In the Kitchen

Today Mom and the boys had many places to go.  Meiling and I stayed home.  After a few games this morning, we decided to cook up some yum in the kitchen.

When I received this book for my birthday, I wanted to try the soda recipe.  Today we made the Blueberry Lemon Soda.  It was very easy, although we won’t know how it turned out for a few days.  The soda needs to sit for a few days to carbonate.

After you make the syrup, there is a blueberry mixture left over.  The author suggests that you don’t throw it away, but make jam or a pie with it.  We decided to do the latter.  I pulled out my blueberry pie recipe, and we followed it as closely as we could.  The pie was pretty good.  Dad didn’t like it as much as the last time I made it, but it was still yummy.

For dinner, I am making Pioneer Woman’s Tequila Lime Chicken and her Mexican Rice, with beans and salad on the side.  Everything turned out wonderfully.  The rice was a bit spicy, though, and a little undercooked.  Still good, and definitely edible.  🙂

While I made dinner, Meiling set up a restaurant and was serving food.  She made a dish for her patrons she titles “mish-mash,” and looks like noodles. Hmm.  Not sure I want to try it.


The berry/sugar/water mixture, ready to cook – when I set this on the stove, Meiling looked at it and declared, ”That looks like chili powder!”


My little helper


The blueberry lemon syrup, ready to be made into soda


Meiling, with the syrup and soda in the foreground


For the pies, I needed to grate a green apple and squeeze all the juice out of it.  I put a little bit of sugar in it, heated it gently on the stove to melt the sugar,  and gave it to Meiling.  (When I put the juice on the stove , she informed me I was taming the sugar.)


She said it was good, but a little sour.


The pie filling


Mexican rice!


Lucy, doing what she does best – being cute!


Meiling taking orders at her restaurant


Her table


Serving her imaginary customers


Yes, that is mish-mash


The chef in the kitchen


My dinner with Mom’s margarita


Note the black diamonds on the chicken.  The recipe says to do that, but I only accomplished it on one side of one piece of chicken (out of 8 pieces of chicken).


Dad’s much prettier plate (his chicken doesn’t have the black diamonds, though).


I’m Back!

This week was pretty relaxing.  I know I didn’t post a whole lot, but that wasn’t exactly because I was busy.  I could have made the time.  I’m not sure why I didn’t.

Today Mom picked up a bunch of plants at the produce stand – they were $5 a flat.  She purchased some peppers – cayenne, pablanos, and bell – tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs.  Lavender, orange mint, some Greek basil, rosemary, Mexican tarragon, French tarragon, and thyme, to name a few.  I love thyme.  I just buried my nose into it and inhaled.  We were able to plant the peppers and the herbs in our raised beds.  I had a few more basil plants that I had started that needed to be planted, and between them and all the other herbs I planted, I feel “herb rich.”  It’s quite a delightful feeling.  A treasure chest full of flavor.

I also made some lemonade.  I love lemonade.  We had some at Pastor’s party, and it made me want to make some.  Well, it really made me want to drink some.  Which means I have to make some first.  And I did have quite a bit at the party.  But, as has already been stated, I love lemonade.

Yesterday I was able to remill some soap that we had had sitting around for awhile.  I grated the bars of soap up, put them in a pot with a few tablespoons of milk, and put that over low heat until it melted.  Once it was nice and sticky (and looking rather akin to mashed bananas), Meiling and I added some essential oils (grapefruit, lemon, and orange) and some oatmeal.  We had an old mini muffin tin, and I poured the soap gloop into that.  I put it in the freezer for a little bit, removed them from the tin, and then relocated it into the fridge for a little longer.  They should be ready to use now.

I saved some of the grated soap and combined it with some dried chamomile flower heads, oatmeal, and lavender and geranium essential oils.  I tied this little mixture up into a square of cloth with a piece of yarn.  It is my little face scrub.  I moisten it up and rub it all over my face.  It works quite well.


The supplies for my face scrubby – yarn, cloth, and a soap-based filling


Right before tying it up


All finished!


The kittens – aren’t they cute!  The one on top is my favorite.  They are wild, so we only got to hold one once.




The herbs


Aren’t they so pretty?

One Last Extension

I have decided to extend the Sons of Georgia giveaway for one more week – until Friday the 25th of May.  You have until midnight that night to get your entries in.

I am extending the giveaway in hopes that I will get a few more entries.  Thank you oh-so–very-much to KT, Racheal, and Brytni for entering!  And this is the last time I am going to extend it.

If you haven’t entered yet, please go here to enter.

Things Have Been a Little Quiet Around Here…

I haven’t been posting here as much as usual!  That’s not because there is any lack of things to post about – quite to the the contrary.  The comparative quiet is because of the many things that have been happening.  When it rains, it pours.

On Monday we had an open house birthday party for a young lady at our church.  For the party I baked two chocolate cakes (one small pan and one 9” x 13” pan) and a mocha cake.  Have you ever had mocha cake?  It was yummy.  I frosted the mocha cake with mocha frosting (what else, right?).  Mmmmm…

Tuesday was spent cleaning up and relaxing.  I made a Chinese dinner (a total of 97 dumplings!).  Right after dinner I came down with the cold that my brothers have both had.  Right after dinner.  I felt fine all day, and as I was sitting there, my throat started to hurt.  I took my elderberry syrup and Echinacea tincture and drank some ginger tea, but by the time I went to bed my throat hurt quite a bit.  I can’t believe how fast it came on!

I had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning, and as soon as I got home from that I went to bed and spent the majority of the day in bed.  Something interesting that happened – Mom called while I was home (she was at the food pantry) to let me know that some of our pastor’s family was coming by to pick up some things for our pastor’s graduation party this weekend (he’s a Dr. now!).  They were planning to get to our home around 11:00 a.m.  Well, at five till, I heard a rumble of a car coming down our gravel road.  I was surprised that they would be here already.  I looked out my window to see a blue fifteen passenger van with a white stripe drive by.  It wasn’t them – it was somebody who was lost.  This wouldn’t be all that interesting, except for the fact that our pastor’s family has a white fifteen passenger with a blue stripe.  I got a giggle out of that.

Today I worked on making some unleavened bread, a project that my dad assigned to me.  I’m still sick, so I did quite a bit of resting.  Today my brother Noah fell asleep eating lunch.  This is not normal, since he is 14.  Meiling came in my room while I was resting and told me he was asleep.  I came out a little worried, but after some shaking he woke up and proved to be fine.  Just tired.  We all had some quite time this afternoon.

Tomorrow I have to bake 4 apple pies for Pastor’s party.  Saturday is Pastor’s party, as well as two other graduation parties.  It will be a busy day.   I hope to be well by then. Lord willing I will post some photos next week.

Also, since I will not be home for most of Saturday, I will probably not post the giveaway winner until Monday.  We’ll see how it goes.  If you haven’t entered yet, go here to enter the giveaway!

Until next time,

A Few Fun Finds

We went to a thrift store this week, and while we were there, I found some things for myself.  I usually don’t find that much, but I was blessed to find a book and a curtain/window treatment/thing.  I really don’t know what it is called.  All I know is that it is cute, purple, matches my room, and is cute.  (Did I mention it was cute?)

So I found a curtain thing.  It was only $1.50, so I decided to take the chance of it not matching and brought it home.  Thankfully, it matched!  I took it and looped it above my window, with both of the ends hanging on one side.  You’ll see much better in the picture.  I will probably change it some, as I put it up at 10:30 last night, just to see how it looks.

The book I found is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I have heard about this book, but have never looked at it.  I found it for $1.50 in practically new condition.  I made one of the recipes for wheat bread yesterday, and I am planning to bake some on Monday.  I’ll tell you how it turns out.

Those were my finds for the week.  I just love getting great things at the thrift store.  It takes some patience, but can be quite rewarding.


My window (Hi! Can you see me in the window?)


And my book (Mmmmm)

And don’t forget, if you haven’t yet entered the giveaway, go here to enter!

I am extending the giveaway for another week to you all a chance to enter. I will accept entries until midnight on May 18. I will post the winner the next day. Enter now!

A Window Into My World

Today I am announcing A Window Into my World’s very first giveaway!  I am so very excited – how about you?

I am giving away a copy of the new movie “Sons of Georgia.”  This movie, made by Children of Light Productions, is the result of the hard work of many homeschooling families.  It is a story that takes place during the Civil War.  The summary on the back reads:

“Join Jerry Blanding as he recounts to his grandson the story of the Civil War and his war-torn childhood in the heart of Georgia.  He and his older brother, Sam, lose their father and brothers in the War of the Century and endure Sherman’s ravaging of the South and undergo his infamous March to the Sea with the idea of “making Georgia howl.”  Sam finally must resolve for himself what to do as Atlanta is on the verge of…

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