Chicken ‘n’ Rice Casserole


Here is a great recipe I like to make for company, Sunday dinner, or just anytime!

  • 1½ c. uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 can (12/3 c.) evaporated milk
  • 1 pkg. onion soup mix
  • 10 pieces chicken

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This is one of our favorite recipes for a cold winter day . There’s not much prep time involved. I always keep the ingredients on hand and make it if I’m short on time. Rick loves to use the leftovers to take to work the next few days.

This chili is my husband’s favorite, and it’s quite original! I never had chili growing up. I’d only heard stories of chili con carne my dad had been served while he was in the Navy; being from the North, I thought he was saying “chili corn carne.”… hence the addition of corn in this chili recipe!

My husband loved it and the kids did, too, and that’s been a favorite main dish for 27 years now. I hope you will enjoy it, too.

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 50 Rainy Day Activities for Kids


Rainy Days getting you down?

It’s true- after a few days of rainy weather, the kids are just bored and full of energy, and you feel worn out trying to keep them occupied.

Here’s a few ideas to spark some new interest and add a little fun to these otherwise gloomy days.

All these ideas cost very little, or nothing at all, and they can all be done from the comforts of home.

I have included some activities for all ages- preschool, elementary age, and even teens. (plus it always amazes me what little ones can do if they see the older ones doing it.)

We’ve used so many of these ideas in our own home over the years!

You might even see your kids all excited when a rainy day comes!!

1. Bubble stuff– let them don raincoats and step out to blow bubbles in the rain

2. Play dough

Here’s a less crumbly type of play dough you can make, and the kids will enjoy helping to make it and choose their favorite color to distinguish theirs from everyone else.

  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • few drops liquid food coloring
  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil

Mix and cook in saucepan on medium heat until mixture coagulates into a ball. Cool. Store in air tight container.

3. Outlining– gather a bunch of objects- jar lids, combs, Popsicle sticks, cookie cutters, bottle tops, containers, etc. and let the kids place them on a sheet of paper and trace around their outlines.

4. Gluing shapes– cut a bunch of rectangles, circles, squares, triangles, and so on from construction paper and use glue sticks to glue them down in creative arrangements. If you have older kids, they can cut the shapes out for you.

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Sweet New England Blueberry Muffins


We always get 10 or 20 pounds of blueberries every July. We use a lot for eating and baking (like this delicious blueberry crisp!), but then freeze the rest of them.

Here is one of our favorite blueberry recipes for a special treat. I grew up in New England, and this has been a favorite recipe since I was a kid.

Sometimes I make the batter up at night and then bake them in the morning.

We always fix a special birthday breakfast for family members on their birthdays and this is often one of those favorites.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I always have!

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Baked Spaghetti

“What do you feed all those kids?” was a question we have often been asked through the years.
Simple and fast were my guidelines for most supper meals.
Baked Spaghetti was a popular standby that I liked to make. It whips up easily for those busy summer days and makes spaghetti a bit more special.
(for a lot more ideas, see my cookbook Homemade with Love)
Baked Spaghetti 
  • 1/2 to 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped green pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes with liquid, cut up
  • 1 (4 oz.) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 (21/4 oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained (optional)
  • 12 oz. cooked spaghetti, drained
  • 2 c. (8 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (103/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

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Fresh Blueberry Crisp



Want a special July treat? I just finished making a fresh blueberry crisp!

We order blueberries from some Mennonites who travel up to New Jersey and bring back 10 and 20 lb. boxes of berries. Boy, are they tasty.

We LOVE Apple Crisp, so I thought I’d try a Blueberry Crisp tonight, and boy, it’s almost gone. Everyone’s had seconds!

Here’s how you make it…

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Summertime Snacks From A to Z


Kids are always up for a snack, aren’t they?!

It’s a good idea to have plenty on hand for hungry bellies throughout the summer!

Sometimes it’s hard to think up something new or different for snack time. You know there are plenty of options, but your mind goes blank when you are trying to make up your grocery list. (or does that only happen to me?!)

So, let’s have a little fun with it-  Snack Ideas from A to Z to give you a little inspiration!

Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins)

Banana Smoothie (1/2 cup sliced banana, 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, and a handful of ice blended until smooth)

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Springtime Tradition- Fresh Strawberry Jam

Boy, do we ever love the month of May when the strawberries are ripe and ready to be picked!
We have a strawberry farm nearby, and it’s become a fun spring-time tradition to pick fresh strawberries several times during the month and make some of our favorite recipes!

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Springtime Nests


Character-Concepts-springtime-nestsYour kids are sure to enjoy making (and eating) these fun ‘nests’. Make up a batch, go outside and enjoy the treat you’ve made and see if you can spot some birds flying to their real nests!

  •  1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chow mein noodles
  • jelly beans or malted egg candies
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
Combine butterscotch chips, corn syrup, peanut butter and sugar in large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30 second intervals. Stir in chow mein noodles and cornflakes until evenly coated. Quickly shape scant 1/4 cupfuls mixture into balls, make indentation in centers to form nests. Place nests on waxed paper to set. Place 3 jelly beans in each nest.