Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Annie's Mukluk Crochet Booties Pattern Post Project Notes

The following are my pictures and notes using the purchased pattern from Annie's called 'Mukluk Crochet Booties'.
Here is my finished version of the main pattern:

These are made with 2 strands of Caron Pound in the Lace color. Since I used a different yarn then the pattern suggested, I ended up changing the hook size (actually several times within the pattern) and made a size Small which fit my foot, a size 10 shoe size.

Then I decided to make 2 shorter versions of the slipper, basically without the leg section and decorative finishes. These are also using double stranded yarn.

I decided to try one more change and make a thinner sock that came up a little ways on my ankle, but wasn't binding. So these use 1 strand of the Caron Pound yarn. Again I worked the size Small directions with hook changes in different sections of the pattern and on the leg section I shortened the number of rounds and worked a few rounds of mock ribbing by alternating FPDC and DC sts.
I really enjoyed working with this pattern and found is so easy to modify. So you see I made a lot of pairs. They work up fast and I highly recommend giving this pattern a try. It's well worth the price.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Potatoes O'Brien Au Gratin Recipe

This is my homemade version of a popular dish that typically uses the store bought Potatoes O'Brien, which is often hard to find in the stores close to big holidays. With this recipe you can make it all from scratch and it's so easy and less expensive.

So here is the recipe with all my helpful notes.

2 and 1/2 medium size Russet Potatoes, scrubbed and grated using the larger grater holes. Then rinse with cold water and drain. Yes, leave the peels on!
1/4 c. EACH of chopped Sweet Onion, and 3 kinds of Peppers (orange, red, yellow and/or green)So 1 c. total.
1/2 contents of 10.5 oz. size Cream of Chicken Soup (Save the rest to make this again!)
1/2 contents of small (8 oz.) Sour Cream
1 c. shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided into 2/3 c. in dish + 1/3 c. on top per recipe
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 8" x 8" baking dish.
In medium bowl, mix sour cream and soup. Add 2/3 c. of the cheese and mix well.
Add potatoes, onion and peppers. Mix well.
Pour in greased dish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining 1/3 c. cheese over the top. Bake uncovered another 30 minutes.

Serves 6. Leftovers freeze well, if needed.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping

This recipe uses the apples and some of the liquid from my Wellness Tea recipe.
In a saucepan on the stove, stir together:
1 T. Cornstarch
1/4 c. Sugar

Slowly stir in 3/4 c. Wellness Tea liquid.
Cook over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Boil 5 minutes.
Add chopped apples or other fruit saved from the Wellness Tea and add 1/2 T. butter. Stir a minute until butter is melted and apples are heated. Serve warm over ice cream. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg, if desired.

Wellness Tea, Simmering Potpouri, Air Purifier

In my quest to incorporate healthier foods and drinks in my life I came up with this wellness tea or drink.
I centered it around foods and spices that fight inflammation. The combination of spices with the apples is very delicious and I have enjoyed it hot, cold or added to green tea, orange juice or other fruit juice. Save the apples after cooking and combine it with some of the tea for my Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping.

In a saucepan on the stove, combine:

3 c. Water
1 t. Ground Ginger
2 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Whole Cloves
1 T. Honey
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 - 2 Apples, unpeeled, chopped, without the core

Simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes or more if desired.
Let cool for another 30 minutes. Then remove the cinnamon sticks (they can be used several times), the cloves and the apples (save the apples to use in my Wellness Tea Ice Cream Topping).
Strain the tea through a fine strainer and into a Mason or other glass jar. Store in the refrigerator.

Instead of using apples, try substituting orange or lemon slices, chopped mango or cherries.

Juicing for Wellness

My favorite juicing recipe.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

When the temperature drops and colder weather sets in this caramel popcorn recipe always comes to my mind. This recipe originally showed up in my phone bill probably back in the 70's and I have treasured it ever since.

I give it an 'Excellent' rating because it not only tastes great but is easy to make with common ingredients that I typically have on hand. The hardest part about making this is waiting for the hour cooking time and then allowing it to fully cool. But it's that hour in the oven and stirring it every 15 minutes that finalizes the hardening of the caramel syrup and gives the popcorn an even coating of deliciousness.

I cut the portions of the original recipe in half, so double it back up if you prefer that.
Start off with 3 quarts of popped popcorn, which is 1/2 c. of popcorn kernels. I prefer to use an air-popper but making it other ways is fine too. I pour the popcorn in my large lasagne pan, ungreased.
Next cook the syrup on the stove over medium heat. See recipe details below.

When the cook time is done this is what it will look like - sweet, crunchy goodness!

Caramel Popcorn
1/2 c. popcorn kernels, or 3 qts. popped popcorn
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter - I use salted butter
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour popped popcorn in a large shallow baking pan.

In a large saucepan, melt butter, then stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Then boil WITHOUT stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla.

Gradually pour over popped popcorn and mix well. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.