Friday, September 13, 2019

Homemade Cream of Soup

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis 16 years ago, I talked to a natural doctor and he told me how to clean up my diet to get rid of the pain. One of those things was canned soup.  He told me once I got my diet clean, that I would know within 20 minutes of eating something that was bad.  He was right. If I eat at someone's house and they have cooked a dish with canned soup in it, my fingers will be throbbing by the time we clean the table.  I had several recipes that take canned soup, so I went looking for a substitution. I have used this for many years and no one would ever know that it's not canned soup. It works well in every recipe.  Whatever kind of cream of soup you need, just use this. I keep diced up celery in my freezer, so that when I need Cream of Celery Soup, I just add a 1/4 cup of the celery to this mix. If I need Cream of Mushroom, I use half a small can of stems of pieces of mushrooms. When  a recipe calls for Cream of Chicken, I don't add chicken, because it's in a chicken dish. I just mix it up as directed and add to the dish. I also like to add this to my chicken and dumplings, as it adds flavor to the broth. 
I found this neat little jar at Dollar General and I keep a 1/3 cup scoop in it, so that I don't have to use a measuring cup.
You can't just put this on the heat and leave it, or it'll scorch. Just add the water to the pan and the 1/3 cup of mix. Whisk together and let it heat up until thickened. If you need it for a recipe, you can always make it the day before and refrigerate it so it's ready.

3/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups powdered milk
1/4 cup chicken bouillon
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all together and store in a container. 
Whisk together 1-1/4 cup water and 1/3 cup mix in a small saucepan.
Add 1/4 cup of whatever kind of soup you  need: celery, mushroom etc.
Let it come to a boil over medium heat.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Every year for the whole month of March, you can hardly stand to be outside for the hundreds of mosquitoes! In our area, March is the month that they  breed and hatch out, so if you can put a dent in the population in this month, you'll have a lot less mosquitoes. We've had the mosquito lights and different things that you light around the yard, but NOTHING has ever worked, until this.  The very first week of March,  we were getting in the car one morning and you could see nothing but mosquitoes swarming all in front of the car, around the windows and on us as we were getting in the vehicle.  That day we went to ACE Hardware and we saw these on the counter. We figured we'd give them a try.  All you do is take the cap off, fill it with warm water and hang about 5 foot off the ground in  the shade. 2 come to a box so you put them 150 feet apart.  In just 3 days time, there was NO mosquitoes around us at all. We couldn't believe it. This actually worked!! Usually we'd hurry and get in the house, as mosquitoes would be swarming around us, but no more.  We could actually sit on the porch in the evening and have no mosquitoes bother us. We had a cookout and some friends were sitting on the porch and made a comment about there being no mosquitoes, as they had just left a family member's birthday party, just 5 miles from us, and they said the mosquitoes were so bad that all they did was swat and kill them and it was miserable. So we told them about the Spartan Eradicator.  We have been able to enjoy the summer outside because of this product. We will be buying them again next year. If they costed $100.00, it would be worth it!  It's now the end of July and we are still mosquito free! 

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Refillable Swifter Mop

When I married my husband, he had one of those Swifter mops with the disposable pads. I had never used one so I gave it a try. It's ok for cleaning the dust off the floor, but it's expensive to buy the pads and solution, and I don't use chemicals, so when the bottle ran out, I never used it again.  It was convenient though.  So when I heard about this mop from one of my daughters, I got one. Not only can you reuse the pad, but you can fill it with any cleaning solution you want. I bought an extra pad when I got mine, so that when I mop, I can throw the dirty pad in the wash for the next time I do laundry and put the other one on the mop in case I need to clean something before the other is laundered. Another thing I love about this mop, is that the pad really does a better job at cleaning the floor, other than just getting the dust off. The pads grip what's on the floor really good, even better than my regular mop, plus you use both sides of the pad, not just one!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Roasted Broccoli

I love broccoli, but I have a daughter who didn't care for it. So I was always looking for ways to cook it that she may learn to like it. This recipe did it.  She was eating it like popcorn and talking about how good it was.  Then we had some friends over for dinner and he had told my husband that he didn't like broccoli, so I fixed this as one of the side dishes. He went back for seconds!  The original recipe found here, calls for breadcrumbs, but I use crumbled Ritz crackers. Which ever you use, this is an excellent recipe and one that my family voted a keeper.
2 medium heads of broccoli (4 cups)
4 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp.  black pepper
3 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs or crushed Ritz  crackers

Preheat oven to 400.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Trim broccoli heads and cut into florets.
Place in a bowl.
Mix olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic in small dish and drizzle over broccoli.
Mix the parmesan cheese and crackers or breadcrumbs in a dish.
Toss to coat broccoli.
Spread onto baking sheet.
Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the broccoli is soft and golden brown.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk

I was glad when I learned how to make my own sweetened condensed milk. It's cheaper to make and  most of the time, when a recipe called for it, I didn't have any in the cupboard.

1 cup powdered milk
2/3 cup sugar
4 TBS butter
1/3 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla

Put the first 4 ingredients in a Magic Bullet or mixer bowl and blend. Add the vanilla and let set for 1 hour or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Buckeye Fudge

We went to the mountains last month and of course, when we go to the mountains, a must-have is fudge. We bought some peanut butter and chocolate fudge and it was good. Last week I saw this fudge on Pinterest and I knew we had to try it.  We thought it tasted better than the mountain fudge. It's super easy to make too.  It calls for 1/2 a can of sweetened condensed milk, but I make my own condensed milk, so I just halved the recipe. No waste!  Of course, you could always use the whole can and double this recipe.

Peanut Butter Layer:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3-1/2 cups confectionary sugar

Chocolate Layer:
7 oz sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
2 TBS butter

Line an 8 or 9 inch pan with wax or parchment paper.
Put the peanut butter and butter in a microwavable bowl and set timer for 90 seconds. Stir until it's smooth. Add the vanilla and then the sugar. When it's stirred smooth, spread it out in the pan.

Put the milk, chocolate chips and butter in a microwavable bowl and set timer for 90 seconds. Stir. If it's smooth spread over the peanut butter layer. If not,  microwave at 15 second intervals until it's all melted and spread.

You can leave this on the counter to set up or if you like it cold, put in the refrigerator.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Smoked Tuna Dip

My hubby was telling me the other day about a good, smoked tuna dip that a restaurant used to have many years ago.  So of course, I went online to find a recipe to make it  for him.  After reading through a LOT of recipes,  and listening to what he told me it tasted like, I put 2 recipes together and he loves it.  I don't like tuna fish and have never had the dip, so I'm going on what he says.  He says this is a keeper.

12 oz. can tuna fish, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1 tsp. Creole Seasoning

Mix all together and refrigerate.
Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hot Wings

The men in my family love hot wings, especially when it's game night. I've been making these wings for quite a few years. Some like them dipped in Ranch dressing, some just like them like they are.  After making these a few years I read a tip that I've found really works. Cut the tips off the wings and then lay them on a rack over a cookie sheet. Put them in the refrigerator, uncovered, over night. This makes the skins dry out, so that when you cook them, they are crisp and not stretchy.

1 family size pack of wings
12 oz. hot sauce
6 TBS butter
3 TBS vinegar
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2  tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1-1/2 TBS plain flour

Cut the wing tips off and discard them. Now cut the wing into 2 pieces.
Lay the pieces  on a rack over a cookie sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 7 hours or over night.
Preheat oven to 300.
Whisk  the hot sauce, butter, vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, pepper, garlic powder and flour together in a small sauce pan and heat until warm.
Heat your oil and fry your wings until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the grease and place on a paper towel lined plate. Then dip them into the sauce and
place in baking pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cook Perfect Pasta Every Time

I love reading through cookbooks, both old and new. Many years ago I read some cooking tips in an old cookbook. This tip is one I have used ever since and it works every time, with any kind of pasta.  No more water spilling over the edge or having to test it for doneness. SO easy!!

Just bring your water to a boil and pour in your pasta. When it returns to a boil stir it to make sure all noodles are loosened from the bottom. Turn it off and set your timer for 20 minutes. Drain the water and it's all done!!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Broccoli Casserole

I had never liked broccoli casserole until a friend of mine made this one a few years ago. Now I LOVE broccoli casserole. This is so simple to make but it's very good.
3 heads of broccoli
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
6 oz.  French Onions
1 cup Swiss cheese
Steam the broccoli for about 4 minutes. Drain.
Place in the bottom of a greased 7x11 baking dish.
Spread half of the French onions over top.
Mix the soup and milk, then pour over top.
Sprinkle with the cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Add the remaining French onions and bake an additional 5 minutes.
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