Hard Times, Making Do and Doing Without…Old Fashioned Biscuits

Awhile back I wrote that you can survive if you have a few basic ingredients in your house.  I thought I’d share our family’s favorite biscuit recipe.  We literally survived on these during a couple of hard times in our life.  I have since started converting recipes to whole wheat; but, I want you to know how we did it when we were doing without. 

Old Fashioned Baking Powder Biscuits

This is my family’s favorite biscuit recipe!


4 c all-purpose flour

3 T baking powder

2 t salt

4 T canola oil

1 ½ – 1 ¾ c milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Begin with a large bowl. Sift all the dry ingredients into the bowl and then mix it all together well with a big fork. Combine 1 ½ cups of milk with the oil. Pour it all into the dry ingredients at once. Stir until it’s all mixed in and all the flour is moistened. Add the extra ¼ cup of milk if the dough is too dry.

Now, take all the dough in your hands and put it on a baking sheet. Pat the dough into a large rectangle, keeping in mind that you want the dough about an inch thick and you’ll be cutting it into 12 equal pieces.

After you cut the dough into equal pieces, separate the biscuits by about ¼ inch. Then put them into the oven for 15 minutes. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and put them back into the oven to bake until they’re golden brown on top. Makes 12 big biscuits.

May God bless you as you are making do!


Happy at Home

One Lovely Luscious Lemon

Hello Friends!

I bought myself a beautiful lemon yesterday.  I love to put a fresh slice in my water, so pretty and tasty.  Don’t you just love fresh lemons?  They’re bright and cheerful.  They look great in a fruit bowl.  They make scrumptious lemon meringue pies.  They make delicious lemon bars.  They make the best homemade lemonade.   Why not buy a few today? 

Homemade Lemonade


Serve this over crushed ice with a slice of lemon; and, you have summertime anytime!


You can use fresh squeezed lemon juice or bottled lemon juice. Fresh sliced lemons floating in the pitcher add a nice touch.

For 2 quarts:

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

6 cups water

For 1 gallon:

2 cups of lemon juice

2 cups of sugar

12 cups of water

Bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. This causes the sugar to completely dissolve. Then pour the lemon sugar mixture into a pitcher which already has cold water in it. That way you won’t break your pitcher!

Adjust ingredients to your sweet tart preferences.

Enjoy and God bless!


Happy at Home

What is in Your Hand? $50 Grocery Shopping Trip

What is in your hand?

If you have only $50 to go grocery shopping for the week, how can you do it?  It seems impossible.  Well, I did that this morning.  When you have that much money, the key is using it for what I call completer items. 

For instance, I already had some fruits and vegetables on hand from last week’s shopping.  Today, I bought salad dressing and some inexpensive croutons to complete a main dish salad.

I bought a restaurant size can of tomato sauce to complete spaghetti.  I already had noodles, leftover italian sausage in the freezer,  and spices at home.

I bought a can of crushed tomatoes and a pound of ground chuck to complete my chili.

You get the idea.  The point is to think about what you can make with what you have; and, buy the completer ingredients that you need to make a meal.

For breakfasts, I bought oats and brown sugar to make Brown Sugar Granola from www.hillbillyhousewife.com .  This is an inexpensive granola recipe. My kids aren’t real fond of plain oatmeal; so, I try to change it up a bit.

For lunches, I’m hoping for leftovers to fill the gap!

If all else fails, I can make bread and serve beans!

Just an idea to help you with training for the grocery store high jump!

God bless and good shopping!


Happy at Home

Feeling Calmer Today!

Hi, I’m feeling calmer today! I discussed the food cost increase with my husband. He agreed that we don’t need meat every day. I bought some fresh vegetables and apples today.

Tonight we had a lovely salad with mixed greens, baby spinach, carrots, broccoli, celery, and green pepper, adorned with our favorite dressings. We followed with a delicious bowl of Mushroom Barley soup. Well, I did. Everyone else had at least two bowls of the soup. See the recipe in the cooking category. You really must try it. The barley is in the cereal aisle near the oatmeal.

Tomorrow I will cook pinto beans for refried beans. Those will appear tomorrow night as burritos. Yum! Then, Friday night, Honey and I decided to have our date night at home. We’re going to shoo the children downstairs and cook together. We really enjoy that. I have a bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (my big splurge this week) to cook. He’s going to look for a recipe to try in

his new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook that I gave him for Christmas. The kids will eat with us; then, they’ll be shooed back downstairs while Honey and I watch a movie together.

Well, that’s what we’ve got planned. You know the old saying, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ~smile~



Happy at Home

      Homemade Refried Beans

      Refried beans

      These make delicious burritos!


      4 cups of pinto beans (2 lbs.)

      1 small onion, chopped

      3-5 garlic cloves, chopped

      2 T canola oil

      Put the beans in a colander. Sort out all the uglies and broken beans. Then rinse them well in cool water, continuing to look for bad ones.

      Now put everything in a your Crock Pot. Cook on high for around 7 or 8 hours. If you run out of time, you can put them on the stove to finish them up. You want them good and soft. Now add salt to taste, usually at least a tablespoon. Don’t put it in until your beans are soft, or they’ll be tough.

      Now, put 3 or 4 ladles full of beans and juice in a large skillet. I spray mine with cooking spray first. Now, over medium heat, mash the beans until they have the consistency of refried beans. If you want to, add some shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese. Now they’re ready to wrap up in warmed tortillas for burritos or use for dip with chips.


      A Christmas Weekend Menu & Cooking Schedule

      Season’s Greetings!  Having a well-planned menu and cooking schedule for the days just preceding and including Christmas is so helpful for me. I created a plan a few years ago; and, I update it yearly. Here’s what this weekend looks like for me. Perhaps you can adapt it to help you in your home.






      Tuna Sandwiches



      Potato Soup

      Cheese biscuits





      Egg Salad Sandwiches

      Canned Peaches


      Chili with Fritos


      Cookies and Milk

      Christmas Eve Day




      Canned Soup

      Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

      Christmas Eve

      Cocktail Meatballs

      Veggies & Dip

      Queso & Chips

      Rice Pudding with One Almond

      Fudge & Peanut Brittle

      Christmas Day

      Breakfast 9:00

      Breakfast Casserole

      Banana Bread

      Orange juice

      Dinner 2:00


      German Apple Stuffing

      Scalloped Corn

      Potatoes and gravy

      Green bean casserole

      Black & Green Olives

      Little Vlassics Sweet Gherkins

      Angel Eggs


      Pumpkin Pie

      Pecan Pie



      Spend 15 minutes at a time. Do not crash and burn!

      2 Days Before Christmas Eve:

      • Make candies.

      Day Before Christmas Eve:

      • Make chili.
      • Make meatballs & fry them.
      • Bake cookies with Grandma.
      • Mix veggie dip.
      • Banana Bread

      Christmas Eve Morning:

      • Finish anything left from yesterday.
      • Mix sauce & put meatballs together in crock pot & put in fridge.
      • Make pie.

      Christmas Eve Afternoon:

      • Cut up veggies & put in fridge.
      • Mix up stuffing & put in fridge.
      • Mix up breakfast casserole & put in fridge.

      Christmas Eve- Early Evening:

      • Heat meatballs.
      • Put everything on dishes & serve.
      • Cookies for Santa.

      Christmas morning:

      • Put casserole in oven.
      • Put turkey in oven.
      • Peel potatoes for mashed potatoes & refrigerate in water.
      • Set table for dinner.
      • Put green bean casserole together.
      • Mix scalloped corn.

      Christmas Afternoon:


      • Bake everything.
      • Carve turkey.
      • Mash potatoes.
      • Make gravy.
      • Warm rolls.
      • Serve.



      Christmas Night

      • Serve pie.



      Easy Morning Breakfast Casserole

      This yummy dish is straight forward and to the point!

      It’s got a down home flavor my kids really like!

      1 lb. Sausage

      6 eggs

      2 cups of milk

      2 slices of bread

      1 cup of shredded cheese

      Add some chopped green peppers and chopped onions if you like, we always do!

      Brown sausage and drain well. Beat eggs, and add the milk. Gently stir in the shredded cheese, sausage, and torn up bread pieces. This is the time to add the green peppers and onions if you’d like. Put it in 13 x 9 pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate overnight.

      Put it in a cold oven the next morning and Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Insert a knife in the middle to check doneness. It should come out clean. This is great with salsa.

      I like to have hot buttered toast and orange juice with it.

      Sweet Temptations!

      Pineapple Cream Pie

      Ooooh! This is scrumptious!

      This is made without any added sugar, but it is so popular with our family. They choose this over sugary pies!

      Stir the following ingredients together in a medium bowl:

      1 large can crushed pineapple, drained

      1 small sugar free instant vanilla pudding mix

      1 pint sour cream

      Spoon this into a prepared graham cracker crust. Chill for at least one hour.

      I hope you enjoy this

      little treat from

      Harvest Lane Cottage!


      Happy at Home,