Thursday, December 11, 2014

Lots of goodies......

A few months ago, the bugs and I mailed 20 UPC labels to Sunny D in exchange for 20 books. Yes, I said 20 books! 20 labels for 20 brand new scholastic books. We were so happy to receive our little package of books. I am so happy we decided to participate in the Sunny D book spree this year. Look for it next year and save those Sunny D UPC's!

Look at all those books!

And, I will be catching up on my fun days soon!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Days 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9......








Well, our days have kinda run together. I always like to think that each day will go as planned, but after 8 years of homeschooling, I should know better.

Day 3 should have been making caramels and nothing got really got done that day except grocery shopping. Which by the way, is always an adventure in itself! 

Day 4 was National Cookie Day and so for that day, we made the No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal cookies, just a day late!

Day 5 I planned to make the No Bake Pecan Coconut Cookies and we changed our minds, so instead, we mixed up a batch of our Homemade Hot Cocoa mix.

Day 6, scratched everything and went Christmas shopping!!!

Day 7 was Cotton Candy day so everyone at some yummy cotton candy vanilla snow that I found at the dollar tree. It was a hit!

Day 8 was National Brownie day! Made some really yummy brownies.

Today is Day 9 and we were going to make homemade Christmas cards for the family but one of the bugs hurt her ankle yesterday on the trampoline so we are all taking turns catering to her needs while she stays on the couch all day resting!
 

Maybe tomorrow we will do as planned!!!


 




See my sweet little helper! She loves cooking with Mommy!





 
 
Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
 
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup peanut butter
 
Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk in a saucepan. On medium heat, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
 
Remove from heat and stir in peanut butte, vanilla and oatmeal.
 
Drop teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool for 30 minutes.
 
 
 
 
 
 





Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
 
1 cup cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk
1 cup coffee creamer
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup Jet Puffed Mallow Bits
 
Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
 
To make one cup of hot cocoa, add 3 heaping tablespoons of cocoa mixture to 1 cup of really hot water.
 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day 2 - easiest peanut butter fudge ever.....


Today, my little Sadie bug wanted to help me make this peanut butter fudge. She is always the one that wants to help me cook. She has been wanting to fill the little plates on this Christmas tree stand I sat out on our table a few days ago. I have to say, we had fun making it but it didn't quite turn out like smooth, chewy fudge. It was very crumbly and brittle. I think I would change it up a little and add more milk or maybe a little cream.  I can't remember where I ran across this recipe. Anyway, here is the recipe!

EASIEST PEANUT BUTTER EVER

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add the sugar and milk to a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove it from the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla extract and mix well. Pour into a shallow dish and , your done! Let it cool and cut into squares!


Looking forward to Day 3! More cooking and hopefully decorate our Christmas tree!

God Bless!

Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 December Fun Days and Holidays....





December is here! We can't hardly wait for this time of year. Twinkling lights, baking cookies, singing and listening to Christmas hymns, wrapping gifts, drinking hot cocoa.

We love so many things about December and have so many fun things planned this month. Maybe you could join in on some of the fun.

Stay tuned because we will have lots of pictures to share, great recipes, crafts and more! We are also doing Christmas reading in our bibles. I know I am a little late posting all of this but I will post our scripture we are reading soon.

Here are the holidays and fun days for the 1st 25 days of December.....


Day 1 -  Decorate the inside of our home for Christmas.

Day 2 -  More decorating, putting up the Christmas tree and making No-Bake Fudge. Will share the recipe.

Day 3 -  Make some yummy microwave caramels. Not to fond of cooking in the microwave but my stove is out of commission right now.

Day 4 -  National Cookie Day! We will be making No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal cookies. Will share the recipe.

Day 5 -  We will be making No Bake Pecan Coconut Cookies.

Day 6 -  Make balls out of chicken wire and Christmas lights for outdoor decorations and go see a Live Nativity.

Day 7 -  Cotton Candy Day!

Day 8 -  National Brownie Day! We are going to make Nutella ones.

Day 9 -  Christmas Card Day!

Day 10 - Make some No Bake Oreo Truffles and if we have enough time, maybe some chocolate covered oreos.

Day 11 - Celebrate National Hot Cocoa Day. Its really this coming Saturday.

Day 12 - Make a Christmas Tree Hand Canvas and some fingerpaint canvases.

Day 13 - Ice Cream Day!

Day 14 - Make homemade wrapping paper.

Day 15 - National Cupcake Day!

Day 16 - National Chocolate covered anything day!

Day 17 - Make photo ornaments for the grands!

Day 18 - Make cookie baskets for our Christmas cookies and our annual Van Express Ticket Day!

Day 19 - Christmas Party with friends!

Day 20 - Bake lots of Christmas cookies!

Day 21 - Winter Soltice!

Day 22 - Deliver gifts to the local hospital to the children that are sick.

Day 23 - National Chocolate Day tomorrow! Make something yummy!

Day 24 - Christmas Eve Boxes and bake Jesus a birthday cake!

Day 25 - Celebrate Jesus' birthday and drink some homemade eggnog. Yesterday was National Eggnog Day.




As you can see, we are planning on having some fun this month. Maybe you can check back and see some of the fun things we will be doing!

God Bless!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

How to "roast" your pumpkin in your crockpot....

Every year we go to the pumpkin patch and all the bugs bring home a pumpkin to paint and eventually cook.
 
 
We have always liked to roast our pumpkins in the oven for using in pies, pastries, chocolate chip pumpkin bread (which happen to be my families favorite!) and other yummy recipes calling for pureed pumpkin. After seeing numerous posts about roasting a pumpkin in a crock pot, I decided to try it. It works great!
 
Here's the full instructions below!
 
 
1) 1 pumpkin (if wanting to roast whole, use a pie pumpkin) ours was too big, so I cut it into a few large pieces.
 

 
2) I took the seeds out of mine, but you don't have to.

 
3) Put the pieces into your crock pot with 1 cup of water and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until soft.



 
4) Here you go, beautifully cooked pumpkin! Now, scoop out the  cooked pulp and puree in the food processor until completely smooth.
 

 
5) It should look like this right out of your processor. Enjoy!
 










Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apple Pie Filling in a Jar.......

This past week I went and picked up my Jonathan apples I ordered through my food co-op. Last year I made lots of apple sauce and apple butter for Betty Grace who turned a year this past August. She took care of all I made and we have been out for a while. This year I am putting up ape pie filling in jars. I usually freeze a lot but decided to tackle canning lots of everything I can get my hands on. For now it's 80 lbs of Jonathan apples. In the next few weeks I will be canning sweet potatoes and pumpkin. I love this time of year!

The possibilities are endless with apples! You can freeze them, make homemade applesauce, apple butter, apple jelly or apple pie filling.

I started this process today and doubled a recipe I found on www.mommyskitchen.net.

This apple filling turned out beautiful! I am so excited to use this for pies, cobblers, crisps and anything else that uses apple pie filling in the recipe.

I started with these beautiful Jonathan apples we are able to get from an Amish community in Illinois.


I started peeling, coring and slicing apples until I reached roughly 12 pounds. The recipe calls for 6 pounds but I have so many apples I decided to double it.

In a large pot I blended the water, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and apple pie spice.


I cooked this mixture until it was thick and bubbly.


I removed the thick filling from the heat and packed my sliced apples into my jars like this

and then ladled the hot, thick filling into the jars over the sliced apples.

After I did this, I put my sterile flats and lids on and processed my quarts in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes. Here is how they turned put, Beautiful! Can't wait to make a pie!




APPLE PIE FILLING IN A JAR

4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
10 cups water
6 pounds of washed, peeled, cored and sliced apples

In a large pot, blend all the ingredients and being to a boil and cook until it is thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat.

Pack your apples in clean, hot canning jars leaving an inch of space from the top.

Fill with the hot syrup and close with hot, sterile flats and lids. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.

Remove the jars from the canner and let cool.








Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rat Killing.......

RAT KILLING! Just another fun day around our homestead. When our summer garden is done, we always bush hog our gardens down. Well as you know, these little rodents we call RATS, like living in tall grass. So, a couple of our bugs got their "weapons" and got ready! Here are few pics I snapped during this scary time! Just ask the little bugs! 








Even these guys enjoyed it. The bugs that is! They were jumping sky high!