Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Daughter's Delight

My guardian and protector, my confidante and friend.

I am so thankful to the Lord that he has seen fit to bless me so richly through my father, and today is his birthday...

I want to honor him, and thank him and thank the Lord for his life!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Delicious, simple dinner of cream sauce over fish on pasta.

Mom has out done herself again!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another Variation

Here's another variation to the luscious hand cream recipe. In this one I substituted some of the beeswax for shea butter and some of the grapeseed oil for olive oil.

Luscious Hand Cream with Shea Butter
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 ounces beeswax
1/2 ounce shea butter (unrefined)
1 cup distilled water
3-4 drops vitamin E oil
essential oils

Directions: Add beeswax and shea to oils and heat until wax is melted and oil is warm. Heat water in a separate container until about the same temperature as the oil/wax mix. Place oil/wax in blender turn on low. In a thin stream add water slowly until it is completely mixed into the oil. Add essential oils of your choice until your desired scent is reached. Pour into containers. Enjoy!!!

This option seems to be a little greasier than the first, but it once absorbs into your skin it feels wonderful. We used a combination of grapefruit and patchouli essential oils yummmmm.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Luscious Hand and Body Cream

Yes, it's Tuesday, but I'll give you a break from my usual "fish recipe" post for a wonderfully, luscious hand and body cream.
I don't know about y'all, but our skin has been so dry lately. I think all this wonderful curling up in front of the fire with a good book is catching up with me :).

Hand and Body Cream
1 cup sweet almond oil
1 cup water
2 ounces beeswax
essential oils of your choice
Directions: Add beeswax to oil and heat until wax is melted and oil is warm. Heat water in a separate container until about the same temperature as the oil/wax mix. Place oil/wax in blender turn on low. In a thin stream add water slowly until it is completely mixed into the oil. Add essential oils of your choice until your desired scent is reached. Pour into containers. Enjoy!!!

Comments- the first time I made this I used just almond oil and it was really terrific. The next time I used 1/2 grape seed oil and 1/2 almond oil- I liked this better. I also added several capsules of vitamin E oil (good for your skin and also acts as a preservative). For the scent I like lavender mixed with peppermint. This does make a sweet girly smell. For the whole family, you might want to stick with peppermint or bergamot. Right after you make it, it is pourable. As it cools it will harden to a more cream texture.

For a wonderful treat use it while it is still warm. Wonderfullllllllll....... and the best part- no toxic ingredients. I actually had the thought yesterday while mine was cooling on the counter, "what if someone walks by and thinks this is icing?" No worry- it won't kill 'em!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mixing Grains

Here's a thought - if you have a grain mill and mill your own flour, the next time you mill try using a variety of grains instead of milling a single type. I used to struggle to keep up with whole wheat flour, spelt flour, rye flour, and so on.
Lately I've been mixing the grains as I put them in the mill for a one of a kind flour. One of our favorites is a Prairie Gold/Spelt combination. Watch out for the low/no gluten grains such as oat groats and pastry berries if you are making breads with yeast. It is fine to use those on quick or non- yeasted breads. Happy baking!!! P.S. Who knows you might develop the next "designer" flour :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Night - you know what that means

It's fish night again- (already, how did that happen?)

Our lemon thyme looks beautiful (and it's about the only thing:)) so............ I searched for lemon thyme sauce and came up with this- I'll give it a try with salmon

Lemon Thyme Sauce:
1 minced shallot
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter, cut into 3 pieces
1/4 teaspoon arrowroot (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped thyme

In small sauce pan, combine shallots, wine and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, uncovered until shallots are tender and much of the liquid has evaporated (about 5 minutes). Shallots should be tender but not dark. Remove from heat and add 1 piece of butter, stirring with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until the butter has melted. Place the pan over low heat and add the remaining butter, one piece at a time until the butter melts. (If thicker sauce is desired, stir in arrowroot and continue to cook until thickened (about 1 minute). Stir in thyme and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Flour Sack Towels

I found some flour sack towels at the local bent and dent grocery. They were a great buy- I'm considering going back for more! Great for cleaning and much more.

The Flour Sack by Colleen B. Hubert

In that long ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item, was the flour sack.

Pillsbury’s Best, Mother’s and Gold Medal, too
Stamped their names proudly in purple and blue.
The strings sewn on top were pulled and kept;
The flour emptied and spills were swept.
The bag was folded and stored in a sack
That durable, practical flour sack.

The sack could be filled with feathers and down,
For a pillow, or would make a nice sleeping gown.
It could carry a book and be a school bag,
Or become a mail sack slung over a nag.
It made a very convenient pack,
That adaptable, cotton flour sack.

Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers, or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips.
And mom braided rugs from one hundred strips
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack,
From that humble but treasured flour sack.

As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use,
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack.

As dish towels, embroidered or not,
They covered up dough, helped pass pans so hot,
Tied up dishes for neighbors in need,
And for men out in the field to carry seed,
They dried our dishes from pan, not rack
That absorbent handy flour sack.

We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October (a scary ghost)
And a parachute for a cat named Jack.
From that lowly, useful old flour sack.

So now my friends, when they ask you
As curious youngsters often do,“Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s Glue
And paper towels, What did you do?”
Tell them loudly and with pride don’t lack,
“Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack.”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Barefoot Contessa At Home

Don't you just love this?

"Something smells really good!" my husband Jeffrey exclaims every Friday
night when he walks in the door. Most weeks, Jeffrey has been around the world
and back and when he walks in that door, I want him to feel that he's really
home. What he doesn't realize is that what feels very casual is, in fact, quite
deliberate the music is playing, all the lights are on, there are flowers
everywhere, and chicken and onions are roasting in the oven."

And more
..."All day long, I feel as though I'm batting back the baseballs that are
being hurled at me; decisions to make, places to go, cranky people to deal
with... and when I come home I want my house to feel serene and beautiful, like
the way you feel when you get into a bed piled high with down pillows: you're
from the Barefoot Contessa at Home

For those of you not familiar with her cookbooks- she has some terrific simple recipes.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Go Girls Go

We're still getting eggs in January!!!

McMurray Hatchery raves about white leg horns I'm beginning to believe them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What About Grapeseed Oil?

I found a bottle of grapeseed oil at Costco the other day. I was surprised to find it was cheaper per ounce than the olive oil. Anyway, I had run across this oil in many soap recipes and have been curious to give it a try so I bought it. While doing some research, I ran across some interesting facts from these two great sites:

5 Great Uses:

1. Use to treat blemishes

2. Use as a makeup remover

3. Use as a massage

4. Use to moisturize extremely sensitive skin

5. Use in your bath

Grapeseed Oil Good For Skin Care

Grapeseed oil has the same antioxidants as green tea, black tea, berries and red wine. These antioxidants are called procyanidolic oligomers (PCO’s), known for there health giving properties, and are more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E.

Since our skin absorbs and sends into our bodies what we put on it, I love to use products on my skin that are safe to consume. Look at the ingredients you put on your skin. Would you eat them? Food for thought (so to speak:))

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Breakfast Fun

Sometimes it's not so much what you serve, but how you serve it.

....we wished we had some granola to sprinkle on top :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday is fish night

Today is Tuesday so it must be fish for dinner. Sometimes it's spicy, sometimes nutty, sometimes sweet the variations are endless. Tonight it is smothered in a creamy cajun parmesean sauce- yum. And, oh so easy!!!

Here's a terrific site for wonderful sauce recipes.

Here it is with cranberries, orange juice and pecans. Add salad, rice, brocolli and voila a meal!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

What's in Your Hand?

"and the Lord said unto him, what is that in thine hand?" Exodus 4:2

I know I have posted on this subject before, but here we are again at the start of a new year and I'm tempted (again!!) to let my affections roam. I'm tempted to think what ifs, if onlys, when this, etc. When my thoughts roam they are not at home. I can't be focused on what is in my hand (my husband, my family, my home, my living situation) and what I'd like to be in my hand at the same time.

So.... here I am again asking God to help me be a better steward -a resourceful steward, a grateful steward, a contented steward -and use what I have more effectively.

We hope this will be a new year of resourceful thoughts, creative ideas, and contented thankfulness. May God bless you and your family as you use what's in your hand for His glory.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cooking beans, chicken, soups, rice......

Here's my thinking - since we are heating with the wood burning stove let's use the heat as productively as possible. In years gone by we have kept a kettle of hot water on the stove to help humidify the air. Why it didn't dawn on me before now to cook ahead I don't know.
It has been really cold here and we have kept a fire going just about all day. Each morning I put a big pot of something (sometimes several pots :)) on and let it cook away. I'm cooking food that we may not eat for several months, but since we have a large freezer, that I'm running anyway, I might as well fill it up. Also, it is wonderful to have an endless supply of hot water.
The watering can to the left of the stove is keep water warm for the animals. We hope you are staying warm and not spending a fortune for your heat.