Tuesday, July 31, 2012

drowning in a gray world

Teaching our children to live and walk  in the light of Christ is a big challenge. Our world need those that will stand up against the evils of the day. The best way we can teach the children is through our own example!

I have been disturbed lately by some of the things that good Christian women are allowing themselves to indulge in. The biggest disturbance being the media that we entertain ourselves with. The things that we seek on the internet, the Television and movies we watch, and the books we read. Our children are watching us for clues as to what is acceptable. We tell them, but they do not hear it. They need to be shown what is acceptable. The other day I was watching TV, it was not acceptable for my son. I sent him out of the room. I realized that I should not be watching it either. I turned it off.  A rating of MA  or Mature audience has become so commonplace among the tv shows.  I have taken a stand against it! A rating of MA is a signal to me that I am mature enough to turn it off.  I do not need it in my life.

 These things do affect us. I am reminded of a bible passage in Matthew 23:25-28." Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 thou blind Parisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27. wo unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto a whited seplucures, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.  

What is inside of you? Are you clean on the inside and out? What are you putting into your mind? What is feeding your Spirit? What has become acceptable to you? Can the light of Christ shine from within, or has it become dull by your choices?

It used to be alot easier to tell good from bad. As a society we taught it,we upheld the good things. Life was black and white. Some started pushing the bounderies of acceptable behavior into the line between good and bad, the so called "Gray area" We were standing with one foot on black and one foot on white, but the Gray area has expanded, it has become so large it is swallowing us up. Many of us, expecially our children only know living in the "gray area". We are swimming in a gray world. It is becoming harder to tell when we are getting closer to the black side or the white side. Society is begining to impress upon us that there is no good or bad, just shades of gray.  I will tell you this, There is a white side and a black side. There is good and evil.  



this post linked with teaching what is good

Monday, July 30, 2012

cucumber liquid

This is the time of year when cucumbers are in season. My grandmothers always grew cucumbers. They would each make a version of this dish. This is one of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers from the garden.

Cucumber liquid

Fill a quart jar 2/3-3/4 full of sugar
add the spices
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1/2 cup water
Shake until sugar disolves

Slice a few cucumbers and an onion.
Pour the liquid over the sliced vegetables.
let sit at least 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature.
Can be served as an appetizer, salad, or as a relish on the side.

so simple, yet so yummy

Friday, July 27, 2012

save by cutting your own meat

Quite often my Smith's store will get whole pork loins on sale. I usually buy a few, and cut them up into usable portions and freeze them for later use. I can usually save over half by buying it whole and cutting it up myself.

Once you get the pork loin out of the board, cut it into peices that are useful for you and your family. I ended up cutting this porkloin into pork chops and a small roast.

All you have to do is take a sharp knife and carefully slice it. Sometimes I partially freeze the meat (about 1/2 hour) to make it easier to slice.

Once cut, wrap and freeze for later use. My whole family loves pork chops on the grill. The kids will request them quite often.

 Here is the link to our recipe for easy grilled pork chops .  

Try your hand at it. Pork loin is one of the easiest cuts to do. There are no bones etc. All you have to do is slice it like a loaf of bread. The savings are incredible. Around these parts, on a good day you will pay $3.79 a pound for pork loin chops. I bought these last porkloins for $1.79 a pound That is some real savings.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Grilled pineapple

Grilled pineapple, so easy and soooo yummy! 

First, pick the pineapple.There are several ways to test for ripeness. Color is not a good indicator of ripeness. Sniffing the root end is a good indicator. If it smells sweet and like pineapple, it a good choice. Press the pineapple near the base, when it is ripe it yeilds to gentle pressure. Tug at one of the center leaves on the top of a pineapple. If a pineapple is ripe it will be easy to pull out a center leaf, an unripe one will not give up the leaf without a fight. 

Step two;  prepare the pineapple for grilling. Lay the pineapple on a cutting board and cut off the top and root ends

Peel the pineapple with a large knife. Then cut the pineapple in half. (My pictures of peeling did not work out so well)

Rub the pineapple halves on all sides with a brown sugar spice mix. 

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Cook the spiced pineapple on a hot grill using an indirect grilling method. This means that you cook food on the grill area where there are no flames. (next to the flames, but not over the flames) Too many flames will burn the sugar instead of caramelizing it. This can be done by lighting only some of the burners on a gas grill. For a charcoal grill place the coals on either side of a grill, leaving the middle portion coal free and grilling the pineapple in the middle. I used the top grill rack (the one that is sometimes used for keeping food warm). I put the pineapple up on that rack letting it cook while I grilled burgers down low. Another method is spit cooking. In this case spice the pineapple whole and cook it on a spit.

It took about 15 minutes for my pineapple to get golden brown hot and bubbly. Turn the pineapple often to ensure even cooking.

Let sit for a a few minutes. Slice and serve warm.  It is wonderful served with a good vanilla ice cream.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Time to stock up on art supplies

It is that time of year again! School is right around the corner


I always buy a ton of art supplies this time of year. It makes it nice in the winter when the kids need something to do. I go to the "magic" closet and there is stuff for making crafts on hand. We go through alot of crayons and glue at our house.This time of year they are practically giving some of it away; Pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, glue, notebooks, tape, scissors, etc.

It is worth my efforts to stock up now. It saves me a ton of money in the long run. When my husband needs a notebook, I have one on hand. I also keep some extra for birthday gifts. A notebook, along with stickers, pencils, erasers, etc. can be a nice enough gift for a younger child. (they do not have to know that it cost you pennies).


All this stuff goes into the magic closet. It is the place where I keep all those things that I have bought for pennies on the dollar. My husband was commenting on my stash of stuff in the closet. "What is all this?" he says. "Valentines for the kids" I reply. I bought them at 90% off. It cost me pennies and I am prepared for February 14th. I bought some Easter novelties for pennies on the dollar, they too go into the magic closet.

I love Christmas candy clearance. I usually buy hershey kisses.They come wrapped in red, silver, and green. It only takes a moment to sort out the red and silver for Valentines, and the green for Saint Patricks day. There are other red and white items that can be used for Valentines day. The trick is making sure that they do not have a winter/Christmas theme printed on them. I bought some red napkins a few years ago. They came in handy for wrapping Valentine treats.

Our Anniversary is in March I usally buy left over Valentine's day stuff for that. I have gotten some really cute items for my sweetheart and it only costs a fraction of the regular price. Just beware of "Happy Valentines" written all over it.

 A few words of advice: Candy can go stale over the course of a year. Do not  plan  on buying Christmas candy to give as gifts next Christmas. No no one likes a gift of stale candyOnly buy what you will truly use. Beware of the trap of buying because it is dirt cheap. I wrote a post about frugal ways being a blessing or a curse. If you missed it you can read it HERE.  You can save alot of time and money if you pay attention. Using the buy ahead priciple has really blessed my life.

Has your life been blessed by being prepared and buying ahead? if so, leave a comment and let us know about it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

We can't afford to eat healthy

During discussion with my neighbor, it was mentioned that they had started eating Healthier. They went back to eating junk food  after a few months because they could not afford to eat healthy. It made me sad.

I know of alot of people who are of that same opinion  "healthy eating has to be expensive and I can't afford it". There was a study done that compared the cost of junk food and healthy/real food. It came up with a cost of $1.76 for 1,000 calories worth of junk food, and $18.16 for the same amount of calories worth of real food. So the conclusion that people come up with is that I can't afford to eat healthy. If you compare it like that, it does makes it sound like you can't eat healthy.

1,000 calories of junk food is really easy to find. That is just a couple of dounuts and a soda. Two king size candybars, or a bag of potato chips, but 1,000 calories of real food is a whole lot more. It is15 apples or pears. It is 12 cups of berries. It is a pile of 10 sweet potatoes, or 25 cups of green beans.  Yes junk food is cheaper if you count it that way, but you get a whole lot more out of 1,000 calories of real food.

The other problem we have is the way "healthy" is marketed to us. If you buy the "healthy" cereal it costs alot more. But what is healthy food? Processed foods are not healthy. No matter how they market it, it is still processed food. For years they have been saying "Do not eat processed foods, they are no good for your health. Processed foods are full of chemicals, sugar and fat, stay away." The processed food company neatly left off the part about the product itself being bad, and made it so you only hear "fat and sugar not good for you" Labels started popping up everywhere "low fat" Fat free" "sugar free.Now it is on to "no trans fat" no high fructose corn syrup" "high in fiber" We buy these things up like mad trying to be healthy. But are we really eating healthy? 

Processed foods are still processed even with a "healthy" label.  I see a bucket of frosting labeled no trans fat. I think to myself "How have they taken shortning out of the frosting? What have they put in instead?" I read the label. Sugar and hydroganated oil are the main ingredients.It is still shortning even if they make it "healthier" by using a different kind of fat. People don't get it. "Oh it has no trans fat, it must be ok for me to eat." We end up eating twice as much because we see it as being healthy.  The fact is: Frosting is still fat and sugar, no matter what kind of fat it is. Processed foods are still processed and lacking in nutrition.

That conversation with our neighbor sparked a converstation with my husband and I about our own food. My husband said. "I think they went back to junk food because of the convenience. I know that it is not convenient for you, but I appreciate that you try and feed us good food!"  It is not always convenient to make whole foods a part of our world. It takes time and planning. We do have to go out of our way to find the good foods.We do have to make time to cook it. For me and my family it is totally worth it for the health benifits that we get from it. We are not perfect. We still eat processed foods, just alot less of it. We are making strides to be different. We do not listen to the drum of marketers, we listen to the beat of our own family drum. We live our own version of healthy not some marketing companys version of "healthy".  We choose to eat a large portion of food as natural as possible. Fruits and vegetables as themselves, grains in their whole and natural form, nuts seeds and berries whole and natural. It is a wonderful thing.

linked at fight back friday and keep it real thursday

Thursday, July 19, 2012

dehyrdrating cantalope

We got a surprise the other day at the grocery store, free cantalopes!  We dried three of them, and gave several away. You can read about us blessing others with cantalopes here.

Drying the melons was really easy.

Peel the melons, and slice them about 1/2 inch thick
Toss them with a little sugar. For three small melons we used about 3/4 cup sugar.
Lay them out on cookie sheets
Dry them in a very low oven overnight. We set the oven dial to just barely on (about 125 degrees)
Turn them and then let them dry on the other side for several hours.

We ended up with something sweet and chewy that tasted a bit like the dried mango that you get in a prepackaged trail mix. Over all it was a fun experience.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Showing Gratitude for gifts given

A story is told of a couple who after several years of marriage, decide to call it quits. They break out that bottle of wine given to them as a gift when they first got married. They open the bottle only to discover the wine; like their marriage, has soured and turned to vinegar.

One Christmas several years ago, there was a boy who got a motercycle as a Christmas gift. This boy threw a tantrum because it was not the exact gift that he had "ordered" that Christmas. On the other side, there was a family with several children. They got an old innertube for Christmas. Those kids had a grand time slidding down the hill near our home. They were grateful for the gift they had recieved and used it well.

The moral of these  two stories

There is someting about a gift well recieved.

This is a lesson that I am learning. Over the last few years I have come to understand gift givers and  their hearts. I have learned to appreciate gifts given to me. This year for my birthday I got some body wash and a candle from a thoughtful neighbor. I decided to make use of that gift. I put the body wash in the shower where it could be used. I lit the candle. Now if I can remember to wear the neclace my husband bought me. The other day he said "I noticed you never wear the neclace I bought you" I felt bad. I am making a point to wear the jewelry he has given me. Those little things make a difference expecially to those who are gift givers. You can read a previous post about the 5 langages of love. The love language I speak the least is gift giving.  I am learning how to speak that love language. It is making a real difference in my life.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blessing the lives of others

We went to the grocery store yesterday and they were giving away canataloupes! There were good melons mixed in with the bad ones. We were able to pick out 15 melons that were in decent shape.

 What does one do with that many ripe melons? We dried three, ate a few, and gave the rest away.

It was such a joy to surprise our neighbors with melons. It turned out perfect. We were able to share with others, and make sure that those who are not of our faith were invited to the potluck dinner hosted by the church.We live in an area that those who are not of our same faith are sometimes left out of activities. Nearly all the people that we associate with belong to the church, and nearly all the neighbors also. It is easy to forget to reach out to others.

It is a great oportunity to teach the children those little life lessons. They were smiles from ear to ear.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Super easy cinnamon rolls.

From the first time I made these cinnamon rolls I knew the recipe was a keeper. The dough is so easy to work with, and  turns out nice cinnamon rolls everytime. This recipe is easy to half for making a small batch of 12 rolls. The full recipe makes 2 dozen.

Super easy cinnamon rolls

For the dough

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups warm buttermilk
2 eggs
5 1/2 - 6 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Mix the yeast in the warm water and let sit about five minutes
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until it forms a dough. Knead the dough until nice and smooth. (about 10 minutes). cover the dough and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour.
After an hour, punch down and divide the dough in half.
Roll each half into a rectangle about 12x18 inches

For the filling
1/2 cup butter softened, 1 cup sugar and 1/3 cup of cinnamon. mix all the filling ingredients together and spread  half on each of the dough rectangles
Roll up the dough starting with the long end.

Using a serrated knife, slice each roll into 12 peices about 1 1/2 inches wide.
Place the rolls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Flatten each roll slightly with your  palm.  

Cover the rolls and let them raise in a warm place for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes at 375 

When cooled you can top with cream cheese icing or a powdered sugar glaze.

a canoe made sailboat

We jsut got back from a family reunion. We had a really great time. We went to a local lake and let the kids play in the water. In the afternoon it became windy. Two boys age 9 and 12 were trying their best to canoe across the water. The wind kept on pushing them back.The harder they paddled, the harder the wind blew them back. They got a great idea to turn the canoe into a sailboat.They worked hard for several hours trying to figure it out. With some logs, rope, and a sail made from a tarp, they were ready to set sail. They did not get so far before it all fell apart, but the experience was one they will not soon forget.

It was a REAL adventure. Those boys were using their skills. They were using all their senses. This was becoming a part of who they are.We all watched them struggle and grow. No one said "You can't do it!" no one discouraged them. We all knew that this was a great growing and learning opportunity for these little boys. It was wonderful that the family came together in a way to create such memories.  Kids need these kinds of memories. They need real adventures, not computer generated adventures.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Finally! We have eggs

While our son was helping to water and feed the chickens today, he found the surpise we have been waiting for. Two small brown eggs. The kids were so excited they could hardly contain it. They couldn't wait to call Dad and tell him. All three kids had to tell Dad all about the eggs.

It will be nice to have our own supply of eggs. I love the color and taste of fresh eggs. They have such a bright yellow yolk. It is nice to see  all our efforts paid off.

linked with I did it frugal tuesdays

Showing your love in a way they understand.

The Present Parent loves their children in a way they understand

                                  THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES a book by Gary Chapman

This is a book I highly recommend for everyone. I read it before I got married to my husband. Seven years later we are happily married. His oldest daughter just got married and we bought her a copy. I hope she will read it and take it to heart.

 It begins with a chapter entitled "What happens to love after the marriage?"  The second chapter is about our "love tank" and how to keep it full.  Then it goes into detail about the different love languages.

Each person feels love in a different way. Learning to love our family in a way they understand is key to family happiness. 

The five love languages are.......

Words of affirmation

Quality time

Recieving gifts

Acts of service

Physical touch

Where do you fall? What about those around you?  Are those you love feeling it?

My husband's love language is quality time and physical touch. I show love with acts of service. Sometimes we run into trouble when I am so busy  running about doing things for him. I forget to do things with him. He and the children like to help with the housekeeping. I can get a little upset with them. I feel like keeping up the house is something I want to do for them. I enjoy being alone with myself, thinking and doing for them.  Doing it with me is what they are really craving. I have to remember that they need time with me to feel love.

Like Father, like son. Our boy is just like his dad. Both crave quality time and physical touch. Sometimes it is hard to fit in time for each of them. We can run into some jelousy issues when one is feeling like I am spending more time and attention on the other. I am learning how to make it work for us. I am learning to balance it all. I am trying to remember to touch those two men in my life daily. A hand on the shoulder of my son, a tousel of his hair, can speak volumes to him. Slowing down and holding hands with my husband really makes him tick. In the evenings; I would much rather tell him I love him by making sure the house is clean and orderly.  He would rather I stop and sit a while with him. I choose to love him. I stop and sit with him a while. I don't worry so much about the other things. 

One point that was brought up in the book that caught my attention. He said that the children who grow up on an empty love tank. Have alot more troubles. They are likely to "act out". They are more likely to try and find love somewhere else. Had my parents not spoke the love language "acts of service". I would have been one of those kids. My parents spoke all the languages to some extent. I am grateful for that. I am working on being more well rounded. I am learning to pay attention to those whom I love and  and learning to speak  their language. I am learning a new language "words of affirmation"

Our  two girls are very sensitive to the words we say. They need to be told daily that they are loved. They need to know they are special. The younger of the two girls speaks the other languages pretty well. She is well rounded. Her older sister's main love language is Words of affirmation. I have to work hard to make sure that she is feeling loved. This is the language I speak the least. Learning to speak softly, gently, and in a positive tone of voice, has really made a difference. Making sure she knows that I notice the good things she does and telling her is soooo important for her. She needs alot of praise. I have to make it a real point to say something good to her everyday. "You did a great job at ____!"  "I appreciate that you listened the first time I asked you to  ___."   and so on the list goes. It seems like an overwhelming amount of praise to me, but I know it is important for her.

I have recently come the conclusion that this is my Mother's love language. She would shower me with words of affermation. She was telling me I love you. I heard "Blah Blah Blah". I would roll my eyes at her. "Oh mom, enough already."  I had one boyfreind that was great at showering me with all the praises in the world and I just thought he was "full of hot air" I totally did not get that these people were saying "I love you" My daughter gets this.This is why she loves Grandma so much. Grandma speaks her love languge.

I have seen the positive outcome of my efforts to LOVE MY FAMILY WELL. There is still much to learn. There are many skills to develop.We are making Giant strides in the right direction. Our family is alot better for our efforts. Our home is alot nicer. There is less tension. Our home is becoming a "soft place to fall" when the world gets to us. It is worth my efforts to make sure that those I love are not running on empty and  to love them in a way they understand.

Is someone you love running on an empty love tank? Are you running on empty yourself? Do you need to learn a new "love language?" 

How are you loving you family well?  leave a comment below

shared atteaching what is good

Friday, July 6, 2012

Marinade 101

With the summer BBQ season in full swing, I thought I would share some Marinating wisdom.

A Marinade is a seasoned liquid in which meat, fish, veg, etc. are steeped before cooking.

A marinade consists of several key elements

1. something salty
2. something sweet
3. something acidic
4. Flavorings (herbs and spices).

Marinades can be very simple, or a marriage of complex flavors.

Why marinate?

To tenderize, moisturize, and flavor the food.

Each of the elements of a marinade help in this process. The acid breaks down the proteins in the meat and makes it tender. Salt helps to flavor the meat, and aids in the distribution of water throughout the meat so it does not dry out as easily during the cooking process. This is expecially true with lean cuts of meat such as boneless skinless chicken or fish. A balance between salty and sweet helps in the overall flavor profile. We crave that sweet salty balance. The sugar also aids in the browning process adding much flavor.There are many flavorings herbs etc that add to the overall aroma and flavor of the food. All these things combine together to create a great food experience.

How long does it take to marinate?

The larger and tougher the cut of meat the longer it takes. We want the acid in the marinade to penetrate the meat and break down the proteins. We also want to get the flavor into the meat and not just on the surface.

here are some suggested marinating times.

chicken bone in 1-2 hours
chicken boneless 20-50 minutes
Beef roast 2-3 hours
flank steak or london broil 1-2 hours
skirt steaks 30-50 minutes
pork chops or pork loin 30-60 minutes
pork butt or pork shoulder roast 2-3 hours
lamb chops 30-40 minutes
fish 10-20 minutes
shrimp shelled 10-20 minutes
shrimp with shell on 30-45 minutes
Vegetables 30 minutes

Marinate in the fridge in a non metalic container

this is my favorite marinade container  it is about  2 inches deep with a lid.
Marinate items in the fridge, stiring or turning several times through the marinade process. This ensures that all the food gets covered in goodness. Large Ziptop bags can make for mess free marinating.

 Why make your own marinade?

First of all, most marinades are super easy. Second, you know what went into it. Store bought marinades can have a bunch of ingredients that you may not want. Third, the cost is so much less when you make your own.

Here are a few of my favorite quick and easy marinades.

quick and easy marinade for turkey or chicken

12-16 ounces of a lemon lime soda
1 cup soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
mix ingredients together and pour over 2-3 pounds of  bonless skinless chicken or turkey. let sit refrigerated for about 45 minutes then cook on a hot grill.

beef marinade

4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 of a medium onion grated
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
juice of half a  lemon
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon worchestershire sauce
11/2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 teaspoons spanish paprika
mix all together and pour over 11/2-2 pounds of beef

I use this often for a london broil or a flank steak marinating for about 2 hours before grilling

I just recently found a marinade for salmon that used the fresh mint in my garden It was yummy so I thought I would share it here

Minted Salmon

1 bunch fresh mint stems removed
1 bunch fresh parsley stems removed
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

blend together in the food processor or blender
pour over 6 salmon portions 6 oz each.  marinate for about 10 minutes

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Family fun times

I'm the farmer

My Kaytlin loves to wear her bibby overall shorts and dresses.  Several times a week she says. "I want to be a farmer!" We put on her overall dress or shorts; to which she responds "I am going to find a cow!" She then goes off looking for her brother and sister and announces that they are the cows. They start "mooooing" and the fun begins. I love my active and entertaining kids. When in the car, we do not put on a movie like other families. We play "old fashioned" road games

Last summer we started a game of "dunk the cows".  The car is divided into two teams. One team on each side of the car. Each team looks for cows on their side of the road, collecting as many cows as they can. When water is found on your side of the road, you get to dunk the other teams cows. They start all over again collecting cows. It started off with cows, but then went on to whole farmyards. It is a fun game for everyone including the little ones.

What do you do to keep your kids active?    What road games to you play with your family?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

layered green salad

Love this recipe. It is really easy   It is tasty to look at and to eat.  It has been in my recipe collection for years.

Summer BBQ/potluck season is in full swing and it is a great time to share this recipe. It really is a great "make ahead" item for such occasions.

yes, this is a green salad!  It has the dressing, cheese, and bacon on top

Make ahead layered green salad

Layer all ingredients in listed order in a shallow dish .* DO NOT STIR OR MIX
 I use my 9x13  pan.  It has a cover that makes it easy to take along with me to a party.

1  large head of  lettuce such as iceberg or romaine, cut into bite size peices

1 1/2 -2 cups crunchy vegetables chopped. The recipe suggests celery, bell pepper, and waterchestnuts. I used celery, carrots, broccoli, and jicama this time around

1/2 cup chopped green onions (white and green parts).

1 package frozen peas (about 12 ounces) straight from the freezer do not thaw

1 1/2 cups of real good mayonaise. I used a cheap "lite" version that was given to us. It was not as good.

2 teaspoons of sugar sprinkled over the mayonaise.

1/2 cup grated cheese.   parmesan and cheddar are the recomended cheeses.

1 teaspoon seasoned salt sprinkled over the top

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt sprinkled over the top

8-12 ounces cooked crumbled bacon.

Chill for at least 12 hours. keeps up to four days in the fridge.

This is the salad layer I had  before adding the dressing and toppings.

All finished and ready for a party.   

Monday, July 2, 2012

Homemade yogurt

I saw milk for super cheap today. I knew it was time to try making yogurt again. I tried once in the past with limited sucess. It ended up stringy and a yucky texture. Thanks to the internet, I was able to troubleshoot. SUCCESS!   It cost me $1.60 to make  nearly four quarts of yogurt.

Wikihow has the best tutorial  that I have found on how to make your own yougurt at home. The instructions are easy to follow. They were detailed, and had good information about many different methods of incubation. I love that there are many ways to acheive the end result. Choose what method might work for you. No need for any fancy equipment. I began the incubation proccess with the rice cooker on warm, but the temp got up to 140 in about 40 minutes time. (To warm for this process). I cooled it back down and stirred in another starter. I ended up using an ice chest.

I lined the bottom of the ice chest with a blanket. I wrapped each quart jar with a dish towel and placed the jars inside. I then used some small kids blankets to insulate all around the jars. I tucked the jars in all nice and cozy. I then popped the lid on tight and put the whole thing away where the kids wouldn't bother it. 9 1/2 hours later (when I remembered to check on it), the yogurt was done. It was really yummy and we had enough to share with some friends and bless their lives as well.

This post shared at homestead barn hop

also shared at momma moments monday

and monday mania
also at melt in your mouth monday
and at make a move monday