Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I was craving some tomato soup today and didn’t have any. So, I decided to try to make some. I thought surely it would be easy to find a simple recipe online. I had plenty of cans of diced tomatoes, that is all you really need, right?

Well, from all the recipes I found, wrong. Some of them were pretty simple but still it seemed like most of them were just way too complicated.

I figured I would give my own recipe a shot. I was so happy with how it turned out, I just had to share it! I hope you like it as much as I did.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


1. 3 cans diced tomatoes

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2. 2 cubes Chicken and tomato flavor bouillon- I used this because I didn’t have any chicken broth or chicken bouillon. Honestly, you can use whatever flavor broth or bouillon you like.

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3. 1 Tblsp. Basil

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4. 1 Tblsp. sugar

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5. 3/4 c. (half a can) of evaporated milk

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Using food processor or blender, puree tomatoes, one can at a time, put in pan. You can make it as smooth or chunky as you like. (I left mine a little chunky this time but I think I will process it a little more next time and make it smoother).

Add bouillon, basil, and sugar.

Warm on med-low until bouillon is dissolved and soup is hot and bubbly.

Remove from heat

Stir in evaporated milk.

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Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches, crackers, or just by itself. Have it any way you like it.

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I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!


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Fighting the stinky feet!

I don’t know if any of you can relate to this but my hubby’s work boots are kinda stinky.

Ok, a little more than kinda but I’m trying to be nice. 😉

Ok, a LOT more than stinky but I’m trying to be nice. 😉

I know you can buy lots of powders or sprays or other things for this particular problem. I just thought I’d rather come up with something I already had. No sense in spending money when you don’t have to, right?

First, I saved two pairs of my DH’s tube socks that are getting worn but don’t have holes in them.


Put 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda in two of the socks.



Put the baking soda socks inside the other pair of socks. This is important because the first time I made them, I only had the one layer and the baking soda sort of sifted out. Then, you have baking soda all over the closet, and it gets in the boots, and people apparently don’t LIKE having a boot full of baking soda. I don’t know why!?

Alright, now you have a double layered sock with baking soda in it! Just what you’ve always wanted, right?

Now, all you have to do is tie a knot in the top of the socks. This will keep all your baking soda in the sock, which is a good thing! 🙂


Finally, just drop those babies in a pair of stinky shoes for the night. You will be amazed how much it helps!



If I have helped save one person from stinky shoes, I have succeeded. 😉

Have a great day! ~ J

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Honey, Lime, Chili Chicken

This wonderful chicken recipe is my go-to when my family is hungry and I just don’t want to have to think.

It’s super easy and everyone loves it! In my house, that is a big deal!

I came up with this a few years ago when I was trying to cook something in a hurry and threw a bunch of ingredients together.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Honey, lime, chili chicken



2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)

1 Tblsp. olive oil (optional)

3 Tblsp. lime juice

3 Tblsp. honey

2 Tblsp. Chili powder

1 Tblsp. Paprika

2 Tsp. minced garlic

1. Heat olive oil in your pan for 1 minute. The olive oil is optional. I have made this many times with no oil and it turns out just as good. I just like to add a little olive oil when I have some on hand. I think it enhances the flavor a little bit.

2. Add chicken. I have done this with frozen and thawed chicken, either way works great. If you are using frozen chicken, you will want to cook on a lower heat and use a lid for several minutes. This will help your chicken cook all the way through.


3.  Add all other ingredients.

Ok, I have to be honest, I usually don’t measure anything, I just throw it in there until it looks good. However, it’s pretty hard to follow a recipe by someone else without knowing the amounts of ingredients. Once you have tried this, I am sure you will want to adjust the ingredients to your personal taste.


4. Cook on medium until chicken is cooked through. I like to break the chicken up as it cooks, to get the flavor all nice and mixed in.

5. Serve your delicious chicken!

You can serve it in a salad, with pasta, as a sandwich, with rice, the possibilities are endless!


I hope you enjoy this easy and delicious recipe!

Thanks! J 🙂

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Eeeek!!! The prepper thing I should have thought of…

I’m such a newbie when it comes to prepping. I want to share a very important lesson with you.

B and I, along with our families, talk about prepping quite a bit. It’s nice having another family to share thoughts and ideas with. I love that they think of things we might not, and vice-versa.

One thing we had talked about when it comes to prepping was how to keep rodents out of our food stores. We talked about it, all agreed it is important. I even bought some mouse traps. I did NOT, however, actually deploy any of said mouse traps! Ugh, I know!

I have yet to get very organized with my prepping. There aren’t a lot of food stores to worry about. I only had one little cabinet in my kitchen dedicated to my food preps so far. I know that won’t get us far but a little is better than nothing. I have faith our families will learn to be self-sufficient, one day at a time. Anyway… my one cabinet was far from organized, I had NO idea what was even in there, and I decided it was time to take stock and start organizing. Yay me! 🙂

As I start pulling the bizarre collection of canned food, ramen noodles, shelf stable milk, dehydrated veggies, etc, out of the cabinet, I realize there has been a mouse in there! (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I have a serious problem with this!! First of all, I have FOUR cats! Four! I have never had a mouse in this house that I know of! (all four cats are currently on probation LOL) Second, mice creep me out on a massive level!

Thankfully, the mouse must not have been in there for very long because he had only ruined a package of ramen and a cardboard container of shelf-stable milk. (On a side note, the entire time I was cleaning the cabinet, the cats seemed not to notice. I just know deep down they were very disappointed in themselves)

After I cleaned the cabinet, I placed a sticky trap in the cabinet in hopes of catching my little nasty friend. The next day, one of my dogs was sniffing at a drawer in the kitchen. At first, I didn’t think a lot of it. After a few hours I decided to investigate. Deep down, I knew what was going on, I was just in denial.  I started cleaning out the drawer to investigate. It was the foil, plastic wrap, plastic ware, etc. drawer so I didn’t think a mouse would be very interested in it. You know I was wrong. Somehow, a little foil sample pack of peanut butter had ended up in that drawer. Apparently mice LOVE peanut butter!

By this point, I had declared war! It was on!

I emptied the drawer and placed another sticky trap in the drawer. This time, I smeared peanut butter on the trap. (Because now it was on like Donkey Kong!) !

At 3 am the next morning, DH and I were awoken by the dogs whining. They were whining because we had a trapped mouse!! Yes!

That’s how I felt at first. Then, ummm…. what the heck do we do with it?

Clearly I hadn’t thought that far ahead.

DH wanted to flush it, I said no! All I could think was I’d never be able to use the toilet again without thinking of the mouse.

Ok, then what to do with it? I had no idea.

He asked if I wanted him to let it go outside.

“No!” was my answer. I’m thinking then he will just come right back in because I have not yet figured out where he got in. Also, you can hate on me all you want, I don’t care; that little sucker had to die! He was eating my family’s food!

I won’t go into gory details of how the hubs had to kill it but it is definitely deceased.

So, I am sharing my lesson learned. Actually, two lessons learned.

One, mouse traps with your food preps are a necessity. Do not chance all of your hard work being destroyed.

Two, get the mouse traps that actually kill them. Unless, of course, you want to release or kill them yourself.

I am thankful I learned this lesson early on. Had I not, the results could have been devastating.

I hope I’ve helped at least one of you!

Happy (mouse-free) prepping!




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Leftover coffee is yummy!

I happen to love those lovely little pre-bottled iced coffees they sell at the grocery store or the convenience store.

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I do not, however, happen to love the PRICE of those lovely little bottles. They are my once-in-a-while splurge. At least they WERE, until I discovered I could make them at home! I know, I know, I should have figured it out ages ago but, I didn’t. Honestly, I never really put much thought in it. Until I picked up a four-pack on sale and loved having them in my fridge!

Of course, I saved the bottles after I drank them because I just knew there would be a use for them some day. I have an illness where I struggle to throw away any item that can possibly be re-used for something crafty or clever later on. It takes a lot of effort to keep myself from becoming a hoarder, really. Because, if any of you haven’t discovered this yet, all trash can be made into treasure, according to Pinterest!

Anyway, here’s all you have to do to be able to have delicious iced coffee on hand whenever you like:

I prefer to have individual bottles of my pre-made coffee drinks. Of course, if you do not have any bottles to use, you could just make this in a  pitcher and keep on hand.

Start with a clean bottle.

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Fill it 2/3 full of your left-over coffee. Or, if you don’t have left-over coffee, just make some and let it cool off.

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Add creamer and milk to fill it the rest of the way.

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Store in the fridge.

Make sure to shake well before you drink.

Not only have you saved money on a little bit of delicious but you can control the ingredients so you can make it as healthy (or unhealthy) as you like!


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Our new logo

I would like to introduce all of you to “The Funky Chicken”

This is our new mascot/logo.

It took a while for us to find something we liked but, B’s DD made this and it’s perfect.

He is unique, just like all of us!

Hope you like him!



P.S. Funky Chicken is copyrighted, please don’t steal him, thank you! funky chicken - Copy


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Homemade Fire Starter

My awesome friend, B, gave me this incredible idea for homemade fire starters.

I love this for several reasons:

They recycle items that would otherwise just end up in the trash.

They are easy.

And, they work!

So, here ya go, super easy to make fire starters.


Empty toilet paper roll

Dryer lint

Newspaper page (optional)

1. Take a left over toilet paper roll. (I don’t know about you but I hate throwing these away!)


2. Get some dryer lint from that trash can full of it in the laundry room. (When you use these, you will discover how very flammable dryer lint really is, which is why you should clean your dryer out every few months!)


3. Stuff the dryer lint into the t.p. tube


4. Wrap the stuffed tube with newspaper. This step is entirely optional, the fire starter will work just fine as it is. I just like to wrap it with the paper. Then, twist the ends.


And, there ya have it! Easy, right?

I use these whenever we are lighting a backyard fire, they work amazingly well and have saved me a fortune on lighter fluid!

My friend B, she’s a pretty smart cookie! 😉



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What to do with those potato peels !

I dislike wasting anything more than I have to. When you peel potatoes do you put them in your compost or just simply throw them away? Putting them in the compost is a responsible act, if you garden, but if you don’t I have an idea for you to try. We all know how pricey yummy potato skins can be, even with a coupon. So here’s how to accomplish a tasty snack while cooking those peeled potatoes. 1) be sure to wash you potatoes before you peel them or you may wash your peels after they are separated from the potato. 2) start your main potato dish while your skins set aside to slightly air dry.

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3) in a baking dish spray your desired non stick spray or coat your dish with a little oil of your choice.

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4) now place your peelings in your dish. * for crunchy skins lay them in a single layer.*

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5) bake at 375 for about 15-25 min. depending upon your crunch desire.

6) when your tasty skins come out of the oven add your desired toppings. My family prefers garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, and a touch of pepper.

potato peels   * as you have noticed there are a few skins missing already in this pic. My hubby and son happened in as I removed them from the oven. Need less to say they don’t last long in our home.

Now here’s the best thing about this snack, you didn’t throughout the most vitamin rich part of the potato! Also if these are just not your idea of a tasty snack then make them for your four-legged friends. Dogs love these treats and potatoes are perfectly fine for them. I omit the pepper and sprinkle a little chicken bouillon on top. Our dogs can’t get enough and these treats and they are way cheaper than store-bought. Enjoy!

By B

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Dried mushrooms may save the world! Prepping on a dime.

Ok, dried mushrooms may NOT exactly save the world but it’s a start! What do I mean by that? Well, if you are like me, and you want to do your best to have your family prepared in case of disaster (i.e. ice storm, earthquake, flood, evacuation, pandemic, tornado, nuclear war,  etc.), then food is probably the first thing that comes to mind. In this crazy world we live in there are disasters happening constantly and although there’s no way to prepare for every scenario, every little bit does help.

It’s not easy to try to prep when you are barely making it week to week, day to day, as it is. Groceries are not getting any cheaper, nor is anything else. I get that, believe me. There are little things you can do, though, that can make a big difference for your family.

I am a sucker for a deal, I’ll admit it. Sometimes, though, I may pass up a good deal without even realizing it because I don’t see it’s potential. Today I will tell you about one of those “deals” that I love.

One of the grocery stores I frequent (there are only 3 in our little town) regularly marks produce down. Sometimes I get lucky and I catch a mark down I can’t resist. However, marked down produce is produce that needs to be used or stored quickly. In the past, I have grabbed up marked down veggies, only to throw them away a few days later. So, not only am I NOT saving any money, I’m wasting it! Not cool!

Well, now I have a beautiful plan for my fab finds- my dehydrator! I don’t have one of those fancy schmancy dehydrators (yet) but the one I have has been invaluable. I managed to get it for $20 on clearance. Yay me!

Now, I don’t recommend dehydrating all of your “getting close to expiring” veggies. With dehydrating, usually fresher is better. But, I make exceptions for peppers, herbs, mushrooms, spinach, and probably a few others I can’t think of right this minute.

Today, I am going to tell you how I dry mushrooms. 🙂

First, a pic of my beautiful find; three containers of button mushrooms for 99 cents each! I absolutely love mushrooms and I cook with them all the time so this was especially exciting for me.


Also, this is post-rinse. You should wait to rinse mushrooms until you’re ready to do whatever you’re going to do with them. Aren’t they beautiful? LOL

Step 2; slice them, pretty self-explanatory 😉

Step 3: place them in a single layer on your dehydrator trays:


Step 3: turn on your dehydrator

Step 4: wait…. wait… and wait

Of course, with my dehydrator, I have to shuffle the trays once in a while to help make sure everything gets good and dry.

Also, sometimes with mushrooms you will get what’s called “case hardening”. This is where the outside is dry but some moisture gets sealed inside. Once you’ve used your dehydrator a few times you learn to recognize this. Personally I dry my stuff until it’s crispy. But, if you do notice some case hardening, especially on your thicker slices, just poke it with a toothpick to allow the moisture out and the air in.

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Step 5: when your mushrooms are nice and dry, put them in jars or bags, or whatever you would like and you have your shelf-stable mushrooms!

Just remember, if you plan to use your mushrooms in a recipe, it is a good idea to rehydrate them for a few minutes before you put them in. It’s not absolutely necessary if your recipe has plenty of liquid but I prefer it.

Here are some of my dried mushrooms getting rehydrated because they have a hot date with some eggs and cheese in a little bit. 🙂


By J ❤

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Welcome and Hello

I see my fellow blogger has been busy sharing her yummy concoctions and helpful ideas. We are very excited to share our knowledge, through trial and error…lol, with each of you! J and I look forward to sharing and helping each of you become a crafty prepper ! Comment away on each blog, we love the input! Thanks B!

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