Yes, cayenne pepper fudge!! This is chocolate fudge with a kick!! The heat of the cayenne pepper hits you a few seconds after you eat the fudge. It doesn't give the fudge a "taste" just a little kick! As far as I know, this is my own "creation".
I think the key to fudge making is do it the old fashion way; on the stove! Also, make sure to stir your fudge with a wooden spoon!
This base recipe is the key to making any flavored fudge.
3 c. sugar 1 1/2 sticks butter (I use Blue Bonnet) 2/3 c. evaporated milk* 7 oz. marshmallow fluff 12 oz. chocolate chips**
1. Before you start, open all packages and line a 9x13 pan with wax paper. 2. Stir together sugar, milk, and butter in a medium sauce pan. 3. Cook over medium high heat (I use 7). When mixture begins to boil, boil for 5 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent scorching and sticking. 4. After 5 minutes boiling time, turn heat off and add fluff. Stir, stir, and stir. 5. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. 6. Pour into pan and let cool.
As a tip: I cut fudge as soon as it is completely set. I then will put it in the fridge to chill it. After it is cold, I lift it out of the pan by the wax paper and run the knife over the slices again. They should now peel right off the paper without sticking of falling apart.
Another tip: If your fudge gets hard from being exposed to the air, put it in a metal tin with a lid. It will soften back up and still taste great!
* A 12oz. can of evaporated milk will make 2 batches of fudge. ** Might be substituted in making different flavored fudge.
Well, the other day I wrote about being prepared for sickness, now I also want to remind everyone of computer viruses. Make sure you have a good anti-virus program installed. We have AVG that automatically scans every night looking for viruses. It is not as good as we thought! Our computer was infected by a virus claiming to be AVG stating that we needed to upgrade our program. It wouldn't let us visit any website; it would say they were insecure. It also stated that we need to click and upgrade in order to be able to visit sites again. I thought something about this was a little off so, I used another virus program to search for viruses. It found 17 that AVG didn't find. I gave the anti-virus site to others that were having the same problem with their anti-virus programs and one person found 317 viruses that their anti-virus programs didn't find.
This is a great anti-virus program to use: MalwareBytes. It is free to use and download. You only have to pay if you want to run the program automatically. In order to keep it free you have to start the program manually. Very easy to use!
I made some treat bags for the Halloween party at Jaiden's dance class for tonight. I figure that kids get way too much candy at this time so, I like to do something a little different.
You can either buy or make a simple, fabric drawstring bag and fill it with goodies. I included fruit snacks, play dough, bat shaped pretzels, skeleton ring, Kool-Aid, raisins, and a witch's hat cookie. For the cookie, I bought fudge striped cookies and Hershey kisses. I slightly heated the bottom of the kiss with a candle and and pressed it onto the cookie.
The bags were fun for us to make and I hope the girls will enjoy them tonight! I have very little cost into each bag!
For the book of the week I have chosen Foxfire's Appalachian Cookery. This is a wonderful cookbook if you have any roots in Appalachian ancestry.
There are recipes from fried chicken and biscuits to pickled watermelon rind. There are several jelly and jam recipes along with several yummy dessert recipes. The book also tells of how some recipes originated and the "old way" of preparing them.
I really enjoyed this cookbook and saved several recipes from it. It even has the recipe for my Appalachian jelly in it!
Themed gifts aren’t just limited to items in baskets. They can be put into anything. Even a simple clear, plastic bag with pretty curling ribbon makes a nice gift. I have compiled some gifts that I have given or received in the past to share with you. I have themed gifts for all ages. And, I like to receive and give practical gifts; which will show in some of my ideas!
1. Rise and Shine: Pancake mix, syrup, pancake turner (spatula), wooden spoon, and a nice kitchen towel. These can be placed in a pretty mixing bowl.
2. A Taste of Your Home: Gather items that your area is “famous” for and ship them to out of state relatives. For ex: I am from Cincinnati so I would send Friches tarter sauce, Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce, Grippos potato chips, LaRosa’s spaghetti sauce, and Gold Star chili.
3. Game Night: Monopoly board game, 1000 Grand candy bars (going with the “rich” theme), popcorn, and soda. Would look cute in a top hat found on clearance after Halloween.
4. Cookie Surprise: Sugar cookie mix, sprinkles, and wooden spoon. Place all inside of an oven mitt.
5. BBQ Heaven: Tons of different BBQ sauces, rubs, and marinades.
6. Game Day Delight: Beef Jerky, tons of snacks, and soda.
7. Here Little Piggy: Charlotte’s Web DVD, stuffed pig, pajamas w/ pigs, rubber spider.
8. You’re a Princess: Crown, high heels, boa, lip gloss, nail polish, and a wand. A Disney princess movie would also be a nice touch to complete the gift.
9. Sewing Lover’s: Thread, scissors, seam rippers, and fat quarters of material. As a note: Wal-Mart has thread 4/$0.88 and I use it all of the time. They also have $0.88 scissors that I have found to be better than my more expensive ones.
10.Car Wash Kit: Sponge, soap, wax, dashboard wipes and Windex. Place them all in a bucket.
11. Little Readers: Library card or new books, bookmarks, and a new case for their glasses.
12. Avid Readers: Gift certificate to bookstore or books (if you know what they haven’t read and like) nice bookmark, hot chocolate or hot tea mixes.
13. Laundress Paradise: Laundry soap, bleach, Tide pens, stain remover, dryer sheets, and fabric softener all inside a new laundry basket.
14. A Clean House: Mr. Clean erasers, furniture polish, Swifter duster, Windex, floor cleaners, dish soap, dish towels, dish cloths, Mean Green cleaner, toilet cleaner, bath tub/shower cleaners, green scrubby pads, SOS pads, and air fresheners.
15. A Clean Body (Kids): Bubble bath, bath crayons, bath sponge, BATH TOWEL, shampoo, and a rinse cup (not sure what they’re called but they let you rinse the shampoo out without getting water in the eyes.)
16. A Clean Body (Adults): Men: Bath sponge, shaving cream, aftershave, razors/razor heads, body wash, shampoo and muscle soak. Women: Bath sponge, bubble bath, body wash, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, and candle.
17. A Romantic Dinner: Box of spaghetti, jar of spaghetti sauce (can buy store bought and resealed in mason jar with a canner), candles with holders, salad dressing, and a “coupon” for babysitting.
18. Do It Yourselfer’s: Electrical tape, duct tape, clean up rags, WD-40, good hand cleaner, gloves, hardware store gift card placed inside a new tool box. For added humor, Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol, peroxide, and a list of professional repairmen’s phone numbers.
I made applesauce by myself for the first time today! It was so easy with the right tools! I remember my grandmother making it for me when I was younger with the sieve and the wooden pestle. It has gotten so much easier since then! Just make sure that when you make this to use more than 1 type of apple. Stay away from granny smith apples because it will produce a tart applesauce. It was so easy and tasted so good that I will never go back to store bought!
8 lbs. apples, approx.
1. Core all apples. Leave the skin on.
2. Place apples in large pot with 1" of water covering the bottom.
3. Cook apples on medium heat until apples are tender.
4. Place all apples in food mill and process.
5. Add cinnamon if using. Return to stove to keep applesauce hot.
6. Process in hot water bath in canner for 20 minutes.
Makes approx. 3 pints.
Your house will smell so good while the apples are cooking! Perfect for a fall day! This would make a nice gift with a homemade tag attached.
Make sure you are ready for the cold and flu season! The next time you are out shopping, take the extra 5 minutes and visit the flu section. It is always better to have this on hand then to have to run out while you are sick. You can even go by the dollar store and pick up a plastic caddy to store all of your "get well" items.
Some important items to have on hand: Tissues Vick's vapor rub Vick's liquid for vaporizers Cough medicine Cough drops NyQuil Heating pad Clorox clean up wipes for toilet handles and door knobs Aerosol germ killer Thermometer
As an important tip: Don't forget to boil your toothbrush after every use to prevent germs from hiding inside the bristles.
Since I have missed out on the book of the week for 2 weeks now, I thought I would post a trilogy for the 3rd week. So, I have chosen "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell, "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley and "Rhett Butler's People" by Donald McCaig.
I hardly ever read fiction so that is why I chose these books for this time. When I first read "Gone with the Wind" I got stuck in the beginning. I thought it was horrible and couldn't understand why so many people loved it! I pushed myself and read it a little at a time. After I got past the first 200 pages, I couldn't put the book down! It just started a little slow for me. But, it really made up for it! After I read the book, I decided to watch the movie. Very disappointed!! I do not like the movie at all! The book is so different! The book helps explain why Scarlett does what she does and her attitude. Also the movie differs in whom her children belong to. I can't remember but, the movie tells that child X belongs to Y when he really is Z's son.
Sometime after, I found "Scarlett" and began reading it. It picks up where the first left off and focuses on Scarlett. It also gives some background on her side of the family. I think it is the O'Hara side of which her mother didn't approve of. It is not written by Mitchell but, it reads as if it were.
The last book is "Rhett Butler's People". I got this for Christmas this past year and had it read within 3 days. This book is just the opposite of "Scarlett" in which it tells of Rhett's background.
There are many cross references in "Scarlett" and in "Rhett". Make sure you read them in close time with each other. It had been so long that I had read the first two, that many times while reading "Rhett" I had to stop and try to think back.
Okay, before you think I am crazy, I will explain! Boys and girls both love to play dress up. Dress up is just not limited to dresses, high heels and little girls! Think of how much fun your child has getting ready for Halloween. I am well past my trick-or-treating days but, I love to dress up in different costumes when I take the girls out.
This doesn’t have to be a big expense. Check out your local thrift stores and Goodwill stores. My Goodwill store here has costumes right now for $3 and $4 and the Thrift Store for about $0.99. Also, be sure to hit other stores right after Halloween to find tons on clearance.
Even you if cannot find complete outfits, grab what you can. A pirate’s hat alone can be tons of fun! Make sure to get plenty of accessories.
To complete the gift, you can get a suitcase from the thrift store or use an old one of yours and put the costumes in it. Now your child has plenty of role playing fun along with storage for all those fun costumes! Also, as an added gift, make sure your child has a mirror in the area in which the costumes will be played with. I think you can get those long, full body mirrors at the dollar stores for about $5.
We LOVE beef jerky in my house!! Everyone from Daisy (the dog) to Arya loves to snack on jerky. It is so expensive to buy so, I like to make it a lot to save money. I have a food dehydrator but, I think it can be dried in the oven. This recipe is for regular flavor beef jerky. I am working on a lemon pepper and a hot flavor that I will post later if they taste any good!
Beef Jerky - Regular Flavor
1 c. soy sauce 1 c. Worcestershire sauce 1 t. garlic powder 1 t. pepper 1 t. onion powder or salt 2-3 lbs. thinly sliced meat. I used "stir fry meat" but London broil works well also.
Mix all marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. Add meat and let marinade for 3-4 hours. Place meat in dehydrator and set to high. Dehydrate meat for 4-8 hours depending on how "tough" you like it and how thick your jerky is.
Jerky makes a great gift! You can place it in a quart sized mason jar with a pretty tag or in a ziplock bag with a pretty sticker tag.
Jaiden was born 4 years ago today on October 14th. It was a very cold and rainy day. (It's amazing how cold it was and it's going to be 80 today!) Jaiden was 7 lb and 4 oz. I think she was 19" long. I was only in labor with her for 4 hours so the epidural barely had time to kick in. After my first night of not getting any sleep and having a screaming baby, we found that she is allergic to milk. That first night was rough!
Jaiden is "little Ryan". She looks just like him. Ryan's great-grandmother was Japanese and when Jaiden was born she really looked Asian. More of the Asian ancestry shows in Jaiden than it does in Arya.
Jaiden is a very independent and funny girl! She always has to do things herself. She has picked out her own clothes for the last two years. She does a good job matching, for the most part! Jaiden loves shoes, purses, and wearing dresses. She is total girl!!
Jaiden, Have a GREAT Birthday!!! Mommy, Daddy, Arya, and Daisy love you very much!
This recipe was given to me by my MIL. I have since adapted it to make it more affordable, easier to locate the cereal, and given it's name. This makes a really tasty snack for kids and adults. I have taken this for Halloween parties for Jaiden and am taking it in this year for her birthday party at school.
Harvest Sweet & Salty Snack Mix
14 oz. Corn cereal (generic Chex) 14 oz. raisins 7 oz. regular M&M's* 7 oz. stick pretzels* 1 can/jar peanuts (I do not use peanuts when I make it for Jaiden's classmates)
Shake all ingredients together in 2 large ziplock bags. Pour into bowls.
Looks really festive served in the plastic pumpkins or cauldrons. Be sure to wash the pumpkins really well with hot soapy water and let completely dry before adding snack mix.
This also makes a nice quick, easy and inexpensive gift. (You can color coordinate the M&M's to match the season/holiday.) Just pour mix into a wide mouth, quart mason jar and attach a pretty tag.
This started out to show everyone where you could print out placemats at Butterball. Since I was last there, about 2 weeks ago, their site has been changed. I cannot find the placemats. I still wanted to share this with you anyway. I printed out the placemat and Jaiden colored it. I then protected it with contact paper on both sides. It makes a cute personalized place setting for Thanksgiving.
With me not being able to find the original placemat, I searched around for different placemats to share. I found a ton of different activities, coloring pages, and crafts. All are very kid friendly so be sure to check out these different links!
About 2 weeks ago, Jaiden came downstairs and asked for a juice and snack to take back up to her room for herself and Arya. Some time had passed and I went up to check on them. They were sitting at her table eating. I noticed that there was a sheet over Jaiden's table. I asked Jaiden what the sheet was for. She gave me the "duh mommy" look and said, "It's a tablecloth mommy!" I thought that was so cute!!
Well, her birthday is this Tuesday and I told Ryan I wanted to make her a tablecloth and place settings for her. I ended up making a tablecloth, place mats, and matching napkins. The tea set is from Discovery Toys that her grandmother bought about 2 yeas ago that we put up (she was a little too young for it).
I got it finished today and wanted to take a picture while she was gone to her mama's house. I cannot wait until she sees it next week!!
It was really easy to make! Her table measured 24" so I cut a piece of broadcloth 44". I then made Strawberry Shortcake bias tape to go around the edges. For the place mats, I cut Strawberry Shortcake material to 6"x8" rectangles. I sewed a piece of fleece interfacing on the back and top stitched the edges. The napkins were a 5"x5" piece of broadcloth with Strawberry Shortcake bias around the edges. The total coast was about $5.50. Not bad to put a smile on Jaiden's face!
Ryan has agreed to my suggestion of writing weekly appliance tips on my blog. They can be found each week located on the right hand side of my blog. The tips will be listed in "Ryan's Appliance Tips". Be sure to check back every week for a new tip!
Here's what Ryan had to say for this new section, " I have been an appliance repair technician for 5 years. I work for a company that has been in business for over 50 years. I hope to provide you with tips that will help improve the life and performance of your appliances."
This is his first tip: This week’s appliance tip is for those of you that have a High Efficiency washer. These H.E. washers include any front loading washer and the new Cabrios by whirlpool, GE Harmonies, and the Maytag Bravos. It is very, very important to only use detergent that has the H.E. logo on the container. Almost all brands have H.E. versions. The difference is a regular washer uses about 60 gallons of water per load, an H.E. top loader uses a maximum of 25 and the front loaders uses a maximum of 15 gallons. Regular detergent is about 80 percent water softeners. Failure to use H.E. soap can seriously damage or destroy your expensive washer.
Bonus tip: powder soaps dissolve better then liquids and will improve the longevity of your washer.
I am adding the older appliance tips here for future reference
If you are traveling for the Holidays or not going to be using for dishwashers for more than a few days, it is important to pour 2-3 large glasses of water into the bottom of the dishwasher. The water helps keep the seals and gaskets from drying out and will prevent the dishwasher from leaking.
If your glasses and dishes are coming out of the dishwasher spotted or have a filmy look to them, you might have a build up of mineral deposits. This will look like a chalky build up around your sprayer holes. To solve this problem use Tang. Just fill up the soap compartment with Tang and run a normal wash cycle. The citric acid found in the powdered drink mix will loosen any deposits and will help unclog the washer to make it clean more efficiently. To finish cleaning your dishwasher, mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda in the soap compartment and run a normal cycle. This will make the inside look like it’s new.
Getting Rid of "musty smell" in front loader washing machines
After you run a load of clothes prop your washer door open. Closing your washer door prevents proper air flow and supports mold and mildew buildup.
Also using non HE(high efficency) soap can also cause this problem. Finally, not using a hot water cycle can help cause mold growth.
Try running a couple of cycles with hot water and bleach only(no clothes). Check to see if your washer has a sanitize or clean cycle. Wipe out the folds of the rubber below( front gasket) also.
I don't know how well they work but, there is a new product out called "Afresh" that is a HE washer deodorizer.
Freezers This tip is about freezers with manual defrost. If you are wanting to defrost your freezer to make room for the holidays; make sure you do it correctly. When you turn your freezer back on after defrosting it, DON’T turn the temperature knob all the way down. (This will not cool the freezer down faster.) This causes the compressor to work harder and will result in faster frost buildup. All freezers have an optimal temperature setting which should be used. This will be indicated on the temperature selection.
Ovens This week’s tip is for self cleaning ovens. Using the self cleaning option on an oven is about the most stressful process you can do to an oven. Self cleaning makes the oven work very hard and reach temperatures that it doesn’t normally have to endure. This extra work and heat can cause an oven to break down (If there are any weak parts of your stove, it will break during a self cleaning cycle.)
Most people like to self clean their ovens before a major holiday, i.e. Thanksgiving or Christmas. You will want to self-clean your oven at least two or three weeks before. This will give your local appliance repairmen time to get out to service your oven and possibly order parts if needed. At work, we are extremely busy about a week before the holidays from everyone waiting to self clean their ovens. 90% of our business during this time is from self cleaning ovens.
Cleaning Your Dishwasher
If your glasses and dishes are coming out of the dishwasher spotted or have a filmy look to them, you might have a build up of mineral deposits. This will look like a chalky build up around your sprayer holes.
To solve this problem use Tang. Just fill up the soap compartment with Tang and run a normal wash cycle. The citric acid found in the powdered drink mix will loosen any deposits and will help unclog the washer to make it clean more efficiently.
To finish cleaning your dishwasher, mix equal parts of vinegar and baking soda in the soap compartment and run a normal cycle. This will make the inside look like it’s new.
These tips are for garbage disposals
If your disposal gets clogged, try pouring a half of a box of baking soda down it. Then, add 1 cup of vinegar. When vinegar has stopped fizzing, add another cup and wait a half hour. Run hot water down the disposal to rinse it out. This should take care of any minor clogs.
As a maintenance tip, occasionally put egg shells in the disposal and turn it on. This will scrape away any deposits left inside the disposal. Also, putting citrus fruit wedges down the disposal will make it smell fresh and will take odor away.
And finally, make sure to always use cold water when running your disposal. This will prevent fatty deposits in your pipes
This is a list of items to help you with ideas to stuff those Christmas stockings. Most ideas can be found at the dollar store while the others can be found at Walmart. You don't need to spend a fortune to have a nice stocking for the special people on your list!
Ooh, This is so good! This is a recipe that I have adapted from other recipes to make what I think tastes the best. This tastes good on cinnamon graham crackers or you can use it in Pumpkin Dip or Pumpkin Cheesecake. Really easy to make and would make a great holiday gift. When I do give it as a gift, I include the recipes printed on card stock. If nothing else, your house smells wonderful while this is cooking!!!
Pumpkin Spread 1 29 oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie) 1 T. pumpkin pie spice 1 c. apple juice (must be 100% not a cocktail) 1 1/2 c. sugar
Put all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Cook on medium low heat (I used 4 on my stove)for 20-30 minutes until thickened. Be sure to stir pumpkin every 3-5 minutes to prevent scorching.
As a note: I made sure my spread was heated thoroughly so I could can it. I just poured it into pint jars and processed in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. It should keep 12-18 months unopened or 2-3 weeks after opening.
1/3 c. brown sugar 2 T. butter 8 oz. cream cheese 2 eggs ¾ c. pumpkin spread 1 graham cracker pie crust
Mix all ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake 350 for 40 minutes. Chill 4 hours before serving.
1 c. pumpkin spread 2 c. powdered sugar 8 oz. cream cheese
Blend all ingredients. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with cinnamon graham crackers.
I go into Jaiden's bedroom every night before I go to bed to check on her. This is how I found her. I thought Ryan and I were going to wake her up from laughing so hard. Ryan asked her why the tissue? She said the inside of the eye mask was too scratchy so she had to make it softer.
I tell you, it's never boring in my house! You never know what you are going to find behind a closed door or in the next room.
What's more spooky than a snake and skeleton specimen jar? Both super simple and cheap to make. I got my containers from the Thrift Store. My snake is the "grow your own" where you add water and watch it grow. The skeleton also came from the dollar store and it was called skeleton garland. There were about 6 skeletons for a dollar. They would look really neat with a label with creepy sayings on them.
I had such a hard time trying to come up with some crafts for boys that I could sell at my shows.
Ryan said he remembered having a rubber band gun when he was growing up. We used that idea and went with the name rubber band launcher to take away any reference to a gun. We also tried our best not to make it resemble a gun in any way. Times have changed!
Last night Ryan and I went to Walmart and the dollar store looking for ideas. These crafts are what we came up with. The first is a light up car necklace. Next is a bouncing ball necklace. And last, a rubber band launcher.
I do have to thank my handsome model "Brownie". Brownie is Jaiden's stuffed dog and he was the only male in the house at this time. He did such a great job staying still while I took his picture.
Car Necklace: 1 light up car - Found at Deals Dollar Store 2/$1.00 Satin cord Dremel
1. Drill hole in car. Make sure to drill through the hood to avoid circuit board in car. 2. Thread center of cord in hole. 3. Tie in knot around car. Tie other end of cord to close necklace. All Finished
Ball Necklace: Bouncy Ball - Walmart Party Grab Bag Section 12/$2.47 Satin Cord Pony Beads Dremel
Use dremel to drill hole through ball. Insert cord in ball and add pony beads.
Rubber Band Launcher: 7/8 Dowel Rod Mini Clothes Pin E 600 Glue Rubber Bands
Cut dowel into 12" piece. Using stretched rubber band measure where to put the clothes pin. Glue in place. We used a clamp to hold it overnight. To use: Insert rubber band into clothes pin first. Stretch band over tip of dowel. To launch band: Press clothes pin.