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Not Your Normal Muffin

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so…

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Now for the nitty-gritty of making these bad boys!

 

“Country Breakfast” Muffins

18 eggs

2 cups cheese

4 green onions

2 1/2 cups shredded tater tots or hash browns

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package of thick sliced bacon

Mix everything together in a bowl except the bacon.

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The mix before the eggs were added.

 

 

Break out your muffin pans and line them with a strip of bacon. I used a full length strip for my muffin pan with the big cups and cut down the strips for the smaller cup size muffin pans.

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Pour in the mix and pop them in the oven at 375 degrees.

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As a side note I made this pan of muffins in my toaster oven just to see if I could.

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So no excuses!  You don’t even need a real kitchen to have these.  I made a bunch because:

1. Who isn’t going to eat a bunch of these!

2. They should freeze really well for another day.

 

CC and I were going to snack out before BG woke up, but the Force is strong with this one.  She appeared before we got our first bite.  She took one sleepy look at our plates and lit up with the most angelic smile!  She gives them her seal of approval but says the green onions are not to her taste.  I wonder how these would taste: bacon filled with blueberry muffin with chunks of pre-cooked sausage links?  Hmmm….

 

Let me know what you try.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Eating Scraps

We’re all seen those posts about how you can grow real food from scraps. The ones that interested me the most were celery and green onions. We love them. We eat them all the time. They are such a nice addition to so many of the foods we like. (Remind me to get you the recipe for my Cajun Celery Beef.) I did the rough math and for our family it looks something like this:

1 head of celery per pay period: $3.00
2 bunch of green onions per pay period: $2.00
Pay periods in a year: 26
Total yearly savings if I can make this work: $130.00

For many people $130 is not all that much, but in this family that’s a lot of money! Especially, when you start considering that you can add that to the money we’re saving growing our own herbs. Basically, I looked at my little kitchen window and I see that it all adds up to about $300 plus a year. Wait a minute, you say. Yeah, all of a sudden it starts to make sense, huh? $300 plus is nothing to sneeze at.

So we bought celery and green onions, not organic or anything, just regular old celery and green onions.  We used the celery like we always do, but as we got down to those last few stalks attached to the stump, I simply lopped them off leaving that little core of leaves in the middle.  Then I put it in a jelly jar on the window sill. Everything was going great. It was growing like none other, then I put it in dirt like it said to do.

It rotted within days.

I’m nothing if not stubborn. I’m trying again. This time I plan on putting cinnamon on the stump because it is said to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. I have three stumps growing very well, as you can see, but I’m not sure it is going to work because I still don’t have a single root on any of them that I can see.  If it doesn’t work this time, I may have to break down and try the organic celery to see if that makes a difference.

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Now in regards to the green onions… Did pretty much the same thing as the celery. I cut all the green off and cooked it. The white ends were placed in a jelly jar on the window sill such that the water was only over the very bottoms. They sprouted roots immediately! When the roots were about an inch long, I transplanted them into this little pot.

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They’ve been helping to feed us for weeks now.  It takes about three days for them to grow almost two inches. (CC has talked about setting up a time delay camera to capture the growth of these rascals.)  I am starting some more from the grocery store today to basically double what I have in this one little pot.  I feel that this amount doubled will give us all the green onions that we’ll need or want.  So hopefully today will be the last time I buy green onions!

(One thing I have noticed about the onions, is that some of them just will not thrive. Do NOT waste your time on them. Throw them into the compost pile and concentrate on the ones that are thriving.  If my experience is anything to go by, the ones to thrive will be the big fat healthy ones that aren’t knicked or roughed up.)

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Continued Cilantro Chatter

If you read the earlier post about putting the wilted cilantro in water, you know that I found that it survives better in the frig when you put the stems in water.  To add to that post is this new info: Cut the brown withered stems before placing them in water.

Also, if you want to start cilantro in your window, according to the internet you can put them in water on the windowsill and they will develop roots.

We shall see, as I bought cilantro to make salsa tonight and I’m going to give it a try. (No, I won’t give you my salsa recipe.  It isn’t perfected, yet.)

What am I out? $.30?

I’d like to point out to those of you who haven’t thought about it, that I’m actually saving a lot of money by growing my own herbs in the window.  Sure it isn’t much at this point, but it adds up really quickly, especially if you’re buying the fresh herbs instead of the dried ones.  For me, that money goes for any number of things, but if you don’t have anything to spend a little extra money on, far be it for me to tell you how to save a buck.

 
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Posted by on November 22, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Wishy Washing

One of the ways I’ve reined in our spending is soap making.

Have you recorded how much you spend on what and how frequently? $4 per bar, $10-20 for laundry detergent, 88 cents for the cheapest hand wash dish soap and another $4 for the dishwasher detergent. I hate to bean count, but at some point I have to treat my family to wise business practices. When something that literally goes down the drain rings up $300 of the grocery budget every year I have to take notice. That’s a month’s worth of groceries!

I started out in January 2013 with Super Laundry Sauce (blender method). Then DG found Rural Spin’s Green Tea Blender Soap and we’re turning out bath bars. And we found recipes we want to try for dishwasher detergent, too.

But once I’ve been at something for a few rounds I invariably start tinkering. Really, it’s all a part of learning, and I hope that you’ll do some creative learning and tell us about it. That’s how complex evolution and higher thinking continue. Evolve or die.

I looked at making my own powdered laundry detergent but found that aside from weight, pre-packaging and spill clean up there aren’t many advantages. Quite the opposite, in fact.
But then again, Super Laundry Sauce isn’t perfect either. It can be messy, doesn’t dissolve and leaves smears on DG’s uniforms; the process is mildly inefficient and while sweltering through summer insomnia I discovered that the chemistry behind it is flawed (sorry, no links)- more on that once I’ve finished my trial runs.

And just so you’re aware, it looks like a meth lab or explosives if you don’t keep your storage cabinet, containers and loose chemicals well labeled and cleaned. Hit up google, it’s entertaining and educative. Various chemicals and some weird stuff in old peanut containers with a crust around the lid. Yeah. Too bad I can’t turn this into an amusing continuing ed opportunity for the local fire department any more.

But the goal is making it better, right?
First I threw a measure of SLS in an old jar with a cup of water and shaking. And hey, it was an improvement over plain paste. It’s just a little messy and time consuming, especially when BG only needs 2 seconds to sneak down stairs and set the water heater to self destruct.

Next up, diluting it via counter top blenders and stick blenders. OK, except for the time and noise – the Basement Troll works nights, and frankly I’m too lazy to spend half an hour every week on something so mindless.

Enter Home Depot. Or as I hate to call it, the Tim Taylor Method.
DG, in her infinite and varied wisdom, pointed out that Gnome Depot has 5 gallon buckets, lids and drywall mixers – paint stirrers on steroids.

A quickly drilled hole in the lid and a drill chuck adapter for the mixer and I was set. OK, I lied. I tried 2 gallon buckets – messy and not enough output. And I already had a 5 gallon with a hole from my failed hand washer project.
Oh, and use a siphon because pouring is messy and means dealing with a fourth of a jug of foam.

I tried my neighbours discarded laundry detergent dispenser/container for storage, but it was tough to clean out and I had to shake it every time. If you haven’t read elsewhere, home made liquid laundry soap separates. I’m working on a cure, but in the mean time I use a 1 qt peanut container, marked per load. For the bulk I just use a well rinsed gallon milk jug.

Now I can muck up a month’s worth of laundry soap in 5 minutes.
Stay tuned for the sciency stuff and hopefully a video to come.
-Cappy

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in A Penny Saved

 

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Lil’ Sprouts!

Baby, it’s cold outside!

But inside the house, my garden is growing happily in the kitchen window and in the living room window as well.  A couple of weeks ago, I filled cardboard egg crates with soil.  Then, I added seeds and a handful of hope.

Today when i checked them…

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Large Leaf Basil

I have lil’ sprouts!  I told a couple of friends at work about this venture and got looks of amazement.  They all acted like I was doing something amazing, which on the one hand I am and on the other it’s the most natural thing in the world.  There are so many people who limit themselves with things like “I could never” and “I’m not that talented”.  For that reason, they become bitter and unhappy as the people around them test themselves and expand their horizons.  Don’t be one of those people; instead try something new!

Not all of my seeds have sprouted yet, but I have high hopes and if they do, I’ll add lemon balm, lemongrass, tarragon, savory, a new type of basil, and thyme to my indoor herb garden.

(On a side note, all the lil’ sprouts that I don’t keep will be going to new homes with my coworkers who are hopeful that I’ll also share my homemade red sauce recipe!)

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Introducing the Recipes Category!

About the time I turned six years old, I started packing on the pounds despite the fact that my activity and food consumption hadn’t really changed. My parents did nothing except tell me I was just eating too much. This was followed by everyone telling me that I was fat, ugly, etc.

Long story short, I kept gaining and thought they were right. Then my sister who had done exactly the same thing, was diagnosed with a thyroid problem. I started reading up on thyroid and realized that I had most of the symptoms. Problem was that when I got my numbers run, they were normal.

I started self-treating the symptoms with l-tyrosine and iodine. I lost sixty pounds and got pregnant. (Thyroid can make you sterile. My ex and I had tried for years to have a kid.) During my pregnancy, I gained all the weight back plus some.

This year, I found a book that told me about a disease called Hashimoto’s Disease. Basically, a food intolerance causes your body to freak out and start attacking your thyroid, slowly destroying it over time, which causes thyroid symptoms.

The book also suggested going gluten-free as a way to control the disease. Cappy and I decided to give it a try. For a week, we cut most of the gluten from out diet. That one week sold both of us on the benefits. We saw a reduction in joint pain, food consumption, and most importantly for both of us… Our low blood sugar issues went down significantly.

I’m telling you all of this, so that you will understand that all of the recipes that are coming up are gluten-free and as organic as we can afford to make them. They will also be as homemade as possible because homemade is cheaper, most of the time. The other thing that will be here are “cheats” or “hacks” for convenience foods, i.e. Those things we eat when we don’t have time to “really” cook. (Hey, we’re human too! There are times when our schedules are crazy too.)

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As a side note, if my story sounds familiar and you would like the name of the book, simply send me a shout and I’ll respond as soon as I can.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2014 in Recipes

 

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Pitifully Wilted

So I was just cleaning out the refrigerator when I came across this pitiful bunch of store-bought cilantro.  I started to throw it away and then stopped myself.  I saw on some website or another that you can stand greens up in a pitcher with a little water in the bottom and they will stay fresh a lot longer in the frig.  Hmmm….  Would the same trick save this little bunch of herbs?  There’s only one way to find out.  So I lopped off the ends and stuck them in the jar with a little water.  I’ll update this post when I have results.

imageIf a picture is worth a thousand words, here you go!  Twenty-four hours later, my poor wilted cilantro isn’t great, but it is a lot better, which bodes well for the next bunch that I buy.  That is if I can’t get it to regrow like a recent article I read suggests.

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Posted by on November 15, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Lavender in November

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Someone forgot to tell my lavender that the old saying is: the first year new plants sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.  This started out in a four inch container.  It is now roughly three times the original size and despite the first frost, it is still growing and blooming.  I wonder if the aquarium water I’ve been pouring on it every couple of weeks has anything to do with it.  I’d guess so.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Why a garden?

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My window herb garden.

1. I love plants in the house.  They make a house more welcoming in my opinion.

2. I love to cook, but am a snob about my herbs for said cooking.

3. I have always loved the looks of window herb gardens.

4. I had the perfect south-facing window.

I just had to try to do herbs in the window. Then it was a container garden. Now I’m up to raised beds and eyeing roto-tillers.

I’ll warn you now, gardening is addictive.

It is also highly rewarding. There is nothing like my homemade marinara made with herbs from my garden.

I’m not an expert and I’m not claiming to be one.  What I am is someone who is trying, failing, trying again, and eventually succeeding.  Come along and let me show you what I’ve got so far.

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2014 in In the Garden

 

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Hello world!

For some time I have been watching the blogging phenomenon and the world in general.  I decided that it was time for me to put my views out there for public consumption.  Some of them will be hard to chew.  Most will be hard to swallow for the average raging idiot that seems to be the norm these days.  But there are a few of you out there that will probably simply goggle in stunned amazement that someone finally had the balls to say what you’ve all been thinking.  No, I will not be updating this on a regular schedule.  I’ll be updating when something in particular sticks in my craw or when I need to purge mentally in order to better understand my own thoughts and feelings.  Will you see my views change?  If ever this blog lasts that long.  Will you see me grow as a person?  If ever this blog lasts that long.  In the end…

We’ll see.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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