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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Doing More Cooking From Scratch ~ Bisquick Mix

Last year I did some items in the kitchen from scratch and I have to say that I really enjoyed doing them.  I now find that they are easy to do, better for us and cost so much less than buying the pre-made items at the store.  One that I do often is homemade Bisquick.  I don't remember where I found the recipe so I can't give credit to the right person.  I did try to search for it again but couldn't find it.  But through my research to find it I came upon a FANTASTIC site!  It's Simple Bites.  Their post Eat Well, Spend Less: Homemade Substitutes for Grocery Staples has me jumping for joy.  I can't wait to get started on making some more staples for my kitchen/pantry.  They do have one very good word of advice.  Don't try to do it all at once.  Start with a few and once you have those down start adding to what you do.

Here's the recipe that I've been using.  Sorry there are no pictures to share with you of the delicious foods that I've made with this mix...but by the time I remember everything has been eaten.  They taste so much better!  It's amazing how taking out all those preservatives can make such a HUGE difference.

Homemade Bisquick Mix

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter

Directions:

Measure the sifted flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend thoroughly.
Cut in cold butter using a pastry cutter until thoroughly incorporated.


Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 months or freezer for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA!

From Google:

(please visit the website, click link above, and sign the petition!)

"Millions of Americans oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S.

Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA. The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late."

To learn more go to HERE or HERE

What's really sad is that a blog like mine could even be in violation.  My Wordless Wednesday post, for instance, uses a linking tool and linking would be a dangerous activity. If you link to “infringing” content – even unknowingly – you are a FELON.  I'd have to also take away your right to comment on my posts because allowing you to speak your mind on my site puts me at risk.

I don't even want to know what it would do to my sons online Public School!  Or my husband getting his Masters Degree online.

Watch the videos...take a STAND!  I have.





Here are what Wikipedia and Google look like today. Imagine what it would be like...


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wordless and Wordful Wednesday ~ Cold Nose

I feel like these guys this afternoon.  The wind was quite blustery and I wish I had a wing to put my nose under.








To see more Wordless and Wordful photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday and J. Leigh Designz.

Live and Love...Out Loud 5 Minutes for Momparenting BY dummies

and then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTog

Please take a moment to link up and don't forget to leave a comment.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tasty Tuesday ~ Pumpkin Pound Cake



It's Tuesday and time to share some recipes over at Tasty Tuesday!  Just click on the button above and enjoy all the amazing recipes!

Thought I'd share with you a recipe that I tried awhile back and shared it with my Sunday School class.  They all loved it!

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Pumpkin Pound Cake


Ingredients:

Cake:
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar and it was just fine)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fat-free buttermilk

Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • To Prepare the cake, lightly coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.  Spread pumpkin over 2 layers of paper towels; cover with 2 additional layers of paper towels.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  Scrape drained pumpkin into a bowl.
  • Place 3/4 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes or until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.  Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Add flour mixture and 3/4 cup buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick insterted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.
  • To prepare glaze, combine 1/3 cup buttermilk and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly; remove from heat.  Drizzle cake with glaze.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wordless & Wordful Wednesday ~ Cousins

A decision has been made.  With the help of some dear friends of mine I have decided to suspend my 100 Joys as I fell so far behind this year in getting them all done and up.  I'll still share them with you but this time they'll be more memories. 

Out of this, however, has sprung an idea.  Why not find a Joy every week?  So coming next week I'll start "52 Joys".  Yes, I know that I'm already behind.  I'll share a few with you just to get it all started.  I'd love to have some others out there participate along.  I may even a theme or two for us to find.

For now I'm sharing with you a picture that I took of Sam and his cousin while we visited the Ft Worth Zoo.  I also had fun editing this photo on Picnik (I used the 1960s effects tool) and thought I'd share with you the before and after photos. 







To see more Wordless and Wordful photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday and J. Leigh Designz.

Live and Love...Out Loud 5 Minutes for Momparenting BY dummies
and then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTog

Please take a moment to link up and don't forget to leave a comment.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

100 Joys ~ #43 - #45





Joys #43 - #45

It's now  Jan 5th and I had wanted to have my 100 Joys finished by Epiphany.  When is that you ask?  This year it falls on Jan 6th.  Most churches in the USA it will be celebrated on the 8th.  The question that I have been asking myself is can I finish them before then?  I have so many other things that I want to write about but I feel like I need to finish sharing these Joys with you all that do read my blog.  

So without further ado...
Joy #43 is seeing a tree with it's fall colors once winter finally got here.  We had such a rough summer that we really didn't have fall at all.  I quickly snapped a picture of this small but beautiful tree.  



Joy #44 is Sam with his cousins.  This time around I had a hard time getting all three of them with smiles on their faces.  Sam has gotten into "gestures".  Giving me the "thumbs up" every time I bring out the camera.  ARGH!  Oh well.




Joy #45...every time that we've gone to the Ft Worth Zoo we make sure we go to feed the birds.  Sam has always tried to get one to land on his feeding stick but has never been able to do that...until now.  The photo doesn't do his joy justice.





Come back tomorrow and I'll have more Joys up.  Promise! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

100 Joys ~ #42~ Wordless and Wordful Wednesday ~ My Boy





Joy #42

Sam and I taking a break at the Ft Worth Zoo for a quick photo.  Had to tickle him to get him to smile but it's worth it!  Love my boy and he's growing like a weed right now.  I can't seem to keep him in clothes.  I purchase him ones that fit and then a couple of weeks later he's outgrowing them again.  Need to find a big brick to put on his head! 

I'm getting closer to the half way point of my 100 Joys!  Only a few more days to get them all up.  If you'd like to take a look back just click HERE


I've finally made myself a WW button to share with you. I will probably tweek it here and there as I'm not completely happy with it but it's a start. :)






To see more Wordless and Wordful photos head on over to Wordless Wednesday and J. Leigh Designz.

Live and Love...Out Loud 5 Minutes for Momparenting BY dummies
and then, she {snapped}NapTime MomTog

Please take a moment to link up and don't forget to leave a comment.

100 Joys ~ #34 - #41 ~ Christmas Day





Joy #34 - #41

For my next Joys I'd like to share with you Sam on Christmas morning. 

Joy #34 is Sam getting a Sock Monkey out of his stocking.  He's been asking for one for a long time now, including this year, and they are not the easiest to find without spending a fortune.  This one was a mini one and only cost a few dollars! 



Joy #35 The other item that Sam started asking for this year is a Pooping Reindeer.  Yes, you read that correctly, a Pooping Reindeer.  Found one!


Joy #36 & #37 is finally seeing Sam get some St. Louis Cardinals swag.  Since we live down here in TX Rangers territory it's really hard to get any Cardinal items.  And since we've become a TX Ranger family we had to ask our Missouri family to get Sam some.  So for Christmas his Grandparents got him a shirt and calendar.  He was thrilled! 




Joy #38 is a present that I received from Andy.  It's a frame with butterflies and the words Love, Live, Laugh on them with a quote on glass in the middle. It's now proudly hanging in my kitchen where I can see it every day.  Here is the quote:


Joy #39 is spending a quite Christmas day with my family.  Just resting and being together.  It was WONDERFUL!

Joy #40 is going to sound kind of weird to some...but I was able to finish cleaning up the house before my parents and nieces arrived to spend last week with us.  It's a great feeling having a clean house.  Now I just need to maintain.  sigh

Joy #41 is a great one...my parents and nieces were able to spend most of last week with us.  I think that was the best Christmas present I could have asked for.

Come back tomorrow to see my other Joys!

Monday, January 2, 2012

100 Joys ~ #33 ~ Tasty Tuesday ~ Another Cookie!





Joy # 33



I made quite a bit of cookies this year and I tried quite a few new recipes.  I think one of them has stood out above all the others though.  Luckily it's a cookie you can make year round!  Woo Hoo!  This is a recipe from Betty Crocker and it uses one of their cookie mix pouches.  I know, I know, I know...I normally do not use mixes...but I'm telling you now....YOU NEED TO TRY THIS ONE!  To see more wonderful recipes just click on the Tasty Tuesday button above and start exploring.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

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Ingredients:


  • 1  pouch Betty Crocker® snickerdoodle cookie mix
  • 4  oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup butter, margarine or spread, softened
  • 1  tablespoon water
  • 1  egg
  • 1  cup sweetened dried cranberries 
  • Directions:

    Mix cream cheese and butter in bowl untl smooth. Open cookie mix; remove cinnamon sugar packet; set aside. Add water, egg and cookie mix to cream cheese mixture until soft dough forms. Stir in cranberries. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes.

    Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into bowl with cinnamon sugar packet; roll to coat. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    Bake at 375°F for 8 to 9 minutes or until edges are set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely.

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    100 Joys ~ #27 - #32 ~ Christmas Eve Eve To Christmas Morning





    Joy # 27 - #32

    Where has this past week gone?  I have a week to get the rest of my 100 Joys up here.  Will I get it done?  Who knows.  For right now I'll start with Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

    #27 is the joy of singing in my church choir for Christmas Eve Eve service.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Our church has a Christmas Eve Eve service for those that travel or have family gatherings and still want to go to a Christmas Eve service.

    #28 would of course be singing on Christmas Eve.

    #29 is playing in the Christmas Eve Bell Choir at the 10:00 service on Christmas Eve.  I love playing the hand bells and playing them on Christmas Eve is always a joy.


    #30 is finding our cat, Spanky, on Santa's hat acting as though this is exactly what he should be doing.


    #31  is seeing that Santa still visits our house even if Sam doesn't believe anymore.


    #32...even if he doesn't believe it's great to see the Joy on his face when he sees his stocking.


    Come back tomorrow for more of my Joys.
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