Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It is that time of year when I am starting my spring cleaning. I use my Home Comforts: The Art Science of Keeping a House by Cheryl Mendelson as my main resource for spring cleaning.

Things I like to do during spring cleaning is look where things are cluttered. And try to figure out why things gather there and how I can keep it more organized. Does it need a bin? Can I move some stuff to another place so that it isn't so cluttered? That kind of stuff.

I also go through things that I don't use to donate, sell, throw or things that need repair I try to do during this time also.

Things I try to remember to do - that are seasonal things for me:
Bedroom - flip mattress, change out bedding for warmer season coming on

Bathrooms - go through medicine cabinets to throw out stuff expired or should haven't kept in the first place

Overall house - change out pictures, centerpiece for table, pillows on couches, candles from warm scents to cool scents (like I have lots of pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon right now and I will change to fruity and linen scents.) Just making things more springy & light instead of heavy and warm. When organizing, I use labels for everything. We have a label maker but sometimes labels aren't suitable for the container so then I use clips with a little piece of cardstock

Outside - preparing flower beds/garden to plant, maybe a deck need painting, windows washed, screens repaired, washing patio furniture off...things of that nature

Some resources:
Spring Cleaning Printable Checklists

Complete Spring Cleaning Resource

Spring Cleaning Chore List - with a printable list

Five Tips for Spring Cleaning with Kids

Martha Stewart's Spring Cleaning Tips

3 Page Printable Resource from Martha Stewart on Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tips and Helpful Hints

18 Spring Cleaning Ideas

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2 Offers

Kraft has a free* magazine Food & Family that I really enjoy. It just has easy recipes that taste good. And some things give me ideas to spin-off from. Well now they have a pretty slick-version online too. (*sidenote: Food & Family magazine used to be free and now it isn't. I was really surprised to see that. Truthfully I am not sure it is worth $11.98 for 4 issues. I mean it is really full of good recipes. Their holiday issue is my favorite and looks like it too after the holidays full of earmarks and spatters from chocolate and such. If you know someone who has it, ask them to see it first before you order to see if it will be a good fit for you.) is now starting a club called The Mixer. It is going to have webcast classes, tips and techniques and ask an expert. And best yet it is FREE!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu 3/22 - 3/28

Last weeks menu ended up being really weird because of St. Patrick's Day for one and the other we just weren't very hungry.

So this weeks...
Sunday - meatloaf, homemade mac-n-cheese, steamed broccoli and cauliflower
Monday - bbq pulled pork and oven fries with salad
Tuesday - salsa chicken packets (chicken, salsa, green beans and cheese after out top with some crispy tortilla strips) and Spanish rice and salad
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - Soup and salad
Friday - homemade pizza and salad
Saturday - left overs

Here are some meal ideas...
Woman's Day Printable Menu and Shopping List

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Muffins and Scone Recipes from Woman's Day

I received a 1 year subscription for Woman's Day for filling out a survey or something like that - it was a while back so I can't remember. Anyway, I got my first issue last week and found a few little good things that I figured I would share every so often this month.

Starting with this link to some recipes for Scones and Muffins. Cranberry Pistachio Muffins recipe is what caught my eye right away though. I think they look really delicious but also they would make a good homemade gift.

ps: I love the star shaped muffins.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bulk Breakfast Burritos

Last week when I was looking at, I came across a link to an article about making "cheap" bulk breakfast burritos for quick morning breakfast. But their cheap - although might be cheap by some standards weren't by mine. The burritos on that site came to .72 cents a piece. I made 20 burritos that ended up being .37 cents a piece.

$2.00 - 20 tortillas - I get tortillas from Sam's Club in a 36 pack (2 packs of 18)
$1.20 - 10 eggs (was going to use a dozen but only had 10 left in that carton)
$1.66 - 2 cups cheese - That is approximate that was in the bag. But I didn't use it all but just using the price for the bag. The cheese is again a Sam's Club purchase where I divide up a 5 lb package into smaller packages and freeze
$1.16 pinto beans - 2 cans - these were what I had on hand but of course doing dried beans in the crockpot would be easy and also much cheaper
.78 Rotel- 1 can - Sam's Club 8 cans in a pack (Rotel is just diced tomatoes with chilies)
.62 green chilies - 1 can - these aren't in the package in the photo because I just needed a spoonful the other day for something so these weren't a full can but I would normally use a full can

Total = $7.42

So 20 burritos would be .37 cents a piece.

I cracked all the eggs into a bowl and mixed well. I then added the can of Rotel and green chilies. I poured into a pan coated with cooking spray. And cooked over medium heat.

Just before the eggs were fully cooked, I added the beans.

Place a good sized spoonful of egg mixture on a tortilla and top with some cheese.

Fold over the sides of the burrito so that they mostly cover the egg mixture

Fold over one end.

And roll up the rest of the way.

On a tray to flash freeze before putting into ziplocks.

To Microwave: I took straight from the freezer and microwaved for 1 minute. I am sure it will vary from microwave to microwave so that might be up to 2 minutes. In the other link it suggested defrosting in the microwave and then cooking. But the ones I made tasted good without defrosting and just microwaving for 1 minute on a plate.

Of course like stated at the link at the beginning there are many variations you could do to these. Add more veggies, different beans such as black beans or add some meat such as ground turkey and sausage.

Edit: 4/9/09 - I made another batch tonight but added a full dozen eggs and got 24 burritos out of it. Kept everything else the same.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March Questions: Cinnamon Rolls

I read somewhere on your other blog that you make cinnamon rolls on a regular basis, would you mind sharing your recipe? There's just the two of us here, so can you freeze the dough pre-baking? Do you have a small recipe? Any suggestions about cinnamon rolls in general?

It is really sad to say that I don't have set "recipe" for cinnamon rolls. I now make cinnamon rolls using dough from the wet dough recipes from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I usually use the broiche or just their Master recipe. Taking off a 1 pound chunk makes about 7 to 9 cinnamon rolls depending on how thick I slice them.

Before that book I just kind of make them with whatever dough I thought sounded good at the time or had in my freezer. I have made them with doughs for challah, brioche, oatmeal bread and just regular white bread. And again because most doughs I make using about 3 cups flour - that makes usually 7 to 9 cinnamon rolls depending on how big you make them.

I also made most doughs in my bread machine but I am sure could be mixed in a food processor with a dough hook or mixer with a dough hook. Or just old fashioned mixing with hands.

The doughs that I freeze are usually shaped in a loaf shape and then take out and let thaw and rise. And then punch down and roll out following a normal cinnamon roll directions. But actual freezing cinnamon rolls I have only done that once and I didn't have good results in thawing them, but I believe may have been other reasons then actually that they were coming from the freezer. (It could have been my yeast (that batch was at the end to jar so older yeast), it could have been where I had them rising and so on.) I don't see why it wouldn't be possible roll them up, slice them off, I would let them sit at room temp for about 20 minutes so the dough can start doing it's magic then put them on a tray to flash freeze them and then put in a ziplock to pull out what you want to make. I also freeze my cream cheese frosting as it always seems to make more then I want and then I just take it out while I bake cinnamon rolls to thaw a little to squeeze onto the cinnamon rolls after they have cooled from baking a little.

Also here on they have an article about freezing bread dough (not cinnamon roll dough but just thought it was a good resource).

Here is one recipe I have used for cinnamon rolls using my bread machine....

Cinnamon Rolls

* 3/4 cup water
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 6 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 cup softened butter
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons dry milk
* 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 2 to 3 teaspoon cinnamon

Add ingredients according to manufacturer's suggested order and set on dough cycle. Turn onto lightly floured board. Roll out to a rectangle about 10 X 18 inches. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting at long end, carefully roll up; pinch seams together. Measure and cut 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch slices. Place individually in muffin tin or nestled together in round cake pan and let rise about 1 hour longer. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then frost with cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2-4 tbs milk or half-n-half (optional)
Mix all the ingredients except for the cream together in a medium bowl until fluffy. If it's too thick for your tastes, add some of the milk.

I made these with the master dough recipe from "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day." It has white flecks on the caramel because I had made a pan of cinnamon rolls and used the same spatula to plate it so some cream cheese frosting got on the caramel.

Please feel free to ask a question or several for March Question Month!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Clara Cooking

So I found this YouTube link via someones blog....It is a sweet old lady named Clara teaching people how to teach like they did back in the depression.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Someone on the domestic group over on FetLife shared 2 links to articles from this site and I ended up spending quite a lot of time looking at the website in general. And so going to add it to the sidebar.

It is called and it is ALL things that appeal to me:
" began as a way to organize all the household tips, craft projects, recipes, kitchen & cooking tips and other neat-o hints that I've collected over the years. It's been expanded to share cool ideas and projects that I've found online (one of the most popular features of Tipnut). This handy resource site now shares over 1,000 tips and projects for you to enjoy! I hope you'll find something useful."

Menu 3/9 - 3/15

I am thinking of posting menus. It might not be weekly but hopefully often and hopefully I will in the future get them posted on Mondays. If you ever want a recipe for something listed please feel free to ask me as I am happy to share recipes.

Monday - leftover "chicken" and rice casserole (replaced chicken with diced pork - it was a nice change) served with steamed broccoli and homemade French bread
Tuesday - Philly Steak Sandwiches (doing the steak, onions, and peppers in the crockpot) served with salad and oven fries (tossing them with mustard, mayo, chipotle powder and grated Parmesan - which probably sounds gross but really is good)
Wednesday - chicken tortilla soup and salad
Thursday - left overs
Friday - spaghetti and meatballs, salad and homemade bread (going to try to replicate a bread we had when we were out of town recently) - freezing leftovers for a quick fix meal later
Saturday - take out Chinese
Sunday - seared pork chops with sun dried tomatoes and basil served with wild rice and green beans

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cook Now Eat Later for a Quick Fix: Pasta

When you are boiling water for pasta why not make another batch and freeze it. If you are wanting a quick meal with pasta sometimes just waiting for the water to boil can take longer then everyone at the dinner table is willing to wait. If you have some in the freeze you can take some out in the morning and thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in your microwave and then reheat in microwave also.

Cook your noodles according to the instructions on the box. Drain and allow to air dry so that the excess water evaporates. Then pop into serving-sized containers or plastic freezer bags and place in freezer. I like doing some in family-sized portions and some in single serving sizes for lunches.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March Question Month

I am doing this on my other blogger so I figured I might as well do it here too. Here are the rules ask any question and I will blog my answer. You can ask even ask anonymously. Just post your question(s) here in comments or via email.


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