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Monday, August 18, 2014

Cut your grocery bill.

Feeding a family on a budget can be such a challenge. It seems that lately at our house the budget is shrinking as the cost of food and other supplies are rising at a rapid rate, but never fear there is hope.  There light at the end of the tunnel.


Money saving mom, Crystal Paine has partnered up with some incredible people to bring you Grocery University.  I have been a follower of Crystal and her blog  for about 5 years. It began as I embarked upon learning how to coupon and how to save money. During the process I stumbled upon her blog and have not looked back. I have learned many a skill from her writings. She is a true inspiration.

The information that she and her associates share should prove itself invaluable.  They have spent many years learning how to win at the "grocery game"  They are ready and willing to share and teach others the skills that they have spent a lifetime learning by trial and error.  I am grateful for those who have learned and are willing to help me so that I don't have to learn by trial and error. I love having someone that will help me see and avoid the most common traps and pitfalls.

You can get your own Grocery University Course by clicking the link below.


It gets even better!  They are launching a brand new updated version of the course TOMMORROW: Tuesday August 19th. 

Mark your Calendar (and your alarm) 
Tuesday August 19th
Beginning at  5 am central time

5 am price is $2.97
8 am pricing is $3.97
11 am $4.97
2 pm   $5.97
5 pm   $6.97
8 pm   $7.97
11 pm  $8.97

Happy shopping

This post contains affiliate links.  You can read the full disclosure by clicking on the privacy policy tab at the top of the page.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

How to remove chewing gum from about anything.

Chewing gum, what a sticky icky mess when it gets in places it does not belong, but never fear, there is an easy and economical way to remove chewing gum from almost anything.

Who knew, that peanut butter could unstick the gum from nearly anything

Peanut butter will remove gum from things like:

Carpet, and tile
even a bubble popped on the face and into the eyebrows can be cleaned with peanut butter

The oils in peanut butter have a way of neutralizing the sticky part of the chewing gum. It begins to dissolve the chewing gum into a soft and almost slippery mass that is then easily removed from whatever it is stuck to. 

It is really easy to do:  Just smear the peanut butter over the gum and rub it in.  Let it sit for a minute or two then work the gum and peanut butter mass loose with your fingers.  

I have used this trick on several occasions and it works perfectly.  The only trouble is getting rid of the grease stain that can be left from the peanut butter.  I have found that on carpet, clothing and other items that Dawn dish soap is a great agent for getting rid of the leftover peanut butter residue. 

I saved my favorite blouse this way and I have saved several children and parents from the frustrating thoughts of having to cut the gum from hair.  I hope that this helps.

Disclaimer:  Please use this at your own risk. The peanut butter could stain some items.  I would not use it on a dry clean only items.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Making wontons

Wontons have become one of the new obsessions at our house.  Several times a month we make them.  My daughters love to help fill and fold them. It makes for some fun times and great conversation as we cook together.  I love spending time with the kids in the kitchen.

To make wontons you will need

1 package of store bought wonton wrappers
about 1/3cup filling per dozen wontons
oil for frying
Sauce for dipping

You can fill wontons with just about anything you desire.
Here are some of our favorite fillings

Crab Rangoon   makes about 36 wontons

4 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 clove finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 cup flaked crab meat 

Mix softened cream cheese with spices. Then fold in the crab (can use fresh crab, imitation crab, or canned crab meat)

Pork wonton filling   makes about 50 wontons

1/2 pound ground pork
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup grated carrots
2/3 cup grated onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Heat the sesame oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.  Add the pork and vegetables. Cook for about 2 minutes until the vegetables wilt and the pork is nearly cooked.  Add the garlic, pepper, and soy sauce. Cook the mix for about a minute more.  Remove from the heat and cool until it can be handled easily. 

To make the wontons,

Place about a teaspoon of filling into the middle of a wonton wrapper

Wet the edges of the wonton wrapper with a clean paintbrush or your finger dipped in water
Fold the wrapper in half (corner to corner) to create a triangle shape and press to seal the filling inside.

Some people leave them just like this and cook them but we take it one step further,

Take the top corners and bring them together and press them with a dab of water to create a tortellini type shape. 

Once they are filled you can pan fry, deep fry, or bake them in the oven for a crispy treat. 

We usually pan fry them. 

To  pan fry the wontons:  Heat oil about 3/4 of an inch deep over high heat for about 2 minutes, then carefully place the filled wontons in the hot oil cooking about 2 minutes per side.  If they are browning too fast, adjust the heat down a bit.  Drain on paper towels.  Can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven

To deep fry wontons:  Heat the pot of oil to 365 degrees and cook the wontons about 4 minutes (If the oil is deep they will float when done)

To bake the wontons:  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, Place the wontons on the baking sheet and brush with oil (or spray heavily with a spray oil)   Bake in a 375 degree oven for 6-8 minutes.

Serve wontons with your favorite dipping sauce. 

photo taken from taste of home website

Be on the lookout as we will be posting some of our favorite choices for dipping sauces in an upcoming post.  




Monday, July 28, 2014

DIY frozen blueberries


I got a great deal on blueberries today!  I love blueberries. They are very healthy for you full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant power.

Blueberries are one of the easiest berries to add to your diet and one of the most nutritious.

Blueberries are easy to prepare; just wash and eat. They are easy to stir into oatmeal, or yogurt for an added breakfast boost.

They add a nice flavor to smoothies, and who doesn't love a blueberry muffin?

One of our favorite breakfasts is blueberry pancakes, and pancakes with berries make a nice dinner treat.

Blueberries are wonderful  to use fresh and they freeze nicely for later use.

Freezing blueberries is super easy

1. Wash the fruit with clean, cool water

2. Pick over the fruit, discard any withered, moldy, or squashed berries.

3. Place the fruit on a dishtowel and gently blot with another dishtowel (or paper towels) to remove any excess water.

4. Gently place the dry berries into zip-top style freezer bags and seal them up.

5. Place the bags full of berries in the freezer for later use.

Frozen berries will keep in the freezer for up to a year (they don't last that long at our house)

Get some of these wonderful berries in your diet today. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

When the box has better nutrition than what's inside

We all have had a chance to poke fun of Twinkies and other foods that have been the stories of urban legend. You know the ones that may or may not be classified food, those foods that will outlast every other thing because of the preservatives. But what about these foods and the other things that we eat on a daily basis?  

It is said that "you are what you eat" I do believe this to be true. If we eat nutritious foods in its whole form we will also be whole. We should be eating our fruits and vegetables and whole grains as the main staple foods in our life.  God did not make a mistake. He made our bodies to run off of whole foods. We should be eating food that comes from the farmer's field not the battlefield of food marketing.


Here is an interesting article from peeling back the layers.  In this article they discuss a group of researchers who were looking at the effects of fortified breakfast cereals in mice.  During the research someone got the idea that it would be interesting to feed the mice the box that the cereal came in. The results were interesting. They found that the rats fed the box lived longer than those that ate the cereal. Needless to say, this research was never published because it did not fit the needs of the cereal manufacturers. It would ruin them if the truth was really known.

What is a person to do to escape from that battlefield of food marketing, and how do we know if the foods we are eating will really harm us?   

1. Be aware. You should know that the studies we hear about are usually  paid for by the big companies. The results are usually "spun" to fit whatever it is they are selling and often studies like the one quoted above are never published.  

2. Your attitude about food makes a big difference. There was a time that I did very well.  My thought process was this "I eat to fuel my body, not feed my emotions!"  I had babies and forgot all that. I let myself get caught up in the attitudes of those around me because it was easier, therefore I have had to start over on the process of eliminating the bad food and gaining ground with the good stuff.


3. Begin with a few fruits and vegetables, and keep adding them until you have some great recipes for nutritious and delicious foods. It will be easier to make the transition and make it stick as a lifestyle change if you have some good recipes to rely on.

For more info you can check out the Weston A Price foundation
There is also an interesting book about the tricks that the large food companies employ

The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You to Know About

Check out some of these resources and see what happens in your life. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Use this simple trick to clean and restore your car headlights

Who knew that regular old toothpaste could easily shine and restore your headlights? I tried this trick and was pleased with the results.


While there are several methods for doing this, I chose a direct approach.

1.  Apply a good amount of  regular old toothpaste directly to the headlight cover.

2.  Use a soft cloth to rub the toothpaste across the entire surface of the lens cover

3.  Wait 3-5 minutes

4. With a clean cloth and a bucket of cool water scrub the lens  cover clean.

5. Repeat step 4 until all the gunk and goo is removed.  

6. Wipe dry 

My experience with this method:

The toothpaste dried up fast as I rubbed (maybe it was the fact that I stopped to take a few pictures). I had to add more toothpaste as I went to ensure complete coverage. The other trouble I had was I had three young helpers (as Mom's often do) so I ended up with toothpaste in places that I didn't really want, like on the hood of the car. It took quite a bit of rinsing to get rid of all the extra toothpaste that comes from my helpers. 

It was well worth it. I have looked into lens restoration before, it is expensive to have someone else do it. Do it yourself kits are less expensive but still cost quit a bit. I got as good results with toothpaste as I did with one of the commercial cleaners that I used several years ago on another car before I knew about toothpaste.  

I give the simple toothpaste method 5 stars.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Don't heat the house making breads, make stove top breads instead

Wow, the summer heat has come!

What do you do when you don't like to eat store bought breads and heating up the house to make a batch of home-made bread is not a very good option?
      Make stove top breads! 


We make......

 homemade tortillas,

 flat bread,

 and English muffins (just to name a few).

They are all very easy to make and can really spice up a brown bag lunch or a summer picnic.

Life less hurried homemade tortillas

Herbed flat bread @ life less hurried

Life less hurried English muffins

You can check out these recipes and more in my cookbook Quick breads made easy from A-Z: with over 30 recipes for every season

For a limited time (Through Saturday July 12th) you can pick up the kindle edition of my cookbook for free! 

Just click on one of the links below and you will be taken to Amazon where you can pick up your free kindle book.


                  Quick breads made easy from A-Z: with over 30 recipes for every season

While you are there, check out my other book For the love of popcorn: a cookbook for popcorn lovers of all ages