This week the carnival is at Kitchen Stewardship. Reading this week's carnival right before lunch today is making me very hungry!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Super Epic Rainbow Cake
This is a must see cake. No way I'd ever have the patience to make this one, but way to go Rina!
Love this idea for Thanksgiving which is (OMG!) just around the corner.
Pork Rice Paper Rolls
Wish I had the ingredients for this one on hand. Oh I am hungry!
Enjoy the carnival. I'm going to make lunch!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
This week the carnival is at Kitchen Stewardship. Reading this week's carnival right before lunch today is making me very hungry!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sorry for the delays in posting today. My precious computer's been in the shop since Wednesday night so there's been no internet access for me! :( I just got it back from the shop two hours ago and it runs SOOO much better! I'm blessed and grateful to have found someone to fix it at a VERY reasonable rate. Plus, he makes house calls! If you live in the Hallock, MN area and need a computer guy, let me know and I'll pass you the information.
For dinner tonight, I made chicken taco salad. It's easy, delicious and a great way to get some extra mileage out of left overs.
soft shell tortilla-burrito size works best
shredded chicken-left over from yesterday's fried chicken
1/2 cup dry rice-cooked
1 packet taco seasoning
Mix chicken, rice, and taco seasoning well. Add a few tablespoons of water if necessary.
4 diced tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes drained)
1 can spicy beans
Shredded cheese-any flavor
Create a taco shell bowl
Preheat oven to 350. Gently push a tortilla in a glass bowl to form a tortilla bowl. Try not to break or crack it but allow it to curve in an out so it will fit in the bowl. I used a glass cereal bowl. Place bowls on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes till the shell is hard and crispy. Allow to cool.
Layer chicken mixture, shredded lettuce, beans, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Buen provecho! Enjoy your meal!
Friday, September 25, 2009
I'm bringing you a last minute project today and apologize in advance for the poor photo quality. I've been working away late at night after the kids are in bed and dishes done and school lunches packed and laundry folded. It's the only time I find peace and quiet but, unfortunately, not a lot of good photo lighting.
I had a completely different project planned for this week, but we ran into a little surprise this week in Colorado -- SNOW! It wasn't the snow that I minded so much, but the fact that we don't have any snow gear for our daughter yet. As I bundled the boys up in hats, gloves and scarves she looked sadly at me and asked in her broken English "Where Macy's?" Awww...
Since we're Compacting (not buying anything new) at least through the end of the year, I put a request up on Freecycle in hopes that someone might have some cast-offs we could use. I also took a look through my fabric stash and found some pretty, girly fleece I found on clearance a while back. I'd planned on making a little throw blanket for Macy with it, but winter accessories suddenly seem much more important!
I don't really have a step-by-step tutorial for you because this was SO EASY that you won't need one.
For the scarf, I cut two long pieces of the fleece and sewed them together down each long side, stopping about 6 inches from the bottom. I trimmed the sides with pinking shears. Then I made strips with that 6 inches left over at the bottom and tied the strips in knots. Just like one of those no-sew fleece blankets. Voila - a scarf!
For the gloves, I made a pattern by tracing my daughter's hand. I cut out a front and back piece for each glove and used some elastic from an old fitted bed sheet I'd taken apart for another project.
We'll need something a little more water proof to get her through the "real" winter, but this is a good start for any more freak snow storms or cold snaps we have.
I'm also planning to make her a hat, but won't get to that until the weekend. I'm going to try the tutorial I found here on deviantART.com.
Here's wishing you many more warm days before winter comes to your neck of the woods!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
My family just loves pizza. What family doesn't? The ingredients for pizza are part of my pantry staples, as pizza is almost always the meal we go to when nothing else sounds good, or is planned.
Making homemade pizza is easy, and almost as fast as calling for takeout. First, start with a great crust. This recipe is my favorite.
I normally double this recipe to make two pizzas on my baking stones.
After the dough is spread, I brush the dough with olive oil and then spread on the sauce. then add the toppings and cheese.
Bake at 450 F for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and just starting to brown.
Image credit: Christine.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The carnival will is posted at It's Frugal Being Green. Thanks to our hostess for putting it all together for us! The carnival is full of great posts this week. Some that caught my attention:
Eat Healthy this Winter without Spending a Fortune
This is a great introductory post about preserving the bounty of this season for those long cold months that are soon to come.
Lime and Basil Shortbread
This flavor combination in shortbread is just plain intriguing to me.
Sea Salt Facial Scrub
Easy, effective, and very inexpensive equals very appealing to me.
Hope you enjoy the carnival this week!
Monday, September 21, 2009
8 oz pineapple chunks-chopped & drained
8 to 14 oz of roughly chopped tomatoes
(1 large tomato OR 2 medium tomatoes OR 1 small can of diced tomatoes-drained)
1 jalapeno finely diced
2 banana peppers finely diced
1 tsp salt
1 tbs garlic powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
Onions, minced garlic, red pepper flakes and bell pepper would be great in this too.
By the way, omit the cayenne if you prefer a milder salsa!
Read Jenn's other recipes and craft ideas at the Frugal Front Porch.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tis the season for fresh pumpkin! While the canned stuff is perfectly acceptable, using fresh pumpkin to bake with is truly a memorable experience for your taste buds. It is a very simple process that only requires a bit more effort and time than opening a can.
First pick a pumpkin.
The smaller pie pumpkins are far superior to their enormous cousins in terms of flavor. The larger pumpkins can be used. In fact, if you carve pumpkins in the fall, all the flesh from the cut out pieces, and much from the hollow pumpkin, can be scraped out to use for cooking. Larger pumpkins though, tend to be more watery with a less concentrated flavor.
Next, clean out the pumpkin.
Cut the pumpkin in half, and use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds and all the gooey stuff in the middle of the pumpkin. The seeds can be saved to roast, or if you are a gardener, some can be saved for planting next year.
Cook the pumpkin.
The pumpkin can be boiled or cooked in the microwave, but I prefer to roast it. Put it cut side down on a jelly roll pan. (Don't make the mistake I made with another pumpkin and use a flat sheet. It left quite the mess of pumpkin juice on the bottom of my oven.) Bake at 425 F for around 40 mintues (depending on the size of your pumpkin,) or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.
Allow the pumpkin to cool enough so you can handle. The peel should easily pull off leaving you with the meat of the pumpkin. To get rid of the stringy texture give the pumpkin (in small batches) a whirl in the food processor or blender. If the pumpkin seems a bit watery you can drain it in a fine colander or with a cheesecloth.
At this point your pumpkin is ready to cook with, If you have more puree than you need simply portion it in recipe sizes, usually 2 cups, and freeze.
Start with a homemade pie crust. Line a pie plate with a crust.
Mix 2 Cups pumpkin with 2 eggs, 2/3 Cup brown sugar, 1 1/4 Cup evaporated milk, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and ginger.
Pour pumpkin mix into the pie shell. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake an additional 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean and dry. Cool and serve with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This week the carnival is hosted this week at Ginger won't Snap. You've absolutely got to go check out her Editor's picks, especially in the food category! I am drooling! Here are a few others I found particularly interesting this week:
Fall Rice Crispy Treats
Love these fun fall treats!
Picture Perfect Switch-plate
What a clever idea!
Blueberry Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream and blueberries?! YUM!
I hope you enjoy the carnival this week!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
4 tbs honey
1/4 c peanut butter
1/8 c peanuts-optional for an added CRUNCH factor!
If the spread is too thin, add finely ground graham cracker crumbs or more peanut butter to thicken.
Mix in cinnamon, all spice, or other various spices for various flavor combination.
Mix in a blender or food processor for a smooth whipped texture. Use a fork for a chunky texture.
Jenn also blogs about crafts, recipes, reviews, and money saving ideas at the Frugal Front Porch.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Hello, I'm so happy to be back and blogging at Make It From Scratch! My two week vacation in April turned out to be a whole summer sabbatical as Mr. Greenhab and I traveled to Ethiopia to bring home our two newest children. We've had a crazy, busy, wonderful summer with all three of our kids and are now settling down into a routine.We're also compacting again, which means that we've made a pact to not buy anything new at least through the end of the year. This makes Christmas a little difficult, but I have lots of plans for homemade gifts this year.
Last weekend my dear sweet hubby got up early with the kids and threw me his little sleeping mask and some ear plugs. Wow. I could have slept all.day.long. After seeing a cute little eye mask in a magazine a few days later, I figured it was a sign and decided to whip one up for myself. Here's what I used: some scrap fabric left over from a tote bag I made for a girl friend, fleece left over from Christmas stockings I made last year, and some old ribbon.
I used my hubby's mask (do you think he'll be embarrassed that everyone now knows that he has one?) as a pattern, but you can draw one that works for you.
Cut out pieces from the front, back and any padding you'd like inside. In the photo above I've included some organic cotton batting I had on hand, but didn't end up using it since the fleece was so thick and soft.I'd really recommend using elastic for the part that keeps the mask on your head. The only elastic I had on hand (remember we're not buying anything new!) was stark white and just didn't go with this, so I used cream colored ribbon instead. It's really pretty with ribbon but you do have the extra step of tying the mask instead of just slipping it on when you're using it.
So you'll put the right sides together with the ribbon going towards the inside.
Because I'm a little obsessive-compulsive, I put the ribbon like this, sticking out the top #1) so that it didn't make everything bulky and #2) so that I would remember to leave a gap at the top for turning the mask right side out.
Pin and sew, remembering to leave a gap for turning. I can't tell you how many times I forget that darn gap!
Notch the curves so that it lies flat when you turn it. Turn right side out, iron, then top stitch. I used a contrasting red stitching that matched the red fleece lining.
The second one I made with some while elastic I had on hand, and I also added the organic cotton fleece batting to make it a bit thicker. If you're using the elastic, you do it basically the same way as the ribbon. Just measure it so that it will fit snugly around your head.
If you're adding some batting or other extra padding, cut it a bit smaller than the front and back pieces so that it's not quite as bulky when you turn it. I don't even worry about sewing the batting all the way around, I just catch a few stitches here and there as you can see from this photo:
You just want to make sure that the padding stays in place when you turn it right side out. Finish as described above. These are so quick and easy to make and make for great stocking stuffers. I added a little drop of lavender essential oil to the batting in this one to make it nice and relaxing.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Oh the zucchini recipes I've collected this year. What an amazingly versatile vegetable! We've grilled it, stuffed it, and mixed it in brownies, and every time it has been quite delicious. So, yesterday when I found a forgotten bowl of shredded zucchini in the refrigerator, I figured I might as well try one more new zucchini recipe this summer.
This recipe comes from the same friend who gave me the Zucchini Strudel recipe. I was hoping it was just as good. I wasn't disappointed.
The making of these bars marks the end of my fresh zucchini adventures for this summer, but we will be enjoying zucchini baked goods all winter long using shredded zucchini from the freezer. The hardest part will be deciding which recipe to make.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This week the carnival can be found at Gotta Little Space. The variety of posts submitted to this carnival always amazes me. This week is no exception. A few that caught my eye:
Six Thrifty Uses for a Lemon
Some interesting ideas. check the comments for even more ideas and add your own!
Suburban Backyard Chicken Coop
We are far from the suburbs, but I always appreciate posts on animal shelters. This is quite the coop!
Quick Homemade Breadsticks.
there is nothing better than homemade bread. I appreciate her tip on how to get these made when you're in a hurry.
Thanks for joining us this week. Hope to see you in the carnival next week!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I LOVE crackers. Last week the store was closed, we were out of them and I had the munchies. So what's a girl to do?
Make them herself of course!
- The thinner the rolled dough the crunchier the cracker and less cooking time required.
- Crackers will become crunchier as they cool.
- Give crackers a zesty kick with spice combinations.
- Use butter flavored shortening for a Ritz-like cracker.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Plastic baggies- I used zip top sandwich bags
Friday, September 4, 2009
Today Katie from Kitchen Stewardship shares her recipe for refried beans. I'm thinking tacos!
Refried beans make the perfect side dish with Mexican food or stuffed into your taco or burrito. They’re a great way to gets the health benefits of beans during the summer months, too, when you’re not feeling like chili or bean soup. The storebought versions can have some sketchy ingredients like trans fats in them. I have had some luck with organic canned versions being clean of junk (Meijer brand, around $1 on sale -- The fewer the ingredients, the better!), but I prefer to make my own for budget reasons.
Sub-Limey Refried Beans
Pressure cooker recipe from Pressure Perfect, but pressure cooking beans is less nutritious than long, slow cooking after an overnight soak.
1 ½ cups dried pinto, black or red kidney beans, picked over and rinsed
If not using a pressure cooker, soak the beans in water overnight.
Timesaver: Author recommends cooking a whole pound of beans and freezing extra for use later. You can cook the beans traditionally and use about 3 ½ c. cooked beans for this recipe. The refried beans freeze excellently - I freeze in ice cube trays, dump bean-cubes into a Ziploc, and heat what I need for a Mexican dish or side with tacos. I often make a double batch!
6 cups water
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs olive oil
1 c. finely chopped onions
1 tsp whole cumin seeds or ½ tsp ground cumin
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ c. grated jalapeno jack cheese
½ to 3 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice, plus ¼ to ½ tsp grated zest (I never have zest)
¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
In a 4-qt or larger pressure cooker, combine beans, water, ½ tsp salt, and 1 Tbs oil (need to control foaming).
Lock lid in place. Over high heat bring to high pressure. Reduce heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for the maximum suggested minutes (pinto = 19-22). Turn off heat. Allow pressure to come down naturally. If beans are not very soft, replace (but do not lock) the lid and simmer until done.
If not using a pressure cooker, start here: Drain the soaked beans. Reserve the cooking liquid to thin the refried beans.
In the pot or a large skillet, heat the remaining Tbs oil. Add the onions and cumin and cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are limp, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are lightly browned, 2-3 minutes more.
Stir in 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid. Lower heat to medium and add half the beans. Use a potato masher or fork (or hand mixer) to mash them. Add remaining beans and mash. You can leave the mixture quite coarse, with some beans intact, or continue mashing until fairly smooth. Stir well and make sure the beans are thoroughly heated.
When most of the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat. Stir in the cheese, 2 Tbs lime juice, lime zest, and salt to taste. Add more lime juice, if needed to create a citrus edge. Serve hot, with a sprinkling of grated cheese and pumpkin seeds (if using).
- Add 1 tsp chili powder when you add garlic and oregano.
- Use sharp chedder or feta instead of jalapeno Jack.
- Stir in ½ c. thinly sliced scallion greens when you add cheese.
- Do as the Mexicans do and garnish with chopped radish.
Cost: $1.50 (Less than $1.00 if you cut the cheese, which is not usually included in storebought)
Compared to canned refried beans, this recipe makes about 2-3 cans worth — a great deal!
Katie blogs at Kitchen Stewardship, where she shares weekly Monday Missions to challenge you to take baby steps towards being a better steward of God’s gifts of your health, earth, time and money.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The leaves aren't turning yet, but fall is definitely in the air. Fall really is one of my favorite seasons, except for the fact that it is followed by winter. I love the crisp air and the fall colors, but I also love the vegetables of fall.
Acorn squash ranks pretty high in my list of favorites. It is so incredibly simple to prepare and tastes wonderful. It also is quite healthy for you.
We prepare acorn squash by roasting it. Simply cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds in the middle. Roast, cut side down, on a lightly oiled pan at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is soft. It can also be prepared the same way and then cooked in the microwave, but roasting in the oven gives it a much better flavor.
Then we simply serve the squash with a dollop of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar in the middle. The kids love mixing it all together and scooping it right out of the shell. Of course you can also do all the scooping and mix everything together with butter, brown sugar and even a touch of cinnamon if you like.
Quite honestly, because this is so easy, and we enjoy it so much, I really haven't ventured beyond this basic and simple "recipe." Today I thought I'd take a peak at some other ways to prepare it.
I used Scribbit's customized mom blog search because mom blogs usually have the best recipes I think. You can see the results here.
Many of the recipes I found were dressed up versions of my basic method. Food Blogga offers Roasted Acorn Squash with Honey-Lime Pepitas. You'll have to go there, just like I did, to find out what peptias are. Veggie Venture offers Acorn Squash with mustard and honey.
There were also many recipes that were quite different. I think Smitten Kitchen has the corner on the market for the most variety of squash recipes. Search her site for "acorn squash" and find a pizza recipe, a quesadilla recipe, a soup recipe, and more.
These recipes just look too good. I do believe I may need to expand my acorn squash horizons. What is your favorite way to fix acorn squash?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The carnival can be found this week at Simply Forties. Thanks Mary for hosting a wonderful carnival this week. I really enjoyed the garden pictures she included. I only wish my gardens were so beautiful.
Picking favorites this week was difficult. There are some especially interesting craft projects (and this coming from a not so crafty woman.) Narrowing it down to three:
Make Your Own Grape Nuts
How easy is that? Not to mention economical.
This is ridiculously easy, as in even I could do it. Now if I could find some t-shirts the kids have outgrown that aren't covered in stains....
Creamed Corn and Basil Baked Pudding
Sounds like a delicious way to use extras from the garden.
Thank you for joining us this week. And thanks to those who participated in the carnival. Hope to see your submission in next week's carnival!
This year we tried to grow watermelon in our garden for the first time in a very long time. We've never had much success with the melons either, but this year the plants took off and have made an abundance of large, sweet and delicious melons.
While we aren't exactly tired of eating watermelon, I thought I'd try something new with the fruit. Watermelon lemonade sounded pretty good to me.
To make a gallon of watermelon lemonade, first cut apart the melon. I removed some of the seeds, but didn't spend a lot of time trying to get them all out. I used about half a melon.
Next give the watermelon a quick spin through the food processor. Then strain the fruit through a fine sieve.
Put the strained juice into a gallon pitcher. Add two cups of lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir well, and serve over ice.
The lemonade really is quite delicious. the recipe is obviously easy. The only complaint I have is that it tends to separate. Any ideas how to fix that?
That was one of the new things I tried last month. I tend to try new things in the summer with the garden bounty. Have you tried something new recently? Click on the image below to add a link to your post, and share your adventures with us. Links back to this post are much appreciated.