Saturday, February 26, 2011

FRUGAL GRANNY: Personal Hygiene Stuff

I get so aggravated with Walgreens: they are MORE OFTEN THAN NOT out of the sale items I am after. For example, I could have gotten THREE FREE DEODORANTS this week because I had THREE COUPONS for the same amount off as their sale price.
 But why do I still shop there?  Well, they often have unadvertised bargains.  The Playtex tampons were on clearance for $1.39/box. I had a $3 off 2 coupon -- so these were FREE plus I made .20 cents!!  The Tampax box was on clearance for $1.79. I had a $1.00 off coupon, so I got that box of 40 tampons for only .79 cents.  The body soap was on clearance for $2.24 and I had a .75 coupon, making it cost only $1.49.  I spent only $2.08 + tax for these 4 items!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


My oldest son received his mission call on Friday, February 18, 2011. He will be serving in the Washington Tacoma Mission. He reports to the MTC (Missionary Training Center) on April 20. I am making up announce- ments (using his senior picture, too bad it isn't a white shirt!) to send to friends and family. It will have his address and the date of a farewell dinner.  I am so proud to be this wonderful young man's mother! He truly blesses my life and pray he will be able to bless many others while he is on his mission.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Shortbread Hearts

 These are my two shortbread molds from Pampered Chef.  I always cook in the mold, but you can mold the cookies and pop them out onto a cookie tray for cooking. This way you could cook more than two at a time.  I don't mind only doing two at a time since the recipe only makes 5 cookies, and it is cold..if I were to do these in the summer, I would probably pop them out of the mold and cook all at once.
 My recipe that I like to use:

1 cup butter, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp vanilla (or other flavoring), 1/8 tsp salt, and 2 cups flour.
Put in mixer.  If the dough is sticky, add 1/4 cup more flour (up to 1/2 cup).

I spray cooking oil on my molds then flour them well before pressing the dough in.  Prick the cookies with a fork to help prevent bubbling up, then cook at 325* for about 15 - 20 minutes (the time depends on the mold I'm using.. these take about 15.. some take 25).  Loosen around the edges with a knife then pop out and put on cooling rack.

I think these are beautiful just the way they are, but I have some 'food markers' that I painted on a couple with.  Maybe next time, I will use my liquid dyes and paint on the colors.. I bet the colors would be better plus that brush would be easier to use.

I've got my eye on some Easter molds... wonder if I could talk hubby into getting them for my anniversary or something. :o)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: one of my favorite blogs: "Cooking with Food Storage"

COOKING WITH FOOD STORAGE is one of my favorite blogs to follow because of all the yummy food storage recipes she shares!! The owner is having a cookbook giveaway for "I Can't Believe It's Food Storage" cookbook.. It sounds like a great book and one that I will need to acquire!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Tortilla Sandwiches

 Our YSA (Young Single Adult) group is having a dance tonight here -- the first in a LONG time.  (Most dances in our area are in Rolla or Springfield, both 2 hours away).. I hope we have a good turn out!
Relief Society has been asked to bring finger foods. I thought about cupcakes, but figured there would be plenty of cupcakes, candy, chips & dips, etc, so I decided to make sandwiches. I made these the other day when we had the missionaries over for lunch and they were a success!
I took a box of cream cheese and put in my food processor with one of my large homemade icicle pickles (sweet) -- about 3 tablespoons of sweet relish would work, too) and blended until smooth.. This I spread over a tortilla (1 box of cream cheese will be enough for 2 packs of tortillas -10 pack)..
I then sprinkled some dried onions over that and spread some spinach leaves.  I added lunch meat (I had a variety: ham, chicken, turkey breast..) and cheese slices. On top of this I put some of my homemade pickled banana pepper rings.
Roll this up, put in two toothpicks to secure and viola' -- delicious sandwiches!!

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Valentine's Vase

 My son, Nathan, works on a barge and is gone two weeks at a time. He happens to be coming home on Valentine's Day, so I am planning a wonderful dinner for the family (including his sweetie).

I am going to decorate the dining room, so I went to the dollar tree to see what I could find. 

 There were several vases for sale, and at only $1 each, that was hard to pass up.  I played with all the different sizes and shapes until I found one that would fit inside the other.  The lady bugs are very cute, but they are going to be hidden -- that just happened to be what fit in the larger vase without sticking out the top.

And BONUS: These were BOTH made right here in AMERICA!! Yay!
 There was not much room around the little vase inside the large vase, so I chose red hot candies to fill the void. This could be ANY candy, depending on what time of year you are decorating for: candy corns, sweet heart candies, jelly beans, etc..  I am decorating all in red and white, so red hots were perfect.

 Put the smaller vase inside the larger vase.  Then fill the void with the candy.. It could be any size vase on the outside. The inside should be about as tall as the outside, although you could bring it up to the top by sitting it on top of some candy.  The purpose is to have a place where you can add water for fresh flowers, or possibly a plant.
 While waiting in line at the store, I noticed some silk roses that were pretty. I picked up one bunch of them (the little white flowers were attached) to put in my vase.  For silk flowers, you probably wouldn't need the inside vase: just stick them down in the candy. BUT, it takes less candy with the inside vase in place.  I used less than 2 bags of red hots. I think it turned out lovely.


 I've been wanting to do some fun stuff for Valentine's Day and found some fun ideas on the "Happy Clean Living" blog.
 I've been wanting to make a pizza, so I made my crust using the 30-minute roll recipe from shelf reliance. (I use this ALL the time!!)

I shaped my dough into two heart shapes and added the ingredients for these yummy looking pizzas!

SADLY, I am on a diet, so I didn't 'taste test' as I went along, like I would normally do, and my pepperoni's were no longer good.
Poor Mark got sick (but his stomach had been a bit iffy from a bout of stomach flu or something the other day).. he staved it off with some apple cider vinegar (apparently the change of acid level will counter the bad stuff??? His sister told him this, and he seemed OK -- but he did lose the pizza which would make it ok,too)..

Natalie just got a bit of acid reflux action, and Nicolas was playing video games, so we were able to prevent him from eating any. He did complement me on how cool they looked and he even noticed the homemade crust!

So... I may have to try this again without the bad pepperonis!! But if I get any more 'slack' about this from Mark, I will be fixing him a big batch of Pepperoni Soup for dinner!  XOXOXOXOX

Saturday, February 5, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S LIBRARY: Blameless by Gail Carriger

I just finished the 3d of Gail Carriger's "Parasol Protectorate" novels in which poor Lady Maccon (Alexia Tarabotti) finds herself in more trouble.
 In this book, Alexia finds herself with child.  Her husband thinks that because he is a werewolf that he cannot sire children, so blames her of wanton behavior.  However, the rest of the supernatural sect believe her and are trying their best to kill her because they are afraid of the offspring of a preternatural (her 'soulless state) and a supernatural (her werewolf husband).
These are such a hoot to read because of the Victorian details to manners and speech. It is also fun to imagine some of the scientific inventions described -- things that one could imagine being really invented during this time period.
We follow Alexia's adventures from England to Italy and her husbands adventures as he goes from broken-hearted drunk (drinking formaldehyde and eating the pickled crunchy snacks contained in the specimen jars) to the realization that he was wrong in his accusations and his attempt to re-conciliate with his wife.  Her adventures include a run-in with Templar's, his include rescuing a vampire drone from the Thames.  All in all, it is a light hearted, fun book to read. I am looking forward to "HEARTLESS, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Fourth" which is due out in July 2011.

Friday, February 4, 2011

GRANDMOTHER'S SEWING ROOM: fringed embroidery

 I found a wonderful new (at least new to me) machine embroidery technique here.
Of course I had to try it out on burp rags! I have several more of those I can decorate yet!

This picture is taken before I pulled the fringes out. The flower on the right is made with wide satin stitches. The one on the left has had the bobbin threads cut out. The remaining threads were pulled out to make the 'fringe.'

And here is a close up of one of the flowers. You need to be careful when clipping the bobbin thread: if you accidentally clip the top thread, it will pull out and leave a bare spot (you can tell at the top where some of the petals are missing).  I thought this was a fun and pretty flower to make.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


 Every year I get my brother and his wife nutcrackers for Christmas.. I started out doing that because I LOVE nutcrackers and didn't have room to collect for myself, so I collect vicariously by giving to him.  After a while it just became the thing I do.. I did tell him if he didn't like the nutcrackers or got tired of them that I'd take them back!

ANYWAY, I found the most wonderful nutcracker patterns here.  I made pillows this past Christmas -- but still nutcrackers!

I had an awful time with the ruffles, so mom had to help me out with that. Before I do this again, I am buying a ruffling foot for my sewing machine! I am actually looking forward to getting this fun gadget!!

I LOVE how these turned out. It is not just 'red work' embroidery, but is actual line art.. I love the crisp, clear details in these. I took a close up so you could see them both.  I will definitely make more things from this set.

GRANNY'S KITCHEN: Gingerbread House

 OK.. I didn't MAKE gingerbread houses this year -- but I'll try to find some pictures of previous Christmas when I did!!

This was the year of the kit! These inexpensive kits were EVERYWHERE! This kit was pre-assembled. The candy AND the frosting were included.

Lots of fun and a lot less mess on my part..

Here is my daughter Natalie and her cousin, Alex, working on a house. I don't believe I managed to get a picture of the finished project. :o(  The royal icing is difficult to squeeze, but girlfriend managed !!


 First, start with a pound of powdered sugar.  I usually buy this in a 2 lb bag, so I 'eyeball' half and make a crease in it. Then I grab the bag by the crease and 'pinch' it in the middle. I am then able to cut open the top and pour out 1/2 of the sugar into my microwavable dish.

 One pound of powdered sugar is approximately 4 cups.  And remember, you can always take a cup of regular sugar and blend in the blender on high for a few minutes to make a cup of powdered sugar!
 Add 1/2 cup cocoa and whisk together.  Then put in 1/4 cup milk (WITHOUT STIRRING) and a stick of butter.

Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.

Then stir well and add 1 Tablespoon vanilla.  You can also add 1/2 cup or so of chopped nuts. Sometimes I like to put 'pecan meal' in this.

Spread this out into a well buttered container. Place this in the refrigerator to make it set up faster I like to use a freezer container (Tupperware freezer mate).  This way you can twist the container and smack it until the fudge comes out.  I am sure this would be just fine in a glass dish for cutting the fudge out.

I love this because it is SUPER FAST and EASY..
The family loves this because it is SUPER YUMMY!  As you can see, someone was into it before I had a chance to pop it out of the container or to even take a photo!
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