Monday, December 7, 2009

Cream of Chicken and Fishing at home

Think about any recipe that you use that calls for a can of cream of go grab that can and look at the ingredients, one that really sends off the alert sign is the big fat MSG (mono sodium glutamate). I've recently realized that MSG gives me migraine headaches and has made me violently sick. If a "spice" can do this to us then should we be consuming it at all? Let alone in SO many things. I've come across a great recipe for chicken pot pie in which called to make the cream of chicken from scratch. After seeing how terribly easy it can be to make your own cream of chicken, I'm hoping to do it a lot more often. You can find the recipe at

I didn't use store bought chicken stock, I just used the water that I boiled the chicken in for the stock. I also made it dairy free, so I used soy (I'm not a big fan) and I used an empanada dough recipe for the crust - it called for shortening and water. FYI if you're dealing with a dairy allergy then I must say don't used butter flavored shortening. The empanada recipe I got from and just put empanada into the search. I love this recipe for pocket pies as well; a wonderful alternative to poptarts for breakfast.
I've now made it more than once and I've tried green beans instead of peas and I added potatoes and used only bacon for the rue for the chicken stock.
My results:

I used the cream of chicken part of the recipe and two bags of frozen green beans and a large cannister of fried onions for green bean casserole on Thanksgiving. It turned out well.

I've recently been making it a point to do more fun activities with my sweet little girl. I found an excellent website to help me to keep locked and loaded with an arsenal of ideas.
This site is really great and we've had fun. One day turned into a fish activity day:
We made fish out of construction paper, then since my paper clips weren't metal I used safety pins on their mouth. We got a stick from outside and tied a bit of yarn and glued some old magnets on the other end of yarn. We found a blue blanket, a toy bucket, and a sun hat and we went fishing. We had a fish shaped sandwhich for lunch.
And that evening we read the story of Jonah and the whale and watched the Veggie Tale movie. I can't say that I planned all this out, it just sort of happened. And it was fun! She really enjoyed coloring the fish and she wanted to throw in a whale and alligator too. She played with those fish so much for days. I never thought it would have been such a hit. And it didn't even cost me a thing.

“Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”- John 14:6

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheaper or Healthier

This is my reminder that I'm simply sharing the things that I have learned as of late and I don't consider myself an excellent source of information or of...anything!

I LOVE to save money (who doesn't?), it's almost like an obsession. I also like to cook healthier by doing more things by scratch. I think it's a common misconception that the two go hand and hand. I was surprised when I first started cooking how expensive it was to do some things yourselves when you could go buy a packaged item for a fraction of the price. There is one thing that I believe is well worth the extra time and money, bread. I thought it was going to be too hard but it wasn't really at all. I found it relaxing and fun!

That was three years ago, and now with less time I picked up a bread maker (for $5 at a garage sale!). I don't bake in the machine but I let it do all my kneading. It saves on time and mess :). My favorite recipe is out of the Better Homes and Gardens Bridal recipe book. The great thing about making your own bread is that you can control what's inside. Have you ever read the list of ingredients? Wowzers. Then, if you want to you can beef it up all you want. Use unbleached white flour, buy your own freshly ground wheat, add some milled flax seed or wheat germ...the options are endless.
Now that my daughter is older she loves to help with the bread. I love kid friendly recipes.
My few hints for bread making that I notice not very many instructions have: activate your yeast. Put the warm water (I just let my faucet run as hot as it will get) and sugar and yeast and allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Allow rest time in between steps.
And use a bread maker for kneading :D.

Ta Da! Fun and easy!

The other thing I love that does save money and is healthier is stove top popcorn. I could eat so much popcorn that making it myself I don't feel as guilty about the price or health factors. I was doing my popcorn just in one of my pots but my mom found me a popper like hers and I LOVE it. No matter what, you have what you need: I buy the cheapest bag of kernels, use a couple of tablespoons of oil and then salt. When I feel like splurging we buy the butter flavored salt (less than $2 and it lasts for quite awhile). Splurging on the flavored salt really makes it taste like your not missing out on anything. The directions suggest letting the oil get hot but I have better success putting the kernels in right away. If you don't have a pot that turns inside, just grab your favorite medium to large pot (with lid!) and just make sure to shake it -horizontally- to keep it from burning. When we moved into our new house and I had to go from a gas to electric stove I didn't think I was going to be able to keep making stove top popcorn but it's working out.
I love "kettle corn" the sweet and salty stuff we all love. I've tried it out once or so, just throwing in salt and sugar when I put in the kernels. Is that the best way. I'd love to hear what everyone's favorite popcorn recipe/topper is: parmesan cheese, caramel...?

I love my popcorn "maker." Thanks, Mom. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Here's to Takin' It Back

Have you ever worked so hard to figure out how to do something and when you finally did you wanted to tell the world? Well, I feel like that a lot and now I've decided to at least to put out there what I've worked so hard to learn and share it with others. A lot of what I enjoy doing is to take a step back in time and tradition and do things a little closer to the way they used to be done. I'm trying to do more cooking at home and some sewing, all to be healthier and save money! Sometimes it can be hard to find out how something should be done and so I hope to make others' journey a little easier. From re-purposing ideas to recipes and methods. I'm excited to share my stories across the board but mainly in those areas, and I can't wait to hear from you! Add your recipes, craft ideas, diet tips, health alerts or maybe even what the Lord is doing in your life!

To start with, I'm in my mid twenties, mother of two and married happily for four years. I'm a stay at home mom (SAHM) and I enjoy selling on ebay, cooking, productive sewing, and exercising.

Acts 20:24

24But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.