Monday, January 25, 2016

The Land

I'm building a house, a little blue house.  As I said before, I sold my house in April of last year and with the money from that sale I'm building a house....without a loan.  Can you say tight budget!  Anyway, just to be clear I did not have to purchase the land I'm building on.  It is family land and was free, so is not included in my budget.  Of course I would have bought land if I would have had to.  The part of the land I wanted to build on was mostly cleared, but there was an old chicken coop that needed to be torn down and some trees that need to be removed.  Clearing began in July and August.

The chicken coop had not been used for many years, except for storage.  There was something like 18 tires inside along with all sorts of old junk.  Hubcaps, rotted water hoses and items so old and rusted or deteriorated that we couldn't tell exactly what they were anymore.

The roof of the chicken coop was mostly old tin, but there was also an old feed sign that had been cut in half and used for part of the roof.

Anyway, I had already drawn my house plans, and had two estimates.  Building was to begin some time in September.  I'm not an architect.  I used graph paper and drew the plans I wanted.  It is a little house, measuring 24 feet by 32 feet, one bedroom, so simple to draw.  My estimates were for a pole barn style building with metal siding and roof.  To be built on a wood sub floor with a timber frame.  The estimate I chose was $24,400.  The estimate did not include the exterior doors and windows.  I purchased those and had them on sight.  Also, the estimate did not include finishing the interior.  All interior work is to be done by me, with family help, or be hired out.

Building finally began in early October and shortly after it began I left for a two week vacation.  Before I left they had made the progress shown below.

When I returned home from vacation, it looked like this:

More to come...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I've sold my house and Hello Fresh Subscription

Well, I have sold my house!  YEAH!!!  I'm so excited to be moving and I'm hoping I will have more time to post on this blog.  Selling my house will help me pay off some debt and allow me to build a small affordable home on some family property.

Now on to Hello Fresh.  I love Hello Fresh!  I don't have to go the the dreaded grocery store as often and I don't have to plan meals for as many days either.  I usually get one to three boxes per month, but you can choose to get one each week or just once a month, or skip a whole month; whatever fits your budget and needs.

I subscribe to the classic plan which includes meat and it costs $69 per box for three meals for two people.  The vegetarian plan costs $59 per box for three meals for two people.  Family boxes are also offered.

Now, as you can tell from my blog, I like to cook.  I don't mind rounding up ingredients to cook a fancy meal, but Hello Fresh is a great go to when things are crazy at home.

Anyway, I will post a more detailed description with the next box I receive.  I will show what the meals are and how the box is packed.

If you would like to try Hello Fresh, use coupon code EY6D28 and save $40 off your first box.  You can cancel any time by loging into your account.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mug Fudge! Yes, mug fudge for two.

You can smile now. 

Mug Fudge for two:

We've all heard of a mug cake, but what about mug fudge?  Well you have now!  Mug cakes are okay, but just wait till you try this simple fudge recipe!

1. Get a mug. 
2. To the mug add 1 tablespoon milk, 2 tablespoons white sugar and 1 tablespoon real butter(can be cold) and microwave for 20 seconds. Mine looked like this:
Give the mix a good stir and pop it back in the microwave for 20 seconds more. It should look something like this: and yes it will look foamy. 
3. Add 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips to the mug. And stir, stir, stir until it's smooth.  Add a pinch of salt. 
4. Add 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows to the mug. 
Now stir more, more, more!  The marshmallows will almost completely melt. Sometimes I add a few more if they all melt. I like marshmallow chunks in the fudge. You can also add nuts. Here I added walnuts. 
5. Pour out into a container lined with wax paper. Here I used a small plastic food storage container. Spread the fudge to corners and place in fridge to let it set. 
6. Lick the spoon and scrape the sides of the mug. 
Your welcome!  Enjoy. 

Sometimes I also add a dash of vanilla, but if you do add it when you add the marshmallows. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Crock pot skirt steak

Serves 2

1/2 pound skirt steak
1- 10 ounce can rotel
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 T. Ketchup
1 T. Your favorite steak sauce
Two shakes of garlic powder, chili powder and salt and pepper. 

Mix everything except steak in crock pot. Lay steak on top. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve on tortillas or over rice. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Buckwheat pancakes

I've been listening to "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the description of Almanzo making buckwheat pancakes made me want to try them. They are delicious!
I topped mine with real maple syrup. My dogs were very interested in what I was eating, and they each got one after I had mine. 
The recipe:
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup self rising flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1-1/4 cup milk
2 egg whites
3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

In a large bowl add flours, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir with a whisk to mix. 
Add the milk, egg whites and melted butter or margarine and mix till smooth. 
Cook on a griddle using about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. Brown on both sides and spread a little butter or margarine on each pancake as they get done. Top with your favorite syrup, Almanzo used molasses, I used maple syrup.  Enjoy!

Yield: 10 to 14 pancakes. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Freezer Burritos

I love burritos, but I hate the ones you buy in the freezer section at the grocery store, so I tried making my own frozen burritos and it works very well!  I usually make a dozen at a time and take half to work with me to put in the freezer there.  Pop one in the microwave for a minute or two and YUMMY!  I really like that I know what is in it and I can customize it any way I choose.

 My fillings:
Spanish rice; I made it in my rice cooker
Ground beef, browned and seasoned
1 can chili beans
Shredded cheese
Sour cream mixed with my homemade salsa; you can use your favorite

I wrapped the whole stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwaved them together for a minute.  Then, one at a time, I placed them on foil and filled and rolled.
Place the burritos into a freezer bag or the bag that the tortillas came in, put the date on it and put  in the freezer.  I have done this at least 10 times now!  I love that I have an instant meal when I'm tired and don't feel like cooking.  They heat up beautifully in the microwave.

I actually use pre-cut foil wrappers.  You can find them at Dollar General on their $1 isle.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread - OH MY GOODNESS!!!

We had our Christmas Eve party this year as pot-luck and I decided to give Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread a try.  The recipe is dead simple.  Let me just say what everyone at the party said "Oh my goodness!!!  This bread is the BOMB!  Give me the recipe!"  And it was the bomb and I suppose it should be, with almost a pound of cheese and a full stick of butter...

This is NOT my photo.  It was gone too fast to even think about getting one, haha.  This photo is straight from the Pioneer Woman's website.  She gets full credit here!  Click here to visit Pioneer Woman's website.


  • 1 loaf French Bread
  • 6 ounces, weight Pimiento-stuffed Green Olives
  • 6 ounces, weight Black Olives
  • 2 stalks Green Onions (scallions)
  • 1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 pounds Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Preparation Instructions

Roughly chop both black olives and pimiento-stuffed green olives. Slice green onions into thin pieces.
Combine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir together until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture onto French bread that has been sliced lengthwise. Bake at 325ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browning.
Mixture can also be refrigerated (up to two days) and used as a dip. Great with crackers.
Thank you Ree "Pioneer Woman" for this wonderful recipe that we will definitely make again and again.