Monday, November 26, 2012

First week of 52 Weeks to an Organized Home

This week I am starting the 52 weeks to an organized home project. I do realize that this officially started in January, but I just found it yesterday. I guess us late comers have the advantage of being able to see everyone else's results and get ideas from them. 
So, the first week starts in the kitchen, specifically the counters and sink. So here are my before pics.

We shall call this the microwave corner. Although there is much more there than just that.

This one will be dubbed the coffee corner.

The sink.

And the catchall area.

So far I have removed the microwave (after cleaning the inside of it), along with everything on top of it, cleaned the window and sill behind it and the counter it sits on. The microwave will probably go right back where it is as this really is the best place for it. I also purchased a basket at wal-mart today to put all the mail and school papers that come in the door and normally get dumped in the catchall area. Its not an ideal size and it is fabric which is also not really a good idea in the kitchen but it will do for now until I find something else.
I'm thinking I will get rid of my old knife block but keep the knives in a drawer and only have my newer one on the counter, which will free up a little bit of room in the coffee corner area.
Of course all of this will get rearranged once all the xmas decorations come out but none the less it will make room for those and everything can go back to its new home after the holidays.
I will post after pics sometime this week once I get it all done.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

I love cooking with pumpkin in the fall. So I will try just about any recipe that features it. 
For this one you will need a shallow pan or bowl to mix all your ingredients in. I use a 6x6 baking dish.

Next is 1/4 cup of milk.

Then comes the pumpkin, 1/4
of a cup.
 2 eggs go in first.

Followed by 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

                            And 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon.

2 Tablespoons brown sugar (I used light brown      sugar).

   Then mix it all together, I doubled this recipe to make enough for five people.

Just dip your bread in, making sure to coat both sides. I used wheat bread.

  And if all goes well you will end up with a nice stack of yummy pumpkin pie french toast.

As always if you try it please let me know how it went.

Fall Mantle

I missed posting this yesterday, but wanted to get it on before I started changing the house for the winter holiday season.
So without further ado here is my fall corner of the home.

Just a few simple things can really make a big impact.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Healthy Thursday

Yes I said it the dreaded word.
We all know we should do it, but dread the actual doing of it.
One thing I have found that is really helpful is a great free app called Cardio Trainer.

It lets you set up goals, make a timeline and keeps track of how your doing. If you want to lose weight it even lets you know how many calories you will burn with your current exercise plan and how many fewer calories you will need to eat on a daily basis in order to achieve your goal.
I use it for everything but ecspecially when I go walking. I simply push the start workout button and it keeps track of everything.

Pretty simple, huh? It also maintains your history of what you've done on every day of the month that you've logged in.

Just an FYI your screen may not look the same exactly, I pulled this image off the web and on my phone it looks a little different. But the basics are there.
So if you are planning to start a exercise routine or need some motivation to do so, I highly recommend this app. It is free and works wonderfully. 
We all know we should be exercising that it is good for us in every way, so might I challenge you that if you are currently not doing anything to do something in the coming week!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Corner of my home Monday

Mondays I am going to share a little corner of my home. Today I have my china cabinet all decked out for Halloween. (Another day I will do a before and after of it, it used to look totally different before I painted it and took the doors off.) So here is a pic of it as a whole minus the top.

None of the "ingredients" for this cost more than a few dollars and it has grown over time.

Our city does not recycle glass so I save all glass jars and repurpose them elsewhere, for these to give them a cohesive look I first gave all the lids a coat of gesso then painted them all black. The silver trays are all from thrift stores and I tend to use them year round.

The jar with the white stuff in it has a label that reads spider silk, to make the silk i just rolled and stretched cotton balls into long strands.

The small cheese doom or cake saver I inherited from my Grandmother. The jars with labels and candy are ecspecially fun for the kids. The labels i printed from Martha Stewarts website and have fun names like "Dreadful Edibles." To give them a more aged look I wiped them with a cottenball sprayed with walnut ink.

The green pumpkin was in the dollar section this year at Target.
The potion bottle with the red lid used to contain red wine vinegar.

Top shelf holds a Martha Stewart cake stand with a glass pumpkin full of orange tissue paper that was another grandmothers, the two black cats my husband had before we got married and the big cake saver was a grandmothers as well.

Another Shot of the top.
Inside the glass dome is a fake spider sitting on some moss covered rocks that came from the dollar store.

The tombstone was a dollar store find last year. I just surrounded it by moss also from the dollar store last year.

Inside some of the jars are such simple things as dried sage leaves from the garden and a snake skin that my son found while on a hike.

Hope you enjoyed this small peek into my home.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Healthy Thursday

So in the same vein as last week I am heading back to the wonders of toothpaste as a replacement cleaner for harsh chemicals. 
This next item I picked up for a few dollars at the Goodwill store. 

This is what it looked like when I brought it home. Pretty dirty and looking unsalvageable, but after five minutes with the toothpaste this is what I produced.

All nice and shiny, no its not perfect but that is okay it is a huge improvement over what it was when I first brought it home, and it looks just fine sitting in the middle of my dining room table with a pile of shells or fruit on it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Foodie Friday

For my first Foodie Friday I would like to share my cornbread recipe. I am going to share the basic one that I use, I am thinking of trying to tweek it some but have not yet. This is where the recipe is from.
I'm not sure of the date on this due to it missing the first couple of pages, but I would guess the 70's. I acquired it for $3.99 at a thrift store. The recipe itself is called Perfect Corn Bread.

Now, someone has written in changes to the basic recipe next to it and next time I make it I intend to follow their changes and see if it makes a difference. The basic recipe itself works very well, tastes good and is moist, my only complaint is that the outside is a little crumbly, but maybe I should just shorten my cooking time. 
So here are the step-by-step instructions.
First, you are going to need a sifter and bowl;

into the sifter goes 1 cup all purpose flour,

1/4 cup sugar,

4 teaspoons baking powder,

3/4 teaspoon salt (I use sea salt for everything),

sift all of it together;

then stir in 1 cup yellow cornmeal.

Add 2 eggs,

1 cup milk,

and 1/4 cup shortening.

Beat with mixer until just smooth (I'm thinking maybe I over mixed, I've made this recipe several times and don't remember the crumbly part.)

Pour into greased (I use Bakers Joy spray) 9x9 pan (I don't have a 9x9 so I used a 10x6). Bake at 425 for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sorry about the bad photos, I need to do some serious editing next time. As a side note on the page there is a hand written recipe along the bottom and side for Fried Mush. I have not tried it yet but intend to do so one day, and I will let you know when I do.

Hope you enjoy the cornbread and let me know how it works for you.