Thursday, November 18, 2010

Using contact paper: storage ideas

I've been posting lots of recipes, but since this blog is about everything home-making, I thought I'd share some other home-making ideas.

A few years ago,  I really needed a place to keep our library books, but I didn't really have a lot of extra money to spend on the large storage baskets (which can be quite expensive even at Wal-mart).  So, I found the idea that you could choose a sturdy box and get decorative contact paper and cover it.    It was a very fun project, and I was pleased with my box.

Wouldn't you know, even though that box was covered YEARS ago, I still have it!  It has outlasted some of the wicker baskets on which I spent more money.

Another way I used contact paper was to cut into cereal boxes and book/magazine holders similar to these and then cover them with contact paper.   I still have them as well and they help keep the cookbooks in my cabinets organized.

Here are some links with more ideas for using contact paper:

No Guilt Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

From my friend Mary Ellen:

181 calories and 3.5 gram of fat!!!!

  • 1 choc devil food cake mix
  • 1 small can of pumpkin
  •  no eggs, oil or water,
  • May add walnuts if you like

Regular size:
20 min. at 400 degrees
mini muffins, cut down on the time to 10 minutes

Self -Rising Rolls

Do you want a quick roll recipe? 

These are absolutely delicious, and they remind me of a mix between a biscuit and a muffin.  They turn out light and fluffy and they are so easy!  They do not even need to rise even though you use yeast.  I got the recipe from Heather Dickinson who is an excellent cook.

Self-rising Rolls

In a small-medium bowl, dissolve 1 heaping Tablespoon of yeast (or 1 package) in 2 cups of warm water (not too hot, not too cold!)

In a large bowl:
Melt 3/4 cup of margarine or butter (a stick and a half) in microwave.
Add: 1/4 cup of sugar (she always uses 1/2 cup, but it might rise higher with less sugar.)
1 egg
4 cups of self-rising flour (or just add 2 teaspoons of salt and 4 teaspoons of baking powder to 4 cups of regular all purpose flour)
Add the yeast/water mixture, stir well, and spoon into well greased muffin tins.  Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. 

THESE DO NOT HAVE TO RISE, even when the dough is cold!  You may refrigerate dough for 1 week, pull out, and spoon into well-greased muffin cups, and bake!

(Since this is the week before Thanksgiving, I am thinking these are great to make ahead!)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Home-made Cleaning Wipes

My cousin Tawana sent me her recipe for home-made cleaning wipes:

You need:
  • 1/2 cup liquid Lysol
  • 4 capfuls of bleach
  • a clean, plastic container such as an empty butter tub  

Mix fluids into the container.  Add water to the top, and fill with paper towels.
After the paper towels are fully soaked, you have inexpensive disinfectant wipes!

Thank you,  Tawana!  Just in case anyone is wondering, Lysol and bleach are o.k. to mix.  Just use caution while cleaning just as you would anytime you use bleach.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Banana Muffins


Banana Muffins (makes 12 muffins)3 or 4 Large bananas, mashed (the more bananas the moister, so I use 4)
1/2 cup white sugar (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but I don’t like them too sweet)
1 slightly beaten egg
1/3 cup melted margarine or butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
Mix the mashed banana, sugar, egg and margarine together. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together! Pour into greased muffin tins, and bake in 350 degrees F oven for approximately 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chicken noodle soup


You need:

cooked chicken (a cup or two will do)

Amish style noodles or egg noodles

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup of sour cream

a bag of frozen mixed vegetables or a can of mixed vegetables

garlic powder, onion powder, salt, & pepper to taste


  • Cook  chicken and shred it.
  • Boil the noodles (I used a bag of Amish style noodles ...they are a little more expensive but they are delicious!), I didn't drain out the water. I just added it all in
  • Boil a bag of frozen vegetables or add a can of mixed vegetables (like Veg-all). Undrained. 
  • Mix noodles, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of sour cream 
  • I seasoned with garlic powder (or garlic salt), onion powder, salt and pepper

Heat to desired temperature.
Everyone loved it.




Monday, November 8, 2010

Pizza Soup

Pizza Soup is a favorite around here! 

  • 1 pound of ground beef, venison, or sausage
  •  1 tbsp dried, minced onion (or diced fresh onion)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 large can of spaghetti sauce and another full can of water (use the sauce jar)
  • 1 large can of tomato juice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 2 cans of mushrooms
  • 1/2 package of pepperoni, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • sprinkle onion powder - to taste
  • Any other toppings your family enjoys on a pizza (saute'd red peppers, black olives, etc...)
  • Shredded cheese

Brown meat/saute' onion & Italian seasoning with the meat.  Drain

I like to also cook my pepperoni for a couple of minutes to crisp them up.

Fill a large soup pot with all ingredients, and bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.  You may want to let it simmer for about 20 minutes on low so flavors can blend.

Sprinkle cheese on top of the soup after you ladle it into the bowl.  Serve with Texas toast or bread sticks!