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Saturday, August 24, 2019

Microwave Caramels

1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup light karo corn syrup
1 – 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
In a 9x13 inch dish, generously butter a 9x13 inch pan and set aside. 
In a microwave safe bowl (make sure it is microwave safe!) melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add brown sugar, karo syrup, and sweetened condensed milk and mix well. Microwave on full power for 4-5 minutes.
Remove from microwave and stir. Continue microwaving for 4-5 minutes. Stir again and add the vanilla.
Pour the caramel into the 9x13 inch buttered pan. Let them completely cool for 1-2 hours. Cut the caramel with a knife and wrap in wax paper. Keep refrigerated

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Prepare ,,, Freeze... Cook... Serve

Dump Pineapple Kielbasa

2 lb.s Kielbasa

1 can chunk pineapple, save 3/4 cup juice and blend 2 tsp. cornstarch into the juice and set aside. 

1 can mandarin orange segments, drained

Directions: Cut the kielbasa into 1 inch slices and set aside in a large saucepan.  Pour the pineapple chunks and the mandarin orange segments over the kielbasa.

In another saucepan:


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1 tsp. salt

4tsp. ketchup

Bring to a simmer add the pineapple juice/cornstarch mixture.  Bring to a full boil.  Pour the sauce over the kielbasa and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Can either serve immediately over rice or cool and pour into a gallon size freezer bag. seal and label. Store laying flat in freezer.  

To Make Dinner from the freezer meal: Thaw bag in fridge overnight. Pour contents of bag into crockpot and heat on warm for 6-8 hours or on low for 3-4 hours. Serve over rice.

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busy monday

Creat a Organizational Family Command Center

I know most likely just like mine you have been there too.... On the search for that important paper, double booking yourself on the calendar or maybe even needing that important number you know you have somewhere. In order to maintain the home and keep down the drama at our home we have a central place where all can be found. Perhaps... you would be interested in keeping one for yourself:

Now while this may sound like something you need in your home,,, slow down and rest assured most likely it will take a bit of time to get up and going. A command center is to be there to help you and the family. Don't be in a hurry and end up making it more of a pain than a help. Slow down, take your time create an organization system that will help you in the long run. 
Using a space as small as a common wall to a den is perfect size for the family command center. Using a wall where you can secure hooks and baskets will allow you to disburse items for the family. The space most likely should be in a high traffic area where the entire family passes by or may  gather. Do a search on "pinterest" to gain a few ideas. Now that you have an idea of where to create the command post what do you need in it??

One main item that is needed in the family command center is a calendar. The calendar should have big squares to write in events. Dr. appointments, lessons, vacations and other events will need to be wrote in when they occur. Birthdays and other important dates are items you may want to add as well. Perhaps being aware of dates and times when things are to occur will help to keep lives more organized
A communication board will help allow family members to leave messages forever when ever needed. Using a dry erase board, a chalk board , a magnet board, a cork board and pins to leave notes or even a simple notepad will do nicely. Life can get busy and being able to leave messages for each other should help Leave lists for shopping, to dos or important notes to not forget items or where to meet up will help the family stay organized. Remember to position the community board so all family members can reach it

Being able to hang needed items that are used often such as backpacks, jackets and etc... would be great to be in this area. Hanging baskets or paper organizers will help get the items to each family member helping to keep the flow of organization continued. Meal plan as well as whats available to snack on helps to make the daily flow of life a bit easier. It also allows family members to help their selves to snacks and to help in the kitchen preparing meals. Thus these are just a couple of ideas that can help the daily flow and fit your goal of being more organized.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to Use Old Towels

We all have them those towels that have had their better day and some may consider worn out. Don't fret though,,,, there are still uses for these towels that have aged. 

Some of these uses include:
  • Keep a stack of older towels in a good area to use at times when spills may occur. This will help you save money on paper towels as they will no longer be needed for jobs like this
  • Want to save money on laundry expenses?? Toss a towel or two into the dryer when you are drying a small load. This will help to cut the drying time down
  • Good old towels are great for covering dishes at picnics to keep pest away
  • Older towels can be cut and used as baby bibs They still have their power of covering the area so they will work great
  • Another use for old towels that will help the littlest among us include cutting them up and making reusable baby wipes. 
  • old towels are perfect for cleaning the car. They are useful for both the inside and outside
  • are you handy?? Then take two towels that still have a bit of use, sew together and stuff to make a pillow
  • use white towels to make ghost for the yard during Halloween
  •  sew several old towels together to make a picnic blanket 
  • use old towels to make super hero capes
This is our ideas Do you have any?? Please share in comments

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Old Fashioned Home Making Tips

The manner of how our mothers and grandmothers cleaned the home years ago most likely differ in how we clean our house today. Want to travel back to those days of homemaking in the natural way?? Here are a few tips you may want to know:

  • I can recall traveling around the area washing windows, mowing yards, raking leaves and doing whatever was needed for those that either did not have the time or could not do it their selves. One tip I recall is to use a squeeze when washing windows and to use vertical strokes on one side of the window and horizontal strokes on the other. This will help you to know where the streak is if one appears. 
  • Time to clean the walls?? Whether you choose a sponge head mop, sponge or rag one of the easiest things to do is to add a Tbsp of baking soda to a pail of warm water that contains a mild dish soap. 
  •  have wood furniture that needs waxed?? You may be surprised but shoe polish works great for this job
  • Dust with a mixture of 1/4 cup of lemon oil added to hot water in a basin or bucket then soak cheesecloth squares in the mixture. Wring them out hang in cool, dry area for 24 hours. Now you will have pre moistened dusting cloths Much cheaper than purchasing from store
  • burning candles can be romantic and also often smell good for the entire house. However, cleaning that wax off of items is one of the hardest things. One tip to remove wax from woodwork is to hold ice cubes against the melted wax. As the wax gets cold it becomes easier to scrape off
  •  Believe it or not using ketchup and spreading it over brass items that need cleaned will help to clean them. After wards simply wash and dry
  •  The cleaner Borax is great tool for cleaning and deodorizing the garbage can. Use 1/2 cup borax mixed in bucket of warm water to wash the trash can. After cleaned place a fine layer of borax on the bottom of the can to fight odors
Hopefully these tips will help you to spiffy your home up

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Chocolate Chip Cookies Made In Muffin Pan Sweetened with Honey

1-1/2 cups white-whole wheat flour 
1/2 cup rolled oats, uncooked 
pinch sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 cup honey* 
1/2 cup peanut butter 
1/4 cup Earth Balance 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons hot water 
1/2 cup chocolate chips 
1/2 cup crushed peanuts, if you have them 
* I'm sure maple syrup would work well in an equal ratio if you don't have/eat honey.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a standard muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, honey, and Earth Balance -- until fluffy. Then mix in the vanilla extract and flax egg until well combined.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Then fold in the chocolate chips and peanuts (optional).
Divide evenly into a muffin tin and use lightly moistened fingertips to flatten the tops.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for a couple minutes before turning over onto a cooling rack to cool completely

recipe resource here

Serving Up Catfish Stories

We are lucky enough, and in some cases not so lucky, to live near the river. One main reason is because all of the yummy catfish that can be enjoyed at the local diners in our area. Catfish, hushpuppies, coleslaw and fries that makes up one of my all time favorite plates. Perhaps the Catfish boat in E-town is one of our favorites but there are many other places to get a delicious catfish plate.

Through out the year there are many great fish fry events. One such event will be held this weekend in Stonefort Illinois. A little town more like a spot in the road is still a gathering place for young and old alike to come together and enjoying the day. 

The little town of Stonefort was built up around a train depot that had regular stops. It has lots of history if you ask the old-timers in the area. If you want to see for yourself stop by and visit the area museum and learn a bit about the old days.

Do you have celebrations like this in your area??

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Cool Treat for Hot Day

It's hot out there. As my grandson show's quite well. Even the smurf with horns has no intention of playing very much harder than they all ready have. So what type of snack do you give them on a hot day?? Well a cool one of course. 

24 ice cream sandwiches
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping
1 cup salted peanuts (I use an ice cream nut topping that was a mixture of peanuts and pecans)

  1. Cut one ice cream sandwich in half. Place one whole and one half sandwich along a short side of an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. pan.
  2. Arrange eight sandwiches in opposite direction in the pan. Spread with half of the whipped topping. Spoon fudge topping by teaspoonfuls onto whipped topping. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup peanuts. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream sandwiches, whipped topping and peanuts (the pan will be full).
  3. Cover and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares. Serves 15.
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Cupcakes are for Relaxing

for cupcakes:
1 cup. baking soda
1 cup Citric Acid
1 Tbsp. oil (We  used Sweet Almond Oil, but you can also use grapeseed oil or olive oil)
5 drops fragrance/essential oil (we used lavender essential oil)
3-5 drops coloring or Pigment powder (You can use food coloring, but we used soap colorant or Pigment powder)
Witch hazel (poured into a spray bottle)
Colored sugar or sprinkles
Paper cupcake liners
cupcake pan

for icing topping
3 Tbsp. meringue powder
1 lb. (measured by weight) powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar
5-6 Tbsp. warm water
Few drops of color or Pigment powder or soap colorant
Few drops essential or fragrance oil
colored sugar
Glass bowl
Hand mixer
pastry bag
Large tip for pastry bag 

Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and give it a stir. Pour sweet almond oil, essential oil or fragrance oil and color into a small bowl and stir. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir. Spray mixture with witch hazel. Mix with your hands. Keep spraying and mixing until the mixture feels like wet sand. When it’s ready, the mixture should clump together so that you can form a ball. That said, be careful not to get the mixture too wet because too much moisture could activate the citric acid, ruining your bath bomb. Add mixture to cupcake liners. Fill about 2/3 full. Press down with fingers. Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove from cupcake pan.

To make icing layer:
Mix meringue powder with warm water in a glass or ceramic bowl. Add cream of tartar and color. Add powdered sugar. Using a hand mixer, blend on high setting. If your mixture feels too stiff, add another tablespoon of water. Beat for 7-9 minutes. Icing is done when it forms stiff peaks and is thick like, well, frosting. Place inside a pastry bag. frost your cupcakes.  Once the cupcakes are frosted, add colored sugar or sprinkles.

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Quick and Easy Meatless Noodle Meal so Yummy

This meatless dish is considered heavenly by many. While a vegan dish the proteins and other ingredients are high in protein and low in fat and calories. The best part is that it is a great dish for busy nights when you are looking for a meal to simply create using the microwave. 

7 oz . stir-fry noodles
2 Tbsp fresh ginger
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp agave syrup
1 cup frozen peppers
2 cups frozen broccoli
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 package Gardein Sweet & Sour Porkless Bites

Bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil. Add in the noodles, then remove from heat and allow the noodles to soften for 8-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
While the noodles are cooking, create the sauce by mixing the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and agave syrup.
In a pan, beginning heating the vegetables. Top the vegetables with the sauce and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, add in the Gardein Sweet & Sour Porkless Bites (with the heated sweet & sour sauce as directed on the package). Cook until the vegetables have softened and the bites are heated throughout.
Mix in the noodles.
Serve and enjoy!

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