Friday, December 30, 2011

Instant Oatmeal Packets Recipe



There are many ways to save money and still enjoy the convenience of convenience foods without giving up healthy food choices. When you make your own homemade mixes, you control what goes into them. Your wallet and your health will thank you. A friend of mine turned me onto some older recipe books ( 70's) that promotes making your own mixes. These are easy recipes and a lot less expensive than the store bought alternatives.

Instant Oatmeal Packets
Blend in blender
2 Cup regular oats until powdery.
You will need 10 Zip-lock bags: Each Bag will make 1 serving
1/4 cup regular oats
2 Tablespoons Powdered oats (you just made those in the blender)
1/3 tsp salt
To Use:
Empty packet into bowl and add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until thick.

Variations to each packet add:
Apple-Cinnamon: 1 Tablespoon Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 Tablespoon chopped dried apples
Cinnamon-Spice:  1 Tablespoon Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Raisins & Brown Sugar: 1 Tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon raisins
Wheat Germ: 2 Tablespoon any kind wheat germ

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Death Of The Sneetchy


My Dad and Mom send toys for the dogs when the send us care packages. The dogs are just as excited as we are when the packages arrive. They try to help us unpack by grabbing whatever fuzzies are on top. I have to put up my fuzzy house shoes that they sent me because Hiho thinks that they are hers. Every once in a while she will go and get one out of the closet or she will get one of my snow caps out to play her rendition of "keep away" with me..

Hiho takes better care of her babies. She is a nurturer whereas Abby is a killer. It's hard to believe, but Abby can catch a bird in mid air. She stands only a few inches off the ground, but she can propel herself  through the air. Hiho is not as athletic and moves a lot slower than Abby. Hiho has personality all the time while Abby saves her personality for her bursts of schizophrenia. They are both better "mousers" than any cat I've seen. They are persistant and it pays off...

This Sneetch is their favorite toy by far. It has suffered some injuries. It is as big as they are and they like to play "tug of war" with it, so it has to be repaired soon. I kept the arm, so I could sew it back together. It looks like it has a blown out knee too. I guess it is time to call the doc (me) to put the Sneetchy back together again.....

Help me!!!!

Abby guarding her captive.

Abby is a serious killer hunter type.

Did it move?

Is it dead yet?

Nope, still moving!

Is it over yet?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

My grandma taught me that if I did not waste, I would not do without. I remember this lesson, one of many,  when I was helping her make Christmas cookies one year. I was probably 19 years old or so when I watched her scrape the dusting flour back into the flour jar when we finished rolling out the cookie dough. This concept seemed so foreign to me. Why on earth was she putting that " used flour " back into the flour jar, I asked myself. After coming up with no answer, I asked her the same question. This was the first time I had ever heard the saying "waste not, want not". It has stuck with me every since.....

What happened that day over the cookie dough changed the way I perceived things. I now look for ways to save on everything. Saving usually equates to saving money. If I bake, I will fill my oven to get the most out of the energy it takes to use it. Today, I baked a batch of cookies from dough that I had frozen in balls while making a previous batch, baked sausage balls (sausage on sale) that I had also frozen and I made croutons from last weeks leftover homemade bread that I have kept in the refrigerator for just such an occasion.
 Baking these items did not require me to preheat the oven, this also saved energy(solar) and propane. I also turned the oven off for the last few minutes. The oven was hot enough to finish baking everything. Then I opened the door to the oven to let the heat escape to warm my home. It takes 20 minutes or so for the oven to stop giving off heat once turned off.
 Everything I baked was purchased on sale or at the best possible price. The propane was purchased in bulk during the summer when prices are low. Number One negotiates the best price by shopping around. We also only pay $1 per year for tank rental (saves $119). If you have these things working for you and you are not afraid to have a new company service you (existing company knows it) they will negotiate! Every time you have your tank filled you are charged a $55 government transit toxic crap fee. Get the biggest tank (1000 gal), only have it filled once a year and negotiate. This is a great way to save. Last year we saved 80 gallons of propane from the year before by turning the heat down a few degrees, insulating better, changing to a digital control and being conservative.
These are just a few ways to improve your lifestyle by keeping more of your money in your pocket for the things that really count. Look around and find your own ways to save and be conservative. It's a fun challenge that will make a difference for you, your family and others.

Just remember that the Lord provided these things for you in abundance and He wants you to share.......

Frozen oatmeal cookie balls

Frozen sausage balls

Full oven

All done

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Turkey (carcass) Stew

As I trimmed the meat off the Christmas turkey for sandwiches, I debated on what to do with the carcass. They only thing that I knew for sure was that I was going to boil the carcass with carrots, onions, garlic, celery and spices until the meat fell off. I could then pick the last scraps of meat off the bones, freeze the stock or make some form of soup. After two hours of stewing, I decided to make Turkey (carcass) Stew.

It's rich broth would provide nourishment and sustain us through many meals. I added potatoes and cabbage to the already stewed carrots, celery and onions to give the broth it's hearty consistency. I will freeze a large portion of the stew for quick and easy meals on the coldest of days. A real treat after being out all day in the harsh weather.

Spices and root vegetables give the stew it's deep rich flavor.
Add your favorites to the pot.

In a large pot, add enough water to cover your turkey carcass. Add
carrots, onions, garlic and spices. Simmer on low until meat falls off
the bones.

Remove the carcass from the broth, then pick the meat off the bones.
Add the meat back into the pot.

Prepare your root vegetables to add to the stew.

I love cabbage....

Add cabbage...

and chunky  potatoes...

Simmer until your veggies are done. Add salt and pepper to taste.


If you are freezing your excess, be sure to let it cool before storing it in any plastic. Hot plastic can leach toxins into your food. I use glass to store all my foods whether it's in the refrigerator, freezer or in my pantry. I re-use jars(except pickle jars) that I get from the grocery store or I use canning jars.

 I also do not store food in the boxes that they come in from the store. Bugs love the glue that they use to hold the boxes together. I do not want to have to use toxic sprays to get rid of a bug  infestation. Once in your panrty, they will not stop until the have ruined everything that they can get into. This was an expensive lesson for us to learn. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Turkey Hunting

While I was cleaning up after Christmas dinner , Hiho decided to try and hunt down the turkey.  Number One caught it on the cell phone camera. She found the turkey, but could not pull the trigger.

Number One smoked this turkey breast on the grill for almost three hours. It was awesome! We had butter beans, greens with chow chow, roasted potatoes with garlic and onions with homemade bread. Yummy!

My mom called and came  up with two more ways to prepare potatoes. First, creamed potatoes. Second, roasted potatoes. Thanks mom!

While we were outside, we saw a couple of eagles, ravens and a coyote. They were taking turns feeding on a carcass. We got this picture of the eagle. These birds are huge. They won't back down for a coyote, since they are almost the same size. The day before, we saw a coyote chasing a rabbit down our road with another coyote close behind. The rabbit left them in the snow. They didn't catch the rabbit. Number One scared off the second coyote.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We listened to Christmas music, read scripture and prepared our meals together. What a blessing it's been to share these things and my life with my loving husband and best friend. I pray that each and every one of you have also had a blessed Christmas.....

Bald Eagle....


Blurry Abby....

Hiho sun bathing....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May the God of the universe bless each and every one of you today and every day! May His hand be upon you to protect you. May His light shine through you, to be a beacon for the whole world to see. In Christ Jesus name I pray these things, Amen and Amen.....

Luke 2

King James Version (KJV)

Luke 2

 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

17 Ways To Use Potatoes

Merry Christmas Eve! My Grandma Ruby called me last night and she inspired "17 Ways To Use Potatoes." Grandma and I were talking about the state of the world and the cost of potatoes when she announced that her friend bought 50 lbs of Irish potatoes for $10 bucks. She informed me that she came up with 17 uses for potatoes and she was sure that there was more, so here goes.....

1. Mashed Potatoes  (I made them yesterday with steamed potatoes and garlic)
2. Potato Soup
3. Hash Browns (We just had these for breakfast with homemade bread and gravy)
4. Add to soups, stews and pot roasts
5. Au gratin
6. Scalloped
7. Fried
8. Baked
9. Boiled with butter
10. Potato Pancakes
11. Potato Chips
12. Fries
13. Twice Baked
14. Potato Salad
15. Pierogi
16. Baked Potato Casserole
17. Tatar Tots

Number One came up with most of these. He enjoys potatoes as much as I do. Although, I'm not a big chip fan like he is. I'm sure that there are more ways to prepare potatoes, I just can't seem to come up with them. Grandma and I were discussing how more people should learn to cook from scratch and save money instead of buying expensive boxed items. My Grandma grew up during the Depression on a farm. They never did without food, only material items were scarce due to lack of funds. They lived through the Depression because they could feed themselves. They could sell or barter their extra food to meet their other needs.

When I got up this morning it was -17*. It was very chilly. I took some pictures the last couple of days of the beautiful winter scenes that God has blessed us with.....

Our Neighbor was laying in the middle of some
 frozen grass with her frozen nose. This was a serious frost
that we recieved last night.

This ice formed on the inside of our north facing window.

The window is frozen shut.

I raise the blind every morning to melt the ice, so the water will drain out.