Category Archives: Recipes

Mealtime

I decided recently my dishes and serving pieces needed a little makeover. So out with the old and in with some really cute and yet, practical pieces. There are only a few featured below. It has added a little extra sparkle to our family meals and I am only sorry I didn’t do this earlier. I guess I was so used to our old stuff, I didn’t think twice that about it. I was actually inspired to do this by watching the popular TV series Downton Abbey and seeing how their mealtime is such a focus each day and art form.

For us, it is also special time of the day even if we aren’t eating anything near as fancy, having cuter dishes and putting even just a second or two of thought into the aesthetic of the table setting makes me happy. Since this is such a special time each day, might as well jazz it up to enjoy it even more!

I even bought a really cute new ruffly apron to wear when I am preparing these special family meals. All these little things make a difference. Try it, you don’t have to spend much. Just get a few pieces that you love and start using them each day. Don’t you dare try to save it for a “special occasion.” Everyday is a special occasion, start acting like it. 🙂

Cooking Improvements

To update you, yes I have since made rolls!  It was a bit of a push one day and I’ll admit it wasn’t totally on my own but I did it.  I had my bread machine make the dough but then I was responsible for letting it rise in a warm place for one hour and then rolling it into little balls to be cooked in the oven, so yes I am getting there!!!

Here is a picture of the little whole wheat beauties!

I also made ourThanksgiving Turkey and everything on the side this year for our small little family. My spouse had to work all day but was able to help out with the clean up- which is also a grand event. 🙂

Breadsticks

As a hungry pregnant person, I having been scoring the internet these last few weeks for delicious, healthy, and not too complicated recipes that I can make for my family.

This Sunday as I listened to the Relief Society lesson regarding thrift and living within our means, I felt inspired to again make things from scratch and save our money for a rainy day.  It also occurred to me as I was grocery shopping today, that grocery stores are not responsible for feeding my family and I by providing all these ready-made meals and delicacies although convenient. I am responsible.  It is a blessing that we have grocery stores to cut out these steps if we so choose of bread baking, raising farm animals, and growing the produce but should remain just that- a blessing and privilege to keep us in the right mind set. As I improve my craft in the kitchen through time and experience the food is and will be delicious because of my own skill and creativity not necessarily by expensive ingredients and ready-made entrees I buy.

That said, I want to get to the point where I can whip up bread/bread sticks/rolls without much effort.  I have been a small slave to the bakery department for too long and I know I am not that original in this goal but it is my goal still the same. I’ve heard of and even checked out once from the library an easy Artisian Bread in Five Minutes a Day book but never cracked the cover… Hold me to this.  The idea is daunting and I am tempted to erase this all right now in fear of making a fool of myself. Yeast scares me in that I have failed with it in the past, but I am going to set aside these fears and work on it until I am good. I am not professing to be the next Julia Child by any means, just to make bread/bread sticks and use yeast.

In a beginning effort, I decided to make crepes. Here is a great recipe and a cool site that is pretty inspiring. You can find it at this site, The Prudent Homemaker.com

Beautiful, eh? So it isn’t the healthiest thing in the world but it sure isn’t bad either. Especially if you use whole wheat flour and a tablespoon of buckwheat flour, which I did in my last batch and it turned out great. Even if you don’t have those special alternative ingredients on hand, I wouldn’t sweat it. There is no oil in the recipe and only 2 eggs so it really isn’t all that bad. Plus, if need be all ingredients can be used from food storage items as she describes even the mug of hot chocolate on the side.  Delish. 🙂


 

 

 

Stretching the Buck

One of my New Years goals this year has been to be more creative in finding ways to use what I have and stick within my budget.  I really wanted a new cover for my carseat so I decided to use some material I already had and make a cover.

 

Then this baby bjorn I had was totally shot, so instead of getting a new one I covered it with material I bought on discount to give it a whole new look! The Baby Bjorn is probably one of my favorite things I have in caring for a little one.  I like to keep active so having my hands free while still “holding the baby” is the best.

 

Also, earlier in the week I was talking to a friend and she raved about how she loves making homemade granola for her family for snacks.   I decided this was a great idea to try since Aurora’s toddler snacks can get pretty expensive after a while.  Plus, they aren’t healthy at all.  Granola is much better and I could use my food storage to make it.  We added some nuts and dried berries but the main filler is the oats which we have in abundance. 

On Monday Jason, Aurora, and I went to our favorite thrift store that was having a 50% sale and later I also went to Old Navy’s once a year 90% off sale over the weekend for a few treasure finds! Needless to say, I had a lot of fun this week.

 

Easy Homemade Granola
from “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking”                                                                                                           by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
(Marilyn’s Note: I tripled the recipe, (except the salt and cinnamon) and then added 4-6 cups of additional oats to lower the sugar ratio.  It was still plenty sweet and delicious!  This makes 2 comfortably full gallon-sized Zip Lock Bags.  I also used much less nuts and dried berries.)

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts                                                                                                                                      
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the raisins and cherries over the granola.