Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

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



I’ve been making and selling fudge for years now, and chocolate peanut butter fudge is always a favourite.  I’ve decided today to share that recipe with you.  Just remember, if you see me set up somewhere with my fudge, come say thank you by buying a piece!  Let me know if you made the recipe and how it turned out.  Check out Melina’s Goodies and Gifts for all of our fudge varieties.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!  IF you have leftovers, wrap with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer.  Defrost as the urge to snack hits, or, if you’re in a generous mood, bring out when you are entertaining guests, and share.  Better yet, make when you are bringing somewhere to share, and eat in moderation.

Oh, yes – and it’s gluten free, as long as you make sure your individual ingredients are not contaminated with or contain gluten (check the peanut butter and the chocolate closely).


Makes a generous 9×13 pan.  You can half the recipe and use a 9×9 pan.

  • 1 lb. white chocolate wafers
  • 1 lb. milk chocolate wafers
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • oil spray or butter, for greasing tinfoil lined pan
  • tinfoil

1.   Line the inside of a 9×13 pan with tinfoil, allowing the tinfoil to overlap the edges of the pan.  Spray or butter the tinfoil to prevent the fudge from sticking.

2.  Melt 1 lb. white chocolate wafers in a medium sized glass mixing bowl (or large measuring cup) in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, making sure to scrape the bottom well, until completely melted.  Be careful not to scorch.  When the chocolate is melted, add 1/4 cup of peanut butter and stir until completely mixed.   Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and stir well (I like to use a spatula).  The fudge will thicken as you stir.  When completely mixed in, pour the peanut butter mixture into the greased 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly and allow to set in a cool (not cold) spot (about 2 hours).

3.  Melt 1 lb. milk chocolate wafers in a clean medium sized glass mixing bowl (or large measuring cup) in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, making sure to scrape the bottom well, until completely melted.  Be careful not to scorch.  When the chocolate is melted, add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk and stir well (I like to use a clean spatula). The fudge will thicken as you stir.  When completely mixed in, pour the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer in the 9×13 pan.  Spread evenly and allow to set in a cool (not cold) spot (about 2 hours).

4.  Remove the fudge from the pan and cut into small bite sized pieces to serve.  Alternately, cut into 12 bars (6 across, the cut in half).  Each bar should be wrapped in plastic wrap before being placed in a freezer bag and frozen.

5.  Enjoy!

p.s.  Don’t forget to lick the bowl and spoons.



Challah Bread and the Lord’s Day




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

Challah bread is one of my fondest memories of growing up.  We would make it on Saturdays and serve it up at our supper meal which we called the Lord’s Day Supper.  We had prayers to open the Lord’s Day at supper on Saturday, and another set of prayer to close the Lord’s Day on Sunday.  Challah is the traditional bread served in Jewish homes for the Sabbath.  Similarly, in our own home,  no Lord’s Day Supper was complete without Challah bread.

There’s nothing quite as homey as the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven.  The aroma fills the house and brings with it memories of yesteryear.  Before long my mother was also teaching me the art of bread making.  Learning how to bloom the yeast, knead the bread and, in the case of Challah, to braid the bread.  It was something I took for granted at the time, but now it is relegated to fond memories.  It is an art I’d like to pass on to my girls.

Those meals were often shared with others – family or friends.  We belonged to a Community of believers who all shared the same Lord’s Day Prayers.  Sometimes we met communally as a big gathering, or we met in our individual homes and shared this treasure with others. Besides the meal which was delicious, there was always much laughter and sharing. Sometimes we played games or watched skits.

More recently, my siblings and I would gather at our mom’s house with spouses and kids and friends to continue this tradition.  One of my kids recently shared that this was one of their best memories – Lord’s Day Supper at Nanny’s with the cousins.  Even though we live close to each other, our lives are busy and we don’t get together unless we schedule it.  In nicer weather, Mom would always have a bonfire too.

We continue this tradition of prayers in our own home and more often than not we open and close the Lord’s Day with those same prayers, but I don’t often go out of my way to make the meal extra special.  I would like to change that.  I’d like to put extra thought and care into those weekend meals.  Sundays this time of year are made special with football season.  My husband enjoys watching the games with the kids.  We always serve up some fun food with the game – pizza, nachos, wings….  But our Saturday meal could use a little creativity.

This week, I am making the effort to include Challah bread in the menu for our Lord’s Day Supper.  I will also include my girls in the bread making experience and make some new memories for tomorrow.  I recently found a cool and mess-less way to make bread using a freezer bag!  Try it yourself.

Of course, I have to make more than 1 loaf at a time.

If you have any special Lord’s Day memories or traditions, I would love to hear them!


Makes 1 loaf.

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. quick rising yeast
  • 3+1/4 (plus a little extra) cups of flour
  • 1 large freezer bag

Add all the ingredients (but only the 3 cups of flour) to a LARGE FREEZER BAG.  Seal the bag and squish the mixture with your hands (and against a hard surface) until it is completely mixed. Place the sealed freezer bag with the dough into a bowl of warm water and let rise for 30 minutes.

Remove the bag from the water, open the bag and add another 1/4 cup of flour.  Re-seal the bag and again knead that flour into the dough by squishing the bag with your hands until all the flour is mixed in.  Place the bag in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.  The bag will get quite filled with air during that hour.

At the end of the hour, turn your oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Open the bag and remove the dough.  Squish the dough in your hands to remove any air bubbles.

Separate the dough into 3 balls.  Take each ball and roll it on a flour dusted table (use that extra flour!) into a long snake length.


Take all three lengths of dough, attach them together at one end by squishing them together with your hand and braid them as shown above.  Seal the other end again by squishing with your hand.

Place the braided loaf onto a well oiled (or parchment paper covered) cookie sheet.  Place the loaf on the cookie sheet in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie (with Gluten-Free Option)



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

It is our church’s Harvest Supper today and I am bringing pumpkin pie.  Twenty-three years ago, when I was asked to bring my first pies to the Supper, I had never made my own pie shells but had watched my mom do it many times.  It couldn’t be that hard, right??

Now I know it’s not, but that first year, and for many years afterwards, I struggled with it.  Too much water or not enough water, too much kneading, ripped then patched-together dough…I could make bread, how come I couldn’t make pie crust??

One year my husband rushed into the kitchen after I had let out a blood-curdling scream. Instead of finding me cut and bleeding, instead he found me crying with dough stuck to the walls.  Yup, not a pretty sight.  He led me out of the kitchen and took over the pie making.  And that’s what he did for many years, and he still usually makes our pies for the Harvest Supper, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.  But not always.  As for me…

This year I used frozen pie shells, with homemade filling.  Still tasty, and mostly homemade.  I have mastered the art of pie crust making…but often take the lazier (and still tasty!) way out. Life has enough stress already, wouldn’t you agree??

Here’s our family’s favourite recipe!  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie

Makes 2 large pies.

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. mace
  • one 28 oz. can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups 10% cream or whipping cream, or a combination of the two
  • two 9″ pie shells (homemade or frozen) (or skip the pie shells for the gluten-free option)

With electric mixer on low, blend together brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, mace and pumpkin.  Add your eggs, mixing well.  Blend in the cream.  Pour your mixture into the ready pie shells.  Place the pies (and ramekins) on the bottom rack in the oven (I like to place them on a cookie sheet in case of overflow) and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes more or until firm and crust is well browned.  A knife inserted into the center of the pie should come out clean.  The pie will often crack near the center when it is done.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

GLUTEN-FREE OPTION:   Instead of using pie shells, or if I have too much pumpkin mixture for my pie shells, I like to pour the mixture into greased ramekins.  It makes a tasty, gluten-free option.

Homeschool – More than Books


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

We used to take Fridays off of “book learning” and do alternate kinds of learning.  Now we are more spur of the moment homeschoolers and we kind of go with the flow.  It could be any day of the week, or a couple in a row, and that’s an advantage of homeschooling.

Does it have to be a weekday?  NO – learning continues 7 days a week.

Does it have to be every week?  NO – don’t stress it out.  Life already has enough stress.

We need to guard against stress.  Being a mother is stressful and many homeschooling mothers burn out and give up.  Take some time to have some fun, or just sit back and relax and enjoy each other.


  • take an outing to a museum or art gallery
  • take a walk in the woods
  • go to a movie at the theatre
  • stay home and play games
  • take a tour of a shrine
  • have a pizza lunch and invite another homeschool family to join you
  • take in an amusement park
  • take a morning to finish that book together that is getting really interesting
  • visit an elderly relative
  • play frisbee at the park
  • take in story time at the library
  • join a homeschool co-op
  • do some early Christmas shopping
  • have a games day
  • take out the craft supplies and get creative
  • turn on the music and start dancing
  • take out some instruments and make a joyful noise
  • let the kids put on a skit using their stuffies
  • start exploring the internet together
  • write a story together
  • have a tea party and dress up
  • do an experiment
  • do some gardening
  • clean the toy room
  • host a mini olympics
  • go to a play
  • tell jokes
  • take in a sports game at the local high school
  • do a mini-retreat

There’s no limit to the possibilities!

What is your favourite “down day” adventure?


Home School Spirit Week 2016

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

COMING SEPTEMBER 26-30!  Mark your calendars!  International Home School Spirit Week!


COMING SEPTEMBER 26-30!  Mark your calendars!  International Home School Spirit Week!

Monday, September 26th- Crazy Hair Day
Tuesday, September 27th- Out and About Day
Wednesday, September 28th- Super Hero Day
Thursday, September 29th- Movie Day
Friday, September 30th- Giving Back Day

GO AHEAD!  Make this year a great year!  Join with another family and make it extra special!

Check out Home School Spirit Week


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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



Had this for the second time last night.  This was so good!  And easy to boot.  I served it with a Caesar salad.


  • 1 pkg. Epicure pulled pork seasoning
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 lbs. boneless pork shoulder or butt roast

Mix the first 5 ingredients right in the slow cooker.  Add your pork roast and turn to coat.  Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours.  When cooked, pull pork apart into strands with a couple of forks.  Return pork to the sauce and stir to coat well.  Serve on buns or baked potatoes, or even eat as is.


You can get your seasoning from Epicure here.

Notes:  I used a loin roast because that was all I had.  It worked but was a lot of work to “pull”.  I found it a little watery – I’m going to try omitting the water next time (hoping for good results!), but it was good even with the water.  I read that letting the pork sit for 30 minutes before “pulling” can make the experience of pulling easier.  It was worth it though!  Will definitely be doing again.

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Mary and Martha Bible quote


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

While praying this morning, I had the distinct impression of me sitting at the feet of Jesus.  I pictured those who sat at the feet of Jesus before me:  His parents, the teachers in the synagogue when He was only 12, His disciples, and of course Mary, sister of Martha.



I pictured myself sitting at the feet of Jesus:  when I go to church, when I read scripture, when I sit before the Blessed Sacrament, when I pray a rosary, when I walk in nature, when I laugh….

Not just when I do these things, but when I quiet my mind and listen with my soul…that’s when I sit at the feet of Jesus.

That’s when I can hear Jesus’ soft whisper encouraging me, guiding me, leading me:  when I let go, and let God.

Praying with a Baby and Littles

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

I recently encountered the question in a Catholic Mothers’ Facebook group, “What kind of shape does your prayer time take when you have your baby & littles around?”

I didn’t have to think long to come up with my answer.

We’ve always prayed a rosary with our kids – right from the beginning. Daily mass was important to me too – for the graces I needed for my day, but also it was a shorter mass to teach my kids to be good, so that come Sunday they were better behaved at mass. I was always part of a bible study that “forced” me to schedule the reading of scripture and meditate on it. Middle of the night feedings gave me time for scripture reading or Mercy Chaplet. That was my “alone” time with the Lord even though the baby was present. I tried adoration but I would always fall asleep from lack of sleep. Then I read the book The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood where Mary is speaking to a young mother encouraging mothers to pray all 15 (now 20) mysteries of the rosary daily. I would start the morning praying a decade, and squeeze in as many decades each day as I could – while driving, folding clothes, washing dishes, nursing the baby, watching the kids play at the park, before falling asleep at night, during middle of the night feedings. Even if I didn’t finish all 20 mysteries, I would continue the next day where I had left off and then start all over again. This is the number 1 best thing I have ever done. I had 11 kids in 13 years and homeschool, and now that there are no babies in the house any more, I still continue this rosary praying and have reaped immeasurable graces from it. So it is true, one day you also will have no more babies in the house and the perseverance you have now with prayer will have a chance to blossom even more later on. Now, the days where I can pray all 20 mysteries all at once (during my morning walk) are my mini-retreat where God teaches me something new each time and builds my desire for adoration, scripture and sharing Jesus with those I meet during my day, especially my family.

Tea Biscuits

From Grandmelina’s Kitchen

tea biscuits 2

These always get a lot of compliments when I bring them to potlucks and the kids love them.  I loved eating them warm with butter (before my paleo days).  Make sure your baking powder is fresh.  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.




Morning Prayer


Luke 10 38-42

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

I wake up in the mornings and I immediately start thinking of all the things that need to get completed that day.  I’m making lists in my head, then transferring them onto paper…first, so that I can prioritize and second, so I don’t forget anything.  I may be known to forget important things, and maybe to double book…

I have learned through trial and error that my day is much better and my mood is more pleasant if my day starts with prayer.

Morning prayer for me has taken different forms over the years.

When I was a teen/young adult, my day started with PRAY praise, repent, ask and yes to the Lord  – followed by LMNOP listen, message, New Testament reading, Old Testament reading, Proverbs reading.  I filled my journal and was pleased to look back on what was written and see how the Lord was working in my life.  There were often patterns and recurring words.

When I was dating my husband, we would meet for 7am mass (we lived almost an hour apart) at a central location.  We made sure to go to confession each of those mornings before mass started so that we would remain pure in our relationship to each other.  Even though we weren’t perfect, we were virgins when we got married.

When the kids were little, our church still had daily mass and I tried never to miss.  I needed all the graces I could get to remain focused on the Lord in my chosen vocation.  I love being a Mom but things can get overwhelming at times.  I wanted the kids to love Jesus and church as much as I do.  There was a time when it was just me and the kids and one older couple who would meet in our pastor’s home for mass during the winter months.

Now we have mass just on Sundays and Wednesdays but we’re there faithfully.

Even though rosary was always a part of our family’s life, it moved to the mornings to replace the lost morning mass.  Rosary is followed by each of us taking a quiet time with the Lord and filling our journals with scriptures and words (and pictures) to reflect His faithfulness to us.

Now that I no longer have babies to worry about, I try to get out in the mornings before family rosary (consisting of 5 mysteries) to walk and pray those other 15 mysteries of the rosary.  On the days that I do accomplish this, I am able to move beyond “saying” the prayers, to meditating on the mysteries and contemplating the Lord’s work in my life – with its joys and struggles.

Of course my prayer doesn’t end in the morning.  It only blossoms from there.  Now my spirit is looking for quiet words with the Lord all day long.

OVERWHELMED?  Then start with PRAY – Praise the Lord, Repent of the wrongs you have done, Ask the Lord to fill your needs and the needs of those around you, and say Yes to the Lord, giving Him permission to work in your life today.

The result is more laughter and more faith, having placed the Lord at the center of my day. My duties are performed with more joy and peace, having left my worries on the altar of the Lord.

God is good!