Pecan Steelers… A Cookie Misadventure

I decided to make my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies awhile back.  I’ve been making those cookies since I was a child back in the day.  Sometimes a new recipe is born when I start a recipe and find that I’m out of something.

Well, I just knew I had all the ingredients to make the cookies, so I started creaming sugar and butter together.  Well, I had almost all the ingredients.  I’d just substitute white sugar for brown just this once.  Then, I reached for my oatmeal jar. Where is it?  It’s usually on the counter.  It’s a gallon jar, it has to be here somewhere…. Oh well, I’ll just get some out of the five gallon bucket… oh no!  I forgot I emptied it!  What now?  I searched and searched and asked the kids if they’d moved the oats.  No oats.  None.  Nada.  Except… here’s a small jar of steel cut oats.  Wonder if that would work… why not?  Okay, now, time for raisins.  “Kids, where are my raisins? How can we be out?”  Well, I do have 8 ounces of chopped pecans.  Guess that will do.

So, my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies became my new-fashioned Pecan Steelers!  Believe it or not, they were really good.  At first the kids were reluctant.  The texture seemed a bit healthy to them.  The taste reminded them of granola.  The good news – they lasted a few days.  The really good news – they tasted good the entire time.  It was a nice crisp cookie.  Not a health cookie, but still, it was filled with some good for you ingredients that you can pronounce!

Pecan Steelers

An Original Recipe by Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

Combine and cream the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl:

1 1/2 c white sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 T softened butter

1 t vanilla

3 T water

1 large egg

Combine the following dry ingredients in a medium bowl:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups steel cut oats (uncooked)

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

8 oz pecans, broken in pieces or chopped

Bake about 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Watch them closely and adjust baking time as needed.  They’re done when the edges are lightly golden.

Doing with what I’ve got,

Laura

I’m Rich!

I’m Rich!

 

I’ve got a great big three ring binder full of recipes. I’ve got a great big tall stack of cookbooks. I’ve got a shelf of cookbooks. I’ve got two full recipe boxes and another box started. I’ve got loose recipes in a drawer waiting to be filed in a box or binder. I’ve got recipe pamphlets in the same drawer. I’ve got recipes on my blog. Did I mention that I’ve got recipes?

As I look about me, I realize a couple of things. First, even though I’m surrounded by recipes, I tend to prepare the same meals over and over. Second, I’ve got more recipes surrounding me than I could prepare in a lifetime. I think it’s time to pare down a bit.

I was looking through my big binder a few minutes ago for a recipe to share with you all. I found that most of the recipes in my binder are ones that I’ve collected off the internet or from friends. Most of the recipes are untried. Now, if I’ve had this binder for two or three years, and I haven’t tried most of the recipes yet, why am I keeping them?

Does it make one a good cook to have lots of recipes? Does it make one a good homemaker to have lots of cleaners, recipes for cleaners or books about cleaning? Does it make one a good mother to have lots of books about child rearing? Does it make one a good Christian to have lots of Bibles and Christian books?

I think not. I think that there are many areas in our lives wherein we do not see the clutter. The truth is, I can go through my recipes and just keep my favorites and a few that I’m sure I want to try. I can go through my cookbooks and save my favorites and just write off the ones I like from the books I want to discard. The same holds true for other things in my life as well.

What about you? Are there things in your life that you are holding onto just in case? Are they things you really need? Really want? Are there things that are just clutter?

Now, I really cannot write all of this without sharing a nice salsa that you can make during the winter that is just delicious.

 

Kitchen Cupboard Salsa

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 medium diced onion (I prefer sweet.)

1 small can of chopped green chiles

1 T sugar

1 T dried parsley

½ t freshly ground pepper

½ t salt

½ t ground cumin

½ t garlic powder

Stir all this together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Laura

Recipe Rich

An Ingredient in My Recipe for Life and a Frugal Recipe

Dear Reader,

 I’m so happy to spend a few moments of this new month with you. Like you, I have many interests and many roles and responsibilities in my life. I am a wife, mother, my children’s teacher, homemaker, friend, and of course, a daughter of the King. Each month, as I write to you, I’d like to share with you a little about an ingredient that I believe helps us create an enjoyable, rich recipe for life. I’ll also share a favorite recipe to help make your life a little easier.

Reading is an integral part of my life’s recipe. I read to learn, to relax, to hope, to plan, to dream, and to glean from the experiences of others who have walked this way before. I am primarily a non-fiction reader. A few years ago, I added more fiction to my reading. I found that although I am all grown up, I really enjoy losing myself in a good story. As a full-time wife, mother, and my children’s teacher, I welcome those moments alone.

Time alone has taken on new meaning and different forms as each of my four children were added to our little family. What used to be uninterrupted hours of free time to read or pursue hobbies and other entertainment, has shrunk to snatched moments here and there. Still, I have managed to find moments for this beloved nourishment for my mind and companionship for my soul.

By reading, I am indeed allowing the author to nourish my thoughts and my imagination. I’m also enjoying the author’s companionship as I read. That’s why I often linger over favorite books, stretching the reading over weeks or even months. To finish the book means to end the companionship, unless I find another book she’s written. I say she because most of these books are written by women about my journey with Jesus, homemaking, frugal living, or homeschooling.

As a matter of discipline, I have a goal of reading 50 books a year. I keep a journal of the title, author, date completed, and a notation stating fiction, non-fiction, or with the children. This keeps me accountable for what I read, and it helps me to see that I’m reading a good variety. I believe what Zig Ziglar used to say, “You are who you are and what you are because of what has gone into your mind.” Reading is a big part of that for me.

I encourage you to make yourself a reading goal for the remainder year. It might not be 50 books. It might be 12; but, set a goal and start reading toward it. This year I set aside 50 books on my bookshelf that I’d like to read. Perhaps my interests will lead me to different books; but, I’ve got a plan. Make a plan for yourself. Think about books that will help you with your finances, your cooking skills, your homemaking skills, your people skills, your business skills, your Christian life, a hobby or a skill that you’d like to learn. Most importantly, though, make a BIBLE goal. Make it something attainable. After all, even one book, read over and over can change you. That’s what we really want after all, isn’t it? To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ?

Now, to give you a little more time to sneak in a little of what I call snatch reading (snatch a moment here and there), here is one of my family’s favorite soup recipes. It’s frugal, too. Put it together and let it simmer on the back of the stove or in a crock pot while you snatch a few pages! May God bless you as you seek His face.

Laura

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I do count the books I read to my children that are chapter books and some of their history readers and that sort of thing.  I don’t read 50 just for me. ~grin~

I have also discovered books loaded onto an MP3 player that can hang around my neck at my library.  They are helping me to meet my goal and also stretch beyond my normal reading genres.  I recently listened to The Audacity of Hope by President Obama.  I don’t agree with him on many of his beliefs; but, it was good to know where he stands.  I also listened to Anastasia, The Last Grand Duchess (of Russia).  It was in the youth section; but was very informative.  I like history.

Thrifty Roadkill Soup

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I spent an enjoyable afternoon with two of my best friends Wednesday afternoon.  We usually get together to make crafts, sew, or crochet.  Yesterday we decided to exchange recipes, especially thrifty ones.  Just for fun, I slipped this one in on them.  Click here for a thrifty way to use your roadkill.  It’s a real website and a real recipe.  I’m not planning on ever trying it; but, well, who knows?  My eldest son loves the whole Redneck thing and has tried possom grilled.  He likes it.  By the way, I do know it should be oppossum.  I also know everyone in Southwest Missouri just says Possum.  I do NOT recommend eating Roadkill!  This is just for Fun!  If you would like to try the recipe, please trap or shoot the critter fresh!

Laura

So happy I don’t have to eat off the road.

 

Snow, Teas, and Infusions

I’m just sitting here, enjoying a quiet snowy day.

I love the way the snow glistens when the sun hits it.

I’m thinking of putting the kettle on and making a

nice cup of tea in a little bit.  You know they say that

nothing warms like tea.  I just read a book called Time for Tea

with  Mary Engelbreit.  It was filled with her delightful

whimsical art and lots of tea tips and lore.  It is a

nice light read.   She says that the herbal teas are

actually infusions.  I guess I love infusions as

well, then.   Here are a few of my favorite teas and

infusions. 

From Bigelow:

Constant Comment is my favorite Tea. 

It’s laced with the flavor of oranges and spice. 

If I could have only one tea for the rest of my

life, this would be it.  It’s refreshing hot or cold. 

I also like Bigelow’s green tea.  I must admit that

I drink green tea because it’s good for me.

From Stash Tea Comany:

Pumkin Spice and Ruby Mist

From Celestial Seasonings:

Honey Chamomile, Sugar Cookie Sleighride,

Tension Tamer, and India Spiced Chai Tea,

and Sleepy Time, known as Teddy Bear Tea

at our house.  We also drink Peter Rabbit tea,

which is of course, chamomile.

Do you have a favorite tea that I might like to try?

Well, I think I’ll go and put the kettle on. 

Keep warm!

Cozy at home, Laura

Old Fashioned Cocoa from Scratch

My family just loves the rich flavor of old fashioned cocoa made from scratch.  Scratch means you start with basic ingredients and go from there.  I love it because I always have the ingredients on hand.  My kids will have the memory of Momma over the stove stirring the cocoa.  They come running when they hear the sound the whisk makes in the pan. 

 Here’s how I make mine.  All you need is Hershey’s cocoa, sugar, milk and a bit of water.

Old Fashioned Cocoa from Scratch

Combine 1/2 cup Hershey’s cocoa and 1 cup of white sugar in a three quart saucepan using a wire whisk.  I do this while the cocoa and sugar are still dry so that the cocoa will mix in nice and smooth without a bunch of lumps. 

Add about 1/3 cup of cold water and mix until smooth.  Bring to a boil and continue to boil it for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Don’t worry if it sticks to the sides, it’ll melt back into the cocoa as it heats up. 

Fill the pan with milk, It”ll be a little more than a half a gallon of milk.  Stir and heat using  medium heat.  If you need to walk away from it, just turn it on the lowest heat.   I check to see if it’s hot enough by dropping in a miniature marshmallow.  It’s ready when the marshmallow just starts to melt.  I offer extra milk to my little ones to cool it if they want it. 

This is so easy, we can make it any time we want it.  Read aloud time is one of our favorite times to enjoy Old Fashioned Cocoa.

German Apple Stuffing

My momma always made sage dressing.  When I got married, I decided to do something different.  It’s become my family’s favorite stuffing.  I always think I’m going to go back and make the sage dressing sometime; but, I’m always voted down!  Happy Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas!

German Apple Stuffing

1 loaf white bread in 1/2″ cubes

1/3 cup butter

1medium chopped onion

1/2 c chopped celery

1/4 c chopped celery leaves

2 T chopped parsley

1/4 t salt

1/8 t pepper

2 cups milk

2 eggs, beaten slightly

2 medium Red Delicious or Gala Apples, pared and chopped

1/4-1/2 cup raisins

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 6 cup baking dish.  Place bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake until dry and toasted, about 5 minutes.  I sometimes just have the kids toast the bread in the toaster and tear it up small for me instead. 

2.  Transfer bread into large bowl.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees. 

3.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Stir in onion, celery, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook 3 minutes. 

4.  Pour over bread and stir.  Add milk and eggs.  Stir to moisten.  Gently stir in the raisins and apples.  Spoon into prepared baking dish.  Cover with foil.

5.  Bake one hour.

How to Plan Your Holiday Meal Preparation Timeline

Happy Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage