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Showing posts from May, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons.....

The other day I was transferring my honey into smaller containers. The remaining honey left in my gallon container filled two quart jars yet there was still a little left...quite a bit left if I would take the time to patiently scrap the sides of my container. I love honey yet it can be a sticky mess...and some times I have a problem with being patient. Finding a smaller container would take time as would scraping the sides - which would also result in sticky fingers, not that I mind licking off the sticky goodness, but I was in a hurry. However there was no way that I could waste my precious, yummy honey. So what's a girl to do?

As I contemplated my choices, my vase full of lemons whispered to me. AAH! Lemonade! I squeezed a few lemons. I added a couple cups of water and the lemon juice into my almost empty honey jar, sealed the jar and shook away. All the sticky honey that was once stuck to the sides of the jar mixed beautifully with my lemonade.

Honey does have a distinct fla…

Cheese Attempt

 I've made cheese a few times. Once I made a wonderful feta. Once I made...I don't know what it was, but it was edible enough to save by hiding it in a casserole. Once I made a mediocre attempt at feta which I used in lasagna. This time the cheese, or whatever you can call it, was a complete flop. Tasted like icky sour milk. Not good. On the bright side, The Boy and I had tons of fun TRYING to make mozzarella cheese.
  
I wish I would have written down what The Boy was saying. I can tell by the expression on his face that he was making a "funny". Probably comparing the cheese texture to brains or something equally gross and disgusting. I think it's a boy trait. It's MY boy's trait anyway. Anything to get a reaction. This reminds me of the time he woke his sister by placing his 5 toads on her pillow. He thought it would be funny. He never imagined the tears of horror that he would induce. I've never seen him so apologetic. Ah, but back to c…

Happy Birthday Grandma


Yesterday was my Grandmother's Birthday. She turned 82, but you wouldn't know it by looking at her. Grandma is this cute, petite woman who is a fashion diva. She has more style than I have in my little toe. Beyond her beautiful exterior is an equally beautiful interior.

In many ways Grandma and I are complete opposites. She shops, I garage sale....similar yet quite different. She gets her hair "done" religiously. I don't even wear makeup. She likes to go dancing. I like to garden. In the past, she'd try hard to convince me that I should wear makeup and style my hair because I was "so beautiful when I did"... I always graciously listened to her loving advice. Out of love, she patiently advised and out of respect, I patiently listened. She's finally given up on changing my opinions on beauty. :)

The one thing we have in common is the love that we have for our family. Family is her first priority. She has taught me the importance of loving, help…

Staycation ~ What's in Your "Neck of the Woods"?

Yesterday bloggers from all over the United States blogged about what a staycation would look like in their neck of the woods. Click on the links below to visit a variety of staycation destinations.

New England
Connecticut - Parenting Miracles
Boston, Massachusetts - ‎ Maven of Savin'
Manchester, New Hampshire - Common Sense with Money
Western Maine - Bubblegum and Lollipops

Mid-Atlantic
Erie, Pennsylvania -  Growing Kids Ministry
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - Somewhat Crunchy
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - Family Balance Sheet
Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York - Coupons, Deals and More
New Jersey - Oh! Diane

Midwest
Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Indoor Garden Musings
Mansfield, Ohio - Live the Adventure
Cincinnati, Ohio - Savings Lifestyle~Cincinnati
Mount Vernon, Ohio - Living Better One Day at a Time
Dayton, Ohio -  Savings Lifestyle~Dayton
Grand Rapids, Michigan - Kitchen Stewardship
Metro Detroit, Michigan - "Cents"able Momma
Oakland County, Michigan - Bargain Shopper Mom
Warren, Michigan - Saving Dollar…

Sourdough Buns (UPDATED 5/24)

A new recipe that I'm trying today and I can't even tell you if this recipe is any good....the buns are risin' as I type. My hopes are high and I'll let ya know how they turn out. :)

2 cups sourdough starter
3T. butter
1/2 c. milk, lukewarm
2 eggs
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar (or honey)
3 cups flour (I used 2 cup whole wheat, 1 cup white)

Stir together all ingredients but flourAdd flour. Knead until smooth (my kitchenaid did this for me) Add more flour if need ~ I added maybe another 1/2 cup Let rest for 15-20 minutes (go check your email)Roll out until 1/2" thickCut into 4" rounds (I use a canning jar lid)Cover and let rise until double (I use this time to blog however a nap sounds good)Bake at 350* for 15-18 minutes. Now it's time for me to check my buns....and maybe I'll even have time to shut my eyes for 15 minutes. ;~)


May 24 ~
The danger of posting BEFORE completing a new recipe? The shame and humiliation of admitting to you that it was FLOP. The dough did…

Stay-cation: Fun Things to Do Around Rochester, MN

Family vacations are expensive. Gas, lodging, meals...oh, and then there is the admission cost to all the cool things that you want to see. Vacations cost more than a small fortune. Now figure in the loss of income (some of us don't get paid vacations) and you've "broke the bank". Enter the stay-cation. Gas costs are reduced. Lodging is covered. Meals, although still necessary, can be made at home and packed in a cooler. This summer, instead of taking a week off, I am taking a couple long weekends. One weekend we will be traveling "Up North" to visit my husband's college buddy. Otherwise we're keeping our exploring near to home.

Another benefit to a stay-cation is a little extra time for home projects. I can keep up with the laundry, instead of having a week's worth of laundry to do when I return home. Isn't that the worst part of vacation - the accumulation of dirty clothes you have to wash after being away from home all week? Gardening can…

Yummy Summer Treats and Creating Rugs Out of T-Shirts

During the summer I usually keep my freezer stocked with Mr. Freezes. Nothing like preaching against the evils of sugar yet serving up daily doses of it to my little (and big) buddies. Finding popsicle molds had been on my mind lately. I wanted to find small ones to help combat the drip and mess factor. The other night I found the perfect size at Walmart. Now to fill them with a little nutritional content...I'm all for tricking my kids into eating something that is good for them and what better way than in a popsicle! Yesterday I tripled my morning smoothie recipe and made Tropical Pops. The kids (most of them) loved it! This morning I used strawberries and bananas (I think these will be more widely accepted by the general population at my house).  Hidden in my smoothies are ground flax seed, super duper "green powder"(bunch of healthy herbs), milk, homemade yogurt, fruit and sweetened with a little REAL maple syrup. YUMMY!


Last month I found directions to weave a rug o…

Wildtree Wednesday

I love chickpeas and couscous so I am anxious to try this new recipe.
Mediterranean Chickpea and Couscous Salad

1 ¼ cup water 2 teaspoons Wildtree Chicken or Vegetable Bouillon Soup Base 1 cup couscous ¼ cup currants 2 tablespoons Wildtree Natural Grapeseed Oil 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 ½ tablespoons Wildtree Tzatziki Seasoning Blend 1 large carrot, grated ½ cup diced cucumber 1 small tomato, seeded and diced 1 small red onion, diced 1 small red bell pepper, diced 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in Bouillon, couscous, and currants, turn off heat, cover and steam for five minutes. In a small bowl mix together Grapeseed Oil, lemon juice, and Tzatziki; set aside. Fluff couscous with a fork. Combine couscous, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture and toss well to combine.
Calories 290; Fat 6g; Saturated Fat 0.5g; Carb 49g; Fiber 6g; Protei…

Garage Sales: Green Frugality at it's Best

Garage sales, for me, can be compared to a treasure hunt. After all, isn't one man's junk another man's treasure? Through fall and winter I formulate a list of things to put on my "hunting" list. During this time, if I need (usually it's a want) something, I ask myself, "Would I find xyz at a garage sale? If so, can I wait until May/June to make this purchase?" I have been know to beg small kitchen appliances to just hold out until May. A couple of years ago I bought a blender for $2. It worked great for one year, in fact it stopped running a week before garage sales season began again at which time I bought another $2 blender. The second blender didn't last as long. It did last until a week before Christmas, giving darling husband the perfect gift idea.


My Boy (who is more of a man-child) is growing too quickly and is also very hard on his clothes. Garage sales offer the perfect solution to this never ending need of clothes and shoes....especia…

Today in Laurie's Kitchen - Cereal and Mayonnaise (but not cereal WITH mayonnaise!)

Finding an easy, but healthy breakfast is always a challenge. Presently I have daycare kiddos who don't care for eggs, nor do they like oatmeal. Pancakes are messy and involve prep, not to mention that the kids want their pancakes to drown in syrup. The kids also arrive at various times. We try to wait for all our friends to arrive before having breakfast but sometimes we are too hungry to wait. Cereal is easy. Pour as needed and it doesn't get cold while it waits for everyone to arrive. Every once in awhile I serve toast and fresh fruit for breakfast but mostly the kids just want cereal. Unfortunately, store bought cereal is often overpriced and is almost always filled with sugar. I try to reserve our sugar consumption to occasional afternoon snacks of homemade cakes, brownies, and cookies. Check out this article comparing cereal to ice cream:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1174591/Named-shamed-The-cereals-sugar-bowl-ice-cream.html

I've spent much time in the cere…

Mother's Day

Certain days of the year build expectations that are often not fulfilled. Valentines Day. Birthdays. Christmas. Even Mother's Day. For some, the days before such events are filled with anticipation. For others, the days before are filled with dread, trying to prepare oneself for...well, nothing. Once the day arrives, you try your best to not be disappointed, history has told you not to expect much, if anything. But somehow those feelings of hurt and disappointment creep in. No matter how hard you try to shove them into the deepest, darkest, secret place inside you, those feelings keep resurfacing. After the disappointment comes the feeling of guilt. Who am I to think that for one day I should be treated like a princess? After the guilt comes the feeling of failure. Maybe I'm not a good mom, maybe I don't deserve to be treated like a princess. Maybe I'm being selfish by even wanting acknowledgement. These maybes only breed the churning emotions and achieves nothing.

Yes…

Go Bananas

Last week, through the generosity of a friend, I was blessed with an abundance of produce. Tuesday we went bananas.
The bananas, although quite brown on the outside, were still firm. I'd have loved to keep them around for a couple more days for plain old eating but I didn't want to risk the bananas browning too much. I popped one into my morning smoothie and chucked up half a dozen to freeze. These will be perfect for my breakfast smoothies.


Half a dozen bananas were used up in this recipe:
http://www.southernplate.com/2008/07/homemade-banana-pudding-tutorial.html
The only thing I changed in this recipe was omitting the Nilla Wafers and I also forgot to add the salt. I used fresh eggs from my hens and creamy fresh milk. Hubby raved about this pudding and said that it was the best pudding he has ever tasted!


My next google search for chocolate covered bananas led me again to Southern Plate. This is the first time I've stumbled across this site. Twice. I think that calls f…

Wildtree Wednesday

I'll be trying out these recipes on the grill this spring....if spring ever comes. :) I do love the Ranchers Steak Rub and use it on roasts, steaks and burgers.



Rodeo Burgers
1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef1 tablespoon Wildtree Rodeo RubLeslie's Smoky Burger & Rib SauceIn a large bowl, combine ground beef and Rodeo Rub and stir until incorporated. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, form into patties. Grill burgers over medium-high heat, 5-6 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Serve on kaiser or bulkie rolls with Leslie's Smoky Burger & Rib Sauce.






Easy BBQ Chicken
4 bone-in chicken pieces (thigh, breast, legs)1 tablespoon Wildtree Rancher Steak RubWildtree Cactus Pete's Agave BBQ SaucePrepare a medium-hot grill.
Season the chicken with Rancher Steak Rub. Place the chicken on the grill and cook 10 minutes per side. Baste the chicken with the Cactus Pete's Agave BBQ Sauce and grill for 5 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a…