Tag Archives: homemade

Love is in the Air

Standard

and POOF!  I’m back in the blogosphere.  Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’ve been laying around my house because of my hernia surgery 2 weeks ago.  This down time is frustrating.  Luckily, I also caught a bug – Pinterest !  I have been “pinning” and sharing a wealth of inspiration with friends…all pulled from the internet.  What a perfect organizing tool.  All of my decorating/recipe/inspirational thoughts are quickly filed, so my brain has room for creative thinking.  LOVE it.

Despite doctor’s orders…I couldn’t stop myself from moving at least some of this time.  It’s amazing how pain killers can make you feel productive LOL!

First family movie night, featuring Free Willy 2.  The husband and oldest son where off to see a basketball game…or the movie might have changed.

Movie Snack and yes, I hit up pretzel M&M clearance after Christmas

Inspired by Valentine’s Day and a belly full of M&Ms, I launched a crafty project.  It was so fun and easy!  Thanks to the inspiration weibo.com/wodiy, the entire project took about 30 minutes.  You can see the original instructions here, but you can also enjoy our pics below.  The felt I bought was a little flimsy, so I incorporated a bead between hearts – double strung – so that the bead helped hold the hearts in place on string.  I plan to use it for classroom decorations today.

Grab your favorite felt rectangle.

Fold it in half and sew 1/4" seam down folded side.

Open your felt like a book.

Now fold the opposite way from the first fold. Sew another 1/4" seam down the length of the open seam.

Repeat.

Now flatten your heart and cut it into 1 to 2" strips. It doesn't have to be exact.

Ta-Dah!

Cut a length of thread (we used about 5 feet). Thread a sewing needle and push through your heart.

Keep threading in any pattern you like. It will look something like this. (Those are tiny beads between hearts.)

Fun!

While my daughter and I were being crafty, we also made some delicious whole wheat bread.  Mmmmmmm!

Bubbly goodness.

= Tummy Goodness!

See how uneven the tops are?  If I had taken the time to shape the dough nicely, these would have baked up a little prettier.  But the taste of homemade bread makes you forget about that.  Mmmmm…

Here’s our recipe, courtesy of my favorite recipe website, AllRecipes.com:

Ingredients:
3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup honey
5 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Directions:
Step One
In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey.  Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine.  Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
Step Two
Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt.  Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour.  Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch.  This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough.  Cover with a dishtowel.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Step Three
Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves.  Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
Step Four
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake.  Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard.  Cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!  We ate ours with South Dakota honey.
I am going to try really, really hard to share more Edhead thoughts in 2012.  I am very inspired by all of my creative friends.  Stay tuned!
-Edhead
Advertisements

Miserly Me

Standard

Jello salad.  It’s what I’d like to have around more often.  My problem is that I buy the jello boxes.  I find the jello recipes.  I just don’t get around to making the darn jello.  Such as it is with our evening meals.  I plan, plan, plan….and then the desire to execute just sort of fizzles.  Don’t get me wrong.  Thanks to my farm roots and my 1989 home economics class, I feel like I can whip up a pretty stellar meal with whatever is around the kitchen.  But when I mix in oldest son’s texture issues and my non-dairy/no soy/tomato/oj/onion/peppers/white flour diet… my creative brain hurts around dinner time.  What’s a girl to do?  I, generally, enjoy a bowl of Cheerios and almond milk.  The fam enjoys the hot, seasoned food.  The oldest son enjoys bread.  It works, but it’s not my vibe.  Nope.

So.  Instead of reading so many frugal cooking advice blogs – many of which suggest the use of ketchup as a major ingredient – I am sticking to this:  Cook the favorites.  Sneak in my healthy ingredients more often.  Plan menus around the front page and the last page of our weekly grocery sales flyers.  That nifty suggestion comes from an inspirational little read by Jonni McCoy, entitled “Miserly Moms:  Living Well on Less in a Tough Economy.”  It caught my eye simply because I like the challenge of getting more for less.  Or ensuring They* make less off of Me**.  Her suggestions, like shopping only the front/back of sales ads (actual deals designed to lure us into the store)….or reminding us of the lost art of bartering….or that Ranch wasn’t invented in a bottle, but in a bowl for just pennies in fresh ingredients…  well, these are easy suggestions.  I will NOT pay $4.25 for a box of whole-grain cereal anymore.  The thought makes me physically ill.  Instead, I plan wisely.  I see the sale (you know, front and back pages).  I grab a coupon.  I do not think everything on sale is a good deal.  I head to the cereal aisle and out.  I pay no more than $1 for a box.  As a family of cereal lovers, this makes a huge dent in the food bill.  Money saved can go toward other things that almost never go on sale (e.g. fresh parmesan cheese…mmmmm).

Yes, I am a homemaker. stay at home mom. domestic goddess.  Yes, my bottom-line contribution is being frugal without depriving my family.  Yes, I need to make the J-E-L-L-O.  Not because I’m trying to be frugal.  Because I shouldn’t dare deprive my family.  😉

*They   a.k.a big·wig/ˈbɪgˌwɪg/noun  plural big·wigs

[count]  informal: a powerful or important person
▪ corporate bigwigs [=big shots]▪ a bigwig in local politics (http://www.merriam-webster.com/)
**Me  a.k.a. commoner
noun \ˈkä-mə-nər\
a: one of the common people b: one who is not of noble rank
2: a student (as at Oxford) who pays for his own board  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/)

I had a title, but I forgot it.

Standard

Although completely overwhelmed earlier, I spent the last hour picking up STUFF.  Holiday stuff and gees….even birthday stuff that should have gone away before the holiday stuff.  You know why I felt the energetic whim to clean like a type-A mama?  Because I had 2 full hours of my very own video game time.  I’m not kidding.  My eyes are now crossed from staring at such a tiny iPhone screen.  My head kind of hurts and I did ignore a persistent need to drink water during this ‘vacation’.  The irony is that I found a game where I have to work as fast as I can.  No kidding.  I’m addicted.  I don’t even remember the name of it (and I won’t check because I’ll start playing again).  The goal is to waitress as fast as I can to gain more customers (and thus, more money).  Now, I’ve never been a waitress but this was F.U.N.  Why I had to clean and serve others in my time off is beyond me, but I bravely walked away from that train wreck (okay, I wore the battery down to 5%) and CLEANED my house.  It’s like my very own strategic boot camp for cleaning and organizing.  Actually, it’s kind of like my every day……  My game candy just buried itself in my consciousness, compelling a plan of attack that I couldn’t find before. 

That’s ok. 

I have a clean house. 

And the battery is just about charged again.  =)

Anyhoo, I started today’s blog to share one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.  A close circle of peeps exchanged a homemade item for Christmas.  We didn’t tell each other what the item was until the exchange.  Our execution was a little off (never plan an exchange just days before Christmas)…..but the homemade side of the exchange made it extra special.  Fresh ricotta cheese, a luscious Irish cream beverage, m&m cookies, savvy beverage coasters, cranberry chutney and SOON (hint intended) canned pickles made for smiles all around.  Isn’t that interesting?  Out of ALL the money spent and ALL the wrapping and ALL the mailing…. I loved this the most.  AND several of these peeps knit with me weekly.  That once-a-week connection inspired me to knit my children a whimsical gift for Christmas.  I need to do it more.  I already have a plan for next year.  And it’s going to be my goal in this new year – making more homemade goodness.   Note: cookies and ricotta were consumed before photos.  Oops. 

With that, I leave you with my a saying from my favorite new 2011 calendar:  Grateful for this life, full of family, friends and love.  Happy New Year!