Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homemade Fabric Softener

Sadly, I am one of those people who love liquid fabric softener. Downy and Snuggle are my favorites. Why do I love them? The scent. They have some of the nicest scents and my clothes smell so wonderful after I use them. BUT they are ex.pen.sive! I came across many fabric softener recipes on the internet and I settled on this one from Becky at Petticoat Junction. It uses stuff I have here without having to make a trip to the store.


1 C. Hair Conditioner (Cheap stuff is perfect for this!)
2 C. Vinegar
6 C. Hot Water

Whisk all the ingredients together until it is completely combined. Use as you would store bought fabric softener. This is soooooo much cheaper than store bought and, so far, my clothes smell and feel great. I used up some old conditioner that I wasn't crazy about for my hair, but smelled great, the first time I made it and I bought the cheapest (nicest smelling) conditioner at the store for this batch.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meat, Meat and More Meat

Guess what we got??????? Give up??
Notice anything????

How about now?????

Do you see it???

If you guessed a dirty, unorganized office, you would be wrong. We have had THAT forever! Nope, we got meat, meat and more meat!!!! I contacted a farmer here a couple of months ago, that raises grass fed, no hormone beef. We just had our first steer butchered and this is our reward! Actually, there is more but, by the time I got around to taking pictures, we had already given a bunch to my parents and my in laws. Who knew there was soooooo much meat on a steer?! Okay, lots of people do but I didn't. My in laws gave us a chest freezer and it is filled COMPLETELY filled with ground beef. The rest of the meat, and there is plenty, was packed into our upright freezer in the pantry and the freezer under my fridge in the kitchen. There won't be much put into those freezers anytime soon. What a wonderful problem to have, right? Full freezers! I cooked some of the ground meat yesterday and forgot how much fat can be in it. I am so used to cooking with ground venison which has next to no fat that I was really surprised at the grease in the pan. It tasted wonderful, though. For dinner last night, we grilled some T-bones. O.M.G.!!! They were fantastically, yummified deliciousness!!!! (Yeah, I'm teaching my kids grammar. Aren't you proud?!)There was hardly any need for a knife. There was also a moment when hubby grabbed the bone with his fingers and chewed off all the goodness. Pretty sure he would not want me sharing that....
If you EVER get the chance to get REAL grass fed beef, PLEASE do it! The taste is VERY different from the stuff they sell in the grocery stores!!!! It tastes...well, more meaty. I used very little seasoning just so I could see what the meat tasted like and it didn't really need much seasoning. Usually hubby and the kids put SOMETHING on their steak whether its ketchup, ranch dressing or something else. No one used ANYTHING on the meat, it was that good.
Sorry there are no photos of any of the steak because it was scarfed down in a hurry! Trust me, it was good!

Happy Anniversary Honey....A Day Late

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary. No I didn't forget about it but I just didn't get a chance to blog about it until now.
My day didn't go as planned (does anything???). Homeschooling took twice as long as usual and both of them bombed their test :(   My house is such a disaster that, the more I tried to clean, the dirtier it got. The twins had a bicker-fest all afternoon, my chicken coop never got cleaned, I had to train my mom to do some computer work for my hubby, THEN the church decided to take my kids' youth group to the movies last night SOOOOOOO, we had to hurry up and cook dinner, scarf it down, and get them into town so they could go with their friends. Not exactly the peaceful dinner I had planned. Hubby did run me through Sonic so I could get an anniversary hot fudge sundae. When we got home, I had to do the twins chores because they were off watching the Hunger Games and having fun. Me? Not so much! After the kitchen was cleaned, I joined hubby outside to help him work on my new clothesline. After breaking the cord on one of his drills (and almost breaking his hand in the process) and numerous other dumb things, we called it a night. Unfortunately, we had to wait until 10pm to go back to town to pick the kids up. So needless to say, my anniversary did not go as planned. While I was in the shower whinning to myself and God, I felt Him telling me that I should be grateful I had a husband to have a lousy anniversary with. My friend, Mary Jean, just buried her husband 2 weeks ago. My other friend, Wendy, lost her husband to cancer a few years ago and she still isn't able to move on. Here I am griping because my day wasn't perfect. However, I spent it with my husband and my kids, my favorite people on Earth. I had a great tasting dinner (even if I had to inhale it) of grass fed-beef t-bone steaks that we just got from our steer that was butchered. I got to spend lots of one on one time with my husband doing a project outside. Most importantly, I was WITH my husband. Some people don't have that any longer.

Yep, God encourages me to put on my big girl panties and stop whinning. So...panties on and whinning stopped. Just the way it should be.
Lesson learned-A bad anniversary with my husband is worth more than a million great anniversaries with someone else.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Smelly House

This may seem a little weird to be talking about but it has become a dilemma in our house. Why does cooking some healthy veggies make your house smell like....well....butt? Stay with me here. The other night, I roasted some cauliflower because I just loves me some roasted cauliflower. After dinner, I had to go run an errand and, when I walked back into my house, WHAM! The butt smell assaulted my nostrils! It didn't smell like that while I was cooking or at least I didn't notice it. I can only imagine what visitors would have thought if someone came over.(Thankfully, no one ever comes out to this neck of the woods) So what do you do to keep your house from smelling that way? I can't give up my roasted cauliflower. Or my salmon. Or any of the dozens of other things that make my house smell funky. It is too hot outside to open the windows and I am not a fan of air fresheners because all that does is make the house smell funky AND flower-y! While I am on the topic of funky smells in the house, here is another one that really bothers me. We bought our house from a lovely older couple almost 7 years ago. We have remodeled almost every inch of it. All old flooring has been removed other than our bedroom and the twins bathroom. All walls have been repainted. Yet, sometimes I get a whiff can I say this without offending anyone....old people. It isn't always in the air but sometimes, I just get a whiff of it and I cannot find where it is coming from. The a/c and all the duct work has been replaced so it isn't from that. It is the same smell that was ALL OVER the house the day we moved in and, although it has lessoned quite a bit, it is still there sometimes. And it's gross. I don't know what to do other than to bulldoze the house and start over! Hubby and I actually talked about doing just that last night. No, not because of the weird smells but because the footprint of the house is just not working for us. Our house was originally a hunting cabin of sorts. Then, in the early 70's, it was added on to to make it a house for a small family. Problem was, it was added on to without any thought as to the finished product. The kitchen and dining room are in the center of the house. The master bedroom and ridiculously small living room are on one end of the kitchen and the twins' rooms and bathroom are on the other end, RIGHT OFF THE KITCHEN AND DINING ROOM!!!! While we are eating dinner, we are staring at my daughter's room.(Thank goodness she is tidy!)  And the bathroom is RIGHT THERE so if someone is in there and you are in the kitchen (which we seem to ALWAYS be in the kitchen) you can hear (and smell) everything going on in there. Also, my daughter's room is really small. It is long but very narrow. Only 9 ft. across. The closet is soooo tiny but that was all that could be fit into that space. She doesn't complain but I hate that her room is the size of a walk in closet. Her brother's room is a little better but it only has 1 tiny window on the north side of the house so his room in like a dungeon. he doesn't mind but I do. Then there is that whole issue of the front of our house is actually the back nonsense. We have looked at how much it would cost to remodel the house to get it closer to what we want but, even then, neither of us LOVES the house. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the property! Just not the house. Or the smells. It may actually be better just to knock it down and start over. That way we could have the stuff in the house that we want. Like a soaking tub for me. I miss a nice bathtub! And a room with a closet for my girl (and sound proof walls cuz I am so tired of listening to Taylor Swift over and over and over and over....)And maybe a garage. Yeah, I miss my garage. Especially when it is raining and we have to unload a month's worth of groceries and we get soaked because there is no roof to cover us. And working windows!!! That's a big one. Most of the windows in this house no longer open. Or they have to be propped open with 2x4's. So not attractive. Yeah, I think the old house needs to go. Out with the old and in with the new.....

Kale Chips

I know you have probably seen a recipe for this before and thought "Yuck". Well, let me tell you that it is so far away from "yuck" and right on top of "OMG that's good!" I had read that kale is really good for you and, because I know I don't get enough greens, I bought some. I sauteed some in chicken broth and it was fine but I wasn't "in love" with it. So I started looking for recipes to use up the rest of the package. I saw this recipe and thought "why not?" I am soooo glad I did!

All you need to do is take a bunch of kale, mine came prechopped in a bag and I used about 1/3 of the bag, and put it in a bowl. Rip it into pieces if yours isn't already chopped up.  Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix it all VERY well and dump out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread it around so it isn't in clumps. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. You want it to be nice and crispy. That's it. So easy. A little warning though. My daughter and I love these so much that we have to make A LOT of it to have any with meals because her and I eat it up so quickly. The first couple of times we made it, she and I were the ONLY ones to get any because we couldn't stop ourselves! I guess there are worse things we could be scarfing down than kale chips! So make sure you make enough! (And keep me and my girl away from your kale!)

I was going to post a picture of it but it just doesn't do it any justice!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Growing and Growing

I love this time of year. Okay, I could do without the heat and the bugs but I love seeing little tiny seeds give way to the first little green sprouts.  I have planted seeds in 2 plantings so far and, after the first 4 days, I have been rewarded with this:

This is green beans and wax beans and tomatoes blooming here. This in only a little part of the bazillion tomatoes seeds I planted this year! Hubby planted some Amelia tomato seeds that we had leftover from a couple of years ago to see if they would sprout and sprout they did. I also planted some Better Boy tomatoes, a grape tomato called Jelly Bean and cherry tomatoes called Black Pearl. I LOVE the black pearl ones. They are dark purple, almost black, and spicy! They were the first tomato that I actually ate off the vine. They turned me on to the wonderful world that is fresh tomatoes! My mom always loved tomatoes and would eat them all the time but I thought they were gross. Now, I am making up for lost time!

 This is green beans and zucchini.
I planted lots and lots of green beans this year. Normally, I don't plant a lot but I have become infatuated with whole green beans sauteed in my cast iron skillet with butter and salt/pepper. I buy big bags of frozen ones at Kroger and, honestly between me and my daughter we could eat the entire bag ourselves! I NEVER liked green beans before. I would make them and eat them because they are good for us but I never liked them. Now? OMG, so yummy. They say your taste buds change every few years so I am going to take advantage of this change!

So far, I have planted sweet peppers, 4 different kinds of tomatoes, banana peppers, zucchini, squash, green beans, wax beans, peas, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons, sugar pumpkins, okra and strawberries. I still have my corn and potatoes to get into the ground. Me thinks I shall be busy!! Hubby built most of my raised bed boxes so now I have to seal them to protect them from the weather and fill them up. Then...transplanting!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Happy Homemaker Giveaway

Ok my friends. Pam over at Ramblings of a Happy Homemaker is having a GREAT giveaway. She has started her own business of all natural and healing products. Let me tell you, her stuff is! I have been using her recipes for facial cleansers, hair treatments and moisturizer and she is really on to something. Check her out and enter for a HUGE product giveaway. You WILL NOT be disappointed!

Lord, Empty Me of Me

"Lord empty me of me so I can be full of you." I LOVE this song. Don't ask me who sings it because I couldn't tell you but I love the message in it. I have come to the realization that I have way too much me in me. When I think of the grand scheme of things, I am nothing but a cog in the wheel. Oh sure, there is a plan for me, completely and perfectly thought out by my Creator. But everyone of  us has a plan too, and no one is more important than another. However, in my case, sometimes I get the feeling that what concerns me is more important than what concerns someone else. That is a very slippery slope to be on, my friends. It leads to being a bit too full of yourself, your problems, your wishes, your wants, your needs. I could go on and on but I think you can get it. I want God to remove a whole bunch of "me" and fill me back up with Him. I want to be able to take myself out of the little picture that is my own little world and I want to see the "big picture". I want to know where it is I fit in. What has He called me to do that I am not yet doing. "Where you go, I'll go. Where you stay, I'll stay. When you move, I'll move. I will follow. Who you love, I'll love. How you serve, I'll serve. If this life I lose, I will follow." (Chris Tomlin) THAT is what I want. God fill me with this....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Funeral Cake

I just wanted to share this pretty little cake I made for a funeral for a very sweet man.

I am no cake decorator but I thought this came out very nice. The cake was my favorite chocolate cake recipe. The frosting was from the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen section. It's called The Best Frosting I Ever Had. It is pretty good!

Happenings on the Homestead

The busy season has begun. The grass has already gotten its first haircut and the tractor has been filled with diesel so that the pastures can get all gussied up. This is quite early for mowing but, with the nonexistent winter, the grass thinks it's the end of April. A lot of planning has been going on by me and hubby. There are so many things that need to get done. The house needs to be re-sided, all landscaping needs to be redone, the tennis court needs to be scraped so we can place the raised garden beds (which still need to be put together), my seeds need to get planted, the old garden area needs to be harrowed, fences need to installed in ALL pastures for future cattle, goats, maybe sheep. That is only part of what needs to be done. We had trees harvested and the carcasses of the old trees and brush still needs to be cleared away.  Not to mention the remodeling that needs to get done. So much to do, so little time and money! BUT, one day at a time, one project at a time. One thing I can cross off my to do list is getting grass fed beef for the freezer. I was just notified that out steer was butchered yesterday and will be ready for pick up in about 2 weeks. I am so jazzed about this!!! No more grocery store meat for us!!! This is the first time we have EVER bought a side of beef. Actually, we didn't just get a side, we got both sides...and everything in between! I get to call the butcher today and go over the cuts we want. I am a little nervous about that but the lady we bought the steer from said she would walk me through it. Now the only dilemma I have is making sure there is enough room in the freezers for the meat. My in laws are giving us a chest freezer and we have a big stand freezer that is only about 1/2 to 2/3's full plus I have the refrigerator freezer that I only have veggies in. How weird is it to be excited by beef?!

On the chicken front, all but 2 hens are laying. I don't know which 2 aren't yet. I don't really care, I love them all and I won't get rid of non layers right now. We now get about 70-80 eggs a week. It is a bit overwhelming since my in laws only take about 18 A MONTH! They aren't big egg eaters...yet :) My parents will take some once my mom can get over the fact that she has seen the chickens the eggs come from. She's funny like that. I used to be that way but, thankfully, I got over it. Hubby has cleaned out enough of the barn that he can get to our old chicken pen, that we used for the chicks, and get it out so I can order some meat chickens. However, he has told me that, before we butcher ANY of them, we need to get one of those plucking machines cuz he ain't plucking! Years ago, we had a mass killing of roosters on Easter Sunday. They had all gone into a frenzy attacking the momma hen and it ticked hubby off enough that he started piling them up with a .22. Once he started plucking, he plucked and plucked and plucked and, after 20 minutes, he still hadn't gotten to skin yet. So he pulled out his knife and skinned every last one of them. As you can guess, we really weren't country people back then. We had only moved from the city less than a year before so we still had so much to learn. Anyway, we haven't butchered another chicken since. Until now, I never really had a reason to. Now I can't stand going to the store to buy meat. I don't know where it comes from. I don't know how it was raised or killed. Most importantly, I don't know how they take a chicken that should only weigh about 3 1/2 lbs once its processed and make it weigh 6 lbs!!!! Okay, I do know how they do that and I don't like it! Good old home processed meat is what I want and it's what our bodies need. We don't need antibiotics and growth hormones!

My twins will be going away this weekend...without me :(  They are being confirmed this May and the church is sending them on a confirmation retreat to Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. They get to go to a resort while I toil away here ripping up landscaping. This is the first time that they have gone somewhere, for an entire weekend, without being with me or their grandparents. I am having a little hard time with it but, 2 of my girlfriends are chaparones so I feel a little better. My son is the only boy going so he will get plenty of one on one time with the youth leader. It will be good for him to hang out with the guys instead of  the girls in his family.

If I could ask anyone reading this, please keep my hubby in your prayers. He was been offered a spectacular job opportunity that could mean some really big changes (all for the good) for our family. He has prayed and prayed about it and is trying to make the best decision possible but he hasn't slept well the last few nights because there are so many details swirling around in his head. Either decision he makes will be fine. We don't need to take this opportunity to be okay but, if he does and it works out, we could be way better than okay!

I think that about updates everything going on right now. I still have posting to do on homemade deodorant, laundry detergent, fabric softener, hand soap and body wash but they will all have to wait their turn.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Not Your Usual Lasagna

I LOVE food!! Real shocker there, right? I don't really have a favorite type of food. I like a little from most categories. However, Italian would come very close if I had a favorite. I mean, who can go wrong with cheese? And pasta. One of my favorite Italian foods is lasagna...but I REALLY don't like ricotta cheese. I don't know what it is about it that I don't like. Maybe the texture...I don't know but I can't stand the stuff. I came across this recipe in Taste of Home magazine many years ago, by accident. I like to rip out pages from magazines that have recipes on them and that is how I ended up with this. However, it was on the backside of the recipe that I was really after.  I tried the recipe that looked so goo d in the magazine and really didn't care for it. I shoved the recipe into my REALLY BIG STACK of ripped out magazine pages and forgot about it. My son was going through them one day and pulled out this recipe and asked me to make it. I didn't really think I would like it but, honestly, I cannot resist this kid. So I made it. O.M.G.!!!!It has become a real family favorite. Even people who say they don't like lasagna, like this. So, without further adeux, behold....the recipe....Okay, so I changed it around a bit because it called for swiss cheese. SWISS CHEESE in lasagna! Umm, no, not happening.


1 1/2 Lbs. Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion, finely chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 -15 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
1 -14 1/2 oz Can Diced Tomatoes (Fire Roasted are lovely in this recipe)
1 6 oz Can Tomato Paste
2 Tsp. Oregano
1 Tsp. Basil
1/2 Tsp. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
A couple shakes of Pepper
9 No Cook Lasagna Noodles (Greatest invention EVER!!!)
12 Oz. Cream Cheese, softened
4 C. Shredded Mozzarella, divided
1/2 C. Grated Parmesan, divided

Brown meat, onion and garlic. Drain if necessary. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Add in the oregano, basil, sugar (I leave this out), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and put about a cup of sauce in the bottom. Spread it all around. This will keep the noodles from sticking to it. Take out your noodles and divide 1/3 of the cream cheese among 3 noodles. Lay them in the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan and 1/3 of the mozzarella over the noodles.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times but do not put the last 1/3 of the mozzarella on the noodles. Hold this cheese until the final moments of baking. Cover the noodles with the remaining 1/3 of the sauce and cover pan with foil.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is all melty.
Yeah, baby. Dat's what I'm talkin' 'bout....
There are a lot of ways you can change up the lasagna to suit your family. Sub part of the onions for peppers and mushrooms. Add some sauteed spinach to the cream cheese mixture (A great way to hide it from the kids!). Change up the cheeses. Anything you want!

Sharing at The Prairie Homestead

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kirk Cameron

I usually don't watch the news because there is so much junk involved in it. Drug addled, morally bankrupt celebrities having their 15 minutes of fame for the umpteenth time, neighbors stealing from neighbors, politicians behaving badly...However, the internet will keep me informed whether I want it to or not. I was just trying to check my email when the newsline splashed across the page about Kirk Cameron and his CNN interview. Before I go further, let me state that I really like Kirk. Yeah, I call him Kirk. We're on a first name basis. I loved him on Growing Pains when I was a kid (oh yeah, I had the crush!) and I have enjoyed his adult acting and respect the way he has chosen to live his life. Apparently, I am now in the minority. He gave an interview with Piers Morgan last night (I did not see it) and made some comments about gays. When I read what he had said, I honestly couldn't see what the big deal is. His stance is pretty much what the Bible says. Homosexuality is detestable to the Lord. Not the homosexuals, just the act. Yet he has been villified in the media. He was been sent hate mail and slandered because he has a belief that is different from society. Like society has this big moral compass or something. His former costar Alan Thicke went so far as to say he disagrees with Kirk and that "the Old Testament can't explain everything."  HUH? I am pretty sure that the Old Testament does explain everything. God is VERY clear about His views on certain things. Have we really fallen so far from His ways that we can't respect those who think different from us? The very sad answer is Yes. I have absolutely nothing against gays. They are some of the sweetest, most wonderful people I have met. But I do not believe that their lifestyle is something that should be advocated as "ok". God is very clear on this. I do NOT believe that they should be married. God states marriage is between one man and one woman. Why do people try to insert a "gray area" here? It is black and white. I guess it's a love the sinner, hate the sin kind of thing. And it IS a sin. It is called a sin, an abomination and detestable to the Lord in SEVERAL places. How can that be unclear? The media went so far as to say that Mr. Cameron should either bend to society's idea of right and wrong or just shut up. Excuse me, but we live in AMERICA! We have a little thing called Freedom of Speech and speaking your beliefs, when they are in line with God's, should NEVER be silenced! My hubby always says that opinions are like behinds, everybody's got one and no two are exactly alike. Society feels that cursing, sex talk, porn, lies and threats are all acceptable means of communication and that God's Word should not be spoken. That is very scary to me. What's even scarier is that so called Christians are siding with society saying that Mr. Cameron is wrong. Those Christians need to go back and read the Word. Read it again and again until it is imprinted on their heart. Never let others try and make you turn away from God's truth. His truth is the ONLY one that saves. All others lead to separation from God. As for me, I will choose God's ways over society's ANY DAY OF THE WEEK! By the way, I love how Kirk responded to his critics. He responded with love and kindness. No name calling, no hate. Love and Kindness. Who's truth do you think he is seeking? Who's truth are YOU seeking????  I am sure there will be plenty of people who disagree with my opinion, but didn't Jesus say we would be persecuted for His ways?

Pioneer Woman's Comfort Meatballs

I love Pioneer Woman!!!! I have been a huge fan for a couple of years now and I LOVE her food. I love anyone who isn't ashamed to use butter...lots of butter! There is no butter in this recipe but it is still awesome. This is the first recipe of hers that I ever made and it is a favorite. This recipe makes about 60-70 meatballs, depending on how big you make them. I use a cookie scoop that is about 1 1/2 inches across and I get about 70 meatballs.


1 1/2 Lbs. Ground Beef (I used venison)
3/4 C. Quick Oats (I was out so I used regular oats-worked just fine)
1 C. Milk
3 Tbsp. Finely Minced Onion
1 1/2 Tsp. Salt

A couple of glugs of olive oil
1/2 C. Flour

1 1/2 C. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Tbsp. White Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
4-6 Tbsp. Minced Onions

Combine ground beef and oats in a bowl. Pour in the milk, onion, salt and pepper. Mix it all up until all ingredients are mixed together. Roll the meat into small balls, about 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. each, and place on a cookie sheet. Put them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up. At this point I usually divide the meatballs in half and freeze half for later. Just set 1/2 of the meatballs on a 2nd cookie sheet and put in the freezer until they are frozen (about an hour) and then put in a ziplock for a future dinner (or lunch the next day :)) Once the refrigerated meatballs are firm, heat a skillet and the olive oil over medium heat. Dredge the meatballs in the flour and brown in the skillet in batches. You don't want to cook them through, just brown both sides. Raw centers are just fine at this point. As you brown them, place them in a 13x9 glass dish. You definitely want to either spray dish with cooking spray or grease it so the cooked sauce doesn't need to be chiseled out.
While they are browning , mix the ingredients for the sauce. Once they are all browned, pour the sauce over them all. Make sure you cover each and every one of them.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 40-45 minutes, until they are hot and bubbly. I usually serve them over rice but they would be awesome with some mashed taters, too!
Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering just remembering how good these were last night!

Sharing this recipe at The Prairie Homestead Blog Hop and The Way Grandmama Does It

Baked Brown Rice

If you are anything like me, you are trying really hard to eat better. Trading in white sugar for sucanat, bleached white flour for whole wheat flour, processed salt for healthy real sea salt. All of that has been very easy for me. I don't even notice those changes. However, one change has been very tough. Trading in my trusty white rice for brown. I am just not a fan of brown rice. I don't like the consistency nor the time spent making it so that it is edible. While scrolling through a blog hop about a month ago, someone posted this recipe from Food Tv's Alton Brown. I was skeptical. Very skeptical. But since I had brown rice that I wanted to use up, I tried it. I am certainly glad I did! Not only is it very tasty but the recipe is one of those fix it and forget it recipes. comes out PERFECT every stinkin' time! Because of this one lil' recipe, my life has been changed!!! Okay, maybe a BIT of an exaggeration there but this is one of those recipes that makes eating healthier completely painless.


1 1/2 C. Long Grain Brown Rice (I use Texmati for the great texture)
3 C. Water
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put rice in an 8x8 square glass baking dish.
Bring water, butter and salt just to a boil (I used the microwave) and pour over the rice. Stir to combine.
Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. No peeking! Once the hour is up, take out the dish and uncover. Fluff rice with a fork and enjoy. Since I made this for dinner last night and time was short, I forgot to take a pic of the finished product....ooops!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Taco Casserole

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and her and I make it whenever we are in charge of making supper for our church youth programs. We made it last night for all the kids and they!
It is so simple to make and you can dress it up or down depending on the occasion.


1 lb. Ground meat
1 Envelope Taco Seasoning (I used my own seasoning)
1-15 1/2 oz Can Chili Beans
1 8 Oz Can Tomato Sauce
2 C. Shredded Cheese-anything that floats your boat is fine to use.
1 9 Oz Bag Tortilla Chips, Crushed

Brown meat and drain any fat. Add seasoning, chili beans and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Spray a 13x9 pan with Pam and layer half the meat in the pan. Spread half the cheese on top of the meat. Pour 1/2 the chips on top of the cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
That's it. Super simple. I had some for lunch today and I put lettuce, salsa and sour cream on top. Scrumptious! Sharing the yumminess at The Prairie Homestead Blog Hop and How Grandmama Does It