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Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey Countdown Recipe #2

Cranberry Blueberry Pie

In case you don't know I love cranberries!  I drink cranberry juice everyday, and cook with them whenever possible.  This is my favorite pie recipe that has been putting smiles on faces for the last 5 years :)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen blueberries
  • double crust pie crust
  • tin foil

In large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cranberries, lemon juice and blueberries. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cranberries pop and the mixture starts to thicken. Let it cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 and place the bottom pie crust in the pie plate.  Pour the mixture in the pie plate and place the top crust on.  ( I love a good lattice work pie, although for this pie I like to use a small cookie cutter and cut out 2 hearts in the middle separated by cut lines before I place the top crust)

cut a sheet of foil in 2 inch strips and place them around the edge of your pie.  This will keep your edge from burning before the top and middle are done.  Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top has browned. Cool for 2-3 hours before serving.

If you have a favorite pie recipe leave it below.  I would love to try it out!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Turkey Countdown Recipe #1

I love a good thanksgiving meal and want to share with you some recipes that I have used over the years.  Today I am craving cranberries so we will start with the sauce. 

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 orange, zest and juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving. ( I prefer room temp when eating it on thanksgiving, but also great refrigerated on a turkey sandwich the next day)

For those that don't know what the zest of an orange is:  Take a cheese grater to the outside of the orange.  All the pretty orange color goes in the pot, so scrape the entire orange until it is white.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bye Bye pumpkins

My children's favorite thing to do after Halloween is to put their pumpkins outside to decay naturally in hopes that the next spring will bring more pumpkins.  Well last Halloween they picked a spot in the back near the porch, which at the time I didn't consider what would happen when we needed to cut the grass that was getting as tall as the plant.  We had a great plan growing for awhile about 10 seeds sprouted, had healthy leaves and flowers with a couple small pumpkins....if only I remembered to put tell my wonderful husband that they were there.  He went out to cut the grass one morning while I had the kids at the YMCA and when I came home all that was left was a few stems :(
Fortunately some of the stems were growing leaves, and to keep another disaster from happening I transplanted them into the front garden beds where my squash had since withered away.  Now we have had 2 months straight of 90+ heat and very little rain, and the pumpkin is still in the same condition I planted it in.  Our hopes of home grown pumpkin by Halloween is looking very slim...now just praying I get a few small ones for pumpkin pie.
If you have any advice on what I can do to help them thrive please tell me!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

CC Bums laundry review

I have been in love with EVERYTHING Cami makes for quite some time now.  Mama cloth, family wipes, fitteds...all amazing!  When she decided to sell samples of her laundry detergent I couldn't pass it up.  I was amazed by the ingredients she used, it has everything in it that you would normally put in a homemade powder detergent- Borax, washing soda, and Felsnaptha.  Something I hadn't seen before is Kosher salt, it acts a a natural softener which worked wonders when I put them out on the line.  I usually have to throw my diapers in the dryer with my dryer balls to soften them up, but while testing the detergent I didn't have to!

I picked a nighttime diaper and about 7 daytime diapers (a few fitteds, prefolds and flats) and only used them in the rotation for the biggest test of all, the battle with ammonia stink.  Everyone has it at some point, and we have been through a lot of WAHM detergents trying to find the best routine.  Most ending with the ammonia coming back after the second wash. With CC Bums it stayed away even on the nighttime diapers!
She puts the sample in wonderful reusable plastic containers as well.  I have a couple set aside for our upcoming trip to the beach.  
To check out everything that Cami can do visit her facebook page or check out her store on Hyenacart.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flat challenge Day 2

So far it has been a very poopy however uneventful (thankfully) challenge.  I have starting origami folding the diapers as soon as they are dry so they are ready to go onto a very mobile little man.  I am using 2 covers (swaddlebees) and a nighttime wool soaker (made by me) to go over the very trim diapers.
Night time has been my biggest challenge with a very super peer on my hands it is hard to get it to last the whole night.  So last night I folded one of the flats into a square and placed it in the soaker zone inside the flat.  With that and the wool he lasted the whole night, however I am going to add a layer of fleece tonight as he tossed a little last night and I think it was because he is used to fleece touching his skin all night.
Here is a pic of my little man with his flat in on.  He wasn't very cooperative for this picture. :)

Washing day  was today during naptime.  The easiest time of the day to do so, since at night I am working on orders for the store.  Luckily the ick factor of handwashing pooper diapers isn't there so I didn't mind getting my hands in and scrubing the diapers.  I feel it works better than using a plunger to get the diaper clean.  My oldest even helped to hang the diapers and wipes on the IKEA rack.  You can see the gorgeous flats donated to me by Diaper Junction, as well as some IKEA ones I picked up to help me get through my trip at the end of the week.  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Learning how to handwash

I decided it was time to tackle this part of the challenge. I want to make sure that I am getting them clean during the challenge and to figure out how much time it would take.
I diapered with flats for a whole day and night to see how many diapers I would be washing at a time. I then used a 5 gallon camping bucket ($6 at Lowes), a clean plunger and a tablespoon of Ruby Moon's Diaper detergent.
Here is a picture of my diapers in the rinse cycle...lol.
I took each diaper individually in the rinse water first and then threw them all in for a good soak for 15 minutes.  I then wrung out the diapers and placed them aside to dump out the dirty water (I wanted to get all the dirty water out of the diapers before I started the wash "cycle" 
I used the hottest water from my tub and added a pot of boiling water and the laundry soap.  As you can see I also washed my mama cloth and family wipes.  I "plunged" the diapers for 5 minutes and then I let them soak for another 15 minutes before I dumped out the water and started rinsing them out.    The rinse step was the same as the first rinse cycle. 
My diapers drying beautifully outside in the sun along with the wipes and mama cloth.  This drying rack is available at IKEA for 9.99!
Hope this helps... I can't wait until May 23 for the challenge to begin.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Preparing for the flats challenge!

I want to say first that this challenge was something I have always wanted to try, and am so glad I am getting the opportunity to do it and to help anyone else who might want to try as well.  I will be using only flat diapers for a whole week and will be hand washing and hang drying the diapers during that time (no machine!)  I decided to take the challenge because we love to go camping and have contemplated how it would be possible for anything longer than a weekend.  This will give me the ability to perfect my techniques for the week of July 4th where we will be camping out all week!

I have been busy trying out different folds for the diapers this week...and have perfected the origami fold!  It still takes me a little extra time to fold them right but I have started folding them as soon as they are dry so that they are ready to go when I need them.
Origami fold video by Dirty Diaper Laundry

The next fold I am intrigued by and will be working on the next few days is the kite fold
Kite fold video by Dirty Diaper Laundry

Next week I will be looking for a wash bucket so I can wash them while I am camping.  I want to make sure I am doing it the way I would be while camping so that I truely know what to expect.  (which means I will be boiling the water to wash the diapers in!)

I will be doing videos and pictures of my struggles and successes during the week of the challenge May 23-30 and anyone who would like to participate can.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grow garden, Grow!

After last years success with container gardening I needed more space so opted to turn my front flower bed into a garden.  As some of you read, I started with watermelon....they didn't make it sadly.  That is the price I pay for using a kid designed product that does not guarantee its seeds. 
I have successfully planted squash, peas, green beans, lettuce and corn in the ground! 
 Last year the squash took over everything so I only planted a few plants along the edge to act as a border (hopefully).  I do not they are a pain to move, as the stems and leaves are very prickly.  Hopefully my new gardening gloves will help me out. 

I planted the green beans too late last year, not realizing how much they don't like the heat and ended with only 7 beans total.  Hopefully the extra month will give me at least 8. One of the starters received a kitty chomp just prior to planting, but I decided to plant it anyway hoping it didn't kill it. (I don't claim to be very plant smart). 
Does anyone have suggestions on healthy ways to keep insects at bay?  A few leaves are already getting bites.
 This is the first year for lettuce.  It seemed like an easy addition to my garden, however this is my miracle plant.  I put all 5 starters in the ground and then the buds died so I was digging up the starter pellet to plant something else when to my suprise there was this growing out of the bottom!!!  That was the same with one other lettuce.  Keeping my fingers crossed as we love summer salads!
 Being from the midwest,  I absolutely love sweet, white corn so I had to add it to my garden this year.  I have 4 that are growing just like this and can't wait until the 4th of July to measure it!  "Knee high by the 4th of July!"  The only question is do I detassel it or not?

Snap peas had the same problem as my green beans last year.  Although it was great watching it take over my front porch, I only had 4 peas that were edible, and I didn't get a single one of them.  My daughter is a serious pea hound!  Hoping the cooler start will help out but it isn't growing as fast as it did last year. 

Last but not least is my strawberry plants. I cheated a little and bought a bundle of starters that I was told will produce this year.  There are 9 of them and they all still look like this after 2 weeks.  Hoping that they do something this year, even if it is just leaves and flowers. 

I want to leave you with a picture of my garden.  Out front for everyone to see how green my thumb really isn't.  Hope you are having a great gardening season, and I can't wait to eat all these yummy veggies!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I love that Lowes provides cute children planting items.  Yes, I know they aren't cost effective, but when they put them in their own cup with dome lid and only the amount of seeds needed I can't complain.
So while we now have 2  watermelon starters going, we have to redo our strawberries.  In the midst of all of the cleaning, Haley wanted to help wipe the windows with the microfiber towel.  Completely forgetting the strawberry pot was on the window seal, that is until I heard it crash, I let her. Luckily they provide extra seeds and I was able to save most of the dirt they provide.  I think I will keep it in a different place...what do you think?

We have also picked up the corn and lettuce seeds and my new starter set (the jiffy "just add water" soil wafers to go in my greenhouse) Can't wait to have some sweet white corn this summer!

A little something to leave you with-

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hello again

Time has gotten away from me lately.  I don't really want to list a bunch of excuses, it just has.  Gardening time is coming just around the corner and I think this year I am going to keep a log of how everything is going and when we have veggies and fruits ready to pick, so great recipes to try!  Although our favorite thing to do is snack on them straight off the vine :)

I want to start early this year as it got so hot last year the veggies were struggling to stay alive.  We will be planting green beans, peas, and squash like last year, and will be adding strawberries, corn and lettuce to our garden this year.  I have the grand plan of turning out front garden area into a raised bed, and hope to do this soon, as well as picking a spot along the fence for my beans in the back.  I don't think the homeowner association was happy to see our porch covered in green beans and peas. lol.

If you want to try a garden yourself Target has strawberry plant sets in their $1 section (that's where we got ours), and they usually put out more when it gets closer to spring.  *comes with seeds, soil and a little pot to start with.  I also like the Jiffy starter set which comes with 48 pellets and a greenhouse like cover to get those seeds started. 

I want to leave you with a cute picture of my favorite people in the whole world :)