Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What to Do with Sesame Cookies

So, the other day I decided to make some African cookies. Nigerian Sesame Cookies or Benne Cakes to be exact.
They are supposed to be crunchy & delicious, and look like this:
Image from Family Fun.

I liked it because I have a ton of sesame seeds to use, and there weren't that many other ingredients.

But, when I made them, mine looked like this:
Don't be fooled....I did NOT spread this into the pan like bars. I carefully rounded each spoonful, and set them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet to bake!

So what do you do with flopped cookies?

Because, they were too sticky to even cut and take off in squares, I made them into these:

It works for me!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

*Sigh* Ironing

My ironing basket always seems full. It's one of those things I always leave for later.

On Friday I read this nice post on ironing. It reminded me to "just do it" and get it done.

I especially like tip numbers 7 & 8

"Occasionally pray for the wearer of the shirt or dress you’re ironing…unless you’re busy discussing life, supervising phonics, or helping someone with a recipe.

If, sitting in church after a very busy week, you notice a child in a wrinkled shirt or dress, squint. All the wrinkles will blur into smoothness. Then concentrate on praising God for His goodness rather than worrying about unfinished work." ~ Annie Kate  of TeaTime with Annie Kate

Monday, June 28, 2010

Another walk

You know, when I first moved into town, I was a little dissapointed on the photo opportunities. I thought there just wasn't really that many things to take pictures of on my walks. But, I was wrong. The more you look, the more you find!

Beautiful storm clouds

Straight streets where you can still see the sky.

Peaceful sidewalks with a bower of shade

Fun "secret" walkways

Neighborhood Gardens

Hidden animals.
(Can you see the hidden animal?)

(Don't worry....neither did I. I heard it....maybe a woodchuck or something....but I thought if I took a picture of the general area, maybe I'd find it later, ha!)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How the garden grew....

(This cracked pitcher is my "self-watering" can...fill it up and let it be)

And in reality.....this would be your first impression of the garden when you saw it.....I think I got a little over-zealous about "square foot" planting...
And a little under-zealous about weeding.....

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crafty Kitchen for pennies

I decided that for neighborhood kids and neices, a play kitchen would be fun. I also decided that I couldn't/wouldn't just go buy one or the lumber for one. Someday, I'd like to make a simple one out of wood, but for my purposes, cardboard worked fine!

I started off with some recycled cardboard boxes. Two to be exact.

I used my hot-glue gun to attach all the pieces together.

I then used some leftover sticky contact paper to cover the top half of the kitchen.

I used my recylcing bin for creating the "stove"

For the bottom half, I had run out of contact paper, so I hot-glued some extra fabric all around the base. (The blue checked stuff)

I cut and hemmed a "curtain" for the front, and attached it also with hot-glue, though it would've been nice to be on a string or rod to move a little better.
On both sides, I inserted those little brass hooks, to hang stuff a potholder and dish towel.

Under neath, I filled the "fridge" with an empty juice bottle, half an egg carton with plastic eggs, and a couple dishes, and some coloring books. :)

There are some adjustments I should've made, like turnable knobs, and a little bit shorter for the littlest kids, but, for pennies, and as an "experiment" to see if the kids even liked playing with it, it was worth it for me!

Head on over to Life as a Mom for more money-saving ideas today :)

When Company Comes, you should have.....Good Pancakes

This morning I made pancakes for breakfast. Not that you are terribly interested in that fact, or that I am terribly interested in telling you what I make every day for breakfast, besides the point that we had no company. But, there are some key points I thought I'd share, just for fun.

1) Neither of us are very fond of pancakes *gasp*
2) I think it's because I like "light" pancakes rather than very dense
3) This morning I thought to experiment with the batter to make it lighter (I think I read this somewhere at sometime, someplace)

The recipe calls for buttermilk, but I used 1/2 regular milk, and 1/2 ginger ale. :)
And it worked!

The result was a nice, fluffy pancake....without a hint of ginger I might add!

So, without further ado, here is a nice recipe for company pancakes:

1 cup flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup ginger ale
3/4 cup milk
2 Tbl oil

Image from here.

The other fun thing you might try sometime, is making cookie-cutter shaped pancakes!
I read this in a book, but the above image is as close online as I could get (every other instruction says to cook the pancakes and then cut them out...nah)

From what I remember, you would grease a cookie cutter (with oil), set it on your hot griddle, and then pour in batter. Let cook until brown and bubbly (like usual), but then, flip the whole works over. If the cutter was greased sufficiently, the pancake should slide down to cook the other side (and still keep it's shape). After that you should be able to remove the cutter.

Have fun!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

January 17th, 2011

Pretty Flowers...

Thanks Keren :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another good book from BookSneeze

      Mind Your Own Mortgage, by Robert Bernabe was a good book to review. Valuable information? Yes, I think so. If you can plow your way through the middle, the beginning and end of the book are very helpful.

      For a finance book, it is well written in plain language. The author is definitely of one mind set in the mortgage area, very adamant that fixed rate mortgages, shopping around, and buying a mortgage based on total price are the ways to go. He details these points with examples, “how-to” steps, and personal stories.

      This book was a helpful and informational read. It presents useful details and opinions on the mysterious mortgage market out there. I believe the author is well versed in what he writes, though very adamant in his viewpoint. For me, it was a good starting point for understanding and formulating a plan on mortgages. I think if I was already in a mortgage, I might be a little depressed from reading what “I should have done.”

    From the book, I branched off and was able to do my own research and understand what I was reading. My only grippe was that in the book he kept referencing his downloadable worksheets and calculators, but when I went online to check them out, you have to pay a yearly fee to access them. I wish that it was made clear in the book that they weren’t free. Or, if someone paid for the book, maybe they’d have automatic membership to his tools.

   If you’d like to access a copy of your own, it’s available at (or check your local library, or me!)

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from as part of their blogger book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."*


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