Make It From Scratch: Homemade Slow-Cooker Yogurt

Homemade yogurt is the best.  There truly is a difference between store-bought and homemade.  The great thing is that it's really easy to make and relatively hands-free.  A win-win!  This is one of those recipes you keep saying "someday I really want to try that".  You pin it, you drool over it, but you don't make it.  Decide today that at some point this week you'll jump in and make it.  You'll be hooked!

The nice thing is you can alter it to fit your family's preferences.  Sweeten with a bit of sugar or honey or even maple syrup.  Add a bit of coffee if you desire or swirl in some homemade jam just before devouring.  You decide!

The number one question is:  do you need a yogurt maker to make yogurt?  The short answer is no. 

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge

Imagine my surprise when I opened the freezer to get a couple jars of homemade chicken stock and....yikes!  I grabbed the last jar.  I actually had to buy chicken stock this week!  As far as the rest of the shopping goes, I didn't need much else from the store.

Freezer Cooking: Slow-Cooker Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches

I love sausage and peppers.  It's a great comfort food that is filling and delicious.  We have some GREAT locally made sausage that pushes this little number right over the top.  Pair that with a delicious ciabatta roll and you've got one amazing meal.  Perfect for gameday or a super quick and easy lunch or dinner!  Throw them in the slow-cooker and in 2 hours.....ta dah!!  Done.

Looks like you've gone to great lengths when all you really had to do was turn them once and heat some tomato sauce.

Monthly Make-Ahead Meal Prep: February 2016

I'm trying to pick back up an old habit that helped out tremendously on busy weeknights - making meals and parts of meals up at the beginning of the month to use throughout the month.  Saturday was dedicated to just that.

I bought some items specifically for these meals and then used what I had in the pantry and freezer.

It was a full day of cooking and prep work!

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge

slow-cooker sausage & pepper sandwich
This week I went over budget in order to purchase items to make-ahead and use throughout the month.  I'm trying to get back in the habit of stocking the freezer the first weekend of every month.  Since next weekend we'll be making and packaging product for Valentine's day I chose to use this weekend as my prep for February.

Freezer Meal: Slow-Cooker Honey-Soy Chicken

I'm all about quick and easy meals during the week.  Add to that it being delicious and, well, we've got ourselves a winner!  This is one of those great make-ahead meals that can be tossed in the slow-cooker right from the freezer if desired {add an additional half hour to hour to the cooking time}.  We love it with rice and sprinkled with scallions and sesame seeds.

The Benefits of Charcoal + Drawing Salve Recipe

Bamboo is very sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It is the fastest growing woody plant in the world.  After the bamboo is harvested it is "carbonized" at extremely hot temperatures.  The result is activated bamboo charcoal.

Activated bamboo charcoal {a.k.a. Activated Charcoal} is a phenomenal soap and skincare ingredient, particularly for those who suffer from oily skin and/or acne.  It has long been used as an effective acne treatment because it is very



It was bitter cold both Saturday and Sunday.  Mind you, that isn't something unusual for this area but with the strange temps this year, well, it takes you a bit off guard.  I looked at the temp before taking the dogs out first thing Sunday morning.  I looked again.  Could it be that it's only a single digit????  Is that a 3?  Huh.......put the leashes down and grab the parka.

$60.00 A Week Grocery Budget Challenge

I did not get cinnamon rolls made last weekend as I'd hoped.  So I made them yesterday.  And they were deeeeeelicious.  They will be our special treat for this week.

I will be trying 2 new recipes this week - Mongolian Beef and Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups.  I love cookbooks and look through them regularly but am not always so good about remembering to add a dish or two to the upcoming menu plan. This week 2 intrigued me.  My problem in trying new recipes, however, is that I always want to tweak them.  Not a bad thing, I suppose, but I really should try them the way they are written first.  But I don't.  I always have planned changes.  This week is no different.

Happy Birthday Big Boys!

My boys turned 6 today!!
Brothers from the same litter, they both love and hate each other, depending on the time of day.
They have brought great joy, sadness, laughter, heartache, love and debt to our life.  :)
It's never boring, that's for sure!

They are the love of my life.
Happy 6th Birthday sweet boys!!


Coop Girl Dorilla

Jack & Cait


Coop Girls Hattie, Deb and Stephanie

Coop Girl Allie

part of this week's collection