Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Let's see, did I forget anything?
  • Ham--check
  • Deviled Eggs--check
  • Potato Salad--check
  • Jello AND Whipped Cream--check and check
  • Rolls AND Butter--check and check
  • Goodies from the Easter Bunny--check
This is just my portion. 

Others are bringing much more to the table (literally). 

Now where are my pastel-colored stretchy pants?

Have a lovely Easter!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pulled pork sandwiches

The other day I made some pulled pork out of a pork butt roast. It was about 6 pounds and included the bone.

Have you ever heard of the mysterious pork butt gland? Sounds gross, doesn't it?

I had already purchased the meat and was searching how to cook it in the slow cooker when I ran across this pork butt gland article.

Well, I assume I removed the gland. I cut out every thing that was not meat and then some.

I sprinkled the meat with some garlic powder and onion powder. 

Then I poured about 2 cups of water in the slow cooker and set it on low.

After about 8 hours, the meat was done.

I heard a good way to shred meat is to use the kitchen mixer.

Oh my! It worked like a charm!

I mixed in a bottle of BBQ sauce. 

Then I returned the whole thing to the slow cooker and set it on warm.

I tried and tried to keep the boys out of it 'til supper. :) 

Served it on homemade buns. You can find the recipe for homemade buns here.

It was very tasty!!

Next time I will use a different cut of pork, though.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homemade honey sandwich bread

Baking bread is one of the most basic, frugal things one can do.

This recipe worked well for me, and my family loved it.

Hope you enjoy it, too!

Homemade Honey Sandwich Bread


3 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 eggs 
2/3 cup olive oil
7 cups flour

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the flour.
  2. Set in a warm place for about 5 minutes, until a bit foamy.
  3. Add the flour a bit at a time, mixing as you go.
  4. Knead a bit and if the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
  5. Knead for about 4 minutes.
  6. Place the ball of dough inside an oiled bowl.
  7. Cover with oiled cloth plastic wrap.
  8. Let rise for about an hour in a warm place.
  9. Punch the dough down and form into two greased and floured loaf pans.
  10. Cover and let rise again for another hour.
  11. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hey I know, let's make snow ice cream!

Our area was recently pounded with over a foot of fluffy stuff.

Newly fallen snow is ripe for making ice cream! 

Here's how:

Snow ice cream

Mix together:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla

Then go outside and get about 2 quarts of FRESHLY-FALLEN CLEAN snow.

*Gather the snow on top. Never scrape the ground or car or patio table etc. when harvesting snow for eating. 

Dump the snow into a large bowl.
Drizzle the milk mixture over the top of the snow.

We added sprinkles, but any ice cream toppings sound good to me!

Have you ever made snow ice cream? 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mr. Cool is swaggerific

Mr. Cool as a young'n
Mr. Cool's back legs are getting so strong, he's been ditching his wheels sometimes.

He can scratch behind his ear with his back leg and walk down his ramp without wheels--if he takes it slowly.

He is getting overconfident, though.

I found him almost to the top of the stairs yesterday, tired. We have baby gates to prevent him from heading up, but we hadn't latched them. It took some coaxing to get him to go down the stairs instead of finishing his trip upward. My husband finally picked him up so he didn't have to go down the last few steps. Mr. Cool was very exhausted after such an adventure.

Lesson learned...latch the baby gates! 

He swaggers like a cowboy but gets around on his own. He can even run, though after a bit his back legs start to do kangaroo hops. 

We try to discourage too much activity. I'm afraid he will hurt himself again. At least when he goes outside, I make sure to hook him up to his cart. Inside the house, he's wheel-free most of the time.

It's obvious that in Mr. Cool's mind, he's a puppy once again.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mom, I got gum on my pants

Yep, gum on his pants. He knelt down on some and really imbedded it within the fabric fibers. 

Thanks for a fresh challenge, son!

Instinctively, I slathered some peanut butter onto the spot and rubbed it in.
Nothing budged. 

Then I remembered something about ice hardening gum, allowing it to be scraped from fabric. I put some cubes on top and waited about 20 minutes.

After scraping with a knife and not much fuss at all, the gum was gone.

Worked like a charm! 

I don't know if the peanut butter helped or if I could have skipped it.

But I do know that a day without gum on your pants is a good day, indeed.
Shared on these neighborly sites:
Natural Living Mamma
The Prairie Homestead

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Kitty Baby loves a good squirrel jam

Our backyard squirrels have gotten themselves into quite a jam, and Kitty Baby is loving every minute of it! 

What did you think "squirrel jam" meant?

Anyway, it seems the squirrels have chewed their way through the siding on our chimney. They now reside in the space between our fireplace and the outside wall.

Kitty Baby: "I think I hear something."

I called some wildlife rescue places. 

Solution #1: When the squirrels leave for work, board up their entryway.
Solution #2: Set a trap. This would mean dead squirrels. $100
Solution #3: Offer them a relocation package. $150 + $90 per additional squirrel.

I have chosen Solution #3.

The squirrels will be caught in live traps and then chauffeured miles from my house to a park-like setting which offers amenities such as: squirrel bingo, dancing, barking contests and lots of uninhibited tail twitching.

Mr. Cool: "What's that noise?"
Kitty Baby: "You hear it, too? Oh good. I thought I was weirding off."

Kitty Baby: "Are you going to handle this...or am I?"

This was shared on:
The Prairie Homestead

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cheeseburgers on homemade buns

Patting out hamburgers? 

With bare hands? 


Yet, in my continuing attempt to get over handling raw meat and save money, too, I have served hamburgers on homemade buns three times now. 

The family loves them.

Hamburger Buns (start about 3 hours before making burgers)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cups flour (more or less)
  1. Combine the first six ingredients and allow to rest for about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the flour.
  3. Knead until the dough is smooth.
  4. Find a warm spot and let the dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a greased and covered bowl.
  5. Sprinkle dough with flour and knead a bit more.
  6. Form the dough into 10 bun shapes and place on a greased baking pan.
  7. Let rise for about 1/2 hour.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden and pretty.
  9. To use for burgers, slice the cooled buns horizontally.

Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers

  1. Place skillet on stove and turn burner on medium-high.
  2. Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Take 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef and pat out 10 burgers.
  4. After skillet is hot, put some burgers in pan.
  5. Cook first side for 4 1/2 minutes.
  6. Flip the burgers. Salt and pepper them if you like.
  7. Cook the flip side for 4 1/2 minutes.
  8. When time is almost up, lay cheese slices on top to melt them slightly.
  9. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the insides of the burgers are 155 degrees or higher.   (Don't let the thermometer touch the bottom of the pan)
  10. Use steps 1 through 9 and continue cooking the rest of the burgers.
This is one of those meals you can tailor for each person. 
American, provolone or pepper jack cheese? Onions? Jalapenos? Just open the fridge and behold the options!

I just might make these tonight!!

Are you squeamish about raw meat, too?

This was shared on:
Flour Me with Love
Adventures of a DIY Mom
Growing Home Blog
Handy Man, Crafty Woman
Frugally Sustainable