Friday, March 27

Brenda's Sourdough Waffles

It’s Maple Sugaring time again here in Ohio and I have been busy boiling down sap.  Every year I try out a new recipe to go along with the season and to use some of the fresh maple syrup; pancakes, waffles, maple cake and even maple cookies.

I have also been baking Sourdough Bread most of this winter. I shared my Sourdough Starter with whoever wanted a start, one of which was my friend Brenda.

Brenda grew up just down the street from my mom and dad’s house years and years ago and we recently started talking through Facebook.  She lives pretty close to me now and she and her husband do something I have wanted to get into, Bee Keeping!  Anyway, she sent me a text that the starter makes the best sourdough waffles ever.  She sent me the recipe and I gave it a try.  These are Oh-My-Gosh-Good!  

The waffles turn out light, crisp and flavorful!  And using my homemade Maple Syrup was just the “icing on the cake!”

Tuesday, March 24

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent

A couple years ago I decided to make my own homemade laundry detergent.
I did a lot of research and weighed the cost per load against the leading brands and also discovered the leading brands have lots of added chemicals and fillers.
For cost comparison please go to:  Homemade Laundry Detergent.
I’m still making my own laundry soap and it's still working wonderful for me. 
It’s just that I have always used liquid detergent so when I started making my own I of course made the homemade liquid kind.

A few months ago while talking to a neighbor about homemade detergent, she stated she does make homemade, but is just too lazy to make liquid.  Hmmmm……
What exactly did she mean?  Well back to Google and a little more research.  Seems she is right, powder is much easier to make!
Following is the new recipe I use for making detergent.  I still get the same great results and the powder form lasts us around 2 months.  I have four adults in my house, even one who works construction. And did I mention I live on a small farm with way too many animals? 
Believe me, if it works for me it will work for you.

Saturday, March 14

St. Patrick's Day and Sauerkraut Balls

At the Irish Parade
St Patrick’s Day has always been a fun holiday for us and a reason to spend time with family and friends.  Our day always starts with breakfast then off for a fun filled day with a stop at our favorite tavern, then an Irish parade, followed by visiting the Irish Family Reunion and then back to our favorite St. Patty’s Day tavern, the Hey Hey Bar and Grill.

The Hey Hey is actually located in an old immigrant neighborhood called German Village where my mother grew up. When young, my father (who was mostly Irish) was visiting his sister Mary, (who lived near German Village) and met my mother (who is German).
I also married an Irishman, and both our German and Irish heritages are celebrated and embraced by my husband and I and our children.  

My husband Bill was even at the Hey Hey for their Friday Steak-fry lunch with business associates back in 1989 when I went into labor with our daughter Alexis.  After numerous phone calls to locate him, I was able to find him in time for our daughter’s entrance into the world.
The Hey Hey serves traditional food on St. Patrick’s Day including Corned Beef and Cabbage and Irish Coffee. And their famous Sauerkraut Balls are served every day.  These delicious morels were even featured in MidWest Living Magazine!

Tuesday, March 10

Cancun Mexico

Our first trip to Mexico
Relatives called me a couple days ago to tell me that they’re invited to a destination wedding in Cancun, Mexico.  I’m so excited for them.  We have visited Cancun, Mexico both during the Christmas Holidays and during Spring break.  Their call got my husband and I reminiscing about our trips to Mexico and going through all our old photos.  

What a beautiful country it is!  On all our trips, we chose to stay at All-inclusive Hotels.  All-inclusive means the meals and drinks are included in the price.

There are dozens and dozens of hotels to choose from, all in the same area with pricing ranging from affordable/moderate to over the top expensive.  It’s best to shop around for the best deal.
On our first trip to Mexico, and because we had never visited, we booked the trip with a travel agent. After that I booked the trips myself on line.  To find a good hotel,  make sure to read Hotel reviews from people who have actually stayed there.

Wednesday, March 4

Building a Wine Rack

Small Pantry Wine Rack 
Last year we remodeled our kitchen, which took nearly a year.  And while at it, I also build a new pantry.  
When I built the pantry I didn't paint it right away because summer was fast approaching.   Instead I filled the shelves and waited for colder winter months.  
Once Spring arrives, I am outside all day working on projects! 
So last month, while the snow was flying I decided to paint the shelves. And while the shelves were bare, I came up with the idea to build a wine rack.  This wine rack is a simple design and easy for just about anyone to build.

Monday, March 2

Aunt Janey's Sour Cream Coffee Cake

My daughter Jami met her husband Donnie, fell in love and got married a few years back.  (Seems like yesterday!)  
We are really pleased with her choice for our son-in-law, just a great guy.  We also have had the pleasure of meeting many of his family members, which, happily we love too!

Donnie's mother Julie and grandmother Mary are wonderful cooks and I'm still trying to get their Apple Pie recipe (best I've ever tasted) and homemade Chicken and Dumplings recipe. 

Donnie's Aunt Janey and Uncle Eddie live in southern Ohio in a beautiful hilltop home.  Aunt Janey shared this recipe with me after bringing it to one of our fall parties. She told me she originally found the recipe in a magazine years and years ago.
It is absolutely delicious!

And it’s a nice change from all the overly sweet and excessive chocolate desserts, cookies and candies we devoured, (I mean sampled),  recently during Valentine’s Day and the Christmas holiday.  I usually make this as a cake but it is great made into muffins too.