Category Archives: recipes

Made From Scratch Monkey Bread

My kids love monkey bread and they love helping to make it! Check out the slide show for some pics:

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It’s so easy and those cute knives help them feel like real chefs will easing my mind. Those mixing bowls have been a life saver too and the lids make them perfect for this recipe. I can’t always find the 4-pack of canned biscuits (and I’ve been trying to make more things from scratch) so i have used our regular biscuit recipe at times. You just need to divide the dough into 1 inch balls and continue on if you decide to do make your own biscuit dough.

As you can see from the last picture, it goes really fast around here… so fast I didn’t have time to catch a picture of the whole thing!

Monkey bread

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2-3 t. of cinnamon
  • 4 cans biscuits or use this biscuit recipe (add 1/4 c. sugar to the flour before mixing in the shortening for a little extra sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Grease  or spray a 12-cup bundt cake pan. ** see below for alternate directions.

Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl, bag, or container with a tight fitting lid.

Cut each basket into quarters and then shake the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the sugar coated pieces into your greased pan.

Mix together the remaining cinnamon sugar, melted butter and the brown sugar.

Pour this mixture over top of the biscuit pieces in the pan.

Bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and turn upside down.

Best served warm. The kids like to eat it with bananas… I usually make some scrambled eggs and grits to go along with it too.

** You can bake this in a greased casserole for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

For more ideas on how to let your kids help in the kitchen be sure to check out the Kids Cook Real Foods site.

Affiliate links for items mentioned in this post:

Elite Gourmet EBS-0012 Maxi-Matic

12-Piece Stainless Steel Colored Mixing Bowls with Lids,

7.25 Qt. – 6 Qt. – 3.5 Qt. – 3 Qt. – 2.25 Qt. – 2 Qt.

Tovla Knives for Kids 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set 

Chocolate Covered Eggs

This is one of those recipes that I could’ve swore was posted at one time but I can’t find it anywhere. With the Easter holiday quickly approaching I have been asked a couple of times for the recipe and just now took the time to look for it… hence the reason for this post.

You can cover these with white chocolate or any chocolate that you prefer, if you like. I can remember my Mom using the ‘leftover’ chocolate scrapings that my dad would bring home from the Hershey factory when we lived in PA. That was so good! We have also used the candy coating that you can find in the baking aisle but mostly we use chocolate chips now.

While the most popular shape for these candies is the egg shape you can also shape them and decorate them in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and colors for whatever the holiday or occasion. I try to decorate the eggs differently to identify the filling inside because it gets quite confusing when you make several different flavors.

We also like to try out different flavors and variations so there is a base recipe that you can adapt and experiment with. I have also seen some variations with candies like M&Ms and Reese’s pieces mixed into the filling… yum!

Just have fun and let the kids help with this one! I have many fond memories of helping to make these as a child. We also made these in high school for many fundraisers and sold out every time.

Chocolate Covered Eggs

Ingredients:

Base recipe:

  • 1 pack cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 – 2 1/2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla, optional
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1 T. oil, optional

Ingredients for other flavors listed below.

Directions:

  1. Mix the first four ingredients together until they resemble play dough. The dough is fine to us as is or you can divide the dough and add flavorings, as desired. (The amounts listed at the bottom will work for 1/4 of the dough.You can adjust the amounts for your taste.)
  2. Line a couple of cookie sheets with wax paper.
  3. Once the dough has been flavored it is time to shape them. You can shape them into balls, hearts, eggs, or anything your little heart desires. At this point I usually set them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and place them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.          6906_1989850637907615_5793231262048851596_n.jpg
  4. Melt the chocolate over low heat on the stove or in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stir often until smooth. You can add the oil at this point, if desired.
  5. Carefully dip the chilled balls into the melted chocolate and place on the wax paper lined sheet. Chill in the refrigerator at least an hour.  10399460_1989850671240945_4138937377768889450_n (1).jpg
  6. Decorate them with icing, sprinkles or crushed candies (this is easier to do when the chocolate is soft), and/or drizzled chocolate as desired. Trim the excess chocolate from the edges, if desired.

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Makes 50 – 100 candies depending on size.

Optional Flavors:

  • Almond Creme: Add 5-8 drops of almond extract to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Chocolate Covered Cherries: Roll the base dough into small balls and flatten. Roll the flatten dough around a maraschino cherry. Go to Step 4.
  • Chocolate Creme: Add 1 c. unsweetened cocoa powder to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Coconut Creme: Add 1 c. flaked sweetened coconut to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Lemon Creme: Add 5-8 drops of lemon oil to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Maple Creme: Add 4-8 drops of maple flavoring to the base dough. Go to Step 2.
  • Orange Creme: Add 5-8 drops of orange oil to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Peanut Butter Creme: Add 1 c. creamy (or chunky) peanut butter to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Peppermint Creme: Add 4-8 drops of peppermint oil to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Strawberry Creme: Add 5-8 drops of strawberry oil to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.
  • Vanilla Creme: Add 3-4 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the base dough and mix well. Go to Step 2.

The flavor variations are endless and you can try your own with different flavorings and substitutions. You could add chopped nuts, fruits, candies, or mini chips to the base dough as well as different flavorings and spices to make these unique. You could also add a little bit of food coloring, if desired, to help identify the different flavors.

Do you have any other flavors that you have tried? If so, let me know in the comments and we can add them to the recipe.

The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Let me tell you guys about this awesome new trick I learned for ‘boiling’ eggs. Well, first it may not be new to some of you and if you don’t happen to have an instant pot or power cooker than it might not be an option but I was so excited and it is really gonna be such a game changer here.

Continue reading The Easiest Boiled Eggs Ever!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.if a product is purchased through one of our links.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that we found in the United States Cookbook under the state of Georgia. The original recipe was called ‘Peanutty Peanut Butter and Banana Bread’ and was baked in a loaf pan for 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350. Our recipe has some variations to the original ingredients but would probably be just as good baked in a loaf pan as well and would probably be even better with a sprinkle of chocolate chips added to the batter.

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 c. oil
  • 1 c. peanut butter (we used chunky and the kids loved it)
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 – 1 c. chocolate chips, optional
  • 1/2 c. crushed peanuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray your muffin pan or loaf pan with nonsitck spray.
  2. Mix the oil, eggs, bananas, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter together in a bowl until well blended.
  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together in another bowl.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the first bowl just until blended.
  5. Spoon or pour into your greased pans.
  6. Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

A Fresh Start In The New Year Part 2

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.

So if you read my post yesterday you know that we had some unexpected work that had to get done around the house. What you didn’t get to see was the post holiday mess the rest of the house was still in… yep, I’m gonna show you some really messy pics of our cabin because LIFE is MESSY at times and we aren’t PERFECT so our place gets just as MESSY as everyone else’s house, and probably more at times.

One thing I know is that you can’t truly organize CLUTTER! Boy oh boy was it in abundance around earlier this week. I’m kinda embarrassed to show you all these pics but I really want to show everyone that you CAN change your LIFE one little step at a time. The important thing is to remember that the CHANGE must start somewhere and I know that LIFE can be so OVERWHELMING at times… these pics can prove that… but we can’t just sit around and wait for someone else to do something that we aren’t willing to do ourselves.

On the other hand I want everyone to know that our house has not looked this BAD in a long time. I know that HOARDING tendencies seem to run in one side of my family and that scares the crap out of me! Part Most of this was MESS was due to the post holiday chaos we had and the total LACK of ENERGY I had from not feeling well … but enough with the EXCUSES as I was determined to get past the PROCRASTINATION.

Over the weekend I had made a short To-Do List to work on and a couple of the first items to tackle were the kitchen and the bathroom. However the closet became number 1 priority when the kids demolished some of the shelving… you can read about that project HERE. Here’s the BEFORE of the kitchen:

You can see breakfast prep was ongoing when I took this and it was so hard to accomplish anything with the CLUTTER laying around. Mr. Joey wanted to help with breakfast so I did a quick tidy to make room and let him work on some Pancake Poppers for a quick breakfast.

We made one batch of blueberry and one batch of sausage… yum!

After breakfast I did a quick cleanup and had the kitchen back to a semi-normal state within 20-30 minutes… YAY!

Then I tackled the bathroom which took another 10-15 minutes. I could feel myself running out of steam really quickly though. I crossed off those two items and another as the kids had helped change sheets and tidy up the loft area as I cleaned in the kitchen and bathroom. Then I attempted to tackle the next area which was in the Main Room

This pic was actually from Thursday before I got to work on paying bills but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of change from then to Sunday. I did start on it but got interrupted with something or another and that was pretty much the end of the cleaning for the day.

However on Monday I had a new PLAN OF ACTION. We needed to get started back to school work but I knew that there was no way I would keep anyone’s attention with all the stuff sitting around just begging to be discovered.

So I made an executive decision that for now our group studies will be completed Tuesday-Thursday. The kids can work on independent or one-one tasks on Mondays and Fridays. This change also included a temporary change in our Laundry and Cleaning Routines as the majority of those tasks will be completed on Mondays and Fridays as well. So far so good with this change and we’ve actually been able to accomplish quite a bit more in the cleaning and school areas.

Our first task of the day was to get this tree put away…

Most of the other decorations had already been packed into totes the week before so we just had to make room for the tree decor. Then everything was taken to the shed and neatly put away.

Then to get the table put back up. I put Joey to work on bagging up the random grocery bags around the house so we can reuse them.

I set to work on straightening up my bedroom… this is what it looks like after getting back from a dance. I usually have the little boys in here to change and the girls use the closet to get ready. This means I can’t get in there to put away anything so it ends up piled on my bed… sigh.

After a bit it looked much better except for the basket of laundry sitting there… but hey, at least it was clean laundry. I went ahead and checked the bedroom off the To-Do List as well, but as you will see in a bit that may have been a bit premature.

While I worked in the bedroom the kids cleaned up the floor where the tree had been. They also worked on organizing their school cubbies so we could have a fresh start for the next day. They also put away some of the items that had been cluttering the table. Things actually seemed to be getting MESSIER instead of cleaner!

They also worked on straightening up the TV area as there were dirty dishes, controllers, toys that needed put away.

We were on a roll and our next mission was to get rid of all the boxes sitting around. Most of these held Christmas gifts that needed homes. Now that we had straightened up most everything this would be an easier task to accomplish. But first Jacob thought everyone should have a quick snack of candy canes from the tree… lol.

Again things seemed to get MESSIER before they got better. This table became a sorting place for EVERYTHING. I opened a box, sorted out what needed to go where, and then we took care of EVERYTHING we had out at the moment before moving to the next box.

Here is another pile that had to get sorted as well.

It might have been a bit time saving to have sorted all the boxes at once but we had William helping out and he gets OVERWHELMED easily and then it gets a bit HARD for anyone else to get anything accomplished as you have to keep redirecting him.

I had received a ton of new school supplies from Santa… he knew just what I need, right? We also got lots of new books and William really wanted to read all of them. In the process I lost a book I had pulled off my bookshelf earlier in the day… my mistake, as I should’ve waited until we were finished with the clean up. You just might laugh, like Mr. Awesome did, when I show you the book I lost:

The Organized Homeschool Life

But anyway as I sorted the kids carried things and put them away but some items got piled on my bed… it appeared that my bed also had become a playground at some point in time. This time the MESS actually looks worse than it was.

Once most of the items had been sorted and carried to their new homes, or at least in the general area of their new home, Ms. Bella made some yummy PB&Js for the crew. As you can see everything was looking much better.

Even the bedroom looked pretty good…

As I was carrying things out to the shed I noticed something in the pond…

I had to call the kids out to take a closer peek… such a cute suprise!

I had a couple of more things to get organized and look at like this organizer I had gotten for Christmas:

And these new books that we got for our homeschool…

I’m so excited to start using these in the future!

We also got a few more books that everyone is excited to read like this one here:

Soft Rain

As I worked on setting up the organizer and putting away these items the girls wasted no time getting to work making some headbands, bracelets other items now that they had room to work at the table.

Then the UPS man brought my Grove package… another pleasant suprise!

I am really loving the Mrs. Meyers cleaners and have started to try out some of the other products which you can also get on AMAZON. Once I got all of these put away I worked on a little redecorating as everything looked so BARE.

I pulled some of the peacock decor out of my bedroom for now…

The gold peacock was something Mr. Awesome bought for me last year and that little pig was one I painted many, many years ago when my older kids will young.

I moved the flowes basket from the kitchen to this window. This is where my new napkin holder is sitting as well as the new globe that we got for Christmas.

It also lights up to show the constellations which is so NEAT!(I don’t know why but this made our homeschool seem so much more ‘official like’… lol)

In the kitchen I took down the cornice that was up there and put up this really cute tray I found with the after Christmas clearance at Walmart.

All in all we had a really good day and with the kids helping out as much as they did I didn’t get too overwhelmed nor did I completely wear myslef out as I have been doing a lot lately.

We didn’t do a deep cleaning or major reorganizing. We did find a HOME for EVERYTHING and we did PURGE some items as we went along. There are still things that need to be done but the HOUSE feels so much BETTER now and I’m not constantly looking for things… other than that book that hasn’t resurfaced yet.

That’s OK as the wonderful UPS man delivered me another copy today… so maybe if I find the old one I can BLESS someone else with it.

The biggest thing with all of this was to just get STARTED. Another big thing was to not get sidetracked with the fact that everything wasn’t being ‘cleaned properly’ or organized exactly the way I wanted it. If we had stopped to rearrange and/or clean every book shelf and cabinet along the way I would still be working on this project.

Now that we have everything situated we can get back to our regular cleaning tasks, even though we have changed the routine the tasks are still the same, and EVERYTHING will get clean in its own time. My main FOCUS was just to get a bit more organized as I couldn’t find anything over the past couple of weeks. Even though I lost my book and it still drives me a little batty wondering where it might have went its not that big of a deal in the BIG PICTURE.

We accomplished the GOAL that we set out to do and we can create a new PLAN OF ACTION for our next GOAL. For us this wasn’t a HUGE task to deal with as our house isn’t that BIG to start with. The MESS really did look worse than it was once we got started on it. If you have a bigger house then you might just need to FOCUS on ONE AREA at a time… not the whole house. If the task is still too BIG then focus on a smaller area at a time… break that elephant down into small pieces and work on them one at a time. A little progress is BETTER than doing NOTHING at all.

If you need a little motivation or encouragement then be sure to reach out to me via email or on Facebook in the Kirby’s Kabin Blog Group I’ve just started.

Have a great day and stay tuned for a look at our first couple of days with our new homeschool schedule!

A Look Back On 2018

So I’ve been posting quite a bit about my goals for 2019 but let’s not forget about all the good times we had in 2018. Sure, there were some sad times and some hard times but remembering the good times can help ease the pain of the not so good. Here’s a quick peek back on some of our pictures, posts, and activities from 2018:

Continue reading A Look Back On 2018

My 5 Fav Slow Cooker Recipes You Can Make in Your Instant Pot (+ 40 More!)

Were you lucky enough to get an Instant Pot for Christmas? If so you may be wondering just what the heck to do with it now. Did you know that you can make things like BBQ ribs, chili, and even cake in your Instant Pot?

Check out this affiliate link for many, many easy recipes to start cooking today!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/ipslowcook/happy2bmyownboss/

Counting Pumpkins… Yes, I Said Pumpkins

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This is gonna sound crazy but I wanted to take a minute and maybe give everyone a bit of comic relief or at least a chuckle. I also want everyone to see the not so pretty side of our home because I know that many people stress about the way their houses look, especially with so many guests and company right now, and they feel like they are failing.

You aren’t failing anything, trust me, if failure were based on the way our houses look on a day to day basis then I’d be one of the biggest failures there is! Then I also seem to let people down at times because they have a certain image in their heads of how our large homeschooling family life is. This weekend I realized that a lot of people really have different opinions and ideas when it comes to these matters. I promise, we are just ordinary people, doing ordinary things, on a larger scale in a small cabin… lol. Have you noticed the blog name change? Kirby’s Korner will now be dedicated to  square dancing. 

Continue reading Counting Pumpkins… Yes, I Said Pumpkins

Soaked Apple Cinnamon or Cherry Almond Baked Oatmeal Recipe (A Make-Ahead Breakfast!)

Do you need a quick and easy make ahead breakfast idea? One that’s simple and healthy? Well, then have I got the recipe for you! Check out this affiliate link for a recipe that may soon be a family favorite in your house!

https://sl290.isrefer.com/go/SAO/happy2bmyownboss/

It’s All About The Fudge!

**This post contains affiliate links for products we use. These links don’t cost you a thing but help to support our blog and our family when a purchase is  made through a link we’ve posted. Thank you!

Yes! It’s that time of year when I make a lot of FUDGE! I’ll probably be sick of Fudge this time next week but it’s good stuff and everyone loves it so much that they request it every year.

In case you haven’t tried your hand at making Fudge or if you are just needing a couple of good recipes I’m reposting the links to our favorite varieties down below.

I’ve tried a lot of Fudge recipes in the past as we always loved my mom’s Fudge. When we moved to Florida we weren’t as close to my mom as we once were and I had to figure out how to make it for my family… well, it was either that or spend a fortune in gas driving to visit grandma everytime we got a hankering for Fudge!



The kids and I went shopping today for supplies and I’ve ordered a few really cute tins to put the delicious treats in. As soon as the tins get here we will get started in the kitchen.

I promise that these recipes are fairly easy to make and we always have great success with them. I love that the base recipe can be changed for different flavors and this makes it one of my favorite candy recipes ever!

Here are the links to some great Fudge recipes:

My mouth is craving some FUDGE! We hope you enjoy these as much as we do! If you have a favorite Fudge recipe or Christmas Candy recipe please leave a link in the comments below as we’d love to give it a try!

Happy St. Nicholas Day 2018!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use.

Well the countdown to Christmas has officially started here. The kids are super excited after St. Nick stopped by sometime late last night. They had left their stockings on the table before bed and woke up to a big surprise!

They had been talking about our previous St. Nicholas Day celebrations and how they forgot to put their stockings out last year… Oops!

Don’t worry… that heater was not on ‘HEAT’ as we only have the flames going this morning  but it has been doing great job at keeping us warm and cozy so far.

St. Nick did not disappoint with a variety of small toys, coloring books, and other holiday items plus a tiny bit of candy. He also left a couple of new books and a holiday music cd for them. They are looking forward to a midday snack of gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa too!

He didn’t forget about the grownups either and even left a small gift for Nanny J and Papa O. He left Momma some much needed kitchen items, some holiday jewelry, and CHOCOLATE!

Santa had even decorated a little bit and put these cute covers on the chairs.

And he must’ve met up with the UPS man at some point to grab our new Advent wreath for us. It had been stuck in delivery status as the driver couldn’t locate our house.

It is so much prettier than it looked on the internet! I had a hard time deciding what color to get but thought this was a good choice even though it isn’t the traditional Christmas colors. Now we are just waiting for the candles to arrive. After all this excitement it was time for breakfast:

This year I added the chocolate chips to the pancakes while on the griddle for our Santa Claus PancakesI forgot to pick up some fresh strawberries and blueberries so we made do with what we had here. I also didn’t realize that Mr. Jacob had added a couple of extra chocolate chips to Santa’s beard… lol!

The kids thought they were cute and very yummy. Later on we will be watching a few videos about St. Nick and taking a little about the history of Santa Claus.

If you want to check out some other activities please see St. Nicholas Day 2016 for some additional links.

Happy St. Nicholas Day everyone!

Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Oh my! I think I’ve finally recovered from my Thanksgiving food coma… have you? I’ve tried to hold off on posting too many new recipes lately because some of you may not even want to think about cooking so soon after Thanksgiving but I just had to share this one. These are so good I could probably eat a whole batch by myself!

A while back I posted our Smushed Taters recipe and that was a hit in our home. Well, at one of the Thanksgiving square dance dinners we attended there was a dish that reminded me of this recipe except that it had been made in the crockpot. Hmmmm…. what? Why had I never thought of this. I didn’t get a chance to get the recipe but here is how we made our version last night. Which was another smashing hit when served with Steamed Asparagus and Broiled Parmesan Tilapia!

I think I want to give this a try with red skin potatoes or cauliflower at some point.

Smushed Taters In The CrockPot

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and washed well
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into pats
  • non stick spray
  • Salt and pepper (We like Lawry’s Garlic Salt)
  • shredded cheese
  • chives, optional
  • bacon bits, optional

Directions:

Spray your crockpot well with nonstick spray.

Place the potatoes in the crockpot and cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-4 hours, just until tender. (I didn’t add any water but you may want to add a little if they seem like they are drying out.)

Take a potato masher or large fork and slightly mash the potatoes.

Place the pats of butter on top.

Season as desired.

Top with shredded cheese, chives, and bacon bits. Cover and cook an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Serve as is or with sour cream.