Traditional Foods Tuesday: Peanut Butter Granola

This is a favorite recipe in our house. I have to make a double, triple and even quadruple batches of this recipe to keep it in the house for more than a meal.  We eat it as a snack by itself, over vanilla ice cream, or mixed in yogurt

Peanut Butter Granola

2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (to make it nut free double the honey)
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruits (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (if being used as a trail mix type of thing)

Preheat over to 375 degrees.

Begin by melting the butter and peanut butter together in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the honey, vanilla and salt. Stir the mixture until it is smooth and hot throughout. It doesn’t need to boil. Add the oats. Stir until the oats are completely coated with the sticky gooey peanut butter mixture. It will be chunky. Turn the mixture into an ungreased cookie sheet, or a large 9 by 13-inch pan. Spread the granola out evenly and bake it for 10 minutes.

It will be brown and crispy. Now remove it from the oven and allow it to cool right there in the pan. Break it up into pieces after it is cooled. Transfer the granola to a clean coffee can or sealed canister. Add the raisins, fruits and or chocolate chips if you are using them, when the granola is cool.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework
St. Francis of Rome

Hamburger Mushroom "Helper"

Here is my “recipe” for the homemade helper that is a hit around here. Keep in mind I make a large quanity since I feed a mini-army and Richard likes to take some for leftovers for lunch at work. This is really a throw it together quick without a real recipe so this is what I do, each batch is a little different, but it is always a hit.

3 pounds ground beef (you could subsitute any type/combination of ground meats)
3 pounds of mushrooms, sliced (any type or combination, you can also use canned)
2 Onions, chopped
3 Tablespoons butter
10 cups beef stock (you can use water and boullion cubes too if you need too)
1/4 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon salt (more or less to taste)

In a big dutch over melt butter over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translusent and mushrooms have reduced in size. Add ground meat and brown. Drain and return to pan. Add salt, pepper and beef stock. Bring to a boil. While waiting for the pot to boil, mix cornstarch into some cold water. Once at a boil add the cornstatch mixture and stir until thickened. Cook for about 5 more minutes

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Share a Recipe Sunday

Last night we had left over ham. I just didn’t want it to be Christmas Dinner, Part 2. So I searched for recipes with ham:

Glazed Baked Ham — Already had that
Split Pea Soup — Nope, I can’t eat the stuff, reminds me too much of The Exorcist Movie
Bean and Ham Soup — Had possibilities, but I hadn’t soaked any beans.

Then I came across a Baked Omlet with Ham. BINGO! I made this and it had great reviews from everyone, but my non egg eaters (who would eat an egg if their life depended on it). I would recommend this for a dinner, a brunch or even a holiday breakfast.

8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon season salt
3 ounces diced cooked ham
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Tablespoon dried minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 8×8 inch casserole dish and set aside.

Beat together eggs and milk. Add seasoning salt, ham, cheeses and onion. Pour into prepared dish.

Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes. A knife inserted will come out clean.

I doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan. It took about an 1 hour and 5 minutes to bake. I was also thinking this is so vesitile that I can make changes to it and have a totally new meal: All cheese, vegetable, mushroom, chicken. I can see this becoming a favorite at our house.


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Share a Recipe Sunday — August 30th

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that Amanda made our family’s favorite sugar cookies. I figured I would post the recipe today. I love it because you do not need to refrigerate OR roll the dough. I am ever the time saver. I hope your family enjoys them as much as my family does!

2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you like other flavors try lemon or orange extract)

Preheat over to 350 degree. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking soda, and baking powder together (I use a whisk). Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Let stand on the cookie sheet for two minutes before moving to cool on wire racks.

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Share a Recipe Sunday – August 9

In my PrepWise Wednesday thread last week, I talked about learning how to make your own cleaners. So here are some of the “recipes” I have collected from various places. Most of them are pennies to make so budget friendly in addition to being environmentally friendly. So try some homemade cleaners and save your home environment and money too!

All Purpose Window and Glass Cleaner
Vinegar cuts grease and leaves windows sparkling clean. Best of all, this mixture is absolutely safe. It’s the best choice if you have young children in the house.
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 quart of water
Pour vinegar and water into a bowl or container, or mix the ingredients in a spray bottle. Clean windows directly with a sponge dipped in the bowl of cleaner or spray on and wipe clean. I have heard that you can use newspaper to clean windows quite well.

Homemade Windex
4-5 oz vinegar
4-5 oz wintergreen alcohol
Fill up the rest of the bottle with water.

Homemade Cleaner
In a clean, empty gallon milk jug put:

2 Tablespoons ammonia
1 teaspoon dish detergent
1 pint (2 cups) rubbing alcohol
4 drops food coloring – optional
a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice fresh scent,
I used Orange

Fill the rest of the gallon jug with hot water. Pour into spray container to use.
Natural Cleaner Recipe
Fill your spray bottle almost full with HOT water, then add:
· 1 teaspoon borax
· 1 teaspoon washing soda
· 1 tablespoon liquid Castile soap (Dr. Bronners)
· 1/2 cup vinegar (kills mold/mildew)
Shake well before using.

Note: If you put the other ingredients in before the water it will foam up a lot when you add the water.
Washing Soda – (sodium carbonate) Cuts grease and disinfects. It will also increase the cleaning power of soap.
Borax – (sodium borate) It deodorizes, removes stains and boosts the cleaning power of soap. It also prevents mold and odors. Great alternative for those who do not want to use bleach.

Homemade 409
Use your old 409 or Fantastik Bottle.
Put in 2 Tbls of ammonia (I use lemon-scent)
Put in 2 Tbls of castile (Dr. Bronners – I use mint)
Fill slowly with warm water about halfway. Shake. Set for a while to let foam dissipate, then fill the rest of the way with water.

Faith’s 409
1 empty gal. size milk jug
2 c. white vinegar
3/4 cup ammonia (lemon scent smells best)
4 squirts of dishliquid (dawn is awesome but any kind will work)
Pour vinegar, ammonia, and squirt dish soap into jug…fill rest of way with water and gently swish it around to mix it…pour into a spray bottle and use the same as 409.

Heavy-Duty Disinfectant Cleaner
1/4 c. powdered laundry detergent
1 Tbsp. borax
3/4 c. hot water
1/4 c. pine oil or pine-based cleaner
Slowly stir the detergent and borax into the water to dissolve.
Add the pine oil and mix well. For bathroom cleaning, use the mixture full strength. In the kitchen, dilute with water.

Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
1/3 bar Fels Naptha, grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax powder
Put the grated Fels Naptha in a large pan with 3 pints of water – heat – stir to dissolve. When dissolved stir in the 1/2 cup of washing soda – then the 1/2 cup of Borax [remember 20 mule team borax – upper shelf on laundry isle in grocery stores] This will all thicken and look like honey – remove from heat. In a two gallon bucket put 1 quart of hot water. Next add your honey looking soap. stir! Then fill the bucket with cold water. Stir till well blended. Pour into old laundry soap containers. It will gel up in about 24 hours, so don’t wait too long to pour into your containers or you will have to scoop it out of the bucket : ) Use 1/2 cup for each load.
Note: For those with sensitive skin, a mild soap like Ivory brand can be substituted for the Fels Naptha without losing much of the cleaning ability—-really dirty laundry would benefit from a little extra Borax and Washing soda added to that load.

Fabric Softener
6 cups of water
3 cups of vinegar
2 cups of any hair conditioner (cheapie dollar store stuff will do)
mix in a gallon container – do not shake as it will foam. – pour small amount in the fabric softener dispenser say 1/2 cup per load.

Homemade Automatic Dishwasher Soap
Mix together in a small plastic tub with a snap on lid:
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team Borax.
Use about 2 tablespoons in the dishwasher compartment.
If your silverware seems a bit dull, add Citric Acid (from either canning products or tang). Try adding 1 to 2 tsp. to the above mixture to start with.

Carpet Freshener Blend
1/2 cup baking soda
50 drops lime oil
30 drops tangerine oil
20 drops patchouli oil
Mix and set aside for 24 hours.
Sprinkle on carpeting and let sit at least 15 minutes, then vacuum.

Homemade Febreeze
1 Cup Fabric Softener
1 Cup Vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
1 Cup Baking Soda
2 Cups Water
Combine in a spray bottle. Test on a hidden spot before using.

Brass & Copper Cleaner
Mix salt and either lemon juice or hot vinegar.

Carpet Cleaner
Sprinkle cornstarch on dry carpet and vacuum after five

Carpet Shampoo
Mix 1/2 cup of pure liquid dishwashing soap and two cups of
boiling water; let it cool and then whip to jelly. Rub carpet
gently with mix and dampened sponge. Then rinse with cloth and
one quart of water with one cup of white vinegar. Wipe carpet
dry with a clean cloth.

Chrome Cleaner
Use hot water with either rubbing alcohol or ammonia.

Drain Cleaner
Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar into the
drain. Cover the drain until fizzing stops and then flush with
boiling water.

Furniture Polish
Use olive oil on unvarnished wood. On varnished wood, spray
lightly with two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of
white vinegar and one quart of water and let it dry.

Homemade Cleaning Wipes
1/2 roll of white Bounty or Brawny towels
1/2 cup Pine cleaner
2 cups water
Mix the ingredients and pour over the stack of folded towels. They will “squish” down after they are saturated. Keep in a tightly sealed container.

Stainless Steel Sink Remedies
Olive Oil: Rub stainless steel sinks with olive oil to remove streaks.
Vinegar: To clean and polish sink, simply moisten a cloth with undiluted white or cider vinegar and wipe clean. Can also be used to remove heat stains on stainless steel cutlery.
Club Soda: Remove streaks or heat stains from sink by rubbing with club soda.

Septic Tank Treatment
This is an effective cleaner for your septic tank, and it will not harm the system.
2 C. brown sugar
5 C. warm water
1 T. baker’s yeast
Stir sugar and yeast into the warm water until dissolved. Pour the solution into the toilet and flush. Wait 30 minutes before flushing again to allow the yeast time to work.

Oven Cleaner
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put a non-aluminum pan with
1/4 cup of ammonia and water in the oven, with door closed,
overnight. Scrub clean with baking soda in the morning.

Pest Sprays for Foliage
Garlic Water: Mix two tablespoons of garlic juice, one ounce
of diatomaceous earth, one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and
four quarts of water. This can be frozen.

Pepper Water: Blend three very hot peppers, 1/2 onion and
garlic clove in water. Boil the mixture, steep for two days,
and strain. This is good for indoor plants too, and it can be

Soap: Use two tablespoons of pure liquid soap or 50 grams of
pure dry soap per quart of water.

Tobacco Water: Let a large handful of tobacco stand in four
quarts of warm water for 24 hours; dilute and spray (poisonous
to humans).

Silver Cleaner
Immerse silver in a mixture of one quart of water, one
tablespoon of salt, and one tablespoon of baking soda; bring
to a boil. Remove, rinse and polish.

Cleaning a shower curtain
With warm water, fill up your washing machine. Add in two large towels.
Add one half-cup each of laundry detergent and baking soda.
Run this mess through your entire wash cycle, but add 1 c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Don’t spin dry; don’t rinse out that vinegar, either.
Hang up the curtains right away. I think the vinegar helps slow down the formation of more mold, and the curtains always look like new.

Homemade Oxygen Cleaner
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
It removes even old blood stains!
Just soak the clothing in it for 20 minutes to overnight and then wash as usual.
This will not harm fabric like bleach.

How to clean your washing machine
1 quart chlorine bleach
1 quart white vinegar
Fill your washer with hot water.
Add 1 qt of chlorine bleach (no detergent please!).
Run the washer through the longest wash cycle.
When the washer is still wet- this should be immediately after the bleach cycle- add 1 qt of white vinegar and run the washer through the same cycle again refilling the tub with hot water. This will clean out soap scum and mineral deposits from the spin basket and also from the hoses.

Wall and Woodwork cleaner
1 cup ammonia
1/4 cup baking soda
1/2 cup vinegar
1 gallon water
Mix well and put in spray bottle.

Homemade carpet cleaner
1/2 cup liquid Tide
1/4 cup Clorox II
1/4 cup white vinegar
Add this to 1 gallon of hot water in machine.
If you need to pre-treat some areas you can mix this in a spray bottle and spray the area before you start.

Homemade Shout
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons ammonia
3 cups water
Stir together and fill a spray bottle. Spray on heavily soiled spots just before washing. Test for colorfastness.

Tightwad Gazette Stain Removal
Add 1 cup each of powdered Cascade and Clorox II to 5 gallons of the hottest water from your faucet. Soak several articles overnight and launder as usual. She states this will remove 90% of stains that do not come out with normal laundering. Do not use on delicate fabrics, or those not colorfast. Particularly good for removing food stains.

Let me know what you try this week and how it works for you!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Share a Recipe Sunday – Aug 2

This is a recipe that most of my family loves (the only one who doesn’t can’t have bananas because of her allergy). AND it makes 2 loaves, which is always a plus for our family.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

1 cup Butter
2 cups Sugar
2 Eggs
6 Very Ripe Bananas
3 Cups Flour (I use half whole wheat, half white)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in bananas. Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda (I use a whisk). Blend the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring just enough to combine. Fold in the chips and walnuts.

Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the center of the load comes out clean, 50 -75 minutes. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove then cool completely on a wire rack.


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

Share a Recipe Sunday — June 26th

Chicken Tacos

1 pound boneless skinless Chicken breasts
1 package taco seasoning (mix or make your own)
1/2 cup water

Mix taco seasoning and water in the crockpot. Place chicken in the pot and coat with mixture. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Uncover, take 2 forks and shred the meat. If necessary add a little more water and stir. Cook another 20 minutes uncovered.

Serve in taco shells or tortillas. Top with the usual taco fillings: cheese, beans, sour cream, onions, lettuce and tomatoes.


A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome