April 2013 – A Month of Photos From the Red Double Wide

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I’ve gone a little crazy with my camera lately, so I thought I would share (some of ) my favorite photos from the past month.  Spring time is so beautiful and FUN!

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This is one of our raspberry bushes that border our garden….can’t wait for fresh raspberries!
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The chickens were in heaven when digger tilled the garden.
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“Garden Butts”
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“Sleepy Dog” – This is a VERY rare moment, he is usually dropping a ball on our feet, drooling all over our pants, or trying to get the cats and chickens to play.
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Hyacinth – Not only my favorite flower but my favorite color too! I need to plant more.
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Great Grandma enjoying some snuggles with a barn kitten.
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Little Chefs first time mowing with a push mower. She decided she prefers the riding mower! I don’t blame her…I took turns with her and realized how much harder a little labor is after a long winter indoors.
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This is Diggers Grandpa….our riding mower broke down so he came out on his 94th birthday with his brand new mower and mowed some of our lawn for us!! (He had a blast and left asking when we might need him again!) What a great guy, we are so blessed to have him and Grandma close to us.
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This mama barn cat is blind in one eye, but it doesn’t seem to effect her at all. She is the best mouser we have and a wonderful mommy!!  She has two chunky adorable kittens right now.

     DSCN6157 (640x480)-1DSCN6523 (640x480)-1DSCN6497 (640x480)-1DSCN6628 (640x487)-1Don’t let these pictures deceive you!  We have had some beautiful days in April, but we also had our share of wind, rain, hail, and more wind!  We haven’t yet planted anything in the garden (it’s still getting really cold some nights) but my seed order should be here tomorrow and Digger is working on getting the fence up around the garden.  No use planting until the chickens are fenced out!

Happy Spring Everyone!!

Banana Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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DSCN6582 (640x480)-1“Banana Grilled Cheese Sandwich” sounds a little weird huh?  I was going to call them “Delicious Banana Bread and Cream Cheese Grilled Sandwiches” but that’s to long, and Jo likes to call them  “Funky Monkey Sandwiches”.  You can call them whatever you want, but the name that best describes them is “Awesome Deliciousness”!

Start with your favorite banana bread.  I used my recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins, omitted the chocolate chips and baked it in a loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. It turned out great, and I like that there is no sugar in this recipe.

DSCN6478 (640x474)-1This is just like making a regular grilled cheese sandwich except you are using banana bread and cream cheese.  We add a little stevia to softened cream cheese.  You could use honey, maple syrup, sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer.  My recipe for Homemade Honey Whipped Cream Cheese would work great for these.

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We made these this morning and added chocolate to them.  They were AMAZING!

DSCN6648 (640x480)-1What a great way to kick off a Saturday morning.  Have a great weekend everyone!  😀

Homemade Seasoning for Breakfast Sausage

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This sausage recipe has been moved to our new blog!  Just click here and it will take you to the Homemade Seasoning for Breakfast Sausage recipe at Sufficient Acres.com.

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Here are some of my other homemade spice and seasoning mixes you might like:

Ranch Seasoning PacketsItalian Sausage SeasoningPumpkin Pie Spice MixHomemade Seasoning SaltOnion Soup Mix Packets

DSCN6068 (640x480)-1Sorry for the inconvenience while we slowly move posts to our new blog.

Homemade Ranch Seasoning Packets

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This post contains affiliate links.

Here at the Red Double Wide we go through at least three packets of ranch seasoning a week.  My eight year old thinks ranch dressing belongs on EVERYTHING!  The rest of us are pretty fond of it too, and I have allot of recipes that call for a packet of ranch dressing mix.  Every time I bought those envelopes of ranch mix, I would think, uggg that’s expensive.  But we are pretty picky about ranch and that kind was our favorite, so I just kept buying it.  Then I looked at the list of ingredients…..What! MSG and all sorts of other junk.  I was so disappointed, and I just knew I could never make anything that came close to tasting like those handy little packets full of MSG. 🙁

But, I was WRONG…  Very WRONG!

I now make my own packets of chemical free ranch mix, and yes, it’s even BETTER than the store bought mix.  Not to mention cheaper and of course healthier!  I mix up a bunch of these at once and then I have them on hand for dressing, dip, or to add to any recipe calling for a ranch seasoning packet.

This is what you need: Dried minced onion, dried parsley flakes, salt, ground pepper, and garlic powder.  I use little Rubber Maid containers, but a resealable snack bag works great too.

ranch mix-1 (640x320)I have seen other homemade ranch recipes where you mix a big batch in a mason jar and then measure out what you need.  I did try that, but the salt and pepper was always at the bottom of the jar and the parsley at the top and no matter how much I stirred, the last batch in the jar was WAY saltier then the rest.  Maybe that’s just me being picky, but I love these individual packets!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Ranch Seasoning Packets
 
This makes one packet of ranch seasoning.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients and you're ready to make dressing or dip or add it to a recipe that calls for a packet of ranch seasoning.

 DSCN6282 (567x640)-1The more I cook from scratch the more I realize how fresh organic ingredients really do make a huge difference in the outcome of our food.  There is no doubt that it just tastes better and it makes me feel better to know exactly what I’m feeding my family.  I would love to say that my cupboard is stocked with organically grown herbs from my own garden, but lets face it, I’m not Super Woman!  I’ve been getting my organic herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs for quite a while now and am soooo happy with their super fresh products.  This is a great company with a cool website, go check it out, you will not be disappointed!

To make ranch dressing: Add 1 homemade ranch seasoning packet to 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of mayo.  Stir well with a whisk and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.  If you don’t have buttermilk , mix together 1 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes, use that instead of the buttermilk.  (I have been meaning to try this with plain yogurt instead of mayo but haven’t yet.  If you try, it let me know how it turns out!)

For ranch dip: Add 1 homemade ranch seasoning packet to a 16oz container of sour cream (2 cups) mix well and refrigerate for a couple hours before serving.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!  Have a Blessed Day 😀

Homemade Microwave Popcorn

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DSCN6036 (640x480)-1Sunday night is popcorn night at our house!  When we started our journey to a more frugal and healthier life style, microwave popcorn was one of the first things to go.  I’d bought an air popper a while back (in a moment of nostalgia) but barely used it.  My husband didn’t like the air popper popcorn, and I had to agree.  For some reason it seemed soggy and wanted to melt between your teeth instead of having that nice crunch.  I thought we were stuck with soggy popcorn because I refused to buy the bags of chemicals again.  Then a friend told me that you can put popcorn in a paper bag and microwave it.  How brilliant!

DSCN6053 (640x480)-1This is sooooo much cheaper and healthier than store bought microwave popcorn, it has that wonderful crunch and you can control the amount of butter and salt it has on it.  I’m ditching my air popper, and freeing up some space in my cupboard!

All you need is a paper bag, 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels, butter, and salt or what ever seasonings you like.

DSCN6057 (640x480)-1Put 1/4 of a cup of popcorn kernels into a paper bag and fold down the top.  Place the bag right side up in a microwave for ABOUT 2 minutes.  I set the timer for 2 1/2 minutes and listen closely.  When the popping slows down to 3 to 4 seconds between pops I stop the microwave.  Microwaves are different so times will vary.  Pour your popped corn into a bowl and season (we like Parmesan cheese on ours).  You can use the same bag to pop more than one batch if you want more popcorn.  So simple, yummy, healthy, and cheap. 😀

Happy Popcorn Night!

Homeschool Art Project – Redneck Style

One of Diggers many projects over the winter was to rebuild the deck on his trailer.  He just finished it the other day when we (ok, me) decided the nice new wood needed a little color.

DSCN5916 (640x480)-1The girls were more than happy to help out!  In fact, they giggled the entire time. 😀

DSCN5926 (640x480)-1Yes, I was cringing and thinking of the mess!!  Oh, and by the way; wet paint can be very slippery!

DSCN5942 (640x416)-1But the smiles and giggles were worth it!

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Now every time Digger loads or unloads his excavator he will think of his giggly girls. 🙂

 

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Egg Salad – 3 Ways

If you’re like us, you have a bunch of these in your fridge right now.  😀

DSCN5995 (640x480)-1They are absolutely beautiful, but they can’t stay in the fridge forever!  Here are three delicious ways to use up those Easter eggs that are taking up space in your fridge.

If you don’t already have hard boiled eggs check out this post “How to Cook and EASILY Peel Farm Fresh Hard Boiled Eggs”.  Even if you don’t have farm fresh eggs this is a great method for perfect hard boiled eggs.

#1 –  “Creamy Egg Salad”

Start with 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and rinsed.  Chop the eggs into little pieces.  I use an egg slicer and slice the egg one way and then turn the egg and slice it the other way.

DSCN5165 (640x480)-1After you have all your eggs chopped up in a bowl add: mayo, mustard, horseradish, and sweet relish.  Mix all together real good and give it a taste.  Now you will know how much seasoning salt and pepper you want to add.  Don’t over do the salt….you can always add more but you can’t take it out!

DSCN5185 (640x480)-1This is Creamy Egg Salad on Sour Dough Bread…..Yummm!

 

#2 – “Dill Egg Salad”

This one is my favorite! If you don’t like pickles then skip down to the last recipe ‘cuz this is happy pregnant lady with a pickle craving good!!

Chop your 12 hard boiled, peeled, and rinsed eggs into a bowl.  Add: mayo, dijon mustard, dill, pickle juice, and chopped dill pickles (our favorite dill pickle is – Nalley’s Elites Garlic, Dill & Onion Petites – they are little, crunchy, and absolutely DELICIOUS!).

DSCN5394 (640x480)-1My mouth is watering just thinking about those pickles….anyway, mix everything up thoroughly and then take a bite….add salt and pepper if or as needed.

#3 – “Bacon and Egg Salad”

Begin by slicing your 12 hard boiled, peeled, and rinsed eggs into small pieces.  Add mayo, sour cream, green onions, bacon bits, (here is how I easily cook bacon in the oven) salt, and onion powder to the egg pieces.  Stir together well and give it a taste.  Add more salt if needed and pepper to taste.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Egg Salad - 3 Ways
 
These recipes can easily be cut in half if you don't want this much.
Author:
Ingredients
  • # 1 - Creamy Egg Salad:
  • 12 hard boiled eggs - peeled and rinsed
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 tbls mustard
  • 1 tbls horseradish
  • 2 tbls Sweet Relish
  • Seasoning Salt and Pepper to taste
  • _________________________________________________________
  • #2 - Dill Egg Salad:
  • 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and rinsed
  • ½ cup Mayo
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 tbls pickle juice
  • ½ cup chopped dill pickles (your favorite brand)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • _________________________________________________________
  • #3 - Bacon and Egg Salad:
  • 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and rinsed
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tbls chopped green onions
  • 8 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • More salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. These instructions work for all 3 recipes.
  2. Take your peeled and rinsed hard boiled eggs and chop them into small pieces.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the salt and pepper to your chopped eggs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Taste it, then add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

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