Organizing for Summer

I am an artist…but I am also a Mom. I am running a small business but I also have to put meals on the table, do shopping and have fun with the kids this summer. Today, I keep waffling between organizing the studio, organizing my kitchen, planning summer activities for the kids, and getting meals planned and made. Since today I have planned, scheduled and paid for the summer activities; drivers ed, and some fun computer classes, cake decorating for kids, a craft class or two and I have looked at the free tennis lessons available in our area. So that part of life is planned. I looked at my friend’s    summer bucket list for her family, adapted and changed it to fit our family. I swapped tea party and blowing bubbles with hot dog roasts/bonfire at the state park, and making banana splits. I have worked in the studio for a couple of hours this morning, sewing, cleaning, sorting and putting away.

So I guess this leaves, getting meals planned,  freezer meals made. Which is harder since we have gone gluten free. We already had a ton of food sensitivities and allergies to cook around. The biggest ones being tree nuts, fish and MSG. The meal thing is huge at our house as we have teenagers and they eat and in an hour they are hungry again. It feels as though we spend huge amounts of time thinking about, preparing and cleaning up the kitchen. Freezer cooking is a way around worrying about what we are going to have for dinner. I have several substitutes for the canned soups that are in some of our favorite recipes, and for the breads which are in others. I think that we will make

I am thinking this is a great start as it uses items we have on hand. I will have to put off all the items that require hash browns. So that will leave pizza crust, freezer coleslaw apple crisp, crockpot refried beans, energy bites, and GF peanut butter cookies.

Tomorrow is another day and I hope to get more done on this then.

Talk to you later,


Recipe: Stuffed Italian eggplant.

Stuffed Italian Eggplant.

Ok this is a Karen recipe which means all ingredients are added to your tastes and until it looks right for you.

I have adapted this recipe many times. Here is the basic recipe.


eggplant 2 largish

Italian sausage about 1/2 a pound – 2 pounds depends on whether you are stuffing or casseroling!

Cubed dried bread slices about 4 (french bread works great)

tomatoes 2 med. chopped

Mozarella cheese cubes; about 1 cup

mozarella cheese grated; enough to sprinkle on the top of the eggplants.

brown the sausage and break it up into chunks, and chop everything else and grate and cube the cheese.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the eggplant meat.  Leave the skin intact if possible. Slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Leave the eggplant to weep for 1 hr or so. Dry the eggplant off and mix into a mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients, minus the grated cheese. Spoon the mixture back into the eggplant shells (placed on a rimmed cookie sheet or casserole pan.) Top with the grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until the eggplants are cooked to your satisfaction. (Lightly browned cheese and bubbly mixture about 20 -30 minutes).  You may serve this with spaghetti sauce to top your eggplant casserole.

This smells wonderful cooking! If you cook for a crowd like we do then up the ingredients and place it all in a casserole forgoing the stuffing part.