Monthly Archives: July 2012

DIY: 10 SUMMER SHORTS YOU CAN MAKE AT HOME

Ten great DIY printed summer shorts you can easily make at home.

Summer time is shorts time. Hot days and warm nights means you won’t have to wear pants for at least another few months. Cute print shorts are all the rage this season, and you can channel that trend without breaking the bank. Just get out some basic tools like masking tape and an exacto knife and make a few of these great summer shorts. The instructions can be found here:  http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-summer-shorts-you-can-make-at-home/

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Make your own beef jerky. Its really not that hard!

 

Today is my 23rd anniversary. In honor of this I am making an entry about something my hubby really loves, well the whole family loves and that is home-made beef jerky. A place on the way into town makes theirs and they sell it for 19.00 a pound. NO, I am not joking.

I used to make jerky in a dehydrater until mine broke after heavy use. Now I make it either in my oven or my toaster oven.

Heres is a really good link to get you started if you have a dehydrater. Liss from Budget101.com used to run a very busy list I was on. Her site has a TON of useful information: http://www.budget101.com/dehydrated-dried-food-mixes/how-make-jerky-step-step-3363.html

You may use my marinade recipe for it below. If you don’t have a dehydrater you can use your oven.

Here is how I do it:

You will need 1-2 pounds of  lean boneless meat, flank steaks or cheap roast partially frozen

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Trim and discard all fat from meat (it becomes rancid quickly). Cut meat into 1/2 or 1/4 inch slices (with or across grain as you wish). If necessary, cut large slices to make strips about 1 1/2 inches wide as long as possible. If you want to have wide strips instead, you need to cut the meat 1/4 inch slices.

In a bowl or a zip lock bag combine all other ingredients, stir or shake until all the seasonings are dissolved. Add meat strips and mix to thoroughly coating all surfaces. (The meat will absorb most of the liquid.) Set for 8 hours or refrigerate all night.

Spray oven cooling rack with PAM and use an aluminum cake pan as a “drip pan” to catch the drips from the meat. Shake off any excess liquid and arrange strips of meat close together, but not overlapping directly on cake racks set in shallow rimmed baking pans. Let dry in VERY slow oven (150 to 175 degrees),  bake until done in 200 degree oven (3-4 hours). Do not over dry; the jerky will be crunchy. Store in air tight container at room temperature.

ALTERNATIVELY:

You can use your oven rack but must spray it with pam and lay an aluminum drip catcher tray on the bottom of the oven OR place meat over tooth picks between the oven rack rungs instead. Any of these methods work. If your oven does not go to 200 degrees you can have it higher and prop open the oven door.

Energy Boosting Smoothie

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Homemade Twix Bars

Want to know my all around go-to dessert recipe? I present to you, the homemade twix bars.

I don’t care where you take these babies, they’ll be a definite crowd-pleaser. I come home with an empty dish every time. I’ve made these more than a handful of times and I think this was my best batch yet! Don’t mind me as I stuff my face with them while I type this up. (P.S. I found this recipe at King Arthur Flour.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)
Directions:
For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9×13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour – at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork – this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges – about 30-35 minuts.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
For the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments – stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal. I don’t use it for this very reason. )
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.
For some added fun, you could even cut the crust and caramel layer into bars and DIP them in the chocolate instead, to make them resemble the real Twix candy bar. I hope you love them!

Great Ideas for old tee shirts!

What an awesome way to use and old tee-shirt! A great way to not have to buy a plastic bag. The directions for it are here:

http://deliacreates.blogspot.ca/2011/05/greeneasy-knit-produce-bag.html

Or how about tee-shirt yarn! You can crochet or knit with it. Make your own throw rugs or hats? The instructions along with a video tutorial can be found here:  http://www.relevedesign.com/how-to-cut-continuous-t-shirt-yarn/

I don’t know about you but I’m going to go thru all the old tee’s!

Perfect Sweet Tea with the Homesteading Housewife!

http://cravingcomfort.blogspot.ca/2012/07/sweet-tea.html

20 UNUSUAL USES FOR GREEN TEA

More than a decade’s worth of research about green tea’s health benefits — particularly its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke as well as staving off dementia. Green tea has important antioxidants and compounds that help in maintaining good health. Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants. But here are 20 uses for green tea that you may have never known about.  http://ecosalon.com/20-unusual-uses-for-green-tea/