Friday, September 25, 2009

EASY and frugal coffee cake!!

I love this Overnight (or not) coffee cake recipe!! I have made it so many times. It does not require any expensive ingredients, is easy to assemble and is ALWAYS a hit. I also love it because you can mix it up the night before if you want and then all you have to do is put the topping on and pop it in the oven. If I don't have enough fridge space for a 9*13 pan I will mix up the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients the night before (storing the liquid in the fridge) and then quickly mixing them together in the morning. It is a flexible recipe and does not require sour cream. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy coffee cake made with sour cream, but the price adds up....

Overnight (or not) Coffee Cake
Mix together in a large bowl:
2 cups flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Stir in:
1 cup sour milk (1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice with the milk)
3/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Crumb topping:
Cut the following together with a pastry cutter or with two knives until well blended.
2/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix and refrigerate overnight in a 9*13 GREASED baking pan. Top with crunch topping in the morning. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until tooth pick in center comes out clean. You can also just bake it right away without refrigeration. If I am going to make it the night before I prepare the crumb topping and just store it separate till morning. ENJOY!!

I made a double batch of this coffee cake ( I have posted the recipe before) this week.... trust me, it is GONE!!! I did share some with some neighbors, but we ate our fair share!!! Sharing home made baked goods is a fabulous way to bless others. I enjoy baking and I know lots of folks that love eating!!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

My real life 'Pioneer' style day!!! Plus fresh SAUSAGE recipes

I have always thought I was born in the wrong century. Thank God he gave me a sister and husband that feel the same way.... we can be 'pioneers' together. So, how did I spend my weekend?? Saturday was spent in a modern way.... going to yard sales... hundreds of them around town. Saturday was our local town festival and half of the town had a yard sale! FUN time scoring deals! My sister, Melissa, and her two kids spent the night Saturday and my sister and I got things organized for our big PIONEER day Sunday.

Pioneer day: BUTCHERING 2 pigs!! We started first thing in the morning and processed 2 pigs and had everything packaged and cleaned up by 2pm... not bad! We had an extra set of hands this go round and it made a huge difference. I had a GREAT time yesterday with my husband, sister, brother in law and his friend butchering these pigs. We chat, we laugh, we have a good time.... makes me think this must have been what it was like in the old days when neighbors helped each other. Many hands does make light work!

We made 60 pounds of sausage! We first grind the meat, then add the seasonings (in batches of 10 pounds of meat) and finish it with a second grinding. We package some as patties and the rest in 2 pound packages. No sausage I have ever had from the store tastes as good as home made and we do not add anything artificial or any nitrates. Making sausage is something you can do even if you don't do the 'pioneer' thing like us.... :) just have your local grocery meat department grind up a sale pork roast to get fresh ground pork... mix in the seasonings (recipe below) and enjoy!! It does taste best after it has had time to season... it will taste better after it has been in the freezer for at least a week. Warning... the 'spicy' sausage gets spicier with time!

Indiana Farm Sausage (Spicy)
10 lbs lean fresh ground pork (or turkey)
1 TBL onion powder
1 TBL salt
3 TBL dried sage
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 TBL red pepper (could use less to reduce spice)
1 TBL black pepper

In a small bowl combine all the seasonings. (we mix up batches of seasonings ahead of time to make the process faster on butchering days)

Mix the seasonings in with the meat (I just use my gloved hands to mix and mix)
We then grind the meat a second time (but you can skip this step if you are using store ground meat). We make some into patties and freeze the rest in packages.

Breakfast Sausage (mild)
10 pounds fresh ground lean pork (or turkey)
3 1/2 TBL dried sage
1 TBL salt
1 TBL ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
5 pinches ground cloves

In a small bowl combine all the seasonings. (we mix up batches of seasonings ahead of time to make the process faster on butchering days)

Mix the seasonings in with the meat (I just use my gloved hands to mix and mix)
We then grind the meat a second time (but you can skip this step if you are using store ground meat). We make some into patties and freeze the rest in packages.

Well, I need to get off this computer... more 'poineer' life is calling... grape jam and tomatoes need to be processed! I do love my MODERN dishwasher and washing machine... both of which need unloaded! Oh, and I am very thankful for our electric meat grinder... that would have been a lot of hand cranking!!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The BLESSING prayer

Prayer is powerful... it moves mountains. We all know that, but somehow it is easy to get busy and not finish our prayer list. I have found that the BLESSINGS prayer helps me stay on track... Helps me to really cover my husband in prayer. We could make one for our children, too! This way if I am praying and get distracted I can jump back in where I left off.... helps this scatter brained mama stay on track! :)

B-L-E-S-S-I-N-G-S prayer!
B= Body (health, strength, any physical issues)
L= Labor (all career and job issues. Favor with those he is around)
E= Emotions (ability to express, cope and thrive)
S= Sexual Fulfillment (need I say more! This is also a prayer for us wives)
S= Spiritual life/growth (A reminder that WE are NOT our husband's holy spirit)!!
I= Intimacy in marriage (communication at all levels)
N= Needs Met (A time to lift up particular needs)
G= Guidance and wisdom (As he goes through his day and makes decisions)
S= Social connections (godly friendships and hobbies)


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Weekend love

Weekend wanderings! This weekend I will be wondering through a local small town festival with the kids on Saturday and then on Sunday butchering up a hog. (yes, we will be missing church, but when our neighbor friends and pork producers called to give us an injured hog that couldn't load on the the semi we had to jump at the chance.) My husband has to work all weekend and so the entire butchering will be up to my brother-in-law, sister and me!! I think we can, I think we can, I think we can..... We have had plenty of butchering experience, but we have NEVER actually killed, gutted and skinned the pig without Chris (I have always just been his trusty assistant). So, you know I am going to be BUSY over the weekend..... I will leave you with some cool links to check out!

  • First of all, don't forget to sign up for my Simple Family Supper MONEY WISE E-book give away!!!!
  • Way cool chicken house!!! Perfect for a town dweller or a country dweller only wanting a few hens. (I don't have anything so cute, but I did order a new batch of chicks that will be here in a couple of weeks!)
  • Pectin! Make your own!! Wow, I will just have to try this... one less thing to buy and just knowing HOW to make it on my own is so cool!!! I make so much jam that the cost of store bought pectin does add up.
  • Soap Nuts! Huh??? My new favorite all natural (totally renewable) "green" cleaner. You can use it with everything from basic cleaning to laundry, in the dishwasher to the carpet cleaner. Read this great article!
  • Hand stitched greeting cards look like a great winter time craft project. With a little help the kids could make these, too!! Go here to see tutorials on several patterns. Who wouldn't love getting one of these in the mail. I really like getting hand written notes in the mail... they are so special in our modern high tech world!
  • Helicopter Parenting: Another reason I DON'T want to be one!!
  • Former president of Proctor and Gamble writes a letter to Obama. I received this via email, but you can read it here, on "snoops"... it totally checks out..... INTERESTING!
UPDATE: Today is MONDAY and the we did NOT butcher the pig...... this one just wasn't for us!! LOL!!! He died overnight Friday night!! YIKES!! Good thing we didn't eat him... something was obviously more wrong with him then a pinched nerve! So, we did go to church and enjoyed the final church picnic of this summer season. It was a BEAUTIFUL day!!!!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Money Saving Menu E-Book Give Away!!

In honor of releasing my Simple Family Supper MONEY WISE menu E-book I am hosting a give away! I am going to give away 5 copies of this budget blessing E-Book. To enter just leave a comment. To earn another entry simply let your readers know about the give-away and post a link to your blog post in the comment section. I will draw 5 random winners on Wednesday, September 16th. Enter today!!


Money Wise Menu Plan

Choosing Simplicity:
Eating at home is a HUGE way to save money, eat healthier and build memories.
The family meal is a powerful way to bless the family finances and family relationships.

The problem: Time, organization and kitchen skills.
It takes time to plan the menu, gather the recipes, make the shopping list and prepare the meals. It can be intimidating if you don't have much kitchen experience and we all lead such busy lives.

The solution: My Simple Family Supper!! Money Wise Menu E-book!! Eliminate the "What is for supper?" question from your life. I created this E-Book to help you simplify your life! Print off your copy today... Choose Simplicity!!

Money Wise Menu E-Book contains: (27 pages)
  • 4 weeks of EASY to prepare, budget friendly menus (I mean EASY)
  • All the simple to fix, family friendly recipes
  • Detailed and organized weekly shopping lists
  • Bonus desert recipes
Start saving money, reduce supper time stress and build family memories around the supper table!!

Simple Family Supper
Money Wise Menu E-book only $7.95

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Menu Includes:
  1. Dijon Pork Chops
  2. Cheese Burger Pie
  3. Smoked Sausage Chowder
  4. Lasagna Soup
  5. Roasted Chicken (The EASY way)
  6. Chicken Tenders
  7. Open Faced Pizza Subs
  8. Melt in Your Mouth Meat Loaf
  9. Sloppy Joe Potatoes
  10. Easy Chicken Pot Pie
  11. So Simple Salsa Chicken
  12. Kids will Love it Chili
  13. Carolina Pork
  14. Chicken Tender Salad
  15. "Meat Ball" Subs
  16. Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
  17. Almost Lasagna
  18. Cheesy Potatoes with Sausage
  19. Baked Subs
  20. Buffalo Chicken Soup


Monday, September 7, 2009

New Chicks on the way!!!

I got rid of my OLD flock of chickens (so old they had given up laying) a few weeks ago with the intention of waiting till spring to get in a new flock. Ha! I missed them SO much!! I have had chickens for the last 5 1/2 years and LOVE them... crazy, I know! My husband kept telling me to go ahead and order chicks now.... it will be warm enough for the next couple of months to get them off to a great start and by spring we will have fresh eggs. So...... I ordered them! 25 hens... variety of breeds will be here in TWO weeks!!!!

The first time I mail ordered baby chicks it seemed so weird that they were coming via the mail!! The post office holds them and calls for me to pick up right away. I'm so excited... we are going to have babies in the family!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Depression Era Chocolate Cake

I'm needing a chocolate fix and want to make something sweet for my hard working husband. Problem: No eggs! Brownie mix is therefore out of the question.... Oh, yeah!! The Depression Era Chocolate Cake doesn't take eggs (or milk or butter for that matter)!!! Bingo!! It is a frugal recipe that women could make during the great depression without using precious eggs, milk and butter.... it does use sugar, but rations were saved for a special treat like this. For me it comes in handy when I am out of eggs!

Here is the recipe... I have made it MANY times and it is always a hit... no frosting needed it is moist and yummy just by itself. Just double the recipe for a 9x13 pan.

Moist "depression era" chocolate cake:

Makes a 9x9 cake.

Sift Together

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon soda

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup cold water,

1/3 cup oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

(you won't taste the vinegar... it reacts with the soda to make it rise)

1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix till smooth and pour into an 8" or 9" square pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 325* to 350 degrees F.