Monday, December 24, 2012

~Merry Christmas~

A little peek into my home
Wishing my blog readers a lovely Christmas!

I know that Christmas may be hard for some this year; perhaps you are missing a loved one, in a difficult relationship, in hard financial times, or have an unfulfilled desire. Praying just now that those who read this will be filled with peace which only God can bring, and that your heart's burden will be lifted.

Love and hugs!

Friday, December 21, 2012


This morning:

Enjoying a cup of Celestial Seasoning's Candy Cane Lane tea
Little Girl watching Little Bear
Wondering how it can only be four days till Christmas
Feeling like I've got it together because I have a chicken in the crockpot (there's something empowering about having dinner started at 8:30 am!)
Looking for a recipe with potatoes + fennel to go along with my chicken
Thinking about all I need to do today (that brings my feelings of all-togetherness down a few notches)
Feeling so blessed as I realize today is my parent's 38th wedding anniversary

Much to do! Have a blessed day!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

~Crackers, and a New Cookbook~

I made crackers to go with dinner last night (pea soup). I made them in the afternoon so I wouldn't be scrambling to get them on the table. Funny thing, my soup which had been in the crockpot all day long was not done. *sigh* So I had to cook it on the stovetop...

Anyhow, my crackers turned out oh-so-lovely.

They're crispy and crunchy and slightly flaky and perfectly olive-oily. The recipe came from this book:

My new favorite cookbook! I put it on hold at the library and it took forever to get it and then of course I couldn't renew it since there were holds on it. I wanted to make every single recipe (well, almost every single recipe) and three weeks at a time just wasn't enough for me! So I bought it with birthday money!

(Link above is my affiliate link through Amazon.)

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Tis the season for low light all day long...and blurry pictures from my camera! However, I have several pictures of sewing projects to share...hope you don't mind the slightly blurry pictures! :)

A few months ago, I won a giveaway on a sewing blog to a sewing-supply site. I don't remember the site, and honestly it wasn't very well organized and nearly every pattern I was interested in was out of stock! I finally found one that I wanted, Figgy's "Tee for Two". I decided to make the dress version out of one of Kevin's old t-shirts, just to test the fit and see how it sews together. A "wearable muslin" if you will.

I made it in size 3 with a size 4 length, which worked well for my daughter. I would like to buy some sparkly pink fabric to make another version, and I think she'd like that much better. :-) At first she told me she didn't like it but she will wear it now so she was probably just being contrary, which she is well capable of. ;-)

Yesterday, I made her a nightie, to be worn with leggings so her legs stay warm. After her summer nighties she's loathe to wear pajamas to bed, even though they're cozily warm. The pattern is Butterick 4910, which I've used for pajamas for her several times. The flannel was from my sister, and I had the elastic, lace, and ribbon in my supplies. Fuh-ree is a nice price for a sewing project! :D It's knee length, which is a nice length, I think.

And, totally unrelated, but seriously annoying: I've used up my allotment of photo storage space on Picasa/Google. So that means I have to pay to upgrade my storage space or host the pictures elsewhere. Like I said, annoying. :-/

Thursday, November 22, 2012

~Happy Thanksgiving!~

I'm reposting this poem, that I posted in November, 2008. It's just a silly poem, but it reminds me of my grandma, who has been in heaven these past two Thanksgivings. After I posted this to my blog in 2008, my mom read it to my grandma. She thought it was a "hoot" (I'm pretty sure that was her description! :) ) and asked my mom to print it for her so she could read it to her Sunday school class. She read it to her Sunday school class and shared a laugh with her friends. Remembering my grandma this morning, and ever so thankful for her!

How not to roast a turkey...

The Turkey Shot out of the Oven

Jack Prelutsky

The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air,
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.

It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.

It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
there was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there'd never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance,
it smeared every saucer and bowl,
there wasn't a way I could stop it,
that turkey was out of control.

I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Checking in from sick-land to say "hello" and hope that my readers are keeping healthy! I myself have been sick almost the entire month of November. So not fun. I am slowly getting better but any time I do anything "normal" like run to the store for something essential like more cough drops (not literally know: drive, get out, walk into the store...that kind of "run") I end up coughing and wheezing all evening long. *sigh* I will get better soon...

In the mean time, I finished up a little project for my daughter:

a scarf! She's been wanting one and while I don't think it is very practical for a three year old, I just couldn't say no! :) This project was so simple, just double crochet back and forth till I felt it was long enough. I love the yarn - it is so soft! My mother-in-law gave it to me a while back. I started a sweater for my daughter, frogged that, made several ear warmers (one for me and two which I sold), and then had bits and bobs of it all throughout my yarn bin. So it felt good to dig all those out and finish up the yarn with a project for my daughter. I have a little bit leftover, just enough to redo fringe (just in case she discovers how fun it is to undo!).

Sunday, November 04, 2012


I wouldn't be such a great food blogger, because:
1) my house doesn't have any great natural light
2) and it always seems like it is dark outside when I make Awesome Food That Would Make a Good Blog Post
3) and I don't like to wait to eat -
4) and I'm not going to make something specifically for a blog post
5) and also, see #3, I'd probably make something specifically for a blog post and then have to eat it stat. Oopsie, that's a do-over!
6) oh yeah, and I don't have 50-gazillion cool dishes (where do people keep all their odd-shaped dishes? I feel like my kitchen is a nice size but I don't have storage for so many random dishes)
7) and there's already a lot of food bloggers, so....what's really the point?

BUT I want to tell you all about this awesome cake I made!

For my birthday, Kevin got me a KitchenAid slicer/shredder attachment for my mixer. I had been contemplating buying it for myself with my Swagbucks Amazon gift cards, and I had no idea that Kevin had gotten it for me. Total suprise on my birthday!

So of course I had to make something with my new attachment! Let's see...what can I slice or shred? Carrots! What can I do with carrots? Carrot cake! Yeah!



Yes, I'm yelling. ;-) It was so good and moist, and it didn't even need 3/4"-thick sickly-sweet cream cheese frosting. LOL

I followed this recipe, subbing in carrots for the zucchini. I've made it before, with the zucchini. Both versions are seriously yum. This time around I used 1 cup coconut oil in place of the margarine and oil. And it took about 20 minutes longer than the recipe stated to bake. Not sure why!

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Happy November! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. November already?

Things I'm contemplating this morning:

Should I get my fall decorations out? I've been busy with canning projects and it just dawned on me that fall is almost over. I'm thinking I'll get a few things out. Maybe. Hmmm.

Searching for a good kimchi recipe. I found this one but I don't know. Have you ever made kimchi? Or eaten it? I had it for the first time at a potluck. First taste: this is the grossest thing I've ever eaten. Second taste: well, it's not so bad. Third taste: hmmm, this might be good after all. Fourth taste: let me dish up some more!

Should I get more apples? Due to unseasonably warm weather last March, most of the apple crop in western Michigan was ruined. There are still apples to be had - just more expensive than usual. So far I have made 17 pints of applesauce. That's slightly less than last year's applesauce making adventure of 46 pints....

And, lastly: books I want to read or reread: Hidden Art, by Edith Schaeffer. I need a new copy - my thrift store copy is falling apart. Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic (great book - I should do a review of it sometime!), Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, and The Bridesmaid by Beverly Lewis (she sucked me into a series again! Gah!). (Please note: links are through my Amazon affilitate account.)

Playtime: my daughter is anxiously waiting for me to play with her. I just heard that a tea party has been set up! to sip pretend tea and eat plastic food! :D Have a lovely fall day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

~The End of October~

So I thought it would be fun to go through my blog and see what the end of October looked like each year since I've been blogging.

October, 2005: I shared 20 Things About Me. One thing I mentioned was that people think I look 13. Actually, I haven't gotten that one in...a while. Must be the gray hair. ;-) And there I am, so grown up at 13!
October, 2006: Sock progress! I still have these socks. They're more for wearing around the house than for wearing with shoes.

(Ooh, that picture was taken before we refinished our wood floors. They look so much nicer now!)

October, 2007: Another pair of socks! I gave these to my mom. :)

October, 2008: Continuing on with another pair of socks! The end of October was a popular time for me to work on socks, I guess! This pair brings a happy smile to my face, booties for my daughter, made in gender neutral yellow because I didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl:

October, 2009: Some sewing for my daughter:

October, 2010: Some memories of my grandma, who had just passed away.
October, 2011: Considering which cake to make for my birthday.

That was fun! :) I am glad that I have blogged so long! Lots of memories on my little space here! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

~Giveaway Results~

The winner of the Sharp Crochet Hook is Sarah, who said:

Oh, yes please! What a genius idea! I would definitely love one of these sharp crochet hooks.

Sarah, I've sent you an email with further instructions!

I loved the comment that Deb submitted:

There was a lady in our church many years ago who always crocheted edgings around baby blankets. Her name was Grace Daley...but we all called her our Daily Grace. :) This post definitely reminded me of her, and I'd love to be entered so I can practice making some of her beautiful projects.

What a special memory!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

~Review + Giveaway~

At the beginning of this month, Jessica at Sharp Crochet Hook contacted me to ask if I would be willing to review her crochet hook. I was very happy to say yes! She sent me a hook and a small pattern booklet of crochet edges, which she sells for $10.99.

The hook has a pointed end, which makes it easy to use to crochet borders on fabric edges. When I make a crochet-edged receiving blanket, I have always used my regular crochet hook. It takes time and patience to wiggle the crochet hook through.

The hook and pattern booklet I received:

Since I don't have a need for baby gifts right now, I decided to go a different way and crochet a border on towels.

My towels and crochet thread:

Note: the crochet thread is lovely, nice and soft, BUT it wasn't the best match for this project, as it had a bad habit of splitting.

I washed and dried the towels to allow for shrinkage. Then I used a water soluble marker and marked where I would be crocheting (after I took the picture I noticed the ruler was upside down!):

Oh look, the towel got some handprints on it! Oh well... :)

I could have gone the easy route and crocheted above the hem. But I decided to test the hook out to see how well it really goes through fabric. ;-) It goes through so nicely! Note: if you have thicker thread or you're having trouble pulling the loop through the fabric, push the hook into the fabric deeper to create a larger hole.

My finished project:

I did have to use an awl to get through the fabric bands on the cream towel. Those were a bear to crochet through, and if you notice my pattern you will see that I had to go through each hole four times per pattern repeat. Otherwise, the Sharp Crochet Hook worked so nicely! I am thinking of more things I'd like to edge!

Now...would you like to win one? Jessica has generously offered to send a hook and pattern booklet to one of my readers. Just leave a comment to be placed in the drawing. The drawing will be open through Saturday, October 27, 8 PM EST. Please make sure that you either leave an email address in your comment or that your email address is in your profile so that I have a way to contact you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

~Squirrel Snack~

Our resident squirrel made our pumpkin into more than a snack. I think it is his breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Kevin took these pictures this morning. The pumpkin got thrown on the mulch pile later on. I'm sure the squirrel can enjoy it just the same back there!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

~Fall Color~

Right outside our front door, our neighbor's maple tree (which my daughter calls a "syrup tree"), leaves in such beautiful hues:

My pumpkin on the porch:

AKA, "Squirrel Snack":

Friday, October 19, 2012

~Hedgies in the Post~

I opened my mailbox one day to discover a package. Upon opening it, I discovered these:

Letterpress Notecards

I squealed with delight, and then called my mom to thank her for the lovely gift. It was an early birthday present. She wanted to make sure she got me something from my little list before someone else did. Well, I wasn't expecting anyone to give me anything in the first place, so it was quite a surprise!

And then a few days later, the second part of her present arrived:
Hedgie Labels
(Only of course, with my name and address on them. ;-) )

And then, when a friend asked me for my address, I didn't suspect anything hedgehog-related, buuut, I once again found myself opening a package to find:

Yes, that's right! A second set of hedgehog notecards! I am thrilled! I had the hugest grin on my face when I was opening them! I have been slightly fretting at the thought of using those sweet little cards, as I can sometimes be a stationery hoarder! I think I will enjoy using these even more, knowing I have a few more in my stationery box! :)

So...lovely thank yous to my mom and my friend! I shall enjoy my little prezzies very much (and I'm on strict orders by my friend to not use one of the cards on her! *grin*) :)

For buying information (you know you want these for yourself!) click the links under the pictures. Images used with permission from the respective Etsy sellers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

~Thoughts on Loss~

Today is "Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day", and I thought I would take this opportunity to share a little. I haven't written a lot about my loss here on my blog. I think, what has stopped me the most, is that it's a difficult subject for me - what to say, how to say it, and then: to actually sit down and type it out. I've thought through several posts within the last two and a half years - but felt emotionally drained just thinking about it. This post isn't going to be about the events of my loss, or the days following. Rather, it will touch on what life is like two and a half years later, and what life is like with loss followed by secondary infertility.

My baby was due November 13th, 2010. My baby would be turning 2 soon.

I think about my baby all the time. Yes, it has gotten easier with time. The deep grief which once crushed me has released its hold. There are still moments my heart hurts - that is the difference with the passage of time - the hurt is measured in a flickering moment, not days on end. These days I catch my breath with a sudden remembrance of my baby, I don't have to think about breathing.

So, these days? I think the hardest thing I deal with socially is in meeting people and making new friends. One little qusetion: "How many children do you have?" causes my mind to scramble for an answer. Do I say, "one"? even though that isn't really true? I'm a mommy to two just didn't make it to my arms. Do they want to know I have two children? Will I cry? If I can say it without crying, will it be too awkward? All these questions running through my head, trying to figure out the best answer for the circumstance, taking too long to answer one simple question, probably making people wonder after I finally do stammer out my "one" answer: What's wrong with her? It doesn't take that long to count to "one"!

My precious daughter - she doesn't know how her questions and desires make my heart hurt. Not only in missing our baby, but I hurt for her knowing she has a sibling she'll never know here on earth. My daughter is very observant. She routinely points out her little friends who have younger siblings. She asked me once, "When are we getting a boy?" She notices families at the grocery store with a loud: "Look, Mom! They have a lot of children!" She has claimed one of my bedposts as her "sister" and goes in and talks to her every so often. It hurts my heart to know that she does indeed have a sibling - in heaven - and that she will probably not have a sibling here on earth.

I think of my tears these days as a gentle summer rain. Sometimes in the summer, the sun is shining brilliantly and it starts to rain a little. The sun never really goes away, and the rain doesn't last for long. I shed a few tears here and there, but it doesn't effect my whole day. I wipe my tears away and face the rest of the day with a smile. The tears which accompanied me through the early days after my loss were similar to a dark, stormy day, where it rains and rains, and is a dark and gloomy all day long.

I'm thankful for the gentle summer tears. I'm thankful for the happy memories I have, those happy weeks we spent excitedly planning for having two little ones. I'm thankful for my sweet baby in heaven who has never known sin or the effects of sin - and never will - always in the presence of the Lord, serving our Lord for all eternity. To think of my baby that way: I wouldn't change anything.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

~Spinach Quiche~

Last year, I was looking for a recipe to take to a brunch, and I stumbled across this Spinach Quiche recipe. It was delicious! What sets it apart from all other quiche recipes is the cheese crust! I was sold at the word "cheese". LOL I've made it several times over for various breakfasts and brunches, and I took it this morning to a potluck brunch I attended. So good. I would show you a picture, but: I was racing out the door with a hot quiche to try to make it on time, and I came home with an empty pie plate!

Here is my version--

Spinach Quiche

1 1/2  cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/2 cup melted butter

1 (10 1/2 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
1 cup whole milk -OR- 1 cup evaporated (canned) milk
1/4 t. nutmeg
4 eggs
salt and pepper

Cook frozen spinach, and drain well. While spinach is cooking, mix all ingredients for the crust together. Press into an 8- or 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Set aside. Mix together milk, nutmeg, eggs, salt and pepper, beating well. Stir in drained spinach. Pour into crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes; then at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

~Hedgie Love~

This past spring, I got the idea to do a little "unit study" with my daughter.

I checked out books from the library:

The book in the upper right hand corner was very informative, but on my daughter's level (but I learned a lot from the book too!). The other books ranged from silly, fun make-believe, counting, telling time, and opposites. We read them over and over during the time we had them.

I knitted up Hedgie (Ravelry link):

and we got to see and pet a live hedgehog:

(the quills aren't as prickly as I thought they would be).

We colored hedgehog coloring sheets.

I thought I was doing this all for my daughter. But it dawned on me recently...I was doing it for me. I am the one who is in love with hedgehogs! :D

I did a little search on Etsy and came up with some hedgehog items geared towards grown-up hedgie lovers. This ring in particular is something I'd love. I think I would be over-the-moon excited if I ever got these letterpress notecards.

What do you think? Do you like (or love ♥) hedgies too???

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

~Sweet Potatoes~

Rather than digging our sweet potatoes up all at once, we've been digging up a plant or two at a time. I blogged a picture of one clump of sweet potatoes, but the others that we've dug up were not quite so tangled up. I don't know why that one plant would have grown that way?

These sweet potatoes are the dreamiest, creamiest, sweetest, most delectable sweet potatoes I've ever had. There's something to be said for garden-fresh produce! I never really gave it a thought, but it's most likely that the sweet potatoes on sale at Thanksgiving have been in storage for several months by the time they hit the stores.

I've experimented with several cooking methods, and my favorite so far is baking them in my enameled dutch oven:

I baked them with the lid on, at 400 degrees for an hour. I probably could have baked them in a little less time, but they turned out beautifully. The skins are so soft you don't even pay attention to them!

The picture is a bit blurry...hard to snap food pictures in the evening! I was a little worried about the sticky baked on stuff in my dutch oven, but while it was still warm, I added a little water and it came right off without any scrubbing.

Sweet potatoes are definitely something that we'll be growing next year!

Monday, September 17, 2012

~Canning Fail~

I have a love/hate relationship with canning. I love the process - every bit of it - and I love the end result! But somewhere in there are Extra Dishes, Tired Feet, and a Three Year Old Who Needs Attention. But the hate part must not be too strong because I keep at it, dutifully loading my basement storage shelves with canned goods to last the winter.
And now, I give you: Canned Soup ---

What? That doesn't look like canned soup to you? Yeah, me neither.

Here's the scoop: I spent a good portion of a day last week, carefully making a lovely pot of soup to can. I was beyond excited. And when I pulled my six jars out of the canner, and they all sealed, I was so happy. And then. I had this feeling that I hadn't processed them long enough...and sure enough my recipe said 75 minutes for quarts and 60 minutes for pints. Somehow I got "65" stuck in my head so they were not processed long enough.


For real. :P

I realized that the best plan of action was to freeze the soup. It's not what I had planned, but nothing went to waste!

In happy canning news, my jar count is up to 149. :D

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

~DIY Chocolate Oatmeal Mix~

Several weeks ago, I was in the cereal aisle and noticed some "natural" packets of oatmeal that were on sale. I purchased the chocolate oatmeal and it instantly became a breakfast hit!

List of ingredients:
whole grain rolled oats
chocolate chips
natural flavor
guar gum

I somehow missed the "natural flavor" on the list of ingredients. I haven't done a lot of research but "natural flavor" is sometimes code for "all sorts of odd ingredients that somehow can be labeled natural".

So I decided to make my own!

In a bowl, mix:
1 cup oatmeal
2 T. demerara sugar
2 T. cocoa
1 T. flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Store in a container.

To make one serving:
Use 1/2 cup mix to 3/4 cup water, cook for about a minute and a half, or until oatmeal is cooked.

Chocolate goodness in a bowl:

Enjoy a little chocolate for breakfast!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

~Sweet Potatoes~

One of the things we grew in our garden this year was a row of sweet potatoes. I wasn't quite sure how they grew, and I've been mightily curious all summer long! I've left them alone till now. One of them started peeking above the soil, so I gave a little yank and:

I discovered how they grow!

The vines are so pretty (especially earlier in the season: one of the signs that the sweet potatoes are ready is that the vines start to die back).

I seriously wouldn't mind having these in my flower beds around the house, they look so much like ivy. The pesky varmints continuously digging tunnels through my flower beds would no doubt love I guess I'll be kept to growing them at the garden!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

~Sunset at the Lake~

~Sunset from Fall 2011~
Last night we went to the lake. The weather was gorgeous. The water was still - the calmest we've ever seen it. The water temperature was warm. And - being the day after tourist season ends - very few people were there. *siiiiigh* So lovely.

We swam. We sat. Played in sand. Watched the sunset. Drove home in the darkness, content from a restful evening.

Monday, September 03, 2012

~Matryoshka Dolls Go Visiting~

I have a small set of Matryoshka dolls which my daughter enjoys playing with, and today I stepped into her room and noticed that they were visiting the Little People house, albiet bottomless,  LOL. It put a smile on my face!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

~Garden Bounty~

Yesterday I was busy in the kitchen, utilizing food from our garden.

I cut chives, and poured melted butter over them. Frozen little cubes of chive butter! I did the same with basil, just with olive oil. I'm looking forward to using these herbs in the fall and winter months.
I'm done canning pickles, but I had a bowl full of cucumbers that would have otherwise gone to waste. I made 4 quarts of refrigerator pickles.

This year we grew watermelon in our garden. First and last time. ;-) Watermelons take a lot of space! They sure are good though! I cut and seeded a watermelon so it is more convenient to eat.

I also washed enough basil for pesto but I didn't get to making it yet. I'll do that today, along with some canning that I plan to do.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Green Beans in the Canner 
This summer has been very hot and dry, but we've still gotten quite a bit of yield from our garden. I just went to our garden this afternoon, and picked almost four pounds of green beans! Our plants don't look like they should be producing anything, but they keep churning out the beans. :)

When I came home from the garden, I looked and looked online to try to figure out what the little yellow Monster's Inc-esque bugs were on our beans. From what I can tell they are squash lady beetles. Apparently, as they eat aphids, they also eat up the leaves too. Hopefully they quickly mature so that they can fly away and leave my beans alone!

So far, I've gotten 21 pints of green beans, 18 quarts and 5 pints of tomatoes, and various amounts of pickles, pickled peppers, salsas, and relish. My jar count is at 129 jars. Whew...and I still have quite a number of things I'd like to can this summer.

I love canning, and when I'm in the immediate process of putting everything in jars, I'm thinking to myself how relaxing it is. And then after I get the piles of dishes done and sit down I realize how exhausting canning really is. ;-) Nonetheless, I do enjoy canning, and it is so nice to have food saved aside for over the winter!

Friday, August 03, 2012

~Honey Cloud Pancake~

I am most decidedly not a Pancake Mom. You know, the mom who whips out pancakes in any size, shape and color? The one who writes names and draws animals? Sooooo not me.

When we have pancakes, the house fills with smoke. Or, if I keep the heat lower so the pan doesn't smoke, the pancakes are raw in the middle. Or burnt on one side. And horribly misshapen. I can't flip a pancake to save my life!

I am not a Pancake Mom.

So yesterday when I asked my daughter a simple question, "What would you like for lunch?" and the answer was "Pancakes!" my heart filled with dread. Until I remembered my favorite oven pancake recipe. I asked my daughter if she'd like an oven pancake and was relieved when the answer was "yes!"

Phew! Dodged that bullet.

Honey Cloud Pancakes are, in a word: awesome. I don't normally like oven pancakes because they are too eggy. This one is still eggy but the fluffiness is wonderful! With the salty, buttery bottom and a drizzle of honey on top the egginess fades to the background. I believe the recipe has been altered by the blog author since I printed it, because I noticed that the recipe calls for 1 egg white and 1 whole egg, whereas I use two eggs. I'll keep my recipe the same, it works for me!

I do have to bake the pancake a few minutes longer than the recipe calls for (maybe it's that extra egg yolk?)  I've made this recipe at least a half-dozen times. It's definitely a keeper!

There you have it! A pancake even a non-pancake mom can make. ;-)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~A Little Bit of Knitting~

I have always liked hand knit dishcloths. Until I start using them. And then they are so thick and hard to use that I don't like them...but I always seem to be drawn to knitting them.

Awhile back I thought I should make a dishcloth with thinner yarn. So I am. I like the way it is knitting up. I'm using 100% cotton yarn from my stash, size 3 needles. I knit a bit at a time, while I sit and watch my daughter play in sand, while something Not too Riveting is on TV. Little by little and then it will be done, and I can decide if I like knitted dishcloths or if it is just the idea of knitted dishcloths which appeals to me.

The pattern is based on the popular dishcloth pattern, many sources online. I am knitting three stitches instead of two before the yarn over.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

~The Start of Canning Season~

Ah, canning season! I ♥ canning. It is, admittedly, labor-intensive. But it is so rewarding to step back and see all those gleaming jars full of  delicious food. Last summer, I canned many, many jars of tomatoes, salsas, green beans, jams, and applesauce. By the last apple I was ready to be done. But now I'm ready to start! It's funny how that works!

So far, from our garden produce, I have canned one pint of pickled peppers (a mix of three types of peppers) and three pints of garlic dill pickles:

We have seven cucumber plants this year, and they are really taking off. If they all continue producing well, I will be up to my ears in cucumbers!
The last time I made pickles, it was the summer of 2005. I used one recipe, and made them all in one day (I purchased my cucumbers). And then, much to my complete disappointment, they didn't turn out very tasty. Neither of us really cared for them, and only a few of the many jars were even opened. Eventually I just emptied the jars. I don't want that to happen again! So I'm going to be trying out a lot of recipes this year! I'm going to copy or print the recipes and keep them in a binder, marking the jars to correspond with the recipes. Then when we open a new pickle we can decide if the recipe is a keeper or not. It seems like a lot of extra hassle, but I think it will pay off in the end! And at least if there is a recipe or two that we don't really like, it won't be too many jars!

On Monday I went blueberry picking, and yesterday I made blueberry spread with no/low-sugar pectin. I ended up sweetening the batch with one cup of sugar, as the jam without it was on the tart side. I would have had five half-pint jars, but I bumped one of my jars as I was cleaning the top, and it spilled across the counter. That was disappointing!

We have a few tomatoes that are starting to ripen. And we've gotten a few green beans here and there. I'm going to be slammed with tomatoes and green beans later in the month and through August, so to that end I've been reading my canning book like a novel, picking out recipes to try with my (hopefully!) bumper crop!

Friday, July 06, 2012


Happy July! Wow, this summer is just passing by so quickly!

The highlight of June was my twelfth wedding anniversary. It seems so long ago, and yet not that long ago, that I stood at the altar and said, "I do." Twelve seems so...almost...grown up. Hehe.

Last spring, I started having trouble with my back. Other than a few visits to a chiropractor, I didn't do much to "fix" the problem. Finally, after nearly a year, I decided to address the problem properly. I got x-rays, found a new chiropractor, and after several months now - I can function without pain! I don't know why I let the pain linger so long, but my back had gotten to the point where housework and normal living would give me shooting pain in my back. I'm glad to be almost back to normal! I went strawberry picking with my daughter and was so happy that I didn't come home in agony!

I've hit another sewing streak - I'll have to post pictures. :) I'm sewing a lot now because in another month I'm going to be in the kitchen canning away!

What will I be canning? Tomatoes, green beans, pickles, to name a few things! We have a larger garden area this year, and thanks mostly to Kevin's hard work we have the following growing in our garden: tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, four varieties of peppers, onions, watermelon, acorn squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, corn, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn! I also have some herbs growing in our small plot at home.

It's been a great year for gardening because the weather here has been so hot! We water our plants and the long, hot summer days have made awesome growing weather!

Well, that's just a little snapshot of my summer so far! I'm hoping to get better at this blogging thing. ;-) My mom told me she checks my blog every day...if I were her I would have quit checking a long time ago. =P

Thursday, June 21, 2012

~Sweet {Sugarless} Treats~

Sugar and my daughter just do not mix well. We have been avoiding anything sweetened with sugar, as well as anything with lots of natural sweeteners, and our household has been happier for it. :) However, just because I've nixed the sugar does not mean I've eliminated treats!

Chocolate-Banana Pop

Chocolate-Banana Pops
(makes 4 freezer pops)
2 bananas
2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Enjoy!

This is a great chocolaty treat and you won't even miss the sugar! I love to see my daughter's happy face smeared with chocolate and know that I won't be dealing with a sugar crash within the next half hour!

Juice Pops
Pour juice into freezer molds and freeze.

On a hot day these melt fast!

Purple Cow Pop
Purple Cow Pops
Mix equal amounts of yogurt and grape juice, pour into molds and freeze. I used unsweetened yogurt, so these were slightly tangy and but still sweet. I liked them, and my dd did eat them, but she wasn't enthralled with them. If I make them again I'll probably add a little honey to the yogurt, or use less yogurt. Her favorites are the chocolate-banana pops!

Slice bananas in half, and stick a wooden popsicle stick about halfway up the middle. Freeze...and enjoy!

Banana "Ice Cream"
This one-ingredient "ice cream" is all over Pinterest. My parents have been making this since I was 6 years old! I have a Champion Juicer so I just run frozen bananas through the juicer. But if you don't have a Champion, look up the directions for other options. It tastes delicious and even my husband likes it as a treat! You can also add cocoa powder for a chocolate version.

For smoothies I just eyeball the amounts. I use a variety of fruits and usually do yogurt, a banana, a frozen fruit, and another fresh fruit if I have it on hand. Tip: to make a smoothie for one person, use a narrow-mouth pint jar and fill half-way with the smoothie ingredients. The blender blades will fit on the jar so you can use the jar to blend and drink from.

Most of these involve bananas...I'd say we're getting our potassium this summer! :)

What are your favorite no-sugar sweet treats? Do share! I'd love to add more variety to our front-porch summer treats! :)