Messless Meatballs

We love BBQ Meatballs, but I’m not much for squishy raw meat on my hands. Especially when I have to stop what I’m doing every two seconds or so to tend to the needs of a little person… or two… or three. 😉


I was quite pleased with myself the day I figured out that my large cookie scoop was about the same size as the meatballs I usually make. So now I “scoop and plop” my meatballs. The task gets done a lot quicker and without the mess. AND the meatballs are all the same size. Bonus!

Don't be alarmed by the "blue" under the scoop. That's my bowl scraper.

This is a 12x16 inch pan.

This is a 12x16 inch pan.

If you need a good BBQ Meatball recipe, here’s the one we love. It makes a lot. I normally put the meatballs in three 9×9 pans and freeze two pans for later use. We had company over the night I used the big pan.

BBQ Meatballs

  • 1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 3 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chili powder

Mix and shape into balls. Place in pan in a single layer.


  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion

Mix together and pour over meatballs. Bake at 350 for one hour. (I cover them for 30 minutes and then uncover for the last 30 minutes.)

For more kitchen tips, check out Tammy’s Recipes.

And click here to sign up for my Bloggy Giveaway!

My New Ugly Scar

“What happen your arm, Mommy? You be okay?” That’s what I heard when I walked through the door today as my two-year old surveyed my bandaged forearm.

Yes, buddy, I’m fine. (And thank you so much for caring!)

This morning I had a mole taken off of my arm. When I went to my very first dermatology appointment six weeks ago, the PA said it was probably fine and we could just keep an eye on it every three months or so. Well, this busy mom doesn’t have time to be traveling an hour away to the dermatologist every three months. I also do not have the mental or emotional energy to be bothered with continual “what ifs” every time I notice the crazy thing. So… OFF WITH THE MOLE!

Before “surgery” (that’s what they called it, but let me tell ya… I’ve given birth three times without any pain medication… this was more like a spa treatment) I was reminded that “there will be significant scarring.” Fine by me! I guess the older I get the more I value my health and the less I worry about being perfect on the outside. (Darn good thing ’cause it ain’t happenin’!) So today I am very grateful for my new scar. Maybe it will be a conversation starter… “Yes. I had a mole taken off. You know, you really should visit the dermatologist yourself. Yes, painless. Yes, worth it. Good thing to get checked out regularly…”

By the way, our check up six weeks ago was a family affair. And I’m so glad it was. They took a “freckle” off of my husband that day because they were very concerned about it. We couldn’t even see it – seriously didn’t know what they were talking about, but they saw something with their “magic light thingy” that concerned them. His report came back clean (thanks, God) but you just never know.

Go get yourself checked out. Maybe we can compare scars!

To see what other bloggers are grateful for today, visit Laura’s blog.

My First Bloggy Giveaway!

It’s Bloggy Giveaway time, and I’m excited to join in the fun! I’m giving away a Creative Memories Paper Album Kit. These kits are easy and fun to put together for yourself or a loved one. Aren’t homemade gifts one of the finer things in life? CM Paper Album Kits even come with a mailing envelope — how FUN to receive something so special in the mail. And even MORE EXCITING to be the one who sent it!

To be entered in my giveaway:

  1. Go to my CM website and check out the Paper Album Kits.
  2. Leave a comment here telling me which one you’d like to win. Your choices are: Preppy Patterns, Purple Paisley, Bohemian, or Garden Party.
  3. If you want to be entered twice, write a short post about my giveaway on your blog. (And let me know about that post.)
  4. I’ll do a random drawing at 10:00 PM Central Time on Friday, August 1.
  5. Tell your friends! You don’t have to have a blog to participate. 😉

Check out the hundreds (no kidding!) of other giveaways at the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Have fun!

Win a 3 Moms Recipe Book

My new blogging friends over at Happy to be at Home (they’re the ones who helped me get set up!) are hosting an awesome recipe book giveaway this week.  Go check it out!


Our Menu this Week, 7/28


My meal goals this week:

  • at least two meatless lunches or suppers
  • quick and easy — I’ve got some clutter to conquer and apple pie filling to make!
  • use up fresh, free produce
  • climb back on the bean wagon, I’ve been trying to feature more beans in our meals
  • I’m not going to plan for Sunday.  If I plan too far in advance it seems to all get thrown out the window anyway.

Monday, 7/28

  • Granny Smith Coffee Cake (leftovers from yesterday)
  • Sandwiches, fresh fruit and veggies
  • Catalina Taco Salad, apple crisp and homemade ice cream

Catalina Taco Salad  This is a great meatless, “measureless,” hot-day main dish salad.

  • one head of lettuce, chopped (I use Romaine or a green leaf mix)
  • chopped green onions
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 or 2 cans ranch style beans
  • one bottle Catalina salad dressing (I use less)
  • chopped tomatoes
  • corn chips

Rinse and drain the beans.  Mix the chopped lettuce, green onions and cheese in a large bowl.  Right before serving add the tomatoes, beans, and dressing.  Mix together.  Serve over corn chips.

Tuesday, 7/29

  • waffles and sausage
  • black bean nachos, fruit
  • zucchini and kielbasa (based on this TOH recipe) with cornbread muffins.  For the zucchini and kielbasa I like to use both yellow squash and zucchini.  I use frozen corn and fresh diced tomatoes — rotel would also be good, I think.  This is a GREAT skillet meal.

Wednesday, 7/30

  • oatmeal with raisins
  • chicken/black bean quesadillas with lettuce, tomato, salsa and sour cream, fruit
  • sloppy joes (make a double batch), cheesy zucchini fries, deviled eggs

Thursday, 7/31

  • omlettes or scrambled eggs, apple muffins
  • homemade pizza, veggies, fruit
  • leftovers (I’m out of town for a Creative Memories show)

Friday, 8/1  It’s August already!?!

  • French Toast (didn’t get to this last week)
  • sandwiches, smoothies
  • grilled steak, grilled veggies

Saturday, 8/2

  • biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs
  • hamburgers, cucumber salad, fruit
  • leftovers, strawberry/banana slush

For great menu ideas, head over to OrgJunkie.

Apple Pie in a Bag


Look closely.  Do you see what I see? 

I see two full grocery sacks of apple pie!  or apple crisp! hmm, apple bread?  ooo, apple jelly! 

My husband brought this GIFT home from some family friends tonight.  WOW… I see another excuse to avoid my clutter

Anyone have any good apple recipes you want to send my way?

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It's Raining, It's Pouring

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Can you see it?  Can you feel it?  Can you smell it?  Oh, it’s been so hot and dry here in Central Kansas and we are right now in the middle of a totally unexpected, oh so refreshing, downpour.  The smell of rain is definitely one of the Finer Things in LifeWhat finer things are you celebrating today?

What Clutter?



Clutter?  What clutter?  Who me?  I don’t have any clutter taking over my home

When the awesome moms over at Happy to be at Home introduced their July challenge, Conquer the Clutter, they may as well have been in my living room pointing their fingers and collectively shaking their heads.  They were definitely talking to me!

But here’s the thing.  I couldn’t start the challenge when it was introduced on June 30, because… I didn’t have a blog!  Yes, I just said I couldn’t clean up my clutter because I didn’t have a blog.  I guess it was important to me that I post my clutter for my 93ish average daily viewers the world to see before I deal with it.

So… now that I have my blog I guess I can jump right on that clutter bandwagon.  Better late than never, right?  Here goes…

My clutter pits.

I wish I could tell you that these two boxes full of STUFF are my only clutter, but I can’t.  I do know my limits, however, and if I want to actually accomplish a task before the end of the challenge next week (while anxiously anticipating our next assignment!)… well, I must start “small.” 

A little history lesson first.  The box on the right has been in my bedroom (creating quite the relaxing mood, I might add) since we moved into this house TWO YEARS AGOI’m so embarrassed.  Sometimes I pull it out and get through about 1/2 of it, and then something comes up and I put it away.  Then  I get company and end up tossing everything I see around the house that I don’t want to deal with… into “the box.”  The second box?  Well, I think I’ve had that one for about 2 months.  Same song, different verse. 

Okay.  It’s time.  No more stalling.  I’m going to Conquer this Clutter!  Hold me accountable… check back next week to see how I did.  😉

Freezing Milk


I like a full freezer and a good bargain. Usually in my chest freezer you can find beef from a 1/4 or 1/2 of a cow, frozen sweet corn and other veggies, prepared meals ready for a hectic day, chicken, sausage, and more recently… about 4-6 gallons of milk. Milk? In the freezer?

Absolutely. I search for the “Manager’s Special” price every time I go grocery shopping (if my freezer’s not already full of milk) and when I see that happy little $1.99 sticker I snatch ’em up. I haven’t had to pay full price for a gallon of milk since about March. And more importantly, I haven’t panicked when staring at the bottom of an “already” empty milk jug. There’s always more in the freezer.

The color returns to normal when it thaws.

The color returns to normal when it thaws.

  • No, the jug doesn’t bust when it expands as it freezes.
  • Yes, it tastes like fresh milk.
  • ONCE (in my dozens of gallons) I had about 1/2 gallon left when it soured slightly. I then used that milk for pancakes, waffles, and other baking. No waste.

The official word from Dairyland:

Freezing Milk
Although we do not recommend freezing milk products, for some it is a necessity. Milk may be frozen for as long as 3 months provided the sealed container is frozen prior to the best before date. Skim and 2% milk freeze better than Homo milk (whole milk). Thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator. The milk will still have the same nutrients, but it may separate. If it does, shake well or beat with an electric mixer or rotary beater.

Ok, so they don’t recommend it, but it DOES work. Freezing milk saves me lots of time and money.

For more frugal tips visit Crystal’s blog.

NFP Awareness Week

In honor of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week, I want to recognize the work of the Couple to Couple League. We first learned NFP to search for a solution to our infertility problem. My charts provided valuable information to us and to our doctors. Nine years and three children later 🙂 , we still use NFP and would never use any other form of family planning. Here’s why…

  • NFP is simple. I can’t even remember to take my vitamins. No way could I be counted on for another pill-a-day.
  • NFP is safe and healthy. I’m not polluting my body with powerful chemicals.
  • NFP is moral. I don’t have to worry that I might accidentally be aborting a tiny new life in me.
  • NFP is intimate. It encourages fantastic communication in our marriage.
  • NFP is highly effective. 99% effective.
  • NFP is immediately reversible. We’ve used it both to postpone and to achieve pregnancy. No waiting for chemicals to leave or hormones to level out.
  • NFP is inexpensive. After the initial class and a thermometer, you’re good to go.

Thank you, Couple to Couple League. NFP definitely Works for Me!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit Rocks in My Dryer.