Monday, June 27, 2011

Oatmeal Cake with Peanut Butter Icicng

There, sadly, will be no pictures with this post. My camera memory card is missing (hidden meaning- the kids have lost it somewhere in the house or buried it in the garden). Still, I promised blogging today and BY GLORY there will be blogging today.

Just no pictures :)

This is a different kind of cake, delicious don't get me wrong, just not what you think of when you think of baking a cake. Probably because you start this cake by boiling water. No joke.

Oatmeal Cake with Peanut Butter Icing
link here on the Amish Cook Website

Cake
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup oatmeal
1 stick of margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Icing

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. When it's bubblin' take it off the heat and add the oats, margarine and the sugars. Mix well. Add the eggs and then beat well. Mix in the flour, salt and soda. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

10 minutes before the cake is ready to come out, put the water and sugar for the icing in a saucepan and bring to a boil. The original recipe says to let it cool slightly, I let it cool for 5 minutes and then I added the peanut butter. Whisk it together well. Take the cake out of the oven, pour the icing over the top and pop it back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack when done.

This is a FANTASTIC cake. With a little vanilla ice cream on the side this is so very good. Try it, you'll like it. Well, unless you're allergic to peanut butter...... :)


Thursday, June 23, 2011

If I'm Not Dead By Sunday.....

This is going to be short, very short, since it's cutting into my naptime. We have been sick y'all, like really sick. I'm not sure what it is, some kind of mutant flu/cold/sinus thing.....all I do know is that we have been struggling with it with one family member or another for a couple weeks now.

In a house with this many people that means not a lot of sleep or rest for me and now I can't seem to shake it. I'm trying to rest and get lots of fluids yada, yada, yada but I wanted you to know that I'll be back to regular posts on Monday. I promise.

Well.....unless I feel worse. So I guess I shouldn't promise anything, but my hope is to be back blogging regularly, everyday on Monday.

Fingers crossed!

Hope to see you here :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Top 10 Things I'm Putting Off Doing

Hello all 6 of you left reading this blog that I never update and seldom post to. I won't bore you with all of the details of why I haven't been blogging, and we'll just settle for this today.

What's new on the Homestead~

Nothing.

Well, that isn't really true I guess. My garden is doing fairly well, we added 2 blueberries, 1 red raspberry and 2 golden raspberries to it this year. We almost have broccoli and cauliflower ready to harvest, my tomatoes are blooming, the potatoes are growing like weeds (probably cause they kinda are weeds), I have been dehydrating herbs out of my herb baskets.

My cabbages have nearly fist-sized heads on them now so I'm looking forward to making some sauerkraut and dehydrating some of that. Work moves on somewhat slowly with the house remodel, it will be done eventually.

Really, that's about it unless you count the waiting on Petunia to have her calf. Since we don't know exactly when she was bred, we have no idea on when she is due and are having to guess by the subtle changes we are seeing in her. Some of them are actually not so subtle I guess, who knew a cows udder could get so huge?

I haven't done a Top 10 in a while, so I thought today would be a good time to do a new one. Read along, my friends as we have another installment of:

Top 10 Things I'm Being Lazy About

10) Laundry~ As I am writing this there are no less than 5 loads staring at me from the couch. Honestly I think I saw one of the socks scurry off under the stairs. Proof that the laundry multiplies at night.

9) Weeding~ Our garden has been taken over by some sort of super-human, ultra fast growing weed mutant this year and it requires DAILY weeding of every row. Daily. Weeding. Of. Every.Single. Row. And not just a little weeding everyday, it seems to have all come back by the next morning.

8) Figuring out what's for dinner~ This one will bite me in the hiney later.

7) Mowing the lawn~ I try to do this for Kevin so he doesn't have to, but I've been putting it off. So has he apparently.

6) Clearing off the kitchen table~ We've been having "picnics" on our living room floor because I'm cleaning out closets in the rest of the house and have the table piled high with things that need to be put somewhere else. Where somewhere else is, I'm not sure.

5) Dusting~ I'm trying to see if I can develop a new breed of dust bunny! I'm going to call it the Speckled Belly Giant.

4) Printing a ton of school stuff~ I'm trying to be a lot more organized than I was last year about school, so over the summer (while we continue to do school) I want to get next year completely laid out and organized.

3) Setting up my sewing machine~ I desperately need to sew my children some clothes lest they become nudists. Summer is on it's way, I hope, and they are in need of clothes that fit.

2) Doing another juice fast~ I really want to do another one, but my excuse is that organic fruits and veggies are too expensive right now. I want to wait for my garden to be producing so I know what I'm drinking. Or, maybe I'm just not ready to give up cake for 3 weeks yet....hmmm.

1) Being productive~ I'm just not pushing myself to be productive today and I should be. I don't like to be lazy and yet I'm finding myself doing it more and more.

The good news is that I just made myself and list of 10 things that I need to do today.

The bad news is that I have to go do them.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Food Storage Analyzer Review


Food Storage Analyzer™


In the last few months there have been so many natural disasters that Kevin and I have been seriously re-doubling our efforts to make sure we are prepared for any emergency that may come our way.

We decided to focus on food storage first and how I wish I had found this analyzer then! We set a goal of having a 30 day supply of food on hand at all times. We thought this a good gaol to start at because 1) You have to start somewhere and 2) I thought this would be a goal that we could reach in short order. Not only does having a 30 day supply of food on hand ensure that we are prepared for any sort of emergency situation, it also means that we eat without worrying about money should job loss or illness prevent our income from rollin' in. With little kids in the house, it's something we felt really strongly about committing to getting done.

So what does that have to do with this analyzer? What this tool will do is let you input your family information and then it determines your nutritional needs. You then tell it what you have in food storage and it can quickly tell you how many days your food storage is going to last, how close to meeting the US RDA guidelines for nutrition AND it gives you a clear idea on what you are lacking in your storage.

For example, I found out that I am really short in fats/oils in my storage, which is not good. When you have an emergency going on, you really don't want to be shorting yourself on fats and oils as they help to sustain energy and some meals are going to be really, really bland without them. Not a good idea when you are already stressed.

I highly recommend this to you if you are thinking about putting some food away for emergency, hard times or whatever. Whether you are storing up for 1 month, 3 months or a year, this tool is going to organize and help you from doubling up in areas where you are already sufficient. I think it will help save time and money, but that's just me. You'll have to go check it out yourself!


Gift Card Giveaway


Click on the button and go have a try for yourself!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Super Easy Egg Rolls



I'm the first to admit that these are not anywhere near authentic egg rolls. There are, however, delicious and easy to make. Paired with fried rice and some Thai sweet chili dipping sauce and you have yourself a winner. (Yes, I eat the sauce on my rice too. I'm not a fan of soy sauce.)



Step 1: Heat some oil in a skillet. I use my handy-dandy electric one for this.


Step 2: Chop a medium sized onion up pretty small.


Step 3: Add the onion to the pan and let it sweat. Even though that is one of the most disgusting cooking terms ever, it is important to let the onion slowly cook. Onions can get bitter and gross when the brown.



Step 4: Take one of these bags of coleslaw mix (the kind without the dressing packet) and chop it up so no large chunks are left.


Like so.


These pieces are bad. You don't want any pieces to look like this because it will rip your egg roll wrapper and cause some serious issues.


 Step 5: Add the cabbage to the pan with the onions. Season with salt, pepper, soy sauce and about 1/2 cup chicken stock. Let it bubble and cook away until the liquid has dissolved.


 Step 6: Put it in a bowl and let it cool completely. I usually do this in the morning and let it cool off all day. This is a vegetarian filling, but you could add anything you wanted in here. Chopped cooked chicken, bean sprouts, mushrooms, beans. Anything you heart desires, these are yours add what you want!


Step 7: Get a package of these little babies out of the fridge. Open the package and lay one on the counter with one of the points facing you.


Step 8: Put a scoop, maybe a heaping tablespoon or so, on the wrapper. Moisten all the edges with water with a finger or a pastry brush. Fold the point away from you over the filling.


Step 9: Fold one corner over and then repeat with the other side. Roll up away from you.


It'll look like this.

Step 10: Fry them in 350 degree oil until golden brown and delicious (or GBD if you're an AB fan). Fry up some rice and enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Strawberries



This my my branny new 8'x4' raised berry bed. In the background, you can see it's twin. That one is for my lettuce and such. They will have PVC pipe hoops attached soon and then the berries will get a covering of bird netting. The lettuce bed will have some removable plastic so it can be used as a mini greenhouse all year long.

I'm really looking forward to having lettuce, spinach, carrots, green onion and radish nearly year round.



Back to the berries though. I have 50 plants in this bed and I'm confident that they will take off and fill it up. Aren't the little flowers cheerful? They make me smile :)

We have tilled up some of our yard that was not so pretty to look at, it was very hilly and uneven, and put these bed in their place. Yes, they are in the yard but they are going to be green and lush so it's a trade off that I'm willing to make right now. Besides, how nice is it going to be to walk off the deck and pick a strawberry or some salad fixin's? So nice!




We already have a quite a few berries set, so I'm crossing my fingers for a bountiful harvest, as well as for a long harvest season.

I don't know what I will do with these berries because I have no idea how many I'm going to get off of here this year. But eventually, I would like this bed to produce my jam berries, as well as some for freezing and dehydrating (so good in muffins and oatmeal!).

We would like to sell this house and move to another one, but I don't know when that will happen. So, for the meantime I am just continuing on like this is where we are going to be. When we move, we'll deal with all of our plants we want to keep then.

Kevin is going to have a lot of digging to do! ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Get Bored Really, Really Easily



Sometimes I get bored. When I get bored I tend to do some really silly things. Sometimes those things turn out to be some of my best ideas (like the time I made placemats out of weird stuff) and sometimes they don't.


Sometimes I just take pictures. I make my kids pose in crazy ways and take their pictures. Or I sneak up on the dog and take pictures of her. Or I sew. Or cook, crochet or craft. I should never get bored because I have So. Much. Stuff. to do. Something in me just snaps and I need to take a break from the everyday and do something creative.

Sometimes I go crazy and do stuff like this.



The rain ending and summer getting here CANNOT happen soon enough.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Burger Perfection



I cannot put into words how delicious, fattening and amazing this burger was. This coming from someone who is 99% vegetarian. It was just that good!

This isn't so much a recipe as a instruction manual on how to make this fantastic feast, but I do have the recipe for the onion rings that I made for on/with it. So. Good.

Homemade Western Bacon Cheeseburgers

1 lb ground beef
salt and pepper
4 burger buns
4 slices cheese
mayo
BBQ sauce (for real authenticity, use KC Masterpiece)
8 slices bacon, cooked
3 medium sized onions, sliced 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (your preference. We like them thinner, you can make them thicker)
1 cup flour
1 cup beer (not into beer? seltzer water will work just fine here)
salt and pepper
oil for frying

Divide ground beef into 4 patties.Salt and pepper each side of the patty generously. Fry in a cast iron skillet (or in a pan. Or on the grill.) until desired done-ness is achieved. Place cheese slices on top of burgers and place on a plate with tin foil covering them to keep them warm. Meanwhile, mix flour, beer (or seltzer) and a pinch of salt and pepper together. Whisk to combine well. If it seems too thick, add a little more liquid. Too thin? A little more flour will do the trick. Throw the onion rings in there and stir them with tongs or your hands. Drop into hot oil (350 degrees or so) until golden brown, flipping once. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Assembly:
Take a bun and spread some mayo on the bottom. Add the patty (with melted cheese), a couple pieces of bacon, BBQ sauce, onion rings and then the top bun (spread with more mayo or not, it's up to you).

Serve with extra onion rings.

I know it seems like it might take a while, and it certainly isn't "fast food", but it's fast food that you have made at home. You control the ingredients, you control the portion and you made it. It'll taste 1,000 times better than any old "fast food" any day.

And it's totally worth it :)