Friday, June 29, 2012

Freezing cheese

GOT A GREAT DEAL ON MOZZERELLA CHEESE!  It ended up costing me $.79 a pound. The catch....It expired in two days. Eating twelve pounds of cheese in two days is not the best option. I chose to freeze  it instead.

Cheese can be frozen and kept for several months. The more firm the cheese, the better suited for freezing. Soft cheeses do not take to freezing as well. Freezing can affect the texture of cheese. Many cheeses are best used in recipes after freezing.

Cheese is best frozen in the original packaging if it is in good shape. The cheese I bought was in large two pound bricks. I broke those down into usable portions.

The bricks of cheese I wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and then in a zip top freezer bag squeezing out as much air as possible.

The majority of the cheese I grated. Once grated I put into a zip top freezer bag, labeled and dated them then into the freezer they went. My four year old was a great helper with filling up the bags.

Thaw in the fridge for a day before use and you are ready to go.
Not to bad for a few minutes worth of work.

This post linked up with carnival of home preserving

also linked atpennywise platter

 also shared at homestead barn hop

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Being frugal, a blessing or a curse?

I read a recent post from moneysaving mom about  being frugal is frugality worth it?   It poses alot of questions.

Why be frugal?

For me I am frugal because....
Frugality  is a part of me. I grew up in a frugal family. My Parents decided to give us the gift of traveling the sourrounding states and exploring the many National Parks around us. They had to figure out how to travel with us on the cheap. You can read about some of our adventures here.

Being frugal helps me to stay debt free.  We live in a society that is drowning in debt. We spend more than we have. It is the norm. I have been in debt and I am not going back there.

Being frugal allows me to be a stay at home mom. This is something that is important to me. I want to raise my kids. I can do that by using my frugal ways. I save the family a ton on groceries and home supplies. If I was working I would not be able to devote the time or energy to it.

I grew up with a phrase "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Living in our disposable society we have forgotten the essential skills such as home cooking, mending, gardening, homemaking, preserving, things that once were essential. I am working to revive such skills in my family.

Is being frugal worth the effort?

For me being frugal is worth it for the reasons above. I get a  high over finding deals. I enjoy the process. It does take time and effort, but it is something that I find value and joy in. My husband fnds value in my efforts. He does not have to work as hard to provide for us. Being frugal is a blessing to us.

Can being frugal go to far?

"There she goes again, going broke saving money." There were several people that my father would say this about. You know the type. The one that can't pass up a sale. They buy things when they have no money  getting into debt. Buying things just because they are on sale is a bad habitThere was a point when I could not pass up a sale. The dollar store was a deathtrap. I was buying things that I did not really need because "It was on sale".  DO I REALLY NEED IT?  WOULD I BUY IT IF IT WERE NOT ON SALE? these are questions I have to ask myself on a regular basis.  If I had kept up those bad habits I would have gone broke saving money.

Frugal ways are not just in what we buy, but what we do. There are some frugal practices that are good skills to have like those homemaking skills listed above. Frugal living can be a blessing in life,but when taken to the extreme, some practices can be disguisting and harmful. Sometimes frugal things can take away time from more important things in life. The question to ask is


Some frugal practices I do not find helpful to my family are....

Upolstering furniture. I have freinds who have done it, and made wonderful new furniture out of old. It takes to much time from my family and sewing frustrates me to no end.

Sewing the family clothes. For me it is a disaster. I can sew simple things and can mend clothing for which I am grateful, but I am much better off to use my bargining skills at yard sales to buy clothing.

Re-using papertowels. Buying two-ply toilet paper and breaking it down to one thin layer. I find both disguisting. That is me and my opinion.

What is your opinion? Are there frugal things you do that blesses your family? What frugal things do you shun or avoid?

this post shared at hearts-4-home thursday

also at

and at

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sweet cornbread

This recipe is sweet and buttery. It is good eaten on it's own. No need for butter or honey.
NOTE: This is not a southern cornbread recipe it is more cake like.

Sweet cornbread

Preheat oven to 375

In a medium size bowl
2 cubes (1 cup)  melted butter  margarine may be substituted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups buttermilk
4 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Stir all ingredients together just until moistened
pour into a  greased 9x13 pan
bake for  35 minutes at 375

linked at pennywise platter
shared also with miz helen's full plate thursays

Saturday, June 23, 2012

mexican "pizza"

Whenever we cook ground beef we always cook a little extra to make mexican "pizza" for lunch the next day.

These are so quick and easy. They are great for lunch or snacktime.

You will need

flour tortillas
sour cream
salsa (this day we used a green tomato salsa)
ground beef cooked and seasoned

Heat a large skillet or griddle to a medium high heat
spread the tortilla with a small amount of sour cream and salsa as the "Pizza sauce"
add ground beef and onions
top with cheese
cook until cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy and brown on the bottom (about 4 minutes)
slice into "pizza wedges"  and serve

We have also topped these with mushrooms, olives, green chile, bell peppers, tomato, or whatever we have on hand. They are a fun treat for a make your own pizza  party.

shared at melt in your mouth monday
shared atmonday mania carnival
also at scratch cooking tuesday
and hearth and soul
and frugal fridays



When the internet started becoming popular about 15 years ago, I had a converstation with a very wise woman. She was a mother with several children in the home. All her friends were going crazy over the internet. "come on and join us on the internet" they would say. "Look at all the things it can do, isn't it amazing!"  This mother replied; "Can it cook, and clean my home? Can it care for my children? Can it fix thier hurts? Can it tuck them into bed at night? If it can't do those things I don't need it!" Fast forward several years. Her kids are doing well. They are all happy and well adjusted in life. They are all going forward and contributing to society. She knew that there is nothing that can take the place of a present parent.

The computer and the internet has taken a toll on my family. In the past I have really tried to limit what I do and how much time I spend on the computer. The last 2 months as I have started a blog, and helped my dear sweetheart look for a job. It has been hours on the computer daily. My dear son begged me the other day to unplug "Can you please spend time with me and not be on the computer helping Dad?" I have slowed down. My dear husband has started work again. I have gotten the blog up to speed and now we can be in maintainance mode. Our children are small so it is mostly Mom that needs to uplug.

 I am ready to take my life back again! I am ready to be a present parent.

Join me. Become a present parent. Unplug and join in the family be it for an hour, an evening, a full day, or the weekend. 

Go on a media fast. See what can happen to a family unpluged.

shared at momma moments mondays
shared at homestead barn hop
shared at make a move monday
and at loving our children tuesday
also at teach me tuesdays

Thursday, June 21, 2012

raising lively and spirited children

If only I had known that I would be raising three very "spirited, lively, and strong willed " children.

Don't get me wrong, they are very lovely children, but they are children who put everything to the test. When we go out people comment "oh you have your hands full" and nearly everyone comments about my youngest  "busy child".

Growing up I envisioned life with kids all nice and neat. I pictured myself going to church well behaved kids in tow.You have seen it (You know the ones I am talking about.)  I knew that I had what it takes. I was sure that I would have the best behaved childen, but what I have looks something  more like this.....

I was a shy and quiet kind of a kid. I was naturally obedient. I just followed along with the family. I did not get into alot of trouble. I was happy to sit and read a book or to entertain myself quietly. To have kids that are such opposites of me, it is a real challenge.

Our oldest is so noisy. He can not go anywhere without making a ton of noise. Some people put squeaky shoes on their kids, my son comes with it built in. Grandpa calls it his "audio locator" You almost always know where he is because you can hear him.  He is all boy. He loves things that go fast. He is curious about things and how they work. There are many toys that are broken because he wants to know about them and how they work.

Our middle child is a bit more quiet. She gets awfully quiet and you knew she is into something. The hard part is hearing the quiet with her noisy brother around. She is extremely emotional and sensitive. She also has a condition where she cries at certain times of day. I warned a babysitter that she would have a meltdown and cry about 7 pm. I told the sitter not to worry that it was normal for this child. Sure enough right on cue, she melted down into a crying puddle. No one knows the cause of this, but it is what we deal with.

Kaytlin earned the nickname whirlwind early on. She is so busy all the time (even in the womb she was busy). It is a full time job to keep up with her. She is curious about everything. She wants to know how everything works. She adds to the broken things about the house. She is not shy about anything and makes freinds everywhere she goes. She is headstrong and wants to do whatever it is she wants. Keeping her in line takes alot of work and is not easy.

My sister was asked by her daugher "Am I going to have any more cousins?" They were going through the family to see who might still be having babies. When it came to my husband and I, my sister said "I think they are done having kids" to which my neice breathed a huge sigh of relief.  My sister asked "what is that all about?" the answer, "Have you met Kaytlin!"

The most difficult part is knowing how to reign them in without stomping out their spirit. Kids need alot of spirit and determination to make it in this world. I want them to keep their spirit and determination alive and well. But how do I survive in the meantime?

I am reminded of a bible verse Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go:and when he is old, he will not depart from it."   I am also reminded of a quote by Joseph Smith  "We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves"  My parents tried hard to teach us and give us the tools we needed to make it in life. My husband grew up on a ranch and worked hard and has been taught good values in life.

Living in the slow lane allows me to get back to my roots. It allows me to teach the kids life lessons. We recently aquired chickens. Part of the project was to become more self reliant in having our own sustainable food source and teach the kids about real food. The other part was to teach the kids  responsibility of taking care of the animals. We are growing a garden, even if I have a black thumb. We have not had much success, but I am learning along with the children. As a family we are striving to have a better place. Slowing down and getting to the heart of things has been a real blessing in my life. Some of the best lessons have been learned while working together as a family.

How has working together affected your family?
Do you have any tips for raising kids? 
leave a comment or link below

shared at weekend whatever #26

shared at momma moments mondays

shared at raising homemakers homemaking link

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

super easy cheesy potatoes



Start by boiling red potatoes  that have been cut into bite size pieces ( about 1 inch)  (new potatoes can be halved or quartered) Boil the potatoes until tender, (they can be peirced easily with a fork).

When the potatoes are tender drain the water and place on an greased cookie sheet.

Top the potatoes with

Melted butter
onion powder
garlic powder
shreded  cheese
parmesan cheese
parsley flakes  or chopped chives

The amount of spices and cheese you use really depend on your taste. We like garlic so we use quite a bit.  I am also partial to the parmesan cheese.

 Once you have topped the potatoes with the spices and cheese, place them into a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Love this recipe because it is easy enough for a weeknight supper, yet nice enough to be served for a Sunday dinner. They are yummy and people think that you took alot of time to make "something special"  (We don't have to tell them how easy it really is)

linked at hearth and soul tuesday
linked at scratch cooking tuesdays at mrs Dulls nourished kitchen
linked at life as mom frugal fridays

Monday, June 18, 2012


We got a call from the neigbors telling us  "cherries are ready come and share the harvest."
we ended up with about 16 pounds of fresh cherries

The children and I woke up the next morning and picked cherries.  The children really enjoyed helping to pick cherries.They were eager and willing to help. It was a fun experience for them. I loved being able to teach them about real food. We spent several hours processing the cherries. My four year old made up a song to sing as we pitted cherries. We made some good memories as we prepared the harvest for storage. We ended up with 16 half pints of cherry jam, 3 quart size bags of frozen cherries, and 1 dehydrator full of cherries to be dried.

 It was nice to see the harvest all laid out. We were tired and sticky red by the end of the day, but it was well worth our efforts. I was glad to be able to teach the children how to work hard towards a good goal.

This morning when we had fresh cherry jam on our pancakes, the smiles on the kids faces said it all.

I am grateful for my neighbors who shared with us their abundance. I am also very grateful that I have put our family in order to be able to receive such gifts. We keep our preserving supplies on hand and within easy reach. When these opportunities come along we can take advantage of them. I know many people who are far to busy to enjoy these simple pleasures. Many of my freinds are so busy that  things meant to be a blessing end up being a burden. I know several people that 2 am is the only time they have to do such projects. Not wanting to waste an opportunity, they preserve in the middle of the night leaving them groggy, and irritable the next day. They miss out on the real opportunity of teaching the children the art of the harvest.

 (You can read about me learning how to preserve the harvest with my Grandma here)


this post is linked at mondays baryard hop #66, and what joy is mine, monday musings #17
also linked at raising homemakers anddeep roots at home link up #41
shared at carnival-of-home-preserving-16

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Family traditions........ Father's day edition

My husband and I grew up with different traditions. Deciding which traditions to make and keep has been a challenge at times. There are some that are handed down, and some that we have created for ourselves. You can read about some of our traditons here. When it comes to holidays involving gifts, I hit the dollar store and let the kids have free reign. They love having so many choices, and the freedom to pick anything from the isles. With the children being so small, I have to give some guidance. My four year old just knew that Dad would love a pink princess color book for Father's day. I was gently able to guide her toward something a little more appropriate.

Wrapping gifts with young children can be a challenge. We did pretty well this year. They are getting a bit older and it is easier now. The youngest still reels off half the roll of tape while trying to get a peice.  I let my 6 year old wrap all by himself this time. He did a great job from begining to end. It was fun to see him so proud of himself when he got done. His lttle face was beaming.

The kids could hardly wait for Dad to wake up and see the "treasures" that they had so carefuly selected and wrapped. They were not the most beautifuly wrapped gifts, nor were they the gifts that Dad would choose for himself, but the kids had done it for him. They watched with great excitement as dad opened each gift.

We also continued with the tradition of  balloon animals.The kids had a great time twisting balloons.Our son made silly hats for all of us.We had a fun Father's day. The things we do may not cost much, but the memories are priceless. This is the reason we create and keep traditions in families.

What are some of your favorite  family traditions?  I would love to hear how you have created traditions in your home.

linked at a momma story mondays, and the better mom monday link up

Friday, June 15, 2012

how to tell a rooster from a hen

Words of advice from my six year old son this morning. "Mom I can tell which of the chickens are roosters. The ones with mohawks are roosters"  

We woke up this morning to more roosters crowing. We have had alot of bad advice about our chickens. We ended up with many more roosters than hens. We had a bunch of older roosters that we got rid of already. You can read about the drama of thinking of butchering the chickens here and the update here

We ended up with a dozen roosters that we gave away and still have more. The suspects are part of the younger group that we were sure were all hens. We had used an old trick of looking at the wings to tell the gender. I think the source we used had it all backwards. My husbands brother heard the same advice. The trouble is; what we had heard was opposite of what he had heard. One of us had picked all hens, and one of us had picked all roosters. Turns out that we had picked all roosters except the one that I just had a feeling about. It is a beautiful bird; black with gold tipped feathers.

 We now know that we are to be more careful about where our information comes from. We are thinking of starting a new behive adventure next spring. I think with that we will be extra careful where we get advice from on the bees.  

Have you ever been given bad advice? leave a comment below and let us know what bad advice you have been given.

this post linked at mondays barnyard hop #66

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summer fun

Summer time fun!  How we love the long summer days. Today was a hot one.  We invited some of the other kids in the neighborhood over for a play date. A couple bags of waterballons from the dollar store and some ice cream bars, and we had ourselves a good summer afternoon. We filled up the kiddie pool and turned on the sprinklers. It was fun. It kept the kids busy and didn't cost but only a few dollars. I love finding fun on the cheap.

I think in a few weeks we will have our own Backyard Olympic Games . We will have to come up with some fun events for that. Any thoughts? leave a comment with any good ideas or sites that would be useful.  Thanks 

super easy sparkle paint

It is hard to see here, but the paint is shiny an sparkly.  It is so easy, and the kids love it.

To make your own sparkle paint you will need.

corn syrup and food coloring

1. mix the two together to get the shades that you want.

2. start painting

A little sticky but fun. It takes a day or two to dry.

Our Enchiladas

our enchiladas just before baking.

This recipe was developed by my husband and I while we were dating. We were off to his family reunion and were in charge of dinner.  The two of us were standing in Wal-mart trying to decide what to make. We decided on dutch oven enchiladas. We started putting stuff in the cart. When we got to camp we started putting stuff in the pot, each of us adding until we had a pretty good mix for the filling. We looked at each other and after dinner and said "We have to remember what we put in this it is pretty good" Two years later we entered it into the Freedom Fest Dutch oven cookoff. This recipe is adapted for indoor or outdoor cooking.

Keck's Enchiladas

Large can green chile enchilada sauce  (24-28 ounce size)
1 pound grated cheese
1 dozen 12 inch tortillas


Brown 1 1/2 pounds ground beef with
1 medium onion chopped
about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
When browned add
1 small can sliced olives (drain off the liquid)
1 small can sliced mushrooms (drain the liquid)
1 small can (4 ounce) diced green chile juice and all
1 packet taco seasoning mix
about 1/4 cup of green chile enchilada sauce
sour cream 1/2-3/4 cup

Simmer the filling until it is thickened up and will hold together in the tortillas. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

Pour a small amount of the sauce to cover the bottom of a 14-16 inch dutch oven. Or of you are cooking inside pour a small amount of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

Fill the tortillas with the meat filling and a bit of cheese. Roll tightly and place in the pan.

Top with a nice amount of sauce. (If they are swimming in sauce they get to soggy.)

Top with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Bake in a 325 oven for about 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly. If cooking with dutch oven, about 10 coals under and 15 on top of the lid.

let them sit for a few minutes before serving.

As a side note I have quit using the seasoning packets. I have my own spice blend that I use  instead. It has salt, a bit of sugar, garlic, onion powder, cumin, a touch of oregano, and paprika.

This post is linked at pennywise platter thursday

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

when it rains it pours

Life has a crazy way of coming at you fast.  Everything comes at you all at once.  This last week has been like that. While doing laundry this week I noticed a puddle coming out from underneath the washer. I was hoping that it was something simple like a leaky hose. No such luck! It was more serious than that. We had been noticing a damp moldy smell coming from the laundry area lately. It has been leaking for a while. It has been slow and not enough to see or notice until two days ago.

We tore the washer apart to see what the trouble was. maybe the pump, maybe the tub seal. It could be either one or both. The replacement parts were more than the washer is worth. We decided that rather then put our money into parts and labor, we would replace it.

We have a great classified web site in our area. We looked at it and found a relatively new washer at an affordable price. We bought it and went right back to washing with only a day's delay.  I am grateful that we have got a bit of an emergency fund so that when things like this happen we do not have to go into panic mode. It is still hard when these things come along with all the other things in life.

By living a simple life, I live less in panic mode.  Simple living helps me to handle lifes ups and downs.

linked with on your heart tuesdays

Creating a year round garden

I have a wonderful freind Caleb Warnock. He is a wonderful man with some great ideas about how we can be self sufficient. He has written a best seller book "The forgotten skills of self sufficiency used by the Mormon Pioneers"  He has also released a book about cooking with natural yeast. You can read his blog here.

One of the things that inspired me lately is his year round gardening. He lives in Alpine Utah where they have a really short summer growing season. Despite this; he gardens year round. He seems to have something to harvest all year round. He has worked hard to research and find fruit, vegetables, and grains that will thrive in his area. He is part of a seed saving revolution.  He does alot of work to maintain good and wholesome food. It really inspires me to do better.

I love the idea of having something in the garden that can be harvested and eaten all year long. If I had to live off my garden, I want to have something to eat all year round. I don't want to eat in the fall and then starve in the winter and spring waiting for something to grow. His garden is not large or beautiful, but it is extremly functional. I am working on making my garden more funtional as well.

One day I will have a beautiful garden but for now I am working on a funtional one

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our new favorite books


We love reading books. We recently discovered Elepant and Piggie books while at our local library. These books by Mo Willems are fun for the kids.They are easy enough for my 6 year old to read. They are stories about an excitable elephant named Gerald and his best friend piggie. My children love silly animal books and this fits the category. 

We love the library. The kids look forward to our trips to the library (the librarians probably do not). It is fun to explore new worlds with books. I grew up with book adventures and I want my kids to have some of that same experiences.

 Make the library part of your life. It is a simple thing that can make a world of difference in the lives of our children. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rooster update

So many roosters were getting to be a challenge. We were able to overcome it. We decided to bless someone who might be in need. We asked the family who wanted them with little response. We put an ad on the local classified website. Just over an hour later we had two responses. A bit later we had a family member who said they were ready for the challenge. We ended up blessing my husband's neice. She is a newlywed with a brave strong husband.  They were happy to be blessed. The children seemed to be happy and willing to give up their pets to bless the lives of others.  It is a good ending. I just hope that with the roosters gone the hens will start laying eggs so that we can bless others with fresh eggs.

Blasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Blasted broccoli and cauliflower is a great way for kids to experience vegetables. The roasting part of it really enhances the flavor. Children who think that broccoli tastes like grass will be pleasantly surprised.  It is really easy

Blasted broccoli and Cauliflower

preheat the oven to 450  (or I use the grill in summertime)

1 small head of cauliflower
1 bunch of broccoli
2 Tablespoons oil
salt and pepper

Wash and cut up the vegetables into florettes, cutting larger peices in half.
toss the broccoli and cauliflower with the oil and salt and pepper

pour out on a baking sheet and pop into a hot oven. Stir every five minutes or so.  Cook until browned and slightly crispy (about 30 min)  Let it get crispy brown that is where the flavor develops.Watch so it does not burn.

can be eaten hot or at room temperature. This is a real pleasant change from the old boiled or steamed vegetables.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Roosters are a crowing

We started with chickens this spring.  It has been a wonderful experience so far, but we have WAY TO MANY ROOSTERS.  It is time to get rid of them before the neighbors start complaining about the crowing. I have never butchered a chicken before and it is something that my husband does not really like to do. It ought to be interesting to see what happens.

We have three young children who think that the chickens are their favorite pets. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn new skills and teach my children. Am I ready for this?  Somehow I know that I will be OK. It is all part of the self sufficency process.

this post linked @ make a move monday

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Balsamic Salmon

This is a recipe that I have developed It is super simple and easy.

Balsamic Salmon

Preheat the oven to 350

4-6 Salmon portions about 5 oz each (Thawed if frozen)

place salmon on a baking sheet
season with salt and pepper


2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup Mayonaise
1 1/2  Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 small garlic clove chopped or a small sprinkle of garlic powder
mix ingredients together in a small bowl

spread topping mix over the fish

sprinkle with Parmesan cheese

for fish that is about 1 1/2 inches thick  bake in the oven for about 12-15  minutes. If it is more like 1 inch thick you will need about 8-10 minutes.   A general rule of thumb for  baked fish is about 8 minutes per inch thickness. 

here is our salmon just  before going into the oven

Telling when fish is done can be tricky. Here are some pointers.

1. It should flake apart when touched on the corner. Do NOT use the flake test in the center.  If you wait for it to flake in the center it is overdone and will be dry.

2. If you want to use an instant read thermometer 145 is the temp to look for.

3.  I also use a look test. You can see a color and texture change.

Fish is not as hard to cook as people make it out to be.  Try it today.

This post is linked @ mondays barnyard hop
post linked @ make a move mondays

post liked @ hearth and soul hop

Saturday, June 2, 2012

When values are challenged

Trying to teach my kids good values is a process. Earlier this year my values were tested. I was able to set an example for the kids and let them see first hand the things that I am trying to teach them.

We were at the grocery store. When we got out to the parking lot, I noticed that there was a rather large package of paper towels in my cart. I had not put them there, nor had I paid for them. We were needing paper towels at the time. We were on our last roll. "I deserve it. Money is tight and this is a nice bonus" I thought to myself. I knew it was wrong. It only took about ten seconds; We turned around and back into the store we went. After explaining it to the cashier, and returning the paper towels we were on our way back home. It opened a conversation with the kids I was able to have a real heart to heart with my kids about honesty and integrity.

What would have happened had I kept the papertowels? This would be stealing wouldn't it?  Would anybody else know? Is it honest?  How does it make us feel to do the right thing? Teaching moments come. Talking about the how's and why's are important. I was glad in the end for this challenge of my integrity and a chance to show my kids how it works in real life.

what about you? How have you been able to teach your children values?  leave a comment below I would love to hear from you

this post is liked up @ morris tribe homstead carnival

Green onion cottage cheese dip

This is a recipe that has been in the family since the 1960's.  Grandma would make this every year for our annual Christmas party. We usually have it with ruffled potato chips. It serves well as a vegetable dip too.

Green onion cottage cheese dip

1 package cream cheese 8 ounces
1 container of cottage cheese 16 ounce
1 bunch green onions sliced  thin (both white part and green tops)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic salt

My Grandma adds a big scoop of Miracle whip to her recipe

1. Soften the cream cheese
2. Add remaining ingredients blending well
3. Chill

This is best made a day in advance.  It gets better with time. 

This post is linked with fight back fridays @ food renegade

this post is linked @mondays barnyard hop

post linked @ hearth and soul hop

Friday, June 1, 2012

No boring brown bag lunch for me

A great way to save money is to pack your own lunch. But for those who do it often, bordem can set in. Here are some ways to make the brown bag luch less boring.

It seems to be the basis of many lunches on the go. The typical white bread sanwich that somehow seems to get squished during transport has got to go.

Change up your bread. There is a world of bread out there. Look at your local store. Rolls, artisan loaves, french bread, Buns, flat breads, pitas, tortillas, biscuts,bagels, english muffins, the options are  nearly endless. 

Change up the fillings.  Are your sandwiches always the same boring filling (coldcuts)?  If so, try something new. There are so many options out there. Make it a point to try something new at least once a week.

Make the sandwich fresh on the spot. There is nothing worse than an old soggy sandwich. When I pull out the fixings and make it fresh right there it gets people's attention.  I have a small container that I put my Toppings in.(lettuce, tomato, pickle, peppers, onions etc). I also keep a small container of spread. These can be prepared the night before. Pop them into your luch container along with the protiens and bread and you are ready to go. 

I once had a job and when I pulled out some precooked bacon and made a BLT sandwich right there. My co-workers  were in amazement.  The next week when I pulled out a leftover hamburger from a barbeque and heated it in the toaster oven. my Co-workers went into overdrive.

It became a sport to try and guess what would be in my lunchbox everyday.  It made lunchtime kind of fun. 


 Chips and cookies are not it.  There are so many other options out there.  Find  small containers and put good food in them to take with you.

Many fruits and vevetables are naturally portable food.  Those that are not can be cut up and taken along in a container. They are also so wonderful. The can wake up your senses after a long morning.

I remember bringing 1/2 of a small melon to work.  My co-workers couldn't believe that one.

Salads  There are so many salads out there.  They can be made ahead and put into containers ready to go for a good lunch.

Don't overlook the egg  Hard boiled eggs are an easily packed lunch item and full of frugal nutrition. I had a roomate that would put two freshly boiled eggs hot out of the pan into her coat pockets to keep her hands warm.  She then would eat them for lunch later on.


Lunch can be a great way to use up  leftovers. About half of the time my lunch consists of leftovers.  There is no reason that they cannot be taken as a lunch. Make it a point to pack leftovers in lunch size containers.

Think outside the box. One day I used some leftover taco meat and cheese to make a big plate of nachos at luch. The posibilites are endless when you open up your mind to more than just sandwiches.

What are some of your favorites to pack for lunch? How do you get out of the old sandwich rut?  leave a comment below.

this post is linked up with frugal fridays @