning chores, plus a 15-minute extra Saturday chore (which must be completed before they’re allowed to use any electronic devices.)  The older 2 boys vacuumed the first floor.  The older 2 girls each cleaned a bathroom.  The younger boy and girl “cleaned” the basement.  :)  I’m planning on doing a post on our chores soon.  I also offered a couple of pay jobs this morning.  My 2nd son cleaned out the refrigerator.  Yeah!  I hate doing that!  And my oldest is at this moment cleaning out and vacuuming our big van.

Soon, I’m going to try to head upstairs to sew.  I’m working on my niece’s butterfly quilt and need to finish our picnic quilt, too.

There’s a special price ($4.99) on this GREAT e-book again–until Wednesday April 18!   It’s called 4 Moms 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions.  On Wednesday, the book will be sold only at the full price of $7.99, until further notice–so be sure to get it now! Use the code “BIGSALE”.

This 195-page e-book is a huge resource!  And it’s funny!

Here are the chapter titles, and each of the four moms answer these questions:

How do you get your family to church on time?

How do you teach children to be still and quiet in church?

How do you prepare children to be around unbelieving

How do you keep things fair for all your children?

How do you keep your patience in the midst of chaos?

How do you manage outings with only little ones?

Do you ever feel discouraged or overwhelmed?

How do you make sure your children get enough individual

Naps: How important are they? How do you make them

How do you find time for projects that need to be done,
require focused attention and which the children can’t help

How do you teach your children to do chores?

How do you teach children to be diligent?

Which parenting style is best?

How do you teach your children about the birds and the

How do you deal with sibling squabbles?

The ebook also contains a master chore list of age appropriate chores, and there are two original printables.

Click here to visit 4 Moms 35 Kids to learn more about the book and to purchase it.  Remember the code BIGSALE!

(Contains affiliate links.)

Chuck Roast with Veggies and Gravy

I finally learned how to make gravy!  This is one of our favorite meals.

Chuck Roast with Veggies and Gravy

chuck roast

2 large onions, cut in large pieces

6 cloves garlic, minced (pressed)

package of mushrooms, cut in large pieces

2 t. beef bouillon (Better Than Bouillon paste)

bag of carrots, peeled and cut in large pieces

a few potatoes, cut in large pieces

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Brown roast, onions, garlic, and mushrooms in skillet.  Add 2 cups of water with beef bouillon.  Heat to boiling.  Transfer to oven-safe casserole with a lid.  Add carrots and potatoes.  Bake, covered, 3-4 hours.


1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup flour

2 cups beef broth (From the roast, preferably.  Can use a fat separator.)

Put the flour in a saucepan and stir the cold water into it.  Stir until well mixed and not lumpy.  Stir the hot beef broth into the flour/water mixture.  Heat at medium-high.  Stir frequently to prevent lumps and sticking to bottom.  Once it is thick enough, pour into a gravy boat!



Spinach-Artichoke Dip recipe

Spinach-Artichoke Dip

1 can marinated artichoke hearts

1 pkg (9-11 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Coursely chop artichokes.  Mix it with spinach, mayo, and sour cream.  Add pressed garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Mix well.

Spoon into oven-safe baking dish and bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.  Serve with chips, pita bread, crackers, or raw veggies!


Food on the Table – free unlimited membership!

Food on the Table is an easy meal planning service (similar to E-Mealz) that is based on sales at local grocery stores each week.  With Food on the Table, users will be able to:
– find thousands of easy, healthy recipes
– save money by knowing the items that are on sale
– simplify your shopping experience with a well organized grocery list.

PROMO CODE: FEBFREE (Good throughout the month of February!)
Use this promo code to use the service free for life!

This promo code gives NEW Food On The Table users unlimited meals each week for free.  Normally you only get 3 meals a week free and have to pay for the unlimited upgrade.  (Since it’s a promo code, you may still get encouraged to upgrade, but you don’t have to because you used the promo code.)

So, sign up now, and see if this meal planning system works for you!  Use the promo code to get the unlimited upgrade!  I just signed up, and am excited to get some new recipes and with food that’s on sale!

(Contains affiliate links.  Thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!)

Wildtree Crock-Pot/ Freezer Meal workshop

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Check out my Freezer/ Make-Ahead Recipes on Pinterest!
Are you ready to tame dinnertime?  

In about 60 minutes you are going to have prepped 10 meals to stock your freezer!  What a time-saver! These meals are going to make your dinnertime less chaotic and much more enjoyable.

It’s that time of year when life gets busy and meals can be caught between one activity and the next.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have tons of dinners ready to go in the freezer to make this season a whole lot easier?  I’m offering my Scrumptious Crock Pot Meal Workshop to help us all save some time.

This is how it will work:

1. Purchase the Scrumptious Crock Pot Workshop Bundle of Wildtree products BEFORE Saturday, February 11.  To purchase your bundle, please call or email our Wildtree representative, Jennifer Kilmer (leave Gena a comment to get Jennifer’s contact info)
2. Come to the workshop with your bags filled with designated “protein” and a few other ingredients.
3. Take home 10 quick and easy freezer meals, each with enough food for 6 adults.
4. You’ll also go home with left over Wildtree product to use another time for side dishes and other main dishes!

Here’s the 
Scrumptious Crock Pot Meals Bundle for $73 (tax and shipping is included)

Smoky Bacon-Flavored Grapeseed Oil
Cajun Blend
Chicken Bouillon Soup Base
Hearty Spaghetti Blend
Absolutely Onion Blend
Italian Salad Dressing Blend
Garlic Galore


Black Bean Chorizo Soup
Chicken and Vegetables in Wine Sauce
Savory Cajun Chicken and Sausage
Pork Roast with Apricot Glaze
Zesty Ginger-Tomato Chicken
Open Faced Steak Sandwiches with Ratatouille
Hearty Chicken Parmesan
Absolutely Onion Pot Roast
Scrumptious Ham & Lentil Soup
Mediterranean Chicken

Order by Date: Saturday, February 11
Place of Workshop: Gena’s Place
Date of Workshop:  Sunday, February 26
Time: 4pm

Please comment on this post or email me and let me know that you will be there and then call/email Jennifer Kilmer with your payment information.  We need to order the bundles no later than Saturday, Feb 11 in order for the items to be shipped in time for the workshop.

**If you would like to do the “workshop” (assembly) at home on your own, you can still order the bundle now and get all the recipes from Jennifer!

Jennifer Kilmer
Wildtree Team Leader



(Post contains affiliate links.)