Gingerly Made: June 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Foodie Friday: Dipped Rice Krispie Pops

On our recent trip to Wilmington, we made a requisit stop at Kilwin's. They have ummy yummy ice creams and chocalates. One of their treats was a giant rice krispie pop covered in chocolate. And after mmmm, my first thought was, I can make that.

So, I did.

What you'll need:
Rice Krispie Treats
Cookie or Lollipop sticks (Find in the craft aisle pretty much anywhere.)
Dipping Chocolate (It's usually in a tub near the cookie sticks. You know the stuff you can dip strawberries in or pour into molds to make chocolate candies.)
Ribbon for decorating

First you make your rice krispie treats. Would you believe this is the first time I've ever made some? I'm almost, ahem, thirty and I've never made rice krispie treats until a week ago. What is wrong with me?

So if you've never made them before.... here's the recipe:

6 cups rice krispies
1 10 oz bag of marshmallows
3 tbsp butter (not vegetable spread)

Dump your 6 cups of rice krispies into a bowl.

Melt 3 tbsp. butter in saucepan on low heat.
Add marshmallows and stir until completely liquified.

Pour marshmallow goo into rice krispies and mix well.

Pour that mixture into baking pan. You may need to use some wax paper or a buttered spatula to help push it down.

Let cool.

Alright. So now you've got your rice krispie treats. Cut them into 2" x 2" squares.

Shove a cookie or lollipop stick in. You may have to press the rice krispie treat back together if the stick separates it too much. Otherwise your pop will be loose on the stick.

At this point I set the pops on a wire rack to see how many would fit and how many I could dip at once.

Melt the dipping chocolate according to the package instructions.

Dip the top of your rice krispie in the chocolate.

Set on the wire rack to dry.

Once dry, you'll need to lift from the bottom because the chocolate sticks to the rack.

Add ribbon for decoration.

And then, because I didn't have any short bud vases, I filled a vase full of mini-marshmallows and then added the pops for a little rice krispie pop bouquet.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cheap and Choosy: Traveling with Young Children

Today I'm posting over at The Cheap and Choosy.

Traveling with young children can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. They need more help being entertained in the car for long periods of time. Or even short ones.

As I was writing this one, I ran across two other blog posts on the same thing. I guess it's summer and everyone is taking vacations. And traveling with the kiddos can be really stressful if you don't plan ahead of time. And sometimes even then.....

Anyway, go check it out. The Cheap and Choosy: Traveling with Young Children.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spray Painted Bath Accessories

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever run out of things to blog about. This one is more proof that that won't happen. Because today, I'm talking about spray painting my trash can. Yep, that's right. And not just my trash can, but my soap dish too.

They just didn't match anymore. Not since repainting the bathroom walls and cabinets.

I didn't want to buy a new trash can or soap dish. Call me cheap, but I just didn't want to spend $20 on a teeny tiny brushed nickel trash can to match the brushed nickel in the rest of the room.
So I painted it! Isn't it amazing the things you can revitalize with just a touch of paint. Hubs kind-a laughed about me painting the trash can and soap dish, but hey, they match now.

Here's the before:

And the after:

You didn't think it was going to look that good did you?

Monday, June 25, 2012

We Caught a Bunny

Rather, our dog caught a bunny.

We're used to bunnies coming through our fence and hanging out in our yard, nibbling on our garden. And we usually get a kick out of Buddy chasing after them. Until last week. He finally got one and let me tell you, I didn't know that rabbits made a sound. But this poor little thing was squealing. It broke my heart. I grabbed Caitlin and ran her inside because I didn't want her to see that.

While I have no problems with hunting; with hunting it's usually over quickly. I can't bear for something to be tortured. We shooed Buddy away and rescued the little thing.

As far as we know, bunny was ok. She did have some fur ripped off and was very scared, but seemed to be ok. We took her to some woods about five miles down the road where she could hopefully live without doggies chasing her.

Of course, Caitlin wanted to keep her as a pet. We might have to start thinking about getting her a guinea pig or something.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Foodie Friday: Red White and Blue Lemon Berry Cake

Wowza! That title is a mouth-full! But that's ok, because a mouth full of this cake is De. Lic. Ious! And with blueberries and red raspberries in the center, it's a fun patriotic inspired dessert.

I'm not a super creative person in the kitchen. I love to cook, but I don't create my own recipes. If anything, I tweak recipes. And I don't want to fool anybody into thinking that I made this complete from my own brain. So with full disclosure, this one comes from MyRecipes. I just changed the berries part.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cups blueberries
1 cup raspberries
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon buttermilk
2 to 4 Tbsp. lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan with melted butter, add a few tablespoons of flour and rotate pan to evenly coat, tapping out excess.
  2. Mix 3 cups flour with baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, vanilla and buttermilk.
  3. In a second large bowl, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add about 1/4 of flour mixture, followed by 1/4 of buttermilk mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Repeat, alternating dry and liquid ingredients, until batter is thoroughly combined. Gently fold in blueberries and raspberries. Transfer batter to pan, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake until a tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then flip cake to get it out of the pan.
  5. Make glaze: Mix confectioners' sugar, buttermilk and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice in a bowl, stirring until smooth. Glaze should be pourable; if it's too thick, add lemon juice, 1 tsp. at a time, until it reaches desired consistency. I used 3. Pour half of glaze over warm cake. The directions next say to let cool for 1 hour, then pour remaining glaze over cake and serve. Uhm, I couldn't exactly wait an hour to eat my cake. So, yeah. Do what you want to do there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

eFoodsDirect Winner

Congradulations to Toqua Crafts!
You won the 6 meal emergency food supply starter pack.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Fruits of the Spirit Free Printable

Sometimes we all need some sort of reminder. I wanted to put together a piece of tile art from words that reminded me of who I want to be as a woman, wife, mother, and Christian. And for me at least, there was no better place than to turn to the Scriptures.

So I put together this tile art of the Fruits of the Spirit. As you read them remember, meek does not mean weak. And although I would rather not suffer, we all experience things in our lives that takes enduring. And long-suffering reminds me to bare those burdens with grace and hopefully patience.

If you like, you are welcome to download a copy for yourself as well.

Download PDF

Download JPEG

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blueberry Picking

I'm having a get caught up week. After our trip to the beach, I'm trying to get everything washed up and all the stuff everywhere put away. Does anyone else feel like cleaning the house is just a hamster wheel for people??

Anyway, in the mean time, here are some pictures from a few weeks ago. I took Caitlin and Hayley with me to go blueberry picking. The berries were just beginning to ripen, so we had to hunt for the really blue ones.

Caitlin still picked a few red ones, but she got the hang of it after awhile. And just wait until Friday. I made the most delicious berry pound cake with them. Yum!!

All in all, we picked just under 4 pounds. We ate some, cooked with some, and froze a bunch for later. Love me some blueberries!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Car Kid Stuff Organizer

 Before heading out for our mini-vaca last week, I wanted to whip up something to help keep our van at least a little tidier. Do I really need to tell you how hard that is with a toddler it tow??

2 - 15 x 20 pieces of fabric for backing
2 - 2 x 18 pieces of fabric (same as backing) for straps
1 - 15 x 20 piece of interfacing
4 - 16 x 9 pieces of fabric for pockets
1 set D-rings
matching thread

I started by folding 1/2" of the strap piece (narrow side) down, wrong side together. And then the strap piece (long side) in half (right sides together). Check out the picture to see how it should look.

Then sew along the long side. Turn inside out.

Now you have a strap with one raw end and one finished end.
Repeat for second strap.

Next layer your backing and interfacing so that the two pieces of backing are right sides together and the interfacing on top.

Sew around leaving the top open for inserting straps later.

 Trim corners.

Turn inside out.

Place two of the pocket pieces together right sides together. Sew around leaving a small hole so you can turn it inside out.
Trim those corners.
Turn inside out.
Repeat for second pocket.

Iron all of your pieces. Back, straps, and pockets.

Next pin pockets and straps into place.

You'll notice that the pockets are wider than the backing. You'll need to put in a couple of pleats. Just fold them and pin them into place.

Top-stitch all the way around the backing, plus the bottom of the uppermost pocket.

Fold over the top of one strap, making a loop and sew into place.
Add your D-rings. And you are done.

Now you've got a place for kid toys in the car. And I'll have to say, on the trip, it worked pretty well. I won't say that she always put her things away, but she did really well. She even put her sippy cup in there for awhile.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you AWESOME DADS out there. I happen to have had a pretty awesome dad and am pretty proud to say my kids do too.
This year for Father's Day, we took a much needed family vacation. It was a mini-vaca. Hubs took off Thursday and Friday and we spent it just a few hours away in Wilmington, NC. Love Wilmington!

Get ready for the photo montage, there's a bunch of them. I really wanted to get these up to be posted today, so I didn't have time to do any editing or watermarking, so these are just the raw photos.

We hit the beach.

And Hayley ate some sand.

The Historic River Walk area.

Where we ate some pizza.

Then got some ice cream at Kilwin's. Yum!

 And took a horse and buggy ride with Rex leading the way.

The next day we toured the Poplar Grove Plantation.

 And went to  the Fort Fisher Aquarium.

Then beach again.

And on the crafty side, I'm not really sure how some craft blogger's can post so many awesome Father's Day ideas before Father's Day. Their husbands must not read their blogs. Mine does, so I can't post what we made for him because it would ruin the surprise.

I had Hayley help with her very first craft project. Caitlin's hand and Hayley's feet.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY First Aid Kit

First Aid kits are simple little things that we often take for granted. You don't think about them until you need them. Yes, you can buy a first aid kit, but to be sure it has everything you'd want in case of an emergency, I think it's best to pack your own. So in preparing for the unknown, it's best to pack a comprehensive first aid kit.

I'm using an old wipes box as storage, but you can use a large tupperware bin too.

In my kit I'm putting:
  • Bandaids
  • Poison Ivy Cream
  •  Iodine
  • Gauze
  • Scissors
  • Pain Medication (adult and kid doses)
  • Bug Repellent Wipes
  • Vinyl Gloves

Packed up neatly.

Some other items that I could think of potentially needing.
  • Turnicate
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe
  • Snake Bite Kit
  • Epinephrine Pen/ Life-Altering Medication - If someone in your family has allergies or needs regular life altering medication, it might be a good idea to store some extra if possible.
  • Rubbing Alcohol - If you have iodine, you probably don't need the rubbing alcohol
I'm putting my kit in my car because my car is usually always around. If I'm home, the car is just outside. If I'm away, I'll still be sure to have it if in need.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How and Why to Can Your Food

 Canning food is an important part of homesteading. But the truth is, it takes more time and effort to can than freeze your excess food. And freezing your food retains more of the nutrients in your home grown veggies. So why can food at all?? What's the point?

Eric and I have three, yes three, freezers. We have the fridge and freezer inside the house, one in the garage and a chest freezer in the garage. And they are all full right now. Surprisingly I've never really considered myself a food hoarder. Hmm. Maybe I should rethink that. And they aren't really full of bought food. The veggies are mostly from our garden. As far as the meat goes, we have a lot of venison and the rest is bought food. Meat is the hardest for us to secure ourselves.

The point is, all that food would go to absolute waste if something happened and caused us to be without power. That's why canning is so important. If you can your food, you don't have to worry about having a food supply if the power goes out.

Some of you might think that canning your food seems like so much work and aren't sure how to do it safely. If that's what you think, let me tell you, it's not that bad. Here's what you need to know.

Know your Canner: The first and foremost thing is to know your pressure canner. The user guide that comes with it is the best thing to use, but can sometimes feel overwhelming. The first time we used ours, I told Eric to figure it out and then just show me what to do. So now I'm going to tell you. 
  • Insert: This sits on the bottom of the pot. Lifting the jars off the bottom keeps the glass jars from being in contact with the bottom of the hot pot; preventing breakage.
  • Indicator Valve: Once your water heats up inside the pressure canner and steam is made, you'll begin to see it escape through through the indicator valve. Once enough steam causes the indicator valve to pop up all the way, you can put the Steam Cap over the spout and the canner will begin to build pressure.
  • Steam Cap: When canning, you begin with the steam cap off. Once you can visibly see the steam pouring out the indicator valve, place the steam cap on top of the spout. The cap helps to trap the steam and create the pressure needed to reach higher temps.
  • Safety Plug: The plug is just a little rubber dam on the lid. Pull it out for water bath canning allowing steam to escape. Put it in for pressure canning. If the pressure gets too high, this little plug pops out releasing some of the pressure. But you aren't going to let it get that bad. You are going to watch the gauge and be safe.
  • Gauge: As steam is trapped and the pressure rises, the gauge will let you know how high the pressure is inside the pot. You will need to keep an eye on this gauge to adjust your stove's heat maintaining the correct pressure.
Water bath vs Pressure: There are two ways to can your food. Pressure canning and water bath. Water bath is little more than boiling your jars in an open pot and is for highly acidic food. (*You should still use a pressure canning pot because they have a special tray/insert to keep your jars off the bottom of the pot which keeps jars from breaking.) Pressure canning is for lower acidic foods. They need to reach higher temps to kill off any bacteria that would spoil the food. I use the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving to tell me whether or not to use the water bath or pressure methods and also how long to process them.

Don't open the lid: If you are pressure canning, don't open the lid on your pot until the pressure has completely gone down. Watch that gauge! We don't want any accidents happening here.

Follow directions: Like I mentioned before, I use the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Get some sort of reference guide to tell you which method to use and how long to process your canned foods. They also come with some yummy recipes!

The hardest part about canning food, is the first time you do it. Try it one time. Just try it. Then the next time, you'll have more confidence and you'll be hooked.

Don't forget to enter the eFoodsDirect giveaway and get your emergency food supply started.
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