Monday, July 28, 2014

Kielbasa & Ranch Potatoes Recipe

All of my kids love Kielbasa. I was bored of just simmering it in water and serving it with the same old sides all of the time so, I decided to come up with a better way to cook it that would make me happy as well. I do that, ya know. I make stuff up. I stare at my cabinets until something just comes to me. Frequently. Ha!

Kielbasa & Ranch Potatoes Recipe


13 - 16 oz Kielbasa (or polish sausage, turkey kielbasa, whichever one you fancy...or have a coupon for...)
4 medium potatoes (again, your choice of potato, I get whatever is on sale)
1 cup frozen or 1 can kernel corn
1 medium onion
1 cup diced bell peppers or sweet peppers (any color, but I hate the green ones)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 pouch Ranch seasoning powder

1. Heat cooking oil in skillet or pan. (I prefer my electric skillet for this dish)

2. Wash and then cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces (I leave the skin on for the nutrients) and put in the pan, add the minced garlic and give them a quick stir to coat in oil.

3. While the potatoes begin cooking, dice the onion and bell pepper. Add them to the pan along with the corn.

4. Cut the Kielbasa into bite sized pieces and add to the pan.

5. Sprinkle the Ranch powder over it all and stir it well to coat evenly. 

6. Cover and simmer at @ 325° and stir it occasionally for about 20 minutes or so, just until the potatoes are cooked to your liking. (Some people like theirs softer than others)

Makes @ 6 cups or so.

My kids like to have ketchup on theirs. I like mine with some shredded cheese on top, usually cheddar or colby jack. Maybe even a dash of Red Hot Sauce. This dish is a family favorite. I hope you and yours enjoy it, too!

Happy cooking!

Music Room Makeover

Well, we are moved into our new house and are all very happy here. It has been a literal life changer, for the better. Plenty of space for the seven of us and our dog and two cats. I have come along in the unpacking process nicely and we are down to the last boxes of random crap and junk that we are not quite sure if or what to do with yet. So, I'm feeling pretty good about all of that.

I purposely scheduled our house warming party for this weekend, one month and a couple of days since we moved in. It might be a little soon but I know myself very well and having a strict deadline for the unpacking is exactly what I needed to push myself to get it done.

We decided we are not going to do any real decorating, painting or projects before the party, with the exception of one room...the Music Room! I decided that this room should be painted right away, in case anyone decides jamming at some point during the party is a good idea. Music equipment can be a pain in the arse to haul around and we don't want to do it any more than we have to.

When we looked at this house during the showings, we knew right away that this particular room would make the perfect practice space. It is completely underground and has no window, great for keeping loud music from bothering our new neighbors. There is no real ceiling which I think is kind of cool, for what we are using the room for. It was painted a plain old beige color when we moved in; nothing spectacular to look at. A clean palette. I LOVE color and decided to pounce on the opportunity to try something new and bold.

I was at Home Depot a couple of months ago and decided to grab one of every paint brochure they had in anticipation of the new house...and who am I kidding? I really just wanted to drool over and dream about new paint colors. I found a color combination in a Behr brochure and felt it was perfect for this room. It would look great with the lights on or even with the lights dimmed down or with rope lighting, which is pretty fun when people are over playing music. Here is a snap shot of the page from that brochure (I apologize, the pictures in this post are not as quality as I wish they were):

Image from a Behr brochure

The colors are Majestic Orchid, Saffron Strands and Broadway. For the orchid color, I chose a satin finish with the hopes that fun lighting will reflect off of it nicely. Our room already has some built in shelving and a door panel for the utility box so I thought these colors would spiffy up the music room nicely. Here is how it turned out:

Now, all we have left to do is hang up some awesome rock and roll posters, mount guitar hangers to the walls and plug everything in. We will have a drum set soon, we just have to go pick it up and I'm pretty sure I saw those rope lights rolled up in the garage somewhere. That's it.

I love it so much. I find myself just sneaking in there and looking around a couple times a day just to soak it in. Ahh.

Thanks for stopping by and...Rock On!

** If you want to know more about the paint colors you see here or to keep up with my future home decorating projects, please stop by my Pinterest page and follow me. I have some fun DIY projects coming up in the near future. I would love to share them with you!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perfectly Sticky White Rice Recipe

I love sticky white rice. I made some to go with the Sesame Ginger Chicken & Carrots I made for dinner this evening and I got to thinking about how long it took me to learn how to cook it just right. I failed a few times and ate some I wasn't happy with a few more times than that. I do not own a fancy rice steamer or anything. I thought about it in the past but decided that I don't cook rice enough to make the expense worthwhile. So, it was me, my sauce pan and practice.

Part of my problem is that I like to buy the real jasmine rice. I find it in the foreign foods section of my local grocery store or from random local Asian food markets.

There are not always cooking instructions on these bags and I have even had a few bags that didn't have any English wording on them at all. So, here I am, saving you the trouble of trials and errors. Whoopie!

Perfectly Sticky White Rice Recipe


1 cup Jasmine Rice
2 cups water

1. In a medium sauce pan with lid, stir together the rice and water. (I prefer non-stick pans here)

2. Heat to boiling while uncovered and then stir again.

3. Cover and reduce heat to very low, barely a simmer.

4. Leave it alone. Less is more when cooking sticky rice. Do not stir it. I know it's hard but seriously, put that spoon down. And maybe don't lift the lid a million times like I used to.

5. Simmer for @ 20 - 25 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it until you do not see water bubbling up around the grains anymore. 

6. When you no longer see water, remove from heat and leave covered until ready to use.

This will yield about 3 cups when fully cooked.

That is it. Pretty easy. I try not to stir it too much after it is done cooking in order to help retain the sticky. If you want it to look neat, try scooping the rice onto plates using an ice cream scooper. Gives it that cute rounded top.

I keep mine stored in an airtight container, like this:

I also make sure that my measuring cups are completely dry before scooping out any rice. Introducing moisture could lead to mold so it's better to be safe.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to let me know when you try this out and how it works out for you. Peace!

Ginny's Fantastical Zucchini Craisin Bread Recipe

Good morning World! Adding recipes to my blog was on my To-Do list so, here is my first one. Enjoy and please let me know if you try it out...especially if you like it.

Ginny's Fantastical Zucchini Craisin Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°


1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1 egg
1/4 cup cooking oil
handful of Craisins (up to 1 cup)
1/2 cup of nuts (optional)

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and baking powder. Set aside.

2. In a separate mixing bowl or standing mixer, combine the sugar, zucchini and eggs until just mixed. Add in the oil and mix again.

3. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.

4. Gently fold in the Craisins (and the nuts, if you are using any).

5. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan @ 5"x9"x3" (or any pan of similar size ie: 8x8, 9x9)

6. Bake in the oven for approx. 55 - 65 minutes or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted comes out clean.

7. Cool for about 10 - 15 minutes and enjoy. (I like mine sliced and covered in butter or spread.)

** Alterations: If you are looking for a heartier bread, try using half white flour and half whole wheat flour.

** Note: I keep mine in the refridgerator, heat up slices in the microwave as needed and use it all up within a few days.

You may have noticed that I use way more zucchini that other similar recipes. As a mom of five kids, I am always trying to find ways to get more veggies and nutrients into their bodies. Hiding them in delicious baked goods works so very well. I do the same with my carrot cake, banana breads and much more. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to comment about your experiences and/or share pictures on my Facebook page at:

Find me on Pinterest:

If you liked this post, you may also like Please DO Hide the Veggies.

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Will Miss You

As we sat together, just the two of us on a rare and special date, I watched you eat a popsicle, cherishing each and every bite like it was the best thing you had ever tasted; red and blue melted popsicle dripping from your chin. It was all I could do not to cry while sitting and watching you in a little booth at the Dairy Queen. In that moment, it all hit me so hard and I have been meaning to write this for you.

My dearest daughter,

I will miss you. I know that you are not going anywhere, not anytime soon at least, seeing as you are only four years old. But I will miss you just the same. I am blessed to know you and proud to be your mother. Everyday I wonder and hope that I am doing right by you, my only girl in a sea of brothers. I can relate, as I was raised with five brothers of my own. I guess we were destined to be, two peas in a pod. A pod of testosterone that we must wade through together, you and me kid.

Why am I saying that I will miss you? Because I know that our time together gets closer and closer to an end with each passing day. Time is flying by, slipping through my weary fingers like sand. Maybe I squeeze a little to tight sometimes, trying to hold on to as many grains of that sand as I can. Then I remember that I am supposed to let the sand slowly slip away and hope I let it out in all the right places.

I know I loose my temper sometimes. I know I get stressed out and that it is not your fault. You went from being the little baby princess in a house full of big people, the apple of our eyes, the highlight of our days to being the middle child and a big sister to baby twin brothers all in a day. We have our good days and bad and I need you to know how very much I love you. I love you as much now, if not more, than the day you were born; a freezing cold evening on a Blue Moon that I will never forget and cherish forever. You are still my princess. You are still my apple. You still brighten all of my days.

But you are changing, as you should. You are no longer my sweet little baby girl that I wished for for forever. As much as I adore the little girl you are blossoming into, I will miss you and all the little pieces of the past you. I will miss holding your tiny body in my arms and the smell of your freshly washed baby hair. I will miss humming in your ear while I sway you to sleep, rocking side to side, hip to hip. I will miss picking out your clothes and cutting up all of your food. I will miss you running through the sprinkler in the yard in just your undies, without a care or a worry because you don't know yet the kind of world we live in. I will miss the way you eat your favorite foods with gusto, never worrying what others think or that you have food on your chin. I will miss the way you can't tell a knock-knock joke right to save your life. I will miss standing unnoticed outside your bedroom door while you play and make voices for all of your little stuffed animal friends. I will miss the day you stop carrying around your most favorite raggedy stuffed polar bear everywhere we go. I will miss your need for me in all your precious ways.

I will also miss all of the not so fun parts of you, like when you scream at me and slam the doors. I will even miss when you bicker with your brothers and have an accident in your underwear. I will miss the way you tell me you hate the dinner I cooked and that you like the hair on my butt. (She was not talking about my butt ;-) I will miss cleaning up after you when you are puking sick. I will miss telling you "no" all of the time and you making it seem like I ran over your puppy each and every time I utter that tiny word. I will miss being shot with the daggers from your eyes, piercing me through the heart every single time.

I will miss all of these things, both the good and the bad, because it is all part of the journey of being your mom. These are the things that make it real and I am grateful to share them all with you. This journey that I wish would last a little longer than it should. A journey that I try not to take for granted, but know I fail at miserably here and there. I need you to know how very much I love you, forever and always, no matter who you are or who you become.

And I am looking forward to the rest of the journey, the twists, the turns and everything in between. I hope you are, too.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back To School Tech Sweepstakes!

Hey all! I am very excited to be part of my first joint giveaway with many of my fellow Mom Bloggers. The nice thing about these joint giveaways is that the prizes can be much bigger and better, just like this one that I am going to share with you.

Who's kid wouldn't freak out if you won them an HP 14" Chromebook PC? Which parent out there wouldn't love a $500 Visa Gift Card to help out with all of the back to school expenses that are, sadly, right around the corner? Or how about this amazing backpack and supplies prize pack? Just keep on reading and enter for your own chance to win one of these fabulous prize packs!

Welcome to the Back To School Tech Sweepstakes!

At Mom Powered Media, we believe in higher education and want to help our network readers get there. To help you do just that, we are giving one lucky reader a $500 Visa Gift Card and HP 14″ Chromebook PC. There will also be 20 second place winners to take home Back To School Prize Packages. So what are you waiting for? Let's get BTS ready, tech-style! Special thank you to our supporting co-host bloggers: Monica's Rants, Raves & Reviews, The Jenny Evolution, Memoirs of a Clueless Woman, My Dairy-Free Gluten-Free Life, My Daylights, Barbara's Beat, Saving You Dinero, Shaping Up To Be A Mom, Robyn's View, Coupons and Freebies Mom, A Hen's Nest, Budget Savvy Diva, Mutterings Of A Mindless Mommy, Your Sassy Self and Nest Full of New. Open your sleek, next-generation HP Pavilion 14-Q020NR 14" Chromebook PC to get online, fast. You can access your favorite websites and Google Chrome apps on the 14-inch diagonal HD display in seconds. HP 14″ Chromebook PC features:
  • Intel Celeron 2955U Dual-Core processor 1.40GHz
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM system memory
  • 16GB solid state drive
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • Intel HD GMA Graphics
  • Webcam
  • SD memory card reader
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x Acer converter port
  • 3-cell lithium polymer battery for up to 8.5 hours run time
  • 2.76 lbs, 0.8" x 11.3" x 8"
  • Genuine Google Chrome OS Software

One grand prize winner will receive a $500 Visa Gift Card and HP 14″ Chromebook PC. Twenty additional winners will also receive a Back To School Prize Package.

Giveaway ends August 15th at 11:59pm, open to US and Canadian residents, ages 18+. Excludes Quebec. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!
Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have any additional questions or comments.