Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I adapted this recipe to a Crock Pot Recipe because we like it better cooked low and slow! I love to put everything in my crockpot in the morning, walking away and knowing that dinner will be ready late in the afternoon. This is my 13 year old daughters favorite crock pot meal. We haven't had it in a while and its on the menu for next Monday.
The recipe came from my Aunt Bernice.
Chicken & Dumplings
3 cans chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup (homemade recipe below)
4 chicken breasts
2 cups water
10 large or 15 small tortillas (cut into strips or squares)
Cook chicken in the broth & water till done (this part is done on the stove top). Remove Chicken & cut. In the crockpot whisk cream soup into broth and water. Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste, Stir in the cut tortilla strips. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
*We use the regular flour tortillas. We tried the whole wheat tortillas and they didn't turn out right.
Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup ( yeild 3 cups which is about 2 cans)
Recipe from Tammy's Recipes.com
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 or more tsp. salt (sometimes we have to add extra salt)
1/4 tsp. parsley
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 plain flour
1. In a med. size pan, boil chicken broth, 1/2 cup of the milk, and the seasonings.
2. In a bowl whisk together the remaining milk and flour. Add to the boiling broth mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.
We started making our own cream soups about 1 1/2 years ago when we realized that all the regular commercial brands contained MSG. I had just started reading all the labels of everything we bought (from reading "Nourishing Traditions) and was surprised to see how much MSG and HFCS was in all of our food. I do like the organic versions but sometimes they are not budget friendly. I usually quadruple the recipe and freeze the extra in 2 can measurements to use for future recipes.
Hope you enjoy making the Chicken & Dumplings - its a favorite at our home!
For more great crock pot recipes please visit www.diningwithdebbie.blogspot.com
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Blueberry Muffins (recipe from my sister in GA)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Cream butter and sugar together. Add in all other ingredients except blueberries and blend well. Fold in the blueberries & spoon mixture into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 35o degrees for 15-20 minutes. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.
*My variations on the original recipe
omit butter & use 1/2 cup coconut oil
omit sugar & use 1 1/4 cups sucanat
omit plain flour & use 2 cups fresh ground soft white wheat
These muffins are super yummy. I usually double or triple the recipe and freeze for breakfasts during the week. They thaw and reheat well! Everyone loves them. Enjoy!
For other cupcake and muffin recipes, please visit HoosierHomemade.com!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
Peas/green beans/ lima beans
Pirate Stew (Fix It & Forget It Cookbook)
Baked Hamburgers or country fried steak
Mashed potatoes or rice/gravy
crowder peas/green peas
Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (Fix It & Forget It Cookbook)
Grilled Hamburgers/Hot Dogs
Tater Tots/French Fries/Chips
Chicken & Dumplings
Large salad with the following
eggs, cheese, croutons, popcorn chicken, garbanz0 beans, salad dressing
and whatever else we feel like that night!
Taco's with salsa, cheese, tomatoes
Grilled Pork Chops
Corn on the Cob
baked or Sweet Potato
Chili with cheese/sour cream
Split Pea Soup (Fix It & Forget It Cookbook)
Barbeque Pork Shoulder
Mashed Potatoes/brown gravy
Carrots & Green Beans
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Broccoli Salad or Cole Slaw
Cheddar Broccoli Rice
Homemade Pizza includes...
cheeses, peperoni, italian sausage, ham
Spiral sliced Ham
green peas/black eyed peas
Chicken Pot Pie
Loaded Baked Potatoes +
ham, cheese, sour cream
Steak Stir Fry with
onions, bell peppers, stir fry vegies
Steak Stroganoff (Fix It & Forget It)
Whole Wheat Noodles
Homemade Vegie Soup (Fix It & Forget It)
Cheddar Drop Biscuits
Greg's Awesome Baby Back Ribs
Cole Slaw/Broccoli Salad
Thats 29 yummy menu's that we can choose from. Any of the vegies are interchangeable, it just depends on what we have and what we feel like that day. I really like to use my 6 qt. crockpot and my favorite crockpot cookbook is "Fix It & Forget It" And some nights, Greg & I sneak off for a date and the kids fix their own dinner. Greg usually takes leftovers to work for lunch and we eat them for lunches in the middle of our homeschool day.
I've been lazy lately with the menu planning and its time to start again. I started this morning and have the menu planned for this week!
Sunday: Grilled Pork Loin, Baked Beans. French Fries
Monday: Scrambled Eggs with Ham, Biscuits (Dad is out of town)
Tuesday: Chicken Alfredo with broccoli
Wednesday: Roast & Carrots, Mashed Potates & Gravy, Green Beans
Thursday: Spaghetti & Garlic bread
Friday: Hot Dogs, Chips & Dip (RV'ing at college football game)
Saturday: Grilled Burgers, Cole Slaw, Baked Beans
Head on over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie" at http://orgjunkie.com for more great weekly menu ideas!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Its beginning to look alot like Fall, at least in the house. I am ready for it to feel like it outside too!
I love the turkey! We found it at Lowe's and Greg bought it for my birthday! He is standing on the table runner I made last year. Happy Fall Y'all!!!!!!
1 bar Ivory Soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax
Grate the bar of soap and put into a large pan. Add 6 cups of water and heat, stir until soap melts. Add Washing Soda and Borax, stir until dissolved. Pour 4 cups hot water into bucket, add soap mixture and stir. Then stir in 2 gallons of water. Let soap sit for 24 hours to gel. Then stir and use. I use 1/4 cup per load for my front load high efficiency washer.
For a top load washer you may need 1/3 to 1/2 cup. I use a long wooden paint stirrer stick from Home Depot to stir and the end.
Homemade Fabric Softener
3 cups water
1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup hair conditioner
Stir together well and put into container. Shake well before each use. Use like downey.
I use the cheapest cond. I can find (usually the coconut scent). And I store this in an old fabric softener bottle. Works great and no static.
Also, I read about just using White Vinegar instead of fabric softener so I thought I would try it. I have used it on our whites for months now (1/3 c.) works really good and no, the whites don't smell like pickles. They don't have a smell at all. It is supposed to help cut down on the softener left in the towels and help them absorb better. Also, at Walmart you can buy a gallon of white vinegar for about $2.50 so this will last a good long time.
I had found a recipe for stain spray but wasn't please with the results. It just didn't cut through the grease, so for right now I am back to 409. I have been able to treat some stains by rubbing a little of the detergent right on the stain and letting it sit a little while. That has been a good alternative, but still doesn't work well on Allen's greasy spots waiter clothes.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup Molasses
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup hot water
Cream butter and sugar, add egg and molasses. Add sifted dry ing. and hot water, beat until smooth. Batter will be soft (runny). Pour into a greased shallow pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
I got the gingerbread recipe out of an old Southern Living desserts cookbook by grandmother gave me in 1982. It is the best gingerbread cake recipe I have ever tried. I use "Grandma's Molasses" when I make it and bake in a glass Pyrex rectangle dish.
Macaroni & Cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp. white pepper
2 cups milk
8 oz. elbow noodles
1/2 - 3/4 lb. cheddar cheese
Cook elbow noodles as package directs. Drain and set aside. Over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and add flour, salt & pepper- stir until well blended. Return to low heat and slowly add milk - stir continously until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Then turn burner down to simmer and cook 1 more minute, then remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 of the Cheddar Cheese - stir until melted. Pour over cooked noodles and stir well. Place in a pyrex baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese. Place in a 350 degree oven until cheese melts.
This recipe easily doubles, triples or quadruples. It can be frozen and reheated. Its great as a meat substitute in meals with vegies or served as a side dish. Right before Greg and I got married 4 years ago, we did counseling with my Pastor. When he asked Greg "why do you want to marry Donna", Greg looked at him with a straight face and in a serious voice answered him"Have you tasted her Macaroni and Cheese". My honey certainly does enjoy his mac & cheese dinner nights!
For more great Fall recipes please visit www.lifeasmom.blogspot.com.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
WOW! 50 years is a long time!
Do you realise when you were a kid.....
Remote meant a secluded spot off the beaten path.
Cable was something that supported a bridge.
A video game was trying to make out what the fuzzy images were on a snowy black & white 10 inch tv screen.
A cell phone was what you used to make your one phone call from jail.
A calculator was the accountant who did your taxes.
An airbag was some guy who talked too much.
Digital computing was counting on your fingers.
High Speed Access was an on-ramp to the freeway.
Surfing was something done on a board in the ocean.
And a birthday was actually something you actually looked forward to!
Sounds alot like my "I Remember" post!
Here are a few I forgot...
going to Disney World in the first year it opened
riding Space Mountain for the 1st and only time
Watching "Wonderful World of Disney" every Sunday night
hunting for indian relics before Indian Trail Road was constructed
Riding all the way around I-285 when it was completed
It was a great day filled with surprises! And since I am the teacher and make the rules, it was also a school holiday! We worked on our projects for the fair, watched some episodes of the Waltons and had a lazy day! Then Greg took us and 6 of our kids to Applebees for dinner (Rob was up at school). Thanks guys for a wonderful 50th birthday!
watching the tv and seeing the funeral procession for JFK
having yellow jackets or bumble bees building a nest in my wall when I was younger than 3
McDonalds before Ronald and his gang
most Moms were stay at home Moms
having measles, mumps and German Measles
the long white dresses all the girls wore when we graduated from Stephens Kind.
the school year was day after Labor Day to Friday before Memorial Day (every year)
lining up in elementary school and everyone getting inoculations
boys & girls having separate classes to discuss "body changes" once a year
watching the 1st man walk on the moon and Daddy taking pictures of the tv screen
writing pen-pal soldier in Vietnam as a school assignment in 4th or 5th grade
shopping at Cofer Brothers on Main Street in Tucker
having TV channels 2,5,11 and sometimes 8 in Atlanta
Eating dinner as a family everynight (except Tues., Daddy's bowling night)
hanging clothes on the line and not liking it then!
going to Tucker High football games from childhood on
wearing gym suits for PE
when girls wore dresses and boys wore pants & button up shirts to school
getting a automatic dishwasher, air conditioner and color tv when I was 12
getting our first Microwave when I was a teenager
loving our church youth group and youth choir
going to Farrells Ice Cream Parlor after Sunday night church and after Fri. night bowling
my first trip to Florida, we went to Jacksonville
Roller skating, bike riding and swinging all summer long
going to Hilton Head and having the beaches to ourselves
learning to waterski at Lake Lanier
babysitting and getting paid .50 to $1 an hour
graduating from kind., elementary school, high school, and college
my first car...1965/66 Mustang - no air, no power steering or brakes
my Mom grocery shop. 1x per month & cramming lots in our little icebox in the fridge
2 Turkey dinners every Thanksgiving...lunch at one grandma's & dinner at the other
Easter was the same as Thanksgiving, after church the meal rotation started
Christmas Eve at Mama's house (Mom's mom)
Christmas afternoon at Grandma's house (Daddy's mom)
going from records to 8 track to cassette to CD (I haven't gotten past that!)
getting our first VCR and now DVD
the incredible joy at being a Mom
giving my life to Christ & being baptized at the age of 12 at Tucker First Baptist by Randy Mullis
Many thanks to God, my Mom & Dad and friends for a great 50 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And as my dear 20 year old son just reminded me....I am half way to 100!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
You can also go to company or product websites and see if they have coupons available. Sometimes you can sign up for a monthly newsletter that will come to your email address with special offers or coupons. 3 or 4 times a weeks I get a email from someone with coupons attached, so its a great resource. Many companies that produce organic products have special mailouts/booklets with lots of coupons in them.
At Walmart, look for the "All You" magazine. It is a treasure trove of coupons every month.
I have also used a site called "Coupon Clippers". You pick the coupons you want (some may have a minimum order) and pay a small handling fee per coupon. Then she mails the coupons to your home. I've always gotten mine within a couple of days. This is an excellent way to get multiples of coupons you really want and need. I've stocked up on my Lipton Tea Bags and my Knorr Rice and Pasta packages this way. She lists full details for each coupon, so when you order, you know exactly what you are getting.
So here are some tips you may not know Walgreens and CVS will accept their store coupon AND a manufacturers coupon for the same item. Its an added bonus if you get Extra Care Bucks (CVS) or Register Rewards (Walgreens) and if the item is also on sale. However, if you have a coupon and store coupon for deodorant, you can use them but you must also have a 2nd item to equal your number of coupons (for example...a deodorant and pack of gum). It takes a little getting used to but it does work.
Target will take their coupon and a manufacturers coupon too and you can combine it with a sale. These combinations make this stuff almost free. Their coupon policy states that if your coupon value is more than the cost of the item they will adjust it and you will get this item free. It might come in handy to go to the site and print off the policy to carry with you. I've argued at 2 different Targets and lost...but now the policy is clearly stated and I've got a copy in my purse for the next time. So if your coupon states $1 off any cheerios and you go in, you can get the .97 cup of O's for free.
Kroger 's had some awesome deals lately. My favorites are the buy 10 special products and get $5 off your order. It could be Keebler, or Nestle or whoever. And you can do this deal multiple times in the same grocery order. The items have been on sale, I've had manufacturers coupons for them, and the $5 comes off at the end. Last week Lean Cuisines, Juicy Juice, and Kraft cheeses were included. In Miss. our grocery sales cycle Wed.-Wed. so the new ads come out tomorrow. And the coupons are a better deal at Kroger too because they double up to .60 here.
I've got many suave deodorants for free with a .50 coupon, because it was doubled to $1. And when the Meat Managers section is full of meat...we go through all the packages to find the real cheap bargains. I've gotten ground chuck for $1.25 lb and will buy every package when I find it at that price. I also buy the cheap steaks $2 and under and freeze them till I have collected enough for either Steak Stirfry or Steak Stroganoff.
We have a very generous grocery budget every month, but I still like to find the bargains and stock up when I can. I will never be one of those people that buys $300 in groceries and pays $9 at the register. It can be done but we have particular brands we like, dietary needs to consider and food additives to avoid. So, I don't just go buy anything...if your family isn't going to eat it or use it you wasted your money. OR go ahead and get the item, especially if you can get it for free, and donate to a shelter or food bank.
I would love to hear about your shopping adventures. They are an inspiration to me and help me look at things in a whole new way. AND it you don't want your coupons....send them my way!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Pie recipe from my Mom. So here goes.....
Magic Lemon Meringue Pie
1 graham cracker crumb crust
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon rind
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
4 tbsp. sugar
Combine the lemon juice and rind and stir in condensed milk. Add the eggs yolks and mix
well. Pour into the pie crust.
Add cream or tartar to egg whites and beat till
almost peak stage. Add the sugar gradually
and continue beating till stiff but not dry.
Spread over your lemon mixture in the crust
and bake at 325 degrees till light brown
(about 15 minutes). Cool and eat.
This was a hit with everyone and in my dear
hubbies words..."y'all did really good with that
I was very thankful for my Kitchen Aid mixer when beating the egg whites. It did all the work and we just watched!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The economy is tough for a lot of families and I don't see prices going down for the things our families need (or want). This looks like it would have a lot of ideas you could customize for your family!
2 cups sugar
3 sticks butter
3 cups plain flour (I use unbleached)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Soften butter, add sugar and cream until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Then start adding flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Now stir in the vanilla. Cook in a tube pan in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour (top will be golden brown and will split).
Note-only grease the bottom of the tube pan. The cake will not be able to climb the sides of the pan if they are greased. Also, DO NOT substitute self-rising flour for the plain flour, from experience, I know this won't work.
This next cake came from a recipe booklet that came with a General Electric hand mixer my grandmother gave Mom for Christmas. Mom was thrilled with the mixer cause now she could mix up the pound cake and not have to stir it by hand (what a chore). This recipe is our "Birthday Cake" recipe. The page in the booklet is stained and spattered with cake batter, vanilla, etc and the booklet automatically drops open to this page.
2 Egg Quick Cake
2 cups plain flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
7/8 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder & salt into a mixing bowl. Add shortening, vanilla & all but 1/3 cup of milk. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs & remaining milk. Beat at med. speed another couple of minutes. Pour batter into 2 greased 8 inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Cool completely before frosting.
Makes 2 8 inch round cake layers or 24 cupcakes or a sheet cake pan. Freezes great! 1 recipe will also fill a "Wilton" character pan.
If milk allergies are a concern in your family, you can substitute water or apple juice for the milk. It still tastes really good.
Friday, September 18, 2009
But, for the last several months I have wanted a blog dedicated to my adventures in homemaking, couponing, bargain shopping, cooking, baking, and crafting. I am a stay at home Mom and am homeschooling our youngest 3 children. I am wading through lots of information about food additives, organic shopping and cooking, and cooking from scratch. So expect lots of posts and explanations about why we do what we do & what works and doesn't work for us. I have large cookbook collection and love to find new recipes. Clipping and using coupons for groceries is a new passion. Its fun to see how cheap I can buy an item (or 2 or 10). Which currently translates into we have a good stockpile on some items.
Then there is crafting...sewing, cross stitch, smocking, modge podge, quilting, scrapbooking, and card making. The girls want to add in soap and candle making, so thats on the "to learn" list.
I hope you enjoy our adventures, recipes and crafts.