Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eight is great!

My friend, Keiara at Keiara's Keep, tagged me for this fun 8 meme and I finally have the chance to play!

The lovely and talented Keiara is a hot glass artist, a former Floridian who now lives in England. I just have to share an example of her work. Seriously. It's completely beautiful!

Just look at this sunflower and strawberry focal bead. Wow! Can you believe the detail?! She also makes the cutest little cupcake and farm animal beads - even seasonally themed beads for each holiday. So go check out her Etsy shop! It's way cool :)


Back to Eight is Great. These are the rules, should you choose to accept them:
  1. Mention the name of the person who tagged you.
  2. Do the lists of 8.
  3. Tag 8 bloggers of your choice.
  4. Let said bloggers know they have been tagged!

    Okay. Let us begin :)

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

  1. Visiting Megan and my grandbabies, Nolan and Skyleigh, in North Carolina. Oh. My. Word. I seriously cannot wait!
  2. Road trippin' across 9 states with Megan, the babies, and 2 Great Danes. Really! I love road trips!
  3. Oldest son, Jared's, wedding in August.
  4. Youngest son, Matthew's, baseball games...hope it warms up though cuz it's still so cold!
  5. Youngest daughter, Lacey Brooke's, softball season. Ditto on the warmer weather :)
  6. Cheyenne Frontier Days. The Daddy of 'Em All.
  7. Planting the garden... Still in the 30's at night and way too cold for my precious tomatoes :)
  8. Christmas. Always so looking forward to the next one!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Met the typing quota for my medical transcription job.
  2. Worked on my item for the SHE team June challenge. Spoiler alert: It's patriotic!
  3. Nearly froze to death at my talented son's baseball game....they won!
  4. Picked out my dad's birthday present.
  5. Fussed over said tomatoes in their cold frame :)
  6. Talked to Megan on the phone and wanted to be in North Carolina even more!
  7. Watched a rerun of Family Matters with my sweet girl when she got off work.
  8. Typed some more. And went to bed really late.

8 Things I Wished I Could Do:

  1. I'm sensing a pattern here... teleport to North Carolina!
  2. Be debt free.
  3. Get more sleep.
  4. Travel. A lot.
  5. Not have to type so much.
  6. Read my Bible more consistently.
  7. Have my own workshop.... Not fun hauling everything out and cleaning up again, just to work on something for a few minutes!
  8. Live in the country.

8 Shows I Watch:

  1. Monk. And I'm so sad it's the last season :(
  2. Psych.
  3. 24.
  4. Chuck.
  5. The Mentalist.
  6. NCIS. Well, most of the CSI's. Some of the time.
  7. Lost.
  8. Castle.

    Also. I just noticed they're all cop shows. Except Lost. Curious.

8 Bloggers Tagged:

  1. Rosemary at All Kinds of Handmade and More.
  2. Cheryl at All These Things.
  3. Lizzie at A Dusty Frame.
  4. Very Verdant.
  5. Linda at Ocean Breeze.
  6. Smokey Mountain Scents.
  7. Kristyn at ~Avery's Attic~.
  8. Lona at Farming in the Shade.

Well, I'm sure you're fascinated. Everything you wanted to know and more, right? If you're not on the list of bloggers I tagged and want to participate - don't feel left out! Go ahead and play along. Be sure to let me know so I can come read all about you! Have a blessed Friday!

Monday, May 18, 2009

J.W. Potatoes...

I began my freezer cooking adventure by planning a monthly menu and then assembling those meals in one day and freezing them. No more cooking for a whole month! It was heavenly, but as a busy single mom of 4, there was seldom a full day to devote to preparing the meals and I eventually gave up.

Then I learned that freezer cooking is more than making and freezing 30 meals at once. Freezer cooks eventually develop a method that works for them and their family.

Session freezer cooking is what works best for us. For instance, when hamburger is on sale I purchase as much as I can afford. First, I make several meatloaves using my favorite recipe, then divide among zipper bags and freeze flat. Then on to meatballs, baking them off in the oven before freezing.

The rest is fried in a huge pot, rinsed and drained. Of the fried portion, I will make a portion into taco meat and another into sloppy joe meat and freeze flat in zipper bags. The rest is frozen in zipper bags as plain cooked ground beef, ready for any sauce or casserole that calls for hamburger.

You will not believe how quickly a meal goes together when the prep work is already done! The same session method works for bacon (bake in the oven and the strips remain flat!), bulk sausage, potatoes, muffins... even cookie dough.

I will share more details of my freezer sessions later, but for now here's a favorite from my potato session: J.W. Potatoes. Our freezer is rarely without them. They are quickly heated from frozen in the toaster oven, microwave or oven. Add a salad and bread to make a delicious and quick meal.

J.W. POTATOES

Begin by baking the potatoes in the oven and then slicing them in half. This must be done while they're still pretty hot (note the ginger hold on the potato!). They don't mash well when cooled. Not that I'd know that for sure or anything....

We baked an entire 10 pound bag of potatoes. So there was a lot of cutting to do. Hold them with a hot pad if they're still really hot.
Then start scooping. Leave a small rim of potato inside the shell, but if you get too close in some places, it really won't matter. So don't stress.

Mix the potatoes with the remaining ingredients and add more milk if necessary. But don't make them too thin. They need to be thicker than mashed potatoes. Mound the potato mixture back into the potatoes.

If baking now, put them back into a 300 degree oven for a few minutes to warm them up and melt the cheese. If freezing for later, place the entire tray in the freezer until the potatoes are frozen solid. Then put them in zipper bags, label and return to freezer. Reheat as many as you need in the oven at 300.

J.W. Potatoes
4 large baking potatoes
4 strips crisply fried, crumbled bacon
1/2 pound bulk sausage, fried and drained
2 tablespoons parsley
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 to 2 cups grated cheese

Bake the potatoes and halve lengthwise while still hot. Holding the potatoes with a hot pad, scoop out the insides, leaving a small rim of potato in the shells. Mash and mix in the remaining ingredients. Refill the shells with potato mixture. Reheat in @300.

Double or triple for freezer cooking. They are fabulous as a side dish, too...just leave out the meats and add a little more cheese.

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Works-For-Me Wednesday.

THe STaR SPaNgLeD RuNNeR

Here are the first of the Americana table runners. The Star Spangled Runners are a new design for 2009. This first one is made from deeper toned fabrics that have the appearance of being tea-dyed. Each fabric has either stars, firecrackers, or American flags!

This runner is flat out red, white and blue. It's my current favorite. I am so loving the fabric of the center star because.....

It has the entire Pledge of Allegiance printed right onto the fabric!! Too awesome and perfect for an Americana runner! You will find The Star Spangled Runners at prairiecottagerose.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Look who sent me a hug!


Just had to show you all my cute granddaughter, Skyleigh. Is she sweet or what?! She sent me a picture of her hug pose yesterday. And I'm really sure she did that all by herself because she's smart like that :o) North Carolina is so far away, but Nana can't wait to see you again, Sky!

Okay, so I couldn't resist just one more picture!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

DAiSy CHAiNS

Daisy chain is my newest runner design. Can you tell how much I love flowers?!

This is daisy chain's sunflower friend. Both of these runners are available in my Etsy shop or on Ebay. I have some Americana runners finished and ready to photograph the next time the weather cooperates.... it's been very windy at the prairie cottage :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Olive Oil Cleanser

Did you know olive oil is good for more than cooking? Straight from the bottle, it is an excellent moisturizer and it is the star ingredient in our favorite cleanser... gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet removes stubborn makeup and mascara with ease.
Just 4 ingredients- olive oil, glycerin, liquid facial soap, and water. Any olive oil will do- it does not have to be the most expensive oil in the store. I get my glycerin from Hobby Lobby's soap making section (with my 40% coupon!). One bottle of glycerin will make at least 3 triple batches of cleanser. Be sure to use a facial soap you have tried before and know your skin is okay with.
Measure olive oil. We are making a triple batch today. You can multiply the recipe according to how much olive oil you have.
Measure the glycerin, liquid soap and water. Remember to multiply them too, if making more than a single recipe.
Process in the food processor until it thickens slightly and is lighter in color, usually less than a minute.
Using a funnel, pour it into your containers. We are using a glass bottle from the thrift store and a plastic squeeze bottle that once contained liquid soap.
This recipe is very forgiving. It works with any kind of liquid face or castile soap. You can leave out the glycerin in a pinch, but the cleanser doesn't "glide" as well without it. Yours may look slightly different than mine.... the color and thickness will vary, depending on the brand of soap and olive oil you use. It sometimes separates. Just give it a little shake before using.

Olive Oil Cleanser

1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon liquid face soap
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon liquid glycerin

Measure ingredients into food processor or blender and process until lightened in color and slightly thickened. Pour into a pump or squeeze bottle using a funnel and store at room temperature. Gently massage into damp skin and remove with a warm washcloth. Safely removes eye makeup.

This post is linked to Works-For-Me Wednesday.

Danish Sugar Cookies...


This thin little sugar cookies are incredibly light, with just a hint of nutmeg. They can be rolled more thickly and slathered with frosting, but we prefer them thin and dusted with colored sugar or sprinkles.

These were the cookies my Grammy Snelling made for us at Christmas every year. I like to make them for more than just Christmas...really any holiday will do! Just vary the cookie cutter and sprinkle or frosting colors according to the occasion. Oh, and you might want to double the recipe. Just sayin'.

Grammy's Sugar Cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg1
1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind (the dried kind in a jar is fine)
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tablespoon cream

Cream together the Crisco and sugar. Add eggs and whip until light and fluffy. Add cream, nutmeg, lemon rind, and baking powder and mix. Stir in flour to make a stiff dough. Chill at least 1 hour. Roll thin and cut out with a floured cookie cutter. Place cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet. If using sprinkles, add them before baking. Bake at 350, 7 minutes for thin cookies- up to 12 minutes for thicker cookies.



This recipe is linked to Tasty Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Selah- Pause and Reflect

Thank you for praying for Selah. She is out of surgery, but still needing your prayers! More pictures and updates can be found on her Care Page.

Psalm 32:7... You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Selah

Look at that sweet face! This little girl is was born prematurely and has already had a lot of surgeries. Today she is undergoing open heart surgery in Denver. Her daddy began serving as the worship leader at our church at the tender age of 18! He is now ministering in another city, but remains very dear to our church family. We'd really rejoice if you would join us in praying for Selah during her surgery and recovery.

She has a Care Page with lots of cute pictures and updates on her condition. These are just 2 of my favorites ;o)

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