French Toast

Makes 12 pieces of toast.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 12 slices of bread
  • butter
  • syrup

Beat eggs and milk with a wire whisk or fork in a large low dish.  I like using my glass pie pans.

Heat griddle or skillet over low to medium heat (275-325*F).  Grease griddle with butter if necessary.

Dip bread into egg mixture on both sides.  Place on griddle. Cook about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Smoother with butter and syrup! 🙂  Enjoy!

I have a stuffed french toast version that I LOVE!  It was made for my husband and I for breakfast the morning after we got married!  I’ll post it soon, but just to give you a taste, it includes cream cheese and boysenberries!  My kids like to call them poison berries. LOL!

Cheesy Bread Sticks & Pizza Crust

I’ve tried multiple recipes on my family and this is the one for the best Cheesy Bread Sticks and for making our pizza crust.  It is a copy cat recipe for Pizza Hut’s Cheese Bread Stick’s, but again, I’ve made some modifications!  🙂

Cheesy Bread Sticks & Pizza Crust

Makes 1- 11×15 inch crust or pan of Cheesy Bread Sticks.

Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Topping

  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese Shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBsp garlic salt
  • 1 TBsp onion powder
  • Desired Pizza Toppings and Marinara Sauce

Directions:

Turn your oven on to the ‘Keep Warm’ setting.  For my oven this can be anywhere between 145 to 170 degrees F.  I set it at 170.

Grease an 11 by 15 inch baking sheet with 1/2 of the melted butter.

In a mixing bowl and using the dough blade, add all the dry ingredients for the Dough and stir.  You can also do this by hand in a mixing bowl if you prefer.

Heat the milk in the microwave until very warm (around 120*F).  Slowly add milk to dry ingredients until mixed thoroughly.  Dough will be sticky.

Turn onto a clean, well floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Form or roll the dough into a rectangle that fits in your baking pan.  Place the dough on the pan, and brush with the remaining melted butter.

For Cheesy Bread:

Sprinkle with garlic salt and onion powder.  Now the 3 cups of Mozzarella cheese.  And finally the Parmesan cheese.

For Pizza:

Spread your favorite pizza marinara sauce over the dough and 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  Add your favorite toppings!  We like cooked ground hamburger, pepperoni, ham, olives, mushrooms, and yellow peppers.  Then add the remaining Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Put Dough with toppings into warm oven and let rise for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and Preheat oven to 400*F.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Or a little more/less depending on how crisp you like your crust.

 

Sandwich Birthday Cake

Today my eldest son turns 12!  One of the traditions I’ve carried on from my mother when I was a kid is making unique cakes for our birthday.  My mother is very good at decorating cakes and taught me well.  She made my siblings and I’s wedding cakes and was even commissioned by a few family friends to make theirs.

My son’s favorite place to eat out is Subway.  Thus this year, he wanted a cake that looked like a Subway sandwich.  I struggled a bit with this one. Not because the design was difficult, but the cake was very moist and didn’t want to stay together.  Sometimes the cakes take me a couple days prep to make them and others, like this one, are put together in an hour.

So first, I baked two cake mixes in a 11×13 inch rectangular baking pan. I put parchment paper on the bottom of the pan to make removal of the cake from the pan much easier.

Once the cake was cooled, I cut it in half lengthwise.  Then on one of the halves, I cut the top edges at 45 degrees to make it appear more like the top of the foot-long sandwiches.

Usually, I do a quick crumb layer (a thin layer of frosting) on the cake to hold all the crumbs in and make a base for decorating.  But this cake kept falling apart, so I just put on my large Basketweave Cake Icer Tip #789.  This made the job much simpler.  Dipping my icing spatula in hot water, I smoothed out my seams.

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Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

After the sides of the bottom were frosted, I used a couple different basket weave tips to make the lettuce, meat, and cheese.  My son likes his sandwiches pretty plain and didn’t want all the goodies on his cake either.  🙂  Since you can only see the sandwich fixings from the sides, I only decorated the top edges of the cake.

Next, the top was set on and then frosted with the large Basketweave Cake Icer Tip also.  Does it look like a sandwich?

sandwich-cake

I’ve included a few of my favorites from over the years for you to enjoy!  I’ve made a couple with fondant figures, but I really don’t like the taste of fondant, so  I try to avoid it.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains Affiliate links.

Waffles

We eat waffles every Wednesday in our house.  My kids enjoy the routine of knowing what’s for breakfast.

The original recipe is from Betty Crocker.  I’ve made changes to suit me.

Breakfast Waffles

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 TBsp sugar
  • 1 TBsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Heat waffle iron.

Beat eggs in large bowl with whisk until fluffy.  Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth.

Pour 1/4 cup batter onto center of hot waffle iron.  Close lid of waffle iron.

Bake about 3 minutes or until steaming stops.  Carefully remove waffle.

Makes about 8 waffles in a 4-inch square waffle maker.

Really like your waffles?  Try them for dessert topped with ice cream!  I’ll be posting a great chocolate waffle recipe soon!

 

 

Pancakes

These pancakes are a staple to my families breakfast menu.  We have them weekly!  I try to add a little variety by adding chocolate chips or making them different sizes.  I’ve even tried my hands at shapes and letters for the different holidays/seasons.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  The original recipe is from Betty Crocker, but I have tweaked it a bit.

Pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 TBsp sugar
  • 2 TBsp oil
  • 1 TBsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Beat egg in medium bowl with whisk until fluffy.  Beat in remaining ingredients just until smooth.  For thinner pancakes, stir in additional 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.

Heat griddle or skillet over low to medium heat or to about 325 degrees F.  Grease griddle with butter if necessary.

For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook pancake until bubbly on top, puffed and dry around edges.  Turn and cook other side until golden brown.

Makes about 8 4-inch pancakes.

 

November Meal Plan

For those of you who like to meal plan, here is what my November meals will look like.

My family likes big breakfasts and don’t like to experiment much on new recipes.  So you will find eventually that a lot of our meals are similar.  But, for now, I’m going to try a bunch of new recipes which I have pinned on Pinterest.

Also, when my husband is away for work, we tend to make simpler meals and the kids’ favorites.

A shopping list and links to the recipes are below. I usually try to plan my meals a couple months out, so when I head to the big city, I can stock up on all the ingredients I need.

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Here is a PDF version if you wish to download and print: november-2016-meal-plan

If you find your leftovers are piling up in the fridge, don’t be afraid to cross off a day here or there to eat those leftovers.  My family tends to eat them up mostly for lunch, so we have very few.  Plus, I don’t like leftovers, so I don’t make much extra.

Shopping List:
Week Nov 1-5: Week Nov 6-12:
40 eggs 50 eggs
8 cups Milk 13 cups Milk
8 Hot Dogs 19 cups flour
2 bxs Mac & Cheese 3 cups sugar
8 Hot Dog Buns ~ 16 cups oil
1 head Lettuce 3 TBsp baking powder
2 bags Chocolate Chips 5 tsp salt
13 cups Flour 12 slices bread
3/4 cups Oil 3 cups butter
~ 2 TBsp Baking powder syrup
~ 2 cups Sugar 3 cups brown sugar
6 Yogurts 2 cups Powdered sugar
1 loaf Bread  1 lb sausage
1/2 lb Bacon 1 lb bacon
1 lb Sausage cereal
Canned/Fresh Pears Oatmeal
1pkg Spaghetti Noodles 6 yogurt
2 cups Rice pears/fruit
2 cups Peas 2 lbs Ground beef
3 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 lbs Chicken pieces
1 cup Parmesan Cheese Chips/corn tortillas
~ 2 1/2 cups Butter Tortillas
1 TBsp Garlic Salt 3 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 TBsp Onion Powder 1 head lettuce
Pizza Fixings 2 tomatoes
Cereal olives
Oatmeal Salsa
Syrup 3- 4 lb Pork Roast
1 TBsp Himalayan Pink Salt 2 cups Rice
1 TBsp Liquid Smoke 2 cups Broccoli
3-4 lb Pork Roast Noodles
1 lb ground beef 4 1/2 lbs Halibut
3 tsp Salt 2 cups Panko
1 TBsp Yeast 3 TBsp Garlic Salt
2 tsp Vanilla 3 TBsp Onion Powder
1 pkg or 1/4 cup Spaghetti Seasoning Salt
1 6oz can tomato paste 36 Tator Tots
1 Chocolate Cake Mix 1/2 cup Diced Ham
1 tsp Baking Soda 1/2 cup Diced Peppers
1 1/2 cups carrots
1 1/2 cups corn
2 cloves garlic
8 green onions
2 cans Cream of Mushroom
4 cans Cream of Potato Soup
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3-8 oz Cream Cheese
Salt
4 pkgs or 4 TBsp Yeast
3 TBsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Sour Cream
1 cup cottage Cheese
16 oz wide egg noodles
Pepper
1 pkg or 1/4 cup Taco Seasoning
2 tsp Vanilla
Applesauce
1 Onion
2- 8 oz Tomato Sauce
Paprika
Celery Salt
Ground Ginger
Dried Thyme
Oregano
2 Cups Apple Pie Filling
Cream of Tarter
2 cups Green Beans
6 Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes
1/2 cup Sweet Relish
2 TBsp Mustard
1 Cucumber
2 cups Miracle Whip

Recipes:

Pizza & Cheesy Bread Sticks

Kuala Pork

Halibut Chowder

Dutch Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Waffles

Pancakes

French Toast

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownie Cookies

Omelet Breakfast Bites

Halibut Chowder

Rolls

Fried Chicken

Cinnamon Rolls

Beefy Noodle Casserole

Halibut Strips

Snickerdoodles

Apple Pie Bars

Gram’s Potato Salad

For the Wee Ones!

Over the last couple of years, my extended family has exploded: in a good way!  Many of my cousins are now starting their families.  It’s been my goal to gift to them a knitted sweater and small quilt with each new arrival.  So far, I’ve been pretty good about getting it done!

My current work in progress is a sweater I found on Ravelry.  It is one of my favorite websites to go to for free knitting and crocheting patterns.  The other is Lion Brand Yarn.

The pattern is called Wee Peanut.  It has a simple 4 stitch cable pattern down the front.  Hopefully, I’ll have enough extra yarn to make a matching hat.

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I love the color I chose!  But red is also one of my favorite colors!  The body of the sweater is almost done, then I will move to the sleeves.

I think I need to spend some time creating my own knitting patterns.  There are a lot of beautiful stitches to use to make baby sweaters.  My sister-in-law just had her baby which is a preemie and I’ve had a hard time finding patterns that are sized for preemies.  I would make sure my patterns cover a wide range of sizes.

Rabbits Love Additions too!

When we got the kids their rabbits back in June, my sister-in-law and I built their hutch/house inside the chicken house.  I thought it would be better protected for them against predators and the weather.

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Rabbits Interior Pens

However, I’ve felt sorry for them that they could not enjoy the outdoors unless my children brought them out.  We prop the door open and crack the window, so they could get  fresh air and sunshine, but it didn’t seem like enough. So yesterday, I took it upon myself to build them an addition or porch if you will.  Our middle son, who practically lives with the animals, was a big help!

 

Their interior pen is 2 ft by 4 ft and 18 inches tall.   I choose to make the exterior pen 2 ft by 4 ft and 16 inches tall.  I used all scrap wood from demoing the sun porch off our house.

Since the rabbits are light weight little guys and gals, I took the 2×6’s and ripped them down with the table saw into 2×2’s.  We then built the bases by cutting the 2×2’s into 24 in lengths and 45 in lengths.  These we screwed together to make a frame. I added another 45 in board down the center to support the wire.  With their indoor pens, I place a board across the center at 24 in and it did not seem like enough support.

I built one frame for the top.  Because I only had enough pieces to make two short pieces, I cut two at 20 1/2 in and placed them at 16 ” on center instead of one 45 in down the length.

After we got the three bases built, we stapled the 1/2 in by 1/2 grid wire onto them.  The wire is 24 inches wide, so we cut it to fit our 48 in length.  Make sure you cut off all the little pointy ends, so your rabbit does not injury itself.

Next, I cut 14 in spacer boards for the four corners of the bases and attached them by screwing up from the bottom of the bases.

Then, I stacked the frames with their spacer boards one at a time on top of each other.  As I did so, I screwed down from the base frames at a slight angle next to the spacer board, so it would attach into the bottom spacer board.

Once completed, I had a nice stack!

Now, we headed out the rabbit/chicken house and cut the doors for the rabbits to go in and out of their interior house to their porch.  Please remove your rabbits from your pens before you do this if you have not.

Cutting these little doors was probably the hardest part of building the whole addition.  I measured to make sure the pens would line up with their interior pens.  Then I marked 6×6 in square holes and cut them with a skill saw.  I used a saws-all to cut through to the corners.  So my holes would line up, I took a drill from the outside and drilled a hole through the interior layer of OSB at the 6×6 corners.  I then took the skill saw to the interior side of the house and cut these out.  Again using the saws-all to finish up the corners.

Finally, we can attach the pens to the side of the building.  I used my handy dandy lifts (AKA my kids) to help me align and hold the pens to the side of the building.  I then attached them to the side of the building by screwing through the 45 in base boards and 14 in spacer boards that came in contact with the building.  I tried to place a screw whenever possible where there was a stud.  The kids helped me level these so they were plum using a 4 ft level and then I tacked a support board on the outer-side that rested on the ground.

For the sides of the cage, I decided I wanted to use chicken wire.  And we happen to have some left over from the chicken run.  It is 6 ft tall, so  I cut it to length, which ended up being 8 ft.  Because my pen is only 4 ft tall, I was able to fold over two feet for the top.  We pulled this snug and stapled it using small wire staples.

With the wire in place, I secured the corner supports by screwing them into the bases of each pen.

This took us about 5 hours to build.  And it’s well worth it!  The rabbits seem to have perked up a bit and really enjoy it.  My youngest gets a kick out of the rabbits popping out of their holes to come outside.  It makes him giggle!  I tried to take a picture of it and of course they would not cooperate when you want them to.

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Outside/porch pens
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Fudge says, “Hi!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, I was also going to mention that on the interior pens we used oil drip pans for the collection of their droppings and such.  It seems to work okay.  They are a little flimsy.  The older kids handle them well, but they are a bit large for my daughter.

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Wheelbarrow to Sleigh

One of my creative outlets is designing book covers for eBook and print books.  It also helps to bring in a little spending money.  Several years ago, I took a photography course by Amy Earle.  In the class, she also gave us an intro to Photoshop Elements.  Thus, began my playing with family pictures.  A family member asked me to try a hand at creating covers for her books and I did.  And so it began!

Probably the most difficult  and time consuming aspect of designing covers is finding images similar to what you are looking for to manipulate.  When this happens and when possible, I recruit family or friends to pose.  🙂

This week, the cover I’m designing is for a mystery where they find a dead man in a sleigh pulled by a dog.  Try finding a dead man in a sleigh on a stock images website.  Ha!  I had no luck.  So!  I dressed my eldest son up in the required clothing for the scene, and had him lay in a wheelbarrow.  The wheelbarrow was the closet shape I could find similar to the sleigh the author was wanting on their cover.

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Son in wheelbarrow
sleigh-canstockphoto2389034
Sleigh image courtesy of Canstockphoto.com

Above is the sleigh, I had to put him in.

yuletide-slaying

What do you think?

Yuletide Slaying will be out this coming holiday season.  You can check out more of Paty’s books at her website.

If you’re interested in looking at my portfolio, check it out!  I’d love your feedback!

Full Bath: Part II

First, make sure you fill all those little waffle squares with mortar.  Then, add another layer on top with your trowel grooves.  Set your tile.  It’s recommended when you lay your tile out you start from the center of the room, so it appears that the tiles run under the walls.  Mr. Roots and I have done this a few times and find on most projects it wastes a lot of tiles and you really don’t notice a difference.  So in this room I started along the long wall and at the entrance of the bathroom.  I worked a few rows down the wall, then moved over to the tub and toilet, and then out the door.  This way I didn’t find myself trapped on the other end of the bathroom when I was done.

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I wait about 6 hours for the tiles to get set.  Then I go through and pull out all the spacers and use a screw driver to remove all the extra mortar from the joints. I vacuum out the crumbs of mortar with a shop vac. I find this a lot easier than trying to do it 24 hours later when it is all set-up.

After 24 hours, you can now grout your joints.  The thickness of your grout should resemble peanut butter, but again, please follow the directions on your bag.  It could vary depending on brand.  When filling the joints, I first press it in at an angle and then drag the tool along the joint to remove any excess.

The key here is don’t grout any more space than what it takes you 15-20 minutes to do. Once you’ve grouted for 15-20 minutes, you need to then go back and whip down with a wet sponge what you have grouted to remove the excess before it adheres to the tiles.  I got carried away on this bathroom and grouted more than I should have and now I have grout remaining on my slate that will not come off.  Also, it is recommended to seal slate tiles before you grout them.  You can also seal them before you mortar them in place.  We did not do this in our cottage and had wonderful results (we didn’t know any better).  But these tiles must have been more absorbent, because they soaked it all up!  Thus, when we did our arctic entry a week later, we sealed the slate tiles first.  MUCH better results!!

Once you’ve finished the room.  Let the tiles sit for 2-3 hours.  Then go it and clean up all your joints well and wash down the tiles.  It’s best to avoid walking on the tiles for 24 hours.  Yes, I know….you have to wash on them to clean them, but keep the extra feet off if you can so it does not affect your joints.

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Tile and Grout Sealant

Now you can seal your tiles and grout.  The seal we used is kind of like a wax.  You put it all on the floor and it dries in 2 hours.  The jug recommends 2 to 3 coats.  Put the trim back in place and tah-dah!!  It’s complete!  Well…sorta…LOL.  I want to add some pictures on the wall and shelves above the toilet, but the floor is done anywho.

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Arctic Entry which we sealed the tiles so no grout on tiles.
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Bathroom floor with grout on tiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soon I’ll post about our utility closet transformation into a master bath with a tiled walk in shower!

 

 

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