Monday, January 22, 2018

Berkshire Blankets

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Time to share the good stuff.  I was at my friend V’s house and she had this Honeycomb Blanket on her bed.  I ran my hand over it and I was SOLD!

This is the softest, body hugging blanket I’ve ever had.  It’s the perfect weight, not too heavy, and it’s affordable.  So, if you’re in the market for a new blanket, you can’t go wrong with this.  It’s a total winner, hall of fame worthy.

Here’s the link, they have many styles to choose from, but I wouldn’t even try one of the others, this Honeycomb style is just perfect.  

Think of me when you snuggle into this, trust me, if you buy it, you will love it.

~ Jan

Note:  Always check for coupons, I got 10% off.  😊

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hot Potato Salad


I just posted this on Jan CAN Cook, but it’s so good that I wanted to share it on the Dish as well.  Total comfort food, totally bad for you, but SO delish!

I made this so often when the boys were little, lost the recipe and thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I just found it again.

We called it Hot Potato Salad, and made it exactly like this using Velveeta.  It was just SO good.

I was thrilled to find this recipe again and to add it here so I will always have it….


9 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced

1 cup mayonnaise

1 lb Velveeta cheese, diced

1 small onion, chopped



1⁄2 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1⁄2 cup green olives, sliced


Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine potatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, and onion, adding salt and pepper to taste.

Put into greased 9x13 baking dish.

Top with bacon and olives.

Bake 1 hour.


Monday, January 8, 2018

I have a new food blog


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It’s the new year, time to rethink what we eat and I have some ideas for you.

I actually started this blog back in October and have steadily been adding recipes, and I’m really picky, they have to be awesome or they don’t make the cut.

You might enjoy looking at it and get some great recipes for yourself.

The name of the blog is Farmhouse Food Made Healthy and here’s the link for you

 ~ Jan

Monday, January 1, 2018

A holiday surprise


It was going to be such a great Christmas.  Ry and family were coming for six days, I had so many plans, all organized on an Excel Spread Sheet.  The gifts were wrapped, the fridge was bulging with food to prepare, the recipes were all organized,  I was so looking forward to it.  They arrived late in the day on Thursday, we had a nice dinner, I played with the grandkids, went to bed and in the middle of the night I started getting chills.  By morning I had such a headache I couldn’t get out of bed and there is where I stayed the entire time they were here, except for Christmas evening I was up for a few hours.

Talk about the pits!  I didn’t want to make anyone else sick and thankfully I was able to contain the germs to our bedroom.   I had the flu, low grade temp, achy body and that relentless headache. 

I’m getting better, slowly, but now the kids are long gone and I didn’t even get to watch them open presents Christmas morning.  

Then fast forward to New Years Eve.  Our friends, Rich and V, were coming, we’ve spent many New Years Eves with them, and of course that didn’t happen either.  I’m still recovering and the weather is absolutely wretched.  Nothing went as planned this year, nothing!

Poor pitiful me, what a disaster Christmas was at our household...

Monday, December 18, 2017

5 Calorie Russian Tea



I’ve drunk Russian Tea since I was a little girl.  It was mother’s favorite and she made it every holiday season.  Warm, spicy, infused with spices and lots of powdered sugar, it was so good, but it also had a lot of calories.

I’ve recreated it using sugarless alternatives and the result is wonderful and very similar to hers.  She a always made hers with Tang, but it’s hard to find sugar-free Tang, so I substituted Crystal Light with great results.



1.5 cups of Lipton Diet Iced Tea Mix

1 Packet of either Crystal Light Orange Sunrise or Crystal Light Lemonade, depending on whether you want an orange flavor or strictly a lemon taste

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Stir together and store in glass jars.  Add a teaspoon or two to a mug of hot water and you have a to-die-for drink.  The best part is it’s guilt-free as there are practically no calories in this.

I don’t know which flavor I like most, I made both varieties, one with Crystal Light Lemonade and one with Orange Sunrise.  I drink the orange version and think I like it best, and then I drink the lemon version and think I like it best.  It’s a tough call, so just make both.  Worked for me! πŸ˜€

Happy Holidays, think of me when you drink this



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Jan's Favorite Things, Christmas 2017


I have two biggies, both new this year.  If you have read my blog, you all know that I’m the Gadget Queen and I don’t believe on skimping on kitchen equipment.  For me, it’s important to have good tools.  Long after you’ve forgotten how much you paid for things, you will love them and be glad that you didn’t cheap out.  

I bought a new butcher block this summer for my center island.  I’ve been a fan of BOOS blocks for years and have had a couple of their free-standing footed butcher blocks in the past, the one I bought a few years ago for the condo is now sitting in the garage because I couldn’t bear to part with it.  I get sentimentally attached to kitchen things, seriously I do.

I had been eyeing up this beauty for a few years.  You see variations of Boos Butcher Blocks a lot on FoodTV, Pioneer Woman has the 3” thick end grain round block, Trisha Yearwood has the 2.4” running grain rectangle and at first I thought I wanted the round version.  I knew I wanted the 3” thick one.  I did the research and knew I also wanted end grain wood, not running grain, it looks better and it doesn’t show cuts as much.  I also wanted the traditional maple board, not the cherry or the walnut.  Practicality won out in the end, that round one just didn’t have the large cutting surface that the rectangle one did, and I made the right choice.

So I bought it.  Don’t gasp at the price, you can get deals from Williams Sonoma, if you open a charge account they give you 20% off, sometimes they run 20% off on items, but often not on the Boos Boards.  When I bought it, I was able to stack coupon codes and I believe I paid $140 for it instead of their retail price of $200.  It’s hard to find the rectangle 3” thick boards, most of them are 2.6”.

Here’s the link, and yes  it’s worth every . single . penny.  I could have gotten the 2.4” cheaper, but I knew I would never be happy with it, so I just bought the damn thing.  And I love it, I really, really love it.  It looks so great sitting on my counter and it performs like a champ.  You can get beeswax-mineral oil conditioner from Boos online, or you can just oil your board with mineral oil.  Never use olive oil or vegetable oil, it makes the board sticky.  You can also have it monogrammed with your initials as in the picture above, but that wasn’t for me.  I just wanted the authentic board.

I did one change though.  My previous cutting board had little stainless steel flat discs that fit on the corners on the underneath side.  It was great, it gives your board dimension and it also lifts it enough that you can get a Bash n/ Chop underneath it.   What’s a Bash n’ Chop?  It’s this little gadget, I think I got my first one from Galloping Gourmet in the 70’s and it’s great for scooping up your veggies and plopping them in your pan.


This would make a great little stocking stuffer and it’s only $8 and change PRIME from Amazon.  Want the link, sure you do.

But back to the cutting board.  My new board sat flat on the counter, and I wanted to lift it up a bit like my previous board, so I called John Boos outlet store in Effingham, IL, and asked them about those little stainless discs, they had them and they shipped me a set of 4 for under $20.  Then hubby drilled the underside of the board, attached them and now my board has dimension and that little Bash ’n Chop slips right underneath it.

I also purchased Pioneer Woman’s Turquoise Knife Set this year.  It’s inexpensive, as far as knives go, but it’s the best I’ve ever had and I’ve had several in my lifetime.  My favorite knife is her Japanese Signature Knife, it’s my go to, that knife is superb.


They’re out of stock at WalMart onlne, guess I’m not the only one that likes them, but you can usually find them at your local WalMart.  They do have them available in Rosewood, but they’re not quite the color pop as the turquoise or red.  Link here...

And the other biggie I blogged about a couple of months ago, it’s the Phillips XL Air Fryer.  They sell cheaper air-fryers but this is the big dawg that started the whole trend.   It’s amazing, we use it almost every single day.  


Here’s my original article, check it out - it’s GREAT! 




The Kindle Paperwhite - I was a little late to the Kindle e-reader game.  I started with a Sony Reader when they first came out, it was kinda meh and I got rid of it when I got an iPad and was perfectly content to read books on it.  Then last summer, Amazon had a Christmas in July sale, and the Paperwhite was $89 instead of $119, so I bought it on a whim.  And I love it.  Why, when I have an iPad Mini?  Because it doesn’t get hot, it’s lightweight, it’s so easy to grab, tuck in my purse and go.  The battery lasts forever, and if you have books in .epub format instead of .mobi which the Kindle uses, it’s really easy to convert from .epub to .mobi on your Computer using a free program called Calibre.  

You can buy a Kindle reader for $79 now on Amazon instead of the Paperwhite, which is now $119, but I’m a bells and whistles girl and the $79 versionjust doesn’t do it for me.  I want the  backlight, perfect for reading in bed without bothering a sleeping hubby, and it has Wi-Fi and Celluar Connectivity.  And it’s WHITE, thats the best part.  You don’t get all of these features on the cheaper version, it’s a matter of what you need.  The best part about the Kindle is that it doesn’t glare like the iPad does, so when you’re outside it’s easy to read.

Here’s the link

And they have really cute covers for them on Amazon, here’s mine, and the link


I also got this bag from Pioneer Woman.  I just love this, the dimensions are 16” x 15” so it’s really roomy and the vertical shape is perfect.  It’s my go-to bag and the more I use it, the more it looks worn-in and vintage, and the pockets on the outside are perfect for my cellphone and my glasses.  I love vintage looking bags and this one delivers and the best part is the smell, you open it and the leather just wafts right up to your nose, it makes me smile every time I open it.  These bags sell out regularly at The Mercantile, if you’re interested you might want to scoop one up here.  When I first opened it, it was a little stiff, but the more I used it the more it softened, it’s really a great bag.


I also bought one of her mugs, talk about vintage, this is so cool and the price is right, $10.  It’s a great stocking stuffer.


You can grab this mug here


And last are Uggs.  I’m a big fan of UGG boots, I have several pairs, they’re super comfy and I walk really well in them.  I had quite a dilemna with buying a new pair this fall, but that’s for another blog entry.  These are the ones that I really liked and UGG discontinued them.  So, then of course I really wanted them.  And you can find them, they’re on eBay, if they don’t have your size or color, just put an eBay search on them and they will alert you when they are available.  I got them in Chestnut, they’re not exactly Booties, but they aren’t high either, and they work great with that bag from The Mercantile.

Just search Google for Ugg Azalea Boots if you like these, they just recently discontinued them and you can find them.  UGG has replaced them with the LiLou, same boot different button and tassel, but I don’t like them nearly as well.  You can find the LiLou here.

And these are a few of my favorite things, some are a little spendy, but it’s Christmas, and you or someone in your life just might enjoy some of these treasures.  If I have time I’ll post another list of inexpensive favorite things, which tends to be more make-up related.  ~ Jan

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Review

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Is your bathroom cabinet like mine?  Is it filled with products that promise to be the latest and the greatest but do absolutely nothing for your hair?  Well, ladies you are in for a nice surprise with this inexpensive Shea Moisture Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Smoothie.  This stuff really does add body, elasticity and moisture to your hair without weighing it down.  AND, it’s inexpensive, so it won’t break the bank to try it.
I learned about this on Elle Is For Living’s YouTube channel, and I’ll link her video below.  A word of caution though, tread lightly with this when you first use it, she uses a huge glob of it in her video and unless your hair is extremely dry you will end up with an oil slick like someone who shall remain nameless did 😳 A little dab’ll do ya to begin with.  I also use it between shampoos on the ends of my hair, this is something I will purchase again and again.
Here’s the Amazon link if you want to try it, it’s a large container and it’s under $11.  You can’t beat that and it smells good, too.  It has over 1800 reviews, and the majority are excellent.
And now for Elle’s video, the lady knows what she’s talking about, just be careful with the amount you use until you find your rhythm with this.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Olive Garden Light Salad Dressing, it's a WINNER!


Let’s face it, light salad dressings leave a lot to be desired, and since I’m a huge fan of Olive Garden salad, and when I found this 30 calorie (two tablespoon) dressing at Kroger I was beyond skeptical, but when I tasted it I was pleasantly surprised.

Of course it doesn’t have the depth of flavor that the fully leaded does, but when I duplicated Olive Garden’s salad with the pepperoncini, black olives and iceberg lettuce it was an excellent dupe for not many calories.

Oh, the croutons, they take it over the top.  If you’re a fan as well, and c’mon who isn’t a fan of their salad, then head to your local grocery store, grab some olives, some pepperoncini (I prefer the sliced, they don’t quirt you in the eye when you bite into them like the whole ones do) and these two products and enjoy...



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween 2017

Here are my cutey patooties all dressed up for Halloween.  We have Shirley Temple, a Super Hero and a real Cowgirl.

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Lexi is Shirley Temple "On The Good Ship Lollipop.”  She, of course is clueless as to who Shirley Temple is, and since her petticoats made her dress really bouffant, she announced that she was “The Bubbler.”  No amount of persuasion could get her to say that she was Shirley Temple, she was The Bubbler!

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Ben was  Super Hero and a scary one at that.  He was flexing his muscles, cause that’s just the way little boys roll.

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Abby announced that she didn’t want a costume, she wanted to be an authentic cowgirl and that she was, complete with vintage chaps, neckerchief and belt buckle riding a horse on a western saddle.

It’s so much fun now that the grands are older, they really get into the Halloween experience.  Just had to share this morning, pictures are too cute to keep to myself...

Monday, October 30, 2017

It's that time of year



Don’t you just love fall and everything that’s associated with it?

I snagged this great pumpkin pie dish from eBay.  It was originally from Williams Sonoma and it calls to  me.

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