Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amazing Alaskan Air

Check out Alaska Air for some amazing $40.00 fares through out the U.S. 
Hurry because the flight must be booked by December 5th!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Unbelievable service

I don't eat a lot of fast food; but when I do I want my fries to be hot, crispy, with just the right amount of salt.  Today Rachel and I went to McDonald's, I was dying for a Big Mac, fries and a coke.  After I ordered I told the cashier that I had a strange request.  She leaned forward and I whispered, " I rarely eat fast food and I really need my fries to be the best ever made."  Now here comes the unbelievable part, another worker actually brought some fries for me to sample to see if they were to my liking before handing me my order.  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!   I was stunned.  By the way, my fast food tasted like manna from heaven!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Games for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Every other year we host Thanksgiving at our home.  We eat, play games and laughing until our cheeks hurt.  Some of the games we play are active and others are more sedentary. Some involve skill and others just luck.

I try to mix it up so everyone has a great time regardless of their skills or age.  I also make sure that everyone leaves with a prize.  This may seem difficult but what I do is play the left right game.  Rachel makes up the story and I buy lots of inexpensive prizes and wrap them up.  It's fun to watch our extended family check out the prizes before the game and then try and figure out where to sit so they can keep their selected prize after all of the passing happens.

Here are a few other games we play:

#1. Turkey shoot.  I dress up in a turkey costume and strut across the cul de sac as everyone gets a chance to shoot me with a dollar store bow and arrow.  The deer hunters in our family really get excited over this one.  Surprisingly, the hunters don't always win.  Not surprisingly they ask if they can bring their cross bow next year.  If you do this one make sure you provide the bow and arrow ;) and wear protective eye glasses; you don't want to shoot out an eye!

#2. Another fun game is turkey bowling.  I set up children's bowling pins and we bowl with a frozen chicken down our drive way.  I started using a chicken because Great Grandma couldn't handle a 12 pound turkey.  Great fun.

#3.  We also hang donuts from strings and race to eat them without hands.  The grand children really get a kick out of seeing Grandma and Great Grandma with glaze all over their faces.

#4.  Then there is the drop the candy corn into a narrow necked bottle.  Each participant gets a try at dropping 25 candy corn into a narrow necked bottle while kneeling on the seat of a chair.  They must rest their arm on the top of the chair so that all have an equal distance from the bottle.  Whomever gets the most corn in the bottle wins the prize.  When my children and nieces were small we used a wide mouth mason jar for them.

#4. This year for our sedentary game we are going to have people write a caption for some of the funny family photos I have.  This is a great game because our extended family reminisces over the photos, people like to be creative, and let's face it, who doesn't like laughing at themselves?  Everyone submits their caption for each photo and I quickly type them up.  Next we vote on the captions. The person with the most votes for their caption wins.  Here's an example of a funny family photo we will be using.  This is our son Tyler.

Email me your caption for this photo and if selected you will win a copy of my latest book, The Queen of Common Cents: 1001 ways to Save Money and Time.  Email entries to  Entries must be received by November 30, 2011.  Winner will be announced on December 1, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

You never think it is going to happen to you...and then it does.

This morning I checked my bank account like I do every Monday morning and much to my surprise there were charges which were not ours!  So how am I spending my day?  Signing affidavits, making many phone calls, visiting the credit union to getting new cards.  Not only has someone tried to rob me of my finances but they also have robbed me of my day of skiing!

I once saw a bumper sticker that read, "Evil people suck!"  Today I think it should read, "Credit card thieves suck time, resources, tax payers money, and perfectly good skiing days!"

Friday, November 18, 2011

Post Thanksgiving Meal

I cook a turkey about 2-3 times a year.  Part of the left-overs always turns into turkey pillows.  And one of the ingredients for the turkey pillows entree is crescent roll dough.  This weeks add for Associated Food Stores includes a coupon for crescent roll dough, 2 for $3.00.  Here's an extra savings hint, look on the end of some of the rolls of dough, here and there, you will find a 0.55 cent off coupon if you buy 3 or more packages.

Recipe for turkey pillows:
1 package crescent roll dough
1-8 oz. package cream cheese
and then any mix-ins of your choice.  We really like chopped left over turkey, chopped water chestnuts, celery, and green onion.
Once the mix-ins are mixed into the cream cheese, place a dollop of the mixture on the wide end of the individual crescent roll dough triangle and roll up. When you are finished making your turkey pillows place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees until dough is golden brown, about 20 minutes.  I typically serve turkey rolls with a green salad and green beans sauteed in balsamic vinegar and garlic.  Yum!

So now you know what we will be eating a day or two after Thanksgiving; oh, and if Trent has his way a slice or two of pumpkin pie ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Free concert tonight!

Tonight Weber State's School of Music will present two honors string quartets featuring pieces from Beethoven, Mozart, Myagi and Morandi.
Time- 7:30 p.m.
 Place: Dumke Recital Hall,  1375 E. President's Circle, Salt Lake City

See you there!

A clean and easy way to dice an avocado

The other day I was dicing an avocado in front of some guests and the women marveled at my technique.  They said it was clean, fast and easy.  Some even said that they don't eat avocados because of the hassel factor.  I was stunned. I thought everyone diced an avocado the way I do it; but, apparently these ladies do not.

Step 1- Slice the avocado in half.  Twist the two halves a quarter of a turn and lift.  The pit will be in one half and the other half will look like the picture below.

Step 2- Stick the pit with a knife and pluck it out.  Be careful, I have flung a stubborn avocado pit across my kitchen a time or two.  It's kind of fun when this happens because the family livens up a bit when the pit smacks against the pantry doors.

Step 3- Slice the avocado flesh vertically and horizontally.

Step 4- Take a soup spoon and slide the edge between the flesh and the avocado skin.

Step 5- Scoop the flesh following the contour of the skin.

Step 6- When done properly you will have little or no flesh adhered to the skin of the avocado.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Thanksgiving Tradition for Kids!

For years while the adults were busy making Thanksgiving dinner the children were busy making cute little turkey favors.  This has been a tradition for years.  One year I thought the kids, who were now teenagers, had had enough of making their annual turkey favors.  I WAS WRONG!  My nieces threw a fit and wanted to know where the turkey making fixings were.  I explained I thought they had out grown that activity.  They said okay; but, I felt their disappointment.

This Thanksgiving all of our family will be able to make it to our home, even our adult children, nieces, and a fiance will be here!  So as I thought about all of the fun things we did over the years I knew we had to make the famous turkey favors!  These are simple little favors that even toddlers can make.

Here's how you make one turkey.
2 Oreo cookies
5 candy corn
1 malt ball
Chocolate frosting

Step 1:  Place a glob of frosting on the back section of a cookie.  Carefully place the other cookie in the glob of frosting so that the cookie is perpendicular to the bottom cookie.

Step 2- Spread frosting on one of the cookies and arrange candy corn on the frosting.  This will be the turkey's tail feathers.

Step 3- Right the cookie and place a glob of frosting to towards the front of the undecorated cookie.  Place the malt ball in the frosting.

Step 4- Break off the white portion of the remaining candy corn.  Dip the broken off edge of the candy corn in some frosting and place it on the malt ball.  This is the turkey's beak.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

This newspaper article features some of my childhood memories as well as some delicious homemade ice cream recipes.

Every where I go there are help wanted signs

Last night I ran to Fedex printing, it use to be the kinko's store in Layton, HELP WANTED.  Then
I ran to JC Penney's, HELP WANTED.  Then off to Macey's Department Store, HELP WANTED.
On the way to my car I walk by Belle Pierre make up and you guessed it, HELP WANTED.
And the list goes on and on.  I am even seeing signs in grocery stores, convenience stores and even home building stores.  So if your high school or college aged children are in need of a job, they should certainly be able to find one.  Seeing all of these help wanted signs actually gives me hope in our economy.

News on the chicken front,  my hen has started abusing the chicks.  Had to separate her.  I am now using a  coop lined with bales of straw with a 250 watt heat lamp.  I hope they are old enough for this to work through the harsh weather that lies ahead.  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Coming soon, The Queen of Common Cents E-Store!

As a profesional courtesy I have only had my books available through major book stores; however, enough time as passed and I have decided to sell my books and a few other things that catch my eye on my website.  My books will still be available through major book store as well as on-line distributors such as Amazon.
More details will be forth coming.


Ogden readers the Newgate Malll is loaded with help wanted signs as is Honey Baked Hams.

Free Dates

I went and got my hair cut a few days ago and a newly wed asked me if I knew of any free dates she could go on with her sweetheart.
Here's a list of free Friday concerts at the Kaysville Tabernacle.  All concerts begin at 7:30 and are open to the public.
Nov. 11th
Dec. 9th
Jan. 20th
March 9th
April 6th
May 11th

Here's something else that sounds fun.  Layton High School will be hosting a nativity candle walk starting at their auditorium and heading over to a live nativity.  The program begins at 6 p.m.  And of course it is free!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interesting tire facts from Jeep

  1. Increase the risk of a blow out.
  2. Decrease your handling and traction.
  3. Decrease the life of your tires.
  4. Decrease your gas mileage:
Here's some other interesting facts-

  1. Underinflated tires decrease gas mileage by 1-2 mpg
  2. A dirty air filter decrease gas mileage by 2 mpg
  3. Worn spark plugs decrease gas mileage by 2 mpg
  4. Worn oxygen sensor decreases gas mileage by 3 mpg
  5. Dirty oil reduces gas mileage by 0.4 mpg (I thought this one would be higher)
  6. Loose gas cap reduces gas mileage by 2.0 mpg (Hum, I never thought about that one.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

About two weeks ago we picked our green tomatoes. Here's what they look like now,


My experiences with green tomatoes:
  1. Pick your green tomatoes before the first frost or snow storm, which ever comes first.
  2. Pick all tomatoes that are at least medium sized. 
  3. Small underdeveloped tomatoes will not be juicy enough and typically shrivel up.
  4. Green tomatoes with a blush of color ripen the best.
  5. Green tomatoes that ripen have less flavor and are not as juicy vine ripened.
  6. I have never had good luck with green cherry tomatoes.
  7. Any tomatoes with soft spots or blemishes will develop mold.  I know it is difficult; but, throw them in your compost pile!
  8. Store your green tomaotes in a cool place.
  9. Place green tomatoes on sheets of newspaper or in a cardboard box covered with newspapers.  I usually cover with at least 3-4 sheets.
  10. You want to use newspaper because I have been told that the ink has antibacteria/fungal/yeast etc. properties which reduce spoilage. (I haven't researched the ink properties but it is what I do anyway, because my grandma said too.)
  11. Check tomatoes every couple of weeks for ripe, moldy, or shriveled ones.
  12. After removing tomatoes be sure to cover them up with the newspapers so the ripening gases will not escape and they can do their job!
  13. The longest I have had shelf ripened green tomatoes was the second week of December.
  14. Here's a simple recipe for fried green tomatoes- Whisk eggs and milk together. On a plate mix corn meal and flour together; about a handful of each works well.  Salt and pepper to taste. Dip thickly sliced green tomatoes in egg mixture then dredge in flour mixture and fry in butter.  Sweet chili sauce and ranch dressing make nice condiments!

    Saturday, November 5, 2011

    For some odd reason...

    I can't respond to comments on my blog!

     A follower, named Bell, sent me a very good link which lists many places to get free items. 

    Bell said...
    This seems up your alley. Check this website out!

    If I were you I would do what Bell said, and check it out!

    A simple yet brillant idea!

    I was sent this link from my good friend, Christy!

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Red Tinged Cheese Frustrates Reader!

    Have you ever made a lasagna the night before or a frozen lasagna and had your cheese pick up the color of the spaghetti saucee?

    If so, you are not alone.  Here's what I do do prevent this not so appetizing phenomenon from happening.

    *A lasagna made the night before-  Top with cheese just before placing in oven to bake.

    *Frozen lasagna- I put my cheese on after the lasagna is frozen and put it back in the freezer again.

    It also helps if you use coarser grated cheese rather than ultra fine or "fancy".

    Thursday, November 3, 2011

    Check out my latest news article it has two quick and delicious recipes!

    Challenge for the Bag Lady, create a teenage party bag meal

    Recently, I was asked to come up with a bag meal recipe for a teenage party. I asked if it had to be nutritious or if it could just be a typical American teenage diet of high sugar, high fat, high preservatives and of course who can forget, high salt.  They said, "Skip nutrition! This is something my teenager wants."'s what I came up with.  I even taste tested it on my teenager and he liked it. 

    Place the following in your bag:
    1 pint home canned ground beef
    1-14.5 oz. can chili beans in western style sauce
    1- jar of Frito brand nacho cheese dip
    1- bag tortilla chips
    1- bag of Sour patch kids, mini candy bars etc.
    4- Sodas
    Place as many cans of your teenager's favorite soda into the bag as will fit, I could fit four.  The problem was the chips.  I couldn't get everything in the bag including the chips so I just sat the bag of chips on top of the bag.  So I guess it becomes a two handed bag meal!?!

    All I did for the nachos was heat the ground beef, chili beans including sauce and nacho cheese dip in a pot.  Once the mixture was hot I spooned the nacho sauce over the tortilla chips. 

    Top the nachos with chopped tomatoes, black olives, lettuce, sour cream and avocado if you happen to have some in your fridge.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    4 Easy Steps for Pasteurizing Milk

    1. Slowly heat milk to 145 degrees.
    2. Stirring frequently so it will not scorch.
    3. Hold temperature for 30 minutes.
    4. Rapidly cool milk in an ice water bath.

    Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Odds and Ends

    • L.L. Bean is offering free shipping and a $10.00 gift card on orders of $50.00 or more.
    • Halmark in the Layton Hills mall is hiring.
    • Jo-ann's Fabric free shipping code for orders $40.00 or more. Expires today! Promo code:BCT350
    • Also, I have one "Friend" Coupon for Jo-ann's Fabric for 25% off any in store purchase; Nov. 4-6.  Let me know if you need it by messaging me on Facebook.