Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hearts for Home

Today I am joining in with Gae from Cherished Hearts at Home . She has a weekly post called Hearts for Home which is open for others to link up with and share some thoughts on home-centred ways. She encourages us to think of 4-6 things to commit to each week to make homelife special and to bless us as keepers at home.

This week I need to:-


1.  Pray extra for my daughter as we will be dropping her off at college.

2.  We will be camping this week and I want to focus on resting, relaxing and rejuvenating physically, emotionally and spiritually.

3.  Enjoy this time with my family.  The kids are getting older and there may not be too many more camping trips all together as a family.

4.  Create a "home" atmopshere in our little home away from home.


~Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest~
(Maricar Macalincag)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oatmeal Carmelitas

This is another new recipe I tried and the squares are absolutely delicious.

I think they would be a perfect lunchbox treat or after school snack.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups margarine or butter, softened

1 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 13x9-inch pan.  In large bowl, blend all crust ingredients at low speed until crumbly.  Press half of crumb mixture, about 3 cups in bottom of greased pan.  Reserve remaining crumb mixture for topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, in small bowl combine caramel topping and 3 Tbsp flour; set aside.  Sprinkle warm crust with chocolate chips and nuts.  Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Return to oven and bake an additional 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  
Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until filling is set.  Cut into bars.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today...Sunday, August 28, 2011

Outside my window... The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is hot.

I am thinking...How much I still need to do and if I will be ready to go by Wendesday morning.

I am thankful for... The fact that my daughter is going to college and pursuing her dreams.

From the kitchen... Fresh chocolate chip muffins, lunch will be a BBQ at church and I am taking a Tomato Macaroni Salad and Brownies and supper is with my parents at their home.

I am wearing...  Jeans, a yellow ruffled tank top and brown blingy sandels.

I am creating... Embroidering some pillowcases.

I am going... To head out on holidays this week.

I am reading... Beautiful in God's Eyes by Elizabeth George.

I am praying for... My daughter who will be starting college in a week and will be far from home.

Pondering these words... Govern thy life and thoughts as if the whole world were to see the one, and read the other (Thomas Fuller)

I am STILL hoping... That we will be able to get away one more time in September.

I am hearing... The fans running.

Around the house... Packing as we get ready to leave to take our daughter to college and some holidays.

One of my favorite things... Cool summer mornings.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Shop, pack and leave.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

One of my favorite pictures of my daughter taken at her high school graduation.

Thank you Peggy for the The Simple Woman's Daybook {follow links to read more}.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday's Scrumptious Scraps

Saturday's Scrumptious Scraps.  
It's all about taking those bits and pieces of leftovers and making them into another great and creative meal.

Bananas.  Of course, when we have over ripe bananas most people have a go-to Banana Bread recipe.
And, although I do love banana bread I have to admit, these muffins have become one of my #1 favorites.

Banana Bran Muffins Make-Over
1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unprocessed bran or wheat germ
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp chopped pecans

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 18 muffin cups.  In large bowl, beat margarine and brown sugar until fluffy.  Add bananas, eggs, milk and vanilla; blend well.  Stir in all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder and baking soda just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.  Sprinkle batter with pecans.

Bake at 375 degrees for 22-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan.  Serve warm.

And three over ripe bananas that couldn't be eaten just became 1-1/2 dozen yummy, good for you muffins.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another Tree Down

This seems to be the year for tree removal for us.

This spruce tree was so crowded and was slowly dying.
This was the year it had to come down before a winter storm brought it down.
As you can see, it had a lot of dead branches.

It was being stubborn and didn't want to come down but a little gust of wind at just the right time helped bring it down exactly where we wanted it to go.

It was just under 50 feet in length.

While I was waiting for some branches to haul away I snapped a picture of the birds in our neighbors treeing watching the commotion.

It didn't take long to strip down the tree and haul away the branches.
The main trunk was cut up for firewood.

I love the way having the tree removed has created more space within our yard 
and allowed more sun in as well.

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber.  The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky.  
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert~

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peach Coffee Cake

There's not anything quite as good as a piece of warm coffee cake to finish off a Brunch.
This is a new recipe I tried and I loved the light, sweet flavor.

The recipe calls for a can of pie filling so I used a jar of my own home preserved peach pie filling that I made last month.

Peach Coffee Cake
1 pkg white or yellow cake mix, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can peach pie filling
1/3 cup cold butter

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 to 2 Tbsp water

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups cake mix, flour, yeast and water until smooth.  Stir in eggs until blended. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.  Gently spoon pie filling over top.

In a small bowl, place remaining cake mix; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on a wire rack.  

Combine the confectioners' sugar, corn syrup and enough water to achieve desired consistency.  
Drizzle over cake.

I love the possibilities of this recipe.  It is so easy to change it up by using different types of pie filling.  
I can't wait to try it with cherry!

"A recipe has no soul.  You, as the cook, must bring the soul to the recipe."
~Thomas Keller~

I am joining Lisa at "Sweet as Sugar Cookies" for Sweets for a Saturday


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Great Finds

While we were out garage saleing I came across a few finds that I was thrilled with.

Every time I go to a craft show there is a table that has beautiful painted glassware and I have always wanted to try it.  Well, for some crazy reason I think I may some extra time this winter and I came across these painting books so I can't wait for winter to come.

I also came across this portfolio filled with scrapebooking paper and no, I didn't pay the price listed.  She wanted to get rid of it so I got it for a great price!

And a few decorations to add to our already bulging Christmas collection.
I can't wait to put them up!

There are two reindeers here and one is Rudolph.
I have wanted some wired decorations for our front yard for years but they were always outside of our budget so now I finally have some!

"A hobby a day keeps the doldrums away."
"Phyllis McGinley"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hearts for Home

Today I am joining in with Gae from Cherished Hearts at Home . She has a weekly post called Hearts for Home which is open for others to link up with and share some thoughts on home-centred ways. She encourages us to think of 4-6 things to commit to each week to make homelife special and to bless us as keepers at home.

This week I need to:-

1.  Go through everything collected for college with my daughter and get it packed and ready to go - along with a master list so we don't forget to unpack anything once we're there!

2.  Get things ready to enter into the local fair this weekend.

3.  As always at this time of year, there are items that need to be brought in from the garden and processed.

4.  Make a salad and dessert in advance for Sunday's meal at church as I will be out all day Saturday.

5.  Make an appointment at the bank.

6.  Start on a menu plan for the week we will be away camping.

~Home, the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest~
(Maricar Macalincag)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Saturday Brunch

Saturday mornings are relaxing mornings for our family and we usually have a brunch and this Hashed Egg Bake recipe is one of my favorites.

Brown some hash browns in a frying pan with a little maragarine and diced onion.  I use approx. 3 cups of hash brown if I am making six eggs.  Sprinkle the hash browns with some seasoning salt.

Once the hash browns are browned to your liking place them in a greased pan and make some indents.  Crack eggs into indents and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Top with grated cheese and put in 350 oven for approx. 20 minutes or until done.
While this is cooking I like to fry up some bacon.

And then sit down and enjoy.  As you can see, they couldn't even wait for me to take the picture before digging in :)

And to finish off brunch we had some Peach Coffee Cake - but that is for another post.

"Everything you do can be done better from a place of relaxation."
~Stephen C. Paul~

I will be joining Miz Helen at "Miz Helen's Country Cottage" for Full Plate Thursday

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cooking With What You Have

I am always delightfully surprised at all the amazing things you can come up with when you begin to get creative with the leftovers in the fridge.  This was one of those days.

I had some apples that needed to be used up, but not quite enough to make a crumble.  However, I had some blueberries that I got for free when shopping so I combined the two and made an Apple Blueberry Crumble.  I also had some whipping cream that needed using up so I whipped that up to top it with.  My daughter ended up taking it with her to a BBQ she went to and it was a definate hit. 

Next on my list was broccoli.  I had a bag of broccoli that needed using and since I also had some extra milk I made a Cream of Broccoli soup.  It was the first time I had tried it and it turned out so yummy.

And of course, beans from the garden which I processed to put in the pantry for winter.

So much good food from so little.

"It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow."