Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beaded Lamp

I bought this little silver beaded lamp at a thrift store. The beads on it were just plain clear glass beads and it was missing several. This isn't exactly a lamp its more of a candle holder that looks like a lamp. Anyhoo..

The Before: 


The After:

I just went a little crazy with different colors & different shaped glass beads. I bought these beads in a mixture pretty much as they are at Hobby Lobby for pretty cheap which worked out perfect for this project.

Tools that were used:

Small pointy beading pliers
Silver-toned jewelry flat head pins.
And.. lots and lots of beads 


Friday, November 18, 2011

Ham & Cheese Spread



This is a little recipe I made up several years ago to take to a company dinner and it was a big hit. 

My hubby loves this and asked me to make it so I thought I'd share the recipe here. This recipe makes a ton of spread so its great for large crowds or a very hungry husband.
It is great served on veggie crackers, celery sticks, carrot sticks, chips or used as a sandwich spread.

Ingredients:
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese
  • 1 16 oz package cooked chopped ham
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion 
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 16 oz bottle Ranch salad dressing


Ingredient Suggestions:
- I use Farmland cooked fine chopped ham
- I have also in the past used sliced deli ham and chopped it myself
- cooked crisp bacon crumbles is also great in this as a substitute for the ham
- Green onions are also great to use in this and adds a bit of color
- Wild onion greens if available are fantastic!

Directions:
Cube cream cheese to make it easier to work with and place in medium/large mixing bowl.
Add ham, onion, cheddar cheese and depending on how thick you want your spread to be you might start with 1/2 the bottle of dressing and just keep working a little in until you get the desired thickness. Keep in mind once refrigerated it does thicken up and becomes more solid. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Depression Cooking

*Update*
I am very sad to learn that on November 29, 2013 Clara passed away. She will be greatly missed.

I wanted to share with my readers a vlog that I have been following on YouTube for quite a long time.


Clara reminds me so much of my great-grandma Ramona and the way she would cook. I have learned many things from my little granny as well as Clara.





My little granny would've been 99 this year but, passed away when she was 92.
This is a picture of my granny and myself years ago in my room at my parents house (Yes, that is a Hanson poster on the wall.. don't hate!). I was putting makeup on her and doing her hair. She had the most beautiful smooth skin.
In the near future I plan on featuring some of my granny's recipes including Enchiladas and Tamales.



Even in her last days my granny was always a beauty. In this picture I can see the face of my mother as well as myself. And, its odd how many of her traits and personality trickled down the generations to my mother, my sister and myself.

While Clara is Italian her cooking style is much like what my granny's was but granny was Mexican.
As of December 24th Clara will no longer be making Depression Cooking videos. While I am sad to see her go, at 96 years old as Clara says "I'm pretty damn old!" I just love her and wish her good health and many years to come!
Click the links below for more on Clara's videos, cookbook & DVD's.
Clara's Depression Cooking YouTube Channel
Clara's website - DepressionCooking.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Indian Taco's


Being of  "Native American" decent (as well as a bunch of other things) particularly Mvskoke Creek & Cherokee.. I love me some fry bread and some Indian Taco's. 
Go ahead.. call us "Indian's" if you will.. most of us don't care. 
With that being said.. I like to consider myself a Fry Bread Babe cause I am round, brown and yummy!

There is history behind fry bread and I think after you know the history of it, you learn to appreciate it more. It comes with a story of great pain and suffering of Native people.

Theres really no easy way to put it but, as most people know during the 1800's Indians were slaughtered, their lands stolen, women were raped, children were taken and were treated as animals.
Natives were removed from their home territories and placed in camps that were over crowded and supplies were meager. 
The government rationed supplies of lard, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder or yeast and powered milk were usually rancid.
Fry bread came from these few ingredients to keep the people alive during their captivity. 
To some Fry Bread is a sacred tradition and it is said that it is to be  consumed by the people until the earth has again become purified. 

If you Google search for "Fry Bread Recipe" you will only find a bazillion different versions and some will just leave you scratching your head.... think about it - if you are looking for something more on the "authentic" side go for the recipes with the least ingredients. 
But, anyhoo here's the recipe I use:

Fry Bread:

1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands and for your surface.


Sift together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough with a fork until it starts to form one big clump. Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. Kneading it will make for a heavy Fry Bread when cooked. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured.
Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter.  Don’t worry about it being round.
In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. You can check if you oil is hot enough by either dropping a small piece of dough in the hot oil and seeing if it begins to fry, or by dipping the end of a wooden spoon in and seeing if that bubbles. Your oil should be about 1-inch deep in a large skillet or other large heavy pot. Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submersed into the hot oil. Fry until lightly browned, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook.  Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.



Now for your Indian Taco filling & topping. 

Everybody is different on what they like to use for their filling and toppings. I myself like to keep it easy and simple. Remember the old saying.. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid!) 

Brown 1-2 pounds of hamburger (depending on how many people you are feeding), drain and add 2 cans of chilli with beans per 1 pound of hamburger as well as 1 pkg of taco seasoning per 1 pounds of hamburger. Now don't go getting some nasty canned chilli like that Wolf brand that my Dad used to buy.. I wouldn't feed that stuff to dogs! Get some Hormel or even Walmart brand is better then Wolf. Or, if you are like me you might have some leftover homemade chilli in your freezer so, use that! 

So, that takes care of your filling.. now for the toppings!
Everybody has their own preferences on toppings...just think whatever you like on regular tacos is good on Indian Tacos.  I for one like the whole sha-bang! 
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapenos
  • Taco Sauce, Picante Sauce or Salsa
  • Onions 
  • Cheese
  • Sour Cream

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Maple Buttercrumb Muffins


These little gems of crunchy mapley goodness are super easy and quick to make.
The crunchy crumb topping is the crown jewel to the soft cakey muffins.
This recipe will yield 12 muffins that are particularly yummy while still warm. 
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons imitation maple flavor or maple extract
    (or could substitute vanilla extract) 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
    (or pecans)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Topping: 

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
    (or pecans)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


Heat oven to 400* F.
Grease two 6 cup muffin pans or one 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper baking cups. 

Mix oats, milk, brown sugar and maple flavoring/extract in a large bowl; 
let stand for 5 minutes to allow oats to soften.


Add butter and egg; blend well. Stir in remaining ingredients just until moistened.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups filling two-thirds full... the topping will be added later. 
Bake  for 10 minutes at 400* F and while baking prepare your topping. 

In a small-medium mixing bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, oats, maple syrup, nuts and melted butter 
after allowing the muffins to bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and top each muffin with roughly 1 rounded tablespoon of the topping mixture and spread evenly atop each muffin. 
Return muffins to oven for an additional 10 minutes. 



Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. 
Remove muffins from pan and allow to finish cooling on wire cooling rack. 

Tips & Suggestions:
To make dividing the muffin batter easier use an ice cream scooper.
Add craisins (dried cranberries), raisins or other dried fruits for an even healthier snack!