Monday, August 30, 2010

Microwave Popcorn is Good?!

About a year ago I posted about how I hate microwave pop corn because it just doesn't taste very good. I preferred the stove top method a lot better. But now, after searching for recipes that you can cook in a dorm (as a little cookbook present to a friend) I found another way to make delicious popcorn.

Things You'll Need:
Brown paper lunch bag
1/4 c popcorn kernels
1 tsp oil
Salt or other seasonings

Place all of the ingredients into the paper bag. Swirl to distribute. Refold bag getting all of the air out. Fold top of bag down twice and staple. Place in microwave for 3 minutes. Don't worry about the staple sparking in the microwave just keep the staple away from the edges of the microwave.
You can bet I wont be buying microwave popcorn again! And the best thing is no box, to plastic, and the bag is reusable and recyclable!

Note: The recipes and video do not match.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Word on Road Rage

If you are ever in a situation were you want to straggle the driver in front of you:
Take two deep breaths....
Maybe a few more...
Imagine the offender in his underwear...
And laugh.

If you encounter a aggressive driver behind you. Relax and pull over where ever possible and lock your doors until he passes. It's not worth it to left him bother you and risk your life.

Drive Safely.

Note: Long story short, I pissed someone off and they were tailgating me and revving the engine of their truck. It was ironic that it was a tow truck. What the heck?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Great Soda Challenge: Update #3

I almost forgot about doing the update. I've been sick for the past few days so bear with me.
I don't think about passing up soda anymore and when I'm thirsty tea or water seems to be the thing that I grab first. This experiment is going well. I can't believe how much better I feel with out drinking it. Other than that there's nothing much to report on.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Finished Bag!

Me modeling my new crochet bag! It holds tons
of stuff!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Please Help!

Go to the Cold Antler Farm blog to help a family in need!

The Great Soda Challenge! Drink Recipe # 3: Ye Ole Fashioned Iced Tea

To make 2 quarts

6 tea bags*
1/4 c sugar
2 quarts water

In a pot combine sugar and 1 cup of water. On high heat, stir until sugar dissolves. Turn burner off and place tea bags in pot. Steep covered for 20 minutes making a concentrated brew. Pour concentrate into pitcher and fill the rest of the way with water. Chill. Serve with ice and enjoy.

*At the supermarket this is a huge variety of teas. Black, green, white, oolong, and pu erh are the five categories of teas. You will most likely find the first four listed in your supermarket. A few brands make life easy and put flavoring in their teas. To make things interesting choose a few flavors and use them instead or with your standard tea bags. Get experimental and switch it up! Also, instead of ice, try frozen fruits.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Great Soda Challenge! Update #2

I'm starting to not think about drinking soda, only when the new cashier cracked one open in front of my face. Oh, the smell of Pepsi after a little over a week of being clean!
I've been mostly drinking iced teas and water and occasionally milk. I'm looking at all the possibilities for iced tea and even considering buying a box of flavored black tea. Also, I'm finding that I really don't have much of a sweet tooth when it comes to sugar in my tea. At first I tried 3/4 c which was almost like liquid sugar. At 1/2 c it was better but 1/4 c seems to be the sweetness that I want.
This is still way better than the amount in soda. There's about 12 teaspoons in two quarts of iced tea that has 1/4 c sugar compared to 59.22 in soda. Knowing this I doubt that I'll go back to drinking soda as an everyday beverage but more of a 'once in a blue moon' beverage.
Now, on to week three!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food for Thought: People and Stuff

As a cashier I see many things left at the check out counter. One would think that a person would come back in for their glasses. And one must also hope that they really didn't need their glasses to see the road. But what of they never come back? Do they really need the things that left behind?
Think about it. Sunglasses. Keys. Stuffed toy animals. If you leave somewhere and don't return for them, how much do they really mean to you? A few months ago we even had someone leave their cane resting on the counter.
In the case of the keys, they can all be replaced easily if you have a spare. A child will cry over her hot pink dog but it can easily be replaced. Yes, the girl will mourn the lost for awhile but she'll get over it.
Think about all of the things that you left somewhere. Did you go back to claim it or leave it there?
This has been a message from a ranting cashier.
P.S. It is helpful, if the store has a club card, to give them your phone number and address. This makes it easier for people to find owners to objects that they found. By the way. Who even left the pocket knife. Thanks. It's a really good one.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Crochet Projects!

Lately I've been digging through my crafty roots and decided to set knitting aside for crochet, the first yarn art that I learned. I couldn't begin to tell you how long ago I learned but it's been years since I've really done anything with it.
I learned from my mom how to crochet at every young age. Beginning with making scarfs and baby blankets. However, that has been the extent of it. My edges were always untidy and uneven. Eventually I gave up and didn't crochet for a long while. Meanwhile I took up knitting a year ago and just a few weeks ago crochet was back into my life.
I still consider myself a beginner because of my tendencies for uneven edges.
Crochet is really my comfort zone. One does not need circular needles and such to crochet in a circle, just the hook that you need. You're more flexible how you create your work where as knitting is very constrictive, at least what I know of it.
Above, Max is modeling the scarf I made. The pattern's from Stitch 'N' Bitch: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stroller (e-mail me and I'll be happy to send you a copy of the pattern if you're interested).
This is the market bag that I started. The pattern's from All you need to do to get the free pattern is sign up. Instead of using Lion Brand yarn I used Lily Sugar'n Cream yarn. It's nice a strong and works very well with the pattern. If you use this yarn for it buy three or four balls of the solid color. It's still a lot cheaper than using the recommended yarn. If you make this bag make sure you read the reviews for some tips.
My next project will be this throw. I can crochet it up nice and quick before winter gets here!
What are your current projects?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Great Soda Challenge! Drink Recipe # 2

Honey Lemonade

1/2 c water
1 1/2 c lemon juice
2/3 c honey
6 c water

Heat 1/2 c water, lemon juice, and honey in a sauce pan until the honey dissolves in with the water and lemon juice. Pour in to pitcher and add 6 c of water. Chill and serve with ice.

This definatly tastes a lot better than commerical lemonades!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dear My Future Man

Worry not about food for I make it from scratch! You will never go hungry.

Baked chicken fingers. Flaky buttermilk biscuits. Garden fresh green beans from my garden. Can a girl ask for more?
Including buttermilk biscuits in the menu was inspired by the Mobile Home Woman when she was determined to make biscuits. They were so easy! But one BIG tip. Make sure your baking powder isn't old! My biscuits barely rose and were dense.
As for the breading for the chicken I used about four palms full of plain bread crumbs, about 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp parsley flakes, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 tbs parmesan cheese. Then I dredged the strips of chicken through milk, flour, milk, then the breadcrumb mixture. Don't forget to lightly grease your pan!
Edit Note: To cut my biscuits I did not use a biscuit cutter. Instead I used a glass cup dipped in a little flour to cut them.

How To Sew A Button by Erin Bried

For those looking for a nifty new book on homemaking. Look no further. I recently checked out How to Sew a Button out of the library and I'm really impressed! It tells you how to do anything you might ever wish to do regarding homemaking. How to unclog a toilet. How to make pie. The list goes on. This is definatly going onto my bookshelf right next to Made From Scratch.
The author starts out her introduction on how she moved to New York and became the senior staff writer of SELF magazine. But one day she made strawberry rhubarb pie for a few of her friends only to discover, as they ate it, she bought swiss chard instead! Motivated by this incident she put together a collection of how to's based off of women who went through the Great Depression.
So if haven't taken a look at this book see if your local library has it. It's worth a look!

The Great Soda Challenge! Update #1

I made it a week! Thank goodness. Several times I was so tempted and almost did. My mom and I went out to lunch at a fast food resturant. I wanted it so bad but declined and got water instead. When I went to pick up some cat litter after work I was so tempted to grab a bottle of the fizzy stuff but told myself no.
So what have I been drinking?
Mostly water and tea. Every now and then I'll have a glass of diluted cranberry grape juice, milk, or orange juice but that's about it.
Tomorrow starts week two with another sugar free drink idea.

P.S. Don't worry! I'm cooking up some projects as well. I just need to retrieve it from work to finish it. Hopefully I'll post about it by Tuesday. And I'll be canning soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Olde Time Entertainment

When I saw old I mean one the oldest things to do while you're bored.
Now that I've been out of school for over a year, book have nudged themselves into the little nooks and crannies of my life. Okay, there have been days were I haven't read a book but no matter how far I distance myself from reading I'm drawn back to it.
As one can imagine the hobby of reading can be both expensive and the most cheapest form of entertainment. Let's look at the math:
Going to the movie theater: $7 for 2 hours
$3.50 per hour

Reading a book you bought:
$8 for a mass market book
2 hours of reading per day
7 days to complete book
14 hours a week
$0.60 per hour

Reading book from library:

See? It is probably one of the most cheapest forms of entertainment. I don't know about you but I enjoy reading more then watching a movie and you can take it anywhere.
If you like to read free book online, here's a list of some websites that offer free online books.

Monday, August 2, 2010

My Blog Book 2009

I found this really neat website that will convert your blog into a book! If you're interested here's the 2009 blog post. Enjoy.
2009 Blog Posts

The Great Soda Challenge! Drink Recipe # 1

Every Monday of the Great Soda Challenge I will post a recipe.

Drink recipe #1

Easy Minty Iced Tea
2 quarts water
6 regular sized tea bags
1 sprig of mint
2 tsp honey

Fill a 2 quart pitcher with water.  You can boil water for a quicker brewing time but who wants to heat up the house? Place six tea bags in water and leave at room temperature for two to three hours until water takes on an amber brown color. Remove tea bags. Take a sprig of mint a bruise it gentle in your hands. Place mint in pitcher and drizzle in 2 teapsoon of honey in mixture

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Great Soda Challenge!

It is August and pretty soon the leaves are going to change and the wheather will get cool. Thank goodness. But until then it's time to adapt a heathier habit. It's time to get rid of soda for good.
I use to go through a 2 liter bottle of soda in a day or two, regular or diet. Either way, soda is not so great for you even if it's diet.
Yesterday I started a little experiment that I like to call The Great Soda Challenge. It's simple.
Drink a cup/can/bottle of soda and record the date. For example I drank an approximate 15 oz or soda yesterday 7/31. Now all you need to do is not drink soda for the rest of the month. If you slip up record the date, the approximate amount you drank, and a good reason why you drank it.
Now that you're on your way to quit drinking soda now is a good time to think about other drinks that aren't as bad.
Even if you have well water you might want to invest in a pitcher with a filter such as Pur and Britia. To add a little flavor add some lemon juice.
Consider making iced tea from stratch. This isn't any harder than making powdered iced tea and you don't get the powder all over the place. Fill a pitcher with 2 quarts of water and add six tea bags. Let it steep for a few hours. Remove the tea bags and add sweetener, lemon, and mint if you want.
100% fruit juice is another good choice but you should dilute it. It'll not only cut down the sugar but make it last longer. Try adding seltzer water instead of plain water to satisfy your bubbly craving.
Milk can give you vitamins such as A & D that you need just pass up on the chocolate milk but that doesn't mean you shouldn't treat yourself to it every once in awhile.
If you're interested in joining me, please comment. I'll be posting progess reports as well through out the month.