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Showing posts from August, 2012

Homemade Pain Relieving Cream

My husband seems to get sore hands and wrists a lot from working with hand tools, and in the past has used products like Icy Hot or Bengay.  He asked me a while ago if I thought there was something I could make to help him out; and so, not wanting to let my red-hot, sweet-lover down, I went on a mission to create a cream that would help to relieve some of his aches and pains.

I did some digging around online to find out what the active ingredients in most pain relieving creams are, and there were three in particular that kept popping up:  menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate.  The menthol and camphor were pretty easy to find--the menthol can be purchased in the form of menthol crystals and camphor essential oil is widely available.  You may be able to find these two ingredients at your local grocery store or pharmacy, but if not, there are plenty of places online that sell them for a reasonable price.

As for the methyl silicylate, I wasn't sure where I would get that--it is &q…

Left-over Sloppy Joe's Quesadillas

I'm always up for the challenge of finding ways to reuse my leftovers--I hate throwing food away!  My husband and kids will eat leftovers if I make them, but I'm sure they'd rather not.  Unless, that is, it doesn't taste like leftovers.

It helps a lot in getting your family to eat leftovers if you can transform it into a completely different meal--especially if you've got a lot of leftovers.  For example, we made a huge batch of Sloppy Joe's for a party, and ended up with quite a lot of it being leftover.  After a few meals of Sloppy Joe's on a bun, I was getting pretty sick of Sloppy Joe's.

However,  by using Sloppy Joe's in a new way, they tasted better--which is why I decided to make Sloppy Joe's Quesadillas.






The recipe is pretty simple:  tortillas, cheese, and Sloppy Joe's.  You can use any type of tortilla you would like for this recipe, but might I suggest homemade flour tortillas (click for recipe)?  I used cheddar cheese, but mozzare…

Homemade Flour Tortillas

There is nothing like a soft, warm, flour tortilla fresh out of the pan--store tortillas don't even compare.



Making your own tortillas may seem a daunting task, but once you get the hang of flattening them, you will find that they take very little effort to make.  Here are some tips that you may find helpful if you are a beginner tortilla artist:
It is nice to have a pastry blender for blending the lard or butter with the flour.  If you don't have a pastry cutter, use either a fork, or two butter knives.

I have found the best tools for mixing are my hands! 

The flour and water amounts in the recipe are adjustable.  If your dough seems too sticky, then add more flour. Once you have finished kneading your tortilla dough, it should only be slightly sticky.  If it is sticking to your hand in big globs (see picture below) it needs more flour.

Do not skip the "rest time" for the dough.  Allowing the dough to rest after kneading gives it time to relax its gluten bonds--what thi…

Refrigerator Pickles

To me, pickles taste like summer--a time when the cucumbers in our garden are going crazy, and we are harvesting them by the dozen.  They're great on grilled hamburgers, sandwiches, and on relish trays and family barbecues.

There are so many different recipes out there for pickles of all kinds, but I'd have to say my favorite type of pickles are sweet pickles.  I knew that I'd be making them this year, because I've been craving them badly (pregnant women really do like pickles), but I had yet to find a recipe that I liked (translation:  an easy recipe).

Often times, when I am stumped on a recipe, I turn to an unusual cookbook:






As you can see, this cookbook has seen better days!  The cover is gone, the pages are tattered, the binding is coming off...but still, I love this cookbook.  It is a compilation of recipes put together by a local church.  Honestly, I don't remember how I ended up with it--I don't go to this church, nor do I know anyone who does.  Perhaps…