Monday, October 26, 2009

How to cook bacon


Bacon Cooking Tips• If the packaged sliced bacon is cold from the refrigerator, slowly slide the dull edge of a butter knife along the length between the strips, gently rocking to separate slices. Plan ahead and take the bacon out of the refrigerator thirty minutes before cooking. The slices should separate easily. • When frying bacon, it's important to keep a close eye on it and turn it often. It can burn in the blink of an eye. Older bacon will cook and burn almost twice as quickly as fresh bacon. • If you prefer very crispy bacon, choose thinner slices to fry up. Pour or baste off the fat as it accumulates in the pan. Use medium to medium-low heat. Cook slowly, turning often, to render out the most fat and help reduce shrinkage. Pricking with a fork will help alleviate any curling problems. Drain breakfast bacon on paper towels. • The fat rendered from the cooked bacon is highly-prized as a cooking oil for its flavor. After cooking the bacon, cool the rendered oil to room temperature and then pour through a fine sieve into a glass container. Cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. If you do not need the rendered fat, let it cool to room temperature, pour into a disposable metal or glass container, seal, tie up in a plastic bag, and toss into the trash. It's not wise to pour it down the drain, because it will coagulate and clog up the drain. • There are fancy microwave bacon cookers on the market which work well, but they are not necessary. Place a microwave-safe paper towel in a micro dish large enough to fit a single layer of bacon slices (4 to 6 slices). Cover with another paper towel. Six slices should take about 4 to 5 minutes on high, depending on the wattage of your microwave and the thickness of the bacon. Start checking after the first two minutes, and continue cooking at one minute intervals until you can judge the cooking time for the way you like it. Consult your microwave manual for more specific times. A rotating base in the microwave is highly recommended for even cooking, and most come with one built in these days. Remember that foods continue to cook even after the timer goes off in a microwave, so let it rest a few minutes before you dive in to let it crisp up and avoid burns. Curly bacon never bothers me, but this method reduces curling of the bacon. •

Bacon can also be easily baked in the oven, resulting in amazingly flat slices. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a rack inside a baking sheet. Lay out slices and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on desired doneness level.

Voila! Crispy bacon with no curls. You can also use your broiler, but I don't recommend it. First of all, the splatters not only make a royal mess, but also cause flares. Secondly, it requires much more attention. Stick with frying, microwaving or baking. • How can you reduce splattering problems? Part of the problem arises from today's quick salt-brining method (known as pickle-curing) used by producers. The liquid naturally soaks into the meat, and you know what happens when liquid hits hot oil -- snap, crackle, pop! Be sure the bacon slices are cold from the refrigerator and start with a cold pan. Use medium to medium-low heat and take your time cooking the slices, turning often. It's preferable to thaw frozen bacon in the refrigerator to reduce moisture, but even then some of the moisture may naturally seep out. Towel off the slices before cooking to avoid excess splattering. • If you must watch your fat intake, lean smoked ham or prosciutto can be substituted in many recipes where the rendered bacon fat is not needed. Turkey, chicken and vegetarian bacon products are also available. • Most slab bacon is sold with the rind attached. Remove the rind before using. Render the fat from the rind by frying and you have cracklings, a favorite Southern snack.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread In A Cake Pan (not as large as the regular monkey bread)

1 (12 ounce) package refrigerated biscuit dough
1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. margarine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
couple tbs. chopped walnuts (optional)
couple tbs raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one round cake pan.
Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix a few at a time. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 12 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for a bit, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.


2 avocados
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 capful of vinegar
splash of olive oil
Couple tbs. of salsa
salt and pepper to taste

Pepperoni Bread

Would like to try this Pepperoni Bread from All

1 (1 pound) loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
1 egg, beaten
4 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Roll frozen bread dough out into a rectangle. Brush dough with beaten egg. Arrange pepperoni, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese over the dough. Sprinkle on the Italian seasoning. Roll up dough like a jelly roll and pinch seam to seal; place, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until golden.

Pepperoni Dip

Would like to try this Pepperoni Dip from All

1/2 pound pepperoni sausage, diced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium baking dish, mix the pepperoni, cream of mushroom soup and cream cheese.
Bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Or this one:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup pepperoni sausage, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder and oregano. Spread this mixture into a 9-inch glass pie pan. Spread pizza sauce evenly over the cream cheese mixture. Arrange the pepperoni pieces, green bell pepper and onion over the sauce.
Bake for 10 minutes.
When the dish is removed from the oven, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the dish.
Return the pie pan to the oven and bake until the mozzarella cheese has melted.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Morning Glory Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 apple - peeled, cored and shredded
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (can use unsweetened apple sauce)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, coconut, and apple.
In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

From All

Beer and Cheese Soup

1 bunch of green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained
3/4 cup pale lager or nonalcoholic beer
2 cups refrigerated shredded hash brow npotatoes
2 cups milk
8 oz American Cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp paprika (plus additional for sprinkling)

  1. Slice green onions, separating white and green parts. In dutch oven over medium heat cook white portion of green onions in 1 Tbs hot oil until tender
  2. In blender combine red peppers, cooked onion, beer, and 1 cup potatoes; process until smooth. Return to pot. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered 5 min.
  3. Add milk and cheese to pan. Cook and stir over medium heat until cheese is melted and soup is hot (do not boil)
  4. In skillet cook remaining potatoes inremaining hot oil over medium-high heat, 8 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Drain on paper towels; sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Top with potatoes, onion tops, and paprika

From Better Homes and Gardens, October 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Taco Dip

16 oz sour cream
1 packet taco seasoning
16 oz shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
green peppers
black olives

  1. Mix sour cream with taco seasoning and spread on the bottom of a serving platter
  2. Top with lettuce
  3. Top with Cheese
  4. Top with tomatoes, green peppers, and black olives
  5. Add onions if desired

Cream Chees Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
8 oz cream cheese
10 taco size soft shells
16 oz shredded mexican flavored cheese
2 - 10 oz cans enchilada sauce

  1. In 9 X 13 pan pour one can of enchilada sauce - coat bottom of pan

  2. Brown ground beef with packet of taco seasoning

  3. When browned add in the cream cheese. Mix the ground beef and cream cheese together until fully mixed (may need to leave the heat on Low while you are mixing to help melt the cream cheese)

  4. Split filling among 10 taco shells - sprinkle cheese over each shell

  5. Roll each shell and place into pan side by side

  6. Pour second can of enchilada sauce over the top

  7. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top

  8. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes

  9. Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, green onions, etc.

Freezes well

approx 7 pts each

Monday, September 14, 2009

4 Vetarian Meals

Vegetarian Skillet Dinner

1 Tb. Olive Oil
1 medium onion
1 medium stalk celery
1 peeled carrot diced
Her/spice blend (see variations)
Grains, beans, and/or starch (see variations)
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
Vegetable broth (see variations)
1/4 cup Parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper

  1. Heat oil in skillet over med-high heat
  2. Add onion, celery and carrot all at once and saute 5 minutes
  3. add herv/spice blend, then grain/beans/starch, and finally tomatoes and broth
  4. Stirring occassionally, bring to a simmer
  5. Reduce heat to medium low
  6. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally until ingredients are tender and flavors have blended (15 - 20 minutes)
  7. Stir in parsley or cilantro
  8. Adjust seasoning, including salt and pepper to taste

Lentil & potato Stew:

1 Tb herbes de Provence; 1 cup dry lentils (picked over and washed) and1 lb small red new potatoes (peeled or unpeeled), cut into 1/2 inch slices, 4 cups vegetable broth. Finish withy parsley

Cajun Pinto Beans & Rice

4 tsp Cajun/Creole seasoning and 1/2 tsp dried thyme; 1 cup white rice (jncooked) and 2 15.5 oz cans pinto beans (drained); 4 cups vegetable broth, finish with parsley

Pasta e Fagioli

1 Tb Italian seasoning; 2 15.5 oz cans cannellini beans (drained) and 2 cups ditalini or other small pasta (uncooked); 4 cups vegetable broth, finish with parsley (can top with parmesan cheese if desired)

Black Bean & Hominy Stew

2 Tbs chili powder; 2 15 oz cans hominy drained and 2 15.5 oz cans black beans (drained and rinsed); 2 cups vegetable broth; finish with cilantro. Serve with salsa and a squirt of lime juice

**Recipe from USA Today Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recycle Your Work Clothes

Dress For Success

The organization accepts new or nearly new women's suits (pants and skirts), blouses, shoes, and accessories, including handbags and jewelry. All donations should be appropriate to wear to work, as well as clean, stylish and in good condition.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

To Scan A Document

Steps to Scan a Document:

Start Menu
HP Director
Scan Document

Eco-Friendly Sandwich Wrap and Snack Bags

Crafty Stylish

Possible Races for Fall/Winter 2009/2010

5K on October 31
5K on November 28
Tri-U-Mah Triathlon on February 10


If you bananas are starting to turn brown just stick them in the fridge to get a few more days out of them

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cooking Onions

If you don't want to dirty a pan, but a recipe calls for cooked onions, simply pop them in the microwave on high for one and a half minutes, stir, and then cook longer if needed. May need to drain before adding them to your recipe depending on how juicy the onion was and how many onions you are cooking in the microwave.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Crockpot Cheeseburger Sandwiches

These turned out pretty good! Here is the recipe:

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
1-2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
2 cups cubed pasteurized process American cheese
10 hamburger buns

Cook ground beef in large skillet until thoroughly cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to break meat up into small pieces. Drain beef thoroughly.
Combine in slow cooker with ketchup, mustard, and basil and mix well. Add chopped onion, if desired. Top with cubed cheese. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Stir beef mixture gently. Serve beef mixture in hamburger buns. 10 sandwiches

**I did not use mustard and they still turned out pretty good. Next time I think I would only cook for 3 hours instead of 4 because they got a little dry

Homemade Hashbrowns - Easy

Potatoes (however many you want to make)
Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Cut the potatoes into little squares and spread onto a foil lined pan sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Bake at 425 for 15 - 20 minutes.


Nickelodeon Universe

Receive a FREE all-day unlimited ride wristband to Nickelodeon Universe on your birthday. A parent or legal guardian must register for children under 13 years of age. Free admission valid for guests 18 years of age and younger.

Free Birthday Cake

Lunds & Byerly's

Celebrate Baby’s 1st birthday with a FREE 7 inch cake decorated for your little one (serves 8-12)! Simply bring in your child’s birth certificate in person a few days before you’d like your cake (they won’t keep it…a copy is fine). The cake can be decorated with balloons, packages, baby booties or roses. Choose from white, marble or chocolate cake and white or chocolate frosting. They’ll even personalize your cake with a special message.

Hungry Girl

Hungry Girl is my one stop shop for low fat/low cal recipes and for fun tips!

Recycle Your Jeans

Natural Built

Natural Built Home was founded in October of 2005. Our mission was to create a one-stop shop for the safest and most sustainable building supplies. We initially provided these products to our customers on the world wide web through our e-commerce website. Our first brick and mortar showroom opened in Minneapolis on Earth Day in 2006. Since then we have continued to seek out the best green building products to bring to our customers. We want to thank all of our customers for making our first year a success. We look forward to helping you with your new projects in the near future!

In June, 2009 we were able to collect over 300 pair of jeans during our denim recycling drive. These jeans will be made into cotton insulation that will be used to insulate homes that have been damaged by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. Your jeans will keep clothes out of landfills and build houses for families to live in! Thank you so much for making our denim recycling drive a success! Stay tuned for future recycling events.

Recycle Your Shoes

Souls 4 Soles

Soles4Souls facilitates the donations of shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used). Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS, and donating parties are eligible for tax advantages.

For the shoes that they don't give to needy people they recycle them into mulch for playgrounds and such. 98.5% of the shoes they receive they can reuse and then they recycle 1.5% (as heard on the Ian and Margery show on August 7, 2009)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chicken Spectacular

This is a greate casserole to give away as a gift for a person who just had a baby or just needs an extra meal.

Received recipe from Allison Kiel:

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 pkg Uncle Ben's quick Wild Rice - cook as directed
1 can cream of celery soup
1 med jar pimento-drained
1 med onion - chopped fine
1 can french style green beans-drained
1 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
1 can sliced water chestnutssalt & pepper to taste

  • Mix altogether, pour into 2-1/2 qt casserole dish.
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or so.
  • Freezes well, but don't cook prior to freezing.

Fiesta Dip

Received recipe from Allison Kiel:

4 avocados
1 tub softened cream cheese (spreadable kind in a tub)
1 small jar picante sauce or salsa
shredded cheese

smach up the avocados, layer cream cheese, then picante, then cheese - serve with chips

Cinese Pineapple Chicken

1 lb chicken breast diced
1 tsp cornstarch
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tsp soy sauce
1 8-0z can pineapple chunks
2 T. water
1 T. cornstarch

Mix chicken with 1 tsp cornstarch, pepper and garlic and 1 tsp soy sauce. Fry chicken in a little oil until underdone. Add pineapple. Simmer 3 minutes. Set aside. Mix 2 tsp soy sauce, water, leftover pineapple juice, and 1 T cornstarch. Add sauce to chicken in pan and cook until thick. Serve on rice

Recipe comes from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Poor Mans Steak

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup crushed saltines
1/2 cup water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix. Pat into patties and fry

Recipe comes from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Homemade Pizza

1 Cup warm water
1 pkg or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 Cups White or wheat flour
2 T. oil (preferably olive)
1 tsp salt

In a bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and water, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Let is rest 5 minutes. Add the other ingredients. Knead the dough on a floured board, adding more flour until its not sticky. Place in a bowl and cover, letting it rise from 5 min - 2 hours, depending on the texture you would like. The longer you let it rise, the more bread-like the dough will become. Punch down the dough and shape into a large pizza crust.


Top with any combination of toppings and bake at 450 for 15 minutes

Recipe comes from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

5 Ingredient Recipes

Here is a link to a website that has 5 ingredient meals that I would like to try:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Kid Craft Websites

Free Kid

Great Egg Substitute

I found myself in the middle of making cornbread and realized I didn't have an egg. I quick hopped on the internet and found a discussion board where a woman said to use 2 Tb. of cornstarch in place of an egg. I did so and my muffins turned out great! I added a touch of extra milk to make up for the missing liquid.

Homemade Babyfood Websites

Homemade Babyfood
Vanilla Pumpkin
Cheap Babyfood - The Mother Load
Homemade Recipes - The Mother Load
Organic Babyfood? From Organic Mania
Homemade Babyfood Recipes
Simply Babyfood

What to feed baby: 12 - 24 Months

Here is some information from the dairy council

Whole milk, yogurt, cheese : 4 servings/day

  • whole milk or yogurt (1 serving is 1/2 cup)
  • cheese (1 serving is 1/2 oz)
  • cottage cheese (1 serving is 1/4 cup)
Cereal, pasta, rice, bread, muffins, rolls, and/or crackers: 4 - 5 servings/day

  • Cereal, pasta, or rice (serving is 1/4 cup)
  • Bread, muffins, or rolls (serving is 1/4 piece)
  • Crackers (serving is 2 crackers)
Cooked Fruit, Fresh Fruit, or Fruit Juice: 2 servings/day

  • Cooked or Juice (serving is 2 Tb/3 - 4 oz)
  • Fresh (serving is 1/2 medium)

Cooked or Raw Vegetable: 4 - 5 servings/day

  • Cooked (serving is 2 Tbs/4 oz)
  • Raw (Serving is 2 - 3 pieces)
Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork, Cooked or Dried Beans, Peas, Egg: 3 - 4 servings/day

  • Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Pork (serving is 1/2 - 1 oz)
  • Cooked or Dried Beans/Peas (serving is 2 Tbs)
  • Egg (serving is 1 whole)

Things to keep in mind:

  • Add cows milk now
  • Offer small portions and never force your toddler to eat.
  • Food jags are common now. Don't make a big deal out of them
  • Respect your toddlers likes and dislikes. Offer rejected foods again.
  • Make meals fun and interesting. Serve colorful foods that are crunchy, smooth, or warm
  • Toddlers need meals and snacks. Feed your toddler at least three snacks every day

View great links to babyfood websites here

What to feed baby: 8 - 12 Months

Here is some information from the dairy council

Breastmilk or Formula: 3 - 4 servings/day (6 - 8 oz each)
Baby Cereal: 2 servings/day (2 - 4 Tbs), can offer bread (1/4 slice) or crackers (2 crackers)
Fruit: 2 servings/day (3 - 4 Tbs) and/or Fruit Juice (1 serving/day at 4 oz). Juice should be from a cup
Vegetable: 2 servings/day (2 - 4 Tbs)
Meat: Chicken/Beef/Pork, 1 serving/day (2 - 3Tbs)
  • Can start to offer cooked, dried beans or egg yolks

Items to keep in mind:

  • Wait until baby's first birthday to feed egg whites. Some babies are sensitive to the egg whites. It is ok to give baby the yolks
  • Be patient. Babies make a mess when they feed themselves
  • Always taste heated foods before serving them to baby

View great links to babyfood websites here

What to feed baby: 6 - 8 Months

Here is some information from the dairy council

Breastmilk or Formula: 3 - 5 servings/day (6 - 8 oz each)
Baby Cereal: 2 servings/day (2 - 3 Tbs), can offer bread (1/4 slice) or crackers (1 - 2 crackers)
Fruit: 2 servings/day (2 - 3 Tbs) and/or Fruit Juice (1 serving/day at 3 oz). Juice should be from a cup
Vegetable: 2 servings/day (2 - 3 Tbs)
Meat: Chicken/Beef/Pork, 1 serving/day (1 - 2 Tbs)

  • Add strained fruits and vegetables at first. Add mashed or finely chopped fruits and cooked vegetables later on.
  • Feed only one new fruit or vegetable/week
  • Take out of the jar the amount of food for one feeding. Refrigerate the remaining food.
  • Try giving baby fruit juice in a cup
  • Add strained meats now
  • Feed only one new meat a week

View great links to babyfood websites here

What to feed baby: 4 - 6 Months

Here is some information from the dairy council

Breastmilk or formula - 4 - 6 daily feedings (6 - 8 oz each)


Baby Cereal - 2 daily feedings (1 - 2 Tb each)

Baby cereal should be iron fortified.

Offer baby 1 - 2 tbs of baby cereal in a bowl once a day at first then increast to 2 times a day. Breakfast and dinner work well.

Feed baby only one new cereal a week. This way you can tell if this new food bothers him.

Start feeding baby in a high chair when he can sit up.

Mix 1 tbs of cereal with 4 tbs of breastmilk or formula. The cereal will be thin. Your baby is learning how to move solid food to the back of his mouth. When baby can do this make the cereal thicker.

View great links to babyfood websites here

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Spaghetti Herb Mix

1/2 cup garlic powder
1/2 cup onion powder
1/2 cup dried oregano
3 T dried basil
3 T thyme
3 T salt
2 T sugar

Mix well and store in airtight container. Makes 10 servings or uses. To use, blend 16 oz diced tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the mix.

From Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Low-Fat Brownies

1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup + 1 T unsweetened applesauce
1 T vanilla

Grease and flour an 8 x 8 square baking pan and set aside. Combine flour, cocoa and salt. Mix well. In a seperate bowl, wisk eggs, sugar, applesauce and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just blended (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes at 325 or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool at least 15 minutes before cutting

From Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Tortilla Roll-Ups

1 pkg 8 inch flour tortillas
2 pkgs salmon flavored cream cheese spread
1 small can diced black olives
1/2 red onion, diced finely

Spread salmon-flavored cream cheese onto a tortilla. Sprinkle with olives and red onions. Roll up the tortilla as tightly as you can. Slice sections (use a serrated knife for best results) about 1/2 inch thick. Lay them flat on a platter. They should look like pinwheels. For extra flavor (and cost), add crumbled smoked salmon and capers to the cream cheese)

From Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Oatmeal Bread

2 pkgs (or 4 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 cup warm milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 T vegetable oil
2 cups quick cooking oats
6 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt

Dissolve yeast in water and add milk. Add sugar and honey and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Knead for 5 minutes. Then let rise to double in size. Punch down, then knead again. Let rise once more to double in size. Shape into two loaves and let rise to double again. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

From Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Soft Pretzels

3 1/2 cup flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 pkgs (or 4 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
1 C water
1 T shortening
1 egg yolk
1 T water
Coarse salt

Mix 1 cup of the flour with the sugar, salt, and dry yeast. In a seperate container, heat water and shortening to 120 degrees. Slowly add the flour mixture. Beat well for 2 minutes. Ad 1/2 cup more flour and heat again for 2 minutes. Stir in the rest of the flour. Knead for 5 minutes. Set in a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubles in size. Punch down.

Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each one into a long rope (18 - 20 i nches). Shape into pretzels or other shapes. Place on a greased cookie sheet and let rest for 5 minutes. MIx egg yolk and 1 T water. Brush on the pretzels and sprinkle with the salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes

From Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Chocolate Syrup

1 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup cold water
1 T vanilla

Combine cocoa and sugar and blend until all lumps of cocoa are gone. Add salt and water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, bringing to a boil. Remove from heat once it boils. When cool, add vanilla.

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Nonfat Granola

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup concentrated apple juice from frozen concentrate
1/2 cup nonfat dry mmilk
1/3 cup honey
5 cups quick-cooking oats
2 T. cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried fruit

Mix sugar, juice, dry milk, and honey in saucepan and heat over medium heat only until sugar dissolves. Combine dry ingredients and fruit in mixing bowl. Pour sugar mixture slowly over dry mixture and blend well. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 - 20 minutes - stirring after every 10 minutes

You can add peanuts, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds or peanut butter

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Maple Flavored Syrup

2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 tsp maple extract

Bring water and sugar to a slow boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat before it comes to a rolling boil (to keep crystals from forming). Add flavoring as it is cooling. Store in the refrigerator.

For thicker syrup replace half of the water with corn syrup. You may also add butter flavoring purchased from the store. Both of these items will increase the cost.

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy


2 eggs
2 1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp melted butter or vegetable oil
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Spoon onto greased hot griddle. Flip over when bubbles appear

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Baking MIx

8 Cups flour
1 1/4 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup baking powder
1 T salt
2 C shortening

Combine flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Store in tightly closed covered container in a cool place (cupboards are fine). Makes about 10 cups

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Instant Cream Soup Mix

2 cups nonfat dry milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine these ingredients and store in an airtight container.

To use for soup, combine 1/3 cup of the mix and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil while stirring often. Add a vegetable for more flavor or texture, such as diced celery, sliced mushrooms, or diced broccoli.

To use in any recipe calling for a can of cream of mushroom, chicken, or celery soup, add 1/3 cup of the mix to 1 1/4 cups of water. Boil for a few minutes, stirring often.

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Pea Soup (Not Split Pea Soup)

2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 12 oz pkg frozen peas, thawed or 1 cup cooked
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T butter
1 T flour
2 T lemon juice
1 cup milk

Put broth, peas, and spices in a blender and bled until fairly smooth. It will be a bit chunky. In a pan, melt butter and add flour to form a paste. Pour the blender contents into the pan and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and milk.

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup

2 (15 oz) cans black beans (or 2 cups prepared beans)
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 onion
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. Oregano
2 T. Lime Juice

Combine all ingredients (except lime juice) in a large pan and simmer until thoroughly heated. Add the lime juice after soup is cooked.

*Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

Candy Bracelet


Licorish Rope
Fruit Loops

Thread the fruit loops onto the licorish rope and then tie around wrist.

Here is an example of what we did but instead of string we used licorish rope

Butterfly Craft

Supplies needed:

Coffee Filter
Clothes Pin
Pipe Cleaner
Two Beads
Watercolor Paint

Step One: Fold the coffee filter in half and paint with water colors - you can make it as colorful as you want!

Step Two: Unfold the coffee filter

Step Three: Squeeze the filter in the middle

Step Four: Clamp the clothes pin over the middle so the "butterfly" shape holds
Step Five: Twist the pipe cleaner around your finger and stretch out and twist in the beads on the ends of the pipe cleaner

Here is the finished product!



Friday, July 31, 2009

Growing Herb Plants Indoors

Green All Purpose Spray

32 oz Plastic spray bottle
2 cups water
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp pure castile soap (Dr. Bronners)
3/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
20 drops tea tree oil
20 drops lavender essential oil

Fill bottle with water. Add all other ingredients.

Good for acrylic, ceramic tile, wood, marble, and granite

**Recipe is from Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

Cosmetic Database

Cosmetic Database Parents Guide

Great Blogs for Doing It Yourself Stuff

Passionate Homemaking

Working From Home Tools

10 Unconscience Cues to Create a Work-Life Balance

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cookies & Creme Pudding Pops

This is a recipe from Kraft that I would like to try

1 pkg (3.9 oz) Jell-O Chocolate Pudding (instant)

2 cups cold milk

6 oreo cookies

1/2 cup thawed cool whip whipped topping

Beat pudding mix and milk in large bowl with wisk for 2 minutes

Place cookies in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Use rolling pin to crush cookies

Add cookies and cool whip to pudding; stir just until blended

Spoon into 9 small paper or plastic cups (the kind you use in the bathroom)

Insert wooden pop stucks or a plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm

*Tip: to remove from cup: place bottom of cup in bowl of warm water 15 seconds. Press up on bottom

April Fools' Sushi

This is a recipe from Parents Magazine in April, 2009 that I would like to try:

In a medium bowl, melt 1 cup mini marshmallows and 1 Tbs. butter in the microwave on high for 45 seconds. Stir in 2 cups crispy rice cereal.

With buttered hands, spread mixture on was paper to 12" X 5 1/2 " rectangle. Place 8 pieces with dried pineapple, papaya, and apricot lengthwise along the middle of the sheet of cereal. Roll sheet lengthwise to enclose dried fruit; press to seal.

Wrap grape-flavored fruit leather around the roll; three .8 oz packages should be enough. Cut the suchi into 12 pieces and serve with chopsticks and a healthy drink.

Breadstick Snails

This is a recipe I would like to try from Parents Magazine in April, 2009:
Spread 12 unbaked refrigerated breadsticks with 1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce. Roll each into a coil, curving one end under to make the head. Place snails upright onto a baking sheet, secure with a toothpick, and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden. To serve, poke holes for antennae and insert two carrot slivers. Refrigerate for up to 2 days; reheat at 350 degrees.

Makes 12

Granola Bars


This is a recipe from the April, 2009 Parents magazine that I would love to try:

Line an 8 X 8 baking pan with foil, letting it extend over the edges
Spritz it with vegetable oil.
In a large bowl, mix 1 cup low-fat granola, 1 cup folled oats, 1 cup finely copped apricots and cranberries, and 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup canola oil, and 1/3 tsp cinnamon.
Stir into granola mixture, then pat batter in the pan
Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until browned
When cool, use foil to lift from pan
Cut into bars
Store at room temperature for 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months

(Makes 15)

Nutrition Info: 157 calories; 5 g fat

Here is a recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

3 cups any granola

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup chopped peanuts and/or chocolate chips

2 eggs

Combine well and press into a greased 8 X 8 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, slice into bars after it cools.

Crispy Coconut Chicken

This is a recipe from the December, 2008 issue of Parents magazine that I would love to try (picture is also from parents magazine): (this is under working moms dinner - but I think it is a weekend working moms dinner)

2/3 cup crushed multigrain crackers (about 8) (or a bunch of saltines or ritz)

1/3 cup flaked coconut

1 jar (9 oz) mango chutney 

3 Tbs. lime juice (

1 tsp curry powder

8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

1 cup cooked brown rice (or whatever rice I had on hand
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees

  2. Place chrackers in large zip-top plastic bag and crush with rolling pin

  3. Add coconut to the bag and shake.

  4. In a small bowl, stir together the chutney, lime juice, and curry powder.

  5. Remove 1/4 cup of chutney mixture and set aside.

  6. Dip chicken drumsticks, one piece at a time, in the remaining chutney mixture, then place inside the bag. Shake to coat

  7. Bake drumsticks on foil-lined shallow baking pan for 40 minutes, or until they're done. Cover chicken loosley with foil for last 10 minutes to prevent over browning

  8. Toss peas with reserved chutney mixture in a bowl.

  9. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated

  10. Combine Peas and rice and serve with chicken.

Chicken Pineapple Fajitas

This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens (March 2008) and I would love to try this recipe (picure comes from BHaG too):
8 six inch tortillas

4 one inch slices peeled fresh pineapple (although I am sure I will use canned)

1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast halves (although I am sure I will use whatever meat I have on hand)

2 red or orange sweet peppers (although I am sure I will use green because they are cheaper)

2 tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning

1/8 tsp ground black pepper (a few shakes of the shaker)

1 Tbsp cooking oil (turn the jar over for a few seconds - don't bother to measure)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in oven (although I am sure I will use the microwave)

  2. Coat 12 inch skillet with cooking spray, add pineapple slices; cook 4 - 6 minutes until browned (turning once)

  3. Cut chicken in strips; toss with peppers, seasoning, and pepper.

  4. Heat oil in skillet; add chicken and peppers. Cook and stir over medium-high 4 - 6 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink.

  5. mix with pineapple and serve with cilantro and lime

Aparently this recipe is $2.77/serving - although I think I could get it down to less with green peppers, canned pineapple on sale, and tortillas on sale

Fun Focaccia

This is a recipe from the March 2008 edition of Parents magazine that I would love to try (and the picture comes from the magazine as well):

1 tube (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza dough

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut into halfs

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp italian seasoning

1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll and slightly stretch dough onto a greased baking pan

Combine next four ingredients in a glass bowl. Cover and microwave on high 3 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and drain.

Sprinkle dough with parmesan. Top with tomato mixture. Bake 20 - 22 minutes or until crisp and browned. Let cool 5 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Homemade Baby Wipes

2 cups boiled water (then cooled)*
2 Tb baby shampoo
1 Tb baby oil

* Not sure why it needs to be cooled, but that is what I did

Cut paper towel roll in half (I had to use a saw, although the website said a regular sharp knife would work....guess I have dull knives...) and take out the cardboard tube from the middle. Put it in a round tupperware.

Pour the mixture of water/shampoo/oil over the paper towel roll. Put the cover on the tupperware and turn it upside down for 30 minutes.

This worked great!

Websites About Cooking With Kids

Here are some websites about cooking with kids:

Kids Cooking
Family Fun