Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Old Rugged Cross

Sundays in my house are reserved for The Lord and today it was a little unusual, but I went to two churches.  I went to our first service at the church that I normally attend and then rushed back home to get a pan of corn bread I had prepared for the 2nd church I was going to…..

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Why am I going to two churches?  I live in Cassia, which isn’t really a town, but an area outside of the town of Eustis.  I know, it’s confusing.  I am the treasurer for the Cassia Community Club and recently in one of our meetings, one of our members mentioned Cassia Baptist Church.  I think she said there were 6 regular attendees.  Wow, cause I really just thought that was an old sign.  So, let’s go and support our area church!

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How cute is this church?  Well, several of us decided to go to this church today as they were having a potluck dinner after service and “The Judy’s” Bluegrass Band was going to be playing.

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It was nice visiting and meeting some of the locals in our little area.  The food was amazing and the band played some really good bluegrass tunes!  It was also good preachin’ too!

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O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

 

Have a blessed Sunday!

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Before They say “I Do”

I was so excited when my niece announced that she was engaged last winter.  That meant I could photograph the wedding and make my yummy cupcakes for the shower.  Bonus!!!

I love entertaining and my sister, my niece’es great aunt and I decided that we would go in together and do the shower.  It makes it more cost effective and with my sister, Lynn, and I, it made it easier for us as we were traveling to Palm Coast for the shower.

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I was in charge of the cupcakes, my bacon dip, drinks and pictures.  Check!

So, I decided to make my carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter cream frosting.  I thought I’d make the carrot cupcakes in the form of a wedding dress.  I think it turned out really cute!

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I love paying attention to detail when I am at events.  I know how hard it is to put something like this together, so I always try to make sure that I mention it to the hostess. ❤

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By now, you are probably wandering where is the recipe for these yummy looking cupcakes?  Am I right?

I will be posting these soon under a separate post.  You’ll want to print this one out! 🙂

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The favor gift was a bar of soap and a srubby.  I thought it was a perfect idea!

 

 

 

 

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My sister made these awesome roll ups with Turkey, cream cheese and pickles!  Oh my!!

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I made hibiscus tea from a lady that I bought the loose leaves from at a local farmer’s market. This is so good that you don’t even need any sugar.

 

We had a fabulous time and I’d post the picture of me as the model of the toilet paper dress contestant, but you might re-consider reading my blog anymore LOL.  It was quite comical really.

Stay tuned for the recipes and maybe more pics 😉

 

Shhh, A Little Secret Ingredient

Is there one thing in your kitchen that you absolutely love?  Well, I have one!  It’s Vanilla.  I’m not talking about vanilla that you get at the grocery store.  I’m talking about the “good stuff”!!!!

I usually buy Watkins Pure Madagascar Extract, Trader Joe’s or Nielsen Massey Nielsen-Massey Real Vanillauntil…….

I started making my own and let me tell you how simple it is.  The worst part about it was I had to go to a liquor store and buy the bourbon.  I don’t drink, so I kept thinking, “What if I see someone I know, like my pastor”.  Well, I guess he might be embarrassed too as I might think he has a problem as well LOL.

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Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with going into a liquor store.  You might even find yourself ministering to someone in one of the aisles.  Anyway, I grabbed a bottle of some bourbon from Kentucky.  It said it was vintage, so that looked good to me!

You won’t go back to the regular vanilla you buy at the store.  You just won’t.  Make it one morning or evening, but don’t forget about it.  Try to put the jar in a cabinet that you at least go in once a week. 🙂

Homemade Vanilla

  • Servings: lots
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients
6-8 Madagascar Organic Vanilla Beans

1 cup of Bourbon

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Directions

Pour Bourbon into a jar with a good sealing lid.  I use my Wide Mouth 20oz. Jar
pictured above.

Then, take each bean and cut it down the middle with a knife and scrape out the oh so good stuff aka vanilla beans.  This is where the magic comes from. Put the vanilla beans that you scraped off in the jar along with the entire bean.

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Put the lid on tightly and then get a sticky note and write the date that you made it.  You’ll thank yourself later so you can remember how long it needs to cure for LOL.  Put your jar in a dark cabinet and shake it about once a week.  In 2 months, it should be ready!  You can transfer to a small jar for easier storage and then give some away, if you want to. 😉

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This stuff is pure gold around my house!  It is my secret ingredient in all of my baking recipes. 😉

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~Happy Baking~

 

Comfort Food – Chicken Pot Pie

As it’s pouring rain right now, I can’t help but think how good it would be if I made my homemade Chicken Pot Pie for dinner!

I usually try to keep all the ingredients as basics on hand in my kitchen.  Although the recipe is gluten-free, I think you can still substitute and use gluten-free flours in the crust.

I love making my own crusts, for both this and dessert pies.  It tastes so much better than store bought and doesn’t have all the additives that you get from pre-packaged food.

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This is the perfect crust!  It’s buttery and oh so yummy!  Butter actually is not bad for you, that is if you use real hand churned butter and/or made with cream from grass fed cows.  I love buying the hand rolled butter from Troyer’s.  I get it locally at a market in town.

This pie is easy enough to make several and stick a few in the freezer for those “comfort food” kinda nights!  You can even make just the dough and have that on hand and stick it in the freezer.

 

Chicken Pot Pie 
by Wendy Walker

 

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts, bottom and top (recipe to follow)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 heaping tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup onion, small dice
  • 1/2 cup carrots, small dice
  • 1/3 cup peas
  • 1 cup raw chicken, medium dice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken in iron skillet with coconut oil.  You can use any type of seasoning to flavor it.  I use 21 Salute from Trader Joe’s.

2. Roll out your pie dough and line the bottom of a standard pie pan. Cut any extra and discard or eat it LOL. Roll out the second pie dough and save for the top.

3. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add in flour and stir until it becomes smooth like a paste. Add cream and chicken stock and whisk. Cook for several minutes until it begins to thicken, like gravy. Season with salt and pepper. Add onion, carrots, peas, and cooked chicken. Stir and mix well.

4. Pour mixture in the prepared pie pan. Then, take your top crust and place it over the filled pie pan.  You want the crust to look a little rustic, so perfection is not necessary at this point.  Place in oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let cool after removing from oven to set, otherwise, you will burn your mouth LOL.  I speak from experience!

*Serve with homemade mashed potatoes (or riced cauliflower) and fresh green beans from your garden!  Remember those that you canned back in the spring??

 

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“The Best” Pie Dough

by Wendy Walker

 

Ingredients

3 cups of flour

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks of butter (and I mean “real” butter; you gotta get the good stuff)

ice cold water

 

Directions

Mix the flour and salt together. Add the butter into the flour mixture and stir until you have large pea-size chunks scattered throughout.  I actually use a pastry blender as well to cut the butter in.

Add about 6-8 tablespoons of ice water slowly, while stirring with a fork, just until combined. Transfer to a floured surface, divide in half, and then shape into 2 round disc looking ball shapes and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then your’re done!

It really is the Best Pie Dough ever!  I hope you and your family enjoy this yummy comfort food recipe.  It also makes a great “Take Them A Meal”!  ~Enjoy~

DIY: Dish Soap

Have you ever looked at the back of your hand soap bottle?

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Do we even know what’s in it, I mean really.  It looks to me like a whole lot of chemicals LOL

I have a good recipe that will surely be good for your skin and your family!

Click on the links to order the products: Castile Soap and Glass Bottle Soap Dispenser

You can contact me for further information at info@littlehousesimpleliving.com.

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE DIY: DISH SOAP RECIPE

 

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Who’s ready for Fall?  I live for this time of year, really I do!  I drive my husband crazy all summer talking about, well complaining, that I can’t wait for Fall!

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I found this scrumptious recipe from Dessert for Two and couldn’t help pass this one along!!!

Click here for the recipe…..

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*Photo courtesy of Dessert for Two

Bacon Anyone?

Who doesn’t like Bacon?  I absolutely LOVE Bacon!  I mean, I could probably eat it every day of the week, but……

Besides eating it, I love to cook and season other foods with it, like green beans, black eyed peas or fresh zipper peas.

I really can’t afford to go to the store every time I need bacon.  I use a lot of it, remember? 😉

I love going to Trader Joe’s and stocking up on their “Ends and Pieces” Bacon.  It’s perfect for all the cooking that requires bacon grease and well, just the flavoring!  I only buy uncured bacon, without the nitrites and if I can’t find any at TJ’s, then I buy Applegate.

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This is really affordable ($2-3) and now that I have a TJ’s near me, I go a couple times a month and stock up!

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When I get home, I pull out anywhere from 5-6 sandwich zip lock bags and I divide all the bacon among the bags.  What’s cool about this bacon is that it’s already chopped and cut up for you, making it perfect for cooking a pot of beans!

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I then seal them up and stick them in the freezer.  So, every time I need bacon for cooking, I just get in the freezer and pull a bag out.  It’s no mess and the perfect amount pre-measured!

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