Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oatmeal Molasses Bread

I gave this recipe a whirl today. I was intrigued with the idea of adding oatmeal.

This is better than Playdough...
Oatmeal Molasses Bread

1 cup quick oats
1-1/2 tbs butter
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 tsp salt
3-2/3 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
2 cups boiling water
Bring the two cups to a boil, add quick oats and butter. Let mixture sit for 1 hour.
Stir yeast into the 1/2 cup of warm water and let sit for 5 min.
Stir yeast mixture, molasses, and salt into oatmeal mixture.
Stir in as much flour as possible and knead on floured surface and knead for about 8 min or until smooth and elastic.
Place dough in bowl (greased) and cover with towel. Let rise till double.
Punch down dough and cut into two. Shape each into loaf and place in loaf pans. Let rise again with towel.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 min... Cool on wire racks.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Better than Sweet - Stevia

You've heard me talk about artificial sweetners. I've blogged about my experience meeting the inventor of Splenda and the research team here in Austin.

Well, my husband reminded me something I had long forgotten. Years ago, we used to work for a PLASTIC'S company in Lubbock, Texas. We operated injection molding machines and mass produced plastic components for cars, radar devices, holiday ornaments, and... get this (what I had forgotten) SUGAR SUBSTITUTES! Yes, the stuff you add to your drinks and desserts. We were a plastic's firm packaging sugar. We didn't create the stuff, but I found it odd that we handled it. After all, Frito Lay was just down the street.

I had forgotten this.

But I had never forgotten the fear of breathing too much FORMALDEHYDE while at work. What you use to embalm the dead.

Here's another point: MONSANTO is the producer and owner of Sweet n Low, a synthetic sugar substitute. I've blogged about Monsanto as well.

Monsanto has HUGE lobbying power, so it is NO WONDER that the FDA will approve (harmful) sugar substitutes, yet here in the United States, a NATURAL HERB, called Stevia, which has been grown for hundreds of years in Central America (known as sweet leaf) is sweeter than sugar and even good for you.

Here's some of the health benefits known for hundreds of years:

  • Hypertension

  • Diabetes

  • Infections

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Heart support

  • Urinary problems

  • Heartburn

  • Candida

  • Wounds

  • Obesity

  • Etc.

The benefits of this natural SWEET HERB is tremendous.

Unfortunately, LOBBYISTS and powerful companies own and run our FDA, so even though Stevia IS sold in our stores --- it is ILLEGAL to advertise it as a SUGAR SUBSTITUTE!!

You CAN find it in your local stores (at least here in Texas) listed as a NUTRITIONAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENT.

Stevia thrives in WARM and humid climates and can grow here in Texas. It is currently thriving in countries like Israel, China and South America.

From what I've read, it is hard to germinate, so several seeds need to be planted. I ordered thousands of seeds from Urugruay.

I had the opportunity to try some Stevia this weekend, in ground leaf form, and was very amazed at how good and sweet it tasted!

THANK YOU to some wonderful friends who had invited us over for the weekend (Paula and John) who shared their herbal goodies. The reason I had been passing UP Stevia, was due to the marketing, or lack of --- NOW that I've researched, I realize that Stevia IS a better sugar substitute.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor day...

Today is the anniversary of my blog. One year ago today, I posted my experiences as a tour guide for the USS Arizona Memorial. Visit my FIRST BLOG ENTRY, for Pearl Harbor stories and my experience as tour guide.

I dusted off a couple of my old pictures... Me...
This is one of the girls I had trained. I'm standing on the bow. Beyond the stern of the boat, you can see the ship channel. This is where I kept a look-out for incoming ships and submarines. Whenever crossing the harbor, I'd have to radio each incoming ship to ask for permission. We were called, Whiskey Tango, which stood for Water Transportation.

The boathouse in Ford Island. If I wasn't training others, I was running boat shuttles, doing tours for the Arizona Memorial, or radio dispatching at the boathouse.

Friday, December 5, 2008

December Garden

I confess, I've been neglecting my garden. We're still in the midst of a drought. Last week I dragged out my waterhose and all kinds of flowers started blooming. Flowers that I didn't expect to see again until next spring.

Vegetables are still growing... Tomatoes, hot peppers, bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers... So far, Jack Frost hasn't swiped them yet.
Tomorrow's our chance for a real freeze - possibly 29 degrees. Midweek, we'll be back in the upper 70's. I'm hoping this will kill off those darn mosquitoes.

It's probably a pipe dream, but I'm hoping to do my winter planting this week. I know I'm late.

I ordered these Egyptian Walking (winter onions) online and plan to plant half and share the rest with my mother. These can grow year-round here in Texas. Maybe I'll mail some fresh onions to my sister who can't get enough of them! ;-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Potato Beef Casserole

This potato casserole is one of my family's favorite dishes. If you haven't tried any of my recipe's, don't pass this one up. It's easy to make, economical, and a staple!

Ground as much beef as you need. 1 - 3 lbs, cook and drain.

Peel potatoes and thinly slice.

Mix in a family sized Cream of Mushroom soup with the ground beef.

Grease pan with vegetable shortening and line entire pan bottom with potato slices.

Pour mixture into pan.

Layer potato slices on top of mixture, and along sides of pan. Salt and pepper. Bake at 350 -400 for 1 to 1.2 hours (depending on how crispy you want the potatoes.)
Double this recipe for large meals and gatherings. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Today, we went to the Georgetown Library to see a Nutcracker Docent Presentation -- by a Ballet of Austin, dancer. We learned the history of classical ballet, the training of a dancer, score and component. Some interesting facts too ... for example, a professional ballerina will go through several shoes a week, and a Tutu has 100 yards of Tulle (fabric) which is the length of a football field. We also learned costuming, and theatre etiquette.

Our homeschool group is getting prepared to see the Nutcracker Ballet next week in Austin. This will be my 3rd time seeing the Nutcracker.

We also signed up for piano lessons at the Texas Fine Arts Academy for the spring semester. For homeschoolers, it's only $40 a month! I've been searching for lessons for quite some time and this is the best deal I've seen. Pamela and I worked out a deal. She takes the lessons, and when she comes home, she has to teach me!

Guess where Pamela is standing?

She's at the library.

This was my first visit the Georgetown library since they've rebuilt in 2007. Since WHEN do libraries serve food??? This one serves coffee, pizza, and all kinds of yummy temptations! WOW!

I checked around and found that several libraries are adding cafe's. This is to make the library a social place.

What a neat way to spend the day.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lowcarb Turkey Soup

What to do with leftovers?

We never have leftovers at our house...

The turkey is eaten fast!

This Thanksgiving I decided to roll up my sleeves and save the nitty gritty. I boiled the entire turkey carcass and saved the stock for future soups.
Using a strainer, I separated the meat from the bone and fat.

I was able to extract enough stock for three pots of soup. I froze 2 bags and saved the other bag for today's dinner. There was enough turkey (extracted from the bone) to make a pot of soup.

This soup is spicy and wonderful!
Chop 2 medium onions
Dice some celery
2 cans of undrained green beans
1 can of undrained Rotel (diced tomatoes/green chilies)
1 cup of frozen peas
Sea salt
Minced garlic
* * * If you're not using turkey leftovers, then toss in a couple of raw boneless chicken thighs or breasts in a pot of water, boil till cooked. Dice chicken and toss back into same pot/chicken broth and add veggies and Rotel.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Homestead Heritage

We spent our Thanksgiving weekend at Homestead Heritage. This is a non-denominational Christian homeschooling community (about 300 families) that lives on and farms over 500 acres north of Waco. EVERYTHING is homegrown, homemade, homeraised, and made on site -- This community reminds me of the Amish.

The homeschooled kids played in an orchestra, sang, and participated throughout the festivities.

ALL the food is grown from organic and heirloom seeds. No preservatives, no food colors, everything 100% natural. The only thing I saw they had shipped in, was the natural cola's. This community bakes their own breads, weaves their own baskets, yarn, leather, woodworking, blacksmith, candlemaking, soap making, butter, cheese, canning, grinding wheat and corn, pottery, bee keeping, farming, furniture making, barn raising -- you name it.

Lots of samples to try -- porridge, cookies, breads, cheese, fresh pasta...

The food is PHENOMENAL! Creamy homemade ice cream, with homemade cones. Fresh beef and poultry, raised on wholesome grains. Homegrown rice, vegetables, fruits, nuts, popcorn...

The kettle corn melted in our mouths and the hot cider was out of this world.

We watched live music, took a horse drawn hayride to the look-out, visited the petting zoo...

These pictures are in no special order, but will give you an idea of the activities the community had provided. I was very impressed with their skills. This festivity is only offered to the public around Thanksgiving, but they offer year-round classes on homesteading.