Trying to keep my sanity in tact, while keeping bellies full

Monday, June 27, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 6/28

We  had lots of great recipes linked up last week! To see my recipe this week, head on over to my pal's place On the Banks of Squaw Creek. She's posting my Turkey Tetrazzini recipe. Why is my recipe over there? Well, Katie tipped me off to a new recipe contest. And we all know how much I LOVE recipe contests! Here's the info:


The National Turkey Federation is hosting a recipe contest and the grand prize is an all-expense paid weekend for you and a guest to meet, cook and dine with Chef Lisa Schroeder of Mother’s Bistro & Bar in Portland, Ore.
The winning recipe and blogger will be featured on the Meal Upgrade Calculator.
The winner may also be used in media appearances (local broadcast segments, print media interviews, etc.) as the blogger spokesperson for the national Upgrade It! campaign.
The contest ends July 31, so get cooking!  For more info, visit mealupgrade.com

So head on over to On the Banks of Squaw Creek to see my recipe and check out mealupgrade.com for details and enter!


Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.


Make sure to vote on your favorite link up by clicking the "like" button! We may have some giveaways in the future for the recipe with the most likes!



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When You Give The Kids a Bucket

Earlier this month, Red Hill General Store provided some of the Real Farmwives of America with buckets (or tubs).  Some of farmwife pals are showing off how they use their bucket on the farm. The rest of us opted to use the bucket in our homes/gardens. Make sure to check out Real Farmwives of America because one lucky reader will win a Galvanized Embossed Tub provided by Red Hill General Store!

We received a 2 Qt galvanized bucket.


I put it back for a few days, until the kids were clearly in need of something new to do. I gave them the bucket and asked them to come up with a few ways to use the bucket. They certainly came up with some creative uses and bonus...one bucket kept four kids entertained ALL DAY! Here are some of the things they did:

1. Pick peppers and tomatoes from the garden
2. Went to our aunt's house and helped collect eggs
3. Played "bucketball"
4. Made sandcastles
5. Filled it with crayons and markers
6. Helped dad clean his tools
7. Made a barbie hot tub

8. Wore it as a hat
9. Filled it with ice and drinks for our picnic out back
10. Fill with soapy water and help clean around the house
11. Turned it upside down and played the drums
12. Filled it with hairbrushes and hair ties
13. See who could balance it on their head the longest

14. Filled it with popcorn for movie night
15.  And their favorite...dumping water on each other in the pool!


Here are some other ideas the kids had, but we didn't do
Fill with goodies and use it as an Easter basket
Fill it with water and place it over the door to pull a prank (you can see why didn't actually DO this one)
Start a bucket brigade

And what happens when the grownups get the bucket? We get crafty!
To begin, I taped off a rectangle on one side.

Then spray 3 coats of chalkboard paint on the bucket. Let dry for 24 hours and remove tape. Next, I painted veggies on the bucket. You can't really see in the picture, but there's an ear of corn on the other side. Let dry. Now it's time to pick the first veggies of the season; one tomato and 2 banana peppers!



Thanks to Red Hill General Store for providing us with this great bucket and don't forget to check out Real Farmwives for your chance to win!

Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!







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Please Note: Red Hill General Store provided me with the bucket. However, the ideas and opinions expressed are all my own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Confessions of a Closet Couponer

 Everyone's heard about the TLC show "Extreme Couponing", and while I'm no where near that stage, I think I may have a problem.

I had to add storage to my kitchen today. Everything you see on that shelf was tucked in every nook and cranny I could find in the kitchen. And sadly, that's just the pasta and cereal. And I still have pasta and cereal in the cabinets. That may look like enough cereal to last a couple of years, but with 6 of us eating cereal almost daily, it's really only a couple of months worth.

 Am I crazy? OCD? Maybe. But I prefer to call it "Smart Couponing". Check out my receipt from today:

 I spent $44.51. Between store sales and coupons, I saved $38.89. That's nearly 47%. Unlike the people on Extreme Couponing, we didn't get 846 bottles of ketchup and 490 boxes of laxatives. We bought chicken, beef, pork, coffeemate, juice, fresh fruit, and cereal and pasta. These are all items we'll need for the upcoming week or two. Well, except maybe the cereal and pasta, but they were good deals! And I didn't use more than 2 of the same coupons.

Is there anything wrong with creating stockpiles of thousands of items? To each his own. Just remember to leave some on the shelves for the rest of us! 

Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!



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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away!

It's been a soggy couple of days in Indiana. How's the weather been for you?





Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

The Perfect Red Velvet Cupcakes

My pal Jeannie from Jeannie's Gym Journey just completed another figure competition. So first, congrats Jeannie! Second, since the competition is over, she has a few days off her insane diet. Do you know what that means? All the goodies you can eat! I made some red velvet cupcakes for her and since I can't literally share with all of you, I figured I could at least share the recipe.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 1/2 c butter, soft
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 t salt
2 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 fluid oz red food coloring
2 T cocoa
1 c buttermilk
1 T vanilla
1 t baking soda

Start by creaming together the butter and sugar. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Fill cupcake tins about half way and bake at 350 for approximately 17 minutes.


For the icing, there will be no cream cheese icing on these red velvet cupcakes! Oh no! We use cooked icing.
What you'll need:

1 c milk
3 T flour
1 c sugar
1 c butter (soft)
1 t vanilla

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk flour into milk. Cook over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat and cool completely.

When the milk and flour mixture is cool, whip butter and sugar together. Add cooled milk/flour and vanilla. Spread on cooled cupcakes. If the icing is too thin, let it sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, then spread.

Wondering what this new icon below is? It's time for another Iron Chef Challenge by Ott,A! Since June is dairy month, it's time to link up all your recipes using milk on A Latte With Ott,A!

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Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.



Make sure to vote on your favorite link up by clicking the "like" button! We may have some giveaways in the future for the recipe with the most likes!




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Monday, June 13, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 6/14

Summer time means grilling time around here. But sometimes we get tired of the same old burgers, so time to spice them up a bit! Stuffed burgers are a great way to do this.

Taco Burgers

 What you'll need:
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Salsa
Cheese

Start by mixing the taco seasoning into the beef. Split beef in half and make very thin patties out of one half. Spoon on salsa and add chunks of cheese

With the other half of your ground beef, make more thin patties and top the first set. Make sure to get a good seal! You can also add egg whites to the edges for a better seal.
.Grill and enjoy!



Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.



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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Help! Please!

 I have a great dog. Her name is Gypsy and she's a black lab. She's my baby and knows it. The problem is, she has a little bit of separation anxiety.

She managed to do that from her cage....across the room. Yes, she moved her cage across the room, brought the blanket into her cage and destroyed it. That's the second blanket this week. We've yet to find a cage that can hold her.

Oh, it gets better....she's medicated too. Yes, this is ON medication. Without medication, we end up in surgery because she does things like rip the pad off her paw. After bringing in a behavioral therapist, we decided to try some new activities with her, hoping she'll realize there's more to the world than me. We have a pool out back which she plays in daily, but we decided to try out some different water. We took her to a local park and down to the creek. She had a blast, once she finally got in the water! Thankfully, there were a lot of kids down there for her to play with, and of course her favorite playmate...daddy!



 Since the dog got to play outside, it only seemed fair to let the kitty go for a walk as well!

We've tried all the usual things to kick the anxiety, but if anyone knows any secrets, please let me know!!!!!




Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Made From Scratch Tuesday 6/7

It's summer time and the kids are out of school. It doesn't take long before they become bored with the same snacks. Here's a snack that the kids will love! It takes a bit of work, but it's well worth it!

What you'll need:
3 T flour
1 c milk
1 ripe banana
1 c butter, softened
1/4 c nutella
1 c sugar

In a small saucepan, cook milk and flour until thick, stirring constantly.
When thickened, set aside and cool completely. While the milk/flour mixture is cooling, whip together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in banana.
Add cooled milk/flour and nutella. Beat until fully incorporated.

 We enjoyed this treat with graham crackers and strawberries! It was DELICIOUS!

Now, it's time to link up some of those great dishes you make from scratch!
Here are the rules:
1. You can link up as many posts as you'd like.
2. My only content rule is it has to be made from scratch.
3. If you want to put my button somewhere, that'd be cool. You can grab the code for the Made From Scratch Tuesday button on the top right of my sidebar.





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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I apologize--no Made From Scratch Tuesday this week. I didn't get recovered in time from the roadtrip to get something posted. It will be back next week though! I promise! Until then, enjoy some of the highlights from my trip to Savannah!










Make sure to visit the fantastic blog parties on my sidebar, and of course, link up all your made from scratch recipes on my Tuesday linky-Made From Scratch Tuesday!

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