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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Before you can blink

Honey built a shed in the fall to cover his tractor and wood splitter.  It is basically a wooden frame covered in a tarp and fastened to the ground with some pretty rugged stakes.  It has done really well and we have had some major wind storms.  We were both really impressed with how well it has weathered.

Today we went out for a little bit. The wind has been whipping here since about midnight last night.  Before we left,  Honey had noticed that the wind had moved the shed a bit but wasn't too worried about it.  We decided that it would last until today's wind storm died down.  When we got back, though, he noticed that one of the major supports had split so we thought it was best to get that part fixed so that it didn't collapse onto his stuff. 

It went rather well.  We managed to get it moved back to where it needed to be and Honey took 2 pieces of wood and fastened them in a way to strengthen the shed.  We had moved the tractor out of the shed to give us room to work, and Honey was getting ready to put it back in.  The wind blew pretty hard and I noticed that one side of the shed was picking up off the ground....apparently, the stakes had come out.  No problem.  I would hold it down until Honey got the tractor back inside and we would pound the stakes back in the ground.  What I wasn't expecting was another HUGE gust that literally flipped the shed up and over so that it landed about 8 feet from where it started.  There was one problem with this picture.....I was still holding on to it.  Honey said that he saw me fly through the air (like I was kite flying) holding on to the shed and I crashed into the gravel.  The wind was strong enough that it also flipped over our 500lb wood splitter.  I am pretty banged up and my knees are both pretty swollen, but I have no broken bones.  There are so many things that could have happened to me.  I don't even want to think what would have happened if that wood splitter had fallen over on me, or if one of the pieces of the shed had split.  Oh my....I am so blessed!  I don't need any more than some ibuprofen and rest and I should be as good as new.  The shed isn't so lucky. :)  I am so very thankful to God that I am not in the hospital tonight! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Mini corn dog muffins

A few months ago, I was shopping at our local liquidation center.  They had a box of snack foods....and when I say box, I mean a huge banana box full to the top.  It was wrapped in plastic so I couldn't check out the whole box, but on the top I could see some good stuff.  And, it was only $4 so I decided to go for it.

When I got home, I was happy to find many bags of cheeze-itz, mini oreos, granola bars, goldfish, etc.  But, when I got to the bottom, I realized that about 1/3 of the box was corn nuts.  I have NEVER had a corn nut in my life so Vlado and I split a bag.  It was awful....even Vlado turned his nose up at them.  So, the bags have sat in my pantry....I HATE to throw away food because I can usually figure out something to do with it.

Today, as I was browsing Pinterest, I saw someone had posted about doing mini corn dogs using corn muffin mix and cut up hot dogs.  I decided to attempt to use a bag of corn nuts.  I'm sure you're confused at this point.  I looked up a recipe for corn muffins.  I took a bag of the corn nuts and ground them down in my Magic Bullet blender.  This is what I used in place of the corn meal in the recipe.  My boys both love mini muffins so I used my mini muffin pan.  I cut up the hot dogs  (6 pieces per hot dog) and put one piece per muffin cup.  Here's the recipe I used.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (ground corn nuts)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, butter, and egg; mix well. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pans 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan.  
This is what they looked like after they came out of the oven.  

The boys LOVED them!
 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

It's what's for dinner :)

I discovered a little while ago that you can take any boneless meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, etc) and put it in your food processor and grind it.  It comes out with the same consistency as ground meat you get in the store.  I've done it with chicken when I didn't have any ground chicken in the house.  It only occurred to me today that I should buy boneless chicken and pork when it is on sale so I can grind it and use it as I need it.  It is so much cheaper than buying it ground from the store!  And.....if you freeze the pieces of meat whole, you can defrost it and use it whole or grind it up - however you need it for your recipe.  How cool is that?

I am currently in a "use whatever  you can from the pantry" phase.  I don't want to have to move a bunch of food if/when our house sells.  So, I had the idea a few days ago to start on a shelf.  I started with the far left yesterday and used the first thing.  If I can use something else from the pantry, that is bonus!  Well tonight, the next thing was a box of scalloped potatoes.  I was so not in the mood for scalloped potatoes and especially not with the pork chops I  had in the fridge.  But, I saw a recipe on the box of potatoes that looked promising.  It was called hamburger stew.  I got inspired....and made the following.

Hamburger stew (with a twist)

1 lb ground beef (I used about 3/4 lb ground boneless pork chops) - $1.34 on sale for $1.79/lb
1 box scalloped potatoes - $1 on sale
1 small package frozen veggies (I used a can - drained) - $.50 on sale from dollar store
5 cups water
1 can stewed tomatoes (I used a pint jar of homemade pasta sauce from our garden tomatoes)
salt and pepper


Brown the meat in a large pot (medium large...not huge) and season with salt and pepper.  Once the meat is browned and drained, mix in all the other ingredients, including the seasoning packet from the boxed potatoes.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat  and simmer until the potatoes are tender...approximately 40-45 minutes.

I think next time, I will do it in the crockpot.  I LOVE my crockpot!  I will brown the meat and then mix everything in and cook for 8 hours on low. 

The total cost - $2.84 for a large pot of soup...it would have been $3.84 if I had to buy the tomatoes too. The pot fed all 4 of us and we have at least 2 servings leftover.  It is a very filling and hearty soup.  I'm glad that the boys LOVE leftovers!