Perfectionism, A Child’s Garden & Savin O The Green – HBHW Newsletter

March 17th,  2010


St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Begins, and Daylight Savings Time.  All good reasons to celebrate this week!

With spring comes thoughts of spring planting, too.  If your little one is always up to his or her elbows in the dirt, then a garden would seem a logical thing to plan.  Even your youngest child can enjoy a simple garden given the right tools.  Be sure to read our feature article this week to see just what those tools are and how simple it is to plan a garden.

My inspirational story and quote are about how sometimes our own perfectionism is an obstacle to seeing our value, our worth.  Not only does trying to do everything perfectly blind us to the wonderful things we bring to life, but it robs us of our appreciation for what we achieve.  And sometimes to be perfect we should stop trying to be more.  Maybe what we are is just enough.

Those are my thoughts this week.  As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Feel free to email me at

Warm Regards,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

Inspirational Quote

Perfection, then, is finally achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de St. Exupery –

Savin’ O’ The Green Sale at

Living On A Dime is again holding their annual “Savin’ O’ The Green” sale for St. Patrick’s Day and this year they have truly outdone themselves. They have teamed up with The Dollar Stretcher to bring you 17 ebooks (a $109.65 value) for ONLY $12.50. See for yourself …

Thank You For Taking Part In Our Newest Cookbook.

The collection of HBHW Reader’s easy “throw together” meals is almost ready to get wrapped up.  But, don’t worry.  If you haven’t yet submitted your recipe, you can still do so this week.  Just sent your easy 5 ingredient recipe to as soon as possible.

Be sure to acknowledge the person or persons who inspired your creation if there is such a story that you’d like to share.  Include a list of  ingredients and simple cooking directions.  That’s all there is to it.

I’ll keep you informed on when we’ll be releasing this fun new eCookbook resource.  Of course, if you submit a recipe, the eCookbook will be my gift to you.

News From The HBHW Club

We are still highlighting a valuable resource at The HBHW Club.  My friend Christine Steendahl of and I discuss menu planning tips and ideas, along with valuable lessons learned from her Freezer and Pantry Challenge.

In this resource, Christine shares her successful strategies for feeding her family on a budget.  Whether she’s cooking meals mostly from the pantry and freezer or menu planning with a trip to the grocery store, Christine has the information and tips that every busy homemaker needs.  I join in the discussion about meal planning, budgeting,  and coupon shopping in order to share what works in my family also.

(To give you a little heads up, we’ll be expanding this pantry cooking topic with even more great information in an upcoming resource very soon.)

Both the audio recording and a written transcript of the interview are available as a resource to members in the Club area.   If you’d like to listen to this great, informative and fun interview, click the link below to join the Club.

As a HBHW newsletter subscriber, you can join for only $10 per month here: And to make it even easier, I’ll let you try it out for just a dollar for the first 7 days.

What’s going on at the HBHW Club?  Now that Spring is officially almost here, we’re going to have some gardening topics discussed as well as spring cleaning ideas and tips.  Spring also means getting outdoors more often for exercise.  Walking shoes are getting dusted off and our members will be comparing notes once again about health and fitness.

Our daily reflection at the Club is about Humility.  If we achieve our goals, why should we be humble?  The topic is thought provoking to be sure.  Join us at the Club to find out more.

I’ll be poking my head into the forum more often to see what’s happening.  I hope you’ll join me there.

Ready to join us? Try The HBHW Club for only $1. We’d love to have you!

After you check out the Freezer/Pantry Cooking resource, be sure to click on and take a stroll through some of the previous resources.  In case you’ve missed any, they should all be there so you can catch up on any you didn’t get a chance to read.  Let me know what you think of the resources and if there are any topics we should explore further.

Join The Hillbilly Housewife Club for Just a Dollar

I’d like to share one of the recipes that was submitted to the HBHW Club this past week.

Creamy Parmesan & Beef Layered Casserole

  • 2 cups extra wide egg noodles
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, left to soften at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • sprinkle of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the egg noodles until just tender, drain, put back in saucepan and stir in a little olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.  Set aside with lid on to keep warm.

In a large skillet, put the ground beef, onion, and green pepper.  Cook together until meat is no longer pink.  Then, stir in the tomato paste, water, and salt and pepper.  Cook over low heat, simmering for about 5 minutes or as long as 10 minutes if you’d like.

Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, put the softened cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle of salt and mix together with a fork until combined well, then put on burner set to low and stir until smooth and melted together.  Watch carefully.  This should only take about 1 minute.

In a 2 quart casserole, layer your mixtures, 1/2 meat, 1/2 noodles, 1/2 cheese – then repeat, ending with the cheese.  If you like, sprinkle another 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese on top.

Put casserole in your preheated oven and bake, uncovered, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Let sit for just 4 or 5 minutes after you take it out of the oven to give it a chance to ’set up’ so it doesn’t fall totally apart when you serve it.

And here are a few more recipes that have recently been added to the member area.

  • Bakers Fluffy Frosting
  • Red Bean Chili Con Carne
  • Easy Black Bean Dip
  • Anytime Corn Fritters

All in all, we have over 351 new recipes in the member area already.

One of my favorite part of the HBHW Club is the Member Forum. Here are just a few of the most recent posts.

Member Forum Posts

Why don’t you join us so you can get in on the conversation.  I look forward to chatting with you in the member area.

Featured Article

What comes more naturally to a kid then getting up to his or her elbows in dirt?  If that sounds like your youngsters, then the most logical step for a fun project would be a garden.

There are really only 5 elements to a successful garden.  Yes, you can buy all the fancy gardening tools, but when it comes right down to it, the earth will provide when She’s given a little helping hand.

Start a simple garden with your child this spring and watch more than the plants grow – watch your child’s imagination and creativity grow, too!

Planning Your Child’s Garden – The 5 Elements

Healthy Hillbilly Housewife

Here’s what’s new on the healthy hillbilly housewife section. You can also go straight to

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Frugal Tips

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Do you have a tip to share? Fill out the submit a frugal tip form and I’ll be glad to add it to the site and share your tip in an upcoming edition of the newsletter.


Here are some of the most recent recipes that have been added to the HBHW site. Enjoy!

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Do you have a recipe you would like to share? Click here to send it to me and I’ll be happy to add it to the website.

I’m Looking For:

This section is all about you. If you are looking for a particular recipe or a tip on how to do something, submit it here and I will post it in an upcoming newsletter. I’ll give you my input and other readers of the newsletter will have the opportunity to share their recipes and tips as well. So take a moment to post your questions and of course if you have a tip or idea for any question posted in this section feel free to leave a comment under the appropriate post.

I’m Looking For Requests
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I’m Looking For Responses
Below you will find some of the recent responses to the “I’m Looking For” Requests. You may also want to go directly to this section and browse through all the recent submissions and replies. To do so, click on “I’m Looking for” here, and start looking through them.
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Inspirational Story

The Cracked Pot
– Author Unknown –  

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house it had leaked much of it’s water and was only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

Final Thought

That’s it for this edition of the Hillbilly Housewife Newsletter. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it as I had creating it for you. I also hope that you have found the information helpful and useful. And by all means feel free to forward the newsletter to family and friends or even better, encourage them to subscribe to it.

Do you have a question, a tip, a recipe or a story you’d like to share with us? Email it to me and I’ll include it in a future issue. Can’t wait to see what you have to say.

Warm Wishes,

Susanne – The Hillbilly Housewife

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