Our Family

Funnel cake Recipe, Fair Food so easy to makeWe went to the fair recently, my husband bought a funnel cake to show Johann our boy from France how good they are.  We enjoyed it but I told the kids next time we need to make them at home for a fraction of the price.  Here is the recipe I posted a few years ago on how to make Funnel Cakes. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

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So I am 30+ years old and never had a Funnel cake, yes I have seen them at the fair, and heard everyone rant and rave about how good they are……but I have never been willing to pay the inflated $5 fee they charge for carnival food.

Matt’s parents have been making them at home since the 70’s, back in Rhode Island.  They wanted to make them for the Grandkids this weekend.  It was rather fun….cost pennies to make and the kids and I LOVED it.

IMG_2870

Funnel Cakes

  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups Sifted Flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 TBS baking powder

Beat egg, add milk, sift salt, sugar, flour and Baking powder together. Add eggs and milk. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into funnel. Funnel into oil that is 350 degrees (recipe makes 3 large funnel cakes)

IMG_2862IMG_2863

You want to overlap the batter to create a “cake” that will form a solid shape that you can flip, to brown the other side.

IMG_2865

Once both sides are golden brown, drain on paper towels  and top with powdered sugar.

IMG_2858IMG_2867The outside has a great little crunch, and the inside is light a fluffy…..YUMMY!

Thanks Granny and Papa these were great!

You can also use the same batter and dip these rosettes in it and then place them in the oil. With a little shake the batter comes off the rosette and you can finish frying them.

funnel cake rosette setNorpro 3286 7-Piece Cast-Aluminum Rosette/Timbale Set

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How to make Butter – Homemade Butter in a Jar

How to make butter

It’s Matt. I made Butter in a Jar back when I was a kid at a youth activity. Making butter at home was very easy and just took some time. So the other day at the store I grabbed some Heavy Whipping Cream and planned a night with the kids to make show them how to make homemade butter. It is really easy and will provide some tasty and easily homemade butter!

How to make butter

home made butter in jar

Ingredients:

  • Heavy Whipping Cream – any amount 6 cups makes about 1 pound of butter
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon per pound of butter- optional, used for preserving butter
  • Jar – with lid, any size, baby food jars are great for kids to make it with

home made butter heavy whipping creamDirections:

Pour Heavy Whipping Cream into jars no more then 3/4 the way full. It is best to leave room for the shaking and turning action. Next begin shaking! And Shake and Shake. Some music to shake too makes it fun for the kids and helps pass time. Something with a fun and quick beat. The best way I figured to shake the jar was to hold it length wise in my hands with the lid in my palms and the base of the jar wedge in my forearms.

It takes about 5 minutes before you notice a thickening forming in the jar. This heaviness is the beginning of the fat changing and sticking together. At this point you really just have a thick whip cream in the jar. Keep shaking. At this point the jar edges will look like:
home made butter foam

 

As another 5-10 minutes pass you will notice the jar filling with the foamy cream.  It feels as if there is no room in the jar as the thick Heavy Cream is aerated even more with the shaking, but keep shaking. It will look like this:

 

home made butter cream

Keep shaking and don’t stop you are almost done when it gets thick. I have heard some add a large marble to the thick foam. But I don’t think it really matters. Just the pressure of the shaking will continue the fat to congeal together. Don’t worry if you don’t think the foam is “churning” or rotating in the jar, gravity and pressure is still working to form the butter.
Before you know it you will see the foam separate and a thin liquid forms in the jar. That thin liquid is buttermilk! The butter is in the last few moments of shaking. Keep shaking until the butter or mass inside is a consistent size.
home made butter buttermilk
At this point you can separate the buttermilk out and save it for biscuits or pancakes and other fun recipes. Then you can add the 1/2 teaspoon salt which is optional. Some say the taste is different, but the main reason is to preserve the butter. Now with the remaining butter you can place it in a small container for refrigeration and easy of using it. So congrats you just made you own butter!  Enjoy your work!
home made butter bowl
As the butter sets you may see drips of buttermilk on the butter. Just let it drip off and drain.
home made butter
DIY - Homemade butter in a jar
 
Recipe type: Condiments
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • Heavy Whipping Cream - any amount 6 cups makes about 1 pound of butter
  • Salt - ½ teaspoon per pound of butter- optional, used for preserving butter
  • Jar - with lid, any size, baby food jars are great for kids to make it with
  • home made butter heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Pour Heavy Whipping Cream into jars no more then ¾ the way full. It is best to leave room for the shaking and turning action. Next begin shaking! And Shake and Shake. Some music to shake too makes it fun for the kids and helps pass time. Something with a fun and quick beat. The best way I figured to shake the jar was to hold it length wise in my hands with the lid in my palms and the base of the jar wedge in my forearms.
  2. It takes about 5 minutes before you notice a thickening forming in the jar. This heaviness is the beginning of the fat changing and sticking together. At this point you really just have a thick whip cream in the jar. Keep shaking. At this point the jar edges will look like:
  3. home made butter foam
  4. As another 5-10 minutes pass you will notice the jar filling with the foamy cream. It feels as if there is no room in the jar as the thick Heavy Cream is aerated even more with the shaking, but keep shaking.
  5. Keep shaking and don't stop you are almost done when it gets thick. I have heard some add a large marble to the thick foam. But I don't think it really matters. Just the pressure of the shaking will continue the fat to congeal together. Don't worry if you don't think the foam is "churning" or rotating in the jar, gravity and pressure is still working to form the butter.
  6. Before you know it you will see the foam separate and a thin liquid forms in the jar. That thin liquid is buttermilk! The butter is in the last few moments of shaking. Keep shaking until the butter or mass inside is a consistent size.
  7. home made butter buttermilk
  8. At this point you can separate the buttermilk out and save it for biscuits or pancakes and other fun recipes. Then you can add the ½ teaspoon salt which is optional. Some say the taste is different, but the main reason is to preserve the butter. Now with the remaining butter you can place it in a small container for refrigeration and easy of using it. So congrats you just made you own butter! Enjoy your work!
  9. home made butter bowl
  10. As the butter sets you may see drips of buttermilk on the butter. Just let it drip off and drain.

If you enjoyed making your own butter, then you will enjoy making your own cheese!

DIY Make your own Cheese

 

 

IDEAS ON USING & PRESERVING APPLES

 

 

 

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We have a lot of fun on our facebook page, the other night I asked this question … What is the “strangest” thing you or your kids have ever asked for, for Christmas? Like this year my 5 year old wants a Gallon Sized Can of Olives for Christmas …. am I the only one with weird kids out there.  I was cracking up at the answers so I wanted to share them with you,  I narrowed it down to my top 99 favorite answers!  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

  1.  My 3 year old really really wants ANOTHER invisible puppy for Christmas. I don’t know if it’s in the budget.
  2. My oldest asked for “a real baby sister and a toy stepmother” — she already has a baby sister and the step mother thing isn’t going to happen
  3. My 5 year old asked for kitten chow. We don’t have a cat.
  4. My daughter who is 16 asked for prenatal vitamins… I looked at her with a blank stare and she said….”so my hair will grow longer!!”… Scared me !
  5. We actually got our kids CostCo sized containers of Ketchup and Mustard one year (two different kids). They LOVED them! I’m sure my 4-year old would love a whole gallon of milk for herself with unlimited access to it. She is such a lush. lol.
  6. My daughter asked for a can of chocolate frosting. And a spoon.
  7. My 5 year old asked for deodorant…..
  8.  I use to request green olives and pistachio’s…
  9. My 15 year old nephew has asked for a pound of bacon….can’t really say I blame the kid…LOL
  10. My nephew wanted some avocados one year…
  11. My sons top item is a french horn followed by a harp!
  12. My son wanted a case of sunny delight orange drink. Lol
  13.  Nutella, a loaf of bread, and a hello kitty toaster (she’s 6)
  14. No my five year old asked for a stuffed cow and my three year wants a doll that moves but doesn’t poop.
  15. Well mine are only 1 and 3, but they’re already lil weirdos, so i’m sure i’ll have weird requests when they’re older. The 3 year old came up to me and said ta da! I turned around and he was wearing nothing but a diaper. lol
  16. My granddaughter is asking for a tree. Like the artificial ficus type. My mom has one in her home and my grandchild is obsessed with it. She told Santa thats what she wants. She is 3 years old.
  17. My thirteen year old son requested black socks. lol
  18.  My 5 year old came home from school last week and said ‘Mommy, we made Christmas lists at school today, I asked for a tablet; what’s a tablet?’ so when I tell her its those little computers like an ipad she goes’ I knew it was something good’ AND THEN I tell her you asked Santa for an “easy baked oven” (lol) not getting a tablet, she makes the saddest face ever and says but I put it on my list.
  19. A couple yrs ago, the only thing my daughter (who was 6 at the time) asked Santa for was those 3M Command Strips that hang things on the wall. Lol ….and yes she did get them from Santa!
  20.  My 10 year old asked for a butler, my 8 year old a maid to clean his room and my 6 year old requested “someone who will do all my jobs I don’t like” lol can’t say I blame them, I want them too!
  21.  A box of Stovetop dressing. I know weird!
  22. When my now five yr old was potty training she asked Santa for underwear and that was it!!!…and GOOD old santa forgot about them til the day before Christmas…lol luckily the Blue’s clues ones she wanted were still left..lol
  23.  5 pound gummy bear..
  24.  He’s been watching to much survivor man so he asked for survival gear..hes three..lol
  25.  My boys always ask for cereal, the “good” kid cereal, pickles, peanut butter, & the new one this year is doughnuts. Weird for some. Traditions for us!
  26.  When my son was turning nine, the only thing he wanted was a toaster to make ‘real toast’. We had a toaster oven at the time and he insisted a regular toaster was the only way to make ‘real’ toast. And yes, he got one. It is still working on the counter today.
  27. My son asked for frozen burritos one year….lol
  28.  My daughter when she was eight asked for a box of Kleenex
  29. My oldest has asked for, and received, olives, pickles, and vinegar.
  30.  My daughter, when she was 4, asked for a mountain & a rainbow. We got her a light that reflected a rainbow on her wall. She was out of luck on the mountain…lol
  31.  Gallon jar of pickles. I asked for, and received, one every year for 10+ years.
  32. A friend’s son asked for “any kind of sea monster”.
  33. My 3 year old wants glow in the dark pull ups..
  34.  I have to lay claim to this – I asked for a sledge hammer to take to our piano. I hated that thing.
  35. My kids have been pretty normal in their requests.
  36. My daughter was 3 she asked for a yellow pen for christmas
  37. My hubby’s cousin asked for Pineapple juice.
  38.  My Grandma bought my siblings and I the 5 gallon can of olives for Christmas one year. We would devour them at holiday dinners. She didn’t think we’d eat them all and it would cure is of our “addiction” we did eat them all and I am pretty sure we all still love olives
  39.  When my son was about 4 he asked for a box of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. He got them, and I had the cleanest walls around!
  40.  Oh my goodness I still have the note too!!!! my son asked for…..get ready….. An ….. Instrumental sugar Jesus. I’m not kidding I have the note I was racking my brain trying to figure out what in the world this kid had dreamt or whe in the world this came from soooooooo….. Then I googled it apparently its a song in the game marble madness which coincidentally he was into at the time lol they keep me on my toes my boys
  41. My two older kids (10 and 6) want mouthwash this year. That’s a new one. Scotch tape is a standard request for any holiday, LOL!
  42. My four year old told me he wants one of those “roller thing-ies that he can lay on and roll underneath cars so he can see underneath cars” …..and no, we do not have any mechanics in the family that he could have gotten this idea from…..he also wants a locker, his own refrigerator, and his own washing machine…..
  43.  I am sooooo buyng my 13 yr. old daughter a measuring cup for Christmas. Everytime I need it…..she’s drinking out of it. lol
  44. My little girl always wanted a her own carpet cleaner lol
  45.  Last year my 3 year old ( who was 2 at the time) asked for paper towels for christmas, and I forgot to get them for her. when present time was over she asked where her roll of paper towels were. made us all laugh.
  46. My 3-year old son wants a fly swatter for Christmas. We’ve watched Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too quite a few times, so he got the idea from rabbit asking Santa for a fly swatter. So funny.
  47. When my son was 5 he asked for a clipboard. I didn’t think he really wanted one so he didn’t get one and in Christmas morning that is the one thing he said “Santa didn’t bring me a clipboard.” He asked for one when he was six also, he got it that year.
  48.  My ten year old wants one of those candles that changes color. I am in the process of tracking down a battery operated one. Also, when my youngest son was three, he wanted a pink box with nothing in it. This was before he recognized “gender” roles. If you asked him now he would say “ewwww that’s girl stuff”
  49. When my son was quite young he wrote that he wished to have those special phones.. you know, the tin cans with string.. he had seen a movie and the kids were so happy to hear each other. !! my son was partially deaf. I “bought” the cans/ string and we played *hearing*
  50. My 5 year old wants a juicer:)
  51. My son asked for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and my niece asked for a jar of pickled eggs! Which they received!
  52. My oldest at 5 asked for duck tape- he wanted to build a boat with it!
  53.  My 3 yr old SON wants a Dora mask. He wants to ask Santa for trains, white socks, and a Dora mask. Unfortunately I can’t find one anywhere bc he didn’t tell me that til a week ago and Halloween stuff is gone if it even existed.
  54. My 6 year old son asked for a Mt. Dew, I guess because I don’t let him drink it he thinks if Santa brings it for him then I have to let him lol
  55. One year the ONLY thing my daughter wanted from Santa was a cake! lol! And that is what she got!
  56. Last year both girls (3 and 4 then) wanted pet unicorns. This year there haven’t been crazy requests yet.
  57. spaghetti and meatballs…
  58. My 2 yr old wants a “whooping” from Santa!!! Wth?? She don’t even get them from me!!
  59. I was 4 and my brother was 4 months. i asked if santa could get him adopted somewhere.
  60. Our 15 year old wants nothing but cool ranch Doritos and moon mist faygo. Yeah teenage boy!! Lol
  61. When mt neice was young. 3,4, and 5 she asked for a vacuum cleaner, an elwctric blanket and a suitcase with wheels.
  62. Last year my 14-year-old asked for SPAM! Yep she got it. Not only from santa, but from everyone that knew she wanted it! We went to Hawaii earlier that year and she fell in love with Spam!
  63. My nephew since he was about 7 had asked for hot apple cider and a gallon sized can of madarin oranges (which I can get at cash and carry for about $2) I’ve gotten them for him too. He loves having his own can of fruit this year since he was flyin…See More
  64. Mine wanted a huge jar of cherries one year. She ate everyone of them
  65. My 5 year old has asked for a wishing well so “it can be Christmas everyday”. Lol
  66.  A HARD monkey- to this day I have No idea what he meant
  67.  Mine wants a cotton candy machine and Nutella
  68. My son uses ketchup with everything. He always gets ketchup at Christmas!
  69. My daughter, at around 13, asked for Provolone cheese and red maraschino cherries in her stocking. Our family is so big that food is gobbled up pretty quick. I guess this was the only way she could think of to be able to eat her favorite things without everyone else munching out on them. BTW my 16 year old son got ketchup that year. lol
  70.  My eight year old son is asking Santa for a food dehydrator. My almost three year old daughter asked Santa for a “tiny Christmas tree”.
  71.  My two year old last year wanted cake last year as I think he thought it was his bday and this year he wants an ice cream truck he can drive to school yes this year he is only three
  72.  My daughter asked for a shower curtain one year!
  73. When my son was 7 he asked for Mighty Putty so he could fix things like the guy on tv!
  74. This year my son ask for a bag of concrete and chicken wire!! I have no clue what he is planning.
  75. My niece asked for a xmas tree last year, she wanted her own & my mother (grandma) got her a take top tree that’s a little less than 2ft & purple (one of her favorite colors) got her lights and ornaments just for HER tree it was the cutest thing & she was thrilled! Everyone outside of my the family that it was the oddest thing. This year her tree went up right along with the big one
  76.  My duaghter who was 4 at the time asked for fairy, and this year she has asked for at the age of 7 a mermaid to put in our pool
  77. My oldest wants a box of paper clips and beef jerky
  78. My six year old asked for bananas and zucchini so she can bake some bread.
  79.  Last year my 6 year old daughter wanted a coconut. Yes she got her wish.
  80. My daughter at 8 asked for 10# of bacon….
  81. My 10 year old daughter wants wood and nails so she can “build stuff”
  82. My daughter asked for a giant bag of Takis fr Costco and my son would like brother repellent for his bike!
  83. When my daughter was 3 she asked for a humpback whale. It took me forever, but I managed to find a stuffed one.
  84.  Funny- my younger son got a case of black olives from my cousin one year. And my 12-year old is seriously asking for a Costco pumpkin pie.
  85. My 4 adn 7 yr olds have been intrigued by that infomercial selling the ear wax remover thingy. Glad mine aren’t the onlyh “werid” ones out there lol …oh-and my 14 year old wants duck tape
  86. My 9 year old son wants yarn and a crochet needle kind of an odd request for a little boy..lol
  87. My brother used to ask for bandages of all colors and shapes and patterns. I think that was his way of styling since he was often wearing them for one reason or another.
  88. 4 yr old daughter asked for a rat!
  89. My 4 yr old at the time asked for a stop sign.
  90.  Every yearr my daughter asks for a huge jar of pickles and she’s!! Love it
  91. Pickled beets…my Grandma used to make them for me every Christmas
  92.  My daughters friend asked Santa for cheese fries.
  93.  One year all my then four y/o wanted was a “family bear” I had no clue so a purchased random bears to make a family of bears and sent dad to Ross to buy papa bear some clothes because he was too big for build a bear clothing. It was so worth it to see her little face
  94. My nephew asked for a wheelchair and then again the next year since he didnt get one.
  95. My 15 year old grandson wants stainless steel ice cubes. Can you beat that? Weird!!!!
  96. My 3 year old wants to go to the car wash for Christmas
  97. My younger daughter wants crunches this year. My older daughter asked for yogurt when she was little.
  98. My son asked for a fart machine so he could blame it on his toy
  99. My 5 year asked for a pair of plyers  so he could pull his own teeth so the Tooth Fairy would bring him money, and he could buy what he wanted.
Have your kids asked for something funny for Christmas, please share by leaving a comment below.

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hypoplastic-left-heart-syndrome-15-years-ago-today-our-story

Today my oldest son turns 15. This is a milestone for most kids. But for my Matthew, this is so much more. Some of you know his story, but for those of you who do not let me give you a brief history.  Matthew was born missing half is heart, a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  A word that when I first heard I could not even say. The doctor wrote it down on a piece of paper for me, with a rough sketch of what a normal heart looked like and what his looked like instead. I held that paper and just cried, the tears would not stop. He looked so perfect, how could he be so broken?

I did not know anything was wrong with him, till a few hours after he was born. One of the first miracles in Matthew’s journey is the fact that his pediatrician noticed the small signs that something was not right with him and pursued further testing. The pediatric cardiologist happened to be in the hospital that day too. She normally only came to our small town hospital once a month, but she was there that day. The two of them together discovered that Matthew had one of the worst heart defects, he was literally missing half his heart. Sadly the only other person I had ever know with this condition was our pediatricians daughter, she has passed  at 3 weeks old about a year before.

We were given three options. We could choose compassionate care, which meant we would hold him and love him until he passed away. This option would leave him free from any needles, tubes or surgery.  Second option was heart transplant. He would be intubated and in the hospital,  but most likely he would pass away before a heart would come available for him. Third option was surgery. A series of at least three open heart surgery’s where they would try to reroute the heart, they gave him about a 30% chance of making it through the first surgery.hypoplastic left heart syndrome, HLHS, echo Matthew

As I sat on my hospital bed holding this piece of paper, trying to make sense of it all I felt hopeless. I was suppose to be picking out what outfit to put him in to take him home. Instead I was trying to decide if he was going to die today, or possibly on an operating table.  As I looked at my baby, I could not imagine putting him through all that pain. Plus I was paralyzed by fear and not knowing what was ahead. In my heart I thought maybe compassionate care was the best option. Just letting him pass without pain, and without struggle.

I looked at my husband… He had  sat and listened to everything the doctors had told us together. When I heard it, it was all a blur. But my husband had heard every word, every detail. He had mapped out in his head how each surgery would go and what changes would be made to his heart. He understood the risk, he understood it was going to be a long journey… But he said we had to give him a shot.  Our son had not given up yet, so how could we?  He stood up from the side of the bed and said, ” I will sell everything I own, I will go wherever it takes… I will give my son a chance to live. If he dies on that operating table that is ok. I can live knowing that I gave my son every chance he had.”

He made the choice I was to scared to make, the choice to give our son a chance at life.

As I sit here  today and think about our journey over the past 15 years, it has been a long hard road. There were days, nights and even weeks and that I wondered if life was ever going to feel normal?  Would there ever be a day that I didn’t feel the need to count his heart rate, or watch to see how heavy he was breathing. Or would I ever be able to take the emergency bag out of my car, that was packed and ready for the next life flight trip?  The first 4 years were the hardest, we lived in and out of hospitals in three different states. Matthew was very sick and ended up having over 14 surgeries.  Some days I wondered if I really had what it took to be his Momma. But he has been worth every struggle, every tear, every heartache.  He never gave up, so how could I?

Not a night goes by that I don’t check on him before I go to bed.  I still place my hand on his chest to just feel his heart, and I  kiss his forehead. I say a prayer in my heart, thanking my Father in Heaven for him and pleading with the Lord for another day. His journey has taught me that each day really is a gift.

Happy Birthday lil buddy… praying for another healthy year with you!

 

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