Last weekend I went to a nice thrift store with my sister-in-law. I was so excited to find a "new" bread machine for only $6.99.
If you have been following me for very long, you know that I sadly parted with my hand-me-down bread machine last summer when it quit working. I was more than sad, I was kind of crushed. I used my old bread machine once or twice a week making my favorite bread machine recipes.
I wasn't sure if my new to me bread machine would even work, but I thought it was worth risking $6.99 for the possibility of making fresh baked goodies with ease once again. I put it to the test the next day and made two loaves of cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread (one was for my church Mom's group meeting).
I put in all of the ingredients and ran it on the dough cycle and in an hour and a half, I had perfect dough ready to roll. I even used the time delay function to have fresh dough ready in the morning to make a loaf for the boys. My new bread machine works beautifully and for a very small investment.
One thing to think about if purchasing a bread machine from a thrift store is that it might not come with instructions. Mine did not, but I figured it out pretty quickly since I have used bread machines in the past. It's really not that hard to figure out and there are so many wonderful bread machine recipes online.
Tater tot casserole is good and comforting on a cold winter night. It's also easy and kids love it. You can use your favorite frozen vegetables. I used some green beans that I put up from the farmer's market last summer. This recipe is great with ground venison too. Delicious comfort food at it's best!
1 lb. ground beef or venison
1 sweet onion, diced
salt and pepper or your favorite meat seasoning
1 lb. frozen green beans or your favorite frozen vegetables
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 lb. bag of tater tots (you will use almost the whole bag)
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Brown ground beef and onion. Salt and pepper to taste or use your favorite meat seasoning. Set aside.
3. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking pan with cooking spray. Layer first the meat mixture, then the vegetables.
4. Mix together both cans of cream soups. (Do not add any liquid to the soup) Spread the soup mixture over the vegetables.
5. Top the casserole with a layer of tater tots.
6. Bake uncovered for one hour.
When I taught, there was a staff member who brought the most amazing everything cookies to every potluck we ever had. I looked forward to her cookies which were always individually wrapped so you could take one with you. I always took one unless they ran out.
I decided I wanted to try to make everything cookies and taste the wonderful deliciousness again. I looked at several recipes online and discovered that it is basically an oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookie with nuts and coconut. I already have a fabulous chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookie recipe so I adapted it to make these delicious everything cookies. I toasted the pecans first which really enhances the flavor.
1 ¼ cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed (optional for the nutritional benefits)
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
1 cup quick or old fashioned oats
½ cup raisins
½ cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
1. Toast nuts on a small un-greased pan in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
2. Turn oven temperature up to 375 degrees.
3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and optional ground flax in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture and milk. Stir in chocolate chips, oats, raisins, nuts and coconut.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. (I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper.)
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are crisp but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen.
I can't believe it took me 6 six years of raising boys to think of combining dinosaurs and play-dough. My two year old and I made a fresh batch of play-dough a couple of mornings ago while big brothers were at school. Homemade play-dough is the best. I like it better than store bought and you get a big batch with plenty to share.
The boys have been enjoying their play-dough creating for several days. It amazes me how entertained they are, which is nice since it's so cold outside. The boys are huge dinosaur enthusiasts. They watch dinosaur documentaries, play prehistoric park, draw dinosaurs, read dinosaur books. You get the idea. Dinosaurs are part of our everyday lives which is why I can't believe it took me so long to think of combining play-dough and dinosaurs.
There are so many fun things you can do with dinosaurs and play-dough. You can make great impressions like this cool footprint. The spikes and plates on their backs make neat impressions too.
You can even bury dinosaur skeletons in play-dough and have a fossil dig. We had a fun dinosaur dig birthday party last fall. This would be fun for a winter indoor dinosaur dig birthday party. You would have to make a lot of play-dough though.
The skeletons make great fossil imprints.
I love watching their imaginations at work. My son is crafting a meteor. Look out dinosaurs!
Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned work at home Mom blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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