Friday, October 30, 2015

Shortcut Meatball Parmesan Subs

I love this meal for a couple of good reasons.  It is super easy and my husband loves it.  I have served this to friends and family members and everyone has cleaned their plates.

Shortcut Meatball Parmesan easy because I used pre made meatballs which my husband likes and they are actually much cheaper than making my own.

What you need for one sub:

8 Great Value Italian Style Meatballs(of course you can make you own)
3/4 cup of jarred sauce(we like Prego)
1 sub/Bollilo roll
12 thin slices of mozzarella cheese

Place the meatballs in a microwave safe bowl:

Add the sauce and mix it in, microwave for 2 minutes:

Take out, cut meatballs in half and microwave for 30 seconds more:

Toast your roll(otherwise it can become too soggy):

Add your meatballs and sauce to make an open faced sandwich:

Add enough cheese just to cover the meatballs:

Put it under a broiler to melt the cheese and you are done:

That's it…a super easy meal that my family really likes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Concrete Day

Good morning all.  I have stretched this story out as our "bigger" projects are dwindling.  The whole concrete job really took 3 days and they came back to make the cuts on the 4th day.  Today I will post the pictures of the concrete being poured for the patios and the new driveway.

On an unrelated topic last Tuesday was my birthday and it was a very nice one.  Nicole helped Mike with his present and I got a real piece of "machinery" for my kitchen, a new Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I have been playing with it this week and have made some good things.  Nicole has been helping me by sharing some of her recipes.  Nicole also sent me some goodies:)  I got a SideSwipe which scrapes the sides and the bottom of the bowl which the regular attachment on the Kitchen Aid does not do She also got me a waffle iron:) and silicone baking mats, which means I don't have to spray pans to bake and nothing sticks.  Thank you Nicole:)

Nicole said she liked that I made a "Wish List" on Amazon.  It sure makes it easy for people to buy you things you would like to have:)  I think everyone should make a wish list…it sure would make it much easier to buy gifts for those really hard people to buy for….like Mike, lol.  He usually gets M&M's and Hershey Kisses.  Mike also took me out for a very nice dinner.  Thank you so much Mike…I love you with all my heart.  You're the best.

OK…back to the work:)

The crew is here to work and the first concrete truck is here.  Pouring the concrete into the pumper:

The hose extends all the way to the back of the house.  The one man pours while the others lay it out:

Ooh this is going to be my outdoor cooking area right off the kitchen:)

Ha, ha…I teased the guys and told them they reminded me of County workers where one man is working and the rest are watching, lol.  Seriously though they really did have to wait for more concrete to be poured:

This is going to be a big patio:

The trucks and the hose:

Working on the walkway and starting to pour the driveway:

Looking good:

The back patio is done:

Ugh…after three trucks of concrete and they ran out with only this much to pour.  That stinks:

The rest did get poured and the crew finally got to leave after waiting for a new truck to come out.  Mike and I let it dry over night and we will not drive on the drive for about a week or so.  It will turn from Gray to almost white as it dries.

The next day Mike and I have some clean up to do but meanwhile….

The princess is the first one to enjoy the new patio:

A couple of guys from the crew came back to pull the form boards off:

Mike digging some dirt we have from a mound by our fence.  We need to back fill all of the concrete before we can add the new sod:

Niki had to move since the guys are now cutting the expansion joints in the main patio:

Cutting the driveway:

And they are out of here…yay…you know Mike and I hate having contractors around!!

Mike filling in some dirt between the drive and patio doors.  We will make a garden there and eventually take out the old sliders:

Mike can shovel but I still have to be the one to use the wheel barrow:

Filling in along the side of the driveway:

And that is what we did for the rest of the day.  Dug up more dirt and filled in any of the high spots.

It will be exciting to finally be able to use our new drive and patio:)

Have a great week and I will write again next Monday for a story and on Thursday for a recipe.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Key Lime Cheesecake

I made this key lime cheesecake for the first time for a dinner with neighbors.  Over all it was very good.  Just make sure to chill it in the refrigerator over night.  It gets better the longer it sits.

Key Lime Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 packs cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup key lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make Crust: In a bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar, stir in the butter well. Pat the mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a buttered 10 inch springform pan and bake the crust in a preheated 375 degree F (190 degree C) oven for 8 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, flour, lime juice and vanilla. Beat the mixture until it is smooth.

Pour the filling over the crust. Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and bake for 50 to 55 minutes longer, or until center is barely set. Let the cheesecake cool on a rack, then chill it, covered, overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer it to a cake stand.


It is easy and much cheaper to make your own graham cracker crumbs.  One full pack of crackers made 1 1/2 cups of crumbs.  Just add crackers to a bag and use a rolling pin to crush:

Mix the crumbs with the sugar and melted butter:

Add to the bottom of a springform pan.  Press down and up the sides about an inch.  I imagine you can also use a foil line large pan:

One whole bag of limes…next time I will use bottled juice only because it will be so much easier:

Mix the softened cream cheese and sugar:

Then the rest of the ingredients and add some lime zest:

It all goes into the baked crust:

And into a preheated oven.  I like to use a water bath when making cheesecake but my bigger pan was filled with lasagna so I added a pan of water to the lower rack.  This helps keep the cheesecake from cracking:

And it looks perfect:

I'm happy to say my guests really enjoyed it.  I usually like a cheesecake that has no sour cream so next time I will omit the sour cream.  It was still very good and had a nice tart taste.  I just didn't care for the slight sour taste but that is "my" preference.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Getting Ready For A New Driveway and Patios

This is going to be an exciting day.  It's time to make things right on the outside of this house.  It only took 50 years but today is the day for a driveway up to the house and a couple of outdoor patios.  This job is too big for Mike and I to handle so we have to have a crew come in.  We will be happy for them to show up and so happy for them to leave, lol.

Framing out where the driveway will be:

Cutting up the grass:

The grass has to go before any concrete can be poured:

Up to our new front door:

Getting ready for a small patio and BBQ area outside the kitchen door:

Breaking up and taking out the old concrete:

Coming in with the bobcat to take the old grass out:

Dumping any old grass and old concrete in the dump truck:

Ready to level it with some fill dirt(sand):

Building the driveway up:

Cutting out the old concrete section for the old(original) garage doors:

Mike and I were going to rent a jack hammer and tear up the old walkway ourselves but once we heard the price for tearing it up and removing it we couldn't turn it down.  It would have taken Mike and I a few days and some real back breaking work considering how thick it was.  Gotta love those machines:)

The driveway is leveled out:

The walkway and new stoop is in place:

Working on the old small patio which was a bear of a job even with the bobcat:

That slab is a monster and Mike thought we could break it up…ha, ha:

They broke it in half and hauled it away:

The last piece:

Framing out for the new patio:

Getting rid of the walkway:

UGH…it is always a big mess before you can get it cleaned back up:

Bye bye…all the rip up is finished:

After two days work we are ready for the concrete:

It will be nice to be able to drive up to the house and not drive on the grass:

Hmm…looks like Mike and I need to order some sod:


Mike doing a little clean up before on the dusty mess:

Now we have to wait until tomorrow which is going to be a bog day.  The concrete trucks will be rolling in and the pumper will be onsite.  It is going to be so nice….and clean:)

I will show you the pictures of the concrete work next Monday.

Have a great week….