Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cream Soups Mix

Having a grandson who is soy intolerant and sensitive to dairy, can create some challenges in the kitchen! Add some women who are needing to cut down on their salt, and it makes it even tougher. That is why you will be getting lots of "healthier for you" recipes on this blog. Reading all the gook that are added to so many of your prepared foods is also a good reason to get creative and feed your family a more healthy diet.

Last night I tried making a cream soup mix that I found on Chef Tess's blog. Click HERE to find lots of great cooking and baking recipes.

The soup was great and this morning I will be making it up as a master mix along with the cream of mushroom soup so that I will be ready in a moment's notice! Yes, I will be making some adjustments so that they will be completely from pantry ingredients . . . come on now!! I am getting back into the groove, finally

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let's Talk Sugar Cookies!!!

I love a good sugar cookie! I have had good ones over the years and always get the recipe when I can. I had these one of my most favorite people, Sweet Wendy, years ago when we were both working with the Young Women at church. It has stayed my favorite ever since. I call them:

Wendy's Soft Sugar Cookies
Cream together:
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 3 eggs
Blend in:
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 2 t. lemon extract
Sift together and add:
  • 1t. soda
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 6 C. flour ( I add just use 5 C. flour to start with and then add the last cup if it is too soft.
Mix the dry mix in and chill. They can be made without the chilling, but if you make shapes, they hold better while baking because the dough is so soft. Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.

Now for the variations!

I just can't leave anything alone, it's against my nature.

If you are making some cute cutter cookies, you can use color and flavors to go with the shapes.
  • I use red coloring and strawberry, cherry, or raspberry extract when making hearts, flower, or candy cane shapes.
  • Trees, wreaths, holly, I go green and use mint extract.
  • Bears, deer, gingerbread men, gingerbread houses, if you aren't making them ginger bread cookies, substitute some cocoa powder for some of the flour and make chocolate cookies. You can also just add brown food coloring. You get to decide how much cocoa, according to how chocolaty you want them to be.
When making gold, orange, brownish autumn leaves, I have been known to sneak in a little mapeleine. You know, as in maple leaves.

Now let's talk about cute detailed cookie cutters.

I used to collect the darling ones that came from all the Hallmark Stores, back in the 60's and 70's. I got so tired of the cute little lines disappearing while the cookies were baking. I tried cutting the baking soda or baking powder in half and the lines stay in the cookie!

I'm not making any promises of when I will have pictures of these because I am hitting up on some deadlines in the sewing dept. I WILL make some before Christmas with my grand darlings, if it is the last thing I do . . . If you would like to try some of these and I haven't been clear enough, just ask in the comments. My editor, terribly honest daughter, is busy making up finals for her students, writing a paper for her class, and just life in general with three wild little boys doesn't have time to read and "critique" my writings these days.

These cookies really do turn out darling with the candies, sprinkles, etc. available these days, think about it for some wonderful memories for you and yours!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Store Items With Multiply Uses to Save Space

With space being a premium luxury for all of us who try to prepare, I have been gathering ideas to use what we have already in our homes for other uses.
  • Time is also something we all seem to be short on, so I have been trying to document those ideas as well. Watch for these ideas to show up as I try recover my life, home and sanity after helping with a couple of weddings!
  • A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed.(hmmmmmm...)
  • Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to.
  • For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (wish I had known this when we lived up North!)
  • To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.
  • Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!).
  • Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
  • Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads , I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. Now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get 'sharpened'' this way!
  • Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time! (Now, where to put the body?) Sorry, bad joke . . . I repent!
  • Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
  • Spray a bit of perfume on the light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.
  • Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen..
  • Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.
  • To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers.. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
  • To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet , simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top.
  • Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.
  • Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
  • When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness
  • Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
  • Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces ......... Left over wine? What's that?
  • To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
  • Ants, ants, ants everywhere .. Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So, get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
  • Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
  • When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer........
Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China

Clean a vase.
To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

Polish jewelry.
Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle.
Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary)

Unclog a drain.
Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.