Saturday, December 11, 2010

Candy part 2

So today totally lived up to my expectations! I really had a blast with my mom, sisters and for a few minutes my 2 of my brothers were there. I am officially an adult! I got to beat the fudge!

Please ignore that the picture of me isn't so great. But I am doing it, as a matter of fact I beat it a little to well and 3 of us had to drop it really fast!!! We made caramel pretzel bites, almond bark, cranberry almond bark, fudge, caramel, pretzel mint patties, cashew cranberry clusters, english toffee, cashew turtles. There was were a few casualties today however, my finger got popped with some extremely hot fudge and it still hurts. Also my mom in her effort to be helping and guiding us on what to do burned 2 batches of chocolate, first one wasn't to bad but the second one there was smoke pouring out of the microwave and the bowl had to be thrown away. We laughed and joked, we talked, What a wonderful day!!!!
My sister Melissa working on the toffee

my Mom tempering the chocolate for the caramel pretzel bites

My darling nephew Renn chilling in his chair while we cooked.

Our taste testers

Lick it Jana I dare you!!!

Almond Bark

Caramel, it took foorrrreeeevvvveeeeerrrrr to cook! Plus I almost ruined it :0/, but it turned out ok in the end :)

I know you are all now jealous of the delish treats that we made today and maybe if you are nice to me I just might share some :)


So this time of year brings memories some good, some bad. It is a time of year when we reflect on the things that have happened in the last year and farther back. I am so very blessed to have a wonderful Mother and Father and 5 siblings. I am eternally grateful that I come from a large forever family. I digress, let me get to what this post is really all about. I had a grandmother who was so special in so many ways (I know you are thinking that everyone has such a grandmother). While I was blessed to know 3 of my grandmothers in this life all wonderful amazing ladies, today I would like to tell you about my Grandma Punkin.

When she was born she was extremely ill. The doctors told my Great Grandmother that she would not live. For the first year of her life her mother and sisters would carry her around on a pillow that she laid on all the time (if I have the story correctly). Little did they know that not only would she live but would go on to be one of the kindest most genrous women to ever walk this earth.

She grew up and got married, and had 4 kids. She raised them and taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ and instilled the values that her children needed to be good people. She had one daughter and that is my Mom. She also taught her daughter to know her way around the kitchen. My mom in turn had 3 daughters. She also taught her daughters to know their way around the kitchen, and oh how grateful I am that she did! Lance is pretty grateful too!

My grandmother was an expert candy maker. Especially fudge. This isn't no fantasy fudge with marshmallow cream, this is 2 days to make fudge. I remember being at Grandmas house and her boxing up fudge to give to neighbors and friends. She even had her own labels printed that identified who made the fudge. I also remember as a child sitting on the living room floor watching my mom beat the fudge. No it wasn't naughty, and I am not sure why we beat the fudge. I remember watching the fudge ripple like candy as it cascaded down from the paddle and back into the pot. I always wanted to stick my tongue in and let it drizzle into my mouth. Maybe someday I will let my girls do that :).

So why this memory? Well my grandmother died about 9 years ago, and oh how I miss her!!! But today we get to celebrate her and the legacy she left us, not only do I get to spend the day with my Mom and sisters (that includes you Jana), but we are going to be making the candies that she made and do things that remind me of her. I hope that this holiday season that you get to share in the Joy and love that Christmas time brings. Might be fudge and it might be something else.

I hope to have some pics of my day to post later.

Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Its not here its Kheer

This time of year our tables are loaded with heavy sugary delicious desserts don't get me wrong I LOVE these desserts. I can't get enough of these! Well okay I can. While these things are fantastic they can get to be a little much. So after dinner tonight I decided that we wanted dessert. What is Sunday dinner without a little dessert? Are you counting how many times I say dessert in this post? Sorry I digress :). I wanted something light and easy. So here it is Kheer. We first tried/made Kheer last October when our friend Kumaravel was here. It is an Indian dessert. It is low fat and has very little sugar but just the right amount of sweet to kill the cravings. So without further ado....


4 cups milk (whole milk will make it creamier but will add some fat)
1/2 cup rice basmati is recommended but you can use any med/long grain
3tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
dash of salt
small squirt of vanilla
1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds (one recipe suggested pistachios YUMMY)
1/4 raisins

Pour milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg,and salt in a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat stirring frequently till just below boiling. Reduce the heat and add rice. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes until rice is tender and the milk will thicken a little. Add chopped nuts and raisins, and cook for 3-5 more minutes. Ladle them into bowls and serve. You can also refrigerate it and serve it cold.
A simple easy flavorful dessert. My kids really like it and so do I. It is a dessert I don't feel guilty about having seconds and thirds :)

Sorry there are no pictures. One I for got to take a picture before my family inhaled it and second I still cant find the usp chord to the camera :(

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Craft Swap

So I am thinking it would be really fun to do craft swap. There are the crafts that I like to do but many of my family and friends I give too, have already received the stuff I do. So participate and get your self something new and fun or a great gift for someone you love :)
Here are the rules:
1. $10 max spent on craft
2. Must be mailable
3. Must be completed by December 10 (So if someone wants to give it as a gift for Christmas).

Here are some links to some websites to give you some ideas.

If you want to participate in this swap please leave a comment. Depending on how many participate I think what we are doing should be kept a secret and then we will draw names.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

(this is not my picture)
I used to get the Kraft Food and Family Magazine, and in it one time was a recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup. It was done as a 1-2 servings in the microwave. I thought who makes potato soup in the microwave? So I adapted the recipe. I made it for dinner last night and my very picky 6 year old said "Mom I love this we need to have this more often!" So here is the recipe :)
3-5 medium potatoes cooked ( I just end up boiling them)
2 cups chicken broth or bullion
1-2 cups milk
1/2 diced medium onion
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste.
1 lb bacon
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheese divided
3 tbsp corn starch

Cook Bacon until crispy enough to crumble. I really like to lay it on a baking sheet and bake it at 425 for 12 minutes. Then I dont have to babysit it and there is less getting popped with hot grease.

Peel and boil potatoes (or you could used left over baked potatoes). Drain potatoes and mashed them up some, you dont want them totally mashed but smaller chunks. Pour chicken broth and milk into pot with potatoes and add onion. Season with salt, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil and mix cornstarch in about 1/3 cup cold water, mix into soup to thicken. When thickened add 1 cup of cheese and about 1/3-1/2 of your bacon. I dont like to put a whole lot in because I like to sprinkle it on top so it doesnt get soggy. Remove from heat and add sour cream. Stir in and serve topped with bacon, sour cream, cheese and chopped green onions if you have them.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Pictures of the hutch coming soon, the cord to upload the pictures off the camera is missing >:o(


I recently ran out of the huge bottle of dish soap I bought at Costco, oh about 4 years ago (yes we wash our dishes but we have a water softener and a hubby that will go completely out of his to not have to wash dishes by hand). I had bought several bottles during a sale that was down stairs in the food storage. This was the first bottle brought up. I have to admit that while my Handsome hubby will try to avoid washing dishes by hand, if he is home he won't let me do them. I know I know eat you heart out girls! He is taken :). I have however in a short time come to love this stuff!! I was once told at a Pampered Chef party that dish soap doesn't disinfect it just cuts through the grease. Well this little bottle has bleach in it, so guess what? Yep that right it DISINFECTS!!! My readers a probably so smart that they already knew about this product. I just discovered it and it makes me happy to know that when I wash the dishes and counters with it they are getting sanitized :) YAY this makes me happy!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Turkey VS. Beef?

About 2 years ago I had to have my gall bladder out because it had gone wonky and started spitting stones out. From my diagnosis to my surgery I had to wait about 2 weeks. They told me to pretty much avoid all fat during that time period. So I made the switch to ground turkey. About 2 months later I mentioned to my husband that he was eating ground turkey instead of beef. He said he didn't like it as well. I told him that he had been eating it for 2 months and hadn't noticed a difference until I pointed it out. Any who... I like to watch the food network and sometimes I hear chefs complain about using ground turkey and how it is an inferior product. I think this is hogwash! It can be dry but with the right (and a little extra) seasonings and not over cooked it is great.
While I haven't shopped for ground beef in over 2 years (not that we havent eaten it I just havent bought it). Every once in a while I price compare it to the ground turkey at Sams Club. The ground turkey is always cheaper. But here is the ketcher (is that a real word?) Ground turkey is only lower in fat if you are buying ground turkey breast or ground white turkey. That is why I buy it at Sams Club, I get ground turkey breast for the same cost as regular ground turkey at the regular grocery store.

So now knowing all this, assuming you didn't know it before, what is your vote? Ground Turkey or Ground Beef? I think you can tell which way I lean.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New Hutch

I am so excited I just might pee my pants. Okay I am not going to pee my pants but... Ever since we moved into the house I have wanted a Hutch in my kitchen. I found one in a catalog it looked like what I wanted and the price was right so Lance bought it for me for Christmas. The photography in said catalog was fantastic!!! The hutch not so much. My friend Stacey just refinished a pie safe that belonged to her Great Grandma. I reignited my desire for a hutch. So I have been checking KSL classifieds for a week or 2, and found one that I liked. It is a 2 pieced mixed set, the base seems older and possibly antique the top is only 3 years old. I went and checked it out and it is what I want. I want to refinish it to match my decor and cover up some of the bumps a bruises it has. I have been gaining courage and reading about technique and materials on how to refinish it on allthingsthrifty. I need some help, I am not sure what color to do it! My kitchen is decorated in Americana theme. I have one red wall and the others are a Yellow(?) the paint colors name was fragrant coriander. I am thinking of doing it a dark blue or a cream? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think I should do.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

MMMM Cornbread

So I have never really been a fan of cornbread until.... I found this recipe my friend Jane (Yes I am friends with this amazing woman) recommended it from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. While normally I wouldn't dream of messing with this recipe I did. I am on a medically restricted diet and have been for quite some time. The good news is that my infection is almost gone, the better news is I have learned a lot about eating healthier. So I decided to change this a little to fit the requirements of my diet. I will say that it still has way more sugar than I am supposed to have, but sometimes it is worth the cheat! So either way this cornbread with the honey butter is KILLER!!

½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup whole grain flour (I use a mixture of white wheat, brown rice, kamut, and Oat)
1/2cup sugar I lessened it from 2/3 cup
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup milk

Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny – don’t be alarmed!). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff

Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

I seldomly if ever buy marshmallow fluff, so I just omit that.

This goes great with any fall/winter soup of stew you can think of! I hope you try it and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another skirt tutorial :) Broomstick style

So I bet you had all thought that I had given up already on this blog. Nope just got a little busy. We went on vacation and got home and it seemed like it took a week and a half to get caught up from our 3 day break. WARNING: I was lazy during the finishing process of this skirt. Partly due to the fact that this was made for NayNay, and since she has recently decided that skirts are not her thing. She has promised that she would wear this so we will see.....
1- I started out by picking 3 halloween fabrics

2- I cut them into 4 inch strips.

3- I measured NayNay she is 26 inches from hip to ankle, and her waist was 24 inches
4-I cut the first strip to be 15 inches. You will be cutting two of every layer.

5- On the next layer I cut it 17 inches and each progressive layer got about 1 1/2 longer. Remember you are cutting 2 of each.

6- Line up the strips leaving about 3/4 of an inch extra on each end. You will then stitch them together. I did the front (the first set of strips) first, and the back (the second set of strips) next.

7- After you have done both sides they should line up perfectly and you will stitch down the sides (right sides together).

As you stitch down you will kinda go on a diagnal. With each strip you will start farther in and by the time you have reached the bottom you should be at the edge.

This is what is going to make the skirt flare and get wider as you go down. After you have stitched up both sides you will trim off the excess edges.

8-Here is where I got lazy :) Instead of doing a double folded hem I just folded it up and did a zigzag stitch around the bottom.
9- The waist. Here is different way to do an elastic waist band that I didn't do the last time. You will fold the top over about 1/4 inch and press.

Then fold it over again about 1 inch (depending on what size elastic you are using. Stitch most of the way around leave about a 1 1/2 opening. This is where you will feed your elastic through.

10- Attach a safety pin to the end of your elastic and feed through the opening you left.

Here is another part where I got lazy. I just grabbed a needle and thread and hand stitched the elastic.

It hides right into the waist casing you made, and stitch it down.

Trim your threads and you are finished. To get it wrinkled like a broomstick skirt, wash and instead of throwing it in the dryer, twist it and hang to dry, when it is dry untwist it and you have a broomstick skirt :)

Hopefully if you didn't understand a word I said the pictures will help.

I want to also do a give away soon, so if you would like a chance to win become a follower. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Peaches come in a Can" NOT IN THIS HOUSE!

25 lbs peaches (summer lady)
+7 lbs sugar
+ 1 really big mess in the kitchen
+7 hours (with distractions :)
= 16 quarts of peaches
8 jars of jam
5 quarts peach honey

and I am the only one who will eat them.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dinner in a Pinch

So as a SAHM sometimes we have to come up with dinner in a pinch. Basic cooking skills will come in handy right about now. I had no ideas for dinner tonight, and it was getting late (after 5). So here is what I came up with.

1 box pasta
1 cube butter
1 packet of ranch dressing mix
whatever cheese I have on hand. I had mozzerella and parmesan.

Cook your noodles according to directions. While they are cooking melt your butter and add ranch mix to it. Pour it over your noodles sprinkle with cheese and a dash of milk. Stir it all up until your cheese is all melted. This would be great with fresh tomatoes, green onions, chicken anything you have on hand. The night I made this I had some cooked shrimp in the freezer, so I left a little butter in the pan and sauted them up. I am the only one who will eat them so I didn't add it to the pasta. But it tasted fabulous (yes I know I broke the no cheese on seafood rule, but I am a rebel :)!

Spider! Part 2

So here is the finished project.

1- I squared the piece of material I embroidered on to 12x12 inches (well at least I tried) and pressed it.

2- Measured and cut the strips of spider material to border the white. The 2 long strips were 16x4 inches and the 2 short were 12x4 inches.

3-I then pinned the 12 inch pieces to the sides and stitched them down.

4- I then pinned and stitched the 16 inch pieces to the top and bottom.
5- Then I pressed the whole front piece.

6- I then laid the front against another scrap I had of the white fabric. It needed to be about 3 inches wider than the front. and trimmed it to fit.

7- Cut the back piece about 2 inches off center, this will over lap. Hem the edges of where you just cut about 1/4-1/2 inch.

8- Line up the unsewn edge to the edge of the front. Stitch the side right sides together. Do the other side. If you lay it out flat you should have white pieces on the side.

9-Fold over sides, they should overlap just off center of the back. Now you will pin and stitch across the top and bottom. Trim your threads and any extra overhanging pieces.

10- Turn it right side out. And insert your pillow.

I was so worried about it not being big enough to fit over the pillow that it ended up being a little big but that is an easy fix.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spiders! Part 1

I am going to start this post by admitting something, I LOVE HALLOWEEN! If you live by me you might have witnessed some of my craziness :). So this project was inspired by Stacey over at House of Chic and Penoche. So like I said I love Halloween, but there just isn't budget to cover the obsession I have. So I try to get creative with things I already have. I go to a CTMH Scrapbook club every month (click on the link to check it out). So I had this awesome stamp I used. The fabric was leftover from another project.

1. I inked my stamp with black ink.

2. Stamped it right onto the white fabric.

3. I put it in a hoop. You can do this without the hoop but I have found it goes much faster and is way easier with one. You can pick up a hoop for inexpensive at a craft store. I inherited a few from Lance's GG when she died. Place the image you are doing centered over the inner hoop. Put the outer ring over top of the inner ring pulling the fabric so that it is taunt. Use the screw on the top to tighten.

4. Thread your needle. Embroidery floss comes in hanks and is usually about 6 strands thick. That to me is really thick, so for the thicker areas of this project I used 4 strands and the finer areas I used 2 strands.

5. Get to stitching. I have been racking my brain as I have embroidered this, on how to describe what it is I am doing. I am at a loss, but here goes... You are basically sewing along the lines. Start moving from the bottom up. Move the needle about 3-4mm and go back down on the pattern line you are working on. You will come back up from the bottom about 3-4 mm away and connect the stitches together. Clear as mud? Hopefully you can get the idea from the pictures.

I think this is going to be turned into a pillow which will be part 2 when I get it finished. :)