Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meaningful Mondays

That's right! It's here again....Meaningful Monday, and I sincerely hope you'll join us.

What will you do today to make your Monday meaningful?

Bake a new bread, write a poem, sing a song, read a book?....whatever it is share it with me.
At the end of this post you will find the Linky tool to easily link up, please be sure to include my "Meaningful Monday" button found on the right of the page the code is under the button. Tell your friends!!!

This Monday I am going to read to my girlies from "The Book of a Thousand Poems"

Here is a poem from the book:

The Lavender Bush

At her doorway Mrs. Mayle
Grows a bush of lavender,
Large, and round, and silver-pale,
Where the blooms, a misty blur,
Lift their purple spikes on high,
Loved of butterflies and moths,
And on these, to bleach and dry,
Mrs. Mayle spreads little cloths.

Tray cloths, mats of cobweb-weave,
All of them too fairy-fine
For a careful soul to leave
Dangling on a washing-line,
Mrs. Mayle lays softly there
Till she brings them in once more,
Sweet with blossoms-scented air,
From the bush beside the door.

      ~Elizabeth Fleming

Homemade Granola

Last night I mixed together some granola, which was quite wonderful for breakfast this morning. Very simple!

The great thing about granola is you can just throw in what you have on hand!  The kids just love it as a bowl of cereal, add milk and your set!


4 cups oats
1/3 cup oil of your choice
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup of whatever you want, raisins, craisins, white chips, nuts, etc.

Toast your oats on a baking sheet @ 350 for 12 minutes.  Then mix together all ingredients.  Coat a 9 x 13 with coconut oil and press granola in pan, very firmly. Bake @ 350 for 15 -20 minutes.  When these are done immediately cut into squares then let cool. When completely cool you can put these in a ziploc bag and break them up into your cereal bowl, enjoy with fresh milk for breakfast or a snack! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Honey Whole Wheat Thin Pizza Crust (no rise)

Friday night and we wanted pizza, but I wanted it to be healthier and I didn't want to pay a lot.
I settled on a whole wheat crust, Classico spaghetti sauce and part skim mozzarella cheese. Recipe below.

Honey Whole Wheat Pizza Crust


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ ( I don't have wheat germ, so I didn't use it)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 375. Simply mix together your yeast and water, then add honey, flour and salt.  Let stand for just a few minutes.
Then I took a large baking sheet, lined with foil and spread some coconut oil on the foil. Then I drizzled olive oil on, I took the lump of pizza dough and coated it with the olive oil and knead it a bit...then I started spreading it to the corners.  This is a thin crust recipe.

Then take a fork and poke holes all over crust.

I spread half a jar of Classico tomato basil spaghetti sauce all over the crust. YUM!

Sprinkle with part skim mozzarella cheese.

For Hubby and I's side I added some pepperoni and Canadian bacon.  Then I sprinkled it with some Italian seasonings. 

Bake in the oven @ 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Word of Caution: There will not be leftovers!!! :)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I absolutely LOVE to bake......okay yes it's an obsession of mine. :).  I have been baking since I was 11 years old in my Mama's kitchen. She taught me what temperature the water should be for making bread and I went to town baking! :)

I would bake bread and sell on the side of our highway.......but my Uncles always got wind I was doing that and bought me out before anyway could stop. Sure made that little girl happy!!!

 Always a skinny little girl I was...but as life happened and children came along the pounds came along too and the baking didn't stop.  Last year I put a minor hold on my baking and lost 40 lbs. I still made a few things but I really tried to not partake.

Recently I concluded that there is no need to stop baking......but to start baking foods that are full of goodness and healthy for my family...and Me! :)

So the search has begun you will find more baked goods on my blog that are a little bit easier on the waistline and I hope you enjoy them.

And because no one can do without chocolate chip cookies, here ya go:

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
my version below is a bit different from the original

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature, solid state) ( I did not use quite 1/2 a cup, just a little under)
  • 1/2 cup honey (I did a little under 1/2 cup of honey as well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup grated, unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (not salted)
  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flower
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

I then rolled these into little balls, I took about 1 Tablespoon of dough and rolled them up. Baked them at 375 for about 9 minutes, no more.  These stay formed, they are simply delicious, I renamed them granola balls! :)  The kids LOVED them too!!!

This is a great deal on sunflower seeds, I bought mine from Dillons and certainly over paid!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I love the Mennonite store by my Moms' house, that is where I get all my bulk foods, aluminum free baking powder, Montana prairie Gold wheat, and barley.

I just started cooking with barley, sad huh!!!  And after I have been reading about just how good it is for us, I hope to incorporate in a meal for my family every week.

According to " Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavor and an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color.

When the weather's cold, a big pot of soup simmering on the stove warms the heart as well as the hearth. Adding some whole grain barley to the pot will improve your health along with the flavor of whatever soup or stew you're cooking. In addition to its robust flavor, barley's claim to nutritional fame is based on its being a very good source of fiber and selenium, and a good source of phosphorus, copper and manganese."

...and the health benefits keep going, the page long info on it is pretty extensive.

I also looked up barley in my 1958 encyclopedia, just for fun and shared it with my girls during school.

Today I used some things I had on hand and made this barley soup:

Barley Garden Soup
with just what I had on hand, I would have loved to have added carrots and maybe some corn)

8 cups water
5 T. knorr chicken bullion
3/4-1 cup of pearled barley
1/4 tsp. onion powder (I didn't have any onions on hand) :(
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. sugar
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded zucchini (this was from my garden last year)

After rinsing and washing barley, add all ingredients to stock pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 90 minutes. I served it with Amish wheat bread and it was great!!!

What are some of your favorite barley recipes I would love to know!!! :)

On another note:

This morning I made baked oatmeal for breakfast and used coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil, everyone LOVED it, how many of you bake with coconut oil? Do you like it? Do you have any favorite recipes?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tutorial on Bagel Making & Chicken Salad Recipe

I am enjoying a couple days with my Mama and we decided to make bagels and chicken salad.  She made the Rotisserie chicken and I made the bagels.  Today I am going to show you how to make both. We'll start with the bagels. I have posted on bagels before but it was using a sourdough starter, this is for those of you without starters. :)

Boiled Bagels


  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar


  1. In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour and yeast. Mix water, 3 tablespoons sugar and salt together, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat with a mixer for half a minute at a low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl clean. Beat at a higher speed for 3 minutes. Then, by hand, mix in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Cover, let rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Cut into 12 portions, shape into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center with your finger, and gently enlarge the hole while working the bagel into a uniform shape. Cover, let rise 20 minutes.

  1. Meanwhile, start a gallon of water boiling. Put 1 tablespoon of sugar in it, mix it around a bit. Reduce to simmering.

  1. When the bagels are ready, put 4 or 5 bagels into the water, and cook 7 minutes, turning once. Drain them. Place on a greased baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, eat hot or cold.

  1. Broiling option: For a glossier surface, place raised bagels on an ungreased baking sheet prior to boiling them. Broil them five inches from heat for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on each side. Then put them into the hot water to be boiled as above. Note: do not bake broiled bagels as long as non-broiled ones, 25 minutes should be long enough.

(My Notes: I like to put 1 Tablespoon of molasses in my boiling water, instead of sugar.  Makes for a very pretty bagel. Also right before I bake them, I sprinkled them with sesame seeds and parsley.  We sliced them in half and filled them with our chicken salad found below.

First we washed a small chicken.

Then we sprinkled on both sides with garlic salt, salt, season salt & pepper.

We placed it on the spit and then cook it in the Baby George Rotisserie.

We cooked it at 180 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until tender.

Mom cut off all the meat and now we can make our chicken salad.

Grapes sliced all ready to go! Keeping the kiddos out of them was the challenge. :)

Marie's Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken cut in small pieces (if you are in a hurry you could pick up a rotisserie chicken from the deli) :)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Miracle Whip
1-1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1-1/2 to 2 cups of halved red grapes
Sprinkle to your taste, season salt, garlic salt, onion salt, and pepper.

Mix all together and serve on warm bagel.  The men had been working all morning and they were a big hit with them!!!

My lovely Mama enjoying the yumminess. :)

Busy Mom's Tips Tuesday Blog Hop

Creations by Kara

Monday, January 24, 2011

Line Drying Laundry

I love hanging my clothes on the line!!! I am really good about doing it in the spring/summer, but when winter would come along I would use the dryer.  In the past I have went without both a washer and a dryer just to see if I could do it! :)  I lasted 3 months and I was ever so thankful for a washing machine again. I found one on craigslist for $25, and so far it has lasted a couple of years. I think I will go back one day to hand washing, but I would much prefer to have one of these!!!  Instructions to make these can be found @

I decided to get a dryer too, it was $25, but a couple of months ago a piece came off inside of it and clothes will get stuck in it, it buts black stains on them or even holes.  And while I like the convenience of a dryer, I do not have the funds to purchase another one yet.  Not sure if I want too, I sure love the money I save not using a dryer!!!

So this is what I did:
1.  I found a drying rack at a thrift store for $2.00.  It is not fancy, and maybe a little flimsy but it works!!!!

2. Before I got the nice tall drying rack on wheels, I would hang all adult clothing on hangers and hang them up in the bathroom shower rod to dry.
3. Then a dear friend gave me the handy drying rack. I rearranged my area by the laundry room and placed these two drying racks near the washer and near the window where the sun shines through.
4. I went through all of our laundry and gave away about half of it.  When you are not using a dryer at all to dry your clothing it takes a good 12-24 hours to dry a load indoors.  By minimizing our amount of clothing I can stay on top of our laundry much easier.
5. I also keep the children's dressers near by, as you can see in the picture, so when the clothes are dry, I simply fold them and place them in their drawers. It makes for a pretty fast process.

The basket full of clothes are clean ones I need to put away.  I really do enjoy hanging my clothing to dry versus using a dryer.  It is very peaceful to me. What is your laundry set-up? I'd love to know!!! :)

My Grandma has one of these hanging drying racks, she loves it to hang underwear and socks from, she keeps  it right by the washing machine. When I did not have a washer or dryer I used one of these and it really helped, I think I'll have to get one again!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New! Meaningful Mondays

Welcome to Meaningful Mondays by the Cottage Homestead. I am very excited, this is the first time I have done something like this, I enjoy linking up to other awesome blogs and thought I'd try this myself. So if you see some glitches, bear with me!!! :)

This is a place you can link up and share how you are making your Monday Meaningful. Monday's are hard sometimes, a fresh new week with new challenges arising as well!

Meaningful Mondays is a place of encouragement, if your Monday is not going quite as planned  or desired.  Please share below using the Linky Tool how you are going to make your Monday a Meaningful one!!!

If you so desire to write a post on your blog about it and then link up here.  You can find my button for Meaningful Mondays on the right with the html code below it. If you please, be sure to add the button which will link back to here. :)

Feel free to comment here, and share via Facebook, let's make it a Meaningful Monday.

Beatitudes for a Homemaker

Blessed is she whose daily tasks are a labor of love; for her willing hands and happy heart translate duty into privilege; and her labor becomes a service to God and all mankind.

Blessed is she who opens the door to welcome both stranger and well-loved friend; for gracious hospitality is a test of brotherly love.

Blessed is she who mends stockings and toys and broken hearts; for her understanding is a balm to humanity.

Blessed is she who scours, for well she knows that cleanliness is one expression of godliness.

Blessed is she whom children love; for the love of a child is more to be called than fortune or fame.

Blessed is she who sings at her work; for music lightens the heaviest load and brightens the dullest chore.

Blessed is she who dusts away doubt and fear and sweeps out the cobwebs of confusion for her faith will triumph over all adversity.

Blessed is she who serves laughter and smiles with every meal; for her buoyancy of spirit is an aid to mental and physical digestion.

Blessed is she who preserves the sanctity of the Christian home; for hers is a sacred trust that crowns her with dignity.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Homemade Toothpaste Recipe

Today I made homemade deodorant and while I shared that on the cottage homestead's facebook page, an amazing friend of mine asked if made toothpaste too.  Huh! I hadn't even thought of it, I mean I've used just baking soda before or just peroxide to whiten those pearly babies, but have never made actual paste.

So I put the Google to work and happily stumbled upon Pioneer Thinking, a website I need to explore a little more!  While I was devoted to my toothpaste search in the back of my mind I'm thinking, I probably won't be able to make this today, there's no way I'll have everything I need in my cabinets. I WAS WRONG!!!

They have a recipe for  homemade mouthwash too, but I'll need to get Vodka first. I already want to get some to make homemade vanilla............ that would be glorious.  I just don't want to go out and buy the stuff!!! . :)

Mint Toothpaste Recipe

  • 6 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons glycerin
  • 15 drops peppermint or wintergreen extract
Directions: Mix thoroughly. Should be a tooth paste consistency. Store in a container. You'll be surprised with how fresh your mouth feels.

So here it is simply 4 ingredients, the only reason I had glycerin on hand was because I used it to make homemade dog shampoo a while back.
I also tripled the recipe.
Very easy to mix together, blends well.
As soon as I got it mixed up, I persuaded hubby into going to the bathroom with me to "brush" together.  If you have ever had baking soda in your mouth you will be prepared for the taste that it has, the salt adds even more saltiness, mixed with the peppermint it is quite unusual.
However my teeth looked and felt very clean and my mouth felt refreshed long after I had brushed.  And I know EXACTLY what is in my toothpaste!!! I like that.
I put it in a left over container for now but today I was thinking what could people but this in who have large families, so it is easily accessible for children?  How about a plastic ketchup bottle, the kind restaurants have sitting at the tables, I think you can buy those at Dollar General or Wal-Mart.

Everybody's doing it...Homemade Deodorant

Maybe it's just me, but everywhere I look people are making homemade deodorant. When I read about just how easy it is to make the stuff......well I certainly couldn't be left out. No wonder...."everybody's doing it!!!"  :)

Natural deodorant is really important to me.  Dad raised us to not use the stuff with aluminum in it, we always used "the rock" as we called it, the crystal rock. And yes it works, but it always causes my pits to get dry and itchy. I have really sensitive skin.

And then I have used all the natural brands, and while they kind of work they are pricey!!!  The last one I used was some natural stuff from Tom's of Maine.....I don't think it worked at all. Hmmmmm....maybe that's why I haven't seen any of my friends lately!!! :)

This is one of those recipes where you pretty much have everything on hand too!! How cool is that?

I want to give a special thanks to Homestead Revival for sharing easy instructions on making it!!!

You can find her post on it here

What you will need:

And below you can see the recipe in my pic, it's that easy.
(I doubled the recipe for our family)

1/4 c. baking soda, 1/4 c. cornstarch, 5-6 Tablespoons coconut oil

Before you mix these 3 ingredients together if you like add 5-20 drops of tea tree oil, I used 25 drops of lavender oil.

It says to use a mixer, and since I don't own one I used my hands. I'm kind of afraid of electrical appliances, I'm not sure why but they scare me.  Even blenders. Okay I hope your laughing now that I've confessed this little idiosyncrasy!!!
I mixed this stuff with my hands and it was FUN!!! And it moisturized my hands in the process (boy they needed it)

And of-course I can's have deodorant without in being in a pretty little container, I used a pint jar and added a floral label to the lid.

It even makes good decor for my bathroom shelf!!!!

So that's it......hope you enjoy making yours. And as I read on the Homestead Revival blog it only takes a very little bit!!!