Today is the last day of the Write 31 challenge. I can’t believe it’s over. During the challenge, I hooked a lot of meals and desserts in the crockpot. It’s been a fun experience. In fact, as I am typing, there is chicken and hamburger meat cooking for later meals.
I’m going to continue cooking dinners in the crock pot. During the month, it’s been a much easier way to get dinner on the table, which is much less stressful on my part. O would love to do more freezer kits and share them with you.
My 31-day post will be attached to a page later this week, so you can still refer to it later. I’m also going to provide printable recipes. I’ve already put some of the recipes on my Google drive. Once I finish that, I’ll provide you with a link to all the recipes. 🙂
Here is a list of new and old blogs featuring crock pot meals. I’ve shared a few of them on my menu plan Monday blog posts.
Years ago, I used to make gelatin poke cakes for different occasions. They were one of Hubby’s favorite desserts. Then I stopped making them for some reason.
Hubby’s birthday was last week. I decided to make a gelatin poke cake for his birthday cake. Wee One helped me make the cake. He also got to choose the flavor of the cake (funetti or yellow) and the flavor of the gelatin. Imaginative One also helped me ice the cake.
Hubby loved the cake. He told me he loved it so much because it was a very moist cake. Hubby even took the remainder of the cake to share with his co-workers.
Gelatin Poke Cake
Stars of the recipe:
For the cake:
1 box of either yellow or funetti cake mix – plus the ingredients on the box
For the gelatin:
1 box of gelatin (any flavor)
1 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cold water
For the topping:
1 container of whipped topping (Cool Whip)
Preheat the oven according to the cake box directions.
Prepare the cake mix according to the cake box directions.
Spray down a 9 by 13 pan. Pour the prepared cake mix into the 9 by 13 pan.
Bake according to the cake box.
Once the cake is baked, pull it out and cool it for about 15 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, make the gelatin. In a bowl, place the gelatin powder. Pour 1 c. of boiling water over the gelatin powder. Stir until dissolved. Add 1/2 c. of cold water. Stir.
Poke holes in the cake using a skewer or straw.
Pour the gelatin over the cake.
Allow the cake to cool for about an hour.
Spread whipped topping over the cake. Decorate with sprinkles.
In the last week, we’ve had homemade pizza twice. Last Sunday I made a pizza for our Sunday night dinner at my mother-in-law’s house. We then had it for supper on Saturday night. I tried two new crust recipes and enjoyed the second one. In fact, Hubby told me that the pizza was great on Saturday night. Coming from a man who works in the pizza business that is a compliment.
The only problem with having homemade pizza is the Imaginative One does not like pizza. He likes a few kinds but overall will not eat pizza at all. He is allowed to eat something else for dinner when we have pizza. It’s usually a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The Wee One loves pizza and could have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if allowed. We had gone to the Home Depot for a DIY project for the kids earlier on Saturday. They gave him an apron to wear when he’s doing projects. He’s decided it’s his cooking apron. He put it on to help me put the sauce, pepperoni, and cheese on the pizza. We had strawberries for dessert and he put on the apron to help me prepare the strawberries.
While the pizza was baking, he watched the timer and would give me updates that were usually “2 minutes until 7 minutes.” So cute and funny!
That’s the Wee One’s hand – He was fake cutting the pizza.
Stars of the Recipe:
1 c. warm water (105 -115 degrees)
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2-1/2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
Make sure the water is 105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit so the yeast can dissolve. Add the yeast to the water.
After the yeast is dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients to your mixing bowl.
Using either your mixer or with a spoon, mix the ingredients.
Knead your dough either using a mixer or with your hands on a clean floured surface for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Place dough in greased bowl covered with a damp towel. Allow it to rise in a warm place. (This is the first time I’ve tried using my oven. Turn it onto the lowest temperature. Mine was 170 degrees. Then turn it off and allow the dough to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
Spread out on a cooking pan or pizza stone. Top with sauce and your favorite toppings.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
If you don’t have enough time you can do steps 1 through 4. Skip step 5. Then do steps 6 – 8.
When my kids stayed overnight at the grandparent’s house, my father-in-law would make them pancakes for breakfast. At his funeral, the boys asked me to make them pancakes. At first, I told them no because I did not think I would have time to make them any pancakes. I used a baking mix to make the pancakes because I did not have time to make them from scratch.
I found this recipe from Finding Joy in my Kitchen‘s countdown to the new year’s linky party. Mostly Homemade posted her list of best breakfasts. This was one of her best breakfast recipes of 2013.
When I made it for breakfast one morning, the Wee One licked his lips when I asked him what he thought of the pancakes. He told me that licking his lips meant he liked them. So he gives his seal of approval.
We planned to leave early on Saturday morning so we could get to the Georgia Aquarium at a decent time. It usually closed at 9 pm, but on this particular Saturday, it closed at 6 pm. 😦
Before we left, the boys and I walked out to the beach. The Wee One was crying because he did not want to leave the ocean. The Imaginative One was looking for sea life while we were down there.
Finally, we got on the road and traveled to Georgia. At one of the rest stops, I got a drink out of the vending machine but didn’t have enough on me to get the boys anything. (It was in the car.) A gentleman approached me with 2 dollars for the boys. The Wee One used his dollar to get what he had his eye on. The Imaginative One kept his money.
When we were almost to our destination, we got into a traffic jam. There had been an accident. Luckily we only to travel on I-75 for about a mile so we got out of it pretty quickly. We’ve driven through Atlanta on the highway but never on the surface streets so it was neat to see a different side of Atlanta.
Once we got the hotel, we checked in and then walked through Centennial / Olympic Park to get to the Aquarium. The line to get into the Aquarium was long even though we already had tickets. Once we got to the front of the line, we realized it was because we needed to go through the metal detectors.
We loved the Aquarium! Our favorite exhibits were the 3D show, the whale sharks, the beluga whale, the frog exhibit, and the dolphin show.
When we were done with the Aquarium, we once again walked through Centennial / Olympic Park but took extra time to enjoy our surroundings. The funniest thing was seeing a man walking 6 dogs. All 7 of them were wearing sunglasses.
Then we went to Waffle House for dinner. We loved the service there. Tracy (our server) made sure it was okay when the Wee One ordered a certain drink. I thought that was great.
Afterward, we went back to the hotel for a little while. We were going to ride the Ferris wheel that was across the way from our hotel. However, we would have to wait for almost an hour and then pay $50. That was not going to work with the boys. They decided to go swimming, but the water was too cold. So we went to bed. The boys had a pull out to sleep on. The trouble was it was single, so the Wee One slept curled at the top while the Imaginative One slept curled up on the bottom.
Click on the photograph of the dogs with sunglasses to see more pictures.
Friday was our last day at the beach. I once again got up and was out the door by 6:30 am. This time I went to the pier to watch the sunset. Boy, was I glad I did because it was gorgeous!
AAfterwardI went to the hotel next to our condo complex because they had a Starbucks. I was hoping to use my coupon and Wifi. The coffee shop served Starbucks but was not an actual Starbucks, so they couldn’t accept my coupon. 😦 I ordered a tall latte and ended up with a venti instead. I didn’t complain.
After stopping at the coffee shop, I took pictures around Folly Beach. Before returning to the condo, I stopped at the Lost Dog Cafe. The breakfast burrito I got was so good! I also got a caramel latte with peanut butter whipped cream. Yum!
Once I was back in the condo, and everyone was up for the day, we spent the rest of the morning at the beach.
After we returned to the condo and had lunch, the Imaginative One and I walked to Sugartime to get him some ice cream. Then we went to the ear. He enjoyed watching one of the fishermen pulling up their catch.
Then it was back to the beach for the afternoon. Once I got down there, the kids decided they did not want to play in the ocean, so I took them to the pool instead. I got in the pool with them for a little while.
We left the pool area when the four (niece, nephew, Imaginative One, and Wee One) of them decided to play some sort of weird congo dance game.
My in-laws’ bathroom had a whirlpool in it. The kids decided they wanted to use it, so they got into the whirlpool one at a time. Even though it was dinner time, the Imaginative One was lying there while reading a book about space. We let him sit there longer, so we did not have to hear him complain about the dinner. (He did just that because he didn’t want the chicken.)
After dinner, we all went to the beach and took family pictures. (I will post the pics of our family and my mother-in-law and father-in-law but not my sister-in-law’s family.)
Once the pictures were taken, it was back to the condo to pack up because we was going to leave for Atlanta. the next morning
Since it was lightning when I woke up, I did not go for a walk on the beach. I stayed on the balcony and watched the waves come in. No sunrise pictures were taken on day 7 because there was no beautiful sunrise :(. I do have a picture or two of the clouds, though.
After everyone got up for the day, we headed to do some geocaching; if you don’t know what it is, Google it. While we were at the first park, I got to take pictures of the Bridge and watched a family crabbing. That was cool!
After we left that park, we headed to another park to get a geocache. I stayed in the car because there wasn’t any cool scenery to take a picture of. By that time, we were tired of the bugs eating us. So we headed to Piggly Wiggly and got some bug spray.
Hubby and I both wanted to eat at the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch, but it was not open until noon, so we headed out to the beach that overlooks Morris Island Lighthouse before hitting up that local joint. Once we got to the beach, we found my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew. They had been fishing out there all morning. My nephew caught his first ocean fish! We saw dolphins swimming in the water while we were at the beach. That was cool seeing their fins while swimming.
We took our usual pictures with the Morris Island Lighthouse as the backdrop. The Imaginative One and Wee One were not so cooperative when I tried to get their picture together. Argh!
Once we left the beach and got to the car, I discovered my foot had red ants. With all his random knowledge, the Imaginative One told me not to put water on my foot because it would make them attack more. I brushed them off and immediately put the topical Benadryl on my toes that were bitten.
We did end up going to the ‘Wich Doctor for lunch. Hubby tried their pizza, and I got a Greek tuna salad sandwich with olives and capers and pickled green bananas, carrots, and daikon. A local told us that it is a favorite local restaurant. 🙂 The food was delicious.
While waiting for our food to be cooked, the boys and I went to get them shaved ice. They were promised shaved ice the night before, but we could not get it because of the rain.
The rest of the day was spent on the beach. I once again cooked supper for the whole family. This time I made sloppy joes. The hamburger was still not fully defrosted even though it had been in the fridge for almost 24 hours. I was able to work around it this time, though.
After dinner, the Wee One and I went for a walk on the pier. We watched a young adult throw peanuts into the air and the seagulls catching them. They even gave the Wee One a peanut so he could feed the seagulls.
After we walked on the pier, we went to Sugartime and got some treats and ice cream. It was nice to spend quality time with the Wee One.
After we got back from our walk, we sang “Happy Birthday” to my father-in-law and sister-in-law. Then we enjoyed the brownies that were baked to celebrate their birthdays.
More adventures later . . .
Click on the photograph of the Wee One and Imeto see more pictures of our day.
I could not get my rear out of bed on Wednesday. The walk with my mother-in-law the night before tired my body. I did get up in time to get pictures of the sunrise from our balcony instead of the beach. That was fine because I have a telescopic lens, so I used that to get closer-of the sunrise.
After everyone was up for the day, my nephew, Hubby, and the Imaginative One went for a bike ride. The Wee One and I went back to Black Magic. Got me a Shark Attack smoothie that was out of this world good. We then went onto the beach but stayed there for a little while because the Wee One didn’t like that none of the other kids were with him.
After Hubby, my nephew, and the Imaginative One returned from their bike ride, we left for Angel Oak. It’s a tradition to visit the tree and get pictures. I brought my tripod and set it up where I thought it should have been. However, I was wrong by a few feet. By the time they told me, I was getting ready to take it down anyway. People laughed as I ran across the canopy to get into place. We got some great pictures, though.
The plan had been to eat our picnic lunch at Angel Oak, but the mosquitoes were biting us. We had to hit a Piggly Wiggly for some topical Benadryl and Starbucks. Their espresso machine was not working, so I got a coupon for a free drink. Which reminds me that I haven’t used it yet.
We ended up going to St. Johns’ Island’s park. To get here, we drove on Bozo Lane and then Dunmovin Drive. (I have a picture of the street signs at the intersection.) Afterward ate our picnic lunch and listened to thunder in the background.
Once we hit the Bridge, it started storming Mt. Pleasant. We still went to the park and played under the Bridge in the play area. The boys were apprehensive at first because of the rain but discovered playing under a bridge during a rainstorm. Was fun. Even Hubby even played a little bit.
Once we were finished at the park, it had stopped raining, so we headed to downtown Charleston. We wanted to go to a few historical churches and walk around. As we were walking around, I went to Bakehouse again. The cashier remembered me from a couple nights before, so that was cool.
We went to the Provost Dungeon first but decided not to go on the tour because the Imaginative One was tired of museums. We then walked down Broad Street and noticed t bunch of people on the one side of the road and people talking about a miniseries for CBS being filmed across from the church we were heading to. One of the leading actors was Cam Gigandet from the first Twilight movie. We watched for a few minutes but then went into St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. George Washington worshiped there on May 8, 1791, and Robert E. Lee also worshiped there. In the graveyard, John Rutledge, the first governor of South Carolina, is buried there.
Afterward, watching some more of the filming and then walked around looking for the Circular Church. Once we got there, the Imaginative One was not happy to be in another graveyard. Oh, well! We made him walk through it.
Then it was onto St. Philips Episcopal Church. It is famous for ghost stories, and a cannon stuck in the steeple. Charles Pickney, signer of the Constitution, and Edward Rutledge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, are buried in its graveyard.
AWeheaded back to the car and walked down Philadelphia Alley, aka Dueler’s Alley. It was a hidden, out-of-the-way alley full of history and ghost stories.
Once we got the car, we headed back to the condo. I was scheduled to cook dinner that night. I cooked tacos. We ran into a problem, though; the meat was frozen solid. I put it in cold water and slowly removed the defrosted meat. We never got it completely defrosted. The next day the half we put in the fridge was still frozen. Crazy!
My niece spent the night with one of our relatives, so only boys were around. They had fun playing in the condo because we could not go out to the beach because it was raining.
More adventures tomorrow. . .
Click on the photograph of the Angel Oak to see more photographs of the day.
I got up early on Tuesday and took a walk. The sunrise was absolutely gorgeous! So totally worth getting up early to see it.
We had decided to go as a family to see the Battery and take our traditional pictures of the cannon. I almost missed it all because of having to go to the bathroom. I knew I shouldn’t have drunk the second cup of coffee, but it was so good. There is nowhere on the Battery to go to the bathroom. Let me repeat, there are no public restrooms. Argh! A lady and her husband heard my plight and decided to help me find a bathroom. She and I walked over to an inn and asked them for some southern hospitality. Fortunately, the lady did allow me to use their bathroom.
I missed all the kids alone on the cannon but got pictures of all 4 grandkids with the grandparents. (I will not post those pics out of respect for my sister and brother-in-law.) I also used my tripod to get pictures of the whole family and me. The problem I had was I couldn’t get onto the cannon without crawling onto it. (I was wearing a dress.) After picture taking was done, everyone went their separate ways. We walked a little down Rainbow Row and ended up in the Edmonston-Alston house. Hubby and I enjoyed that. The Wee One did not enjoy it as much.
We then went to my favorite restaurant in Charleston – Hominy Grill. The boys were not so thrilled with the food. I’ll take that back; they liked the French fries but not the mac and cheese because it had pepper on it and the applesauce because it was lumpy. Hubby and I ate until we were stuffed. I had a Dirty Biscuit, a southern-style biscuit, a fried chicken breast, and sausage gravy. I had it with okra and tomatoes and marinated cucumbers and onions. For dessert, I had a slice of upside-down peach cake.
After returning to the condo, we laid down for a while and took a satisfied belly nap. Everyone else in the house was gone, so it was quiet.
After everyone returned, it was back to the beach for the children. They had fun jumping around in the waves.
Hubby, my father-in-law, my niece and nephew, and the boys went to a minor league baseball game – Riverdogs – that evening, and my sister and brother-in-law went out. So it was only my mother-in-law, and I went to Cory’s Grilled Cheese for dinner. I had Cory’s Famous cinnamon raisin bread, provolone cheese, bacon, and honey mustard. So delicious! I also had their summer slaw, Asian slaw with ramen noodles.
After returning to the condo, my mother-in-law and I walked along the beach. It was nice to talk with her. She is such a giving person. Soon after we returned to the condo, the kids, Hubby, and my father-in-law, came back from the game. Somehow the Imaginative One got a foul ball and gave it to the Wee One. Hubby is still unsure how it happened because all the Imaginative One was supposed to do was get some water.
Then it was off to bed. More adventures later.
Click on the mason jar pic for more pictures of the day.