Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

Today is St. Patrick’s day, and I’m making these biscuits to go with our stew (meatballs, potatoes and carrots).  Simple, but fresh and tasty!

Eat them for breakfast with honey, or fill them with fried egg, bacon and cheese.  Eat them for lunch with a bowl of soup.  Eat them on the side with supper.  Great with chili, stew, soup, and anything!  I like them warm with butter, or cool with Cheez Whiz (don’t judge me!).

Great for family meals.

These always get a lot of compliments when I bring them to potlucks and the kids love them.  Make sure your baking powder is fresh, and handle as little as possible for the fluffiest biscuits.  Enjoy!


(Makes 12-18 biscuits)

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 4 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup lard (or butter)
  • 1 cup water (or milk/buttermilk)

Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Cut in lard (using a pastry cutter or 2 knives crisscrossing lard) until mixture is the consistency of cornmeal.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the water slowly, stirring with a fork.  Stir until mixture sticks together and forms a ball.

Dump the ball (and any leftover dry ingredients still in the bowl) onto a well floured surface (I like to use a cookie sheet to make clean up easier).  Knead the ball until smooth, dusting with more flour as necessary.  DO NOT OVER-KNEAD!!!  As soon as it is smooth, stop kneading.  With your hands flatten the ball until it is about an inch thick.  Cut biscuits out with a floured round cookie cutter or a floured glass.  Gather the leftovers into a ball, flatten again, and cut more biscuits.  Remember to handle as little as possible to get the fluffiest biscuits.

Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet at least an inch apart (unless you like soft edges then make them touch).  Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 12-15 minutes.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Tea for Kids


40 Kid Friendly Meatless Lenten Meals

The Roman Catholic Church asks us to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday in Lent, and some families still choose to abstain from meat on Fridays throughout the year, and others on Fridays during Lent.  I like to have vegetarian options for my family for variety in my meal planning.  Some meals are very involved, and others are quick and simple.  I usually lean toward quick and simple.  Here are a few of my ideas to share:

Fish recipes:

  1. Fish sticks or salmon cakes
  2. Shrimp
  3. Tuna or salmon sandwiches
  4. Tuna casserole
  5. Broiled fish

Breakfast for supper ideas:

  1. Pancakes or waffles or french toast with syrup or fruit
  2. Cold cereal with milk and a fruit salad
  3. Homemade granola and berries
  4. Eggs – quiche, scrambled, fried, omelette, devilled – with home fries
  5. Baked beans and fresh rolls

Sandwich with soup ideas:

  1. Veggie subs and vegetable rice soup
  2. Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  3. Toasted tomato sandwich and corn chowder
  4. Chopped egg sandwich and cream of mushroom soup
  5. Fresh baked rolls and homemade soup


  1. Pizza
  2. Spaghetti with vegetarian tomato sauce
  3. Macaroni and cheese – homemade or from a box
  4. Fettucine alfredo
  5. Meatless lasagna


  1. Chili covered in cheese with rice or corn chips
  2. Cheese and salsa quesadillas
  3. Nachos
  4. Vegetarian taco
  5. Layered refried bean dip served with corn chips


  1. Spring rolls and vegetable stir fry with rice

Potatoes (with a side of cooked veggies)

  1. French fries or poutine – french fries with fresh grated cheese and packaged gravy
  2. Hash brown casserole
  3. Baked potatoes with a variety of toppings
  4. Scalloped potatoes, mashed or perogies


  1. Vegetable salad
  2. Potato salad
  3. Macaroni salad
  4. Bean salad
  5. Veggies and dip or hummus

Fast Food ideas:

  1. Fish burger
  2. Veggie burger
  3. Cheese pizza
  4. Mexican with beans instead of meat
  5. Fries, baked potato or salad

When we’ve fasted for the whole day, I like to make the kids something a little filling but not fancy like plain rice or macaroni with butter, or I’ll add a can of diced tomatoes to macaroni.  On Good Friday we also have hot crossed buns and I’ll post my recipe closer to Easter.

What are some of your family’s favourite meatless meals?

POTATO BUNS and our Summers at Waupoos

potato buns and our Summers at WaupoosHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling Mother of 11, and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

Our summers wouldn’t be the same without a vacation at Waupoos.  Waupoos Family Farm is a cottage vacation for families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford a vacation.  The kids and I have been Host Family for a week these past 10 summers – and we love it!

Because Waupoos gets funding to hire student staff, the Host Family gets lots of time to relax and enjoy their week.  We get to swim in the inground pool, go on wagon rides, enjoy the farm animals, help ourselves to the garden and fresh eggs, sing at the campfire, make arts and crafts, play pool and ping pong, slide and swing, hang out in our cottage, and of course we get to visit with old friends and make new friends.

Besides visiting (lovingly referred to as poolside ministry) and running morning chapel, we also organize games, crafts, movie nights, pancake lunches and baking.

This was one of our recipes that we made together, and enjoyed tremendously.  Hope you enjoy it too!

POTATO BUNS RECIPE (makes approx. 100 buns, adjust recipe as needed)

Mix in a large bowl:

  • 5 cups scalded milk (or warm water)
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (no liquid added)
  • 1 cup fat (butter or margarine)
  • 1 cup sugar

Let cool to lukewarm, then add:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 3 Tbsp. quick rise yeast

Let stand for about 20 minutes.


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 11-12 cups additional flour

A little more flour may be needed, but dough should be soft.  Turn out onto a flour dusted cookie sheet, and knead, dusting dough and cookie sheet with more flour as needed, until dough is no longer sticky and is satiny.  Let raise in warm place until doubled in size.

Shape dough into buns and place on greased pans.  Let raise in warm place until almost doubled in size, then bake at 400°F, starting on lower rack and changing to upper rack about halfway through for 15 minutes total of baking time.  After removing from oven, brush tops lightly with melted butter to remove any flour and soften dough.



butterscotch-confetti WOLF

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

Another favourite of mine.  So quick and simple, I make ours in the microwave but you could make it in a pot on the stove.  Easy to make with children too!



  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 8 oz. (250g) small coloured marshmallows (bag)

Melt the butter and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir in the butterscotch chips until melted.  Let cool slightly if needed and add the marshmallows.  Stir until marshmallows are completely coated and pour mixture into a greased, foil lined 9×9 inch pan.  Refrigerate.  Cut into 36 squares (or as desired).


Coconut macaroons – grain free

Melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies

No bake cheesecake

Spiced doughnuts


coconut macaroons WOLFHi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

We LOVE coconut.  Some of us are also grain free.  And I love easy and delicious.  So I made some coconut macaroons for my DH and kids today – half to eat now, and half to freeze for Christmas (only 9 days to go!).  We’re getting ready to watch our Santa Claus Parade and enjoy some treats afterwards.


  • 6 cups (200 g x 3) sweetened coconut
  • 1 can (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.  I made balls of the coconut mixture and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet.  If you’d rather not get your hands so messy, you can place rounded spoonfuls of the coconut mixture on the parchment lined baking sheets instead.  Bake each batch at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.  Cool completely and remove (I used a metal flipper to facilitate removal).

Want to dress up your macaroons?  Dip the bottoms in melted chocolate.


Melt-in-your-Mouth Shortbread cookies

No Bake Cheesecake

Spiced Doughnuts

Melt-in-your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies

shortbread cookies - Women of Laughter and Faith

Hi!  I’m Melina, mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

Growing up, I remember sitting in the living room on Christmas Eve, munching on Christmas cookies and devouring the shortbread – still cold from the freezer.  They were always my favourite!  And of course we’d be watching It’s a Wonderful Life, my favourite Christmas movie.  I didn’t realize how spoiled I was!

The key to this recipe is the low temperature at which it is baked.  It causes the shortbread to almost melt in your mouth.  A really nice tasting butter helps too.  I am constantly asked to bring these cookies to our Christmas gatherings.

I actually don’t like to roll out cookie dough, so I was able to purchase some cookie presses years ago that I can no longer find.  I can just roll the dough into balls and squash them with the press to leave a Santa, reindeer or boot imprint.  I like to minimize my messes, and even the smallest child can have fun helping.

I hear Santa really enjoys them too!


  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (1/2 pound) of butter, softened

Mix the icing sugar and flour.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or cutting back and forth with 2 knives).  When resembling the texture of coarse meal, knead the mixture on a flour covered surface for 5 minutes.  Chill dough before rolling out.  Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with holiday shaped cookie cutters or a small glass.  I like to roll my dough into balls and use a cookie press.  This can be done without chilling the dough first.  Transfer shapes to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees. Makes 30 cookies.

Advent at our House

Advent WOLF

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2 1/2!

Advent – the anticipation of the “coming” of Jesus, Our Lord and Saviour, born as a baby is a stable in Bethlehem.  We celebrate this birth on Christmas.

Of course, lots of us have traditions in our families for Christmas, but we can make the season of Advent just as special.  Take a look at some of the traditions at our house:

  • Advent Wreath – our Advent wreath is a simple affair with some tinsel garland wrapped around a wire form to hold our 4 candles – 3 purple and one pink.  Each evening at supper we light a candle (the pink is for week 3) and sing our Advent song.  A statue of an expecting mother is place in the center of our wreath to signify Mary’s and our expectation of Jesus’ birth.
  • Jesse Tree – our Jesse Tree was designed by my oldest daughter and myself over a dozen years ago.  Ours is an 8 1/2 by 11 inch wall hanging with doors that open revealing a picture and a scripture for each day.  It starts with Jesse (the father of King David and ancestor of Jesus) and brings us through the stories of Jesus’ ancestors who were all awaiting His birth and brought honour to His family through the years until the birth of Jesus on December 25th.
  • Kris Kindle – or KK’s as we loving refer to it, is a tradition of choosing a family member’s name out of a hat and secretly doing small acts of love for them – such as making their bed, doing their chores, leaving a treat under their pillow, praying for them – during the holiday season.  Then on Christmas Eve we reveal who our KK was and give a small ($5 or less) gift to them.  Usually everyone has guessed who had their name by this time!  Kris Kindle means Christ Child and helps us to give Him a gift at Christmas too.
  • The Feast of St. Nicholas – this feast is celebrated on December 6th.  The evening before we lay out a shoe to be filled by St. Nick (my husband and I, no secrets there) with a small gift and a small treat.  We watch a movie – Nicholas the Boy who Became Santa – in honour of the day.  Besides being fun, it helps us to remember the tradition behind Santa Claus.
  • Operation Christmas Child – or “shoebox gifts” are small gifts purchased and put in a shoebox to be sent to a child in a third world country by Samaritan’s Purse.  Our kids get to choose the age and sex of the child they would like to fill a shoebox for and they get to choose the gifts from the dollar store.  This is done a little before Advent but still in the same spirit with a good lesson in giving also.
  • Helping a Family – often we will choose a family to help by buying them food and gifts for Christmas.  This lets us make a difference in someone’s Christmas as well as remembering those who have helped us on past Christmases.
  • Service – finding ways to serve during the Christmas season helps us to count our blessings and share them with others.  This year our goal is to help with filling Christmas hampers, to help a local group set up for a free community Christmas Day meal for the lonely, and to join that Christmas Day meal ourselves and visit and help out on that day. 

What are your favourite Advent traditions?