Wednesday, June 30, 2010


we have some new bath toys...

a potty chair...

and small dressers for two, with butterflies and nursery rhymes...
Sam's Room is becoming ... "the girls room"

Sunday, June 27, 2010


when we were young we stayed with our grandparents on the farm. they were in the process of building their house and were living in the out building, which later became the chicken house.
It didn't have indoor fact it had a dirt floor. we used the outhouse,,,and this is all that's left of it, the picture above.

this is the old chicken house, or whats left of it.

here's the water pump in front of the house where we got water. Grandma would also use it to wash our feet off after we played outside.

here's a picture of the barn and a barn kitty.

and some baby goats, aren't they cute. it was very difficult to get them to line up just right.

double take...

these were taken of Imo Elevator from my mom's backyard.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Look to the sky...

while at momma's we stood outside to get pictures of the sunset. Sheri (the almost degreed photographer) said it wasn't a really good sunset, but i thought it was pretty, and since then I haven't looked at the sky the same again. in an instant you may just see that perfect picture and then I wonder...where's my camera?

Friday, June 25, 2010

OH NO...

I'm out of eggs...What to do? Well, google is my friend. I found that you can use a number of things to replace eggs, depending on what you're cooking. The wonderful Pioneer Thinking website provided the following:

2 tbsp cornstarch = 1 egg
2 tbsp arrowroot flour = 1 egg
2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
1 heaping tbsp soy powder + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg
1 tbsp soy milk powder + 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg.
1 banana = 1 egg in cakes.
1 tbsp milled flax seed and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg. Light, fluffy cakes!

I had made a flax seed gel once before when trying to make a natural hair gel. I remember heating up flax seeds in a pot of water and getting this amazing gel, so I did the same again.
Place 1 tbsp flax seeds and six tbsp water in a small saucepan. Let it simmer on low heat until a gel is formed. Strain, cool and use.

Has anyone else tried other egg substitutes? If so, did they work? Please leave your comments.

reposted from The Bush Gourmand.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet and sour soup...

We always order the sweet and sour soup when we eat Chinese this is a good recipe for making it at home. It is by Abby of Love Made The Radish Grow , check out her blogs also at Simple, Green, Frugal Coop.

I have had a hot and sour soup recipe in queue to try for awhile. This one is soooo fast, soooo easy and soooo good. It was a great, fast lunch today, and will be on a regular rotation now at our house. I started with a recipe I had found at The Kitchn, but modified it quite a bit to make sure it fit what I had on hand, and to make things a bit more local. Even my toddler ate a big bowl! This makes quite a bit-enough for a meal, and is far better than what you can get with normal takeout, saving time and money and using up some of those eggs that, I don't know about you, but my gals are laying like crazy!

Hot and Sour Soup

6 button mushrooms (dried shitake or straw mushrooms would work well here, too, but you need to soak them in boiling water for at least an hour before making this. Really, any fresh mushroom will work, just slice them in and put them in the soup, no soaking needed)
1 pound ground pork or breakfast style pork sausage
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1 quart chicken stock, fresh or canned
soy sauce
1/2 t ground pepper
3 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 4 TBSP. cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sesame seed oil
1 scallion, finely chopped

In a large stockpot, brown and crumble the pork. Once it is mostly cooked, add the onion, and saute a bit, until it starts to soften. Add the mushrooms and chicken stock. I added another 2-4 cups of water to this, in order to make enough soup for the whole family as a main dish. At this point you will add the seasoning base, then start tasting until you get the flavor just right. This really varies from person to person, so you NEED to TASTE the soup as it heats through, otherwise it will turn out too bland or salty. So...
Start with 3 T soy sauce and 3 T vinegar, plus the pepper. If the salt tastes fine, you don't need anymore soy sauce. If you like your soup spicy, add a little cayenne or hot pepper flakes, but let it cook a minute or two before you taste again or add more. It takes a minute for the flavors of those items to develop. The vinegar is what makes this soup sour, so don't skimp. I start with the three T, but ended up adding quite a bit more. You just never want to start with a large amount-you can undo too little, but undoing too much is far trickier. This last time around I used a red wine vinegar, but about any will work. Once you have the flavor right (salty, sour, slightly spicy is what you're shooting for) mix up the cornstarch. This, once again, is a personal preference. If you like your soup really thick, mix up more cornstarch, if not, then the original amount should be plenty. Once you've got that added, beat your egg and add it, a little at a time, and mix it in so you have strands of egg throughout the soup. Then you can serve it!

Addition ideas:
bamboo shoots
water chestnuts or jicama
cabbage or carrot shreds
other meats, in pieces

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We are dating...

Great Dating Ideas from Cheap to Splurging

1.Go out for pizza
2.Try live entertainment, such as a band at a local bar or restaurant, instead of a movie.
3.Pick a TV show, get a season’s worth on DVD and make a running date to watch it together every night. (we did this with The Office and Lost)
4.Head out to the dollar theater and splurge on snacks.
5.Try brunch and a matinee; fancy restaurants are way more affordable in the a.m.
6.Pick up a bucket of fried chicken and head for the drive-in.
7.Dress up your backyard picnic table with a white tablecloth. Add candles, fancy cheese, chocolate and voila: five-star fun!
8. Too cold or wet for an outdoor picnic? Spread a blanket on the floor and have a carpet picnic. (we do this when we eat pizza with the kids!)
9. Bring home your favorite fast food, but serve it on your best china.
10. Museums usually have one free night a week or month, so hit one then.
11. Find a happy hour half off appetizers and order a few for your dinner!
12. Take a sketchpad to a scenic bluff and draw your own version of the vista.
13. Grab a basketball and hit the free courts at the park.
14. Sample international food at a street fair.
15. Hit the local video arcade.
16. Go to the library and page through the coffee-table art books, or any books!
17. Suit up and spend a late afternoon at the indoor pool of the Y.
18. Head to the highest point in town. Spend an early evening watching the twinkling lights turn on.
19 Drive out to a country field, lie down and snuggle under the stars.
20. Make yourselves the biggest, craziest ice cream sundae ever.
21. Take a tour of the house you’d (someday) love to own.
22.Paint coffee mugs at a paint-your-own-pottery place.
23. Sign up for a one-night class at your local college.
24. Hit a farmers’ market and scavenge for your dinner.
25. Take a tour of garage sales in the ritziest neighborhoods.
26. Head to an ice skating rink and strap on skates for some icy fun.
27. Book a double massage at a spa.
28. Take a balloon or helicopter ride over your town.
29. Rent a fancy car. Tool around as if you actually own it.
30. Find a nearby bed-and-breakfast. Spend the night someplace where someone else makes the bed and cooks breakfast.

These ideas are from Michelle at Muffin Tin Mom...

Check out Michelle’s complete date idea list, and read her truly touching article in full here at Muffin Tin Mom. Besides dating ideas she has "Muffin Tin Mondays" and lots of kids craft ides. Very good site for all kinds of ideas.

More ideas for pre-packaged dates (?), what are they... see here on "My mix of 6".

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gluten Free...

Beth's No Fail Gluten Free Bread

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1 cup Yellow Pea Flour
1/2 cup potato Starch
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
1 Package Yeast
1 tbsp Guar Gum
1 1/2 tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups Warm Rice Milk
2 tsp Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup warm sparkling water set aside and let set up
1/4 cup honey

I mix wet ingredients in the mixer, once mixed I add in the dry. Let mix for a few minutes and then put into the bread machine. Mine has a gluten free setting. I have also baked this in the oven, let it rise 20 minutes or so, Bake 35 plus minutes at 350 degrees. Watch it after the 30 minute mark. This is a very flexable recipe, the only thing you can not sub out is the pea flour. The recipe is based on the pea flour. This is something I will keep playing on. But it's a really good bread. It cuts well, it eats well. It doesn't crumble. It's so good the next day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We came...

we painted...

inside and out...

we organized...

and created a new laundry room...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kids eat free...

check out these restaurants this summer where you can go and kids eat for free...
Sample deal: On Mondays, get one free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Captain D's
Sample deal: On Thursdays, get two free kid's meals with any adult entree purchase, dine in only.

Sample deal: On Tuesdays, get one free kid's meal with one adult entrée, dine-in only.

Sample deal: Up to two kids 10 and younger eat free with each adult purchase of $2.50 or more, from 4pm to 10pm on select nights.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit
Sample deal: On Sundays, one child eats free with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Lone Star Steak House
Sample deal: On Tuesdays, up to two kids eat free with the purchase of one adult entrée.

Sample deal: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée, typically on a weekday evening after 4:30pm. Check for a list of when each restaurant features the promotion.

Marie Callender's
Sample deal: Get one free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entrée on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Sample deal: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 10pm, get one free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Steak 'n Shake
Sample deal: On Saturdays and Sundays, get one free kid's meal with the purchase of an adult entrée of $9 or more. Dine-in only.

Note: These specials vary from restaurant to restaurant and are subject to change at any time. The sample deals are real listings, but may not apply to the specific restaurants in your area. (Sometimes, the deal in your area might even be better.)

Do you know of any others? Let me know.

to cut or not...

"Oh, Emily..."

"Yes, Grammy?"

Lets put your hair up... There! that's better.

Monday, June 14, 2010

New view...

the new view out the kitchen door window.