Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Signs of….. spring?


signs of spring at the prairie cottage

I’m enjoying seeing many of your garden updates this spring! So far there is not much to report here on the high plains…

Snowy pine trees:

 snowy pine tree April 2013

Daffodils right before the first 10 inches of snow (they may or may not have made a slight miscalculation in when to appear :)

daffodils in the snow April 2013

This buried birdhouse is almost 3 feet tall…

buried birdhouses

And this, THIS is a raised bed – somewhere under there:

the raised beds are under here somewhere

We have been blessed with 32 inches of snow {so far} in April 2013… 

While April is our wettest month and we do tend to get some snow along with the rain…. it is usually a LOT warmer in April, in spite of the snow.

This was on my computer a week ago. Notice the {{minus}} before the wind chill. Brrr!!


Oh, and the 40 degrees on Thursday? Got my hopes up, but it. never. happened.

Today we have a  winter storm warning for the next 24 hours, with 6-12 inches more snow expected!

Here are a couple things I’m wishing for considering for the garden (if it every stops snowing)!

For obvious reasons, I would love to have this greenhouse. Or really any greenhouse-type structure…

15 x 7 greenhouse

This pretty thing would be so much easier than the hoop houses I use now!

Has anyone ever tried this Fiskar weeder? It looks so ingenious, but do they really work?

Fiskars uproot lawn and garden weeder

Monday, April 22, 2013


The Prairie Cottage is now an Amazon affiliate!

When you do your shopping through the Amazon search box in the sidebar or from the links in an individual post, you support the Prairie Cottage at no additional cost to yourself.  Just enter your search keywords or click on any Amazon link, then shop as usual.

I am most thankful to those of you who stop by the Prairie Cottage first when you do your Amazon shopping… Every little bit helps and it is much appreciated!


Sunday, April 21, 2013


But I will hope continually,

and will praise You

yet more

and more.

Psalm 71:14

Monday, April 15, 2013

Italian Quesadillas

A lot more filling than cheese quesadillas, but still really quick to make.  Pair it with a salad and you have a nice summer meal when it’s hot in the kitchen… but we like them all year round!

Italian Beef Quesadillas... recipe from www.prairiecottagerose.blogspot.com
Flour tortillas
Thinly sliced deli roast beef
Shredded Colby Jack cheese… or use your favorite
Bottled Italian dressing

Place a frying pan or griddle on medium heat. Spread a thin layer of Italian dressing on a tortilla and put the plain side down on the pan. (Dressing facing up).  Layer with roast beef and shredded cheese on top of the dressing. Put a thin layer of Italian dressing on a second tortilla and place it dressing side down onto the beef and cheese layer. Continue cooking over medium heat until the bottom is browned. Flip to brown the top side.
 talian Beef Quesadillas {www.prairiecottagerose.blogspot.com}
When both sides are browned to your liking, remove the quesadilla. Slice into 4 wedges with a pizza cutter and enjoy!
Until next time :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013



Wait for the Lord;

be strong and take heart

and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14




For in You, O Lord, do I hope;

You will answer,

O Lord my God.

Psalm 38:15

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today is the day…


Megan and baby Liberty

That I became a mom for the first time.

How did time go by so quickly?

Sweet Megan,

in the next year may you grow richer

in love, knowledge and insight of every kind.

May you always be a reflection to others

of the love of Jesus. 

I look forward to seeing what the Lord has planned for you.

I am VERY blessed to be your Mom!

Happy Birthday, Megan

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Powder Laundry Detergent Tutorial


Pretty Powder Laundry Detergent....Tutorial at the Prairie Cottage

If you like saving money and being crafty…. it’s your happy day!!

This soap is a compilation of several different powdered laundry detergent recipes.  I tried a bunch of them and ended up combining what worked best for us into my own secret formula. 

Except now I’m telling you all and it’s not really a secret anyway ;)

I have also made the liquid version of homemade laundry soap.  And I loved it.  I really did.  But it seemed a little bit more of a process to make.  We tended to go through it pretty fast and sometimes there just wasn’t the time or energy to make more.  So I went back to {gasp} store bought for awhile.

I find this powdered laundry soap comes together more quickly, lasts much longer and it’s much easier to keep it made up!

Powdered Laundry Soap Tutorial {the Prairie Cottage}


2-4 bars Fels Naptha or Zote laundry soap (I use 3 if using Zote and 4 if using Fels Naptha)
1 box Borax
1 box Washing Soda
1-2 containers of Sun Oxygen cleaner (I use 2)
2-3 cups baking soda
1-2 containers of Purex fabric softener crystals (I use 2 - we have hard water and also I love lots of scent!)

I use my food processor to grate the bars of soap.  It sounds loud, but grates the soap just fine.

Grating Zote for powder laundry soap {the Prairie Cottage}

I cut the Zote bars into chunks and process 1 bar at a time.  I also add about 1/2 cup of washing soda into the food processor with each bar.  The soda powder seems to help the blades granulate the soap better.

powder laundry soap {the Prairie Cottage}

The ingredients take up a LOT of room and you’ll need a BIG bowl or pot for mixing - I use a canning pot and stir until everything is evenly distributed.  I would suggest doing the mixing outdoors.  The borax and soda can kick up some dust while you’re stirring! 

Use a cup or scoop to portion your soap into containers.  I got 2 gallon jars + an ice cream bucket from this batch!

powder laundry soap tutorial {the Prairie Cottage}

You only need 1-2 tablespoons.  If your clothes are dirtier than normal or you have hard water, you can use more.  We use 2 tablespoons for a normal load and 1/4 cup for really large or dirty loads.  Because of the Purex crystals, put the soap right in the drum before the clothes, if you have an HE washer.

Some notes:

Don’t be surprised if the ingredients don’t look completely mixed in the jar. Just grab your scoop of soap out and you’ll be fine.

Depending on how much soap you use in each load, this batch will last 6-12 months.  We find it lasts about 8 months for us… score!

This laundry soap produces very little suds, but don’t worry! Your clothes will smell amazing and be clean!  Because of the lack of suds, it is safe for use in HE washers.

We find the soap is gentle enough for our dry/eczema prone skin and it has caused no reactions.

The Purex crystals smell wonderful and soften the clothes without any additional fabric softener liquid or dryer sheets!

It should be easy to find all these ingredients.  They will be in your local supermarket or supercenter in the laundry/cleaning products aisle.  They even have the ingredients grouped together on the shelves now – making your own laundry soap must be getting popular! 

The Zote soap, borax, Purex crystals, washing & baking sodas cost just over $26 total…. I think that’s pretty good for 8 months worth of laundry!

Until next time,

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pear Salad

Has anyone else noticed that gelatin and pudding mix packages are just slightly smaller now?
They used to contain 3 ounces each and now are 2.6.  At least here in our area…
You wouldn’t think 0.4 ounces would make that much difference, but I’m finding they no longer “set up” very well - unless you decrease the liquid in the recipe slightly.
Or maybe it’s just me :)
Anyway, this recipe is from a 30 year old Amish cookbook and we’ve been making it a long time. I don’t make it often, but it’s always a hit when I do!
Amish Pear Salad Recipe {the Prairie Cottage}
1 (28 ounce) can of pears
2 small packages of lime Jell-O
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 carton Cool Whip
2 cups boiling water
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups cold water/pear juice
Drain pears and reserve the juice for making the Jell-0.  Place pears and cream cheese in a blender or food processor. Process until creamy and well blended.
Pour 2 cups boiling water over the gelatin in a separate bowl and stir gently until dissolved.  Measure the reserved pear juice and add enough water to equal 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups** Stir the cold water/pear juice into the Jell-O.
While the Jell-O is still warm, pour a small amount into the food processor with the pears and cream cheese.  Process until smooth, then stir this mixture into the remaining Jell-O.
Refrigerate.  When it has partially set, use a whisk or hand mixer to whip in the Cool Whip.  Refrigerate 2-3 hours more, or until completely set.
**Original recipe calls for 2 cups of cold water, but this results in the salad being too soft set... I find 1-1/4 cups to be just right :)
Lime Jell-O Salad Recipe {the Prairie Cottage}
Hope you enjoy this light and refreshing treat!

Sunday, April 7, 2013


But I will hope continually,

and will praise You

yet more

and more.

Psalm 42:5


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