a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Marshmallow Eggs and Candy Bar Wagons

Candy Bar Wagons                                       

For each wagon you need:

  • 1 Milky Way, Snickers, or similar candy bar
  • 4 white Lifesaver candies, with holes in the middle for hub caps
  • 4 tiny candy "balls*" for hubcaps
  • 1 handle - pretzel stick, small candy stick or can, sucker, etc.
  • Small amount of icing for attaching decorations

Using small amounts of icing, attach wheels to each corner of unwrapped candy bar. Press a small ball into the center of each wheel. Press wagon handle into front end of candy bar. Decorate the top of the wagon as desired.

*edible silver "dragee's" are found in the cake decorating section of many stores. If you cannot find them, or something similar, you can use a small dab of icing.

Homemade Marshmallow Eggs are Yummy. 

Note: A Heavy duty mix is required for this recipe.                      

To make the "molds" place flour one to two inches deep in
9x13 or similar pans. Make indentations in the flour using
a real (or plastic) egg --- leaving a little space between them.
Set aside.

1 envelope plain, unflavored gelatin (like Knox brand)
1/3 cup cup water
1/2 cup sugar2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Soften gelatin in water for 5 minutes. Place in top part of double boiler* over hot water until dissolved. Leave in double boiler over low heat and add sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Put corn syrup in large mixing bowl. Add salt and vanilla. Add gelatin mixture, beating constantly. Beat for 10 minutes. 

Carefully pour mixture into flour molds. Let set for one hour at room temperature. Coat top surface of eggs lightly with flour. Gently removed eggs from flour and place on waxed-paper-lined tray. Freeze for about 30 minutes before dipping into chocolate coating of your choice. 

*No double boiler? Create your own by fitting a Pyrex or other heat-proof bowl with a lip edge over a saucepan. My one-quart bowl just fits my two-quart saucepan.

'till we eat again,
       Simply, Gail

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Great Asparagus---Even for those who don't usually like it!

People often turn their nose up at asparagus. 

Eggplant also (but that's another post)!
Give Asparagus a Chance!
Dave is one of them -- or, rather was -- until two days ago. 

He didn't actually hate it, he didn't mind it .... 
when it was smothered in cheese sauce!

Saturday we were at the grocery store talking to the       produce manager (a good friend) about our need to increase   our vegetable intake and reach out to the lesser-known (to us) varieties. 

Another shopper joined the conversation as we were   discussing the on-sale asparagus.

She assured us that non-asparagus lovers loved it fixed the          way she recommended. The produce manager seconded it.

I bought her "sales pitch" and some asparagus.   

Dave really, really liked it - the first time piping hot straight   from the oven, later as a snack at room temperature, and. . .
the next day both cold, straight from the refrigerator, and again
at room temperature! Actually he thought it was even better the second day.

Roasted Asparagus

1. Prepare a bunch of  thin fresh asparagus by breaking off the tough parts. 

2. Put the stalks in zip-lock bag. 

3. Add about 3 teaspoons olive oil, seal bag, and gently shake to coat. 

4. Pour onto cookie sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake 400 degrees for about 6 minutes. (My stalks were nice and thin so if yours are larger timing, could be longer) Turn them over and bake for additional 6 minutes.

5.Remove from oven and sprinkle with a mixture of about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese and 1/8 tsp. garlic salt.

Spring is in the air ---- asparagus is in the stores ---- the timing is perfect!

'till we eat again,
        Simply, Gail