Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mostaccioli Casserole Mix-up

It has been brought to my attention that the link to the casserole isn't working correctly. I'm a member of Taste of Home, so that may have something to do with it. I'm posting the recipe here instead.

1 package (16 ounces) mostaccioli
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1-1/4 cups chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 jar (26 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions: Cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the beef, green pepper and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, soup, Italian seasoning and pepper. Drain mostaccioli. Add mostaccioli and 1-1/2 cups cheese to beef mixture. Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months. Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Cover and bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

MPM or Saturday...whatever (4/26-5/3)

Okay..........so I went on hiatus.

Was it a good idea?

Um...NO! We spent way too much money eating out because of my lack of planning.

But I won't lie - I did enjoy not cooking for a while.

Then I logged into the bank account and nearly died from a coronary. It wasn't a pretty sight, and I'm still mad at myself for it.

It is what it is. I can't go back. I just have to fix things now and move forward. It's the only way. Live and learn (and remember the nights I didn't cook!)

My vacation is over...back to reality. So, here is my menu for the next week. I'm starting with tomorrow's meal instead of Monday simply because I needed to get started ASAP!

Monday ~ Spaghetti and garlic bread

Tuesday ~ Mostaccioli Casserole (from my freezer) (If that link doesn't work correctly for you, try this one instead)

Wednesday ~ Breaded Chicken Tenders and wild rice

Thursday ~ Meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Friday ~ Homemade Pizza

Sunday ~ Leftovers or Chili (from the freezer) with rice

Are you looking for more recipes, ideas or motivation? Check out orgjunkie.com.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Enjoying Springtime

After Jordan's baseball game, we headed to Subway for some sandwiches, then we were off for a hike down to the river. We had beautiful weather, a wonderful 80°, and it made for an amazing photo opportunity for me to try out the camera again. Although I got quite a bit of color from the sun, the 232 pictures were worth it. Here's just a sample of what I took (and if I weren't already burned, I'd say "let's go again today!")

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What shade is that?

Crimson? Sangria? Painful? Want to know why I look like this? You'll have to check back tomorrow to find out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Try this on for size

I was hungry, so I fixed myself a bagel. Then as I started to eat it, I made sure that I had the top half of it in my hand to eat first so that I could save the bottom half for last as that is my favorite half. Then it occured to me how weird that was and made me think of some other quirks I have. Here are some things about me that I can't explain:

I prefer the top half of a dinner roll, but the bottom half of a bagel.

If given a choice, I would choose a "center" roll instead of an edge one, and definitely not a corner one...unless its the last one.

I will fight to the death for a corner brownie (but it has to be chewy!), but only like center pieces of cake. But if it is a bakery chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting, then I want a corner. However, if you only have "whipped" frosting, then I want my inside piece back.

Maple donuts are my favorite and yet I'd choose boysenberry syrup for my pancakes...unless there is bacon or sausage served with those pancakes, then I want maple syrup instead.

I like all things tomato unless it's fresh and raw. I love onions, but only raw.

I love the feeling of satin, but hate satin sheets.

I love to say "garbanzo beans" and "how now brown cow." It's fun.

I want another cat as long as it can stay a kitten forever, otherwise forget it.

I love bananas but can't stand anything banana flavored, unless it's banana bread. I don't like zucchini, but love zucchini bread.

I love anything pumpkin - - except pie! Bread, muffins, coffee creamer, pancakes = GOOD. Pie = BAD. But I'm told I make killer pumpkin pies. I wouldn't know...

I love deviled eggs, but can't stand egg salad sandwiches. But I'll crave an egg salad sandwich about every five years. Go figure.

Dancing while driving a minivan does not make driving a minivan any cooler, but that doesn't stop me from trying! Then again, I love my minivan, so I don't care if I look cool or not.

Hopefully it didn't cross your mind to put the funny farm's phone number on speed dial after my last post. And after my husband reads this, he's going to realize he married a whackjob!! Lucky him.....Lucky me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm not responsible for what happens to you if you read this...

You probably don't want to see what goes on in my head on a regular basis. It's not a pretty sight, and I doubt you could keep up. I can't even keep up! In fact, just yesterday, my poor husband fell victim (again) to the warped, scattered speed of my brain. I started to say something to him and before my sentence was out, I had touched on about EIGHT other topics. The look in his eyes simply said "Here we go again," but that isn't what came out of his mouth. Instead, it was something along the lines of "FOCUS!!" but I couldn't hear him because my brain wandered off again, and with it goes my hearing. Yes, this happens often. Lucky for me, he's used to it...reason #459 why I love him!

So, here are some snippets of thoughts plaguing my brain today.

I need to get some laundry going or else the family is going to have to get used to being naked.

I want to take a photography class again.

Ooh, that would mean I could justify buying another camera.

I want to go on vacation. Hawaii sounds good to me right now. But that isn't a road trip....so where do I want to go on a road trip.

I don't have a clue how to clean out the front closet to make it a functional, organized closet instead of a sad catch-all.

Are we going to do a garden this year? We've talked about it since last summer, but haven't done anything about it. Looks like it will be a porch garden at this rate. Just as long as I have a constant supply of tomatoes, I guess I'll be good.

I need the garage cleaned out. There is just way too much crap out there that we are keeping for no reason.

I wish the computer would fix itself. I'm not in the mood to take it back in to Geek Squad so that I am without it for another 4-6 weeks. They say 2-3 because they would expedite it, but they said that last time and it took over four weeks. Holding my breath here would be stupid.

I need a shower, but I need to finish this post.


Mmm, Mexican Coffee from Cool Beans.

Edelweiss. ♫Edelweiss, Edelweiss♫..........hey I warned you! Read at your own risk!

Email Mom and tell her I love my Dyson. Oh, I guess I don't need to email her now if she reads this post.

I hate California. It was 52° yesterday and it's going to be 90° by Monday? Come on! I want to enjoy the windows open for more than 3 hours on Saturday. I'm not ready for air conditioning yet. The effing heater is still running!!

I love my new van.

I'll never buy another car without a sunroof.

I wonder how the Naxx run will go with everyone duel-spec'd.

Crunch bars - - they can be the breakfast of champions, right? Regardless, they're my breakfast.

I should just surprise David and order that face mask he wants for riding. Mmm, probably let the cat out of the bag on that one.

Why is that even a phrase anyway? "Let the cat out of the bag"....why were they putting cats IN a bag in the first place?

Wow, this is out of control. I probably should just wrap things up here. Are you scared yet? I am. I also can't believe I've put this in writing. Please, do not call the local asylum. White is not my color, and you won't find a straight-jacket in my size.

Don't ask how I know things like this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Growing up, I only remember one vacuum. A horrid looking (circa 1972) Kirby that would never die. I'm pretty sure I recall asking my Dad to buy a new vacuum because I was getting quite embarrassed by the ancient beast.

David also remembers only one vacuum throughout his childhood - again, a Kirby. I'm not sure his position on it as I've never asked. I just know he only remembers the one vacuum.

Our kids, on the other hand, will not be walking down that same path of memories. Trust me, at this point I think I would like to say they would!

In the past 10 years, I can distinctly remember purchasing FIVE different vacuums. What a lovely average we have going. Sadly, the last purchase was made about a year ago. It was an unexpected purchase simply because we hadn't planned on our two year old vacuum to be dead already. (I sort of rate vacuums up there with refrigerators - you simply have to have one.) Since it wasn't in our plan or budget to be buying the much needed vacuum, we didn't have lots of money to be spending on one. I found a Eureka for about $100. It looked good enough - it wasn't too bulky, it had the on board tools, it was bagless and didn't need to have filters replaced every other week. Good enough for me!! so I bought it.

Hmm....Jump ahead to about two weeks ago.

I was vacuuming the boys' room. All was going well. I was vacuuming, using the hose, vacuuming some more, using the hose some more. Then I needed to move a couple things around, so I turned the vacuum off while I moved things. When I turned the vacuum back on, it sounded like an F-14 was waiting for the signal for take off from the bedroom! It was awful....and deafening!

Turns out, the motor had thrown a bearing or something along those lines. Simply put? It wasn't getting fixed, it was getting thrown away.

Looks like we're back in the market for a vacuum...Again.

Alas, I found a "20% off any one item" coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond. Last night we went out and bought a Dyson, and saved $100 with the coupon! Now I've got my fingers crossed that it lasts longer than 1-2 years. And then I hope that the five year warranty it came with makes sure we have it at least five years!

I'm tired of buying vacuums................

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The next Joe Dimaggio?

It is...
...a symbol of spring time.
...the greatest American past time.
...what Jordan loves.

Today was his Opening Day, and he's taking it all in.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Excuse me while I pat myself on the back

I did it again! This time I paid off TWO credit cards! So the final count up until now is 4 cards paid off, 2 more to go.

My initial thought was that I was going to have to change up all my goals with adding the car payment, but it wasn't entirely true. My first payment isn't due until mid-May, so I was able to stay on track for April!

So, it's Perma-smile time again!

It'll be a few months until you see it again, but trust me - you will see it again!