April 30, 2012

Garden progress

Oooooh my aching back, arms, legs.. Oh heck you name it!  Man I never realized a raised bed garden would be so much work!  Ugh.  We started by putting the beds together and carrying them over to the spot I want them.  We plan to put 16 x 16 patio bricks as rows (probably next year).  We actually have these patio blocks as a patio right now, so they are perfect.  I put up some cute little butterfly fences to keep my dogs off the berry bushes.  So we have now filled 8 boxes completely and started filling theothers.  Hopefully I have enough dirt and mixing in the compost and garden soil will give enough fertilizer for this year.  In the past when the garden was in my ‘old spot’ the first year I mixed garden soil right in with my top soil, worked great had good production, etc.  The 2nd year I mixed in manure in the spring and that too was good production.  So since I’m putting in topsoil in the boxes I figure adding compost and garden soil should be good.  I sure hope so!  We finally went and bought a small tow behind the tractor dump trailer, so worth the $100 versus the wheelbarrow!

Here’s some of our progress we made  For some reason I thought 6 would fit, but it didn’t, no biggie my husband said we’ll just go over, since we are going to move the trampoline over into the old garden corner, it won’t matter anyway.  So, alas I still will get my 17 big boxes and I have enough for a 3x3 box that I plan to use strictly for garlic, which is currently growing in a planter.   He’s such a wonderful man.. he’s doing this for me because as far as he’s concerned he could careless about gardening!

Strawberries are showing some signs of life!

(empty beds)

(waiting to have garden soil mixed in)

This is where we are today.  I went last week and got 20 bags of manure and 20 bags of garden soil to mix into my topsoil.  Got to get another 20 bags each to finish.

Mama, this is exhausting work!

My 8 yr old decided he wants to make some planter boxes for flowers, so my mom gave us some flower seeds and my husband said he would help him build the boxes and we’ll figure out somewhere to put them.  The one thing I almost forgot was moving my hanging planters over to my new area so I can hang flower baskets up.  Got my order in to Gurney’s and can’t wait for all that stuff to come.  Berry bushes, grapevines, potatoes and some more strawberry plants!  I’m so excited about this garden, it darn well better show me some major love and produce good!  And I started some more tomato and pepper seeds, I’ll be curious to see how they do, I won’t be putting them out for atleast another month or so.  I’ve replanted all my tomato plants into other containers and they are thriving!


Cucumbers and Peppers


Hoping tonight will allow me to plant my beets, carrots and onions.  It’s been icky, rainy and cooler weather.  But the box I wanted to put these guys in is done, so hopefully it will be atleast not rainy for me to do that!

Until next time!

April 20, 2012

Ham & Cheese Casserole

So last night was the final day I could take my FINAL final exam.  I am now officially done with school FOREVER!  And believe me I have the student loans to show it!  Ugh.. that will be the death of me.  But I now will have my BS, MBA and a PMP certificate.  Can’t ask for much more then that to help further my career, atleast that is what I tell myself.  J  Especially not knowing what is going to happen with my company come Nov/Dec. when they are splitting the company into two separate companies.  Shall be interesting that’s for sure, never know with these Fortune500 companies.  Anyways…….  What I did for dinner was a simple, quick and easy meal that can be interpreted many different ways. 

I didn’t do a ham for Easter, I have one just didn’t cook it.  I know bad mom, but my family is not your typical, Sunday Church people either so (with all due respect), we all went to lunch instead. 

So, what I did have for this recipe was some ham frozen from Christmas, I used to buy the expensive cubed ham at the store, until it dawned on me, Doh! (light going off here)  I can use my leftover ham, from making a ham.  I normally gave that stuff away!  Yep I’m that lazy.  Still had ham from Christmas to use, go figure.  Well I have been only a little busy (kids, work, school, housework, garden, etc.) you get the picture I’m sure.  Last night knowing I needed a quick and easy meal so I had time for my final and still to watch AI and Survivor (poor Colton!)  I pulled out my frozen ham, pasta, mushroom soup, Velveeta and canned tomatoes. What I really like about this recipe is the versatility.  You can make as much or as little, add veggies or whatever else you want!  Here’s what I put together: 

Ham and Cheese Casserole:

I made this in a skillet but it can easily be made in a casserole pan as well.

Chopped or cubed ham
4 oz Velveeta cheese
Pasta shells (or other noodles) (I used ½ box)
1 Can canned tomatoes – any flavor
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½ cup Milk
Shredded cheese.
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder

  1. Boil pasta as per directions. Drain and mix into either casserole dish or skillet
  2. Pour in soup and ½ can milk, mix good.
  3. Mix in chunks of ham
  4. Cut in chunks of Velveeta (easier for melting if they are small)
  5. Mix in canned tomatoes & all seasonings
  6. If cooking in oven, cover and heat 20 min, uncover and top with cheese.  If cooking in skillet, cover and let simmer about 10-15 min.  Stirring occasionally to mix in cheese.
  7. Top with shredded cheese and let melt.

I topped mine with mozzarella cheese, it’s all I had, and some additional pepper to the top.  I used Hunt’s spicy red pepper tomatoes this time.  They gave it a little kick but nothing too much.  Did I mention I hate spicy?

See quick and easy and so yummy!  I served with brown n serve dinner rolls.

And as always checkout many more wonderful recipes over at Dishing It Up.

April 12, 2012

Beefy Baked Ravioli

Beefy Baked Ravioli!
This recipe is awesome, so quick, easy & everything I have in the stockpile already.

1lb. ground beef
1 pkg frozen ravioli
1 Jar pasta sauce
1 pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese (or cheese of choice)

Brown ground beef (can add garlic or onion if you'd like) mix in half pasta sauce.
Pour remaining pasta sauce in 13x9 baking dish
Layer frozen ravioli on bottom of pan in sauce, layer next with 1/2 the ground beef, 1/2 cup cheese, layer with 2nd layer of ravioli, rest of ground beef and top with cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 425 for 20 minute or until bubbly and done.

For mine I used Target brand ravioli, it's only $2.87 a pkg. And
I used Colby Jack cheese as that is all I had on hand, normally I use mozzarella.

Voila.. there's dinner! Serve with garlic bread or breadsticks. Cheap and easy meal. We usually have enough leftover for someone's lunch the next day. This feeds my entire family of 5 with leftovers as well. :)

Be sure to check out http://dishingituprecipehop.blogspot.com/ for more great casserole recipes!