Sunday, October 31, 2010

Week of Felt Link Party

It's time to share your FELT ideas.

It must be made from FELT!

Please take my Button and put it on your blog somewhere.

Check out what everyone else has created and leave a few comments.

No Giveaways or Selling please.

Link as many as you would like!

I can't wait to see what you have created!

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Mini Book Case-Sew What Sunday!

My blogging world happens on my HP Mini Book. It is small and easy to take around the house. I can sit at the couch or at my desk. I have even started to take it out and about. So I decided it need a cute little case to protect it from scratches.
I had some scrap fabric left from past projects and I whipped this up in an afternoon.
It has a magnetic closure.

Felt lining for a bit more cush.

And a few cute little flowers of course!
Now I can go out in style!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Announcement! A Week of Felt Link Party!

Next week starts the Week of Felt event!

Do you love Felt? Well you better check this out.

Join in the party, link your FELT ideas.

The party starts Monday Nov. 1st and ends Sunday Nov.7th.

I can't wait to see your ideas!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Microwave Pasta Boat Review

Do you love "As Seen On TV" stuff? I do!
This is one I have seen on TV for a little while. I looked kind of dumb.
But recently we have been having problems with our method of noodle cooking. It always boils over, I can never find the perfect size pot, and I am tired of standing over the stove top watching water boil.
So a few weeks ago I was at Walgreens and I saw the "Pasta Boat". It wasn't too expensive, $15 I think. I was looking for a new pot anyway so why not give it a try?
I started with a small portion just for myself. I had some leftover spaghetti sauce and it was a perfect opportunity.

Measure out your noodles according to the book. The handles on the side of the boat are pasta measures, and they are accurate in my opinion.

Add the amount of water required. I sprayed the noodles with some non stick spray. It helps the noodles not stick together.

Put it in the microwave and set it to the required minutes. Wait. Drain it with the handy boat lid. Whala! Perfect noodles. No over boiling. No mess to clean. No watching the pot.
I love it! I have used it several times on spaghetti noodles and Penna noodles. I want to try mac and cheese soon. It comes out hot so you can add cold sauce to the noodles and the sauce warms from the noodles.
I hope this helps. You should give it a try if your family is a pasta loving family like mine.
Bon apatite!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I can't remember where I got this recipe but boy am I glad I have it!
They are not very good for you, but who cares!
Recipe, makes 50 muffins (can be halved):
4 cups sugar
1 large can pumpkin or 2 small cans (not pumpkin pie)
1 cup oil
5 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves
1 bag 12 oz chocolate chips
Mix wet ingredients. Add in dry ingredients slowly. Mix well. Fill paper muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Moist, yummy, sweet and chocolaty!

She likes them. I bet you will too!

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Applesauce and Canning

My mother came to visit a few weeks ago and I asked her to show me how to can applesauce.

I was a bit scared but I wanted to have applesauce for my bread recipes. I grew up watching my mother and her sisters can every summer. They did peaches mainly. I remember thinking it was just not worth it. It took all day and it looked really hard. Now I realize that it was probably fun for my mom and aunts. They got to spend time together, talk about their families and with all of them there it really wasn't hard, just time consuming. I also have learned that money is precious, so why waste it when you can get something cheaper. A very good lesson. Thanks Mom!

I had a ton of fun making these and I want to share it with you guys. It was really not that hard and I plan on doing it again...alone!

Doesn't that look yummy! I love applesauce, and homemade applesauce is even better!

Here is my oldest trying to be silly.

And my middle child as well. He is concentrating very hard...
We ended up picking apples at our local orchard for $1.00 a pound. Not bad, and fun too! My mom and I think we picked about 35 lbs.

So let's get started.
Clean your kitchen sink and surrounding counters VERY well.
Wash your apples.

With this method (my moms) we cut the apples in quarters, leaving the skin and core.
Keep reading for other methods.

Put about an inch of water in the bottom of a heavy (no cheap pots) soup pot with a lid. We used about three pots and had them all cooking at the same time. The water will keep the apples from burning to the bottom.

Fill to the top. Cover and bring to a boil. Not too high, above medium temp.

Cook till they turn soft.

My mom brought her ANCIENT apple masher. It takes the good stuff and the bad stuff and separates them. Her is my mom pushing the apples through the separator.

Good stuff out the front and bad stuff (skin, seeds, core) off the the side.

It already tastes yummy!
Now at this point I want to tell you how to do this if you don't have an ancient apple separator.
  • Wash your apples
  • Peel your apples
  • Core your apples
  • Slice your apples into chunks (you can do the coring and the chunking with one of those fun apples slicer things. They are only a few bucks at the store and are great for fast snacks)
  • Cook the apples as I did above OR put them into your crock pot and cook them all day:

Crock pot Recipe:

10-12 apples (medium to large in size)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Cook on low for about 8 hours.

  • when they are super soft use a masher and mash them to bits
  • Put into your food processor or blender to puree to your liking
Lets add some good stuff! Sugar and cinnamon to taste (skip this if you did the crock pot method).
You can also add water to make it thinner if you want.
This 9x13 was full to the top, about 18 cups applesauce. It took about 30 apples to make this pan. We added 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon.

Take your SUPER CLEAN mason jars and rings (wash on high heat in the dishwasher while you are cooking the apples). I used wide mouth jars. Fill the jars to the top of the bend/first line of rings.
Do this while your applesauce is still hot. If it has cooled, or you left this part for later, then reheat your applesauce on the stove before canning.

Here is a better picture.

Clean the sides and the very top rim of the jars VERY well. This will help the seal stick.

Boil your new lids. Follow the directions on the package. When done remove one at a time, be careful not to touch the red part. Quickly put the lid on the CLEAN jar.

Screw on your lid. Do not make it tight. Really loose is best.

This is a caner. They cost about $18 bucks at Walmart. A great investment if you plan on doing this more than once. This is my moms. My mother in law didn't use hers anymore and gave hers to me. SCORE!
Fill water in the caner.

Place your jars very carefully in the slots of the wire rack. Slowly let the rack go to the bottom of the caner pot. Make sure the water goes over the tops of the lids. Bring water to a boil and then boil for 20 minutes, then remove the jars very carefully and place on several layers of towels (or placemats in my case).

Use the special lifer device that comes in the caner pot. Let cool. You may hear the lids pop but I never heard mine. This tells you the seal took and your jars are sealed. (if you don't hear it it doesn't mean it didn't work) I was very disappointed that I didn't hear the pop, oh well...
All done! Yummy applesauce.
I made 15 wide mouth jars this day with my mom. I am quite proud of myself. Canning really isn't that bad. It is a time consuming project but it is really not that hard and it can save you money.
Give it a try!
If you have yummy canning recipes please send them to me. I will post them for everyone to see.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

How to make your own Laundry Detergent

Last week I showed you how to make your own Dishwasher Detergent.
Today we are talking LAUNDRY!
Don't you love to do laundry? I do. HA!
It is the bane of my existence!
The thing I hate the worst is running out of laundry soap.
Oh! and spending a fortune on laundry detergent!
Oh! and getting it and finding out it makes my family all itchy.
So here is the solution:
Your ingredients are:
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • old detergent bottles (small enough to lift and shake easily)
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • Fels Naptha bar soap

All of these ingredients can be found in your supermarket. Walmart has Borax and gallon bucket with lids. Smith's has Washing Soda, Borax and the Fels Napth bars.

In a soup pan start to boil 4 cups of water.
While that is starting get you bar of soap and grate/chop fine. it melt easier this way. The reason you are using Fels Naptha is because it is a washing agent. Better that regular bar soap that is made for your skin. Read the wrapper.
Once water comes to a boil add your shavings and cook till melted.
In your 5 gallon bucket put 3 gallons of water, as hot as you can get it.
When your shavings have melted add it to your bucket and stir.
Add a 1/2 cup Borax and stir till dissolved.
Add 1 cup Washing soda and stir till dissolved.
Stir for a few minutes to combine well.
Put your lid on the bucket and go to bed.
Yeah, GO TO BED!
In the morning it will look like this.
Yuck! Goopy, runny and it smells so good!

Mix it up good and disperse it into leftover containers.

TIP: Cut the bottom off of a milk container and use it as a funnel.

This recipe filled the equivalent of 4 containers of detergent/16 cups.
That is a lot of detergent!
And cheep!
Use a 1/2 cup per load. Adjust as needed depending on the hardness of you water. Use a little less if your clothes are stiff, more if you feel you need it. Play around.
***Shake the container before each use. That is why you want smaller containers.
***This is a low sudsing soap. If you don't see suds that that is fine.
The suds are not what cleans your clothes.
***I have done some research and found that homemade detergent works great on HE Washers. Apparently the only issue with HE washers is that they need a low sudsing detergent. Well this is a very low sudsing detergent so it should work great. I DO NOT HAVE AN HE WASHER. This information is based on web research. I have seen that if you use other detergents that it voids your washers warranty. So take that with consideration.
I like this recipe because it does not make my family itch! No perfumes. I know exactly what is in it.

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