House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Have you ever..

Ok, so I have been craving soup for a couple of days. And of course the one day I finally have time to do it, I have a bad headache. UGH..

Not to be thwarted, I pressed forward and made the soup, of course with help from my little guy. This soup was everything I wanted, flavorful, satisfying, filling, healthy, delicious.. it was so good hubby went and got a second bowl that was fuller than the first!  I served this with homemade sourdough garlic parmesan bread.

I do make my own bone broth, and that is what I used in this soup. Here is the post for Bone Broth.

Ok, back to this soup. I was a little worried after I tossed in the chopped turnip, it smelled a little bitter. But then I added another herb and that fixed it.

Flower soup

2 crimini mushrooms, peeled, stem and gills removed, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/2 rib celery, chopped fine
1 turnip, peeled and chopped
1 head of cauliflower, chopped/diced small
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (herbs)
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 quart chicken stock
4 ounces cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
1 beef kielbasa (12 - 16 oz), diced and browned

Saute' mushroom in butter until golden. Add onion, carrots and celery (mire poix), and saute'/ cook about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and turmeric and saute another 5 minutes. Add herbs and stir, add bay leaf. Next add stock/broth and garlic. Give a good stir and cover and simmer until veggies are tender. Remove bay leaf, puree soup.  Add cream cheese and let warm, add warm browned kielbasa, stir well. Let rest about 5 minutes over extremely low heat until cream cheese has melted in.

This soup was great! We could not tell it was cauliflower, and my lil guy ate it right up, and he was very happy there were not any potatoes in it.  I can not get over how yummy it was; I had 2 large bowls and wanted more because it tasted so good, but I could not even try it was so filling!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Snuggly soft and fast to make

I have many kids, and we try to make their birthdays special for them. This year my daughter picked out some fabric and asked  me to make her some pillow cases. These are easy to make, but I got busy.. Busy in my head, busy with stuff.. I finally sat down and got them made. 3 months later!!  I know it's terrible. 
They are so cute. I also made another one for my littlest guy.

This picture shows 6 different pillow cases, two of them have a duplicate underneath it. I did the french seam on these. It just makes for a cleaner pillowcase, and little fingers don't get into strings. This time I made them all with flannel for the main part and edge, but the trim is calico. They are so soft!

All red with a little trim work. This really pops and came out even cuter than I thought it would.

On this one, I decided not to put any trim on it. The main part is the green zigzag and the edge is the frogs.

Again, no trim. The main section is the zig zag and the polka dots are the trim.

I absolutely love the colors in the feathers! Actually I love the teal trim on the feathers with the orangy peach color. My daughter was also drawn to this fabric. I used a sweet blue rosebud calico for the trim.

The calico in this frog and zigzag pillow case is one of my favorites. It matched up perfectly and this is one of my favorites!  It is just so darling!  The frogs are the main part and the zigzag is the edging.

This lovebug pattern is so busy! I mean really loud busy pink! I found in my stash a cute doodle heart pink calico to use as the trim. This is one of my favorites because it is so cute, but I really love the one above it.

These were easy. I used a simple formula a lady mentioned on youtube. Remember this for pillow cases  27, 9, 3   I thought she was giving lotto numbers, but nah.. These are the measurements:
27" x WOF (width of fabric) for body, 9" x WOF (edge of pillow case), and 3" x WOF (trim).

Here is a YouTube video that shows you how, Magic Pillowcase.

I hope you try to make these. They are easy, and the color combos are endless. You can use flannel or calico or novelty prints. Whatever you like.

Friday, December 27, 2019

November and December Challenge: Dec 24 - 31


Tomorrow is the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Lord. Having had several children, maybe as many as Mother Mary. I marvel at what women went through in those days. For some childbirth is easy, for others is it not. Medical interventions and such today, do not guarantee a good pregnancy outcome. People do not realize that the risk of losing mother and or baby is still great in this day and age. Can you imagine giving birth in a stable or barn? With vermin in the animal's bedding? No running water? Having to shove rags between your legs to deal with the lovely bleeding that happens for a minimum of a week after birth? Although I have given birth in multiple places: hospital, midwife's office and at home.  I will tell you our best experiences were at the midwife's office and at home, it was so relaxing, calm, and I could focus on what I was doing instead of wondering who the next stranger was going to be to come and look between my legs.

Can you imagine walking as far as Mary walked? It wasn't just to the mail box. It was very far, and she was 40 weeks along!  I can feel and hear those pelvic bones moving, grinding, popping with every step. I know the pressure of that baby on my back, my bladder, kicking my diaphragm so I can't breath.  Can you imagine what she went through just before she was to give birth?! It is amazing.

This is what our ancestors went through as well. Whether they were traveling on purpose or because they were running for their lives. Many women have given birth along the trail, and many of those women and babies were also buried along that trail.

I am thankful that Mary and Joseph listened to the angels, I am thankful that Jesus is the Christ and that he has given us the ultimate gift. I am thankful for this gift so we can again see our sweet family members that have passed and especially see my sweet Saralyn again. I hope you remember what Christmas is about, and are able to feel the sweet spirit it brings.

This is it folks. The last week of this challenge. Were you able to do it? Can you believes it's already the last week of the year?! It has been another trying year, full of love, pain, life and unfortunately death.
New things this year: we got more of the yard done; went fishing on several rivers and cooked water's edge; we had our family reunion; went camping; figured out a major food sensitivity; welcomed home our missionary; preparing for the marriage of another of our children; and welcomed more pets into the home.

This is the week of cans to meet our goal of filling our pantry/larder.
#54: Can of pears
#55: Spaghetti Sauce
#56: Baked Beans
#57: Evaporated milk or Coconut milk
#58: Re-fried Beans
#59: Spaghetti Sauce
#60: Applesauce
#61: Soup of choice

 We welcome the new year in soon and with that we will have many new adventures.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

November and December Challenge: Dec 16 - 23

Well, crud. This year is almost over and I didn't get everything done yet!  SLOW DOWN!

This Christmas we as a family decided to be more service oriented. Instead of buying a ton of gifts for us. We decided to do a couple kids on the giving tree. We also decided to donate to The Giving Cupboard. Our kids enjoyed doing all the shopping. It was fun. Our family's love language is service, as in serving others. It truly makes us happy to be permitted to help someone, be with others, and lift other's burdens, even if only for a moment.

Building your larder/pantry/food storage is a way you can lift your own burden. How do I find these sales? Sometimes I scour the ads on store's websites, and sometimes I just happen on them when I am in the store. How do I build my food storage? Slowly. I am not kidding. I was a very young bride, and I had no idea what food storage was. I had no idea why I had this urge to have a certain amount of food in my cupboards. If I had a little extra leftover after buying groceries, I would get something to put in my cupboard. Heck I didn't call it food storage, or larder, or engineering. When we first got married our pantry was a tiny cupboard by the sink. It had very little in it. Enchilada sauce, canned peas, canned corn, chicken noodle soup, tomato soup and if lucky a jar of spaghetti sauce. Looking back, it was a very weird combo.

When we moved to college, we had these huge closets in the hallway that went to the bedrooms and bathroom. They were giant! This apartment had the biggest closets we ever had in apartment living. They were even bigger than most houses have! They were amazing closets! I began accumulating more food stuffs in my closet. Still, I didn't really know how to cook well. I am so thankful my husband still ate it, and so did my baby (best eater ever!).

We moved to a different apartment that had just been built because the molds in the amazing closet apartment were bad for my asthma. This new apartment had this huge closet in the living room. It had some wire shelves on each end inside this closet. We filled them. Slowly. An extra can of chili, the next week an extra jar of spaghetti sauce, another week extra pasta. It builds, slowly. If it was a new food we hadn't had before, we would only buy one. No need to waste money, what if we didn't like it? We could always get more the next week if we liked it.

Now... I have 5 gallon buckets with hard white wheat, salt, sugar, oats and rice. I have #10 cans full of dried beans, cocoa, quinoa, millet.. I have cans of tomatoes, olives, peas, chicken.. I have condiments like pickles, mustards, ketchup, mayo..I have spices, I have medicine, I have home canned foods.  When we first got married I never could have imagined all I would learn about foods, medicine, preservation of foods, how to sew..

It doesn't matter how old you are.  You can learn to build your cupboard/pantry/closet/ or what ever you have (my college kids use a rubbermaid tote). It is a slow process, it is a learning experience. Find joy in it. And remember, if you have never had it only buy one to try. If you find a deal on something you use, make that be your can for the day or week. Store what you eat, Eat what you store.

#46: Vegetables
#47: Tomato Sauce
#48: Salsa
#49: Rotel
#50: Diced chilies
#51: Can or jar of NUTS (if not allergic)
#52: Nut butter (the one your family will eat)
#53: Stewed Tomatoes

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

November and December Challenge: Dec 8 - 15

How many of you went shopping on "black" Friday? Cyber Monday? Today?

How many of you went to make dinner from your normal pantry and realized you were missing something? Tomato paste? a spice? pasta? rice?

The other day I went to make dinner and the recipe called for tomato paste. This is not an item I usually have in stock; why? Because I do not like the taste of tomato paste. What did I do? I actually had a bunch of tomatoes from my garden ripening on my kitchen table (yes still, because we moved the tomato plants to the garage when it got cold out so I wouldn't lose all that fruit). So I took some of those and I washed them, took out that weird core where they hook to the plant, put them through a quick blender, and used those instead. Dinner was saved, and delicious. What would I have done had I not had those tomatoes? I would have used tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes (put through blender).  My kids do not like chunks of cooked tomatoes, so I still have to blend those. BUT, they are learning to handle cooked onions, carrots and celery.

So this week is more of the same, but a little change. Remember the point of this challenge is to build up your food storage/larder/pantry. The point is so you have something to eat in a pinch. That pinch of low funds is not fun.

#38: Sliced Peaches
#39: Canned Chicken
#40: Campbell's chicken noodle soup (add water)
#41: Dinty Moore Stew (or which ever kind you prefer)
#42: Chili
#43: Can of Pears or Fruit cocktail
#44: Tomato Soup (add water)
#45: Baked potato soup (ready-to-eat)

One of the cans I stocked up on last week was Snow's Minced Clams in the yellow can at the local grocery. The price was so cheap I bought 10 of them. Tonight I needed a fast dinner as the teens were headed out to their weekly meetings.
What did I make with these lovely little can's of yum? Clam spaghetti of course. This is a family favorite. It's fast, easy, and not expensive.


2 - 6.5 oz cans minced clams in clam juice
1/2 tsp salt
4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBS parsley
1 pound spaghetti, linguini, angel hair or fettuccine  OR GF ramen noodles or bean threads

Cook pasta according to package directions. While waiting for the pasta, make the sauce.

In sauce pan put butter, oil and garlic. Let gently cook on low to med low heat until it starts to bubble and the fragrance of garlic is fantastic. Drain only ONE can of clams and put into sauce pan. Pour second can of clams with juice into sauce pan. Add salt and parsely. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep hot.
When pasta is done cooking, drain. Return to cooking pan. Pour all of the sauce over the pasta. Stir well with tongs or whatever you prefer to use.

Sometimes we garnish with finely shredded parmesan cheese. But not tonight.
We served this with a salad. So yummy and good comfort food.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Gluten Free Tattie Scones

Have you ever heard of a Scottish Tattie Scone?  It's kind of like a thick tortilla, or thin naan. To me they are comfort food. Great with mash and meat, soup, or used as a wrap type sandwich. I love naan, but these are faster and just as yummy.
This one is fresh off the pan. I then stuffed it with rice (on the plate), cheese and shredded chicken. This can be rolled burrito style, but not too tight or it will rip.

I do not like GF tortillas you find in the store. I think they are made by mission. I have tried both the white ones and the green ones. Both were sticky, gummy, pastie and flavorless; not to mention EXPENSIVE!

I have had the Scottish Tattie Scone recipe forever, but I have only made them once since we moved 2 years ago. Why? I forgot about it. But we used it with a soup the other night. But tonight  I had the chicken in my crock-pot and everyone else could use a flour tortilla, so I decided to try to make a GF tattie scone and see if it would work. Not only does it work, but it tastes AMAZING.
I almost ate the entire thing before remembering I wanted a picture! So yummy I made more, and yup they are already gone. This recipe is very easy, can be dairy free (DF), corn free (CF), soy free (SF) and of course gluten free (GF). I will admit, mine were not DF. But they could have been.

So I used leftover mash to make these, and DS2 made the mash so there was butter, parmesan, garlic and half and half in them. Which, by the way, were amazing yummy spuds. Rules with GF flour, it has to be cooked through, for some reason. It may seem this dough is too dry, but honestly it all mixes in, and makes a wonderful dough.

The spuds we used are called Huckleberry Golds, and they are one of the ugliest potatoes I have ever seen. Purple skin, that is kind of warty, with beautiful golden flesh.

They are very dense and delicious.

I took two pictures, one with and one without the flash. The purple is very vibrant in the sunlight. The interior flesh is a wonderful yellow gold.

I used Mom's Place GF flour blend (locally made) , link is in the name. I love Mom's Place, so far theirs is the only gf blend I like.
Ok so would you like to try them? These are yum! I love them. My kids like them too.

Scottish Tattie Scones
Half pound boiled mashed potatoes (King Edwards if you can get them)
2.5 oz (65 g) all-purpose flour (wheat OR GLUTEN FREE)
1 oz (25 g) butter (OR coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, etc)
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1/4 tsp baking powder

Boils spuds in salted water until tender. Drain, mash with butter, S & P, and baking powder.*
Mix in flour to make stiff dough (exact amount depends on type of potatoes used).

Roll out on floured surface to 5 - 6 mm thick. Cut into rounds, use a saucer or small tea plate as a guide. Prick all over with fork and score dough to mark 4 equal wedges. Cook in lightly greased heavy pan or griddle over medium heat. About 3 minutes per side or until golden brown.**

*OR use leftover mash potatoes, add S & P, baking powder and flour, mix until stiff dough.

**Divide into 4 pieces, and roll into a ball. Then take a ziplock gallon bag and cut the sides open. Place ball in center of one side, put other side on top and use a heavy pan to flatten ball. If that is not enough then gently roll out to 4 to 6mm thick.
When making GF, I roll these out to 3mm thick, but you could go thicker, they will take longer to cook. I do NOT prick with a fork all over, because they are very thin, and I cook them like a tortilla.

 Cooking the first side, I also turned it around a little as my pan wasn't quite hot everywhere yet. Half of it was cooked so I turned it clockwise to get the other side done.
 Then I flipped it. and the smells.. made my mouth water. Using garlic mash is amazing for these.

 Well stuff with chicken, rice and cheese. And it was worth the 5 minute wait while I got the pan heating up, mixed the dough, rolled it out and cooked it. FAST AND EASY AND so worth it. NOT gummy, NOT sticky, NOT hard to make. This is one that will be made often as a bread for me.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

November and December Challenge: Dec 1 - 7


I can not believe how fast this year has gone by! It has flown, and there are parts of it I wish we could spend more time in. We had a fabulous family reunion that was just amazing. We went camping, lots of fishing, learned how to cook fish very well. Learned how to heat smoke foods. New opportunities for adventure.. It has been fun, hard, exciting, and worth it.

What did you do with your turkey bones? As my hubby was carving the turkey, he put the bones into a crock-pot (WITHOUT being asked) then put in the baggie of veggies scraps from the freezer. Then he added a tablespoon of salt, covered the bones with water and set the crock pot on low. Again, I didn't ask him, I didn't let him know I was going to do this at any time. He just did it. I love my husband.
We ended up cooking this bone broth for 48 hours! It came out so yummy. So next we strained it and put it into jars to cool.
We are starting our December challenge with some different items. Now please remember, if you or your family do not eat something, do not buy it! Get something your family will eat. I use evaporated milk for making pumpkin pies, caramel and bread. We use peanut butter, tahini, and almond butter in our home. Chicken viennas my kids will eat out of the can after they are rinsed. I have also used a fork and mashed them on a plate (like a banana) then put them in our spaghetti sauce. For the ready to eat soups, grab the flavors you know your family will enjoy, my flavors are only suggestions.

#31: Evaporated Milk
#32: Nut Butter (peanut or almond or sesame whatever kind you can have)
#33: Can of Pineapple
#34: Can of Navy Beans
#35: Chicken Vienna Sausages
#36: Potato Soup (ready to eat)
#37: Can of sirloin burger with country vegetables soup

What is something you can think of to add to the list?