Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In a conversation with friends over the weekend, we talked about snacks and how to do them inexpensively.  here are a couple of great recipes for snacky foods!  Do you have any that you love and use often? 

Easy Granola Bars
1c. Honey
1c. brown sugar
1c. peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups cereal, oatmeal, etc or a combination
1 1/2 cups dried fruit/nuts

Bring honey and brown sugar to a boil, add peanut butter and vanilla--beat until smooth.  Throw in everything else and press into a coated pan...9x13.  Cut into bars.  

My friend Kristin made these recently...I haven't made them yet, but they are on my short list! 

Cheese Crackers Recipe
1 1/2 cup flour
2 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated (use the kind you have to grate by hand, the other has added cornstarch and will change the consistency)
1/4 cup grate parmigiano reggiano (didn't have this, just used xtra cheddar)
1 stick butter, room temp

1/8 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and and use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter. Add a tablespoon of water 1 at a time till the dough just starts to come together. (I used 3)

Press and form 2 balls and cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Then roll out each ball to as thin as you can get it - about 1/8 inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut squares, place on parchement lined baking sheets and then poke holes in each cracker square. Bake 12-15 min at 325.

 Share a link to your favorite snacky foods below! 
Linking up today at:

Growing Home

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sunday Five (on Tuesday)

This weekend we traveled down to our house down in southern Indiana, that still hasn't sold, to take our pictures and decorations down, clean up walls and fill in holes-- in preparation for a renter.  It was kind of an emotional trip for me...I really miss my friends and our church there.  Needless to say, I enjoyed visiting and catching up with friends, but the trip didn't come without tears for me.  It was an emotional weekend.  I meant to post my Sunday Five (my five favorite links for the week) on Sunday, but I was here they are, I pray you had a wonderful weekend!

1.  Just in case you are swimming in tomatoes that need processed quickly, check out this post on freezing tomatoes.  If mine ever start turning red, I hope to be swimming in them soon!

2.  I am loving this site.  It is full of crafty ideas and great link ups!  I am really excited to get my sewing machine out soon and start making some dresses for Lydia.  I loved this twirl dress--I bought some material this weekend! yay!

3. I saw these dolls on a blog and followed a link to see how awesome they are!  The company that makes them partners with World Vision, so a major plus! here is a blurb from their web site:
     It’s an undeniable fact that girls in many countries struggle against a lack of education, medical care, 
     decent housing, and clean water and food. But when these basic needs are met, those girls achieve
     amazing things for themselves and their families. Sometimes, all they need is a little help.

     The Hearts For Hearts Girls™ mission is to empower girls to become agents of change in their
     communities, their countries, and around the world. We want to change the world one heart at a time, and
     you can be a part of that dream!

     It all starts with our dolls. Right now, there are six Hearts For Hearts Girls dolls: Lilian (Belarus), Rahel
     (Ethiopia), Nahji (India), Tipi (Laos), Consuelo (Mexico), and Dell (United States). Each of them has an
     important story to tell about life in her country, inspired by real girls who are strong, smart, courageous,
     and determined to rise above challenging circumstances.

     When you buy a doll, Hearts For Hearts Girls donates part of the purchase price through our charitable
     partner, World Vision, to programs that support girls in that country. Whether it’s malaria nets in Africa,
     schoolbooks in Asia, or food supplies in the US, these programs help girls to thrive and succeed.

I think these dolls are GREAT! check them out! HERE is a link to the Hearts for Hearts Girls Website!

4.  We have been working on cutting out processed foods from our is a slow process--I didn't think we had much before since I make our food from scratch, but I am amazed at how things just slip in.  I love buttermilk ranch dressing, my kiddos enjoy it too--though no white and creamy for Aaron. I love this recipe for Easy Peasy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing from Happy in Dole Valley and am whipping a batch up this week. 

5. This link is to a website for a family in which, I went to college with the mom and dad.  They have an amazing family and a heart for adoption.  Their blog is HERE.   The link, however, is the link to their adoption fundraiser.  It is a site where you can purchase coffee beans to help cover their fees for the adoption of their daughter, who will soon be adopted from China.  If you love'll love going to their site and purchasing!

I am off to clean--our fridge was dying last night when we got home, so we emptied it out put everything in to coolers (that wasn't already spoiled).  The repair man is coming this afternoon and I am not sure how much I'll get done when he is here.

Blessings to you,


Friday, August 26, 2011

Buying a Gallon of Vodka

Well, I shocked Aaron last weekend and bought vodka!! No seriously, I did..the first time I have ever bought alcohol...except for wine to use in a recipe. And the vodka was for a recipe too! I bought a whole gallon!--what am I doing with a gallon of vodka?
 I am making vanilla-and I am so excited! After I did the hard part of buying the vodka, I ordered the beans...80 of them to get this process going (some people I know in real life are probably getting some for Christmas). I learned the process from Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers.

I had a hard time finding a glass gallon sized jar to begin my adventure (Laura says it is important to use glass-for leaching purposes)  So I bought a box of 1/2 gallon jars and I figure I'll use the rest in this summers canning adventures. 
As instructed by Laura, I split my beans by cutting them almost all of the way to the top, leaving about an inch, with kitchen shears.  She said I would need 80 beans for 1 gallon, so I filled the jars with 40 each. 
Then, I poured in the vodka (I bought the cheap stuff).  Tightly screwed on the lids and hid them in a back corner of a closet--where my kiddos can't find them. 
That's it!  You need between 4-6 months to make really good, flavorful vanilla--so if you act fast, you may just have it ready by Christmas.  When Christmas rolls around, you will need to strain your vanilla using a coffee filter and a collander...but Laura goes through all of that on her blog too. She even has a series of recipe cards, an ebook, suggestions for bottles to buy (yes...they do have to be amber colored), and even a code for 10% off your beans at Olive Nation (where I ordered mine from--they are WAY expensive to buy locally; my mom is headed to Hawaii soon and I heard a rumor they are inexpensive there--I am hoping she'll bring some home for me.) for the rest of the info, visit Laura HERE at Heavenly Homemakers.  I still can't believe I bought a gallon of vodka!

By the way, I looked at the vanilla I already had in the cabinet--and you guessed it..alcohol was in it!  If you want some really disgusting info on vanilla: imitation vanilla is made from wood extract...yuck!  (I think I saw that on Heavenly Homemakers too, but I confirmed it on wikipedia.  Anyway...great project--very simple!  I hope you'll try it!

Blessings to you,

Linking up at:

Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays


Growing Home

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I was busy in the kitchen, trying to get a few things done, and needed something that would completely occupy the boys for a while.  I dug out a large bowl, added soap, got out measuring cups that were plastic, and some other containers of interest, and voila...instant water table, err bowl...activity!

Levi...loving it!

And this is Lydia, playing in the pack and play during the activity.
Blessings to you,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Give Away!

Last week I announced a give away where Frito Lay will be sending out a Multi Pack of Lays Regional Flavors to one lucky winner. I am extending the deadline to enter. I will draw a lucky winner next Wednesday Night, August 31. The winner will probably be up first thing on Thursday morning. HERE is the original post, the directions on how to enter are at the bottom. Please take the time to enter...this is my first giveaway here on my blog! Thanks!

Blessings to you,

The Imperfect Housewife

Family Driven Faith-Chapter 3

Mr. Baucham said this about our homes in chapter 3.
     "Those who visit us should notice immediately that they have left the world of self-serving, egocentric
     narcissism and have entered a safe harbor where people value and esteem others above themselves.
     Outsiders should enter our homes and never want to leave.  Our neighbors should find excuses to visit us
     just  to get another whiff of the fragrant aroma of love.  The brokenhearted should long to be near us. The
     downtrodden and the abused should seek us out.  Families on the brink of disaster should point to us and
     say, 'Why can't our home be like that?' "

The fact is, that most people don't see any more love pouring out from the Christians around them than they do the non-Christian.  They don't see the selflessness, our homes aren't "safe harbors".  There is nothing different about the way we love....But we can "learn to love".  And that is the whole focus of this chapter.

In this chapter Mr. Baucham addresses the Greco-Roman Love Myths
1.  Love is a random force
2. Love is an overwhelming force
3. Love is an uncontrollable force
4. Love is a sensual force

With the end result being: Love doesn't translate

We need to embrace the Biblical portrait of love
1. Love is an act of the will
2. Love is accompanied by emotion
3. Love leads to action on behalf of its object
and the advantages to Biblical Love:
1. The Biblical model of love is Volitional
2. It is transferable
3. It is secure
4. It satisfies

It is so important to remember that our children learn to love by our example.  Moreover, other people see our love-they observe us love our spouse or our children, or others...and, hopefully they are impacted.  I have a lot of work to do in this area, but I know one thing for sure:  If my children don't go to college, if they don't make tons of money, or are super successful at anything--If they have learned to love, really love--then I have been a successful parent.  It is my prayer that the statement at the top can one day be what someone observes when they come into my home or meet my family.  Let's try to let go of the "love myth" and embrace the model of Biblical love.  What did you think about this chapter?

Here are the previous links in this series:
An Invitation
Chapter 1: Lay of the Land
Chapter 2: A God with No Rivals

Linking up today at:
Women Living Well
Raising Homemakers
Raising Mighty Arrows
Titus 2sdays
The Imperfect Housewife
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Blessings to you,