Sunday, April 30, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 4.30.17...

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Easy and delicious homemade bread....

I LOVE cooking.  It's just FUN!!  Kind of like science meets art, dontcha think???  

Anyway, of all the time I spend in the kitchen, making bread is by far my favorite thing to do.  Oh yes, I ADORE desserts, but there is something so satisfying about homemade bread.  Maybe it's the flour that covers my apron when I'm finished, or the time I can spend thinking about anything and everything (or nothing at all) in the world while kneading the dough.  It's relaxing and homey and just plain old FUN for me!!!  

This is currently (notice, I said "currently") our favorite bread.  However, I have been making this for about 6 years now. It's delicious right out of the oven slathered with butter (we are SO into Kerrygold right now! DELIICIOUS!!!), perfect sliced for sandwiches, GREAT as buttered toast, and, oh yes, most excellent as French toast.

Where did I get this bread recipe? Allrecipes!!!! It's my favorite recipe source online.  For this one, I actually stick by the recipe!! SHOCKER!!  I do use extra light olive oil in the bread, however, instead of just vegetable oil.  No big differences, though.  

Amish White Bread

2 cups warm water
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup extra light olive oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof (also called blooming) until yeast resembles a creamy foam (about 5 minutes)

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well-oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Y'all please let me know if you make it.  And PLEASE share YOUR favorite bread recipes!!!!!  

Happy baking!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 4.23.17,..

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Friday, April 21, 2017

Grocery budgeting and frugal recipe help wanted....

One way that we homemakers make a house a home is all the yummy foods we prepare for our family each meal.  Nourishing, delicious, satisfying, full of love cooking is what our families want when they walk in the door at the end of the day.

I've recently decided that we need to cut back on our grocery budget.  Mr U doesn't have a problem with it (but aren't we all always looking for ways to save!!!), but I've kind of taken it as a personal challenge to lower my spending in this area.  We spend around $140 a week for the four of us and I'd love to see that number reduced.  I really, really do enjoy cooking, but I've given in to "convenience foods" way to often these days and those prices can quickly add up.

Surely I'm not the only one that would appreciate help in the grocery budget area?  Sooooo... I would LOOOOOVE to hear from YOU!!!  How much do you spend on groceries each week for your household?  How many people are in your family?

Also, please share your favorite frugal dinner meals??  Feel free to add links to your blog if you have the recipes on your blog already.  :)

We homemakers have so much to share with each other.  When you share in the comments here, others will benefit from  your wisdom when they read what you wrote.

Have a happy Friday and a GREAT weekend!!!

Mrs. U

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How I make our foaming hand soap....

I've shared before how store bought cleaners are horrible on my hands.  Painful cracks are NOT my idea of fun. Even any store bought hand soap seems to bother me, but antibacterial soaps are the worst!!!!  The very next day, the skin on my palms as well as my fingertips will start cracking open.  SO PAINFUL and it takes about a week to heal.  I haven't done the research to find out exactly what's in those soaps (probably should!!!), but I just try my best to steer clear of them.  What do I do in public or in someone else's home?  PRAY!!  I wash my hands and RINSE RINSE RINSE.  Doesn't always work, but it's better than walking around with germy hands in those situations.  

Anyway,  here's my "recipe" for my homemade foaming hand soap.

Mrs U's Foaming Hand Soap
1 foaming handsoap container
distilled water
2 capfuls of Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille Soap (I prefer unscented)
10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice (I prefer doTERRA)

In the foaming hand soap container, fill with distilled water about 3/4 of the way full.  Add Liquid Castille Soap.  Carefully drop in the essential oils of your choice.  Add the pump and use right away. 

Okay sooooo a word about several of the things here...

- Foaming handsoap container.... Yes, you can buy foaming hand soap containers on Amazon.  But mine I got from Aldi!!!!!  The pumps came with antibacterial soap in them, so I just poured out the soap (and yes, I felt completely wasteful doing it, but I knew I couldn't use that antibacterial stuff) and rinsed super duper good to get it all out.  Maybe your Aldi has them, too!!

- Distilled water... Yes, you can use tap water, however, when I use our tap water, the soap gets super cloudy.  Kind of dirty looking.  I prefer to use distilled water so that the water stays clear looking.

-Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille... A couple of things.  First, I prefer unscented because I LOVE to use different essential oils pretty much every time I make our hand soap (we have 5 pumps of hand soap if you're curious).  The scented castille soap always smells like whatever scent it is (Peppermint always smells like peppermint, etc).
   Second, you can buy Dr Bronner's Liquid Castille on Amazon but I've also seen it in Publix and Sprouts.  (And I just noticed that the link to Dr Bronner's on Amazon ALSO INCLUDES A FOAMING HAND SOAP PUMP!!!!!!)

- doTERRA... LOOOOVE using doTERRA!!!  My current favorite scent combo to use in our hand soap is Wild Orange and Peppermint.  Fresh and uplifting!!  

Anyone else make their foaming hand soap?  Let me know!! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday... April 14, 1017

32And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull,34 they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.
35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting [p]lots. 36 And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37 And above His head they put up the charge against Him [q]which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
38 At that time two robbers *were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those passing by were [r]hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42 He saved others; [s]He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him.43 He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He [t]delights in Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.
45 Now from the [u]sixth hour darkness [v]fell upon all the land until the [w]ninth hour.46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.” 48 Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest of themsaid, “[x]Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him[y].” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the [z]veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the [aa]saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was [ab]the Son of God!”
55 Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while [ac]ministering to Him. 56 Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I know I shouldn't have... but I did!!

I originally posted this brownie recipe in July of 2006.  2006!!!!!!  Were any of y'all reading blogs then????

Anyway, this is what I said...
Yes, I did it. I admit it. After my post this morning about Weight Watchers, I made brownies anyway. Not low fat brownies, mind you. Fully charged and loaded brownies!!! Wait'll you see the recipe and you'll see what I mean. These are GREAT brownies. Eat them. Share them. But most of all MAKE THEM!! You won't be sorry!! :)
So now that this is 2017 and I do still LOVE these brownies, I figured I'd share them again!!!  We still love them. We still make them.  These are sooooooo easy to make.  So nothings changed about our love of brownies here!!  

Oh, but, full disclosure here.... I do not do Weight Watchers anymore.  LOL. Y'all probably figured that out by now if you look at my recipes.  

What are you waiting for?  Go make these now!!  Mmmmm. Your family will thank you.

Mrs. U's BEST Brownies
12 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup salted butter, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 T vanilla extract

Combine cocoa and sugar. Stir in melted butter, eggs, flour and vanilla. Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool, cut and eat!!!

Feel free to add nuts if your family likes.

Let me know if y'all make them!!!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Scripture Sunday... 4.9.17... Palm Sunday...

Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David;
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
Hosanna in the highest!”

Matthew 21:8-9

Friday, April 07, 2017

How to shop at Aldi....

Who doesn't love Aldi these days?????  Saving money AND getting tasty food??  Count me in!!!!

I heard about Aldi years ago when we still lived in Augusta.  There wasn't one there yet (is now!!!), so I had no idea what I was reading about when everyone was so excited about all the money they were saving at Aldi. I read about the prices being seriously lower, I read about needing a quarter for the grocery cart (we call them "buggies" around here!!!), and I read about there being no bags to put your groceries in.  Hmmmm. No bags for your groceries.  How in the world do you do that????

After a few weeks of seeing others check out, pull over the "the counter area" in Aldi,  and fill the bags they brought from home with their just purchased goods, I decided there HAD to be a better way.  And I found one!!!

Now maybe I'm not the first one to discover this, but I don't know anyone else who has done it except me (and the few struggling mothers I shared it with in the check out line).  Y'all ready?  I keep an empty laundry basket and empty cooler in the back of my van so that as soon as I leave Aldi, I put all my food in one of the two large containers!!!  YES!!  So when I get home, I carry in only two containers.  I don't spend extra time bagging groceries and I don't have to carry in all the bags and then keep them for the following week.  I just carry in the two totes, put all the groceries away, and stick them back in the van for next time.  WOOHOOO!!!  Super easy and major time saver for me!!

Anyone else LOVE Aldi?  If so, how do YOU get your groceries home???  

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo...

Y'all!!!!  I discovered a YUMMY website!! It's called Six Sisters Stuff and apparently they are really sisters!! What fun!!!  They've got tons of really yummy recipes on their site.  If y'all are like me and always looking for great recipes, their blog is a good place to visit!!!!

This recipe caught  my eye because it's all in ONE POT!!!!!!  Who wants to cook meat in one pot, sauce in another, then boil noodles in another pot.  NOT ME!!!  They've got it all in ONE POT in this recipe and it's super easy and very tasty!!  Not to mention fast, too!!!!

 As usual, I varied my recipe slightly.  Duh.  I always do that.  But the original came from Six Sisters.  

Cheesy Chicken Alfredo...

                3 tablespoons olive oil
                2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
                Sprinkle of sea salt
                1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
                4 cloves of garlic, minced (see video below)
                2 cups homemade chicken stock (store bought is fine, too)
                1 cup heavy cream
                2 cups uncooked pasta (choose your family's favorite shape!!)
                1/4 teaspoon dried basil
                2 cups fresh grated parmesan cheese
                3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Add oil to large skillet pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning. Sauté for maybe 5 minutes until chicken starts to lightly brown. (It'll cook through completely later, so just brown it now) Add in garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in chicken broth, cream, pasta and basil and mix to combine. Bring to a boil, then cover pan and reduce to a summer. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is fully cooked.

Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and fully mixed in. Eat!!!!!

This makes 4 servings and WOW was it fast, easy, AND delicious!!!!  Definitely one we will have regularly!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Scripture Sunday...4.2.17...

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Psalm 103:1


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