Ranch Oyster Crackers

It is snowing this morning and really feeling like Christmas!

Last night we went to the movies and saw The Hobbit. Before coming home, we rode around looking at people’s Christmas lights. There were some pretty impressive displays!

Tomorrow evening we are celebrating Christmas with my mother and father-in-law at our house. I plan to make pepperoni balls, sausage cheese balls, pigs in a blanket, ranch oyster crackers, meatballs, veggie tray, cheese ball, cream cheese with pepper jelly, and a deviled egg platter.

We had the ranch oyster crackers at our neighbor’s house last weekend. They are simple, delicious, and SO easy to make.

Original Ranch Oyster Crackers

16 oz oyster crackers

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 oz ranch dressing mix

Place crackers in a gallon sized zipper bag. Pour oil over crackers; seal bag and toss to coat. Add dressing mix; seal bag and toss again until coated. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 250º for 15-20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown.

I hope you all are enjoying the CHRISTmas Season!



Easy Peanut Butter Fudge & More Pictures

This is an easy fudge recipe. It must be super easy since it turns out for me!


Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 1/3 cup peanut butter

1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme (I used marshmallows. 4 marshmallows=1 oz creme)

Bring sugar and milk to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and marshmallow creme and mix well. Pour into buttered 8 inch pan. Chill until set.

A red and green velvet Christmas cake that Madison made.

A red and green velvet Christmas cake that Madison made.

Meringue cookies because our chickens are laying lots of eggs.

Meringue cookies because our chickens are laying lots of eggs.

One days worth of eggs!!

One days worth of eggs!!

Cute little sweet potato pies that Madison made.

Cute little sweet potato pies that Madison made.

McKenzie, Madison, and Bub on Thanksgiving.

McKenzie, Madison, and Bub on Thanksgiving.


Venison Jerky


We love deer jerky. This was my first time making it without using the jerky packets. It was wonderful!! It took mine 7 hours at 160º to dry. I placed it in the oven for an additional 10 minutes at 180º.

Beef/Venison Jerky

  • 5 lbs ground beef or 5 lbs ground venison
  • 2 tablespoons mortons tender quick salt
  • 1/3 tablespoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper(I used paprika)

Mix all ingredients. Pour over meat and mix well. Put it in the fridge overnight. I use a dehydrator and a jerky gun to dry the stuff as I’ve found this is the best way to make jerky. Usually takes about 7 hours to dry.


Chex Party Mix

I know Chex mix is old news, but this was my first time making it. I didn’t even realize it had to baked! I mixed it up thinking we would fill the empty popcorn tin and snack on it through out the week. I was wrong, and it was gone in two days. There was barely enough time to get a picture. :)


The Original Chex Party Mix

  • 6 tablespoons butter or 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 1 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 cup pretzel
  • 1 cup bite-size garlic bagel chips or 1 cup regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces(I used cheez-its)
  1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in large roasting pan in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated.
  3. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.

Pinwheel Candy

005We are so ready for Christmas! Decorations are up, presents are waiting to be opened, and Christmas music is playing. All that’s left now is to make lots and lots of Christmas candy. :)

This recipe came from my friend Donna. It is easy to make and is also supposed to freeze well. We made some for the freezer to thaw on Christmas Eve.


Pinwheel Candy

1 box powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups), 1/2 stick butter softened, 1 tsp. vanilla.  Add evaporated milk-1 tbsp at a time.  Could take as many as 3 tbsp.  Mixture needs to be a little dry.  Roll out on wax paper sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Spread peanut butter.  Roll up, chill, slice and enjoy.


This Week’s Menu & Household Budget

It’s been a while since I did a menu post. Our freezer is full of deer and vegetables from this years garden. We also have plenty of canned items from the garden as well.

This weeks breakfast choices are eggs, toast, cereal, or oatmeal.

This weeks lunch choices will be leftovers, sandwiches(grilled cheese or peanut butter), baked sweet potatoes,and fruit(apples or bananas).

Snacks will be popcorn and baked yummies. :)


Fri.(today)- Sausage, Biscuits, & Gravy

Sat.- Chili Beans & Crackers

Sun.-Steak, Baked Potatoes, & Green Beans

Mon.- Venison Stew & Crackers

Tues.-Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, & Green Peppers

Wed.- Philly Cheesesteak & Corn-on-the-Cob

Thurs.-Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Baked Beans, Cranberry Sauce, Relish Tray, Pumpkin Pies

$97.64 was spent at Dollar General Market & $25 was put into savings. I have $22.33 left that will go into savings also.

For $97.64 at Dollar General Market I purchased:


10lbs potatoes

6lbs sweet potatoes

2 lbs carrots

3 lbs bananas

5lbs apples

Dairy/Meats/Cold Items

14lb Turkey

1 lb Sausage

1 lb Butter




Pepper Jack Cheese Slices

American Cheese

1 Gallon Milk

1 dozen eggs

Canned Items

2 large cans of baked beans

2 cans kidney beans

Cranberry Sauce

5 Cans Tuna

2 cans pumpkin


3 Hot Wheels Cars(buy 1 get 2 free for boys next door for Christmas)

Turkey Roasting Pan

Water Globe

Saltine Crackers

2 liter root beer

2 liter sundrop

Country Gravy Mix Packet

McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix

McCormick Beef Stew Mix

2 liter sunkist

small bottle of coke & sprite for the car

raspberry filled donuts for the car

butterscotch pudding

5 lbs all purpose flour

ripple potato chips

2 loaves of bread

Non-Food/ Toiletries

Dish Liquid

Sleek Anti-Frizz Cream

Bar Soap


Facial Soap Bar

Toilet Paper

I think making a menu can really help save money, and saving money is so much fun!


Kale Chips

002I am trying to beat the cold and eat up everything growing in the garden. Lots of goodies are going to the chickens. It’s not a waste though. They are giving me some lovely eggs in return.

005I mentioned to Quentin a few weeks ago that the kids and me had been snacking on kale chips. He brought a bag of kale chips home from work that looked more like little rice cakes. I had to tell him those were nothing like our kale chips. :) When I made some over the weekend, he told me they were unusual because they don’t look like they would taste good but they do! They are easy to make and come out of the oven deliciously crisp.



Crispy Kale “Chips”


1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling(I use garlic salt)


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.