Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon Rolls ready to bake.....

I continue to love my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day book and have learned to use the authors knowledge and tweak things to my families liking.

I used 1 1/2 pounds Challah dough, rolled out into a large rectangle, 1 stick of butter softened and spread out, with 1/2 cup sugar and 4 T. Cinnamon spinkled around, roll up the dough long side to long side, cut in half then each half in half again and then in thirds, place into greased 9x13 inch pan, allow to raise overnight with greased plastic wrap placed loosely on top. In the morning place in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. In the meantime prepare your frosting. Any king you like.


Heating Pads

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Heating Pads filled with rice, lavender and lavender essence oil.
Heat in microwave for 3 minutes and you have aromatherapy and comfort.
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For our friends and neighbors we created 4 breads that were highlighted in the Family Fun Magazine, December issue.
Date Bread, Apple Bread, Pumpkin Chocolate, and Lemon Coconut. Oh my were these yummy. I also took some to a work meeting and everyone ate well that day.
I made some minor adjustments to the recipes to suit our likes....
We wrapped each slice up and put and individual label on them, much like the magazine showed and then put 1 slice of each kind in a clear decorated plastic bag with two ornaments the kids made earlier in the month.

Toad Stools

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I ran across a site awhile ago that had things very similiar to these. Since my kids are nuts about the couch pillows I decided to make them Toad Stools so that they can throw these around, sit on, hop on and do what ever else they can think of.

Jingle Blocks

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For Soren I thought I would create sensory blocks that are filled with jingle bells. I am very excited for him to open this gift.

Counting Bean Bags

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For my 2 year old. I have tried to make presents this Christmas for each child and this one is what I made for Shafer. I cut squares out of a flannel blanket, again from a 2nd hand store. Sewed buttons from my collection, representing 1 thru 10, on each bag, sewed them up and turned right side out and filled with pinto beans.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Almond, Banana, Chocolate Chip Biscotti

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1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 mashed, ripe banana
1 t. almond flavoring
2 eggs
3 t. baking powder
3 cups flour, (1 cup ww flour, 2 cups white)
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (white chocolate would be good also)
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Mix sugar, butter, egg, almond flavoring until smooth and creamy. Add Banana, mix. Add baking powder, flour, salt. Mix in chips and almonds.

Grease your hands and cookie sheet, and grab approximately 1/2 of mixture and shape into a long, flat log, about has wide as you hand is long. Do the same to the second piece.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, until cooked through.

Cool for 20 minutes, then slice like a loaf of bread, laying each piece side ways on the cookie sheet.




Bake in 350 degree for 12 minutes on each side, remove from oven and let cool.
For extra yummy, melt white chocolate chips and place into plastic bag, snip small hole in the corner and squeeze...........







Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby Tag Blanket Tutorial

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How to:
Use any fleece or flannel. I bought some flannel blankets from the local Salvation Army (already nice and cuddly), trimmed to just the right size.

Cut numerous different colored ribbons to approximately 6 inches, fold over and pin to right side of fabric, facing in, all the way around. (make sure you plan the pin point facing out, for easier sewing)

Sandwich the ribbons between both pieces of fabric and then sew around 3 sides of the blanket. Removed the pins that held the ribbon on these three pieces. The slowly sew the 4th side and removing the pins as you go. The closer you get to the hole for turning the tougher it becomes. The last 3-4 pins you can removed through the turner hole. Turn the blanket right side out and stitch the turner hole shut.








Birthday Gifts for the Friends

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Every year I try to come up with a different gift idea for my kids friends. I try not to buy toys, everyone should know why. I try to make something useful, so this is what I have created this year.

The stripped bag is the gift bag, the denim heart bag is the lunch bag, blue item is a sandwich wrap and the gingham is the napkins. I am thinking I will put together a tutorial if anyone is interested in any of them.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Arts and Crafts

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Thanks to Ms. Lizzy POOH, I was inspired

Glass balls from Hobby Lobby and POM POMS and we created.....







More of my Christmas projects and presents to be posted later.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

BOYS and Noses

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Well this evening I got the kid all tucked into bed, then Evan came into the kitchen just wondering what I was doing at the same time as discovering a goggly eye on the floor, he picked up and said oh, " I will throw this away". Away to be he went, a few minutes later he shows up in the living room, "um mom, I have, I have a eye ball in my nose". Oh my GOD!!! Sneezing he was. I could not see it. I told him to blow his nose really hard, still no eye ball to be seen. I took him into the bathroom with my husband at my side, leaded him backwards, inserted a small tweezer when I say the item and out it came. OH MY GOD!! BOYS>>>>>>>>>>.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

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Gnocchi
4 potatoes, the size of an adult palm
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt and Pepper
Sprinkle of nutmeg
1/4 cup of parmesan
2 cups flour

Peel, dice and cook potatoes, until fork tender. Remove from water, but do not toss the starch water.
Combine potatoes, egg, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl. Stir and then combine with a fork, such as we do pastry dough. Dump onto cutting board, press into ball and then flatten and lengthen. Cut vertically into multiple sections that can then be cut into 1/2 x 1/2 inch pieces. Take each piece and roll on a fork tine. Place onto cookie sheet. When finished with all the pieces, drop into starchy boiling water until they float to the top, remove. If you have enough that you do not need to cook all of them, place onto cookie sheet and flash freeze, uncooked ones. Drop into boiling water when ready to use.

Chicken Gnocchi Soup

2 cups cooked chicken
2 celery stalks chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
2 T. oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
1 T. oregano
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups spinach
3 cups of cooked gnocchi
Salt and Pepper to taste


Combine celery and carrots in heavy bottom pot, cooked until tender. Add garlic and oregano. Sprinkle flour on top and stir around, add the milk and continue to stir until thick. Add the chicken broth. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add the gnocchi and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Serve with parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Enchilada's

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1 can of enchilada sauce
2-3 cups of cooked, diced chicken
2 cups of Monterey Jack Cheese
2 cups of Cheddar Cheese
1 can of refried beans
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of salsa
8 soft shell tacos

Pour enchilada sauce into dish. Mix chicken, beans, garlic and salsa together and warm. Dip shells into enchilada sauce, place of spoon full of chicken mixture and top with cheese then roll the taco shell and place into 9x13 inch pan, repeat 7 times and then top with remain cheese and place in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is melted on top.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

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A friend of mine has asked me to come up with a chicken noodle soup recipe, so in the next few days I am going to compile what I know and make the best soup recipe possible. More to come. Any suggestions would be great.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

White Bean Chili

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This is so wonderful and smells heavenly. I have made it for years and have seen numerous websites prepare a dish very similar.

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can of corn
3 cups of white beans, I prepare my from the dried version
1 can of green chilies
1 can of hominy
2 t cumin
4 T. garlic
salt and pepper
3 cups of chicken broth
1 small onion diced

Place all in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Or high 3-4 hours.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Laundry

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What do all of you use? I seem to have so many problems with what looks like grease stains on our clothes. I have no idea what is causing it, why the was doesn't get it out, ect.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ham and Beans, Crockpot

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2 cups of cooked ham
1 cup of onions, chopped
Garlic seasoning
Pepper
1 bag of soaked Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained

Put all the contents into a crockpot, cover with twice as much water, cook on low for 8 hours


Serve with sour cream, cheese and j-peppers for extra zing.

YUMMMMM.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Carbonara

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Fat on a Plate

1 pound of bacon chopped
1 large onion chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
3-4 T. minced parsley
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup of butter
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine


Cook bacon until crisp, add onion, cook until translucent, add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the white wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil. All the while cook a helping of Spaghetti. In a separate bowl combine eggs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. When spaghetti is cooked, drain, return to pot, add the bacon mixture, then quickly add the egg mixture while mixing around. Add butter and stir until melted. EAT!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Waffles: No flour

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Yummy Yummy Waffles, that are so good you can eat them without maple syrup
1 1/3 Cups milk (soy, rice, cow)
1 egg
2 T honey
2 t. vanilla
2 T oil
1/2 Cup raw brown rice
1/2 Cup wheat berries
1/2 Cup steel cut oats

Blend above ingredients in a blender until smooth and thin, approximately 4 minutes. The mixture should be thin.

Then after rice, berries and oats are turned into liquid powder (ie thin mixture) add in:
2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 t. salt

Pour 1/4 or less into each waffle iron square and cook according to waffle directions. I have not tried this recipe for pancakes, but I bet it will work just the same.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Custard

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What do you do with the extra eggs, well...

4 cups scalded milk, ie hot but not boiling
1 t. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
1/4 t. salt

Cream eggs, sugar and salt.

Scald milk, add vanilla when removed from heat. Slowly add milk to egg, while tempering (ie. bring the eggs to the temp of the milk, continue to slow add milk, while stirring constantly. After the milk and egg mixture has been combined, pour into pan. (Make sure that you have a pan larger than the one with the mixture, because you have to put the dish into a water bath to bake.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Around the home

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When I look around the house and see the mess and dust that needs to be taken care of, I have a hard time deciding where to start. I look at the laundry, the carpet, the tile and the toys everywhere and am amazed that so much can get dirty and pile up on a daily basis.

I vaccummed the house today and it took close to an hour with all the steps that needed to be done. The couches need to be moved yet and I know that the coushens need attention.

The floors need mopped but I will have to do this when the kids are in bed tonight.

What do you do to keep the house kept up, even with the busy schedule I know that you all have?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wild Child

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What to do with a 2.5 year old that constantly is keeping me on my toes. I turn my head his is attacking the baby, I turn around he has taken or hit his older brother. Man oh man.....

All my parenting techniques that were good for the first two do not even touch his approaches to learning. On any given day he tackles a new object, idea, way to get into something, make a bigger mess, attack someone new, rearrange his room, pull all the books out of the bookshelf, oh the list could go on and on. I typically take a deep breath and count to 10 but 20 is more beneficial, now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Explanation as to where I have truly been

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In recent weeks I have felt lost in my day, unable to focus on as many things as I have in the past. I was easily frustrated with the kids, which is very abnormal, I can handle the noise volume beyond what my husband can on a daily basis, but not recently. I would read something, have a conversation with someone, put something somewhere, but was not able to recall.... anything.... I found myself very frustrated at my husband, for nothing.... For 3 weeks or so this is what my life was like... until two weeks ago... I had a breakdown....from the DOG barking. I called the doctor and was seen and evaluated for Postpartum Depression. Yes Postpartum depression, with a side of agitation. Wow, I was surprised, but ok with this, as treatment for PPD was going to make me function better and feel better. I was given the medication Zoloft, funny side effects? Just the strong desire to drink all the water in site........

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What have I done?

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I look at my last post and I am amazed that it has been sooooo long. What have I done? Cooked, cleaned, transported, gardened, prepped the gardens for winter, cleaned up constantly after the 2 year old, and nursed the baby non stop for 2 weeks, I mean seriously for 2 weeks every 1.5 hours when I am with him. I began exercising at the YMCA for 2 hours 3 days a week, and I must admit this is wonderful but my home has taken a hit. I continue to attempt to knit a hat for my daughter, which I have ripped it our not once but 3 times and have finally decided that I must not follow cast on directions for patterns, because I have for stitches in every inch, not as tight as others do.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Diapers

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Disposable no way. Cloth all the way. When Sidney was born I was introduced to the prefold kind by my mother, used them for a small time period and they were just not for me. Then I was introduced to the new cloth by a friend. I was directed to the webside Montana Diaper Store and fell in love. Cloth diapers are not only good for the environment but also good for your babies butt's. You life does include 2-3 extra loads of laundry each week, but it is worth it in my mind.


We use a large wet bag that after emptying the solids into the toilet, pulling the liners out and velcoring the entired diaper around itself, we then unvelcor and throw them into the large wet bag and empty into the washer, while using the bag as a glove so you don't have to touch the diapers.
We stuff and fold after washing and store them in the bathroom cabinet until ready to use. For wipes we use reuseable ones as well. We wash with the diapers and then fold and store in cabinet. We use a LionHeart wipe warmer with the solution of 2 cups water, 2-3 squirts of Tea Tree oil Dr. Bronners Soap and 2 drops of Lavender oil. The wipes are wonderful for wiping the butt and get everything off, just like receiving a sponge bath.
I always educate on cloth diapers and have convinced a few friends to change over, but like I say cloth is not for everyone, so if it is not for you, I am doing it for you......

Friday, September 12, 2008

So Easy Lasagna

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1 box of Lasagna Noodles
1 can of marinara sauce
1 pound of hamburger meat. (I cook my meat in large volumes and freeze in 1 pound sizes, so they are ready to go. )
1 large container of cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Salt/Pepper
9x13 pan

Cook Noodles
Combine mozzarella cheese and cottage cheese, salt and pepper. Combine your meat and marinara sauce. Drain cooked noodles. Pour a small amount of sauce on bottom of pan, line with noodles, layer of cottage cheese mixture and then marinara sauce, noodles again, cottage cheese and marinara, then noodles and top with cheddar cheese. Bake in over 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes until warmed through and cheese has melted.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

KNIT, PURL, Throw

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Oh boy oh boy. I have completed my very first Knitted item, a scarf.
Pattern:
Cast on 24 stitches
Rows 1-4: Knit
Row 5-as many as you want: Knit 4, purl 16, knit 4.
Last 3 rows: Knit




and there you have it. It took me a few hours every couple of day to do this. So after my first completed knitted item at a snails pace, off to crocheting I went. I have only crocheted baby blankets and probably have not done each stitch the techniqual way, I have still been able to have a beautiful, my way pattern that has turned out.

So after looking for a pattern for crocheting a poncho for Sidney I stumbled upon this one at LionBrand. The body, and neck no problem, but after the first row of the edging I was lost and confused. So I made up my own pattern. Partically dissapointed in the finis hed product, I have taken on crocheting another ponscho, only in white this time.



Ok, so it is sideways, sorry.

Monday, September 8, 2008

How we feed our babies

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Baby food in the jar, no way... We tried this with our first child, oh totally gross. Have you tried the baby food in the jar? So after a few jars of baby food, we decided there has got to be something better. What do you get with a miniature food chopper and adult food? Pureed baby food. This way the babies get a wide variety of food and you know exactly what they are eating. We add rice and oatmeal cereal to thicken up the runny pureed food and the babies have alot of variety. I must admit, it is so much cheaper that infant food, but maybe not as convenient for some, but it has not affected our daily routine. What has Soren consumed in the past month: cantaloupe, peas, green beans, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, apple sauce, and rice and oatmeal cereal.

How to: chop the food into small pieces to fit into mini food processor, then puree until thin and pour into bowel, thicken with infant cereal and there you have it. The mini processor is a snap to clean, the blade the bowe and the lid.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Dog Days of Summer

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I look out into the garden and wonder, should I pull the plants that are let or continue to harvest what is remaining? Tomatos, peppers, beans, squash, okra, herbs, oh and I guess there is more.

Kitchen motivation. I have motivation at 6 am but it seems to be that preparing lunch and supper are a far cry from exciting. I am sitting here thinking that I must go to the kitchen soon and prepare dough for pita pockets for tomorrows lunch.

I need to go to the fabric store and get stuffing for my Toad stools that are a work in progress. Cut up an old towel and make new big boy bibs. Finish my daughters new knitted scraf, I must add my first knitting project. I have enough yarn I believe to make her a hat as well. If anyone has a great hat pattern that is easier for a beginner, it would be much appreciated.

Well since I have made a now made a make shift list, off I go to the kitchen and then to the store.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Oh How our Children Grow.

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I am so sad that today is my kids last day of summer till next year. My daughter is off to 2nd grade and on Friday my first born son, is off the preschool then kindergarden, next year. Everyday I wish I could freeze time and enjoy them a little longer, because when we go to bed and wake up in the morning they have changed, over night. When I look my kids in the eyes, I see time that has past, I still see the baby in them and cherish that but wish it took longer for them to grow, then just over night. You know what I mean?





I believe I have mentioned in the past that at the end of the month, my husband and I sit down and fill out a index card of what each child did each month that is speacial to them. Funny sayings, growth and development, teeth, visits, friends they meet, ect. We started this over 2 1/2 years ago, because time was flying by to quickly that I felt I was losing these precious memories, well I guess not all are capture, but rereading them every so often I am reenlightened with their personal growth...

When my babies out grow the kitchen sink, they have moved beyond my bust and out on their own, so I keep them in the kitchen sink as long as I can............





Friday, August 29, 2008

Oh Where Have I been

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I have been busy learning to knit, working on some new designed toad stools, cloth play things for the kids, canning and getting things ready for school.

Our family summer came to a quick halt this week, as my husband returned to school in preparation for the students to arrive after Labor Day. As for myself, I have been going through closets moving too small out and too big in for winter growth. I have been analyzing the shoe situation and what what we are going to do for winter gear. Oh my gosh I know it is only the end of August, but as everyone in the US knows that Minnesota can get snow in October.

My garden growth is slowing and I am realizing that canning is almost done, but I seem to have a lot of jars left. Yesterday was a bad canning day. I had one jar that busted opening in the water bath and another that did not seal. I think that when I look back, my kitchen was very busy at this time and I did not take as much time placing lids as I typically do.

On Thursday I made 4 loaves of bread for my husband to take to his last night of golf, as they have an end potluck where all 40 guys bring something.

My second born, Evan is so hungry for friendship other than his siblings that he brings me the phone everyday asking to call someone to play with, I think are neighbors are a little tried of our phone calls, but the kids love to play together. Our direct next door neighbor has 2 girls a little older than Sidney and they played all day long here, with no issues what so ever. Everyone played so nicely together it was a brake for my sanity. She came over to retrieve her kids at 5:00 and apologized for them being here all day and I thanked her for them being here all day. She with 2 doesn't really understand the mom with 4 and that adding more pretty much doesn't change anything but bring more happiness.....

As for me in the next few days, I will be working all 4 days. This is tiring but overall not so bad, as then I have a few days off.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

4 things

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Thanks Annika. sounds fun....

4 things I was doing 10 years ago...
Moving into my first home
Starting college
Trying to figure out life
Questioning my decisions

4 things on my to do list for today...
Make bread
Attend the farmers market
Love my kids
Take the kids ice skating

4 things I love about my husband...
He answers pretty much every question I don't know
He thinks the same as I
I can trust him without a doubt
He LOVES his kids

4 jobs I have had...
Checker at HY-Vee
Wedding Gown Sales Person
HouseKeeper at Hotel
Nurse

4 movies I have watched more than once...
Dirty Dancing
Star Wars
Borne Series
Steal Magnolis

4 places I have lived...
My parents home
My first Home
El Paso, TX
My present home

4 places I have been...
Alaska
Hawaii
Hondurus
Mexico

4 places I want to visit...
Japan
China
Europe
Brazil

4 t.v. shows I watch...
UMMMM>>>>

4 things you may not know about me...
I have a lizard tattoo on my foot
I have breastfeed all my babies
I wish I was a stay at home mom
I live across the street from my parents

4 people I tag...
Texan Mama @ WhoPutMeInCharge
Sabrina@ Mamacraft
Kristin @ homemakersatheart

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pizza Sauce

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Oh thank you, thank you Annika, my blog friend, for posting the pizza sauce recipe, yummy yummy. I adapted the recipe she posted to what I had for tomatoes at home.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little BOYS attire.

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Check Spelling
This is Shafer, my child who rises in the am and head outside with either his crocks on or his Giraffe Boots and stays out all day long until it is time to come in.......... Rather it is raining, snowing or shinning, the adventure is awaiting him outside the sliding door........and he never forgets his hat.

KIDS.....In the summer

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When Life gives you APPLES!

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A friend of mine deposited 3 large grocery bags full of apples on my front porch the other day and this is what I did with them.....

APPLE PIE FILLING


-Peel core and cut apples and fill 6 quart size jars


-3 1/2 cups white sugar
-1 c brown sugar
-1 cup cornstarch
-1 T 1 t teaspoons ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-1/4 t clove
-1/4 t all spice
-2 teaspoons salt
-10 cups water


Mix all above ingredients and bring them to a boil until thick, add 3 tablespoons lemon juice once removed from heat. Pour sauce over apples in jars and seal with lid and ring. Place with water bath and bring to boil for 20 minutes.

APPLE SAUCE



Well...........peel, core and cut, if you are like me your doing this all by hand. I need one of the peel corers things. Peel, core and cut as many as you wish........Place in large pot add enough water to bottom of pan to prevent sticking, but truly not to much, because this makes the difference between thick and watery applesauce. Cook down until soft and then puree. I guess at this time you can add spices, ect. If you want chunky apple sauce puree some and then smash the other part. Place in jars and seal, process in hot water bath for 20 minutes while at rolling boil.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garden Salsa

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Cherry Tomato Salsa- Mild, kids will like

4 cups cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 T minced fresh coriander
1 T white wine vinegar
1/2 cup green pepper
2 tsps fresh lime juice
¼ tsp salt
2 T. minced fresh Parsley


Corn Salsa- Warm
1 can corn or 4-5 ears of cooked corn cut from cob
1 can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 jalapeƱo chili, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T. oil
1/4 t. salt

Sorry, no pictures, it was eaten really fast. I made burritos with pulled pork and these salsas.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Surfers!!

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Hello to all whom visit. I would love to visit your site as well, so give a shoutout. Thanks.

Friday, August 15, 2008

How to: Cleaning Product

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I have tried numerous "green" cleaning products and have decided to use what my grandmother has used since the beginning of time, well her time.



  • Empty Spray Bottle

  • Vinegar

  • Distilled Water

  • Essence Oil

  • Food color, if you wish

  • Measuring Cup

Ok, so now take the spray bottle and pour is about 1.5 cups of vinegar and water. The put in the essence oil. I use orange, lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint, just depending on where I am going to use the spray. I then put food coloring into the bottles, depending on what smell it is. Lavender of course gets purple, Peppermint gets blue, Eucalyptus gets green, Orange get orange and so on. The coloring makes it fun for the kids to use the bottles to help clean. This cleaning option is good for windows, counters, tubs and floors.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Garden Produce

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Cherry Tomatoes, galore. What to do with these red beauties?

  • 3 cups of Cherry tomatoes, roasted: 350 degrees-15 minutes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 T fresh basil, minces
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Cheese
  • 1 Pound of Penne Pasta
Roast tomatoes, smash, combine with cooked pasta. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and enojoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

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I guess from the title you can just about guess what I am about to write....... Well from the sore nipples post birth to the engorgement 72 hours later to the leaking, what else can go along with breastfeeding???? With not my first, nor second and not my third, but my forth breastfeeding experience I have now taken on a new understanding to teeth.... My other kids did not sprout their first teeth until 8 months and at this time they understood, bit means no food. Well good ole Soren has no idea that bitting leads to removal of the breast, I think he just understands that when he bites, mommy dances. Oh but those shinny new teeth are oh so beautiful and wonderful he just wants to use them. So the other day he got his first go at it, rice cereal and rice cereal with pureed necterines. YUMMY. Yummy may I repeat. I even enjoyed it. I must admit I have tasted everything that I have put in my children's mouths, I must repeat, everything that "I" put in their mouths. Yes even breastmilk and colostrum. This is how I figured I was pregnant with my 4th. Oh I will tell the story sometime. They do taste slightly different and to a nursing 14 month old, they taste quite different.

For lunch I search around the house and threw together a wonderful bean soup.

1 bag of 15 bean soup mix, throw out the package of spices.
1 small minced onion
3-4 T. minced garlic

Saute both and then add, 1 T. Thyme, 1 T. oregano, 1/2 t. red pepper flakes, 2 T. Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper, then simmer until beans are soft.

Ladle into soup bowls and place generous amounts of your choose of Cheese on top

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Prep Day

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Today was a late start to the day, we all stayed up and watch Nims Island, great movie.

I started today out with making 3 casserole dishes to keep my family feed while I am gone long hours Monday through Thursday. I am attending a Perinatal conference and have to leave my home each morning at 5:15 to get to the facility by 7:15. Oh my will I be tried, and my personal milk supply both at the breast and in the freezer will take a big hit.

I was able to can another 6 pints of beans and prep both lunch and dinner so that the afternoon was free to play.

The casserole recipes listed below, and they will keep in the fridge for a few days, otherwise they can be frozen.

Casserole #1 Tuna Casserole
3 Cans of Tuna
1 cup frozen peas
1 box of noodles, cooked

3 T butter melted with 3 T flour, add 1 1/2 cups milk to mixture, salt and pepper. When thick, add 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Pour over Tuna, peas and noodles,

Warm in oven 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. You can crush up Ritz crackers if you wish.

Casserole #2 Poor man's Lasagna
1 Can of Sauce
1 pound of Hamburger, plus cooked sausage that I had in fridge
1 box of noodles, cooked
1 T oregano
1 T Basil
1 bag of mozzerela cheese

You can add chopped peppers, pepperoni, squash, ect if you wish

Warm again in oven 15-20 minutes, 350 degrees.

Casserole #3 Tator Tot Hot Dish
1 pound hamburger, cooked
2 cans of green beans
1 can of corn
1/2 cup of sour cream
2 cans of cream of mushroom
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Mix above ingredients then place an entire bag of tator tots on top, cook in oven 350 degrees, 30 minutes or until tator tots are crispy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Farmers Market

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Today was filled with attending the local farmers market, bring home the goodies and prepping them for canning, freezing, ect.

I ended up getting enough chopped J-peppers to fill 2 quart jars and just added vinegar and put in the fridge. The best way to chop is to hold onto the stem and chop away, then taking tongs and placing into the jars, this way you do not get the stuff on your hands.

I bought a califlower as big as a basketball, no kidding and then chopping 2/3 and froze, the other will be in the fridge for this weekend cooking.

I picked enough green beans from the garden to can 5 pints today alone.

I have baked 3 loaves of bread, all from the new book of mine, but I have got comfortable enough to tweek a few recipes to satisfy me and my family. I have changed a few ingredients, taken things that were to be free form loaves and placed into a bread pan, and vola sandwich bread. Right now I am baking Granola bread, recipe in book for both granola and the bread, but I made my own granola from a combination of recipes and that is what I am using.

I bought baby new potatoes that I will use this weeked to make ham, beans and potatoes, Yummy. And of course some homemade bread.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Don't Cry Over spilt Milk

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Well, where has the time gone since I last posted???? All I can say is that it has been busy, busy and more busy. I have canned, made more jam, preserves, work and wiped the floor numerous times since my last blog post.

Three days ago, my 2 year old reached into the Fridge and out came not only the juice jug but the juice as well, all over my floor, two towels later and no tears at this point I felt like I should just wipe down all the tile, 30 minutes later, I was done.

Two days ago my 4 year was helping himself to some juice but this time while pouring it into a cup, it ended up all over the counter and floor, needless to say, the floor was then again cleaned, this time by all of the kids and myself, 1 hour later. Yes I did say 1 hour.....Lets see, soap, rags, buckets and more soap, rags, buckets and of course bubbles.

Well finally I came to understand fate a little better in life at this time and knew that my daughter would soon spill something tragic on the floor, and of course today it happened, my tea all over the floor, from her coming and going out of the cup cabinet, she did not even know that the hit the tea pot and spilt it all over the ground, soap, rags, bucket... you get the picture.

I made cinnamon rolls from so dough I wiped up the other day from the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day, but this time did a spin on my own. I made the sweet bread and then turned it into cinnamon rolls, made powdered sugar frosting. Well 7 are missing from the photo. No I did not eat all, just 2... The kids had the rest, plus my mom and neighbor.

Some other photos of bread that I have made over the past few days.

Callah Bread

Crusty White Sandwich Loaf


We made the Sandwich Loaf for egg salad sandwiches.

8 Large Hard Boiled Eggs, shredded with cheese grader

1/3 Mayo

1 T. Dijon Mustard

3 T. Pickle Relish

1/4 Cup Celery, chopped small

1 t. pepper

1 t. salt

Oh Yes and the yummy jams and preserves, I have photos of some Kiwi Jam, peach preserves. I did make pear jam, but it did not make it into the photo.


And the pickled beets.........




Saturday, July 26, 2008

Baking the Day Away

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Oh I am so in love with my new book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I tackled more of the bread shapes today, enjoying one for breakfast and the other with dinner.

New Tea Pot Asian Beef for Dinner
I made a new dish for dinner. I placed a 2.5 lb pot roast in the crockpot when I was making bread this morning and it cooked all day. At dinner time, I began creating a new dish.
Asian Beef
4 Romaine Hearts, chopped
1 scallion, tiny chops
1 Cup of chopped carrots
Small handful of sesemae seeds
2 cups of shredded and/or chopped beef
Dressing: 3/4 cup chicken broth, 2 T. Peanut Oil, 3 T. Red Wine Vinegar, 1 dash of Soy Sauce and Pepper to taste, if you like more spice, add 1 t of red pepper flakes. Poor dressing over salad and serve with bread.
So the photo of the new Tea Pot is important, because we recently bought one and the bottom cooking portion developed a pin like hole in it. I contacted the company Copco and they gladly replaced the tea pot. I will standby this company from now on, because they stood by their consumer.
I made strawberry jam for the first time and amazingly it turned out well. I hope to make more in the coming days.

New SpringWidget

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Visit the Widget Gallery

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wine and Bread

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Today was the day that my husband returned home from a week long chemistry class, today was a reunion for the kids whom missed their daddy in addition to my husband turning another year older.

Yesterday I packed up the van with the kids plus my neice and nephew and we went to the mall in seach of a book that I have been lusting after, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day . Well after throughly reading through I tackled the basic recipe and lo and behold, we had bread appetizers before heading to the local wine vineyard. We sampled numerous wines, drank a bottle their and brought 2 more bottles home. Yummy, we loved everything we tried.

Ciabatta Loaf

This is what I saw on TV and was hooked. I love bread and everything associated with bread.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All in a days work

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Today started early with some lawn mowing exercises. I moved the yard for the 3rd time in 4 years, I thought it was getting a little long even for GREEN people. Mowing was followed by filling the bird feeders, hummingbird feedings and weeding the 6 gardens. My 2 year old was with me every step of the way, his favorite part is to water when we are all done.




We finished the yard work, just as the crockpot had our Sweet and Sour Pork Chops done. All I had to do was cut up summer squash and cook some rice with almond silvers and we had lunch.




I thought since all the activity occured this morning we would hide out in the house today baking. We had some excess blue berries from my fathers generosity so I decided to make Blue Berry Buckle.


Cream 1/4 c butter, 3/4 c sugar, and 1 egg.

Combine 2 c flour, 2 t baking powder, and 1/2 t salt.


Alternate adding dry mix with 1/2 c milk total to creamed mixture.


Add 2 T flour to 1 pint blue berries and then fold into thick mixture.


Make crumb topping, by squashing 1/4 c soft butter, 1/2 c sugar, 1/3 c flour and 1/2 t. cinnamon with a fork. Sprinkle on to batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for approx 1 hour, start checking at 50 minutes with a chop stick or something thin. I recommened using a grease springform pan like you would use for cheese cake.


The kids make what they call Sushi Balls while I mixed up the Blue Berry Buckle.


1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

2 t. cocoa powder

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup coconut

1/2 mini chocolate chips


Combine all and refridgerate for 2 hours. Take a cookie spoon and drop into a bowl of coconut flakes (1c), roll into hands forming a ball, then roll in sesame seeds and flax seeds (2/3c) and then roll into cashews crushed (2/3 c). The dip measurements are approximate, as some kids can get more to stick to the peanut butter rolls. Place the Sushi Balls on the cookie sheet and then refrigerate to harden and then you can place them in a covered dish in the fridge to store.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Needed project turns to fun

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After reviewing Sidney's school list, oh yes school list, it came to me. Sort through old crayons marking new bags full of crayons, rather than buying more and adding to the million of crayons already in our home. We sorted through tons and tons, keeping the nicer ones and then piling the paper off of the nubs so they have been recently called in the house. We then broke into smaller pieces placed by approximate color into tiny muffin pan holes and then melted in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, until melted. I then removed from oven, sat on the cook top until cool, then placed into freezer, this is a must to get the new crayons to "POP" out of the muffin pan. And there you have it, new crayons, perfect for the toddlers in your home. Seems to be we had a lot of blues, who knows.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Work Work Work

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Well the past few days have been busy so I have not been able to blog. I feel a sense of need to do so now.
I worked a long stretch of 4 days, and to me that is long. My household falls apart and I spend a whole day making things up. Laundry, cooking, cleaning and playing.

I was able to can a few more green beans, attend the local farmers market early Saturday morning and attend my daughers last Softball game of the season. I picked more Raspberries at my mothers home and enjoyed a blackberry pie from her garden as well.

My husband left yesterday afternoon for a 2 week educational quest, leaving me at home to figure out how to parent 4 kids all by myself.

Soren has been unusually upset the last 24 hours and with deep inspection as to why, I discover his cutting his first tooth. At 4 months!!! Oh my.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shopping Sale Day

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Waking up to a thunderstorm, oh my favorite morning. Seems to be that the kids all enjoy staying in bed these days, so our first visitor to mom and dads bed arrived at 8:30, joy joy. We had breakfast then my daughter, my mother, niece and I made our way to the mall for shopping. Clothes for the coming school year. I can't believe that we are in the middle of July already.

I was able to can 6 more quarts of beans today. Stock piling for winter. I also enjoyed picking snap peas and eating some along the way.

Supper was started right after lunch today. I have a Moroccan Stew for the stove, but inspiration from the Crock Pot Lady, I transferred it to the crock pot.



Moroccan Beef Stew













  • -1 pound chuck roast, chopped
  • -3 carrots, chopped
  • -1 Yellow Squash
  • -2 pints of tomatoes
  • -2 potatoes, chopped
  • -1 can of chickpeas
  • -1 zucchini
  • -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • -1/2 t. pepper
  • -salt
  • -1 t. red pepper flakes
  • -1/2 coriander powder
  • -1 t. cumin
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick

Place all in crock pot and cook on low 8-9 hours. Serve with couscous, yum.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Summer Day

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The day was filled with interesting things. This morning we all packed up and headed to the family doctor for a 2 year old check up and 4 month old checkup and shots. The doctor wanted an updated photo of the kids with him for his desk and so this is why we all went. It is amazing that two adults and four kids can fit in the office room.
Lunch was a quick pasta dish, Chicken Alfredo Pasta, that is. I used the alfredo recipe that I used for one of the party pizza's, microwaved some store bought chicken patties and boiled some pasta, yummy yummy.

This afternoon the big kids and dad went golfing. Evan thinks he is ready for a new golf set and Sidney whom has not used her clubs in over a year, besides the backyard declared that she too needed a new set. I believe Evan will get a new set before Sidney.

Shafer and I tended to the raspberries, blue berries, vegetable gardens, and flower gardens today as the baby slept. I can't believe how the dirt is so dry right now and the grasses are turning nasty brown. I snapped 3 quarts of beans and I am expecting more to be here soon, from my mothers home.

My mother has moved the pressure cooker to my home and hopes that she can preserve her white cook top. I always wondered why she got a white cook top stove???

Sidney had a softball game this evening, and finally I brought the camera. The 8 year old girls softball is slow moving but they have learned so much this summer and I am very excited to see what happens in the years to come. Sidney stated that she might not want to play softball next year, but instead wants to participate in Gymnastic, we'll see.