Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Chalk Crowns

With an idea from Pinterest, and a girly who is totally obsessed with princesses, this was an easy and fun summer activity. It may look like my Princess didn't enjoy it, but it was only the opening of the eyes that was a problem. I must admit, it was probably rather bright to look straight up outside. Even on a slightly overcast day. So, she really isn't in distress or crying here.
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Hot Dog!

I love a good hot dog cooked over an open fire, a little blackish and crispy on the outside with the smell of wood smoke. Happily, we've enjoyed some this summer.
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I even made hot dog buns, and they turned out just right for traditional hot dog eating without the grains.
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Excuse the weird face...it's hard to get decent pictures of someone holding a hot dog bun without them having just taken a bite or too anxious to take a bite to wait for decent posing.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Lighthouse in the Time of Storms

We recently received news of the sudden death of a homeschool friend from years ago. An only son. A vibrant, fun-loving, ambitious young man. I was at a loss for words, but found Ann Voskamp's quote and sent it to the family on a homemade card. God's grace is abundant in the storms of life.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Fellow Seamstress

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"Sewing" away on a decorative Singer making a sash for her doll. She had to set the machine in the same direction as mine so she would know where to put her hands. Maybe it's time I find her one that actually sews?

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Striped Top

Apparently when I don't blog, I really don't blog. Then when I do blog, I blog. Anyway, I have lots to share.

 Top on my mind right now is a simple white and navy striped t-shirt. Like this one:

Maybe you recognize it? It's the one Duchess Kate wore and now everyone wants one. Me included. But honestly, I've been looking for one before this, it's just now that I want one as close to this style as possible.


But £48 wasn't quite in my budget. So I'm coming to you all, in hopes you can help. A white t-shirt with navy stripes spaced about like this. Not really close together so it makes your eyes go buggy, and not WIDE stripes. I'm talking...just. like. Kate's. And ideally? $30 or less. But I care about quality too. I'm trying to keep in mind the phrase, "Quality, not quantity" in my wardrobe department.
So does anyone have any new online shops that I'm overlooking for my beloved striped top? 
I am flexible on sleeve length; short sleeve would be great, and if it's longer, I can hem it shorter if needed. LandsEnd has one that is the closest I've found, so I might end up with that, but I thought I'd ask for help first. So, help?

I do have a deadline for needing this shirt. We're going on our own Down Under adventure in August. ;)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Father's Day 2014

We don't do Mother's Day or Father's Day big around here. It's just nice not to have the pressure of buying gifts for each other that are supposed to be from the child and it makes our life less stressful. We still try to keep the honored Dad or Mum in mind for our choice of events though. For this year Daniel didn't want to do anything, so we just had a low-key picnic after church in a quiet neighborhood park.
We ate summer sausage that our landlord made and fresh strawberries.
Laid under the birch tree and read.
Pushed Natasha on the swing.
And observed the craziness of very happy hair in humid weather. And I even put gel in it that morning!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What do you do with liver?!

I have had so many people ask me how I cook beef liver. I actually found a way to cook it that makes us look forward to leftovers and it's the only way I can get Natasha to eat it. I've become the sneaky Mom who hides stuff in certain dishes and avoids mentioning all the ingredients at the table. We just call it meatloaf, and don't make a big deal about it.

Liver Loaf

1 lb. beef liver, cut into pieces
juice from 1/2 a lemon (or a few dashes of bottled lemon juice)
2 T. ketchup
1 lb. spicy sausage
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (if your sausage isn't spicy enough)
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk, if mixture seems dry
bacon

Rinse the liver in cold water to remove as much blood as possible. Cook the liver in salted, boiling water till done, about 10-15 min. While still fairly hot, put through a food grinder. I use my KitchenAid meat grinder. Once ground, just add the rest of the ingredients, except the bacon, to the liver and mix well. Line a loaf pan with bacon strips and plop all that liver-sausage mixture right onto it. Then lay more bacon across the top. Bake at 350* for 1 hour, or till done.

Oh, I should mention that sometimes I skip the pre-cooking of liver. I just rinse it in cold water till the water runs clear and then it goes straight to the grinder and I proceed as usual. It is a much wetter mixture and the consistency is certainly different, so I suggest experimenting to see what your and your family prefers.

Here's a few pictures of the process:

Cooked liver before grinding...
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My Grandma's KitchenAid still works great and has ALL metal parts.
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Ground liver. What else shall I say?
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Ah, here we go. A much more colorful and pretty picture which includes this recipe, except I made miniature muffin loafs instead of a typical meatloaf.
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Does your family have a favorite way of preparing liver?