Thursday, March 31, 2011

On my mind: March goes out

 Traveled to Louisville again yesterday...through some rain that turned into SNOW. Didn't see that coming!
   Anyway, no worries, the weather didn't get in the way of anything. We had a great visit with distant family, and before heading home, I talked Hubby into stopping by one of those big ole healthy food stores.
   In our little region, organic foods are so very pricey and sometimes hard to come by. So, I was able to buy a thing or two that we like.
   Pictured at right is a can of tomatoes bought here at home recently for $3.15, along with the cans bought in L'ville for $2.69. (Bought to pump up the flavor of cheap salsa.) The savings might not've paid for our gas (!), but every little bit counts, eh?

   Thanks, Rhonda at down-to-earth, for sharing this On My Mind concept. Anything on your mind? Share your link here or on down-to-earth. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Not buying it: Enchilada sauce

Stumbled on a good looking enchilada recipe the other day on Cooking In Mexico that called for three cans of Enchilada Sauce. Well, at least I thought the recipe was on there, but when I'd bought the ingredients and tried again to find the recipe, I couldn't. Anyway, the recipe called for a can of black beans, can of pinto beans, a couple of zucchini and onions as the enchiladas' filling, with 3 cans of enchilada sauce to pour on top.
   As I'm always looking for a reason NOT to buy something, this was a perfect opportunity to try out an enchilada sauce recipe I had on hand. Though I'd never made it before, I modified the recipe to suit our tastes.
Enchilada Sauce
5 to 6 Tablespoons chili powder
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
scant 1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
30 ounces of water
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
Combine first five ingredients. Slowly add enough of the water to make a thin paste, then add rest of water. Cook 'til the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon; remove from heat, then add tomato paste, stirring 'til smooth.
Tablespoon worked fine but using the scoop was quicker!
   Since I'd initially thought I'd just be tripling the recipe, I opened two extra cans of tomato sauce that I didn't need when I decided the enchilada sauce was tomato-y enough with just one. Perfect opportunity to freeze tomato paste in one tablespoon portions, to toss into future soups, gravies!
   I used my cookie scoop, which is a tad over a tablespoon if filled to the rim, so I didn't bother to fill it precisely. And I'm glad I found the time to post this morn, 'cause it reminds me: I forgot to get this pan out of the freezer! I know the paste is frozen enough now to toss together in some container.
   Care to share any other ideas for freezing small portions of __________ (fill in blank) for future use??

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why buy croutons?

Don't know why commercially produced croûtons come wrapped in so much packaging! I'll show them! Croûtons can't be that hard to make, so I'll just make my own...and do.
   The ones here are made with cubed homemade No-Knead Multi-grain Bread, but cutting up store-bought bread works fine too. Whole grain commercial breads might work best but stale white bread works well too.
   Take a couple of slices of bread, cube into little squares, then fry in a hot skillet with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (add butter too, if looking for deeper flavored croûtons to use on top of soups).
   I just grab whatever seasoning strikes my fancy that the smell of cooking oregano, so I often use that along with some other salt/spice mixture. I sometimes use Mrs. Dash, if not wanting added salt. Some Greek seasoning if I've got some feta cheese to go in the salad. Stir and toss the bread cubes in the oil until the edges get a little crispy. Then serve!
   Even though making croûtons is very easy, it's one of those things that I'd probably forget to do if I weren't consciously trying to reduce the packaging waste in this household. Yet another area where being green saves me some green!
   Hope something green is goin' on in your world today?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Little effort, big reward: Four Bean Salad

Found this recipe in Better Homes and Garden's Best-Loved Community Recipes cookbook and it's been in our regular rotation ever since. Modified slightly from the original, which is served over Romaine lettuce, we eat this on its own.
   This is the perfect recipe for those don't-much-feel-like-cookin' days.
   But the best thing about the recipe is that it can be modified to what's on hand...we've thrown just about any salad veggie into it with great results.
   Pictured here you'll see the last of sweet peppers we cut up and froze from Garden 2010. Hope we have as much luck with our peppers this year.
   Since I'm not a big meat eater, this Four Bean Salad makes a quick meal!  
   As we had our main meal at lunch today, this is what I'll be eating for supper tonight. What's going on your plate tonight?
Four Bean Salad 
1 15- or 16-ounce can cut green beans, rinsed and drained
1 15- or 16-ounce can cut wax beans, rinsed and drained
1 15- or 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15- or 16-ounce can red kidney beans (or red beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper
Small to medium red onion or sweet onion, thinly sliced into rings
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or white vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a large bowl, combine drained, rinsed green beans, wax beans, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, sweet pepper, and onion.
2. Combine and lightly whisk all dressing ingredients. Pour over vegetables; stir lightly. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours (Best served next day!), stirring occasionally. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour on Saturday, March 26, 8:30pm

Almost forgot about EARTH HOUR! Let's send a message around the world that we care about this big beautiful orb we are all blessed to live upon! Lights off at 8:30 p.m.
   Turn it all out if you can (or take it all off as Crunchy Chicken suggests!); if not, just watch TV in the dark for a change. For more info, visit EARTH HOUR.

Win some, lose some: Fabric adventures

Ooh, I hate it when I do something like this! When I was trying to light my candle the other day to refresh the wax on top, I broke a match on striking it. The flaming half dropped onto this tea towel. UGH, of all the goof-ball stunts!
   My fabric-refreshing went a little easier. A little de-pilling salvaged this tank top that I wear under a couple of tops that are a little too low cut.
   Durned undershirt started pilling after only a couple of washes. Trust me, I will be ever wary of buying any 92%Modal/8%Spandex fabrics in the future.
   I was reluctant to even try the fabric shaver on this relatively thin fabric, but the top was reaching the unwearable stage (I HATE pilled fabric), so I really didn't have anything to lose. I stretched the fabric completely taut before de-pilling, to reduce the chances of any folds getting caught and little holes being formed.
   The fabric shaver pictured here is slow and steady...I bought one another time that whirred like a motor boat & chopped plenty of small holes into the fabric as it mowed away the pills. Yikes! Used that one only once!
   Hope you're having more wins than losses these days!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On my mind: Repurposing a doodad

Some law that says pharmacies cannot re-use prescription bottles continues to frustrate me. Until things change, I will recycle the recyclable parts & hope to find uses for the little colored rubber rings that come around each bottle.
   Love this shamrock a friend gave me, but I didn't want the terra cotta pot scratching the plant stand, so that's where these doodads come in handy.
   A couple of rings came off when I washed the pot's tray, but no worries, just a little Elmer's all-purpose glue turns the trick.
   Always keeping my eye out for new purposes for the doodads and doohickeys that seem to breed around here. If you have any other ideas for new uses for these little rubber rings, I'd love to hear them!

   Thanks, Rhonda at down-to-earth, for sharing this On My Mind concept. Anything on your mind? Share your link here or on down-to-earth. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Easiest fish batter on earth

A friend who is an avid fisherman sometimes gifts us with a little mess of fish (already cleaned even!). This way of getting fish is even easier than Sesame Street's puppet Ernie in the fishing boat yelling "Here, Fishy, Fishy, Fishy!" and having 'em jump in the boat!
   My all-time favorite batter for fried fish is soo easy:
  1. Dip boneless fish fillets in Frank's Red Hot Pepper Sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce, then 
  2. Dredge in stone ground cornmeal (pic at right)
   That's it! Well, except for the frying! The super crispy fried fish will be slightly tangy, somewhat spicy...simply delicious.
   By the way, Hubby fried these up for us and used paper towels to soak up the grease. I'd have used newspaper instead...just like the English do when serving their famous Fish 'n' Chips.

   On another note, America has lost our golden girl, the iconic beauty, beloved two-time Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor. Her efforts as an AIDS activist prove this Hollywood legend's beauty ran more than skin deep. My favorite quote of hers was given in response to a question about her having been married EIGHT times:

"I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?"
                                                  Elizabeth Taylor

They don't make 'em like that anymore!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Buh, buh, buh, Blueberry Crisp

"Shopped" my freezer and found some frozen blueberries that needed to be used. A quick look through my computer files turned up a saved recipe from Saveur Magazine, Issue #51, which I modified slightly by adding the mace. We think this is yummy...and a crisp is soo easy to make, since no homemade pie crust is needed.
   And no, I didn't really eat my dessert by candlelight. Brought this candlestick into the kitchen to clean & burned the wax off the top, so it'd look fresh again.
   Made leftover Garbanzo Pasta Salad into Curried Chicken Soup for dinner...great way to stretch one chicken breast into at least two night's meals.
   Blueberries are just loaded with anti-oxidants and curry is said to prevent Alzheimer's, so I figure we did okay nutrition-wise with this meal. Will add some cooked kale to the soup next time I serve it, so it'll seem different once again.
   Turning leftover pasta salad into soup may be my favorite Leftover-Make-Over! What's yours?

Blueberry Crisp
6 cups (3 pints) blueberries, washed and stemmed
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 1⁄4 cups flour
2⁄3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. mace (optional) 
Pinch of salt
10 tbsp. cold butter
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Toss together washed, stemmed blueberries and granulated sugar in a bowl, then transfer to a medium baking dish.
2. Combine flour, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt in another bowl. Using two knives, work cold butter, cut into pieces, into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle mixture evenly over blueberries.
3. Bake until berries are bubbling and topping is golden, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with heavy cream spooned over top.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Time to get a little SAUCY

First learned of BBQ tofu over at Cooking.In.College & planned to make it but before I could, I saw another BBQ tofu post on Short Girl, Long Name. Thought I'd combine both Meg's & Jessica's recipes, but the morning the kitchen became tofu central, Hubby was on the computer. Since I log FAR more computer time than he does, I didn't disturb him & instead headed for a cookbook I'd gotten from the library: Get Saucy: Make Dinner a New Way Every Day with Simple Sauces, Marinades, Glazes, Dressings, Pestos, Pasta Sauces, Salsas, and More by Grace Parisi (looong title--great book!).
   I had nerve enough to make a slight departure from the Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce recipe found in this James Beard Award nominated book and the resulting Hickory Smoked Asian BBQ Sauce tasted GREAT!
   Since I forgot to take a pic of the finished products the day I served 'em up, above you see some of the leftovers heating up for my lunch: Potstickers with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and BBQ Tofu. I liked the BBQ Tofu well enough, but Hubby doesn't care for tofu & would only take ONE bite! *chuckle*
   Potstickers are super easy, so I make them often. This batch contained sliced onions, thinly sliced cabbage and diced yellow carrots that I cooked down & added a little BBQ sauce to before spooning onto the round wrappers, wetting the circular edges and then crimping. Added diced ham to the ones intended for Hubby. I steamed the potstickers & then finished them off in a skillet to brown in a tad of butter. (In the picture of the unfinished product, I forgot what I was doing & crimped the first too much. Second one I crimped as intended for a potsticker.)
Hickory Smoked Asian BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 Tbs. prepared yellow mustard
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid hickory smoke flavoring
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, add remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. Refrigerate, covered tightly, for up to 1 month. NOTE: Omit the hoisin sauce and sesame oil if you just want Hickory Smoked BBQ Sauce.
   Homemade barbecue sauce is so easy, I never buy the commercial stuff anymore...reduces packaging waste. 
   Well, that's what I had for lunch today, what about you? Anything interesting on your plate?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saving some green almost cost us the greens

Our first kale of the season...picked by Hubby, eagerly de-stemmed and washed by me, then sautéed by Hubby. And if I hadn't taken a pic of their green, vitamin-packed loveliness, we might have had no kale for dinner!
   Hubby was cooking the greens in a dim light but the camera flash told the tale: the kale was starting to burn! Yikes! Fortunately, all was not lost and very little needed to be picked out. The remainder was not tainted...much...but boy, was that close.
   Yes, in this instance, not turning on the light to save some green almost cost us the greens. Any close calls in your kitchen lately?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Check out that MOON!!

If ever you wanted to HOWL at the moon, tonight's the night for it. Yep, that big ole hunk o' cheese is closer to the earth than it's been in 18 years! Evidently, several factors come into play tonight to make it appear larger, look more luminous than ever. (If interested in more info, check out these articles on Yahoo News or The Guardian.
   Better yet, go outside and check out that bad boy for yourself! If you're on the computer this Saturday night, that is.
   I attempted a shot with my little Nikon Coolpix...not so great (at left). Hubby took a no-flash, long exposure (above) with his fairly new toy, a Canon Rebel T1i, and came up with something more impressive, but he'd really need a tripod for a good, clear shot. (Incidentally, its our neighbor's outbuilding in these shots.)
   Hope you had the chance to lasso the moon for yourself!

Friday, March 18, 2011

This moment: Tethered angel

Captured this at French Camp in Mississippi. A little ironic to see an angel chained down! 
   Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. Feel free to leave a link to your moment!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On my mind: Cute as a button, literally

Made a day trip to Louisville, Kentucky, t'day so the mumsy could buy a couple of sewing machines from her 97-year-old aunt who now resides in amazingly fine health in a nursing home. I unexpectedly ended up being gifted with a hodge podge of buttons that were collected through the years by my great aunt, who once made her living as a seamstress. Soo tickled to get these, as I'd been wanting to make over a boring cardigan with some nicer buttons...will let you know how that turns out!
   This funky wagon happened to be in Great Aunt H's neighbor's yard. Love it when a day throws nice little surprises my way! Any sweet surprises brighten your day?

Thanks, Rhonda at down-to-earth, for sharing this On My Mind concept. Anything on your mind? Share your link here or on down-to-earth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boil water advisory would catch me unprepared!

International news last night featured a story on how Japan is dealing with water shortages in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami...then I caught the local news about a neighboring town that is currently under a boil water order.
   The newscaster related that a Boil Water Advisory meant that all drinking water must be boiled 5 minutes before use. If washing dishes in unboiled water, 1/8th teaspoon of regular, unscented bleach should be added per gallon of water; the bleach water should then be allowed to stand 30 minutes prior to using. Found some good additional info at this San site.
   Of course, these news stories caused me to think about our own situation and just how unprepared we are. According to Fema, people should keep on hand enough water to last for THREE days, with one GALLON per person per day.
   We have only 2 1/2 gallons of water in the form of ice in the freezer. (Right in there with 20 lbs. sugar, a container of rice flour and several pkgs. of wild turkey breast.)
   We do wash the containers prior to freezing, so this ice could be thawed and BOILED and used for drinking, if need be. According to Fema, containers that once housed juice or milk are not suitable for storing drinking water, as they cannot be cleaned well enough to ensure against bacterial growth.
   I rarely use bleach and found that my container has only about a tablespoon left it it! So, my grocery list now has 2 new entries: 6 gallons of "commercially bottled water" and 1 gallon bleach. (And if the DD will let me, I'll be buying more of the same for her household.)
   Thing is, years ago I had this house stocked with such things...but I'd grown complacent & didn't replace the bottled water when it expired. Hope you are better prepared for a water crisis than we are??! 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wildly Frugal Orange Cake

Yesterday, I came across the wildest orange cake recipe ever. Stumbled across it on Conscious Earth, who got the recipe from Down to Earth, who got the recipe from HERE.
   This recipe was not only incredibly easy to make but also is wildly frugal in that it uses the WHOLE orange. Gotta love that! My version is a slight adaptation of down-to-earth's.
   The organic orange I used was whopping big, so my "cake" really seems more like a slightly sweet, ultra moist perfect-for-breakfast bread. Slightly bitter orange, like imported orange marmalades. Like down-to-earth, I skipped the sugar glaze on top, but most *American sweet tooths will be happier with removing at least half of the pith (zest then remove half of the rind) and using the glaze.
Wildly Frugal Orange Cake
1 whole seedless *orange, skin and all (VERY well washed if not organic)
1½ cups melted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
In a small bowl, sift or whisk the dry ingredients together until fully combined. Process the whole orange in a food processor until well pureed. Add all other ingredients and process until well mixed. Pour into a greased and floured 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" loaf pan. Bake 40-45 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven, until toothpick tests clean.
Optional Sugar Glaze
2½ cups confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
Orange juice and zest
Mix sugar, butter, zest and just enough orange juice together for a slightly runny consistency. Pour onto cooled cake, letting it run down the sides.
   Sorry I did not manage to get a better pic of the final product!
   A recipe that wastes little to nothing of a beautiful orange and makes the house smell great to boot! What will they think of next?!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Easy peasy Pineapple Cake

Cooking from scratch to reduce the packaging brought into the home doesn't have to mean more time spent in the kitchen. Not with such easy recipes as this Pineapple Cake!
Pineapple Cake
2 cups (10 oz.) all purpose flour
2 cups (14 oz.) sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
2 eggs
1 - 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained
Thoroughly mix dry ingredients, including the nuts, in a large bowl. Add the eggs and undrained pineapple and mix until combined. Pour the (relatively wet) batter into a 13" x 9" baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until toothpick tests clean.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups (8 oz.) powdered sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup/4 oz.) melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Blend well. Spread on cake while still fairly hot (about 5 minutes out of the oven).

   On another note, one of the greenest blogs around, Zero Waste Home, is in the running for a Green Award. The award would help ZWH take its message of making reducing household waste mainstream. Bea actually manages to make such a lifestyle seem not only worth aspiring to but also doable.
   To check out their video entry and vote for Zero Waste Home (you can even vote once per day until March 27th), visit:
   I'm afraid I've a long way to go before this household becomes zero waste, but cooking more foods from scratch does help me to greatly reduce our packaging waste. If you've any easy peasy scratch cake recipes of your own to share, please leave a link to your post!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seitan: What was I thinking?!

Okay, I guess I forgot everything I learned from Michael Pollan about eating only what our great-grandmas would recognize as food. Whether from curiosity or the siren call of a bargain buy, I bought SEITAN, that vegetarian meat substitute.
   Hubby right off sent up a mutiny flag and refused to even try it. Well, Pollan and Hubby got it right, 'cause that stuff is pure MEH!
   To be fair, I also find chicken and beef to be pretty dull once the first couple of chews have worn off the seasoning. Unless I swallow my food whole, by the time meat or poultry is all chewed up, there's a whole mouthful of BLAH going on. I've been a bit of a flexitarian since I was a kid for that very reason. I only eat about a half to a quarter of a serving of animal protein 'cause I get awfully bored with chewing the stuff.
   That boredom goes triple for this seitan stuff. NEVER again!!
   I will keep trying to add more veggie entrees to our rotation though. Actually, I was so tickled as I was cooking the seitan because I thought it looked great as I sautéed it with onions and garlic before adding the mushrooms, peppers and eventually noodles too. If I had to, I could probably even get used to eating seitan, but I don't have to, do I?!
   Don't think I'll be throwing the leftovers away though. I'll be eating and regretting this stuff for a couple of more days now. Any regrets being served over at your place??

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Make over: Love it when folks get creative!

Okay, if you can stand just a few more glimpses of San Diego, I just loved these examples of how people can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary!
   What to do with all those seashells everyone keeps dragging home from the beach? Embellish a mailbox!
   And how to make a concrete wall look worthy of an oceanside view? Poke some rocks in it!
   What about those pervasive terra cotta tiles? Why NOT paint them?!
   Gotta love it when folks get creative with their outdoor spaces. Hoping these memories will inspire me to do something equally quirky...if only in the backyard where only friends/family will see.
   I think of such practices as green...essentially it's about making over objects to suit one's own personality. MUCH better than buying new, cookie-cutter commercial options. 
   Any funky/quirky/artsy goings on in your outdoor spaces?

Friday, March 11, 2011

This moment: Life's surprises

Went to the grocery yesterday and on the way, I drove behind this truck. Thought I saw a calf in the truck bed, but it turned out to be a BIG dog. I'd never seen a dog as massive as this black and white behemoth! Had to take a pic, even though the car behind me laid on its horn.
   Anyway, got some great buys on won ton, egg roll and round wrappers. Came home and split each package in half, freezing most all of them. (Pictured here with butter wrappers being used as separators.)
   Also got an incredible buy on mushrooms: 10 - 8oz. pkgs. of sliced baby bellas @$1.49 each and 4 - 8oz. pkgs. white button mushrooms at .89 cents each. So ever since getting home from the store, I've had mushrooms cooking down in pans on the shelf of the woodburner. Once cooked, I'll freeze all the cooked baby bellas in various-sized portions for future pizzas, pastas and soups.
   One of these days I need to experiment with dehydrating mushrooms...the 4 button mushroom containers are waiting in the fridge for me to do just that. Hope to find the time tomorrow.
  Anxiously awaiting more news of our brothers and sisters in Japan. Hoping for the best for Hawaii and our own west coast. Tragedies of this proportion remind us all how very precious and uncertain life can be!

Thanks to Soulemama for this Friday photo sharing concept. If you're so inclined, leave a link to your moment for others to visit.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

On my mind: Pastry dreams

Did I mention that the FOOD is one of my favorite reasons to travel? This photo taken at a patisserie is now one of my recurring dreams! Think it's possible to re-create such a sight in one's own home? Not very likely, eh? Well, a girl can dream can't she?

Thanks, Rhonda at down-to-earth, for sharing this On My Mind concept. Anything on your mind? Share your link here or on down-to-earth.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fudge Cake for Two--simple to make, even easier to eat!

Need to hurry today, as it will be spent in much the same way as the last two: helping to see family and a family friend through some health issues. Best thing about these kinds of days is knowing the ones you love will soon recover and have a better quality of life when all is said and done.
   Here's my quick-n-easy chocolate cake. Actually found the recipe in Better Homes and Gardens Cooking for Two Cookbook, printed sometime in the 60s or 70s. Cake pictured here is the recipe doubled, and I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder.
   The icing is the EASIEST and yummiest chocolate icing I've ever come across...Mom's recipe that she got from a friend ages ago.
Fudge Cake for Two
3 tbs. cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbs. oil
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg beaten
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter
Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine liquid ingredients in a small bowl. Pour liquids into the dry ingredients and blend 'til smooth. Pour into greased and floured 9" square pan. Bake 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Easy Chocolate Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbs. melted butter
4 tbs. cocoa powder
pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbs. or so of hot coffee
Mix all of the icing ingredients until smooth. Ices one 9"x13" cake.
   One of these days I must get better at taking pictures...unfortunately, my perfectionism hasn't extended to that genre as of yet, or I'd never post anything!
   Also, I will never claim to be a perfect cook. I just like to eat good-tasting food, whether it looks perfect is incidental to me! I do like to share recipes that we enjoy, especially EASY RECIPES, and I get a huge kick when others do the same. And of course, scratch cooking means far less packaging waste in our landfills.
   So, if you'd like, feel free to leave your link here to a post of your favorite cake recipe. One day soon I'll have the time to visit and catch up on what's going on in your worlds. Can't wait!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Vinegar: How sweet it is!

Yeah, we all know you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, 'cause vinegar stinks! Pretty sweet savings though every time I use the smelly stuff to refill my "all purpose cleaner" spray bottle. At less than $2 bucks a gallon, I save $ using vinegar instead of a commercial all purpose cleaner for the kitchen.
   The straight white vinegar acts as a disinfectant, and I don't bother to add an essential oil to sweeten the scent, because the vinegar soon evaporates leaving no smell a'tall.
   Because my spray bottle formerly housed a green-tinged cleaner, I do add one drop of green food coloring to the vinegar. I do this so as not to confuse anyone who might reach under the kitchen sink looking for a cleaner. A green liquid makes sense in this container with a cucumber on it.
   Because my cleaner is straight vinegar, I have no worries about harsh chemicals on my kitchen counters and wooden cutting board contaminating foods that might soon follow.
   For more ways to use vinegar in cleaning, visit Anyone else with more $ in their pockets because of plain ole vinegar??
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...