Friday, September 12, 2014

Meat loaf cook off—and the winner is…

How do you make your meatloaf?  Do you make it with gravy or do you add a ketchup mixture on top?  Is your meatloaf moist and delicious comfort food or could it double as a weapon or building supply?

In my house I make two kinds of meatloaf.  My husband prefers the ketchup topped one and my son chooses the one covered in rich brown gravy.  Both are good if I say so myself so when my son came home from the air force for a visit I had a meatloaf cook off to settle the question once and for all which meatloaf is better.

I’m the judge, so maybe there is a little conflict of interest but it’s all in fun.  Admittedly they are both delicious.  (I told you there was a conflict of interest) So (drum roll please) which meatloaf won the cook off?


It was hard, but the ketchup covered one was just a teeny bit tastier. These meatloaves pair well with mac and cheese or mashed potatoes.

The recipes follow: 

Ketchup style meatloaf

1 lb. Meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal and beef)

Breadcrumbs (about ¾ cup seasoned or unseasoned as you prefer or whatever you happen to have on hand)

½ small onion finely chopped

Clove of garlic minced

1 tsp. grill seasoning

1 egg

Dash of worcheshire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl combine about 1 cup of ketchup, a teaspoon of dry mustard and a tablespoon of brown sugar. 

Mix all the ingredients (except the topping) together and form into a loaf.  Place into a baking pan.  Mix together the topping ingredients and cover the top of the meatloaf with this mixture and place in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.  Use a spoon to remove any dripped grease from the pan before serving. 

Runner up meatloaf:

1 lb. meatloaf mix

3/4 cup rolled oats (Yes oats, you won't even know it's there)

½ onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 egg

½ tsp grill seasoning

Dash of worcheshire sauce

Can of beef gravy

Mix all ingredients together and form into a loaf.  Place in a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and spoon out any dripped grease from the pan.  Pour a can of beef gravy on top and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birthday, birthday, birthday

September is here and September and October are big on birthdays in my family.  First of all tomorrow is my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's birthdays.  They are siblings, not twins but born in different years on the same day!  Next, comes my step daughter on the 10th, after which my brother follows. His birthday is the 23rd, one week away from mine which is the 29th.  You'd think I'd be done with birthdays by then, but nope, not a chance.

My other brother is the 13th of October, my sister's the 15th and my daughter's is the 16th!

By the end of October I'm pretty darned sick of that birthday song and have gained about 15 lbs. from all the birthday cakes!

So for all you who are having birthday's this month...put on that birthday hat and maybe tip a glass or two and have a

Happy Birthday!

If you want to make a glass special for all the birthday's in your life check out the following tutorial on Make it easy crafts. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Air Force acronyms!

My son, who is in the Air force recently came to visit.  Every time he comes it gets harder and harder to understand his language. You see he speaks in acronym-ese.  What, you may wonder is acronym-ese? 

The Air Force has thousands of acronyms for everything from rank to tank.  And a civilian doesn’t stand a chance!  I guess his training has made him think that the non-military world understands.  I constantly find myself scratching my head in confusion.  

Regular people don’t know what PDS means.  They stand agape at the term ABU.  BMT could mean anything.  And for god sakes what is an MTI?

If you need a list of common acronyms this site has some answers. 

If you need a detailed list of thousands try this one!

Or you can just  do what I do.  Stop him mid sentence and tell him to speak English!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free apple bookmark printable

You may wonder where I’ve been lately.  First off, my hubs and I took an impromptu road trip to help our 22-year-old son in the military drive his car all the way across country.  Comfort was in short supply in a tiny little car that was so low to the ground that I hit the ceiling whenever we drove over a pebble!

We are also in the middle of redecorating our family room.  If you’ve ever started a project in a home you have lived in for several years then you have also opened the proverbial “can of worms”.  How so?  Well, after the painting, we had to get a new carpet.  After the carpet we had to get a new sofa.  After the sofa we had to get a better TV stand.  After the TV stand…well you get the drift. 

So as a result my blogging has gotten a bit lax.  After all, waiting 4 weeks for a sofa delivery has sort of displaced a lot of things.  I can barely find a chair to sit in so creativity has taken a back seat.

I know that school is either in session or almost ready so I am reposting a free apple coloring bookmark printable from my other blog Make it easy crafts that you may have missed.  Get them reading…and coloring.  And enjoy those little ones before they get old enough to buy a car for looks alone!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Is this pear ripe yet?

Did you know that pears ripen the best when are off the tree?  If they ripen on the tree they get mushy in the center by the time they are ripe enough to eat!  So that is why that pear you just bought is hard and doesn’t seem ready to eat at all!  That is because it isn’t. And it has nothing to do with keeping them unripe while they make their journey to your grocery store. 

So what do you do to ripen your pears perfectly?  First of all if your pick your pears right off your tree (Like I did) you must chill it in the refrigerator first.  For Bartlett a day or two will suffice.  Bosc and Anjou need longer periods of chilling. Grocery store pears have already had their chilling period.  After they chill out Bartlett pears will need 4-5 days to ripen at between 65-75 degrees and up to two weeks for Bosc and Anjou. I do it on my kitchen counter.  The ethylene gas they produce speeds up the ripening.  You can speed up this process even more by putting your pears in a paper bag with another ethylene producing fruit such as bananas or apples, which will concentrate this ripening hormone.

So how do you tell when your pears are ready?  You simply hold the pear in the palm of your hand and push slightly at the stem end of the fruit.  If it gives evenly, it’s ready to eat.  If you have to push harder than slightly, you must wait a bit longer to enjoy it’s juicy goodness.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Involuntary mom arm

When you drive the older kids around (And by older I'm talking teenagers and above) do you do the mom arm thing when making a quick stop?

If you are not a mom then you may be wondering what in the world am I talking about.

Mom arm
- n
1.  Also called a maternal automobile restraint.  An arm placed in front of an unsuspecting passenger to restrain forward motion in a event of a collision.

2.  An overprotective action which causes involuntary eye rolling in pre-adults.

Since my daughter graduated college last year I haven't had the opportunity to drive with her as a passenger of late.  Last week while we were going out to lunch, a car cut in front of me forcing me to brake quickly.  The old familiar mom arm appeared and she looked at me as if I had grown two horns.  I just shrugged it off.  I doubt that the mom arm really does much in the way of protection in an accident.  The seat beat takes care of that.  Since the mom arm is involuntary it really doesn't matter if the passenger is a child, adult, or stranger.  It just happens.

A few days later I received a phone call from said daughter.  While she was taking her beloved jack russell terrier to the vet, she stopped short and lo and behold the mom arm made an appearance!  Dogs don't roll their eyes, but judging from the horror my daughter felt, I can only imagine the look on her face.  Guess the mom arm works with pets too.

Do you do the mom arm?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do you have a special pillow?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world.  Those who have a favorite pillow and cannot sleep unless they have it, and those who can sleep on anything that even remotely resembles a pillow.  I am one of the former.

Whenever I travel, I have to pack my pillow.  Granted, it takes up valuable suitcase space, but hotel pillows just don’t cut it.  It’s bad enough I have to sleep in an unfamiliar bed, but without my special pillow, I wouldn’t sleep at all.  I mean seriously, some pillows are too fat; some too flat but my pillow it just right.  It took me a long time to get that perfect balance of softness and squishiness.  I had to go through two crushed foam pillows, one fiber filled one and a memory foam pillow that was so heavy I could have killed someone had I the desire to engage in a pillow fight!

Now my husband can sleep on any old pillow and he just doesn’t get my pillow fixation. When I make the bed each day I am careful to place each of our pillows on the proper side, but every once in a while I make a mistake.  Since he goes to bed earlier than I do, if this happens I freak out as I watch him peacefully slumber on my special pillow.  What comes next is the planning phase.  I have to figure out a way to remove the pillow from under his head without waking him.  Although the man can sleep through a hurricane (and he has) this is no easy feat.

I pull on one end of the pillow.  He grunts and lets out a tiny snore.  I pull a little more and part of his head flops down.  His eyelids flutter but he returns his head to its lopsided position.  I realize there is no way to do this slowly and try the band-aid removal method.  You know the drill; just whip it off really quick.  So I yank it fast and his head bounces on the mattress, but I quickly move the pillow to my side of the bed.  He sits bolt upright looking at me.  Thinking fast, I tell him that he must have been having a bad dream and threw his pillow to the foot of the bed where I placed it. (The man swears he rarely dreams) In his semi conscious state, he looks at me and takes his pillow and continues his nightly snore fest.  I hug my special pillow tightly and swear I will not make this mistake again, and drift off to my dreams, which now that I have my pillow-- are sweet.

My question to you is this…Do you have a special pillow?
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