I posted this recipe last year, but it has since become buried in the blog, so if you went to education week and don’t want to have to scroll through the whole backlog of recipes – here is the super easy, super yummy, super cheap bread recipe :).  enjoy!



Pretty Perfect Pot Roast!

… of course, for me anything that is pretty perfect means that it has to be super easy to cook, and taste super yummy.

So, when I learned this neat little secret about pot roast, I was hooked…

and going on 9 years of being able to walk in from church to a yummy smelling house, with no fear of burning roast from the oven.

And the best part – you only need three things!

1.  A crock pot

Notice, the ‘well-used’ look (i.e.  I didn’t wipe it down before taking a picture!)

2.  A Roast – any type 🙂

3.  Some onion soup mix (the kind in the packet form)

the steps are just as easy!

Put roast into crock pot (you can pan sear the outside if you want… not necessary)

pour onion soup mix over top

put on lid

push “cook”

go to church 🙂

open the door hours later and inhale


then feast your eyes, nose, and best of all taste buds on the finished product…

or at least what is left after everyone steals a taste!


holy moly stromboli!

 Love this recipe – so simple, so fast, and a favorite with the kiddos!

Start with a refrigerated french bread loaf

roll it out into a rectangle (If you get the kind in the tube, it’s usually rolled up jelly-roll style, so you can just find the seam and unroll it that way – no rolling pin necessary!)

If you are a make-from-scratch type of person, by all means, use your own recipe 🙂

I’ll keep doing it this way…

cause I’m lazy like that.

 cut slices down each side, going in about 1/4 of the way, leaving 1/2 of the space together in the middle

Put cut up meat and cheese in the middle

I only have a picture of the meat – use your imagination for the cheese 🙂


braid the side pieces… simply criss cross each of the little cut out pieces (you can even add a twist to make it look really fancy!)

If you want to make the top bakery-esc, you can brush it with whipped egg whites, and sprinkle some parmesan cheese over the top
Bake in oven according to french bread package directions (usually 350 for 25 minutes)
(okay, I realize this picture is a far cry from Food Network worthy, but hey, I had 5 hungry kids who wanted to eat more than look at the meal)
Slice up and enjoy!  The biggest challenge we have here is the kiddos waiting for the cheese to cool down enough before they can dig in!

Smooth Moves!




Let me be VERY clear.

I am not a nutrition fanatic.

well, okay, maybe in some respects I am (you’ll have to ask my sister about my GREAT corn meal waffle recipe that warrants mocking to this day!)

But normally, I am well, normal.

So when I got my vita mix blender a year ago (have I mentioned how much I LOVE LOVE that thing??!  So worth the scrimping and saving, and then scouring the best deals around – I use it every day!), I didn’t exactly get it for the ‘ah-natural’ types of crazy carrot-pea-spinach smoothies that they touted it could do.


Not me…

I got it mostly because it could make ice cream in 60 seconds, and super duper yummy strawberry smoothies 🙂


and I swore that I would never let a ‘green’ smoothy pass my lips.


That is, until I went to a nutrition convention where they were demo-ing the vita mix

and I ran up to give my own little testimonial as to how much I loved mine (seriously, these guys should give me a commission for how much I have touted it in my seminars!)

… and they usually have samples, so they asked if I wanted to try…

their GREEN smoothie concoction!


In an attempt to be somewhat cordial, I hesitantly took a sip.  and then another.

and then a gulp, just to be sure.

And much to my surprise, the most delightful feeling showered upon my tastebuds.

It was actually good!

a Green smoothy.


Who would have thought??!

So I instantly snapped a picture of the recipe,

and brought it home to try it out on the toughest critics…

the kiddos.  and wouldn’t ya know – they LOVED it just as much as I did!


So without further adieu,

here is the ever-covetated TASTY green smoothy!

4 cups spinach (yep, the leafy green stuff!)

1 peeled orange

a few slices pineapple

1/3 cup frozen white grape juice concentrate

1/4 lime (with peeling ON)

1 cup ice

that it.  Simply blend until smooth (about 60 seconds in the vita-mix),




Pour into glasses,

and watch the quizical looks on your guests faces turn from utter horror to sweet delight as they, too, become unwitting fans of the GREEN smoothie 🙂


Gobble Gobble

In the spirit of the upcoming holiday…
(no, not the green and red one that the stores seem to think comes next…)

I share with you the SECRET…
an ancient Vernal secret…
passed down from generation to generation…
… well, it was passed from a mother in law who received a very desperate call from a daughter in law, who couldn’t reach her own mother on the eve of her first Hosting of Thanksgiving
… who didn’t even realize that you needed to defrost the turkey DAYS before the big day (did I mention this was the night before the blessed event, for which we were hosting a houseful of family and friends??!) … let alone how to actually cook the turkey!

… and asked her simply, “hey, do you know how to cook a turkey??!”
… to which she gave me the most simple secret to the yummiest,
most tender
and scrumptiously moist
that you will ever sink your teeth into!

… did I mention it’s EASY??!!
(and no, this picture is NOT a turkey that I cooked – I don’t get that fancy… just wanted to give you a visual to wet the appetite a bit…)

Are you ready for this??

all you need is 4 ingredients:
1. the turkey (hopefully thawing in the fridge days before…)
2. an apple (no, not the computer kind!)… a real, live apple

…just in case you need a visual 🙂
3. some celery

(yep, the good ole’fashioned green stuff!)
4. a turkey oven bag

and yes, you DO need the turkey size. You don’t need the extra stress of trying to fit a turkey into a chicken sized bag… you may as well try to stuff yourself into your high school jeans… it’s not going to fit!

… oh yea, you can also add some salt and pepper if you want…

then simply rinse the turkey,
(be sure to pull out all of the ‘goodies’ the nice butcher people leave for you – neck, gizzard, possible gravy bag… yep I’ve seen a bunch of things stuck up in there!).
Chop up the apple and celery (for a big turkey, I usually use about 2 apples and 3-4 stalks of celery), and stuff them inside the turkey.
Follow instructions on the bag box,
Put turkey in oven according to directions on turkey bag,
Cook until that handy dandy thermometer pops up,
take out and let rest for a bit,
then slice into it and enjoy seeing the moisture just ooze down the knife.

Yes, it really IS that easy.
and it works!!
Going on 11th Thanksgiving Turkey this year
and the past 10 have all worked like a charm!

So from our house to yours –
Happy Thanksgiving!