Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Country Homemaker Hop- Week 5

 Are YOU a Country Homemaker? 
Please join us each week and share your homemaking and homesteading ideas.  Pictures, recipes, tips, household wisdom, gardening ideas, barnyard stories, and sewing/craft tutorials, just to name a few topics, they're all welcome.   Chime in about what's going on at your homestead.  Share as often as you like.  I love reading your great homemaking updates, stories, recipes, and tutorials so please, keep em coming!

Happy February!

This is one of my most requested recipes Spinach salad.  Sorry I didn't have a picture,so I had to use one off the Internet.

1 bag spinach
3hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1/2 small can of water chestnuts (chopped)
6 strip of cooked bacon (cut up into small bite size pieces.

Mix every thing in a bowl . then make your dressing. In a plastic zip lock bag mix 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup chopped onions,2 tbl vinegar, 2 tbl Worcestershire sauce, 3 tbl ketchup. Close bag and shake till combined and sugar is desolved. You can also use a canning jar. Put dressing on right before serving.

Monday, January 30, 2012

This could only happen to me.

Rick and Dan had to go to Vegas for work. Jackie and I decided to meet them there for the weekend.  Rick had to work Friday night .  Dan ,Jackie, and I ,plus a few others decide to go to the all you can eat buffet at the Fremont. While sitting there enjoying my meal, I felt a rip in the bottom part of the leg of my jeans. So  I looked to see what happened. This is were it got ridiculous. I called a server over and showed him not only the very small rip in my jeans but also the nail sticking out of the chair.  Here's how the conversation went.

I am fine could you please just move the chair so no one else gets hurt. 
I will get a manager.
Fine be could you at lest move the chair?
I will get a manager..

 Then he walks away, Every one is looking in our direction to see what is going on. The manager shows up. I show her the chair. And the little tear. I inform her that I am fine. I just would like the chair removed and get another one. ( by this time people are really watching.) The manager informs me security is on it's way.
Mam, All I want is the chair replaced with another one; I am fine.
Sorry we have to wait for security. They need to investigate .

Now everyone is watching. So I am still waiting for a new chair. Jackie and the others are now starting to giggle. Up come the two security guards. I swear to you I thought I was in a comedy. Up walk these two guards, one tall and thin and the other short and round. And they didn't look too bright.  I mentally scolded my self for being mean. I don't know if I need to do that or not as things played out. It got really comical after that.

 Mam we understand you have a problem.  Could you tell us what happened?
  There is a nail in the chair and I ask to have it removed so no one else would get hurt. It tore a little hole in my jeans where the nail caught it. It could really hurt someone in a dress or a child.
Mam do you need a paramedic.
No I am not hurt I just don't want anyone else hurt.
Can we see the leg?
Sure but I am not hurt it just got the jeans. so I showed them my leg.
Mam are you sure you don't want a paramedic.
Can you show use where the nail is in the chair.
Yes so I show them.( I swear the next thing they say is true)
He turns to the thin guy and says Take this chair to the security room so we can investigate it.

By now Dan has his hand over his mouth. And everyone in there is enjoying the show.  

Mam would you like to fill out a report.
Do I have to.
No Mam we can fill a report as a customer report .
Ok do that. I really don't want to have to fill out forms.
Mam are you saying you don't want to fill a complaint.
Yes the chair has been removed,I am fine.
Mam are you sure your not hurt.
Yes not even a scratch.
Are you sure you don't want a ambulance.
Yes I am fine.
Are you sure you don't want medical attention.
Yes I don't want medical attention I am not hurt. 
Are you sure you don't want to fill out the forms. 
Yes I am sure.
Mam are you sure you don't want to fill a complaint.
Yes I am sure. 
Mam what do you want done.

  Nothing the chairs gone I am good.
So your sure you don't want to fill the forms or need medical attention.  
Yes I am sure.I would just like to leave to see the light show. 
 If you're sure have a good night. And he walks a way.

By this time everyone at the table is shaking they heads and smirking. And I am totally embarrassed.  I told my dad about it. He laughed thru the whole story. He  then told me they have to repeat it over and over again  so people can't come back and sue them.  Maybe so, but I felt like I was in a comedy show.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chocolate Chip Heath Cookies

 My family loves these cookies. I make them about once a month.

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter (softened)
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 bag Toll house mini chocolate chips
1/2 bag of heath pieces ( you can find these where the chocolate chips are.)

Mix all the ingredients together. Place by rounded  spoon full on a cookie sheet. Cook at 375 for 10 to 11 minutes. Till golden brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for 3 min. Finish cooling on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thoughts from my head


Saturday, January 21, 2012

bakery Bread Secrets

I worked at a bakery for two and a half years in a Pauls store. I learned many of their secrets.. One of them was how they got their bread to rise even in high altitudes.  I am not only going to give you the recipe but how to have tall perfect loaf of bread every time.

1 1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees( Low altitude use 1 cup)
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbl sugar
3cups bread flour
3tsp dry active yeast.
3 tbl veg oil
large pan of boiling water

Add your yeast to the water. Let it sit for 5 to 10 min.  In a kitchen aid or mixer add 1/2 your flour then salt. Then add the other half of flour and sugar. I learned you need the salt. But if it is add with the yeast  it will kill the yeast,. Next add the oil and the yeast.  Start mixer with dough hook on low. Then turn speed up one notch. Walk away. Let it mix for at least 10 to 12 min. Unlike pie dough. the longer it mix's the better. The dough should be elastic and climb up the hook.
If it's to dry add water tsp at a time. Give it time to work in to dough before adding more if need. If to wet add flour a table spoon at a time. Also giving it time to work in. I use this recipe all the time and sometime I may have to do one or the other. A lot depends on the weather. ( yes it plays a factor )
 Place your dough in a greased bowl.  Don't cover your bowl . You want it to get the moisture .P lace in a cold oven. Put your boiling water in a baking dish  and put on bottom of oven. Shut the oven door and don't open for one hour. This makes a moisture box like the bakery have. Put your water back on to boil right before your hour is up so you have fresh hot water. Take your bowl out of the oven .Punch down and let rest while you spay your pan with cooking spray. Form dough into loaf shape and place in pan. Empty your baking pan and put fresh boiling water in. As close to the top as you can with out spilling it. Place bread and baking pan back in oven and close door. Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour. I find 30 minutes works for me. Then turn  cold oven to 350 for 35 min. The baking pan full of water will help keep your bread moist. And I have found it doesn't dry out as fast once it is cut. After 35 min check your bread.,by tapping the bottom of the bread. If it sounds hollow it's done. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Life with chickens

Once a week we  clean the chicken coop. When we first got the chickens cleaning the coop was easy. Now it's a little more work. They are no longer afraid of us,so they are always under foot. Our coop is very small,As you can see we have to raise the roof to add more straw. I can rake it out thru the small door in the front.
This is before we raked it out. You can see why we have to go thru the roof.I even had to take the picture thru the roof.
 This is a picture of the front of the coop. The dog run is there so we can lock them up at night. We have wild animals that would love to have them for dinner. We have a fenced  area at the front of the dog run so they have room to scratch around.
Before we can clean I have to give them meal worms to distract them, so they don't follow me around.

They love the stuff. Aren't they pretty. Miss Priss didn't want her picture taken.

This is the straw from the coop. We have to rack it out of the dog run before we can put it in the trash can.

Well it work for a little while. As I was spreading the new hay they showed up and decided to do it for me. They want me to think they wanted to help.  But I know they  just wanted to look for bugs.
 Do you see Miss Priss at the bottom of the picture. For some reason every time Rick takes the water to fill it. She has a fit. You would think we were killing her as loud as she gets.
Happy chickens!. Fresh water, clean home , and full bellies what more could you ask for.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vanilla beans.

 I am so happy! I saw a post on the cattle and cupcake site about making vanilla extract. She gave a web site where you can buy it. http://www.beanilla.com/ My wonderful husband bought me 20 vanilla beans. They will be here in two to three business days. I learned awhile back how to make Starbucks vanilla scones. But the beans were so expensive (2 for $13) that I could not see making them a lot. Now I can . He got 20 Madagascar Vanilla Beans for 20 bucks. They are having a great sale. I could jump up and down for joy.  Thank you so much Cattle and Cupcakes! As soon as I get them I will make the scones and post the recipe. I am so HAPPY!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Asian Chicken Salad

 I was recently told be my doctor I had to lose weight. I hate to admit it but I am 50 pounds over weight. It never bothered my husband bless his heart. It did me, but not enough to do something about it. Now I don't have a choice. Which is good in a way. I have no excuses left.  I am getting off track here. This post is about the recipe. My husband loves this salad. Even though he has no weight problem. (Don't you just hate that!) The recipe is from Hungry Girl. It is so good. I will be taking it to Heidi's tonight.

12 oz of cooked skinless and boneless chicken breast chopped into small bite size pieces
1 16 oz bag of  packaged dry broccoli slaw mix
1 can water chestnuts, drained and sliced into thin strips
1 cup caned mandarin orange segments packed in water or juice, drained and chopped
(and rinsed if in juice)
1 cup chopped green onions
3/4 cup Newman's Own lighten up low fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

In a large bowl toss all ingredients together in till mixed well. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir before serving. (my husband likes it chilled over night.)
 Serving 1 1/2 cups, 195 cal 2 fats 4 fibers. 21 carb 22.5 proteins.

 This is also very good even if you aren't trying  to lose weight. If you don't care to know about these recipes as I try new ones, please leave a comment. I have plenty of other recipes I can post about. Thanks.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A day in the life of me.

I haven't posted since Thursday.  So I figured I better come up with a good one to make up for it.Think! Think! Nope, nothing comes to mind. Now what? Maybe I'll find inspiration in one of my craft magazines. OK that didn't work! Then I spotted my Country magazine. There was a day in the life of the Amish article. Sounded good to me. So for better or worse here is a day in the life of me.

It's 7:14 am on a Sunday morning. I feel this wet nose rubbing against my cheek. I bat it away. Next this rough little tongue starts licking my face.. I bat her away. Next thing I feel is two little paws kneading my shoulder. OK, OK, you win I will pet you.. Dusty turns into my side for me to pet her belly.  Her purring fills the quiet room. For 10 minutes it's only her and I.Till my husband rolls over and kisses me good morning. With an evil glare and low growl Dusty jumps off the bed. So starts my day.

I come down to the smell of coffee drifting from my kitchen. Most people start their day with coffee and a danish. Me, I start mine with coffee and a laptop.  I have to keep up with my blogger friends. Before I realize it, it was time to go to church. Which didn't leave time for breakfast. I told Rick we would have to do cereal . Only to find out he set right beside me and ate breakfast about A half an hour ago. Note to self. Don't get totally lost in the world of blogging.

I had made 2  low fat burritos for work Saturday. I had one left. Rick was nice enough to swing by work on our way to church. So I could grab it. Cereal just wasn't on my agenda.  After church we went out with a couple of friends. We had great food and good conversation.

We came home to chores. The chicken coup needed cleaned. First I had to throw out meal worms so we could distract them. They tend to want to be under foot while we clean. They have no fear of us at all. Miss Prissy has a fit every time we take her water to refill it. You can hear her squawking all the way down the street. We went out to the garden to water it only to find the deer  had used it for dinner. Definitely time to build a fence.

We came in and I worked on my yarn dish clothes. I saw them on  another blog and thought they were cute.  Then it was time to start dinner. I made a dinner of Homemade bread and chicken pot pie. I was hoping for left overs for lunch. Didn't happen. At least I know they like my cooking.

After dinner I made cookies. So started the game of catching Rick before he eats all the dough. His  theory is why waste time cooking them when you can eat them right out of the bowl. I did manage to save 3/4 of the batter.

It's now time to curl up on the sofa and watch TV with Dusty curled up on my lap. Hope you enjoyed A day in the life. If not, sorry it's all I had. Have a good night.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why waste time.

I was just reading on  another post about a woman who lost her job to a layoff. She was saying that she realized after getting upset, that she was glad it happened. That she didn't really care for the people or the job.  I left a comment about the woes of my job. As I hit the publish button it dawned on me. Why am I letting my job dictate the mood of my day or stress me out. I don't know about anyone one else, but I tend to do that. We can't change it if other people are cruel and unhappy people. But we can change how we let them affect us. For example when people are rude to us. Maybe someone takes your parking spot.or cuts you off. We tend to dwell on it. Which only makes us madder. It doesn't affect them either way. But we have just ruined our day. Yes we , not them. There's so much that can go wrong in life that upsets us or worries us. Why add to  it. My daughter once asked me a question that rings so true. Are you going to remember this in 5 years. If  not. Why waste time and energy stressing about it. I need to practice that rule of thumb.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Buttercup looks so comfortable. She is so cute you just want to mess with her.
 Look at that face. Think she is a little upset that I woke her up.
How do they do that? Right after she makes the face she falls right back to sleep. Wouldn't it be great if we could do that. If I get woke up. It takes a while for me to fall back to sleep.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

UFO Cross Stitch

This is a project I started two years ago for my friend Susie. And have yet to finish. I was going to cross stitch two cats and turn them into quilted wall hangings. As you can see the first cross stitch is done.

The picture on the left is the second one. I plan to finish it this month. And then get them quilted .I am posting this to Heidi's UFO blog hop.

UFO ROLL  Hopefully this will give me the motivation to finish it. Plus I have the added benefit of Heidi reminding  me to get it finished. (That's what freinds are for,right? lol ) We all have UFO. Come join her blog hop and we can all do it together. It's also a great way to see what our other blogger friends are up to.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Home made seasonings

I went to the store the other day  for chili seasoning. I was in a hurry and out of my home made chile mixture. The prices of the premixed seasoning had me shell shocked. I know everything is getting expensive, but $2.69 for a season packet. Come on! So I thought I would share some of my seasoning with others who also don't want to pay $ 2.69. These cost less and taste so much better. For the last one I am also doing a recipe. This chicken dish is heavenly.

 Taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 cups dried parsley
  • 1 cup rubbed sage
  • 1/2 cup dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage  
Chili  seasoning  


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • People have asked about the flour. It is only an option. It works as a thickening agent.
    Italian  Seasoning


  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
 Emeril's  Essence

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2  tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion power
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Middle Eastern Chicken Rub

3 tablespoons sweet paprika
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground corriander
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions for all the seasoning Combine all ingredients and mix very well. Place in airtight glass jars (no plastic). Shake well before using. This is nice in 1/2 pint sized jars to give as gifts.

Middle Eastern Chicken 

Take your piece of chicken and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle the pieces generously with Middle Eastern Seasoning. Place in baking pan and bake at 350 till done. This is so good!  


This was posted to The way grandmama does it site.




Thursday, January 5, 2012

Addiction Happens

 Addiction happens before you know . You never see it coming till it hits you. My AHH moment just happened. I was writing a comment on another post . I was talking about how good her cookies would be with the coffee am drinking.  I showed the comment to my friend to see what she that. That's when the lighting bolt hit. I am here visiting my friend Heidi. Sitting side by side. With our lab tops sitting on the counter  side by side.  Visiting each other thru the net. HELP I need an intervention! PS I just asked her what she thought of my post.

Pumpkin French Toast w/ Apple Cider Syrup

I have so much pumpkin that I put up from my garden this year. That I had to find new ways to use it. You can only make so much pumpkin bread and cookies. I found this recipe on the chew a while back. And of course I had to redo it to make it easier and faster, The recipe for the syrup will be posted below,the french toast recipe.

1 cup milk,    1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2,   3 eggs,  1/2 cup pumpkin pie filling,  1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla,   pinch of salt. Loaf of egg bread

 Mix all the ingredients in a bowl ( except bread). Place bread in the bowl to soak up mixture. Then place in a baking dish in single layers. Pour extra mixture(if any) over the top. Put in frig over night, or for at least 6 hours.
In a skillet place 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter. When melted, cook your french toast. Add more oil and butter as needed. (The oil can handle the heat,so the butter doesn't burn, and the butter gives it flavor.)

                                                       Apple Cider Syrup  

1/4 cup sugar,   1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,   2 tablespoons cornstarch,   1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg,  2    cup apple cider or apple juice,  2 tablespoons lemon juice,   1/4 cup butter cut into pieces, 

Add all the ingredients into a sauce pan  ( except butter ) and cook. Stirring constantly until thickened and comes to a boil. Continue to stir and let boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Pour over toast, You can add spiced pecans or regular pecans to the top if you like.

For those of you who want to make your own pumpkin pie filling.
1/2 cup pumpkin,   1/4 teaspoon ground ginger ,   1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,   1 teaspoon cinnamon.  
 Mix together. 
 Hope you enjoy this recipe. My family loves it. And for Heidi, this is very similar to your Pumpkin Bread pudding French Toast at Denny's

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pot Sticker.

My husband loves pot stickers, I use to buy them for the store ,but they weren't that good. Then I started buying them from Schwan's guy. They were good but got to be really expensive. So I decided to make my own. I found a great recipe and changed it a little to make it my own. My family and friends  love them. And it saves me a lot of money. I never know how easy they were to make.

1 and1/2 pounds of cooked Shrimp or 1 pound of any other cooked meat you may like.
4 chopped green onions
4 cloves roughly chopped garlic or 1 teaspoon of minced garlic.( Optional)
1 eggs and one egg white.
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
Wonton wrapper. There are normally around 60 in a package. ( Don't worry they freeze up really well)
 One husband or friend to do the frying

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until combined but still chunky
Wet all four sides of your wonton wrapper.
Place about 1/2 of teaspoon of filling in the middle.

Fold over to make a triangle. Gently push filling to the middle. Making sure to seal it all along the edges. This is very important. If it doesn't seal it will leak.  Your water helps to make it seal. Don't worry they seal really easy .
Place in a pan with a little oil They cook up really  fast. So make them all up at one time,placing them on a lightly floured sheet pan. Or have someone cook them as you make them up. I love my assistant. He looks so cute in his apron.

Place on paper towels to cool. Enjoy.

You can freeze these cooked or just made up.  If cooked, put in a plastic bag after they have cooled down. Place in freezer. Can be heated in oven or microwave. If just made up, put on lightly floured sheet pan in single layers and freeze. ( this stops them from sticking together.) Once frozen place in bags and return to freezer. I make these for the Super Bowl. I never can seem to make enough. They are highly addicting.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas redo

I really liked the garland we put on the fireplace for Christmas. So I had my husband make me a box to put it in. Then I added my candle warmer. Since my living room is done in a cabin feel It works. Now I can enjoy it all winter.
I think it worked well with the rest of the fireplace.