Tres Leches Cake

Delicious for any occasion

Homemade Watercolors

For homeschoolers, or just fun at home

DIY Toothpaste

Great for good health, and a happy pocketbook

Vegetarian Meals for the Whole Family

Even picky kids will love these meat-less dishes

Sewing Projects and Tips

Even more tutorials to come soon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Green Bean Casserole Variation

Like the rest of America on Thanksgiving day, our family enjoys green bean casserole. We don't, however, enjoy it made the "classic" way. Here is our version, heavier on green beans & onions, that we make every year:

You will need:
  • 1 can REGULAR (not reduced fat) cream of mushroom soup, any brand
  • 3/4 Cup whole milk or half-&-half
  • 2 dashes soy sauce
  • 2-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 pinches of kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 cans "no salt added" cut green beans
  • 1 can "no salt added" french-cut green beans
  • 1 1/2-2 cups french-fried onions. I prefer French's or Great Value's
You can mix in the casserole dish if you like, but I prefer a large bowl.
Begin by mixing the soup, milk, soy, Worcestershire, salt & pepper. When the lumps are out, mix in the green beans & 1 cup of the onions. Turn out into a large casserole dish.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Stir. Add remaining onions on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Super Simple Craberry Sauce

I would imagine most people crack open a can of cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving simply because they do not know how simple & delicious it is to make fresh & homemade. The recipe we use is so easy our first-grader can make it. (With supervision!)

You will need:
  • 1 bag of cranberries from your produce section, rinsed & any broken fruit removed
  • 1 Cup of plain white sugar
  • 1 Cup of water
  • A splash of lemon or orange juice
Bring just to a boil the water, sugar & lemon juice. Add the cranberries & bring back to a boil.
Reduce heat & simmer until cranberries burst. Remove from heat & let sit until room temperature. It can then be used, or refrigerated. We like to make it the day before then chill it. It thickens as it cools.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Less Than a Week from T-day!

Since Thanksgiving isn't really a meal you can just jump into, I prepare well in advance. And I make great use of my love of making charts & lists to keep my craziness organized.

The first week of November I ask/bug all the family members what they'd like to see on the table this year, then I make a shopping list. 5-7 days from Thanksgiving I do my shopping. I like to beat the crowds & I also know that it will be the perfect timing in defrosting the turkey in the fridge. Much, much easier then making room in the freezer for it.

Also finished today, my time line of when items go in & out of the oven/on & off the stove, etc. A MUST when a toddler is afoot & others are helping. Speaking of others helping- this year both my boys (9&6) will be helping with certain things. So another chart gets done of who is helping when. No, I am not brave enough for two boys to help with one dish. You know that saying- "too many cooks spoil the broth"? Yeah...I'm sure something, or someone, would be caught on fire. They are even taking turns on the day before, when the pies & cranberry sauce are made. I'm not giving anyone any opportunity for fighting. =-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clean, Chemical-Free Floors

Try washing your vinyl or tiles floors with 1 cup vinegar mixed with a gallon of water, and your choice of essential oils.

Not only will your floors be sparkling, but you won't have to worry about chemicals around pets and small children!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recycled Containers

I love, love love the new Similac containers! Since the round canisters have been made out of cardboard instead of metal- there has been less you could do to re-use them. These new plastic ones are GREAT though...not only when you are using the formula (there is a spot for the scoop to go- no more searching!) but they have a spiffy hinged lid, and make great containers around the house when you are through with them.
All you have to do is remove the wrapper, pop off the lid to remove any remaining foil seal, wash in soapy water, dry, fill, pop on the lid- and you have a recycled-freebie container! =-)
They have thumb grips on one side, so they are great for shelves- just grab the one you need, they line up nicely. I label mine with a permanent marker, but you could also use a label machine or something else. In one I've even kept the scoop- perfect amount for quickly tossing in salt for pasta water!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hygiene Drive with Giveaway

Hygiene Drive with Giveaway- Re-post this on your blog. :)

There are many people here in the USA that do not have the resources or money to purchase necessities such as hygiene products.

This Christmas Beauty From the Earth will be sending Hygiene Kits out to the needy. These kits will be handed out to many men, women, and children who are not as fortunate as many of us.

Last year we were only going to send them to homeless but we found that there are many people out there that can not afford the items that are not homeless. These may include mentally handicap persons or the victims of domestic violence.

Our goal is to send at lease 200 kits out.

We are still in need of many more items.

We would like to invite you to participate in this event.We need the following items-
Hand lotion
Bars of soap
Dental floss
Sanitary napkins
In addition of these items we will also we collecting color books and crayons for children.

If you would like to donate please mail your items to -
Beauty From The Earth
PO Box 315
Syracuse, Kansas 67878

Every person who sends items for the cause will get 20% off their next order at
and will be entered to win a 100.00 gift certificate also from Beauty From The Earth.

Let's keep this going! Post this on your blog. I bet we can send out many more than 200 kits!

You can see the orginal post at-

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick Tip: Frying

Here's a quick tip when frying foods, instead of using a lot of paper
towels to drain the excess oil/shortening from your food, try placing it on a small roasting rack inside a pan.

It is easy, and saves money and trees!

Here you see draining frybread (on the left) and taco shells (right)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make Your Own All Purpose Cleaner

Here's a nice recipe for an all purpose cleaner.

You will need a 16 oz spray bottle.
Put into it 2 Tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon borax.
Add about 6 oz hot water, and swish around until the borax dissolves.
Then add about 5 drops of dish washing detergent, and a couple drops of your choice of essential oils.
Fill the bottle the rest of the way with water.

Super Easy Cheesecake Brownies


* 1-box Brownie mix
* 8-ounces Cream cheese, softened
* 2-tablespoons Butter, softened
* 1-tablespoon Cornstarch
* 1-can Sweetened condensed milk
* 1-large Egg
* 2-teaspoons Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare brownie mix as to package directions. Spread mixture into 9-13-inch pan lightly greased with cooking spray. Beat tegether cream cheese, butter and cornstarch in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in the condensed milk, then beat in the egg and vanilla; beat until smooth. Pour cheesecake mixture evenly over brownie batter.

Bake about 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dinner Re-Vamp: Chicken

You've made a gorgeous chicken, like the one here at Mrs. Suzie's blog, (pictured) but you have leftovers- what do you make? Here are 10 great meals to use up that leftover chicken, beyond the usual soup or casserole:

1. Fried Rice- chicken cooked any way can be shredded or chopped and added to a variety of quick rice dishes.
2. Chicken Quesadillas- grab your chicken, some tortillas, some cheese, and you've got an easy and satisfying meal.
3. Pizza- try adding chicken to pizza for a gourmet treat. Why pay over 20 bucks for a pie when you can top it yourself. Try chicken with artichokes, black beans and salsa, BBQ, or simply with a little olive oil and spinach.
4. Chicken Salad- served on bread, a croissant, or even a bed of greens.
5. Pot Pie- Warm from the oven, nutritious and comforting.
6. Burritos- Mix some chicken with green chilie sauce or salsa, and fill a tortilla. Try chicken alone, or add tasty leftover rice, or beans.
7. Creamed Chicken- a favorite at my house, served over toast or noodles, sure to please.
8. Nachos- yum! Sprinkle chicken, cheese and tasty toppings over corn chips and bake until warm and gooey.
9. BBQ- mix with bbq sauce and serve on buns for a quick easy dinner.
10. Pasta- mix with any sauce, toss with any noodles, and you have a simple family meal all will love. Try mixing in some veggies for extra taste, canned tomatoes, thawed and drained frozen spinach, even fresh spring peas.

Great Smelling Linen Closets

Who has time to remember to use linen spray? Your closets can still smell fresh and clean everyday with these handy tips.

  • Take a vented plastic bag and add little hand soaps, or leftovers of bar soaps. Hand in the closet for a fresh, and customizable scent.
  • Hang up a dryer sheet for a week or two's worth of scent.
  • For a more eco-friendly sheet, use an old wash cloth, and soak in fabric softener. Let dry, and hang, or place in your closet. With so many new fabric softener scents these days, the possibilities are almost unlimited.
  • Fill a vented plastic, or muslin bag with cotton balls sprinkled with essential oils. Mix and match oils for your own unique scent.