Monday, May 30, 2011


The warm weather is finally here and one of my favorite dishes to make for picnics and barbeques is pasta salad. It's a simple dish that can be made ahead and everyone loves it!

The ingredients are simple and can be found in any grocery store: Tri-color pasta, sliced ham (I bought Ham & Cheese this time because it was on sale), pepperoni, shredded cheese and Kraft Zesty Italian salad dressing (I've tried other kinds and this one is my preferred).

Start by boiling a large pot of water. See, it's already pretty simple.

Add some salt to your water and then add the pasta. Cook it until it's just about done.

Drain the pasta in a colander. See the steam rising from those noodles? Yeah, they're hot so you'll want to run cold water over them to cool them off before using them.

Slice the ham into whatever bite size shapes you prefer. Add them to a large mixing bowl.

Do the same with the pepperoni. I'm a pepperoni fanatic so I can't do this without eating a few pieces.

Add the cooled noodles to the mixing bowl. Look at those noodles. They are just glistening and hollering out for something. What could it be that they want?

Ah, there it is. Some Zesty Italian dressing. You can't hear it but those noodles are cheering. And they're soaking up all that zesty goodness. Add about 3/4 of the bottle (the remainder can be added right before you serve it)

Stir it all together. Resist the temptation to take a big bite because it's not quite finished yet.

Then add the shredded cheese. Cheese is the reason the noodles needed to be cooled. We don't want the cheese to melt on the noodles. Stir this all together.

Move the pasta salad to the lidded dish you're going to store it in and pop it in the fridge. Keep it chilled until you're ready to serve.

Or place some on a place and enjoy it right now! It's so yummy.

I haven't met anyone yet that didn't like it.


Sunday, May 29, 2011


I'm a little late with this post because the end of the school year just gets a bit crazy, especially when I'm getting my next child ready to start school.

On the same night as the Kindergarten Round-Up for The Kid, The Teenager had an awards banquet to go to for orchestra.

Daddeee took him to the banquet and I took The Kid to his new school. We rushed through it and were able to make it to the banquet before the awards ceremony began. Whew! Thank goodness because I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

He got his varsity letter in orchestra! I'm so proud of him for lettering his freshman year.

His first question for me was "When do I get my jacket?"

Funny considering it's almost summer and it would be too hot for a letterman jacket. That just tells me he's proud of himself.

The banquet was a blast (even though most of the food was gone by the time The Kid and I got there - my meatloaf was gone!).

Oh and here's the picture of the finished product that I promised you.

It was amazing to watch The Teenager and his friends together. They were all so happy.

Another year is under our belts. I look forward to summer and all the fun we have to look forward to.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


One of my favorite websites to visit for recipes is Steamy Kitchen.

Well, the other day I signed up for one of her giveaways and an option was to sign up for the her Steamy Kitchen Store newsletters so I did.

In my email a few days later I received a coupon code for 10% off my next purchase. A few days later I received a gift certificate for $25 off my next purchase.

After hours (I'm not kidding, I shopped for hours), I settled on a new flatware set because with years of having kids, I'm missing forks and spoons from my set that I've had for years.

I chose:

Allure Sand Service for 4 Flatware Set (20-pc.) by Cambridge Silversmiths

I decided on this set because a. it was $24.95 and b. it's a simple design that will fit nicely with my old set (should I need to use both).

They should arrive June 8th.

After coupon, gift certificate, and shipping my out of pocket price: $3.44!

Talk about a bargain!

Monday, May 16, 2011


Meatloaf. It's one of my favorite meals. It's the first meal I ever cooked for my husband. I made him meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas. You do know they say they way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Really! It's true.

You will need: 2 lbs Ground Chuck, 1 egg, 1 small can of tomato sauce, 1 sleeve of saltine crackers, 1/2 green bell pepper and 1/2 onion.

Begin by putting your ground meat into a large mixing bowl. Use a large one because this gets a bit messy. Crack and add your egg.

In your food processor, blend your onion. You can rough chop it also but I prefer to blend it as much as possible to slip the onion by the kids.

Do the same with the green bell pepper.

Get some help if you need to. It's hard work so extra help is always appreciated.

Add the onion and green bell pepper to your bowl. At this point, if your wanting to slip some extra veggies in on the kids, you can do the same with other vegetables. I've added carrots, squash, zucchini and radishes and sneaked it past the kids. What they don't know won't hurt them.

Your little helper can also crush your crackers up for you if you put them into a zip lock bag. Then add them to your bowl.

I'd like to suggest at this time to remove your jewelry. There's almost nothing worse than cleaning meat out of your rings later on.

Go ahead, now. Get your hands in there and mix it all up really well. Don't be afraid. The meat's already dead. It won't bite.

Place the meat into your baking dish and shape it as evenly as you can. I'm using a rectangle dish so I shaped mine the same shape as the dish, same thickness all over for even cooking.

Now at this point, you can bake it as is but I prefer to take it a step further for extra flavor.

I opened a small can of tomato sauce and poured it over the top.

Place the meatloaf in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I'm not baking mine tonight. I made this tonight for a pot luck dinner at the school tomorrow night so it's resting comfortably in the fridge until it's time to bake tomorrow.

Stay tuned for a picture of the finished product!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Table Setting Mommeee's Way 101

I don't usually get very fancy when I set the table. Normally, you're lucky if I even put the plates on the table. We normally grab a plate from the counter and fill it up from the stove.

Even then they're normally paper plates. (I'm still stuck on the which-is-less-greener: washing a plate and using up water OR using a paper plate and polluting a landfill)

On rare occasions, I do get out my fancy plates. They're Pfaltzgraff plates that I've had for probably 10 years or more.

The glasses are from a friend of mine who was cleaning out her garage and came across them. She thought of me and my little wine fetish.

Ok so it's more than a fetish. It's more like an obsession.

Anyway, I don't do fancy napkins. I don't own any. I've thought about it but then they would just me more things I'd have to launder.

I live with all males so a fancy table isn't a necessity. I bring out the good stuff just for me.

Hmmm, for me. Maybe I should invest in some nice napkins and go all out with my table.

I'll bet I could find some with a wine theme.


Saturday, May 07, 2011


I sat drinking my morning coffee at the kitchen table today while reading the grocery store ads. My buddy, Ranger, sat with me and guarded the house.

He kept a close watch on everything that was going on outside.

I caught him a few times resting on the job. You can see his chin resting on the arm of the chair.

I'm going to have to dock his pay for this.

All in all, the whole neighborhood was safe this morning.

Monday, May 02, 2011


It really is all about the beans.

We visited our favorite coffee place again this weekend. I wanted to buy some more Magical Morning that we tried last week.

I have fallen in love!

The inside of the Coffeehouse is awesome. There are 2 levels connected by a spiral staircase. Both ends of the store open up using garage like doors so on nice days, it's like being outdoors.

A rare glance of me buying coffee with Daddeee. We bought a few different kinds so I was labeling the bags.

This is how they sell their coffee. You scoop out of the barrels into a bag then they measure it for you at the counter. They'll grind it for you too but I prefer to grind mine as I use it.

Coffee has become a small obsession for me. I think I might need a coffee drinkers anonymous club.

Once again, all photographs courtesy of The Teenager

Sunday, May 01, 2011


It's sort of become a family tradition that as soon as the weather warms up, we go to The City Market on Saturdays.

We were greeted this particular Saturday with a beautiful Kansas City skyline. The weather couldn't have been any more perfect.

The local talent was out in full force.

This group was amazing when they sang their rendition of You've Got a Friend.

I don't know if you can read the sign but this one says Tip to see the Statue Move. $$$ for a Song. To be honest, her playing was very amateurish and the concept felt a little creepy to me but the kids around us were loving it.

I'm extremely sad that last year they implemented a new rule. We've always enjoyed seeing the dogs that people would bring with them and we've even taken ours a few times. There were still a few rule breakers there and we got to pet a few puppies.

The place was packed as always and the smell was amazing. I wish I would share that with you because it's beyond anything I could ever try to put into words.

This is our favorite place to eat at The City Market. It's very similar to Chipolte but with a mom and pop twist to it. The owner is usually there and makes sure everything is just right.

We didn't buy much on this day since most of the best fruits and vegetables are in season yet. We did leave with coffee, of course.

It was an amazing day spent with my 3 guys. How did you spend your Saturday?

Psst! All photography provided today by The Teenager.