Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cooking With Kids - French Fry Chicken Bacon and Ranch Bake & Crescent Churros and Chocolate

This week at co-op we made French Fry Chicken Bacon & Ranch Bake and Crescent Churros and Chocolate .   I saw the French Fry Chicken Bacon & Ranch Bake come across my Facebook wall.  It looked delish and easy.  We made two different versions of it one with NO garlic and NO ranch and one WITH those ingredients.  

You can get the printable version of these recipes here

pictures from and Tasty on Facebook

What we used for the main course (remember this is for TWO entrees):
1 bag of  frozen chicken breasts from Aldi stores (thawed and cut into 1 inch cubes -give or take)
2 bags of SHOESTRING french fries
1 pound of cooked, crumbled bacon (cook in non-stick frying pan and keep some of the drippings to cook the chicken )
1 bottle of ranch dressing
8 oz. of shredded sharp cheese
8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
 2 cast iron skillets
 cookie sheets
 non stick frying pans
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1:  Pre-heat the oven for the french fries - 425degrees.  Put the 1 bag of frozen french fries  onto each cookie sheet and put in the oven for 20 minutes. (keep checking the fries, as one of our bags got done sooner than the other.  You don't want them burnt.)

Step 2: Set the stove for medium heat and in the non-stick frying pans, add in the garlic and half of the chicken cubes.  In the other frying pan, just add the other half of the chicken cubes.  Add your salt and pepper.  Cook thoroughly.

Step 3:  Take a paper towel and dab the olive oil on it and wipe the inside of the cast iron skillets.  Make sure to get the sides as well. 

Step 4: With the french fries done and the chicken done, it is time to put them in skillet.  FIRST set the oven for 350 degrees.  
- Put the french fries in the skillets first. You want to make sure the bottom is covered with the fries.  It may not take all the french fries and that is ok.
   - Now you want to add the chicken and make sure you spread the pieces around.
- You want to pour some ranch over the chicken and fries in one skillet. The amount really depends on how much YOU  like ranch.  Again, make sure it is evenly spread out over the chicken and fries. 
- Add your sharp cheese and mozzarella cheeses.  Sprinkle them evenly over the chicken and fries.  
- Add half of the bacon crumbles to each skillet.
The oven should be ready so put the skillets in the oven for 15 minutes.  When the cheese is all melted and bubbling, it is done! 

What we used for our dessert (enough for 15 people):

4 cans of crescent rolls 
2 cups of cinnamon sugar mix
1 stick of melted butter
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
knife or pizza cutter
pastry or bbq brush
2 cookie sheets 

Step 1:  MAKE SURE that the crescent rolls are C-O-L-D.  This is really important.  We had ours at room temperature and it was a M-E-S-S! When the dough is at room temperature it is super hard to do what needs to be done with it! 
When you take the roll of dough out...DO NO SEPARATE at the perforated edges!   You will want to manipulate the dough and make them disappear so that  you have one rectangle.  

Step 2: Cut the rectangle with a knife or pizza cutter, into 4  smaller rectangles.   

Step 3: Brush butter onto the rectangles and spread evenly.  NOT ALOT or it will make the dough soft and hard to work.   

Step 4: Sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mix on the rectangles.  

Step 5: Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle into  equal strips.  Twist the strips and put on the cookie sheets.

Step 6: bake for 5 minutes and check.  You want them to be golden brown and not doughy. If they need more time, check them every 2 minutes until done.  

Step 7: Put the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat at 30 second increments, stirring well until melted.

Step 7: While hot, brush more butter on each and sprinkle with the sugar cinnamon mix.

Whether you eat them warm or not, they are so scrumptious!  When you add a dollop of melted chocolate to your plate for dipping...well it just doesn't get better than that.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

White Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cookies

These cookies are not only soft and delish, they are so easy to make as well.  Perfect for Valentine's Day or any day!

I found that using cake mixes make the cookies so much softer!  I am not a fan of crisp, crunchy cookies.   When I discovered, by accident, how using the cake mixes changed that....we do almost ALL our cookies this way...and with great results. 

What you will need:

red velvet cake mix
1 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
1/3 cup of oil
can of oil spray (not shown)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
parchment paper (a baker's best friend)
cookie sheets

Step #1: Heat oven to 350 degrees F

Step #2: Line your cookie sheets with the parchment paper and set aside

Step #3: In a large bowl put in- red velvet cake mix, eggs, vanilla and oil.  Now using electric beaters, mix together.  It will get a bit difficult, just try to get all of it off the beaters. 

Step #4: Add in the white chocolate chips and mix with a spoon.  If you don't feel there is enough chips, add more!

Step #5: Drop spoonfuls onto the parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Step #6: Bake for 4 minutes and then turn the cookie sheet around.  Bake another 3 minutes.  They will be done with you touch them and they feel almost like a sponge.  

Step #7: Let them cool and enjoy!!! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

THIS Homeschooling Momma's Review - 2016 Biblical Calendar Study by Grapevine Studies

*this is an affiliate post*

I recently did a review on Grapevine Studies and their products.  (You can read that here.)

They were kind enough to let me know about one of their newer products - 2016 Biblical Calendar.  They also gave me a sample to "test drive" and I wanted to share my thoughts about it. 

picture from Grapevine Studies

I received the "Calendar Notes" via a pdf download, which I love - impatient girl over here. 

picture from Grapevine Studies

I started reading about the "Evolution of the Calendar" and about the Biblical Weeks and the Biblical Months and so much more!

picture from the Calendar Notes
We were already into the middle of January but decided that the boys would love playing "catch up".   I found a blank calendar in my Microsoft Word program, edited it to include the Biblical names of the months, too.

Then we started.   

First, I had them locate the day and made sure to use the Biblical names of the month as well. Then I read to them what my Calendar Notes said.  As we moved through the month, we  looked up any Bible references,too. 

picture from the Calendar Notes

 I explained to them  the significance of each day and the matching drawing.
(My youngest is drawing January 10/Tevet 29 - the baptism of Jesus)

 We worked on all the days to catch us up to date.   

Every calendar has a picture.  We used the picture that is in the 
"Wall Calendar Sample" for ours, as it is for January. 

My boys are really excited about doing this calendar.  They love all the little bits of information they are learning.  It also brings the Bible to life for them as well.   We put our loved one's birthdays and deaths on our calendar, so having Biblical people such as Simeon's "birthday and death day" added in this calendar made them more "real".  

This 2016 Biblical Calendar  is very engaging.  We have our Bibles out and are all learning together - that is always an awesome thing.   Not only is this great for homeschooling, but would be perfect for an ongoing Sunday School project, too. 

Grapevine Studies makes it very simple to get their products and their prices are super reasonable.  You can can choose to have the Wall Calendar and Calendar Notes mailed to you or have them sent to you via PDF downloads.  (fabulously fast!) 

I did make my own calendar, but I WILL be getting the Wall Calendar from Grapevine Studies.  She has set it up beautifully with alot more room for the boys to do their drawings in than what I provided.

Head over to Grapevine Studies and get it NOW as it is on sale until the end of January!    

And that is just - THIS Homeschooling Momma's Review

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Love is..." 5 Senses Creative Writing Worksheet

Yes, this is about "Love" and Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but it can be used anytime.

What I love the most about these type of sheets (I have three now - "I love Winter", "I love Fall") is:

1. It  is for kiddos of all grades and ages.  If they can't write yet, Momma, you can put it in for them.

2. It encourages them to use THEIR own senses..  They have to think about each sense and answer how they feel, see hear, taste, and smell.

3.  There is no "right or wrong".  Because it is using their own 5 senses, it is their own ideas.  What they feel, see, hear, taste, and smell can't be "wrong".  

You can get this worksheet at my Etsy store or my TpT Store.
If you don't have an account with either place, you can get this worksheet at my Facebook page.  Just message me the name of the worksheet and I will give you my PayPal account information for payment.  Then I will message you via my Facebook page with the PDF's. 

My other Valentine's Day themed worksheets
Candy Heart Graphing

Chocolate Heart Candy Graphing

Chocolate Heart Candy Addition & Subtraction

1 Corinthians 13 - 5 Day Unit Study 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Chocolate Heart Candies Math Worksheets

Chocolate candies are always yummy and fun when doing math!!  
Here are two different worksheets you can get the graphing sheet at my Etsy Shop or my TpT Shop.

graphing worksheet

You can get this addition and subtraction worksheet at my Etsy Store and my TpT Store

If you don't have an account with either place, you can get this worksheet at my Facebook page.  Just message me the name of the worksheet and I will give you my PayPal account information for payment.  Then I will message you via my Facebook page with the PDF's. 

addition and subtraction worksheet

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Candy Heart Math Graphing Worksheets

Here are some fun candy heart math graphing worksheets.

You can get these at my Etsy Store or my TpT Store.

If you don't have an account with either place, you can get this worksheet at my Facebook page.  Just message me the name of the worksheet and I will give you my PayPal account information for payment.  Then I will message you via my Facebook page with the PDF's. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"Love is..." 1 Corinthians 13 - 5 Day Unit Study

 I had a blast making this unit study over the weekend.  
Nothing teaches you what love truly is and isn't like 
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. 

This unit study will have your child digging into the Bible and challenging themselves about what they feel love is before the unit study and at the end.  

You can get this right now at my Etsy Store or my TpT Store.  

If you don't have an account with either place, you can get this worksheet at my Facebook page.  Just message me the name of the worksheet and I will give you my PayPal account information for payment.  Then I will message you via my Facebook page with the PDF's. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

We Do 'Holly & Jolly Elf 's Candy Cane Disposal" Science Experiment

My youngest has been asking to do this science experiment ever since I created it.   Yesterday was the day and it was super fun! 

I didn't have many glass containers and only plastic glasses.  I have collected shot glasses for years and that is what we chose to use.  Perfect size for the miniature candy canes we used.

We read the story of Holly & Jolly Elf and why they needed our help. The boys filled in the first part of their pages. 

Time to fill up the 1st 3 glasses with the cold water, vinegar, and hot water.

Time to put the candy canes in and fill out their "predictions"  and half of the "experiment" sections.

Experiment with cold water, vinegar, and hot water.

Next, the boys got to pick 5 different liquids they wanted to try:
dish soap, pickle juice, Worcester sauce, Italian dressing, whole milk, Windex, rubbing alcohol, Lime Away, Sea Breeze face wash, and orange soda.  They also needed to fill in the "blank Observation" worksheet. 

BubbyDooDooBear's results

We were amazed at how the Worcester sauce seemed to elongate the candy cane.  The Italian dressing did nothing! The pickle juice won hands down but did NOT dissolve the candy cane as much as the hot water did. 
 *Interesting side note - We left these out so Dad could see them when he got home.  Mr. Man noticed that the candy cane that was put into the Italian dressing hollowed the candy cane out! He set it aside to take a picture of it, but Dad accidentally threw it out.*

Mr. Man's results:

We were surprised at how little the alcohol, Lime-A-Way, and face wash did.  The Windex did well, but the orange soda shrunk it down.  Still, the hot water did  better than any of Mr. Man's picks, too. 

We had a very fun time doing this experiment.  I loved watching the boys get excited as they got to picked out the liquids they thought would dissolve the candy canes.   The excitement built each time the timer went off to check the progress. 

If you would like to do this science experiment with your kiddos head over to my "Holly and Jolly Elf - Science Experiment - Candy Cane Disposal" to get the worksheets.

Monday, January 11, 2016

THIS Homeschooling Momma's Review - Grapevine Studies

(*this is an affiliate post*)

When Mr. Man was in 6th grade, I was looking for something to spark his excitement during Bible class.  We had experimented with a few different kinds over the past 6 years of school and nothing seemed to really keep his attention.
I think part of the issue is that he is partially a "hands on" kind of learner. 
In my searching, I came across Grapevine Studies and fell in love with their concept:

Stick Figuring through the Bible!!!

So different!  So Fresh!  So Interactive!
Not only did Mr. Man love it, BubbyDooDoo Bear did, too. 

Each lesson gave me the Bible verses we were to read, what we were to discuss and then what the kiddos where going to draw and how to draw it.  It was so easy for me!

sample picture from Grapevine Studies

Each lesson's drawings were in a simplistic form - easy for them to draw and remember that story!
sample teacher's timeline from Grapevine Studies

There are even memory verses and not only review for the verses, but lesson reviews, too. 

Sample Memory Verse Review from Grapevine Studies

Not only did the spark of excitement come back for our Bible class, but I soon found them drawing stick figure drawings in their spare time!   For this momma it was a win-win situation! 

This is what I liked about Grapevine Studies:

Different approach to teaching Bible class  - It is definitely NOT your average Bible class.  Colorful, hands-on, and super fun.

Follows Biblical doctrine - It is very important that a Bible curriculum agree with MY biblical beliefs and doctrine.  This did 100%.

Ease of ordering - I am super impatient.  I LOVE a curriculum that let's me get what I want NOW!   Grapevine Studies does that.  You can get the workbook sent to you or you can get it via ebook!  YES!!  In my hand...or printer immediately!

So many levels for all ages - I got the traceables for my youngest.  It really helped him to be able to draw like mommy could.  My older son, was able to do it on his own and all  of doing the same lesson.

Not just for homeschooling - We loved using this so much that I brought it to our co-op.  Because of the multi-level books, I was able to teach many different ages.  The younger ones I could use the traceable ones.  This would also be great for Sunday School class, too.

What I didn't like about Grapevine Studies:

I can honestly tell you - affiliate or not - there was nothing that I didn't like.  My oldest just "out grew" it after a few years. (exact words of Mr. Man who is never happy for long with any curriculum.)

Not only do I feel this is a GREAT Bible curriculum, it also inspires a desire to draw as well.  
And that is just - THIS Homeschooling Momma's Review

2016 Calendar 250x250
Bundle Sale 250x250

Sunday, January 10, 2016

NOT Your Average Stuffed Pork Chops

Why are these NOT your average stuffed pork chops?

#1 only 2 out of 5 people in our house like  bread stuffing
#2 everyone in our house loves CHEESE. 
#3 extremely inexpensive since almost every ingredient came from Aldi


1- pork loin - It gave me 10 thick pork chops 
(one isn't shown as I set it aside for my youngest)
1- package of mushrooms (any kind) diced up
1- package of your favorite kind of finely shredded cheese
2 tablespoons of minced garlic & more for rubbing on the loin
(you can add less if you aren't a garlic fan or more if you are an extreme garlic lover)
2 tablespoons of minced onion
(if you don't have any, you can always use onion soup mix, JUST THE ONIONS)
1/2 stick of butter
olive oil
salt and pepper -season to taste
1 clove of garlic, peeled but whole (not shown)
skewers (not shown)

If you have never made stuffed pork chops before, please check out my post "How To Stuff A Pork Chop".  It will give you step by step directions on how to make the pocket, fill it, and close it  up. 

Step 1: I rubbed the whole loin with some minced garlic.  Again, this is a preference as to how much you want to put on it.  I also salted and peppered the loin.  

Step 2: Cut the loin into 1 1/2 inch thick chops. Set aside.

Step 3:  Dice up your  mushrooms

Step 4: On medium heat, put some olive oil into a frying pan

Step 5:  add in the mushroom, garlic, and onions cooking until soft

Step 6: When the mushroom mixture is done cooking , put in a bowl and add in the cheese.  The hot mixture will melt the cheese beautifully. Our stuffing is done! Set aside.

Step 7 : Stuff your pork chops! (if you don't know how, please check out my post with step by step directions.)

Step 8 : Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium high.  You are going to want to SEAR the outside of the chops.  Set your oven to 350 degrees and have a baking dish sprayed and ready.  In the the frying pan add 2 tablespoons of oil and half of the butter.  Put the garlic clove in.  I could NOT find my clove of garlic, so I had to use minced garlic....I do NOT suggest that.  They burnt!   The clove is one piece to flavor the butter/oil mixture.  If it burns, you can take it out and replace it.  Not that easy with many pieces of garlic! Add more butter as needed.

Now place a few chops in the pan trying to get the sides to lay as flat as possible to get a good sear.

You want to tilt the pan so you can use a big spoon and ladle the hot butter/oil mixture over the side of the chop.   This helps cook the other side while the one side is searing.  Do this for about a minute, checking the other side to see if it is seared enough.  **REMEMBER**  You are not FULLY cooking the chop at this point.  Just searing the sides for the chops to be baked, keeping all the juices inside.

Look at that beautiful sear! 

Step 9 : After each chop is seared, put IMMEDIATELY into the baking dish.  When all the chops are in, bake for about 15 minutes.  Take one out to check, if there is no pink, it is done. If there is some pink, but back in the oven for 5 minutes at a time. 

I had to use two dishes as they were so big!  My second pan (2nd picture) shows alot of the stuffing that came out.  They were still juicy and good though! 

That is it!  I hope you will try my "NOT Your Average Stuffed Pork Chop" recipe!  If you do, let me know!