Saturday, October 25, 2008

I normally don't serve sweets for breakfast. But this morning, I wanted a coffee cake. I didn't have a recipe for a coffee cake without hunting, so we experimented and came up with this. And boy howdy, was it good! I already have requests for it on Christmas morning. Here's the recipe, if you'd like to try it:

Coffee Cake

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a dish or pan - this fit nicely into my pie dish. (Does that make it a coffee pie?)

1 c. flour (all purpose)
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil

Mix the dry stuff together, then add the egg, milk and oil.

Streusel Topping

4 Tbsp. flour (all purpose)
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 Tbsp nuts, if you like

Plop this all over the top. I also had a little cream cheese, so I dotted the top with that also. Bake till it's nice and brown and bubbly, probably 18-20 minutes.

And see my new potholders? Our bank recently changed hands, and they had a big open house and gave away lots of freebies. I just love these - they remind me of the days when businesses gave away things that were truly useful. I can just barely remember feed sacks being made of pretty fabric, meant to be reused. I do remember dish cloths sewn into the end of flour sacks. I remember jelly jars pretty enough to use for glasses when the jelly was gone. Cool toys in cereal, juice glasses in all kinds of stuff, and Green Stamps when you checked out. Would that we still lived in the days when packaging was meant to be (and good enough to be) reused, not expected to be hauled off and recycled.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here are a few more links about frugal living - hopefully they will be helpful!

Judith's Cookbook for the Desperately Poor - my friend at Springtree Road found it! Yay! If the link doesn't work right away, try again later. Sometimes it's finicky with me.

Skillet Meals Master Recipe - Great for using up what you have.

Miserly Moms - The name says it all. Recipes and all other kinds of ideas.

Keep the comments coming! If you have a good resource to contribute, I'll post it here!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sad state of affairs

The economy. Regardless of how we got here or how we're going to get out, here we are. I know people left and right who are being laid off or at least cut back on their jobs. I drive around and see every manner of vehicle for sale on the side of the road. (Except motorcycles - people are driving those, because they don't use as much gas!) It seems to have affected everyone, in one way or another.

Things have changed a little for my family, mostly just that we try not to drive as much. Our belts have been about as tight as they can be for years - first from getting out of debt, then from building this house, and now from finishing the basement. And besides that, I am opposed to letting go of a dime if I don't have to.

So I thought I would take an opportunity to share a couple of internet resources that have helped us. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but just a start:
The Dollar Stretcher - Every piece of information about frugal living that exists, I think.
Hillbilly Housewife - Good low-cost recipes. Not all of them are as all-natural as we need, but they are definitely cheap. And besides that, many of the big recipe websites have low-cost recipes as well.
Dave Ramsey - If excessive debt is your problem, Dave is your guy.

There was a website 'back in the day' that I would love to include, but I can't find it. I believe the name was "Judith's Cookbook for the Desperately Poor." If anyone finds it, please let me know.

So speak up! How has the economy affected your family, and do you have any resources to share that might help someone else?

Friday, October 17, 2008

One more thing...

I've discovered an interesting equation during the basement finishing project:

so very tired, times (hammer plus board, divided by finger), equals OUCH.

I have never fainted at the sight of blood, but I very nearly did on Monday. I didn't even know a hammer could make a finger bleed.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

random thoughts

Sorry I've been so busy of late. Between remodeling, traveling, sewing custom orders for the Etsy shop, and grading homeschool work, there hasn't been much time for blogging.

In case you were wondering, the October First Fridays went much better than the September one; I sold about three times as much. Then from Florence, the girls and I traveled with my mom and dad to North Carolina. We visited the Emerald Hollow Mine. We didn't find any emeralds, but we found some other "pretty rocks", as Lydia says, and it was good muddy fun. On the way back, we stopped at the Cherokee Indian reservation and took Newfound Gap Road over the Smoky Mountains. It was rainy, so the photos are not the best. But the whole trip was great fun and I'm glad we went.

I'll leave you with this: One of my favorite things this summer has been this jar on the back porch. When we walk to the mailbox or just poke around outside, we pick a few flowers to keep it stocked. I'm going to miss it this winter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Book giveaway

First, we're back from our trip, and it was so much fun! More about that later, I'm sure.

Check out this book giveaway on Springtree Road! I've not read the book before, but it looks adorable.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


*gasp!* Snow!

No, it's October. In Alabama. Moon craters?

Somebody spilled a bag of powdered sugar?

Oh. Sheet rock dust. Yay.

With dusty footprints leading upstairs. What fun.

Oh, that makes it better! Thank you, wonderful man with shop vac!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A month already?

Wow, has this month flown by. It's time for another First Fridays event this Friday night. So Friday morning, me and my girls and my critters and things will travel to Florence. (Chad will not be joining us this time - he's going to stay here and paint while little "helping hands" are away.)

I was really afraid I would not have much to bring this time, I just wasn't sure how many I had made and sold in the past month. But once I dumped them all out on the table, it doesn't look so bad. And even with the basement finishing going on, it would appear that we protected them from all the sawdust, liquid nails and sheet rock mud. Wish I could say the same for my floors.

If you'd like to see more information about basement refinishing, you can go to Chad's blog for his recent posts about it.