Homemade S’mores


I thought everybody knew how to make them. The other week I found out that there are some folks who have never made S’mores and really don’t know how.

As a kid, hot dog roasts were the bomb. Occasionally we had S’mores. Yummmmm! What a way to top off an evening!

I think there are a few secrets to S’mores.


The Ingredients

  1. A good graham cracker. One of our prenuptial agreements was that Honey Maid Graham crackers are the only ones allowed in our house. [Too bad I don’t get compensation for promoting this brand, eh?] There are graham crackers, and there are Honey Maid graham crackers. A generic brand does not a good S’more make. So go ahead and spend the extra dollar for that box and have yourself a good S’more.
  2. Marshmallows. Don’t get the ones that are too big. I use whatever I find in the store that isn’t too expensive, and I don’t get sucked into buying the bag with a photo of S’mores on the package. I’ve found that a regular sized marshmallow works the best or else you’ll have an ooey-gooey sticky mess dripping down your fingers.
  3. Chocolate. Hershey’s if you please. [Too bad I don’t get compensation for promoting this brand either, eh?]. You need something that’s rich and sweet if you’re going to have the calories anyhow. Don’t cheapen your dessert by purchasing something cheap. Have at it, for goodness sake!

S'moresThe Fire

You’ll need a good hot fire that simmers down to coals and embers. Put the marshmallow on a stick or roasting rack and hold it over the coals, turning it from time to time. Of course, if your kids want to help, be sure to caution them not to get the marshmallows in the coals. Good luck on that one. Just let them eat the ones they roasted, and fix your own.

Some folks like their marshmallows blackened. If you’re one of those folks, put it right into the fire, let it light up, then blow the fire out. If that’s your style, go ahead. I’ve seen folks do this and I just shake my head.

I prefer the slowly browned version, just brown enough to give that white baby a good tan on all sides. To get that nice tan, you have to hold it over the embers and let the heat do its work slowly.

. . . Or the Microwave

If you don’t have a fire, you can use your microwave. You won’t get the browned marshmallow, but you’ll get the heat and the heat from the marshmallow will still melt the chocolate. You’ll miss the fun of the fire, but you’ll still get the gooey sweetness of chocolate with marshmallow. Put the marshmallow on the graham cracker and put it in for FIVE SECONDS.

The Assembly

Lay your graham crackers out flat and place two sections (or three) of chocolate on the cracker. Put the marshmallow on top of the chocolate and place the second cracker on top, then gently push the crackers together. As the heat from the marshmallow seeps through the chocolate, it will soften and begin to melt.


Don’t ask me what that stem is – I think it belongs to a leaf. The table was under a tree in the yard and I failed to notice it.

The Finale

This is an easy dessert or treat when you have a crowd of people. In the summer, add some watermelon or cantaloupe, and you’re all set for a crowd. Kids will love it, and the adults will enjoy not having to fix anything extra on a hot evening. If they’re honest, the adults will have to admit that it’s a pretty good ending to a day.


Smoothie/Fruit and Peanut Butter Breakfast


A fruit and peanut butter yogurt smoothie is a great way to start your morning. It’s simple, quick, easy, and nutritious. I’ve substituted cottage cheese in place of yogurt but that isn’t quite as sweet. People wrinkle up their noses at me when I mention peanut butter with fruit. Really? It’s no different than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – and it has a lot fewer carbs.

peanut butter fruit yogurt

I usually just dump and mix, but since I wanted to post this, I actually took the time to measure the ingredients. I start with the yogurt (OR cottage cheese), then add peanut butter, banana, blackberries (or any other fruit you’d like), some ice cubes and splashes of milk. Mix it all in the blender; add more milk or yogurt to make it the consistency you’d like. I’ve used peaches and blueberries – but I have to admit that blackberries are my favorite.

fruit peanut butter smoothie

Kids love to help make this – and to drink it. Seriously, this can be ready in five minutes. Call it a milkshake if you’d like (because that’s really what it is anyhow.)

smoothie: peanut butter and fruit breakfast


Breakfast Smoothie: Fruit and Peanut Butter Breakfast
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (OR cottage cheese)
  • 1 large Tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ cup blackberries (or other fruit)
  • ½ - 1 banana
  • 5 ice cubes
  • ¼-1/2 cup milk
  1. Put all ingredients in the blender
  2. Pulse a few times until ice chunks become smaller
  3. Blend until smooth
  4. Add more milk, fruit, etc. as desired

Pinterest Smoothie Fruit and Peanaut Butter

Easy Play Dough

easy play dough

Many different colors!!

I’ll grant you that buying play dough in the store is easier and faster than making it at home. But I can also guarantee you that this recipe is a whole lot better than any brand of store-bought play dough. Not only does it smell better, the texture is better, too. And it lasts a lot longer. Try it and see if you don’t agree.

easy play dough

One rainy, dreary day a few years ago, brothers of three different mothers made “play dough pizza”.

I clipped this recipe from a magazine one day when I had four children under six (circa 1991). At an average of making it two or three times a year, that’s quite a few lumps of play dough we’ve turned out over the years.

I usually make a double batch so there is plenty for everyone. If you put the dough into zip-lock bags, it will keep for months. We’re talking four to six months, at least.

easy play dough

Yes, this is how my kitchen looks!

One thing about play dough is that kids of any age enjoy creating with it.

On rainy days or days when everyone is out of sorts, let them help you mix up a batch and knead their chosen color into the dough. I’ve been amazed at how calming even that can be! Boys enjoy creating snakes and animals while girls enjoy cutting out dainty “cookies”.

To make this easy recipe, simply put all ingredients into a pan and heat slowly, stirring until the mixture pulls away from the edge of the pan. Remove from heat, knead the dough, and then add the food coloring. Kids love choosing their color and mixing it in.

easy play dough

Creating, designing, and improving dexterity are all benefits from making and playing with play dough!


Recipe type: Craft
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  1. Put all ingredients into Teflon pan (preferred) and mix well.
  2. Cook and stir over medium heat until dough follows spoon.
  3. Remove from pan and let cool on wax paper (to prevent counter tops being stained by food color.)
  4. When cool enough to handle, knead the dough.
  5. Divide into lumps and knead in food color drops.
  6. Roll out with rolling pins and cut into shapes or squeeze and roll into shapes.


play dough cooking and adding food coloring

“until the dough follows the spoon around the pan”

playdough ingredients B

5 easy peasy ingredients: flour, vegetable oil, salt, cream of tartar, and water


playdough food coloring 3B

Adding the food coloring.



Finished Product. Enjoy!


Pinterest Easy Play Dough

Since I’ve discovered gel coloring, my life is easier and I spend less money. With this gel coloring, you only need a fraction of what you would normally use with liquid food coloring. I buy a box and it lasts me for years. There are many brands out there, and this one is my favorite. 

Three-in-One Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

When you need a festive appetizer, this cheese ball can fill the bill.  When you want something neat for a snack for a crowd or for a party or special event, this cheese ball is sure to please your guests.

You can make this into one large cheese ball or serve it in three smaller sections.  You can roll the ball in parsley, nuts, or pepper.  I’ve also used bacon. Sometimes, as in the photo above, I have not used any garnish.

Just mix all the ingredients together in a mixer, and it’s ready to go.

Cheeseball with parsley

Three-in-One Cheese Ball
Recipe type: Miscellaneous
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 cheese balls
Easy to mix up and fun to serve, this three-in-one cheeseball is a hit every time.
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups (16 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. minced onion
  • Coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 ounces (1//2 cup) crumbled bleu cheese
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Finely chopped pecans
  1. Beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, milk, onion and Worcestershire sauce until fluffy
  2. Divide mixture into thirds (1 cup each)
  3. st portion: Shape first portion into a ball and roll in pepper
  4. nd portion: Add bleu cheese to the second portion; roll in parsley
  5. rd portion: Add garlic powder to the third portion; mix well. Shape into ball and roll in nuts
  6. Cover and refrigerate.
  7. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
  8. Serve with crackers.
  9. The cheese balls can be frozen.

Pinterest Cheeseball