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Saturday, October 30, 2010

C's Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. softened butter
1 C. palm shortening (non-hydrogenated)
1 C. sugar
2 C. packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
4 1/2 C. all-purpose flour (try putting in half white whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. salt
2 C. chocolate chips
1 C. chopped pecans (optional)

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, sugars and vanilla.  Beat in eggs.  Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350F for 10-12 min. or till lightly browned.  Remove to racks to cool.
I have had these come out a bit too thin at times.  If this happens (they spread out too far) add a little flour to stiffen them up.  I got this recipe years ago from Country Extra magazine and made a few changes.  Also, I would not try to reduce the sugar.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just A Bite

I am a snacker first and last.  I get the munchies on a fairly regular basis.  Eating smaller meals and having a late morning and later afternoon snack can actually be beneficial, and is sometimes necessary for me, but eating healthy snacks is sometimes the challenge, especially with my sweet tooth.

I do not happen to eat a lot of bread.  I used to, but since our whole grain bread is heavy and carbohydrate rich, I like to get my carbs from things that I like better.  Because of this I don’t always get all the jam I’d like – especially our wonderful homemade jam.  When I have a craving for some jam, instead of spreading it on a cracker or piece of bread I will sometimes eat it on a slice of cheese. :-)  I probably get more jam than I should sometimes, but with some of our recent efforts at lower sugar jams this is not as much an issue as it once was.  Also, the freezer jams are more like eating fresh fruit spreads to me.

It’s not only tasty, it’s colorful too!  Yum!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dairy Free Cashew Cheese


1 cup Water

1/3 cup plus 1 rounded TBSP of Emes unflavored gelatin (do not use Agar)

1 1/4 cup boiling water

2 cups cashews

1/4 cup yeast flakes

1 TBSP salt

2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 pimento or 1 carrot grated or 2 tsp paprika


Soak gelatin in the 1 cup of water in blender while assembling the other ingredients.  Pour the boiling water over soaked gelatin and whisk briefly to dissolve.  Cool slightly.  Add cashews and blend thoroughly while adding remaining ingredients.  Blend until mixture is the consistency of a cream sauce, with no pimento or carrot seen.  Pour into a quart mold, cool slightly.  Cover before refrigerating.  Refrigerate over night before serving.  After this firming period, it can be frozen.  This melts over hot dishes.  Leave out the gelatin for a fondue type of cheese. 

Makes one quart.

This recipe came from my friend, Theresa.  She said that she couldn’t find the raw cashews that the recipe originally called for so she substituted roasted, salted ones.  She said it turned out fine and that her family liked it grated onto food in place of cheese.

I have not tried this recipe myself.  I am posting it for those who can’t have dairy products but like grated cheese on their food.  I hope it works out for you.  It’s worth a try.

As I mentioned, the original recipe called for raw cashews.  I changed this because I have heard that raw cashews are not safe to eat without a specific processing which was not included in this recipe.  If you wish to try them instead please find out the proper way to treat them before use so that they are safe to eat.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Breakfast Bars

I got this recipe for breakfast bars from my friend Beth. I thought they were so delicious I could hardly stop eating them!
She made them with the Gluten Free flour as the recipe calls for. I didn’t have any, so I made them with whole wheat, oats and oat flour. I also used a different mixture of nuts and dried fruit. I have included her (slightly altered) recipe and my version as well. Make them to your own tastes and family needs. The choice is up to you. :-)
Gluten Free Breakfast Bars
1 ¼ cup GF flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey (or agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup peanuts
¼ cup raisins

In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
In a large bowl, combine oil, agave and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet. Mix in nuts and raisins. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with oil. Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting your hands with oil to help pat the dough down evenly if necessary.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (or till golden brown). Cool and Serve. Note: They are also good warm (with milk over them if desired), but will be crumbly when served this way.
My version (use same instructions as above):
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. oat flour
1/4 C. old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. oil (grape seed)
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/2 C. peanuts (salted)
1/4 C. raisins
1/3 C. dried cranberries

These turned out really well, though I got mine just a bit too dark. I loved the nutty looking texture with the bits of red cranberry peaking out.

I ate some of it with milk on it like cereal. It was very good this way too! :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Great Ice Cream Experiment

This is at once both disgusting and humorous.  It shows rather graphically what kind of gross stuff is in low quality ice cream.  Is it food?  Is it filler?  What is it??!! 

This project was undertaken by Laura at the Heavenly Homemakers blog.  She has done quite a good job with it so I feel no call to repeat it myself.  Besides that, I’m not really surprised at the results.  It was probably predictable to some degree.

Read, look and learn:

The Ice Cream Experiment: Take One

The Ice Cream Experiment: Take Two

I agree with her conclusions.  Buy ice cream with real ingredients, even if it costs more or, better yet, make homemade!!