Thursday, 27 March 2014

Saving A Buck & Making Your Iced Coffee At Home

Learn how to make Perfect Iced Coffee with this easy cold-brewed coffee concentrate recipe- all the flavor of sweet iced coffee without the bitterness of burned hot brew for perfect iced coffee anytime!

You'll Need:

Mason Jar
1 c. Coffee (ground)
Water to Fill

Add 1 cup freshly ground coffee to the mason jar and add enough water to completely fill the jar (about 3 1/2 cups). Let the grounds settle and absorb and top off with additional water. Cap the jar and place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The coffee will "brew" without the bitterness associated with hot brewed coffee. If you prefer the "bite" of hot brewed coffee, leave the jar on the counter overnight, rather than refrigerating it. It adds a certain kick or slight bitterness that is often found in Hot brewed coffee.

Once the coffee has set overnight or for at least 12 hours, Strain the brew carefully, reserving the coffee grounds to make another batch. (They can be reused once & still maintain excellent flavor). I recommend using a tea infuser to strain as it works great to catch the coffee grounds and prevent a cloudy end product. 

To Make an Iced Coffee:
2 oz Coffee Concentrate
1 Tbs Sugar (more or less to your preference)
Milk or half & half or skim

Fill Glass with Ice, add 2 shot glasses of concentrated coffee, fill 1 shot glass with HOT water & add 1 Tbs of sugar to the hot water, stirring to dissolve. Pour that onto the glass, fill to the top with milk. Stir and voila, you've just copied Starbucks Iced coffee for about 1/10th of the price.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Banana Almond Refrigerator Oatmeal - Yummo

A comfort food, Banana nut overnight oatmeal is a time-honored favorite hot or cold. 
The bits of banana offer a burst of potassium while lending a natural sweetness, and the Chia and almonds together add omega-3's and an appealing crunch.

You'll Need:

1/4 c. Old fashioned rolled oats, uncooked
1/3c. vanilla almond milk (Homemade or store bought)
1/4 c. vanilla yogurt
2 tsp chia seeds
1 Tbs chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
1/4 c- 1/3 c diced fresh banana
1 tsp honey (optional)

Measure the rolled oats, chia seeds, yogurt and almond milk into the mason jar, put the cover on, seal and shake to combine.

Uncap, add the walnuts, then fill the rest of the jar to the top with bananas, drizzle with a touch of honey, if desired, recap tightly. Shake to incorporate all the ingredients.

We recommend the handheld vacuum sealer method for sealing the jars up to 5-7 days. 
Otherwise, use within 2 days.

Place in the fridge and leave it for at least 4 hours before consuming.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Making You Own Washable Veggie Picker

                   This is neat idea I found on the net, and wanted to share with you all

This is a neat basket to put your fresh picked veggies in. Once they are in the basket just turn the hose on them to rinse them off.
Here's what you'll need:
  • 1"X 6" cedar 3' long
  • 1/2" wire mesh 16"X 16"
  • 3/4" dowel
  • Carpenters Glue
  • Nails
  • Staples
Cut the ends 5 1/2"X 8".
Radius the two bottom corners using a 1 quart paint can as a guide.
Cut a 3/4"X 1" notch in each top corner.
Sand it smooth and remove the sharp edges by sanding.
Cut the Ends
Click on the picture for a larger image.

Cut the two sides 1"X 3/4"X 16". Cut the mesh 16"X 16". Cut the wires very close to the cross wires to eliminate sharp, pointy wires.
Bend one edge of the mesh 90 degrees 1/2" in from the edge.
Staple that 1/2" edge to the bottom of one of the sides as shown.
Attach edge to mesh

Align the side in one of the end notches and wrap the mesh around to mark your bend point for the other side. When you have this mark bend the mesh 90 degrees and staple to the other side piece.
Glue and nail one side to one end notch. Wrap and staple the mesh to the end and glue and nail the other side to the opposite notch.
Cut two pieces for the handle ends 1 1/2"X 12". Round one end.
Drill a 3/4" hole in the rounded end 3/4" down from the top.
Cut the 3/4" dowel to 17 1/2".
Glue and nail the handle ends flush to the end bottom and centered.
Put the dowel into the holes, glue and nail.
Veggie Hod

That's it, now go pick some veggies!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

How To Grow 100 Pounds Of Potatoes in Just 4 Square Feet

I found this idea on the internet and just had to share it with you, what a fantastic idea......

I'm trying to get my kids to grow potatoes as with their new babies they will always have a source of food, maybe ill send them this link also.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Goumet Butter - Ever Wondered How Hard It Is To Make It

Gourmet flavored butters do add amazing flavor and zest to breads, fresh homemade biscuits, steamed vegetables, or even on meat, fish or chicken dishes. 
 Homemade gourmet butters can be sweet or savory. Here are a few of my favorites . . .

Making your own flavored butter is very simple, but you need to start with a good quality plain butter, NOT margarine or butter substitute. 

You'll need to use REAL butter for gourmet flavor.

Combine all of the ingredients (from your desired flavor listed below) in a chopper or food processor and pulse until thoroughly combined. 

Transfer the butter onto a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap and form it into a small log. 
Wrap well, twisting the ends and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. 

All butter should be room temperature before preparing the recipe unless otherwise stated.

If you want "pretty" butter you can use various shape butter molds as well.

Bacon Herb Butter 

(Excellent on Veggies- Corn, potatoes, red beets, tomato halves, zucchini, green beans.)
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
8 strips crisp crumbled bacon
1 cup butter

Cinnamon Honey Butter 

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies, Breads & Rolls of all kinds, waffles, pancakes, french toast, etc)
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbs. Honey
1/2 c. butter

Citrus Dill Butter

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies, fish etc)
1 tablespoon Finely-chopped green onion
1/2 teaspoon Dried dill weed
Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1/8 teaspoon White pepper
1/3 cup butter

Chipotle Lime Butter 

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies, fish, chicken, etc)
2 1/2 tsp. lime juice
2 Tbs. chipotles in adobo sauce
2 TBS minced Garlic
1 cup butter

Cranberry Butter 

(Excellent on Slices of Quick Breads, Biscuits, toast, waffles, pancakes, breads, fish or chicken)
1/3 C fresh cranberries
1/4 C maple syrup
1/2 C butter
1 Tbsp orange zest

Fig Butter

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies, quick breads, toast, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, toast)
1/4 C fig preserves
1/2 C butter

Garlic Herb Butter

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies or Chicken or Fish, Breads of all kinds)
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh chives
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 C butter

Ginger Pecan Butter 

(Excellent on Slices of Quick Breads, Biscuits, toast, waffles, pancakes, breads, fish or chicken)
1/2 cup Pecans; finely ground
2 tablespoons Ground crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon Brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
3/4 cup Butter

Maple Butter
1/2 c. Real Maple Syrup
1 c. Real Butter

Mustard Butter 

(excellent on Ham, pork, cauliflower, broiled salmon and seafood, lentils, lima beans, hard cooked eggs, greens, sandwiches )
1 tablespoon Dry Mustard
1 cup butter

Pear Butter

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies or Chicken or Fish, Breads of all kinds)
2 Tbs Pear Preserves
1/2 tsp Fresh Rosemary
1/2 c. Butter

Roasted Red Pepper Butter
2 Tbs chopped roasted red pepper (drain off liquid)
1 green onions, thinly chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C butter

Spicy Chipotle Pepper Butter 

(Excellent on Grilled or Steamed Veggies or Chicken)
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobe Sauce
1/4 tsp Chipotle Pepper Seasoning
1/2 c. Butter

Sun- Dried Tomato Butter
1 minced clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. minced sun dried tomatoes, drained oil packed
1 small sun-dried tomato, chopped
1/4 c. chopped, fresh parsley
1/2 c. butter

Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter (Copycat)
1 cup butter, room temp
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/3 teaspoon corn syrup

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Fancy Swancy Lace Cookies

Wouldn't these make an ideal gift for someone special

1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup softened butter or margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend first 2 ingredients until fluffy, add remaining wet ingredients and then mix. 

Stir well. 
Refrigerate dough 2 or more hours , roll and cut out as usual. 
Bake at 375F for 8-12 minutes.

Once the dough has been rolled out press a lace dollie over top and press into the dough, then either cut around the lace circle or cut smaller shapes out of the rolled dough.

Bundle 4-6 together and do up a cellophane pile and your set, these would be lovely Mothers Day gifts

Thursday, 6 March 2014

S**T has hit The Fan And You Have $40 left For The Week For Food & Fuel

Surviving on a Budget, $30 Grocery List

Has this happened to you? 

Following several harrowing hours of balancing the checkbook, making payment agreements with various creditors, you sit back and look at the balance in your checkbook and realize you have about $40 left for the entire week. Somehow, with that measly $40, you have to put gas in your car for work... and still buy groceries to feed the family.

So how do you do it?

You put $10 in your car & spend the other $30 on groceries... and you eat for the entire week.

How can someone eat on $30 a week?

Here is a list of groceries that can be purchased for approximately $30.

1. Baking Powder (MYO!)
2. Eggs
3. Flour
4. Fruits (on sale)
5. Hamburger
6. Rice or  Noodles
7. Margarine
8. Milk
9. Potatoes 
10. Salt
11. Vegetables (on sale)
12. Tuna (1 or 2 cans)

What's For Breakfast?

* Scrambled eggs in a Biscuit
* Fruit Smoothie, Hash Browns
* Muffins, many kinds...
* Pancakes, Fruit
* Potato Pancakes
* Tortilla with scrambled or fried eggs inside
* Donut Muffins
* Rice Pudding

What's For Lunch/Dinner?

* Tortilla with anything you have on hand in it.
* Tomatoes/onions/hamburg etc.
* Shepherds Pie (Hamburger/gravy over mashed potatoes/corn)
* Veggies in gravy over rice
* Baked Potato and Vegetables
* Scalloped Potatoes and Vegetables
* Oven Baked French Fries & Salad
* Vegetable Soup w/ or w/o Rice
* Tuna/ Pea Wiggle (serve over toast or biscuits or saltine crackers)

* Scalloped Potato/Tuna Casserole
* Popovers fill with: tuna pea wiggle recipe or   gravy/veggie mix
* Chicken Pot Pie
* Pizza Pasta

Although the above menu is very limited, this grocery list is for extremely tough times and is meant to help you get through the week, not to base your diet on for any length of time! 


Tuna Pea Wiggle

3 T. Margarine
3 T. Flour
dash of salt
1½ c. Milk
1 can Tuna, drained

1 can Peas, Drained or 1 c. frozen peas

Melt butter, add flour, mix till pasty, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

Add milk and whisk constantly over medium heat until thicken and bubbling slightly, (do not bring to a rolling boil). 
Add the tuna and peas. 
Stirring constantly until bubbling. 

Serve over toast or biscuits or  crackers.

Scalloped Potatoes

Make your own creamy scalloped potatoes for a fraction of the price of boxed scalloped potatoes, with twice the flavor with this simple, yet dirt cheap recipe. 

1 Large Onion, cut in rings
3 T. Butter
3 T. Flour
Salt & Pepper
1 c. Milk
1 c. Chix Broth (make a little with bouillon)
3-4 Medium Potatoes, washed

Preheat the oven to 350F

Cut the scrubbed potatoes into thin slices and toss'em in a 9"x13" pan. 
Place the onion (cut into rings) all over the top of potatoes, set aside

In a saucepan over medium heat, Melt butter. Add flour, stirring constantly until it becomes pasty and then forms a ball. 

Cook for about 1 minute, continuing to stir. 
Add broth and milk (together) into the flour/butter mix, whisking constantly until creamy and thick (cooking over medium heat), but do not boil.

Pour the thickened sauce over the potatoes and onions sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, If you'd like you can sprinkle on some fresh or dried parsley for colors as well.
Place in the oven. 

Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is lightly browned.


Add chopped up leftover meat, veggies, etc. to sauce before pouring

Add 1- 2 tsp of Crushed Red Pepper Seeds for a little Southwestern Kick

Chicken Pot Pie:

You can serve it with a side salad and some cranberry sauce.

1/3 C. Chopped Onion
1/3 C. Flour
1/3 C. Margarine
1 bag peas/carrots blend or a big can of Veggie Blend (drained)
1¾ C. Chix Broth
2/3 C. Milk
1 1/2 c. cut up cooked chix (or any leftover meat)

Melt butter, add onions- sauté for a minute, add flour, mix till pasty, add broth and milk. 

Stir constantly until creamy and thick ( cooking over medium heat), Add veggies & chicken. Dump into a prepared pie crust, bake 40-50 minutes at 350º.

Shepards Pie

A hearty layered casserole of perfectly seasoned meat, corn and fluffy mashed potatoes makes a fast, dirt cheap meal in under 30 minutes.

500g ground beef or turkey
1 pkg frozen corn
Mashed Potatoes (Great way to use leftovers, or peel, boil & mash 5-6 medium potatoes, add a pat of butter, and
a dash of milk)

Beef Gravy:
1 T. Flour
1 T. Butter
1 c. Beef Broth
1 tsp Steak Seasoning

Brown the meat in a pan, drain any extra fat that accumulates. 

While the meat in browning, prepare the gravy. 
Melt butter in a small saucepan, add flour. 
Cook for 1 minute, add beef broth and steak seasoning. 
Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly, reduce heat simmer 1 minute. 
Pour over browned meat.

Transfer seasoned meat to a 9x9 oven safe dish. 
Add a 1 package of frozen corn.

Top generously with hot mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

Muff-nuts are donut bites that are baked in a muffin tin- these tasty morsels are our a healthier version of "fried" donuts, but with all the flavor of fresh cake donuts.

You'll Need:

2 C. Flour
1/2 tsp Salt 
3 Tsp. Baking Powder 
1/2 C. Sugar 
1 or 2 eggs
1/4 c. Melted butter 
1 c. Milk 
Chopped Nuts if you have some 
1/2 tsp of nutmeg 

In a medium bowl add flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and sugar, mixing well. 
Then add eggs, melted butter and milk, mixing until moistened and most lumps gone. 
If you'd like add a handful of chopped nuts!

Spoon into greased muffin tins, & sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar - bake at 400 for 12-17 minutes

Spread in a buttered 9x9 pan and sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar. (Or Muffin tin) Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

If you want to make these ahead of time as a homemade convenience mix, simply place all of the dry ingredients in a baggie and add a label that states:

Directions: To contents of bag- add 2 eggs, 1/4 c. melted butter & 1 c. Milk , mix and bake


Tortillas are a very forgiving, basic "bread" recipe that requires very little effort or experience. 
This traditional Mexican thin flatbread is often used to make dishes such as burritos, enchiladas and baleadas. 
You can make your own at home for just pennies with this simple recipe . . .

You'll Need:
4 cups All purpose flour (or half white, half wheat)
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp. Salt
3 Tablespoons Solid Vegetable shortening 
2-1/2 cups Hot water

Place the flour, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a mixer, Mix well. 
Add shortening and mix until the mixture is crumbly. 
Mix on low while slowly adding water. 
Mix on low for 90 seconds or until well mixed. 
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface, knead until smooth, then Divide it into 2 equal portions. Cover with plastic wrap, set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes to let the dough rest. 
Divide each half into 8 equal portions. 
(If you're in a hurry, you can skip this step!) 

Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin.

Roll each ball into an 8-inch round. Stack rounds on baking sheet with plastic wrap between each tortilla. The plastic wrap helps keep the dough from drying out while giving it a chance to rest. 

Heat a skillet or large frying pan over medium heat and fry each tortilla lightly on each side until bubbles, remove from heat, fill with your favorite filling and enjoy!

Alternatively, once rolled out, these can be cut into small circles with a biscuit cutter and then deep fried to make Tostada Bites


  • Sun Dried Tomato Wraps- add 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes that have been finely chopped, 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1 tbs oil to the above recipe

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

How To Make Home Made Hash Browns

Hash Browns are pretty much a staple food in most of my friends homes growing up. 
These little bites of crispy goodness are simple to make ahead of time at home to have on hand for a quick side to any meal.

Before we start this recipe, were going to give you a lesson in potatoes. 
Why? Because this recipe will not come out right if you use the wrong kind of potato. 

There are 2 Categories of potatoes-

Mealy potatoes 

Include Idaho’s, Russet, Burbanks, Russet Arcadia, Norgold Russet, Goldrush, Norkotah and Long White. 
You'll know them because they are Thick skinned, they're very high in starch.

Waxy potatoes

 Round White, Round Red, Yellow Potato, Red skin Potato and Salad Potatoes, Waxy potatoes are high in moisture, high in natural sugars, but very low in starch and have a very thin skin. For recipes requiring shredded potatoes such as this homemade tater tot recipe or homemade hashbrowns, you'll want to use a Low starch, thin skinned, "waxy" potato; otherwise it will turn a nasty gray color during cooking.

You'll Need:

8 med. Waxy potatoes, cooked and peeled 
4 rounded tbsp. flour 
Dash pepper 
1 tsp. salt 
Canola oil 

Finely shred the potatoes or use ricer while potatoes are hot. 
Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. (Avoid mashing them as they take on a doughy/starchy texture).

Heat 1/4" oil in heavy pan. 
Form into small balls ( a cookie dough scoop works great for this!!) and drop into oil. 
Fry till slightly golden. 

Drain on paper towels, 

Cool then freeze. 

To Reheat quickly: 

Bake in single layer on baking sheet at 400F till crispy 

Optional Flavor Add-ins/ Variations:

1 Tbs Fresh Chopped Chives

1 Tbs. Chipotle Pepper

1 finely chopped jalapeno (seeds removed!)