Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thrifty Thursday - Henrietta Hen

For this edition of "Thrifty Thursday" I am going to feature this Goodwill find - Henrietta Hen.  

One of the many things I collect is chickens.  I have a kitchen full of chicken related items.  Not to mention a yard and chicken coop full of live ones.

On a recent trip to Goodwill, my daughter Anna found this appliance.   I love buying gadgets and appliances from thrift stores.  This was marked $4.99 with a blue tag.  The blue tags were 1/2 off this day so I paid $2.49 (plus tax).   Most thrift shops have an outlet to try the appliances before you buy to make sure that they work.

We brought it home and have been making eggs in this several times a week.  It works SUPER!  

You can still buy this on Amazon - but, it is $29.99.  We saved $27.  

You can poach or make boiled eggs.  The bottom of the appliance has different levels that are marked where to fill with the water for what type of egg you are making.  I do add more water for poaching during the cooking time,  depending on the softness I want for the yolk.  When Henrietta is done, she will chirp.  

I spray the egg tray when making poached eggs.  The little "needle" on the boiled egg tray is important - you poke a hole in each egg before you put the raw egg in the tray.  This prevents the egg from exploding while cooking.  

Not only a useful tool - but, it's cute!  In just minutes - you can have a breakfast like this...

So, I challenge you on this "Thrifty Thursday" to go out to the thrift shops and give new life to some old appliance.  Saving money and reusing items is the key to thrifty.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Low Fat Harvest Muffins

Low Fat Harvest Muffins

1 pkg. pumpkin spice pudding
1/2 C low fat/no fat yogurt
15 oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 C shredded carrots
3 eggs
1/2 C skim milk
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Put all of this in a big bowl and stir together.  I did this by hand.  Mix well. 

Add to the wet mixture - in same bowl and mix by hand the following:

1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C molasses
1 C oatmeal
2 C flour
1 C chopped walnuts

Mix well.  I used an ice cream scoop - makes 24 muffins.  I used paper liners, the next time I will just spray the pan.  The muffins stick to the paper.  Bake 350 for about 30 min. or until done.  

If you follow my blog, you know I like to make up recipes.  I made this one up as well.  If you are on Weight Watchers, 3.5 ppt per muffin.  You could make it for 2.5 ppt by taking out the walnuts.  

Wisconsin is getting colder - the other morning we woke up to a chilly 17.  My "nesting" instincts have kicked in.  Baking is a part of that.  Enjoy, they are really good.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Motivation Monday - Creating Habits

In our Weight Watcher's meeting, our leader was challenging us with "habits."  Apparently, facts show that creating a good habit takes longer than creating a bad habit.  Really??  This had me thinking - good or bad, how long would it take for an activity to become automatic.

I'm not one to hear something and just believe it.  I need to study up on it.  So, I Googled it...apparently, others wanted to know this answer as well.  Most articles show that a habit takes 21 days or 3 weeks to form.  This magical number of 21 days came from a study done in the 1960's from a psychologist studying amputees.  He found that it took on average these individuals 3 weeks to adjust to the loss of their limb.  I'm not a clinical anything...however, I do know a close friend whom lost both legs and most of his fingers due to a horrific infection to his body (he didn't have a spleen) - after 12 years - it is safe to say he is still adjusting.  His daily activities might have become a "habit" - how to do every day activities without the use of his limbs - but, emotionally adjusting to this - I know took longer than 21 days.

After additional study, I feel the statement made in our Weight Watcher meeting was true with one major difference.  Good or bad, easier or smaller activities do take less time to form as habit than harder ones.  For example, deciding to drink a glass of water before each meal is an easier activity than jogging 1 mile every day.  So, forming that habit will or should take less time. 

I know I don't hold a degree in psychology or clinical study, but I know a thing or two about me and human nature.  We are all individuals, with our own personality traits, strengths and weaknesses.  How could you lump everyone into a generalization of "21 days to success or 3 weeks to: ...(fill in the blank).  Answer - you can't.  

So, whatever you are trying to motivate yourself to do.  Whatever habit you are trying to beat or create.  Understand that - it will take longer than 21 days or 3 weeks.  Stick with it, work at it, strive to be "better" and be kind to yourself.  We are all "works in progress" as long as we are living.  Quit making excuses, decide to change and get started.  

Habits - our behavior - will become automatic with each step forward.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.    

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Zumba Halloween Costume Party

We had fun at the Zumba Halloween party.  Justine asked Brittany, her friend and Aaliyah, my great-niece to come with us.  I didn't get a picture of Aaliyah in her costume.  Justine won a trophy for the scariest costume - a zombie.    

I was proud of myself - as I was able to "do" the whole 1 1/2 hrs. of Zumba.  I was even more surprised when I got there and saw 2 of my friends, Sue and Sue.  My girls said "Mom, now you have some friends to dance with."  I did.  I didn't know that they did Zumba.  It was fun!  

For a funny story.  I went to Goodwill to look for a costume.  I found this huge heart - how cute, since you do Zumba to be heart healthy.  I saw it had some writing on it - I, Heart, You.  I just assumed it said something like "I love you."  Thankfully, when I showed it to Justine, she told me to read actually said "I have a Heart on for You" - aaaaahhh how embarrassing.  So, Justine, helped me find this bumble bee one.  Thank goodness.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Low Fat Apple Fritter Cake

I own a lot of old cookbooks.  I love to look at recipes and see how I can lighten them up or recreate them somehow.  I found this old recipe for an apple cake.  I studied it and came up with my own recipe I am calling Low Fat Apple Fritter Cake.  It is really good.  I wanted to get a picture of a piece of cake - however, it was gone too fast.  I shared some with my friend Kathy and took the rest to bible study.  I had many compliments, so I decided to share the recipe with you guys.

Low Fat Apple Fritter Cake

Dry:  2 1/2 C flour
          2 t baking powder
          2 t baking soda
          1/4 t salt
          1 1/2 C sugar
Stir together in keep in separate bowl

Wet:  2/3 C applesauce
          2/3 C low fat or no fat yogurt
           2 t vanilla
           3 eggs
Wisk all of this together in a bowl

Set this to the side and work on the apples.  We have had an abundant apple year.  I used some from our trees, we don't spray our trees, so they aren't the prettiest.  

Then cut up the apples.  I used this peeler without the slicer to peel them.  I then cored them and cut the sections in half.  

6 C apple chunks
1 T cinnamon 
1/2 C brown sugar
Stir together till apples are coated with spice

Pour 1/2 of batter in a 9 x 13 pan (spray the pan), dump in the apples and pour the other 1/2 over the top.  I did sprinkle some brown sugar on the top of the cake before baking.  Bake 350 for 55-60 minutes.

I was thinking that you could use this same batter mix with rhubarb, blueberries, cherries, peaches or pears as well.  I plan to keep this one as a "go to".  I hope you try it out.   Enjoy.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grand Repeats Holiday Open House

It is that time, to think about the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I love this time of year.  For me, it all about God and family.  Thankful for His blessings and His coming to earth for our salvation.  

I have been on a roller coaster of sales; getting ready for sales and setting up sales.  I will have items for the open house - however, as the season progresses, I will bring in more.  I will keep adding my hand made art and repurposed items - for your gift giving needs.  More posts to follow.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Easy Crock Pot Pea & Bean Soup

This is something anyone can make.  It is one of those "fix it and forget it" meals.  Very inexpensive!

I started out with some veggies from my garden - carrots, potato and onion.  

I always have on hand this antique jar filled with different types of dry peas and beans:  lentils, red and white beans, yellow and green peas, black eye peas, etc. - watch for sales on these items.  You can get a whole bag for $1 or less.  I just buy several and mix them in my jar.  This will last months and cost you pennies per serving.

Those are pork hocks - from a pig I knew - home raised.

Dice up, add some garlic and put all of this in the crock pot.  Put in 1 - 5 ratio of bean/pea to water (1 cup beans to 5 cups water).  Salt and pepper.  You can add whatever herb or spices you like.  Al likes things more plain.  You could even use chicken or vegetable stock for the water.  

Cook on low/medium all day - that's it.  I was gone today, so I wasn't home to check the water level - you need to check on that - just add enough liquid to your liking.  

Super easy, fall apart tender and really good!  Enjoy

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Our Farrier's View Points - Lesson 1

A farrier is the person who trims hooves.  Our farrier is a "colorful" person.   Jim, loves to talk and share funny stories and jokes.  Some of which I'm sure others find offensive!!

Yesterday, he told me something he said to one of his other clients.  Keep in mind, Jim served as career military, is a veteran, serving our country in Iraq, conservative and opinionated.  He actually makes me think about stuff after he leaves.  Most of his humor goes over my head...I "get" it after he leaves, or I ask Al what it means.   I know, I'm not too bright sometimes.  

So, yesterday he tells me this story: "at my last client's place, I was watching a barn cat nursing her kittens.  I say to the customer, who is a 'liberal', your mama cat is a republican.  She says, Jim why would you say such a thing....(I proceed to explain to her why our welfare system is broke, using her cat as my example)...well, your mama cat will nurse and take care of those kittens, wean them and teach them how to hunt and take care of themselves...she won't let them keep sucking on her forever.  That is why she is a republican."  

I asked him is she was mad - "yes, she was - but, she didn't know what to say..."  Sometimes, I don't know what to say either, so I know how the other customer was feeling.  

However, over the past 6 years of his coming here, he has really left me thinking about stuff.  Some of which I will share in posts labeled "our farrier's view points." 

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Motivation Monday - Reasons to Exercise

If you know me, this is my opinion of exercise:

My "hate" of exercise probably goes back to my being the last picked and chubbiest one in gym.  I have had such hurt feelings when it comes to anything athletic that I don't even try.  In fact, exercise is like a 4 letter word - in my vocabulary.

I just don't enjoy it.  I know everyone who has a work out routine says:  "I love it - I feel so good when I am done."  Ya, ya, ya...I've never experienced that.  I "work out" - lift bales of hay, buckets of feed, pieces of furniture up flights of steps .... but, these are not increasing my heart rate or burning off lots of calories. 

I have lost 40 pounds this past year - 35 of that on Weight Watchers.  I've done that without doing "any" real exercise.  I have lost slow and steady - this was my plan.  I know that I have been on an up 1 down 1 pound game - maintaining what I have lost for a few weeks.   I realize now is the time I need to get moving.

My daughter, Justine, has been doing Zumba for over a year.  She loves it.  I thought I would give it a try.  I was worried I would be the oldest and biggest one there - I wasn't.  It was hard for me to keep up with the instructor - but, I did what I could do.  Others were at different levels as well - but, we all were moving.  I actually had fun and liked it!  

I know that I need to exercise in order to continue losing.  I probably won't ever have a "love affair" with exercise.  I just need to find something I "like" and keep doing it.  

Motivational reasons to exercise:  spending time with my daughters at Zumba, doing something for "me", burning off more so I can eat more (food is a motivator for me), losing now so I can move later, tightening up "saggy" skin left from weight loss, losing more weight .... you get the picture.  

Just start - just get up and do something, anything is better than sitting.  You will feel better about yourself, when you take care of yourself.  I will use my favorite quote here as well..."only you are in control of your ..... " what you do...including exercise - no one can do it for you.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

P.S.  If you live near here, Friday night is a Zumba costume party at Northland Lutheran High School in Kronenwetter.  This is a fund raiser for Bethany Day Care (where Justine worked).  I plan to for a costume....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Popplewood 4-H Project Night - Potato Soup

On Saturday, at the Ringle Harvest Day, our club had a food booth.  We had some left over items, so as not to waste them, we got together last night for a "Potato Soup Supper."  We cleaned, peeled, chopped all the veggies for the potato soup.  When it was cooking, we made up cheesy biscuits.   We ate, then divided up the leftovers - I know what we are having tonight for supper.   Here are some pictures of the kids working and having fun!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.