Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall Decoration - Easy Cute Pumpkins

I was reading a blog somewhere the other day with instructions to make pumpkins from rolls of toilet paper. I thought they were cute, but didn't think about making any, because I don't generally have a stash of orange cloth around.

BUT, Monday we stopped at a thrift store to drop off some stuff, and they had orange tissue paper.....for .25! SO, with the thought of pumpkins in mind, I bought it....and they're SO cute!

This is a blog that has pictures and instructions. Enjoy! ; )

TP Pumpkin Decoration

(My picture includes the one pumpkin that survived my *garden* this year. I don't know why, but the plants didn't want to grow until about August, then they took off and covered everything and started producing...too late for most of them to mature.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Home Made Laundry Detergent

I've posted about making the homemade laundry detergent before, here and here .

I've just (at the beginning of October) bought another box of Borax and Washing Soda, meaning three boxes of each for the ENTIRE year.

They're something over three dollars each, we'll say $3.50 for fun, so about $21 for laundry detergent for the year.

Our clothes are clean and smell fresh, I haven't had any more problems with stains than we had before (I'm not real big on working on getting stains out anyway.....I'm more likely just to turn it into a rag than try to re-wash), and no one has had an allergic reaction to any of it. All good things, IMO. ; )

Super Easy Candy Bars

We were wanting something sweet and easier than a cake a couple days ago, so I stuck together what I had handy sitting around the kitchen....other than the cats, I mean....

I melted about seven or so caramels in the microwave, then a handfull of chocolate chips. While the chocolate chips were melting I stirred peanuts (shelled) into the caramels, until I couldn't fit any more in. Then I stirred the chocolate really well, to take out any lumps or unmelted bits. I rolled the peanut/caramel part into logs and dipped them in the chocolate, then laid them on waxed paper to harden. They were AMAZINGLY So good....and simple, just about five minutes total working time, then how long they took to harden...I didn't notice how long it was, but I think it was about half-an-hour.

Another thing...I think I've mentioned this blog on here before, Econobusters ....just thought I'd mention it again. ; ) There was a brownie recipe from them in a magazine I'd like to post, and thought I'd better mention their names again before I do. LOL (I won't type it out today, though.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recipes I Am SO Going to Try!

The Main Page and the

cookies I'm going to try ASAP! : )

101 Cookbooks .com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Freshly-Squozen Lemonade

I had lemons, and Anna asked why. I said, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!" She said, "Or, if life gives you tomatoes, make V-8!" lol

ANYWAY...I made some lemonade; and it wasn't too tasty.

So I looked up a recipe online, and this one looks the best.

Perfect Lemonade Recipe

1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)

1 Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.

2 While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.

3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.

Serve with ice, sliced lemons.

Serves 6.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Home Made Deodorant

I've never thought of actually *making* deodorant...the rock stuff works well for me...but this looks so interesting (and easy) I might try it sometime. ; )

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cream Soups Base

Yesterday I made some delicious Cream of Spinach Soup, with fresh, organic spinach from my garden. It was SO good!

I found this recipe today, good for whatever fresh veges you have in your garden...well...maybe not lettuce... ; )

Base Recipe for Cream Soup

You can use this recipe to make cream soup from most vegetables. Consider this for asparagus, fresh pea soup, carrot soup, celery soup, and more. Since tastes and veggies vary, be ready to tinker with amounts until you have it just right. You can make hot or cold soup with this recipe.
This is a great recipe for summer when the garden is overflowing with produce.

1 sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups vegetables of choice, diced
salt to taste
2/3 cup cream
Sauté the onion dices in the butter until they are tender and translucent but not browned.
Add the flour and stir and cook until a soft paste has formed but not browned.
While still cooking, pour in 1/2 cup of the broth while stirring with a whisk. Gradually add the rest of the broth, stirring to make the mixture smooth and not lumpy as if you were making gravy. Continue cooking until the mixture is bubbly and has thickened.
Add the vegetables and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are soft enough to mash easily.
Pour two to three cups of the liquid into your blender. Puree the mixture until it is smooth. Continue in batches until the entire soup is puréed.
Pour the soup through a strainer into a clean pan. Press any pieces through the sieve with the back of a spoon.
Salt the soup to taste. Add the cream. If the soup needs further thinning, add water. Reheat and serve.

This is basically the same recipe I used, with the exception of garlic. My recipe called for minced garlic, so if you wanted to add garlic to your onion, feel free. ; )

(To give credit where credit is due, recipe is here. )

I kept thinking homemade croutons would be good with my soup, but I didn't have any, and couldn't find the recipe, so I made toast to go with it.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Tee Bags...Recycled Shopping Bags

These are cute....cute and kind of craft! ; )

Tee Bags

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Update on Homemade Laundry Detergent Post

I have updated the Homemade Laundry Detergent post again, with this added:

The boxes of Borax and Baking Soda I was using to make my detergent lasted until the last week of April, so that's four months without having to buy detergent.

I think that averages out to about $1.50 a month. Not bad, not bad at all. ; )

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Homemade Sauces/Mixes

This was posted on my local homeschool group today, so I can't give credit for where it's originally from, but it looks really good. These are almost all things I use regularly, so hopefully I'll be able to make my own and save money AND eat healthier! : )

Instead of commercial taco seasoning:
1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
Add these ingredients to a pound of lean ground beef (which has been
browned for about 10 minutes with a medium chopped onion and two cloves of minced
or pressed garlic and then drained); stir and simmer for about 5 minutes
until thickened.

Instead of onion soup mix for dip:
2 tablespoons of toasted dried onion
2 envelopes beef bouillon
Stir into a half pint of sour cream or plain yogurt. ( put the onion on
foil in the toaster oven and watch it carefully as it browns quickly.)

Instead of canned enchilada sauce:
3 T flour
4 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
2 T oil
2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)
2 cans water
Combine dry ingredients, mix, add oil and stir well. Add sauce and water,
mix, heat to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Makes about 4 cups.

Instead of Good Seasons Italian Salad Dressing Mix:
2 T lemon juice
1 clove garlic (pressed if you are not using a blender)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
freshly ground pepper to taste
Put this in a blender with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 cup olive oil and
blend until smooth. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. (This is tart, so some people
prefer 1/3 cup vinegar.)

Easy, Homemade Hamburger Helper® Alternative
1 lb ground beef, browned and drained
16 oz pasta cooked according to package directions
Drain pasta and combine with ground beef, then add:
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans of condensed tomato soup
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
Cook on low heat until heated through. As an option, add six to eight
strips of cooked, crumbled bacon.

Homemade Rice Side
1 cup long grain white rice, uncooked
1 cup thin spaghetti, broken into 1/2" pieces
3 T. butter
2 3/4 cups water
1 T. beef, chicken, or vegetable bouillon powder or granules
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 T. parsley
1/4 tsp. dried thyme or poultry seasoning
1/8 t. black pepper
Melt butter in medium saucepan or skillet, add uncooked rice and pasta
pieces, and stir about five minutes until pasta is lightly browned. Add
remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about
15 minutes. Do not lift lid. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, cover and
let steam an additional 5-10 minutes.

Instant Stuffing Mix
3-1/2 cups unseasoned bread cubes
3 tablespoons dried celery flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon sage
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
To prepare stuffing, in a sauce pan over medium heat, bring water, butter
and seasonings to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add bread cubes and mix gently. Cover and let stand for 5
minutes. Toss with a fork before serving. This equals one box.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I picked my first *ever* asparagus today! I am SO excited! (The link has recipes and growing information...indeed, all the asparagus information I was thinking of linking to.)

I read in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last year (and I wish I had the exact quote) about her forays to the asparagus patch in April, waiting for the asparagus to come up. I've kept that in the back of my mind, waiting to use the information. ; )

Last fall I noted where I've seen asparagus's easy to spot, next to the second of a row of metal posts, beside a railroad....odd place for it, I must say.... Anyway, I remembered where it was, and started stopping there to check for new plants as soon as April began. I'd forgotten to check a time or two when I passed, but last night I remembered, and today as we were passing I yelled, STOP!!! lol I am thrilled!

I want to try getting some started in my own garden...asparagus and rhubarb both, but since we're not yet sure about the new house and how it will change the lay of the yard I'm guessing I'll need to hold off on it. I'm hoping to have raised beds over most, if not all, of the yard eventually (less mowing!), and I suppose I'll have to wait a year or so to get a bed made for it.....looking forward to it, though...and in the meantime, I'll be watching for more asparagus fronds in the fall and checking those spots in the spring!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pickled Egg Experiment

My first attempt at pickled eggs. Aren't they lovely? : ) I'll let you know in a week or so how they taste. ; )

(Poomba was added to the picture for interest. DH bought him for me, and Anna named him.) lol

(Edited and new picture added 4-21-09)

The...brine? I guess.....came out a *wee* bit too ...bitey? pickley?...for my taste. The eggs were (are...I have one left) great, but the beets I dropped in (because, after all, I had to buy a can of beets to get the beet juice, and it seemed a shame to toss them after I used the juice...anyway) came out too sour to eat, but the eggs were good.

I thought I had added a link to pickled egg recipes, but apparently I forgot. Anyway, the one I used didn't call for enough sugar ~I think~ so if I go looking for another recipe I'll make sure it uses plenty of sugar.

Monday, April 13, 2009


This site is SO cool...everything you ever wanted to know about oatmeal! Who knew it was so versitle?!?

If you scroll down a bit, it tells about how to make out flour from oatmeal...that might be handy information for the next time I run low on flour and I'm in the middle of a recipe! ; )

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pickled Eggs

I started thinking about pickled eggs grandmother usually has some for Easter dinner...and wondered if it could be possible for *me* to make some.

It *IS* possible! According to this site, it's too soon to have them for Easter, although I did see another site which said they only needed to soak overnight. However, since I don't have any beets on hand anyway, I'll have to wait a bit for them.

I'm looking forward to them, though! : )

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dyeing Eggs Naturally

Dyeing eggs with natural dyes is SO cool!

We dyed some a couple years ago....the girls really enjoyed it, and I thought it was interesting. Plus, it's better for the environment than chemicals. : )

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Super Easy Cookie Cake

My mom made a Super Easy Cookie Cake for my nephew's birthday today.

A box of cake mix (she used yellow...I imagine you could use any kind), two eggs and 1/2 cup of oil.

She spread it on a pan, and baked it just as a cookie cake, and it turned out very nice...and LOTS cheaper than buying a roll of cookie dough, which is what we usually do! lol

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Just a quick post, so I don't feel I've abandoned this blog. ; )

I haven't been baking much....I made a sunflower seed crunch recipe, which I was going to share, but I burned it dreadfully, so I can't say much about it's taste or anything. ; )

I made lentil burritos again today...SO good! My DH made some taco salad with the ones which were left, and it was fairly good, too, except that he added a packet of taco seasoning, and, of course, I had already added one, so they were a bit on the salty side.

I guess I could share his way of making taco salad...his dad used to make this for supper sometimes, and I LOVED to eat with them when he did. It's simple, taco-seasoned meat (or lentils), a chopped tomato, a cup or so of chopped/shredded lettuce, a cup of salsa/picante sauce and broken corn chips. Mix it all together, top with shredded cheese and put in the oven for the cheese to melt (if the lentils/meat is cold you can heat it longer, until it's warm, although I've always liked it cold, too).

I mix it in a oven-safe bowl then pop the whole thing in the oven to warm...saves on dishes! lol

Monday, March 2, 2009


I'm experimenting with Lentils today.

I've never cooked any only experience with Lentils is that I remember my grandmother cooking them.

I soaked them overnight, like I do dry beans....I still don't know if that's necessary. : ) I might go read up on them, but I might not. lol

Basically, I've treated them just as regular beans, soaked overnight, plopped in the crockpot this morning with some fresh water and about a teaspoon of salt and a couple sprinkles of black pepper, then I dipped out about 1 1/2 cups and mixed with taco seasoning for refried beans for burritos...Delish! I added a can of black beans, a couple packets of chili seasoning and a can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onions to what was left in the crockpot for chili beans for supper. I haven't tried them yet....I hope they're good! The burritos certainly were!

I think I may like lentils, used in the place of regular dried beans......sometimes. ; )

Friday, February 27, 2009

Peanut Butter Balls

This is one snack my kids and husband scarf down!

Peanut butter
Non-fat dry powdered milk

Mix peanut butter and honey until it's sweetened nicely. Then, add in the powdered milk to make a dough. Roll into balls and cool in the fridge.

I'd say how to store them, but I don't know! They don't last long enough. lol

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GREAT Muffin Recipe

This was shared on one of my homeschooling groups a couple weeks ago, and I just got around to trying them this morning. SO good! I added raisins to the second pan (since I can't make a recipe without adding something! lol) and I think when I make them again I'll chop some apples and add to them.


Grandmas Super Moist Oatmeal Muffins Recipe Ingredients:

1 C oatmeal
1 C buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/4 C canola oil
1 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Grandmas Super Moist Oatmeal Muffins Recipe Instructions:

Pour the buttermilk in a large mixing bowl.
Add the oats and stir to be sure all the oats are moistened.
Allow the oats to soak in the buttermilk for 20 minutes.
After the oats have soaked add the eggs, sugar and oil.
In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda
and salt.
Slowly add the dry mixture to the oats and stir just until moistened.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a muffin tin with a non stick cooking spray.
Fill the cups 2/3 full of batter.
Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes about 15 muffins

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Tried Hermits Recipe #3

It could have been better.

After I baked the first batch I realized they didn't have molasses...I think recipe #1 was the only one that called for I added about 1/4 cup to the batter. It made them some better....but I didn't have a chance to try many, because I accidentally poured chicken broth (don't ask) over one pan of them, and Emma accidentally turned on the oven on the batch that was cooling in there, so we ruined two batches. The ones I ate were edible, though, but not like the store ones.....going to keep trying, though!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I bought some Newman's Own Hermits (cookies) last week, and they were SO good, I thought I'd look up a recipe and try making them on my own. I haven't done it yet, just got around to looking up the recipe, but I WILL try...and share my thoughts on them!

I copied off three recipes...


1/3 cup raisins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg white or 2 tablespoons egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Place raisins in a bowl; cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Combine the molasses, butter, egg white and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in walnuts and raisins. Divide batter in half; shape each half into a 12-in. x 2-in. rectangle 2 in. apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and edges are set. Transfer to a cutting board; cut with a serrated knife into 1-1/2-in. rectangles. Remove to wire racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.


Another hermits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cold or milk
1 1/4 cups dark raisins
3 ounces (about 2/3 cup) coarsely chopped walnut pieces
3 or 4 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans, covered with parchment or foil
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; stir well to mix. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and brown sugar until combined. Beat in the egg until the mixture is smooth. Lower the speed and beat in half the flour mixture, then all the cold coffee. Scrape the bowl and beaters well, then beat in the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough for 1 hour.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to bake the cookies, set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Drop teaspoonfuls of the dough 2 or 3 inches apart onto the prepared pans. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they spread and become firm. Slide the papers off the pans onto racks. After the cookies have cooled, detach them from the paper and store them between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.


One more hermits
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
Directions 1. Beat butter or margarine in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and nutmeg; beat until combined. Beat in egg and coffee. Beat in as much of the flour a you can. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in raisins and chopped pecans.
2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. Makes about 48.

The last two are more similar than either are to #1.......I can't wait to try! Too bad it's almost 1 am!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Roasted Peanuts

I found some raw peanuts last week at the grocery store. They're a small, local store, and they carry quite a bit of local produce (GREAT in winter when the farmer's market isn't going).

Anyway, they had raw peanuts for .50 lb, and I bought a pound because we've been tossing around the idea of growing some peanuts this summer. I was thinking of them as seed, but when I got them home I realized it's more than we will plant. So I decided to try roasting some.

I haven't tried it was kinda difficult to find information online about roasting them *out of the shell* which is what I wanted to do, but I finally found a "roast for 30 minutes at 350*" mention, so I'm going to try that.

I thought, though, if I do manage to do it, it will be cheaper to buy all the peanuts they had left at .50 lb. (I hope they still have some!) than to buy the already-roasted ones.

The Granola Bar recipe I've been using calls for 1 cup of crushed peanuts...that will get expensive if I have to buy them for $5 a can! (So far I haven't had to buy any...DH had a couple cans sitting around; he likes to buy them to snack on, then forgets they're here. lol) Hopefully this way will be cheaper. ; )

(Oh, yeah, as a side note...I've been using chopped, dried apricots in the Granola Bars. Talk about GOOD! They're GREAT!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Garlic Lime Chicken

I meant to stick this in the crock pot today before DH's eye doctor appointment, but I forgot. : ( I was going to make us some, then blog about it..."I made the most delicious supper today, while I was at the eye doctor's!" lol

Since I *didn't* make supper while at the eye doctor's, though, I'm left with posting it as it is and saying this....."Even though *I* forgot to make this, *you* should try it!"

Honestly, we have had it several times, and it is Delicious!

It was shared on one of the online groups I'm on, when everyone was talking about Christmas presents, She Who Shared the recipe (and graciously allowed me to post it here) says she gives it for Christmas gifts....and I quote..."I give them a jar of the spice mix, plus a box of organic broth and sometimes lime juice in one of those little limes. You could also include a big of rice. (I also include the basic spice mix recipe)"...and I end quote.

Combine for spice mix:(I usually at least double this)
3 tsp salt
3 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme

1 box chicken broth
2 Tbsp butter
3 tbsp lime juice
Spice mix
Place chicken pieces (I use skinless breasts) in crock pot and sprinkle with the seasoning.
Add 1 box of chicken broth, 2 Tbsp butter, and 3tbsp lime juice.
Cook on low until done, serve over rice.
Very peppery, but very good andEASY

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Popcorn Balls

Before there was rice-crispy treats, there were Popcorn Balls!

I like making this recipe, because my DH loves them SO much, and says, "They're just like the ones my grandmother used to make!" Believe me, in my husband's family there in no greater compliment! ; )

I made them today, and while I was making thought it would be a good recipe to share.

***Caution*** I would NOT make these with a small child around, because the syrup is SO hot. You pour it at 250 degrees....that's just too hot to take chances with.

Caution ended...on to the recipe!

Popcorn Balls (Like Grandma used to make!)

4 quarts popped corn
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups brown sugar
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup water
Butter for your hands

Large Bowl
Medium-large saucepan
Candy thermometer
Waxed paper

Put the popped corn in the large bowl, making sure it will be big enough for mixing, too.

Combine the molasses, brown sugar, butter, and water in saucepan.
Bring to a boil, and keep it boiling over low heat until it reaches 250 degrees (this will take about 20 minutes.)

**BE VERY CAREFUL! Make sure your bowl is on a steady trying to balance it on the edge of the sink, or on a crowded counter! You don't want this spilled down your leg!**

Carefully pour the hot syrup into the bowl of popcorn and mix well with a spoon.
Butter your hands well. When the popcorn is cool enough to handle, but still a bit warm so the syrup remains pliable, gather handfulls of popcorn and press into balls.
Work quickly to keep from burning your hands. Re-butter your hands if necessary to keep them from sticking to the syrup (I usually have to butter twice.)
Set the popcorn balls on waxed paper to harden, wrap and store when cool.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Simple Fruit Cobbler

This is the recipe my mom uses when she needs a quick dessert.

Fruit Cobbler

*Use canned, fresh or frozen fruit. If using fresh fruit, sprinkle with sugar.

2 cups berries/fruit
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 egg

Spread butter in the bottom of a pan, thickly. (I use an 8x8 pan.)
Spread berries/fruit on top of the butter.

Mix together the sugar, flour, milk and egg. Pour over the berries/fruit.

Bake at 400* for about 30 minutes.

(My DH likes it served with cream poured over it.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cloth Family Wipes

Ever heard of cloth wipes...for the whole family? Yeah, I hadn't either...then I came across this blog which introduced me to the idea, and I did a bit more reading about it, and thought...EWWW! lol

BUT, the more I about it, the more I thought it my be beneficial. There are three girls in our family, and even though my DH said (and I quote), "Ain't NO way!" when I mentioned it to him, I thought if the girls and I used them *only for #1*, there should still be considerable savings on buying toilet paper (you wouldn't believe how much my kids use!).

While I was ruminating on all this my DH brought some old t-shirts to me and asked me to cut them into shop rags for him. Providential! lol I cut up a couple of Anna's shirts, too, that were stained. So we ended up with a pretty good-sized pile of cloth wipes as easy as pie!

I am LOVING them. A couple weeks ago I checked on the tissue paper, "We've got two packs left, use about a pack a week, so we'll be ok until the first of Feb." We STILL have one pack left! I'm thrilled! lol

(We are using them only for #1....I can't think of using them for #2 yet. lol)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I made homemade Granola Bars today. They were SO good...well some were. I tried putting chocolate chips in half, and the chocolate melted all over them, so they were chocolate coated, more or less, and not as tasty.

The half I put raisins in were GREAT!

I used this recipe...delicious! *Plus* she has Great Pictures! : )

(I added flax seeds to mine, too.)

We're trying to avoid HFCS for health reasons, and I just happened to think today that as much as we love granola bars they would probably be an easy thing to make and healthier...not to mention saving money! I can't believe how much the price has gone up on granola bars lately!

(I've been using chopped, dried apricots, now...and they're SO good!)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Is there anything better than fresh bread?! I LOVE fresh bread, still warm...yum!

I've been making a simple flat bread recipe this past DH wanted some bread and I was in a hurry, so I made flat bread for him and he loved it so much he's wanted it almost every day since. lol It's super easy, flour (I use half white and half wheat), cut in a bit of butter, sprinkle in a pinch of salt, add water and stir. When it's mixed, knead it a minute, break off pieces and flatten, then fry it....because I LOVE me some butter, I fry it in more butter. lol

But,here is a blog about bread baking, and I'm sure they've got better ideas and know LOTS more about bread than I do. lol Probably have more detailed recipes, too. ; )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Powdered Milk

I have read that Instant nonfat powdered milk is an economical alternative to regular milk. I can't attest to that, because I haven't bought any in ages. We were working with a food pantry that got an extremely HUGE load of powdered milk, and since they had to get rid of it within a certain time frame I ended up with quite a bit of it. (I nearly always take things when they say "Toss it." I ended up with a big bag of frozen rolls that had thawed into a lump of dough that way...the dough was still good, just not in roll shape anymore. I brought it home and re-formed it. The only thing I didn't take and still regret it was some empty coffee cans. I keep thinking of ways I could have used them. lol) Anyway, we haven't bought any, but I use it regularly. I use it for almost all recipes that call for milk, and I use it as a snack...I like to eat it dry. lol

Here are some recipes using powdered milk...enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Homemade Convenience Foods

I haven't done it yet, but I may put some of these recipes together, so I will have things on hand to use for *quick* meals. Right now if I'm needing a quick meal I'm still reaching for pre-packaged things...and I want to try to get away from that!

In the interest of healthier eating...Homemade Convenience Foods

In fact,this is such a good idea I may start keeping a bit of cooked rice in the freezer for making cups of soup!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Repurposed Chess Set

I LOVE this chess set!

I also love the idea of repurposing cast-off items.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of imagination. lol The chess set idea came from the internet, like most good ideas. ; ) (I did create this one, though. I just happened to have lots of little people around waiting to be used for something. lol)

BUT, maybe *you* have imagination...lots of ideas for repurposing junk...I'd love to hear about it if you do! If you're like me, though, and can't think of anything until you see it done then say, "What a good idea! Why couldn't I think of anything like that?!?" here is a blog FULL of good ideas! : )

Happy recycling!

Nori Salad

I received an e-mail about this this morning, and it looks SO tasty!

I will definitely be shopping for some nori to try this recipe!

(If you've read my first post you've probably already read about that site and signed up for their e-mails...if you haven't, I recommend it!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thrift Store Shopping

One way to save money...if you have a bit of to shop at thrift stores.

I say if you have a bit of self-control because I know SO many people who have NO self-control and buy whatever is a good deal whether or not they can use it. ("I KNOW it's not my size, but I may lose weight and then it will be WONDERFUL!" "I don't really NEED another set of dishes, but they're BRAND NEW!") Oh, yeah...I could tell stories....

But, I don't want to tell stories, or put a damper on thrift store shopping.

Just remember a few tips and have fun!

I agree with all the tips except "Don't go with Kids." My kids LOVE going to thrift stores with me, and more often than not find things I would have missed. (The last time we went to the Salvation Army, Emma found a Don Knotts movie, The Reluctant Astronaut...for $1!)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plarn? (AKA Recycling Plastic Grocery Bags)

I don't know how to crochet, but if I ever learn this will be one of my first projects!

First, you make your "Plarn"~ plastic yarn.

Then you crochet it into cute bags.

Even shopping bags!

Doormats too!

Someday, I'll have to learn how to do that. : )

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Homemade Pancake Syrup and Pancakes

Since we're trying to get away from eating HFCS I decided to stop buying Pancake syrup from the store...the thought of pouring HFCS on my whole wheat pancakes just seems...wrong.... ; ) I found a pancake syrup recipe in a magazine...don't remember which one now, but I tried it last week when we ran out of the store-bought syrup, and I am NOT going to buy any more store-bought! I liked this much better.

Homemade Pancake Syrup

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Gently boil, stirring often, until slightly thickened.
(A little extra hint...if you have some left over, boil a bit more, then add 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and pour over popcorn for super-easy caramel corn.)

Pancake Mix

1 cup all-purpose flour (I use 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1/2 cup unbleached white...I don't think my kids would go for *all* whole wheat yet...)
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tablespoon oil

Mix together and fry with lots of butter (if you're like me and like the edges very crispy) ; )

I've always bought the boxed pancake mixes, until I decided to try this one and fell in love with it! It's so easy, and I *really* like the whole wheat flour in it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Homemade Laundry Soap Update

I've added a bit to the Homemade Laundry Soap post. I made some last night, and added about my experience.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Caramel Corn...YUM!

My niece had some caramel corn at my younger dd's basketball practice Saturday, and I was meaning to look up a recipe online. I forgot, though, then this came to me!

I was going to check a blog or two, make sure I didn't have any e-mails and go to bed, because it's FREEZING in here, but I checked one blog, which led to another blog, which led to more and more posts on that and other blogs....

Now it's almost 3am, and I'm still online. I've got several things to post about now, though. : )

I think I'll try some caramel corn tomorrow, for my kids to take to the ball game with them. : )


I made some for the basketball game...and it was GOOD! I changed it a bit for the second batch and used less popcorn (the recipe called for 15 cups, and I thought 12 or 13 was better because they get coated better...we like ours very sweet).

And remember...if you want to try this but don't have an air popper, you can always pop the corn in the microwave in a paper lunch bag. (Or on the stove top if you don't have a microwave. I remember my mom making pop corn on the stove top when I was a kid, back before microwaves were standard household equiptment. I've never done it, though...I'm a little scared to try. lol)

Monday, January 12, 2009


My wrist is still hurting dreadfully, but I wanted to share this site I came across last night. It has wonderful articles and great hints!

Sage Mommy

I particularly liked the Frugality page.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I can't post!

I fell yesterday, and I've injured my right wrist which makes it almost impossible to type. I *really* want to search for fascinating, interesting blogs or websites to share, but I can't type well enough to do it.

SO, since I *really* want there to be something new here, I'll share a blog from my list of favorites....

The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

I just LOVE those blogs with pictures of the food as it's being prepared. I just forget to make them myself. lol

Friday, January 9, 2009

Reusable Shopping Bags

I'll admit...I enjoy bringing home plastic bags from the store. They're so handy for cleaning litter boxes or picking up after the dog, or lining a small trash can. BUT, even with all the things I can think of to use them for, we simply get too many! I keep a glass jar (large pickle jar, if anyone wants to know) and when it gets full I stick the rest in a paper bag to donate to a thrift store where they re-use them. HOWEVER, even doing all that, sometimes I still want to simply not bring them home with me in the first place!

So I have reusable bags. Which I forget to take to the store with me. (I actually remembered last first time!)

This site has lovely bags....if you're wanting to buy some.

I like mine free or next-to-free, and one of the best sources I've found is the thrift store.

First, find a good, cheap thrift store.

Next, look for bags like this one.

Once you've found your bags, look for any tears, rips, stains, dirty ick...anything that will affect your use of it.

Assuming you've found a good sturdy bag, buy it. Go ahead and buy it, and don't worry if it says, "George Washington Teachers ROCK!" on the front. We'll take care of that.

Don't pay too much for it. If you're going to pay a lot, you might as well buy a nice one and be done with it. I wouldn't pay more than $1, and that for a really BIG, very sturdy one. I would hope for .50 or .25.

When you get it home, wash it; carefully, some will shrink, although I've never found that to matter too much.

If it says something you don't like on the front, cut out a piece of cloth a bit bigger than the picture and sew it over it. You can make a patch (I've done one with cross-stitched cows cut off the front of a sweatshirt...they were too cute to toss when the sweatshirt was unwearable...I used a crossed stitch to sew it on), or you can leave the top open for an extra pocket. My aunt completely covered one with lots of extra pockets, but I thought that was over-kill. Besides, she was using a sewing machine, and I can't. So I simply hand-sew on a square and call it a pocket. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.

And there you have a personalized, easy, recycled, shopping bag which was practically free!

(Maybe I'll take pictures...I could get one and walk you through all the steps in pictures. What a good idea. Maybe.... Someday.....)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Green Goals for 2009?

I've seen several blogs with "Green Goals" posted....I think I'll do one, too...

1. Change all the light bulbs in our house to those squirrley ones.
Already Done. I bought two big packs and went through the house changing bulbs out. My DH came behind me saying, "Change this one back again, it's not bright enough over here for what I'm doing." lol (First rule of list-making...always start with something you've already finished so you can cross it off quickly. It makes the list go better. Just kidding. Since I'm writing this on the 9th I've already started accomplishing some things.)

2. Expand the garden.
Work in progress. I've spaded and spread rabbit droppings, but would like to spade up just a bit more before spring. *Someone* (not mentioning names here) has been coming up with plans for my garden spot...including building things on it. I am fighting for my space! : )

3. Plant some trees.
This is a hard one. I have seeds from several trees I'm going to attempt (as per my uncle's instructions) to grow. My uncle told me last summer how he grows new trees...I think he may see me as the one person in the family who might actually try to replicate his methods and save some of his trees from extinction. I have seeds for a VERY funky pear tree my mom hadn't seen for 40 years...I'd LOVE to be able to present her with one of those for her birthday! Tonight I picked persimmons to try to grow, too. I have cherries, apples,chinquapins , chestnuts, pears, plums and persimmons all I need to do is get them planted. I *think* they should be in the ground about now. (Don't tell my DH, but I'm going to plant a walnut tree, too. He's VERY allergic and mowed down my last one. This time it's going to be a secret. lol)

4. Remember to take my bags when I go shopping. It's hard to remember. I *did* remember one day last week, though! I'm so proud of me! lol

5. BLOG!
I am hoping to be able to spread the word about as many money-saving, energy-saving, healthy, happy things as I can with this blog!

6. Shop at the Farmer's Market more.
We started going more last year, and I enjoyed it SO much! Definitely on my list for this year.

There are probably more things I want to do this year that I'm forgetting for this list....but that's good enough of a start. : ) Now all I need to do *is* start......

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hydrogen Peroxide

Did you know you can use peroxide to whiten your teeth? I read about it in Countryside magazine, and told my DH, because he's always been self-consious about his teeth being yellowed (the result of living with two smoking parents for 21 years).

He tried it, and his teeth are SO lovely and white now! It's very simple, just hold a bit of peroxide in your mouth for a few minutes (5 or so) every morning. I use the cap to measure into, he just pours some in his mouth...just use the amount you're comfortable with in your mouth, hold it there for a few minutes, then spit. Consistency is takes a couple weeks before you'll notice a difference. But it does work, and it's LOTS cheper than professional whitenings or even the store kits...healthier, too.

Fighting off Colds

A couple hints for fighting off colds....

Drink honey and lemon juice in warm water (I use about a tablespoon of each...DH likes less lemon juice).

For a sore throat, gargle with warm salt water.

Eat spicy foods to clear out your sinuses.

Soak your toothbrush in peroxide to clean it.

Drink LOTS of water, and avoid milk.

Get plenty of sunshine!

Drink freshly-squeezed orange juice.

Make chicken soup with lots of fresh vegetables.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Recipe and a Hint You May Not Know

Since gas prices are supposed to be going back up, I thought I'd post this cheap and easy recipe which has been SUCH a hit around our house in the past month.

Last month Daddy and I were battling a cold, and I decided to make chicken noodle soup to help us fight it off. I put chicken broth, a little cubed chicken, two diced carrots, a stalk of celery, diced and a sliced onion in the pot and boiled them, then when I went to get the noodles we were out. I asked Daddy if he thought I should run out to the store or try something else, and then I thought of rice. I didn't measure how much broth was left in the pot, just poured in a cup of rice and expected it to be chicken and rice soup. Well, the rice soaked up all the broth (sometimes it takes a while, depending on the amount of broth in the pot, and the amount of rice), and instead of chicken rice soup we had rice with bits of chicken, carrots, onion and celery in it, and it is SO good! I've been making it a couple times a week since then, and I've started adding cabbage and whatever other kinds of leftover vegetables I have around. Tonight I re-heated some in the microwave with a bit of pepper jack cheese on top...YUM!

As for the hint....I read this in a magazine, I think, but I don't remember which one. Did you know you can pop regular popcorn in the microwave in a plain brown paper lunch bag/sack if you don't have an air popper? I've used it for making popcorn to snack on, or for popcorn balls. I keep a 1/3 cup measuring cup in the bag with my popcorn, and just scoop it out into the bag, fold down the end of the bag and pop it. (I'm not saying how many minutes, because microwaves are all so different...just stay close and listen for it to slow down its popping.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

We're beginning a cleaning project this year....deep-cleaning the most heavily-used rooms in the house every month. We have four rooms we use most (2 bedrooms, living room and kitchen), so we're picking (at random, from a box) a room to concentrate on each week for a MAJOR cleaning. (I'm hoping DH will take the time to make a few minor repairs while we're working, too...hint, hint...)lol

Anyway, in the spirit of cleaning and saving money while you're doing it, I present links for home made cleaning supplies. Enjoy!

25 Safe, Non-toxic, Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Not Money-saving, but still, Good...

Good for the environment, at least. : )

Recycling your old, scratched, or simply unwanted cd's and DVD's. AND their cases and inserts.

I think it's a good idea. Tossing them out has always bothered me...seems like there must be *something* you could do with I know what!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


*Regarding the last post*


I've been turning off power strips when we're not using the things that are plugged into them (for example the one in the kitchen has the toaster and toaster oven and coffee pot plugged into it) and I just saw how much our electric bill is....

Are you ready for this? : )

We saved almost $20 from last month's bill, simply by turning off power strips! WOO HOO!!

My MIL will just die...her bill went up $100. Everyone I've talked to has had their bill go up considerably.

Ours went DOWN! Yay!

I turned off the power strips powering the tv, vcr/dvd player, the kitchen one already mentioned, and unplugged the microwave when we weren't using it. We left the strips for the computers turned on, for surge protection......I wouldn't just turn those strips off without unplugging the computer entirely.

This month we're going to all or nearly all fluorescent bulbs. I guess I know what we'll spend the $20 we saved