days gone by.....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I love worms!

While pulling up corn stalks this afternoon ... I noticed we have a ton of worms! That's a great thing for the soil. I hope my husband doesn't chop them up too much while tilling! They really don't become two worms when cut in half. sniff

Reward from three hours in the garden! before & after

Usually my husband and I do all of the garden clean up in the fall... but last year, life and winter came fast and we didn't get around to it. We were out cleaning today for three hours... I'll feel this tomorrow!

Freezing Herbs ~ a great easy way to preserve them for winter!

This is my last batch of oregano. I put some in my scrambled eggs this morning. mmmm...
Freezing herbs is the best way to preserve them. It's easier than drying and they taste better too. Harvest your herbs in the morning, wash and dry well, then put in a plastic bag and freeze. Simply pull out what you need. They don't take up much space either. How easy is that?

Ziploc Vacuum Sealer! You must try this!

I bought one of these Ziploc Vacuum Sealers and it's a God send.It's small and easy to store! No dragging out the big, bulky sealer I've used all these years.(time for a garage sale?) And the great thing is, you can RESEAL just as easily. Here's a picture of the last of this bag of chopped up red bell peppers... (only one bag left after this!...hurry up gardening season) anyway, just take what you want out and pump it to seal it back up. ta! da!
We use tons of red bell peppers: meatloaf, sloppy joes, on pizza, in omelets, stir fry, vegetable soup, chili.... wow. we do use a lot!

Homemade canned green beans! I love them so much I want to marry them!

I only have a few more pints of my canned green beans left. The only thing that gets on my nerves about growing green beans ... you have to pick them when THEY want you to! They don't care if it's Thurs and you're tired from working all week. noooo... they are down there snickering "you better pick and can me now or I'll get all fat and tough"! and it's usually 108 degrees in the shade! But man, they are so worth it when the weather is cold and nasty (this is Ohio remember?) Just add some ham or bacon and go "mmmmm...."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cold Chilly Night Dinner! Yum!

What's better than soup beans and corn bread on a chilly rainy night? Soup beans loaded with onions and ketchup! My favorite way to eat them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Super Easy Hot Cauliflower

I had about a cup of broccoli/cauliflower leftover from supper. I didn't want to throw it away and it wouldn't work with the next nights menu. I had some jalapeno peppers and simply mixed them together and waited about a week. They are a tad mushy, but taste yummy!

Crabmeat Salad Recipe

8oz pack of imitation crabmeat
1/2 c thinly slice celery
1/3 c mayo
2 Tsp minced onion
1/2 t lemon juice
dash of salt and pepper

Mix and chill for at least 2 hours.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make your own cocktail sauce

I love zesty cocktail sauce. The stuff in the jar is just ok to me, and besides there were times when I wanted it and it had already gone bad! Sooooo, the light bulb went off and I started making my own when I needed it. I always have ketchup and horseradish in the fridge. Now I simply whip up just enough and can add extra horseradish. It tasted so much fresher too! ~ and no waste ~

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Love Leeks!! (recipe too!)

This is a public announcement: Please try leeks!!! They are sooooo good.

Easy Braised Leeks

•6 large leeks
•1 Tbsp. olive oil
•1 cup vegetable broth
•kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. To prepare the leeks, trim off the dark green stalks and the roots. Next, slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Place the leeks in a large bowl of cold water, cut side down, and allow them to sit there about 10 minutes. Most of the grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Rinse the leeks again, checking between the folds to make sure all the grit is gone. Dry the leeks with a paper towel.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set the leeks in the baking dish, cut side up. Brush with the olive oil. Roast 20 minutes, tossing halfway through to make sure they don't get too brown. Pour vegetable broth over the leeks. Roast another 10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Tips for rolling out sugar cookie dough!

I always shied away from rolled sugar cookies because ~ * the dough would stick to everything * I ended up adding too much extra flour (then dry dough) * I couldn't get the dough to roll out evenly (some cookies burned) ... basically a royal pain. Then I found some great tips while scrounging around on the good ol' internet. Now I actually ENJOY making sugar cookies! Here are a few tips I can't do without now. * Buy a set of ring guides for your rolling pin ~ they are color coded for dough thickness (pie dough, cookies, biscuits etc.)* Put dough between waxed paper (no extra flour and no sticking) Everything is nice and even and all the cookies bake the same... no more partially burned cookies!

Hannah Finds Catnip!

If you've ever planted anything in the mint family (such as catnip) ... you know it will pop up in the spring a mile from the original planting! We have catnip clear on the other side of the house and Hannah found this clump growing down in the garden .. a long way away. I'm guessing during the fall clean up, I dropped some on the way to the compost pile.

First Day of Spring is for the Birds!

Here's something I do every spring for the birds. We have a HUGE pine tree right outside our front window. I take extra soft yarn and cut it into pieces and hang them around on the limbs and the bushes. It's fun watching the different birds fly off with them to line their nests!

Apple Pie Jelly

Apple Pie Jelly

6 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
½ cup water
½ teaspoon of butter
3 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar (packed)
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 small box powdered fruit pectin

Cook apples, water and butter over low heat, stirring until apples are soft but not mushy. Stir in pectin and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugars and cinnamon and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour into hot jars, leaving ¼” heads space. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. makes (7) ½ pints.

NOTE: 6 cups of diced apples = 6 to 7 medium size apples

Friday, March 19, 2010

Make your own cookie mix!

Making up your own cookie mix is easy! Just add all of the dry ingredients in a Ziploc bag. When you're ready to make cookies, all you have to do is add your egg, butter, etc.... I print the entire recipe and directions on the bag (and reuse the bag---I'm such a tightwad)When I'm done, I don't have to dig out the recipe because it's right on the bag and I add the dry ingredients again. Cool huh?

Skillet Apple Crisp

Skillet Apple Crisp

6 - large apples peeled, cored & sliced thinly
1/4 - cup water
juice from 1 lemon
2 - cups rolled oats
2 - cups all purpose flour
2 - cups packed brown sugar
2 - Tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups melted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
1 - large iron skillet

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. combine the apples, water, and lemon juice add to a large Iron Skillet. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. pour in the butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Spread the topping in an even layer over the apples and bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the topping is crisp and brown.

Tip for making grilled cheese sandwich

Toast the bread until lightly browned, then butter and put in skillet. That way the bread isn't too soft and won't get "scrunchy" when you turn it!

My "Tattoo guy"

This is Cory, my tattoo guy (working on me) He's in Yellow Springs, Oh at Artistic Delirium. Check out his website

My New Tattoo!

Just came back from getting my new tattoo! I love it! It's Chinese for Gregory. (my adorable hubby)click on the picture to enlarge

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Wow this is awesome.... we had such a cold and snowy winter... and now signs of Spring! finally

Monday, March 15, 2010

Easter Bunnies for Sale!

I just finished up these little bunnies for eBay. Little cuties if I do say so myself! Check them out ~ eBay id: moonpie*prims

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Primitive Easter Bunny Rabbit

Here's a cute Easter bunny I made for eBay. Yippee... I have a bid!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Primitive Sock Doll

I just listed this sock doll on eBay. Wish me luck! Check out my eBay stuff ... moonpie*prims

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Hawk that Got Away ...

DARN!! .... I missed the shot of a hawk sitting on the post right in front of our window. There he is flying awaaaaaaaaaaay! Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Talkin' bout my inspiration ....

This is where all of my ideas come from!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Easy Gumbo Recipe

I love Gumbo and it's so easy to make. You really don't need an exact recipe, just start with the basics (onions, celery, chicken, polka kielbasa, shrimp, tomatoes) and go from there. You can make it spicy or mild... whatever .... to your taste. It's kinda like when I make chili... I never make it the same way twice!!

Anyway, here's what you do: Brown kielbasa and chicken in skillet in a little oil. Remove. Add a little more oil and saute' onion, celery and red peppers. Add chicken and kielbasa. Then add a can of stewed tomatoes. Stir and heat through. Add shrimp. Bring to simmer. Now add hot sauce and crushed red peppers to taste. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Remember, this is just a "base" recipe. You can add okra, red bell peppers, green chilies, garlic, tomato get it. In a pinch, I've used canned shredded chicken. Anyway .... hope you try this... it's easy and goooood!

What's that smell?

Here's Bill entertaining us ~ believe me... it doesn't take a lot!

Easy Way to Fix Bacon

This is a great way to fix bacon. Instead of frying bacon in a skillet and having to keep an almost constant eye on it (and dealing with all the splatters) .... put it in the oven instead!

Here's How:

1.Line a baking sheet with foil. This will make cleanup easier.

2.Arrange bacon slices on the foil and place the baking sheet on the center rack of a cold oven. Turn oven on to 400°F.

3.Bake 17 to 20 minutes. The exact time will depend on the thickness of the bacon slices, how crispy you want your bacon, and also on how quickly your oven reaches the target temperature. Keep an eye on it the last few minutes, you don't want it to burn.

4.Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the bacon to another sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb the fat. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Velveteen Rabbit

Here's a little Velveteen Rabbit I made for eBay. I have a bid on it! Yippee! Check out my stuff on eBay ~ moonpie*prims