What I Learned This Week – Pepperoni Rolls

I learned something very important this week. I learned  that I will never again buy pepperoni rolls from anyone because I can make better ones.

I’ve purchased pepperoni rolls recently as a fund-raiser. They were hard and nasty.  On several occasions, I’ve purchased pepperoni rolls at the grocery store and every single time, I am sorry that I purchased them.

In another words, my pepperoni rolls are the bomb dot com.

I have both made friends and influenced people with my pepperoni rolls. Last week, while sharing my menu board on Facebook, several people asked me for me pepperoni roll “recipe.” I thought I’d share it here with all eight of you, too.

Here’s how to make the Bomb dot com pepperoni rolls.

First, you’ll need these ingredients:


1. First, you’ll need to follow the directions on the back of the frozen rolls. Basically, spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place rolls in the muffin pans and cover the pans with saran wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray so that the wrap doesn’t stick to the rolls.

2. Let the rolls raise 3-5 hours.

They will swell like ankles during pregnancy. Don’t panic. This is normal.

3. You can flatten the rolls in either of two ways. You can do it the fancy way and use a rolling pin, or save time and frustration and use your hands. Just know that you’ll have to pull it carefully so as not to put a hole in the roll or else all of your goodies will ooze out during baking.

4. Once you flatten the roll out, place 4-5 pieces of pepperoni and a pile of mozzarella cheese on it.


5. Fold each corner toward the middle, making sure you close the roll completely.

6. Bake pepperoni rolls for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Best when served WARM.


Here’s what I learned this week.

That’s what I learned this week.

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Easy enough?


Some Random Stuff

McDaddy and Stevie are two hours away from home at Scout Camp. Alex and I are here at home splitting our time between the ball field and being lazy. We’ve enjoyed lying in bed until 11 AM and eating whatever we choose, whenever we choose. For instance, right now, it’s almost midnight and he’s on the couch watching a Redbox movie and eating Doritos while I am pecking out this post and sipping on a Coca-Cola classic.

As bad as I miss my other two fellas, I’ve enjoyed this week focusing my time and energy on one kid who has clung to me like glue, slept in my bed and told me loves me about 418 times in the past five days. Not to mention, we’ve driven the SKY almost 300 miles this week. HOLLA!

But chances are you didn’t show up at FITP, Inc. to hear about how lazy I’ve been this week. Rather, my loyal readers (all 8 of you!) more than likely showed up here hoping to read about the latest, greatest fashion trends along with my newest kitchen recipe creations. Or something like that, right?

Here are some things that you might find interesting or helpful.

1. For starters, I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blog is wearing a fancy, new party dress. I haven’t mentioned it here yet, because my bloggy designer friend, Heather has been trying to figure out a way to remove the crazy characters (in this latest case, squares!) from past posts and I thought I might wait until after that was done before mentioning my new design, but alas, we are having some difficulty finding a solution. And by we I totally mean her because Lord knows I am WordPress illiterate. If any of you out there in Blogland have any earthly idea how to remove the characters from past posts, please, by all means, let me know immediately in the comments because they are driving me nine kinds of crazy.

A few weeks ago, I saw this pair of flip-flops,

on a gal who was having lunch (with a friend of mine) at a Mexican restaurant. Instead of me doing the totally normal female thing and offering up a compliment about the flip-flops along with a question about where she bought them, I came home, scoured the internet for seemed like hours for the suckers – mostly by searching Google for black- flip- flops-and bling. Do you have any earthly idea how many different pairs of black flip-flops with bling there are available online?

Rest assured, there are A LOT.

My search was pointless. And as is usually the case anytime I see something that I really like, I couldn’t get them off of my mind. After days of unsuccessful shopping online, I texted my friend to ask if she would text her niece to ask where she bought them.

Within minutes, I received the text “She got them at Buckle”.

Which explains why I have never seen them.

The one and only time I ever stepped foot in Buckle was when my sweet, hip, sister-in-law went in there to shop for jeans that were priced so high I almost swallowed my tongue. Not to mention, nothing in that store screamed 40 YEARS OLD  to me. During a recent trip to the mall I popped in there because – like I said – once I get something like black flip flops with bling in my head, I just can’t let it go.

Buckle was sold plum out of the size 10 Sanuk flip flops that I can’t live without, but thankfully, I found them online. I need another pair of shoes like I need a hole drilled right into the side of my head… I am expecting them any day and I’ll be sure and let you know all about them once they are on my sweet, little feet.

Mission accomplished.

Since ordering the flip-flops, they pop up on every website I visit, which is stupid because I’ve already ordered them. Where were those advertisements two weeks ago when I scoured the internet looking for them?

2. Plus, I found this other cute pair of Sanuk black flip-flops with colorful bling.

3. And speaking of feet, check out my pedicure.

I just love being a baseball mom.

Someone on Facebook asked if my feet had been sprayed with Silly String. These cute sandals came from Payless and they are every bit as cute as they look, not to mention comfortable.

4. While hanging out on Facebook recently, one of those “Suggested Pages” showed up on my news feed. It featured an APP called Two Dots. Normally, I click on the the I don’t want to see this button, but in what can only be described as a moment of weakness, I installed the APP. I’m like a kid with a new iPod trying to beat each level before I run out of lives. I mean it’s not like I don’t have 712 adult things to do around here. What is it about a game requiring you to connect two or more like colored dots that fascinates seemingly rational, educated adults like me? It’s absolute craziness, yet, at this moment, I’m counting down the 13 minutes until my lives fill back up to take a stab at level 29.

5. Have I mentioned My Favorite Things board on Pinterest? There are any number of great things on there, including a great new chopper I recently bought in the Amish Country, along with all of the cute black flip flops with bling I found while searching for the ones I ended up buying.

Have a great weekend, y’all!


A Sweet Weekend

We had a crazy, busy weekend.

For starters, we kicked off Baseball season with opening day. Between our two boys, we are geared up for 53 ball games over the next 10 weeks. On opening day it was approximately 40 degrees, but thank the good Lord there was  NO FRIGGIN’ SNOW, so I’ll take the cold and not complain about it.

Later that day, Alex played in his first game of the season. He played first base the entire game and got eight or nine outs. I was a proud baseball momma.

Unfortunately, Stevie had to miss his first game because our Scout blue/gold banquet and father/son bakeoff was the same time as his game. Stevie will be crossing over to Boy Scouts in a few weeks, so this was his last father/son bakeoff hoo-rah. With two sons in cub-scouts, the father/son bakeoff is a lot of work for McDaddy.

With McDaddy having Drill all weekend, it was a busy Friday evening trying to get two cakes with two kids baked and ready.

Alex chose to bake the same cake that Stevie won first place with at the father/son bakeoff two years ago.

And he had so much fun working in the kitchen with his Daddy.

His Best Ever Banana Cake was delightful!

Stevie decided to bake his Pawpaw K’s fresh apple cake.

I just loved watching them work together in the kitchen.

My dad has made this cake for many years. I was excited that Stevie wanted to bake it with McDaddy.



  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup grated peeled apples
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup confectionary sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour Bundt pan
  3. Sift flour, soda, salt and spices into large measuring cup
  4. Cream sugar, oil and eggs together on medium speed in mixer.
  5. Add all dry ingredients, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until well blended.
  6. Remove from mixer, add apples and nuts and stir until well blended.
  7. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan
  8. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour

When cake comes out sift confectionary sugar in small bowl and add orange juice. Mix with wire whisk and drizzle over top of cake slowly while still hot and still in pan.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Slice (heat in microwave for several seconds, if you so desire) and enjoy!

OH, and you might also enjoy a first-place trophy, just like my fellas did in the father/son bakeoff!



Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole That I Made For Dinner

Here in Charleston, we are bracing for yet another snow storm.

Yes, I said, a-n-o-t-h-e-r-s-n-o-w-s-t-o-r-m.

Hearing those words make me want to shove toothpicks straight through my eyeballs.

The boys are making some serious snow tunnel plans and I’m just sitting here hoping that school officials make the cancellation call before bedtime so I don’t have to set the alarm on my phone.

My mind is focused on the snow, and the storm (and the two boxes of Thin Mints on the kitchen counter which – by the way – I had no business ordering), so I thought this would be a good time to share a simple recipe that I prepared last week.

It’s a tasty breakfast casserole that I made for dinner.

And, before you ask, you should know that it meets my three simple requirements for a recipe:

  • fast
  • easy
  • fail proof

For this breakfast casserole, you’ll need these ingredients,


  • 1 can crescent rolls

  • 1 lb. pork sausage

  • 6 eggs

  • 1/2 c milk

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Brown sausage. Drain grease.

3. Spray a 9×13 Longaberger pan with cooking spray (except it doesn’t have to be a Longaberger dish)

4. Unroll crescent rolls and press seams together to cover the bottom of the dish

5. Spread sausage over the crust.

6. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Add a dash of salt and a dash of pepper, or more if you so desire.

7. Pour this mixture over the sausage.

8. It will look gross, but stay with me.

9. Top with cheddar cheese and then mozzarella cheese, or, you can top with mozzarella first, and then cheddar. If you’re feeling frisky, you could use Cheddar Jack instead of just plain ol boring cheddar.

10. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until casserole looks like this.

11. While you’re waiting for the casserole to cook, clean up this nonsense.

** You can substitute the sausage for bacon (though I think that would be nasty), or you could add green peppers and / or onions to the sausage mixture.

This is one of my favorite dishes and I promise your people will love it.

Have a great week, y’all.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops

For the past month or so, I have been trying at least one new Pinterest recipe each week. I have more than 250 pins on my “What’s For Dinner?” board, so I have plenty of options. Tonight, I tried a new pork chop recipe.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the ingredients before I prepared the dish. Nor did I get a picture of the finished product, but that’s because they smelled yummy and my gang was hungry.

As is normally the case around here, this recipe is a simple one.

Cheesy Brown Sugar Pork Chops


  • 4 – 5 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine the brown sugar and garlic salt and rub both sides of pork chop with mixture.
  • Place pork chops in a square baking dish
  • Drizzle with melted butter
  • Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper
  • Bake on 350 for 20-25 minutes (internal temp should be at least 155 degrees)
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese (Use more if you LOVE cheese!)
  • Return pork chops to oven for 5-7 more minutes.

OPTIONAL: Use barbecue sauce for dipping

We enjoyed these with left over baked beans and dressing.


Top 10 Posts of 2013

When I first started this blog back in November, 2008, I kept a pretty close eye on the analytics. Now, I just take spells (I’m starting to sound like my granny!) where I’ll check on them every now and again. Yesterday, I received an e-mail from WordPress called “Your 2013 Year In Blogging.” I thought it would be fun to share the results of who’s showing up here, what they are looking for, and where they are coming from.

So, this is what my year in blogging – here at From Inmates To Playdates – looks like.

Top 10 highly trafficked posts for 2013 

  1. Bus Trip Games (April, 2010) – If you know me, you know I love to organize games and prizes. The ladies group at my church takes frequent bus trips, mostly to conferences. I am ALWAYS in charge of planning games and prizes for our trips. My favorite bus-trip game is “Pass the Gift” which is actually a poem I wrote where a door prize (in a gift bag or wrapped) is passed up and back, side to side on the bus several times before it finally lands and is given to a person on the bus. This post is so popular, I often receive e-mails asking if I have more games that I haven’t shared on the blog. The answer? Yes!
  2. Crescent Roll Chicken Casserole  (March, 2012) – Y’all, I am no culinary genius, but every once in a blue moon, I find a recipe worth sharing. This one? Definitely worth sharing. It is yummy and EASY! And I guess it never hurts to pin a recipe post on Pinterest, either.
  3. Teacher Survival Kit (August, 2012) – I always say, you can NEVER be too nice to your child’s teacher. (Apparently, there are all kinds of people who feel the same way.) At the beginning of each year, I make a teacher survival kit that includes all kinds of goodies. A few of them include – Orange slices: orange you glad for Fridays? – Stick of gum: to remind your students to STICK TO IT when things get tough – and hand soap: to remind you that I’m here if you need a hand.
  4. Teacher Appreciation Week (May, 2011) – As President of the PTA, it was my job to organize teacher appreciation week at the boy’s school. Did you hear me when I said, “You can NEVER be too nice to your child’s teacher?” Well, I meant it.
  5. What I Learned At The Funeral Home (June, 2009) – Ok. So if you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I am different weird. When I mentioned to a funeral director friend that I have always wanted to watch an embalming, he told me he would call me sometime. I was shocked when he actually DID IT. Watching an embalming was, um, definitely a learning experience. (And according to my site stats there are lots of people out there who are just as crazy as I am!)
  6. The McFamily Christmas Letter (November, 2009) – I have searched for Family Christmas letters on more than one occasion because I am one of those people who write an annual family Christmas letter, but I try really hard to make them fun. The last thing I want to be is a Braggy McBraggerson.
  7. Really Cute Homemade Valentines (February, 2012) – I found a really cute Valentine idea online years ago. It looked complicated so I decided it would be too much work. The next year, I was determined to make them. They turned out really cute! If I can make them, YOU CAN TOO!
  8. Over My Dead Body (November, 2011) – One of my favorite posts of all time! In my quest to be organized to the very end, I have outlined plans for my funeral. Crazy? Yep! But since this post came in at number eight, that tells me that there are lots of people out there researching funeral planning. (Which also explains the casket in the post picture.)
  9. Bag Lady (February, 2011) – One of my best tips ever posted on the blawg. A great, compact way to store dozens of plastic grocery bags. I keep one under my kitchen sink. One under my seat in the car. And one in our camper. (What are you waiting for? Get over there and check it out!)
  10. McFamily Christmas Letter (December, 2011) – Oh look! It’s another Christmas letter post. And apparently a hot topic! Just in case you’re interested in family Christmas letter ideas, you can see most of them, here and this year’s letter, here.

 Most Commented Post of 2013

So, there you have it. My 2013 From Inmates To Playdates year in review.

Here’s to another year of excitement here at From Inmates To Playdates!

Christmas Cookie Exchange

I had every intention of coming back here to report on my friend Becky’s annual cookie extravaganza.

Because of our ski trip, I had to choose a cookie that I could bake within the time constraint I was under. In other words, after our three-hour drive home, I would have no more than three hours to bake seven dozen cookies.

After scouring the internet and Pinterest for a cookie that fit my criteria (quick, easy, fail proof) I settled on the Andes Mint Cookie Recipe. I did a test run while we were on our Ski trip.


  • 1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of Andes  Mints

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together.

Drop small balls of dough onto baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes.

Do not over-cook. Take cookie sheet out of oven and place 1/2 an Andes Mint on top of each cookie. Within minutes, the mint will melt. Use a sharp knife to swirl the mint around on the cookie like icing.

Be prepared to make friends and influence people.

And I’ll just tell you now, they are best served hot and gooey.

And it helps if you like mint.

Within an hour, my cookies were done and my kitchen looked like a cyclone had gone through it.

For as many years as I have attended Becky’s annual cookie extravaganza (which at this point I think is eight or nine) I have taken my cookies in a beautiful Christmas Longaberger basket. I decided that my beloved Longaberger baskets have not brought me any luck in winning the crown in the past, so this year, I decided to take my cookies in a Dollar General cardboard Christmas container.

I used red sprinkles on this batch to make them more festive.

Remember, presentation is everything.

Or something like that.

This was the official 2013 cookie exchange extravaganza spread.

It always looks so fancy.

(My cookies are just above the white platter in front.)

After catching up talking smack and filling up on this mess,

we all gather round the cookie table to eat A BITE OF EACH COOKIE. (This is the point where I start praying that MY COOKIE WILL WIN!) It may sound crazy, but, THERE IS A CROWN AT STAKE, and y’all know how I feel about a crown. Not to mention bragging rights for the entire year.

So, imagine, if you will, thirteen women gathered around a table getting pieces of each cookie.

And then getting a sugar high.

Once we have a sample of each cookie on our plate, we gather in Becky’s living room for the official vote.

We close our eyes (at least I guess everybody else does!) and Becky calls out each cookie. We vote by raising our hand and we get to vote for two.

When the voting was completed, Becky announces there is a three-way tie.


Sweet hallelujah. I can’t believe it.

Because Becky only has one CROWN, we had to vote again.

This time there was a two-way tie.



This was it. The final vote.

After counting the votes for a final time, Becky announced the winner.

It was not mine.

As it turns out, I lost by ONE vote.

Which means I was the runner up first loser for the second time in three years.

Meet this year’s winner…. Lee.

She made some nutty Mounds bar, which for the record wasn’t really a cookie.

The only thing I went home with this year was a prize for the cookie with the least amount of ingredients.

So at least there’s that, right?

Next year, though? IT. IS. ON.

Be warned, girls.

Trix Or Treats

I did something today that I have never done in my adult life.

I purchased a box of Trix cereal.

I have serious issues with the Trix Rabbit because years ago, “Trix Rabbit” was my nickname.

Before orthodontic intervention, my teeth were a hot mess. Because of that, a couple of boys in my Jr. High (now called Middle School) home room nicknamed me “Trix Rabbit”.  I haven’t been able to stand the sight of that stupid rabbit since then.

And even though I looked nothing like that idiotic rabbit, I have since refused to buy the cereal because it reminded me of those stupid boys calling me a stupid name.

Just to be clear, this is the way I looked back then,

It’s been 25 years, but I have never forgotten their words.

Fast forward to 2013.

I was snooping around on Pinterest and found a recipe for Trix treats. I knew immediately this was something the boys would like. The only problem is, I don’t buy Trix cereal.

But this morning?

I bought some butter, a bag of mini-marshmallows and Lord, help me, a box of Trix cereal.

Doesn’t it look like the Trix Rabbit is going after those marshmallows?

If you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you know that I have a few requirements for making a recipe.

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Fail proof  (this one *might* be a stretch because it doesn’t take much for me to mess something up in the kitchen)


  • 1 regular size bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 box of Trix cereal (about 9 cups)
  • ¼ cup butter


  • Place the marshmallows and butter in a glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, 30 seconds.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan
  • Stir butter and marshmallow mixture.
  • Pour mixture over Trix and stir until all cereal is well coated. (It will be tough to stir, but keep at it!)
  • Spoon (or SHOVE in this case) into a large 9×13 pan and press down with a spoon.
  • Cut and enjoy.

Aren’t they pretty?

While I will probably never be a big fan of the Trix Rabbit, I am a HUGE fan of the Trix Treats.

And you will be, too!

Happy Halloween, y’all!

I Kiss Better Than I Cook

From time to time, I hit a home run.

In the kitchen.

Most days though, this sign, on my microwave reminds me to focus on my strong points.

Last Thursday, though?

I was a culinary fool.

Now before you go and get all anxious thinking I have lost my mind because I’m posting a recipe here on the blog, you should remember that I have very strict criteria for a successful recipe in my kitchen.

My criteria for a successful recipe includes,

  • easy
  • quick
  • fail proof
  • delicious

It has been suggested that a cookbook of my quick, easy, delicious, fail proof recipes, would be a best-seller. At least among my people.

And the male people who live in my house, loved this particular recipe.

(Can I just say that I am so impressed with this photograph? I snapped it with my iPhone and I just can’t get over how clear it is.)

Mama’s Creamy Baked Macaroni & Cheese


  • 16 ounces elbow macaroni (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1- 1/2 cups milk – divided
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 lb. cubed Velveeta cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mild cheddar cheese (about 2 cups) – divided
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook macaroni in a large pot of salted boiling water until tender but not mushy (8-10 minutes)
  • Drain macaroni well and pour into a large mixing bowl. (Or go ahead and put it in the 9×13 right now)
  • Melt the Velveeta Cheese and 3/4 cup milk until melted (stir often unless you like burnt milk and cheese)
  • Pour melted cheese sauce over pasta and stir.

  • Add in butter, 3/4 cup milk, eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and transfer to a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Pour remaining cheese on top.

  • Bake until top crust is golden brown and casserole is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Be prepared to make friends and influence people, because this artery clogger is HIT!

A Sweet Holiday Treat

December is my favorite month. It is also my birthday month. And, as of ten years ago, it is also Stevie’s birth month. And if that’s not enough excitement, it is also the month that finds me busier than a racoon in a trash-pile.

During the Christmas holiday, our neighbors show their love by showing up on our doorstep with all manner of baked goods, ornaments, chex-mix, and gifts for our boys. It’s just another reason why I love this month (and our neighbors!) so much.

Our next door neighbors, Ronnie and Libby (also my BFF Becky’s parents) always drop off a container of something I call white chocolate heavenly crunch. McDaddy and I just about came to blows over the last bit of it. I contacted Becky and asked her for the recipe. Shortly after that, I made a batch of it.

Which means that the white chocolate heavenly crunch fits the qualifications I have for a recipe.

  • quick
  • easy
  • failproof

[Edited to add: When I made the second batch, I added peanuts, substituted cinnamon toast crunch for the Kix, and wheat Chex for the Corn chex.]

Our neighbor Libby calls the stuff, “Tastes better than it looks white mix recipe”.

I call it “White Chocolate Heavenly Addiction Crunch” or “White Chocolate Chex Mix”.

2 c. Rice Chex
2 c. Wheat Chex
2 c. Rice Crispies
3 c. Kix
2 c. Pretzel Sticks
2 c. Graham Crackers
2 c. Nuts
2 1/2 lbs. white almond bark
Melt the almond bark in a double boiler or melt it a little bit at a time in the microwave, stirring often.
Pour the almond bark over the remaining ingredients and mix.
Pour or spoon the mixture onto wax paper and allow it to cool. Once cool, break into pieces and enjoy.
Prepare to make friends and buy bigger pants influence people.
Happy Wednesday, y’all.