Follow Me on Pinterest

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!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Holly Hobbie oven redo

Today while thrifting I came across the cutest little  Holly Hobby easy bake oven. They had it marked 10.00, but with a coupon, and a store card I scored it for 4.50 !!! Yipeee for me!

Holly Hobbie ovens adorned the toy aisle almost a decade after its Easy-Bake competitor, but its nostalgic look gave the impression that it was century older. Fashioned after an antique stove, the Holly Hobbie Oven gave children the ability to bake cookies and cakes just like mom … or more appropriately, just like grandma.
An illustrated little girl named Holly Hobbie,  face has adorned countless greeting cards for over fifty years. The character was created by an author and artist whose real name was Holly Hobbie!
Hobbie was also an  artist for American Greetings in the early 70s, and she created artwork of a little girl in a worn dress that loves cats. She named the character after herself and it wasn’t long before American Greetings contracted Knickerbocker toys to produce a doll based on the character’s likeness. For a time, these dolls were very popular and it made sense to create some more toys.
They licensed the image to Coleco, who created the Holly Hobbie Oven in 1975. It operated much in the same way as the  Easy-Bake Oven, but had an old-fashioned cast iron appearance. The toy came with a number of cool accessories, including real wood spoons and a rolling pin, plus an assortment of bowls and pans to create your lightbulb-baked masterpieces.
I still need to hunt for all the accessories...plenty of time for that. Here is what she looked like when I bought it.

The moment I saw it, it screamed a mini me of my stove/ oven. I thought how cute would it be for my new grand daughter (arriving in 10 weeks). I know she won't be able to use it for a while...but I may just play with it for a while until she is old enough....heee heee.

 First I spray painted it after a good scrubbing and rubbing alcohol rub down to remove any oil or grease. 

Here she is after her "makeover"....

I cannot wait for the day we will be able to bake in our pretty pink ovens together....

Here is mine....

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Maple Seeds an edible treat

 I have a 150 year old Silver Maple tree in my back yard. While it is a beautiful shade tree , it does have it's drawbacks...first the red buds, then the helicopters, and lastly the leaves in the fall...


Maple tree seeds are edible, contain protein, and can be used as survival food in winter months .

If eating maple seeds raw just doesn't trip your taste buds then boil them for about 15 minutes or until soft. Drain and season with whatever you think you will enjoy (butter and spices).
Toss spring maple seeds into a salad.
Roast maple tree seeds and eat them as a snack or toss onto a salad or as a garnish on soup. You can roast them by placing the seeds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with spices you like. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 to 10 minutes.
A maple seed or samara is sometimes called a key and is often referred to as a wingnuthelicopterwhirlibirdwhirligig, polynose, or, in the north of England, a spinning jenny. During the autumn months, they are a popular source of amusement for children who enjoy tossing them in the air and watching them spin to the ground.

But did you know they are edible? ...and nutritious?

Are Maple seeds (the "fruits" inside the "helicopters") edible? 

I have parched some and they are delicious.

The raw ones are tasty as well, and might make a great trail nibble. 

There are so many wonderful healthy edibles in my pesticide free yard. It seems a shame to waste such a effortless garden. I'd bet my neighbors think I'm an odd sort. So be it, I have never been healthier. 

Harvest the seeds. They should be gathered when they're full but still  a little green in the spring, All maple seeds are good to eat, but some are more bitter than others (a good rule of thumb is: small and sweet, big and bitter).When their shells are brown, they are a little more bitter, but still good.
Hull the seeds. Peel off the outer skin (the "whirlygig" part). Cut the end with your thumbnail. Squeeze out the seed; it looks like a pea or bean.
Rinse out the tannins. Taste a few seeds raw. If they are bitter, you'll need to boil them in water, dump out the water, and repeat until the bitterness is gone
  • Cook the seeds. If you boiled them already, just season with butter, salt, and pepper and enjoy. If they weren't boiled, here are a few more options:
  • Roasting - Place the seeds on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Drying - Put them in a dry, sunny spot or in a food dehydrator until they are crunchy. They can then be pounded or ground into a flour, if you want. They are great for thickening sauces, and add a pleasant surprise flavor to mashed potatoes.


12 maple seeds
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red Chilli powder

Salt to taste
Water to make a thick batter
Vegetable Oil for frying

  1. Wash maple seeds well.
  2. Combine flour, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix nicely and add water to make a thick batter. Set it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a shallow pan. Dip the seeds into the batter and coat them nicely. Add two three pieces in the hot oil at a time and shallow fry them.
  4. Fry till they  turn golden.Remove from oil by a spoon. Dry the excess oil by using  paper towel.
  5. Serve hot with a side of ranch dressing!