DIY Salsa Verde (Sweet)

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Tamatillos are one of the favorite items to plant in our garden. I say one, because they are up there among the tomatoes, peppers, onions and eat before you get to the house fresh produce!

Many people consider staples to be only their rice, sugars, flours, etc. In our household, I believe ketchup and salsa are staples too. Salsa, pickles and applesauce take the majority of our canning shelf in quantity. One year we decided to branch out with some tomato experimenting of varieties, kinds, flavors and their relatives. Ground cherries and tomatillos were a hit! Unintentionally, the following year, we found they reseeded themselves and we had load of tomatillos, hence the search for a deliciously canned Salsa Verde. Here is a simple recipe that may be easily converted to your pantry canning section. Even better, it takes less that 10 minutes to make. This recipe is for either 1 (28oz) can of tomatillos OR about 20 freshly prepared tomatillos.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

~1 (28oz) can of tomatillos OR **about 20 freshly prepared tomatillos

~3 Tablespoons of diced jalepenos ** 1-2 fresh from the garden (washed & seeded)

~1 medium bunch of cilantro

~ 1/2 to 2/3 Cup of Sugar (your preference)

Add all the items to your blender or food processor. (If you are adding canned items, drain the juice first). Blend until smooth. Add more peppers or sugar as desired to your taste buds.

Best with tortilla chips, tacos and your favorite Mexican dishes, AND fry bread. I store in mason jars in the refrigerator. However, it is not shelf stable as is, check your USDA canning guide (NIFA) for instructions.

Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!

*As with any recipe you can very finely dice your items if you do not have a blender or food chopper/ processor. (We actually prefer it this way.) You can also do what my children love to do… take a 1/2 cup of guacamole and add 3 large spoonfuls of the fresh Salsa Verde and use for toppings.

*A wonderful recipe for a quick dip or last minute gift idea. It is delicious as is, unique and healthy.

However, if you are not in a hurry, whether gifting or canning; consider roasting your tomatillos and jalapenos first for the best flavor. Also maybe add some garlic, onions and lime juice to flavor it up a bit. 🙂

Eggs, eggs, eggs…

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As a tribute to the girls, February is Chicken sensation and creation month! LOL. In actuality, June 3rd is national egg day and July 6th is national chicken day.

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However, right around this time of year, chickens around the world begin to pick up on their egg laying. For others, within a couple months. SO, what does one do with all those eggs? For the month of February, everyday I will post a recipe that contains at consumes 6, or more eggs.

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I know at first when eggs begin to multiply and animals freshen, it seems as though we have no trouble on starting on that list of things we want to make. For you folks, these recipes will be here to come back to when you have too many. 😉

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Gift, share, eat, bake, enjoy! All are an egg-cellent idea 😉

Cookies in Minutes ~ With a Recipe

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In a pinch and having some company? Or a last minute Sunday school or teaching treat for the students? Look in the cupboard and grab a box of cake mix.

Mix one package of cake mix, 1 stick of softened butter and one egg. Stir. Mix until smooth. Roll out on floured or powdered sugar surface.

Find your themed cookie cutters and cut out!

Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool.

Frost if desired.

Share & Serve. Enjoy!

Happy Baking!!!

Kid friendly- Cheerio Treats

Kids love all things cereal. I love this recipe because it goes with the classic rice krispie bars idea, which I have yet to find a child that does not like rice krispie bars. These are just as big of a hit! Whether you are bringing a birthday treat, having a party, guests, a classroom treat or snack, or even a church function for the kids; they will love this recipe! BEST of all, you can make it fit your theme, season, holiday, birthday or special event. By changing the candies, using regular chips and sprinkles, it is so easy to personalize a simple treat!

Cheerios Treats

Grease a 13×9-inch pan.

Melt 3 tbsp. margarine in a large pan. Stir in one 10 1/2 oz. package of miniature marshmellows (6 cups) and 1/2 cup peanut butter and stir until melted and smooth.

Remove from heat.

Immediately stir in 5 cups Cheerios and 1 cup candy-coated milk chocolate candies. (The candy can be changed according to the season or holiday.)

Mix lightly until well coated.

You can do this 2 ways. 1)Press mixture into prepared pan. Cool, cut, and serve. OR 2) Drop like no bakes and let cool, then serve.

Share & enjoy!

Sweetheart Snack Mix Recipe

Dig out that giant bread bowl or xlg metal bowl.

In your extra large bowl mix 3 Cups of cherrios, 3 Cups of Rice Chex mix, 2 Cups of Wheat Chex mix, 3 Cups of Corn Chex mix and 1 Cup of small mini pretzels.

In a double broiler, melt 32 ounces of white chocolate. Continue to stir.

When smooth and creamy, quickly pour over your cereal mixture. Stir until everything is evenly coated.

Lay out a giant sheet of parchment paper and spread the mixture over top to dry. Once you have your parchment paper down, sprinkle your freshly coated cereals with your favorite valentines sprinkles. (You have to before it dries or it will not stick.) If you don’t have “Valentine’s Day” sprinkles. A simple red and then a pink bottle of cupcake “pearls” (the tiny choice) will work great. Sprinkle them over the white coated cereal and pretzels to dry.

With the clean extra large metal mixing bowl add 1 Cup of salted mini pretzels (not coated), 1 cup of pink mini marshmallows (optional) and a bag of Valentine’s Day M&M’s. Once your candy coated cereal/pretzel mix is dry, add it as well. Mix gently as to not crush the cereal. Cover and bring to your party or bag it into individual servings to pass around to your friends or colleagues. A cute package option are the Solo cups with lids they have at Wal-mart.

Happy gifting! Enjoy your Sweetheart Snack Mix!!!

DIY Valentines Gum Drops

Valentine’s Day is only a few weeks away! Fun sweets and treats are so precious to give; yet, so simple to make. Are you looking for a new recipe that is homemade AND delicious? Try these homemade gum drops that can be altered for any holiday. (Green apple for St. Patrick’s day, Cherry or Strawberry for Valentines day, etc.) So grab the kids and head to the kitchen!

We choose watermelon. So we combined 2 boxes (or 6 oz total) of Watermelon jello total and 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin into a saucepan. We then added 1 &1/2 Cups of applesauce and 2 1/4 Cups of sugar. With all the ingredients combined in the saucepan, we brought to a boil.

Boiled 1 minute.

Next, we poured the mixture into our glass cake pan and refrigerated until set.

After it was set we flipped it onto a sugar dusted counter top. (A cutting board would work too.) Then dust the top with sugar as well.

Using our mini heart set cookie cutters, we cut out the cute little gum drops. To prevent sticking, we dusted each edge with sugar as well. Place the gum drop or sugar dusted jello on parchment paper to dry for at least and hour. Store in air tight containers or go ahead and package them in the cute little holiday or Valentine’s Day snack-size Ziploc bags.

Happy Homemaking!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.

Meanwhile, place your diced strawberries in a medium bowl with fresh squeezed lemon juice overtop. Set aside.

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With your creamed butter mixture, add egg & mix.

In a separate bowl, mix sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Gently add your flour mixture to your creamy butter mixture. Beat well. When thoroughly mixed, add your white chocolate chunks. Hand stir.

Come back to your strawberries and lightly dust the top with flour to soak up extra liquid. (1-2TBLS) stir and slowly add to your cookie dough batter. Mix gently.

Scoop onto lined back sheet and bake 13 minutes on 350 degrees.

FULL RECIPE~ Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

  • 3/4 Cup freshly chopped strawberries
  • 2 Tbl. lemon juice
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 C. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 Cup of flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4-6 oz. white chocolate chunks
  • 2 Tbl flour (for on top of strawberries before adding to cookie dough)

80+ DIY Holiday Decor

“Spoiling loved one with good eats, gifts and spending your money on home decor~ season” is HERE! It does not have to be expensive though to have cute, seasonal holiday decor! Who doesn’t love a home set for the season, right? I don’t mean a cluttered mess, I mean beautiful heartwarming decor for the holidays, which double as great hostess gifts too!

We’ve put together over 100+ ways to decorate your home and entryway on a budget. Or, give as cute hostess gifts. Let’s get started…

  1. Greenery basket~A Beautiful tobacco basket is a beautiful accent this season. Perhaps you have one lying around or check your local thrift stores, our local thrift store has baskets year round and during the holidays have them already full of pine cones for under $2.00. Baskets generally go or $.25- 4.00 depending on size. Greenery with accents and a bow to finish is beautiful, refreshing to smell and homemade.

2. Snowman shutters via Pinterest

3. Ornamental Wreath. How about this cute ornament wreath diy by crafted life?

Sugar and Charm

4. DIY Brass Ring Wreath~ A long cute, lasting seasonal addition by Sugar and Charm.

5. Photo Wreath– A personal touch of decorating! Craftingchicks

6. A Kissing Ball~ DIY Pine Cone Kissing Ball.

7. Bottle Brush Trees~ Dipped Bottle Brush Trees, DIY HERE!

8. Bowling Pin Snowmen via Pinterest

9. A Wreath. Not any old wreath, but a DIY Burlap Wreath!

10. DIY Citrus Garland. Slice your citrus fruit. Preheat oven 275 degrees. On lined parchment paper, place your sliced fruit and bake for 3 hours. Cool. With skewer, poke holes and lace with twine! Place on trees, door ways, mantel, etc. A great decoration with wonderful smell!

11. Wooden Outdoor Christmas Lights~ Outdoor decor that is sure to get attention and brighten your home for the holidays. A great idea~ DIY Wooden Christmas Lights!

12. Candles~ DIY Pine Scented Soy Candles.

13. Garland~ Simple~ Pine cones, ribbon and gardland!

14. An Advent Count Down~ Now this is so cute and adorable! Of all the advent ideas, I absolutely love this! Check out this charming idea and many more on a new to me site, sugarandcharm!

15. Wooden Trees~ DIY Mini Wooden Christmas Trees

16. Coffee Filter Garland~ Country Livings DIY Coffee Filter Garland

17. A Christmas Lights Table Display~A new center piece attraction for the table? Or perhaps the mantel display, you name it. This cute display is sure to spruce up your home, desk or office for the holidays. Check out thesweetescape for details.

18. Card Tree Display~ A cute handmade tree with your Christmas cards, stock barrel with wrapped presents or glitter white batting.

19. Festive Pillows~ Homemade Buffalo Plaid Pillows! Check out this great tutorial.

20. A Spool Wreath~ A seamstress in the family? This cute crafting wire wreath is just spools of thread and ribbon.

21. Spray Painted Spoon Trees

22. Marbled ornaments, for many decorations, not just the tree! Festive and simple with this tutorial.

23. Simple. Elegant. Seasonal displays.

24. Felt Garland. Who would of thought how cute, festive and simple felt would be on a tree?

25. Snowflakes~ Cute Popsicle Snowflakes the whole family can get involved in to spruce up for the holidays.

27. Festive Buckets~Decorated galvanized buckets. Festive! Love!

28. Wreath~ A cute DIY life preserver wreath idea!

29. Greenery. A vase of decorated greens. Simple strategic touches are the best! The greenery in an open space is sure to spruce any room this holiday. Dried citrus and greens, I love this cute idea! Check out cheetahisthenewblack for more ideas.

30. Festive Frames

31. Burlap~ Lighted Burlap Garland

32. Candy Canes~ DIY PVC Candy Canes that light up, check out DIY Show Off!

33. Snow Candle Holder by crafts-for-allseasons!

34. Wooden Snow Crew made of 2X4s by Keeping it simple.

35. Snowman Wreath~ DIY tutorial by Trendy Tree

36. Pallet Christmas Tree~ A Festive and simple wooden pallet Christmas tree by making it in the mitten.

37. Stocking Holder~ A quick addition to any home by Dukes & Duchesses, a DIY Stocking Hanger!

38. Decorated Lanterns. This idea came from dimples and tangles. Perhaps you already have the materials. Check out her page for other great decorating ideas to get your creativity flowing. If you do not have lanterns, check out my diy craft link here of a fun building project to do this season with the kids.

39. Skate Wreath~ An Adorable Ice Skate Wreath.

40. Cute Santa Logs~ A quick DIY from Smart Girls.

41. A Pallet Tree~ This cute Christmas tree tutorial can be found at Jolene’s Crafting!

42. Decorated Tree Frame~ This is another favorite of mine this holiday season. So CUTE & she makes it look so simple! Check out this knock-off Crate and Barrel Ornament by Maryann!

43. Holiday Logs~ Pick your favorite holiday character and large log, then head over to hip2save for the directions!

44. Self Decorated Christmas Shutter~ via Pinterest.

45. A Candy Cane Lit Walkway!

46. Snowman Mason Jar~For yarn lovers everywhere!

47. Lowes Pyramid Outdoor Lights for on this Lowes DIY.

48. Salty Jars~ DIY Epsom Salt Luminaries by Remodelacasa!

49. Snowmen~ Snowmen logs are simple and cute. My kids also have used paint sticks identically decorated for doorknob hangers.

50. & 51. Decorated Birch, Light Box, AND MORE. Many great ideas for that extra rustic and cute flare of holiday decorating this season! Check out unskinnyboppy for more details!

52. DIY Village Luminary~ Hold on, here’s another one the whole family will love. A Christmas Village Silhoutte Luminary Jar. Head over here to check out this DIY!

53. Christmas Card Holder~ Check out Shanty Chic for this simple, but super cute and festive, holiday Christmas Card Holder!

54. Snowy Pine Cone Luminary~ This cute winter luminary by Amanda can be found here!

55. DIY Outdoor Stars for the holidays from dukemanorfarm.

56. “Joy To the World”~ Holiday light up sign by uncommondesignsonline!

57. Twig Stars by happyhooligans.ca has these simple, festive stars you and your whole family would enjoy making to spruce things up a bit for the holidays Check them out!

58. A Beautiful Mantel Display~ “O Come Let Us Adore Him” by Kimsixfix!

59. Centerpieces~ Over 50 cheap and DIY options for seasonal centerpieces found here.

60. Paper Snowflake Decorations by the handcraftedlife.

61. Vintage Luminaries~ by NellyVintageHome

62. Centerpieces and woodsy Holiday Art ideas can also be found here.

63. Repurposed Muffin Tin Decor~ via Pinterest

64. Decorated Vintage Lantern~ via Etsy.

65. Hand Painted Christmas Tree Cut outs~ via etsy.

66. Decorated Vintage Cheese Grater~ via Etsy.

67. Decorated Tin~ via Pinterest

68. Birch Decor~ Via hometalk!

69. Window Decor Piece~ for sale via Etsy.

70. Table Vase Decor~ Via Pinterest

71. Hanging Stars~ for sale via Etsy

72. Window Strings~ Via Pinterest.

73. Mini Wreaths~ DIY Mini Garland wreaths w/ ribbon!

74. Door Hanger or Ornament Cones

75. Chalkboard~ Don’t forget to use your chalkboard for a classy stylish addition to your decor!

76. Wall Tree~ Virtually any decoration work! Even sea shells are beautiful with that drift wood or birch sticks- depending on what’s available!

77. Birch Log Fire

78. Wooden Spoon Fun!

79. Signs~ What better way than paint your own signage!

80. Birch Candles~ Simple drill and place candle within birch lights!

81. Spoon Fun~ Decorate your favorite character on a bent spoon, via ebay!

82. Birch Stacked log Or Centerpieces for a table~ via Etsy

83. Stocking Hanger from reclaimed wood by Beyond the Picket Fence.

84. Wooden Spoon Decor for the tree, kitchen or wall!

85. Painting~ a Picture can seem simple, but that’s really all it takes. Photo via Pinterest.

I hope this sparks some ideas for your holiday decor! Have fun & make memories! We will be back with an update and a few more!!!

World Best Pumpkin Bars (*A Large family Pumpkin Pie Cheat*)

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie, but pumpkin puree. We use our Amish Pumpkin Pie pumpkins from the garden. After baking, we cool and make pumpkin puree in the blender, then freeze for winter usage. However, you can use any old pumpkin puree. Honestly, even generic pumpkin puree at the dollar store tastes great in this recipe! So beat 1/2 dozen eggs into the pumpkin puree, approximately a 29oz can (xlg). *Keep in mind this recipe is flexible. Making it several ways, it still turns out great! My crew loves pumpkin. I just eye ball a load in the blender and 3 cups work well too. (Fresh baked pumpkin is amazingly delicious!)

So Mix your eggs and pumpkin, then add 2 Cups of milk, 2 Cups of sugar and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Whalla… that’s it! Mix well and pour into a 9X13 pan. Now you can bake it this way and eat. However, my crew thinks it’s so close to pumpkin pie, they like the fluff topping on top and cool whip. Kind of like the easiest desert on the planet, Ministers Delight, BUT with a Thanksgiving twist. SO- to do this I add a Jiffy Yellow cake mix sprinkled on top with a few tiny dollops of butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown top.

Pumpkin pie bars are so simple and best of all, they request it every year instead of pie. Score! No pie crust making involved. At least not for pumpkin pie. (We’re still saps for strawberry-rhubarb pie!)

PUMPKIN PIE BARS RECIPE

  • 29 oz Pumpkin Puree (Or fresh baked pumpkin)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 tsps Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Box of Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 Tbl Butter
Bake 400 degrees, 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Bars will be consistancy of pumpkin pie.

Enjoy with a dollop of Cool Whip! Happy Baking!

DIY Herbal Infused Oil

It’s that time of year when everything is quickly put in the root cellar, canned, frozen or dried. One of the last herbs of the season in cooler climates is Golden Rod. Yes, you can prepare and pick most summer. However, that last batch blooms fullest right before the weather turns. We scramble to get as much picked in between harvests as possible. Here is a great way to use it and your summer dried herb and flower stash.

One of the simplest ways to incorporate herbs is by placing herbs in your favorite oils. No matter the purpose for your herb infused oil, you need two main ingredients.

  1. Carrier Oil
  2. Dried Herbs

1. Pick a carrier oil. Now this is important! Know your oils, if your experimenting, a quality olive oil makes great salve and oil for soaps. Depending on your goal with the oil once it’s infused is the key to selection. Are you planning to make: soap, lotion, salve, a soar muscle rub, skin cream, balm, sugar scrub? There are so many options of small topical or skin care oils (emu, almond oil, etc.), to basic oils for rubs or cracked skin. (Olive, palm, coconut oil, etc.)

2. Place your herbs in a sterilized jar (make sure it is dry, no water).

3. After selected herbs are chosen, cover with your desired oil. Make sure to completely cover the herbs and they are below the oil. (Below: examples of infused oil) The first picture is the completed infused oil I am beginning to pour off to make Balm of Gilead salve.

4. Let sit in a warm sunny area & Infuse!

Have fun and enjoy your creations! I will post a list of tried recipes we enjoy, look for my post soon!