Monday, January 4, 2010

Stefani's Easy Meatloaf Recipe

For those that love meatloaf, you might just enjoy this recipe. I am by no means any professional when it comes to cooking. I actually have only cooked it a couple times. I recently sought after a recipe online and did a few of my own changes with some tips from my friends.

And for the recipe..............

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup cracker crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper or to your taste
1 egg – beaten
Seasoning salt – sprinkle to your taste

Mix all of the ingredients in a medium size bowl. Form the meat into a loaf and place in a loaf pan or baking dish.  Bake at 350° for 1 hour.

If you like ketchup, pull meatloaf from oven about 20 minutes prior to it being done and add a thin layer of ketchup on the top


Monday, September 21, 2009

Meggie Mae Aprons ~ Giveaway

While reading up on The Apron Godesses, today their "featured crafter" is Meggie Mae Aprons, which are doing an End of Summer Giveaway! Now I don't know about you ladies but what a way to end summer and begin fall and all the great things we get to bake for the upcoming season/holidays! So needless to say, this was a no brainer!

When I visited Meggie Mae Aprons, it was neat to see how the "name" came to be and also the inspiration behind crafting the aprons themselves, which happen to be categorized by seasons!

For your opportunity to enter Meggie Mae Aprons Giveaway Click Here

I also recommend following The Apron Goddesses here on blogger.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

I wish you were here

I cannot begin to tell you the complete peace I am feeling. In my own right, I have found balance.

Growing up I was born and raised in the city. I am a city girl! I loved life as I knew it in Southern California and all it had to offer. The beaches, sites, amusement parks, drives, Hollywood, Los Angeles, great food, 24 hour drive thrus and just about anything else I could imagine I wanted to do especially on spur of the moment!

When my parents had separated and later divorced, we all went through some changes. Changes that I would not truly "appreciate" until later in life.

My Dad took us camping, fishing, hiking and all the little dirty stuff that girls normally didn't care for. Mom was the domesticated one. Cooking, baking, canning, cleaning, sewing; all the domesticated stuff my sisters enjoyed but I only cared about my sports! Who knew this would all one day come together... when I allowed it to~

A few days ago my Mother-in-law invited us down to her house. We had been trying to plan this trip for the past several months. It has been hectic and finally the opportunity presented itself to be able to come for our visit...

..... a visit that has changed "my world" as I know it.

The morning had come of the day we were to leave. Sent my son off to school and my husband Eric and I went through the house and started to pack. As Eric relentlessly nagged about everything being done and rushing me to be ready, (which could be lethal to his health!), the hour came that my son Nicholas was home and off we went. Away from Sacramento and off to a little town outside of Yosemite~ country or bust!

Now, let me just share something with you, I DID NOT welcome the move from Southern California to Sacramento years earlier~ I was about 20, coming up on 21 and there wasn't ANYTHING of interest to me! As I looked around there weren't many stores, NOTHING OPEN 24 HOURS,(even the grocery stores closed at 10ish), no IN N OUT, no Tommy Burger....."What the hell do you people do here in Sacramento? Milk cows?". NOT a happy camper was I!

So needless to say, shocked I was and it took a loooooooong time for me to adjust. So long that I flew back and forth from Sacramento to Los Angeles many times the first two years! Let us not mention that when meeting my husband and the move we made to Oregon a few years back! WHOA NELLY!

Some years have passed now. I have changed and even cut back on my Starbucks and enjoy a slower pace of life.


We're driving out of Sacramento and I am in the backseat texting and checking emails, facebook and in a panic of when I will loose reception! My son is wonderously looking out the window and Eric is catching up with his Mom.

As for any road trip, comes the infamous stops of eating, potty breaks and for us, smoke breaks. Lucky for me, my Mother-In-Law Jacque was in tune with my craving and we stopped at Panda Express! (Thank you Jacque!)

Leaving and getting back out on the road, I sent a text to my Mom and not long thereafter....NO SIGNAL. YIKES!

It was dark now and I settled in my seat and allowed myself to welcome the next few days. A welcome I will never forget.

Driving down the highway until there was maybe a town market, which included the local deli/grocery, I began to feel a sense of calm. I was relaxed. No longer in my element, but coming into one of a much more peaceful environment. I was content that I already knew, " I was at Home".

We settled in, brought our bags in, and said our hellos to my Father-In-Law Wayne; and then I was off. Out to the deck I took my son.

I was too eager to have Jacque turn off the lights on the back deck which sits high up on a hill overlooking such an amazing view, in which to see something I have not seen in so long and was now able to share with my son.

A zillion stars! It took my back to when we were kids and our first camping trip. I will never forget my Dad's answer to our question, "Why are there so many stars here but not at home?", "The stars you see are ALWAYS here. You just can't see them because of all the city lights...". ~Camping trip Grand Canyon.

I held Nicholas in my arms and simply gazed in awe of the beauty that lit the night before us. All my troubles, all the stress, anything of energy that I allow myself to get worked up over, left me. All of it behind me, as if from another lifetime. The here and now, in this one small moment, as if it had always been. Waiting. And in this moment, I am happy. I wish "you" were here.


THANK YOU Mom and Dad for all that you have given and shared with me and my sisters. You really did place the world in front of us for all it had to offer.

I will NEVER forget when Mom said she was taking us camping. We were shits and giggles! Mom camping, dirt, tent....NO WAY! And off we were packing and anticipating a weekend of Mom getting dirty and roughing it! Just as Dad took us- hanging the bad of water out all day to warm to use for our shower, hooking our own bait, gutting and eating the fish we caught, pitching our own tents, rolling our sleeping bags tight, using "Mother Nature's" bathroom!...we were dying over to see Mom do all this with us too!

Well, NO WAY, was absolutely right! There we were, in Yosemite, checking in at Tenaya Lodge! Eating filet mignon, while campers cooked on hibachis or an open fire; laying in a turned down bed while others pitched there tents or opened up their campers and layed out sleeping bags; watching the movie we ordered on the room t.v. while the rest of the park watched the shooting stars that put on a show in the sky! How funny is that! I ♥ you Mom.

You both gave us a "well rounded" life. From getting dirty and experiencing things we might not have on our own, to being have in 5 star restaurants and knowing how to be a lady. Upholding ourselves with our manners and appearance all while showing up the boys we know how to truck right along with them! THANK YOU BOTH! I have learned much and am now greatful for all of it.

I now wish to cook and sew. To be proud of all the efforts and hard work it takes to run a home and my family. To be able to appreciate the outdoors and the peace it brings and the smiles that are exchanged with waves of passer bys. To share these things with our children. I love this the most. You gave me memories of immesurable value to now pass to my sons. I only wish I would have shown my appreciation in earlier years. As you watch me continue to grow, keep an eye on your Grandchildren and the smiles that brighten their face...for it is not just because I share these life moments with them, it is a gift you already gave them long ago handed down through me...... My eyes tear up. I Love you Mom and Dad.

I wish you were here.


♥ Tania

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pizza Night~ Mini Pizza Recipe

Every Friday night was cleaning night! Hmm, how much fun can that be? Well, at the end of it was the greatest phone call of all...Delivery! Mom was smart there. Why mess up the kitchen after screaming at kids to help when you can throw everybody in the tub, call out for pizza and watch a movie together? Not bad if I say so myself!

So for quite sometime now I have been doing this with my family. We would have a favorite Friday night show or just pop in a movie, (I too get to fight with my family to help clean!), then we would call out for delivery while the kids take their bath.

Well we have recently moved our pizza night to Wednesdays. We love watching WIPEOUT! This show is too funny! So today, instead of paying full price for our regular delivery, we went with Papa Murphy's. A Papa's Favorite, cookie dough, cinnamon wheel and soda for $13 and some change! Can't beat that or can you? Well maybe I can!

Our Mom used to go the extra mile and have us make our own mini pizzas! We had so much fun doing it. You can do this with your family too. Here is a simple little recipe for you.

1 pkg english muffins (I prefer the sourdough)
1 can tomato paste (or I have also experimented with my fave chunky spaghetti
2 pkgs grated cheese or grate your own (any cheese(s) of your choice)
selection of your fave toppings (pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, canadian bacon,
oh you get the picture!)

** Line cookie sheet with foil
** Separate english muffins into halves
** Spread your tomato paste/spaghetti sauce (or mix together) over each one
** Sprinkle a little cheese over
** Add your toppings
** Sprinkle more cheese
****** Place a single topping on top if everyones is different!

Put on broiler and place cookie sheet in. DON'T FORGET YOU HAVE THEM IN THERE! (I have obviously done this! Not happy kids!)

Take out once cheese is lightly browned on top, cool, then it's happy eating!

These mini pizzas are great for your kids, little parties, afternoon snacks or just because! So what night will be "your" pizza night?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ever get caught with your hand in the cookie jar? I'm pretty sure we all have! What a look of surprise and the great story of denial while leaving evidence all over our face!

One night while working the graveyard shift at an Alzheimer's unit, I brought my lunch with me and had it put away in the house kitchen. A little before I was ready, I warmed up my soup, set it aside and put the rest of my lunch out on the table.

There was a lady, (whom I will refer to as "Evie"), who for whatever reason would not sleep in her bed. Or sleep at night for that matter. I knew she had been up and walking around wandering like any other night.

I went to check on everyone in their rooms and figured my soup had cooled down enough and it was time for me to eat.
When I came into the kitchen, I grabbed my soup, spoon, napkin and my drink heading toward the table where I had placed my sandwich and fruit.


I couldn't believe it, where the heck was my lunch? I began to look everywhere. Ironically taking in where I was, I began to wonder if I myself had began to loose my memory! All I could do is look at the table and let the wheel spin!

Suddenly, Evie comes in and asks me what's wrong. I look to her and say, "My lunch is gone!", she in turn said, "Oh Honey! Someone took your lunch?", I reply "Yes!". In her own cuteness that I had grown to love, Evie came over, grabbed my arm and said full of concern, "Come on honey let's go see who took your lunch".

As we walked out of the kitchen into the hallway, which was much more lit, I noticed sandwich crumbs and a piece of banana skin hanging from her mouth! I couldn't believe it! The culprit was there the whole time!
I will never forget this nor will I forget my Evie!
This blog was created with the idea of "comfort stories" in mind.
Thank you for letting me share my comfort story of Evie and my lunch!

We have comfort foods, memories of being in the kitchen cooking/baking with our families, super bowl parties, holiday meals, bake sales, the first time we made that dinner to impress that special someone in our life and the many times your neighbors knew you were trying something new because of your smoke alarms going off!

My Mom Irene, raised three girls. Me,Tania and my two sisters, Heather and Tricia, were encouraged to help in the kitchen. Our mother always made our birthday cakes which reminds me of all the Wilton Classes the took and the endless tips and bags she used!
Well, two out of three of us were successful in the kitchen. Yes, I was that one percent! I wanted nothing to do with anything related to a stove more less the dishes that came with this "fun" thing called cooking!

Not until MANY years later when I met my special someone I wanted to impress, did I really make a genuine effort to take my next step into domesticating myself! If you knew me you would be in a continuous roll of laughter right now!

So what do I go for?
What could I, the girl that can't even make rice, possibly want to make for him for our first dinner? Fried pork chops! Whoa Nelli!

Long story short, I looked like an idiot turning every which way from the stove, turning the fire up, down, up, shit too hot, down... burning myself and with each "POP", raising my arms to my face as if I were some vampire that had had the roof ripped off in the Mojave Desert!

No ladies, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing! So here we are!

Follow along as I share my experiences and allow my Mom and sisters to contribute their stories, recipes, tips and more.
Or just stick around to laugh at me!