About me

I started this blog years ago as a way to keep track of my recipes and projects. Friends and family would ask me for recipes and I figured I could put it all in one spot for everyone to access, whenever.

Check out the links to the right and left of my posts to see my other recipes and ideas and ramblings.

If you like my page, find me on facebook, link to the right, I share my blog recipes, and blog recipes from blogs I enjoy.

Please be patient, as I am working to organize my recipes on here better, my page has gotten out of hand.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Don't laugh at the schmutz on the side of my pan...I am no food stylist..we are real people in this house and we eat real food..I could have re-baked one for the pic, but I was busy living my life. 

Preheat oven to 350°
if not using a bread baking stone, grease bread pan

In a medium bowl:
1 C flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
Pinch Cardamom
Pinch Cloves

Mix with a wire whisk.

In mixing bowl:
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix well (about 2 minutes
 fold in
1 1/2 C shredded zucchini (use medium grater or shredder)

Add in dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Add in
3/4 C chocolate chips

Bake at 350°for 55-65 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Place on wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire rack and cool, or cut right in the bread pan and serve.

I have three of these Stoneware Loaf Pans..they bake an awesome product!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Oyster Cracker Snack Mix

You can mix almost any snacks but here's what I did

1 9 ounce bag of oyster crackers. 
1  11 ounce box of cheese nips. (For some wonderful reason these are half the price of cheese its, and just as good. Thanks Nabisco) 
Half a bag of waffle shaped pretzels. 
1 pack ranch dressing mix
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dill weed 
3/4 c oil

Mix the snack mixes in a bowl add oil seasoning and spices. Pour into 2 baking stones
Bake at 250° for 30 minutes. Stir or toss around halfway through baking. 

Cool completely before putting into a air tight container. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dying a leather sofa. See the dramatic transformation

We were given this white (beige?) leather sofa set and my sofa has seen better days thanks to my pets.  The leather set was in pretty good shape but the color was loud for me.  A friend described it as "Godfather-like tacky italian" lol.  
I decided if it was going to stay, it needed a makeover.  A local guy dyes sofas, so we called him.  $3000.00!  WHAT!  I could get a new sofa set for that!
My first thought is, if he can do it, so can I.  All I needed was the product he uses and I am sure he wouldn't want to share his secret, so I googled leather dye. 

www.rubnrestore.com has a product, and lots of product support, testimonials etc that looked pretty simple.  What do I have to lose?  If I ruin it, I didn't want a white sofa anyway..and if it turns out, I salvaged a nice set.
This will NOT rub off on your clothing when it is dry and sat on it 15 minutes after dying it. 

I wasn't sure how much I would need so I over bought.  I got two of their large size bottles and a bottle of the primer/clear. It was about 150.00...but they take returns and I didn't even open one of the bottles. I decided to keep it around for future projects though.  about 90.00 for one bottle of mahogany dye and one bottle of clear coat/primer.  One bottle did both sets. I can't believe it. 
 Here are some before and after shots...it was nearly impossible to get good lighting but I did the best I could. 
I am SOOOOO happy with the results and it was simple.  It did take a little muscle to get into the cracks (the cushions on this set do not come off so getting down in the cracks took some work but I got a good arm workout).  Anyone can do this. I can't believe someone charges $3000.00 for this. I got it done in one day.  It dries in minutes and is ready for the next coat. Because it was a dramatic change, it took about 5 coats...but it was fast and easy.  

People also dye purses, boots  and even some old dashboards with this stuff (look on their website and also search it on pinterest).  
 I am not affiliated with Rub N Restore, I do not gain anything by raving about their company, except that I hope to turn people on to them, to keep their business booming so I can come to them in the future and know they will be around for a long time.  

I did not use the clear coat on the top.  I like the shine it offered with just the dye..but I may clear coat it in the future.  I did use the clear coat to prime it.  

Love Seat Before
Sofa before
Rub N Restore (I only used one of those bottles of dye for both pieces)
First I cleaned it with vinegar and water. 
I kept a spray bottle to keep my sponge moist but not too wet. 
first coat
first coat
after first coat (we liked the distressed look but kept on going) 
first coat on half and second coat on half

second coat 
third coat
done after 5 coats 
sofa complete
sorry for the glare
I highly recommend this product. Its available in so many colors and you can restore yours to the color it was when you bought it, or change black to white or white to black, etc.  

After seeing this, 2 people I know who have white leather sofas that were given to them, want me to help them dye theirs. Why did so many people buy and give away white leather sofas?

I do want to add that I used a hair dryer to get into the cracks and dry it faster..it will stick and pull the color off before it dries if you don't.
This will NOT rub off on your clothing when it is dry and sat on it 15 minutes after dying it. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

2 minute Rice crispy treat (single serving)

2 minute Rice crispy treat (single serving)

Are you home alone or live alone and don't want to eat a whole batch of rice crispy treats by yourself?
If you live close to me I'll help you. Or you can make a single serving rice crispy treats in your microwave in minutes. 

All you need are: 

1 tablespoon of butter 
4 marshmallows
 1 cup rice crispies 

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a deep cereal bowl. 

Add 4 marshmallows and microwave for 15 seconds. 

Stir the butter and marshmallows until completely combined. 

Add 1 cup rice crispies  and stir well. 

Pour onto a piece of foil and form into a squarish shape.
 You don't have to do this you can just eat it straight out of the bowl. 

Let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes or refrigerate for quicker set up. 
Again you do not have to wait you can eat it immediately. 
There's enough for two rice crispy treats. Or one really big one. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Waldorf Salad

You can put this over lettuce or add chicken strips to make it a complete meal.   It's a great side dish for any meal.

Waldorf Salad 
2 C celery, chopped
3 C apples, chopped and tossed in lime juice
1 c dried fruit (a mixture of cranberries, blueberries and cherries is my fav)
1 C grapes, cut in half (optional)
1 C walnuts

1½ C sour cream
4 T  honey

Mix the sour cream and honey and toss in everything else.  Sprinkle poppy seeds on top. You can also sprinkle with cheese (feta, bleu cheese)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Cajun Seasoning

I recently made a new recipe that called for cajun seasoning.  I didn't have any commercial stuff, so I whipped up my own.
Nothing fancy, Plain Jane basic.

Cajun Seasoning

This recipe makes about ½ cup.

1 T of paprika (over flow that spoon)
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder 
3 t oregano
3 t thyme
3 t salt
3 t pepper
2 t cayenne pepper
1 t crushed red pepper flakes.

Stir and Jar. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Getting Motivated To Eat Healthy

I am a junk food junkie....having been raised by a father that worked in a chocolate factory, its amazing I am not overweight. I adore junk food.  Lucky for me, I have a pretty good metabolism.  Our parents worked a lot of hours and we fended for ourselves when it came to eating...and some choices, like making cake batter for the sole purpose to eat the bowl of batter wasn't always the most wise choice, but we were teenagers.

Don't get me wrong, I am very active, (I walk on average, 18,000 steps a day just at work), and I love to exercise and play (most days).  You only grow old when you stop playing.
I also love healthy food...naturally...I don't force anything I don't like...but I pretty much like anything healthy. My family is all on board too....my kids have been caught cooking a bag of brussels sprouts for a midnight snack.

One thing that keeps me motivated is reading up on healthy eating.  Yes, I love the new Rocky Road Snickers bar...wow, that is good...and the occasional Big Mac is still an indulgence (please don't tell me its not real food, I know and I don't care)

Reading is one of the best motivations for eating healthy (and being fit).  I promise you.  Buy a  health/fitness/nutrition book, check one out at the library..but read up. It will inspire you to make a change.

Marion Nestle is one of my favorite nutritional food authors...(I love Michael Pollan too)  I have written about them both several times on my blog.
I just ordered her book, Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics. The reviews on this book are fantastic...of course, there are a few naysayers..but they are just making excuses for themselves.
Just a few reviews, go to Amazon to read more.

"If you want to understand what's wrong with our eating habits, you must understand the central role that calories play. Nestle and Nesheim are two of America's finest nutritionists–and this book explains, clearly and succinctly, why calories count. It is essential reading not only for people interested in food policy, but for everyone who wants to eat well and be well." –Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

I was prepared to spend most of my time skimming this book for useful information while avoiding the boring parts that often encumber these kinds of texts, but I read this one cover to cover in just a few days. In fact, as I was reading it and nearing the end I tweeted:
"Sad that I'm almost done reading 'Why Calories Count.' It's so good that I don't want it to end. Really." (@weighthacker)

That's because Why Calories Count is the fascinating story of what calories are, how they were discovered, how they're measured (my favorite way: using 'double labeled water' calorimeters), how our bodies use them, why they're important to us, how they affect our weight, and how our society views them. If you're at all interested in the calorie, I don't think you'll find a better book.

What I especially appreciate about Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim's approach is that they don't (ahem) sugar coat anything. When information about certain aspects of calories is unclear, they say that. If there are conflicting points of view on a topic, they raise them. If food companies are employing deceitful practices (they are), they're pointed out. They also explain how the regulations around calories came into being and how politics often plays more of a role than science when it comes to our nutrition labels. It's not as dry as it sounds.

All of the information is put into the context of why we're experiencing record levels of obesity and being overweight, and what we can actually do about it. This isn't a diet book, but it does look at many of the popular diets out there and explains why they work and which one is for you. (Why: You eat fewer calories. Which One: Any one that helps you eat fewer calories.) If you're trying to lose weight or know someone who is, this is a must read.

Once I heard Jillian Michaels say, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie...if you eat 3500 calories of oreos or apples, you'll gain a pound.  Its true...but I am working toward getting mine from the good stuff. Jillian is another great motivating author...she motives me to eat right and move.

So go ahead, eat that Snickers bar...but keep diet your ratio 80:20, healthy being the 80%.

Some will criticize that ratio is bad..but you can't do 100%.  No one can!  And some will criticize that counting calories is wrong....its not...whole foods are the way to go always...but count the calories of the things you eat for a few weeks...you will be surprised at how much more you eat, than you think you do.

Anyway, I challenge you to read, and read books from authors who are educated, fitness and nutritionists..not facebook posts that tell you that you can eat motor oil on a Saturday because it will make you live longer..just being silly but some of those posts on there are just as silly.

Some books in my libarary that I will never loan out or part with: