Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Well it's been a long time, but I am back.....

And hopefully I will be able to keep up with my blog this time! This is so crazy around here, but I love it and wouldn't have it any other way!!
We have 6 kids now, the youngest Colin, will be 1 on Thursday.....my how time flies!

I am homeschooling my 3 youngest children and hope to post alot about what we do for school, recipes, craft ideas and MORE!

And hopefully I will gain more and more followers as time passes on!

Have a Blessed Tuesday everyone <3 font="font">

Monday, November 29, 2010

KitchenAid Giveaway from 3 Kids and Us!

3 Kids and Us and KitchenAid want to make your holiday wish come true and offer you the chance to win a brand new KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer (link underlined words to http://3kidsandus.com/2010/kitchenaid-giveaway), in your choice of over 20 colors, valued at $349.99!

(feel free to snag the giveaway image from above to insert in your post here)

Enter the KitchenAid Stand Mixer Giveaway (link underlined words to http://3kidsandus.com/2010/kitchenaid-giveaway/) and check out the Homemade Holiday Feast recipes (link underlined words to http://3kidsandus.com/homemade-holiday-feast/)that show all the ways the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and attachments can be used to create unique family dishes and save you counter space with one appliance that can be converted to meet your every need.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yummy Breakfast Recipes that warm your heart and home...

Crispy Hashbrown Casserole
20-oz pkg frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed
3/4 c margarine melted and divided
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 chopped onion
10 3/4oz can cream of chicken soup
2 c sour cream
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 c crushed corn flakes
Combine potatoes, 1/2 cup margarine, salt, pepper, onion, soup, sour cream and cheese together; mix well. Spread into a lightly buttered 13"x9" baking pan and set aside. Toss remaining margarine and corn flakes together and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45mins.
Serves 10-12 and goes great with bacon and eggs!
Ham & Cheese Cups
2 c self rising flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 c mayonnaise
1 c milk
1/2 c diced cooked ham
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Combine flour and baking soda together and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to flour mixture. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake at 425 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Makes 12
Overnight Raisin-nut Oatmeal
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t melted butter
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1 c quick cooking oats
1 c apple, peeled and minced
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped nuts
4- 1/2 c milk
Place all ingredients into a greased slow cooker and mix well. Set on low heat overnight, about 8-9hrs and spoon into bowls to serve!
Serves 4

Blue Jean Book Bag

Crystal Miller

This is a pretty easy sewing project. It is a cute book bag made from an old pair of blue jeans. You can see a picture of the finished project here:


What you will need:

A pair of old jeans A cotton belt (instructions to make one follow) or a silk type scarf would work too

Step #1 Take a pair of jeans and zip up the front of them and turn them inside out. With a tape measure, measure about 3 inches down from the crotch and make a mark. Using a ruler draw a line across the leg at that mark. Do the same for the other leg. Now cut the legs off at the line.

Step #2 Now fold the jeans matching the side seams. This would be just as if you were going to sew a pleat in them down the front and back. Sew each leg closed 1 inch from the cut edge. Trim the seam to about a ½ inch.

Step #3 Turn the jeans right side out now and you have a little bag! Now you can thread a scarf or cotton belt through the loops and tie or sew the “handles” together. You can also decorate the outside pockets with lace or a hanky in the pocket. Do any decorating or creating on your bag to make it truly yours!

Cotton Belt (for Blue Jean Book Bag)

What you will need:

Cotton fabric of your choice, length of fabric to be your choice

Step #1 After you determine how long you want your handle to be cut out a strip of fabric that is this long, plus about 2 inches for hem. If you need to you can cut out shorter strips and then sew them together. Your strips will need to be 4 inches wide x “your determined length”.

Step #2 Now take your strip of fabric and iron it half the longest direction. On the short ends of the strip fold them up so the finished belt will not have any raw edges.

Step #3 After you iron it open it up and fold each side of the strip to meet the center of the crease left by the iron. Now refold this in the center and iron the strip again.

Step #4 Sew the strip closed. You now have a long belt to thread through the belt loops of your book bag. You can sew the ends closed by overlapping them about 2 inches and sewing them together.

Copyright: Crystal Miller, 2005

About the Author:

Crystal Miller (mailto:crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com) is

A mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and country Living web site called The Family Homestead http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/ <http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/> and has a free monthly newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will find sign up information on her website.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saving Money in the Kitchen by Crystal Miller

Saving Money in the Kitchen

Crystal Miller

Over the past few months I have watched the prices in the grocery store climb higher. This has made me have to stop and reevaluate our current eating and spending habits and see where I can trim the budget. I thought I would share a few of the tips that I have been incorporating into our budget.

First off years ago I started keeping a price book. I checked the prices at the different stores I shop to see who had the better price on napkins, pasta, hamburger, milk, eggs, etc.. Soon I had this price list memorized pretty well. I knew what store had the best price on which items. The only thing to remember is to recheck this list periodically. One of the first things I did was to re-check these prices to make sure they were still a good deal and not take them for granted. Another thing I have been doing is to stop buying or buy less of very expensive items. When I saw mozzarella cheese rise higher and higher, we took a break from pizza and lasagna. This was the same with the cheddar cheese although I did not see it jump as high as the mozzarella cheese. So with the cheddar I looked at how much we had been using and determined to use half this amount. I simply did not make as many meals with cheddar cheese in them as I had and I cautiously used the cheese on other meals. I watched butter climb to over $2.50 per pound at Costco and this was the least expensive price I could find. We don’t eat margarine so instead I limited our butter use to a certain amount per week and we stopped baking foods that called for butter. We also used things like cream cheese on our toast or pancakes instead of butter. Olive oil was also about half the price (per pound) as butter. So when I did bake I would choose things like cakes and quick breads that used oil, or muffins that did not require any fat in them.

As meat prices have climbed I have been serving more soups, breads, beans and whole grains. I usually will serve a couple of bean based meals a week and this has increased to more. My meals are basic and simple and the ingredients inexpensive. I think of the meat in the meal as flavoring, not the main component of the meal. I can make a pot of chili bean soup with 1 pound of hamburger in it and that will feed my family dinner one night and the leftovers will be lunch the next day. I stretch my meals by using my meat in sauces and gravies that are served over brown rice or whole wheat pasta. This also stretches the meat, adds great flavor and served with the whole grains makes a satisfying meal.

I also have tried to determine how much I want to spend per day to feed my family. I have then worked to find out how much each meal is costing us. For instance the chili bean soup served with a pan of cornbread will cost me about $5. Not bad for feeding a family of my size. I also have breakfast meals and lunch meals to consider for my daily cost. In the end I have some meals that are under budget and I have meals that sometimes are over budget. It becomes a matter of working towards an average cost. But I know the more low cost meals I serve in a month the better the average costs will be.

Finally remember to be conscious and be aware. Don’t just throw items into the shopping cart. Buy your foods with a plan. Know what you are spending each week, know what items are costing you and be prepared to make changes in the way you cook and the foods you buy.

Here are a couple of my low cost recipes that help out the monthly food budget at our house!

Crystal’s Chili Bean Soup Crystal Miller

Heat 2 T. oil in large soup pot.

Chop up and add:

1 onion

1/2 a green pepper, optional

Cook until the onion is soft.

Then add:

3 cups small red beans

12 cups water

1 Tablespoon salt

Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Stir

occasionally. After beans are soft add:

1 Tablespoon chili powder (more if you like it spicy.. less

if you don’t!)

1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies (this brand of

tomatoes is usually found with the other tomatoes at your

local grocery store)


Crystal Miller

1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup finely ground cornmeal or corn flour (I grind my own

to a coarse corn flour)

2 T fructose or Sucanat or sugar

2 t baking powder

½ t salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk

¼ cup olive oil

1 egg

Heat oven to 400. Grease or spray an 8 or 9 inch pan. Mix

milk, oil and egg until well blended. In separate bowl mix

dry ingredients and add to liquid and stir until moistened.

Pour batter into pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until

golden brown. I double this recipe and bake in a 9x13 pan

for 25 minutes (need to check, it could 30minutes).

Copyright: Crystal Miller, 2005

About the Author:

Crystal Miller ( mailto:crystal@thefamilyhomestead.com ) is

a mother of 8 children and enjoys her God given role as

wife, homemaker and mother! She has a homemaking and

country living web site called The Family Homestead

http://www.thefamilyhomestead/. <http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com/> com and has a free monthly

newsletter called Homestead Happenings. You will find

sign up information on her website.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Win your own Silhouette from Blue Cricket Designs Blog!!!!

I read orange

That's right my dears! Your eyes do not deceive you! The generous folks from Silhouette are here to make a crafters dream come true!

About a month ago I had a very magical delivery day! A beautiful new toys was dropped on my doorstep and ever since then I've been discovering more and more reasons why I love my new Silhouette!

I have always wanted a craft cutting machine but the expense of all the cartridges always scared me away! Silhouette is different then other craft cutters and works with your PC! Digital images are already included and others can be bought individually from their online store! So no more expensive cartridges that are full of designs but you only like a small percentage of them! This way allows you to pay for only what you want! And guess what....they giveaway free design downloads every week!

Remember my Lunch Time Love Notes project? The silhouette made making those sweet little notes so simple and easy!

And I fell in love with the idea of making my own stencils! Once again the Silhouette made it all possible!

There are endless things this little machine can do and the best part is that it's only limited to your imagination! Scrapbookers aren't the only ones who can have fun! I for one am not a scrapbooker but I still get plenty of use and have endless ideas on what I want to create next!