Foil Pack Meals

Posted July 22, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I got my first taste of foil pack meals or as some call them “Hobo Meals” at our Webelos Campout. I have tried them at home in the firepit we built over Memorial Day and they’ve been a hit with my husbands, parents, and kids!!

Why do I love them?

1. Customizable. It is so easy for each person to adjust their pack to their own tastes.

2. No hot kitchen. In the Summer with the A/C running I hate to heat up the house with the oven.

3. Sit and cook. Once your pack is done and on the coals you are basically done until time to open them.

4. Clean up is a snap. There are no pots, pans, or skillets to wash up.

Foil Pack Burgers

Heavy Duty Foil (2 pieces per pack)
Nonstick Cooking Spray
Hamburger Patties
Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes (I used diced kind without coating, but have also used the frozen tater rounds (flat tater tots). The husband liked the tater rounds better.)
Canned Condensed Cream Soup ( I used is Cream of Onion. At our campout they had Cream of Mushroom, but I thought onions would be a better flavor.)
Seasonings Veggies (Raw veggies like carrots and cauliflower work well)FoilPackIngredients

Start your charcoals so they are done burning and white when you get the packs ready. I use a charcoal chimney to get mine lit (plus lighter fluid since my charcoal won’t light for anything!)

Watch this animation of how they are made.

Get all your foil pieces ready. It is better to have them a little larger for easier wrapping. I would the normal width but about 18” long. Lay down the foil. Spray with your nonstick cooking spray. Put a layer of potatoes down (I used a ½ cup).Potatoes Put the hamburger patty down.
HamburgerPattyAdd some more potatoes on top. PotatoesLayerTwoPut on a dollop of condensed soup and seasonings.
SoupWrap up your foil. WrapWithFoilIf you need to keep track of whose is whose use a Sharpie and write initials on this pack. Rotate the pack and wrap in another sheet of foil. Lay on hot coals. Rotate about halfway through.

Plan about 60 minutes for them to cook. This all depends on if the patties are raw or frozen. Mine were not frozen so they took closer to 40 minutes. I could smell them cooking that helped me tell. The hardest part is not being able to easily check the temperature. To check carefully unwrap one and see how it looks. You can refold it if needed to cook longer.OpenPacks

When done unwrap and serve! My daughter had hers on a bun with cheese. I chopped mine up and ate it with the potatoes and some chips. The hamburger was super tender and didn’t taste like a burger. It wasn’t quite up to a steak, but it was than a regular burger.



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Secrets of Being a Woman with Poise #sponsored

Posted July 18, 2014 By dealinanddishin

PoiseLogo Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Poise

Being a woman, having children, and getting older have made me less embarrassed about all the little things that come along with that. You need your girlfriends to talk to about these experiences. It always feels better to know you are not alone. Today I am your girlfriend, and I’m going to share things I normally would only with my friends.

Motherhood for sure changed my outlook on what was considered embarrassing. Once you have been through all the exams at the doctor’s office and who knows how many people at your feet while you are in labor. You lose a lot of your shyness!

Here are some of these secrets that you may be too embarrassed to talk about.

#1 You have periods! This is not shocking news, but growing up it was something I hid. I was so embarrassed about the idea of being “on the rag” and anyone knowing I had to go change my pad. There is no reason to be embarrassed by this, and some months you will be overjoyed when it shows up and the PMS stops!!

#2: PMS is real! We don’t make this up to act like witches for a week a month. We feel hormonal and switch between wanting to cry and wanting to scream. We gain weight and eat nonstop. It is not enjoyable. I was so sad yesterday about a moth that I found in a bucket of water. Not sure if it was going to live, but couldn’t bare to kill it. My husband looks at me like I’m crazy (perhaps I am a little bit)

#3 You will find hairs where you don’t want them. They will pop up on your upper lip, chin, and sometimes chest (This was one I was very surprised to learn!). Invest in tweezers.

#4 Last, but definitely not least. Sometimes you leak! Somedays you feel leaky or you cough a little too hard, sneeze a little too much, and the bladder let’s loose a little bit.

I will admit to having experienced all of these, and would bet any grown women (especially those who have kids have had kids) have experienced all of these as well! Light bladder leakage hit me when I was pregnant. The weight of a baby pushing on your bladder does a number on you. Afterwards, it hasn’t been bad, but if can get questionable when I am sick and coughing a lot (or like yesterday an unexpected sneeze!)

“One in three women experience Light Bladder Leakage (LBL), which can be triggered by everyday occurrences like coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercise. “

I can’t help with the periods, PMS, hair, and all that, but I can offer you a suggestion on dealing with LBL. Poise has come out with Poise Microliners. Here is some information about Poise Microliners.

“These shockingly thin and surprisingly absorbent liners feature SAM (Super Absorbent Material) to provide discreet Light Bladder Leakage (LBL) protection that helps keep you dry and comfortable all day long so you can manage life’s little leaks with confidence. Poise Microliners are the thinnest liners in the light incontinence category and are designed to absorb wetness, neutralize odor and stay three times drier than period liners.”

To try Poise for yourself request a Poise Liner Free Sample Kit
Sample Kit

They are sold at stores with the other Poise products. I found mine at our local Schnucks grocery store in the Feminine Care Aisle.

Learn more about Poise on the web, Facebook, and Twitter.

Many thanks to Poise for sponsoring today’s story, and keeping me confident!

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Make Today a LEGO Day With These LEGO Activities

Posted July 15, 2014 By dealinanddishin


LEGOMy son loves LEGO’s (adores..obsesses over..those may be better words) He is almost 11 and over the last 8 years has amassed quite a collection of bricks, and still always finds new sets and mini figures he needs. Little sister (age 6) enjoys building with her brother as well. We decided to have a LEGO day with LEGO games, crafts, candy, and of course The LEGO Movie(didn’t get to watch was a long day of activities).

I saw these great molds on Amazon. I have some links for you all, and cookie cutters online at ebay (but also on Amazon).
LEGO Minifigure Cookie Cutters

Building Bricks and Minifigure Mold

Silicone Minifigure Mold Pan

LEGOsuppliesI raided my son’s LEGOS. I grabbed the flat panels and a box of bricks. I also got some marbles and some pennies. The paper and marker was there just in case, but not needed.

I have seen many pins on Pinterest for LEGO marble mazes, and pinned one from Aggieland Mommy . Very simply you use a flat piece (however big you have and bricks). We each created our own mazes. It helps to have your marble so you can check the width of the maze paths.

We have the Trickster (top left) my daughter made. She was ambitious and added a door to hers! Then my son made the No Place Like Home (middle). He liked the idea of expanding over two panels. I made the Booby Trap Express (top right). I added gaps on the walls as traps to avoid. My husband made the Smooth Operator (bottom) that has a turn to make to avoid being stuck in the wrong spot. Everyone enjoyed making their own creations and testing each other’s.

We got our molds out to try some candy making next. I started with the Wilton Candy Melts in Candy Cane and chocolate. I had no luck with the chocolate at all! I don’t know what I did, but it wouldn’t melt. It just got dry and clumpy. the Candy Cane one melted good, but it is very thick so a little messy to fill molds. I had Almond Bark in the pantry from Christmas (I was over ambitious then) and that melted perfectly and we used it for the molds.

We tried the bricks and all the figures. Some we put both chocolates in. I really want the Candy Cane again, but for pretzel rod dipping. I popped them in the freezer for fast set up.FreezeChocolate
While the candy set up we went to the cookies! I made the dough first thing that morning so it would have time to chill. The kids took turns cutting out their cookies. We made two cookie sheets worth. Once they baked and cooled the kids got to decorate. I wasn’t big on icing them. I personally enjoy sugar cookies with just colored sugar sprinkled on top. I found these food markers at Wal-Mart. They are a brush tip, and suggest using them in light strokes. Clean them off with some water after using. They did good, but they have no flavor and will stain your lips and teeth for a bit. They seem to be just food coloring (my guess). They would be great for adding faces or little touches to already iced items, but maybe a little too much like we did.

ColoringCookies CookiesGirl CookiesBoy
While the cookies finished cooling. I popped out the candies. Gotta say they came out pretty easy. I like the flexible silicone so I can bend and twist the pieces out and keep the candies intact.
Cleaned out the molds quickly and went on to the next activitiy of crayons. I assume I can use the molds for repurposing crayons since they are non toxic that I know of and all is washed.

This project proved to provide the most challenges and take the longest! I had read about using Dixie Cups to melt the crayons in a bowl with some water in the microwave. I do not recommend that. The wax on my cups was getting melted as well. I ended up using plastic icing containers and some Rubbermaid little plastic bowls that I no longer use (all could be disposed of if necessary). I put an inch or so of water in my casserole dish and put the containers in it. I slowly microwave the wax, and eventually it all melted. I ended up overheating the microwave once! Near the end of this I remembered that I have a wax melter (Candle Creations)in the basement with my candle making supplies. Next time I got that out, and wow did that melt them fast!!! Be careful on clean really don’t want wax going down your drain and potentially clogging it. Usually works best to wipe out when still hot and melty. Not a real kid friendly activity.

The kids got involved by digging through the crayons (tons from school, home, and restaurants), picking out their colors, and taking off wrappers. We realized later it takes a lot of crayons for the molds.
CrayonsWe wanted to try out the big minifigure, but no way we had enough this time. Also, the bricks do NOT work well for this. At least not for us. My little top nubs kept breaking off. The little mini figures were adorable. I am so into this now I bought more molds to try.MinifigureCrayons MinifigureCrayonsDoneTo finish off the night (and while I continued on with the melting). We started our movie, The LEGO Movie and our last activity, The Coin Drop Game. Once again we used the flat panels, but we use rectangular ones we had. If you didn’t have those you can put two squares ones side by side. We used the narrow bricks for our edges and then the small one bricks as the bumpers. We learned to rotate those a little so the penny didn’t get stuck.CoinDropGame

So that was our first LEGO day. Now I am trying to play some kind of theme day for my daughter. She was already asking about hers by the end of his day. She is a huge My Little Pony fan, but she is also talking a sleep over. That may be this weekend. We will all sleep in the living room (she finds that fun!)

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My Workout Jams

Posted July 7, 2014 By dealinanddishin


We joined the YMCA before school let out, and I love it!!! It has been over 6 years since I have belonged to a gym. I managed to lose 30 lbs. on my own (have gained 10-20 lbs. back), but the last year has been a struggle and I am gaining and losing the same 5 lbs. every week. I have hit a plateau in the 160′s that is driving me nuts. I am needing some balance and a kick start. I am hoping hitting the gym again gets me back on track and out of my rut.

Why do I love the Gym?

1. I burn calories with an intense workout that I can customize easily. I love the Arc Trainer machine. It is like a suspend elliptical. I love the treadmill as well.

2. I get a great energy boost after my workout! I am energized for hours…I love it!

3. It is MY time!! I put in my head phones and I am in “the zone” for 45 minutes. I don’t think about what I need to do, should do, have done, or want to do. I am focused on my exercise and my music!!

I love music!! It helps lift my mood, give me energy, make me happy, or make me sad. I listen when I clean, when I am painting (project right now), mowing the yard, weeding, and exercising! I thought I would share what I like to listen to at the gym. I have all of these songs on my iPod right now, except for Bodies by Drowning Pool. That is going on the next time I synch up!

Here are my Workout Jams. I have three playlists of songs: light cardio/warm up, high cardio, and cool down.

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Visiting Grant’s Farm with The Family

Posted June 30, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I am joining Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop this week, and sharing about my favorite photo I took in June, which happened to be when we took our family vacation.

This past month we went to St. Louis for our vacation. We decided instead of city hopping we would stay in one city and do fun stuff. I like to plan out our trips so we had an itinerary. We had decided to visit Incredible Pizza (thanks for an awesome gift card deal I got in December), the St. Louis Zoo (everyone recommended it), shopping at  West County Center (Lego Store), St. Louis Premium Outlets (Disney Outlet), and Grant’s Farm.

We went to Grant’s Farm ($12 Parking Fee No other admission charge) the day after a very long and hot day at the St. Louis Zoo. It was going to be another hot day, and wasn’t sure how much walking we had ahead of us. My son (10) is a pretty good trooper when it comes to walking and being outside, but his little sister (6) can melt sometimes very rapidly in the heat and get tired.

I was happy to see that we could see the Clydesdales right off the parking lot. That was the first stop…I wanted a family pic (cost us $30 for prints and emailed copy), because it is rare we have photos of us all. I am the photographer so I like those instances when there is proof that I exist! Even though I really don’t care for pictures (something I am working on) of myself.

Then you head to a station house and they  have trams..large ones that you don’t wait long for..yes! So I knew that would save us some whining and tiredness for a bit longer. We rode through the deer park and learned about the history of the farm.

We then arrived at the main area with the shows, food, animals, and beer samples (tried the apple ale..not bad!). There was a $5 card you could buy for: a sno cone, carousel ride, and 2 goat bottles. My son doesn’t like sno cones or the carousel, so it worked to buy one card, since it came with two bottles. I had not heard of feeding goats milk at feeding stations. Normally it is some seed, but that can spill easily so I liked the bottle idea.

The goats apparently LOVE the milk! My son went right in with the bottle he had, but his sister panicked and wouldn’t go in the pen. You could feed through the fence (a lot of littler ones were), and it is a good idea for small children.

This is my favorite vacation photo. The look  on my son’s face is priceless! He could’ve panicked (he is my more reserved child), but he just went with the flow. That is how we got to my favorite picture of June!bottlegoatscopy

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Homemade Croutons

Posted June 26, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I eat salads at least 5 times a week. I love them, and they are a great side dish for me while I’m watching what I eat. I cannot have my salad if I don’t have croutons. From what I have noticed at restaurants a crouton is just dried bread.

I will make rolls or loaves of bread quite a bit as a side chili or potato soup. A lot of times there is bread leftover. I hate to see it mold or just throw it out in the yard for the birds.

Homemade Croutons

Leftover Bread or Rolls
Butter Spray

I took my rolls and chopped them in cubes, and put in a large bowl.

Sprayed them with butter spray (it’s the not butter stuff in the refrigerated section)croutonbaking

Added seasonings like Oregano, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder.

Mix Well and then spread out on a cookie sheet. Feel free to taste while baking and add more seasoning or spray.
Bake at 350 until dried out (no longer soft to touch) and a little toasted. I hate to give an exact time for this, because I really can’t remember how long mine took. I would start at 20 minutes and if not done like you want check every 5-10 minutes after until finished. Store in a air tight container after cooled.



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Bread Machine Dinner Roll Recipe

Posted June 26, 2014 By dealinanddishin


(Posts may contain affiliate links)

I have owned bread machines for probably 20 years now. I think I am on my 4th one. I could easily find out by looking through my cookbooks. I keep every bread machine recipe book I have ever had. My very first book has the only cinnamon roll recipe I can recall, or at least the only one I refer to. Here are some tips for bread making.  I currently own this 2 lb. Oster Bread Machine.

One of my favorite things to make in my bread machine is dough. I prefer rolls to loaf bread, and it seems more popular with my family as well. After a few attempts I have adapted the Oster recipe to what I now use every time I bake rolls. Another yummy recipe I need to make again is my Cinnamon Almond Braided Bread. It is much easier than you’d think and involves the bread machine as well.

In the recipe below you can use butter. The original does, but be sure it is room temperature so it can blend it well. I rarely have butter, so I just use margarine. The yeast I like is the Fleischmann’s yeast in the jar. Store it in the refrigerator for best results.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls

1/4 cup Water                                                                                    3 cups Flour
3/4 cup Milk                                                                                      2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Egg                                                                                                    1 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Margarine                                                                           2 Teaspoons Bread Machine Yeast (Active Dry Yeast)

In your bread pan pour the water and milk. Add in one egg, and the margarine (chopped up). Next put in the flour, followed by sugar, salt, and then yeast.
liquidingredients dryingredients

Set your machine to “Dough” and it should be ready in about 90 minutes for kneading, rising, and baking.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Once the temperature is reached turn off the oven. This is a proofing area for your bread (a warm place for it to rise before baking).

Spray a 13×9 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. When I knead dough I hate dough being stuck to me, so I spray cooking spray on the counter and my hands. Keep some flour out just in case the dough is too sticky. Knead your dough. Make dough balls and place in pan. 13 rolls were made with this recipe.dinnerrolldough

Let rise until double in size (30-60 minutes). I personally cover my pan with a flour sack towel to avoid drying out, but that is my own preference.  Some may not feel comfortable with the towel in the oven. The oven is OFF. It will rise just fine without the towel.risingdough

Once the bread has risen remove your towel (if you chose to use one), turn the oven on to 350 degrees and let bake until golden on top (about 15-20 minutes).

Once done, remove from the oven, use a plastic spatula to loosen the dough that make be stuck to sides of pan. Lay out a towel on your table or counter, and turn pan over on it. If the bread doesn’t fall out immediately just leave your pot holders under the pan ends so it isn’t flat on the table.BreadMachineDinnerRolls

Rolls are pretty popular here, but we are known to have leftovers. Best thing to make with those are croutons for your salads!

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*Posts may contaiusfg_banner_125x125n affiliate links or other compensation given, but honest opinions are always giving. I was given this opportunity as a member of US Family Guide.

We took a road trip today to celebrate being done with school and scouts for the school year! It has been a super crazy busy year. We are finishing up our last rank of Cub Scouts (we are now Webelos II), and then I signed up to be a leader for my daughter’s Daisy Girl Scout Troop. Sadly the blog has been effected by my lack of time, and family outings just for us have as well.

Today we had nothing planned and I had some free tickets from sharing about Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park so we went on a road trip. The park is usually open 9:30 am- 9:30 pm so that gave us plenty of time to get there without having to get up too early.

My daughter was super excited to go, but my son was a little leery. He is not a fan of water, and doesn’t know how to swim yet (lessons start this week). I was able to check out all the attractions on their site, see water depths, and find out that they had life jackets so that helped a lot with concerns.

We got to the water park, which is attached to a hotel. You go up the stairs by the outdoor pool for Day Passes. When you enter the building you enter the move Big were all about that, but we were on a mission to get to the water!

Of course we had clothes with us (it was mid 70′s for a high that day) to change later. We needed a locker. I will admit when I saw that a “locker band” was going to cost $6.42 I had some sticker shock. Then I learned that this bracelet when waved in front of the locker would let us lock or unlock it. No need for a key, and this wouldn’t come off and get lost.

We had a great time! The whole family enjoyed it, which was great and a big relief. The pools seemed to have a max depth (that I saw) of 4 feet. There were plenty of life jackets (great for the leery 10 year old and small 6 year old). The lazy river was a big hit with both kids. They loved floating around, but it would bottle neck at times when too many people in areas by stairs going in and out.GiantBucket

They also love the pool that had a whirlpool in it that spun you around. We did not go on the slides. I had concern since most people that came out either flipped or got completely covered in water. My kids do not care for water in their eyes..goggles were key there!

We only spent two hours since it was past lunch time, and I wanted Denny’s (there was food there but I am not sure of cost). We still had about a two hour drive home as well. We ended up driving a little farther East and going to Marengo Cave for a tour before heading home.

We definitely want to go back to Big Splash Adventure Water Park, but next time stay the night. It would be great to go play, go back to room, play some more, etc. Also there is a train museum there, and my daughter loves trains. Just down the hill (big hill the water park is on top of) there is Shotz, which has mini golf and lazer tag.

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No Sew Fleece Dog Toys

Posted April 21, 2014 By dealinanddishin

Our Daisy Girl Scout Troop is going to be visiting the Warrick County Humane Society in a couple weeks. We are going to collect needed items like cleaners, paper towels, blankets, toys, etc., but decided to have a craft at our meeting before this visit to actually make some toys. This is all for our Sunny Petal (Friendly and Helpful).

I have sewn catnip cigars before (my kitties love them!), but I had never made dog toys.
After some looking it seemed that the braided pull toys with balls were the best choice.

What do you need?

Fleece Strips 2 inches wide by 36 inches long
Tennis balls (got these in packs of two for $1 at Dollar Tree)
X-ACTO Knife
Needle Nosed Pliers
Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Cutting Mat (if you have one)

I prefer to use a Cutting Matand Rotary Cutter, but it isn’t required. You don’t have to be super precise with this  project. I searched through my ridiculous amount of fleece and started cutting 2 inch wide strips around 36 inches long. For each toy you need three strips and one ball.FleeceStrips

I used my X-ACTO knife to make an “X” cut on top and bottom of the ball. It took a few tries on threading the fleece through. The pliers worked great for this. You put them through the ball. Just the tip will go through, and you can open it just enough for the three layers to fit in. Then just squeeze hard and pull through.Cuttingball

1. Cut three strips of fleece.
2. Cut “X’s” in the tennis ball.
3. Pull fabric through.
4. Either knot fabric on top of ball to make a long braid, or pull the ball to the middle of the fabric like I did and make a knot on either side then braid and knot again.

I prepped all the toys to save time. I am not sure how the girls will do with braiding since they are in Kindergarten, but it is a good project to have two work together. One can hold the toy so the other can get a tight braid.Dogtoysprepped

You’ll notice in the picture some without balls. I thought those would be good to braid all the way down for a pull toy, or leave as is for a dangle toys for the cats.

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#40Days Challenge–Last Update

Posted April 19, 2014 By dealinanddishin

I made it!!! Tomorrow is Easter and my 40 Challenge is done.


I decided this Lent to exercise for 30 minutes everyday (planned exercise: bike, aerobics, etc.). I even included the Sundays which made it more than 40 days.

How it went:

I exercised for 30 minutes every day except one when I had a fever and stomach flu. I ended up adding 3o minutes to another day to make it up.


I do feel accomplished. After a month I lost 8 lbs. then I had my birthday and my eating went to hell..real bad! 5 pounds came back on pretty fast. I got back on track this last week with the eating. My body is very ready for a break…every day exercise is hard!! Bodies do need at least a day break.

Days of Exercise: March 5- April 19= 45 days (excluding the one sick day)
Hours of Exercise: 23 Hours
Starting Weight: March 1, 2014= 168.4 lbs.
Ending Weight: April 19, 2014= 166.2 lbs.

So I am down 2.2 lbs., which is nice, but I was done to 163 lbs. at the end of March. So goes to show that exercise alone is NOT enough!! Eating bags of Reese’s Pieces will bite you in the ass!

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