Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes

I've posted a pancake recipe before, but these are way better! They're light and spongy and have a good flavor. I usually eat my pancakes without syrup (unless I have chocolate) so the flavor is important too me. I highly recommend this recipe! Beware that the batter is kind of thick. Also I've tried it with a buttermilk substitute (1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar mixed together) and they turned out fine.

Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 tbsp vinegar)
3 tbsp butter, melted

Whisk dry ingredients. 
In separate bowl, whisk wet ingredients.
Stir together until just combined. The batter will be lumpy.
Fry and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Two Week Old Seedlings

My seedlings are two weeks old! Here's a tomato:
 Here's a pepper:
 And here's the field corn Mike planted a week ago:
We transplanted them all into cups and put another grow light on them. They seem to be doing pretty good. I fell like they aren't growing very fast, but I guess I'm just being impatient.

 Did you start any seeds this year? Do you plan on having a garden?

Mashed Potato Bowl

I'm a big fan of KFC's Famous Bowls so I decided to recreate them at home. They ended up being pretty tasty! I used what I had on hand, but your variation could be completely different. Here's what I used:

Mashed Potato Bowls
Mashed potatoes
Red Pepper and Italian Seasoned Chicken
Shredded Cheese

Layer anyway you want and enjoy! 

PS This wasn't what I had on the menu plan. I'm thinking I'm gonna quit posting it because I've been terrible at sticking to it lately. Sometimes you just gotta be spontaneous, right?

Linked at Raising Homemakers

Monday, March 28, 2011

Soil Blocking

I went to a gardening class this weekend and learned about soil blocking. Have you heard? Soil blocking is a method used to start seeds without using any kind of container. Using the soil blocker pictured above you compact the blocks with soil and then push the lever down. Then out pops four compacted blocks of soil (they look like pieces of chocolate cake). There is an indention at the top of each block to place your seed and cover it with soil. I'm definitely going to try this next year because it's suppose to be healthier for your plants (more oxygen to the roots) and there's no need to transplant you just place the block in the ground when your ready. The 2" model above is $29.95.

Another great tip I learned was to sprinkle cinnamon and sand on the top of your blocks to prevent damping off disease.

Have you heard of this method? Have you tried it?

Come join us at The Homestead Bar Hop!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting to Know Me

20 Random Facts:
 My husband thinks I'm a hippie. (I tell him I'm a hippie for Jesus!)
I'm a thrift store junkie.
One grandpa calls me princess #3 and the other calls me ding dong.
I'm a foodie.
I don't have cable. 
I've had the same car since high school.
I love all things floral print.
I love magazines and library cards.
I've taught Sunday school with my husband for five years.
I took TV Productions all throughout high school.
Growing up I wore big glasses and high waisted pants, but didn't care.
 I also collected beanie babies and read Dog Fancy.
I love to swim. 
I'm a Mac user (and you should be too).
My husband and I will have tall, leggy children.
I think Michelle Duggar and Paula Deen are fabulous!
I played Juliet in 5th grade.
I took tap, jazz, and hip-hop in high school. 
(I was terrible, but I loved it.)
I played basketball for six years and softball for one.
I want to go to Prince Edward Island and Alaska.

So tell me, do we have anything in common?

Linked at the "Meet DWYH Bloggers."

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Menu Plan

I really haven't been following our menu plan this past week, but thats OK because it's just a plan right? Anyways, that means I still have a lot of ingredients on hand to carry over to next week. Yay!

Sunday: Cheesy Rice & Beans
Monday: Swiss Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Peas
Tuesday: Chicken Pasta
Wednesday: Bacon & Waffles
Thursday: Burritos
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Free Day

Sunday: Ham & Macaroni
Monday: Lemon Pepper Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Veggie
Tuesday: Sausage & Potato Skillet
Wednesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Carrots
Thursday: Fried Rice
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Free Day

Monday, March 21, 2011

Natural Cleaners

I've recently started using natural cleaning products and I couldn't be more happy with how they've been working. Here's what I've found to work best:

Baking Soda: Used for when you need extra scrubbing power such as cleaning the bathtub or stove top.
Vinegar + Water (1:1 ratio): This is a wonderful glass and all-purpose cleaner. The smell goes away once it dries, but I don't mind it. You can add essential oil if it bothers you.
Hydrogen Peroxide: This is great for killing germs and cleaning any hard surface. Its also good for disinfecting scrub brushes and toothbrushes
Cleaning Cloths: I'm in the process of eliminating paper towels. I've started using cloths for cleaning and I'm searching for dinner napkins that match my kitchen. I will still keep some around for extra germy messes though.

Do you use natural cleaners? Do you think they do a good job?
 I'd love to know!

Linked at Raising Homemakers and 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Budget Landscaping

Every Spring I get so jealous of people with daffodils because they are one of the first flowers to bloom. And every year I tell myself I need to plant some so I can enjoy them too! Well yesterday I tried to talk some out of Mike's brother, but he said no. He did tell us there were lots growing in the ditch across the street. (Keep in mind that this was on a country road not in the middle of the suburbs.) So we took a shovel and started digging. Now I'm not telling you to go dig flowers out of the ditch (unless you want to). I just thought it was funny. The REAL budget landscaping tip is next, but here are some pictures of our daffodils:
 FYI I did actually pay for the hyacinth (purple) flower. 

 So the day after our ditch digging adventure I found some free bushes on craigslist! And my husband being the understanding man that he is drove me across town, loaded them in his truck, and planted them in the yard! I think they look good and they were FREE people! I just hope they survive the transplant. I didn't plant anything last year because I found out that landscaping is so expensive. Well here's the cheap way to beautify your yard:

What do you think?

Come join us at the Homestead Barn Hop 
and the Raising Homemakers Link-Up!

Week Old Seedlings

It's been eight days since I planted my seeds and they're doing good so far! Here are pictures for anyone who's interested:
I'm so proud that they're actually growing!

Come Join us at the Homestead Barn Hop!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lesson in Giving

I just watched a show called Secret Millionaire on ABC where wealthy people go undercover into communities and volunteer side by side with different people and organizations in need. Then at the end of the show they reveal their wealth and give generously to them. This show has definitely impacted me. I can sit here and watch the show and say I wish I was rich so I could do the same thing, but you know what? I am rich. I have time. I have money. I have so much that I can give. Even a hug and a listening ear is greatly appreciated. What can you do today to help someone in need? This show has inspired me to evaluate what I can do for those around me. Check out Secret Millionaire Sunday nights on ABC if you want to be challenged and inspired.

"Every man shall give as he is able, according
to the blessing of the Lord your God
which He has given you."
-Deuteronomy 16:17

"Give to everyone who asks of you,
and whoever takes away what is yours,
do not demand it back."
-Luke 6:30

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Little Green Project

Laura at Heavenly Homemakers is hosting The Little Green Project in honor of St. Patrick's Day! This is a fun link-up for anything green! It can be about saving green (money), cooking green, crafting green, living green, etc. I've linked the following posts:

So hop on over and join in on the green fun! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Heating My Seeds

Out of the concern that my seeds weren't getting enough heat I setup this little system in our kitchen. Yes those are Christmas lights under the tray. I'm not sure if they will help much but its the only thing I could think of that might put out some heat. Also, one of my onion seeds is starting to sprout! YAY!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

I've been wanting to make my own laundry soap for almost a year now, but I had quite a few store bought detergents to use up first. Well I finally ran out and got to make some today! Here's the recipe that I used:
Powdered Laundry Detergent
2 parts grated soap (Fels-Naptha, Zote, or Ivory)
1 part baking soda
1 part borax

Mix and store in air tight container. 
Use 1-2 tbsp per load.

 It was kinda messy and a lot of work to grate the soap. I might try to find soap flakes next time. I've finished one load of sheets and they turned out fine. The true test will be Mike's work clothes. :) Do you make your own detergent? Whats your experience been with it?

Linked at Raising Homemakers ,
The Little Green Project @ Heavenly Homemakers,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Menu Plan

Sunday: Southwest Veggie Pockets, Cheesy Rice
Monday: Homemade Lasagna, Peas, Carrot Sticks
Tuesday: Hot Dogs, Coleslaw, Carrot Sticks
Wednesday: Hamburger Hash Brown Casserole, Peas, 
Sweet Potato Casserole
Thursday: Lemon Pepper Chicken, Mixed Veggies
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Free Day

Sunday: Pizza Pasta
Monday: Swiss Chicken, Corn, Brown Rice
Tuesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Wednesday: Meatball Sandwiches
Thursday: Hamburger Hash Brown Casserole, Bread, Peas
Friday: Homemade Pizza
Saturday: Free Day

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Garden Has Begun

 I started my seeds today. I soaked half of them in water for about an hour to see if its beneficial for germination.
Then I planted 24 tomatoes, 8 peppers, and 10 onions in egg cartons and covered them. Lastly I labeled them with recycled plastic strips. You can barely see them in the picture, but they are on the back side of the egg cartons.
Here's to hoping that I actually get some produce out of this! :)

Linked at the Homestead Barn Hop:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Health Benefits of Nature

According to the National Wildlife Federation, the average child today spends 7 minutes outside and 7 hours in front of electronic media. Oh my goodness. Is this hard to believe? Not really, but its very powerful to see in black and white. NWF goes on to say that only a quarter of today's children play outside daily while just a generation ago three quarters of children played outside daily. This is so scary. No wonder childhood obesity is such an issue in this country. NWF also says that by the time a child enters kindergarten, they've watched over 5,000 hours of television! What an epidemic! Most people know from experience that being outside is calming, therapeutic, and just plain fun! God designed us to be a part of nature and its no wonder our children are getting sicker and more depressed simply because they don't spend enough time in His creation. Now I don't have children yet, but when I do I plan on limiting the technology in their lives. I've threatened to join the Amish for years now because I have such an issue with technology sucking every minute out of our day! Here are several health benefits from spending time outdoors (taken from here):

  1. Stronger bones and lower cancer risk: Today's "indoor kids" don't get enough sun and are becoming Vitamin D deficient, causing health risks.
  2. Trimmer and more healthy kids: An hour of play a day is what doctors say is a basic tool in the effort to ward off childhood obesity and diabetes.
  3. Improved eyesight: Recent studies find that kids who get outdoor time have less nearsightedness and need for eye glasses.
  4. Less depression and hyperactivity: Outdoor time in natural setting (even tree-lined streets) soothes kids and lower their need for medications.
  5. Longer attention spans: Children who stare at TV and video games all day have less patience and shorter attention spans.
  6. Better at making friends: Children playing together outdoors relate directly with one another, create games together, choose sides and improve their "people" skills.
  7. More creative: Outdoor kids are more likely to use their own imaginations, inventions and creativity while playing.
  8. Less "acting out" at home and school: Getting kids away from TV violence and video games helps them see that violent behavior does not always solve problems.
  9. Measurably better grades in school: The healthy bodies and minds that come with outdoor play are better able to do well in school.
  10. A longer lifespan and healthier adult life: Doctors estimate that sedentary and obese children lose three to five years from their life expectancy.

Anyone of these benefits could be applied to adults as well as children. So take advantage of your cabin fever and encourage your family to get outdoors! Spring is the perfect time of year to go outside and rediscover the beauty and order in God's creation!

Linked at Raising Homemakers and The Little Green Project @Heavenly Homemakers

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins

These muffins are really moist and delicious:

 Pumpkin Muffins
1/2 C brown sugar
1 C canned pumpkin
1/2 C milk
1 egg
1 tbsn butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 C pastry wheat flour or all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsn cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 12 muffin tins.
Mix sugar, pumpkin, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for 22-25 minutes. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Featured on Tipnut

My Fleece Scarf Tutorial is featured on Tipnut! Check it out! (Mine is the last project listed.) Haven't heard of Tipnut? It's a website that brings together lots of great tips and projects from around the web. Tip categories include, sewing, gardening, cooking, crafting, cleaning, etc. Click here to learn more and sign up for the daily e-mail!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Menu Plan (from the Pantry)

I've been snowboardin' and road trippin' this past week, but I'm back now! Anyways we're between pay periods so my menu plan will pretty much consist of what's in the pantry. I'm gonna buy some essentials, but not much. Here goes:

Sunday - Eating out with sister and brother-in-law
Monday - Chicken Salad Sandwich w/Chips
Tuesday - Hamburger Hash brown Casserole, Peas,
Sweet Potato Casserole
Wednesday - Pizza Pasta
Thursday - Bean and Barley Soup
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Chili
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