Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

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From our house to yours . . . Have the merriest of Christmases!

A treasured homemade gift from son and daughter, Matt & Jess!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mini Choco-Chip 6-Grain Cookies

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Will loves cookies! At our age . . . I don't often make them . . . But, Will needs a bit of comfort food today!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving . . . Why We Celebrate

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Official Thanksgiving Day dates way back to a proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863 . . .

Monday, October 7, 2013

Visiting Family in Michigan

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It's crisp and cool here in Michigan this time of year, and we experienced Fall at the peak of all her splendor!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fabulous Burger Buns ~ New and Improved Ingredients ~ for the bread machine

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I'm always looking for ways to improve the taste and health benefits of the foods I make . . . This is especially true of the foods I make often . . . Like my 'go to' Fabulous Burger Buns . . . With new and improved flavor and ingredients . . . Is that possible? A resounding . . . YES!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lemon-Lime Pesto Pasta with Salmon

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I love pesto . . . Will does not . . . That is until I made my fresh, citrusy Lemon-Lime Pesto! Now I have a new convert!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Good Ham Deserves a Great Rye!

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Will and I have both been craving our special ham . . . an incredible ham at a reasonable price . . . Kentucky Legend Ham. There is no store brand that can hold a candle to this ham! The meat is lean, perfectly seasoned and smoked. Because the meat is drier than most hams, it will last in the fridge for up to a month. Of course, a ham sandwich is only as good as the bread it sits on . . .

Thursday, September 12, 2013

DIY ~ Homemade, Washable, Stool Covers

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I've been messing around with the idea of making washable seat covers for my padded stools for quite some time now. I'd pulled out my 18-inch pizza pan to use as a pattern, but it was too small . . . I needed a 23-inch round for hemming and putting in elastic for a snug fit and easy removal for washing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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I worked outside weeding our 2 acre pasture for 3 hours this morning! The rain brought up all kinds of weeds, including the treacherous puncture vine (we call them steer heads around here). They're a type of sand burr, very painful to step on, and our pasture is filled with them, in varying sizes, from babies, to huge burr-filled plants! The burrs are so sharp they can puncture a bike tire, and the bottom of your feet! With all that hoeing and sweating, I worked up quite an appetite!

Monday, September 2, 2013

I have a secret . . . Bread Recipe!!!

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When Will goes out of town on business trips . . . I always make myself a special loaf of bread, one he never gets to eat! I also chill 2 cans of tuna because I love tuna and Will doesn't! I work so hard outside, doing Will's chores and mine when he's gone . . . I need to baby myself a bit!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sweet Pumpkin Scones

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I love scones! They taste like a biscuit, only fancier . . . and with a bit of mystery and sophistication for those of us in the US. The truth is . . . Scones only "appear" more difficult to make than a baking powder, buttermilk, biscuit (not talking about a cookie here)! Scones are actually easier and quicker to make, and Sweet Pumpkin Scones are no exception to that rule! By adding pumpkin, brown sugar, and warm fragrant spices, you'll have a moist cake-like version of the beloved scone!

Pumpkin . . . . 1 Recipe ~ Muffins and Drop Cookies

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Most of the day was spent working in my kitchen processing our last 6 pumpkins. They needed to be baked, and puréed. Some were measured out in 1/2-cup increments, frozen in muffin tins, bagged and dated for the freezer to be used later. The rest ended up in moist, lightly spiced Pumpkin Scones (I'll share that recipe tomorrow), Pumpkin Nut Muffins and Pumpkin Drop Cookies!

Friday, August 23, 2013

DIY ~ Monkey Business!!!

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Around 4 years ago I purchased Curious George monkeys for all the Grands . . . For the girl monkeys I added blush, earrings, ribbons, pretty dresses, ballet skirts and Maggie, Katherine, Molly and Abby were born! For our Grandson, John Isaac, I made a safari outfit for his George. A year later, Jude Michael was born and we gave him a smaller Georgie in flannel PJs!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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We grew almost 100 lbs. of Sweet Sugar Pumpkins this year! That means a lot more pumpkin recipes to come and . . . Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Keeping it Simple . . . Berries Anyone?

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Way back, when I was a girl both my Momma and Gram had fancy berry bowls sets. A set consisted of a medium serving bowl and 6 small fruit dishes. I felt elegant eating wild huckleberries out of Gram's pink depression glass berry dishes!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Baked French Fries with Smokey Season Salt

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I love anything that saves me money, replaces bad oils with healthy ones, has less calories, and tastes totally, freaking, awesome!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

DIY ~ Making Creole/Cajun Seasoning

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I used to buy Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning, but it had too much garlic powder to suit my taste. Then I tried making Emeril Lagasse's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning about 5 years ago, and I've been making my own Essense ever since!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beekeeping . . . Emile Warre' Style

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Will and I began our week by harvesting honey, This was actually the first honey ever taken from our Warre' bee hive!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DIY ~ Fruity Vinaigrette and Ranch Dressing

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Will and I made a decision this year that we would do without prepared foods that use margarine and hydrolyzed oils, particularly those with soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup. That basically means no store bought salad dressings, bread, hot dog or hamburger buns, no crackers, desserts (pies, cookies, sweet rolls) or flour tortillas . . .

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs . . . Yummy!

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Bacon wrapped hot dogs stuffed with relish, melted cheese, wrapped with crispy bacon, and a hefty squirt of yellow mustard, was one of my favorites meals as a little kid, and I still love them!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A.J. and the Creamsicles

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I got a phone call from my granddaughter yesterday . . . She was following my recipe for making Creamsicles and was having trouble "waiting" for the ice cream to harden around the sticks so they could eat them!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Healthy Summer Salads Should be Beautiful and Tasty!

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I have been enjoying all the beautiful summer fruits available this time of year! They are the perfect addition to healthy summer salads, and the perfect enticement to get your kids to enjoy eating salads!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fruit Pizzas for Matt's Birthday Party

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It doesn't get better than this! For this "pizza" . . . I start with a crunchy sugar cookie crust . . . next a sweet layer of vanilla sugar cream cheese . . . add an artistic array of beautiful seasonal fruit, ripened to perfection . . . and finally, a sweet, tart orange glaze . . . and you've got Fruit Pizza!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Golden Pumpkin Bread ~ made . . . not baked . . . in the bread machine

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I absolutely love my bread machine! And while I don't actually bake my breads in it, it saves me a ton of time mixing, kneading, rising without having to attend to it, and without a ton of messy cleanup! I can put my ingredients in the bread machine pan, turn it on Dough Cycle, and I have 1 1/2 hours to shop, garden, nap, whatever!

Monday, July 15, 2013

There's a New Pancake in Town!

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This weekend we enjoyed the company of A.J. and Hannah, two of our Grands! Breakfast is A.J's favorite meal of the day, so I decided to make pancakes using some of our late peaches . . . We all loved them!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Small Batch ~ Pumpkin Butter

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Where you live it's probably not time to harvest pumpkins . . . but harvsting, we are! I'm relieved this is our harvest time, today was 110F/44C! Will just picked all of our late peaches, and we picked 3 Sugar Pie Pumpkins. We'll start a fall garden when it gets below 100F.

Friday, July 5, 2013

48 Little Pumpkin Pies Using Will's Homegrown Pumpkins!

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Our family loves getting together to for the 4th of July, America's Independence Day celebration! Our children, their children (the Grands) and of course, Will and I gather at Jason and Annie's for food, fun, swimming and end our evening by watching local fireworks! This year our friends Tino and Elsa joined us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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Hummus is one of those pricey dips found in the deli section. Health foodies have a deep appreciation for chick peas, aka garbanzo beans.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Rhubarb Pastry

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Our youngest son, Matthew L~O~V~E~S rhubarb! Matt volunteered to drive up last weekend with his family to help his Papa put a new starter In our pickup. I had 2 pounds of "fresh picked rhubarb, and wanted to bake up something special to show my appreciation.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Irish Soda Bread . . . Dutchy Style!

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I like to know the rules, and follow them, except when it comes to cooking and baking . . . Then I always leave room for my creative juices to flow! While there is probably a wee mite of Irish in me, I believe it's the Dutchy side that's the creative cook and baker! That said, "Let's talk Soda Bread"!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Tomatoes and Canned Homemade Ketchup with a Kick!

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I was looking for a creative way to use my first batch of homegrown San Marzano and Early Girl tomatoes and decided . . . KETCHUP!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Berry Pie with Easy Food Processor Butter Crust

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We've been doing well with our low-carb lifestyle, eating berries by the handful, no fruit crisps, no pies, or tarts . . . for 2 whole weeks! . . . until we needed a "welcome home" pie!

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Favorite Thin-Crust Pizza Recipe

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I know we're supposed to be low carbing it, but sometimes (especially after 4 weeks without pizza) you just have a craving for a homemade pizza!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Peachiest Peach Ice Cream

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Yes, it's peach season again! Over the weekend I made my now World Famous (thanks to all you wonderful visitors from around the world!) Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Our 3 Sisters (Will's) Garden and 2 Sisters (Julie's) Garden

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This spring Will and I both planted a special heirloom garden . . . Mine was planted in very fertile raised beds . . . Will's garden? . . . In our old horse pasture with a bit of mulch added.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lamb Shanks . . . Tender, Juicy . . . Cooked to Perfection!

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Growing up, once in a great while, Momma would make a leg of lamb. It was disgusting . . . With a strong musky flavor, and that mint jelly? . . . Don't even get me started! Momma was a good cook, but not when it came to lamb!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Busy Bees and Springtime Flowers . . . The Ultimate Eye Candy!

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As others are finally experiencing spring weather, in all it's glory, we are entering 5 months of some serious desert heat! This is a small photographic recap of the beauty we have enjoyed these past couple of months . . . I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Easy, Low Carb ~ Lemony Custard Ice Cream

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Will began reading a kindle book through called Kick Your Fat in the Nuts. He found the title intriguing . . . guess it's a guy thing . . . Smirk ; ^ }

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Rhubarb Jam with Pink Grapefruit

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I've been enjoying rhubarb for almost 3 months, but this week we're supposed to hit 101F! My beloved rhubarb patch does not like hot weather and will probably begin to wilt and die.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ants and How to Curb Their Ant-I-Social Behavior with Baby Powder

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How many times have you been outside . . . just minding your own business, and ouch! . . . You're being eaten alive by ants!!!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fresh Rhubarb Pie . . . Oh Yah, Baby!!!

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What could be more perfect than combining my 2 favorite foods? I love pie and I am head-over-heels "In Love" with anything that features RHUBARB as the main ingredient!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken Breasts with Leek and Marsala Wine Sauce

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Will came out of his office today around 10:30 AM to ask, "What's for lunch? I'm starving!" I guess all those conference calls can give one an appetite!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oven-Roasted Hot Wings

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This was a tough day for me . . . I've been maintaining my overall health by see my chiropractor/accupuncterist twice a month. It seems I've hit a plateau (wall) and I'm not able to do all the things I want to do without pain. Grrr! Very frustrating!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Banana Nut Bread a Slice of Paradise

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The perfume of Banana Bread floats on the air throughout the house as it bakes in my toaster oven. It smells so crazy-good, I could almost swoon!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gardening . . . Making good choices - part 2

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Here are the garden photos I promised you! I hope you get a sense of how excited I am to wake up each morning surrounded by such beauty! Hope you enjoy the tour!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Here's What I've Been Busy With

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I have collected recipes since my senior year in high school. Instead of working on my art project, a mosaic made up of tiny squares of color cut from magazines, I was busy with a razor blade knife cutting out recipes! (I wonder what kids use to cut out pictures from magazines these days? Maybe rounded scissors?).

Friday, March 22, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rhubarb Lemonade Elixir . . . Excitingly ~ Delicious!!!

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I am a rhubarb lover from way back, so, when I found this recipe for Rhubarb Lemonade I was salivating at the thought of tasting it!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yummy Carrot Cake Loaves

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Will surprised me on Sunday afternoon by baking up 2 Carrot Cake Loaves, complete with Cream Cheese Frosting!

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Three Sisters ~ Corn, Beans, Squash

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Will has decided to garden like the Native American Indians this year, so he is breaking new ground, and has purchased heirloom seeds from Seeds Trust.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fully Loaded Potatoes ~ Quick! Easy! Delicious! Healthy Alternative!

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I found time got away from me while out gardening. We were both tired, dirty, and ravenous . . . It's in vulnerable moments like that, you need a back-up plan!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DIY ~ Elbow Grease ~ Moisturizing Healing Discs

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We live in a climate where the sun shines most of the time and our humidity is usually 13%. That means our skin dries out real easily, especially in the wintertime. My sister lives in a climate that's cold and dreary in the winter, and her hands crack and bleed! We need an INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH MOISTURIZER with STAYING, HEALING POWER!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Benefits of Daily Juicing & Review of Cuisinart Citrus Juicer

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I bought a new juicer last week. My rational was to find a juicer I could use daily to offer my family the freshest, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, cold and flu fighting, anti aging, citrus juice possible!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I made a wonderful mistake, and created Citrus Dream Body Cream!

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Being in such a big hurry to get a hair conditioner made to go with my cured shampoo soap, I put a hair conditioner recipe on the blog before testing it . . . BIG MISTAKE!!! SO SORRY!!!

DIY ~ Homemade "Buttermilk"

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You can make your own buttermilk if you have a milk cow. You can buy buttermilk from the dairy case or in powdered in baking section of your grocery store or . . .

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's have a heart to heart . . .

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The reason I began this blog was to connect with you on a heart to heart level, to help you to grow, and encourage you to be adventurous when it comes to learning Back to Basics' skills . . .

Monday, February 4, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies for Your Valentine

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Who doesn't love shortbread . . . add chocolate . . . a wee bit of expresso . . . and a smidgen of cinnamon and you have a great cut-out cookie to make bears, dinosaurs, Christmas trees and beautiful Valentine cookies!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Carolina Barbecue Sauce for Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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This will get you salivating . . . Pulled pork simmered slowly in tangy, hot and sweet, homemade, Carolina Barbecue Sauce. Pile it high on a perfectly toasted bun . . . extra sauce please! Top it with crispy coleslaw, made with your own creamy coleslaw dressing, and you've got sheer yumminess in every bite!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Squares

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I've been looking for this recipe for years! My notes by the "lost recipe" said, "Terrific, Great and WOW"!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lemon Oregano Chicken

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Lemon in cooking, brings a wonderful depth of flavor, add fresh chopped oregano, a bit of fresh garlic, a pinch of pepper flakes, salt,and pepper and we're talkin' "Good Eats"!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Luscious Lemon Bars

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We've been blessed with a bumper crop of lemons this year, which is a absolutely wonderful because lemons can be used for cooking, baking, in salad dressings, cleaning supplies, lotions, candles, lip balms, soaps, potpourri, cold remedies and so much more!

Saturday, January 5, 2013