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Friday, September 25, 2015

Sassy Skeleton~ Queen of Halloween

I finally found a full size skeleton for my Halloween decor. She was 30.00 at Menards. 

I brought her home and sprayed her with spray adhesive, then covered her in German Glass Glitter. 

Can I just say...AMAZING. 

She then was dressed in vintage jewelry, and one of my petticoats. She sparkles in the sun like a Queen...the Queen of Halloween!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

This lasagna is just as good as the noodle variety in my opinion. It is low carb and gluten free for all of us that are on Atkins, Paleo, and Mediterranean diets .

1 lb  lean  ground beef 
1 clove garlic chopped very fine 
1/2 onion diced
1/2 green pepper diced
1 jar  (quart)spaghetti sauce of choice...I can my own
3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/8" thick 
12 oz  small curd cottage cheese
16 oz  mozzarella cheese, shredded  
1 large egg

Now the thing with zucchini is it holds a crapload of moisture. You must get a large portion of it out unless you want watery lasagna. You can salt it for 10 minutes then press the moisture out with paper towels, or to get even more of the moisture out and have extra time,I froze enough zucchini slices for one lasagna recipe. When the zucchini was defrosted, a large amount of liquid came out. I squeezed the slices, and they held their shape really well. Your choice. 

In a fry pan, brown meat with  the green pepper ,onions, garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste.then drain

Add spaghetti sauce to the pan.

Simmer on low for about 30 minutes, you want thick sauce because of the water content in the zucchini..

Add the egg to the cottage cheese and stir well.

Now you just want to layer all of the goodness in a 10 to 12 inch square pan It goes zucchini noodles , beef mixture, cottage cheese mixture, and mozzarella...repeat once more then top with only meat sauce and any remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a preheated  350 degree oven  for one for 15 minutes , then serve with a optional dollop of Daisy (sour cream).. YUUUUUUMMMY!!!

Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Stuffed Ranch Chicken Breasts

 Here's what ya need...

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. 6 0z. cream cheese

2T. cream or milk
1 pkg.dry Ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon green pepper, Chopped fine
6 pieces bacon, Partially Cooked


Pound out Chicken breast so it is about 1/4″ thick.

Mix together cream cheese, ranch mix, milk, and green peppers and spread cheese mixture over 1 side of chicken breast.

Roll Chicken breast up to conceal cream cheese.

Wrap partially cooked bacon around chicken breast and secure with toothpick.

Place in baking  dish, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for about 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

Broil for about 5 minute to crisp bacon.

*Special note: For stuffed Popper chicken substitute jalapeno peppers for the green peppers!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Puffball Mushrooms

I learned about giant puff balls almost 12 years ago here in Wisconsin and they are indeed edible and a very tasty treat. 

I have eaten them over the years and fried in butter is my favorite. They are surprisingly rich however. A single puffball will make a meal.They also dehydrate nicely for use later in soups, etc. Just slice and dehydrate.

Just be sure to cut them in half to ensure they are completely uniform and white throughout (no gills and no stem).

I am on a low carb diet and large puffballs sliced and roasted can be used as a pizza crust.Gluten free too!! Cut 1/2″ slices of Giant Puffball and fried them on both sides with Parmesan Cheese in Olive Oil, to a golden brown. Then topped them with your toppings of your choice. Baked at 350 till toppings turn golden brown.

To clean a puffball, remove any dirt using a veggie brush or paper towel. Use  very little water, as puffballs are very absorbent. Dry the mushroom thoroughly. The outer layer can cause gastrointestinal issues in some people so remove the skin with a knife before cooking.

 I found oodles of puffballs this year so I will be making "puffball powder" by basically drying them down and pulverizing. The powder is then added to various dishes and/or used as a breading. Again LOW CARB!

 Arrange the cleaned, sliced mushrooms on the dehydrator trays. 
Dry them at 110F/43C until the pieces are crispy dry. This will take 4 to 6 hours for 1/4-inch slices, up to 8 hours for thicker slices.
Allow the dried mushrooms to cool completely before transferring them to airtight containers. Store away from direct light or heat.
To use dehydrated mushrooms, pour boiling water over them  and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the richly flavored soaking liquid for soup stocks and sauces.
Use the rehydrated mushrooms as you would fresh mushrooms.

10-12 Large 1/2 inch slices Puffball mushrooms ( outer skin cut off)
 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1-1/2 cups water 
1 cup flour 
1/2 cup cornstarch 
3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
Vegetable oil or canola oil – enough so that you have about 2 inches of oil in your pot. 

DIRECTIONS Use a clean dish towel  or brush to wipe the mushrooms clean.

Mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Add water, about 1 1/2 cups, to create the batter. 
Dip each mushroom in the batter.
Coat each mushroom in Panko bread crumbs
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large deep fry pan to about 350 degrees
Carefully add mushrooms to the  oil 
Cook  the mushrooms  for about 7-10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and crispy.

Carefully remove mushrooms from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Allow the mushrooms to cool for a few minutes before serving with ranch dressing. ENJOY!!

Be certain to consult a professional (or a really good field guide) in order to positively identify this plant before trying this for yourself. The owners of this site will not be held responsible for any lapses in judgment or stupidity when handling or consuming wild plants.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

New grand baby!!!!

Finally a girl!!
Baby Violet has entered our Kingdom...our new Princess...

Thursday, June 18, 2015


While thrifting today, I found these great mess tins / Chinese Stacking Cookware Serving Trays made in Thailand and never used! 

It has 5 ornate trays that stack on each other with a lid on top.  It all snaps together with a carrying handle.
Made of aluminum and stamped Chue Chin Hua

CHUE CHIN HUA COMPANY LIMITED. was founded to produce aluminum cookware since 1936. The company was received the honorable emblem "By Appointment of His Majesty The King" in 1973.

These are also called Tiffins.
Tiffins are a very old method for carrying lunch. Since 1890 each day in Mumbai, India’s largest city, around 200,000 office workers receive a home cooked lunch prepared by their spouse and later hand delivered in a traditional ‘Tiffin’ lunch box by a Dabbawallah.  The word Tiffin actually means light lunch.
 In Mumbai...over 200,000 fresh, client-specific lunch meals
 are delivered each day, directly to each customer’s office, at a
 specific time each day.
The system uses long-life, reusable food packaging. More than 5,000 highly efficient workers utilize head trays, bicycles, hand carts, and the local railway system to transport the food containers. They not only pick-up a personalized meal which has been prepared by a customer’s spouse or family member, and deliver to it the correct Mumbai workplace at lunchtime, they also return the empty metal container (called a tiffin) that same evening to the customer’s home for tomorrow’s reuse and refilling.  This customized, 2-way, daily delivery service only costs Mumbai’s citizens the equivalent of $6.50 SGD ($5 USD) per month! 
Look at some of these beauties. It is like lunch inside artwork..

I will be using mine for camping and picnics

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dulce De Leche (Caramel ) Homemade Ice Cream

Did you know that many store bought ice creams today are chemical concoctions put in a pretty container designed to sell a product that is not fit for human consumption?

Everything from hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and dry milk solids are used to make something still allowed to be called ice cream.

Many ice creams are also whipped with air to double the volume.Which means you get half of what you paid for.

Frightening chemicals like caroxymethyl cellulose, butyraldehyde, and amyl acetate are additives in some store bought ice creams. How about some diethyl glycol -- a cheap chemical used to take the place of eggs, which is also used in anti-freeze and paint removers.Yummmm....and we wonder why cancer is running rampant....

Aldehyde C-17, flavoring for cherry ice cream, is an inflammable liquid used in dyes, plastics, and rubber. Piperonal, used in place of vanilla, is a lice killer. Ethyl Acetate, a pineapple flavor, can also clean leather and textiles.

I have chosen not to pay for things that might kill  me and my family. With that being said...if a recipe is too complicated, I might not have the time to make it. Finally I found an easy way to make a chemical free summer treat. 

You do not have to caramelize your sweetened condensed milk in this recipe if you are short on me, it is delicious all on it's own...

Dulce de leche (pronounced "DOOL-se de LEche,"  is a rich and decadent sauce or syrup, similar in flavor to caramel. Unlike caramel, however, which is made by heating sugar, dulce de leche is prepared by heating sweetened condensed milk. Dulce de leche is especially common in the desserts of various South American countries.

To make the caramelized milk you will want to put it in a glass mason jar, then  follow the directions for your choice method below.

STOVETOP: Pour 1 can (14 oz) CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk into a mason jar . Place in a kettle of simmering water  with water at half level of the jar to keep it from floating. Cook over low heat for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove from heat and cool.
OVEN: Preheat oven to 400° F. Pour 1 can (14 oz.) CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk into mason jar. Cover with aluminum foil; place in shallow pan (pan should be larger than jar). Fill pan with hot water. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove and cool.

MICROWAVE: Pour 1 can (14 oz.) CARNATION Sweetened Condensed Milk into  mason jar. Cook on MEDIUM (50%) power for 4 minutes, stirring halfway through heating time. Reduce power to MEDIUM-LOW (30%) power; cook for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring with wire whisk every few minutes, until thick and light caramel-colored. 

  • 1 can (14 ounces)  Caramelized sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract(use the highest quality)
  • 2 cups cold heavy  cream
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together  caramelized condensed milk,and vanilla. 
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. 
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture. 
  4. Pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan(the kind you would bake a 1 pound loaf of bread in). 
  5. Freeze until firm, 6 hours.Keeps covered up to 3 weeks in freezer.
  6. Add some coarse sea salt, nuts or/and chocolate syrup  if desired before serving ...delish  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Easy Peasy Homemade ICE CREAM

 No machines ...and NO CHURNING...Just mix and freeze...then ENJOY!

  • This is the easiest and the most delicious ice cream I've ever made. I've made it many times and it is always a hit. People can't believe there was no churning involved. I will use this recipe for the rest of my life! 
  • Only 3 ingredients, and no added unknown chemicals!
  • Please note that this melts a bit faster than commercial varieties, and refreezing it compromises the texture, so do not leave it sit out for long.
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk(can use fat free if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract(use the highest quality)
  • 2 cups cold heavy  cream
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk,and vanilla. 
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream on high until stiff peaks form, 3 minutes. 
  3. With a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into condensed milk mixture. 
  4. Pour into a 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch loaf pan(the kind you would bake a 1 pound loaf of bread in). 
  5. Freeze until firm, 6 hours.Keeps covered up to 3 weeks in freezer .
Chocolate Ice Cream:
Add unsweetened cocoa (1/4 cup) to the whipping cream and another 1/4 cup to the condensed milk mixture.

 Rhubarb Ice cream:Add chunks of fruit before freezing

Add food coloring and extracts for a unique combination

And Sprinkles...

Simple vanilla bean Served in fresh flowers for a dinner party would be SWEET!

Get crazy creative the sky is the limit to what you can add !

If you are out of sweetened condensed milk , here is a recipe to make your own...


1 1/2 c. whole milk 
1/2 or 2/3 c. unrefined sugar (organic cane sugar, even sucanat depending on your final goal for the condensed milk) 
3 Tbs. butter 
1 tsp. vanilla 


Mix sugar and milk together in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stirring often, bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat. As soon as steam starts lifting off the milk, lower the heat even further, and when the sugar is entirely dissolved, put the heat as low as it can go. A simmer burner is great for this. 
The goal is to reduce the quantity in the pot (which is now about 1 3/4 cups) by approximately half. It takes about 2 hours at very low heat to reduce to one cup of liquid. You could speed it up a bit if you watch carefully and stir often. I preferred the freedom to wander the house doing other tasks, and thus allowed my process to take quite some time. 
Once reduced to your satisfaction, whisk in the butter and vanilla. The recipe is equivalent to just less than one whole can of brand name sweetened condensed milk. (One can = 14 ounces, which is 2 ounces shy of 2 cups. by weight, oops! The can is equal to 1 1/4 cups liquid. Substitute tables for homemade condensed milk vary from 1 1/4 cups all the way to 2 cups. Use your judgment!