Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Headband and Bow

Okay even if you don't have a girl you should totally check out this site and pass it too all you know.  It is for those really cute crocheted headbands.  They are 1.5 inches in width, and come in a variety (and I do mean a WIDE variety) of colors.  They are on sale for 37 CENTS for each one!!!  How awesome is that? Even off sale they are only 60 CENTS.   To buy them at a store they are at least $2.50.  You can also buy crocheted hats, and different types of flowers to make cute flower bows from, you can buy wider headband as well as headbands made from different materials.  Just thought I would pass along the good news!

Recipes from Heather :)

I figured I would post the recipes that I shared on Saturday because I already have them typed up. This blog is a great idea!!

Tortellini Salad
1 package frozen cheese tortellini                                                  1 cup broccoli florets
1 6oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, undrained                            2 green onions, sliced
½ teaspoon garlic powder                                                                        ¼ teaspoon basil
½ cup prepared Italian dressing                                                    Grated Parmesan cheese
Cut up broccoli florets and boil for 1 to 2 minutes then add the tortellini to pan of boiling water with broccoli in it. Cook according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. In large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for cheese. Cover, refrigerate 4 to 6 hours to blend flavors. Garnish with cheese. 6 (1 cup) servings.

Blender Rolls
6 ½ - 7 cups bread flour                                                              2 ½ cups hot tap water
2 packages quick rise yeast                                                          1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt                                                                          1 stick of butter
1 egg
Measure flour into a large bowl. Put the remaining ingredients into a blender and push stir until well blended. Pour over flour and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is mixed in (I mix in my kitchen aid). Cover with a wet towel and let rise for 1 hour. Shape into rolls and place on a grease baking sheet. Let rise until double, about 20-30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until done. (I also use this recipe to make bread. I put 3 cups of wheat flour and 3 cups bread flour. I follow the directions. Makes two loaves. Bake 30 minutes instead of 20.)

Gourmet Tomato Soup
1 can tomato soup                                                                                  1 clove of garlic, minced
Italian seasoning to taste                                                                        cheese
Follow directions for making tomato soup. Add garlic and Italian seasoning. Heat until soup is done. Garnish with cheese.

1 ½ cups flour                                                                            1 ½ cups quick oats
2/3 teaspoons baking soda                                                                       1 ½ cups brown sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter                                                                 7 ½ tablespoons water
48 (1 pound) light caramels                                                          1 package chocolate chips
Mix together flour, oats, soda, sugar and butter. Cut with pastry blender until crumbly. Pat half of the mixture into an ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes. While baking melt in saucepan the water and caramels. Take mixture out of the oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of baked mixture. Drizzle melted caramel over the top. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over all. Bake at 350 degrees for fifteen more minutes. Cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday's little get together

Okay some have asked for the things that were shared Saturday to be posted so they too can reap in the benefits.  So here I go...
Grams shared with us the following... 1) To help keep avocados from going brown keep the seed (or pit) with it.  I guess Gramps always leaves a seed or two in when he make his guacamole to help with browning.  2)  If something burns onto the bottom of a pan DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT throw away the pan. Simply put a little baking soda, and a little water (at least enough to cover the bottom) and put the pan back on the stove and bring the water to a boil.  Let it boil for a minute of so and the burnt on food will come off.  3) To help her stay on top of cleaning she simply cleans as she goes.  When making a meal when she gets an ingredient out and is done using it she puts it away immediately.  This saves on clean up time after you have eaten.
Becky shared with us her wonderful way of making milk go the extra mile in her house.  This is what she does.  She buys one gallon of whole milk and will mix up one gallon of powdered milk (she uses the morning moo brand).  She then pours half a gallon of the whole milk and half a gallon of the powered milk (already mixed mind you) into a washed out milk container.  She then adds the remaining half gallon of powered milk into the whole milk container.  Shake both containers and low and behold you have two gallons of 1% milk.  *okay here is the nutritional facts that I found doing a little research on this...IF you use NONFAT powdered milk (and morning moo has the NONFAT) the nutritional values are the same as 1 % milk.   if you use their LOW FAT is a little more like a 2 % nutritional value* . 
Becky also shared with us the fact that there is a Sara Lee's outlet store.  It is located on Washington between 40th and Ogden Regional.  Jeremy was able to buy the Grandma Sycamore brand for around $1.  WHAT A STEAL!  
She also shared with us that if you would rather make your own bread you can add oatmeal to it, 1/3 of a cup of oatmeal  for every 8 oz. of water.  But can't just simply add oatmeal.  You have to add the oatmeal to the water and really let the water soak in.  You then add this to the rest of our recipe.  By adding oatmeal to your bread you increase the moisture.  (I am not sure if I explained this very well so if you have any questions I am sure you could ask Becky and she could clarify).
And lastly she shared with us a scam that happened to her (but luckily she had help so she did not fall for it).  If you have something posted on a website for sale (whether it be KSL, Craig's list, or anything like that) be aware that there are people out there who will call you up saying they would like to buy it but cannot pick it up and therefore will send someone to pick it up.  They then send you a travelers check (I think that is the kind they send you), enough to pay yourself and the "moving company".  THE CHECK IS BAD and there is no way to trace the check back to the original person and therefore you are responsible for the ENTIRE amount of the check and you had your property stolen from you.  The way to remedy this is to deal face to face only and cash only!  Please girls protect yourselves!
Liz shared with us some family home evening/ primary lessons she had collected over the years.  She had a game, song, lesson, picture to color, etc...for every topic.  What a wonderful idea to gather things like that so that you are prepared!  We then discussed that you can find things like that (all be it that you still have to put your packets together) Desseret book, they have books called Sunday Savers, or Home-spun Fun family home evenings and the church distributed Family home evening manuals, a website called that has a lot of ideas, and even the church's website.
Heather shared with us some amazing recipes.  I will put those up under a different post so that this one doesn't get to be too long.  Thank-you Heather for some AMAZING recipes!
Holly shared with us that she does a majority of her shopping at Walmart because they price match.  Many of us knew this but here is something I didn't know.  If it is a associated food item, walmart will still match it, just using their off brand (great value I believe is what it is).  She also mentioned that for Family home evenings for a few months they chose to focus on learning the prophets.  Her children all now know the prophets from Joseph Smith through Thomas S. Monson.  Awesome job Holly!
I lastly I shared some websites that I found and they teach you how to make the cute hair bows for girls (including the corker bows).   Another one showed how to make the tutus and even a fairy wand!  I will list the sites, but just so you know, please do not turn around and try to sale any because the information came to me for free.  They aren't making any money from it and they ask that we don't either.  I think that is only fair. Okay the websites are... (this is the one for tutus and wands and other really great things)
Another one that I just learned about on Sunday that has ADORABLE "quiet books" all ready so that all you have to do is print them off and put the pages in a 4X6 phot album (just a cheap one found at the dollar store will do).  They have 4 different books available.  1 New Testament stories (actually you could break this one up into 2 different books) 1 We believe , 1 Prophets and apostles, and 1 Book of Momon Stories.  If you look around on the website under LDS prints you can also find that she has all 13 articles of Faith that you can print off for the older children to memorize.  Anyways the website is...
Inspired by Holly teaching all of her kids the prophets I am currently working on a "quiet book" that will be in the same format as the one found on that website, but will have all the latter day prophets and one the deals specifically with the Sacrament.  I will let you all know when I finish them and maybe we can add two more quiet books to the stack.  I also know that this lady who runs that website intends to do an Old Testament I will let you know if and when she does.
I also shared my homemade laundry soap.  It costs around $30 to make.  It lasts me 6 months (Tyrel and I figured it out the other night we have been making our own laundry soap now for about 1 1/2 - 2 years and we have only had to make the stuff 3-4 times.  With that the total cost is $90-$120  FOR TWO YEARS worth of laundry soap).  I only have to use AT MOST 1/4 cup of the soap.  Again I will list the recipe on a later post.  It is so easy to make, and I LOVE IT.  I also shared a homemade fabric Softener but I later learned that I made it wrong so what the girls saw Saturday is NOT what is was suppose to look like.  I have learned my lesson and will be trying it again here shortly.  I will keep you updated on it.
I think that is about all...or at least that is about all I can remember.  Plus I just realized how long this post really is.  Again recipes to come a little later...probably tonight!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Electronically Disabled Gramma

You all know how lost I am in the world of electronic gadgets, thus the test by Craig showing me how to enter a post.  I know you all wonder at anyone being so dense but it is real.  Trust me.

Thanks Shantelle for such a fun idea and program.  It will be enjoyed by all.  You are a boon to Long family togetherness.  You touch my heart and make me better.  Love you.  Gramma

test trial

This is a test posting from uncle craig at grandmas house

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Monthly Menu Planning Made Simple

I have always struggled creating weekly dinner menus. It's not that I don't like the concept- I think planning ahead of time is essential in staying on top of things. I just always seem to draw a blank on what to prepare. I looked at what I had written down for the coming week- spaghetti, hawaiin haystacks, soup & sandwiches, crock pot stew.... where I then had an organizational idea. Instead of creating dinner menus day to day, why not create 7 daily food themes (one for each day of the week) and then jot down lists of possible dinners.

For example, we eat a lot of Italian food. It seems like we eat spaghetti at least twice a week- and that gets old after awhile. So I created "Italian Thursday". I then wrote down all the Italian food that I love, and voila! I have a month's worth of Thursdays all planned! Seriously, menu planning became so much easier after I decided to create menu lists instead!
Here is our week in food: Crock Pot Sunday, Multi-Cultural Monday, Try Something New Tuesday, Wild Card Wednesday, Italian Thursday, Friday's Favorites, Soup, Salad and Sandwiches Saturday.

Roast/potatoes, stew, soups, chicken.... anything made in a crock pot!

There is SO many dinner ideas in this category! Enchiladas, tacos, ham fried rice, orange chicken, burritos, sushi, baklava, etc!!!
This is a day that I felt was important for my little family. I get stuck in the routine of making the same things over and over again- and I want my daughter to experience new foods (so she won't be a picky eater like her momma!) This will be the day where I open up the good ole recipe book and try something new! And if we like it- I can add it to our Friday's Favorite list! This will be the day where we might finish off some leftovers, or do something crazy like breakfast for dinner. (I love breakfast for dinner and I can see us doing this a lot- crepes, french toast, waffles, omelets, YUMMY!)
Love this day! I can serve up spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, fettuccine, panini, risotto, ravioli... there is 7 weeks of different Italian foods right there! No more spaghetti twice a week!
This is also known as pizza night :). But it can also be where we eat all our favorites...chili and corn bread, hawaiin haystacks, pizza, chicken pot pie, chicken caesar salad, etcI originally came up with this themed day in the fall but can easily be adapted to summer with the addition of salads and BBQs!

What I like about this plan is that it makes sense in my plan-a-holic brain. I always know what to expect for dinner on any given day, and if I am struggling for a menu item- I simply look at our theme and google for ideas! I just like that this provides some structure for planning a menu.

I dare you to try this and see how much easier planning a menu really is!

Happy EATING!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The First

The family is expanding so fast and it is always nice to hear from the other girls in the family.  I thought that this would be a nice way to be able to stay in touch and be able to share our ideas (such as new recipes, crafts, etc.) and talents (you guys have so many) with each other more often. I also thought that this would be a good place to show off our work with each other and get some positive feedback.  I know I benefit and learn so much from all you wonderful Long women and I am so grateful to be apart of this family and the blessings that come from it.  THANK-YOU!