Could You Use a Few More Recipes?

Natural apple spice cookies!Now THAT’s a Real Cookie
2 cups butter, softened
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups honey
3 eggs
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups rolled oats
1 ½ cups raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
1 ½ cup chopped apple

Beat butter and honey together. Add eggs and beat. Add half of flour sifted with soda and cinnamon. Stir in oats. Add rest of flour and stir. Add raisins, nuts, and apple. Stir well. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for about 10 minutes. Makes 10 dozen wholesome cookies that freeze very well. (If you bake these many, you’ll save heating the oven as often and have a ready snack when I drop in to visit.)

MYO Vanilla Wafers
Use any 1,2,3,4 cake recipe

Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for about 10 minutes. Cool one minute on pan before removing to cooling racks.

 Garlic Popcorn
4 quarts freshly-popped popcorn
1 stick butter
1 clove garlic
salt and/or pepper

Press garlic and set aside. While popcorn is popping, melt butter. Remove from heat. Stir garlic into butter. Pour over popcorn, fluffing to coat all. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.

Compost
Now’s a good time for this recipe.
1 yard bag full of mower trimmings
1 pint ordinary garden soil
1 pint water (opt.)

Place soil and water (if dry) in bag with trimmings. Shake or roll some, to mix. Store until spring. If desired, you may store away from marauding animals, in shed or garage. This will greatly reduce in size, over time, and make wonderful mulch or soil additive.

Okay, there you are–new tips and recipes to cheer you. Cannot wait to post again. See ya soon!

My new version of the amazing carrot cake creation that I've made up myself. :)

Fully-Loaded Carrot Cake and Recipe!

I’ve always wanted a carrot cake that has everything.

The ultimate.

I knew it was out there, but never, ever, could find a recipe. At last I found one that came very close. It even gave options. Then I read the recipe directions which explained when to add the eggs, and I noticed the ingredients list did not include eggs.

Hmm…

So I gave up and wrote my own. Yeah. It is the only way to go, isn’t it!

I made up this carrot cake recipe for my mom’s 75th birthday because she had said carrot cake, with everything in it, was her favorite cake. (I guess I get it from her, right?)

Well, she ate it all in one week.

I used this scrumptious cake recipe again for the groom’s cake at the wedding of one of my sons. At his request. (He probably gets it from me.)

It did not last through the entire serving time.

It may be fair to say I am too proud of this recipe. I absolutely love when a cake turns out right, and friends, this is IT!

So just when you finally decided to “go keto”, here comes a carrot-cake-reason NOT to!

Enjoy!

Fully Loaded Carrot Cake

Pinterest pin for Fully Loaded Carrot Cake Recipe¾ cup butter, melted
2 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 can (8 oz) drained crushed pineapple
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped nuts (recipe calls for walnuts, but we grow pecans, so…)
1 cup flaked coconut OR 1 cup golden raisins

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside. Beat eggs in a large bowl until lemon colored, beat in sugar, butter, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Stir in pineapple, nuts, carrots, and raisins or coconut (I’ve added a full measure of both before.)

Pour batter into greased and floured 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes until cake tests done with a toothpick.

I frost with cream cheese frosting. But if you wanted to ease your keto-conscience, you could frost with stevia whipped cream! 😉

Signature
Make a soup from that poor day-old salad. You'll love a warm-up with an un-cold salad! :)

Sad Salad Soup

I was telling a bunch of friends about this soup I made three nights ago. I wanted a health-giving snack just at bedtime. Not fruitcake! (Well, I really did want fruitcake—sighs!) There was a day-old salad in the fridge, but you know how arctic it’s been around here, lately. I did not want something cold to eat to comfort me to bed; I was already cold.

Then I thought of it.

Long ago, when one of my sons married, we had grilled chicken breast and a salad bar for the rehearsal dinner. Not as many family members made it to the dinner as had been planned and we had bags and bags of mixed greens left over, along with all the sliced and chopped veggies that usually occur on a salad bar. Plus the chicken. Lots of it.

So I decided to try something I’d read about somewhere, long ago:

Sad Salad Soup.

Turn your cold old salad into a lovely hot lunch!It is a British thing, I think I remember, and not really so very complicated. You just cook your salad and it becomes a lovely, warm meal.

So I mixed all those bags of salad and dishes of chopped veggies and then added the grilled chicken, which I had cubed, and a lot of water and a bit of seasoning, and ended up with 15 quarts of really amazing soup.

Which I then canned.

We loved it! The kids loved it! I could not believe it! Fifteen times, in the dead of winter, we had this lovely homemade soup for lunch. It was such a joy!

So, the other night, I mixed that sad salad with a bit of chicken broth I had, and added onion, a dab of mushrooms, and some herbs and spices and simmered it until all was soft and I was shocked at how good it smelled and tasted. How warm it was! How comforting and filling! How health-giving!

So let me tell you what it’s like, so you will believe me.

You know how carrots, beans, corn, etc., are when they are in soup or cooked alone. You may not know cooked lettuce will pass for cooked cabbage in a soup—milder, but the same idea. Cooked radishes turn out a lot like very mild cooked turnips. My salad that night also had celery in it. That was a great addition.

You probably can guess that this is not going to be a really real recipe. It’s a chance for you to be creative! Just toss the salad into a pot, add liquid, and simmer.

But I can tell you what I added to make it marvelous: I browned some onions and mushrooms in butter, a while, before I began, which I am sure added to the flavor. I am really fond of cumin, so I dosed it with that, plus a goodly amount of powdered cayenne and black pepper. Did I toss in a dried basil leaf? I think so… I almost forgot to add salt. Do use a bit of salt.

You can see, I am sure, how the options are endless. If I’d had some cauliflower and broccoli, I’d have added that, too. If I’d had left over cooked green beans, they’d have gone in, along with their broth. I actually had saved the broth from some creamed corn, for such a time as this, and it was a perfect addition.

In the end, I created two servings of very lovely soup, which I ate all gone!

I am so sorry I did not get a photo of it for you! I was thinking with my tummy that night! And I was cold!

Warm up a cold day by turning your salad into a soup!However, as I said, I shared this experience with some friends and one of them had some lettuce that had gotten way too cold in the car after shopping. (It’s cold out there, folks!) So we discussed it and she made her soup (which her children loved—it cannot be coincidence!) and sent me a photo of HER soup. Not only that, but she graciously gave me total free permission to give you a peek at her soup! I am so thankful, but she is thankful, too, at being able to save that poor frost-bitten bag of salad. So, the soup you see on this post is hers, not mine. (Thank you, Heather!) And she ingeniously added a side of udon. Mmm!

If I could throw a soup together after only reading about it, and if she could do the same thing after only hearing about it, I KNOW you can do this, too!

It is so fun!

Have some fun!

And share with us how yours turns out!

Florida before hurricane Irma

To Florida with Love: 30 Survival Tips…

This is too little, too late, I know, but if it can help someone in Florida to survive, it will be worth every moment it takes to post.

Or to read.

I found this on facebook, with an encouragement to “please share”, so here goes:

  • Start running your ice makers TODAY. Bag the ice. Fill the space between your freezer items as much as you can. A full freezer stays colder longer than one with empty spaces. And besides, you may need that frozen water in the form of water in the near future.
  • Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning, or drinking. Use Tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water and the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
  • Start using your perishables TODAY to make more room for ice in the freezer.
  • Another tip of freezing water in gallon baggies—they can fit upright in the freezer well and you can thaw as needed.
  • Sanitize at least one bathtub and fill with water 24 hours before the storm hits. BUT TODAY MEANWHILE make sure your tub will hold water through a storm. YOU MIGHT THINK YOUR TUB HOLDS WATER but a 20-minute bath is not the same as keeping filled for several days. Fill it with about 2 inches of water and check on it after a couple of hours. If the water is lower, replace your stopper and try again, OR fill several plastic totes/bins with water & keep them in the tub or a secure low-traffic area of your house. (Or seal the drain with plastic wrap, a plastic baggie, and duct tape for good measure.)
  • SECURE ALL FIREARMS and AMMUNITION PROPERLY.
  • Gas up all vehicles and check tires and oil TODAY. Gas up all gas cans.
  • Get cash TODAY from ATM. Enough to get you through tolls and out of town to get supplies and more gas later. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
  • Screenshot or scan and send to your own email all of your important documents. Put originals in sealed bags or plastic bins. Think about sending second copy to friend or family who do not live in your area.
  • Stock up on pet and livestock food and supplies. Have your animals’ records handy in case you need to shelter them at a storm-safe facility.
  • Share evacuation plans with family and friends so they know where you will be. Have second location ready and known to all, in case first plan fails.
  • Store family heirlooms and photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, attic, or safe room if you can’t take them with you.
  • Keep old rags and beach towels on your stormside windowsills. Even with the best windows and shutters, water seeping from the horizontal wind pressure happens. A few soaked towels are better than soaked floors or drywall.
  • I also advise duct-taping windows and door frames to prevent water seepage. Windows are NOT made to withstand horizontal rain. While you are at it, buy some sturdy tarps—you may need them.
  • Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house TODAY. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (health care worker, emergency worker, or first responder). Remember that EVERYTHING is a potential projectile in hurricane-force winds. As long as you are out there, check for any weak or low hanging branches that are too near your house, windows, etc., and take them down now.
  • If you own greenhouses, remove plastic sheeting now. Better to destroy sheeting that to loose the entire structure (built like a box kite) in these winds.
  • If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies (non-perishable food, non-electric can opener, paper plates, lamp oil, etc.), get them TODAY. Shelves are already empty in some places.
  • Back up important computer files on a thumb drive! Place drive in a safe or other water-tight arrangement.
  • Get an advance or a refill on your prescriptions TODAY!
  • Unplug electronics as power fluctuations in high winds can cause damage.
  • If you do evacuate, put everything in your freezer and refrigerator into ice chests. Unplug and prop open your freezer and refrigerator. If you do not, when the power goes out—and it will—you will come home to rotting food and an uncleanable freezer or refrigerator.
  • Before you leave, turn off the MAIN power switch to your house or else you may come home to a fried AC unit because of power surges.
  • Take a shower (while you can) and wash your bedding and all laundry. You don’t know the next time you might be able to.
  • Declutter your living space—in cases of extended power outages, you may be living without a good light source for some time and tripping hazards can be avoided if you take the time to declutter TODAY.
  • Make sure your emergency weather radio is charged up and set to receive the news and information you need. Sign up with local emergency management to receive important warnings via your cell phone. When chemical plants are blowing up because they have lost power for refrigeration, this is the only way you might know to seal your home! More Duct tape!
  • Easily forgotten but as important as all of that—photos or videos of every inch of your house and a list of all belongings of value for your insurance company. Again, email to self and to family/friends.
  • Plastic bins can open during extreme vacuum. Duck tape completely around each bin, in both directions. (Like fancy ribbon around a present forms a “plus” on top and bottom)
  • Scan and email all photos to yourself and to friend or family in safe places.
  • For this hurricane, I’d also try to tie down my car. Cars have been blowing away in the Caribbean. Try chaining axle to a tree?
  • Gather some excellent firewood and store it in a plastic bin, too, along with very securely wrapped matches or lighter. It will help if you are cold and wet, afterwards. Once you get a good fire going in, say, the carport or some other sheltered place, you can add wet wood to it, but you cannot start a fire with wet wood. Also, then you can cook. If you have a fireplace, even better. Raise a pot off the flame with the next pieces of wet wood, or a few rocks or bricks, which are best if dry. Wet ones sometimes crumble or pop…
  • If it’s hot weather, stay cooler with wet clothing, wet towels around neck.
  • Hurricanes also bring tornadoes with them. Usually these are weak funnels that seldom touch, or only touch very briefly. Still, have a tornado plan, too…
  • Pray. Don’t forget to pray.

God Bless You!
Please copy and paste!

 

All the joy can be such a burden for the birdies and other lving things!

How to prepare for a winter storm watch:

You know you’ll wish you could think of everything at once, should a storm come. Here is a starter list, not in any particular order:

  1. What to do, how to do it, a checklist for you to be really ready this time!Go to the store for white bread at the last minute. (Just kidding! Real list to follow!)
  2. (For real) make sure you have enough foods to eat that do not have to be cooked unless you have a cooking alternative to electricity.
  3. If you have electric heat, only, look into some other heat source, such as kerosene or fireplace or wood stove.
  4. If you have a fireplace, consider cooking on it. You will need covered, long-handled pans because of heat and ash, a few bricks and a grate to elevate pots, and really good potholders. Oh, also firewood, which is cheap around here, due to last year’s drought.
  5. Rock salt or other means of de-icing porches & sidewalks, for safety.
  6. Plastic sheeting for over the windshield, if you park outdoors.
  7. Prescriptions filled. Don’t run out during an ice storm!
  8. Really good batteries in flashlights. Candles and matches. ETC.
  9. A generator would be nice, with fuel for it stocked up. And make sure you know how to operate it without killing a lineman.
  10. Extra bedding for cold nights. If one room is warm, you can close it off until bedtime and then sleep under tons of blankets with coats on, just fine.
  11. Water for drinking, if power is out over a week and tower is pumped electrically, which most are.
  12. Survival includes a lot more than white bread! Read to find out what all you need NOW!Watch the skies and think about livestock and pets. They need more feed than usual and some sort of shelter, if only a piece of plywood leaned against a building. Being wet makes them colder and hungrier, and more prone to illness, and they hate eating snow for their drinks. Many creatures benefit from a little sugar added to water during these times. Chickens definitely do.
  13. A bag of wild birdseed, in case your feeder is snowed under. Birds die when they cannot access wild food sources while they are fighting off cold, wet weather. Even if you do not normally feed wild birds, do so, please, when all their normal sources are hidden under snow or ice.
  14. If the lights are out, do not open fridge or deep freeze except in emergency. Check it maybe after two days and if it is too warm, use the outdoors for cooling food. Protect eggs, though, from freezing, or they will break.
  15. Make sure all vehicles are filled with gasoline.
  16. If all your phones are cellular, you must provide for recharging them. Vehicles running with an adapter in the lighter socket is an option. Hand-cranked rechargers are available, sometimes. And there are those little battery things that will recharge a phone; make sure yours are charged up.
  17. Read about The Last Snowing Hurricane!

There you have it! Hope you won’t need it!.

 

Give Old Candles a New Beginning

All during the year, we burn lovely scented candles from several sources, and as each one grows too small to be safe, I dig out and save the last bit, in a zipper bag. For ages I did not know what to do with these candle bottoms, carefully removed from lovely jars and votive cups. They still smelled great and it seemed such a waste just to pitch them, although sometimes, I did.

Then I met a woman who knew what to do and my life changed. (And my candle hoard changed.) I began saving candle bottoms with a vengeance, even offering to clean up the jars and cups of friends, if I could have the remains.

Yes, I had more!

What do I do with them? I make one big candle and burn it to start off the year! Here is this year’s “starter” candle, made from last year’s candle bottoms, and sorry I’ve almost burned it all gone before this topic arose! Believe me, it almost overflowed with contents a few days ago:

Beginning again

Beginning again

So how do my friend and I do this? Simple!

  1. Anchor a dripless dinner candle in the bottom of a large candle jar, such as you see here. I do this by dropping a bit of melted wax into the center of the jar and pushing the candle down onto the melted drops. I hold it there until the melted drops set and will hold without me.
  2. Then I carefully set chunks, slices, shavings, and crumbles of old candle bottoms into the space between the center candle and the jar walls. I also use leftovers from tart warmers.
  3. Light the dinner candle and let it melt down, some, to hold the wax pieces in place when you move it around, and then let it cool. After that, you can let it burn as long as you like. It all will melt together and become one lovely, undefinable fragrance.

That’s all there is to it. It smells so lovely, reminiscent of all the fragrances I’ve loved in the past year. Mine are mostly outdoorsy scents such as pine, bayberry, or lavender. My friend calls hers “tuty fruity”.

But anyone can romance the last of last year by giving old candles a new beginning this way.

Have fun!

Mary and Martha and humble pie

Mary and Martha and Me

When I Was a Turkey

Several years ago our family tried a Thanksgiving experiment.

Instead of buying our Thanksgiving dinner, we only priced it and sent the amount to a mission.

We then asked God to give us a meal from His own hand that we could see was especially from Him. In our minds, it had to be cost-free, although this wasn’t a demand—we simply decided to see what He would do about our commitment. We were willing to take whatever He gave….

I know, I know, God gives us the strength, intellect, and grace to be able to earn the money, drive to the store, and so forth.

But we learned something from letting go of it like this: He can also sovereignly give us the actual food itself, just because we are waiting upon Him. This caused us to be thankful toward God as Jehovah Jireh (our provider), rather than wondering what in the world He has to do with our celebration.

The experiment became a kind of tradition for a few years. Each year was different; it was not always turkey and stuffing. We had chicken, duck, venison, and my favorite, the smoked turkey that appeared one day while we were gone.

Meat was always the test for me because I did not consider the free things from our garden as “too hard” for God.

See what I mean?

I needed this.

Everything about cooking Thanksgiving dinner this way was a big adventure. We had to improvise, learning as we went. We felt, indeed we were, exactly like pioneers.

We pretended Good-Old-Days, but they were, in reality, very good days.

We certainly were excited about all sorts of food and I think we ate better. The meat often was not processed. We had honey instead of sugar. And we were so thankful. We couldn’t help it—it just flowed from all that was happening.

Another unexpected result came of the experiment.

We questioned the entire “Thanksgiving Tradition”.

  • Sweet potatoes did not have to be candied, did they?
  • Whipped topping didn’t have to be fatty.
  • Crab applesauce was as good as cranberry.
  • The chestnuts off of our tree were excellent in stuffing.
  • Squash pie tasted just like pumpkin.

We learned to take our local blessings, instead of exotic imported foods, and spread them out into a feast that gave glory to the God Who provides for His own.

And more blessings! 

In our excitement, we also forgot to be harried. I, at least, emerged on the other side of the wall that separates us from gently rejoicing in God. He seemed so near. (Philippians 4:4-7)

Most of the United States was celebrating a day that, when it was established, in purpose and practice, was truly Christian. Thanksgiving has no questionable past. It has traditionally had no worldly festivities attached to it. It is simply a day set aside for our Christian nation, by its Christian leaders, to give thanks to God for all His blessings.

go-your-way-eat-the-fat-and-drink-the-sweet-and-send-portions-unto-them-for-whom-nothing-is-prepared-for-this-day-is-holy-unto-our-lord-nehemiah-8-10-1Into that quiet beauty, I had often inserted the bustle of a worldly attitude.

Suddenly, His delightful indulgence was leading me away from my prideful ideas about meal preparation. How humbling it was to be learning at His feet, and yet, how glorious.

It doesn’t matter if you use the recipes you will find, on this site, for “your dinner”, or even if you go to someone else’s house for it. It doesn’t matter if you buy or raise the ingredients. But do learn to spend time before God. And truly thank Him. Every day.

______________________________

Katharine is a retired home educating mom who writes about all things “woman”, from a Godly viewpoint, here on this site, and at The Conquering Mom.  Her writing appeared in several magazines for 15 years, and she is currently working on several books. She loves to write, speak, teach, cook, garden, spoil her hennies, and watch old movies with popcorn.