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.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Candy Gifts to Copy Cat for Less - - - - Much Less!

Over the years, I have experimented with copy-catting all kinds    of commercial candies. When you have six kids and a limited budget, that is what you do!!!

It has been challenging and usually,  successful. 

JuImage result for chocolate candiesImage result for chocolate candiesImage result for chocolate candiesImage result for chocolate candies

When we lived in the mid-west in the 80's amd 90's I taught some homemaking classes, was published in some local newspapers and even self-published a 135+ recipe booklet sub-titled "copy-cat candies and other treats for everyday enjoyment and all occasions."

The time seems right to bring them front and center again!

And since there is no sense in "reinventing the wheel" (a saying as old as the old candy prices!) you can find them by . . . 

scrolling down the right side of the blog to find my cookbook section. Scroll down to Candy and you fill find several posts, many with variations!

I really, really like chocolate as you can see. If chocolate is not your favorite morsel I will give you a few without chocolate in my next post.

The first in the candy series covers candy bars: "Almondy Joy" "Coconut Moundling"  and "Krunch" and a sweetened condensed milk recipe  used in making some of them.  It also gives interesting now and then (1990's) prices for comparison.

Next comes  Peanut Clusters, Marshmallow-Peanut Clusters and Marshmallow Cups (one of my favorite candy bars growing up in California was "Cup-O-Gold.")

Then comes fudge---in six varieties

Followed by more posts on Peanut Clusters

Peppermint and other barks

Finally, Rounding out the category with toffee, turtles, and pecan pralines

Most also give the 1990 prices!

Further down the cookbook is simply eggnog pie and flavored popcorns.

This seems like a fitting place for the next item----it's not but it could be me!

I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. The nurse starts with certain basics.

How much do you weigh? she asks. "195," I say.  The nurse puts me on the scale. It turns out my weight is 250.

The nurse asks, "Your height?" "5 foot 11", I say. The nurse checks and sees that I only measure 5 foot 8.

She then takes my blood pressure and tells me it is very high.

"Of course it's high !" I scream. "When I came in here I was tall and slender! Now I'm short and fat !"

'til we eat again,
  I am,  Simply, Gail

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Lettuce" Quickly Prepare Romaine . . .

Image result for romaine hearts
an entire week's worth at a time !!!

Image result for romaine lettuce

The perfect do-ahead for busy people!

     First, an apology
It's been a few weeks since I have posted and in that time I have forgotten how to transfer the photos Dave takes for me without going through a complicated process (which we also cannot remember!) of getting them from his computer to mine. Until our brain(s) kick into gear I have to make do with google image photos and some explanations.

I recently purchased my third Foodsaver (the first two were garage sale finds) and it came with an accessory attachment I thought sealed canning jars. Online I had found info making a week's worth of salads in a jar using this attachment. I hurried and sent for the special required lids because they had free shipping. I can't make them work with my attachment and  am about to call the company to see what I am doing wrong.. In the mean time, while searching the net for help I ran across articles for making the same salads in canning jars without using the suction attachment. They claimed they also kept salads-in-jars fresh for six days.
Fast Forward
Nine days ago I made my first salads in a jar, using romaine lettuce (which all sites recommend), tomatoes, cucumbers, and sliced green onions.  I even cut the lettuce with a metal knife which I have always thought/been told will turn the lettuce brown---which, with traditional salads, it has!

Today, day ten, I made tostadas. The lettuce is still as crisp and crunchy and without blemish as day one!  The below photo is another google image. My lettuce looks even better.

Image result for tostada

Now .... How!

The above photo shows cutting the romaine cross-ways. Before you do that slash it from root end to top 4 or 5 times. Then cut it across. I couldn't believe how fast it went and how great the resulting small pieces were. In the past I have always torn it. This way is so much better.

You can use any size jar that fits your needs and has a tight-fitting lid. For us the pint one are idea, especially the ones that have wide mouths. (Simply for ease in packing.)

You begin by putting your chopped "wet items" like the tomatoes, in first. (Some even put the dressing in first.) Continue adding whatever additions you want and then tightly stuff the chopped lettuce or whatever greens you want, filling the jar to the top. 

Cap it with the canning lid and ring or other tight-fitting lid 
and refrigerate.

Image result for salad in a mason jar
With the holidays approaching, wouldn't this be a fun gift for busy friends! single friends! elderly friends! friends who take their lunch to work!

For more information just type in salads in a jar or simply type the same in google images for oodles of ideas.


Until next time,
I am Simply, Gail, and so simple I can't figure out how I messed up the formatting so badly. I am sure it is a simple fix but . . .