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My Mother’s Day Gift

My ten year old daughter made me this for Mother’s Day.

She made this all by herself. I LOVE it. It was so sweet of her. She learned to crochet when she was eight years old. And has been making doilies ever since. She prefers to work with small threads and hooks, so doilies are something she loves to do. She made one just like this and sold it. I liked it so much she made me one. She has made a lot of doilies in the last two years. She has sold some, given several as gifts to her grandmothers and even given a few as wedding gifts. I hope to set up an Etsy Shop for her once she gets a few stockpiled. She seems to sell them as fast as she makes them.

I am so glad she had this talent. I wish I had taken the time to learn things like this when I was her age. My grandmother could craft just about anything. She crocheted, knitted, quilted, worked with dried flowers, did pottery, sewing, painting, and more. She taught me a few things like knitting and crocheting but I did not really have any interest in it. I only learned the basics. Oh, how I wish I could go back and spend hours learning all my grandmother had to teach me. I am so thankful my daughter is learning this dying art form. So few young people have an interest in learning these things.

Two years ago a lady in our church offered to teach some of the younger girls in the church how to crochet. I decided that my daughter should give it a try. I never really expected her to like it or stick it out. She took to it right away. Within a couple of months she had done her first doilie. We knew she had found a talent. She will sit and crochet for hours sometimes. It is amazing. She wants to give knitting a try next and then sewing. I think if she can tackle a project like this at age ten she will do well in any other craft project she tries.

Frugal Dinner-Salmon Burgers

I apologize for the picture above. It is not the best quality, but by the time I discovered the poor quality of the picture the salmon burgers were long gone.

This burger/sandwich is very good and inexpensive to make. You can usually find canned salmon on sale for a good price. I get mine in a four pack at Sam’s club. I think the quality of it is a little better then the kind you buy at most stores but either will work fine. I really like salmon so I almost always have some in my pantry. The rest of the ingredients in it are basic things I usually have on hand.

I like to serve this with a green salad but the other day I served it with Kimi’s Asian Noodle Salad and it was very good with it.

Preventing Freezer Burn

My tip for today is a simple one.

In order to cut down on freezer burn, limit how much you open your freezer. The more you open it, the more freezer burn you will get.

We keep our meat and some of our other frozen foods in a freezer outside in our shop. I try to figure out what I need from that freezer once a week or so. I take out what I will need for the next few days and bring it inside to my small freezer. This has really helped me cut down on the freezer burn I get. I really make in effort to only open it once or twice a week.

So if you have a chest or upright freezer pay attention to how many times each day or week you open it.

My Nice "Quiet" Walk

This evening I decided to go for a walk. I was wanting a little peace and quiet and some fresh air. I started down our driveway and saw something like this……..

Not exactly peace and quite is it! This is not the exact snack but it looks very close to what I saw. I thought it was a copperhead but was not sure. I did not stay around long enough to decide if it was or not. I turned around and ran as fast as I could, back to the house yelling for my husband to come kill the snake. He grabbed the closest thing he could, which was a shovel, and came to my rescue. He got the snake. And yes, it was a copperhead.

I hate snakes. I really, really hate snakes. I grew up in western Oregon where the snakes are quite harmless. I just can’t get used to the snakes in this part of the country. This actually happens quite often. The finding of snakes that is. Our property is rocky and we have a pond. Part of our property also is near the river. Our dogs have been bitten by copperheads several times. And last year my husband killed a six foot rattle snake.

I feel very wimpy when I turn, running, and yelling, but what else is a girl to do? Would you kill it? I actually hope if I had to I could, but so far every time I have seen one my husband has been home. I know one of these times I will have to deal with it myself. After all, I do not want my children getting bit by one.

Oh the joys of living in Oklahoma!!!!!

And sorry once again this has nothing to do with food.

Thoughts From an Eight Year Old On Being Frugal

I was talking to my daughter this week about buying some cookies at the store. She said to me, “Mom, I think you should save your money and make your own cookies.”

What insight from an eight year old! We are trying to teach our kids the value of money. She understands more then I realized she did. Why can’t more adults grasp this simple fact? Cooking and baking at home are almost always cheaper.
Not only is it cheaper, it is healthier. It really is not hard to make things at home. There are many things you can cook in a short amount of time. Simple dinners can be prepared in about the same time as it takes to go through a drive-thru. Cookies are easy to bake, even she realizes this. So my frugal advice is cook and bake at home. Think about what you are buying and if you could make it yourself for less.

Easy Granola Bars

It has been a long time since I have made homemade granola bars. I have been wanting to make some but wanted to try a new recipe. I found one on allrecipes.com that I decided to try. I read quite a few of the comments that people had made and decided to change a few things. I used several of the suggestions and came up with a version of my own.
I know this is not the healthiest of granola bars, but it was quick and easy. I also think it is still cheaper then most of the ones you can get in the store, and they are not all that healthier either. 🙂 So just think of them as more of a dessert then a healthy snack. 🙂

Works For Me

I have collected a lot of recipes from magazines and the internet over the years. It took me awhile to figure out how to organize them. I finally have found that this system works the best for me.

I have a 3 ring binder for each magazine or website. I usually can remember where a recipe came from. I know I like Martha Stewart’s biscuit. I know I like a recipe from Southern Living for brownies. This way I can just go to the notebook and find it. I use the plastic sleeves that you get in the office supply store or office section of the store. I place the magazine pages in them and then put them in the binders.

I also have one for the recipes I have printed off of allrecipes.com. For that one I use dividers for the categories. I have a section for side dishes, main dishes, soups, and desserts.

Organizing my recipes like this has helped me so much. It is what works for me.

Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs

I posted this in April for Kitchen Tip Tuesday. I wanted to link to it for Frugal Upstate’s egg week.

I was in the doctor’s office recently waiting with my daughter. I picked up a cooking magazine to look through. That was about the only magazine worth looking at. I was so glad I picked it up though because I read a great tip. It was a tip on how to peel hard boiled eggs.

It said to cook your eggs, then drain them. After you drain them, shake them around the pan a little, breaking the shells of each egg in several places. Add cold water to the pan and let sit until cool. When cool drain and peel. The water getting in under the shell helps the shell come right off.

I have tried it and I could not believe how well this works. The peels came right off. I had never heard this tip before. We eat a lot of hard boiled eggs for breakfast, so I love this idea.

Quick and Easy Pasta Dinner

I made a quick and easy pasta recipe last night for dinner. It only took about 15 minutes to cook. While the pasta cooked I worked on the rest of the ingredients. I served it with bread that I had made earlier in the day.

Chili and Cornbread

Monday night for dinner I made cornbread and chili. I think of chili as a winter comfort food type meal. My husband on the other hand could and will eat chili all year long. I just can’t enjoy a bowl of chili when it is August and 102 degrees outside. So, I decided to put it on this weeks menu to be sure I got it made at least one more time before it gets to hot outside.
I have several chili recipes. One is a crockpot version and another one takes about 2 hours on the stove to cook. The one I made on Monday is a quick and easy chili. I saw the original recipe in a Rachael Ray magazine. I have changed it around a little to make it more how we like it. So here is my version of the recipe.

I also made cornbread. I also have several cornbread recipes I make. This is one of my favorites. It is Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread from Allrecipes.com.

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