Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well that worked wonderfully.

Today's pinspired is:

Make Your Own Photo Canvas

I don't know how many of you know but my husband is a very talented photographer and graphic designer. We've agreed that if we ever sell this house and get to move elsewhere (we've been trying for over a year and a half now with little success) that we will decorate our next home with his photography. I love it and he likes to have his work displayed. So when I found this I thought it would be fun to try with some of Jay's pics. And my favorite part is that it is super easy.

The worst part was buying Mod Podge which is very expensive. But I had a Michael's 50% off coupon so it was all good. The canvas isn't terribly cheap either but it was on sale. I got a two pack for 4 dollars. I got my 8x10 prints from Snapfish.

Then all you do is paint your canvas with Modpodge, then stick your photo to it, paint over it with the Mod Podge, let it dry and then paint the edges of your canvas. I went with black. I think they turned out fabulously. My only disappointment was that right after one of mine dried, it fell of the shelf and directly onto one of my daughter's toys and busted a hole in it. It's on the fall picture if you look closely. But I decided to keep it anyway.

I only wonder what I'm going to do with these once I get tired of them. I'd like to do a whole display like four or five of my little girl... but then what do I do with them. I have such a problem throwing photos away and even more problem throwing photos that I've put work into away. Oh well I'll worry about that later for now, I give this pinspired moment a thumbs up.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I can't believe that worked. Yum.

So today's pinspired project is this:

Easy homemade ice cream without a machine.

I was suspicious about this. 3 measly ingredients... no rock salt. How in the world is that going to make decent ice cream? But I got to say it does. It's good stuff. It's terribly rich and probably horrible for you but is really really yummy.

The instructions call for Heavy cream and a can of sweetened condensed milk. I used the low fat kind of sweetened condensed milk. I don't think there is a low fat form of heavy cream. I think it has it's name heavy for a reason. But I could be wrong. And then it says you can mix in whatever fixings you'd like. I went with crushed up mini oreos.

All you gotta do is whip the cream to stiff peaks
see aren't you proud to know that I the non-culinary knew what stiff peaks were and how to get them. I did listen to my mother a little bit after all. I can even prove it see:

Then you just mix in the sweetened condensed milk, and whatever candy or add in you want and stick that puppy in the freezer till it hardens.

Here's what it looked like after I stirred it, right before putting it in to freeze.

I took the first spoonful and I was shocked at how creamy and good it tasted. Mixed with those oreos it serious tasted just like a Hershey's Cookies and Cream candy bar only colder. Delicious. It is a bit rich though. You really can't or shouldn't eat more than one scoop. When Jay tried it, he asked me if it had cream cheese in it somewhere because it tasted so rich.

I give this one a thumbs up, it's a keeper and pretty cheap to make.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Meh cookies

Today's Pinspired are Cookies imprinted with stamps.

When I followed the link this appears to have been in Country Living Magazine at some point. I have to say I was a bit disappointed by my results. Again let me display my disclaimer:

My posts in here are just how things turn out when I try them. I am not terribly domestic or detail oriented, so this does not mean it will be how it will turn out if you try it. I encourage you to try stuff you find out there for yourselves. This is just my little blog of how things are turning out for me.

I wonder if it would be different with homemade cookie dough...I used a store bought roll that I sliced so I had lovely little uniform cookies. Then I broke out my two stamps that I have held onto in my craft box for years but have never used for anything...until now. On one stamp were the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY, the other stamp is a dog. I tried the Happy Birthday stamp first. I floured it lightly so it wouldn't stick to the dough... but I still ended up having a hard time making it legible in the dough. I think I ate about 3 cookie dough slices (because if you mess up you have to eat it to hid the evidence right?) before I switched stamps. The doggie stamp did much better in the dough as you can see here:

My stamps

Stamp in the dough.

What I hadn't accounted for is how much the cookies stretch and move while baking. The one Happy Birthday one I did well, was completely illegible when baked so I didn't even take a pic of it (and it's eaten now). You had to look at the doggie one in the right light to be able to tell anything was on there. This picture was made without the flash and up close to the cookie. If you are standing above the cookies in a well lit room I doubt you'd notice anything was on them.

My conclusion on this pinspiration: It's a lot of work to get those stamps into the cookies without messing them up, too much work for them not to show up really well. I'll stick to decorating my cookies in another manner. However if I ever make my great grandmother's teacake recipe again I might try this method again.. those are thicker cookies, maybe they'd do better.. however I think I'll find a prettier stamp.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Very first post

*Disclaimer: My posts in here are just how things turn out when I try them. I am not terribly domestic or detail oriented, so this does not mean it will be how it will turn out if you try it. I encourage you to try stuff you find out there for yourselves. This is just my little blog of how things are turning out for me.
For my very first post in this newly revived blog (see I'm already doing better than the last time I tried to revive it) I will show the results of making these:

Aren't they pretty? I thought these would be great for a snack for K or perhaps for a party. So I wanted to try them out. I needed oranges for the peals later to clean the garbage disposal anyway and I had several boxes of jello in the cupboard so I bought a couple and tried it out.

First off, one orange didn't make it to the filling with jello stage. I first tried to eat it like I did as a kid, sucking out the juice and then eating the pulp while turning the orange inside out. I don't know if it has to do with the fruit not exactly being in season right now (it's August afterall) or if I have just forgot the proper way to do that, but the first orange half split down the middle when I tried to turn it inside out to get the pulp off. The second half I ate with a spoon. That worked much better. Then I split the other orange with my daughter by scraping all the pulp out with the spoon then putting it in a bowl.

Then I filled it with my jello mixture. That was not easy. Orange cups do not want to stay standing straight up when filling them. Might want to try setting them in cupcake pan next time to fill them. Then moving them from the counter to the fridge was a little precarious too. Jello un-firmed is splashy. I used cherry jello btw. I ended up with this:

and when I sliced it, it looked like this:

Not bad, My jello didn't seem to congeal as well in these as I had wanted it to. But it still looked really neat. To get the picture at the beginning of the post, you'd have to eat a lot of oranges. But it would still look cool. So I rate this pinspired moment as "Doable", messy but also quite fun.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Third time's a charm right?

So this is may third attempt at a blog. Lets face it I'm not really bloggy material. I'm a bit too ADD. I get distracted by shiny things and often get distracted after I've started a blog and then forget about it for insane amounts of time until I lose readers completely. But I have noticed something I'm doing pretty consistently now. And that is playing with -I love that site. It's like a virtual idea board with lots and lots of little pins and you can steal things from other people and it's well organized and I won't forget where I put it. I've been trying all kinds of stuff from there.

And that's when I had this idea.

You see so many beautiful pictures of ideas on there but then don't you wonder what it will look like if I tweek it this way or that, or what will it look like simply when I try my non-domestic hand at it? So far I've been fairly pleased. So I think I'll start this blog and post pictures of my versions and opinions of things I've tried that I've found on pinterest. Goodness knows my normal life isn't blog worthy and who knows maybe I'll even get pinned with some of the ideas of my own that I'll post on here, or ones that were inspired by something I saw on there but did not follow directions for (heck I may pin myself just for shameless publicity and curiosity to see if anyone would repin something I came up with).

Monday, February 07, 2011


I actually have a recipe that I have never tried called Resurrection cake. That would have been apt to do for today since I'm reviving an old blog to do this. However I don't have the ingredients for it. So for tonight since it is late I will simply tell you what I fixed and what I learned from it.

But first let me tell you that even after nearly 9 years of marriage I am still learning to cook. That is the reason for this blog. Well it and one other but I'll get to that in another post. I'm trying to become a better cook or at least have a more diverse menu to offer my family without having to go on the "Worst Cooks in America" show in FoodNetwork. I have lots of kitchen disaster stories which I will likely share over time, but my mother did try to teach me to cook - it is just that I didn't pay attention when it counted.

That is not to say that I don't cook for my family. I do. However we stick to the things I do well, which is about 12 dishes served over and over again. But there are gazillions of recipes out there and I have at least 3 or four dozen that I've torn out of magazines or gleaned off the internet that I have never once tried. So this is the year. And here's where you will read about it when I fix it.

This will also be a blog where I review children's books but we'll save that for the next post.

Tonight let me tell you that I fixed Meatloaf (which I have fixed before, but this time used as substitution) and I tried a new recipe called Roasted Winter Vegetables.

Which consisted of cutting up bits of sweet potato, parsnip, and butternut squash, tossing it with olive oil and thyme and roasting it.

This was my first time to ever try a parsnip.

Tonight's Lessons Learned should be labeled "Accept no substitutes" because that is the majority of what I learned tonight.

1. Do not try to substitute ground turkey when making meat loaf - or at least not my mom's recipe for meatloaf. You end up with a very bland meatloaf where the ketchup on top is the best part. Blech.

2. Do not substitute ground thyme for fresh - even if you can't find it at the grocery. The roasted veggies would have been better with just salt and pepper rather than the ground thyme.

3. One parsnip, One butternut squash, and one sweet potato cut up and roasted makes enough to feed about 6 people.

4. Parsnips taste quite a bit like carrots when roasted.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A farmwife MEME

A lot has changed since I last blogged here. For one, my baby is a toddler now. Secondly we have our house on the market trying to move back to a city rather than a town between two cities (if that makes sense). So my answers have changed a bit from what my answers would have been a year ago. But since Farmwife says she'd cry if no one played and I love a good MEME I'm playing:

#1 Do you have a daily cleaning routine? Not normally, I tend to be a do it when it looks like it needs to be done kind of girl. However with trying to sell the house I pick up toys, and vacuum daily and make sure all the dishes are washed as soon as we are done eating off them now in order to be ready in case of a showing.

#2 Do you cook on a regular basis? Yes, on a fairly regular basis. I make a menu once every two weeks, go to the store and get those items and I cook dinner for us at least 6 out of 7 days a week unless there is a special occasion. However every other Tuesday we do dine with my in-laws.

#3 Do you wear aprons? No. I do not. But I have several that were given to me when my grandmother died and I can't bear to part with them because I remember her wearing them. She loved to cook. I sadly, do not.

#4 Do you make the beds everyday Not before we were trying to sell the house. I'm an early riser, husband is a wait-til-the-absolute-last-second-I-can kind of riser. So he was always still in the bed when the notion would strike me. However, now that we are trying to sell it is his responsibility to make sure it gets done after he gets up. I just go in and straighten it. Don't know why it didn't occur to me long before hand to have him take that on as chore.

#5 Not truly a house work question, but it will still fit: What do you call the three meals you eat a day? we are breakfast, lunch and dinner people. Although I have called it supper on occasions. And my family calls a meal between lunch and dinner (where you missed lunch but it's too early for dinner) Scrunch which is a combination of lunch and supper. I don't know if I picked up "dinner" from Jay or what. Here's our discussion question along the same lines. Describe what is called a Pig-in-a-blanket. Is it a sausage wrapped in a pancake? or is it a weenie wrapped in a biscuit? Is it an appropriate meal to eat for dinner?

6# How many loads of laundry do you wash in a week? I hope no one will think me scuzzy for this but I do about 5-6 loads a week. And a lot of times I will wait till the weekend to do all of them. Unless something smells or we run out of something.

7# What is your least favorite chore?
Hands down, cleaning the bathrooms.

8# What's your favorite chore? I honestly don't mind laundry one little bit. And I love dusting. Farmwife, if we lived closer we could just switch off for those things.

9# Do you keep a company ready house (or attempt to) or go for that comfortably lived in look or could you be on your own Hoarding: Buried Alive episode on TLC? Mine is that comfortable lived in look most of the time. Or at least that's what I think of it. I'm sure there are some who would think that it's awful

10# I once heard on the radio that 90% of women clean house like their mothers. Do you? Yes. For the most part, though I'm not as detail oriented as she is. And I don't clean if the exterminator is coming like she does, but I do try to tidy as I go like she did and do employ the "blitz" cleaning method she would use at times.

11# (For the mothers out there) Do you expect your children to help out around the house? To what extent?
Well it's tricky right now. I do expect it. But she's 20 months old there isn't just a whole lot she can do yet. She does help me unload the silverware from the dishwasher (after I've removed any knives) and she pulls the laundry out of the drier for me to fold and cleans the lint trap for me. And she's expected to at least pick up some of her toys when we're trying to clean up. So I guess the answer is yes. But really she's so eager to do things like a big girl right now there is no struggle to get her to do those things, I don't know how it will go when there is a struggle. I know I'll expect some (because I want her to have a healthy work ethic) but I believe other things will go by the way side just to avoid the argument.