Category Archives: Tips

Coffee Creamer

I love coffee! I am a HUGE coffee fanatic. Many of you probably already know this about me, but I LOVE coffee!

I do like a lot of the fancy flavor coffee creamers but when I try and read the ingredients it simply isn’t in my vocabulary. When you have a number next to an ingredient than I get kind of scared. Red 50. Yellow 102. Blue 24. You get the picture? It’s not good.

I’ve made my own creamer for quite some time but I must humbly admit when Fall and Christmas approached I get very excited for the holiday creamers; pumpkin spice, eggnog, peppermint mocha, and York peppermint paddy. I had succumb to the yellow color 60 for three months and my body is probably filling itself with cancer as we speak. HA okay probably not but my homemade creamer is by far better than these coffee creamers.

I have made peppermint mocha, brown sugar cream, and French vanilla. These are just a couple of the ones I enjoy. But the basis of the creamer is pretty standard and can be used with any flavor you like.

Ingredients:

Brown Sugar Sweet Cream

  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups milk

In a saucepan over medium heat, add condensed milk and brown sugar. Heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly.

Add vanilla and milk and heat until it begins to steam, do not boil.

Store in a glass container in the fridge!

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You can simply use sweetened condensed milk and regular milk as a staple base for any other flavor you desire. Here are a couple more options:

Peppermint Mocha

  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Peppermint Patty

  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract

Raspberry Almond

  • 2 tsp raspberry
  • 2 tsp almond

Pumpkin Puree

It’s that time of year pumpkins, decorations, leaves, fall cooking and much more. We went to the pumpkin patch this past weekend and I picked a couple extra pumpkins specifically for baking with. I wanted to make pumpkin bread as my sister has the best recipe known to man and I figured fresh pumpkin would make it even better, if that’s even possible.

If you have pumpkins lying around your house, when you are done with them make sure and use them before you toss them. Make the puree and freeze if you are not ready to cook/bake with them yet. It freezes very well and they lay flat in the freezer taking up minimal space.

Directions:

Cut the pumpkin stem off and scoop out all the seeds; save the seeds and bake them for a healthy snack.

Cut in half and than quarters to make smaller pieces to fit on a baking sheet. Do not add an Olive oil if you want the purest form of puree.

Bake at 400 degrees for 60 minutes.
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Let cool for 30 minutes and peel off the skin before it cools completely.
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In a food processor add the chunks of pumpkin and puree; if it’s too thick add 1/4 cup of water at a time until you get a smooth base.
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Spoon mixture into quart size plastic bags with 2 cups in each bag. This way you know exactly the amount per bag when thawing for cooking. Makes very good soups, muffins and breads.
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Bleached Flour

What does that really mean? We buy our flour from Costco, and as my husband was carrying the big 25lb bag into our house he read “bleached flour.” What’s the mean, he asked as I was helping carry in the other boxes of Costco goodies. I told him it didn’t sound good but was actually pretty surprised to see that word on Costco’s bag of flour. Normally Costco is really good about being healthy, chemical and preservative free.

I know I’ve read many recipes that call for “unbleached flour” thinking “duh” who would buy the other. Well I’m that person; we all make simple mistakes or get into such routines that we don’t truly pay attention to what we are doing in life. This goes for everything, our marriage, children, friends, and even food. I took the time to look this up and realized it’s a chemical process they do to flour to make it whiter. Wow! I can’t believe the little things that are so toxic to our bodies that we simply ignore or don’t pay attention to. I’ve been in a good routine for awhile with the items I purchase without giving much thought to it. Clearly, I had overlooked this bag of chemical flour for quite some time. To my dismay, I realized routine isn’t always best.

Same goes for life, we get stuck in routines of marriage, kids, school, sports and much more that we lose sight of reality. Don’t get stuck in the mundane routine of life and let busyness take over. We were made to be still and listen yet we get out of this habit instantaneously. I was realizing this morning how our weekends have become filled with entertaining in the evenings and household chores during the day. This isn’t always bad, especially since we just moved and all, but when it becomes a weekly chore week in and week out, we need to refocus again. Weekends were created for relaxation and enjoyment. It’s good to spend that quality time as a family going to the park, enjoying dinner together, watching a football game, and just being. So when you buy the same bag of flour week in and week out and years later finally, your eyes are open to the harm that you have neglected unintentionally for years. Take a step back and reevaluate your “routine.”

 

Mantra Mondays

Every Monday I enjoy starting off the week getting prepared with food, dips, and goodies to have throughout the week. It honestly saves a lot of time taking 1 day to prepare. I schedule most of the time while my son is still sleeping in the mornings and at nap times. I get up early and immediately start whatever my plans are for the week.

 

This morning I made chocolate chip cookies, breakfast cookies, pesto, hummus, hard boiled eggs and bacon wrapped hot dogs for dinner Monday night. Sometimes I will make bread, granola, breakfast cookies, zucchini bread, etc. My biggest goal is to prepare snacks for the week. Cooper still takes two naps a day for the most part. His second nap I started preparing dinner so by the time he wakes up I can play with him and do last minute dinner prepping such as boil water for pasta or rice. I usually prep to the point that everything is ready to go into the oven and all I have to do is preheat the oven and pull the pan from the fridge to cook it. I get salad prepped or whatever it is I am doing that night for dinner, I make a point to do it during his second nap and this has really helped make good use of my time.

 

My advice for anyone who has kids is to make good use of their nap time especially if you choose one day out of the week for your cooking and baking. Utilizing one day and one day properly will help allow you to get the “me” time you want and deserve. I also send my hubby to work with breakfast and lunch because he leaves early enough and has low blood sugar he needs to eat all day long. I always make enough dinner to send for leftovers so I don’t have to over think his lunch or make something else.

 

By properly using your time once a week you will see how much time it truly saves the remainder of the week. You can also make a few meals and freeze them so on busy days you pop them out of the freezer and directly into the oven. One day can save hours of cooking later in the week. J If you really need you’re “me” time on Monday, make sure and take it once the kids lay their heads to rest for the night.

 

Try it; let me know how you think and if this helped you!