Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Kitchen, Pantry, Closet, Home :). A little motivation from me to you!

It doesn't matter what time of the year it is getting organized will make YOU feel better. 

All stored in my cabinet and every year I check for old, dried up spices..Everything tastes better when using fresh.
Note:  Some of these suggestions may be repeated in other Getting Organized Posts.


Every January, July or about I spend a day or a few hours on a day or weekend and have a pitch party...................as in out with the *old, messy, stained or just ugly (why did I buy that) item?  This also goes for your spice cabinet or drawer.  I think this post is worth re-posting for those who need a bit of inspiration and and a little push!   Whether it's your *closet, *kitchen cabinets or home * it time to pitch out dated items and freshen up your home.

Spices lose their freshness after time so buy in small quantities to assure you'll replace when needed.  

Spring will be here in no time and what better time now to start setting some goals for a stress free summer.  I love to set goals for myself.  Whether it be saving for a vacation, eating healthier, or keeping my home in order..  They all have meaning to my life and to help make it stress free I have found that setting goals has helped make my life much more enjoyable..

 This whole goal thing probably was inspired when I worked for a cosmetic company.. Everyday goals ($$$) were set and it was placed on top of our work sheet.  That number would glare at me every hour I worked.   It did motivate me( I made my selling goal most days I worked).  I felt proud of myself too (I think I stood a little taller those days) and honestly a little sad when I didn't make my goal but I never gave up.  Never Ever!!

  One of my top goals in life has always been to keep my home clutter free.  I'm a pitch person.. I love magazines but only keep a very few after I read them and that goes for books. Those extra dishes you never ever use or all those slacks and tops that have shrunk from the dryer( I'm being kind to myself). Donate, donate donate! or have a garage or yard sale.

  Warm weather is on the horizon so you and your friends may want to have a neighborhood yard sale.  There are so many options for you. On a positive note if you donate you can get a tax deduction. You just have to remember to not let clutter take over your life and it can if you allow it to.  You have to be in control and being in control is a great feeling.  Why not start right now and make yourself a few easy goals to make life a bit easier for you to enjoy!

In January I decided to work on my main clothes closet..I got rid of all my clothes that I hadn't worn in 2 years and donated to my church.  They were having a rummage sale.  My church appreciated it and I bet a lot of people benefited from those unwanted items..Anything old and tattered I pitched!!! What a wonderful liberating feeling.

Start today and make your life clutter free! 

P.S.  I'm keeping my hubby and kids!!!!

Make a list of 3 goals to set for yourself and start today to make your life a bit more enjoyable. 

As always,

M. J.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Strawberry Cake!

This is another( just add) to a cake mix recipe I came across in my searching for a nice cake to bring to a friends home...  Easy to put together, sweet and moist.. Enjoy

Beautiful presentation!

Happy Baking from my kitchen to yours,


1 - approx. 18 oz. white cake mix
1- 3 oz. strawberry flavored gelatin
1-15 oz. pkg. frozen strawberries in syrup..thawed and pureed
4 large eggs
1/2cup vegetable oil ( I use canola)
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees..Grease 2 (9inch) round cake pans
In mixer combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil and water. Beat at medium speed  until smooth.  Pour into well greased pans..Bake approx. 20 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes..Remove and cool completely on wire racks.


1 -8 oz. cream cheese softened
1/4 cup butter softened
strawberries pureed (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup flaked coconut (optional)
Garnish with fresh strawberries if desired

A tip from the baker:  Cool Whip, coconut and pineapple might be a nice spin to the recipe!!

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.. Add confectioner sugar and vanilla...Add milk a little at at time until smooth.. Spread on cake.  Just a note:  I would make this cake again...although I would change it a bit...I would use Cool Whip in the center with some drained crushed pineapple and top the whole cake with Cool Whip and or flaked coconut... Yummy!

Dense and sweet!

I added flaked coconut and garnished it with pineapple and a strawberry

Layers with cream cheese in center


Friday, July 31, 2015

Visiting Cape May

This past week was a wonderful week visiting in order; our grandson at Penn State, my Mom, a few of my Harrisburg friends and finally stopping for a few days in Cape May, N.J.

We stayed at a lovely B&B called the Humphrey House.  We were lucky to stay in a suite that was known as the Doctor's Suite.  Quaint and tastefully decorated we felt very comfortable and relaxed there.  Everyone was so attentive and the breakfast was delicious.  

The Humphrey House

Check out below this link to find out a little history on Cape May.

Cape May, N.J.

It was quite an adventure in miles.  We probably traveled about 1,000 miles in these four days.  Hubby did all the driving. He likes it that way and I don't complain.  Traffic patterns changing and irate drivers can be very stressful. All in all it was a great few days and I'm happy to be home.

 Cape May is a quiet, family oriented Jersey shore quaint town.  Plenty of great restaurants and gorgeous Victorian Bed and Breakfast homes.

Here is an example of one of our Breakfast's at the Humphrey House.


I can't complete this post without showing you a few more photos of Mom and the friends I visited.

Stuffed Red and Green Peppers with Pineapple/ Chili Salsa Sauce

I made this meal from the top of my head wanting to cook healthy and also make something to fill me with good calories not empty ones.  I'm trying really hard to make some recipes for me and you to enjoy! It's family friendly! A good family meal.

Happy Cooking!

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
1 onion diced
1/4 cup mild banana peppers diced
pinch salt


1 bottle salsa (I used Newman's own pineapple salsa)
1/2 bottle chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup water

Mix  beef, bread crumbs, egg and banana peppers and salt. Hollow out and Fill 3 or 4 small red and green peppers.

Brown filled peppers slightly in olive oil, transfer to crockpot and  cook on low approximately 4 to 5 hours or high approximately 3 hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's Grill Time!!!!! Beef Tenderloin Kabobs 6/16/13

Easy meal for those who love to grill!  After all the pizza I have made the last few days I was thinking a nice filet would hit the spot.  Filet's were on sale and I managed to get a really nice piece at at reasonable price. Yay!

  My hubby is watching so he doesn't eat a lot of red meat (heart surgery last year) so I rarely make steak.

We often talk about our food favorites and he always loved a nice steak. I wouldn't want him to deprive himself of something he has always enjoyed.  I think it's moderation and we do try to cut back on red meat.

  I don't know about you but there are some days I am not in the mood for chicken. I need change! This was a welcomed meal..Enjoy!

Below is the recipe:

1 lb. beef tenderloin cubed
I small red onion cubed
Cherry tomatoes ( optional)
Sliced zucchini
Grilling medium until center of beef is pink

Serve with rice and fruit

Happy Grilling!!


Beef Skewers or Kabobs

1 lb. beef tenderloin
8 oz. whole fresh mushrooms
1 cup zucchini cut in large pieces
2 T. olive oil

 Peanut sauce for Beef
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
½ cumin
¼ pepper
1/4 cup water


Thread skewers.  Steak, mushroom, zucchini etc.  Brush with olive oil.  Broil or grill until desired medium center. Note:  I used red onion, steak and zucchini

Season with salt and pepper.  Grill to medium (slight pink in center) or to your desired temperature. 

In a small bowl combine peanut butter mixture add  ¼ cup water.  Serve with kabobs.