We make this dip every New Years- it is so easy and tastes absolutely yummy.
New Year's Dip
Mix together equal amounts of: chopped sweet onions, mayonnaise, and grated swiss cheese. Spoon into a casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. Serve with plain bagel chips.
I've had other people tell me they use different kinds of cheese- cheddar, mozzarella and it works just as well. For us swiss is our fav.
Hope you enjoy....and Happy New Year!!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
We make this dip every New Years- it is so easy and tastes absolutely yummy.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I found this at Whole Foods a few months ago. I love having these on hand for times when we are away from home or I'm out of my homemade syrup. And, if you're curious they taste really good.
They are much cheaper here than at Whole Foods. I hope everyone is healthy and enjoying the season.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wish you could come to my house and I'd serve you some of this delicious dip. The name doesn't do the taste justice. It is a very versatile, creamy, tasty spread. I like to use this in place of mayonnaise.
Almond Spread- (compliments of From the Kitchen of Two Sisters Cookbook)
...this recipe can be used as a dip for chips, crackers, or vegetables. It can also be a spread for sandwiches or roll-ups.
3/4 cup whole, raw almonds
3/4 cup water
1- 1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 large clove garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a high speed blender combine the above ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Trimming a Tee:
Leftover snippets of ribbon and rickrack can make that T-shirt yours, and yours alone. Follow the curve of a neckline, the perimeter of a pocket, or the edge of a sleeve with a straight stitch, using thread that matches the trim. Easier still, use iron-on ribbon. When measuring the ribbon, add about 1/4 inch extra at each end so that raw edges can be turned in or overlapped when they're sewed.
This information and picture was taken from marthastewart.com
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
~Beach Towel Bonus~
Keep track of beach essentials -- sunscreen, novels, flip-flops -- by sinking them in a corner pocket. To make four pockets, take a sheet or a lightweight blanket and two 14-inch squares of linen or cotton. Cut each square into two triangles. Fold all edges over 1/2 inch, and press. Fold long edge of each triangle over another 1/2 inch, and sew across to hem. Pin the triangles to the corners of the blanket. Sew the short sides of the triangles to the blanket's corners, and start packing.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
A friend of mine posted this video on her blog a few days ago. I enjoyed it so much I thought I would share it with all of you.
Jon Schmidt is an amazing pianist and has many other songs you can listen to on his website.
I hope that you enjoy this as much as I have!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Right after I snapped this picture I thought of all the wonderful ingredients I left out. What about yogurt, kefir, etc.? Anyway, here are a few possible ingredients for your next smoothie break- frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, frozen mango, frozen pineapple, dates, ground flax seed, carob powder, spinach (promise you'll never know its in there:)) almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, ... just to name a few. Try to think of ways you can sneak really nutritious ingredients in without anyone being able to tell.
Our smoothies always begin with frozen bananas. We literally could buy a whole box of bananas just to freeze. After that it all depends on what your in the mood for. Here are some of our favorites:
frozen bananas, frozen blueberries, spoonful of: ground flax seeds, coconut oil, and almond butter
frozen bananas, naval oranges (peeled), 1/2 cup or so of yogurt. Blend really well to break up the orange pulp.
Carob Delight (tastes just like the chocolate ice cream from Wendy's)
frozen bananas, heaping spoonful of carob powder, maple syrup, ground flax seed, almond butter
frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, frozen mango, 3-4 large spinach leaves, coconut oil.
What about you? What are some of your favorite combinations?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I thought I would start posting a weekly craft on our blog. I can post a knitting, crochet, or sewing craft. Please leave a comment and let me know which one you would prefer.
I'll start with a sewing craft since that is probably the most common skill that everyone knows but any thoughts or ideas are welcome.
Leftovers are the bane of the sewing room as well as the kitchen. But the same creativity that inspired cassoulet can save odd lengths of fabric from ragbag ignominy. One idea: Use strips of cloth or lace to trim the opening of a cotton pillowcase. A monogrammed handkerchief from a flea market can be folded diagonally and machine-stitched to a pillowcase, creating a wonderful gift for someone with the right initial.
This information was taken from marthastewart.com.
Monday, June 15, 2009
I discovered this wonderful recipe while reading through a nutritional book one day and decided I'd try it. Mom and I really enjoy! We haven't tried it yet on the rest of the family so it might not be that brillant after all but why not give it a try.
So here it is:
This recipe calls for oat groats. This is the grain that you flake to get the oats. I tried the recipe with just regular old fashioned oats and it was fine so either form would work. Also the second time I made this recipe I used Irish steel cut oats which are similar to oat groats but are coarsely chopped. This worked as well so really whatever form you have available would be fine to use.
The Irish steel cut oats did give the oatmeal more of a coarse nutty texture.
2 cups oat groats or regular oats (soaked overnight in water and drained)
-you can change the amount of oats to whatever quantity you use for your family
dash of water
dash of salt
approx. 1/2 tsp vanilla
approx. 2 TB maple syrup
Mix all the ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend together on high until everything is well mixed and the oats reach desired texture.
These ingredients are extra things that you could add in in whatever amounts you like.
carob or cocoa powder (I haven't tried this yet :))
Top with fresh fruit and sprinkle with cinnamon or whatever toppings you prefer.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Has this ever happened to you? I was almost finished with this crocheted cotton blanket (about four years ago :)) and ran out of the white cotton yarn. I mean couldn't find it anywhere. So time one thing led to another and like so many other things it was tucked away in a box to be finished some day.
Fast forward to last week as we were hosting a calligraphy class for several girls in the neighborhood and a dear talented friend was knitting away as we visited on my front porch. What a lovely dish cloth she was knitting!! I fell in love with the idea, asked her for the pattern, and promptly went in search of white cotton yarn and my long lost knitting needles. Up in the dreaded closet of unfinished projects I ran across the half completed cotton blanket- perfect.
Here's the start of a very fun, very easy knitted dish cloth. This is a wonderful pattern not only is it easy (great project for beginning knitters), but look at the lovely border knitted right into it.
O.K. - so I went a little crazy and had a ball doing it. I found dozens and dozens of patterns on line and now my half finished blanket is almost completely dish clothes. You know you can't have too many :). By the way if you have never tried these cotton dish clothes they are the best!!!
P.S. Don't get bogged down in looking at the patterns - there are literally hundreds, but get out there and make one. It's fast, easy, and you'll love it.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I've been searching for a recipe for a good effective disinfectant spray (without bleach if possible) and here's what I ran across.
Wow- how easy and I love that both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are so cheap. I now have under my kitchen sink a spray bottle of each.
"It doesn't matter which you use first - you can spray with the vinegar then
the hydrogen peroxide, or with the hydrogen peroxide followed by the vinegar.
You won't get any lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and neither
is toxic to you if a small amount remains on the produce. As a bonus: The paired
sprays work exceptionally well in sanitizing counters and other food preparation
surfaces -- including wood cutting boards. In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all
Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and
surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective
at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any
commercially available kitchen cleaner. "
Monday, April 20, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
The Golden Calf of Precedent
by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves
But made a trail all bent
trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred
years have fled,
infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left
behind his trail,
hangs my moral tale.
The trail was
taken up next day,
By a lone dog that
passed that way.
And then a
wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail
o'er vale and steep;
drew the flock behind him too,
bell-wethers always do.
from that day, o'er hill and glade.
those old woods a path was
And many men wound in
And dodged, and turned,
and bent about;
And uttered words of
such a crooked path.
But still they
followed - do not laugh -
first migrations of that calf.
this winding wood-way
Because he wobbled when he walked.
This forest path became
that bent, and turned, and
This crooked lane
became a road,
Where many a poor horse
with his load,
beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some
three miles in one.
thus a century and a half,
They trod the
footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village
And this, before men were aware,
And soon the central street was this,
And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the
of that calf.
Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag
And o'er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a
Hundred thousand men were led,
calf near three
They followed still his crooked way,
hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent,
A moral lesson this might teach,
ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind,
the calf-paths of the mind;
And work away from sun to sun,
To do what
other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in,
and forth and back,
And still their devious course
To keep the
path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred
Along which all
their lives they move.
But how the wise old
wood gods laugh,
Who saw the
first primeval calf!
Ah! many things
this tale might teach -
But I am not
ordained to preach.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I confess I was embrassed to admit our failure at rabbit farming (folk,s it's not as easy as it seems), but after much reading, advice from dear friends, and perservance on Allison's part we are pleased to announce the birth of three baby rabbits!!!
Good job Allison, way to go!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We don't have a gas grill, but we do have a turkey fryer. We had bought this really interesting oven years ago (y2k preparation) and never used it.
I wondered if it would fit on top of the propane burner. And if it fit would it work? It has been two weeks now and almost all our baking- muffins, toast, bread, a layer cake, cookies, pizza, etc. has taken place in this oven- I love it.
Look inside- I can fit 4 large loaf pans easily.
When we aren't baking I simply remove the oven and cook with our pots and pans over the burner. All of our cooking, with the exception of crock pot dishes ,takes place on this burner. There are of course adjustments and finagling to get the meal ready at the same time, but all in all I think it's going to work.
I'm amazed at how hot dishes stay when pots are insulated. I fixed dinner one evening before we headed out to a meeting. I left about an inch of water in the bottom of a pot of cooked pasta noodles, put the lid on the pot, and wrapped towels around the pot. When we arrived home three hours later and unwrapped the pot the pasta was steaming.
How's my power bill doing? We are running about 1/2 of our normal usage which was about 100 kw hours/per day. Our goal is to keep it in the 50kw hours/per day range.
Hope we can keep it up in the middle of summer :0!!
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
A reader asked me recently how many loaves my bread recipe makes. We weigh our dough so the loaves look better and cook evenly. We put 2 pounds of dough per bread pan and for my recipe that yields 4 loaves with sometimes a little dough left over.
Sometimes we make a little mini loaf from the extra dough. I like for my husband to take these to his work as little thank yous :). Also, if we don't need that many loaves or don't want to run the risk of the bread going bad we frequently freeze our dough. This dough makes terrific rolls, pizza dough, doughnuts, buns, etc. We have not had luck using the frozen dough for a loaf of bread. I don't know why, but it doesn't seem to rise and bake as well in a loaf pan. The rolls, buns, etc. rise and bake up beautifully.
Of course, you can always freeze the baked loaf.
Friday, March 27, 2009
....it's a long story, but I ran out of laundry detergent after just being at Walmart- so frustrating especially because shopping is not just a hop, skip and a jump away.
Because we had made our laundry detergent several years ago I had all the ingredients on hand so it was basically easier for me to make it than go buy it.
In searching for recipes I ran across an abundance of them. I chose recipe #3 and the above picture shows the fruit of my labor. I'm figuring this will last at least one month- maybe more because we have a front loading washing machine.
P. S it smells wonderful - I used lavender and tea tree essential oils.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
You may want to try this. It was really good!
2 cups grated raw potatoes
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Several months later-
.... here I am months later and we love our soaked bread. I think we have made every boo boo in the book, but now our system is working smoothly.
Here's our old recipe: (we mix and knead our bread in the Bosch mixer)
6 cups very warm water
2 cups oats
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup honey
2 T salt
4 T yeast
12-14 cups flour or until the dough cleans the bowl
Mix, knead, rise and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes
This recipe made really great bread, but we much more pleased with the soaking method.
Here's the soaked recipe:
The night before we make bread- mix together 4 cups hot water, 1/4 cup yogurt, and 8-10 cups whole wheat flour. Cover and leave out on the counter until the next day.
The next day- add to yesterday's dough 2 2/3 cups very hot water, 1 cup honey and mix until the bowl of dough loosens up. Pour this mixture into the Bosch and add 2 T salt and 1/4 cup yeast. Add freshly ground flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes, let rise, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Some of our many mistakes:
Challange- the dough after sitting out for 12 hours wasn't warm enough to get a good quick rise- Solution- use slightly hotter water than usual for the remaining water; use freshly ground flour (it's warm) and let the bread rise in a warmer oven.
Challenge- the soaking dough becomes a hard clumpy mass
Solution- add the hot water to the bowl and let it soften the mass; stir and break up the dough with a mixing spoon until it becomes stirable then pour it into the Bosch
Challenge- help the mixer is slinging wet dough all over my kitchen
Solution- soak your dough in a glass bowl and add the water, honey etc. to the bowl to soften the dough before you pour it in the mixer and turn it on. If you try to soften the dough with the dough hook on it will slosh down the outside of the bowl all over the counter making a terrible mess- (can you tell I'm experienced :))
Challenge- I'm exhausted- you mean I have to do one more thing before I go to bed.
Solution- make it part of your dinner preparation routine. Don't wait until you get ready for bed do it during the day or as part of your dinner preparation- you just won't finish it until the next day.
Challenge- Oh no I forgot about my soaking dough and it's been over 24 hours.
Solution- go ahead and make bread with it anyway. We have let ours soak for as long as 48 hours and it is even better. It has a wonderful sour dough flavor.
Good luck- let me know how yours turns out.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
One the of the steps I mentioned was identifying those power hogs- heating and a/c systems, hot water heaters, clothes dryer, etc. While turning off lights is important we don't want to "strain at a gnat and swallow a fly". Another important step is becoming familiar with your breaker box- I hope yours is in as convenient location as ours is. If not, I'll have a suggestion for that in a minute so don't tune out :).
If your box is not labeled and major breakers identified now would be a great time to do that. Stand beside your box with a roll of masking tape and marker. Flip each breaker off and have children stationed throughout the house as you turn them on again letting you know what breakers control which switches. As you identify the switches they control label them. This may take some time, but it will be worth it in the long run. An electrician built our house and thankfully ours was marked very well, but in the ten years we have lived here we have rearranged and renamed rooms so it's always good to update your information. One other little tip- tape "on" those breakers you don't want to ever turn off. For instance we learned the hard way it was not worth it to turn off the outlet that ran our cordless phone and computer modem :).
These particular breakers are important- your hot water heater, stove/oven, freezers and/or refrigerators, and a/c system. Now because I'm home most all day and my breaker box is very convenient I can turn these breakers on and off to accelerate our savings. Yes, it is very important I remember to turn them on again. For instance we turn our hot water heater off at night and most of the day. We turn it on again in the evening to wash dishes, start the first load of laundry, and for baths. If all this jiggling of the breakers is not for you they do make an electric :( timer you can put on your hot water heater that will turn it off and on for you. We have really been amazed at the savings from this simple step. The water stays very warm even with the heater off. Of course we are entering summer so we don't need our showers to be quite so hot.
What about the other breakers? Why would I want to turn those off? As you are all aware many of our electric appliances use power even when they are off. The timer /clock on your stove and microwave, the clock on your coffee pot and on and on. If not being used why not turn them off ?- or you can unplug them.
The other reason is to help everyone think differently. Do I really need to turn that light or that switch on? Well, if I'm used to the power being off chances are I'll find another solution- maybe move to in front of the window. Gee, what a great idea!!
What about you- what great ideas are you having?
Monday, March 23, 2009
One Sunday in church the question was posed, “why did the disciples follow the instruction of a stranger?” Now we all know today that that “stranger” was Jesus, but scripture tells us they didn’t yet know who the "stranger" was yet they followed his instruction anyway. Why? What would motivate a tired, empty boated bunch of fishermen to follow the command of a complete stranger? Could it have been perspective? See the fishermen were in the boat, but the “stranger” was on the shore. He had a totally different view point. He might have seen a huge school of fish. I don’t know, but I do know He always has the perspective I need in my life. I want to walk by sight He wants me to walk by faith.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Who wants to finish that heel of yesterday's bread when a fresh loaf has just come out of the oven? So, I'll snatch up the little left over ends and heels and cube them, toss them in a zip lock bag we keep in our freezer and soon they'll become oven baked french toast.
Here's a simple recipe:
Oven Baked French Toast
Let frozen bread cubes thaw out in a 9 x 13 glass pan- maybe set them out the night before (if you forget and have to use them frozen it's no problem because they thaw out so quickly)
In a mixing bowl combine:
1- 1 1/2 cups milk
dash of vanilla flavoring
dash of cinnamon (if desired)
about 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Pour this mixture over the bread cubes and bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or so until set. Remove from the oven, drizzle with pure maple syrup, and serve.
Hope you enjoy - as you can tell the ingredients are not exact, but you get the idea. Use what works for you. The amount of milk and eggs you need is based on the amount of bread cubes you have.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Hey, if you've been doing these things all along- give yourself at pat on the back and enjoy your new found popularity- finally it's vogue to be thrifty.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
- ▼ December (5)
- ► June (5)
- ► April (9)
- Welcome to My Kitchen
- Well Done.....very well done my good and faithful ...
- Frozen Bread Dough
- Homemade Laundry Soap
- Have Any Deer Meat Left?
- A Rather Unusual Birthday-
- To Soak Or Not To Soak
- Meet Your Breaker Box
- A New Perspective on Perspective
- What we do with slightly stale bread and end piece...
- Simple Ways to Cut Your Power Bill
- Great Little Gadget
- Cornbread Salad