Eat Together – Amazing Commercial

I’ve posted (here) before about the importance of eating together. There’s just no better way to build relationships, show love, mend fences, teach younger generations, eat healthier foods and portions, discuss old times and plan future events.

This year, Canada has “a mission to make the world a better place by sharing a meal” and established an Eat Together Day, which was June 29th.

I love this commercial for it:





Little J’s Legit Sauce

Janie and I are trying to perfect our hot sauce. This is our latest batch. We really enjoy making hot sauce, and this time I got hot sauce bottles (here) that came with the shaker top and also the tamper resistant shrink wrap for the top. Janie named this batch of hot sauce “Legit Sauce.” She was not referring to the actual sauce as much as the bottle that made it all legit;)


Here are the Ingredients: (we decided against the tomatoes above and cut back the limes)

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 10 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 10 jalapeno peppers
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • cilantro – we only used 5 or 6 leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar

Dice all of your vegetables and peppers.

Heat the oil in a pot. Add the onions, then carrots.

Saute’ just a bit before adding all remaining ingredients except the vinegar, cilantro and lime.


Pour everything into a food processor, and this is when we added the vinegar and cilantro, and juice of one lime.

Process for 2-3 minutes, then strain.


That’s it! Just grab a funnel and get it into your bottles. It’s super easy, and we have a lot of fun with it.


This is the reason Janie named the sauce Legit Sauce:



Golden Opportunity for Parents

Have you noticed how much your kids imitate you?

It can be annoying at times.  I have said on more than one occasion,

“LOOK! I do not need more than one of your father around here!”

My husband is all about “safety” and I have one son who has picked up this trait.  He constantly reminds me that I left a knife too close to the edge of the kitchen counter or that I should get a ladder instead of climbing on chairs and counters to reach things, and we probably didn’t check the doors before we left.

I have a son who is extremely neat, like his father. He used his dad’s grilling tongs and set them down on the countertop just the way Dad does.


Dad never sets anything down on the counter without a paper towel underneath…

I had a teenage daughter who started sitting in MY chair in the morning with MY favorite coffee cup to read her Bible.

What In The World?

That’s my chair and my cup and my spot and my routine!!!

And I did let her know that she had to find her own spot…

But you know what? The fact that our children want to mimic the things that we do is a very sobering thought. Will I be happy and feel like a successful parent if my kids grow up to be like me? Or are there areas of my life that I do not want my children to copy?


But overall, it is truly a blessing and an outright golden opportunity for parents that it is so easy to mold these young people. There are many things that don’t need any instruction at all. But it gives me pause to know that, although there are a lot of things I don’t have to actively TEACH, I do have to DO them.

Make Ice Cream in a Baggie!


How about making a bit of homemade ice cream on a hot summer day?

It’s fun. It’s easy. There are hardly any ingredients to buy.


It does hurt quite a bit to step on a piece of rock salt on the kitchen floor… if you want to consider doing this outside;)

What You Need (per person):

  1. 1/2 cup of half and half
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  4. sandwich baggie
  5. gallon zipper baggie
  6. ice
  7. ice cream salt

(This was very sweet, if you want to consider less sugar)

What You Do:

  1. Measure 1/2 cup half and half and pour into the sandwich baggie.
  2. Add your sugar and vanilla.
  3. Squeeze some air out and zip it tightly shut.
  4. Fill about 1/3 of the gallon bag with ice.
  5. Sprinkle the salt over the ice – 1/3 or 1/2 of a cup
  6. Put your small bag into your larger bag.
  7. Make sure both are tightly closed.
  8. Shake like crazy.

Shake for 15 minutes.

(We shook for 10 minutes. It tasted great, but should have been more firm.)

Make it a science experiment for the day by reading (this) to your kids.

When you make science taste this good –

you are definitely in the running for Mom of the Year.

Here’s a video of my gang shaking their stuff:




How About Spaghetti Squash for Lunch?

I remember the good ole days when I only had preschoolers and there was never any discussion about what was for lunch. If it was lunch time, I was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not only was life very simple, but I was also thinner and healthier!

But somehow, as the kids got older, lunch became a topic of discussion each day, and became much less healthy as well. I often give in to really unhealthy junk. Like frozen pizza rolls. Really? WHY? They are totally, completely bad for my children. They are expensive. They take a while. There is a pan to scrub. And still, we eat them. Ugh.

Although I give in to that fun food sometimes, I do put my foot down every now and again. Spaghetti Squash has become one of the favorite healthy options. While spaghetti squash is not a super food or anything, they do have vitamins C and B6, and trace amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral. They have over 90% water content, so they are low in calories, although they have a decent amount of fiber, so they are filling.


The most difficult part of having spaghetti squash for lunch is cutting these babies open.

I get one squash for every two people.


Cut them in half and scoop out the seeds.


Brush a little olive oil on the insides, along with any other seasonings you would like. I mostly use oil and garlic.

Place them on a cookie sheet, inside facing up, and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven and scrape with a fork to make the spaghetti-like strands. We like to leave the squash right in the skin and eat it from there.


Some of my kids like it this way the best, with nothing added. Just the garlic and oil, then maybe a bit of salt and pepper.

Some like to add parmesan cheese.

It’s great to make this the day after you have made an Italian dinner and have left-over spaghetti sauce.

My favorite is to have this after nacho night, when I have left-over taco meat.


It’s really a good, hardy lunch.

The squash can also be microwaved, although I have never tried that.

Get creative with your toppings. Although it is great to leave the squash in the skin for lunch, you can scoop several squash into a casserole dish and add meats and vegetables to make a fantastic dinner.

If you don’t think your kids will like it – just start out making some for yourself and don’t offer them any. It works every time;)


Tabouli is a middle eastern salad that is wonderful in the summer, and it was my official diet food each time I had a baby and was anxious to lose weight.  I did, in fact, lose weight after eating tabouli for breakfast and lunch every day for a month or so.

There was only one problem. Continue reading “Tabouli”

Bacon and Pepper Linguini

I have had this recipe written down forever and ever, but haven’t made it recently. I typically double (at least) all of my recipes and doubled this one last night. The thing is – I evidently doubled it when I originally wrote it in my recipe book. Tonight we could have fed all of China.

But this dinner couldn’t be any simpler. Especially for me, since I only supervised;)

The only thing that made it a little difficult for Janie was that she wanted to use a cooking set she got for her birthday a couple of years ago. This was a lot of cutting to do with children’s knives!

But it was fun.

Our entire family does enjoy this. It’s not exactly a FAVORITE of the kids, but as long as we don’t have it too too often, they do enjoy it.

This is all there is to it:

1 package of bacon

2 large onions

4 garlic cloves

3 green peppers

1 red pepper

4 jalapeno peppers

3 cans diced tomatoes

linguini noodles (some of my family prefers this on rice)

  • Cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces and brown in a soup pot.
  • While the bacon is cooking, slice and dice the peppers and onions, and mince the garlic. Cut the peppers and onions into thin bite-sized strips.
  • Before the bacon is crisp, remove and drain. Then put it back into the pot and add everything but the diced tomatoes. Cook and stir on a medium-high heat for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes.
  • Turn it down and simmer with the lid on while you cook your pasta. The peppers are done just as soon as the onions and peppers are as soft as you like.
  • This has so much flavor that there are no seasonings needed. I do not add salt, but you might like to add a bit. Be careful though – with that bacon, it would be easy to add too much. I do have salt in my pasta as it cooks as well.

I forgot to get a picture of the finished product, and it’s so pretty:(

Break It or Make It

So often, the fun and/or educational projects for our kids require buying kits or supplies.  We had a fun Break It or Make It day that didn’t require anything except a few tools and broken appliances. Continue reading “Break It or Make It”

Is the Church Causing our Kids to Abandon our Faith?

We have all read the statistics of young adults leaving the church as quickly as they leave home and the articles usually point out all of the things that the church does that are wrong.

And I have my own share of complaints… However, Continue reading “Is the Church Causing our Kids to Abandon our Faith?”